Tony Jefferson

Giants Activate OLB Azeez Ojulari, S Tony Jefferson From IR

The Giants are in the midst of a bit of a midseason slump during a crucial four-game stretch of division games. They are activating pass rusher Azeez Ojulari and safety Tony Jefferson from injured reserve in hopes that they’ll be able to turn things around after losing three of their last four, according to Giants senior writer Michael Elsen.

New York will certainly be glad to see Ojulari return to the field to assist with an aspect of the game they’ve struggled with so far this season: sack production. Giants defensive coordinator Wink Martindale has been able to produce some form of pass rush, much like he did during his time with the Ravens, by getting creative and sending blitzers from every part of the field. While this has resulted in 12 different players contributing to the team’s sack total, the Giants haven’t gotten consistent results out of any one player, besides defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence. Lawrence leads the team with five sacks and is the only one of those 12 players with more than two.

Ojulari not only will get to the quarterback, as he showed he could during his rookie season when he led the team with eight sacks, but his presence should help the other defensive lineman provide more of a natural pass rush. With offensive linemen focused on Ojulari, Lawrence, Leonard Williams, and this year’s No. 5 overall pick, Kayvon Thibodeaux, should be freed up with some one-on-one matchups.

Jefferson is a depth piece in the Giants secondary. After two standard gameday elevations, Jefferson was signed to the team’s active roster for their London game against the Packers. Jefferson unfortunately suffered a foot injury in the game and was promptly placed on IR. With starting safety Xavier McKinney ruled out for the fourth-straight game, Jefferson provides a solid option alongside Dane Belton to start opposite the team’s other starting safety, Julian Love.

New York also made an exchange at the tight end position in today’s transactions. The Giants signed veteran tight end Nick Vannett to the active roster from the practice squad, waiving tight end Tanner Hudson to make room. With fourth-round rookie, and expected starter, Daniel Bellinger missing the last four games with an eye injury, the Giants have recently turned to recent addition Lawrence Cager who converted from wide receiver this past offseason. The team is expecting to finally get Bellinger back but will have Cager and Vannett available for backup.

Lastly, New York has promoted defensive tackle Vernon Butler and defensive back Zyon Gilbert as standard gameday elevations from the practice squad for tomorrow’s matchup with the Commanders. If Gilbert enters the game for Big Blue tomorrow, it would be the NFL debut for the undrafted rookie out of Florida Atlantic.

Giants Designate Ben Bredeson, Azeez Ojulari, Tony Jefferson For Return

The Giants were one of the surprise stories of the NFL during the early portion of the season, but the team has become increasingly hampered by injuries on both sides of the ball lately. New York will soon be receiving reinforcements, however, as the team has designated three players for return from IR.

Left guard Ben Bredeson is among the trio, something which will soon give the Giants another starting option up front. The former fourth-rounder was not projected to be a first-teamer to begin the campaign, but an injury to Shane Lemieux changed those plans. Bredeson played in a rotation with rookie Joshua Ezeudu through the first two games of the season, but then operated as a full-time starter before landing on IR last month. His return may not need to be rushed, given the fact that Lemieux has since been activated.

Edge rusher Azeez Ojulari could provide the Giants with depth at the position if he is able to remain healthy. The 2021 second-rounder impressed as a rookie with a team-leading eight sacks, but has hardly played this year. Ojulari spent time on the NFI list in the summer due to a calf injury, but was not placed on IR right away with the team hoping he could suit up at some point in September. That was the case, as the Georgia product played in Weeks 3 and 4, but a reaggravation of the previous ailment has kept him sidelined ever since. If he can regain his form from last season and serve as a bookend to rookie Kayvon Thibodeaux, New York’s pass rush could receive a considerable boost.

Lastly, veteran safety Tony Jefferson‘s practice window has been opened. The 30-year-old has only played three games in 2022, after following Giants defensive coordinator Don Martindale from Baltimore to the Big Apple. The Giants are dealing with starter Xavier McKinney currently on the shelf due to an ATV accident earlier this month. That could leave defensive snaps available for Jefferson upon his return, especially if the team opts to use more three-safety packages amidst their injuries at cornerback.

Each player now has a three-week time period within which they must be activated to be eligible to play again in 2022. If all three are brought back, the Giants will have used up each of their remaining activations for the season, but they will also have at least rotational contributors in place for the stretch run.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/15/22

Today’s minor moves around the league:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Dallas Cowboys

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/8/22

Here are the roster moves for today, leading into gameday tomorrow. Reminder that gameday elevations will revert to the practice squad after this weekend’s games:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

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

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Commanders

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/17/22

Today’s minor moves around the league, including practice squad elevations for tomorrow’s action:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

  • Promoted from practice squad: CB Daryl WorleyWR Raleigh Webb

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

New York Giants

New York Jets

New Orleans Saints

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Commanders

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/10/22

Today’s minor moves around the league, as teams prepare for the first Sunday slate of regular season games:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

The Cardinals’ moves come as a reaction to yesterday’s injury news. Baccellia’s roster spot was opened up in the short-term by the injury to Rondale Moore, but he won’t simply be a stop-gap. Arizona signed the 25-year-old to a two-year deal to remain on the main roster, per Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network (Twitter link). A UDFA out of Washington, Baccellia has yet to make a regular season NFL appearance.

Likewise, the fact that Ford will miss at least the first four weeks of the season makes the re-acquisition of Garcia a logical one. The former fourth-rounder has plenty of guard experience, including his three seasons spent in Arizona. It was only in 2021 that he logged any starts, but he could provide veteran depth behind Justin Pugh at least until Ford is able to return.

Addison, 35, was one of several veteran signings the Texans made this offseason to add depth to their front seven. He had a productive season with the Bills last season, notching seven sacks despite not starting any games. In his absence, Harris and Pierre-Louis will provide depth in the edge rush department on Sunday, and likely the short-term future as well.

Quick reminder that standard game day practice squad promotions are a recent development from the new CBA and COVID-19 seasons. Essentially, each team is able to promote two players from the practice squad to the active roster for game days. The players will automatically revert back to the practice squad after the game, not needing to clear waivers before rejoining the developmental roster. A player can only be promoted three times per season. If a team would like to promote a player for a fourth game, they’ll need to go through the normal method of creating space on the 53-man roster to promote them and have them clear waivers before placing them back on the practice squad. That is the difference between “Signed to 53-man roster” from the practice squad and “Promoted from practice squad.”

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/1/22

Today’s practice squad moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

  • Signed: TE Anthony Firkser, TE Tucker Fisk, CB Ka’Dar Hollman

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

  • Signed: WR Lynn Bowden Jr.

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Signed: LB Davion Taylor

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

S Tony Jefferson To Join Giants’ Practice Squad

Tony Jefferson was a notable name amongst the Ravens’ final roster cuts, but the belief was that he would return to the team’s practice squad. The veteran safety is indeed joining a taxi squad, but not in Baltimore. 

Jefferson is signing with the Giants, per The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec and Fox Sports’ Ralph Vacchiano (Twitter links). That represents a surprise given where things stood two days ago, though New York is a logical landing spot. With the Giants, Jefferson will be reunited with defensive coordinator Wink Martindale, who held the same post during their shared time in Baltimore.

Jefferson has significant starting experience dating back to his time with the Cardinals to start his career. That led him to the Ravens in free agency, where he partnered with Eric Weddle until his midseason 2019 knee injury. That opened up a starting spot for Chuck Clark, who has remained a first-teamer ever since. He, along with free agent addition Marcus Williams and first-round rookie Kyle Hamilton will serve as the Ravens’ top safeties.

Jefferson will likely face less of a logjam in the Big Apple. New York has Xavier McKinney and Julian Love at the top of the depth chart, but a lack of experience behind them. 2021 fifth-rounder Jason Pinnock and fourth-round rookie Dane Belton are currently projected as backups, so Jefferson could take on at least a rotational role on the team’s backend.

If he has fully recovered from the four surgeries required by his knee injury, Jefferson could find a spot under Martindale, as the Giants look to take a step forward in 2022.

Ravens Drop Roster To 53

The Ravens have confirmed their final roster cuts, bringing the squad to the league-mandated 53-man limit. Like many teams, they are releasing a number of vested veterans with the intention of keeping them in the fold in the coming days, once other necessary moves have been made. Here is the list of Baltimore’s departures:

Waived:

Waived/injured:

Released:

Badie might be the most surprising inclusion on the list. The sixth-round rookie led the SEC in rushing yards last year, but the team has had a crowded RB room throughout the offseason. Badie was though to be in competition with veteran Mike Davis for the No. 3 spot. Another notable name is soon to be added to the mix in the form of Kenyan Drakethough. Badie would, considering his age, represent a practice squad priority should he clear waivers.

Hayes was a fifth-round pick last season, but was limited to one appearance as a rookie. That extended absence, coupled with his relative lack of college production, could make him another practice squad candidate. Still, his inclusion – along with that of Means – is noteworthy given the team’s lack of depth in the edge rush department. Either of them departing to another roster could make the position even more of a priority than it is now.

Like Jefferson, Urban was named in the build-up to today’s deadline as a likely veteran to be released temporarily, while having a handshake agreement in place to return later in the week. The Canadian began his career in Baltimore, and returned this offseason as one of many changes the team has made along the defensive line.

Ravens To Release S Tony Jefferson

The Ravens have begun their final roster cuts, and a notable veteran is among them. Safety Tony Jefferson is being released, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link). 

The safety position has seen plenty of turnover this offseason in Baltimore; Marcus Williams was the team’s top free agent signing, and the Ravens used the first of their two Day 1 selections on Kyle Hamilton in the draft. Those two, along with incumbent Chuck Clark, left Jefferson a narrow path to an initial roster spot.

Jefferson, 30, opened his career with the Cardinals, putting up consistent numbers while taking on a larger snap share with each passing year. That led him to Baltimore in free agency, where was a full-time starter until the midway point of the 2019 campaign. A knee injury left him sidelined him for the entire 2020 season, and led to four surgeries being required. He returned to Baltimore late this past year.

As a vested veteran, the Oklahoma product is not subject to waivers, and could sign anywhere in free agency. However, as has been the case with a number of respected veterans recently, the Ravens are likely to bring Jefferson back in the next day of so. Per Jeff Zrebiec of the Athletic (subscription required), Baltimore could simply wait until tomorrow’s necessary paper transactions (such as transferring injured players from the 53-man squad to IR) until re-signing him.

Assuming that takes place, Jefferson will be able to demonstrate his new-found health while competing with a number of younger options for a depth role on the team’s backend. If he remains willing to sign with the team on a handshake agreement, he could also be a practice squad candidate throughout the campaign, one in which the Ravens once again have high expectations on both sides of the ball.