|Cardinals and Fitzgerald close to new deal|
Wide receiver scheduled to make $16 million in 2015
By: Mike Krueger | Feb 18 2015, 9:22 am
|Larry Fitzgerald and the Cardinals are closing in on a multiyear deal that would enable the veteran wide receiver to finish his career in Arizona, league sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter and Josh Weinfuss. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Fitzgerald's $16 million price tag is too expensive for the veteran who's production has declined in recent years. His two touchdowns in 2014 were the lowest season output of his career. Michael Floyd led the team in receiving with 841 yards and 6 touchdowns.
|Chiefs release receivers Avery, Jenkins|
Kansas City expected to re-work receiving corps
By: Mike Krueger | Feb 17 2015, 1:30 pm
|The Chiefs officially began their remolding of their 2015 roster on Tuesday, as the team formally announced the release of receivers Donnie Avery and A.J. Jenkins on the eve of the annual scouting combine. By releasing both, the Chiefs created approximately $4.8 million in 2015 cap room. (Kansas City Star)|
FFToday's Take: No Chiefs receiver finished in the fantasy top 60 at the position in 2014. Dwayne Bowe led all Chiefs receivers with 754 yards and he may be a salary cap casualty as well. Bowe is due $11 million next season.
|Wes Welker not ready to retire?|
"Just getting ready for 2015"
By: Mike Krueger | Feb 16 2015, 6:10 pm
|Contrary to a report last week, Broncos receiver Wes Welker is not mulling retirement.
Welker, who ranks 20th all time among receivers with 890 career catches, said Monday he intends to play on.
"Just getting ready for 2015," Welker told The Denver Post via text. FoxSports.com cited sources in its report on Feb. 10 that Welker was considering retirement.
"Never ever came out of my mouth," Welker said.
FFToday's Take: Fox's report last week or this week's report in the Denver Post don't paint a clear picture. The Broncos are likely to move forward with Andre Caldwell and Cody Latimer behind Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders and Welker has battled concussion issues the last two years. He'll be a free agent on March 10th and attempt to catch on with a team in need of help in the slot.
|McCown visits Bills, leaves without contract|
No salary terms discussed
By: Mike Krueger | Feb 16 2015, 4:00 pm
|Free-agent quarterback Josh McCown visited the Buffalo Bills today, but left without a contract.
The Bills did not even talk salary with McCown's representative, according to a league source. McCown has at least one and maybe two other visits with NFL teams lined up, the source said.
FFToday's Take: McCown is open to sign with any team because he was released by the Bucs but its certainly not a good sign that money wasn't even discussed. The Bills have only EJ Manuel and Jeff Tuel on the roster. Given the weak free agent market for quarterbacks, McCown will likely have other options either in a starting or backup role.
|Jets decline option on Chris Johnson, free agent|
Set to become free agent on March 10th
By: Mike Krueger | Feb 14 2015, 2:00 pm
|The Chris Johnson the Jets signed a year ago wasn’t up to his old standards, so they decided not to keep him around for another year.
The team announced they weren’t picking up the option on the veteran running back’s contract, meaning he’ll be an unrestricted free agent on March 10. (ProFootballTalk)|
FFToday's Take: Johnson averaged a respectable 4.3 yards per carry in New York but the cap savings of $3.5 million coupled with mediocre production won't get a veteran running back re-signed these days. Chris Ivory and Daryl Richardson are the top two running backs on the Jets depth chart.
|Ahmad Bradshaw cited for marijuana possession|
Court date schedule for February 17th
By: Mike Krueger | Feb 13 2015, 4:30 pm
|According to Preble County court records, Indianapolis Colts running back Ahmad Bradshaw was cited for marijuana possession and following too close.
Troopers stopped Bradshaw last Thursday on the westbound side of I-70.
His passenger was arrested and charged with two counts of drug possession.
Their next date in court is February 17. (WDTN.com)|
FFToday's Take: Bradshaw was the fantasy running back to own in Indianapolis last season before breaking his leg in Week 11 and being placed on IR. He is set to become a free agent next month after playing on a one-year deal last season for the Colts.
|Steelers expect two-game ban for Le'Veon Bell|
August arrest on marijuana charges
By: Mike Krueger | Feb 11 2015, 11:00 pm
|Steelers star running back Le'Veon Bell is expected to be suspended for the first two games of next season as a result of his August arrest on marijuana charges, sources told ESPN NFL Insider John Clayton. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Bell was sentenced to 15 months probation and will have his driver's license suspended for 60 days and is subject to a two-game ban under the leagues substance abuse policy. Josh Harris and change of pace Dri Archer are the current backups to Bell on the Pittsburgh roster.
| Buccaneers release QB Josh McCown|
Jameis Winston going No.1 in the upcoming draft?
By: Mike Krueger | Feb 11 2015, 6:00 pm
|The chances of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafting a quarterback with the first pick in the 2015 draft appeared to increase substantially Wednesday when the team released 2014 starter Josh McCown. (Tampa Tribune)|
FFToday's Take: McCown started 11 games in 2014 but completed just 56.3 percent of his passes and had a TD:INT ratio of 11:14. McCown was scheduled to make $5 million in 2015 and leaves Mike Glennon as the only QB currently on the roster. The team has been rumored to favor Florida State QB Jameis Winston over Marcus Mariota in the upcoming draft.
|Giants officially part ways with RB David Wilson|
Clear $1.3 million in cap space
By: Mike Krueger | Feb 11 2015, 3:55 pm
|Running back David Wilson didn’t play for the Giants in 2014 after aggravating a serious neck injury he suffered in 2013 and announced he wouldn’t resume his playing career, but the former first-round pick still took up space on the Giants salary cap because he was still on their roster. (ProFootballTalk)|
FFToday's Take: Wilson will be free to sign with any team once he clears waivers but his neck condition caused him to announce his retirement in early August last year. Wilson was a first-round pick of the 2012 NFL Draft.
|Brandon Marshall's status in Chicago unclear|
GM and Coach made no assurances
By: Mike Krueger | Feb 11 2015, 1:42 pm
|Brandon Marshall said he met with new general manager Ryan Pace and new coach John Fox on Jan. 21. He understood why they assured him nothing about his future with the team, given their priorities to finalize the coaching staff and familiarize themselves with the scouting staff. (Chicago Tribune)|
FFToday's Take: It's likely Marshall will remain in Chicago but nothing is set in stone. Marshall (31) just signed a four-year deal in May but the Bears could save $7.7 million in cash and nearly $4 million in salary cap money if they release the veteran receiver before March 12th. Marshall battled injuries in 2014 including a sprained ankle and a collapsed lung and broken ribs against Dallas in early December.
|Wes Welker considering retirement|
33-year-old receiver set to be a free agent
By: Mike Krueger | Feb 10 2015, 3:00 pm
|The 33-year-old wide receiver, who is slated to become a free agent next month, is considering retirement after several years of head injuries and declining production, sources have told FOX Sports. One of the sources said no final decision has been made, though Wes Welker has told concerned friends, family members and associates he's at least giving serious thought to walking away.
FFToday's Take: Welker is coming off his worst statistical season since 2005 with 49 receptions, 464 yards and 2 touchdowns ranking him 83rd among fantasy wideouts in 2014. Welker suffered his third concussion as Bronco this past preseason.
|Peterson working on reinstatement |
Judge expected to rule on suspension in early March
By: Mike Krueger | Feb 10 2015, 10:30 am
|Adrian Peterson is working in Minnesota to maintain joint custody of his 4-year-old son and fulfill league commissioner Roger Goodell's conditions for reinstatement. U.S. District Judge David Doty is expected to decide by early March whether to uphold or overturn Goodell's suspension. Goodell said Peterson cannot apply for reinstatement until April 15. (TwinCities.com)|
FFToday's Take: Peterson has been attending counseling sessions and complying with other requirements in hopes of getting reinstated prior to the start on the league year on March 10th and before teams have spent the bulk of their free agent dollars. Peterson's contract with the Vikings includes $12.75 million for 2015 and even though Vikings management has stated they would like to keep the star running back, his status with the team remains unclear given the price tag and potential public relations impact.
|Rams promote Frank Cignetti to OC|
Official announcement coming next week
By: Mike Krueger | Feb 5 2015, 8:27 pm
|The St. Louis Rams are staying in-house for their next offensive coordinator.
Although an official announcement is not expected until next week, the team confirmed Thursday night that coach Jeff Fisher is promoting quarterbacks coach Frank Cignetti to offensive coordinator.
FFToday's Take: This will be Cignetti's first opportunity to run an offense in the NFL. The Rams were rumored to be interested in Kyle Shanahan, Rob Chudzinski and Adam Gase for the OC position but all took other positions. Cignetti will have his hands full given the lack of consistency at the quarterback position. The Rams have ranked 23rd and 27th in passing offense the last two seasons.
|Johnny Manziel enters rehab facility|
Browns QB getting treatment
By: Mike Krueger | Feb 2 2015, 10:35 am
|Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel, who's been photographed partying from coast to coast since the day he was drafted, entered a treatment facility Wednesday and is getting the help he needs, according to a family friend and advisor. "Johnny knows there are areas in which he needs to improve in order to be a better family member, friend and teammate, and he thought the offseason was the right time to take this step." (Cleveland Plain Dealer)|
FFToday's Take: Manziel's partying was displayed on social media during the year including a photo of him and rolled up dollar bill in a bar bathroom. Manziel also missed a team meeting late in the season and admitted to partying the night before. He's got a long way to go if wants to make himself into a starting quarterback in the NFL.
|Seahawks offer Lynch contract extension|
Seattle having a change of heart?
By: Mike Krueger | Feb 1 2015, 9:15 am
|On the heels of another dominant season for the running back nicknamed "Beast Mode," multiple sources tell me Seattle has made Marshawn Lynch an offer on a huge contract extension that would keep him in a Seahawks uniform for years to come.
The deal is believed to include more than $10 million for Lynch in the 2015 season alone. Lynch currently is slated to make $5 million in 2015, the final year of what originally was a four-year, $31 million deal. (NFL.com)|
FFToday's Take: Rapoport goes on to say that the Seahawks believe Lynch has outplayed his contract and want to reward him for his work. This is a turnaround from the prevailing wisdom that Lynch would be allowed to walk at the end of his contract or perhaps releasing him at the end of this season. Lynch is the workhorse of the offense and the team and perhaps management is afraid of losing such a key piece to the team. Stay tuned...
|Jags GM optimistic on return of Justin Blackmon|
Jags hope to receive more clarity before NFL Draft
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 30 2015, 3:00 pm
|On if he would welcome back suspended receiver Justin Blackmon if he’s reinstated:
“Absolutely. As a matter of fact, I’m very optimistic. I think he’s paid his dues. I think he’s got his life together. I think he can be a role model for people who have gone through hard times. We’re waiting for him.” (Florida Times Union)|
FFToday's Take: Speaking at the Super Bowl festivities, Jacksonville owner Shad Khan seems positive about Blackmon who is currently suspended infinitely and it remains unclear when he will apply for reinstatement. Allen Robinson (foot) and Cecil Shorts (free agent) are currently sitting atop the depth chart.
|Peyton to make decision "in a week or two"|
Dad addresses son's health in interview
By: Doug Orth | Jan 29 2015, 8:50 pm
|Former NFL quarterback Archie Manning said Thursday that he expects Peyton Manning to decide on whether he plays in 2015 “maybe in the next week or two." Archie Manning made his comments during an appearance from the Super Bowl media center touched on Peyton Manning’s impending decision as well as the quarterback’s right thigh injury he suffered in December.
“He’s given a lot of thought to it," Archie Manning said. “My advice for him is to go through the process, get away a little bit, let your leg heal, give it a lot of throught and decide what you’re going to do … [I] think he’s taken a good evaluation of where he is physically." (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: As much as Denver has stated it likes Brock Osweiler, it probably goes without saying the Broncos would like to get one more year out of Manning. The hiring of HC Gary Kubiak should mean the offense is balanced while new DC Wade Phillips is a good bet to get more out of Denver's defense than new Raiders HC Jack Del Rio could.
|At least six teams possibly interested in AP |
Return to Minnesota up in the air
By: Doug Orth | Jan 29 2015, 3:25 pm
|If there were no legal issues, Adrian Peterson would be back in Minnesota. But now it is far less certain. The Vikings would like him back -- they've made that fairly clear -- but Peterson might not be entirely comfortable returning to Minnesota.
At least a half-dozen teams have done some background work on Peterson in the event he becomes available, per league sources. Both the Seahawks and Patriots have proved that running the football is key to winning championships. There will be a team, maybe even the Dallas Cowboys, that wants to make Peterson the centerpiece of its offensive attack next season. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Peterson has a $15.4 M cap number in 2015 and Minnesota may have seen enough from Jerick McKinnon that the Vikings might be willing to part with their aging 29-year-old back (30 in March). As Schefter suggests, Dallas would be a prime landing spot if the Cowboys do no re-sign DeMarco Murray - which is a distinct possibility. Along with Ndamukong Suh, expect Peterson's uncertain status to dominate the headlines in the coming weeks.
| Mariota shaping up to be No. 1 pick?|
Bucs could be drawn to mobility, character of Oregon QB
By: Doug Orth | Jan 29 2015, 3:05 pm
|Many NFL executives and scouts believe Florida State's Jameis Winston is the best pro quarterback prospect in this draft. Of course, teams still have three months to dig into Winston's past and see what they can uncover. Plus, there's a real sense that Tampa Bay has its sights set on Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. So for now, Mariota shapes up as the most likely No. 1 pick. But there are still three months of combine work, pro days, interviews and investigations to go. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Winston is widely recognized as the most "pro-ready" quarterback while Mariota has very little experience taking snaps under center. With that said, Mariota brings no red flags off the field and is a great athlete - two areas he enjoys a significant advantage over Winston. New OC Dirk Koetter - the former Falcons' play-caller - is a creative offensive mind that might enjoy the lack of headaches Mariota is unlikely to create. Expect this debate to be hashed out ad nausem over the next three months.
|Wade Phillips joins Broncos as DC|
Beats out Bengals defensive assistant Vance Joseph
By: Jake Gordon | Jan 28 2015, 9:00 pm
|Wade Phillips is back in the NFL.
The Broncos have agreed to terms with Phillips, who will join Denver as defensive coordinator, the team announced. Phillips first told NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport of the news, adding that he is "excited about it."
FFToday's Take: Phillips once again joins Gary Kubiak as defensive coordinator in Denver. Phillips turned the Texans defense into a top ten unit after joining Kubiak on Houston's staff in 2011. Now he will try to repeat that success in Denver as the team continues to build around Von Miller.
|Tom Brady practices in full|
Pats QB getting over a cold, sore ankle
By: Jake Gordon | Jan 28 2015, 7:00 pm
|Tom Brady admitted earlier this week that he has a cold, but the Patriots quarterback was a full participant in practice. Brady was also listed with an ankle injury, as has been the case for most of the season. (Boston.com)|
FFToday's Take: Tom Brady was a full participant in practice and doesn't appear to be suffering any ill effects from the common cold he was dealing with a few days ago. Brady has helped the Patriots set the pace in the playoffs, averaging a league best 40 points per game.
|Colts close to deal with WR Duron Carter|
Cris' son getting his chance in the NFL
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 27 2015, 9:00 pm
|Wide receiver Duron Carter is closing in on an agreement with the Indianapolis Colts, a source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. Carter, the son of Hall of Famer and current ESPN analyst Cris Carter, played for the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League last season. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Carter (6-5, 210 pounds) spent the last two seasons in the CFL after going undrafted in 2013 largely due to off-field concerns. The Colts may have two spots open at wide receiver if they don't re-sign Hakeem Nicks (who was on a one-year deal) and if veteran Reggie Wayne decides to retire.
|Colts keep Rob Chudzinksi|
Gets a bump in title to Associate Head Coach
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 27 2015, 10:31 am
|Rob Chudzinski is officially off the market for coordinator positions around the NFL.
The Colts named Chudzinski as their associate head coach Tuesday, announcing a deal that will keep the coveted former Browns coach in Indianapolis. Chudzinski had been mentioned as a candidate for offensive coordinator positions with the Rams and 49ers, but Colts general manager Ryan Grigson had denied teams permission to interview him. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: One thing fantasy owners like is stability and it appears the Colts offensive philosophy will remain intact now that Chud is staying put. Pep Hamilton will again serve as offensive coordinator and call plays. Under the two, quarterback Andrew Luck set career highs in yards and touchdowns this past season.
| Foles on the market?|
Rams, Titans, Texans possibly interested
By: Doug Orth | Jan 26 2015, 5:00 pm
|The Eagles' apparent indecision on what to do with QB Nick Foles has intrigued teams around the league, and possible suitors are beginning to emerge. According to a person familiar with the situation, but who requested anonymity, the St. Louis Rams have interest in Foles should the Eagles decide to trade him this offseason. Foles' possible availability was a topic of conversation among coaches and scouts last week at the Senior Bowl, with the Tennessee Titans and Houston Texans also mentioned as teams that would have interest if Foles hit the market. (Newark Star-Ledger)|
FFToday's Take: Foles regressed from his breakout 2014 season before his season-ending shoulder injury and isn't the greatest fit for HC Chip Kelly's offense. There are enough mobile quarterbacks available in the draft - Oregon's Marcus Mariota and UCLA's Brett Hundley are among two Kelly would be familiar with - to believe that both Foles and Mark Sanchez may not be the starter in Philadelphia in 2015. With the Rams still willing to ride out Sam Bradford and the Titans warming up to Zach Mettenberger, the Texans could be the most logical destination.
|Chudzinski likely top OC choice for Rams, 49ers|
Spent 2014 season as Colts' special assistant
By: Doug Orth | Jan 26 2015, 4:40 pm
|The 49ers and the Rams are the last teams with offensive-coordinator vacancies. But the next couple of days could be important for both organizations, as they appear to have targeted soon-to-be-available Rob Chudzinski.
The Colts denied permission last week for the 49ers and Rams to interview Chudzinski while he remained under contract as “special assistant to the head coach.” But his contract reportedly expires Monday, in essence making him a coaching free agent and able to begin interviewing with other clubs on Tuesday. Chudzinski has appeared to be the 49ers’ top candidate to join Jim Tomsula's staff in charge of the offense all along. (CSN Bay Area)|
FFToday's Take: "Chud" would be an upgrade for both teams and would probably make more fantasy owners happy if he landed in San Francisco. The ex-Panthers play-caller helped Cam Newton make a big splash in the NFL in his first two seasons before spending one year as a head coach in Cleveland, where he coaxed huge seasons out of Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron. In San Francisco, he'd get to work with a Newton-like talent in Colin Kaepernick and Cameron-like talent in Vernon Davis.
|Josh Gordon fails another drug test|
Browns receiver facing year-long ban
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 25 2015, 4:00 pm
|Troubled Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon has violated the substance-abuse policy again and faces a minimum one-year ban from the NFL, according to multiple reports. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, who broke the story, and profootballtalk.com, Gordon tested positive for alcohol. If Gordon receives the minimum one-year ban, he'd be eligible to apply for reinstatement a year after the suspension begins. It would then be up to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to decide if he lets Gordon back in. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)|
FFToday's Take: The Browns were reportedly looking to shop Gordon this off-season but this latest news is going to make the wide receiver virtually worthless on the trade market. Gordon missed 10 games in 2014 for violating the substance-abuse policy. If this news holds up, Gordon's days in Cleveland are numbered.
|Eagles, Maclin at a standstill in negotiations|
New deal was close towards the end of last season
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 24 2015, 8:00 am
|It was considered a no-brainer that wide receiver and free-agent-to-be Jeremy Maclin would be back. According to a person familiar with the situation, who requested anonymity, Caplan is right — the Eagles and Maclin have hit a bit of a wall in their contract negotiations after nearly having a deal completed towards the end of last season. (NJ.com)|
FFToday's Take: Most believe a deal will eventually get done but the switching of agents by Maclin has caused a delay in the process. Maclin led the Eagles in receiving last season and finished as the No.9 fantasy receiver in standard scoring leagues with a 86-1329-10 stat line. He'll be solid WR2 in re-draft leagues should he come to terms with the Eagles on a new deal.
|Pats deny knowledge of deflated footballs|
Belichick, Brady answer questions from press Thursday
By: Doug Orth | Jan 22 2015, 5:20 pm
|New England Patriots QB Tom Brady said he was “as surprised as anybody,” echoing HC Bill Belichick, to learn of DeflateGate, the controversy over whether the team used underinflated footballs to advance to Super Bowl XLIX, on Monday morning and told a packed media room that “I didn’t alter the ball in any way.”
Brady made no prepared remarks, preferring to take questions for about 30 minutes instead in the late-afternoon press conference; Brady claimed to have no idea how or why the footballs failed to measure up to the 12.5-13.5 pounds per square inch specified in the rule book. “I think there’s a lot of people who have more information than me,” he said. “I have questions, too.” (The Washington Post)|
FFToday's Take: Brady detailed his game-day preparations, saying that he selects the balls he wants to be approved by game officials. Early reaction of Brady's comments has several former NFL players doubting his story; the notion that a longtime veteran player like Brady who stated he loves his footballs to be at 12.5 psi couldn't tell the ball was under-inflated does seem questionable at best. Don't expect this story to go away anytime soon and to be the topic du jour of Super Bowl week.
| S Eric Berry doing well in cancer recovery|
Missed final five games with Hodgkin lymphoma
By: Doug Orth | Jan 22 2015, 5:00 pm
|Chiefs GM John Dorsey and team chairman Clark Hunt flew into Atlanta to visit S Eric Berry, who is battling Hodgkin lymphoma.
"We spent two hours together over (at) his parents' house ... he was laughing, he was in good spirits," Dorsey said. "He looked great. He was E.B. He was talking about 'ball." (Kansas City Star)|
FFToday's Take: Obviously, Berry's recovery timeline is up in the air, but a return to the field at some point in the near future does sound promising. Berry finished at minus-1.7 overall in Pro Football Focus' grading this year after recording a plus-14.3 in 2013.
|Adam Gase rejoins Fox in Chicago|
Gase hired as Bears' offensive coordinator
By: Jake Gordon | Jan 21 2015, 8:00 pm
|Adam Gase has found a new job with a familiar boss.
Gase has been hired as the offensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears, the team announced Wednesday. The two sides have agreed on a three-year deal, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source informed of the situation.
FFToday's Take: The Bears continue to overhaul their coaching staff with more proven NFL commodities with the hiring of Adam Gase. After interviewing for multiple head coaching vacancies, Gase will now take on the challenge of rebuilding an underachieving Bears offense. From a fantasy perspective this is about as good of a situation as Jay Cutler could hope for but fantasy owners will still have doubts until results are translated onto the field.
|Peyton Manning to return for 2015 if healthy?|
Physical examination to determine fate?
By: Jake Gordon | Jan 21 2015, 11:00 am
|According to three trustworthy sources, Manning wants to return to the Broncos, but won't and can't make a final decision until he takes an annual physical examination mandated by his contract. Last year, the test results were learned at the beginning of March. (Denver Post)|
FFToday's Take: The report also says that the Broncos have asked that Manning let them know his decision to return before March 9th. Everyone involved, including new head coach Gary Kubiak, appears to be in favor of having number eighteen back for his eighteenth season. Should test results on Peyton's neck and calf come back without setbacks, fantasy owners can expect another solid season from the future Hall of Fame quarterback.
|Browns hire John DeFilippo as OC|
Former Raiders QB coach headed to Cleveland
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 21 2015, 10:45 am
|The Cleveland Browns have decided on Oakland Raiders quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo to be their new offensive coordinator, Northeast Ohio Media Group has confirmed. DeFilippo, a rising young offensive star in the NFL at the age of 36, worked with Mike Pettine in 2009 when both were with the New York Jets. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)|
FFToday's Take: DeFilippo got an interview for the same position last season before Cleveland decided to go with Kyle Shanahan. This will be DeFilippo's first job as OC and will have a challenge on his hands dealing with the Johnny Manziel circus show and a wide receiver corps that could be minus Josh Gordon.
|Raiders OC to feature Latavius Murray|
Musgrave impressed with Raiders running back
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 21 2015, 8:00 am
|Asked Musgrave impression of Latavius Murray: "Very positive. Tremendous size & speed. Going to tailor run game so it's right up his alley." (Vic Tafur on Twitter)|
FFToday's Take: With defensive minded Jack Del Rio serving as head coach, Musgrave will be able to implement his plan for Murray who was buried behind Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew for most of 2014. Musgrave was the Eagles QB coach last season and worked with Del Rio in Jacksonville back in 2003. Murray will be on the RB2 radar in 2015.
|Lynch returning to Seattle in 2015 after all?|
"Beast Moda" remains heart and soul of offense
By: Doug Orth | Jan 19 2015, 4:30 pm
|Ian Rapoport reported on NFL Network's NFL GameDay Morning that the Seattle brass is now more than open to the possibility of bringing Marshawn Lynch back at a salary of $5 million a year.
"... Mainly because he actually has outperformed his contract and clearly established himself as the identity of this team," Rapoport said. "Basically, they don't have a choice based on the way he plays to bring him back. (NFL.com)|
FFToday's Take: It was a foregone conclusion that Lynch would be cut loose or allowed to retire at season's end a few months ago, but the combination of his tone-setting running ability and the lack of trust in Christine Michael might be contributing to the Seahawks' change of heart. With Seattle preparing to pay Russell Wilson like a franchise quarterback in the coming months, the Seahawks may need to get creative with their salary cap in order to sign up for another year of "Beast Mode".
|NFL investigating Pats for deflated footballs|
Tom Brady scoffs at allegation in Monday interview
By: Doug Orth | Jan 19 2015, 4:20 pm
|The NFL is investigating whether the New England Patriots intentionally deflated footballs during their victory over the Indianapolis Colts in Sunday's rain-soaked AFC Championship Game.
A league spokesman confirmed the investigation, which was first reported Sunday by television station WTHR in Indianapolis, to ESPN on Monday morning.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Monday afternoon that the organization will "cooperate fully with whatever questions they ask us and whatever they want us to do." He added that the first time he heard about the issue was Monday morning. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: An under-inflated football could be easier to grip and catch. NFL rules stipulate that footballs must be inflated between 12.5 and 13.5 pounds per square inch and weigh between 14 and 15 ounces. A team can be fined if it is found to be knowingly altering the weight of the football. It is extremely unlikely that anything comes from this and equally unlikely the Pats actually tried to pull it off, but it is yet another black mark against a team that has a reputation for pushing certain boundaries.
| DBs Sherman, Thomas dealing with injuries|
Will undergo MRIs on Monday
By: Doug Orth | Jan 19 2015, 3:45 pm
|Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman and FS Earl Thomas both suffered injuries in the team's 28-22 overtime win against the Green Bay Packers in Sunday's NFC Championship Game.
Sherman suffered an elbow injury in the fourth quarter while Thomas injured his shoulder in the first half. The extent of the injuries is unknown and both players will have MRIs on Monday.
Both Sherman and Thomas said they will play in the Super Bowl. (ESPN)|
FFToday's Take: Stay tuned, as Monday's diagnosis of a "sprained left elbow" doesn't really tell us anything more than what most of us thought he had. The initial fear was that Sherman suffered ulnar nerve damage and he could be seen favoring his arm on multiple occasions late in the game. Thomas was diagnosed with a dislocated shoulder earlier on Monday, so Tom Brady & Co. could have a less challenging matchup than initially expected in a couple of weeks.
|GM Pace, HC Fox noncommittal on QB Cutler|
QB owed $15 next season
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 19 2015, 2:00 pm
|New Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace took a wait-and-see approach toward Jay Cutler in last week's introductory press conference.
Coach John Fox was equally noncommittal at his own meet-and-greet on Monday. "I'm looking forward to getting to know Jay," Fox said. "He did text me, welcomed me to Chicago. Was very excited that I was coming here which I thought was a nice move." (NFL.com)|
FFToday's Take: Fox is keeping his options open when it comes to his quarterback however Cutler is guaranteed $15 million next season so releasing him isn't likely. For now, Fox is working on assembling his offensive and defensive coordinators.
|Gary Kubiak, new head coach of Broncos|
By: Mike Krueger | Jan 19 2015, 9:30 am
|Gary Kubiak has agreed to become the head coach of the Denver Broncos, the team announced Monday.
Kubiak's deal is for four years, according to multiple reports. He spent the past season as the Baltimore Ravens' offensive coordinator. Before joining the Ravens' staff, Kubiak had served as head coach of the Houston Texans. The Broncos will introduce him at a Tuesday afternoon news conference.
FFToday's Take: Kubiak is a west coast offense guy so melding with QB Peyton Manning, assuming he returns, may be a challenge. Kubiak likes to run play-action fakes and rollouts which isn't what Manning is used to. It's quite possible that Kubiak will defer to Manning's style of offense for the upcoming season.
|Steve Spagnuolo to be named Giants' DC|
Returns after filling same role from 2007-08
By: Doug Orth | Jan 15 2015, 4:35 pm
|Almost six years to the day after Steve Spagnuolo left the Giants, he was re-hired as their defensive coordinator. Spagnuolo, who served as the Ravens assistant head caoch/secondary coach this past season, interviewed with the Giants on Wednesday. He replaces Perry Fewell, who was fired last week.
The Giants went with Spagnuolo over Bills DL coach (and former Giants linebacker) Pepper Johnson, former Raiders coach Dennis Allen and Redskins DB coach Raheem Morris. (Newark Star-Ledger)|
FFToday's Take: Spags was lauded for his work in shutting down the 18-0 New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, but his zone-heavy schemes have been exposed in stops at St. Louis and New Orleans where his teams didn't feature Hall-of-Fame DE Michael Strahan or a couple of other pass-rushers in their prime like Osi Umenyiora or Justin Tuck. It is an uninspiring hire, especially if the Giants don't upgrade their pass rush in the offseason.
|Bill Callahan joins Redskins as OL coach|
Stripped of play-calling duties in Dallas in 2014
By: Doug Orth | Jan 15 2015, 4:30 pm
|The Washington Redskins have hired former Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Bill Callahan, according to league sources. Callahan's title is offensive line coach. He received a lucrative three-year contract, the sources said.
Callahan had offers from teams as both an offensive coordinator and offensive line coach before deciding to join the Redskins.
FFToday's Take: With HC Jay Gruden calling plays in Washington, there is no chance that Callahan will take that role on in his new job this season. What he should do, however, is boost the Redskins' inconsistent ground game. Alfred Morris is locked in as the early-down back while Silas Redd and Chris Thompson will likely vie for passing-down work with Roy Helu almost certain to leave via free agency.