Steele Chambers

Minor NFL Transactions: 6/11/24

Today’s minor transactions:

Atlanta Falcons

Detroit Lions

New England Patriots

  • Claimed off waivers (from Lions): LB Steele Chambers
  • Waived: LB Jay Person

Harrison Hand brings 27 games of experience to Atlanta. The former fifth-round pick spent the first two seasons of his career with the Vikings before spending the 2023 campaign in Chicago, where he collected 12 tackles and one forced fumble in four games (one start). Meanwhile, fellow cornerback Craig James has seen time in 23 games since entering the NFL in 2018. After going without a regular-season appearance in 2021 and 2022, James got into a pair of games with the Jets last season.

Minor NFL Transactions: 6/10/24

Today’s minor moves:

Detroit Lions

  • Waived: LB Steele Chambers

New York Giants

Seattle Seahawks

  • Waived/injured: NT Buddha Jones

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Brightwell was waived/injured by the Giants in May but ultimately reverted to IR. The former sixth-round pick struggled to carve out a role behind Saquon Barkley in New York. Brightwell’s tenure with the Giants will officially end with the RB having collected 256 yards from scrimmage.

Thompkins suffered a hamstring injury in late May that ultimately led to him getting waived/injured. As ESPN’s Jenna Laine notes, it’s about a two-week recovery timeline for the Grade 1 strain, meaning the wideout should be on the brink of full health.

Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times passed along a troubling wrinkle to the situation last week, noting that Thompkins’ release quickly followed public accusations of spousal abuse from his estranged wife. The woman, Maria Castilhos, posted pictures of injuries that she claims were sustained in February of 2023.

“First and foremost, Deven categorically denies the allegations levied against him by his estranged wife, Maria Castilhos,” attorney Brett Gallaway said in the statement. “Unfortunately, Deven and Maria have been going through a contentious divorce proceeding and child custody battle, and it appears that she thought it would help her case to release these false and defamatory videos.

“… We expect he will be fully exonerated after a review of the facts, background, and clear ulterior motive behind the release of these videos and fabricated assault allegations.”

Thompkins served as Tampa Bay’s primary returner in 2023, finishing with 16 kickoff returns (for 327 yards) and 25 punts (for 234 yards). The former UDFA had a limited role on offense, hauling in 17 catches for 83 yards and one touchdown. As Stroud notes, coach Todd Bowles said the “door is open” to Thompkins returning to the Buccaneers once he’s healthy, although the team has already replaced him on the roster with Cody Thompson.

Lions Sign 15 UDFAs

The Lions came away with five rookies over the course of the draft. The 2024 event’s hosts have added to that group with 15 undrafted players. Here are Detroit’s rookie free agent signings:

  • Jalon CalhounWR (Duke)
  • Steele ChambersLB (Ohio State)
  • Duke Clemens, OL (UCLA)
  • Kingsley Eguakun, OL (Florida)
  • Chelen Garnes, S (Wake Forest)
  • DaRon Gilbert, LB (Northern Illinois)
  • Hogan Hatten, LS (Idaho)
  • Bryan Hudson, OL (Louisville)
  • Nate Lynn, DL (William & Mary)
  • Morice Norris Jr.CB (Fresno State)
  • Isaac RexTE (BYU)
  • Loren Strickland, S (Ball State)
  • James TurnerK (Michigan)
  • Isaac UkwuDL (Ole Miss)
  • Isaiah WilliamsWR (Illinois)

Williams secured one of the largest guarantees in the league amongst undrafted rookies. The 5-9 speedster received $225K of locked in base salary in addition to a $15K signing bonus, Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 reports. Williams began his college career as a quarterback, but over the past three seasons he served as a key member of the Fighting Illini’s passing attack. The 180-pounder recorded 82 catches in 2022 and ’23, totaling a career-high 1,055 yards and five touchdowns last year.

The Lions finished the 2023 campaign with Michael Badgley as their kicker, and he was re-signed earlier this offseason. The 28-year-old entered Friday as the only kicker on Detroit’s roster, but Turner will provide offseason competition. The latter spent his first four seasons at Louisville, converting 79.7% of his field goal attempts. That figure rose to 85.7% with the Wolverines in 2023, and Turner connected on all but one of his extra point kicks

Like Williams, Chambers switched positions midway through his college tenure. He started his time with the Buckeyes as a running back, though he only received 28 carries across the 2018 and ’19 seasons. The move to linebacker prompted a spike in playing time, and Chambers increased his tackle total with each passing season over the last three years. In all, the 6-1, 220-pounder racked up 208 stops, three sacks and four interceptions; he will aim to translate that production into at least a special teams opportunity in Detroit.