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Footballguys #281 - 1/27 - News And Notes From Around The League

Volume 20, #281 -- Sunday Night, January 27th, 2019

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Howdy Folks,

And we're in Super Bowl Week. Let's get to it.

J


1. LAR - PK Greg Zuerlein expects to play

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

Los Angeles Rams PK Greg Zuerlein (foot) said he should be good to go after a few more days of treatment on his injured left foot. 'It hurt, but not enough to stop me from playing,' Zuerlein said.

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Zuerlein will play but the confidence in him to hit 50+ yard field goals with the game on the line might be shaken in Sean McVay if he struggles on early extra point and shorter attempts. This could be one of the stories of the game.

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2. NYG - NYG may consider WR Chris Hogan

Source: SNY - Ralph Vacchiano

New England Patriots impending free-agent WR Chris Hogan could be an option for the New York Giants in free agency, in the opinion of SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.

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Hogan could also be an option for the Dolphins if they hire Brian Flores and he brings along Chad O'Shea to coordinate the offense. He has made more contributions recent and should generate some interest on a short deal.

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3. NYJ - Dante Fowler may be target for NYJ

Source: SNY - Ralph Vacchiano

Los Angeles Rams impending free-agent DE Dante Fowler likely will receive interest from the New York Jets when free agency begins, in the opinion of SNY's Ralph Vacchiano.

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Fowler has had some impact moments and certainly done enough to generate interest in free agency at the all important edge rusher position. The Rams could seek to keep him with the head start on the free agent market and lack of strong options at the position.

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4. OAK - TE Jared Cook posts 71 yards

Source: ESPN.com

Oakland Raiders TE Jared Cook caught three passes for 71 yards against the NFC in the 2019 Pro Bowl.

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Cook made a great statement going into free agency. He might have been underpaid at five million last year with the desire for his skillset to create mismatches in the passing game. He'll likely be a TE1 heading into next year no matter where he lands, but could hit the jackpot for fantasy if he ends up somewhere like New Orleans or on a Gronk-less Patriots team.

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5. NE - QB Tom Brady says he's not retiring

Source: ESPN - Adam Schefter

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady said Sunday, Jan. 27, there's 'zero' chance Super Bowl LIII will be his last game.

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Some may want to see no more of Brady if he wins yet another Super Bowl, but it doesn't sound like he's going to satisfy them.

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6. WAS - QB Alex Smith not in 2019 plans?

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

Washington Redskins QB Alex Smith (leg) is tentatively not in the team's 2019 plans as the general feeling in the organization is that he'll miss the season with complications resulting from broken leg this past fall, sources said Sunday, Jan. 27.

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Smith's leg had a huge apparatus on it when he was recently seen in public, lending credence to this report. The team could attempt to move up in the draft for a long term answer, but should also pursue a free agent like Teddy Bridgewater to start Week 1.

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7. PIT - WR Antonio Brown could still remain a Steeler

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown remains the subject of exploratory trade talks by the team, but Brown hasn't closed the door entirely on returning and has 'maintained a steady dialogue' with some he's close to in the Steelers organization to further that cause.

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The combine is going to be a key time for the future of this situation as that's when a lot of NFL decision makers get to interact face to face. The chances of Brown staying are higher than they seemed at the beginning of the offseason, but probably still below 50/50.

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8. NYG - QB Eli Manning could help groom successor

Source: New York Post - Paul Schwartz

New York Giants QB Eli Manning is likely to return for another season and help groom his successor, likely a high-round rookie draft pick.

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The Giants started prepping us for the return of Eli with many reports that he could stick around. They may not draft a quarterback at six, which is more ammo for the keep Eli movement, even though it would doom the team to another mediocre season.

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9. MIN - OLB Anthony Barr entering big offseason

Source: ESPN.com - Courtney Cronin

Minnesota Vikings LB Anthony Barr could be headed to the free-agent market this offseason if the team doesn't apply the franchise tag, but he said last week that he's ready for all possibilities. 'I'm not sure there really is a plan,' Barr said during Pro Bowl practice. 'I think it kind of dictates itself. I've done what I've done and what's going to happen is kind of out of my control. Obviously I'll have a choice, hopefully, as to where I want to go but I can't control much more than what I'm doing now.'

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Barr didn't make a lot of splash plays in 2018 and the Vikings don't seem eager to pay him at what the market rate would be for his services with a young core already in place and a lot of money committed to new contracts. Sheldon Richardson is also a free agent and the team needs to throw money at the offensive line. They may not tag him with other needs taking precedence.

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10. CHI - Bobby Massie lands four-year extension

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

Impending free-agent OT Bobby Massie re-signed with the Chicago Bears on Saturday, Jan. 26, agreeing to a four-year undisclosed contract.

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Massie had a durable and strong season and deserved the extension he got, which will make him one of the top five or so highest paid right tackles in the league. The Bears are smart to spend to keep their own. Keeping Massie from getting to the free agent market also likely saved them some money.

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11. BAL - WR John Brown wants more deep shots

Source: The Athletic - Jeff Zrebiec

Baltimore Ravens WR John Brown remains open to re-signing with Baltimore, but he said he would like to be in an offense that takes more shots downfield.

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Brown could also rejoin Bruce Arians in Tampa Bay in a move that makes a lot of sense if Desean Jackson is gone. Really Brown could fit in any offense, and teams like the Colts and Raiders could also make a run at him.

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12. PHI - RB Corey Clement to miss time in 2019?

Source: CSNPhilly.com - Andrew Kulp

Philadelphia Eagles RB Corey Clement (knee) still hasn't revealed the exact nature of his knee injury, but Andrew Kulp of CSNPhilly.com believes the injury could force him to miss the start of the 2019 season.

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The Eagles are of the most likely teams to make a splash at running back even though UDFA Josh Adams had an auspicious start to his career. Darren Sproles might retire, Jay Ajayi is a free agent, and Wendell Smallwood is still just a committee back. Whatever plans they had for Clement are up in the air with this injury hanging over him.

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13. IND - TE Erik Swoope's contract expires

Source: NFLCommunications.com

Indianapolis Colts TE Erik Swoope had his practice squad contract expire, making him a free agent.

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Swoope needs to prove he can stay healthy before anyone will sign him, but the former college basketball player has flashed some good hands, speed, and useful size as a receiver in his short stints off of the injury report.

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14. NFL - Keelan Doss caps solid Senior Bowl

Source: NFL.com - Daniel Jeremiah

California-Davis WR Keelan Doss had four catches for 55 yards in the Senior Bowl Saturday, Jan. 26, and Doss stood out as one of the smoothest receivers throughout the week, according to Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com.

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Doss is part of another deep class of wideouts that is following seemingly impossibly deep classes the last two years. Wide receiver guru Brad Kelly compares him to James Jones.

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15. NFL - Ryan Finley impressing teams

Source: NFL.com - Daniel Jeremiah

North Carolina State QB Ryan Finley had the 'cleanest' game of any quarterback at the Senior Bowl, according to Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com, and Jeremiah said all the teams that spoke with Finley throughout the week have 'really liked him.'

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This still only puts Finley in third day consideration. This is not a very deep class of quarterbacks, but Finley at least fits in as a possible long-term backup in a best case scenario. He could also go very late or undrafted despite generating some hype earlier in his career.

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16. NFL - Hunter Renfrow shows up in Senior Bowl

Source: DraftWire - Gavino Borquez

Clemson WR Hunter Renfrow caught fives passes for 65 yards, including a 35-yard reception, in the Senior Bowl Saturday, Jan. 26.

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Renfrow is a limited prospect, but he'll be a productive slot receiver in the NFL. Teams that want but don't get Adam Humphries in free agency can look to Renfrow in the draft.

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17. NFL - Charles Omenihu solidifies stock

Source: DraftWire - Gavino Borquez

Texas DL Charles Omenihu lived up to his status as a 'potential first-rounder' in the 2019 NFL Draft with his performance during the Senior Bowl, in the opinion of Gavino Borquez of DraftWire.

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This is very strong edge rusher class, but Omenihu has length and strength and his upside could indeed get him into the first round.

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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