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Cardinals | Looking at Michael Wacha

Fri, 25 Jul 2014 00:30:58 -0700

The St. Louis Cardinals plan on checking SP Michael Wacha (scapula) because he has a unique stress fracture and the team wants to make sure it won't recur anytime soon. The team is checking out whether it is something in the weight room, his mechanics or other causes.

Cardinals | Evaluating catcher situation

Fri, 25 Jul 2014 00:27:49 -0700

St. Louis Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak plans to spend the next week evaluating whether C Tony Cruz and C George Kottaras will be a solution for the rest of the season or whether the team will seek a catcher at the deadline. "One thing we've always said is we'd like to see what Tony Cruz is capable of doing on a day in and day out basis," said Mozeliak. "But having said that, we also want to give ourselves the best chance to win."

Cardinals | Oscar Taveras may be sent down

Fri, 25 Jul 2014 00:20:08 -0700

With St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny trying to juggle playing time for OF Allen Craig and OF Oscar Taveras, indications are Taveras may be sent down to Triple-A Memphis within a week to earn more play.

Padres | Looking for big package to give up Ian Kennedy

Fri, 25 Jul 2014 00:17:50 -0700

The San Diego Padres have sent word to some teams that they would need to be overwhelmed to trade SP Ian Kennedy, sources said. That is not to say Kennedy won't be dealt, but the indication seems to be that the Padres aren't anxious to trade the veteran right-hander.

Tigers | Never serious on Jonathan Papelbon

Fri, 25 Jul 2014 00:14:03 -0700

The Detroit Tigers never approached the Philadelphia Phillies for serious talks on CL Jonathan Papelbon. Papelbon is still the subject of numerous trade talks with other clubs.

Rams | Jamaine Sherman injured

Fri, 25 Jul 2014 00:07:28 -0700

St. Louis Rams WR Jamaine Sherman (leg) hobbled off the field Wednesday, July 23, with a left leg injury after a collision with CB Marcus Roberson, a fellow rookie. No further details were available on his condition.

Cardinals | Deone Bucannon to play nickel linebacker?

Thu, 24 Jul 2014 23:57:10 -0700

Arizona Cardinals first-round rookie SS Deone Bucannon could replace LB Larry Foote in nickel packages to take advantage of Bucannon's athleticism in pass coverage. Head coach Bruce Arians noted the defense will be molded to fit the players, rather than trying to make the players fit a specific system.

Cardinals | Bruce Arians talks up his defense

Thu, 24 Jul 2014 23:54:46 -0700

Arizona Cardinals LBs Kevin Minter and Larry Foote are expected to start next to each other at each inside linebacker spot in Arizona's 3-4 defense, replacing last year's starters, LBs Daryl Washington (suspended) and Karlos Dansby (Browns). Minter played one snap on defense as a rookie in 2013, but is expected to be an upgrade against the run from last year's interior duo. Foote, 34, enters his 13th year in the NFL, giving head coach Bruce Arians a contrasting pair inside. "You are going to miss Daryl's (Washington) speed, because he's going to correct his mistake with speed. Larry (Foote) is not going to make that mistake. Whether or not he can get there fast enough, that's (left) to be seen."

Cardinals | Justin Bethel impressing HC

Thu, 24 Jul 2014 23:53:18 -0700

Arizona Cardinals CB Justin Bethel had the best spring of anybody, according to head coach Bruce Arians. Bethel was a Pro Bowl special teams player in 2013. He has the athletic ability to be the best cornerback on roster, per Arians. When asked if Bethel could start at cornerback, Arians said, "Over Patrick (Peterson) and Cro (Antonio Cromartie). They gave up more big plays in the spring than he did, and got his hands on more balls than anybody did. That's a nice problem to have."

Buccaneers | GM has high expectations

Thu, 24 Jul 2014 23:37:31 -0700

Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht said he expects the team to compete for the NFC South title in 2014. "It's crazy," Licht said. "We'll look back at what we've added and … I'm legitimately excited and feel like we have a chance to compete for the division title. I really do. You would think, with a first-year head coach and a first-year general manager … we would both have a pass if we wanted to say, you know, I think we need some more time to turn this thing around. But that's not what we think. We think we can make a run at this thing this year. We feel we've got some major pieces in place to do that."

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Buccaneers | Da'Quan Bowers called out by GM

Thu, 24 Jul 2014 23:34:04 -0700

Tampa Bay Buccaneers DE Da'Quan Bowers has been rumored for some time to be on the bubble, and general manager Jason Licht said Bowers' job is on the line this training camp. "I (don't) mean to sound too harsh, but it's a matter of fact that he needs to prove that he wants to make an impact with this football team and I expect that he will," Licht said.

Buccaneers | Akeem Spence working hard

Thu, 24 Jul 2014 23:28:05 -0700

Tampa Bay Buccaneers DT Akeem Spence proved to be one of the team's better players through their offseason workout program. Spence could hold off competition from DT Clinton McDonald with a strong training camp. General manager Jason Licht praised Spence's work ethic. "He just hasn't let up on the gas. It was fun watching that competition between him and Clinton during our OTAs and our mincamps, and I expect it to continue in training camp."

Buccaneers | Carl Nicks to be brought along slowly

Thu, 24 Jul 2014 23:21:02 -0700

Tampa Bay Buccaneers OG Carl Nicks (toe) will be slowly worked back into the mix, according to general manager Jason Licht. Nicks missed all but nine games over the past two seasons.

Saints | PK job is Shayne Graham's to lose?

Thu, 24 Jul 2014 23:16:12 -0700

New Orleans Saints PK Shayne Graham, 36, is in a battle for the place-kicking job with 24-year-old PK Derek Dimke. Graham appears to have the edge, unless Dimke clearly out-kicks him in training camp. The Saints may bring in other place kickers to compete, however.

Panthers | Won't ask for more tax money to fund stadium upgrade

Thu, 24 Jul 2014 23:10:58 -0700

The Carolina Panthers will not seek more public money for the ongoing renovations being performed on Bank of America Stadium, which has largely been paid for already with tax dollars. Last year, $87.5 million in public funds was approved, when the Panthers reached a deal to remain at the stadium through the 2018 season. Should the City of Charlotte, N.C., decide to contribute $50 million more, the team could consider adding four years to the agreement. Panthers spokesman Charlie Dayton said Wednesday, July 23, that the team does not plan to ask the city for more money. The Charlotte City Council has until Aug. 1, 2015, to decide if they will contribute more public funds.

Panthers | Fernando Velasco brings versatility

Thu, 24 Jul 2014 22:59:38 -0700

Recently added Carolina Panthers OL Fernando Velasco brings versatility as an option at center and offensive guard. Velasco adds depth to one of Carolina's thinnest positions.

Panthers | Interior offensive line taking shape

Thu, 24 Jul 2014 22:56:53 -0700

Carolina Panthers OGs Amini Silatolu and Trai Turner are likely the starting offensive guards entering training camp.

Falcons | Devonta Freeman's role to vary?

Thu, 24 Jul 2014 22:46:12 -0700

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman will begin his NFL career by trying to replace RB Jason Snelling (retired) as a do-all backup. Snelling played tailback, fullback and even returned kickoffs last year. Freeman's first task is to learn the system and then find a spot to carve out a role behind trusted veteran RBs Steven Jackson, Jacquizz Rodgers and Antone Smith.

FANTASY TIP: Freeman is a trendy fantasy pick because of Jackson's durability issues, but he probably won't be anything more than one piece of a tandem approach if the Falcons need to replace S-Jax for any lengthy period of time. Temper your expectations.

NFL | More on Titus Young's legal woes

Thu, 24 Jul 2014 22:31:46 -0700

Updating an ongoing story, former NFL WR Titus Young (Lions) was in a Compton, Calif. courtroom Wednesday, July 23, for a preliminary hearing on five counts of battery, including one felony charge. He is due to return to court Aug. 22 and will remain in Los Angeles County police custody on a $105,000 bail.

Lions | Eric Ebron primed for leadership role?

Thu, 24 Jul 2014 22:26:53 -0700

Detroit Lions rookie TE Eric Ebron exudes charisma and vocal leadership skills that are commonly found among team captains. He took on a "front and center" role at the NFL Rookie Symposium, while other Lions rookies stayed out of the spotlight. Ebron wasn't a captain in three years at North Carolina, because head coach Larry Fedora required captains to be senior classmen.

"I don't ever talk about being a leader. I just always do actions," Ebron said. "I've never been a vocal person about leadership and about being, 'Hey man, you ought to do this.' We're all grown men. I just always show through actions or whisper, 'Hey, let's go.' That's all I do."