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The Arizona Cardinals released running back Keaontay Ingram and defensive lineman Ben Stille from the active 53-man roster on Tuesday and released offensive lineman Austen Pleasants from the practice squad. The Cardinals are fully stocked at the running back position now that James Conner is back from Injured Reserve and after the team claimed Michael Carter off waivers from the New York Jets a few weeks ago. The Cardinals also have rookie Emari Demercado currently operating as the No. 3. The 24-year-old Ingram played in eight games (one start) for Arizona this year and had 35 rushing attempts for only 74 yards (2.11 yards per carry) while adding four receptions for an additional 26 yards through the air. Ingram will be hoping to latch on with another team as RB depth.
The Chicago Bears have hired Jennifer King as an offensive assistant that will work with the team's running backs, according to a source. King is the first black female coach in NFL history and spent the last three seasons working as a full-time offensive assistant with the Washington Commanders as an assistant running backs coach. She was a coaching intern in Washington in 2020. Before that in 2019, King was an offensive assistant at Dartmouth College after spending time as an intern running backs coach with the Carolina Panthers under head coach Ron Rivera. She interned as a receivers coach in Carolina in 2018. In Chicago in 2024, King will be working with Khalil Herbert, Roschon Johnson and Travis Homer.
Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman Cameron Heyward (undisclosed) recently posted a picture of himself in a hospital bed with the caption, "Surgery done finally! Ready to get back to feeling good!" It's unclear what procedure the 2023 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year underwent, but he missed six games while on Injured Reserve with a groin injury in 2023. The 34-year-old is a six-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro selection, so his status and health heading into 2024 is a key development for the Steelers, who have failed to win a playoff game since 2016. Injuries to key players have been a constant in recent seasons.
Former Miami Dolphins and interim Green Bay Packers head coach Joe Philbin is joining the Las Vegas Raiders coaching staff as a senior offensive assistant. Philbin went 24-28 as Miami's head coach in three-plus seasons after working mostly under Mike McCarthy in Green Bay. The 62-year-old spent 2023 as an offensive analyst with the Ohio State Buckeyes. The quarterback position is a question mark in Las Vegas, so the organization is likely to emphasize bringing in strong offensive minds ahead of Antonio Pierce's first full season as head coach.
The Detroit Lions are releasing veteran safety Tracy Walker III ahead of 2024 free agency. The third-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft spent six seasons with the organization and racked up 398 tackles, three interceptions, and four sacks in 79 games. The emergence of Kerby Joseph and Ifeatu Melifonwu has made Walker expendable, and the team will take on just a $7.3 million dead cap hit for making this move. Although Walker is likely not viewed as a starter for other franchises, he's likely to have a market as a depth player.
Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Zay Flowers was reportedly being investigated by Baltimore County Police for his alleged involvement in a domestic violence incident. However, the investigation has been suspended, and he will not face charges. It's unclear what the alleged incident was, but his availability for the organization is now unlikely to be affected. The 2023 first-round pick posted 77 catches on 108 targets for 858 yards and five touchdowns in his first season out of Boston College. He should remain a top-two target in Lamar Jackson's passing offense along with tight end Mark Andrews in 2024.
The Philadelphia Eagles signed former San Francisco 49ers third-round running back Tyrion Davis-Price to a Reserve/Futures deal on Tuesday, according to his agency. Davis-Price was drafted in 2022 out of LSU but failed to make an impact in the Bay Area in his first two seasons in the league, carrying the ball just 40 times for 120 yards (3.0 yards per carry) and no touchdowns while failing to catch either of his two targets in just seven games played. The 23-year-old played in one game for the Niners last year, rushing the ball six times for 21 yards. In Philly, he'll provide RB depth behind Kenneth Gainwell. D'Andre Swift, Boston Scott and Rashaad Penny are all scheduled to hit free agency next month, so the Eagles' backfield could look considerably different this year.
Seattle Seahawks new head coach Mike MacDonald indicated new offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb's proficiency scheming the running game likely will be highlighted more in his first job in the NFL in 2024. However, pre-snap motion, screens, and explosive downfield concepts will remain a big part of the menu in an aggressive, yet fundamentally sound offensive attack in Seattle. "We're going to be a physical unit, we're gonna run the football, and we want to have answers for the quarterback and we want to keep it consistent for him so he can play fast and play decisive and get the ball to our playmakers," MacDonald stated. An emphasis on the ground game would be beneficial for Kenneth Walker III, although second-year back Zach Charbonnet will certainly be involved more as well.
Arizona Cardinals impending free-agent wide receiver Marquise Brown is set to leave in free agency this offseason, according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler. General manager Monti Ossenfort can upgrade the receiver position high in the draft, as the Cardinals have 13 overall picks in 2024. Brown, 26, finished last season on Injured Reserve due to a heel injury and played in 14 games in his second year in the desert. He finished with just 51 receptions on 101 targets for 574 yards and four touchdowns, and it didn't help that quarterback Kyler Murray got a late start to the season while rehabbing from a torn ACL in 2022. The former first-round pick of the Ravens in 2019 out of Oklahoma is an injury risk, but he could be a draft bargain in 2024 if he stays healthy and lands in a good situation.
ESPN's Jeremy Fowler writes that it feels like a formality that the Carolina Panthers will place the franchise tag on impending free-agent linebacker Brian Burns this offseason. Burns is too talented to let walk in free agency without the chance at an outright signing or a tag-and-trade. The Panthers will also likely look to re-sign linebacker Frankie Luvu as they begin their rebuild. Carolina's offense was atrocious in 2023, but their defense was a strength, so it makes sense for them to look to bring back their key playmakers on that side of the ball. The 25-year-old Burns finished last year with 50 tackles (32 solo), a team-high eight sacks, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery in 16 games. He's had at least 7.5 sacks in each of his five NFL seasons and is in play as an every-week starter in IDP fantasy formats.
The Pittsburgh Steelers may just be a quarterback away from being real contenders in the AFC. They have just about everything else they need, from ample skill players to an improving offensive line and three legitimate, game-changing stars on defense. At the very least, Pittsburgh will apply pressure on incumbent Kenny Pickett with a QB acquisition via trade or free agency this offseason. ESPN's Adam Schefter pointed out that head coach Mike Tomlin is a big fan of Chicago Bears QB Justin Fields, so the Steelers could be one of the teams most interested in potentially trading for Fields if the Bears decide to hold onto the No. 1 overall pick in the draft to select USC's Caleb Williams. A move to Pittsburgh would make Fields extremely intriguing as a QB1 with upside in fantasy.
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