Player Notes

  • Report: Hue Jackson 'likes' A.J. McCarron
    The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Mary Kay Cabot wrote Browns coach Hue Jackson "likes" Bengals backup QB A.J. McCarron.

    Advice: Jackson coached McCarron in Cincinnati including the quarterback's four-game run as a starter in 2015. McCarron held his own after being thrust into the starting lineup, but Jackson would have to think he is a long-term starter to okay a trade. McCarron is entering a contract year, but he will just be a restricted free agent. That means the Bengals can keep him for another season, put an early-round tender on him next spring, and either take the draft pick if he gets an offer sheet or let him back up Andy Dalton again at a relatively cheap price. That scenario suggests a team will have to wow Cincinnati to pry McCarron away. Today, 4:49 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Robert Griffin due $750K roster bonus on 3/11
    Robert Griffin III is due a $750,000 roster bonus on March 11.

    Advice: While not an exorbitant sum, it does provide a point in time for the Browns to make a decision on RG3 -- release him before March 11 or pay him the $750K bonus. The Akron Beacon Journal confirms "it would be more surprising if Griffin were retained than if he were cut." Griffin likely isn't long for the roster. Today, 1:45 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Cardinals a possibility for Jay Cutler?
    MMQB's Peter King "wouldn't be shocked" if Jay Cutler ends up with the Cardinals.

    Advice: That would mean Cutler chooses to settle for a backup job behind Carson Palmer for 2017 with an eye on taking over as the starter in 2018 if Palmer retires. It would be somewhat shocking to see Cutler take a back seat when there are so many open jobs out there, but his fit in Bruce Arians' gunslinger offense makes sense. The Cardinals have said finding a quarterback is their No. 1 goal this offseason. The Jets and 49ers could also be landing spots for Cutler. Today, 7:36 am
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Many connections between Pace, Garoppolo
    Jimmy Garoppolo's agent, Donald Yee, represents Saints coach Sean Payton, with whom Bears GM Ryan Pace worked for ten years in New Orleans.

    Advice: There are all kinds of connections to be made like this around the NFL, but Pace's connections to Garoppolo especially stand out. Payton and Pace's Saints were rumored to be infatuated with Garoppolo in the 2014 draft and allegedly considered taking him toward the end of the first round. Payton, Pace, and Garoppolo are all alums of Eastern Illinois. Per CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, "Yee knows well just how much Payton and Pace valued Garoppolo in the (2014) draft," and "putting a deal together between those two wouldn’t be difficult." Yesterday, 2:38 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Romo willing to 'massage' contract for trade
    According to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, Tony Romo is willing to "massage" his contract in order to facilitate a trade.

    Advice: This flexibility is critical if Dallas is going to get trade compensation. Romo must be willing to restructure his contract for any deal to get done, and if he wasn't it's entirely possible Romo would already have been released. The Cowboys should have a better idea of what they may be able to get for Romo when NFL teams convene at the Combine, which begins on Tuesday, February 28. Yesterday, 2:17 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Report: Rams could target Cousins in 2018
    MMQB's Albert Breer believes the Rams could be a player for Kirk Cousins if things don't work out with Jared Goff in 2017.

    Advice: The Redskins were once content to let the market determine Cousins' value, but the landscape has changed now that Cousins supporters Sean McVay and Kyle Shanahan landed head-coaching jobs. Shanahan is already gunning for Cousins to join him in San Francisco, while Los Angeles could be a possibility next year if Goff falls flat again in 2017. With Cousins attracting interest elsewhere, the Redskins would be wise to lock him into a long-term deal as soon as possible. Yesterday, 7:32 am
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Cowboys likely to re-sign Kellen Moore
    The Cowboys are expected to re-sign free agent Kellen Moore.

    Advice: Moore missed all of 2016 to a broken ankle but should be healthy for OTAs. The Cowboys are higher on him than free agent Mark Sanchez. ESPN’s Todd Archer considers Moore the favorite to back up Dak Prescott. Saturday, 11:32 am
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • 49ers not looking for 'short-term fix' at QB
    49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said he is not looking for a "short-term fix" at quarterback.

    Advice: "You want to make a commitment to somebody," Shanahan said. "In order to do that, you better make sure you’re on the same page with everyone else and you put the time in, you talk to people who’ve been with these guys." These comments would seem to shoot down reports of Matt Schaub and Brian Hoyer being options, but those guys will be nothing but bridge quarterbacks at best. The 49ers could commit to an early-round pick like UNC's Mitch Trubisky and still have him compete with a veteran in camp. With little chance of winning right now, that might even be the best option. Saturday, 6:51 am
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • '50 percent' chance Kap returns to 49ers
    The Sacramento Bee's Matt Barrows believes there's a "50 percent" chance Colin Kaepernick returns to the 49ers.

    Advice: Due $16.9 million in salary and bonuses, Kaepernick should theoretically want to stay in San Francisco because that's the only way he would earn that much money. Kaepernick has an opt-out clause that can't officially be exercised until March 2. In December, national reports from both ESPN and NFL Network had Kaepernick preparing to opt out. That was before Kyle Shanahan was hired. Friday, 5:48 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Schaub, Hoyer could be on Niners QB radar
    In addition to Matt Schaub, the Sacramento Bee's Matt Barrows names Brian Hoyer as a free agent quarterback the 49ers might pursue.

    Advice: Schaub has been previously speculated as a fit in San Francisco after spending the last two years with Kyle Shanahan in Atlanta. Hoyer played for Shanahan in Cleveland, and has been far more effective in recent years than Schaub. Barring an unlikely-if-intriguing match with Kirk Cousins, the 49ers will be scraping the bottom of the barrel for veteran quarterback options. Barrows didn't rule out the Niners signing both Hoyer and Schaub in free agency. Friday, 5:41 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Nick Foles to be on Bills' QB radar?
    Bleacher Report's Ty Dunne expects the Bills to "chug along with a Nick Foles-ish" quarterback in 2017, "and start over."

    Advice: That means cutting Tyrod Taylor and signing someone like Foles to bridge the gap to a younger quarterback. Owed $6.4 million, Foles is expected to be released by the Chiefs shortly. Dots can connect him to Buffalo, where new QBs coach David Culley was on the Eagles' staff when Foles was drafted and the Chiefs' staff when Kansas City signed Foles last year. Foles turned 28 in January. Friday, 5:18 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Bills not expected to re-sign E.J. Manuel
    The Buffalo News doesn’t expect the Bills to re-sign free agent E.J. Manuel.

    Advice: The Bills are expected to move on from both Manuel and Tyrod Taylor. Manuel was a bust as a first-round pick but shouldn't struggle for offers as a backup. Cardale Jones is the only other Bills quarterback under contract. Friday, 3:10 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Bills to part ways with Tyrod Taylor?
    Bleacher Report's Ty Dunne guesses the Bills will part ways with Tyrod Taylor and "roll with a low-cost veteran" at quarterback.

    Advice: Dunne's opinion is noteworthy because he is a former Buffalo reporter. Dunne expects the Bills to be "patient," sign a veteran, and perhaps draft a quarterback in 2017 or wait for 2018 to select their signal caller of the future. The free agent quarterback market is poor, as usual. After Kirk Cousins, top names include Mike Glennon, Brian Hoyer, Matt Barkley, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Geno Smith. Friday, 11:43 am
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Jared Goff working with quarterback gurus
    Second-year Rams QB Jared Goff has been working with quarterback gurus Tom House and Adam Dedeaux this offseason.

    Advice: New OC Matt LaFleur has signed off on the tutoring. "I've seen the benefits," LaFleur said. "What those guys do is pretty valuable, and it's not always obviously with the time constraints that we can work with these guys. And I think they offer some things that maybe we can't as coaches, from just a strength and conditioning standpoint in terms of how these guys train and keep their core strong, keep their shoulders strong." What LaFleur didn't say is that Goff could use all the help he can get after his dismal rookie season. Goff's mechanics weren't a major issue, though physically, he wasn't remotely ready for the big leagues. Thursday, 4:05 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Steelers won't urgently seek Ben successor
    Steelers GM Kevin Colbert isn't planning to urgently pursue Ben Roethlisberger's successor this offseason.

    Advice: "Will we add a guy? Absolutely," Colbert said. "When? It’s hard to say. Sooner or later we will have to address that." In other words, the Steelers aren't taking Roethlisberger's retirement musings very seriously. Colbert did make clear the team wants free agent Landry Jones back as Big Ben's No. 2. Thursday, 12:35 pm
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Steelers confirm they want to keep QB Jones
    Speaking Thursday, Steelers GM Kevin Colbert confirmed he would like to re-sign No. 2 QB Landry Jones.

    Advice: There was a Wednesday report that the Steelers view Jones as one of the NFL's top backups, so re-signing him appears it will be a priority. Colbert did say he isn't sure if the team needs to pursue Ben Roethlisberger's eventual successor yet. The Steelers clearly are not concerned about Ben's retirement musings. Thursday, 11:50 am
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Report: Patriots, Brady considering extension
    The Boston Herald reports the Patriots and Tom Brady have "mutual interest" in a contract extension, but that nothing is imminent.

    Advice: Going on 40, Brady is already signed through 2019. His most recent extension came just last year, though it includes cap hits of $22 million in both 2018 and 2019. That, of course, is modest for a player of Brady's stature and effectiveness. Considering Brady's age and team-friendly contract, there certainly won't be a sense of urgency from the Pats to extend him. Perhaps Brady is angling for a deserved raise. Thursday, 10:17 am
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Mariota not expected to be ready for OTAs
    Coach Mike Mularkey said Marcus Mariota (broken fibula) is not expected to be ready for OTAs.

    Advice: In January, Mularkey said Mariota would be back "when we get this thing rolling," but the coach said they are going to be "over-cautious" with the injury in a radio interview on Wednesday. "He’s on schedule," Mularkey said. "You guys know Marcus like I do. He’s probably gonna over-train to come back as quickly as he can, and we’re probably gonna have to put the reins on him to hold back a little bit." Despite the caution, Mariota should be ready for training camp. Thursday, 9:10 am
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Jake Rudock set to backup Matthew Stafford?
    Impending free agent QB Dan Orlovsky said Detroit will use Jake Rudock as Matthew Stafford's backup in 2017.

    Advice: A sixth-rounder last year, Rudock spent most of his rookie season on the practice squad before the Lions promoted him in late November to keep the Bears from poaching him. That move indicated Detroit is high on the young quarterback, so this news is not particularly surprising. Despite injury concerns early in his career, Stafford has not missed a game since 2010. Thursday, 6:50 am
    Week 17 Projected Rank
  • Free agent QB Orlovsky not returning to Lions
    Free agent QB Dan Orlovsky said he will not be returning to the Lions.

    Advice: Orlovsky said the Lions will turn to 2016 sixth-rounder Jake Rudock as Matthew Stafford's backup. 34 in August, Orlovsky is a quality No. 2 who likely has a few years left. He should find a home. Thursday, 6:46 am
    Week 17 Projected Rank
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