Jets Continue To Turn Down Trade Offers For WR Denzel Mims

Despite only seeing three snaps through the first two weeks of the season, Jets wideout Denzel Mims apparently remains in the team’s plans. According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo (via Twitter), the Jets have continued to turn away trade suitors.

We previously heard that teams were keeping an eye on Mims’ status (and growing frustration) in New York, but Garafolo notes that teams keep “calling and calling and calling” the Jets about the receiver’s availability. That included this past week, which followed a Week 2 game where Mims was inactive. Still, Joe Douglas and the front office seemingly believe in the talented offensive weapon, as they’ve rebuffed all inquiries.

The Jets selected Mims in the second round of the 2020 draft, and following a rookie campaign that saw him finish with only 357 receiving yards, there was hope that he’d take a step forward with second-overall pick Zach Wilson under center. Instead, Mims has only seen three snaps (one of which resulted in a 40-yard reception) through two weeks.

According to Garafolo, the team is attributing Mims’ lack of playing time to a crowded depth chart. Since the second-year player is behind Corey Davis, Jamison Crowder, and Elijah Moore on the depth chart, the coaching staff wants Mims to learn each of the receiver roles, something the 23-year-old has apparently yet to master. Crowder is doubtful for tomorrow’s game against the Broncos, so there’s a chance that Mims could find himself getting some reps.

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Eagles Activate TE Zach Ertz From COVID-19 List

Zach Ertz‘s stint on the Reserve/COVID-19 list won’t knock him out of Monday’s game. The Eagles activated their veteran tight end today, the team announced. The team had an open roster spot, so no corresponding move was necessary.

Ertz landed on the COVID list earlier this week, but there was hope that he’d be able to play Monday night against the Cowboys (pending the results of his vaccination status/test results).

The team somewhat prepared for a potential Ertz absence when they added tight end Richard Rodgers to their practice squad earlier this week. Earlier this week, head coach Nick Sirianni acknowledged that the offense has to remain flexible based on Ertz’s status.

“You have to have double-plans out there. And so, without getting too much into that, it’s just everything has to be double-planned,” Sirianni said (via Chris McPherson of the team’s website). “You have to back it up of what you want to have in. Do you want to be in 12-personnel, do you want to be in 11-personnel? And so you just have to back up everything. This is just something that we’ve had to do and the nature of the business in the NFL.”

Now, the team can move forward with their standard depth chart of Dallas Goedert, Ertz, and Jack Stoll.

The 30-year-old has officially been relegated to a secondary role behind Goedert this season. Through two games, he has just three catches for 40 yards. This comes after a down year of 36/335/1 in eleven games, coupled with an offseason standoff with the organization. The veteran has just one year to go on his five-year, $42.5MM deal, putting him in line for free agency this spring.

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This Date In Transactions History: Bills, Panthers Pull Off September Trade

On this date in 2018, we got a rare September trade. On September 25, 2018, the Bills sent offensive lineman Marshall Newhouse to the Panthers. In exchange, Buffalo received a conditional 2021 seventh-round pick.

Newhouse started 31 of 47 games for the Packers through his first three seasons in the NFL, but by the time 2018 came around, Newhouse had struggled to hold a steady gig. Still, despite brief stints with the Bengals, Giants, and Raiders, the versatile lineman found a way to stick in the lineup. This included a 2017 campaign where he started each of his 14 games in Oakland.

So, while the Bills had some depth on the offensive line, Newhouse’s ability to play both tackle and guard made him a natural target once he was let go by the Raiders. During the 2018 offseason, Newhouse joined Buffalo on a one-year deal. It looked like Newhouse had carved out a role following the trade of Cordy Glenn and the departure of Seantrel Henderson. However, through the first few weeks of the season, the offensive lineman didn’t do much behind starters Dion Dawkins and Jordan Mills. So, on this date in 2018, the Bills decided to cut their losses and move on from the veteran, shipping him off to Carolina.

Carolina also seemed to value Newhouse’s versatility, except they had a depleted depth chart and needed the veteran to play. With Daryl Williams and Matt Kalil sidelined. the hope was that their acquisition would serve as a dependable backup and fill-in behind Taylor Moton and Amini Silatolu. Newhouse ended up seeing the field for 11 games (two starts) for his new team, and after seeing time on only 14 snaps in three games with Buffalo, he got into 197 snaps with the Panthers.

The Panthers didn’t qualify for the playoffs, and Newhouse decided to move on from the organization in 2019 as he pursued a ring. He signed with the Saints during the offseason, but he didn’t make it to the regular season. He ended up spending much of the 2019 campaign with the Patriots, getting into 15 games with nine starts. However, New England was ousted in the first round. Newhouse spent the 2020 campaign with the Titans, getting into only four games.

From Buffalo’s perspective, the trade was a mixed bag. The positive: the team quickly signed Jeremiah Sirles to take Newhouse’s spot on the roster, and he ended up getting into only 12 games (with five starts) for Buffalo. The negative: while the Bills ended up receiving that conditional seventh-round pick from the Panthers, they didn’t do much with it. They used the pick on Texas Tech offensive lineman Jack Anderson, but the rookie ended up getting waived by the team and landing on their practice squad. He was snagged by the Eagles earlier this week.

It’s hard to expect a whole lot from a September trade, and in hindsight, this trade really didn’t provide much intrigue for either side. Still, you’ve got to give credit to both squads for slightly shaking up their squads so early in the season.

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Buccaneers Rework OL Ali Marpet’s Contract

The Buccaneers have reworked Ali Marpet‘s contract. The team converted $5MM of the lineman’s contract into a guaranteed roster bonus. The move will open up about $4MM in cap space, according to ESPN’s Field Yates (via Twitter).

Specifically, the team added a pair of void years, and the offensive lineman’s cap charge will increase $1MM for each of the remaining “four” years on his contract. Marpet signed a five-year, $55.125MM extension (including more than $27MM guaranteed) with the Buccaneers in 2018 that (barring a legitimate extension) will last through the 2023 season.

The two sides did something similar in 2020. Marpet agreed to convert a portion of his salary into a signing bonus, opening up a similar $4MM chunk of cap space for the Buccaneers.

Marpet joined the organization as a second-round pick in 2015, and he’s spent his entire six-plus-year career in Tampa Bay. The lineman has started each of his 87 games since entering the NFL, including a Super Bowl-winning 2020 campaign where he started each of his 13 regular season games and all four of his postseason contests.

The 28-year-old has started each of the team’s two games this season, appearing in 100 percent of his team’s offensive snaps.

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Injury Notes: Steelers, JPP, Jets, Mailata

After suffering a pectoral injury in Week 2, Ben Roethlisberger is not in jeopardy of missing Week 3. The Steelers will have their 18th-year quarterback against the Bengals. Big Ben returned to full practice Friday. He will not have his top receiver available, however. Although Diontae Johnson‘s late-game injury was not believed to be serious, Mike Tomlin pushed back on the prospect the third-year wideout would quickly surmount his knee problem. The Steelers have declared their leading receiver out for Sunday. The third-year pass catcher has run into myriad injury issues as a pro, missing games or parts of games with several maladies last year. The Steelers have contract-year wideout James Washington set to step in as a full-timer.

Here is the latest from the injury front going into the season’s third Sunday:

  • In addition to being unlikely to have Antonio Brown available, the Buccaneers will be down Jason Pierre-Paul against the Rams. The 11th-year pass rusher will miss Week 3 with hand and shoulder injuries; he did not practice this week. Tampa Bay will be set to use first-round pick Joe Tryon-Shoyinka more extensively in L.A.
  • Andre Dillard looks likely to return to the Eagles‘ starting lineup for the first time since November 2019. Recently extended left tackle Jordan Mailata is likely to miss Monday night’s game against the Cowboys, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. A knee injury is expected to keep the ex-rugby player out of Philly’s lineup, though Garafolo notes the team does not view the setback as serious. Mailata suffered the injury in practice this week, E.J. Smith of the Philadelphia Inquirer adds. Dillard missed extensive camp time due to a knee injury and has not played an offensive snap since 2019.
  • The Jets will have Zach Wilson in uniform against the Broncos, but the rookie quarterback is playing through a groin injury. The No. 2 overall pick sustained the injury during the Jets’ Week 1 loss to the Panthers, Jeff Howe of The Athletic notes (subscription required). Wilson practiced fully this week, but Howe adds the BYU product went through an MRI recently. Although Wilson might not be in danger of missing time, this is certainly an issue to monitor.
  • The Packers are likely to be severely shorthanded on their O-line in San Francisco. Elgton Jenkins, who has filled in for PUP list-stationed David Bakhtiari at left tackle, is doubtful to face the 49ers because of an ankle issue. Green Bay will likely be forced to use its third left tackle option against the 49ers, who feature Nick Bosa as their primary blindside rusher. The Packers signed Dennis Kelly this offseason, giving them a potential option at right tackle in the event they slide right-side starter Billy Turner to left tackle.
  • Between their practice squad and active roster, the 49ers have seven running backs. That total balloons to nine if Raheem Mostert (IR) and Jeff Wilson (PUP) are included, and San Francisco’s backfield will be missing more pieces Sunday. Due to injuries sustained in Week 2, Elijah Mitchell and JaMycal Hasty are respectively doubtful and out for Sunday night’s game. On the bright side, third-round rookie Trey Sermon has cleared concussion protocol. Despite beginning the season as a healthy scratch, Sermon should be expected to start, Matt Barrows of The Athletic tweets. The 49ers have Trenton Cannon and recent addition Jacques Patrick, an XFL alum the 49ers added off the Bengals’ practice squad, on their active roster and Kerryon Johnson and Josh Hokit on their practice squad.

Colts Promote DT Antwaun Woods

The Colts quickly signed Antwaun Woods after his Cowboys release in May but did not play him during the season’s first two games. The veteran defensive tackle is on track to make his Indianapolis debut in Week 3.

Woods, 28, will rise from the Colts’ practice squad to their active roster, with the team clearing a spot by placing linebacker Jordan Glasgow on IR Friday.

A 32-game Cowboys starter from 2018-20, Woods received his walking papers in new Dallas defensive coordinator Dan Quinn‘s initial months on the job. The Colts signed Woods less than a week later but released him just before Week 1. Indy, however, gave Woods a practice squad gig shortly after.

While the Colts are set at defensive tackle, with DeForest Buckner and Grover Stewart entrenched as starters, Woods would be in line to provide some depth. The Colts have two former UDFAs — Taylor Stallworth and Chris Williams — stationed behind their starters presently. Known more for his run-stopping abilities than interior pass-rushing work, Woods played 57% of the Cowboys’ snaps in 2018 and worked as a full-time starter. The former UDFA started 10 games in 2019 but saw his role reduced during a woeful Dallas defensive season in 2020.

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Colts Audition T Isaiah Wilson

Ahead of the Colts’ Week 3 game against the Titans, they are working out a recent Tennessee first-round bust. Isaiah Wilson trekked to Indianapolis for an audition, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

One of the 2020 draft’s top tackle prospects, Wilson flamed out of Tennessee fast. After myriad issues limited Wilson to four snaps as a rookie, the Titans traded him to the Dolphins earlier this year. The Dolphins waived Wilson not long after acquiring him, leaving last year’s 29th overall pick out of football 11 months after being drafted.

Wilson’s laundry list of issues since being drafted include two arrests — one for DUI in 2020 and another after he was involved in a high-speed car chase in January — and a trespass warning for attending a party on the Tennessee State campus. Wilson had two stints on the Titans’ reserve/COVID-19 list and ended the season on Tennessee’s NFI list, that coming after a team-imposed suspension. The former Georgia blocker also tweeted about potentially being done with football in February.

This Colts meeting marks Wilson’s first workout since the Dolphins cut him in March. Indianapolis has experienced persistent problems at tackle this year, however.

Eric Fisher made his debut in Week 2 after completing Achilles rehab, but standout right tackle Braden Smith is currently sidelined with foot and thumb injuries. The Colts declared Smith out for the Titans matchup. Indianapolis also lost Sam Tevi for the season with an ACL tear.

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Panthers Work Out RB Duke Johnson

Duke Johnson is wrapping a two-visit work week. The former Browns and Texans passing-down back worked out for the Panthers on Friday, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Johnson visited the 49ers on Monday.

While widespread uncertainty has gripped San Francisco’s backfield, the 49ers went in another direction. Carolina, however, will be without Christian McCaffrey for weeks due to the hamstring injury the All-Pro suffered Thursday night. Johnson could seemingly have an opportunity for a 3-0 team that now lacks a proven receiving back.

The Panthers have rookie Chuba Hubbard and former Broncos contributor Royce Freeman. The former did catch 20-plus passes in his first two seasons at Oklahoma State, but the Canadian back did drop a pass at the goal line Thursday. Freeman did not factor into the Broncos’ passing game much during his three Denver seasons.

Johnson has excelled in this role, eclipsing 400 receiving yards in his first five NFL seasons. The Jaguars cut the former third-round pick from their practice squad last week, and while the veteran resided in free agency for months after his February Texans release, multiple teams have kicked the tires on him recently.

The 28-year-old back signed a Browns extension in 2018 but saw the team’s subsequent Kareem Hunt addition lead him out of Cleveland. Johnson missed five games last season but was productive for the Texans in 2019, averaging 4.9 yards per carry and totaling 820 scrimmage yards.

Additionally, Carolina auditioned running backs Ito Smith, Dontrell Hilliard and B.J. Emmons, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Hilliard, also primarily a passing-game option, joined Johnson on the 2018 Browns. Hilliard also played in two games for the Texans last season. Three teams — the Falcons, Cardinals and Vikings — cut Smith this offseason. Smith played three seasons with the Falcons, primarily functioning as a backup.

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