Thu Jun 1 1:29pm ET
Field Level Media
The Indianapolis Colts signed veteran outside linebacker Genard Avery on Thursday, and in a corresponding move released running back Darius Hagans.
Avery played nine games (no starts) for the Buccaneers last season, recording one sack and five tackles in those games.
Avery was a fifth-round pick by the Browns in 2018 and recorded 4.5 sacks in his rookie year. He was traded to the Eagles during his second season after reportedly falling out of favor with the new coaching staff.
He played in Philadelphia for three seasons, recording three sacks across 35 games (12 starts).
The Colts had to release Hagans to make room for signing Avery. Hagans signed with the Colts in May as an undrafted free agent out of Virginia St.
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Jakeem Grant Sr. (Achilles) was a limited participant in organized team activities on Wednesday after spending the first week of OTAs exclusively with trainers. Grant worked on a side field mostly catching kicks on Wednesday, and his path to returning from a torn Achilles and trying to make the final roster will be via the return game on special teams. The 30-year-old didn't play at all in 2022 because of his injury. He's never really been a threat as a pass-catcher in seven NFL seasons, with his career year coming in 2020 with the Miami Dolphins, when he caught 36 passes for 373 yards and one touchdown in 14 games (four starts). Grant will be well off the fantasy radar come draft season this fall.
Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy said wide receiver Jalen Tolbert is an excellent example of a player making a second-year jump so far this offseason. Tolbert has flashed during some 7-on-7 work during organized team activities. It's nice to hear, but it's still early in the offseason, and players aren't in pads or making contact yet. The 24-year-old former third-rounder had a disappointing rookie campaign, catching just two of three targets for 12 yards in eight games played (one start) for Dallas in 2022. It'll be hard for him not to be better in 2023, but he'll still be opening the year behind CeeDee Lamb, Brandin Cooks and Michael Gallup in the receiving pecking order. Tolbert should only be rostered in dynasty/keeper leagues.
Free-agent wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who was released by the Arizona Cardinals at the end of last week, said he'd be interested in a reunion with the Houston Texans, the team he began his career with after they took him in the first round in 2013. It's been widely believed that Hopkins is looking to play for a contender -- the Bills and Chiefs are the two teams most mentioned -- so a return to the rebuilding Texans would be a pretty big surprise. The 30-year-old made four Pro Bowls in Houston, and he'd undoubtedly become their top pass-catching target with rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud eventually expected to start in 2023. While Nuk is no longer at his peak physically, he still produced when on the field last year and should be in the mix as at least a WR2 in fantasy this year.
It's clear from organized team activities that the Cleveland Browns are intent on feeding new wide receiver Elijah Moore this year. He was frequently targeted by quarterback Deshaun Watson during practice on Wednesday, mostly on quick passes. Moore has been lining up in different spots and going in motion a lot. It's still unclear on how exactly his role will shake out, but it's clear the Browns want to get him the ball on short passes to let him create with the ball in his hands in space. "(Moore) has great flexibility; inside and outside flexibility," offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt said. The 23-year-old impressed as a rookie with the Jets in 2021, but he fell out of favor last year and was traded to Cleveland, where he has a nice chance to bounce back. Moore is quickly becoming a trendy sleeper target in fantasy drafts this year, especially in PPR leagues.
Dynasty | DeAndre Hopkins could have interest in returning to Houston. Dynasty Analysis: Hopkins was surprisingly released by Arizona earlier this week and most believe he'll ultimately end up with the Bills or Chiefs in pursuit of a Super Bowl ring. However, if he doesn't get an offer he loves, it seems as if he's interested in a reunion in Texas. Houston is a much different team now that Deshaun Watson is gone but CJ Stroud would certainly welcome the Texans legend back into town. At this point, it's just speculation. We should have an answer on where our current WR42 lands soon enough.
Dynasty | Tom Brady has doubled down on his retirement by saying he's certain he's done playing football. Dynasty Analysis: It seems the GOAT is truly done this time after returning to the field for one last season with Tampa Bay. He'll go down as one of the best fantasy quarterbacks as well after posting over 89,000 passing yards and 649 touchdowns over his career. For the first time since 2000, fantasy managers will truly be looking elsewhere for their signal callers. At this point, it certainly seems more than safe to drop Brady in your dynasty league.
Dynasty | In a report from the Steelers' camp, receiver George Pickens was described as "the best receiver I've seen in OTAs." Dynasty Analysis: The sophomore had a notable rookie season, producing a 52/804/4 line in an offense far from hitting on all cylinders. Now with a full season under his belt, and presumably the game slowing down, a lot of expectations are riding atop the 6'3" receiver's shoulders. Starting across the formation from Diontae Johnson, it's fair to assume the Steelers' passing attack will be defined by the growth of quarterback Kenny Pickett, but Pickens possesses the athletic profile to be a consistently dangerous weapon. The second-year receiver has been a popular trade asset this offseason and his WR32 status shows equal measure of upside and scrutiny.
Tennessee Titans wide receiver Treylon Burks continues to be quarterback Ryan Tannehill's favorite target at organized team activities. Titans beat writer Jim Wyatt also writes that he hasn't seen Burks drop a ball intended for him yet in the open portions of OTAs. The 23-year-old former first-rounder dealt with conditioning issues last offseason and entered his first regular season in the NFL behind the eight ball in terms of development. The Titans let Robert Woods walk in the offseason and didn't do much to bolster the position, so Burks figures to play a huge role in the team's passing attack in his second year. Even in a run-first offense, fantasy managers should expect a massive increase in targets for Burks, if he can stay healthy.
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Justyn Ross has looked good in offseason workouts and is gaining the trust of quarterback Patrick Mahomes at organized team activities, according to head coach Andy Reid. "Justyn is coming along. He feels good, his foot feels good (and) the surgery that he had worked out well up to this point. He's made some nice plays for us out here. I know Pat's (Mahomes) got trust in him, so that's good to see," Reid said. The 23-year-old's foot injury kept him on Injured Reserve for his entire rookie season in 2022, but he appears to be making up for lost time this offseason. The 6-foot-4, 210-pounder is a big target, but he'll have to earn playing time in 2022 alongside Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Kadarius Toney, Skyy Moore, Richie James and rookie Rashee Rice. For now, he's just a name to watch heading into training camp.
Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry, who has missed organized team activities in the past, has been present for all five of the team's OTAs so far this offseason, and his workload has increased along the way. Henry is working with a new position coach in 2023 after the team hired Justin Outten as their run-game coordinator/RBs coach with former RBs coach Tony Dews now coaching tight ends. The 29-year-old King Henry got off to a slow start in 2022, but he remained the focal point of Tennessee's run-first offense and finished with 1,538 rushing yards and 13 TDs on a league-high 349 carries in 16 regular season starts. All of the mileage on his legs is adding up, but he should remain heavily involved in the Titans offense yet again in 2023. At worst, Henry is a midrange RB1 for fantasy managers.
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.