August 31st, 2018 at 6:41pm CST by Dallas Robinson
The 49ers acquired offensive tackleShon Coleman earlier this evening, but that wasn’t the only transaction for the club. San Francisco has also begun trimming its roster in advance of Saturday’s roster deadline.
Williams was a fourth-round pick in the 2016 draft, but he’s being pushed off the roster by veterans such as Alfred Morris and Raheem Mostert. Locke lost out in his camp battle with fourth-year punter Bradley Pinion. Robinson has followed 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan to each of his three stops.
The 49ers have signed defensive tackles Cedric Thornton and Will Sutton, as well as offensive lineman J.P. Flynn, the club announced today. In corresponding moves, San Francisco has cut defensive back Don Jones, offensive lineman Jamar McGloster, and defensive lineman Blaine Woodson.
Of the players involved in today’s transactions, Thornton boasts the longest NFL track record. A former three-year starter for the Eagles, Thornton signed a four-year deal with the Cowboys prior to the 2016 campaign but lasted only a single season. He latched on with the Bills just before the 2017 season got underway and ultimately appeared in 15 games, playing on roughly a third of Buffalo’s defensive snaps.
Sutton, meanwhile, is a former third-round pick of the Bears who flamed out after three seasons. Although he inked a deal with the Vikings last summer, Sutton didn’t make Minnesota’s initial 53-man roster and spent the rest of the year on the workout circuit. While he never did land a deal last year, Sutton is still only 26 years old.
The 49ers aren’t hurting for depth along their interior defense, as starters DeForest Buckner and Earl Mitchell are backed up by Chris Jones, Sheldon Day, and others, while end Arik Armstead can also play inside. Still, Thornton and/or Sutton could have an outside chance to make San Francisco’s roster if they perform well during training camp.
September 1st, 2017 at 4:11pm CST by Zachary Links
Will Sutton has been released by the Vikings, Andrew Krammer of the Star Tribune tweets. Sutton was signed to the roster in May.
The 25-year-old, a third round pick of the Bears in the 2014 draft, was cut loose by Chicago this May. In the last three years, he started in half of his games and the advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus indicate that he had his best season to date in 2016. Still, GM Ryan Pace shopped him before last year’s season opener and pushed him out the door this year.
For one reason or another, he wasn’t up to the Vikings’ standards either.
Philadelphia was reportedly aggressive in trying to trade up to No. 2 in the 2015 draft to land quarterback Marcus Mariota, who played under then-Eagles head coach Chip Kelly at Oregon in 2012. But Kelly shot that down in a discussion with ESPN’s Adam Schefter, revealing that talks didn’t go anywhere because Tennessee wasn’t interested in moving the pick (via Matt Lombardo of NJ.com). “That’s all speculation that’s out there, you hear stories that ‘we offered this, we offered that,” said Kelly. “We didn’t offer anything because they weren’t taking any offers for it.” Unable to move up 18 spots to land Mariota, the Eagles ultimately stayed at No. 20 and selecting wide receiver Nelson Agholor, who has disappointed in the NFL. Kelly didn’t even finish out the 2015 season with the Eagles, who fired him prior to Week 17 and then went on to select a different potential franchise signal-caller, Carson Wentz, after moving up to No. 2 overall (by way of a trade with the Browns) in 2016.
Just over a month after signing running back Latavius Murray in free agency, presumably to start, the Vikings selected ex-Florida State rusher Dalvin Cook in the second round of the draft. Murray addressed that Wednesday, telling NFL Network (per Kevin Patra of NFL.com): “I was home, watching the draft — I try to keep up regardless, just with the game itself. So they draft him. It wasn’t a surprise. When you see a guy, again, first-round potential sitting there in the second round, they snatch him up, you can’t be surprised. It motivates me regardless, because they’re always going to bring in somebody to take over for your position.” Even with Cook in the fold, Murray expects to rack up the lion’s share of the Vikings’ rushing attempts in 2017, and the ex-Raider plans to mentor the younger back. “As I said, MJD [Maurice Jones-Drew], Darren McFadden, Marcel Reece, those guys did everything they could to try and help me be a better player, and I’m going to do the same for Dalvin,” Murray noted. “Again, it’s going to come down to who is going to be the best player that can play. Because I give Dalvin knowledge and try to help him, doesn’t mean, OK, that I shouldn’t go out there and outperform him and outcompete.”
The Vikings believe they may have a steal on their hands in another newcomer, defensive tackle Will Sutton, suggests Andrew Krammer of the Star Tribune. Sutton, whom the NFC North rival Bears cut in May and who signed with the Vikings a week later, wasn’t playing in an ideal scheme in Chicago, according to Minnesota’s brass. “We felt like when [the Bears] went to a 3-4, it was probably not a real good fit for him,” said Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer.“His game is based on quickness and acceleration and penetration, so we’ve kind of had our eye on him for a while.” Pro Football Focus disagrees with Zimmer, for what it’s worth, as the outlet gave Sutton easily the best grade of his three-year career last season. He posted poor marks over the two prior seasons, though, including a rookie campaign (2014) spent in a 4-3.