Trevor Siemian

NFC North Notes: Alexander, Bears, Lions

The Packers were unable to reach an extension agreement with Davante Adams, leading to a blockbuster trade following a franchise tag. Brian Gutekunst would prefer the Jaire Alexander process conclude before a potential Alexander tag comes into play. The fifth-year Packers GM said the team “would love” to extend Alexander this offseason, via The Athletic’s Matt Schneidman (on Twitter). Gutekunst confirmed the Packers and Alexander are in talks, which became known earlier this month, and said the discussions could continue throughout the year. Alexander finds himself in an interesting position, coming off a season a shoulder injury mostly nullified. But the one-time Pro Bowler is still eyeing a top-market extension. Alexander figures to face a decision on playing out a contract year ahead of a potential tag or taking long-term security — at likely a slightly lower price — before the season.

Here is the latest from the NFC North:

  • Larry Ogunjobi was onboard with the Bears for fewer than five days, with the team nixing the defensive tackle’s deal due to a failed physical. New Bears GM Ryan Poles is open to agreeing to another contract with Ogunjobi, per ESPN.com’s Courney Cronin, who notes the failed physical stemmed from the former Browns and Bengals D-lineman’s surgically repaired right foot (Twitter link). Ogunjobi suffered a foot injury during the Bengals’ wild-card win. Poles noted the Bears’ deal with Ogunjobi prevented them from adding other free agents during the legal tampering period, per Adam Jahns of The Athletic (subscription required).
  • Viewing Trevor Siemian as a better fit in the offense Luke Getsy is installing, Poles said (via Jahns) he hopes a Nick Foles trade emerges in the near future. But nothing is on the horizon, continuing this holding pattern for the former Super Bowl MVP. Foles is due a $4MM base salary in 2022, the final year of his contract. Foles has the Bears’ fourth-largest cap number ($10.7MM); a trade would let the Bears off the hook for Foles’ salary but still hand the team a $6MM-plus dead-money charge.
  • Although the Bears gutted their front seven by trading Khalil Mack, cutting Danny Trevathan and not re-signing Akiem Hicks, Poles said the team is not planning to move on from Robert Quinn. No Quinn trade scenario has come up, Poles said (via Jahns, on Twitter). Quinn’s $17.1MM cap figure is the largest on the Bears’ 2022 payroll. Despite going into his age-32 season, Quinn boosted his trade value last year by breaking Richard Dent‘s franchise single-season sack record.
  • Prior to Chandon Sullivan‘s Vikings agreement, the Packers made a late push to keep him, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tweets. Sullivan spent the past three seasons with the Packers, who have a need at slot cornerback thanks to his defection to a division rival. The Broncos also pursued Sullivan but signed K’Waun Williams days before news of Sullivan’s Vikings agreement surfaced.
  • The Lions will primarily use a 4-3 defense next season, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press notes. Detroit started last season by changing to a 3-4 look, but Aaron Glenn‘s unit adjusted a bit down the stretch. Prior to last season, the Lions had used a 4-3 look for many years.

Bears To Sign QB Trevor Siemian

Trevor Siemian is heading to Chicago. The veteran quarterback is signing with the Bears, according to representative Mike McCartney on Twitter (and passed along by Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press on Twitter). Siemian got a two-year deal worth $4MM with upside of $5MM, tweets NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

We learned earlier this week that the veteran was meeting with Chicago. With Andy Dalton a free agent and Nick Foles potentially on his way out, the Bears were seeking a veteran quarterback to serve as a backup to Justin Fields. Siemian will be joining a depth chart that also features Ryan Willis.

The 30-year-old ended up getting four starts this past season with the Saints, his most starting nods since he was a full-timer with the Broncos in 2017. New Orleans went 0-4 in Siemian’s four starts in 2021, with the quarterback completing 57.4 percent of his passes for 1,154 yards, 11 touchdowns, and only three interceptions.

Siemian was 13-11 as a starter during his time in Denver, tossing 30 touchdowns vs. 24 interceptions. He was a seventh-round pick by the Broncos in 2015.

QB Trevor Siemian Visits Bears

The Bears are eyeing some reinforcement at quarterback. Veteran QB Trevor Siemian worked out for the Bears today, according to ESPN’s Field Yates (on Twitter).

The 30-year-old ended up getting four starts this past season with the Saints, his most starting nods since he was a full-timer with the Broncos in 2017. New Orleans went 0-4 in Siemian’s four starts, with the quarterback completing 57.4 percent of his passes for 1,154 yards, 11 touchdowns, and only three interceptions.

Siemian was 13-11 as a starter during his time in Denver, tossing 30 touchdowns vs. 24 interceptions. He was a seventh-round pick by the Broncos in 2015.

Speaking of Bears QBs, Nick Foles received his $4MM roster bonus the other day. The bonus was fully guaranteed, so it’s not a surprise that the veteran is still on the roster. However, as ESPN’s Courtney Cronin tweets, teams could have some interest in the veteran in-season considering half of his 2022 earnings have already been paid.

Saints’ Hill Suffers Lisfranc Injury

According to a tweet from Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com, Saints’ head coach Sean Payton informed Fox’s Laura Okmin that quarterback Taysom Hill suffered a Lisfranc injury in the first half of the Saints’ Week 18 matchup in Atlanta. The injury to his left foot, if serious, could take Hill away from play for the rest of the year and potentially some of next year. 

A Lisfranc injury is what downed Jaguars’ rookie running back Travis Etienne in the preseason and kept him from playing for the entire season. When serious the injury can take up to 11-12 months to recover and has, in some instances, forced a couple of players into retirement. Hill suffered a similar injury to his right foot in 2015, when he was quarterbacking the BYU Cougars in their season opener against Nebraska. Hill finished the game, once it was confirmed it wouldn’t cause further damage, but when the game ended, then-head coach Bronco Mendenhall announced the injury would end his season.

This could be a major blow to the Saints as they are attempting to become the first NFL team in the league’s history to make it to the postseason after having started four different quarterbacks throughout the season. Due to season-ending injuries and COVID-19 infections, the Saints have seen Hill, Jameis Winston, Trevor Siemian, and Ian Book all start games under center. They can get into the playoffs today with a win in Atlanta and a 49ers’ loss in Los Angeles to the Rams.

A playoff berth would certainly be a testament to Sean Payton’s ability to keep the boat afloat no matter who is at quarterback, but going into the postseason with your first- and second-string quarterbacks unable to play may prove to be their toughest challenge of the season.

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 12/29/21

Several key players returned to practice Wednesday. Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from around the league:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

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

  • Activated from practice squad/COVID-19 list: WR Rico Bussey

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Saints’ COVID Surge

Yesterday, the Saints saw 9 players hit the reserve/COVID-19 list including quarterbacks Taysom Hill and Trevor Siemian who were expected to handle the duties behind center for the rest of the year with Jameis Winston on IR with a torn ACL. In addition to those two, guard James Carpenter, linebacker Kaden Elliss, defensive back Jeff Heath, defensive end Jalyn Holmes, defensive back Malcolm Jenkins, defensive tackle Christian Ringo, and tackle Jordan Mills all found themselves on the COVID list. Besides the quarterbacks and full-time starter Jenkins, the other six players have a combined 8 starts between them.

With three quarterbacks currently unavailable for Monday Night’s matchup with the Dolphins, the Saints are expected to start the rookie fourth-round pick out of Notre Dame, Ian Book. As we reported earlier this morning, New Orleans also made the move of signing Blake Bortles as a contingency plan behind Book.

Well, despite the addition, the Saints didn’t fair any better today, losing full-time starters Ryan Ramczyk at tackle and Demario Davis at linebacker to the reserve/COVID-19 list, as well as reserves running back Dwayne Washington and safety J.T. Gray.

With the losses, the Saints will continue to operate with a depleted roster, like every other NFL team this year. The Saints’ lineup now lacks the likes of regular starters like Winston, Hill, Jenkins, Ramczyk, Davis, kicker Wil Lutz, tackle Andrus Peat, tight end Adam Trautman, and wide receiver Michael Thomas. Although they look like a shell of the team they could be at full strength, the Saints, along with the rest of the NFL, will continue to work to make the most of a bad situation as they currently sit only two spots outside of the final Wild Card spot with a 7-7 record, losing the tiebreakers to current 7-seed Minnesota and 8-seed Philadelphia.

Saints Place Taysom Hill, Trevor Siemian On Reserve/COVID-19 List

The Saints are the latest team with a virus issue. It may well lead the playoff-contending squad starting a rookie at quarterback Monday night.

New Orleans placed Trevor Siemian on the reserve/COVID-19 list earlier Thursday morning, Jeff Duncan of NOLA.com notes, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com adds that Taysom Hill will also be moved to the virus list (Twitter link). Rookie Ian Book is the next man up. The Notre Dame product is likely to get the call Monday night.

Book would be New Orleans’ fourth QB starter this season, following Jameis Winston, Siemian and Hill. The Saints selected the ex-Fighting Irish standout in the fourth round. This certainly could stall the Saints’ recent momentum. After nearly falling out of the playoff race during a stretch without Alvin Kamara, the Saints have won two straight — including a 9-0 win in Tampa that doubled as Tom Brady‘s first shutout loss in 15 years.

Sean Payton has not been at the facility this week; the 16th-year head coach remains away from the team after testing positive for COVID last week. The Saints chose Book 133rd overall. He started three seasons at Notre Dame, topping out with a 34-touchdown pass season as a junior in 2019.

Book is also the winningest starting QB in Notre Dame history. He stands to be tasked with helping the Saints stay on the No. 7 seed line in the NFC playoff race. The Saints’ win over the Buccaneers moved them to 7-7; FiveThirtyEight.com gives the team a 44% chance to make the playoffs. New Orleans being forced to give the keys to a Day 3 rookie with zero regular-season snaps will impact those odds.

The Saints also added seven more players to their reserve/COVID-19 list. Malcolm Jenkins is among them. Joining the veteran safety are safety Jeff Heath, guard James Carpenter, offensive lineman Jordan Mills, defensive end Jalyn Holmes, D-tackle Christian Ringo and linebacker Kaden Elliss.

Saints’ Taysom Hill To Start At QB Tomorrow

The Saints are officially turning to Taysom Hill. The veteran will start at quarterback against the Cowboys tomorrow night, reports ESPN’s Mike Triplett.

[RELATED: Saints, Taysom Hill Agree To Extension]

While he was still rostered as an emergency backup, Hill ended up missing the past two weeks while he recovered from a partially torn plantar fascia. With the Trevor Siemian-led offense sputtering, it seemed inevitable that the Saints would turn to Hill once he was fully healthy. That will end up being the case tomorrow night, as the Swiss Army Knife will be under center for New Orleans.

After also dealing with a concussion earlier this year, Hill has been limited to only seven games this season. While the 31-year-old went 3-1 as a starter at QB last season, he’s been limited to only eight pass attempts in 2021 (completing seven of them for 56 yards and one interception). He’s also seen 24 touches for 156 yards and three touchdowns. Hill signed a “unique four-year, hybrid…contract extension” with the Saints last week.

Siemian slid into the starting lineup once Jameis Winston was lost for the season. While the veteran initially played well, the Saints offense has regressed over the past few weeks, leading to the easy decision. Siemian ultimately went 0-4 in his four starts (five games overall), completing 57.2-percent of his passes for 1,083 yards, nine touchdowns, and three interceptions.

Trevor Siemian To Remain Saints Starting QB?

With Jameis Winston done for the season, third-string QB Trevor Siemian has earned the last two starts for the Saints. Even with Taysom Hill fully recovered from his concussion, it sounds like Siemian could retain his starting gig. Per Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the journeyman QB “has an opportunity to remain in place” as New Orleans looks to make a playoff push.

In three games this season, Siemian has completed only 57.7 percent of his pass attempts, but the 29-year-old has thrown for 706 yards, five touchdowns, and zero interceptions. Sean Payton hasn’t definitively stated a plan at the position moving forward, and while Hill will remain a natural part of the offense, Siemian’s ability to (somewhat) replicate Drew Brees‘ offense makes him the favorite to keep the top spot on the depth chart (per La Canfora).

The Saints made a sizable commitment to Hill this offseason when they inked the Swiss Army Knife to what amounted to a one-year, ~$12MM extension. Hill has already seen four starts at QB this season, completing seven of his eight passes attempts for 56 yards and one interception. He also has 20 carries for 104 yards and three touchdowns, and he’s added another four receptions for 52 yards.

Meanwhile, Winston underwent successful surgery on his left knee last week, per Jeff Duncan of NOLA.com. The surgery repaired a torn ACL and a “damaged’ MCL, and he’s already been released from the hospital.

Saints To Start Trevor Siemian In Week 9

Trevor Siemian‘s surprise cameo in Week 8 is expected to lead to a start Sunday. The will use their previous third-string quarterback as their starter against the Falcons, Sean Payton confirmed Friday.

While Siemian has more experience than Taysom Hill as a starter, this is still a surprise move. Hill and Jameis Winston competed for New Orleans’ starting job throughout the offseason. Hill did take reps at quarterback this week, per NFL.com’s James Palmer, and should be ticketed for occasional QB work Sunday (Twitter link). Payton confirmed Hill will be in uniform against the Falcons.

[RELATED: Torn ACL Sidelines Winston For Year]

Hill has missed the past three games due to a concussion, but he was a full participant in practice this week. The Saints turned to Hill ahead of Winston when Drew Brees suffered broken ribs last year, and Hill fared well in four games as a starter. The former UDFA-turned-gadget player completed 73% of his passes and averaged 7.7 yards per attempt last season, throwing four touchdown passes and rushing for eight TDs.

The versatile player is in the second season of his 2020 extension, which came after the Saints used a first-round tender to cuff him as a restricted free agent. Siemian, who has started one game since the start of the 2018 season, is attached to a veteran-minimum salary. This is an interesting turn of events for the 5-2 team. Brees confirmed he would not come out of retirement to reclaim the job, though Philip Rivers said he would listen if the Saints called him about the post.

Siemian’s run as the Broncos’ starter ended when they traded him to the Vikings in 2018, following a Case Keenum signing. Since, Siemian has started one game, which came in Week 2 of the 2019 season. The former seventh-round pick suffered a season-ending injury during his one game as a Jet. He spent the 2020 season with the Titans and Saints but did not play. For his career, the Northwestern product has completed 59% of his passes.