Here's a look at some of the top rumors for Friday, Feb. 19:
Baltimore Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta is not ready to call it a career yet, despite a pair of season-ending hip injuries, even if the decision is not entirely in his hands. Pitta went on Baltimore-based Glenn Clark Radio to discuss a variety of topics, including his standing on whether to retire. "I definitely do want to be on the field playing football," Pitta said Friday. "That's something that I really want to happen." Pitta understands he will have to weigh the risks of serious injury against his desire to play, so this won't be a return-at-all-costs endeavor for the veteran. Although Pitta wants to return, NFL.com's Conor Orr notes that Baltimore certainly has not been holding out hope he'll be back in the fold. Pitta has played just seven games since the start of the 2013 season, and the Ravens have all but moved on by drafting tight ends Maxx Williams, Crockett Gillmore and Nick Boyle over the past two offseasons. Another hurdle to a potential return could be Pitta's contract, which carries a $5 million base salary in 2016. ESPN's Jamison Hensley listed Pitta's five-year, $32 million deal as one of three bad deals holding Baltimore back, and suggests cutting the injured tight end in June to create $5 million in cap space. If Pitta is to play for Baltimore at all this season, it will almost certainly have to be on a restructured deal.
Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman would like to see QB Teddy Bridgewater "letting it loose a little more," in 2016. Spielman hesitated to call Bridgewater's approach to the position this past season cautious, praising his ability to play within the system and not turn the football over. But the GM is echoing sentiments we have heard before, that Minnesota will need to develop a more potent passing attack to take some of the burden off an aging Adrian Peterson's shoulders. As with any young starting QB, Bridgewater will continue to garner more responsibility with each passing year, as Mark Craig of the Minnesota Star Tribune notes. In Year 3, it appears the GM is hoping his young QB will take more chances down the field, which is Bridgewater's best chance to shed his "game manager" title.
Fox Sports' Alex Marvez has heard from multiple sources that there is "virtually no chance" Mohamed Sanu re-signs with the Cincinnati Bengals. Sanu is set to become a free agent this offseason and reportedly will garner interest from the Cleveland Browns, Atlanta Falcons and New York Giants. Sanu is coming off the first down season of his career, when he failed to reach the end zone on just 33 catches for 394 yards. Sanu's diminishing role can be attributed to the health of tight end Tyler Eifert, who commanded the majority of Cincinnati's red-zone targets this season. In addition to Sanu, the Bengals are also in danger of losing wideout Marvin Jones to free agency after he declared there will be no "hometown discount" for Cincinnati. The potential loss of both secondary options in the passing attack would make receiver a high priority for the Bengals in the upcoming draft.
Rishard Matthews might not be the odd man out after all in the Miami Dolphins' wide receiver plans. The Miami Herald's Adam H. Beasley reports that the Dolphins contacted the pending free agent, in a surprise move, about a new deal that would keep Matthews in town. Matthews had career highs in catches, yards and touchdowns this last season, and was expected to command No. 2 receiver money on the open market. ESPN's James Walker previewed Matthews' impending free agency, giving only slim odds that he would receive a new contract from the team that selected him in the 7th round of 2012. With DeVante Parker seemingly poised to take over Matthews' role this upcoming season, it is still plausible that Matthews turns down the offer and tests the free-agent waters. Beasley thinks a fair comparison for Matthews' value, based on last season's production, would be Torrey Smith, who earned a five-year, $40 million contract last year. It is not clear how much Miami offered Matthews.