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Pittsburgh Steelers rookie running back Jaylen Warren (hamstring) put in a second straight day of full practice on Thursday. "Doctors cleared me, I'm ready to go," Warren said on Wednesday. He sat out of the Monday night win over the Indianapolis Colts, but he's primed to return in Week 13 against the Atlanta Falcons. And with Najee Harris (oblique) looking iffy to play, Warren has a shot to lead Pittsburgh's backfield this weekend. The 24-year-old could lose touches to Benny Snell Jr. and Anthony McFarland Jr. if Harris is inactive, but an expanded role would give him at least RB3/flex appeal for fantasy managers against a Falcons defense that has allowed the 10th-most half-PPR points per game to opposing RBs this year.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady announced his retirement from the NFL on Tuesday. He played 23 seasons and won seven Super Bowls, six with the Patriots and one with the Bucs. The 45-year-old finishes his career with 89,214 passing yards, 649 touchdowns, and 212 interceptions over 335 games. He holds the record for passing touchdowns, passing yards, completions, wins, and quarterback starts. The GOAT announced his retirement last year on February 1st, 2022, but after 40 days unretired, and returned to the Bucs for one more season. He showed no signs of slowing down at age 45, throwing for 4,694 yards and a 25:9 TD: INT ratio over 17 games in 2022. Brady is the GOAT and an absolute NFL legend. Now that Brady's football career is over, he signed a 10-year, $375 million deal with Fox Sports to be an on-air lead NFL analyst. Tampa Bay is in rebuild mode without Brady and will start the quarterback search to replace the GOAT in 2023.
The Houston Texans have requested permission to interview San Francisco 49ers passing-game coordinator Bobby Slowik for their vacant offensive coordinator position under new head coach DeMeco Ryans, according to a source. Slowik is an impressive young coach and is another branch of the Kyle Shanahan tree in San Fran. The 35-year-old started his coaching career for with the Washington Commanders from 2011-13 as a defensive assistant before later being hired as the 49ers' defensive quality control coach from 2017-18. Slowik was named an offensive assistant by the 49ers in 2019 and was promoted to offensive pass-game specialist in 2021. Houston is in the middle of a rebuild, but they're hoping that Ryans can quickly build a culture in the organization and get them back to winning ways.
Seattle Seahawks quarterbacks coach Dave Canales will receive a second interview for the Baltimore Ravens' offensive coordinator position, according to a source. Canales has emerged as front-runner to replace Greg Roman as Baltimore's offensive coordinator in 2023. The 41-year-old was instrumental in Geno Smith's Pro Bowl campaign in 2022 with Seattle. With quarterback Lamar Jackson likely to get the franchise tag this year, Canales would have the pleasure of working with one of the best dual-threat QBs in the NFL. Canales has never been an offensive coordinator beyond the high school level, though, working mostly as a receivers coach, a position he held in his first seven seasons with the Seahawks. He is the longest-tenured assistant on head coach Pete Carroll's staff and has been with Seattle for 13 seasons.
The San Francisco 49ers requested permission to interview Tennessee Titans defensive pass-game coordinator Chris Harris for their open defensive coordinator position. Harris coached the Washington Commanders' defensive backs last year and was expected to join the Tennessee Titans as their defensive pass-game coordinator, but nothing is official yet. The 49ers need a new defensive coordinator after the Houston Texans hired DeMeco Ryans as their new head coach on Tuesday. Harris has been with Washington since 2020 and has previous coaching experience with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Chicago Bears. He also spent seven years in the NFL as a player with the Bears, Panthers, Lions and Jaguars.
The San Francisco 49ers requested permission to speak to former Carolina Panthers interim head coach Steve Wilks for their defensive coordinator position, according to a source. Carolina hired Frank Reich as their new head coach last week, but Wilks is still under contract with the Panthers. The Niners need a new D coordinator after DeMeco Ryans took the Houston Texans' head-coaching job on Tuesday. Wilks was Carolina's defensive pass-game coordinator in 2022 before he became the interim head coach when Matt Rhule was fired. In addition to Wilks, the 49ers are reportedly interested in Vic Fangio and Chris Harris for the defensive coordinator position. Under Ryans the last several season, the Niners defense has been one of the best in football.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is expected to receive the exclusive franchise tag from the organization. The former first round pick is set to be a free agent this summer, but that likely won't happen. The sense around the league is that the Ravens will tag Jackson and keep him around for at least one more season. The two sides couldn't agree on an extension earlier in the year, but a franchise tag gives the two of them more time to work out a deal. It seems unlikely that Baltimore is going to let Jackson leave without getting something in return for him.
The Houston Texans have found their new head coach in San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans. The two sides have agreed on a six-year deal, so the organization appears committed to this decision. This is a good hire for Houston as Ryan was one of the most qualified candidates for the job. The former Texans linebacker could turn this team around in a hurry. His presence should mean good things for the fantasy value of Dameon Pierce and Nico Collins. It's a step in the right direction for an organization that hasn't won more than four games in a single season since 2019.
The Denver Broncos have finalized a deal to acquire head coach Sean Payton from the New Orleans Saints. In exchange, the Saints will receive a first and second-round pick from Denver. This doesn't seem like much of a surprise considering Payton has been on their radar for awhile. The Broncos were heavily pursuing DeMeco Ryans before he took the head coach job with the Houston Texans. After that, the Broncos went with their backup plan which was Payton. The 59-year-old Super Bowl winning coach should be able to give this Broncos team a boost. The biggest task for Payton is going to be to try and revive Russell Wilson after his horrendous 2022 campaign.
The New York Jets signed wide receiver/kick returner Diontae Spencer to a Reserve/Futures deal on Tuesday. Spencer spent some time on the Jets' practice squad in 2022 but never made it to the active roster on game day. The 30-year-old went undrafted out of McNeese State in 2019 and spent his first three seasons in the NFL with the Denver Broncos, catching 10 of 18 targets for 54 yards and no touchdowns in 42 games (to starts). He also returned 68 punts for 667 yards and one touchdown and returned 47 kickoffs for 1,008 yards with Denver. Spencer will serve as additional receiver depth for the Jets in 2023.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (ankle, leg) said he's three to four weeks from being fully cleared for practice and said he'll be 100 percent healthy for organized team activities this offseason. Lance fractured his fibula and sustained ligament damage in his right ankle in Week 2 and didn't play again the rest of the season. Jimmy Garoppolo (foot) is a free agent and Brock Purdy (elbow) will miss around six months after tearing the UCL in his right elbow in the NFC Championship. If Lance doesn't suffer any setbacks leading up to the 2023 regular season opener, he figures to be the favorite to start under center for the Niners, barring an outside veteran addition at the position.
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