Tyler Ervin

NFC North Notes: Golladay, Bears, Vikings

With Golden Tate long gone and Marvin Jones entering the final year of his contract, Kenny Golladay figures to be a high priority for the Lions this offseason. Because Golladay was a third-round pick, his fourth season doubles as a contract year. The Lions would like to extend him, and Golladay has expressed interest in a long-term Detroit stay, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press tweets. However, no extension talks have commenced yet. Despite Matthew Stafford missing much of the season, Golladay established career-high marks in receiving yardage (1,190) and touchdowns (11). With the floor for No. 1 wide receivers being around $16MM per year now, Golladay will not come cheap after back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons.

Here is the latest from the NFC North, shifting first to some more receiving situations:

  • Anthony Miller dealt with as many as five shoulder dislocations as a rookie in 2018, leading to a 2019 surgery. The Bears wide receiver’s shoulder troubles are not over. He underwent another shoulder operation recently, Jeff Dickerson of ESPN.com notes. Miller missed time during the 2019 offseason but did not miss a game last season. That seemingly won’t be an issue this year, with COVID-19 making it highly unlikely any teams will conduct any offseason workouts. The former second-round pick came on down the stretch last season, finishing 2019 with 52 catches for 656 yards.
  • The retooling Panthers did not pick up Jarius Wright‘s 2020 option, sending the veteran wideout into free agency. Although the Vikings shed Stefon Diggs‘ contract, do not expect Wright to return to Minnesota. The longtime Vikings slot receiver has a slim chance of returning to the team for which he played six seasons, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tweets. The Vikings released Wright in 2018; the 30-year-old wideout played the past two seasons with the Panthers.
  • The Packers‘ agreement with free agent running back/return man Tyler Ervin is a one-year, $1MM pact, Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com notes. Ervin will collect a $910K base salary. The Packers claimed Ervin off waivers from the Jaguars last year and used him on kick and punt returns.

Packers Claim Tyler Ervin

On Monday, the Packers announced that they have claimed former Jaguars running back Tyler Ervin. In a related move, the Packers dropped kick returner kick and punt returner Tremon Smith.

Smith, a 2018 sixth-round pick, broke onto the scene early on with the Chiefs and earned NFL All-Rookie Team honors as a return man. He ultimately finished the 2018 season with 33 kick returns for 886 yards (26.8-yard average). He played sparingly on defense, despite being formally listed as a cornerback, compiling only five tackles and one pass defended in 14 games. The Chiefs also briefly experimented with him at running back on the practice field and in preseason. This year, he appeared in seven games for Green Bay and returned 13 kicks for 303 yards, good for a 23.3 yard average.

After their latest special teams shuffle, the Packers will return to action on Sunday to take on the Redskins at Lambeau Field. At 9-3, they have a 93% chance of reaching the playoffs, per FiveThirtyEight.

Jaguars Activate LB Jake Ryan From NFI List

Out of game action for nearly two full seasons, Jake Ryan appears set to return to the field. The Jaguars activated the veteran linebacker from their NFI list Saturday, clearing the way for Ryan’s first game since the Packers’ 2017 regular-season finale.

The former Green Bay starter tore an ACL during the 2018 offseason and entered free agency on the heels of a lost season. Although the Jaguars expected Ryan to be ready for Week 1, an August setback shelved him for nearly three more months.

A fourth-round pick out of Michigan, Ryan started 27 games with the Packers. The ACL tear damaged his stock going into free agency, but the Jaguars — who hired ex-Packers DC Dom Capers this offseason — opted to take a chance on him via two-year, $8MM deal. Ryan’s injury likely prompted the Jags to guarantee him just $1MM and include a $5.5MM option bonus — due on the 22nd day of the 2020 league year — in the event he can display his old form.

On a Jaguars team that lost Telvin Smith in the offseason, Ryan will have a chance to convince the Jaguars to pick up that option. He combined for 160 tackles between the 2016-17 seasons, during which he served as a primary Green Bay starter at inside linebacker.

To make room on the 53-man roster, the Jags placed running back Tyler Ervin on IR.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Sunday NFL Transactions: AFC South

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four AFC South 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 Colts, Jaguars, Texans and Titans are noted below.

Additionally, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads today. 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 South transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Tennessee Titans

Ravens Move Down To 53

The Ravens minced their roster to 53 players, parting ways with UDFA Gerald Willis to get there. Baltimore also placed Tavon Young and Kenneth Dixon on IR.

Young suffered a neck injury recently and will miss a full season for the second time in three years. While Baltimore boasts a deep cornerback corps, losing its slot man again will not help the high-end defense’s cause. Dixon will head back to IR. The Ravens placed him on IR in September 2018 but used an IR-return slot on him. That will not be an option this year, which doubles as the running back’s contract slate.

Character concerns caused Willis, viewed as a high-Day 3-type prospect out of Miami, to go undrafted. He is now on the waiver wire.

Here are Baltimore’s cuts:

Placed on IR:

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/8/19

Here are the latest reserve/futures contract signings from around the NFL. These deals will go into effect on the first day of the 2019 league year, with players joining their respective clubs’ offseason 90-man rosters:

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

  • WR Duke Williams

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Miami Dolphins

  • LB Sam Eguavoen

New England Patriots

  • C Jake Eldrenkamp

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Houston Texans

Philadelphia Eagles

  • LB Alex Singleton

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • K Matt McCrane

Seattle Seahawks

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/14/18

We’ll keep track of today’s practice squad moves here:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Detroit Lions

  • Signed: DB David Jones

Indianapolis Colts

Oakland Raiders

Washington Redskins