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Volume 14, Issue #50, June 17th


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Hi Folks,

Good Tuesday to you. Hope you're doing as well as Chad Johnson today. We're rolling with more new content for you plus the News and Notes you need so let's get to it.

J

SITE NEWS

A. The Gut Check No. 263: Milk Carton Men - Tight Ends
Our Matt Waldman continues the The Milk Carton Men series where he profiles players who went missing last season. Any information leading to their whereabouts may prevent future crimes in the fantasy preseason. In this one, he looks at the tight ends.

B. Back to the Future: Andy Dalton
Our Heath Cummings digs up comparables from the past to try to predict Andy Dalton's future.

C. Dynasty State Of The Union: NFC East
Our Jeff Tefertiller takes a dynasty look at the skill position situations of the NFC East teams.

D. FanDuel Player Interview Series - Naapstermaan (Erik)
Our James Brimacombe has a really interesting interview series highlighting some of the biggest players on FanDuel. In this one, he talks to Naapstermaan (Erik).

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1. HOU - RB Arian Foster says he should be ready
2. STL - RB Richardson working towards bigger role
3. DAL - QB Tony Romo expected to be 100 percent next week
4. DEN - Balance may hurt WR Wes Welker's numbers
5. SF - WR Kyle Williams early favorite for X spot
6. CHI - WR Devin Hester competing
7. BAL - RB Ray Rice ready to lead
8. PIT - TE Matt Spaeth understands role
9. PIT - TE Heath Miller might not be ready for opener
10. NYJ - WR Santonio Holmes talks about injury
11. NYJ - Kellen Winslow to see limited reps?
12. NYJ - QB Geno Smith having trouble adjusting to new system
13. NFL - WR Chad Johnson released from jail
14. STL - WR Tavon Austin works as starter
15. STL - Two finish as starting WRs after spring
16. TEN - WR Washington is 'our leader' says Munchak
17. GB - RB Green the starter through much of OTAs
18. CLE - TE Jordan Cameron working on becoming starter
19. SEA - TE Zach Miller sat out minicamp
20. SEA - Expected to have competition at FB
21. PIT - TE Heath Miller likes TE corps
22. BAL - Happy with Bryant McKinnie's conditioning
23. KC - Coaches 'had a word' with Bowe about lofty goals
24. DET - Leshoure needs to be more consistent
25. DAL - WR Miles Austin thinks rest helped hamstrings
26. DET - WR Ryan Broyles expected to be No. 3 WR
27. DAL - Believe RB Joseph Randle can be full-time RB if needed
28. NFL - WR Donald Driver would return for Packers
29. STL - WR Brian Quick tumbling down depth chart?
30. SEA - DE Cliff Avril expected to be ready for camp
31. NFL - ILB Desmond Bishop says he is 100 percent
32. KC - Could show interest in ILB Desmond Bishop
33. GB - ILB Desmond Bishop to be cut

HOU - RB Arian Foster says he should be ready

Source: FOXSports.com - Ross Jones

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (calf) said he'll most likely be ready for training camp.

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Good news for the Texans here. Fantasy owners can breathe a sigh of relief if Foster is good to go for training camp. He had durability issues in college but as a pro he's only missed three games in three years. Foster is a top 5 fantasy pick if healthy by the time your fantasy draft takes place.

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STL - RB Richardson working towards bigger role

Source: Joe Lyons - St. Louis Post-Dispatch

St. Louis Rams second-year RB Daryl Richardson is ready for competition for the starting job in training camp. "I'm definitely working toward a bigger role," Richardson said. "I'm excited about getting a chance to show the coaching staff what I can do. I definitely feel like I can be the starter, but I guess that's something that will be decided in training camp. We're all friends, working to push each other and to make each other better, but we're also all trying to be that No. 1 guy."

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The team is going to use a form of a RBBC but Richardson is likely to be their big play back. Rookie Zac Stacy (Vanderbilt) could win the job as the team's hammer as he can grind down opponents between the tackles. Second-year back Isaiah Pead is in the mix as well but will miss one game due to violating the league's substance abuse policy.

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DAL - QB Tony Romo expected to be 100 percent next week

Source: ESPNDallas.com - Todd Archer

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) is expected to be fully recovered from his back surgery next week and will try to throw some passes to the remaining players at the team's facility.

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Great news for the Cowboys here. When Romo had the surgery to remove a cyst from his back the team felt he would be 100 percent healthy by the start of training camp.

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DEN - Balance may hurt WR Wes Welker's numbers

Source: The Denver Post - Mike Klis

The Denver Post's Mike Klis estimates that the Denver Broncos' passing offense would reach its peak if Demaryius Thomas gets 85 receptions and Eric Decker and Wes Welker each net around 75. Klis contends that the strength of this passing attack must continue to stem from outside receivers.

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Nobody expects Welker to duplicate the numbers he had with the Patriots. However, he should still be an every week fantasy starter. The Broncos are going to use an up tempo offense to keep defenses on their heels in 2013. The Denver Post puts his ideal number around 75 catches but we wouldn't be surprised to see Welker with 90 catches in 2013. We currently have him pegged for 81 receptions. You can see how we have the entire Denver offense projected here. Remember, if you'd like updated projections like this for every player all Summer long, our Footballguys Insider Subscription is for you.

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SF - WR Kyle Williams early favorite for X spot

Source: Sacramento Bee - Matt Barrows

San Francisco 49ers WR Kyle Williams is the pre-training-camp favorite for the 'X' wide receiver spot, ahead of A.J. Jenkins, who holds the slot advantage, and others.

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The 'X' receiver is the split end who lines up on the line of scrimmage furthest away from the tight end. On the line Williams can be jammed by the cornerback at the snap. He'll have to prove he can consistently beat the jam with quickness and speed to get into his route. We'll see Anquan Boldin as the 'Z' receiver (flanker) lined up a yard or two off the line on the opposite side of the field.

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CHI - WR Devin Hester competing

Source: CSNChicago.com

Chicago Bears KR Devin Hester is competing to keep his job as the primary kick returner. WR Earl Bennett is also fielding kicks, and at age 31, Hester could become a salary cap casualty.

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We doubt Bennett beats out Hester for that position. The team has moved Hester out of the mix at WR so he can focus solely on being a return man. Hester has a $2.9MM cap number this year. There's only $833k of dead money in that contract, so if the team cut Hester they would save $2.1MM.

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BAL - RB Ray Rice ready to lead

Source: USAToday.com - Rick Carpiniello

Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice said he's ready to step into a leadership role for the team. 'A leadership role is something I definitely don't mind taking upon now, because I was mentored by one of the greatest leaders probably ever to play the game in Ray Lewis,' Rice said. 'A lot of his leading was by example, and when he spoke, everybody listened because they had that respect for him. So I think being a leader comes with how much respect people have for you. These guys look at the way I work and they understand that my actions are going to show on the field.'

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With Ray Lewis retired, the team has a huge void in the leadership department. Having Rice or QB Joe Flacco step into that role will be huge for the Ravens. They lost many players this offseason but have reloaded and are ready to make another deep playoff run in 2013.

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PIT - TE Matt Spaeth understands role

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - Rob Biertempfel

Updating a previous report, Pittsburgh Steelers TE Matt Spaeth might start the regular season as a starter if TE Heath Miller (knee) is not ready. However, he is considered a strong blocking tight end, which would help trigger the running back. He understands he probably won't see the ball as much as Miller did even as a starter. 'I'm a role guy, and I know I've got a role, and I never worry about how many balls are being thrown to me,' Spaeth said.

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Spaeth is a seasoned veteran who returns to the Steelers after two seasons with the Bears. He's not an exciting fantasy option even if he gets extra playing time while Miller recovers.

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PIT - TE Heath Miller might not be ready for opener

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - Alan Robinson

Pittsburgh Steelers TE Heath Miller (knee) is out indefinitely following knee surgery, and there is a strong chance he will not be ready for the start of the regular season.

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This was expected and fantasy owners have adjusted their drafts accordingly. Miller's current ADP is TE16 and he's coming off the board at 13.05 in 12 team PPR leagues. He was the fourth best TE in fantasy football last year and will be a big part of the offense once again when he's ready. Miller could begin the season on the PUP list if he's behind in his recovery from his January 2nd knee surgery.

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NYJ - WR Santonio Holmes talks about injury

Source: ESPNNewYork.com - Rich Cimini

New York Jets WR Santonio Holmes (foot) spoke to the media recently, shedding light on his Lisfranc foot injury. Holmes said his foot injury was diagnosed as a Grade 4 injury (the most serious kind), meaning a muscle tear and joint separation in his mid-foot. He had screws and a plate removed in a March surgical procedure, but he will have two screws in the foot permanently.

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Holmes is hoping to be back for the start of the regular season. His status for week one is very much in question at this time. We'll see how he progresses as the team goes through training camp. Without Holmes in the lineup the team will lean more on WRs like Jeremy Kerley and Stephen Hill.

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NYJ - Kellen Winslow to see limited reps?

Source: ESPNNewYork.com - Rich Cimini

New York Jets TE Kellen Winslow impressed in a tryout in minicamp, leading to a one-year contract. However, an opposing personnel executive is not sold Winslow can be 100 percent effective anymore. 'I think it's a lot like (former QB David Garrard). He'll be fine in a workout, moving and running, but taking a hit, the grind of training camp and a full, 16-game season will be the litmus test,' the executive said. 'I'd watch him closely to see if they manage his reps and practice time.'

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The team will wisely be cautious with Winslow during camp. They could sure use help in the passing game. Their main WR Santonio Holmes might not be ready for the start of the regular season because of a foot injury. Winslow is competing with Jeff Cumberland to be the starting TE in 2013.

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NYJ - QB Geno Smith having trouble adjusting to new system

Source: The Star-Ledger - Mike Vorkunov

New York Jets quarterbacks coach David Lee said QB Geno Smith has had some trouble adjusting to the West Coast offense during offseason workouts because it is nothing like what he did at West Virginia. Head coach Rex Ryan said he believes Smith will show improvement once training camp starts. 'His steps - dropbacks - his mechanics footwork wise weren't dialed in the way they'll have to be at this level. I think some of that is your five and seven step drops, it's all new to him. But sometimes you can't even notice it. Because when he's on, the guy is absolutely terrific. We knew that it's not an easy process but it's one that I have confidence that when we get to Cortland, I think when the thing goes I think you're going to see the guy keep improving and improving and improving,' Ryan said.

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The rookie is competing with Mark Sanchez to be the team's starter in 2013. We'll see the two battle in training camp for that job. Smith is more athletic than Sanchez and is incredibly intelligent. Falling to the second-round has put a chip on Smith's shoulder and he wants to prove the doubters wrong. Even if he doesn't win the job at the start of the year we expect him to take over for Sanchez at some point in 2013.

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NFL - WR Chad Johnson released from jail

Source: The Associated Press - Curt Anderson

Free-agent WR Chad Johnson (Dolphins) was released from jail in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Monday, June 17, after apologize for his inappropriate behavior during a court hearing the previous week. Broward County Circuit Judge Kathleen McHugh cut his 30-day sentence after hearing his apology but ordered him to perform 25 hours of community service and attend twice-a-week domestic violence counseling sessions as part of his probation, which she extended three months from its initial sentence, through mid-October.

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Judge McHugh should watch football sometime. Patting a teammate, or coach, on the butt is just what football players do. This legal trouble won't help him latch on with another team. Johnson's days in the league are likely over.

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STL - WR Tavon Austin works as starter

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Jim Thomas

St. Louis Rams WR Tavon Austin was working as the starting slot receiver at the end of spring practices.

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No surprise here. The Rams are expecting big things from the rookie. Austin reminds many in the scouting community of Randall Cobb (Packers) because of his speed, quickness, and run after the catch ability.

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STL - Two finish as starting WRs after spring

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Jim Thomas

St. Louis Rams WRs Austin Pettis and Chris Givens were working as the starting outside wide receivers as spring practices wound down.

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Good news for Pettis here. Givens was impressive last year as a rookie and was the primary deep target for the Rams in 2012. Pettis has struggled during his pro career but it sounds like he's on the right track now. We love how the Rams have upgraded their weapons this offseason. They'll have a much more explosive offense in 2013.

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TEN - WR Washington is 'our leader' says Munchak

Source: Jim Wyatt - The Tennessean

Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak ended speculation the team would trade or release WR Nate Washington when he called him 'our leader' in a recent press conference. "He is our leader. We know how thin that position can get real quickly, and we have a good group to watch," Munchak said. "Nate is very much in our plans."

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With Washington in their plans this season it will limit the number of targets for rookie WR Justin Hunter (Tennessee). Washington will work as the team's third WR behind Kenny Britt and Kendall Wright.

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GB - RB Green the starter through much of OTAs

Source: Tyler Dunne - Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

Green Bay Packers RB Alex Green has been working as the starter through much of the team's offseason program. He's competing with rookies Eddie Lacy (Alabama) and Johnathan Franklin (UCLA) for the starting job in 2013.

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Lacy is expected to win the starting job during training camp. Green had a chance last year to prove himself as the starter but failed to impress. Lacy was drafted in the second-round of the 2013 NFL draft to be the workhorse the team has been missing for years. We like Lacy as a RB3 with RB2 upside this season. Durability is a huge concern with Lacy and he'll need to stay healthy in order to play up to his potential.

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CLE - TE Jordan Cameron working on becoming starter

Source: ClevelandBrowns.com - Matt Florjancic

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron said he has been working on becoming the team's starting tight end this season and has been learning offensive coordinator Norv Turner's scheme. 'It's just having the mindset that I'm going to be the guy, try and take over this role,' Cameron said. 'The confidence is huge with that, and I think I get more confidence every day, learning new things. With [tight ends coach Jon Embree], he really knows the details and how to make you a better player, whether it be blocking or positioning or route-running.' Cameron said the new offense is allowing tight ends to run deep routes.

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Cameron has been waiting for his opportunity and he'll get a chance to start this year. The former USC basketball star entered the NFL with less than 20 college receptions. He's not quite Jimmy Graham but like most basketball converts Cameron knows how to 'box out' defenders. New OC Norv Turner did great things with Antonio Gates (Chargers) and will craft an offense that is friendly for Cameron. We love his upside as a potential as a TE2 with TE1 upside. Cameron's current ADP is TE20 and he's coming off the board at 14.01 in 12 team leagues.

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SEA - TE Zach Miller sat out minicamp

Source: The Seattle Times - Bob Condotta

Seattle Seahawks TE Zach Miller (foot) did not participate in the team's minicamp last week because of a foot injury.

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Miller should be ready for the start of training camp. This foot injury is not considered serious.

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SEA - Expected to have competition at FB

Source: The Seattle Times - Bob Condotta

Seattle Seahawks FB Michael Robinson is expected to compete with RB Spencer Ware during training camp for the starting fullback job.

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Robinson has the experience and is a versatile player who can be used effectively as a blocker, runner, or receiver out of the backfield. Ware is a rookie from LSU who is a powerful inside runner with good vision and patience when running the ball.

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PIT - TE Heath Miller likes TE corps

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - Alan Robinson

Pittsburgh Steelers TE Heath Miller (knee) said he likes the tight ends on the roster and believes they can all contribute to the team. 'We have a really good room, a lot of capable guys in there,' Miller said. 'I think maybe one of the best top to bottom that I've been starting camp with. Hopefully we'll be able to keep everybody healthy, and I think everybody is capable of contributing and doing a good job.'

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Miller may not be ready for the start of the regular season. He may begin the season on the PUP list if the team feels like he needs some extra time to heal. Matt Spaeth will be the Steelers starting TE while Miller is out.

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BAL - Happy with Bryant McKinnie's conditioning

Source: The Baltimore Sun - Aaron Wilson

Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said OT Bryant McKinnie did well during offseason workouts and is happy that McKinnie is working on his conditioning. 'Bryant did a really good job,' Harbaugh said. 'He moved really well in this camp, as well as he moved at the end of the year last year when he started practicing so well and playing so well. He looks healthy, and he will continue to work on his conditioning. He seems to be very committed. Love the way he's playing and his effort.'

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McKinnie is a quality player but has battled weight problems for his entire career. The team's starting left tackle seems to have his weight under control right now.

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KC - Coaches 'had a word' with Bowe about lofty goals

Source: Dan Pompei - National Football Post

Kansas City Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe has set lofty goals for this season. He wants to lead the NFL in receptions and receiving touchdowns in 2013. According to National Football Post a few Chiefs coaches 'had a word' with Bowe about that. They appreciate his goals but wanted to let the veteran receiver know the Andy Reid offense doesn't work that way.

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The Chiefs are not discouraging Bowe here just alerting him to the design of the offense. Reid will spread the ball around to different receivers and take what the defense gives. Bowe is still a strong fantasy WR2 with WR1 upside in 2013. His current ADP is WR15 and he's coming off the board at 4.09.

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DET - Leshoure needs to be more consistent

Source: Carlos Monarrez - Detroit Free Press

Detroit Lions RB Mikel Leshoure knows that he needs to be more consistent this year. "I've just got to get healthy," Leshoure said. "Last year I was just dealing with a lot of things, nagging injuries weren't where they needed to be coming off the first year of my injuries. I've just got to get healthy and consistency will come when you're healthy."

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Leshoure has already lost his job as the starter to free agent addition Reggie Bush. If he doesn't stay healthy and provide a more consistent production level he may lose his backup job to Joique Bell.

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DAL - WR Miles Austin thinks rest helped hamstrings

Source: Fort Worth Star-Telegram - Carlos A. Mendez

Dallas Cowboys WR Miles Austin said he believes sitting out some practices during organized team activities and minicamp helped him not overwork his hamstrings. Austin has dealt with hamstring problems the last few seasons.

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"It's one of those things where, you can't not do it and then do it and tell the difference," Austin said last week at Valley Ranch as the team wrapped up the offseason. "But I feel good now." Good news for the Cowboys here. Austin is a great value if he can stay healthy in 2013. His current ADP is WR36 and he's coming off the board at 8.07 in 12 team fantasy leagues.

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DET - WR Ryan Broyles expected to be No. 3 WR

Source: The Detroit News - Josh Katzenstein

Detroit Lions WR Ryan Broyles (knee) is expected to be the No. 3 wide receiver behind WRs Calvin Johnson and Nate Burleson this season.

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If Broyles is healthy he could be a big playmaker for the Lions. He's got incredible speed and run after the catch ability but is coming off his second knee injury in two years.

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DAL - Believe RB Joseph Randle can be full-time RB if needed

Source: ESPNDallas.com - Todd Archer

The Dallas Cowboys believe RB Joseph Randle can be a full-time running back if something happened to RB DeMarco Murray. Randle will have to compete with RBs Lance Dunbar and Phillip Tanner for the No. 2 running back job during training camp.

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We don't see Randle having any trouble winning the team's RB2 spot behind Murray. Randle has good straight line speed but isn't creative or elusive in the open field. He's not the biggest back so if he were to get an increased workload we might see him split time in some sort of RBBC. Randle is an important player for Murray owners to handcuff if you've got the roster space.

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NFL - WR Donald Driver would return for Packers

Source: ESPN.com

Retired WR Donald Driver said Sunday, June 16, that he would come out of retirement if the Green Bay Packers contacted him to do so, but he wouldn't for any other club.

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The Packers will keep that in mind in case of emergency. They have one of the best WR corps in the league but could use Driver in case they suffer injuries at the position.

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STL - WR Brian Quick tumbling down depth chart?

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Jim Thomas

St. Louis Rams WR Brian Quick reportedly had a disappointing spring, and he tumbled down the unofficial depth chart, working as the No. 4 receiver as organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp ended. However, it is believed the rookie Tavon Austin, Chris Givens and Austin Pettis just had better practices, as offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer had good words for Quick. '(Quick's) doing a lot better. He's stepped up this year. He's just much more comfortable,' Schottenheimer said.

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This contradicts an earlier report from Tony Softli where Quick was impressing in OTAs. Either way Quick has more competition at the WR position since the team added both Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey in the 2013 NFL draft. Quick disappointed last year after the team spent a 2012 second-round pick on him.

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SEA - DE Cliff Avril expected to be ready for camp

Source: The Seattle Times - Bob Condotta

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said DE Cliff Avril (foot) should be ready for the start of training camp. Avril misses the organized team activities and most of the minicamp because of a plantar fascia injury.

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Avril was a big addition in free agency and gives the team yet another strong pass rusher to get after the quarterback. The team will monitor Avril closely as he comes back from this foot injury. Plantar Fascia injuries need time and rest to heal properly.

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NFL - ILB Desmond Bishop says he is 100 percent

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Tyler Dunne

Free-agent LB Desmond Bishop (hamstring) said he has completely recovered from the hamstring tear he suffered during the preseason in 2012.

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If that's the case then Bishop should be able to find employment quickly. He's a stud ILB when healthy and should have several teams interested in his services. Teams like the Raiders, Chiefs, and Vikings may have the most interest.

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KC - Could show interest in ILB Desmond Bishop

Source: ESPN.com - Bill Williamson

The Kansas City Chiefs could show interest in free-agent LB Desmond Bishop (Packers) because general manager John Dorsey was with the Green Bay Packers when Bishop was there.

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The move would make a lot of sense for the Chiefs. Bishop just needs to prove that he's healthy after the severe hamstring injury that cost him all of last season. He would be an upgrade for the Chiefs at the ILB spot opposite Derrick Johnson.

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GB - ILB Desmond Bishop to be cut

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - Tyler Dunne

The Green Bay Packers will release LB Desmond Bishop.

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The two sides couldn't agree on a paycut so Bishop hits the open market. He missed all of 2012 with a hamstring injury and will need to prove that he's healthy before latching on with a new team. Bishop can make plays when at full strength and is now one of the best players available in free agency. A team like the Chiefs could be interested. In Kansas City he would be reunited with new GM (and former Packers executive) John Dorsey. The Raiders could also have interest in Bishop.

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That'll do it for today, Folks. Thanks for reading and thanks for being a part of the Footballguys Family. It's appreciated.

We'll see you tomorrow with the update.

Peace,

J