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The Chicago Bears have hired Jennifer King as an offensive assistant that will work with the team's running backs, according to a source. King is the first black female coach in NFL history and spent the last three seasons working as a full-time offensive assistant with the Washington Commanders as an assistant running backs coach. She was a coaching intern in Washington in 2020. Before that in 2019, King was an offensive assistant at Dartmouth College after spending time as an intern running backs coach with the Carolina Panthers under head coach Ron Rivera. She interned as a receivers coach in Carolina in 2018. In Chicago in 2024, King will be working with Khalil Herbert, Roschon Johnson and Travis Homer.
The New England Patriots released veteran safety Adrian Phillips on Monday, according to a source. The Patriots are getting younger on defense after releasing both Phillips and defensive lineman Lawrence Guy at the start of the post-Bill Belichick era. The 31-year-old Phillips was heading into the final year of his four-year, $12.75 million deal. New England will save $3 million in salary cap space with the move, leaving behind $1.18 million in dead cap space. Phillips, a former undrafted free agent, never missed a game in his four seasons with the Patriots but was demoted to a backup role in 2023, ultimately finishing with only 17 tackles (10 solo) in just one start.
Dynasty | Titans running back Derrick Henry has been linked to the Baltimore Ravens in free agency. Dynasty Analysis: Add Baltimore to the list of possible destination for Henry, who has essentially said goodbye to Tennessee and will soon be a free agent. The Ravens will likely have a need at the position as JK Dobbins will be returning from another significant injury, Gus Edwards is aging, and Keaton Mitchell is likely best used as a change of pace runner. This is just speculation at the moment but it's clear Henry is going to have a market for his services this off-season.
Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson had only 58 passing attempts on play action passes this past season after attempting 99 passes on those types of plays in 2022.
Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman Cameron Heyward recently posted a picture of himself in a hospital bed with the caption, "Surgery done finally! Ready to get back to feeling good!" It's unclear what procedure the 2023 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year underwent, but he missed six games while on Injured Reserve with a groin injury in 2023. The 34-year-old is a six-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro selection, so his status and health heading into 2024 is a key development for the Steelers, who have failed to win a playoff game since 2016. Injuries to key players have been a constant in recent seasons.
Former Miami Dolphins and interim Green Bay Packers head coach Joe Philbin is joining the Las Vegas Raiders coaching staff as a senior offensive assistant. Philbin went 24-28 as Miami's head coach in three-plus seasons after working mostly under Mike McCarthy in Green Bay. The 62-year-old spent 2023 as an offensive analyst with the Ohio State Buckeyes. The quarterback position is a question mark in Las Vegas, so the organization is likely to emphasize bringing in strong offensive minds ahead of Antonio Pierce's first full season as head coach.
The Detroit Lions are releasing veteran safety Tracy Walker III ahead of 2024 free agency. The third-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft spent six seasons with the organization and racked up 398 tackles, three interceptions, and four sacks in 79 games. The emergence of Kerby Joseph and Ifeatu Melifonwu has made Walker expendable, and the team will take on just a $7.3 million dead cap hit for making this move. Although Walker is likely not viewed as a starter for other franchises, he's likely to have a market as a depth player.
Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Zay Flowers was reportedly being investigated by Baltimore County Police for his alleged involvement in a domestic violence incident. However, the investigation has been suspended, and he will not face charges. It's unclear what the alleged incident was, but his availability for the organization is now unlikely to be affected. The 2023 first-round pick posted 77 catches on 108 targets for 858 yards and five touchdowns in his first season out of Boston College. He should remain a top-two target in Lamar Jackson's passing offense along with tight end Mark Andrews in 2024.
The Philadelphia Eagles signed former San Francisco 49ers third-round running back Tyrion Davis-Price to a Reserve/Futures deal on Tuesday, according to his agency. Davis-Price was drafted in 2022 out of LSU but failed to make an impact in the Bay Area in his first two seasons in the league, carrying the ball just 40 times for 120 yards (3.0 yards per carry) and no touchdowns while failing to catch either of his two targets in just seven games played. The 23-year-old played in one game for the Niners last year, rushing the ball six times for 21 yards. In Philly, he'll provide RB depth behind Kenneth Gainwell. D'Andre Swift, Boston Scott and Rashaad Penny are all scheduled to hit free agency next month, so the Eagles' backfield could look considerably different this year.
Seattle Seahawks new head coach Mike MacDonald indicated new offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb's proficiency scheming the running game likely will be highlighted more in his first job in the NFL in 2024. However, pre-snap motion, screens, and explosive downfield concepts will remain a big part of the menu in an aggressive, yet fundamentally sound offensive attack in Seattle. "We're going to be a physical unit, we're gonna run the football, and we want to have answers for the quarterback and we want to keep it consistent for him so he can play fast and play decisive and get the ball to our playmakers," MacDonald stated. An emphasis on the ground game would be beneficial for Kenneth Walker III, although second-year back Zach Charbonnet will certainly be involved more as well.
Arizona Cardinals impending free-agent wide receiver Marquise Brown is set to leave in free agency this offseason, according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler. General manager Monti Ossenfort can upgrade the receiver position high in the draft, as the Cardinals have 13 overall picks in 2024. Brown, 26, finished last season on Injured Reserve due to a heel injury and played in 14 games in his second year in the desert. He finished with just 51 receptions on 101 targets for 574 yards and four touchdowns, and it didn't help that quarterback Kyler Murray got a late start to the season while rehabbing from a torn ACL in 2022. The former first-round pick of the Ravens in 2019 out of Oklahoma is an injury risk, but he could be a draft bargain in 2024 if he stays healthy and lands in a good situation.
ESPN's Jeremy Fowler writes that it feels like a formality that the Carolina Panthers will place the franchise tag on impending free-agent linebacker Brian Burns this offseason. Burns is too talented to let walk in free agency without the chance at an outright signing or a tag-and-trade. The Panthers will also likely look to re-sign linebacker Frankie Luvu as they begin their rebuild. Carolina's offense was atrocious in 2023, but their defense was a strength, so it makes sense for them to look to bring back their key playmakers on that side of the ball. The 25-year-old Burns finished last year with 50 tackles (32 solo), a team-high eight sacks, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery in 16 games. He's had at least 7.5 sacks in each of his five NFL seasons and is in play as an every-week starter in IDP fantasy formats.
The Pittsburgh Steelers may just be a quarterback away from being real contenders in the AFC. They have just about everything else they need, from ample skill players to an improving offensive line and three legitimate, game-changing stars on defense. At the very least, Pittsburgh will apply pressure on incumbent Kenny Pickett with a QB acquisition via trade or free agency this offseason. ESPN's Adam Schefter pointed out that head coach Mike Tomlin is a big fan of Chicago Bears QB Justin Fields, so the Steelers could be one of the teams most interested in potentially trading for Fields if the Bears decide to hold onto the No. 1 overall pick in the draft to select USC's Caleb Williams. A move to Pittsburgh would make Fields extremely intriguing as a QB1 with upside in fantasy.
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett could be a salary cap casualty this offseason. He's 31 years old and will carry a $27.8 million cap hit while coming off a sub-1,000-yard season in 2023. Lockett has been in his nine years in Seattle, but ESPN's Jeremy Fowler said it might be a tough dynamic to overcome in 2024. Lockett had 79 receptions on 122 targets for 894 yards and five touchdowns in 17 starts in 2023, but his yardage total was his lowest since his third year in the league in 2017. His contract also has an out clause in it for the 2024 season, so if it looks like he may not be back, he could exercise it and test the free-agent market. If Lockett were to leave, it would be great news for second-year wideout Jaxon Smith-Njigba, as he would become the No. 2 behind DK Metcalf.
What the Denver Broncos decide to do with quarterback Russell Wilson this offseason is one of the biggest storylines in the NFL. The Broncos can keep him in the fold for 2024, knowing the quarterback room will be awkward after they benched him for the final two games of the season. Virtually no one around the NFL expects Wilson to return, though, since it would lock in $37 million in 2025 guarantees. They could pay him $37 million of 2024 guarantees to go away, knowing offsets will be minimal with prospective teams leveraging Denver's guaranteed money against him. It will be tough to trade him. The money paid to Wilson handcuffs a team that is probably going to be forced to go cheap at QB, either with veteran Jarrett Stidham, another veteran or a draft pick.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers impending free-agent QB Baker Mayfield won't receive the franchise tag from the team as they plan to use it on S Antoine Winfield Jr.
Fantasy Spin: Mayfield finished as the QB12 on the season, but there were an abundance of injuries this year. He's a midrange QB2 that can be used in good matchups.
New England Patriots WR/special teams ace Matthew Slater announced his retirement Tuesday, Feb. 20.
Cincinnati Bengals RB Joe Mixon rushed for 671 yards before contact this past season.
Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry rushed for 601 yards after contact this past season.
Some around the NFL are predicting that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will place the franchise tag on star safety Antoine Winfield Jr. at around $17 million after he delivered in a contract year in 2023. Winfield is one of the best all-around safeties in the league. The Bucs could also look to trade cornerback Carlton Davis III, who is due $14 million in base salary in 2024. Davis has missed 16 games in the last two seasons but is a cover corner who would have a nice market if he's available. The 25-year-old Winfield finished last year with 122 tackles (76 solo), six sacks, three interceptions, 12 passes defensed, six forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries in 17 regular-season games, making him one of the best starting safety options in IDP fantasy leagues.
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