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Report: Adrian Peterson Still Wants Out Of Minnesota Monday, May 25, 2015 | Time: 11:50 PT |  Reported by Yahoo! Sports
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The Facts: Following up on the ongoing story. ... When Peterson skips this week's organized team activities for the Vikings, he will attempt to send an unmistakable message to the franchise: He wants to be traded. That's what a source within the star running back's inner circle told Yahoo Sports on Sunday night.
Diehards Line: Despite months of overtures by the Vikings, Peterson has not wavered privately about his wish to continue his career with another franchise. Indeed, the source told Yahoo's Charles Robinson that Peterson believes he already made ownership and the Vikings' front office aware that he wanted a trade in face-to-face meetings this offseason. The St. Paul Pioneer Press first reported that Peterson won't be at the start of team workouts, which begin Tuesday. But Robinson's source, who has been a longtime Peterson confidant, told Yahoo Sports that the running back intends to sit out all of the team's offseason workouts, an act that would cause him to forfeit a $250,000 workout bonus. The longtime confidant said Peterson has not yet made a decision about sitting out of the team's mandatory minicamp in June or training camp in late July. And even though his agent has been seeking a reworked contract from the Vikings that would secure more guaranteed money for his client, Peterson's confidant told Robinson that this has evolved into a far more personal issue between the player and the team and is not a matter of finances. The source said that for Peterson it has "never been about the money," and that the running back is adamant about playing elsewhere. We'll remind you he doesn't have much leverage here. But we'll continue to follow up.
Blake Bortles Going The Extra Mile To Improve His Game Monday, May 25, 2015 | Time: 11:48 PT |  Reported by the Florida Times-Union
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The Facts: Bortles committed to a two-month tutoring program in Southern California with 3DQB, a group of motion analysis specialists that has assisted dozens of NFL quarterbacks, including Tom Brady, for the past several years. “This offseason, Blake did everything he could to improve his craft,” said Adam Dedeaux, one of three primary instructors with 3DQB, which was founded by former major-league pitcher Tom House. “It’s not just about working hard, but smart, making sure everything you do has a purpose."
Diehards Line:As Times-Union staffer Gene Frenette notes, 3DQB essentially provides an instructional manual for QBs on how to prepare their body for in-game competition. House, Dedeaux and former NFL QB John Beck look at each client’s four-legged table — bio-mechanics, conditioning, nutrition and mental/emotional approach to handling football stress — and try to give them a recipe for success in those areas. The consensus opinion after Bortles’ sub-par rookie season — his 69.5 quarterback rating was the NFL’s lowest — is he needed a lot of work on mechanics and footwork. Bortles, who altered his nutrition habits and dropped from 250 pounds to 238, went to the USC campus in February on a one-week trial basis and liked it so much that he stayed until April. During his time with 3DQB, teammates Marqise Lee, Allen Hurns and Julius Thomas showed up and he threw passes to them at different intervals. The 3DQB group has worked extensively with Brady, Drew Brees, Andy Dalton, Geno Smith and Tim Tebow. Others like Joe Flacco and Eli Manning come in on a short-term basis or whenever they need a tune-up. Bortles will return to 3DQB in late June after the Jaguars’ mandatory minicamp is completed. But if you’re the Jaguars, what matters is the franchise quarterback is sending a message that he’s willing to invest the time into being the best version of himself.
No Surprise: Adrian Peterson Not Expected For Start Of OTAs Monday, May 25, 2015 | Time: 1:56 PT |  Reported by the St. Paul Pioneer-Press
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The Facts: Following up on the ongoing story. ... Peterson won’t be at Vikings organized team activities when they begin Tuesday, a source told the Pioneer Press on Sunday. Peterson will remain at his home in Texas. The source couldn’t say for sure if Peterson will attend any of the team’s three OTA sessions but doesn’t expect he will.
Diehards Line: Peterson, who missed 15 games last season because of a child-abuse incident, has been disgruntled because he has not believed some in the Minnesota organization did enough to get him back on the field last fall. The Vikings have said they will not trade Peterson, who has three years left on his contract. Peterson has not been with the Vikings during all of spring workouts, however the start of OTAs is significant because Peterson has a $250,000 workout bonus that he won’t get unless he takes part in 90 percent of OTAs and minicamps. The Vikings also have OTAs June 2-4 and June 8-11 and a mandatory minicamp June 16-18. Peterson, who last year participated in OTAs and minicamps, has three years and $44.25 million left on his Vikings contract, including being on the books for $12.75 million in 2015. Training camp will start for the Vikings the final weekend of July. Their first preseason game is Aug. 9 against Pittsburgh in the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio.
GM The Latest To Call Bills QB Competition Wide Open Monday, May 25, 2015 | Time: 1:55 PT |  Reported by Profootballtalk.com
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The Facts: Last week, OC Greg Roman denied a report that the Bills were thinking about parting ways with Manuel before the start of the 2015 season. GM Doug Whaley was on the same page during an appearance on The Jim Rome Show. Whaley called the report “just someone trying to get something stirred” during the offseason and said that the team remains excited about Manuel’s future in the NFL.
Diehards Line: Of course, they still acquired Matt Cassel in a trade earlier this year. Nor is their excitement sufficient to put Manuel ahead of Tyrod Taylor or Jeff Tuel in the pecking order at this point in the offseason, however. “Everybody has got an equal footing," Whaley said. "It’s a clean slate for all four of our quarterbacks. We’re not tied to anybody. We just want the best man to start." As PFT's Josh Alper notes, if all four quarterbacks really are on equal footing, though, then Manuel can end up fourth on the depth chart at the end of August and leave the Bills with a decision to make.
Coaches Still High On Charles Sims Monday, May 25, 2015 | Time: 1:54 PT |  Reported by NFL.com
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The Facts: The Buccaneers will sport one of the NFL's youngest offenses this season, with Jameis Winston at quarterback, two rookie starters on the offensive line and second-year wideout sensation Mike Evans. Don't forget about Sims, drafted in the third round a year ago. The coaching staff remains "very high" on Sims, ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas wrote Friday. Similarly, the Pewter Report blog has noted that the Bucs have "big plans" for Sims and plan to feature him in their attack this season.
Diehards Line: As a rookie, Sims managed just 2.8 yards per carry in eight games. Among the issues were subpar vision, burst and tackle-breaking ability. As NFL.com's Chris Wesseling put, Sims' "film called to mind a slow-motion C.J. Spiller, lacking the explosive lateral agility and breakaway speed while showing nothing between the tackles. ..." Still, Sims was battling a severe case of rust after missing most of August and the first half of the season with an ankle injury. He was just starting to hit his stride by the season finale, when he totaled a season-high 75 yards on 19 touches. Sims also demonstrated obvious instincts and skills as a receiving back, averaging 10.0 yards on 19 catches. The passing-down role is the one to which he's ideally suited. Unless the Bucs can get Doug Martin to recapture his 2012 form as an early-down hammer, they are likely to be disappointed in their backfield production this season.
Coleman, Freeman Likely To Split Workload This Season Monday, May 25, 2015 | Time: 1:52 PT |  Reported by ESPN.com
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The Facts: The RB position became compelling when the Falcons drafted Indiana’s Tevin Coleman in the third round. Coleman, a 2,000-yard rusher last season, boldly claimed he was ready to take over the starting job. Problem is, the Falcons have expressed plenty of faith in second-year player Devonta Freeman, who wants to take his game to another level and maybe be in the MVP conversation one day.
Diehards Line: In discussing the team's RB competition, ESPN.com's Vaughn McClure advised readers that Freeman and Coleman will push each other daily, which should only benefit the Falcons going into the 2015 season. Freeman has impressed the new coaching staff with his pass-catching skills, while both players have to show the ability to consistently block when it comes to pass protection. McClure anticipates a two-back system with equal reps as the Falcons make a concerted effort to bring more offensive balance with a stronger run game. And don’t count out the contribution of explosive Antone Smith, who could be back to his old self once he fully recovers from a broken leg.
Chris Matthews First In Line For No. 3 Role? Monday, May 25, 2015 | Time: 1:51 PT |  Reported by NFL.com
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The Facts: Although Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse return as the starters, the No. 3 receiver job is up for grabs. By way of his size and wingspan, Matthews may have the edge on Paul Richardson and third-round pick Tyler Lockett.
Diehards Line:Matthews had his coming-out party in Super Bowl XLIX with four receptions for 109 yards and one TD. That’s what the Seahawks were hoping to see when they signed the 6-5, 220-pound former CFL receiver last spring. With Richardson coming off a torn ACL, Lockett will likely be the Matthews primary competition. That said, it seems like a reach to expect any of Seattle's WRs to be consistently productive enough to emerge as viable, high-end re-draft prospects, especially with TE Jimmy Graham likely to be the team's busiest red-zone receiver.
AJ McCarron Looking To Make Waves Monday, May 25, 2015 | Time: 1:50 PT |  Reported by NFL.com
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The Facts: Last we heard from McCarron, the former Alabama star was battling shoulder soreness that kept him sidelined through the majority of his rookie season. Finally healthy again, McCarron is eyeing the Cincinnati Bengals' backup job, buoyed by a revamped throwing motion that has made his arm stronger than ever. "I feel great," McCarron recently said. "Body feels great and I feel like I'm slinging it better than I ever have, really."
Diehards Line: After underthrowing receivers last offseason, McCarron is now overthrowing vertical field-stretchers such as Denarius Moore. ... Although McCarron is competing with Terrelle Pryor and Josh Johnson for the backup job, he's not shy about his intention to push Andy Dalton for the starting job. "If you're not going to dream big, then why dream?" McCarron said. "He's our starter, I know that, but I want to make him better in every way that I can. Like I told him, hopefully one day me and him can be retired and look back on it and we're both 100 million-dollar guys. That's my dream." As NFL.com suggests, it will be interesting to see if McCarron shows enough promise in training camp and preseason action to force the Bengals into a tough decision next offseason.
Drew Brees Admittedly A Bit Overzealous In Hoping To Play To 45 Sunday, May 24, 2015 | Time: 12:54 PT |  Reported by the Baton Rouge Advocate
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The Facts: Brees wants to play as long as he possibly can. Whether or not he makes it to 45, the goal he set for himself at the beginning of training camp last season, is hard for anybody, including Brees, to say. Brees admitted he might have been jumping the gun just a little when he set such a lofty goal for himself. “45 is a long way away,” Brees said. “I’m 36 right now, and I know I got maybe a little overzealous last year when I threw out the number 45.”
Diehards Line: As Advocate staffer Nick Underhill notes, few NFL quarterbacks make it long past their 40th birthday. Warren Moon played until he was 44. So did Vinny Testaverde and Steve DeBerg. For the most part, those final years were in backup roles, but the precedent is still there. Brees simply felt so good before the beginning of last season that it was hard to see a finish line anywhere in sight. “At different stages in your career, I just think you kind of reassess and reevaluate and try to set goals moving forward,” Brees said. “It was just kind of one of those moments last year where my body felt great, felt like I had a great system in place with my training and my recovery and my diet and everything, gosh, why not?” Whatever the case, don’t expect Brees to start seriously considering hanging up his cleats yet. Even if 45 might have been a little overzealous, it’s still clear that Brees would like to stay in football for as long as he possibly can, and it wouldn’t bother him if he was still on the field nine years from now.
Chargers, Philip Rivers Working On Extension Saturday, May 23, 2015 | Time: 1:22 PT |  Reported by NFL.com
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The Facts: After making it clear leading up to the 2015 NFL Draft that Rivers would not be traded, the Chargers are renewing efforts to keep their franchise quarterback in blue and gold. The Bolts are now optimistic about signing Rivers to a long-term extension, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reports, via sources with knowledge of the team's thinking.
Diehards Line: The sides have made "a little progress," Rapoport noted and Chargers' hope is that a new deal will allow Rivers to retire with the organization. Per Rapoport, it is not known if Rivers shares that optimism. Now that the draft has come and gone, Rivers' options are limited. There won't be a trade in 2015. If it comes to it, the Chargers can apply the franchise tag in each of the next two seasons. At this point, the most likely scenario is that Rivers will play his entire NFL career in a Chargers uniform.