Coach Doug Marrone referred to second-year K Dustin Hopkins as strictly a kickoff specialist.
The Bills used a sixth-round pick on the heavy-legged Hopkins last year, but he ended up missing the entire season with a groin injury. Buffalo then signed Dan Carpenter, who went on to make nearly 92 percent of his field goals. The Bills then inked Carpenter to a four-year extension. Hopkins' roster chances are slim.
The Tampa Tribune reports Bucs LG Carl Nicks (toe) has been cleared to play.
It appears Nicks will be ready for the start of training camp this week and will avoid the active/PUP list. While Nicks' toe is far from a guarantee to hold up, his return is a big boost for Doug Martin and Tampa Bay's entire offense. His last healthy season (2011), Nicks was PFF's No. 2 overall guard, excelling in both the run and pass games for the Saints. The Bucs are holding an open competition at right guard between Patrick Omameh, Jamon Meredith, and Oniel Cousins.
Sources have informed former NFL scout John Middlekauf that Raiders second-year CB D.J. Hayden (ankle) is still not healthy, and may open training camp on the active/PUP list.
Unreal. According to Middlekauf, even if Hayden doesn't end up on PUP, he's not expected to be a full participant in training camp, "similar to last season." Hayden was reportedly out of his walking boot earlier this month, but still can't seem to get his ankle right. Hayden battled a heart issue in college before undergoing abdominal surgery shortly after the Raiders drafted him with last year's No. 12 pick. He then played in eight games before landing on I.R. with a groin injury. The Raiders don't have much at corner behind Hayden, Carlos Rogers, and Tarell Brown. Fourth-round rookie Keith McGill would be the next man up.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer points to Browns WR Charles Johnson as the "most intriguing prospect" who could push Miles Austin and Nate Burleson for snaps.
As long as Johnson (ACL surgery) is healthy, get ready for a summer full of hype. At 6'2/215 with sub-4.4 jets, there's a good chance he's going to look special on the practice field next to washed-up vets like Austin and Burleson. Johnson underwent knee surgery in October and should be ready for the start of camp this week. He's a deep sleeper to keep an eye on throughout the preseason.
CSN Bay Area suggests Stevie Johnson will have to "clearly" win the No. 3 receiver job due to his scheduled $3.925 million salary.
Johnson is competing for No. 3 duties behind Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin. Rookie Bruce Ellington, sophomore Quinton Patton, and veteran Brandon Lloyd are also in the mix, and all make considerably less money than Johnson. Whoever wins the No. 3 job is highly unlikely to be fantasy relevant as the No. 4 option in the passing game. Johnson is no lock for the 53-man roster.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reports George Iloka has a "stranglehold" on the Bengals' starting strong safety job.
Iloka started all 16 games last season as a first-year starter and racked up 66 tackles, six pass breakups, two forced fumbles, and an interception. The Bengals signed Danieal Manning as a free agent and also have Taylor Mays and sophomore Shawn Williams as options at safety. Manning is expected to play the majority of his snaps as the nickel corner. Reggie Nelson is the free safety.
The Kansas City Star suggests Chiefs backup QBs Chase Daniel and Tyler Bray are competing for one roster spot.
According to beat writer Terez Paylor, rookie Aaron Murray is "likely a lock" behind starter Alex Smith. Daniel is due a $2.35 million base salary and could be one-and-done in Kansas City after signing a three-year, $10 million contract last offseason. Bray has a rocket arm and prototypical size, but will have to take the next step in his development as a sophomore to unseat Daniel as the No. 2.
Chiefs WR Kyle Williams (knee) is healthy entering training camp.
Williams tore his ACL for the second time in as many years last November. ESPN Chiefs reporter Adam Teicher expects Williams to get a chance to win the slot receiver job vacated by Dexter McCluster. Williams will be competing with Junior Hemingway and rookies Weston Dressler and De'Anthony Thomas.