The Bills have swapped one receiver for another.
Buffalo announced on Thursday that the club has signed Marcell Ateman.
Ateman was a Raiders seventh-round pick back in 2018 and appeared in 19 games for the club through the 2021 season. While Ateman also spent time with the Cardinals last August, he did not make the team’s regular-season roster.
Ateman ended up playing with the XFL’s St. Louis BattleHawks in 2023.
The receiver has 20 career NFL receptions for 270 yards with one touchdown.
As a corresponding move, the Bills waived receiver Braydon Johnson. He’d signed with the team as an undrafted free agent last month.
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After finishing the 2022 season on an 8-2 run, the Lions are widely considered to be a contender in the NFC for the coming year.
Could that club get a boost by signing free-agent receiver DeAndre Hopkins?
“Yeah, I’m not gonna comment on that one,” head coach Dan Campbell said on Thursday when asked about Hopkins in his press conference. “But I like our receivers room. I think we’ve got a good mix of different types of guys. I think it’s important, really, in your skill positions between tight ends, backs, and receivers that you have a mix of different types of skillsets — and I feel like we have that. We’ve got possession, explosive, we’ve got speed. We’ve got consistency, quickness.
“So, I just think we have a lot of guys that can do a lot of different things. So, the more versatility you have, that opens up your packages personnel-wise, matchup-wise.”
The Lions do have talented receivers — like Amon-Ra St. Brown, who caught 106 passes for 1,161 yards with six touchdowns last season. But the club will be without 2022 first-round pick Jameson Williams for the first six games of 2023 due to his suspension for betting that occurred within a Lions facility.
It’s unclear whether or not Detroit will enter the Hopkins sweepstakes. But adding a receiver of his caliber would only help the club contend.
Now that receiver DeAndre Hopkins is officially on the open market, any coach can talk publicly about him.
That means plenty of them are going to be asked if their respective teams have any interest in signing the three-time, first-team All-Pro.
Titans head coach Mike Vrabel didn’t express much outward interest in Hopkins when asked about him on Wednesday.
“I think our focus has always been about the players who we have here. We’ll keep you updated as we continue to add players to the roster,” Vrabel said, via Turron Davenport of ESPN. “Players become available at different times of the year — all the way up until the trade deadline. And then some of those veteran players that may be out there that sign throughout the offseason, training camp, and even into the season. So, player acquisition is always going to be something that you can try to add to your roster at different times.”
Hopkins used to play in the AFC South, so going to the Titans would allow him to play against his former team in the Texans twice a year. But at this point, Tennessee’s roster does not necessarily look like it would attract Hopkins’ interest.
We’ll see what Hopkins’ market looks like as his first foray into free agency continues to unfold.
The Bills are adding an offensive tackle.
Free agent Brandon Shell plans to sign a one-year deal with Buffalo, according to multiple reports.
A fifth-round pick in the 2016 draft, Shell spent last season with the Dolphins. He appeared in 13 games with 11 starts and ended up playing 72 percent of the club’s offensive snaps.
Shell, 31, spent the previous two seasons with the Seahawks, starting 21 games for the team.
The Jets picked Shell with the 158th overall pick back and he spent his first four seasons with the team, starting 40 games.
DeAndre Hopkins is on the open market.
The Cardinals announced on Friday that they have released Hopkins, with the club unable to find a trade partner.
Darren Urban of the team’s website noted that Arizona will incur a dead cap hit of $21 million in 2023. Arizona has already used its two post-June 1 designations on former center Rodney Hudson and now-retired J.J. Watt.
But with quarterback Kyler Murray recovering from an ACL tear suffered late in the 2022 season, it might behoove the Cardinals to just rip off the proverbial bandage in the coming year.
The Cardinals acquired Hopkins in March 2020 from the Texans. He caught 115 passes for 1,407 yards with six touchdowns in his first year with the club. He was then limited to 10 games in 2021 due to injury, catching 42 passes for 572 yards. A suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy kept Hopkins out for the first six games of 2022. He finished the season with 64 catches for 717 yards with three TDs.
Hopkins was the 27th overall pick of the 2013 draft for Houston.
With no personnel notice coming on Friday, Hopkins’ release will be official through the league on Tuesday.
The Raiders have added some depth to their offensive line.
Las Vegas signed Greg Van Roten on Friday, the club announced.
Van Roten, 33, spent last season with the Bills. He appeared in all 16 of the club’s regular-season games with four starts. He played 33 percent of the team’s offensive snaps and 19 percent of special teams snaps.
Van Roten entered the league as an undrafted player out of Penn back in 2012 with the Packers. He spent a couple of years playing for the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL before making his way back to the NFL in 2017.
In all, Van Roten has played in 93 games with 54 starts for the Packers, Panthers, Jets, and Bills.
The Raiders have brought in another receiver who has familiarity with their head coach.
Las Vegas announced on Monday that the club has signed Kristian Wilkerson.
After entering the league with the Titans as an undrafted free agent in 2020, Wilkerson joined the Patriots practice squad in September of that year. He appeared in four games for New England from 2020-2021, recording four receptions for 42 yards with a pair of touchdowns.
Wilkerson missed the 2022 season due to injury and New England waived him February. The Colts claimed him but then waived him at the beginning of the month.
As a corresponding move, the Raiders waived Tyler Johnson. A Buccaneers fifth-round pick in 2020, Johnson had signed a futures deal with Las Vegas in January. He has 48 career receptions for 529 yards with two touchdowns.
It sounds like James Washington’s visit with New Orleans went well.
Washington will sign with the Saints on a one-year deal, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.
A second-round pick in 2018, Washington played his first four seasons with the Steelers before signing with the Cowboys last year. He suffered a foot injury during training camp that sidelined him until December.
Washington appeared in two games before the Cowboys released him. He finished the season on the Giants practice squad.
In four seasons with Pittsburgh, Washington caught 114 passes for 1,629 yards with 11 touchdowns. He had 24 receptions for 285 yards with a pair of TDs in 2021.
The Ravens hosted free agent interior offensive lineman Sam Mustipher on a visit late last week, Jeff Zrebiec of TheAthletic.com reports.
The Ravens have a need for a backup center with guard versatility after losing Trystan Colon to the Jets earlier this offseason. Patrick Mekari, the team’s swing tackle, has center experience.
But the Ravens likely want a better option behind Tyler Linderbaum, and Billy Price, Pat Elflein, Chase Roullier and Matt Skura also are available as free agents.
The Bears declined to extend a restricted free agent tender to Mustipher in March.
He started 40 games for the Bears the past three seasons.
The Panthers have agreed to terms with free agent offensive lineman Cam Erving on a one-year deal, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
Erving, 30, spent the past two seasons with the Panthers.
He played 11 games last season, seeing action on 76 offensive snaps and six on special teams. He started nine games at left tackle for the Panthers in 2021.
Erving will compete for the swing tackle job behind Ikem Ekwonu and Taylor Moton.
The Browns made Erving the 19th overall pick in 2015, and he spent two seasons in Cleveland, three in Kansas City and one in Dallas before landing in Carolina.
In his career, Erving has played 95 games with 56 starts.
The Colts are looking at adding some veteran depth to their offensive line.
According to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, Indianapolis recently had Chris Hubbard in for a free agent visit.
Hubbard has spent the last five seasons with the Browns, appearing in 46 games with 35 starts for the club over that time. He was a full-time starter in 2018 and 2019 but has been in a reserve role for the last three years. In 2022, he appeared in four games with one start, playing 39 offensive snaps and four special teams snaps.
Hubbard, 32, began his career with the Steelers as an undrafted free agent out of UAB in 2013. He made his debut in 2014 and appeared in 39 games with 14 starts for Pittsburgh through the 2017 season.
The Ravens signed cornerback Rock Ya-Sin this week, but Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said on Saturday that the move does not preclude them from making another move involving a familiar veteran face.
Marcus Peters remains unsigned after spending three-plus seasons in Baltimore and Harbaugh said that the team has not ruled out the possibility of bringing Peters back for another year.
“You don’t close the door on good players and good people,” Harbaugh said, via Jeff Zrebiec of TheAthletic.com.
Peters joined the Ravens in a 2019 trade with the Rams and missed the 2021 season with a torn ACL. He played 13 games last season and had 47 tackles, an interception, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries.
Chicago is adding a tight end.
The Bears are signing Stephen Carlson to a one-year deal, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.
Carlson, 26, entered the league in 2019 as an undrafted tight end out of Princeton, signing with the Browns. He appeared in 25 games for the club from 2019-2020 with seven starts. Carlson caught six catches for 62 yards with one touchdown in that span.
But Carlson tore his ACL during 2021 training camp and spent the season on injured reserve. He had at least one workout last year but did not end up signing with a team.
Now he’s landed with the Bears for the offseason program after participating in Chicago’s rookie minicamp over the weekend.
For teams in need of a backup quarterback, a veteran has just hit the open market.
The Colts have released Nick Foles, the team announced on Friday.
Foles, the Super Bowl LII MVP, signed a two-year deal with Indianapolis last May. He was one of three quarterbacks to start a game for the Colts in the club’s tumultuous 2022 season, the others being Matt Ryan and Sam Ehlinger. In three total appearances, Foles completed 59.5 percent of his passes for 224 yards with no touchdowns and four interceptions.
An Eagles third-round pick in 2012, Foles has appeared in 71 career games with 58 starts. His best years have come with two separate stints with Philadelphia, as he complied a 21-11 record starting record with the franchise. His four postseason wins with the Eagles came under now-Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson.
Foles has appeared in 71 career games with 58 starts for the Eagles, Rams, Chiefs, Jaguars, Bears, and Colts. He’s completed 62.4 percent of his career passes for 14,227 yards with 82 touchdowns and 47 interceptions.
The Colts selected quarterback Anthony Richardson with the No. 4 overall pick last week. They have Gardner Minshew and Ehlinger on the roster at the position as well.
Free agent quarterback Bryce Perkins will participate in the Giants’ rookie minicamp, according to multiple reports.
Perkins’ is the brother of former Giants running back Paul Perkins.
The Rams did not tender Bryce Perkins as a restricted free agent, which would have cost them $2.6 million. The Rams since have added Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett in the fourth round, UT-Martin quarterback Dresser Winn as a college free agent and veteran free agent Brett Rypien.
Perkins made his first career start last season and completed 13 of 23 passes for 100 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. The Rams lost to the Chiefs 26-10.
He is 19-of-34 for 161 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions in the five games he saw action in during the 2022 season.
Perkins joined the Rams as an undrafted free agent in 2020.