Ty’Son Williams

Colts Cut Roster Down To 53

Indianapolis has made a couple headline moves, but, most notably, succeeded in trimming their roster down to 53 players today. Here are the moves that helped them get down to the limit today:

Activated from active/physically unable to perform:

Released:

Waived:

Placed on IR:

The biggest stories of the day for the Colts come in the linebacking corps. In addition to adding star linebacker Leonard off the PUP, Indianapolis acquired second-year player Grant Stuard in a trade with Tampa Bay today. Stuard was primarily a special teamer with the Buccaneers last year, playing in every game as a rookie. He’ll go from one stacked linebacker room to another, likely backing up Leonard upon his arrival.

The Colts have quite an interesting rookie class. A sixth-round defensive tackle, Brooks is the only drafted rookie not to make the final roster besides sixth-round tight end Andrew Ogletree who will start his NFL career on injured reserve. None of this is spectacular, though. The interesting part is that Indianapolis will roster four undrafted rookies to start the 2022 NFL season.

Former SMU safety Trevor Denbow finds his way onto the initial 53 after leading the NFL this preseason with five special teams tackles. Cornerback Dallis Flowers can also thank his special teams value as his athleticism was supplemented by a 53-yard kickoff return to help him make the team out of Pitt State. Former Cornhusker JoJo Domann joins Leonard and Stuard in the linebackers room. And the French-Fries offensive line combination stays alive as Wesley French makes the final roster out of Western Michigan.

There were a number of other players who have special teams’ ability to thank for their roster spot in addition to Denbow and Flowers. Running back Deon Jackson played on all punt/kick return/coverage units for the Colts last year, earning him a tightly contested roster spot over Lindsay and Williams. Cornerback Tony Brown was the team’s highest-graded special teams player in the preseason, according to Pro Football Focus, and safety Rodney Thomas II played the third-most special teams snaps on the team.

Finally, the biggest performer of the Colts’ preseason was likely quarterback Sam Ehlinger whose stellar preseason led Indianapolis to roster three quarterbacks going into the season. The former-Longhorn’s impressive preseason play helped him earn a spot on the initial roster despite the Colts already rostering starter Matt Ryan and one of the league’s top backup quarterbacks in Nick Foles.

The Colts will have the opportunity tomorrow to announce any moves to form their 16-man practice squad. Players cut today who have not vested will have to clear waivers before returning to the team.

Colts Sign RB Ty’Son Williams

The Colts are continuing to add depth at the running back position. The team announced on Tuesday that they have signed Ty’Son Williams.

The 25-year-old joined the Ravens as a UDFA, quickly finding himself climbing the team’s depth chart last offseason. Originally intended to serve as practice squad depth, Williams was thrust into a significant role after the team lost J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill to season-ending injuries in the build-up to the campaign.

That opened the door for the BYU product to take on a starter’s workload. He produced 187 scrimmage yards during the first two weeks of the season, but things changed dramatically after that. Williams only started one more contest, totalling just 82 yards throughout the rest of the season as Baltimore leaned more heavily on veterans Devonta Freeman and Latavius Murray.

That drop in usage signalled that Williams could be headed elsewhere this spring. Then, earlier this month, the Ravens rescinded his ERFA tender, making him a free agent. The move came on the same day that Baltimore signed Mike Davis as insurance behind the trio lost through injury.

In Indianapolis, Williams will face similar competition to what he would have seen in Baltimore with respect to making the opening-day roster. The Colts already have Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines, along with a number of candidates to fill the No. 3 role. The team signed Phillip Lindsay last week, giving them a much more experienced option to round out the depth chart. Williams would likely have to beat out Lindsay, along with Deon Jackson and several 2022 UDFAs, to avoid landing on the practice squad.

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/9/22

The deadline for teams to extend tender offers to their restricted free agents and exclusive rights free agents looms next week. We’ll keep tabs on the latest here:

RFAs

Non-tendered:

ERFAs

Tendered:

Ravens Receiving Trade Interest On RBs

The Ravens are receiving trade inquiries on their running backs, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter. Their revamped backfield currently features second-year pro Ty’Son Williams plus veterans Latavius Murray, Devonta Freeman, and Le’Veon Bell

[RELATED: Ravens Elevate RB Le’Veon Bell]

The Ravens’ position group was decimated by injuries to J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards, and Justice Hill just before the start of the season. Now, their replacements are drawing interest from teams in advance of the November 2 trade deadline.

Through four games, the Ravens have averaged 164.5 rushing yards per contest, good for fourth in the league. Quarterback Lamar Jackson is responsible for much of their ground game success, but Williams has also impressed with 164 rushing yards and a touchdown off of 27 carries — good for a 6.1 ypc average. Freeman, in a much smaller sample of six attempts, has averaged 6.8 yards per tote. Meanwhile, Murray has three rushing TDs to lead the team.

They’ll all look to advance the Ravens to 4-1 tonight when they face the Colts in Baltimore.

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/18/21

With the Ravens, Browns, and Rams getting eliminated from the playoffs over the weekend, both teams announced their slew of reserve/futures deals on Monday. As a reminder, these are all non-guaranteed deals, usually for practice squad type players, to help teams flesh out their 90-man offseason rosters.

Baltimore Ravens

Cleveland Browns

Los Angeles Rams

Ravens Cut Roster To 53

The Ravens became the latest team to get down to 53, cutting a slew of players on Saturday via a team announcement. With the moves, Baltimore ended a 16-year streak of keeping at least one undrafted rookie on the roster, another sign of the impact COVID-19 and the reduced offseason had on roster decisions.

Here are the 23 guys who were let go:

Barner played a somewhat prominent role on a couple of Eagles teams and won Super Bowl LII with the team. Since leaving Philly he’s bounced between New England, Carolina, and Atlanta. Ehinger started a game at guard for Baltimore last year, but couldn’t crack the roster this time around.

Richards was a full-time starter with the Falcons in 2018, and appeared in nine games with Baltimore last year, scoring a touchdown on a fumble recovery. Townsend was the Raiders’ punter in 2018, and just signed with the Ravens a couple of weeks ago. He probably never had too good a chance of beating out Sam Koch, who has been with the Ravens since 2006. Huntley had a very solid college career at Utah, but wasn’t viewed by too many as a legitimate pro passer.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/28/20

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves in this post. In addition to the transactions listed below, note that Broncos DT Joel Heath and Giants CB Shakial Taylor, who had previously been listed as cut, actually opted out of the 2020 season. As Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network tweets, both players were reinstated to their teams’ rosters and placed on the Reserve/Opt-Out List. The full (and final) opt-out tracker can be found here:

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

Pittsburgh Steelers

Ravens Sign 20 UDFAs

The Ravens’ class of undrafted rookies keeps getting bigger and bigger. This week, the Ravens announced the signings of six more UDFAs, bringing their official grand total to eleven, though they’ve actually agreed to take on 19 in total. Here’s the full rundown:

Huntley, a 6’1″ quarterback out of Utah, played against Lamar Jackson as a high schooler in Florida. With the Utes, Huntley started 33 games in total and finished 2019 with a 19/4 TD/INT ratio.

Rechsteiner, a hard-nosed fullback, is a natural bruiser – he’s the son of former WCW/WWF wrestler Rick Steiner and the nephew of Scott Steiner, a.k.a. Big Poppa Pump. At Division III Kennesaw State, he averaged 8.1 yards per carry. With the Ravens, he’ll face an uphill battle in making the roster with Patrick Ricard already occupying the position.

There are also a few notable guarantees in this UDFA class, including Wolf, who received $65K between his $50K base salary and $15K signing bonus (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle).