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NFL Weekly Transaction Tracker

October 31, 2014 in 2014-free-agency, NFL Personnel

Tuesday, the NFL trade deadline passed with little drama, as usual, and two trades were completed at the deadline. One of these trades is discussed below along with a massive contract extension and a retirement. As always, the rest of the moves are down below with some of the more significant ones highlighted in red.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers re-sign DT Gerald McCoy

With all the roster change that is going on for the 1-6 Buccaneers––they were involved in both trades at the deadline––they decided to lock up McCoy, who they deem to be the face of their franchise.

A seven-year contract extension, the total value of the deal is just under the $100 million mark that J.J. Watt set earlier this offseason. McCoy receives $95.2 million with $51.5 million guaranteed. The average value of $13.6 million per season makes him the highest paid defensive tackle in the league right now and in NFL history.

Gerald McCoy

Courtesy of Icon Sportswire

Drafted by Tampa Bay with the third pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, he has quickly become the best 4-3 defensive tackle in the NFL.

So far this season (six games), he has recorded 19 tackles and 2.5 sacks for the struggling Buccaneers. The team may not be performing well, but he is. Pro Football Focus (PFF) has him rated as the best defensive tackle in the NFL. His 19 tackles and 2.5 sacks may not show this, but the impact of interior defensive lineman can not be shown in the box score.

Last season was the best of his career. Statistically, he set career highs in tackles (50) and sacks (9.5). PFF as the best defensive tackle in the league, a full 16 points ahead of the more well-known Ndamukong Suh who was ranked second. (Suh is a free agent at the end of the season. It will be interesting to see what contract he signs.)

In first two seasons he was limited by injuries, but flashed the playmaking ability that has made him the great player that he is today.

When Watt signed his $100 million contract extension before the season started, the bar was set for McCoy. He was always going to get less than what Watt received in terms of total and guaranteed money.

Tampa Bay needed to keep their best player, no matter the cost. The team isn't playing well right now and is one of worst in the NFL. McCoy is viewed as their franchise player so he had to be kept.

CB Champ Bailey retires

After spending the first eight weeks of the season as a free agent, Bailey has announced his retirement from the league.

This offseason he signed a two-year contract worth $7 million with the New Orleans Saints. However, he failed to make their roster, being released after training camp. In the following weeks he worked out for a few teams (Detroit and Baltimore), but he wasn't signed. It was reported that he favored his foot, that he injured last season, in his workout with Detroit and wasn't conditioned enough in his workout for Baltimore.

Drafted by the Washington Redskins with the seventh overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft, Bailey spent five seasons in Washington before spending the rest of his career, 10 seasons, in Denver.

After five seasons in Washington, where he developed into one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL, he was surprisingly traded to the Denver Broncos along with a second round pick for running back Clinton Portis. Bailey was upset over his contract situation so the team decided to get rid of him.

With Denver, he continued to play as one of the best cover cornerbacks in the league. His best statistical seasons––with either team––came in 2005 and 2006. In 2005, he recorded 64 tackles, eight interceptions and had 15 passes defensed. The following season he set career highs in tackles (84) and interceptions (10) while breaking up 11 passes.

Over the course of his career, he made 12 Pro Bowls (2000-2007 and 2009-2012) and seven All-Pro teams (2000, 2003-2007 and 2012). These 12 Pro Bowl selections are the most ever for a defensive back. In the Pro Bowl, he has intercepted four passes, which is also a record.

With these accolades and the great performances Bailey has had in his 15 years in the NFL, we should be seeing a bust of his face in Canton in the near future.

St. Louis Rams trade for S Mark Barron

In the biggest move at the trade deadline, the Buccaneers traded Barron, their starting strong safety who was rumored to be on the block, to the St. Louis Rams.

To acquire Barron, the Rams gave up a pick in the fourth and sixth rounds of the 2015 draft. This is a far cry from the seventh overall pick where he was selected in 2012.

Since being drafted, he has underwhelmed, not performing as the difference maker the Buccaneers envisioned him to be on the backend.

So far this season he has 49 tackles and three passes defensed. In his two prior seasons he had a combined 176 tackles, three interceptions and two sacks.

Statistically this looks good, but PFF rated him as the 70th best safety in 2012 and the 55th last season. This season he is ranked as the 71st best.

With Lovie Smith being hired as head coach this season, Barron was less of a fit for the defense. The cover two style isn't the best fit for Barron, as his performances showed. Now Major Wright will take over at strong safety for Tampa Bay. Wright played for Smith when he was the head coach in Chicago.

In St. Louis, Barron should be a much better fit. Defensive coordinator Greg Williams loves to run aggressive defenses that utilize multiple blitzers from different angles. The strong safety is an essential component of this defense––think Roman Harper in New Orleans a few years ago. Barron will come in and takeover this role for Williams.

Moving to St. Louis should help Barron improve his career. The Rams defense has had their struggles at the safety position over the last few seasons. At the end of the season, the Rams must decide whether to exercise his fifth-year option. If they don't, then they still have at least one and a half seasons of Barron before he hits free agency.

Tampa Bay got a few picks out of a player that obviously wasn't in their future plans anymore. Still, a fourth and sixth round pick for a player that was the seventh overall pick just a few years ago is a major loss on investment.

Other Moves:

The Atlanta Falcons sign S Charles Godfrey.
The Atlanta Falcons cut S Sean Baker.
The Baltimore Ravens waive TE Ryan Taylor.
The Baltimore Ravens sign TE Phillip Supernaw.
The Carolina Panthers sign OT Mike Remmers.
The Carolina Panthers sign S Robert Lester.
The Carolina Panthers cut RB Darrin Reaves.
The Cleveland Browns waive TE Gerell Robinson.
The Cleveland Browns claim TE Ryan Taylor off waivers.
The Dallas Cowboys sign LB Tim Dobbins.
The Detroit Lions sign S Jerome Couplin.
The Houston Texans sign LB Zac Diles.
The Houston Texans waive CB Elbert Mack.
The Jacksonville Jaguars waive WR Tavarres King.
The Jacksonville Jaguars sign CB Peyton Thompson.
The Jacksonville Jaguars sign CB Tommie Campbell.
The Miami Dolphins waive WR Damian Williams.
The New England Patriots waive OL Chris Baker.
The New England Patriots cut LB Deontae Skinner.
The New Orleans Saints cut TE Tom Crabtree.
The New Orleans Saints sign RB Edwin Baker.
The New Orleans Saints sign TE Tom Crabtree.
The New Orleans Saints waive TE Tom Crabtree.
The New Orleans Saints sign LB Todd Davis.
The New York Giants sign CB Mike Harris.
The New York Jets release LB A.J. Edds.
The New York Jets sign CB Marcus Williams.
The Oakland Raiders sign DE Denico Autry.
The Oakland Raiders cut LB Bojay Filimoeatu.
The Oakland Raiders sign S Larry Asante.
The St. Louis Rams sign CB Jemea Thomas.
The St. Louis Rams sign LB Korey Toomer.
The St. Louis Rams waive QB Case Keenum.
The St. Louis Rams sign WR Damian Williams.
The St. Louis Rams cut CB Jemea Thomas.
The St. Louis Rams sign G Brandon Washington.
The St. Louis Rams cut S Kadron Boone.
The San Diego Chargers release CB Richard Marshall.
The San Diego Chargers sign CB Richard Crawford.
The San Francisco 49ers sign S Ray Ventrone.
The Seattle Seahawks sign WR Phil Bates.
The Seattle Seahawks waive WR Phil Bates.
The Seattle Seahawks waive TE Brett Brackett.
The Seattle Seahawks sign LB L.J. Fort.
The Seattle Seahawks sign FB Will Tukuafu.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers waive QB Mike Kafka.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers trade LB Jonathan Casillas and a sixth round pick to the New England Patriots for a fifth round pick.
The Washington Redskins sign S Akeem Davis.
The Washington Redskins cut S Jamaica Sanford.

Monday Week 8 NFL Rewind & MNF Prediction

October 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

1. The game I was most looking forward toSunday was the matchup between the Packers and Saints.  Green Bay came in on a roll and New Orleans was wobbling to stay in the NFC picture.  So what happens?     drewbrees

Of course, the Saints roll the Packers at home with a huge second half.  New Orleans looks to be back as the favorite in the NFC South now as Drew Brees got it rolling with the help of a huge game from Mark Ingram.  Ingram has run the ball strong all season before and after the hand injury.  If the Saints can play defense like they did after the first few Packer drives they could get right back in the NFC mix.

As for the Packers, after those first few drives it looked like it was going to be another monster effort from their offense and Aaron Rodgers.  Rodgers looked like he was going to throw from 600 yards on a day where vet QBs put up crazy numbers.  Even with the Lions wild win in London I still feel Green Bay is the team in the end to win that division.  As long as the slant to Julius Peppers is not a regular part of their offense.

2. Speaking of the big monster crazy stats put up by vet QBs how about Tom Brady and Big Ben.

Brady started the day almost going perfect against the Bears and lighting up their sorry defense.  He found Gronk and found him regularly to torch Chicago for an easy win.  Any questions about Brady are now long gone and you have to like the addition of Brandon LaFell to his offense.  Since LaFell started seeing the field the Pats have been moving the football.  And once again the Pats look to be the class of the AFC East although the Dolphins and Bills are not fading like the last ten years.

Once Brady was done and Lamarr Houston was carted off the Pats home field, most of us got to see what Big Ben had in store for us.  Like Brady, Roethelisberger faced questions about his team’s offense but those were all answered at least for 3 hours Sunday.  Big Ben threw for over 500 yards and the Steelers got a huge win versus Indy.    If the Steelers can find that second receiver option like they did Sunday they could be scary.  Bell has become one of the best all-around backs and Brown one of the best wideouts in the league.  The AFC North is wide open once again.

3. Another huge game yesterday was the battle of one loss teams in Arizona.

The Cards pulled out a crazy late win in the desert crushing what sounded to be a ton of Eagles fans there.  Carson Palmer went over the top of the Eagles to knock roll the Cardinals into a solid lead in the West.  I am still not completely sold on Arizona but I should be now.  Bruce Arians is looking like a top coach in the league.  That is all I need to say on that.

As for the Eagles I do think this a crushing loss since it looked like they had this one won.  Foles is tossing picks and that has to be a concern since he didn't throw any last season.  I never liked this Philly defense or any of the NFC ones so I thought it would be good enough to win the division still.  But they have to get it together now.  Two huge plays once again worked them.  I think their secondary is bad and the best QBs of the NFC won't fear them at all.  So can they get a rush?  That is the question if they can't get help by the trade deadline in the back end.

4. Quick Hitters

Going back toThursdayI have to say Denver showed they are the class of the AFC still to me.  The defense is getting better and when is Manning's neck going to give?
B. Lamarr Houston gets the clown of the week award although he may be laughing after the contract the Bears gave him for one sack.  And that's where he will end the season with.  At least Brian Orakpo gave us some solid on field audio for his half sack.
C. Was it offense pass interference or not in Cincy?  I think it was but the real problem is the new rules and all the flags being thrown.  It is out of hand and needs to be looked at again this offseason.  Dez Bryant will probably get 10 illegal contact calls tonight.
D. Golden Tate may be a shady character but he is having a monster year and keeping the Lions in the mix while Megatron watches.  Hide your wives but throw him the ball because he continues to make plays when you have to think the defenses are keying on him.
E. It's crazy to think all the young quarterbacks who now look to be done in their current homes.  Geno Smith, EJ Manuel and Kirk Cousins feel like they were just drafted.  All three could be battling elsewhere to try and stay as starters in the league.

 

5.  Monday Night Prediction      espnMNF

Who is the idiot who makes the schedule and puts the Washington Redskins in prime time? They should just go by the Washington Generals once the sun goes down.  Dez Bryant should have a monster night if the Cowboys are willing to get away from the 534 carries Murray usually gets.  If I were the Cowboys I may have said Demarco's ankle is acting up and get rest him here.  The only hope the Skins had went away when DeAngelo Hall's achillies snapped.  I would put him out there on crutches to jabber at Dez.  Probably work better than the young corners he will be facing.

Dallas 31

Washington 10

 

 

 

 

 

Picture of pjmoran

by pjmoran

Week 8 Games To Watch

October 26, 2014 in Uncategorized

Here are the top five games to watch for Week 8 of the 2014 NFL season:

 

  1. Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers

The Seahawks and Panthers were the top two seeds in the NFC in last year’s postseason, but they have both fallen short of high expectations so far this season. The reigning champs are 3-3, and they are coming off of a stunning loss against the Rams. Russell Wilson has been playing well at quarterback and has been clicking with new No.1 receiver Doug Baldwin. But the Legion of Boom and the rest of the defense have not been their dominant selves, especially on third downs. They are going to have to be way better in this contest if they want to keep Cam Newton and Co. out of the end zone. The Panthers are only 3-3-1, but they somehow find themselves at the top of the NFC South. Their defense also has not been nearly as good as they were last season, and it does not look like they are going to get better any time soon. In all seriousness, if it were not for some outstanding play from Newton then this team might be among the worst in the league. I think Seattle is too good to lose three straight games, so I like them to win this one on the road.

 

  1. Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals

These two teams met in the season opener, and the Bengals escaped Baltimore with a win. But since then, the Ravens and Bengals have been on entirely different paths. Baltimore has won five of their last six games, and they have recently looked like one of the best teams in the league. The offense has been effective through a balance between Joe Flacco and Justin Forsett, and the defense has asserted their dominance. The Ravens pass rush should give Andy Dalton problems in this game, as he has not looked good in the past few games. Without AJ Green on the field, Dalton and the offense simply cannot get anything going. The defense has also been one of the worst in the league as of late, so they need a big rebound performance at home. Still, with so much on the line in this divisional game, I like Baltimore to pull off a huge win.

 

  1. Chicago Bears at New England Patriots

The Bears have lost three of their last four games, while the Patriots have won three of their last four. Clearly these two teams have had different fortunes lately, but this game still has potential to be a shootout. The Bears have been an absolute mess, with problems on the field and in the locker room. Jay Cutler and the offense have not been nearly as explosive as they can be, and the defense has been mediocre at best. One of those Chicago units will need to step it up, because they are playing in Foxborough and the Patriots have been red hot. They have won three in a row, and Tom Brady has reminded us all that he is still elite. Combine his play with a defense that has been the best against the pass in the league, and the Patriots look like Super Bowl contenders once again. I like New England to win this one too in a high-scoring game.

 

  1. Philadelphia Eagles at Arizona Cardinals

Both of these teams come into this game at 5-1, and a win in this game would place the winner at the top of the NFC. The Eagles are coming off of their bye, and before that they shut out the Giants 27-0. With their up-tempo offense, an extra week of rest should be a huge factor. I’m expecting LeSean McCoy to have one of his best games of the season. The Cardinals defense is one of the best in the league though, so they should be up to the challenge. With Carson Palmer back at the helm, the offense has stabilized and has the potential to put a lot of points on the board. I think this game could be a shootout, and I’m picking Arizona to win it with a late score.

 

  1. Green Bay Packers at New Orleans Saints

Home games are usually guaranteed wins for the Saints, but that is not the case this time around. They are only 2-4, but since they play in the putrid NFC South they are still in contention. This game is a must-win for New Orleans, and Drew Brees knows that. I think the offense will find the end zone multiple times, but they need their defense to step up if they want to move to 3-4. They will have their hands full, because Aaron Rodgers has been playing at his MVP level. He has been clicking with Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, and they have won four games in a row. Do not expect a lot of defense in this game. With that being said, I like New Orleans to win at home in a thriller.

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.