The Jets have signed George Atkinson III, per Brian Costello of the New York Post (via Twitter). Atkinson, a running back by trade, has gotten just seven carries in his professional career. He has been deployed more frequently as a punt returner, seeing action in 2014 with the Raiders and 2016 with the Browns (his seven carries came with Cleveland). He did not log any regular season snaps last year, though he spent some time on the Chiefs’ practice squad.
Atkinson will presumably operate as a temporary replacement for running back Elijah McGuire. As Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (via Twitter), McGuire will undergo surgery on his broken foot and will be sidelined for three to six weeks. Rich Cimini of ESPN.com tweets that the team will have to decide whether it wants to carry McGuire on the 53-man roster or place him on short-term IR.
In the wake of McGuire’s injury, Gang Green quickly set up visits with free agent running backs Orleans Darkwa and Alfred Morrisyesterday, but Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweeted earlier this morning that the Jets were not expected to immediately sign either player, and the Atkinson signing seems to foreclose the addition of Darkwa or Morris. Cimini notes that the Jets also worked out running back Tion Green (Twitter link).
Darkwa, Morris, and even Green have more experience as an NFL running back than Atkinson, so perhaps the fact that the Jets signed Atkinson suggests that they expect McGuire to be back sooner rather than later. McGuire, a 2017 sixth-rounder, is a player that the Jets have high hopes for, and assuming he gets healthy, he should see his fair share of snaps, even with Isaiah Crowelland Bilal Powellalso under contract.
As far as draft picks go, Northern Illinois wide receiver Kenny Golladayis the only player that has yet to put pen to paper. The reason for the delay is not known, but third round picks often take longer to sign than other picks as things are less rigid in those slots.
Davis was said to be a target of the Dolphins at No. 22, so it’s a good thing that the Lions were up at No. 21. Davis impressed scouts at his Pro Day when he posted a 4.56 40-yard dash and 38.5 inch vertical jump. As shown on Roster Resource, Davis may be in for a starting role in 2017.
Kaaya was said to have one of the highest football IQs of any quarterback in this year’s class. It remains to be seen whether he has the arm to make it as an NFL quarterback, but the Lions believe that he can be a solid backup QB, at minimum.
According to Tom Pelissero of USA Today (on Twitter), Valoaga got $22K guaranteed ($12K bonus, $10K base) to sign with Detroit. Typically, UDFAs get around $5K, so that’s a sign that Valoaga had at least a few teams interested in adding him to the 90-man roster.