Michael Hoomanawanui

Saints Announce Roster Moves

The Saints have made the following transactions as they move their roster to 53 players:




Placed on injured reserve:

Placed on suspended list:

NFC Notes: Burton, Foles, Saints, Floyd

Trey Burton has been a quality under-the-radar performer for the Eagles this season and he could find himself with a very robust market entering free agency this offseason, opines Mike Garafolo of NFL.com in a video on Twitter.

Burton, 26, has produced solid numbers as the backup to one of the best tight ends in the game in Zach Ertz. However, the former undrafted free agent has stepped up when Ertz has been banged up. Garafolo notes that Burton has caught three touchdown passes in the last two games, when Ertz has not been 100%.

Coming from the University of Florida, Burton didn’t really have a position entering the draft, but has seemingly found a role as a versatile tight end/receiver in the Philadelphia offensive scheme. The tight end market is not very deep either, with their being a noticeable dip after the likes of Jimmy Graham and Tyler Eifert. Given his recent play, you can expect Burton could be a name that gets more money than you may expect given his relative lack of a track record.

Let’s take a look at more notes throughout the NFC:

  • Nick Foles led the Eagles to victory over the Giants in his first start since Carson Wentz was lost for the season. It was an encouraging performance for the former third round pick, who pondered retirement just two years ago, reports Reuben Frank of NBC Sports Philadelphia. It was after the 2015 season when the quarterback really gave some thought to hanging it up. “Yes, I sat there and talked with my wife,” Foles said. “You go through a lot of emotions. Changing teams, being traded, going there, going through that year, and once I was a free agent, we just sort of sat there and said, ‘Hey what do we want to do?'” Nick Foles eventually decided to stay in the league and was a backup for a season in Kansas City before making his way to the Eagles this past offseason. Foles has a bit of a track record in the league and is looking to continue to build on his rebound story in the playoffs.
  • The Saints lost a few players to injury during their win over the Jets on Sunday afternoon. Guard Larry Warford and tight end Michael Hoomanawanui both were forced to leave the game with concussions, according to Joel Erickson of The New Orleans Advocate. Erickson adds that guard Andrus Peat was also active to start the contest, but was held out because of a groin injury. He was available in an emergency role, with backup guards Senio Kelemete and Josh LeRibeus taken the starting sports when both starting offensive lineman were unable to play. Hopefully all three players will recover fully for the team’s critical Week 16 affair against the Falcons. The game will have major implications to who ultimately will win the ultra-competitive NFC South.
  • Vikings wide receiver Michael Floyd expressed that he is more at peace and hopes to be back in Minnesota next year, in a deep diving piece from Chris Tomasson of the Twin Cities Pioneer Press. “I would like to stay here, for sure,” Floyd said. “I love this place.” While the former Cardinals and Pats wideout has seemingly got his life together, it’s an uphill battle considering the quality depth of the position on the team, which includes Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, Laquon Treadwell and Jarius Wright.

Saints Move Roster To 53

The Saints have now announced their full list of transactions that bring them down to 53 players.


Placed on IR:

Barnes signed with the Saints last Sunday, meaning his stay in New Orleans lasted less than a week. In 11 NFL seasons, the 34-year-old has seen action in more than 150 games (117 starts) with the Jaguars and Raiders. Barnes lost his starting job in Oakland last season, but still appeared in 14 games.

Saints Re-Sign Travaris Cadet

The Saints announced that they have re-signed running back Travaris Cadet. Cadet, a four-year NFL vet, originally signed with New Orleans as a UDFA out of Appalachian State in 2012. Travaris Cadet (vertical)

For his career, Cadet has appeared in 48 games (2 starts) with 62 catches for 559 yards and three scores plus 22 carries for 65 yards. This past season, he spent time with the Patriots and Niners. Cadet, 27, saw his first significant action for the Saints in 2014, hauling in 38 passes on 51 targets, totaling 296 yards and a touchdown on those receptions. He didn’t see that kind of usage in 2015 but he’s certainly hoping to find that same level of involvement in ’16 as he returns to New Orleans.

Within the announcement, the Saints also confirmed new deals for kicker Kai Forbath, tight end Michael Hoomanawanui, center/guard Senio Kelemete, and cornerback Kyle Wilson.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Contract Details: JPP, McClain, Stanton

Here are the latest updates on many recently agreed-upon or signed contracts from around the NFC:

NFC East:

  • Jason Pierre-Paul, DE (Giants): One year, $10MM. $8.5MM fully guaranteed. $4.25MM signing bonus, $4.25MM base salary. $1.2MM per-game roster bonuses. $300K incentive tied to sacks. $10.5MM max value (Twitter links via Tom Pelissero of USA Today).
  • Rolando McClain, LB (Cowboys): One year, $4MM. $1MM available via incentives if McClain plays 75% of defensive snaps (Twitter link via Drew Davidson of the Star Telegram).

NFC South:

  • Michael Hoomanawanui, TE (Saints): Three years, $5.2MM. $1.85MM guaranteed. $1MM signing bonus (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle).
  • Kyle Wilson, CB (Saints): One year, minimum salary benefit. $80K signing bonus (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Keith Tandy, S (Buccaneers): Two years, $1.85MM. $250K roster bonus guarantees on fifth day of league year (Twitter link via Wilson).

NFC North:

  • Andrew Sendejo, S (Vikings): Four years, $16MM. $950K 2016 base salary (fully guaranteed). Contains option for 2019 (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Lane Taylor, OL (Packers): Two years, $4.15MM. $600K signing bonus. Contains $1MM in playtime and workout incentives (Twitter links via Wilson).

NFC West:

Free Agent Rumors: Benjamin, Falcons, Hali

The Falcons have inquired about free agent receiver Travis Benjamin, a source tells Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com. Benjamin played under Falcons OC Kyle Shanahan in Cleveland during the 2014 season. Benjamin also worked with current Minnesota OC Norv Turner in Cleveland, but per Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (Twitter link), the Vikings have not show any interest in Benjamin.

Here are the latest free agent rumors:

  • Linebacker Tamba Hali was choosing between the Falcons and Kansas City before signing a three-year deal with the Chiefs, Kelsey Conway of AtlantaFalcons.com tweets.
  • The Patriots were interested in signing Michael Hoomanawanui before he re-signed with the Saints on Tuesdsay, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe tweets.
  • The Texans are interested in re-signing safety Quintin Demps, as Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle writes. This past season, Demps started a career-high 13 games and recorded 61 tackles, one interception, six passes defended, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. The 30-year-old free agent is also drawing interest from other teams, however.
  • The Buccaneers may not tender free agent defensive end Olatunji Fatinikun, but they still could sign him later in summer, Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. The DE is coming off of ACL surgery.

Saints To Re-Sign Michael Hoomanawanui

The Saints have agreed to terms on a new contract for pending free agent Michael Hoomanawanui, a source tells Alex Marvez of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Marvez reports that it’ll be a three-year deal for the veteran tight end.Michael Hoomanawanui

[RELATED: Saints to re-sign CB Kyle Wilson]

Hoomanawanui, 27, joined the Saints in late September last season, coming over from New England in a trade that sent defensive lineman Akiem Hicks to the Patriots. Upon his arrival in New Orleans, Hoomanawanui started eight of his 12 games for the club, and displayed a knack for finding the end zone — three of his 11 receptions went for touchdowns.

Among Saints tight ends, Hoomanawanui ranked third in total offensive snaps, behind Ben Watson and Josh Hill. However, both of those players are eligible for free agency this week – Watson is unrestricted and Hill is restricted – and Hoomanawanui still played a decent amount (366 snaps). Locking him up gives New Orleans a little certainty at the position as the team decides what to do with Watson and Hill.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Niners, Kaepernick, Saints

When asked about a report that he got into an altercation with left tackle Joe Staley, 49ers tight end Vernon Davis offered up a denial, as Eric Branch of The San Francisco Chronicle writes.

“I don’t recall that,” Davis said “I don’t know where that’s coming from. It’s funny to me. He’s been like a brother to me… We’ve had arguments in the past. My first year, I remember, I came here and we got into it. We got into right then and seconds later we were hanging out, laughing and drinking sodas together.”

While Davis claims the incident didn’t happen, several reporters have suggested that a skirmish between Staley and Davis arose after the tight end called out quarterback Colin Kaepernick in a players-only meeting. Here’s more on the Niners, along with a few other NFC teams:

  • 49ers CEO Jed York and GM Trent Baalke should step up right now and squash the rumblings about Kaepernick’s future with the organization, Tim Kawakami of The Mercury News writes. Kawakami feels that the front office can put the QB’s mind at ease by saying that the Niners still plan on building around him, but the team yet to do so. The franchise also allowed speculation to run rampant over ex-coach Jim Harbaugh, whom some might say was San Francisco’s best coach in decades.
  • In his latest piece for TheMMQB.com, former Packers executive Andrew Brandt examines a pair of NFC East defensive ends, writing that the Cowboys will be negotiating against themselves if they try to extend Greg Hardy, and suggesting that Jason Pierre-Paul‘s fireworks accident will likely end up costing him about $7-10MM in salary this season.
  • When the Saints traded defensive lineman Akiem Hicks to New England for tight end Michael Hoomanawanui earlier this season, many pundits didn’t like the deal for New Orleans. However, as Larry Holder of the New Orleans Times-Picayune writes, Hoomanawanui has seen more playing time than Hicks on his new team, and has allowed the Saints to bring a new wrinkle to their offense, with multiple three-tight-end sets.
  • The Saints tried out defensive back Brandon Dixon on Thursday, according to a source who spoke with Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (Twitter link).

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Saints Acquire Hoomanawanui From Patriots

The Saints have acquired tight end Michael Hoomanawanui from the Patriots, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). In return, the Patriots will receive defensive end Akiem Hicks (link).

Hoomanawanui, 27, has spent the last three seasons and change in New England after starting his career with the Rams. The former fifth-round pick played more than 700 snaps in 2013, grabbing 12 balls for 136 yards and a touchdown. According to Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required), Hoomanawanui wasn’t an effective run blocker in that season, though he graded as slightly above average as a pass blocker. Last year, the Illinois product played in all 16 games but saw an even smaller role in the passing game, catching only three passes out of six targets.

Hicks was in the Saints locker room on Wednesday, Larry Holder of The Times-Picayune tweets, so it would appear that the deal really gained momentum later in the afternoon. Hicks is set to become a free this offseason and despite a solid showing in training camp, he wasn’t given the opportunity to make an impact on the field this year. The defensive end was a third-round choice in 2012 but was actually the Saints’ top pick in that year thanks to the Bountygate sanctions imposed against them.

Hoomanawanui is set to earn $850K in 2015 while Hicks will make $1.53MM.

James Develin Suffers Broken Leg

Patriots fullback James Develin suffered a broken right tibia during the Patriots’ preseason win over the Panthers on Friday evening, reports ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss (via Twitter). The injury was described as a “clean break,” and the hope is that the 27-year-old can recover in six to eight weeks.

Reiss wonders if the Patriots could place Develin on the short-term injured reserve, which would be an indication that the team is confident Develin could be ready to go in two months. That might be the most logical option, as the team doesn’t have another fullback on their roster.

The Patriots let go of Eric Kettani earlier this week, but Reiss is doubtful that he would have made the roster even with Develin’s injury. Another option would be to keep four tight ends, with the coaching staff attempting to convert either Michael Hoomanawanui or Michael Williams into a fullback.

Develin went undrafted out of Brown in 2010, and he hung around with the Bengals organization until 2011. Since then, he’s been with New England, where he’s made 33 appearances over three seasons. The fullback has compiled 15 rushing yards and a touchdown on seven attempts, and he’s also caught 10 passes for 105 yards.

ProFootballFocus’s advanced metrics (subscription required) were relatively fond of Develin’s performance last season, ranking him fourth among 23 fullback candidates.