A law enforcement official tells FOX Boston that Aaron Hernandez "appears to be directly tied to the homicide" of "associate" Odin Lloyd in North Attleboro, Mass.
There are many important things to remember here, namely FOX 25 is not a typical Rotoworld source, and Hernandez has yet to be charged with a crime. That being said, the storm clouds appear to be gathering for the star tight end. FOX Boston reports Hernandez, Lloyd and two other men left a Boston-area bar in a car driven by Hernandez on the night of the homicide, but Odin was the only passenger not to make it back to Hernandez's house. Further, forensic evidence has reportedly placed a vehicle driven by Hernandez at "one of the crime scenes in (the) case." Police are still searching for a second vehicle. Thus far, Hernandez has declined comment.
The Panthers are de-emphasizing the zone read play under new OC Mike Shula.
During OTAs and minicamps, the Panthers did not practice very many option plays. The franchise wants Cam Newton to make plays from the pocket first and use his legs to create opportunities in the scrambling game. Essentially, Shula is planning on running more of a conventional offense that features base runs to the backs. It's a good thing for Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams, but it could lead to deflated rushing stats for Newton. In his first two NFL seasons, he's rushed 253 times for a jaw-dropping 1,447 yards and 22 touchdowns.
The Vikings are expected to make a "strong run" at free agent ILB Desmond Bishop.
The Bears were also rumored to have interest in Bishop at one point, but have likely moved on after using a second-round pick on Jon Bostic. Bishop's addition would suck the life out of interim MLB Erin Henderson's prospective IDP value. After missing all of 2012 with a ruptured hamstring, Bishop insists he's 100 percent healed. The Vikings will make sure during their forthcoming physical.
Arian Foster (calf) says he'll "more than likely" be ready for training camp.
It's notable because Foster is suggesting there's a chance he won't be ready for camp, even if it's a slight one. It was widely assumed when Foster went down in late May that he'd be 100 percent for camp, which is still over a month away. Foster has spent time in a hyperbaric chamber in an attempt to speed his recovery. It sounds like he would have missed multiple games were it the regular season. Foster has missed just three contests since 2010, but his increasing propensity for leg ailments is a concern going into his age-27 campaign.
The New York Daily News passes along "word" that Victor Cruz will settle for no less than $9 million annually on a long-term contract offer.
Cruz was initially seeking $11 million annually. He's dropped his price tag some, but the Giants have yet to meet the $9 million-per-season price. Per the NY Daily News, the club's latest offer is worth an average of more than $8 million a year. Beat writer Ralph Vacchiano does acknowledge Cruz "seems unlikely" to hold out of training camp after signing his one-year, $2.879 million tender.
Jets signed TE Kellen Winslow to a one-year contract.
30 years old next month, Winslow by all accounts impressed at his tryout at Jets minicamp and couldn't have picked a better landing spot for playing-time opportunities. Current starter Jeff Cumberland is a lumbering, stiff upright tight end and No. 2 TE Hayden Smith is a converted rugby player. There's a real chance Winslow will wind up starting for the Jets, although we wouldn't expect much of a fantasy impact. Purely a possession receiver at this point in his career, Winslow appeared in one game in 2012, catching one pass for 12 yards. He is a shell of the seam-stretcher and vertical threat he once was.
The Indianapolis Star projects Ahmad Bradshaw as the Colts' starting tailback, ahead of Vick Ballard.
We've anticipated the same; Bradshaw is an upgrade on Ballard in pretty much every area, from pass protection to big-play run skills. The Indy Star does concede Bradshaw may open training camp on the active/PUP list as the Colts manage his recovery from foot surgery. He hasn't practiced with the team yet. Due to Bradshaw's injury history, the Colts could wind up keeping four running backs on the 53-man roster. Bradshaw and Ballard are locked in, and rookie Kerwynn Williams is expected to be Indianapolis' primary kickoff returner. Donald Brown and Delone Carter will compete for one roster spot.
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(Jun 19) Nate Grimm digs deeper on Chris Davis, looks at Eric Young Jr.'s prospects in the Big Apple and more in Thursday's Daily Dose.