Taco Charlton

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/21/21

Today’s taxi squad moves:

Arizona Cardinals

  • Released: K Matt McCrane

Baltimore Ravens

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Steelers Sign Taco Charlton To Practice Squad

The Steelers have signed Taco Charlton to their 16-man practice squad, per an official club announcement. The defensive end will look to impress on the practice field and see his first live action of the 2021 season.

Charlton, once a highly-touted first-round pick of the Cowboys, flamed out quickly in Dallas. After just two-plus years with the Cowboys, he moved on to the Dolphins and did his best work in 2019 — five sacks in ten games. He had a decent 2020 with the Chiefs too, up until he broke his leg in November. He finished out with two sacks, four quarterback hits, and a forced fumble for KC. However, the 26-year-old (27 in November) wasn’t able to make the cut.

His first opportunity could come quicker than expected since T.J. Watt is dealing with a groin injury. Fortunately for the Steelers, the latest word is that Watt should be able to play on Sunday against the Bengals.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workouts: Giants, WFT, Foreman

Here’s a look at some of today’s more notable auditions, courtesy of NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (Twitter link):

  • The Giants worked out punters J.K. Scott, Kaare Vedvik, and Brandon Wright. For now, that job is held by Riley Dixon, though the Giants could just be keeping their emergency list up to date. Dixon, a former draft pick of Denver, is under contract through 2022 thanks to his three-year, $8.7MM deal.
  • The Washington Football Team auditioned running backs D’Onta Foreman and Ryquell Armstead. Foreman, recently released from Atlanta’s practice squad, also showed his stuff for the Raiders earlier this month. Foreman is best known for his rookie year with the Texans but hasn’t been the same since tearing his Achilles midway through that season.
  • The Packers are meeting with defensive ends Taco Charlton and R.J. McIntosh. Charlton, once a highly-touted first-round pick of the Cowboys, flamed out quickly in Dallas. His best work to date came with the Dolphins when he notched five sacks in ten games. Still, he had a decent 2020 with the Chiefs, up until his November leg fracture. In that shortened KC run, Charlton recorded two sacks, four quarterback hits, and a forced fumble.

Chiefs Cut Taco Charlton, Will Parks

The Chiefs have released defensive end Taco Charlton, defensive back Will Parks, and guard Bryan Witzmann, per a club announcement. They’ve also waived linebacker Riley Cole and quarterback Anthony Gordon, bringing them down to an 80-man roster in advance of tomorrow’s deadline. 

Despite entering the league as a seventh-round pick, Parks has seen considerable playing time as a pro. He spent most of his career with the Broncos before moving on to the Eagles in 2020. Injuries led to Parks’ release in December, bringing him back to the Broncos. Parks missed six games last year, but previous to that, he was only scratched for two. He’s been with the Chiefs since May — now, he’ll have to hook on elsewhere.

Charlton, a highly-touted first-round pick of the Cowboys, flamed out quickly in Dallas. After just two-plus years with the Cowboys, he moved on to the Dolphins and did his best work in 2019 — five sacks in ten games. He had a decent 2020 with the Chiefs too, up until he broke his leg in November. He finished out with two sacks, four quarterback hits, and a forced fumble for KC. However, the 26-year-old (27 in November) wasn’t able to make the cut.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chiefs Re-Sign Taco Charlton

The Chiefs are bringing back Taco Charlton. On Tuesday, the defensive end agreed to return on a one-year deal (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero).

Charlton fractured his leg in November, midway through the Chiefs’ thrilling victory over the Panthers. Up until that point, he had been playing a decent-sized role as a rotational pass-rusher. In the previous six games, he racked up two sacks, four quarterback hits, and a forced fumble.

Charlton’s NFL career started out as a highly-touted first-round pick of the Cowboys, but he quickly flamed out in Dallas. He was cut after only two-plus years with the Cowboys, then scooped up by the Dolphins. He had his best season as a pro with Miami in 2019, notching five sacks in ten games.

The 26-year-old (27 in November) was one of many Chiefs players to miss the Super Bowl. Andy Reid & Co. will hope for better health as they plot their return trip.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chiefs Place Mitchell Schwartz On IR

Mitchell Schwartz has seen his iron-man run stop this season, having missed time due to injury. The Chiefs will now be without their ace right tackle for a while.

Kansas City placed Schwartz on IR Saturday. This move will sideline the All-Pro blocker for at least three more games. Schwartz is dealing with a back injury — one that has shelved him since Week 6.

Prior to the October injury, Schwartz had not missed a game in eight seasons. He had started four years with the Browns and another four with the Chiefs. Kansas City gave Schwartz an extension in the process, relying on his stability as Eric Fisher underwent surgery last season. Both Fisher and Schwartz landed on Kansas City’s reserve/COVID-19 list recently, but Fisher will be back in action against Las Vegas. Schwartz will not.

The Chiefs also removed Mecole Hardman from their reserve/COVID list. They had placed the second-year wideout on the virus list last week. Hardman should play a key role against the Raiders, with Sammy Watkins set to miss the AFC West rivals’ Week 11 rematch.

Kansas City is also activating Alex Okafor and defensive back L’Jarius Sneed from IR. Okafor worked as a starter last season, but a midseason injury knocked him out for the team’s Super Bowl push. A hamstring injury sidelined Okafor this season. A fourth-round rookie, Sneed played well early this year but suffered a broken collarbone in September. Okafor will help out a Chiefs pass rush that will be without Taco Charlton for a while. The Chiefs placed the offseason acquisition on IR Saturday.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chiefs’ Taco Charlton Fractures Leg, Headed To IR

The Chiefs outlasted the Panthers in a thrilling shootout, but they’ll be without a part of their pass-rush moving forward. Defensive end Taco Charlton suffered a fracture in his lower leg and will head to injured reserve, head coach Andy Reid announced after the game.

It’s unclear the severity, but it’s certainly possible that he’s done for the year. With the new IR rules, he’ll be out at least three games. He’d been playing a decent-sized role as a rotational pass-rusher, notching around a quarter of the defensive snaps in the six games he played prior to getting hurt. He had been reasonably productive in those six games, racking up two sacks, four quarterback hits, and a forced fumble.

Charlton’s NFL career started out as a highly-touted first-round pick of the Cowboys, but he quickly flamed out in Dallas. He was cut after only two-plus years with the Cowboys, then scooped up by the Dolphins. He had his best season as a pro last year with Miami, notching five sacks in only ten games.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chiefs Place DE Alex Okafor On IR

While they cannot match their Sunday opponent for impactful injuries, the Chiefs will enter Week 7 missing some key players.

Alex Okafor will miss Sunday’s tilt in Denver and at least two more contests. The Chiefs placed the veteran defensive end on IR Saturday. Okafor has encountered a hamstring issue.

Okafor, All-Pro right tackle Mitchell Schwartz and wideout Sammy Watkins are out Sunday for the Chiefs. Okafor will land on IR for the second straight season. The Chiefs placed the 2019 free agent acquisition on IR after 10 games last season, with a torn pec preventing the veteran pass rusher from playing during the team’s Super Bowl push.

Okafor’s latest injury is not as severe, but it will test Kansas City’s depth a bit. The Chiefs are also without 2020 free agent get Taco Charlton this week. The defending Super Bowl champs have used contract-year defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon ahead of Okafor on their depth chart this season. After Okafor started nine games in 2019, he has worked as a rotational rusher this year. Okafor has a half-sack in 2020.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Notes: Chiefs, Irvin, Amukamara

The Chiefs moved on from their longest-tenured player this offseason, jettisoning 15-year punter Dustin Colquitt. Although the team with Patrick Mahomes negotiations looming and Chris Jones attached to a franchise tag created cap space by cutting Colquitt, the defending Super Bowl champions also identified his potential successor in its UDFA class. Chiefs ST coordinator Dave Toub said (via the Kansas City Star’s Herbie Teope, on Twitter) he rated rookie UDFA punter Tommy Townsend as this draft class’ best punter. Twice a semifinalist for the Ray Guy award, Townsend punted at Florida after transferring from Tennessee. The Chiefs signed both Townsend and 2019 UDFA Tyler Newsome this offseason. Toub’s glowing assessment of Townsend almost certainly gives him a leg up in this competition.

Here is the latest from the West divisions:

  • Bruce Irvin had his eye on a Seahawks reunion for a while. The former Seattle first-round pick texted Bobby Wagner during the playoffs he wanted to come back (via the Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta, on Twitter). Irvin also confirmed he will be playing linebacker in Seattle’s base defense while shifting to an edge-rushing role on passing downs, Condotta adds (via Twitter). This was the expected arrangement. The Seahawks used their base defense considerably last season but have not re-signed Mychal Kendricks. Irvin functioned in this versatile capacity during most of his first Seahawks stint.
  • Prince Amukamara will take a considerable pay cut to join the Raiders. The veteran cornerback signed a one-year, $1.05MM deal, per Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Amukamara will qualify for the new minimum salary benefit, counting only $888K against the Raiders’ cap. The Bears re-signed Amukamara in 2018, and he was set to make $9MM in base salary on that contract this season.
  • Frank Clark played a role in bringing Taco Charlton to Kansas City, per Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter). Charlton’s ex-teammate and roommate while at Michigan, Clark lobbied Chiefs DC Steve Spagnuolo in an effort to bring the former first-round pick to Kansas City. The Chiefs did not claim Charlton’s rookie contract but did add him at a cheaper rate. Charlton called his departure from Dallas and Miami “mutual,” according to Pelissero (via Twitter). Both teams waived the 2017 first-rounder, the Dolphins doing so despite Charlton leading the team in sacks last season with five. Charlton figures to fill a rotational role vacated by the exits of Emmanuel Ogbah and Terrell Suggs.
  • Despite Bashaud Breeland being arrested on several charges earlier this offseason, he has been part of the Chiefs’ virtual offseason since it began, Spagnuolo said (via NFL.com’s James Palmer, on Twitter). Re-signed on a one-year deal, Breeland will likely face a suspension for his arrest — which included the charge of resisting arrest.

Contract Details: Jets, Charlton, Gipson

Some assorted contract details to pass along:

  • Tashaun Gipson, S (Bears): One year. Deal is worth $1.05MM, including $550K in guaranteed money. Via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle on Twitter.
  • Johnathan Joseph, CB (Titans): One year. Deal is worth $2MM, including $1.5MM guaranteed. Additional $500K in “reachable incentives” and another $750K in standard incentives. Contract worth a maximum of $3.25MM. Via Tom Pelissero of NFL.com on Twitter and Mike Garafolo of NFL Network on Twitter.
  • Frank Gore, RB (Jets): One year. Deal is worth $1.05MM, including $200K guaranteed. Cap charge of $750K. Via Pelissero on Twitter and ESPN’s Rich Cimini on Twitter.
  • Jordan Jenkins, LB (Jets): One-year. Deal is worth $3.75MM. $3.25MM in guaranteed money, including $1.75MM signing bonus and $1.5MM base salary. $500K in roster bonuses, $250K in “likely to be earned” incentives. Via Cimini on Twitter.
  • Taco Charlton, DE (Chiefs): One year. Deal is worth $825K. Via Pelissero on Twitter.
  • Devontae Booker, RB (Raiders): Signed. One year deal worth veteran salary benefit ($887.5K cap charge). Includes $50K signing bonus. Via ESPN’s Field Yates on Twitter.