Offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo should know a little something about his soon-to-be newest receiver. McAdoo coached Jones in Green Bay.
The Giants already have a lot of depth at receiver, so this is a curious signing despite McAdoo's familiarity with Jones from their days together in Green Bay.
Giants receivers Victor Cruz and Odell Beckham are not on PUP. Cruz passed the conditioning test less than 10 months after tearing the patellar tendon in his right knee. Beckham, who missed time with a hamstring injury this spring, did as well. Neither are going to start training camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. That's good news. Both are expected to be on the practice field with their teammates on Friday. They may have their snaps limited, but at least they're cleared.
Cruz tore his patellar tendon in mid-October, though recent reports have been unanimously positive. He's not going to get the same number of targets given Odell Beckham's emergence as a top-flight wideout. Cruz will likely play the Randall Cobb role in OC Ben McAdoo's offense, so there is some upside if he's fully healthy by Week 1. Hopefully the injury doesn’t rob him of the speed and quickness that makes him such a dangerous slot receiver.
The Boston Herald broke down the Patriots RBs:
LeGarrette Blount will miss the opener on the suspended list, but should be viewed as a lock because the Patriots made no obvious attempt to replace him in the draft or free agency. Brandon Bolden signed a contract extension last season and is one of their most trusted special teamers. The Patriots believe James Develin is the best fullback in the league, so he is safe as long as the Pats continue to value the position.
We still don’t know for sure much about Travis Cadet, Tyler Gaffney, Jonas Gray and James White really. Cadet has an intriguing set of skills, but could he provide more than Bolden or White? And White just had his second strong spring of OTAs, but can he do it wearing pads? Is Gray the bulldozer we saw against the Colts or the guy Bill Belichick preferred to keep in the doghouse? And the thinking here is that Gaffney’s best work must come in pads, which is why he had a somewhat quiet spring.
The story went on to say that White, a 2014 fourth-round pick, dazzled at the start of training camp last season before falling off the map with 16 healthy scratches in 19 games. He was strong again during the nine-week OTAs program and appeared to be the Pats’ best back in passing situations. White could monopolize that role if he keeps it up and earns more trust, the story went on to say. But if he disappears again midway through camp, he might even get cut. We had news articles last year that stated White could be a potential Shane Vereen replacement, but the team signed Cadet in the offseason and right now is a bit more proven after filling in for Pierre Thomas at times last year in New Orleans. With Blount seemingly the early down back, the winner of the third down, passing situation job could potentially have PPR value in fantasy leagues.
Giants beat writer Jordan Raanan:
The good news is that Larry Donnell is out of the walking boot and has been training down in Alabama. My understanding is he's expected to participate in training camp practices this week. It doesn't mean he's completely in the clear. I'm still somewhat concerned about the Achilles problem he had in the spring. It's an old college injury that resurfaced. That means it has never really gone away, and may pop up again.
Donnell averaged 82% of the snaps through the first 11 weeks, but played just 69% over the final six games, due to run-blocking and ball-security concerns. He finished the season as the #11 TE in both standard and PPR formats, but did not crack 60 yards or find the endzone in the final six games. He had the 17th-most targets (5.2 T/G) over that span, after seeing the 7th-most (6.1 T/G) in the first 11 weeks. If he improves his blocking, his snaps should rise and that should result in an increase in production. Hopefully that Achilles holds up.
The understanding is he's expected to participate in training camp practices this week. It doesn't mean he's completely in the clear. There's reason to be concerned about the Achilles problem he had in the spring. It's an old college injury that resurfaced. That means it has never really gone away, and may pop up again. Hopefully (fingers crossed) it doesn't finally reach the point where it gives out.
The Giants have Daniel Fells, Adrien Robinson and a whole bunch of youngsters at the TE position. Jerome Cunningham, Matt LaCosse and Will Tye fare better as blockers and will be a factor in who makes the team and gets playing time if Donnell were to miss time. Donnell showed flashes last year but comes in ranked just 21st on our TE list and is a later-round flier in 12 team leagues. We don't always recommend drafting a second TE, but Donnell could at least be a guy to start in streaming situations.
One of the main Giants storylines to watch heading into training camp is the status of Odell Beckham Jr.'s hamstring injury, which kept him off the practice field for a good portion of the team's offseason program. The good news is that Beckham seems to be on the mend.
In a sit-down interview with the NFL Network's Kim Jones, Beckham was asked about his health status, one year after he missed all of training camp, preseason, and the first four regular season games with a strained hamstring.
"It feels a lot better actually," Beckham said. "I would rather be healthy than anything else. I just don't want to go through that, what I had to go through again last year, and not just for myself – just for this team."
Not exactly the most revealing answer, but Beckham added that the plan is for him to be 100 percent by the season opener against the Dallas Cowboys. The guess here is that he will have his practice reps monitored throughout camp.
Beckham said that the Pro Bowl that he actually had two tears in his hamstring which didn’t fully heal during the season. If true, then perhaps he has just scratched the surface on his full potential. Once his season started in Week 5, he averaged 17.2 FP (standard) and 24.8 FP (PPR), which was the best in the league in both scoring systems. The only (minor) concerns are his current hamstring injury, and a potential sophomore slump if teams are able to find a way to slow him down.
Perhaps most notable about the Patriots' running back position is that James White, Travaris Cadet and Dion Lewis look to be closely bunched for the pass-catching role vacated by Shane Vereen at this juncture.
If any single back wins the pass-catching role outright, he'll suddenly be a factor in PPR formats. Shane Vereen averaged 4.3 catches per game over the past two years (including the postseason). That projects to 68.8 receptions over a full 16-game season.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015, 12:27pm
The Kansas City Chiefs have signed linebacker Justin Houston to a six-year, $101 million deal, including $52.5 million guaranteed, sources said Wednesday.
The deal is the richest in Chiefs history and the richest linebacker contract in NFL history.
Houston, 26, led the NFL in sacks last season with 22. He was a half-sack short of the single-season record set by Michael Strahan of the New York Giants in 2001.
The sides were nowhere close to agreement on a long-term contract in March, when the Chiefs designated Houston as their franchise player. In doing so, the Chiefs were obligated to offer Houston a one-year contract worth about $13.2 million.
The coaches lauded the work of Terrance Williams in Bryant's absence during the offseason program. Williams became the de facto leader of the wide receiver room. He and QB Tony Romo were much more in-tune with each other.
"He's not only taken a tremendous leadership role in the group, really setting the example of how you do things, he's expanded his route inventory," wide receivers coach Derek Dooley said at the conclusion of last month's minicamp. "He's played X. He's played Z. He's played in the slot and every day he went out there and was the same player. Every route, every opportunity he had he took advantage of it. So he's made a big jump this offseason."
Devin Street worked with the starters with Bryant absent. He had just two catches as a rookie in 2014 but the coaches liked his development through the year. Getting the extra work with Romo in the spring will help his development this year. Coaches say players make the biggest jumps between their rookie and second seasons. While any work would have been good work for Street, having that work come with Romo is an added bonus.
While there's still time before the July 15 deadline, it doesn't hurt fantasy owners to at least think about life without Bryant on the fantasy radar and what it could mean for other players' value. The story went on to say WR Cole Beasley would continue to serve as the No. 3 receiver in the slot, so his role would essentially be the same, but it could change how much the Cowboys use three wide receiver formations. The article added that tight end Gavin Escobar could be used more in a receiver role, which would likely eat more into Street's snaps than Beasley's.
While most NFL players are vacationing this month, Dolphins receiver Jarvis Landry and his buddy and former LSU teammate, Odell Beckham Jr. (the NFL offensive Rookie of the Year) are pushing themselves through grueling morning workout at well-regarded trainer Pete Bommarito’s Performance Systems facility in Davie.
Landry is determined to improve his speed to prove he’s more than a slot receiver.
Is his speed better? “Absolutely,” Landry said this week. “I can’t wait to show it.”
Landry flashed that explosiveness when he caught a deep ball from Ryan Tannehill during the Dolphins’ minicamp last month.
“You can see the difference with Jarvis,” Bommarito said. “There’s a difference between straight line speed and football speed. He’s excelled at both.”
Landry was the #42 WR in standard formats and #30 in PPR, so as a high-volume slot receiver, he's going to have more value in PPR formats. The Dolphins lost four of their top six most-targeted players: Mike Wallace, Charles Clay, Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson. They have been replaced by Kenny Stills, Greg Jennings, DeVante Parker and Jordan Cameron, but Landry's role should expand as well. He only played 62% of the snaps on the season, and didn't start playing consistent starter's snaps until Week 9. Over the final nine weeks, Landry was the #15 WR in PPR formats (and #23 in standard). He is currently the 24th WR off the board in early PPR drafts.
Giants WR Victor Cruz has maintained all offseason that he expects to be ready to go for training camp after tearing his patellar tendon last season and said on Tuesday that everyone with a say in the matter also feels confident that Cruz will avoid the physically unable to perform list when the team reports to training camp.
“From the training staff, the coaches and the front office people, I think everyone’s under the assumption that I’ll be ready to go,” Cruz said on Sirius XM NFL Radio with Bruce Murray and Rich Gannon. “I don’t think PUP will be an option. Obviously, if it comes about then that’s a conversation I have to have with my superiors. It seems like I’m on track to be ready for training camp and, God willing, be out there Week One.”
Cruz tore his patellar tendon in mid-October, so it's no sure thing that he'll be back for the start of the season, though recent reports are positive. He's not going to get the same number of targets given Odell Beckham's emergence as a top-flight wideout. Cruz will likely play the Randall Cobb role in OC Ben McAdoo's offense, so there is some upside if he's fully healthy by Week 1. Hopefully the injury doesn’t rob him of the speed and quickness that makes him such a dangerous slot receiver.
Sunday, July 5, 2015, 9:04pm
Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul appears to have avoided the worst after being 'severely' injured in a fireworks accident. Amputation to his fingers or hand don't appear likely.
It's believed that 'everything is going to be OK' with Pierre-Paul, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. His playing career is not in jeopardy, according to another report.
Sunday, July 5, 2015, 10:30am
In his first year as the head coach in Washington, Jay Gruden figured he could coach the quarterbacks himself. Gruden was a college and arena football quarterback, and he wanted to take a hands-on approach to the most important position.
But after franchise quarterback Robert Griffin III struggled last season, Gruden decided he needed an assistant who could spend all his time coaching the quarterbacks. So Gruden hired a full-time quarterbacks coach, Matt Cavanaugh. Gruden says he can already see that Griffin is benefiting from Cavanaugh’s presence.
“Now we have a set of eyes strictly on the quarterback, and I think that’s important,” Gruden said, via Richmond.com. “Every snap, every handoff, every dropback is being critiqued to make sure we do it the right way, and I think that’s been a big benefit for Robert.”
Cavanaugh spent 14 seasons as an NFL quarterback for the Patriots, 49ers, Eagles and Giants, and has spent 23 seasons as a quarterbacks coach, first at his alma mater the University of Pittsburgh, and then for the Cardinals, 49ers, Bears, Ravens and Jets. Griffin agrees that he’s benefiting from Cavanaugh’s knowledge, the story went on to say. Despite that, we have Griffin ranked 20th among our QBs and he isn't getting a lot of draft attention in ten team leagues. The potential is there, and if you're looking to grab a second QB late in your draft, Griffin should be there.
Sunday, July 5, 2015, 10:18am
Giants beat writer Jordan Raanan answered a question about WR Rueben Randle and his role this upcoming season.
I think last year was pretty much what we can expect from Randle now and moving forward. He's good for 60-70 catches and 800-1,000 yards. It's just hard to see anything more given his lack of explosiveness. Randle averaged 3.2 yards after the catch last season. That was 65th out of 76 receivers who played at least 50 percent of the snaps. He also caught only 58.2 percent of the passes thrown in his direction. That was 60th out of 76 receivers. In comparison, quarterback Eli Manning completed 70.5 percent of his passes to Odell Beckham Jr.
Raanan went on to say that all this doesn't even take into account that there seems to be something missing with Randle. He was benched twice for the first quarter of games last season. This doesn't seem to indicate a receiver on the verge of something really big, he went on to say. He also, at times, didn't seem to be on the same page as Manning, which could also hurt his production. Randle is ranked 59th on our list of WRs.
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