Tuesday, April 28, 2015

2015 Free Agency Offseason Football ERA Formula Podcast

Photo via Sports.NationalPost.com

Monday, April 27, 2015

Broncos plan to draft a quarterback

Quarterback is not a need for the Broncos in 2015, with Peyton Manning remaining in Denver. But with Manning’s retirement after this season a strong possibility, quarterback will be a need for the Broncos soon.
That’s why, according to Mike Klis of KUSA, it’s a virtual certainty that the Broncos will take a quarterback at some point in Rounds 2-7.
The big question is whether that quarterback will be drafted on Friday or Saturday. If the Broncos use a second-day pick on a quarterback, that’s a bad sign that they’re not sold on Brock Osweiler as Manning’s successor. The Broncos made the surprising decision to select Osweiler in the second round in 2012 despite having Manning in the fold, and so far Manning’s presence has kept Osweiler on the sideline except in garbage time. The Broncos drafting a quarterback in the second or third round would suggest that they doubt Osweiler will be the man for the job going forward.
But if the Broncos draft a quarterback on Day 3, that’s more a sign that they want depth and competition at the position. The Broncos also spent a 2013 seventh-round pick on a quarterback, Zac Dysert, and a late-round rookie would compete with Dysert for the third-string job behind Manning and Osweiler.
What we know for sure is that Manning is the starter for now, and that John Elway is getting prepared for a time in the near future when Manning is gone.

Source: PFT
Author: Michael David Smith
Photo: UPI, Matthew Healey

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Sanchez: We need another guy to throw, that’s why we signed Tebow

Mark Sanchez thinks Tim Tebow is a camp arm.
Sanchez told CSNPhilly.com that he’s been told Tebow was signed as another quarterback to give the receivers some work because Sam Bradford is still not 100 percent.
“He’s obviously a great guy, he works hard. And we needed another guy to throw while Sam’s still recovering,” Sanchez said. “So that’s the reason [for the signing], at least as explained to me. We’re excited about the upcoming year and I think we have a great group.”
But that reason makes no sense. If the Eagles just wanted another guy to throw, there are dozens of quarterbacks with better arms than Tebow who could do that job.
Where Tebow potentially has value to a team is in the things he can do beyond throwing the football: Tebow is good at escaping the pocket under pressure, good at making something happen when a play breaks down and good at managing the clock when his team is trailing in the fourth quarter. There’s value in those skills, which is why Tebow had some success as the Broncos’ starting quarterback.
But as a passer, Tebow is limited, which is why he has completed only 47.9 percent of his passes in his NFL career.
So while Sanchez may have been told that Tebow is just a camp arm, Chip Kelly must have other plans. If the Eagles wanted a camp arm, they would’ve signed someone with a better arm than Tebow.

Source: PFT
Author: Michael David Smith
Photo: Anthony J Causi, NYPost

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Rivers addresses his situation in San Diego, sort of

On Wednesday, Chargers G.M. Tom Telesco said the it’s the team’s “plan and intent” to keep quarterback Philip Rivers.  On Thursday, Rivers essentially said it’s his plan and intent to stay.
Thanks to the magic that is Twitter, Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report shared a message from Cameron Curran of The Classical Academies, who says that in a visit to the school Rivers told the assembled crowd “he’s playing in San Diego and not to believe the media.”
In this case, “the media” includes former Rivers teammate LaDainian Tomlinson, who has said that he believes Rivers wants out of San Diego.  “The media” also includes U-T San Diego, to which Rivers said last month that he’s not inclined:  (1) to extend his contract before it expires after the season; or (2) to move his family to Los Angeles.
It’s entirely possible that the chatter about a potential trade arises from posturing regarding the quarterback’s next contract.  But with Telesco not clearly and unequivocally dismissing the possibility of a trade and declaring that Rivers will remain with the Chargers for the rest of his career and acting as if even the mere question of a possible departure is an affront to Telesco’s intelligence, the door remains open for Rivers to walk out of town.

Source: PFT.com
Author: Mike Florio
Photo: UPI, Terry Schmitt

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Vikings remain intent on keeping Peterson, unless blown away by an offer

When it comes to running back Adrian Peterson, the Vikings have three options:  (1) keep him and try to make him happy; (2) keep him regardless of whether he’s happy; or (3) trade him.
The Vikings have adopted the position that they’ll keep Peterson regardless of whether he’s happy, and it doesn’t appear to be a ruse aimed at coaxing a greater offer via trade.  The Vikings want Peterson, and they’re confident that the passage of time will smooth over any ruffled feathers.

That said, it’s possible that someone will make them a trade offer that gets Minnesota’s attention — under the same theory pursuant to which any player on any team is, in theory, available via trade. If another team puts enough picks and/or players on the pile, even an untouchable player will be asked to pack his bags.
In this case, that’s not expected to happen.  A source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that a recent report that they’d want a first-round pick and a starting cornerback isn’t accurate, which suggests it would take even more than that to even begin to get the Vikings to consider making the deal.

 And for good reason.  Absent a package that will have the same impact on the Vikings that Peterson could have in 2015, given an improving defense and a young franchise quarterback distributing the ball to a respectable complement of receivers, the Vikings have no reason to make a deal.

Look for plenty of noise and agitation about a possible trade over the next 10 days, with the possibility that someone will decide to put together a modern-day Herschel Walker-type package.  Absent that, the Vikings likely will keep Peterson’s rights and hope that he eventually realizes that his best move will be to honor his contract, accept $13 million, and resume his chase for the all-time rushing record, which remains 8,165 yards away.

Which requires five seasons of, on average, 1,633 yards per year.  That’s a total Peterson has surpassed only twice in his career.
Based on how he performed in 2012 after tearing an ACL on Christmas Eve of 2011, it wouldn’t be wise to ever bet against Peterson.  But if he plans to prove the doubters wrong and if the Vikings plan to keep him for the next three seasons, Peterson’s best bet will be to stay put and to play hard.

Source: PFT.com
Author: Mike Florio
Photo: Pro Football Weekly

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Gates says he’s not looking to play less

Chargers tight end Antonio Gates recently said that, instead of playing “the whole game” in 2015, he’s more likely to play only in those situation where he’s likely to get the ball.  He now says he didn’t say what it sounded like he said.
“For me, to put in all this work in all these years and have the opportunity to play and say I don’t want to play, I don’t know where people got that from,” Gates told Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego.
They got it from his own words:  “With injuries and whatnot, I played a little bit more than they expected me to play last season,” Gates told TheMMQB.com.  “I was playing the whole game.  How I feel next year, it depends on how much volume they have me doing.  I’d like to come in on third-and-7s, red zones, those situations.  That’s what my contribution is at anyway.”
“It was probably a misquote or a misunderstanding,” Gates explained to Gehlken.  “I ain’t asking to play less.  Every time I’m in a game, I feel like I have the opportunity to make a play.  Why would I want to be on the sideline?  That defeats the purpose.  The only way you can contribute is by being in the game.”
So Gates doesn’t want to play less in 2015.  Regardless of whether he said he does.

Source: PFT.com
Author: Mike Florio
AP Photo

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Raiders officially announce signing of Michael Crabtree

Michael Crabtree doesn’t have to move very far.
The former San Francisco 49ers receiver officially signed a new deal with the Oakland Raiders on Monday night.
The deal is reportedly worth $3 million for one year with incentives available as well.
Crabtree spent the first six years of his career with the 49ers, where he appeared in 79 games with 77 starts. Crabtree had 347 receptions for 4,327 yards and 26 touchdowns over that span with an additional 40 catches for 516 yards and four touchdowns in eight postseason games.
His best season came in 2012 when he racked up 85 catches for 1,105 yards and nine touchdowns. However, an Achilles injury derailed most of his 2013 season and Crabtree posted the worst full season numbers of his career in 2014.
As a result, the free agent market for Crabtree was somewhat lacking and it took close to a month for interest to truly pick up.
Crabtree joins James Jones, Andre Holmes and Rod Streater as options in the passing game for quarterback Derek Carr in Oakland.

Source: PFT.com
Author: Curtis Crabtree
Photo:  Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Monday, April 13, 2015

Ron Jaworski thinks the Bucs are taking Marcus Mariota first

ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski was already on the record saying he wouldn’t pick Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston first overall.
Now, he’s saying he doesn’t think the Buccaneers will, either.
During an interview with CSN Philly Sports Talk, Jaworski said he thinks the Bucs are going to surprise everyone and take Oregon’s Marcus Mariota.
“The latest I’m hearing now from my sources around the league, who are pretty wired in, is that he’s going to go number one now to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers,” Jaworski said, via PhillyMag.com. “Mariota’s stock, remember it was quiet for a while? And there’s a reason for that. There’s a lull every year until about 30 days before the draft. Now the coaches get involved. Prior to that, it’s the scouts, it’s the roadies that are filling out the paper work. Now the coaches get involved. Now team owners get involved. Now General Managers get involved. So you’re starting to see, in my opinion, Winston’s stock starting to slide a little bit and Mariota’s stock starting to go up a little bit.”
Perhaps that rise is on the recommendation of Eagles coach Chip Kelly, who is apparently talking up his former quarterback to others in the league.
“I’ll give you a little bit of information on how much Chip Kelly loves Marcus Mariota,” Jaworski said. “This is the time of year when everyone talks, and I talk to General Managers, I’ve talked to player personnel directors, and I’ve heard it from a couple or three people that have had conversations with Chip Kelly, and Chip Kelly said, ‘Marcus Mariota will win multiple Super Bowls in the National Football League.’
“Now, he didn’t say it was going to be in Philadelphia, but that’s how much he loves this guy, and a lot of people feel the same way, that Marcus Mariota is that good that you can win multiple Super Bowls with him as your quarterback.”
Of course, Jaworski is no stranger to taking a contrarian position, and he’s also not paid to be a reporter. But coupled with Mike Mayock’s about-face last week — and the fact the Bucs put it on their own website — it might be smoke that indicates a fire is about to be made with a bunch of mock drafts.

Source: PFT.com
Author: Darin Gantt
AP Photo, Julio Cortez

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Jets sign Stevan Ridley

The Stevan Ridley free agency tour has come to a close, and he’s landing with the Jets.
Ridley is signing with the Jets, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. Ridley also paid visits to Miami and Washington.
The 26-year-old Ridley was the Patriots’ starter at the beginning of last season, but he suffered a torn ACL in October, ending his time with the Patriots. He’s not all the way back to 100 percent yet, but he is expected to be good to go for the Jets by the start of training camp.
In four NFL seasons, Ridley has 649 carries for 2,817 yards and 22 touchdowns.

Source: PFT
Author: Michael David Smith
Photo: Alastair Grant, AP

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

RG3: My job is not to characterize or judge Jay Gruden

Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III wasn’t exactly effusive with praise when asked to assess coach Jay Gruden in a recent interview.
“He wants me to go out there and be the quarterback he knows I can be, and I will be,” Griffin said, via CSNWashington.com. “My job is not to characterize or judge him as a coach.”
Reports late last season suggested that Gruden wanted Griffin gone, but Griffin said the two of them have the same goal.
“We both want to win, that’s just the bottom line” Griffin said. “Jay came in here with the plan to help develop me as a quarterback, and help this team win and help this organization be a consistent winner. He’s going to hold me to my commitment to him, and the players are going to hold him to his commitment to us.”
How long Gruden is committed to Griffin as his starting quarterback remains to be seen. For now, Gruden and Griffin are tied together, and Griffin sounds ready to make the best of it. Even if he doesn’t sound thrilled.

Source: PFT
Author: Michael David Smith
Photo via Blogs.Bettor.com

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

LeSean McCoy: Chip Kelly doesn’t like or respect star players

Eagles coach Chip Kelly got rid of running back LeSean McCoy so that Kelly himself would get more of the credit for the offense in Philadelphia. At least, that’s how McCoy sees it.
McCoy, now a Buffalo Bill, said at the first day of his new team’s offseason program that Kelly would rather have anonymous players around than stars so that it’s Kelly himself who garners most of the attention.
“I don’t think he likes or respects the stars. I’m being honest,” McCoy told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I think he likes the fact that it’s ‘Chip Kelly and the Eagles.’ ”
Of course, DeMarco Murray is a star player, and Kelly signed Murray to replace McCoy. But McCoy thinks Kelly showed last year by cutting DeSean Jackson that if a player gets too much credit, that player won’t be around for long.
“It was ‘DeSean Jackson – a high-flying, take-off-the-top-of-the-defense receiver.’ Or ‘The quick, elusive LeSean McCoy,’ ” McCoy said. “I don’t think [Kelly] likes that.”
Whatever the reasons, Kelly has radically reshaped the Eagles’ roster with some surprising personnel decisions. He’s set him up for a season in which he’ll either get a lot of credit, or a lot of blame.

Source: PFT
Author: Michael David Smith
Photo: JOHN SLEEZER, The Kansas City Star

Monday, April 6, 2015

Sean Payton is the NFL’s most aggressive coach on fourth down

Saints coach Sean Payton goes for it on fourth down far more often than any of his colleagues around the NFL.
In fact, in 2014, Payton went for it on fourth down more than twice as often as an average NFL coach would have, when faced with the same circumstances. FootballOutsiders.com analyzed every fourth-down decision in the NFL in 2014, adjusting for the distance needed for a first down as well as where the team was on the field and the score of the game (filtering out times when a coach goes for it because his team is getting blown out), and found that Payton had an Aggressiveness Index of 2.01.
Many statistical analysts say that NFL coaches should be more aggressive about going for it on fourth down, but Payton says he relies less on statistical analysis than on gut feeling. Payton explained during the 2014 season that when the Saints face a fourth down, he usually just makes his decision based on whether he has a feeling that the Saints’ offense can call a play that will work in that situation.
“Fourth downs maybe is sometimes a feel, and a lot of times it is not having a play,” Payton said. “There are some times where you have got a play you cannot wait to run, so you would be more apt to be aggressive.”
Whatever the reasons, Payton feels like going for it more often than other coaches. Analyzing fourth-down data going back to 1989, Football Outsiders found that there have only been eight seasons when a coach was more than twice as aggressive as his peers — and two of those seasons were Payton-coached Saints teams. In addition to the Saints’ Aggressiveness Index of 2.01 last year, the Saints had an Aggressiveness Index of 2.22 in 2007.
Unfortunately for Payton, those also happened to be his only two seasons with a losing record. Payton isn’t afraid to go for it when his team needs it, but he’d be better off if his team didn’t need it.

Source: PFT
Author: Michael David Smith
Photo by David Grunfeld, NOLA-com | The Times-Picayune

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Ravens get Schaub for a mere $2 million base deal

Quarterback Matt Schaub has made plenty of money over the years for playing quarterback at a good but not great level.  In 2015, he’ll make pretty good money by, ideally, not playing at all.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Schaub’s deal with the Ravens has a base value of $2 million, with $1 million to sign and a $1 million salary.  Contrary to a report that the deal is worth $3 million, the final $1 million comes from extra amounts — amounts that will be difficult for Schaub to earn if he’s not playing.
Given that Schaub will be backing up a guy who has started every game of his eight-year career, it’s unlikely that Schaub will unlock any payments based on playing time.
Based on the relative performances of Joe Flacco and Matt Schaub in recent years, the Ravens and their fans surely hope that won’t be happening.

Source: PFT.com
Author: Mike Florio
AP Photo:Michael-J-Phillip