Recent NFL Player News

Rapoport: Bears expected to release Dion Sims

The Chicago Bears are expected to release tight end Dion Sims, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

What It Means:

The Bears will save $6 million against the cap with the move. Sims only appeared in eight games last season, catching 2 passes for 9 yards on 4 targets.

Sims recorded 17 receptions (33 targets) for 189 yards and 1 touchdown in 22 games over two seasons for the Bears.

Antonio Brown will only be traded if Steelers benefit

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown will only be traded if the deal is "beneficial to the Pittsburgh Steelers organization," general manager Kevin Colbert said.

What It Means:

Colbert added that Brown will not be dealt if the trade doesn't benefit the Steelers. At this point, it would be pretty shocking if Brown isn't wearing a different uniform by Week 1 of next season.

Brown caught 104 passes for 1,297 yards and 15 touchdowns on 168 targets in 15 games last season.

Steelers say Le'Veon Bell will not be tagged

Pittsburgh Steelers impending free agent running back Le'Veon Bell will not receive the franchise or transition tag, general manager Kevin Colbert said.

What It Means:

"Le’Veon will be an unrestricted free agent at the start of the new league year," Colbert stated. James Conner and Jaylen Samuels will likely handle the bulk of backfield work for the Steelers in 2019. Bell turned 27 on Monday.

Bell totaled 1,946 yards and 11 touchdowns in his last active season.

Andre Ellington signs with Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed running back Andre Ellington.

What It Means:

Ellington hasn't appeared in a game since 2017 with the Arizona Cardinals under head coach Bruce Arians, who is now calling the shots in Tampa Bay. He spent the majority of his career with Arians in Arizona after being taken in the sixth round of the 2013 draft. Ellington, now 30, will likely compete for a pass-catching role out of the Bucs' backfield.

Ellington has 1,752 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns on 418 carries over 65 games for his career, plus another 1,368 yards and 3 touchdowns on 151 receptions (224 targets).

DeMarcus Lawrence refusing to sign franchise tender with Cowboys again

Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman DeMarcus Lawrence will not sign the franchise tag if tendered again, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.

What It Means:

Lawrence will likely be tagged again if the two sides don't reach a long-term agreement by March 5, which would make mid-July as the real deadline. He turns 27 in April and would be due $20.5 million in 2019.

Lawrence recorded 61 tackles (40 solo) with 11 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 interception, and 1 pass deflection last season.

Patriots' Rob Gronkowski to decide in 'next couple weeks'

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will make a decision on his NFL future in the "next couple of weeks," agent Drew Rosenhaus said Tuesday.

What It Means:

"He’s thinking it through, he’s giving it a lot of thought," Rosenhaus said. "I imagine a decision will happen in the next couple of weeks." Gronkowski said the same thing after the Patriots' latest Super Bowl victory.

Gronkowski caught 47 passes on 72 targets for 682 yards and 3 touchdowns in 13 games during the regular season. He added 13 receptions (19 targets) for 191 scoreless yards in the playoffs.

Charles Clay joins Cardinals with 1-year deal

The Arizona Cardinals signed tight end Charles Clay, formerly of the Buffalo Bills, to a 1-year, $3.25 million contract.

What It Means:

Clay was released by the Bills last Friday, two days after the veteran's 30th birthday. His arrival in Arizona may lead to Ricky Seals-Jones being utilized more as a wide receiver. Clay caught at least 49 passes every season from 2013-17 while playing for the Bills and Miami Dolphins.

The eight-year veteran had 184 scoreless yards on 21 receptions (36 targets) in 13 games for the Bills last season.

Antonio Brown meets with Steelers owner, agree 'time to move on'

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown met with team owner Art Rooney II on Tuesday.

What It Means:

Brown said it was a "great meeting" and that the two "cleared the air on several issues," but also "agreed that it is time to move on." The receiver is owed a $2.5 million roster bonus on March 17, so the Steelers have monetary incentive to orchestrate a trade within the next month.

Brown caught 104 passes for 1,297 yards and 15 touchdowns on 168 targets in 15 games last season.

Cowboys reportedly letting Terrance Williams walk

The Dallas Cowboys declined wide receiver Terrance Williams' option year for 2019, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN.

What It Means:

Williams will become an unrestricted free agent in March. He only appeared in two games last season due to a foot fracture and three-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. It was the first time Williams failed to play all 16 games since the Cowboys selected him in the third round out of Baylor in 2013. He turns 30 in September.

The veteran wideout caught 232 passes on 374 targets for 3,377 yards and 20 touchdowns in 83 games over the past six seasons.

Bills release tight end Charles Clay on Friday

The Buffalo Bills have released tight end Charles Clay on Friday.

What It Means:

By releasing Clay, the Bills were able to save 4.5 million against their cap. The 30-year tight end struggled with his production after signing a five-year $38 million dollar contract in 2015 but look for him to latch on with another team at some point during the off-season.

In four seasons with Buffalo, Clay hauled in 178 receptions for 1,822 yards and 9 touchdowns.

Antonio Brown will reportedly meet with Steelers owner

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown will meet with team owner Art Rooney II, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

What It Means:

Brown apparently had a change of heart, as Rapoport previously reported that he would not meet with Rooney. The receiver officially requested a trade from the Steelers earlier this week following a tempestuous season in Pittsburgh. Brown turns 31 this summer.

Brown caught 104 passes for 1,297 yards and 15 touchdowns on 168 targets in 15 games last season.

Schefter: Broncos 'most likely' letting Brandon Marshall walk

The Denver Broncos are "most likely" going to release linebacker Brandon Marshall, reports ESPN's Adam Schefter.

What It Means:

Marshall played the past six seasons in Denver after spending his rookie year with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Injuries have limited Marshall to 11 games in two of the past three seasons. He turns 30 in September.

Marshall recorded 41 tackles (21 solo) with 1 pass deflection in 11 games last season.

Nick Foles, Jaguars expected to have 'mutual interest'

Free agent quarterback Nick Foles, formerly of the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Jacksonville Jaguars are expected to have "mutual interest," reports Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network.

What It Means:

The Jaguars are one of only a few teams in need of a new quarterback, so the match makes sense. Blake Bortles will likely need to find a new NFL home for 2019.

Foles averaged 282.6 passing yards (7.2 yards per attempt) on a 72.3 completion percentage with 7 touchdowns and 4 interceptions in five games last season.

Broncos reportedly deal 4th-round pick to Ravens for Joe Flacco

The Denver Broncos acquired quarterback Joe Flacco from the Baltimore Ravens in exchange for a 2019 fourth-round pick, per multiple reports.

What It Means:

The Broncos had two 2019 fourth-round picks as a result of trading Demaryius Thomas to the Houston Texans midseason. They will send their own pick to Baltimore and keep Houston's, but it won't be official until the new league year starts on March 13. Flacco, a 34-year-old with a recent history of back and hip issues, has averaged just 6.4 yards per pass attempt (YPA) over the past four seasons. Case Keenum will reportedly be traded or released.

Flacco threw for 2,465 yards (6.5 YPA) on a 61.2 completion percentage with 12 touchdowns and 6 interceptions in nine games for Baltimore last season.

Broncos reportedly expected to release or trade Case Keenum

The Denver Broncos "will now shop" quarterback Case Keenum after acquiring Joe Flacco from the Baltimore Ravens on Wednesday, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

What It Means:

The Broncos signed Keenum to a 2-year, $36 million deal last offseason, but it looks like his tenure will only last one season. He turns 31 this upcoming Sunday.

Keenum threw for 3,890 yards (6.6 yards per attempt) on a 62.3 completion percentage with 18 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in 16 games for the Broncos last season.

Ravens reportedly agree to trade Joe Flacco to Broncos

The Baltimore Ravens have "agreed in principle" to trade quarterback Joe Flacco to the Denver Broncos, reports ESPN's Adam Schefter.

What It Means:

The trade will not become official until the new league year starts on March 13, so details may not be revealed until then. New Broncos head coach Vic Fangio spent one season in Baltimore with Flacco under center, so there's some familiarity there. The 34-year-old quarterback will likely compete with Case Keenum for starting duties in Denver, although there's still a decent chance they spend an early-round pick on a signal-caller. As for Baltimore, Lamar Jackson will open 2019 as the starting quarterback.

Flacco threw for 2,465 yards (6.5 yards per attempt) on a 61.2 completion percentage with 12 touchdowns and 6 interceptions in nine games last season.

Eric Reid re-signs with Panthers for 3 seasons

The Carolina Panthers re-signed defensive back Eric Reid to a 3-year, $22 million contract.

What It Means:

Reid made his Panthers debut in Week 5 and became an immediate starter. "I feel comfortable here. I was excited just to get (the deal) done," the 27-year-old said. "I fit well into this defense." The 49ers originally drafted Reid in the first round of the 2013 draft.

Reid recorded 66 tackles with 1 interception and 5 pass deflections in 13 games for the Panthers last season.

Duke Johnson not expendable 'yet' for Browns

Cleveland Browns running back Duke Johnson's future with the team is uncertain, per comments from general manager John Dorsey on Monday.

What It Means:

“I don’t think it makes him expendable yet,” Dorsey replied when asked about Johnson during a press conference addressing Kareem Hunt's signing. It sounds like Johnson may fall out of the mix once Hunt returns from what is expected to be a lengthy suspension. The 25-year-old back averaged 5.0 yards per carry and 9.1 yards per catch last season, but only saw 5.4 touches per game.

Johnson gained 201 scoreless rush yards on 40 carries and caught 47 passes for 429 yards and 3 touchdowns on 62 targets last season.

Texans reportedly releasing Demaryius Thomas

The Houston Texans are expected to release wide receiver Demaryius Thomas on Tuesday, reports James Palmer of NFL Network.

What It Means:

The Texans acquired Thomas from the Denver Broncos for a fourth-round pick in October, but he's due $14 million in 2019, so it wound up being more of a rental than long-term investment. He only caught 23 passes for 275 yards and 2 touchdowns in seven games for Houston before suffering an Achilles' tear. Thomas turned 31 in December.

DT caught 59 passes for 677 yards and 5 touchdowns on 89 targets in 15 games last season.

Antonio Brown: 'Time to move on' from Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown tweeted it is "time to move on and forward."

What It Means:

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports Brown also officially requested a trade, which was first reported in January. This is the first time the receiver has publicly expressed a desire to leave Pittsburgh, although it hasn't been much of a secret. Brown will turn 31 this summer.

Brown caught 104 passes for 1,297 yards and 15 touchdowns on 168 targets in 15 games for the Steelers last season.

Browns sign Kareem Hunt to 1-year contract, suspension still pending

The Cleveland Browns signed running back Kareem Hunt, formerly of the Kansas City Chiefs, to a 1-year contract.

What It Means:

Hunt will remain on the commissioner's exempt list until his inevitable suspension is handed down from the league's office. Browns general manager John Dorsey drafted Hunt in Kansas City, so it's not a big surprise to see the two reconnect in Cleveland. Nick Chubb is expected to open the 2019 season as the Browns' workhorse back, but Hunt will likely work his way into the mix once eligible. He turns 24 in August.

Hunt rushed 181 times for 824 yards and 7 touchdowns and had 26 receptions (35 targets) for 378 yards and another 7 touchdowns over 11 games for the Chiefs in 2018.

Broncos' Phillip Lindsay (wrist) remains in air cast ahead of OTA's

Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay's arm is still in an air cast following offseason wrist surgery.

What It Means:

There's still time before OTA's for Lindsay to get healthy, but if he misses more time he could miss them.

Lindsay ran for 1,037 and nine touchdowns in his rookie year.

Giants won't exercise Jonathan Stewart's option

New York Giants running back Jonathan Stewart is set to become a free agent for the 2019 season.

What It Means:

Stewart had a team option that was set to pay him $2.77 million, but the team didn't give him a spot on the roster and will let him go out into the free agent market.

In three games this season, Stewart ran the ball six times for 17 yards.

Source: Dan Duggan

Panthers' Greg Olsen (foot) plans to play next season

Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen (foot surgery) confirmed he plans to play in 2019.

What It Means:

“My plan right now, I’m in every day doing my foot rehab, trying to get this thing finally back to where I was used to,’’ Olsen said. “It seems like it’s been a long time since it was. Yeah, that’s what I’m preparing for and that all starts with getting my foot right.’’ It was reported in December that Olsen intends to return next season, so this isn't a surprise. The veteran tight end has been limited to just 16 games over the past two seasons due to chronic foot issues. He turns 34 in March and has two years left on his current contract.

Olsen had 27 receptions for 291 yards and 4 touchdowns on 38 targets over nine games in 2018.

Nick Foles reportedly declines Eagles option, enters free agency

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles declined his $20 million option.

What It Means:

Foles forfeited $2 million to void the final year of his deal and enter free agency. The Eagles can apply the franchise tag in an effort to trade Foles, rather than letting him walk, but it appears he will be playing for another team in 2019. Foles turned 30 in January.

Foles averaged 282.6 passing yards (7.2 yards per attempt) on a 72.3 completion percentage with 7 touchdowns and 4 interceptions in five games last season.

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