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  • CHI Quarterback #1
    The Athletic’s Jeff Howe reports the “majority opinion” is that the Bears would receive a second or third-round pick in exchange for Justin Fields.
    That is the opinion of eight league executives and coaches. Howe’s sources also unanimously agreed that the Bears will be taking Caleb Williams with the No. 1 overall pick. Though there are still plenty of details to be ironed out, namely where Fields will land, all signs point to the Bears trading him and taking Williams at the top of the draft. Atlanta and Las Vegas are two common destinations tied to Fields. Both teams are desperate for an upgrade at quarterback and are unlikely to land one of the top three prospects in the upcoming draft. Fields has been an elite fantasy option because of his rushing production but needs to improve as a passer to be the face of any franchise. A fresh start with a new coaching staff would be a step in the right direction as he enters the final year of his rookie contract.
  • FA Tackle #72
    The Commanders released LT Charles Leno.
    The move will save Washington roughly $7.3 million in cap space. Leno missed the final three games of the 2023 season with a calf injury and one game earlier in the year because of a shoulder issue. Per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Leno is set to undergo surgery on his hip next week. At 32 years old, Leno was still an effective left tackle, ranking as Pro Football Focus’s No. 28 tackle last year. If the hip injury doesn’t linger into the 2024 season, Leno should be able to find a job, likely as a starter, elsewhere in the league.
  • NYG Tight End #12
    The New York Post reports Darren Waller considered retirement after the 2023 season.
    Waller, 31, “expressed to individuals in the Giants organization that he was contemplating retirement” after another injury-marred season in which he managed just one touchdown on 52 catches over 11 games. Waller has since committed to returning to the Giants in 2024. He’ll make $10.5 million in base salary and count as a $14 million salary cap hit for the team. The big-framed Waller — constantly battling hamstring injuries — is at best a red zone weapon after slowing down in recent seasons.
  • FA Safety #31
    Fox Sports’ Ralph Vacchiano reports the Eagles will release S Kevin Byard.
    The move will save the Eagles around $13 million in salary cap space for 2024. Philadelphia acquired Byard in a trade with the Titans in October. The two-time All Pro was quiet throughout his two months as a starter in the struggling Eagles secondary, graded by PFF as the NFL’s eighth worst coverage unit in 2023. Byard, entering his age-31 season, should be in line for a short-term contract with another team this offseason.
  • FA Running Back
    Texas RB Jonathan Brooks (ACL) said he expects to be recovered by July 1.
    Brooks, entering the NFL Draft after three seasons at Texas, injured his ACL in November to end a highly-productive junior season campaign. Brooks told reporters at the NFL Combine that his recovery is ahead of schedule and that he should be ready to roll come training camp. It seems like a rosy injury assessment, but a running back-needy team could take a chance on Brooks and let him get fully healthy before deploying him in camp or the preseasons. Brooks, 20, averaged a hefty 6.2 yards per carry on 238 carries at Texas over three seasons, scoring 15 rushing touchdowns over his final 18 games.
  • TB Quarterback #6
    NFL Network’s James Palmer believes the Falcons are a “dark horse” to sign QB Baker Mayfield.
    Palmer speculated that Falcons head coach Raheem Morris and offensive coordinator Zac Robinson — both of whom were members of the Rams coaching staff during Mayfield’s stint in LA — could lure him to Atlanta this offseason. The Tampa Bay Times’ Rick Stroud reported last week that while nothing is imminent, Mayfield had started “preliminary” talks with the Bucs to stay in Tampa after he led the team to a postseason berth in 2023. Mayfield, entering his age-29 season, ranked 11th among quarterbacks in adjusted EPA per drop back last season, throwing 27 touchdowns to 14 interceptions. Though the Falcons are intent on upgrading at QB, Mayfield will most likely re-sign with the Bucs in March.
  • FA Safety #6
    Saints informed S Marcus Maye of his release
    The news was broken by Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz. 10 days shy of his 31st birthday, Maye finished 2023 on injured reserve with a shoulder issue. His release comes two seasons into a three-year deal, and frees up $7.2 million in cap space if he’s designated a post-June 1 cut. Injuries have been a major issue for the former Jet, though he’s remained an every-down player when healthy. Maye was not effective last season, but his departure leaves the Saints with a hole or two on the back end of their defense.
  • DAL Quarterback #15
    The Dallas Morning News reports the Cowboys will pick up Trey Lance’s $4.25 million summer roster bonus.
    However, Calvin Watkins reports the team will not pick up Lance’s fifth-year team option for 2025. That part basically went without saying. Per Watkins, “team officials did not consider cutting Lance, whom they believe made tremendous strides last season.” Lance was not the No. 2 quarterback for the Cowboys’ Super Bowl-or-bust roster, though 31-year-old Cooper Rush is a cut candidate at his currently scheduled salary of $2.25 million. Amazingly, Lance remains two months shy of his 24th birthday.
  • FA Running Back #2
    Vikings informed RB Alexander Mattison of his release.
    Heading into season two of a two-year deal, $2.75 million of Mattison’s contract was set to vest on the third day of the new league year. Cutting him loose creates $3.35 million in space. Mattison’s 2023 return was first-guessed last spring, and he responded with continued inefficiency both as a rusher and pass catcher. He simply isn’t a starting-level back, though he is versatile enough that he should still command interest as a backup. Guaranteed money might be difficult to come by in a glutted market, however. Ty Chandler is the No. 1 back on the Vikings’ current 90-man roster, but they should add at least 1-2 potential competitors.
  • TEN Quarterback #8
    NFL Network’s Cameron Wolfe reports the Titans still believe in Will Levis as their starting quarterback.
    “The answer from talking to people there is they think they have their guy in Will Levis,” was Wolfe’s report after talking to people within the Titans’ organization. Moving on from coach Mike Vrabel and QB Ryan Tannehill, the Titans have the No. 7 overall pick, but would have to make a big move up to get any of the draft’s top three quarterbacks. Perhaps Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy will fall. Levis confirmed his mammoth arm as a rookie but left everything else up for debate. 2024 is definitely a make-or-break year.