The Washington Post confirms the Redskins have "expressed interest" in free agent CB Aqib Talib.
There are many connections for Talib in D.C.; DBs coach Raheem Morris was his head coach in Tampa Bay, and GM Bruce Allen drafted Talib when Allen was the Buccaneers' GM in 2008. Per the Post, Talib is "believed to be seeking a contract that would pay him $9 million to $10 million a season." A league insider told the paper the Redskins want to "make a statement at DB" this offseason.
As of late last week, the Redskins remained "not particularly close" in contract talks with free agent ILB Perry Riley.
The Skins want Riley back, but the sides "remain in disagreement about the value of a potential contract." Riley apparently believes he's going to get or top D'Qwell Jackson money ($5.5 million annually). Turning 26 in May, Riley certainly has youth on his side but has been an average to below-average starter.
The Rams are expected to exercise RE Robert Quinn's fifth-year club option of $6.9 million in 2015.
So St. Louis will be able to keep Quinn for $8.56 million over the next two seasons. It's a team-friendly bargain after Quinn exhibited ferocious pass-rush ability en route to 19 sacks and seven forced fumbles in 2013. The deadline for clubs to exercise fifth-year options on 2011 first-round picks is May 3.
Ohio State RB Carlos Hyde will run a forty-yard dash on March 26.
NFL evaluators want to know Hyde's long speed after he managed a 4.62 forty at the Combine, but pulled his left hamstring toward the end of the run. He did not run at the Buckeyes' early-March Pro Day. Hyde is a projected second-round pick. A fierce tackle breaker, Hyde packs 234 pounds onto a 6-foot frame.
NFL.com's Gil Brandt is projecting Arizona State DT Will Sutton as a "third-day pick at best" after an underwhelming Pro Day.
Sutton continues to cut weight -- he weighed 315 at the Senior Bowl, 303 at the Combine, and 297 at his Pro Day -- but still managed a 5.31 forty at his latest workout, and looked "pretty average" in drills, per Brandt. As recently as the 2013 offseason, Sutton was widely projected as a first-round pick.
The New Orleans Times-Picayune envisions an expanded role for Mark Ingram in 2014.
We hear this every offseason, of course, but the Saints' release of Darren Sproles and attempts to trade Pierre Thomas indicate coach Sean Payton is truly, finally committed to more of a traditional, under-center rushing attack. Ingram quietly averaged 4.9 YPC on his final 78 carries of 2013. The 24-year-old will duke it out with Khiry Robinson to be New Orleans' lead ball carrier.
The New Orleans Times-Picayune expects Saints coach Sean Payton's offense to be a "balanced, ball-control attack" in 2014.
Payton's offense averaged 23.6 carries per game the first 14 weeks of 2013, before averaging 30.5 in the final four. "Possessing the ball means something to the defense -- it means snaps taken away," Payton said. "When we finished the regular season and went to Philadelphia for the Wild Card round, we were able to point to 186 less defensive plays (than 2012) which is more than two games." With Drew Brees and Marques Colston aging, and Darren Sproles gone, the old high-flying Saints offense is a thing of the past. Look for Khiry Robinson and Mark Ingram's roles to increase significantly in 2014, particularly Robinson's.
Ravens re-signed LB Albert McClellan to a two-year contract.
The sides avoid restricted free agency, and Baltimore retains a core "teams" guy with the ability to play both inside and outside linebacker. McClellan, 28 in June, is not a dynamic defender, but led the Ravens with 12 special teams tackles last season and is a versatile reserve. He made 12 starts in 2012.