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Footballguys #282 - 1/28 - News And Notes From Around The League

Volume 20, #282 -- Monday Night, January 28th, 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


1. DAL - DeMarcus Lawrence may hold out if tagged

Source: Fort Worth Star-Telegram - Clarence E. Hill Jr.

Dallas Cowboys impending free-agent DE DeMarcus Lawrence may consider skipping offseason workouts and training camp if he receives the franchise tag again this season, according to sources.

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Lawrence played well under the tag this year and deserves to get long term security as he has been playing through back and shoulder issues for most of his career. The Cowboys should give him what he wants this offseason.

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2. HOU - WR Demaryius Thomas may be cap casualty

Source: Spotrac.com

Houston Texans WR Demaryius Thomas is a candidate to be released this offseason since the Texans would save $14 million in salary cap space if he is released, according to Spotrac.com.

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Thomas should be released unless he takes a big pay cut and he might be waiting until the preseason to be signed as he comes back from an achilles rupture. His useful fantasy days could be over.

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3. ATL - RB Tevin Coleman may not return

Source: ESPN.com - Vaughn McClure

Atlanta Falcons impending free-agent RB Tevin Coleman may not re-sign with the Falcons this offseason since the Falcons have RB Devonta Freeman under contract through the 2022 season, in the opinion of ESPN.com's Vaughn McClure.

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The Falcons also have Ito Smith and Brian Hill, so they have no reason to overpay Coleman when a team that wants to give him a larger role and more cap room will. His dynasty value is very volatile right now.

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4. ATL - DT Grady Jarrett a priority

Source: ESPN.com - Vaughn McClure

Atlanta Falcons impending free-agent DT Grady Jarrett will be a top priority for the team in terms of re-signing players this offseason, according to general manager Thomas Dimitroff.

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Jarrett generates interior pressure as well as anyone this side of Aaron Donald and he should be getting a very lucrative contract. The Falcons have been getting his production on the cheap, so he might be more willing to test the market if they don't offer him something in line with the biggest contracts at defensive tackle before Donald broke the market last year.

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5. BAL - WR John Brown struggled with Lamar Jackson

Source: ESPN.com - Jamison Hensley

Baltimore Ravens impending free-agent WR John Brown caught only eight passes for 114 yards and one touchdown in seven games when QB Lamar Jackson took over the starting job. Brown recorded 34 catches for 601 yards and four touchdowns in nine games with QB Joe Flacco. Brown said he is open to returning to the Ravens but would expect things to change if he re-signed.

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Brown will be a great sleeper in drafts with his final numbers hiding how productive he was before Jackson took over. He should be starting somewhere next season, and depending on his destination be even more productive than he was with Flacco.

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6. MIA - Ja'Wuan James may test market

Source: ESPN.com - Cameron Wolfe

Miami Dolphins impending free-agent OT Ja'Wuan James said he is looking forward to free agency this offseason.

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James is far from an elite talent, but with Bobby Massie locked up by the Bears, he's one of the few options available for teams looking for a starter at tackle in free agency. He'll get paid this offseason.

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7. KC - TE Travis Kelce looking at history

Source: USA TODAY Fantasy Sports

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce can become just the third tight end in NFL history to achieve four straight seasons of at least 80 receptions and 1,000 receiving yards. Former NFL TEs Tony Gonzalez and Jason Witten are the other two.

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Kelce vs Ertz will be a good debate in 2019 drafts, with both worthy of second-round picks in redraft leagues.

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8. DEN - Drew Lock of interest to John Elway

Source: The Denver Post - Mark Kiszla

Missouri QB Drew Lock has impressed Denver Broncos general manager John Elway. The 'worst kept secret' during the Senior Bowl was Elway's affinity for Lock, in the opinion of The Denver Post's Mark Kiszla. Kiszla opined that Elway is 'smitten' with the prospect.

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It doesn't help the Broncos at all to have this out there if Elway is genuinely interested in Lock, as they have at least two quarterback hungry teams picking in front of them. This could also be put out there get teams off of the scent of the quarterback the Broncos really want. This is just the opening chapter in what should be an intrigue filled offseason for Denver, Jacksonville, the Giants, Washington and Miami as they address long term instability at quarterback.

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9. NE - WR Josh Gordon still being treated

Source: ProFootballTalk.com - Charean Williams

New England Patriots WR Josh Gordon remains at an inpatient drug treatment facility, according to a source. The Patriots are paying for Gordon's treatment while the NFL's Players Association is working with Gordon to help treat his addiction. Gordon is serving an indefinite suspension for diluted drug test samples - a violation of his reinstatement.

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Gordon probably won't return to the NFL in time to play next year and it's reasonable to assume that he may never play again considering the hoops the league forced him to jump through to get back on the field. We hope that he can find some stability and peace away from football.

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10. PHI - QB Nick Foles heading elsewhere?

Source: 104.3 The Fan - Cecil Lammey

Philadelphia Eagles QB Nick Foles is expected to be released this offseason as there is not enough salary cap space for a franchise tag or a trade. Foles carries a cap hit of over $20 million. If Foles is released, the Eagles would be compensated with a third-round draft pick in 2020.

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Foles might not generate enough trade interest to justify more than a third round pick in exchange anyway. The Eagles have seemed to want to do right by Foles and allowing him to pick his new team via release would be the best move to achieve that goal.

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11. MIA - Miami hires two assistants

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

New York Giants outside linebackers coach Robbie Leonard and Jacksonville Jaguars defensive line coach Marion Hobby have reportedly agreed to join prospective new head coach Brian Flores' coaching staff with the Miami Dolphins in undisclosed capacities, according to sources.

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Hobby played for the Patriots, but otherwise the duo has no connection to New England. Patrick Graham is in line to go from the Patriots staff to being the Dolphins defensive coordinator under Flores.

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12. NYJ - RB Kareem Hunt not an option for NY Jets

Source: ProFootballTalk.com - Josh Alper

Free-agent RB Kareem Hunt is unlikely to be of interest to the New York Jets, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.

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Enough time has passed for Hunt to likely get signed somewhere, but that team will have to have a plan to deal with the PR storm the signing will generate. Hunt is obviously still a top talent and should be held in dynasty leagues, but he could start out as a backup who has to earn his touches.

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13. PIT - WR Antonio Brown not cleared for trade talks

Source: NFL Network - Ian Rapoport

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Antonio Brown has not been granted permission to seek a trade, according to sources.

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This is still a very difficult situation to predict with a significant chance still of Brown returning to the Steelers.

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14. NFL - Drew Lock's stock rising

Source: MMQB - Peter King

Missouri QB Drew Lock improved his stock the most among quarterbacks at the Senior Bowl, and he likely entrenched himself as a first-round pick in the 2019 NFL draft.

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That is probably more because of the underwhelming group of quarterbacks at the game than Lock having an excellent week. He should go in the Top 15, but more because of quarterback thirst than a strong resume as a draft prospect.

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15. NFL - Montez Sweat shines at Senior Bowl

Source: The Athletic - Dane Brugler

Mississippi State DE Montez Sweat 'cemented his status' as a top-20 selection with his practice performance leading up to the Senior Bowl, according to The Athletic's Dane Brugler.

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Sweat might vault into the Top 10 in a lesser EDGE class, but this is going to be best class of edge rushers in recent memory. Seattle might miss out on a chance to get him at 21 now.

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16. SF - San Francisco hiring Shane Day

Source: NBC Sports Bay Area - Matt Maiocco

The San Francisco 49ers are hiring Shane Day (Dolphins) as their quarterbacks coach, replacing current Denver Broncos offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello.

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Day came up under Mike Martz in San Francisco and Chicago. He doesn't have much success to point to during his stint with the Dolphins, but will have a good head coach to work under in Kyle Shanahan.

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17. NFL - Terry McLaurin earns rave reviews

Source: NBC Sports Bay Area - Matt Maiocco

Ohio State WR Terry McLaurin's ability to find holes in zone coverage and beat man coverage should make him a productive slot receiver in the NFL, according to multiple scouts.

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McLaurin might have gained more draft value than any other receiver or player in Mobile last week. He was underused at Ohio State like Michael Thomas, and could work his way into the top 10-12 wide receivers and the second day of the draft.

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18. NFL - Mobility an issue for Tyree Jackson

Source: NBC Sports Bay Area - Matt Maiocco

Buffalo QB Tyree Jackson is too much of a 'statue in the pocket,' according to an AFC coordinator.

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Jackson is a high-upside project, but one that will require a few years before he is even trusted to be a backup. Expect him to go on the second or third day and monitor his development.

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19. PHI - RB Josh Adams not in Philly's plans?

Source: CSNPhilly.com - Andrew Kulp

Philadelphia Eagles RB Josh Adams lack of involvement during the postseason is a sign that he has 'fallen out of favor' with the coaching staff, according to Andrew Kulp of CSNPhilly.com, and Kulp expects the Eagles to part ways with Adams this offseason.

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Adams had some moments in his short stint atop the depth chart and looked like no mere UDFA. He should catch on another roster if he let go, but his fantasy upside is limited by his lack of involvement in the passing game.

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20. PHI - RB Jay Ajayi finished in Philly?

Source: NBC Sports Philadelphia - Reuben Frank

Philadelphia Eagles RB Jay Ajayi's (knee) history of knee injuries will likely cause the Eagles to part ways with him this offseason and target a running back in the 2019 NFL Draft, in the opinion of Reuben Frank of NBC Sports Philadelphia.

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Ajayi was still running well at the beginning of the season but there will likely be skepticism about his ability in free agency in a league that is depressing the value more of running backs with each passing year. He'll likely have to fight his way up a depth chart to have fantasy value next season.

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21. PHI - TE Zach Ertz battled injuries down stretch

Source: PennLive.com - Daniel Gallen

Philadelphia Eagles TE Zach Ertz (undisclosed) said he was less than 100 percent down the stretch of the season, but he didn't reveal the exact nature of his injuries.

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Ertz production did tail off at times with Nick Foles, but this could be a better explanation than a lack of chemistry. Still, many players are getting worn down by the end of the year, and it will be difficult to expect more from Ertz next year.

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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