Content provided by Rotoworld Player News - Tuesday, March 6th, 2018

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FA DE Chris Smith to have 'a lot of interest' 03-06-2018
Chris Smith DE CLE
Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports free agent DE Chris Smith "is expected to have a lot of interest" when the market opens next week.

Jim Owczarski on Twitter
It won't be as a starter. Smith was acquired from the Jaguars around this time last year and played 401 rotational snaps for Cincinnati last season, recording three sacks. The former fifth-rounder has 7.5 career sacks across 35 appearances. Smith tested really well athletically at the Combine in 2014.
Report: Lions 'listening' to offers for Ebron 03-06-2018
Eric Ebron TE IND
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports the Lions were "listening" to trade offers for Eric Ebron at last week's Combine.

Adam Schefter on Twitter
Joe Thomas still undecided about retirement 03-06-2018
Joe Thomas OT CLE
Browns LT Joe Thomas remains undecided about his playing status for 2018.

Dave Chudowsky on Twitter
Speaking on Tuesday, Thomas said he is "close" to making a decision and wants to let the Browns know before the start of free agency this time next week. He admitted he's been flip-flopping a bit on the decision by the day. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport recently said he thinks Thomas will play in 2018, but we're not sure he has any insight on it. Thomas legitimately seems undecided.
Jordan Matthews says he had 'bad diagnoses' 03-06-2018
Jordan Matthews WR NE
Speaking Tuesday, free agent Jordan Matthews said "bad diagnoses" while he was with the Eagles compounded his knee and ankle issues.

Mike Rodak on Twitter
"I thought they were both things that were going to heal on their own," Matthews said of his 2016 injuries. "But once I got around Buffalo's doctors, they got me in touch with the right people and then I got really good feedback." Matthews underwent operations to correct both issues in Dec. 2017. He believes he's on his way back to full health. Matthews seems unlikely to re-sign with the Bills.
Redskins bring back CB Deshazor Everett 03-06-2018
Deshazor Everett SS WAS
Redskins re-signed CB Deshazor Everett. The Redskins called it a "multi-year deal" in a release. Everett had been slated for restricted free agency. A 2015 UDFA, Everett made the first eight starts of his career last season, earning replacement-level marks from Pro Football Focus. He probably won't play 500-plus defensive snaps again in 2018 but is a core special teamer.
Brent Celek returning for 12th season in 2018 03-06-2018
Brent Celek TE PHI
Brent Celek has confirmed he plans to return for a 12th season in 2018.

Jeff McLane on Twitter
There had been talks that Celek might hang it up, but he said "I wanna play" on Tuesday. Now a pure blocking tight end, Celek has just 27 catches over the past two seasons but hasn't missed a game since 2012. He's been a valuable role player, though Pro Football Focus charted his blocking as in major decline last season. Celek is due $4 million for 2018, which is a bit steep for his current role.
Pats letting Alan Branch become free agent 03-06-2018
Alan Branch DT NE
The Patriots will not exercise DT Alan Branch's 2018 team option, letting him become a free agent.

Doug Kyed on Twitter
Branch was owed a $1 million team option. Limited to 12 appearances last season and a healthy scratch for the playoffs, Branch's fate was long ago sealed. The move frees up $3.55 million in cap space. Branch has been with the Pats since 2014.
Patriots exercise Kenny Britt's option year 03-06-2018
Kenny Britt WR NE
Patriots exercised Kenny Britt's 2018 team option.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter
Per NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, the Pats are "looking for big things out of him." We wouldn't be so sure about that, but the Pats now have an offseason to see if Britt is ready to put his disastrous 2017 behind him. Signed by the Pats in mid-December, Britt barely saw the field, and was a healthy scratch for the Super Bowl. He turns 30 in September. None of his $1.5 million 2018 salary is guaranteed.
Muhammad Wilkerson officially visiting Pack 03-06-2018
Muhammad Wilkerson DE GB
Free agent DE Muhammad Wilkerson is visiting the Packers.

Tom Silverstein on Twitter
It's Wilkerson's first visit since he was cut loose by the Jets. He reportedly has other visits lined up, but it's possible the Pack don't let him leave town with a contract. Wilkerson would fill a glaring need for the Pack on the edge, but isn't typically the kind of player they would sign - a free agent with question marks - especially after last season's Martellus Bennett fiasco. Signing Wilkerson would be a sign new GM Brian Gutekunst is prepared to do things differently than Ted Thompson.
Steelers officially franchise Le'Veon Bell 03-06-2018
Le'Veon Bell RB PIT
Steelers assigned the franchise tag to RB Le'Veon Bell.
Bears assign transition tag to CB Kyle Fuller 03-06-2018
Kyle Fuller CB CHI
Bears assigned the transition tag to CB Kyle Fuller.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter
The tag is worth $12.971 million, providing $2 million in savings from the franchise tag. It's not exclusive, but gives the Bears the right of first refusal should Fuller sign an offer sheet elsewhere. With plenty of cap space, the Bears will almost certainly be matching any offer Fuller gets. If they ended up passing, they would receive zero compensation if Fuller walked. The Bears badly bungled the overall situation by not exercising Fuller's fifth-year team option last spring.
Panthers keep Graham Gano with four-year deal 03-06-2018
Graham Gano K CAR
Panthers re-signed K Graham Gano to a four-year contract.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter
Ravens keep Brent Urban with one-year deal 03-06-2018
Brent Urban DE BAL
Ravens re-signed RE Brent Urban to a one-year contract. A 2014 fourth-rounder, Urban started the first three games last season before going down with a Lisfranc injury. With three career sacks across 25 games, Urban must not have envisioned much of a market as he recovers from his serious foot issue.
Sammy Watkins officially becoming free agent 03-06-2018
Sammy Watkins WR KC
The Rams will not assign the franchise tag to WR Sammy Watkins, letting him become an unrestricted free agent. The Rams tagged S Lamarcus Joyner before Tuesday's deadline, allowing Watkins to hit the open market when free agency begins March 14. The Rams supposedly want to keep Watkins, but they have yet to be aggressive in that department. Watkins has every incentive to test the market, and not settle for a deal any time in the next eight days.
Rams assign non-exclusive tag to S Joyner 03-06-2018
Lamarcus Joyner FS LA
Rams assigned the non-exclusive franchise tag to S Lamarcus Joyner. Keeping Joyner became a priority after he experienced a breakout 2017 following his full-time switch to safety. The tag is worth $11.287 million for safeties. The move means Sammy Watkins is now headed to the open market. The Rams have until July 16 to work out a long-term agreement with Joyner.
Gruden singles out RT Marshall Newhouse 03-06-2018
Marshall Newhouse OT BUF
Raiders coach Jon Gruden said RT Marshall Newhouse was inconsistent in 2017.

San Jose Mercury News
"We had some inconsistency at right tackle, obviously," Gruden said. "Newhouse, he had some moments where he played well. He had some moments where he obviously struggled." The entire offensive line underachieved, but Newhouse was the clear weak link. It sounds like Gruden will look to replace him this offseason.
Tre Mason hoping to return to the NFL 03-06-2018
Tre Mason RB LA
AL.com's Matt Zenitz reports Tre Mason has told teams he is ready to return to the NFL.

AL.com
A third-round pick by the Rams in 2014, Mason had a promising rookie season, but his career went off the rails following multiple run-ins with the law during a time he was reportedly dealing with mental-health issues. He did not report to training camp ahead of the 2016 season, was released in March of 2017, and has been out of the league ever since. Still just 24, Mason might get a look if he can prove he is in a good place mentally.
Redskins interested in FA WR Paul Richardson 03-06-2018
Paul Richardson WR WAS
ESPN's John Keim believes the Redskins are interested in free agent WR Paul Richardson.

John Keim on Twitter
Certain to add to their receiving corps this offseason, Washington has already been linked with Allen Robinson and now Richardson. A second-round pick by the Seahawks in 2014, Richardson broke out with 703 yards and six touchdowns last season. He is reportedly looking for $7 million per year on his next deal.
Jags tell Robinson they are not tagging him 03-06-2018
Allen Robinson WR CHI
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports the Jaguars have told impending free agent Allen Robinson they will not tag him.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter
Chris Ivory signs two-year deal with Bills 03-06-2018
Chris Ivory RB BUF
Bills signed Chris Ivory to a two-year, $5.5 million contract.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter
The deal includes $3.25 million guaranteed. Ivory did not shine in Jacksonville, but he is just two years removed from a Pro Bowl season in which he rushed for 1,070 yards and seven scores. At worst, he is better than any of the options the Bills had behind LeSean McCoy last season.
Tyler Eifert says he is back to full health 03-06-2018
Tyler Eifert TE CIN
Free agent Tyler Eifert said he is back to full health.

Cincinnati Enquirer
Eifert was limited to just two games last season because of a back injury which required yet another surgery, but the tight end believes he can return to his old form. "There's no question I can get back to where I've been," Eifert said. "Everything is fixed." Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin said the team "values" Eifert but admitted his injury history will make negotiations difficult. As it stands, Eifert looks headed toward the market.
FA Donte Moncrief linked with the Ravens 03-06-2018
Donte Moncrief WR JAX
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport writes free agent Donte Moncrief and the Ravens is a "match that's worth watching."

Ian Rapoport on Twitter
Coming off back-to-back disappointing seasons, Moncrief is not going to command a big deal, but that could work to the Ravens' advantage. Desperate for receiving help and short on cap space, Baltimore should take a few high-upside fliers, and Moncrief certainly fits the bill. A one-year, prove-it deal could work for both sides.
'Feels evident' Jerick McKinnon leaving in FA 03-06-2018
Jerick McKinnon RB SF
ESPN's Courtney Cronin writes "it feels evident" Jerick McKinnon will leave the Vikings in free agency.

ESPN
McKinnon has said he wants to be a featured back, something which will not happen with Dalvin Cook ahead of him on the depth chart in Minnesota. McKinnon has struggled to consistently produce on the ground, but he has caught 94 passes the last two seasons and nearly hit 1,000 yards from scrimmage last year despite a committee backfield. McKinnon is Rotoworld's No. 3 available running back.
Redskins interested in Allen Robinson 03-06-2018
Allen Robinson WR CHI
NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay believes the Redskins will be interested in impending free agent Allen Robinson if he hits the open market.

NBC Sports Washington
Robinson is expected to avoid the franchise tag, making it likely he makes it to free agency. Washington has a solid duo in Jamison Crowder and Josh Doctson, but they need more pass catching help, especially with Jordan Reed unable to stay healthy. Even with Sammy Watkins expected to be available as well, Robinson will have no shortage of suitors once free agency opens.
Report: Rams will not tag Sammy Watkins 03-06-2018
Sammy Watkins WR KC
Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports the Rams will not place the franchise tag on Sammy Watkins.

Jason La Canfora on Twitter
If the Rams use the tag, La Canfora writes, it will be on S Lamarcus Joyner. Watkins posted a disappointing 39/593/8 line in 15 games last season, but he will be one of the top free agents available if he is allowed to hit the open market, which is likely if the Rams do not tag him. With Allen Robinson also looking likely to avoid the tag, the receiver market suddenly looks stacked.