Nov 16, 2020; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Nick Foles (9) throws the football in the first quarter against the pressure from Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Shamar Stephen (93) at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

Vikings release veteran DT Shamar Stephen

The Minnesota Vikings released veteran defensive tackle Shamar Stephen on Tuesday.

Stephen was a seventh-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft by the Vikings and spent his first four seasons in the NFL at Minnesota. After one season with the Seattle Seahawks, he returned to the Vikings in 2019, playing the past two seasons in Minnesota.

The move will save the Vikings $3.75 million in salary cap space and comes after the Vikings reportedly agreed to a two-year, $22 million contract with defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson on Monday.

Stephen, 30, started 31 games over the past two seasons. In all, he has played in 98 career games (65 starts) and recorded 173 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 14 quarterback hits and three fumble recoveries.

The Vikings ranked 27th in the league in stopping the run in 2020, allowing 134.4 rushing yards per game.

–Field Level Media

Nov 26, 2020; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Houston Texans running back Duke Johnson (25) runs the ball during the second quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Texans release RB Duke Johnson

Running back Duke Johnson was released by the Houston Texans on Friday.

According to multiple reports, Johnson was let go by the Texans as the team tries to dodge the full $5.025 million salary cap hit for 2021, the final year on his three-year deal with the team.

Johnson, 27, signed a three-year, $15.6 million deal in 2018 after four seasons with the Cleveland Browns.

In 2021, he was due a salary of $4,650,000 with a roster bonus of $275,000 and a workout bonus of $100,000, according to spotrac.

The makeup of the Houston backfield is in flux with quarterback Deshaun Watson demanding a trade. Running back has been a position of extreme turnover in recent years with Lamar Miller, Alfred Blue, David Johnson and Duke Johnson among the players the franchise turned to over the past three seasons.

David Johnson, acquired from the Arizona Cardinals in the DeAndre Hopkins trade in 2020, turns 30 in December. He’s in the final year of a three-year, $39 million deal he signed with the Cardinals and has a cap hit of $8.812 million, according to spotrac.

–Field Level Media

Dec 27, 2020; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins (7) stands on the sidelines after being benched against the Carolina Panthers in the fourth quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Football Team releases QB Haskins

The Washington Football Team released former first-round pick Dwayne Haskins, the team announced Monday.

The move comes mere days after he was fined $40,000 and stripped of his captaincy following a trip to a nightclub in which he was spotted without wearing a mask. Under the NFL’s COVID-19 protocol, going to a nightclub without wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) is punishable by a maximum fine of one week’s salary or up to a four-game suspension.

Haskins started on Sunday in place of an injured Alex Smith before being benched in the fourth quarter. He threw two interceptions and lost a fumble in a 20-13 loss to the Carolina Panthers.

“This afternoon I met with Dwayne and informed him that we would be releasing him,” coach Ron Rivera said in a statement. “I told him that I believe it benefits both parties that we go our separate ways. We want to thank Dwayne for his contributions these last two seasons and wish him well moving forward.”

Haskins, 23, has completed 148 of 241 passes for 1,439 yards with five touchdowns and seven interceptions this season. He also has fumbled six times.

In his two seasons since being selected by Washington out of Ohio State with the 15th overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft, Haskins has thrown for 2,804 yards with 12 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

–Field Level Media

Dec 27, 2020; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Football Team quarterback Dwayne Haskins (7) stands on the sidelines after being benched against the Carolina Panthers in the fourth quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Football Team releases QB Haskins

The Washington Football Team released former first-round quarterback Dwayne Haskins on Monday, ending a run that was met with reported issues off the field and mediocre play on it.

The move comes mere days after he was fined $40,000 and stripped of his captaincy following a trip to a nightclub in which he was spotted without wearing a mask. Under the NFL’s COVID-19 protocol, going to a nightclub without wearing personal protective equipment is punishable by a maximum fine of one week’s salary or up to a four-game suspension.

Haskins started on Sunday in place of an injured Alex Smith before being benched in the fourth quarter. He threw two interceptions and lost a fumble in a 20-13 loss to the Carolina Panthers.

“This afternoon I met with Dwayne and informed him that we would be releasing him,” coach Ron Rivera said in a statement. “I told him that I believe it benefits both parties that we go our separate ways. We want to thank Dwayne for his contributions these last two seasons and wish him well moving forward.”

Haskins, 23, completed 148 of 241 pass attempts for 1,439 yards with five touchdowns and seven interceptions this season. He also fumbled six times. He was 1-5 as a starter.

Haskins has thrown for 2,804 yards with 12 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in two seasons since being selected by Washington out of Ohio State with the 15th overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft.

“My time with the WFT has unfortunately come to an end,” Haskins wrote on his private Twitter account, per ESPN.com. “I thank the team & fans for the opportunity to play for the team I grew up rooting for. I take full responsibility for not meeting the standards of a NFL QB & will become a better man & player because of this experience.”

Washington is hopeful that Smith will return for its season finale on Sunday against the Eagles in Philadelphia. Rivera said earlier Monday that Taylor Heinicke would be the backup or start if Smith couldn’t play. A win will put Washington in the playoffs, and a loss eliminates the team.

Former Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III took to social media to console Haskins after his release.

“Wishing the best for (Haskins). You are only 23! Learn from this and bounce back,” Griffin wrote on Twitter.

Haskins was fined earlier this season for making a reservation for a family friend at the team hotel the night before a game.

He also was benched after throwing his first career 300-yard game in a 31-17 loss to Baltimore in Week 4, with that decision reportedly coming after people felt he was celebrating the personal feat in the locker room.

–Field Level Media

Aug 26, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA;  Indianapolis Colts quarterback Chad Kelly (6) throws a ball during colts training camp at the Farm Bureau Football Complex. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Colts cut QB Kelly from practice squad

The Indianapolis Colts released quarterback Chad Kelly from the practice squad on Wednesday.

A seventh-round selection by the Denver Broncos in the 2017 NFL Draft, Kelly has appeared in just one NFL game. The nephew of Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly, the 26-year-old was better known for his off-field transgressions, which included an arrest on criminal trespassing charges and subsequent two-game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.

The Colts signed veteran Philip Rivers in the offseason, and Jacoby Brissett is his backup. The Colts also used a fourth-round draft pick this spring on Jacob Eason.

The Colts replaced Kelly on the practice squad with wide receiver Krishawn Hogan.

Hogan, 25, has played in 10 games with the Colts (2017) and New Orleans Saints (2019), catching one pass for four yards.

–Field Level Media

Nov 18, 2018; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Corey Coleman (19) is tackled by Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Carlton Davis (33) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Giants release WR Coleman

The New York Giants cut receiver Corey Coleman on Sunday, parting ways with a former first-round still draft pick looking for a long-term home.

Coleman survived Saturday’s cuts and had been expected to stick with the team as the fourth receiver but was a casualty, along with safety Sean Chandler and offensive lineman Chad Slade, when the Giants claimed tackle Jackson Barton, defensive back Adrian Colbert and wide receiver Damion Ratley off waivers on Sunday.

The Browns selected Coleman with the 15th overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft and traded him to Buffalo on Aug. 5, 2018, for a 2020 seventh-round draft pick. He was released less than a month later.

Coleman, now 26, then signed with New England but was released after less than a week; the Patriots later re-signed him to the practice squad. He was released nine days later when they acquired another former Browns receiver in Josh Gordon.

The Giants signed him to the practice squad in 2018, and he wound up playing in eight games and catching just five passes for 71 yards. New York was counting on his contribution in 2019, but he tore an ACL on the first day of practice and missed the season.

In 27 NFL career games, Coleman has 61 receptions for 789 yards and five touchdowns.

Coleman told reporters just last week how ready he was for the 2020 season in New York after sitting out the past year.

“I’m very grateful. I love this organization and I’m excited to be a part of it. It’s something special,” he said. “I’m really excited and thankful, to be honest. Everyone on the team, we are super close. Me being here, being involved in football, even though I wasn’t playing, I was still involved. I was happy to be here, and I wanted to be here, too.”

Barton and Colbert were both claimed from the Kansas City Chiefs, while Ratley was claimed from the Cleveland Browns.

–Field Level Media