Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Ron Rivera would choose a blocker over a receiver

The Panthers held their pre-draft press conference on Tuesday and, like every other team, they mostly played it coy about their intentions in May.
General Manager Dave Gettleman acknowledged the need for offensive tackle and wide receiver help, but said he wouldn’t be bound by positional need if a “blue goose” came along at a different position. Coach Ron Rivera was a bit more forthcoming about what direction he would go if given a choice between the team’s two biggest needs.
“I think protecting [quarterback Cam Newton],” Rivera said, via Steve Reed of the Associated Press. “You have so many opportunities to get playmakers on the field. Other than the quarterback there are five other guys who can make plays for you. I think right now what we’ve done is bring in guys who have the ability to make plays for us. I feel very comfortable with that.”
Rivera may not feel as comfortable with the team’s receivers as he claims, but it’s got to be more comfortable than he feels about the prospect of playing with better receivers and no Newton. The Panthers’ goose, regardless of color, would likely be cooked if Newton missed any significant time and that’s as good a reason to find some blocking as you need.

Source: PFT.com
Author: Josh Alper
Photo: Streeter Lecka, Getty Images

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Seahawks announce Russell Wilson's getting divorced

For all the coverage the NFL receives, one of the realities of the sport is that we truly don’t know the individuals participating in front of us.
And many times, they prove to be as human as the rest of us.
The Seahawks released a statement today saying that quarterback Russell Wilson was getting divorced.
“I have made the difficult decision to file for divorce,” it read. “Clearly, decisions like these don’t come easy. Ashton and I respectfully ask for prayers, understanding and privacy during this difficult time. Moving forward, I will have no further comment on this personal matter.”
Given Wilson’s popularity, word would have eventually gotten out, via the avenues that pursue celebrity relationships. Announcing it via the team seems an unusual step, since many other players get divorced every year.

Source: PFT.com
Author: Darin Gantt
AP Photo, Elaine Thompson

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Cowboys could pounce on Manziel

From the moment the Joneses who own the Cowboys started gushing about Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, we began to pay attention to the possibility that the Cowboys would be inclined to add the potential franchise quarterback a year after giving Tony Romo a franchise quarterback contract.
Ed Werder of ESPN fuels that notion, explaining on SportsCenter that, if Manziel falls to No. 16, the Cowboys could take him.
Let’s take a step farther.  We think that, if Manziel slides past the Vikings at No. 8, the Cowboys could be inclined to trade up to get Manziel.  In 20 of 25 drafts, Jerry Jones has made a move with a first-round pick.  This year, moving up for Manziel could give the Cowboys the kind of offseason shakeup they surely covet.
Said Werder on the air, “Jerry Jones was raving about [Manziel] this weekend . . . in front of Romo.”
It would be a circus, a distraction, a potential mess to have Romo and Manziel on the roster.  Cap considerations would make a trade of Romo difficult if not impossible this year.  The cap hit would be stiff next year but not insurmountable, if the Cowboys were to move Manziel to the starting lineup and move Romo out of the building.
With an extended lull resulting from the league’s insistence on delaying the draft by two weeks, it’s fun to consider what may happen.  It would be even more fun to cover the efforts of Romo and Manziel to coexist as the top two quarterbacks on the depth chart of America’s Team.

Source: PFT.com
Author: Mike Florio
Photo from 'Busted Coverage'

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Raiders plan to cut Pryor on Monday if they can’t trade him

One way or another, Terrelle Pryor will no longer be an Oakland Raider by the close of business Monday.
That’s the word from Alex Marvez of FOX Sports, who reports that the Raiders will cut Pryor on Monday if they can’t trade him before then. That’s not a big surprise; it had already been clear that the Raiders have no plans for Pryor going forward, and that means it makes sense to send him packing before the start of the offseason training program.
It seems unlikely that anyone would trade for Pryor when the word is out that he’s about to be cut. Then again, he did show flashes of promise last season, and he’s only due a salary of $750,000 this year, so it’s possible that some team might think he’s worth a seventh-round pick.
Pryor is a phenomenal athlete who made some big plays last season, but those big plays were more with his feet than with his arm, and he still has a lot of work to do as a passer. If a team is willing to work with him as he develops, there’s still a chance that he’ll be a franchise quarterback. Just not in Oakland.

Source: PFT.com
Author: Michael David Smith
Photo: Otto Greule Jr, Getty Images

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Chris Johnson says Jets visit went well but no decision yet

Free agent running back Chris Johnson visited with the New York Jets on Tuesday. It was his first visit since being released by the Tennessee Titans earlier this month.
After visiting with the Jets, Johnson decided to take in Tuesday night’s game between the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets. While at the game, he spoke with multiple reporters regarding his visit.
Per Josina Anderson of ESPN, Johnson said “I had a great visit with the Jets. I’m just taking it one day at a time.”
Johnson reiterated those thoughts to Peter Botte of the New York Daily News but added he’s “not ready to make my decision.“
Johnson had a down year in 2013 for Tennessee but still posted his sixth straight 1,000-yard season. However, the 3.9 yards per carry were the lowest mark of his career.
The Jets ranked sixth in the league in rushing last season with Bilal Powell and Chris Ivory as the primary options out of the backfield. Johnson would likely work in as part of a rotation alongside Powell and Ivory should he elect to sign with the Jets. But, Johnson is also a home run threat whose speed could be a real addition to the lineup.
For now, Johnson isn’t ready to make a decision as he’s possibly holding out for a better offer from the Jets or another team. However, if he doesn’t make a decision soon, teams may elect to wait until after the draft to re-evaluate their needs and Johnson may have to wait to find a new home.

Source: PFT.com
Author: Curtis Crabtree
AP Photo

Monday, April 14, 2014

DeSean Jackson shows up for offseason workouts

Receiver DeSean Jackson missed the opening week of offseason workouts in Washington, due to a previously scheduled vacation.
This week, Jackson reported for duty.
Per the Washington Post, Jackson has shown up for week two of the offseason program. It’s still lifting and running, but in the first phase of the program quarterbacks are permitted to throw to receivers, as long as the receivers aren’t covered.
Jackson could have scored major P.R. points by ditching the vacation, but it’s unfair to criticize him for deciding to choose to skip the first week of offseason work. He didn’t miss much, and when he scheduled the vacation he was playing for a team that doesn’t open offseason workouts until April 21.
Besides, the process remains voluntary. If the Redskins wanted to ensure 100 percent participation, they could have/should have required 100 percent participation in the offseason program in order to earn his $500,000 workout bonus.

Source: PFT.com
Author: Mike Florio
AP Photo

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Incident report in Kaepernick case makes no specific allegations

The official incident report identifies 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, 49ers receiver Quinton Patton, and Seahawks receiver Ricardo Lockette as suspects. But what they’re suspected of isn’t specified.
The incident report, a copy of which was obtained by CSN Bay Area, explains that an unidentified woman went to Lockette’s apartment in Miami. Kaepernick and Patton were there. She later “mixed some drinks for all of them and gave them shots.” She claims the men “told her that in order to drink the shots she had to ‘hit’ the bong which contained marijuana.”
The woman says she began to feel lightheaded and went to a bedroom to lay down. Kaepernick allegedly entered the room “and started kissing her.” He then began to undress her. Kaepernick said he’d be right back and left the bedroom. She waited naked in the bed, and Patton and Lockette opened the door and “peeked” inside. She says she told them to leave, they closed the door and left, and she remembers nothing after that.
The woman claims that she woke up in a hospital bed, and that she doesn’t recall how she got there or who took her there. She also said that she has had a sexual relationship in the past with Kaepernick.
While the report states that Kaepernick and the woman did not have sex before he left the room, the report doesn’t say whether evidence of intercourse was detected at the hospital. It’s also unclear whether the victim or police believe that she was drugged.
For now, the incident is described as “suspicious,” and the report indicates that the “investigation continues.”
At a minimum, the NFL will be concerned about the allegation of marijuana use, which could be enough to get the players in Stage One of the substance-abuse program (or higher if they’re already in the program). Far more serious consequences would hinge on whatever police determine happened to the woman, and if there’s any reliable way to prove who did it.

Source: PFT.com
Author: Mike Florio
AP Photo Tony Avelar

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Report: Chris Johnson’s work ethic irked Titans officials

The Titans’ decision to cut running back Chris Johnson may have been at least in part a reflection of Johnson’s work ethic.
Although Johnson hasn’t had any major off-field incidents, Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean reports that Johnson was cut because the team is trying to create a different culture.
The issues involving Johnson generally involve, according to Wyatt, rubbing team officials the wrong way with a questionable work ethic and a laid-back attitude. New Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt wants the top players on his team to be the proverbial guys who are the first ones at the facility in the morning and the last to leave, and that’s not Johnson.
It’s important to point out, however, that Johnson managed a 2,006-yard season in 2009, and was given a huge new contract in 2011, despite what may have been a questionable work ethic. If Johnson were still playing the way he played a few years ago, the Titans would probably be willing to look past whatever issues there may be about his work ethic.
Ultimately, Johnson was cut because his production didn’t live up to his contract. When you’re a running back who averages 3.9 yards a carry and is due to make $8 million, your job won’t be safe no matter how hard you work.

Source: PFT.com
Author: Michael David Smith
AP Photo

Saturday, April 5, 2014

John Fox: All the eggs are in the basket to win a Super Bowl now

Broncos coach John Fox isn’t interested in building for the future.
Fox said shortly after signing his new three-year contract extension that the Broncos’ only priority is to win the Super Bowl in 10 months, and they’ve built a team they think can win right now.
“I’m proud of what our teams have accomplished, but our expectations are much greater as we pursue the Super Bowl championship that our fans deserve,” Fox said. “We got closer this past year, but we came up short. So right now all the eggs are in the basket for ’14 and doing everything we can to bring that championship back here to Denver.”
The Broncos have made no secret of the fact that they’re all about winning now, spending big money to attract Aqib Talib, T.J. Ward, DeMarcus Ware and Emmanuel Sanders in free agency. They know they’re running out of time before Peyton Manning is past his prime, and they want to win now. Adding three years to Fox’s contract is nice, but Fox isn’t thinking years ahead. He’s thinking about winning in 2014.

Source: PFT.com
Author: Michael David Smith
AP Photo

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Jackson says it hasn’t been decided whether he’ll wear No. 10

Most Redskins fans are happy about the arrival of receiver DeSean Jackson. Many may not be happy about the number he possibly will wear.
The thousands of Robert Griffin III jerseys sold in the last two years could quickly become irrelevant, if Griffin surrenders No. 10 to Jackson. The way Jackson describes the situation, it’s at least a possibility.
“I definitely am familiar on the No. 10 [worn by] Robert Griffin,” Jackson said on a conference call with reporters, via Tarik El-Bashir of CSN Washington. “We’ve talked about it a little bit. But that isn’t a decision that’s been made yet so far.”
It’s a decision that will need to be made sooner rather than later, since Nike will want to know the number to put on the burgundy “JACKSON” jerseys that soon will be for sale.
“Maybe by the time the season starts we’ll know,” Jackson said. “Maybe RGIII will wear No. 3 and I’ll try to get in [No.] 10. We’ll see how it goes, though. You never know.”
Jackson laughed when he talked about Griffin wearing No. 3. For the folks who have bought all thought RGIII jerseys — and for Nike, which surely has many of them in unsold inventory — it’s no laughing matter. Even if Griffin is willing to change numbers, the topic is likely a non-starter for the NFL.
From Jackson’s perspective, those who think the kid doesn’t get it will be inclined to point to his failure to say anything other than “there’s no way I’m taking Robert’s number” as proof of that proposition.

Source: PFT.com
Author: Mike Florio
Photo: Associated Press

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Report: DeSean Jackson to Redskins a “done deal”

The DeSean Jackson free agency tour may turn out to be a short trip.
Jackson arrived in Washington to meet with the Redskins on Monday evening in a visit that will continue into Tuesday. According to Tim McManus of 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia, things are already progressing toward a possible deal between the two sides.
McManus cites sources relaying that discussions

between the two sides are going “very well” and a source close to Jackson that said it’s a “done deal” with the Redskins.
The Redskins are currently the only visit that Jackson has lined up. A second visit would be scheduled if a deal isn’t done in Washington.
Jackson was released by the Eagles on Friday and is coming off the best season of his career. Jackson caught 82 passes for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns with the Eagles last season.
Jackson reportedly is seeking $9-$10 million a season in a new contract. He was scheduled to make $10.5 million with the Eagles this season before being released.

Source: PFT.com
Author: Curtis Crabtree
Photo: Getty Images