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According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the 49ers are not counting on OLB Aldon Smith returning to the team this season.

Smith has two off-field issues to deal with right now. He's in rehab for alcohol abuse, and he's also facing three felony charges for possession for assault weapons. The Niners are more than capable of playing well defensively without him, but not having him in the playoffs against elite offenses is going to sting sharply. Smith has 38 sacks in his first 35 NFL games.
Sun, Oct 13, 2013 10:47:00 AM

Sources told NFL Network's Mike Garafolo the Ravens "may balk" at paying Dennis Pitta's $5.5 million salary.

The Baltimore Sun hinted at this after the season. Turning 32 in June, Pitta's 86 receptions led all NFL tight ends last year, but he averaged an anemic 6.02 yards per target and didn't have a positive impact on offense beyond catching short passes and immediately falling down. Pitta also wasn't a big part of the Ravens' red-zone passing game. In Maxx Williams and Darren Waller, Baltimore has younger tight ends with more potential, and could use salary cap relief.
Feb 22 - 9:53 PM

Coach Mike Mularkey said Wednesday the Titans will continue to view DeMarco Murray as "the guy" in their backfield for 2017.

Mularkey called sophomore Derrick Henry "an important part of our offense," but confirmed Murray will enter 2017 as Tennessee's workhorse. Now 29 years old, Murray averaged 4.39 yards per carry and logged 346 touches last season, although his effectiveness waned down the stretch due to a toe injury. While Henry will remain a threat for short-yardage and complementary carries, Murray's superior all-purpose ability keeps his feature back role secure.
Feb 22 - 9:08 PM

49ers announced assistant GM Tom Gamble has left the organization.

In a statement, rookie GM John Lynch announced he and Gamble "agreed that it would be in both of our best interests for him to pursue other opportunities" after working together for the last month. With a rookie general manager and head coach at the controls, the 49ers are losing an experienced and well-respected personnel man who could have eased the transition. Gamble is a 29-year scouting/front office veteran, including ten years with the 49ers.
Feb 22 - 7:58 PM

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport suggests the Patriots could transition tag free agent ILB Dont'a Hightower.

The Patriots want to keep Hightower but haven't had any talks since the end of the season. There's some concern over giving him a multi-year deal after durability concerns surfaced in 2016. Transition tagging would be cheaper than franchising Hightower but only guarantees New England the ability to match any offer. Hightower is reportedly targeting more than $10 million annually.
Feb 22 - 5:31 PM

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports free agent Le'Veon Bell hasn't scheduled offseason groin surgery.

As RapSheet notes, Bell very likely would have done so by now had he needed the operation. Just about two weeks ago, Bell was seeking a third opinion on his groin after one doctor suggested he needed surgery and another advised against it. The third was the likely tiebreaker. Bell probably won't do much at spring practices but should be fine well in advance of training camp. Expect the Steelers to use the franchise tag on Bell before the March 1 deadline.
Feb 22 - 2:39 PM

According to Bleacher Report's Jason Cole, the Redskins are wondering if they can sign Tony Romo if he's released by the Cowboys.

We wouldn't go as far to label this as a report, as it's more of a throwing-at-the-wall by Cole. But it's notable nonetheless since it makes a ton of sense. Long-term talks with Kirk Cousins have broken down, and it has the looks of a divorce waiting to happen. But as Cole mentions, Washington may not even get a shot at Romo if the Cowboys choose to trade him. Even if he's released, Romo and the Cowboys may have a handshake agreement that he doesn't sign with a division rival. Colt McCoy is currently the Redskins' No. 2 quarterback.
Feb 22 - 1:08 PM

The Redskins have yet to address local radio personality Chris Cooley's recent suggestion that GM Scot McCloughan has been drinking again.

The annual dysfunction that plagued Washington for decades before McCloughan's hiring has resurfaced, most publicly when Cooley -- who works for the Redskins and Dan Snyder's radio station -- suggested McCloughan has resumed drinking after alcoholism led to his ousters in San Francisco and Seattle. Per the Washington Post's Jerry Brewer, McCloughan's power in the organization was always less than perceived, and team president Bruce Allen has far more say. "Even during good times," Brewer wrote, "Allen hasn’t liked that McCloughan is cast as a savior changing the culture of the organization and erasing the many mistakes of the past." McCloughan was not allowed to hire his own scouting staff and has been prohibited from speaking to the media. And at some point in the near future, it wouldn't be surprising if McCloughan were pushed out the door.
Feb 22 - 12:13 PM

NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah "would not be shocked at all" if the Redskins and 49ers agree to a trade involving Kirk Cousins at the Combine.

Jeremiah isn't a typical Rotoworld source on the NFL side, but with draft season upon us, he has an ear to the ground and talks with numerous personnel people. He believes there's a "better than 50 percent" chance Cousins isn't a 2017 Redskin, and a deal sending Cousins to San Francisco, possibly along with the Redskins' No. 17 overall pick, in exchange for the 49ers' No. 2 overall pick is in the cards. Further, Jeremiah reports the Redskins still aren't sold on Cousins long-term. Washington seems intent on bungling an offense that had become one of the best in the league. Cousins would be a massive get for the rebuilding Niners.
Feb 22 - 12:11 PM

CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora continues to report the Jets have "some interest" in Jay Cutler if/when he's released by the Bears.

"They believe he can play in the elements that are a reality in the AFC East, and they like his moxie and arm talent," writes La Canfora. "And that was well before the Jets hired Jeremy Bates as their quarterback coach." Bates and Cutler have mutual affinity after working together in Denver and Chicago. The current Jets regime needs to find a way to put wins on the board to save their jobs. No quarterback currently on the roster or in the draft will be able to do that, so Cutler makes some sense as a veteran bridge. La Canfora also mentions the Bills, 49ers, Dolphins, Texans, Jaguars, and Browns as potential landing spots for Cutler.
Source: CBS Sports
Feb 22 - 9:35 AM

CSN New England's Tom Curran reports the Patriots will have to be "bowled over" and have their "doors blown off" to trade Jimmy Garoppolo.

And Curran expects that to happen. Reports from national media have been all over the place, with some reporting they don't expect Garoppolo to be dealt and others saying he's only worth a second-round pick. Curran intimates he expects the Patriots to be offered a first-round pick and possibly more. Garoppolo's trade stock will never be higher. Expect New England to cash in on it. The Bears and Browns have been tied most to Garoppolo in recent weeks.
Feb 22 - 9:24 AM

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports Tyrod Taylor has been medically cleared from groin surgery.

Taylor underwent sports hernia surgery shortly after the season. A 4-6 week recovery, Taylor's rehab was right on track. He has a $15.5 million option bonus due on March 11. Most beat writers expect the Bills to dump Taylor. Nick Foles and Tony Romo have been loosely linked to Buffalo as replacement options.
Feb 22 - 8:27 AM




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