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NFL planning first-ever Veteran Combine

Fantasy Football Today - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 13:20

Will allow free agents to go through Rookie Combine drills

With the emergence of regional combines which allow through-the-cracks rookies to get a chance before NFL scouts, the NFL has now decided to offer veterans the same chance. The league sent out a memo to teams, which outlines their plan for the first Veteran Combine on March 22. The event will allow veteran free agents to go through the same kinds of drills and testing draft prospects go through in Indianapolis, with representatives of all 32 clubs on hand. (Pro Football Talk)

FF Today's Take: While the NFL is undoubtedly doing everything it can to infiltrate every part of the calendar year as possible, this is a good idea for fringe players to show off their wares and give personnel departments an idea of how they stack up athletically with the incoming rookie class. About 100 players will be chosen to participate this year and it wouldn't be a surprise if several of them made teams this fall.

Lacy added to injury report Thursday

Draft Sharks - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 12:03

Packers RB Eddie Lacy was added to Thursday's injury report as limited with a knee issue.  HC Mike McCarthy didn't sound concerned afterward.  "His knee is sore," McCarthy said. "I was just being conservative, so I pulled him in the middle of practice. He'll be ready to go. Coach was just nervous."  We'll update Lacy's status again tomorrow, but he should be ready to rock for Sunday's NFC Championship game. With a banged-up QB against a tough pass defense, the Packers should lean on Lacy this weekend.

Lions still high on Ebron

Draft Sharks - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 11:15

Lions TE Eric Ebron had a quiet rookie season, especially compared to Giants WR Odell Beckham, who was selected 2 picks after Ebron.  But the Lions remain high on their 1st-rounder.  "He's going to be a good player for us, and I like the job that's he's done for us at this point, in terms of his work ethic, his commitment to learning the offense," GM Martin Mayhew said.  "His athleticism shows up every day in practice, so I think all those things will translate to him being a productive player for us in the future."  Injuries and blocking deficiencies limited Ebron in 2014.  He played just 51% of Detroit's offensive snaps and never topped 4 catches or 38 yards in a game.  His plus athleticism never showed up, but that could be a result of him thinking more than just playing.  TEs rarely fare well in their rookie seasons, making Ebron an intriguing "buy low" in dynasty leagues this offseason.

Aaron Rodgers, Lacy limited on Thursday

Fantasy Football Today - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 09:15

McCarthy being cautious with RB

(On Aaron Rodgers) Participated in the second half of practice. Passed under pressure and did two team periods. Just getting ready to play. (On Eddie Lacy) His knee is sore. I was just being conservative, so I pulled him in the middle of practice. He'll be ready to go. Coach was just nervous. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

FF Today's Take: Rodgers was officially listed as limited on Thursday and while he's in no danger of missing this week's game, his mobility is going to be limited. Lacy's knee isn't a great concern at the moment as it sounds like coach was being overly cautious by holding out the Packers starting running back on Thursday.

Vikings interested in bringing Peterson back

Draft Sharks - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 06:45

Vikings GM Rick Spielman is interested in bringing RB Adrian Peterson back for the 2015 season.  “I don’t know if there’s a team in the NFL that wouldn’t want Adrian Peterson on the football team,” Spielman said.  There are still plenty of hurdles to be cleared before that happens, though.  Peterson first needs to be reinstated by the league, which can't happen until April 15th at the earliest.  Then there's the issue of his bloated contract.  Peterson is set to count $15.4 against Minnesota's 2015 salary cap.  In his prime he might have been worth that.  But Peterson turns 30 in March and will have essentially been out of football for a year.  It's fair for both the Vikings and fantasy owners to question what kind of player he'll be this coming season.

Niners to name Jim Tomsula coach

Fantasy Football Today - Wed, 01/14/2015 - 15:17

Vic Fangio not expected to return as DC

After eight known external interviews, including a second sitdown with one candidate, the San Francisco 49ers are prepared to stay in house. Jim Tomsula, who has been the Niners' defensive line coach since 2007, is set to be promoted to succeed Jim Harbaugh, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. (ESPN.com)

FF Today's Take: When San Francisco was exploring a trade of Jim Harbaugh to Cleveland it was rumored that Jim Tomsula would have been the choice to replace Harbaugh so it isn't completely unexpected to see him get his chance with Harbaugh officially out of the picture. Known as a player friendly coach, Tomsula is not expected to bring back current DC Vic Fangio.

Raiders sign Del Rio as new coach

Fantasy Football Today - Wed, 01/14/2015 - 15:00

Mike Smith in the mix for new staff

The Raiders signed Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio to a four-year deal to be their new head coach on Wednesday afternoon, league sources said. (SFGate.com)

FF Today's Take: Two former head coaches, Mike Smith and Marc Trestman, are the front runners to become Del Rio's defensive and offensive coordinators respectively. This suggests that former interim head coach Tony Sparano will not be a part of the team's coaching staff for the upcoming season.

Cardinals to promote assistant to replace Bowles

Fantasy Football Today - Wed, 01/14/2015 - 14:30

Arizona remains interested in Dick Lebeau

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians plans to promote a current assistant to replace Todd Bowles as defensive coordinator and would like to hire former Steelers coordinator Dick LeBeau for a senior position on staff, according to NFL sources. It's unknown which assistant will be tabbed to replace Bowles, who was hired as the New York Jets head coach on Tuesday. It's also not a certainty that LeBeau would join the staff, although he and Arians have discussed the possibility. LeBeau's role would be similar to what assistant head coach Tom Moore does on the offensive side of the ball. (AZCentral.com)

FF Today's Take: Defensive line coach Brentson Buckner, linebackers coach James Bettcher and defensive backs coach Nick Rapone are viewed as the most likely to replace Bowles. None of the aforementioned coaches have experience at the Coordinator level in the NFL. If Dick Lebeau is indeed hired he would likely be tasked with mentoring whichever coach is promoted.

49ers promote Tomsula to HC

Draft Sharks - Wed, 01/14/2015 - 14:21

The 49ers have promoted Jim Tomsula to HC.  He spent the past 8 seasons as the DL coach, playing a big part in the Niners recording top 5 finishes in total defense each of the past 4 years. Prior to arriving in San Francisco in 2007, Tomsula spent a season as HC of NFL Europe's Rhein Fire.  One of his 1st orders of business will be replacing OC Greg Roman.

Peterson's uncertainty could alter Vikings' draft

Fantasy Football Today - Wed, 01/14/2015 - 14:00

Running back remains suspended

With Adrian Peterson's future still up in the air after the running back's suspension was upheld in December, the Minnesota Vikings might need to consider other options at the position moving forward. "I think a lot (of the offseason plan) will depend on Adrian's situation, but I also know initially, as I start putting a little bit of the draft stuff together, it's a pretty good running back class this year," general manager Rick Spielman said Wednesday. (NFL.com)

FF Today's Take: The Vikings have little choice but look to add quality depth and competition in the backfield with Peterson's status still up in the air for next season. Currently suspended and carrying a $15.9 million price tag for 2015, Peterson could find himself cut by Minnesota if a resolution isn't reached this Spring.

Raiders hire Del Rio as HC

Draft Sharks - Wed, 01/14/2015 - 13:09

The Raiders have tabbed Jack Del Rio as their new HC.  Del Rio spent the past 3 seasons as the Broncos DC but was the Jaguars HC from 2003 to 2011.  He compiled a 68-71 record in Jacksonville, reaching the playoffs in just 2 of 9 seasons.  Del Rio is a former NFL LB and pure defensive mind, so we'll see who he chooses to run the offense.

Ravens "cautiously optimistic" about Pitta

Draft Sharks - Wed, 01/14/2015 - 13:00

Ravens HC John Harbaugh is "cautiously optimistic" that TE Dennis Pitta will play in 2015, despite fracturing and dislocating his hip each of the past 2 seasons.  "We want to make sure he's going to be totally healthy, totally safe as much is as reasonable in football to make sure that hip is sound and everything before our doctors would ever clear him," Harbaugh added. "In the end, it will be up to the doctors and Dennis to determine that."  Pitta is still in the rehab process and will have a checkup with docs this week.  He intends to play this coming season.  Even if he does get back on the field, though, his effectiveness will be a major question mark.  Those were 2 serious injuries he suffered, and Pitta turns 30 in June.  There's not much long-term value here in dynasty leagues.

Lee to get full offseason

Draft Sharks - Wed, 01/14/2015 - 07:37

The team website reports that Cowboys HC Jason Garrett expects LB Sean Lee to be able to go through a normal offseason. Lee tore his left ACL in May, but the timing should allow him to be fully ready for training camp. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported during the season that Dallas plans to move Lee to the weak side in 2015. The team certainly has options after rookie LB Anthony Hitchens emerged as a solid player in 2014. Rolando McClain also enjoyed a solid season when healthy, and OLB Bruce Carter improved over his 2013. It'll be an interesting -- and potentially high-value -- situation to watch for IDP owners.

Jets expected to hire Chan Gailey as OC

Fantasy Football Today - Wed, 01/14/2015 - 04:00

Jets also hire new GM and HC

For his offensive coordinator, Bowles is targeting Chan Gailey, sources said. Gailey has been out of the NFL since 2012, when he was fired as the Buffalo Bills' coach. (ESPN)

FF Today's Take: The Jets have completed an overhaul of their top management and coaches by hiring Mike Maccagnan as general manager, former Arizona DC Todd Bowles as head coach and Gailey as offensive coordinator. Gailey's timing offense with heavy doses of the screen game was a good fit for running back C.J. Spiller during the 2012 season in Buffalo. However, before the offense moves an inch, the quarterback position needs to be addressed.

Jets choose Bowles

Draft Sharks - Tue, 01/13/2015 - 20:10

The Jets reportedly reached a 4-year deal with Cardinals DC Todd Bowles on Tuesday to become their next head coach. It'll be his 1st head job after 3 years as a DC for Philly and then Arizona (plus 3 games as the Dolphins' interim HC in 2011). Multiple reports also say that Bowles plans to hire Chan Gailey as his OC. The coaching veteran has been out of the league for 2 years since the Bills fired him as HC after the 2012 season. Gailey's 3 offenses in Buffalo finished 25th, 14th and 19th in yards and 28th, 14th and 21st in scoring. He spent 9 previous seasons as an NFL OC in Denver, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Miami and Kansas City. Gailey's best offenses ran the ball well. Just 2 of his 12 seasons have found Gailey's team rank better than 15th in passing yardage. By comparison, 9 of 12 have finished 14th or better in rushing yards. The current Jets, of course, are built much more for running than passing.

Cowboys sign HC Jason Garrett to 5-year deal

Fantasy Football Today - Tue, 01/13/2015 - 14:30

$6 million annually

Jason Garrett's has agreed to a new five-year deal with the Cowboys, a source said. The contract has yet to be signed, but that will come later this evening or Wednesday morning. The deal will run through the 2019 season and will average slightly more than $6 million annually, according to the source. (Dallas Morning News)

FF Today's Take: It's also being reported that Rod Marinelli will receive a three-year deal to remain as defensive coordinator. Garrett has been the head coach since the middle of the 2010 season when he took over for Wade Phillips. Offensive and defensive philosophies should remain intact heading into 2015.

Broncos, HC John Fox part ways

Fantasy Football Today - Mon, 01/12/2015 - 15:00

Four-year runs ends with a 46-18 record

The Denver Broncos and coach John Fox have mutually agreed to part ways, team sources confirmed to ESPN.com. The move comes a day after the Broncos were eliminated from the playoffs by the Indianapolis Colts, and a year after the team's first appearance in a Super Bowl since John Elway, now the team's general manager, retired as quarterback. The separation ends Fox's four-year tenure with the Broncos that saw the coach miss part of last season as he recovered from a heart procedure. Fox led Denver to AFC West titles in each of his four seasons as coach. (ESPN)

FF Today's Take: Jay Glazer was out in front of this yesterday, mentioning that Fox could be coaching for his job against the Colts. Elway's moves in free agency this past offseason suggested the Broncos expect to win a Super Bowl in the next 2-3 years, so the disappointment of coming up short again this weekend was enough for Denver to make the move. Expect OC Adam Gase to be one of the frontrunners for the job in an effort to entice Peyton Manning to return for at least one more year, although Elway might opt to go with someone with head-coaching experience.

Broncos now need a Head Coach

Draft Sharks - Mon, 01/12/2015 - 14:15

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the Broncos and HC John Fox are "parting ways." This comes as less of a surprise after Sunday rumors that Fox and GM John Elway have been at odds. The Denver staff already has former Jacksonville HC Jack Del Rio on board, though he has started interviewing elsewhere. OC Adam Gase has also been a popular name the past 2 years and just might be the leading candidate to replace Fox. Whoever coaches the Broncos next must await QB Peyton Manning's decision on whether to continue his career. Look for Denver to be a focal point this offseason. Fox shouldn't have much trouble finding a new gig -- assuming he wants one -- after successful stints in Denver and Carolina.

No setbacks for Rodgers in Divisional Round win

Draft Sharks - Mon, 01/12/2015 - 13:07

Packers HC Mike McCarthy said Monday that QB Aaron Rodgers (calf) feels better now than he did at this time last week.  It's confirmation that A-Rodg avoided a setback in yesterday's win over the Cowboys.  That should mean that he's closer to 100% for this weekend's game, although it remains to be seen just how much mobility Rodgers will have.  He'll need as much as possible against a Seattle defense averaging 3.7 sacks over its last 7 games.

Bills tab Roman as OC

Draft Sharks - Mon, 01/12/2015 - 09:45

The Bills have hired Greg Roman as their new OC.  Roman served in the same position in San Francisco the past 4 seasons, guiding the 49ers to rankings of 26th, 11th, 24th and 20th in total offense.  He has experience working with a mobile QB if Buffalo ends up starting E.J. Manuel this coming season.