Contract talks between the 49ers and Kaepernick are reportedly on hold for now, NFL.com reports.
The report indicates that the two sides would like to get a deal done before the start of the 2014 regular season, with Matt Maiocco of csnbayarea.com suggesting that the 49ers are inclined to hold off on expediting an extension with the quarterback while police look into what has been described as a "suspicious incident" (allegedly involving Kaepernick, teammate Quinton Patton and Seattle's Ricardo Lockette) in Miami earlier this month. The 26-year-old Kaepernick finished the 2013 season with 3,197 passing yards, 21 touchdowns, eight interceptions and a 91.6 passer rating in 16 games for the 49ers. He also recorded 524 rushing yards (on 92 carries) with four rushing touchdowns.
Meachem signed a one-year deal with the Saints on Friday.
After a disappointing season with the Chargers, Meachem returned to the Saints for 2013, where he caught 16 passes for 324 yards and two scores. His utility to the Saints is based largely on his blocking ability as a receiver, leaving him with minimal fantasy value. Meachem is too far down on the Saints' depth chart to warrant much fantasy consideration, although he remains a threat to score any week in an offense led by QB Drew Brees.
04/18/14 - 7:55AM ETTyron Smith
: Fifth-Year Option Exercised
The Cowboys have exercised their fifth-year option on Smith's contract.
The Pro Bowl left tackle is heading into the final year of his rookie contract, and even at the $10 million Smith will now get paid in 2015, he's a bargain for the Cowboys.
04/18/14 - 7:48AM ETAldon Smith
: 5th-Year Option May Not Be Picked Up
Smith is not expected to have his fifth-year contract option picked up by the 49ers, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports.
Smith remains under contract through 2014, but the 49ers have until May 3 to pick up his team option through 2015, and it appears as though they have no intention to do so. In the wake of his most recent arrest, uncertainty surrounds the linebacker's availability for the start of 2014, so it's not overly surprising that the team is not inclined to pick up the option.
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.