Steve Williams

Khalif Barnes, Steve Williams Earn Tryouts

Offensive lineman Khalif Barnes and cornerback Steve Williams have landed tryouts with the Saints and Cardinals, respectively, according to Nick Underhill of the Advocate and Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com (Twitter links).
Khalif Barnes (vertical)

Barnes, notably, was signed four separate times by the Saints in 2016, but never actually appeared in a game for the club. The 35-year-old Barnes offers two attributes in spades — experience and versatility. In 11 seasons, Barnes has appeared in more than 150 games (117 starts) with the Jaguars and Raiders. Moreover, Barnes is able to play both inside and out, so he could act as a backup at up to four offensive line spots.

Williams, 26, spent time with both the Chargers and Rams in 2016, appearing in six games (two starts) between the two clubs. Waived by the Rams in December, Williams worked out for the Ravens and 49ers but had yet to land a contract. While the Cardinals are still searching for a cornerback to play opposite Patrick Peterson, Williams would be relegated to special teams duty if signed.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Eagles, Vikes, Cards, Falcons

Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater‘s catastrophic knee injury last summer continues to have a sizable effect on the Eagles, observes Paul Domowitch of Philly.com. In response to Bridgewater’s injury, the Vikings sent a first-rounder (which turned into the 14th pick) to the Eagles, who otherwise wouldn’t have selected until the second this year after they traded up for Carson Wentz last spring. And with Bradford off the roster, Wentz was able to start all 16 games as a rookie. Further, had Bridgewater not gotten hurt and Bradford stayed put, the Eagles might not have had the cap space this offseason to sign wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, writes Domowitch. With an $18MM cap hit, Bradford wouldn’t have had as much much trade value this offseason, and releasing him would have cost Philadelphia $4MM in dead money. “I think it’s safe to say that the Bridgewater injury, while a horrible thing for Teddy, couldn’t have worked out any better for the Eagles,” one general manager told Domowitch.

As for the Vikings, even though they’re not going to pick up Bridgewater’s fifth-year option for 2018, it’s possible he’ll remain under their control that season. If he starts 2017 on the physically unable to perform list and doesn’t come off, his contract will toll for 2018, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).

More from the NFC:

  • The 2017 quarterback class is “probably the best group of arms in the last four or five years,” Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians told the Associated Press, adding that “maybe five or six” are capable of starting in the NFL. The Cardinals, whose own starter, Carson Palmer, is entering his age-37 season, are reportedly targeting a signal-caller with the 13th overall pick. But general manager Steve Keim insists they’re “not going to force it” and will opt for a best-player-available approach. On the other hand, it doesn’t seem as if Keim will put off drafting a potential successor to Palmer until 2018. “You can look ahead and say there are two or three that we have watched on tape that are fantastic,” he said. “But if they are picking one, two or three in the draft, and I hope we are not picking anywhere but 32, how are we going to get up there and get them? Even if we had 11 comp picks, that is not going to get it done. I just don’t think you can rely on that. If you have a player you fell in love with (this year), you take them.”
  • Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com reported Tuesday that the Falcons and Seahawks are discussing a trade that would see Atlanta send the 31st pick and a fourth-round choice to Seattle for No. 26. Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff implied Tuesday that he’d be open to such a move (though he wasn’t specifically addressing that rumor), telling the AP: “I think the reality is again the opportunity to potentially move up into the 20s potentially is there. There will be some interesting opportunities, I believe.”
  • Along with the previously reported Tim Barnes, the 49ers tried out cornerback Steve Williams and offensive lineman Kitt O’Brien on Wednesday, tweets Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. A three-year veteran who has appeared in 33 games, Williams spent time with the Chargers and Rams last season. In six games (two starts), he totaled 18 tackles. O’Brien, undrafted in 2013, hasn’t seen any regular-season action. He was on and off the Colts’ practice squad in each of the two previous seasons.

Workout Updates: Seahawks, Patriots, Ravens

The Seahawks, with a below-average rushing attack and Thomas Rawls nursing a shoulder injury, worked out five free agent running backs Tuesday, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link). Stevan Ridley, Jonas Gray, Dan Herron, LaMichael James and Dominique Williams all auditioned for the club. The most established member of the group is Ridley, who has been available since Atlanta released him Nov. 23. The 27-year-old has just one appearance and three carries to his name this season and has seen his playing time sharply decline since a 1,263-yard campaign with New England in 2012. Gray, also an ex-Pat, has made little impact since averaging 4.6 yards per attempt on 89 carries in 2014, his rookie year. He hasn’t found an employer since the Jaguars waived him Aug. 17.

Along with those rushers, defensive back L.J. McCray visited the Seahawks, tweets Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. The Seahawks agreed to acquire McCray from the 49ers back in early September, but the deal fell through after he failed his physical. San Francisco then cut McCray, who hasn’t landed anywhere since.

More workouts from Tuesday:

  • The Patriots auditioned linebacker Arthur Brown, according to Doug Kyed of NESN (Twitter link). Both the Jaguars and Jets have cut Brown this month. He entered the league in 2013 as Baltimore’s second-round pick.
  • Cornerbacks Tharold Simon and Steve Williams tried out for the Ravens, per ESPN’s Adam Caplan (via Twitter). Simon made nine appearances earlier this season with the Cardinals, who cut him last week. He’s better known for his 11-appearance, five-start tenure with Seattle from 2014-15. Williams, meanwhile, moved on and off the Rams’ roster multiple times this year. He has totaled six appearances this season (five with San Diego) after playing in 14 games with the Chargers and intercepting two passes last year.
  • The Falcons worked out three tight ends – Orson Charles, Darion Griswold and Joel Ruiz – and defensive end Martin Ifedi, reports Howard Balzer of BalzerFootball.com (Twitter link). Griswold and Ifedi ended up signing with their practice squad.
  • The Dolphins also took a look at the aforementioned Tharold Simon, who joined fellow corner Demetrius McCray and two tight ends – Gabe Hughes and Chris Pantaletweets Caplan.
  • Tight end Rob Housler showcased himself to the Colts, relays Caplan (Twitter link). The five-year veteran has 109 catches, nearly all of which (105) came with Arizona from 2011-14.
  • The Eagles auditioned wide receiver Greg Ellingson, cornerback Tay Glover-Wright and Canadian Football League punter Richie Leone, according to Caplan (Twitter links).
  • Defensive ends Rufus Johnson and Rakim Cox worked out for the Lions (Twitter links via Caplan and Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle).
  • Linebackers Deon Lacey and Glenn Love tried out for the Cardinals, per Balzer (Twitter link).

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/22/16

The latest minor moves from around the NFL:

  • The Falcons waived two defenders – lineman Malliciah Goodman and safety Robenson Therezie – and promoted linebacker Josh Keyes and tight end D.J. Tialavea to the active roster. With the exception of the 2014 season, in which he appeared in all 16 of the Falcons’ games and started 10, Goodman hasn’t seen much action during his four-year career. Therezie, a second-year man, has 25 appearances with the Falcons to his name, though he didn’t make much of an impact with the team before it cut him.
  • The Redskins waived wide receiver Rashad Ross, a source tells Master Tesfatsion of The Washington Post (on Twitter). To take his place, the team promoted cornerback Dashaun Phillips from the practice squad. Ross has just nine receptions in three seasons (one this year), but he did catch a touchdown and score on a kick return in 2015.
  • The Titans promoted cornerback D’Joun Smith to their active roster Tuesday. Smith played in four games as a rookie last year for the Colts, who chose him in the third round (65th overall) of the draft.
  • The Rams waived cornerback Steve Williams and placed defensive back Marqui Christian on reserve/injured Tuesday. The club also signed safety Isaiah Johnson from the practice squad. Williams, the most notable member of the trio, has moved on and off the Rams’ roster multiple times this year. He has racked up six appearances this season (five with San Diego) after playing in 14 games with the Chargers and intercepting two passes last year.
  • The 49ers signed offensive lineman Andrew Gardner and waived center Josh Allen. Gardner, whom the Dolphins selected in the sixth round of the 2009 draft, most recently took the field with the Eagles from 2014-15. During that two-year span, he started in 11 of 19 appearances.
  • The Buccaneers promoted wide receiver Bernard Reedy from the practice squad to the active roster and placed fellow wideout Donteea Dye on IR.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/23/16

Wednesday’s minor moves from around the NFL:

  • The Colts re-signed cornerback Darryl Morris and placed fellow corner Frankie Williams on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury list.
  • The Bears announced that they have promoted linebacker Jonathan Anderson to the active roster. Chicago also signed Lawrence Okoye and listed him as an offensive lineman. Okoye has tried his hand as a defensive lineman in the past.
  • The Lions have signed quarterback Jake Rudock to the active roster from the practice squad.
  • The Seahawks have moved running back George Farmer from their practice squad to their active roster. A receiver at USC, Farmer shifted to cornerback after signing with the Seahawks as an undrafted free agent in 2015. He then became a rusher entering this year, and racked up 36 yards on nine carries during the preseason.
  • The Rams have signed cornerback Steve Williams, according to Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com. This will be Williams’ second stint of 2016 with the Rams, who waived him after he was inactive for their first two games. He then joined the Chargers and started in two of five appearances, but they cut him Nov. 8.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/8/16

The Redskins have signed defensive lineman Jordan Hill, who was one of several players to audition for the Jets on Monday. The ex-Seahawk is going to the NFC East instead, though, and will reunite with former Seattle executive/current Redskins general manager Scot McCoughlan. The Seahawks selected Hill in the third round of the 2013 draft, and he went on to appear in 27 of their regular-season games and record seven sacks (5.5 in 2014) before they released him from injured reserve last month.

More minor moves from Tuesday:

  • The Texans have promoted offensive lineman Josh Walker to their active roster, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. Walker went undrafted out of Middle Tennessee State in 2014 and spent the first two years of his career with the Colts and Packers. He suited up for 13 of Green Bay’s games last year, though the team cut him in September. Walker then signed with Houston’s practice squad last month.
  • The Colts waived rookie wide receiver Tevaun Smith, an undrafted free agent from Iowa. Smith was on the Colts’ active roster for two games.
  • The Chargers have waived cornerback Steve Williams, thus ending his second stint with the team. Williams, a 2013 fifth-round pick from Cal, appeared in 27 games with the Bolts over his first two seasons. He spent the early portion of this year with the Rams, who waived him Sept. 23, and then rejoined the Chargers last month. To take Williams’ roster spot, the Bolts will sign wideout Geremy Davis of the Giants’ practice squad, reports Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune (Twitter link).
  • The Bears have cut offensive lineman Cornelius Edison, tweets Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. Edison, who had been with Chicago since last year, could end up re-signing with its practice squad, according to Biggs.
  • The Packers have waived defensive end Tyler Kuder from injured reserve, per Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The undrafted rookie from Idaho State went on IR on Sept. 3.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/5/16

Here are today’s minor moves.

  • The Chargers signed cornerback Steve Williams and released nose tackle Ryan Carrethers, as Eric Williams of ESPN.com tweets.
  • The Bears promoted fullback Paul Lasike from the practice squad to the 53-man roster, as Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune tweets.
  • Ravens tight end Daniel Brown has been promoted from the taxi squad to the active roster, as Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun tweets.
  • The Browns signed offensive lineman Anthony Fabiano off of their practice squad and waived defensive lineman Gabe Wright, as Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com tweets.

Rams Waive S. Williams, Promote I. Johnson

The Rams have made a couple of changes to their defensive backfield, waiving Steve Williams and promoting Isaiah Johnson from their practice squad to their 53-man roster, according to Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com.

After the Chargers waived Williams on Sept. 4, he joined the Rams on Sept. 8, but he was inactive for their first two games of 2016. Williams, a 2013 fifth-round pick from Cal, previously appeared in 27 games with the Bolts over his first two seasons. The 25-year-old picked up the first two starts of his career in 2015, when he amassed 19 tackles, two interceptions and two forced fumbles.

Johnson, 24, signed with the Lions last year as an undrafted free agent. The former Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket suited up for six of Detroit’s games as a rookie, but he didn’t record any statistics. The Lions waived Johnson on Sept. 3, and he signed with the Rams’ practice squad Sept. 6.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/8/16

Thursday’s minor moves from around the NFL:

  • The Saints have added quarterback Garrett Grayson and defensive back Taveze Calhoun to their practice squad (Twitter links via Jason Cole of Bleacher Report and Nick Underhill of the New Orleans Advocate). The Saints cut Grayson on Wednesday, but the 2015 third-round pick cleared waivers and quickly returned to the organization.
  • The Texans announced they waived cornerback Duke Thomas from injured reserve with an injury settlement, Sarah Barshop of ESPN.com tweets.
  • Former San Diego cornerback Steve Williams has signed with the Rams, per Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk. Williams also drew interest from several other teams, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com hears (Twitter link).
  • The Seahawks have signed cornerback Tye Smith to their practice squad and cut defensive tackle Tylor Harris, reports Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (Twitter link).
  • The Jaguars announced that receiver Tony Washington has been waived via injury settlement.
  • The Patriots have waived linebacker Kevin Snyder with an injury settlement, tweets Doug Kyed of NESN.
  • The Buccaneers and wideout Kenny Bell have reached an injury settlement, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter).
  • The Colts have waived corner Tevin Mitchel from IR with an injury settlement, per George Bremer of the Herald Bulletin (Twitter link).

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Sunday NFL Transactions: AFC West

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four AFC West teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the Broncos, Chiefs, Raiders, and Chargers are noted below.

Additionally, as of 12:00pm CT today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s AFC West transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day. All links go to Twitter unless otherwise noted:

Denver Broncos

Kansas City Chiefs

Oakland Raiders

San Diego Chargers