Tanner Vallejo

Cardinals Claim Tanner Vallejo Off Waivers

Tanner Vallejo has found a new team. After being waived by the Browns yesterday, the linebacker has been claimed by the Cardinals (via the team’s website).

While the 24-year-old has been waived twice over past five months, there were still plenty of teams lining up to make a claim. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the Jets, Giants, Bengals, Vikings, and Chargers also made an attempt to claim Vallejo off waivers. Thanks to Arizona’s league-worst 3-13 record, they got first dibs on the player.

The Boise State product was selected by the Bills in the sixth-round of the 2017 draft, and he proceeded to appear in 15 games as a rookie. Vallejo was waived by Buffalo prior to this past season before landing on the Browns. In fact, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo points out (via Twitter) that the Cardinals made an unsuccessful claim on the linebacker at that time, so their interest in the linebacker isn’t anything new.

Vallejo ended up being relatively productive in Cleveland, compiling 27 tackles and one forced fumble in 13 games (one start). He ultimately finished the season on IR due to a hamstring injury. The Cardinals will now pick up the two years remaining on his rookie contract.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Browns Waive LB Tanner Vallejo

The last time Tanner Vallejo hit the waiver wire, he generated some interest. The linebacker will again have a chance to see how teams view him.

The Browns cut Vallejo on Monday, sending the third-year player back to the waiver wire. Vallejo played in 13 games with the Browns last season, making one start.

Three teams, including the Dolphins, submitted claims for the Boise State product when the Bills cut him prior to last season; the Browns’ top priority landed sent Vallejo to Cleveland. A sixth-round Bills pick in 2017, Vallejo made 27 tackles and forced a fumble in his lone season with the Browns.

He finished the season on IR due to a hamstring injury. Two years remain on Vallejo’s rookie contract.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/28/18

Here are Friday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

  • Promoted from practice squad: G Dorian Johnson
  • Placed on IR: RB Kenjon Barner

Cleveland Browns

  • Promoted from practice squad: WR Blake Jackson
  • Placed on IR: LB Tanner Vallejo

Detroit Lions

Indianapolis Colts

  • Waived: S Rolan Milligan

Jacksonville Jaguars

Washington Redskins

AFC East Rumors: Gronk, Dolphins, Jets

Rob Gronkowski‘s contract has come up in several news cycles in recent years, the all-world tight end still being attached to a deal he signed back in 2012. But the future Hall of Fame Patriots pass-catcher said he wasn’t agonizing over the team adjusting his deal, which it did for the second straight year via incentive package. Gronk did sit out the voluntary portion of New England’s offseason program and considered retirement, but he says the drama’s in the past as he prepares for his ninth NFL season.

It didn’t weigh on me at all,” Gronkowski said of his near-offseason-long negotiations with the Pats (via NESN.com). “Everything’s always in the works. Nothing’s just going to happen in a day, something like that. It’s in the past now. It happened last week, so it’s go time now.”

Gronkowski also said had he not been satisfied with his situation, he would have followed Aaron Donald and Khalil Mack‘s footsteps.

I’m super satisfied with my situation,” Gronkowski said. “If I wasn’t, I would try to pull a move like they did. It works out. You get rewarded for holding out. But I’m not frustrated at all or anything. I’m super satisfied and just ready to go.”

The Patriots will need Gronkowski plenty while Julian Edelman sits and a thin receiving corps attempts to become a reliable source for Tom Brady targets. Here’s the latest from the Pats’ rivals:

  • The Dolphins submitted an unsuccessful waiver claim for a Bills cut, linebacker Tanner Vallejo, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald notes. Vallejo ended up in Cleveland because of the Browns’ top waiver priority position, one they’ve used frequently over the past week. Miami also wanted to keep two of their own cuts — running back Buddy Howell and tackle Eric Smith — but saw the former land with the Texans via waiver claim and the latter end up choosing to sign with the Patriots’ practice squad instead of the Dolphins’.
  • Dolphins skepticism is rampant around the NFL-following world going into this season, with Miami sitting as one of Las Vegas’ longest-odds Super Bowl propositions, but one reason the team believes it will improve from a disappointing 2017 is its offensive line. The Dolphins believe Laremy Tunsil is set for a “monster” season and that Daniel Kilgore has filled in nicely for Mike Pouncey — as both a leader and a player, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald notes. Kilgore and Josh Sitton are now in place on a Miami front that’s endured questions about its interior line — be it Pouncey’s health or guards’ underwhelming performance — for years.
  • Shifting back to practice squad gets, the Jets paid a premium for two of their 10 taxi-squadders. Defensive end Bronson Kaufusi and running back De’Angelo Henderson will make four times as much as league-minimum practice squad players will, with NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero reporting (via Twitter) Kaufusi will earn $32K per week and Henderson will receive $30K per week. The practice squad minimum for 2018 is just less than $8K weekly. The Broncos liked what they saw from Henderson in the 2017 preseason, but the 2017 sixth-round pick did not see much game action behind C.J. Anderson, Jamaal Charles and Devontae Booker. Additions of Royce Freeman and UDFA Phillip Lindsay routed Henderson out of Denver this year.
  • The Jets have one of the league’s least established tight end situations, but the team is high on rookie Chris Herndon, Albert Breer of SI.com writes. A fourth-round pick, Herndon’s caught the Jets’ eye as both a receiver and blocker and is a player the team believes will be a long-term cog. Jordan Leggett, a 2017 fifth-rounder, resides as the Jets’ other primary tight end candidate after Austin Seferian-Jenkins‘ defection to the Jaguars.

North Notes: Steelers, Dobbs, Lions, Browns

When the Steelers took Mason Rudolph in the third round of this year’s draft, many assumed it was the beginning of the end for Josh Dobbs. Since it’s extremely rare for a team to carry four quarterbacks, the conventional wisdom was that Pittsburgh would keep Landry Jones as a veteran backup, Rudolph as the developmental rookie, and that Dobbs would either be traded or cut.

Despite facing questions about his future all summer, Dobbs was focused and showed tangible improvement this preseason. His performance in the fourth preseason game in particular was very strong, and it was enough to convince the Steelers to cut Jones instead.

While Dobbs will enter the season as Ben Roethlisberger‘s backup, the Steelers apparently did have opportunities to trade him, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN (Twitter link). Fowler reports that both the Texans and Raiders were interested in Dobbs, but that the Steelers ultimately decided to keep the second-year signal caller from Tennessee.

Here’s more from the league’s northern divisions:

  • The Lions had a group of running backs in for workouts, including recently released Donnel Pumphrey, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN (Twitter link). Pumphrey, a 2017 fourth round pick of the Eagles, received a lot of hype his rookie year, but injuries derailed his stay in Philadelphia.
  • The Browns got defensive lineman Carl Davis and LB Tanner Vallejo on waivers, but only because they picked first. Four teams in total submitted claims on Davis, and three on Vallejo, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link), showing that the Browns had plenty of competition for their services.
  • Linebacker Nigel Harris, cut by the Buccaneers on Saturday, will work out for the Browns on Tuesday, according to Greg Auman of The Athletic (Twitter link). Harris has spent time with the Chargers, Giants, and Bucs since entering the league as an UDFA in 2017. He started a game for the Chargers in 2017, but was waived just a few weeks into the season.

Sunday NFL Transactions: AFC North

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four AFC North 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 Ravens, Bengals, Browns, and Steelers 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 North transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Baltimore Ravens

Practice squad:

Cincinnati Bengals

Signed:

Practice squad:

Cleveland Browns

Claimed:

Cut:

Pittsburgh Steelers

Practice squad:

* = international player
** = practice squad exception