FBG Daily Email - Volume 13, Issue 8
By Joe Bryant
May 1st, 2012


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Hi Folks,

Good Wednesday to you. Another big day with cool content as we've got a sweet look at the NFL Draft with our Combined Board giving you a round by round look at how players went by position plus a ton more insights. And our always popular schedule grid with all the games on one page.

Thanks for reading and let's get to it.

J

SITE NEWS

A. Combined Draft Board
Our Jene Bramel has another great feature today in our Combined Draft Board. It's a round by round look at players by position plus a ton more detailed insights. It's must read material for everyone that wants to keep up with the new players entering the league.

B. NFL Schedule Grid
The NFL Schedule Grid is one of the simplest things we do but one of the most useful. I always have tons of people asking for this, and with good reason. It's every game on one page put together by our Bruce Henderson. Enjoy.

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1. OAK - Raiders sign QB Matt Leinart
2. SF - WR Randy Moss to fight for playing time
3. BUF - Stevie Johnson having surgery
4. NYG - RB Bradshaw to be lead back
5. PHI - Put in claim for RB Deji Karim
6. CLE - Could keep QB Colt McCoy as backup QB
7. SD - TE Antonio Gates expects to be back to form
8. NYG - GM Reese says rookie WR Randle reminds him of Nicks
9. NYJ - Rex Ryan expects big things from Stephen Hill
10. BAL - Rookie RB Pierce the frontrunner to replace Ricky Williams?
11. SF - Kaepernick not competing for starting job
12. CLE - Wallace willing to mentor rookie QB Weeden
13. HOU - WR Jacoby Jones released
14. NYG - Weren't looking at Doug Martin
15. BUF - To work out QB Vince Young
16. BAL - John Harbaugh disses Patriots
17. WAS - WR Jabar Gaffney cut

OAK - Raiders sign QB Matt Leinart

Source: ESPN.com

The Oakland Raiders have signed free-agent QB Matt Leinart (Texans), according to a league source. Leinart, not QB Terrelle Pryor, is expected to be the backup to QB Carson Palmer.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Pryor is still considered a developmental QB as he's too raw to rely on as a backup QB at this point. Raiders Offensive Coordinator Greg Knapp was Leinart's quarterbacks coach with the Houston Texans, so the transition to the Raiders shouldn't be that tough for the veteran QB.

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SF - WR Randy Moss to fight for playing time

Source: NFL.com - Gregg Rosenthal

San Francisco 49ers WR Randy Moss will have to fight with WRs Ted Ginn Jr., Kyle Williams and Brett Swain for playing time this year. WRs Michael Crabtree, Mario Manningham and A.J. Jenkins will be ahead of Moss on the depth chart.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Nothing is guaranteed for Moss, and he'll have to prove that he can play like the Randy Moss of old. In 2010 he bounced between three teams (Patriots, Vikings, Titans) and played poorly on his final stop in Tennessee. Moss is still big and fast, but needs to have more consistent effort if he wants to play up to his potential.

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BUF - Stevie Johnson having surgery

Source: The Associated Press

Buffalo Bills WR Stevie Johnson (groin) is having 'very minor' surgery on his groin Tuesday, May 1. He's expected to be fully recovered within weeks.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

No worries here. Johnson will be back in action soon enough, but it's unclear if he'll be cleared medically for the start of voluntary minicamps on May 29th.

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NYG - RB Bradshaw to be lead back

Source: Sports Radio Interviews

Giants GM Jerry Reese joined WFAN in New York with Mike Francesca and stated RB Ahmad Bradshaw would be the lead back in front of rookie David Wilson. "First of all, he was the highest player on our board at the time that we picked. That was an easy pick for us. It was a value and a need pick for us, we thought. We lost Brandon [Jacobs] who did a terrific job for us while he was here. We've got [Ahmad Bradshaw] and he's going to be the lead dog for us, but we wanted to get another running back at some point. We didn't want to sacrifice value, but he was the top player on our board."

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

The Giants will once again use a RBBC with the rookie Wilson as the backup. Both backs have big play ability and their skill sets are very similar. When the team needs a bigger back they may turn to D.J. Ware.

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PHI - Put in claim for RB Deji Karim

Source: ESPN - Adam Schefter

The Philadelphia Eagles put in a claim for RB Deji Karim before he was snatched up off waivers by the Indianapolis Colts.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

It's clear the Eagles want better depth at the RB position behind starter LeSean McCoy. They were able to add Chris Polk (Washington) as an Undrafted Free Agent in addition to drafting Bryce Brown (Kansas State) in the seventh-round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Polk was considered a top 5 RB in this class but wasn't drafted due to serious shoulder problems. Brown was the #1 high school RB to come into college back in 2009 but work ethic concerns at Tennessee and Kansas State caused his draft stock to fall.

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CLE - Could keep QB Colt McCoy as backup QB

Source: The Associated Press

The Cleveland Browns could opt to keep QB Colt McCoy as the No. 2 quarterback this year behind QB Brandon Weeden. 'That could be a difficult situation except if it is ever going to work, it will work if that happens, because Colt McCoy is a special young man,' said president Mike Holmgren, who picked McCoy in the third round in 2010. 'Of course he wants to play, they all want to play. Again, nothing has been done yet, we don't know how it is going to sort itself out.'

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

We don't think Weeden will be handed the job, but it's clear they want him to start as soon as possible. The market for McCoy isn't that strong right now but could change if injuries hit the QB position for other teams in training camp.

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SD - TE Antonio Gates expects to be back to form

Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune - Michael Gehlken

San Diego Chargers TE Antonio Gates (foot) feels like he is near 100 percent healthy, and he said he is ready to return to his All-Pro form.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Good sign for the Chargers here. Since they lost Vincent Jackson in free agency to the Buccaneers we could see them relying on Gates to help pick up the slack. They signed Robert Meachem to replace Jackson, but he's not the same level of talent.

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NYG - GM Reese says rookie WR Randle reminds him of Nicks

Source: Sports Radio Interviews

Giants GM Jerry Reese joined WFAN in New York with Mike Francesca and had some good things to say about second-round pick WR Rueben Randle (LSU). "Rueben has the height, weight, speed. He's a big guy. He reminded us of [Hakeem] Nicks in some ways. He's not a blazing fast guy, but he's got play speed like Nicks. Nicks was a 4.5 guy just like this, like Rueben Randle. He's big; he can post guys up. He was handicapped a little bit by the quarterback situation. This guy ran the entire route tree. We think he's going to quickly come in and quickly have a chance to help us."

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Randle reminds us of Buccaneers' WR Vincent Jackson because of his size/speed combination. He's shown the willingness to run routes over the middle, has good hands, and has the body control to adjust to poorly thrown passes.

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NYJ - Rex Ryan expects big things from Stephen Hill

Source: NFL.com

The New York Jets expect big things from WR Stephen Hill, who is already being compared to Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson and former WR Keith Jackson. 'He's got incredible potential for us and we expect him to contribute for sure,' head coach Rex Ryan said.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Hill should step in and start right away for the Jets. We love his downfield speed and ball tracking ability on long passes. Hill is not a refined route runner but can get on top of the defense in a hurry and won't see much press coverage because of his speed. He's not on the same elite level as Calvin Johnson but plays more like Broncos' WR Demaryius Thomas.

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BAL - Rookie RB Pierce the frontrunner to replace Ricky Williams?

Source: Matt Vensel - Baltimore Sun

Matt Vensel, from the Baltimore Sun, reports rookie RB Bernard Pierce (Temple) looks to be the frontrunner to replace Ricky Williams as the No. 2, change-of-pace back behind Ray Rice.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Pierce is simply the best backup on the Ravens roster right now. He'll compete with 2011 seventh-round pick Anthony Allen, and 2011 priority free agent Damien Berry. Baltimore also added Bobby Rainey as an undrafted free agent this year. Pierce has elite balance and is difficult to tackle when he builds a head of steam.

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SF - Kaepernick not competing for starting job

Source: Tim Kawakami - San Jose Mercury News

Tim Kawakami, from the San Jose Mercury News, reports second-year QB Colin Kaepernick is not going to compete with Alex Smith for the starting job in 2012.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Kaepernick looked extremely raw last year in the preseason. He'll compete with free agent addition Josh Johnson for the primary backup job in 2012. The team is hoping he can be the QB of the future but he has a lot of work to do if he wants to be an effective starter.

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CLE - Wallace willing to mentor rookie QB Weeden

Source: Mary Kay Cabot - Cleveland Plain Dealer

Mary Kay Cabot, from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, reports veteran QB Seneca Wallace is willing to mentor rookie QB Brandon Weeden. "I know my job going into my 10th season of being in this offense is to prepare Brandon Weeden to get him right and make sure he's ready to go for day one." he said.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Wallace is singing a different tune now after saying he wanted to compete for the starting job with Colt McCoy last year. If McCoy is dealt in a trade then Wallace would serve as the team's primary backup behind the rookie Weeden.

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HOU - WR Jacoby Jones released

Source: Houston Chronicle - John McClain

The Houston Texans released WR Jacoby Jones Tuesday, May 1.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

No surprise here. Houston was shopping Jones before and during the draft but found no takers as he was set to make $3MM this year. They added DeVier Posey and Keshawn Martin in the 2012 NFL Draft and they will compete for the third spot behind Andre Johnson and Kevin Walter.

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NYG - Weren't looking at Doug Martin

Source: NFL.com

The New York Giants claim they wouldn't have selected RB Doug Martin with their first-round pick if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers didn't trade up to pick the running back with the previous selection. New York had RB David Wilson rated higher than Martin.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Some felt the Giants panicked when the Bucs traded up with the Denver Broncos so they could take Martin off the board. Savvy NFL fans know that Jerry Reese and the Giants don't panic in the draft. Wilson is a big play RB who reminds many in the scouting community of Chiefs' RB Jamaal Charles. He'll begin the year playing in a RBBC with Ahmad Bradshaw.

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BUF - To work out QB Vince Young

Source: NFL.com - Gregg Rosenthal

The Buffalo Bills will put free-agent QB Vince Young (Eagles) through a workout Wednesday, May 2, and the team is likely to sign him as a backup to QB Ryan Fitzpatrick.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Young would be a very interesting option for the Bills. He would compete with Tyler Thigpen for a backup job behind Ryan Fitzpatrick. Bills head coach Chan Gailey knows how to work with QBs who have an unorthodox skill set as evidenced by the production he got out of guys like Thigpen (with the Chiefs) and Kordell Stewart (with the Steelers).

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BAL - John Harbaugh disses Patriots

Source: ESPN.com

Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said he thinks the New England Patriots' three championship under head coach Bill Belichick 'got asterisks now' and have been 'stained' by the Spygate scandal that happened in 2007.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

Harbaugh is mixing things up here. It's bold talk for a coach who doesn't have any rings despite having a suffocating defense and one of the best RBs in the league today. We're certain Patriots coach Bill Belichick has put this comment in his mental rolodex.

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WAS - WR Jabar Gaffney cut

Source: Yahoo! Sports - Jason Cole

The Washington Redskins released WR Jabar Gaffney.

[ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ [ OUR VIEW ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ] ]

No surprise here given the Redskins' offseason moves. They added Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan at the start of free agency and no longer have a need for Gaffney. The 31-year old veteran had a career year last season with 68 catches but he does little after the catch. Cutting Gaffney frees up $2.6MM of salary cap space. A team like the Patriots may be interested in Gaffney at the right price.

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That'll do it for today, Folks. Thanks for reading and I hope you have a great Wednesday. We'll see you tomorrow with the update.

Peace,

J

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