Texans' Deshaun Watson: Turning heads in offseason
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com
(6/24/2017) Watson impressed in offseason practices but still has a lot of ground to gain in the team's quarterback competition, NFL.com's Max Meyer reports. "We put a lot on [Watson's] plate during the spring, and he handled it very well," coach Bill O'Brien said. "He made mistakes, and he corrected them. You don't see him make the same mistake twice. He can do a lot of things. He can operate our running game and in our passing game. He's got a lot of athleticism. I don't think we'll have to limit him. Training camp and preseason games will be a big test."

Although the Texans coaching staff has been singing the praises of fellow QB Tom Savage this offseason, Watson appears to be impressing as well. O'Brien qualified the Clemson product as being "wise beyond his years" and also said he's adjusting nicely to the challenges that have been put on Watson's plate, which is a very encouraging sign given the complexity of the O'Brien's offensive system. However, the coach admitted that Watson is "not nearly where he needs to be to be a full-time starter in this league," so it seems the rookie will need to make significant strides in advance of Week 1 in order to earn the starting gig.


Giants' Eli Manning: Handed new offensive weapons
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com
(6/22/2017) Manning has a revised set of offensive weapons for the upcoming season, including free-agent pickup Brandon Marshall and 2017 first-round pick Evan Engram, Conor Orr of NFL.com reports.

After the aforementioned moves, Manning has exchanged the broken down Victor Cruz for Marshall while adding one of the promising tight ends from a stacked class of rookies. With Marshall and Engram joining wideouts Odell Beckham and Sterling Shepard, competent pass-catching backs Paul Perkins and Shane Vereen and tight end Will Tye, the Giants boast their best array of skill-position talent of the last decade and perhaps Manning's entire career. Unfortunately for Manning, he's regressed significantly as he prepares for his age-36 season, struggling with deep passes (52.8 QB rating on throws of 21-plus yards in 2016) and being saddled with an uninspiring head coach (Ben McAdoo). However, Manning has the weapons at his disposal to reach his heights of the past.


Raiders' Derek Carr: Signs record-setting extension
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com
(6/22/2017) Carr (fibula) and the Raiders have finalized a five-year, $125 million extension,NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reports.

The average annual value of $25 million narrowly tops Andrew Luck's $24.6 million to set a new NFL record, though Matt Stafford and Kirk Cousins will both push for similar contracts in the coming weeks. Carr was limited throughout the Raiders' offseason program while recovering from a broken fibula suffered in Week 16, but he should be a full participant at the start of training camp as he looks to build on a strong 2016 campaign. He'll benefit from one of the league's best supporting casts, with RB Marshawn Lynch and TE Jared Cook joining a unit that already boasts an elite offensive line and wideout duo. Given the new contract and the talent surrounding him, Carr will universally be expected to improve upon last season's mark of 7.0 yards per pass attempt. His completion percentage (63.8) and TD:INT ratio (28:6) were impressive, but he'll need to have more success throwing deep to be mentioned among the league's elite quarterbacks when the discussion moves beyond salary.


Bills' T.J. Yates: Winning weak battle
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com
(6/19/2017) Yates is expected to head to training camp as the No. 2 quarterback behind Tyrod Taylor and ahead of Nathan Peterman and Cardale Jones, The Buffalo News reports.

Reportedly, only Taylor has looked ready to run Rick Dennison's offense entering the season. That's been the case all along, but the Bills are hoping someone will step up and give the coaching staff some comfort if Taylor should suffer an injury. So far that's not really happening, but Yates has more experience as a pro and also has experience with Dennison, putting him in the second spot in the pecking order for now, though the situation could remain fluid as the youngsters behind him get more chances.


Lions' Jake Rudock: Clearly established as No. 2 QB
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com
(6/19/2017) Rudock appears to have clearly established himself as the No. 2 quarterback heading into training camp, Tim Twentyman of the Lions' official site reports.

The drafting of former University of Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya in this year's draft initially seemed to put Rudock's hold on the No. 2 job in question, but it doesn't sound as if Kaaya has been able to pick up the playbook quick enough to serve as legitimate competition. Meanwhile, Rudock has a year of experience in OC Jim Bob Cooter's offense and has shown marked improvement from 2016 during offseason practices. Things could always change prior to Week 1, but Rudock seems unlikely to lose his role unless Kaaya puts on a show during the preseason.


Vikings' Teddy Bridgewater: Return this season not ruled out
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com
(6/19/2017) Bridgewater (knee) stands a chance of being cleared to return at some point during the upcoming season, Matt Vensel of the Star Tribune reports.

Bridgewater still has a long way to go to return from last year's catastrophic knee injury, but being cleared to throw passes to teammates and participate in individual drills has encouraged many with his progress. While he still can't go through team drills, run full speed, plant or cut on his left leg, or absorb contract to his knee, Bridgewater's 2017 campaign hasn't been written off yet. Without a timetable for Bridgewater's return, though, Sam Bradford will remain Minnesota's starter for the foreseeable future.


Seahawks' Austin Davis: Competing for No. 2 spot
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com
(6/19/2017) Davis will compete with Trevone Boykin for the No. 2 spot on the depth chart, Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times reports. Head coach Pete Carroll said of the competition, "It's been a good mix so far. So we brought him (Davis) in we'll make these evaluations as we get back but I think Austin showed very well for himself."

Davis plays with a style different from Russell Wilson and Boykin, as he lacks a dual-threat quality in his game, but that doesn't mean he'll assume the No. 3 spot on depth chart. The 28-year-old boasts more starting experience than his counterpart and given Boykin's legal troubles this summer, Davis may be a safer option to backup Wilson this fall. Look for more updates on the competition to come throughout training camp.


Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes: Improves during OTAs
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com
(6/19/2017) Mahomes displayed his arm strength, better touch on his passes and a willingness to stretch the field at OTAs, the Kansas City Star reports. "If you took how he was in the rookie camp and compare it to now, there's no comparison there," said coach Andy Reid. "He's done a good job against the blitz, which is important for a young guy. I thought yesterday was his best day against the blitz, and that's a positive thing he can take into this off-offseason."

While Mahomes shouldn't challenge Alex Smith for the starting job this season, the rookie gunslinger has instilled confidence in his coaches early in his career. The Texas Tech product should get a season under his belt as a backup to an established veteran, which will put him in a good position to learn as he prepares to take the reins as soon as 2018, or earlier should Smith suffer an injury.


Rams' Jared Goff: Comfortable in new offense
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com
(6/19/2017) Goff so far has a full understanding of new coach Sean McVay's offense, which has already seen 95 percent of its plays installed, ESPN's Alden Gonzalez reports.

Goff took a notoriously long time to grasp the Rams' playbook as a rookie last season, when he didn't earn his first start until Week 11. From there, Goff looked nothing like a No. 1 overall pick, finishing with a 54.6 completion percentage, 5.31 yards per attempt, and five touchdowns versus seven interceptions. In the wake of a coaching staff overhaul, however, Goff appears to have adjusted to McVay's scheme much better this offseason. While that reportedly comes thanks to simplified terminology and concepts, it remains to be seen whether Goff can translate his improved understanding into on-field success.


Raiders' EJ Manuel: Working as No. 2 QB
by RotoWire Staff | Special to CBSSports.com
(6/16/2017) Manuel has been getting second-team reps over Connor Cook, ESPN's Paul Gutierrez reports.

While Cook is still getting second-team reps as well, this is a positive development for Manuel. The former Bills starter will likely need to win the backup job in order to remain on the 53-man roster come Week 1.


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