Richard Sherman - CB - Seattle Seahawks
Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman (elbow) has torn ligaments in his elbow, but he is improving daily and he is no longer receiving treatment for the injury.
Huddle Up: Ouch -- not good. There's likely no ongoing treatment because nothing can really be done besides getting rest, and that's not going to happen until after Sunday. Sherman will be out there, likely wearing a brace, and expect Tom Brady to test him early.
Adrian Peterson - RB - Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson was directed by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to meet with a league-assigned psychiatrist following Peterson's suspension. The National Football League Players Association is now crying foul on the commissioner's mandated counseling, arguing that Goodell did not have the power to enforce such a stipulation. The NFLPA said the terms of Peterson's suspension violate the limits of Goodell's power under the collective bargaining agreement.
Huddle Up: Just when you think the Peterson drama has passed and all parties can move on, more back-fighting and bickering surface, clouding the RB's already murky future.
Tom Brady - QB - New England Patriots
New England Patriots QB Tom Brady has publicly stated he'd like to play well into his 40s and feels perfect after playing his 15th season, but his father Tom Brady Sr. believes it won't end well with the Patriots. The younger Brady is under contract through 2017, although he'll turn 40 prior to that season. Brady has publicly said he plans on playing until he's 43 or 44. The 37-year-old quarterback is scheduled to make $12 million in 2015, $8 million in 2016 and $9 million in 2017. His father thinks his son's determination to keep playing won't go over well with the Patriots' brass. "It will end badly," Brady Sr. told New York Times Magazine. "It does end badly. And I know that because I know what Tommy wants to do. He wants to play 'til he's 70. ... It's a cold business. And for as much as you want it to be familial, it isn't."
Huddle Up: After a slow start, Brady finished 2014 with a passer rating (97.4) above his career average (95.9) and bounced back from his 25-TD season a year ago with 33 scoring passes and two fewer interceptions (11-9). Now, as the Patriots chase another Super Bowl title, the lesson likely is don't count Brady out until he bows out.
Drew Brees - QB - New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees said 2014 was the most frustrating season of his career, but remained optimistic about the team's future. 'I think we've identified the problems or the things that got us beat or the things that didn't allow us to be as good as we know we can be, and we have the solution to fix it,' Brees said. 'It's going to take a lot of work, but I know we can get it done.'
Huddle Up: Cutting down on his own turnovers after throwing 17 interceptions and losing three fumbles last season is likely at or near the top of the list for Brees, who turned 36 earlier this month. Meanwhile, Brees' other passing numbers (4,952 yards, 33 TDs and 97.0 passer rating) were certainly right in line with his other totals from recent seasons.
Marshawn Lynch - RB - Seattle Seahawks
Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch averages more yards per carry and yards after contact (5.00, 2.67) during the postseason than during the regular season (4.41, 2.01).
Huddle Up: In nine career postseason contests -- all with Seattle -- Lynch has five 100-yard games and has rushed for eight TDs while adding 81 yards on nine receptions. Despite scoring a TD, Lynch did have his second-worst postseason rushing day (15-39) in last year's Super Bowl and will certainly be looking for much better numbers Sunday against a Patriots' D that finished in the middle of the pack (16th) in terms of the fewest fantasy points allowed to opposing RBs this season.
Rob Gronkowski - TE - New England Patriots
New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski is an offensive weapon that the Seattle Seahawks are focused on shutting down during the Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 1. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll thinks his team matches up well against the All-Pro tight end, though, as LBs K.J. Wright and Bruce Irvin are 'pretty tall and long' and SS Kam Chancellor is 'about as big a strong safety as you can find.' The Seahawks will be focused on not allowing Gronkowski and QB Tom Brady to take over the game.
Huddle Up: The Seahawks have surrendered the third-most receiving TDs (11) to opposing TEs this season, but when fully focused, the Legion of Boom has shown it can negate a top TE -- reference Jimmy Graham's 1-catch, 8-yard performance in last season's divisional playoffs. Now no one's forecasting a 1-8 Super Sunday for Gronk, but don't expect him to run wild, either.
Trent Richardson - RB - Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis Colts RB Trent Richardson's one-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team voided the guarantee of a $3,184,062 salary in 2015.
Huddle Up: Sounds like the perfect out for Indy with the deeply disappointing Richardson having averaged only 3.1 yards per carry in 20 games with the team.
Teddy Bridgewater - QB - Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater is working on bulking up this offseason. 'We know where he's going to be, what he's going to be doing, in terms of lifting,' offensive coordinator Norv Turner said. 'He's never going to be a real big man, but he's going to be a guy that eventually is 220-225. He played most of the year about 212, so continue to work and get stronger and put on a few more pounds, and he will gradually, but that strength, I don't want people to think I'm talking about getting his arm stronger, no.'
Huddle Up: The extra bulk should help Bridgewater withstand more punishment, but it also likely will decrease his mobility a step or two. Regardless, though, the arrow is pointing up for the second-year QB who completed at least 68 percent of his passes in each of his last five games as a rookie.
Jimmy Graham - TE - New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham (shoulder) caught three passes for 30 yards and two scores in the Pro Bowl Sunday, Jan. 25, and when asked if his performance would rule out surgery, he said, 'It should, which is really exciting.'
Huddle Up: Graham should have ample time to heal the rest of the offseason after the shoulder issues clearly hampered his production over the final six games of the season.
Zach Ertz - TE - Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles TE Zach Ertz ranked ninth among tight ends in 2014 with 293 receiving yards out of the slot, but PhillyMag.com's Sheil Kapadia believes Ertz could see more time in the slot next year if WR Jordan Matthews spends more time outside.
Huddle Up: Although he caught one fewer TD pass (4-3), Ertz saw solid increases in his reception (36-58) and receiving-yard (469-702) totals this past season, and there's no reason to believe his numbers won't continue to climb in 2015, putting him in low-end TE1 territory.
Jordan Matthews - WR - Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia Eagles WR Jordan Matthews played 65 percent of the offensive snaps and ran 92.4 percent of his routes from the slot in 2014, per Pro FootballFocus.com. That was the role Eagles head coach Chip Kelly envisioned him in when the club drafted him last year. However, according to PhillyMag.com's Sheil Kapadia, the team could benefit from expanding Matthews' role by playing him outside more in two-wide receiver sets while keeping in him in the slot when the Eagles use three or more wide receivers.
Huddle Up: Matthews definitely saw his workload and production increase during the second half of his rookie season and even managed to stand out among the bumper class of first-year wideouts, finishing fifth in receptions (67) and yards (872) and fourth with eight TD catches.
Josh Gordon - WR - Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon tested positive for alcohol, according to sources, and his failed test will subject him to a possible one-year suspension. Gordon caught 24 passes for 303 yards in five games last year after leading the NFL with 1,646 yards in 14 games in 2013. Gordon is in Stage Three of an alcohol program, which requires him to be tested for alcohol for a minimum of two years. His failed drug test came after the end of the 2014 season, and it's unlikely that an appeal will work to eliminate or lessen a one-year ban for the 2015 season.
Huddle Up: Gordon was able to shorten a season-long ban last year, but he may have run out of second chances. Worse, for him at least, is that the suspension also pushes back his potential free agency--though the Browns may cut him loose anyway rather than wait a year and hope Gordon is finally able to stay clean.
Vontaze Burfict - LB - Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (knee) is recovering from microfracture surgery on his left knee, and the surgeon who operated on him is hoping that he will be at full strength in time for training camp. 'I don't see any reason, if this thing heals like we want and we think it will, why he won't be back like he was,' Dr. Neal ElAttrache said. 'Microfracture has a bad connotation, but there are plenty of guys who have come back and been able to play like before. But it's not really news when it works out.' Burfict is expected to heal rapidly since his knee was in good shape structurally. He'll be on crutches for six weeks before he can start conditioning his knee, and he'll be able to run after three months.
Huddle Up: Microfracture surgery isn't necessarily the career-ender it used to be, but it's also no picnic; Burfict has a lot of work ahead of him, but all indications are this is an injury he can come all the way back from--in advance of the 2015 season, no less.
Justin Blackmon - WR - Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon reportedly has overcome his off-field issues, and plenty of league sources expect him to be back with the team in 2015.
Huddle Up: The fifth overall pick of the 2012 draft has played in 20 games in three seasons but has shown he can be productive (93 catches-1,280 yards-6 TDs in those 20 contests) when he's on the field. If Blackmon has truly got his act together, he'll be a strong upgrade to Blake Bortles' young WR corps.
Jay Cutler - QB - Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler reportedly once touted new quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains to be the quarterbacks coach in 2012. The two had a 'strong, personal relationship.'
Huddle Up: Loggains and new OC Adam Gase are the latest -- and possibly last -- chances to make something out of Cutler's Windy City career. The QB looked to be on track after his first year under former coach Marc Trestman in 2013 but regressed this past season.
Josh Gordon - WR - Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon has reportedly failed another drug test and will be subject to a 1-year banishment, according to multiple league sources. Gordon would be under contract through the 2016 season, and he will only be a restricted free agent after that year due to his looming suspension for another failed substance test.
Huddle Up: Gordon was iffy to return to the Browns in 2015 even before Sunday's news, and now it looks like he'll be headed straight to waivers with a trade no longer a realistic option. 25 years from now, we could be looking back at Gordon's spectacular 2013 season (87-1,646-9) as one of the greatest one-hit wonders of the era.
Blake Bortles - QB - Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles said he plans to have a passing camp in Southern California in February with his wide receivers, tight ends and running backs in order to work on their chemistry.
Huddle Up: A needed, necessary and highly prudent move given the youth and inexperience of the 23-year-old QB and his kiddie WR corps and the up-and-(mostly)-down season they just had.
Tom Brady - QB - New England Patriots
New England Patriots QB Tom Brady completed 12 of his 24 pass attempts on scramble plays outside of the pocket this year for 198 yards and two scores. Last year, he was 0-of-4 on similar plays.
Huddle Up: No one is going to confuse the 37-year-old Brady with Russell Wilson on Feb. 1 but he's certainly not the statue fellow golden oldie Peyton Manning is, either.
Charles Clay - TE - Miami Dolphins
Miami Dolphins impending free-agent TE Charles Clay is a player that the Dolphins would like to re-sign and are expected to offer him a contract in the next few weeks.
Huddle Up: Clay is a productive, under-the-radar TE who fits Miami's system and a player the Dolphins shouldn't have to break the bank to re-sign . He had a career season with 69 catches for 759 yards and six TDs in 2013 but slipped to 58-605-3 this past year in an injury-hampered season.
Kenny Britt - WR - St. Louis Rams
St. Louis Rams WR Kenny Britt and his agents have started contract talks with the team. Britt, who has been in St. Louis just one season, indicated he wanted to remain with the club past 2014.
Huddle Up: Britt led Rams' WRs with 48 catches for 748 yards and three scores in 2014, and while he's certainly a solid WR, the Rams also need to find the play-making No. 1 wideout they've lacked for years.
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