Nate Hobbs

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/23/22

Today’s minor moves around the league:

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

New York Giants

Thanksgiving will mark McKinley’s Cowboys debut after he signed to Dallas’ practice squad last week. The veteran will seek to be more productive in his reunion with Dan Quinn than his previous stops following the end of his Falcons tenure, while providing depth to a Cowboys edge group which has produced a league-leading 42 sacks this season.

Hobbs returning to the fold in the near future will be a welcomed sight for the Raiders’ secondary. The 2021 fifth-rounder was a full-time starter through the first five weeks of the season before landing on IR with a broken hand. Vegas has struggled against the pass, allowing more than 247 yards per game through the air in 2022. The team has three weeks to activate him before he becomes ineligible to play again this season.

Raiders Place CB Nate Hobbs On IR

Nate Hobbs played with a broken hand against the Chiefs in Week 5, but the Raiders will shut him down for a chunk of their midseason schedule. Hobbs is now on IR.

The Raiders already have one of their Week 1 starting cornerbacks — Anthony Averett — on their IR list. Averett will be eligible to return from Las Vegas’ IR in Week 7, though it is not yet known if he will be ready to do so. Averett encountered a similar injury to Hobbs, suffering a broken thumb in his Raiders debut.

This stalls Hobbs’ strong start to his career. The 2021 fifth-round pick became a Week 1 starter last season and has been a Raider regular ever since. An Illinois alum, Hobbs made nine starts for the Raiders as a rookie. Pro Football Focus rated the slot corner as one of the top-performing corners in 2021; he rates 29th through five games this year. Hobbs’ emergence helped the Raiders feel comfortable enough at the position to unload 2019 second-round pick Trayvon Mullen on roster-cutdown day, but Las Vegas is suddenly thin at this position.

Rock Ya-Sin is now the only Raiders Week 1 cornerback starter left standing, though Averett should be expected to return at some point during Hobbs’ four-game shutdown. The Raiders have used 2020 fourth-round pick Amik Robertson as a primary starter in Averett’s absence, and he will presumably continue to work with the first-stringers sans Hobbs. Las Vegas used Sam Webb, a rookie UDFA out of Division II Missouri Western, on 24 defensive snaps in Kansas City.

The team has some interesting options on its practice squad as well, and Hobbs’ ailment could lead to Nickell Robey-Coleman‘s 2022 debut. The Raiders signed the veteran slot corner just before the season began. The team also has Javelin Guidry, a former Jets slot player, on its P-squad. Robey-Coleman, 30, has played 127 career games and worked as the top slot corner for multiple franchises.

The Raiders also added former Chargers contributor Tevaughn Campbell to their taxi squad Monday. The Bolts used Campbell as a fill-in starter at points, trotting him out as a first-stringer 11 times from 2020-21. The former UDFA reached an injury settlement with the Chargers last month, allowing him to move off their IR list and into free agency.

AFC West Rumors: James, Waller, Hobbs, Waitman

Back in June of 2021, Ravens offensive tackle Ja’Wuan James filed a grievance against the Broncos seeking $15MM consisting of his 2021 and 2022 salaries of $10MM and $5MM, respectively. James has reportedly settled with his former team and will receive $1.09MM, according to Charean Williams of NBC Sports.

The grievance stems from a torn Achilles that James suffered while working out away from the Broncos’ facility during the 2021 offseason. He missed out on a $9.85MM guaranteed salary that Denver claimed was only guaranteed for injuries sustained at the team facility.

James has not played since the injury and is currently listed as the backup to Baltimore’s starting left tackle Ronnie Stanley. Ravens fans are hoping not to have to see James come in, but, historically, Stanley has only played in two games since signing a contract extension in October of 2020.

Here are a few more rumors from the AFC West, starting with two rumors out of Sin City:

  • Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels told reporters that star tight end Darren Waller returned to practice today, according to Paul Gutierrez of ESPN. Waller had missed six practices since mid-August due to a hamstring injury. Adding Waller back to the mix gives Las Vegas a dangerous array of pass catchers with Waller and receivers Davante Adams and Hunter Renfrow.
  • After the trade yesterday that sent former second-round pick Trayvon Mullen to Arizona and with Darius Phillips not making the initial 53-man roster, Raiders nickel cornerback Nate Hobbs is finally set to move to an outside cornerback gig, according to Vic Tafur of The Athletic. The team’s coaches have long been boasting of their plans to move Hobbs around on defense, and they now have a prime opportunity to see what he can do on the outside of the secondary.
  • The Broncos surprised quite a few when punter Sam Martin failed to make their initial 53-man roster. Instead, Denver will move forward with former-Steelers punter Corliss Waitman. General manager George Paton attempted to defend the cut by telling reporters that the move was not a reflection of contracts but one of abilities, according to Troy Renck of Denver 7. Martin has been a starting punter since being drafted in the league back in 2013 by the Lions. He had signed a three-year, $7.05MM contract to join the Broncos and was headed into the final year of the deal set to make $2.25MM. Martin reportedly refused to take a pay cut for the 2022 season and Denver now will rely on the leg of Waitman, who holds an $825K cap hit. According to Paton, though, the $1.4MM cap room cleared by cutting Martin had nothing to do with it. Also according to Paton, Waitman, who has two games of NFL play under his belt, simply beat out the veteran kicker with 139 games of NFL experience. Broncos fans will get to judge for themselves when they see Waitman’s regular season debut in a Broncos uniform in Seattle on Monday Night Football.

AFC West Notes: Reed, Raiders, Chargers

With Bradley Chubb and Von Miller suffering injuries at various points from 2019-21, the Broncos could rarely deploy their ideal edge-rushing combination. That led to extensive Malik Reed work. The 2019 UDFA has made 34 starts over the past three seasons and racked up 13 sacks over the past two. However, the Broncos have since signed Randy Gregory, drafted Nik Bonitto in Round 2 and moved 2021 inside linebacker starter Baron Browning to the edge. This creates a crowded depth chart, which features Chubb in his fifth-year option season. Reed is also going into a contract year, and ESPN.com’s Jeff Legwold’s 53-man roster prediction leaves the Nevada product off the team. Reed’s status could depend on Gregory’s recovery from offseason shoulder surgery, per Legwold, with the Broncos potentially going with a special-teamer over Reed if Gregory is healthy. If the Broncos determine Reed is not on track to make their team, he would be a logical trade candidate. Reed is attached to a $2.43MM salary.

Here is the latest from the AFC West:

  • The Raiders were active at defensive tackle this offseason. They re-signed Johnathan Hankins and brought in free agents Vernon Butler, Andrew Billings, Tyler Lancaster, Kyle Peko and Bilal Nichols. The team also used fourth- and fifth-round picks (Neil Farrell Jr. and Matthew Butler) on interior D-linemen. Of this group, Nichols projects as a starter, The Athletic’s Vic Tafur and Tashan Reed note (subscription required). Hankins, who has been a Raiders first-stringer for the past four seasons, should be ticketed to keep his starter gig under new DC Patrick Graham. Among the host of veterans brought in as free agents, Nichols’ contract (two years, $11MM) would point to him having the clearest starter path. The Raiders have been linked to Ndamukong Suh, but they might not be especially interested in signing him right now.
  • Despite the Raiders changing defensive schemes and letting Casey Hayward defect to the Falcons in free agency, they are unlikely to tinker with Nate Hobbs‘ job. The second-year cornerback practiced exclusively in the slot during Las Vegas’ offseason program and will still expected to be the team’s slot defender, per Tafur and Reed. Coming into the league as a fifth-round pick, Hobbs graded as a top-10 corner as a rookie, per Pro Football Focus. Trade acquisition Rock Ya-Sin and free agent signing Anthony Averett worked as Vegas’ slot corners this summer, with starter Trayvon Mullen on the mend after a May foot surgery. Mullen missed 12 games last season, with foot trouble at the root of the absence. The recent surgery makes Mullen’s status something to monitor during camp.
  • The Chargers have taken an aggressive approach to filling offensive line needs over the past two offseasons. They gave Corey Linsley a then-record center contract and also signed guard Matt Feiler. Those moves came before the Bolts drafted Rashawn Slater in Round 1. They selected Zion Johnson in this year’s first round, and he is expected to start at right guard. That leaves right tackle vacant, with 2020’s Bryan Bulaga signing not panning out. The Bolts used Storm Norton as their primary 2021 starter, but Trey Pipkins started a game apiece at left and right tackle — due to the starters’ COVID-19 contractions — last year. Those two starts elevated the former third-round pick’s status in the Chargers building, Daniel Popper of The Athletic notes. Pipkins’ progress will be put to the test when he battles Norton for the right tackle gig in camp.

Raiders’ Nate Hobbs Charged With DUI

Raiders cornerback Nate Hobbs was arrested early Monday morning on DUI charges (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero). According to police, Hobbs was found sleeping in his vehicle sometime after 4am and failed an adminstered field sobriety test.

[RELATED: Raiders Place Waller On Reserve List]

The Raiders have yet to comment on the matter, though interim head coach Rich Bisaccia told reporters that the team is gathering information on the incident. Given what happened with Henry Ruggs earlier this year, the Raiders won’t be taking this lightly. Just ask cornerback Damon Arnettethe former first-round pick was released soon after Ruggs for a slew of off-the-field flags, including a lawsuit stemming from a car crash.

Hobbs, 22, has started in nine of his 15 games this year, including yesterday’s win over the Colts. The Raiders are in control of their own destiny as they prepare for the Bolts, but Hobbs’ availability is now in doubt.

If Hobbs is held out of this week’s game, they’ll may turn to backup Amik Robertson at nickelback. Brandon Facyson, Roderic Teamer Jr., Desmond Trufant, Keisean Nixon, and Jordan Brown make up the rest of the Raiders’ CB group.

NFL COVID List Updates: 12/25-12/26/21

We’ve compiled a list of players who were placed on or activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list on Christmas and today. In some instances, players activated from the list remain on IR:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Placed on practice squad/COVID-19 list: WR Steven Sims

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

NFL COVID List Updates: 12/20/21

A long list of players were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. We listed the players who landed on the list today, as well as those who were activated off the list:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Las Vegas Raiders

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New York Giants

New York Jets

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: DE John Franklin-Myers, DB Sharrod Neasman

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team