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4/20/2014
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Matt Flynn Re-Signs With Packers (4/15 1:16 PT)

The Facts: According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Flynn has reached an agreement with the Packers. Reported by FootballDiehards.com

Diehards Line: Interesting that a deal comes as the Giants were scheduled to have Flynn in for a workout. ... The Packers and HC Mike McCarthy had made no secret of their desire to retain Flynn, who played in five games for the Packers after being released by both the Raiders and Bills during a rocky sixth season in the NFL. Flynn finished 2-2-1 in place of the injured Aaron Rodgers. The Packers are fond of Flynn because he knows McCarthy's offense well after a previous stint with the team from 2008-11. The Giants' interest likely helped Flynn get a more favorable deal in Green Bay.

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49ers Sign WR Brandon Lloyd (4/15 12:50 PT)

The Facts: After one season out of the NFL, Lloyd is back for a second tour with the team that drafted him 11 years ago. The 49ers have signed the 32-year-old Lloyd to a one-year contract, the club said Tuesday. Reported by Profootballtalk.com

Diehards Line: Lloyd last played in 2012, catching 74 passes for 911 yards and four touchdowns for New England. The 49ers pursued him in free agency last offseason, but Lloyd spent the season away from the game. Lloyd spent his first three seasons with the 49ers (2003-2005) before joining the Redskins (2006-2007), Bears (2008), Broncos (2009-2011), Rams (2011) and Patriots (2012). He has caught 385 passes for 5,695 yards and 35 TDs in his NFL career. In San Francisco, Lloyd will likely contend for a complementary role in the offense. Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin are the 49ers’ top targets at wideout, with Vernon Davis one of the game’s top tight ends.

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Drug Charges Against Deonte Thompson (4/15 12:48 PT)

The Facts: Thompson's felony and misdemeanor drug charges have been dismissed by Florida prosecutors, according to his lawyer and court records. "Deonte's clean," lawyer Huntley Johnson. "The case was dismissed because one of the other guys accepted responsibility for the drugs. I've spoken with the Ravens and they were very pleased with the outcome of the case." Reported by the Baltimore Sun

Diehards Line: Thompson was arrested in February in Gainesville, Fla., and charged with felony possession of marijuana and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. The case against Thompson was dropped due to insufficient evidence against him, according to Alachua County court records. A former University of Florida player signed as an undrafted free agent in 2012, Thompson caught 10 passes for 96 yards and no touchdowns last season for the Ravens after dealing with a foot injury during training camp and at the beginning of the regular season. Although the case will be reviewed by the NFL under its personal conduct policy, Thompson is considered unlikely to face any punishment from the league office since the case has been resolved with no finding of guilt and no other legal obligations for Thompson.

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Chris Johnson Visiting The Jets (4/15 9:27 PT)

The Facts: Following up on the ongoing story. ... The New York Jets are taking the next step toward potentially Johnson. The team is hosting the veteran runner at its training facility, according to multiple reports. Reported by NFL.com

Diehards Line: As NFL.com's Kevin Patra suggests, with the Jets' run-first mentality, pairing the uber-durable Johnson with the often-injured Chris Ivory makes complete sense. The Jets have been our front-runner to land Johnson from the start. They will get the first crack at keeping him from walking out without a contract. However, several reports have indicated that general manager John Idzik only is interested in Johnson at the right price. The Tennessee Titans cut the 28-year-old back and his $8 million contract earlier this month. He won't see close to that amount on his next deal. ... Stay tuned. We'll follow up as needed.

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DeSean Jackson On Hand For Week Two Of Redskins' OTAs (4/15 1:10 PT)

The Facts: Following up up on a previous item. ... Per the Washington Post, Jackson has shown up for week two of the Redskins' offseason program. Reported by Profootballtalk.com

Diehards Line: Jackson missed the opening week of offseason workouts in Washington, due to a previously scheduled vacation. While OTAs are mostly limited lifting and running, quarterbacks are permitted to throw to receivers, as long as the receivers aren’t covered, in the initial phase of the program. Which means fantasy football owners will be able to get a feel for how chemistry is (or perhaps isn't) developing between D-Jax and Robert Griffin III. ... We'll be watching for more.

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Eagles Made An Effort To Acquire C.J. Spiller (4/14 10:01 PT)

The Facts: Before they traded for Darren Sproles, the Eagles first tried to add a younger, more dynamic weapon to their offense. The Eagles contacted the Bills this offseason with hopes of trading for Spiller, according to two league sources familiar with the situation.  Reported by CSNPhilly.com

Diehards Line: According to CSNPhilly.com's Geoff Mosher, the Bills weren’t interested in moving Spiller, both sources told PFT, and talks never heightened into an offer. But it’s clear that the Eagles were looking to add a different dimension to their offense as they prepared to part ways with wideout DeSean Jackson, another indication that Chip Kelly had planned to move on from Jackson well before the team released him March 28. ... Otherwise, the Bills' desire to hold onto Spiller should lend fantasy football owners at least a degree of confidence that a (hopefully) healthy Spiller will get another shot at fulfilling his potential in Buffalo this fall.

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Sidney Rice Has Medical Clearance; WR Could Sign Quickly (4/14 9:57 PT)

The Facts: Per a league source, Rice has received clearance to resume football activities from Dr. James Andrews.  Reported by Profootballtalk.com

Diehards Line: Rice tore an ACL on October 28. Now that he's been cleared, PFT's Mike Florio advises readers that teams will move quickly and Rice could be signed in the next few days. Interested teams, Florio is told, include the Seahawks, Saints, Giants, and Panthers.

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QBs Flynn, Freeman To Work Out For Giants (4/14 9:52 PT)

The Facts: Kim Jones of NFL Network reports that both Matt Flynn and Josh Freeman will be working out for the Giants on Tuesday.  Reported by Profootballtalk.com

Diehards Line: The QBs arrive as the Giants try to find another arm to go with Ryan Nassib and Curtis Painter while Eli Manning is recovering from surgery this offseason. As PFT's Josh Alper notes, Nassib is almost certain to be on the roster after being drafted last year, which would likely lead to either Freeman or Flynn battling Painter to convince the Giants to keep them as a third member of the depth chart.

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Browns Signing Former Bengals FB Chris Pressley (4/14 9:48 PT)

The Facts: According to Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com, the Browns are signing Pressley.  Reported by Profootballtalk.com

Diehards Line: As PFT's Darin Gantt notes, the Browns didn't have much use for the fullback position under former HC Rob Chudzinski. Now, however, with Ben Tate signed to provide a viable featured back in a running game that will be closer to what new OC Kyle Shanahan ran during his tenures in Houston and Washington, Cleveland has added some heft in the form of a capable blocker.

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QB Guru Impressed With Robert Griffin III (4/14 12:39 PT)

The Facts: Former NFL QBs coach Terry Shea spent a week with Griffin in March working on fundamentals and mechanics and came away feeling like the old Griffin was back. “He looked 100% healthy,” Shea said. “I put him through a gantlet of drills. And Robert made all the throws, showing great skills. It sure appeared to me that he took that next step as a pocket passer.”  Reported by Profootballtalk.com

Diehards Line: Shea should know. He was the guy who tutored Griffin prior to then 2012 draft as part of the effort to prepare the QB for NFL play. "I didn’t let up on him and, boy, he kept coming," Shea said of last month's sessions. "He reminded me of the old Robert Griffin that I knew coming out of Baylor for those eight-10 weeks we worked together in 2012. ..." Shea stressed footwork after watching Griffin throw too many passes with improper technique last season and felt that Griffin cleaned up much of what was wrong during their time together. Shea also feels the addition of coach Jay Gruden and wide receiver DeSean Jackson will be a big boost to a player that needs one after a rocky second year in the NFL. Still more positive buzz for fantasy owners to take into account as we roll through a very interesting offseason.

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Dolphins Might Have Interest In Jermichael Finley (4/14 12:30 PT)

The Facts: The Dolphins had conversations with the agent for Finley and said they could have interest if he’s cleared to resume his career after neck surgery.  Reported by the Miami Herald

Diehards Line: That said, Herald staffer Barry Jackson notes that other teams have been more pro-active. Joe Philbin was offensive coordinator during part of Finley's tenure with the Packers. Finley is still awaiting clearance -- something he hopes happens later this month. More to come.

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Rob Gronkowski Right Where He Should Be In ACL Recovery (4/13 9:46 PT)

The Facts: Gronkowski remains on the right track in his recovery from reconstructive knee surgery. NFL Media's Albert Breer reported Friday that the TE visited with famed orthopedist Dr. James Andrews this week and is "right where he should be."  Reported by NFL.com

Diehards Line: Indeed, Gronkowski, who tore both the ACL and MCL in Week 14 last season, will start jogging soon. Still, as NFL.com's Dan Hanzuus stressed, as positive as this news is, Gronk has a ways to go before he's working at full speed and fantasy football owners shouldn't be surprised if he opens training camp on the Patriots' physically unable to perform list for a second-straight year.

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Andy Dalton Works On Mechanics With Throwing Guru (4/12 1:51 PT)

The Facts: Dalton worked on his throwing mechanics with former major-league pitching coach Tom House for five days last month. “If he can tweak a few things that make me more accurate and complete more balls, it gives us a great chance to win more games," Dalton said. "That’s all I’m trying to do.”  Reported by Bengals.com

Diehards Line: After three consecutive playoffs to start his career with the Bengals and with contract talks looming, the 26-year-old Dalton stepped out of his box in order to step up his game last month. As House explained the five-day regimen, “We try to get all four legs of the health and performance table.” The visit included analyzing the mechanics of Dalton's throwing motion, nutrition and functional strength. Dalton says the average observer won’t notice any big changes in his passing style, but fantasy football owners have to like anything that might make the QB and his receivers, primarily A.J. Green, more productive.

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Report: Giants Have Reached Out To Matt Flynn (4/12 1:24 PT)

The Facts: The New York Giants have reportedly "reached out" to Flynn according to Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News.  Reported by the Redzone.org

Diehards Line: As the Redzone.org notes, the Giants seem desperate to reach out to any available warm bodies to take snaps from center in the wake of Eli Manning's ankle surgery. There is also a report that they plan to work out former Buccaneers and Vikings QB Josh Freeman next week. It would appear the Giants want a veteran QB as insurance in case second-year man Ryan Nassib cannot step up to the plate as their No.2 QB in 2014. Either way, they need camp bodies to take reps even if Nassib is ready. The Packers reportedly want to re-sign Flynn, but a deal hasn't been struck yet. The Giants could give him some leverage in that regard.

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Arian Foster Confirms He'll Take Part In OTAs (4/11 10:11 PT)

The Facts: Following up on the ongoing story. ... Foster said Thursday he’s fully healthy and has been working out for two months. In turn, Foster intends to participate in OTAs, which run from May 27 to June 13. “I’m fine,” said Foster. “I got cleared." Reported by the Houston Chronicle

Diehards Line: Foster, 27, rushed for just 542 yards and one touchdown during the Texans’ disappointing 2013 season. After struggling with injuries during preseason and sitting out all four games, the sixth-year running back wasn’t his normal self during his team’s 2-14 campaign. Should fantasy owners expect a comeback to the form that made him a top prospect in previous years? We think that's a reach, but it's certainly within the realm of possibility. A fully healthy offseason, however, would be encouraging.

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Colin Kaepernick Addresses Allegations (4/11 10:04 PT)

The Facts: Following up on the ongoing story. ... Despite the criticism routinely heaped on TMZ, TMZ routinely isn’t wrong. When it comes to TMZ’s initial report that Kaepernick is being investigated for sexual assault, TMZ was wrong. And Kaepernick is letting TMZ hear about it. “The charges made in the TMZ story and other stories I’ve seen are completely wrong,” Kaepernick said on Twitter on Friday morning. “They make things up about me that never happened." Reported by Profootballtalk.com

Diehards Line: And the fact is, Miami police have said he’s not being investigated for sexual assault. That said, there’s an incident report containing a set of facts that has a gap between the time a woman Kaepernick allegedly was kissing and disrobing passed out in an apartment bed and woke up in a hospital bed. And as PFT's Mike Florio points out, by speaking out generally about the situation, Kaepernick may have opened the door to an expectation that he’ll address the specifics — and that he’ll explain what happened after the woman passed out. Or that he’ll dispute the details of her story. ... Whatever the case, there will be more. And we'll be watching for it.

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Josh Freeman To Work Out For Giants (4/11 10:01 PT)

The Facts: Freeman will work out for the New York Giants next week according to Mike Freeman of BleacherReport.com. Reported by the Redzone.org

Diehards Line: Freeman worked out for the Chicago Bears on Monday. That the Giants might be interested in Freeman is a bit of a surprise. As the Redzone.org points out, the teamm drafted former Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib in the fourth round last April and have said that they want to give the second-year man every opportunity to win the No.2 job behind Eli Manning. Stay tuned.

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Reggie Bush Not Worried About Potentially Changing Role (4/11 1:01 PT)

The Facts: b With a change in coaching staffs, nothing is certain. But the one thing Bush can anticipate -- probably correctly -- is that the workload for both he and Joique Bell will be a little bit different. And Bush is fine with that. “Even if the workload is less for both of us," Bush said, "that’s only going to help us toward the end of the season, help us to stay healthy and probably play a little bit stronger and better toward the end of the season.”  Reported by ESPN.com

Diehards Line: Last season, both Bush and Bell topped 500 yards in rushing and receiving -- the first time two running backs on the same team accomplished that in the same season. Considering the way the New Orleans offense is run, it could happen again in 2014. Incoming Lions OC Joe Lombardi's attack will be based on that used by his former boss Sean Payton in New Orleans. As ESPN.com's Michael Rothstein noted, the Saints used more running backs in varying rushing and route-running situations than the Lions did last season. It's a situation fantasy football owners should keep an eye on as it develops in coming weeks.

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Austin Collie Works Out For Redskins (4/11 12:53 PT)

The Facts: According to Howard Balzer of KSDK.com, Collie had a tryout with the Redskins.  Reported by Profootballtalk.com

Diehards Line: After missing almost all of the 2012 season due to injures, Collie re-surfaced with the Patriots last season and appeared in seven games. Collie started one game and caught six passes for 63 yards in the regular season for New England. He added five catches for 72 yards in two postseason games as well. As PFT reminded readers, with DeSean Jackson, Andre Roberts, Santana Moss, Pierre Garcon, Leonard Hankerson, David Gettis and Aldrick Robinson all under contract, Collie would likely be fighting for a roster spot if signed.

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Dolphins Sign WR Damian Williams (4/11 12:49 PT)

The Facts: The Miami Dolphins continue shopping for receiver depth, signing Williams, a former Tennessee Titan, to a one-year deal reportedly worth $800,000 on Thursday.  Reported by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Diehards Line: As Sun-Sentinel staffer Omar Kelly notes, the Dolphins have depth at receiver before striking a deal with Williams, but three of the team's top five receivers - Brian Hartline, Brandon Gibson and Armon Binns - suffered season-ending knee injuries. The team is apparently concerned about Gibson and Binns' availability for the start of training camp. Binns tore his ACL during training camp in late July, and Gibson tore his in late October. Fantasy owners shouldn't get too excited about Williams, but the status of Gibson and Binns make the situation worth watching.

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