VFLs in NFL Warrior/Coleman reactivated, James opts out, Gaulden & ex-Vol Hendrix cut

LEXINGTON, KY – NOVEMBER 09, 2019 – Defensive back Nigel Warrior #18 of the Tennessee Volunteers during the away game between the Kentucky Wildcats and the Tennessee Volunteers at Kroger Field in Lexington, KY. Photo By Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics

By Vince Ferrara / @VinceSports

Here’s an August 5th update on transactions in the NFL involving University of Tennessee players in moves announced by the National Football League.

Below is the full list of players currently on NFL expanded rosters. This year’s roster max needs to get down to 80 players by Aug. 16 from the normal 90. Until then, teams can either practice in full with 80 or split squad with 90.

You’ll also find below the list of players that were at UT at one time before transferring and finishing their careers elsewhere as well as players that have local ties to the Knoxville area that did not attend the University of Tennessee. The depth chart projections are from Ourlads.com.

Look for constant updates here on my blog “Vince’s View.” Bookmark my blog page and check back often.

Recent Roster Moves
8/2 – Giants released DB Rashaan Gaulden
8/2 – Steelers released ex-Vol/Pitt Panther DL Dewayne Hendrix
8/3 – Broncos OT Ja’Wuan James announced that he is opting out of the 2020 season
8/4 – Lions activated DB Justin Coleman from the Reserve/COVID-19 List
8/5 – Ravens activated DB rookie Nigel Warrior from the Reserve/COVID-19 List

Gaulden was hoping for a fresh start with his second organization after the Panthers sent him to New York late last season. Coleman was on the covid list for less than a week and Warrior was there for about 10 days, so good to see them back. Here’s James’ statement on why he decided to opt-out.

The current count, through Aug. 3, on overall NFL players impacted by the pandemic looks like this:
Reserve/COVID-19 List – 92
Activated Back From That List – 44
Currently On The List – 48

Opt-Outs – 58

Two other notes. Jaguars QB Joshua Dobbs is now wearing the number 11. His previous number 1 jersey is now being worn by Georgia State rookie kicker Brandon Wright. The VFL is competing with 8-year veteran Mike Glennon and rookie Josh Luton from Oregon State for the backup spot behind Gardner Minshew II in Jacksonville.

Also, ex-Vol TE Daniel Helm has switched numbers from 43 to 88. That’s actually a encouraging sign, although he still has his work cut-out for him as one of 4 tight ends battling for roster spots behind who I think is the best TE in the NFL, George Kittle.


Notes and Numbers On UT Players
*28 U. of Tennessee players on expanded active NFL rosters
*2 other players are inactive on Reserve Lists
*San Francisco & New Orleans have most current UT players with 3
*NFC North & NFC West are the divisions most represented with VFLs with 5 total players
*DL is the largest position represented with 7
*17 of the 32 teams have a UT player on active rosters
*Saints and Eagles are the only teams in their divisions with any active VFLs
*There are 7 players that were once at U. of Tennessee but then transferred (see full list below)
*There are 6 players that didn’t attend UT, but have Knoxville/East TN ties (see full list below)
*7 Vols are projected as starters right now, excluding special teams
*Rookies: 4 VFLs, 2 one-time Vols and 3 Knoxville area non-UT players on current rosters
*7 players went to high school in Knoxville area (B. Colquitt, L. Smith, H. Smith, R. Cobb, T. Higgins, N. Cottrell, N. Gilliam)


Tennessee Volunteers On NFL Rosters as of 8/5/20 (28)
x = Rookie
AFC East (4)
TE – Jason Croom (80) Buffalo Bills   – 5th team TE
FB/TE – Jakob Johnson (47) New England Patriots   – 6th team TE
WR – Josh Malone (83) New York Jets   – 2nd team WR
DE – Kyle Phillips (98) New York Jets   – 2nd team DE
NONE – Miami Dolphins

AFC North (4)
LS – Morgan Cox (46) Baltimore Ravens   – Starting LS
S – Nigel Warrior (39) Baltimore Ravens   – 5th team S-x
NT – Dan McCullers (93) Pittsburgh Steelers   – 2nd team NT
DB – Cameron Sutton (20) Pittsburgh Steelers   – 2nd team NB
NONE – Cincinnati Bengals
NONE – Cleveland Browns

AFC South (2)
OG – Zach Fulton (73) Houston Texans   – Starting RG
QB – Joshua Dobbs (11) Jacksonville Jaguars   – 3rd team QB
NONE – Indianapolis Colts
NONE – Tennessee Titans

AFC West (3)
ILB – Alexander Johnson (45) Denver Broncos   – Starting ILB
DE – Kendal Vickers (78) Las Vegas Raiders   – 3rd team DT
TE – Jason Witten (82) Las Vegas Raiders   – Starting TE
NONE – Kansas City Chiefs
NONE – Los Angeles Chargers

NFC East (2)
DE – Derek Barnett (96) Philadelphia Eagles   – Starting DE
DT – Malik Jackson (97) Philadelphia Eagles   – 2nd Team DT
NONE – Dallas Cowboys
NONE – New York Giants
NONE – Washington Redskins

NFC North (5)
QB – Tyler Bray (9) Chicago Bears   – 3rd Team QB
WR/KR – Cordarrelle Patterson (84) Chicago Bears   – Starting WR & KR
CB – Justin Coleman (27) Detroit Lions – Starting NB
OLB – Jalen Reeves-Maybin (44) Detroit Lions   – 2nd Team OLB
P – Britton Colquitt (2) Minnesota Vikings   – Starting P
NONE – Green Bay Packers

NFC South (3)
RB – Alvin Kamara (41) New Orleans Saints   – Starting RB
DT – Shy Tuttle (99) New Orleans Saints   – 3rd team NT
WR – Marquez Callaway (12) New Orleans Saints   – 6th team WR-x
NONE – Atlanta Falcons
NONE – Carolina Panthers
NONE – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFC West (5)
RB – John Kelly (42) Los Angeles Rams   – 4th team RB
DE – Jonathan Kongbo (61) San Francisco 49ers   – 4th team DE
CB – Emmanuel Moseley (41) San Francisco 49ers   – 3rd team CB
WR – Jauan Jennings (81) San Francisco 49ers   – 6th team WR-x
DE/OLB – Darrell Taylor (58) Seattle Seahawks   – 3rd team Leo DE/OLB-x
NONE – Arizona Cardinals

Inactives (32
OT – Ja’Wuan James (70) Denver Broncos (Opted Out for 2020 season)
P – Michael Palardy (5) Carolina Panthers (Reserve Non-Football Injury List/out for the season/torn ACL)


UT Players In The NFL By Position (28)
QB – 2
RB – 2
WR – 4
TE – 2
FB – 1
OL – 1
DL – 7
LB – 3
DB – 4
P – 1
PK – 0
LS – 1

Free Agents To Watch from University of Tennessee
S – Micah Abernathy
S – Eric Berry
LB – Daniel Bituli
P – Dustin Colquitt
P – Trevor Daniel
P – Matt Darr
TE – Alex Ellis
DB – Rashaan Gaulden
LB – Colton Jumper
LB – LaTroy Lewis
OL – Kahlil McKenzie
TE – Luke Stocker
OL – James Stone
DL – Jordan Williams
TE – Ethan Wolf
TE – Dominick Wood-Anderson


One-Time Vols That Transferred To Other Schools On NFL Rosters (7)
x = Rookie
TE – Eli Wolf (87) Baltimore Ravens (U. of Tennessee/Georgia) -x   – 4th team TE
TE – Lee Smith (85) Buffalo Bills (Powell HS/U. of Tennessee/Marshall)   – 3rd team TE
P – Tommy Townsend (5) Kansas City Chiefs (U. of Tennessee/Florida) – x   – 2nd team P
QB – Nathan Peterman (3) Las Vegas Raiders (U. of Tennessee/Pitt)   – 3rd team QB
WR – Preston Williams (18) Miami Dolphins (U. of Tennessee/Colorado St)   – 2nd team WR
TE – Daniel Helm (88) San Francisco 49ers (U. of Tennessee/Duke)   – 3rd team TE
WR – Jalen Hurd (14) San Francisco 49ers (U. of Tennessee/Baylor)   – 2nd team WR

Knoxville Area Players That Didn’t Play At UT on NFL Rosters (6)
x = Rookie
WR – Tee Higgins (85) Cincinnati Bengals (Oak Ridge HS/Clemson) – x   – Starting WR
P – Chris Jones (6) Dallas Cowboys (Carson-Newman)   – Starting P
WR – Randall Cobb (18) Houston Texans (Alcoa HS/Kentucky)   – Starting Slot WR
RB – Nathan Cottrell (31) Jacksonville Jaguars (West HS/Georgia Tech) – x   – 4th team RB
OL – Nate Gilliam (63) Los Angeles Chargers (Farragut HS/Wake Forest) – x   – 3rd team RG
S – Harrison Smith (22) Minnesota Vikings (Catholic HS/Notre Dame)   – Starting SS


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