On The Clock NFL Mock Draft from Fanspeak.com

NFC Quarterback Grades

August 17, 2014 in NFL

Dallas Cowboys
Tony Romo B+

Romo catches a lot of smack for his mistakes in key situations like in the Denver game but he is still one of the top signal callers in the league. This grade is for a healthy Romo though and it will be interesting to see if his back holdups all season.

Philadelphia Eagles
Nick Foles B+

Last season he was easily an A as he made the Pro Bowl. I took a step back a grade because I want to see what he does in his 2nd year as a starter now that the Eagles offense has been studied by NFL defensive coaches.

New York Giants
Eli Manning B

Was last season a fluke for Manning or where his career is headed? He played like a D but I am still confident he can get back to where he was just a couple seasons ago. The more I think about it, the NFC East is a crazy story when it comes to the QBs and what they will do this season.

Washington Redskins
Robert Griffin III B-

I could write 10 pages on him. He looked bad last season but his numbers weren’t that bad. He was amazing as a Rookie just like Foles was last season. Will this new drop back offense work for Griffin? I still think Gruden is smart enough to use RG3 in a system that makes him a huge weapon but can Griffin survive in that?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Josh McCown C+

We have to believe its McCown over Glennon here because Lovie keeps telling us that. McCown played very well last season with Chicago’s arsenal. Good news for McCown is that Tampa has a couple weapons of their own to help. Could I see him going back to the journeyman-type QB? Yes, then Glennon and his C+ grade will get their chance.

Atlanta Falcons
Matt Ryan B

Probably the grade that will make people question me most. I am not as huge on Ryan as others. They gave him all kinds of talent around him and he put up big numbers. But when those guys got hurt he suffered. Not calling a Matt Schaub demise but he is just not elite to me or close to that.

Carolina Panthers
Cam Newton B+

I think Cam is big time. Not as big time as his season at Auburn but maybe getting there. If he can keep the Panthers in the division mix and will it like last season he has to be considered in the MVP race. The organization did him no help in the off season but sometimes I feel Newton can be a one-man wrecking crew out there.

New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees A

Easy A grade for Brees who amazes with his offensive production every season. He even dropped his picks last season. He has Jimmy Graham back healthy and Brandin Cooks is the talk of Saints camp. Could he make a run at Manning’s TD record?

Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers A+

Winning and stats aside there is one reason I give Rodgers this grade. He just looks the most in control and confident every time he drops back. Even better than Brady or Manning to me. The Packers are always in the mix as long as Rodgers is behind center.

Minnesota Vikings
Matt Cassel D+

Just your basic spot holder until Bridgewater is ready which could be week one anyway. Just for laughs, Christian Ponder gets a solid D.

Detroit Lions
Matthew Stafford B

I am cool with Matt Stafford especially with what the Lions have put around him. I was even considering a B+ because I think the Dallas game last season changed many people’s feelings on Stafford. Keeping him a B until he gets his interceptions down.

Chicago Bears
Jay Cutler B

I have always backed Cutler in arguments but the best I can go is a B. Which I do think is fair. He has shown he can put up big numbers and he has won at times but this is a big season for Cutler coming off the new contract. Really needs to stay healthy also which has been a huge problem.

Seattle Seahawks
Russell Wilson A-

Check his stats for his first 2 years. Almost identical. 100 QB rating, 26/10 TD/Int, and around 3200 yards in each season. And consistently has won games including the big one. I don’t think you can ask more of a starter for his first two seasons. Better than Luck and Griffin.

San Francisco 49ers
Colin Kaepernick B

I watch those Kap 106 yard passing games and wonder if he is even a starter. Then he gets into the playoffs and goes off with huge plays and looks confident. No one in the league goes from a A grade to a D week to week. I do think he becomes more consistent this season though.

Arizona Cardinals
Carson Palmer B-

Can’t remember but I probably killed Palmer heading into last season. He ended up not as bad as I thought he would as I was sure he was in decline. Threw too many picks though and those will need to come down if he wants his team to contend in the NFL’s toughest division.

St. Louis Rams
Sam Bradford C+

He started off pretty good last season then as he always does he got hurt. Which left the Rams in a bad spot at QB. He could be a B or B+ which could be enough for the Rams to contend as early as this season. But do you trust him playing 16 games with a huge cap number? The Rams have a huge decision looming on Bradford.

Annual Starting QB Grades – AFC

August 15, 2014 in NFL Personnel

Grades are out for the AFC Starting Quarterbacks:

 

Miami Dolphins – Ryan Tannehill                       tannehill

GRADE:  B

Is this a make or break season for Tannehill’s future?  I don’t think so but his play and the team’s record will need to improve.  Tannehill had a decent 2013 even with all the distractions the Dolphins had in the locker room.  Many are thinking he takes a big jump this season.

 

Buffalo Bills – EJ Manuel

GRADE:  C

Only in his second season and missed a lot of his rookie one.  A lot could change this season after the Bills drafted Sammy Watkins and added Mike Williams.  Watkins has the ability to jump Manuel’s grade up a few grade by 2015.

 

New York Jets – Geno Smith

GRADE:  C-

Only can go up after Geno’s rookie campaign.  I think the problem is if he doesn’t get off to a good start he has Mike Vick waiting to pounce on the job.  The Jets were not far off the playoffs last season and I am sure they will go to Vick if needed quick.  Vick would get a solid B also in my book still.

 

New England Patriots – Tom Brady

GRADE:  A

Brady’s numbers dipped last season but I am not betting against him.  I am confident he bounces back and easily eclipses those numbers with the return of Gronk and another season working with some new receivers.    0ap2000000310994_video_cp

 

Tennessee Titans – Jake Locker

GRADE:  C+

I think I said it was make or break for Locker last season and maybe even in 2012.  Well, it is for sure now.  He has been decent when he is out there but he just can’t stay on the field.  If we graded durability, Locker would be an F-.

 

Houston Texans – Ryan Fitzpatrick

GRADE:  D

I can’t go any higher here because I think he is just the QB because the Texans have nothing else right now ready.  The failed to grab a QB high in the draft and ended up nabbing Tom Savage who should get his chance at some point.  Can JJ Watt QB?

 

Jacksonville Jaguars – Chad Henne

GRADE:  D+

As I am typing this Henne looks to be the starter for the London Jags but by the time I finish this sentence Bortles could be the man already.  We know what Henne brings and the excitement that Bortles could quickly for a young building team.  Bortles would be an incomplete if I went with him as projected starter.

 

Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck                          andrewluck_needsresized

GRADE:  B+

Everyone is all over the Golden Boy Luck.  He has been good in taking his team to the playoffs twice but I think everyone including myself needs to pump the brakes on Luck.  He will have plenty of time to get the Manning, Brady or Rodgers level but he isn’t there yet.  I just think he gets way too much of a pass when he plays horrible…like in the playoffs.

 

Pittsburgh Steelers – Ben Roth…just going Big Ben

GRADE:  B+

Still a trusted quarterback in the league and near the top for the past ten years.  A couple of seasons ago I wondered how long he could take the beating he has in sued but he still stands in there and makes plays.

 

Baltimore Ravens – Joe Flacco

GRADE:  B

Flacco’s 2012 playoff run was an A+++ but last season he was far from that.  Obviously he is a reliable and solid starter in the league and will have this season to once again prove me wrong.  I never considered him elite in the league but I think he can get his game back this season.

 

Cleveland Browns – Hoyer/Johnny Football/Sexy Rexy

GRADE:  C

Hoyer looked to be the starter but that is now in doubt.  Manziel may win it now but that is uncertain.  And now Grossman is in the mix and we know Kyle Shanahan is all about Rex.  Hoyer showed stuff but quickly got hurt last season, Manziel is a huge wildcard and Rex is a D.  Not sure where to go with this one.

 

Cincinnati Bengals – Andy Dalton

GRADE:  B

Cash money Dalton got paid and it was a good deal for both him and the Bengals.  Dalton is what we call a solid quarterback but he gets killed for what he has done come playoff time which to make him higher he will need to improve on.  Funny part is Luck has been no better come playoffs and is loved.

 

Denver Broncos – Peyton Manning           manningnew

GRADE:  A+

Out of 100, Manning is probably a 98 right now after last season.  We can take 1 point off for the neck worries and 1 for the Super Bowl performance.  He won the AFC and broke all kinds of records last season.  Still at the top of his game into his late 30s.

 

San Diego Chargers – Philip Rivers

GRADE:  B+

Rivers had a great bounce back season leading the Chargers to the playoffs.   I did have him as an A- but then thought I really can’t have him higher than Big Ben so made the decision to make them both B+’s.  A- or B+, both are very good still.

 

Kansas City Chiefs – Alex Smith

GRADE:  B

If you want a solid game manager and can run the ball Smith is your guy.  But when you need a big game from your QB to win a playoff game or two I am not sure he is it.  He will get paid very soon but I am still not sold he takes you to a Super Bowl unless you are loaded around him.

 

Oakland Raiders – Matt Schaub

GRADE:  C+

I killed Schaub going into last season and proud to say he proved me somewhat smart.  He was a pick6 machine until finally going to the bench.  Now he has to fend off Derek Carr but it looks like the Raiders won’t rush Carr to play so Schaub has the chance to prove me wrong.

 

 

NFL Weekly Transaction Tracker

August 15, 2014 in 2014-free-agency, NFL Personnel

A relatively quiet week in terms of major moves, a minor trade involving a former second round pick is the big news of the weeks. This trade is discussed below and, as always, the rest of the moves are down below with some of the more significant ones highlighted in red.

New England Patriots trade for DE Jerel Worthy

Making the first two trades of training camp this years was the Patriots thanks to the ever active Bill Belichick. The first trade was just a swap of players who will have trouble making each roster, but this trade involves the Patriots getting Worthy, a second round pick in 2012.

Jerel Worthy

Courtesy of ICON SMI

In return for him, the Green Bay Packers will receive a seventh round pick from New England if Worthy is able to make the Patriots 53-man roster at the end of training camp.

Playing his college football at Michigan State, he became one of the best defensive tackles in the nation earning consensus first-team All-American honors as well as All-Big Ten honors.

After his dominate redshirt junior season he declared for the draft and was selected by the Packers with the 51st pick in the draft. Green Bay traded the 59th overall selection and a fourth round pick to move up to number 51 and select Worthy.

As a rookie he started four games while recording 14 tackles, 2.5 sacks and one forced fumble. In week 17 he suffered a torn ACL which caused him to miss most of the 2013 season while he recovered from this injury. Pro Football Focus graded him as the fifth-worst 3-4 defensive end in the NFL.

Last season he recored one tackle while playing only 12 snaps in two games (14 snaps and three games if you count the Wild Card playoff game).

This offseason he hasn't participated in minicamps or training camp due to a back injury that required surgery in April. It is unknown when he will be able to get back on the practice field, but he did pass his physical in New England to complete the trade so the team obviously feels good about his back.

Best fit as a one-gap penetrator (think Houston's 3-4 defense with J.J. Watt and Cincinnati's 4-3 defense with Geno Atkins) Worthy struggled in Green Bay's two-gap scheme for their 3-4 defense. In a one-gap scheme the defensive linemen are asked to penetrate and make plays while in a two-gap scheme they are asked to occupy blockers to allow other defenders to make plays. New England runs a very versatile defense, but it is more of a one-gap scheme which favors Worthy. The Patriots will be hoping the change of scheme––as well as scenery––will help him develop as a player.

For the Patriots there is no risk in this trade. If he makes the roster then they only gave up a seventh round pick for a talented player who just hasn't stayed healthy so far in his career. If he doesn't make the roster, then the Patriots will have given up nothing for him. Green Bay obviously didn't want him anymore and they knew he wasn't going to make their roster, so they did their best to get something in return for him. Both teams win in this trade.

Other Moves:

The Arizona Cardinals release LB Trevardo Williams.
The Arizona Cardinals sign LB Desmond Bishop.
The Atlanta Falcons sign LB Darin Drakeford.
The Atlanta Falcons waive K Sergio Castillo.
The Buffalo Bills sign CB Sam Miller.
The Buffalo Bills cut CB Michael Carter.
The Cincinnati Bengals cut WR Jeremy Johnson.
The Cincinnati Bengals cut WR Connor Vernon.
The Cincinnati Bengals cut DT Zach Minter.
The Cincinnati Bengals sign QB Tyler Wilson.
The Cleveland Browns cut TE Kyle Auffray.
The Cleveland Browns sign QB Rex Grossman.
The Cleveland Browns waive QB Tyler Thigpen.
The Cleveland Browns sign LB Caleb McSurdy.
The Dallas Cowboys sign RB D.J. Adams.
The Dallas Cowboys waive-injured RB Ben Malena.
The Dallas Cowboys cut P Cody Mandell.
The Dallas Cowboys sign OL Stephen Goodin.
The Dallas Cowboys sign P Tom Hornsey.
The Dallas Cowboys cut G Andre Cureton.
The Dallas Cowboys trade DT Ben Bass to the New England Patriots for CB Justin Green.
The Dallas Cowboys sign TE Asa Watson.
The Dallas Cowboys sign DT Zach Minter.
The Dallas Cowboys waive CB Korey Lindsey.
The Detroit Lions cut WR Quintin Payton.
The Detroit Lions claim WR Conner Vernon off waivers.
The Houston Texans waive WR Kofi Hughes.
The Houston Texans release RB Andre Brown.
The Houston Texans sign RB Ronnie Brown.
The Houston Texans sign RB William Powell.
The Houston Texans cut RB Tim Cornett.
The Houston Texans cut RB Dennis Johnson.
The Houston Texans sign CB Junior Mertile.
The Indianapolis Colts waive G Chad Anderson.
The Indianapolis Colts sign C Thomas Austin.
The Indianapolis Colts sign G Marcus Hall.
The Indianapolis Colts sign WR Nu’Keese Richardson.
The Indianapolis Colts waive-injured LB Daniel Adongo.
The Indianapolis Colts waive-injured DT Jeris Pendleton.
The Indianapolis Colts sign DE Gannon Conway.
The Indianapolis Colts waive OT Eric Pike.
The Jacksonville Jaguars sign G Antoine Caldwell.
The Jacksonville Jaguars waive-injured C Matt Stankiewitch.
The Kansas City Chiefs sign LB Devan Walker.
The Kansas City Chiefs waive LB Dezman Moses.
Kansas City Chiefs S Steve Gregory has announced his retirement from the NFL.
The Kansas City Chiefs sign S Jonathon Amaya.
The Miami Dolphins sign RB Cameron Marshall.
The Miami Dolphins waive QB Brock Jensen.
The Miami Dolphins sign QB Brady Quinn.
The Miami Dolphins waive-injured QB Pat Devlin.
The Miami Dolphins cut TE Raymond Webber.
The Miami Dolphins sign TE Evan Wilson.
The Minnesota Vikings sign TE Kory Sperry.
The New England Patriots sign TE Ben Hartsock.
The New England Patriots sign TE Steve Maneri.
The New England Patriots sign TE Terrence Miller.
The New England Patriots waive RB Stephen Houston.
The New England Patriots waive TE Asa Watson.
The New England Patriots waive TE Justin Jones.
The New England Patriots waive-injured TE Terrence Miller.
The New England Patriots release TE Ben Hartsock.
The New Orleans Saints sign TE Travis Beckum.
The New York Jets sign CB LeQuan Lewis.
The New York Jets waive LB Tim Fugger.
The Pittsburgh Steelers waive RB Jawan Jamison.
The Pittsburgh Steelers sign RB Stephen Houston.
The Pittsburgh Steelers sign LS Luke Ingram.
The St. Louis Rams waive-injured TE Mason Brodine.
The St. Louis Rams sign FB Brad Smelley.
The San Diego Chargers waive-injured LB Alvin Scioneaux.
The San Diego Chargers sign LB Victor Aiyewa.
The San Francisco 49ers sign WR Lance Lewis.
The San Francisco 49ers sign LB Kion Wilson.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers cut S Mark Joyce.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign DE T.J. Fatinikun.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign DE Larry English.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers waive-injured DT Jibreel Black.
The Tennessee Titans sign C Steve Vallos.
The Tennessee Titans sign LB Kendrick Adams.
The Tennessee Titans waive LB David Gilbert.
The Tennessee Titans waive OL Viondy Merisma.
The Washington Redskins sign S Da'Mon Cromartie-Smith.
The Washington Redskins cut CB Peyton Thompson.
The Washington Redskins sign TE Matt Veldman.
The Washington Redskins waive DL Doug Worthington.

NFL Weekly Transaction Tracker

August 8, 2014 in 2014-free-agency, NFL Personnel

Week one of the preseason is underway and teams are making numerous moves with their rosters to try and have the best 90-man roster possible. One major contract extension 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 re-sign QB Andy Dalton

After much speculation about a new contract this offseason, the Cincinnati Bengals have signed Dalton to a six-year contract extension.

Set to be a free agent at the end of the season, he will make just under $1 million this season from his rookie contract, with this new six-year deal coming into effect next season. This means he will be in Cincinnati for the next seven seasons, through the 2020 season. The value of the new money is $96 million, an average of $19.2 million per season. If he hits all of his incentives, he can earn up to $115 million. These incentives are all based on how far the team goes in the playoffs. With his $16 million per year average, he is the 11th highest paid quarterback in the NFL.

Andy Dalton

Courtesy of ICON SMI

Of this $96 million, only $17 million is guaranteed from the start. In the 2016 season he can be cut and save cap room (and every season after that). This means that if he struggles early in the contract the Bengals can get out of the deal before he starts getting higher salaries.

The contract is structured like this to give the Bengals some protection is Dalton struggles and doesn't live up to expectations.

Some weeks he will play as a top-tier quarterback who deserves this money, but other weeks he will perform as one of the worst quarterbacks in the league. Take a look at this picture of his weekly grades from Pro Football Focus last season.

This inconsistency is what has frustrated Bengals fans ever since the team selected him with the 35th overall pick in the 2011 draft.

The last three seasons, the Bengals have made the postseason three straight times with Dalton at the helm, but all three times they have lost with him putting up a poor performance. In these three games he has completed 56.9 percent of his passes, thrown one touchdown compared to six interceptions and has a quarterback rating of 54.4.

These three loses in the playoffs continue the Bengals' playoff drought, having not won a playoff game since 1990––when Dalton was just three-years old.

Last season he completed 61.9 percent of his passes while throwing for a career-highs in yards (4,293), touchdowns (33), interceptions (20) and quarterback rating (88.8). He also threw the ball 58 more times than he had before, helping to raise all of these numbers. Pro Football Focus graded him as the 16th best quarterback in the league.

Cincinnati needs Dalton to continue to improve his game, but $16 million per year is an okay price for a quarterback of Dalton's caliber. Quarterbacks are making so much money now and each time a new contract is completed, this contract will look better for the Bengals.

Other Moves:

The Arizona Cardinals sign OT Max Starks.
The Arizona Cardinals cut OT Cory Brandon.
The Arizona Cardinals cut K Danny Hrapmann.
The Arizona Cardinals sign LB Derrell Johnson.
The Arizona Cardinals claim LB Trevardo Williams off waivers.
Arizona Cardinals TE Jake Ballard has announced his retirement from the NFL.
The Arizona Cardinals release LB Ernie Sims.
The Atlanta Falcons sign DT Theo Agnew.
The Atlanta Falcons sign S Tyrell Johnson.
The Atlanta Falcons waive FB Roosevelt Nix-Jones.
The Chicago Bears sign WR Greg Herd.
The Chicago Bears waive LB Conor O’Neill.
The Cleveland Browns claim OT Michael Bowie off waivers.
The Cleveland Browns release G Jason Pinkston (who will likely retire due to blood clots in his lungs for the second time in as many years).
The Cleveland Browns cut WR Chandler Jones.
The Cleveland Browns cut LB Edgar Jones.
The Cleveland Browns cut TE James Oboh.
The Cleveland Browns sign WR Royce Adams.
The Cleveland Browns sign TE Kyle Auffray.
The Cleveland Browns cut S Darwin Cook.
The Cleveland Browns sign TE Martell Webb.
The Cleveland Browns sign WR Tim Smith.
The Cleveland Browns sign LB Keith Pough.
The Dallas Cowboys sign DE Ken Boatright.
The Dallas Cowboys sign DE Adewale Ojomo.
The Dallas Cowboys waive WR L’Damian Washington.
The Dallas Cowboys waive G Darius Morris.
The Dallas Cowboys sign DE Adewale Ojomo.
The Dallas Cowboys sign G Wayne Tribue.
The Dallas Cowboys waive-injured G Brian Clarke.
The Dallas Cowboys sign CB Korey Lindsey.
The Dallas Cowboys sign CB Johnny Thomas.
The Denver Broncos sign DE Brian Sanford.
The Detroit Lions claim WR Jon Baldwin off waivers.
The Detroit Lions cut WR Reese Wiggins.
The Detroit Lions waive WR Jon Baldwin.
The Detroit Lions sign CB Drayton Florence.
The Detroit Lions sign DB Nate Ness.
The Detroit Lions waive LB Cory Greenwood.
Free agent CB Chris Johnson has announced his retirement from the NFL.
The Houston Texans sign WR Joe Adams.
The Houston Texans sign OT Brice Schwab.
The Houston Texans waive LB Trevardo Williams.
The Houston Texans waive-injured OT Bryan Witzmann.
The Houston Texans sign G Bronson Irwin.
The Houston Texans cut TE Chris Coyle.
The Houston Texans claim G Sam Longo off waivers.
The Houston Texans cut OT Brice Schwab.
The Indianapolis Colts sign WR Nu'Keese Richardson.
The Indianapolis Colts sign waive WR Greg Moore.
The Indianapolis Colts sign waive-injured CB Brandon Burton.
The Indianapolis Colts sign LB Shawn Loiseau.
The Indianapolis Colts sign LB Phillip Hunt.
The Indianapolis Colts release WR Nu’Keese Richardson.
The Jacksonville Jaguars sign WR Kenny Shaw.
The Jacksonville Jaguars sign DT David Carter.
The Jacksonville Jaguars sign LB Josh Hull.
The Jacksonville Jaguars waive LB John Lotulelei.
The Jacksonville Jaguars waive WR Damian Copeland.
The Jacksonville Jaguars waive-injured DT Jordan Miller.
The Jacksonville Jaguars sign WR Ramses Barden.
The Jacksonville Jaguars sign WR Chad Hall.
The Jacksonville Jaguars waive DB Jerome Junior.
The Jacksonville Jaguars waive-injured WR Nathan Slaughter.
The Jacksonville Jaguars sign TE Fendi Onobun.
The Jacksonville Jaguars waive-injured TE Reggie Jordan.
The Kansas City Chiefs cut LB Ben Johnson.
The Kansas City Chiefs sign DT Jairus Campbell.
The Kansas City Chiefs waive FB James Baker.
The Kansas City Chiefs waive CB David Van Dyke.
The Miami Dolphins waive-injured LB Tariq Edwards.
The Miami Dolphins sign LB Ryan Rau.
The Miami Dolphins sign C Samson Satele.
The Miami Dolphins waive G Sam Longo.
The Miami Dolphins re-sign QB Brock Jensen.
The Miami Dolphins waive WR Rantavious Wooten.
The Miami Dolphins sign TE Brett Brackett.
The Miami Dolphins waive WR Stephen Williams.
The Miami Dolphins sign K Danny Hrapmann.
The Miami Dolphins waive LB Ryan Rau.
The Minnesota Vikings sign S Chris Crocker.
The Minnesota Vikings waive DE Rakim Cox.
The Minnesota Vikings waive TE A.C. Leonard.
The New England Patriots waive WR Cole Stanford.
The New England Patriots re-sign LB James Morris.
The New Orleans Saints sign TE Richard Quinn.
The New Orleans Saints cut DT Tyrone Ezell.
The New Orleans Saints cut LB Marcus Thompson.
The New Orleans Saints waive-injured WR Steve Hull.
The New Orleans Saints sign WR Tobais Palmer.
The New Orleans Saints sign FB Greg Jones.
The New York Giants sign OT Adam Gress.
The New York Giants waive-injured DB Travis Howard.
The New York Giants sign DB Chandler Fenner.
The New York Giants waive-injured RB David Wilson (who announced his retirement due to a neck injury).
The New York Giants sign DE Israel Idonije.
The New York Giants sign TE Jerome Cunningham.
The New York Giants cut DE Kendrick Adams.
The New York Jets sign RB Michael Smith.
The New York Jets release S Brandon Hardin.
The New York Jets sign OT Bruce Campbell.
The Oakland Raiders sign S Larry Asante.
The Oakland Raiders sign K Kevin Goessling.
The Oakland Raiders sign LB Spencer Hadley.
The Oakland Raiders waive-injured DB Shelton Johnson.
The Oakland Raiders waive-injured LB Marshall McFadden.
The Oakland Raiders release P Michael Palard.
The Pittsburgh Steelers waive RB Alvester Alexander.
The Pittsburgh Steelers sign RB Jawan Jamison.
The Pittsburgh Steelers sign WR James Shaw.
The Pittsburgh Steelers waive-injured WR Danny Coale.
The San Diego Chargers sign CB Lowell Rose.
The San Francisco 49ers claim WR L'Damian Washington off waivers.
The San Francisco 49ers waive WR Jon Baldwin.
The San Francisco 49ers waive-injured RB Kendall Hunter.
The San Francisco 49ers sign RB Glenn Winston.
The Seattle Seahawks cut WR Randall Carroll.
The Seattle Seahawks sign LB Marcus Dowtin.
The Seattle Seahawks waive-injured OT Michael Bowie.
The Seattle Seahawks claim OT Cory Brandon off waivers.
The Seattle Seahawks sign DT Andru Pulu.
The Seattle Seahawks sign G Wade Smith.
The Seattle Seahawks waive LB Brandon Denmark.
The Seattle Seahawks waive WR Ronald Johnson.
The Seattle Seahawks sign DB Trey Wolfe.
The Seattle Seahawks waive-injured S Dion Bailey.
The Seattle Seahawks sign DB Michael Dobson.
The Seattle Seahawks waive DB Trey Wolfe.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers waive-injured WR David Gettis.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign S Mark Joyce.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign DE Ryne Giddins.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign DE James Ruffin.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers waive-injured LB Jeremy Grable.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers waive-injured S Mycal Swaim.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign DE Ryan Giddins.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign DE James Ruffin.
The Tennessee Titans sign TE Chase Coffman.
The Tennessee Titans waive QB Tyler Wilson.
The Washington Redskins waive-injured WR Jerry Rice Jr.
The Washington Redskins sign DE Jeremy Towns.

NFL Over/Under Win Total Predictions

August 6, 2014 in NFL Predictions

Arizona Cardinals - 7.5 wins        larryfitzgerald

My Pick:  Over

Even in the NFL’s toughest division I think the Cards can pull off 8 wins at least.  Maybe Carson Palmer struggles some but the offensive line will be better and having Fitzgerald and now Floyd should put a lot of pressure on the Hawks and Niners

 

Atlanta Falcons - 8.5 wins

My Pick:  Under

I called the Falcons demise last season and I don’t think they have a big turnaround this season.  Nothing makes me think they can win 9 games in another tough division.  My guess is Mike Smith’s time in Atlanta ends after 2014.

 

Baltimore Ravens - 8.5 wins

My Pick:  Under

I have always gone over with the Ravens because it seems they always get 10 wins and make the playoffs.  I am not sold on this current squad even with the addition of Steve Smith to help Flacco.  I just don’t see a 9 win team.

 

Buffalo Bills – 6.5 wins    sammywatkins

My Pick:  Over

I have a weird feeling on the Bills this season.  Will the sale be a distraction?  Maybe.  But I think the Sammy Watkins and Mike Williams additions really help E.J. and even with the loss of Alonso the defense will be decent.

 

Carolina Panthers – 8.5 wins

My Pick:  Over

I think most have this team as a big drop off from last season.  I don’t and think they do go 9-7 even without the name receivers.  Greg Hardy’s eventual suspension could be a big factor but I still see them better than the Falcons and Bucs.

 

Chicago Bears – 8.5 wins

My Pick:  Over

I like this Bears team again.  Cutler and Trestman in year two.  I like the Jared Allen addition as a veteran who can still make a difference.  As long as they don’t beat each other up in camp I can see these guys winning 10.

 

Cincinnati Bengals – 9 wins

My Pick:  Over

Dalton got paid and we will once again see if he can do it come playoff time.  We have laughed at the Bengals in the past but they have done a solid job of building talent at all spots on the field the past five years.

 

Cleveland Browns – 6.5 wins

My Pick:  Over

Forget about Manziel for a second because the Browns defense is going to be very good.  And if it’s Hoyer or Johnny Football I think Kyle Shanahan's track record the past 6 years will get this Browns offense good enough to go with that defense with or without Gordon.

 

Dallas Cowboys – 7.5 wins

My Pick:  Over

Dallas always goes 8-8 so why not stick with that once again.  The offense can be the best in the league while the defense could again be the worst so 8-8 sounds right.

 

Denver Broncos – 11.5 wins    020214k1NFL

My Pick:  Over

The team was already good and everyone knew so as long as Manning is healthy they will win.  It doesn’t hurt that they loaded up on defense also after last season’s Super Bowl whoopin.

 

Detroit Lions – 8.5 wins

My Pick:  Under

Tough one because I want to say over but I just think they go 8-8 this season.  New coach and hopefully better play on the defensive side.  Stafford has to be more consistent and Caldwell working with him may make me look bad.

 

Green Bay Packers – 10.5 wins

My Pick:  Under

I think the Packers kinda slip to a 9 or 10 win team.  Rodgers is Rodgers so they should always be a contender but I think they make the playoffs but just aren’t dominant in the North.

 

Houston Texans – 7.5 wins

My Pick:  Under

I was surprised to see this number this high even though they still have a veteran team.  But the new coach and complete uncertainty at QB makes me think the Texans are a 5-6 win team even in a shaky division.

 

Indianapolis Colts – 9.5 wins

My Pick:  Over

The division is bad so 5 wins just from that should be a lock.  Will the craziness of Jim Irsay’s off season play a role?  I doubt it because this team has dealt with adversity in the past and won.

 

Jacksonville Jaguars – 5 wins

My Pick:  Push

I think they are going in the right direction and I don’t mean London but maybe a year away from a playoff push.  Bortles will probably play early and take some lumps due to the young talent around which will need to grow.

 

Kansas City Chiefs – 8 wins

My Pick:  Push

Vegas expects a dropoff from last season and so do I.  But not a huge one like the Falcons last season.  Andy Reid is a good coach and Alex Smith seems to win games and wants to be paid soon.

 

Miami Dolphins - 7.5 wins

My Pick:  Under

I have said Tannehill could be a breakout this season but have a weird feeling this team could be a disaster one season after Martin/Incognito and could be picking top 3 next draft. Just a hunch.

 

Minnesota Vikings – 6 wins

My Pick:  Over

I really like Mike Zimmer as I wish he would have been the Redskins hire so I think he rallies this team back to seven wins.  Questions at QB and one has to think Adrian Peterson will slow down at some point but I think Zimmer gets them ready.

 

New England Patriots – 11 wins

Darrelle Revis

Courtesy of ICON SMI

My Pick:  Over

When will they miss the playoffs?  I would have though the East was going to be a closer battle but then Belichick snagged Revis after Tampa made a huge error releasing him.   He will put them right back into Super Bowl contention like Deion with the Niners.

 

New Orleans Saints - 10 wins

My Pick:  Over

Like the Broncos and Pats I think the Saints will be really good.  Adding Cooks to the offense could be interesting and what Rob Ryan did on the other side was impressive.  Add Byrd to go with Vaccaro and they can be better.

 

New York Giants – 8 wins

My Pick:  Push

Eli has to bounce back you would think and so much is being made about Ben McAdoo.  I still think they will struggle on defense like the whole NFC East will.  So taking it safe with 8-8.

 

New York Jets – 7 wins

My Pick:  Over

Going to put them at the 8-8 spot.  Their most talented skill player on offense is their 2nd string QB.  But their defense should once again be good especially up front.

 

Oakland Raiders – 5 wins

My Pick:  Over

I am buying the Raiders as a big turnaround team to go 7-9!  Which would be huge in Oakland.  Everyone killed all the old guy signings but many of the moves they made I really like.  I think this team is finally going in a better direction short and long term.

 

Philadelphia Eagles – 9 wins

My Pick:  Over

I see the Eagles getting 10 wins with the 1st place schedule even.  They will be a great team to watch as I have said in every NFC East blog I have done.

 

Pittsburgh Steelers – 8.5 wins

My Pick:  Over

I think they get back into the playoff mix this season.  Steelers have been able to get younger especially on D the last couple years and it should pay off.

 

San Diego Chargers – 8 wins

My Pick:  Under

I think they were kind of a fluke playoff team last season even with McCoy and Rivers working well.  But how much did Whisenhunt play into that?

 

San Francisco 49ers – 10.5 wins

My Pick:  Over

Going over because of just who the coach is and the talent they have put together should get 11 for sure.  Still not crazy on Kaepernick even though he seems to do his best work in the playoffs.

 

Seattle Seahawks – 11 wins    download (5)

My Pick:  Under

Don’t know why I am doing this after their 2013 dominance.  Everyone will be gunning for them so I just think 10-6 off the Super Bowl isn’t a crazy call.

 

St Louis Rams     7.5 wins

My Pick:  Under

Most will see the Rams D-line and think this team is up and coming.  I still have questions about their offense and Bradford.  I think they will be kicking themselves for years by taking Greg Robinson over Sammy Watkins.

 

Tampa Bay Bucs – 7 wins

My Pick:  Under

The Bucs screwed me last season big time.  I think they can be better but not sold on the call to go with McCown off his season with Trestman.  Trestman isn’t in Tampa and Lovie could have a weird QB situation develop quick.

 

Tennessee Titans – 7 wins

My Pick:  Push

Not much I like about the Titans but maybe Whisenhunt can work with Locker?  Or maybe he does what he did with Leinart?  Don’t go with me on this one the more I think.

 

Washington Redskins – 7.5 wins    griffincelebrate

My Pick:  Over

I had them winning like 11 a couple months ago.  I am coming down from that once I rethought the defensive side of the ball.  But 8 is manageable this season if RG3 can get back to form.

 

 

NFL Weekly Transaction Tracker

August 1, 2014 in 2014-free-agency, NFL Personnel

Last week saw two major contract extensions for offensive players, and this week there was even more action. Four contracts extensions are discussed in depth below and, as always, the rest of the moves are down below with some of the more significant ones highlighted in red.

Green Bay Packers re-sign WR Jordy Nelson

After wide receiver Roddy White of the Atlanta Falcons received a contract extension last week, the Green Bay Packers have rewarded their number one receiver with a four-year contract extension.

Set to become a free agent at the end of the season––like White––the 29-year old Nelson will now be with the Packers through the 2018 season. Worth $39 million over the four years, he will average $9.75 million per year which makes him the eighth highest-paid wide receiver in the league. There is $14.2 million guaranteed in the contract, much of which comes from a signing bonus of $11.5 million.

Jordy Nelson

Courtesy of ICON SMI

One of the most underrated wide receivers in the league, he isn't a top-tier receiver, but he is solidly in the second tier––which is what he is being paid as.

Drafted by Packers with the 36th overall pick in the 2008 draft, he has played his entire career in Green Bay. When this contract expires, he will be 34-years old by the time the next season comes around, so it is likely this is his last big payday.

Last season he caught 85 passes for 1,314 yards and eight touchdowns on 126 targets, all while quarterback Aaron Rodgers missed seven games due to a broken collarbone. This was only Nelson's second 1,000-yard season, but now that he is the featured receiver in the Packers' offense, he should continue to put up similar numbers.

Pro Football Focus graded him as the second best wide receiver this past season. If it wasn't for Brandon Marshall's absurd run blocking grade, then Nelson would have been first. Nelson's receiving grade was the third best in the league.

It was recently reported that Nelson was looking for $10 million per year on a new contract. While he didn't hit this benchmark––only seven wide receivers earn $10 million or more per year––he came in just under at $9.75 million. Over the four years on the contract, he comes up only $1 million short of this benchmark so he didn't lose out much. It was obvious he wanted to stay in Green Bay throughout the process.

Some may say that he is a product of the Green Bay system which can makes receivers look better then they actually are, but Nelson is one of the better receivers in the league and has a rapport with Rodgers that allows him to produce well.

Overall this is a good move for both sides. Nelson gets his big payday after being severely underpaid and the Packers get to keep their number one receiver through the 2018 season.

Minnesota Vikings re-sign TE Kyle Rudolph

Staying in the NFC North, the Vikings signed their starting tight end to a five-year contract extension as he was set to hit free agency at the end of the season.

The 24-year old will receive $36.5 million over the five years of the contract, an average of $7.3 million per season. This makes him the fifth highest-paid tight end in the NFL. There is $19.4 million in guaranteed money and incentives can push the value of the contract all the way up to $40 million.

Drafted by the Vikings with the 43rd overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, his rookie contract was set to expire and Minnesota wanted to keep one of their offensive building blocks.

Playing in only eight games last season, he caught 30 passes for 313 yards and three touchdowns. Over a full season this equates to 60 catches for 626 yards and six touchdowns. In 2012, he posted similar numbers to that, catching 53 passes for 493 yards and nine touchdowns.

For the 2012 season––I'm not looking at 2013 as he missed half the season––Pro Football Focus graded him as the 12th best tight end in the league. He graded positively in receiving, pass blocking and run blocking, making him a complete tight end. In fact, his highest grade was in run blocking.

After the 2012 season he was named to the Pro Bowl team and his five catches for 122 yards and one touchdown was good enough to earn him MVP honors.

Having the ability to block and go out for passes makes him a threat to have on offense. Balanced tight ends can really help an offense as the same personnel groups can be used for a higher variety of plays than if a tight end is only good at catching passes or only good at run blocking. At 6-foot-6, 259 pounds, he has the requisite size to be a dominate tight end and he showed in 2012 that he can be a threat in the red zone by scoring nine touchdowns.

This offseason the Vikings hired Mike Zimmer to be their new head coach and he brought in Norv Turner to run the offense. Turner is known to be one of the best––if not the best––in the league for optimizing tight ends and getting great performances out of them.

Last year he turned Jordan Cameron into a Pro Bowl player with 80 catches and almost 1,000 yards despite having only 26 career catches beforehand. Before that, Turner turned Antonio Gates into the league's best tight end after not playing a single snap of football in college. Instead, he was a power forward in basketball.

While Rudolph hasn't put up top-five tight end numbers yet, Turner is the man who can turn Rudolph into a top-five tight end. By paying him as such, the Vikings are putting a lot of faith into Turner's ability.

I believe that Rudolph will develop into a better tight end and be a big contributor for the Vikings over the coming seasons, but I don't think he warrants top-five tight end money.

Arizona Cardinals re-sign CB Patrick Peterson

In the only contract extension that went to a defensive player this week, the Cardinals continued the trend of signing top-tier cornerbacks to long-term deals by giving Peterson a five-year extension.

With two-years left on his contract, a new contract wasn't needed per say, but he wanted a new deal and Arizona is keeping their best player happy with this new deal. The five-year extension is worth $70 million with $48 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $15.3 million.

This contract makes him the highest paid cornerback in the league in terms of overall money and gives him the most guaranteed money at the cornerback position.

One of the two years left on his contract comes from a fifth-year option that the Cardinals exercised awhile ago. With these two years left and five new years, he is under contract through the 2020 season.

Last season he made 42 tackles while intercepting three passes and breaking up 13 passes. Pro Football Focus graded him as the 14th best cornerback in the league. He spent the entire season shadowing opponent's best receivers and held his own.

Peterson is one of the top three cornerbacks in the league right now along with Darrelle Revis and Richard Sherman. Once the specifics of the top three are debated, then it will be tough to get a consensus.

Of the three, Peterson has the most potential left as he is still only 24-years old. If he can cut down on some of his mistakes and become more consistent (he allowed seven touchdowns last season), then he has the talent to become the consensus number one cornerback in the league.

On top of being a great cornerback, he is also an electric returner and has spent some time at wide receiver to try and help spark the Cardinals' offense. He is one of the best athletes in the game, though this massive new contract may have Arizona limit some of his other chances to touch the ball.

Arizona didn't need to make this move due to the time remaining on his contract, but it makes sense to lockup Peterson for the long term as he probably is the best player on their roster and is still improving his game. He may not be the best cornerback in the NFL right now, but he already is in the top three and he is only going to get better.

Dallas Cowboys re-sign OT Tyron Smith

Wrapping up this week's Transaction Tracker, the Cowboys gave their 23-year old franchise left tackle an eight-year contract extension.

Already signed for two seasons before this new contract, he will be with Dallas through the 2023 season. The new eight years are worth $98 million with $40 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $10 million. The average of $12.25 million per year in new money makes him the highest-paid left tackle in the entire NFL. When all 10 years are put together he will be earning around $110 million.

Like Peterson, Smith had two years left on his contract because Dallas had exercised their fifth-year option on him awhile ago. Peterson and Smith are the first two players from the 2011 draft class to sign long-term contract extensions with their teams. One of the reasons that it had taken so long for these contracts is the fifth-year options that the teams have. The first round picks who had their options exercised now all have two years left on their deal meaning that their team isn't in a rush to enter contract negotiations and sign the player long term.

An eight-year extension may seem long, especially with two years remaining on Smith's old deal, but remember that is his still only 23-years old and will turn 24 in December. This means that he will be in his early 30s when the contract expires. So, this is likely the only major contract that he receives during his playing career, but it is one major contract.

Last season he was named a Second-Team All-Pro and made his first trip to the Pro Bowl. Pro Football Focus graded him as the seventh-best offensive tackle in the league, earning high grades in both run blocking and pass protection. After an average first half of the season, he came into his own during the second half, showing that he is one of the best tackles in the league.

With the improvements he has shown each season in the league, he is likely to keep improving his game and come in even higher in Pro Football Focus' ratings next season. He is one of the top young tackles in the league and now he is paid as the best left tackle in the game. Jerry Jones and the Cowboys are obviously betting on him continuing his improvement.

While Smith is good, I don't think he is this good. He isn't the best offensive tackle in the league, and with the cap concerns that Dallas has had the last few seasons, they can't afford to be overpaying anybody right now. Keeping homegrown talent it great, but you can't overpay for it, especially with two years left on his contract.

Another negative effect from this deal is wide receiver Dez Bryant isn't happy that he wasn't the one to get a new deal meaning that a new deal for him is considered highly unlikely as he enters the final year of his contract. You would think the Cowboys would have made him the priority given that he had only one year left.

I like what Dallas did here keeping their young, franchise left tackle for years to come, but they overpaid and seem to have ended contract talks with Bryant by doing this. Neither of which are good things.

Other Moves:

The Arizona Cardinals sign WR Reggie Dunn.
The Atlanta Falcons waive WR Darius Johnson.
The Atlanta Falcons sign WR Jabin Sambrano.
Atlanta Falcons DT Peria Jerry has announced his retirement from the NFL.
The Baltimore Ravens sign S Will Hill.
The Baltimore Ravens sign CB Marrio Norman.
The Baltimore Ravens cut WR Gerrard Sheppard.
The Buffalo Bills sign CB Bobby Felder.
The Buffalo Bills release DT Colby Way.
The Buffalo Bills sign TE Dominique Jones.
The Buffalo Bills cut OL Mark Asper.
The Buffalo Bills sign RB Fred Jackson to a one-year contract extension.
The Carolina Panthers cut DT Shaq Rowell.
The Carolina Panthers cut CB DeQuan Menzie (who announced his retirement soon after).
The Carolina Panthers sign DT Micanor Regis.
The Carolina Panthers sign S Tom Nelson.
The Carolina Panthers sign RB Fozzy Whittaker.
The Carolina Panthers waive-injured RB Tyler Gaffney.
The Chicago Bears sign OL Dylan Gandy.
The Chicago Bears waive DE Jamil Merrell.
The Chicago Bears cut G James Dunbar.
The Chicago Bears sign WR Dale Moss.
The Chicago Bears waive WR Terrence Toliver.
The Chicago Bears sign OL Graham Pocic.
The Chicago Bears sign OT Dennis Roland.
The Chicago Bears waive OT Cody Booth.
The Cincinnati Bengals waive OT Curtis Feigt.
The Cleveland Browns waive OT Chris Faulk.
The Cleveland Browns sign WR Marlon Moore.
The Cleveland Browns sign OL Ryan Lee.
The Cleveland Browns sign S Jim Leonhard.
The Denver Broncos cut OT Aslam Sterling.
The Denver Broncos sign DL Cody Larsen.
The Denver Broncos sign DL Will Pericak.
The Detroit Lions sign P Drew Butler.
The Detroit Lions waive S Gabe Lynn.
The Detroit Lions waive-injured DE Kalonji Kashama.
The Detroit Lions claim WR Quintin Payton off waivers.
The Detroit Lions sign DE Kris Redding.
The Detroit Lions waive-injured WR Cody Wilson.
Free agent G Travelle Wharton has announced his retirement from the NFL.
The Green Bay Packers claim WR Gerrard Sheppard off waivers.
The Houston Texans sign LB Quentin Groves.
The Houston Texans sign LB Lawrence Sidbury.
The Houston Texans waive OT Anthony Dima.
The Houston Texans waive-injured WR Alan Bonner.
The Houston Texans waive-injured G Cody White.
The Houston Texans sign RB Tim Cornett.
The Houston Texans sign OT Mike Farrell.
The Houston Texans cut LB Ricky Sapp.
The Houston Texans sign RB Tim Cornett.
The Houston Texans sign OT Mike Farrell.
The Indianapolis Colts sign RB Davin Meggett.
The Indianapolis Colts waive OT Jack Breckner.
The Indianapolis Colts sign OT Matt Hall.
The Indianapolis Colts waive RB Chris Rainey.
The Indianapolis Colts waive WR Aaron Burks.
The Indianapolis Colts sign RB Phillip Tanner.
The Indianapolis Colts sign LB Jonathon Sharpe.
The Indianapolis Colts sign OT Eric Pike.
The Kansas City Chiefs waive G Rokevious Watkins.
The Kansas City Chiefs claim TE Adam Schiltz off waivers.
The Kansas City Chiefs sign CB Damond Smith.
The Kansas City Chiefs sign S Steve Gregory.
The Miami Dolphins sign OT Steven Baker.
The Miami Dolphins cut OL Michael Philipp.
The Miami Dolphins sign OT Tony Hills.
The Miami Dolphins waive WR Gerald Ford.
The Miami Dolphins sign TE Brett Brackett.
The Miami Dolphins sign QB Seth Lobato.
The Miami Dolphins sign DE D’Aundre Reed.
The Miami Dolphins cut QB Brock Jensen.
The Miami Dolphins cut LB Derrell Johnson.
The Miami Dolphins waive-injured G Davonte Wallace.
The Miami Dolphins sign TE Raymond Webber.
The Miami Dolphins cut TE Brett Brackett.
The Minnesota Vikings sign WR Ty Walker.
The Minnesota Vikings sign WR Andy Cruse.
The Minnesota Vikings waive OT Matt Hall.
The Minnesota Vikings waive WR Josh Cooper.
The New England Patriots cut TE Nate Byham.
The New England Patriots sign WR Brian Tyms.
The New England Patriots sign WR Cole Stanford.
The New England Patriots waive-injured WR Greg Orton.
The New England Patriots claim RB Tyler Gaffney off waivers.
The New England Patriots release LB Josh Hull.
The New York Giants claim OL Mark Asper off waivers.
The New York Giants waive-injured OT DeMarcus Love.
The Oakland Raiders sign S Jeremy Deering.
The Pittsburgh Steelers sign RB Josh Harris.
The Pittsburgh Steelers waive-injured C David Snow.
The Pittsburgh Steelers sign K Shuan Suisham to a four-year contract extension.
The St. Louis Rams sign DE Kourtnei Brown.
The St. Louis Rams waive-injured WR Jamaine Sherman.
The San Francisco 49ers sign LS Kyle Nelson.
The San Francisco 49ers sign RB Alfonso Smith.
The San Francisco 49ers cut QB Kory Faulkner.
The San Francisco 49ers waive-injured OT Fou Fonoti.
The San Francisco 49ers claim OT Michael Phillipp off waivers.
The Seattle Seahawks sign LB Brandon Denmark.
The Seattle Seahawks sign S Steven Terrell.
The Seattle Seahawks waive DT Dewayne Cherrington.
The Seattle Seahawks sign CB Terrell Thomas.
The Seattle Seahawks sign OT Eric Winston.
The Seattle Seahawks sign WR Randall Carroll.
The Seattle Seahawks waive CB Chandler Fenner.
The Seattle Seahawks waive G Bronson Irwin.
The Seattle Seahawks sign WR Ronald Johnson.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers release G Carl Nicks.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign CB Anthony Gaitor.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign DT Jibreel Black.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers cut RB Brendan Bigelow.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers cut WR Quintin Payton.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign CB Kip Edwards.
The Tennessee Titans sign G Kevin Danser.
The Tennessee Titans cut TE Adam Schiltz.
The Washington Redskins waive LB Brandon Jenkins.
The Washington Redskins sign DE Everette Brown.
The Washington Redskins waive-injured CB Courtney Bridget Jr.

NFL Weekly Transaction Tracker

July 25, 2014 in 2014-free-agency, NFL Personnel

As many NFL teams open up training camp, they made many of changes to their roster including a few big contract extensions.  Two of these are discussed in depth below and, as always, the rest of the moves are down below with some of the more significant ones highlighted in red.

Kansas City Chiefs re-sign RB Jamaal Charles

The biggest of these contract extensions goes to Charles who didn't report to the first day of Chiefs' training camp as he was holding out for a new contract.

A two-year extension with $18 million in new money, he is now signed with Kansas City through the 2017 season, the next four seasons. For these four seasons he will earn a total of $28 million. Over the next two seasons, $5 million is added to the first two seasons. The entire contract makes him the second-highest paid running back in the NFL.

Jamaal Charles

Courtesy of ICON SMI

Drafted by the Chiefs in the third round of the 2008 NFL Draft, the 27-year old has played his entire career in Kansas City and will be 31-years old when he hits free agency again. Running backs tend to start breaking down when they hit 30-years old, so adding these extra two years to his contract was very important to him.

Last season he ran the ball 259 times for 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns. This average of five yards per carry is very good, but is his lowest in his career, where he averages 5.6 yards per carry.

A duel threat, he also caught 70 passes for 693 yards and seven touchdowns. With these stats he led the team in carries, rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, catches, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. The only major category here he didn't lead was targets where he had 104, just one away from Dwayne Bowe who led the team with 105.

Pro Football Focus graded him as the second best running back in the league behind LeSean McCoy of the Philadelphia Eagles who led the league in rushing yards by far. (Charles was third in the league.)

As these stats show, Charles was the Chiefs entire offense during most of the season. Without him the team would be lost on offense. In Kansas City's 56-31 victory over the Oakland Raiders, he scored five touchdowns (one rushing and four receiving), single-handedly beating the Raiders.

Charles knew that the Chiefs' offense wouldn't be the same without him, so he knew he had leverage to get a new contract. The Chiefs also knew this so they made it a priority to lock him up on a new deal once he made it known that he was going to hold out for a new contract.

This is a good deal for both sides. Charles wanted a new contract and the Chiefs need him happy and with the team for them to have a chance at making the playoffs this season. The contract doesn't run too long so the team has some protection from decline from Charles due to age.

Atlanta Falcons re-sign WR Roddy White

While the extension for Charles was the biggest news of the week, White's extension would be the biggest news during most weeks.

Set to enter the last year of his current contract, there had been talk of a contract extension for him the entire offseason. A three-year extension on top of the one year remaining, the entire contract will be worth a maximum of $30 million with $18 million in the first two years of the deal.

At 32-years old (33 in early November) this contract will take him through the 2017 season and he will be 36-years old. This means that this is likely the last contract he will have as a professional football player and will keep him as a Falcon for the rest of his career.

Drafted by the Falcons with the 27th overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, he has spent his entire career in Atlanta so far and this contract is sure to keep him there through the end of his career.

Last season he caught 63 passes for 711 yards and three touchdowns on 99 targets. These were his worst stats since his second year in the NFL. He did miss three games due to injury this past season and dealt with injuries while playing.

His best season came in 2010 where he caught 115 passes for 1,389 yards and 10 touchdowns. The catches and yards are both career-highs while the touchdowns are the second best in a season for him.

Combined with Julio Jones, the Falcons have one of the best one-two punches at wide receiver in the NFL. This provides quarterback Matt Ryan with much help in the passing game.

For the Falcons this signing needed to be done as White has great chemistry with Ryan and the team needs to bounce back from a subpar season that saw them go 4-12.

Other Moves:

The Arizona Cardinals waive WR Kelsey Pope.
The Atlanta Falcons sign WR Jeremy Ebert.
The Atlanta Falcons sign LB Pat Angerer.
The Buffalo Bills waive WR Cordell Roberson.
The Buffalo Bills waive DB Darius Robinson.
The Buffalo Bills sign WR Tori Gurley.
The Buffalo Bills sign CB Kamaal McIlwain.
The Buffalo Bills sign LB Xavius Boyd.
The Buffalo Bills waive LB Darrin Kitchens.
The Buffalo Bills claim C Jared Wheeler off waivers.
The Buffalo Bills waive CB Brandon Smith.
The Carolina Panthers waive LB Billy Boyko.
The Carolina Panthers sign C Fernando Velasco.
The Carolina Panthers cut OT Jared Wheeler.
The Carolina Panthers sign C Kevin Matthews.
The Cincinnati Bengals sign DT LaKendrick Ross.
The Cincinnati Bengals sign WR Alex Neutz.
The Cincinnati Bengals claim WR Connor Vernon off waivers.
The Cincinnati Bengals waive P T.J. Conley.
The Cincinnati Bengals sign WR Jeremy Johnson.
The Cleveland Browns claim C Nick McDonald off waivers.
The Cleveland Browns claim OT Abasi Salimu off waivers.
The Cleveland Browns waive WR Conner Vernon.
The Cleveland Browns waive LB Brandon Magee.
The Cleveland Browns waive DB Royce Adams.
The Cleveland Browns waive WR Kenny Shaw.
The Cleveland Browns waive RB Jourdan Brooks.
The Cleveland Browns sign LB Jamaal Westerman.
The Cleveland Browns sign LB Edgar Jones.
The Dallas Cowboys sign WR Dezmon Briscoe.
Denver Broncos S Eric Hagg has announced his retirement from the NFL.
The Denver Broncos release TE Joel Dreessen.
The Detroit Lions cut WR Naaman Roosevelt.
The Detroit Lions claim WR Reese Wiggins off waivers.
The Green Bay Packers sign LB Korey Jones.
The Green Bay Packers cut LB Shaun Lewis.
The Houston Texans waive OT Brennan Williams.
The Houston Texans waive FB Brad Smelley.
The Houston Texans waive DL Tim Jackson.
The Houston Texans sign TE Chris Coyle.
The Houston Texans sign OT Tyson Clabo.
The Houston Texans sign NT David Hunter.
The Jacksonville Jaguars sign CB Deion Belue.
The Jacksonville Jaguars waive RB Beau Blankenship.
The Kansas City Chiefs sign LB Josh Mauga.
The Kansas City Chiefs sign OT Ryan Harris.
The Minnesota Vikings sign TE Mike Higgins.
The Minnesota Vikings release DE Spencer Nealy.
The New England Patriots re-sign WR Derrick Johnson.
The New England Patriots sign WR Tyler McDonald.
The New England Patriots sign TE Nate Byham.
The New England Patriots sign DT Eathyn Manumaleuna.
The New England Patriots release DT Seali'i Epenesa.
The New England Patriots sign WR Greg Orton.
The New England Patriots release WR Tyler McDonald.
The New Orleans Saints waive DT Moses McCray.
The New Orleans Saints sign DT Tyrone Ezell.
The New Orleans Saints sign LB Marcus Thompson.
The New Orleans Saints waive LB Cheta Ozougwu.
New York Giants G Chris Snee has announced his retirement from the NFL.
The New York Giants sign G John Sullen.
The New York Giants waive WR Kris Adams.
The New York Jets sign DE Jason Babin.
The New York Jets release CB Lowell Rose.
The Oakland Raiders release LB Kevin Burnett.
The Pittsburgh Steelers sign DB Lew Toler.
The Pittsburgh Steelers cut LB Kion Wilson.
The St. Louis Rams sign LB Pat Schiller.
The St. Louis Rams Rams cut LB Caleb McSurdy.
The St. Louis Rams Rams cut OT Abasi Salimu.
The St. Louis Rams Rams cut WR Diontae Spencer.
The St. Louis Rams Rams cut LB Tavarius Wilson.
The St. Louis Rams sign OT R.J. Dill.
The St. Louis Rams sign G D.J. Morrell.
The St. Louis Rams sign LB Lawrence Wilson.
The San Diego Chargers cut C Nick McDonald.
The San Diego Chargers sign C Khalil Wilkes.
The San Diego Chargers release LB Larry English.
The San Diego Chargers sign C Khalil Wilkes.
The San Diego Chargers sign LB Adrian Hamilton.
The San Diego Chargers sign RB Danny Woodhead to a two-year contract extension.
The San Diego Chargers waive LB Jonas Mouton.
Seattle Seahawks WR Sidney Rice has announced his retirement from the NFL.
The Seattle Seahawks sign WR Morrell Presley.
The Seattle Seahawks cut TE Chase Dixon.
The Seattle Seahawks waive Jared Smith.
The Seattle Seahawks sign C C.J. Davis.
The Seattle Seahawks sign WR David Gilreath.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers release CB D.J. Moore.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign LB Jeremy Grable.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign OT J.B. Shugarts.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers claim LB Brandon Magee off waivers.
The Washington Redskins sign TE Mike Caussin.
The Washington Redskins waive LS Kyle Nelson

NFL Weekly Transaction Tracker

July 18, 2014 in 2014-free-agency, NFL Personnel

After a one week hiatus due to no roster moves, Transaction Tracker is back this week with many moves including one major contract extension that created a new highest-paid player at a position. This transaction––along with another contract extension––is discussed in depth below and, as always, the rest of the moves are down below with some of the more significant ones highlighted in red.

New Orleans Saints re-sign TE Jimmy Graham

Concluding a very long news cycle about Graham, the Saints signed the tight end––we can officially call him that now––to a long-term contract this week.

A four-year contract worth $40 million, he becomes the highest-paid tight end in the NFL with an average of $10 million per season, beating out Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots who averages $9 million per season. Graham receives a signing bonus of $12 million with $20.9 million guaranteed. This guaranteed money comes from the signing bonus, a $1 million base salary in 2014, a $2.9 million base salary in 2015 and a $5 million roster bonus in 2015. These two 2015 numbers are not initially guaranteed. They will become guaranteed on the third league day in 2015. The cap hit this season is a very reasonable $4 million.

Jimmy Graham

Courtesy of ICON SMI

Given the franchise tag this offseason, he challenged the tag saying that he is a wide receiver, not a tight end like the franchise tag said. The difference between the two franchise tag numbers is approximately $5 million with the tight end tag coming in at around $7 million and the wide receiver one at $12 million.

Graham's argument was that he spent so much time lined up in the slot and not like a traditional tight end, making him a wide receiver. However, he was ruled a tight end, as he should have been. The tight end position is changing so much that lining up like a wide receiver is something that tight ends are doing all the time now.

At 6-foot-7, 265 pounds, he is a matchup nightmare for defenses. He is too fast and too tall for linebackers and defensive backs to cover. Add in one of the best quarterbacks in Drew Brees, and you have an elite receiving threat.

Catching 86 passes for 1,215 yards and 16 touchdowns, he ranked 13th in the league in catches, 15th in yards and first in touchdowns. The next best tight end was 18th in catches (83), 30th in yards (917) and third in touchdowns (13).

It has been this way since 2011 where he broke onto the season in his second year after being drafted in the third round in 2010. Teams are still trying to figure out how to stop him, using cornerbacks, safeties and linebackers all to varying degrees of success. The plans that have worked have involved being physical with Graham and using multiple defenders to cover him.

In an offense with Brees at quarterback and Sean Payton's offensive mind at head coach, Graham will continue to put up stats that have never been seen from tight ends before. It was essential for the Saints to re-sign their two-time All-Pro tight end and it was obvious the only way that was going to happen was to make him the highest-paid in the league. Graham is well worth the money as he is the clear-cut best tight end in the game and is still only 27-years old.

San Francisco 49ers re-sign OT Joe Staley

In the other big move of the week, the 49ers signed Staley to a two-year contract extension to keep the 29-year old (he turns 30 in late August) in San Francisco through the 2019 season.

At this point, the monetary terms of the contract are not known. Considering that he is one of the better left tackles in the league, it is likely that the contract pays him substantial money.

Before these two years where added to his contract, there were four years left on his deal worth about $21.65 million.

Seeing that he will be 35-years old when his contract ends, there is a good change that this contract will be the last one that he has as a professional football player. The goal of the contract definitely is to keep him as a 49er for the rest of his career, allowing him to stay with the franchise for his entire career.

Drafted by the 49ers with the 28th overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, he has started every game he has played in (98 regular season games) and missed only 14 games in seven seasons. As a rookie he played right tackle, but switched over to the blindside for his second season.

This past season, Pro Football Focus graded him as the fifth best offensive tackle in the league with high grades in both pass protection and run blocking.

His best season came in 2012 where Pro Football Focus graded him as the number one offensive tackle in the NFL thanks to a run blocking grade that was the best at his position by a wide margin.

Two other 49ers players––tight end Vernon Davis and guard Alex Boone––are looking for new contracts, but neither have showed up for minicamp and offseason workouts while Staley was there. It appears the 49ers are sending a message to Davis and Boone with Staley's contract.

While it is a bit surprising to see Staley get a new contract instead of Davis or Boone, Staley is one of the best left tackles in the game and was severely underpaid. (Before this extension, he was the 13th highest-paid left tackle in the NFL.) The only unknown here is how his play will drop off as he gets older, but offensive lineman age well for the most part so Staley and the 49ers should be fine.

Other Moves:

The Buffalo Bills sign LB Stevenson Sylvester.
The Buffalo Bills cut TE Mike Caussin.
The Dallas Cowboys release QB Kyle Orton.
The Dallas Cowboys sign TE Dallas Walker.
The Detroit Lions sign RB George Winn.
The Detroit Lions cut G D.J. Morrell.
The Detroit Lions sign G Garrett Reynolds.
The Indianapolis Colts sign WR Aaron Burks.
The Indianapolis Colts waive WR LaVon Brazill.
The Indianapolis Colts sign G Chad Anderson.
The Indianapolis Colts waive DE Gannon Conway.
The Kansas City Chiefs cut DT Risean Broussard from injured reserve.
New England Patriots DT Armond Armstead has announced his retirement from the NFL.
The New England Patriots cut WR Reese Wiggins.
The New England Patriots cut WR Jeremy Johnson.
The Washington Redskins sign FB Stephen Campbell.

On the Clock FANTASY is HERE!

July 16, 2014 in NFL

Guess what's finally here in time for Fantasy Football season?! On the Clock FANTASY!

You loved using On the Clock during the 2014 NFL Draft right? Well now you can use On the Clock to practice and prepare for your upcoming Fantasy Football leagues!

It is built similar to On the Clock Draft, to simulate a 2014 Fantasy Football Draft set with your personal parameters. We are very excited to extend the On the Clock brand to fantasy football players and think they will enjoy it just as much as our draftniks did! You can set it up for various formats, regular fantasy leagues, PPR, Dynasty, etc.

So start practicing for YOUR upcoming Fantasy Football Draft with On the Clock FANTASY!

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NFL Weekly Transaction Tracker

July 4, 2014 in 2014-free-agency, NFL Personnel

A quiet week in the NFL entering the 4th of July weekend, very few transactions took place. The most important of this week's moves is discussed in depth below and, as always, the rest of the moves are down below with some of the more significant ones highlighted in red.

Dallas Cowboys trade for LB Rolando McClain

The biggest move in this slow week comes from the Dallas Cowboys who traded with the Baltimore Ravens for McClain.

There are man different scenarios for compensation in this trade. If he is not on the Cowboys' 53-man roster for five games or 46-man game-day roster for three games in 2014 then the Ravens will receive nothing in return for him. If he does meet one of these two requirements, then Dallas would swap 2016 seventh-round picks with Baltimore if Dallas' pick is higher in the round. If Baltimore has a higher draft pick, then no swap will occur. Lastly, if he plays in 50 percent of the Cowboys' defensive snaps this season, Baltimore will receive Dallas' 2015 sixth-round pick and Dallas will get Baltimore's seventh-round pick in 2015.

Rolando McClain

Courtesy of ICON SMI

All of these scenarios exist as nobody really knows what McClain will do this season. Despite not having played a snap in the NFL since week 12 of the 2012 season, he has been constantly talked about since then with off-the-field issues and and his back and forth with retirement.

Drafted by the Oakland Raiders with the eighth overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, he is now on his third team, though he never played with the Ravens.

His best statistical season came in 2011 where he recorded 99 tackles and five sacks. According to Pro Football Focus, his best season came in 2012––where he only played 11 games––and he graded as the 11th best inside linebacker in the league.

In all three of his seasons, he has been an above-average run defender, but struggled in pass coverage, though he showed improvement in 2012, when he last played.

After the 2012 season, Oakland released him due to conflicts with the coaching staff and a high salary. Baltimore picked him up on a cheap deal to try and see if he could help replace the retired Ray Lewis. Soon after signing with the Ravens, McClain was arrested again. With this, he decided to sit out he 2013 season to try and get his life in order.

Still only 24-years old, he is back and will try football again. Dallas has a serious need at middle linebacker in their 4-3 defense as Sean Lee––the best player on their defense––suffered a torn ACL during OTAs and will miss the entire season. The depth chart at linebacker now shows many question marks with unproven players, so the Cowboys are looking for anyone who can help at the moment.

This trade makes sense for both teams. It had become obvious that McClain wasn't going to be playing this season for the Ravens. Therefore, being able to get anything for him is a win. Dallas needs all the help they can get at linebacker right now. If McClain works out, then they found a cheap replacement for Lee. If not, then they likely won't be giving anything up to Baltimore.

Other Moves:

The Atlanta Falcons sign WR Courtney Roby.
The Miami Dolphins sign G Daryn Colledge.
The Miami Dolphins cut LB Marcus Thompson.
The San Francisco 49ers re-sign G Al Netter.