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Footballguys #268 - 1/14 - News And Notes From Around The League

Volume 20, #268 -- Monday Night, January 14th, 2019

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Howdy Folks,

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

J

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1. SF - WR Antonio Brown eyeing trade to San Fran?

Source: The Mercury News - Cam Inman

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown wants to join the San Francisco 49ers 'really badly,' according to Hall of Famer Jerry Rice, who spoke with 95.7 The Game during an interview Monday, Jan. 14.

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The 49ers could certainly use a talent like Brown at the wide receiver position. Rice and Brown have reportedly 'often communicated in the past' and did so during a FaceTime chat Sunday, Jan. 13. Any team interested in Brown is going to have to surrender a second-round pick (at least) to the Steelers. Brown has a cap hit of $22.1 million in 2019 with $21.1 million remaining in dead money on his current contract.

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2. PHI - Broken ribs for WR Alshon Jeffery?

Source: ESPN.com - Tim McManus

Philadelphia Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery (ribs) was playing with broken ribs against the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Divisional Round Sunday, Jan. 13, according to OT Lane Johnson.

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Jeffery toughed it out for the playoffs but came up short on Sunday. Signed through 2021, Jeffery has plenty of time to heal in the offseason. He's set to be the Eagles top outside wide receiver once again in 2019.

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3. DAL - Dallas signs seven to futures deals

Source: NFLCommunications.com

The Dallas Cowboys signed OT Jake Campos, RB Jordan Chunn, CB Treston Decoud, CB Donovan Olumba, LB Kyle Queiro, DT Aziz Shittu and OG Cody Wichmann to Reserve/Futures contracts Monday, Jan. 14. Terms of the contracts were not disclosed.

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Measuring in at 6'1" 235 pounds, Chunn is a big back to monitor in crazy deep dynasty leagues. While in college at Troy he showed the ability to handle a large workload and a big nose for the end zone (47 rushing TDs in college). He's actually a better receiver than some think a big man would be (84 receptions for Troy).

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4. NO - RB Mark Ingram wants to stay

Source: The Times-Picayune - Josh Katzenstein

New Orleans Saints impending free-agent RB Mark Ingram has expressed his desire to remain with the team that drafted him eight years ago.

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Ingram had back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons in 2016 and 2017 but 2018 saw him play in only 12 games due to a suspension. He finished the 2018 regular season with 138 carries for 645 rushing yard and six touchdowns. Ingram said he loves the team, the organization and the city.

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5. WAS - Washington wants WR Jamison Crowder back

Source: ESPN.com - John Keim

Washington Redskins impending free-agent WR Jamison Crowder, despite his struggles and injury concerns, could demand a contract worth at least $8 million this offseason. Nonetheless, head coach Jay Gruden wants to try to retain Crowder. 'There is really not anything that Jamison can't do,' Gruden said. 'You look at his size and say he's little, but he plays big. He's got great quickness in intermediate routes, can separate, has good hands, he's tough, he's physical in the running game.'

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Crowder could stay with the team for a good price. While talented, Crowder has been oft-injured as a pro and that might keep the market for his services somewhat cool. Crowder played better later in the year, but he was hampered by an ankle injury that caused him to miss seven games.

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6. NFL - Kyler Murray declares for draft

Source: Twitter

Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray announced Monday, Jan. 14, that he will forego his senior season to enter the 2019 NFL Draft. The decision is not set in stone, however, as Murray can still choose to pursue professional baseball.

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This is the way he has been leaning for quite some time. Murray, the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner, is electric with the ball in his hands and can make crazy off-platform passes seem like good ideas. He's small, measuring in at 5'10" 195 pounds but he can run and throw on the run with accuracy. Murray is likely to be a first-round pick in the 2019 NFL draft.

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7. KC - WR Sammy Watkins unscathed

Source: The Kansas City Star - Brooke Pryor

Kansas City Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins (foot) said his foot feels fine following the Chiefs' divisional playoff win, according to head coach Andy Reid.

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The Chiefs were able to get Watkins on the field for the Divisional Round against the Colts where he finished with six catches for 62 yards. Watkins is sore from playing, but his foot injury did not worsen.

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8. CHI - Chicago unsure about pursing RB Kareem Hunt

Source: ESPN.com - Jeff Dickerson

Free-agent RB Kareem Hunt (Chiefs) reportedly spoke to Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy by phone one week ago, but the team remains noncommittal on the idea of pursuing Hunt at this point, according to Jeff Dickerson of ESPN.com.

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We'll have a better feel about the potential interest in Hunt once the length of his suspension is revealed. Hunt is currently undergoing investigation for three off-field incidents, including the one that got him booted from the Chiefs in the 2018 season.

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9. IND - QB Jacoby Brissett unlikely to get traded

Source: CNHI Sports Indiana - George Bremer

Indianapolis Colts QB Jacoby Brissett appears unlikely to be traded during the offseason, as general manager Chris Ballard admitted Monday, Jan. 14, that 'it would take somebody doing something that would blow me away, and it has to be the right thing for the kid, too.'

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Ballard revealed he turned down offers for Brissett during the 2018 season. The Colts have Brissett under contract through the 2019 season, so they may not be trading him now...but that doesn't mean he might not be available before the 2019 trade deadline.

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10. CHI - Anthony Miller to have shoulder surgery

Source: Chicago Tribune - Rich Campbell

Chicago Bears WR Anthony Miller (shoulder) will undergo surgery on his left shoulder at some point during the offseason, according to general manager Ryan Pace.

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Miller fought this shoulder problem for most of his rookie season in 2018. He finished the year with 33 catches for 423 yards and seven touchdowns. His future is bright in the pros, especially as he'll continue to build chemistry with QB Mitchell Trubisky.

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11. NO - DT Sheldon Rankins suffers torn Achilles'

Source: The New Orleans Advocate - Nick Underhill

Updating a previous report, New Orleans Saints DT Sheldon Rankins (Achilles') was diagnosed with a torn Achilles' tendon Monday, Jan. 14. He is done for the season and expected to have surgery later in the week.

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A first-round pick out of Louisville in the 2016 NFL draft, Rankins was a big presence in the middle of the Saints defensive line. It's a blow to the team as they continue to march forward in the playoffs. Rankins will undergo surgery then begin the long road to recovery. This Achilles' injury puts his availability for the start of the 2019 regular season in question.

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12. NFL - TJ Hockenson bolting for NFL

Source: CollegeFootballTalk.com - Zach Barnett

University of Iowa TE TJ Hockenson announced his intention to declare for the 2019 NFL Draft on Monday, Jan. 14.

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This means two Iowa tight ends will be available in the 2019 NFL draft because Noah Fant also declared. While Fant is seen as a first-round pick, Hockenson might be a mid-round pick. He caught 49 passes for a team-best 760 yards and six touchdowns as a redshirt sophomore.

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13. JAX - John DeFilippo interviewed with Jaguars

Source: NJ.com - Mike Kaye

Former Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator John DeFilippo interviewed with the Jacksonville Jaguars for their offensive coordinator post.

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DeFilippo was fired by the Vikings in December and just wasn't a good fit with Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer. The Jaguars are looking for some more creativity on offense and that's why they're looking at DeFilippo.

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14. DAL - Scott Linehan likely to return

Source: 105.3 The Fan

Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan is likely to return for 2019, according to head coach Jason Garrett.

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Many Cowboys fans will be upset about this. The Cowboys offense showed improvement once WR Amari Cooper was added via trade. That being said, they should still look for assistants who can shake things up in Linehan's predictable system.

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15. MIA - Jim Caldwell joining Dolphins staff

Source: MMQB - Albert Breer

Former Detroit Lions head coach Jim Caldwell is expected to join the Miami Dolphins' staff, but he may not join as offensive coordinator.

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Caldwell has a ton of experience which should come in handy for Brian Flores (who is set to be their new head coach). We should see Caldwell in some sort of advisory role with the Dolphins adding a younger coordinator too.

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16. IND - Indy hands out eight futures contracts

Source: Colts.com

The Indianapolis Colts signed QB Phillip Walker, WRs Krishawn Hogan and Steve Ishmael, TE Billy Brown, OLs Antonio Garcia and De'Ondre Wesley, LB Anthony Winbush and DT DeShawn Williams to Reserve/Future contracts on Sunday, Jan. 13.

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Undrafted out of Marian University in 2017, Hogan is one player we've been monitoring in crazy deep dynasty formats. He's fought through injuries as a pro, but Hogan has a nice size/speed combination at 6'3" 223 pounds.

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17. CLE - Cleveland hiring Todd Monken as OC

Source: ESPN - Adam Schefter

The Cleveland Browns are hiring Todd Monken (Buccaneers) as their offensive coordinator, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

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Monken did a good job of calling plays for the Buccaneers for most of last season. He teams up with new head coach Freddie Kitchens to give the Browns some offensive punch in 2019. We'll see if Monken gets to call plays for Baker Mayfield and company on offense or if Kitchens wants to do that this season.

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18. DEN - TE Jake Butt eyeing training camp

Source: The Denver Post - Ryan O'Halloran

Denver Broncos RB Jake Butt (knee) said he will be fully healthy by training camp at the latest. 'I'm progressing and I have goals,' Butt said. 'I want to at least be doing something during OTAs. I feel really good.'

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Butt now has three major knee injuries (two in college, one in the pros) that he's come back from. He's a fine 'Y' tight end when healthy but he has struggled to stay healthy in two seasons with the Broncos. Dynasty GMs know the medium reward of Butt staying healthy also comes with the likelihood that he might never be the player he could've been due to these knee problems.

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19. NFL - Mack Wilson turning pro

Source: DraftWire - Gavino Borquez

Alabama LB Mack Wilson announced Sunday, Jan. 13, that he will forgo his senior season and enter the 2019 NFL Draft.

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Wilson now makes seven Alabama players who are entering early to the NFL. He's considered one of the top inside linebackers in this class. Wilson finished the 2018 season with 71 tackles, two interceptions and seven quarterback hurries.

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20. LAC - TE Antonio Gates open to 2019 return

Source: The Athletic - Sam Fortier

Los Angeles Chargers TE Antonio Gates said he wants to return in 2019 if the Chargers will have him back.

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Gates is certainly not the player he used to be and is in the twilight of his pro career. In 2018, Gates had the second-lowest catch total in a single season (28) but he did finish with 333 receiving yards and two touchdowns. He still has great chemistry with QB Philip Rivers and could stick around in a similar role for next season. Gates is set to be an unrestriced free agent in 2019.

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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