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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.
Carlos Hyde Sidelined By Undisclosed Leg Injury Saturday, May 23, 2015 | Time: 1:21 PT |  Reported by CSNBayArea.com
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The Facts: Hyde did not practice on Thursday. Coach Jim Tomsula said the second-year running back is being held out due to an undisclosed leg injury.
Diehards Line: Hyde declined to elaborate on a cryptic message he posted on social media. Just prior to practice, Hyde tweeted: “Trust in God's timing.” Tomsula downplayed the issue. “He’s working through the leg. It’s nothing," the coach said. "We want you 100 percent. We’re doing this offseason thing and we’re doing things fast and we’re doing all those things, so we’re not going to push. It’s not the season, so we’re trying to treat that the right way.” With Hyde in line to handle the bulk of the workload this fall, there's no need to push him now. We'll follow up as needed.
Reggie Bush Wants To Return Punts Saturday, May 23, 2015 | Time: 1:20 PT |  Reported by CSNBayArea.com
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The Facts: Bush has gone the past three seasons without lining up deep to field a punt. When he came to the 49ers, he asked to be given that opportunity -- again. “It was my idea,” Bush said on Thursday after the 49ers wrapped up a practice at organized team activities. “I told the coaches I wanted to return punts again. And they were excited about it. We’re still working at it, still chipping away. And we look forward to being an all-around great special teams.”
Diehards Line: Bush handled punts for his first five NFL seasons with the New Orleans Saints. He returned 92 punts, averaged 7.8 yards per attempt, and scored four touchdowns. But when he went to the Miami Dolphins in 2011, his return days mostly came to an end. Bush returned six punts for 52 yards in his first season with the Dolphins, they did not get another opportunity during his final year in Miami and the past two seasons with the Detroit Lions. But he is back fielding punts during the 49ers’ OTAs after signing a one-year deal with the organization in the offseason to serve as part of a running-back committee. Bush, 30, entered the NFL as the No. 2 overall pick in 2006. So many years later, he comes to the 49ers as a player just looking to find a role as a complementary player.
Phillip Dorsett Showing Off His Speed Saturday, May 23, 2015 | Time: 1:19 PT |  Reported by ESPN.com
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The Facts: Dorsett wrapped up his first week of organized team activities with his veteran teammates by making a nice impression with them. "It's definitely not too big for him," Andrew Luck said about the receiver. "He fits in very, very well."
Diehards Line: As ESPN.com's Mike Wells suggests, where Dorsett fits on the depth on the chart at receiver won't be determined until the team reports to training camp at Anderson (Ind.) University in early August. The one thing that is certain about Dorsett is that he has a lot of speed. You can expect him to lineup at different spots on the field because the Colts said he's too talented not find a way to get snaps for him. T.Y. Hilton and Andrew Johnson will likely be the Colts' top two receivers next season. Everything else is up for grabs. Dorsett will be competing against Donte Moncrief, Duron Carter and Vincent Brown to be the Colts' No. 3 receiver.
Ty Montgomery Making Waves Saturday, May 23, 2015 | Time: 1:14 PT |  Reported by NFL.com
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The Facts: Considering the Green Bay Packers' success in drafting wide receivers, it should come as no surprise that Montgomery is already drawing raves after rookie camp. "Very impressed," coach Mike McCarthy said of the third-round pick. "Obviously has a ton of explosion in his body. I thought he definitely stood out."
Diehards Line: Although Montgomery wasn't the most natural receiver in the draft, he is dynamic and powerful, offering running-back skills after the catch. Packers scout Sam Seale has compared the former Stanford star to a "bigger Randall Cobb." As NFL.com's Chris Wesseling notes, already stacked with Jordy Nelson, Cobb and promising second-year wideout Davante Adams, the Packers have the luxury of breaking Montgomery in as a playmaking kick-return specialist with a few package plays on offense. Over the past ten years, Packers general manager Ted Thompson has drafted Adams, Cobb, Nelson, James Jones and Greg Jennings in the second and third rounds without a single early-round whiff at the position. That track record obviously bodes well for Montgomery's future in Green Bay.
Goodell Will Not Recuse Himself In Tom Brady Appeal Friday, May 22, 2015 | Time: 3:55 PT |  Reported by NFL.com
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The Facts: Following up on the ongoing story. ... Commissioner Roger Goodell will not step aside for the NFL Players Association's appeal of Brady's four-game suspension stemming from the New England Patriots' deflated footballs investigation.
Diehards Line: The NFLPA was pushing for a neutral arbitrator such as former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, former NFL labor executive Harold Henderson or former federal judge Barbara Jones, all of whom have heard appeals in the past. The commissioner's power to hear the appeal himself goes back to the days of Tagliabue and was renewed with the NFLPA's consent in the 2011 collective bargaining agreement. Brady will be represented by labor attorney Jeffrey Kessler, who has successfully battled the NFL in previous cases, such as the New Orleans Saints' BountyGate scandal. A date has not been set for the appeal at this time.
Kelvin Benjamin Nursing A Sore Hamstring Friday, May 22, 2015 | Time: 12:43 PT |  Reported by the Charlotte Observer
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The Facts: The Panthers will enter the next phase of organized team activities next week but not at full health. Benjamin strained his hamstring last week, a team spokesman confirmed. As a precaution, he likely won’t participate in next week’s activities, though he has been with the team on the field and in the locker room recently.
Diehards Line: The Panthers will begin the next phase of organized team activities Tuesday. Players will be made available to the media on Thursday. Benjamin has high expectations coming into his second season and has heightened potential now that he's paired with another mammoth target, second-round pick Devin Funchess. According to Observer staffer Jonathan Jones, Funchess took first-team reps and showed his versatility at three different receiving slots.
Zimmer Thinks He Knows When Adrian Peterson Will Show Up Friday, May 22, 2015 | Time: 1:44 PT |  Reported by 1500ESPN.com
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The Facts: When Peterson will report to the Vikings remains an unknown, but Mike Zimmer thinks he has an idea of when he might see his star running back. The coach, however, wasn't willing to tip his hand. "I think I do have an indication," Zimmer said, adding he's not sure of the exact date. "It's up to Adrian, really. He's the guy you should ask...We'd like all our players here. It's the voluntary time of year right now and it's his decision in what he wants to do."
Diehards Line: Peterson, 30, has missed the team's voluntary workout programs up until this point, which is considered normal for him. However, circumstances aren't the same as his first eight NFL seasons. Peterson's agent, Ben Dogra, called for an exit leading up to the NFL Draft and then suggested a raise might be in order after his client wasn't traded. The Vikings open Organized Team Activities on Tuesday, but everything is voluntary up until the team's June 16-18 mandatory minicamp. Any player who misses those three mandatory practices can be fined more than $70,000. Peterson's $250,000 workout bonus is reportedly tied to his attendance at OTAs, though it's unclear if he'll attend. Training camp dates haven't been released, but the Vikings could open camp in late July. The Vikings open the NFL preseason in the annual Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 9 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Andre Johnson In Line For Significant Role In Indy Friday, May 22, 2015 | Time: 1:40 PT |  Reported by ESPN.com
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The Facts: While the Texans wanted to reduce Johnson’s role in their offense, it was pretty obvious during Wednesday’s OTA session that the veteran will have a significant part in Indianapolis’ offense as he took his snaps with the starters.
Diehards Line: Frank Gore's and Johnson's transitions are the most important of the new additions the Colts made in the offseason because of the roles they're expected to play next season. The Colts hope Gore will take some of the pressure off of Andrew Luck by being the team's first 1,000-yard rusher since 2007 when Joseph Addai did it. Luck, who watched Gore pound defenses with the 49ers while he was at Stanford, noted that the running back has underrated blocking skills as he complimented both veterans. “There is a learning adjustment and we’ll continue to learn,” Luck said. “I’d like to think you get better and build that repertoire every week through the offseason, training camp and during the season. But they understand football, you can tell that. They know how to play and certain things they know how to do and certain things that coaches are asking them might be a little different. They work at it just like everybody else. But it’s been very good and it’s incredibly valuable to get these days with them.” Fantasy owners will want to follow this one closely; both newcomers seem to be in prime position to meet or exceed expectations.
Teddy Bridgewater Looking To Have A Favre-Like Career Friday, May 22, 2015 | Time: 1:38 PT |  Reported by the St. Paul Pioneer-Press
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The Facts: Bridgewater hopes to have an NFL career similar to the one Brett Favre had. "If I could be like any other quarterback that played in the National Football League, I would have to say Brett Favre is the guy," Bridgewater said. "Besides the injuries and the hits and everything, he had a pretty successful career. He's a hall of famer for sure, multiple Super Bowls, and that's something that I look forward to doing."
Diehards Line: Favre, who concluded his career with the Vikings (2009-10), had his best days with Green Bay, leading the Packers to two Super Bowls and winning one. "Hopefully, I can win more Super Bowls (than Favre). ... That's why you play this game," said Bridgewater, who threw for 2,919 yards and 14 touchdowns as a rookie. Next up for Bridgewater is organized team activities, which begin Tuesday. In responding to a general question, Bridgewater discussed what he wants to work on before next season. "I look to improve upon being quicker in my decision making, and that will eventually lead to better success for our offense," he said. Fantasy owners will be looking for signs of those improvements in coming weeks.