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News and Views

Marshawn Lynch Confirms He Was Close To Retiring Tuesday, June 30, 2015 | Time: 5:22 PT |  Reported by
The Facts: It would surprise no one if Lynch ever just up and left the NFL. The running back told Conan O'Brien during Monday night's show he considered retiring before the Seattle Seahawks showed him the money. "I mean, you know, in this game, you know, at this running back position, you don't go that long," he said. "But, I mean, they put 12 in front of you for a year you start to think like 'Yeah, maybe I can do this again.'" Said Conan: "12 thousand dollars." Replied Lynch: "Yeah, something like that."
Diehards Line: It was actually $12 million this year. His new deal was worth $24 million in new money and pays $31 million over the next three years. Still, as suggests, even though he's inked through the 2017 season, it's always a year-by-year proposition with Lynch. In the end if Lynch feels like he's getting paid the right price to bulldoze his way through defensive lines, he's game. If not, he's fine walking away. ... It's something Dynasty owners need to keep in mind.
No Clear-Cut Front Runner At RB For Cowboys Tuesday, June 30, 2015 | Time: 5:20 PT |  Reported by
The Facts: The Cowboys' spent the offseason lavishing praise on Darren McFadden after allowing DeMarco Murray to defect to Philadelphia. Beat writers have hyped Joseph Randle as a breakout candidate behind a dominant offensive line. With a month remaining before training camp opens, though, it's evident that there is no clear favorite to emerge as the featured runner in this backfield. "We got some very good football players," RBs coach Gary Brown said. "With the addition of Darren it's going to be a nice group. I can't say who is going to be the lead dog right now, but those guys are going to compete and we're going to do what's necessary to win games."
Diehards Line: As's Chris Wesseling notes, while fantasy footballers are waiting for McFadden or Randle to gain separation from a group that includes change-of-pace back Lance Dunbar and injury-prone former Cardinals tailback Ryan Williams, offensive coordinator Scott Linehan strongly suggested that this will be a committee effort throughout the season. "I just think that we have a complementary backfield," Linehan said. "They're going to spread out the carries. Some games are going to be different than others." That might not be what we want to hear, but it's probably the most realistic scenario. "The Cowboys understand they were fortunate to ride Murray for 18 games and 497 touches last year," Wesseling wrote. "They firmly believe injuries are inevitable at the game's most punishing position. For that reason, they were reluctant to invest heavily in one true 'lead dog' who could sabotage the ground attack by missing extensive time in 2015."
Joique Bell Will Be Surprised If He Doesn't Run For 1,200 Yards Tuesday, June 30, 2015 | Time: 5:19 PT |  Reported by
The Facts: Bell isn't worried about the knee injury that has sidelined him for the entirety of this offseason. He isn't worried about the Achilles either. Bell is so confident about this season, in fact, that he's predicting he'll become the second Lions RB to eclipse 1,000 rushing yards since 2004 -- and then some. "I'm going to rush for over 1,200 yards," Bell said. "That's the minimum. If I do less than that, I'll be surprised. I'll be disappointed. Anything more than that, I wouldn't be surprised at all."
Diehards Line:As's Kyle Meinke notes, the Lions haven't had a strong track record of 1,000-yard rushers in the post-Barry Sanders era. They were the only team in the league without any from 2005-12. Reggie Bush finally ended that skid in 2013, when he rushed for 1,006 yards in his first year with Detroit. Bell complemented Bush that season, and they became the first teammates in NFL history to accumulate 500 yards rushing and 500 yards receiving in the same season. But Bush suffered a string of ankle injuries last season, which paved the way for Bell to earn the first starting job of his career. He made the most of it, too, rushing for 547 yards in the second half of the season and averaging 4.5 yards a pop. Now he's spent the offseason resting his knee and Achilles, and should return in time for the start of training camp. He is the clear leader to take over for Bush as the starting tailback, and is expecting big things for himself. But he won't be alone in the backfield, either. Ameer Abdullah, the rookie out of Nebraska, could take over Bush's role as the speed complement to Bell's power. Third-year back Theo Riddick should also factor into the rotation, particularly as a pass-catcher. It's a situation we'll all be watching come August.
Jerick McKinnon Would Draft Himself In Fantasy Leagues Tuesday, June 30, 2015 | Time: 5:17 PT |  Reported by the St. Paul Pioneer-Press
The Facts: McKinnon has put out notice to fantasy football players. Just because Adrian Peterson is back, don't forget about him. "If I had a fantasy team and could take myself, I would,' he said.
Diehards Line:Okay. ... We'll go ahead and suggest that doesn't mean you should be in a hurry to add him to your roster. As a rookie last season, McKinnon ran for 538 yards. That included outings of 135 yards against Atlanta and 103 at Buffalo. But McKinnon sat the final five games of the season with a lower back problem that required surgery. And earlier this month Peterson returned to the team after missing the final 15 games of 2014 because of a child-abuse incident. Peterson will be back in the lineup as the starting running back. However, McKinnon said his health is fine and that shouldn't play any role as he competes with Matt Asiata for playing time behind Peterson. At this point, a change-of-pace role seems to be the best McKinnon can hope for this fall.
Matthew Stafford Looking To Get Teammates Together For Workouts Tuesday, June 30, 2015 | Time: 1:52 PT |  Reported by the Detroit Free Press
The Facts: Sometime next month Stafford, Calvin Johnson and a few other Lions will meet somewhere in Atlanta for a few pre-training-camp passing drills that Stafford said are important to the offense's development. "I think it's big," Stafford said. "I'm obviously in Atlanta quite a bit, so Calvin's right there, throw with him some. But try to find a way to get together with some of the other guys as well."
Diehards Line: The Lions finished 22nd in the NFL in scoring offense last year and seemed out of sync at times in their first year under coordinator Joe Lombardi. Johnson and Golden Tate both had 1,000-yard receiving seasons, but no other Lion had more than 40 catches or 322 yards. The Lions are counting on Eric Ebron to play a bigger role on offense this year after his disappointing rookie season, and Stafford said this spring he planned to get together with the second-year tight end sometime during the team's six-week summer break. "There's no substitute for running routes for a receiver and catching the ball from the guy you're going to be catching the ball from during the season," Stafford said. "And there's really no substitute for me throwing to a spot -- and throwing to somebody that's not on our team, it just isn't as beneficial as being together and doing that. So hopefully we'll get together and do some of that." Hopefully they get something going. We'll be watching for more.
Jeremy Maclin Off To A Great Start With Smith Tuesday, June 30, 2015 | Time: 1:50 PT |  Reported by
The Facts: For more than a month, Alex Smith and one of his newest receivers, Maclin, ran around the practice field throwing and catching passes at will. For Maclin, whether it was running through plays in 11-on-11 drills, talking in meeting rooms after practice or simply communicating what they’re seeing from the defense between plays, he had high praise for how well he and Smith have clicked since he arrived in Kansas City. “I don’t think I’ve ever been off to a better start with a particular quarterback in my life,” Maclin stated.
Diehards Line: After being the Eagles first-round pick back in 2009, Maclin has amassed 343 receptions for 4,771 yards and 36 touchdowns in his five seasons on the field. He missed all of 2013 with a knee injury. Four of the five seasons Maclin has been on the field have been with HC Andy Reid, OC Doug Pederson, receivers coach David Culley and many others who now find themselves in Kansas City. “He’s only a couple years removed from our system,” Pederson said. “We’ve changed some things since he’s been in the offense, but he’s such a smart, savvy, veteran guy that he’s picked up on what we’re doing really fast. He and Alex have sort of developed that continuity right away. ..." It's a good start. Maclin's presence is important to a team that failed to complete a touchdown pass to a wide receiver last season.
Russell Wilson Continues To Say He's Not Worried About Contract Monday, June 29, 2015 | Time: 11:40 PT |  Reported by
The Facts: While talking to reporters during his passing academy at the University of Wisconsin over the weekend, Wilson reiterated that he's not distracted or worried about his contract situation. "It's not where my focus is," Wilson said. "The rest will work out. The contract will work itself out. I'm excited about it and excited to hopefully be a Seattle Seahawk for a really, really long time. So, that's the goal."
Diehards Line: As we wade deeper into the quiet period of the calendar for players and coaches, Wilson's contract situation hovers as one of the most interesting topics for offseason fodder. The blow-by-blow accounts of the complex contract negotiation between the quarterback and Seahawks grow increasingly frequent as it becomes more evident a deal won't get done anytime soon. Indeed, has spent considerable time rolling through a variety of possible scenarios, going so far as to suggest this might be Wilson's last season with the Seahawks. That said, Wilson has never given us a reason to question his loyalty to his teammates or his desire to remain in Seattle. But the complexity of the situation -- Wilson being a third-round pick and woefully underpaid, only part of the issue -- makes it difficult to get a deal, especially before the 2015 season starts. That being the case, the speculation will continue.
Darren McFadden Says He Feels Like A Rookie Again Monday, June 29, 2015 | Time: 11:37 PT |  Reported by
The Facts: After seven seasons with the Raiders, McFadden changed cities for the first time in his NFL career. Apparently, the move to Dallas rejuvenated the running back. "It's great to be in Dallas," McFadden said Saturday. "I'm looking forward to getting on the field with those guys and doing great things this year. ... Definitely exciting. I tell everybody I feel like a rookie all over again."
Diehards Line: McFadden added: "I just want to go out there, stay healthy and run the ball the way I know I can run the ball. ..." Well, after three consecutive lackluster seasons in which McFadden gained fewer than 3.5 yards per carry, skeptical fantasy owners can be forgiven for not being all in. McFadden will battle with Joseph Randle for starter reps during training camp. The Cowboys also employ Lance Dunbar, Ryan Williams and Lache Seastrunk in the backfield. "I'm just going out there and making plays," McFadden said. "Right now, we don't know much. We just know we're competing for a job. ..." That's the key. We'll all want to see how that competition plays out before jumping in with both feet. ... For what it's worth, McFadden added that the injured hamstring that kept him out of some offseason work is "doing great."
Agent Expects Eli Manning To Get A New Deal Soon Enough Monday, June 29, 2015 | Time: 1:36 PT |  Reported by New York Daily News
The Facts: Tom Condon will soon begin negotiations on what likely will be Manning’s final NFL contract, and he’s confident a deal with the Giants will eventually get done. Just don’t expect it to be at a discount, because the agent to the Manning brothers knows exactly what top quarterbacks are worth. “It’s an extraordinarily hard position to fill, as you know,” said Condon. “You actually have some leverage with the quarterbacks. The only problem is there’s a salary cap. But let’s face it, sooner or later. ...”
Diehards Line: As the Daily News suggested, Condon didn't have to finish the sentence, because everyone in the NFL knows that sooner or later the elite quarterbacks get paid big money. Condon knows that better than anyone because he represents seven of the NFL’s 32 starting quarterbacks -- five of whom make an average of at least $17 million per year. He also knows Manning still ranks among the elite. He has won two Super Bowls (named MVP in both), surpassed 4,000 passing yards in four of the last six seasons, and at age 34 -- having never missed a game -- he’s coming off what might be his finest statistical season. Half the teams in the league, maybe more, would gladly grab Manning if they could. The Giants understand that too, which is why a team source told the News they’re also confident a new deal will eventually get done.
Adrian Peterson Leading Teammates In Workouts Sunday, June 28, 2015 | Time: 12:39 PT |  Reported by
The Facts: Before he departed Minnesota at the end of the Vikings' mandatory minicamp, Peterson made it clear he wasn't leaving much time for leisure in the five weeks before training camp. Indeed, Peterson is back in Houston working out -- and he brought a couple Vikings teammates with him.
Diehards Line: Peterson, who married his longtime girlfriend Ashley Brown last July, had talked about going to Europe with her for a honeymoon. But Ashley Peterson is now pregnant with the couple's second child and the honeymoon is again on hold. So workouts makes sense. According to's Ben Goessling, receiver Mike Wallace and running back Jerick McKinnon are in Houston this week, working out with Peterson and his longtime trainer, James Cooper. From a photo Peterson tweeted out, the group went through a four-hour workout on Thursday, running hills, cutting in a sand pit and lifting weights. And that's exactly what you want to hear about a guy coming back from close to a full season off.