Here's a look at some of the top rumors for Friday, Jan. 29:
Ah, yes -- the age old question of which quarterback is going to start in San Francisco. Although the San Francisco 49ers front office isn’t giving us much on a final decision behind center, sometimes we get a little hint of what might play out. Niners owner Jed York happened to give us another hint Friday -- Colin Kaepernick isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. According to CSN Bay Area, York said 2016 will mark a "fresh start" for Kaepernick under new coach Chip Kelly. “I think the nice thing is we have the third-most salary cap room in the league, and everybody wants to make a big issue of, 'Well, you need to make a decision on Colin.' Etcetera, etcetera. We want Colin to get back healthy as soon as possible. We want to make sure that he's able to take the field whenever he's available,” said York. "And I think Chip is going to be a great addition, not just for Kap, but for the rest of the team. I'm excited to see where it goes." Kaepernick has delivered for this team before taking them all the way to a Super Bowl, but the stats from last season are hard to ignore, starting with the fact the Niners were 2-6 to start the season with Kap at the helm, leading to a warmed spot on the bench for the QB and an open spot on the field for Blaine Gabbert. When asked if Kap could earn back his starting job, York had no doubt. "There's no question in my mind," York replied. "I've always had a very, very high opinion of Kap. Kap's a great kid, he's done a lot of great things for us. And again, this is a fresh start for everybody."
Well, it looks like Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel has Brown’s support and we’re not talking Cleveland. According to Pro Football Talk, Jim Brown aka the franchise’s most decorated player is in full support of Manziel, urging patience and support for the troubled first-round pick to his former team. “To be honest, I don’t want to see him traded or anything like that,” Brown said, via Tom Reed of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I just never feel that’s the answer to anything. But that’s my opinion and I don’t expect you to feel that way. I like Johnny.” It’s unclear if Browns owner Jimmy Haslam or coach Hue Jackson share that view. Haslam said he thought the relationship with the QB could be “fixed,” while on the other hand, Jackson hasn’t talked to Manziel since taking over two weeks ago – ouch. Even if the coach has already made up his mind in the starting QB conversation, it can’t hurt to have Hall of Fame running back Jim Brown in your corner for a shot at a redemption.
When it comes to the Miami Dolphins pass rush, let’s just say a bit of an upgrade might be necessary especially with Olivier Vernon headed to the open market and Cameron Wake recovering from a torn Achilles. Luckily for Miami, they have the answer in house -- Dion Jordan. After being suspended the entire 2015 season, Jordan will have the opportunity for a fresh slate with Miami and can offer in getting after the QB. The Miami Herald reports the Dolphins are "open" to giving the suspended defensive end another chance if he's reinstated when first eligible in April -- and he’s clean with a good attitude.
There’s no doubting the raw talent Jordan can offer, as seen in his stellar performance at Oregon. However, Jordan has had little time on the NFL stage to prove his worth. Jordan has the opportunity to ward off any kind of “bust” whispers with a breakout performance in 2016. But if he fails to stay clean, Miami may not be as generous when it comes to third chances -- or any other team for that matter.
This season, Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans had a serious case of butterfingers, and Bucs offensive coordinator and WRs coach Todd Monken says it is an issue that will now become a top priority. Last season, Evans lead the league with 11 dropped passes. According to the Tampa Tribune, Monken says he’ll take it “personally’’ if Evans continues to drop passes at that rate in 2016. “It’s all about routine,’’ said Monken, who also coached NFL wide receivers for the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2007-10. “He has good ball skills. So it’s not a matter of that,” Monken said. “And he competes for the ball and wants to do it. He’s talented. And so I’m excited to get started. Like I said, I take that personally. My job is to make sure he doesn’t drop the ball. That’s it.’’ At age 23, Evans still has plenty of potential to develop. The duo of him and QB Jameis Winston could be one for the books, Evans just has to get a hold of the ball.
Despite finishing 4-12, in what was early on being touted as “This is our year, this is the Cowboys season”, it wasn’t all bad news for Dallas when you look at things closely last season. Scott Linehan joked that he’d need about 24 hours to discuss everything that went wrong for the Dallas Cowboys’ offense last season, but really it can be described in two names: Tony Romo and Dez Bryant. Of course the Cowboys were not going to put up star-spangled numbers without their dynamic duo.
Both now recovering from injuries that limited the Cowboys offense this past season, it’s no surprise Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan is looking to keep things relatively the same in respect to the team’s offensive attack reports the Fort Worth Star Telegram. “I don’t anticipate anything major [adjustment-wise],” Linehan said. “Obviously, we’re working to improve in some areas we fell short, so we’ll do that here in the upcoming months. We really have to get ourselves back to where we really started and where we were in training camp. I think we have to start by everyone looking in the mirror and saying, ‘This is what we’ve got to do individually. Then collectively as a group, and then as a team.’ So it’s pretty cut and dry that way.”
The Los Angeles Rams are looking to any and every avenue when it comes to quarterback. Although Rams General Manager Les Snead already declared an open competition between quarterbacks Case Keenum and Nick Foles for next season, don’t be surprised if come draft day the Rams snatch up another QB to add to the mix. According to Pro Football Talk, Snead told Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times that he can’t rule out using a high pick on a quarterback, although Snead’s thoughts lingered to top quarterbacks who went later than the first round. “You definitely have to prepare that you might do it,” Snead said. “Sometimes with QBs we’ve seen some very successful ones go in the second round, and the third round seems to be hot of late. I’m thinking of Russell Wilson. I’m thinking of Kirk Cousins [fourth round].” And outside the draft, Snead commented the free agent market will also be watched closely. “We’ll definitely scout QBs, and we’ll definitely look at the trade market and free-agent market.” As for in-house options, Snead was also quick to say restricted free agent Case Keenum will also be in the conversation. “We’re not going to let him go somewhere else.”