NFL PLAYER NEWS
Vikings sign Everson Griffen to four-year extension
The Minnesota Vikings have signed defensive end Everson Griffen to a four-year, $58 million extension, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
The extension runs through 2022 and contains $34 million in guaranteed monies. Only the New York Giants' Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul will earn a higher annual salary as a 4-3 end.
In the last three seasons, Griffen has posted 109 tackles, 30.5 sacks and 3 forced fumbles in 47 games. This year, our models project him for 55 tackles, 9 sacks and 2 forced fumbles for the Vikings.
Cody Kessler opens camp as Browns' starting quarterback
Coach Hue Jackson said Cleveland Browns quarterback Cody Kessler will take the first snaps under center when the Browns open training camp, said head coach Hue Jackson.
"He deserves a chance to walk out there first," Jackson stated. This should be a fluid competition throughout the preseason, so don't be surprised if rookie DeShone Kizer and Brock Osweiler wind up seeing some first-team reps as well at some point.
numberFire's models rank Kessler as the 31st fantasy option under center entering the 2017 season. We project him to throw for 3,271.1 passing yards with 17.88 touchdowns and 15.40 interceptions over the course of the year.
Ravens' Kenneth Dixon (meniscus) out for the season
Baltimore Ravens running back Kenneth Dixon's knee surgery will cause him to miss the entire season, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.
The initial timeline of 6-8 weeks was for having his meniscus trimmed, but Dixon will instead have have it stitched and repaired, which requires a much longer healing period and will cost him the 2017 season. This helps clear things up a bit in what was a crowded running back depth chart in Baltimore, and Terrance West and Danny Woodhead's roles are becoming increasingly defined as the season approaches.
Before the news that Dixon would miss the season, numberFire's models projected Woodhead for 89 carries, West for 80 carries and Dixon for 71 carries. Look for both Woodhead and West's projections to increase with Dixon out of the picture.
Marshawn Lynch may be kept under 200 carries in Oakland
Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch may be limited to under 200 carries, suggests Jimmy Durkin of The San Jose Mercury News.
Durkin surmises Lynch will see a similar workload to the 195 carries that Latavius Murray saw in Oakland last season, but noting it could be less, depending on the roles of second-year backs DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard. Lynch turned 31 in April and is more than a full year removed any real NFL competition, so look for the Raiders to manage his workload a bit over the course of the year.
numberFire's models currently rank Lynch as the 25th-best fantasy option at his position for 2017. We project him to rush 174.4 times for 703.3 yards and 5.39 touchdowns this season, with another 296.6 receiving yards and 1.13 touchdowns on 36.8 catches.
Andrew Hawkins retiring from the NFL
New England Patriots wide receiver Andrew Hawkins has told the Patriots that he is retiring from the NFL, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.
Hawkins inked a one year deal with the Patriots in May, but he spent the last three years of his career playing for the Cleveland Browns after playing his first three seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, who signed him as an undrafted free agent after he played two seasons in the Canadian Football League from 2009-2010.
In 6 NFL seasons, Hawkins racked up 209 receptions, 2,419 yards and 9 touchdowns on 341 targets.
Carlos Hyde might not be on 49ers' roster past training camp
San Francisco 49ers running back Carlos Hyde could be a surprise training camp cut, according to Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com.
The 49ers added Tim Hightower, Kapri Bibbs, and rookie Joe Williams to their backfield this offseason, and the team's new decision-makers have publicly stated their desire for improvement at the position. Hyde, who turns 26 in September and is entering a contract year, could probably fetch a mid-to-late round draft pick from an interested suitor.
numberFire's models are much more optimistic on Hyde's outlook this season, as we currently rank him as the 13th-best fantasy option at his position for 2017. He's projected to rush 249.1 times for 1,003.6 yards and 7.34 touchdowns this season, with another 142.6 receiving yards and 0.77 touchdowns on 24.9 catches.
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