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7/24/2014
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News and Views
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Odell Beckham Tweaks A Hamstring (7/23 3:52 PT)

The Facts: The Giants had a few players forced out of practice on Tuesday because of injuries or difficulties dealing with heat, including first-round pick Beckham.  Reported by Profootballtalk.com

Diehards Line: The wide receiver pulled up while running a pattern and grabbed his hamstring before going to the sideline for treatment. On Wednesday, General Manager Jerry Reese said, via Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News, that Beckham tweaked the muscle. Reese didn’t offer any update on what Beckham might do in practice on Wednesday or any other day. Beckham also dealt with a hamstring during the team’s spring work as well and said before Tuesday’s work that he wasn’t sure if it was 100 percent recovered.

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Jamaal Charles Fails To Report By Deadline (7/23 3:30 PT)

The Facts: b Following up on the ongoing story. ... After failing to come to an agreement on a contract extension with the Kansas City Chiefs, Charles failed to report to training camp by the team's 4 p.m. ET deadline Wednesday.  Reported by ESPN.com

Diehards Line: The Chiefs believed as recently as Tuesday that Charles would arrive for camp at Missouri Western State University on time, but he was absent at the deadline. Charles' contract, signed in 2010, has two years remaining. He is scheduled to make $3.9 million this year. In all, 13 NFL running backs are scheduled to make more than Charles this season. Now, Knile Davis and rookie De'Anthony Thomas will get the bulk of the training camp reps until Charles returns. ... Stay tuned.

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Harbaugh: Ray Rice Suspension Won't Be A Problem, If Announced Soon (7/23 12:15 PT)

The Facts: The Ravens are bracing themselves for being without Rice. But they’re not worried about how long, at least not yet. HC John Harbaugh said he didn’t think the timing of Rice’s punishment (for assaulting his now-wife) would be a problem for the team, as long as they knew by the middle of the preseason.  Reported by Profootballtalk.com

Diehards Line: That would probably be a reasonable enough time frame for fantasy football owners as well. As long as we have some clarity on the length of Rice's suspension (some are expecting a three-game absence), we'll be able to assign realistic values for Rice and Bernard Pierce (who has been fully cleared to practice in the wake of off-season shoulder surgery) well in advance of most drafts

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The Latest: Jamaal Charles Will Not Report Barring Contract Breakthrough (7/23 11:40 PT)

The Facts: Following up on an ongoing story. ... NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday morning that, barring a contract breakthrough, Charles will not report for Kansas City Chiefs training camp Wednesday, according to a source familiar with Charles' thinking.  Reported by NFL.com

Diehards Line: We'll remind you that previous reports have indicated the Chiefs expect Charles to report and that the sides have talked about a new contract, which would solve the issue, but at this point it appears an agreement isn't at hand. ... Stay tuned. We'll learn at some point today whether the holdout talk is legit or not.

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No Real Surprise; No Holdout For Vernon Davis (7/23 11:36 PT)

The Facts: The question has now been answered. Davis is reporting to 49ers training camp after all.  Reported by Profootballtalk.com

Diehards Line: The Pro Bowl tight end has been clear in his desire for a new contract, and the 49ers have been equally clear about not negotiating with anyone who isn’t there. In addition, as PFT's Darin Gantt points out, a camp holdout costs $30,000 a day and the team can go after any previously paid signing bonuses, making it an expensive decision.

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Belichick Confirms Rob Gronkowski Is Cleared To Play (7/23 9:01 PT)

The Facts: b HC Bill Belichick announced Wednesday that Gronkowski has already been medically "cleared to play" and will avoid the physically unable to perform list.  Reported by NFL.com

Diehards Line: Although he might be eased back in, Gronkowski's knee rehab clearly went a lot smoother than previous surgeries. Barring a setback, he should be close to 100 percent when the season opens at Miami. Gronk had previously indicated he intends to play Week 1. As NFL.com suggests, a healthy Gronkowski's impact cannot be overstated. After struggling mightily early last season with Gronkowski on the PUP list, Brady rebounded to average an NFL-high 35.75 points and 473.25 yards per game over a five-game stretch once Gronk got into game shape. Fantasy football owners, who were going to draft him regardless of his training camp status, can now do so with more confidence.

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Report: Chiefs Expect Jamaal Charles To Report Today (7/23 8:45 PT)

The Facts: Following up on the previous item. ... The Chiefs have had talks with Charles regarding a new contract, a source told The Star on Tuesday. The source also told The Star that the Chiefs believe Charles will report to camp on Wednesday regardless of whether an extension has been agreed upon or not.  Reported by the Kansas City Star

Diehards Line: A report surfaced late Tuesday afternoon saying Charles will hold out for more money, causing some concern about his status. The Chiefs will hold their first practice with all the veterans on Thursday. Charles was in attendance for the majority of organized team workouts in June, and was also present at the beginning of offseason workouts in April. He also attended the three-day mandatory minicamp at the end of June. That said, Charles' desire for more money is understandable. His $3.9 million salary this season ranks third among the Chiefs' 11 projected starters on offense and is about the same figure Toby Gerhart will earn in Jacksonville this season (his first in a featured role). ... Stay tuned. We'll have more.

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Julio Jones Cleared For Training Camp; But WR Will Be Limited (7/23 2:48 PT)

The Facts: Jones has been cleared for training camp practice, which starts on Friday, HC Mike Smith told the Journal-Constitution on Tuesday.  Reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Diehards Line: However, Jones, who’s recovering from foot surgery, will be limited. “He will be limited in terms of his snaps,” Smith said. “(But) Julio will be out there participating in practice right from the start.” Jones is returning from a broken fifth metatarsal bone in his right foot that he suffered in the fifth game of last season against the New York Jets in Oct. While his training-camp practice schedule will be limited, Jones plans to be in the starting lineup when the Falcons open the regular season against the New Orleans Saints at the Georgia Dome.

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Report: Jamaal Charles Wants More Money; Will Hold Out Of Training Camp (7/22 6:36 PT)

The Facts: In a surprise move, Charles will not show up when the Chiefs report to camp on Thursday. Charles is holding out for more money, KCTV-5 reports.  Reported by Profootballtalk.com

Diehards Line: As PFT's Michael David Smith notes, Charles still has two more years left on his contract and is due $3.9 million this year. If Charles is prepared to hold out, it's very bad news for the Chiefs and fantasy football owners: Charles led the team last year not just in rushing with 259 carries for 1,287 yards, but also in receiving with 70 catches for 693 yards. As Smith summed up: "There may not be any non-quarterback in the league who is more important to his team’s offense than Charles. ..." Stay tuned.

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Danny Woodhead Signs Two-Year Extension With Chargers (7/22 6:31 PT)

The Facts: The Chargers agreed on a two-year contract extension with Woodhead, the team announced today. “Danny is an integral part of our offense,” said GM Tom Telesco. “His work ethic and on-field production were key elements last year. We look forward to having him be a part of the Chargers organization into the future.”  Reported by Chargers.com

Diehards Line: A talented receiver out of the backfield, Woodhead recorded new career highs of 76 catches (second on the team), 605 yards and six touchdowns. He ranked first among all NFL running backs in touchdown catches and ranked second in receptions and receiving yards. Woodhead also posted 429 rushing yards for a total of 1,034 yards from scrimmage, as well as two rushing touchdowns for a total of eight. Along the way, Woodhead posted RB1 fantasy totals on more than a few weeks. Expect more of the same going forward.

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Ace Sanders Facing Suspension; WR Takes Leave Of Absence From NFL (7/22 6:27 PT)

The Facts: Sanders is taking a leave of absence from football and is also facing a four-game suspension without pay for violating the NFL’s substance abuse program. “I’ve decided to go seek help and get that attention,” Sanders said. “I’ve made some mistakes that I could have handled a little differently.”  Reported by the Florida Times-Union

Diehards Line: Sanders, about to enter this second NFL season, will be eligible to make his debut Oct. 5 against Pittsburgh. He said the nature of the suspension allows him to be around the Jaguars during the first four games. Sanders is third Jaguars player to be suspended since last October. With fellow WR Justin Blackmon already on indefinite suspension, the Jaguars had Sanders – who had 51 catches last year – penciled in as a slot receiver and he was also going to get the best shot to win the punt return job. Without Sanders, the biggest beneficiary could be Tandon Doss, who led the NFL in punt return average last year.

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Andre Johnson's Status Remains Up In The Air (7/22 3:56 PT)

The Facts: ESPN reported Johnson made an appearance to learn the team’s offense. CSN Houston reported it was becoming “more likely” Johnson would attend camp. A person close to the situation told the Chronicle on Tuesday, however, that Johnson’s reported appearance had no bearing on whether he attends training camp.  Reported by the Houston Chronicle

Diehards Line: Veterans are due Friday, with practice starting Saturday. NFL Network reported that Johnson has been at the stadium a few times during the offseason. But a source also NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, “It means nothing for camp.” Johnson has publicly been at odds with the organization since May and missed all of the team’s offseason workouts. The Texans can fine Johnson $30,000 per day once camp begins if his holdout continues. ... Stay tuned.

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Bernard Pierce Says He's Fully Cleared For Training Camp (7/22 3:52 PT)

The Facts: According to Baltimore Sun staffer Aaron Wilsonn, Pierce said he's fully cleared medically after off-season rotator cuff surgery.  Reported by Twitter.com

Diehards Line: Pierce also told Wilson he's lost weight and currently tips the scales at 223 pounds. Pierce, who is listed at 230, will likely be asked to handle a greater role with Ray Rice facing disciplinary action for off-field issues (some reports suggest Rice will miss up to three games). ... Stay tuned. We'll be watching for more on Pierce (and Rice) in coming weeks.

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Broncos Release TE Joel Dreessen (7/22 3:51 PT)

The Facts: The Broncos announced they had released Dreessen with a failed physical designation Tuesday.  Reported by Profootballtalk.com

Diehards Line: Dreessen caught 41 passes for the Broncos two years ago, but only caught seven passes last year as Julius Thomas flourished as a target for more catches. Dreessen had three operations on his left knee in the span of a year, and battled through problems with that joint this offseason. Now he'll be scrambling for work.

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Report: Josh Gordon's Hearing Expected In Next Two Weeks (7/22 12:58 PT)

The Facts: The NFL hearing on Gordon's offseason positive drug test is expected to be held within the next two weeks, according to a source.  Reported by ESPN.com

Diehards Line: As ESPN.com's Pat McManamon notes, if a decision on Gordon's status for failing a drug test in the offseason comes out of the hearing, that means the Browns could know soon after. However, the timetable remains in the hands of the league."Until it all comes down, we're really in the same situation of waiting," HC Mike Pettine said. ... Pettine indicated, though, that releasing Gordon was not in the plans. At this point, drafting Gordon shouldn't be in fantasy football owners plans -- at least not until we get some resolution in his status.

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Pettine: Browns Will Name Starting QB By Third Pre-Season Game (7/22 12:55 PT)

The Facts: In a Q&A published Monday, HC Mike Pettine told the Akron Beacon Journal the club will pick a starting quarterback by Cleveland’s August 23 preseason game vs. St. Louis. “I don’t know if I’ll set a date and kind of paint ourselves into a date, but it will be sooner than the third preseason game,” Pettine said.  Reported by Profootballtalk.com

Diehards Line: Brian Hoyer will try to hold off the rookie Johnny Manziel, a first-round pick and the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner. As PFT notes, teams typically play their starters more in the third exhibition game than in any of the other preseason contests, so if the Browns stick to the plan, the No. 1 quarterback will get an extended stint with the first-team offense in an important dress rehearsal for Cleveland. ... Stay tuned.

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Aaron Dobson Opens Training Camp On PUP; Gronk Not On PUP (7/21 5:37 PT)

The Facts: Field Yates of ESPNBoston.com reports that Dobson is among the Patriots who will start training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list.  Reported by Profootballtalk.com

Diehards Line: Dobson, whose return from foot surgery was generating optimism he’d be ready on day one, won't be. But looking on the bright side, Rob Gronkowski isn't on the list. Stay tuned. We'll follow up as needed.

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Marvin Jones Opens Camp On Non-Football Injury List (7/21 5:33 PT)

The Facts: Jones (ankle) opened Bengals training camp on the Non-Football Injury list.  Reported by Profootballtalk.com

Diehards Line: The NFI designation means something happened away from the team's facility. So, Jones, who participated in the offseason program, apparently injured the ankle during the down time after OTAs. According to PFT's Mike Florio, it’s unclear how long Jones will be unavailable to practice in advance of the 2014 season. We will follow up as needed.

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Cowboys Agree To Terms With WR Dez Briscoe (7/21 5:31 PT)

The Facts: According to agent Erik Burkhardt, the Cowboys have reached a deal with Briscoe.  Reported by Profootballtalk.com

Diehards Line: Briscoe has hauled in 43 passes for 502 yards and seven touchdowns since entering the NFL in 2010. Briscoe has had NFL stints with Cincinnati (2010), Tampa Bay (2010-2012) and Washington (2012-2013). His best season came in 2011, when he caught 35 passes for 387 yards and six TDs for the Buccaneers. He will compete for a reserve role with Dallas, which had 10 receivers before bringing him into the fold. The Cowboys begin training camp on Wednesday.

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David Wilson Claims He's Fully Cleared (7/21 10:17 PT)

The Facts: Wilson just tweeted that he's been "cleared for everything." Reported by Profootballtalk.com

Diehards Line: As PFT's Darin Gantt reminded readers, the Giants have been hoping to get Wilson back after offseason neck surgery, but made contingency plans in case. They signed running back Rashad Jennings this offseason, but Wilson can add an explosive element Jennings lacks. That said, fantasy football owners might want to take a wait-and-see approach with Wilson to make sure he's truly ready to re-claim that change-of-pace role -- and how significant a role it might be.

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