NFL.com Staff | Tags: Three and out, Dwayne Bowe, Jamaal Charles, Josh Freeman, Kansas City Chiefs, Mario Manningham, Mark Sanchez, Matt Cassel, New York Giants, New York Jets, Peyton Manning, Rex Ryan, Romeo Crennel, Santonio Holmes, Scott Pioli, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Victor Cruz
Chiefs looking for backfield depth: Despite Scott Pioli expressing his belief that running back Jamaal Charles will come back healthy in 2012, the Chiefs GM has indicated that the team will look to add depth in the backfield. As we’ve written repeatedly, running backs returning from ACL surgery generally take at least a full season to return to form. It helps that Charles suffered his injury early in the 2011 season, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see the team try to lighten his workload. Who will play alongside Charles is another issue. Coach Romeo Crennel emphatically expressed Kansas City’s interest in Peyton Manning, which can’t make Matt Cassel too excited. One thing is for certain: Dwayne Bowe doesn’t appear to be going anywhere — one way or another. Beyond that, figuring out the fantasy value of the Chiefs in the next few weeks will be as easy as drinking coffee with a fork.
Manningham to Bucs?: After having his spot in New York ostensibly usurped by Victor Cruz, free agent WR Mario Manningham could find his way south to Tampa Bay. The fourth-year wideout says he’d like to play in a warmer climate (not a statement you’d expect from an Ohio native who played at Michigan, but who are we to judge?), but more importantly he’d like to see more targets. It doesn’t hurt that former Giants assistant Mike Sullivan is now the Bucs’ offensive coordinator. If Manningham does land in Florida, we’re not convinced that he’s No. 1 WR material — this smacks of another Alvin Harper situation. But maybe Manningham can help quarterback Josh Freeman forget his awful 2011.
Ryan expects Sanchez-Holmes harmony: The postscript to the New York Jets’ 2011 season included a lot of sniping and infighting — most of it aimed at quarterback Mark Sanchez and receiver Santonio Holmes. But coach Rex Ryan says he expects the pair will be able to work together in 2012 and should find success. The first two seasons didn’t amount to much, so it can be hard to see the third being the breakout year. Both players are relatively young (Holmes turns 28 later this week) so it shouldn’t be a question of age. But the receiver’s numbers have been steadily declining and the quarterback has yet to show the type of consistency that you’d like in a top-tier signal-caller. Plus, you’ll have to excuse us if we’re a bit skeptical of the league’s biggest and most unsuccessful prognosticator.
– Marcas Grant