|Eagles want high pick for QB Foles -- Sat Feb 16 8:05 am --|
Would require a first or second round pick
|If new Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid has designs on reuniting with Nick Foles, he's going to have to knock the socks off of the Philadelphia Eagles with a big-time offer. NFL sources tell The Associated Press that the Eagles have yet to discuss trading Foles and would require a first- or second-round pick to even consider it. The Philadelphia Daily News offers a similar report from its own source, maintaining that not only is the team not looking to deal Foles, but that they want to keep him.
Savvy readers may ask how the Eagles could set the price at an early-round pick if the front office has yet to even volley the idea of a Foles trade. It doesn't compute. A more likely scenario is that the team's brass has taken note of Reid's interest and has set the asking price accordingly high. It's standard operating procedure for the Eagles, who originally set the price on Donovan McNabb at a pair of first-rounders in 2010 before settling for two lesser picks. (NFL.com)|
FF Today's Take: Foles' strong performances last season were sporadic but he finished the year strong. The Chiefs' quarterback situation is precarious at best and there's no doubt that Reid likes Foles, but there are a number of other teams that could be players, including the Cleveland Browns.
| Vikings say Harvin won't be dealt -- Sat Feb 16 7:50 am --|
WR frustrated with offense in Minnesota
|The Minnesota Vikings have no intention of trading wide receiver Percy Harvin, general manager Rick Spielman said Friday. Spielman refused to comment specifically on Harvin's contract situation, citing his usual policy about any Vikings player or coach. Spielman said team officials, as always, will meet next week at the NFL scouting combine with the agents for every player, which of course includes Harvin's representative, Joel Segal. Spielman declined to address the possibility of negotiating a new deal for Harvin, who will be in the final year of his contract in 2013. As for the potential of a holdout, should Harvin's deal not be extended, Spielman said, "He's not going to get into hypotheticals" about that. "Percy Harvin is under contract and we expect him, just like all of our players under contract, to be here," Spielman said, (ESPN)|
FF Today's Take: The Vikings have a spectacular running game thanks to Adrian Peterson, but their passing game is lacking. They've tried to get Harvin more involved by using him on kickoff returns and occasionally have him rush the ball, but his production would likely be much better on a team with an elite quarterback in a pass-heavy offense. There is no doubting his ability however, and if he can stay healthy his talents alone warrant placing him among the top 20 fantasy wide receivers, though he remains a cut below the truly elite due to his unideal situation in Minnesota.
|Colts release Freeney, Collie -- Sat Feb 16 7:30 am --|
Will fill the gap with younger, less injury-prone players
|The Indianapolis Colts released seven-time Pro Bowler Dwight Freeney and wide receiver Austin Collie on Friday, the team announced. Freeney, who turns 33 next week, played all 10 of his NFL seasons with the Colts, and has 107.5 sacks in that time span. Freeney is the franchise’s all-time sacks leader. He converted to outside linebacker and only recorded five sacks and 12 tackles in an injury-plagued season. (SI)|
FF Today's Take: The Andrew Luck era has brought with it a multitude of changes thus far. The rookie quarterback wasn't the only first-year player on the Colts to contribute last season: tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Casey factored into the offense, running back Vick Ballard was the team's top rusher, and the emergence of T.Y. Hilton as an elusive wide receiver made Austin Collie expendable. On defense, 2010 first-round pick Jerry Hughes showed that he is a capable outside pass rusher which likely made the decision to release Dwight Freeney a little easier.
|Packers release Charles Woodson -- Sat Feb 16 7:00 am --|
36-year-old would still like to play, and for a contender
|The Green Bay Packers released veteran defensive back Charles Woodson, the team announced Friday. Carl Poston, the agent for Woodson, first told NFL.com that the club would be releasing his client. "They're getting ready to release him. It's part of the business," Poston said. "I just talked to him. He sounds like he has a lot of football left. He'd like to play for a contender, win another Super Bowl." Woodson was set to make $9 million in 2013 and would've counted for $10 million against the Packers' salary cap. (ESPN)|
FF Today's Take: The Ravens could be one potential landing spot for the veteran, with rumors swirling that Ed Reed could be on his way out of Baltimore.
|Titus Young to be waived by STL -- Fri Feb 15 2:10 pm --|
Receiver released 10 days after being claimed
|Head coach Jeff Fisher said that the Rams will be waiving WR Titus Young later today. (StLouisRams.com)|
FF Today's Take: Per Fisher, the Rams spent 4-5 days with Young after claiming him off waivers and have decided to go in a different direction. It appears the a dramatic attitude adjustment is needy if Young plans on having any kind of career in the NFL.
|Bills re-sign Tarvaris Jackson -- Fri Feb 15 11:30 am --|
Jackson and Fitzpatrick will have battle for starting QB job
|Backup quarterback Tarvaris Jackson has re-signed with the Buffalo Bills.
Jackson signed a one-year deal that could be worth up to $4.5 million, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
Head coach Doug Marrone says he's informed Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jackson that he intends to have both compete for the starting job. (ESPN)|
FF Today's Take: The new head coach will soon realize Jackson lacks sufficient accuracy as an NFL quarterback. In 7 season's Jackson has compiled a 59% completion percentage with 38 TDs and 35 INTs. If it's a true competition, we expect Fitzpatrick to be on the field Week 1 as the starter.
|Chiefs and Bowe talking long-term deal -- Thu Feb 14 6:00 pm --|
Receiver set to be a free agent
|Ian Rapoport is reporting that the Chiefs have had discussions with Dwayne Bowe about a long-term contract. The Chiefs used the franchise tag on Bowe last season and is set to be one of the more attractive wideouts in free agency this off-season. (NFL.com)|
FF Today's Take: Rapoport suggests that talks may go on for weeks but its the first indication we've had that Andy Reid and the new regime in Kansas City is interested in keeping the team's best receiver.
|QB Dennis Dixon signs with Eagles -- Thu Feb 14 3:40 pm --|
QB reunites with college coach Chip Kelly
|The Philadelphia Eagles signed Dennis Dixon to a two-year contract Thursday, reuniting the quarterback with coach Chip Kelly. Kelly was Oregon's offensive coordinator when Dixon was the Ducks' quarterback. He spent last season on the practice squad of the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. (ESPN)|
FF Today's Take: This move was rumored once Kelly became the head coach of the Eagles and gives Philadelphia four QBs on the roster - Dixon, Michael Vick, Nick Foles and Trent Edwards. With mobile QBs in the mix, Foles could be the odd man out and a potential trade candidate.
|Cowboys look to sign Romo long-term -- Wed Feb 13 7:20 pm --|
QB is the "key piece to moving toward a championship"
|Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said the team wants a long-term contract with quarterback Tony Romo because he's the key piece to moving toward a championship. "Tony is a key piece of what we're about going forward," Jones said Tuesday. "We're certainly going to be looking at his situation (in) time. "We've historically (extended contracts) with quarterbacks for the Dallas Cowboys ahead of time. We did it with Troy (Aikman) and we certainly want to look at that with Tony so we can all move forward in terms of how we want to play around our salary cap with our team. Tony is the key piece in terms of how your cap is represented." (ESPN)|
FF Today's Take: It looks like the Cowboys will be committing to Tony Romo for at least another season. Though the quarterback has yet to take America's team further than the NFC divisional round, the 32-year-old has consistently turned in strong fantasy production, and should not be ignored despite the certain stigmas that may follow him.
| Ahmad Bradshaw to the Jets? -- Wed Feb 13 7:05 pm --|
Free agent RB says he'd be "excited" to hear from Jets
|Ahmad Bradshaw is not eager to leave the area he has called his NFL home and he sees the Jets “right across the street.’’ Is it possible for the former Giants running back to stay put and trade blue for green? Why not? “The New York Jets are a team that I’m excited to hear about, just to stay home, not make a big move from New York,’’ Bradshaw said Tuesday on NFL Network’s “NFL AM’’ program. “It’s just right across the street from where I am now.’’ Right across the street is all well and good, but do the Jets want Bradshaw? After all, Bradshaw is in a walking boot after another surgical procedure on his right foot, but the Jets need another running back because Shonn Greene is a free agent, leaving Bilal Powell as the only experienced NFL back. Powell is more of a No. 2 back, though, and it remains to be seen if Bradshaw is still a legitimate No. 1 back. (New York Post)|
FF Today's Take: Bradshaw is still fairly young at 26, and is coming off a fairly productive season. If he can get healthy, the Jets could be a good fit for the elusive back.
| Matt Ryan's shoulder fully recovered -- Wed Feb 13 7:00 pm --|
QB back in the weight room
|Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has fully recovered from the sprained left AC shoulder joint he suffered against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC championship game on Jan. 20. After the game, Falcons coach Mike Smith said that Ryan’s recovery was expected to be three to four weeks and that Ryan would have played had the Falcons advanced to Super Bowl XLVII. No surgery was required. “He’s started working out in the weight room,” Smith said on Wednesday. “He’s moved from the rehab part of it to working in the weight room, which is a good thing.” (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)|
FF Today's Take: Ryan was well on his way to being a top five fantasy quarterback this past season before a couple multiple-interception games pushed him into the second tier of slingers. As long as he stays healthy, Ryan has all the tools and weapons at his disposal to be an elite quarterback in 2013.
|No timetable for Tony G. decision -- Wed Feb 13 3:30 pm --|
Falcons tight end contemplating retirement
|[Head coach Mike] Smith also said that team does not have a timetable for tight end Tony Gonzalez to decide if he’s going to retire or return to the team. “I don’t that there is anything concrete in terms of a timetable,” Smith said. “But I think that conversation will take place. I had a conversation with him the week after the season and we’ll probably have another here real soon.” (Atlanta Journal Constitution)|
FF Today's Take: Gonzalez stated during last season that he was likely to retire but don't be surprised if he conveniently misses a portion of off-season workouts and ends up on the field in Week 1.
|Randle ready for increased role? -- Wed Feb 13 7:00 am --|
Rueben Randle favorite for number three receiver
|Rueben Randle did finish his rookie year well, including a four-catch, two-touchdown performance in the season-ending victory over Philadelphia. He caught 19 passes in 16 games - 10 of them in 2 games (6 vs. Cleveland and 4 vs. Philadelphia). Clearly, he needs to provide more consistent production. But the Giants believe he will do that as an NFL sophomore. Right now, Randle is the heavy favorite to be the Giants’ third wideout in 2013, with Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz as the starters. Assuming his stays healthy, I would be very surprised if Randall didn’t at least double his number of reception next season. (Giants.com)|
FF Today's Take: Doubling his output from 2012 (19 rec, 298 yards, 3 TDs) would rank him in mid-40s among fantasy wide receivers and put Randle in the fantasy WR4/5 category. Think Nate Washington, Brandon LaFell, Donnie Avery. He would need an injury to starters Nicks or Cruz to be a true breakout fantasy star.
|Questions about Harvin's future -- Mon Feb 11 3:00 pm --|
Harvin may skip off-season workouts
|When the Vikings head back to the Combine next week, you can bet they’ll cast a few Harvin-baited hooks into the waters and see if there are any nibbles. And with the 24-year-old playmaker heading into the final year of his rookie deal, now may be a practical time to pull the trigger. Publicly, neither Frazier nor General Manager Rick Spielman would benefit from openly declaring Percy Harvin up for auction. But you can bet the Vikings will be listening to interested suitors at the combine, perhaps ready to move away from the dangerous temper wick attached to Harvin’s toughness, speed and elusiveness. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)|
FF Today's Take: Rumors are abound that the Vikings would like at least at 2nd and 4th-round pick for Harvin but that is pure speculation. The team refuses to state whether anything but Harvin's ankle injury in Week 9 landed him on IR but chemistry with the team and head coach have been an issue in the past. It's been reported that Harvin will skip off-season workouts until he receives a new deal.
|Vick signs one-year deal with Eagles -- Mon Feb 11 11:45 am --|
Deal could be worth $10 million
|The Philadelphia Eagles re-signed Michael Vick on Monday to a one-year deal for the 2013 season, the team announced.
Vick could make as much as $10 million next season under the one-year deal, according to a league source. (ESPN)|
FF Today's Take: Vick will become a free agent after the 2013 season. He was scheduled to make $15.5 million under his old contract. It appears Vick will be penciled in as the starter for Chip Kelly and he'll be a low-end QB1 with an enormous amount of injury risk.
|Falcons to part ways with Turner? -- Sun Feb 10 2:20 pm --|
Atlatna may target a RB in the draft
|The Falcons look to be in the running back market this offseason, according to those who know. Chances are the team will cut ties with 30-year old Michael Turner and look for a younger runner. Turner provides toughness, a solid locker room presence and power on downhill runs, but scouts say his ability to bounce and cut isn’t what it was. (National Football Post)|
FF Today's Take: Turner's quickness and ability is obviously eroding but he was productive from a fantasy standpoint thanks to 11 touchdowns, finishing as the 18th best running back in 2012. His 9.9 FPTs/G was good for 28th among running backs however and he'll be nothing more than RB4/5 material in 2013 with a new team.
|Saints hire Rob Ryan as DC -- Sat Feb 9 8:45 am --|
Will implement a 3-4 scheme
|The New Orleans Saints have hired former Cowboys coordinator Rob Ryan as their new defensive coordinator to implement the Saints' new 3-4 scheme and to replace the fired Steve Spagnuolo. The team made an official announcement Saturday morning. (The Times-Picayune)|
FF Today's Take: Ryan will have his work cut out for him as the Saints were dead least in total defense last year giving up a whopping 7042 total yards... an average of 440 yards per game.
|50/50 chance Finley returns to GB -- Sat Feb 9 12:30 am --|
Packers may cut TE
|He's not treating this February any differently. He's not agonizing about his future. In Minneapolis, Jermichael Finley continues to work out with "Dr. Josh." With sports medicine specialist Josh Sandell, the Green Bay Packers tight end says he's keeping his body right and, most importantly, keeping his mind right. Uncertainty looms. Maybe Finley stays in Green Bay next season. Maybe he's moving on. On Thursday, he said it's "50/50" whether he will be in Green Bay next season. "I would love to stay there," Finley said, "but if Green Bay says otherwise, I play football for a living, so I'd have to switch gears and get ready for another chapter in my life." Count this as one of general manager Ted Thompson's most difficult decisions this spring. By releasing or trading Finley, the Packers save $8.25 million. He's due a $3 million bonus in March. Yet this is also a young, athletic, physical specimen that's rare for the position. If the Packers let the 25-year-old walk - without a proven replacement in house - they might regret it. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)|
FF Today's Take: Finley had an up and down year that saw him find the end zone only twice in 2012, and the writing may just be on the wall for the once highly-regarded tight end.
|Boldin to retire if released by Ravens -- Sat Feb 9 12:20 am --|
WR: "I won't play in another uniform"
|Coming off a killer postseason, Anquan Boldin proved to be a money receiver. But he's willing to call it a career if the Baltimore Ravens let him walk in free agency. "For me that's not something that I worry about," Boldin said on NBC Sports Network's "Pro Football Talk" on Friday. "I think you go out and let your play speak for itself. You deal with that if you have to, but, I think for me - I know for me - Baltimore is the only place I want to play. It's the last place that I will play. For me, I'll retire a Raven, I'm not putting on any other uniform. "I won't play in another uniform. We have a saying, once a Raven, always a Raven, and I'll always be a Raven." (NFL.com)|
FF Today's Take: Boldin had a decent year before going on a tear in the playoffs, matching his four-touchdown total from the regular season despite playing in 11 fewer games. If he does return to the Ravens for 2013, production in the 800 to 1000-receiving yard, five-eight touchdown range is certainly within Boldin's reach.
|Speculation that Eagles will trade Vick -- Sat Feb 9 12:15 am --|
Team could be trying to fake personal interest in keeping QB
|The Eagles may be trying to create a trade market for Michael Vick. The belief is there are other teams interested in Vick, and the Eagles may be trying to capitalize on that interest by leaking that they could keep him. (SI)|
FF Today's Take: Vick isn't the quarterback he was even a couple of seasons ago. At 32, the oft-injured former first overall pick's future fantasy life will be most impacted by whichever team he ends up with this offseason.
|Should Flacco be highest paid QB? -- Sat Feb 9 12:05 am --|
His agent thinks so
|Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said he's "optimistic" that the team will get a long-term deal done with quarterback Joe Flacco. The Super Bowl MVP is not under contract for next season. Newsome said the sides were "very close" to a deal before the season began, but it was a mutual agreement to stop negotiations until the end of the season. "We're looking to get a fair deal done with Joe," Newsome said. "If we're able to get a deal done, it will allow us to be able to participate more in the market if we so choose. But we understand what the priority is." Flacco's agent, Joe Linta, was asked in an interview with CNBC on Tuesday whether Flacco should be the highest-paid at his position, to which he simply responded "Yes." (ESPN)|
FF Today's Take: Flacco had a good regular season and a great postseason this past year. Though he did just win the Super Bowl, few would make the case that the 28-year-old is the best quarterback in the game. And for fantasy purposes he is, at best, in the 10 to 15 range at his position.
|Donald Jones set to be a free agent -- Thu Feb 7 5:30 pm --|
Bills will not tender wide receiver
|The Buffalo Bills today announced that the team will not tender WR Donald Jones, making the wide receiver available when the NFL free agency period begins on March 12th. Bills General Manager Buddy Nix said, "We’re going in a different direction and this move today gives Donald the opportunity to catch on with another team early on in the process. We thank him for his years with our organization and wish him the best in the future." (BuffaloBills.com)|
FF Today's Take: This is a curious move for the Bills who aren't necessarily deep at the wide receiver position. Jones was a restricted free agent but will become unrestricted and free to sign with any team in March. The market for wide receivers is deep and it's reasonable to assume the Bills will be active pursuing a veteran pass catcher to go along with Steve Johnson.
| AP has sports hernia surgery -- Thu Feb 7 1:00 pm --|
Speedy recovery expected with no long-term concerns
|Adrian Peterson's MVP season looks a bit more incredible now that the abdominal injury he played through in December proved serious enough to require surgery.
The Vikings released this statement this morning: Adrian Peterson had a surgical procedure done today by Dr. William Meyers, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dr. Meyers was able to successfully repair Adrian’s abdominal core muscle injury (sports hernia). We expect a speedy recovery with no long-term concerns. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)|
FF Today's Take: The sports hernia issue became notable after Week 14. Peterson never missed a beat and finished the season and even played in the Pro Bowl before having the surgery yesterday. The MVP should be fine and is in no danger of missing training camp this Summer.
|Giants release Ahmad Bradshaw -- Wed Feb 6 3:45 pm --|
Giants moving forward with David Wilson and Andre Brown
|The Giants' house-cleaning continues. They have released running back Ahmad Bradshaw and defensive tackle Chris Canty, according to two people with knowledge of the moves. Bradshaw has played seven seasons for the Giants, twice topping 1,000 yards, in 2010 and 2012. He has been plagued by chronic foot issues, leading to another procedure this offseason to insert a larger screw in his twice-fractured right foot. (Star Ledger)|
FF Today's Take: We knew this was a possibility for the Giants RB who had two years remaining on his contract. The Giants will move forward with Andre Brown (broken leg) and David Wilson with Wilson having the biggest fantasy upside at the moment. Even with injury concerns, Bradshaw will find a landing spot with a team looking fro a veteran presence in their backfield.
|Rams awarded Titus Young off waivers -- Tue Feb 5 5:15 pm --|
STL takes chance with petulant WR
|Rams have been awarded WR Titus Young from waivers. Young spent first two seasons in Detroit. (St. Louis Rams on Twitter)|
FF Today's Take: HC Jeff Fisher and GM Les Snead strike again with a "character risk". Young has some growing up to do, but he could easily emerge as the team's top receiver at some point. It was reported he recently told his high school coach that he is a better player than Calvin Johnson, so it goes without saying he has some maturing to do. Interestingly, this claim puts him back with old college teammate Austin Pettis and gives the Rams some leverage in negotiations with free agent Danny Amendola.
|Decision on CJ2K's contract looming -- Tue Feb 5 11:00 am --|
$9 million of 2013 contract becomes guaranteed on Saturday
|His (Chris Johnson) base salary jumps from $8 million in 2012 to $10 million in 2013.
Unlike many of the other players on the roster, most of Johnson’s salary — $9 million — becomes guaranteed if he’s still on the roster after Friday.
Indications are the Titans will keep Johnson, meaning they will have a guaranteed offensive weapon to take heat off Locker. (The Tennessean)|
FF Today's Take: From all accounts, it appears the Titans will keep Johnson and his $10 million salary for 2013. Johnson turned in an inconsistent season in 2012, totaling 1469 yards and 6 touchdowns and ranked 12th among running backs in standard scoring leagues.
|Changes likely in Jets backfield -- Tue Feb 5 10:30 am --|
Free agent Shonn Greene may not be back
|Shonn Greene is as good as gone. Despite his limitations, he'll draw moderate to heavy interest in a mediocre free-agent class. Plus, he's not a fit in Marty Mornhinweg's West-Coast system. The Jets need a versatile back with outside speed and pass-catching ability. (ESPN)|
FF Today's Take: Cimini's analysis is the popular thinking as the Jets transition to Morninweg as offensive coordinator and move away from "ground and pound". The Jets could target Reggie Bush and/or a versatile RB in the draft.
|Lions cut ties with Titus Young -- Mon Feb 4 5:00 pm --|
Receiver needs attitude adjustment before landing with new team
|The Detroit Lions have had enough of wide receiver Titus Young and his antics, cutting ties with the second-year receiver on Monday. The decision to release Young ends a short - and tumultuous - relationship between he and the team. (DetroitLions.com)|
FF Today's Take: Young was banned from team earlier this season after intentionally lineup up in the wrong spot in a game against the Packers. He also punched teammate Louis Delmas last Spring during a workout. Young will need a serious attitude adjustment if he's going to succeed with another team.
|AP named MVP -- Sun Feb 3 2:10 am --|
Edges out Peyton Manning
|Adrian Peterson received 30.5 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the NFL. Manning, who also won the Comeback Player of the Year award, got the other 19.5 votes for MVP.
He is the first running back to win MVP since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006.
FF Today's Take: Coming into the season Peterson was coming off major knee surgery and fantasy owners were passing on him in the early rounds of drafts while discounting him in auctions. The Vikings franchise player posted one of the best fantasy seasons from a RB in a long time and was the clear front-runner at his position in 2012. Barring any unforeseen circumastances, AP will vault back into the top three fantasy players for the 2013 campaign.
|AJ Green wants more touches -- Sat Feb 2 6:55 pm --|
Bengals' star WR frustrated over lack of action in postseason
|A.J. Green had fun in last Sunday’s Pro Bowl with three touchdowns, but he admitted that the disappointment over the Bengals’ 19-13 loss to the Texans in the first round of the playoffs still stings, even more so than last year. “It’s more disappointing because we had the team and we could have won that game if we put the plays together. We knew with that game we played one of our worst games,” Green said on Thursday after making an appearance for Gatorade. “Last year no one expected us to make the playoffs.” He also admitted that there was frustration over not being targeted or having a catch during the first half. Green finished with 4 receptions for 80 yards, including a 45-yard reception during the third quarter, which set up a field goal. Green nearly had a go-ahead touchdown during the fourth quarter, but Andy Dalton overthrew the ball in the end zone. (Cincinnati Enquirer)|
FF Today's Take: Though he slowed down somewhat over the second half of the season, there is no question that Green should be regarded as one of the league's elite NFL wide receivers.
| Bradshaw out two months -- Sat Feb 2 1:00 pm --|
Screw replaced in foot
|New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw had another surgery to replace a screw in his right foot. He told reporters in New Orleans that the original timetable for recovery is 10 weeks and that he had the surgery two weeks ago. (ESPN)|
FF Today's Take: Bradshaw has been dealing with foot problems for two+ years now and routinely misses practice time leading up to games. His future with the Giants is uncertain given the play of Andre Brown (broken leg) and David Wilson. Bradshaw is due $7.75 million over the next two seasons but could become a cap casualty.
|Tony Gonzalez to play one more year? -- Fri Feb 1 6:40 pm --|
Falcons' GM urging TE to play another season
|Tony Gonzalez might be playing another season for the Atlanta Falcons after all. General manager Thomas Dimitroff told ESPN.com on Thursday that he is lobbying the tight end to return for one more season. “A guy who is 36 catching 100-plus balls [including the postseason], it just doesn’t seem like it’s time for him to move on," Dimitroff said while visiting the Super Bowl media center. When Dimitroff offered that up without much prompting, I immediately asked if he had delivered that message to Gonzalez. “I definitely already have," Dimitroff said. Gonzalez, 36, said several times late in the season he was 95 percent sure he would retire. But I think it’s significant that Dimitroff and the Falcons are making a hard pitch. (ESPN)|
FF Today's Take: Gonzalez had a freakishly spectacular year for a 36 year old. While it's hard to ignore his production, you have to be wary of his age. Still, Gonzalez has been a model of good health missing just two games in 16 seasons.
|Barkley still feels he's a top pick -- Fri Feb 1 6:20 pm --|
USC QB optimistic despite less than stellar season
|Matt Barkley doesn't believe the way he and USC finished last season should affect his stock in April's NFL draft. "People have been looking at stats over the past year, who's hot, who's not," Barkley said Friday on "The Herd" on ESPN Radio. "We didn't finish the year strong, I know that. But that doesn't mean I'm any less of a quarterback this year. I'm excited just to put that back in people's minds. I haven't lost any confidence in myself and haven't doubted my ability to play quarterback, not once." Barkley suffered a right shoulder injury late in the fourth quarter of USC's loss to UCLA on Nov. 17, and missed subsequent losses to Notre Dame in the regular season and Georgia Tech in the Hyundai Sun Bowl. USC, the preseason No. 1, finished 7-6, and Barkley, the preseason Heisman Trophy favorite, threw 15 interceptions, the most of his four-year career as the Trojans starter. (ESPN)|
FF Today's Take: Barkley is slated to go somewhere in the six to nine range of this year's draft, which could see him taken by any of the Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills or the New York Jets.
|Cruz, Giants far apart on contract -- Fri Feb 1 6:00 pm --|
GM says that, monetarily "there is a limit"
|Victor Cruz wants to remain a New York Giant. The organization wants the same. But the two parties are not close to deal. Cruz will be a restricted free agent and has been one of the biggest bargains in football the last two seasons. He made $540,00 in 2012. Giants owner John Mara was asked if a deal will get done before next season? "I hope so, and we certainly want him back," Mara said, Newsday's Bob Glauber reported. "But, like with any player, there's a limit to where we're going to go (monetarily). He's been a terrific player for us, he's a fan favorite, he does a lot for our franchise, but there is a limit. But I hope we can get him back, and you know what, this is the best place for him to be playing. He's become such a fan favorite, he's become so popular in this area." (NFL.com)|
FF Today's Take: Opposite fellow star wideout Hakeem Nicks, Cruz has been the Giants' best receiver over the past two seasons, and is an integral part of New York's offense. Look for both parties to come to an agreement this offseason.
| No heart procedure for Foster -- Fri Feb 1 11:30 am --|
Texans RB missed part of Week 16 with heart condition
|Houston Texans running back Arian Foster said Friday he won't have a procedure to address a heart condition that forced him out of a regular-season game. Foster told ESPN Radio's "The Herd" and ESPN's "SportsCenter" that the heart ablation procedure will not take place after it had been reported that he was likely to have it. (ESPN)|
FF Today's Take: Update to our earlier story. It seems as this heart issue for Foster will be non-issue for now.
| Foster may undergo heart procedure -- Fri Feb 1 7:00 am --|
|Texans running back Arian Foster tells me he'll likely undergo a heart procedure in about a month. The Pro-bowler is considering a heart ablation to fix the problem that forced him to leave the Texans week 16 match-up against the Vikings because of an irregular heartbeat. Foster has been aware of the issue with his heart since he was around 12 years old and says over the years he's had around 8 incidents where his heart has raced irregularly. This last one though, was the first time it had ever happened during a game. (Alex Flanagan)|
FF Today's Take: We'll have more on this story if and when Foster has the procedure. While nothing involving the heart is minor, it's safe to say if Foster successfully undergoes this treatment he will be fine for the Texans' off-season workout program.
|Donald Driver will retire -- Thu Jan 31 9:00 am --|
Wideout played his entire 14-year career in Green Bay
|Green Bay Packers receiver Donald Driver announced he is retiring after 14 seasons on ESPN Radio's "Mike and Mike in the Morning" on Thursday. "I'm going to officially put the cleats on the shelf. I'm going to walk away from the game," the four-time Pro Bowler said. The Packers announced that he will take part in a formal news conference at Lambeau Field on Feb. 6 at 11 a.m. (ESPN)|
FF Today's Take: It's been rumored in recent days that the Vikings had interest in the veteran wideout but in the end, Driver's 14-year career in Green Bay was enough. Driver leaves the Packers receiving corps in the capable hands of Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson and James Jones.
|Alex Smith headed to Jacksonville? -- Wed Jan 30 9:55 pm --|
Jaguars among possible destinations for 49ers' former starter
|There is a possibility that the San Francisco 49ers will release or trade quarterback Alex Smith in the 2013 offseason, and many feel like the Jacksonville Jaguars should and will be interested. By all indications the Jaguars are going to be bringing in competition at the quarterback position, but someone like Alex Smith might not really add much of anything that they don't already have, especially given what he may cost to acquire. (BigCatCountry.com)|
FF Today's Take: The Blaine Gabbert experiment may have run its course. The second-year quarterback was slightly more effective in 2012 than in his rookie season but he still has a ways to go before he can even be considered even an average NFL quarterback. Smith could feasibly be his replacement.
| Justin Smith not ready to retire -- Wed Jan 30 9:45 pm --|
DT will play Super Bowl with a partially torn triceps
|San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Justin Smith estimated Wednesday that his triceps is at least 50 percent torn. "I'm not sure the exact percentage, I think 50 or something. A little bit over maybe," Smith said Wednesday of his injury. The defensive tackle suffered the injury on Dec. 16 against the Patriots and missed the final two games of the regular season, ending his streak of 185 consecutive starts. "I really haven't gone to the doctors yet. I figure I will do that after the Super Bowl," he said. The 33-year-old Smith has nine tackles in the 49ers' two playoff victories as he's played through the injury this postseason. (ESPN)|
FF Today's Take: You have to admire Smith's passion for the game but you can bet that he'll be at less than his usual superhuman strength on Sunday. Despite the injury, Smith has managed to be somewhat effective this postseason, racking up eight tackles in two games.
| Pitta, Ellerbe practice Wednesday -- Wed Jan 30 9:30 pm --|
Ravens' starters on track to play Sunday
|Two key starters nursing injuries for the AFC champion Baltimore Ravens, linebacker Dannell Ellerbe and tight end Dennis Pitta, ran and practiced well Wednesday afternoon at Tulane University as the Ravens opened on-field preparations for Sunday's Super Bowl XLVII against the San Francisco 49ers. It's unlikely that either player will miss the Super Bowl. Pitta has a thigh injury but moved freely during the workout. Ellerbe, who starts next to Ray Lewis in the Ravens' 3-4 alignment, ran without a limp. (NFL.com)|
FF Today's Take: Pitta has been a key component of a Ravens offense that has amassed a total of 90 points in three playoff games this year. He has a pair of touchdowns and could be a key contributor again against the 49ers.