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Sports Data APIs for Individuals!
Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt will head on the road to take on the Los Angeles Rams in Week 13. Hunt opened the practice week limited with a groin injury but he was upgraded to a full session by Friday and does not have an injury status on the Browns' final injury report of the week. The Rams will pose a tough challenge for Hunt as they are allowing just the 26th-most fantasy points per game to running backs in 2023. That being said, Hunt has been Cleveland's preferred goal-line back and has a decent shot at finding the end zone most weeks. He can be utilized as a flex option in fantasy heading into Week 13.
Indianapolis Colts right tackle Braden Smith (knee) had surgery on the knee that had him hobbled for much of last season, according to general manager Chris Ballard. The Colts are hoping for a much healthier 2024 season out of Smith after he missed seven games in 2023 due to the injury. The former second-round selection in 2018 out of Auburn has had his fair share of injury concerns in his six seasons in the NFL, but the Colts are hoping his recent surgery will make his knee injury a thing of the past heading into the 2024 campaign. The 27-year-old offensive lineman has two years left on his four-year, $70 million deal.
Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider has taken only two quarterbacks in his first 14 drafts with the team -- Russell Wilson in the third round in 2012 and Alex McGough in the seventh round in 2018. However, Schneider characterized this year's QB class as "a good group" and noted that he'd like to break the trend of not selecting QBs in the draft. "I've told you guys in the past and having grown up in the Packer organization for Ron Wolfe, 14 drafts and only drafting two quarterbacks is not something that we're necessarily proud of. It's just happened that way. Every year it's a goal to acquire a quarterback, whether that's draft free agency, whatever it looks like. But, yeah, this year's draft class is a cool group. A lot of variances in there," Schneider said. Seattle doesn't seem all that committed to Geno Smith, and Drew Lock is a free agent this offseason.
Seattle Seahawks right tackle Abraham Lucas (knee),, who started 16 games as a rookie in 2022, was limited to just six games in 2023 due to a knee injury that first flared up in the season opener. Lucas eventually made it back from Injured Reserve last year, but general manager John Schneider confirmed that Lucas had surgery on his knee this offseason, with the hope being that it will allow him to put any lingering knee issue behind him moving forward. The 25-year-old's knee surgery was more of a cleanup procedure, so he should be just fine for training camp this summer and the start of the 2024 regular season this fall.
Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Aidan O'Connell stayed afloat in his rookie season while being forced into action in 2023 over 10 starts, but he mostly looked like someone best suited for a role as a backup. At the very least, the Raiders need to bring in a starting-caliber QB in free agency to compete for the job with O'Connell, in the opinion of The Athletic's Tashan Reed. In an ideal circumstance, the Raiders will land their QB of the future in the 2024 NFL draft. However, there's no guaranteed they can get in range for one of the top prospects at the position, as they currently have the No. 13 overall pick in the first round. Reed suggests that the Raiders should make every effort to find a QB in a loaded class that is headlined by USC's Caleb Williams, North Carolina's Drake Maye and LSU's Jayden Daniels.
The Athletic's Tashan Reed suggests that Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Hunter Renfrow is a cut candidate this offseason. Renfrow was excellent in 2021, was named a Pro Bowler and was rewarded with a two-year, $32.3 million contract extension the following offseason that felt like a no-brainer at the time. But the extension has aged poorly. Renfrow couldn't stay healthy in 2022, played a career-low 35 percent of the offensive snaps last year, and has made just 61 catches since signing his extension. The Raiders would save around $8.1 million while taking a dead-money hit of $5.5 million if they cut or trade Renfrow before June 1. If they cut or trade him after June 1, they'll free up $11.8 million in salary cap space for 2024 while taking a dead-money hit of $1.8 million this year and a dead-money hit of $3.6 million in 2025.
In an interview with ESPN, top 2024 NFL Draft quarterback prospect Caleb Williams said he'd be "excited" if the Chicago Bears drafted him in April. For months, there have been rumors that Williams would like to avoid being taken by Chicago, but he has never suggested it himself. "If I get drafted by the Bears, I'll be excited," Williams said. "If they trade the pick, and I get drafted by someone else, I'm just as excited. Speaking about Chicago, they have a talented team, a talented offense and defense. For anyone to be in that situation, I think they'd be excited." Williams is set to meet with the Bears, Washington Commanders, New England Patriots, Las Vegas Raiders, Atlanta Falcons, New York Jets, New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapaport. He will take part in meetings, but he has opted out of participating in on-field work this week. The Bears must decide if they want to continue rolling with Justin Fields at quarterback, or potentially trade him and make the former USC star the future of the franchise ahead of the 2024 season.
Los Angeles Rams tight end Tyler Higbee (knee) suffered a torn ACL in the team's wild-card loss to the Detroit Lions on Jan. 14, and he has undergone surgery to repair it. However, Rams general manager Les Snead said the veteran's timeline to return is "still unclear." The 31-year-old caught 47 passes for 495 yards and two touchdowns in his eighth NFL season (2023), marking his quietest statistical year since 2018. Given his major injury late in the year, he's likely to begin the 2024 campaign on the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list, which would mean he'd have to miss at least the first four games of the season. Regardless of his health, he has limited fantasy upside while sharing a field with receivers Puka Nacua and Cooper Kupp for the foreseeable future. His peak fantasy value has likely come and gone.
Los Angeles Rams general manager Les Snead said the organization has had discussions with offensive lineman Kevin Dotson about a potential contract extension, but he anticipates him to hit the free-agent market. After three seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Dotson, along with a 2024 fifth- and 2025 sixth-round pick, was traded to the Rams for a 2024 fourth- and 2025 fifth-round pick. He was graded as one of the best guards in the NFL last season, according to PFF, so he should have no shortage of interested suitors. Snead said the Rams will remain in contact with him with hopes of bringing him back to block for running back Kyren Williams and quarterback Matthew Stafford in 2024.
Kansas City Chiefs defensive backs coach David Merritt is interviewing for the San Francisco 49ers' defensive coordinator position, according to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo. Merritt has been an NFL assistant on the defensive side of the ball since 2001, and he helped guide the Chiefs to the No. 4 overall passing defense in 2023. He has worked under Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo for a total of ten seasons between their time with the New York Giants and Chiefs. Spagnuolo became the first coordinator to win four Super Bowls after Kansas City defeated San Francisco earlier this month, so his assistants will likely draw interest from rival organizations moving forward.
Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Preston Smith agreed to a restructured contract with the organization on Wednesday that will create $2.4 million in cap space in 2024. ESPN's Field Yates reports that Smith's compensation this year will be now $10 million. His new deal allows him the chance to earn an additional $4 million in incentives, so he could make more than the $12.3 million he was scheduled to earn in his ninth NFL season before restructuring. The 31-year-old is one of the more underrated edge rushers in the NFL, totaling at least eight sacks in three of his last four seasons.
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