Stephen Carlson

Bears To Sign TE Stephen Carlson

The Bears have added to a rather crowded tight ends room today, reportedly signing former Browns tight end Stephen Carlson, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. The 26-year-old is set to join the teams after participating in Chicago’s rookie minicamp this weekend.

Carlson came into the league as an undrafted signee out of Princeton in 2019. He failed to make the initial 53-man roster but was retained on the Browns’ practice squad to start the year. At the turn of the month into November, Carlson was signed to the active roster, making his NFL debut, and his first start, two days later. He remained on the active roster for the remainder of the year, making five starts and catching five passes for 51 yards and a touchdown.

Carlson had found his playing time thanks to the long-term injuries of pass-catching tight end David Njoku and Pharaoh Brown, but he found most of his usefulness in blocking and special teams while in Cleveland. In his sophomore season, Carlson would play in every game, including the team’s two playoff contests but only caught one pass for 11 yards. He tore his ACL just before the 2021 season, after which his contract with the Browns expired. He had reportedly fully recovered, working out with the Giants nearly a year ago, but didn’t sign with any teams in the 2022 season.

Luckily, Carlson won’t be asked to try and be Chicago’s premier receiving tight end. That role will likely continue to be held by Cole Kmet, who led the team in all receiving categories last year with 50 receptions for 544 yards and seven touchdowns. The rest of the tight ends on last year’s roster combined for six catches for 52 yards. The only returners from that group, second-year tight ends Jake Tonges out of Cal and Chase Allen out of Iowa State, failed to record a reception. Former Packers tight end Robert Tonyan will assist Kmet in pass-catching duties after signing with the Bears back in March. The only other tight end on the current roster is the undrafted rookie out of Stony Brook, Damien Caffrey, who caught seven passes for 78 yards in 2022.

It appears that Carlson will add a bit of experience and blocking behind Kmet and Tonyan. None of Tonges, Allen, or Caffrey were prestigious receivers in college or have much NFL experience, so Carlson stands a good chance of entering the year as the team’s TE3. He’ll get his chance to return to the league this summer after not having played in an NFL game since January 2021.

NFL Workouts: 7/25/22

As players are moved to the PUP and NFI lists and rosters are starting to take shape for the start of training camps, many players are searching for opportunities to make a team.

Here’s the list of players who have received workouts or taken visits today and this past weekend:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

New England

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans


Browns To Pursue Tight Ends?

The Browns may have committed to David Njoku this offseason, but that won’t stop the organization from seeking additional depth at the position.’s Jake Trotter writes that the Browns are “a good bet” to pursue another tight end.

Despite Njoku’s wavering commitment to the organization, the Browns inked the tight end to a four-year, $56.75MM extension. In recent seasons, the former first-round pick has struggled to put together a year that’s come close to his 2018 campaign (639 receiving yards…he’s collected 729 receiving yards since). Still, he’ll sit atop Cleveland’s depth chart for the foreseeable future.

The Browns also sound like they’re committed to 2020 fourth-round pick Harrison Bryant. In two seasons with the team, the tight end has hauled in 45 receptions for 471 yards and six touchdowns in 31 games (12 starts). Bryant earned PFWA All-Rookie Team honors in 2020.

After those two, the Browns lack experienced depth. The team moved on from both Austin Hooper and Stephen Carlson this offseason, leaving practice squad TE Miller Forristall as the third tight end. The team added Nakia Griffin-Stewart as a free agent, and they signed a pair of UDFAs in Zaire Mitchell-Paden and Marcus Santos.

Jared Cook, Eric Ebron, and Kyle Rudolph are among the notable TEs still available in free agency. However, Trotter implies that the organization could ultimately make their addition following preseason cuts.

TE Stephen Carlson Works Out For Giants

After tearing his ACL in a preseason game last year, former Browns tight end Stephen Carlson has officially been cleared to return to football activities, and, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, Carlson worked out today for the Giants in his bid to return to the field. 

Carlson was an undrafted free agent who signed with the Browns in 2019. Injuries to tight ends David Njoku and Pharaoh Brown elevated Carlson to third-string behind Demetrius Harris and Ricky Seals-Jones during his rookie season. Carlson saw most of his action in run-blocking or special teams, but he does have six career receptions for 62 yards and a touchdown, as well as a two-point conversion.

His role in the offense was reduced drastically in 2020 by the additions of free agent Austin Hooper, rookie Harrison Bryant, and the return of a healthy Njoku. After being given an exclusive-rights free agent tender by the Browns, Carlson signed a one-year deal to stay another year in Cleveland, before his ill-timed injury ended his season before it could begin.

Carlson’s attempt to join the Giants could result in a reunion with Seals-Jones. With Seals-Jones and Jordan Akins likely cemented as the top two tight ends on the roster in New York, Carlson would be competing for a TE3 or TE4 job with 2022 fourth-round pick Daniel Bellinger and fellow undrafted free agents Chris Myarick and Austin Allen.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/16/21

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

  • Waived: OL Bryce Hargrove, LB George Obinna
  • Reverted to IR: WR J’Mon Moore

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

  • Waived: OL Gage Cervenka, DB Dionte Ruffin, WR Jester Weah

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Waived: WR Reece Horn, WR Riley Lees

Cleveland Browns

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

  • Waived: K Austin MacGinnis, LB Derrick Moncrief, T Ryan Pope, OLB Max Roberts, DL George Silvanic
  • Released from IR: DB Dayan Lake

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

  • Waived/injured: K Riley Patterson, WR Blake Proehl

New York Giants

  • Signed: QB Brian Lewerke
  • Waived/injured: QB Clayton Thorson
  • Placed on IR: LB TJ Brunson, OL Kyle Murphy, S Joshua Kalu

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Sunday NFL Transactions: AFC North

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four AFC North teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the RavensBengalsBrowns, and Steelers are noted below.

Additionally, as of today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s AFC North transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Baltimore Ravens

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Pittsburgh Steelers

* = International Pathway Program player

Browns Reach 53-Man Limit

After making a couple of trades, the Browns have made a boatload of cuts to reach the 53-man max. Here’s the breakdown:

Contract Terminated:
LB Ray-Ray Armstrong
P Britton Colquitt
DT Carl Davis
T Bryan Witzmann

WR Dorian Baker
DT Brandin Bryant
TE Stephen Carlson
TE Seth DeValve
T Brian Fineanganofo
RB Trayone Gray
LB Willie Harvey
S J.T. Hassell
WR Ishmael Hyman
CB Robert Jackson
K Greg Joseph
CB Donnie Lewis Jr.
S Montrel Meander
WR Braxton Miller
RB A.J. Ouellette
DE Jarrell Owens
CB Lenzy Pipkins
DT Brian Price
DE Wyatt Ray
S Tigie Sankoh
T Brad Seaton
WR Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi
LB Anthony Stubbs
T Travis Vornkahl
LB Dedrick Young II
WR Derrick Willies
G Willie Wright
DE Anthony Zettel

G Kyle Kalis (concussion)
FB Joe Kerridge (concussion)


CB Phillip Gaines (concussion)

Browns Sign 15 UDFAs

The Browns are the latest team to formally announce their undrafted free agent class. Overall, Cleveland inked 15 additional rookies to supplement their draft class, which did not include a first round pick.

  • Dorian Baker, WR (Kentucky)
  • David Blough, QB (Purdue)
  • Stephen Carlson, TE (Princeton)
  • Brian Fineanganofo, OT (Idaho State)
  • Jamie Gillan, P (Arkansas Pine-Bluff)
  • Darrin Hall, RB (Pittsburgh)
  • J.T. Hassell, S (Florida Tech)
  • D.J. Montgomery, WR (Austin Peay)
  • Jarrell Owens, DE (Oklahoma State)
  • Jermaine Ponder, CB (Saint Francis Pa.)
  • Wyatt Ray, DE (Boston College)
  • Anthony Stubbs, LB (Prairie View A&M)
  • Trevon Tate, C (Memphis)
  • Willie Wright, C (Tulsa)
  • Dedrick Young II, LB (Nebraska)

Many analysts thought that Ray would get drafted, so he might have one of the best chances of making the team. He was productive for Boston College last season in his first year as a starter, notching 11.5 tackles for loss and nine sacks. Gillian is another interesting player in this class. Nicknamed the ‘Scottish Hammer’, he’s extremely versatile and handled both punting and kicking duties in college.

The Browns did just draft kicker Austin Seibert in the fifth round and most people project Gillian as more of a punter in the pro game. He should have the chance to battle it out with Britton Colquitt in camp. Baker didn’t see too much action because of Kentucky’s run-first offense, but he’s a big receiver who’s very strong, and he could be a decent flyer.