The NFL’s transactions freeze will remain intact until the St. Louis appeals court rules on the lockout injunction.
The owners filed for the appeal on Monday night, and expect a decision by Tuesday. GMs and coaching staffs have also been instructed to stay away from free agents. NFL teams are still adhering to "lockout rules," since the league hasn’t constructed a new set of rules for whatever you want to call the period we’re in. We’d still be shocked if any transactions occurred before the draft.
According to NFL Network’s Mike Lombardi, the 49ers’ interest in Missouri QB Blaine Gabbert is "lukewarm."
Lombardi believes Gabbert’s stock is "slipping," and that he will be available at No. 7 for San Francisco. Lombardi even suggested Gabbert "could easily slide out of the top ten." Meanwhile, NFLN draft analyst Mike Mayock believes Gabbert’s "worst case scenario" is going eighth to the Titans. With the draft just three days away, we still have a poor feel for Gabbert’s landing spot.
NFL Network’s Mike Mayock predicts that Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett will be a first-round pick on Thursday.
"Because of his football ability and his football IQ, somebody is gonna reach up into the 20s and take him," Mayock said on Path to the Draft Monday. Mayock also mentioned coaches and personnel types around the league "pounding the table" for Mallett based on his on-field skills. Character concerns appear to be the only thing preventing Mallett from going top-ten.
Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune confirms that the Chargers "aren’t planning" to retain free agent RB/KR Darren Sproles.
The Chargers would take Sproles back for cheap, but his value has diminished due to the NFL’s new kick return rules, and he’s a third-stringer behind Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert on offense. Sproles is likely to price himself out of San Diego’s range. Expect the 28-year-old to resurface in a similar role elsewhere, playing special teams and getting snaps on third downs.
Andre Johnson has received full medical clearance after undergoing arthroscopic ankle surgery on January 12.
"I started (training) a little later this year because of a little ankle surgery that I had," he told a Miami paper. "That’s pretty much it, but (the lockout) hasn’t changed anything as far as me training. I just got cleared by the doctor, but that’s the only thing that has held me back a little bit." It sounds like Johnson is now fully participating in his normal offseason routine. He’ll be the first receiver off the board in 2011 fantasy drafts.
In a Monday interview on FOX Sports Radio, Panthers GM Marty Hurney strongly suggested that Carolina will take a quarterback at No. 1 overall.
"This is a quarterback league," said Hurney. "Look at the order of the draft. The ones who have ‘em are picking low, and the ones who don’t are picking high." Hurney added, "This has nothing to do with Jimmy Clausen." The interview was done with Darin Gantt of the Charlotte Observer, the top Panthers beat writer in the nation. Gantt is convinced the pick will be Cam Newton.
According to the Miami Herald, the Dolphins are "wary" of Brandon Marshall’s ongoing off-field issues and "worried about his future," but not to the point of "breaking ties" with him at this time.
"And this is supposed to surprise me how?" a Dolphins player texted Saturday when told of Marshall’s latest domestic violence episode. His wife’s self-defense claim isn’t surprising in the least considering the couple has already had one public DV incident in addition to no less than seven incidents with Marshall’s ex-girlfriend prior to 2009. The Dolphins could dump Marshall by refusing to pay his $3 million option bonus. Instead, they’ll continue to flirt with disaster, though that plan is "written in sand rather than concrete." Dynasty and keeper league owners have known for some time that they’re dealing with a ticking time bomb.
According to the St. Petersburg Times, troubled CB Aqib Talib is "all but gone" from the Buccaneers.
Reporter Rick Stroud says that "barring a last-minute change of heart, or perhaps his exoneration," Talib will be released as soon as the transactions freeze is lifted. The 25-year-old Kansas product has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for his role in a March 21 shooting in Garland, Texas, and has had numerous other off-the-field issues in the past.
Jermichael Finley caught passes and ran routes Friday for the first time since tearing the lateral meniscus in his right knee last October.
"And my my my I look good," Finley tweeted. He’s still getting treatment for the knee, but it’s a good sign that Finley has graduated to football activities after dealing with a staff infection late in the season. He should be ready for whatever passes for training camp this summer.
Jahvid Best insists that his "jets" are back after his rookie season was plagued by twin turf-toe injuries.
Best is performing speed training and is "ready to roll again." One of our favorite potential value picks for the 2011 fantasy season, Best will probably be available in the fourth and fifth rounds of many leagues. In what has the makings of a dangerously explosive offense, only health could hold him back.