Broncos' Von Miller: In line for franchise tag?
The Denver Broncos will attempt to work out a long-term contract with Von Miller in the offseason, but if inroads aren't made, the franchise tag will be used on the pass rusher, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
Miller has matured from the Broncos' most-fined player as a rookie in 2011 to one of the NFL's premier pass rushers, accruing double-digit sacks in four of five professional campaigns. Only a six-game suspension and a torn ACL in 2013 stopped him from making it 5-for-5, but he's now the backbone of a defense that will attempt to corral Cam Newton and the Panthers in Super Bowl 50. In 18 games this season (including playoffs), he's notched 13.5 sacks among 42 tackles, to which he's added four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.
Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch: Intends to retire
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Marshawn Lynch has shared his intention to retire with both teammates and some within the Seattle Seahawks ' organization.
Lynch had been a model of reliability during his time in Seattle, playing in 85 of 86 games between his arrival in 2010 and last year's Super Bowl. However, the additional reps taken on due to successive deep playoff runs appeared to take a toll in 2015, as he suffered through a hamstring injury early and abdominal surgery that combined to hold him out of nine regular season contests. After staying home during the Seahawks' wild-card win at Minnesota, he returned for the divisional round in Carolina but managed only six carries for 20 yards and two receptions for 15 yards. If he decides to hang up the cleats and tinted visor, he'll conclude his career with 9,122 rushing yards, 1,979 receiving yards, and 83 touchdowns (74 on the ground) in 127 games between the Seahawks and Bills.
Panthers' Thomas Davis: Not expected to be limited Sunday
The Carolina Panthers ' training staff doesn't expect Thomas Davis (forearm) to be limited in Sunday's Super Bowl against the Broncos, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
Davis had surgery on his right forearm one day after the NFC championship game. During and immediately afterward, trainers were encouraged by how the repair proceeded, and their efforts in the interim have included reducing swelling in the forearm, rebuilding strength, and ensuring he returned to the practice field. After practicing in full this week, they accomplished that feat and, more importantly, believe he'll be his typical play-making self in Super Bowl 50, when he'll merely wear a pad over the healing region.
Chiefs' Marcus Peters: Wins Defensive Rookie of the Year
Marcus Peters was named Defensive Rookie of the Year at Saturday's NFL Awards Ceremony, Connor Orr of NFL.com reports.
Peters was the eighth defensive player and third cornerback selected in the 2015 draft, but he outperformed his peers in a big way by collecting 45 of a possible 50 votes for the Defensive Rookie of the Year award. He was tied with Cincinnati's Reggie Nelson for the league lead in interceptions with eight, and Peters returned two of those picks for touchdowns. Peters looks to be one of the steals of last year's draft and figures to be a key member of Kansas City's stout defense for years to come.
Panthers' Cam Newton: Named NFL MVP
Cam Newton was named the NFL's 2015 MVP on Saturday, Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com reports.
Newton earned 48 of the possible 50 votes for MVP, with Tom Brady and Carson Palmer as the other two signal-callers receiving votes. With 2014's top wideout Kelvin Benjamin sidelined for the season with a knee injury, Newton elevated his level of play and transformed Carolina's offense into the top scoring unit in the league. Newton accounted for a career-high 45 touchdowns in the regular season (35 passing, 10 rushing) and threw a career-low 10 interceptions. He took home NFL Offensive Player of the Year as well on Saturday and will look to cap off the season with a Super Bowl victory Sunday against the Broncos.
Rams' Todd Gurley: Named Offensive Rookie of the Year
Todd Gurley was named Offensive Rookie of the Year at Saturday's NFL Awards Ceremony, Connor Orr of NFL.com reports.
Less than one year removed from a torn ACL in his final season at Georgia, Gurley found traction in his second career game on Oct. 4 against Arizona and was one of the best backs in the league from there. Starting with his 146-yard showing against the Cardinals, Gurley reached the 100-yard mark in four consecutive games. He finished the year third in the NFL in rushing yards with 1,106 behind only Adrian Peterson and Doug Martin. Gurley beat out Tampa Bay's Jameis Winston and Oakland's Amari Cooper to take home the Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
Texans' J.J. Watt: Wins Defensive Player of the Year
J.J. Watt was named the NFL Defensive player of the Year at Saturday's NFL Awards ceremony.
Despite being hampered by hand and groin injuries down the stretch, Watt turned in another dominant season as the undoubted leader of the Houston Texans ' defense. Watt finished out the year with the league-lead in sacks with 17.5 totaling 118 total yards lost to go with 50 quarterback hits and eight passes defensed. He beat out St. Louis' Aaron Donald and Carolina's Luke Keuchly to take home his third DPOY award.
Steelers' Le'Veon Bell: Still not cleared to run
Le'Veon Bell (knee) still has not been cleared to run, according to ESPN.com staff writer Jeremy Fowler. "Once I get cleared to run, I'll be happy," Bell said. "I just want to get back to how I am and get ready for next season."
Bell is expected to be ready for Week 1, but has a challenging rehabilitation process ahead of him for the torn MCL and PCL sustained in Week 8 of the 2015 season. A healthy Bell tops many fantasy cheat sheets, so his progess should be monitored during the offseason right up to draft day.
Browns' Johnny Manziel: Criminal investigation reopened
The Dallas Police Department has reopened its investigation into an alleged domestic violence incident committed by Johnny Manziel last Saturday morning.
On Friday, the department received a complaint of the alleged assault, spurring a renewed effort to determine if anything criminal occurred during the encounter. As the listed suspect, Manziel could now be facing legal concerns in addition to any discipline that the NFL may hand down.
Jaguars' Allen Hurns: Expects to start running in one month
Allen Hurns (sports hernia) expects to start running in approximately one month, John Oehser of the Jacksonville Jaguars ' official site reports. As for the offseason, he said, "OTAs, I'll definitely be ready. I'll be doing everything I'm supposed to be."
Hurns gutted out injury after injury in his second season en route to 64 catches (on 105 targets) for 1,031 yards and 10 touchdowns in 15 games. Missing only one outing due to his residence in the concussion protocol, he nonetheless required sports hernia surgery once the campaign concluded. If he indeed upholds his desired training schedule, he'll be present at the beginning of the Jaguars' offseason program in April.
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