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Offseason Extra: 12-team standard mock draft

Senior Fantasy Writer
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We realize it's a little early for a Fantasy Football mock draft. It's January, after all, and the playoffs are still going on. The "real" mock drafts will happen later this summer after the NFL Draft and free agency are finalized.

But that doesn't mean we can't have some fun.

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We did this mock draft to see what we just learned from the 2013 season. Some of us, like Nathan Zegura, realize the value of Jimmy Graham and drafted him at No. 3 overall after Jamaal Charles and LeSean McCoy. Others, like Larry Hartstein, still believe in C.J. Spiller and wanted him in the first round at No. 11. Hartstein expects Spiller to rebound in 2014.

"I love a guy with Jamaal Charles-type talent coming off a down year," Hartstein said. "Remember people had durability concerns about Charles, too, a couple of years back. Spiller averaged 4.6-yard per carry on a bum ankle when he should have been sitting out. It was only last year he went over 1,700 yards from scrimmage with eight touchdowns while averaging 6.0-yards per carry. With Fred Jackson turning 33 before next season I see Spiller having a huge bounce-back year."

I hope Hartstein is right because we would all love Spiller to play at a high level, and he could easily re-emerge as a first-round pick, especially if Jackson is cut by the Bills this offseason. But that is something we'll have to find out later this summer.

Overall, this was an interesting exercise to see where certain players could be drafted based on what just happened this past season. Adrian Peterson fell to No. 7 because he could be hitting that point where he starts to break down. Eddie Lacy, Le'Veon Bell and Josh Gordon have elevated themselves to potential first-round picks while Doug Martin, Arian Foster and Ray Rice were drafted outside of the Top 20.

A lot will happen between now and August, and this draft will look dramatically different. For example, where will free agents like Maurice Jones-Drew and Ben Tate (and possibly Chris Johnson) end up? Could young running backs like Andre Ellington, Marcus Lattimore and Latavius Murray be ready for starting roles? Is Cordarrelle Patterson poised for stardom and can Stevan Ridley have a rebound year?

I went with a conventional approach with my team and drafted Bell and DeMarco Murray with my first two picks to secure two potential Top 10 running backs. Jordy Nelson is easily a Top 10 receiver next season, and I wanted my No. 2 tight end in Julius Thomas (I like him better than Rob Gronkowski coming off a torn ACL) in Round 4.

In Round 5, I gambled on Montee Ball because if Knowshon Moreno leaves as a free agent then he's the starter in Denver and should be a breakout candidate. I wouldn't normally take a quarterback here – Scott White got great value with Andrew Luck in Round 10 – but I love Colin Kaepernick with a healthy Michael Crabtree.

After those six picks, it was time to gamble and take Lattimore. He might not be healthy enough to play after sitting out his rookie season with a bad knee injury suffered in college, but he could also be the starter in San Francisco if the 49ers get rid of Frank Gore. For a draft like this, why not?

Since I didn't have a No. 2 receiver, it was time to load up with Reggie Wayne, Terrance Williams, Rueben Randle and Anquan Boldin as my next four picks. Wayne is a high-upside gamble coming off a torn ACL. Williams and Randle should move into starting roles next season with Miles Austin and Hakeem Nicks, respectively, gone as free agents. Boldin will decline at some point, but he was good value in Round 11. I also grabbed a sleeper in Round 13 with Jarrett Boykin, who should be the No. 3 receiver for the Packers next season with James Jones likely gone as a free agent.

As always, we ask you to share your thoughts on this draft. Take advantage of our Fantasy Football Twitter feed and post your comments there, or share your thoughts on our Fantasy Football Facebook page.

In this league, all touchdowns are worth six points, and we award one point for every 10 yards rushing and receiving and one point for every 25 yards passing. We feature a starting lineup of QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, TE, K, DST and a FLEX (RB/WR/TE). There will also be six reserve spots for a 15-round draft.

Our draft order is as follows:

1. Jeff Tobin, Associate Managing Editor
2. Nando Di Fino, Senior Fantasy Writer
3. Nathan Zegura, Senior Fantasy Writer
4. Peter Madden, Editorial Director, Fantasy Sports
5. Joe Polito, Social Media Coordinator
6. Chris Towers, Fantasy Writer
7. Dave Richard, Senior Fantasy Writer
8. Scott White, Senior Fantasy Writer
9. Michael Hurcomb,Fantasy News Editor
10. Jamey Eisenberg, Senior Fantasy Writer
11. Larry Hartstein, Fantasy Writer
12. Adam Aizer, Podcast/Video Host

Round by Round
Round 1
Pick Team Player
1 Tobin Jamaal Charles, RB, KC
2 Di Fino LeSean McCoy, RB, PHI
3 Zegura Jimmy Graham, TE, NO
4 Madden Calvin Johnson, WR, DET
5 Polito Matt Forte, RB, CHI
6 Towers Peyton Manning, QB, DEN
7 Richard Adrian Peterson, RB, MIN
8 White Marshawn Lynch, RB, SEA
9 Hurcomb Eddie Lacy, RB, GB
10 Eisenberg Le'Veon Bell, RB, PIT
11 Hartstein C.J. Spiller, RB, BUF
12 Aizer Josh Gordon, WR, CLE
Round 2
Pick Team Player
13 Aizer A.J. Green, WR, CIN
14 Hartstein Drew Brees, QB, NO
15 Eisenberg DeMarco Murray, RB, DAL
16 Hurcomb Demaryius Thomas, WR, DEN
17 White Dez Bryant, WR, DAL
18 Richard Aaron Rodgers, QB, GB
19 Towers Reggie Bush, RB, DET
20 Polito Zac Stacy, RB, STL
21 Madden Doug Martin, RB, TB
22 Zegura Arian Foster, RB, HOU
23 Di Fino Brandon Marshall, WR, CHI
24 Tobin Ryan Mathews, RB, SD
Round 3
Pick Team Player
25 Tobin Julio Jones, WR, ATL
26 Di Fino Ray Rice, RB, BAL
27 Zegura Giovani Bernard, RB, CIN
28 Madden Alfred Morris, RB, WAS
29 Polito Antonio Brown, WR, PIT
30 Towers Chris Johnson, RB, TEN
31 Richard Randall Cobb, WR, GB
32 White Knowshon Moreno, RB, DEN
33 Hurcomb Alshon Jeffery, WR, CHI
34 Eisenberg Jordy Nelson, WR, GB
35 Hartstein Pierre Garcon, WR, WAS
36 Aizer Tom Brady, QB, NE
Round 4
Pick Team Player
37 Aizer Andre Brown, RB, NYG
38 Hartstein Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARI
39 Eisenberg Julius Thomas, TE, DEN
40 Hurcomb Ben Tate, RB, HOU
41 White Rob Gronkowski, TE, NE
42 Richard Vernon Davis, TE, SF
43 Towers DeSean Jackson, WR, PHI
44 Polito Cam Newton, QB, CAR
45 Madden Wes Welker, WR, DEN
46 Zegura Vincent Jackson, WR, TB
47 Di Fino Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, JAC
48 Tobin Shane Vereen, RB, NE
Round 5
Pick Team Player
49 Tobin Eric Decker, WR, DEN
50 Di Fino Victor Cruz, WR, NYG
51 Zegura Michael Crabtree, WR, SF
52 Madden Matt Ryan, QB, ATL
53 Polito Andre Johnson, WR, HOU
54 Towers Donald Brown, RB, IND
55 Richard Keenan Allen, WR, SD
56 White Frank Gore, RB, SF
57 Hurcomb Matthew Stafford, QB, DET
58 Eisenberg Montee Ball, RB, DEN
59 Hartstein Andre Ellington, RB, ARI
60 Aizer Stevan Ridley, RB, NE
Round 6
Pick Team Player
61 Aizer Lamar Miller, RB, MIA
62 Hartstein T.Y. Hilton, WR, IND
63 Eisenberg Colin Kaepernick, QB, SF
64 Hurcomb Roddy White, WR, ATL
65 White Nick Foles, QB, PHI
66 Richard Steven Jackson, RB, ATL
67 Towers Jordan Cameron, TE, CLE
68 Polito Percy Harvin, WR, SEA
69 Madden Dennis Pitta, TE, BAL
70 Zegura Trent Richardson, RB, IND
71 Di Fino Chris Ivory, RB, NYJ
72 Tobin Riley Cooper, WR, PHI
Round 7
Pick Team Player
73 Tobin Tony Romo, QB, DAL
74 Di Fino Jason Witten, TE, DAL
75 Zegura Mike Wallace, WR, MIA
76 Madden Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, MIN
77 Polito Joique Bell, RB, DET
78 Towers Kendall Wright, WR, TEN
79 Richard LeGarrette Blount, RB, NE
80 White Justin Blackmon, WR, JAC
81 Hurcomb Darren Sproles, RB, NO
82 Eisenberg Marcus Lattimore, RB, SF
83 Hartstein Julian Edelman, WR, NE
84 Aizer Fred Jackson, RB, BUF
Round 8
Pick Team Player
85 Aizer Jordan Todman, RB, JAC
86 Hartstein Greg Olsen, TE, CAR
87 Eisenberg Reggie Wayne, WR, IND
88 Hurcomb Torrey Smith, WR, BAL
89 White Michael Floyd, WR, ARI
90 Richard Latavius Murray, RB, OAK
91 Towers Golden Tate, WR, SEA
92 Polito Jordan Reed, TE, WAS
93 Madden Shonn Greene, RB, TEN
94 Zegura Danny Woodhead, RB, SD
95 Di Fino Robert Griffin III, QB, WAS
96 Tobin Tavon Austin, WR, STL
Round 9
Pick Team Player
97 Tobin Zach Ertz, TE, PHI
98 Di Fino Darren McFadden, RB, OAK
99 Zegura Marques Colston, WR, NO
100 Madden Dwayne Bowe, WR, KC
101 Polito DeAngelo Williams, RB, CAR
102 Towers Marvin Jones, WR, CIN
103 Richard Mark Ingram, RB, NO
104 White Rashad Jennings, RB, OAK
105 Hurcomb Jeremy Maclin, WR, PHI
106 Eisenberg Terrance Williams, WR, DAL
107 Hartstein Rashard Mendenhall, RB, ARI
108 Aizer Denarius Moore, WR, OAK
Round 10
Pick Team Player
109 Aizer Hakeem Nicks, WR, NYG
110 Hartstein Danny Amendola, WR, NE
111 Eisenberg Rueben Randle, WR, NYG
112 Hurcomb David Wilson, RB, NYG
113 White Andrew Luck, QB, IND
114 Richard Khiry Robinson, RB, NO
115 Towers Knile Davis, RB, KC
116 Polito Marlon Brown, WR, BAL
117 Madden Cecil Shorts, WR, JAC
118 Zegura Bernard Pierce, RB, BAL
119 Di Fino James Jones, WR, GB
120 Tobin Pierre Thomas, RB, NO
Round 11
Pick Team Player
121 Tobin Christine Michael, RB, SEA
122 Di Fino DeAndre Hopkins, WR, HOU
123 Zegura Emmanuel Sanders, WR, PIT
124 Madden Mike James, RB, TB
125 Polito Kendall Hunter, RB, SF
126 Towers Brian Hartline, WR, MIA
127 Richard James Starks, RB, GB
128 White BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, CIN
129 Hurcomb Seahawks DST
130 Eisenberg Anquan Boldin, WR, SF
131 Hartstein Jonathan Stewart, RB, CAR
132 Aizer Jay Cutler, QB, CHI
Round 12
Pick Team Player
133 Aizer Timothy Wright, TE, TB
134 Hartstein Ladarius Green, TE, SD
135 Eisenberg Joseph Randle, RB, DAL
136 Hurcomb Andy Dalton, QB, CIN
137 White Panthers DST
138 Richard Dwayne Allen, TE, IND
139 Towers Bobby Rainey, RB, TB
140 Polito Charles Clay, TE, MIA
141 Madden Edwin Baker, RB, CLE
142 Zegura Russell Wilson, QB, SEA
143 Di Fino Roy Helu, RB, WAS
144 Tobin Stepfan Taylor, RB, ARI
Round 13
Pick Team Player
145 Tobin Tyler Eifert, TE, CIN
146 Di Fino Steve Smith, WR, CAR
147 Zegura Philip Rivers, QB, SD
148 Madden Denard Robinson, RB, JAC
149 Polito Chiefs DST
150 Towers Coby Fleener, TE, IND
151 Richard Alex Smith, QB, KC
152 White Rod Streater, WR, OAK
153 Hurcomb Kyle Rudolph, TE, MIN
154 Eisenberg Jarrett Boykin, WR, GB
155 Hartstein Bryce Brown, RB, PHI
156 Aizer Toby Gerhart, RB, MIN
Round 14
Pick Team Player
157 Aizer 49ers DST
158 Hartstein Buccaneers DST
159 Eisenberg Bengals DST
160 Hurcomb Steve Johnson, WR, BUF
161 White Bilal Powell, RB, NYJ
162 Richard Rams DST
163 Towers Bears DST
164 Polito Greg Jennings, WR, MIN
165 Madden Cardinals DST
166 Zegura Bills DST
167 Di Fino Broncos DST
168 Tobin Dolphins DST
Round 15
Pick Team Player
169 Tobin Matt Prater, K, DEN
170 Di Fino Blair Walsh, K, MIN
171 Zegura Phil Dawson, K, SF
172 Madden Stephen Gostkowski, K, NE
173 Polito Matt Bryant, K, ATL
174 Towers Justin Tucker, K, BAL
175 Richard Mason Crosby, K, GB
176 White Steven Hauschka, K, SEA
177 Hurcomb Nick Novak, K, SD
178 Eisenberg Caleb Sturgis, K, MIA
179 Hartstein Greg Zuerlein, K, STL
180 Aizer Dan Bailey, K, DAL
 
Team by Team
Adam Aizer
Rd.Pk Player
1.12 Josh Gordon, WR, CLE
2.1 A.J. Green, WR, CIN
3.12 Tom Brady, QB, NE
4.1 Andre Brown, RB, NYG
5.12 Stevan Ridley, RB, NE
6.1 Lamar Miller, RB, MIA
7.12 Fred Jackson, RB, BUF
8.1 Jordan Todman, RB, JAC
9.12 Denarius Moore, WR, OAK
10.1 Hakeem Nicks, WR, NYG
11.12 Jay Cutler, QB, CHI
12.1 Timothy Wright, TE, TB
13.12 Toby Gerhart, RB, MIN
14.1 49ers DST
15.12 Dan Bailey, K, DAL
Nando Di Fino
Rd.Pk Player
1.2 LeSean McCoy, RB, PHI
2.11 Brandon Marshall, WR, CHI
3.2 Ray Rice, RB, BAL
4.11 Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, JAC
5.2 Victor Cruz, WR, NYG
6.11 Chris Ivory, RB, NYJ
7.2 Jason Witten, TE, DAL
8.11 Robert Griffin III, QB, WAS
9.2 Darren McFadden, RB, OAK
10.11 James Jones, WR, GB
11.2 DeAndre Hopkins, WR, HOU
12.11 Roy Helu, RB, WAS
13.2 Steve Smith, WR, CAR
14.11 Broncos DST
15.2 Blair Walsh, K, MIN
Jamey Eisenberg
Rd.Pk Player
1.1 Le'Veon Bell, RB, PIT
2.3 DeMarco Murray, RB, DAL
3.1 Jordy Nelson, WR, GB
4.3 Julius Thomas, TE, DEN
5.1 Montee Ball, RB, DEN
6.3 Colin Kaepernick, QB, SF
7.1 Marcus Lattimore, RB, SF
8.3 Reggie Wayne, WR, IND
9.1 Terrance Williams, WR, DAL
10.3 Rueben Randle, WR, NYG
11.1 Anquan Boldin, WR, SF
12.3 Joseph Randle, RB, DAL
13.1 Jarrett Boykin, WR, GB
14.3 Bengals DST
15.1 Caleb Sturgis, K, MIA
Larry Hartstein
Rd.Pk Player
1.11 C.J. Spiller, RB, BUF
2.2 Drew Brees, QB, NO
3.11 Pierre Garcon, WR, WAS
4.2 Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARI
5.11 Andre Ellington, RB, ARI
6.2 T.Y. Hilton, WR, IND
7.11 Julian Edelman, WR, NE
8.2 Greg Olsen, TE, CAR
9.11 Rashard Mendenhall, RB, ARI
10.2 Danny Amendola, WR, NE
11.11 Jonathan Stewart, RB, CAR
12.2 Ladarius Green, TE, SD
13.11 Bryce Brown, RB, PHI
14.2 Buccaneers DST
15.11 Greg Zuerlein, K, STL
Michael Hurcomb
Rd.Pk Player
1.9 Eddie Lacy, RB, GB
2.4 Demaryius Thomas, WR, DEN
3.9 Alshon Jeffery, WR, CHI
4.4 Ben Tate, RB, HOU
5.9 Matthew Stafford, QB, DET
6.4 Roddy White, WR, ATL
7.9 Darren Sproles, RB, NO
8.4 Torrey Smith, WR, BAL
9.9 Jeremy Maclin, WR, PHI
10.4 David Wilson, RB, NYG
11.9 Seahawks DST
12.4 Andy Dalton, QB, CIN
13.9 Kyle Rudolph, TE, MIN
14.4 Steve Johnson, WR, BUF
15.9 Nick Novak, K, SD
Peter Madden
Rd.Pk Player
1.4 Calvin Johnson, WR, DET
2.9 Doug Martin, RB, TB
3.4 Alfred Morris, RB, WAS
4.9 Wes Welker, WR, DEN
5.4 Matt Ryan, QB, ATL
6.9 Dennis Pitta, TE, BAL
7.4 Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, MIN
8.9 Shonn Greene, RB, TEN
9.4 Dwayne Bowe, WR, KC
10.9 Cecil Shorts, WR, JAC
11.4 Mike James, RB, TB
12.9 Edwin Baker, RB, CLE
13.4 Denard Robinson, RB, JAC
14.9 Cardinals DST
15.4 Stephen Gostkowski, K, NE
Joe Polito
Rd.Pk Player
1.5 Matt Forte, RB, CHI
2.8 Zac Stacy, RB, STL
3.5 Antonio Brown, WR, PIT
4.8 Cam Newton, QB, CAR
5.5 Andre Johnson, WR, HOU
6.8 Percy Harvin, WR, SEA
7.5 Joique Bell, RB, DET
8.8 Jordan Reed, TE, WAS
9.5 DeAngelo Williams, RB, CAR
10.8 Marlon Brown, WR, BAL
11.5 Kendall Hunter, RB, SF
12.8 Charles Clay, TE, MIA
13.5 Chiefs DST
14.8 Greg Jennings, WR, MIN
15.5 Matt Bryant, K, ATL
Dave Richard
Rd.Pk Player
1.7 Adrian Peterson, RB, MIN
2.6 Aaron Rodgers, QB, GB
3.7 Randall Cobb, WR, GB
4.6 Vernon Davis, TE, SF
5.7 Keenan Allen, WR, SD
6.6 Steven Jackson, RB, ATL
7.7 LeGarrette Blount, RB, NE
8.6 Latavius Murray, RB, OAK
9.7 Mark Ingram, RB, NO
10.6 Khiry Robinson, RB, NO
11.7 James Starks, RB, GB
12.6 Dwayne Allen, TE, IND
13.7 Alex Smith, QB, KC
14.6 Rams DST
15.7 Mason Crosby, K, GB
Jeff Tobin
Rd.Pk Player
1.1 Jamaal Charles, RB, KC
2.12 Ryan Mathews, RB, SD
3.1 Julio Jones, WR, ATL
4.12 Shane Vereen, RB, NE
5.1 Eric Decker, WR, DEN
6.12 Riley Cooper, WR, PHI
7.1 Tony Romo, QB, DAL
8.12 Tavon Austin, WR, STL
9.1 Zach Ertz, TE, PHI
10.12 Pierre Thomas, RB, NO
11.1 Christine Michael, RB, SEA
12.12 Stepfan Taylor, RB, ARI
13.1 Tyler Eifert, TE, CIN
14.12 Dolphins DST
15.1 Matt Prater, K, DEN
Chris Towers
Rd.Pk Player
1.6 Peyton Manning, QB, DEN
2.7 Reggie Bush, RB, DET
3.6 Chris Johnson, RB, TEN
4.7 DeSean Jackson, WR, PHI
5.6 Donald Brown, RB, IND
6.7 Jordan Cameron, TE, CLE
7.6 Kendall Wright, WR, TEN
8.7 Golden Tate, WR, SEA
9.6 Marvin Jones, WR, CIN
10.7 Knile Davis, RB, KC
11.6 Brian Hartline, WR, MIA
12.7 Bobby Rainey, RB, TB
13.6 Coby Fleener, TE, IND
14.7 Bears DST
15.6 Justin Tucker, K, BAL
Scott White
Rd.Pk Player
1.8 Marshawn Lynch, RB, SEA
2.5 Dez Bryant, WR, DAL
3.8 Knowshon Moreno, RB, DEN
4.5 Rob Gronkowski, TE, NE
5.8 Frank Gore, RB, SF
6.5 Nick Foles, QB, PHI
7.8 Justin Blackmon, WR, JAC
8.5 Michael Floyd, WR, ARI
9.8 Rashad Jennings, RB, OAK
10.5 Andrew Luck, QB, IND
11.8 BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, CIN
12.5 Panthers DST
13.8 Rod Streater, WR, OAK
14.5 Bilal Powell, RB, NYJ
15.8 Steven Hauschka, K, SEA
Nathan Zegura
Rd.Pk Player
1.3 Jimmy Graham, TE, NO
2.1 Arian Foster, RB, HOU
3.3 Giovani Bernard, RB, CIN
4.1 Vincent Jackson, WR, TB
5.3 Michael Crabtree, WR, SF
6.1 Trent Richardson, RB, IND
7.3 Mike Wallace, WR, MIA
8.1 Danny Woodhead, RB, SD
9.3 Marques Colston, WR, NO
10.1 Bernard Pierce, RB, BAL
11.3 Emmanuel Sanders, WR, PIT
12.1 Russell Wilson, QB, SEA
13.3 Philip Rivers, QB, SD
14.1 Bills DST
15.3 Phil Dawson, K, SF

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 .

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Player News
Chris Harris targeting midway point of preseason
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:44 pm ET) Broncos cornerback Chris Harris, who's coming back from ACL surgery, told ESPN he expects to be cleared for full participation by the midway point of the preseason. Harris said the exact timetable hinges on his upcoming visit to his surgeon, Dr. James Andrews.

"I’m doing everything, there’s really nothing I can’t do right now," Harris told the network. "I still have to go see Dr. Andrews at the end of the month and get checked up and he’ll pretty much let us know the plan from there."

Harris had 65 tackles and three interceptions last year before getting hurt in the playoffs.


Dimitri Patterson a starter by default
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(5:28 pm ET) Unable to land a high-end free agent cornerback, the Jets "were forced to settle for journeyman Dimitri Patterson as a consolation," notes The Star-Ledger. Patterson, who projects to start opposite Dee Milliner, is on his sixth team in 10 seasons and has played all 16 games just once in his career.

If Patterson falters, third-round pick Dexter McDougle could get a shot.


Fred Jackson in danger of losing carries
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(4:58 pm ET) Bills running back Fred Jackson might not approach the 207 carries he received last year. According to WGR550.com, Jackson will once again split time with C.J. Spiller but also potentially lose snaps to the team's additions at running back, Bryce Brown and Anthony Dixon.

The website said Jackson, 33, who's entering the last year of his deal, will be trying to prove how much he has left.


Teammate: Bitterness won't linger from Jimmy Graham standoff
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(4:32 pm ET) Saints tight end Benjamin Watson told ESPN that the the team's arbitration fight with Jimmy Graham over whether he's a receiver or a tight end won't have a longterm detrimental effect. Watson is hopeful the sides will reach a multiyear contract agreement by Tuesday's deadline.

"I’m very confident that it’ll be resolved the right way and guys can move forward," Watson said. "Obviously it’s always tough when you go through litigation with somebody, and it can probably get heated. And I’m sure there are emotions on both sides. But that is the business side of the game. 

"And it’s unfortunate that it came to that and that it was so public. But I really think -- I know, I don’t think -- I know that Jimmy loves New Orleans and I know that he loves our team and the organization and he loves playing here. And we love him, everybody wants him here, coaches included. So when it comes down to contract situations, that’s just a necessary evil ... not even evil, but just a necessary progression of getting a player here."


Dallas Thomas eyes starting job
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(4:17 pm ET) Dolphins coach Joe Philbin named Dallas Thomas one of the team's most improved players, and he has a good chance to start at left guard, according to the team's website. A third-round pick in last year's draft, Thomas played only four offensive snaps last season.

Thomas worked with the first team during spring drills and is much further along than he was in 2013. He stayed in South Florida throughout the offseason to get better prepared.

"You’ve got to know your material, you’ve got to know what you’re doing on the field because stuff happens so fast," Thomas said. "You’ve got to be able to just react to it and not even think about what’s happening on the field."


Spencer Nealy hit with four-game ban
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(3:58 pm ET) The NFL suspended Vikings defensive end Spencer Nealy four games for violating the league's policy on performance enhancing substances. An undrafted free agent out of Texas A&M, the 24-year-old Nealy did not play in a game last season.

Nealy apologized and took responsibility in a statement, saying he took a supplement containing a banned stimulant.


Jarrett Boykin will be 'hard to dislodge'
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(3:54 pm ET) Jarrett Boykin improved dramatically last season and "will be hard to dislodge" from the Packers' No. 3 receiver job, reports the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Boykin will have to hold off second-round pick Davante Adams, fifth-rounder Jared Abbrederis and seventh-rounder Jeff Janis.

Boykin, 24, caught 49 passes for 681 yards and three touchdowns last season.


Trent Richardson might not get long leash
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(3:40 pm ET) Averaging 2.9 yards a carry, like he did last year, will get Trent Richardson benched quickly, reports ESPN.com. Richardson "will have to produce right away because it's unlikely the Colts will wait for him to get going" if running backs Ahmad Bradshaw and Vick Ballard are healthy and productive, the website said.

Richardson likely will get the first shot at the starting job. He has a much better grasp of the playbook than he did in 2013 and the belief is he'll be able to run on instinct as opposed to overthinking, the report said.


Bruce Ellington trying to overcome stature
by Jeff Borzello | College Basketball Writer
(3:33 pm ET) At 5-foot-9, Bruce Ellington is the shortest receiver on the 49ers' roster. But the fourth-round pick out of South Carolina should not be discounted, his high school coach, Jerry Brown, told the Sacramento Bee.

Brown said Ellington is relentless at finding open space and catching everything thrown his way. "Football's played on a big field and it's hard to track someone like Bruce who's got so much agility," Brown said.

Ellington believes he has lots of room for growth because he only gave up basketball last year. Also a former track competitor, Ellington clocked a 4.45 forty at the combine.

"I'm just going to work hard, give it a hundred (percent) every time I step on the field and keep on chasing the dream," he said.


Colts dump LaVon Brazill, sign Aaron Burks
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(3:03 pm ET) The Colts waived suspended wideout LaVon Brazill and signed receiver Aaron Burks, an undrafted free agent from Boise State. Brazill, 25, is suspended for at least a year for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

Burks caught 18 passes for 309 yards and three touchdowns for the Broncos last season, averaging 17.2 yards per catch.


 
 
 
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