Kaden Smith, of the New York Giants, celebrates his second quarter touchdown. Sunday, August 29, 2021


Commanders sign former Giants tight end Kaden Smith

The Washington Commanders added to their depth at tight end on Sunday by signing former New York Giants player Kaden Smith.

Smith, 26, played from 2019-21 for the Giants, totaling 52 receptions for 413 yards and three touchdowns in 33 games (22 starts).

A sixth-round pick of the San Francisco 49ers in 2019, Smith was waived that September and claimed by the Giants, who waived him in March 2022 after he failed a physical. Smith signed with the Indianapolis Colts in May and was waived on Aug. 1.

The Commanders sought another tight end with veteran Logan Thomas sidelined by a calf injury. Thomas, 32, has battled a series of injuries in his career, including to his calf that cost him three games last season.

The Washington roster also includes tight ends John Bates, Cole Turner, Curtis Hodges and Brandon Dillon.

In a corresponding move, the Commanders released punter Colby Wadman, who signed with the team last week while longtime punter Tress Way dealt with a back injury. Wadman, 28, punted four times for a 45.5-yard average in the preseason opener Friday at the Cleveland Browns.

–Field Level Media

Nov 24, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Giants tight end Kaden Smith (82) reacts after making a touchdown against the Chicago Bears during the second quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Three Giants players test positive for COVID-19

Three more New York Giants players have tested positive for COVID-19, the team announced Friday morning.

While the Giants did not disclose the names of the players, multiple media outlets reported that rookie offensive lineman Matt Peart, wide receiver Dante Pettis and tight end Kaden Smith would be placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list later in the day.

“Over the course of (Thursday) night, we were notified that three players have tested positive for COVID-19,” the Giants said on Twitter. “The players were immediately notified to self-isolate, and the contact tracing process is underway. Because of the bye week, the office is closed (on Friday).

“Players & coaches will resume work (Monday) with adjusted schedule. Giants & all teams are operating under the NFL’s intensive protocol for remainder of the season. In all matters relating to positive results & close contacts we’re working with the NFL’s Chief Medical Officer.”

Friday’s news comes two days after the Giants placed punter Riley Dixon and long snapper Casey Kreiter on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Placekicker Graham Gano reportedly tested positive on Tuesday.

The reserve/COVID-19 list includes players who either test positive or are being quarantined due to contact.

The Giants (3-7) have a bye this week and are scheduled to return to game action on Nov. 29 against the Bengals in Cincinnati.

Peart, 23, has played in eight games (one start) this season since being selected by the Giants in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Pettis, 25, joined New York via waiver claim on Nov. 4. He has yet to suit up for the Giants this season after playing in five games with San Francisco in 2020.

Smith, 23, has 14 receptions for 87 yards in 10 games this season. He has 45 catches for 355 yards and three touchdowns in 19 career games with the Giants.

–Field Level Media

2019 NFL Draft Preview – TEs

For a position where age often wins out, this year is a uniquely youthful group of underclassmen with lots of pass-catching potential. This projection hinges on how many will actually enter the 2019 draft. Some of the top talents will break in new quarterbacks while others must continue growing physically. UCLA’s Caleb Wilson and Iowa’s Noah Fant are vying for the preseason crown, but I’m eager to see if a dark horse emerges as the top talent. Wilson is the classic every-down workhorse, while Fant is the explosive playmaker.
1. Caleb Wilson, UCLA (6’4″ 235lbs.)
• Many will remember Wilson as the centerpiece of the Bruins historic comeback against Texas A&M, but the former USC walk-on was more than a one-game wonder in 2017. Wilson was on a torrid pace with 490 yards and one touchdown on 39 receptions in just five games before his season was cut short due to a foot injury.

© Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

2. Noah Fant, Iowa (6’5″ 232lbs.)
• Little separates Fant from Wilson, and it may come down to preference – so understand this is a 1a, 1b ranking. As Fant continues adding to his frame his appeal will only increase. The 2017 Big Ten touchdown leader (11) regardless of position can score in and out of the red zone and possesses mouthwatering athleticism.
3. Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri (6’5″ 260lbs.)
• An exciting passing-game threat, particularly in the red zone, he caught 11 touchdowns as a redshirt-Freshman last season. I suspect if he produces comparable numbers in 2018 then Okwuegbunam could leave school early with his graduating quarterback Drew Lock. Physically speaking, he’s already mature and ready for the pro level.
© Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

4. Tommy Sweeney, Boston College (6’5″ 255lbs.)
• Lacks the speed and athleticism to punish defenses, but there’s probably not a safer, more complete player available at the position. Sweeney blocks in-line competently, will move chains as a receiver, and has some yard-after-catch ability. I’ve noticed he has a good feel for soft zones in the passing game.
5. Kaden Smith, Stanford (6’5″ 259lbs.)
• The latest creation from a developing tight end factory at Stanford, Kaden Smith is a physically impressive athlete with desired length and movement skills to impose as a receiver. Another year of sustained production could convince Smith to make the pro leap.
Honorable Mention: Tyler Petite, USC (6’4″ 250lbs.)
• It’s apparent that Petite has plenty of untapped ability as a pass-catcher, as he generated a lot of positive momentum in that regard with Sam Darnold under center in 2017. Petite’s got an otherwise all-around game and if he can maintain his annual growth in production he’ll enter the NFL as a polished option for any team.