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Steelers sign former Rams LB Mark Barron to 2-year deal

Tue Mar 19 6:25pm ET

In this Oct. 2, 2016, file photo, Los Angeles Rams outside linebacker Mark Barron (26) looms over the line of scrimmage during an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale, Ariz. The Pittsburgh Steelers signed Barron to a two-year deal on Tuesday, March 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)


PITTSBURGH (AP) Now it's Mark Barron's turn to try and replace Ryan Shazier.

The Pittsburgh Steelers signed Barron to a two-year deal on Tuesday and tasked him with filling the void left by Shazier. The Pro Bowl linebacker's career is on hiatus while he recovers from a spinal injury suffered in a win over Cincinnati in December 2017.

The 29-year-old Barron comes to Pittsburgh from the Los Angeles Rams. Barron spent four-plus seasons with the Rams, starting 66 games while developing a reputation as a sure tackler despite being a bit undersized for the position at 6-foot-2 and 230 pounds.

The Rams released Barron earlier this month before Barron began the fourth season of a five-year, $45 million deal. Barron admitted getting cut came as a bit of a surprise but added ''I do know the business of football.''

Player Notes
Mike Gesicki Apr 18 2:20pm ET

Miami Dolphins tight end Mike Gesicki said he now weighs 253 pounds, which is up 13 pounds from his rookie season. Gesicki was a disappointment in his first year in the NFL, catching only 22 passes on 32 targets for 202 yards and no touchdowns in a full season. He's still just 23 years old, though, and he could easily post better numbers in his second season on a Dolphins team that is in need of pass-catching options. The situation under center leaves a lot to be desired, however. Gesicki will be worth taking as a low-end TE2 with plenty of upside left.

From RotoBaller

Josh Rosen Apr 18 1:23pm ET

Arizona Cardinals QB Josh Rosen has been the subject of trade rumors with the team reportedly eyeing Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray with the No. 1-overall draft pick, broke his media silence recently during an interview with Sports Illustrated TV. 'I think when people talk about, like, you can't listen to criticism or don't ever read articles, you have to be aware of what's going on to a certain extent,' Rosen said in a short video clip of the segment posted on Twitter . 'So I definitely understand the situation. I mean it's annoying, but it is what it is. Football is a business, and I definitely respect the higher-ups and their decisions.'

DeVante Parker Apr 18 1:13pm ET

MIami Dolphins WR DeVante Parker says he's happy the Dolphins retained him, saying he's fully healthy and ready for 'a fresh start.'

Fantasy Spin: Parker is coming off his worst season yet with 24 catches for 309 yards and a TD on 47 targets in 11 games and belongs off the main fantasy radar in the majority of leagues until he shows otherwise.

Duke Johnson Apr 18 12:50pm ET

Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey said that running back Duke Johnson is "a member of this organization moving forward," and head coach Freddie Kitchens believes Johnson is a vital part of the offense. Johnson's trade request doesn't change anything, as of now. Cleveland would likely trade Johnson if they got the right offer, but it doesn't appear they're motivated to move him right now, especially with Kareem Hunt suspended for the first half of the season. The 25-year-old fell out of favor when Kitchens took over the offense last year and finished with a career-low 40 carries for 201 yards and no touchdowns on the ground. He also had a career-low 47 receptions for 429 yards and three scores. There could be a pass-catching role for Johnson behind Nick Chubb in the first half of the year if he stays in Cleveland, but fantasy owners probably won't take the bait.

From RotoBaller

Will Fuller Apr 18 12:43pm ET

Houston Texans WR Will Fuller (knee) is fully anticipated to be ready for the Texans' regular-season opener, according to general manager Brian Gaine. 'Everything is trending in the right direction,' Gaine said Thursday, April 19. 'Everything is looking good.'

Fantasy Spin: Fuller has produced 13 TDs in 31 games, but the question remains his health as he's missed a combined 17 games over his first three seasons. Value him as a low-end WR3 for the time being.

Saquon Barkley Apr 18 12:33pm ET

New York Giants RB Saquon Barkley said Thursday, April 18, he fails to understand the critics who said the Giants should've selected a quarterback over him in the 2018 NFL Draft. 'If a Rookie of the Year (award) doesn't sway that mindset I don't know what will,' Barkley said.

Fantasy Spin: The criticism certainly didn't come from Barkley's fantasy owners as the rookie dazzled to the tune of 2,028 scrimmage yards and 15 touchdowns last season. And even if the Giants somehow bypass on drafting a QB again this spring, Barkley is the leading candidate to be the first pick in fantasy drafts this summer.

Ezekiel Elliott Apr 18 12:30pm ET

The Dallas Cowboys are open to finding a backup behind running back Ezekiel Elliott with Rod Smith still on the free-agent market. Elliott has won the rushing title in two of his first three seasons and hasn't missed a game due to injury, but the Cowboys need better insurance behind him. Dallas wants to find a quality backup, but they aren't sure if that'll come in free agency or through the draft. As of right now, Darius Jackson and Jordan Chunn are the backups listed on the team's depth chart behind Elliott.

From RotoBaller

Duke Johnson Apr 18 12:23pm ET

Cleveland Browns RB Duke Johnson drew praise Thursday, April 18, from general manager John Dorsey. 'I keep telling you all, Duke's a very talented player,' Dorsey said at a news conference. 'He's a member of this organization moving forward. He understands the role he's going to play within this offense.'

Fantasy Spin: After a career-low 87 touches last season, Johnson has asked to be traded, but there have been no takers for now, and Dorsey has no recourse but to talk him up. Expect a deal to get done, though -- perhaps on draft weekend -- and then we can access Johnson's fantasy outlook from there.

DeVante Parker Apr 18 12:20pm ET

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Devante Parker is happy that the Dolphins trusted him enough to bring him back in 2019 and said "they have confidence in me again, have trust in me, have faith in me to sign me back again." Parker also said he's fully healthy this offseason. The 26-year-old was hurt to start last season and wound up finishing with a career-low 24 catches for just 309 yards and one touchdown in 11 games. While Parker has the talent, he continues to underwhelm for Miami and fantasy owners, and he's caught only two touchdowns in the last two seasons and nine total in his four years in the league. Even if he remains the No. 1 wideout in Miami in 2019, Parker's fantasy value is down in the dumps. And Miami's quarterback situation is also troubling.

From RotoBaller

Keke Coutee Apr 18 12:10pm ET

Houston Texans wide receiver Keke Coutee is doing everything in his power to stay on the field in 2019. He has changed his offseason routine to focus more on stretching and eating healthier. Coutee was rarely on the field because of recurring hamstring issues in his rookie season, and he caught 28 passes for 287 yards and one touchdown in six regular season games. If he can stay on the field all year in 2019, Coutee has a very high fantasy ceiling as the slot man in Houston.

From RotoBaller

Jimmy Garoppolo Apr 18 12:00pm ET

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (knee) has resumed throwing and doing dropbacks as he recovers from a torn ACL early last season, and he's hoping to take part in seven-on-seven drills when organized team activities start next month. The ultimate goal is being fully cleared for training camp in late July. It's almost certain that Garoppolo will wear a brace on his knee this year, and he doesn't think it'll impact his mobility. The 27-year-old looks to have the tools to be a solid QB1, but he's also never played in more than six games in a season in his five years in the NFL, so fantasy owners need to be cognizant not to overspend on his talent.

From RotoBaller

Matt Ioannidis Apr 18 11:03am ET

Washington Redskins DE Matt Ioannidis signed a three-year, $21.75 million extension with the Redskins Thursday, April 18. He received $14 million guaranteed and $3 million in incentives.

Luke Kuechly Apr 18 8:13am ET

Carolina Panthers LB Luke Kuechly converted $9.05 million of his salary Thursday, April 18, into a signing bonus to create $7.24 million in salary cap space.

Mike Davis Apr 18 2:33am ET

Chicago Bears RB Mike Davis is set to serve as the team's primary ball carrier during the 2019 season, in the opinion of the Chicago Tribune's Brad Biggs.

Fantasy Spin: With Jordan Howard gone and Tarik Cohen better suited as a situational player, Davis could be in line for a lot of touches after parlaying his 728-yard, five-touchdown season last year into a $6 million deal. If Biggs' projection holds up, Davis may offer some nice upside as a depth selection.

George Kittle Apr 18 1:10am ET

San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle said he suffered "fractured cartilage" in his ribs early in the game against the Raiders last year but played through it. San Fran played Oakland on Nov. 1, so that means Kittle played around half the season after suffering that injury. The second-year professional had a truly breakout season, catching 88 passes for 1,377 yards and five touchdowns for the Niners. With quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo back healthy in 2019, the sky is the limit for Kittle. He'll likely be the third tight end off the board behind Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz in fantasy.

From RotoBaller

Ezekiel Elliott Apr 18 1:00am ET

Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said that the team will pick up running back Ezekiel Elliott's fifth-year option. The 23-year-old has two 1,000-yard seasons in his three years in the NFL and ran 304 times for 1,434 yards and six touchdowns in his 15 games last year. He also caught a career-high 77 passes for an additional 567 yards and three scores. Elliott is one of the premier running backs in the NFL and should continue to be a high first-round pick in fantasy drafts this fall.

From RotoBaller

Bryce Callahan Apr 17 11:03pm ET

Denver Broncos CB Bryce Callahan (foot) was a limited participant during practice at the team's minicamp, while CB Isaac Yiadom (shoulder) went through team stretching and some individuals drills, but no team work. '(Callahan) could go in this camp, but we're just letting him do individual - I just want to give him a few more weeks to feel healthy,' head coach Vic Fangio said Tuesday, April 16.

Emmanuel Sanders Apr 17 10:53pm ET

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (Achilles) is present for minicamp, but he has either been working on a side field or doing no work as he makes his way back from an Achilles' injury. 'Everything we've been told and what he's said, he's progressing well,' head coach Vic Fangio said Tuesday, April 16.

Fantasy Spin: Sanders will be a decent WR3 or flex fantasy option heading into the 2019 season, and he has the entire offseason to jell with new QB Joe Flacco. He also has plenty of time to put his injury in the rear-view mirror.

Josh Allen Apr 17 10:43pm ET

Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen (elbow) said earlier this week that his elbow injury is in the past, and he is having 'no problems at all.' He met with physical therapists for the first couple of weeks of the offseason, but was fine and has been throwing ever since.

Fantasy Spin: The Bills look to be an improved offense heading into 2019, but they still have work to do in the passing game. Allen should be considered as a low-end No. 2 quarterback in fantasy leagues of 12 or more teams until further notice.

Ryan Switzer Apr 17 10:43pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers WR/KR Ryan Switzer (ankle) is participating in the team's voluntary workouts this week, and was one of the first players in. He is taking part as he wants to get prepared for the 2019 season, and he enjoys the team bonding, too. 'I think it's big. I am learning more about them, they are learning more about who I am,' Switzer said.