Myjai Sanders

NFL Workouts: Giants, Bears, Titans, Grant

With NFL rookie minicamps coming to a close, we can take a look at some of the notable names that were invited for veteran tryouts during the rookies’ introduction to the NFL. The Giants were one of the teams with multiple veteran free agents in attendance, as noted by Pat Leonard of NY Daily News.

Two outside linebackers were auditioned this week in New York. Myjai Sanders worked out with the team after playing sparingly in seven games for the Texans last year. A former third-round pick for the Cardinals, Sanders had three sacks as a rookie but, after falling down the depth chart, found himself being auctioned off as a trade candidate before ultimately getting waived.

The other was Shaka Toney, a former seventh-round pick for the Commanders who was waived just before the draft. He’s only played major snaps in one game over his two years, his lone start out of 26 games played, but totes 1.5 sacks on his record.

The third veteran in attendance was wide receiver Jared Bernhardt.

Here are a few other notable minicamp auditions that took place around the league:

  • The Bears also hosted three veterans, even eventually signing tight end Tommy Sweeney. Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic reports that cornerback Parry Nickerson and wide receiver Freddie Swain were the other two veterans in attendance this week. Nickerson entered the league as a sixth-round draft pick in 2018 for the Jets. Since then, he’s bounced around with one season each at in Jacksonville, Green Bay, Minnesota, and, most recently, Miami. Swain had a decent start to his career after two seasons in Seattle but didn’t play in 2023 after appearing in only four games in 2022 between time in Miami and Denver.
  • The Titans were another team to host multiple notable veteran names, namely cornerback William Jackson III and pass rusher Shane Ray, per Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2 and Turron Davenport of ESPN. After playing out a rookie contract in Cincinnati, Jackson earned a three-year, $40.5MM contract with the Commanders but requested a trade that landed him with the Steelers a year in a half into the deal, though he never got to play for them. He hasn’t appeared in a game since Week 5 of 2022. Ray’s absence from the NFL has been even longer. A first-round pick for the Broncos in 2015, Ray hasn’t played in the league since 2018. He joined the Bills last offseason, reuniting with his former Denver teammate Von Miller, but he was cut before the regular season.
  • After attending the Eagles’ rookie minicamp, wide receiver and return specialist Jakeem Grant also worked out for the Saints at their rookie minicamp, per Mike Triplett of NewOrleans.Football. Grant hasn’t appeared in an NFL game since the 2021 season as he’s rehabilitated a torn Achilles and a ruptured patella tendon, but the last time he played, he earned Pro Bowl and second-team All-Pro honors.
  • Lastly, the Dolphins hosted pass rusher Aaron Lynch for a tryout, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Lynch showed promise after tallying 12.5 sacks in his first two seasons with the 49ers but never managed more than three in a season over the next five years. He hasn’t appeared in an NFL game since 2020.

Texans Waive DE Myjai Sanders

Active on the waiver wire last year, the Texans have seen two of their defensive lineman claimed in 2023 — Derek Barnett and Teair Tart — sign contracts. Barnett is back, while Tart joined the Dolphins. Another front-seven Texans claim will follow Tart off the roster.

The team is waiving Myjai Sanders, a 2022 Cardinals third-round pick. Sanders initially came to Houston via waivers, after the new Cardinals regime bailed on the Steve Keim-era draftee early. Two seasons remain on Sanders’ rookie contract.

Houston claimed Sanders before adding Barnett and Tart via waivers, picking up the former Cincinnati standout in mid-October. The young edge rusher played in seven games (138 defensive snaps) for the Texans, operating as a backup behind Will Anderson and Jonathan Greenard. Sanders, 25, did not record a sack with Houston. He did, however, play 43 defensive snaps in the Texans’ wild-card win over the Browns.

This marks the second Sanders waiver exit in six months. The Cardinals cut Sanders from their IR, doing so after designating him for return. Sanders played only four games with the Cards last season; he suited up for 13 as a rookie, registering three sacks. The Texans have Barnett and 2023 fourth-round pick Dylan Horton, who recently announced he was in remission after a Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosis, as D-end backup options behind Anderson and Greenard replacement Danielle Hunter.

The Texans also signed wide receiver Alex Bachman and waived safety Josh Thompson. Bachman has not seen any game action since the 2021 season.

Texans Claim OLB Myjai Sanders

A third-round Cardinals draftee last year, Myjai Sanders quickly fell out of favor with the team’s new regime. The Cincinnati alum hit waivers Tuesday, but he did not move through to free agency.

The Texans submitted a successful claim on Sanders, per’s Ian Rapoport. This will give the productive college sack artist another opportunity and keep him tied to his rookie contract, which runs through 2025. Sanders is attached to a $622K base salary, with a $1.17MM base due in 2024. The Texans are not on the hook for any guaranteed money.

Arizona cut Sanders after designating him to return from IR. The 25-year-old defender did not end up counting against Arizona’s IR activations, having not been activated. The Cardinals having drafted Sanders to work in Vance Joseph‘s defense — during Steve Keim‘s final year as GM — made his roster spot less solidified now that the team has a new regime in place. He will head to a 3-3 Texans team with a new head coach in place.

Keim’s final draft began with the Marquise Brown trade, but two third-round picks went to edge rushers. The Cards chose Cameron Thomas 87th overall and nabbed Sanders at No. 100. Sanders started four games as a rookie, while Thomas worked exclusively as a second-stringer. Helping Cincinnati become the first Group of Five team to qualify for the College Football Playoff, Sanders totaled three sacks as a rookie, playing 30% of the Cardinals’ defensive snaps.

The Cards have made some changes since, moving Zaven Collins to the edge. Thomas remains, while Dennis Gardeck is now playing regularly on defense as well. Victor Dimukeje, a 2021 sixth-rounder, has emerged as a part-timer. The Cards also used a second-round pick on BJ Ojulari this year. This situation prompted the Cardinals to cut bait on Sanders, draft investment notwithstanding, rather than use an IR activation on him.

After a 27th-place ranking last season, the Texans’ defense sits ninth in points allowed through six games. DeMeco Ryans‘ unit now features No. 3 overall pick Will Anderson anchoring the edge, with contract-year rusher Jonathan Greenard remaining a starter upon the team converting to a 4-3 scheme. In his age-36 season, Jerry Hughes also retains a prominent role. Dylan Horton, a fourth-round rookie, joins Hughes as a rotational rusher. Deeper than last season, Houston’s edge corps still only features one player — Greenard — with more than two sacks.

Sanders marks the second pass rusher the Texans have added this month. Ryans picked up one of his former 49ers charges, Kerry Hyder, signing him to the practice squad. While Sanders has proven far less than the veteran D-end, his age and draft status will provide a path straight to another active roster.

The Texans released Cory Littleton to make room for Sanders, KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson tweets. As a vested veteran, Littleton will not need to pass through waivers. The eighth-year linebacker will stay in Houston on the practice squad. The Texans signed Littleton to a one-year deal this offseason, adding Denzel Perryman as well. Littleton, 29, has been a starter for most of his career but has only logged 17 defensive snaps this season.

Cardinals Waive OLB Myjai Sanders

Steve Keim’s final draft as Cardinals GM featured a third-round pick spent on Myjai Sanders. The edge rusher will not end up playing under the Monti OssenfortJonathan Gannon regime.

The Cardinals waived Sanders on Tuesday. This move comes after the team tried to find a trade partner, ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets. The Cardinals recently designated Sanders to return from IR, though they have not activated him. His Day 2 contract is now free to be claimed.

Sanders was productive during his rookie season, collecting 23 tackles and three sacks in 13 games (four starts). He saw time in about 30 percent of his team’s defensive snaps during the 2022 season, and there was some hope he’d take a step forward during his sophomore campaign.

Instead, the linebacker found himself falling down the depth chart, and a hand injury ultimately kept him on the shelf for the start of the 2023 season. It sounds like Sanders is just about ready to return to the field, but there wasn’t a spot for him in a deep Cardinals OLBs room that features Zaven Collins, Dennis Gardeck, Victor Dimukeje, Cameron Thomas, Jesse Luketa, and BJ Ojulari.

The Cardinals have been quick to move on from Keim’s 2022 draft class. Sanders is now the third 2022 third-round pick to get cut by the team, with the linebacker joining cornerback Christian Matthew and offensive lineman Lecitus Smith.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/12/23

Today’s minor transactions:

Arizona Cardinals

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Philadelphia Eagles

Peyton Hendershot will miss at least the next four games while he continues to recover from an ankle injury. The tight end already missed a pair of contests thanks to the injury, with the second-year player hauling in a single catch before that. Sean McKeon will be taking the open spot on the roster. The 25-year-old has spent the past three-plus seasons in Dallas, hauling in six catches in 38 games.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/31/23

Following a busy roster deadline day on Tuesday, teams continue to reshuffle their rosters. Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

  • Placed on IR: TE Stephen Sullivan

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Los Angeles Chargers

New York Giants

New York Jets

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

The Ravens brought back a trio of veterans to their 53-man roster. Brent Urban is probably destined for the biggest role, with the veteran lineman serving as the top backup to Broderick Washington at defensive end. Urban got into 16 games for Baltimore last season, collecting 21 tackles and one sack. Veteran QB Josh Johnson will slide behind Lamar Jackson and Tyler Huntley on the depth chart, and Kevon Seymour will continue his role as a key special teamer.

The Cardinals are temporarily losing some production with offensive lineman Dennis Daley and linebacker Myjai Sanders being placed on IR. Daley joined the Cardinals on a two-year deal this offseason after starting 15 of his 17 appearances for the Titans in 2022. Sanders had a productive rookie campaign, with the third-round pick collecting 23 tackles, three sacks, and one forced fumble.

Julian Okwara has turned into a productive pass-rushing option in Detroit. The former third-round pick has collected seven sacks over the past two seasons, but he’ll now be sidelined for the start of the season while recovering from a knee injury suffered during in the preseason finale.