FBG Daily Email - Volume 13, Issue 82
By Joe Bryant
July 14th, 2012


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Hi Folks,

Good Sunday to you. Won't be too very long and we'll be getting ready for NFL Football on Sundays. Can't wait. In the meantime, we've got the news and notes you need so let's get to it.

J

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1. CHI - Close to deal with RB Matt Forte
2. NYG - WR Hakeem Nicks ready for Week 1?
3. BAL - RB Ray Rice still optimistic deal will get done
4. OAK - RB Darren McFadden looking to play full season
5. CLE - Josh Gordon says he's past off-field issues
6. CLE - Josh Gordon failed three drug tests in college
7. DAL - No. 3 WR unlikely to see much action
8. DAL - No interest in WR Terrell Owens
9. NO - RB Pierre Thomas glad QB Drew Brees got paid
10. PHI - QB Michael Vick to protect himself better
11. DAL - TE Jason Witten glad QB Tony Romo getting respect
12. IND - Andrew Luck building chemistry with receivers
13. DEN - QB Peyton Manning has nothing to prove
14. CLE - Joshua Cribbs expected to work primarily on special teams
15. CLE - Greg Little determined to solve drop problem
16. CLE - WR Mohamed Massaquoi in depth chart battle
17. SF - No progress in talks with S Dashon Goldson

CHI - Close to deal with RB Matt Forte

Source: NFL Network - Michael Lombardi

The Chicago Bears are very close to an agreement on a long-term contract with franchise free-agent RB Matt Forte.

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No surprise here. Forte should get a fair deal from the Bears, but isn't going to get the big money deal he wanted. The Bears have all the leverage in this situation.

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NYG - WR Hakeem Nicks ready for Week 1?

Source: The Star-Ledger

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz said WR Hakeem Nicks (foot) told him Wednesday, July 11, that he expects to be ready for Week 1 and not when the team reports to training camp. 'He looks good. He's walking again on his own so that's definitely a good sign,' Cruz said. 'He told me he'll be ready and he told me he'll take training camp to continue rehabbing and continue to get his foot back right, but I definitely expect him to be ready by game one.'

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All reports have been positive about Nicks being ready for the start of the regular season. Expect him to be very limited in training camp and preseason as the Giants don't want to aggravate his foot injury. Nicks is one of the best in the league but does have a tendency to get dinged up.

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BAL - RB Ray Rice still optimistic deal will get done

Source: Carroll County Times - Aaron Wilson

Baltimore Ravens franchise free-agent RB Ray Rice remains optimistic a deal will be reached prior to the July 16 deadline. Unless Rice is signed to a new deal by the deadline, heíll play this year under a $7.742 million franchise tag. 'Iíll always keep it real for you, but Iím always optimistic,' Rice said. 'God has put me in a position where not too many people can say theyíve been. I never played for the dollars and all of that other stuff.'

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Rice is the centerpiece of the Ravens offense, and argualby the most important player on the team. The Ravens should be more than happy to give him the long-term deal he wants. It sounds about 50/50 right now but we still have a feeling a new deal will get done before the Monday deadline.

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OAK - RB Darren McFadden looking to play full season

Source: ProFootballTalk.com - Evan Silva

Oakland Raiders RB Darren McFadden has never played more than 13 games in a season since joining the NFL.

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McFadden is one of the best RBs in the game today but he just can't stay healthy. If he does play 16 games we wouldn't be surprised if he finished as the number one RB in fantasy football. Drafting him in the top 10 overall does come with risk, so make sure to have quality depth behind him.

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CLE - Josh Gordon says he's past off-field issues

Source: The Cleveland Plain Dealer - Mary Kay Cabot

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon said he plans to stay clean and repay the team for taking a chance on him in the second round of the NFL's Supplemental Draft. 'Despite everything I've been through, despite being a kid with a spotty background, the Cleveland Browns stuck their neck out and risked taking me and put their faith and belief in me, and I won't let them down,' Gordon said. 'I'm grateful, and I know I can't go back to being the person I used to be.'

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We've seen plenty of players mature and change their lifestyle habits as pros. That's what the Browns are banking on with Gordon. He hasn't played in 18 months and will have plenty of rust to shake off in Browns training camp.

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CLE - Josh Gordon failed three drug tests in college

Source: NFL Network - Albert Breer

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon failed two drug tests when at Baylor and another drug test after he transferred to Utah.

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Gordon's off field issues are well known, and a big concern for the Browns front office. They're expecting the second-round supplemental pick to be a big part of their offense in 2012. He hasn't played in 18 months and needs to prove he can stay clean as a professional.

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DAL - No. 3 WR unlikely to see much action

Source: The Dallas Morning News - Tim Cowlishaw

Dallas Cowboys WR Raymond Radway will likely be in the mix for the team's No. 3 wide receiver spot in training camp; however, the third wideout is unlikely to be targeted often, especially if TE Jason Witten and WRs Miles Austin and Dez Bryant are healthy.

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The Cowboys lost WR Laurent Robinson in free agency to the Jaguars and are looking for someone to replace him. Players like Kevin Ogletree, Danny Coale, and Dwayne Harris will compete for the position in training camp but all three are unproven. The third target in the passing game is TE Jason Witten. He has great chemistry with QB Tony Romo and should outperform his current ADP of TE7.

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DAL - No interest in WR Terrell Owens

Source: The Dallas Morning News - Tim Cowlishaw

Although free-agent WR Terrell Owens (Bengals) would like to return to the Dallas Cowboys, the team does not have a need for him at this point.

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We'd be surprised if Owens played in the NFL again. He's burned plenty of bridges during his time in the pros and is not the same player he used to be.

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NO - RB Pierre Thomas glad QB Drew Brees got paid

Source: ProFootballTalk.com - Michael David Smith

New Orleans Saints RB Pierre Thomas said it was about time QB Drew Brees was signed to a new deal. Thomas also does not think Brees is overpaid despite signing a five-year, $100 million contract. 'My reaction was, about time. Itís about time,' Thomas said. 'He deserves it. He does a lot for this organization, he does a lot for New Orleans. He busts his butt to get the position where heís at in his career. Heís set so many records, the man is a coach of the game, a teacher of the game and heís a player too. Heís a great guy and you want to see greatness for him. Iím proud and Iím happy for him.'

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No question that Brees is worth every penny.

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PHI - QB Michael Vick to protect himself better

Source: ProFootballTalk.com

Philadelphia Eagles QB Michael Vick promised fans Friday, July 13, that he will do a better job of protecting himself this upcoming season. Vick has appeared in all 16 games only once in his career. 'I want to make a promise to all my fans that Iím going to make a conscious effort, a cognitive effort, to make sure that I protect myself,' Vick said. 'And you know my motto has been this for the last six months, and I repeatedly said to myself: 'Get the next yard on the next play.' You know, whether Iím running the football or scrambling or trying to do something improvising. Get the next yard on the next play. Thatís why you have second down and third down, and possibly fourth down. So you can give yourself opportunity. If youíre not on the field, then you donít have that chance. So I just want to give myself ample opportunity.'

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Vick could be a top 5 fantasy QB this year if he's able to stay healthy. Protecting himself better and a full offseason of work should help Vick produce big numbers in 2012.

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DAL - TE Jason Witten glad QB Tony Romo getting respect

Source: ESPNDallas.com - David Collier

Dallas Cowboys TE Jason Witten said he is glad QB Tony Romo has received praise from observers, particularly former NFL WR Amani Toomer, who said Romo is a better quarterback than New York Giants QB Eli Manning. 'I think he's an elite league quarterback,' Witten said of Romo. 'Many people have said that. I think that's great that Amani said that, but at the end of the day, Eli is a Super Bowl champ. He's won two out of the last five years. They're doing a lot of good things right up there. They're the poster boys of how you do it and not let adversity get in the way because of where they're at.'

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Witten would be even happier if Romo can get the Cowboys to the Super Bowl.

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IND - Andrew Luck building chemistry with receivers

Source: The Indianapolis Star - Phil Richards

Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck has been working out with WRs Reggie Wayne, Donnie Avery and Griff Whalen in Miami prior to the start of training camp.

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Luck already has chemistry with Whalen from their time together in college at Stanford. Avery could be a valuable downfield target for Luck, and Wayne is likely to be the team's leading receiver.

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DEN - QB Peyton Manning has nothing to prove

Source: The Associated Press

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning said he has nothing to prove to anyone as he comes back from injury after being replaced by QB Andrew Luck for the Indianapolis Colts. Manning said he is happy with his rehabilitation, to the point where he feels like an NFL quarterback again. 'It has been exciting for me to be back on the field,' Manning said. 'When you're injured, it's not fun. You're kind of quarantined. It's nice to be able to kind of get the reins cut off, being able to participate in OTAs, minicamp.' Manning added he still has more rehabilitation ahead and has 'stopped giving percentages' regarding how healthy he is, but his goal remains to participate fully in training camp, preseason and the regular season.

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Manning is going to be a first ballot Hall of Famer when his playing days are through. Obviously the Broncos took a chance that he could regain his health and look like the Manning we're used to. Manning has looked good in minicamps and OTAs but we're waiting to see how he responds to getting hit in the preseason.

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CLE - Joshua Cribbs expected to work primarily on special teams

Source: ESPNCleveland.com - Tony Grossi

Cleveland Browns WR Joshua Cribbs is expected to return full-time to his integral special teams role, a desire head coach Pat Shurmur indicated earlier in the offseason.

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Cribbs won't be much of a fantasy factor this year unless you play in a league that rewards points for return yardage.

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CLE - Greg Little determined to solve drop problem

Source: ESPNCleveland.com - Tony Grossi

Cleveland Browns WR Greg Little has dropped 15 pounds prior to the season, and he appears determined to solve his drop problems which plagued him in his rookie year.

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Little reminded many in the scouting community of a young Anquan Boldin when he was at North Carolina. Last year as a rookie Little suffered from concentration problems and was often trying to do too much after the catch. His struggles last year proved to a big learning experience. We'll see if Little can begin playing up to his potential this year.

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CLE - WR Mohamed Massaquoi in depth chart battle

Source: ESPNCleveland.com - Tony Grossi

Cleveland Browns WR Mohamed Massaquoi might be the player affected most by the addition of WR Josh Gordon in the NFL Supplemental Draft. Massaquoi has started 38 games in three NFL seasons, and he was once again considered a starter after minicamp. That might change with Gordon now in the fold.

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Massaquoi is better as a reserve WR in our opinion. He lacks elite size, speed, and hands. Massaquoi is not the type of player who scares a defense whereas Gordon has the size/speed ratio to be a big concern for opposing secondaries.

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SF - No progress in talks with S Dashon Goldson

Source: CSNBayArea.com - Matt Maiocco

The San Francisco 49ers and SS Dashon Goldson have not made any progress toward a multi-year contract, a source said Friday, July 13. Goldson, who said he has no problem with the franchise tender, has until Monday, July 16, to reach an agreement on a long-term deal. 'I just hope something will get done,' Goldson said in a radio interview this week. 'And if not, I'll still be a 49er.' Goldson has the same agent as Tennessee Titans S Michael Griffin, who scored a five-year, $35 million contract as a franchise player earlier in the offseason.

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Some thought when the Raiders came to an agreement with FS Tyvon Branch it would give the 49ers a blueprint for Goldson's deal. As of right now there doesn't seem to be an urgency to get this new contract done.

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That'll do it for today, Folks. Thanks for reading and for letting us hang with you this season. We'll see you tomorrow with the update.

Peace,

J

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