September 19, 2017

All Out Blitz

Arizona Cardinals: Safety Adrian Wilson has started practicing on a limited basis and will continue to try and play through a torn biceps. I have a hard time seeing that last all season…..Great news for the Cardinals and their fans that WR Larry Fitzgerald signed an eight-year, $120 million contract…..RB Beanie Wells will once again get another shot at proving to Arizona that he deserves the full-time gig with the season ending injury to RB Ryan Williams.

Atlanta Falcons: DE Ray Edwards has been battling knee problems this training camp but will play this weekend…..RB Michael Turner revealed this week that he played last season with a special wrap to protect his groin. The injury has healed now and Turner is expected to get back that burst he didn’t have last season…..Some scouts believe WR Julio Jones may be ready to play a major part in the Falcons offense this season, not just take away coverage from WR Roddy White.

Baltimore Ravens: WR Lee Evans has made his presence known for Baltimore. Perhaps, he can be that deep threat the team has been looking for…..OT Bryant McKinnie was signed to provide depth along the offensive line. It’s a gamble, but if McKinnie is in shape and wants to play, he can still help a team…..Big things are expected of RB Ray Rice this season with FB Vonta Leach leading the way.

Buffalo Bills: While LB Shawn Merriman has looked like his old sack machine self at times, he is still getting nicked up more than one would like…..LB Kirk Morrison signed with the Bills this week. It is hard to see where he fits in with this defense, but he does have experience playing both the inside and outside…..RB Fred Jackson is getting frustrated with his role in the Buffalo offense, as he is not sure why he isn’t the starting back.

Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton may have been the first overall pick in the draft this past April, but anyone who watches him play can clearly see that he is not yet ready to play in the NFL as a starting QB. Problem is though, the Panthers don’t have anyone else on the roster who is…..WR Steve Smith hasn’t come out publicly and stated anything, but you have to wonder if he is a powder keg ready to explode and would prefer to get out of Carolina and play for a contending team.

Chicago Bears: I’m still bewildered that the Bears somehow think they will be okay at WR with Devin Hester and Roy Williams. They need an upgrade there…..LB Lance Briggs is out for the remainder of the preseason with a knee injury. As of right now, he is not expected to miss any regular season time…..Have a feeling the Bears won’t be in the playoff hunt this season.

Cincinnati Bengals: Speaking of a feeling, one of the two Ohio teams should be in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes come the end of the season…..The Bengals offense showed some signs of life this week as RB Cedric Benson and rookie WR AJ Green looked good during their preseason game versus Carolina. Problem will be during the regular season.  Weeks like this may be few and far between…..The Bengals traded for S Taylor Mays from the 49ers. Well someone had to trade for him! It shows that Mays was literally one and done for San Francisco.

Cleveland Browns: QB Colt McCoy continues to impress for the Browns. He’s never going to be a gunslinger in the pocket, but rather someone you can count on to lead the team and find a way to win…..Smart move by Cleveland in locking up OT Joe Thomas. He’s one of the best and they don’t want to lose him…..RB Brandon Jackson is out about six weeks with turf toe.

Dallas Cowboys: If the Cowboys offensive line can hold up and give QB Tony Romo time, Dallas is going to score quite a few points this season…..Problem though, unless their secondary improves an awful lot, they are going to give up quite a few points as well…..RB Felix Jones is having a monster preseason. If he can just stay healthy, he could have a monster regular season, as defenses will more than likely be  more worried about the Dallas passing game.

Denver Broncos: The Broncos finally made it official that Kyle Orton will start at QB. Not really a shock considering how poorly Tim Tebow has played. He might be lucky to be the backup and not third string…..WR Brandon Lloyd has missed some practice time this week with some swelling in his knee…..RB Knowshon Moreno looks to be the starting back, but remember, coach John Fox likes to use more than one back and Willis McGahee was a touchdown vulture last year with Baltimore.

Detroit Lions: The Lions are playing it cautious and smart with RB Javhid Best and his concussion, holding him out of this weekend’s game. One has to wonder if this will hinder him as the season rolls along, not like a RB can avoid contact to his head…..WR Calvin Johnson is also dealing with an injured shoulder, although his injury shouldn’t be of any concern once the season starts.

Green Bay Packers: There are rumblings that RB Ryan Grant could lose his starting job to James Starks. Neither one had a great game Friday, although neither one touched the ball all that much. It doesn’t seem like the coaching staff is all that concerned, and who could blame them with QB Aaron Rodgers and the plethora of targets he has to throw to each week. I wouldn’t want to take it out of his hands either.

Houston Texans: The Texans are looking more and more like the team to beat in the AFC South…..RB Steve Slaton is still battling a hamstring injury and is unlikely to make the final roster. This is not a surprise, but his injury has made it highly unlikely that the Texans could trade Slaton for a draft pick…..LB DeMeco Ryans could miss the remainder of the preseason with an elbow injury.

Indianapolis Colts: The signing of QB Kerry Collins tells you two things; first, there is a pretty good chance that Peyton Manning is going to miss a game or two, and second, Curtis Painter and Dan Orlovsky aren’t the answer…..The Colts are built to win with Manning at QB. I’m not sure it would matter who was behind center, without Manning, they are a considerable underdog.

Jacksonville Jaguars: As if there was any doubt, David Garrard was named the starting QB. Blane Gabbert is going to be a good one, but it’s best that he learn behind a veteran for now…..The Jags coaching staff believes Rashard Jennings is ready for a bigger role in the offense this season. This is also not a surprise, as we started to see that last season.

Kansas City Chiefs: Kind of surprised that the Chiefs announced that Dexter McCluster will only be used as a running back this season. I’m not sure you want to feed any mouths other than Jamaal Charles in that backfield…..LB Derrick Johnson looks like he might be ready to take that next step this season…..TE Tony Moeaki still hasn’t fully recovered from off-season surgery. It might be time to get a little worried with the season just two weeks away.

Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins are growing more and more concerned with RB Daniel Thomas’ unwillingness to hit the line of scrimmage hard in practice, so much so, that Reggie Bush may become a bigger part of the offense than first thought…..The Dolphins haven’t named a starter opposite WR Brandon Marshall. In other words, they aren’t very happy with Brian Hartline and have even given Davone Bess reps on the outside in practice even though he excelled last season in the slot.

Minnesota Vikings:  QB Joe Webb, who is listed 2nd on the depth chart, has also been taking reps at wide receiver…..It looks like DT Kevin Williams will only be suspended two games instead of four in the StarCaps case…..WR Percy Harvin returned to practice this week. He still has bruised ribs, but that shouldn’t hinder him in the regular season, and at least it’s not migraines.

New England Patriots: The Patriots have come out this season like they are on fire, dismantling teams in the 1st quarter. They are already regular season ready…..Rookie RB Stevan Ridley missed practice this week with an undisclosed illness and won’t play this weekend….DT Albert Haynesworth returned to practice this week. One still has to wonder if he has the will to play football at the level he is capable of, even for Bill Belichick.

New Orleans Saints: Saints are dealing with some injury issues; RB Mark Ingram has a knee problem, WR Lance Moore a groin, and WR Marques Colston has knee issues of his own…..Like Kevin Williams of Minnesota, there is a chance that Will Smith’s suspension will be reduced to two games…..I would love to grab TE Jimmy Graham late in my fantasy drafts.

New York Giants: The Giants are being crushed with injuries to their secondary, suffering four season ending injuries so far. They did sign Brian Williams for depth purposes this week…..RB Ahmad Bradshaw is dealing with a back injury that is starting to worry the team. They believe it might linger into the regular season…..Speaking of RBs, Brandon Jacobs stated this week that he would like to play another 3-4 seasons; good news for the G-men who can always use a battering ram in the backfield.

New York Jets: WR Plaxico Burress made his presence felt in his first game for the team with a touchdown reception. If he is actually back to the player he used to be before ending up in jail, the Jets could have a dangerous offense…..With Hurricane Irene threatening the east coast this weekend, the Jets and Giants moved their game to Monday night, which means these two teams will play their final two preseason games in four days.

Oakland Raiders: Someone has to explain to me the Raiders philosophy of running a football team. You let your two best players leave in free agency (Nnamdi Asomugha and Zack Miller) but then spend a 3rd round pick in the supplemental draft on Terrelle Pryor, a player who may be a great athlete, but who no one believes will be a top NFL QB. They don’t have a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th round pick in next year’s draft. Exactly how is this team going to get better?

Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles may have defeated the Browns in their preseason game Thursday and put 24 points up on the scoreboard, but they are going to get QB Michael Vick killed if they don’t fix that offensive line. I believe last week I put the over/under of Vick’s games played at 13.5. I’m starting to think double digits might be a more accurate line. I can’t see how anyone in fantasy leagues can take Vick as the number one QB, more or less the 1st player taken overall.

Pittsburgh Steelers: I’m a big Cowboys fan, but the game I am looking forward to seeing most on the first Sunday of football is definitely Pittsburgh-Baltimore. The hatred these two teams have for each other is for real, and a joy to watch…..The Steelers would like to see a big game out of QB Dennis Dixon on Saturday, possibly to showcase him for a trade as they have plenty of backup QBs on the roster…..The Steelers have also let it be known to teams not to salivate over the possibility of S Troy Polamalu becoming a free agent next season. They will franchise him if they can’t come to an agreement on a new contract.

San Diego Chargers: WR Malcolm Floyd, who did suffer a concussion last week, returned to practice this week, so all seems to be well there…..RB Ryan Matthews has redeemed himself in his coach’s eyes but may still share the spotlight with Mike Tolbert…..Fantasy wise, I think I’d rather have Tolbert. Sure, Matthews will catch more passes out of the backfield, but Tolbert is more than likely to be the man at the goal line.

San Francisco 49ers: RB Frank Gore is getting more and more frustrated with his contract situation and it shouldn’t surprise anyone if this comes to a head before the season starts…..WR Michael Crabtree seems more and more unlikely to play in Week One as he is not running yet. However, he is out of the walking boot…..The back to watch if Gore were to miss any time is Kendall Hunter. Even if Gore plays, Hunter should have a few plays designed just for him.

Seattle Seahawks: Kicking news, it looks like Jeff Reed has won the starting job for the Hawks…..LB Aaron Curry agreed to restructure his contract this week. So far Curry has looked like a pretty big bust in the NFL…..Still no word on the severity of TE John Carlson’s shoulder injury, although initial word is that the injury could be pretty severe.

St. Louis Rams: It seems TE Lance Kendricks has quickly become a favorite target of QB Sam Bradford, so much so, that he could be Bradford’s favorite target on 3rd downs and in the red zone…..RB Steven Jackson no longer looks like a top NFL back as he no longer possesses the elusiveness he once had. Oh he can still be productive, but it’s more of a hit the hole and then run over someone type.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: CB Aqib Talib met with the commissioner this week to discuss his run in with the law this past offseason. Depending on whom you believe, the commissioner may have his rulings challenged by the union once he doles out what he considers is the proper punishment…..WR Arrelious Benn is scheduled to play this week. It seems he will likely open the season as the number three WR as Dezmon Briscoe has looked awfully good in camp.

Tennessee Titans: WR Kenny Britt is in the same situation as Aqib Talib and could face a suspension. He is also dealing with a hamstring injury that has cost him most of the preseason so far…..RB Chris Johnson met with Titans officials this week to discuss a new contract. No dice! Both sides still seem to be pretty far apart on what his next contract should be worth. If this heads into the regular season, Tennessee is in deep trouble.

Washington Redskins: John Beck and Rex Grossman are still battling for the number one job. The Skins know what they have in Grossman, a gambler who will either hit big or miss big. Beck may be the one that requires less Pepto Bismol on a regular basis…..RB Tim Hightower has looked nothing short of awesome so far this preseason leaving some to predict that a huge season is on its way.

All Out Blitz

Arizona Cardinals: Adrian Wilson has a partial tear in his right bicep muscle that will limit what he can do this pre-season, and may even eliminate how many games he will play in during the regular season. Matt Ware is likely to take his place at SS…..As of now, it looks like Beanie Wells will be the primary ball carrier at the beginning of the season, but Ryan Williams is catching up fast.

Atlanta Falcons: The re-signing of Jason Snelling might have caught some off guard but you can never have too many backs. Jacquizz Rodgers still may touch the ball more than Snelling though. Rodgers will be the 3rd down back and the player who catches the ball out of the backfield; whereas Snelling would only play when Michael Turner needs a breather or if he were to get injured.

Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens let it be known this week that even with the signing of RB Ricky Williams, Ray Rice will still be the short yardage and goal-line back. That’s all fine and good, but I still have my doubts…..Losing WR Derrick Mason to the Jets has to hurt, as once again, the Ravens look a bit short in the receiver department.

Buffalo Bills: Looks like the Bills would trade WR Lee Evans if they could find the right deal. Problem is the receiver market has dried up and it may be too late to get the kind of value they are looking for (apparently the right price is a 4th round pick)…..Living on Long Island in Jets territory, the fans down here are not happy about the team not re-signing QB/KR/RB/WR Brad Smith and letting him go to a division rival. Smith sometimes gets a bad rap as just a return guy, but he can fill quite a few roles whether it be on special teams or on offense.

Carolina Panthers: Word is the Panthers are doing everything they can to get QB Cam Newton ready to start the 1st game of the season…..The Panthers did a great job in free agency this season, apparently signing everyone they wanted to, but still these are players that finished last season with one win.

Chicago Bears: Does it seem as strange to you as it does to me that WR Johnny Knox is not listed as a starter right now? He had a pretty good season last year and seems to have a good rapport with QB Jay Cutler. Seems even stranger that Devin Hester would be listed above him…..RB Matt Forte had initially stated that he wouldn’t play in any exhibition games as he wasn’t pleased with his contract, but he has softened on that stance.

Cincinnati Bengals: I know the Bengals just drafted QB Andy Dalton, but with the way this team is structured, would it surprise anyone if they ended up in the hunt for the first overall draft pick and QB Andrew Luck…..The Bengals are still receiving calls about the availability of QB Carson Palmer, but they are still being told that he won’t be traded.

Cleveland Browns: The Browns had hoped that RB Montario Hardesty would be 100% recovered from ACL surgery and could take some carries away from Peyton Hillis; thus allowing Hillis to be fresher as the year goes on. However, Hardesty has yet to practice and may not be able to take that much of a load off of Hillis, at least in the early part of the season…..With Hardesty having trouble with his knee once again, Brandon Jackson could be the backup to Hillis to begin the season.

Dallas Cowboys: Lots of rumors coming out of camp that Tashard Choice could find himself released. I fine that highly unlikely, but head coach Jason Garrett has never seemed to taken a shine to Choice…..One player to keep an eye on in camp is TE John Phillips. He was extremely impressive in camp last season before tearing his ACL. He has picked up right where he left off in camp this season and already seems to be ahead of Martellus Bennett.

Denver Broncos: Anyone listening to head coach John Fox after the Broncos pre-season game Thursday on how he thought QB Tim Tebow played? Knowing where Tebow is on the depth chart, he used the phrase “work in progress.” Kyle Orton will definitely start the season under center for the Broncos. That’s no guarantee he will finish there, but Tebow still needs a ton of work…..The bigger question is will Tebow be the 2nd or 3rd QB, as Brady Quinn could be the backup behind Orton.

Detroit Lions: Rookie RB Mikel Leshoure tore his Achilles on Monday and will miss the season. This would seem to be good news for Javhid Best fantasy owners as he looks to get the lion’s share of the carries. But the Lions don’t want to put to much on the second year player, especially after dealing with turf toe last year, so they have signed RBs Jerome Harrison and Mike Bell. Plus they still have Maurice Morris…..Leshoure’s injury is the second to hit the Detroit rookie class as DT Nick Fairley is also out after having surgery on his foot.

Green Bay Packers: LB Clay Matthews apparently played the last half of the 2010 season with a stress fracture in his lower leg. Imagine what he can do with two healthy wheels…..I know the Eagles made a bunch of high profile moves, but the Packers are still the best team in the NFC in my opinion…..RB James Starks has looked good in camp and put on some weight, he could be a serious threat to Ryan Grant’s playing time.

Houston Texans: WR Andre Roberts has recovered from his finger injury and looks to be completely healthy. If TE Owen Daniels plays as well this season as he did the end of last season, than the Texans offense could be tough to stop…..RB Arian Foster would like a new contract but owner Bob McNair has stated that he won’t get one off a single good season…..The Texans would like to trade RB Steve Slaton but Ben Tate continues to miss practice with a hamstring injury; thus the Texans have to hold onto Slaton.

Indianapolis Colts: TE Dallas Clark let it be known Thursday that he will have to wear a brace all season on his surgically repaired wrist. You have to wonder if this might affect him as the season goes on…..One of the new rules this season regarding game day rosters is that they have been expanded to 46 on game days. But there is no such thing as an emergency 3rd QB anymore. If you think you might need an emergency QB, than you have to activate him as part of your 46. Why do I bring this up? With the surgery to Peyton Manning’s neck this off-season, the Colts have already made it known that they will carry three QBs on game day.

Jacksonville Jaguars: LB Matt Roth stated earlier this week that he would sign with any team that offered him a $3 million deal. Well the Jags stepped up and gave him that contact. Roth has his issues, but he’s a solid LB in a 4-3 defense…..The Jags might need LB help after Clint Session suffered what is a probable concussion in the pre-season opener Thursday.

Kansas City Chiefs: TE Tony Moeaki is back practicing with the team. I still think he’s a sneaky play in fantasy leagues with defenses paying most of their attention to RB Jamaal Charles and WR Dwayne Bowe…..Speaking of Charles, you have to love coach Todd Haley who continues to play games with Charles’ head and fantasy owners draft picks by listing him 2nd on the depth chart…..For those of you wondering if Le’Ron McClain would take away any carries from Charles or Thomas Jones, hmmm, no.

Miami Dolphins: With all of the things that have gone on around WR Brandon Marshall, you have to wonder if the Dolphins are suffering from buyer’s remorse…..The Dolphins stated this week that RB Reggie Bush will not return punts this season. Why not? Shouldn’t your best playmakers be put in a position to do the most damage?…..LB Kevin Burnett will start with the 1st team defense Friday despite only having six practices with the Fish; shows you what the Dolphins think of him.

Minnesota Vikings:  Not sure how the Vikings could have let WR Sidney Rice leave via free agency when their starting wideout opposite Percy Harvin is Bernard Berrian…..Perhaps the lack of receiving talent is why the Vikings plan on getting RB Adrian Peterson more involved in the passing game…..Apparently one of the reasons the Vikings waived OT Bryant McKinnie was that his cholesterol was so high they were worried he wouldn’t be able to make it through practice.

New England Patriots: G Logan Mankins, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the NFL during the lockout, signed a new long term deal with the club…..TE Rob Gronkowski has looked unstoppable during camp and could be a highly sought after TE in fantasy drafts, but remember, Aaron Hernandez is still there, and he’s not so bad himself.

New Orleans Saints: WR Marques Colston still isn’t practicing much and it’s time to start wondering how healthy he will remain this season…..I like rookie RB Mark Ingram, but there are so many offensive players on this team that need to get their hands on the ball. It’s difficult to see Ingram having a huge season.

New York Giants: You have to wonder if the Giants would’ve made a stronger effort to sign WR Plaxico Burress had they known that Steve Smith would sign elsewhere. It has to hurt even more that he went to the division rival Eagles…..Mario Manningham however could be a sleeper in fantasy leagues as he is now the clear cut #2 option for QB Eli Manning.

New York Jets: Speaking of Burress, his ankle is still bothering him and is unlikely to play in the Jets first pre-season game. Missing the game is no big deal, but after not playing football for two seasons, he needs to get on the field and get in a rhythm with QB Mark Sanchez…..I know Jet fans are upset with the loss of WR Jericho Cotchery, but Derrick Mason would seem to be a nice solid upgrade.

Oakland Raiders: Memo to general manager Al Davis, signing TE Kevin Boss does not make up for losing Zach Miller…..Boss may not be the talent that Miller is, but he’s likely to have the best season of his career this year as QB Jason Campbell still doesn’t have a true number one receiver to throw to and may look for his big TE quite often.

Philadelphia Eagles: What is wrong with WR Jeremy Maclin? It doesn’t seem like the Eagles or Maclin have any idea. They both keep insisting that the illness won’t cause him to miss any regular season playing time, but I’m starting to have my doubts and you have to wonder if the signing of WR Steve Smith is an insurance policy against Maclin not being ready to go…..Word out of Eagles camp is that QB Vince Young is being outplayed for the backup job by Mike Kafka.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Jericho Cotchery, who signed with the Steelers this week, is slated to be their 5th receiver…..The Steelers biggest weakness could be along their offensive line which could force TE to stay in and block more often than he usually does…..WR Emmanuel Sanders has already recovered from foot surgery and should be back this week. He will once again be the teams #3 wideout.

San Diego Chargers: The Chargers are trying to send a message to RB Ryan Mathews by sitting him out of the pre-season opener. Apparently he’s not doing all that well in practice…..It’s looking more and more like Mike Tolbert will get his fair share of carries this season, and if Mathews doesn’t pick up his play, maybe even more than his fair share…..LT Marcus McNeil had foot surgery this week, but is expected back in the lineup before the regular season begins.

San Francisco 49ers: Anyone who saw the 49ers first pre-season game witnessed QB Alex Smith take a beating as the offensive line couldn’t block anyone…..WR Michael Crabtree is expected to be back on the practice field before the last pre-season game…..So far there are no takers for SS Taylor Mays and the 49ers are still trying to figure out how to use him.

Seattle Seahawks: If there is a true quarterback competition in Seattle, than after the first pre-season game, Charlie Whitehurst is well ahead of Tarvares Jackson…..OT Russell Okung had to be helped off the field with an ankle injury. This is the same injury that cost him six games last season. Not what the Hawks needed.

St. Louis Rams: WR Donnie Avery is still not practicing due to a hamstring injury and could be in danger of not making the team if he doesn’t get on the field…..Danny Amendola and Mike Sims-Walker would seem to be the Rams starters at WR.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: WR Arrelious Benn seems unlikely to play this pre-season as he is still recovering from knee surgery. The best case scenario looks like a return for the regular season opener…..If you’re looking for a rookie to take in your IDP league, you may need to look no further than LB Mason Foster who should start the season for the recently departed Barrett Rudd…..RB Earnest Graham looks to be the favorite for the third down back.

Tennessee Titans: Due to the depth of the Tennessee secondary, Cortland Finnegan has spent the majority of his time at nickelback…..The Titans would like RB Chris Johnson to report to camp before they start talks on a new contract…..TE Jared Cook could be the teams 2nd receiving option outside of WR Kenny Britt.

Washington Redskins: TE Chris Cooley is likely to miss at least the next two weeks with a knee injury…..Tim Hightower had an impressive first preseason game for the Skins and could be the lead running back come Week One…..The injury to QB John Beck may give Rex Grossman a leg up on the QB competition, not that it really matters.

All Out Blitz

Arizona Cardinals: Good news to every Cardinal fans ears, WR Larry Fitzgerald stated that with the improvements the team made on the field in free agency, he is more likely to sign long term with Arizona…..Coach Ken Whisenhunt stated on Thursday that Beanie Wells will start at running back to begin the season…..The addition of TE Todd Heap gives the Cardinals a solid pass catcher, but remember, Heap is nowhere near the player he used to be; however in the red zone, he’s a nice tall target for QB Kevin Kolb.

Atlanta Falcons: We learned recently that RB Michael Turner underwent groin surgery in the off-season; an optimist thinks this is the reason for Turner’s mediocre 2010 and a pessimist thinks this season won’t be any better…..Tony Gonzalez, 35, recently stated that he could play another three seasons if he wanted to; you have to wonder if Tony is starting to realize just how good this offense can be with the addition of WR Julio Jones.

Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens are one of the teams that are rumored to be interested in the services of Giants DE Osi Umenyiora, as if that defense isn’t scary enough…..The loss of TE Todd Heap to free agency means we will find out if Ed Dickson is the real deal or not…..A couple of the Steelers have had some unflattering things to say about QB Joe Flacco this week. Seems they forget that if not for a couple of key drops by Raven WRs in the playoff game last season, the Steelers wouldn’t have even made the Super Bowl.

Buffalo Bills: The Bills signing of LB Nick Barnett gives them a quality player who can range from sideline to sideline. The only reason he is still not a Packer is because of salary cap reasons…..With opposing teams having to respect the deep threat of WRs Steve Johnson and Lee Evans, RB CJ Spiller could have plenty of room to operate underneath.

Carolina Panthers: Linebacker Jon Beason was placed on the non-football injury list with tendinitis in his Achilles but it’s not considered anything serious…..One would have to think that Cam Newton will start at QB for the Panthers as Jimmy Claussen was nothing short of awful last season. But even if he doesn’t, the Panthers have stated that they will have plays designed for him each week…..Speaking of QBs who were awful last season, the Panthers signed Derek Anderson.

Chicago Bears: The Bears must be in love with former Cowboys, having signed WRs Roy Williams and Sam Hurd, along with RB Marion Barber so far in free agency…..Williams could be the ball possession type of receiver the Bears need. Hurd is probably still best suited for special teams. Barber looks to be the goal line back…..The Bears will be looking for another center after Olin Kreutz has decided to test the free agent market. Not good for a team whose biggest weakness may have been the offensive line last season.

Cincinnati Bengals: Cedric Benson is back in the fold after signing a one-year deal. One has to wonder if his market dried up because of his off field problems…..Andy Dalton will be given every chance to win the starting QB job this season. This promises to be a pretty ugly situation as Dalton would almost certainly be better off sitting behind a veteran to at least start the season…..Those of you who think Carson Palmer may change his mind and come out of retirement to play again for the Bengals, forget about it! There is a better chance of Boomer Esiason putting the pads back on.

Cleveland Browns: QB Colt McCoy is struggling so far in camp with the new West Coast offense, but that’s to be expected since there weren’t any off-season mini-camps to work on things…..You know you may not be in for a good season when you lose your punter for the year with a torn Achilles tendon.

Dallas Cowboys: There were many questions when Dallas didn’t try to upgrade their secondary via the draft, but the Cowboys kept insisting they trusted Terrance Newman and Mike Jenkins. The Cowboys were all of a sudden in late on the Nnamdi Asomugha sweepstakes, but lost out, and now the news that they have lost Newman for 4-6 weeks with a groin injury. Even if Newman comes back before the season opener, it seems unlikely that he would be at 100%, and all the top CBs are off the market…..On the flip side, they did solve their safety problems with the signing of Gerald Sensabaugh and Abram Elam.

Denver Broncos: Kyle Orton has clearly outplayed Tim Tebow in the battle for the starting QB job. Not a shock as Orton may not be a sexy QB, but still much better than an average one…..The Broncos signed ex-Patriot Ty Warren to help with their run defense…..WR Brandon Lloyd has looked good in camp once again, and if Orton does indeed start, could once again put up a big season.

Detroit Lions: The loss of DT Nick Fairley for most, if not all, of training camp with a foot injury is certainly not good news. But if he can get close to 100% before the start of the regular season, then it’s not a devastating loss…..The Lions did a great job of waiting out LB Stephen Tulloch. There wasn’t a big market for his services and they were able to get him at a much more team friendly contract.

Green Bay Packers: The re-signing of WR James Jones is great for the Packers but not good for those fantasy owners who grabbed Jordy Nelson thinking this would be his breakout season…..It’s also not good for their 2nd round pick Randall Cobb, who now will only get on the field in the event of an injury to one of the top four wideouts…..For those of you who are worried, DB Charles Woodson is practicing fully in camp.

Houston Texans: WR Andre Johnson dislocated a finger in practice Tuesday, nothing to worry about as he will be back in a matter of days. This reminded me of the days where John Elway and Brett Favre would repeatedly break or dislocate their receivers fingers because they threw the ball with such velocity…..RB Steve Slaton will be traded as long as Ben Tate shows he is healthy and can handle the backup RB job.

Indianapolis Colts: QB Peyton Manning was spotted throwing the ball in practice and looked good doing so, but is still on the PUP list…..WR Austin Collie is also practicing fully, but one has to wonder if he can make it through a full season after multiple concussions last season…..The Colts re-signed Joseph Addai to a three-year, $14 million contract. Not sure if it’s just me, but that seems a bit high.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Maurice Jones-Drew is being limited in training camp after coming off meniscus surgery. If there is one top RB that I’m staying away from in fantasy leagues, it would be Jones-Drew. He’s an injury risk and the Jaguars might use Rashad Jennings in a bigger role in order to keep Jones-Drew as fresh and healthy as possible…..I’m not a big fan of the passing game either and wonder if teams stack the line of scrimmage and force QB David Garrard to beat them.

Kansas City Chiefs: Head Coach Todd Haley has stated that once again the Chiefs will be a run first team this season. If RB Jamaal Charles can stay healthy, he is going to have a big year…..TE Tony Moeaki has missed the first couple of days of camp with a knee injury. He may not be a household name, but he is a good blocker in the run game and can surprise some people in the passing game.

Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins have announced that RB Reggie Bush will have pretty much the same role with them that he had with New Orleans, touching the ball about 10-12 times a game…..There were some rumblings that Miami is interested in QB Brett Favre (can’t he just go away), but apparently this is nothing more than internet rumor…..Tiki Barber had a tryout with the Fish this week. Pretty much shows you how desperate they are right now.

Minnesota Vikings:  WR Percy Harvin is looking forward to a breakout season after not having suffered from a migraine since last year…..Of course with Bernard Berrian starting opposing you, Harvin is going to have the attention of all of the pass defenses…..Tackle Byrant McKinnie showed up at camp close to 300 pounds and was promptly released…..Anyone who hasn’t seen the video of what P Chris Kluwe asked of Donovan McNabb in order to give up jersey #5 should check it out. Pretty funny!

New England Patriots: The Patriots and Jets are gearing up for what should be an interesting battle in the AFC East…..If WR Chad Ochocinco can’t be a deep threat, one has to wonder if the Patriots can be the high scoring offense they were in the past…..DT Albert Haynesworth passed his conditioning test without any problems for those of you who are wondering.

New Orleans Saints: RB Mark Ingram has looked great early on in camp and could be another dangerous weapon in the Saints offense…..DE Will Smith will finally be suspended four games for using performance enhancers; the courts finally upheld the NFL’s right to suspend Smith…..If you’re looking for a TE late in your draft, look no further than Jimmy Graham. He is going to have a big year.

New York Giants: The saga between the Giants and DE Osi Umenyiroa promises to last all season long. In a nutshell, Osi believes he was promised a new contract if he performed well and now wants to be traded. The Giants did give his agent permission to seek a trade for about 48 hours before rescinding it. They then told Osi to take the day off and he refused. It is going to be an interesting soap opera all training camp.

New York Jets: The Jets are taking a big gamble on WR Plaxico Burress. He hasn’t played in two years and had issues with both organizations that employed him. Now has a sprained ankle to begin camp…..It seemed the Jets were the favorites until the last minute to land CB Nnamdi Asomugha but re-signing Antonio Cromartie is still a good move. With Darrelle Revis on your roster, Asomugha was a luxury, not a necessity.

Oakland Raiders: If you’re the Raiders, how can you let TE Zach Miller leave during free agency, not to mention the aforementioned Asomugha?…..RB Darren MacFadden will be out of action for at least two weeks with a fractured orbital bone…..The Raiders have been working out TE Kevin Boss to replace Miller…..The Raiders are still hoping that WR Jacoby Ford will be ready for the regular season after having the cast taken off his broke hand on Tuesday.

Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles are going for broke this season, signing just about every free agent imaginable…..CB Nnamdi Asomugha seems to be an answer to the multiple receiver sets that the Packers and Saints use as the Eagles now have three top flight CBs on their roster. Makes you wonder if they will try and trade Asante Samuel eventually…..The Eagles even tried to lure WR Randy Moss out of retirement…..If QB Michael Vick stays healthy, this is going to be a scary offense…..Speaking of health, DT Mike Patterson is probably out for the season after suffering a seizure in practice and needing surgery to fix the problem.

Pittsburgh Steelers: WR Emmanuel Sanders had another surgery on his foot and is no longer likely to begin the season as the Steelers #3 WR…..QB Dennis Dixon angered Pittsburgh management when he asked for a trade. He may get his wish though…..WR Hines Ward should be ready to come off the PUP list (thumb) in the next couple of days.

San Diego Chargers: In order to keep SS Bob Sanders healthy, they are thinking about replacing him in passing situations. That’s all fine and good, but Sanders usually gets hurt throwing his body around in the running game…..Another player who came off the PUP list was TE Antonio Gates. He practiced on Thursday. The Bolts have to be a little worried though about his foot. This injury looks like it’s never going to heal completely.

San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers signed WR Braylon Edwards. The loss of Michael Crabtree makes Edwards close to a necessity…..In somewhat of a shock, the 49ers sent out an email to all NFL teams that S Taylor Mays is available. It didn’t take long for Mays (2nd round pick last year) to prove to new head coach Jim Harbaugh that he can’t play at the NFL level, now you know why is college coach, Pete Carroll, passed on him.

Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks signing of TE Zach Miller is somewhat surprising as they have a pretty good TE already on their roster in John Carlson. Miller just seems to be a luxury, not a necessity…..The Hawks also signed WR Sidney Rice earlier in free agency. Now if they only had a QB to get the ball to these two…..Yeah, I’m not a big fan of Tarvares Jackson or Charlie Whitehurst.

St. Louis Rams: The Rams finally found their backup to RB Steven Jackson in Cadillac Williams…..Michael Sims-Walker gives the Rams yet another WR who is maddingly inconsistent. QB Sam Bradford may not be able to make that jump to the next level without a true number one wideout.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: It would’ve been nice to see the Bucs spend some money in free agency this season. They are a strong young team with a ton of room under the cap. A couple of solid free agents here and there could make a big difference. Seems to be they are behind the Saints and Falcons at this time.

Tennessee Titans: It was bad news for WR Kenny Britt on Thursday when it was announced that commissioner Roger Goodell will still be judge and jury when it comes to player discipline. Oh and Britt hasn’t practiced yet due to a hamstring injury…..Chris Johnson still hasn’t reported to camp. He wants a new contract with around $30 million guaranteed. Cha ching!

Washington Redskins: A sleeper RB in your fantasy leagues could be Roy Helu. Tim Hightower has already proven he can’t handle a full-time role and Ryan Torrain underwent surgery to place four screws in his hand this week. Of course the problem is the Skins have no QB and coach Mike Shanahan is famous for driving fantasy owners crazy with his use of RBs…..The Skins did re-sign QB Rex Grossman. It’s either him or John Beck for the starting QB job, yippee.

All Out Blitz

After finishing my column last week I started to worry about what I would write about in this column. The NFL was still in a lockout, and a news and notes column was getting more and more difficult to fill out. Well as we have all seen this week, the NFL players, general managers, and owners are trying to cram 136 days of non-action into a single week. It’s been a smorgasbord of roster moves and transactions. I mean wow, it’s been a wild week. Let’s get started.

Arizona Cardinals: The Cards got their man when they acquired QB Kevin Kolb from the Eagles for CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a 2nd round pick in next year’s draft. This instantly puts them back in contention in the NFC West and makes WR Larry Fitzgerald the happiest man in the state. Some might argue that this was too steep a price to pay, but the Cards did draft CB Patrick Peterson this past April in the 1st round, and without a franchise QB, you’re just not going to get very far in this league.

Atlanta Falcons: Earlier this week, the Falcons stated they would not be able to sign DE Ray Edwards. Now they have reversed course and stated they would be able to sign him, but at their price…..The Falcons have signed all of their drafted rookies including WR Julio Jones. It should be just a matter of time before Jones makes his presence felt in the NFL.

Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens released WR Derrick Mason earlier this week, but would like him back at a reduced rate. The problem is Mason’s former team, Tennessee, is also interested in his services…..If the Ravens don’t sign a WR, 2nd round pick Torry Smith could end up starting from the get go opposite Anquan Boldin…..Like Mason, the Ravens decided to cut TE Todd Heap, but would like him back if they can agree on a smaller contract.

Buffalo Bills: Although he signed a three-year contract and has played for head coach Chan Gailey in the past, Tyler Thigpen should not be a threat to start over Ryan Fitzpatrick, unless Fitzpatrick falls on his face…..Although RB CJ Spiller is expected to touch the ball more, Fred Jackson is still expected to be the lead back for the Bills.

Carolina Panthers: I understand DeAngelo Williams is a great RB and the Panthers had plenty of money under the salary cap, but with Jonathan Stewart and Mike Goodson also on the roster, couldn’t that money be spent elsewhere…..I do love the move of adding TE Greg Olsen. They have a rookie QB in Cam Newton, and rookie QBs need a good TE as a safety blanket…..The player to be named later in the Olsen trade is not WR Steve Smith who stated on Thursday that he wants to finish his career in a Panther uniform.

Chicago Bears: You had to know the Bears would eventually trade TE Greg Olsen. In a Mike Martz offense, there just isn’t much use for a TE…..The Bears are said to be very close to signing WR Roy Williams. They want a tall receiver to make those catches over the middle, and Williams has played for Martz before…..Rumors are going around that RB Matt Forte could hold out for a better contract. He is only scheduled to make about $550,000 this season.

Cincinnati Bengals: I understand about standing on your principles but it seems kind of stubborn to not trade QB Carson Palmer and get a draft pick or two rather than just force him into retirement…..The Bengals are still expected to sign RB Cedric Benson as teams may be shying away from him due to yet another arrest this off-season…..The Bengals made yet another error when they let CB Jonathan Joseph sign with Houston. They have the money, but just don’t spend it wisely…..The trade of Chad Ochocinco to New England opens up a starting job for Jerome Simpson.

Cleveland Browns: Browns have a ton of money they could spend under the cap, but so far have not been able to sign anyone…..The Cowboys are interested in S Abram Elam. The Boys might be interested in quite a few of the Browns defensive players that played under defensive coordinator Rob Ryan while he was in Cleveland.

Dallas Cowboys: Dallas has solidified their offensive line with the signings of Doug Free and Kyle Kosier, but have lost defensive lineman Stephen Bowen to Washington…..The Cowboys are said to be in negotiations to bring in DT Cullen Jenkins. This would be an interesting signing as Jay Ratliff would normally play that position. Would Ratliff move to DE if the boys sign Jenkins? If the Cowboys can’t sign Jenkins and start to worry about their defensive line, one has to wonder if they will make a push to sign CB Nnamdi Asomugha. If you can’t get to the QB, better make sure you can cover those wideouts for as long as possible.

Denver Broncos: The Broncos and Dolphins are playing a game of chicken when it comes to QB Kyle Orton. The Broncos want to trade. The Dolphins want him to be their starting QB. However, Denver wants at least a 3rd round pick, and Miami doesn’t want to give up more than a 4th.  The Broncos are currently around $8 million over the cap; they must be under the cap by Aug. 4. Orton makes almost $9 million. So by the 4th, they must trade or release Orton. Miami knows this and right now there are no other suitors for his services. Miami might just wait Denver out unless someone else decides to step in with a better offer.

Detroit Lions: The Lions have a terrific defensive line. Unless they find a CB or two, it might not much matter…..Things aren’t any better on the linebacker front, as the Lions seemed to have dropped out of the running for Stephen Tulloch…..LT Jeff Backus has a shoulder injury that will force him to miss at least a couple of weeks of action. This is certainly not good news for QB Matthew Stafford, who needs his offensive line to be at full strength to protect him.

Green Bay Packers: Although the Packers want to retain WR James Jones, it looks like he will sign with Minnesota today…..The Pack picked up the bonus in Ryan Grant’s contract, assuring that he should once again be the starting RB for that high scoring offense…..LB Nick Barnett was a cap casualty but kicker Mason Crosby received a five-year deal.

Houston Texans: The Texans were said to be hot after CB Nnamdi Asomugha but seemed to be pretty happy with their signing of Jonathan Joseph on Wednesday. There biggest need was a CB and, although they may not have signed the number one guy on the board, they still got a very good player…..The signing of SS Danieal Manning and Joseph makes a weakness, now a strength. Could this finally be the year Houston makes the playoffs?

Indianapolis Colts: The Colts are another team that has been quiet this week, and now we’re hearing rumblings they may not sign RB Joseph Addai…..They did sign one of their own, S Melvin Bullitt…..We should find out the severity of QB Peyton Manning’s neck surgery by how much money the Colts guarantee him in his new contract.

Jacksonville Jaguars: TE Marcedes Lewis is expected to get a new contract shortly, as the Jags don’t want to lose his services…..The Jags did sign Clint Session, an unspectacular, yet solid LB who should help the Jags in the middle.

Kansas City Chiefs: WR Steve Breaston signed with the Chiefs, reuniting with head coach Todd Haley. This gives the Chiefs a legitimate threat opposite Dwayne Bowe and gives rookie WR Jonathan Baldwin time to grow into the job…..I’m getting a bigger and bigger feeling each day that RB Jamaal Charles is going to have a huge season, providing he can stay healthy.

Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins signed the scatback they were looking for Thursday in Reggie Bush. Some might think this is bad for Daniel Thomas, but the Dolphins were always planning on signing a back to share the load. Bush will get his 12-15 touches a game, but Thomas will still be the main ball carrier, including when the Dolphins are in scoring position.

Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings upgraded their QB situation with the addition of Donovan McNabb, but lost their best WR in Sidney Rice. Good thing they have RB Adrian Peterson…..One WR the Vikings did sign was former Bear Devin Aromashodu. Aromashodu has talent, but just never fit in Mike Martz’s offense.

New England Patriots: You have to hand it to coach Bill Belichick. He has no problem taking on other teams problem children. First he makes a trade with Washington to take DT Albert Haynesworth off their hands, and then makes another trade for WR Chad Ochocino. Good luck to you Mr. Belichick…..One might think the Haynesworth deal has no chance of working, as the Patriots also play the 3-4 defense that he hates, but what Haynesworth really hated was lining up over the center. In New England, he will play one of the end positions, as Vince Wilfork will do that bit of dirty work.

New Orleans Saints: The Saints wasted no time in replacing RB Reggie Bush by agreeing to a contract with Darren Sproles on Thursday…..New Orleans seems to be in a battle with Denver and Dallas for the services of DT Cullen Jenkins. Jenkins isn’t really needed in New Orleans so one might think they wouldn’t be the favorite to land him.

New York Giants: The G-men received good news this week when the Dolphins dropped out of bidding for RB Ahmad Bradshaw; would almost seem a lock that he returns to them…..Things could get very ugly with DE Osi Umenyiora. Osi believes he was promised a new contract and may hold out until he gets it…..Could the Giants really be interested in re-signing WR Plaxico Burress? Seems if coach Tom Coughlin believes that he and Burress can get along; a second go around could be possible.

New York Jets: The Jets signed their number one priority this off-season in WR Santonio Holmes, but his $50 million contract will probably cost them any chance at signing fellow wideout Braylon Edwards…..The Jets are also trying to lock up CB Nnamdi Asomugha. Can you imagine trying to pass against that secondary?…..The Jets fallback option if they are unable to sign Asomugha is expected to be Antonio Cromartie, not a bad second choice.

Oakland Raiders: The Raiders are said to still be in the market for a QB to challenge Jason Campbell for the starting job. It seems unlikely they would go after Kyle Orton however, as those two franchises don’t like each other.

Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles found their backup to QB Michael Vick with Vince Young all but signed and delivered. You can certainly question Young’s maturity, but he would seem to be a good fit for the Eagles offense as he is sort of a Vick clone…..The addition of CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie gives the Eagles a really strong twosome with Asante Samuel, good thing too because their competition in the NFC East is strong at receiver. Dallas has Miles Austin and Dez Bryant, while the Giants boast Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham.

Pittsburgh Steelers: If the Giants don’t sign WR Plaxico Burress than the Steelers might. It seems only his former teams are interested in him at this time…..The Steelers number one off-season priority was retaining CB Ike Taylor; mission accomplished with a four-year deal…..The Steelers are doing their best to sweep LB Jerome Harrison’s comments under the rug, but you still have to wonder if the team is getting tired of his act.

San Diego Chargers: TE Antonio Gates is likely to begin camp on the PUP list, but that’s not anything to worry about as he should be ready to join the rest of the team in no time. One still has to wonder if Gates will be suffering from plantar fasciitis all season again…..It seems to be just a matter of time until WR Malcolm Floyd signs with another team.

San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers seem to be out of the running for CB Nnamdi Asomugha…..For the third straight season, WR Michael Crabtree will miss most if not all of training camp, and you wonder why he hasn’t taken that next step to stardom. This time it’s a foot injury that will keep him out…..The 49ers did upgrade their kicking situation with the addition of David Akers…..RB Frank Gore looks like he is going to be a holdout.

Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks decided to sign former Vikings QB Tarvaris Jackson to compete with Charlie Whitehurst for the starting job. Whichever one wins the job will have Sidney Rice to throw to as he also went from Minnesota to Seattle…..I’m not sure the Seahawks QB situation got any better with Jackson, and have no doubt it would be much better with Matt Hasselbeck.

St. Louis Rams: The Rams have yet to sign that big time WR to help QB Sam Bradford make the jump to the next level…..The Rams are in the market for a solid RB to backup Steven Jackson. They realize Jackson has plenty of mileage on those tires and is unlikely to be able to play all 16 games.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Bucs are yet another team that has backed out of the Asomugha sweepstakes. Kind of surprising since they have a need, and have the money…..They have also let LB Barrett Rudd know that they will no longer require his services. He was a tackle machine, but to many of those tackles were 2-3 yard up field.

Tennessee Titans: The good news for the Titans is that the signing of QB Matt Hasselbeck gives the team a solid QB. The bad news is that he has about as much a chance of starting all 16 games behind center as I do…..More bad news is that RB Chris Johnson is a holdout waiting to happen…..The NFLPA will indeed fight the commissioner’s right to discipline players who got in trouble during the lockout. This could be good news for WR Kenny Britt who is a lock to be suspended if Roger Goodell is allowed to suspend players for sullying the NFL shield.

Washington Redskins: The Redskins have made a slew of moves; signing DE Stephen Bowen, WRs Dante Stallworth and Jabbar Gaffney, and CB Josh Wilson. It doesn’t amount to a hill of beans if they don’t have a QB, and they don’t have one…..The trade of DT Albert Haynesworth was addition by subtraction…..The re-signing of WR Santana Moss is nice, but he’s still not a real number one wideout. Skins seem to be pretty far behind the Cowboys, Giants, and Eagles in the NFC East.

All Out Blitz

Welcome to Leatherheads of the Gridiron, our inaugural week of operation. Each week I will be going over each NFL team, giving a couple of nuggets of information about the clubs. Hopefully the lockout will be lifted sooner rather than later so that there will be a full, uninterrupted season. Negotiations do seem to be heading in the right direction, but still, as anyone knows in labor negotiations, one bad day can set things back to square one. With that being said, let’s see what we have as far as news and notes around the NFL.

Arizona Cardinals: The Cardinals seemed to be the off-season favorite to acquire Eagles backup QB Kevin Kolb, but with news that the Seahawks offered 1st and 3rd round picks in the 2012 draft, they may now be running second…..RB Beanie Wells has insisted that this will be his breakout season. It better be or 2nd round pick Ryan Williams is going to see more and more playing time. Tim Hightower could be relegated to backup duty which may be what he is best at after fumbling the ball 10 times last season.

Atlanta Falcons: The Falcons traded away five draft picks for wide receiver Julio Jones who should keep opposing safeties deep in the secondary. This will allow more running room for running back Michael Turner when he can break through the first wave of attackers, not to mention Jones is another big weapon for quarterback Matt Ryan…..Expect the Falcons to be big players for defensive end Ray Edwards if and when free agency begins.

Baltimore Ravens: RB Willis McGahee and the Ravens seemed destined for a contract squabble as the team wants him to take a reduction from his $6 million salary…..Linebacker Sergio Kindle, who was injured all of last season before signing a big contract, is fully healthy, but will have to earn a big contract with his play on the field, not because he was drafted in the 1st round…..Safety Ed Reed is still not fully recovered from hip surgery but is expected to be ready to go by the time the regular season comes along, even so, smart money is on Reed playing less than a full season.

Buffalo Bills: Linebacker Paul Posluszny is going to have some decisions to make once free agency opens; either go back to the Bills who will want to retain his services, or play for a contender…..Even though the Bills are going to try and get WR Lee Evans more involved in the offense, Steve Jackson seems to be the better bet for a big season…..The Bills never addressed their QB situation in the draft and seem unlikely to do it in free agency, so it will be Ryan Fitzpatrick once again.

Carolina Panthers: What will the Panthers do if they bomb again this season, a distinct possibility, and have the number one pick in next year’s draft?  Can they pass on Andrew Luck?…..As for this season, they maintain that they want to re-sign DeAngelo Williams even though running back is not an area of concern…..WR Steve Smith may want to be traded, but the $15 million he is due to the next two season’s could be a formidable road block.

Chicago Bears: The Bears have done a good job with the fallout of Jay Cutler leaving the NFC Championship game early, some questioned his toughness but that all seems to be water under the bridge now…..The Bears could be looking to get Cutler some help in free agency in the likes of a tall lengthy receiver…..RB Matt Forte is entering the final year of his contract and should be in line for a big pay day.

Cincinnati Bengals: If QB Carson Palmer truly doesn’t play for Cincy this season and the Bengals don’t go out and find an adequate starter, they could be the leading contender for the 1st overall draft pick next year…..Not that there was a chance he was going to return anyway, but WR Terrell Owens had surgery for a torn ACL in the spring and will have to prove he is healthy if he wants to sign with anyone…..Chad Johnson, when he’s not wresting alligators, could be released shortly after the lockout is ended, but he shouldn’t be unemployed for long.

Cleveland Browns: Colt McCoy is a nice fiery QB, but he doesn’t seem to be the type of franchise player you want at this position…..Peyton Hillis is a bowling ball of a running back, but if he doesn’t change his style of play, not only is he going to have a short career, but would have a hard time going through a 16 game schedule…..For the Browns to be any kind of competitive this season, they need to find some wide receivers, and they need to find them quickly.

Dallas Cowboys: With a salary cap likely to be back in place this season, the Cowboys will be seeing the last of Marion Barber and Roy Williams…..Felix Jones is expected to be the feature back this season with Tashard Choice and DeMarco Murray fighting for the backup role, of course no one expects Jones to remain healthy for long…..Seems unlikely that the Cowboys will be big spenders in free agency as they are well over the expected salary cap now, even with the assumption that Barber and Williams get released. With that being said, they need help on the d-line and secondary, and locking up offensive tackle Doug Free is a huge priority.

Denver Broncos: The biggest question for the Broncos is who will be the starting QB going into camp. It seems Tim Tebow has grown on general manager John Elway (still seems strange to say that) and Kyle Orton will be dealt to the highest bidder…..Plenty of rumblings that Denver will be players in the DeAngelo Williams sweepstakes but running back may not be their biggest worry, and with RBs being a dime a dozen, this may not be the position Denver wants to spend their free agent bucks on…..WR DeMaryius Thomas seems likely to begin the season on the PUP or even miss the season entirely after tearing his Achilles earlier this year.

Detroit Lions: Don’t be surprised if the Lions are players for the services of cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, along with quite a few others…..Let’s face it, the key to the Lions season is the health of QB Matthew Stafford. He could have a bright future if he can play a full season…..Javhid Best and Mikel Leshoure could be one heck of a dynamic duo in the backfield with defenses worried about WR Calvin Johnson down the field.

Green Bay Packers: For those of you who play fantasy football, Aaron Rodgers is my number one QB off the board, just a wealth of talent to throw to…..One talent he didn’t have for much of last season was tight end Jermichael Finley, whose rehab is coming along nicely and should be full go for training camp…..James Jones could be a sleeper WR on the free agent market, odds are he won’t re-sign with Green Bay, but look for a better opportunity someplace else.

Houston Texans: The key to the Texans season lies on defense, what will they do to strengthen their secondary, and how will Mario Williams react to a Wade Phillips defense…..Steve Slaton is almost certain to be traded at some point in training camp…..Speaking of running backs, Ben Tate is healthy and ready to go, but he will play second fiddle to Arian Foster as Foster will once again be the main man for Houston.

Indianapolis Colts: Peyton Manning had another surgery on his neck this off-season, although the Colts insist everything is a-ok, one can’t help but be skeptical…..Speaking of skeptical can Austin Collie play a full season after suffering multiple concussions last year…..It seems like RB Joseph Addai and the Colts will stay together for at least one more season.

Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jaguars have decided that David Garrard and Blaine Gabbert will split the reps evenly in camp, but Garrard is still expected to be the starter once the regular season opens…..Maurice Jones-Drew is expected to be 100% recovered from knee surgery around August 1…..Michael Sims-Walker is not expected to come back to the Jags once free agency opens.

Kansas City Chiefs: Wide receiver Dwayne Bowe had a fantastic season last year, one would think with the emergence of RB Jamaal Charles and the number one draft pick Jonathan Baldwin, Bowe could finally realize his full potential…..Chiefs head coach Todd Haley has stated that he expects Charles to get more carries this season providing he stays healthy…..The addition of Baldwin means you can say goodbye to WR Chris Chambers.

Miami Dolphins: It seems highly unlikely that both Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams will be back with Miami after they drafted Daniel Thomas, and GM Jeff Ireland has stated as much, that being said, they will want a complementary back to give Thomas a breather now and again…..Chad Henne may be one of the few players who has benefitted from the lockout as the Dolphins were unable to bring in a veteran QB to learn the system and challenge Henne for the starting job.

Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings are another team in need of a starting QB, and they seem to have their sights on Donovan McNabb if and when he’s released from the Redskins…..WR Sidney Rice is also a free agent who will test the free agent market and one has to wonder if he will leave just because of the unknown situation at QB…..The Vikings also have a good chance of losing DE Ray Edwards as there are quite a few teams interested in his services.

New England Patriots: The Patriots are being linked to just about any receiver that is available on the market, from Steve Smith and Chad Johnson; to the paroled Plaxico Burress…..The Patriots also neglected drafting a pass rushing linebacker and may be after Matt Roth in free agency….. For those of you worried about kickers, Stephen Gostkowski is fully recovered from quad surgery and has resumed all normal kicking duties.

New Orleans Saints: Will Reggie Bush be back or won’t he, that is the question?  Bush seemed to talk his way out of New Orleans at the draft, but has made nice nice of late and perhaps there is a chance he will stay.  As usual, it all comes down to money…..Devery Henderson could be the odd man out in the Saints receiver corps…..If you’re looking for the next “superstar” tight end, look no further than Jimmy Graham.

New York Giants: Although Plaxico Burress last played for the Giants and the G-men sort of have a need with the so-so health of Steve Smith, don’t look for a reunion as Burress and head coach Tom Coughlin never really saw eye to eye…..Big Blue could however be in the market for a linebacker, with Paul Posluszny and Barrett Rudd as possible targets…..Re-signing Ahmad Bradshaw will also be top priority as Brandon Jacobs can’t handle the running duties all by himself.

New York Jets: Burress may not sign with the Giants, but how about the co-tenant? Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards are both free agents and if the Jets can’t sign both, than Burress or even Randy Moss could be on their radar…..The Jets may also be in the market for a CB if Antonio Cromartie leaves as expected…..The Jets could be the team to beat in the AFC if Mark Sanchez can show more consistency.

Oakland Raiders: There are a few reports now that RB Michael Bush will be a restricted free agent this season, not unrestricted…..Tight end Zach Miller is likely to be a well sought after target in free agency since top TEs don’t exactly grow on trees…..Not sure how the Raiders can let Nnamdi Asomugha go, not to mention Michael Huff, they are going to have a completely revamped secondary this season.

Philadelphia Eagles: What will the Eagles do with QB Kevin Kolb?  First it was thought Arizona was the likely destination. Now we hear that Seattle came in with an offer of 1st and 3rd round picks, but now Philadelphia seems to want players that can help them on their Super Bowl run this season.  Hard to pass up those picks if I’m Philly. Whatever they decide to do, they will need to sign a veteran backup QB as Michael Vick has as much chance of playing all 16 games with his running style as I do of running the Boston Marathon.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Any chance that Burress resurrects his career in Pittsburgh seems remote at best…..Re-signing CB Ike Taylor is top priority, but he also may be the top priority of every other team that loses out on signing Asomugha as well…..Ben Roethlisberger said he may need surgery on his foot while his agent stated he won’t. Either way, with Big Ben’s style of play, there is a good chance he will spend this season limping around the pocket once again.

San Diego Chargers: Rumors are once again flying over the status of WR Vincent Jackson. Will the Chargers sign him?  Will they franchise him?  Will they trade him?  Seems to be a never ending soap opera…..Mike Tolbert and Ryan Matthews should make for an interesting 1-2 punch this season, but don’t forget that Tolbert is not just a short yardage guy as he has the ability to break many a long run himself.

San Francisco 49ers: Once again the lockout may have saved a job as Alex Smith will probably hold off draft pick Colin Kaepernick for the starting QB job…..WR Micheal Crabtree hurt his surgically repaired foot in one of those organized practices that players have been participating in.  He is expected to be 100% for training camp however…..Frank Gore did not participate in those workouts to rehab a hip, which is also expected to be 100% recovered before camp opens up – if camp opens up.

Seattle Seahawks: Apparently the Hawks aren’t sold on Matt Hasselbeck’s or Charlie Whitehurst’s ability to start at QB to make that big of an offer to Philly for Kevin Kolb…..Apparently WR Mike Williams took his 2010 season seriously as he has been working out all off-season and looks to be in the best shape of his young career.

St. Louis Rams: Why haven’t the Rams acquired a top notch WR in the draft or free agency as of yet?  Could this be the landing spot for Plaxico…..The Rams are loaded with 2nd receivers in Donnie Avery, Laurent Robinson, and Danny Amendola, but a true number one would sure help Sam Bradford make that jump to the next level…..Darren Sproles is mentioned as a possibility to backup Steven Jackson.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Bucs will need to continue their improvement this season as they won’t be catching anyone by surprise…..RB LeGarrette Blount will need to prove once again that he is the real deal…..CB Aqib Talib may have played his last game in Tampa thanks to all of his legal woes which could lead the Bucs into being big players in the CB market.

Tennessee Titans: Odds on favorite to start at QB in Tennessee, Matt Hasselbeck, as he has connections to the coaching staff…..Chris Johnson and the Titans front office seemed destined for a showdown as CJ does not want to play under his current contract…..How many games will WR Kenny Britt be suspended for once the lockout is lifted? Over/Under is 2.

Washington Redskins: Who will start at QB on the Redskin merry-go-round? Donovan McNabb, no, Kyle Shanahan doesn’t like him, likely to be released. Rex Grossman, no, free agent who the Skins may not view as their long term starter. John Beck, favorite, yippee, another team that may be in the running for the number one draft pick.