- Sharper charged with sexual assault in Arizona
- Report: Lions sign WR Golden Tate to 5-year, $31-million...
- Buccaneers officially release CB Darrelle Revis
- Browns dump Weeden and Campbell
- Smith hints of release from Panthers
- Broncos CB Aqib Talib agree to six-year deal
- Saints sign S Byrd to six-year deal
- Dolphins trade Martin to 49ers for draft pick
- 49ers to acquire QB Blaine Gabbert from Jaguars
- Broncos agree to deal with S T.J. Ward
- Browns plug holes with Whitner, Dansby
- Jets re-sign K Folk to multiyear deal
We’re now close to zero hour for Darrelle Revis. That’s also known as 4 p.m. ET, a time when the conditional fourth-round pick the Tampa Bay Buccaneers gave the New York Jets in last year’s trade to acquire Revis escalates to become a third rounder.
Revis will either be released or traded, and likely the former. There’s a clear preference for both sides, with Revis wanting to hit the open market and choose his destination, and the Bucs wanting to...
The Denver Broncos are about to lose Eric Decker. They’re probably about to lose Knowshon Moreno too, and Zane Beadles has departed for Jacksonville. Those are the blows, and for most teams losing a No. 2 wide receiver, a guard, and a running back would have led to some serious structural damage. For the Broncos, though, the patches on the other side of the ball have more than compensated for any offensive losses, oncoming or otherwise.
Offense wasn’t a problem...
There shouldn’t be any shock or surprise after the Cowboys released DeMarcus Ware. Just sadness.
Yes, mustering sadness for Cowboys fans feels wrong, because in doing so you’re also shedding tears for fans of the Miami Heat and New York Yankees. But pour one out, because due to horrendous salary cap management, a defense that gave up the third most passing yards per game this past season (286.8) is now about to lose not only Ware up front, but also...
And so we arrive at the end of a trip around the league prior to free agency, landing in the AFC West where the Raiders have a ridiculous sum of salary cap dough (the most), and the Broncos are about to sigh and shrug while saying so long to Eric Decker.
Estimated cap room: $24.7
Draft slot: 31st
End game: The Broncos aren’t willing to spend nearly half of their available cap space to...
For scouts and general managers, bloodlines connect the dots when it comes to studying NFL draft prospects. Bloodlines are factored heavily in the process, using it to minimize the risk of drafting a bad prospect. When New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning entered the 2004 draft, teams analyzed him with Peyton’s throwing ability in mind. They naturally believed that Eli shared some traits with Peyton, making him a possible slam-dunk of a prospect. Now 10 years later, they’re connecting dots...
As we march on with our offseason division exploration before general managers begin bidding on football humans, we come to a division with both lots of money and no money at all, and a team that will determine the direction of the draft.
Estimated cap room: $37.8
Draft slot: no first-round pick (still hate you, Trent)
End game: When you sacrifice a first-round pick to acquire a player, the assumption is that said player will be...
For two teams in the AFC North it’s a place that quality quarterback play has forgotten and shunned. The difference is one is firmly denying that core problem, while the other will throw a first-round pick dart at it for the second time in three years.
Estimated cap room: $27.6 million
Draft slot: 24th
End game: A year ago in the the draft Cincinnati rightfully decided it was a good idea to support Andy Dalton with...
Between Aqib Talib and Antonio Cromartie, two teams in the AFC East have either moved on from their top cornerback, or are preparing for that reality. Then there’s another team far more concerned with the guy who throws the ball, and making sure he doesn’t break.
New England Patriots
Estimated cap room: $12.7 million
Draft slot: 29th
End game: The first step to a happy Patriots offseason is retainment, or at least it is offensively. Julian Edelman...
March is a time in the NFL when age comes with assumptions based on history. Those assumptions lead to projections, and those projections lead to unemployment at the hands of a cruel salary cap fate. Often a job elsewhere is waiting, but one at a far reduced fee.
That’s the cold reality of football, and it’s why although I have little ability to muster scorn for the one or two annual contract holdouts when training camp opens each August. When...
Quick, close your eyes. Actually don’t do that because then you can’t keep reading, but just somehow simulate the eyes closed sensation (get creative). When I say “draft bust” to you, what’s the first image in your mind? For me it’s always JaMarcus Russell, for he will always and forever be the image of what it is to not try.
Now let’s do the same with “free agent bust”. For me the immediate image there is that of Albert Haynesworth,...
The first, second, and third reasons why the Saints released Lance Moore (or at least they reportedly did or will according to Lance Moore) are all money. That sweet, sweet cash. A cap crunched team that needs to pay Jimmy Graham entered today only slightly above the cutline at an estimated $1.6 million, which is why Thursday afternoon rumors bubbled regarding the Saints shopping not only Moore, but also Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas. Now by axing Moore they save...
The two teams that had a donnybrook in the NFC title game hail from the NFC West, a division where three teams won at least 10 games in 2013, with the Arizona Cardinals cruelly missing out on the playoffs.
It’s also a division that’s home to the champs, and their offseason priority is a guy who’s intent on testing the market. Gulp?
Estimated cap room: $16 million
Draft slot: 32nd
End game: Most years...
It’s the short side of the field where Virginia Tech cornerbacks have made their money. They call it the boundary. When the ball is on either hash, the cornerback will line up in the boundary and cover from there. There’s not much of this in the NFL because the ball is always positioned in the middle of the field, but for the Hokies, it speaks to a cornerback’s quality. In Kyle Fuller’s case, there’s been plenty of speaking prior to...
Winter has arrived, and for two of the four teams in the NFC South it came with salary cap fury.
Estimated cap room: $7.2 million
Draft slot: 28th
End game: Late last week when the league officially jacked the salary cap up by 10 million bones to $133 million, you heard a sound. It was Panthers general manager David Gettleman firing any weapon he could get his hands on before playing “Dust in the...
As we continue our adventure around the league and a look at the various offseason blueprints, we land in a place where two of the top 10 free agent cornerbacks are currently employed. Or at least they are for, oh, about six days.
Green Bay Packers
Estimated cap room: $35.1 million
Draft slot: 21st
End game: When a team is fielding a secondary that ranked 24th against the pass last year (247.2 passing yards allowed per game)...
The offseason is a wild time when dreams are born. They often die shortly thereafter, but it’s the hope and the yearning for better and brighter days that matters most now. Just don’t ask a Miami Dolphins fan how it all ends.
The “offseason” is such a broad term, which by its literal definition I suppose draws a circle around the period between early February and late July when players report to training camp. But we all know there’s only...
It’s second-and-nine, and Kelvin Benjamin is the second receiver from the sideline in a twins set. He’s facing off coverage from the Florida Gators defense and is given a cushion of more than a half dozen yards. The Seminoles need to pick up meaningful yardage on this play, so they’ve called a flood concept that’ll require Benjamin to run a 12-yard corner or sail route toward the sideline.
At the snap, he stems vertically, going the necessary dozen yards before...
There still seems to be some sticker shock whenever discussion of a quarterback contract begins to percolate around the Internet’s various tubes. Vaguely, the cycle often goes something like this: a gasp or chuckle at the reported pay being sought, further disbelief and poking holes in the quarterback’s game when said number is finalized, and then silence when the sparkling golden arm in question returns to the field and does exactly what he always does: be a boss.
The franchise tag is a fickle beast from year to year. Two years ago 19 players were tagged, and then in 2013 that number fell to eight.
This year the total fell even further to six tag uses. Prior to the tags just before today’s deadline (more forthcoming), Brian Orakpo was also tagged, and last week Nick Folk, Greg Hardy, and Jimmy Graham were too, with the latter penciled in for months.
But because the NFL isn’t a place where...
We’re all slowly dying inside with each passing second, because that’s how time works. My deepest apologies for going all Rust Cohle here, but please be aware that time is indeed a flat circle, and the iceberg always has the right of way.
When a wide receiver is in his early 30′s and starts to creep closer to the position death age of 35, we can usually see a decline, and often an abrupt one. I wrote about that...
In a passing league where passing is king and everyone passes because passing is the best, three positions have generally taken on an inflated market value: quarterbacks, defensive ends, and cornerbacks. So the thrower of the passes, the interceptor of the passes, and those who collapse the passer.
For cornerbacks, the truly massive cash only lands in the hands of the few who occupy the very top tier. Think Darrelle Revis, who’s getting paid $16 million annually, or Richard Sherman...
As humans we’re wired to be motivated by deadlines, a concrete time that can cause irrational decisions and a deviation from a plan, or it can make normally intelligent folks forget how to use a fax machine. Technology is a helluva thing.
Over the next week before the fun of the NFL’s free agency and silliest season begins, there will be a series of important dates. The most important is clearly the official opening of the market on March...
Your defending champion.
Usually I hold off with this annual list, the best list of all the lists. But with the recently concluded Scouting Combine fresh in the rearview and Pro Days starting next week, the time felt right.
Each year 254 players are drafted into the NFL, and then many more are signed as undrafted free agents immediately afterwards. Most of them have normal(-ish) names, but so many more don’t. So very many more.
In an exercise that’s featured...
Dennis Pitta has been re-signed by the Baltimore Ravens to a five-year contract reportedly worth $32 million. It’s a crucial signing for a Ravens offense that’s also set to deal with impending free agent Jacoby Jones, and now at $6.4 million annually Pitta enters the always coveted top 10 financial bracket at his position.
But it’s a really, really, vitally important deal for someone who isn’t Dennis Pitta: Joe Flacco.
Flacco is quite fond of Pitta. I can’t confirm what...
Time is always and forever an enemy. I’m not qualified to meander into deep philosophy about that, though if you’d like to discuss how as humans we are in fact dying with each passing minute, I’ll be glad to during my weekly dark poetry readings. We meet on Tuesdays, punch and pie.
The struggles of the football human are far more accelerated than that of the normal human, and nowhere is that more evident than their own fight against time....