Thursday, May 31, 2012

Joe Vitt says Drew Brees can't 'sing or dance'

Joe Vitt doesn’t figure to see Drew Brees on the next season of “American Idol.”
That is because the interim head coach of the New Orleans Saints doesn’t believe the quarterback can sing or dance. Brees can’t sling the football for the Saints either, not without a contract.
But Vitt remains confident a deal will get done as Brees continues to stay away from the team’s voluntary offseason program while he angles for a long-term deal. The club has placed its franchise tag on him. Vitt, speaking to reporters in New Orleans today, said he just had a conversation with Brees earlier this week.
“I’m still confident,” Vitt said in a transcript released by the team. “I had a great conversation with Drew the other day. We were talking about training camp. I had some questions and I knew that he wanted to do some certain things at training camp. I feel confident. He’ll be here.”
That sounds good. What gives Vitt confidence a deal will actually get done? Everyone has said it will happen but there has been little reported traction.
“What else is he going to do?” Vitt said. “He can’t sing or dance. Listen, again. I don’t think that anyone thought this was going to be easy. We talked about the lockout last year; well they’re going to come back here. They are going to come back there. No, I think that everyone knew that it was going to go until the 23rd hour and that everything was going to be settled. Again, there are a lot of pieces here that Mickey’s (Loomis) got to get fit in, with the cap and getting people signed and so on and so forth and it’s all going to fit into the future and this is going to get done.
“It’s going to get done when Drew and Mickey know what is best for our football team and we can move forward.”
Vitt better hope it gets done.

author:  Brad Biggs

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Harbaugh: 'Silly' to think 49ers flirted with Manning

Jim Harbaugh had to get something off his chest Wednesday.
"It's an erroneous perception that we were flirting with Peyton Manning," the San Francisco 49ers coach said, according to The Sacramento Bee. "I keep hearing that over and over again. It's silly, and it's untrue. It's phony. Even the perception that we were pursuing him ... we were evaluating him.

"I've said all along, Alex Smith has been our quarterback," Harbaugh went on. "There's been no scenario, other than Alex choosing to sign with another team, that we would have considered him not as our quarterback."
Harbaugh and 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman traveled to Duke University in March to watch Manning throw, leading to speculation the 49ers had emerged as a sleeper candidate for the 11-time Pro Bowl quarterback. Though understandable from an outsider's standpoint, the perceived pursuit was surprising because Harbaugh had championed Smith from the moment he took the job 14 months earlier.
"Now, were we out there seeing, evaluating if we could have them both? Heck yeah," Harbaugh said of his Duke visit. "You evaluate that, you eliminate that. Further evidence -- we would not have given any player that was out there in free agency a sixth of our salary cap and let six or seven of our own guys go. Hopefully that sets the record straight."
Harbaugh's comments are a nice way to try to put a bow on the whole situation, but the bottom line is that the 49ers explored Manning as an option, and that exploration was enough to get Alex Smith on a plane to visit with the Miami Dolphins. It appears Harbaugh is more bothered by the perception that San Francisco went hard after Manning, which he maintains couldn't be further from the truth.
It's surprising Harbaugh even brought up a topic that could be considered water under the bridge. But like we said, the man had to get something off his chest.

source: Around The League on
author: Dan Hanzus
photo: Getty Images via Yahoo Sports: "Shutdown Corner"

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

IFL team dumps Terrell Owens

Receiver Terrell Owens can’t get back in to the NFL.  And now he’s out of the IFL.
The Allen Wranglers have announced that Owens has been released.
It’s hardly an amicable split.  The statement takes multiple shots at Owens for not having the right level of commitment.
“Our fans are amongst the best in the league and it is impossible to maintain a player when even our fans notice and comment on a player’s lack of effort both on and off the field,” owner Jon Frankel said.  “We need to do what is best for this team, our fans and this community.”
Team president and co-owner Tommy Benizio chimed in, too.  With gloves fully off.
“It is difficult to look other players on this team in the eyes and tell them that being a team player is important . . . that giving it your all on the field every night is our expectation, when another member of this team is not operating by these standards,” Benizio said. ”The proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back for Mr. Owens was his no-show to a scheduled appearance at a local children’s hospital with other Wrangler players and coaches.  It is not the desire of the Allen Wranglers’ organization to disappoint fans by having our most notable player miss a scheduled appearance.”
Owens signed a much-hyped deal with the Wranglers, giving him a piece of the team.  But it paid Owens only for home games.  His participation in road games hinged on the willingness of the other team to sweeten the pot.
For the season, Owens appeared in eight games, catching 35 passes for 420 yards and 10 touchdowns.
And so likely ends the football career of Terrell Owens.  Unless he can successfully find a way to blame this on the media.  Or at least to blame someone other than himself.

author:  Mike Florio
photo:  AP imagaes

Monday, May 28, 2012

Charlie Sheen did not buy LT's Super Bowl XXV ring

Noted sports memorabilia collector Charlie Sheen says he’s not the man who bought Lawrence Taylor’s Super Bowl XXV ring at auction last weekend.
Rumors have swirled in recent days that Sheen, who at different points has had a vast memorabilia collection, was the winning bidder of LT’s ring. But Sheen, via his personal Twitter account, says it isn’t so.
“RE: Lawrence Taylor's Ring: As much as I would be honored to own such an important artifact... I had nothing to do with the acquisition. C.”
The auction house, citing confidentiality, has not identified the bidder who purchased the ring for $230,401. It was LT’s son who hawked the ring and when he did so, the old man reportedly didn’t know anything about it.

author:  Brad Biggs
photo from TMZ

If Brees sits out in 2012, things get very interesting in 2013

I love Mike Florio's takes on some stories he highlights on; he has a knack for making them even more interesting.  Here's his take on Drew Brees:

Recently, Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports reported that, under the CBA, the NFLPA believes Saints quarterback Drew Brees will be entitled to a 44-percent raise in 2013, if the Saints use the franchise tag on him again.  But Brees has available to him a much more potent tactic, if he’s willing to walk away from $16.371 million in 2012.
Article 10, Section 15(c) of the labor deal explains that, if Brees doesn’t play in 2012, he can be tendered as a franchise player once again in 2013.  Though the language is a bit vague as to whether the franchise tender would equate to 120 percent of his 2011 salary or 120 percent of his 2012 tender (which is much higher), Section 15(c) contains a much more troubling provision, for the Saints.    If Brees hold out for all of 2012, the Saints would be prevented from using the exclusive version of the franchise tag on Brees in 2013.
It gets better (or, from the Saints’ perspective, worse).  If Brees never signs the 2012 franchise tender, the compensation in 2013 would drop to one first-round pick and one third-round pick.
While the Saints would have the right to match any offer sheet Brees signs elsewhere in 2013, a new team could put together a monstrous offer — and then the Saints would have to decide whether to finally pay Brees or let him walk away.
The fact that neither the Brees camp nor the NFLPA have leaked this specific tidbit could mean that Brees has no real intention of sitting out the full season, contrary to reports that he won’t sign the one-year tender.  But if July 16 comes and goes without Brees signing a long-term deal and if he decides to exercise his right to not sign the one-year, $16.371 million tender, Brees’ name could be added to the list of options for teams that need quarterbacks in 2013.
Intriguing (for now) possibilities include the Jets, who are always looking for a franchise quarterback, the Chiefs, the Raiders (yeah, G.M. Reggie McKenzie said he’s done trading draft picks, but coach Dennis Allen would be lobbying hard for Brees), the Eagles (this is Mike Vick’s make-or-break season in Philly), the Vikings (oh, the irony), the 49ers, and the Cardinals.
But then there’s the fact the Brees grew up in Texas.  Which could make the Texans and/or the Cowboys load the financial cannon in the hopes of bringing Drew home.
A lot of things have to happen before Brees would sit out the full season.  But circumstances will change as of July 16.  Given that Brees will have a shot at letting the market set his value in 2013 if he sits out for the full year, he could insist after July 16 on an agreement that the Saints won’t use the exclusive tender on him in 2013 — or that they won’t use the franchise tender at all.

author:  Mike Florio
AP PhotoBill Feig

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Bears have doubts that Matt Forte’s knees can hold up

The Bears’ reluctance to offer a lucrative long-term contract to Matt Forte stems in part from concerns that his knees won’t allow him to remain an upper-echelon NFL running back for much longer.
The wear and tear Forte took during a college career at Tulane in which he had nearly 1,000 touches was a concern entering the 2008 NFL draft, and a source told David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune that with more than 1,200 touches under his belt in the NFL, the Bears wonder how long Forte’s knees will hold up.
Forte’s knee injuries include a torn posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in 2006, a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee in 2009 and a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee in 2011. The Bears may be concerned about the possibility of arthritis becoming a problem for Forte.
Although he’s only 26 years old and was having a great season when he got injured in the 12th game last year, the Bears have shown very little interest in signing Forte to anything other than the one-year franchise tender. The reality for NFL running backs is that teams toss them aside once they’re used up, and the Bears may think Forte’s knees are close to used up.

author:  Michael David Smith
photo:  Jonathan Daniel Getty Images

NFL changes its rules for “Griffin III”

Six years ago, running back Reggie Bush tried to persuade the league to adjust its jersey rules to allow him to wear No. 5 in the NFL. The effort went nowhere. And so Bush adopted No. 25, after finagling it from Fred McAfee. (Bush now wears No. 22 in Miami.) This year, the NFL quietly has adjusted its rules to permit the use of Roman numerals on the jersey of quarterback Robert Griffin III. It should have been obvious 29 days ago, when Griffin held up a jersey that showed “Griffin III” on the nameplate. But only recently has it been reported that the rules actually were changed to permit players to include “Jr.” and “III.” Presumably, it also will allow a player with a son named after him to add “Sr.” to the back of his jersey.

author:  Mike Florio
photo:  michael conroy AP

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Coughlin: Nicks in a race to make Week One

The Giants announced that wide receiver Hakeem Nicks‘ recovery would last 12 weeks after he fractured the fifth metatarsal in his right foot during Thursday’s OTA practice. But that might be an optimistic timetable. Appearing on NFL Network later in the day, coach Tom Coughlin suggested Nicks will be in a race to play on opening night against the Dallas Cowboys. “Well it’s probably gonna be close,” Coughlin acknowledged. “Hopefully, he will. [Nicks] feels confident about it. The doctors have expressed it as being something that they think will heal very, very well. … If it takes the full three months, you’re gonna be sitting right up next to that opening game. And we certainly hope that Hakeem is correct in saying he heals fast.” ESPN’s Adam Schefter explained on NFL Live Thursday that the Giants won’t have an accurate timetable for Nicks’ return until he undergoes surgery on Friday. Rookie Rueben Randle will have to get up to speed quick.

author:  Evan Silva

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Chad Ochocinco robbed; WR's Starbucks card stolen

Rough-and-tumble Wednesday in the world of Chad Ochocinco.
The New England Patriots receiver has been robbed.
"This is total bull droppings," Ochocinco tweeted. "They broke in my Escalade rent a car.. they took my (expletive) Starbucks cards."
Patriots players were forbidden from working out Wednesday due to restrictions in the new collective bargaining agreement. Set free to wander, Ocho pinpointed iHop for breakfast. No dice. Ocho's morning serenity was set adrift upon discovering that someone had taken his wallet, iPod, credit cards, driver's license and Starbucks Gold Card, according to the Boston Herald.
Ochocinco later recorded a video that sent a heat-seeking missile to the thief: "I earned the Gold Card," Ochocinco said, per the Herald. "You know how many coffees I've had to drink and lemon loafs I've had to purchase to get to that gold card? Like, I had $220 left on my Starbucks card. Not just any Starbucks card, but a gold Starbucks card."
His day seemed like a bust until one of his 3.4 million Twitter followers reported Ocho's wallet found (by the tweeter's mother, no less) in a dusty parking lot in Providence, R.I. (This is real, people.) Starbucks joined the party soon after, offering to send Ocho a brand new Gold Card.
Upshot: There are men trapped in cubicles, dreaming of breaking free: And there is Ochocinco, the whirlwind.

source: Around The League on
author: Marc Sessler
photo via

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dallas Clark getting used to new surroundings in Tampa

Dallas Clark has missed 16 games over the last two seasons with leg and wrist injuries, but he sounds rejuvenated now that he’s found a new home in Tampa.
The Buccaneers signed the veteran tight end Monday night and he was getting used to his new home today now that he’s taken over for Kellen Winslow Jr., who was traded to the Seattle Seahawks.
Clark, who starred in Indianapolis playing with Peyton Manning, is looking to kick-start his career. The Colts released him in March.
“The bottom line is just feeling comfortable and this is where that led me,'' Clark said, according to Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune.
Clark turns 33 next month and he has a one-year deal to play for the new coaching staff.
“Right now, it's learning the offense and figuring out where I need to be,” Clark said. “Injuries are part of the game and I had a couple of down years. But it's not slowing me down now. I don't feel like I've been hampered by anything. I feel like I can come out and perform every day and that's what I'm working hard to do.”

author:  Brad Biggs
photo:  Marc Serota/Getty Images

Monday, May 21, 2012

Bucs ship Winslow to Seattle

The man who once proclaimed that he’s a “f–king soldier” is now a freaking Seahawk. The Buccaneers have announced that tight end Kellen Winslow has been shipped to the Seahawks for an undisclosed 2013 draft pick. Winslow, the sixth overall pick in the 2004 draft, becomes the seventh tight end on the team’s roster. With the departure of John Carlson via free agency, Winslow could end up being the starter.

 Per a league source, the Seahawks made the deal without Winslow renegotiating a contract that pays him a base salary of $3.3 million in 2012. That said, a new contract is possible. The Bucs advised Winslow over the weekend that he would be traded. It’s unknown whether any other team was in the running for Winslow, who entered the league as a member of the Browns.

Mike Sando of reports that the Bucs got a seventh-round pick that can upgrade to a sixth-round selection.

author:  Mike Florio
photo via

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Tebow’s effort against “My Jesus” shirts seems off the mark

Though I’d prefer to keep as much distance as possible from my current life and the 18 years I spent banging powdered wigs in court, the NFL seems to always have multiple issues that require some sort of legal analysis.
The latest involves Jets quarterback Tim Tebow and his effort to get the makers of the “My Jesus” T-shirt to cease and desist.
Earlier today, MDS pointed out that the folks at Cubby Tees have politely invited Tebow’s legal team to stick it where the Perpetual Light don’t shine.
And, frankly, they’re right.  The logo infringes on no trademarks or other property of Tebow.
That said, the shirt blatantly infringes on the New York Jets logo, and we’re in the process of finding out whether the Jets or the NFL have launched a separate effort to shut down the sale of T-shirts that, at first glance, appear to display the Jets logo.
It would be surprising if the Jets and/or the NFL allow this to continue.  Owners of copyrighted material have an obligation to defend their copyrights.  If they don’t, they could lose the protections of the copyright laws.

author:  Mike Florio
photo via (from TMZ)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Wes Welker backtracks on claims about Patriots’ contract offer

Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker signed his franchise tender this week and then complained that the Patriots reduced the amount of money they’re offering him on a long-term contract. Now he says he shouldn’t have said that.
Speaking to reporters at his football camp, Welker backtracked on his comment that contract negotiations have “actually gotten worse.”
“That was probably a bad choice of words saying they’ve gotten worse. They’ve stayed the same,” Welker said, via Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe. “I’m franchised for the year and I’m completely happy with that and completely OK with it.”
Although his decision to sign the franchise tender shows Welker wants to stay in New England, he’s in an awkward position in contract negotiations: He wants more money, but he knows that the Patriots aren’t the type of team to reward a player who complains about his contract publicly. And he wants to remain in New England, but signing the tender removes the leverage he had from the threat that he might hold out into the regular season.
So Welker will probably refrain from saying much of anything about his contract going forward. His best chance of getting a deal done is to do it quietly.

author:  Michael David Smith

Friday, May 18, 2012

Report: Dallas Clark visited Patriots on Tuesday

Former Colts tight end Dallas Clark has been linked to multiple teams.  The latest is the least likely.
Shalise Manza Young of the Boston Globe reports that Clark visited the Patriots on Tuesday.
Yes, the Patriots.  Who have Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.
On Monday, Peter King of characterized the Chiefs as the clubhouse leaders for Clark’s services.  It could be that Chiefs G.M. Scott Pioli’s former boss, Bill Belichick, simply decided that, if Pioli sees something in Clark, maybe there’s something there that could help the Pats.
Even though they don’t seem to need it.
Clark has missed 15 games over the past two seasons due to injury.  In fact, he has only appeared in all 16 games only once in his career — the 2009 season, which also was his best season statistically, with 100 catches for 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns.

author:  Mike Florio
photo:  AP Photo via

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Adrian Peterson '50-50' for start of Vikings' camp

Adrian Peterson has shown resilience in battling back from the torn anterior cruciate ligament he suffered in his left knee last December. The Minnesota Vikings running back is gunning to take the field Week 1 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but cast doubt Thursday about his status for the start of training camp.

"To be honest with you I feel like 50-50," Peterson told ESPN's Josina Anderson. "I feel like honestly, sitting here telling you the truth, I'll be able to participate doing certain things. I think I'll be able to participate. I'm going to be all the way honest with you. I feel like I will be able to get out there and you call a run play or whatever, I'll be able to go through practice. That's how I feel. That's my mind-set; but I'm going to follow the protocol. Whatever the Vikings and their staff want me to do, then I'm gonna do that; but I'm not going to hinder myself. I'm going to let those guys know how I feel, so if I'm able to get out there and get a couple of reps or whatever, then I'm going to participate in that way. But I'm sure they've got my best interests in hand, so we'll work it out."

Coach Leslie Frazier first reported in April that his All-Pro back has been running wind sprints inside the team's field house, but Vikings trainer Eric Sugarman won't make any promises. "I love Adrian," Sugarman said this month. "But let's make this clear: I'm still not going to be quoted as saying he's going to play in the first game. That's not fair. I don't know that." The Vikings feel good about the progress of Toby Gerhart, who will carry the load if Peterson is sidelined for longer than expected. Peterson's absence would strip Minnesota of its most devastating weapon and workhorse. Even when the All-Pro returns, Peterson's play will be judged to determine if he's the same back he was before the injury.

source: Around The League on
author: Marc Sessler

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Jets' Revis: Tebow 'born leader'

Wednesday is officially the day to discuss Tim Tebow's eating habits at the New York Jets' OTAs. First, running back Joe McKnight compared his McDonald's diet to Tebow's more disciplined approach. Now, cornerback Darrelle Revis is giving Tebow's nutritional habits some love, with respect to Tebow's leadership abilities.

"It's the passion within ... of him wanting to be a leader, wanting to win. You see it in him all the time ... eating lunch," Revis said. Tebow's leadership knows no bounds. He can inspire in the salad bar line and everywhere else. "He's a born leader," Revis said via the New York Daily News. "He really is. Very few athletes have the gift that he has. He tries to lead by example all the time and he tries to be positive, which is awesome. I think that results (in) his success on the field. He came in with Denver and did unbelievable. And now he's with us. We're happy. We're excited for him. We're happy (that) he'll bring his leadership qualities to this team."

Guard Matt Slauson noted that Tebow works really hard and meshes well with the rest of the team. Yes, the Jets have caught Tebowmania. "Some people have it. Some guys don't," Revis said. "He's very positive. He has passion for what he does and you could see it. You can see it on him when you have a conversation with him. He's just a leader." Revis later said Tebow had the "it" factor. It's hard not to wonder if Revis also believes whether Mark Sanchez has "it."

source: Around The League on
author: Gregg Rosenthal
photo:  AP Photo Mel Evans

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Jay Cutler admits he's concerned with offensive line

Jay Cutler is a lot like Bears fans out there. He's worried about the team's offensive line. “You know, the offensive line is definitely going to be a concern and seeing where those guys are going to fit in and seeing what five we go with,” Cutler said via the Chicago Sun-Times when asked about the upcoming season. “If Gabe [Carimi] comes back, if J’Marcus [Webb] pans out. Where are we going to put Chris Williams? There are some question marks there. Until we really get that resolved and get our front five settled in, we’ve got some work to do on offense." Cutler's honesty won't win him any points in Chicago, but we love it. He's essentially questioning the team's strategy to not draft offensive linemen. We questioned that strategy as well after the draft, and heard from a few angry Bears fans that said we were making too much out of nothing. The fans say that getting rid of offensive coordinator Mike Martz solves everything. Cutler disagrees. "It helps some, but it’s not a cure all by any means," Cutler said. "They’re still going to be asked to protect. There are going to be times it’s third-and-eight, third-and-10 and we’re going to have to take seven-step drops and we’re going to have the longer route and they’re going to have to protect." I'm an unabashed Cutler supporter, but it's hard to imagine Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady making these comments. Then again, it's hard to imagine the Packers or Patriots failing to address the offensive line year after year.

source: Around The League on
author: Gregg Rosenthal

Monday, May 14, 2012

Jags' Maurice Jones-Drew, Scobee not expected at OTAs

Jacksonville Jaguars Pro Bowl running back Maurice Jones-Drew and franchised kicker Josh Scobee are not expected to be present for the start of the team's organized team activities on Tuesday, Tania Ganguli of the Florida Times-Union reports. Neither player has participated in the voluntary workout program, so their absence for the OTAs should not come as a surprise. Jones-Drew has always preferred to work out on his own in his native California and his conditioning has never been a problem. Ganguli notes that the Jaguars thought Jones-Drew returned from the lockout in the best shape of his career after undergoing major knee surgery in the offseason.
 Coming off a season where he led the NFL in rushing attempts and yards, Jones-Drew may be avoiding the OTAs in attempt to get the Jaguars to adjust the two years and $9.5 million remaining on his current contract. Last season, Jones-Drew watched Minnesota's Adrian Peterson, Tennessee's Chris Johnson, Carolina's DeAngelo Williams and Houston's Arian Foster sign multi-year contracts passing his deal in terms of APY (Average Per Year) rankings at the running back position Scobee's absence is strictly contract-related. The 29-year-old kicker has yet to sign his one-year, $2.88 million franchise tender.
Until he does so, he is not obligated to report to any workout, voluntary or involuntary. The two sides have reportedly made little progress in talks toward a long-term extension. In order to have a kicker for the OTAs, the Jaguars have signed Brandon Coutu, a 2008 seventh round pick out of Georgia by the Seattle Seahawks who spent a week on the Jaguars practice squad last season. Coutu, 27, made his NFL debut when he handled the kicking duties for the Buffalo Bills in 2011 regular season finale, missing his lone field goal attempt.

source: Around The League on
author: Brian McIntyre

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Patriots WR Chad Ochocinco Pens Letter Of Support To NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell

New England Patriots wide receiver Chad Ochocinco has never been afraid to go over the middle or against the grain. The latest example of Ochocinco's individualism came on Saturday, when the veteran receiver penned a letter to his "Dad", NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell:

 "Dear Dad, I know it has been a rough week, so I wanted to reach out. Players dying, players suing and on top of that my peers are just going off on you in the media. It does not help that ESPN has all of a sudden become Medical TV with damn near every brain expert on the planet. This has got to be the worst week ever. Since no one is showing any support, I figured I would be the first. You are in one big ass catch 22 and quite frankly, I am not sure there is any solution. One thing I think can help is killing the NFL PR machine.

"Y’all do a darn near perfect job at portraying this game as one played by heroes. But let’s be real dad. This is a nasty, dirty and violent game with consequences. Sign up or go get a regular job. Watch it or turn off the TV and go fishing with your kids. It is really that simple. I know there are probably legal and financial implications that prevent this blunt depiction, but am not sure if you have a choice. If you don’t say it now, the mounting evidence being revealed publicly will say it for you very soon. In all, I love you and if anyone can lead us out of this mess, it will be you. Oh by the way, I have a deal for you. Am having a rebound year and plan to do a lot of celebrating in the end zone. Can my fine money go to supporting ex-players suffering?
Sincerely, Chad"

source:  Mac's Football Blog
author:  Brian McIntyre

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Report: DeSean Jackson pulled over, treated “rudely”

Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson had an interesting morning. While driving to an event for the DeSean Jackson Foundation for Pediatric Cancer, Jackson was pulled over by a member of the Pennsylvania State Police, according to TMZ. Per the report, the trooper stopped Jackson for having tinted windows. The trooper also reportedly suspected Jackson of being drunk. At 9:00 a.m. TMZ further reports that the trooper seemed to recognize Jackson, and that the trooper “began acting very rudely” toward him. A witness tells TMZ that the trooper “yelled” at Jackson the entire time, but that Jackson “never gave the trooper an attitude and followed his instructions at all times.” Jackson was released without a ticket after passing a field sobriety test. The incident, if accurately depicted, illustrates the disparity in treatment that pro athletes often receive from law enforcement officials. In some cases, the authorities look the other way and/or go out of their way to ensure that the player doesn’t get in trouble. In other cases, they seem to bait the player into saying or doing something he’ll regret.

author:  Mike Florio

Friday, May 11, 2012

Vince Young signs one-year, $2 million deal with Bills

Vince Young has finally found a new NFL home, signing with the Buffalo Bills today. Young is signing a one-year, $2 million deal with another $1 million in potential playing time bonuses, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen is reporting. The news of Young’s arrival was first “reported” by a man who signed a slightly more lucrative free agent contract with the Bills this offseason: Mario Williams, who wrote on Twitter, “Congrats to @VinceYoung glad to have you!” Young had a tryout with the Bills last week, and although he reportedly looked good, there had been no word on whether he was signing. But now the deal is done, and Young will serve as a backup to Ryan Fitzpatrick, and perhaps get some playing time in a wildcat type role under Bills coach Chan Gailey, who enjoys taking advantage of the talents of mobile quarterbacks. Last year Young played in six games for the Eagles, starting three, and completed 66 of 114 passes for 866 yards, with four touchdowns, nine interceptions and a career-low passer rating of 60.8. In five previous seasons with the Titans he showed flashes of the great talent that made him the third overall pick in the 2006 NFL draft, but also had performances that raised questions about whether he had either the passing accuracy or the leadership necessary to be a starting NFL quarterback.

author:  Michael David Smith
photo fro Reuters via

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Revis rips Belichick, Brady

New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis on Thursday stood by his comments regarding Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots.
In a word association interview on television, Revis called the Patriots coach a "jerk" and stood by that after Thursday's off-season practice for the Jets.
"I feel like people let him slide when he says his smart remarks and certain things and he says comments about us like he never coached here, which he did, and that's how I felt," Revis told the Newark Star-Ledger. "They told me to sum it up and I gave one word. He can take it however he wants, he can say whatever he wants to say back and even if he says something back I'm not going to get into jarring with him, I said what I had to say, he still has to coach and I still have to go out there and play.
"Sometimes things are disrespectful when you say certain comments about the Jets, some stuff is disrespectful, it's okay to have a rivalry, it's okay to compete but when it gets personal, that's when it gets disrespectful. I didn't start this battle, you know, the smart remarks he says it's ignorant, it's ignorant to this organization."
When his Jets teammate Antonio Cromartie referred to Patriots QB Tom Brady as an 'a--hole," Revis had Cromartie's back on the subject Thursday.
"And sometimes he is on the field," Revis said. "That's him sayng his personal opinion about him. If that's how he acts on the field, that's how he acts."
While Revis was quite opinionated on the Jets' top rival, he had little to say on his own contract situation, which he may want to re-negotiate to avoid a holdout.

author:  Terry McCormick
photo and story via and the Newark Star-Ledger

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

On John Beck, Texans finally listen to Kyle Shanahan

Last year, as the Redskins were trying to justify entrusting the quarterback position to Rex Grossman and John Beck, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan claimed that he stood on the table for John Beck in the days preceding the 2007 draft. (Texand G.M. Rick Smith didn’t recall it that way, but why let facts get in the way of rationalizing an ultimately failed strategy?) Still, Shanahan must have said something about Beck that resonated, given that Beck is now a member of the team. John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reports that the Texans have signed Beck, who will compete with undrafted rookie Case Keenum for a roster spot behind Matt Schaub and backup T.J. Yates. Beck, ultimately picked by the Dolphins in round two of the 2007 draft, also has played for the Ravens. He started four games as a rookie and three last season with the Redskins, who cut him after drafting Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins.

author:  Mike Florio

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Eagles sign Mychal Kendricks

The Eagles have signed the first member of their 2012 draft class. General Manager Howie Roseman said Tuesday that linebacker Mychal Kendricks, a second-round pick in April, has agreed to a contract. Like all rookies drafted after the first round, Kendricks’ deal is for four years. Kendricks ran a 4.47 40 at the combine and impressed in several other drills as well. He was also the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year at Cal in 2011. At the time, Kendricks said he thought of himself like Patrick Willis, but he won’t be playing the same position in the pros. Kendricks played inside in a 3-4 look while at Cal, but the change in schemes to Philly’s 4-3 will likely send Kendricks to a new spot. He should be in the mix at strongside linebacker this summer, a spot where his speed would come in handy in coverage as well as making plays at the edges. The Eagles have eight other draft picks, many of whom should sign before this weekend’s minicamp.

author:  Josh Alper
photo:  Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Monday, May 7, 2012

Bills Announce Contract Extension With RB Fred Jackson

The Buffalo Bills have announced that starting running back Fred Jackson has signed a contract extension.

Jackson was scheduled to earn $1.955 million in base salary, with a $100,000 roster bonus and $50,000 workout bonus in the final year of his current contract. According to multiple reports, the extension is worth around $8 million over two seasons, keeping Jackson under contract through the 2014 season.

Undrafted out of Coe College in 2003, Jackson spent time in the Indoor Football League and NFL Europe before catching on with the Bills practice squad in 2006.  Over the last five seasons, Jackson has started 38 of 66 games, rushing for 3,794 yards and 16 touchdowns with 175 receptions for 1,535 yards and four touchdowns out of the backfield.

In his three seasons as a starter, Jackson has topped 1,000 yards once (2009) and has fallen less than 100 yards short in the last two seasons. With 934 yards and six touchdowns rushing, and 39 receptions for 442 yards, Jackson was well on his way towards posting career-highs in every statistical category in 2011 before his season was ended by a broken fibula.

source:  Mac's Football Blog
author:  Brian McIntyre
photo:  Getty Images via

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Redskins HC Mike Shanahan Names Robert Griffin The Starter

At the conclusion of the Washington Redskins' rookie mini-camp, head coach Mike Shanahan confirmed that No. 2 overall pick Robert Griffin would be the team's starting quarterback, Mike Jones of The Washington Post reports.

Given the freight the Redskins paid to move up to the No. 2 overall pick -- first round picks in 2012, 2013 and 2014 along with a 2012 second round pick -- and the fully guaranteed $21 million contract he will eventually sign, naming Griffin the starter is not unexpected.

"Any time you pick a player with the second pick of the draft and you give up another two No. 1’s and No. 2 and you move up four spots, you’ve got a game plan in mind," Shanahan said. "We’re going to adjust our system to what he feels comfortable with, and we’ll watch him grow, and we’ll do what we feel like he does the best.

"We’re going to put him with the first team when we come back," Shanahan said of the OTAs, which get underway on May 21. "We’ll have our first team on one field, working against our second defense, and we’ll have our second team on the other field, working against our first defense.

"I thought it very important to start with Robert with our first unit. He’s able to do it and pick up the system as quick as he has, which is always good, to go out there and be able to call plays and feel good with what you’re doing, and I’ve seen that over the last five practices."

With Griffin starting and likely taking as many reps as possible to get up to speed in Shanahan's offense, Rex Grossman, John Beck, Jonathan Crompton and 2012 fourth round pick Kirk Cousins will have to make the most of limited reps in their competition for the No. 2 job this summer.

source:  Mac's Football Blog
author:  Brian McIntyre

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Peyton Manning says Joseph Addai is heading to New England

When Peyton Manning left Indianapolis for Denver, there was some talk that free agent running back Joseph Addai might follow. But according to Manning, Addai is actually heading to a longtime rival. Manning, who is back in Indianapolis this weekend for a charity function, told Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star that Addai is signing with the Patriots. There’s been no word yet from either Addai or the Patriots about that, so it’s possible that Manning is getting ahead of himself. If Addai does end up in New England, he’ll join a Patriots backfield that includes Danny Woodhead and two backs who were rookies last year, Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley. In the 2006 NFL draft, Bill Belichick decided to pass on Addai and take running back Laurence Maroney with the 21st overall pick. The Colts then drafted Addai with the 30th pick. Although he’s a smart player who understands the passing game and is good at picking up blitzes, it’s fair to ask whether the 29-year-old Addai really has anything left as a runner: In 2011 Addai had 118 carries for a career-low 433 yards and just one touchdown.

UPDATE: Ian Rapoport of NFL Network has confirmed that Peyton Manning is a better reporter than Rob Lowe: Addai will sign with the Patriots.

author:  Michael David Smith
photo:  AP Amy Sancetta

Friday, May 4, 2012

Browns QB Brandon Weeden Says He's Ready To Start

Cleveland Browns first round quarterback Brandon Weeden says that, if need be, he's ready to start right away, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer reports.

"I feel like I'm ready," Weeden told the paper on Thursday. "I have a long way to go, but I feel like I've taken the right steps to get to where I can play at that level.

"If I'm asked to be the guy Day One, I'm going to do everything on my part to put our team in position to win games and score points. I'm really anxious to get going and the season will be here before you know it."

Weeden will likely be given every opportunity to start right away as the Browns did not invest the 22nd overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft on a 28-year-old quarterback with the intention of having him sit a year or two behind a Colt McCoy or Seneca Wallace.

The 6-foot-3, 221-pound Weeden completed 766-of-1,102 pass attempts for 9,260 yards with 75
touchdowns and just 27 interceptions in 30 games at Oklahoma State. The Browns have brought aboard a familiar target for Weeden, including 5-foot-11, 187-pound wide receiver Josh Cooper among a dozen undrafted free agents the Browns got under contract on Thursday.

Cooper caught 161 passes for 1,695 yards and nine touchdowns and returned a punt 66 yards for a touchdown during his 46-game career in Stillwater. Invited to the Combine, Cooper was unable to participate due to a left hamstring injury.

source:  Mac's Football Blog
author:  Brian McIntyre
photo via

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Lions Offer Contract To Free Agent RB Ryan Grant

The Detroit Lions have offered free agent running back Ryan Grant a contract, Jason Wilde of ESPN Milwaukee reports.

Details of the Lions' offer were not disclosed. After missing all but one game in 2010, Grant agreed to a pay cut last summer and earned just under $4.5 million in base salary, workout bonus and per game roster bonuses. The 29-year-old has rushed for 4,016 yards and 25 touchdowns during his 63 games with the Packers, adding 92 receptions for 726 yards and two touchdowns out of the backfield.

Grant visited the New England Patriots on April 20.

Injury and disciplinary concerns with their top two running backs may be behind the Lions' interest in Grant. 2010 first round pick Jahvid Best is coming off a major concussion that ended his 2011 season and has yet to be cleared for contact on the football field. 2011 second round pick Mikel Leshoure missed the 2011 season with an Achilles injury and could face a suspension for a pair of marijuana-related arrests this off-season.

source:  Mac's Football Blog
author:  Brian McIntyre

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Lorenzo Neal reflects on the pressures of being Junior Seau

As a friend of Junior Seau, Lorenzo Neal said that when he learned of Seau’s death today, his reaction was, “We lost a great man.” But as a player who had a lengthy career before recently retiring, Neal had another reaction to the news that Seau’s death was an apparent suicide: Neal understands the pressures that Seau was under.
Neal said in an interview on NBC Sports Talk that Seau wanted badly to please everyone, and he could always do that by playing football well, which came naturally to him. But it was harder for Seau to continue to make a difference when football was over.
“I know Junior — I know the man,” Neal said. “People think, ‘These guys are grown men playing a kid’s game, getting a king’s ransom.’ They don’t understand sometimes the pressure. You’ve got to realize, you walk out on the field, there’s thousands of people watching you in the stands. There’s millions of people watching you at home. And you’re revered as a gladiator. And even if you’re still doing things after football, after your career, there’s no stage like that football field.”
Neal played 17 years in the NFL and retired after the 2008 season, and he said he can understand why it was so difficult for Seau, who played 20 years and retired after the 2009 season, to adjust to live after football.
“When you’re out, it’s not the crash that kills you, it’s the sudden stop,” Neal said. “The first year was tough. You watch the game that you’ve been part of for so long . . . and it’s gone. . . . You’ve been put on a pedestal, and it’s taken from you, your time has expired — your shelf life. And people don’t understand.”

author:  Michael David Smith
photo from Elsa/Getty Images via

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Raiders Officially Sign QB Matt Leinart

The Oakland Raiders officially announced the signing of quarterback Matt Leinart following a workout on Tuesday. News of Leinart's workout and signing were initially reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter. Leinart has passed for 3,950 yards with 15 touchdowns and 20 interceptions during his 31-game career with the Arizona Cardinals (2006-09) and Houston Texans, where Leinart spent the 2010 and 2011 seasons under Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Knapp. The 28-year-old Leinart replaced and injured Matt Schaub as the Texans' starter in November and completed 10-of-13 pass attempts for 57 yards and a touchdown before his season ended with a broken collarbone. The Texans released Leinart on March 12. Given his experience with Knapp, Leinart figures to have the inside track over Terrelle Pryor and Rhett Bomar for the No. 2 job behind Carson Palmer. In addition to being former USC quarterbacks selected in the first round of an NFL Draft, both Palmer and Leinart are represented by David Dunn of Athlete's First. Free agent quarterback Jim Sorgi also worked out for the Raiders on Tuesday.

source:  Mac's Football Blog
author:  Brian McIntyre