Eric Ebron - TE - Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions TE Eric Ebron is likely to see a larger role in the offense regardless of whether WR Calvin Johnson retires or not.
Huddle Up: The Lions spent a first-round pick on Ebron for him to play a large role in their offense, and he's shown flashes through the first two years of his career. Regardless of Megatron's status Detroit will need to turn to Ebron more frequently, and sans Johnson he could prove to be the Lions' top red zone target.
Alshon Jeffery - WR - Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears impending free-agent WR Alshon Jeffery is tops on the wish list of the Detroit Lions if WR Calvin Johnson elects to retire. However, the Bears could use the franchise tag or sign Jeffery to an extension before he reaches free agency, so Jeffery to the Lions is considered a long shot.
Huddle Up: Tough to see the Lions finding a way to steal Jeffery out of Chicago, but he'd be a very Megatron-like replacement for Johnson if they do.
Tyler Eifert - TE - Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals TE Tyler Eifert (foot) did not suffer a break in his foot at the Pro Bowl Sunday, Jan. 31, but he is in a walking boot and plans to underdog furthet tests in Cincinnati to confirm he only has a bone bruise. He is likely to meet with a foot specialist when he returns to Cincinnati early this week.
Huddle Up: Plenty of time for Eifert to get right before offseason workouts begin--but it also underscores how injury-prone the Bengals' elite tight end is. When healthy he's a top fantasy tight end, but staying on the field has proven difficult thus far in Eifert's NFL career.
Peyton Manning - QB - Denver Broncos
Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning is expected to retire after Super Bowl 50 against the Carolina Panthers. 'The reality is he let the cat out of the bag a little bit,' NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said. 'I also know he has told close friends that he expects this to be his last game as well.'
Huddle Up: Peyton's retirement would come as no surprise to anyone, and he'll have one more game to put a stamp on his Hall of Fame legacy. Then the Broncos could turn to retaining free agent-to-be Brock Osweiler.
Calvin Johnson - WR - Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson may be offered an extension by the Lions in an effort by Detroit to bring their star wide receiver back. It was reported earlier that Johnson made the Lions aware of his intentions to retire following the 2015 season.
Huddle Up: No shock that the Lions want Megatron back, but the further away we get from a "heat of the moment" decision at the end of the season the less likely it becomes that Johnson will change his mind and return for 2016.
Chris Ivory - RB - New York Jets
New York Jets impending free-agent RBs Chris Ivory, Bilal Powell and Stevan Ridley will all be unrestricted free agents this offseason if they are not re-signed.
Huddle Up: That's more than 90 percent of the Jets backfield touches, yards from scrimmage, and RB TDs that could walk away in the offseason. Ivory is already talking about being priced out in New York, so Gang Green may be operating with a different-looking backfield in 2016--or they could let them all go and use the draft to refresh their running game.
Jonathan Stewart - RB - Carolina Panthers
Carolina Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart (ankle), who missed practice all of last week, was back on the practice field Monday, Feb. 1.
Huddle Up: Stewart wasn't about to miss the Super Bowl, and the extra week allows him to let his ankle injury heal heading into the season finale.
Josh Gordon - WR - Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon said he plans to 'disassociate' himself from those that could be contributing to keeping him out of the NFL. Gordon has been suspended a year for multiple violations of the league's substance abuse policy, and he recently applied for reinstatement. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will make a decision within 60 days of Gordon's application.
Huddle Up: By most accounts Gordon has stayed on the straight and narrow during his suspension, and he's saying all the right things as he looks to be reinstated. The Browns could do him a favor by ridding the roster of Johnny Manziel, who looks to be exactly the kind of element Gordon needs to 'disassociate' himself from.
Johnny Manziel - QB - Cleveland Browns
Updating a previous report, Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel is still being investigated for a possible assault of an ex-girlfriend Saturday, Jan. 30. The investigation is ongoing, and it is the second time in as many months that the NFL has investigated Manziel for a domestic incident.
Huddle Up: It doesn't take a conviction or even charges for the NFL to suspend a player, and with Manziel already a question mark as to his ability to be a starting quarterback in the league a black mark on his character record won't help.
Darren Fells - TE - Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals TE Darren Fells signed his exclusive-rights tender Monday, Feb. 1.
Huddle Up: Fells didn't have much of a choice, hence the name "exclusive rights". Fells appeared to usurp Jermaine Gresham as the Cards' tight end of choice down the stretch, and while it's not a particularly juicy role in that offense if he's seeing most of the looks he could be a viable plug-in fantasy play next season.
Pierre Garcon - WR - Washington Redskins
Washington Redskins WR Pierre Garcon is expected to be retained and play out the last year of his contract in Washington, according to Rich Tandler and Tarik El-Bashir of CSNWashington.com.
Huddle Up: The Redskins are expected to sink a bunch of money into Kirk Cousins; when you do that with your quarterback, it only makes sense to retain his top receivers. Garcon is a volume guy whose best fantasy production comes with DeSean Jackson and/or Jordan Reed are hurt.
Alshon Jeffery - WR - Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears WR Alshon Jeffery is too valuable to not re-sign with the Bears this offseason, according to ESPNChicago.com's Jeff Dickerson. Dickerson said Chicago can't afford to let Jeffery leave, especially since they drafted and developed him. If Jeffery and the Bears can't agree on a deal, then Jeffery could receive the franchise tag.
Huddle Up: The Bears will be on their third offensive coordinator in as many seasons and may lose Matt Forte to free agency; to have any sort of offensive continuity they need to retain Jeffery as the centerpiece of their passing game.
DeAndre Hopkins - WR - Houston Texans
Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins, who had three catches for 71 yards and a touchdown in the Pro Bowl, received praise from former WR Michael Irvin. 'We don't know what the ceiling is,' Irvin said. 'You see the skillset, where he can catch footballs from anyplace in the world. There is no telling what the ceiling can be. He'll be rewriting a lot of records in the NFL.' Hopkins had 111 catches for 1,521 yards and a franchise-record 11 touchdowns in 2015. Hopkins caught a touchdown from four different quarterbacks this year, which is an NFL record.
Huddle Up: Hopkins' most impressive feat this season was rising above Houston's inconsistent quarterbacking to post the numbers he did; that TD passes from four different QBs is simply amazing. If the Texans are able to find a quarterback this offseason, Hopkins could live up to Irvin's lofty expectations.
Chris Ivory - RB - New York Jets
New York Jets impending unrestricted free-agent RB Chris Ivory is likely to sign elsewhere this offseason. Although he racked up an AFC-best 1,070 rushing yards in 2015, he'll be 28 next month, he declined late in the season, and the Jets salary cap situation is tight. New York has seven starters headed to free agency, and they have only $14 million projected in salary cap space. 'They want to bring me back, but like I said, I think it's about the cap space. That's going to be the biggest factor as to whether I'm back or not,' Ivory said. He's expected to seek at least $4 million per year on the open market.
Huddle Up: 90 percent of the Jets' backfield production hits free agency this offseason, and Ivory is both the oldest and likely most expensive of the group. That's a bad combo for a running back hoping to return to a team that's tight against the salary cap. Expect Beast East to be wearing a different jersey in 2016.
Eddie Lacy - RB - Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers RB Eddie Lacy was advised to lose 30 pounds in the offseason, and he's committed to it.
Huddle Up: Lacy's conditioning--or lack thereof--clearly drew the ire of Packers coaches this season; it also affected his productivity. Hopefully you'll get a chance to see what shape Lacy is in next August before you have to rank him on your fantasy draft board. If he follows through and returns closer to his previous fighting weight he's demonstrated the ability to be among the top backs in the game. If he's closer to the 2015 version, he is not only flirting with fantasy bust-hood but also potentially pounding his way out of Green Bay.
Marvin Jones - WR - Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals impending free-agent WR Marvin Jones could be the top target for the Detroit Lions this offseason.
Huddle Up: AJ Green's wingman could be a popular free agent target as he looks for a WR1 gig. He may not quite be the top dog in Detroit--Golden Tate would have something to say about that--but he'd at least be running a strong 1B to Tate's 1A. And with Calvin Johnson gone the Lions might be able to toss a little more money Jones' way.
Travis Kelce - TE - Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce caught five passes for 91 yards and two touchdowns in the Pro Bowl Sunday, Jan. 31.
Huddle Up: Apparently Pro Bowl coaches know how to use Kelce better than Andy Reid. Here's hoping Reid was taking notes and incorporates more Kelce into the Chiefs' 2016 playbook.
Calvin Johnson - WR - Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson told head coach Jim Caldwell after the regular season that he plans to retire, according to sources. Caldwell has told Johnson to take his time with his decision, and the Lions are hoping that Johnson will change his mind this offseason.
Huddle Up: Lions fans are bracing for another Barry Sanders situation/losing a star in his prime. The 30-year-old wideout may indeed change his mind as his aches and pains fade and we further into the offseason, but just the fact that this been such a story leads one to believe that Megatron isn't long for the NFL even he does play next season.
Ryan Tannehill - QB - Miami Dolphins
Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill won't have any competition at quarterback this offseason, according to executive vice president of football operations Mike Tannenbaum. Tannenbaum is convinced Miami can win with Tannehill and does not feel compelled to draft a quarterback to compete with him.
Huddle Up: While Tannehill hasn't led the Dolphins to the playoffs in his four seasons at the helm, he's displayed some tangible progress and promise and paired now with offensive-minded head coach Adam Gase, there's plenty of intrigue in South Beach.
Alfred Morris - RB - Washington Redskins
Washington Redskins RB Alfred Morris may not return next season, as previously reported, which could lead the Redskins to draft a running back or sign a free-agent running back, according to CSNWashington.com's Rich Tandler. Tandler said depth is needed at the position and that RBs Chris Thompson and Silas Redd are both coming off injuries and aren't workhorse backs.
Huddle Up: Washington could be preparing to bank heavily on improvement from second-year back Matt Jones, who started strong as a rookie but was then slowed down the stretch by health and fumbling issues.
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