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NFL News Wire
  • NFL notebook: Dolphins acquire TE Thomas from Jaguars
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, February 20, 2017

    The Miami Dolphins acquired Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Julius Thomas in exchange for a late-round draft pick, multiple media outlets reported Monday.

    • The trade cannot be officially announced until March 9, and Thomas is expected to restructure his contract when the trade is completed.

      The Dolphins and Jaguars are also in trade talks involving Dolphins starting left tackle Branden Albert. Albert might still be traded to Jacksonville, but it would be part of a separate deal.

      The Dolphins need a productive tight end, because Miami tight ends combined for 551 yards, second-fewest in the NFL. Current Miami tight ends Jordan Cameron and Dion Sims will be unrestricted free agents in March.

      Thomas had 40 receptions for 455 yards and five touchdowns in 12 games in 2015, and added 30 catches for 281 yards and four scores in nine games in 2016. Thomas missed 11 games in those two seasons because of injuries.

      --The Jaguars also released veteran defensive lineman Jared Odrick after just two seasons to free up salary cap space.

      The Jaguars signed Odrick to a five-year contract worth $42.5 million, including $22.5 million guaranteed, in March 2015 after he played five seasons for the Miami Dolphins.

      The 29-year-old Odrick will immediately become a free agent.

      --Dolphins left tackle Albert is expected to visit the Jaguars ahead of a possible trade.

      Albert was planning to meet with the Jaguars on Monday to help facilitate a swap, according to the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The Miami Herald reported Monday that the teams agreed to a deal that would send Albert to Jacksonville for a late-round draft pick in 2018.

      The compensation is likely a seventh-round pick but it doesn't mean the deal is complete, according to the Herald.

      --Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay says head coach Chuck Pagano and new general manager Chris Ballard are "clicking on all cylinders."

      Irsay took to Twitter on Sunday night and added that quarterback Andrew Luck "is healing" after his surgery and there are "great things to come" for the Colts.

      Former general manager Ryan Grigson was fired on Jan. 21 after five seasons with the Colts. A little over a week later, Irsay hired Ballard, who spent the past four seasons working as the Kansas City Chiefs' director of football operations.

      --Veteran wide receiver Victor Cruz, who was released by the New York Giants last week as a salary-cap casualty, made a visit with the Carolina Panthers over the weekend.

      According to Bill Voth of Black and Blue Review, the 30-year-old Cruz met with the Panthers and general manager Dave Gettleman, who used to work for the Giants.

      Cruz left without a contract but is expected to talk with at least one other team, according to the report.

  • Reports: Dolphins acquire TE Thomas from Jaguars
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, February 20, 2017

    The Miami Dolphins acquired Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Julius Thomas in exchange for a late-round draft pick, multiple media outlets reported Monday.

    • The trade cannot be officially announced until March 9, and Thomas is expected to restructure his contract when the trade is completed.

      The Dolphins and Jaguars are also in trade talks involving Dolphins starting left tackle Branden Albert. Albert might still be traded to Jacksonville, but it would be part of a separate deal.

      The Dolphins need a productive tight end, because Miami tight ends combined for just 551 yards, second-fewest in the NFL. Current Miami tight ends Jordan Cameron and Dion Sims will be unrestricted free agents in March.

      The Jaguars expected big things from Thomas when they signed him to a five-year contract worth $46 million with $24 million guaranteed in March 2015. But he did not live up to expectations after having 12 touchdown receptions for the Denver Broncos in 2014

      He had 40 receptions for 455 yards and five touchdowns in 12 games in 2015, and added 30 catches for 281 yards and four scores in nine games in 2016.

      Thomas missed 11 games in those two seasons because of injuries.

      Thomas is guaranteed $3 million of his $7.1 million salary for 2017, which includes a $100,000 workout bonus. He is currently scheduled to make $8.6 million in 2018 and $9 million in 2019. However, Thomas likely will restructure his contract.

  • DT Odrick cut loose by Jaguars
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, February 20, 2017

    The Jacksonville Jaguars released veteran defensive lineman Jared Odrick on Monday after just two seasons to free up salary cap space.

    • The 6-foot-5, 298-pound Odrick shared a funny picture on Instagram of himself standing on a beach with his cell phone to his ear and this caption: "This is me getting released by the @Jaguars."

      The Jaguars signed Odrick to a five-year contract worth $42.5 million, including $22.5 million guaranteed, in March 2015 after he played five seasons for the Miami Dolphins. He was scheduled to earn a $2 million roster bonus and have $3.5 million of his $6.5 million salary in 2017 guaranteed if he had been on the Jaguars' roster on March 13, according to ESPN.com.

      The 29-year-old Odrick will immediately become a free agent. He compiled 6.5 sacks and 41 tackles in 22 games over the two seasons but missed the final 10 games in 2016 with elbow and shoulder injuries. He led the Jaguars with 5.5 sacks in 2015.

      Odrick was drafted in the first round (28th overall) by the Dolphins in 2010 and played in 65 games (41 starts). He recorded 16.5 sacks from 2011-14.

      In seven NFL seasons, Odrick has 170 tackles, 23 sacks, five forced fumbles and 15 batted down passes.

  • WR Cruz visits with Panthers
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, February 20, 2017

    Veteran wide receiver Victor Cruz, who was released by the New York Giants last week as a salary-cap casualty, made a visit with the Carolina Panthers over the weekend.

    • According to Bill Voth of Black and Blue Review, the 30-year-old Cruz met with the Panthers and general manager Dave Gettleman, who used to work for the Giants.

      Cruz left without a contract but is expected to talk with at least one other team, according to the report.

      Gettleman was in the Giants' front office when Cruz was signed as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Massachusetts in 2010.

      Cruz finished the 2016 season with just 39 catches for 586 yards and one touchdown in 15 games after coming back from major knee surgery.

      Cruz would have counted $9.4 million against the team's salary cap in 2017. The Giants freed up $7.5 million in cap space with his release.

      Cruz had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in 2011 and 2012 but struggled to regain that form since suffering a torn patellar tendon midway through the 2014 season. He missed the entire 2015 season.

  • NFC East offseason shopping lists
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, February 20, 2017

    ==============

    • DALLAS COWBOYS

      ==============

      Cowboys' free agency, draft shopping list

      As they wade through free agency and prepare to evaluate draft prospects at the Indianapolis Scouting Combine (March 1-6), the Dallas Cowboys must decide which players to keep as they seek to improve their 13-3 record from last season.

      The Sports Xchange and NFLDraftScout.com evaluated the Cowboys' roster and created a shopping list to use in free agency and reference during the Combine.

      The Cowboys are set on offense with one of the best lines in the league, dynamic running back Ezekiel Elliott and standout young quarterback Dak Prescott. However, a wide receiver is on their wish list, and defense must be a priority need. A difference-making pass rusher heads the list along with a strong cover corner.

      Meantime, the Cowboys have at least three of their own free agents who are keepers -- guard Ronald Leary and defensive backs Barry Church and Morris Claiborne.

      THE BREAKDOWN

      2016 finish: 1st in NFC East (13-3)

      2016 STATISTICS

      TOTAL OFFENSE: 376.7 (5th)

      RUSHING: 149.8 (2nd)

      PASSING: 226.9 (23rd)

      TOTAL DEFENSE: 343.9 (14th)

      RUSHING: 83.5 (1st)

      PASSING: 260.4 (26th)

      NEEDS, SHOPPING LIST

      &=Released

      TOP THREE NEEDS

      DEFENSIVE END

      Benson Mayowa led the Cowboys with six sacks. Randy Gregory is serving a one-year suspension. DeMarcus Lawrence needs back surgery for the second consecutive offseason.

      UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      Jason Pierre-Paul, N.Y. Giants (28, $10M)

      Calais Campbell, Arizona (DT; 31 in September, $11M)

      Jabaal Sheard, New England (28 in May, $5.5M)

      &Mario Williams, Miami (32, $8.5M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht., Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      1/1 Myles Garrett, Texas AM, 6-4, 268, 1 (underclassman)

      2/3 Solomon Thomas, Stanford, 6-2, 275, 1 (underclassman)

      3/17 Derek Barnett, Tennessee, 6-3, 265, 1 (underclassman)

      4/28 Taco Charlton, Michigan, 6-5, 272, 1

      5/32 Charles Harris, Missouri, 6-3, 255, 4.74, 1-2 (underclassman)

      WIDE RECEIVER

      Terrance Williams and Brice Butler are free agents. What Williams will command is more than Dallas will pay. The Cowboys want upgrades.

      UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      DeSean Jackson, Washington (31, $6M)

      Alshon Jeffery, Chicago (27, $14.6M)

      Pierre Garcon, Washington (31 in August, $8.5M)

      Terrelle Pryor, Cleveland (28 in June, $1.67M)

      Anquan Boldin, Detroit (37 in October, $2.75M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht, Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      1/8 Mike Williams, Clemson, 6-3, 225, 1 (underclassman)

      2/16 Corey Davis, Western Michigan, 6-3, 213, 1

      3/19 John Ross, Washington, 5-11, 190, 1 (underclassman)

      4/37 Curtis Samuel, Ohio State, 5-11, 200, 1-2 (underclassman)

      5/42 Dede Westbrook, Oklahoma, 5-11, 175, 2

      CORNERBACK

      Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr are both coming off their best seasons, but both are free agents. Claiborne remains injury-prone. Carr makes few plays.

      POTENTIAL UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      A.J. Bouye, Houston (26 in August, $1.67M)

      Trumaine Johnson, L.A. Rams (27, $13.95M)

      Logan Ryan, New England (26, $693K)

      Stephon Gilmore, Buffalo (27 in September, $3.02M)

      Brandon Carr, Dallas (31 in May, $10M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht, Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      1/10 Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State, 6-0, 195, 1 (underclassman)

      2/15 Teez Tabor, Florida, 6-0, 201, 1 (underclassman)

      3/21 Marlon Humphrey, Alabama, 6-1, 196, 1 (underclassman)

      4/23 Sidney Jones, Washington, 6-0, 181, 1 (underclassman)

      5/34 Desmond King, Iowa, 5-11, 206, 1-2

      UFA KEEPERS

      S Barry Church (29, $2.207M)

      G Ronald Leary (28 in April, $2.553M)

      CB Morris Claiborne (27, $3M)

      ROSTER REVIEW:

      DEPTH CHART

      Starters and backups are listed according to their status at the end of the season, but players who were starters before being injured are included.

      *Indicates player who ended 2016 season on a reserve list.

      QUARTERBACKS: Starter -- Dak Prescott. Backups -- Tony Romo, Mark Sanchez (UFA), *Kellen Moore (UFA).

      RUNNING BACKS: Starters -- Ezekiel Elliott, FB Keith Smith. Backups -- Darren McFadden (UFA), Lance Dunbar (UFA), Alfred Morris.

      TIGHT ENDS: Starter -- Jason Witten. Backups -- Gavin Escobar (UFA), *TE Geoff Swaim, *James Hanna.

      WIDE RECEIVERS: Starters -- Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams (UFA). Backups -- Cole Beasley, Brice Butler (UFA), Lucky Whitehead.

      OFFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters -- LT Tyron Smith, *G La'el Collins, C Travis Frederick, RG Zack Martin, RT Doug Free. Backups -- LG Ronald Leary (UFA), G Joe Looney, T Emmett Cleary, G Jonathan Cooper (UFA), T Chaz Green.

      DEFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters -- DLE Tyrone Crawford, DLT Maliek Collins, NT Terrell McClain (UFA), DRE DeMarcus Lawrence. Backups -- DE Benson Mayowa, DE Jack Crawford (UFA), DE David Irving, DE Richard Ash, Cedric Thornton, *DE Randy Gregory, *DE Charles Tapper.

      LINEBACKERS: Starters -- WLB Sean Lee, MLB Anthony Hitchens, SLB Damien Wilson. Backups -- SLB Kyle Wilber, LB Justin Durant (UFA), LB Andrew Gachkar (UFA), LB Mark Nzeocha, *Rolando McClain, *Jaylon Smith.

      DEFENSIVE BACKS: Starters -- LCB Brandon Carr (UFA), RCB Orlando Scandrick, SS Barry Church (UFA), FS Byron Jones. Backups -- CB Morris Claiborne (UFA), CB Anthony Brown, S Jeff Heath, S J.J. Wilcox (UFA), *CB Josh Thomas (UFA), S Kavon Frazier, CB Leon McFadden.

      SPECIAL TEAMS: K Dan Bailey, P Chris Jones, LS L.P. Ladouceur, KOR Lucky Whitehead, PR Cole Beasley.

      ===============

      NEW YORK GIANTS

      ===============

      Giants' free agency, draft shopping list

      As they wade through free agency and prepare to evaluate draft prospects at the Indianapolis Scouting Combine (March 1-6), the N.Y. Giants must decide which players to keep and seek to improve their 11-5 record from last season.

      The Sports Xchange and NFLDraftScout.com evaluated the Giants' roster and created a shopping list to use in free agency and reference during the Combine.

      The defense showed considerable improvement as the 2016 season progressed, thanks to several significant free-agent additions last year, but defensive linemen Jason Pierre-Paul and Johnathan Hankins will be free agents this year.

      Still, the attention will go to the offense, especially on the offensive line as well as wide receiver and perhaps running back following the release of Rashad Jennings.

      THE BREAKDOWN

      2016 finish: 2nd in NFC East (11-5)

      2016 STATISTICS

      TOTAL OFFENSE: 330.7 (25th)

      RUSHING: 88.3 (29th)

      PASSING: 242.4 (17th)

      TOTAL DEFENSE: 339.7 (10th)

      RUSHING: 88.6 (T3rd)

      PASSING: 251.1 (23rd)

      NEEDS, SHOPPING LIST

      TOP THREE NEEDS

      OFFENSIVE LINE-TACKLES

      Quarterback Eli Manning can't continue getting knocked around as he was in 2016. Some competition at tackle is essential, especially for the up-and-down Ereck Flowers.

      UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      Andrew Whitworth, Cincinnati (36 in December, $9M)

      Russell Okung, Denver (option not expected to be exercised; 29 in October, $10.6M)

      Rick Wagner, Baltimore (28 in October, $576K)

      Luke Joeckel, Jacksonville (G; 26 in November, $5.3M))

      Matt Kalil, Minnesota (injury; 28 in July, $4.94M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht., Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      1/14 Ryan Ramczyk, Wisconsin, 6-5, 314, 5.29, 1 (underclassman)

      2/25 Cam Robinson, Alabama, 6-6, 310, 5.28, 1 (underclassman)

      3/38 Garett Bolles, Utah, 6-5, 296, 4.97, 1-2 (underclassman)

      4/53 Taylor Moton, Western Michigan, 6-5, 330, 5.31, 2

      5/59 Roderick Johnson, Florida State, 6-6, 308, 5.34, 2 (underclassman)

      TIGHT END

      Head coach Ben McAdoo's offense will never be a top unit until they get a threat at this position that can split the seam.

      UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      Martellus Bennett, New England (30 in March, $5.1M)

      Jared Cook, Green Bay (30 in April, $2.75M)

      Jordan Cameron, Miami (29 in August, $7.5M)

      Vernon Davis, Washington (33, $2.4M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht., Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      1/11 O.J. Howard, Alabama, 6-6, 249, 4.57, 1

      2/30 David Njoku, Miami (FL), 6-4, 240, 4.53, 1-2 (underclassman)

      3/45 Evan Engram, Mississippi, 6-3, 236, 4.64, 2

      4/72 Bucky Hodges, Virginia Tech, 6-6, 245, 4.78, 2-3 (underclassman)

      5/75 Gerald Everett, South Alabama, 6-3, 227, 4.68, 2-3

      WIDE RECEIVER

      The Giants could use a big, physical receiver on the outside to help lessen the burden on Odell Beckham Jr. and to improve downfield blocking.

      UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      DeSean Jackson, Washington (31 in December, $6M)

      Alshon Jeffery, Chicago (27, $14.6M)

      Pierre Garcon, Washington (31 in August, $8.5M)

      Terrelle Pryor, Cleveland (28 in June, $1.67M)

      Anquan Boldin, Detroit (37 in October, $2.75M)

      Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota (26 in March, $1.8M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht, Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      1/8 Mike Williams, Clemson, 6-3, 225, 1 (underclassman)

      2/16 Corey Davis, Western Michigan, 6-3, 213, 1

      3/19 John Ross, Washington, 5-11, 190, 1 (underclassman)

      4/37 Curtis Samuel, Ohio State, 5-11, 200, 1-2 (underclassman)

      5/42 Dede Westbrook, Oklahoma, 5-11, 175, 2

      UFA KEEPERS

      DE Jason Pierre-Paul (28, $10M)

      DT Johnathan Hankins (25 in March, $1M)

      LB Kelvin Sheppard (29, $840K)

      ROSTER REVIEW

      DEPTH CHART

      Starters and backups are listed according to their status at the end of the season, but players who were starters before being injured are included.

      * Indicates player who ended 2016 season on reserve.

      & Indicates player released since the Super Bowl.

      QUARTERBACKS: Starter -- Eli Manning. Backups -- Josh Johnson (UFA), *Ryan Nassib (UFA).

      RUNNING BACKS: Starter -- &Rashad Jennings. Backups -- Paul Perkins, *Shane Vereen, Bobby Rainey (UFA), *Orleans Darkwa, *FB Nikita Whitlock.

      TIGHT ENDS: Starter -- Will Tye. Backups -- Jerell Adams, Larry Donnell (UFA), *Will Johnson, *Matt LaCosse.

      WIDE RECEIVERS: Starters -- Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard. Backups -- &Victor Cruz, Dwayne Harris, Roger Lewis Jr., Tavarres King, *Ben Edwards.

      OFFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters -- LT Ereck Flowers, LG Justin Pugh, C Weston Richburg, RG John Jerry (UFA), RT Bobby Hart. Backups -- G/T Marshall Newhouse (UFA), G/C Brett Jones, T Will Beatty (UFA).

      DEFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters -- DLE Jason Pierre-Paul (UFA), DLT Johnathan Hankins (UFA), NT Damon Harrison, DRE Olivier Vernon. Backups -- DE Owa Odighizuwa, DE Kerry Wynn, DE Romeo Okwara, DE Ishaq Williams, DT Jay Bromley, DT Robert Thomas.

      LINEBACKERS: Starters -- WLB Jonathan Casillas, MLB Kelvin Sheppard (UFA), SLB Devon Kennard. Backups -- *WLB J.T. Thomas III, SLB Mark Herzlich (UFA), MLB B.J. Goodson, MLB Keenan Robinson (UFA), LB Deontae Skinner, *LB Uani 'Unga.

      DEFENSIVE BACKS: Starters -- LCB Janoris Jenkins, RCB Eli Apple, SS Landon Collins, *FS Darian Thompson. Backups -- CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB Coty Sensabaugh (UFA), CB Trevin Wade (UFA), CB/S Leon Hall (UFA), S Andrew Adams, S Eric Pinkins, S Nat Berhe, *S Mykkele Thompson.

      SPECIAL TEAMS: K Robbie Gould (UFA), P Brad Wing, KOR/PR Dwayne Harris, LS Zak DeOssie (UFA).

      ===================

      PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

      ===================

      Eagles' free agency, draft shopping list

      As they wade through free agency and prepare to evaluate draft prospects at the Indianapolis Scouting Combine (March 1-6), the Philadelphia Eagles must decide which players to keep and seek if they want to improve their 7-9 record from last season.

      The Sports Xchange and NFLDraftScout.com evaluated the Eagles' roster and created a shopping list to use in free agency and reference during the Combine.

      Most important this offseason is the quest to surround quarterback Carson Wentz with more playmakers as running back Ryan Mathews is not expected to return. They do like the upside of Wendell Smallwood. Expect the Eagles to pursue receivers, while also seeking to upgrade at cornerback where Leodis McKelvin was released and Nolan Carroll will be a free agent.

      THE BREAKDOWN

      2016 finish: 4th NFC East (7-9)

      2016 STATISTICS

      TOTAL OFFENSE: 337.4 (22nd)

      RUSHING: 113.3 (11th)

      PASSING: 224.1 (24th)

      TOTAL DEFENSE: 342.8 (13th)

      RUSHING: 103.3 (15th)

      PASSING: 239.5 (13th)

      NEEDS, SHOPPING LIST

      TOP THREE NEEDS

      WIDE RECEIVER

      Jordan Matthews is one of the league's better slot receivers, but the Eagles got no production from their outside receivers, particularly 2015 first-round pick Nelson Agholor.

      UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      DeSean Jackson, Washington (31 in December, $6M)

      Alshon Jeffery, Chicago (27, $14.6M)

      Pierre Garcon, Washington (31 in August, $8.5M)

      Terrelle Pryor, Cleveland (28 in June, $1.67M)

      Anquan Boldin, Detroit (37 in October, $2.75M)

      Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota (26 in March, $1.8M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht., Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      1/8 Mike Williams, Clemson, 6-3, 225, 4.50, 1 (underclassman)

      2/16 Corey Davis, Western Michigan, 6-3, 213, 4.48, 1

      3/19 John Ross, Washington, 5-11, 190, 4.35, 1 (underclassman)

      4/37 Curtis Samuel, Ohio State, 5-11, 200, 4.48, 1-2 (underclassman)

      5/42 Dede Westbrook, Oklahoma, 5-11, 175, 4.39, 2

      CORNERBACK

      The Eagles have been trying to upgrade this area for the last four years. They gave up the most 30-yards-plus pass plays in the league in 2016.

      UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      A.J. Bouye, Houston (26 in August, $1.67M)

      Trumaine Johnson, L.A. Rams (27, $13.95M)

      Logan Ryan, New England (26, $693K)

      Stephon Gilmore, Buffalo (27 in September, $3.02M)

      Brandon Carr, Dallas (31 in May, $10M)

      Prince Amukamara, Jacksonville (28 in June, $5.5M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht., Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      1/10 Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State, 6-0, 195, 4.47, 1 (underclassman)

      2/15 Teez Tabor, Florida, 6-0, 201, 4.50, 1 (underclassman)

      3/21 Marlon Humphrey, Alabama, 6-1, 196, 4.49, 1 (underclassman)

      4/23 Sidney Jones, Washington, 6-0, 181, 4.49, 1 (underclassman)

      5/34 Desmond King, Iowa, 5-11, 206, 4.53, 1-2

      EDGE RUSHER

      The only impactful outside pass rusher they have is Brandon Graham. They need someone who can slide protections toward him and free up Graham and defensive tackle Fletcher Cox.

      UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      Jason Pierre-Paul, N.Y. Giants (28, $10M)

      Calais Campbell, Arizona (DT; 31 in September, $11M)

      Jabaal Sheard, New England (28 in May, $5.5M)

      Mario Williams, Miami (32, $8.5M)

      Charles Johnson, Carolina (31 in July, $3M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht., Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      1/1 Myles Garrett, Texas AM, 6-4, 268, 4.57, 1 (underclassman)

      2/3 Solomon Thomas, Stanford, 6-2, 275, 4.84, 1 (underclassman)

      3/17 Derek Barnett, Tennessee, 6-3, 265, 4.76, 1 (underclassman)

      4/28 Taco Charlton, Michigan, 6-5, 272, 4.87, 1

      5/32 Charles Harris, Missouri, 6-3, 255, 4.74, 1-2 (underclassman)

      6/39 Carl Lawson, Auburn, 6-2, 253, 4.67, 1-2 (underclassman)

      UFA KEEPERS

      DT Bennie Logan (28 in December, $758K)

      CB Nolan Carroll (30, $2.36M)

      ROSTER REVIEW:

      DEPTH CHART

      Starters and backups are listed according to their status at the end of the season, but players who were starters before being injured are included.

      * Indicates player who ended 2016 season on reserve.

      & Indicates player released since the Super Bowl.

      QUARTERBACKS: Starter -- Carson Wentz. Backups -- Chase Daniel.

      RUNNING BACKS: Starter -- *Ryan Mathews. Backups -- Darren Sproles, *Kenjon Barner, *Wendell Smallwood, Byron Marshall, Terrell Watson.

      TIGHT ENDS: Starter -- Zach Ertz. Backups -- Trey Burton, Brent Celek.

      WIDE RECEIVERS: Starters -- Jordan Matthews, Nelson Agholor. Backups -- Dorial Green-Beckham, Bryce Treggs, Paul Turner.

      OFFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters -- LT Jason Peters, LG Allen Barbre, C Jason Kelce, RG Brandon Brooks, RT Lane Johnson. Backups -- G Isaac Seumalo, C/G Stefen Wisniewski, T Halapoulivaati Vaitai, C Josh Andrews, G/T Dillon Gordon, *T Matt Tobin.

      DEFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters -- DE Brandon Graham, DT Fletcher Cox, DT Bennie Logan (UFA), DE Connor Barwin. Backups -- DT Beau Allen, DT Destiny Vaeao, DE Vinny Curry, DE Marcus Smith, DE Bryan Braman (UFA), DT Taylor Hart, *DE Alex McCalister.

      LINEBACKERS: Starters -- OLB Nigel Bradham, MLB Jordan Hicks, OLB Mychal Kendricks. Backups -- OLB Najee Goode (UFA), MLB Stephen Tulloch (UFA), OLB Kamu Grugier-Hill, *MLB Joe Walker.

      DEFENSIVE BACKS: Starters -- &CB Leodis McKelvin, CB Nolan Carroll (UFA), S Rodney McLeod, S Malcolm Jenkins. Backups -- *CB Ron Brooks, CB Jalen Mills, S Jaylen Watkins, CB C.J. Smith, S Terrence Brooks, CB Dwayne Gratz (UFA).

      SPECIAL TEAMS: K Caleb Sturgis, P Donnie Jones, KR Wendell Smallwood, PR Darren Sproles, *LS Jon Dorenbos.

      ===================

      WASHINGTON REDSKINS

      ===================

      Redskins' free agency, draft shopping list

      As they wade through free agency and prepare to evaluate draft prospects at the Indianapolis Scouting Combine (March 1-6), the Washington Redskins must decide which players to keep and seek to improve their 8-7-1 record from last season.

      The Sports Xchange and NFLDraftScout.com evaluated the Redskins roster and created a shopping list to use in free agency and reference during the combine.

      Perhaps the biggest adjustment will be replacing offensive coordinator Sean McVay, who was hired as head coach of the Rams. New offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh is hopeful that quarterback Kirk Cousins will return along with at least one of their free-agent receivers, DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon.

      Upgrading the pass rush will also be a priority.

      THE BREAKDOWN

      2016 finish: 3rd in NFC East (8-7-1)

      2016 STATISTICS

      TOTAL OFFENSE: 403.4 (3rd)

      RUSHING: 106.0 (21st)

      PASSING: 297.4 (2nd)

      TOTAL DEFENSE: 377.9 (28th)

      RUSHING: 119.8 (24th)

      PASSING: 258.1 (25th)

      NEEDS, SHOPPING LIST

      &=Released

      TOP THREE NEEDS

      SAFETY

      Age is an issue here with DeAngelo Hall, Will Blackmon and Donte Whitner all over 30. Youth has to be a priority at this position.

      UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      Eric Berry, Kansas City (29 in December, $10.8M)

      Barry Church, Dallas (29, $2.2M)

      T.J. McDonald, L.A. Rams (26, $732K)

      Chris Conte, Tampa Bay (28, $3M)

      Quintin Demps, Houston (32 in June, $1.5M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht, Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      1/4 Malik Hooker, Ohio State, 6-2, 205, 4.47, 1 (underclassman)

      2/6 Jamal Adams (SS), LSU, 6-0, 211, 4.54, 1 (underclassman)

      3/13 Jabrill Peppers (SS), Michigan, 6-0, 205, 4.52, 1 (underclassman)

      4/43 Budda Baker, Washington, 5-10, 192, 4.52, 2 (underclassman)

      5/55 Obi Melifonwu (SS), Connecticut, 6-4, 219, 4.58, 2

      DEFENSIVE END

      Washington still hasn't invested enough at this position. The pass rush could use more help with an impact player at defensive end.

      Jason Pierre-Paul, N.Y. Giants (28, $10M)

      Calais Campbell, Arizona (DT; 31 in September, $11M)

      Jabaal Sheard, New England (28 in May, $5.5M)

      &Mario Williams, Miami (32, $8.5M)

      Charles Johnson, Carolina (31 in July, $3M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht., Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      1/1 Myles Garrett, Texas AM, 6-4, 268, 4.57, 1 (underclassman)

      2/3 Solomon Thomas, Stanford, 6-2, 275, 4.84, 1 (underclassman)

      3/17 Derek Barnett, Tennessee, 6-3, 265, 4.76, 1 (underclassman)

      4/28 Taco Charlton, Michigan, 6-5, 272, 4.87, 1

      5/32 Charles Harris, Missouri, 6-3, 255, 4.74, 1-2 (underclassman)

      6/39 Carl Lawson, Auburn, 6-2, 253, 4.67, 1-2 (underclassman)

      WIDE RECEIVER

      Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson are both free agents. Rookie Josh Doctson still has health concerns. That leaves just Jamison Crowder.

      UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      Alshon Jeffery, Chicago (27, $14.6M)

      Terrelle Pryor, Cleveland (28 in June, $1.67M)

      Anquan Boldin, Detroit (37 in October, $2.75M)

      Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota (26 in March, $1.8M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht., Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      1/8 Mike Williams, Clemson, 6-3, 225, 4.50, 1 (underclassman)

      2/16 Corey Davis, Western Michigan, 6-3, 213, 4.48, 1

      3/19 John Ross, Washington, 5-11, 190, 4.35, 1 (underclassman)

      4/37 Curtis Samuel, Ohio State, 5-11, 200, 4.48, 1-2 (underclassman)

      5/42 Dede Westbrook, Oklahoma, 5-11, 175, 4.39, 2

      UFA KEEPERS

      QB Kirk Cousins (29 in August, $19.95M)

      WR DeSean Jackson (31 in December, $6M)

      WR Pierre Garcon (31 in August, $8.5M)

      ROSTER REVIEW

      MAJOR COACHING CHANGES

      --OC Sean McVay leaves to be Rams head coach

      --DC Joe Barry fired

      --QB coach Matt Cavanaugh promoted to OC

      --OLB coach Greg Manusky promoted to DC

      DEPTH CHART

      Starters and backups are listed according to their status at the end of the season, but players who were starters before being injured are included.

      * Indicates player who ended 2016 season on reserve.

      & Indicates player released since the Super Bowl.

      QUARTERBACKS: Starter -- Kirk Cousins (UFA). Backups -- Colt McCoy, Nate Sudfeld.

      RUNNING BACKS: Starter -- Rob Kelley. Backups -- Matt Jones, Chris Thompson, Mack Brown, *Keith Marshall.

      TIGHT ENDS: Starters -- Jordan Reed. Backups -- Vernon Davis (UFA), Derek Carrier, *Niles Paul.

      WIDE RECEIVERS: Starters -- DeSean Jackson (UFA), Pierre Garcon (UFA). Backups -- Jamison Crowder, Ryan Grant, Maurice Harris, *Josh Doctson, *Reggie Diggs.

      OFFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters -- LT Trent Williams, LG Shawn Lauvao, C Spencer Long, RG Brandon Scherff, RT Morgan Moses. Backups -- C Kory Lichtensteiger (retired), C John Sullivan, LT Ty Nskeke, LG Arie Kouandjio, RT Vinston Painter, *Kevin Bowen.

      DEFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters -- LDE Chris Baker (UFA), NT Ziggy Hood (UFA), DE Ricky Jean Francois. Backups -- NT Matt Ioannidis, DE Cullen Jenkins (UFA), *NT Kedric Golston (UFA), *DE Anthony Lanier.

      LINEBACKERS: Starters -- WLB Ryan Kerrigan, ILB Will Compton, ILB Mason Foster, SLB Preston Smith. Backups -- ILB Su'a Cravens, ILB Martrell Spaight, OLB Trent Murphy, OLB Lynden Trail, ILB Terence Garvin, ILB Zach Vigil, *SLB Junior Galette (UFA), *WLB Houston Bates, *ILB Steven Daniels.

      DEFENSIVE BACKS: Starters -- LCB Josh Norman, RCB Bashaud Breeland, SS Duke Ihenacho, FS Will Blackmon. Backups -- RCB Quinton Dunbar, LCB Greg Toler, SS Deshazor Everett, FS Josh Evans, Slot CB Kendall Fuller, Slot CB Dashaun Phillips, *SS DeAngelo Hall, *SS Donte Whitner.

      SPECIAL TEAMS: K Dustin Hopkins, KOR Chris Thompson, PR Jamison Crowder, LS Nick Sundberg.

  • Redskins' free ageny, draft shopping list
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, February 20, 2017

    As they wade through free agency and prepare to evaluate draft prospects at the Indianapolis Scouting Combine (March 1-6), the Washington Redskins must decide which players to keep and seek to improve their 8-7-1 record from last season.

    • The Sports Xchange and NFLDraftScout.com evaluated the Redskins roster and created a shopping list to use in free agency and reference during the combine.

      Perhaps the biggest adjustment will be replacing offensive coordinator Sean McVay, who was hired as head coach of the Rams. New offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh is hopeful that quarterback Kirk Cousins will return along with at least one of their free agent receivers, DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon.

      Upgrading the pass rush will also be a priority.

      THE BREAKDOWN

      2016 finish: 3rd in NFC East (8-7-1)

      2016 STATISTICS

      TOTAL OFFENSE: 403.4 (3rd)

      RUSHING: 106.0 (21st)

      PASSING: 297.4 (2nd)

      TOTAL DEFENSE: 377.9 (28th)

      RUSHING: 119.8 (24th)

      PASSING: 258.1 (25th)

      NEEDS, SHOPPING LIST

      &=Released

      TOP THREE NEEDS

      SAFETY

      Age is an issue here with DeAngelo Hall, Will Blackmon and Donte Whitner all over 30. Youth has to be a priority at this position.

      UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      Eric Berry, Kansas City (29 in December, $10.8M)

      Barry Church, Dallas (29, $2.2M)

      T.J. McDonald, L.A. Rams (26, $732K)

      Chris Conte, Tampa Bay (28, $3M)

      Quintin Demps, Houston (32 in June, $1.5M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht, Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      1/4 Malik Hooker, Ohio State, 6-2, 205, 4.47, 1 (underclassman)

      2/6 Jamal Adams (SS), LSU, 6-0, 211, 4.54, 1 (underclassman)

      3/13 Jabrill Peppers (SS), Michigan, 6-0, 205, 4.52, 1 (underclassman)

      4/43 Budda Baker, Washington, 5-10, 192, 4.52, 2 (underclassman)

      5/55 Obi Melifonwu (SS), Connecticut, 6-4, 219, 4.58, 2

      DEFENSIVE END

      Washington still hasn't invested enough at this position. The pass rush could use more help with an impact player at defensive end.

      Jason Pierre-Paul, N.Y. Giants (28, $10M)

      Calais Campbell, Arizona (DT; 31 in September, $11M)

      Jabaal Sheard, New England (28 in May, $5.5M)

      &Mario Williams, Miami (32, $8.5M)

      Charles Johnson, Carolina (31 in July, $3M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht., Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      1/1 Myles Garrett, Texas AM, 6-4, 268, 4.57, 1 (underclassman)

      2/3 Solomon Thomas, Stanford, 6-2, 275, 4.84, 1 (underclassman)

      3/17 Derek Barnett, Tennessee, 6-3, 265, 4.76, 1 (underclassman)

      4/28 Taco Charlton, Michigan, 6-5, 272, 4.87, 1

      5/32 Charles Harris, Missouri, 6-3, 255, 4.74, 1-2 (underclassman)

      6/39 Carl Lawson, Auburn, 6-2, 253, 4.67, 1-2 (underclassman)

      WIDE RECEIVER

      Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson are both free agents. Rookie Josh Doctson still has health concerns. That leaves just Jamison Crowder.

      UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      Alshon Jeffery, Chicago (27, $14.6M)

      Terrelle Pryor, Cleveland (28 in June, $1.67M)

      Anquan Boldin, Detroit (37 in October, $2.75M)

      Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota (26 in March, $1.8M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht., Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      1/8 Mike Williams, Clemson, 6-3, 225, 4.50, 1 (underclassman)

      2/16 Corey Davis, Western Michigan, 6-3, 213, 4.48, 1

      3/19 John Ross, Washington, 5-11, 190, 4.35, 1 (underclassman)

      4/37 Curtis Samuel, Ohio State, 5-11, 200, 4.48, 1-2 (underclassman)

      5/42 Dede Westbrook, Oklahoma, 5-11, 175, 4.39, 2

      UFA KEEPERS

      QB Kirk Cousins (29 in August, $19.95M)

      WR DeSean Jackson (31 in December, $6M)

      WR Pierre Garcon (31 in August, $8.5M)

      ROSTER REVIEW

      MAJOR COACHING CHANGES

      --OC Sean McVay leaves to be Rams head coach

      --DC Joe Barry fired

      --QB coach Matt Cavanaugh promoted to OC

      --OLB coach Greg Manusky promoted to DC

      DEPTH CHART

      Starters and backups are listed according to their status at the end of the season, but players who were starters before being injured are included.

      * Indicates player who ended 2016 season on reserve.

      & Indicates player released since the Super Bowl.

      QUARTERBACKS: Starter -- Kirk Cousins (UFA). Backups -- Colt McCoy, Nate Sudfeld.

      RUNNING BACKS: Starter -- Rob Kelley. Backups -- Matt Jones, Chris Thompson, Mack Brown, *Keith Marshall.

      TIGHT ENDS: Starters -- Jordan Reed. Backups -- Vernon Davis (UFA), Derek Carrier, *Niles Paul.

      WIDE RECEIVERS: Starters -- DeSean Jackson (UFA), Pierre Garcon (UFA). Backups -- Jamison Crowder, Ryan Grant, Maurice Harris, *Josh Doctson, *Reggie Diggs.

      OFFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters -- LT Trent Williams, LG Shawn Lauvao, C Spencer Long, RG Brandon Scherff, RT Morgan Moses. Backups -- C Kory Lichtensteiger (retired), C John Sullivan, LT Ty Nskeke, LG Arie Kouandjio, RT Vinston Painter, *Kevin Bowen.

      DEFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters -- LDE Chris Baker (UFA), NT Ziggy Hood (UFA), DE Ricky Jean Francois. Backups -- NT Matt Ioannidis, DE Cullen Jenkins (UFA), *NT Kedric Golston (UFA), *DE Anthony Lanier.

      LINEBACKERS: Starters -- WLB Ryan Kerrigan, ILB Will Compton, ILB Mason Foster, SLB Preston Smith. Backups -- ILB Su'a Cravens, ILB Martrell Spaight, OLB Trent Murphy, OLB Lynden Trail, ILB Terence Garvin, ILB Zach Vigil, *SLB Junior Galette (UFA), *WLB Houston Bates, *ILB Steven Daniels.

      DEFENSIVE BACKS: Starters -- LCB Josh Norman, RCB Bashaud Breeland, SS Duke Ihenacho, FS Will Blackmon. Backups -- RCB Quinton Dunbar, LCB Greg Toler, SS Deshazor Everett, FS Josh Evans, Slot CB Kendall Fuller, Slot CB Dashaun Phillips, *SS DeAngelo Hall, *SS Donte Whitner.

      SPECIAL TEAMS: K Dustin Hopkins, KOR Chris Thompson, PR Jamison Crowder, LS Nick Sundberg.

  • Giants' free ageny, draft shopping list
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, February 20, 2017

    As they wade through free agency and prepare to evaluate draft prospects at the Indianapolis Scouting Combine (March 1-6), the N.Y. Giants must decide which players to keep and seek to improve their 11-5 record from last season.

    • The Sports Xchange and NFLDraftScout.com evaluated the Giants' roster and created a shopping list to use in free agency and reference during the Combine.

      The defense showed considerable improvement as the 2016 season progressed, thanks to several significant free agent additions last year, but defensive linemen Jason Pierre-Paul and Johnathan Hankins will be free agents this year.

      Still, the attention will go to the offense, especially on the offensive line as well as wide receiver and perhaps running back following the release of Rashad Jennings.

      THE BREAKDOWN

      2016 finish: 2nd in NFC East (11-5)

      2016 STATISTICS

      TOTAL OFFENSE: 330.7 (25th)

      RUSHING: 88.3 (29th)

      PASSING: 242.4 (17th)

      TOTAL DEFENSE: 339.7 (10th)

      RUSHING: 88.6 (T3rd)

      PASSING: 251.1 (23rd)

      NEEDS, SHOPPING LIST

      TOP THREE NEEDS

      OFFENSIVE LINE-TACKLES

      Quarterback Eli Manning can't continue getting knocked around as he was in 2016. Some competition at tackle is essential, especially for the up-and-down Ereck Flowers.

      UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      Andrew Whitworth, Cincinnati (36 in December, $9M)

      Russell Okung, Denver (option not expected to be exercised; 29 in October, $10.6M)

      Rick Wagner, Baltimore (28 in October, $576K)

      Luke Joeckel, Jacksonville (G; 26 in November, $5.3M))

      Matt Kalil, Minnesota (injury; 28 in July, $4.94M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht., Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      1/14 Ryan Ramczyk, Wisconsin, 6-5, 314, 5.29, 1 (underclassman)

      2/25 Cam Robinson, Alabama, 6-6, 310, 5.28, 1 (underclassman)

      3/38 Garett Bolles, Utah, 6-5, 296, 4.97, 1-2 (underclassman)

      4/53 Taylor Moton, Western Michigan, 6-5, 330, 5.31, 2

      5/59 Roderick Johnson, Florida State, 6-6, 308, 5.34, 2 (underclassman)

      TIGHT END

      Head coach Ben McAdoo's offense will never be a top unit until they get a threat at this position that can split the seam.

      UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      Martellus Bennett, New England (30 in March, $5.1M)

      Jared Cook, Green Bay (30 in April, $2.75M)

      Jordan Cameron, Miami (29 in August, $7.5M)

      Vernon Davis, Washington (33, $2.4M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht., Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      1/11 O.J. Howard, Alabama, 6-6, 249, 4.57, 1

      2/30 David Njoku, Miami (FL), 6-4, 240, 4.53, 1-2 (underclassman)

      3/45 Evan Engram, Mississippi, 6-3, 236, 4.64, 2

      4/72 Bucky Hodges, Virginia Tech, 6-6, 245, 4.78, 2-3 (underclassman)

      5/75 Gerald Everett, South Alabama, 6-3, 227, 4.68, 2-3

      WIDE RECEIVER

      The Giants could use a big, physical receiver on the outside to help lessen the burden on Odell Beckham Jr. and to improve downfield blocking.

      UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      DeSean Jackson, Washington (31 in December, $6M)

      Alshon Jeffery, Chicago (27, $14.6M)

      Pierre Garcon, Washington (31 in August, $8.5M)

      Terrelle Pryor, Cleveland (28 in June, $1.67M)

      Anquan Boldin, Detroit (37 in October, $2.75M)

      Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota (26 in March, $1.8M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht, Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      1/8 Mike Williams, Clemson, 6-3, 225, 1 (underclassman)

      2/16 Corey Davis, Western Michigan, 6-3, 213, 1

      3/19 John Ross, Washington, 5-11, 190, 1 (underclassman)

      4/37 Curtis Samuel, Ohio State, 5-11, 200, 1-2 (underclassman)

      5/42 Dede Westbrook, Oklahoma, 5-11, 175, 2

      UFA KEEPERS

      DE Jason Pierre-Paul (28, $10M)

      DT Johnathan Hankins (25 in March, $1M)

      LB Kelvin Sheppard (29, $840K)

      ROSTER REVIEW

      DEPTH CHART

      Starters and backups are listed according to their status at the end of the season, but players who were starters before being injured are included.

      * Indicates player who ended 2016 season on reserve.

      & Indicates player released since the Super Bowl.

      QUARTERBACKS: Starter -- Eli Manning. Backups -- Josh Johnson (UFA), *Ryan Nassib (UFA).

      RUNNING BACKS: Starter -- &Rashad Jennings. Backups -- Paul Perkins, *Shane Vereen, Bobby Rainey (UFA), *Orleans Darkwa, *FB Nikita Whitlock.

      TIGHT ENDS: Starter -- Will Tye. Backups -- Jerell Adams, Larry Donnell (UFA), *Will Johnson, *Matt LaCosse.

      WIDE RECEIVERS: Starters -- Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard. Backups -- &Victor Cruz, Dwayne Harris, Roger Lewis Jr., Tavarres King, *Ben Edwards.

      OFFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters -- LT Ereck Flowers, LG Justin Pugh, C Weston Richburg, RG John Jerry (UFA), RT Bobby Hart. Backups -- G/T Marshall Newhouse (UFA), G/C Brett Jones, T Will Beatty (UFA).

      DEFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters -- DLE Jason Pierre-Paul (UFA), DLT Johnathan Hankins (UFA), NT Damon Harrison, DRE Olivier Vernon. Backups -- DE Owa Odighizuwa, DE Kerry Wynn, DE Romeo Okwara, DE Ishaq Williams, DT Jay Bromley, DT Robert Thomas.

      LINEBACKERS: Starters -- WLB Jonathan Casillas, MLB Kelvin Sheppard (UFA), SLB Devon Kennard. Backups -- *WLB J.T. Thomas III, SLB Mark Herzlich (UFA), MLB B.J. Goodson, MLB Keenan Robinson (UFA), LB Deontae Skinner, *LB Uani 'Unga.

      DEFENSIVE BACKS: Starters -- LCB Janoris Jenkins, RCB Eli Apple, SS Landon Collins, *FS Darian Thompson. Backups -- CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB Coty Sensabaugh (UFA), CB Trevin Wade (UFA), CB/S Leon Hall (UFA), S Andrew Adams, S Eric Pinkins, S Nat Berhe, *S Mykkele Thompson.

      SPECIAL TEAMS: K Robbie Gould (UFA), P Brad Wing, KOR/PR Dwayne Harris, LS Zak DeOssie (UFA).

  • Eagles' free agency, draft shopping list
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, February 20, 2017

    As they wade through free agency and prepare to evaluate draft prospects at the Indianapolis Scouting Combine (March 1-6), the Philadelphia Eagles must decide which players to keep and seek if they want to improve their 7-9 record from last season.

    • The Sports Xchange and NFLDraftScout.com evaluated the Eagles' roster and created a shopping list to use in free agency and reference during the Combine.

      Most important this offseason is the quest to surround quarterback Carson Wentz with more playmakers as running back Ryan Mathews is not expected to return. They do like the upside of Wendell Smallwood. Expect the Eagles to pursue receivers, while also seeking to upgrade at cornerback where Leodis McKelvin was released and Nolan Carroll will be a free agent.

      THE BREAKDOWN

      2016 finish: 4th NFC East (7-9)

      2016 STATISTICS

      TOTAL OFFENSE: 337.4 (22nd)

      RUSHING: 113.3 (11th)

      PASSING: 224.1 (24th)

      TOTAL DEFENSE: 342.8 (13th)

      RUSHING: 103.3 (15th)

      PASSING: 239.5 (13th)

      NEEDS, SHOPPING LIST

      TOP THREE NEEDS

      WIDE RECEIVER

      Jordan Matthews is one of the league's better slot receivers, but the Eagles got no production from their outside receivers, particularly 2015 first-round pick Nelson Agholor.

      UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      DeSean Jackson, Washington (31 in December, $6M)

      Alshon Jeffery, Chicago (27, $14.6M)

      Pierre Garcon, Washington (31 in August, $8.5M)

      Terrelle Pryor, Cleveland (28 in June, $1.67M)

      Anquan Boldin, Detroit (37 in October, $2.75M)

      Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota (26 in March, $1.8M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht., Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      1/8 Mike Williams, Clemson, 6-3, 225, 4.50, 1 (underclassman)

      2/16 Corey Davis, Western Michigan, 6-3, 213, 4.48, 1

      3/19 John Ross, Washington, 5-11, 190, 4.35, 1 (underclassman)

      4/37 Curtis Samuel, Ohio State, 5-11, 200, 4.48, 1-2 (underclassman)

      5/42 Dede Westbrook, Oklahoma, 5-11, 175, 4.39, 2

      CORNERBACK

      The Eagles have been trying to upgrade this area for the last four years. They gave up the most 30-yards-plus pass plays in the league in 2016.

      UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      A.J. Bouye, Houston (26 in August, $1.67M)

      Trumaine Johnson, L.A. Rams (27, $13.95M)

      Logan Ryan, New England (26, $693K)

      Stephon Gilmore, Buffalo (27 in September, $3.02M)

      Brandon Carr, Dallas (31 in May, $10M)

      Prince Amukamara, Jacksonville (28 in June, $5.5M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht., Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      1/10 Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State, 6-0, 195, 4.47, 1 (underclassman)

      2/15 Teez Tabor, Florida, 6-0, 201, 4.50, 1 (underclassman)

      3/21 Marlon Humphrey, Alabama, 6-1, 196, 4.49, 1 (underclassman)

      4/23 Sidney Jones, Washington, 6-0, 181, 4.49, 1 (underclassman)

      5/34 Desmond King, Iowa, 5-11, 206, 4.53, 1-2

      EDGE RUSHER

      The only impactful outside pass rusher they have is Brandon Graham. They need someone who can slide protections toward him and free up Graham and defensive tackle Fletcher Cox.

      UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      Jason Pierre-Paul, N.Y. Giants (28, $10M)

      Calais Campbell, Arizona (DT; 31 in September, $11M)

      Jabaal Sheard, New England (28 in May, $5.5M)

      Mario Williams, Miami (32, $8.5M)

      Charles Johnson, Carolina (31 in July, $3M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht., Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      1/1 Myles Garrett, Texas AM, 6-4, 268, 4.57, 1 (underclassman)

      2/3 Solomon Thomas, Stanford, 6-2, 275, 4.84, 1 (underclassman)

      3/17 Derek Barnett, Tennessee, 6-3, 265, 4.76, 1 (underclassman)

      4/28 Taco Charlton, Michigan, 6-5, 272, 4.87, 1

      5/32 Charles Harris, Missouri, 6-3, 255, 4.74, 1-2 (underclassman)

      6/39 Carl Lawson, Auburn, 6-2, 253, 4.67, 1-2 (underclassman)

      UFA KEEPERS

      DT Bennie Logan (28 in December, $758K)

      CB Nolan Carroll (30, $2.36M)

      ROSTER REVIEW:

      DEPTH CHART

      Starters and backups are listed according to their status at the end of the season, but players who were starters before being injured are included.

      * Indicates player who ended 2016 season on reserve.

      & Indicates player released since the Super Bowl.

      QUARTERBACKS: Starter -- Carson Wentz. Backups -- Chase Daniel.

      RUNNING BACKS: Starter -- *Ryan Mathews. Backups -- Darren Sproles, *Kenjon Barner, *Wendell Smallwood, Byron Marshall, Terrell Watson.

      TIGHT ENDS: Starter -- Zach Ertz. Backups -- Trey Burton, Brent Celek.

      WIDE RECEIVERS: Starters -- Jordan Matthews, Nelson Agholor. Backups -- Dorial Green-Beckham, Bryce Treggs, Paul Turner.

      OFFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters -- LT Jason Peters, LG Allen Barbre, C Jason Kelce, RG Brandon Brooks, RT Lane Johnson. Backups -- G Isaac Seumalo, C/G Stefen Wisniewski, T Halapoulivaati Vaitai, C Josh Andrews, G/T Dillon Gordon, *T Matt Tobin.

      DEFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters -- DE Brandon Graham, DT Fletcher Cox, DT Bennie Logan (UFA), DE Connor Barwin. Backups -- DT Beau Allen, DT Destiny Vaeao, DE Vinny Curry, DE Marcus Smith, DE Bryan Braman (UFA), DT Taylor Hart, *DE Alex McCalister.

      LINEBACKERS: Starters -- OLB Nigel Bradham, MLB Jordan Hicks, OLB Mychal Kendricks. Backups -- OLB Najee Goode (UFA), MLB Stephen Tulloch (UFA), OLB Kamu Grugier-Hill, *MLB Joe Walker.

      DEFENSIVE BACKS: Starters -- &CB Leodis McKelvin, CB Nolan Carroll (UFA), S Rodney McLeod, S Malcolm Jenkins. Backups -- *CB Ron Brooks, CB Jalen Mills, S Jaylen Watkins, CB C.J. Smith, S Terrence Brooks, CB Dwayne Gratz (UFA).

      SPECIAL TEAMS: K Caleb Sturgis, P Donnie Jones, KR Wendell Smallwood, PR Darren Sproles, *LS Jon Dorenbos.

  • Cowboys' free agency, draft shopping list
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, February 20, 2017

    As they wade through free agency and prepare to evaluate draft prospects at the Indianapolis Scouting Combine (March 1-6), the Dallas Cowboys must decide which players to keep as they seek to improve their 13-3 record from last season.

    • The Sports Xchange and NFLDraftScout.com evaluated the Cowboys' roster and created a shopping list to use in free agency and reference during the Combine.

      The Cowboys are set on offense with one of the best lines in the league, dynamic running back Ezekiel Elliott and standout young quarterback Dak Prescott. However, a wide receiver is on their wish list, and defense must be a priority need. A difference-making pass rusher heads the list along with a strong cover corner.

      Meantime, the Cowboys have at least three of their own free agents who are keepers -- guard Ronald Leary and defensive backs Barry Church and Morris Claiborne.

      THE BREAKDOWN

      2016 finish: 1st in NFC East (13-3)

      2016 STATISTICS

      TOTAL OFFENSE: 376.7 (5th)

      RUSHING: 149.8 (2nd)

      PASSING: 226.9 (23rd)

      TOTAL DEFENSE: 343.9 (14th)

      RUSHING: 83.5 (1st)

      PASSING: 260.4 (26th)

      NEEDS, SHOPPING LIST

      &=Released

      TOP THREE NEEDS

      DEFENSIVE END

      Benson Mayowa led the Cowboys with six sacks. Randy Gregory is serving a one-year suspension. DeMarcus Lawrence needs back surgery for the second consecutive offseason.

      UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      Jason Pierre-Paul, N.Y. Giants (28, $10M)

      Calais Campbell, Arizona (DT; 31 in September, $11M)

      Jabaal Sheard, New England (28 in May, $5.5M)

      &Mario Williams, Miami (32, $8.5M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht., Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      1/1 Myles Garrett, Texas AM, 6-4, 268, 1 (underclassman)

      2/3 Solomon Thomas, Stanford, 6-2, 275, 1 (underclassman)

      3/17 Derek Barnett, Tennessee, 6-3, 265, 1 (underclassman)

      4/28 Taco Charlton, Michigan, 6-5, 272, 1

      5/32 Charles Harris, Missouri, 6-3, 255, 4.74, 1-2 (underclassman)

      WIDE RECEIVER

      Terrance Williams and Brice Butler are free agents. What Williams will command is more than Dallas will pay. The Cowboys want upgrades.

      UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      DeSean Jackson, Washington (31, $6M)

      Alshon Jeffery, Chicago (27, $14.6M)

      Pierre Garcon, Washington (31 in August, $8.5M)

      Terrelle Pryor, Cleveland (28 in June, $1.67M)

      Anquan Boldin, Detroit (37 in October, $2.75M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht, Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      1/8 Mike Williams, Clemson, 6-3, 225, 1 (underclassman)

      2/16 Corey Davis, Western Michigan, 6-3, 213, 1

      3/19 John Ross, Washington, 5-11, 190, 1 (underclassman)

      4/37 Curtis Samuel, Ohio State, 5-11, 200, 1-2 (underclassman)

      5/42 Dede Westbrook, Oklahoma, 5-11, 175, 2

      CORNERBACK

      Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr are both coming off their best seasons, but both are free agents. Claiborne remains injury-prone. Carr makes few plays.

      POTENTIAL UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      A.J. Bouye, Houston (26 in August, $1.67M)

      Trumaine Johnson, L.A. Rams (27, $13.95M)

      Logan Ryan, New England (26, $693K)

      Stephon Gilmore, Buffalo (27 in September, $3.02M)

      Brandon Carr, Dallas (31 in May, $10M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht, Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      1/10 Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State, 6-0, 195, 1 (underclassman)

      2/15 Teez Tabor, Florida, 6-0, 201, 1 (underclassman)

      3/21 Marlon Humphrey, Alabama, 6-1, 196, 1 (underclassman)

      4/23 Sidney Jones, Washington, 6-0, 181, 1 (underclassman)

      5/34 Desmond King, Iowa, 5-11, 206, 1-2

      UFA KEEPERS

      S Barry Church (29, $2.207M)

      G Ronald Leary (28 in April, $2.553M)

      CB Morris Claiborne (27, $3M)

      ROSTER REVIEW:

      DEPTH CHART

      Starters and backups are listed according to their status at the end of the season, but players who were starters before being injured are included.

      *Indicates player who ended 2016 season on a reserve list.

      QUARTERBACKS: Starter -- Dak Prescott. Backups -- Tony Romo, Mark Sanchez (UFA), *Kellen Moore (UFA).

      RUNNING BACKS: Starters -- Ezekiel Elliott, FB Keith Smith. Backups -- Darren McFadden (UFA), Lance Dunbar (UFA), Alfred Morris.

      TIGHT ENDS: Starter -- Jason Witten. Backups -- Gavin Escobar (UFA), *TE Geoff Swaim, *James Hanna.

      WIDE RECEIVERS: Starters -- Dez Bryant, Terrance Williams (UFA). Backups -- Cole Beasley, Brice Butler (UFA), Lucky Whitehead.

      OFFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters -- LT Tyron Smith, *G La'el Collins, C Travis Frederick, RG Zack Martin, RT Doug Free. Backups -- LG Ronald Leary (UFA), G Joe Looney, T Emmett Cleary, G Jonathan Cooper (UFA), T Chaz Green.

      DEFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters -- DLE Tyrone Crawford, DLT Maliek Collins, NT Terrell McClain (UFA), DRE DeMarcus Lawrence. Backups -- DE Benson Mayowa, DE Jack Crawford (UFA), DE David Irving, DE Richard Ash, Cedric Thornton, *DE Randy Gregory, *DE Charles Tapper.

      LINEBACKERS: Starters -- WLB Sean Lee, MLB Anthony Hitchens, SLB Damien Wilson. Backups -- SLB Kyle Wilber, LB Justin Durant (UFA), LB Andrew Gachkar (UFA), LB Mark Nzeocha, *Rolando McClain, *Jaylon Smith.

      DEFENSIVE BACKS: Starters -- LCB Brandon Carr (UFA), RCB Orlando Scandrick, SS Barry Church (UFA), FS Byron Jones. Backups -- CB Morris Claiborne (UFA), CB Anthony Brown, S Jeff Heath, S J.J. Wilcox (UFA), *CB Josh Thomas (UFA), S Kavon Frazier, CB Leon McFadden.

      SPECIAL TEAMS: K Dan Bailey, P Chris Jones, LS L.P. Ladouceur, KOR Lucky Whitehead, PR Cole Beasley.

  • 2017 NFL Draft: Ravens Cook up a running game
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, February 20, 2017

    The Ravens averaged under 23 rush attempts per game last season and finished 28th in the NFL in rushing yards.

    • Some might claim that the lack of dedication to the run game is why Baltimore won't draft a running back in the first round.

      However, many around the league believe Ezekiel Elliott would have been the Ravens' selection with the No. 6 overall pick in last year's first round if the Ohio State running back wasn't plucked two picks earlier by Dallas.

      Cook isn't quite the workhorse that Elliott is, the former Florida State star is just as dangerous with the ball in his hands and capable of making an immediate impact. With complimentary options already on the roster like 2016 fourth rounder Kenneth Dixon, Cook won't be driven into the ground and will add another dimension to the Baltimore offense.

      1. Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett, DE/OLB, Texas A&M

      The Browns have needs all over the roster and unless they fall in love with a quarterback, this pick needs to be the best talent in the draft, which is Garrett.

      2. San Francisco 49ers: Mitch Trubisky, QB, North Carolina

      San Francisco desperately needs to life at the quarterback position, regardless of the front office and coaching situations. Despite only one season of starting experience, Trubisky has all the traits to be a successful NFL starter.

      3. Chicago Bears: DeShone Kizer, QB, Notre Dame

      The Bears have some intriguing talent on the roster, but the quarterback depth chart is disheartening. Although his tape shows youthful mistakes, Kizer also shows the veteran poise and ideal physical traits to play the position at a high level.

      4. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jonathan Allen, DL, Alabama

      Jacksonville has invested heavily in the defensive line, but it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Jaguars do so again if a talent like Allen is available for them.

      5. Tennessee Titans (from LAR): Jamal Adams, SS, LSU

      With a top-five pick, the Titans need to first and foremost add a difference-maker and Adams has that type of ability patrolling the secondary.

      6. New York Jets: Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State

      The Jets have no choice but to address the secondary this off-season with question marks at both cornerback and safety. Lattimore is a very gifted athlete for his size with sticky coverage skills.

      7. Los Angeles Chargers: Solomon Thomas, DL, Stanford

      The Chargers hit a home run with Joey Bosa last year and could swing for the fences again with Thomas, who would be a great fit both inside and outside in Gus Bradley's scheme.

      8. Carolina Panthers: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU

      Veteran Jonathan Stewart averaged only 3.8 yards per rush reached the 100-yard mark in only one game last season, his ninth in the NFL. Fournette is a freak talent who would instantly add juice to the Panthers' offense.

      9. Cincinnati Bengals: Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama

      Linebacker Rey Maualuga is a serviceable player, but Foster would be an instant upgrade with his combination of play speed, instincts and violence.

      10. Buffalo Bills: Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson

      The Tyrod Taylor situation in Buffalo will continue to play itself out the next few weeks, but if he's out of the picture then Watson becomes an intriguing option with this pick. Not sure this would be the right move, but it is definitely plausible.

      11. New Orleans Saints: Teez Tabor, CB, Florida

      The Saints ranked dead-last in the NFL last season in passing yards allowed and collected only nine interceptions (only three by cornerbacks). Tabor fits New Orleans' scheme and would help from day one.

      12. Cleveland Browns (from PHI): Malik Hooker, FS, Ohio State

      The Browns need an overhaul in the secondary and are missing a true ballhawk in the deep half of the field. Hooker would be a natural fit and his recent injuries could wind up being a blessing for Cleveland.

      13. Arizona Cardinals: Mike Williams, WR, Clemson

      While wide receiver was a strength of Arizona not too long ago, Larry Fitzgerald is considering retirement and Michael Floyd is now in New England. Williams could develop into the new No. 1 pass catcher for the Cardinals.

      14. Indianapolis Colts: Takkarist McKinley, DE, UCLA

      Coming from Kansas City, new Colts general manager Chris Ballard understands the impact of speed rushing off the edge and McKinley is an ascending talent with plenty of juice.

      15. Philadelphia Eagles (from MIN): Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama

      The Eagles are desperate for help at cornerback and there should be several options for the franchise in the mid-first round. Humphrey has given up several big plays this season, but NFL coaches will be salivating at his size and skill-set.

      16. Baltimore Ravens: Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State

      The Ravens have a stable of average backs on the roster, which is one of the reasons they ranked near last in the NFL in rushing in 2016. Cook would help change that and open up the offense.

      17. Washington Redskins: Malik McDowell, DL, Michigan State

      McDowell has an impressive blend of size, athleticism and power to be effective from multiple positions along the defensive line.

      18. Tennessee Titans: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan

      The Titans have plenty of bodies on the wide receiver depth chart, but no true difference-maker. Davis is one of the most prolific wideouts in college football history and is the complete package as a pass-catcher.

      19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: John Ross, WR, Washington

      Mike Evans is the top target of Jameis Winston, but he needs help. Ross is dwarfed by Evans in size, but his explosive athleticism and savvy route-running will only improve the Tampa offensive attack.

      20. Denver Broncos: David Njoku, TE, Miami (Fla.)

      The Broncos have plenty of names on the tight end depth chart, but no difference-makers. Njoku is only 20-years old and still raw in areas, but his potential is off the charts.

      21. Detroit Lions: Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee

      Detroit needs to address the issues at cornerback, but upgrading the pass rush with an edge rusher like Barnett will impact the back seven as well.

      22. Miami Dolphins: O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama

      There are glaring needs on defense for the Dolphins, but an athletic tight end like Howard would do wonders for Ryan Tannehill and the Miami offense.

      23. New York Giants: Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan

      With Jason Pierre-Paul not expected back, defensive end is a likely need this off-season. Charlton, who has some traits reminiscent of Justin Tuck out of Notre Dame, has all the ingredients of a NFL starter.

      24. Oakland Raiders: Haason Reddick, LB, Temple

      A defensive back-turned-rusher in college, Reddick makes the move to linebacker in the NFL and has the athleticism to be a star.

      25. Houston Texans: Ryan Ramcyzk, OT, Wisconsin

      With the question mark at right tackle moving forward, offensive tackle is one of the most pressing needs for the Texans this offseason. And Ramcyzk is a discount at this point in the draft due to his hip injury.

      26. Seattle Seahawks: Forrest Lamp, OG, Western Kentucky

      The Seahawks are getting by with the bodies they have on the offensive line, but that doesn't mean Seattle shouldn't be looking for upgrades. Lamp can probably survive at tackle in the NFL, but he might be a Pro Bowl guard with his square-blocking skill-set and stubborn mentality.

      27. Kansas City Chiefs: Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt

      With Derrick Johnson's career in question due to injuries, inside linebacker is a position the Chiefs will look to address this off-season. Cunningham plays with the take-on strength and reaction quickness to fill and cover ground.

      28. Dallas Cowboys: Carl Lawson, DE/OLB, Auburn

      The Cowboys have defensive needs at every level, but especially at pass rusher. Lawson does an outstanding job using his upper body strength and lower body quickness in unison to beat blockers.

      29. Green Bay Packers: Sidney Jones, CB, Washington

      The Packers need help on the cornerback depth chart and Jones is well-versed in multiple coverages with the athleticism and ballskills to make plays.

      30. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jabrill Peppers, LB/S, Michigan

      Pittsburgh hasn't been able to properly replace the hole left by Troy Polamalu at strong safety and although Peppers isn't on that level, he has intriguing blend of athleticism and physicality.

      31. Atlanta Falcons: Charles Harris, DE, Missouri

      The Falcons' pass rush was improved in 2016 and helped advance Atlanta to the Super Bowl. But more help is needed and Harris adds a different style of rusher to the arsenal.

      32. New England Patriots: Tim Williams, DE, Alabama

      With his baggage, Williams will likely tumble on draft day, which could mean falling right into the laps of the World Champs.

      --Dane Brugler is senior analyst of NFLDraftScout.com, published and operated by The Sports Xchange, in cooperation with CBSSports.com.

  • Dolphins LT Albert to visit Jaguars ahead of possible trade
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, February 20, 2017

    Miami Dolphins left tackle Branden Albert is expected to visit the Jacksonville Jaguars ahead of a possible trade.

    • It was reported last week that the Dolphins and Jaguars were working on a trade involving Albert and Jaguars tight end Julius Thomas, but multiple media outlets reported Monday that Thomas would not be part of any deal.

      Albert was planning to meet with the Jaguars on Monday to help facilitate a swap, according to the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The Miami Herald reported Monday that the teams agreed to a deal that would send Albert to Jacksonville for a late-round draft pick in 2018.

      The compensation is likely a seventh-round pick but it doesn't mean the deal is complete, according to the Herald.

      The teams must wait until the new league year opens on March 9 to officially finalize a trade. Clubs are allowed to bring in potentially-traded players for medical exams before the deal is filed with the league office.

      The Dolphins were planning to release the 32-year-old Albert last week until the trade talk got heated.

      Albert, who started 12 games last season, has the team's third-highest salary cap number in 2017. He is slated to cost $10.6 million against the cap for the upcoming season, but a trade or release would save the Dolphins $7.2 million in cap space. Albert's contract runs through 2018.

      The 6-foot-5, 314-pound Albert has played in 35 games during his three seasons in Miami.

      "Why ruffle feathers when you don't have to?" Albert told the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel when asked about the potential trade to Jacksonville but would not confirm the details. "It's the business of the game. I honestly believe where I'm going to go is the right fit. It is going to be a surprise when (the terms) comes out."

      Albert told the Sun Sentinel that he is around 305 pounds and that the left wrist injury he played with in the second half of the 2016 season is finally healed.

      "Where I'm going they put a lot of faith in me, and they know they are getting loyalty back," Albert said. "My faith, me being a man of Christ, I know God is going to point me where he wants me to be."

      While Thomas would not be inolved in the Albert deal, a trade for the tight end remains a possibility before March 9.

      Thomas is guaranteed $3 million of his $7.1 million salary for 2017, which includes a $100,000 workout bonus. He is slated to make $8.6 million in 2018 and $9 million in 2019 but the Dolphins likely would want to rework those numbers.

      The 6-foot-5, 256-pound Thomas, who turns 29 in June, caught 30 passes for 281 yards and four touchdowns in the nine games he played for the Jaguars in 2016. In 2013 and 2014 while with the Denver Broncos, he caught 108 passes for 1,277 yards and 24 touchdowns.

  • AFC East offseason shopping lists
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, February 20, 2017

    Bills' free agency, draft shopping list

    • As they wade through free agency and prepare to evaluate draft prospects at the Indianapolis Scouting Combine (March 1-6), the Buffalo Bills must decide which players to keep and seek to improve their 7-9 record from last season.

      The Sports Xchange and NFLDraftScout.com evaluated the Bills' roster and created a shopping list to use in free agency and reference during the combine.

      Perhaps the biggest question of the offseason is tied to the future of quarterback Tyrod Taylor and whether the new coaching staff wants him back as the starter. In addition, EJ Manuel is a free agent.

      There is also pending free agency for wide receivers Robert Wood and Marquise Goodwin to go with the frequent injuries experienced by Sammy Watkins.

      New head coach Sean McDermott has a lot of work ahead.

      THE BREAKDOWN

      2016 finish: 3rd in AFC East (7-9)

      2016 STATISTICS

      TOTAL OFFENSE: 354.1 (16th)

      RUSHING: 164.4 (1st)

      PASSING: 189.8 (30th)

      TOTAL DEFENSE: 357.0 (19th)

      RUSHING: 133.1 (26th)

      PASSING: 223.9 (6th)

      NEEDS, SHOPPING LIST

      TOP THREE NEEDS

      1. QUARTERBACK

      The Bills believe Cardale Jones has a chance to compete for the starting job, but if Tyrod Taylor and EJ Manuel leave in free agency, the Bills have big problems here.

      UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      Kirk Cousins, Washington (29 in August, $19.95M)

      Tony Romo, Dallas (expected to be released; 37 in April, $18M)

      Mike Glennon, Tampa Bay (28 in December, $776K)

      Brian Hoyer, Chicago (32 in October, $2M)

      *Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo (28 in August, $18M)

      *Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco (30 in November, $19M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht., Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      1/12 Mitch Trubisky, North Carolina, 6-3, 220, 4.74, 1 (underclassman)

      2/20 DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame, 6-4, 230, 4.76, 1 (underclassman)

      3/29 Deshaun Watson, Clemson, 6-2, 215, 4.64, 1-2 (underclassman)

      4/70 Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech, 6-2, 229, 4.84, 2-3 (underclassman)

      5/99 Brad Kaaya, Miami (FL), 6-4, 210, 4.84, 3 (underclassman)

      2. WIDE RECEIVER

      With the likely departure of free agents Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin, a major overhaul is needed to help Sammy Watkins.

      UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      DeSean Jackson, Washington (31 in December, $6M)

      Alshon Jeffery, Chicago (27, $14.6M)

      Pierre Garcon, Washington (31 in August, $8.5M)

      Terrelle Pryor, Cleveland (28 in June, $1.67M)

      Anquan Boldin, Detroit (37 in October, $2.75M)

      Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota (26 in March, $1.8M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht, Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      1/8 Mike Williams, Clemson, 6-3, 225, 1 (underclassman)

      2/1 Corey Davis, Western Michigan, 6-3, 213, 1

      3/19 John Ross, Washington, 5-11, 190, 1 (underclassman)

      4/37 Curtis Samuel, Ohio State, 5-11, 200, 1-2 (underclassman)

      5/42 Dede Westbrook, Oklahoma, 5-11, 175, 2

      3. SAFETY

      Aaron Williams' neck injuries may force him to retire, and Corey Graham is average. There is a crying need for one starting safety, possibly two.

      UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      Eric Berry, Kansas City (29 in December, $10.8M)

      Barry Church, Dallas (29, $2.2M)

      T.J. McDonald, L.A. Rams (26, $732K)

      Chris Conte, Tampa Bay (28, $3M)

      Quintin Demps, Houston (32 in June, $1.5M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht, Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      1/4 Malik Hooker, Ohio State, 6-2, 205, 4.47, 1 (underclassman)

      2/6 Jamal Adams (SS), LSU, 6-0, 211, 4.54, 1 (underclassman)

      3/13 Jabrill Peppers (SS), Michigan, 6-0, 205, 4.52, 1 (underclassman)

      4/43 Budda Baker, Washington, 5-10, 192, 4.52, 2 (underclassman)

      5/55 Obi Melifonwu (SS), Connecticut, 6-4, 219, 4.58, 2

      UFA KEEPERS

      CB Stephon Gilmore (27 in September, $3.02M)

      LB Lorenzo Alexander (34 in May, $885K)

      WR Robert Woods (25 in April, $1.22M)

      ROSTER REVIEW

      MAJOR COACHING CHANGES

      --Sean McDermott was hired as head coach.

      --Rick Dennison will be the OC.

      --Leslie Frazier will be the DC.

      DEPTH CHART

      Starters and backups are listed according to their status at the end of the season, but players who were starters before being injured are included.

      * Indicates player who ended 2016 season on reserve.

      & Indicates player released since the Super Bowl.

      QUARTERBACKS: Starter -- Tyrod Taylor. Backups -- EJ Manuel (UFA), Cardale Jones.

      RUNNING BACKS: Starters -- LeSean McCoy, FB Jerome Felton (UFA). Backups -- Mike Gillislee, Jonathan Williams, Reggie Bush (UFA).

      TIGHT ENDS: Starter -- Charles Clay. Backups -- Nick O'Leary, Gerald Christian, Logan Thomas, *Blake Annen, *Chris Gragg (UFA).

      WIDE RECEIVERS: Starters -- Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods (UFA). Backups -- Marquise Goodwin (UFA), Justin Hunter (UFA), Brandon Tate (UFA), Dezmin Lewis, *Marcus Easley, *Greg Salas, *Kolby Listenbee, *Walter Powell, *Percy Harvin (UFA).

      OFFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters -- LT Cordy Glenn, LG Richie Incognito, C Eric Wood, RG John Miller, RT Jordan Mills (UFA). Backups -- T Cyrus Kouandjio, T *Seantrel Henderson, C-G Ryan Groy, OT Michael Ola, C-G Patrick Lewis.

      DEFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters -- DT Kyle Williams, NT Marcell Dareus, DT Adolphus Washington. Backups -- DT Leger Douzable (UFA), NT DeAndre Coleman, DT Jerel Worthy, *DT Corbin Bryant (UFA).

      LINEBACKERS: Starters -- OLB Jerry Hughes, OLB Lorenzo Alexander (UFA), ILB Preston Brown, ILB Zach Brown (UFA). Backups -- OLB Shaq Lawson, OLB Lerentee McCray (UFA), ILB Ramon Humber, ILB Brandon Spikes (UFA), OLB Bryson Albright, ILB *Reggie Ragland, OLB IK Enemkpali (UFA).

      DEFENSIVE BACKS: Starters -- CB Stephon Gilmore (UFA), CB Ronald Darby, S Corey Graham, *S Aaron Williams. Backups -- CB Nickell Robey-Coleman, CB Kevon Seymour, S Jonathan Meeks (UFA), S Corey White (UFA), S Sergio Brown (UFA), CB Marcus Roberson, S Shamiel Gray, *S Robert Blanton (UFA), *S James Ihedigbo (UFA), *CB Jonathan Dowling, *S Colt Anderson, *S Phillip Thomas.

      SPECIAL TEAMS: K Dan Carpenter, P Colton Schmidt, LS Garrison Sanborn, KOR/PR Brandon Tate (UFA), Reggie Bush (UFA).

      ==============

      MIAMI DOLPHINS

      ==============

      Dolphins' free agency, draft shopping list

      As the Miami Dolphins wade through free agency and prepare to evaluate draft prospects at the Indianapolis Combine (March 1-6), they must decide which players to keep as they seek to improve their 10-6 record from last season.

      The Sports Xchange and NFLDraftScout.com evaluated the Dolphins' roster and created a shopping list to use in free agency and reference during the Combine.

      Although defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is the linchpin of the defensive line along with end Cam Wake, there is some need there after the release of end Mario Williams and tackle Earl Mitchell.

      The Dolphins made the playoffs in 2016, but to do that again, the defense needs an upgrade, with linebacker another area to address.

      THE BREAKDOWN

      2016 finish: 2nd in AFC East (10-6)

      STATISTICS

      TOTAL OFFENSE: 332.8 (24th)

      RUSHING: 114.0 (9th)

      PASSING: 218.8 (26th)

      TOTAL DEFENSE: 382.6 (29th)

      RUSHING: 140.4 (30th)

      PASSING: 242.2 (15th)

      NEEDS, SHOPPING LIST

      TOP THREE NEEDS

      1. LINEBACKER

      They badly need aggressive, athletic guys that can tackle and cover. This is the No. 1 offseason priority whether in free agency or the draft.

      UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      OLB:

      Chandler Jones, Arizona (27, $2.04M)

      Nick Perry, Green Bay (27 in April, $5.05M)

      Melvin Ingram, L.A. Chargers (28 in April, $2.1M)

      DeMarcus Ware, Denver (35 in July, $10M)

      Julius Peppers, Green Bay (37, $8.67M)

      ILB:

      Dont'a Hightower, New England (27 in March, $1.93M)

      Lawrence Timmons, Pittsburgh (31 in May, $9.6M)

      Malcolm Smith, Oakland (28 in July, $3.5M)

      Akeem Dent, Houston (30 in September, $2.25M)

      & D'Qwell Jackson, Indianapolis (34 in September, $5.5M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht., Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      OLB:

      1/18 Zach Cunningham, Vanderbilt, 6-3, 230, 4.74, 1 (underclassman)

      2/26 Takkarist McKinley, UCLA, 6-2, 258, 4.58, 1

      3/27 Tim Williams, Alabama, 6-3, 252, 4.76, 1

      4/31 Haason Reddick, Temple, 6-1, 237, 4.54, 1-2

      5/48 T.J. Watt, Wisconsin, 6-4, 243, 4.76, 2 (underclassman)

      ILB:

      1/7 Reuben Foster, Alabama, 6-1, 236, 4.72, 1

      2/41 Raekwon McMillan, Ohio State, 6-2, 240, 4.78, 2 (underclassman)

      3/44 Jarrad Davis, Florida, 6-1, 238, 4.78, 2

      2. DEFENSIVE TACKLE

      Run-stuffing is at a premium for a unit that finished 30th (140.4 yards allowed per game) against the run.

      UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      Kawann Short, Carolina (28, $1.16M)

      Dontari Poe, Kansas City (27 in August, $2.83M)

      Domata Peko, Cincinnati (33 in November, $4.5M)

      Vince Wilfork, Houston (possibly retiring; 36 in November, $4.5M)

      Nick Fairley, New Orleans (29, $3M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht., Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      1/2. Jonathan Allen, Alabama, 6-3, 291, 4.82, 1

      2/22. Malik McDowell, Michigan State, 6-5, 276, 4.89, 1 (underclassman)

      3/50. Caleb Brantley, Florida, 6-2, 297, 5.05, 2 (underclassman)

      4/56. Carlos Watkins, Clemson, 6-4, 312, 5.06, 2

      3. TIGHT END

      The Dolphins want an athletic guy who stretches the field and makes the game easier for the wide receivers, quarterback and running back.

      UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      Martellus Bennett, New England (30 in March, $5.1M)

      Jared Cook, Green Bay (30 in April, $2.75M)

      Jordan Cameron, Miami (29 in August, $7.5M)

      Vernon Davis, Washington (33, $2.4M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht., Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      1/11. O.J. Howard, Alabama, 6-6, 249, 4.57, 1

      2/30. David Njoku, Miami (FL), 6-4, 240, 4.53, 1-2 (underclassman)

      3/45. Evan Engram, Mississippi, 6-3, 236, 4.64, 2

      4/72. Bucky Hodges, Virginia Tech, 6-6, 245, 4.78, 2-3 (underclassman)

      UFA KEEPERS

      TE Jordan Cameron (29 in August, $7.5M)

      WR Kenny Stills (25 in April, $589K)

      LB Jelani Jenkins (25 in March, $658K)

      TE Dion Sims (26, $657K)

      ROSTER REVIEW

      MAJOR COACHING CHANGES

      --DC Vance Joseph left to be Denver's head coach.

      --LB coach Matt Burke promoted to DC.

      DEPTH CHART

      Starters and backups are listed according to their status at the end of the season, but players who were starters before being injured are included.

      * Indicates player who ended 2016 season on reserve.

      & Indicates player released since the Super Bowl.

      QUARTERBACKS: Starter -- Ryan Tannehill. Backups -- Matt Moore, T.J. Yates (UFA).

      RUNNING BACKS: Starter -- Jay Ajayi. Backups -- Damien Williams, Kenyan Drake.

      TIGHT ENDS: Starter: *Jordan Cameron (UFA). Backups -- Dion Sims (UFA), Dominique Jones (UFA), MarQueis Gray, Thomas Duarte.

      WIDE RECEIVERS: Starters -- Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills (UFA), DeVante Parker. Backups -- Jakeem Grant, Leonte Carroo.

      OFFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters -- LT Branden Albert, LG Laremy Tunsil, *C Mike Pouncey, RG Jermon Bushrod (UFA), RT Ja'Wuan James. Backups -- C/G Kraig Urbik, C Jake Brendel, C/G Anthony Steen, T Sam Young.

      DEFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters -- DLE Cam Wake, DLT Ndamukong Suh, DRT Jordan Phillips, DRE Andre Branch (UFA). Backups -- DLT Nick Williams, RDE Terrence Fede, &DRT Earl Mitchell, &DRE Mario Williams, *DRE Dion Jordan (UFA).

      LINEBACKERS: WLB Jelani Jenkins (UFA), MLB Kiko Alonso, *SLB Koa Misi. Backups -- MLB Mike Hull, WLB Donald Butler (UFA), WLB Spencer Paysinger (UFA), SLB Neville Hewitt, SLB Trevor Reilly.

      DEFENSIVE BACKS: Starters -- LCB Byron Maxwell, RCB Tony Lippett, *SS Reshad Jones, *FS Isa Abdul-Quddus. Backups -- FS Bacarri Rambo (UFA), FS Michael Thomas (UFA), RCB Lafayette Pitts, LCB Jordan Lucas, LCB Xavien Howard, SS Walt Aikens, SS A.J. Hendy, *&FS Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, *S Isa Abdul-Quddus.

      SPECIAL TEAMS: K Andrew Franks, P Matt Darr, KOR/PR Jakeem Grant, KOR Kenyan Drake, PR Jarvis Landry, LS John Denney (UFA).

      ====================

      NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

      ====================

      Patriots' free ageny, draft shopping list

      As they wade through free agency and prepare to evaluate draft prospects at the Indianapolis Scouting Combine (March 1-6), the New England Patriots must decide which players to keep as they seek to repeat as Super Bowl champions.

      The Sports Xchange and NFLDraftScout.com evaluated the Patriots' roster and created a shopping list to use in free agency and reference during the Combine.

      Coach Bill Belichick turned the page quickly to continue his mantra of putting the past in the rearview mirror and working to get better.

      The likely top goal will be to re-sign linebacker Dont'a Hightower. The Patriots often elect not to spend big in free agency, but they have a lot of cap space and in the last year traded defensive end Chandler Jones and linebacker Jamie Collins prior to their contracts expiring.

      THE BREAKDOWN

      2016 finish: 1st in AFC East (14-2)

      2016 STATISTICS

      TOTAL OFFENSE: 386.3 (4th)

      RUSHING: 117.0 (7th)

      PASSING: 269.3 (4th)

      TOTAL DEFENSE: 326.4 (8th)

      RUSHING: 88.6 (T3rd)

      PASSING: 237.9 (12th)

      NEEDS, SHOPPING LIST

      &=Released

      TOP THREE NEEDS

      1. DEFENSIVE END

      Though Trey Flowers broke out over the second half of the season, New England still has a lack of depth and consistent pass rush.

      UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giants (28, $10M)

      Calais Campbell, Arizona (DT; 31 in September, $11M)

      Jabaal Sheard, New England (28 in May, $5.5M)

      &Mario Williams, Miami (32, $8.5M)

      Charles Johnson, Carolina (31 in July, $3M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht., Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      1/1 Myles Garrett, Texas A&M, 6-4, 268, 1 (underclassman)

      2/3 Solomon Thomas, Stanford, 6-2, 275, 1 (underclassman)

      3/17 Derek Barnett, Tennessee, 6-3, 265, 1 (underclassman)

      4/28 Taco Charlton, Michigan, 6-5, 272, 1

      5/32 Charles Harris, Missouri, 6-3, 255, 4.74, 1-2 (underclassman)

      2. TIGHT END

      Rob Gronkowski is coming off his third back surgery, and Martellus Bennett is set to be a free agent and could look to cash in.

      UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      Jared Cook, Green Bay (30 in April, $2.75M)

      Jordan Cameron, Miami (29 in August, $7.5M)

      Vernon Davis, Washington (33, $2.4M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht., Wt., 40 time, Proj. Rd.)

      1/11 O.J. Howard, Alabama, 6-6, 249, 4.57, 1

      2/30 David Njoku, Miami (FL), 6-4, 240, 4.53, 1-2 (underclassman)

      3/45 Evan Engram, Mississippi, 6-3, 236, 4.64, 2

      4/72 Bucky Hodges, Virginia Tech, 6-6, 245, 4.78, 2-3 (underclassman)

      3. RUNNING BACK

      There is no lead-back type behind free agent LeGarrette Blount. The Patriots may seek a young, impact runner to add to the backfield committee.

      UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      Le'Veon Bell, Pittsburgh (25, $1.03M)

      *Adrian Peterson, Minnesota (32 in March, $14M)

      Latavius Murray, Oakland (27, $567K)

      Eddie Lacy, Green Bay (27 June, $848K)

      Darren McFadden, Dallas (30 in August, $1.5M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht., Wt., 40 time, Proj. Rd.)

      1/5 Dalvin Cook, Florida State, 5-11, 206, 4.43, 1 (underclassman)

      2/9 Leonard Fournette, LSU, 6-1, 230, 4.45, 1 (underclassman)

      3/24 Christian McCaffrey, Stanford, 6-0, 202, 4.48, 1 (underclassman)

      4/60 Alvin Kamara, Tennessee, 5-10, 215, 4.62, 2 (underclassman)

      5/86 Joe Mixon, Oklahoma, 6-1, 226, 4.50, 3 (underclassman)

      UFA KEEPERS

      LB Dont'a Hightower (27 in March, $1.93M)

      TE Martellus Bennett (30 in March, $5.1M)

      RB LeGarrette Blount (31 in December, $1M)

      ROSTER REVIEW

      DEPTH CHART

      Starters and backups are listed according to their status at the end of the season, but players who were starters before being injured are included.

      * Indicates player who ended 2016 season on reserve.

      & Indicates player released since the Super Bowl.

      QUARTERBACKS: Starter -- Tom Brady. Backups -- Jimmy Garoppolo, Jacoby Brissett.

      RUNNING BACKS: Starter -- Dion Lewis. Backups -- LeGarrette Blount (UFA), FB James Develin (UFA), James White, Brandon Bolden, D.J. Foster.

      TIGHT ENDS: Starters -- *Rob Gronkowski, Martellus Bennett (UFA). Backups -- Matt Lengel, Greg Scruggs (UFA).

      WIDE RECEIVERS: Starters -- Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan. Backups -- Malcolm Mitchell, Danny Amendola, Michael Floyd (UFA), Matthew Slater.

      OFFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters -- LT Nate Solder, LG Joe Thuney, C David Andrews, RG Shaq Mason, RT Marcus Cannon. Backups -- *G Tre' Jackson, T *Sebastian Vollmer, G Ted Karras, T Cameron Fleming, T LaAdrian Waddle.

      DEFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters -- DT Alan Branch (UFA), DT Malcom Brown, DE Rob Ninkovich, DE Trey Flowers. Backups -- DE Jabaal Sheard (UFA), DE Chris Long (UFA), DT Vincent Valentine, DE Geneo Grissom.

      LINEBACKERS: Starters -- Dont'a Hightower (UFA), Shea McClellin. Backups -- Kyle Van Noy, Elandon Roberts, Barkevious Mingo (UFA), *Jonathan Freeny.

      DEFENSIVE BACKS: Starters -- SS Patrick Chung, FS Devin McCourty, CB Malcolm Butler, CB Eric Rowe, CB Logan Ryan (UFA). Backups -- FS Duron Harmon (UFA), CB Cyrus Jones, CB Justin Coleman, S Nate Ebner, S Brandon King, S Jordan Richards, CB Justin Coleman.

      SPECIAL TEAMS: K Stephen Gostkowski, P Ryan Allen, PR Julian Edelman, KOR Dion Lewis, LS Joe Cardona.

      =============

      NEW YORK JETS

      =============

      Jets' free ageny, draft shopping list

      As the New York Jets wade through free agency and prepare to evaluate draft prospects at the Indianapolis Combine (March 1-6), they must decide which players to keep as they seek to improve their 5-11 record from last season.

      The Sports Xchange and NFLDraftScout.com evaluated the roster and created a shopping list to use in free agency and reference during the Combine.

      Throughout the 2016 offseason, the Jets danced with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, but a new contract didn't happen until the start of training camp. Fitzpatrick won't return, and Geno Smith is a free agent. That leaves Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg, plus perhaps yet another draft pick.

      There are also needs on the offensive line and cornerback, plus several other areas.

      THE BREAKDOWN

      2016 finish: 4th in AFC East (5-11)

      2016 STATISTICS

      TOTAL OFFENSE: 329.3 (26th)

      RUSHING: 112.6 (12th)

      PASSING: 216.6 (27th)

      TOTAL DEFENSE: 342.4 (11th)

      RUSHING: 98.8 (11th)

      PASSING: 243.6 (17th)

      NEEDS, SHOPPING LIST

      * Option not expected to be renewed

      TOP THREE NEEDS

      1. OFFENSIVE LINE

      When three 30-somethings are among the four offensive line starters on injured reserve, it's time to find replacements. A lot is needed.

      UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      OT:

      Andrew Whitworth, Cincinnati (36 in December, $9M)

      Russell Okung, Denver (option not expected to be exercised; 29 in October, $10.6M)

      Rick Wagner, Baltimore (28 in October, $576K)

      Luke Joeckel, Jacksonville (G; 26 in November, $5.3M))

      Matt Kalil, Minnesota (injury; 28 in July, $4.94M)

      OG/C:

      Kevin Zeitler, Cincinnati (G; 27 in March, $1.89M)

      T.J. Lang, Green Bay (G/injury; 30 in September, $5.2M)

      Ronald Leary, Dallas (G; 28 in April, $2.55M)

      JC Tretter, Green Bay (C; 26, $644K)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht., Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      OT:

      1/14 Ryan Ramczyk, Wisconsin, 6-5, 314, 5.29, 1 (underclassman)

      2/25 Cam Robinson, Alabama, 6-6, 310, 5.28, 1 (underclassman)

      3/38 Garett Bolles, Utah, 6-5, 296, 4.97, 1-2 (underclassman)

      OG:

      1/33. Dan Feeney, Indiana, 6-4, 304, 5.09, 1-2

      2/35. Forrest Lamp, Western Kentucky, 6-4, 305, 5.12, 1-2

      C:

      1/64. Ethan Pocic, LSU, 6-6, 307, 5.18, 2

      2/80. Pat Elflein, Ohio State, 6-2, 300, 5.22, 2-3

      2. CORNERBACK

      The Jets badly need a No. 1 corner after bringing back the greats of yesteryear (Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie) didn't work.

      POTENTIAL UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      A.J. Bouye, Houston (26 in August, $1.67M)

      Trumaine Johnson, L.A. Rams (27, $13.95M)

      Logan Ryan, New England (26, $693K)

      Stephon Gilmore, Buffalo (27 in September, $3.02M)

      Brandon Carr, Dallas (31 in May, $10M)

      Prince Amukamara, Jacksonville (28 in June, $5.5M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht, Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      1/10 Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State, 6-0, 195, 1 (underclassman)

      2/15 Teez Tabor, Florida, 6-0, 201, 1 (underclassman)

      3/21 Marlon Humphrey, Alabama, 6-1, 196, 1 (underclassman)

      4/23 Sidney Jones, Washington, 6-0, 181, 1 (underclassman)

      5/34 Desmond King, Iowa, 5-11, 206, 1-2

      3. QUARTERBACK

      For the 40th straight year, the next Joe Namath probably isn't available in the draft, but the Jets need to take someone anyway, even after selecting Christian Hackenberg in the second round last year.

      UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      Kirk Cousins, Washington (29 in August, $19.95M)

      Tony Romo, Dallas (expected to be released; 37 in April, $18M)

      Mike Glennon, Tampa Bay (28 in December, $776K)

      Brian Hoyer, Chicago (32 in October, $2M)

      *Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo (28 in August, $18M)

      *Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco (30 in November, $19M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht., Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      1/12 Mitch Trubisky, North Carolina, 6-3, 220, 4.74, 1 (underclassman)

      2/20 DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame, 6-4, 230, 4.76, 1 (underclassman)

      3/29 Deshaun Watson, Clemson, 6-2, 215, 4.64, 1-2 (underclassman)

      4/70 Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech, 6-2, 229, 4.84, 2-3 (underclassman)

      5/99 Brad Kaaya, Miami (FL), 6-4, 210, 4.84, 3 (underclassman)

      UFA KEEPERS

      None

      ROSTER REVIEW

      MAJOR COACHING CHANGES

      --John Morton will be the OC, replacing Chan Gailey, who retired.

      DEPTH CHART

      Starters and backups are listed according to their status at the end of the season, but players who were starters before being injured are included.

      * Indicates player who ended 2016 season on reserve.

      & Indicates player released since the Super Bowl.

      QUARTERBACKS: Starter -- Ryan Fitzpatrick (UFA). Backups -- *Geno Smith (UFA), *Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg.

      RUNNING BACKS: Starter -- *Matt Forte. Backups -- Bilal Powell, *Khiry Robinson (UFA), Brandon Burks, Brandon Wilds, *Romar Morris.

      TIGHT ENDS: Starter -- *Kellen Davis (UFA). Backups -- Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Brandon Bostick, Eric Tomlinson.

      WIDE RECEIVERS: Starters -- Brandon Marshall, *Eric Decker, Quincy Enunwa. Backups -- Robby Anderson, Jalin Marshall, Charone Peake, Devin Smith.

      OFFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters -- *C Nick Mangold, *RG Brian Winters (UFA), LG James Carpenter, *LT Ryan Clady (option not expected to be exercised), *RT Breno Giacomini. Backups -- C Wesley Johnson, LT Ben Ijalana (UFA), RG Brent Qvale, RT Brandon Shell, G/C Dakota Dozier, OT Donald Hawkins, G Craig Watts.

      DEFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters -- DL Muhammad Wilkerson, DL Sheldon Richardson, DL Leonard Williams, NT Steve McLendon. Backups -- NT Deon Simon, DL Brandin Bryant, DL Anthony Johnson, *DL Julian Obioha, *DL Lawrence Thomas.

      LINEBACKERS: Starters -- ILB David Harris, ILB Darron Lee, OLB Jordan Jenkins, OLB Lorenzo Mauldin. Backups -- *ILB Erin Henderson, ILB Randall Johnson, ILB Bruce Carter (UFA), OLB Freddie Bishop, OLB Corey Lemonier (UFA), LB Josh Martin (UFA), *LB Mike Catapano, *LB Julian Stanford.

      DEFENSIVE BACKS: Starters -- CB Darrelle Revis, CB Buster Skrine, *FS Marcus Gilchrist, SS Calvin Pryor. Backups -- CB Justin Burris, CB Darryl Roberts, CB Dexter McDougle, CB Marcus Williams, CB Nick Marshall, FS Rontez Miles, SS Ronald Martin, FS Doug Middleton, *S Antonio Allen (UFA).

      SPECIAL TEAMS: K Nick Folk, P Lachlan Edwards, KR/PR Nick Marshall, LS Tanner Purdum (UFA).

  • Bills' free agency, draft shopping list
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, February 20, 2017

    As they wade through free agency and prepare to evaluate draft prospects at the Indianapolis Scouting Combine (March 1-6), the Buffalo Bills must decide which players to keep and seek to improve their 7-9 record from last season.

    • The Sports Xchange and NFLDraftScout.com evaluated the Bills' roster and created a shopping list to use in free agency and reference during the combine.

      Perhaps the biggest question of the offseason is tied to the future of quarterback Tyrod Taylor and whether the new coaching staff wants him back as the starter. In addition, EJ Manuel is a free agent.

      There is also pending free agency for wide receivers Robert Wood and Marquise Goodwin to go with the frequent injuries experienced by Sammy Watkins.

      New head coach Sean McDermott has a lot of work ahead.

      THE BREAKDOWN

      2016 finish: 3rd in AFC East (7-9)

      2016 STATISTICS

      TOTAL OFFENSE: 354.1 (16th)

      RUSHING: 164.4 (1st)

      PASSING: 189.8 (30th)

      TOTAL DEFENSE: 357.0 (19th)

      RUSHING: 133.1 (26th)

      PASSING: 223.9 (6th)

      NEEDS, SHOPPING LIST

      TOP THREE NEEDS

      1. QUARTERBACK

      The Bills believe Cardale Jones has a chance to compete for the starting job, but if Tyrod Taylor and EJ Manuel leave in free agency, the Bills have big problems here.

      UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      Kirk Cousins, Washington (29 in August, $19.95M)

      Tony Romo, Dallas (expected to be released; 37 in April, $18M)

      Mike Glennon, Tampa Bay (28 in December, $776K)

      Brian Hoyer, Chicago (32 in October, $2M)

      *Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo (28 in August, $18M)

      *Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco (30 in November, $19M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht., Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      1/12 Mitch Trubisky, North Carolina, 6-3, 220, 4.74, 1 (underclassman)

      2/20 DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame, 6-4, 230, 4.76, 1 (underclassman)

      3/29 Deshaun Watson, Clemson, 6-2, 215, 4.64, 1-2 (underclassman)

      4/70 Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech, 6-2, 229, 4.84, 2-3 (underclassman)

      5/99 Brad Kaaya, Miami (FL), 6-4, 210, 4.84, 3 (underclassman)

      2. WIDE RECEIVER

      With the likely departure of free agents Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin, a major overhaul is needed to help Sammy Watkins.

      UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      DeSean Jackson, Washington (31 in December, $6M)

      Alshon Jeffery, Chicago (27, $14.6M)

      Pierre Garcon, Washington (31 in August, $8.5M)

      Terrelle Pryor, Cleveland (28 in June, $1.67M)

      Anquan Boldin, Detroit (37 in October, $2.75M)

      Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota (26 in March, $1.8M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht, Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      1/8 Mike Williams, Clemson, 6-3, 225, 1 (underclassman)

      2/1 Corey Davis, Western Michigan, 6-3, 213, 1

      3/19 John Ross, Washington, 5-11, 190, 1 (underclassman)

      4/37 Curtis Samuel, Ohio State, 5-11, 200, 1-2 (underclassman)

      5/42 Dede Westbrook, Oklahoma, 5-11, 175, 2

      3. SAFETY

      Aaron Williams' neck injuries may force him to retire, and Corey Graham is average. There is a crying need for one starting safety, possibly two.

      UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      Eric Berry, Kansas City (29 in December, $10.8M)

      Barry Church, Dallas (29, $2.2M)

      T.J. McDonald, L.A. Rams (26, $732K)

      Chris Conte, Tampa Bay (28, $3M)

      Quintin Demps, Houston (32 in June, $1.5M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht, Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      1/4 Malik Hooker, Ohio State, 6-2, 205, 4.47, 1 (underclassman)

      2/6 Jamal Adams (SS), LSU, 6-0, 211, 4.54, 1 (underclassman)

      3/13 Jabrill Peppers (SS), Michigan, 6-0, 205, 4.52, 1 (underclassman)

      4/43 Budda Baker, Washington, 5-10, 192, 4.52, 2 (underclassman)

      5/55 Obi Melifonwu (SS), Connecticut, 6-4, 219, 4.58, 2

      UFA KEEPERS

      CB Stephon Gilmore (27 in September, $3.02M)

      LB Lorenzo Alexander (34 in May, $885K)

      WR Robert Woods (25 in April, $1.22M)

      ROSTER REVIEW

      MAJOR COACHING CHANGES

      --Sean McDermott was hired as head coach.

      --Rick Dennison will be the OC.

      --Leslie Frazier will be the DC.

      DEPTH CHART

      Starters and backups are listed according to their status at the end of the season, but players who were starters before being injured are included.

      * Indicates player who ended 2016 season on reserve.

      & Indicates player released since the Super Bowl.

      QUARTERBACKS: Starter -- Tyrod Taylor. Backups -- EJ Manuel (UFA), Cardale Jones.

      RUNNING BACKS: Starters -- LeSean McCoy, FB Jerome Felton (UFA). Backups -- Mike Gillislee, Jonathan Williams, Reggie Bush (UFA).

      TIGHT ENDS: Starter -- Charles Clay. Backups -- Nick O'Leary, Gerald Christian, Logan Thomas, *Blake Annen, *Chris Gragg (UFA).

      WIDE RECEIVERS: Starters -- Sammy Watkins, Robert Woods (UFA). Backups -- Marquise Goodwin (UFA), Justin Hunter (UFA), Brandon Tate (UFA), Dezmin Lewis, *Marcus Easley, *Greg Salas, *Kolby Listenbee, *Walter Powell, *Percy Harvin (UFA).

      OFFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters -- LT Cordy Glenn, LG Richie Incognito, C Eric Wood, RG John Miller, RT Jordan Mills (UFA). Backups -- T Cyrus Kouandjio, T *Seantrel Henderson, C-G Ryan Groy, OT Michael Ola, C-G Patrick Lewis.

      DEFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters -- DT Kyle Williams, NT Marcell Dareus, DT Adolphus Washington. Backups -- DT Leger Douzable (UFA), NT DeAndre Coleman, DT Jerel Worthy, *DT Corbin Bryant (UFA).

      LINEBACKERS: Starters -- OLB Jerry Hughes, OLB Lorenzo Alexander (UFA), ILB Preston Brown, ILB Zach Brown (UFA). Backups -- OLB Shaq Lawson, OLB Lerentee McCray (UFA), ILB Ramon Humber, ILB Brandon Spikes (UFA), OLB Bryson Albright, ILB *Reggie Ragland, OLB IK Enemkpali (UFA).

      DEFENSIVE BACKS: Starters -- CB Stephon Gilmore (UFA), CB Ronald Darby, S Corey Graham, *S Aaron Williams. Backups -- CB Nickell Robey-Coleman, CB Kevon Seymour, S Jonathan Meeks (UFA), S Corey White (UFA), S Sergio Brown (UFA), CB Marcus Roberson, S Shamiel Gray, *S Robert Blanton (UFA), *S James Ihedigbo (UFA), *CB Jonathan Dowling, *S Colt Anderson, *S Phillip Thomas.

      SPECIAL TEAMS: K Dan Carpenter, P Colton Schmidt, LS Garrison Sanborn, KOR/PR Brandon Tate (UFA), Reggie Bush (UFA).

  • Jets' free agency, draft shopping list
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, February 20, 2017

    As the New York Jets wade through free agency and prepare to evaluate draft prospects at the Indianapolis Combine (March 1-6), they must decide which players to keep as they seek to improve their 5-11 record from last season.

    • The Sports Xchange and NFLDraftScout.com evaluated the roster and created a shopping list to use in free agency and reference during the Combine.

      Throughout the 2016 offseason, the Jets danced with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, but a new contract didn't happen until the start of training camp. Fitzpatrick won't return, and Geno Smith is a free agent. That leaves Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg, plus perhaps yet another draft pick.

      There are also needs on the offensive line and cornerback, plus several other areas.

      THE BREAKDOWN

      2016 finish: 4th in AFC East (5-11)

      2016 STATISTICS

      TOTAL OFFENSE: 329.3 (26th)

      RUSHING: 112.6 (12th)

      PASSING: 216.6 (27th)

      TOTAL DEFENSE: 342.4 (11th)

      RUSHING: 98.8 (11th)

      PASSING: 243.6 (17th)

      NEEDS, SHOPPING LIST

      * Option not expected to be renewed

      TOP THREE NEEDS

      1. OFFENSIVE LINE

      When three 30-somethings are among the four offensive line starters on injured reserve, it's time to find replacements. A lot is needed.

      UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      OT:

      Andrew Whitworth, Cincinnati (36 in December, $9M)

      Russell Okung, Denver (option not expected to be exercised; 29 in October, $10.6M)

      Rick Wagner, Baltimore (28 in October, $576K)

      Luke Joeckel, Jacksonville (G; 26 in November, $5.3M))

      Matt Kalil, Minnesota (injury; 28 in July, $4.94M)

      OG/C:

      Kevin Zeitler, Cincinnati (G; 27 in March, $1.89M)

      T.J. Lang, Green Bay (G/injury; 30 in September, $5.2M)

      Ronald Leary, Dallas (G; 28 in April, $2.55M)

      JC Tretter, Green Bay (C; 26, $644K)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht., Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      OT:

      1/14 Ryan Ramczyk, Wisconsin, 6-5, 314, 5.29, 1 (underclassman)

      2/25 Cam Robinson, Alabama, 6-6, 310, 5.28, 1 (underclassman)

      3/38 Garett Bolles, Utah, 6-5, 296, 4.97, 1-2 (underclassman)

      OG:

      1/33. Dan Feeney, Indiana, 6-4, 304, 5.09, 1-2

      2/35. Forrest Lamp, Western Kentucky, 6-4, 305, 5.12, 1-2

      C:

      1/64. Ethan Pocic, LSU, 6-6, 307, 5.18, 2

      2/80. Pat Elflein, Ohio State, 6-2, 300, 5.22, 2-3

      2. CORNERBACK

      The Jets badly need a No. 1 corner after bringing back the greats of yesteryear (Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie) didn't work.

      POTENTIAL UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      A.J. Bouye, Houston (26 in August, $1.67M)

      Trumaine Johnson, L.A. Rams (27, $13.95M)

      Logan Ryan, New England (26, $693K)

      Stephon Gilmore, Buffalo (27 in September, $3.02M)

      Brandon Carr, Dallas (31 in May, $10M)

      Prince Amukamara, Jacksonville (28 in June, $5.5M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht, Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      1/10 Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State, 6-0, 195, 1 (underclassman)

      2/15 Teez Tabor, Florida, 6-0, 201, 1 (underclassman)

      3/21 Marlon Humphrey, Alabama, 6-1, 196, 1 (underclassman)

      4/23 Sidney Jones, Washington, 6-0, 181, 1 (underclassman)

      5/34 Desmond King, Iowa, 5-11, 206, 1-2

      3. QUARTERBACK

      For the 40th straight year, the next Joe Namath probably isn't available in the draft, but the Jets need to take someone anyway, even after selecting Christian Hackenberg in the second round last year.

      UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      Kirk Cousins, Washington (29 in August, $19.95M)

      Tony Romo, Dallas (expected to be released; 37 in April, $18M)

      Mike Glennon, Tampa Bay (28 in December, $776K)

      Brian Hoyer, Chicago (32 in October, $2M)

      *Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo (28 in August, $18M)

      *Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco (30 in November, $19M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht., Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      1/12 Mitch Trubisky, North Carolina, 6-3, 220, 4.74, 1 (underclassman)

      2/20 DeShone Kizer, Notre Dame, 6-4, 230, 4.76, 1 (underclassman)

      3/29 Deshaun Watson, Clemson, 6-2, 215, 4.64, 1-2 (underclassman)

      4/70 Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech, 6-2, 229, 4.84, 2-3 (underclassman)

      5/99 Brad Kaaya, Miami (FL), 6-4, 210, 4.84, 3 (underclassman)

      UFA KEEPERS

      None

      ROSTER REVIEW

      MAJOR COACHING CHANGES

      --John Morton will be the OC, replacing Chan Gailey, who retired.

      DEPTH CHART

      Starters and backups are listed according to their status at the end of the season, but players who were starters before being injured are included.

      * Indicates player who ended 2016 season on reserve.

      & Indicates player released since the Super Bowl.

      QUARTERBACKS: Starter -- Ryan Fitzpatrick (UFA). Backups -- *Geno Smith (UFA), *Bryce Petty, Christian Hackenberg.

      RUNNING BACKS: Starter -- *Matt Forte. Backups -- Bilal Powell, *Khiry Robinson (UFA), Brandon Burks, Brandon Wilds, *Romar Morris.

      TIGHT ENDS: Starter -- *Kellen Davis (UFA). Backups -- Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Brandon Bostick, Eric Tomlinson.

      WIDE RECEIVERS: Starters -- Brandon Marshall, *Eric Decker, Quincy Enunwa. Backups -- Robby Anderson, Jalin Marshall, Charone Peake, Devin Smith.

      OFFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters -- *C Nick Mangold, *RG Brian Winters (UFA), LG James Carpenter, *LT Ryan Clady (option not expected to be exercised), *RT Breno Giacomini. Backups -- C Wesley Johnson, LT Ben Ijalana (UFA), RG Brent Qvale, RT Brandon Shell, G/C Dakota Dozier, OT Donald Hawkins, G Craig Watts.

      DEFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters -- DL Muhammad Wilkerson, DL Sheldon Richardson, DL Leonard Williams, NT Steve McLendon. Backups -- NT Deon Simon, DL Brandin Bryant, DL Anthony Johnson, *DL Julian Obioha, *DL Lawrence Thomas.

      LINEBACKERS: Starters -- ILB David Harris, ILB Darron Lee, OLB Jordan Jenkins, OLB Lorenzo Mauldin. Backups -- *ILB Erin Henderson, ILB Randall Johnson, ILB Bruce Carter (UFA), OLB Freddie Bishop, OLB Corey Lemonier (UFA), LB Josh Martin (UFA), *LB Mike Catapano, *LB Julian Stanford.

      DEFENSIVE BACKS: Starters -- CB Darrelle Revis, CB Buster Skrine, *FS Marcus Gilchrist, SS Calvin Pryor. Backups -- CB Justin Burris, CB Darryl Roberts, CB Dexter McDougle, CB Marcus Williams, CB Nick Marshall, FS Rontez Miles, SS Ronald Martin, FS Doug Middleton, *S Antonio Allen (UFA).

      SPECIAL TEAMS: K Nick Folk, P Lachlan Edwards, KR/PR Nick Marshall, LS Tanner Purdum (UFA).

  • Patriots' free ageny, draft shopping list
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, February 20, 2017

    As they wade through free agency and prepare to evaluate draft prospects at the Indianapolis Scouting Combine (March 1-6), the New England Patriots must decide which players to keep as they seek to repeat as Super Bowl champions.

    • The Sports Xchange and NFLDraftScout.com evaluated the Patriots' roster and created a shopping list to use in free agency and reference during the Combine.

      Coach Bill Belichick turned the page quickly to continue his mantra of putting the past in the rearview mirror and working to get better.

      The likely top goal will be to re-sign linebacker Dont'a Hightower. The Patriots often elect not to spend big in free agency, but they have a lot of cap space and in the last year traded defensive end Chandler Jones and linebacker Jamie Collins prior to their contracts expiring.

      THE BREAKDOWN

      2016 finish: 1st in AFC East (14-2)

      2016 STATISTICS

      TOTAL OFFENSE: 386.3 (4th)

      RUSHING: 117.0 (7th)

      PASSING: 269.3 (4th)

      TOTAL DEFENSE: 326.4 (8th)

      RUSHING: 88.6 (T3rd)

      PASSING: 237.9 (12th)

      NEEDS, SHOPPING LIST

      &=Released

      TOP THREE NEEDS

      1. DEFENSIVE END

      Though Trey Flowers broke out over the second half of the season, New England still has a lack of depth and consistent pass rush.

      UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giants (28, $10M)

      Calais Campbell, Arizona (DT; 31 in September, $11M)

      Jabaal Sheard, New England (28 in May, $5.5M)

      &Mario Williams, Miami (32, $8.5M)

      Charles Johnson, Carolina (31 in July, $3M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht., Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      1/1 Myles Garrett, Texas A&M, 6-4, 268, 1 (underclassman)

      2/3 Solomon Thomas, Stanford, 6-2, 275, 1 (underclassman)

      3/17 Derek Barnett, Tennessee, 6-3, 265, 1 (underclassman)

      4/28 Taco Charlton, Michigan, 6-5, 272, 1

      5/32 Charles Harris, Missouri, 6-3, 255, 4.74, 1-2 (underclassman)

      2. TIGHT END

      Rob Gronkowski is coming off his third back surgery, and Martellus Bennett is set to be a free agent and could look to cash in.

      UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      Jared Cook, Green Bay (30 in April, $2.75M)

      Jordan Cameron, Miami (29 in August, $7.5M)

      Vernon Davis, Washington (33, $2.4M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht., Wt., 40 time, Proj. Rd.)

      1/11 O.J. Howard, Alabama, 6-6, 249, 4.57, 1

      2/30 David Njoku, Miami (FL), 6-4, 240, 4.53, 1-2 (underclassman)

      3/45 Evan Engram, Mississippi, 6-3, 236, 4.64, 2

      4/72 Bucky Hodges, Virginia Tech, 6-6, 245, 4.78, 2-3 (underclassman)

      3. RUNNING BACK

      There is no lead-back type behind free agent LeGarrette Blount. The Patriots may seek a young, impact runner to add to the backfield committee.

      UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      Le'Veon Bell, Pittsburgh (25, $1.03M)

      *Adrian Peterson, Minnesota (32 in March, $14M)

      Latavius Murray, Oakland (27, $567K)

      Eddie Lacy, Green Bay (27 June, $848K)

      Darren McFadden, Dallas (30 in August, $1.5M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht., Wt., 40 time, Proj. Rd.)

      1/5 Dalvin Cook, Florida State, 5-11, 206, 4.43, 1 (underclassman)

      2/9 Leonard Fournette, LSU, 6-1, 230, 4.45, 1 (underclassman)

      3/24 Christian McCaffrey, Stanford, 6-0, 202, 4.48, 1 (underclassman)

      4/60 Alvin Kamara, Tennessee, 5-10, 215, 4.62, 2 (underclassman)

      5/86 Joe Mixon, Oklahoma, 6-1, 226, 4.50, 3 (underclassman)

      UFA KEEPERS

      LB Dont'a Hightower (27 in March, $1.93M)

      TE Martellus Bennett (30 in March, $5.1M)

      RB LeGarrette Blount (31 in December, $1M)

      ROSTER REVIEW

      DEPTH CHART

      Starters and backups are listed according to their status at the end of the season, but players who were starters before being injured are included.

      * Indicates player who ended 2016 season on reserve.

      & Indicates player released since the Super Bowl.

      QUARTERBACKS: Starter -- Tom Brady. Backups -- Jimmy Garoppolo, Jacoby Brissett.

      RUNNING BACKS: Starter -- Dion Lewis. Backups -- LeGarrette Blount (UFA), FB James Develin (UFA), James White, Brandon Bolden, D.J. Foster.

      TIGHT ENDS: Starters -- *Rob Gronkowski, Martellus Bennett (UFA). Backups -- Matt Lengel, Greg Scruggs (UFA).

      WIDE RECEIVERS: Starters -- Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan. Backups -- Malcolm Mitchell, Danny Amendola, Michael Floyd (UFA), Matthew Slater.

      OFFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters -- LT Nate Solder, LG Joe Thuney, C David Andrews, RG Shaq Mason, RT Marcus Cannon. Backups -- *G Tre' Jackson, T *Sebastian Vollmer, G Ted Karras, T Cameron Fleming, T LaAdrian Waddle.

      DEFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters -- DT Alan Branch (UFA), DT Malcom Brown, DE Rob Ninkovich, DE Trey Flowers. Backups -- DE Jabaal Sheard (UFA), DE Chris Long (UFA), DT Vincent Valentine, DE Geneo Grissom.

      LINEBACKERS: Starters -- Dont'a Hightower (UFA), Shea McClellin. Backups -- Kyle Van Noy, Elandon Roberts, Barkevious Mingo (UFA), *Jonathan Freeny.

      DEFENSIVE BACKS: Starters -- SS Patrick Chung, FS Devin McCourty, CB Malcolm Butler, CB Eric Rowe, CB Logan Ryan (UFA). Backups -- FS Duron Harmon (UFA), CB Cyrus Jones, CB Justin Coleman, S Nate Ebner, S Brandon King, S Jordan Richards, CB Justin Coleman.

      SPECIAL TEAMS: K Stephen Gostkowski, P Ryan Allen, PR Julian Edelman, KOR Dion Lewis, LS Joe Cardona.

  • Dolphins' free agency, draft shopping list
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, February 20, 2017

    As the Miami Dolphins wade through free agency and prepare to evaluate draft prospects at the Indianapolis Combine (March 1-6), they must decide which players to keep as they seek to improve their 10-6 record from last season.

    • The Sports Xchange and NFLDraftScout.com evaluated the Dolphins' roster and created a shopping list to use in free agency and reference during the Combine.

      Although defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is the linchpin of the defensive line along with end Cam Wake, there is some need there after the release of end Mario Williams and tackle Earl Mitchell.

      The Dolphins made the playoffs in 2016, but to do that again, the defense needs an upgrade, with linebacker another area to address.

      THE BREAKDOWN

      2016 finish: 2nd in AFC East (10-6)

      STATISTICS

      TOTAL OFFENSE: 332.8 (24th)

      RUSHING: 114.0 (9th)

      PASSING: 218.8 (26th)

      TOTAL DEFENSE: 382.6 (29th)

      RUSHING: 140.4 (30th)

      PASSING: 242.2 (15th)

      NEEDS, SHOPPING LIST

      TOP THREE NEEDS

      1. LINEBACKER

      They badly need aggressive, athletic guys that can tackle and cover. This is the No. 1 offseason priority whether in free agency or the draft.

      UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      OLB:

      Chandler Jones, Arizona (27, $2.04M)

      Nick Perry, Green Bay (27 in April, $5.05M)

      Melvin Ingram, L.A. Chargers (28 in April, $2.1M)

      DeMarcus Ware, Denver (35 in July, $10M)

      Julius Peppers, Green Bay (37, $8.67M)

      ILB:

      Dont'a Hightower, New England (27 in March, $1.93M)

      Lawrence Timmons, Pittsburgh (31 in May, $9.6M)

      Malcolm Smith, Oakland (28 in July, $3.5M)

      Akeem Dent, Houston (30 in September, $2.25M)

      & D'Qwell Jackson, Indianapolis (34 in September, $5.5M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht., Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      OLB:

      1/18 Zach Cunningham, Vanderbilt, 6-3, 230, 4.74, 1 (underclassman)

      2/26 Takkarist McKinley, UCLA, 6-2, 258, 4.58, 1

      3/27 Tim Williams, Alabama, 6-3, 252, 4.76, 1

      4/31 Haason Reddick, Temple, 6-1, 237, 4.54, 1-2

      5/48 T.J. Watt, Wisconsin, 6-4, 243, 4.76, 2 (underclassman)

      ILB:

      1/7 Reuben Foster, Alabama, 6-1, 236, 4.72, 1

      2/41 Raekwon McMillan, Ohio State, 6-2, 240, 4.78, 2 (underclassman)

      3/44 Jarrad Davis, Florida, 6-1, 238, 4.78, 2

      2. DEFENSIVE TACKLE

      Run-stuffing is at a premium for a unit that finished 30th (140.4 yards allowed per game) against the run.

      UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      Kawann Short, Carolina (28, $1.16M)

      Dontari Poe, Kansas City (27 in August, $2.83M)

      Domata Peko, Cincinnati (33 in November, $4.5M)

      Vince Wilfork, Houston (possibly retiring; 36 in November, $4.5M)

      Nick Fairley, New Orleans (29, $3M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht., Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      1/2. Jonathan Allen, Alabama, 6-3, 291, 4.82, 1

      2/22. Malik McDowell, Michigan State, 6-5, 276, 4.89, 1 (underclassman)

      3/50. Caleb Brantley, Florida, 6-2, 297, 5.05, 2 (underclassman)

      4/56. Carlos Watkins, Clemson, 6-4, 312, 5.06, 2

      3. TIGHT END

      The Dolphins want an athletic guy who stretches the field and makes the game easier for the wide receivers, quarterback and running back.

      UFA TARGETS (Age, previous contract's average annual salary)

      Martellus Bennett, New England (30 in March, $5.1M)

      Jared Cook, Green Bay (30 in April, $2.75M)

      Jordan Cameron, Miami (29 in August, $7.5M)

      Vernon Davis, Washington (33, $2.4M)

      DRAFT TARGETS (Rating pos/overall, Player, School, Ht., Wt., Proj. Rd.)

      1/11. O.J. Howard, Alabama, 6-6, 249, 4.57, 1

      2/30. David Njoku, Miami (FL), 6-4, 240, 4.53, 1-2 (underclassman)

      3/45. Evan Engram, Mississippi, 6-3, 236, 4.64, 2

      4/72. Bucky Hodges, Virginia Tech, 6-6, 245, 4.78, 2-3 (underclassman)

      UFA KEEPERS

      TE Jordan Cameron (29 in August, $7.5M)

      WR Kenny Stills (25 in April, $589K)

      LB Jelani Jenkins (25 in March, $658K)

      TE Dion Sims (26, $657K)

      ROSTER REVIEW

      MAJOR COACHING CHANGES

      --DC Vance Joseph left to be Denver's head coach.

      --LB coach Matt Burke promoted to DC.

      DEPTH CHART

      Starters and backups are listed according to their status at the end of the season, but players who were starters before being injured are included.

      * Indicates player who ended 2016 season on reserve.

      & Indicates player released since the Super Bowl.

      QUARTERBACKS: Starter -- Ryan Tannehill. Backups -- Matt Moore, T.J. Yates (UFA).

      RUNNING BACKS: Starter -- Jay Ajayi. Backups -- Damien Williams, Kenyan Drake.

      TIGHT ENDS: Starter: *Jordan Cameron (UFA). Backups -- Dion Sims (UFA), Dominique Jones (UFA), MarQueis Gray, Thomas Duarte.

      WIDE RECEIVERS: Starters -- Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills (UFA), DeVante Parker. Backups -- Jakeem Grant, Leonte Carroo.

      OFFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters -- LT Branden Albert, LG Laremy Tunsil, *C Mike Pouncey, RG Jermon Bushrod (UFA), RT Ja'Wuan James. Backups -- C/G Kraig Urbik, C Jake Brendel, C/G Anthony Steen, T Sam Young.

      DEFENSIVE LINEMEN: Starters -- DLE Cam Wake, DLT Ndamukong Suh, DRT Jordan Phillips, DRE Andre Branch (UFA). Backups -- DLT Nick Williams, RDE Terrence Fede, &DRT Earl Mitchell, &DRE Mario Williams, *DRE Dion Jordan (UFA).

      LINEBACKERS: WLB Jelani Jenkins (UFA), MLB Kiko Alonso, *SLB Koa Misi. Backups -- MLB Mike Hull, WLB Donald Butler (UFA), WLB Spencer Paysinger (UFA), SLB Neville Hewitt, SLB Trevor Reilly.

      DEFENSIVE BACKS: Starters -- LCB Byron Maxwell, RCB Tony Lippett, *SS Reshad Jones, *FS Isa Abdul-Quddus. Backups -- FS Bacarri Rambo (UFA), FS Michael Thomas (UFA), RCB Lafayette Pitts, LCB Jordan Lucas, LCB Xavien Howard, SS Walt Aikens, SS A.J. Hendy, *&FS Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, *S Isa Abdul-Quddus.

      SPECIAL TEAMS: K Andrew Franks, P Matt Darr, KOR/PR Jakeem Grant, KOR Kenyan Drake, PR Jarvis Landry, LS John Denney (UFA).

  • Irsay: Colts' coach, GM 'clicking on all cylinders'
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, February 20, 2017

    Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay says head coach Chuck Pagano and new general manager Chris Ballard are "clicking on all cylinders."

    • Irsay took to Twitter on Sunday night and added that quarterback Andrew Luck "is healing" after his surgery and there are "great things to come" for the Colts.

      "Colts Nation...I want you to know New GM Chris and HC Chuck are clicking on all cylinders...#12 is healing and great things to come!!" Irsay tweeted.

      Former general manager Ryan Grigson was fired on Jan. 21 after five seasons with the Colts. A little over a week later, Irsay hired Ballard, who spent the past four seasons working as the Kansas City Chiefs' director of football operations.

      At his introductory press conference on Jan. 30, Ballard came to the immediate support of Pagano, whose job security had been called into question following the Colts' second straight 8-8 season in 2016.

      "There were no other options. It was Chuck Pagano," Ballard told reporters. "Chuck Pagano is a good football coach in the National Football League. Three 11-5 seasons, went to the AFC Championship Game, had two 8-8s (seasons) back-to-back, but he has won 49 games. We need to keep our eye on how hard it is to win in this league. It is hard to win and he has won 49 games in the National Football League. It was Chuck Pagano and his staff and we are rolling."

      Irsay confirmed last month that Luck underwent outpatient surgery on his right shoulder injury that had lingered since 2015 but the quarterback will be ready for the start of the 2017 regular season.

      Luck missed one game in 2016 with a concussion but was listed on the injury report every week. The shoulder injury originally occurred in Week 3 of the 2015 season.

      The 27-year-old Luck completed a career-high 63.5 percent of his passes last season for 4,240 yards with 31 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He was sacked 41 times.

  • Ex-Lions CB Wilson arrested in Oregon
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, February 19, 2017

    Former Detroit Lions cornerback Stanley Wilson II was arrested after attempting to force his way into an Oregon home and taking his clothes off, according to police.

    • Police visited a Woodburn (Ore.) home on Saturday after being informed that a person was acting erratically and attempting to get into the house. Wilson, 34, emerged from a backyard shed and was naked, police said, before being taken to Marion County Jail.

      Wilson's preference for lack of clothing is nothing new, as he was arrested while being disrobed in public for the third time in less than a year.

      Police say Wilson had been shot be a homeowner in June in a similar incident in Portland and was arrested again in January after being found naked outside a residence in the same city.

      Wilson was a third-round pick in the 2005 draft out of Stanford. He last played in the NFL in 2008.

  • Dolphins sign DE Wake to 2-year extension
    By The Sports Xchange / Saturday, February 18, 2017

    The Miami Dolphins signed Pro Bowl defensive end Cameron Wake to a two-year contract extension through the 2018 season, the team announced Saturday.

    • The extension is worth $19 million with $11 million guaranteed, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter. Wake was heading into the final year of his contract, set to pay him $7 million.

      Wake, 35, bounced back from a season-ending Achilles injury in 2015 to lead the Dolphins with 11.5 sacks last season. He also registered 29 tackles and five forced fumbles to make his fifth career Pro Bowl.

      Wake has been with the Dolphins since 2009, accumulating 81.5 sacks in his career.

      The Dolphins cleared salary cap space earlier this week with the release of defensive linemen Mario Williams and Earl Mitchell.

  • Jets CB Revis surrenders to police in Pittsburgh
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, February 17, 2017

    New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis turned himself in to police in Pittsburgh on Friday evening after being involved in an altercation over the weekend that led to Revis being charged with four felonies and a misdemeanor.

    • Revis did not answer questions from media members who were assembled as he entered the Pittsburgh Municipal Courts building accompanied by attorney Blaine Jones and family members.

      On Thursday, Revis was charged with two felony counts of aggravated assault, one felony count of robbery, one felony count of conspiracy, and a misdemeanor count of terroristic threats.

      The charges stemmed from an incident that took place at 2:43 a.m. ET Sunday on Pittsburgh's popular South Side. Two men told police that they had a verbal altercation with Revis, who then punched them. Witnesses told police the two men were unconscious for about 10 minutes.

      The incident began when Dallas Cousins, 22, confronted Revis and began recording video of Revis on his cellphone and followed the Jets' star.

      "At some point, Revis snatched the cellphone away and attempted to delete the video," the police statement said, according to an ESPN report.

      Zacheriah Jarvis, 21, helped get the phone back, according to police, and then an argument began.

      Another man came to help Revis, and that is when the two men claimed they were punched.

      Nathan Watt, a witness, told police that after the two men were knocked down, Revis said to him, "I got more guys coming. Do you want to be next?"

      Watt was not sure whether Revis or the unidentified man who joined him knocked down the two men.

      Police said the video "shows Revis walking away from the group and Cousins following him, describing what Revis is wearing. The video then shows Revis standing in front of the White Eagle Bar, saying, 'Why are you following me?' several times before the video stops."

      Cousins was diagnosed with an orbital floor fracture.

      Revis attorney Jones said on Thursday that Revis was, "physically assaulted while at the location by a group of at least five people," and claimed Revis was a victim.

      Jones told ESPN that Revis needed medical attention.

      According to a TMZ report, Revis had been drinking for several hours before the confrontation.

      A Jets team spokesman indicated that team officials are aware of the incident but had no comment.

      Revis, 31, is a four-time All-Pro and a former Super Bowl champion with the New England Patriots. Once one of the league's top cornerbacks, his play slipped enough last year that he is viewed as a candidate to be cut next month based on his $15.3 million salary-cap figure.

      In 10 NFL seasons -- the first six with the Jets, one each with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Patriots, and the past two with the Jets -- Revis has 29 interceptions, four forced fumbles and two sacks in 140 games (all starts). He was credited with 137 passes defensed.

      Revis played 15 games last season, finishing with five passes defensed and one interception.

      Revis was the Jets' 2007 first-round pick (14th overall) out of the University of Pittsburgh. He was born and raised in the Pittsburgh area.

  • NFL notebook: Former RB Richardson arrested on domestic violence charge
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, February 17, 2017

    Former NFL and Alabama running back Trent Richardson was arrested on a domestic violence charge in Hoover, Ala., on Thursday night, according to Hoover police.

    • Richardson was arrested after an incident at a Hyatt Place Hotel and charged with one count of third-degree domestic violence.

      Richardson was a college standout at Alabama and rushed for 3,130 yards and 35 touchdowns in three seasons. He finished third in the 2011 Heisman Trophy balloting.

      Richardson was the third overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns but the organization gave up on him two games in the 2013 season and traded him to the Indianapolis Colts. He also struggled in 1 1/2 season with the Colts, and was cut by the Oakland Raiders prior to the start of the 2015 season and by the Baltimore Ravens prior to last season. Richardson rushed for 2,032 yards and 17 touchdowns in 46 career NFL games.

      --New San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed that Robert Saleh will be his defensive coordinator.

      The 49ers have not released an official announcement about the hiring of Saleh, who spent the past three seasons as the linebackers coach of Jacksonville Jaguars.

      The 38-year-old Saleh worked with Shanahan in 2006-09 when both were assistant coaches in Houston. Saleh began with the Texans as a defensive intern in 2005 before working as a defensive quality control coach (2006-2008) and assistant linebackers assistant (2009-10). Saleh then became a defensive assistant at Seattle (2011-13) and Jacksonville (2014-16).

      --New England Patriots wide receiver Michael Floyd pleaded guilty to extreme DUI and was sentenced to jail in a criminal case related to his December arrest in Scottsdale, Ariz.

      The Arizona Cardinals released Floyd on Dec. 14 -- two days after his drunk-driving arrest in which police said he had a blood-alcohol level of .217.

      Floyd, 27, faced seven charges but the other six were dropped on Thursday when he entered a guilty plea and began his sentence, according to court documents. He will spend 24 days in Maricopa County (Ariz.) Jail and another 96 days on house arrest.

      Floyd also will be required to complete 30 hours of community service, attend alcohol abuse classes and pay a fine of $5,115.99 as part of his plea.

      --Former NFL cornerback Leonard Myers died Friday after battling cancer. He was 38.

      Myers played for the New England Patriots from 2001-02 after being drafted in the sixth round out of Miami, where he played for the Hurricanes from 1997-2000.

      Myers was a part of the Patriots' 2001 Super Bowl championship team, although he was inactive for the game. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla. native played in 15 games and totaled 22 tackles with the Patriots. Following his time in New England, Myers had brief stints with the New Orleans Saints, New York Jets and Detroit Lions before going on to play for the Ottawa Renegades of the Canadian Football League.

      --Los Angeles Chargers offensive tackle King Dunlap was arrested Thursday night on suspicion of violating a protective order in Nashville, Tenn.

      Nashville police responded to a domestic disturbance call involving Dunlap and a woman identified as his girlfriend. Dunlap was in the woman's house and told police after the arrest that he was aware of the protective order.

      Dunlap was released from jail on Friday after posting $1,000 bond.

      Dunlap is the first Chargers' player to be arrested since the franchise moved from San Diego to Los Angeles last month.

      --Former St. Louis Rams and New York Jets running back Zac Stacy announced his retirement at age 25 after just three NFL seasons due to injuries.

      Stacy, originally a fifth-round pick out of Vanderbilt, rushed for 973 yards and seven touchdowns as a rookie with the Rams in 2013.

      Stacy's playing time dropped off in 2014 and the Rams traded him to the Jets in 2015. He broke his ankle during the 2015 season and never fully recovered. The Jets waived Stacy last year after he failed a physical.

      Stacy finished his NFL career with 1,355 rushing yards and nine touchdowns with 53 receptions for 358 yards and one score.

      --The Carolina Panthers signed offensive guard Amini Silatolu to a one-year contract.

      The 6-foot-4, 320-pound Silatolu rejoins the Panthers after spending 2012-15 with the team. A second-round draft choice (40th overall) by the Panthers in 2012, Silatolu started 28 of 34 games played but just 13 starts over his final three seasons as he battled injuries. He started a career-high 15 games as a rookie at left guard.

      After his rookie contract expired following the 2015 season, the 28-year-old Silatolu signed with the Chicago Bears. He attended training camp with the Bears in 2016 but was released on Sept. 5 and was not signed by another team last season.

  • Former RB Richardson arrested on domestic violence charge
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, February 17, 2017

    Former NFL and Alabama running back Trent Richardson was arrested on a domestic violence charge in Hoover, Ala., on Thursday night, according to Hoover police.

    • Richardson was arrested after an incident at a Hyatt Place Hotel and charged with one count of third-degree domestic violence.

      "Officers were able to make contact with an adult male and adult female who were involved in a domestic altercation," the Hoover Police Department said in a news release. "After interviewing both parties it was determined that the two individuals had been arguing earlier while at the Walmart on John Hawkins Parkway and that the dispute continued after they arrived back at the hotel.

      "At some point the situation turned physical and the female sustained injuries (scratches and bruising) about her face."

      Bond was placed at $1,000 for the 26-year-old Richardson.

      Richardson was a college standout at Alabama and rushed for 3,130 yards and 35 touchdowns in three seasons. He finished third in the 2011 Heisman Trophy balloting.

      Richardson was the third overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns but the organization gave up on him two games in the 2013 season and traded him to the Indianapolis Colts. He also struggled in 1 1/2 season with the Colts, and was cut by the Oakland Raiders prior to the start of the 2015 season and by the Baltimore Ravens prior to last season.

      Richardson rushed for 2,032 yards and 17 touchdowns in 46 career NFL games.

  • Patriots WR Floyd receives jail time for DUI
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, February 17, 2017

    New England Patriots wide receiver Michael Floyd pleaded guilty to extreme DUI and was sentenced to jail in a criminal case related to his December arrest in Scottsdale, Ariz.

    • The Arizona Cardinals released Floyd on Dec. 14 -- two days after his drunk-driving arrest in which police said he had a blood-alcohol level of .217.

      Floyd, 27, faced seven charges but the other six were dropped on Thursday when he entered a guilty plea and began his sentence, according to court documents. He will spend 24 days in Maricopa County (Ariz.) Jail and another 96 days on house arrest.

      Floyd also will be required to complete 30 hours of community service, attend alcohol abuse classes and pay a fine of $5,115.99 as part of his plea.

      A video obtained by TMZ surfaced of officers trying awaken Floyd in his car while it was running at an intersection during the Dec. 12 incident that began at 2:48 a.m. local time.

      After being cut by the Cardinals, the Patriots gave Floyd a second chance by claiming him off waivers on Dec. 15. He played sparingly for New England but did catch a touchdown pass in Week 17. He caught a pass for nine yards in the Patriots' AFC divisional playoff win over the Houston Texans but was inactive for the AFC Championship Game and Super Bowl LI.

      The 6-foot-2, 220-pound former first-round pick had 33 catches for 446 yards and four touchdowns in 13 games for the Cardinals in 2016 before his release.

      Floyd's best season came in 2013 when he had 65 catches for 1,041 yards and five touchdowns. For his career, he has 246 catches for 3,781 yards and 24 touchdowns in 78 games.

      Floyd will become an unrestricted in March and the five-year veteran likely will face a league suspension of at least two games as a result of his guilty plea.

      "We have been monitoring developments but have no further comment at this time," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said.

  • Former Patriots CB Myers dies at 38
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, February 17, 2017

    Former NFL cornerback Leonard Myers died Friday after battling cancer. He was 38.

    • Myers played for the New England Patriots from 2001-02 after being drafted in the sixth round out of Miami, where he played for the Hurricanes from 1997-2000.

      "We learned of Leonard's illness when we invited him back to attend our 15th anniversary celebration of the 2001 Super Bowl Championship team," Patriots owner Robert Kraft said in a statement. "No one was more excited to attend than Leonard, nor more disappointed to inform us that he wasn't going to be able to make it back as the December date approached. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Leonard's family, friends and former teammates who are mourning his loss today."

      Myers was a part of the Patriots' 2001 Super Bowl championship team, although he was inactive for the game. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla. native played in 15 games and totaled 22 tackles with the Patriots.

      Following his time in New England, Myers had brief stints with the New Orleans Saints, New York Jets and Detroit Lions before going on to play for the Ottawa Renegades of the Canadian Football League.

      Most recently, Myers began to pursue a career in coaching. He worked on the coaching staff at Emporia State in Kansas during the 2014 season and served as the wide receivers coach at New Mexico Highlands University in 2015. Myers also was named to the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl coaching staff in 2016.

  • 49ers hire Saleh as defensive coordinator
    By The Sports Xchange / Friday, February 17, 2017

    New San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed Friday that Robert Saleh will be his defensive coordinator.

    • The 49ers made the official announcement later on Friday about the hiring of Saleh, who spent the past three seasons as the linebackers coach of Jacksonville Jaguars.

      The 38-year-old Saleh worked with Shanahan in 2006-09 when both were assistant coaches in Houston. Saleh began with the Texans as a defensive intern in 2005 before working as a defensive quality control coach (2006-2008) and assistant linebackers assistant (2009-10).

      Saleh then became a defensive assistant at Seattle (2011-13) and Jacksonville (2014-16).

      "Robert Saleh is as smart as anyone I've been around. He studies everything," Shanahan said on KNBR radio station in San Francisco. "He knows a lot of different systems. But he knows the true Seattle/Atlanta/Jacksonville system inside and out, as much as anyone I've been with."

      The 49ers ran a 3-4 front last season, allowing the most points, touchdowns and rushing yards in franchise history.

      "I think all that is such semantics, to tell you the truth," Shanahan said. "Seattle has a linebacker on the ball every single play. So does Atlanta. And that's five guys on the line of scrimmage. So, whether you call it a 4-3 or a 3-4 -- for the most part we call it a 4-3."

      Shanahan was officially named the 49ers' head coach just hours after the Atlanta Falcons squandered a late 25-point lead to fall to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI.

      Shanahan, who plans to call his own plays and not hire an offensive coordinator in 2017, will meet with incumbent starter Colin Kaepernick soon but will consider other options at quarterback through free agency, trades and the draft.

      "When you make a decision on a quarterback, you don't want that to just be a short-term fix," Shanahan said Friday on KNBR. "You want to make a commitment to somebody. In order to do that, you better make sure you're on the same page with everyone else and you put the time in, you talk to people who've been with these guys.

      "In order to feel good about a quarterback, I need to spend a lot of time on them. It's not always the first time you watch them. You might come back the next day, see the same stuff and feel a little different. ... It's too important a decision to just make an impulsive move."

      Also on Friday, the 49es hired Richard Hightower as special teams coordinator. Hightower returns to San Francisco, where he was assistant special teams coach in 2015.

      The 49ers also announced the additions of seven other assistants on Friday, including the retaining of senior defensive assistant Jason Tarver and defensive backs coach Jeff Hafley from Chip Kelly's staff.

      The other coaches hired are Johnny Holland (linebackers), Jeff Zgonina (defensive line), Marquis Johnson and Dustin Perry (strength and conditioning assistants), and Bobby Slowik (defensive quality control).