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NFL Player News - nfl

Kirk Cousins, QB | MIN

Fri, May 07, 2021

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ESPN's Courtney Cronin reports the Vikings were prepared to draft QB Justin Fields if he fell to the team with the 14th pick in the 2021 draft.

Minnesota kept a close eye on Fields as he slipped out of the top five. Cronin said they would have drafted the Ohio State QB if he had fallen another three picks. Instead, the Vikings drafted Texas A&M QB Kellen Mond with the 66th pick. The Star Tribune's Ben Goessling said the team's interest in Fields and their drafting of Mond "suggests they're thinking toward the future at precisely the moment Kirk Cousins' cap number is set to cross $30 million for the first time." Cousins, 32, is signed through the 2022 season and is in no immediate danger of losing his job to Mond, widely considered a raw prospect. But with Cousins slated to account for 20 percent of the Vikings' payroll in 2022 on a team that "wants to operate with a prominent running back and keep high-dollar defensive players," keeping Cousins next season might prove difficult, Goessling said. Mond's rushing capabilities would make him an interesting fantasy option if he were to see playing time in 2021.

Josh Doctson, WR | NYJ

Fri, May 07, 2021

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Jets released WR Josh Doctson.

New York also released CB Kyron Brown, TE Connor Davis, OL Leo Kolamatangi, K Chase McLaughlin, and WR Jaleel Scott. McLaughlin has bounced around as a spot starter and will likely catch on with another team this summer. Docston, the 22nd overall pick by Washington in the 2016 NFL Draft, opted out of the 2020 season. He's now three years removed from his best pro season -- a 44-catch campaign in 2018. Doctson, 28, should be able to land on a practice squad in 2021.

Joe Burrow, QB | CIN

Fri, May 07, 2021

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ESPN's Ben Baby reports rookie WR Ja'Marr Chase could improve the Bengals' quick passing game and help protect Joe Burrow from pressure and hits.

The Bengals were on the receiving end of much post-draft criticism after they took Chase with the fifth pick over LT Penei Sewell, who was drafted by Detroit two picks later. Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan said Chase -- who shredded opposing secondaries after the catch at LSU -- should help Joe Burrow run a quick-hitting passing attack that would prevent another season of constant pressure on the young QB. “What you see around the league is that it’s hard to hold the ball,” Callahan said after Cincinnati drafted Chase. “There’s nobody that sits back and drops back and hangs on to the ball for a long time because those guys on the other side are freak shows.” Burrow in 2020 was excellent when he didn't hang on to the ball. He ranked fourth among qualifying passers in expected completion percentage on attempts under four seconds, according to NFL Next Gen. Burrow was among the league's worst passers when he held the ball for more than four seconds. Burrow was second in the NFL in attempts under 2.5 seconds before his season-ending knee injury; his pressure rate on those throws ranked tenth among qualifying quarterbacks.