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Volume 19, #11 -- Wednesday Night, May 3rd, 2017

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Hi Folks,

Good Thursday to you. We've got some News and Notes for you so let's get to it.

J


1. NFL - RB Justin Forsett retires

Source: Twitter

Free-agent RB Justin Forsett (Broncos) announced his retirement Wednesday, May 3.

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Well done, Sir. A seventh-round pick of the Seahawks (2008), Forsett did a good job of sticking around in the NFL. His best season was in 2014 with the Baltimore Ravens when he had over 1,200 yards rushing and was the 8th-best fantasy running back that year. On a side note, he has a special place in my heart as my "He Don't Make The Law, He Justin Forsett" team won my coveted local league last season.

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2. TEN - RB Derrick Henry taking part in workouts

Source: TitansOnline.com - Jim Wyatt

Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry was back at Saint Thomas Sports Park on Monday, May 2, after missing the first two weeks of the team’s voluntary offseason program due to taking classes at the University of Alabama.

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Nothing to see here people. Henry was back in school, and the team has no issue with his absence.

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3. NFL - TE Gary Barnidge has more visits set up

Source: ESPN.com - Jeremy Fowler

Updating a previous report, free-agent TE Gary Barnidge (Browns) has two more visits planned for next week after visiting Buffalo Bills on Wednesday, May 3.

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'Big Play' Barnidge is getting quite a bit of interest since being cut by the Browns...and for good reason. He had a down season in 2016, but that has more to do with the inept nature of the Browns offense. The Bills would be a good fit for him, but he may want to explore all options before committing to a new team in 2017.

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4. NYJ - WR Eric Decker expects to be ready for camp

Source: Newsday - Bob Glauber

New York Jets WR Eric Decker (hip, shoulder) has been a full participant in the team's offseason conditioning program and will be ready to practice at the start of training camp in July.

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The Jets are going to take it easy on Decker before training camp starts. They have a bad QB situation...again...so having Decker near full strength is going to help out whatever poor passer they have lining up under center. Decker's fantasy value is that of a WR3/flex player in 2017, and his current ADP goes along with that notion (WR36, 8.01).

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5. NYJ - QB Josh McCown expects competition

Source: ESPNNewYork.com - Rich Cimini

New York Jets QB Josh McCown said he expects to compete with QBs Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty for the starting quarterback job.

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McCown has much more experience than the other two quarterbacks, but the veteran knows he must prove himself on the practice field if he wants the starting job. We're expecting the Jets to make more than one quarterback change regardless of who begins the season as the starter. They need to see what they have in Hackenberg, who failed to see the field last year as a rookie even though they selected him with a second-round pick.

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6. SD - Two Chargers RBs could be third down back

Source: ESPN.com - Eric D. Williams

Los Angeles Chargers RBs Branden Oliver and Kenjon Barner appear to be the leading candidates for the third down back role this upcoming season.

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Either one could work as a change-of-pace back behind Melvin Gordon. Fantasy owners are looking at Gordon as RB6 (1.10) in 12-team PPR leagues right now. Oliver and/or Barner are going to replace Danny Woodhead (Ravens) this year, and there's a bit of fantasy value there...especially in PPR leagues. We'll watch this battle unfold in training camp.

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7. SD - RB Andre Williams could be main RB backup

Source: ESPN.com - Eric D. Williams

Los Angeles Chargers RB Andre Williams is expected to be given the opportunity to earn the role as the main backup to RB Melvin Gordon on first and second downs in 2017.

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Williams is big but not as physical as his size (6'0" 230 pounds) would indicate. He was on the Chargers practice squad for most of last year, but he did get to see the field in Week 17. In that game, Williams had 87 rushing yards on 18 carries. In deep fantasy leagues where you can handcuff your top RBs, Williams is the name to target if you're invested in Melvin Gordon.

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8. DET - RB LeGarrette Blount has Lions' interest

Source: Yahoo! Sports - Charles Robinson

Free-agent RB LeGarrette Blount (Patriots) has interest from the Detroit Lions, according to sources.

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That move would make a lot of sense for a team that doesn't have a true banger at the position. Right now, the Lions say that Ameer Abdullah is their starter but he's small, injury prone and likely best used in a change-of-pace capacity. The Giants also may have interest in Blount.

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9. BUF - Buffalo to interview Brandon Beane

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

Carolina Panthers assistant general manager Brandon Beane is scheduled to interview for the Buffalo Bills general manager position Thursday, May 4, according to a source.

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Beane has a connection with new Bills head coach Sean McDermott because of their Panthers connection. They are interviewing a few candidates for the GM job after firing Doug Whaley last week.

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10. DAL - Ryan Switzer expected to be returner

Source: ESPNDallas.com - Todd Archer

Dallas Cowboys WR Ryan Switzer is expected to be a punt returner for the Cowboys and could also be used as a kick returner.

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Switzer is dangerous with the ball in his hands. He has quick feet, great foot frequency and can change directions on a dime. The rookie from North Carolina can be limited as a receiver by his small catch radius, but as a returner he can make impact plays for the Cowboys in 2017.

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11. DEN - Jake Butt ready for opener?

Source: ESPN.com - Jeff Legwold

The Denver Broncos believe TE Jake Butt (knee) could be ready for the start of the regular season. Butt will receive playing time as a rookie as long as he is healthy.

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Butt injured his knee in Michigan's bowl game earlier this year. He says that he'll be ready sometime in August, but that's some time from now. If healthy, Butt can be a Jason Witten/Hunter Henry-like prospect for a Broncos offense that desperately needs production from the tight end position. Only the Jets were worse last year when it came to getting production there.

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12. MIA - RB Damien Williams not signing tender

Source: The Miami Herald - Armando Salguero

Miami Dolphins restricted free-agent RB Damien Williams is refusing to sign his $1.8 million tender and has not participated in the team's offseason conditioning program.

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This move makes zero sense for Williams. The team placed an original round tender on him, and the deadline for another team to make him an offer has already passed. Nobody showed much if any interest in Williams, so he can either play for the Dolphins or retire. The Dolphins don't have to do anything here.

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13. DEN - DE Billy Winn back with Denver

Source: The Denver Post - Nicki Jhabvala

Free-agent DE Billy Winn re-signed with the Denver Broncos Wednesday, May 3, according to a source. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

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Winn (6-4, 300 pounds) is a sixth-year player who appeared in 16 games (2 starts) for the Broncos in 2016. He posted 19 tackles (8 solo) and one fumble recovery last season while playing the fourth-most snaps (342) among Broncos defensive linemen.

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14. SF - SF comfortable with Reuben Foster's shoulder

Source: ESPN - Adam Schefter

The San Francisco 49ers were comfortable with drafting LB Reuben Foster (shoulder) even though he is recovering from shoulder surgery, but the team doctors understand the shoulder could be a risk during his rookie season, according to sources.

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Foster has a game similar to that of former 49ers great Patrick Willis. If healthy, he can make an immediate impact and has All-Pro upside for a decade. Several teams did not consider taking Foster during the draft because of his shoulder.

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15. ATL - Takkarist McKinley should be ready for camp

Source: ESPN.com - Vaughn McClure

Atlanta Falcons DE Takkarist McKinley (shoulder) likely will not participate in offseason workouts since he is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery but should be ready for training camp, according to head coach Dan Quinn.

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The Falcons were thrilled to land McKinley in the first round, and he was thrilled to be picked. McKinley has always reminded the scouting community of Tamba Hali (Chiefs) because of his length and burst when getting after the quarterback.

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16. KC - OLB Dee Ford working on technique

Source: ESPN.com - Adam Teicher

Kansas City Chiefs LB Dee Ford has been working with some pass rush specialists this offseason to improve his technique, according to general manager John Dorsey. Dorsey said he wants to see continual growth from Ford in 2017.

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Ford has been getting better and better each year as a pro. He had a career-high 10.0 sacks in 2016, and Ford should get plenty of opportunity to best that number in 2017.

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17. NE - CB Malcolm Butler reports

Source: ESPN.com - Field Yates

New England Patriots CB Malcolm Butler reported to voluntary workouts this week.

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Butler has been connected in trade talks most of this offseason, but he's still on the team and he's reporting to the building. Reports indicate that Butler is not holding a grudge and he's ready to go. Lining up opposite Stephon Gilmore gives the Patriots one of the best CB duos in the league.

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

Peace,

J