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Chiefs' De'Anthony Thomas working on being a receiver this offseason


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3/1/2015) De'Anthony Thomas was drafted out of Oregon by the Chiefs as a running back. Though he worked in a hybrid role as a rookie, he was listed by Kansas City as a running back. 

That could change in 2015.

According to the Kansas City Star, Thomas said he's worked this offseason on becoming more of a complete receiver.

“Yes, I have the ability to run the whole [route] tree,” Thomas said. “That’s what I’ve been working on this offseason. I’m running all those routes in the sand [during beach workouts]. And once the time comes to come on the grass, I feel like it’s going to be a lot easier because I’ve prepared myself.”

Thomas ran for 113 yards and totaled 156 receiving yards in a reserve role. He made a big impact in the return game, combinging for 833 punt and kickoff return yards with a touchdown. 
With Thomas transitioning into being more of a receiver first, he's modeling him game after Steelers wideout Antonio Brown. Both are shorter targets, making the comparison fitting for Thomas. Thomas is listed at 5-feet-8, 176 pounds and Brown is 5-feet-10, 186 pounds. 
Brown had a career season in 2014, totaling 1,698 yards and 13 touchdowns. 

“I’m very impressed with Antonio Brown,” Thomas said. “He’s a great player, and I feel like I have the same ability to make the same plays like him and help the team and be that [kind of impact] player.”



 


Jonas Gray hopes to return to Patriots' plans


by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(3/1/2015) Jonas Gray burst on the scene for the Patriots last season, rushing for 201 yards and four touchdowns in a Sunday night game. Just as quickly, he was gone. 

Gray overslept and was late for practice, and coach Bill Belichick didn't give him another chance to showcase his skills. Gray was inactive for the Super Bowl. 

Gray learned his lesson. "The tough part for me was to watch it, and not participate in a matter I thought I should," he told Dan Hanzus of NFL.com. "But it's motivation going into the offseason. I just know I need to work harder, so I'll never get myself in that position again." 

Still on the Patriots, Gray believes he'll get a clean slate next season, and he's spending the offseason preparing himself for the opportunity. 

I tell them, I'm going to have a Jerry Rice/Walter Payton mentality where whatever you do isn't enough," Gray said. "I'm going to have a work ethic where I know, in my heart of hearts, I'm going to outwork everybody. That's what I hope to achieve


Ravens' Justin Forsett wants to build on 2014


by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(3/1/2015) Ravens RB Justin Forsett rushed for 1,266 yards and eight touchdowns, nearly matching his career totals for his six previous seasons in the NFL. 

Forsett is scheduled to be a free agent on March 10, but he hopes to remain with the Ravens, saying he's "praying that everything works out." 

“I want to build upon it,” Forsett told the Baltimore Sun. “I want to be great. I didn’t come in this league to be a one-year wonder."


Reggie Bush says he doesn't plan to retire


by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(2/28/2015) Three days after being released by the Lions, RB Reggie Bush said he has no plans to retire. 

TMZ reporters confronted Bush outside a Beverly Hills restaurant and asked if Bush, who turns 30 on Monday, was going to quit football. Bush responded with, "No." 

Bush rushed for 297 yards and two touchdowns last season. 


Report: Cowboys to let DeMarco Murray test free agency


by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(2/28/2015) The Cowboys will let RB DeMarco Murray test the free-agent market, according to a report from Fox Sports Southwest

Cowboys VP Stephen Jones said that negotiations with Murray's agents have been "slow". 

Jones said that Murray "is probably going to get some peace and see what's out in the market, and then we'll talk and see. I do believe deep down he'd love to stay in Dallas."

Murray rushed for 1,845 yards and 13 touchdowns last season. 


Patriots running back Stevan Ridley: 'I have something to prove'


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) Patriots running back Stevan Ridley is expected to become a free agent in the coming weeks and he is ready for the experience.

"I'm excited about it," Ridley told Sirius XM Radio Friday. "As a player coming into the league, you get there and your first contract you kind of have to establish yourself and see what you can do. Everybody is a good player if you get to make it to the NFL, but there is something to be said if you get to that second contract."

Ridley has rushed for 2,817 yards and 22 touchdowns in his first four seasons in the league with the Patriots.

"Where I'll be playing, and who I'll be playing for, is still unknown, but I know I've come in and done my job up to this point and now I have to put it in my agent's hands to get me on another team, or stay where I'm at, and make sure I’m in pads playing ball somewhere next year. I know if you think about it too much it will worry you sick."

Ridley has played in 20 of a possible 32 games the last two seasons, starting in just 11 of them.

"I take it personal to any team or anybody that says I can't be a very productive player on whatever team I land on," he said. "I've been playing ball my whole life, I'm going to come in and be a leader, and I'm going to be a guy that comes in and busts his butt in the weight room and busts his butt on the field. I'm a good teammate, I have fun with my guys, but when the lights come on Sundays, it's all business and I plan on going out there and making plays."


Vikings RB Adrian Peterson releases statement on court decision


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) Vikings running back Adrian Peterson released a statement Friday regarding Judge David Doty's decision to overturn arbitration decision to uphold his suspension, according to ProFootballTalk.com.

"I was pleased to learn about Judge Doty's decision.  It is a positive step in protecting players' rights and preserving due process for all players.  It also brings me one step closer to getting back on the football field and playing the sport I love.  As I prepare for my return to football, I am still focused on my family and continue to work to become a better father every day.  I want to express my gratitude for all of the support I have received from the fans, NFLPA, Jeffrey Kessler, and my agents Ben Dogra, Tracy Lartigue, and Mark Heligman from Relativity Sports."


Adrian Peterson's dad: I've heard 'rumors' of Colts, Cards, Cowboys


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(2/27/2015) If Adrian Peterson were to be traded by the Vikings this offseason, his father, Nelson Peterson, may have an idea of his potential landing spots.

"I've heard rumors, Arizona," Nelson said in a phone interview with the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "I've also heard the rumors of Indianapolis and the Colts, going there with a quarterback the caliber of (Andrew) Luck. I've also heard the Cowboys, coming back home with the Cowboys, behind that offensive line that they have.

"If a blockbuster deal opens and a team wants to gave them something they can't turn down, they're going to have to take a look at it," his father said.

Peterson ad been suspended by the NFL until April 15 and upheld by an arbitrator. On Thursday, U.S. District Judge David Doty overturned the arbitrator's decision, sending the case back down to go through the CBA. The NFL has removed the suspension, for now, while moving Peterson back to the Commissioner's Exempt list.

According to the report, the Vikings at this point aren't inclined to trade Peterson, though that may depend on his playing status for next season. The 30-year-old is set to make $12.75 million in 2015. Following Thursday's ruling, the team released the following statement:

"Adrian Peterson is an important member of the Minnesota Vikings, and our focus remains on welcoming him back when he is able to rejoin our organization."


RB Steven Jackson, cut by Falcons, isn't planning to retire


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Though he's without a team at the moment, running back Steven Jackson has no plans to retire. 

The Falcons officially released Jackson Thursday night, with immediate questions emerging about his future. On his own website, though, Jackson posted a statement saying he isn't hanging up the cleats just yet.  

"A lot has been written lately about my future," Jackson wrote. "There are questions about my age, and what I have left in the tank. Of that, I will simply say this. For the first nine years of my career, I was used like a battering ram, punishing opposing defense over four quarters of a game. Maybe you stopped me the first five times I got the ball, but by the 15th or 20th time I got it, late in a game -- let's just say you were really feeling me at that point.

"Make no mistake: I can still punish a defense. I still have a warrior's heart. There are 1,000-yard seasons left in these legs. I know what I am still capable of, and I have every intention of proving it."

Jackson also admitted his two seasons with the Falcons were a disappointment as the organization did not reach the postseason in either season. He combined for only 1,250 yards in 2013 and 2014 after posting eight consecutive seasons with over 1,000 yards when he was with the Rams. 


Report: Vikings, Adrian Peterson can communicate with each other


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) Now that Adrian Peterson has been moved back to the Commissioner's Exempt list, the Vikings can reach out and communicate with him, according to a report from Pro Football Talk

Peterson had been suspended by the NFL until April 15 and upheld by an arbitrator. On Thursday, U.S. District Judge David Doty overturned the arbitrator's decision, sending the case back down to go through the CBA. The NFL has removed the suspension, for now, while moving Peterson back to the Commissioner's Exempt list. 

The NFL announced in a statement that it is appealing Doty's ruling

Since the Vikings want Peterson to remain with them, they can now reach out and hold talks directly. While suspended by the NFL, the Vikings were unable to communicate with him. This is an interesting development because the Vikings have publicly stated they want him to stay in Minnesota. 

However, at least one report as indicated Peterson wants to leave and continue his NFL career elsewhere


Falcons release running back Steven Jackson


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) The Falcons released running back Steven Jackson on Thursday, the team announced.

Jackson was owed $3.75 million in 2015, but with running back Devonta Freeman on the roster, it appears Jackson is expendable. In 2014, Jackson rushed for 707 yards and six touchdowns on 190 carries.

By cutting Jackson, the Falcons saved $3.7 million against the salary cap, reports the NFL Network.


NFL plans to appeal ruling on Vikings RB Adrian Peterson


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) The NFL will appeal the Thursday ruling that reversed an arbitrator's decision on Vikings running back Adrian Peterson's suspension until April 15. 

U.S. District Judge David Doty ruled for the NFL to vacate the upheld suspension via arbitration, with the case going back to arbitrator Harold Henderson. Peterson pleaded no contest to reckless assault on his son, which originated with child abuse allegations. 

With the ruling, Peterson will revert back to the Commissioner's Exempt list.

The NFL released a statement on its desire to appeal the ruling. 

"Judge Doty's order did not contain any determinations concerning the fairness of the appeals process under the CBA, including the commissioner's longstanding authority to appoint a designee to act as hearin officer," the statement reads. "Even so, we believe strongly that Judge Doty's order is incorrect and fundamentally at odds with well-established legal precedent governing the district court's role in reviewing arbitration decisions. As a result, we have filed a notice of appeal to have the ruling reviewed by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. In the interim, Adrian Peterson will be returned to the Commissioner Exempt List pending further proceedings by appeals officer Harold Henderson or a determination by the Eighth Circuit Court."

         


Peterson to be reinstated after judge overturns suspension


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(2/26/2015) A judge has overturned Vikings running back Adrian Peterson's suspension and he can begin the reinstatement process, CBSSports.com NFL Insider Jason La Canfora confirmed. Before Peterson can be reinstated, the case will go back to the CBA process. 

NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith released a statement voicing support for the decision. 

"This is a victory for the rule of law, due process and fairness. Our collective bargaining agreement has rules for implementation of the personal conduct policy and when those rules are violated, our union always stands up to protect our players' rights," Smith said. "This is yet another example why neutral arbitration is good for our players, good for the owners and good for our game."

Peterson has been suspended by the league and was suppose to be ineligible for reinstatement until April 15.

The NFL is expected to appeal the ruling, reports NFL.com.


Lions cut RB Reggie Bush after two seasons with franchise


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(2/25/2015) The Lions released veteran running back Reggie Bush after two seasons with the organization.

Bush dealt with injuries throughout the 2014 season that limited him on the football field. He finished with just 297 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 76 carries. Bush also had 253 receiving yards. That's a far cry from his 2013 season, when he posted 1,512 total yards and seven total touchdowns. 

Bush had two years left on the deal he signed two years ago before being released. 

The Lions will save $1.72 million in cap space for the 2015 season by cutting Bush. 


Giants cut ties with RB Peyton Hillis


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(2/25/2015) The Giants have officially released running back Peyton Hillis on Wednesday, per the team's official website. Hillis had his 2014 campaign cut short with a concussion. He rushed for 115 yards on 26 carries in nine games. He has appeared in only 16 games the past two seasons.

Hillis was released with a failed physical designation. 


Ravens GM hopeful Ray Rice will get another shot next season


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2/24/2015) Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome wants to see Ray Rice in an NFL uniform next season. He thinks Rice can get the job done if given the opportunity, reports the Baltimore Sun.

"I don't know what 31 other teams are thinking, I think we'll find out probably before April whether Ray will get an opportunity to sign with another team," Newsome said. "He was in really good shape when he was with us this offseason and, from what I'm hearing, he's still working his butt off. If he gets an opportunity to play with another club, I would be happy for him."

Newsome made it clear the Ravens will not sign players with domestic violence in their past, but is hoping another team will give Rice a chance.


Newsome: Ravens will work to keep Justin Forsett


by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(2/24/2015) The Ravens intend to keep free-agent-to-be Justin Forsett with the team next season, according to GM Ozzie Newsome. 

Meeting with the media, Tuesday, Newsome said that the Ravens "would like to retain Justin." 

"He doesn't have wear and tear, Justin did a very good job of being our bell cow," Newsome said. Forsett rushed for 1,266 yards on 235 carries last year, with eight touchdowns. 

"We will work to retain Justin," Newsome said


C.J. Spiller wants to stay with Bills, but it's up to them


by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(2/24/2015) Running back C.J. Spiller would like to remain with the Bills, but it's up to the team. 

That was the message Spiller gave during an interview on Sirius XM radio on Tuesday. "I want to be in Buffalo," Spiller said. "There is a possibility that I can be in a Bills uniform but the ball is in their court."

Spiller also gave his approval of the Bills coaching hire, saying Rex Ryan was a great fit for Buffalo and, "I love me some Rex Ryan." 

Spiller is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on March 10. He rushed for 300 yards on 78 carries in an injury-shortened 2014 season. 


Adrian Peterson's dad said son would be open to returning to Vikings


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(2/23/2015) Don't shut the door on Adrian Peterson leaving the Vikings just yet.

According to the Pioneer Press, Peterson's dad, Nelson Peterson, said the running back has not ruled out re-signing with Minnesota.

"He is open to returning to the Vikings," Nelson Peterson said. "He hasn't closed the door [and said], 'I won't play for the Vikings.' He hasn't demanded a trade."

However, things appear to be tense between the the Vikings and Peterson's representation. According to CBSSports.com NFL Insider Jason La Canfora, Peterson's agent Ben Dogra and Vikings vice president of football operations Rob Brzezinski engaged in a shouting match and had to be separated at a dinner in Indianapolis.

Peterson is still on the Commissioner's Exempt List as his legal situation with the NFL continues to play out. He pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor reckless assault charge, which stemmed from child abuse allegations.

He only appeared in one game during the 2014 season.


Vikings executive engages in heated exchange with Peterson's agent


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(2/23/2015) The relationship between Adrian Peterson and the Vikings appears to be nearing its end.

Peterson's agent, Ben Dogra, had to be separated from a member of the Vikings front office after the two were involved in a verbal altercation, sources told CBSSports.com NFL Insider Jason La Canfora.

Peterson has been on the Commissioner's Exempt List while waiting for his legal situation to play out. He appeared in one game during the 2014 season before being suspended. 


Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams says he's been released


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(2/23/2015) Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams told WBTV on Monday that he has been released.

"I don't feel bitter at all," Williams said. "[Stewart] had the hot hand at the end of the season. He's a great running back, obviously, uh, I don't feel bitter at all. It's a business."

Williams has spent his entire nine-year career with the Panthers. He dealt with a variety of injuries in 2014, including a thigh, ankle and broken hand.

As a result of the release, the Panthers have about $6.6 million in dead cap money, according to the NFL Network.


Report: Adrian Peterson wants to play for Cowboys


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(2/22/2015) Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has expressed his desire to the Vikings to play for the Cowboys, a source told Bleacher Report.

While the Vikings are aware Peterson's wish to play for the Cowboys, they are reluctant to trade him to any team, particularly the Cowboys. Peterson would not become a free agent until 2018.


Broncos' Juwan Thompson underwent knee procedure


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(2/22/2015) Broncos running back Juwan Thompson recently underwent an arthroscopic procedure on his knee to fix a knee injury, which ended his season, reports The Denver Post.

Thompson was inactive for the final game of the season and the playoffs after suffering a knee and hip injury. General manger John Elway said Thompson will compete for a fullback role in 2015.


Jerry Jones: I want Murray to be a Cowboy for his entire career


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2/21/2015) Cowboys owner Jerry Jones sure sounds like he wants to get DeMarco Murray back in Dallas in 2015. Jones said Saturday he wants Murray to be a Cowboy for his entire career. The only thing preventing that is figuring out how much to pay the 27-year-old.

"In a legitimate negotiation you usually have both of them thinking ranges," Jones said to the Dallas Morning News. "You have both of them in brackets. You have both of them thinking brackets and within the parameters how you get a deal done. And you can usually tell if one or the other is outside the parameters significantly and then there really is - usually both parties to a negotiation know because they've bracketed and realize they're not in sync with the bracket, then they know for whatever the reasons something else has got to play in."

Murray ran for  league-high 1,845 yards on 392 carries and 13 touchdowns, adding 57 receptions for 416 yards in the passing game.

"Murray is such a warrior and Murray is such a horse, he'd actually get upset if you took him out of the game," Jones said. "But it was [not] the thing to do for Murray to let those guys have more touches. … I don't think we would go into a season now with Murray thinking that he was going to have the load that he had last year. I don't believe we would."


Seahawks, Marshawn Lynch have in deal place for 2015


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2/21/2015) The Seahawks and running back Marshawn Lynch have a deal in place to bring him back for the 2015 season, according to CBSSports.com NFL Insider Jason La Canfora.

The deal, which is expected to be announced in the coming days, would be worth $12 million in the first year and $9 million in the second.

Lynch's agent, Doug Hendrickson, said there is no deal done, but La Canfora reports the deal is on the table and will result in a signing.

Lynch, who was reportedly considering retirement, ran for 1,306 yards in 2014 on 280 carries with 13 touchdowns.


 
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