Thu Jun 1 11:12am ET
Field Level Media
Three-time Pro Bowl punter Brett Kern, who played 13 of his 15 seasons with the Tennessee Titans, announced his retirement Thursday.
Kern, 37, began his career with the Denver Broncos in 2008 and played for the Philadelphia Eagles last season.
The Titans scheduled a press conference for Thursday afternoon.
"It's been hard," Kern said of trying to write a proper retirement speech. "It's also brought back a lot of memories, too. You want to be able to thank a ton of people who helped you over the years, and all the memories from games, from teammates and coaches, conversations in the locker rooms, and road trips.
"To try and get 15 years into 3-4 pages on Microsoft Word, it's been pretty challenging. It's been emotional, too, just thinking back at certain memories. It's also emotional just because there's such a sense of gratitude to a lot of people who have helped me get this far. And, just knowing it's closing a chapter on a really important part of my life and starting a new one."
He was named to three straight Pro Bowls from 2017-19, adding first-team All-Pro honors in the latter campaign.
Kern punted 1,006 times in 223 games with the Broncos (2008-09), Titans (2009-21) and Eagles. He averaged 45.9 yards per punt with 396 kicks placed inside the opponents' 20-yard line.
Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt said that the team is making improving their deep passing game in 2023 a priority this offseason. The Browns are looking for more explosive plays deep down the field this year, which should be good news for quarterback Deshaun Watson, and wide receivers Marquise Goodwin, Donovan Peoples-Jones, Elijah Moore and Amari Cooper. In 2022, Watson completed only 23.1 percent of passes that traveled 20-plus yards down the field. After a lengthy suspension to begin last season, Watson was pretty inconsistent in his six starts down the stretch, completing a career-low 58.2% of his passes. In Year 2 in Cleveland, he should be more effective. Target him as a low-end QB1 in fantasy drafts.
New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones seems pleased with the team's offensive process this offseason under new offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien after the offense was a disaster in his second NFL season in 2022. "It's been really good. It's been normal," Jones said. "I think everything he's done so far has been really good." Jones helped teach O'Brien Alabama's playbook upon his arrival in 2021, so the two have history together. With Joe Judge and Matt Patricia running the offense last year, the 24-year-old Jones struggled, completing 65.2% of his passes for 2,997 yards, 14 TDs and 11 picks in 14 starts. There's reason to be optimistic for a bounce-back with O'Brien now in the picture, though, but it doesn't mean Jones should be drafted in standard single-QB fantasy leagues in 2023.
The Charlotte Observer's Mike Kaye thinks that Carolina Panthers wide receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. is on the verge of breaking out in 2023. The former second-round pick in 2021 had just 17 receptions for 138 yards in his rookie season, but he improved by catching 28 of 47 targets for 490 yards and his first NFL touchdown in 14 games (nine starts) a year ago. Marshall will have to beat out rookie Jonathan Mingo for a starting spot in 2023, but if he does, Kaye thinks there's a lot of upside in an offense that will be led by first overall pick Bryce Young. After averaging a robust 17.5 yards per reception in his second NFL campaign, Marshall has some intriguing late-round flier potential in deeper fantasy leagues this fall.
Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said that rookie tight end Luke Musgrave "looks different" than what the team has had in the past at the position. "He is different." LaFleur also said Musgrave is a quick learner and is earning first-team repetitions at organized team activities. "He does have an elite trait in that he can flat fly, and he's a large target." Musgrave has a clear path to starting duties at tight end after being taken in the second round of this year's draft. Fellow rookie Tucker Kraft and Josiah Deguara will also factor in, but it would be an upset if the 22-year-old Musgrave wasn't Green Bay's starter in 2023. He should have plenty of opportunities in his first year in the NFL, but fantasy managers should pump the brakes on Musgrave's fantasy value in redraft leagues.
Dynasty | Rookie receiver Jalin Hyatt is not seeing many first-team reps Dynasty Analysis: The report shouldn't come as much of a surprise as Hyatt, in this stage of his development, is clearly only a deep threat and still needs to develop an NFL-level route tree. Until this occurs, dynasty coaches should remain patient while the rookie develops and opportunities in the team's less-than-stellar receiver room take shape. Listed as DLF's WR73, it's clear the dynasty community isn't sold on Hyatt's near-term prospects.
Dynasty | Receiver Isaiah Hodgins doesn't possess the speed of other receivers but is a deadly route runner. Dynasty Analysis: Hodgins, a rookie in 2020, ran a 4.61 40-yard dash that year at the NFL Combine, not a standout time but sufficient to provide some intrigue given his 6'4/201 lbs. frame. After seeing his first game action in 2022, then with the Bills, he found his way to the Giants mid-season and quickly established himself as an unlikely starter. Over his last five regular season starts, Hodgins garnered an average of nearly seven targets per game and scored four touchdowns. In his first game in the playoffs against Minnesota, he reeled in 8-of-9 targets for 105 yards and a touchdown. It's hard to get excited about the big receiver's athletic profile but only 24, should Hodgins pick up where he left off in 2022, he could be a steal at his sparsely ranked WR96 ranking, providing last-flex appeal during regular season bye weeks.
Dynasty | After averaging 5.7 ypc. in 2022, Khalil Herbert admits he's now part of a committee Dynasty Analysis: The dreaded four-letters of "RBBC" look to be playing out in Chicago, throwing a wet blanket on the hope that Herbert would be the unquestioned RB1 following David Montgomery's departure to Philadelphia. Instead, the team brought in bruising back D'Onta Foreman and speedster Travis Homer during the offseason, and then proceeded to draft rookie Roschon Johnson during the 2023 NFL Draft. The Bears clearly wanted to upgrade the offense in 2023 with Justin Fields expected to take a huge leap as the team's face of the franchise under center, but it's fair to wonder how the running back snaps will play out in the regular season. Recently turned 25, Herbert is locked in a battle with D'Onta Foreman for the team's lead role, and his DLF RB33 ranking shows there's not a great level of confidence he'll be carrying the load in 2023.
Dynasty | The Browns are stressing feeding receiver Elijah Moore in OTAs Dynasty Analysis: It's still early and the pads aren't on but the news is a welcomed report for those who believed Moore was destined for greatness on the heels of his rookie season (2021), before the wheels came off in 2022. Moore has been moved around the formation and it appears the team wants to get him open in space. Now with a new team and a new quarterback, it's clear Moore's role as a starter is secure and, if he can develop chemistry with Deshaun Watson, could be in position to make good on his rookie-year promise. Still only 23 and found as DLF's WR44, the new start could be just what dynasty doctors' ordered for 2023.
Dynasty | Pat Freiermuth is going to have a big year Dynasty Analysis: The actual quote was "Pat Freiermuth is going to get 100 catches this year." It could be considered a bold statement in that the tight end has averaged 62 receptions over his first two seasons but his role as Kenny Pickett's safety valve is unquestionable while he also possesses enough athleticism to be featured. Should Freiermuth eclipse 100 receptions or not, the 24-year-old is clearly on the rise and his TE7 DLF ranking shows high expectations are attached.
San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch said "the early returns are good" and that the 49ers are "incredibly encouraged" by quarterback Brock Purdy's (elbow) recovery after he had surgery to fix a torn UCL in his right elbow around three months ago. Purdy resumed throwing this week, and the team is hoping he will be ready for training camp and the regular season. In the meantime, Trey Lance has taken the first-team repetitions in offseason practices. Although Purdy seems to be on track in his recovery, Lynch said they will not rush him back to the lineup. There's still a chance he isn't fully cleared to play in Week 1 of the regular season, but when he's got the green light, Purdy will be San Fran's starter under center in 2023 after he thoroughly impressed in his rookie season in 2022.
Dynasty | When asked about tight end Luke Musgrave, Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said he "looks different." Dynasty Analysis: Musgrave has been earning first-team reps and possesses an athletic profile. The 6'6/253 lbs. target also turned in an impressive 4.61 40-yard dash during the NFL Combine. There's little question Musgrave has upside rookie potential on a team clearly with a need, and if not for a spotty injury history in his time at Oregon State, may have been a back-end first-round prospect. Even with a checkered injury past, he was still selected with the 11th-selection during the NFL Draft. Found as DLF's TE19, the dynasty community is already expecting Musgrave to quickly slide into the starting role, and, should that occur, he's a candidate to outplay his rookie TE4 status.
Dynasty | Panthers receiver Terrace Marshall is a breakout candidate in 2023 Dynasty Analysis: Marshall was unable to follow on to previous LSU mega-stars Justin Jefferson and Ja'Marr Chase but possesses an intriguing blend of size (6'2/200) and athleticism as he enters his third year with the Panthers. Now with a chance of greater quarterback consistency with rookie Bryce Young expected to start out of the gate, Marshall will have an opportunity to make good on the third-year narrative related to receivers. Dynasty coaches are currently more smitten with rookie second-round selection Jonathan Mingo but, according to the Panthers' beat writer, Marshall is expected to be the starter of the two in 2023. Listed as DLF's WR77 and still only 22 years of age, Terrace Marshall represents an upside value-on opportunity.
Dynasty | Brock Purdy's recovery from elbow surgery prompted GM John Lynch to say he's "incredibly encouraged." Dynasty Analysis: By all accounts, Purdy's recovery is going very well and Lynch hopes Purdy will be ready for the regular season, though won't be pushed. Even more notably, Lynch called the sophomore quarterback the "leader in the clubhouse," no small feat for 2022's Mr. Irrelevant. All signs point to Purdy remaining the team's starting quarterback if healthy and his ascent breathes hope and promise into all late-round rookie quarterbacks. The bigger question is whether Purdy truly represents star potential or if he'll be just another in a long line of serviceable quarterbacks that fail to reach the upper echelon. Based on DLF's QB28 ranking, the dynasty community remains unconvinced. Meanwhile, Trey Lance and Sam Darnold continue to jockey for starting reps until Purdy returns.
Dynasty | Bucs head coach wants to get Mike Evans back to his average of nine touchdowns per season Dynasty Analysis: Turning 30 in August, Evans turned in his lowest touchdown output (6) since 2017. Remarkably, this came with Tom Brady at the helm, making a return to nine a lofty goal as Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask battle for the starting role in 2023. Evans' 6'5" size continues to be an issue for smaller defensive backs but he'll have every chance to return to form, though Father Time may also be a variable to consider. Slipping as DLF's WR37, Evans is clearly a win-now asset in dynasty and possesses remaining production runway to be considered for addition.
Dynasty | Darren Waller continues to stand out in OTAs Dynasty Analysis: Waller has been all over the field and all across the formation in camp, quickly becoming one of Daniel Jones' favorite targets. Turning 31 in September, Waller is looking for a resurgence following two injury-marred seasons in 2021 and 2022. Clearly, the Giants are on the rise as an offense and he should find plenty of opportunities in the tight-end-friendly system. Age is catching up with the once-elite player but a new team and upside potential should keep him in the mix for TE1 production. Darren Waller is listed as a fading TE9 in DLF's tight end rankings.
Free-agent quarterback Tom Brady remains retired. Yet, it appears the multi-time Super Bowl Champion has a better chance of suiting up, even while owning a part of the Raiders. It seemed impossible, but TMZ has since reported that 24 teams, not 32, could vote in favor of Brady holding multiple roles with the franchise. However, separate votes would be held for each scenario, one for the ownership stake and the other for Brady to play while owning a piece of the team. That said, the 45-year-old would need to un-retire for a second time, something many believe won't ever happen. But this situation is starting to gain traction heading toward training camp, although a return by Brady won't be good news for Jimmy Garoppolo (foot), who is working on getting cleared after having surgery this offseason.
Free-agent tight end Jesse James signed a deal with the Saints on Wednesday. The 28-year-old is best known for his time in Pittsburgh, where he spent four seasons before making stops in Detroit, Chicago, and Cleveland. In 104 career games, he totaled 157 catches for 1,522 yards and 12 touchdowns. However, despite a few decent showings from James over the years, he likely won't do much for fantasy managers if he remains with the Saints heading into the regular season, considering New Orleans has Juwan Johnson, Taysom Hill, and Foster Moreau on the roster.
Chicago Bears head coach Matt Eberflus said wide receiver Chase Claypool is dealing with "soft tissue stuff," after he did not practice during Wednesday's organized team activities. Claypool has missed just four games in three seasons since entering the NFL and fantasy managers shouldn't be concerned about his status at this time. That said, his fantasy football upside is severely limited in the run-first Bears' offense. In seven games with Chicago last season, he caught just 14 passes for 140 yards and rushed once for four yards. Now, he looks to be the third or fourth option in the passing game behind DJ Moore, Darnell Mooney, and potentially Cole Kmet. Based on what we know now, he's un-rosterable in shallow leagues and is an end-of-the-bench option in deep leagues.
Green Bay Packers rookie wide receiver Jayden Reed is starting alongside Christian Watson and Romeo Doubs in team drills during OTAs. While it's too early to say he'll definitely start for Green Bay in Week 1, it's an encouraging sign. Reed posted 2,919 yards from scrimmage and 29 touchdowns in four collegiate seasons at Western Michigan and Michigan State, playing himself into a second-round selection in the 2023 NFL Draft. It appears the plan is for him to start at slot, with Watson and Doubs out wide. He'll have a wide range of outcomes depending on how effective Jordan Love is as a passer in his first season as the team's starter, but Reed will likely be on the fantasy football radar right away as a rookie.
The Denver Broncos released its longtime kicker Brandon McManus last week and signed Elliott Fry on Wednesday to compete to replace him. Fry has appeared in three NFL games since leaving the University of South Carolina in 2017, making five of his six career field goal attempts. It's early in the offseason so Fry is no lock to make the roster and win the starting job, but if the Broncos offense bounces back under new head coach Sean Payton, he'll be on the fantasy radar -- especially since the altitude and thin air in Denver makes things easier on kickers.