Catching you up on the latest must-read news and analysis from around the web ….
• Maurice Jones-Drew's love of fantasy football has been well-documented throughout his NFL career -- he often does whatever it takes to draft himself. So, if the story he told on Mad Dog Radio is true, it had to drive him nuts on a number of levels.
According to LarryBrownSports.com, Jones-Drew claimed that former Jacksonville fullback Greg Jones (who's now with the Texans) once hung him out to dry on a goal-line play for fantasy-football purposes.
"I was playing against him [in fantasy]. And we have our equipment guys keep us up on [the fantasy scores] during games," Jones-Drew said. "You know who you have and you see when you’re not on the field, obviously, but ... I think if I scored, I was going to [beat Jones].
"We got onto the 1-yard line, and they were like, 'We better call this run play.' I’m like, 'Greg, don’t do it.' And he looked at me and he winked. And I was like 'Greg. It’s not time to play. This is bigger than [winning in fantasy]. Let’s not do this.'"
Asked what the wink meant, Jones-Drew answered, "[Jones] wasn’t going to block the guy!”
True? Who knows. Jones-Drew scored just one TD during an injury-plagued 2012 season, though he did have a seven-yard loss on a carry from the 2-yard line. A little bit of quick research also uncovers a game against the Chiefs in 2010, in which Jones-Drew was stuffed on a 2nd-and-goal from the 1, eventually leading to a Jacksonville field goal.
Jones, a member of the Jaguars for the past nine seasons, has long been one of the top fullbacks in the league. So it's hard to imagine him rolling over on a key play, just to win a fantasy matchup. Which means we're probably dealing with a little good humor here, as the Jaguars' official Twitter account seemingly confirmed: "It's called a joke. Anyone that knows Maurice knows he likes to joke around."
• The Detroit Lions released Jahvid Best on Wednesday, likely ending Best's frustrating NFL career, which was derailed by concussion issues. The Lions drafted Best in Round 1 of the 2010 draft in hopes that he could revive a run game that had gone dormant in the post-Barry Sanders era.
Best showed some flashes of brilliance, too, like an 88-yard TD run against Chicago in a 2011 Monday night game and a 75-yard, catch-and-run TD reception in 2010. All in all, though, he played just 22 NFL games and sat out the entire 2012 season. (The Lions kept him on their roster in 2012 mainly to allow him to rehab at team facilities and accumulate time toward the league's pension plan.)
Mike O'Hara of the Lions' official website writes that, unfortunately, Best will be remembered for "what kind of player he might have been".
• Bill Parcells, a soon-to-be member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, had a far more successful career as an NFL head coach than he did as the Jets' GM or as an executive with the Dolphins. He's still a brilliant football mind, so it's worth listening when he speaks on the subject.
And on a conference call this week, Parcells said that if he could start a franchise from scratch, the player he would want to build around would be Lawrence Taylor.
"But if you're pinning me down -- I'm a little prejudiced -- I think I'd take Lawrence Taylor," said Parcells, per BigBlueView.com. "I know he's going to be there every Sunday and try his best to win the game."
• Jay Cutler had to love the Bears' addition of TE Martellus Bennett this offseason -- Chicago's tight ends let down Cutler repeatedly in the passing game, with drops and an inability to get open. Bennett, meanwhile, is coming off a 55-catch, five-touchdown season with the Giants.
"It was tough sledding last year," Marshall said. "I had 2-3 guys on me every single play, but bringing in big boy Martellus, I don't think the league really knows how good he is. I didn't know, and that was one of my great friends in the league. So I'm excited to see him, he's going to be awesome this year for us."
• The Dallas Cowboys waited several months before announcing that offensive coordinator Bill Callahan would handle most of their play-calling this season. Tony Romo says he's going to be in the mix, too -- certainly more so than he has been in the past.told the Journal Times