Friday, January 16, 2015, 5:45pm
Patriots WR Brandon LaFell (shoulder, toe, probable) took limited practice reps all week and is probable for Week 20. The probable tag means that LaFell is going to play against Indianapolis.
Friday, January 16, 2015, 5:45pm
Colts WR Reggie Wayne (not injury related) missed practice Friday. Wayne isn't much of a fantasy option at this point, but he'll be out there against New England.
Friday, January 16, 2015, 5:45pm
Seahawks TE Tony Moeaki (calf, probable) took full practice reps all week and is probable for Week 20. Moeaki will likely play behind Luke Willson this week.
John Fox is the new head coach of the Chicago Bears, agreeing to a four-year deal on Friday, sources told ESPN.
Fox becomes Chicago's third head coach since 2012, taking over for Marc Trestman, who was fired on Dec. 29 along with general manager Phil Emery, after posting a 13-19 record over two seasons. The Bears have missed the postseason for four consecutive years.
Fox is experienced and should be able to change the culture in Chicago, but he's known to be very conservative in game situations and has had issues with clock management.
The New York Giants have selected Steve Spagnuolo as their new defensive coordinator, reuniting him with the team he helped win Super Bowl XLII while serving in that role from 2007 to 2008.
Spagnuolo, 55, replaces Perry Fewell, who was the Giants' defensive coordinator for the past five years but was fired last week after a 6-10 season in which the team finished 29th in the NFL in total defense.
Echoing earlier sentiments of his head coach, Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman said the team wants Adrian Peterson to return to Minnesota once the suspended running back is eligible to apply for reinstatement on April 15.
“I don’t know if there’s a team in the NFL that wouldn’t want Adrian Peterson on the football team,” Spielman said Wednesday at Winter Park. “If you can name me one … and I don’t want to speak for other teams. I’m being a little sarcastic with that. But I know that he’s a pretty good football player.”
“I’ll just stick by with what I’ve said,” Spielman said. “I know that Adrian is a good person, just being around him. I know he’s done a lot of good in this community. What he did — he just came out and said he made a mistake. As [coach Mike Zimmer] had stated earlier, he has to get all that in order and then we’ll proceed from there.”
This will be one of the more compelling situations to monitor this spring/summer from a personnel standpoint. Peterson is under contract and the team says it wants him to return, so in all likelihood, he will.
49ers set to promote defensive line coach Jim Tomsula to head coach, per sources.
Tomsula has been with the team since 2007. He'll need to hire an effective offensive coordinator since he was brought up on the defensive side of the ball. So far, there is no reason to think that the 49ers will suddenly become more productive on offense.
After two years out of coaching, Chan Gailey once again will have a job in the NFL.
According to Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com, Gailey will join the New York Jets as the offensive coordinator under new head coach Todd Bowles.
Jack Del Rio is expected to be the next head coach of the Oakland Raiders.
NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday morning, citing two sources informed of the team's thinking, that signs point to the former Broncos defensive coordinator and Jaguars head coach being the next man tapped to lead the middling franchise out of a playoff drought that began in 2002. Rapoport adds that the Raiders decided Tuesday against sticking with interim coach Tony Sparano.
GM Dave Gettleman said he wanted to sit down with DeAngelo Williams before saying anything publicly about the status of the franchise’s all-time rushing leader. Last year, Gettleman was widely criticized for his noncommittal comments about Steve Smith’s future with the team before talking to the Panthers’ popular, all-time receiving leader.
“I need to talk to DeAngelo, I really do. He’s a pro’s pro, and he had a tough season,” Gettleman said. “The obvious loss of his mom was very, very difficult. He only played six (regular season) games this year, and it was tough for him. Before I say anything, just know he’s a pro’s pro. And the way he finished the season, he finished it like a man.”
Williams, who turns 32 in April, finished with career lows in every major rushing category after battling injuries most of the season. When Williams returned from a broken hand in December, he was reduced to part-time work behind Jonathan Stewart and Fozzy Whittaker.
Jonathan Stewart was tremendous down the stretch, averaging 105 total yards (97.0 rushing) in the final seven games, including two playoff games. He averaged 5.30 YPC in that span, including 5.13 YPC versus Arizona and 5.38 YPC against Seattle in the playoffs. Over the final five games of the regular season, he was the #10 fantasy running back. He turns 28 in March, so there is definitely some tread left on his tires. Even though he has missed 20 percent of his team's games throughout the career, he'll be a high-upside pick if Williams is let go.
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.
Buffalo Bills Head Coach Rex Ryan today announced that the team has terminated the contract of Jim Schwartz which will allow the defense coordinator to pursue other opportunities.
Ryan said, “I have the utmost respect for Jim and what he has been able to accomplish throughout his career and I know he feels the same about me. Jim’s defenses are always tough and ranked near the top of the league standings. I wanted to give Jim the opportunity to pursue other opportunities and so we have terminated his contract. He did a terrific job with the Bills defense this past year and our plan is for our defense to continue to play well and be a dominating force.”
Schwartz did a great job with the Bills defense this season. The unit was 4th in both total points allowed and total yardage allowed. He'll be a hot name on the DC market.
The Dallas Cowboys are on the brink of a new five-year contract agreement with Jason Garrett to remain the team's head coach, sources tell ESPN's Chris Mortensen.
A team source told ESPN's Ed Werder of the deal: "It's not done, but close."
Garrett guided the Cowboys further than anyone outside of Irving thought they would go. Despite a tough loss to Green Bay in the Divisional Round, it was only a matter of time before owner Jerry Jones inked Garrett to a new deal.
The Cowboys are close to a contract with Rod Marinelli that will ensure he remains as the team’s defensive coordinator, a source said.
The talks appear to have reached the stage where the contract could be finalized later today or tomorrow. Jason Garrett said earlier in the day that Marinelli had told him that he wanted to return.
The Cowboys were surprisingly competent on the defensive side of the ball despite a glaring lack of talent. The unit finished 15th in points allowed and was 19th in total yardage allowed.
Tuesday, January 13, 2015, 11:46am
The Pittsburgh Steelers named Keith Butler as their new defensive coordinator Tuesday.
Butler was promoted to replace longtime defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, who resigned Saturday after being notified that he would not be given a new contract with the team.
The 58-year-old Butler had been Pittsburgh's linebackers coach since 2003.