Today’s minor moves:
Green Bay Packers
- Signed: WR Adonis Jennings
- Signed: C J.P. Quinn
- Waived: TE Josiah Price
New England Patriots
Today’s minor moves:
Green Bay Packers
New England Patriots
Here are the latest reserve/futures contract signings from around the NFL. These deals will go into effect on the first day of the 2018 league year, with players joining their respective clubs’ offseason 90-man rosters:
Green Bay Packers
The Patriots are much thinner at wide receiver than they were going into the preseason, having placed both Julian Edelman and Malcolm Mitchell on IR, and they will look at another wideout shortly after their Week 1 tilt against the Chiefs concludes.
The Jets released Wilson last week in slashing their roster to 53. The former Bears auxiliary aerial cog was expected to play a key role for the rebuilding Jets, but Gang Green acquired two other veterans (Jermaine Kearse and Jeremy Kerley) instead of retaining Wilson.
Without Edelman for the season and Mitchell for at least eight weeks, the Pats are now down to four wideouts — Brandin Cooks, Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola and Phillip Dorsett. While Matthew Slater is still on the team, he’s primarily a special-teamer.
A Washington State product whom the Bears took in the seventh round four years ago, the 6-foot-3 Wilson has struggled with injuries. His most productive year came in 2015 — in 11 games — when he averaged 16.6 yards per catch and recorded 464 yards for the Bears.
The Jets have released wide receiver Marquess Wilson, according to a team announcement. Wilson had the most career yardage of any receiver on the roster.
Wilson was expected to play a significant role for the rebuilding Jets this year, but a hip injury cost him time in practice and his place on the depth chart. He showed promise in Chicago, averaging 16.6 yards per reception in the 2015 season with career highs in targets (51), catches (28), and receiving yards (464).
Unfortunately, the 24-year-old (25 in September) has struggled with injuries ever since then. Wilson spent the first two months of the 2016 campaign on the PUP list and recorded just nine receptions in three games before suffering a season-ending foot fracture. He has had three left foot fractures in his career and is now working to rehab from his hip issue.
It has been a rough offseason for the Jets’ receiving corps following the release of Eric Decker and the loss of Quincy Enunwa to a neck injury. While Jalin Marshall faces a four-game suspension to start the season, the team’s top receivers will be Robby Anderson plus third round pick ArDarius Stewart and fourth round pick Chad Hansen.
In a related move, the Jets inked former Alabama State tight end Brandon Barnes.
Wilson, a seventh round pick in the 2013 draft, showed flashes of promise in Chicago. In an admittedly small sample size, he averaged 16.6 yards per reception in the 2015 season. That campaign marked career highs in targets (51), catches (28), and receiving yards (464). It remains to be seen what he is capable of doing with further opportunity. Given the way that the Jets have stripped the team, it’s possible that he could get more chances to show his stuff this year.
Wilson was activated off of the physically unable to perform list in mid-November last year. After his return, he recorded just nine receptions in three games before suffering a season-ending foot fracture. That marked the third time in his career that he broke his left foot.
Following the release of Eric Decker, the Jets’ most notable receivers are Quincy Enunwa and Robby Anderson. After that, their best WRs are arguably third round pick ArDarius Stewart and fourth round pick Chad Hansen. Given the lack of depth at the position, wouldn’t be a surprise to see Wilson begin the year as the Jets’ No. 3 option at receiver.
The initial wave of NFL free agency is now complete, and while many of the league’s top available players are now off the board, there are still plenty of quality options still on the open market.
Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each offensive position. These rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts – or the amount of guaranteed money – that each player is expected to land in free agency. These are simply the players we like the most at each position, with both short- and long-term value taken into account.
Restricted and exclusive-rights free agents, as well as players who received the franchise tag, aren’t listed here, since the roadblocks in place to hinder another team from actually acquiring most of those players prevent them from being true free agents.
We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some free agents than you are, so feel free to weigh in below in our comments section to let us know which players we’ve got wrong.
Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by offensive position for 2017:
Tony Romo is not a free agent…at least not yet. If the Cowboys do not find a suitable trade and release him, you’ll find him at the top of this list.
Laugh if you must, but Cutler is far and away the best quarterback available on the open market. While most of this year’s QB-needy teams are done with their free agent shopping, the Jets are still searching for their 2017 starter and no one would make more sense for them than Cutler. He’s not all that far removed from playing solid football and he’s a logical transitional option for the Jets until they can isolate a better, younger option for 2018.
Kaepernick’s reps wisely told the press that he will be standing for the National Anthem this year. Still, Kaepernick is an outspoken guy who wants to use his platform to discuss hot button issues, so there’s no guarantee that the media circus around him will cease. Jets owner Woody Johnson loves seeing his team on the back pages of the New York tabloids, but even he has to have more sense than to entertain Kaepernick. McCown, who has been contact with the team, would be an okay choice if they can’t get something done with Cutler. Chase Daniel could be an option too, but there isn’t much game film on him.
Needless to say, the No. 3 ranked player on this list isn’t an option in New York.
The Vikings have moved on and Peterson will not be back in Minnesota. Where he goes from here is anyone’s guess. When Peterson’s option was declined by the Vikings earlier this month, there were tons of stories (likely sourced by Peterson’s camp) about interest from a litany of contenders. Since then, each team – through anonymous sources – has denied being in the mix for the veteran. It would be easy to doubt Peterson at this juncture, but he has come back from serious injuries multiple times in his career and he is only one year removed from his stellar 2015 campaign. He gets the top spot over the bruising Blount as well as Charles, who hasn’t been healthy in a long while.
Jennings was brought to New York with the idea that he would be the team’s workhorse. Unfortunately, two of his three seasons with the G-Men were marred by injury. Jennings is currently putting his agility to good use on Dancing With The Stars and it remains to be seen how committed he is to football. After that, we have a trio of vets (Hightower, Williams, CJ2K) who could still advance the ball in limited spurts.
In case you’re wondering – Mike Gillislee is not listed here because he is a restricted free agent.
The Bears announced that they are placing wide receiver Marquess Wilson on injured reserve. The move will open up a spot for Alshon Jeffery, who is returning from his four-game performance enhancing drugs suspension.
Wilson was activated off of the physically unable to perform list in mid-November. Since then, he has recorded nine receptions in three games. On Friday, he fractured his left foot for the third time in his career. Now slated to hit the open market in March, this could mark the end of Wilson’s tenure in Chicago. In 2015, Wilson had a career-high 464 yards off of 28 catches with a touchdown in eleven games.
Jeffery, of course, is also scheduled to hit the open market. He was already in the midst of a so-so year when he was slapped with a suspension for PEDs last month. These last three games might not mean much for the Bears, but they could have a big impact on Jeffery’s future. If he doesn’t finish the year strong, he won’t have a chance of approaching the deals given to star wide receivers like Julio Jones, Demaryius Thomas, and Dez Bryant.
While it appears the Steelers will retain impending free agent running back Le’Veon Bell beyond this season, whether via the franchise tag or a long-term deal, the 24-year-old said Friday that his contract isn’t a concern at the moment. “I haven’t even been paying attention to that. I’m just playing football,” Bell stated regarding his future (via Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com). Led by Bell’s 298 total yards (262 rushing, 36 receiving) and three touchdowns, the Steelers knocked off Buffalo, 27-20, last Sunday to improve to an AFC North-leading 8-5.
More from the NFL’s North divisions:
Zach Links contributed to this post.
The Bears have made a handful of roster moves today, and the transactions are headlined by the activation of wide receiver Marquess Wilson from the physically unable to perform list, as Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports (all Twitter links). Additionally, Chicago has placed defensive lineman Will Sutton on injured reserve and signed fellow defensive lineman C.J. Wilson to take his place on the 53-man roster.
Marquess Wilson, 24, should add a reinforcement at wide receiver now that Alshon Jeffery is set to miss the next month after a PED suspension. Out since the summer with a broken foot, Wilson should immediately slot back into the Bears’ regular receiver rotation. 2015 marked the third NFL season for Wilson, and he turned in a career-high 464 yards off of 28 catches with a touchdown in 11 games. He’ll become a free agent after the season.
Sutton becomes the latest Bear to fall victim to injury, and is now the 12th player Chicago has placed on IR, tweets Biggs. A third-round pick under the club’s previous regime, Sutton was involved in trade rumors this offseason, but ultimately remained in the Windy City. Thus far in 2015, Sutton had appeared in eight games, starting six.
C.J. Wilson, 29, has 78 career games under his belt, with most of that time coming as a rotational option with Packers from 2010-2013. He played in 12 contests in 2015 (eight with the Lions, four with the Raiders), and picked up nine total tackles to go along with one sack. Wilson has bounced on and off Chicago’s roster this season, but hasn’t actually appeared in a game with the Bears.
The Bears have officially reduced their roster to 53 players, and in doing so, placed LB Pernell McPhee and WR Marquess Wilson on PUP. As such, each player will be forced to miss at leas the first six games of the season.
Braverman was the club’s seventh-round pick this year after posting a whopping 109 receptions for Western Michigan in 2015.
Moeaki has bounced around a bit since leaving the Chiefs in 2012. The 29-year-old played in 11 games for the Falcons last season, but he only hauled in three catches for 58 yards. Following a 2012 campaign where he caught 33 passes for 453 yards and a score, Moeaki has only compiled 11 catches for 192 yards over the past three seasons.