Trent Taylor

49ers To Bring Back WR Trent Taylor

After three years away, Trent Taylor has agreed to come back to San Francisco. The veteran wide receiver/return man is set to rejoin the 49ers, Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz tweets. The team has since announced a one-year agreement with Taylor.

The 49ers drafted Taylor in the 2017 fifth round but did not retain him once his rookie contract expired. After two seasons with the Bengals, the slot player/punt returner spent last year with the Bears. Taylor operated as Chicago’s primary punt returner last season.

Taylor predates some of the key 49ers who have been part of the team’s run of NFC championship game appearances over the past three years, but he arrived during Kyle Shanahan‘s first offseason as HC. The 49ers used Taylor extensively on offense in 2017; the 5-foot-8 target caught 43 passes for 430 yards and two touchdowns. Since that season, however, Taylor has not seen much usage on offense. He has, however, worked as a regular punt returner for three franchises.

Also San Francisco’s punt returner as a rookie, Taylor averaged 10.3 yards per return with Cincinnati in 2022; that ranked sixth in the NFL. Last year, the Bears stashed Taylor on their practice squad before calling him up ahead of Week 1. Taylor played in all 17 Chicago games, averaging 8.3 yards per return. While Taylor has not seen much time as a receiver since his first 49ers stint, he caught a key two-point conversion in the Bengals’ overtime win over the Chiefs in the 2021 AFC championship game.

San Francisco’s primary punt returner last season — Ray-Ray McCloud — is no longer on the roster; he signed with the Falcons in free agency. A failed McCloud fumble recovery on the punt that caromed off Darrell Luter in the third quarter of Super Bowl LVIII became a pivotal sequence for the 49ers, whose defense surrendered a touchdown — the Chiefs’ only regulation TD in the overtime thriller — one play later. Taylor, who will turn 30 later this month, may now be the favorite to replace McCloud in the return game.

A Taylor injury prevented him from playing in 2019, though he did circle back to a Super Bowl stage two years later with the Bengals. As the 49ers attempt to clear a troublesome hurdle en route to their sixth championship, they are bringing back an old friend for a niche role. Although the NFL changing the kick-return game has affected teams’ plans this offseason, Taylor has mostly been a punt-game specialist. The Louisiana Tech alum has eight career kickoff returns as a pro.

Wednesday NFL Transactions: NFC North

Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline Tuesday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters. In addition to waiver claims, teams can begin constructing their 16-man practice squads today. These BearsLionsPackers and Vikings moves are noted below.

Chicago Bears

Placed on IR:

Signed:

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Detroit Lions

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Green Bay Packers

Claimed:

Released:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Minnesota Vikings

Placed on IR:

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Bengals Reduce Roster To 53, Place T La’el Collins On Reserve/PUP List

The Bengals have worked their way down to the 53-man roster limit. Here are the moves made on Tuesday to finalize their initial squad:

Released:

Waived:

Placed on reserve/PUP list:

Placed on IR:

Collins will miss at least the first four weeks of the season given his PUP designation. The former Cowboy signed a three-year, $21MM deal in free agency last offseason to operate as Cincinnati’s right tackle starter. His play in his debut season was underwhelming, however, and that role will belong to Jonah Williams this season, unless the latter misses time or Collins usurps him on the depth chart. A knee injury is to blame for Collins’ missed time, per the team.

Both Pesefea and Tell will miss the entire season, as is the case for all players placed on IR before being named to the initial 53-man roster. They will either remain with the organization during the campaign, or be released via an injury settlement which would allow them to find a new opportunity elsewhere.

Jones represents a more experienced cut than most of the other players let go. The former second-rounder has 57 games and 27 starts to his name, and he split his time between the Seahawks and Raiders last season. Moving on from Jones further signals the team’s intention of relying on younger options like Cam Taylor-Britt and rookies DJ Turner and DJ Ivey in the secondary.

Losing Adeniji (unless he clears waivers and is retained via the practice squad, as will no doubt be the case for many of the players listed above) would leave the Bengals thin along the O-line, especially in light of the Collins news. The 2020 sixth-rounder has experience at multiple positions up front, but his level of play has been a contributing factor in the team’s urgency in pursuing free agent blockers in recent years.

Bengals Agree To Terms With Trent Taylor

A key member of the Bengals’ special teams units will remain in place for 2023. Cincinnati is re-signing receiver and returner Trent Taylor on a one-year deal, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link).

The 28-year-old has spent the past two seasons with the Bengals, also on one-year pacts. Over that span, he has made only eight catches in a limited offensive role. The lone time in which he was used more on offense than special teams was the first two years of his 49ers tenure to begin his career. That stretch included 430 receiving yards as a rookie.

Taylor has primarily been known for his success in the return game since then, however. He ran back six kickoffs with the Bengals over the past two years, but returned 40 punts over that span. In 2022, he totaled 340 yards on 33 returns, which ranked fourth in the NFL. His average of 10.3 yards per return marked the second-highest mark of his career, and ranked third in the league.

Given that level of success, it comes as little surprise that the Bengals have elected to keep him in the fold for another year. The team has a highly-productive receiver trio on offense, though Taylor’s previous experience qualifies him as a potential fill-in option if necessary. The Bengals’ weakness in terms of DVOA in 2022 was their special teams, a unit which ranked 18th in that regard.

Taylor’s individual performance has obviously not been seen as the cause for that, though. He will look to repeat his success in a third Bengals campaign (and perhaps earn a longer-term deal in the process), while the AFC North champions prepare to have one of the better return games in the league once again.

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 2/22/22

Here are Tuesday’s reserve/futures deals:

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Green Bay Packers

Miami Dolphins

New York Giants

Tennessee Titans

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/29/22

Today’s minor moves before Championship Sunday:

Cincinnati Bengals

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Rams

San Francisco 49ers

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/14/22

Here are Friday’s minor moves:

Buffalo Bills

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Las Vegas Raiders

New England Patriots

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/8/22

Here are Saturday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

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

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/1/22

The first minor moves of 2022:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texas

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

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 Football Team