Jamison Crowder WR WAS (5) 12 hours ago
Crowder could take more snaps on the outside this season, Mark Bullock of The Washington Post reports.
Crowder was primarily used out of the slot last season as Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson combined to miss only one game and both drew triple-digit targets (Crowder wasn't far behind with 97). Although he still figures to man the slot in three-wide formations, Crowder may also have a regular job out wide in two-receiver sets, potentially playing ahead of 2016 first-round selection Josh Doctson. Such a role takes on added importance given how well No. 2 tight end Vernon Davis played last season, as the Redskins likely will use a lot of two-TE formations if Davis and Jordan Reed both stay healthy. At 5-foot-8, 182 pounds, Crowder has the physical profile of a pure slot specialist, but last year's marks of 12.6 yards per catch, 8.7 per target and seven touchdowns were more in line with what's expected of an outside receiver, with his excellent work after the catch playing a big part in that production. He has a clear path to improving upon last season's target total and offensive snap percentage (73.7), though his efficiency quite possibly could suffer if a higher portion of his targets were to occur near the sidelines.
Dalvin Cook RB MIN (9) 13 hours ago
Teammate Latavius Murray (ankle) acknowledged that Cook has the early upper hand by means of his participation in the Vikings' offseason program, NFL.com's Kevin Patra reports. "Dalvin's already been through the [organized team activities], he's already been through the offseason," said Murray. "So, he has that up on me. But also, looking at it as, hey, I'm the vet, I have time in this league, I've done some good things in this league. So I have a lot to bring to the table."
Murray had surgery shortly after signing with the Vikings in March and is still expected to be ready for the start of training camp after missing the entire offseason program. His injury wasn't necessarily a factor in Minnesota's decision to trade up to No. 41 overall for Cook, as the team likely values Murray in large part of his strong track record as a goal-line runner and pass blocker, whereas the rookie offers far more upside as a potential lead runner. Coach Mike Zimmer said there will be an open competition in the backfield, and while holdover Jerick McKinnon may retain some kind of role, Murray and Cook figure to battle it out for the lead job in what likely will be a committee of sorts.
QLatavius Murray RB MIN (9) 13 hours ago
Murray (ankle) acknowledged that Dalvin Cook got a head start by participating in the Vikings' offseason program, but the 27-year-old still believes he will beat out the rookie for the Week 1 starting job, NFL.com's Kevin Patra reports.
Murray signed a three-year, $15 million contract in March and underwent surgery to address bone spurs shortly thereafter. He's expected back for the start of training camp, but that didn't stop Minnesota from trading up to No. 41 overall to draft Cook, who subsequently split work with Jerick McKinnon in OTAs. Coach Mike Zimmer said the team will have an open competition in the backfield, but it would be a major surprise if McKinnon is a serious candidate for the lead job after he produced 3.4 yards per carry last season. Murray averaged only 4.0 yards per carry and 5.2 yards per target as the lead back in Oakland the past two seasons, but he did convert 13 of his 24 carries inside the 5-yard line into touchdowns while also earning a reputation as a strong pass blocker. Cook has far more potential as a pure runner, but the Vikings should still find a use for the 230-pound veteran in what's shaping up as a likely committee.
LeGarrette Blount RB PHI (10) 14 hours ago
Blount will earn $50,000 if he reports to training camp weighing 240-245 pounds, ESPN.com's Field Yates reports.
Blount is listed at 250 pounds and has enjoyed plenty of success while playing in that range, but the Eagles apparently want him to slim down, perhaps sacrificing a bit of power for additional quickness. He'd still be one of the two or three heaviest tailbacks in the league, and it's unlikely the minor weight loss would significantly change the nature of his game. He had 299 carries and only seven receptions last season for the Patriots, leading the league in rushing attempts inside the 5-yard line and inside the 10-yard line. While unlikely to get that kind of volume this season, Blount figures to enter training camp in a similar role as the Eagles' early down thumper and regular goal-line/short-yardage back. Darren Sproles and Donnel Pumphrey are two of the smallest running backs in the league, while 2016 fifth-round selection Wendell Smallwood is listed at 5-foot-10, 208 pounds. All three are candidates to cut into Blount's workload, but none is a major threat to the core aspect of his presumed role.
Darren McFadden RB DAL (6) 14 hours ago
McFadden seems to have the No. 2 running back job locked down, David Moore of The Dallas Morning News reports.
Despite losing nearly all of last season to an elbow injury, McFadden worked ahead of Alfred Morris -- who may be released before Week 1 -- during the Cowboys' offseason program. Ezekiel Elliott figures to handle a heavy workload in a three-down role, and while McFadden probably won't get many touches unless his young teammate is injured, the 29-year-old should at least have value as a handcuff. McFadden might even jump right into a similar three-down role in the event of an Elliott injury.
OUTZach Orr LB FA 15 hours ago
Orr (neck) said he is exploring the possibility of coming out of retirement, NFL.com's Mike Garafolo reports.
Orr announced his retirement in January after doctors told him he has a congenital spinal condition which makes him much more vulnerable to major head/neck injuries. He accepted the news at first, but he's since sought out second opinions, with several doctors telling him there is no evidence he's at any more risk than a player with a fully formed spine. If he does decide to play, the 25-year-old linebacker would be an unrestricted free agent, as he was previously set to be a restricted free agent and the Ravens didn't place him on their reserve/retired list. Orr arguably would be the top player still available on the open market, coming off a breakout 2016 season in which he had 132 tackles, three interceptions, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble in 15 games. The Ravens could still use help at inside linebacker, but Orr might be out of their price range after the team signed Jeremy Maclin.
Trumaine Johnson DB LA (8) 1 day ago
Johnson is not expected to reach a long-term deal with the Rams before the July 17 franchise tag deadline, Vincent Bonsignore of The Orange Country Register reports.
Johnson was given the franchise tag designation earlier this offseason and it appears the Rams are willing to pay the 27-year-old the $16.7 million in 2017 - making it a prove-it type season for the cornerback. The team would rather play the waiting game and see how Johnson performs in new defensive coordinator Wade Phillip's defense before signing him to a long-term deal. After a breakout 2015 campaign, Johnson slipped a bit in production last season - racking up 57 tackles, 11 passes defensed and one interception across 14 games.
QAndrew Luck QB IND (11) 1 day ago
Luck (shoulder) has yet to begin throwing as of Tuesday, Brody Miller of the Indianapolis Star reports.
Luck spoke with the media during a break in Tuesday's Change The Play camp, noting his rehabilitation is "going well," despite the lack of throwing to date. The Colts don't require veterans to report to training camp until July 29, so a month remains before his first potential reps since undergoing surgery on a "slightly torn labrum" in his throwing shoulder in January. A full recovery from such a procedure typically requires six months, which he surpassed during the waning days of the offseason program. Whether or not he begins to toss the pigskin before camp, it's in the Colts' best interest to hold off until Luck's health is pristine, keeping his status up in the air for at least the next month.
Daniel Brown TE CHI (9) 1 day ago
With Zach Miller (foot) trying to prove himself to be a healthy and reliable option during training camp, Brown could compete for a role as the Bears receiving tight end, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports.
Brown had an audition for this role during the last six games of 2016 when Miller was sidelined with a foot injury. Despite his opportunity, Brown averaged just 20 yards per game, and he'd need to make a tremendous leap this year to profile as a significant contributor. In addition, should Brown move ahead of Miller on the depth chart, he'll still have to compete for targets with Dion Sims and Adam Shaheen. This situation won't have much clarity until training camp begins.
Kirk Cousins QB WAS (5) 1 day ago
Cousins and the Redskins remain apart on a long-term deal, but both sides have described the talks as positive, Mike Jones of The Washington Post reports.
It appears as if the Redskins are making a push to get Cousins a long-term deal before the July 17th deadline, but the two sides are still a ways apart. The quarterback's team believes all offers thus far have been under market value, a benchmark that has been made much clearer after Derek Carr signed a $125 million extension last week. With Matthew Stafford also in talks for a new deal, it appears Cousins best option at the moment is to remain patient. Both sides have made public their confidence in a new deal being reached, but with only 20 days until the deadline there's a real chance Cousins will once again be stuck with the franchise tag.