LeGarrette Blount

NFC North Notes: Blount, Lions, Rudock

When LeGarette Blount starts the 2018 season with the Lions, it will be his third team in as many years. Blount has won the past two Super Bowls, first with the Patriots then with the Eagles. Blount rushed 766 yards and two touchdowns last season in Philadelphia, but wasn’t offered a contract by the team after the season.

When asked if he carried a grudge due to the snub, Blount replied “I’m past that”, according to Matt Lombardo of NJ.com. Blount emphasized that he’s looking forward to playing for the Lions and coach Matt Patricia, saying “fortunately, it worked out for me to wind up here with somebody that I’m familiar with, and like a lot.” Although the move means Blount is unlikely to win a third straight Super Bowl, it doesn’t sound like he’s losing too much sleep over the divorce.

Here’s more from the NFC North:

 

Lions To Sign RB LeGarrette Blount

The Lions beefed up their backfield Friday night, signing veteran running back LeGarrette Blount to a one-year deal worth $4.5MM, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets

Justin Rogers of the Detroit News tweets Blount’s deal is worth a $2MM base salary with an extra $2.5MM in incentives.

By joining Detroit, Blount reunites with new head coach Matt Patricia, who served as defensive coordinator of the Patriots when the running back was in New England.

Following his three-year run with the Pats, Blount joined the Eagles and produced 766 yards and two touchdowns in 2017. He helped Philadelphia claim its first Super Bowl title with a 41-33 win over New England.

The move gives Detroit something it hasn’t had in a long time — a physical back. In 2017, the team used Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick almost exclusively, giving the team a pair of solid pass catchers who lack between-the-tackles reliability. Blount should offer a solid change-of-pace to those backs.

The Lions ranked dead last in the NFL in rushing yards in 2017. That ranking is sure to improve with the signing of Blount.

[RELATED: Lions Depth Chart]

RB LeGarrette Blount To Visit Lions

Add another name to the list of Lions running back targets. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that free agent LeGarrette Blount is set to meet with Detroit. Earlier tonight, there were conflicting reports that the organization was closing in on a deal with free agent back Frank Gore. The organization also met with DeMarco Murray and Jonathan Stewart (before he inked a deal with the Giants).

Following three straight seasons with the Patriots, Blount joined the Eagles last offseason. The 31-year-0ld proceeded to play in all 16 games (11 starts) last season, collecting 766 rushing yards and two scores on 173 carries (4.4 yards per carry). Blount was plenty productive in the postseason, collecting three touchdowns en route to a Super Bowl championship.

Pro Football Focus wasn’t overly enthused with Blount’s performance in 2017, ranking him 41st among 58 eligible running backs. However, the veteran’s track record still earned him the 11th spot in our free agent running back rankings.

The 250-pound Blount would certainly provide the Lions with a change-of-pace running back. The team is already rostering Ameer Abdullah, Theo Riddick, Tion Green, and Dwayne Washington.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Top 2018 NFL Free Agents By Position: Offense

NFL free agency will get underway on Wednesday, March 14th, and while the list of free agents will change between now and then, we do have some idea of who will be available when free agency kicks off. The frenzy is right around the corner and it’s time for us to break down the outlook for each position. We’ll start today on offense, before getting to defense and special teams later this week.

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each offensive position. The rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts that each player is expected to land in free agency, they are simply the players we like the most at each position, with both short- and long-term value taken into account. Restricted and exclusive-rights free agents are not listed here since they are unlikely to actually reach the open market. The same goes for players who have been franchise tagged or transition tagged.

We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some guys than you are, so we encourage you to make your voice heard in our comments section to let us know which free agents we’ve got wrong.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by offensive position for 2018:

Quarterback:

  1. Kirk Cousins
  2. Drew Brees
  3. Case Keenum
  4. A.J. McCarron
  5. Sam Bradford
  6. Teddy Bridgewater
  7. Colin Kaepernick
  8. Josh McCown
  9. Mike Glennon
  10. Drew Stanton
  11. Jay Cutler
  12. Chase Daniel
  13. Ryan Fitzpatrick
  14. Brock Osweiler
  15. Tom Savage

There were many difficult calls when putting this list together, but ranking Kirk Cousins as the No. 1 QB available was not among them. Cousins is the best quarterback to reach free agency in recent history and he’ll become the highest-paid player of all-time – at least, for some period of time – in mid-March. Who will make history with Cousins? That’s anyone’s guess right now. The Browns have more cap room than any other team, but a recent report from Adam Schefter of ESPN.com listed the Broncos, Cardinals, Jets, and Vikings as the final suitors for Cousins. Of those four, the Jets have the most money to work with, but they’re concerned about the Vikings winning out and Cousins’ desire to win could point him in another direction. If the Broncos and Cardinals want in on the Cousins sweepstakes, they’ll have to get creative with the books.

Drew Brees is included here, but by his own admission, he’ll be re-signing with the Saints rather than testing the open waters of free agency. Unless the Saints lowball their franchise QB, it’s hard to see him leaving New Orleans.

Case Keenum put together a tremendous season for the Vikings, but he doesn’t have a history of success beyond 2017. There will be plenty of interest in Keenum, but only after QB-needy teams strike out on Cousins. The incumbent Vikings could re-sign Keenum, but right now, it seems like they are intent on exploring the Cousins waters first.

There isn’t a ton of footage on A.J. McCarron, which made his placement on this list awfully tricky. We know this much: McCarron did well in place of Dalton in the home stretch of the 2015 season and his former offensive coordinator Hue Jackson was salivating at the chance of landing him before the Browns bungled the trade with the Bengals. McCarron’s relative youth is a plus (he won’t turn 28 until September) and his lack of experience can be looked at as a positive. Unlike some of the other names on this list, he hasn’t run up his NFL odometer.

What will NFL teams make of Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford this offseason? Not long ago, both seemed like quality starting options. However, there are serious injury questions about both players and any team signing them will either look to backstop them with another decent option or ask them to come onboard as a QB2. With that in mind, one has to wonder if Bradford would consider retirement if asked to hold the clipboard for another signal caller. Bradford has earned upwards of $110MM over the years in the NFL, so it’s safe to say that he has enough money in the bank to call it quits if he wants. For now, he’s intent on playing.

Colin Kaepernick‘s placement on this list is sure to draw some strong reactions from his fans and detractors alike. Looking purely at his football ability, there’s no question that he belongs on someone’s roster. At minimum, Kaepernick profiles as a high-end backup, even after a year out of the game.

Quarterbacks coaches have long believed that Mike Glennon is capable of great things, due in part to his height. At 6’7″, he can see over any defensive line, but he hasn’t done much on the field to prove that he is a quality Week 1 starting option. Josh McCown, who is a decade his senior, edges him here for his surprisingly strong performance in 2017 at the helm of a weak Jets offense.

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The 10 Best One-Year NFL Contracts Of 2017

Signing a one-year contract is almost never ideal from a player’s perspective — while a single-season pact can often mean a larger salary, it doesn’t come with the security or guarantees that a multi-year deal offers. From a team’s vantage point, however, there’s essentially no such thing as a poor one-year contract. The player doesn’t work out? No problem: he’s off the books in one season and doesn’t hinder the club’s long-term financials.

Not every player listed below was inked with the presumption that they’d become an integral piece of their respective team’s roster, but they’ve all made good on their one-year pacts. Here are the ten best one-year NFL contracts signed in 2017:

Case Keenum, QB (Vikings)

In Week 9 of the 2016 season, Keenum was appearing in his final game as the Rams’ starting quarterback, and had led the club to a 3-5 record while ranking 29th in both quarterback rating and adjusted net yards per pass attempt. Fast forward to the 2017 campaign, and Keenum is 16th in quarterback rating, 11th in ANY/A, and fronting a Vikings team that leads the NFC North at 6-2 — not bad for a one-year, $2MM deal. It’s unclear how long Keenum will remain Minnesota’s starter under center (Teddy Bridgewater is due back next week), but Keenum, who will be 30 years old when free agency opens next spring, has put himself in line to compete for a starting job in 2018, either with the Vikings or with another club.

Josh McCown, QB (Jets)

Although the Jets were thought to be tanking this season, they’ve posted a 4-5 record (a mark that includes close losses to the Dolphins and Falcons), and McCown has been a key driver of that success. Now 38 years old, McCown is posting his best statistics since 2013, and has completed 70.4% of his passes for 13 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He’s been especially productive in the deep passing game, ranking second in touchdowns and third in passer rating on throws of 20 yards or more, per Mike Castiglione of Pro Football Focus. Given his performance and his locker room presence, McCown shouldn’t have any trouble landing another job next offseason.

LeGarrette Blount, RB (Eagles)LeGarrette Blount (Vertical)

While trade acquisition Jay Ajayi figures to take over as the Eagles’ starting running back going forward, Philadelphia has already gotten value out of Blount and his one-year, $1.25MM pact. Blount has handled at least 12 carries in seven of nine games this season while posting a robust 4.6 yards per rush. While he’s scored only two touchdowns thus far, Blount ranks first among all running backs with more than 25 touches with a broken tackle per touch ratio of 39.4%, according to Football Outsiders. The Eagles are the best team in the league right now, meaning they’ll be favored in a majority of their remaining games. Even with Ajayi in tow, positive game scripts should ensure Blount still has a role in Philadelphia’s backfield.

Alshon Jeffery, WR (Eagles)

Following two consecutive down seasons in Chicago, Jeffery took a pillow contract with the Eagles — he’ll collect $9.5MM (and can earn $4.5MM via incentives) before searching for a long-term deal next spring. Jeffery is fresh off his best game of the season, as he posted six receptions for 84 yards and two touchdowns against the Broncos’ vaunted pass defense. While he’s still not creating separation — dead last in the league in yards of separation among qualified wideouts — Jeffery and his contested catch ability are nevertheless a large part of the Eagles’ offense. He’s accounted for 35.03% of his club’s air yards (10th in the NFL), per Next Gen Stats, giving quarterback and MVP candidate Carson Wentz a much-needed weapon on the outside.

Alex Okafor, DE (Saints)

After trying the likes of Bobby Richardson and Paul Kruger of the past two seasons, the Saints have finally found a counterpart to Cameron Jordan at defensive end in the form of Okafor, whom New Orleans lured away from Arizona with a $2MM contract. He’s since played more than three-quarters of the Saints’ defensive snaps, racking up 3.5 sacks in the process. Also excellent against the run, Okafor ranks second among 4-3 defensive ends with a 9.5% run stop percentage, per PFF. All told, Okafor has helped the Saints defense rebound to a No. 16 ranking in DVOA and No. 15 ranking in adjusted sack rate (and those numbers are prior to New Orleans’ five-sack performance against the Buccaneers on Sunday).

Julius Peppers, DE (Panthers)

Peppers is back in Carolina following a seven-year hiatus, and the former No. 1 overall pick is playing like it’s still 2008. He’s 37 years old now, so the Panthers are wisely limiting his snaps — he’s seen action on roughly half the club’s defensive plays through nine weeks. Peppers has racked up 7.5 sacks this season, a figure which ranks eighth among defenders this season and places him fourth all-time with 150.5 career sacks. If Carolina earns a postseason berth — FiveThirtyEight gives them a 52% chance to do so — it will be on the strength of the team’s defense, which currently ranks sixth in DVOA.

Zach Brown, LB (Redskins)

Coming off the best season of his career with the Bills in 2016, Brown was surprisingly forced to settle for a one-year, $2MM deal with the Redskins after initially searching for a $6MM/year contract. And that’s not due to lack of interest, as Oakland, Miami, Indianapolis, and Buffalo all expressed interest in the veteran linebacker before he landed with Washington. Several of those clubs (we’re looking at you, Raiders) would certainly love to have a defender of Brown’s caliber and price available right now. A playmaking machine who embodies a 21st-century linebacker, Brown should be able to land a multi-year pact next offseason, when he’ll still be only 28 years old.

Morris Claiborne, CB (Jets)Morris Claiborne (Vertical)

The Jets’ offseason was primarily dedicated to getting rid of veteran players, but general manager Mike Maccagnan‘s small-scale signings have worked out well, as Claiborne joins McCown as the second Gang Green addition on this list. Claiborne, 27, has always been an effective player when healthy, but injuries have often marred his performance. He’s never played an entire 16-game slate, and he’s managed more than 11 games just once during his five-plus year career. Like Brown, Claiborne can use 2017 as his platform season in order to secure a multi-year deal in 2018 — as long as stays healthy for the rest of this year, that is.

Nickell Robey-Coleman, CB (Rams)

A perfectly-named slot corner, Robey-Coleman was shockingly cut loose by the Bills earlier this year despite ranking as PFF’s No. 33 cornerback in 2016 and being on par to earn just $2.083MM in 2017. The Rams scooped him up on a one-year deal worth the minimum salary, and he’s been outstanding under defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, helping Los Angeles to a No. 3 ranking in pass defense DVOA. Thus far, the 25-year-old Robey-Coleman ranks third among 64 qualified cornerbacks in success rate, per Football Outsiders.

Patrick Robinson, CB (Eagles)

While the Eagles certainly have leaned on their excellent young corps on the way to a 8-1 record, general manager Howie Roseman should be lauded for his one-year, cost-effective signings of Robinson, Jeffery, and Blount. Cast off by the Colts one year into a three-year deal, Robinson signed with Philadelphia for the minimum salary and has since become the Eagles’ best cornerback. Pro Football Focus ranks the former first-round pick as the No. 4 corner in the league, and Robinson is allowing only 56.3% of targets in his area to be caught. While Robinson may not be able to parlay his production into a hefty deal in 2018 given that he’ll be 31 years old when next season gets underway, he’s been a superb addition for the Eagles.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Fallout From Jay Ajayi Trade

The Dolphins sent their starting running back of the past two years to the Eagles, and Jay Ajayi will join the team with the best record in football. The teams look to view the ball-carrier differently. Here’s the latest coming out of Miami and Philadelphia regarding this high-profile swap.

  • Miami was planning to look for running back help this offseason regardless of an Ajayi trade, Charles Robinson of Yahoo.com tweets. Robinson writes the team has been doing its due diligence on backs, and it looks like Miami could well pursue a new starter for 2018. Miami saw Ajayi average just 3.4 yards per carry this season after debuting as a starter at 4.9 per tote. But the Dolphins handed him the ball on 138 of their 168 rushing attempts thus far. Damien Williams (12 2017 carries) and Kenyan Drake (10) are the next men up.
  • The Dolphins also don’t think Ajayi has much longer to play before the knee problems that dogged him coming out of Boise State catch up to him, Jeff Darlington of ESPN.com tweets. Ajayi fell to the fifth round partially because of concerns about his knees. But he played in 15 games last season, missing the one because of a disciplinary issue, and has suited up for each of the Fins’ seven 2017 contests.
  • Roseman said the Eagles did “the necessary medical work” on Ajayi and are comfortable with his knees, per Jeff McLane of Philly.com (on Twitter). Ajayi will take a physical upon arriving in Philadelphia tonight, and McLane notes he’s expected to be at Eagles practice on Wednesday.
  • Ajayi won’t turn 25 until next summer, and much like Philadelphia’s Ronald Darby trade, a key part of this deal was Ajayi being under contract through 2018, Howie Roseman said (via Zach Berman of Philly.com, on Twitter). LeGarrette Blount, though, will remain the Eagles’ starter, per the GM. Roseman added the Eagles being 7-1 puts them in a better position to unload a draft pick — their third 2018 selection traded away.
  • The Dolphins believe this trade will represent an addition-by-subtraction effect, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports. Ajayi’s “selfish” attitude contributed to him falling out of favor with the Dolphins, with Salguero reporting the running back on multiple occasions stormed out of the locker room after games due to discontent about his workload. Ajayi had four games featuring 27-plus touches, but three others (all Dolphins losses) featured fewer than 17. Salguero reports Ajayi complained to Dolphins running backs coach Danny Barrett but never addressed his concerns with Adam Gase.

Extra Points: Eagles, Blount, 49ers, Marks

There has been speculation that LeGarrette Blount could be on the Eagles‘ roster bubble, but the running back seems to think that his job is secure.

Oh yeah. Without a doubt,” Blount said when asked if he feels like he’s a big part of the team’s game plan (via NFL.com). “And like I said, I’m excited and I love the opportunity that I’ve been presented here. Everybody’s been nothing but great towards me this whole entire time. And that’s a big thing for me, because you want to be comfortable with the guys you’re going to be working with every day.”

Earlier this week, coach Doug Pederson also characterized Blount as a “big part” of the offensive game plan. Despite some speculation to the contrary, it sounds like Blount’s spot is safe.

Here’s more from the NFC:

  • We now have details on the 49ers‘ deal with new defensive lineman Sen’Derrick Marks, courtesy of ESPN.com’s Field Yates (on Twitter). It’s a pact with $1MM in base salary, $600K in per-game roster bonuses, and $400K available through incentives. Most notably, the deal includes no guaranteed cash, so the Niners won’t be on the hook for his deal if he does not make the 53-man cut on Sept. 2.
  • D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution looked at who is on the Falcons‘ roster bubble as the deadline approaches. The wide receiver group is one to watch as Justin Hardy, Nick Williams, and undrafted free agent Reggie Davis duke it out for one or possibly two spots. Through the preseason thus far, Davis leads the team with 114 receiving yards. However, coach Dan Quinn wants to find out if he can serve as a gunner on punt coverage. Meanwhile, as the Falcons look to replace Jalen Collins in the No. 4 cornerback role, CJ. Goodwin seems to have the leg up on Deji Olatoye and Akeem King. Former third-round pick Blidi Wreh-Wilson is among those listed as a longshot.
  • The Packers have to decide whether to keep Taysom Hill as a third quarterback behind Aaron Rodgers and Brett Hundley, Ryan Wood of USA Today writes. Hill, a 27-year-old UDFA, led two touchdown drives this preseason and boasts 4.4 second 40-yard-dash speed.

NFC East Notes: Eagles, Cowboys, Giants

While recent reports indicated LeGarrette Blount could lose his Eagles roster spot before the season gets underway, head coach Doug Pederson seemingly dismissed those insinuations today, as Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets. “LeGarrette Blount is a beast of a runner,” said Pederson. “I’m excited he’s here and he’s going to be a big part of our offense.” The Eagles signed Blount to a one-year deal that contains $400K guaranteed after he led the league with 18 rushing touchdowns a season ago. While there’s virtually no chance the 30-year-old Blount will match his 299 carries from 2016, he should be part of a Philadelphia backfield rotation that also includes Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood, and Donnel Pumphrey.

Here’s more from the NFC East:

  • Last year’s Josh Brown episode could potentially factor into the NFL’s dealings with suspended Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk points out. Brown, of course, was banned for only a single game even after admitting to abusing his ex-wife. Arbitrator Harold Henderson upheld Brown’s suspension at the time, and he’ll also be hearing Elliott’s appeal of his own six-game ban. “Mitigating factors” lead to the NFL suspending Brown for only contest, but the league has never disclosed what those factors were, per Florio.
  • D.J. Fluker isn’t going to earn a starting spot along the Giants‘ offensive line, and it’s possible he won’t even make the club’s roster, opines James Kratch of NJ.com. New York signed the 26-year-old Fluker to a one-year, $3MM deal ($1.5MM guaranteed) this spring, but he’s made no push to steal Big Blue’s starting right guard job from John Jerry. The Giants aren’t giving Fluker the opportunity to compete at right tackle, so the former first-round pick could be shown the door in favor of journeyman Adam Gettis.
  • The Redskins spent heavily on their defensive line this spring, signing both Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee to multi-year pacts. Thus far, McGee has been far more impressive in camp, but neither player has a lock on a starting job, as Mike Jones of the Washington Post writes. McClain, in fact, has performed so poorly that there’s been some noise he could be released, although that’s unlikely given the $7.25MM dead money hit that would come with the cut. Still, first-round rookie Jonathan Allen and others (such as Matt Ioannidis and Anthony Lanier) could be better bets for playing time.
  • After working out for the Bears last week, undrafted rookie linebacker Michael Scherer is set to audition for the Giants today, reports Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Twitter link). Scherer, a Missouri product, appeared in 26 games for the Tigers from 2014-15 before a knee injury ended his senior season after seven contests in 2016. Ranked as one of the 30 best undrafted linebackers following this year’s draft, Scherer has yet to land an NFL contract.

East Notes: Jets, Blount, Cowboys

It has been assumed for some time that Josh McCown would at least open the 2017 season as the Jets‘ starting quarterback, but the team needs to give Christian Hackenberg a look this year in order to see what they have in him, and to that end, Hackenberg got a surprise start in last night’s preseason matchup against the Lions.

It did not go well. Hackenberg took a big step backward from his solid outing last week, going 2-for-6 for 14 yards. He was sacked twice, he fumbled once, and four of his five drives were three-and-outs. Although head coach Todd Bowles attempted to take some of the heat off Hackenberg by pointing out that the offensive line did not give him much of a chance, Brian Costello of the New York Post believes McCown won the team’s starting job last night, and he didn’t even have to take a snap to do it.

Now for more from the league’s east divisions, starting with more from Gang Green:

  • McCown was initially supposed to take more snaps in last night’s game than he did in the Jets‘ first preseason contest, but Bowles said he changed his mind on Thursday night, per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. Bowles said McCown “has played in a million preseason games” and therefore elected to give Hackenberg a shot. However, Mehta reports that McCown was told by a media relations advisor to not speak with reporters after the game, even though McCown was apparently open to talking. It is unclear what the team’s motivation in “censoring” McCown would be, but it is an interesting move just the same.
  • Unlike Hackenberg, Jets No. 3 signal-caller Bryce Petty performed fairly well last night, going 15-for-24 for 160 yards and leading two field goal drives. Per Mehta, Petty has secured a roster spot unless he suffers a complete meltdown over the next several weeks.
  • Mehta also observes that Ross Martin, who made a pair of short field goals last night to go along with a miss from 56 yards, remains the front-runner to win the Jets‘ kicking job over Chandler Catanzaro, who missed a 55-yarder in the preseason opener but did not get an attempt last night.
  • Eagles running back LeGarrette Blount is coming off one of his best seasons, but he struggled to find a new home in free agency this offseason, and the short-yardage specialist may be on the roster bubble in Philly, as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (citing Matt Lombardo of NJ.com) writes. Although Blount does not really fit the Eagles’ offense, it may not be wise to cut him, as Wendell Smallwood has had difficulty staying healthy, Darren Sproles is 34, and Donnel Pumphrey is a fourth-round rookie.
  • Cowboys No. 2 QB Kellen Moore turned in another poor performance during last night’s contest against the Colts, and while the team continues to publicly support him, an unnamed source tells Clarence E. Hill, Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that Moore will be the subject of conversation at personnel meetings this week. It is unclear what that means at this point, because the team will certainly not promote undrafted rookie Cooper Rush to the backup job, no matter how well he has played, and the Cowboys have not yet considered adding a proven free agent to compete with Moore.
  • It was a different story for Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith, who finally played in a football game last night after 596 days on the sidelines. Smith, who suffered a gruesome knee injury during the final game of his collegiate career on January 1, 2016, saw his draft stock plummet as a result and was ultimately scooped up by Dallas in the second round of the 2016 draft (he was originally considered a top-10, or even top-5, talent). The Cowboys knew 2016 would essentially be a medical redshirt year for Smith, but they also knew that, if Smith could overcome the injury, they could have something special on their hands. The nerve in Smith’s leg continues to regenerate, and as Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News writes, Smith looked solid in last night’s preseason game. He was in for 12 snaps, he moved well, and he was quick to the ball, further solidifying the team;s belief that he will be a significant contributor this year.

NFC East Notes: Redskins, Pryor, Eagles

Will free agent addition Terrelle Pryor wind up being the Redskins‘ leading receiver in 2017? JP Finlay and Rich Tandler of CSN Mid-Atlantic put the question up for debate. Pryor’s 55% catch rate last year wasn’t great, but Finlay argues that he couldn’t have done much better given the quarterbacks he had throwing to him. If Pryor was able to haul in 77 receptions for 1,007 yards with a rotating cast of unimpressive QBs, then he could put up even bigger numbers with Kirk Cousins throwing to him. On the flipside, Tandler notes that wide receiver Jamison Crowder and tight end Jordan Reed both figure to be targeted more than Pryor, giving the Ohio State product long odds of being the team’s top pass catcher.

Here’s more out of the NFC East:

  • Eagles running back LeGarrette Blount can earn $50K if he weighs in between 240-245 pounds on the team’s reporting date for training camp, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Blount’s one-year deal calls for $1.25MM in base pay, but he can earn a total of $2.8MM through incentives, including the summer weigh-in. Blount is coming off one of his best seasons, having achieved career highs in carries (299), yards (1,161), and touchdowns (an NFL-leading 18).
  • If a deal does not get done between the Redskins and Kirk Cousins, don’t be shocked if Washington leaks the last offer rejected by the quarterback, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes. It’s likely that the final offer will sound impressive in comparison to what Cousins has accomplished so far on the field, so the Redskins can win some fan sympathy by giving a selective peek behind the curtain. An extension is currently viewed as a longshot and Cousins might be fundamentally unhappy with the team.
  • Could the Giants consider free agent cornerback Darrelle Revis? It would make for an excellent story, but James Kratch of NJ.com writes that it doesn’t make sense for the G-Men financially. Revis can collect his $6MM salary from the Jets by sitting on the couch and some have speculated that he would want $8MM from a team in order to actually play this year. Not only is that an unreasonable asking price for Revis at this stage of his career, but the Giants couldn’t fit that salary under the cap even if they wanted to make it happen.
  • Alterraun Verner, on the other hand, would be a more realistic option for the Giants, Kratch writes. Verner was apparently out of shape when he auditioned for the Jaguars in May, but he’d be an interesting slot option if he is now ready to play football. The Giants have a great slot corner in Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, but they don’t have a Plan B in the event of an injury.