Shaquem Griffin

South Notes: Godwin, Titans, Texans, Jaguars

With the Titans dominating NFL newscycles this week, here is the latest from their division and an update on one of the NFC South’s best players.

  • Chris Godwin‘s latest injury-induced absence may well extend beyond Sunday. The Buccaneers wide receiver will miss Week 4 with a mild hamstring pull, per NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). Because the Bucs face the Bears on Thursday to kick off Week 5, the team may be hard-pressed to have Godwin avoid missing two games. Godwin missed Tampa Bay’s Week 2 game because of a concussion. Coming into his contract year, Godwin had only missed two career games.
  • The shoulder injury Taylor Lewan suffered against the Vikings last week is not considered serious, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. He was iffy to face the Steelers, prior to the game’s postponement, so odds are certainly better the longtime Titans left tackle would be ready to play against the Bills next weekend.
  • Should the Titans be cleared to resume their season against the Bills in Week 5, they will need to bring in another long snapper. The team will not use starting center Ben Jones as its specialty snapper, Paul Kuharsky of PaulKuharsky.com tweets. Beau Brinkley, Tennessee’s long snapper in every game since his 2012 rookie season, is currently on the Titans’ reserve/COVID-19 list.
  • The Seahawks will have Shaquem Griffin in uniform for the second straight week, despite not carrying the linebacker over to its Week 1 roster out of training camp. A Seahawks regular in 2018-19, Griffin began the season on the team’s practice squad. But at least three other teams, including the Texans, expressed interest in the inspirational defender. Griffin, however, did not believe a move elsewhere would have presented a better situation, per Brady Henderson of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Shaquem Griffin’s twin brother, Shaquill, being a longtime Seahawk factored into this decision, Shaquem said (Twitter link).
  • The Jaguars did some reshuffling in their scouting department recently. They promoted DeJuan Polk to director of pro personnel and named Chris Driggers as their pro scouting director, Adam Caplan of Sirius XM Radio tweets. Driggers has been with the Jags since the franchise’s inception, actually joining in 1994 — a year before the team began playing games — and has worked in a scouting capacity for the past 23 years. Polk was hired as the Jags’ assistant pro personnel director in 2016.

Seahawks Promote S Damarious Randall

As could be expected given the circumstances, the Seahawks are promoting Damarious Randall from their practice squad.

The Seahawks signed the former first-round pick earlier this week. Randall will likely play a key role Sunday against the Dolphins. Neither Jamal Adams nor Quinton Dunbar practiced this week. Both are out for Seattle’s Week 4 contest.

Randall could not make the Raiders’ 53-man roster this year, after signing a one-year deal, but brings 65 games’ and 56 starts’ worth of experience to the Seahawks’ depleted secondary. After being used at cornerback for three season in Green Bay, Randall started 26 games at safety with Cleveland over the past two seasons.

Seattle will also elevate linebacker Shaquem Griffin and cornerback Gavin Heslop from its practice squad. Beginning his season on the Seahawks’ practice squad, Griffin played in Seattle’s shootout win over Dallas last weekend. The third-year linebacker was active for each of the Seahawks’ 32 regular-season games from 2018-19.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/28/20

Today’s practice squad moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Chicago Bears

  • Signed: DT Terry Beckner

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks To Promote LB Shaquem Griffin

Shaquem Griffin will have a chance to resume his career Sunday. The Seahawks are bringing the young linebacker back up to their active roster, per Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter).

Seattle used Griffin in each of its 32 regular-season games from 2018-19 but waived him on cutdown day this year. The Seahawks kept the inspirational defender around on its practice squad, however, and will call him back up for Sunday’s game against the Cowboys.

Twin brother of starting Seahawks cornerback Shaquill Griffin, Shaquem operated in a mostly special teams capacity during his first two seasons as a pro. Despite playing with one hand, Shaquem Griffin has 16 career tackles. The Central Florida alum recorded three QB hits last season, playing 9% of the Seahawks’ defensive snaps and 47% of their special teams snaps.

Seahawks Cut OLB Shaquem Griffin

Shaquem Griffin‘s time in Seattle has come to an end, for now. The outside linebacker was cut by the Seahawks Saturday, Michael-Shawn Dugar of The Athletic reports (Twitter link).

Since he was still on his rookie contract Griffin will now go on waivers and have a chance to be claimed by the other 31 teams. The UCF product was a fifth-round pick back in 2018. A true inspiration, Griffin had his left hand amputated when he was four and defied all odds to make it to the NFL.

He’s also the twin brother of Seahawks starting cornerback Shaquill Griffin. He played around nine percent of the defensive snaps last season while also playing a big role on special teams. It’s quite possible that the Seahawks will look to bring Griffin back on the practice squad if he clears waivers. This surely isn’t the last we’ve heard of him.

West Rumors: Raiders, Bosa, Chiefs, Griffin

With Jon Gruden and Mark Davis leading the charge to trade Khalil MackReggie McKenzie‘s premier draft choice — it could signal a separation of the Raiders‘ power structure soon. Davis gave Gruden power via the 10-year, $100MM contract, but McKenzie’s remained in his GM role. That could change soon, with Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports expecting the Raiders to part ways with McKenzie and bring in one or two younger evaluators to work under Gruden as the franchise transitions to Las Vegas. Some around the league didn’t expect Gruden and McKenzie to coexist for long, and the Raiders making one of modern NFL history’s biggest trades could further drive the decision-makers apart. Gruden has also expressed doubt about McKenzie’s recent draft classes, and the transactions involving those players signal the new coach’s dissatisfaction with the classes.

Here’s the latest from the West divisions:

  • Mack’s contract sets up Joey Bosa as the player best-positioned to eclipse it, Joel Corry of CBS Sports said (via Tom Krasovic of the San Diego Union-Tribune). Bosa’s floor will be Mack’s $23.5MM-AAV Bears deal, per Corry, who adds he wouldn’t be surprised to see the Chargers‘ young pass rusher sign for $25MM per year and shoot for $100MM guaranteed. The Chargers have Bosa under team control through 2020 via the fifth-year option, and as teams showed with the 2014 first-round crop, procuring an extension with two years left on a rookie contract is difficult. Todd Gurley provided a recent exception, however. Bosa, 23, becomes extension-eligible after this season and will be much younger than Mack or Donald was when they became eligible. The Bolts also have Philip Rivers signed through 2019, and the veteran quarterback has not indicated he’s considering near-future retirement. So, the Chargers might have to build for the prospect of having two $20MM-per-year players on a payroll. No team’s cap sheet currently features that.
  • Shaquem Griffin will make a Week 1 start. The inspirational Seahawks fifth-round rookie will start in place of K.J. Wright against the Broncos this week, Pete Carroll said. Wright underwent recent knee surgery and has a best-case scenario of being ready by Week 2.
  • Despite being away from the Chiefs all offseason, Ron Parker has multiple avenues back into the starting lineup in time for Week 1. Eric Berry is questionable to face the Bolts with a heel injury, and Andy Reid said Berry’s longtime wingman could start regardless of the All-Pro’s status (Twitter link via the Kansas City Star’s Brooke Pryor). Parker’s started all but one Chiefs game for the past four seasons but was released in March for cap concerns. He’s now back for the league minimum, per OverTheCap. The Chiefs lost projected starter Daniel Sorensen to an August injury; he’s currently on IR.

NFC West Rumors: Donald, Wright, Cards

The Rams seem to be preparing their fans for a contract coronation soon, continuing to declare they’re near the goal line of the Aaron Donald negotiations. After Sean McVay made comments about the Donald deal being close to completed, Rams GM Les Snead confirmed this two-offseason saga is nearing completion. He added, via Pro Football Talk, nothing’s been agreed to just yet. After Donald reported into the regular season and won defensive player of the year acclaim despite being in a new defense, the fifth-year player’s late arrival probably won’t mean much to the Rams. But the results of this process will be plenty important for Khalil Mack and others seeking to raise a defensive salary ceiling that’s remained stagnant for two years as quarterbacks’ wages have skyrocketed.

Over the past year alone, the top of the QB market has climbed by 24 percent, with Joel Corry of CBS Sports tweeting Donald or Mack will have to sign for a $23.66MM deal to match that kind of increase. Von Miller‘s $19MM-AAV agreement — signed in July 2016, when the highest-paid quarterback wasn’t yet making $25MM per year — remains the top defender contract.

More from the NFC West, moving to another longtime defensive starter, here:

  • A Seahawks defense that already jettisoned four Super Bowl-era starters this offseason may be without another in Week 1. K.J. Wright underwent surgery on Monday and probably won’t be ready when the Seahawks face the Broncos next Sunday, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times notes. Pete Carroll categorized this procedure as a “cleanup” but said a couple of weeks would be the most optimistic timeline. Shaquem Griffin‘s first start, then, figures to occur sooner than expected. Condotta confirms the fifth-round rookie will start if Wright can’t go.
  • Jonathan Cooper went from signing a near-$5MM contract with the 49ers this spring to possibly being a post-preseason casualty. A slow recovery from knee surgery has Cooper on the 49ers’ bubble, Corry notes. Cutting Cooper, who is behind Mike Person and Joshua Garnett at right guard, would cost the team $4.48MM in dead money.
  • Two notable names appear to be competing for the final Cardinals receiver spot. Former Cowboys rotational cog Brice Butler signed a two-year Cardinals deal but is not a lock to make the team. He and one-time Browns second-round pick Greg Little, who hasn’t played since 2014, may be vying for one job, with Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com writing he wouldn’t be surprised if Little beats out Butler. He has Butler making the team ahead of Little, however. A Butler cut would cost the Cards $500K in dead money.

Seahawks Sign LB Shaquem Griffin

The Seahawks have officially signed fifth-round linebacker Shaquem Griffin and fifth-round defensive back Tre Flowers. With those moves, only defensive end Rasheem Green remains unsigned, as shown on PFR’s tracker

Griffin was one of the most inspirational stories to come out of this year’s draft. The UCF product lost his left hand due to a rare condition but never gave up on his football dream. Last year, he was first-team all-American Athletic Conference as he notched 74 tackles (13.5 for loss), a team-high seven sacks, one interception, three pass breakups, and two forced fumbles. The Seahawks, who believe that he’ll make a fine weakside linebacker at the pro level, have paired him with his twin brother Shaquill Griffin, who plays cornerback for Seattle.

As shown on Roster Resource, the rookie linebacker projects to serve as the first outside linebacker off of the bench in support of starters Barkevious Mingo and K.J. Wright. Flowers, meanwhile, will move from safety to cornerback where he’ll fight for time in reserve alongside Dontae Johnson, Byron Maxwell, and others. Justin Coleman and Shaquill Griffin will be the team’s first-string corners.

To make room for the new additions, the Seahawks have waived defensive ends Marcell Frazier and Noble Nwachukwu. Seattle also confirmed the signings of wide receiver Keenan Reynolds and linebacker Dadi Nicolas, which were reported on Wednesday.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Bulaga, Foles, Cowboys

Given that the Packers could save nearly $5MM by releasing RT Bryan Bulaga, and given Bulaga’s recent injury history, there was some chatter that Green Bay could part ways with the ninth-year pro (especially since Bulaga is not even guaranteed to be ready for the start of the 2018 season after tearing his ACL on November 6). But we recently heard that Bulaga remains in the team’s 2018 plans, and head coach Mike McCarthy said Bulaga’s rehab is ahead of schedule (per Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com). Therefore, it certainly sounds as if Bulaga will be back for the fourth year of the five-year pact he signed prior to the 2015 season.

  • In a series of tweets, Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com passes along more details on Nick Foles‘ reworked deal. Foles’ cap number is now $9.6MM, fourth-highest on the Eagles, but if the team were to trade him after June 1, it would save $7MM in cap space, more than it would have saved prior to the restructure. As such, the restructure looks like a win-win in that Foles gets more money and incentives and it’s easier for the Eagles to deal him if someone comes along with a great offer. Shorr-Parks, though, still does not expect Foles to be traded.
  • The Cowboys selected Western Kentucky quarterback Mike White in the fifth round of this year’s draft, which marked just the sixth time Dallas has drafted a QB since Jerry Jones purchased the franchise in 1989. White is expected to compete with Cooper Rush for the backup job, though Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News writes that executive vice president Stephen Jones is open to carrying three signal-callers in 2018.
  • Per Mike Triplett of ESPN.com (via Twitter), Saints head coach Sean Payton does not know if the team will bring in a fourth QB to compete with Tom Savage and Taysom Hill. Payton said the Saints considered drafting a signal-caller this weekend, but they are anxious to see what Savage and Hill can do.
  • Brady Henderson of ESPN.com says the Seahawks see Shaquem Griffin, whom they selected in the fifth round of this weekend’s draft, as a weak-side LB at the next level, and he also reports that Seattle viewed fourth-round pick Will Dissly as the best blocking tight end in the class (Twitter links).
  • The Lions apparently disappointed at least a couple of teams in this weekend’s draft. Per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (via Twitter), Detroit selected Auburn RB Kerryon Johnson one pick before the Redskins were prepared to take him, and the Panthers were going to take UL-Lafayette CB Tracy Walker with the No. 85 overall pick, but the Lions nabbed him with their No. 82 pick.

Extra Points: Griffin, Falcons, Wallace, Fitzpatrick, Patriots

UCF held its pro day Thursday and 31 teams from around the NFL came out in part to watch linebacker Shaquem Griffin work out, per ESPN’s Josina Anderson. The Titans and Saints have already visited with the linebacker who captivated many at the Scouting Combine by running the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds and putting up 20 reps on the bench press with a prosthetic hand.

ESPN’s Jenna Laine reported that Griffin has been invited to the upcoming NFL Draft after a struggle to just get invited to the Scouting Combine. The 49ers were the only team not in attendance Thursday. Laine noted that most teams see Griffin as a weakside inside linebacker at the next level. His brother, Shaquill Griffin, is a cornerback for the Seahawks.

“I was a guy who was under the radar who they didn’t believe in at first but I feel like they’re starting to believe now,” Griffin said Thursday, via Laine. “I have the entire nation behind me now.”

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • While speaking with ESPN’s Vaughn McLure, former NFL agent Joel Corry opined that Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is likely to get $100MM in total guarantees, including $85MM guaranteed at signing, whenever he signs his new deal — based off previous quarterback deals. Both the Falcons and Ryan’s agent, Tom Condon, who also represents Drew Brees and Matthew Stafford, haven’t set a timetable on a possible deal. Curry believes that means that Ryan’s asking price is too high for the Falcons. Curry also doesn’t expect Ryan to take a hometown discount.
  • Mike Wallace‘s one-year deal with the Eagles is worth $1.92MM in guaranteed money and he can make up to $2.09MM with incentives, per Sheil Kapadia of The Athletic (on Twitter). Wallace got a signing bonus of $1MM and will make $915K in base salary.
  • NFL Draft analyst Benjamin Albright suggested (on Twitter) that mock drafts have Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick going too high and Boston College pass-rusher Harold Landry going too low, based off sources he’s spoken to.
  • Doug Kyed of NESN opines that people shouldn’t be surprised if former undrafted rookie Cole Croston competes for the Patriots‘ starting left tackle spot if they’re unable to address the position properly with the No. 31 overall pick in the draft. Croston, an Iowa alum, appeared in three games last season as a rookie. Both of the Patriots’ tackles from last season — Nate Solder and Cameron Fleming — have departed in free agency this offseason.