5 things you need to know for Monday
Good morning football fans! Here are the five things you need to know coming out of the weekend to get your morning started right:
- Giants guard Justin Pugh has his eyes set on a big contract in the near future. Pugh says he has noticed the big money being handed out to players at his position, recognizes his standing in that hierarchy, and believes he is in the driver’s seat for a huge deal with the Giants. Pugh finished the season as PFF’s No. 16-ranked guard, but before injury struck last season, he was the best-graded guard in the game at the start of Week 7.
- Raiders linebacker Bruce Irvin has been urging the team to bring back free agent LB Perry Riley, who was with the team in 2016 and enjoyed by far the best season of his career. Riley was the 15th-highest-graded linebacker in the league last season, tied with Denver’s Brandon Marshall, but it came off the back of three years with grades in the 40s for the Washington Redskins. With such success in Oakland, it makes a lot of sense for the team to bring him back to see if he can repeat his career-high mark in 2017 and beyond.
- Rookie RB Kareem Hunt could be in line to be the Chiefs’ primary back in year one. Only new Vikings RB Dalvin Cook broke more tackles than former Toledo RB Kareem Hunt in the FBS this past season, and Hunt earned the highest PFF grade of any back in the draft class in 2016. Hunt was also an excellent receiver out of the backfield, continuing to make people miss in space after the catch, and could have a huge impact as a rookie.
- Free agent CB Alterraun Verner reportedly was a little out of shape at his workout for the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the two parties are expected to have a do-over once he gets himself in the right shape. Verner’s tenure in Tampa Bay was a period that didn’t do him any favors, but in the right system, he was a consistently underrated zone cornerback.
- For those fantasy players who prefer a best-ball style of play — MFL10s or otherwise — PFF Fantasy’s Mike Castiglione built a fantasy roster of the boom-or-bust style players, the ones who might have some dud weeks, but are solid for a handful of huge performances over the course of the year.