Transactions

Browns Sign Kasen Williams To P-Squad

Kasen Williams became one of the preseason’s success stories. The Seahawks wanted to pass the wide receiver through to their practice squad then, but the Browns swooped in and signed him to their active roster.

However, after the Browns waived Williams earlier this week, no one claimed him. He will now reside on Cleveland’s practice squad, Nate Ulrich of Ohio.com reports (on Twitter).

The 24-year-old wideout has played in seven games for the Browns this season, twice catching four passes in a game. On the year, he has nine receptions for 84 yards.

The Browns remain in search of pass-catching consistency, or general passing-game promise, but they chose to cut Williams to activate Corey Coleman. Recovering from a broken hand for a second straight season, Coleman is one of three 2016 draft picks among the Browns’ receiving corps. Kenny Britt and Sammie Coates have not excelled as first-year Browns, and the team also stands to get Josh Gordon back after what will be a three-year absence.

So, the Browns could have more depth than they did recently.

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Packers Place Bryan Bulaga On IR, Activate Jason Spriggs

The Packers made the decision to swap out higher-profile tackles on Saturday, placing Bryan Bulaga on IR and activating Jason Spriggs from the injured list, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

Both moves were expected, although with Bulaga having torn his ACL against the Lions in Week 9, there was a bit of a delay compared to how these proceedings usually unfold.

Spriggs returned to practice earlier this month; he’s spent most of the season on IR. But he now could be in the mix for key playing time down the stretch for a Packers team with a goal to maintain a contention spot until Aaron Rodgers is eligible to return.

Spriggs will almost certainly be the final IR-boomerang player until a decision is made on Rodgers, who is eligible to return in Week 15. But this isn’t a certainty, and the Packers acknowledge they need to be competing for a playoff spot to bring their all-world quarterback back.

Bulaga has now torn ACLs in both of his knees during his career. He suffered a torn ACL in 2013 that wiped out his whole season. This one will end after five games. Green Bay’s starting right tackle has two years left on the extension he signed in 2015.

Spriggs suffered a hamstring injury in September but will return to action. The 2016 second-round pick figures to be an option at right tackle, along with Justin McCray. Bulaga joins Kyle Murphy as Pakcers tackles on IR.

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Dolphins Waive Rey Maualuga

The Dolphins are planning to waive veteran middle linebacker Rey Maualuga after he was arrested in Florida overnight, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports. The team has since announced the move.

Multiple other media outlets are confirming the Dolphins are parting ways with Maualuga, and the arrest was for battery at a nightclub, Andy Slater of 940 WINZ reports (on Twitter). The 30-year-old is currently in jail.

This marks Maualuga’s second arrest during his career. The then-Bengals linebacker pleaded guilty on a drunken-driving charge in 2010.

The Dolphins are planning to fill Maualuga’s roster spot with running back De’Veon Smith, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports (on Twitter). Smith previously resided on Miami’s practice squad.

Maualuga made four starts for the Dolphins and played in six games since being signed over the summer. This continues a tumultuous year for Miami linebackers, one that included with Raekwon McMillan‘s season-ending injury and Lawrence Timmons‘ suspension to start the season.

A ninth-year vet, Maualuga made 23 tackles for the Dolphins this season. Mike Hull is the leading candidate to take over at middle linebacker, Salguero tweets. Pro Football Focus has not offered kind analyses regarding the play of Maualuga or Hull. The advanced metrics website graded both as suboptimal ‘backers this season, with Maualua playing 176 snaps and Hull taking part in 145. Hull started three games for the Fins this season; the third-year UDFA’s made 19 stops.

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Bengals Waive DT Pat Sims

Pat Sims‘ tenure with the Bengals has come to an end. Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports (via Twitter) that the team has waived the injured defensive tackle. Sims had missed the past two weeks with a calf injury. To take his spot on the roster, the Bengals have promoted linebacker Hardy Nickerson Jr. from the practice squad.

Pat SimsSims, a 2008 third-round pick, spent the first five seasons of his career in Cincinnati before a brief two-year stint with the Raiders. He rejoined the Bengals prior to the 2015 season, with the team valuing his ability to defend against the run. He signed another two-year contract with the organization prior to the 2016 season, and he proceeded to play in all 16 games that season. Sims had appeared in eight games (seven starts) for the Bengals in 2017, compiling 19 tackles. However, Pro Football Focus has been critical of his play this season, ranking him 107th among 112 interior defender candidates. With the veteran now out of the picture, the Bengals will turn to Ryan Glasgow, Andrew Billings, or Josh Tupou to start alongside Geno Atkins.

The son of former Pro Bowler Hardy Nickerson, Nickerson Jr. joined the NFL as an undrafted free agent out of Illinois. The 23-year-old has split the 2017 season between the active roster and the practice squad, compiling a pair of tackles in seven games. He’ll join Carl Lawson, Jordan Evans, and Vincent Rey as the team’s reserve linebackers.

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Broncos Waived/Injured TE A.J. Derby

In a bit of a surprising move, the Broncos have swapped tight ends. According to Mike Klis of 9News in Denver (via Twitter), the team has waived/injured A.J. Derby and promoted Austin Traylor from the practice squad. Derby had been struggling with a shoulder injury and wasn’t expected to play this weekend.

A.J. DerbyDerby, a 2015 sixth-round pick, was traded from the Patriots to the Broncos last season in exchange for a fifth-round pick. After a lackluster start to his tenure in Denver, the 26-year-old was beginning to come into his own in 2017. In nine games (one start), he had hauled in 19 receptions for 224 yards and two touchdowns, tops among Broncos tight ends.

Traylor has yet to play in an NFL game, although the 24-year-old is listed at 6-foot-3 and 255 pounds. Klis tweets that while Derby is the superior receiver, Traylor “is more physical.” Ultimately, the reporter believes this move is another attempt by general manager John Elway to send a “strong message” to his team. For the time being, Traylor will slot in behind Virgil Green and Jeff Heuerman on the depth chart, and he should also get some reps on special teams.

“He’s done a great job,” said offensive coordinator Mike McCoy (via Jon Heath of Broncos Wire). “The role that he’s been in up to this point in time in the season, he just does what we ask him to do whether it’s in the kicking game, whether it’s scout team for the defense or whether he steps in and took plenty of reps on offense. He just does it one way. He works extremely hard, so I’m very pleased with where he’s at.”

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Ravens Activate RB Danny Woodhead

The NFL’s worst passing offense is about to get a much-needed boost. The Ravens announced (via Twitter) that they have activated running back Danny Woodhead from the injured reserve. The veteran will be eligible to play tomorrow against the Packers. To make room on the roster, the team waived tight end Gavin Escobar.

Danny Woodhead (vertical)After signing a three-year deal with the organization during the offseason, Woodhead was placed on the injured reserve in September after he struggled to recover from a hamstring injury. While running back Alex Collins and his 5.6-yards-per-carry have looked solid, the team is in dire need of some receiving help. The Ravens currently rank dead last in passing yards and 27th in passing touchdowns, leading to an underwhelming 4-5 record. The 32-year-old Woodhead should certainly help in that regard, as he’ll provide quarterback Joe Flacco with another dependable target.

While the veteran missed the majority of the 2014 and 2016 seasons, he showcased his talents in 2013 and 2015. During those two campaigns, Woodhead averaged 78 receptions for 680 yards and six touchdowns. It may take the running back several weeks to get back in the swing of things, but he’ll presumably replace Javorius Allen as the Ravens’ main pass-catching back. The 26-year-old has been solid this season, hauling in 39 receptions for 189 yards.

Escobar, a 2013 second-round pick, joined the Ravens in October after having spent his entire four-year career with Dallas (plus a brief stint with the Chiefs). The 26-year-old went on to play in a pair of games for Baltimore, although he didn’t compile a single stat. In 64 career games, Escobar has 30 receptions for 333 yards and eight touchdowns.

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Jaguars Activate WR Dede Westbrook

Wide receiver Dede Westbrook is finally set to make his NFL debut. The Jaguars activated the rookie wideout from the reserve/injured list this morning, the team announced. The organization also activated defensive back Calvin Pryor from the reserve/injured list and promoted receiver Larry Pinkard from the practice squad. To make room on the roster, the team placed wideout Arrelious Benn on the injured reserve and waived defensive tackle Sheldon Day and receive Jaelen Strong.

Dede Westbrook (vertical)We learned in late October that the Jaguars had designated Westbrook for return. The fourth-rounder was initially placed on the injured reserve with a core injury prior to the start of the regular season. A former Oklahoma standout, Westbrook collected 80 receptions for 1,524 yards and 17 touchdowns last season, making him a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. Considering the fact that Allen Robinson was already out for the season and the team let go of two wideouts today, Westbrook could easily slide behind Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns on the depth chart.

Pryor was claimed off waivers from the Browns in September, although he was placed on the injured reserve shortly thereafter. As our own Dallas Robinson noted, Pryor will be stuck in a reserve role behind Barry Church and Tashaun Gipson, who both rank among the NFL’s top defensive backs, according to Pro Football Focus. Of course, the 25-year-old still has plenty in the tank, as he finished the 2016 campaign with 62 tackles and six passes defended in 15 games for the Jets.

Benn, a 2010 second-round pick, has been stuck towards the bottom of the depth chart during his two-year tenure in Jacksonville. After having hauled in 55 receptions during his first two seasons in the league, Benn only has six receptions for 128 yards and one touchdown in two seasons with the Jaguars (24 games). The 29-year-old was productive on special teams, however, compiling eight tackles over the past two years. Strong, a 2015 third-round pick, joined the Jaguars in mid-September after being waived by the Texans. He ultimately didn’t see the field for the Jaguars. Pinkard, a former undrafted free agent out of Old Dominion, has yet to get in an NFL game. Day, a 2016 fourth-round pick, was buried on the depth chart for the Jaguars, as the 23-year-old had only compiled three tackles and one sack in six games this season.

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Minor NFL Transactions: 11/17/17

Here are today’s minor transactions:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

 

Today’s practice squad updates:

Los Angeles Chargers

Cardinals Sign Larry Fitzgerald To Extension

It’s a done deal. On Friday morning, the Cardinals announced a new one-year extension for wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. The veteran is now signed through the 2018 season. "<strong

The deal is worth $11MM and includes a no-trade clause, according to Mike Jurecki of 98.7FM. The pact also includes incentives that can give him an extra $1MM if he reaches No. 2 on the NFL’s all-time receiving list.

Fitzgerald was considering retirement and many believed that the 2017 campaign would be his last. It’s still possible that he walks away at the end of the season, but there is at least a deal in place if the wide receiver decides to run it back one more time.

There’s a case to be made for both retirement and continuing. On one hand, Fitzgerald could leave on a high note – he currently leads the NFC with 60 receptions and is on pace for 107 catches and 1,204 receiving yards. No player in league history has ever had more than 100 catches and 1,000 yards in a season started at the age of 34 or higher. The odds of an encore, historically, are not on his side. Then again, it’s clear that he still has something left in the tank.

If Fitzgerald plays out this new deal, next year will be his 16th season on the field. Only quarterback Jim Hart (18) and kicker Jim Bakken (17) have played in more seasons for the Cardinals franchise (Twitter link via Mark Dalton of the Cardinals). If he plays every game through 2018, he’ll match Bakken for most regular season games played in Cardinals history with 234.

There are also lots of NFL records within range for Fitzgerald. With another 141 catches, he’ll leapfrog tight end Tony Gonzalez for second all-time in NFL history behind Jerry Rice. The 10-time Pro Bowler (likely en route to No. 11) can become third in all-time receiving yards this season with another 227 yards, allowing him to bypass Randy Moss. After that, he’s just another 642 yards away from topping Terrell Owens for second place.

The Cardinals also have quarterback Carson Palmer and coach Bruce Arians under contract through next season, meaning that the familiar trio could return for 2018.

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