A.J. McCarron QB CIN (9) 17 hours ago
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said the team hasn't received any offers for McCarron and doesn't plan to seek out a trade, the Bengals' official website reports. "AJ McCarron is a valuable member of our football team," Lewis said. "No one has asked to trade him. We're not going to go out and seek a trade for AJ McCarron. He's a valuable member of the team. We've said that how many times?"
There seems to be a general understanding around the league that the Bengals want more in return for McCarron than what anyone is willing to pay, though it isn't entirely out of the question that a team like Cleveland or Houston could come up with a surprisingly strong offer if they miss out on other targets in free agency and/or the draft. McCarron does have experience working with Browns head coach Hue Jackson, who served as Cincinnati's offensive coordinator in 2014 and 2015. The Browns also have an impressive stockpile of draft picks -- including three of the first 33 selections in the upcoming draft -- but they'd probably prefer to use one of those on a young quarterback rather than trading it for the 26-year-old McCarron. Another year as Andy Dalton's backup is likely in the cards.
QHarrison Smith DB MIN (6) 17 hours ago
Smith (ankle) had surgery to clean up the high ankle sprain he suffered in December, Adam Caplan and Ben Goessling of ESPN report.
Smith missed two games due to his high ankle sprain but managed to play on the injury in the final two weeks of the season and the Pro Bowl. He initially said he wouldn't need surgery, but later determined that the cleanup was the best option. He's expected to be back to full health by the time training camp roles around.
QLamarcus Joyner DB LA (8) 18 hours ago
Joyner (ankle) may be moved to safety in the Rams new defensive scheme, Alden Gonzalez of ESPN reports.
Joyner played slot corner for the Rams last year, but the team needs help at safety now that former starting safety T.J. McDonald has left via free agency. The Rams new defensive coordinator, Wade Phillips, will be instituting a 3-4 defense that will allow Joyner to play safety and nickel corner, keeping him on the field at all times. The position change would allow the Rams to fill in for McDonald without having to add any players and would create more opportunities for Joyner.
Marshawn Lynch RB FA 18 hours ago
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said he talked to Lynch and still isn't sure if the running back intends to come out of retirement, Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports reports.
An Oakland native and current Bay Area resident, Lynch has reportedly been thinking about coming out of retirement to join his hometown Raiders, but he'd first need the Seahawks to relinquish the rights to his services. It's also quite possible Lynch has soured on the idea of playing for the Raiders now that their eventual departure from his hometown is official. The team could use a power runner to replace Latavius Murray in a backfield that's currently headed by second-year players DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard.
SUSJosh Gordon WR CLE (13) 18 hours ago
Browns executive vice president Sashi Brown suggested Wednesday that Gordon (suspension) could stay with the team if he is reinstated by the NFL, ESPNCleveland.com's Tony Grossi reports.
This marks a serious departure from the other statements made by team officials since Gordon failed to meet the conditions for his reinstatement in September. Head coach Hue Jackson, among others, suggested that the 25-year-old wideout had blown his final chance to make things work in Cleveland. It does make some sense that that team would reconsider, as there's a clear need for talent at wide receiver following the departure of Terrelle Pryor in free agency. It also doesn't hurt that Gordon won't turn 26 until mid-April and has seemingly taken an active approach dealing with the substance abuse issues that have long plagued him. He applied for reinstatement in early March, expecting to hear about his status by late April or early May. The Browns may push the league to make a decision before the upcoming draft, as Gordon's availability would impact the team's strategy. Even if the Browns don't plan on keeping him, Gordon might fetch a middle-round pick in a trade. The NFL may still want him to serve a four-game suspension as one of the conditions for his reinstatement, considering he started last season on a four-game suspension but then left for an inpatient rehab facility instead of rejoining the Browns for Week 5.
QLatavius Murray RB MIN (6) 18 hours ago
Head coach Mike Zimmer said he doesn't necessarily know if Murray (ankle) is a three-down back, Chris Tomasson of The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
Murray is a strong pass blocker with good size and solid hands, but he's never been particularly explosive or evasive and doesn't break nearly as many tackles as one would expect of a 225-pound running back. While capable of staying on the field in any situation, he's essentially a jack-of-all-trades and master of none. The Vikings would ideally want to pair their offseason addition with a more explosive runner -- perhaps even hoping Jerick McKinnon can be that complement. If not McKinnon, the team could address its backfield in a draft that's strong at the position, though the offensive line is a more pressing concern. Signed to a three-year deal in mid-March, the 27-year-old Murray is expected to miss Minnesota's offseason program after having surgery last week to remove bone spurs. He should be back to full strength for the start of training camp, and he's a clear favorite to take the team's first snap of the season.
QDavid Johnson RB ARI (9) 19 hours ago
Head coach Bruce Arians said he would like Johnson to get 30 touches per game next season, ESPN's Josh Weinfuss reports.
30 touches per game works out to 480 for the year, which would be the second most any player has ever taken in a season. Johnson led the NFL with 373 last year, and he even had an outside shot to reach 400 prior to injuring his knee in Week 17. Already fully recovered from that injury, Johnson could make a push for 400 touches in his second season as Arizona's lead back. He figures to be the most popular No. 1 selection in fantasy drafts this summer, coming off a 2016 season in which he led the NFL in scrimmage yards (2,118) and touchdowns (20). Johnson, Le'Veon Bell (groin) and Ezekiel Elliott should lead a revival of the running back position at the top of drafts.
QTheo Riddick RB DET (10) 19 hours ago
Head coach Jim Caldwell isn't sure if Riddick (wrist) will be available for team activities this spring, MLIVe.com's Kyle Meinke reports.
A recent report suggested Riddick is expected to be ready for the start of the offseason program, but his participation apparently can't be assumed. He underwent surgery on both wrists late last season, missing the final four games of the campaign. Fellow running back Ameer Abdullah (foot) has already been fully cleared for a return, but the Lions are rumored to have serious interest in adding competition via free agency or the draft. Riddick's role as the primary passing-down back is secure, while Abdullah could face serious competition for carries.
Coby Fleener TE NO (5) 19 hours ago
Head coach Sean Payton expects Fleener to improve in his second year with the Saints, NOLA.com's Larry Holder reports.
Signed to a five-year, $36 million contract last offseason, Fleener ultimately struggled with the same kind of inconsistency that plagued him throughout his four-year stint in Indianapolis. His mark of 12.6 yards per reception was strong for his position, but he only scored four total touchdowns while catching 50 of 82 targets (61 percent), which is far below expectations for the top tight end in a Drew Brees offense. Perhaps most discouraging, Fleener was a total non-factor toward the end of the season, catching eight passes for 84 yards over the final four weeks. It's reasonable to expect some improvement in his second year in the New Orleans attack, but Fleener has never been particularly efficient on a per-target basis, despite benefiting from strong quarterback play throughout his career.
Andre Ellington RB ARI (9) 20 hours ago
Head coach Bruce Arians confirmed that Ellington will start the offseason program working as a wide receiver, Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic reports.
Coming off a season in which he only logged 150 offensive snaps, Ellington is presumably open to any kind of change that could get him on the field more often. He's displayed solid pass-catching skills out of the backfield throughout his career, but he rarely got to put those talents to use last season while fighting with Chris Johnson for whatever scraps were left behind by three-down workhorse David Johnson. Even if the elder Johnson -- currently a free agent -- doesn't return to Arizona, a transition to wide receiver might provide Ellington with his best shot at a consistent role in the offense. It is still possible the team will move him back to running back if he fails to impress out wide, but the most likely scenario features Ellington playing a mixture of the two positions. How much of each he plays will be determined not only by his own performance in offseason workouts and training camp, but also by what the Cardinals do in the upcoming draft.