Player News

Date: Team: Pos:

Cardinals in-house reporter Darren Urban says the team was already "counting" on a breakout from second-year TE Troy Niklas before John Carlson's surprise retirement on Tuesday.

Coming off an injury-ruined rookie year, the 2014 second-rounder finds himself atop the depth chart alongside Darren Fells. Carlson's retirement does little for Niklas' fantasy stock, as he's a heavy-footed possession receiver in the Anthony Fasano mold. Bruce Arians' tight ends aren't counted on to make plays with the football.
May 5 - 2:12 PM

49ers signed Auburn S Jermaine Whitehead.

Whitehead (5'11/197) was a three-year starter in the Tigers' secondary, amassing nine INTs and contributing on special teams throughout his college career. Although Whitehead ran 4.59 at the Combine, he excelled in the vertical (37") and broad (10'8") jumps and was a top performer in the three-cone and shuttle drills. A quick-twitch mover who holds his own in run support, Whitehead's draft stock was affected by clashes with the Auburn coaching staff, his smallish build for a safety and questionable on-field instincts.
May 5 - 2:10 PM

Cardinals TE John Carlson is retiring after seven years in the NFL.

One week shy of his 31st birthday, Carlson had one year left on his contract. "After much thought and consideration, my wife Danielle and I know that this is best decision for us," Carlson said in a statement. He did not elaborate on his reasoning, but Carlson has a long and scary history of concussions. It was undoubtedly a factor in hanging up his cleats. Carlson retires with 210 catches for 2,256 yards and 15 touchdowns. He posted a 33/350/1 receiving line last season. The Cardinals have a crater at tight end.
May 5 - 1:44 PM

No Dolphins officials are meeting with LSU G/T La'El Collins on Tuesday, just players.

Per the Miami Herald, the Fins are "not ready at this time to send team officials." Reporter Barry Jackson does confirm the team is interested in Collins, but the fact that coaches and executives will not be present still suggests a certain level of skittishness. As of Tuesday afternoon, the Bills and Bucs appear to have the early lead for Collins' services.
May 5 - 1:41 PM

The Bucs will move Demar Dotson back to right tackle after they drafted Donovan Smith.

It's a pretty big surprise. Former basketball player Dotson (6'9/306) is a much better mover than Smith and excels in pass protection. Although Smith (6'6/338) projects as a plus run blocker with ideal tackle dimensions, his on-field skills are more reflective of a right tackle or even guard. It's good news the Bucs now at least have a few capable starting offensive linemen. Time will tell whether they're using those linemen at the right positions to protect Jameis Winston.
May 5 - 1:23 PM

The Cowboys did not remove Jay Ajayi from their draft board, and ESPN Dallas' Todd Archer believes they would have drafted Ajayi had he gotten past the Dolphins at No. 149 overall.

The Cowboys were next on the clock at No. 163 overall, where they drafted Purdue DE Ryan Russell. They selected Minnesota ILB Damien Wilson in the fourth round (127), ahead of Ajayi. Regardless, Archer writes that "Ajayi was one of their targets" in the draft, and "might have been an option for the Cowboys in the fifth round if they weren't beaten to the punch" by the Dolphins.
Source: ESPN Dallas
May 5 - 1:14 PM

Jameis Winston is reportedly "pushing hard" for LSU T/G La'El Collins to join the Buccaneers.

Better than both Donovan Smith and Ali Marpet, Collins would be a huge addition to Tampa Bay's roster. Coach Lovie Smith also has a long track record of taking chances on players with "off-field concerns," although we're not sure there are even any off-field concerns with Collins. Per Yahoo's Rand Getlin, Winston has called Collins "multiple times" in the last 24 hours.
May 5 - 12:57 PM

Cowboys signed USC WR George Farmer to a contract that includes $55,000 guaranteed.

The $55K is exorbitant for a UDFA and suggests a surprisingly hot market. Farmer (6'1/220) entered USC as a five-star recruit, but fell short of expectations and endured an injury-riddled redshirt junior campaign before surprisingly turning pro. He finished his college career with just 30 catches for 363 yards and four TDs. Farmer put himself on the NFL map by running 4.35 at the Trojans' Pro Day, though he reportedly dropped a ton of passes in positional drills. Purely a H/W/S project, Farmer has Greg Little written all over him.
May 5 - 12:19 PM

Ben Watson is expected to serve as a "seasoned mentor" behind new No. 1 TE Josh Hill.

Don't get it twisted -- the Saints are ready to rock with Josh Hill as their main replacement for Jimmy Graham. Hill won't play the same strict pass-catching "move" role, but he'll at least bring plenty of red-zone chops. Watson will remain a "run blocker and a periodic receiver."
May 5 - 11:59 AM

The New Orleans Times-Picayune says a completely healthy Brandin Cooks "could chalk up No. 1 receiver-type numbers."

The offseason movement has broken nicely for Cooks, as Kenny Stills and Jimmy Graham were both traded away and not replaced. Cooks, who was on pace for 85 catches, 997 total yards and more than six touchdowns before going down with a thumb injury last year, will be counted on for even more this year. He's locked in as the No. 1 target and still has tons of room for improvement as he enters his age-22 season.
May 5 - 11:49 AM

When asked about OLB Melvin Ingram, GM Tom Telesco said, "It's his time."

Ingram tore an ACL in 2013 and battled a bad hip injury last year. Now healthy, the Chargers are counting on the 2012 first-round pick to lead their pass rush. Ingram had four sacks and 16 QB hurries on just 511 snaps last year.
May 5 - 10:43 AM

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune does not expect Adrian Peterson to hold out deep into training camp.

Peterson may skip the three-day mandatory minicamp in June just to send a message about his displeasure. But when chips hit the table in August, he won't have any leverage as he's under contract for $12.75 million this season. "Peterson cares about his on-field legacy and records, and he knows he can’t afford to willingly sit out another season," writes beat man Matt Vensel.
May 5 - 10:37 AM

Cowboys MLB Rolando McClain had his 2013 misdemeanor conviction of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct dismissed.

McClain appealed his conviction related to an incident in which he was accused of cursing at police officers while they were trying to clear a crowd away from a softball game. On Monday, prosecutors asked a judge to dismiss the charges. McClain re-signed a one-year, $3 million deal last month to be Dallas' middle linebacker again this season. His only competition is Jasper Brinkley.
May 5 - 10:25 AM

LeGarrette Blount has scored 16 touchdowns in his last 18 games as a Patriot (including playoffs).

Blount does his best work for Bill Belichick, who didn't use any of his 11 draft picks on a running backs even though Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen have moved on. Blount appears locked into big back duties, meaning he'll be very fantasy relevant when we can safely project the Patriots to have a lead or when we know they'll attack a defense via the run (see recent Colts matchups). Jonas Gray and Brandon Bolden are Blount's backups right now.
May 5 - 10:09 AM

ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. believes second-round TE Maxx Williams could be the Offensive Rookie of the Year.

"He could be everything that Dennis Pitta was when he was healthy," Kiper said. It's silly to suggest Rookie of the Year honors as first-year tight ends almost always struggle and Maxx won't see a ton of volume -- Pitta's best season was 61-669-7. But Kiper's point on the highly athletic and skilled Williams as a nice fit for Joe Flacco and the Marc Trestman scheme is well taken. He'll be a low-end TE2 candidate if Pitta (hip) can't return.
May 5 - 10:00 AM



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