Transactions

Vikings Sign TE Robert Tonyan

Robert Tonyan‘s trip around the NFC North will continue in 2024. The veteran tight end has a deal in place with the Vikings, ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Jeremy Fowler report. The deal is now official, per a team announcement. Minnesota has waived undrafted linebacker Donovan Manuel in a corresponding move.

Tonyan – who entered the NFL as a Lions UDFA – played for the Packers from 2018-22. During that span, he eclipsed 50 receptions on two occasions, scoring 11 touchdowns in 2020. The 30-year-old was an offensive mainstay for Green Bay during his final three Packers campaigns in particular.

Last offseason, Tonyan made another intra-divisional move by signing a one-year Bears pact. He played all 17 games in Chicago, but his offensive role was dwarfed by his special teams workload. The Indiana State product made only 11 scoreless receptions in 2023, and it comes as no surprise he found himself on the open market well after the draft.

Chicago also had ex-Packer Marcedes Lewis in the fold last year, but he too has not been re-signed. The Bears instead turned their attention to Gerald Everettwho joined in free agency on a two-year, $12MM deal. The 29-year-old will join Cole Kmet (who received a lucrative extension last summer) as a key member of the Bears’ very different looking offense this season.

Minnesota also has an established top tight end. Upon arrival via trade from the Lions, T.J. Hockenson has proven to be an effective producer when healthy. His first full Vikings campaign came to an abrupt end due to ACL and MCL tears, though, and he continues to rehab in the hopes of being available to start the 2024 season. Especially if Hockenson misses time, Tonyan could step into a first-team role. The latter has 24 starts to his name.

At a minimum, Tonyan should be able to carve out a rotational spot in Minnesota. The team retained Johnny Mundt as well as Nick Muse, but they did not add a rookie via the draft. As the Vikings transition to Sam Darnold enter center, a pass-catching corps headlined by Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison will now have Tonyan in the mix.

Bills Sign S Dee Delaney, Release WR Quintez Cephus

The Bills have added depth to their secondary while giving their special teams a boost. The team announced on Thursday that safety Dee Delaney has been signed.

The 29-year-old began his career with one-year stints in Jacksonville and Washington. During that span, Delaney appeared in only three games, and he was all-but exclusively used on special teams. After seeing sparse defensive playing time with those teams (and spending brief tenures on the Dolphins’ practice squad and the Jets’ offseason roster in between), though, he found a home in Tampa Bay.

Delaney joined the Buccaneers in 2021, and in his first campaign with the team he played over 200 defensive snaps – a notable increase from the four he had previously logged. The former UDFA again saw most of his action come in the third phase, and that continued the following season. Last year, though, Delaney took on a rotational role in the Bucs’ secondary, seeing two starts. He notched career highs in interceptions (two) and pass deflections (five) while making 25 tackles.

Buffalo released Jordan Poyer as part of the team’s cost-cutting moves this offseason. His longtime running mate at the safety spot (Micah Hyde) is unsigned, and his playing future remains in doubt. The Bills brought in Mike Edwards during free agency and re-signed Taylor Rapp before selecting Cole Bishop in the second round of the draft. Delaney will therefore have plenty of competition for playing time in his latest home.

In a corresponding move, wideout Quintez Cephus has been released. The former Lion was signed last month in a deal which followed his reinstatement from a gambling suspension. That seemed to put Cephus on track for a rotational spot in the team’s receiver room, but Buffalo signed Marquez Valdes-Scantling earlier this week. Cephus, 26, will now return to free agency and attempt to find a new opportunity elsewhere.

NFL Draft Pick Signings: 5/15/24

Here are the NFL’s midweek draft pick signings:

Arizona Cardinals

Kansas City Chiefs

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Minor NFL Transactions: 5/15/24

Wednesday’s minor NFL moves:

Atlanta Falcons:

Denver Broncos

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Signed: Ty Summers
  • Waived with injury designation: WR Wayne Ruby

Minnesota Vikings

Lynch sat on the free agent market for quite some time, but his patience pays off. He’ll return to Minnesota for his fourth season with the team. He’s started three games for the Vikings in 28 game appearances over the last two years.

Allen, a part of Denver’s 13-man undrafted free agent class, sees a short tenure with the Broncos come to an end. Once again, he’ll be free to sign with anyone else in the NFL who may have interest.

Commanders To Add WR Damiere Byrd

A seventh team will sign off on a Damiere Byrd contract. The veteran wide receiver, who spent 2023 with three teams, will join the Commanders, per Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz.

Byrd trekked to Washington on Wednesday for a workout, KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson tweets, noting the well-traveled vet joined Martavis Bryant on this audition. Bryant remains unsigned, while it will be Byrd receiving an opportunity in Washington.

While a number of Dan Quinn-driven reunions have commenced in Washington this offseason, Byrd will return to a Kliff Kingsbury-run offense. Byrd, 31, was in Arizona for Kingsbury’s Cardinals HC debut back in 2019. While Byrd’s 2023 journey makes it far from certain he will be on the Commanders’ 53-man roster this season, he will bring some experience in the system Kingsbury is implementing.

Byrd’s original team, the Panthers, reacquired him during the ’23 offseason but released him from IR after an August injury settlement. The Falcons, who employed Byrd in 2022, brought him back after his summer hamstring injury healed. By mid-January, Byrd was in Houston as an emergency option for a Texans team down multiple wide receivers. Altogether, however, Byrd played in just one game last season. He will attempt to rebound from a lost year.

A diminutive target at 5-foot-9 and 175 pounds, Byrd has been with the Panthers, Cardinals, Patriots, Bears, Falcons, Texans and Commanders. Moved from a special teams presence into a more regular receiving role under Kingsbury in 2019, the former Panthers UDFA’s best season came during Cam Newton‘s Patriots starter year. Byrd caught 47 passes for 606 yards in 2020; he has operated as more of a role player since. Byrd did average 20.6 yards per catch with the Falcons in 2022, scoring two touchdowns in a 268-yard season.

Washington has added two smaller wideouts in free agency, with Byrd joining ex-Falcons teammate Olamide Zaccheaus on Quinn’s team. They join the re-signed Jamison Crowder, who goes 5-9, as potential auxiliary options under Kingsbury. The Commanders closed this year’s third round by drafting Rice’s Luke McCaffrey. Holdovers Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson lead this Commanders position group

Broncos To Sign P Trenton Gill

While no one claimed Trenton Gill‘s rookie contract following his Bears exit, the two-year Chicago punter will have another chance elsewhere. The Broncos are signing Gill, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets.

Waived shortly after the Bears used a fourth-round pick on Iowa punter Tory Taylor, Gill will head to Denver after two years as Chicago’s punter. It appears he will compete with incumbent Riley Dixon for the Broncos’ punting gig.

The Bears placing fourth-round-level importance on upgrading at punter provided a clear sign Gill would not have a chance to keep his job in Chicago; the cut came days after the draft choice occurred. Gill, 25, served as the Bears’ punter over the past two seasons; he arrived in Illinois as a seventh-round pick out of NC State.

Dixon initially arrived in Denver as a seventh-rounder back in 2016, but the team traded him to the Giants to accommodate a Marquette King signing. The latter move did not pan out in Denver, with King lasting only four games with the 2018 team. The Broncos have cycled through punters in the years since, with Dixon coming back — via a two-year, $3.5MM deal — during Sean Payton‘s first offseason with the team. No guaranteed money remains on Dixon’s deal.

Gill averaged 46.1 yards per punt last season. Despite punting in Denver’s thin air, Dixon averaged 46.3 per boot. Gill averaged 46 even per punt in 2022, while Dixon fared better with the Rams (career-high 48.4). Both Dixon and Gill finished outside the top 20 in this category last season. Dixon, 30, finished last season having placed 34.2% of his punts inside the 20; Gill closed his second Bears slate at 26.9%.

Should Gill beat out Dixon, the Broncos will have used four punters in the past four seasons. The team deployed four between its 2018 Dixon trade and his 2023 return.

Bills Sign WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling

Marquez Valdes-Scantling‘s Bills visit has proven to be a fruitful one. The veteran wideout has a Buffalo agreement in place, as first reported by Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. The team has since announced the move.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter adds this one-year pact includes a $1.125MM signing bonus. The deal carries a maximum value of $4.5MM, and it eliminates another receiver from the post-draft free agent market. Valdes-Scantling will aim to provide Buffalo with a vertical threat in the team’s vastly different 2024 wideout setup.

The Bills lost Gabe Davis in free agency when he inked a three-year, $39MM deal with the Jaguars. Davis proved himself to be an effective field-stretcher during his four years in Buffalo, averaging 16.7 yards per reception. It came as little surprise when he departed, though, as the team turned its attention elsewhere in the pass-catching corps.

At the time of Davis’ departure, Stefon Diggs was still in place as the Bills’ top receiver. He was dealt to the Texans in April, however, creating a notable vacancy in terms of targets in the Buffalo passing attack. Curtis Samuel was added in free agency, and (after trading down twice) the team used its top draft pick on Keon Coleman. Quarterback Josh Allen was on board with selecting the Florida State product, and it will be interesting to see how their chemistry develops in 2024 and beyond.

Valdes-Scantling spent the past two seasons in Kansas City, helping the team win back-to-back Super Bowls. The 29-year-old only saw his catch percentage (51.2%) improve slightly compared to his tenure in Green Bay, and issues related to drops will no doubt be a talking point if they continue this season as he joins the Bills. Valdes-Scantling also met with the Chargers before his Buffalo summit, but he has elected to join Allen and Co. as they look to improve on last year’s run to the divisional round.

Buffalo’s switch to Joe Brady as offensive coordinator midway through the 2023 campaign saw the team lean more heavily on the running game. That will likely continue this season, with tight ends Dalton Kincaid and Dawson Knox each having a notable role. The receiver room will look much different, however, and Valdes-Scantling will look to carve out a starting spot ahead of free agency next offseason.

NFL Draft Pick Signings: 5/14/24

Teams continue to sign their draft picks to rookie contracts. We’ve collected today’s miscellaneous signings below:

Chicago Bears

  • OT Kiran Amegadjie (third round, Yale)

Cincinnati Bengals

Denver Broncos

Indianapolis Colts

Minnesota Vikings

  • OT Walter Rouse (sixth round, Oklahoma)

New York Giants

  • CB Dru Phillips (third round, Kentucky)

Seattle Seahawks

Minor NFL Transactions: 5/14/24

Today’s minor moves:

Cleveland Browns

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

San Francisco 49ers

Washington Commanders

Rams Sign Six Draft Picks

After previously completing their rookie agreement with second-round defensive tackle Braden Fiske, the Rams have signed six more of their draft picks. The team announced that they’ve signed the following players to rookie contracts:

  • Round 3, No. 83: Blake Corum (RB, Michigan)
  • Round 6, No. 196: Tyler Davis (DT, Clemson)
  • Round 6, No. 209: Joshua Karty (K, Stanford)
  • Round 6, No. 213: Jordan Whittington (WR, Texas)
  • Round 6, No. 217: Beaux Limmer (C, Arkansas)
  • Round 7, No. 254: KT Leveston (G, Kansas State)

Following a breakout 2021 campaign, Corum put together one of the best two-year stretches in Michigan football history. Between 2022 and 2023, the running back compiled 2,905 yards from scrimmage and 47 touchdowns, earning him a pair of All-American nods and Heisman Trophy consideration during his junior campaign. He finished his college career with a standout performance in the national championship, earning the game’s offensive MVP award after compiling 134 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

He’ll land in a dynamic offensive in Los Angeles. Kyren Williams is coming off a breakout campaign, but the starter still missed five games last season. That allowed the likes of Royce Freeman, Darrell Henderson, and Ronnie Rivers to each top 100 snaps; Corum could soak up all of those backup reps in 2024.

With today’s moves, the team now has three draft picks left to sign: first-round edge defender Jared Verse, third-round safety Kamren Kinchens, and fifth-round wide receiver Brennan Jackson.