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Dolphins must wait to seal deal with Patriots' Flores

Mon Jan 21 3:04pm ET
By STEVEN WINE
AP Sports Writer

In this Sept. 9, 2018, file photo, New England Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores watches his team warm up before an NFL football game against the Houston Texans in Foxborough, Mass. Flores team is headed for the Super Bowl, and the Miami Dolphins must wait another two weeks before they can seal a deal with the New England Patriots defensive play-caller to become their coach. The Dolphins decided nearly two weeks ago to offer the job to Flores, who has been a Patriots assistant for 11 seasons. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)


MIAMI (AP) While the 2018 NFL champion has yet to be crowned, much of the league is already looking ahead to the 2019 season, and so far the Miami Dolphins are in last place.

Las Vegas oddsmakers recently made the Dolphins a 300-1 choice to win the Super Bowl in Miami a year from now, by far the league's longest odds.

And because Brian Flores' team is headed for the Super Bowl, the Dolphins must wait another two weeks before they can seal a deal with the New England Patriots' defensive play-caller to become their coach.

The Patriots sent the Dolphins' wait on Flores into overtime by beating Kansas City in overtime Sunday in the AFC championship game.

The Dolphins interviewed Flores on Jan. 4, targeted him as their choice for the job on Jan. 11 and are expected to meet with him this week. But no agreement can become final until after the Patriots play the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl on Feb. 3.

Also on hold are the Cincinnati Bengals, the only other team still with a vacancy among the eight NFL teams making coaching changes.

The Bengals are interested in Zac Taylor, the Rams' quarterbacks coach. It has been three weeks since Cincinnati fired Marvin Lewis after his 16th season and third consecutive losing record.

Flores has begun work to assemble a staff, and front-runners include former Colts and Lions head coach Jim Caldwell as assistant head coach and Packers assistant Patrick Graham as defensive coordinator. Some Dolphins assistants are expected to be retained.

But Miami will be without a head coach to help assess prospects this week at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, and his evaluation of the roster in preparation for free agency and the draft will be delayed.

The Dolphins went 7-9 last year under Adam Gase, who was fired after three seasons and then hired as coach of the New York Jets .

Flores and Miami general manager Chris Grier both started their NFL careers as Patriots scouts. Flores has spent his entire 11-year coaching career with New England, and he took over defensive play-calling a year ago after the departure of defensive coordinator Matt Patricia.

''Obviously he has done a great job,'' safety Patrick Chung said last week. ''He's definitely a good coach and he likes to mix things up. It keeps guys off-balance.''

The Patriots allowed 5,746 yards during the regular season to rank 21st, but ranked seventh in points allowed. The Dolphins ranked 29th by allowing 6,257 yards, the most in franchise history.

Expectations for Miami in 2019 are low partly because owner Stephen Ross has said the franchise will abandon its win-now approach to build with the long term in mind and end a cycle of mediocrity. The Dolphins have finished with six to eight wins nine times in the past decade.

Player Notes
Demaryius Thomas Jul 22 12:50am ET

New England Patriots wide receiver Demaryius Thomas will open training camp on the team's PUP list. This isn't that much of a surprise as the veteran receiver continues to rehab from a torn ACL suffered last season. But the situation could have fantasy consequences in a few weeks when the Patriots must make their first cuts. If Thomas cannot practice by then, the team may be forced to keep him on the PUP list. This would make the 31-year-old ineligible for the first six regular season games and further damage the value of a player on the back-end of a very productive career.

From RotoBaller

Sony Michel Jul 22 12:40am ET

New England Patriots running back Sony Michel will begin training camp on the PUP list as he continues to recover from offseason knee surgery. Michel will not be eligible to practice with the team and his return is up in the air at this time. The Patriots still have plenty of time to activate the second-year back before first cuts and the expectation is that he should be ready to open the season as their lead back. But players must miss six regular season games if they remain on the PUP list after first cutdowns. The hope is this is precautionary since Michel participated in the team's mandatory minicamp. It is too early to become worried about Michel's status but his situation will have to be monitored throughout training camp all the way up to fantasy drafts.

From RotoBaller

DeAndre Carter Jul 21 7:10pm ET

Houston Texans wide receiver Deandre Carter was placed on the active/PUP list for undisclosed reasons. Carter enters camp looking to lock down a role as Houston's fourth receiver, but he won't be able to practice until the team removes him from the list, which could put him behind in preparation for the upcoming season. Carter had 20 catches for 195 yards for Houston last year after joining the team in the middle of the year. He also spent time returning punts and kicks. Carter can be activated from the list at any time. With wide receiver Will Fuller's injury history, the fourth receiver job in Houston has the potential to produce fantasy points at some point during the season, though Carter shouldn't be drafted in any formats yet, and it's unclear how firm a hold he has on the job.

From RotoBaller

Lamar Jackson Jul 21 6:00pm ET

The Baltimore Ravens placed offensive guard Alex Lewis (shoulder) on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list on Sunday. He is still recovering from shoulder surgery performed in January. Lewis has started 18 games over the past two seasons, but he was unable to perform during the offseason program. OG Jermaine Elumunor has been working with the first-team offense in his absence. The offensive line is a concern for the fantasy outlooks of quarterback Lamar Jackson, the pass game and the running game, so keep a close eye on the blocking of the Ravens during training camp and into the preseason games.

From RotoBaller

Charles Clay Jul 21 5:50pm ET

Arizona Cardinals tight end Charles Clay (knee) is dealing with a knee issue and he was one of six players the team placed on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list on Sunday leading up to the open of training camp this week. Clay can be activated at any point, but he cannot do any on-field work until he is activated. He is challenging for a potential starting job, so he'll want to get on the field as soon as possible. The Arizona offense promises to be rather prolific under new head coach Kliff Kingsbury, although with plenty of four- and five-receiver sets, it's uncertain how much the tight end will see of the field. Stay tuned.

From RotoBaller

Brandon Williams Jul 21 5:40pm ET

The Arizona Cardinals placed defensive lineman Robert Nkemdiche (knee) on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list on Sunday. The team also placed linebacker Dante Booker (knee), OL Max Garcia (knee), LB Brooks Reed (hip) and CB Brandon Williams (back) on the PUP. In addition to those moves, they released OL William Holden and DL Immanuel Turner, while signing DL Sterling Bailey. PUP players are eligible to return any point during training camp, but cannot take part in on-field work until they're taking off the list. Nkemdiche and Garcia are each making their way back from a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered during the 2018 season.

From RotoBaller

Kahale Warring Jul 21 5:10pm ET

While it's unclear what led to him being placed on it, Houston Texans rookie tight end Kahale Warring will open training camp on the Active/Non-Football Injury list. What this essentially means is that Warring is dealing with some injury that wasn't sustained as part of his NFL duties and that he won't be available to practice at the start of training camp. As a rookie who plays a position where the Texans have a lot of depth, Warring may miss out on valuable early reps that could help him battle for snaps over second-year tight ends Jordan Akins and Jordan Thomas. Warring is much more interesting as a dynasty prospect than a re-draft one at this stage.

From RotoBaller

DeAndre Hopkins Jul 21 4:50pm ET

The Houston Texans have placed wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins on the active/PUP list. What this means is that Hopkins, who's been dealing with a shoulder injury, will be unable to practice with the team as long as he's on the list, but Hopkins can be activated from the list at any time. There should be no concern at this point about Hopkins' availability for Week 1, though it would be surprising if we see him at all in the preseason. Hopkins is a clear first round pick in all formats and is capable of finishing as the overall WR1 based on what he's shown in the past in this Houston offense.

From RotoBaller

Julio Jones Jul 21 4:00pm ET

Rumors that Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones might hold out have turned out to not be true, as Jones has reported to training camp. Jones and the team will continue to talk about a long-term extension for the wideout, but it doesn't look like there's any danger of Jones missing time or getting behind on his conditioning. He remains one of the top wide receivers in fantasy football and should be a first round pick in all formats.

From RotoBaller

Jordan Thomas Jul 21 12:50pm ET

Houston Texans tight end Jordan Thomas recently suggested that Houston will use a committee approach at tight end with Thomas, Jordan Akins, and rookie Kahale Warring, but Thomas is expected to be the leader of that committee and the player most likely to be a weapon in Houston's passing game. Thomas caught four touchdowns last season, but he saw his snap percentage fade as the season went along. Even if Thomas gets the most snaps, quarterback Deshaun Watson doesn't target tight ends at a rate that would make Thomas a sustainable fantasy starter.

From RotoBaller

Josh Harvey-Clemons Jul 21 11:03am ET

Washington Redskins LB Josh Harvey-Clemons is expected to serve as the team's nickel linebacker this year, after bulking up in the offseason.

From TheHuddle

Mason Foster Jul 21 10:53am ET

Washington Redskins LB Mason Foster is expected to be used as a starter at one of the team's inside linebacker spots, although it remains uncertain if he will appear in nickel sets.

From TheHuddle

Preston Smith Jul 21 10:53am ET

Former Washington Redskins LB Preston Smith had attracted interest from the Indianapolis Colts during free agency before he ultimately signed with the Green Bay Packers.

From TheHuddle

Will Fuller Jul 21 1:43am ET

Houston Texans WR Will Fuller (knee) is expected to be completely recovered from his torn anterior cruciate ligament in time to play against the New Orleans Saints in Week 1, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.

Fantasy Spin: Fuller missed the entirety of spring workouts and figures to be limited at best early in training camp, but he will be roughly 10 months removed from surgery by the time the Texans visit the Saints on Sept. 9. Of course, his biggest challenge will be staying on the field - something he has struggled to do as a pro. He's a high-end WR3 who owners need to have a backup plan for, as he has missed 17 of a possible 48 games in his three-year NFL career.

From TheHuddle

Tyreek Hill Jul 20 11:03pm ET

Kansas City Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill could be traded early next season if a contract extension can't be worked out, according to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com.

Fantasy Spin: Hill should be headed for another year of WR1 production as one of the main weapons in Kansas City's high-powered offense, but his ceiling could change dramatically if he switches teams. The trade talk is just speculation for now, but it is one more reason to try to acquire Mecole Hardman in keeper formats.

From TheHuddle

Jaron Brown Jul 20 10:53pm ET

Seattle Seahawks WR Jaron Brown will likely enter the 2019 season as a starter in three-receiver sets, according to Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times.

From TheHuddle

Amara Darboh Jul 20 10:53pm ET

Seattle Seahawks WR Amara Darboh could 'steal a roster spot' if he can build on his performance from OTAs, according to Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times.

From TheHuddle

David Moore Jul 20 10:43pm ET

Seattle Seahawks WR David Moore will open the season as a top-three receiver, according to Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times.

Fantasy Spin: Tyler Lockett is likely to be the top target in the passing attack, but the pecking order is wide open from there. With Seattle looking to replace Doug Baldwin, Moore could be worth a flier as a WR5.

From TheHuddle

D'Onta Foreman Jul 20 10:33pm ET

Houston Texans RB D'Onta Foreman's performance this year will be a 'season-long audition' to show he deserves to be the lead back in 2020, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.

Fantasy Spin: Lamar Miller enters 2019 as the starter, but he is also in a contract year. Foreman is a high-end handcuff in redraft leagues for now, but his upside in keeper formats is enormous. By next season, he could be the featured back in a potent offense.

From TheHuddle

Jordan Akins Jul 20 9:43pm ET

Houston Texans TE Jordan Akins said he is prepping to play a variety of positions this season. 'I would say slot receiver,' Akins said. 'Special teams as well, up-back, punt return as well as fullback.'

From TheHuddle