Tagged in: veteran

Ravens sign veteran CB Tramon Williams

The Ravens have added a veteran cornerback to fortify a position hit hard by injuries. Tramon Williams, who has spent most of his career with the Green Bay Packers, has been signed to the 53-man roster.

Williams substitutes cornerback Khalil Dorsey (shoulder), who has been placed on injured reserve.

The 37-year-old Williams has 34 career interceptions, but has not played this campaign after his second stint with the Packers ended in 2019. An undrafted free agent in 2006 from Louisiana Tech, Williams had his best years with the Packers, where he played from 2006-14 and acquired a Super Bowl in 2010.

In his second stint with Green Bay that started in 2018, Williams started 23 games, including seven games last season. Though he has primarily been a cornerback, Williams also played some safety for the Packers last season.

Williams has also played for the Houston Texans, Cleveland Browns and Arizona Cardinals.

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Williams will add depth to the cornerback rotation that includes Pro Bowlers Marcus Peters and Marlon Humphrey, veteran Jimmy Smith and second-year pro Terrell Bonds. Humphrey (COVID-19) is expected to return this week after missing Sunday’s game versus the Indianapolis Colts.

Dorsey, who dislocated his shoulder during Sunday’s game in Indianapolis, joins a lengthy list of injured cornerbacks from Baltimore. Tavon Young and Iman Marshall are out for the season with knee injuries and Anthony Averett (shoulder) is on injured reserve, though he could return later this year.

Dorsey will be out at least the next three matches. The Ravens have also signed two players to the practice squad – defensive back Nate Brooks and offensive tackle R.J. Prince. Prince was on the Ravens’ practice squad last season and has also spent time with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Brooks was an undrafted free agent from North Texas in 2019 who has been with the Cardinals, New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins.

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Seattle Seahawks release veteran TE Luke Willson

The Seattle Seahawks released veteran tight end Luke Willson on Tuesday.

The 30-year-old Willson has played sparingly this campaign as the Seahawks’ No. 4 tight end behind Greg Olsen, Will Dissly and Jacob Hollister. They just activated rookie fourth-round pick Colby Parkinson from the non-football injury list, adding to their logjam at the position.

Seattle also has undrafted rookie Tyler Mabry on its practice squad as well as rookie seventh-round pick Stephen Sullivan, who plays tight end and defensive end. Sullivan made his NFL debut at defensive end Sunday after being elevated for the Seahawks’ victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

Willson has played 10 offensive snaps in five games without a target. Willson was a fifth-round pick by the Seahawks in 2013, the year they won Super Bowl XLVIII. He spent his first five seasons with Seattle and played for the Detroit Lions in 2018 before returning to the Seahawks the following year.

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Releasing Willson will leave the Seahawks with two open spots on their 53-man roster, which figure to be filled by defensive ends Carlos Dunlap and Rasheem Green. The Seahawks now have a roster exemption for Dunlap after acquiring him in a trade last week with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Coach Pete Carroll has said he expects Green to return this week off injured reserve.

In other Seahawks news, wide receiver Phillip Dorsett had surgery Tuesday to repair the foot injury that’s sidelined him all season. A source told ESPN that part of the issue with Dorsett’s foot was bone spurs that needed to be cleaned out. He had been able to run but wasn’t 100%. There’s some hope that Dorsett can return later this season, the source said, but it’s not a sure thing.

Dorsett has been on injured reserve since late September and has been eligible to return. Asked about Dorsett’s status on Monday, coach Pete Carroll made it clear he wasn’t coming back anytime soon.

“Phillip Dorsett is not doing well,” he stated. “His foot has really not responded. We’ll let you know. We haven’t done anything about that yet but he’s not ready to go.”

Asked if surgery was a probability, Carroll said: “It’s not ready to be disclosed yet to tell you what’s going on, but it’s not looking good for the near future, and he’s been doing everything he can and is frustrated and all that. So in the next couple days, we’ll get a little more clarity on it.”

The Seahawks signed the former first-round pick to a one-year, minimum-salary deal in March. Their offense has been leading the NFL in scoring, with Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf tied for the league lead in touchdown receptions at seven apiece. 

David Moore, rookie Freddie Swain and Penny Hart are the other wide receivers on Seattle’s 53-man roster.

Josh Gordon remains on the reserve/suspended list as he awaits reinstatement by the NFL from his indefinite suspension. Also Tuesday, the Seahawks waived linebackers Mychal Kendricks and Michael Divinity off their practice squad.

One of those open spots on the practice squad could go to running back Alex Collins, who started COVID-19 testing Friday.

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Cincinnati Bengals trade Carlos Dunlap to Seattle Seahawks

Veteran defensive end Carlos Dunlap has been traded to the Seattle Seahawks for offensive lineman B.J. Finney and a seventh-round pick in the 2021 NFL draft, it was revealed Wednesday.

The Seahawks’ defense has permitted the most yards of any team through six games in NFL history, and their pass rush has been a primary issue. The unit has only nine sacks through six games and didn’t even register an official hit on Kyler Murray during an overtime loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday night.

Due to having to go through COVID-19 protocols, the earliest Dunlap could make his Seahawks debut is Week 9 at Buffalo.

“I’m not going to lie, I’m nervous as hell but I’m excited,” Dunlap said on Instagram story about joining the Seahawks. “… It’s all up from here. It’s all up from here. Let’s go. I get to play. Above all, I get to play.”

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The trade ends a Cincinnati saga that spiraled past its breaking point Wednesday, when the Bengals asked Dunlap not to come to the team’s facilities as they sought a trading partner, sources told ESPN’s Dianna Russini, confirming a report by NFL Network.

Dunlap, 31, had two years left on a contract extension that was set to expire at the end of the 2021 campaign.

However, the likelihood of Dunlap finishing his career in Cincinnati diminished after the events of recent weeks.

The 2010 second-round draft pick had grown increasingly frustrated with his role in the Bengals’ defense and had come off the bench in the past three matches.

At the end of the team’s 37-34 loss to the visiting Cleveland Browns on Sunday, Dunlap went after defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo regarding his playcalling, according to a source.

The defensive end also posted a property listing minutes after the loss on social media in posts that were later deleted.

Bengals coach Zac Taylor called a news conference Wednesday evening after the trade became official.

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Seattle Seahawks sign Mychal Kendricks to practice squad

The Seahawks made a modification at safety Wednesday with Lano Hill going to IR, promoting Damarious Randall from the practice squad. They also brought back a familiar face at linebacker. 

Damarious Randall has already been elevated from the practice squad twice to play in the Seahawks’ past two matches, and now the veteran safety has a spot on the 53-man roster, having been signed Wednesday to take the spot of safety Lano Hill, who was placed on injured reserve with a back injury that has kept him out of the past three games.

The Seahawks also added a pair of veteran linebackers to the practice squad, signing Mychal Kendricks, a 14-game starter for Seattle last campaign, and Ray-Ray Armstrong, an eight-year veteran who has appeared in 84 games over his career with the Cowboys, 49ers, Giants, Raiders, Rams and Browns.

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Randall, a 2015 first-round pick with 56 career starts on his resume, signed to Seattle’s practice squad ahead of the Week 4 game at Miami, and was elevated from the practice squad both for that game and the Week 5 victory over Minnesota. Under a new rule this season, practice squad players can be elevated for game weekends without counting towards the 53-man roster limit, but can only do so twice, and Seahawks coach Pete Carroll indicated on Monday that this move could be coming with Randall.

“I hope we’ll get to see more of Randall going forward,” Carroll stated. “He’s a good ballplayer and he’s been around us now enough as he’s starting to dig in. So I’m excited about what he can add.”

Carroll’s Monday press conference also hinted that Hill’s move to IR could be coming.

“Lano’s got some issues with his back that haven’t really turned in the right direction,” Carroll said. “We’re looking after him right now. He’s not ready to come back yet.”

Kendricks, a former second-round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles, started 17 games for the Seahawks over the past two campaigns after signing with the Seahawks late in the 2018 season, both at weakside and strongside linebacker.

Last year Kendricks had 71 tackles, 3.0 sacks and one interception as Seattle’s starting strongside linebacker, but tore his ACL in Week 17, causing him to miss Seattle’s two playoff games. Kendricks is the latest accomplished veteran to join Seattle’s practice squad after Randall and former All-Pro defensive tackle Damon Harrison.

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Le’Veon Bell released by New York Jets

The New York Jets’ rocky relationship with Le’Veon Bell came to a sudden end on Tuesday when the Jets informed they had released the running back.

It ended a 19-month tenure that was filled with disappointment and broken promises. Bell, who arrived as a marquee free agent in 2019, never clicked with coach Adam Gase, who opposed the signing from the outset.

“After having conversations with Le’Veon and his agent and exploring potential trade options over the past couple of days, we have made the decision to release Le’Veon,” the team said in a statement.

“The Jets organization appreciates Le’Veon’s efforts during his time here and we know he worked hard to make significant contributions to this team. We believe this decision is in the best interests of both parties and wish him future success.”

As a vested veteran, Bell is not subject to waivers. He will be a free agent at 4 p.m. ET Wednesday.

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Frustrated by his lack of participation in the offense, Bell met with Gase and general manager Joe Douglas on Monday, a source said. They told Bell they would explore a trade, and they gave his agent authorization to speak with other teams.

The Jets contacted every team but found the contract was difficult to move.

They were willing to eat some of the $6 million remaining on his 2020 base salary, but the sticking point was an $8 million injury guarantee in 2021, a source said. No team wanted to take on that much risk, fearing a serious injury this campaign.

In the end, neither did the Jets. They could’ve continued to shop him until the Nov. 3 trading deadline, hoping to recoup a late-round pick, but they too were wary of the injury guarantee, knowing they were planning to cut him in the offseason.

The Jets are responsible for the remaining $6 million on Bell’s 2020 base pay, but there’s an offset clause that will defray it by the amount of the salary on a new contract with his next team.

Bell returned to the lineup on Sunday and carried the ball 13 times for 60 yards. He was targeted only once in the passing game.

On several occasions, Gase talked about getting Bell more involved as a receiver. On Sunday, rookie running back La’Mical Perine saw no action.

Bell’s departure should create playing time for Perine, who will share the workload with the 37-year-old Gore.

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Detroit Lions likely to roll with veteran Adrian Peterson as lead running back

Adrian Peterson had more snaps, rushes and yards than the rest of the Detroit Lions’ running backs combined Sunday. And based on what his offensive coordinator, Darrell Bevell, stated Tuesday, it looks as though the 35-year-old future Hall of Famer might end up being the lead back for the club for the immediate future as well.

Peterson played 40 snaps in the Lions’ 26-23 victory versus Arizona on Sunday, getting 22 carries for 75 yards along with one catch for 10 yards. That followed two weeks of a committee approach among Peterson, Kerryon Johnson and D’Andre Swift.

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Those situations come with Peterson atop the depth chart.

Detroit signed Peterson after he was released by Washington on Sept. 4. He said he had the chance to go to a couple of teams, but he selected the Lions because of an opportunity to play again with Bevell, who was his offensive coordinator at the start of his career in Minnesota.

So far, Peterson has averaged 4.9 yards per carry (43 attempts, 209 yards). Johnson has averaged 3.4 yards (18 attempts, 62 yards), while rookie Swift is averaging 2.5 yards (8 attempts, 20 yards).

Bevell did praise Johnson on Sunday, calling him the “player of the game” due to his pass-protection pickup and the nuances that led to Jesse James’ touchdown reception.

But it appears Johnson, who has been Detroit’s lead back when healthy the past two campaigns, might not touch the ball as much as he has in the past.

The question now might be whether the Lions have to manage Peterson’s workload. He has already played in 167 career games and carried the ball 3,079 times for 14,425 rushing yards. Plus, he’s at an age when most running backs are retired or playing a much less significant role.

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Buccaneers sign kicker Ryan Succop, waive Elliott Fry

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have reshuffled their kicking competition with less than two weeks left before they open up the regular season versus the New Orleans Saints.

On Tuesday, the club announced that it has signed veteran kicker Ryan Succop and released Elliott Fry. Succop takes Fry’s place on the roster and will now directly compete with second-year incumbent kicker Matt Gay for the job in 2020. 

Succop signed a minimum one-year deal with Tampa Bay, according to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, that will pay him just $150,000 in guarantees so there isn’t much financial risk here.

The 33-year-old will have to make quick work proving that he’s a better option than Gay, however, as there are just four days left before Saturday’s roster cuts. 

The veteran has 11 seasons in the NFL under his belt and has netted 82.2% of his field goals throughout his career. Injuries derailed his 2019 campaign but he was able to hit 86.7% of his field goals and 90.3% of his extra points during his last full season in the league in 2018.

After coming off of IR in late October last year, Succop appeared in six games before landing back on IR in December.

Over that stretch, he hit one of his six field-goal tries and was 24-of-25 on extra points. 

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“I’m looking for consistency on the gimmes,” head coach Bruce Arians stated on Sunday when he was asked about what he’s looking for in a kicker.

“We can’t miss extra points. We can’t give away easy points. Kicks inside the 30-yard line should be automatic. If you can make a 56 yarder, that’s great. But, when we drive the ball down to the 10[-yard line] and miss a field goal, there’s nothing that tears a team more apart on offense than, ‘Hey, we just took the ball down the field and we didn’t get any points.’ So, the ‘gimmes’ – who’s the most consistent? If you can do that and still kick 56, 57[-yard field goals], now you’re All-Pro.”

Arians added on Monday that it’s mildly unsettling that the Buccaneers do not have a stable kicker with the regular season approaching, but said: “Whoever we line up out there, we’re going to have confidence in.”

As for Gay, he converted 77.1% of his field goals during his rookie year after Tampa Bay picked him in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft out of Utah. Gay also hit 89.6% of his extra-point attempt.

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Titans sign veteran QB Trevor Siemian as backup

Logan Woodside is no longer the second-most experienced quarterback on the Titans roster.

The team on Wednesday signed veteran quarterback Trevor Siemian to a one-year deal, according to his agent, Mike McCartney. Siemian will contest Woodside for the backup quarterback role behind starter Ryan Tannehill.

Also, the team cut seventh-round pick Cole McDonald, a source confirmed to The Tennessean. McDonald had struggled through the early portion of training camp.

Siemian, 28, was a seventh-round pick of the Broncos in 2015 and brings with him the NFL experience that Woodside lacks. Siemian has played in 27 matches in his NFL career, including 25 starts. He’s 13-12 in those games.

For his career, the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Siemian has completed 59.2% of his passes and has thrown for 5,689 yards with 30 touchdowns and 24 interceptions. He signed a one-year deal with the Jets in March 2019, but an ankle injury ended his season in September. Before appearing in one game for New York, Siemian’s last time seeing game action came in December 2017.

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Woodside, a seventh-round pick out of Toledo in 2018, has yet to take a snap in an NFL game.

He spent time on the Titans’ practice squad in each of the past two seasons and has earned high praise this offseason as he vies for the backup quarterback role.

“He’s earned the opportunity right now to earn the job,” Titans quarterbacks coach Pat O’Hara stated last week of Woodside. “The rest remains to be seen.” Earlier this month, Tannehill said, “I love playing with guys like (Woodside) who enjoy playing the game, enjoy the daily grind, the preparation, the hard work. He’s been a guy like that since Day 1. … He’s accurate. He can make all the throws. I feel like mentally, he’s mastering this offense just from being in it for a few years now. I feel like he has all the tools needed. It’s just a matter of going out and making it happen.”

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Yonder Alonso returns to Padres in exchange for Braves

The Padres have obtained first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Braves for cash, Dennis Lin of The Athletic tweets. He’ll join the Padres’ taxi squad. Alonso had been with the Braves on a minor league contract since the winter, and he hasn’t accrued an at-bat this year.

Now 33 years old, Alonso’s a veteran of a handful of major league organizations since he joined the Reds as the seventh overall pick in 2008.

Alonso’s no stranger to the Padres, who acquired him in a 2011 blockbuster with the Reds, but he made a minimum impact in San Diego before it dealt him to Oakland in 2015.

Alonso had his best season between Oakland and Seattle in 2017, but he has generally offered middling production relative to his offensively charged position.

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He has taken 3,773 plate appearances in the majors, including a combined 335 between the White Sox and Rockies last year, and batted .259/.332/.404 (102 wRC+) with 100 home runs.

Now that he’s back with the Padres, Alonso will provide the club a bit of insurance at first behind Eric Hosmer, Jake Cronenworth and Ty France.

He’s also now part of the same organization as brother-in-law Manny Machado, the Padres’ third baseman.

It’s also the city where Machado and Alonso’s sister make their home out of season.

“I’m really excited to finally have my brother-in-law on the same team,” Machado said Tuesday after the Padres beat the Dodgers 6-2.

Alonso was on the Braves’ shortlist after failing to show up to their other training site. It will report to the Padres alternate site at the University of San Diego. He is being brought in ostensibly for depth at first base but also to work with young hitters and give the young pitchers at the alternate site a veteran hitter to work against.

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Lamar Miller, Patriots agree to one-year deal

The Jacksonville Jaguars are down two more defensive linemen, bringing their total Lamar Miller is heading to New England. The veteran running back is signing with the Patriots pending a physical, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter. It’ll be a one-year deal for Miller.

It was just about one year ago that the 29-year-old tore his ACL in a preseason contest while playing for the Texans. As Schefter notes on Twitter, the running back is “said to he fully recovered and ready to play this season.” Miller had been with the Texans since 2016, and he earned a Pro Bowl nod during his last healthy season.

During that 2018 campaign, the veteran rushed for five scores and 973 yards on 210 carries (4.6 yards per carry) while adding 25 receptions for 163 receiving yards and one touchdown. While he only rushed for 18 yards during that season’s playoff loss to the Colts, he did add eight receptions for 63 yards.

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Prior to his stint with the Texans, the former fourth-rounder spent the first four seasons of his career with the Dolphins. This included 2014 and 2015 campaigns where he averaged 985.5 rushing yards and eight touchdowns per season.

Miller is joining a very crowded depth chart in New England, and today’s signing makes it even more uncertain. 

Sony Michel disappointed during his sophomore campaign (and he’s currently sitting on the PUP), but he still managed to finish the 2019 season with 912 rushing yards and seven touchdowns.

The team is also rostering versatile veterans like James White and Rex Burkhead, and there was some hope that 2019 third-rounder Damien Harris could contribute following a pseudo-redshirt year. Of course, that running game should also feature plenty of Cam Newton.

While Miller’s path to a roster spot is more uncertain than the quarterback’s, the duo could be called on to lead a revamped New England offense in 2020.

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