NFL PLAYER NEWS
49ers' believe Jimmy Garoppolo can be an all-time great
The San Francisco 49ers believe that quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo can be one of the best of all-time at the position, according to head coach Kyle Shanahan.
Shanahan told reporters during a video call on Thursday that "Jimmy has a goal to be that (one of the best of all time)" and "I believe he has the ability to be that and that's what both of us are going for". Garoppolo bounced back from a season-ending injury in 2018 to pilot the 49ers to a 13-3 record and a Super Bowl appearance last season. The 49ers only threw on 49% of their plays, second-fewest in the NFL, but tied with the Tennessee Titans for the highest yards per attempt at 8.5. Garoppolo completed 329 of 476 attempts (69.1%) for 3,978 yards, 27 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. His yards per attempt was third-best in the league behind Ryan Tannehill and Matt Stafford, and he finished the season a Pro Football Focus' 16th rated quarterback. San Francisco added another weapon to their offense by selecting wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk in the first round of April's draft to work alongside rookie standout Deebo Samuel and star tight end, George Kittle.
Garoppolo is the QB20 in numberFire's fantasy rankings. Our models project him for 3,907.4 yards, 27.2 touchdowns, and 12.0 interceptions with another 127.4 yards and 1.4 touchdowns on the ground.
Marvin Jones working with younger Lions
Detroit Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones (ankle) worked out with fifth-round rookie wide receiver Quintez Cephus and free agent addition Victor Bolden at his house.
Jones appears to be recovered from the ankle injury that forced him on injured reserve for the final three games last season. He was also limited to nine games in 2018 by a knee issue. Prior to Matthew Stafford going down last year, Jones averaged 66.9 yards over eight games and scored 6 touchdowns. His 9 receiving scores were tied for second in the league when Jones was placed on injured reserve. Now 30, Jones appears to be embracing his role as a veteran leader on the team. He's expected to start opposite Kenny Golladay again in 2020.
Jones is the WR33 in numberFire's preseason fantasy rankings. Our models project him for 109.8 targets, 66.8 catches, 854.3 yards, and 5.7 touchdowns.
Devonta Freeman says Buccaneers can reach out directly
Free agent running back Devonta Freeman said the Tampa Bay Buccaneers can reach out "directly" to him if looking to negotiate a contract.
"A number of teams are interested, but we can’t negotiate through the media," Freeman stated on Twitter. "The Buccaneers can reach out to me directly." Bucs head coach Bruce Arians recently told the media that the team would be interested in Freeman "if his price tag was reasonable," but that the veteran back is "asking for a lot of money." The two sides have plenty of time to reach a deal before the season starts if the Bucs want to add a veteran to their young backfield. Freeman was limited to two games in 2018 and then averaged a career-low 3.6 yards per carry last season. He failed to clear 100 yards in 14 games. Freeman turned 28 in March.
Freeman averaged 12.0 FanDuel points (RB23) and 76.1 offensive yards with 6 touchdowns in 14 games last season. He managed just a 29.4 percent success rate, compared to 42.7 percent for the rest of the Falcons' backfield. The Bucs ranked 27th as a team in numberFire's advanced rushing metric.
Baker Mayfield working with Browns on footwork
Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield has been working on his footwork through virtual meetings, new offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt said.
Van Pelt previously suggested Mayfield's footwork led to some accuracy issues in 2019, but he says the reason for the change is to better fit his West Coast system. “It’s just the philosophy of the offense and the way I coach the quarterback, that’s what I am looking for,’’ Van Pelt said. “I’ve studied all three different types of gun footwork, and I’ve decided this is what fits the quarterback the best in the system that we’re running, and that’s it.” Van Pelt believes it will "ultimately add to the rhythm and the timing of the pass game" following a disappointing second season from Mayfield. He threw the second-most interceptions (21) in the league and his yards per attempt fell from 7.7 yards as a rookie to 7.2 yards in 2019. Mayfield's touchdown percentage also dropped from 5.6 to 4.1.
Baker is the QB19 in numberFire's preseason fantasy rankings. Our models project him for 4,076.8 yards, 27.0 touchdowns, and 15.3 interceptions with another 129.9 yards and 1.5 touchdowns on the ground. Mayfield ranked 32nd last year in Net Expected Points per dropback among the guys to drop back at least 150 times.
Giants' Daniel Jones working on ball security
New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones' top offseason priority has been improving his ball security, writes Dan Duggan of The Athletic.
Jones committed a league-high 18 fumbles across 12 starts as a rookie and also threw 12 interceptions. He's added on some muscle to give him a stronger grip on the ball and is learning how to become smarter as a runner. Jones scrambled on 5.2 percent of designed pass plays last year, ninth-highest among passers with 200 or more designed pass plays. He also reached out to Tony Romo, who averaged 10.7 fumbles in his first three seasons as a starter, but then improved to an average of just 6.4 fumbles in his last five full seasons as a starter. Despite the turnover problems, Jones did show some promise as a passer with five 300-yard performances and three games with 4-plus touchdowns. He also finished with the seventh-most rushing yards (249) among all quarterbacks.
Jones is the QB18 in numberFire's preseason fantasy rankings. Our models project him for 4,023.3 yards, 24.4 touchdowns, and 13.5 interceptions with another 266.4 yards and 2.4 touchdowns on the ground.
Patriots' Jarrett Stidham, Julian Edelman working together regularly
New England Patriots quarterback Jarrett Stidham has been working out with wide receiver Julian Edelman in Massachusetts during the offseason, per Stidham's Instagram.
Stidham is the favorite to be the Patriots' starting quarterback this season and Edelman is expected to be his top target. Stidham only played 15 snaps as a rookie behind Tom Brady, but he was impressive last preseason. The fourth-round pick completed 61-of-91 passes (67.0 percent) for 731 yards (8.0 per attempt) with 4 touchdowns and 1 interception. That earned Stidham the sixth-highest overall passing grade (72.2) and second-best adjusted completion percentage (84.1) from Pro Football Focus among the 20 quarterbacks with at least 68 preseason dropbacks. Brian Hoyer is currently next in line on the depth chart if Stidham struggles.
Stidham is the QB29 in numberFire's preseason fantasy rankings. Our models project him for 3,841.2 yards, 23.8 touchdowns, and 15.5 interceptions with another 128.2 yards and 1.9 touchdowns on the ground.