The wild ride of subtraction and addition will apparently continue with the Philadelphia Eagles because receiver Jeremy Maclin plans to reunite with former coach Andy Reid on the Kansas City Chiefs once free agency officially begins on Tuesday, according to league sources.
The Chiefs will need to clear salary-cap space to sign Maclin, whose new contract would project in the range of what Randall Cobb received to stay with the Green Bay Packers at $10 million per year. It's possible Maclin could slightly exceed Cobb's salary when negotiations are finished. Unlike Cobb, who chose to remain with his team, the Green Bay Packers, Maclin is prepared to depart Philadelphia, coming off his best season, in which he had 85 catches for 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns. Maclin played on a one-year, $5.25 million contract in 2014 after missing 2013 with an ACL injury.
Update: The deal is reportedly worth around $11 million per season.
Maclin was the #9 wide receiver in both standard and PPR formats last season. However, he did most of his damage in the first eight games (46-801-8, #2 WR) and faded from Week 10 on (40-528-2, #23 WR). His targets dropped from 10.5 per game in the first half of the season to just 7.5 T/G down the stretch, but this decrease basically coincided with Mark Sanchez taking over for Nick Foles at quarterback. If the report turns out to be true, he'll have Alex Smith as his quarterback and could hog targets alongside up-and-coming TE Travis Kelce. Reid is familiar with Maclin, so we would expect his transition to be a smooth one, though this appears to be a system downgrade.
Cobb reportedly had 6-7 other offers today, per Ian Rapoport, but "turned down considerably more money" to sign with Green Bay. It's certainly the best spot for his fantasy value, playing in a familiar system with a Hall of Fame caliber quarterback. Cobb finished #8 in PPR formats and #6 in standard and has finished in the top 11 in PPR points per game over the past two seasons. In early drafts, he's the 12th WR off the board and is going in the early 3rd round. Don't be surprised if his ADP settles in the late 2nd by the time draft season is in full swing. This is great news for Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson and the entire Packer offense.
Mike McCarthy understands why a certain segment of the Green Bay Packers fan base loves wide receiver Jeff Janis so much. After all, the Packers head coach likes the 2014 seventh-round draft pick’s talent and potential as much as anyone.
But, McCarthy said Thursday at the annual NFL Scouting Combine, although Janis certainly made a splash in preseason, he needs to make a jump in the offseason and develop his raw football talent in order to be a contributor in 2015.
And McCarthy believes that’s going to happen.
“I think Jeff is going to take a big step,” McCarthy said during a nearly hour-long session at a hotel restaurant with reporters who regularly cover the team. “He’s got a big catching radius, and he needs to utilize it. Obviously, I think we all saw his vertical speed. He’s an extremely physical young man. He’s an Olympian in the weight room. He’s got a lot of raw skill, and I look for him to make that jump.”
“I thought probably after Thanksgiving, I thought Jeff really picked it up [in practice]. He was more comfortable, and so I look for him to take a step. He’s got to play with extension. That’s the one thing he has to do a better job of. But you can see it on the scout team, and at the end of the year he was running some really good routes. Really good routes.”
Tuesday, December 2, 2014, 1:55pm
Good defenses can eliminate — or at least contain — your first and second options. And Bill Belichick has a good defense. His game plan focused on Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. So after one…two…three… weeks of standing at his locker each Wednesday, telling everyone he'd be ready when needed, Adams was needed Sunday.
He responded with his best game to date — a 6-catch, 121-yard notice to defensive coordinators that he's pretty good, too.
"The three rookies on offense have really done a good job taking advantage of their opportunities as the year has gone by," coach Mike McCarthy said on Monday, "and as their opportunities increase. Obviously, Davante was at the forefront of that Sunday. Hey, we need everybody. That's why we felt that in the off-season, try to play more people, as many different combinations of personnel as we can."
We had a recent news item that pretty much predicted the Packers were going to need Adams, and it came true. Teams will likely still need to focus on Nelson and Cobb which is going to leave Adams matched up on team's third corner. Playing a team's WR3 can often be risky but the risk is a little less on an offense like the Packers.
Tuesday, December 2, 2014, 11:39am
CLEMENTS: "Well, it gives the defense a different look, and he not only can release in a pass pattern out of the backfield but we use him as a runner sometimes. The defense, they have to respect the run because he's gotten some big runs from out of the backfield. As a pass receiver coming out of the backfield, they just have to account for him and it's a little bit different alignment for them at times. He's a dangerous weapon and we try to use him as best we can."
It's just another way good teams find a way to use good players. Cobb has had a very nice season and has rewarded fantasy owners who waited a bit at the position. Cobb and the Packers have some pretty favorable matchups the rest of the season so owners shouldn't have to even consider playing other matchups in their playoffs.
Friday, November 28, 2014, 6:04pm
Packers WR Davante Adams (heel, probable) took limited practice reps again Friday and is probable for Week 13. Adams may see a few extra targets if the Patriots are able to take away Jordy Nelson and/or Randall Cobb.
Friday, November 28, 2014, 11:04am
Patriots beat writer Mike Reiss on how the Patriots' cornerbacks will match up with the Packer receivers: My educated guess early in the week would be Darrelle Revis on Randall Cobb and then Brandon Browner on Jordy Nelson, with the safety help from Devin McCourty over the top. They'll obviously mix up their looks between man and zone, as is the norm.
Revis has been significantly better than Browner in coverage, so if Reiss is right about Browner on Nelson, then he might be the better start this week. Reiss did mention safety help on Nelson, which makes sense if Revis can handle Cobb in the slot.
Monday, November 10, 2014, 2:10pm
Coach Mike McCarthy hinted last week this was coming, that the Green Bay Packers' tight ends -- even seldom-used Brandon Bostick -- might have a bigger role in the offense than they did in the first half of the season.
But even with that forewarning, it was still stunning to see quarterback Aaron Rodgers throw the first two of his six touchdown passes in Sunday night's rout of the Chicago Bears to tight ends. Bostick, who had one catch for 2 yards all season, was the recipient of the first, on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line. Andrew Quarless got the second, on third-down from the 4-yard line.
It was the first time since Week 3 of the 2011 season, when Jermichael Finley had three touchdowns against the Bears, that Packers tight ends have caught more than one touchdown pass in a game. And it was the first time since Week 2 of 2007, when Bubba Franks and Donald Lee had touchdowns against the New York Giants, that two different Packers tight ends have caught touchdowns.
On Bostick's TD, the team lined up without the likes of WRs Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb on the field and it was Bostick on the receiving end of a play-action pass. Eventually, Nelson and Cobb got involved but if Rodgers can add TEs as targets it's only going to make him more productive. While Bostick and Quarless aren't quite top-notch fantasy tight ends just yet, they do potentially take away targets and TDs from those Packers who are owned.
"For starters, Davante Adams has moved well ahead of Jarrett Boykin for the No. 3 receiver spot. Put it to you this way: Teams aren't going to start paying less attention to Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. They would rather try to make a guy like Adams beat them. About the only thing that could reduce the number of targets headed Adams' way is if one of their tight ends somehow became productive. But based on the first half of the season, that seems unlikely. Adams' workload should increase."
Demovsky even broke it down nicely in terms of fantasy potential - don't expect teams to try and stop Adams which could be good news for his fantasy production. If you have a free roster spot or looking for an upside guy to stash, that could very well be Adams. He's probably safer in deeper leagues at least right now, but may have flex potential in typical 10-team leagues if things work out.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014, 5:14pm
If there's a downside to the fact that WR Jordy Nelson has an NFL-leading 18 catches for 292 yards through two games -- and there may not be one -- it could be that the Green Bay Packers have become too reliant one player.
At this point, the man throwing Nelson the ball does not see that as a concern.
"If teams are going to start rolling some coverage to Jordy, then we need our other guys to step up and we need to be able to run the ball more effectively," Rodgers said on his show.
Many considered Nelson in that tier of fantasy WRs after guys like Dez Bryant, Brandon Marshall, Julio Jones, etc. But Nelson is starting to make a claim that he should be considered in the top tier. The story said that in Sunday's comeback win over the Jets, Rodgers targeted Nelson 16 times. According to ESPN Stats and Information, Rodgers had never before thrown that many passes toward a single receiver in one game. The previous week, Rodgers went to Nelson 14 times. It's not terrible news for Randall Cobb owners either, as the WR caught two TD passes although didn't have the yardage that Nelson put up.
Monday, September 1, 2014, 8:16pm
The word "unofficial" is right there at the top of the page that contains the depth chart in the Green Bay Packers' weekly press release.
So why believe it when starting receiver Randall Cobb is listed as the No. 1 punt returner? Because special teams coach Shawn Slocum says so.
"He's been there all along," Slocum said Monday.
Slocum said both Cobb and safety Micah Hyde, who finished last season as the primary return man, will handle punt returns to start this season. Running back DuJuan Harris is expected to return kickoffs with Hyde and rookie receiver Jeff Janis as possibilities.
It's a nice, added bonus for Cobb owners if you get special team TD returns added to your fantasy points. Whether Cobb goes back for every punt is another story, he could very well just be used in certain punt situations, like if the Pack has an opponent pinned deep in their own zone. Head coach Mike McCarthy was quoted as saying he wanted to get away from the thinking of not using star players on kick or punt returns.
he development of wide receiver Jarrett Boykin last season was a major reason why the Green Bay Packers felt comfortable allowing valuable veteran James Jones to depart for Oakland in unrestricted free agency. Boykin's further development this summer might limit the playing time of rookie Davante Adams.
In February, coach Mike McCarthy predicted that Boykin, who would be entering his third season, had another performance jump in him. On Tuesday, McCarthy left no doubt that he would think he was right.
"Clearly, Jarrett Boykin has taken the next step," McCarthy said. "I just love the way he plays. He's had an excellent camp.
"He's physical, his toughness, he's relentless. I think he's exceptional at the top of his route. You see his strength and balance to separate from a DB."
Adams, a second-round draft choice, has been feeling his way as the team's No. 4 receiver. He's had good days and some not so good ones.
After Randall Cobb went down, Boykin stepped in and served as the Packers de facto WR3, catching 49 passes for 681 yards and three scores. In games where he played at least 59% of the snaps, he averaged 4.3-61-.27, which equates to 124 fantasy points over a full season. That’s about what Marques Colston scored as the #27 WR in 2013. Cobb is back, but James Jones is gone, so Boykin should play a lot in the Packers’ patented three-wide attack. The only concern is rookie Davante Adams, but first-year wideouts don’t usually play much in Green Bay. Boykin seems to have held off Adams for the WR3 job, which bodes very well for his fantasy value.
Jarrett Boykin is the Packers' No. 3 receiver, behind Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. That would put him ahead of the rest of the pack - including rookie second-round pick Davante Adams - entering the Packers' preseason finale against the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night at Lambeau Field.
''Clearly he's taken the next step. I just love the way he plays,'' Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Tuesday. ''He's physical, his toughness, he's relentless. I
think he's exceptional at the top of his route. You see his strength and balance to separate from a DB. I think he's had an excellent camp.''
We've identified Boykin as a sleeper this year and he remains someone who is available later in drafts. He wasn't always a lock to be the team's WR3, but it looks like he'll emerge ahead of Adams at least to start the year. Neither Adams nor Boykin were impressive at times in camp and then Adams got injured. Given the Packers offense, Boykin could have value as a possible WR3 in just about any format.
The way Davante Adams cuts in and out of his breaks with ease has reminded the Packers of a young Greg Jennings, who was perhaps the best route runner this team has had in the last decade or more. Because of that, Adams is making a strong push for the No. 3 receiver spot behind Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb.
Adams got off to a slow start in the offseason practices, making Jarrett Boykin look like a lock for the No. 3 spot. But with every training camp practice, it looks more like Adams will push and perhaps overtake Boykin, who has had an ordinary camp.
The Packers are not necessarily down on Boykin, who caught 49 passes for 681 yards last season, but a bad drop like he had in Monday night's practice has further opened the door for Adams.
We believe that Jarrett Boykin's 2013 production and experience gives him the inside track to be the team's third receiver, but it sounds as if Adams' rough summer is behind him and he is making strides. Rookie receivers generally don't have major roles in Green Bat -- both Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson were part-time players as rookies. Boykin is going in the 11th round and Adams is going in the final rounds (if at all), so it would be relatively cheap to draft both players.
Giants WR Victor Cruz in particular should thrive in this new system. He already looks dominant catching balls from Eli Manning at practice. He caught 80-plus passes in 2011 and 2012. He was on pace for 83 receptions before an injury cut last season short. It's not hard to envision 100 catches for Cruz in OC Ben McAdoo's scheme, where Cruz's ability to get in and out of cuts sharply will serve him well.
Cruz was the #1 WR through the first four weeks thanks in large part to a 118-yard, three-TD game against the Cowboys in Week 1. (Cruz cracked the 100-yard mark twice more in the first month.) Unfortunately, his production fell off of a cliff in the final 12 games; Cruz was the #59 WR the rest of the way. The Giants’ offense should bounce back under new OC Ben McAdoo who plans to use Cruz in the Randall Cobb role in his version of the West Coast Offense.
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