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NFL news and rumors: Hakeem Nicks feels good, Peyton Manning wants Brandon Stokley back and more

NFL teams across the league are beginning offseason workouts and preparing for the NFL Draft. Here's the latest news and rumors across the NFL on a sorrowful Monday.


Teams throughout the NFL are gearing up for voluntary offseason training programs as well as the 2013 NFL Draft, which is just over a week away. Major free agent news has calmed down in recent weeks, but draft rumors and lesser signings are still running rampant throughout the NFL.

If you're interested in getting your mind off the tragedy that occurred on Monday afternoon in Boston, here's a look at the latest news across the NFL.

Nicks feels good

New York Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks participated in a workout with Giants quarterback Eli Manning last week, and reported to New York's offseason program on Monday. Nicks said his left knee "feels good," according to the New York Daily News.

Nicks underwent arthroscopic knee surgery during the offseason. Nicks' injury occurred in Week 2 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Nicks returned in just three weeks -- though he admitted that he should have missed more time.

A healthy Nicks would help boast New York's passing attack, led by the tandem of Nicks and Victor Cruz. New York's offense could be one of the most dynamic offenses in the league, with Manning, Nicks, Cruz and second-year running back David Wilson.

Nicks finished the 2012 season with just 53 receptions for 692 yards and three touchdowns -- a far cry from his 76 receptions and 1,192 yards in 2011.

Manning wants Stokley back

When Wes Welker signed with the Denver Broncos in March, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that Peyton Manning's long-time slot receiver Brandon Stokley would not be back with the team. Manning, however, is hopeful that the Broncos will sign Stokley according to The Denver Post -- despite having Welker on the roster.

"Hope it's not necessarily a close-door discussion," Manning said. "In a perfect world I'd like both of them to be on the team this year."

Stokley finished the 2012 season with 45 receptions for 544 yards and five touchdowns. Welker, in his sixth and final season with the New England Patriots, had 118 receptions for 1,354 yards and six touchdowns -- superior production compared to Stokley last season.

There's little doubt that Welker offers more value and will be Denver's primary receiver -- especially since Welker is entering his age-32 season opposed to Stokley's age-37 season. Manning could get his wish, though, as Manning and Denver's coaching staff can still likely find a role for Stokley.

Buffalo draft rumors

New Buffalo Bills head coach Doug Marrone faces one of the most difficult tasks in the NFL: dethroning the New England Patriots in the AFC East. Marrone's Bills have plenty of needs -- and Buffalo could address two major needs in the first two rounds of the draft in offensive line, and quarterback.

Sports Illustrated's Peter King heard "lots of guard talk" coming out of Buffalo, leading to speculation that the Bills could draft Alabama Crimson Tide guard Chance Warmack with the No. 8 overall pick in the draft. Marrone was Syracuse's head coach last season, and per King, believes he can select former Syracuse Orange quarterback Ryan Nassib in the early portion of the second round.

Nassib and Warmack would be two major building blocks for Marrone and the Bills. If Buffalo is successful in adding one of the top guards and top quarterbacks available, then the 2013 NFL Draft will likely go down as a success for Marrone.

JaMarcus Russell "unlikely" to receive another chance

Former Oakland Raiders quarterback and No. 1 overall pick JaMarcus Russell has been out of the NFL since 2010 -- but began a comeback attempt earlier this offseason. Russell's comeback attempt isn't going so well, and the former LSU Tigers quarterback is "unlikely" to receive another chance in the NFL according to the National Football Post

Russell is still overweight and isn't in shape according to the report -- the same characteristics the ultimately led to Russell's failure with the Raiders. Russell completed just 52.1 percent of his passes for 4,083 yards, with 18 touchdowns, 23 interceptions and 22 fumbles in 31 career games with the Raiders.

If Russell is indeed out of shape, then the National Football Post's report is likely true -- and he won't receive another chance in the NFL. If Russell is in shape, or gets in shape, a team could be willing to take a chance on him as a backup quarterback.

Caldwell unhappy

Peyton Manning's trip to Duke University with Eric Decker, Wes Welker and Demaryius Thomas along with his brother Eli Manning was well-publicized last week -- and it drew the ire of at least one member of the Denver Broncos: wide receiver Andre Caldwell.

Caldwell took to Twitter to voice his displeasure with Manning, saying "Damn right I took it personal." The former Cincinnati Bengals receiver appeared in just one game with the Broncos in his first season in Denver, and caught just one pass for 18 yards.

Cincinnati selected Caldwell in the third round of the 2008 NFL Draft out of the University of Florida. The former Gators receiver simply hasn't lived up to third-round expectations, catching just 125 passes for 1,190 yards and six touchdowns over the first five seasons of his NFL career.

With Thomas, Decker and Welker in the fold, it's unlikely that Caldwell will have a big role for the Broncos in 2013.

Ravens expected to sign Hanie

Former Chicago Bears and Denver Broncos backup quarterback Caleb Hanie is expected to sign with the Baltimore Ravens, according to ESPN Chicago's Jeff Dickerson.

Haine spent the 2012 season backing up both Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler in Denver. Hanie spent the entire season inactive, and did not appear in a single game.

Prior to signing with the Broncos, Hanie was Jay Cutler's backup in Chicago -- and was not effective when thrust into action. Hanie appeared in six games in 2011, and completed just 50 percent of his passes for 613 yards, three touchdowns and nine interceptions.

Hanie probably won't have a prominent role with the Ravens in 2013. If signed, Hanie will compete with Tyrod Taylor for backup duties behind franchise quarterback Joe Flacco.

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