04/23/14 - 12:13PM ETCody Latimer
: Possible First-Round Pick
ESPN's Mel Kiper said he would be "shocked" if Latimer did not get drafted in the first round, the San Diego Union-Tribune's Michael Gehlken reports.
Latimer, an early entrant wide receiver from Indiana, has benefited from a huge amount of hype in recent days. He was always a fine prospect identified as a potential second- or third-round pick, but Kiper's insistence on the first round takes Latimer's stock to a new high. While we think Latimer would ultimately be a justifiable selection in the first round, we don't see where he fits in the first 32 picks. Sammy Watkins will go ahead of him, and we strongly suspect Mike Evans and Odell Beckham are likely ahead of Latimer, too. Brandin Cooks, Kelvin Benjamin and Marqise Lee would appear most vulnerable to Latimer's ascent, but even they look tough to overtake. Standing at 6-foot-2, 215 pounds with long arms and 4.4 speed, Latimer has everything you look for in a starting wideout in terms of athleticism. He showed reliable hands at Indiana and displayed impressive body control for a big wideout. Latimer broke out for Indiana in 2013, catching 72 passes for 1,096 yards and nine touchdowns. That included strong showings against tough defenses like Missouri and Michigan State, games where he combined for 15 catches for 194 yards and two touchdowns.
Mathieu (knee) wants to avoid the PUP list at the start of the 2014 season, Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic reports.
Mathieu isn't expected to be ready for the start of training camp and likely won't be available for any part of training camp. His ultimate goal is to avoid the PUP list and be ready for Week 1, but that seems questionable at this point.
Draughn has signed a one-year contract with the Bears, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Draughn -- who carried just four times for two yards in three games for the Ravens in 2013 -- will join Michael Ford in the Bears' backup RB mix behind Matt Forte, though we'd expect the team to add more depth at the position as the 2014 season approaches.
Weatherspoon (knee) has yet to be been cleared for team workouts, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
That said, Weatherspoon who injured his knee back on Dec. 15, indicates that he is making progress. "I have been working nonstop with the training staff about four or five days a week doing whatever I can do to get my body feeling good so I can get back to where I'm feeling at top (speed)," Weatherspoon said. "I would say I'm feeling about 80 percent right now. I'm working hard and looking forward to getting back to 100 percent. I really don't know my schedule."
04/23/14 - 10:54AM ETStephen Burton
: (Concussion) On Reserve/Retired List
Burton (concussion) is on the Jaguars' reserve/retired list, Ryan O'Halloran of the Florida Times-Union reports.
Burton, who was limited to four catches for 76 yards in 2013, sustained two concussions last season, with his NFL career now on hold, as a result.
Washington was sentenced Wednesday to a year of supervised probation stemming from an assault charge related to an incident last May, the Associated Press reports.
The report adds that Washington, who served a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy to start the 2013 season, may now be subject to further league discipline as a result of the ruling. The inside linebacker recorded 75 tackles and three sacks in 12 games for the Cardinals last season.
04/23/14 - 9:01AM ETJohnny Manziel
: Visiting With Browns
Manziel is visiting with the Browns, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.
The report notes that the Browns are considering selecting Manziel with the No. 4 overall pick in the NFL draft, though the team could also consider the likes of Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater or Derek Carr in that slot. Either way, quarterback is a position that the Browns are likely to address in next month's draft, given that Brian Hoyer and Alex Tanney are the only two signal-callers that the team currently has under contract.
04/23/14 - 8:57AM ETMalcom Floyd
: (Neck) Looking Good According To Rivers
Floyd (neck) 'looks good' at Chargers workouts according to Philip Rivers, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
Floyd, who is attempting to come back from the potentially career-ending neck injury that he sustained on September 15, has been cleared to run and do light weightlifting, but has not returned to full football activities yet. "Hopefully, he can keep progressing, and we'll see where he stands, if he's ready to roll or not," said Rivers. "You'd hate for it to end the way it did. Hopefully, he's back rolling. He looks good and himself from all I've seen." Nice words from the quarterback, but looking good while running in shorts is a lot different than being able to actually play football. Floyd and his doctors must weigh the risk of re-injury before deciding if he will be able to get back on the field.
Dunbar says he's fully recovered from last season's knee injury, the Dallas Morning News reports.
The Cowboys running back situation is still unsettled behind DeMarco Murray, as Joseph Randle did little as a rookie to show he deserves to be the top backup. A healthy Dunbar could be poised to see a fair number of snaps in 2014, but he'll need to prove himself in camp first.
Houston (undisclosed injury) was not present for the Lions' voluntary minicamp, which opened up on Tuesday, the Detroit News reports.
Coach Jim Caldwell noted that Houston is dealing with an injury, though it's unclear if the cornerback's current issue is related to the toe injury that kept Houston out of action for four games late last season. When healthy, Houston -- who recorded 44 tackles and two picks in 12 games in 2013 -- is penciled in as the Lions' starting left cornerback.
Rice, who is emphasizing speed over bulk this offseason, has impressed the Ravens' strength and conditioning coach with his work at the voluntary offseason program, the the team's official website reports.
Dealing with a serious legal incident and coming off a career-worst season, Rice is under pressure to show up at training camp in the best shape of his life. Doing so would hardly guarantee a big season, but it would certainly be a step in the right direction. While the possibility of league discipline is still looming, there have been some positive developments for Rice's fantasy value this offseason, namely the Ravens addressing an offensive line that was putrid in 2013. The report from the team website notes that Rice topped out at 217 pounds last season, 5-to-10 pounds above his normal playing weight. The increase was attributed to an effort to bulk up, a plan that wouldn't really make any sense given Rice's skill set and always-sturdy 5-8 frame. It's quite possible that he merely showed up out of shape last year, which bodes well for his odds of a bounce back. With so many factors at play here, Rice's value is nearly impossible to gauge at this juncture. Dropping pounds and emphasizing agility over power would be an excellent start.
04/22/14 - 2:28PM ETEli Manning
: (Ankle) Will Be Ready For Training Camp
Manning, who underwent arthroscopic ankle surgery on April 10, indicates that he will be ready for action by the start of training camp, the Star-Ledger reports.
Though Manning was sporting a walking boot Tuesday, he remains confident that he'll be good to go when the Giants open their training camp on July 19. "I'd think I'd be safe to say I'd be 100 percent for the start of training camp," Manning said Tuesday. "The procedure went well. It's healing quickly. I don't have an exact timetable. This is the first kind of surgery I've ever had. I'm going to be smart with it and let it heal fully and make sure I come back 100 percent."
04/22/14 - 12:33PM ETJulio Jones
: (Foot) Continues To Progress Well
Jones, who is recovering from foot surgery, continues to progress as he works with the Falcons' training staff, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. "Julio is participating with our athletic performance department,"coach Mike Smith noted Tuesday. "With (trainer) Marty Lauzon and his group. He will be able to get out on the field and do some walkthrough stuff with us when we start going."
Meanwhile, the continued focus is ensuring that the star wideout is good to go to start the regular season and things seem to be trending in the right direction on that front. "He's progressing well," Smith added, without immediately detailing Jones' projected preseason activity. "We're not going to do anything to hinder his time-frame in terms of getting back to work with us."
04/22/14 - 11:03AM ETEJ Manuel
: Full Participant in Offseason Workouts
Manuel, who underwent a knee procedure in January, was a full participant Tuesday as the Bills opened their offseason workouts, ESPN.com reports.
While the voluntary workouts are limited to strength and conditioning work, the important thing to note here is that Manuel appears past his knee issue. "No limitations," said Manuel, who missed the final two games of the 2013 season with a sprained LCL. "I feel great." Looking ahead to the coming season, Manuel will have an intriguing new wideout target to throw to in former Buc Mike Williams, plus there's a solid chance that the team will also upgrade at tight end in next month's NFL draft.
Allen, who suffered a stroke during a game this past December, will not play football again, ESPN.com reports.
The 27-year-old linebacker was released by the Jaguars last week, based on a failed physical, with Tuesday's report clarifying the reason that Allen was let go by the team. Allen, who joined the Jaguars in 2009, thus finishes up his NFL career with 331 tackles in 78 games, including a career-high 131 stops in 2012.
04/22/14 - 8:21AM ETPhil Costa
: Center Retires
Costa has decided to retire, NFL.com reports.
Costa retires at age 26 after playing in just six games the past two seasons. The Colts had just signed him to a two-year deal in March, so this will increase the Colts' need for a center in the draft.
04/22/14 - 8:10AM ETWill Hill
: Facing League Discipline
Hill, who reportedly failed a recent drug test, is said to be facing NFL discipline for the third straight year, the Daily News reports.
While the report indicates that Hill plans to appeal the results of the test, the safety's career with the Giants could well be done. Hill recorded 77 tackles and two interceptions in 12 games (including 10 starts) with the Giants in 2013.
Newton indicated Tuesday that his ankle is feeling great, the Charlotte Observer reports.
"We're moving at a rapid pace," said Newton, who is still sporting a walking boot on his surgically-repaired ankle. While the quarterback is obviously not ready to participate in the team's offseason workouts, the expectation is that Newton -- who underwent a procedure last month to tighten the ligaments in his left ankle -- will be ready for training camp.
04/22/14 - 7:49AM ETKyle Orton
: Not Present For Workouts
Orton was not present for the first day of the Cowboys' offseason workout program, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.
The workouts are voluntary, but given that Orton was previously reported to be mulling retirement, his absence is of some note. If Orton does rejoin the Cowboys, he would be in line to compete with Brandon Weeden for the team's No. 2 QB job behind Tony Romo.
Suh won't attend voluntary camp this week, Larry Lage of the AP reports.
Earlier in April, teammate Reggie Bush said Suh's absence from voluntary workouts was due to "a contract thing." It's no secret that the stud defensive tackle wants an extension as he enters the final season of his rookie contract, and the Lions almost certainly want to work things out with their clear-cut top defensive player. However, Suh is somewhat controversial due to his history of on-field conflict, and as a former No. 2 overall draft pick who was selected before the rookie wage scale was implemented, he's already signed one huge contract. Public opinion wouldn't be in Suh's favor in the event of a holdout, if it all comes to that. As is typically the case in these situations, the player in question will very likely be playing for his current team come Week 1. Whether Suh will happily be playing for the Lions is quite a bit more questionable.
Pryor was traded from the Raiders to the Seahawks on Monday, ESPN.com's Adam Schefter reports.
Details of Oakland's compensation were not initially reported, and the Raiders will likely just get a late-round draft pick, possibly one that's conditional based on Pryor making the Seahawks' final roster. The fit looks pretty good here, as the Seahawks already run an offense for a speedy quarterback, although Pryor's skill set is quite a bit different than Russell Wilson's, both as a runner and passer. Pryor is far from a lock to make the roster, as incumbent backup and Pete Carroll favorite Tarvaris Jackson re-signed with the 'Hawks in March. As Curtis Crabtree of Sports Radio KJR points out, Jackson has a fully guaranteed contract that very likely means he'll be the backup. The Pryor trade may make for a good headline outside of the fantasy world, but we're talking about a guy who will probably spend training camp battling B.J. Daniels for the No. 3 quarterback spot. Pryor still offers some promise in dynasty leagues, but his 2014 prospects don't really improve with this trade.
04/21/14 - 1:56PM ETA.J. Green
: Fifth-Year Option Exercised
The Bengals have exercised their fifth-year contract option on Green, ESPN.com reports.
Not that there was any doubt that they would do so, but Green is now under contract with the Bengals through 2015. The 25-year-old is coming off a stellar 2013 campaign in which he caught 98 passes for 1,426 yards and 11 TDs, guaranteeing his place as one of the top fantasy options at his position heading into the coming season.
04/21/14 - 1:38PM ETChris Johnson
: Coach Ryan Says Role Undetermined
Coch Rex Ryan suggests that Johnson's role with the Jets has yet to be determined, ESPN.com reports.
While Ryan is enthusiastic about the team's depth at running back, with Johnson, Chris Ivory, Bilal Powell and Mike Goodson (for now) in the fold, he notes that the distribution of carries has yet to be plotted out. "Nothing was ever promised that, 'You're going to get X amount of carries,'" Ryan indicated. "We're going to have to compete for roles. No role has been determined for anybody on this football team." With that in mind, a continuing theme in our evaluation of Johnson in his new uniform is that he's unlikely to match the workload he saw during his tenure with the Titans.
The Bears have signed Morgan to a one-year deal, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports.
Morgan, who recorded 20 catches for 214 yards and no touchdowns in 14 games for the Redskins in 2013, will presumably compete with the likes of Marquess Wilson for the Bears' No. 3 wideout job this coming season. It's an assignment that doesn't carry a ton of fantasy reliability with it, as long as top options Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery remain healthy.
Peterson's fifth-year option was officially exercised Monday, Albert Breer of NFL Network reports.
Thus, the ballhawk that is Peterson is locked up through the 2015 season. In 48 career games, he's picked off 12 passes, despite opponents avoiding throwing his way after tallying three interceptions combined in Weeks 4 and 5 last fall. In any case, the Cardinals now have ample time to discuss a contract extension, which will surely come to pass at some point.
04/21/14 - 11:46AM ETEric Fisher
: (Shoulder) Recovery Going Well
Fisher, who is bouncing back from offseason shoulder and sports hernia procedures, is recovering well, NFL.com reports.
Fisher, who has added five pounds of "good weight" since last season according to coach Andy Reid, is in line to take over left tackle for the Chiefs in the wake of Branden Albert's departure.
McClain said that he is retiring from football, the Baltimore Sun reports.
McClain (the No. 8 overall pick in the 2010 draft) was reinstated from the Ravens' reserve-retired list last week, but the 24-year-old -- who hasn't played in an NFL game since late in the 2012 season -- has evidently elected not to pursue his football career.
04/21/14 - 10:31AM ETNaVorro Bowman
: (Knee) Headed for Preseason PUP List
The 49ers plan to place Bowman (knee) on the PUP list at the start of training camp, CSN Bay Area reports.
Moreover, the report adds that Bowman -- who is bouncing back from a torn ACL that he sustained in the NFC Championship game -- is not expected to be cleared for the start of the regular season. Bowman, who has topped the 140-tackle mark in each of the last three seasons, will thus see his IDP value restricted to that of a potential in-season addition.
James will train on his own in Texas, as the 49ers start their voluntary offseason conditioning program, CSN Bay Area reports.
While the workouts are voluntary, James' absence does nothing to dispel the notion that he would welcome a fresh start with a new team, after being used sparingly by the 49ers since being made a second-round draft choice in 2012.
Bradford, who is bouncing back from a torn ACL that he suffered back on Oct. 20, will be limited as the Rams' offseason conditioning program opens Monday, the St. Louis Dispatch reports. "Sam's in a very good place considering what happened last year," coach Jeff Fisher noted. "I thought he was off to a great start. Had he stayed healthy his projected numbers could've been quite impressive. He's worked hard through the process, and I would expect him at some point to be throwing in OTAs."
Based on that estimate, Bradford would be on track to throw during the Rams' OTAs, which take place over the first three weeks of June. Assuming no setbacks, he's in line to reprise his starting role with the team in the fall, with the Rams thought to be considering adding quarterback depth in next month's NFL draft.
04/21/14 - 8:05AM ETTony Romo
: (Back) With Cowboys at OTAs
Romo, who underwent surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back this past December, was with his teammates as the Cowboys' organized team activities opened Monday, the Dallas Morning News reports.
The early stage of the team's OTAs will focus on strength and conditioning, but the fact that Romo -- who turned 34 on Monday -- is cleared to participate at this stage provides further evidence that his rehab/recovery is going well, as had been previously indicated by the Cowboys.