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Cleveland Browns running back Jerome Ford is coming off a nine-carry, 65-yard outing in a Week 12 loss to the Denver Broncos. He will now head to California to take on the Los Angeles Rams on the road in Week 13. The Rams have been tough on opposing running backs this season as they are allowing just the 26th-most fantasy points per game to the position thus far. Ford should see at least double-digit carries and has been active in the passing attack in most games. That puts him on the map as a low-end RB2 in fantasy this weekend, even with Joe Flacco under center for the Browns.
Kansas City Chiefs edge rusher Charles Omenihu (knee) suffered a torn ACL in the AFC Championship Game victory over the Baltimore Ravens. The 26-year-old confirmed he had successful surgery to repair the injury on Tuesday. He's likely to miss most, if not all of the team's preseason activities. He could even begin the 2024 season on the PUP list. After returning from his two-game suspension to start the 2023 campaign, Omenihu totaled seven sacks and two forced fumbles in his first regular season with the organization. He posted a strip sack on Lamar Jackson in the AFC title game before his major injury. Although he's mostly a rotational player, his absence could hurt the Kansas City front seven.
Minnesota Vikings safety Theo Jackson is re-signing with the team ahead of the 2024 season. Originally a sixth-round pick out of the University of Tennessee in 2022, Jackson was released during final roster cuts by the Tennessee Titans. Minnesota signed him afterward, and he has been a key special teams contributor and rotational defensive back over the last two seasons. The 25-year-old has compiled 30 tackles, one interception, and one pass defended in 26 games to start his career.
The Los Angeles Rams have informed center Brian Allen that he is being released. Allen was selected by the franchise with a fourth-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft and has played in 50 games with 32 starts. He played in just five games in 2023 with zero starts. The 28-year-old is unlikely to draw interest as a starter elsewhere, but several NFL franchises struggle with offensive line depth every year, so his experience will make him an attractive backup during free agency.
Carolina Panthers cornerback Donte Jackson has been a full-time starter since he arrived as a second-round pick out of LSU in 2018, but The Athletic's Joseph Person lists him as a potential salary cap casualty this offseason. Cutting the 28-year-old defensive back would create almost $6 million in salary cap space for the Panthers this offseason, but it would also leave them with $9.8 million in dead money. Jackson was unable to pick off a pass in 2023 for the first time in his career, but he started 16 games (the most since his rookie year) and was solid in run support. The Panthers must also consider fellow cornerback Jaycee Horn's lengthy injury history when considering whether to cut Jackson. The Panthers only have a few obvious potential salary cap cuts outside of Jackson.
Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre'Davious White (Achilles) is now 29 and is coming off two major injuries in the last three seasons -- a torn ACL in 2021 and a torn Achilles in 2023. If the Bills were to cut him this offseason, they would clear just over $6 million in salary cap space, but the situation could go either way and is more complex than just saving cap room for the 2024 season. White is highly valued by the organization, and the Bills want him to get healthy before they make a decision on his future. However, they could run out of time for him to do so before his $1.5 million roster bonus is due just a few days into the new league year in March, which would take away 25 percent of their potential savings. The All-Pro corner tore his right Achilles in Week 4 against Miami and may not even be the same player upon his return.
The Baltimore Ravens need to create some salary cap space this offseason, which could lead to some cost-cutting moves, and linebacker Tyus Bowser (knee) is the most likely cap cut. Veterans like offensive tackles Morgan Moses and Ronnie Stanley and fullback Patrick Ricard could also be involved. The 28-year-old Bowser spent all of last year on the Non-Football Injury list due to a mysterious offseason knee injury. When healthy, Bowser has been a solid player for the Ravens, but he's missed 27 games over the last two seasons due to injury. The Athletic's Jeff Zrebiec writes that creating $5.5 million in salary cap space by cutting Bowser feels like a no-brainer move for the team.
The Athletic's Josh Kendall lists Atlanta Falcons veteran tight end Jonnu Smith as a potential cut candidate this offseason. Smith was the team's fourth-leading receiver in 2023, but the Falcons could face some offensive upheaval this offseason with a new coaching staff coming in. Former head coach Arthur Smith kept a tight end-heavy roster, but new offensive coordinator Zac Robinson comes from the Los Angeles Rams' 11-personnel-heavy offense, meaning that Kyle Pitts may be the only tight end the team needs now. The Rams' backup tight end, Davis Allen, caught just 10 passes last year. Smith had 50 receptions a year ago, but cutting him this offseason would give the Falcons $6.5 million more salary cap room. If Smith remains in Atlanta, fantasy managers should expect a serious drop in production.
Arizona Cardinals offensive tackle D.J. Humphries (knee) has been an anchor for the team's offensive line since he entered the league in 2016. He's been a team captain and a respected voice in the locker room. However, he just turned 30 years old and he's likely to miss most of the 2024 season while recovering from surgery on his ACL. Humphries will have a $22.9 million salary cap number this year, and cutting him would save the Cardinals around $9 million. General manager Monti Ossenfort has more work to do with the team's offensive line this season, even though they exceeded expectations in 2023. If the team moves on from Humphries, Paris Johnson Jr., who had an impressive rookie season at right tackle, could move over to the left side to protect quarterback Kyler Murray's blind side.
The Chicago Bears are dedicated to bringing back impending free-agent cornerback Jaylon Johnson, which might require the franchise tag. The Bears will also likely look to upgrade their defensive line this offseason, including adding an additional pass-rusher to complement Montez Sweat. Johnson, 24, was the team's second-round pick in 2020 out of Utah and was a big reason why Chicago's secondary was one of the better units in the league in 2023. He had a career year as a first-time Pro Bowler and finished with 36 tackles (31 solo), a career-high four interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), 10 passes defensed and a forced fumble in 14 starts in his fourth year in the NFL.
Atlanta Falcons new offensive coordinator Zac Robinson sees tight end Kyle Pitts as very versatile. He's mainly been used in the passing game and had 667 receiving yards on 53 catches in his third NFL season in 2023. Pitts can also be an asset when it comes to blocking in the running game, too. "We're not oblivious to the fact of his skill sets, what he does bring to the team from a receiving standpoint, so there are a lot of things that you can do to be creative and use his skill set in the pass game," new tight ends coach Kevin Koger said. "But with him and the way we're going to run the ball and the athleticism he does have, there are a lot of things he can do in the run game to help us out to win football games." It sounds like Pitts is going to be moved around a lot, and the new coaching staff should be able to use him more effectively than Arthur Smith did in his three years with Pitts on the team.
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