Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Jaworski: Manziel won’t last three games playing like he did at A&M

Former NFL quarterback Ron Jaworski is doubling down on his claims that Johnny Manziel is not a good NFL prospect.
After previously saying that he doesn’t think Manziel should be taken in the first three rounds of the NFL draft, Jaworski said today on SiriusXM NFL Radio that Manziel simply doesn’t have the right style to last in the NFL.
“He’s a random quarterback that likes to get out of the pocket and make plays with his legs,” Jaworski said. “In the NFL, he won’t last three games playing that style. He’ll get hurt. He took a lot of vicious hits at A&M in two years, and those hits that have that cumulative effect will knock him out of games in the NFL.”
Jaworski said Manziel has developed such a habit of escaping the pocket that an NFL team might not be able to coach it out of him. And Jaworski added that Manziel doesn’t read through his progressions, is careless with the ball and is inconsistent in his mechanics.
Although there have been some questions about whether Manziel has off-field issues that will keep him from succeeding in the NFL, Jaworski said he doesn’t base his judgment on that. Jaworski just thinks that on the field, Manziel does not play the game the way a successful NFL quarterback needs to play it.

Author: Michael David Smith
Photo by Joe Robbins, Getty Images

Monday, February 24, 2014

Lions expected to look for new veteran backup quarterback

Lions coach Jim Caldwell’s final year on the Colts sideline went up in smoke in large part because the team didn’t have a capable backup to quarterback Peyton Manning, who missed the year after neck surgery.
He’d like to avoid finding himself in the same position should something happen to Matthew Stafford this season. Shaun Hill has been in the second spot on the depth chart for the last four years, but General Manager Martin Mayhew said that the team will be looking at other options this offseason.
“We’ll get into the free agency market and see what it looks like and see if there’s a veteran out there that’s right for us, that we feel comfortable with,” Mayhew said, via
Matt Cassel and Matt Flynn are a pair of free agents with experience in the NFC North and there are other options like Chad Henne with recent starting experience, although the lack of any shot at competing for a starting job in Detroit may limit their options. Kellen Moore is expected back with the team, but Mayhew said he hasn’t had enough experience to “say that you just roll with him and you feel great about it.”

Author: Josh Alper
Photo: Ben Margot AP Detroit News

Report: Jets may make a run at Josh McCown

The Jets have resisted declaring that Geno Smith will be the starting quarterback in 2014.  And for good reason.
The Jets aren’t yet entirely sold on Smith.  And in the event they become completely un-sold on Smith during the 2014 season (or before it even starts), they need a Plan B.
Enter Josh McCown.
Manish Mehta of the New York Dailys News reports that the Jets the Bears may target No.2 quarterback via free agency.  The Jets would then be ready to turn to McCown if Smith “regresses,” a term implying a fact that may not be entirely true.
As Mehta correctly observes, the fallback plan can’t be and won’t be Mark Sanchez.  The Jets turned the page on Sanchez upon using a high second-round pick last year to get Smith.  Benching Smith for Sanchez would represent an admission that G.M. John Idzik made the wrong decision in 2012.
From the perspective of coach Rex Ryan, who’s still coaching for his job in 2014 notwithstanding a supposed multi-year contract extension, the goal will be to have someone who can help win games, if Smith can’t.
McCown can’t be re-signed by the Bears before the start of free agency, because he signed a one-year deal in 2013 under the minimum-salary benefit.  He’ll have to hit the market before signing a new deal with anyone, and the Jets are someone who may provide the soon-to-be 35-year-old his next NFL destination.

Author: Mike Florio
Photo: Andrew Weber, USA TODAY Sports

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Brett Favre says Johnny Manziel reminds him of himself

With a little luck, there are no untoward cell-phone photos.
Otherwise, Brett Favre sees some similarities when he watches Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.
While Favre admits to not breaking down that much tape, this is the season for reckless comparisons of draft prospects, so he decided to join in.
Favre told Nate Davis of USA Today he saw most of Manziel’s game against Ole Miss, when Manziel threw for 346 yards and ran for 124 more, leading the Aggies to a 41-38 comeback win on the road.
“I almost thought I was watching film of a young Brett Favre,” the old Favre said. ”I didn’t think I did a lot of things well [in college at Southern Miss], but he did. And and I liked the attitude of ‘whatever it takes’ — from that standpoint, I liked him. . . .
“I didn’t throw near as well as him. He may have that capability — unbelievable throws and can makes plays with his feet. I was impressed.”
Favre is probably fortunate that he was in the draft at a time before Twitter and readily available cell phone video, or some of his off-field exploits might have drawn the same kind of attention Johnny Football did in college.
But the kind of on-field confidence and willingness to take chances makes it a reasonable comparison, no worse than some of the ones which will be drawn this week in Indianapolis.

Author: Darin Gantt
AP Photo

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Redskins picked quarterback Kirk Cousins in the fourth round two years ago, but they are reportedly looking for something better in a trade for him this offseason.
Mark Maske of the Washington Post reports that the team would like a second-round pick in return for their backup quarterback. The Redskins don’t have a first-round pick in the coming draft as a result of the trade for Robert Griffin III, so such a return would give them two picks in the second round to use on players to help them do better than 3-13 next season.
Cousins has started four games for the Redskins over the last two seasons and his presence as a capable backup has been useful when Griffin has been out of the lineup. Given Griffin’s injury history, it makes sense that the value of dealing away such a backup would be high for Washington.
The initial asking price is just part of any trade talks, of course, and Maske reports it is unclear what interest in Cousins the Redskins have seen at this point. Equally unclear is whether the Redskins would consider offers that don’t include a second-round pick, but might include multiple picks in the upcoming draft.
Those answers will likely take some time to play out as teams in the market for quarterbacks plan for free agency and the draft.

Author: Josh Alper
AP Photo

Woman breaks barrier by playing football with men

Jennifer Welter was tackled for a one-yard loss on her first carry as a running back for the Texas Revolution on Saturday, but she had still made history: The Revolution play in the Indoor Football League, and Welter is believed to be the first woman to play a position other than kicker or holder in any football league for adult men.
At 5-foot-2 and 130 pounds, Welter is quite a bit smaller than her teammates and opponents, but she has played linebacker in a women’s tackle football league for several years, and she said she had no problems with a 6-foot-4, 245-pound defensive end tackling her.
“I said, ‘Is that all you got?’” Welter told the Dallas Morning News. “They were getting all alive, and I had to say something. I didn’t want them to think I was intimidated.”
Welter knew it wouldn’t be easy playing against men, but when the Revolution gave her the opportunity, she wanted to take a shot.
“I’ve thought of all the reasons why I might be the wrong person to do this: ‘You’re too small, you’re too this, you’re too that,’” she said. “The truth is if I can change the game, literally, for any of those girls, it’s worth it.”
Welter showed girls that football is for them, too.

Author: Michael David Smith
AP Photo

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Gonzalez says TV gig means he’s not coming back as a player

After musing on multiple occasions in recent weeks about a midseason return in 2014 if the Falcons start strong and if they haven’t filled his spot, Tony Gonzalez has slammed a door that supposedly was already slammed.
According to Josh Carpenter of SportsBusiness Daily, Gonzalez said he won’t be back as a player.
It’s possible that Gonzalez signed a contract that prevents him from returning to the field.  If, after all, CBS is going to dump Shannon Sharpe in order to create a spot for his on-field heir, Gonzalez needs to see it through.  Also, with both Sharpe and Dan Marino gone from CBS in an instant, Gonzalez needs to realize that there aren’t many seats for former players at network grown-ups tables, and that there are many, many former players who want one.
“I’ve seen guys I’ve played against that have made that transition,” Gonzalez said regarding his decision to enter TV.  “I started saying to myself, ‘This is something I can do.’”
Gonzalez, who also will contribute to Showtime’s Inside the NFL (CBS and Showtime share a parent), said he’ll be willing to talk about any NFL-related topic.
“I’ll address them as I see fit,” he said.  “I think I’ll be able to give an interesting perspective.”
He needs to, because just as Jimmy Graham has become the on-field successor to Sharpe and Gonzalez, some other former player inevitably will think he can do a better job than Gonzalez.  And in broadcasting, there’s a fraction of spots for former players that there are in the NFL for current ones.  And the big-name players who have recently retired always have more built-in sizzle than the guys who retired a decade ago.

Author: Mike Florio
Photo by Grant Halverson, Getty Images

Monday, February 17, 2014

Report: Rams don’t intend to extend Bradford’s deal

The Rams would like to extend the contract of quarterback Sam Bradford. Unless they don’t. Unless they presently have no intention to do so but may do so in the future.
It’s all become sort of confusing.
The latest report comes from Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, who says that the Rams “have absolutely no intention” to extend Bradford’s contract. His claim that the new report is “contrary to a midseason report” strongly implies that, even then, the Rams didn’t want to extend Bradford’s contract.
And that’s where it gets weird. La Canfora isn’t simply throwing high and tight at Adam Schefter, Jay Glazer, or Ian Rapoport; there was no “report” that the Rams want to extend Bradford’s contract. Rams COO Kevin Demoff said so.
Specifically, Demoff said, “We’ve decided Bradford is our guy. If they wanted to do a contract extension, we would do it.”
We reported in response to Demoff’s declaration that there currently are no talks. It appeared that the Rams were interested in buying low, before Bradford possibly made a big push in the final two-plus years of his rookie deal. A subsequent torn ACL has complicated things, and perhaps the Rams have since decided to take a wait-and-see approach with Bradford.
But then there’s the “contract to a midseason report” knife twist, which means that, according to La Canfora, the Rams didn’t want to extend Bradford when Demoff publicly said they did.
The question of whether the Rams want to extend Bradford glosses over the question of whether he has done enough from 2010 through 2013 to merit a salary of $14 million and a cap number of $17.6 million in 2014 and/or a salary of $12.9 million and a cap number of $16.5 million in 2015. That’s a huge investment for a guy with a career record of 20-28-1 and a career passer rating of 79.3.
But then there’s the question that every team with a good-but-not-great quarterback must consider. If you release the bird in the hand, you may up with a turd in the bush.

Author: Mike Florio
Getty Images

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Terrell Suggs, Ravens agree to terms

The Baltimore Ravens have announced that a press conference will be held on Monday.  The attendees will be G.M. Ozzie Newsome and linebacker Terrell Suggs.
And all that that implies.
Despite some reports that it’s a done deal, a source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that it’s not actually done yet.  However, the two sides have agreed to terms, and at this point it’s expected that a deal will be done.
The deal is sufficiently close that Suggs currently is in the air from Arizona to Baltimore.  While it’s possible that a fight will develop over an obscure term, it’s highly unlikely that the situation will blow up at this point.
Suggs, the NFL defensive player of the year in 2011, was entering the final year of long-term deal signed in 2009, at a cap number of $12.4 million.  Undoubtedly, the cap number for 2014 will drop, probably significantly.
It’ll be interesting to see the terms of the agreement, given the dips experienced in the market for over-30 pass rushers in recent years.

Author: Mike Florio
AP Photo

Friday, February 14, 2014

Stephen Ross: Obviously, the report is deeply disturbing

When the report about bullying on the Dolphins was released on Friday morning, owner Stephen Ross asked for time to review the matter. Now Ross has reviewed the matter, and he acknowledges that his franchise looks bad.
“I now have had a chance to read the report and obviously, the language that was used and the behavior as described is deeply disturbing,” Ross said in a statement released on Friday evening. “Although the report commended Joe Philbin’s commitment to promoting integrity and accountability throughout the Dolphins organization, I told Ted Wells personally during my visit with him that we are committed to addressing the issues outlined in this report. We must work together towards a culture of civility and mutual respect for one another. It is important to me, important to Coach Philbin and important to the entire Dolphins organization.”
Ross’s lengthy statement, however, is short on specifics about how he feels about the individuals named in the report. In fact, Ross’s statement says nothing at all about Jonathan Martin, the player who left the team last season because of harassment from his teammates. Ross’s statement also says nothing at all about Richie Incognito, Mike Pouncey or John Jerry, the three players the report cites as abusing Martin, another unnamed player and a team trainer. And Ross’s statement says nothing about offensive line coach Jim Turner, who looks very bad in the report.
So while Ross says in his statement that “I have made it clear to everyone within our organization that this situation must never happen again,” Ross doesn’t say whether “everyone within our organization” will continue to include some of the people who mistreated Martin.

Author: Michael David Smith
Photo: Lynne Sladky, AP

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Lions not expected to bring Burleson back at a reduced rate

The Lions told wide receiver Nate Burleson that he’s being released on Thursday, a move that had a lot to do with clearing Burleson’s $5.5 million salary off the cap ahead of the start of the new league year.
Burleson has been a consistent performer when healthy for the Lions and the team isn’t particularly deep at wideout, so some may have wondered if there was a chance for the two sides to come back together at a more reasonable price. According to Tim Twentyman of the team’s website, though, it’s time to start wondering about other things.
Twentyman reports that the Lions are expected to move on from Burleson for good, which would end his run in Detroit after four years and 194 catches. Burleson, who will celebrate his 33rd birthday with a plethora of free pizza this summer, will try to catch on somewhere else.
If Burleson is indeed done in Detroit, receiver becomes even more of a priority for the Lions this offseason than it was before Burleson was shuffled off the roster. Calvin Johnson is joined by Kris Durham, a rehabbing Ryan Broyles and several other uninspiring players on the roster right now and that will need to be upgraded considerably by the time next season rolls around.

Author: Josh Alper
AP Photo

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Saints move on from Smith, Harper, Greer, Vilma

In many ways, an era has ended for the Saints.
Four key defensive players won’t be back with the team in 2014.  The Saints have terminated the contracts of linebacker Will Smith, cormerback Jabari Greer, and safety Roman Harper.  The team also announced that linebacker Jonathan Vilma (pictured) will not be re-signed.
Last night, we reported that the release of Smith and Harper could come as soon as Wednesday.
“I would like to thank Jabari, Roman, Will, and Jonathan for their contributions on and off the field for the New Orleans Saints over the past several years,” owner Tom Benson said in a team-issued release. “All four of them played important roles in the success of our club and were great players and teammates. In addition, all of them made a significant impact in our community, especially with our youth and helping serve the less fortunate. On behalf of our organization and our fans, we appreciate everything that they have done for us and wish them continued success.”
“These were not easy decisions to make,” G.M. Mickey Loomis said. “Since we acquired them, Jabari, Roman, Will and Jonathan have all been excellent players on the field for us. Each of them were integral parts in turning this program around and winning a Super Bowl. They were a great example to our players as team leaders in the locker room as well. Will and Roman were two of the better draft picks we have made. Jonathan Vilma has been one of our best trades ever and Jabari Greer has been one of our best free-agent signings. These are the kinds of players and people you hope to acquire. However, a new NFL year is about to begin and, with the start of free agency in March, these difficult moves allow us to position our team under the salary cap to move forward for 2014.”
“I have coached and been around a lot of great players and I put these four guys right there at the top,” coach Sean Payton said. “Jabari, Roman, Will and Jonathan all represent and epitomize what we look for in our players. These are disciplined, smart, tough and team-oriented individuals. They all played an important role in helping this team and this city win its first Super Bowl and they have all enjoyed multiple playoff appearances and wins.”
Cutting Smith clears his $10.4 million salary off the books. Greer would have earned a base salary of $4 million in 2014; his release will result in a $2.65 million cap charge. Harper was due to earn $2.35 million. He counts for more than $3.5 million in dead money.
All three will become free agents as soon as their terminations are reported to the league. Vilma, whose contract is expiring, won’t be eligible to sign with a new team until March 11.

Author: Mike Florio
Photo: Derick E. Hingle, US Presswire

Sam’s father struggles with his son’s revelation

As much as we’d all like to believe that a person’s decision to come out as gay is a non-issue in 2014, it is.  For some, it’s a very big issue.
Michael Sam already has found that out, based on his own father’s reaction to the news that Sam is gay.  Michael Sam Sr. tells the New York Times that he learned of his son’s sexual orientation last Tuesday, and that Sam Sr. has been struggling with the revelation.
The news came via a three-word text message — “Dad, I’m gay” — received while Sam Sr. was eating at Denny’s.
“I couldn’t eat no more, so I went to Applebee’s to have drinks,” Sam Sr. said.  “I don’t want my grand kids raised in that kind of environment.”
Sam Sr. explained that he’s “old school . . . a man-and-a-woman type of guy.”  To illustrate the point, Sam Sr. said he took one of his older sons to Mexico so that he could lose his virginity.
As the icing on the cake, Sam Sr. said that Hall of Famer Deacon Jones “is turning over in his grave” at the prospect of an openly gay player in the NFL.
And that’s coming from the father of the NFL’s first openly gay player.  We can predict and we can hope and we can wish that there won’t be problems for Michael Sam, but he’s already got a problem in his immediate family.  There surely will be strangers who feel the same way — and who express those views.

Author: Mike Florio
Photo: USA Today Sports

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Peyton Manning could be Cleveland’s best hope

Sure, the Browns could use a quarterback like Peyton Manning. Over the long haul, they’d be better off with an executive like Peyton Manning.
With Jimmy Haslam restructuring the front office to remove the buffer between owner and G.M., a spot has now been created for Manning, if he chooses to follow the John Elway path after Manning’s football career ends and become the buffer between Haslam and G.M. Ray Farmer.
While Manning will be a star if he chooses to do TV, no network will pay as much as Haslam would to resurrect the Browns, if/when (when) the team is still struggling after Manning’s playing career ends.
Manning and Haslam have been linked for years, dating back to Peyton’s time at the University of Tennessee, where Haslam is a major booster. For years, the theory had been that Haslam would buy the Titans and hire Peyton to run the team. Haslam still has a team; he now simply needs someone to run it the way it needs to be run. By someone with the skills to run it. With Haslam taking his unqualified hands off the wheel.
Peyton has the track record, the work ethic, and the gravitas to succeed as an NFL executive, and to persuade the latest meddling NFL owner to stop meddling. Peyton’s involvement also would go a long way toward making the Browns under Haslam look like something other than a clown show.

Author: Mike Florio

Monday, February 10, 2014

Sherman took issue with Welker’s words

Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman apparently watched the Broncos’ portion of Super Bowl Media Day.
During Media Day, NFL Network’s Deion Sanders asked Broncos receiver Wes Welker if he would like to go head-to-head with Sherman in the Super Bowl.
“Yeah, any time, man,” Welker answered. “I want anybody one-on-one in the slot. Any time.”
That doesn’t sound like trash talk so much as Welker simply saying he was looking forward to competing with the Seahawks in the Super Bowl, but Sherman took issue with it. During the game, NFL Films microphones picked up Sherman telling Welker he shouldn’t have opened his mouth.
“Don’t you ever say you want one-on-one with us,” Sherman said, via the Denver Post. “Don’t you ever say that!”
Sherman clearly takes his motivation from people talking about him, and he takes issue with any perceived slight. He’ll have plenty of material for the 2014 season, as he’s going to be one of the most talked-about players in the NFL this offseason.

Author: Michael David Smith
Photo: Getty Images

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Feds probing Bieber’s alleged Super Bowl pot flight

Regarded for months as an automotive menace by former NFL players Keyshawn Johnson and Eric Dickerson, pop star Justin Bieber allegedly has become an imp of the airspace.
According to CNN, the FAA is investigation allegations that passengers aboard Bieber’s Super Bowl charter interfered with the flight crew and smoked pot on the plane.
Citing law enforcement sources, CNN reports that Bieber and his father were “extremely abusive verbally” to a flight attendant on a chartered Gulfstream IV that flew from Ontario to Teterboro airport in New Jersey last Friday. A report from U.S. Customs and Border Protection contends that Bieber Jr. and Bieber Sr. also refused repeated warnings from the pilot to stop smoking marijuana.
The pilots used oxygen masks to avoid inhaling the fumes.
No drugs were found when the plane landed, presumably because they had all been smoked. Federal agents detected the smell of marijuana on the aircraft.
After being detained for several hours, Bieber and his 10-person entourage were permitted to re-enter the United States.
Bieber has built quite a rap sheet in recent months. He has been arrested for drunk driving in Miami and for assault in Toronto. He also could face felony vandalism charges for egging a neighbor’s house in January.

Author: Mike Florio
Photo: FameFlynet via

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

2013 Super Bowl Football ERA Game Results

The Football ERA Formula outputs a result that runs on a scale from approximately 5000 points to -5000 with losing teams that are dominated getting pushed into the negative numbers by their victors.  Defensive Elements of the Formula contribute to this negative score in games constituting blowouts.  A few years back, developed a formula that translates the Final Game Results of The Football ERA into Composite Scores that resemble football scores as much as possible.  Here are The Football ERA Game Results and their corresponding Composite Scores:

Football ERA Composite Score


The Football ERA Game Results



Photos:Getty Images