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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.
Johnny Manziel Set For Full Participation In OTAs Friday, May 22, 2015 | Time: 1:37 PT |  Reported by ESPN.com
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The Facts: Manziel is expected to be a full participant in Tuesday's OTA session, marking the first glimpse of him throwing in a competitive setting since his turbulent rookie year and his 10-week stay in rehab.
Diehards Line: Manziel threw footballs during phase one of offseason workouts last month, but Tuesday is the first noncontact practice of the offseason. As ESPN.com's Jeremy Fowler notes, the Browns have a plan for Manziel, who is working with quarterbacks Josh McCown, Connor Shaw and Thad Lewis. HC Mike Pettine says McCown is the favorite to start, stressing football is an afterthought to Manziel's health. Manziel spent nearly three months at Caron Treatment Center in Reading, Pennsylvania. He was released in early April. "The way he is now is night and day from last year," left tackle Joe Thomas told NFL Network. "He has a bright future ahead of him."
Felix Jones Among Those Working Out For Cowboys Thursday, May 21, 2015 | Time: 10:47 PT |  Reported by Profootballtalk.com
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The Facts: It looks like Ben Tate won’t be the only veteran free agent trying out for the Cowboys on Thursday. Rob Phillips of the team’s website reports that there will be a group of wide receivers and running backs working out in front of team brass and his colleague Bryan Broaddus reports that Jones will be back in Valley Ranch.
Diehards Line: Jones was a first-round pick of the team in 2008 and spent five years as part of the backfield in Dallas before moving on as a free agent. His best seasons came in 2009 and 2010 when he gained just under five yards per carry while also catching 67 passes, but Jones hurt his ankle in 2011 and never captured the No. 1 running back job. Jones spent some time with the Eagles in the 2013 offseason, but wound up in Pittsburgh following a trade and made his last NFL appearances for the Steelers that season. As PFT notes, Jones was last seen at the NFL’s veteran combine, where he failed to show the speed that was once one of his calling cards. His presence -- and the fact it appears to be open audition day in Dallas -- dulls some of the excitement about Tate's presence today.
Agent Denies Report That Derek Carr Might Need Surgery Thursday, May 21, 2015 | Time: 9:38 PT |  Reported by the San Francisco Chronicle
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The Facts: Following up on a previous item. ... Carr’s agent called reports that the Raiders’ quarterback will need surgery on his injured right ring finger a “nonstory,” saying Carr is being held out of the team’s offseason practices out of an abundance of caution. “It’s a very minor situation,” Tim Younger said Wednesday. “I think he’s probably going to be throwing before the end of” offseason team activities.
Diehards Line: The Raiders’ offseason workouts end June 4. “I don’t know where this idea came up that he’s going to be having surgery,” Younger added. “The situation, I don’t even want to call it an injury, is very minor, and we’re just being cautious.” It was ESPN's Chris Mortensen who reported Tuesday night that Carr’s finger injury may require surgery but that he is “expected to be ready for training camp at some point.” HC Jack Del Rio declined to elaborate on the nature or severity of Carr’s injury after Tuesday’s first spring practice, citing organizational policy on commenting on injuries. Younger said even if Carr isn’t ready before June 4, he expects Carr to be 100 percent for mandatory mini-camp, which begins June 9. “If he was really going to have hand surgery, I’d tell you,” Younger said. “I’d tell everybody.” We'll see. Christian Ponder and Matt McGloin are behind Carr on the depth chart.
Ben Tate Working Out For Cowboys Today Thursday, May 21, 2015 | Time: 9:21 PT |  Reported by ESPN.com
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The Facts: Josina Anderson of ESPN reports that free agent Ben Tate is working out for the team on Thursday.
Diehards Line:Tate would join a backfield that has Darren McFadden, Joseph Randle, Lance Dunbar and Ryan Williams currently on the depth chart. As Profootballtalk.com reminded readers, Tate opened last season as the top back in Cleveland after signing with the Browns as a free agent, but got hurt in the opener and then struggled when he returned to the lineup. That led Cleveland to turn to Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West before waiving Tate, who wound up in Minnesota for a brief spell and then in Pittsburgh as an injury replacement for Le’Veon Bell in the playoffs. Tate had some good moments over the years as a complement to Arian Foster in the Texans backfield and the Cowboys offensive line is the kind of group that any back would love to run behind, so PFT's Josh Alper believes there could be some rebound potential if Tate lands in Dallas. But he could just as easily fail to beat out the four guys already in town.
Carson Palmer Getting Antsy But Won't Rush Thursday, May 21, 2015 | Time: 1:43 PT |  Reported by ESPN.com
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The Facts: Palmer, six months removed from surgery to repair his left ACL, was relegated to a spectator during drills that pitted the full offense against the full defense. However, he took part in 7-on-7 and position drills. Palmer said he felt rusty throwing the football but that was "expected," he added.
Diehards Line: His recovery has been ahead of schedule and HC Bruce Arians said Palmer could have practiced during team drills Monday but Arians didn't want to take any chances just yet. But Palmer, who said he'll wear a knee brace all season, can't be faulted for not trying to play. "I've been politicking with the trainers and the physical trainers because 12 plays just isn't enough for me and I need more action out there," he said. Arians expected more lobbying from Palmer after practice and into Wednesday but Arians will hold his ground. The earliest Arians said Palmer could face live action will be minicamp June 9-11. Palmer admitted he's about two months from being "fully cleared" for all football activity, but he's been more intense in this recovery than he was in his previous ACL surgery. And that's good news. Remember, Palmer is 13-2 in his last 15 starts with a 64.5 completion percentage, 27 TDs, 12 INTs and 96.1 passer rating.
Gailey Says Geno Smith Is The Jets Starting QB Wednesday, May 20, 2015 | Time: 2:37 PT |  Reported by Profootballtalk.com
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The Facts: Following up on the ongoing story. ... New OC Chan Gailey told reporters today that Smith, the incumbent, was expected to enter the season as the starting quarterback. Gailey said he didn’t anticipate a competition for the job, saying “Because Geno’s the starter.”
Diehards Line: As PFT notes, that goes against what Jets General Manager Mike Maccagnan said in March, after trading for veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick (who played for Gailey in Buffalo). Of course, at the moment it’s a moot point, since Fitzpatrick isn’t well enough to practice fully until training camp, as he comes off last year’s broken leg. But it sounds like the Jets want to give Smith every opportunity to make the job his own, which he has failed to so far.
Tim Tebow; Future Two-Point Specialist? Wednesday, May 20, 2015 | Time: 12:25 PT |  Reported by NFL.com
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The Facts: Eric Decker won't count out Tebow in the quarterback's quest to jump start his NFL career. Decker, who played with the QB in Denver at the height of Tebowmania, calls Tebow a "unique" player who could thrive near the goal line if given the opportunity with the Eagles, who signed the former Heisman winner this offseason. Tebow's nose for the end zone can make him particularly valuable now that the NFL owners decided to keep the two-point conversions at the 2-yard line. "Chip's been doing a lot of stuff this year, so I think anything's possible," Decker told.
Diehards Line: The Eagles, perhaps not coincidentally, are the team that proposed the rule change. So even though Tebow is looking for another chance as a starting quarterback, he's buried on a depth chart that includes Sam Bradford, Mark Sanchez and Matt Barkley. He could bring tangible value to the team, however, if Kelly starts thinking outside the box after touchdowns. Decker is a believer. "Really, (Tebow) can create his own role. I know he wants to be head quarterback, but he can create a role for himself that can help a team in many ways (whether it's) the two-point conversion if it's moved up or a goal-line package. He has the athletic ability to be a personal punt protector. .. And can play other positions. They'll figure out a way to utilize him if it's going to help them be a better football team. ..." Tebow remains a longshot to catch on with Eagles, but the quarterback does have a chance.
Roman Denies That EJ Manuel Is On The Hot Seat Wednesday, May 20, 2015 | Time: 12:23 PT |  Reported by NFL.com
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The Facts: Following up on a previous item. ... Manuel has been the subject of rumors that he won't make the team's roster if he doesn't show progress. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman shot down speculation that the signal-caller has fallen out of favor with the organization. "It couldn't be further from the truth," Roman said Tuesday.
Diehards Line: Manuel will be pitted against Matt Cassel and Tyrod Taylor during offseason competitions. The trio split reps evenly during workouts last month. "I think it's too early to say there is a leader at QB right now," Roman said Tuesday. Roman added that he would have a better idea who the leader for the starting job will be following the Bills' OTAs, which begin May 26, "But I'll keep that under my hat," he said. As NFL.com suggests, while Roman rejects the notion that Manuel isn't on the outside looking in, we'll have a better idea if that is coach-speak or the third-year signal-caller has an honest chance as workouts begin to unfold next week.
Amari Cooper In Line For 90-Catch Season? Wednesday, May 20, 2015 | Time: 12:22 PT |  Reported by ESPN.com
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The Facts: According to ESPN.com's Bill Williamson, we should expect big things from Cooper, who caught an SEC-record 124 passes last year. With a competent Derek Carr throwing his passes, Williamson could see Cooper catching 80-90 passes as a rookie. He will be a top weapon instantly.
Diehards Line: Williamson went on to remind readers the Raiders have been missing a legitimate No. 1 receiver threat for more than a decade. Oakland has had a parade of journeymen play starting receiver in recent years. The last Oakland receiver to gain 1,000 yards? Randy Moss in 2005. And who's standing between Cooper and Williamson's prediction? No one. Cooper already is the Raiders’ best receiver. He will start with veteran free-agent pickup Michael Crabtree.