Player News

Date: Team: Pos:

ESPN's Michael Rothstein expects the Lions to add a running back this offseason.

Zach Zenner was stellar down the stretch and both Ameer Abdullah (foot) and Theo Riddick (wrist) will return from injury well before training camp, but Rothstein expects the Lions to add someone to one of the worst rushing attacks in the league. If they do, a low-cost power back in the mold of impending free agent LeGarrette Blount would make a lot of sense. Oklahoma RB Samaje Perine could also be an option in the draft.
Source: ESPN
Feb 21 - 9:47 AM

Vikings OC Pat Shurmur expects Sam Bradford to be better coming off a full offseason with the organization.

The Vikings dealt with a mountain of change on offense last season including Bradford joining the team shortly before Week 1 and Shurmur taking over for Norv Turner in the middle of the year. Both guys will benefit from a full offseason together, and Bradford should spend plenty of time developing chemistry with his still relatively new receivers. None of that will matter, however, unless the Vikings fix the offensive line.
Source: ESPN
Feb 21 - 9:39 AM

ESPN's Jordan Raanan reports the Giants are "genuinely trying to keep the defense intact."

That would mean re-signing both DT Johnathan Hankins and DE Jason Pierre-Paul, who Raanan thinks might draw the franchise tag. Not only would the decision to re-sign both players cost a lot of money, it would tie up a ton of cap space in the defensive line after New York splurged on DE Olivier Vernon and DT Damon Harrison last spring. That said, the foundation of the Giants' defense is the line, and both players are worth the price.
Source: ESPN
Feb 21 - 9:03 AM

Falcons RE Adrian Clayborn (torn biceps) said he is facing a five-month recovery.

Clayborn suffered a torn biceps in the Falcons' Divisional Round win over the Seahawks in January. The recovery timetable suggests he will not make it back for OTAs, but he should be good to go for training camp. Clayborn recorded five sacks in 13 games playing opposite Vic Beasley last season.
Source: ESPN
Feb 21 - 8:57 AM

ESPN's Vaughn McClure expects the Falcons to re-sign impending free agent DE Courtney Upshaw.

Signed to a one-year deal last March, Upshaw only played 310 snaps over 13 games, but he is a versatile piece who can play both along the defensive line and at linebacker. He also should not cost much to re-sign. The Falcons should be able to bring him back if they want him.
Source: ESPN
Feb 21 - 8:49 AM

ESPN's Vaughn McClure expects the Falcons to move on from DE Tyson Jackson unless he is willing to take a pay cut.

Jackson is scheduled to count $5.85 million against the cap, and the Falcons can save $2.65 million of that by releasing him. It is a no-brainer move for a player who recorded just 13 tackles and was on the field for just 329 snaps over 16 games. With linebacker and the secondary in good shape, the Falcons' primary focus this offseason should be on the defensive line.
Source: ESPN
Feb 21 - 8:42 AM

Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press believes Jace Billingsley will compete for the Lions' slot receiver job in 2017.

It is early in the offseason for reporter favorites to emerge, but Billingsley's name has come up a couple times recently. An undrafted sophomore out of Eastern Oregon who stands 5-foot-8, 189 pounds, Billingsley caught 12 passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns last preseason before spending most of the year on the practice squad. He looks like a name to know in deep Dynasty circles.
Feb 20 - 11:01 PM

Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio reports Kirk Cousins will not sign a long-term deal prior to the March 1 deadline for the Redskins to apply the franchise tag.

With a third tag not a functional option, Cousins has all the leverage in the negotiations over a long-term deal, and it looks like he is going to use it. Once the Redskins apply the tag, which they almost certainly will, Cousins can ask for at the very least the value of the tag ($23.94 million) paid out in 2017 and a raise on that total guaranteed in 2018. If Washington balks at that price, Cousins can play out another one-year tender and test the open market next spring, which reports suggest is his preferred option anyway. It is far from a given the Redskins lock up Cousins to a long-term deal.
Feb 20 - 10:17 PM

Alex Marvez of the Sporting News reports impending free agent LT Andrew Whitworth is expected to test the open market.

"Unless blown away by a massive contract offer from Bengals management, something he's unlikely to receive," Marvez qualifies before adding Whitworth wants to play for a "legitimate Super Bowl contender." This is a surprising report coming just hours after Whitworth told Marvez on the radio he would like to stay with the Bengals and beat writer Paul Dehner said he would be "stunned" if the two sides do not come to an agreement. It is possible this is just a negotiating ploy, but the 35-year-old surely knows his window for a ring is quickly closing. He might want to see what is out there before committing to the Bengals.
Feb 20 - 9:57 PM

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports the Jaguars will give up a 2018 seventh-round pick for Dolphins LT Branden Albert once the deal is finalized.

Albert is reportedly meeting with the Jaguars Monday night and Tuesday to work out a contract. If that goes well and he passes his physical, this deal should get done by midweek. Moving from Kelvin Beachum to Albert will save the Jaguars some money up front, but they are trading a 27-year-old who should improve another year removed from an ACL tear for a 32-year-old who is trending downward and has averaged 12 games a season since 2011.
Feb 20 - 8:14 PM

The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Mary Kay Cabot wrote Browns coach Hue Jackson "likes" Bengals backup QB A.J. McCarron.

Jackson coached McCarron in Cincinnati including the quarterback's four-game run as a starter in 2015. McCarron held his own after being thrust into the starting lineup, but Jackson would have to think he is a long-term starter to okay a trade. McCarron is entering a contract year, but he will just be a restricted free agent. That means the Bengals can keep him for another season, put an early-round tender on him next spring, and either take the draft pick if he gets an offer sheet or let him back up Andy Dalton again at a relatively cheap price. That scenario suggests a team will have to wow Cincinnati to pry McCarron away.
Feb 20 - 7:49 PM

Free agent WR Victor Cruz said his meeting with the Panthers "went well."

The Record's Art Stapleton writes a deal does not appear to be "imminent," but there is "mutual" interest between Cruz and Carolina. Considering Panthers GM Dave Gettleman was with the Giants when Cruz broke through and they need receiving help, a match makes sense on paper. Still, Cruz did not appear to have much left in the tank in 2016.
Source: The Record
Feb 20 - 7:44 PM

The Miami Herald's Armando Salguero reports Julius Thomas agreed to be traded to the Dolphins "because he wanted to reunite with coach Adam Gase."

Thomas agreed to restructure his contract to facilitate the deal, turning some of his base salary into performance-based incentives and greatly lowering his cap hit in the process. It makes sense for Thomas to seek out Gase, who coordinated a Broncos offense which funneled the tight end 24 touchdowns in 27 games. Miami is likely Thomas' best bet to get his career back on track.
Feb 20 - 6:25 PM

The Miami Herald confirms the Jaguars and Dolphins are "still in talks" regarding a trade that would send Branden Albert to Jacksonville.

Monday's Julius Thomas deal doesn't mean Albert talks are dead. Albert remains likely to land in Jacksonville as part of an independent trade, which the Herald's Armando Salguero hints would net the Dolphins a late-round pick in 2018. Hangups in deals like this usually involve money. Jacksonville is believed to be hoping to sign Albert to an affordable contract extension. Albert will meet with the Jaguars on Monday night. If all goes well, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports the two sides will try to hash out a deal on Tuesday.
Feb 20 - 5:58 PM

Dolphins acquired TE Julius Thomas from the Jaguars in exchange for a seventh-round pick in the 2017 draft.

This trade is being made independent of the Branden Albert deal after Albert and Thomas were at one point expected to be dealt in exchange for each other. Turning 29 in June, Thomas was a colossal flop during his two-year stay in Jacksonville, catching only nine touchdowns across 21 games after scoring 24 times over his previous 27 with Peyton Manning in Denver. Going to Miami reunites Thomas with ex-Broncos OC Adam Gase, whose Dolphins roster was extremely thin at tight end. While Thomas is unlikely to recapture his Denver production, he should stand a better chance of rebounding into an impact player. He'll be a late-round flier in 2017 fantasy drafts, and a much-needed red-zone complement to Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker in Miami's passing game.
Feb 20 - 5:09 PM



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