Player Notes

  • Colts add WR DeAndre Smelter on futures deal
    Colts signed WR DeAndre Smelter to a reserve/future contract.

    Advice: A 2015 fourth-round pick of the 49ers, Smelter came out of Georgia Tech with mouth-watering traits but has battled injuries and coaching turnover in his career. The futures deal will allow him to spend a full healthy offseason with Indy. Yesterday, 6:44 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Jarvis Landry won't take hometown discount
    The player rep for free agent Jarvis Landry told the Palm Beach Post his client will not accept a hometown discount from the Dolphins.

    Advice: The Dolphins spent the entire 2017 season trying to trade Landry, so this isn't a surprise. "Take a discount? Absolutely not," said agent Damarious Bilbo. "This may be Jarvis’ first and last time to set himself up and his family up. He needs to strike and strike while the iron is hot." Landry is expected to target elite No. 1 receiver money. Davante Adams' recent four-year, $58 million extension figures to be a baseline for Landry's asking price. Yesterday, 6:41 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Report: Tom Brady's hand 'should be okay'
    A source told ESPN Patriots reporter Mike Reiss that Tom Brady's injured hand "should be okay" for Sunday's AFC title game versus Jacksonville.

    Advice: It's believed Brady jammed his throwing hand when a teammate accidentally ran into him on the practice field. Reports indicate it was a minor injury, although Brady may sit out Thursday's practice as a precaution. Particularly after they traded Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett, the Patriots badly need Brady under center. Their fallback option would be journeyman Brian Hoyer. Yesterday, 6:36 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Mike Gillislee limited to start the week
    Mike Gillislee (knee) was limited at Wednesday's practice.

    Advice: With Rex Burkhead (knee) expected back this week, Gillislee will probably be inactive even if he's healthy for Sunday's AFC Championship versus Jacksonville. Gillislee got off to a hot start this year with four touchdowns in his first two games but has only scored once since. Yesterday, 1:56 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Rex Burkhead (knee) limited on Wednesday
    Rex Burkhead (knee) was limited at Wednesday's practice.

    Advice: Burkhead sat out the Divisional Round and reportedly wasn't moving well at practice last week. He's improved since then, however, and is trending toward playing Sunday against Jacksonville. Burkhead was on a tear before he got hurt (six touchdowns in his last four games) but could be limited upon his return. Dion Lewis has solidified himself as New England's lead ball-carrier. Yesterday, 1:33 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Leonard Fournette gets in limited session
    Leonard Fournette (ankle) was limited at Wednesday's practice.

    Advice: Fournette aggravated an ankle injury in Sunday's Divisional Round win over Pittsburgh. He played through it, but was noticeably less effective after he got hurt (72 yards on 12 carries before the injury, 27 yards on 13 carries after). For the Jaguars to upset the top-seeded Patriots, they'll need Fournette to be firing on all cylinders. Yesterday, 1:32 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Adam Thielen (back) absent on Wednesday
    Adam Thielen (back) didn't practice on Wednesday.

    Advice: He's reportedly dealing with a lower back injury. Thielen seemed fine in the Divisional Round—he played 75-of-79 snaps in a win over New Orleans—so it's possible the Vikings are simply treating Wednesday as a maintenance day for their top receiver. It would be a shock if he's not ready for Sunday's NFC title game in Philly. Yesterday, 1:04 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Patriots not activating WR Malcolm Mitchell
    Patriots WR Malcolm Mitchell (knee, I.R.) will not be activated off injured reserve, ending his season.

    Advice: Mitchell's three-week window for activation closes at the end of the business day Wednesday, and he didn't practice today. Mitchell has chronic knee problems and hasn't played this season. He has two years left on his rookie deal. Yesterday, 11:56 am
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Terrelle Pryor an option to return to Browns?
    ESPN Browns reporter Pat McManamon believes impending free agent Terrelle Pryor is a "fit" for Cleveland.

    Advice: Pryor left Cleveland last offseason, reportedly turning down the same deal the Browns gave Kenny Britt (four years, $32.5 million), and joined the Redskins only to catch 20 balls for 240 yards and one touchdown before being sent to I.R. in November. After the season, he replied to a Duke Johnson post on Instagram, saying he hoped to see him again in 2018. Pryor is a coach's pet of Hue Jackson, and a reunion makes all the sense in the world for both Pryor and the Browns. Yesterday, 8:52 am
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • 'No chance' Bucs retain Doug Martin for 2018
    The Tampa Bay Times' Rick Stroud believes there's "no chance" the Bucs keep Doug Martin for 2018.

    Advice: Martin just turned 29 four days ago and has three years left on his contract. But as a result of his drug-induced suspension at the end of the 2016 season, the guarantees in his contract were wiped away. The Bucs decided to keep him around in 2017, but Martin proved to be a waste of $7 million for Tampa Bay, averaging a pitiful 2.9 YPC for the second straight season. He has two 1,400-yard rushing seasons to go with four sub-500-yard years and is a non-factor in the pass game. Martin's sure release will save the Bucs $6.75 million against the 2018 cap. Yesterday, 6:47 am
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Brees says he won't test free agent market
    Impending free agent Drew Brees says he has no plans to test the market, and that he hopes to re-sign with the Saints before the start of the new league year.

    Advice: "I'm not in the mood to make anything secretive," Brees said. "It's the same way I felt two days ago. It's the same way I felt 12 years ago. That is that I'll be here as long as they'll have me, hopefully." Brees, who turned 39 on Monday, cannot be franchise tagged, giving him a little leverage even if he insists he doesn't want to test the market. Brees' main goal could be some guaranteed money for 2019. Tuesday, 1:15 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • GM thinks Mariota will 'adapt' to new coach
    Titans GM Jon Robinson has "zero concern" about Marcus Mariota playing for his third head coach since entering the league in 2015.

    Advice: "Marcus is a pretty resilient guy. He’s a very mentally tough guy," Robinson said. "I have zero concern in Marcus being able to adapt and learn, and do what’s best to get the offense going." Yet another coaching change is a concern for Mariota's development, but having him play another year with a coaching staff he regressed under in 2017 was a bigger worry. Assuming Robinson finds the right coach, this move should be good for Mariota's future. Tuesday, 8:15 am
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Fleener 'unlikely' to return on current deal
    ESPN's Mike Triplett believes it is "highly unlikely" Coby Fleener returns to the Saints on his current deal.

    Advice: Coming off a season in which he caught just 22 passes in 11 games, Fleener is set to count $8 million against the cap with a $6.3 million salary. There is almost no chance he sticks around at those numbers, and while a pay cut is possible, it is more likely the Saints cut him outright. Doing so would save $3.2 million against the cap. Tuesday, 7:29 am
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • McCarron wanted 'opportunity' to start in CLE
    A.J. McCarron said he wanted the "opportunity" to start in Cleveland.

    Advice: McCarron was all but traded to the Browns at the deadline, but the paperwork was not filed in time. "I think I would have had some success playing for Hue," McCarron said. "I would have loved the opportunity to go up there and get them a win, more than one win." While he was specifically talking about the Browns, it is pretty clear McCarron is just tired of being a backup. Whether he is deemed a restricted or unrestricted free agent at a hearing on February 15, McCarron will likely do everything he can to get out of Cincinnati this offseason. Tuesday, 6:27 am
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Steelers re-sign two ERFAs
    Steelers re-signed TE Xavier Grimble and LS Kameron Canaday to one-year contracts.

    Advice: They were exclusive rights free agents. Grimble, 25, operated as the Steelers' third tight end in 2017, playing 175 snaps and blocking on 63 percent of them. He will vie for a roster spot behind Jesse James and Vance McDonald in 2018. Monday, 2:09 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Martavis Bryant wants to remain with Steelers
    Martavis Bryant says he wants to remain with the Steelers for 2018.

    Advice: 2017 should have been the final year of Bryant's rookie contract, but it tolled to 2018 after he was suspended for all of 2016. Frustrated with his role, Bryant tried to force his way out of Pittsburgh ahead of the trade deadline, earning himself a team-imposed Week 8 suspension. He returned following the Steelers' Week 9 bye and settled into a steady role down the stretch, catching 50 passes for 603 yards and three touchdowns on the year. The Steelers could be open to moving Bryant this offseason, but he's an extreme bargain at his $705,000 salary. The most likely scenario is Bryant playing out his Steelers deal. Monday, 11:28 am
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Falcons hand out reserve/future contracts
    Falcons signed QB Garrett Grayson, S Marcelis Branch, OL Daniel Brunskill, CB Deante Burton, WR Reggie Davis, TE Alex Gray, DL Joey Ivie, DL J.T. Jones and DL Taniela Tupou to reserve/future contracts.

    Advice: The No. 75 overall pick of the 2015 draft, Grayson quickly flamed out in New Orleans. He spent 2017 on the Falcons' practice squad. Monday, 11:13 am
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Allen Robinson expects to be healthy by March
    Impending free agent Allen Robinson (ACL) expects to be healthy and able to pass a physical before free agency opens in March.

    Advice: Robinson was able to undergo surgery just days after tearing his left ACL in Week 1, suggesting the injury was a clean tear. Even though it is unlikely he will be 100 percent by the time free agency opens on March 14, this injury should not seriously damage his market. Robinson is likely looking for something close to the four-year, $58 million deal Davante Adams signed with the Packers in December. Monday, 9:09 am
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Escobar signs reserve/future deal with Browns
    Browns signed TE Gavin Escobar to a reserve/future contract.

    Advice: A 2013 second-round pick by the Cowboys, Escobar is one of the many tight ends of the future Jason Witten has vanquished. Escobar spent training camp last year with the Chiefs before landing on the Ravens' roster for two games. He is a long-shot to crack the final 53 in Cleveland. Monday, 8:01 am
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Bell 'definitely' wants to stay in Pittsburgh
    Le'Veon Bell said he "definitely" wants to re-sign with the Steelers.

    Advice: "I never want to leave this city, but obviously, circumstances and things like that," Bell cautioned. The running back has threatened to sit out or retire if the Steelers hit him with the franchise tag again -- he waited until September 4 to sign his tender last season -- but that appears to be where this situation is headed. The tag will be worth around $14.5 million for Bell. Monday, 6:17 am
    Week 17 Projected Rank
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