Tre’Quan Smith

Broncos Expected To Sign WR Tre’Quan Smith

The Broncos dealt with some early season injuries to their wide receiving corps this year, and though things are finally starting to look up, the team won’t likely be turning down the opportunity to add some quality depth. According to 9NEWS’s Mike Klis, Denver is expected to sign newly available wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith early next week.

As the season opened, the Broncos knew that they would be without Tim Patrick (dealing with yet another season-ending injury) and second-year undrafted wideout Jalen Virgil (season-ending meniscus tear). The team also waived former second-round pick KJ Hamler as he struggled to deal with his continuous injury troubles. On top of that, Jerry Jeudy would miss some time as he worked his way back from a hamstring injury.

With Jeudy out, Denver called on practice squad wideout, and former first-round pick, Phillip Dorsett to fill in alongside Courtland Sutton, Brandon Johnson, rookie second-round pick Marvin Mims, and Lil’Jordan Humphrey. At this point, Jeudy has returned and got a healthy workload in the team’s recent one-sided loss to the Dolphins. Still, the absences of Patrick and Virgil make a potential strength on the team a potential liability.

With much less margin for error, the Broncos look to be turning to Smith. Smith has been dealing with some injury issues of his own. A training camp groin injury held Smith out to the point that he was placed on injured reserve to start the season. With the return of Michael Thomas and the continued emergence of second-year receivers Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed, the Saints released Smith from the IR. As younger players were showing more potential, Smith’s role in the offense had become unclear and his inability to stay on the field cost him a roster spot.

Denver wasn’t the only team to show interest in the veteran wide receiver, though. Multiple teams reportedly stepped in to express their interest in the free agent, but signs, for now, are pointing to Mile High. Likely the employment of head coach Sean Payton has some influence on the signing. Payton hasn’t shied away from bringing his guys in as Smith will be rejoining former New Orleans teammates in Humphrey and kicker Wil Lutz.

The interest surrounding Smith’s free agency points to the likelihood that he was close to coming off IR before being released by the Saints. We could perhaps see Smith making an impact on the Broncos’ offense in his first week with the team if that turns out to be true.

NFL Workouts: Jackson, Austin, Jones, Smith

Veteran cornerback William Jackson continues his NFL tour in an attempt to return to the league this season. Since getting cut by the Steelers at the start of the offseason, Jackson has already auditioned for three teams without a signing. He will hope to break that trend after working out with the Buccaneers today, according to Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2.

Jackson met with the cornerback-needy Ravens and the Giants in the offseason but left both Baltimore and New York without a contract. A week ago, Jackson made his way to Philadelphia in an attempt to help the Eagles replace the production of an injured Avonte Maddox, but he remains a free agent to this day.

His most recent trip to Tampa Bay is now an attempt to help provide the Buccaneers with some depth at the cornerback position as starter Carlton Davis continues to deal with a toe injury. Davis has only missed the last two games, but with his reputation for not ever playing a full season, it’s smart for Tampa Bay to be a bit cautious.

Here are a few other workouts reported from around the league:

  • The Seahawks haven’t reported any injuries to their receiving corps, despite D.K. Metcalf spending most of last week on the sidelines during practices, yet they hosted veteran wide receiver Tavon Austin yesterday, according to ESPN’s Field Yates. Austin hasn’t played in the NFL since his 2021 stint with the Jaguars. He spent part of 2022 in Buffalo but was released before seeing the field. He worked out for Baltimore a couple weeks after being let go but has been a free agent ever since.
  • Yates also reports that running back Ronald Jones was hosted by the Colts yesterday. The former second-round pick has struggled to find his place in the NFL since playing out his rookie contract in Tampa Bay. He signed his first free agent contract with the Chiefs, but after finding himself buried on the depth chart behind Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Jerick McKinnon, and Isiah Pacheco, Jones stated he wanted a release. He would finish the season with Kansas City, only appearing in six games but earning a Super Bowl ring. He signed in the offseason with the Cowboys but was released just over a week ago. Indianapolis may be willing to bring Jones in as reports continue to suggest that running back Jonathan Taylor doesn’t want to stay with the team upon his return from the physically unable to perform list.
  • The Broncos are finally getting wide receiver Jerry Jeudy going this season, but the team still decided to kick the tires on newly available free agent Tre’Quan Smith, according to Mike Klis of 9NEWS. Smith was recently released by his team of the last five years in New Orleans. Smith has yet to make his 2023 debut after starting the season on injured reserve, and with the emergence of young stars like Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed and the return of Michael Thomas, it was hard to envision where Smith would fit into the offense moving forward. Smith was soon going to be able to return from IR, so there’s a chance he can make an immediate return if he signs a new contract soon.

Saints Sign QB Jake Luton, Release WR Tre’Quan Smith From IR

The Saints are adding some much-needed depth at the quarterback position. According to ESPN’s Field Yates, New Orleans is signing quarterback Jake Luton off the Panthers practice squad.

[RELATED: Saints’ Derek Carr Suffers AC Joint Sprain]

Luton spent most of the 2022 campaign on the Saints’ practice squad, so he’s plenty familiar with Pete Carmichael’s system. Luton was waived by New Orleans back in May and caught on with the Panthers. He was among the team’s final cuts but eventually signed on with Carolina’s practice squad.

The former sixth-round pick has turned into a true journeyman despite being in the league for only three-plus seasons. Luton has spent time with the Jaguars (two stints), Seahawks, Dolphins, Saints, and Panthers. The quarterback’s resume consists of three starts with Jacksonville as a rookie. The Jaguars went 0-3 in those three contests, with Luton completing 54.5 percent of his passes for 624 yards, two touchdowns, and six interceptions.

While the Saints “dodged a bullet” when it came to Derek Carr‘s injury on Sunday, the quarterback is still expected to miss some time with a AC joint sprain. Carr has been deemed week-to-week, although he hasn’t officially been ruled out for Week 4. With rookie fourth-round pick Jake Haener still serving a suspension for failing a drug test, Jameis Winston was the only healthy QB on the Saints roster before today’s move.

The team wasn’t done making moves today. According to Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football, the Saints have released wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith from injured reserve. The former third-round pick was a productive member of New Orleans’ receivers room for five seasons, hauling in 131 receptions for 1,764 yards and 18 touchdowns. He also got into four playoff games, collecting another two scores.

Smith inked a two-year, $6MM extension with the Saints prior to the 2022 season, but with Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed stealing snaps, Smith had one of the least productive seasons of his career, finishing with 19 catches for 278 yards. Smith landed on injured reserve after final cuts, meaning he only needed one more week before he could be activated. Ultimately, it sounds like the Saints didn’t see a future for him in New Orleans, and the receiver is now free to sign (and immediately play) elsewhere.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/9/23

We have our first flood of pregame transactions of the season today as teams across the league with games tomorrow utilize their two permitted practice squad elevations:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Promoted from practice squad: LB Brevin Allen

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

  • Promoted from practice squad: RB Myles Gaskin, OLB Benton Whitley

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

Saints To Re-Sign Tre’Quan Smith

Tre’Quan Smith is set to remain in New Orleans. ESPN’s Field Yates reports (on Twitter) that the Saints are bringing him back on a two-year, $6MM deal. He adds that there is another $4.5MM available in incentives. 

[RELATED: Saints To Retain QB Winston]

NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo also notes that $2MM is guaranteed (Twitter link). That means this deal represents a notable raise over the compensation he received from his rookie contract. Smith has spent all four years of his career with the Saints after they drafted him in the third round in 2018. He hit free agency this offseason despite four void year being added to his deal as a result of a 2021 restructure.

The 26-year-old has been a consistent complimentary piece to the Saints’ offense during his time there. He had a career year in 2020, posting 34 catches for 448 yards and four touchdowns. That led many to believe he would have a breakout campaign in 2021, given the absence of Michael Thomas. However, between injuries to himself and quarterback Jameis Winston, and the overall struggles of the team’s offense, he put up underwhelming numbers (32 receptions, 377 yards, three touchdowns).

The UCF product drew interest from the Falcons earlier this month, as they hosted him on a free agent visit. Instead of joining New Orleans’ divisional rival, though, he will remain with the Saints as they look to have a healthier and more productive season on offense in 2022.

Falcons Host Tre’Quan Smith, Nick Easton

Still in contention to acquire Deshaun Watson, the Falcons continue to meet with potential supporting-casters for him (or Matt Ryan). In addition to its Jarvis Landry meeting, Atlanta is hosting wideout Tre’Quan Smith, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes.

A four-year Saints cog, Smith arrived in Atlanta on Thursday. The Falcons are also meeting with ex-Saints offensive lineman Nick Easton, Aaron Wilson of tweets. Easton spent two seasons with the Saints.

[RELATED: Falcons To Sign RB Damien Williams]

The Saints and Falcons are viewed as the favorites for Watson, who has also met with the Panthers. The winner of these sweepstakes will be sending the Texans a historic trade package, one that is expected to include three first-round picks and additional assets. Watson’s $39MM-per-year contract will also be on an NFC South team’s books soon, creating a need for some cost-effective contributors. Smith and Easton qualify.

Although a Smith touchdown doubled as one of Drew Brees‘ record-setting sequences, he could not establish himself as a consistent weapon in New Orleans. The former third-round pick did not have a 500-yard receiving season in four Saints years, with injuries intervening at points as well. Smith missed six games last season and caught 32 passes for 377 yards and three touchdowns. The 6-foot-2 Central Florida product does have 17 career TD grabs, however.

Calvin Ridley‘s gambling suspension and Russell Gage‘s Buccaneers defection leave the Falcons quite thin at receiver. Landry remains unsigned. Even if the five-time Pro Bowler joins the Falcons, they will need additional help at the position.

Easton spent last season out of football but has extensive experience as a starter. The Saints added the ex-Vikings guard starter as a swing player but used him as a 15-game starter during the 2019 and ’20 seasons. Easton’s market stalled in April 2021, and his year away surely will limit his opportunities. But the Falcons are interested. Pro Football Focus rated Atlanta’s O-line 27th last season, with rookie left guard Jalen Mayfield drawing one of the site’s worst overall grades. Right guard Chris Lindstrom fared much better, but the Falcons could still use help up front.

Saints Shuffle Roster, Activate Three Players From IR

The Saints are welcoming back three players for tonight’s game against the Seahawks. Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football reports (via Twitter) that New Orleans is activating linebacker Kwon Alexander, defensive end Marcus Davenport, and wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith from IR. The three players returned to practice last week, and they’ll all be eligible to play tonight.

The Saints also promoted wideout Kevin White from the practice squad. To make room on the roster, the team released center Will Clapp and defensive tackle Albert Huggins (via Underhill on Twitter).

Alexander (elbow) and Davenport (shoulder) were both placed on IR in mid-September, while Smith (hamstring) landed on IR a bit earlier than that. The Saints moved Davenport back into their starting lineup to start this season, and he registered a sack and two QB hits in the Saints’ dominant Week 1 win over the Packers. Alexander worked his way back from a December Achilles tear to be ready in time for the Saints’ opener, but this latest injury continued a rough run of health for the former Buccaneers standout. Smith’s injury dogged him for several weeks, as he tried and failed to come back from it twice. It caused the former third-round pick to miss extensive training camp time.

White joined the Saints back in August, and he later landed on the team’s practice squad. The former first-round pick got into three games with the 49ers in 2020, but he only saw nine snaps on offense. Clapp was a seventh-round pick by the Saints in 2018, and he got into 27 games (four starts) through three-plus seasons with the team. Huggins has bounced around the NFL since going undrafted in 2019. He saw time in four games (one start) for the Saints this season, collecting seven tackles and two QB hits.

Saints Designate LB Kwon Alexander, DE Marcus Davenport, WR Tre’Quan Smith For Return

The Saints are about to get some reinforcement. The team designated linebacker Kwon Alexander, defensive end Marcus Davenport, and wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith for return from injured reserve today, reports NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (via Twitter).

Alexander (elbow) and Davenport (shoulder) were both placed on IR in mid-September, meaning the earliest they could have returned was Week 5.

The Saints moved Davenport back into their starting lineup to start this season, providing the player with an opportunity to re-establish himself opposite Cameron Jordan. Davenport registered a sack and two QB hits in the Saints’ dominant Week 1 win over the Packers.

Alexander worked his way back from a December Achilles tear to be ready in time for the Saints’ opener, but this latest injury continued a rough run of health for the former Buccaneers standout. Alexander suffered a torn ACL in 2018, though he still landed a nice contract from the 49ers. However, the veteran linebacker sustained a pectoral muscle tear in his first 49ers season.

Smith landed on IR a bit earlier than his defensive teammates after suffering a hamstring injury. The injury dogged Smith for several weeks, as he tried and failed to come back from it twice. It caused the former third-round pick to miss extensive training camp time.

While the Saints will happily welcome back this trio, they’ll still be without one of the most notable players. While wideout Michael Thomas was eligible to return from PUP this week, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport notes (via Twitter) that there hasn’t been any news on his potential activation.

Saints Rework Tre’Quan Smith’s Deal

The Saints have converted roughly $1.2MM of Tre’Quan Smith’s base salary into a signing bonus (Twitter link via Field Yates of The maneuver will also tack four void years on to his deal, though it’ll provide the Saints with an extra $954K in cap space. 

The Saints have yet to see Smith on the field this year thanks to a hamstring injury. The fourth-year wideout could debut as soon as Week 4, but there’s no word yet on his status. Smith was dogged by the hammy for much of the summer — he tried to come back from it prematurely a couple of times but ultimately had to rest it. The Saints hope to have him back in the fold some time after his short-term IR stint is through.

Smith, a former third-round pick, has a chance to break out while Michael Thomas heals up from offseason ankle surgery. Thomas will be out for the first six games, at minimum, since he’s on the PUP list.

Last year, Smith was enjoying a career year up until he was sidelined by his own ankle issue. In 14 games (10 starts), the 25-year-old hauled in 34 receptions for 448 yards and four scores. Since his new void years are only for cap purposes, he remains on course for free agency in the spring.

Saints Place WR Tre’Quan Smith, CB Ken Crawley On IR

Jameis Winston‘s debut as the Saints’ starting quarterback will come without another of his top wide receivers. Tre’Quan Smith will begin the season on IR, Nick Underhill of tweets.

The Saints added Smith to their injury report Thursday, and the hamstring injury the fourth-year wideout has battled will shelve him for at least three games. Additionally, New Orleans placed veteran cornerback Ken Crawley on IR. Crawley is also dealing with a hamstring malady.

This injury has dogged Smith for several weeks. He has now tried and failed to come back from it twice. It caused the former third-round pick to miss extensive training camp time. It also comes, of course, at a key point for New Orleans’ passing attack, which will feature a new quarterback for the first time in 15 years. Michael Thomas‘ belated offseason ankle surgery will sideline him for at least the season’s first six games; the All-Pro is on the Saints’ reserve/PUP list.

Crawley represents key depth for a Saints team that has been undermanned at corner this year. The team traded for Bradley Roby earlier this week, however. That acquisition, pairing Roby with fellow ex-Ohio State standout Marshon Lattimore, looms larger now.

Thomas and Smith’s absences will leave Drew Brees‘ successor with a much lower-profile receiving corps. Although Marquez Callaway impressed throughout the Saints’ summer work, the team did not draft a wideout this year and has only return man Deonte Harris, third-year UDFA Lil’Jordan Humphrey and veteran Chris Hogan — who recently left the game to give lacrosse another try — at the position. Running back/wideout Ty Montgomery remains on New Orleans’ roster, and Kevin White resides on the team’s practice squad.