Michael Deiter

Commanders Sign OL Michael Deiter

Michael Deiter‘s Texans contract ended up producing more starts than expected, as the AFC South champions needed the ex-Dolphins draftee due to injuries along their front. But the sides will part ways.

The Commanders reached an agreement to bring in Deiter, according to the team. The five-year veteran interior O-lineman is coming off a 10-start season. The former third-round pick has worked at center and guard as a pro.

Washington released starting center Nick Gates but added Tyler Biadasz early in free agency, giving the team a clear-cut favorite to become the starting snapper. Guard Nick Allegretti also signed with Washington. However, guard starter Saahdiq Charles left to join the Titans recently. Deiter stands to at least provide swing depth for the rebuilding team.

The Commanders’ O-line will look different next season; Charles, Gates and left tackle Charles Leno are no longer on the roster. The team still has a need on the blind side, and while right tackle Andrew Wylie and right guard Sam Cosmi remain under contract, Biadasz and Allegretti are on track to start. Deiter provided important depth for a resurgent Texans team that employed a rookie quarterback chosen second overall; his Washington role could be eerily similar.

Deiter played on a one-year, $1.23MM deal in Houston but ended up being needed extensively at center. The team lost its primary 2022 starting pivot, Scott Quessenberry, to a season-ending injury last summer and then saw guards Kenyon Green and Kendrick Green go down for the year. Second-round pick Juice Scruggs, who had been tapped to play center coming out of Penn State, debuted well into the season due a significant hamstring setback sustained during the preseason. This turn of events moved Deiter into a starting job, and the team kept him there when Scruggs recovered. With Scruggs potentially set to take over at center in Houston, Deiter is moving on.

Pro Football Focus graded Deiter 26th among centers last season. The Dolphins demoted him following a 15-start rookie year, one that came for a Miami team beginning a rebuild, but used him as an eight-game starter in 2021. The Wisconsin alum’s starter experience — particularly for rebuilding teams — should be key for a Commanders team breaking in some new faces up front.

Texans Place Two On IR, Poach Practice Squad Replacements

The Texans were forced to make a pair of acquisitions today when two offensive contributors found their way to the injured reserve list today. With the news that they would place starting center Jarrett Patterson and tight end Teagan Quitoriano on IR, Houston also announced the additions of safety DeAndre Houston-Carson and tight end Eric Saubert.

Thanks to some other injuries along the offensive line, Patterson had assumed a starting role at center. The sixth-round rookie had started all seven games for the Texans thus far, but his new ankle injury will force him to miss at least four games. With second-round rookie Juice Scruggs, trade acquisition Kendrick Green, and Patterson all on IR, Michael Deiter stands to step up in their place.

Quitoriano had also cracked the starting lineup this season, making five starts. With a reputation more as a blocker, the second-year tight end’s absence could combine with Patterson’s to affect the run game. Saubert has had a similar reputation over his seven years in the NFL. He’s spent the first half of this season on the Cowboys’ practice squad, being signed off of it to join the Texans. Dalton Schultz has handled most receiving duties in Houston at tight end. With Brevin Jordan dealing with foot injuries, bringing in Saubert became necessary for depth.

Houston-Carson rejoins the Texans, with whom he spent a couple of weeks on the practice squad to start the year before getting released. The veteran safety spent the first seven years of his career in Chicago as a depth piece and special teamer, making nine starts in his final two years. He appeared in two games for Houston off the practice squad before being released and signing with Baltimore. Baltimore had him active for their past two games with Marcus Williams absent due to injury. He, like Saubert, has been signed off the Ravens’ practice squad to rejoin the Texans.

With Patterson and Quitoriano out, the Texans will have to work a little harder to open some lanes and protect rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud. Adding Saubert should help with the tight end depth, while Houston-Carson brings a familiar face back into the secondary.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/16/23

Today’s callups and adjustments heading into Week 2:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New York Giants

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/9/23

We have our first flood of pregame transactions of the season today as teams across the league with games tomorrow utilize their two permitted practice squad elevations:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Promoted from practice squad: LB Brevin Allen

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

  • Promoted from practice squad: RB Myles Gaskin, OLB Benton Whitley

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

Texans Place C Juice Scruggs, P Cameron Johnston On IR

The Texans are now guaranteed to start the season without two starting offensive linemen. After suffering a hamstring strain in the preseason, second-round rookie Juice Scruggs landed on IR.

In place as Houston’s starting center, Scruggs will now miss at least four games. He joins Kenyon Green in being moved off the active roster due to injury. Green, the first guard chosen in 2022, is on season-ending IR due to multiple injuries. The Texans also placed punter Cameron Johnston on IR on Thursday. Like Scruggs, Johnston will be shut down for at least a month.

A calf injury will send Johnston to IR. The Texans signed punter Ty Zentner as an insurance option last week. These moves will allow the team to re-sign linebacker Cory Littleton and running back Mike Boone. Zentner resides on Houston’s practice squad, but this Johnston news could soon lead to a promotion. The Eagles signed Zentner as a UDFA in May but waived him earlier this month.

A Scruggs IR stint emerged as a possibility earlier this week, as matters have worsened for Houston’s O-line. The team is not certain to have right tackle Tytus Howard in the lineup. A hand injury has sidelined the recently extended blocker for weeks. Scott Quessenberry, who re-signed after serving as the Texans’ starting center for most of last season, sustained a season-ending injury weeks ago. Houston has since traded for Josh Jones and Kendrick Green, with recent free agency addition George Fant in place as Howard’s RT backup.

Laremy Tunsil and Shaq Mason are the only locks among Houston’s first-team O-linemen to be in uniform in Week 1 against the Ravens. For additional depth purposes, the Texans also brought back interior O-lineman Michael Deiter — a March signee who did not make the team — on a practice squad deal and added recent Bears O-line castoff Dieter Eiselen to their taxi squad.

Johnston has been with the Texans for the past two seasons, coming over after the Eagles waived him. The veteran punter is going into the final season of a three-year, $8MM deal. Philadelphia’s punter from 2018-20, Johnston had previously never missed a game as a pro.

Texans Set 53-Man Roster

The Texans are in the midst of a rebuild, but that doesn’t make their roster decisions any easier. The organization ultimately settled on 53 players today:




Placed on reserve/PUP:

Three veteran tight ends were let go in Mason Schreck, Eric Tomlinson, and Nick Vannett. Vannett has the most epxerience of the bunch, having seen time in 86 career games. He spent the 2022 seasons with the Giants and Saints, hauling in six catches. Tomlinson has appeared in 85 career games, including 34 over the past two seasons. He started 12 of his 17 appearances for Denver in 2022, serving mostly as an extra blocker.

Adam Humphries was an 800-yard receiver with the Buccaneers in 2018, but he’s compiled only 985 yards in three years since. He didn’t get into a game during the 2022 season, but he did haul in 41 catches for Washington in 2021.

Texans To Sign OL Michael Deiter

MARCH 21: To little surprise, Wilson reports that Deiter has agreed to a one-year deal with the Texans (Twitter link). Offensive additions continue to be made in Houston this offseason, including both along the offensive line and amongst the team’s skill-position group.

MARCH 20: Continuing a busy Texans afternoon, former Dolphins offensive lineman Michael Deiter intends to join the AFC South team. Deiter visited the team Monday and is expected to be part of Houston’s O-line mix, KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson tweets.

Moving between starter and depth piece in Miami, Deiter spent last season as a backup. The Texans drafted Kenyon Green in last year’s first round and traded for fellow guard Shaq Mason. Houston also re-signed Scott Quessenberry recently, making the Deiter addition appear a depth signing.

A former third-round pick out of Wisconsin, Deiter has 23 starts on his resume. Sixteen of those came for an undermanned 2019 Dolphins squad. Deiter worked as an interior backup in all 18 Dolphins games last season, but Miami added ex-Chargers and Jet starter/swingman Dan Feeney last week.

The Texans have rookie-contract cogs Charlie Heck (2020 fourth round) and Austin Deculus (2022 sixth) as backup options, with 2021 UDFA Jimmy Morrissey rostered as well. Deiter would stand to provide some experience as an interior option. The team lost center starter Justin Britt in September of last year; the 2021 Houston starter left the team for personal reasons. The Texans released Britt earlier this month; he is expected to retire.

It would not surprise if another interior backup option joined the Texans, but Deiter will be in the running for a role with DeMeco Ryans‘ team.

Dolphins Notes: Running Backs, Offensive Line, Tagovailoa

The Dolphins were busy reworking their running backs depth chart during the offseason. After signing the likes of Chase Edmonds, Sony Michel, and Raheem Mostert, the team didn’t have much room for another veteran. Speaking to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, running back Duke Johnson said Miami never offered him a contract in free agency.

The veteran had a productive five-game stint with the Dolphins in 2021. After making a name for himself in the passing game, Johnson averaged 66 rushing yards per game…a leap from his 23.6-yard career mark. The 28-year-old RB ultimately finished the campaign with 371 yards from scrimmage and three scores on 75 touches. The organization initially expressed interest in re-signing Johnson following the season, but Mike McDaniel’s hiring ultimately changed the team’s plans.

“They just wanted to go in a different direction,” Johnson said. “I figured McDaniel wanted his guys; Raheem Mostert is one of his guys. I know the nature of the business. No hard feelings.”

Johnson ended up landing a one-year deal with the Bills in March.

More notes out of Miami…

  • When the Dolphins signed Connor Williams this offseason, it was expected that the lineman would slide in at left guard. However, ESPN’s Marcel Louis-Jacques writes that Williams is now the front runner to start at center. The 25-year-old trained at the position throughout the offseason to help improve his versatility, and it seems like it worked. Incumbent starter Michael Deiter is still in the picture, but Louis-Jacques opines that the starting center gig is Williams’ to lose.
  • ESPN’s Todd McShay recently opined that 2022 is a prove-it year for Tua Tagovailoa, and if the QB fails, the Dolphins are in a good position to pursue one of next year’s top QB prospects. Jackson quickly dismisses that notion, however. In the hypothetical where Tagovailoa does fail and the Dolphins decide to pivot next offseason, their various assets may not be enough to pull off a trade. While the Dolphins have an extra first-round pick thanks to a trade with San Francisco, Jackson writes that few teams would be interested in bailing on a franchise quarterback for a platter of middling firsts…especially when the majority of the teams that could be in contention for a top pick would all have their own QB issues.
  • When asked which AFC team had the best offseason, PFR readers ranked the Dolphins third. Besides their blockbuster acquisition of wideout Tyreek Hill, the Dolphins also brought in offensive tackle Terron Armstead, extended cornerback Xavien Howard, and re-signed defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah. The Broncos finished first in the poll, with the Raiders finishing second.

AFC Rumors: Jaguars, Williams, Van Roten, Leonard, Browns, Griffin III

After the Jaguars fired former head coach Urban Meyer, it became public that Jacksonville had no intentions of paying Meyer the remaining money on his contract, as he was being fired for cause. There was speculation at the time that the parties may follow existing precedents and negotiate a settlement in order to avoid a legal situation.

According to Jarrett Bell of USA Today, an anonymous source with knowledge of the situation informed the columnist that, to date, the two sides have been unable to strike a settlement agreement.

Here are a few other rumors from around the AFC, starting with a rumor out of South Beach:

  • The Dolphins should have plenty of options for their offensive line configuration, but it most likely hinges on what they do with interior offensive lineman Connor Williams. According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, Miami isn’t quite sure what to do with Williams, working him at center and left guard over the past three weeks. The good news, is that it gives them plenty of options. With Terron Armstead solidified at left tackle and Robert Hunt solidly at right guard, Williams could fit at either position. If you put Williams at left guard, the team would likely have Michael Deiter start at center and leave Liam Eichenberg and Austin Jackson to compete for the starting right tackle job. If you start Williams at center, Eichenberg can slide in to the left guard job and Jackson can man the right tackle position.
  • The Jets recently released guard Greg Van Roten. According to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY, head coach Robert Saleh claimed that they released Van Roten because they believe he has the potential to start for other teams in the league. His release is meant to allow him to find those teams that would provide him a starting opportunity. Saleh was quoted saying they’d “love to have him back,” if he fails to find such opportunities.
  • Colts linebacker Darius Leonard had ankle surgery in June last year before the season. The surgery helped him to get healthy for the season, where he played every game but one and was named a first-team All-Pro for the third time in his career. While the ankle is still ailing him, Joel A. Erickson of the Indy Star reported that Leonard says the ankle is better now than it was at this point last year. This is an encouraging sign for Leonard and a scary message for the other teams in the AFC South. Leonard has been named to an All-Pro team every year of his career while being nagged by his ankle ailment. A healthy Leonard is a dangerous weapon for opposing teams to have to game-plan against.
  • With the return of free agent wide receiver Jarvis Landry seeming less and less likely, Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com believes the Browns will be able to push a bit harder now for free agent pass rusher Jadeveon Clowney to return. Cabot points out that drafting UAB pass rusher Alex Wright makes the need to sign Clowney a little less urgent, but also mentions that fellow pass rusher Myles Garrett wants Clowney back, which could help his case. Cabot claims that, if the two parties can’t agree to a new deal, Cleveland will consider former Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes instead.
  • We’ve all seen Rich Eisen of NFL Network run the 40-yard dash for charity. Well, this year, former NFL quarterback Robert Griffin III, currently an analyst for ESPN, participated and reportedly was clocked at 4.48 seconds. Mike Florio of NBC Sports reports that on Eisen’s show, Griffin made the claim that some teams took notice of his impressive run and reached out to him. This doesn’t necessarily mean that any teams have offered to bring him back to the NFL, but Griffin has publicly stated his desire to return to football in the past, even claiming that his contract with ESPN would allow him to sign with an NFL team if the opportunity presents itself. Griffin last spent time in the league as Lamar Jackson‘s back up on the Ravens. He filled in multiple times leading many to wonder if he still had the ability to lead an NFL offense based on his brief appearances.

OL Rumors: Fins, Meinerz, Bates, Steelers

Addressing needs at left tackle and left guard, the Dolphins are turning their attention to center. GM Chris Grier plans to bring in competition for incumbent Michael Deiter, per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. The Dolphins are looking to keep costs down here, Jackson adds, noting they are not currently on the radar for J.C. Tretter or Matt Paradis. Both have been center starters for the past several years but would qualify as replacements for Deiter rather than competition. Given Tretter’s performance in Cleveland, the NFLPA president looms as one of the top free agents available. Miami’s to-be-determined center will join Terron Armstead, Connor Williams, Robert Hunt and either Austin Jackson or Liam Eichenberg on the team’s reconfigured O-line.

Here is the latest from the offensive line ranks:

  • Although the Patriots hosted Bills restricted free agent Ryan Bates, it does not appear they were competing with the Bears for his services. Unlike the Bears, the Pats did not extend Bates an offer sheet and, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com, the team was not overly interested. The Bills ended up matching the offer sheet to retain Bates. The Pats lost both 2021 guard starters — Ted Karras and Shaq Mason — this offseason. While swingman Michael Onwenu stands to take over at one of the positions, it is uncertain who will join he and longtime center David Andrews as the third interior man.
  • Quinn Meinerz did not open last season as a Broncos starter, but the Division III product looks set to do so in 2022. Nathaniel Hackett envisions Meinerz as the team’s starting right guard, Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post notes. “The sky is the limit” for Meinerz, said Hackett, who plans to keep Graham Glasgow‘s midseason replacement in the lineup. That leaves Glasgow’s role uncertain. The 2020 UFA addition has been the Broncos’ starting right guard when healthy over the past two seasons, but he played center for 16 games with the 2018 Lions. Broncos center Lloyd Cushenberry has not missed a snap during his initial two NFL seasons, but Pro Football Focus graded the former third-rounder as the team’s worst O-line starter last season.
  • The Steelers signed James Daniels and Mason Cole in free agency. Cole has primarily played center, while Daniels has played the position as a pro as well. Daniels has spent most of his NFL days at guard, and it is possible 2021 Steelers center Kendrick Green becomes the team’s other guard starter. Mike Tomlin is open to moving Green to guard, Mark Kaboly of The Athletic notes (subscription required). A third-round pick last year, Green started 15 games as a rookie. PFF graded him as one of the league’s worst centers. A move to guard, where he spent most of his time at Illinois, could potentially open the door to improvement and threaten Kevin Dotson‘s starting role. Dotson, a 2020 fourth-rounder, opened the season as Pittsburgh’s left guard starter but missed eight games due to injury.
  • Zach Banner‘s Steelers exit stemmed from his 2020 ACL tear remaining a deterrent, Kaboly adds. Banner opened the 2020 season as the Steelers’ starting right tackle but suffered the tear in Week 1. The 6-foot-8 blocker played seven games last season, but Kaboly adds his knee never returned to form.