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Volume 14, Issue #19, May 17th

Hi Folks,

Welcome to Saturday. Hope you're getting your practice run in for the Memorial Day Weekend coming up next week. We've got the news and notes for you so let's get to it.

Also remember that our Early Bird Discount for the Footballguys Insider Subscription ends May 20. Don't miss it!

J

SITE NEWS

A. Footballguys Insider Subscription - Early Bird Pricing Ends in 2 Days
The Footballguys Insider Subscription at $29.95 is the best value in sports in our opinion. But for you guys that are paying attention in May, we want to give you a bonus and offer it to you at our Early Bird discount but it's almost OVER. You've got until midnight Eastern time on May 20. Don't miss it.

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1. NE - TE Rob Gronkowski's could need back surgery
2. WAS - Robert Griffin III injury update
3. SEA - Bruce Irvin suspended
4. CLE - QB Brian Hoyer to start as No. 3 QB
5. PHI - Believe RB Felix Jones can contribute
6. DET - QB Shaun Hill in walking boot
7. DET - RB Joique Bell could get more touches in 2013
8. ATL - GM optimistic about deal with QB Matt Ryan
9. DEN - QB Peyton Manning signs revised deal
10. ARI - LaRon Byrd suffered minor injury
11. PHI - Two WRs could compete for one spot
12. PHI - Three TEs expected to receive playing time
13. PIT - WR Plaxico Burress has QB Mark Sanchez's back
14. SF - A.J. Jenkins looks to have bulked up
15. BUF - WR Brad Smith will be used as WR
16. PHI - QB Michael Vick looks bigger
17. DET - RB Reggie Bush comfortable in offense
18. - Titus Young accused of domestic violence
19. NYJ - Quinton Coples putting forth more effort

NE - TE Rob Gronkowski's could need back surgery

Source: NFL.com - Chris Wesseling

Updating an ongoing story, New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski's (back, forearm) 'chronic' back problem, even if it does require surgery, won't keep him from participating in training camp, unless his forearm needs several more surgeries. Gronkowski's disc problem is different from the disc problem he dealt with in 2009, when he had the disc shaved down. However, his new disc problem dates back to last season. The star tight end was surrounded by rumors in 2010 that he dealt with spinal stenosis, or the narrowing of the spinal column that can lead to degenerative discs and joint pain. However, those rumors were quickly dismissed.

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This issue is considered minor at this point. However, a surgery on this minor back problem could take about 10 weeks to recover from. The start of the regular season is about 16 weeks away, and the back surgery will have to wait until a few weeks after Gronkowski's forearm surgery scheduled for Monday.

Gronkowski missed the entire 2009 season in college because of a back injury. It's a cloudy outlook for fantasy owners as teams head into minicamp. We'll know more post surgery and have clarity by the time training camp starts.

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WAS - Robert Griffin III injury update

Source: USAToday.com - Jim Corbett

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (knee) has been throwing the ball since late April, and appears to be ahead of schedule in his recovery from torn ligaments.

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More good news about Griffin's recovery here. He should be ready for the start of the regular season if he stays on track. The team may limit the second-year QB in training camp so they don't aggravate the injury.

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SEA - Bruce Irvin suspended

Source: thesidelineview.com - Adam Caplan

Seattle Seahawks DE Bruce Irvin has been suspended four games for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

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Irvin will be able to compete in training camp and preseason with the team. Once the regular season begins he'll have to stay away until week five. The Seahawks are deep enough to withstand the loss because they added free agent pass rushers Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett earlier this year.

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CLE - QB Brian Hoyer to start as No. 3 QB

Source: The Cleveland Plain Dealer - Mary Kay Cabot

Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer will begin as the No. 3 quarterback but will have the chance to work his way up the depth chart during organized team activities and training camp.

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Hoyer is an average talent who may not move up the depth chart at all. He's competing to be the backup behind either Brandon Weeden or Jason Campbell. We don't feel Hoyer is a serious contender for the starting job.

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PHI - Believe RB Felix Jones can contribute

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer - Jeff McLane

The Philadelphia Eagles believes RB Felix Jones can make the final roster and contribute on offense this season.

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Chip Kelly's offense at Oregon ran the ball 685 times in 2012. He may not run it that much this year with the Eagles but they will be a run heavy team. Jones gives them depth behind LeSean McCoy and Bryce Brown. Playing as a third-string back with limited touches could help keep Jones fresh.

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DET - QB Shaun Hill in walking boot

Source: Detroit Free Press - Dave Birkett

Detroit Lions QB Shaun Hill (foot) has a walking boot on his left foot because he underwent minor surgery to repair a nagging injury. He expects to take part in some of the organized team activities.

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Hill is one of the best veteran backup QBs in the league today. If he misses any practice time it will open the door for Kellen Moore and Alex Carder to get a few more reps.

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DET - RB Joique Bell could get more touches in 2013

Source: MLive.com - Anwar Richardson

Detroit Lions RB Joique Bell could receive more touches at some point this season if RB Mikel Leshoure does not perform well as the complementary back to RB Reggie Bush.

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Leshoure has been replaced as the feature back by Bush. If he doesn't impress as a change of pace guy then Bell could take that job too. Leshoure needs to play with more urgency and make the most of his skill set.

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ATL - GM optimistic about deal with QB Matt Ryan

Source: ESPN.com - Pat Yasinskas

Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said the team is confident that they will be able to sign QB Matt Ryan to a contract extension but there is no timetable to get one done.

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With QBs like Tony Romo, Aaron Rodgers, and Joe Flacco getting big deals this offseason it provides the structure for a new Ryan deal to get done. He's their franchise QB and we don't see any problems getting in the way of him getting the long-term contract he desires.

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DEN - QB Peyton Manning signs revised deal

Source: ProFootballTalk.com - Mike Florio

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning signed a 'renegotiated' contract, but sources with knowledge of the deal said the new terms don't change his compensation. The contract, according to the source, adds an insurance clause, which reflects that the team has purchased an insurance policy in the event Manning suffers a serious injury. The insurance would both compensate the Broncos and provide a cap credit in the event Manning can't play. Manning will earn $40 million guaranteed over the next two seasons, in $20 million chunks for 2013 and 2014, respectively. The Broncos can avoid the $20 million payment in 2014 only if Manning suffers injury to the same area of his neck that kept him from playing in 2011.

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The move makes sense for both sides. Manning is set to lead the Broncos deep into the postseason in 2013. Added weapons like WR Wes Welker and RB Montee Ball should help Manning put up even better numbers this season.

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ARI - LaRon Byrd suffered minor injury

Source: The Arizona Republic - Kent Somers

Arizona Cardinals WR LaRon Byrd (neck) suffered a neck spasm during organized team activities Tuesday, May 14, but was able to return later in the week.

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Good news for Byrd here. Neck injuries are always a big concern so it's good he's getting a clean bill of health. We like Byrd in super deep dynasty leagues. He's a big receiver who can fly down the field and track the ball deep. Byrd is a perfect fit for the Bruce Arians offense.

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PHI - Two WRs could compete for one spot

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer - Zach Berman

Philadelphia Eagles WRs Riley Cooper and Arrelious Benn may have to compete for one roster spot during training camp. Both are bigger receivers that can block and play special teams.

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Benn needed a change of scenery after failing to stay healthy and play up to his potential with the Buccaneers. Cooper is the seasoned veteran who is fearless when running routes over the middle. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in training camp.

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PHI - Three TEs expected to receive playing time

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer - Jeff McLane

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly indicated TEs Brent Celek, Zach Ertz and James Casey are expected to receive playing time during games this season.

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There could be plenty of targets for the TEs in the Kelly system this year. Celek is the leader of the group and could be the featured player at the position. He has a $4.5MM cap number this year and may be asked to take a pay cut before we get to training camp. It will be interesting to see how this position battle and the targets therein shake out.

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PIT - WR Plaxico Burress has QB Mark Sanchez's back

Source: NFL.com - Marc Sessler

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Plaxico Burress, who also played for the New York Jets in 2011, said QB Mark Sanchez could improve in the future. 'I think he will turn the corner and become a good quarterback in the league,' Burress said. '... I've said that from Day One. But he has to just go out and put it together. I believe that he will.'

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Burress takes the opposite position of Panthers WR Steve Smith who said Sanchez 'sucked' and he wouldn't let him throw a 'paper bag sandwich' to him. Sanchez has his fair share of doubters around the league and within the organization. There are some who say he's regressed as a passer over the last few years and lacks the confidence to be an effective starter.

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SF - A.J. Jenkins looks to have bulked up

Source: Sacramento Bee - Matt Barrows

San Francisco 49ers WR A.J. Jenkins has worked hard in the weight room this offseason and appears to have added more muscle than last season. Jenkins is expected to be one of the candidates for the No. 3 wide receiver job this season.

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Jenkins was a surprise first-round pick last year and failed to record a catch as a rookie. The WR3 job in San Francisco is wide open this year and Jenkins could win that spot if he impresses in training camp. He'll compete with Kyle Williams, Mario Manningham, and rookie Quinton Patton for that spot.

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BUF - WR Brad Smith will be used as WR

Source: BuffaloBills.com - Chris Brown

The Buffalo Bills will be using WR Brad Smith exclusively at wide receiver and as a return man. Smith has been used as a quarterback at times since joining the Bills.

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The Bills have an extremely athletic QB in rookie E.J. Manuel. Kevin Kolb, Tarvaris Jackson and Manuel will compete for the starting job in training camp.

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PHI - QB Michael Vick looks bigger

Source: NFL.com - Gregg Rosenthal

Philadelphia Eagles QB Michael Vick looks motivated to succeed this year. '(Vick's) noticeably bigger and enthused about the offense,' Philadelphia Inquirer's Zach Berman writes. Vick was in a system that had less designed runs for him last year, but the offense under new head coach Chip Kelly could play better to his strengths with an improved offensive line. Vick took snaps with the first team during organized team activities this week, and he's the favorite to start in Week 1 over QB Nick Foles.

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If Vick wins the starting job he's going to run a lot more than he did in 2012. That added bulk will help him stand up to the NFL beating he's going to take in Chip Kelly's zone read offense.

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DET - RB Reggie Bush comfortable in offense

Source: NFL.com - Kevin Patra

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush is comfortable in the team's offense, and he's comparing it to the days when he was with the New Orleans Saints. 'I've always enjoyed being in the position that I am and doing what I do, being able to split out wide and catch balls so it's great that offenses are going toward that direction,' Bush said.

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The Lions were a perfect landing spot for Bush. His big play ability in that high octane offense is a great fit. Over the last two years Bush has finished as the 13th and 14th best RB in fantasy football. Right now his ADP is RB17 and he's going off the board at the end of round two.

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- Titus Young accused of domestic violence

Source: Detroit Free Press - Dave Birkett

Free-agent WR Titus Young (Rams) may not come within 100 feet of the mother of his 9-month-old child when he is released from jail. She was granted a temporary restraining order after complaining that Young threatened and harassed her.

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Let's hope Young finds the help he needs and gets his life back on track.

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NYJ - Quinton Coples putting forth more effort

Source: New York Daily News - Seth Walder

New York Jets LB Quinton Coples said he has responded to the coaches' criticism by giving more effort in the weight room.

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Effort was always a big question mark with Coples in college. We'll see if he can maintain this new found motivation and play up to his potential in 2013.

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That'll do it for today, Folks. Thanks for reading and for letting us be a part of your Saturday. We'll see you tomorrow with the update.

Peace,

J