Transactions

Saints Sign WR Bennie Fowler

Bennie Fowler has found a new home. SiriusXM’s Adam Caplan reports (via Twitter) that the veteran wideout has signed with the Saints.

The Michigan State product spent the first four seasons of his career with the Broncos, and while he averaged 15 games per season between 2015 and 2017, he didn’t put up big numbers. His best season came in 2017, when he hauled in 29 receptions for 350 receiving yards and three scores.

The 29-year-old has bounced around the NFL a bit since that time. He signed with the Bears prior to the 2018 campaign, but he was cut at the end of the preseason. His subsequent stint with the Patriots lasted less than a week, but Fowler eventually found a new home with the Giants. In two-ish seasons with New York, the wideout averaged 19.5 receptions and 196 receiving yards per years.

Fowler is now joining one of the NFL’s top offenses in New Orleans. While the top of the Saints depth chart is highlighted by Michael Thomas and newcomer Emmanuel Sanders, Fowler could emerge from a grouping that includes the likes of Tre’Quan Smith, Deonte Harris, Austin Carr, and Lil’Jordan Humphrey.

Bills Sign OL Brian Winters

It didn’t take long for Brian Winters to find a new gig. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the veteran offensive lineman has signed with the Bills.

Winters joins Buffalo after getting surprisingly cut by the rival Jets yesterday. The veteran had been the Jets’ starting right guard since 2013, but it was clear that Greg Van Roten had the inside track at the starting job. In an act of good faith, the Jets let go of Winters so he could find a starting gig elsewhere (as ESPN’s Rich Cimini passed along yesterday). Of course, the move also cleared more than $7MM on the Jets’ books.

Winters will have a good chance to start in Buffalo, especially following news that Jon Feliciano has been sidelined with a pectoral tear. Winters was limited to only nine games last season after suffering a shoulder injury, but he averaged 14.5 games per season between 2015 and 2018. While Buffalo could turn to the likes of Spencer Long or Daryl Williams to fill in for Feliciano, Winters’ experience and dependability will likely earn him the bulk of playing time.

Feliciano suffered a torn pectoral muscle and underwent surgery Friday, the team announced. Feliciano started in all 17 Bills games for the Bills last season. The former fourth-round pick will be a free agent in 2021.

Rapoport notes that Winters had a number of suitors, but the Bills moved quickly to sign the 29-year-old.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Titans Sign First-Round OL Isaiah Wilson

The final unsigned first-rounder has officially inked his deal. The Titans have signed Isaiah Wilson to his rookie contract, according to Jim Wyatt of the team website.

NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the rookie offensive tackle received a four-year, $11.57MM contract with a $5.974MM signing bonus. As Rapoport observes, picks No. 25-32 all ended up getting paid more guaranteed money than previous rookies drafted in that range, with each of those 2020 rooks earning at least 90% fully guaranteed deals.

Before he was selected with the 29th overall pick in this past year’s draft, Wilson was a standout at Georgia. The 6-foot-6, 350-pound lineman earned All-SEC second team honors in 2019 after starting 10 of his 11 games. He was previously named to the Football Writers Association of America freshman All-America Team.

In Tennessee, Wilson is expected to fill the hole left by Jack Conklin, who left for the Browns in free agency. The rookie will likely compete with Dennis Kelly for the starting right tackle spot, and he’s already looking forward to blocking for the likes of Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry.

“I am sure I am going to learn a lot of great things from Derrick Henry about run blocking, about where he expects his holes to be as a back who has been in the league for years,” Wilson told Wyatt. “Ryan Tannehill can definitely teach me certain things about protection and things of that nature. I definitely plan on learning from those guys and bettering my game off of those guys and polishing up what I do and try and be the best player for the team.”

Jets Cut Quincy Enunwa

The Jets have released Quincy Enunwa with a failed physical designation, per the league’s transactions wire. The Jets previously ruled out for the 2020 season, but he intends on returning to the field at some point. 

After signing a four-year, $36MM extension with the Jets in late 2018, Enunwa was expected to be a primary target for quarterback Sam Darnold. Sadly, those plans came to a halt when Enunwa suffered the second neck injury of his career in the 2019 season opener against the Bills. Later on, the Jets restructured his deal, keeping him in the fold as he works his way back. Thankfully, Enunwa’s extension gave him financial security, including $10MM in fully guaranteed money.

Injuries have plagued Enunwa throughout his career, but he showed serious promise when he was healthy. In 2016, he played in all 16 games and tallied 58 catches for 857 yards. After missing the ’17 campaign, he looked like his old self in ’18. Hopefully, he’ll be able to resume his career sometime soon with another club.

If I’m capable of playing, then that’s what I’ll do,” Enunwa said recently. “If it comes down to the fact that the doctors say I can’t, there’s not much I can do. There’s really nothing I can do there, but if I have the ability to [play], the passion will always be there, the want-to will always be there.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/3/20

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here. For the running list of opt out decisions, check out PFR’s 2020 Opt Out Tracker.

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

  • Released: QB Jalen Morton, FB Elijah Wellman

Las Vegas Raiders

Miami Dolphins

  • Claimed off waivers (from Colts): CB Picasso Nelson

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Raiders Trade P.J. Hall To Vikings

The Raiders are trading defensive tackle P.J. Hall to the Vikings, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. In exchange, the Vikings will send a conditional seventh-round choice to the Raiders.

Hall was supposed to be waived before the end of the business day. Instead, the Vikings swooped in with a trade offer. Instead of crossing their fingers and waiting to see if Hall slipped on the waiver wire, they pulled off a deal. The pick will only change hands if Hall is on the roster for a certain number of games, so it’s essentially a low-cost, no-risk pickup for the Vikes.

Hall, a 2018 second-round pick, was pushed out of the starting lineup by the addition of Maliek Collins. Then, he lost his spot on the team, despite his reasonable rookie contract.

Hall started in 12 of his 16 games last year, finishing out with 26 tackles and 1.5 sacks from the interior. The Vikings will assume the remainder of his contract and have him under club control through 2021.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers To Sign Jordan Reed

The 49ers have agreed to sign Jordan Reed, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The deal will reunite the talented tight end with former Washington staffer and current SF head coach Kyle Shanahan

[RELATED: Ravens, Patriots Interested In Delanie Walker]

Reed had been connected to the Ravens and other teams in need of tight end help. The Niners – who boast the game’s best tight end in George Kittle – certainly did not need Reed, but they’ve landed him anyway. If Reed is healthy, the 49ers will boast the league’s scariest 1-2 combo at the position.

Reed has been adamant about wanting to return to the field, despite his troubling history with head trauma. Over the last three seasons, he’s played in just a baker’s dozen of games. And, since the start of his college career, he’s suffered at least seven concussions. His last concussion took him out for the entire 2019 season. In February, the Washington Football Team released from the two seasons left on his five-year, $47MM contract.

But, when he’s been healthy and on the field, Reed has performed as one of the league’s top tight ends. Between 2013 and 2018, Reed racked up 329 catches for 3,371 yards and 24 touchdowns for Washington.

In March, we heard that the Seahawks had some interest in signing Reed. The Ravens had him on their short list as well, but they’ll likely pivot to Delanie Walker, who is reportedly 100% healthy and interested in coming to Baltimore.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos RT Ja’Wuan James Opts Out

Broncos right tackle Ja’Wuan James announced that he will opt out of the 2020 season. In a message to his fans (Twitter link), James explained that he made the decision to protect the health of his wife and newborn son. 

James joined the Broncos on a four-year, $51MM deal last year and lost the bulk of the season to injury. Now, he’ll pass on the 2020 season and have his $10MM base salary toll into 2021.

Upwards of 40 players have opted out of the 2020 season, as shown in PFR’s tracker. As expected, a number of lineman who could be classified as higher-risk have made the decision to stay home. The deadline for opt out decisions still remains TBD – the NFL wants to schedule Wednesday as the cut-off date, but the window could remain open longer.

James’ last full season came in 2018, with the Dolphins. In that year, Pro Football Focus measured the former first-round pick as a top-35 tackle last season. He’s been a starter since entering the league, but injuries have kept him out of action for extended periods – James missed eight games in 2017 and nine in 2015.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Washington Football Team To Sign Dontrelle Inman

Dontrelle Inman is expected to sign with the Washington Football Team after he completes a physical on Monday, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The wide receiver will provide depth for a team that lost Kelvin Harmon to an ACL tear earlier this summer. 

[RELATED: Kelvin Harmon Tears ACL]

Harmon was set to feature as one of the Redskins’ top receivers, alongside Terry McLaurin and Trey Quinn. With Harmon no longer in the picture for 2020, Inman figures to slot somewhere alongside Cam Sims, Steven Sims Jr., and fourth-round pick Antonio Gandy-Golden on the depth chart. The status of Cody Latimer – who facing multiple charges following his May arrest – remains murky.

Inman made his name with the Chargers in 2016, catching 58 passes for 810 yards and four touchdowns in a breakout season. In recent years, he’s bounced around a bit. The Bolts traded Inman to the Bears midway through 2017, but he wasn’t able to regain his old form. In 2018, he inked a one-year deal with the Colts and went on to catch 28 passes for 304 yards and three scores in nine games. Last year, he signed deals with the Patriots and Chargers before circling back to the Colts. All in all, he finished 2019 with 12 grabs for 181 yards.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Cut 2018 Second-Round Pick P.J. Hall

The Raiders will release defensive tackle P.J. Hall, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The Raiders used a second-round pick on Hall just two years ago. 

[RELATED: Raiders To Sign Jeremy Hill]

Hall, a Sam Houston State product, cracked the starting lineup in 2019. However, the Raiders went in a different direction this offseason, signing former Cowboys DT Maliek Collins to start alongside Maurice Hurst. Collins, 25, came on a fairly reasonable one-year, $6MM deal. Ultimately, they preferred his experience and 55 career starts to Hall’s raw talent.

Hall started in 12 of his 16 games last year, finishing out with 26 tackles and 1.5 sacks from the interior. Head coach Jon Gruden ran the 2018 draft for the Raiders, but he didn’t feel that Hall was worth keeping two years later. Cutting Hall won’t save the Raiders a whole lot of cash – they’ll carry $750K in dead money with just $532K coming off of the books. However, Hall’s release will clear a roster spot for the Raiders as they work their way down to an 80-man roster and welcome running back Jeremy Hill.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.