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Matt Forte Sets Record Straight On Absence From Mini-Camp Thursday, April 30, 2015 | Time: 7:50 PT |  Reported by the Redzone.org
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The Facts: Forte was a no-show for the Bears' Piccolo awards and voluntary minicamp, which has earned him his fair share of criticism as he awaits a contract extension.
Diehards Line:Forte says he wasn't skipping the awards or minicamp as a means of leveraging a contract extension. He says he is away on a speed training trip that was planned "long before" the offseason schedule was released. "It's time to set the record straight," Forte wrote on his instagram account. "If the Bears want to give me a contract [extension] they will; if they don't they won't. I'm not mad or holding a grudge. I don't operate like that. I'm not there because I'm finishing my third week of rigorous speed training in which we do not do at Halas [Hall]." Stay tuned. We haven't heard the last of this one.
Dolphins Will Exercise 2016 Option On Ryan Tannehill Thursday, April 30, 2015 | Time: 7:48 PT |  Reported by Profootballtalk.com
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The Facts: Per a league source, the Dolphins will exercise the 2016 option on Tannehill's contract.
Diehards Line:The eighth pick three years ago, Tannehill will be entitled to the same $16.1 million salary for the fifth year of his deal as Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III will receive. The compensation is guaranteed for injury until March, at which time it will become fully guaranteed. The Dolphins reportedly would like to sign Tannehill to an extension.
Bears Will Entertain Offers For Martellus Bennett Thursday, April 30, 2015 | Time: 7:46 PT |  Reported by the Redzone.org
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The Facts: The Chicago Bears are entertaining trade offers for Bennett, league sources told Adam Schefter of ESPN on Wednesday.
Diehards Line:Sources told Schefter the Bears have included Bennett in trade talks since discussing a potential deal with the Seattle Seahawks, who ultimately acquired tight end Jimmy Graham in a trade with the New Orleans Saints. The Bears are open to trading the 28-year-old Bennett because he's seeking a new contract and does not plan to show up in camp with Chicago, or anywhere else, without a new one.
Joseph Randle Won't Face Felony Chargers Thursday, April 30, 2015 | Time: 7:44 PT |  Reported by the Associated Press
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The Facts: Kansas prosecutors declined Wednesday to bring felony charges against Randle following a domestic disturbance at a hotel in Wichita, saying they concluded after reviewing the extensive police investigation that there is a lack of evidence to support them.
Diehards Line:Randle could face punishment from the league under terms of a personal conduct policy that was revised in December after the league was widely criticized for its handling of Ray Rice's domestic violence case. Randle also faces misdemeanor theft charges in the Dallas area.
Adrian Peterson Says It Would Be Nice To Go To Dallas Wednesday, April 29, 2015 | Time: 7:20 PT |  Reported by the St. Paul Pioneer-Press
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The Facts: Peterson, taking in an NBA game Tuesday night, reportedly said that "it would be nice" to come to Dallas. Mike Leslie, a sports reporter for WFAA television in Dallas, tweeted around 10 p.m. "I've got family here, my dad's here," Peterson added. "But I'm under contract, so we'll see."
Diehards Line: Leslie was covering the Houston Rockets-Dallas Mavericks playoff game. Peterson was spotted there sitting courtside next to his lawyer, Rusty Hardin. Peterson's future with the Vikings has been the source of speculation ad nauseum since a child abuse case sidelined him for almost all of last year. He's reportedly angry with the team because he believes it didn't do enough to support him (other than continuing to pay him a weekly salary of $691,176.50 until the league suspended him last Nov. 18). Meanwhile, GM Rick Spielman reiterated Tuesday that the team has "no interest" in trading the running back, who has three years and more than $43 million remaining on his contract. Dallas has been a popular target of speculation because Peterson is from Texas and because Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones -- who has a penchant for splashy moves -- has been linked by rumors to Peterson in the past. The Cowboys have expressed no outward interest in Peterson and it still seems most likely Peterson will play for the Vikings this season.
Peyton Manning Isn't Sure 2015 Will Be His Last Season Wednesday, April 29, 2015 | Time: 12:15 PT |  Reported by Profootballtalk.com
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The Facts: Manning took his time this offseason before deciding to return to the Broncos for a fourth season, which didn’t do much to quell speculation that he’s closing in on the end of his playing days. But Manning said that he doesn’t view this season as his “farewell tour” and that he feels like he’s a “young 39" as he prepares for his 18th NFL season.
Diehards Line: Manning also said that he’s feeling good physically and that he feels like he’ll do well with what HC Gary Kubiak wants to do on offense this season. “I like to think I’m pretty versatile, believe it or not,” Manning said, via Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post. Still, as PFT's Josh Alper reminded readers, Manning didn’t look like a particularly young 38 as last season came to a close. But the change in coaches and personnel in Denver this offseason may provide a burst of energy to the offense that was missing down the stretch last season. And if it does, Manning's comment will look much more convincing when viewed in hindsight.
Having Option Picked Up Not Necessarily Great News For Robert Griffin III Wednesday, April 29, 2015 | Time: 12:14 PT |  Reported by Profootballtalk.com
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The Facts: Following up on a previous item. ... Washington’s decision to pick up the fifth-year option on Griffin isn’t necessarily a good thing for the quarterback’s long-term development. In fact, it makes it more likely that Griffin will be benched this year.
Diehards Line: This according to PFT's Michael David Smith, who explained the option gives Griffin a $16.2 million salary for 2016, and that salary is guaranteed in the case of an injury -- but not guaranteed if he’s healthy and the team decides to cut him. Which means that the worst-case scenario, from the team’s perspective, is that Griffin struggles and plays badly enough that they would like to cut him, but he suffers an injury that forces them to pay him anyway. That means if Griffin struggles early in the season, HC Jay Gruden is going to have a quick hook. So even though Gruden has said that Griffin will enter training camp as the starter, but there’s no guarantee he won’t be benched for Colt McCoy or Kirk Cousins. "If Griffin shows early in the season that he’s not up to the job, Washington will get him off the field to protect him from injury," Smith summed up, "and protect the team from having to pay him next year."
Teddy Bridgewater Says He Feels Bigger And Stronger Tuesday, April 28, 2015 | Time: 7:47 PT |  Reported by the St. Paul Pioneer-Press
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The Facts: Heading into his second season locked in as the Vikings' starting QB, Bridgewater knows he needs to put in plenty of hard work this offseason. He said he's added muscle with a strength program, although he didn't want to reveal his weight because there's more to go. "I feel bigger and stronger," he said. "Hopefully, I can look it also."
Diehards Line: The Vikings began their second week of voluntary spring workouts Monday, and reviews have been positive. Players say they are lifting a lot of weights and continuing to develop camaraderie under second-year HC Mike Zimmer. Several said they anticipate Adrian Peterson, who is not at the workouts, remaining with the Vikings. "We expect Adrian to be here," Bridgewater said. "The guys in the locker room, we all love Adrian." Bridgewater would certainly love Peterson lining up behind him in the Vikings' backfield -- for the obvious reasons. Fantasy owners would too.
Chris Polk Agrees To Terms With The Texans Tuesday, April 28, 2015 | Time: 7:46 PT |  Reported by Profootballtalk.com
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The Facts: After having his contract offer yanked by the Eagles last week, Polk has found a new home. The Texans have reached a contract agreement with Polk, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reported.
Diehards Line: Polk (5-11, 222) is likely to compete with Alfred Blue and Jonathan Grimes for time behind Arian Foster in the Texans’ backfield. Polk rushed for 172 yards and four touchdowns on 46 carries for Philadelphia in 2014. The Eagles tendered Polk as a restricted free agent, but they pulled the offer on Friday. As PFT suggests, with DeMarco Murray, Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles ahead of him in the pecking order, the 25-year-old Polk might have struggled to get many carries in Philadelphia, and he could have been in danger of not making the club. However, in Houston, Polk would seem to have a chance to push for the top backup role.
Spielman Continues To Maintain Adrian Peterson Will Remain A Viking Tuesday, April 28, 2015 | Time: 2:09 PT |  Reported by Profootballtalk.com
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The Facts: Following up on the ongoing story. ... Vikings continue to insist that Peterson is not going anywhere. Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman said today that despite widespread speculation that Peterson could be traded, that’s simply not going to happen. “We can just end the Adrian Peterson stuff. Our position has not changed since all of the statements we made down at the owners’ meetings. Adrian Peterson is under contract, his suspension was lifted, we’re looking forward to having Adrian Peterson as a Minnesota Viking in 2015. That’s the end of the story. That’s it,” Spielman said.
Diehards Line:Spielman reiterated comments from HC Mike Zimmer that the Vikings expect Peterson to be their starting running back this year. “I think coach Zimmer made it clear that we have no interest in trading Adrian Peterson. We don’t. Adrian made a mistake, he’s paid a price for that mistake, but I think if this organization didn’t believe in Adrian Peterson, he probably wouldn’t be here today. I know we believe in Adrian Peterson, but I also know that we’re a pretty good football team with Adrian Peterson in our backfield as well,” Spielman said. ... And we still believe this is the most likely outcome here. But we'll continue to follow along.