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News and Views

Irvin: We Don't Know What DeAndre Hopkins' Ceiling Is Thursday, February 4, 2016 | Time: 5:48 PT |  Reported by
The Facts: Hopkins capped a spectacular 2015 season with a star turn in the Pro Bowl, hauling in a 7-yard touchdown following a 61-yard bomb. NFL Media analyst and Hall of Fame wideout Michael Irvin, Hopkins' coach on Team Irvin, was blown away by the former Clemson standout's performance in practice all week. "We don't know what the ceiling is," Irvin said. "You see the skill set, 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."
Diehards Line:Hopkins is the first player ever to produce 100-yard receiving games with four different starting quarterbacks in the same season. Three of those four quarterbacks (Brandon Weeden, Ryan Mallett and T.J. Yates) were either cut by their original team or out of football at some point during the 2015 season. As noted, Hopkins has emerged as the NFL's premier boundary receiver with a contortionist act on the sidelines and in the end zone, aided by huge, strong hands and physicality. It's his relentless effort and route running, however, that gained Seahawks CB Richard Sherman's respect. "He's a dog," Sherman said. "He goes after it every play. He brings it every play. Every down. He's a very unique talent. He's explosive in and out of his breaks. He puts his own flavor on his routes. It's a challenge." Now we'll have to see if the Texans can do anything about that QB situation this offseason.
Report: Rams Have An Eye On Peyton Manning Wednesday, February 3, 2016 | Time: 7:53 PT |  Reported by
The Facts: The Rams have had internal discussions about bringing Manning to Los Angeles should he want to play another season, per a league source.
Diehards Line:As ESPN's Adam Schefter notes, Manning still is under contract to the Broncos for another year, but most around the league do not expect him to return to Denver next season, if he returns at all. Manning still must decide whether he wants to play again, and the Rams still are formulating their quarterback plans. Case Keenum and Nick Foles are currently expected to compete for the starting job in 2016.
Tony Romo To Decide On Surgery In Four Weeks Wednesday, February 3, 2016 | Time: 11:57 PT |  Reported by
The Facts: Romo had a CT scan of his left collarbone last month as part of the process to determine whether he’ll have surgery in an attempt to avoid further injuries after breaking it twice during the regular season. Todd Archer of reports that the CT scan showed good bone growth and that Romo will have the collarbone re-evaluated in four weeks before making a call on surgery.
Diehards Line:Archer also reports that Romo could pass on having the plate implanted and have another operation, called a Mumford procedure, that involves shaving down a portion of the collarbone. If Romo opts for either surgery, the expected recovery time would be six to eight weeks. That should leave him available for organized team activities in May.
Peyton Manning Says HGH Investigation Will Find A Big Fat Nothing Wednesday, February 3, 2016 | Time: 11:56 PT |  Reported by
The Facts: During Monday's Opening Night media extravaganza Manning again bashed the HGH allegations made by Al Jazeera America. "I can't speak for anybody else," Manning said of the story involving several professional athletes. "I've addressed this before. It's why I welcome this NFL investigation, because I know the rules of the NFL and I respect the rules, they're important to me. And so what this report alleges that I did is simply not true. It's fabricated. It's junk. It's garbage. I could give you a long list of other words for it. I can guarantee this investigation what it will find is an absolute big, fat nothing. That's how I feel about it."
Diehards Line:The league told NFL Network last week their review of the allegations "is ongoing and comprehensive. ... As to timing, the review will not be completed before the Super Bowl." Manning was named by an Al Jazeera America report that suggested the legendary quarterback had HGH sent to his wife, Ashley, for his personal use. Manning's agent, Tom Condon, did not deny that Ashley received the supplements, and Manning confirmed he was a patient at the Guyer Institute, where Charlie Sly, an intern pharmacist who was cited in the Al Jazeera report, worked. Sly later recanted his claims. Manning previously said that he only went to the Guyer Institute to use the Hyperbaric chamber and to receive blood flow treatment. Manning was asked Monday night by the New York Post's Bart Hubbuch if he would allow the NFL to have access to the Guyer Institute records as part of their investigation -- information the league would not have the power to subpoena. "They can have whatever they want," he said.
Report: Colin Kaepernick Wants To Join The Jets Tuesday, February 2, 2016 | Time: 7:08 PT |  Reported by
The Facts: According to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, Kaepernick wants out of San Francisco. His preferred destination is the Jets.
Diehards Line:It’s unclear whether the Jets want Kaepernick. As PFT's Mike Florio notes, they’d need to tread lightly in order to avoid a tampering allegation. The 49ers presumably would prefer to trade Kaepernick, which explains why they may be creating the impression they are willing to keep him. As of April 1, his $11.9 million base salary becomes fully guaranteed; if the 49ers don’t want to pay that amount, they need to trade him or cut him by then. The Jets have Geno Smith under contract, and 2015 starter Ryan Fitzpatrick is due to become a free agent in March. ... Stay tuned. We'll follow up if this leads anywhere.
Tyler Eifert's Injury A Minor Ankle Sprain Tuesday, February 2, 2016 | Time: 4:46 PT |  Reported by
The Facts: According to Paul Dehner of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Eifert had his ankle examined Tuesday and tests showed only a sprain.
Diehards Line:Eifert hurt himself during the first half of Sunday's Pro Bowl, leaving in a walking boot. The Bengals said he only needs rest, and is expected to be fine by the time offseason programs begin in April.
Report: Browns Will Cut Johnny Manziel On March 9 Tuesday, February 2, 2016 | Time: 12:12 PT |  Reported by
The Facts: Following up on the ongoing story. ... The Browns will move on from Manziel just two seasons after they drafted him in the first round. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday the team will cut Manziel when the new league year begins March 9.
Diehards Line: Per league rules, the Browns cannot cut Manziel until next week at the earliest. Rapoport reported the Browns have $20 million in cap space for 2015, which the team carried over to 2016, like all but three teams did. Because Manziel has guarantees in his contract, they need space to absorb the cap hit in 2015. Currently, they have no space, which is why they will wait for the league year to start. Browns executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown released a statement Tuesday regarding Manziel's most recent off-field incident. Browns' statement lends great credence to Rapoport's report. ... Stay tuned. We obviously haven't heard the last of this one.
Report: Antonio Gates Expected To Play For Chargers In 2016 Tuesday, February 2, 2016 | Time: 11:35 PT |  Reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune
The Facts: Gates has spent all 13 years of his NFL career in San Diego. It would be a major upset if there isn't a 14th. The Chargers want Gates back. He wants to retire a Charger, and all indications are he isn't ready for retirement yet.
Diehards Line:Gates, who will turn 36 in June, is confident he can still produce in the NFL. Last year, he caught 46 passes for 630 yards and four touchdowns. That was despite being suspended the first four games for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing drug policy and missing a fifth game to an Oct. 18 knee injury. Meanwhile, four tight ends saw substantial playing time last year for San Diego. All four of them — Gates, Ladarius Green, David Johnson and John Phillips — will become unrestricted free agents if not re-signed by March 9. Beyond the likelihood of Gates returning, what happens beyond that is unclear. We'll be watching for more.
Browns Release Statement On Johnny Manziel; It Doesn't Bode Well For QB Tuesday, February 2, 2016 | Time: 11:28 PT |  Reported by
The Facts: Browns executive VP of Football Operations Sashi Brown released the following statement on Manziel, who was involved in another brush with the law last weekend: "We've been clear about expectations for our players on and off the field. Johnny's continual involvement in incidents that run counter to those expectations undermines the hard work of his teammates and the reputation of our organization. His status with our team will be addressed when permitted by league rules. We will have no further comment at this time."
Diehards Line: As NFL Network's Ian Rapoport suggested via Twitter, as soon as Hue Jackson took over as head coach, Johnny Manziel's future with the team was sealed. This statement makes it clearer. Assuming he is released (which can happen as soon as next week), it seems safe to assume somebody will take a chance on him. But at this point, any expectations that a major change of attitude is coming should be tempered. ... We'll continue to follow up as needed.
Arian Foster Cleared To Resume Jogging, Strength Work Tuesday, February 2, 2016 | Time: 11:18 PT |  Reported by
The Facts: Following up on the ongoing story. ... Foster is well into his offseason rehabilitation for a torn Achilles tendon. On Tuesday morning, Foster posted a clip from his latest doctor's visit. He's been medically cleared to jog, though no "pivoting, cutting, or explosive activity."
Diehards Line: Foster, who underwent surgery after tearing his Achilles on Oct. 25 at Miami, started four games in 2015. He recording 163 yards rushing and 227 yards receiving with three touchdowns (one rushing, two receiving). In his seven NFL seasons, Foster became the Texans franchise career leader with 6,472 yards rushing, 54 touchdowns rushing, and 68 total touchdowns. The big question, of course, is whether the Texans believe Foster’s upside coming off an injury-plagued season where he had two surgeries is worth his $8.925 million salary-cap figure.