03/06/14 - 12:52PM ETMatt Cassel
: Wanted Back In Minnesota
Coach Mike Zimmer hopes that the Vikings are able to bring Cassel back, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. "I would love to have Matt Cassel back, if Matt Cassel wants to be back," Zimmer noted Thursday. "I don't know if that will happen or won't happen. But we're going to find a quarterback somewhere. And if it's not Matt Cassel, then we'll find someone else...If Matt wants to come back, I'm sure that we'll get it worked out."
That said, Zimmer expects Cassel to explore other opportunities, with Houston already having been mentioned speculatively as a possible destination for Cassel, who turns 32 in May.
03/06/14 - 10:11AM ETDevin Hester
: Will Be Released By Bears
The Bears have confirmed that they will not re-sign Hester, the team's official site reports.
As a result, Hester will become an unrestricted free agent on March 11. After catching 23 passes in 2012, Hester was not a factor in the Bears' offense in 2013, making his impact with the team on special teams. At 31, it's unclear if Hester will be used much as a pass-catcher wherever he lands in 2014, but he can still contribute as a returner at this stage. This past season, he averaged 27.6 yards on 52 kick returns and 14.2 yards on 18 punt returns, including a TD.
03/06/14 - 8:28AM ETMatt Cassel
: Could Sign With Houston
Cassel is a candidate to sign with the Texans in free agency, the Houston Chronicle reports.
If added by Houston, Cassel -- who spent his last two seasons, (2007-08) with the Patriots working with Texans coach Bill O'Brien -- could compete for the team's starting QB job, though at this stage there are still a couple of moving parts on that front, including the status of veteran Matt Schaub, as well as the distinct possibility the Texans will draft a quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick in May's NFL draft.
The Colts have signed Jackson to a four-year, $22 million deal, the Indianapolis Star reports.
The report notes that $11 million of Jackson's deal with the Colts is guaranteed. With Pat Angerer not expected to be re-signed by the team, look for Jackson to start at inside linebacker for Indy along with Jerrell Freeman. The 30-year-old Jackson -- who topped the Browns with 141 tackles in 2013 -- will thus be reunited with Rob Chudzinski, his coach in Cleveland in 2013, who is now a special assistant to Colts head coach Chuck Pagano.
Wednesday, March 5
03/05/14 - 7:45PM ETDevin Hester
: Likely To Be Released By Bears
Hester is expected to be released by the Bears, Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Hester stated that he and the organization are going to be going in different directions. It was also noted that he would like to be reunited with his former coach Lovie Smith with the Buccaneers. He has faded from the offense and served as a return specialist last season. If he finds a system that utilizes him on offense, he could return to some fantasy value in 2014.
Bailey will be released by the Broncos, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports.
Bailey has played for 15 years in the league and the Broncos will save $10 million in cap space. The veteran said he would like to play again in 2014, so he should see some interest on the market. Injuries limited him to five regular season games in 2013 and it was the first season he did not record an interception.
Polamalu has signed an extension with the Steelers that will keep him with the team through the 2016 season, ESPN.com reports.
The report notes that Polamalu's deal is worth $20 million over the next three years and saves the Steelers $4.5 million against the salary cap this coming season. Polamalu, who will turn 33 in April, suited up in 16 games for the Steelers in 2013, recording 69 tackles, five forced fumbles, two sacks and two picks.
03/05/14 - 3:19PM ETLarry Foote
: Released By Pittsburgh
The Steelers have released Foote, the team's official site reports.
The move saves the Steelers a little over $1 million in cap space. The 33-year-old linebacker -- who recorded 113 tackles and four sacks in 2012 -- played in just one game this past season after landing on IR with a biceps injury.
Browner will be suspended for the first four games of the 2014 season as part of his reinstatement after a violation of the league's substance-abuse policy, ESPN.com reports.
Browner played eight games last season before he was suspended for marijuana use. The NFL considered that a Stage 3 offense, which brought a one-year suspension, because he did not submit to urine tests while playing in the Canadian Football League from 2007 to 2010 after first failing a test for marijuana use while he was with the Denver Broncos in 2006. Browner threatened to sue the league, arguing that the NFL had no right to test him when he was playing in the CFL. The backtrack by the league likely saves Browner's career. He is free to sign with another team and participate in offseason and preseason practices.
Finnegan (eye) announced via Twitter on Wednesday that he will be released by the Rams.
The team hasn't officially released Finnegan just yet, as they don't have to cap space to do so until the new league year begins next Tuesday. It will happen, however, and St. Louis will save roughly $4 million by shedding the $10 million Finnegan was due for 2014. Now 30, Finnegan played in a career-low seven games last season due to eye and hamstring issues, but the Rams have expressed interest in bringing him back at a reduced cost.
03/05/14 - 11:02AM ETHeath Miller
: Signs Extension With Steelers
Miller has signed a new three-year deal that will keep him with the Steelers through the 2016 season, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Essentially, Miller's deal amounts to a two-year extension that will reduce his 2014 salary cap hit by more than $3 million. The 31-year-old tight end is coming off a season in which he recorded 58 catches for 593 yards and a TD in 14 games. He'll head into the 2014 season further removed from the serious late-season knee injury that ended his 2012 season, something that bodes well for an uptick in tight end's fantasy production, assuming he can stay healthy.
The Browns have released Bess, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.
Bess, who missed the last two games of the 2013 season after leaving the Browns for personal reasons, finished the campaign with 42 catches for 362 yards and two touchdowns, while leading the NFL in dropped passes. The move comes less than a year after the Browns acquired the 28-year-old wideout from the Dolphins during the NFL Draft and then signed him to a three-year extension.
Woodley is expected to be released by the Steelers now that Jason Worilds has been signed to a one-year, $9.754 million contract, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.
With Worilds and Jarvis Jones locked in as starters, the release of Woodley, who has missed 14 games and parts of six others since signing a $61.5 million deal in 2011, would clear up $13.6 million in salary cap room for Pittsburgh. Woodley has recorded 56.5 sacks in his seven seasons with the Steelers and, assuming he is waived, should be able to find a home with another NFL team. Which team that is, and the role Woodley plays for them, will dictate his fantasy value in IDP leagues next season.
Snelling announced his retirement Tuesday, Adam Caplan of Sirius XM reports.
A little more than two months removed from his 30th birthday, Snelling will call it a career after seven modest seasons. He finishes his career with 363 rushes for 1,420 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground, but he was also effective through the air, racking up 168 catches (on 202 targets) for 1,249 yards and nine more scores. The line is quite nice for a seventh-round pick.
Carlson was released by the Vikings on Monday, Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports 1 reports.
While the Vikings and Carlson's reps were attempting to hash out a restructure of the three years remaining on his contract, he'll instead enter the world of free agency, which he may find hostile due to a mere 40 receptions (on 61 targets) for 387 yards and one touchdown in his two seasons in Minnesota.
Locker will undergo a procedure to remove "hardware" from his right foot in a couple weeks, Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean reports.
Although Locker is unable to put any weight on the foot without a walking boot, he intends to run not long after undergoing the surgery. New coach Ken Whisenhunt is placing his trust on Locker's shoulders to run the offense in 2014, but in 23 career games across three seasons, he merely has a 22:15 TD:INT ratio and 7.1 YPA to his name.
Patrick was released by the Chargers on Tuesday, Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
Patrick, who recorded 38 tackles and 1.5 sacks in 13 games for the Chargers this past season, will now look to catch on elsewhere as a depth cornerback after just one season with San Diego.
03/04/14 - 12:55PM ETSav Rocca
: Released By Redskins
Rocca was cut by the Redskins on Tuesday.
Rocca posted the worst punting average (41.97 yards) of his career in 2013, which also doubled as his lowest percentage of punts (31%) inside the 20-yard line. Robert Malone is now the sole punter on Washington's roster, and Rocca will now test the waters of free agency.
Carriker (quadriceps) was released by the Redskins on Tuesday.
After Carriker missed the majority of the past two seasons due to issues with his quad, the investment in the defensive tackle clearly wasn't worth it for Redskins. The soon-to-be 30-year-old will likely have to prove his health, before another contract is extended his way.
McClain was released by the Chargers on Tuesday, Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The Chargers freed up $2.5 million in cap space by cutting the fullback, but are now in the market for Ryan Mathews' lead blocker. On the other side of the coin, expect McClain, a seven-year veteran, to land another gig plowing lanes for another running back.
Worilds signed the transition tag worth $9.75 million with the Steelers on Tuesday, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports.
Worilds has increased his sack count in each of his four seasons, culminating in eight across 15 games last year. He supplemented his line with 63 tackles (43 solo), two forced fumbles, and two passes defended. The aforementioned one-year deal guarantees that no other organization can extend an offer sheet his way, while displaying that he's a key cog in Pittsburgh's defense.
03/04/14 - 9:21AM ETSean Lee
: Agrees to Restructured Deal
The Cowboys converted $4.75 million of Lee's $5.5 million base salary in a signing bonus Monday, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.
The transfer was made in order to help the Cowboys get closer to the salary cap threshold. Meanwhile, Lee has yet to receive medical clearance for the torn neck ligament that knocked him out of five of the final six games last season. He'll attempt to be healthy by the time the team's offseason program starts on Apr. 21.
Almost all ($12.5 million) of Romo's $13.5 million base salary has been converted to a signing bonus, ESPN Dallas reports.
Romo, who continues to rehab from back surgery performed in December, will soon enter the second season of the six-year contract extension that he inked in March of 2013. Expect him to be healthy for the commencement of OTAs in May.
Avant was released by the Eagles on Tuesday, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
After eight years with the Eagles, the 30-year-old Avant hauled in his least number of receptions in five seasons in 2013, when he posted 38 catches (on 76 targets) for 447 yards and two touchdowns. The slot receiver should be able to find some takers on the open market, which could result in greater usage in a new passing attack. Moreover, with only four absences in the last seven seasons, his durability should aid in sustaining his waning fantasy value.
Hardy signed a franchise tender worth $13.1 million to remain in Carolina this season, the Charlotte Observer reports.
Hardy's deal prevents the Pro-Bowl defensive end from receiving interest from other teams this offseason, as he was previously slated to become a free agent. The 25-year-old tied the Panthers' team record with 15 sacks last season and has accumulated 26 quarterback take downs over the past two campaigns. Hardy will now be able to negotiate a long-term extension with Carolina during this season, which would help keep the Panthers' front seven among the league's best moving forward. Expect Hardy to be one of the best IDP options at his position next fall, especially as second-year defensive tackles Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short garner more attention from opposing offenses inside the trenches.