Recent NFL Player News

Browns' Deshaun Watson reportedly meeting with league this week

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson is currently scheduled to meet with the NFL this week, according to Josina Anderson.

What It Means:

Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated believes Anderson's report indicates that the NFL is likely "wrapping things up" with their Watson investigation. However, Breer adds that a possible suspension may not be handed down until the 2023 season. Jacoby Brissett would presumably fill in for Watson this season as the Browns' starter, but it's worth noting that Baker Mayfield is still on the roster.

According to FanDuel SportsBook, the Browns' odds to win the Super Bowl are currently at +2000, tied with the Baltimore Ravens for 10th-best odds in the league.

Jarvis Landry signs with New Orleans

Former Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jarvis Landry signed a deal with the New Orleans Saints on Friday.

What It Means:

Landry was released by the Browns in March, and after exploring free agency, has decided to sign with the Saints. He will join a Saints' wide receiver group that will consistent of Michael Thomas, returning from injury, and rookie first-round draft pick Chris Olave. The big question mark for Landry, and the Saints as a whole, remains who will be under center when the 2022-23 season starts in September.

In 12 games for the Browns last season, Landry caught 52 of 87 targets for 570 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Falcons acquire Bryan Edwards in trade with Las Vegas

The Atlanta Falcons have reportedly acquired wide receiver Bryan Edwards in a trade with the Las Vegas Raiders.

What It Means:

Edwards will play for his second professional team after the Falcons traded for the 23-year old wideout and a 2023 seventh round pick in exchange for their 2023 fifth round selection. With an inexperienced group led by Drake London, Edwards will get a chance to compete against Keelan Cole and Demarcus Robinson for targets.

Per Pro Football Focus on 56 targets last season, Edwards ranked 86th among his position with a 62.9 offensive rating.

D.J. Chark (ankle) full participant at Lions workouts

Detroit Lions wide receiver D.J. Chark (ankle) said he has participated in early offseason workouts without any real physical limitations.

What It Means:

"They’re always there to let me know like, if it’s bothering me I don’t have to push it as hard or things like that, cause they want me to be where I’m at my peak when the season starts," Chark said about the Lions' coaching staff. "But no, I do everything that everybody else does. That’s just how I am. I wouldn’t feel good going home knowing that I didn’t do whatever because the other guys, and I feel like that’s how you earn your respect and your keep around here." The Lions signed Chark to a one-year, $10 million contract in March. He should see starter snaps in Detroit and figures to be third in the pecking order behind Amon-Ra St. Brown and T.J. Hockenson.

Among the 144 receivers with at least 20 targets last season, Chark ranked 43rd in Reception Net Expected Points per target (0.79). He averaged 1.40 FanDuel points per target, which would have ranked 64th among receivers with 50-plus targets.

Broncos' Jerry Jeudy to be released on bond

Denver Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy will be released on bond.

What It Means:

Jeudy was arrested Thursday afternoon for second degree domestic tampering. There was reportedly no physical contact and the other individual involved said they never felt threatened. Jeudy's next court date is set for May 31 and it remains to be seen if he will face punishment from the Broncos or the NFL. Tim Patrick and Courtland Sutton could get an early-season boost if Jeudy is unavailable.

Jeudy averaged 6.57 FanDuel points per game (10 games) last season and 1.17 FanDuel points per target, with the latter ranking 100th among all players with at least 50 targets and 71st at the wide receiver position.

Broncos' K.J. Hamler wants "Tyler Lockett role" for Russell Wilson

Denver Broncos wide receiver K.J. Hamler said he wants to play the “Tyler Lockett role” for quarterback Russell Wilson.

What It Means:

Hamler is reportedly ahead of schedule with rehab from a torn ACL and dislocated hip that he suffered in Week 3 last season. The 2020 second-round pick expects to be ready for the start of training camp, which will allow him to build rapport with his new quarterback. Hamler will likely see fewer targets from Wilson than Lockett did in Seattle, but they have similar physical profiles that could allow Hamler to emerge as the preferred deep threat on the Broncos' offense.

Hamler caught 5 passes for 74 yards on 10 targets in three games last season, for an average of 0.99 FanDuel points per target. Among the 170 receivers with double-digit targets, Hamler ranked 57th in Reception Net Expected Points per target.

Dolphins sign running back Sony Michel

The Miami Dolphins have signed running back Sony Michel to a contract for the 2022 season.

What It Means:

Michel was a critical piece of the Los Angeles Rams' offense at points during the 2021 season after joining the team via trade from the New England Patriots before the season. He'll now join a Miami Dolphins backfield that includes Chase Edmonds, Raheem Mostert, and Myles Gaskin.

Michel stepped up for the Rams during the 2021 season after former second-round pick Cam Akers suffered a devastating Achilles injury during the offseason. He totaled 208 rushes for 845 yards and 4 touchdowns during the regular season while posting 20 or more touches in 7 of his games.

Cole Kmet to play 'different roles' in Bears offense

Chicago Bears tight end Cole Kmet will play "different roles" on offense, per offensive coordinator Luke Getsy.

What It Means:

“I’ve been very impressed with Cole,” Getsy said. “Again that mindset that we’re trying to set, he’s been a great example of that as well. And you go back to that thing we talked about before, just the ability, the flexibility as a player, I think he has all that stuff. So I’m excited to see him have a bunch of different roles in our offense." Kmet failed to find the end zone in his second season, but he increased his production everywhere else with 60 catches (tied for 12th among tight ends) for 612 yards on 93 targets (eighth). Justin Fields recorded his highest adjusted yards per attempt (6.1) when targeting Kmet in 2021, so there is some positive rapport ahead of Fields' first full season as a starter.

Among the 26 tight ends with at least 50 targets, last season Kmet averaged the fewest FanDuel points per target (0.98) and the second-fewest Reception Net Expected Points per target (0.43).

Saints' Michael Thomas still has "a few hurdles" to climb in return from ankle injury

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas (ankle) still has a "few hurdles" to climb in his return to action in 2022.

What It Means:

Thomas has been out with an ankle injury since early in the 2020-21 season when he was rolled up on in the final minutes of the game. He has missed a season and a half since then but is nearing a return as we move closer to the start of the 2022-23 season. According to head coach Nick Allen, Thomas still has "a few hurdles" he needs to get over before he is able to return. When he does, he will be joined by Saints' first-round wide receiver Chris Olave.

In his last full season in 2019-20, Thomas hauled in 149 of 185 targets for 1,725 yards and 9 touchdowns.

Carroll on Seahawks adding another quarterback: 'I don’t see us making a trade for anybody at all'

According to head coach Pete Carroll, the Seattle Seahawks are unlikely to add a quarterback with starting experience.

What It Means:

Per Carroll, the Seahawks do not "see" a trade occurring for an experienced quarterback despite their continued efforts to find one. Expect Drew Lock and Geno Smith to compete for the Seahawks' first-string role if they overall decide to stay put with their quarterback situation.

On 111 pass attempts last season, Lock ranked 31st among his position with a a 60.0 Pro Football Focus rating while Smith finished 18th with a 73.9 mark on 95 attempts.

Jalen Reagor 'buried' on Eagles depth chart, trade possible

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jalen Reagor is "buried" on the depth chart and is a potential trade candidate, writes Zach Berman of The Athletic.

What It Means:

Berman believes that Quez Watkins is a more ideal fit than Reagor for the Eagles' No. 3 receiver job due to his speed and he says that head coach Nick Sirianni considers Zach Pascal "one of the best depth receivers in the NFL," so Reagor may be fifth on the depth chart following last week's acquisition of A.J. Brown. Reagor is a 2020 first-round pick, so the Eagles should be able to yield a respectable return based off draft capital alone.

Reagor averaged 3.4 FanDuel points per game last season and caught 33 passes on 57 targets for 299 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Patriots' James White (hip) remains sidelined heading into training camp

New England Patriots running back James White (hip) still has "a little while to go" before he can return to the field and is unlikely to participate in the team's upcoming voluntary training program.

What It Means:

White suffered a brutal hip injury in Game 3 of the 2021 season and was ruled out for the remainder of the season quickly thereafter. He is still rehabbing from that injury, but we may need to check back in with the veteran closer to the season as he progresses through his recovery. His injury may have played a part in the Patriots' recent draft decisions, which saw them selecting two running backs.

White has been the Patriots' reliable pass-catching running back since the 2015 season, and will likely take up that mantle again in 2022 if he is healthy enough to play. Mac Jones targeted running backs on 21.3% of his throws in his rookie season, meaning White can still produce fantasy-viable numbers without Tom Brady piloting the offense.

Falcons release running back Mike Davis

The Atlanta Falcons have released veteran running back Mike Davis, Jordan Schultz reports.

What It Means:

Davis spent the 2021 season with the Falcons as the team's primary running back, but lost out on work to teammate Cordarelle Patterson as the former kick returning specialist made waves at the position. The Falcons drafted former BYU running back Tyler Allgeier in the fifth round of the 2021 NFL Draft, but could still sign another veteran to round out their backfield before the season begins.

Davis had his work cut out for him behind the Falcons' struggling offensive line last season, but he still managed to grind out 503 rushing yards and 3 rushing scores on 138 carries, while contributing 259 yards and another score one 44 receptions. The veteran offers tackle-breaking chops and pass catching abilities and could end up with another team before too long.

Seahawks' D.K. Metcalf (foot) running again

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver D.K. Metcalf is no longer wearing a boot on his surgically repaired left foot and has resumed running.

What It Means:

Metcalf is "in a total rehab mode right now" according to head coach Pete Carroll after having his injured left foot surgically repaired following the end of the 2021 season. Metcalf played through his injury for much of last season, and should be cleared to return to practice well in advance of Week 1 of the 2022 season.

Even in a "disappointing" season Metcalf still managed to produce 967 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns for the Seahawks. He'll have to deal with a significantly worse quarterback situation this season without Russell Wilson, but Metcalf was still able to produce with backup quarterback Geno Smith in limited outings last year.

Arizona's DeAndre Hopkins (PED) suspended for six games

The NFL has suspended Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins for the first six games of the 2022 NFL season for violation of the league's Performance Enhancing Drug policy.

What It Means:

Unless the veteran receiver is able to appeal the suspension, Hopkins will now miss the first six games of the NFL season due to a violation of the league's Performance Enhancing Drug policy. It's unclear how exactly Hopkins violated the policy, but his absence will be a tough one for the the Cardinals and for quarterback Kyler Murray (even with the team's draft day trade for Marquise Brown).

Hopkins has been the Cardinals' top option in the passing game since joining the team via trade two seasons ago. His absence down the stretch last season played a huge part in the team's second-half slump that saw them lose four of their final six games of the regular season, as well as their lone playoff appearance. Despite missing seven games, Hopkins still led the team in receiving touchdowns (8) in 2021. The addition of Marquise Brown should help some, but Hopkins' rare ability to win in any situation will be sorely missed.

Falcons draft quarterback Desmond Ridder at No. 74

With the 74th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Atlanta Falcons selected Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder.

What It Means:

Ridder becomes just the second quarterback selected following a shocking fall down draft boards for the positions as a whole. Ridder will step into an offense currently led by Marcus Mariota after the departure of Matt Ryan to the Indianapolis Colts.

In his final season at Cincinnati, Ridder completed 251 of 387 pass attempts for 3,334 yards, 30 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions.

Source: NFL Draft

Seahawks draft running back Kenneth Walker at No. 41

The Seattle Seahawks selected running back Kenneth Walker with the 41st pick in the 2022 NFL draft.

What It Means:

Walker becomes the second running back off the board and will join a Seattle offense that has historically emphasized the run game. Walker will join a Seahawks backfield currently led by Rashaad Penny following his explosive finish to the 2021 season.

According to numberFire's models, Walker's two closest similarity score comps are Bishop Sankey (88.0%) and David Wilson (87.6%).

Source: NFL Draft

Jets select running back Breece Hall at No. 36 after trade with Giants

The New York Jets have selected running back Breece Hall with the 36th overall selection.

What It Means:

After trading their 38th and 146th pick to the New York Giants, Hall is the first running back off the board in this year's draft class. Expect Hall to compete with Michael Carter for New York's lead running back role.

On 718 rushing attempts while playing for Iowa State, Hall recorded 3941 yards and 50 touchdowns.

Source: NFL.com

Pittsburgh picks Kenny Pickett at No. 20

The Pittsburgh Steelers selected quarterback Kenny Pickett with the No. 20 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

What It Means:

Pickett will presumably compete with free agent signing Mitchell Trubisky for the starting job in Pittsburgh. He struggled during his first four seasons in college for the Pittsburgh Panthers, but Pickett had a breakout fifth-year with 4,319 yards, 42 touchdowns, 7 interceptions, and a 67.2 completion percentage.

Pickett led the 2022 draft class in Passing Efficiency Rating, adjusted yards per attempt (9.7), and QBR (81.2), with the latter ranking ninth in the nation. He also ranks in the 95th percentile with 51 games of 10-plus pass attempts. On the other side of the equation, only 15.1% of Pickett's pass attempts came against defenses ranked inside the top 50 by Bill Connelly's SP+, which is the eighth-lowest mark among all quarterbacks drafted since 2010. No other quarterback in this class had less than 28% of their attempts against top-50 defenses.

Titans take Treylon Burks at 18th overall

The Tennessee Titans selected wide receiver Treylon Burks with the No. 18 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

What It Means:

The Titans chose Burks with the pick they acquired from the Philadelphia Eagles in the A.J. Brown trade. Burks played 68% of his snaps in the slot for Arkansas in 2021, but he has a big frame (6'2", 225) and also contributed downfield. After earning first-team All-SEC honors as a true junior last year, Burks should see targets immediately for a Titans' offense that only has Robert Woods as a proven pass-catcher.

According to PlayerProfiler, Burks rates in at least the 90th percentile in both college target share (31.3%) and college dominator rating (45.9%). He's also in the 76th percentile in yards per catch (16.8) and the 80th percentile for speed score. numberFire's Brandon Gdula’s initial projections for Burks include 75 catches, 969 yards, and 6.0 touchdowns, making him the PPR WR29 for the season.

Commanders select Jahan Dotson with No. 16 pick

The Washington Commanders selected wide receiver Jahan Dotson with the No. 16 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

What It Means:

The Commanders traded down a few spots from No. 11 and then chose Dotson as the fifth wide receiver off the board on Thursday night. The Penn State product is smaller at just 5-foot-11 and 181 pounds, but he has 4.43 speed and is capable of drawing targets at all levels of the field. Dotson could emerge as Carson Wentz's number-two target behind Terry McLaurin, but he will be competing for volume with Curtis Samuel, Antonio Gibson, and Logan Thomas.

According to PlayerProfiler, Dotson ranked in the 95th percentile in final-season target share (32.5%) and in the 90th percentile in college dominator rating (44.3%). numberFire's Brandon Gdula's initial projections for Dotson include 53 catches, 619 yards, and 3.1 scores, making him the PPR WR65 for the season.

Titans' A.J. Brown traded to Eagles

Tennessee Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown has been traded to the Philadelphia Eagles, according to ESPN's Dianna Russini.

What It Means:

Brown will join the Eagles with Philadelphia sending the Titans the 18th in the 2022 NFL draft, and a third-round pick in the 2023 draft. Brown will join an Eagles' offense led by Jalen Hurts and operate alongside sophomore star DeVonta Smith. The Titans' passing attack now consists of Robert Woods, Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, and Austin Hooper.

In 3 seasons in Tennessee, Brown caught 185 of 295 targets for 2,995 yards and 24 touchdowns.

Cardinals acquire Marquise Brown in trade with Ravens

Former Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Marquise Brown has been traded to the Arizona Cardinals for the 23rd pick in the 2022 NFL draft. The Ravens are also sending the 100th overall pick to the Cardinals.

What It Means:

Brown has been traded from Baltimore to Arizona ahead of his fourth season. The twenty-four-year-old former twenty-fifth overall draft pick back in 2019 will join a Cardinals offense led by Kyler Murray. He will join an Arizona wide receiver group that consists of DeAndre Hopkins, Rondale Moore, Andy Isabella, and A.J. Green. Rashod Bateman is now positioned to be the top wide receiver in the Ravens' attacking, working alongside tight end Mark Andrews in the passing game.

In three seasons in Baltimore, Brown hauled in 195 receptions on 317 targets for 2,361 yards and 21 touchdowns.

Lions trade up, draft Jameson Williams twelfth overall

The Detroit Lions traded up with the Minnesota Vikings to select Alabama wide receiver Jameson Williams with the twelfth overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft.

What It Means:

Williams is currently recovering from a torn ACL and is expected to miss at least the early part of the 2022 NFL season. When healthy, he will join a Lions' offense currently led by quarterback Jared Goff. He will slot in alongside sophomore standout Amon-Ra St. Brown and D.J. Chark in Detroit's passing game.

According to numberFire's models, Williams has a 94.1% similarity score to Vikings star wide receiver Justin Jefferson.

Source: NFL Draft

Saints trade up, select Chris Olave eleventh overall

The New Orleans Saints selected Ohio State wide receiver Chris Olave with the eleventh overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft.

What It Means:

The Saints traded up with the Washington Commanders to select Olave with the eleventh selection in Thursday's draft. Olave will join a Saints offense with question marks at quarterback following Jameis Winston's season-ending injury last year.

In 38 games for Ohio State over four seasons, Olave caught 175 passes for 2,702 yards and 35 touchdowns.

Source: NFL Draft

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