Player News

Date: Team: Pos:

The San Francisco Chronicle's Vic Tafur expects Maurice Jones-Drew to be the Raiders' No. 1 running back this season.

As do we, despite other beat writers' speculation Darren McFadden would get the nod. MJD is simply a superior between-the-tackles runner to DMC, and a better pass protector as well. Still, the Raiders are expected to utilize a committee approach. Jones-Drew should be viewed as an RB3/flex in fantasy leagues.
Jul 23 - 10:50 PM

The Washington Times expects the Redskins to "tilt away" from the zone-blocking scheme and incorporate more power concepts under new coach Jay Gruden.

Gruden's background is indeed in power running, and Washington's obvious offseason effort to get bigger in the trenches suggests the Shanahans' system will be gradually scrapped. It's something of a concern for Alfred Morris, who also offers very little in the passing game. We like Morris to stay in the 270-carry range this season, but clearing 300 like he did as a rookie is unrealistic with more emphasis on the pass. His YPC average could also take a hit.
Jul 23 - 10:46 PM

Coach Marc Trestman confirmed Jordan Palmer will enter camp as the Bears' No. 2 quarterback.

The Bears' backup quarterback position is more notable than other backup QB jobs because of Chicago's weaponry, Jay Cutler's injury history, and Trestman's history of maximizing signal-caller play. Palmer will open camp as the No. 2, but will be pushed hard by Jimmy Clausen. The loser of that battle will likely lose his roster spot, with rookie David Fales sticking around as the No. 3.
Jul 23 - 10:34 PM

49ers OLB Aldon Smith will fly to New York to meet with Roger Goodell regarding potential league discipline "in the near future."

"It could be as soon as next week," according to ESPN's Bill Williamson. Smith was recently sentenced to 11 days of work release after having felony gun charges reduced to misdemeanors. He was also arrested for DUI in 2013, and a bomb threat at LAX airport this past spring, but got off easy via the court system. The NFL is tentatively expected to suspend Smith 4-6 games.
Source: ESPN.com
Jul 23 - 10:28 PM

The Akron Beacon-Journal has Ben Tate "penciled in" as the Browns' starting running back with camp on the horizon.

Full-squad Browns camp begins Friday. Beat writer Nate Ulrich does consider third-round pick Terrance West a "legitimate threat." Tate has an early edge because of his background in Gary Kubiak's zone-running scheme, which is very similar to new Browns OC Kyle Shanahan's. If Tate makes it through camp healthy, he's the likely Week 1 starter. We still wouldn't be surprised if West ends up with more 2014 carries, based largely on Tate's injury history.
Jul 23 - 10:19 PM

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer is open to moving Chad Greenway to middle linebacker.

Zimmer played strong-side linebacker last season under Leslie Frazier. He practiced at weak side during OTAs, and is now under consideration at Mike. "It’s a possibility," Zimmer said. "We keep working him in there. We’re just trying to find the best 11 players we can and then figure out where the rest of the guys are going to fit." Greenway's IDP stock could rise in the middle.
Jul 23 - 9:52 PM

Coach Mike Zimmer said Cordarrelle Patterson will continue to return kickoffs despite his increased offensive role.

Patterson was the best kick returner in the NFL last season. "We want our best players to get their hands on the ball as much as possible," Zimmer said. "We’re not going to keep him from returning kicks because he is such a dangerous weapon there." Zimmer suggested the jury remains out on whether Patterson will become an equally dynamic wide receiver. "For him to take the next step," Zimmer said, "we’re going to have to see how he gets off a jam and the things that people will try to do to take him away."
Jul 23 - 9:48 PM

Mikel Leshoure enters camp "seemingly entrenched" as the Lions' No. 4 tailback, behind Reggie Bush, Joique Bell, and Theo Riddick.

Leshoure is a between-the-tackles grinder, whereas Bush, Bell, and Riddick can theoretically all function on all three downs. Leshoure, 24, could be floated as trade bait as the season draws closer. He's on the roster bubble.
Source: MLive.com
Jul 23 - 9:43 PM

Bears RT Jordan Mills (foot) has been medically cleared for the start of camp.

Mills had surgery to repair a fractured fifth metatarsal way back in January. Although Mills is billed as having solidified the Bears' right tackle position last year, he was the weak link of Chicago's offensive line. PFF charged Mills with 62 QB hurries allowed, the most in the NFL among tackles. The Bears will hope for improvement in Mills' second year. Mills won't turn 24 until Christmas eve.
Jul 23 - 9:23 PM

Cardinals rookie TE Troy Niklas (hand surgery) was medically cleared for the start of training camp.

He recovered on schedule. Niklas' draft position (No. 52 overall) initially seemed to suggest he'd start right away in Arizona, but he broke the hand at OTAs and is now behind Jake Ballard and John Carlson. Even if Niklas climbs the depth chart in camp, he is unlikely to be a re-draft league factor under Bruce Arians.
Jul 23 - 9:15 PM

Vikings waived DE Spencer Nealy.

The move comes just about two weeks after the NFL suspended Nealy for violating its PED policy. TE Michael Higgins replaces Nealy on the roster.
Jul 23 - 8:51 PM

Browns waived WR Conner Vernon, LB Brandon Magee, and DB Royce Adams.

It's not a good sign for former Duke star Vernon that the most wideout-needy team in football cut him before camp even began. Magee has dabbled in both baseball and football. Adams was just a practice body for the offseason.
Jul 23 - 8:29 PM

Redskins OG Maurice Hurt reported to training camp out of shape.

Hurt has had conditioning problems in the past, and failed a drug test at the 2011 Combine. Under a new coaching staff, his roster spot is not secure.
Source: ESPN.com
Jul 23 - 8:16 PM

Browns coach Mike Pettine suggested Johnny Manziel will have to improve his "dedication" to be a serious competitor to start.

Browns camp hasn't even begun, but all signs point to the coaching staff favoring Brian Hoyer. "I think he knows that in order for him to compete well, he's going to have to probably be more dedicated than ever," Pettine said of Manziel. Pettine confirmed to ESPN Cleveland that Hoyer will "be with the ones" when full-squad practices begin Saturday. "I think at this point, right now, it’s more Johnny versus the playbook than it is (Johnny) versus Brian."
Jul 23 - 8:10 PM

Chris Johnson (knee) has been medically cleared for training camp.

Coach Rex Ryan described CJ?K as "flying" during his Wednesday conditioning run, which isn't surprising because Johnson has always possessed blazing straight-line speed. Johnson underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus this past January, but it was never expected to threaten his training camp status. He's expected to be 1A to Chris Ivory's 1B in the Jets' 2014 backfield.
Jul 23 - 7:58 PM



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