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Sports Data APIs for Individuals!
Buffalo Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley (knee) was removed from the injury report ahead of Sunday's matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs. This is great news considering Beasley has been dealing with lingering knee issues for a few weeks. It's unclear if Beasley will be limited at all for this matchup. He finished with a goose egg last week versus the Baltimore Ravens. Beasley does have plenty of upside, but might be too risky for DFS players this weekend.
The Pittsburgh Steelers officially signed quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to a new contract for the 2021 season on Thursday. ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Roethlisberger willingly reduced his pay to $14 million from $19 million in the final year of his deal, spreading his cash payment through 2022, according to a source. The move lowered Pittsburgh's salary cap hit by over $15 million, allowing them to make other moves to remain as competitive as possible. Big Ben was initially set for an exorbitant cap hit of $41.25 million. The 39-year-old will have one more shot at a championship and will likely retire after the 2021 season. Pittsburgh's offense could lose wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster this offseason and Roethlisberger is pretty injury prone, so he'll mostly be targeted as a fantasy backup as he heads into what will likely be his final NFL season.
Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham has been with the team since 2010 and turns 33 years old next month, and he wants to remain with the Eagles after their tumultuous 2020 season that led to quarterback Carson Wentz being traded to the Colts. Graham has been on the trade and cutting block but has twice re-signed with the team. With Philadelphia entering a rebuilding mode, Graham made it clear that he wants to stay in Philly. "I don't want to go anywhere," Graham said. "I know I don't have long, but I know for me, I'm here in Philly." The Pro Bowl pass-rusher in 2020 recorded 46 tackles (13 for loss), 16 QB hits, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and eight sacks in a full season. While Graham may not have many years left, he's remained productive and has 16.5 sacks in the last two years with the Eagles.
Philadelphia Eagles impending free-agent left tackle Jason Peters plans on playing in an 18th NFL season in 2021 after starting just eight games in 2020. The nine-time Pro Bowler said he still has something left in the tank after playing the last 12 seasons in Philadelphia after five years in Buffalo. The 39-year-old wants to keep playing, but he sees the writing on the wall that he won't be back with the Eagles in 2021. Peters knows that Philadelphia is in rebuild mode with younger players on the roster and no salary cap space. The future Hall of Fame left tackle doesn't have much time left in the NFL, but he can still get the job done and can also be a good sounding board for rising young talent. If he continues playing, it'll likely be somewhere other than Philadelphia.
Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who shares the same agent as Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, said on the Huddle and Flow podcast that, "I highly doubt (Deshaun Watson) will suit up in a Texans uniform again. He's extremely serious." The Texans and Watson are in a standoff, with Houston saying they will not trade the 25-year-old signal-caller. But Watson remains steadfast in his trade demands and wants out of Houston. Eventually, something has to give. If this continues to play out, the Texans may have no choice but to find the best available offer for the star quarterback. Watson was still a top-five fantasy QB without All-Pro wideout DeAndre Hopkins in 2020, so he should be drafted as an elite quarterback again in 2021. A trade out of Houston could make him even more attractive.
The Minnesota Vikings signed defensive end Stephen Weatherly to an undisclosed one-year deal on Thursday, the pass-rusher announced on his Instagram. Weatherly was cut by the Carolina Panthers earlier this year after just one season with the team. He put up six sacks in four seasons with Minnesota from 2016-19. Weatherly was a seventh-round pick out of Vanderbilt in 2016 and signed a two-year, $12.5 million deal with Carolina in free agency last season. Only cornerback Mackensie Alexander has more NFL starts from the team's 2016 draft class than Weatherly. Weatherly had no sacks as a starter in Carolina in 2020, which is a big reason why they cut him entering this season.
The New Orleans Saints restructured kicker Wil Lutz's contract on Thursday to create $1.74 million in salary cap space, according to a source. New Orleans continues to maneuver around the lowered 2021 salary cap, but they still have plenty of work left to do as the new league year approaches on March 17. The 26-year-old kicker made 23 of his 28 field-goal tries in 2020 and also was successful on 57 of his 58 extra points last season. The Saints offense should be pretty solid under either Taysom Hill or Jameis Winston in 2021, which should at least make Lutz a low-end fantasy kicking option. Lutz finished as the No. 9 fantasy kicker in most leagues in 2020.
The New York Giants released linebacker David Mayo on Wednesday. Mayo had two years left on his deal. Combined with the release of veteran wide receiver Golden Tate, the Giants will save a combined $8.4 million in salary cap space for 2021. He was acquired off waivers just before the 2019 season opener, and he went on to record 82 tackles (five for loss) and two sacks. Mayo signed a three-year contract extension last offseason but suffered a torn meniscus in his knee shortly before Week 1 and was placed on Injured Reserve. He played in 11 games last year, mostly as a backup, and recorded only 29 tackles.
The New York Giants released wide receiver Golden Tate on Wednesday, according to a source. Cutting the 32-year-old veteran wideout will save the Giants $6.2 million in salary cap space. Tate was with the G-Men the last two seasons and caught 84 passes for 1,064 yards and eight touchdowns, but he caught just 35 passes on 52 targets for 388 yards and two touchdowns in 12 games (four starts) for the team in 2020. Tate was unhappy with his role in the offense last season and voiced his displeasure, leading to his benching. It's not a surprise that the Giants moved on to help free up some salary cap space. A Pro Bowler in 2014, Tate still has something left, although he'll likely serve in a complementary role wherever he lands next.
Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman voiced support for quarterback Kirk Cousins amid rumors and speculation over whether he could be traded this offseason. "Kirk Cousins is our quarterback. I know there's a lot of rumors floating around out there, but Kirk Cousins is our quarterback. We felt that he played very well, probably the best that he's ever played, down that stretch last year," Spielman said. Cousins no longer has a no-trade clause in his contract, but Minnesota is sticking with him under center. He signed a two-year, $66 million extension last March that will make him $21 million in 2021. His $35 million salary for 2022 becomes fully guaranteed if he's on the roster on the third day of the 2021 league year. Cousins threw a career-high 35 touchdowns in 2020 and is a QB1 fallback option if you don't land one of the big names at the position.
New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas said that the team is open to listening to trade offers for quarterback Sam Darnold this offseason. "I will answer the call if it's made," Douglas said Wednesday. The Jets could opt to stick with Darnold, draft a replacement at No. 2 overall or pursue Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson if he becomes available. Douglas said he's in no rush to make a decision and downplayed Watson as an option. Since the end of the 2020 season, the Jets have been non-committal on Darnold, who has yet to take the next step. The Jets will evaluate the top QBs in the draft before making a final decision on Darnold. The 23-year-old hasn't had a ton of help around him, but it sounds like the Jets may be moving on soon. Stay tuned.
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