Patriots' Rob Gronkowski: Expresses no doubt with regard to Week 1 status
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
Gronkowski, who was placed on IR this past December after undergoing a procedure on his back, relayed that he has "no doubt" that he will be ready for the start of the upcoming regular season, CSN New England reports.

While Gronkowski's optimism on the injury front is encouraging, the tight end's status will still be worth monitoring closely in the coming months due to his lengthy history of back woes (including three surgeries) as well as other assorted ailments. When healthy, Gronkowski -- who turns 28 in May -- is fantasy's top tight end, but following a 2016 campaign in which he only played eight games, logging 25 catches for 540 yards and three TDs in the process, his durability issues will no doubt be a concern for prospective fantasy owners. Meanwhile, fellow tight end Martellus Bennett -- who filled in capably for Gronkowski down the stretch -- is headed toward free agency and is a candidate to sign elsewhere this offseason.

Cowboys' James Hanna: Uncertain timetable for recovery
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
Hanna's (knee) timeline for return is unclear, David Helman of the Cowboys' official site reports.

Hanna ended the 2016 season on injured reserve after requiring a second surgery in November to repair a knee injury he sustained last summer. He still has roughly two months until offseason workouts begin, but there is no indication he'll be ready to take the field by then. When healthy, Hanna could be in line to compete with Geoff Swaim for the No. 2 tight end role in 2017 with Gavin Escober set to hit free agency.

Dolphins' Julius Thomas: Passes physical with Dolphins
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
Thomas (back) has passed his physical with the Dolphins, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports.

Although his trade from Jacksonville to Miami won't take effect until the new league year starts on March 9, Thomas won't be a stranger within the offensive scheme used in his new locale. Under the instruction of offensive coordinator Adam Gase in 2013 and 2014, Thomas posted 12 touchdowns for the Broncos in both campaigns, helping him land a five-year, $46 million contract with the Jaguars in March of 2015. Gase will soon be embarking upon his second offseason program with the Dolphins, only this time he'll have a familiar face to introduce to quarterback Ryan Tannehill. If fellow tight ends Jordan Cameron (concussion) and Dion Sims both depart in free agency, Thomas will assume top TE duties and seek a bounce-back season.

Steelers' Ryan Malleck: Signs with Pittsburgh
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
Malleck signed a contract with the Steelers on Wednesday, Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

Malleck spent training camp with the Giants in 2016 before suffering a neck injury and being released just prior to the start of the regular season. He'll have an opportunity to compete for a depth role as a tight end and a special teams player in Pittsburgh in 2017.

Lions' Cole Wick: Returns to full health
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
Wick (knee) is healthy and "itching to get back" on the field, The Detriot Free Press reports.

Wick finished the 2016 season on injured reserve after tearing up his knee in Week 7. He declined to say whether he required surgery or not, but, regardless, he's healthy now and fully expected to attend voluntary offseason workouts in April. Outside of starter Eric Ebron, Wick is the only tight end under contract through 2017 who played a down for the Lions last year. Thus, he currently appears to be the frontrunner for No. 2 duties next season, although Detroit could always bring in competition for the role via free agency or the draft.

Jaguars' Julius Thomas: Heading to Dolphins via trade
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
Thomas will be traded from the Jaguars to the Dolphins in exchange for a late-round pick in this year's draft, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports.

Thomas managed just 76 receptions for 736 yards and nine touchdowns in two seasons after signing a five-year, $46 million deal with the Jaguars in 2015, but in joining the Dolphins, he'll be reunited with coach Adam Gase, who served as his offensive coordinator with the Broncos in 2013 and 2014. Thomas scored 12 touchdowns in both of those seasons, emerging as a top fantasy tight end along the way. Although having Peyton Manning as his quarterback obviously helped his stock significantly at the time, Thomas should like his chances for improvement in his new setting, where he could cement himself as Miami's starting tight end given that Jordan Cameron and Dion Sims are both potential free-agent departures this offseason.

Jaguars' Julius Thomas: Could join Dolphins
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
Thomas could join the Dolphins in a trade for offensive tackle Branden Albert, who is visiting the Jaguars on Monday, reports.

Thomas has fallen flat of expectations since signing a five-year, $46 million contract with the Jaguars in 2015, but with the Dolphins committed to moving on from Albert and his hefty salary, and the Jaguars in need of a new left tackle, a potential swap seems to make sense for both parties. Considering both Jordan Cameron and Dion Sims are hitting the free-agent market, acquiring Thomas would fill Miami's need at tight end, and would also reunite him with coach Adam Gase, who Thomas thrived under while Gase served as his offensive coordinator with the Broncos in 2014. While that change of scenery could help Thomas' fantasy stock, his proposed move to the Dolphins could be contingent on how Albert's visit with the Jaguars goes Monday, making the situation worthwhile to monitor.

Dolphins' Jordan Cameron: Likely done in Miami
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
The Dolphins are moving on from Cameron (concussion) this offseason, the Miami Herald reports.

Cameron, an unrestricted free agent, appeared in just three games for the Dolphins this past season due to concussion issues and is known to be considering retirement. Should he continue his career, it doesn't look like he'll do it in Miami.

Jaguars' Julius Thomas: Remains in Jaguars' plans for 2017
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
Thomas (back) remains in the Jaguars' plans for 2017, WJXT Jacksonville reports.

Thomas was due $3 million if he was still on the roster at 4 PM ET, and the deadline came and went, signaling the Jaguars' commitment to the tight end for the upcoming season. They only would've saved $2 million by cutting him, so that doesn't seem to have been a legitimate possibility anyway. However, they can save $7 million by releasing him next season. Unless Thomas can put together a healthy and productive 2016 campaign, his days in Jacksonville may be numbered. The former All-Pro tight end has only played in 21 of 32 games as a member of the organization.

Seahawks' Luke Willson: To test market
by RotoWire Staff | Special to
Willson is expected to explore all his options in free agency, which could rule out a return to the Seahawks, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times reports.

Willson has reached the end of his rookie contract, meaning he's free to hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent. After recording 74 catches for 976 yards and seven touchdowns through his first four seasons, Willson's production is strikingly similar to that of his former college roommate, Vance McDonald, who was guaranteed $9 million over three years from the 49ers back in December. With Jimmy Graham set to count $10 million against the cap next season, and after Seattle spent a third-round pick on Nick Vannett last year, Willson could very well end up elsewhere this offseason.

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