Antone Smith - RB - Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons impending free-agent RB Antone Smith is a priority for the team to re-sign this offseason, but the Falcons could add another running back in free agency instead.
Huddle Up: Smith had a career year in only 10 games last season, finishing with 366 total yards and scoring five TDs on 36 touches before a broken leg prematurely ended his season. With the Falcons set to release Steven Jackson, the Falcons will likely re-sign Smith to pair with second-year back Devonta Freeman, but definitely don't be surprised if they also add a veteran free agent or select another RB in the draft.
Matt Hasselbeck - QB - Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis Colts impending free-agent QB Matt Hasselbeck was re-signed to a one-year deal Thursday, Feb. 26. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Huddle Up: Hasselbeck will turn 40 in September but he evidently has the confidence of the Colts as he's slated to back up Andrew Luck for the third straight season. It's a good gig, though, as Hasselbeck has only had to attempt 56 passes over the last two seasons.
Steven Jackson - RB - Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons RB Steven Jackson will reportedly be released Friday, Feb. 27.
Huddle Up: If it's not the end of the NFL road for the soon-to-be 32-year-old Jackson, he can at least see it from here after he averaged 3.6 yards per carry and ran for 12 TDs in two disappointing seasons with the Falcons.
Adrian Peterson - RB - Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's suspension was overturned by U.S. District Judge David S. Doty on Thursday, Feb. 26. However, the NFL also announced that they will appeal the ruling, and Peterson will return to the Commissioner's Exempt List. 'Judge Doty's order did not contain any determinations concerning the fairness of the appeals process under the CBA, including the commissioner's longstanding authority to appoint a designee to act as hearing officer,' the league said in a statement.
Huddle Up: The Vikings and Peterson cannot have contact with each other and nothing can happen until he is formally reinstated by the league -- and who knows when that will happen if it carries through with the appeal. At least (we believe) the latest it will be is April 15 -- the date when his suspension was originally due to end. Just don't say we didn't warn you that this would be a true soap opera.
Travis Kelce - TE - Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce, who led the team with 67 catches and 862 receiving yards in 2014, is expected to be a more prominent part of the passing offense in 2015 after the team released TE Anthony Fasano on Thursday, Feb. 26. Kelce was in the lineup for roughly 65 percent of the snaps last year. However, the Chiefs were most effective with three tight ends in the lineup last year, so they may shop for another tight end in the draft of in free agency.
Huddle Up: Kelce was a 2014 sleeper who lived up to -- or at least came close to -- breakout expectations, finishing eighth among TEs with 116 fantasy points. Kelce could also receive an additional boost if the Chiefs finally add some competent WR help this offseason.
Theo Riddick - RB - Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions RB Theo Riddick likely will be given the chance to earn a bigger role in the offense next season after the team released RB Reggie Bush.
Huddle Up: Riddick, a sixth-round pick in 2013, scored four TDs and gained 367 yards on his 70 touches a year ago and could slide into the No. 2 RB role in back of Joique Bell, but it also wouldn't be surprising to see the Lions add another back in free agency or the draft in the coming months.
Josh McCown - QB - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Free-agent QB Josh McCown (Buccaneers) is expected to decide on a new team by early next week. The Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns are considered strong suitors.
Huddle Up: The Bills seemingly are the favorites to land the soon-to-be 36-year-old QB, who would figure to have a decent chance of winning the starting gig in either locale.
Adrian Peterson - RB - Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's suspension has been overturned after a judge granted a motion from the NFL Players Association to vacate the suspension. The NFL is expected to appeal the decision.
Huddle Up: Peterson was originally scheduled to be reinstated April 15, but that has been pushed up almost two months, barring the league winning an appeal. In the meantime, there still remains much uncertainly over whether the RB will return to play for the Vikings, where he's scheduled to count $15.4 million against the salary cap. Peterson can be traded when the new league year begins March 10.
Dez Bryant - WR - Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant is likely to receive the franchise tag because the team is hesitant to sign him long-term due to a lack of trust off the field. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport discovered via an open-records request that Bryant was involved in an 'unknown disturbance' in a Walmart parking lot July 11, 2011. Upon further investigation, 'it was determined that there was no offense' and 'all parties were advised they were free to go.' The team has known about this incident for a while. However, Bryant has had the police called to his home six different times since 2011. None of the calls resulted in any arrests.
Huddle Up: This stage seemed to be past Bryant and the Cowboys, but the recent reports of an impending video "release" may have stirred some old doubts. Still, this mainly seems to be a lot of overblown noise over something four years in the past, and if the Cowboys can sign Bryant to a long-term deal to both sides' liking, look for that to get done. In the meantime, there's always the franchise tag.
Ted Ginn Jr. - WR - Arizona Cardinals
The Carolina Panthers are interested in free-agent WR Ted Ginn Jr. (Cardinals). According to a league source, the Panthers plan to reach out to Ginn, who spent the 2013 season with the team.
Huddle Up: The speedy Ginn has played for four teams in eight seasons, including a different one in each of the past three years. It looks like he'll be on the move again, but as usual don't expect much fantasy-wise as he's had only one season (2008) with more than 38 catches.
Carson Palmer - QB - Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer might restructure his contract to ease his cap number of $14.5 million for 2015, according to a source. As long as the team does not increase his salary they can redo the deal he just signed during the 2014 season. According to reports, a $9.5 million roster bonus might be converted to a signing bonus.
Huddle Up: It's a common move in restructuring to convert a roster bonus (which might be the straw that breaks the camels back when it comes to keeping a high-priced veteran around) into a signing bonus, which essentially gives the money to the player while allowing the team to adjust the cap hit. Palmer has provided the only real stability the Cardinals have had at quarterback recently; with so much invested in Larry Fitzgerald, it makes sense to find a way to keep Palmer around as well.
Mike Wallace - WR - Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins do not plan to cut WR Mike Wallace just yet. They are exploring the trade route not just on Wallace's play, but also his fit in the locker room. He removed himself from the regular season finale, and had a shouting match with head coach Joe Philbin afterwards. Wallace is due $9.85 million in 2015, part of a five-year, $60 million deal that runs through 2017.
Huddle Up: It won't be easy to unload Wallace's contract, but the Dolphins would obviously prefer to get something out of their investment rather than simply kicking Wallace to the curb. It will be a test of the selling skills of Miami's front office to pull off a deal.
Peyton Manning - QB - Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos and representatives for QB Peyton Manning are working on revising the veteran's contract, according to multiple league sources. He is scheduled to draw a $19 million salary in 2015 and 2016. Manning has informed the team he intends to keep playing, and the Broncos did not formally interview any quarterbacks at the NFL Combine last week.
Huddle Up: Once Manning's health was determined, contract and compensation is the only remaining hurdle to his return. The Broncos would obviously love to shift some of that $19 million to Manning's receivers--specifically Demaryius Thomas--and it makes sense for Manning to give a little back in order to keep Thomas around. Expect the details to be worked out sooner rather than later.
Matt Bryant - PK - Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons PK Matt Bryant signed a contract extension Wednesday, Feb. 25. Details were not disclosed.
Huddle Up: Bryant is a quality kicker who toils in a dome and tags on points for a potentially explosive offense--and now he's locked in in Atlanta. That's good news for his fantasy prospects.
Reggie Bush - RB - Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush has been cut Wednesday, Feb. 25.
Huddle Up: This isn't much of a surprise, as rumors have been circulating. It certainly improves the fantasy prospects of Joique Bell and makes Theo Riddick and maybe George Winn a bit more attractive. But it also likely means the Lions will be looking for a complimentary back in the draft as well. As for Bush, he still has something in the tank but it's tough to see him finding another opportunity with as much fantasy upside as his previous gig at this juncture in his career.
Ryan Mallett - QB - Houston Texans
Houston Texans impending free-agent QB Ryan Mallett (pectoral) is recovering from surgery on a torn pectoral muscle. Mallett said he's already thrown a football and that the recovery process is day-by-day.
Huddle Up: The Texans have said they'd like to keep Mallett around and continue to develop him, and with this year's quarterbacks crops--both in the draft and free agency--so thin it's probably the team's best move. If they're convinced of how his recovery is progressing, they'll be first in line to offer him a deal.
Ahmad Bradshaw - RB - Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis Colts impending free-agent RB Ahmad Bradshaw's pretrial conference has been rescheduled to April 8 as authorities await crime lab results. Bradshaw pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor charge for allegedly possessing marijuana when he was pulled over on an Ohio interstate earlier this month.
Huddle Up: The league has demonstrated it doesn't necessarily need a legal conviction to suspend a player, though that's how they've tended to play out cases involving drug possession and such. So Bradford might have a two-game suspension hanging over his head if he signs with a new team this offseason.
Geno Smith - QB - New York Jets
New York Jets QB Geno Smith may not have big competition for the starting quarterback job, because the team is not committed to selecting a quarterback with the sixth overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. The Jets are committed to make Smith a successful starting quarterback.
Huddle Up: If Marcus Mariota is still on the board at six it will be difficult for the Jets to pass. If they are truly committed to Smith, however, they could certainly entertain offers for that selection from, say, Chip Kelly and the Eagles.
Jacoby Jones - WR - Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore Ravens WR Jacoby Jones was released Wednesday, Feb. 25.
Huddle Up: Jones was a quality return man and occasional passing game contributor for the Ravens, who may have some serious revamping to do at the wide receiver position this offseason--especially if Torrey Smith joins Jones as an ex-Raven.
Peyton Hillis - RB - New York Giants
New York Giants RB Peyton Hillis was released Wednesday, Feb. 25. The move saves $945,000 on the 2015 salary cap.
Huddle Up: Seems like eons ago that Hills was the Madden cover boy; now he's an ex-Giant looking to catch on as a complimentary backfield option. In a year where the running back draft class appears especially deep, that might be easier said than done for Hillis.
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