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Thread: 2016 NFL Off Season

  
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    2016 NFL Off Season

    It's time to segregate what's going on in the playoffs with what's going on with the rest of the NFL teams. So here it is, the off season is in full swing.

    Now that Cincy has been eliminated from the playoffs their coaches are fair game for the rest of the have nots in the NFL. Within 3 days of playoff elimation the Cleveland Browns have hired now former Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson. It's a short move to the Bengals in-state rivals in Cleveland but a giant step down in job situation.

    You know this by now but, the St Louis Rams are moving back to Los Angeles. After 21 years in the City by the Arch the Rams are heading back to LA where they spent most of their franchise history. It was sort of a surprise because it was being speculated that San Diego and Oakland were going to move to LA. San Diego is still considering it and God knows what Oakland's front office will decide.

    In a case of good old fashioned Midwest values 1st graders from a Minneapolis, Minnesota school wrote letters of condolences and/or encouragement via twitter to Vikings kicker Blair Walsh who missed a virtual chip shop field goal that would have won the game for the Vikings and sent the Seahawks home and out of the playoffs. Gotta love it.

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap300...to-blair-walsh

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    Re: 2016 NFL Off Season

    As fast as coaches were getting fired by this time last week new coaches were being hired yesterday in a whirlwind of activity. On Wednesday there were hirings being announced as well. It's not unusual for coaching positions to be filled quickly because the preparation for the 2016 season should already be ongoing. Not to mention a big event for NFL teams in prep for the NFL Draft in April or May is next week when the Senior Bowl will occur next weekend. It's not just the game, in fact, the game is sort a secondary event. The real importance of the Senior Bowl is the week of preparation leading up to the game. It's sort of a mini scouting combine when all 32 teams send coaches and scouts to Mobile, Alabama to watch practices as well as conducting interviews with players. Both the north and south squads will be coached by NFL coaching staffs, which this year will be the Cowboys and Jaguars staffs, which enables teams to see how players respond to NFL coaching. The whole process is geared as an evaluation tool to help NFL teams prepare for the draft.

    That's why NFL team owners and GMs want to fill vacant coaching positions as quickly as possible. By the time the season ends teams are burning daylight for the next season. With that in mind here are the new coaches and execs that have been announced.

    > Tampa Bay has hired OC Dirk Koetter to be their new head coach. As I posted last week the thinking was the Bucs didn't want to lose Koetter because he had helped develop last year's No 1 pick in the NFL draft Jameis Winston develop and had developed a good relationship with Winston. What Tampa did to Lovie Smith was a major case of chickensh*t. Hopefully, for Tampa's sake, Koetter is a good head coach. Right now, nobody knows if Koetter will be worth a crap as a head coach. We've seen time and again that a good coordinator doesn't necessarily mean he will be a good head coach.

    > The NY Giants have hired their OC from last year, Ben McAdoo. McAdoo replaced long time OC Kevin Gilbride, the coordinator who had guided Eli Manning and the Giants offense to 2 Super Bowl wins, and they brought in west coast offense man McAdoo after the 2013 season. The Giants have looked pretty bad for the most part of the last 2 seasons and one reason is that Eli hasn't looked real good or comfortable in the new offense. Maybe it's because the talent level at receiver upgraded a bunch when Odell Beckham Jr came to NY in 2014 but Eli record the highest QB ratings of his career and has thrown 2 of the top 3 TD passes in a season the past two years. The one thing that is sort of confusing is the piss poor clock management the Giants exhibited, especially this past season, when the G-men blew more than a handful of 4 quarter leads often in the last 2 minutes of the game. This would include an open night loss to Dallas when the Cowboys scored with 7 second left in the game to win 27-26. Another case of a first time head coach in the NFL and whether or not he can make a successful next step in his career.

    > "The genius" of Chip Kelly is going to get another chance to prove his hurry-up offensive system will fly in the NFL. The San Francisco 49ers have hired Kelly to their next head coach. Kelly will not be the HC and the GM as he was in Philly last season. He will be working with the Niners GM Trent Baalke who is seen as a big of a megalomaniac. In other words, Baalke is an ego maniacal, highly ambitious control freak. That's why this hire is so interesting. Baalke is the guy who ran Jim Harbaugh out of San Fran because they both are strong willed Type A personalities who could not co-exist. Now Baalke has hired a guy just like Harbaugh in terms of being a strong willed guy who tends to alienate the people around him. It will be interesting if this relationship can work. It will also be interesting to see if Kelly can help Colin Kaepernick resurrect his flagging career. Kap will be the best (i.e. most talented) QB he's had since he came into the NFL. If Kaepernick isn't going to cut it then Blaine Gabbert showed enough this past season that he merits a chance to prove himself. He had a nice career at Missouri and he got thrown into a bad situation in Jacksonville coming out of college which made him sort of a joke to NFL fans. He came in this past November for an ineffective Kaepernick and did pretty well. Kelly's biggest challenge is to try to figure out how not to get steamrolled by the Seahawks and Cardinals.

    > It is being reported that Philadelphia will officially announce the hiring of Kansas City Chiefs OC Doug Pederson as their new head coach. It will become an official hire as soon as KC's season is over. Former Giants coach Tom Coughlin was in the conversation for the Eagles job but apparently the Eagles let Coughlin know that Pederson was their man so Coughlin withdrew his name from consideration. For years Andy Reid was considered a pariah in Philly because he never won a Super Bowl and Philly fans were ready to let Reid go three years ago. KC hired Reid and hoped he would lead the Chiefs out of the NFL cellar where they had been for years after Marty Schottenheimer was fired for being the same coach Reid had been in Philly, a guy who won a lot of games but couldn't get over the hump for a Super Bowl. Now, after 3 tumultuous seasons since Reid was fired under the Chip Kelly regime the Eagles are going back to an Andy Reid disciple in Pederson. Guys like DeMarco Murray are probably dancing a jig in celebration getting a guy who believes in a north-south running game rather than the east-west style of Kelly's offense which didn't suit Murray at all. The deal is, the Eagles have a solid core of players but they don't have any dynamic playmakers the likes of LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson or Jeremy Maclin. Another player that is probably happy is QB Sam Bradford who never seemed to fit the up tempo Chip Kelly offense. He should benefit from a more traditional pro-style offense.

    > The Miami Dolphins have hired Adam Gase who has been the OC in Chicago to be their next head coach. Gase has been on Coach John Fox's staff in both Denver and Chicago. Gase began in Denver as Fox's wide receiver's coach (2009-2010), then as his QB coach (2011-2012) and finally his OC beginning in 2013. When Fox was fired after the 2014 season Gase went to Chicago with Fox and he again assumed the role of OC. IMO John Fox is a helluva coach and to learn from a guy like that is a big bonus. On the other side of the coin, much of Fox's success came as a result of Gase's work with guys like Kyle Orton, Tim Tebow and Peyton Manning. Gase had successful offenses under all three QB's who all were successful in large part because Gase and his staffs were able to adjust to each guy's particular skill set. I'm sure that Gase had a lot of imput in the drafting of QB Brock Osweiler in the 2nd round of the 2012 draft. He also had the opportunity to help Osweiler develop in his first two seasons in the NFL.

    > The Tennessee Titans let GM Ruston Webster go electing not to renew his contract. Yesterday the Titans announced the hiring of former Buccaneers Director of Player Personnel, Jon Robinson, to be the GM of the Titans. Robinson's first job will be to hire a new head coach or offer the job to interim head coach Mike Mularky. It's interesting for this site that Robinson was a member of the coaching staff at Nicholls from 1998 through 2001. In his NFL resume he has served in the New England Patriots organization first as an area scout (2002-2005) then as regional scout (2006-2007). In 2008 he was promoted to the Patriots' assistant director of college scouting and in 2009 he was again promoted by the Patriots to the position of Director of College Scouting. In 2013 Robinson was hired to be the player personnel guy for Tampa Bay. Two years later he becomes the GM of the Titans. His rise through the Patriots organization speaks well of his ability to judge talent and he has come up through the ranks to get where he is now.

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    Re: 2016 NFL Off Season

    The NFL is a never ending road of twists and turns. These relate to team relocation.

    The Raiders are considering a move to Las Vegas. (Say what???!!!) NFL media's Albert Breer released a memo concerning the Raiders consideration of a move to Vegas.

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap300...t-in-las-vegas

    All the speculation that two teams would be relocating to Los Angeles are, for now, untrue. The Chargers will be staying in San Diego at least for the 2016 season. I hope it's for longer than that. I hate to see teams move. I still call the Colts the Baltimore Colts for crying out loud. The Chargers will stay put in '16 but has an option in 2017 to move up the coast. WR Keenan Allen sent a challenge to fans in the San Diego area that they must support the team better this coming season. San Diego is a bit notorious for being mistaken for an opponent's home stadium because of the visitor's presence at QualCom Stadium. It wouldn't hurt if there were plans to build a new stadium. QualCom is the 5th oldest stadium in the NFL.

    Aaron Rodgers underwent a minor knee scope procedure after the season. Just routine surgery to clean up the joint. (Assuming surgery is "routine".)

    According to NFL.com's Mike Mayock and Daniel Jeremiah Ohio State underclassmen could have 7 or 8 underclassmen drafted in the top 50 picks.

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap300...n-top-50-picks

    Speaking of underclassmen, other than Carson Wentz and a few other players the senior class of 2016 doesn't look all that great. In the Senior Bowl yesterday Mayock said he figured there were only about 3 players in Mobile that would be drafted in the top 25 picks. What does that mean? It means there is a crap-load of talent in the underclassmen. This isn't really a huge surprise as the best players who would have been seniors this past season came out last spring and made themselves eligible for the draft. There are a lot of reasons why the seniors this season didn't come out last spring but I'll be the main reason was they weren't ready for the NFL. There has been talk that there have been 110 or so juniors who have declared for the draft which is a new record. If you're good why risk injury playing college ball and miss out on a big payday? The answer is obvious hence the large amount of underclassmen throwing their hats into the NFL ring. It's a pain in the ass for college coaches who are trying like heck to maintain, or build, a program on one hand but on the other hand coaches can guarantee playing time right away in many instances to incoming freshmen. At least he can red shirt them and they step right into a starters role when the RS season is past. Don't believe me? Look at Kentucky basketball. They funnel players in because the one-and-done rule precipitates a high turnover. College football isn't much different except the rules state players have to stay 3 years before they can come out and football rosters are so much bigger so the turnover isn't nearly as radical as basketball. This is mainly for the big boys because FCS and lower classified schools can't supply the quantity of juniors as the FBS schools can. I don't where I stand on this subject. My brother played college football and back in his day freshmen couldn't even suit up and play and now they routinely start. It's all become about money nowadays. I can't see encouraging a poor kid who has family responsibility to stay in school when he can make enough money to help his family and provide for himself for years by playing his sport. On the other hand an education is something you can't quantify. It is a debate with no real final answer IMO.

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    Re: 2016 NFL Off Season

    The 2016 Hall of Fame class was announced last night. The new inductees are:
    > Brett Favre - Was there any doubt? It didn't even matter he was busted sending selfies of his junk to a lady in New York when he played for the Jets.
    > Tony Dungy - Head coach of Tampa Bay and Indianapolis and the first black head coach to win a Super Bowl. Just another sign Peyton wins tonight.
    > Kevin Greene - LB that was pretty darn good in his day. Greene played for the Carolina Panthers but gained the most fame as a Steeler and Ram. Greene has waited 13 years for this honor to come to him. Well deserved.
    > Marvin Harrison - Another sign that this is Peyton's weekend. Harrison was a member of the Colts version of the triplets with Peyton and Edgerin James. Harrison is thought to be long overdue to enter the HOF and he was one of the best ever NFL WRs.
    > Orlando Pace - One of the best left tackles to play in the NFL. He was a St Louis Ram for his entire career.
    > Ken Stabler - "The Snake" is in the HOF too late to acknowledge it directly to him because he passed away this past year. He was the only QB to win a Super Bowl in the 1970's not to be in the HOF. That injustice is rectified. You just wish it could have happened last year when he could take his well deserved bow.
    > Eddie DeBartolo Jr - The owner of the 49ers during the late 70's to the late 90's. 5 Super Bowls and a lot of HOF'ers played when Eddie was at the helm of the Niners. He got into some trouble with a gambling thing and was forced to sell his team but he is still beloved by his players and Niners fans.
    > Dick Stanfel - This guy was way before my time. He was a selection of the veterans committee as was Ken Stabler. Stanfel is the second member of this class to be awarded his honor posthumously. Stanfil died last June at age 87. Stanfel only played for 7 years in the NFL but he won All Pro honors in 5 of those years. Stanfel was a member of the Detroit Lions when they last won NFL championships in 1952 and 1953. He was traded to Washington in 1954 but he continued to excel and he was named of the 70 Greatest Reskins. He was also a veteran of WWII fighting in the Pacific.

    Cam is NFL MVP, JJ Watt is the Defensive Player of the Year for the 3rd time in 4 years, Jameis Winston was Rookie of the Year, Fed-Ex Ground Players of the year were Carson Palmer and Adrian Peterson, Offensive Rookie of the Year was Todd Gurley, and here's the link for all the winners at the "NFL Honors" ceremony last night.

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap300...ist-of-winners

    Amid all the hype around the Super Bowl and Pro Bowl and everything else it's hard to believe that after only 9 years in the NFL Calvin Johnson is contemplating hanging up his cleats. This is old news but nevertheless a bit shocking to think we may have seen the last of Megatron in the NFL. One of the biggest ironies ever is the reaction of former Detroit and HOF running back Barry Sanders when he says he is shocked at the news that Johnson may retire. This from a guy who walked away from the game after 10 seasons while still apparently in his prime. There must be something in the water in Detroit that makes the brightest stars on the city's football team want to it quits early.

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    Re: 2016 NFL Off Season

    There sure has been a lot uproar over Cam Newton's behavior following the Panther's loss in Super Bowl 50. Cam did himself no favors coming out with the hood on his jacket pulled up looking like a Darth Vader wanna-be. His attitude was petulant at best and down right ungracious at worst. Want an example of how you deal with a heartbreaking loss with class? How about Russell Wilson who was truly a class act after he had the Super Bowl in his hand until he was picked off on the goal line handing the New England Patriots a victory in one of the most exciting finishes in the history of the Super Bowl. Cam and the Panthers was done after Vonn Miller's strip sack of him that was recovered at the Panther's four with around 3 and a half minutes left in the game. There wasn't any last minute heroics or heartbreaks but Cam acted like a complete poor sport.
    I have been wondering about how he acted and what it means for him going forward. I saw a headline on NFL.com that basically said he had no regrets about his post game behavior. That's too bad. You would have liked for him to say that he was sorry, he was just caught up in the grip of losing the Super Bowl, and he regrets acting the way he did. He's said he didn't regret anything about his post game presser.
    What Cam is sort of reminding me of is Donovan McNabb. McNabb was a really good QB but there was just something about him that he choked in the playoffs. Cam sort of played like that, like he choked. After is was all done he acted like a spoiled brat, not much different than McNabb used to act at times. It's too bad because I like Cam but if he doesn't grow up he won't get where he wants to go because his attitude will get in the way. Too bad.

    Talk about a guy will a crap attitude, I submit Johnny Football. I really hoped that Manziel would succeed in the NFL because so many doubted him coming out of college. In his rookie year he spent more time partying than practicing and when he went to the huddle he couldn't even call a play. Last spring he checked into rehab and seemed to be righting his ship. As the season wore on though he slid back in JF mode got benched and he continued to mess up missing a scheduled rehab session and showing up another time hung over. John Manziel has got problems. He even had an incident with his girlfriend in which she said he hit her but all that sort of went away. Now, he's apparently hit her again, this time so hard it broke her ear drum. Even Johnny's dad expressed worry that if his boy doesn't get help he won't live to see his 24th birthday. It's pretty sad just how far he's fallen. I hope he can turn his life around but I don't want him playing for my team until he does. I'll wager a lot of GMs think Mr Football is a persona non grata as far as they are concerned. Officially, he is still a Cleveland Brown. Free agency begins the middle of March and that status is liable to change. We might have to wait until June because if the Browns release him early they will have his future salary fall back into the 2015 salary cap and the Browns may want to defer any guaranteed money to this year's cap if they can. We'll see how the Browns handle Johnny as a player and we'll see how they deal with Johnny the human being. It will tell us a lot about the Browns and their organization how they support, or not, Manziel going forward.

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    Re: 2016 NFL Off Season

    The poor old Browns. They can't seem to catch a break. Now, on top of all the Johnny Manziel stuff, they just had one of their pass rushers, Armonty Brown is set for arraignment for a felony drug bust on Christmas Eve. Armonty was arrested for possession of Adderal and marijuana. He is subject to suspension by the NFL under it's substance abuse policy because it is his second offense. He was arrested on a DUI charge in May of 2015 and he pleaded "no contest". He was also arrested in college at East Central (Oklahoma) University for selling weed in a parking lot on campus. Armonty is definitely a member of the NFL Knuckleheads Club. One problem in Cleveland is the constant turnover in the Browns front office and head coach. There is zero continuity on that team and hasn't been for a while. Owner Jimmy Haslam was thought to be a ray of light for the Browns but since he bought the team in 2012 the Browns have had 3 general managers. Tom Heckert, Michael Lombardi and Ray Farmer and they have had 4 head coaches, Pat Shurmur, Rod Chudzinski, Mike Pettine and now Hue Jackson who was hired in January. That's 3 GMs and 4 head coaches in 4 years. Is it any wonder there are problems. This past season the rift between Ray Farmer and Mike Pettine over the Johnny Football fiasco probably cost Pettine his job, or at least was a big reason among the other reasons including the Browns sucked--again. Haslam has to make sure he has a GM he can live with and that GM has finally hired a coach he can agree with. There needs to be unity at the top so the Browns can move forward and successfully rebuild this franchise. Also, Haslam can't be firing GMs and coaches every year. Not good business. Part of the reason their players keep getting into trouble is because the people at the top can't agree with each other so it creates chaos in the locker room. Will Cleveland continue to support WR Josh Gordon if and when he is officially reinstated to the NFL? What's going to happen to Brown? The guy who was driving the car when Brown was arrested was former teammate DB De'Ante Saunders and he was indicated for improperly handling a firearm during the stop. He will also be arraigned on February 24. The Browns released Saunders from the practice squad 3 days after their arrest.

    In this link from NFL.com Mike Mayock gives us his top 5 prospects in the the draft by position. I find it interesting that Mayock doesn't like UCLA LB Myles Jack as his #1 one guy. Instead he has Notre Dame's Jaylon Smith at #1 with Jack #2. I also find it a bit eye opening that in the WR list Ohio State's Braxton Miller is nowhere to be seen. Predicatably, QB Carson Wentz vaulted to the top of Mayocks rank of the QBs.

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap300...ition-rankings

    One last thing, in 2015 the NFL logo on NFL.com and on football fields across the league instead of having a white background had a tacky looking gold background to celebrate the 50th (Golden) anniversary of the Super Bowl. Now that the 2015 season and SB 50 is over the NFL logo is back to it's natural red, white and blue look. I'm glad. I hate that gold color. I hated it on the NFL logo and I really hate it on the Rams uniforms. I really miss the bright yellow and blue of their old team colors and throwback unis. The gold is so ugly. I don't know why I should care but I do. Now, with the Rams moving back to LA maybe they go back to their old team colors. Gosh, I hope so!

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    Re: 2016 NFL Off Season

    How's this for funny? Bill Belichick and Tom Brady received votes in the New Hampshire presidential primary. Who's to say that either guy wouldn't make a good president?

    Aqib Talib was fined $26,044 for the intentional face mask penalty he received in the Super Bowl.

    Former Houston Texan and current Denver Bronco, Shiloh Keo was arrested in Idaho for a DUI. Keo went to college at Idaho but he was born in Washington state. Keo got his job in Denver by reaching out to his former Houston DC/HC Wade Phillips in the off season looking for a job.

    For all you Cowboys and Texans fans looking for a running back in this year's draft how about thinking about a free agent? Tampa Bay running back Doug Martin, who made a big comeback after missing big chunks of the 2013 and 2014 seasons, rebounded with a really nice 2015. He was the 2nd leading rusher in the NFL with 1,402 yards and he made the Pro Bowl and was also 1st team All Pro, the first Buccaneer to be selected All Pro. Tampa selected Martin in the 2012 draft with the 31st pick in the 1st round. Because of his injury shorted 2013 and 2014 seasons Tampa declined to pick up the 5th year option on his contract prior to the 2015 season which is why he is a free agent now. Martin would be a better fit in Dallas because of their RB situation. Darren McFadden is 30 and his NFL timeline is almost at it's end and Lance Dunbar is 1) coming off a torn ACL and 2) not an every down back. Houston, on the other hand, is four deep with good backs and it's definitely not a priority to draft a RB. Plus, Arian Foster will be coming back after missing most of 2015 with a torn Achilles tendon. In January the Houston Chronicle reported that Foster was likely going to be released. That may or may not happen but he is currently under contract with the Texans. According to overthecap.com if Houston releases Foster prior to June 1st he will cost $2.3MM in dead money but save the Texans $6.625MM on their salary cap. If Houston keeps Foster they will have to pay him $8.925MM in salary. Do you want to pay that much money to a guy who turns 30 in August and has a history of injuries? Maybe Martin isn't such a bad choice after all.

    Another 30 year old RB that will be available is Chicago Bears, and fantasy football mainstay, Matt Forte. Forte has continued to be productive and he may, under the right circumstances have a couple more years left as an NFL player. I'm sure nobody is going to break the bank for him but he would be a nice addition to a RB-by-committee situation.

    Why is it that the media tries so hard to tear down our heroes? It wasn't enough that Al Jazeera erroneously reported Manning was taking HGH now the US media is reporting that Manning was a party in a sexual assault situation while he was at Tennessee. It's sort of Manning's fault because, in the incident in question, Manning and the lady in question settled the matter that included a non-disclosure clause. Apparently, in Manning's autobiography he said some unflattering things about the woman which prompted her response. She is suing him for the comments made in his book. Comments that got her fired from her job in a college in Florida. Manning didn't rape the woman or beat her up but he did, according to reports did something to humiliate her. If you are interested check out the link below to the article on Bleacher Report.

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2...ly-news-report

    RGIII has passed his exit physical which clears the way for the Redskins to release him which is what is expected to happen. Kirk Cousins has taken hold of the starting QB job in Washington and Griffin isn't head coach Jay Gruden's favorite person. A lot of people are speculating that the Cowboys will try to sign Griffin when he is released. Signing Griffin would make drafting a QB with the 4th overall pick by the Cowboys pretty much unnecessary.

    The regional scouting combine took place in Houston yesterday and a couple of players stood out in that combine. LB Jatavis Brown from Akron and DE Trent Corney from Virginia stood out according to Houston Texans analyzer and Texans.com writer John Harris. Here's his article from NFL.com.

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap300...gional-combine

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    Re: 2016 NFL Off Season

    Movement is beginning in earnest as of today with some familiar names dotting the free agency ranks and a notable retirement.

    The LA Rams cut 3 players you have heard of. Some pretty good players who are looked at as busts because of injury or where they were taken in the draft. A guy like Chris Long comes to mind. A top ten pick who never lived up to his draft position as the No 2 pick in the 2008 draft. It didn't help one bit that he had the shadow of his father, Pro Football Hall of Famer Howie Long, looming over him. A good player who never lived up to being picked so high in the draft. The Rams also cut LB James Laurinaitis. He was also the 2nd pick in the NFL like Long but one year later in 2009. Laurinaitis was, and is, a good player who should garner some interest in the free agent market. Somebody will get better value out of him than the Rams did because, like Chris Long, he just didn't live up to where he was selected in the draft. The last player the Rams let go was TE Jared Cook. Cook was a 3rd round pick in 2009 by Tennessee and he moved to the Rams in 2013. He's still got some mileage left in him so I would imagine he will be signed when the free agency signing period begins on March 7.

    Long time Steelers TE Heath Miller officially retired today. Miller was drafted by the Steelers in 2005 and in the eleven years he spent in the NFL he was named to 3 Pro Bowls, was on 3 AFC Champion teams and on teams that won 2 Super Bowls. In the last few years Miller has battled injuries, including concussions, and he felt that it was time to hang up his cleats.

    The Cowboys will have to make do without DE Randy Gregory for the first 4 games of the 2016 season because of violation of the NFL substance abuse policy. This is actually the 4th time he failed a drug test. He was fined after violations 2 and 3 and this 4th fourth earned him a suspension. If he fails another drug test he will be suspended half a season and after that he will be suspended a full season. I'd be surprised if Dallas puts up with Gregory all the way to 6 failed drug tests. Gregory's draft stock fell tremendously last year after he failed a drug test at the NFL Scouting Combine. Dallas snapped up Gregory, who was projected as a top ten pick until he failed that test at the combine. He plummeted all way down to Dallas at pick number 60 late in the 2nd round. Gregory didn't play like a top ten caliber pick. He actually missed the first 4 games with a pulled hamstring and he never recorded a sack all season. He did play decent, however, giving Cowboys fans hope that a year in the weight room and working with the training staff Gregory would be a completely different player. Now, the Cowboys and their fans will have to wait until October to see if he's really worth all this crap.

    Ravens 2nd year TE Nick Boyle will be suspended 10 games for PED use. NFL.com questions whether or not this will be the end of Boyle's career in Baltimore as they are pretty deep at TE with Dennis Pitta trying to make a comeback after suffering a hip injury that required surgery in September of last season. The Ravens also have Crockett Gilmore and Maxx Williams waiting for their chance to play.

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    Re: 2016 NFL Off Season

    And the moves just keep on coming.....
    > Antonio Cromartie had good success as a NY Jet under Rex Ryan and he left to play in Arizona for a year. The Jets resigned him last March but the reunion didn't last long as the Jets released him today. It's being reported that the Jets will save $8MM on their salary cap and the best thing is there is no dead money going forward according to overthecap.com. Cromartie's release was not unexpected because of his salary and because he didn't play very well in 2015. He was the 103rd ranked CB in the NFL amoung 118 CB's which ain't good. He will be 32 years old before the 2016 season comes around and he is an 11 year veteran. I would not expect any team to give him much as a free agent unless they are stupid or desperate.

    > The Eagles have given safety Malcolm Jenkins a five year deal for the 28 year old. This is likely his last big contract and he has earned it with his play.

    > The Colts have released 25 year old LB Jonathan Newsome on the heels of being arrested recently in Indiana for suspicion of possession of marijuana. At 25, Newsome has time to weather this storm but the NFL will likely either fine him or suspend him. He is a pretty good player but teams won't have much patience with a guy who seems determined to gain membership into the NFL Knucklehead's Club.

    > Doesn't seem all that long ago that Fred Jackson was a mainstay at the top of the fantasy football draft boards when he was a RB with Buffalo. Buffalo cut ties with him and he spent last season in Seattle. He is 35 and I'm not certain anyone will give him more than the NFL veteran minimum at this point in his career. Jackson has said he wants to play in 2016 and the question begs, will anyone bite?

    > Seattle has an interesting dilemma because CB Jeremy Lane is a free agent. Lane was a darn good CB for the Seahawks but the last time he played any football was in February of 2015 in Super Bowl XLIX when he tore his ACL and a broken wrist suffered in the 1st quarter of the game. Will Seattle get a hometown discount for player coming off a major injury? Maybe but with good CB's hard to come by in the NFL he will likely get some interest around the league.

    > Here's a name you may not have heard before, DeForest Buckner. This kid is a defensive lineman out of Oregon who Mike Mayock deemed potentially franchise changing in his ability. He has been projected as a top 10 talent in many mocks and looks like a guy I'd would not moan and groan over if the Cowboys draft him at #4. As a physical specimen he's 6'8" and 295 lbs and, as Mayock described him, has a Reggie White hump move that's friggin awesome. Mayock says Buckner can play anywhere up and down the D-line so what's to say he can't play right defensive end and move DeMarcus Lawrence, who came on strong in the last half of last season, to left end? Or keep him at tackle where the Cowboys need help desperately? I'll tell you, if this guy is THAT good he has a home in Dallas as far as I'm concerned.

    > One last thing, the NFL Scouting Combine begins Wednesday with the televised stuff beginning Thursday or Friday. NFL draft geeks will likely be watching but I'll tell you, the scouting combine is not compelling TV. I think it's really hard to see what the scouts and GMs and coaches see in person. You can't get a real feel of the burst a player has or the stuff that is quite clear in person that doesn't translate to TV. I'll watch because it's football but I'll bet I get a good nap in too.
    Last edited by eagle eye; 02-22-2016 at 02:37 PM.

  10. #10
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    Re: 2016 NFL Off Season

    The NFL Scouting Combine is in full swing in Indianapolis. Wednesday and Thursday were mostly about player interviews with teams and getting measured (height, weight, arm length, hand size, etc.) and doing the bench press. Everyone presses 225 pounds and it's the amount of reps that is the number scouts and coaches are looking for. An interesting side note is that many of those same scouts and coaches really don't care about the bench press. In fact it has been expressed that if changes are made at the combine nobody would be sorry to if that went away. The feeling is the bench press doesn't convey a true picture of a player's playing strength and has no real value in the assessment process of a player.

    One player who we might want to keep an eye on is Auburn WR Duke Williams. It's pretty much consensus that he has top ten talent but he has seventh round character issues. Those aren't my words, they are his. Williams has gotten into a lot of off field stuff while at Auburn culminating in a bar fight he got into that resulted in his dismissal from the team. Williams said he cried night after night after his dismissal because he let himself, his family and teammates down. He also cost himself a lot of money because he is likely to fall from a 1st round pick to a round much later in the draft. In his press interview yesterday, to his credit, Williams owned up to his past discretions. It was his talent and potential that got him an invitation to the combine despite being cast off by the Auburn Tigers. Williams says he knows and understands this and reports are that his ownership of his problems is a bit refreshing and against the norm in these cases. I hope it is true and a light has gone off in him and he walks the straight and narrow going forward. I like feel good stories and this could be one. If he falls far enough I know just the team that is always willing to take a chance on a player with a past if he has talent.

    On the other end of the spectrum we have Terrell Owens. He was a great receiver but he was a bad teammate and he never took responsibility for any of the problems that arose around him. That's probably why a guy who should have been a 1st ballot Hall of Famer didn't get in this year. The guy's reputation was, and is, that he is locker room poison. In an interview on local Dallas radio station TO said that then offensive coordinator Jason Garrett leaked a story to the press that Owens was jealous of the relationship between Tony Romo and Jason Witten. It was publicized at the time that Romo would draw plays in the dirt in the huddle for Witten during a game. While Duke Williams seems to understand his part in his own troubles TO continues to live in a fantasy world where he is an innocent victim of multiple conspiracies.

    Johnny Manziel is one step closer to being released by the Browns. The investigation by the Dallas police of a domestic violence charge filed against Manziel last month was wrapped up and is now in the hands of the Grand Jury who will decide whether to officially charge him with assault. If they do and he is found guilt of misdemeanor assault he could receive up to a year in jail and a $4K fine. Manziel is so out of control lately that his agent released a statement that he will no longer represent Manziel. He father has expressed a concern that if Johnny doesn't get some help he won't live to see his 24th birthday. As talented as Johnny is and as much as I wanted to see him make it big in the NFL it's sad to see the depths to which he has fallen.

    Baltimore took a page out of the New England Patriots book and placed the franchise tag on kicker Justin Tucker in the same way the Pats franchised Stephen Gostkowski last March. It is a way to keep a dependable kicker for a year at least. Ironically, the extremely dependable Gostkowski missed an extra point in the AFC Championship game vs the Broncos in January that literally cost the Patriots a chance to win the game, or tie it and send it into overtime. Instead the Bronco hung on to win and ultimately won Super Bowl 50 over Carolina. The franchise price for a kicker is $4.5MM so it's not a bad deal for a good kicker.

    Colin Kaepernick apparently doesn't like Chip Kelly already. His agent has requested that the 49ers make a trade to ship Kap out of the Bay Area.

  11. #11
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    Re: 2016 NFL Off Season

    The combine is over. Thanks NFL Channel for affording me a nice nap or two on Saturday and Sunday. There are players I did see who I would love to see Dallas and Houston select in the upcoming draft. Fortunately, the Cowboys and Texans needs are different and I won't have much heartburn who gets who in the draft. Again, my hope is that both Texas teams become good enough to square off in an all-Texas Super Bowl.

    I keep playing around with the ON THE CLOCK mock draft program and every single time when the Texans 22nd pick comes up RB Ezekiel Elliot is right there for the taking. I don't really think Houston NEEDS a RB but if Elliot is available I don't see any reason to pass on him. He is supposed to be the very best RB in this draft and possibly a once a decade runner who will stay on the field all three downs.

    I saw Christian Hackenberg's work out at the combine and he looked pretty good. He really did well at Penn State the one year he and Texans head coach Bill O'Brien were together. The last couple of years Hackenberg has been beat like an old drum because of the crap O-line at Penn State. It is felt that Hack is shell shocked and may take some time learning to trust his line but his drills at the combine looked pretty good. The biggest worry is whether Ezekiel Elliot is available in the draft in the 1st round and whether or not they think Hackenberg will be available in the last third of the 2nd round. That's assuming the Texans are looking for a QB in the draft. Will they feel like Tom Savage is worth hanging their hat on going forward? If so, they don't need to sweat Hackenberg. Another big need in Houston is an upgrade of the O-line. Is that their 1st round target of need or not? Another factor will be how active Houston will be in free agency. It's all very interesting and it won't be long until we find out since free agent signing begins next week.

  12. #12
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    Re: 2016 NFL Off Season

    Sometimes you just scratch your head over how incredibly stupid young guys can be. The latest inductee into the NFL Knucklehead's Club is Houston Texans WR Jaelen Strong. Why? Oh, just the same ol', same ol' when it comes to these youngsters--he was arrested for possession of marijuana. Strong was in a Maserati with two other former Arizona Wildcat players in Scottsdale Arizona. It so happens that the cops noticed the car had no visible license plates so he pulled the car over. When he got to the car and they opened the window there was that old telltale odor of burning cannabis sativa coming from the vehicle. According to an article on NFL.com the officer asked the occupants if they had been smoking weed. He also asked if they had any weed in their possession. Alertly, (?) Strong said yes to both questions and he was arrested on the spot. The driver and another passenger were let go. After admitting he had marijuana in his possession he produced a cigar box that had 3 joints in it. It was at that point Strong was arrested. Strong had another out because it's legal to have medical marijuana if you have a prescription but, as you might guess, Strong doesn't have a prescription. You would think that just 3 reefers is a mere slap on the wrist (misdemeanor) but it's the NFL substance abuse policy that is going to bite Strong right square in the ass. Look, I used to smoke weed but years ago when my company began drug testing I had no problem giving up the weed because I saw no reason to jeopardize a 100K job to smoke weed. If I can reason this out why is it so hard for guys who can make literally 10 times my salary to leave the wacky tobacky behind? Not only that but, you have a chance to play football for a living---i.e. dream freaking job! I just don't understand.

    Tom Brady signed a 2 year extension. There's a guy who gets it. Also, the rumored split between Brady and his supermodel wife Gisele Bundchen is completely false. Despite the fact they haven't been photographed together in more than two months Brady answered the rumor in a radio interview on Boston station WEEI saying that he went through a lot of emotions because of the deflate-gate mess and there were things that had to worked through but, he stated, that nobody is more supportive than his wife and he is devoted to his family. For those of you hoping to catch Gisele on the rebound, so sorry.

  13. #13
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    Re: 2016 NFL Off Season

    It's a sign that you are getting old when guys you've watched play from day one have lost their value to the team and as their career is winding down and retirement is right around the corner. Of course I am talking about the Falcons releasing 11 year veteran wide receiver Roddy White. It seems like yesterday when White was a perennial fantasy football mainstay. Now, he hoping a team needs a good WR who's lost a step. You know, I could see White going to New England. The Patriots have been looking for WR help since Randy Moss wore out his welcome in Bahstun especially since the Pats just released Brandon LaFell.

    Earlier this week the Redskins put the franchise tag on QB Kirk Cousins and yesterday NFL.com reported that Cousins has accepted the franchise offer of $19.95MM and he will sign the deal today. The $19.95MM base salary will be the highest of any QB in the NFL for 2016.

    The Ravens have given Joe Flacco a 3 year contract extension making Flacco a Raven through the 2021 season. The deal is worth $66.4MM with an NFL record $40MM signing bonus. I know Flacco won a Super Bowl but I have never been all that impressed with him. He's better than average, I'll admit to that but, I just don't think he's a special player.

    It has been widely reported that Peyton Manning will retire. Trouble is, it kind of looks like all this "Peyton needs to retire." talk has actually kind of pissed off Manning. An article on NFL.com has Manning saying he found it difficult to watch Broncos games on TV because of the constant commentary about how 2015 should be his last and he should retire. The Broncos say they will be patient and give him plenty of time to decide what his plans will be. Great for Manning but John Elway isn't stupid and the Broncos are actively trying to get a deal done with Brock Osweiler, the Broncos REAL QB of the future.

  14. #14
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    Re: 2016 NFL Off Season

    There's a new sheriff in town in the annuls of the 40 yard dash. In the regional combine held yesterday in Minnesota Wendall Williams from the NAIA school, University of the Cumberlands in Kentucky ran a blazing 4.19 40 yard dash. He blew away all in attendance and was so impressive reps from 4 NFL team, the Vikings, the Packers, the Chiefs and the Panthers all pulled him off the field to interview him. If Williams has been invited to the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis he would have broken Chris Johnson's long standing record of 4.24 that he ran at the 2008 combine. Williams is more than a fast runner, he's a pretty fine athlete. His vertical jump of 45" was the best at the regional and would have been the best at the main combine this year. Williams was the NAIA national champion in the long jump and was fourth in the country in the 100 and 200 meters in the spring.Williams was named an All-American kick returner by the American Football Coaches Association this past season. He had a 32.4-yard kickoff return average and scored three touchdowns, including two in one game on 287 return yards. He had 141 yards on six punt returns, a 23.5-yard average.
    Offensively, Williams caught 15 passes for 457 yards, had 205 yards rushing and scored 11 more touchdowns.

    There's that pesky NFL.com insider Ian Rappaport again. This time he's reporting that Peyton Manning will announce his retirement tomorrow. I'll believe it when I see it but the Broncos probably don't want to pay Manning the $19MM salary he's due. If Manning was to decline to retire Denver might just cut him. They are currently in negotiations with Brock Osweiler on a 3 year deal which he and his people are still considering.

  15. #15
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    Re: 2016 NFL Off Season

    Sometimes you just have to shake your head. The newest member of the NFLKHC (Knuckleheads Club) is Tre Mason. The Rams RB was arrested in Miami over the weekend for several different things including possession of marijuana. Not only was he arrested he was such an idiot that the police had use a taser just to get him out of his car.

    After putting up impressive numbers in Green Bay WR Greg Jennings made some good money as a free agent. Trouble is he hasn't been very good since leaving the frozen tundra of Wisconsin. Did you actually remember Jennings being a Minnesota Viking? Did you even realize he was a Miami Dolphin? That's how bad he's been. You could give him a pass because Christian Ponder was his QB in Minnesota but he had a decent QB in Miami in Ryan Tannehill and he still didn't do squat. Doesn't matter any more because the Dolphins have released Jennings and he will get to test the free agent waters yet again.

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