Shark Bites

19 hours ago

The Colts are set to sign WR Duron Carter, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.  Carter is the son of Hall-of-Famer Cris Carter and was a 4-star prospect coming out of high school.  He attended Ohio St. and Alabama, as well as Florida Atlantic and a community college, but played just 1 season due to academic and eligibility issues.  Carter went undrafted back in 2013 and spent the past 2 years with the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL.  He posted lines of 49-909-5 and 75-1,030-7, averaging 15.6 yards per catch.  Carter recently checked in at 6'4, 198 pounds with a 4.58-second 40-yard dash.  He chose the Colts over the Vikings, Panthers and numerous other teams.  It's a nice landing spot for his fantasy value.  Indianapolis has the best young QB in the game, and T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief are the only sure things at WR.  Carter is capable of pushing for #3 WR duties as early as 2015 and is worth stashing in dynasty leagues.

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ESPN.com's Cole Harvey reports that Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict is working his way back from microfracture surgery on his left knee. That certainly seems to make his situation more serious, but Burfict's surgeon expects a full recovery. "I don't see any reason, if this thing heals like we want and we think it will, why he won't be back like he was," Dr. Neal ElAttrache said. "Microfracture has a bad connotation, but there are plenty of guys who have come back and been able to play like before. But it's not really news when it works out." We'll see if Burfict is ready to participate fully when training camp begins. He won't turn 25 until September, so time and youth remain on Burfict's side.

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Giants WR Odell Beckham revealed after the Pro Bowl that he played the entire season with 2 tears in his right hamstring.  The 1st occurred on the 1st day of training camp; the 2nd just before the Giants' 3rd preseason game.  Beckham ended up missing the first 4 games of the regular season before dominating the league over the final 12.  “They healed up enough to where I could play with them, but they were never truly good and I’m still just working on them and trying to get ready,” Beckham said.  “I should be good by training camp.  The plan is to play at full strength next season, and I definitely hope to do it. I’m just looking forward to getting healthy.”  There's almost certainly some degree of embellishment to Beckham's story.  It's tough to believe he wasn't very close to 100% considering how productive he was.  But it's also fair to say that a healthy offseason will help him be even better in 2015.

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ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Browns WR Josh Gordon is facing a 1-year suspension for consuming alcohol.  That was banned as part of Gordon's deal with the league after this past July's DUI arrest.  Pro Football Talk hears that a successful appeal for Gordon is "unlikely."  That means he'll miss the entire 2015 season, again leaving Cleveland with a massive hole at WR.  They need to address the position in free agency and/or the draft.  Gordon, meanwhile, will still only be 25 when eligible to return for the 2016 season.  But it's uncertain whether the Browns or any other team will have him.

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Colts GM Ryan Grigson revealed Friday that he doesn't yet know whether OLB Robert Mathis will be ready for the start of training camp. "No, he's still in recovery," Grigson told ESPN.com in reference to Mathis' Achilles tear. "A timeline is not there because it’s a tough injury. Hopefully in a couple months from now, we’ll be able to have some information on that.” Mathis suffered the injury in early September while working out during his 4-game PED suspension. It's an injury that regularly keeps players from getting all the way back to their previous performance level through at least their 1st season back. Heading into his age-34 season, Mathis might never regain his pre-injury form. Bjoern Werner had an up-and-down season that ended down with decreased playing time. Fifth-round rookie Jonathan Newsome might be the Colts' best current hope for replacing Mathis and helping a struggling pass rush. Expect the team to address that area this offseason.

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Colts GM Ryan Grigson revealed today that the team suspended RB Trent Richardson 2 games for “personal reasons.” T-Rich has already served 1 game, and he’ll serve the other if he’s back next season. Of course, that’s no guarantee after he posted just 3.3 yards-per-carry on 159 attempts. Unsurprisingly, Grigson wouldn't commit to bringing the struggling rusher back in 2015.  The Colts are a lock to bring in RB help this offseason.

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5 days ago

Browns owner Jimmy Haslam agreed Thursday with HC Mike Pettine's description of the "muddy" QB situation. But Haslam might have gone a step further and indicated that he doesn't believe in Johnny Manziel. “We’ve got to get a quarterback and got to get it fixed,” he said, according to NorthCoastNow.com. “What I would say to our fans is, we’re going to continue to work really hard to find that quarterback who can make us a championship team.” There don't seem to be many -- any? -- folks in Cleveland optimistic about Manziel's future, but it'll be really telling if he doesn't at least get to compete for the 2015 starting job. Manziel retains plenty of fantasy appeal if he can get his (act) together, but he has a lot to prove to everyone.

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Dolphins WR Mike Wallace's 2014 season ended with him getting benched for complaining about his role.  It wasn't the 1st run-in he's had with the coaching staff, and it has Miami considering cutting ties with the guy they handed $30 million guaranteed to just a couple years ago.  GM Dennis Hickey was non-committal when asked about Wallace's Dolphins future at the Senior Bowl this week.  “We’re looking at all things with our players and evaluating, that’s part of our process," Hickey said.  We're still betting on Wallace hanging around Miami once cooler heads prevail.  He led the team in receiving yards (862) and TDs (10) this past season, and cutting him would leave the Fins with a big need at WR.

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6 days ago

The Bears on Wednesday reached a 3-year deal with Adam Gase to make him their new OC. Gase, of course, spent the past 2 seasons running Denver's offense under then-HC John Fox, who's now the boss in Chicago. The Peyton Manning-led Broncos topped the league in points and yards in 2013 before finishing 2nd in points and 4th in yards last year. Gase spent the 4 seasons before that as a position coach in Denver, joining the franchise when Josh McDaniels arrived. We'll be quite interested to see how he works with a more challenging QB in Jay Cutler. But Gase seems to be quite well respected in the league and continues what appears to be a strong coaching staff for the Bears on both sides of the ball. The new OC certainly shouldn't hurt Cutler's fantasy outlook or those of Matt Forte, the Bears' WRs and TE Martellus Bennett.

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The Browns have named John DeFilippo their new OC.  It's one of the most unexciting hirings of the offseason.  DeFilippo has never run an NFL offense, only serving as QBs coach for the Raiders (2007-2008, 2012-2014) and Jets (2009).  Guys under his tutelage have included Daunte Culpepper, Josh McCown, JaMarcus Russell, Mark Sanchez, Carson Palmer and Terrelle Pryor.  The best we can say about DeFilippo is that he played a part in QB Derek Carr's encouraging rookie campaign.  His arrival doesn't exactly make us giddy about QB Johnny Manziel's development, though.

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New Raiders OC Bill Musgrave said he'll "tailor" his run game to RB Latavius Murray.  That's refreshing to hear after Oakland essentially ignored Murray for most of last season.  When they finally unleashed him, he ripped off 370 yards and 2 TDs on 72 carries (5.1 YPC) across 5 games.  Musgrave said that he has a "very positive" impression of Murray and touted his "size and speed."  With a feature-back workload, Murray is capable of high-end fantasy production in 2015.

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Lions RB Joique Bell recently underwent "minor" surgeries on his knee and Achilles, according to beat writer Dave Birkett.  Bell appeared on this past season's injury report with both knee and Achilles issues, but he only missed 1 game with a concussion.  Bell is expected to be ready for the start of OTAS, per Birkett, but we'll keep an eye on his rehab.  He finished 13th among RBs in PPR points in 2014 and should return to a similar role in 2015.

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The Jaguars have named Greg Olson their new OC.  Olson has his work cut out for him after Jacksonville finished 31st in total offense each of the past 2 seasons.  Olson spent those years running the Raiders offenses, which ranked 23rd and 32nd, respectively, in total yards.  He got an encouraging rookie season out of QB Derek Carr, though, and was also OC in Tampa Bay for the promising start of QB Josh Freeman's career.  Now Olson will work with another young QB in Blake Bortles.

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