Robert Nkemdiche

Seahawks Elevate DT Robert Nkemdiche

Robert Nkemdiche is on track to play in a regular-season game for the first time since November 2019. The Seahawks elevated the veteran defensive lineman from their practice squad Saturday.

The former first-round pick ended up with the Seahawks in April, ending a lengthy stay out of football. Nkemdiche was not with a team in 2020, with the Dolphins having released him in November 2019 after just two games.

A groin injury halted Nkemdiche’s progress in training camp and forced him to miss the Seahawks’ preseason slate. The Seahawks released the Ole Miss alum on cutdown day but re-signed him on a practice squad deal soon after. Evidently, the former Cardinals interior D-lineman has recovered from the groin issue. Nkemdiche will join a Seahawks D-line that fared well in Week 1, a 28-16 road win in which the reassembled front put frequent pressure on Carson Wentz.

The Cardinals cut bait on Nkemdiche in 2019, weeks after he showed up to training camp out of shape. Nkemdiche suffered a torn ACL in 2018 but had not stood out prior to the injury. The former No. 1 recruit in college football has just six career starts and 4.5 sacks — all coming in 2018 — but may well have the opportunity to see game action again and do so on his 27th birthday.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Wednesday NFL Transactions: AFC West

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 BroncosChargersChiefs and Raiders moves will be noted below.

Here are Wednesday’s AFC West transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.

Denver Broncos

Signed: 

Waived:

Placed on IR:

Signed to practice squad: 

Kansas City Chiefs

Signed:

Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list:

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Wednesday NFL Transactions: NFC West

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 CardinalsRamsSeahawks and 49ers moves are noted below.

Here are Wednesday’s NFC West transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.

Arizona Cardinals

Signed to practice squad:

Los Angeles Rams

Signed to practice squad:

San Francisco 49ers

Signed:

Placed on IR: 

Signed to practice squad:

Seattle Seahawks

Claimed:

Signed:

Released/Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Seahawks Get Below Roster Limit

The Seahawks got their roster down to 52 players today. The organization made the following moves:

Released

Waived

The extra roster spot is reserved for cornerback Sidney Jones once the team completes their trade with the Jaguars.

Simmons emerged as a potential piece for the Seahawks in 2020. After seeing time in only six games through his first two professional seasons, the offensive lineman started six of his 14 games for Seattle last season while appearing on 56-percent of the team’s offensive snaps.

Seahawks Sign DT Robert Nkemdiche

The Seahawks added some defensive tackle depth in advance of tonight’s draft. Robert Nkemdiche, a first-rounder five years ago, has agreed to join Seattle, per a club announcement. Exact terms of the deal are not yet known.

Nkemdiche, 26, had lots of hype coming out of Mississippi in 2016. The Cardinals snagged him with the No. 29 overall pick, but he was hardly seen in his first two pro seasons. Then, in 2018, things started to look up for the imposing lineman as he registered 4.5 sacks, 36 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, and eight quarterback hits in ten games (six starts). Unfortunately, that progress was halted by a knee injury, which led to his release in 2019.

The Dolphins picked Nkemdiche up and deployed him twice in ’19 before putting him back on the curb. After sitting out for the 2020 season, Nkemdiche will now look to revitalize his career with Pete Carroll & Co.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Free Agency Notes: Ansah, Nkemdiche, Webb

While the 49ers opted to sign Dion Jordan, the other top-five 2013 draft pick they hosted on a recent visit received good news. Ziggy Ansah passed his 49ers physical, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The former Lions and Seahawks defensive end has battled injuries in recent years, including a shoulder malady during his 2019 season in Seattle. However, Ansah is currently at 280 pounds and healthy. Although the former Pro Bowler is entering his age-31 season and has not contributed much statistically since his 12-sack 2017, his improved health should generate interest from other teams in the near future.

Here is the latest from the free agent market:

  • Former Cardinals first-round pick Robert Nkemdiche is aiming to return to the league. He has spoken with multiple teams, NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo tweets. The one-time No. 1 recruit in the country did not pan out in Arizona or Miami, ballooning to 345 pounds during a thus-far unproductive career. But Garafolo adds Nkemdiche is back down to 315 and has told teams he is healthy. The Dolphins waived Nkemdiche in November.
  • Prior to the Falconsagreement with ex-Bengals cornerback Darqueze Dennard, they were interested in one of his former Cincinnati teammates. Atlanta was monitoring B.W. Webb, per ESPN.com’s Vaughn McClure (on Twitter). Webb started 12 Bengals games last season and was productive as a Giants slot cornerback in 2018. Now 30, Webb has the historically unusual distinction of playing for a different team in each of his six NFL seasons. The former Cowboys fourth-round pick has played with Dallas, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, New Orleans, the Giants and Cincinnati.
  • Free agent tight end Geoff Swaim took a physical for the Texans recently, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com notes (on Twitter). Teams are permitted to give physicals to free agents if they are serious about signing them. Swaim, however, remains unsigned days after this physical occurred. Swaim spent the first five seasons of his career with the Cowboys and Jaguars. He ended the past two seasons on IR.
  • Defensive tackle Darius Kilgo has been fully cleared from the quadriceps injury he suffered last season, Rapoport tweets. A 2015 Broncos draft choice, Kilgo suffered the injury while with the Lions last year. He has not played in a regular-season game since suiting up for the 2018 Titans.

Dolphins Waive Robert Nkemdiche

The Robert Nkemdiche experiment in Miami is done. The Dolphins are waiving the young defensive tackle, sources told Mike Garafolo of NFL Network (Twitter link).

Nkemdiche is hitting the waiver wire after appearing in just two games with Miami, in which he played very limited snaps. When he originally signed with the team back in August there was a lot of talk about the former first-rounder jumpstarting his career, but that clearly never materialized. He started the season on the PUP list as he recovered from an ACL tear, and was activated less than two weeks ago. “Tardiness was a bit of an issue” for him in Miami, sources told Garafolo (Twitter link).

That’s certainly not a good sign for Nkemdiche’s future employment prospects, as he has faced questions about his conditioning and motivation in the past. The Cardinals drafted the Ole Miss product 29th overall back in 2016, and it didn’t take him too long to flame out in the desert.

The consensus top overall recruit coming out of high school in 2013, Nkemdiche has never lived up to his potential. Due to his youth and pedigree he’ll likely get scooped up by somebody, but he’s running out of chances. He was also arrested back in June. Through three seasons in Arizona, he only started six games.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins Activate DE Robert Nkemdiche

Robert Nkemdiche‘s second chance could begin Monday night. The Dolphins activated the former first-round pick from their PUP list.

Nkemdiche suffered an ACL last season and reported to Cardinals camp in less-than-ideal shape. The Cardinals cut him, and the Dolphins took a flier. The interior defender returned to practice earlier this month.

The former No. 1 overall high school recruit will join a Dolphins front that has just seven sacks this season. Nkemdiche recorded 4.5 sacks last season, though it should be noted he did not register any between the 2016-17 slates. The Ole Miss product profiles as a defensive tackle in the Dolphins’ 4-3 scheme.

The Dolphins will now have four first-round picks on their defensive front, with Nkemdiche joining Christian Wilkins and 2017 Round 1 selections Charles Harris and Taco Charlton.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Players Returning From IR/PUP

Now that we’re approaching the midway point of the regular season, players on various injury lists are now able to begin to return to practice and, eventually, return to game action. Here’s the list of players coming back to practice this week while on injured reserve or physically unable to perform list, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets:

Players on the PUP list are only required to miss six weeks of the regular season, so every player listed above with the exception of Sternberger could technically be activated this weekend. Sternberger has officially been designated as one of Green Bay’s IR/return players, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Because he was originally placed on IR, Sternberger — a third-round rookie — will be absent for at least two more weeks.

AFC East Notes: Patriots, Bell, Dolphins

Add the Patriots to the list of teams who were high on promising Redskins wideout Terry McLaurin. In addition to the Raiders, the Patriots were intrigued by the Ohio State alum, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com notes. The Pats considered McLaurin with the No. 73 pick but instead dealt the selection to the Bears in exchange for a 2020 fourth-round choice and drafted Damien Harris at No. 87. Washington nabbed McLaurin at No. 76, and he’s become the team’s top wideout. Part of the reason the Patriots sought the ex-Buckeye was his potential for special teams work, responsibilities he might not become too familiar with due to his high-value role in Washington.

Here’s the Week 6 latest out of the AFC East, moving from one might-have-been Patriot to one of the longest-tenured players in franchise history:

  • Stephen Gostkowski is under contract through the 2020 season, but with his salary rising from $1.1MM to $3.5MM, Reiss adds that the Patriots will examine that figure and determine if it’s worth it to bring the veteran back. The team also stands to look at other options in the draft. The Pats have not drafted a kicker since taking Gostkowski in the 2006 fourth round. New England made a change at punter this year, moving from longtime incumbent Ryan Allen to fifth-round rookie Jake Bailey. Gostkowski will be recovering from hip surgery but would surely generate interest elsewhere if the Patriots jettison him.
  • Le’Veon Bell‘s 2018 absence stemmed largely from fear the Steelers would continue to overwork him and thus diminish his value on the 2019 market. Bell is on pace for 299 carries, which would be his second-highest single-season total. However, now that he’s secured $28MM in guarantees, the Jets starter is not worried about workload issues, per Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. Bell is averaging just 2.9 yards per carry on a shaky Jets offense.
  • Do not look for the 0-4 Dolphins to cut Josh Rosen‘s audition short. Brian Flores said (via the Miami Herald’s Armando Salguero, on Twitter) his quarterback situation is “settled” for the rest of 2019, with Rosen set to keep the job that once belonged to Ryan Fitzpatrick. Rosen played well in the first half against the Chargers, and even though the Dolphins have been outscored 81-0 in four second halves this season, the 2018 No. 10 overall pick does not have to worry about looking over his shoulder.
  • It does not sound like one of Rosen’s former Cardinals teammates, Robert Nkemdiche, is ready to return from the Dolphins’ PUP list. But Miami DC Patrick Graham expects the defensive tackle to be back on the field by early November, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Nkemdiche’s 2018 season ended because of an ACL tear.
  • Look for running back Mark Walton and tackle Isaiah Prince to see more time for the rebuilding Dolphins soon, with Jackson noting Miami’s staff wants to integrate Walton into its Kenyan DrakeKalen Ballage rotation and was impressed by some of Prince’s Week 4 start against the Chargers. While Jesse Davis is back at practice this week after missing the Bolts game, pointing to his return at left tackle, the Dolphins figure to get Prince — a sixth-round rookie — plenty of reps this season on the right side as they continue in evaluation mode.