Shark Bites

The Vikings released veteran K Kai Forbath. They’ll go with rookie Daniel Carlson, who drilled a 57-yarder in Week 1 of the preseason. He should emerge as an in-season streaming option.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that the Bengals are cutting S George Iloka. The veteran has started 76 games over 6 seasons with the team. He even started next to Shawn Williams in Saturday night's 2nd preseason game. Rookie Jessie Bates sits behind Iloka on the "unofficial" depth chart. We'll see what the succession plan is over the week ahead.

The Patriots have released WR Malcolm Mitchell. The 2016 4th-rounder has a long history of knee issues dating back to college and had another surgery in late July. New England shopped Mitchell on the trade market, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, but found no takers. We'll see if Mitchell can find a home in free agency, but he's well off the redraft radar for now.

The Saints have released WR Brandon Coleman. Serving mostly as a reserve slot man and 4th wideout, Coleman ranked just 5th on the team in targets and catches last year, 7th in each category the year before. He wouldn't have been much of a 2018 fantasy factor, but his departure leaves more available for players such as rookie WR Tre'Quan Smith and veteran WR Ted Ginn. Free-agent acquisition Cameron Meredith already appeared headed for the #2 WR role behind Michael Thomas.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that the Raiders have waived K Giorgio Tavecchio and signed K Mike Nugent to a 1-year deal. Tavecchio had been competing with Eddy Pineiro after stepping in for injured K Sebastian Janikowski as Oakland's kicker in 2017. Pineiro and Nugent will now compete for the 2018 job. That continued uncertainty makes either kicker a shaky option in current best-ball drafting. You're best off looking elsewhere.

The Bengals have released WR Brandon LaFell. Cincinnati's #2 WR the past 2 seasons, LaFell was being pushed down the depth chart by the team's younger receivers, namely John Ross. LaFell's agent admitted that he'd be "lobbying" for his client's release. We'll see where LaFell lands, but he's unlikely to be a 2018 fantasy factor. Meanwhile, the door is open for a breakout season for Ross.

The Patriots have released WR Jordan Matthews. That didn't take long. After reportedly impressing in spring workouts, Matthews suffered a significant hamstring injury in Sunday's camp practice. We'll see if and when he resurfaces, but he's obviously off the redraft radar now. New England is left with Kenny Britt, Phillip Dorsett, Cordarrelle Patterson and rookie Braxton Berrios behind Chris Hogan and the suspended Julian Edelman. Malcolm Mitchell remains sidelined with his knee issue.

Update: New England ended up placing Matthews (hamstring) on IR. He'll likely end up being released with an injury settlement.

Patriots WR Jordan Matthews is dealing with what NFL Network's Ian Rapoport calls a "significant" hamstring injury. Matthews went down in practice on Sunday and hasn't been back on the field since. He had been considered the favorite to step in during Julian Edelman's 4-game suspension, but this injury throws a wrench in those plans. We've heard positive buzz on WRs Kenny Britt, Phillip Dorsett and Cordarrelle Patterson early in camp. And New England has shown some interest in free-agent WR Eric Decker. This remain a wide-open situation that we'll be monitoring closely.

Patriots WR Malcolm Mitchell underwent surgery on his knee on Monday, according to the Providence Journal's Mark Daniels. It's presumably the same right knee that he injured late in 2016 and caused him to miss the entire 2017 season. Now Mitchell's 2018 campaign "looks to be in jeopardy," Daniels writes. The 25-year-old is obviously off the redraft radar -- and his dynasty value is fading fast. Jordan Matthews looks like the favorite to serve as New England's #2 WR with Julian Edelman suspended for the season's first 4 games.

Update: The procedure on Mitchell's knee was "aimed at hoping to accelerate healing," according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

RB DeMarco Murray announced his retirement on Friday night. The 7-year veteran has been toiling on the free-agent market since being released by the Titans in mid-March. Murray's 1,845 rushing yards with the Cowboys in 2014 were the 17th most in NFL history. He finishes his career with 4.5 yards per carry and 55 total TDs across 99 games.

Patriots WR Malcolm Mitchell admitted that he's unsure if he'll be ready for the start of camp. Mitchell has a long history of knee issues dating back to his college days. He hurt his right knee late in the 2016 campaign, missed all of this past season and is evidently still being bothered by the issue. Mitchell finds plenty of opportunity this year with Brandin Cooks gone and Julian Edelman suspended for 4 games. But he can't capitalize if he's not the field. Jordan Matthews looks like the better late-round flier in the Patriots' WR corps right now.

The Saints have released TE Coby Fleener. Frankly, we're surprised this move wasn't made earlier in the offseason. Fleener totaled just 72 catches and 5 TDs across 27 appearances over the past 2 years in New Orleans. He sustained what he said was the 5th concussion of his career last season and will turn 30 in September. Fleener figures to get a shot elsewhere but is a poor bet for 2018 fantasy relevance. The Saints, meanwhile, are left with Ben Watson and Josh Hill atop the depth chart. Watson looks like the early favorite for targets, despite going on 38 years old. He caught 61 balls in Baltimore last year and posted a big 74-825-6 line with the Saints back in 2015.

ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports that Cowboys TE Jason Witten plans to retire and join the Monday Night Football broadcast team, though he'll meet with Jerry Jones before making it official. Assuming he does finalize that decision, Witten would join Dez Bryant in removing about 45% of targets from last year's Dallas offense. Witten's share slipped to 17.7%, while his 8.9 yards per catch marked a career low. With TE James Hanna also retiring, Rico Gathers could face big opportunity in his 2nd season. We'll see whether the Cowboys add pass-catchers -- either at TE or WR -- in the next 2 rounds of the NFL Draft on Friday.

The Cowboys are expected to release WR Dez Bryant, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter and Todd Archer. We've heard whispers about this for a while now. Dallas reportedly wants Bryant to take a pay cut from the $12.5 million he's scheduled to earn this year and next -- and the mercurial WR evidently isn't willing to oblige. The 2 sides are meeting today, but a divorce is expected "barring an unexpected last-minute change of heart," Schefter tweets. Bryant's production has crated since 3-straight seasons of 1,200+ yards from 2012 to 2014. Over the past 3 years, he's totaled just 150 catches for 2,035 yards and 17 TDs across 38 appearances. He seemingly struggled to get on the same page as QB Dak Prescott, corralling just 52.2% of his targets over the last 2 seasons. Bryant is still just 29, so there's certainly a chance he bounces back in 2018. We'll see where he lands before assessing his fantasy value. The Cowboys, meanwhile, are left with Terrance Williams, Allen Hurns and Cole Beasley atop their WR depth chart. They figure to be in the market for a rookie WR or 2.

Update: They did.

The Patriots have agreed to a 1-year deal with WR Jordan Matthews, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. Matthews endured a terrible 2017 that included just 25 receptions and ended early for knee and ankle surgeries. The Eagles traded him to Buffalo in August, but Matthews immediately suffered a sternum fracture -- losing crucial preparation time -- and also lost mid-season time to a thumb fracture that required surgery. New England can be a charmed situation for offensive skill players, but the Patriots stand crowded at WR right now. The corps will take some sorting before fantasy football owners can know who to trust. Matthews is an OK shot to take near the end of best-ball drafts but a big risk earlier than that. Matthews has been much better in the slot than outside as an NFL wideout and thus looks more like a candidate to take over for Danny Amendola rather than direct competition for Kenny Britt and Malcolm Mitchell.

TE Troy Niklas has inked a 1-year deal with the Patriots. A 2nd-round pick of the Cardinals back in 2014, Niklas has totaled just 19 receptions across 4 NFL campaigns, missing time with 4 separate ankle sprains and a wrist injury. He's still just 25, though, and goes 6'6, 270 pounds with a 70th percentile SPARQ score. Niklas will push Dwayne Allen for #2 TE duties in New England.

RB Danny Woodhead has announced he’s retiring. Baltimore recently released him after an injury-marred 2017. Woodhead spent 9 seasons in the league after arriving as an undrafted free agent

The Dolphins on Wednesday released TE Julius Thomas. The veteran spent just 1 year in Miami, catching 41 balls for 388 yards and 3 TDs across 14 games. He now hits the open market heading into his age-30 season, with a fairly significant injury history. We're not expecting much from Thomas going forward.

The Ravens have released WR Jeremy Maclin. The team's WR room is being completely re-tooled, adding John Brown and Ryan Grant and with Mike Wallace an unsigned free agent. Maclin turns 30 in May and has missed 8 games while averaging 11.6 yards per catch over the past 2 seasons.

The Panthers on Tuesday agreed to a 3-year, $24 million deal with CB Bashaud Breeland, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The former Washington corner will get $11 million guaranteed and take over a starting job on a Carolina D that traded away Daryl Worley. Breeland should continue to be a decent IDP contributor. The Washington secondary, meanwhile, will now move forward without 2 of its top 3 CBs from the past 2 seasons. (Kendall Fuller went to the Chiefs in the Alex Smith trade.)

 
 
 

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