The Jets have exercised the fifth-year option on Wilkerson's rookie contract at $6.969 million, the NY Daily News reports.
The fifth-year option is a tough decision in some cases, but it's an obvious choice when you nail a first-round pick to this degree. As one of the better interior defensive linemen in the NFL, Wilkerson is worth far more than the option would pay him. In all likelihood, he and the Jets will agree to a multi-year extension either this offseason (most likely) or next. Wilkerson, along with Houston's J.J. Watt and perhaps a couple others, is one of the few 3-4 linemen who warrants IDP consideration outside of the deepest of leagues.
McClain was reinstated from the NFL's reserve-retired list on Thursday, The Baltimore Sun reports.
McClain's rights still belong to the Ravens, who he signed for last offseason before deciding to retire mere months later to get his life in order. Now, apparently ready to play football again, McClain has successfully been re-admitted to the NFL's pool of players. However, following an awful workout with Baltimore earlier this week, it's likely McClain will be released by the team and hit the open market. The eighth overall pick in 2010, McClain is still just 24 years old, but with significant character concerns, any potential suitor would be wise to approach McClain with caution.
Johnson, who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery back in January to repair a meniscus tear, indicated Thursday that there are no signs of arthritis in his knee, the Daily News reports. "No, that's not accurate," said Johnson, who signed with the Jets on Wednesday. "I'm pretty sure if they had major concerns of my knee or whatever, pretty sure I wouldn't have passed the physical."
It remains to be seen how much Johnson -- who has not missed a game over his last five seasons -- will be able to do once the Jets' offseason program gets going, but in any case, the running back doesn't believe that his knee will be an issue come training camp. "Once offseason workouts start, I'm ready to get in there with the trainers of the Jets and we'll see where I'm at and go from there," Johnson noted Thursday.
04/17/14 - 9:33AM ETChris Johnson
: Jets May Have Concerns About Knee
While ESPN's Adam Schefter suggests that the Jets have some concerns about the condition of Johnson's knee, said concerns were evidently not serious enough to deter the team from inking the running back to a two-year deal.
While Schefter's report suggests that Johnson (who is bouncing back from a January procedure to address a meniscus issue) has some arthritis in his knee, it must be pointed out that the 28-year-old back has played in all 16 games five seasons in a row. In any case, with Chris Ivory in the Jets' backfield and Bilal Powell on hand as well, it's reasonable to expect Johnson's workload (he had 279 carries in 2013) to take a hit this season, though he was presumably added to the mix for his big-play potential and thus figures to see his share of touches, even if the Jets employ an Ivory (power) and Johnson (speed) combo in 2014.
04/17/14 - 8:10AM ETChris Ivory
: Likely Used In Tandem With Johnson
The Jets plan to use newcomer Chris Johnson in tandem with Ivory this coming season, ESPN.com reports.
Meanwhile, the addition of Johnson bumps Bilal Powell down a notch on the team's depth chart. When both Ivory and Johnson are healthy, they project as a capable one-two combo out of the Jets' backfield, with Ivory slotting in as a power back, thanks to his tackle-breaking ability and Johnson working more as a speed back and pass-catcher out of the backfield. In any case, while the addition of Johnson should help spark the Jets' ground game this coming season, Ivory's fantasy value takes a hit as a result of the move.
The 49ers are reportedly trying to deal James, csnbayarea.com reports.
Since being made a second-round pick by the 49ers in the 2012 draft, James has recorded just 39 carries for 184 yards in 14 regular season contests, while making his biggest impact with the team as a returner. Given that Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and perhaps Marcus Lattimore are ahead of James in the 49ers' RB pecking order heading into the 2014 season, a change of scenery would probably be a good thing for James, in both real and fantasy terms.
Wednesday, April 16
04/16/14 - 4:54PM ETSidney Rice
: Re-Signs With Seahawks
Rice (knee) has agreed to a one-year deal with the Seahawks, NFL Network's Albert Breer reports.
Rice visited with the Jets on Wednesday, but came away without a deal, and tweeted from his personal account that he'd be re-signing with the Seahawks, a fact confirmed by multiple sources. Rice is several months removed from ACL surgery, but has recently been cleared to begin making cuts, an important step in his recovery. Rice had received interest from several suitors, but he'll instead take his services back to the defending Super Bowl champions in Seattle, where he recorded 15 catches for 231 yards and three scores in his injury-shortened 2013.
Johnson (knee) has signed a two-year deal with the Jets, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. The base value of his deal is reportedly $8 million.
While it figures to be difficult for Johnson to see as many carries (279) as he did last season en route to recording 1,077 rushing yards for the Titans last season, he makes for a nice complement to Chris Ivory, who emerged as the Jets' busiest back down the stretch last season. Moreover, Johnson's ability as a pass-catcher figures to boost the team's backfield -- which also rosters Bilal Powell -- while his durability (he's suited up for all 16 games in his last five seasons) is also a plus, given Ivory's injury history.
04/16/14 - 12:06PM ETMike James
: (Ankle) Recovery Going Well
James -- whose 2013 season ended with a broken left ankle last November -- is progressing well in his recovery, the Buccaneers' official site reports.
The report notes that James, who played at about 228 pounds last season, has added some muscle to his upper body. Meanwhile, James has been running and in his words, is "very, very close" to being fully cleared. Once he's up to speed, James (who now checks in at 232 pounds) is in line to compete with Bobby Rainey for work behind the Bucs' top back, Doug Martin.
Freeman and the Giants have agreed to a one-year deal, ESPN.com reports.
Freeman is thus in line to compete for the Giants' No. 2 QB job with Curtis Painter and Ryan Nassib. Given his NFL starting experience (he has 60 to his credit), Freeman should have the edge to secure that role. Starter Eli Manning recently underwent arthroscopic surgery on his ankle, which paves the way for Freeman and co. to see added opportunities during the team's offseason workouts, while Manning recovers.
Floyd, who continues to recover from a neck injury that he sustained this past September, is slated to participate in the Chargers' voluntary workouts, which begin April 22, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
Floyd, who has been running and lifting of late, will be limited, however, and despite his progress, it remains unclear if he will be able to play this coming season. A decision that front will largely be based on the risk of re-injury and will no doubt be carefully weighed by Floyd and the Chargers' medical staff.
Flynn agreed to a contract with the Packers on Tuesday, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports.
Flynn will head back to the team he led to the playoffs at the end of last season. He will assume the role of Aaron Rodgers' top backup again, though he could face a training camp challenge from fellow quarterback Scott Tolzien.
The 49ers have signed Lloyd to a one-year contract, CSNBayArea.com reports.
Though Anquan Boldin and Michael Crabtree are slated to start at wideout for the 49ers, Lloyd figures to have a chance to compete for the team's No. 3 slot. Also in the mix on that front is Quinton Patton -- who finished last season in that role -- while Jon Baldwin, Kassim Osgood, Chuck Jacobs, Devon Wylie, DeMarco Sampson and David Reed round out the team's current rostered receiving options. Lloyd, who will turn 33 in July, caught 74 passes for 911 yards and four touchdowns in 16 games in 2012 for the Patriots, but at this stage he has much to prove before being considered anything more than a late-round fantasy dart.
Rudolph's left foot has been fully healed for about two months, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
Rudolph, who was limited to eight games in 2013 after suffering a fractured foot on Nov. 3, finished up the season with 30 catches for 313 yards and three touchdowns. The report adds that the tight end has been studying tape of the Browns from last season in order to become more familiar with how he might be used in (new coordinator) Norv Turner's offense, a system in which fellow tight ends Jordan Cameron and Antonio Gates (while Turner was with the Chargers) have been productive.
Johnson (knee) is slated to visit the Jets on Tuesday, the Daily News reports.
The report suggests that the Jets are one of three teams interested in signing Johnson, who was recently released by the Titans. If he ends up joining the Jets' backfield, he'd be a nice complement to Chris Ivory, but in such a scenario it's hard to imagine Johnson seeing as many carries (279) as he did last season en route to recording 1,077 rushing yards.