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Content provided by Rotoworld Player News - Friday, April 4th, 2014

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Rusty Smith visits with Giants 04-04-2014
Rusty Smith QB NYG
Free agent QB Rusty Smith visited with the Giants on Friday.

Howard Balzer on Twitter
Smith spent last season as the Titans' third-string quarterback and hasn't appeared in a game since 2012. He could provide insurance behind Ryan Nassib if signed. The Giants are Smith's only known visit of free agency.
Rafael Bush hoping Saints don't match offer 04-04-2014
Rafael Bush S NO
Restricted free agent S Rafael Bush would prefer if the Saints didn't match the two-year, $4.5 million offer sheet he received from the Falcons.

New Orleans Advocate
Bush is currently the Saints' No. 3 safety and would have a much clearer path to playing time in Atlanta. He'd immediately be the favorite for the Falcons' free safety job and a clear upgrade over 2013 starter Thomas DeCoud. Because the Saints only tendered Bush at the original-round level, New Orleans won't be entitled to draft-pick compensation if they decide not to match the offer.
Bills prioritizing extension for Jerry Hughes 04-04-2014
Jerry Hughes DE BUF
The Bills are expected to prioritize a long-term deal for DE/OLB Jerry Hughes.

buffalobills.com
Hughes resurrected his career in Buffalo last year, recording 10 sacks and 46 tackles as an edge player opposite Mario Williams. The Bills are moving to a more traditional 4-3 scheme under DC Jim Schwartz, allowing Hughes to focus strictly on pass rushing as a full-time defensive end. Hughes, 25, is set to make just $1.1 million in the final year of his rookie contract.
Lions sign OT J.B. Shugarts 04-04-2014
J.B. Shugarts T TB
Lions signed OT J.B. Shugarts. With Detroit losing Jason Fox to free agency, Shugarts will compete for the No. 4 tackle spot behind Riley Reiff, LaAdrian Waddle, and Corey Hilliard. An undrafted free agent in 2012, Shugarts has spent time on the Browns, Cowboys and Jets practice squads the last two seasons.
Jayron Hosley on roster bubble 04-04-2014
Jayron Hosley CB NYG
Giants CB Jayron Hosley is on the roster bubble.

giants.com
The Giants have been aggressive in upgrading their cornerback depth offseason, adding Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Walter Thurmond and Zack Bowman, while re-signing Trumaine McBride. Hosley, 23, has struggled with injuries since entering the league as a 2012 third-round pick and will compete for a backup job.
DeSean Jackson denies gang ties 04-04-2014
DeSean Jackson WR WAS
DeSean Jackson denied his association with gang members in an ESPN interview with Stephen A. Smith. "From my point of view it was very disrespectful," Jackson said. "I'm aware of and know certain gang members but as far as me being affiliated or me being a gang member, never not have once been." Jackson added that he didn't receive an exact explanation from Chip Kelly as to why he was released. CBS Philly suggests Jackson was cut due to his "blatant" disrespect towards the Eagles coaching staff and not being very well liked by his teammates.
Bills could 'move on' from Stevie Johnson 04-04-2014
Steve Johnson WR SF
ESPN.com's Mike Rodak believes Stevie Johnson's roster spot is in jeopardy.

ESPN.com
Coming off an injury-riddled 2013, Johnson is set to count $8.5 million against the cap. He's a candidate to be released following Buffalo's trade for Mike Williams, with second-year receivers Robert Woods and Marquise Goodwin both capable of taking on expanded roles. Because releasing Johnson carries $8.475 million in dead money, he could be asked to take a pay cut. If the Bills ultimately decide to move on from Johnson, they would free up just $25,000 in cap space.
Patriots CB Dennard released from jail 04-04-2014
Alfonzo Dennard CB NE
Patriots CB Alfonzo Dennard was released from Lancaster Country, Nebraska jail on Friday.

ESPN Boston
Dennard served 35 of a possible 60 days for violating his probation stemming from an April 2012 arrest. He won't miss any of the Patriots' offseason program and should be ready for the start of OTAs.
Bucs do one-year deal with S Major Wright 04-04-2014
Major Wright S TB
Bucs agreed to terms with S Major Wright on a one-year contract.

Rick Stroud on Twitter
Wright is coming off a miserable season in Chicago, but showed ballhawking and playmaking ability in his three years prior under Lovie Smith, compiling seven interceptions across 2011-2012. He has a pick-six in three straight years. Turning 26 in July, Wright still offers developmental upside. Look for him to at very worst be a third safety behind Mark Barron and Dashon Goldson.
Cardinals waive WR Byrd, LB Giordano 04-04-2014
LaRon Byrd WR CLE
Cardinals waived WR LaRon Byrd and LB Dan Giordano. Byrd missed all of last season with a concussion, while Giordano likely would have been no more than a camp body. Both guys figure to clear waivers.
Eagles ILB Knott suspended four games 04-04-2014
Jake Knott LB MIA
NFL suspended Eagles ILB Jake Knott four games for violating the league's policy on performance enhancing substances. Undrafted in 2013 out of Iowa State, Knott played 25 snaps on defense as a rookie, and made three tackles on special teams. He'll be eligible to play in Week 5. Knott was not considered a candidate to push for a starting job.
Buccaneers expected to sign WR Hawkins 04-04-2014
Lavelle Hawkins WR TB
ESPN's Adam Caplan reports the Buccaneers are expected to sign free agent WR Lavelle Hawkins.

Adam Caplan on Twitter
Hawkins would add depth to Tampa Bay's shallow receiver corps, while also offering return value. Hawkins was a fourth-round pick by the Titans in 2008.
Saints ink Champ Bailey, 36, to 2-year deal 04-04-2014
Champ Bailey CB NO
Saints signed CB Champ Bailey to a two-year contract.

Mike Triplett on Twitter
We realize it's popular at this point in time to chalk up Bailey as "done," but he had an excellent regular season in 2012 before Torrey Smith ran by him a few times in Denver's playoff loss, and Bailey was injured throughout 2013. We're a little more open minded. Turning 36 in June, Bailey's skill set remains an excellent fit for DC Rob Ryan's press-man scheme, where he'll only have to deal with No. 2 corners opposite running mate Keenan Lewis. It's still likely New Orleans uses an early draft pick at cornerback, quite possibly in the first round.
Report: Cowboys don't want Chris Johnson 04-04-2014
Chris Johnson RB NYJ
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports the Cowboys do not have interest in free agent Chris Johnson.

Clarence Hill on Twitter
It's become increasingly apparent Dallas won't pursue Johnson despite early reports they might. The Dolphins, Jets, and Falcons appear to be the front-runners for CJ?K, while the Bills have interest but are not expected to land him.
Ravens re-sign DT Terrence Cody 04-04-2014
Terrence Cody DT BAL
Ravens re-signed DT Terrence Cody. "Mount Cody" is still only 25, but has been a major disappointment as the 57th overall pick in the 2010 draft, struggling as a run stopper and providing nothing in the pass-rush department. He'll have to battle to keep his roster spot.
Nate Burleson flying to Cleveland next 04-04-2014
Nate Burleson WR CLE
Free agent Nate Burleson's Dolphins visit has ended, and he will fly to Cleveland this evening.

Adam Caplan on Twitter
Per ESPN's Adam Caplan, Burleson's flight to visit the Browns will leave "in a few hours." Burleson is going on age 33 and would be best suited for a No. 3 or 4 receiver role, wherever he lands. The prospective fit in Miami was odd because the Fins have Rishard Matthews behind Brandon Gibson in the slot.
Patriots cut loose '13 FA bust Adrian Wilson 04-04-2014
Adrian Wilson S CHI
Patriots released SS Adrian Wilson. New England's signing of Pat Chung made Wilson expendable. Now 34 years old, Wilson never played a snap for the Patriots in 2013 after signing a three-year, $5 million deal last March. He tore his Achilles' tendon in the preseason finale. Achilles' tears are career threatening even for young players, and this one could easily end Wilson's career. Wilson is a five-time Pro Bowler and one-time first-team All Pro. Though probably not a Hall of Famer, Wilson will eventually be a member of the Arizona Cardinals' Ring of Honor. He does hope to keep playing.
Bills, Fins explored trade for Chris Johnson 04-04-2014
Chris Johnson RB NYJ
A source tells ESPN's Paul Kuharsky that the Bills and Dolphins were Chris Johnson's "top suitors" in pre-release trade discussions.

ESPN.com
Kuharsky reports Buffalo and Miami "were the teams that came closest to making a move," but he "can't envision" Johnson wanting to play for the Bills, and the Dolphins' offensive line woes may ultimately discourage CJ?K from signing there. We still see Buffalo as the longest of shots. ESPN's Adam Schefter has reported the Jets and Falcons have also shown interest in Johnson.
Owen Daniels gets no guaranteed money 04-04-2014
Owen Daniels TE BAL
Owen Daniels' one-year contract with Baltimore includes zero guaranteed money, and has a base value of just $1 million.

Jason La Canfora on Twitter
The max value is $2 million, with the other $1 million available via incentives. It's another savvy signing by Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome. Daniels is 31 and has become increasingly injury prone in recent seasons, but made a Pro Bowl as recently as 2012, and in 2013 was on pace for a 77-807-10 stat line before going down last season. Daniels' addition will allow the Ravens to make heavy use of "12 personnel," creating mismatches alongside Dennis Pitta.
Report: D-Jax was major headache in Philly 04-04-2014
DeSean Jackson WR WAS
Numerous sources tell CBS Philly that DeSean Jackson was "blatantly insubordinate" and "not very well liked by his teammates" with the Eagles, leading to his release before signing with Washington.

CBS Philadelphia
CBS Philly reports Jackson threw "temper tantrums cussing out (Chip) Kelly several times in front of the team," and was "more concerned with his rap label" than winning football games. The dislike among teammates would seem to be confirmed by their dispassionate reactions to his departure. "I'll put it this way, when it came out last Friday that [Jackson] was released," said one source, "more than a few guys were happy it happened. They said `good riddance.'"
Four teams discussed trade for CJ?K 04-04-2014
Chris Johnson RB NYJ
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports the Jets, Bills, Dolphins, and Falcons all "discussed" a potential trade for Chris Johnson before his Friday release.

Adam Schefter on Twitter
Obviously, a trade could not be worked out, but this report may provide a clue as to Johnson's future landing spot. Atlanta was the first team rumored to be a possible Johnson suitor, while the Jets have been reported to have interest by multiple outlets. Miami might provide Johnson with his best chance to be a 2014 feature back. The Bills seem like a pretty long shot.
Redskins re-sign OLB Rob Jackson 04-04-2014
Rob Jackson DE WAS
Redskins re-signed OLB Rob Jackson. Jackson, 28, recorded 19 tackles and two sacks last season, playing behind Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo in Jim Haslett's 3-4. Jackson hasn't embarrassed himself in past spot starts, but isn't a starting-caliber player. He'll compete with Brandon Jenkins to keep the primary reserve OLB role this year.
Giants add TE Kellen Davis 04-04-2014
Kellen Davis TE DET
Giants signed TE Kellen Davis, formerly of the Seahawks, to a one-year contract.

Profootballtalk on NBC Sports
Davis, 28, played 172 offensive snaps for Seattle last season and caught all three of his targets for 32 yards and one touchdown. After the Bears tried and failed miserably by attempting to make Davis a pass-catching tight end, he found a role as a blocker with the Seahawks. He'll do the same with the Giants.
Titans officially cut Chris Johnson, save $6M 04-04-2014
Chris Johnson RB NYJ
Titans released RB Chris Johnson.

Jim Wyatt on Twitter
Ravens add RB Justin Forsett on 1-year deal 04-04-2014
Justin Forsett RB BAL
Ravens signed RB Justin Forsett, formerly of the Jaguars, to a one-year contract. Forsett, 28, carried the ball just six times for 31 yards in nine games for Jacksonville last season and battled a foot injury for much of the season. He broke a bone in the foot in Week 12 but appears to be healthy now. Forsett, who owns a career 4.9 YPC average, will battle Cierre Wood and others for No. 3 duties.
Bills send a 6th to Bucs for WR Mike Williams 04-04-2014
Mike Williams WR BUF
Bills acquired WR Mike Williams from the Buccaneers for a sixth-round draft pick.

James Walker on Twitter
Williams' name has been in the news for all the wrong reasons this offseason, and he clearly was on the outs in Tampa. In Buffalo, Williams reunites with Doug Marrone. Marrone coached Williams at Syracuse in 2009 before Williams quit the team that November. Williams also grew up in Buffalo, so it's a homecoming. In 2010, Williams led all rookie receivers in catches, yards, and touchdowns. He's not an explosive athlete by any means but with 25 career touchdowns and a 6-foot-2, 212-pound frame, Williams has been a reliable red-zone option. Williams, Robert Woods, and Stevie Johnson project as Buffalo's top three wideouts, though Johnson has been rumored to be on the way out.
Jets expected to have interest in CJ2K 04-04-2014
Chris Johnson RB NYJ
The New York Daily News reiterates that the Jets are expected to show interest in Chris Johnson "if the price is right."

New York Daily News
Beat writer Manish Mehta had a similar report earlier in the week. Johnson is going to be granted his release on Friday after meeting with Titans GM Ruston Webster and taking an exit physical. The Jets were in on both Donald Brown and Maurice Jones-Drew earlier in free agency. They're clearly seeking an upgrade on Bilal Powell as Chris Ivory's partner.
Titans ask DE Kam Wimbley to take a pay cut 04-04-2014
Kamerion Wimbley LB TEN
The Titans have asked DE Kamerion Wimbley to take a pay cut.

Jim Wyatt on Twitter
Wimbley is "mulling it over now." He's scheduled to earn $6 million in the third year of a five-year, $35 million contract but obviously isn't going to see it. If Wimbley declines, the Titans would likely release him and save $2.4 million against the cap while eating $5.4 million in dead money. The Titans' transition to a 3-4 defense is a reason for Wimbley to accept the cut and stay.
Bengals S Manning says broken leg is 'fine' 04-04-2014
Danieal Manning S HOU
New Bengals S Danieal Manning says his broken leg is doing "fine."

Cincinnati Enquirer
Manning fractured his right fibula in Week 6 and spent the remainder of the season on injured reserve. He's been doing on-field work the past two weeks and expects to be ready for OTAs. Manning will be the No. 3 safety in Cincinnati and CBs coach Vance Joseph talked Manning up as a potential slot corner.
Jameel McClain expected to start at OLB 04-04-2014
Jameel McClain LB NYG
Jameel McClain is penciled in as one of the Giants starting outside linebackers.

ESPN.com
McClain inked a two-year, $4.1 million deal with the G-Men last month. After MLB Jon Beason's re-signing, McClain will flank him at one of the outside spots. Spencer Paysinger and Jacquian Williams will compete on the opposite side. Other than possibly Beason, there's no IDP value here whatsoever.
Darian Stewart viewed as starter by Ravens 04-04-2014
Darian Stewart S BAL
Darian Stewart is expected to be the Ravens starting free safety.

Baltimore Sun
Stewart started 13 games for Steve Spagnuolo's Rams in 2011. Spags is now on the Ravens staff and loves Stewart. The former undrafted free agent had 84 tackles, three sacks, and a pick-six during the 2011 campaign. Stewart has battled nagging injuries his entire career and will need to stay healthy to keep the job.
Report: Giants, Boys, Jets interested in CJ2K 04-04-2014
Chris Johnson RB NYJ
The Giants, Cowboys, and Jets are expected to express interest in Chris Johnson once he's released.

NFL.com
Johnson is meeting with Titans GM Ruston Webster on Friday and is expected to be granted his release sometime today. The Jets have been linked to Johnson for a couple weeks now and we've heard the Cowboys mentioned as a possibility before, but this is the first time the Giants have been in the discussion. Gang Green easily has the most salary cap space of the three clubs.