Transactions

Minor NFL Transactions: 6/15/18

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Denver Broncos

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Raiders Sign Rookie Arden Key

Arden Key is officially under contract with the Raiders. On Friday, Oakland announced the signing of the third-round defensive end.

Heading into draft season, Key was widely projected as a first-round pick. However, his rocky 2017 season at LSU damaged his stock. In his final year on campus, Key spent time in rehab, injured his shoulder, and porked up from 235 lbs to 270.

However, given his 2016 performance – 12.5 tackles for loss and eleven sacks – the Raiders believe they have a draft steal on their hands. The athletic youngster will serve as a reserve behind Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin in his first year, joining Mario Edwards, Tank Carradine, and possibly Frostee Rucker as bench DEs.

With Key under contract, the Raiders have now signed every player in their 2018 draft class. Here’s the complete rundown, via PFR’s tracker:

Draft Pick Signings: 6/14/18

Here are today’s minor draft pick signings:

  • The Chiefs have signed third-round defensive lineman Derrick Nnadi. The Florida State product was one of the ACC’s standout defensive tackles in 2016 and 2017, averaging 51 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, and one forced fumble. The 6-foot-1, 317-pound rookie will compete with Justin Hamilton and Stefan Charles for the chance to backup free agent addition Xavier Williams.
  • The Texans have signed third-round offensive tackle Martinas Rankin, completing their draft class. The Mississippi State product had a breakout campaign in 2017, earning the Kent Hull Trophy (awarded to the best college offensive lineman in Mississippi) and first team All-ACC honors. With Julie’n Davenport and Seantrel Henderson penciled in as the Texans’ starting offensive tackles, Rankin will have to compete with Jeff AllenKendall Lamm, and David Quessenberry for playing time.

More Minor NFL Transactions: 6/14/18

Another round of minor moves from this evening:

Denver Broncos

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

New Orleans Saints

Texans Extend LB Benardrick McKinney

Benardrick McKinney is about to be a whole lot richer. Mark Berman of Fox26 in Houston reports (via Twitter) that the Texans have signed the linebacker to a five-year, $50MM deal ($21MM guaranteed). The 25-year-old’s contract was set to expire at the end of the 2018 campaign.

“Bernardrick plays a key role in our defense and has been highly productive, but more importantly he is a core player who has developed into a team leader within our program,” said general manager Brian Gaine (via HoustonTexans.com“We are excited to have him a part of our long term future here at the Texans.”

The 2015 second-round pick out of Mississippi State has emerged as one of the Texans’ top defenders over the past two seasons. Following a solid rookie campaign in 2015, McKinney earned a second-team All-Pro nod in 2016 after compiling 129 tackles, five sacks, and one forced fumble.

This past season, the linebacker finished with 95 tackles and three sacks, with Pro Football Focus ranking him 24th among qualifying linebackers. For 2018, he’ll presumably start alongside Jadeveon Clowney, Zach Cunningham, and Whitney Mercilus.

While signing McKinney was surely a priority for the organization, the Texans are still trying to ink at least one of his teammates to a long-term deal. We heard back in April that a long-term deal with Clowney was inevitable but not imminent.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots Extend LS Joe Cardona

After signing fullback James Develin to a new deal, the Patriots have handed out their second extension of the day. ESPN’s Mike Reiss reports (via Twitter) that the organization has signed long snapper Joe Cardona to a four-year extension. The 26-year-old was entering the final year of his contract.

After serving as Navy’s starting long snapper for four straight years, the Patriots selected Cardona in the fifth round of the 2015 draft, making him only the fourth player at his position to ever be drafted. After having his Naval assignment delayed so he could play his rookie season, New England signed the player to an unorthodox contract. The organization ended up nixing $100K of his signing bonus in favor of roster bonuses.

The long snapper ultimately earned all of that money, as he hasn’t missed a game during his three years in the league. The special teamer has also managed to compile six tackles throughout his career. Cardona has continually had to request permission to play in the NFL, which he’s been granted for each of his three seasons.

Earlier today, the Patriots inked Develin to a two-year extension worth $3.8MM.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cardinals Sign WR Greg Little

The Cardinals have swapped one wideout for another. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that Arizona has signed receiver Greg Little. The 29-year-old had participated in the team’s rookie minicamp earlier this week. To make room on the roster, the team has released wideout Cobi Hamilton (via Rapoport).

The 2011 second-round pick has been unable to put it together during his seven years in the NFL. He did show promise during his tenure with the Browns, including a 2011 rookie season where he hauled in 61 receptions for 709 yards and two scores. The receiver hasn’t played in a game since since 2014 when he was on the Bengals. He’s also had brief stints with the Raiders and Bills.

Behind Larry Fitzgerald, any one of the Cardinals’ wideouts could realistically make the team. Little will ultimately be competing with a number of receivers for a gig, including JJ Nelson, Christian Kirk, Brice Butler, Chad WilliamsCarlton Agudosi, and Rashad Ross.

Hamilton, a 2013 sixth-round pick, has spent time with seven different teams during his four-year career. In 14 career games (nine starts) with the Steelers and Texans, the 27-year-old has compiled 18 receptions for 234 yards and two touchdowns.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets Sign DL Courtney Upshaw

After having auditioned for the Jets earlier this week, Courtney Upshaw has signed with the organization. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the defensive lineman has inked a deal with the organization. To make room on the roster, New York has waived defensive lineman Chris Jones (via Darryl Slater of NJ.com on Twitter).

The 2012 second-round pick initially entered the NFL as a linebacker, but he’s since been converted to a defensive lineman. After having spent four relatively productive seasons with the Ravens, Upshaw joined the Falcons back in 2016. He proceeded to play in 26 games (five starts) during his two years in Atlanta, averaging 16 tackles, one sack, and one forced fumble per season. Only the Eagles had expressed reported interest in the 28-year-old.

Leonard Williams and Henry Anderson are currently slotted in as the Jets starters at defensive end, while Steve McLendon is listed as the team’s starting nose tackle. Upshaw will presumably have an opportunity to contribute at either position.

Jones, a 2013 sixth-round pick out of Bowling Green, joined the Jets earlier this month. He hasn’t appeared in a regular season game since 2016, when he compiled 23 tackles in 13 games (six starts) with the Dolphins and 49ers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cardinals Sign Andy Lee To Two-Year Extension

Punter Andy Lee will be sticking around Arizona for the foreseeable future. The team announced today that they’ve signed the veteran to a two-year extension. The deal will kick in next season and last through the 2020 campaign.

The 35-year-old joined the Cardinals last offseason and proceeded to play in all 16 games for his new organization. The three-time Pro Bowler ended up averaging 47.3-yards per punt, a franchise record. He also managed to land 29 punts inside the 20 yard line, his highest total since 2012. Predictably, Lee also served as the holder for field goals and extra points.

The 2004 sixth-round pick spent the first 11 seasons of his career with the 49ers before brief stints with the Browns and Panthers. His 1,135 career punts ranks 12th all-time, and he should easily secure the sixth spot on that list by the end of the 2018 season. His 52,666 punting yards already ranks in the top-five on the all-time list. The veteran has missed only seven regular season games during his career, with all of those coming during his stint with Carolina.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Titans Sign Rookie DE Harold Landry

The Titans have signed second-round defensive end Harold Landry, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The former Boston College standout will earn roughly $6.7MM over the course of his four-year deal, in accordance with his slot at No. 41 overall. The deal includes a signing bonus worth nearly $3MM.

Landry, a 6’3″, 250-pound athlete, was an absolute monster at Boston College. He broke out in his junior season as he tallied 22 tackles for a loss and 16.5 sacks in 2016. Last year, he missed some games due to injury, but still managed 8.5 tackles for a loss and five sacks.

The defensive end should have an opportunity to contribute immediately for the Titans. Landry could eventually replace DaQuan Jones in the starting lineup, and he should have the edge over David King and Julius Warmsley for backup reps.

With the signing of Landry, the Titans have officially wrapped up their entire 2018 draft class. Here’s the full rundown of their four-man group:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.