The Tampa Bay Buccaneers re-signed defensive tackle Steve McLendon to an undisclosed one-year deal on Wednesday. McLendon is the latest player to return from the team's Super Bowl-winning squad from a year ago. The Buccaneers acquired McLendon last year in a trade with the New York Jets, and he played a key role in the team's championship run while filling in for the injured Vita Vea on the defensive line. In nine games for the Bucs (no starts), the 35-year-old managed 17 tackles (two for loss) and 10 assists. In six starts for the Jets before being traded, McLendon racked up 14 combined tackles (eight solo). He'll continue to serve as valuable defensive line depth for a stacked Tampa Bay roster in 2021.
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said that "Justin could come back" in reference to veteran free-agent defensive end Justin Houston. Houston is visiting with the Baltimore Ravens on Wednesday, but there's still a chance he re-signs with Indianapolis this offseason. If Houston isn't retained, Irsay is confident that the team can draft an edge rusher later this month. Houston had 19 sacks in the last two seasons with the Colts and was a solid starter on the defensive line. However, last year also showed that the 32-year-old was more inconsistent as a pass-rusher. Houston is hoping to sign before the draft later this month, but the Ravens want to wait until after the draft so that they do not lose a compensatory pick.
Veteran free-agent wide receiver/returner Cordarrelle Patterson is visiting with the Atlanta Falcons on Wednesday, according to sources. The expectation is that the two sides will agree on a deal soon. Patterson hasn't done much offensively in his eight-year career, but he remains one of the league's best kick returners who can also be effective on offense in spot duty. He was a Pro Bowler and All-Pro with the Chicago Bears on special teams the last two years, leading the NFL in kick-return yardage each season. Patterson returned 35 kicks for 1,017 yards, with a 104-yard touchdown, in 2020 alone. In his career, he's averaging 29.8 yards per kick return, with Atlanta averaging 20.5 yards per return in 2020. The Falcons haven't had a kick returner with more than 700 yards since Andre Roberts in 2017. Unless your league counts return yardage, Patterson has very limited fantasy appeal.
A Pittsburgh attorney intends to seek assault charges against Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald on behalf of his client, according to multiple reports. Todd Hollis said that Donald assaulted his client, DeVincent Spriggs, on April 11 at a club in the Pittsburgh area. Spriggs was left with a concussion and other injuries. Donald is a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and seven-time Pro Bowler with 85.5 career sacks. "We are collecting more information and will have no further comment at this time," the Rams statement said. The former 13th overall pick in 2014 is in the middle of a six-year, $135 million contract extension. It's unclear if this incident could lead to a suspension for one of the NFL's best pass-rushers. Stay tuned.
The Pittsburgh Steelers agreed to an undisclosed one-year deal to re-sign quarterback Joshua Dobbs on Wednesday, according to his agent, Mike McCartney. Dobbs will return to Pittsburgh as the fourth signal-caller on their roster, joining Ben Roethlisberger, Mason Rudolph and former Washington Football Team QB Dwayne Haskins. Dobbs spent his first two seasons with the Steelers after being taken in the fourth round. He was traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2019 but returned to Pittsburgh last year as a free agent. Dobbs has completed 10 of 17 passes for 45 yards and an interception in six games played in the NFL. Obviously, Dobbs won't be on the fantasy radar.
The Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks players were the first groups in the NFL to announce that they won't attend voluntary offseason workouts this year due to concerns over COVID-19. Players from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Detroit Lions later announced that they would do the same. Voluntary workouts for NFL teams are set to begin next Monday, and the league and Players Association have been in talks regarding how much in-person work will take place this offseason after it was scrapped last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The players union has pushed for no in-person workouts this year. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero said "you can expect" more announcements from teams in the coming days.
The Cleveland Browns are signing free-agent pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney to a one-year deal worth up to $10 million on Wednesday after he passed his physical, according to sources. Clowney has been on Cleveland's radar for years, so they finally get their man. The pass-rusher is fresh off another lost season in 2020 due to a knee injury, but he has high hopes with his new team. In eight games with the Tennessee Titans last year, Clowney failed to record a sack but did register six QB hits. The former first overall pick by the Houston Texans in 2014 is fully recovered from knee surgery that he had last December. He can play any position on the defensive line and can be incredibly disruptive on the interior or off the edge, but he'll need to remain healthy to make an impact for a potentially nasty Browns defense in 2021.
Alabama running back Najee Harris' ankle checked out well with no concerns recently, and the injury shouldn't affect his draft stock, according to sources. Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith's (finger) dislocated finger with torn ligaments is healing fine, and he doesn't have any issues ahead. Wideout Jaylen Waddle (ankle), the top pass-catching prospect in this year's draft, is also healing properly after an ankle dislocation last season. All three Alabama offensive weapons should come off the board early in this year's NFL draft, and the injuries that they suffered last season shouldn't make teams hesitant to select them in the early rounds. Smith's size is his biggest question mark moving to the next level.
Former Dallas Cowboys free-agent pass-rusher Aldon Smith is visiting the Seattle Seahawks on Wednesday. Smith is a potential low-risk, high-reward defensive addition for the Seahawks if he checks out. Smith returned to the NFL in 2020 and had 50 QB pressures and five sacks for Dallas. The 31-year-old's promising career was derailed for years due to off-the-field issues, but he managed to play in 16 games for the Cowboys last year and was impressive in his return to action after a long layoff. Smith was among the best pass-rushers in the league in his first two seasons in the NFL, but that was all the way back in 2011 and 2012.
Louisiana State University linebacker Jabril Cox (hamstring) will have his Pro Day on Monday, April 26. Hamstring tightness kept Cox out of his school's first Pro Day. NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah has Cox ranked as the No. 50 overall player heading into this year's NFL draft. He transferred from North Dakota State and didn't look out of place at all during the 2020 season. The 6-foot-3, 232-pounder has plenty of range as a coverage linebacker, but he'll need to improve his ability to diagnose running plays at the next level. Cox has the ability to play a hybrid role as a coverage linebacker with some safety skills, and he could solidify his place in the early portion of the draft if he proves healthy at his Pro Day later this month.
The Carolina Panthers signed free-agent fullback Mikey Daniel to an undisclosed deal on Tuesday after he worked out for the team, according to a source. Daniel was in training camp with the Atlanta Falcons last year after signing as an undrafted rookie out of South Dakota State, but he did not appear in a game. The Panthers needed a fullback after Alex Armah signed with the New Orleans Saints as an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Carolina also added defensive end Frank Herron and defensive tackle P.J. Johnson on undisclosed one-year deals on Tuesday. Herron has played in seven games for the Detroit Lions the last two seasons and has 11 tackles in 197 defensive snaps.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers re-signed cornerback Ross Cockrell to an undisclosed deal on Tuesday. The former fourth-round pick had 11 tackles and one pass deflection in 12 games (two starts) for the team last season and also played in all four playoff games. General manager Jason Licht called Cockrell "one of the best pickups" the team made in 2020. He becomes the latest member of last year's championship team to return. Cockrell will likely remain a valuable reserve in Tampa's secondary in 2021 after the club brought back all 22 starters from their Super Bowl squad a year ago. Cockrell saw playing time when both Carlton Davis and Jamel Dean missed time with injuries in the second half of last season. He played 270 defensive snaps over the final 10 games after playing on only one defensive snap through the first 10 weeks of the season.
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who is expected to be taken first overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars in this year's draft, grew up idolizing Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning, which is why he wore the No. 16 in college. But NFL scouts continue to compare Lawrence to former Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck. Several scouts acknowledge that Lawrence is the best QB prospect since Luck, who was considered a modern pre-draft gold standard at the position. Lawrence doesn't quite measure up to Luck, but he's the closest to Luck's neighborhood of any QB drafted since. Offseason surgery on his non-throwing shoulder shouldn't affect his first NFL training camp. He's expected to be Jacksonville's Week 1 starter, and his experience with the run-pass option should mesh well with new head coach Urban Meyer.
Free-agent edge rusher Justin Houston is visiting with the Baltimore Ravens on Tuesday. The 32-year-old recorded 19 sacks while playing for the Indianapolis Colts the last two years. Houston, a four-time Pro Bowl defensive end, and he could help to fill a huge void on the end of Baltimore's defensive line. Even on the wrong side of 30 years old, Houston has remained a productive pass-rusher on the edge, also recording 25 combined tackles, one forced fumble and 30 QB hits in 32 games with the Colts. The Ravens also showed interest in the veteran when they made a run at signing him in 2019 before he inked a two-year deal with the Colts. Houston is looking to sign before the draft at the end of this month, but the Ravens are unlikely to sign any unrestricted free agent until after the draft, when it won't count against their compensatory picks.
The Washington Football Team signed former Tulane basketball player Sammis Reyes to an undisclosed deal on Tuesday. Reyes finds his way to the NFL through the International Player Pathway Program (IPP). He grew up in Chile before moving to the United States at 14 years old. Reyes decided to turn his attention to football when his childhood dream of playing in the NBA didn't come to fruition. He spent the past 10 weeks training with 10 other NFL hopefuls at IMG Academy in Florida before impressing at Florida's Pro Day on March 31. The 25-year-old won't be guaranteed a spot on the active roster, and he'll be competing with Temarrick Hemingway, Marcus Baugh, Tyrone Swoopes and Dylan Cantrell to back up Logan Thomas at the position.
Free-agent defensive lineman Gerald McCoy (quadriceps), a six-time Pro Bowler, doesn't plan to retire after missing all of the 2020 season due to an injury. "I just know I have so much more to give this game, even if for a short period of time," McCoy said. The pass-rusher had 54.5 sacks in his nine seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as one of their top defensive playmakers. McCoy spent the 2019 season with the Carolina Panthers and signed with the Dallas Cowboys last year, but he tore his quadriceps in training camp. The 33-year-old former first-rounder doesn't want to go out with an injury. His agent, Ben Dogra, said that a few teams have inquired about McCoy's rehab, but he doesn't expect any serious offers until after the draft this month.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said he's not against taking a developmental quarterback at the end of the first round (pick No. 32) of this year's draft. The Buccaneers are returning 22 starters from their championship season a year ago, so they could take the best player available when their turn is up at the end of Day 1. Taking a signal-caller later in the draft is also an option. "If the right guy is there that we think is a developmental guy that has the upside that outweighs every other position of those five or six guys that we're looking at, then we wouldn't be against it," Arians said. The top-five QBs in the draft -- Trevor Lawrence, Zach Wilson, Trey Lance, Justin Fields and Mac Jones -- are all expected to be gone before Tampa picks at No. 32. Florida's Kyle Trask, Texas A&M's Kellen Mond and Stanford's Davis Mils could be options.
The Arizona Cardinals agreed to terms on an undisclosed one-year deal with free-agent running back James Conner on Tuesday. Conner visited with the team on Monday and took a physical after he had offseason surgery to fix a turf-toe injury that he sustained recreationally this offseason. The 25-year-old is expected to make a full recovery by June, and he'll add a big-bodied complement to the smaller Chase Edmonds in Arizona's backfield after they lost Kenyan Drake to free agency. Conner had a near-1,000-yard season for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2018, but he was inconsistent and battled injuries in the last two seasons. He had 169 carries for 721 yards and six touchdowns while adding 35 receptions for 215 yards in 13 games (11 starts) in 2020. Arizona's offensive line should be an upgrade, but Conner's recent injury history is worrisome. Edmonds remains the back to own in this backfield, but the addition of Conner will hurt his overall upside.
With the No. 4 overall pick in this year's NFL draft, the Atlanta Falcons are in a prime position "to stack good quarterbacks" alongside Matt Ryan, according to general manager Terry Fontenot. "It's a prime time to do it when you have a player like Matt Ryan because when you can get in the right quarterback, you don't have that pressure to play him right away. So it just opens up so many possibilities, and we have to make sure we're evaluating those positions, and we feel good about where we are there," Fontenot said. Ryan continues to play at a high level and is tied to the team for the next two years, so it's unclear if the Falcons would want to draft a top-tier QB talent and have him sit for two seasons. North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance could use some seasoning and could benefit from learning behind Ryan. But Atlanta could also choose to trade down and acquire a boatload of pick in this year's draft to fill other positions of need.
New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore, the 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, is entering the final year of his five-year deal. He may not be elite like he was two years ago, but Gilmore is still a very good cornerback as he approaches his 31st birthday this September. As such, Gilmore isn't guaranteed to receive a lucrative offer from the Patriots when he reaches free agency next offseason. "It's out of my control," he said. "I'm just happy to be a Patriot right now, and see how it goes." Gilmore will account for $16.265 million in salary cap space in 2021, which is over $7 million less than he accounted for in 2020. He's expected to remain the team's top corner opposite J.C. Jackson, but there's no guarantee he'll be back in 2022.
After being released by the New England Patriots on Monday with a failed-physical designation, wide receiver Julian Edelman officially announced his retirement from football. Edelman tried to play through a pretty serious knee injury last year that eventually required surgery, and he was not going to be able to make it back in 2021 for a full season. The veteran pass-catcher missed 10 games because of the injury last year. "By any measure of what constitutes an elite NFL career -- wins, championships, production -- Julian has it all," Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said. Edelman was as clutch as they come and converted to wideout after playing quarterback in college. The seventh-round pick in 2009 blossomed into a slot receiver in New England, where he spent his entire career. He had his first 1,000-yard season in 2013, catching 105 passes for 1,056 yards and six touchdowns. From 2009-2019, he caught 599 passes for 6,507 yards and 36 touchdowns as quarterback Tom Brady's most trusted target while helping the team win three Super Bowls. Edelman is second all time to only Jerry Rice in playoff catches (118) and yards (1,442). His 620 career catches rank second in team history behind Wes Welker (672).
The Pittsburgh Steelers signed free-agent defensive lineman Abdullah Anderson to an undisclosed one-year deal on Monday. The 25-year-old spent most of last season with the Minnesota Vikings practice squad, although he was elevated to the active roster for one game. He was signed as an undrafted free agent after the 2018 draft by the Chicago Bears and spent most of his first two seasons in the league on their practice squad, making six appearances in 2019. Anderson has four tackles and one sack in seven career NFL games, so he'll be providing depth for Pittsburgh's defensive line. Anderson and T.J. Carter, who signed three days ago, will compete for a spot on the active roster or practice squad this summer.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have spent hours zooming with Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, and the presumed No. 1 overall pick in this year's NFL draft has impressed the team with his retention of their offensive scheme. Similar to what the Cincinnati Bengals did with quarterback Joe Burrow last year, the Jaguars are making the most of their time with the likely first overall pick. Lawrence had surgery on his non-throwing shoulder to fix a torn labrum, but everything has gone smoothly in his rehab and it's not expected to keep him out at all to begin his rookie season. The 21-year-old has both the talent and football IQ to excel at the next level, and he's expected to be Jacksonville's starter entering Week 1. He'll be a no-brainer first overall pick in dynasty/keeper formats, but Lawrence won't necessarily be a great season-long play in single-season fantasy formats in 2021.
The New England Patriots released veteran wide receiver Julian Edelman (knee) on Monday, following 11 seasons and three Super Bowl victories with the team. Edelman was listed as a failed physical after he'd been working to return from an injured knee last season. He'll now be facing a decision on his future in the league and could decide to hang up his cleats. Although it's not official just yet, don't be surprised to hear soon that Edelman has decided to retire. Because of the knee injury he suffered last year, it's unlikely that the 34-year-old will be able to play the entirety of the 2021 season. One of the most trustworthy PPR players in fantasy in his time with the Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady, Edelman was sorely missed in New England after he was injured in 2020. He played in just six games last year and had 21 catches for 315 yards and no touchdowns. If this is the end of the road, Edelman will finish his NFL career with 620 regular season receptions, 6,822 yards and 36 touchdowns in 137 games (85 starts), all with the Pats.
Former Washington Football Team tight end Thaddeus Moss, the son of Hall of Fame wide receiver Randy Moss, has been claimed by the Cincinnati Bengals off waivers, according to a source. The former LSU star will be reunited with quarterback Joe Burrow and profiles as a low-risk, possible high-reward pickup. The Bengals were interested in signing Moss last year after he went undrafted. Moss spent his rookie season in the NFL on Injured Reserve due to a foot injury that required surgery. In his senior season at LSU, he caught 47 passes for 570 yards and four touchdowns. Moss will have a chance to compete for a roster spot this summer behind C.J. Uzomah and Drew Sample, depending on what the team does at the position in the draft.
University of Miami defensive end Jaelan Phillips, who has been rising up draft boards after his impressive Pro Day, was not in Indianapolis last weekend for medical evaluations because he tested positive for COVID-19, according to a source. However, Phillips will receive his physical with plenty of time prior to draft night later this month. Phillips had 15.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks in 2020, earning second-team All-American honors, and he's often been compared to NFL defensive end Maxx Crosby. He was a five-star recruit coming out of high school and initially started his college career at UCLA before transferring to Miami. His injury history in his time at UCLA is the biggest red flag leading up to the draft.
Veteran free-agent running back Giovani Bernard is signing an undisclosed one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday, according to a source. Quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bruce Arians both personally recruited Bernard, who is one of the league's best receiving backs, after he was released by the Cincinnati Bengals. It's another weapon for the Super Bowl champions, but it's uncertain how much of a role Bernard will actually have with Ronald Jones II and Leonard Fournette already in the team's backfield. Bernard, 29, had 416 rushing yards and three touchdowns and added 47 receptions for 355 yards and three additional touchdowns in 2020. Tampa's backfield is suddenly very crowded, which will make it tough to predict touches among Jones, Fournette and Bernard.
Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule confirmed that the team is allowing quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to seek a trade after they acquired Sam Darnold from the New York Jets, but the Panthers are in no hurry to make a move with Bridgewater. Rhule still thinks Bridgewater can win in the NFL as a starter, but Carolina chose to upgrade with Darnold heading into the 2021 season. The Panthers haven't committed to Darnold as the Week 1 starter, but it'd be a shock if Darnold isn't the starter after the team traded away three draft picks to land him. Rhule also said the Panthers could take a signal-caller with the No. 8 overall pick this year. Bridgewater could remain with the team in 2021, but it's looking increasingly unlikely.
Former Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner (toe) had surgery to fix a very moderate turf toe-type injury this offseason, according to sources. The procedure was performed by renowned specialist Dr. Robert Anderson. Conner incurred the injury while riding a recreational vehicle, but he's expected to be fully recovered in June. As a result, Conner will take a physical on his visit with the Arizona Cardinals on Monday. The 25-year-old was a Pro Bowler in 2018 with the Steelers, but he's been very inconsistent due to injuries in the last two seasons. Conner could be a big-bodied complement to the smaller Chase Edmonds in Arizona now that Kenyan Drake is out of town, but the two could eat into each other's upside if they are sharing the backfield in a committee approach in Arizona.
Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond is considered an intriguing Day 2 prospect in this year's draft for teams that are out of reach of the top signal-callers. Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher said that he's had extensive talks with around 10 to 15 teams about Mond, a four-year starter in college. Mond won 32 games on his way to a school-record 9,661 passing yards, 71 touchdowns and 27 interceptions. Scouts like his arm strength but also say he settled for checkdowns too often and played too conservatively. Mond went 188-for-297 (63.3 percent) for 2,282 yards, 19 touchdowns and three interceptions in his senior season. Along with Mond, Florida's Kyle Trask and Stanford's Davis Mills are among the second tier of draft-eligible QBs outside of the five surefire first-rounders.
Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley (back) had a positive medical checkup with doctors on Friday. Doctors said that the potential first-rounder's recovery from back surgery in mid-March is on pace. "I got a lot of positive feedback from the NFL doctors," Farley said. "The NFL doctors confirmed I would be ready for the season, and they told me this is definitely not a chronic thing." Farley opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19. He's expected to excel in man coverage, and he has great ball skills, size and footwork to make a smooth transition to the NFL. NFL.com draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah has Farley ranked as the No. 17 overall prospect for this year's draft. If Farley's recovery stays on pace, he should be ready for training camp this summer and the start of his rookie season.
Free-agent running back James Conner is visiting with the Arizona Cardinals on Monday. Conner rushed for almost 1,000 yards and found the end zone 13 times as a Pro Bowler in 2018 for the Pittsburgh Steelers, but he's been inconsistent since then and has dealt with a variety of injuries. The Cardinals let Kenyan Drake walk in free agency, and Conner could be an ideal complement to Chase Edmonds. The 25-year-old Conner had 721 rushing yards and six touchdowns to go along with 35 catches for 215 receiving yards in 13 games for Pittsburgh last year. Conner has played in at least 10 games in every NFL season, but he's never played in more than 14. Edmunds would have a much lower ceiling if Conner is added to this backfield, and the two would likely be involved in some sort of committee.
Free-agent pass-rusher Jadeveon Clowney is scheduled to travel to Cleveland on Tuesday night and visit with the Cleveland Browns on Wednesday for his second visit, according to a source. No signing is imminent as of now, but the two sides have maintained contact and share mutual interest in getting something done. Clowney turned down an offer from the Browns last offseason and instead chose to sign a one-year deal with the Tennessee Titans. The oft-injured 28-year-old suffered a season-ending knee injury in November and played in just eight games in 2020. Clowney has game-wrecking ability when he's healthy, and he's expected to be good to go for 2021, but it's anyone's guess if he can stay on the field for a full 16 games. Already an intriguing defense in fantasy terms, a Clowney addition would make the Browns even more attractive.
Denver Broncos quarterback Drew Lock, whose future in Denver may be in question after an up-and-down 2020 season, has been doing film sessions with Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning this offseason, according to offensive guard Dalton Risner. "Peyton Manning is a big fan of Drew Lock," Risner said. "Him and Drew have been doing a lot of work this offseason and watching film. If he's on board with Drew, I've been on board with Drew, too. It's been fun." Last year was Lock's first full season as the full-time starter in Denver, and it didn't help that his No. 1 wideout, Courtland Sutton, missed the vast majority of the year due to injury. Working with Manning won't hurt, but Lock will need to show fantasy managers more in 2021 if he's to become anything more than a mediocre low-end QB2.
The Washington Football Team released tight end Thaddeus Moss, the son of Hall of Fame wide receiver Randy Moss, on Friday. Moss signed with Washington as an undrafted free agent after last year's draft, and the team was hoping he could develop into a complementary tight end. However, Moss missed part of the summer with a foot injury after doctors discovered that he had fractured his fifth metatarsal bone in his foot, which required surgery and almost eight weeks of recovery time. But one source said his release was more about numbers at the position than past injuries. Moss had 47 catches for 570 yards and four touchdowns for LSU in 2019. Washington also released defensive lineman Caleb Brantley, running backs Michael Warren and Javon Leake and wide receiver Emanuel Hall.
The Pittsburgh Steelers signed free-agent defensive end T.J. Carter to an undisclosed deal on Friday. Carter was signed by the team as an undrafted rookie after last year's draft but was released before the start of training camp. He will return to Pittsburgh after also spending time with the New Orleans Saints in 2020. Carter started 28 games in college at Kentucky and had six career sacks and 71 tackles. The 6-foot-3, 290-pounder took part in Kentucky's Pro Day on March 31 and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.92 second while bench pressing 225 pounds 26 times. He will be battling for a roster spot in Pittsburgh in training camp this summer.
The Jacksonville Jaguars re-signed defensive tackle Daniel Ross to an undisclosed deal on Friday. Ross played in five games last year -- three with Jacksonville and two with the Las Vegas Raiders -- and recorded eight tackles. He will be expected to come into training camp this summer competing for a roster spot. The 28-year-old was claimed off waivers in December. Ross was also on the Dallas Cowboys active roster in 2017 and 2018. For his career, Ross has 27 tackles, two sacks and two fumble recoveries in 21 games. Ross also spent time on the practice squads with the Houston Texans, Detroit Lions and Kansas City Chiefs.
The Chicago Bears re-signed defensive back Michael Joseph to an undisclosed one-year deal on Friday. The former undrafted free agent missed all of last year while on Injured Reserve for COVID-19. Joseph was an exclusive-rights free agent, so he was expected to return all along. He has not appeared in a regular season game, but he has been with the Bears since the 2018 season after signing with the club as an undrafted free agent out of Dubuque. Joseph spent the majority of the 2018 and 2019 seasons on the practice squad. He was added to the 53-man roster late in 2019, but he did not play.
North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance will take part in a second Pro Day on April 19. Lance had his first Pro Day on March 12 and wowed NFL scouts with his various passes. Since Lance's first Pro Day, Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields and Alabama's Mac Jones impressed during their Pro Day workouts. Fields set his second Pro Day for April 14. The San Francisco 49ers traded up to No. 3 in this year's draft recently and are expected to draft their QB of the future, while the Atlanta Falcons at No. 4 loom as another team that could go with a signal-caller. Lance has all kinds of upside at the next level because of his athleticism with both his legs and arm. There are concerns about his lackluster 2020 season, but Lance's upside and accuracy cannot be overlooked. Sitting behind either Matt Ryan or Jimmy Garoppolo and learning for a year or two would be ideal for his development at the next level.
Drew Rosenhaus, the agent for Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley (back), said that a "bunch of team doctors and trainers" told him that Farley "did well with his physical regarding his back and is still expected to go in the first round" in this month's NFL draft. Despite the injury, Farley hasn't seen his draft stock fall. The young defensive back has a chance to be a difference-maker at the next level and can stay in man coverage at all levels of the field. Farley has top-end speed and should be able to hang with the fastest receivers in the league in coverage. He has tremendous speed and agility and could still be a top-10 pick later this month. Farley could develop into a lockdown cornerback for whichever team calls his name.
The Las Vegas Raiders signed free-agent defensive back Karl Joseph to an undisclosed deal on Friday. The former first-round pick visited the team on Thursday, and by all accounts, the visit went well for both sides. Joseph was originally drafted by the Black and Silver in the first round in 2016. The 27-year-old was with the Cleveland Browns last season, appearing in 14 games (eight starts) while recording the second-most tackles of his career (64) and adding an interception, four passes defensed and a career-high two fumble recoveries. Joseph had 76 tackles, one pick, a career-high six passes defensed and one forced fumble in his impressive rookie campaign with the Raiders.
Louisiana State University wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase is the consensus No. 1 wide receiver in this year's very good receiving class despite opting not to play in 2020 due to COVID-19. A top draft evaluator called Chase the "best wide receiver prospect since Julio Jones." Chase is truly a special receiving talent and has the ability to immediately become fantasy relevant in his rookie season as his team's top receiver, wherever he lands in this month's draft. He will surely come off the board in the first round. The young pass-catcher is great at tracking the deep ball and makes adjustments on the fly while displaying top-notch speed for a player of his size. Chase set the SEC record in 2019 for receiving yards in 2019 with 1,780 and touchdowns (20) in a single season. It'd be a surprise if he's not the first wideout off the board later this month.
The Seattle Seahawks re-signed cornerback Damarious Randall to an undisclosed deal on Friday. The plan is for Randall to move back to cornerback, the position he played in the first three seasons of his career with the Green Bay Packers. The first-rounder out of Arizona State in 2015 was a safety in college but was moved to cornerback in his rookie season, starting 30 of 39 games while recording 10 interceptions, 32 passes defensed and 144 tackles in his first three seasons. He made the move back to safety when he was traded to the Cleveland Browns in 2018. Randall spent training camp with the Las Vegas Raiders in 2020 and then signed to Seattle's practice squad in September. He played in 10 games for the Seahawks last year but mostly played on special teams.
San Francisco 49ers star edge rusher Nick Bosa (knee), who tore his ACL after just two games last season, is looking good in his rehab process. The 23-year-old is looking explosive this spring and could make a seamless return to the 49ers defensive line after earning Defensive Rookie of the Year. Without Bosa in the fold in 2020, San Francisco's defense struggled for the vast majority of the season. The former second overall pick in 2019 was a Pro Bowler in his rookie season, when he had 47 combined tackles (16 for loss), 25 QB hits, one interception, two passes defensed, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and nine sacks in 16 games in 2019. If he proves that he's fully healthy this summer, he'll once again be one of the first defensive linemen off the board in IDP fantasy leagues.
Seattle Seahawks defensive end Kerry Hyder, one of the team's free-agent additions this offseason, thinks that he can play the Michael Bennett role in Seattle's defense. Bennett's primary job was to play as a strongside defensive end opposite speed pass-rushers on the other end. On passing downs, Bennett moved inside to play tackle. His 39 sacks remain the seventh-most in team history. Hyder, 29, had a career-high 8.5 sacks with the San Francisco 49ers last year in his first season as a full-time starter. The Seahawks hope that Hyder and Carlos Dunlap can provide a 1-2 punch on the defensive line while getting after the opposing quarterback next season. L.J. Collier and Rasheem Green can also rotate with Hyder, as both are able to play defensive end and tackle.
Former Las Vegas Raiders first-round strong safety Karl Joseph visited with the Raiders on Thursday night, according to a source. Joseph is one of the top safeties left on the free-agent market, and the Raiders have a clear need at the position, so there could be a reunion here. He played the 2020 season with the Cleveland Browns, playing in 14 games (eight starts). Joseph racked up 67 tackles, one interception and four passes defensed. In his four years with the Raiders, Joseph started in 41 games. He was playing some of the best football of his career last year before a foot injury caused him to miss the rest of the season. He doesn't fit the free safety role, but he could be used as a hybrid linebacker/strong safety in Las Vegas' defense if they sign him.
BYU quarterback Zach Wilson (shoulder) had shoulder surgery back in 2019, but the New York Jets, who many believe will select Wilson with the No. 2 overall pick in this year's draft, feel confident in his shoulder based on information they've received from trusted medical sources. There are zero issues with Wilson's shoulder, which is why the Jets didn't need to wait for his physical in Indianapolis. The Jets recently traded former No. 3 overall pick Sam Darnold, signaling that they are ready to take their future franchise QB at No. 2 overall later this month. Wilson threw for 3,692 yards, 33 touchdowns and three interceptions in 2020 and impressed at his Pro Day workout. Extremely accurate all over the field and while on the run, Wilson has plenty of upside at the next level, but he won't be very attractive in single-year formats in 2021.
Free-agent cornerback Richard Sherman said on The Cris Collinsworth Podcast that he expects to sign with a team after the NFL draft later this month. "You turn 33, and then it's like, 'We'll wait until we get a young pup; and if we can't get a young pup, we'll take an old fool.' So that's where we're sitting," Sherman said. The All-Pro defensive back just completed a three-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers that paid him almost $31 million. San Fran appears to have their starting cornerbacks in place for 2021, so a reunion with Sherman looks unlikely. The New Orleans Saints have shown interest in the four-time Pro Bowler, but it remains to be seen where he'll land. While Sherman may only have a few years left, he can still make plays and help a team's secondary.
Miami Dolphins star cornerback Byron Jones said that the team expects a big leap from quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in his sophomore season after he disappointed in his rookie year in 2020. "His contributions to the team have been great so far, but we're looking for even something better this year. It's exciting. I can't wait to see him work his magic," Jones said. Tagovailoa started nine games after being taken fifth overall in the draft, completing 64.1 percent of his passes for 1,814 yards, 11 touchdowns and five interceptions. The rookie was hesitant to throw into tight windows and was benched twice in favor of veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, who is now in Washington. Despite the ups and downs, Miami remains invested in the young QB and will ride or die with him in 2021. The 23-year-old is still a fine dynasty/keeper asset, but he'll be a low-end QB2 in redraft leagues.
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Demarcus Robinson expects to have a more prominent role this year now that Sammy Watkins is no longer around. "I just think it picks up a little bit more right now. I'm looking for the opportunity -- not for them to give me the opportunity -- but go in there and take the opportunity. Go in there and show that I am a guy who can put up 1,000 yards a year and 10 touchdowns. I'm ready to make that happen," Robinson said. There should be more opportunity, but the Chiefs also still have Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, Mecole Hardman and Byron Pringle. Robinson had a career-high 45 catches for 466 yards and three touchdowns in 2020, and he has 120 catches for 1,415 yards and 11 touchdowns in five seasons in KC. Unless the Chiefs suffer some injuries in the passing game, Robinson may continue to be a boom/bust fantasy option in the Chiefs explosive offense.