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DeAndrew White was released by the Patriots on Thursday, the Patriots' official site reports.


White was released in order to make room for veteran linebacker David Harris. The 25-year-old spent the entire 2016 season on the Patriots' practice squad and will now look to find his way onto another roster in time for training camp.

Logan Paulsen has the skill set and history with head coach Kyle Shanahan to make a serious bid for a roster spot this season, Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee reports.


At 30 years old, Paulsen is the elder statesman of the group of tight ends currently in camp. While that works against him on paper, his size (6-foot-5, 268 pounds), blocking ability and presence as a red zone threat (six touchdowns on 82 receptions) make the veteran a good fit for Shanahan's offense. Both he and Garrett Celek possess similar skill sets, and they will likely compete for a spot on the depth chart this preseason.

Cole Hikutini has a shot at making the 49ers' roster if he performs well this preseason, Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee reports.


The undrafted free agent out of Louisville had a strong 2016 campaign and was brought into camp to compete for a role in Kyle Shanahan's offense. He has received an extensive look during the 49ers' offseason program, and he could move up the depth chart with a strong showing during training camp as the club starts from scratch with their bevvy of tight end options. A focus point of Hikutini's evaluation will be how well he has recovered from a knee injury that hurt his draft stock this past offseason. The 21-year-old produced 668 yards and eight touchdowns in his senior season with Louisville, so he possesses some playmaking potential if he were to make the roster.

Despite his fourth-round pedigree, Blake Bell (head) will have to compete for a spot on the 49ers' 53-man roster this season, according to Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee.


The former quarterback was drafted as a developmental project in 2015, but his lack of production over the last two seasons puts him in a questionable position as the team moves towards training camp July 27. Bell has the size (6-foot-6, 255 pounds) to profile as a prominent red-zone threat, but with plenty of competition in camp, he will have to display progress in his development to make the cut.

Head Coach Kyle Shanahan said that he has "been a fan of [Garrett Celek] throughout his career," which bodes well for the tight end's chances of making the 53-man roster as the 49ers head towards training camp, Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee reports.


Celek's toughness and blocking ability fits the mold of Shanahan's past tight ends. It helps that the 29-year-old took a step forward offensively last season with 350 yards and three touchdowns on 29 receptions, but he has more real football value to the 49ers than he does as a receiver for fantasy. Celek will compete with a handful of candidates during training camp for a spot in Shanahan's offense.

Vance McDonald (shoulder) – who was subject of trade talks during the draft – remains with the 49ers for the time being, but will have to earn his spot as the team's top tight end, Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee reports.


The veteran tight end posted career bests in yards (391), touchdowns (four) and YPC (16.3) in 11 games last season, earning a four-year contract extension from former GM Trent Baalke. The 49ers' new regime clearly wasn't sold on the incumbent tight end, admitting that McDonald was placed on the trading block during the 2017 NFL Draft. GM John Lynch even went out and signed veteran tight end Logan Paulsen and drafted athletic tight end George Kittle to help create more competition at the tight end position. McDonald will have to show that he can be an effective blocker and stay healthy (16 games missed over last four seasons) during training camp in order to hang on to his role as the 49ers' top tight end.

Markus Wheaton (shoulder) has an opportunity to start this season, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports.


The Bears added several veteran wideouts this offseason in order to try and replace Alshon Jeffery. While Kevin White and Cameron Meredith (thumb) are slated to be the starters, injury history has haunted the Bears' receiving corps the past few years, which could lead to Wheaton's opportunity. He'll be competing with Victor Cruz and Kendall Wright for reps, but Wheaton's superior ability on the outside compared to the other two wideouts could set the 26-year-old apart from the crowd. However, he'll first have to make a full recovery from shoulder surgery.

Brandon Cooks (W, NE)

Since being acquired by the Patriots, Brandin Cooks' approach has caught the eye of coach Bill Belichick, ESPN's Mike Reiss reports. "Brandin's worked hard. Definitely, he has some skill. A transition for him [from New Orleans]; he's working hard to make it," Belichick noted.


Cooks' speed and pass-catching upside are undeniable, but it's still a good sign to see him picking up the complex New England offense well thus far. Given that the team forked over a first-round pick in the deal that landed the wideout, we expect that the Pats have big plans for the 20th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Cooks will contend with fellow wideout Julian Edelman and tight end Rob Gronkowski, among others, for targets, but his field-stretching ability adds an explosive element that the team's passing attack has largely lacked since the departure of Randy Moss.

Tyrunn Walker was released by the Rams on Thursday, Adam Caplan of ESPN.com reports.


Walker signed with the Rams back in March after spending the past two seasons with the Lions. Only 27, the defensive tackle has a good shot of winding up on another roster before training camp.

C.J. Uzomah has been working hard in the offseason to sharpen all aspects of his game, Dan Hoard of the Bengals' official site reports. "I'm trying to work on my hands – whether it's as a blocker or getting off the jam," Uzomah said. "I'm working on my hips a little bit too. …I've also been working with Ben (Creamer) from Ignition APG with boxing and hand fighting and he does a great job with that. I did it a little last year but not as much as I will this upcoming year. I think that helps tremendously and translates to the field a lot."


Uzomah had to step up last season after starting tight end Tyler Eifert missed games due to injury. The 24-year-old ended the season with 25 receptions for 234 yards and one score. Uzomah is looking to pick up where he left off last season, but he may have to take a backseat to Eifert (back) and Tyler Kroft (knee) on the depth chart. However, if injuries prevail, the Bengals will have some assurance, knowing that Uzomah is waiting in the wings.

Eli Manning (Q, NYG)

Eli Manning has a revised set of offensive weapons for the upcoming season, including free-agent pickup Brandon Marshall and 2017 first-round pick Evan Engram, Conor Orr of NFL.com reports.


After the aforementioned moves, Manning has exchanged the broken-down Victor Cruz for Marshall while adding one of the promising tight ends from a stacked class of rookies. With Marshall and Engram joining wideouts Odell Beckham and Sterling Shepard, and competent pass-catching backs Paul Perkins and Shane Vereen and tight end Will Tye, the Giants boast their best array of skill-position talent of the last decade and perhaps Manning's entire career. Unfortunately for Manning, he's regressed significantly as he prepares for his age-36 season, struggling with deep passes (52.8 QB rating on throws of 21-plus yards in 2016) and being saddled with an uninspiring head coach (Ben McAdoo). However, Manning has the weapons at his disposal to reach his heights of the past.

Chester Rogers could compete with Kamar Aiken and Philip Dorsett for the third and fourth spots on the wideout depth chart, Kevin Bowen of Colts.com reports.


The Colts signed Aiken away from Baltimore to push Dorsett, but the team also has an in-house option to challenge its disappointing 2015 first-round pick for the No. 3 wideout role. Rogers was a surprise contributor last year as an undrafted rookie, catching 19 of 35 targets for 273 yards (14.4 per catch, 7.8 per target) in 14 games, also adding 13 punt returns for 119 yards. Listed at 6-foot-1, 180 pounds, he doesn't impress in terms of size or speed (4.51 40 at his pro day), and yet quarterback Andrew Luck, offensive coordinator Rod Chudzinski and GM Chris Ballard all spoke highly of Rogers' continued development after the Colts' offseason program wrapped up. While he'll likely still be an underdog in the competition for the No. 3 wideout job, Rogers shouldn't have too much trouble earning a roster spot.

Greg Olsen said it's too early to say whether he'd consider holding out of training camp as part of his effort to secure a new contract, ESPN.com's Adam Schefter reports.


Considering training camp is only five weeks away, Olsen presumably at least has some idea about his plan for landing a new contract. His $6.5 million base salaries for the next two seasons would seem to make him a clear bargain in comparison to other top tight ends, but the situation is partly of his choosing, as his contract contains a much higher percentage in guarantees (53.3 percent) than the deals signed by Rob Gronkowski, Jordan Reed, Travis Kelce and Jimmy Graham. Olsen agreed to the deal two years ago, seemingly trading some upside in exchange for security. The Panthers probably don't want to set the precedent of a large-scale renegotiation for a contract that was signed only two years ago and still has two years remaining, but the 32-year-old Olsen did mention that he hopes to play another five or six seasons, which could make an extension amenable to both parties. He hasn't missed a game since 2007 despite handling a heavy workload throughout his time in Carolina, drawing triple-digit targets each of the past five seasons, including 122 or more the last three years.

Jordan Matthews (knee) acknowledged that his absence from most of the offseason program wasn't ideal, but he said he isn't too worried about his availability for training camp, Les Bowen of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.


Matthews has dealt with tendinitis in his left knee since training camp last year, but both of his absences in 2016 were attributed to an ankle injury, and his per-game production in terms of catches and yards was similar to what he did the previous two years, albeit with a dip in touchdowns (three) and yards per target (6.9). While he said he won't discuss the injury until it has fully healed, he did mention the potential impact of Philadelphia's offseason additions, acknowledging he might draw fewer looks but should find it easier to get open. The additions of Torrey Smith and Alshon Jeffery make it unlikely Matthews approaches his average of 8.1 targets per game over the past two seasons, but he should improve upon last season's poor mark in yards per target while benefiting from playing nearly all of his snaps in the slot.

Derek Carr (Q, Oak)

Derek Carr (fibula) and the Raiders have finalized a five-year, $125 million extension,NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reports.


The average annual value of $25 million in new money narrowly tops Andrew Luck's $24.6 million to set a new NFL record, though Matt Stafford and Kirk Cousins will both push for similar contracts in the coming weeks. Carr was limited throughout the Raiders' offseason program while recovering from a broken fibula suffered in Week 16, but he should be a full participant at the start of training camp as he looks to build on a strong 2016 campaign. He'll benefit from one of the league's best supporting casts, with RB Marshawn Lynch and TE Jared Cook joining a unit that already boasts an elite offensive line and wideout duo. Given the new contract and the talent surrounding him, Carr will be expected to improve upon last season's mark of 7.0 yards per pass attempt. His completion percentage (63.8) and TD:INT ratio (28:6) were impressive, but he'll need to have more success throwing downfield to be mentioned among the league's elite quarterbacks when the discussion moves beyond salary.

Ezekiel Elliott (R, Dal)

Cowboys running backs coach Gary Brown expects Ezekiel Elliott to catch more passes this season, Jon Machota of The Dallas Morning News reports.


Elliott easily led the league in carries (322) and rushing yards (1,631) as a rookie, but he only ranked 31st among running backs in targets (40), despite finishing third in yards per target (9.1) among the 50 backs that drew more than 25 looks. While he often stayed on the field for passing downs, the Cowboys simply didn't rely on their backfield much for pass-catching duties, with running backs accounting for only 79 of the team's 483 targets (16.4 percent). That share likely will rise closer to the league average of 18-20 percent, and with Lance Dunbar no longer on the roster, Elliott unquestionably is the Cowboys' best option for passing downs. While still unlikely to match the kind of receiving workloads David Johnson and Le'Veon Bell handle, Elliott should push to finish among the top 10 at his position in both carries and targets.

The Colts likely will use more of a committee approach in the backfield this season, giving Robert Turbin a heavier workload than last season's 47 carries and 35 targets, Mike Chappell of CBS 4 Indianapolis reports.


Turbin only produced 3.5 yards per carry and 5.1 yards per target last season, but he found the end zone on eight of his 73 touches, including three of his his four carries from inside the 5-yard line and seven of his 14 from inside the 10. Fourth-round rookie Marlon Mack may be the flashier option to alleviate some of 34-year-old Frank Gore's workload, but Turbin's strong work in the red zone and as a pass blocker makes him the better bet to handle a significant snap count in Week 1. Turbin still doesn't offer much upside, as he failed to produce a 20-yard gain last season and has a long gain of just 26 yards on 328 career carries. He'd likely share playing time with Mack, and possibly Josh Ferguson, in the event of a Gore injury.

Nelson Agholor (W, Phi)

Nelson Agholor has been the "standout star" of spring practices, according to Dave Zangaro of CSN Philly.


Eagles receivers coach Mike Groh had nothing but high praise for the 2015 first-round pick, citing Agholor's productive spring practices and versatility. As Jordan Matthews nursed a knee injury, the USC product took over first team reps in the slot and continued to shine. While Agholor has disappointed in his NFL career thus far and is slated to be Philadelphia's fourth receiver behind Matthews, Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith, it's not as if the first two on that list are bastions of good health. The 24-year-old Agholor could still see plenty of playing time and engineer a possible breakout if he can translate his spring production to the regular season.

Brian Randolph (knee) was waived by the Rams on Wednesday, Nate Bain of the Rams' official site reports.


Randolph missed all of last season after tearing his ACL in the first preseason game. The undrafted free agent will now look to find his way onto another roster in time for training camp – if he can prove he is healthy.

Todd Gurley (R, LAR)

Todd Gurley has shown improved communication and decision-making during the offseason, Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com reports.


Gurley had a down year in 2016 – 885 yards and six touchdowns on 278 carries – after a promising rookie campaign, as the back often failed to hit the hole when given the ball. The blame isn't Gurley's alone, as a subpar offensive line and a non-threatening passing attack certainly didn't help his cause. With the season behind him, the 22-year-old has shown newfound maturity in all aspects of his game this offseason. "He knows what we're trying to do on the offensive line as far as front side and back side," starting left guard Rodger Saffold noted. "So, he knows where the play is going. Inside, with our wide zones and our inside zones, I think he's attacking where we want the ball to go a lot better. And I think he's letting things develop, too." Gurley will have to bounce back if the Rams hope to improve on last year's 4-12 record, as he provides the main spark on offense, and it's clear everyone in the locker room believes it will happen. "How hard he's taken everything, and how serious he's taken everything, has been awesome," quarterback Jared Goff noted. "I expect him to have a great year."