The Jaguars continue to be one of the teams to watch in 2016, in part because they have a high-end passing game that few noticed in 2015. Guys like quarterback Blake Bortles and receivers Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns are heading into their third NFL seasons, and things continue to look up for the offense, and for the rest of the team.
“All of the receivers have been in our locker room at some point this offseason,” Bortles said Monday, via Hays Carlyon of the Florida Times-Union. “It’s been cool to see them work together and talk through some stuff as well. The chemistry is continuing to grow, not only on the field, but off the field as well — in the weight room and in the locker room. That builds trust. It’s a special room of receivers that are all super talented.”
Bortles hoped to add to the chemistry by being present and available.
“I tried to stay here a little bit more,” Bortles said. “Most of the guys are here, which is good so we can go over stuff together.”
Robinson and Hurns were already pretty good fantasy WRs last year as the Jags played from behind in a lot of their games. But the offense continues to grow together and the Jags passing game could be one to look for in fantasy drafts this summer.
Andy Dalton is back to zipping the ball. He’s got no restrictions with his throwing thumb; he’s got one visit under his belt to passing specialist Dr. Tom House last month, and after watching two of his most established targets leave via free agency he got one back with a Super Bowl ring and knows Pro Bowlers A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert are already here.
“It would be tougher if it was my first or second year, but this is year six,” Dalton says Monday from Dallas of his revamped receiving corps. “It’s easier for me now than early on in my career. That is going to be fun. We’ve got these guys from the start; we’ve got to get them exactly where we want them to be.
The two guys who lockered next to him and meant so much to the passing game won’t be here two weeks from Monday when the Bengals gather for offseason workouts. Wide receiver Marvin Jones turned down at least the same $40 million to go to Detroit and Mohamed Sanu got No. 2 money in Atlanta when a No. 4 role loomed in Cincinnati.
Monday, April 4, 2016, 9:13pm
Hankerson originally joined the Bills on December 26, 2015 and played in the team’s final game against the New York Jets. He did not record a reception in the game. The 6-2, 211-pound Miami (Fl.) product entered the NFL in 2011 as a third round pick (79th overall) with the Washington Redskins. Hankerson has played in 40 career games, starting 14, catching 107 passes for 1,408 yards and nine touchdowns.
Prior to joining the Bills, Hankerson played for the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons in 2015. He spent his first four NFL seasons with the Washington Redskins. His most productive season came in 2012 when he had 38 catches for 543 yards and three touchdowns for Washington.
Monday, April 4, 2016, 9:09pm
Johnson has played in 63-of-64 regular season games for the Steelers over the last four seasons and saw most of his time as a blocker on offense. He carried the ball eight times for 14 yards and caught 31 passes for 235 yards while scoring three times.
Monday, April 4, 2016, 9:07pm
Monday, April 4, 2016, 9:05pm
“Out with the old in with the new,” Cumberland wrote on social media. “Thanks for the 6 years the Jets organization gave me. Thanks to the Chargers organization for the opportunity to make a new home.”
In San Diego, he’ll be paired with eight-time Pro Bowler Antonio Gates.
That means the Lions are looking for the supporting cast at WR to step up. Golden Tate will be featured prominently alongside Marvin Jones, and Detroit has acquired former Jet Jeremy Kerley to man the slot.
"We really expect him to come forward and be a little bit more of a prominent threat," coach Jim Caldwell said.
Jones was a sixth-round pick of the club in 2014, but experienced nerve pain following shoulder surgery that offseason and never played a down. He caught passes in four of the final five games including a 29-yard touchdown in a Week 16 win against San Francisco. Caldwell went on to say Jones return ability and scat-back ability, where he can catch screens and take off and go.
Running back Ronnie Hillman is an unrestricted free agent after wrapping up the contract he signed as a Broncos third-round pick in 2012. Mike Klis of KUSA reports that the Broncos recently reached out to Hillman to express their interest in bringing him back for a fifth season with the team.
Anderson signed a four-year offer from the Dolphins that the Broncos matched, but Hillman’s market hasn’t been nearly as active. The story went on to say there was a report last month of Packers interest in Hillman, but nothing has materialized. The Broncos currently have Juwan Thompson and Kapri Bibbs on the depth chart with Anderson. With all kinds of questions at QB, it makes sense the Broncos want to have a very good running game. However from a fantasy angle, we'd be looking at a similar situation as last year with both backs likely being involved in the offense.
At some point over the next couple of weeks, the Ravens are expected to finalize their deal with running back Trent Richardson. When they do, they’ll add another name to one of their deepest positions.
Running back Justin Forsett, who is recovering from a broken arm suffered in November, remains the presumptive starter. Behind him is Buck Allen, who had 867 yards of total offense and three touchdowns last year as a rookie; 2014 fourth-round pick Lorenzo Taliaferro, who has struggled with injuries but has looked promising in limited opportunities; Terrance West, who showed glimpses of potential last year; and Terrence Magee. Richardson, the third overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft, soon could join that list.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh said at the NFL scouting combine in February that the team would go with the hot hand at running back.
Unless the Ravens make a bigger splash at the position at some point, Forsett and Allen are still expected to enter training camp atop the depth chart, the story said. That would leave Taliaferro, West, Magee, Richardson and any other back the Ravens bring in competing for one or two available jobs. Forsett had an excellent 2014 season before falling a bit last year, and then was lost for the season with a broken arm. Allen took over and was impressive at times but made some mistakes as well.
The Philadelphia district attorney is expected to announce McCoy will face no charges related to the brawl, which took place in a Philadelphia nightclub on Feb. 7, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer's Jeff McLane.
The story went on to say Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams defended the ongoing investigation back at one point, saying "My only goal is to get it right, not fast. The last thing we need is a rush to judgment." According to FOX Sports NFL insider Mike Garafolo, the decision will leave some people notably displeased as several off-duty police officers suffered multiple injuries in the altercation. McCoy could still suffer some sort of punishment from the NFL for the incident, but this is going about as well as could be expected for McCoy owners at this point.
Sunday, April 3, 2016, 8:19pm
Mike Vick had to wait until the end of August before landing a job last year. The veteran quarterback seems to understand he may be lucky if his phone rings again.
Speaking to reporters at Tyrod Taylor's annual youth camp, Vick expressed a desire to extend his pro career, but said he was content if this is the end.
"I'm 35, about to turn 36," Vick said, according to the Newport News Daily Press. "I've got one more dedicated season in my blood, if somebody needs me to come in. But I'm kind of happy where I am right now.
"I've got my health, I've got my kids, I've got my family. The game has done so much for me in terms of relationships, opportunities to take care of myself and my family. I'm just thankful. I give all the credit to God."
Vick appeared in five games and made three starts for the Steelers last season. He completed 40 of 66 passes for 371 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He suffered a hamstring injury in Week 6 and was eventually supplanted by Landry Jones for the backup job behind Ben Roethlisberger.
Sunday, April 3, 2016, 1:01pm
ESPN's Rich Cimini offered the following on the Jets-Ryan Fitzpatrick situation:
Ideally, the Jets would like to resolve the contract stalemate by April 18, the start of the offseason program. Unless another team emerges from the weeds, Fitzpatrick's only options are to take the Jets' low-ball offer (about $7 million) or not play.
I don't think Fitzpatrick's pride would allow him to cave quickly; he could try to slow-play the Jets. They could try to pressure him by flirting with Brian Hoyer or Josh McCown, but they'd better be careful. If New York ends up with one of them and loses Fitzpatrick, it's a loss for the Jets, even if they save a few million bucks. They need him, he needs them. Get it done.
Sunday, April 3, 2016, 12:57pm
Bob Quinn worked for the Patriots before being hired in Detroit, so he was on hand when the Patriots used relatively early picks on Kevin O’Connell, Ryan Mallett and Jimmy Garoppolo to back up Tom Brady. He was also hired in 2000, which was the same year that the Patriots drafted Brady in the sixth round and a year before Brady took over for an injured Drew Bledsoe in a franchise-shifting move.
Quinn suggested the same might be in store for the Lions in this year’s draft.
“I think it’s really good football business to acquire a young quarterback every year or every other year,” Quinn said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “There’s such a value in the position and nowadays in college football there’s a lot of spread offenses, which means it’s a lot different than pro football. So it takes these young quarterbacks time to develop. So if you can add a young quarterback every year or every other year to your roster, it’s good football business in my mind. So you have time to develop them, either on the practice squad or as a backup, before eventually them having to play in a game.”
The story mentioned the Lions would look in the mid-to-late rounds for a possible QB selection.
“I plan on him having a huge impact,” Flacco said, via the team’s website. “I think he’s a talented guy. He can run, he can catch, he can do a lot of things. I’m planning on him coming in here and having a big impact on our football team and helping us win a lot of games.”
The Ravens went on to finish 5-11, their first sub-.500 record since they made Flacco their starter as a rookie back in 2008, and Flacco got started on a rehab process that he hopes will have him ready to start training camp on time.
Saturday, he offered an update on his progress after taking a few leisurely jump shots at teammate Torrey Smith’s charity basketball game, according to the Ravens’ website:
“I can’t complain,” Flacco said. “I’m getting better and better each week. “To be honest with you, I believe [I’m on track for training camp], but it’s not like I’ve been told a timeline or anything like that. I can’t really say one way or another.
“I can tell each week that by the end of the week I’m feeling sore and I’m hurting, and by the next Monday I’m feeling better than I did last Monday.”