Sun Aug 18 3:30pm ET
By ROB MAADDI
AP Pro Football Writer
In this Dec. 31, 2018, file photo, New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown talks to reporters in the locker room in Florham Park, N.J. McCown's retirement lasted two months. The Philadelphia Eagles signed the 40-year-old quarterback to a one-year deal on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press. He is coming out of retirement to join his 11th team and play his 17th season. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Josh McCown was talking to reporters when Alshon Jeffery stepped up on a chair, hit record on his phone and asked the newest Philadelphia Eagles quarterback a question.
''How's No. 17 as a basketball player?'' Jeffery inquired.
McCown, who played a lot of hoops with Jeffery when they were teammates on the Chicago Bears, gave his best evaluation.
''He's not bad. He's got some skills, but I can lock him down if it was one-on-one,'' McCown replied, adding he chose to wear No. 18 on the Eagles so he could stand next to Jeffery in team pictures.
The 40-year-old McCown was coaching his son's high school football team and preparing for a new career as an NFL analyst on ESPN when the Eagles called Friday with an offer he couldn't turn down. He signed a $2 million, one-year deal that could be worth up to $5.4 million.
McCown provides insurance behind Carson Wentz, who has finished the past two seasons on the sideline because of injuries. The Eagles already lost two quarterbacks in the first two preseason games. Nate Sudfeld broke his left wrist and is expected to return in September. Cody Kessler left Thursday night's game with a head injury. Rookie Clayton Thorson was the only healthy quarterback on the roster behind Wentz before McCown ended his brief retirement.
''It was good for me to spend a great amount of time with my family and go through an offseason where I wasn't traveling and having to go back and forth from a city doing OTAs and stuff like that, so that was beneficial for me,'' McCown said Sunday. ''There were only a certain number of teams I think I would be interested in and that met the criteria I talked about, and this was certainly one of them. It was cool when this opportunity came up and we started to talk about it as a family. They were excited, and they were like, `Man, you gotta go.'''
McCown was 23-53 as a starter, including 5-11 with the New York Jets over the past two seasons. He has completed 60.2% of his passes, has thrown 98 touchdowns and 82 interceptions and has a 79.7 passer rating.
McCown's best season came in 2013 with Chicago. He was 3-2 as a starter and completed 66.5% of his passes for 1,829 yards, 13 TDs and only one pick with a passer rating of 109. Jeffery also had his best season that year, catching 89 passes for 1,421 yards and seven TDs.
Jeffery said McCown was the first player to call him after the Bears drafted him and the two formed a bond off the field on the basketball court.
''Great player, great human being, great all-around person,'' Jeffery said. ''Josh can hoop, too.''
Nick Foles backed up Wentz the past two years and led the Eagles to four playoff wins, including the franchise's first Super Bowl title following the 2017 season. But the 2018 Super Bowl MVP left for Jacksonville in free agency.
McCown is entering his 18th season with his 11th team. Eagles coach Doug Pederson isn't ready to name his backup and his No. 3 quarterback yet. Sudfeld has thrown 25 passes in the regular season but showed promise. Kessler was 2-10 as a starter for Cleveland and Jacksonville over the past three seasons.
''Listen, he's a veteran quarterback,'' Pederson said. ''He's been around. He's seen a lot. He's a guy that just can add a lot of knowledge and depth in that room. Obviously, he played this position and started a ton of games in this league. Excited to get him going and get him up to speed.''
Asked if the team considered Colin Kaepernick for the backup role, Pederson said: ''We consider everybody and do what's best for the Eagles.''
Five Waiver Wire Adds: Week 3
The Seattle Seahawks are placing wide receiver Phillip Dorsett II (foot) on Injured Reserve on Tuesday, according to a source. Dorsett will be eligible to return in three weeks, and it'll give him some time to let his injured foot heal. The earliest he'll be able to return will be in Week 6. He hasn't played yet in 2020. Dorsett's injury has opened the door for David Moore as the No. 3 behind wideouts DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. Moore took advantage in the Week 2 win over the Patriots, catching all three of his targets for 48 yards and his first touchdown of the year. However, he's still a reach in deep leagues, as he's competing with rookie Freddie Swain and has only six targets through two games.
San Francisco 49ers DE Dee Ford (back) is expected to miss Week 3 against the New York Giants, and there appears to be no clear timetable for his return, according to multiple sources.
If all goes well with COVID-19 testing, the New York Giants will sign free-agent running back Devonta Freeman, according to sources. Freeman visited with the Eagles a few days ago, but it's looking like he'll land with the Giants after they lost Saquon Barkley (knee) for the season. The veteran back has 43 scrimmage touchdowns since 2014, which is tied for 11th in the NFL in that span. Freeman should eventually become the team's lead back, but it remains to be seen how long before that'll happen. Until then, Dion Lewis and Wayne Gallman will split touches, making this a tough backfield to get behind until Freeman gets up to speed. For those hurting at running back early in the season, Freeman will be an attractive waiver pickup heading into Week 3.
Free-agent RB Devonta Freeman (Falcons) reportedly agreed to terms on an undisclosed contract with the New York Giants on Tuesday, Sept. 22.
Fantasy Spin: Freeman is reportedly waiting to get through COVID-19 protocols, but it appears the deal will happen if everything checks out OK. If the deal comes together as expected, the former Atlanta Falcon can't be expected to do much in Week 3 but should be expected to lead this backfield at some point early in October. Unfortunately, he graded out as one of the worst running backs analytically last season, so it's debatable what he might be able to offer fantasy owners. Consider him a low-end flex option at best.
Atlanta Falcons QB Kyle Lauletta was released from the practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 22.
New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley (knee) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee Tuesday, Sept. 22. CB Ryan Lewis was elevated from the practice squad to take Barkley's spot on the roster.
The Indianapolis Colts placed wide receiver Parris Campbell (knee) on Injured Reserve on Tuesday with injuries to his MCL and PCL. The team also put safety Malik Hooker (Achilles) on IR, and he'll miss the entire season. The Colts are saying that Campbell will be out indefinitely, but he'll be eligible to return from the IR in three weeks. Without a timetable for a return, the 23-year-old can be dropped in shallow formats if you don't have the room to stash him. Rookie Michael Pittman Jr. and Zach Pascal will see more targets alongside T.Y. Hilton with Campbell out, but this Colts team could be transitioning to more of a run-first offense behind their stellar offensive line.
Indianapolis Colts WR Parris Campbell (knee) and S Malik Hooker (Achilles) were placed on the Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Sept. 22. The Colts also elevated S Ibraheim Campbell and CB Tremon Smith from the practice squad and added free-agent TEs Hale Hentges and Ethan Wolf to the practice squad.
Los Angeles Rams running back Malcolm Brown (pinkie) had surgery on Monday to repair the fractured left pinkie finger that he suffered in the Week 2 win over the Eagles. The Rams expect Brown to play in Week 3 against the Bills, however. Just as we expected, this Rams backfield has been tough to figure out through two weeks of the season. Brown had 18 carries for 79 yards and two touchdowns in the Week 1 win over Dallas, but he came back to Earth against Philly, carrying the ball 11 times for 47 yards and didn't catch a pass. To make things worse, both Brown and rookie Cam Akers (rib) are injured heading into a tough Week 3 matchup with the Bills. Darrell Henderson Jr. could see more of a lead-back role this Sunday as a result, making Brown more of a touchdown-dependent RB3/flex.
Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Henry Ruggs III had a quiet Monday night in the win against the Saints, catching just one pass for four yards on three targets. Tight end Darren Waller saw nearly half the targets among the team's pass-catchers, so there were not many to go around for the rest of the offensive weapons. Combining this with 35 rushes did not give Ruggs a whole lot of opportunity to catch passes. Ruggs also saw a lot of attention from the Saints secondary due to his speed and explosiveness. Things will not get easier next week against the Patriots, where Ruggs will likely see a lot of attention from star cornerback Stephon Gilmore. It is unlikely that Ruggs will only catch one pass again next week, but don't expect him to have a great performance either.
Detroit Lions RB Jonathan Williams was released from the practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 22.
Las Vegas Raiders tight end Darren Waller was dominant against the Saints, catching 12 balls for 103 yards and a touchdown on a whopping 16 targets. The Saints had absolutely no answer for Waller. He is too big and strong for safeties and cornerbacks and too fast for linebackers, so he is a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses. He is clearly quarterbackDerek Carr's favorite offensive weapon, leading the team in targets by a significant margin. He will match up against the Patriots next week, a team that has found success against opposing tight ends thus far, but they have not faced an elite tight end like Waller to this point. Look for Waller to have another strong performance next week. He's a must-start high-end TE1 each and every week.
Los Angeles Rams rookie running back Cam Akers (rib) is being listed as day-to-day after separating rib cartilage in the Week 2 win over the Eagles. Akers had just three carries for 13 yards before suffering the injury last Sunday, but he should be OK going forward. However, the Rams are uncertain on Akers' status for this weekend at the Bills, which is already a very tough matchup to begin with. Malcolm Brown (pinkie) is ailing, too, but LA also has Darrell Henderson Jr. in the picture, so Akers will once again be an extremely risky flex option in shallow leagues for Week 3. After two weeks, this Rams backfield has been extremely tough to predict, as was expected coming into the year.
Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr had an impressive performance against the Saints, throwing for 282 yards and three touchdowns in a Monday night victory. Carr showed his efficiency once again, completing 73 percent of his passes and not throwing an interception. The Saints have a solid defense, so this was an encouraging performance from Carr. After a difficult first quarter, the Raiders were great on third down, and the Saints had no answer for the passing attack. Carr has led the Raiders offense to 34 points per game over the first two contests, but it will not be easy to keep this pace next week against the Patriots. Carr will need to have a couple more of these performances to start being considered as a legitimate fantasy starter.
Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs picked up 88 yards on 27 carries in a win against the Saints. The Saints have one of the best defenses in the league, so yards did not come easy for Jacobs. It was not the best fantasy day, considering he was not heavily utilized in the passing game, catching just three balls for 17 yards. However, he showed that he can still put up a significant amount of yards against stout run defenses, gaining over 40 yards after contact. He will look to build on this performance next week against the Patriots, who surrendered 115 rushing yards to running backs against the Seahawks in Week 2. Jacobs should remain a starter in fantasy lineups no matter who he matches up against.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE Rob Gronkowski received four targets in the first two games, which head coach Bruce Arians said wasn't a surprise. 'We're not throwing the ball 50 times to the tight ends,' Arians said. 'That's what we have receivers for, that's the way our offense is built. Gronk's playing great run blocking in the fourth quarter, so I'm not concerned with his pass catches or his targets.'
Fantasy Spin: Gronk certainly could break out any given week, but if you need to drop him to replace an injured starter, we could certainly see it.
The Denver Broncos signed free agent quarterback Blake Bortles to a one-year deal on Tuesday morning. The former Jaguars signal-caller will officially sign once he passes his COVID protocols and will serve as some much-needed depth in the absence of Drew Lock (shoulder). Bortles owns an 80.6 career passer rating in 73 starts along with 103 touchdowns to 75 interceptions. Backup Jeff Driskel looked good in relief of Lock on Sunday and should remain the starter for the near future, though if he falters, Bortles could step in as a serviceable backup.
Free-agent QB Blake Bortles (Rams) is signing a one-year deal with the Denver Broncos this week. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
Free-agent QB Blake Bortles (Rams) is visiting the Denver Broncos Tuesday, Sept. 22.
Las Vegas Raiders TE Jason Witten posted one grab for three yards on his only target in Week 2 against the New Orleans Saints.
Fantasy Spin: Witten won't sniff the field for many snaps as long as Darren Waller is healthy and running hot. He is more of an on-field coach and mentor at this point of his career. His fantasy value is rather negligible at the moment. The Raiders travel to meet the Patriots in Week 3.