Seahawks to lock up MLB Wagner long term
Bobby Wagner | SEA
(August 2, 2015 12:18 AM EDT)
The Seahawks will sign MLB Bobby Wagner to a long-term contract.
With so much money now committed to players at the top of their roster, GM John Schneider is going to have to stay hot in upcoming drafts. Wagner was entering a contract year, and might have been a franchise-tag candidate in 2016. The 25-year-old is a three-down Mike 'backer with 100-plus tackles in three straight seasons. Despite missing five games in which he was unable to compile plus grades, Wagner earned a top-five rating from Pro Football Focus among inside linebackers. He also has nine career sacks and five interceptions.
Mike Garafolo on Twitter
Stephen Hill to have MRI on right knee
Stephen Hill | CAR
(August 1, 2015 10:18 PM EDT)
Panthers WR Stephen Hill will have an MRI on his right knee Sunday.
The Charlotte Observer reports the early prognosis is "not encouraging" for the former second-round pick. A consistently star-crossed player since entering the league in 2012, Hill may have suffered a season-ending injury. Hill entered camp competing for the Panthers' fifth or sixth wide receiver job.
Charlotte Observer
Trestman keeping Kubiak's offense in place
Justin Forsett | BAL
(August 1, 2015 10:07 PM EDT)
Ravens OC Marc Trestman promised Baltimore's offense will remain rooted in the running game.
Replacing balanced-to-run-heavy OC Gary Kubiak, Trestman has a pass-happy background but is insistent on keeping Kubiak's scheme based on the personnel in place. "Ravens football starts with the running game, and that doesn't mean you're not going to throw the ball," Trestman said. "But the emphasis here is we want to be a great running football team, and we have the players to do that. So, that's where we start." The Ravens have a top-five offensive line and will keep Kubiak's zone-running scheme, in which Justin Forsett flourished last season, ranking fifth in the NFL in rushing yards.
Baltimore Sun
John Fox discusses Kevin White's situation
Kevin White | CHI
(August 1, 2015 10:01 PM EDT)
Bears coach John Fox insisted Saturday that first-round pick Kevin White (shin) is "making progress" while on the active/PUP list.
White is dealing with some sort of shin injury while also working to improve his cardio, which essentially means he's out of shape. "It’s fair to say he is doing (cardio work) at some level, some phase," Fox said. "He’s making progress." White has missed multiple practices now since Bears camp started.
Brad Biggs on Twitter
Juwan Thompson in mix to be Broncos No. 2 RB
Juwan Thompson | DEN
(August 1, 2015 9:48 PM EDT)
Second-year RB Juwan Thompson is reportedly challenging for the Broncos' No. 2 running back job.
Thompson averaged 5.0 yards on 54 carries as an undrafted rookie out of Duke last season, scoring three touchdowns. He's reportedly putting heat on Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman behind C.J. Anderson. "Forty (Thompson's number) looked unbelievable today," coach Gary Kubiak said after Saturday's practice. "He's built for what we do." It's time to add Thompson in all Dynasty leagues and put him on the re-draft sleeper radar.
9 News Denver
Cards pencil in Kevin Minter as starter
Kevin Minter | ARZ
(August 1, 2015 9:39 PM EDT)
The Cardinals have penciled in Kevin Minter as a starting inside linebacker next to Sean Weatherspoon.
A disappointment through two seasons, Minter played only 344 snaps last year, earning positive run-defense grades from PFF but struggling in coverage. The Cardinals hope the more-athletic Weatherspoon will key their pass coverage at inside linebacker. Minter will only be an early-down player.
Duke Johnson running with 3rd-team offense
Duke Johnson | CLE
(August 1, 2015 9:32 PM EDT)
Rookie Duke Johnson was running with the Browns' third-team offense before tweaking his hamstring in Saturday's training camp practice.
He's been behind Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West. "I'll be alright," Johnson said after the injury. "I've experienced much worse. I just felt something in my hamstring, stopped for precautionary reasons. We're going to take a look at it today." The Browns don't seem concerned, but Johnson needs to get back on the practice field to make up ground on the depth chart.
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Carson Palmer showing improved arm strength
Carson Palmer | ARZ
(August 1, 2015 9:17 PM EDT)
Coach Bruce Arians said Carson Palmer has shown improved arm strength.
Palmer missed three games to a shoulder injury last year, but team observers haven’t noticed any decline in his arm strength. He's reportedly added velocity now that he's fully recovered. Palmer wasn't limited during OTAs, and is practicing without restrictions at training camp.
Early-camp standout: Saints' Brandon Coleman
Brandon Coleman | NO
(August 1, 2015 8:55 PM EDT)
Saints second-year WR Brandon Coleman has "consistently looked good" early in camp, and is reportedly "separating himself from the pack."
The "pack" consists of Seantavius Jones, Josh Morgan, Joe Morgan, and others. A mammoth target at 6-foot-6, 225, Coleman has been likened to Marques Colston by coach Sean Payton. Colston is being eased into training camp, so Coleman has handled some first-team reps. We'll be keeping an eye on Coleman and whether he's able to challenge Nick Toon for the No. 3 receiver job.
Baton Rouge Advocate
Beat writers favor Freeman over Coleman
Devonta Freeman | ATL
(August 1, 2015 8:48 PM EDT)
D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution believes Devonta Freeman has the "upper hand" in the Falcons' running back competition, "right now."
Falcons beat writers unanimously consider Freeman the early favorite over Tevin Coleman, but this one is going to go down to the wire. The fact that Coleman handled first-team reps at Saturday's practice suggests the Falcons will seriously consider starting him. Still, this backfield seems headed for a committee, perhaps with Antone Smith also involved, and behind a weak offensive line. It could be a frustrating fantasy situation unless Coleman or Freeman clearly pulls away.
D. Orlando Ledbetter on Twitter