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NFL Weekly Transaction Tracker

October 24, 2014 in 2014-free-agency, NFL Personnel

With the NFL trade deadline approaching (Oct. 28), teams are starting to look at potential moves. This week saw what will likely be the major trade of the deadline along with a re-signing, both from the same team. These are discussed below and, as always, the rest of the moves are down below with some of the more significant ones highlighted in red.

New York Jets trade for WR Percy Harvin

Just one and a half seasons after being traded to the Seattle Seahawks, the team sent him away in a trade to the New York Jets.

In a surprising move, the Seahawks gave away the dynamic Harvin for a 2015 sixth round pick that can turn into a fourth round pick if he is on the Jets roster at the start of the next season.

Percy Harvin

Courtesy of Icon Sportswire

When Seattle acquired him back in 2013, they gave up a first, third and seventh round pick to the Minnesota Vikings and then signed him to a six-year contract worth $67 million.

With the Seahawks last season, Harvin missed all but one regular season game due to a hip injury that required surgery. He also missed the NFC Championship Game due to a concussion. When he was finally healthy, he had a major impact on Super XLVIII returning a kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown and 50 yards and three touches on offense.

This season he has 22 catches for 133 yards and zero touchdowns, though he had three touchdowns called back due to penalties in the game against Washington. He also had 11 carries for 92 yards and one touchdown.

Prior to playing for the Seahawks, the 26-year old spent four seasons in Minnesota after they drafted him in the first round.

In his final season with the Vikings (2012) he was an MVP candidate through the first nine games of the season before suffering a season ending ankle injury. In these nine games he had 62 catches for 677 yards and three touchdowns, 22 rushes for 96 yards and one kickoff return for a touchdown. These numbers show the unique playmaking ability of Harvin.

While Seattle gave up so much for him just a year and a half ago, they traded him away for so little due to his fit on the team. After the trade was announced, multiple reports came out of fights and disagreements with teammates (Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin). Harvin was frustrated with his role––of lack thereof––within the offense and wasn't a good teammate, which is something head coach Pete Carroll stresses. If Seattle wasn't able to complete a trade, they would have cut Harvin.

By trading Harvin, the Seahawks save approximately $6.5 million in salary cap this season with the Jets taking on the rest of his salary this season. However, Seattle takes a cap hit of $7.2 million next season due to the guaranteed money that was in his contract.

For New York, the team is struggling right now and could use a boost on offense. Quarterback Geno Smith could use another weapon, especially one of Harvin's caliber. After the season, New York can cut him and have no ramifications on the salary cap in the future ($10.5 million, all non-guaranteed). If they do cut him, it will be a waste of a sixth round pick as the Jets are highly unlikely to make the playoffs with their 1-6 record. However, if Harvin is able to keep his act together then the Jets will have added a starting wide receiver for the years to come for just a fourth round pick.

New York Jets re-sign WR Jeremy Kerley

Continuing with the New York Jets wide receiving corps, they signed Kerley to a four-year extension just days after completing the trade for Harvin.

Set to become a free agent at the end of the season, Kerley will now be in New York for years to come. The four-year deal is worth a total of $16 million with $5.4 million guaranteed.

Drafted by the Jets in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL Draft, the 25-year old (26 in November) has become one of the more underrated slot receivers in the league.

At 5 feet 9 inches, he is one of the shorter wide receivers in the NFL. This limits his effectiveness to the slot where he can use his quickness to his advantage.

As a rookie he caught 29 passes and was the main punt returner. He continued returning punts in 2012 and 2013 and he returned one for a touchdown in 2012. This year he has returned only two punts.

His best statistical season came in 2012 when he caught 56 passes for 827 yards and two touchdowns. Last season he caught 43 passes for 523 yards and three touchdowns while missing four games due to injury.

This season he has caught 22 passes for 201 yards and one touchdown. These stats put him on pace for another 50-plus catch season.

Quarterback Geno Smith has developed a connection with Kerley––it isn't unusual for younger quarterbacks to like throwing the underneath, checkdown passes which is more of what Kerley runs. This connection is shown by Smith targeting Kerley more than any other receiver on the team (45).

Kerley has led the team in targets, catches and receiving yards the last two seasons. It is unlikely for this to continue this season given the additions of Harvin, Eric Decker (free agency) and tight end Jace Amaro (draft).

Kerley is a key component of the Jets offense. For a team that has struggled so much on offense over the last few seasons, they couldn't afford to lose their best receiver from years prior. He isn't a number one receiver, but he is a good option from the slot. Four million per season is a reasonable price for a player like this and with only $5.4 million guaranteed, there isn't much in terms of long term commitment.

Other Moves:

The Atlanta Falcons sign OT Jonathan Scott.
The Baltimore Ravens sign LS Kevin McDermott.
The Buffalo Bills sign RB Phillip Tanner.
The Carolina Panthers waive S Robert Lester.
The Carolina Panthers sign LB Adarius Glanton.
The Carolina Panthers cut S Charles Godfrey.
The Carolina Panthers sign G Chris Scott.
The Cleveland Browns sign OT Ryan Seymour.
The Cleveland Browns sign DT Jacobbi McDaniel.
The Cleveland Browns waive TE Gerell Robinson.
The Cleveland Browns sign FB Kiero Small.
The Cleveland Browns waive FB Ray Agnew.
The Cleveland Browns cut DT Jacobbi McDaniel.
The Cleveland Browns sign TE Gerell Robinson.
The Dallas Cowboys sign DE Lavar Edwards.
The Dallas Cowboys waive LB Corey Toomer.
The Dallas Cowboys sign LB Keith Smith.
The Dallas Cowboys cut DT Ken Bishop.
The Denver Broncos cut LB Shaquil Barrett.
The Denver Broncos sign RB Kapri Bibbs.
The Detroit Lions sign TE Jordan Thompson.
The Detroit Lions sign TE Kellen Davis.
The Detroit Lions cut S Jerome Couplin.
The Jacksonville Jaguars sign DE Chris Smith.
The Miami Dolphins sign CB Lowell Rose.
The Miami Dolphins cut DT DeAndre Coleman.
The New England Patriots sign DT Alan Branch.
The New England Patriots release LB Ja'Gared Davis.
The New England Patriots trade a sixth round pick to the Tennessee Titans for LB Akeem Ayers and a seventh round pick.
The New Orleans Saints cut TE Tom Crabtree.
The New Orleans Saints sign LB Todd Davis.
The New Orleans Saints sign TE Tom Crabtree.
The New Orleans Saints cut LB Todd Davis.
The New York Jets cut WR David Nelson.
The St. Louis Rams waive WR Austin Pettis.
The St. Louis Rams sign LB Marshall McFadden.
The San Francisco 49ers sign S Ray Ventrone.
The San Francisco 49ers cut QB Josh Johnson.
The San Francisco 49ers sign QB Josh Johnson.
The San Francisco 49ers cut S Ray Ventrone.
The Seattle Seahawks sign TE Rashaun Allen.
The Seattle Seahawks sign S Steven Terrell.
The Seattle Seahawks waive TE Rashaun Allen.
The Seattle Seahawks claim TE Brett Brackett off waivers.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign WR/KR Trindon Holliday.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers release WR/KR Solomon Patton.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers release DE Scott Solomon.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign DE T.J. Fatinikun.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign LB Orie Lemon.
The Tennessee Titans sign TE Brett Bracket.
The Tennessee Titans cut TE Brett Bracket.
The Tennessee Titans sign RB Antonio Andrews.
The Tennessee Titans sign TE Richard Gordon.
The Washington Redskins sign LB Everette Brown.

Week 7 NFL Rewind & Monday Night Football Prediction

October 20, 2014 in NFL Observations

1. The NFC South had a horrible Sunday once again and we wonder who is actually going to take this division.

Courtesy of ICON SMI

Courtesy of ICON SMI

I saw someone say maybe Mississippi State or Auburn?  The Panthers were crushed quickly by the Packers and Aaron Rodgers as they were never in the game.  Carolina had a promising tie last week at Cincy but everything collapsed this one.

Atlanta was far from a favorite in Baltimore and then they got handled by the Ravens.  Atlanta and on the road just don't mix.  Have to wonder if Mike Smith's days are numbered.  Finally, the Saints suffered a devastating loss as they blew a late lead and saw Drew Brees make a huge error late to help the Lions.  Tampa didn't play but I doubt anyone cares.

2. As a Redskin fan I had to suffer through the battle with the Titans.  It was horrific to watch both teams try and give away the game.

It seemed like every time early each offense made a play a penalty happened.  The sign of two bad teams.  Charlie Whitehurst probably should be doing more magazine shoots are less NFL quarterbacking.

As for the Skins I refuse to get excited at all about a change to Colt McCoy.  If McCoy starts next week at Dallas I expect it to get ugly.  I think he was fortunate to make the plays he did versus the Titans.  I could see another Tim Hasselbeck 0 QB rating in Dallas on Monday night.  Crazy to say but I think I go Cousins still if RG3 doesn't make a miracle return.

3. What a dreadful performance by the Chicago Bears at home Sunday.

Needing a win to keep up with the Packers and Lions they dropped a deuce at Soldier Field.  Impressive for the Dolphins to go in and win but let's go back to the Bears since it's more fun.

Sounds like the Bears don't take losses afterwards like the Skins as its reported screaming was heard and players were ushered out.  And if Brandon Marshall called out Jay Cutler I wonder where this goes.  I think it was stupid for Marshall to take a national TV gig and he will probably need to answer many questions now about his what we thought was a solid bromance.

4. Quick Hitters

When it looked like Demarco Murray got hurt I think everyone said to themselves and here we go.  But he came back strong.  For now.
b. Personally I thought this would be my last blog due to retirement after a huge Fanduel weekend.  Cam Newton, Seattle D and Jordan Cameron assured my return next week.
c. Congrats to the Jags on getting a win.  I got nothing more on this one as it was probably as bad as Titans/Redskins.
d. Cincy was a popular top of the power ranks two weeks ago.  Not anymore.  Maybe AJ Green is just that much of a game changer.  Better get right for the Ravens game.

5. Monday Night Pick    espnMNF

May take a pass on this one and re-watch The Walking Dead as I feel neither team is going anywhere this season.  It could get 3 hours of Gruden gushing over JJ Watt.

Pittsburgh 20
Houston 13
Times Gruden confirms his love for Watt – 15
Times Cris Carter reminds us he is in the Hall of Fame – 10

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFL Weekly Transaction Tracker

October 17, 2014 in 2014-free-agency, NFL Personnel

A slow week in the NFL, most moves came from teams signing players to fill out the bottom of their rosters due to injuries. One signing is discussed below and, as always, the rest of the moves are down below with some of the more significant ones highlighted in red.

Cincinnati Bengals sign WR Greg Little

With their wide receivers corps hurting, the Bengals added the 25-year old Little to add depth.

Currently, star wide receiver A.J. Green is dealing with a toe injury that saw him miss last week and is expected to keep him out this Sunday. Number two wide receiver Marvin Jones was placed on injured reserve with the addition of Little. Jones broke his foot during training camp and was set to return soon. However, he injured his ankle in practice.

Drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft, Little has had a disappointing career.

Cincinnati Bengals

Courtesy of Icon Sportswire

Spending three seasons in Cleveland, he caught 155 passes for 1,821 yards and eight touchdowns. His best season came as a rookie where he caught 61 passes for 709 yards and two touchdowns.

Statistically, he has played well throughout his career, but he has always been held back by drops. In his three seasons, he has a total of 31 drops according to Pro Football Focus. The best wide receivers can go through a whole career without dropping 31 passes. Every season he ranked near the top in drops and drop percentage.

Waived by the Browns in the middle of May, the Oakland Raiders claimed him off waivers. His stint in Oakland didn't last long as the Raiders waived him at the end of training camp. Being released by the Raiders wasn't a good sign for his professional career as the team has one of the worst wide receivers corps in the league.

Holding out hope to continue his career, Little, since being released by Oakland, has been working out with a friend who played quarterback in high school.

At this point he is probably the sixth wide receiver on the depth chart, though he is the fifth with Green out due to injury.

With the Bengals, it is unknown how much playing time Little will see. It is obvious that he is a talented wide receiver, but he has been plagued by drops.

Other Moves:

The Buffalo Bills sign S Kenny Ladler.
The Carolina Panthers sign S Robert Lester.
The Carolina Panthers cut LB D.J. Smith.
The Chicago Bears sign LB DeDe Lattimore.
The Chicago Bears waive-injured OL Taylor Boggs.
The Chicago Bears sign LB Terrell Manning.
The Chicago Bears waive C Talyor Boggs.
The Chicago Bears cut S Shamiel Gary.
The Chicago Bears cut LB Terrell Manning.
The Chicago Bears sign CB Terrance Mitchell.
The Cincinnati Bengals release LB Khairi Fortt.
The Cincinnati Bengals sign LB Nico Johnson.
The Cleveland Browns sign DL Sione Fua.
The Dallas Cowboys waive DE Lavar Edwards.
The Dallas Cowboys sign OT Tony Hills.
The Denver Broncos sign LB Shaq Barrett.
Free agent LB Pat Angerer has announced his retirement from the NFL.
The New England Patriots sign RB Jonas Gray.
The New England Patriots sign G Chris Barker.
The New York Giants sign CB Chandler Fenner.
The New York Giants sign WR Kevin Ogletree.
The New York Jets sign CB Josh Thomas.
The New York Jets claim OL Wesley Johnson off waivers.
The New York Jets release S Josh Bush.
The Philadelphia Eagles sign G Julian Vandervelde.
The Philadelphia Eagles cut G Wade Smith.
The Pittsburgh Steelers sign S Ross Ventrone.
The Pittsburgh Steelers waive OL Wesley Johnson.
The San Francisco 49ers waive QB Josh Johnson.
The San Francisco 49ers sign WR Kassim Osgood.
The San Francisco 49ers cut S Ray Ventrone.
The San Francisco 49ers sign QB Josh Johnson.
The Seattle Seahawks sign S Steven Terrell.
The Seattle Seahawks cut DE Greg Scruggs.
The Seattle Seahawks waive S Steven Terrell.
The Seattle Seahawks sign DE Greg Scruggs.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign CB Isaiah Frey.
The Tennessee Titans sign TE Brett Brackett.
The Tennessee Titans waive TE Brett Brackett.
The Tennessee Titans sign OT Will Svitek.

Week 6 NFL Rewind & MNF Prediction

October 14, 2014 in NFL Observations

  1. Recently the Dallas Cowboys have come up a lot on the weekly review.  And once I have to discuss the jerks unfortunately because they had the biggest win on Sunday.

Going to Seattle and winning is very impressive and has set aside many people's thoughts if the Cowboys were legit.  Now you have to say there are as they battle the Eagles for the top of the NFC East.

The Cowboys success has been pretty simple.  Run the football behind a well-built offensive line and the continued surprisingly decent play of the defense.  Can they stay with this plan or will the urge to put the ball in Tony Romo's hands and go all kinds of shootout a possibility?  That is what we are waiting to see but so far everything is working well in Dallas.

2. I mentioned the Eagles and it seems like the offense woke up in a big game against the Giants.

Plus, the Giants had no answers for the Eagles defense and got shut out.  So it looks like the Cowboys and Eagles are going to be the two teams who emerge in the East.  The Redskins are long gone in the division and look to be not challenge to the others no matter who is at quarterback.

The Giants suffered a major loss with the knee injury to Victor Cruz.  Trust me I will not miss Cruz and his stupid dance but then again he only did that awful shuffle 5 times in the past two seasons.  Time for Odell Beckham to step up quick if the Giants want to contend still in the division.  Crazy how one week can change a team when the Giants get shutout after rolling for 3 straight weeks.

3. Its only six weeks in but it’s not too early to discuss the MVP race just because it is fun and brings on solid debate.

Before the season I predicted Russell Wilson would win the MVP and I was looking good until yesterday.  I am far from counting out Wilson and think he will be in the race for the long haul.  You have to look at Philip Rivers as a major contender for the award.  Rivers has the Chargers playing great and I don't want to hear that they beat the Raiders, they have been beating everyone of late.

If not Rivers, of course Manning is in the mix as expected.  Not that it is a surprise and either is Aaron Rodgers after yesterday's amazing win in Miami.  You have to add Luck in the mix as well.  JJ Watt also but it will always be tough for a defensive player.  Last but not least I am sure Demarco Murray would get plenty of votes and he continues to rack up 100 yard games.  It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

4. Quick Hitters

a. The Eagles are rolling and the Redskins stink but I am still amazed the Eagles let Desean Jackson just walk away.  He is making big plays that the Eagles surely could use and allow their offense to open up.  Chip Kelly has done a lot of good things in his short time in Philly but I am still amazed by this one.
b. Game of the day had to be the 37-37 tie that the Panthers and Bengals played to.  Cincy will be kicking themselves if that missed field goal comes back to haunt them.
c. Tampa once again showed up with a solid early effort.  Embarrassing that they got down 35-0 so quickly.  It looked like they were going to play better and then the Ravens came in and spanked them.
d. I know we focus a lot on the Redskins here but it’s interesting to see what Kyle Shanahan is doing with Cleveland.  I am not shocked since I was a Shanahans backer for the four seasons.  Kyle is turning into the new Norv Turner.  I could go on and on about the Redskins decisions but we have been there before.

5. Monday Night Matchup

Sorry for the last second pick but I am going to go with the favorite this week.   I think St. Louis is playing better, especially Austin Davis at the QB position.  San Francisco 24 St Louis 13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFL Weekly Transaction Tracker

October 10, 2014 in 2014-free-agency, NFL Personnel

Not very often is a kicker featured on here, but a week without major news combined with a release and signing of an All-Pro kicker will get one featured. This one signing is discussed below and, as always, the rest of the moves are down below with some of the more significant ones highlighted in red.

Denver Broncos release and Detroit Lions sign K Matt Prater

With one week left in Prater's four game suspension, the Broncos decided to part ways with their kicker––and the Lions quickly signed him.

Suspended four games for violating the NFL substance abuse policy this offseason for an alcohol related offense, he was set to come back next week (Denver had a bye in week four). This four game suspension resulted from negation with the league after they threatened a full season ban. During his suspension Prater spent time at an alcohol rehab facility.

Matt Prater

Courtesy of Icon Sportswire

Prior to the start of the season, the Broncos traded a conditional 2015 seventh round pick to the New York Giants for kicker Brandon McManus. This gave them a kicker for the start of the season, and now, a kicker for the future.

This move likely has financial reasons behind it––despite John Elway saying it was only for football reasons––as the Broncos will save $3.25 million next year on their salary cap.

Detroit desperately needed a kicker as they have already gone through two this season and combined they are 4-of-12, an embarrassing 33.3 percent. Last week Alex Henery was 0-for-3 in a three point loss to the Buffalo Bills.

Last season Prater was a second-team All-Pro and made the Pro Bowl, both career firsts. For the season he was 25-of-26 on field goals and 75-of-75 on extra points for the AFC champions. His only miss was from 52 yards and he made a total of seven field goals from over 50 yards.

As time expired in the first half against the Tennessee Titans, he kicked a 64-yard field goal setting a new NFL record for the longest field goal. Previously the record was 63 yards which was held by multiple people.

For Denver, this move is surprising to say the least. They have an All-Pro kicker with one of the best legs in the league, coming off a career year, yet they release him for an unproven player in his first season.

For Detroit, this move makes complete sense. They desperately needed a kicker and Prater was easily the best on the market. He only signed a one-year deal, but the Lions could easily sign him to an extension if he performs well enough.

Other Moves:

The Arizona Cardinals sign LB Marcus Benard.
The Arizona Cardinals sign P Drew Butler.
The Atlanta Falcons sign WR Freddie Martino.
The Atlanta Falcons cut WR Courtney Roby.
The Baltimore Ravens sign CB Dominique Franks.
The Baltimore Ravens claim TE Ryan Taylor off waivers.
The Baltimore Ravens cut TE Phillip Supernaw.
The Carolina Panthers sign CB James Dockery.
The Chicago Bears waive CB Isaiah Frey.
The Chicago Bears cut DE David Bass.
The Chicago Bears sign CB Al Louis-Jean.
The Chicago Bears sign S Shamiel Gary.
The Cincinnati Bengals claim LB Khairi Fortt off waivers.
The Cleveland Browns claim WR Rodney Smith off waivers.
The Cleveland Browns cut WR LaRon Byrd.
The Dallas Cowboys sign LB Keith Smith.
The Dallas Cowboys cut LB Keith Smith.
The Detroit Lions waive K Alex Henery.
The Green Bay Packers waive TE Ryan Taylor.
The Green Bay Packers sign WR Kevin Dorsey.
The Houston Texans sign LB John Simon.
The Indianapolis Colts sign LB Victor Butler.
The Indianapolis Colts cut LB Chris Carter.
The Jacksonville Jaguars waive TE Mickey Shuler.
The Miami Dolphins sign WR Damian Williams.
The Miami Dolphins cut RB Orleans Darkwa.
The Minnesota Vikings sign FB Zach Line.
The Minnesota Vikings waive QB Chandler Harnish.
The New England Patriots sign LB Ja'Gared Davis.
The New England Patriots waive WR Kenbrell Thompkins.
The New England Patriots cut DT Joe Vellano.
The New Orleans Saints waive LB Khairi Fortt.
The New Orleans Saints sign TE Tom Crabtree.
The New York Giants sign CB Chandler Fenner.
The New York Giants waive LB Dan Fox.
The New York Giants waive CB Chandler Fenner.
The New York Giants waive WR Julian Talley.
The New York Giants sign RB Michael Cox.
The Oakland Raiders claim WR Kenbrell Thompkins off waivers.
The Oakland Raiders claim LB Ray Ray Armstrong off waivers.
The Oakland Raiders sign LB Jamar Chaney.
The St. Louis Rams cut LB Ray Ray Armstrong.
The St. Louis Rams sign LB Will Herring.
The San Diego Chargers sign C Trevor Robinson.
The San Diego Chargers waive LB Kevin Reddick.
The San Diego Chargers sign RB Ronnie Brown.
The San Francisco 49ers sign S Ray Ventrone.
The San Francisco 49ers release WR Kassim Osgood.
The Seattle Seahawks sign C Patrick Lewis.
The Seattle Seahawks waive CB Josh Thomas.
The Tennessee Titans sign CB Brandon Ghee.
The Washington Redskins waive CB Richard Crawford.
The Washington Redskins waive S Akeem Davis.
The Washington Redskins sign LB Jackson Jeffcoat.
The Washington Redskins sign CB Greg Ducre.

Week 5 Monday NFL Rewind: Pats are Back

October 6, 2014 in NFL Observations

1. After a week of wondering if both the Patriots and Tom Brady eras were finally over, we saw a complete 180 and a huge win versus Cincinnati.         0ap2000000310994_video_cp

It was not looking good for the Pats but I was far from considering them a non-contender.  New England blasted the undefeated Bengals and got back to where many still expected them preseason.  It looks like the division is anyone’s to take, although the Jets could be the first to be counted out.

I still like the Bengals as I have said before, even with this loss. They will bounce back and should take the AFC North.  As for the Pats again I wouldn't be surprised if they have something up their sleeves before the trade deadline.  I would expect them to make some kind of move to help Brady and the offense.

 

2. Another legendary quarterback who is showing no signs of slowing down is Peyton Manning.  Manning is getting closer and closer to becoming a legit argument for the greatest of all time.

Manning had his career best in passing yards Sunday versus the Cardinals in a huge battle.  I think Manning could end the debate if he is able to win another Super Bowl and the Broncos look like they could be the best in the AFC again.  The strongest challenge right now looks to be in their division with the Chargers.

The Chargers had a surprise playoff appearance last season but this time it won't be.  Philip Rivers is an awesome quarterback.   That is all I can say.  It should be very interesting to see who takes this division in the end.  It will obviously come down to the two regular season matchups to find a front runner.

3. Quick Hitters

a. Impressed how the Panthers bounced back after a couple tough weeks to step up and take down Chicago.  Back to back conference losses for the Bears who may be reeling now.
b. The Bears at least were helped by the Lions dropping a home game to the Bills.  Bad loss as Jim Schwartz got some payback and a shoulders ride off the field.
c. Morale victory of the week could be the Rams who battled back from 34-7 to make it a game in Philly.  Baby steps for the struggling Rams.
d. The Saints surprised me that they had to rally back and beat the Bucs.  But then again the Glennon-led Bucs may be better than what they looked like in the first few weeks.  The Saints losing Byrd was tough but let’s see if they start going now.
e. And finally the Giants offense seems to be a juggernaut now.  Maybe not all that but they are scoring points and are suddenly back into the mix in the NFC.

4. MNF Prediction:        espnMNF

I hate picking this game.  Everything says based on the Redskins recent play, their awful primetime game history, and the Super Bowl champs being on the other side that the Seahawks will roll them.  Well, I can't pull the trigger and pick Washington, but I think they at least make a game for a bit.  Seahawks 24 Redskins 13

 

 

NFL Weekly Transaction Tracker

October 3, 2014 in 2014-free-agency, NFL Personnel

Hard to believe it, but the NFL season is a quarter of the way over. One signing is discussed below and, as always, the rest of the moves are down below with some of the more significant ones highlighted in red.

Indianapolis Colts re-sign LB Robert Mathis

Despite not playing a single snap this season––and he won't for the rest of the season––Mathis is back in the news again, this time as he has re-signed with the Colts.

With the addition of this one-year contract, he is now signed through the 2016 season. Under this one-year extension, he can make a maximum of $6 million. This contract extension comes as a sort of compromise between the Colts and Mathis. Currently on the Non-Football Injury List (NFI List) due to a torn Achilles, Indianapolis won't take away any of the money that they owe him this season in turn for him signing this extension.

Robert Mathis

Courtesy of Icon Sportswire

Since Mathis is on the NFI List, the Colts have the right to take away some of the money that he is supposed to earn this season. Usually this doesn't happen, but it has before. He tore his Achilles while training to get ready for football, so it wasn't like he suffered the injury doing something ridiculous.

The reason that he was training away from the team when he tore his Achilles was because he was suspended for the first four games of the season due to violating the NFL performance-enhancing drug policy. This meant he couldn't be with the team during the first four weeks of the season, which is when he tore his Achilles. He would have returned for this week, but now he is out for the year.

Last year he had the best season of his career recording a league-high 19.5 sacks, despite being 32-years old (now 33). His 19.5 sacks in a single season is tied for the 10th most in a single season, with the record being 22.5 from Michael Strahan. Pro Football Focus graded Mathis as the second-best 3-4 outside linebacker last season.

Earning First-team All-Pro honors, he also added 59 tackles and a league-high eight forced fumbles.

Prior to last season, his career-bests were 11.5 sacks (2005) and three forced fumbles (2004, 2008 and 2011).

A fifth-round pick in 2003 out of Alabama A&M, Mathis didn't become a starter until his fourth year in the NFL. (By then he had already accumulated 25.5 sacks as a situational pass rusher.) Since then he hasn't looked back and is now at 111 career sacks which is 20th best all-time. Only four active players have more sacks (John Abraham, Jared Allen, Julius Peppers and DeMarcus Ware).

At the height of the Colts reign in the 2000s, Mathis and Dwight Freeney––who has 110 career sacks––formed the most feared pass rushing combination that provided support to Peyton Manning's always-explosive offenses. The tandem resulted in two Super Bowl appearances (XLI and XLIV) and one Super Bowl victory (XLI).

The Colts' all-time sacks leader, Mathis is still an integral part of the Indianapolis defense despite his age. He showed last season that he is aging well and can still play at a high level. To sign him a one-year extension makes sense and at $6 million, the money is just right.

Other Moves:

The Arizona Cardinals cut LB Victor Butler.
The Arizona Cardinals sign LB Desmond Bishop.
The Atlanta Falcons sign G Harland Gunn.
The Atlanta Falcons sign S Sean Baker.
The Atlanta Falcons sign OT Cam Bradfield.
The Carolina Panthers sign RB Tauren Poole.
The Carolina Panthers sign RB Chris Ogbonnaya.
The Chicago Bears sign WR Chris Williams.
The Chicago Bears cut WR Rashad Ross.
The Chicago Bears cut LB Terrell Manning.
The Chicago Bears sign CB Teddy Williams.
The Detroit Lions sign RB George Winn.
The Green Bay Packers sign DL Luther Robinson.
The Houston Texans cut S Shiloh Keo.
The Houston Texans sign CB Josh Aubrey.
The Houston Texans sign CB Jumal Rolle.
The Houston Texans cut RB Ronnie Brown.
The Indianapolis Colts sign LB Andrew Jackson.
The Indianapolis Colts waive-injured LB Mario Harvey.
The Indianapolis Colts sign S Dewey McDonald.
The Indianapolis Colts release WR Da'Rick Rogers.
The Indianapolis Colts sign CB Jalil Brown.
The Jacksonville Jaguars sign S Craig Loston and waive S Winston Guy.
The Minnesota Vikings sign QB Chandler Harnish.
The Minnesota Vikings waive WR Rodney Smith.
The New England Patriots sign DT Casey Walker.
The New York Jets sign WR T.J. Graham.
The New York Jets cut WR Jalen Saunders.
The New York Jets sign WR Chris Owusu.
The New York Jets cut CB LeQuan Lewis.
The New York Jets sign FB John Conner.
The Philadelphia Eagles cut OT Kevin Graf.
The Washington Redskins waive LB Gabe Miller.
The Washington Redskins waive DL Robert Thomas.
The Washington Redskins sign S Jamarca Sanford.
The Washington Redskins sign CB Richard Crawford.

Monday NFL Rewind & MNF Prediction – 49ers Get Back on Track

September 29, 2014 in NFL Observations

1. Game of the weekend pitted the Philadelphia Eagles heading to San Francisco to take on the Niners.

Colin Kaepernick

Courtesy of ICON SMI

The Niners could not afford to fall to 1-3 and trail Arizona and Seattle by anymore games.  But for most of the first half the Eagles controlled the Niners on the scoreboard.  Crazy thing is that the Eagles, known for the Chip Kelly offense scored all their points by defense and special teams to take an early lead.

The 49ers were able to move the ball as expected against the Eagles defense and finally got scoring.  One week after getting little running game, Frank Gore came up huge and led the 49ers back to a huge win.  Maybe this is the win that gets San Fran on track and quiets the talk about their coach going to Michigan, Ray McDonald, who is injured or already suspended.  The Eagles have some serious issues on the offensive line but they should slowly be fixed starting with Lane Johnson's return.  I still think both teams see the playoffs.

2. Best performance of the weekend has to go to the Dallas Cowboys who dominated the Saints Sunday night.

Dallas continued to own the line of scrimmage when they have the ball and ran the ball effectively all night.  Dallas kept Drew Brees on the sidelines most of night unlike a year ago.  I questioned The Jones' using three recent top picks all on the offensive line, but it is working so far even though they needed defensive help.  The defense has been better, but can it keep it up?  It seems like we ask that each week.

The Saints now sit at a surprising 1-3 record, but even though they have played poorly the NFC South looks like 9 wins can win it.  The Panthers started strong but now are coming off two straight blowouts.  The Falcons are up and down by the week and don't look like more than an 8-8 squad.  We all thought the Bucs were dead in the water but then they go up to Pittsburgh and pull out a late win?  Who knows who the favorite is now?

3. I guess I can give myself the idiot award because I was the only one in the country who thought the Raiders would show improvement this season.

So far it’s another embarrassing start for Raider Nation as they fell to 0-4.  And yesterday they got trounced by the so/so Miami Dolphins.   Was Dennis Allen fired right after the game?  I am still not sure but it is expected he will get tossed out soon.  I thought with some solid veteran pickups that they made, the Raiders could at least be competitive with the rest of the league.  I guess I was wrong.

And now Derek Carr will have to sit probably for a few weeks with an injury.  This will set back his progression even in the losing.  Now they are at a point where maybe no one wants that job also.  Maybe Lane Kiffin can come back?

4. Quick Hitters

a. Player of the week is gonna be Steve Smith Sr. after rolling his old team the Panthers Sunday.  One touchdown was right place/right time and one was just a great throw and catch.  I was impressed that Smith also kept his emotions down and was not risking penalties getting all up in the Carolina players and coaches faces.

b. If you need your fantasy running backs to score some points just hope they are facing the Falcon defense.  The Vikings without AP saw their duo of the "A$$MAN" Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon ran wild in the upset of the Falcons.  Teddy B was also impressive this game as well.

c. Nice win for the Pack at Soldier Field Sunday.  Aaron Rodgers cooled down the Green Bay fans and lit up the Bears defense.  Just like the NFC South, this division is up and down, but these North crews are a little better.

d. Crushing loss for the Steelers as they hope to stay with the Bengals and Ravens in the AFC North.  Once again proving that any team can win on Sunday.  I could see this Pittsburgh team being very up and down all season.  And I think Mike Glennon needs to stay as the starter in Tampa.

5. Monday Night Prediction        espnMNF

The Chiefs have given two solid efforts back to back while the Patriots have been so far very unimpressive.  I think Brady gets it together tonight and moves the ball against a depleted KC defense.  Going with New England 27 KC 13

 

 

 

 

 

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by pjmoran

Week 4 Top Five Games To Watch

September 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

Here are the top five games to watch for Week 4 of the 2014 NFL season:

  1. New England Patriots at Kansas City Chiefs

Last year this matchup would have qualified to be the game of the week, but both the Patriots and Chiefs have stumbled out of the gate this season. New England might be 2-1, but their offense can’t get anything going. The defense has been sensational, but when you only beat the Raiders by seven points at home then something is wrong. The Chiefs are 1-2, and their road win in Miami last Sunday might have saved their season. Jamaal Charles is probable this week, and they are going to need him to carve the Pats defense if they want to win. The Arrowhead crowd is going to be wild on Monday night, and this game should live up to the hype.

Edge: New England

The Patriots defense has been one of the best in the league, and their only worry is a non-100% Jamaal Charles. The Chiefs secondary is terrible too, so this is Tom Brady’s chance to turn things around. I like New England to narrowly win on the road.

  1. New Orleans Saints at Dallas Cowboys

No one thought the Saints would be 1-2 heading into Week 4, but all of a sudden every game is becoming more and more important to them. The offense has been good but not dominant, and the defense has reverted back to their old ways of giving up way too many big plays. After a disastrous opening game, the Cowboys are 2-1 and look like contenders. Tony Romo led a 21-point comeback last week against the Rams, and this team’s confidence looks like it is at an all-time high. Expect a good old fashion Texas shootout in this one.

Edge: Dallas

These two teams just seem to be going in opposite directions. Drew Brees will put some points on the board, but overall things just don’t seem to be right with the Saints. But on the other hand, Tony Romo and the Dallas offense are just clicking. DeMarco Murray has been the best running back in the league thus far, and he should have another big game. I like Dallas to move to 3-1.

  1. Carolina Panthers at Baltimore Ravens

The headline of this game is Steve Smith going against his old squad. He’s definitely out for revenge, and I think he’ll make a few big plays in this game. The rest of the Baltimore offense has struggled this season, but the Panthers defense has looked awful. Last week they allowed two 100-yard rushers, so Baltimore should be able to score fairly easily. The Carolina offense has not reached their full potential either, as Cam Newton is clearly playing injured. For them to win, Newton has to be his Superman self.

Edge: Baltimore

The Panthers are just really banged up, and the Ravens are coming into this game with momentum. Add the home crowd behind them, and I think Joe Flacco will do enough to lead his team to victory.

  1. Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears

This is one of the best rivalries in the game, and a lot is on the line for this edition. The Packers are only 1-2 and might be the most disappointing team in the league so far. Aaron Rodgers has not looked like an MVP, and Eddie Lacy has done absolutely nothing out of the backfield. The Bears are 2-1 and are coming off a close win over the Jets. Jay Cutler has looked great the past two weeks, and with weapons everywhere their offense will be tough to stop. I’m expecting a high-scoring shootout in this one.

Edge: Green Bay

On paper the Bears have the clear edge, but I just don’t see Aaron Rodgers letting his team fall to 1-3. The Bears defense isn’t very good, so I think the Rodgers/Lacy/Jordy Nelson combo will be too much for them to handle. I’m picking Green Bay to get a huge road win.

  1. Philadelphia Eagles at San Francisco 49ers

The Eagles have definitely been the most entertaining team in the league, and they have a 3-0 record to show for it. Nick Foles has been slinging the ball all over the field, and it’s scary that LeSean McCoy has not even gotten his game going yet. The 49ers are a very disappointing 1-2, and their offense has not been nearly as good. Colin Kaepernick needs to get things going, or else San Francisco will fall behind in the super competitive NFC West. One thing is for sure about this game: it won’t be boring.

Edge: San Francisco

The Eagles have to run out of gas at some point, right? I don’t think their offense will be as good as it has been the past three weeks, and I like the 49ers offense to come alive at home. I think it will be close, but San Francisco will get back to .500 after this one.

NFL Weekly Transaction Tracker

September 26, 2014 in 2014-free-agency, NFL Personnel

A quiet week, many minor transactions occurred while nothing major happened. With that being said, one signing is discussed below and, as always, the rest of the moves are down below with some of the more significant ones highlighted in red.

Pittsburgh Steelers sign LB James Harrison

After announcing his retirement before the season, Harrison is back with the Pittsburgh Steelers after they suffered a few injuries in their week three matchup.

James Harrison

Courtesy of Icon Sportswire

Undrafted in the 2002 NFL Draft, he bounced around the Steelers practice squad and playing in NFL Europe for the Baltimore Ravens, he finally broke through and made the Steelers roster for good in 2004 (he played one game in 2002).

Receiving eight starts from 2004-2006, he became a full-time starter in the 2007 season where he recorded 8.5 sacks. The following season he recorded 16 sacks along with 101 tackles and seven forced fumbles earning the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award.

The 2008 season also saw the Steelers make it to Super Bowl XLIII where they defeated the Arizona Cardinals 27-23. In the game he had only four tackles, but he made his mark in a different way. At the end of the first half he intercepted a pass from Kurt Warner and returned it 100 yards for a touchdown as the half ended. This gave the Steelers a 17-7 lead entering halftime instead of potentially being down 14-10 as the Cardinals were on the goal line. This interception return is the longest in Super Bowl history and was a complete game changer.

In Super Bowl XLV the Steelers played the Green Bay Packers and Harrison recorded a sack, but Green Bay won 31-25.

In his prime he was one of the most dominant and feared defensive players in the league. He made five straight Pro Bowls from 2007-2011 and four straight All-Pro teams from 2007-2010 (first-team in 2008 and 2010, second-team in 2007 and 2009).

After playing only for the Steelers in the NFL, he spent last season with the Cincinnati Bengals recording 30 tackles and two sacks. It was clear that he had lost a step last season and that his career was close to an end.

Against the Carolina Panthers, the Steelers suffered multiple injuries on defense including a wrist injury to outside linebacker Jarvis Jones that required surgery. Due to this he was placed on injured reserve with a designation to return. With Jones out, Pittsburgh needed another linebacker. Nobody was going to be able to come off the street and learn Pittsburgh's complicated scheme fast. Harrison was the logical choice to come in, though keep your expectations low––he isn't the player he used to be.

Other Moves:

The Arizona Cardinals sign P Drew Butler.
The Arizona Cardinals sign RB Marion Grice.
The Arizona Cardinals cut P Drew Butler.
The Arizona Cardinals sign DT Bruce Gaston.
The Arizona Cardinals release RB Jalen Parmele.
The Baltimore Ravens sign RB Fitzgerald Toussaint.
The Baltimore Ravens cut WR Deonte Thompson.
The Baltimore Ravens sign WR Deonte Thompson.
The Baltimore Ravens cut RB Fitzgerald Toussaint.
The Baltimore Ravens sign TE Phillip Supernaw.
The Baltimore Ravens cut WR Deonte Thompson.
The Baltimore Ravens sign DE Lawrence Guy.
The Carolina Panthers sign RB Darrin Reaves.
The Carolina Panthers sign LB D.J. Smith.
The Chicago Bears sign LB Terrell Manning.
The Chicago Bears waive WR Josh Bellamy.
The Chicago Bears sign LB Darryl Sharpton.
The Chicago Bears release FB Tony Fiammetta.
The Dallas Cowboys sign LB Keith Smith.
The Dallas Cowboys waive DE Lavar Edwards.
The Dallas Cowboys waive LB Keith Smith.
The Dallas Cowboys sign DE Lavar Edwards.
The Detroit Lions release WR Kevin Ogletree.
The Detroit Lions sign CB Mohammed Seisay.
The Detroit Lions sign K Alex Henery.
The Detroit Lions release K Nate Freese.
The Detroit Lions sign LB Josh Bynes.
The Houston Texans sign DT Ryan Pickett.
The Jacksonville Jaguars cut S Craig Loston.
The Jacksonville Jaguars sign WR Kerry Taylor.
The Jacksonville Jaguars sign S Sherrod Martin.
The Jacksonville Jaguars sign TE Nic Jacobs.
The Jacksonville Jaguars cut TE Marcel Jensen.
The Jacksonville Jaguars cut WR Kerry Taylor.
The Jacksonville Jaguars waive-injured S Chris Prosinski.
The Miami Dolphins sign S Brandian Ross.
The Miami Dolphins waive DT Bruce Gaston.
The Miami Dolphins sign DT Deandre Coleman.
The Miami Dolphins waive S Brandian Ross.
The Minnesota Vikings sign TE Chase Ford.
The Minnesota Vikings sign OT Austin Wentworth.
The New York Giants waive OL Eric Herman.
The New York Jets cut CB Ellis Lankster.
The New York Jets sign CB LeQuan Lewis.
The Oakland Raiders sign LB Bojay Filomeatu.
The Oakland Raiders claim S Brandian Ross off waivers.
The San Diego Chargers sign RB Shaun Draughn.
The San Diego Chargers cut DE Lawrence Guy.
The San Diego Chargers sign LB Cordarro Law.
The San Diego Chargers sign LB Kevin Reddick.
The San Francisco 49ers sign TE Asante Cleveland.
The San Francisco 49ers cut QB Josh Johnson.
The San Francisco 49ers sign QB Josh Johnson.
The San Francisco 49ers cut TE Asante Cleveland.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign WR Louis Murphy.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers release WR Chris Owusu.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign QB Mike Kafka.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers cut G Rishaw Johnson.
The Tennessee Titans sign TE Chase Coffman.
The Tennessee Titans waive WR T.J. Graham.
The Washington Redskins sign CB Chase Minnifield.
The Washington Redskins sign LB Robert Thomas.