According to TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline, the Jets intend to "lessen the load" on Geno Smith in his second NFL season, and hope to keep Smith "under 20 passes per game."
Pauline is mostly a draft guru, but gets a fair number of NFL team scoops. He says the Jets plan to re-implement "a more run oriented offense in 2014 in an attempt to exploit their strengths." They obviously don't consider Geno a strength. The Jets played this style of offense for years with Mark Sanchez at the helm, and qualified for two AFC Championship games. They'll attempt to "hide" their quarterback with a strong defense and high-volume run game.
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic reports the Cardinals are "very interested" in free agent LT Jared Veldheer.
Just connecting dots, it appears the Cardinals have moved on from Branden Albert, who was originally their top free-agent target but now seems destined for Miami. Veldheer would be a better signing as far as we're concerned. He's three years younger than Albert with less of an injury track record, and has long been a superior run blocker. Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie surprisingly didn't franchise tag Veldheer, and is now very much risk of losing him.
The Cardinals plan to hold a camp battle at right guard between Earl Watford and incumbent Paul Fanaika.
Fanaika was indescribably bad last season, and the Cards are hoping 2013 fourth-rounder Watford "takes control of the position." Watford didn't play as a rookie while working to bulk up. He was the 116th overall pick in the draft.
ESPN New York does not expect the Jets to re-sign free agent Antonio Cromartie.
Cromartie expressed openness to returning to the Jets at a lesser price late last year, but it appears management is moving on. Beat writer Rich Cimini can only envision Cromartie being re-signed "on a modest, one-year contract ... down the road." So perhaps the Jets will revisit Cromartie if his free agent market underwhelms. For now, they may be setting sights on Alterraun Verner.
The Bucs will meet with the reps for free agent LB Dekoda Watson on Monday.
It may be their final effort to retain Watson, a solid special teamer who didn't embarrass himself when forced to play defense last season. Per beat writer Greg Auman, Watson has already drawn "strong interest from other teams."
Former Jaguars C Brad Meester has shed 30 pounds since the season ended.
Meester announced he would retire in December, and has made good on his promise. His playing weight was 292. "I’m just eating better," he said. "I really didn’t care how much I ate or what I ate before, because I had to keep the weight on." Meester's career ends at age 37 as the Jaguars' franchise record holder in starts (209). He should earn a spot in the club's Ring of Honor.
One league source told the Florida Times Union that Maurice Jones-Drew should anticipate two-year offers in free agency.
As far as we can tell, Jones-Drew's market has been dead during the three-day negotiating window. "With as many miles as he’s got on his wheels, somebody may give him a third year," the league source said. "Maybe $4 million in the first year from somebody. But I don’t think he’ll get more than that." We'd be surprised if he got the $4 million. Jones-Drew turns 29 in two weeks.
ESPN Falcons reporter Vaughn McClure believes there's a "strong possibility" Atlanta will inquire about free agent CB Champ Bailey.
The Falcons are set at outside corner with Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford, but are reportedly seeking competition or a potential upgrade on incumbent nickel back Robert McClain. Atlanta did extend McClain a $1.431 million restricted free agent tender. Bailey is a Georgia native and played college ball in Athens.