Entering the last leg of a two-year contract that pays him $1.7 million this season, Engram makes significantly less than starters
But Engram will have a tough time securing a long-term contract due to his age (35) and the flexibility of Seattle's offensive system. Some Seahawks officials believe Engram's production has been inflated due to Hasselbeck's belief in the veteran, and that the anticipated shift to a more balanced offense will eventually diminish Engram's role. The Seahawks are tweaking their offense to feature a power running game with several multiple tight end sets, and their under-the-radar pickups of free agent
Although Engram's presence on the offense would be greatly missed, the Seahawks have a solid solution in place should the situation linger into training camp.
• The Colts' signing of
Rhodes also gives
With offenses primarily directing their running game to the strength of the formation (often the offense's right side), the Panthers can put a stouter run defender at left end (
Despite Peppers' sub-par year a season ago (career low 2.5 sacks), the three-time Pro Bowl end still possesses dynamic rush skills that often overwhelm elite tackles in one-on-one situations.
• The Titans have been the target of criticism recently for selecting a back in the top two rounds of the draft in three consecutive years, but Titans' officials are raving about first-round pick
The speedster from East Carolina ran the fastest 40 at the combine (4.24), and Titans' officials say he is their "most explosive guy on offense." As an all-purpose threat, Johnson will team with
More importantly, Johnson replaces
• The Lions' rebuilt offense will rely on two rookies to anchor their resurgence. First-round pick
Cherilus, who will likely start at right tackle, gives the Lions an athletic lineman to fit into their zone scheme. Smith, meanwhile, projects as a workhorse in new offensive coordinator
Though both newcomers will have to beat out veteran incumbents at their respective positions, the goal is to plug the youngsters into a running game capable of taking advantage of the seven-man fronts and two-deep coverage that defenses use to limit Pro Bowl WR