Recent NFL Player News

Tennesse Titans move up in NFL Draft to select LB Rashaan Evans

The Tennessee Titans have traded the 25th and 125th picks in the 2018 NFL Draft to the Baltimore Ravens in exchange for the 22nd and 215th picks. They used the 22nd pick on Alabama linebacker Rashaan Evans.

What It Means:

The Titans drop two rounds (fourth to sixth) while moving up three spots to secure a starter from the National Champion Crimson Tide. Despite seeing minimal playing time with Alabama, Evans racked up 15 sacks and 23.5 tackles for a loss in his four seasons.

The Titans ranked 13th in the NFL with 328.0 yards allowed and 17th with 22.9 points allowed per game.

Green Bay Packers trade up to 18 and select CB Jaire Alexander

The Green Bay Packers traded the 27th, 76th, and 186th picks in the NFL Draft to the Seattle Seahawks for the 18th pick which they used on Louisville Cardinals cornerback Jaire Alexander.

What It Means:

The Packers had just dropped back from 14 to 27, adding a 2019 first-round pick. With a need in their secondary, they moved up to grab the best available defensive back left on the board in Alexander. The Cardinals' back had 7 interceptions and 15 passes defensed in his three years at Louisville.

The Packers pass defense ranked 26th in the NFL, per our metrics, with opposing offenses racking up 3,789 passing yards, the 10th-most in the league last season.

Steelers trade Martavis Bryant to the Raiders for a third-round pick

The Pittsburgh Steelers have traded wide receiver Martavis Bryant to the Oakland Raiders for a third-round pick, 75th-overall, in the 2018 NFL Draft.

What It Means:

Bryant has been asking for a trade from the Steelers since last season and finally gets his wish. He joins the Raiders as the third wideout, behind Amari Cooper and Jordy Nelson, and will get a chance to thrive as the team's home run hitter. Bryant was expendable with JuJu Schuster-Smith emerging as the Steelers' number two wideout in 2017.

Bryant finished with 50 catches, 603 yards, and 3 touchdowns in 2017 after missing the entire 2016 season due to suspension.

Buffalo Bills move up to draft LB Tremaine Edmunds in the NFL Draft

The Buffalo Bills traded the 22nd, 65th, and 154th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft to the Baltimore Ravens for the 16th overall pick, which they used on Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds.

What It Means:

The deal is the second of the day for Buffalo, as they previous moved up to draft quarterback Josh Allen. Edmunds is young, he turns 20 next week, and big (6'5", 250 lbs) and posses the athleticism to keep up with tight ends. He finished 2017 with 108 tackles and 5.5 sacks in 2017.

The Bills needed help on defense as they ranked last in the NFL, per our metrics in run defense. They allowed 1,994 yards rushing, the fourth-most yards in the NFL.

New Orleans Saints trade up to 14 to select DE Marcus Davenport

The New Orleans Saints traded the 2018 27th and the 147th overall pick in addition to a 2019 first-rounder to the Green Bay Packers in exchange for the 14th pick, which they used on UTSA defensive end Marcus Davenport.

What It Means:

The Saints were rumored to be targeting a quarterback but ended up paying a high price for the combine wonder Davenport. The 6'7" lineman is a freakish athlete but is extremely raw. Davenport finished the 2017 season with 8.5 sacks and 17.5 tackles for a loss in 11 games.

The Saints finished with the 14th-best overall defense in 2017, per out metrics, but struggled against the run allowing 4.4 yards per carry, the fifth-worst mark in the NFL.

Arizona Cardinals trade up to draft QB Josh Rosen with the 10th pick in the NFL Draft

The Arizona Cardinals have traded the 15th, 79th, and 152nd pick to the Oakland Raiders to move up to 10th overall and draft UCLA Bruins quarterback Josh Rosen.

What It Means:

With Carson Palmer retiring, the quarterback spot was a big need for Arizona. Even with Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon signed in free agency, Rosen will have a chance to battle see extended playing time in his rookie season due to the veteran duo's injury history and ineffectiveness.

Rosen completed 62.6% of his 452 pass attempts for 3,756 yards, 26 touchdwons, and 10 intercptions in 2017.

San Francisco 49ers draft OT Mike McGlinchey with ninth pick

The San Francisco 49ers selected offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey with the ninth pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

What It Means:

McGlinchey becomes the first tackle off the board and will help protect Jimmy Garoppolo for a 49ers team that is expected to make some noise next season.

The 49ers finished 6-10 in 2017 after winning the final five games of the season.

Chicago Bears select LB Roquan Smith with the eighth pick in the NFL Draft

The Chicago Bears have selected Georgia Bulldogs linebacker Roquan Smith with the eighth overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

What It Means:

After a spending splurge on offense in free agency and having selected franchise quarterback Mitch Trubisky second overall in 2018, the Bears grabbed the best available defender on the board with Smith. The Georgia linebacker racked up 137 tackles and 6.5 sacks last season.

The Bears had the ninth-best defensive unit, per our metrics, and allowed 20.0 points per game in 2017, the ninth-fewest in the NFL.

Buccaneers trade down to 12th pick, acquire two second-rounders from Bills

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers traded the 7th overall pick to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for the 12th, 53rd, and 56th picks of the 2018 NFL Draft.

What It Means:

The Buccaneers moved down five picks in exchange for a pair of second-rounders while the Bills selected Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen with the 7th pick.

The Buccaneers finished 5-11 last season.

Indianapolis Colts select G Quenton Nelson with the sixth pick in the NFL Draft

The Indianapolis Colts have selected Notre Dame offensive guard Quenton Nelson with the sixth pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

What It Means:

Nelson offers an instant upgrade to a Colts' offensive line that allowed the most sacks in the league last season. Andrew Luck--if he plays--should be thrilled.

Indianapolis allowed 56 sacks in 2017. They should be thrilled to add Nelson, who was a unanimous All-American in 2017.

Buffalo Bills trade up to seven to draft Josh Allen in the NFL Draft

The Buffalo Bills traded the 12th, 53rd, and 56th overall picks in the 2018 NFL Draft to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the seventh overall pick, which they used to draft Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen.

What It Means:

After trading away Tyrod Taylor it was apparent the Bills were looking for a quarterback, and they got their man after dealing a pair of second-rounders to move up five spots for Allen. The Wyoming quarterback didn't post the best numbers in college but was a combine wonder, showing off extreme athleticism. He will likely battle with A.J. McCarron for the starting spot in 2018.

Allen completed just 56.3 % of his passed in 2017 while racking up 1,812 yards, 16 touchdowns, and 6 interceptions. He added 204 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns on the ground.

Denver Broncos draft DE Bradley Chubb with the fifth pick in the 2018 NFL Draft

The Denver Broncos have selected North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb with the fifth overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

What It Means:

The rich get richer as Chubb joins an already fearsome Broncos' defense. He will join Von Miller as the team's outside rushers in their base 3-4 alignment. Chubb racked up 20 sacks and 44 tackles for a loss the last two seasons for NC State.

Denver finished with the fifth-best defensive unit and was number one versus the rush, per numberFire's metrics, in 2017.

Cleveland Browns take CB Denzel Ward with the fourth pick in the NFL Draft

The Cleveland Browns have taken Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward with the fourth pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

What It Means:

While this fills a need for Cleveland, it is a somewhat shocking pick as many were expecting the Browns to take DE Bradley Chubb.

Ward ran a 4.32 40-yard dash at the combine, but at only 5' 10", he could struggle against bigger NFL receivers. He's a major upgrade to a secondary that was, by our metrics, ranked fifth-worst against the pass in 2017.

New York Jets select QB Sam Darnold with the third pick in the NFL Draft

The New York Jets have selected USC quarterback Sam Darnold with the third overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

What It Means:

The Jets had traded up from the sixth pick earlier this offseason with the intention to get their franchise quarterback, which they got with Darnold. Only 20-years-old, the quarterback will join a crowded quarterback crew in New York (Josh McCown, Teddy Bridgewater, Christian Hackenberg, Bryce Petty) and will likely be on the bench come Week 1.

Darnold completed 64.9% of his 846 pass attempts in his two years at USC. He tossed 57 touchdowns but was also a bit turnover prone with 22 interceptions and 5 fumbles.

Cleveland Browns select QB Baker Mayfield with the top pick in the NFL Draft

The Cleveland Browns have selected Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield with the number one overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

What It Means:

Armed with multiple picks in the top four selections, the Browns didn't leave things to chance and took the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner with the first overall pick. Mayfield joins the Browns assumingly as the backup quarterback for the 2018 season as Cleveland previously traded for Tyrod Taylor, who will likely be their starter for one year.

Mayfield threw for 4,627 yards, 43 touchdowns, and 6 interceptions while completing 70.5% of his 404 pass attempts in his senior season.

New York Giants select RB Saquon Barkley with the second pick in the NFL Draft

The New York Giants have selected RB Saquon Barkley with the second pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

What It Means:

This was almost a sure thing after the Browns selected Baker Mayfield, though one could easily argue that a quarterback would have made more sense with 37-year old Eli Manning at the helm.

Barkley ran for at least 1,076 yards and 5.5 YPC in each of his three seasons at Penn State. He should immediately step in as the starting running back for the Giants and will be a popular pick in both dynasty and redraft leagues.

Report: Steelers 'quietly listening to offers' for Martavis Bryant

The Pittsburgh Steelers are "quietly listening to offers" for wide receiver Martavis Bryant, according to an ESPN report.

What It Means:

Bryant is mentioned among five veterans with the potentially to be traded around draft day. The wideout had attempted to force a trade last season, but the Steelers either weren't getting enough back or they weren't interested in parting ways just yet. Bryant is in the last year of his contract and JuJu Smith-Schuster is showing the ability to handle second wideout duties behind Antonio Brown.

In 2017, Bryant caught 50 balls for 603 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Source: ESPN

Greg Olsen returning, signing two-year extension with Panthers

Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen will sign a two-year, $17.1 million extension, reports ESPN's Adam Schefter.

What It Means:

Olsen is returning to play in 2018 and will cash in as a result. The deal is worth $8.55 million per year and up to a maximum of $10.05 a season, which could make him the NFL's highest-paid tight end. The 33-year-old insists that his injured foot is fully healed, so if he's back to full health he could prove himself worth the big payday.

In 7 games, Olsen hauled in 17 catches for 191 yards and 1 touchdown a season ago.

Rob Gronkowski announces he will return to Patriots for 2018 season

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski announced on Instagram he will return for the 2018 NFL season.

What It Means:

Gronkowski started rumors by talking about retiring following the Pats' Super Bowl loss. However, the soon-to-be 29-year-old made his intentions official as he met with coach Bill Belichick and announced he would play in the 2018 season.

Gronkowski finished the 2017 season with 69 receptions, 1,084 yards, and 8 touchdowns in 14 games played.

Tom Brady's agent says the Pats' quarterback will be back in 2018

Despite previous reports, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is expected to return to the team for the 2018 season, per his agent Don Yee

What It Means:

Rumors were circulating that Brady was unsure if he wanted to play next season or retire, but his agent quickly squashed the talk telling ESPN's Adam Schefter the 40-year-old quarterback would be back and plans to play beyond his current contract and into his mid-40's. Breathe easy Pats' fans.

Brady finished his 18th season with a league-high 4,577 yards, 32 touchdowns, 8 interceptions, and a 66.3% completion percentage.

Willie Snead signs with Ravens after Saints decline to match offer sheet

The Baltimore Ravens have signed wide receiver Willie Snead, formerly of the New Orleans Saints, to a two-year, $7 million contract.

What It Means:

The deal includes a $2 million signing bonus, and after a year of injury and inconsistency for the Saints, they decided to let the former Ball State Cardinal walk. Snead will join Michael Crabtree in the new-look Ravens receiving core. Snead's signing probably means the Ravens are out on pursuing recently-released receiver Dez Bryant.

Snead had career-lows in every category in 2017, catching just 8-of-16 targets for 80 yards across 7 starts and 11 games played.

Elway: Broncos open to trading fifth overall pick

According to The Athletic's Nicki Jhabvala, Denver Broncos general manager John Elway said that he's open to trading the number-five overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

What It Means:

Elway noted that Denver is open to trading either up or down in this year's draft. If they stay at five, the Broncos plan to take the best available player. The team did sign Case Keenum in free agency, but they could still decide to go quarterback as they look toward the future. A number of teams could offer Denver a deal to grab the quarterback of their choosing.

This past season, the Broncos finished 21st in our power rankings and 31st in passing efficiency.

Report: Giants releasing Brandon Marshall

The New York Giants are releasing wide receiver Brandon Marshall, reports Kimberley A. Martin of the Washington Post.

What It Means:

General manager Dave Gettleman said that the team will release Marshall on a "failed physical" designation. The 34-year-old's status with the team has been in question since undergoing ankle surgery in October. The move saves the Giants more than $5 million toward the 2018 cap.

Last season, Marshall played in just 5 games, totaling 18 catches and 154 yards.

Dolphins expected to exercise DeVante Parker's fifth-year option

The Miami Dolphins are expected to exercise their fifth-year team option on wide receiver DeVante Parker.

What It Means:

At 25, Parker has yet to find his stride through three seasons in the NFL. The option is worth roughly $9.5 million for the 2019 season. However, there's a chance that the team could release the wideout as his option is only guaranteed for injury.

Through 3 seasons, Parker is averaging 46.3 catches, 636.0 yards and 2.7 touchdowns per year.

Le'Veon Bell does not report to Steelers' offseason program

As expected, Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell did not report to the team's offseason program this week.

What It Means:

This isn't big news, as Bell was expected to remain away from the team until absolutely necessary. He is still unhappy with his contract situation, playing on the franchise tag for a second consecutive season. Talks for a long-term deal have stalled, which will likely result in him skipping training camp as well. He's expected to work out on his own and is doing so now in Miami.

Last season, Bell turned 406 touches into 1,946 yards and 11 touchdowns in 15 games.

Source: ESPN

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