Vernon Butler

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/15/22

Today’s practice squad transactions:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

  • Signed: DB Devon Key

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

  • Released: WR Kevin Kassis

Tennessee Titans

NFL Workouts: Ross, Austin, Butler

Despite adding star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins back to the active roster and acquiring former Panthers wide out Robbie Anderson for a pair of draft picks, the Cardinals worked out another receiver yesterday in John Ross, according to Field Yates of ESPN. While many viewed Anderson as a replacement for the lost production of draft day acquisition Marquise Brown, who faces a potential multi-week absence, the speedy Ross would be a better match, in terms of skill set, to team up with diminutive wide outs Rondale Moore and Greg Dortch to replace Brown’s ability.

A former top ten draft pick for the Bengals in 2017, Ross is widely considered not to have lived up to his draft stock. After missing the majority of his rookie season with knee and shoulder issues, Ross was still able to salvage some bright spots in his second and third seasons, reaching career highs for touchdowns with seven in 2018 and receiving yards with 506 in 2019. Despite showing some promise, injuries continued to drag the young wide out down. Over the final two years of his contract, Ross missed 21 games, leading him towards free agency. He signed with the Giants last year and appeared in 10 games, catching 11 passes for 224 yards and a touchdown.

Here are a couple of other workouts reported around the league, starting with Brown’s former home in Baltimore:

  • After losing second-year wide receiver Rashod Bateman to injury for the past two weeks, the Ravens were looking to add some receiving depth recently, as well. This desire resulted in the practice squad addition of veteran DeSean Jackson, but, according to Yates, Baltimore auditioned another veteran wide out in Tavon Austin. The former long-time Ram has spent the last four seasons since leaving Los Angeles with three other teams. Austin has seen quite a down-sized role since his heyday as a starter with the Rams, but showed a big-play ability in Dallas, averaging 15.1 yards per reception as a Cowboy three seasons ago. With Jackson now on the practice squad, Austin will likely have to keep searching for his fifth NFL squad.
  • The Seahawks worked out a former first round pick in defensive tackle Vernon Butler yesterday, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. Butler waited until the final year of his rookie contract with the Panthers to play up to his draft stock, racking up 6.0 sacks, 7.0 tackles for loss, 32 tackles, and three forced fumbles, which all still stand as career highs by quite a bit. Butler signed a two-year contract with the Bills after leaving Carolina but failed to match the production from his best year with the Panthers. He’s available after failing to make the Raiders’ final 53-man roster and looks to add some depth to a minorly banged up Seahawks defensive line.

NFC Workouts: Keene, Osemele, Brown, Butler

NFL teams continue to try and piece together their ideal rosters as the regular season approaches. Tight end Dalton Keene is putting out feelers lately, taking visits to San Francisco and Pittsburgh this week, according to two tweets from ESPN’s Field Yates.

Keene faces long odds of getting a job with the 49ers, who currently hold four tight ends on a roster that includes George Kittle, Tyler Kroft, Charlie Woerner, and Ross Dwelley. All three backups behind Kittle had more play and production last year than Keene has had throughout his young career.

Pittsburgh has three tight ends on their roster with Pat Freiermuth, Zach Gentry, and sixth-round rookie Connor Heyward (brother of Steelers defensive lineman Cameron Heyward). The Steelers’ tight end group is a bit less experienced or proven than San Francisco’s, so Keene has a better chance of getting an opportunity in Pittsburgh, but no deals have been announced in the meantime.

Here are a few other notable workouts from around the NFC, starting with a former All-Pro who hasn’t played since 2020:

  • Offensive guard Kelechi Osemele is attempting to make a big comeback into the NFL. Osemele worked out with the Bears this past Thursday, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The 2016 first-team All-Pro has seen his career derailed by injuries over the past few years. After being traded from the Raiders to the Jets, Osemele was released when he underwent shoulder surgery that the Jets didn’t deem necessary. He signed on the next year with Kansas City but was placed on injured reserve after tearing tendons in both knees in a Week 5 game in 2020. The 33-year-old looks to be trying to make his way back to the field and the Bears, who recently claimed another former Raider in Alex Leatherwood, certainly could use the depth.
  • With defensive tackles Malcolm Roach and Albert Huggins on injured reserve, the Saints are looking to improve their depth at the position. On Wednesday they tried out former Panthers and Bills defensive lineman Vernon Butler, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. Butler’s best season came with he started nine games for the Panthers in 2019, racking up 6.0 sacks, but he has been a reliable rotational defensive lineman for the Bills since then.
  • The Lions hosted defensive tackle Malcom Brown back in late-August, according to Yates. The former first-round pick failed to make an impression, though. Despite the Lions dedicating 13 roster spots to the defensive line on their initial 53-man roster, Brown remains a free agent in search of his next opportunity.

Raiders Cut DT Vernon Butler, WR Demarcus Robinson

The Raiders released a pair of veterans today. According to ESPN’s Field Yates (on Twitter), the Raiders cut defensive tackle Vernon Butler and wide receiver Demarcus Robinson.

After coming off the bench for the first 38 games of his career, it looked like Butler may have been evolving into a starter after collecting six sacks in nine starts for the Panthers in 2019. That performance earned the former first-round pick a two-year contract from the Bills, but he never saw more than a situational role during his time in Buffalo, collecting 29 tackles and zero sacks in 24 games.

Butler was one of six defensive tackles/nose tackles to join the Raiders this offseason (including draft picks). It sounds like the 28-year-old didn’t show enough to beat out the likes of Johnathan Hankins, Andrew Billings, Bilal Nichols, and Kyle Peko.

Robinson also joined the Raiders this offseason after having spent the first six seasons of his career with the Chiefs. The wideout hauled in 14 touchdowns between 2018 and 2021, and he had two seasons where he topped 400 receiving yards. Most recently, Robinson caught 25 passes for 264 yards and three touchdowns before adding another four receptions in the postseason.

In Las Vegas, the 27-year-old was expected to compete for the WR3 spot behind Davante Adams and Hunter Renfrow, but it sounds like the Raiders are comfortable rolling with either Mack Hollins or Keelan Cole in that role.

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/26/22

Today’s minor NFL transactions, including a handful of notable names landing on the physically unable to perform list and the non-football injury list as teams open up camp:

Arizona Cardinals

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

  • Released with NFI designation: WR Cody Core

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: 7/21/22

Today’s minor transactions:

Baltimore Ravens

Green Bay Packers

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

New York Jets

Raiders Sign DT Vernon Butler

The Raiders are adding a veteran defensive lineman. The team has inked defensive tackle Vernon Butler to a contract, per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo (on Twitter).

It’s a one-year deal for Butler. ESPN’s Field Yates tweeted earlier today that Butler was set to visit Las Vegas.

Butler was a first-round pick by the Panthers back in 2016, but he didn’t do a whole lot during his first three seasons with the organization, collecting two sacks in 38 games. Naturally, the organization didn’t pick up his fifth-year option. The defensive tackle finally started some games during the 2019 season, and he popped a bit, finishing with six sacks.

Butler ended up getting a two-year contract from the Bills in 2020, and he started 10 of his 24 games during his time in Buffalo. The 27-year-old had 29 tackles and no sacks during his two seasons with the team, but he still managed to find himself playing on nearly half his team’s defensive snaps. Butler also started all three of the Bills’ playoff games in 2020.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/24/21

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here. Teams had until 3pm today to cut their rosters down to 80 players.

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

  • Waived: QB Kenji Bahar

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

New England Patriots

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Released from IR via injury settlement: OT Casey Tucker

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: K Ryan Succop
  • Waived/injured: OT Chidi Okeke

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Bills Release WR John Brown, DL Quinton Jefferson

The Bills have released wide receiver John Brown and defensive lineman Quinton Jefferson, per a club announcement. The release of Brown will save $7.9MM against the cap with $1.6MM left in dead money. Meanwhile, Jefferson’s release will save $6.5MM with no dead money left over.

Brown started his Bills tenure with a bang, compiling 72 receptions for 1,060 receiving yards, both career highs. Last year, knee injuries, ankle issues, and a stint on the COVID-19 list limited him to just nine games. The 30-year-old (31 in April) finished 2020 with just 33 grabs for 458 yards and three touchdowns, so his release doesn’t come as a huge surprise. All in all, Brown totaled 105 catches, 1,518 receiving yards and nine TDs for Buffalo across two seasons.

Jefferson, meanwhile, was set to enter his second year with the Bills. Last year, he scored a two-year, $13.5MM deal — higher than most expected after serving as a part-time starter in Seattle. His final two years with the Seahawks saw a total of 51 tackles and 6.5 sacks. In Buffalo, he notched 23 stops, three sacks, and one forced fumble.

In a related move, defensive lineman Vernon Butler has agreed to a pay cut in order to keep his spot on the roster (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). Originally, Butler was set to count for $7.8MM against the cap with $5.5MM in base pay. Terms of the new deal have not been disclosed.

Bills Sign DT Vernon Butler

Buffalo’s been busy, and they’ve just added another defensive lineman. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the Bills have signed defensive tackle Vernon Butler.

It’s a two-year deal worth around $16MM, including $9.3MM guaranteed. The deal can be worth up to $18MM via incentives.

The 2016 first-round pick spent his first four years in the NFL with the Panthers, although the organization declined his fifth-year option for 2020. Butler served as mostly a rotational defensive lineman during the first three seasons of his career. In 2019, he started a career-high nine games, finishing with 32 tackles, six sacks, and three forced fumbles.

The Bills have seemingly focused on revamping their defensive line this offseason. The team has already signed both defensive end Quinton Jefferson and defensive end Mario Addison.