NFL Player News
Browns' Elijah Moore: Favored target in OTAs
Moore was targeted often by quarterback Deshaun Watson during Wednesday's session of organized team activities, Athony Poisal of the Browns' official site reports.
Moore, who was acquired from the Jets via trade during the offseason, is expected to serve as the Browns' slot receiver with Amari Cooper and Donovan Peoples-Jones slotting in as the top two wideouts. The Browns are expected to throw often, and all three should benefit from quarterback Deshaun Watson playing a full season.
Browns' Jordan Akins: Happily reunited with Watson
Akins was on the field for Cleveland's organized team activities this week, Anthony Poisal of the Browns' official site reports.
Akins signed with the Browns during the offseason and acknowledged that reuniting with quarterback Deshaun Watson as a primary reason. The two played three seasons together in Houston. The Browns placed plenty of offseason focus on improving targets for Watson, and the 6-foot-6 Akins brings familiarity and serves as a red-zone threat. Akins is expected to back up David Njoku at tight end.
Cardinals' Marquise Brown: Moves up depth chart
Brown has moved up the wide receiver depth chart in Arizona after the team released DeAndre Hopkins on Friday, Darren Urban of the Cardinals' official site reports.
Due to Hopkins' six-game suspension to start last season and injury concerns for both he and Brown thereafter, the pair only suited up for four games together. With Hopkins out of the picture, Brown will kick off his second season with the Cardinals as the team's top wideout, followed by the likes of Rondale Moore, Greg Dortch, Zach Pascal and rookie third-round pick Michael Wilson. Brown also may not be working with Kyler Murray once Week 1 arrives due to the quarterback's recovery from an ACL tear suffered Dec. 12. In eight contests without Hopkins in 2022, Brown put together a 50-553-3 line on 77 targets.
DeAndre Hopkins: Released by Cardinals
The Cardinals released Hopkins on Friday.
A suspension and knee injury limited Hopkins to nine appearances last season, but his per-game numbers -- 7.1 catches for 79.7 yards and 0.33 TDs -- remained prolific. He now becomes a free agent two weeks before his 31st birthday and is instantly the top player on the post-draft market at any position. Prior to his release, Hopkins was scheduled for a non-guaranteed $19.45 million salary in 2023 and $14.92 million in 2024.
Ravens' Lamar Jackson: Expects less running with new OC
Jackson said Thursday that he expects "less running and more throwing" under new offensive coordinator Todd Monken, ESPN.com's Jamison Hensley reports.
It's not exactly a secret, after the Ravens parted ways with long-time, run-first OC Greg Roman and added WRs Odell Beckham and Zay Flowers. The new coordinator, Monken, spent four seasons with Tampa Bay (2016-18) and Cleveland (2019) in the same role and oversaw offenses that attempted 36.1, 37.8, 39.1 and 33.7 passes per game (Jackson's never averaged more than 31.8). Monken then opened up UGA's offense, culminating last year with QB Stetson Bennett compiling 4,128 passing yards, 27 pass TDs and 10 rushing TDs. The Ravens hope Monken can help guide Jackson from good to great as a passer, but it might mean fewer of the rush attempts that fantasy managers find so valuable. The 26-year-old QB completed 66.1 percent of his throws for 7.8 YPA and a league-high 9.0 percent TD rate back in 2019, so it isn't out of the question to make up for a dip in rushing stats with improvements in both passing volume and efficiency. Jackson is in Baltimore for the long haul after his contract saga ended at the end of April with a five-year, $260 million agreement.
Colts' Gardner Minshew: Sharing first-team reps with rookie
Minshew shared first-team reps with Anthony Richardson on Thursday, Stephen Holder of ESPN.com reports.
Coach Shane Steichen told reporters it was an important step in the Colts' evaluation of Richardson to see him with the first-stringers, adding that the fourth overall pick "made some big plays, some next-level stuff" during Thursday's practice. Minshew may still end up getting more snaps with the starters this spring, but he's got a challenge on his hands to stay atop the depth chart throughout the summer and into Week 1.
Cowboys' Terence Steele: Doing on-field work
Steele (knee) isn't a full participant at OTAs but was on the field doing one-on-one work with a member of the training staff Thursday, Nick Harris of the Cowboys' website reports.
"Terence isn't quite ready for some of that," coach Mike McCarthy said. "We'll try to interject these [rehabbing] guys the best we can." Steele tore the ACL and MCL in his left knee in Week 14 last season, but he appears on track to resume his starting duties at right tackle in 2023.
Giants' Gary Brightwell: Could be challenged by rookie
Brightwell and rookie Eric Gray figure to compete for the No. 3 running back role behind Saquon Barkley and Matt Breida, Charlotte Carroll of The Athletic reports.
Barkley has yet to sign his franchise tag or work out a contract extension with the organization, but he figures to be a workhorse again during the upcoming campaign. Breida was a good fit as the No. 2 ball-carrier last season and was brought back for 2023 presumably to fill the same role, leaving Brightwell and Gray to compete for the limited snaps that remain. Brightwell averaged a healthy 4.5 yards per carry last year and also worked as the team's lead kickoff returner, but Carroll notes that Gray offers "a needed injection of youth" to the running-back room. Should the rookie impress during camp and preseason action, he could feasibly move ahead of Brightwell on the depth chart.
Titans' Chris Moore: Ready for any role
Moore is ready to take on a versatile role during his first season with the Titans, Jim Wyatt of the team's official site reports.
Moore was the Titans' most impactful addition to the wide receiver corps this offseason, though his exact role is unclear. He's coming off his best season as a pro in 2022, during which he posted 48 receptions for 548 yards and two touchdowns, but he is likely to slot behind Treylon Burks, Kyle Philips and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine for targets. Moore also has some experience as a kick returner and has topped 150 special teams snaps in five of his seven seasons in the NFL.
49ers' Dre Greenlaw: Recovering from finger surgery
Greenlaw is not present at OTAs as he recovers from offseason surgery on his finger, David Bonilla of 49ers WebZone reports.
The procedure was described as "nothing major" and "a little cleanup," and there have been no reported setbacks in Greenlaw's recovery. Once he can return to the field, Greenlaw will need to adjust to new defensive coordinator Steve Wilks' scheme, and he hopes to be able to rush the quarterback more often.