Tavon Wilson

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/5/22

Here are Wednesday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears 

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

49ers Place Mohamed Sanu, Tavon Wilson On IR

Add a couple more to the 49ers’ list. On Monday, the team both wide receiver Mohamed Sanu and safety Tavon Wilson on the injured reserve list, per an announcement from head coach Kyle Shanahan.

Both players suffered their injuries against the Cardinals on Nov. 7. Sanu suffered his knee sprain in the third quarter, forcing him to the sidelines in the 31-17 defeat. Before that, the veteran was operating as the team’s No. 3 wide receiver, registering 15 catches for 177 yards through eight games. Without him, they’ll likely shift more targets to the likes of Trent Sherfield and Jauan Jennings.

Wilson, 31, has come off of the bench for seven of his eight games this year. He has a grand total of just ten stops in 2021 and it’s not clear if he — or Sanu – will return this year. In the meantime, they’ll turn to veteran Tony Jefferson, who has been activated for tonight’s game against the Rams.

Injury Notes: 49ers, Jets, Rams

We learned earlier today that a torn quad will sideline 49ers right tackle Mike McGlinchey for the rest of the season, and the injury hits keep coming for San Francisco. Per head coach Kyle Shanahan, both wideout Mohamed Sanu and Tavon Wilson will likely miss some time (per Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury on Twitter).

Sanu suffered a knee sprain during the third quarter of yesterday’s loss to the Cardinals, and Shanhan said the wideout will be out for a while. The veteran receiver had established himself as the third receiver this season, hauling in 15 catches for 177 yards through eight games. The likes of Jauan Jennings and Trent Sherfield could see increased reps while Sanu is out of the lineup.

Wilson suffered a foot injury that will likely require an IR trip. The veteran safety was already starting in place Jimmie Ward, so the team will have to rely on their depth while the two defensive backs are sidelined. Wilson has seen time in eight games this season, although Week 9 was the first time he got significant playing time on defense.

Some more injury notes from around the NFL:

  • The 49ers provided some additional context on defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw‘s recent knee operation (via ESPN’s Nick Wagoner on Twitter). Team doctors noted “that the ACL has chronic changes that would be best treated with ACL reconstruction.” The organization believes this alternative route will provide Kinlaw with the best chance to play during the 2022 season.
  • Both Zach Wilson and Mike White will both return to Jets practice this week, reports Brian Costello of the New York Post (via Twitter). It remains to be seen who will be the starting quarterback against the Bills this weekend. It sounds like the team is likely to play it safe with Wilson, meaning White could get another chance to start.
  • Rams wideout Jacob Harris will miss the rest of the season following ACL and MCL injuries, per Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic (via Twitter). The fourth-round pick was a wideout in college but has been playing tight end since joining the NFL. He’s only played 15 offensive snaps this season, but he got into nine games as a special teamer.

49ers To Sign Tavon Wilson

The 49ers have agreed to sign Tavon Wilson (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). Wilson may wind up replacing free agent Jaquiski Tartt in San Francisco.

Wilson, 31, has spent time with the Patriots, Lions, and Colts since entering the league in 2012. At his latest stop in Indy, the Illinois product suited up for 15 games including two starts. He’s best known for his time in Detroit, where he started in 39 of his 56 games across four seasons. Tartt, meanwhile, has started in all of his games since 2017, but he’s missed roughly half of all possible games due to injuries.

The Niners know that Wilson isn’t far removed from his best work. In 2019, he graded out as the No. 26 ranked safety in the leaggue, per Pro Football Focus,. That marked his best showing since 2016, his first go-round with the Lions.

As it stands, the Niners have Jimmie Ward, Wilson, Tarvarius Moore, and Marcell Harris in their safety unit.

Colts Sign Tavon Wilson

The Colts signed former Lions and Patriots safety Tavon Wilson, per a club announcement. The veteran can also feature at cornerback, giving Indy some additional depth across multiple positions.

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Wilson, who turned 30 this offseason, is coming off of one of the best seasons of his NFL career. In 2019, Wilson started in 13 games and notched 98 stops, five passes defensed, two fumbled recoveries, and one sack. The advanced metrics were also fond of his work, but his market dragged amidst the pandemic. He graded out as the No. 26 ranked qualified safety in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus, with a 71.8 overall score. That figure was his best showing since 2016, his first campaign with the Lions.

Wilson was a good fit for Matt Patricia‘s scheme, but the Lions chose not to bring him back. The Dolphins also gauged his interest in a minimum salary deal. Now, he’ll go to Indianapolis to fill the void after defensive backs Roland Milligan and Marvell Tell opted out of the 2020 season.

AFC East Rumors: Dolphins, Wilson, Patriots, Jets

After Day 3 of the draft, the Dolphins added some safety depth and special teams help by picking up Kavon Frazier. But, before that, the Dolphins chatted with ex-Patriots safety Tavon Wilson about a minimum salary contract, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald (on Twitter) hears. Wilson, who is presumably gunning for a better deal, declined.

With that, Frazier will fight for his place in the Dolphins’ sardine-packed safety group. Meanwhile, the 30-year-old Wilson will look for his next opportunity. Last year, Wilson made 13 starts for Detroit and registered 98 tackles, five passes defensed, two fumble recoveries, and one sack. Meanwhile, Pro Football Focus ranked him as the No. 26 safety in the entire NFL. Still, he hasn’t been able to score an offer to his liking and he hasn’t heard much, if anything, from the incumbent Lions.

Here’s more from the AFC East:

  • The Jets‘ draft has drawn positive reviews from most in the football world, but ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini isn’t sure if they did enough to strengthen the cornerback position. Jets GM Joe Douglas waited until the fifth round to take a corner and, when they did, they tapped Virginia product Bryce Hall, is coming off of ankle surgery. As Hall heals up, the Jets may look to explore what’s left of the league’s free agent cornerbacks.
  • Did the Patriots reach with third-round tight ends Devin Asiasi (UCLA) and Dalton Keene (Virginia Tech) in the third round? Mel Kiper Jr. and one scout that spoke with ESPN.com’s Mike Reiss say that’s the case, though Reiss notes that they were both near the top of the Pats’ TE board heading into draft weekend. On the whole, this was viewed as a soft TE class, but that was one of the Pats’ biggest needs. Of course, they’d be in a much better spot if Rob Gronkowski opted to make his return with New England. Instead, Gronk will reunite with Tom Brady in Tampa Bay.
  • On draft week, the Bills picked up Tre’Davious White‘s fifth-year option, a no-brainer move that will keep him in the fold through the 2021 season.

Lions’ Tavon Wilson Would Be “Happy” To Return

Lions safety Tavon Wilson would be “happy coming back to Detroit” (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Michael Rothstein). Still, he says he’s excited to going through the free agent process and survey his options. 

Wilson, who will celebrate his 30th birthday on March 19, is coming off of one of the best seasons of his NFL career, so he’ll want to hear what other clubs have to offer him. In 2019, Wilson started in 13 games and notched 98 stops, five passes defensed, two fumbled recoveries, and one sack. The advanced metrics were also fond of his work. He graded out as the No. 26 ranked qualified safety in the NFL, per Pro Football Focus, with a 71.8 overall score. That figure was his best showing since 2016, his first campaign with the Lions.

As Rothstein notes, Wilson is a good fit for Matt Patricia‘s scheme, so the Lions would ideally like to hang on to him. Meanwhile, they’ve got other areas of need to address – with mystery surrounding Darius Slay‘s status, the Lions could embark on a cornerback search including players like longtime Broncos star Chris Harris or Cowboys CB Byron Jones.

On the other side of the ball, the Lions recently re-upped veteran receiver Danny Amendola.

Lions’ Tavon Wilson Takes Pay Cut

Lions cornerback Tavon Wilson has accepted a pay cut to stay on board, as Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Instead of earning $2.15MM this year, he’ll make just $1MM. 

Last year, the Lions re-signed Wilson to a two-year, $7MM contract. In the first year of his new pact, Wilson was used mostly as a reserve and also saw some time on special teams.

Under the previous terms of his deal, the Lions could have released Wilson to save $2.9MM against $875K in dead money. Instead, Wilson will stay put with increased odds of making the final cut.

In other Lions news, the club met with free agent linebacker Manti Te’o this week.

North Notes: Packers, Q. Diggs, Conner

We heard last month that the Packers would be going “back to Page 1” of their playbook, but as Jason Wilde of the Wisconsin State Journal writes, Green Bay is not going to be making any wholesale changes to its offense. In light of all of the new voices on the offensive side of the ball this year — Joe Philbin is back as OC, Frank Cignetti Jr. is in as quarterbacks coach, and there are several other staff changes besides — it made sense for all involved to thoroughly review the team’s play design and philosophy. But as Philbin said, “It’s been a process of refining, enhancing, tweaking, as opposed to, ‘Yeah we scrubbed it down.’ Yes, we went page by page. (But) we’re not starting from scratch here. These players in that locker room, they’ve done some great things.” 

Philbin, of course, is primarily referring to star quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers indicated that verbiage has changed — and Philbin acknowledged that such changes were made in order to streamline the playcalling — and that has created something of a learning curve. But passing game Jim Hostler said that the goal is for the offense to look the same as it always has with Rodgers under center, even if there are some refinements and enhancements here and there.

Now for more from the league’s north divisions:

  • Opposing defenses were already treating Packers WR Davante Adams as the team’s No. 1 wideout last season, so the departure of Jordy Nelson will not represent much of a change in that regard, as Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com writes. But Green Bay has not (yet) signed a veteran wideout to replace Nelson, so Adams will need to take on a more active role in terms of leadership. The Packers drafted three receivers this year — one each in the fourth, fifth, and sixth rounds — and return 24-year-old Geronimo Allison as the presumed No. 3 WR on the depth chart, so Adams is suddenly the second-oldest player in the wide receiver room. He was not present for the start of OTAs, which caused some concern in light of his concussion history, but neither player nor team seem concerned about his availability. Head coach Mike McCarthy simply said Adams is “battling a couple things,” presumably minor injuries.
  • Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com says Quandre Diggs has a real chance to permanently supplant Tavon Wilson as the Lions‘ starting strong safety in 2018. Diggs, a former sixth-round selection, played well in that role last season, and Rothstein suggests he may even be the favorite to start at this point. Miles Killebrew, a former fourth-round choice, appears to be on the outside looking in and may need to continue to stand out on special teams to retain his roster spot.
  • James Conner, a feel-good story and 2017 third-round choice, is featuring prominently in Steelers‘ OTAs due to Le’Veon Bell‘s continued absence, as Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com writes. Conner showed flashes in his rookie campaign, which ended with a Week 15 MCL tear, but if he can cement himself as the team’s No. 2 back behind Bell this season — and he will need to improve in pass protection in order to do so — that could be the first step towards a starting job in 2019, depending on Bell’s contract situation.
  • John Ross is once again a full participant in the Bengals‘ OTAs, as Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer observes. Although Ross dropped a few passes, he also made some difficult grabs and is seeing a lot of passes come his way. Tyler Eifert, meanwhile, is a limited participant, but having both players involved at the beginning of full team work is a beautiful thing for Cincinnati fans.
  • Neil Stratton of InsideTheLeague.com (via Twitter) details a few more changes to the Browns‘ scouting department that were not covered several days ago.