Around the NFL: Darren Waller Returns to Practice, Josh Gordon Lands in Tennessee, Sam Darnold Hits IR, More

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Around the NFL: Darren Waller Returns to Practice, Josh Gordon Lands in Tennessee, Sam Darnold Hits IR, More

Chicago Bears

There was a bunch of roster movement in the NFL this week as we prepare for the opening of the 2022 NFL season, which is just a week away.

Darren Waller Returns to Practice

Raiders tight end Darren Waller returned to practice on Wednesday. Waller had been dealing with a hamstring injury but also looking for a new contract from the Raiders. Waller hired Klutch Sports — the agency co-founded by LeBron James — a year ago to help him secure a new contract, but he left the agency on Friday. Since then, Waller has hired NFL super-agent Drew Rosenhaus to handle his contract negations moving forward.

Waller still has two years left on a four-year, $29.8 million extension he signed with the Raiders in 2019. Waller’s $13.9 million remaining on the deal ranks 17th among tight ends, so it’s easy to see why Waller – who ranked second in the NFL behind Travis Kelce in receiving yards the last three seasons – believes that he’s in line for a new contract.

49ers tight end George Kittle is the highest annual earner at the position, with $15 million in AAV owed to him by San Francisco this season. Guys like Travis Kelce ($14.3 MM), Dallas Goedert ($14.25 MM), Mark Andrews ($14 MM), and David Njoku ($13.7 MM) are among the highest paid in the league at the position behind Kittle.

Neither Waller or the Raiders have discussed the contract situation during camp, and the Raiders expect Waller’s hamstring issue won’t keep him out of their Week 1 matchup. So, for the time being, it seems that Waller’s desire for a new deal will wait.

Josh Gordon Joins Titans Practice Squad

After spending the 2021 season with the Kansas City Chiefs’ practice squad and the Chiefs’ active roster, Gordon will start the 2022 season in the same fashion, this time in Tennessee. Gordon, 31, tweeted about joining the Titans this afternoon, and his agent Zach Hiller told Adam Schefter that “the comeback continues!”

Gordon was elevated to the Cheifs active roster in early October last season and finished with five receptions for 32 yards and one touchdown in 2021. Gordon was invited back to Cheifs camp before being released as part of the final cuts.

The 31-year-old receiver was once a phenomenal talent with incredible upside. Still, multiple suspensions for violating the league’s antiquated drug policy resulted in Brown’s career being sidelined for years before Cleveland traded him to New England. Gordon has made stops in Foxboro and Seattle before being suspended again in 2020.

If only the NFL’s discipline efforts in cases of players abusing women sexually and physically could be as strong as their crusade against pot has been, Josh Gordon’s career being as unfulfilling as it has been, might feel more justified.

Panthers Place Sam Darnold on IR

Baker Mayfield won the Panthers’ starting quarterback job, and now Sam Darnold will begin the season on injured reserve. Darnold suffered an ankle sprain in Carolina’s final preseason game last week and is expected to miss at least four weeks with the injury.

With Darnold out, P.J. Walker is expected to handle backup QB duties behind starter Baker Mayfield.

As a corresponding move, the Panthers have officially signed kicker Eddy Piñeiro. He replaces Zane Gonzalez, who was recently placed on injured reserve with a groin injury. The former Bears kicker hit 8-of-8 field goals and 9-of-10 extra points for the Jets in 2021.

Extra Points

  • ICYMI: Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos agreed to a $245 million extension this morning. Wilson’s new contract gives him a $33 million raise in 2022, from $24M to $57M. Wilson gets $85M total over two years (up from $51M he had left on his old deal) and $124M over three, while Denver locks up another four non-guaranteed years on top of it.
  • Former UCLA QB Josh Rosen has been added to the Cleveland Browns practice squad today. Rosen, the 10th overall pick of the 2018 draft, joined the Browns in July. He competed with quarterback Joshua Dobbs to be the team’s third quarterback. With Deshaun Watson suspended for much of the season, the third spot is essentially the backup job in Cleveland.
  • Washington Commanders rookie running back Brian Robinson has been placed on the IR to open the season while he recovers from gunshot wounds he suffered last weekend in D.C.
  • Full waiver wire transaction report:
  • Tre’Davious White has been activated and the Bills expect to see him on the field plenty in 2022:
  • The Cowboys have activated Michael Gallup from the PUP list so that he can practice with the team while finishing up his rehab from a torn ACL last season. An IR stint would have kept him away from practice until Week 5.

Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is a Staff Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.