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Hi Folks,

Good Thursday to you. We've got the News and Notes you need. Plus a look at Running Backs. But first a fun story from Emmanuel Sanders. Looking for more targets, he introduced himself to rookie QB Paxton Lynch as Demaryius Thomas. It's going to be a fun year. Let's get to it.

J

SITE NEWS

A. Early Top 10 Running Back Rankings
Our Alessandro Miglio dives into his initial top 10 rankings at running back for 2016.

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

1. PIT - Le'Veon Bell Status unknown for OTAs
2. NYJ - Bart Scott Blasts Ryan Fitzpatrick
3. SF - Fast-paced minicamp for 49ers
4. NE - WR Julian Edelman had surgery
5. IND - Indy won't change QB Andrew Luck
6. CLE - WR Josh Gordon phased out in Cleveland?
7. NYG - WR Victor Cruz feeling good
8. ATL - OLB Sean Weatherspoon feeling healthy
9. BUF - Kevon Seymour signs rookie deal
10. BUF - Buffalo to start at least three rookies
11. SEA - Kenny Lawler has great hands
12. DET - TE Brandon Pettigrew plans to be ready
13. HOU - CB Kevin Johnson feeling stronger
14. HOU - CB Johnathan Joseph had surgery

PIT - Le'Veon Bell Status unknown for OTAs

Source: ESPN.com - Jeremy Fowler

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell's (knee) status for organized team activities in a few weeks is unknown, but he's expected to be limited if he's cleared. Training camp might be the best gauge used to determine his status as he's six months removed from right knee surgery.

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The Steelers are going to be wisely cautious with their star running back. As of now, there's no timetable for a full return. Bell might be ready for Week 1 of the regular season, but we'll have to wait and see how his recovery goes the rest of the offseason.

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NYJ - Bart Scott Blasts Ryan Fitzpatrick

Source: CBS Sports - Will Brinson

CBS Analyst and former Jets player Bart Scott had stern words for QB Ryan Fitzpatrick:

"At this point everyone pretty much knows who he is. Another 20 teams in the league he would be a backup. And the only teams he would start for have bad quarterback situations. He's a bridge guy, a glue guy," Scott said. "I'm not going to give you $15 -- he wants $15 [million] because [of what Brock] Osweiler [got from the Texans]. [Osweiler] hasn't reached his ceiling yet. But they're paying for his potential, what he might be able to become. It's all downhill right now for Fitz.

"They surrounded him by tremendous talent. You can't get your feelings hurt. This is business. Whoever his agent is has to understand this is the market. He's Hoyer. That's who you are. Accept it. You made a lot of money in this league and now you're going to try to play hardball and not have a team in a tremendous situation to really change the trajectory of your career, so people can change what they think about Ryan Fitzpatrick the quarterback?"

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It's hard to blame Fitzpatrick for wanting to make as much money as he can. On the other hand, Scott has a point in that we pretty much know what we're getting with Fitzpatrick. As Brinson said in the intro, the Jets and Fitzpatrick are playing the world's most boring game of chicken.

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SF - Fast-paced minicamp for 49ers

Source: Sacramento Bee - Matt Barrows

San Francisco 49ers head coach Chip Kelly has already made an impression on his new team following minicamp. 'It's quicker, you're up to the line of scrimmage faster,' wide receiver Torrey Smith said. 'I actually like it because I'm usually the last person to jog back to the huddle anyway. Just get lined up, you can catch your break there and you can also catch the defense off guard.' TE Garrett Celek said the simplicity of the offense enables them to play faster. The offensive players said it will take some time to adjust to the new approach, but Celek said once it clicks it will be go, go, go.

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This is the same kind of thing we saw in Philadelphia with excitement over tempo and practice tweaks. San Francisco fans are hoping the outcome is different.

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NE - WR Julian Edelman had surgery

Source: ESPN - Adam Schefter

New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman (foot) recently underwent foot surgery but is still on pace to participate in training camp, according to sources.

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Edelman was recently seen walking around in a large boot, and now we hear about this surgery. It's an interesting note right now, but expect Edelman to be ready for the start of the regular season. However, know that foot injuries can linger and if pushed too hard there can be a setback. Make sure to monitor his injury situation through camp.

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IND - Indy won't change QB Andrew Luck

Source: ESPN.com - Mike Wells

Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck missed nine games due to injury last year, but new quarterbacks coach Brian Schottenheimer said they won't limit Luck and try to force him to change his playing style. Luck has taken more than 100 hits since entering the NFL, but he also committed 13 turnovers and completed just 55.3% of his pass attempts in seven games last year.

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The Colts need to do everything they can to protect Luck. He's arguably the best young QB in the league, and most certainly an elite-level passer. Luck needs time to throw and his amazing upside doesn't need to be cut short by injury. Four of the Colts eight picks in the 2016 NFL draft were offensive linemen. The Colts know what they have in Luck, and we expect them to do a much better job of keeping him upright.

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CLE - WR Josh Gordon phased out in Cleveland?

Source: ESPN.com - Pat McManamon

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon may not have a roster spot to return to if he's reinstated after the team drafted four wide receivers in the 2016 NFL Draft. The new regime in the front office has also said that high-character players were something they stressed in the draft.

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Nobody can deny Gordon's talent, but his off-field antics may have cost him his spot with the Browns. The team selected four WRs in the 2016 NFL draft, and there's some real talent added at the position. Even their fifth-round pick, Rashard Higgins (CSU), has the upside to be a quality starter. If Gordon does play in 2016, it might not be for the Browns. Stay tuned.

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NYG - WR Victor Cruz feeling good

Source: Newsday - Bob Glauber

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) said Tuesday, May 10, that he feels 'great', and he feels he will be ready for training camp. However, it is uncertain if that means he will be a full participant or limited.

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Everyone wants to see Cruz salsa-dancing again in the end zone. Hopefully he can stay healthy and return to form in 2016.

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ATL - OLB Sean Weatherspoon feeling healthy

Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - D. Orlando Ledbetter

Atlanta Falcons LB Sean Weatherspoon (Achilles') said he is in great health and that his movement is light years ahead of where he was last year coming of his ruptured Achilles' tendon.

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Weatherspoon barely saw the field last year for the Cardinals. Now he's back with the Falcons and will compete for a starting job.

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BUF - Kevon Seymour signs rookie deal

Source: Houston Chronicle - Aaron Wilson

Buffalo Bills CB Kevon Seymour signed his rookie contract Wednesday, May 11.

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The Bills picked up Seymour out of USC in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL draft. He's got the speed to stick in the NFL, but Seymour's best chance of making the 53-man roster as a rookie will come as a special teams player.

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BUF - Buffalo to start at least three rookies

Source: NFL.com - Dan Hanzus

Buffalo Bills general manager Doug Whaley said the team will be starting at least three rookies in 2016. 'At least three,' Whaley replied. 'Shaq Lawson is going to walk in off the bus starting. Reggie Ragland and then Adolphus Washington -- all three of those guys will start right off the bus. And we're excited for some guys from the fourth through sixth rounds that will contribute for us.'

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We'd agree with Whaley about those three starters. The Bills only generated 21 sacks last season, so the defense needed the shot in the arm the draft likely provided. We like what the Bills did in the draft, and one of our favorite sleeper RBs in Jonathan Williams (Arkansas). The Bills snared him in the fifth round, and Williams has the ability to be a quality starter at pro level. Yes, he's currently buried on the depth chart but fantasy owners (especially dynasty owners) need to know his game.

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SEA - Kenny Lawler has great hands

Source: ESPN.com - Sheil Kapadia

Seattle Seahawks WR Kenny Lawler converted 72.7% of the time on contested catches last season at California, according to NFL.com's Matt Harmon. Lawler's 4.64-second 40-yard dash time could be a big reason he fell to the seventh round in the 2016 NFL Draft. 'He had a great camp,' Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said. 'He showed us that he has a marvelous catching range. We thought he had as good of hands as anyone in the draft and felt very fortunate to get him where we did, and he had the opportunities and he showed it. He made plays down the field, made plays in traffic, running around. I think he has a big upside in terms of development.'

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Lawler is a thin receiver, but he clearly has good "my ball" mentality. He can make plays in the red zone, and that may be a way he stands out in camp for the Seahawks. The seventh-round pick may find himself on the 53-man roster if he proves himself during the preseason.

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DET - TE Brandon Pettigrew plans to be ready

Source: DetroitLions.com - Tim Twentyman

Detroit Lions TE Brandon Pettigrew (knee) said Tuesday, May 10, that he plans to be ready for the start of training camp.

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Pettigrew is not a fantasy factor, although he could be. He's a big target who can make plays as a receiver, but Pettigrew is such a great blocker that he's often used in that capacity instead. Last year for the Lions, Pettigrew played in only eight games, catching seven passes for 67 yards. He is making his way back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee suffered back in December.

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HOU - CB Kevin Johnson feeling stronger

Source: Houston Chronicle - Aaron Wilson

Houston Texans CB Kevin Johnson (wrist, foot), returning from wrist and foot surgeries, said Tuesday, May 10, that he is feeling good. 'I'm feeling good, continuing to get healthier, bigger, stronger and faster,' Johnson said.

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Johnson says he played through a Jones fracture in his foot for eight games as a rookie in 2015. He flashed big-time potential last year, and we're excited to see him healthy and starring on he field for the Texans. With an amazing draft, a new QB in Brock Osweiler and a solid defense the Texans are prepared to make another playoff run in 2016.

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HOU - CB Johnathan Joseph had surgery

Source: Houston Chronicle - Aaron Wilson

Houston Texans CB Johnathan Joseph (knee) underwent minor arthroscopic knee surgery this offseason, but he has resumed running.

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Joseph suffered a knee injury back in November, but he didn't miss any games due to the injury. He's a key defender for a strong Texans defense. The 32-year old veteran should be ready for the start of the regular season.

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That'll do it for today, Folks. Thanks for reading and thanks for being a part of Footballguys. We'll see you tomorrow with the Update.

Peace,

J