Wed Mar 29 11:55am ET
Field Level Media
The New England Patriots are not expected to be players in the Lamar Jackson sweepstakes, despite the quarterback's reported interest in joining the team, The Athletic reported Wednesday.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft set the rumor mill into overdrive earlier this week when he said he got a text from rapper Meek Mill about Jackson's interest in the Patriots. Kraft said it was up to head coach Bill Belichick.
Not happening, per The Athletic.
Jackson's current contract demands and the draft capital a team would have to give up are a bridge too far for the fiscally conservative Patriots, per the report.
Also, the Atlanta Falcons have removed themselves from pursuing Jackson. Falcons owner Arthur Blank told two different media outlets that despite their interest in Deshaun Watson last year, the timing now is different.
The Falcons named Desmond Ridder their starting QB for 2023.
"Every year is different," Blank told USA Today. "Deshaun was a different situation. It was a different time and space. I think Lamar is a great player ... but we look at our roster and our ability to continue to build our roster now and have salary cap freedom, which we've never had."
Jackson has asked to be traded, but the market for him is shrinking.
On Tuesday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions all said they're not interested in pursuing Jackson. The Washington Commanders, New York Jets and Carolina Panthers already had stated similarly.
The Jets are actively seeking to trade for Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The Seattle Seahawks re-signed Geno Smith earlier this month, with coach Pete Carroll adding the team "couldn't afford" Jackson.
Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard on Monday confirmed his interest in Jackson. Colts owner Jim Irsay later in the day said Jackson's contract demands weren't an issue, but that a team has to guard against compromising "your future to do it."
"It really has nothing to do with actual dollars," Irsay said. "I mean, paying a contract like that is not a problem. I mean, it's not a problem for me. The issue is what's the right thing to do for the franchise in terms of what helps us win in the long run."
Jackson took to Twitter on Tuesday to defend himself against claims that durability is an issue with him.
"I don't remember me sitting out on my guys week 1 vs jets To week 12 vs Broncos," he tweeted. "How come all of a sudden I sit out because of money in which I could've got hurt at anytime within that time frame. When we know the Super Bowl been on my mind since April 2018."
"Let's get real. I rather have a 100% PCL than go out there and play horrible forcing myself to put my guys in a bad situation now that's selfish to me," he said in a second tweet.
Jackson missed four games in 2021 and five games in 2022 with injuries. Jackson, 26, is 45-16 as the Ravens' starter and won the NFL's Most Valuable Player award in 2019.
Los Angeles Rams general manager Les Snead said the team is "definitely" discussing free-agent wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. The Rams have outlined what they are willing/able to do contractually where Beckham is concerned, but there doesn't seem to be a sense of urgency at this point in the year while Beckham evaluates all of his options. The 30-year-old receiver was an important member of the Super Bowl team from two years ago, but he spent all of last season recovering from a torn left ACL that he suffered in the Super Bowl. In his 12 games with the Rams in 2021, OBJ had 48 receptions for 593 yards and seven touchdowns. It remains to be seen if he'll be able to return to his pre-injury form after his serious knee injury early in 2022.
The Los Angeles Rams are still playing out the idea of trading wide receiver Allen Robinson II, who they signed last spring to a three-year, $46.5 million deal. Robinson's role didn't develop the way the team initially envisioned. The team granted Robinson permission to seek a trade, with team and league sources saying that the Rams would be willing to take on part of A-Rob's $15.2 million in guaranteed salary, dependent on the pick exchange an acquiring team is willing to offer. There's still a chance he could be traded, but the Rams also aren't ruling out Robinson being a part of the offense in 2023. If he sticks around, the team would want Robinson to become more versatile. A change of scenery would probably be best for the 29-year-old's fantasy value in 2023.
Carolina Panthers head coach Frank Reich said he has had his eye on wide receiver DJ Chark for a couple of years and wants to expand his role in his first year with the team. "We want to develop him into a complete receiver, widen his route tree. It's not just going to be all the vertical stuff down the field," Reich said. The Panthers also disclosed on Tuesday that Chark recently had ankle surgery, but he could be ready for organized team activities. Injuries have been a problem for the 26-year-old pass-catcher, but if he stays healthy, he should have a big role for the Panthers alongside Adam Thielen. Chark has a 1,000-yard season under his belt and should be worth a late-round pick in fantasy drafts, even with a rookie quarterback expected to start for the team in 2023.
Free-agent WR DeAndre Carter (Chargers) reportedly agreed to terms on a one-year contract worth up to $2.375 million with the Las Vegas Raiders on Tuesday, March 28.
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (shoulder) had surgery in January on a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder, and general manager Tom Telesco doesn't know exactly when Herbert will be fully cleared. "We'll kind of see where he is as we get into, like, probably more May," Telesco said. The team's first practice of organized team activities is on May 22. Herbert's left shoulder injury really isn't much of a story this offseason and he should be completely healthy by training camp this summer and for the start of the 2023 season. The 25-year-old isn't an elite, high-end QB1 for fantasy, but he's a nice consolation prize if you wait a little bit at the position in fall drafts.
The plan for now is for Los Angeles Chargers kickers Dustin Hopkins and Cameron Dicker to battle for the starting job this summer in training camp. Hopkins missed most of last year with a hamstring injury after signing an extension last offseason. Dicker missed just one kick in 10 games in his rookie season while filling in for Hopkins. "If you want to win a championship, you got to have a championship kicker," general manager Tom Telesco said. "We have two really good kickers. I've been here where the situation was not as stable. So having two guys that we really, really like is a good problem to have, and we'll kind of see how it plays out from there." Whoever wins the job in LA will most likely be attractive in fantasy.
Los Angeles Chargers general manager Tom Telesco is operating under the assumption that the team will have cornerback J.C. Jackson (knee) for the 2023 season. Jackson is rehabbing a torn patellar tendon he suffered in Week 7 of last year in his first campaign with the team. The 27-year-old was a huge bust after signing a five-year, $82.5 million deal in free agency last offseason, but hopefully for the Chargers he'll be able to bounce back in 2023 with better health. Telesco also said defensive linemen Austin Johnson and Otito Ogbonnia, who both suffered serious knee injuries in the middle of last year, are "going to be playing this year."
Los Angeles Chargers general manager Tom Telesco said that offensive lineman Jamaree Salyer will "probably be at right guard" in 2023. Head coach Brandon Staley had said earlier on Monday that the plan was to move Salyer to left guard to replace Matt Feiler, who was cut earlier this month. But Telesco said Zion Johnson would be moving from right guard to left guard. Johnson started 26 games at left guard in college and didn't start a single game at right guard in college before playing the position as a rookie in 2022. Moving Johnson back to a more familiar position makes sense, but he also developed chemistry with Trey Pipkins on the right side last year. Salyer started 15 games at left tackle in 2022 while Rashawn Slater was out with a torn biceps.
Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley said on Monday that the team wants to keep running back Austin Ekeler on the roster in 2023 after granting him permission to seek a trade partner after contract-extension talks didn't progress. General manager Tom Telesco reiterated Staley's stance. "We'd like him," Telesco said. "But no predictions on what happens." Ekeler is in the final year of his deal and is due to make $6.25 million in 2023. The two sides are likely far apart in contract talks, but it remains to be seen if that gap shrinks while Ekeler tests an unforgiving RB market. The 27-year-old is one of the best all-around backs in the league, and a trade elsewhere would most likely hurt his overall fantasy value as a high-end RB1, depending on where he winds up. This is far from over, though, and he could eventually end up staying in LA.
The New York Giants pulled their pre-franchise tag offer to RB Saquon Barkley off the table, general manager Joe Schoen said on Monday, March 27. 'There's no outstanding offer right now,' Schoen said. 'Once we put the franchise tag on him, we stepped back. We knew throughout the negotiation that there was going to be a time where, if we can't come to an agreement, we were going to go to the franchise tag, and that's what we did.'
Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry was not being shopped for a trade during the NFL Combine, general manager Ran Carthon said on Tuesday, March 28.
Tennessee Titans QB Ryan Tannehill (ankle) is still recovering from a high-ankle sprain suffered late last season, but head coach Mike Vrabel made it clear he anticipates Tannehill will remain the starting quarterback in 2023. 'Ryan is getting healthy. He has been putting the work in. It is good to see him around the building. So yeah, we always expect that. But to make predictions - I think I have been through this last year (with A.J. Brown) - I am not going to commit to anybody being on our roster in September. I've seen it change too quickly. Of course, we want Ryan as our quarterback, and everybody else that has helped us win. That is what we want,' Vrabel said.
Fantasy Spin: Malik Willis did not prove he was ready for the big time quite yet as a rookie, and it remains to be seen if the No. 11 overall pick is high enough for the team to select another quarterback if the team is even interested in going that route. Tannehill has proven he is a competent enough player to lead an offense so long as he has a stud like Derrick Henry lining up behind him. What he missed the most last year was an elite playmaker like Brown. Tannehill desperately needs Treylon Burks to take the next step in his development.
Seattle Seahawks S Jamal Adams (quad) is not expected to be ready for the start of training camp and may not be ready for the start of the regular season, according to comments made by head coach Pete Carroll on Tuesday, March 28.
Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson is not expected to be a player the Houston Texans pursue via trade, according to multiple sources.
Fantasy Spin: Houston is actually one of the few quarterback-needy teams where it makes sense for the team not to pursue Jackson, as the Texans are already in a position to select a cost-controlled rookie such as C.J. Stroud or Bryce Young and let him develop as the front office adds pieces around him. Even though Jackson is still young (26), there is a chance his specific skill set may be in decline by the time Houston is ready to make some noise again.
Carolina Panthers WR DJ Chark Jr. (ankle) is a player new head coach Frank Reich has kept an eye on for the last couple of years and someone who he would like to 'develop him into a complete receiver.'
Fantasy Spin: Despite having a 73-catch season in 2019 on his resume, Chark is known mostly as a field-stretcher. His biggest problem lately has been durability, as he has averaged 9.3 games played over the last three seasons. There is some hope his recent ankle surgery will help him avoid the foot and ankle issues that have plagued him. If it does, Chark could be in a position to enjoy another season similar to the one he had in 2019.
San Francisco 49ers QB Trey Lance is expected to share first-team reps with Sam Darnold this offseason while Brock Purdy recovers from elbow surgery, according to head coach Kyle Shanahan. Per Shanahan, Lance has 'a chance' to regain the starting job, but it will be harder for him to do so than it was at the start of last season. 'I think it's going to be harder for him to (win the starting QB job). Brock played eight games. Trey had that job going into last season and if he would've played eight games like that, no one else would've been able to come in and beat him out. But with Brock being hurt, it does open him up. It does give him a chance. .. I don't know how Brock's going to come back. I don't know exactly when he's going to come back. So, I don't have an exact answer for that. But right now, because he is hurt, it's nice to focus on Trey, it's nice to focus on Sam and see how they do at OTAs and - most likely - see how they're playing leading into training camp because I think it will take some time for Brock,' Shanahan told reporters at the league's annual meeting.
Fantasy Spin: With all due respect to Purdy, Lance was a player that Shanahan and general manager John Lynch thought enough of in 2021 to give up a future first- and third-round pick in addition to their 12th overall pick to move up nine spots. Lance has not enjoyed the best injury luck since entering the league, but he possesses enough dual-threat talent to make Shanahan's offense a juggernaut if he can avoid another setback. If Lance balls out this preseason, he stands a very good chance of keeping the job.
The Houston Texans are not expected to pursue a trade for Baltimore Ravens franchise-tagged quarterback Lamar Jackson, according to league sources. The team's focus is on NFL QB prospects for the upcoming draft, including visits with Alabama's Bryce Young, Ohio State's C.J. Stroud, Kentucky's Will Levis, Florida's Anthony Richardson and Tennessee's Hendon Hooker. The Carolina Panthers have the No. 1 overall pick and will have their choice of QB, but the Texans are fully expected to take another top signal-caller to be their franchise QB at No. 2. The Indianapolis Colts are really the only team currently that haven't been ruled out to pursue a trade for Jackson. Any team that is actually serious about acquiring him is going to have to give up major draft compensation while also signing him to a hefty long-term contract extension.
Atlanta Falcons head coach Arthur Smith said on Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings that quarterback Desmond Ridder will starting training camp as the starter ahead of high-priced backup Taylor Heinicke. "The plan is to start Desmond," Smith said. "That's our plan going forward right now." Ridder was taken with pick No. 74 in last year's draft, so it shouldn't be a huge surprise that the Falcons will give him the chance to prove he's the full-time starter. The 23-year-old completed 63.5% of his passes for 717 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in his first four NFL starts in 2022 and he showed steady progress. The Falcons expect Ridder to take the next step in his sophomore season, but it will still probably be a bumpy ride. Fantasy managers in single-year leagues should consider him merely a QB2.
Carolina Panthers WR DJ Chark Jr. (ankle) recently underwent ankle surgery, according to head coach Frank Reich. Per Reich, Chark could be ready for the last part of organized team activities. The surgery was done in hopes that it will keep Chark from continuing to have some of the foot and ankle injuries he has experienced early in his career.
Fantasy Spin: There is a distinct chance that Chark ends up being Carolina's WR1 in 2023 despite the presence of Adam Thielen, who will be 33 years old when the season starts. Thielen has also struggled to stay healthy for most of the last few years as well. It is actually very good news that Chark is getting ahead of foot and ankle injuries with this surgery and will be ready for training camp. There is definite WR3 upside for him in fantasy if he stays healthy.
Philadelphia Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni had good things to say about running back Trey Sermon on Tuesday. "I can't tell you how many times at practice he made a cut or you just saw him in his pads or he made a play on a screen or whatever it was, you're like, 'Man, this guy got chance to be really good.' I wish we could get him touches," Sirianni said. The Eagles couldn't really get him touches in 2022, as Sermon finished with only two carries for 19 yards in two games. Even if Sirianni really likes the 24-year-old, he's unlikely to have much of a role in 2023 behind Rashaad Penny, Kenneth Gainwell and Boston Scott in Philly's backfield. Sermon washed out in San Francisco after being a third-round pick by the 49ers in 2021.