Brian Hoyer
Brian Hoyer wants to compete for starting QB role in Cleveland
Brian Hoyer, QB, CLE
9:36 AM
News: Quarterback Brian Hoyer is open to returning to the Browns in 2015, if he is given a chance to compete for the starting role, Hoyer's agent Joe Linta told NBC Sports.

Hoyer started the first 13 games of the season and went 7-6. However, he was replaced by Johnny Manziel.

"I think the only thing that would make him not [want to] come back is if they said Manziel or whoever we take in the draft or whoever we sign in free agency is going to be the starter and you will only be the backup," Linta said.

Hoyer is set to become a free agent in the offseason and Linta added he expects to meet with the Browns soon to discuss their options.

Analysis: 

Johnny Manziel
Former Browns GM still feels Manziel needs tailor-made offense
Johnny Manziel, QB, CLE
1/23/2015
News: When former Browns general manager Phil Savage provided his assessment of quarterback Johnny Manziel leading up to the 2014 NFL Draft, he said whichever team drafted Manziel, they needed to make a schematic commitment to him, per Cleveland.com.

After watching Manziel struggle during his rookie season, Savage -- who is now the executive director of the Senior Bowl -- hasn't changed his opinion.

"I don't know all the intimate details of how it went down, but to me Manziel needed to go a place where they would shape the offense around him and build elements into it that he could perform," Savage said. "If you were going to pour him into a more traditional style of offense, then it was going to be a waste of his ability because his ability is to play backyard football.

"You have to create circumstances where almost artificially you give him those same sorts of pictures and same sorts of reads."

Manziel started the season as the Browns backup quarterback in 2014 before starting two games late in the season. Unfortunately, he led the Browns to three points and seven first downs in six quarters as a starter before suffering a hamstring injury.

On Thursday, Browns owner Jimmy Haslam was non-committal about Manziel's future with the franchise. He said the team is on a mission to find a starter who can "make us a championship team." New Browns offensive coordinator John DeFilippo added he's not sure if the Browns' starting quarterback is on the roster. 

"He's a first-round pick, so there was obvious ability there," Savage, who was the Browns general manager from 2005-08, said of Manziel. "I mean it's not over with yet, but wow. Based on how the season ended, there's more questions now than on the Thursday night they drafted him."

Analysis: 

Justin Durant
Cowboys highly unsettled at linebacker entering next season
Justin Durant, OLB, DAL
1/22/2015
News: Three of the Cowboys' top four linebackers -- Rolando McClain, Bruce Carter and Justin Durant -- are headed for unrestricted free agency, notes the Dallas Morning News. The paper says Cowboys brass is at the Senior Bowl looking for depth at linebacker.

“We have some contract work to do, but we had players really throughout that linebacker core show up positive last year,” owner Jerry Jones told the paper. “I would say that most of our linebackers’ arrows are up as far as they played and we have to sit down and work that through as far as what we’ll do contractually there.

“We’re fortunate to have some of the options that we have, Sean Lee leading the pack, coming back.”

Lee missed the 2014 season while recovering from a torn ACL.

Analysis: 

Vontaze Burfict
Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict no lock for start of season
Vontaze Burfict, OLB, CIN
1/22/2015
News: Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who's had two knee surgeries since late October, might not be ready for the start of the 2015 season, reports the team's website. The plan is for Burfict to be back, but "there has been some concern" he'll start the season on the PUP list and miss the first six weeks, the report said.

“He has to work his tail off. He has to work harder now than he did to get here,” coach Marvin Lewis said. “Everyone in his inner circle has continued to reinforce that. He has to work harder now than he did to get here.”

Burfict had 29 tackles and a forced fumble in five games this season. He had 298 combined tackles and four sacks in the previous two years.

Analysis: 

Rolando McClain
Report: Cowboys LB Rolando McClain won't need knee surgery
Rolando McClain, MLB, DAL
1/21/2015
News: Cowboys middle linebacker Rolando McClain recently met with noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews in Alabama to have his right knee examined, a source told The Dallas Morning News. The exam went well, as Andrews told McClain he will not need surgery.

McClain has had issues with his right knee dating back to his playing days with the Raiders. He was bothered by his right knee at times in 2014. He totaled 81 tackles (65 solo), one sack and two interceptions in 13 games this season.

Analysis: 

Morris Claiborne
Cowboys mulling whether to pick up fifth-year option for Claiborne
Morris Claiborne, CB, DAL
1/21/2015
News: The Cowboys still haven't made a decision on whether they will exercise their fifth-year option on cornerback Morris Claiborne's contract, executive vice president Stephen Jones said Wednesday from the Senior Bowl. The Cowboys have until May 3 to exercise the option, per The Dallas Morning News.

If the Cowboys don't exercise the option, then Claiborne will become an unrestricted free agent after the 2015 season. If they pick up the option, then Claiborne would receive the 2015 transition tag money for a cornerback, which is estimated to be about $11 million.

“It’s something that we still have to look at,” Jones said. “When we sit down and take a look at what we have to do underneath our salary cap that plays into it. So we have to look at his health. We have to really measure everything. We think a lot of Mo. We’re still believers that if Mo had a fully healthy offseason and a fully healthy season that he would play up to our expectations.”

Claiborne, who was a first-round pick in 2012, has been active for just 29 of a possible 50 games in his three NFL seasons. Claiborne appeared in just four games in 2014 before suffering a ruptured patellar tendon in his left knee. He might not be ready for the start of training camp in July.

“That’s still to be determined,” Stephen Jones said. “We’ve got to see how he recovers, how his rehab goes, how his progress is. We’ll make those types of decisions accordingly.”

Analysis: 

Dennis Pitta
Decision on TE Dennis Pitta still a couple weeks away
Dennis Pitta, TE, BAL
1/21/2015
News: Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta met with specialists last week about his hip, coach John Harbaugh told the Baltimore Sun, saying a decision on Pitta's future would be announced in about two weeks. Pitta dislocated and fractured his hip Week 3 against the Browns, the second time in two years he suffered that injury.

“I did get kind of an overview of that report from our trainer that I wouldn’t really want to share until Dennis has had a chance to kind of consider all of the ramifications of it,” Harbaugh told the paper. “But I think we’ll have something on that in a couple of weeks, kind of on Dennis’ time frame. We’ll see where that goes.”

Harbaugh said earlier he was "cautiously optimistic" about Pitta resuming his career, but added the priority is that Pitta be “totally healthy” and “totally safe."

Analysis: 

Sen'Derrick Marks
DT Sen'Derrick Marks 'on track' in recovery from torn ACL
Sen'Derrick Marks, DT, JAC
1/21/2015
News: Jaguars defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks is "on track" in his recovery from a torn ACL, general manager Dave Caldwell told the Florida Times-Union. Marks, who suffered the injury in the season finale, hopes to be ready for training camp.

The sixth-year pro set career highs with 44 tackles and 8.5 sacks.

Analysis: 

Drew Stanton
Bruce Arians: QB Carson Palmer way ahead of schedule
Drew Stanton, QB, ARI
1/21/2015
News: Cardinals coach Bruce Arians told SiriusXM NFL Radio that quarterback Carson Palmer is "so far" ahead of schedule in his recovery from a torn ACL, reports ESPN.com.

Palmer, who's two months removed from surgery, hopes to return for offseason workouts in May. The initial timetable had him returning in June or July.

"I wouldn’t put it past him to be to be out there in some of the OTAs," Arians said.

Arians added that backup quarterback Drew Stanton “should be ready to go” after he missed the final three games with a right knee injury.

Analysis: 

Nick Foles
Report: Eagles plotting to move up to grab Marcus Mariota
Nick Foles, QB, PHI
1/21/2015
News: The Eagles will try to move up from their draft slot at No. 20 to snag quarterback Marcus Mariota and reunite him with coach Chip Kelly, who coached Mariota for his first two years at Oregon, reports The Star-Ledger.

The paper quoted a source familiar with the team's plans: "Can it happen? I don't know, but they're going to try."

Kelly recruited Mariota, once called him "the most talented kid I coached in college," and correctly predicted Mariota would win the Heisman when he saw him as a freshman, the paper noted.

Mariota could go as high as No. 1 overall and likely won't fall out of the top five, so Philly might have to give up as many as three first-round picks -- or a similarly rich package of picks and players -- to pull it off, per the paper. However, Kelly is now in control of personnel, answering only to owner Jeffrey Lurie.

"That makes it a little easier," the source told the paper. "There isn't anyone in Kelly's way."

Such a blockbuster move would show the Eagles are not committed to Nick Foles as their long-term starter. Foles was exceptional in 2013, throwing 27 touchdowns and two interceptions, before a so-so 2014 season that was cut short by a broken collarbone.

Analysis: 

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