With NFL free agency right around the corner and the 2022 NFL Combine not too far away, here are the latest news and rumors around the league from PFN National NFL Insider Aaron Wilson. Make sure to continue to check back here as we update you with the most recent NFL news and rumors on February 23, 2022.
NFL News and Rumors: HUB Football alums, including Shea Patterson, heavily represented in USFL draft
HUB Football camp alums were heavily represented in the USFL Draft. That includes 52 total players that were former HUB Football camp participants. Out of the 280 players selected, that figure represented 18.6% of all players drafted.
Included among the drafted players was quarterback Shea Patterson who was selected first overall by the Michigan Panthers.
Launched by agent Don Yee, HUB Football had nearly 40 players take part in the recent camp on February 20 at Southwestern College. Additionally, 533 players have gone to sign professional contracts for a rate of 25%. 133 players have signed with more than one team, resulting in a net total of 172 contracts signed by HUB Football alums.
The quarterback group is led by Shea Patterson, who was the No. 1 draft pick in the USFL Draft on Tuesday (February 22) evening.
- QB Shea Patterson
Michigan, HUB 21 (May) | Michigan Panthers
- QB Bryan Scott
Occidental College, HUB 20 (October) | Philadelphia Stars
- QB Case Cookus
Northern Arizona, HUB 21 (September) | Philadelphia Stars
- QB Josh Love
San Jose State, HUB 21 (April) | Pittsburgh Maulers
- QB J’Mar Smith
Louisiana Tech, HUB 22 (February) | Birmingham Stallions
- QB Zach Smith
Tulsa, HUB 21 (December) | New Orleans Breakers
Defensive linemen include Chris Odom, Kolin Hill, James Folston, Ahamad Gooden, and several others.
- DL Chris Odom
Arkansas State, HUB 20 (October) | Houston Gamblers
- DL Kolin Hill
Texas Tech | HUB 21 (December), New Jersey Generals
- DL James Folston
Pittsburgh, HUB 21 (July) | New Orleans Breakers
- DL Ahmad Gooden
Samford, HUB 21 (March) | Houston Gamblers
- DL Olive Sagapolu
Wisconsin, HUB 21 (April) | Pittsburgh Maulers
- DL Boogie Roberts
San Jose State, HUB 21 (July) | Pittsburgh Maulers
- DL Tomasi Laulile
BYU, HUB 21 (December) | Houston Gamblers
- DL Domenique Davis
UNC-Pembroke, HUB 21 (September) | Houston Gamblers
- DL Jeremiah Pharms
Washington, HUB 21 (July) | Pittsburgh Maulers
- DL Donald Payne
Stetson, HUB 21 (October) | Houston Gamblers
The defensive backs group includes Jalin Burrell, Prince Robinson, Arnold Tarpley, Ladarius Wiley, and numerous other players.
- DB Jalin Burrell
New Mexico, HUB 21 (May) | Michigan Panthers
- DB Rashard Causey
Central Florida, HUB 21 (April) | Tampa Bay Bandits
- DB Prince Robinson
Tarleton State, HUB 21 (December) | Pittsburgh Maulers
- DB Christian McFarland
Idaho State, HUB 21 (July) | Birmingham Stallions
- DB Arnold Tarpley
Vanderbilt, HUB 21 (April) | Pittsburgh Maulers
- DB Keiron Williams
Nebraska, HUB 21 (October) | Michigan Panthers
- DB Ladarius Wiley
Vanderbilt, HUB 21 (March) | Philadelphia Stars
- DB Tyson Graham
South Dakota, HUB 21 (September) | Pittsburgh Maulers
The wide receiver group includes six players, with two of them — Jordan Lasley and Eli Rogers — from the Tampa Bay Bandits.
- WR Victor Bolden
Oregon State, HUB 21 (December) | Birmingham Stallions
- WR Delvon Hardaway
Fresno State, HUB 21 (March) | Pittsburgh Maulers
- WR Jordan Lasley
UCLA, HUB 21 (September) | Tampa Bay Bandits
- WR Eli Rogers
Louisville, HUB 21 (October) | Tampa Bay Bandits
- WR Tre Walker
San Jose State, HUB 21 (October) | Pittsburgh Maulers
- WR Emanuel Hall
Missouri, HUB 22 (February) | Birmingham Stallions
Three offensive linemen in this group — Jared Thomas, Jackson Brown, and Daishawn Dixon.
- OL Jared Thomas
Northwestern, HUB 21 (October) | New Orleans Breakers
- OL Jackson Brown
Northern Iowa, HUB 21 (May) | Philadelphia Stars
- OL Daishawn Dixon
San Diego State, HUB 21 (September) | Michigan Panthers
The linebackers group is led by Christian Sam and also includes the likes of EJ Ejiya, Angelo Garbutt, Terrill Hanks, and Emmanuel Beal.
- LB EJ Ejiya
North Texas, HUB 21 (March) | Pittsburgh Maulers
- LB Christian Sam
Arizona State, HUB 21 (April) | Tampa Bay Bandits
- LB Angelo Garbutt
Missouri State, HUB 21 (September) | New Jersey Generals
- LB Terrill Hanks
New Mexico State, HUB 21 (September) | Birmingham Stallions
- LB Emmanuel Beal
Oklahoma, HUB 21 (October) | Tampa Bay Bandits
Just four running backs in this group, with two players — Reggie Corbin and Tre’ Threat — from the Michigan Panthers.
- RB Reggie Corbin
Illinois, HUB 21 (September) | Michigan Panthers
- RB Juwan Washington
San Diego State, HUB 21 (July) | Tampa Bay Bandits
- RB De’Veon Smith
Michigan, HUB 21 (October) | Pittsburgh Maulers
- DB Tre’ Threat
Jacksonville State, HUB 21 (December) | Michigan Panthers
The tight ends group includes Brandon Barnes, Cheyenne O’Grady, Matt Seybert, De’Quan Hampton, and others.
- TE Brandon Barnes
Alabama State, HUB 21 (September) | Houston Gamblers
- TE Cheyenne O’Grady
Arkansas, HUB 21 (April) | Tampa Bay Bandits
- TE Matt Seybert
Michigan State, HUB 21 (September) | Pittsburgh Maulers
- TE De’Quan Hampton
USC, HUB 21 (April) | Tampa Bay Bandits
- TE La’Michael Pettway
Iowa State, HUB 21 (July) | Michigan Panthers
- TE Nicholas Truesdell
Grand Rapids CC, HUB 21 (September) | New Jersey Generals
- TE Sal Cannella
Auburn, HUB 21 (October) | New Orleans Breakers
Yes, long snappers! This group includes Ryan DiSalvo, Ryan Navarro, and Mitchell Fraboni.
- LS Ryan DiSalvo
San Jose State, HUB 20 (October) | Tampa Bay Bandits
- LS Ryan Navarro
Oregon State, HUB 20 (October) | Philadelphia Stars
- LS Mitchell Fraboni
Arizona State, HUB 21 (May) | Pittsburgh Maulers
NFL News and Rumors: Ravens promote Anthony Weaver to assistant head coach
The Baltimore Ravens have promoted Anthony Weaver to assistant head coach-defensive line from defensive run game coordinator. Weaver is a former Houston Texans defensive coordinator and defensive line coach.
With the Texans, Weaver coached three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt as well as former top overall pick and Pro Bowl selection Jadeveon Clowney.
Weaver is a former Ravens’ second-round draft pick from Notre Dame. He is a protege of former Jets and Bills coach Rex Ryan, his defensive coordinator and position coach with the Ravens.
“Most defensive line coaches, they’re in their new own little world, Anthony knew a lot,” Ryan said. “Anthony knew everybody’s role, knew their jobs. It speaks volumes. He’s one of the guys we’ll be talking about as a head coach in the next few years with that kind of personality and that kind of charisma.”
Additionally, the Ravens hired Mike Devlin as assistant offensive line coach, George Godsey as tight ends coach, Rob Leonard as outside linebackers coach, Zach Orr as inside linebackers coach, and Ryan Osborn as defensive quality control.
NFL News and Rumors: Saints promote Kris Richard, Ryan Nielsen to co-defensive coordinators
The New Orleans Saints have promoted assistant head coach and defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen and secondary coach Kris Richard to co-defensive coordinators, according to league sources not authorized to speak publicly.
The two former USC teammates — Nielsen was a defensive lineman and Richard was a defensive back for the Trojans — will coordinate the Saints’ defense together after defensive coordinator Dennis Allen was promoted to head coach when Sean Payton retired.
Richard, 42, is a former Seattle Seahawks secondary coach who has also worked for the Dallas Cowboys as a secondary coach and passing game coordinator.
Nielsen, 42, coached at USC, Mississippi, and North Carolina State before being hired by the Saints in 2017. He was promoted to assistant head coach in 2021.
The Saints later made it official, in addition to naming special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi as assistant head coach, Ronald Curry as passing game coordinator-quarterbacks coach, and hiring Doug Marrone as offensive line coach and Kodi Burns as receivers coach.
Breaking down Texans’ long snapper Jon Weeks’ one-year deal
Houston Texans veteran long snapper Jon Weeks’ one-year contract extension has a total value of $1.272 million with a $1.12 million base salary, a $895,000 base salary guarantee, and a $152,500 signing bonus as he returns for his 13th season, according to a league source not authorized to speak publicly.
Weeks has become a fixture on the Texans’ special teams, delivering accurate snaps for over a decade for punts and field goals. Weeks, 36, a former Pro Bowl selection, will remain as a core member of the Texans’ kicking game after re-signing to a one-year contract with the AFC South franchise. He impressed the coaching staff and front office with his skills, leadership, and dedication to fitness.
Weeks had a strong season snapping to punter Cameron Johnston and kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn. Playing through injuries, Weeks has been an iron man to snap every game for the past 13 years. Additionally, Weeks had 2 tackles last season, playing on a one-year, $1.212 million contract. The veteran minimum salary deal includes a $1.075 million salary with $112,500 guaranteed and a $137,500 signing bonus. Weeks is represented by veteran agent Darren Deoatche of Ascension Enterprises Inc., who also represents Texans safety Jonathan Owens.
Weeks has played in a franchise-record 193 consecutive games, passing retired Pro Bowl wide receiver Andre Johnson for the most games in franchise history in 2020.
NFL News and Rumors: Bills re-sign Siran Neal to $10.9 million deal
The Buffalo Bills have made defensive back Siran Neal the highest-paid special-teams contributor in the NFL with the highest guaranteed money of any special-teams ace in the NFL not including kickers and punters, according to a league source.
Neal signed a three-year, $10.9 million maximum value contract, per a source. The re-signing helps Neal avoid a potential free-agency tour, staying with the AFC East champion Bills.
Neal, 27, is a former Buffalo fifth-round draft pick from Jacksonville State. He played every game last season and recorded 23 tackles with 1 fumble recovery.
Packers restructure Kenny Clark’s contract
The Green Bay Packers, determined to hold onto quarterback Aaron Rodgers and wide receiver Davante Adams, have restructured the contract of standout nose tackle Kenny Clark, according to NFL Players Association records.
The move created $10.8 million in salary cap space for the Packers. Furthermore, the team restructured Clark’s contract by converting $7.2 million of his base salary and $6.4 million of his roster bonus into a $13.6 million signing bonus with two voidable years added to lower his salary cap figure.
Prior to this move, the Packers were $42.7 million over the NFL’s projected salary cap for 2022. Thus, there will need to be more moves and cuts to get their salary cap in shape. The Packers need the flexibility to make another championship run, hopefully with Rodgers and Adams back and leading the charge.
A former first-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Clark is an excellent run-stopping presence in the middle of the Packers’ defense. He was signed to a four-year, $70 million contract extension two years ago. Clark played in all but one game last season and recorded 48 tackles, four sacks, and one fumble recovery.
As the league transitions into free agency, there will be plenty of news and rumors from around the NFL in regard to your favorite team. That includes chatter about players who will be on the move (or not) in free agency. Stay updated and keep track of Pro Football Network’s Top 50 Free Agent Rankings to better understand the free-agent market.