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Footballguys #279 - 1/25 - News And Notes From Around The League

Volume 20, #279 -- Friday Night, January 25th, 2019

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Howdy Folks,

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

J


1. SEA - Seattle hopes starting OGs return

Source: The Seattle Times - Bob Condotta

Seattle Seahawks impending free-agent OG D.J. Fluker and OG J.R. Sweezy are two players that the Seahawks want to re-sign this offseason.

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The Seahawks transformation into a power running offense was keyed by offensive line additions. Seattle probably values Sweezy and Fluker more than most teams, so they should be able to bring them back.

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2. CHI - Chicago adds Redford Jones

Source: Chicago Sun-Times - Patrick Finley

Undrafted free-agent PK Redford Jones (Tulsa) signed with the Chicago Bears Friday, Jan. 25. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

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The quest to replace Cody Parkey is on after a bitter end to the season for him and the Bears.

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3. BAL - S Tony Jefferson had surgery

Source: The Athletic - Jeff Zrebiec

Updating a previous report, Baltimore Ravens FS Tony Jefferson (ankle) underwent ankle surgery after the season.

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Jefferson might lose his partner in the secondary if the Ravens don't bring back Eric Weddle. A quick recovery and healthy offseason would help.

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4. LAC - QB Philip Rivers believes he'll play past 2019

Source: ProFootballTalk.com - Charean Williams

Los Angeles Chargers QB Philip Rivers is taking a 'year-by-year' mentality to his playing future but believes he has a 'handful' of seasons left, according to comments he made during a recent interview with XTRA 1360 San Diego.

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Rivers is not done yet. He led the Chargers to the playoffs in 2018 and they're firmly in a championship window. Rivers is in the final year of his contract in 2019 with a cap hit of $23 million with $7 million in dead money.

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5. CLE - CB Denzel Ward to play in Pro Bowl

Source: ESPN.com - Pat McManamon

Cleveland Browns CB Denzel Ward (concussion) has been cleared after a week of practice to play in the Pro Bowl on Sunday, Jan. 27.

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Ward ended up being an outstanding pick even though some thought Bradley Chubb was the better overall talent when the Browns were on the clock. His best days are still ahead.

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6. NFL - D.K. Metcalf cleared for football activity

Source: ESPN.com

Ole Miss WR D.K. Metcalf and 2019 NFL Draft prospect was medically cleared for football activity Friday, Jan. 25, three months after undergoing neck surgery.

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He's one of the top receivers in this draft class, and Metcalf will be one of the players to watch this pre-draft season. Metcalf is training in Phoenix to get ready for the NFL Scouting Combine. At the Combine, Metcalf's medical reports will be of the utmost importance. Not only is he coming back from this neck injury, but in 2016 the wideout missed most of the season due to a foot injury.

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7. NE - TE Rob Gronkowski's future remains in question

Source: NESN.com - Erin Walsh

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski could retire after Super Bowl LIII, according to some speculation, and Gronkowski's bother, Chris, said Friday, Jan. 25, that he can't shed any light on the situation. 'I think that's a question that I don't think anybody actually knows the answer to at this point,' Chris Gronkowski said in a video interview posted by TMZ Sports. 'There's so many emotions going throughout a season, throughout an offseason, throughout a game. I think that's probably the last thing on anybody's mind right now. I couldn't tell you. I don't even think at this point that he knows what he's going to do after this season.'

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Gronkowski has previously stated that he only wants to play with QB Tom Brady, but that could always change. We'll see if the Pats win yet another Super Bowl and if Gronkowski wants to move on to the next chapter...perhaps in the WWE.

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8. BAL - QB Lamar Jackson expected to hire throwing coach

Source: The Athletic - Jeff Zrebiec

Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson will 'throw a lot' this offseason, according to head coach John Harbaugh, who expects Jackson to 'come back a better quarterback skill-wise than when he left.' Harbaugh told The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec that Jackson will ultimately decide who he will work with but suggested he'll be working with a throwing coach.

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Jackson needs the work as a passer. We'll be monitoring his progress as the offseason rolls on, but there should be an expectation for him to get better when throwing the ball. Jackson has QB1 upside for Fantasy GMs because of his incredible skill as a runner.

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9. BAL - Coach says QB Joe Flacco's value is high

Source: ProFootballTalk.com - Josh Alper

Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco is expected to part ways with the Ravens this offseason, and ideally the Ravens would like to find a trade partner to acquire the veteran quarterback. To that end, head coach John Harbaugh said Flacco's 'value is high' in a news conference Friday, Jan. 26, and added he can be 'one of the best' in the league if he's protected well and playing with suitable weapons on offense.

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We just don't see any team trading for Flacco. Everyone knows the Ravens are moving on with Lamar Jackson and they will release Flacco sometime this offseason. Any team interested in the strong-armed veteran would just wait for him to be signed free and clear without surrendering any compensation.

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10. NYG - RB Jonathan Stewart likely done with NY Giants

Source: The Athletic - Dan Duggan

New York Giants RB Jonathan Stewart's two-year contract must be exercised by the third day of the waiver period, which begins Feb. 4. He is scheduled to receive a $2.35 million salary in 2019, but the Giants wouldn't take on any dead money and could recoup a cap credit of $250,000 from 2018 if they don't exercise his option, making it 'a complete no-brainer' he will be released, according to Dan Duggan of The Athletic.

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It would be news if the Giants were expected to keep Stewart around. They've got Saquon Barkley to lead the way and don't need the veteran back at an inflated price. Stewart might have a few teams interested if/when he's on the open market.

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11. LAR - Teammate has faith in RB Todd Gurley

Source: ProFootballTalk.com - Mike Florio

Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley will bounce back with a strong game in Super Bowl LIII after rushing for 10 yards and a TD on four carries and catching one pass for three yards in the NFC Championship Game on Jan. 20, in the opinion of QB Jared Goff. I expect him to have a big game,' Goff said Thursday, Jan. 24. 'He's going to go out there and do everything he normally does. For whatever (reason) -- last week wasn't his and it happens. It's not the end of the world. I think he knows that and approaches it like a pro.'

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Gurley doesn't quite seem like himself after only getting four carries in the NFC Championship Game, yet the team insists that he's healthy enough to play. If Gurley needs a breather during the Super Bowl, the Rams can confidently turn to C.J. Anderson to carry the load.

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12. CAR - QB Cam Newton back by OTAs

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

Updating previous reports, Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (shoulder) is hopeful be back to throwing by organized team activities and ready for training camp.

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There was initial fear or concern that Newton would need to miss the entire 2019 season. After his surgery (a minor procedure), the reports are much more positive. We'll see the Panthers ease Newton back into action as we get into the spring and summer.

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13. HOU - RB Lamar Miller a possible cap casualty

Source: Spotrac.com

Houston Texans RB Lamar Miller has only $1 million of guaranteed money left on his contract, and the team could elect to release him, according to Spotrac. The move would save more than $6 million in cap room.

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The move would not be a surprising one given Miller's cap hit, age and injury history. The Texans could choose to move on from Miller and find another starting running back through the draft. They also have D'Onta Foreman waiting in the wings for a larger opportunity (if he stays healthy).

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14. GB - WR Cole Beasley a possible fit in Green Bay?

Source: Green Bay Press-Gazette - Pete Dougherty

Dallas Cowboys WR Cole Beasley could be a possible free-agent target for the Green Bay Packers, in the opinion of the Green Bay Press-Gazette's Pete Dougherty, assuming the team does not retain WR Randall Cobb, who is also a free agent.

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Beasley is going to have some suitors on the open market as his time in Dallas is done. He can get open on underneath routes and he basically would fit in with the Packers where Cobb was.

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15. GB - TE Jimmy Graham one and done in GB?

Source: Green Bay Press-Gazette - Pete Dougherty

Green Bay Packers TE Jimmy Graham could be released during the offseason, in the opinion of the Green Bay Press-Gazette's Pete Dougherty, a move that would save the team $5.3 million in cap space.

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Graham was not that impressive in his first year with the Packers, even though when he signed it sounded like an exciting match. It was kind of like his first year in Seattle, but Graham finished with 55 catches for 636 receiving yards but just two touchdowns. The lack of scores kept Graham from being a TE1 for Fantasy GMs, and he ranked as the no.14 fantasy tight end (standard leagues) in 2018.

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16. CIN - Cincinnati backing QB Andy Dalton

Source: The Cincinnati Enquirer - Fletcher Page

Cincinnati Bengals QB Andy Dalton has a 'number of years' left, according to director of player personnel Duke Tobin, and Tobin said the team is 'comfortable' with Dalton as the starting quarterback.

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Dalton is at an interesting point in his contract. He's due $16.2 million in 2019 but there is zero remaining in dead money. If the Bengals wanted to move on from Dalton, then now would be the time to do it. It sounds like at this time they're content on keeping him around as the starter...stay tuned.

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17. NFL - Dexter Williams moving up draft boards

Source: NFL.com - Lance Zierlein

Notre Dame RB Dexter Williams performed well in Senior Bowl practice Thursday, Jan. 24, according to Lance Zierlein of NFL.com, and Zierlein believes Williams could be a Day 2 pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

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Williams has done a good job during the week of practices in Mobile. He's shown great burst as a runner and his decisive cuts get him to the second level quickly. Williams has also performed better as a receiver than some expected. He could be a mid-round pick in the 2019 NFL draft.

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18. NFL - Deebo Samuel boosting stock

Source: NFL.com - Lance Zierlein

South Carolina WR Deebo Samuel has been 'fantastic all week' during Senior Bowl practices, according to Lance Zierlein of NFL.com, and Zierlein said he spoke with multiple NFL teams that have been impressed by Samuel's performance.

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Seen as a second-round pick before the Senior Bowl practices, Samuel has worked his way into the first-round conversation. Samuel has impressed with his concentration and athletic ability. Listed at 5'11" 216 pounds, Samuel plays larger than his size and has good run-after-the-catch ability. We'll see if he continues to impress during the pre-draft process.

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19. DET - Detroit to pursue tight ends?

Source: ESPN.com - Michael Rothstein

Detroit Lions TE Luke Willson's lack of production and the injuries to TE Michael Roberts (shoulder) will have the Lions targeting tight ends in free agency and in the 2019 NFL Draft, according to Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com.

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We could see that happening for the Lions. The tight end class is a good one, and the Lions may be tempted to select someone like T.J. Hockenson (Iowa) in the first round. The Lions currently have the no.8 overall selection in the 2019 NFL draft.

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20. DEN - OC optimistic about QB Case Keenum

Source: 9News.com - Mike Klis

Denver Broncos QB Case Keenum has a chance to play well in the team's new offensive system, according offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello.

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It's an introductory press conference, so Scangarello is going to be positive about his veteran quarterback currently in place. He needs to get ready to coach someone else in case the Broncos decide to move on from Keenum. Their options could be Joe Flacco, Nick Foles or a first-round pick in the 2019 NFL draft.

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That'll do it for today, Folks. Thanks for reading and we'll see you tomorrow with the Update.

Peace,

J