By Anthony Cervino Wed, Mar 22nd 8:54am EDT
ESPN's Rich Cimini believes newly acquired quarterback Josh McCown will enter 2017 as the New York Jets' Week 1 starter "by default." However, the beat reporter also believes Christian Hackenberg "will take over sooner than later" during the course of the campaign. (Source: ESPN)
Fantasy Impact: The Jets are expected to start McCown in the season opener. However, he will turn 38-years-old by the time training camp begins and is clearly not the long-term answer at quarterback for a rebuilding football team. With Bryce Petty and Hackenberg waiting in the wings, the Jets will likely want to see what they have for the future. Petty garnered playing time last season but did not impress as the team went ahead and signed McCown. But Hackenberg failed to take a snap in 2016 and is the unknown commodity of the trio. Once the Jets are mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, and let's face it, barring a magical run, they will be out of it early on in the second half of the year, expect Hackenberg to finally make his first career start.
By Anthony Cervino Mon, Mar 20th 11:26am EDT
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger told the media he's "leaning towards" playing in 2017. (Source: CBS Sports)
Fantasy Impact: After giving the Steelers a scare following the team's loss to the Patriots in the AFC Championship game when he said he might retire this offseason, the 35-year-old signal caller told the media he'll likely return for the 2017 season. That comes to no surprise as many of the media-elite believed Roethlisberger was just "blowing off steam" after the crushing defeat. At this point, expect Roethlisberger to be on the field (for the Steelers) in Week 1.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport is reporting a source close to Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch said the possibility of the rusher coming out of retirement is "realer than its ever been." (Source: Ian Rapoport on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Lynch is once again pondering coming out of retirement and is heavily being linked to the Oakland Raiders. Oakland, who has a need at running back after losing Latavius Murray in free agency to the Vikings, could attempt to trade for or sign Lynch if he is released. However, the Seahawks, who still own the rights to the retired back, are unlikely to let him go without significant compensation. If Lynch does come out of retirement and is still a member of the Seahawks organization, they would be on the hook for his $9 million cap hit for 2017. And with roughly $14.7 million in remaining cap space, the Seahawks may be forced to grant him his outright release, which plays into the Raiders hand. According to a source close to Lynch, "it's Raiders or bust," if he does, in fact, unretire. This story will develop as the offseason progresses.
NFL Network's Mike Garafolo is reporting former FSU running back Dalvin Cook visited with the Philadelphia Eagles Thursday. (Source: Mike Garafolo on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: The Eagles, who have the 14th overall pick in the upcoming NFL draft, have a need at running back. And although they haven't selected a rusher in the first round since selecting Keith Byars 10th overall in 1986, Cook is on their radar. The former FSU standout is ranked second behind LSU star Leonard Fournette on the running back draft boards by most experts and barring a setback, he is a sure-fire first-round pick in April. The Eagles still have Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles and Wendell Smallwood -- their top three backs from last season -- under contract, but the former could ultimately be released, which opens up the top spot on the depth chart for Cook.
Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman told the media running back Adrian Peterson "will be moving on" from the team in 2017. (Source: Ian Rapoport on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: After the Vikings signed Latavius Murray early Thursday morning, the writing was on the wall for Peterson's tenure in Minnesota to come to an end. Peterson, who remains on the open market, had already visited with the Seahawks but left without signing a deal. His best fit would likely be in Oakland. The Raiders lost Murray to the Vikings and have a top five offensive line for Peterson to run behind. The Giants and Cowboys could also be in the mix to sign the veteran rusher, but he would have to take less money to play for either one of those clubs.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport is reporting former New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis has been dismissed of all charges stemming from an altercation in Pittsburgh last month. (Source: Ian Rapoport on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Revis' charges that include two counts of felony aggravated assault, robbery, conspiracy and making terroristic threats during an altercation in Pittsburgh's Southside district in February, were all dismissed by a judge Wednesday at his hearing. The veteran free agent defensive back, who was released by the Jets shortly following the incident, remains on the open market. However, he could be signed sooner rather than later in the wake of his favorable court appearance.
Cleveland Browns beat writer Mary Kay Cabot is reporting the Browns are not expected to "make a run" at Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins. However, Cabot adds that three other teams around the league have inquired about Cousins in the "past 10 days or so", but were "immediately turned down." (Source: Cleveland.com)
Fantasy Impact: It appears that the Browns, who acquired a boatload of draft picks to likely package in a trade for a franchise quarterback, are not going to pursue Cousins despite the reports via ProFootballTalk.com Tuesday suggesting that they will. Cabot believes that the Browns are out of the mix because of the compensation it would take to ultimately acquire him. Plus, "they'd probably have to make any deal contingent upon a multi-year extension," so that they don't mortgage their future to rent Cousins for one year, per Cabot. And although three other teams reportedly inquired about Cousins, their offers were shot down right away. Cousins could play the 2017 season in Washington after all, with or without a long-term deal in place by the July 15 deadline. He already signed his franchise tag last week. For the Browns, they are still expected to try to trade for Patriots backup Jimmy Garoppolo, or, Bengals backup A.J. McCarron. If they fail to bring in a signal caller via trade, and if they don't draft one, they'll likely enter the season with Cody Kessler as their starter. Unless of course, they sign Jay Cutler, Colin Kaepernick or Geno Smith, who are all available free agents that remain unsigned.
Free agent cornerback Terence Newman told SiriusXM Radio he intends to play in 2017. “I’m planning on playing,” Newman said. “So, hopefully, we get something wrapped up in the next couple days. … There should be a deal imminent. I can’t break that part of it to you, but there is a deal that’s imminent, that’s in the works and in the next day or two, it should come out." (Source: SiriusXM)
Fantasy Impact: Newman, 38, will play next season. However, he is unlikely to return to the Vikings. During his interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio, the veteran cornerback did not reveal the identity of his new team that is expected to finalize a deal with him in the coming days, but he did say that he'll likely land with a Super Bowl contender. He also said that the lone reason to continue his playing career at this point is to chase a championship ring. Perhaps the Cowboys, who are in need of veteran cornerback help, will be the team that signs him. Not only did Dallas draft him fifth overall in the 2003 draft, but he also spent the first nine years of his career with the club. Oh, and they are one of the favorites to win the Suoer Bowl next season. Although this is only speculation, it wouldn't be a surprise if Newman ultimately signs with the Cowboys and wraps up his stellar career in Dallas.
NFL Insider Pat Kirwan believes Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo will play for the Houston Texans in 2017. "Sounds more and more like Romo lands in Houston," Kirwan said via Twitter. (Source: Pat Kirwan on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: As Romo remains a member of the Cowboys, the question still lingers, where will he play next season? Since Houston traded away last year's free agency blunder, Brock Osweiler and his ridiculous contract to the Browns last week, the Texans are the favorites to land the longtime Cowboys general. However, I wouldn't count the Broncos out of the mix just yet. Since the Cowboys are likely holding out from moving Romo in an attempt to garner a return via trade for his services, this situation could linger all the way up to the draft unless Dallas elects to grant him his outright release with a post-June 1 designation.
NFL Network's Aditi Kinkhabwala is reporting New England Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower visited with the Pittsburgh Steelers Tuesday. (Source: Aditi Kinkhabwala on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Although Hightower visited with Pittsburgh Tuesday, Kinkhabwala is reporting that a deal was offered but remains unsigned. However, the NFL Insider is also stating that if Hightower leaves Pittsburgh's, the deal will be off the table. Still, Hightower is expected to return to New England in an attempt to negotiate a deal with the Patriots.
By Anthony Cervino Tue, Mar 14th 3:32pm EDT
ESPN's Jeremy Fowler is reporting Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant is eligible to return to the NFL, but has not yet been reinstated. (Source: ESPN)
Fantasy Impact: Today is Tuesday, March 14, 2017. Exactly one year ago, the NFL suspended Bryant for one-year due to multiple violations of the league's substance abuse policy. Although he is now eligible to return, the league has yet to reinstate him. He applied for his reinstatement "around" January 28. 2017, per Fowler. The Steelers' beat writer is reporting that Bryant should hear an answer from the league "likely sometime between now and late March, or 60 days from when he officially applied for reinstatement." The next step for the troubled wideout is to meet with commissioner Roger Goodell. While there is no meeting scheduled, Bryant could get a call "any day" now to set it up. If Bryant is indeed reinstated and barring a setback, he will be, he'll likely resume his role starting opposite Antonio Brown on Pittsburgh's loaded offense. The Steelers have not had a quality and consistent No. 2 receiver to compliment Brown while Bryant's been sidelined. His impending reinstatement will make the Steelers' offense, more so their aerial attack, that much more deadly than it was in 2016. Pittsburgh finished last season ranked fifth in total net passing yards.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport is reporting the New York Jets have been "in touch" with, and are "keeping tabs on" free agent quarterback Jay Cutler. (Source: Ian Rapoport on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: It comes to no surprise that the Jets and Cutler have been in contact of late. The free agent quarterback has been linked to the Jets for just about the entire offseason, even before the Bears released him. With quarterback vacancies beginning to fill up around the league, Cutler's options are not only dwindling, but they also appear few and far between. If Cutler intends to start next season, the Jets may be his only option barring an injury to a signal caller on another club. However, Cutler is in no position to hold out for an ideal situation. If New York offers him a deal, he'll likely accept it or he could face beginning the 2017 campaign as a backup elsewhere.
ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting free agent running back Jamaal Charles will visit with the Seattle Seahawks Wednesday and Thursday. (Source: Adam Schefter on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: The Seahawks will visit with or have already hosted free agent running backs Eddie Lacy and Adrian Peterson. Add Charles to that list. He will visit with the team Wednesday going into Thursday per Schefter. It appears that the Seahawks are unhappy with their current running back situation, which explains why they are hosting the trio of savvy NFL veteran rushers. C.J. Prosise and Thomas Rawls have a combined three years of NFL experience and are already labeled injury-prone. Adding Charles, Lacy or Peterson could bolster a Seahawks rushing attack that was once the bread and butter of their offense.
ESPN's Jim Trotter is reporting free agent wide receiver Anquan Boldin intends to play in 2017. (Source: Jim Trotter on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Boldin, 36, intends to return for a 15th NFL season in 2017. His return fully depends on if he can find a suitor for his services, and because he produced a 67-584-8 stat line last season with the Lions, he should have no issue finding a team to sign him. Due to his veteran status, he may wait until training camp to sign with a new club, or back with Detroit, in an attempt to avoid OTAs, as a handful of veterans are known to do.
By Anthony Cervino Sat, Mar 11th 8:35am EST
Appearing on 97.1 The Fan in Colombus, Ohio, ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting the New England Patriots are not trading quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo "no matter what" the Cleveland Browns offer. (Source: Adam Schefter on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: When asked by on-air host Anthony Rothman, "if it's because [the] Patriots love Jimmy Garoppolo so much or [becasue the] Browns wouldn't offer enough" in a potential trade, Schefter said, "it's not about Browns." That likely means New England views Garoppolo as their quarterback of the future when Tom Brady eventually retires. Still, with the 2017 NFL Draft weeks away, it is not out of the question that Garoppolo ultimately is dealt for picks.
Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace named newly signed quarterback Mike Glennon the team's starter for 2017. “Mike Glennon is our starting quarterback and we’re fired up about that," Pace said Friday. (Source: Ian Rapoport on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Glennon, who signed a three-year, $45 million deal with Chicago that includes $18.5 million in guaranteed money, will start for the club in 2017. The former Buccaneers field general posted a 5-13 career win-loss record in 18 games as a starter in Tampa Bay, but Bears brass believes he's shown enough to turn Chicago's franchise around and be their future. Glennon has thrown for 30 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in his career.
Packers RB Eddie Lacy is set to visit with the Seahawks and Vikings along with revisiting with the Packers. (Source: Ian Rapoport on Twitter )
Fantasy Impact: Eddie Lacy was slowed last season with an ankle injury that limited him to five games accumulating 71 carries for 360 yards. After being two years removed from his last 1,000 yard season many people are skeptical if we will ever get the "RB1" Lacy back. Depending on what system Lacy ends up in will show his value. Going into drafts many will be hesitant to draft Lacy but think of him as this seasons DeMarco Murray. He still has stuff left in the tank- just needs the right opportunity.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport is reporting the Cleveland Browns are "planning on cutting" newly acquired quarterback Brock Osweiler. (Source: Ian Rapoport on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: It comes to no surprise that the Browns will release Osweiler and eat the dead cap money. With $98,953,328 in cap room entering free agency, the Browns have the means to make this move. Cleveland remains in the quarterback hunt this offseason.
ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting Baltimore Ravens running back Kenneth Dixon is suspended for four games for violating the league's PED policy. (Source: Adam Schefter on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: Dixon, who was expected to enter 2017 atop Baltimore's running back depth chart, was suspended for the first four games of the year for PED use by the NFL. The impending second-year rusher came on strong at the end of the 2016 season scoring all three of his touchdowns from Week 14 and beyond. This will be the second consecutive year Dixon will be sidelined for the month of September -- he missed the first four games of 2016 with an MCL injury.
By Israel Katz Thu, Mar 9th 10:22am EST
The New England Patriots are considering including CB Malcolm Butler in a deal to get Brandin Cooks. (Source: Dianna Russini on Twitter)
Fantasy Impact: If Cooks can make his way over to the New England Patriots it would be an upgrade for both Brady and Cooks. Cooks has fallen out of favor in New Orleans and a change in imminent. I would expect more pieces to be included but it is exciting to see where Cooks will end up. If Cooks does end up in New England expect his fantasy value to rise tremendously, though I'm not so sure it should.
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