Cardinals HC Bruce Arians on RBs: "We'd like to have a bigger back." Said team looking for big, fast back. Could come in 4th or 5th round.
It sounds like the Cardinals are looking to build a two-back system to lower the wear and tear on Andre Ellington, who played hurt for most of the 2014 season. A reduction in touches may actually help Ellington's effectiveness, though it's unlikely to help his per game fantasy production. Ellington averaged 22.0 touches per game, but only managed 3.3 YPC after averaging 5.5 YPC in his rookie season.
Monday, February 23, 2015, 5:15pm
Ted Ginn, who signed a three-year free-agent contract in 2014, was released by the Cardinals Monday after a disappointing year both as return man and wide receiver. The Cards will absorb $1.5 million in dead salary cap money, although they will save $2.5M in cap space that would have been spent if Ginn stayed.
By season's end, Anderson was a Pro Bowler. But Anderson started the final eight games with John Fox as head coach. Gary Kubiak is the Broncos' coach now.
"He's got to go earn that," Kubiak said. "When he walked off the field last year he was playing that way. He's a young player. I told him that when I talked to him. I said, "C.J. when you come back for the offseason you need to handle yourself like you're the starter. ... I think he's ready to do that."
This is a common motivational tactic that coaches use with young, less-established players, but Anderson should be the team's RB1 in 2015 provided he doesn't report to OTAs out of shape. He began to see starter-type touches in Week 10 with 17 touches for 163 yards and a touchdown against the Raiders. Over the final eight weeks, he averaged 24.0 touches for 132 yards and 1.3 TD, and was the #1 RB in that span. If the Broncos commit to Anderson, he should thrive under new Kubiak, who just coaxed a career year out of journeyman Justin Forsett. Provided QB Peyton Manning returns for another season, Anderson’s production should continue.
As PFT reported earlier, the Cardinals have gained nearly $13 million in cap space thanks to a new deal with wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, guaranteeing that one of the franchise’s icons will remain in the fold after months of uncertainty because of Fitzgerald’s salary and cap hit for the 2015 season.
PFT has learned a bit more about the deal via a league source. Fitzgerald’s old deal ran through the 2018 season and was set to pay him a non-guaranteed $16.5 million in 2015 while counting $23.6 million against the cap. He was also set to make a non-guaranteed $15 million salary.
That deal has been replaced by one that guarantees Fitzgerald $11 million per year over the next two seasons.
$11 million per season is a high price to pay for a soon-to-be 32-year-old who is coming off of his worst fantasy season of his career. However, there is a reason for optimism: Fitzgerald averaged 5.3 catches for 81 yards and 0.33 TD in six games with a healthy Carson Palmer. Extrapolate that pace over a full season, and it's about what Mike Evans (PPR) and Golden Tate (standard) scored as last season's #13 WR. Assuming Palmer is good to go, Fitzgerald could be a nice middle round value heading into 2015 fantasy drafts.
Friday, as a guest of Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 F for Newsmakers Week, GM Steve Keim had a similar tone.
"He's awesome," Keim said. "He came in, I believe it was yesterday and I talked to him at length, he's more energized than ever and he looked fantastic.
"It looks like he put on some lean muscle; he is working his tail off. And I know he's at a point in his rehabilitation process where he's doing some running and he's ahead of schedule. And again, he's more energized than ever."
Palmer averaged 271 yards, 1.8 touchdowns and 0.5 interceptions in six 2014 starts, or 17.2 fantasy points per game. Those are fringe QB1 numbers, so if Palmer is good to go for 2015, he'll be on the radar as a late-round value for those owners looking to stream or form a committee at the position. Keep an eye on the Larry Fitzgerald situation -- if he parts ways with the team, it's going to be a blow to Palmer's upside.
Bowles told ESPN's Josina Anderson in a text message that he was taking the job.
The news came less than four hours after the Jets announced the hiring of Mike Maccagnan as their general manager. Bowles will receive a four-year contract, a source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
The Sacramento Bee's Matt Barrows reported Tuesday that Kaepernick will spend the spring at EXOS in Phoenix with Warner and quarterback coach Dennis Gile.
Kaepernick is looking to rebound after a disappointing 2014, and Warner will be there to help. According to the report, Warner will focus on film study and 7-on-7 drills with Kaepernick.
Kaepernick finished as the #15 QB in standard formats. He rushed for 641 yards, which was second-most among quarterbacks, but only rushed for one touchdown. We're expecting better fantasy numbers from Kaepernick in 2015.
Saturday, January 3, 2015, 3:39pm
Friday, January 2, 2015, 5:04pm
Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart returned to practice Wednesday and having the day off on Tuesday, and he’s expected to start and get the majority of carries when the Panthers face the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday in the wild-card playoff game.
There’s been discussion on how the Panthers would split the carries between the red-hot Stewart and DeAngelo Williams, who’s recovering from a broken bone in his hand. Stewart didn’t seem concerned about that Wednesday.
“Whatever the offensive coordinator (decides) and whatever the plan is for the game, that’s how we run things,” Stewart said. “You just do your part and just worry about that.”
Stewart was the #10 fantasy running back from Week 13 to Week 17, and averaged 5.3 yards per carry in that span. Williams has been out for a while and averaged just 3.5 YPC on 62 carries this season.
Cardinals HC Bruce Arians confirmed what seemed like was coming all week as quarterback Drew Stanton couldn’t practice with a bad knee: Stanton will not be able to play Saturday against the Panthers, and Ryan Lindley will start. Stanton always seemed like a longshot to go anyway as the week went on.
This is why the Panthers are our top-ranked defense this week.
Larry Fitzgerald does not expect to be back with the Cardinals next season, a source familiar with the situation told FOX Sports Arizona on Wednesday. That could make Saturday's wild-card playoff game in Charlotte, N.C., the final game of the Valley icon's Arizona career.
Last week, general manager Steve Keim confirmed a Pro Football Talk report that the Cardinals had no plans to cut Fitzgerald despite an unworkable $23.6 million cap number next season, which would account for about 17 percent of the projected $141 million salary cap.
"I don't think it's any secret that we've said all along it's our intent to have Larry Fitzgerald retire a Cardinal," Keim told Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. "I don't want to get into it too deep, but with planning purposes, financially, from a cap standpoint, all those sorts of things, we have Larry's number already baked into our numbers."
"We've had ongoing talks with (Fitzgerald's agent) Eugene Parker, and we will continue to have ongoing talks," Keim added. "Even though it's still not 2015, it's my job to look at 2015, '16, '17 and years beyond, and we have to make good business decisions."
Fitzgerald's numbers don't justify his massive contract, but maybe the two sides can work out a deal that can keep him in Arizona for a while longer.
If quarterback Drew Stanton wants to play in Arizona's Wild Card game Saturday at Carolina, he has to practice at least one day this week, coach Bruce Arians said.
That’s it. Just one. It doesn’t matter if it happened Tuesday or comes Wednesday or Thursday. That's all Arians wants to see from Stanton before he hands him the ball against the Panthers.
But time is running out on Stanton. He wasn’t on the field during the part of Arizona’s practice Tuesday open to the media. Since an injury report wasn’t required to be distributed, it's unknown if he participated after practice was closed. Arians said there wasn’t a change in Stanton’s status, meaning Stanton continues to recover from a right knee injury suffered against the St. Louis Rams in Week 15.
The Cardinals will go through a walk-through in Charlotte on Friday, but Stanton would need to go through a full practice in order for Arians to consider playing him. Arizona changed their travel plans to fly to Charlotte on Thursday instead of Friday, as was initially scheduled.
Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim made his usual appearance on Arizona Sports 98.7 Monday morning, and had a positive tone when asked about the possibility of Drew Stanton making Saturday’s playoff game with the Panthers.
“At this point it’s day-to-day, but we’re hopeful,” Keim said.
Getting Stanton back would be a huge boost to the Cardinals, who have floundered badly under third-choice Ryan Lindley, the story said. Stanton was recovering well from his previous knee injury when he had to be treated for an infection last week, an infection the team believes was picked up outside its facilities.
After months of speculation, the Jim Harbaugh era in San Francisco is over.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday night that Harbaugh and the 49ers are parting ways, according to a source involved in the situation.
The 49ers quickly released a statement confirming the news:
"Jim and I have come to the conclusion that it is in our mutual best interest to move in different directions," team CEO Jed York said. "We thank Jim for bringing a tremendous competitive nature and a great passion for the game to the 49ers. He and his staff restored a winning culture that has been the standard for our franchise throughout its history. Their commitment and hard work resulted in a period of success that should be looked back on proudly by our organization and our fans. We wish Jim and his family all the best."
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