|National Football League|
NFL Recent Player News
|4/22/2014||Julio Jones, WR||Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith isn't sure when receiver Julio Jones will return to full speed. Smith said on Tuesday that Jones, whose 2013 season ended with a broken foot in Week 5, is "progressing well" following surgery last October.
Analysis: Jones led the NFL with 41 catches and ranked second in yards receiving through Atlanta's home loss to the New York Jets last Oct. 7.
|4/22/2014||EJ Manuel, QB||Raising his right leg for emphasis, Buffalo Bills quarterback EJ Manuel says both knees are fine, and his mind also feels refreshed. The next step is shedding the injuries and inconsistencies that limited the first-round draft pick's development during his rookie season last year.
Analysis: Manuel was blunt in assessing his up-and-down season, and acknowledged he has much room for improvement. He spoke Tuesday after joining his teammates for the start of the Bills' offseason voluntary conditioning program. Being healthy is a start. Manuel was sidelined three times last season because of injuries to both knees. He went 4-6 on a team that finished 6-10 and extended the NFL's longest active playoff drought to 14 seasons.
|4/22/2014||Rolando McClain, LB||The Baltimore Ravens have put middle linebacker Rolando McClain on the reserve-retired list for a second time. McClain retired last year, but recently announced his intent to return to the NFL. After being reinstated by the Ravens last week, McClain abruptly said he was retiring for good.
Analysis: The 6-foot-4, 250-pound McClain signed a one-year contract with Baltimore last year but never played a down with the Ravens, retiring after his arrest for disorderly conduct in Alabama. By putting McClain on the reserve-retired list, the Ravens retain his rights if he should again change his mind. McClain was the Oakland Raiders' first-round pick in 2010 after starring at Alabama. In three seasons with Oakland, McClain had 246 tackles and 6 1/2 sacks.
|4/22/2014||Cameron Heyward, DE||The Pittsburgh Steelers have picked up the 2015 option on defensive end Cam Heyward. The decision, announced Tuesday, means Heyward will have to wait two more years before becoming a free agent.
Analysis: Heyward is coming off a breakout season in which he finished with a career-high five sacks while making 13 starts. The 31st overall selection in the 2011 NFL Draft is considered a cornerstone of Pittsburgh's 3-4 defense going forward. The team let Ziggy Hood walk in free agency and has not re-signed veteran Brett Keisel.
|4/22/2014||Will Hill, S||A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that New York Giants safety Will Hill is facing a possible third suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. The person, who requested anonymity because the allegations have not been publicly disclosed, confirmed Monday that Hill failed another drug test. Teams and the league do not discuss such allegations because players have a right to privacy under the league's drug policy.
Analysis: Fox Sports and the Star-Ledger of Newark were the first to report that the talented but troubled 24-year-old Hill failed another drug test. Hill could face a suspension of six games to a year depending on what the tests showed. Hill was suspended for the first four games of the 2012 season for using a performance-enhancing drug, which he said was Adderall. He was suspended for the first four games last season for using marijuana, which he said was to relieve stress.
|4/22/2014||Russell Allen, LB||Former Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Russell Allen is retiring after suffering a concussion and a stroke in a game last December. Allen tells MMQB.si.com that he has a dead spot - no bigger than a dime - on his cerebellum. The cerebellum controls motor movement and coordination. The Jaguars released Allen last week.
Analysis: In the months after Allen's initial stroke diagnosis, he saw three neurosurgeons. The last one advised Allen to quit playing football. Allen tells MMQB he has struggled to pick up and grip hand-held objects and will be on blood-thinning medication for the rest of his life.
|4/21/2014||Joshua Morgan, WR||The Chicago Bears have agreed to a one-year contract with Morgan.
Analysis: In six seasons with San Francisco (2008-11) and Washington (2012-13), Morgan has 199 receptions for 2,488 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also has 27 kickoff returns for 625 yards and eight punt returns for 59 yards.
|4/21/2014||Terrelle Pryor, QB||The Oakland Raiders have traded Pryor to the Seattle Seahawks.
Analysis: Pryor was a third-round pick in the 2011 supplemental draft out of Ohio State. He started nine games last season, going 3-6, sharing the job with undrafted rookie free agent Matt McGloin. He went 156 of 272 for 1,798 yards, seven touchdowns and 11 interceptions, with a passer rating of 69.1.
|4/21/2014||Ndamukong Suh, DT||Suh is not attending the Detroit Lions' voluntary minicamp this week.
Analysis: Suh will attend the team's voluntary workouts in May and mandatory minicamp next month. Detroit's first-year coach Jim Caldwell said last week he wished the defensive tackle was at previous voluntary workouts, adding he has spoken to Suh more than any other player on the team since being hired.
|4/21/2014||Nate Ness, CB||The Detroit Lions have signed free agent cornerbacks Aaron Hester and Nate Ness. The team announced the moves Monday.
Analysis: The 27-year-old Ness last played in the NFL with the St. Louis Rams in 2011. He also played for the Miami Dolphins and Seattle Seahawks in 2010, starting one game for Seattle.
|4/21/2014||Aaron Hester, CB||The Detroit Lions have signed free agent cornerbacks Aaron Hester and Nate Ness. The team announced the moves Monday.
Analysis: Hester spent time with the Denver Broncos last season. He was signed by the Broncos as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2013, but has not played in an NFL game.
|4/21/2014||Josh Gordy, CB||Gordy, a restricted free agent, signed his qualifying offer with Indianapolis on Monday.
Analysis: Last season, Gordy had nine tackles, three passes defensed and one interception in 12 games.
|4/21/2014||Phil Costa, C||Costa won't be the Indianapolis Colts' starting center this fall. The former Dallas Cowboy was placed on the reserve-retired list Monday. The move comes five weeks after Indy signed the 6-foot-3, 302-pound free agent.
Analysis: General manager Ryan Grigson says Costa thought it was in his best interest to retire.
|4/21/2014||A.J. Green, WR||The Bengals have exercised a 2015 contract option for receiver A.J. Green, letting them turn their focus to an extension for quarterback Andy Dalton.
Analysis: Green was the fourth overall pick in the 2011 draft and was entering the final season on his deal. The collective bargaining agreement allows teams to exercise a fifth-year option on players taken in the top 10 in the draft. They have to pay him the average of the top 10 receivers in the NFL.
|4/21/2014||Orlando Franklin, T||The Denver Broncos are shuffling their offensive line this offseason and Orlando Franklin provided some insight into their plans Monday by tweeting that he's moving from right tackle to left guard. "Left guard, excited to learn and improve this offseason. I will give it my all," Franklin wrote on Twitter. He'd replace Zane Beadles, who left for Jacksonville in free agency.
Analysis: That apparently means Manny Ramirez would stay at center and Chris Clark, who filled in at left tackle after All-Pro Ryan Clady went on IR with a foot injury in Week 2 last season, will switch sides and play right tackle. The Broncos' offensive line was dominated by Seattle in the Super Bowl and Peyton Manning was under constant pressure in Denver's 43-8 loss.
|4/21/2014||Alex Smith, QB||The Chiefs are speaking with representatives of quarterback Alex Smith about an extension that would keep him in Kansas City beyond next season. Smith said Monday that his agent, Tom Condon, has been talking with the team about a new contract. Smith is due to make $7.5 million in the final year of a contract signed in 2012, when he was still with the San Francisco 49ers.
Analysis: Chiefs general manager John Dorsey and coach Andy Reid have both expressed their desire to keep Smith in Kansas City, but his play last season underscored his value. Smith completed 66 percent of his passes with a career-best 23 touchdowns and only seven interceptions while leading a team that had been 2-14 to an 11-5 record and the playoffs.
|4/21/2014||Josh Freeman, QB||Freeman signed with the New York Giants on Monday to be a backup quarterback to Eli Manning. Freeman is the 15th veteran the Giants have added in free agency. He joins Manning, Curtis Painter and Ryan Nassib as quarterbacks on the roster.
Analysis: Freeman was released by Tampa Bay early last season and spent the rest of 2013 with Minnesota. His one start for the Vikings was in a 23-7 loss to the Giants in which he struggled, going 20 of 53 for 190 yards with an interception. Tampa Bay cut Freeman in a messy split last year. He was the Buccaneers' first-round draft pick in 2009 out of Kansas State. He became a starter in November of that year and started 60 games for Tampa Bay.
|4/18/2014||Reggie Wayne, WR||Andrew Luck is already back to work. He hopes Reggie Wayne will soon join him on the practice field. The Colts star quarterback and Pro Bowl receiver both returned to Indianapolis on Friday for charity events, just five days before the Colts hold their first official offseason workouts.
Analysis: Wayne is trying to return from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. The two have not been able to work together yet, but they're hoping that will change. Luck said he expects Wayne to return and be as productive as he ever has.
|4/18/2014||Robert Meachem, WR||New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis says the club has re-signed veteran free-agent wide receiver Robert Meachem to a one-year contract. Financial terms of Meachem's contract have not been released.
Analysis: Meachem is entering his eighth NFL season and seventh with New Orleans. He played in 15 games last season, starting five, and caught 16 passes for 324 yards and two touchdowns. He also has three receptions for 109 yards in New Orleans' two playoff games last season. The 6-foot-2 Meachem has played in 92 regular season games, and has 171 receptions for 2,800 yards and 27 touchdowns. He has played only one season outside of New Orleans, spending 2012 in San Diego.
|4/17/2014||Chris Johnson, RB||Johnson has no concerns about whether his surgically repaired knee will be healthy in time for training camp or how the New York Jets will split carries in their backfield. The former 2,000-yard rusher said Thursday during a conference call that his left knee is "getting better and better" every day and says he's "pretty close" after having a torn meniscus repaired after last season. He added that a report suggesting he has arthritis in the knee is "not accurate.".
Analysis: Johnson was signed Wednesday by the Jets after he was released by the Tennessee Titans on April 7. After balking at splitting carries last season, Johnson says this year "is about winning," and sharing the workload with Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell isn't an issue.
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