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Thursday, March 20, 2014, 3:21pm
Jared Allen is working on final details of a contract with the Seattle Seahawks. Barring unforeseen issues, he could sign today.
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Panthers sign Jerricho Cotchery
Thursday, March 20, 2014, 1:47pm
Ideally, the soon-to-be 32-year-old Cotchery would be the WR3, but the Panthers are in a tough spot and he may see WR2-type snaps and targets in 2014, likely making him fantasy relevant. Cotchery was the #31 WR in standard formats in 2013 thanks to a career-high 10 TDs. He's not likely to repeat that kind of scoring production, though he could see a bump in targets.
Ryan Mathews is still San Diego's 'bell cow' RB
Thursday, March 20, 2014, 11:54am
“We know Ryan is our bell cow,” Chargers GM Tom Telesco said. “He’s our No. 1 back. He had an excellent year last year. And we all know what Danny Woodhead can do in his role. We saw that for 16 games last year. And we think Donald can come in and add to that, too, and give us some different options. And a different style, too. The more weapons we can have for Philip Rivers, the better.”
Mathews finished as the #12 RB in standard formats, which is the second time in three seasons that he has posted RB1-type numbers. He'll be a risk/reward pick in 2014 given his injury history. He is currently going in the middle of the 5th round and will be a nice value there if he can stay healthy.
Latavius Murray 'in the mix' for a backup role in Oakland
Thursday, March 20, 2014, 11:47am
Murray will be an attractive pick in the later rounds given his potential and the chances that McFadden gets injured again during the course of the season. A McFadden/Murray combo should be a fairly cheap way to fill the RB2 spot on draft day, though there's no guarantee that the team's running game will be as productive now that Rashad Jennings is gone. He carried the load down the stretch in 2013.
Lions will use more two-back sets in 2014
Thursday, March 20, 2014, 11:44am
But the cash-strapped Lions also would not be making these investments if they were not serious about actually featuring all these backs in the offense. Team president Tom Lewand confirmed as much this week.
"You're going to see some more two-back sets," Lewand told a small crowd this week at the TAP restaurant in the MGM casino in downtown Detroit. He added that they would mimic what New Orleans has done with deploying a multitude of tailbacks.
"It's a very adaptable offense, and they want to use the talent and the guys that we have, not just one back at a time because that's what the personnel group calls for."
The Lions wanted to use more two-back sets last year after signing fullback Montell Owens, but Owens played only one offensive series due to a pair of knee injuries. Bell and Bush were occasionally featured on the field at the same time, though those formations usually split Bush out at receiver.
The Lions are paying Bell about the same as what Ben Tate and Toby Gerhart signed for, so it's starting to look like Bell will play the Pierre Thomas/Mark Ingram role in the Lions offense with Reggie Bush returning to more of a Darren Sproles-like role as a receiving specialist. Bell's stock is up while Bush's is down.
Beat: DeSean Jackson 'out' of Philly 'for sure'
Thursday, March 20, 2014, 11:37am
Various people close to Jackson and/or the Eagles' front office believe that there's at least a chance he's gone long before training camp.
"There is no way he's an Eagle this year," yet another person close to Jackson told The Morning Call. "However it leaked out, it leaked out, and now this is what you have."
In the meantime, for what it's worth, here's what my spidey senses tell me: Jackson is out of here for sure, and long before the NFL draft too.
Too bad, because his statistical contributions might be able to be replaced, but his overall impact on the offense might not be, at least right away.
More as this develops, and there's strong sense here that it will.
This is quite the turn of events, especially with Jackson coming off of his best receiving season as a pro (82-1332-9), which put him in the top 10 at his position for just the second time in his career. Perhaps the Panthers should give the Eagles a call. Jackson wants more money, but it's unlikely he'll get a new deal with the way he played in 2012. Plus, he's slated to make $10.5 million in 2014 and $9.75 million in 2015.
Cam Newton's foot surgery is successful
Thursday, March 20, 2014, 11:27am
The full recovery process is four months, which would take Newton until the start of training camp. However, he could be freed to throw on a limited basis before then.
"Dr. (Robert) Anderson did not find anything unexpected in the procedure and the surgery went well," Carolina head athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion said in a statement.
RG3 won't wear knee brace in 2014
Wednesday, March 19, 2014, 11:01am
This should help his speed and agility. He's a bounceback candidate after a subpar sophomore season. The Redskins are likely to throw more under new HC Jay Gruden.
Andre Roberts says the Redskins will be pass-heavy
Wednesday, March 19, 2014, 10:58am
“When you have a guy that talented, that’s that motivated and willing to work, the sky’s the limit. Being a receiver, having a quarterback like that, that’s what you want, especially in a passing offense which we will be in now for the most part. When you have a quarterback that’s motivated and coming off the year he had with a chip on his shoulder, that’s what you want as a receiver.”
A passing offense? The Redskins were more run-oriented the past two years (or wanted to be; trailing so often last season altered those plans). Roberts said he based that comment on knowing Gruden’s style with Cincinnati and also after talking with former Arizona quarterback John Skelton, who spent last offseason and preseason with the Bengals.
We know Gruden likes to throw the ball, so Alfred Morris's stock is taking a hit. He'll still be a solid RB2 in standard formats, but since he doesn't do much in the passing game, he'll need a heavy rushing workload to reach RB1 status again.
Cam Newton to have ankle surgery
Tuesday, March 18, 2014, 3:41pm
Newton was dealing with an ankle injury late last season but didn't miss any time. A four month timetable would put Newton's return in late July. Given the current state of the Carolina receiving corps, Newton will not have an ideal offseason heading into his fourth year in the league.
Bengals don't match Browns' offer sheet to Andrew Hawkins
Tuesday, March 18, 2014, 3:38pm
Giants sign Mario Manningham to a one-year deal
Tuesday, March 18, 2014, 12:44pm
Manningham's arrival could impact the potential upside of Rueben Randle and Jerel Jernigan, who are expected to see an uptick in playing time with Hakeem Nicks signing elsewhere. We'll have to wait and see where Manningham lands in the depth chart. We'd expect him to play behind Jernigan, but there are no guarantees at this point.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014, 11:28am
Patriots still looking to upgrade at receiver
Tuesday, March 18, 2014, 10:51am
Even by bringing Julian Edelman back and adding Brandon LaFell, the Patriots probably aren’t done adding bodies at receiver. They still brought in former Titan Kenny Britt for a visit on Monday, a source told the Globe, and have checked out names such as Jason Avant and Lance Moore in the past week.
Edelman is a roster lock, while Danny Amendola, who just had $2 million in base salary guaranteed last week, and Aaron Dobson, last year’s second-round pick, should be safe, while LaFell (6-2, 210) gives the Patriots a big presence in the slot.
Meanwhile, it looks like the Patriots want to hold a derby for the fifth receiver spot between fourth-round pick Josh Boyce, who was inactive for seven games and only caught nine passes last year, undrafted rookie Kenbrell Thompkins, who did not catch a pass in the team’s final six games of the season, a veteran such as Britt, and perhaps a few rookies.
It's interesting that beat writer Ben Volin believes that LaFell will play in the slot, even with Edelman and Amendola in the fold. Dobson is coming off of foot surgery, but figures to start outside if he's healthy. It sounds as if Thompkins or Boyce may be on the chopping block if the team adds another receiver in free agency or the draft.
Packers re-sign James Starks to a two-year deal
Tuesday, March 18, 2014, 10:45am
Late last season, he was used in tandem with rookie Eddie Lacy, a 1-2 punch the Packers would probably like to continue into 2014. Starks finished the 2013 season with 493 yards on 89 attempts, good for a whopping 5.5 average.
Starks likely backs up Lacy again in 2014. He was effective as a change-of-pace back last season and can carry the load in short stints when called upon.