Head2Head Sports

MenuSkip to content

Football

Pro Playoff Pick'em

Latest Player News

Ezekiel Elliott, the fourth overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, signed a four-year, $24.9 million contract with the Cowboys on Wednesday, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.

Impact

As is the case for all first-round selections, Elliott's contract includes a fifth-year team option. He's expected to step right in as the lead back behind an elite offensive line, potentially handling a heavy three-down workload from the get-go. Given his combination of talent and ideal team context, Elliott may be an immediate fantasy star. Darren McFadden, Alfred Morris and Lance Dunbar (knee) could also get some work in the Dallas backfield.

Lorenzo Taliaferro will likely have to compete for a roster spot, CSN Mid-Atlantic reports.

Impact

With Justin Forsett, Javorius Allen and Kenneth Dixon all considered roster locks, Taliaferro may end up competing with Trent Richardson, Terrence West and others for what will likely be just one roster (or practice squad) spot. Of course, there's always a chance injuries could take a toll on Baltimore's running back depth during training camp and the preseason. The 230-pound Taliaferro might be the most powerful runner on the roster, but he's been plagued by injuries since the Ravens selected him in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He seems to have made a full recovery from the foot injury that landed him on IR last last season.

Andre Roberts is visiting the Bills on Thursday, NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reports.

Impact

Released by Washington on Tuesday, the 28-year-old Roberts already has three visits lined up, with the first coming Thursday/Friday in Buffalo. Regardless of where he ends up signing, he'll need to compete for a potential role as the No. 3 or 4 receiver. Roberts caught just 47 passes in 25 games during his two seasons with Washington, eventually getting demoted to fourth or fifth on the wideout depth chart. Buffalo doesn't have any established talent at the position behind starters Sammy Watkins (foot) and Robert Woods.

Arthur Jones (ankle) will not participate in spring OTAs, but is scheduled to return to the field with the start of training camp in late July, the Indianapolis Star reports.

Impact

Jones missed the entire 2015 season due to torn ligaments in his ankle. It sounds like he's on pace to return, but we'll need to see how he holds up during training camp.

With Mark Sanchez sidelined with a thumb injury, there will be more reps to be had for Paxton Lynch, 9NEWS reports.

Impact

Sanchez's injury is to his non-throwing hand, so his absence should be short-lived and thus kept in perspective. Still, any extra exposure Lynch gets to Denver's offense and against NFL-level competition closes his learning gap. Sanchez's primary advantage over Lynch is experience, and the beginning of OTAs will give the rookie a small chance to catch up.

Jasper Brinkley is in the conversation for starting MLB for the Giants, Ralph Vacchiano of Daily News reports.

Impact

Brinkley is entering his seventh NFL season, and second with the Giants. New York moved to upgrade the middle linebacker position this offseason with the signing of free agent Keenan Robinson, who remains the frontrunner for the starting role. Despite bringing in competition for the position, the team was not necessarily unhappy with Brinkley's production last year (67 tackles, four forced fumbles, one sack), and he could see an increase in playing time if he shows improvement during his second campaign in the Giants' defensive system. He's also proven more durable than Robinson over the course of their respective careers, with the 28 games the latter has missed over four seasons easily dwarfing the pair of contests that Brinkley has been sidelined for over his six campaigns. In addition to Robinson, Brinkley's competition for the starting job also includes B.J. Goodson, and Kelvin Sheppard.

Keenan Robinson has done well in offseason workouts and is a likely candidate for the Giants' starting MLB spot, Ralph Vacchiano of Daily News reports.

Impact

Robinson was signed as a free agent in March after spending the first four years of his career with the Redskins. He appears to be the favorite to open the season as the starter in the middle, but his playing time will largely depend on his health. Since he entered the league in 2012, Robinson has only played in 36 of a possible 64 games, and has never played more than 13 games in a single season. Along with staying healthy, he'll also have to fend off Jasper Brinkley, B.J. Goodson, and Kelvin Sheppard for the starting spot.

Kyshoen Jarrett is waiting to hear how nerve damage in his shoulder is progressing, but some in the Redskins' organization believe both his immediate and long-term future are in doubt, Mike Jones of The Washington Post reports.

Impact

A 2015 sixth-round pick, Jarrett's significant role in the secondary in the second half of last season was prompted by an injury bug that claimed starters DeAngelo Hall and Chris Culliver among its victims, and that forced the Redskins to play a total of 15 defensive backs over the course of the season. Jarrett played well, recording 58 tackles, four passes defensed, and one forced fumble in his rookie campaign. However, he suffered a shoulder injury in the season finale that's casting considerable doubt over his chances of ever re-taking the field. He incurred nerve damage to the entire arm, and remains without much feeling in it a full five months later. Unless his recovery begins to dramatically accelerate, it appears as though he'll miss the 2016 season at a minimum, with the possibility of the injury eventually being a career-ender.

Frostee Rucker hasn't participated in OTAs with the Cardinals due to offseason ankle surgery, the Arizona Republic reports.

Impact

Rucker was plagued by an ankle injury from Week 12 onward, missing three games off the bat and approaching his typical snap count (33 to 44) in the Cardinals' five games thereafter. Including playoffs, he totaled three sacks among 34 tackles, to which he added one forced fumble and one fumble recovery across 15 games. As a precaution, he may miss a portion of the offseason program in order to avoid a setback, but his rehab doesn't appear as if it will extend into training camp.

Mykkele Thompson (Achilles) has taken part in the Giants' offseason program over the past few weeks, Jordan Raanan of Advanced Media reports.

Impact

Thompson tore his Achilles and was placed on injured reserve during the 2015 preseason, but the fact that he's running and cutting in on-field drills indicates he's recovering nicely. It's unclear if he's back to full health at this time, but he seems to be well on his way to being fully recovered for the start of the 2016 season.

Mark Sanchez said he hopes to participate in all OTAs after having surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb, Nicki Jhabvala of The Denver Post reports.

Impact

Sanchez had surgery on his thumb to speed up his recovery, and with the injury being to his non-throwing hand, he should be able to return even sooner. While it was originally considered unlikely that he would be able to participate for the first few days of OTAs, his comments indicate it may be more feasible than previously thought. The Broncos' OTAs begin next Tuesday.

Vontae Davis appears to be at 100 percent during the start of OTAs, Stephen Holder of the IndyStar reports.

Impact

Davis was ProFootballFocus.com's sixth highest-graded player in the entire NFL throughout the 2014 season, but dealt with a pesky foot injury in 2015 that hindered his week-to-week performance. Reportedly, however, Davis was nearly declared an injury scratch prior to multiple contests. Thus, the fact that he did play all 16 games may say more about his toughness than his 2015 performance may say about any sort of decline in ability. Now nearing full health, look for Davis to return to shut-down form in 2016.

Joe Haden (ankle) pledges that he is "not missing any games" this upcoming season, Nate Ulrich of the Beacon Journal reports.

Impact

Most notably, Haden is officially out of the walking boot he wore for the better part of two months since undergoing ankle surgery in March. Although this promise from Haden himself is indeed encouraging, players are oftentimes prone to overestimating their own health. In entirety, Haden admitted: "I don't really know about training camp. That's the goal, try to get back, but I just know for sure that my whole thing is I'm not missing any games." At least Haden has time on his side. Training camp doesn't start until late July, and the inaugural tilt of the Browns' 2016 campaign isn't until Sept. 11, so it isn't too far-fetched to expect Haden to be ready for Week 1, even if he isn't able to participate fully in training camp. Nonetheless, the status of this Pro Bowl cornerback will be monitored closely as the season nears.

According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Michael Thomas is in line to receive immediate playing time this season, but how much he plays will depend on his growth during the offseason.

Impact

After releasing Marques Colston this offseason, the Saints invested a second-round draft pick in the 6-foot-3, 212-pound Thomas. While rookie wide receivers typically take some time to adapt to the NFL game, the Saints' receiver depth chart is wide open, and the former Ohio State Buckeye should immediately see action. Currently the Saints' fourth wide out, Thomas could earn significant playing time in one of the league's pass-happiest offenses if he can beat out either Willie Snead or Brandon Coleman for snaps.

Ifo Ekpre-Olomu (knee) has received full medical clearance and is deemed "ready to go" for offseason activities, NFL Network's Rand Getlin reports.

Impact

The once-heralded Ekpre-Olomu was a consensus All-American cornerback for the Oregon Ducks in 2014, but has yet to play a single snap in the NFL. He suffered an ACL injury preparing for the Rose Bowl in December 2014, subsequently tail-spinned to the 7th round of the 2015 NFL Draft, and was exiled to the Browns for the remainder of the season, only to be waived by the team in April. Now healthy and part of an up-and-coming Dolphins defensive unit, look for Ekpre-Olomu to try to earn a role manning the slot for rookie defensive coordinator Vance Joseph.

Dri Archer was placed on the did not report list by the Bills after being claimed by the team last week, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

Impact

The Bills signed Archer in the hopes that the speedy back could help in the return game, but he has yet to report to the team after being claimed. By placing Archer on this list, the Bills are able to sign another player to their current 90-man roster without having to release Archer. He'll remain on the list until a resolution to his status with the team occurs.

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson was impressed with Wendell Smallwood's first day of full-team OTAs, CSN Philly's Dave Zangaro reports.

Impact

According to other reports, Smallwood was worked in with the second-team offenses during Tuesday's workouts, but as Zangaro reports, Pederson was impressed with what he saw from the former West Virginia back. "He's a guy that I think can be explosive," Pederson said after practice. With the Eagles' running back-by-committee approach heading into 2016, Smallwood could push himself into the discussion for playing time with a strong showing this summer.

Carson Wentz participated in the Eagles' first day of OTAs on Tuesday, CSN Philly's Dave Zangaro reports.

Impact

Wentz is still getting acclimated to head coach Doug Pederson's offense, and he worked with the third team on his first day of full-team OTAs. Wentz worked in a pro-style offense at North Dakota State, which is why plenty of experts think he's the most pro-ready rookie quarterback since the Colts' Andrew Luck in 2012. However, the leap from Division I-AA to the NFL is quite a sizable one, and it appears, for now, that Pederson isn't rushing Wentz into anything. The rookie's development is going to be a long-term project, with Sam Bradford expected to man the position until Wentz is deemed ready.

Sam Bradford participated in the Eagles' first OTAs of the season Tuesday, CSN Philly's Dave Zangaro reports.

Impact

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said before practice Tuesday that Bradford is "the guy," according to Zangaro's report. Despite the Eagles' aggressive move in this year's Draft to move up and draft fellow quarterback Carson Wentz, it appears Bradford will enter training camp as the team's primary option at quarterback. If he plays well enough to earn the job, he'll have 16 games lined up ahead of him to prove he's worth a long-term contract in the near future, either from the Eagles or another team.

Phillip Dorsett left practice early on Tuesday with what is believed to be a hamstring injury, Stephen Holder of the Indy Star reports.

Impact

No updates were given on the injury, but it will be something to keep an eye on as the offseason progresses.