NFL news roundup: Latest updates on J.C. Jackson, Dawson Knox, Emmanuel Sanders, and more

    Wednesday's NFL news features the latest on Chargers CB J.C. Jackson's status, an extension for Bills TE Dawson Knox, and roster moves from around the league.

    NFL news roundup: Latest updates on J.C. Jackson, Dawson Knox, Emmanuel Sanders, and more

    We are just one day away from the start of the 2022 NFL season, and the news never stops flowing. On the East Coast, Jets head coach Robert Saleh announced that veteran Joe Flacco will start in Week 1 while Zach Wilson continues to recover from his preseason knee surgery. We’ll start on the West Coast, where the Chargers will likely be without one of their top defensive playmakers to begin the year.

    NFL news roundup: Chargers CB J.C. Jackson unlikely to play in Week 1

    Chargers free agent addition J.C. Jackson underwent ankle surgery on Aug. 23 and was expected to be sidelined for 2-4 weeks, so it’s perhaps no surprise that his status for Week 1 is in doubt. Jackson, who inked a five-year, $82.5 million deal with Los Angeles in March, is not expected to be available when the Chargers face the Raiders on Sunday, according to NFL Network’s Taylor Bisciotti.

    Jackson and his man-coverage skill should open up a lot of new avenues for Brandon Staley and LA’s defense, but the club has the secondary depth to withstand his absence — for now. Michael Davis and Asante Samuel Jr. will start on the outside, with veteran Bryce Callahan in the slot. Meanwhile, the Chargers’ safety cadre of Derwin James, Nasir Adderley, and rookie JT Woods should give them even more flexibility on the back end.

    Bills TE Dawson Knox gets paid

    As they embark on a Super Bowl-or-bust campaign, the Bills now have the majority of their offensive weapons under contract for at least the next two years. Tight end Dawson Knox, who was scheduled to become a free agent after the 2022 season, signed a four-year extension through 2026, the team announced today.

    It’s a four-year, $53.6 million deal, per Mike Garafolo of NFL Network. Knox’s $13.4 million annual average value will place him fifth among tight ends, just behind David Njoku, who also signed an extension this year. A third-round pick out of Ole Miss in 2019, Knox will be critical in a Buffalo offense that doesn’t have a ton of TE depth behind him.

    Emmanuel Sanders retires

    Although he was bandied about as a potential veteran salve for a number of wide receiver-needy teams this offseason, Emmanuel Sanders has decided to hang up his cleats after 12 NFL seasons. As he announced in a video on social media, Sanders will retire as a member of the Broncos.

    Sanders was still effective in his age-34 campaign for the Bills in 2021, catching 46 passes for 626 yards and four touchdowns. After spending the first four seasons of his career as a tertiary option for the Steelers, Sanders posted at least 75 receptions and 1,000 yards for three consecutive seasons while playing alongside Peyton Manning in Denver. Sanders, who also spent time with the 49ers and Saints, totaled 704 catches, 9,245 yards, and 51 touchdowns over his career.

    Cardinals move Colt McCoy to IR

    The Cardinals will have a new backup quarterback for at least four weeks. Arizona placed Colt McCoy on the injured reserve today after he suffered a calf strain, per Rapoport. McCoy, 36, started three games in Kyler Murray’s absence in 2021, going 2-1 while completing nearly 75% of his passes.

    Trace McSorley, whom the Cardinals signed off Baltimore’s practice squad last November, will fill in behind Murray. The owner of multiple Penn State records, McSorley has the mobility to offer some facsimile of Murray’s performance if Arizona’s starter goes down.

    Raiders, Eagles sign veteran WRs to practice squads

    Both the Raiders and Eagles rounded out their 16-man practice squads with experienced receivers this week. On Tuesday, Las Vegas added Keelan Cole, who started 11 games for the Jets last season. The Raiders only kept five wideouts on their roster — including two 2021 UDFAs in Tyron Johnson and DJ Turner — so there’s room for Cole to move up the depth chart quickly.

    On Wednesday, Philadelphia signed former Bengals receiver Auden Tate to their taxi squad, per Jordan Schultz. Billed as a red-zone threat given his 6-foot-5 frame, Tate never got much run in Cincinnati aside from a 40-catch campaign in 2019. The Eagles have only four WRs on their active roster, but Tate will join fellow pass catchers Deon Cain, Britain Covey, and Devon Allen on the PS.

    Bucs, Steelers, Giants make salary cap moves

    Just as the Rams and Giants did on Tuesday, the Buccaneers and Steelers cleared out cap space before the season begins. Tampa Bay created more than $6 million by restructuring guard Shaq Mason’s contract, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN, while the Steelers got $6.5 million by reworking T.J. Watt’s deal, per Rapoport.

    Meanwhile, the Giants backed Darius Slayton into a pay cut, as Tom Rock of Newsday reports. Slayton, who’s been regularly mentioned as a trade/cut candidate and is listed seventh on New York’s WR depth chart, had been set to earn $2.54 million thanks to the NFL’s Proven Performance Escalator system.

    Yet, given that Slayton wouldn’t have had many options had he declined to accept a pay reduction and hit the open market, the Giants were able to force him to slash his salary to $965K, the league minimum for a player with his experience. Slayton can earn some of that money back via incentives, per Rock.

    Dallas Robinson is an NFL analyst for Pro Football Network. You can read all of Dallas’ work here and follow him on Twitter: @dallasdrobinson.