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NFL Player News

Rotoworld

  • LAC Tackle
    Chargers signed OT Joe Alt to four-year, $33.2M contract.
    The Chargers will have control over the towering lineman for the next five years considering his first round selection. Alt is expected to immediately enter the starting lineup at right tackle for a rebuilding Chargers team with an all new coaching staff under Jim Harbaugh. A likely emphasis on a run-balanced offensive approach in Los Angeles, paired with stout tackle play on both sides of the line, should allow the Chargers to improve upon their offensive line play from a season ago after allowing the 12th-most sacks in the league.
  • NE Wide Receiver #11
    The Athletic’s Chad Graff has WR Tyquan Thornton being left off the Patriots’ 53-man roster in his early roster projections.
    This one shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Thornton, a former second-round pick of the Patriots in 2022, has been slowed by injuries and offered little offense upside when healthy. Through 22 career games, he’s caught just 35 passes for 338 yards and two scores, with most of that production coming in his rookie season. In addition to playing under a new coaching staff, Thornton is also set to compete against rookies Ja’Lynn Polk and Javon Baker. Polk is already locked into a roster spot as a second-round pick, and the Patriots used a fourth-round pick on Baker, which should all but secure his spot. Outside of one or two depth options, the Patriots’ wide receiver room feels fairly in place. It may take a camp injury or two for Thornton to stick on the roster come cut day.
  • PIT Tight End #88
    The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly writes, “Nobody performed better and more consistently for four weeks than Pat Freiermuth.”
    Kaboly went on to add, “Freiermuth might not have dropped a pass all month” and reiterated his “instant connection” with Russell Wilson — something he mentioned earlier this offseason. Playing in an offense that, outside of George Pickens, looks thin at receiver talent, Freiermuth has a chance to be a key contributor for the Steelers in 2024. Add to that the fact that offensive coordinator Arthur Smith targeted his tight ends 173 times from 2021-2023, the third most of any team in the league, and it’s possible this year is setting up to be the best of Freiermuth’s career. Injuries limited him to just 12 games last season, but in 2022, he caught 63 passes for 732 yards and two touchdowns. Currently going as a fringe TE1/TE2 in fantasy drafts, Freiermuth could turn into a solid value for fantasy managers who opt to wait on the position in drafts.
  • PIT Wide Receiver #19
    The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly said, “If there is one receiver besides George Pickens who has a chance to have a big role in [the Steelers’] offense, it’s Calvin Austin.”
    After redshirting in his 2022 rookie campaign, Austin caught 17 passes for 180 yards and one touchdown for the Steelers last season. The speedy fourth-round pick “continued to get better from the first day to the last” throughout the offseason, per Kaboly, and will have a chance to compete for a starting job on a wide receiver depth chart that is wide open after Pickens. Austin earned five-plus targets in three of his first four games to start last season, but was targeted just nine times in his final 13 games — a brutal footnote on his sophomore season. Even if he earns a “big role” in 2024, expectations should be tempered in an Arthur Smith/Russell Wilson led attack.
  • KC Defensive Lineman #96
    Chiefs DL Isaiah Buggs was arrested and booked on domestic violence and burglary charges on Sunday.
    Buggs has been arrested twice in less than a month after misdemeanor charges were filed against him on May 29 for cruelty to dogs in the second degree. According to an article by ESPN, Buggs was booked into the Tuscaloosa County jail and later released on a $5,000 bond. Buggs appeared in 10 games last season for the Lions and was signed to the Chiefs practice squad in January 2024, shortly after the Lions released him. We don’t know much about this incident outside of Buggs’ arrest and release, but it wouldn’t be surprising if the Chiefs cut ties with him in the coming days given the recent string of events.
  • PIT Defensive Tackle #97
    Cam Heyward posted to his social media account that, “The goal is to be a Steeler” for the rest of his career.
    Currently in search of a new contract from the Steelers, Heyward said last week that he and his wife had discussed the possibility of needing to play elsewhere if he doesn’t re-sign with the Steelers beyond this season. Heyward, 35, appeared in 11 games for the Steelers last season, totaling two sacks and six TFLs. He combined for 20.5 sacks and 29 TFLs from 2021-2022, but he’s well past the age where we begin to see players decline. Heyward skipped OTAs but was present at minicamp, so we wouldn’t expect a holdout when training camp ramps up next month. With that said, we could be looking at the final season in Pittsburgh for a player who has long been a staple along the Steelers’ defensive interior.
  • LAC Wide Receiver #15
    Justin Herbert came away impressed with second-round WR Ladd McConkey’s offseason work.
    “It’s like he’s been a four- or five-year vet,” Herbert gushed. “He understands the game. He understands leverage. He’s a smart player, and he’s very athletic. I’m really looking forward to getting him the ball.” Herbert’s assessment is matched by the Los Angeles Times’ Jeff Miller, who reports McConkey “displayed the most potential throughout the offseason program.” On the one hand, it’s not surprising a highly-experienced second-round prospect is looking good in shorts and t-shirts. On the other, McConkey is playing with a quarterback entering his prime and an exacting head coach in Jim Harbaugh. Standards are going to be high. So far, McConkey is meeting them. Although the situation is jumbled, McConkey is the modest favorite for No. 1 duties in L.A.
  • NE Quarterback
    ESPN’s Mike Reiss reports Patriots rookies Drake Maye and Ja’Lynn Polk “made it a habit over the past four weeks to take extra repetitions after practice and were usually the last players to leave the field.”
    “I think it’s important,” Maye said. “It’s picking up little things every day.” This kind of story is often an offseason practice contrivance, but it’s easy to spot the significance in this instance. Maye is the Patriots’ new franchise player and Polk sits atop a ludicrously thin receiver depth chart. Any success they might have on offense this season is going to depend in large part on this connection. It’s a great sign they are already working overtime to establish it.
  • FA Cornerback #21
    Free agent CB Stephon Gilmore told reporters he is “just being patient and waiting for the right opportunity.”
    The 12-year veteran cornerback started all 17 games for the Cowboys in 2023 but was not re-signed following the season. Gilmore is not short on accomplishments during his illustrious career, having earned five Pro Bowl nods, two All-Pro honors, and a defensive player of the year award and even received above average grades across the board from PFF in his 12th season last year. Even so, Gilmore is likely looking at a veteran minimum contract at this point in the offseason unless he waits for injuries to start piling up once the season begins.
  • CIN Wide Receiver #5
    Bengals re-signed WR Tee Higgins to a one-year, $21.8 million contract.
    This had been a huge ball in the air for the Bengals as they look to bounce back from their sub-par, injury-marred 2023. Higgins will now be there on Day 1 of camp, presumably without a long-term agreement. The sides have until July 15 to hammer that out, but there has been little indication an agreement will be reached. Coming off by far his worst professional season — one where he missed five games — Higgins is looking to re-establish every-week WR2 status in fantasy.
  • DET Kicker #49
    Lions signed K Jake Bates to a two-year contract.
    It was reported earlier that the Lions were expected to sign Bates at the end of the NFL season. Now, ESPN’s Adam Schefter has confirmed that the kicking phenom will sign a two-year deal for a chance to compete with Michael Badgley for the starting job in camp. Bates was 6-of-10 on field goals of 50-plus yards during the UFL regular season and blasted a 64-yard game-winner in Week 1 for the Michigan Panthers. Before signing with the Lions, Bates also met with the Commanders and Packers.