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Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver A.J. Brown caught nine of 13 targets for 93 yards and lost a fumble during the team's 13-33 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 14. It is the second week in a row the 26-year-old has been targeted 13 times, but Brown committed a crucial fumble in scoring range that kept him from finding the end zone again. He was not the only Eagle to lose the football on a drive that looked like it would end in a score on Sunday night. Better days are ahead for the Eagles' top receiver, with the team's remaining four games being much easier compared to the gauntlet of opponents they have faced over the past month. With Seattle up next on the schedule, fantasy managers can continue to fire up Brown as a clear-cut WR1.
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.
The New England Patriots have met with North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye, LSU QB Jayden Daniels, Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy and Oregon QB Bo Nix at the NFL scouting combine this week in Indianapolis, according to sources. They are also scheduled to meet with USC's Caleb Williams on Wednesday night. With the No. 3 overall pick in this year's NFL draft, the Patriots have a great chance to land a franchise signal-caller as they look to improve over the disappointing Mac Jones. Not only will the Patriots be led by someone other than Bill Belichick for the first time in the last 24 years in 2024, but New England is also going to have a new face under center for the start of the new season this fall, whether it be a rookie or a veteran.
When asked about speculation as to whether the Miami Dolphins would consider trading wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, general manager Chris Grier laughed and said: "No thoughts of trading Jaylen Waddle. He'll be around here for a long time." The Dolphins have one of the best receiving duos in the league in Waddle and All-Pro Tyreek Hill, so it doesn't make any sense to split them up. Waddle took a slight step backward in his third season as a pro in 2023, but he still managed his third straight 1,000-yard season to begin his career on 1,014 yards, 72 catches and four touchdowns in 14 regular-season starts. The four missed games due to injuries were responsible for his career-lows across the board. With better health in 2024, the 25-year-old wideout should be a lock for another 1,000-yard season.
Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard said that impending free-agent wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. will be on the roster come Week 1 of the 2024 season this fall, either by an extension or the franchise tag, if necessary. The Colts aren't planning to let Pittman get away in free agency this offseason. The 26-year-old would make $21.8 million this year if he plays under the franchise tag, but both sides would prefer an extension. The former second-round pick in 2020 out of USC has blossomed into a WR1 in fantasy after four seasons in the league, two of which (including 2023) resulted in 1,000-yard seasons. Pittman had career-highs in catches (109), targets (156) and receiving yards (1,152) while scoring four times in 16 games last year. He could get even better with young quarterback Anthony Richardson returning from injury in 2024.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith said earlier this month that he's not worried about a long-term contract extension this offseason. "It's all in God's hands," Smith said. "At the end of the day, extension or not, I'm going to have to come in and do what I have to do." The 25-year-old pass-catcher is now eligible for an extension after completing three seasons in the NFL. At the very least, the Eagles will pick up Smith's fifth-year option, which will take him through the 2025 season. The former 10th overall pick in 2021 out of Alabama has topped 1,000 receiving yards in each of the last two years and has gone for 3,178 yards and 19 touchdowns in his three years in the league. Smith has been durable, too, and his fantasy arrow continues to point up heading into 2024.
Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel said he "absolutely" hopes to get a long-term contract extension done with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa this offseason. Tagovailoa is currently set to play the 2024 season under his fifth-year option unless the two sides can agree on an extension this offseason. The 25-year-old led the NFL in passing yards with 4,624, although his lack of rushing prowess has held him back from being among the elite QBs in both real life and fantasy. But Miami's offense was among the most explosive in the league last year, and Tagovailoa should continue to have a stable floor as at least a low-end QB1 as long as receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle are around. It would be a surprise if the Dolphins and Tua didn't agree on an extension this offseason.
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