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Offseason Primers: New York Jets

Senior Fantasy Writer
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The Jets were a disaster in 2012. The Tim Tebow trade was terrible. Santonio Holmes and Darrelle Revis suffered season-ending injuries before Week 5. Ground and pound turned into soft and mush. And then there was the butt fumble.

The Jets season could be summed up in one play. It was Week 12 on national TV against the Patriots when quarterback Mark Sanchez ran into the backside of his own offensive lineman and lost the ball, which was returned for a touchdown. It was, unfortunately, the most memorable moment for the Jets in 2012.

2012 Touches Leaders
987 total touches (rush attempts + receptions)
Shonn Greene 295 (276 car., 19 rec.) 29.8%
Bilal Powell 127 (110 car., 17 rec.) 12.8%
Jeremy Kerley 61 (5 car., 56 rec.) 6.1%
Joe McKnight 31 (30 car., 1 rec.) 3.1%
Jeff Cumberland 29 rec. 2.9%
All Others 444 44.9%

This year, the Jets should have a significant facelift. Sanchez is likely going to be replaced as the starting quarterback, and Tebow will likely be gone as well. Veterans like Shonn Greene and Dustin Keller have left as free agents, and the Jets also have a new offensive coordinator in Marty Mornhinweg, who brings a West Coast offense that should improve on Tony Sparano's outdated run-based system.

Things might not get much better for the Jets from a Fantasy standpoint -- Holmes and potential starting running back Bilal Powell or Mike Goodson look like the lone options worth drafting -- but it can't be much worse than last season. How the Jets play should be determined by the new starting quarterback, if Holmes can return at 100 percent and if Revis is still a dominant force on defense following last year's torn ACL.

Bilal Powell -- Sleeper

2012 Target Leaders
493 pass attempts
Jeremy Kerley 95 19.2%
Jeff Cumberland 53 10.7%
Stephen Hill 47 9.5%
Santonio Holmes 41 8.3%
Chaz Schilens 41 8.3%
All Others 216 43.8%

Powell has the chance to be a surprise Fantasy option in 2013 if he opens training camp as the starter in what should be an open competition with Goodson. Greene is gone as a free agent, and Powell would appear to have the inside track on the starting job ahead of Goodson based on his play in 2012. After a slow start, Powell closed the season with double digits in Fantasy points in three of his final seven games with four touchdowns over that span. He finished the season with 110 carries for 437 yards and four touchdowns and 17 catches for 140 yards. If Powell is indeed the starter then he should be considered a No. 3 Fantasy running back with upside. He is worth drafting with a mid-round pick and could end up as a flex option or spot starter if he starts off the season playing well.

Dustin Keller -- Player on the move

Keller signed with the Dolphins this offseason, and he'll try to resurrect his career in Miami. He did not leave New York on a high note. In 2012, Keller appeared in only eight games due to injuries. He finished with just 28 catches for 317 yards and two touchdowns. He has the ability to be a standout Fantasy option, but he needs the Dolphins to trust him. His best year in the NFL so far was 2010 when he had 55 catches for 687 yards and five touchdowns, which equates to 98 Fantasy points in a standard league and would have made him the No. 10 tight end in 2012 with those same stats. Keep an eye on how he's used with the Dolphins, but Keller should only be drafted with a late-round pick.

Santonio Holmes -- Late-round flier

Expected 2013 Draft Averages
Mark Sanchez Undrafted
Tim Tebow Undrafted
Bilal Powell 80-87 overall
Mike Goodson 90-95 overall
Santonio Holmes 133-140 overall

Holmes has a long way to go before Fantasy owners can trust him again. Since coming to the Jets in 2010 he has been a disappointment, and in 2012 he appeared in just four games before suffering a major foot injury. He should be fine for training camp, but the Jets need plenty of help in their passing game to make Holmes successful. A new quarterback is a possibility, and Holmes would benefit with an upgrade over Sanchez. The Jets did get a new offensive coordinator with Mornhinweg replacing the fired Sparano, and the Jets will now have a West Coast-style offense, which could give Holmes the chance for more catches. He has the look of a reserve Fantasy receiver with upside, and he's worth the gamble with a late-round pick in all leagues. Keep in mind he is still the Jets' No. 1 receiver and has averaged more than seven targets a game since joining the team. With an increase in activity based on the new offense, Holmes could be in line for a productive season.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Jamey at @JameyEisenberg and on Facebook .

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Player News
NFL receives permission for photos in Greg Hardy investigation
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2:32 pm ET) The NFL has obtained permission to access photos submitted into evidence for Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy's domestic violence case, according to ESPN.com.

A judge in North Carolina signed off on all parties, including the NFL and NFLPA, involved in the case to have access to photos of alleged assault against Hardy's former girlfriend, without the district attorney giving up custody of the images. 

A decision from the NFL in Hardy's case has yet to be handed down, but is expected to be announced soon, according to ESPN's Ed Werder. The images in the assault case will help the league determine punishment to be handed down on Hardy, who signed a one-year deal with Dallas this offseason.

"We are trying to get as many facts as we possibly can to make the most informed decision we can so that we can uphold standards that we put forward in our personal conduct policy," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said last week at the owners meeting. "So I expect that that will conclude sometime in the near future and we'll make a decision shortly after."


Ravens' Matt Schaub: 'I've got a lot more football left in me'
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(2:29 pm ET) Newly acquired Ravens quarterback Matt Schaub told reporters during a phone conference that his elbow is "fine" and that he has plenty of football left in him, per the Baltimore Sun.

"I had a rough year. I learned from it. I've got a lot more football left in me," Schaub said. "I know what I'm capable of. It's just a matter of finding the right opportunity."

Schaub, 33, registered only 10 pass attempts last season for the Raiders. The veteran, however, has completed 63.9 percent of his passes in his career while racking up 130 touchdowns and 86 interceptions. He won 40 games in a five-year stretch (2008-12) with the Texans.

Schaub will serve as a backup to starter Joe Flacco next season.

"In this role as a backup, you still have to mentally and physically get yourself ready to play. You never know," Schaub said.


Bears sign linebacker Sam Acho to one-year contract
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2:11 pm ET) The Bears have signed linebacker Sam Acho to a one-year contract, the team announced Wednesday. 

Acho spent the last  four seasons with the Cardinals, totaling 124 tackles with 13 sacks and three interceptions in 51 games. Acho played every game for Arizona in three of the four seasons.


Report: Stevan Ridley meeting with the Jets on Wednesday
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:19 pm ET) Former Patriots running back Stevan Ridley visited another AFC East team on Wednesday -- the Jets, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. Ridley, a free agent, visited the Dolphins a day before his visit with the Jets.

Ridely tore his ACL in the sixth game last season and finished with 340 rushing yards and two touchdowns. He has rushed for 2,817 yards and 22 touchdowns in his four-year career with the Patriots.

>> Want more NFL offseason? >> Mock drafts | Free agency tracker


Report: Romo restructures deal, saves Cowboys $13M in cap space
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1:07 pm ET) Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has restructured his contract, according to Yahoo Sports. He will save the Cowboys $13 million in salary cap space.

Romo indicated in a radio interview Tuesday he was going to restructure his contract and also said he was willing to take a pay cut so the team could re-sign running back DeMarco Murray, who eventually signed with the Eagles.

"DeMarco ended up asking me, 'Why don't you take a pay cut?' I said, 'I will. I would take a pay cut to go do this,'" Romo said. "I was like, 'They're going to restructure me.' That's the same thing in some ways, just for the salary cap purposes. He was like, 'OK, now we're back to being friends again.' I would take $5 million less if it meant getting him back.

"He knew that. It was just funny how he was literally worried about that part of it for a week. I'm like, 'That's not the reason.' I'm like, 'Obviously I'll restructure. I would even take a pay cut.' He was like, 'OK, we can be friends again.' It's amazing what you think about in those moments."

Romo's restructuring does clear up enough cap space for the Cowboys to potentially make a run at trading for Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who is slated to make $12.75 million in base salary in 2015, per ProFootballTalk.com.

Peterson's name has been linked to the Cowboys in the past, including Peterson's dad -- Nelson Peterson -- mentioning in late February he's heard rumors of Peterson being potentially traded to the Cowboys, Cardinals or Colts.


Dan Herron signs exclusive rights tender with Colts
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:42 pm ET) Colts running back Dan Herron signed his exclusive rights tender on Wednesday, according to the Herald Bulletin. Herron started three of 16 games for the Colts in the regular season, and all three postseason games. The 26-year-old rushed for 351 yards and one touchdown on 78 carries. He rushed for 170 yards on the ground in the postseason.

Saints sign cornerback Kyle Wilson
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(11:55 am ET) The Saints agreed to terms with cornerback Kyle Wilson on Wednesday, the team announced.

Details of the contract were not disclosed. Wilson spent the last five seasons playing for the Jets. In 2014, he totaled 26 tackles and one sack. He has three career interceptions.


Saints extend contract of guard Jahri Evans
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(11:51 am ET)  The Saints announced Wednesday they extended the contract of offensive guard Jahri Evans by one year.

The Saints were hoping to rework his contract to create more cap space. Evans has started all but two games for the Saints over the last nine seasons.


Malcolm Jenkins: Eagles players not surprised by McCoy trade
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:12 am ET) While most folks were shocked when the news broke in early March the Eagles were trading running back LeSean McCoy to the Bills, apparently McCoy's Philadelphia teammates were not

Safety Malcolm Jenkins told NFL Network on Wednesday it was not surprising when it was announced McCoy was being traded for linebacker Kiko Alonso.

"In the locker room a lot of guys weren't surprised by the trade, what we were more surprised of was that it was just a player-for-player trade," Jenkins said. "I think everybody thought we would have gotten more -- Kiko, plus a couple draft picks, you know, somebody else...

"You look at the style of runner that Chip wants in his offense and even though Shady is one of the best backs in the league, he's not necessarily what Chip is looking for all the time. Chip thinks he's a great running back, he knows his talent is there, but our (system) is really predicated on downhill, somebody who is going to hit the hole every time. It's about getting up in the defenders face as fast as you can and that's not necessarily Shady's running style."

The Eagles replaced McCoy's absence in the backfield by signing former Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray, who rushed for 1,845 yards in 2014, and former Chargers running back Ryan Mathews.

"When you talk about what you can get for -- if you are looking to acquire more talent -- I just think Shady's cap number and what we were able to get in return for Shady, I think made sense," Jenkins said. "And some guys in the locker room who kind of know what's going on weren't surprised by it."


Joe Lombardi: Lions excited to see what Broyles does in offseason
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:57 am ET) The Lions are not yet giving up on wide receiver Ryan Broyles, who has been hampered in his career by knee and Achilles injuries. 

“I think he’s a guy you have a lot of respect for because he’s had three major injuries and fought his way back,’’ Lions offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi said Tuesday, per The Oakland Press. “When he’s been in there he’s been productive. We’re excited to see where he is now after a full season of not coming back from an injury. He’s had a full year to be healthy we’re excited to see what he does in the offseasaon.’’


 
 
 
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