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NFL Weekly Transaction Tracker

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

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

New York Jets trade for WR Percy Harvin

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

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

Percy Harvin

Courtesy of Icon Sportswire

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New York Jets re-sign WR Jeremy Kerley

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other Moves:

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

AFC Sunday Recap

September 15, 2014 in NFL, NFL Preview

Week 2 still has the Monday night affair between the Colts and Eagles but 15 of the 16 contests have been completed. Ironically, seven teams remain unbeaten while seven teams remain winless. The 12 playoff teams from a season ago are a combined 12-10 (6-5 in each conference). The biggest stat that seemed to be most prevalent heading into the week pertained to teams that were in danger of falling to 0-2 on the short season. History has shown that teams that are victorious in their season openers are more than twice as likely to reach the playoffs than losers of an opening game. But that doesn’t mean an 0-1 start is impossible to overcome as nearly 25 percent of teams that lost the opener went to the playoffs.

Since 1978 when the NFL went to the 16-game schedule (and excluding the abbreviated season of 1982): Of the 523 teams which won opener, 274 went to the playoffs and 164 won division titles. Of the 524 teams which lost the opener, 124 went to the playoffs with 70 winning the division.

At the end of Week 2, no more than 13 teams will be able to claim a perfect 2-0 record, leaving at least 19 clubs at 1-1 or 0-2. Since realignment in 2002, 86 of the 144 playoff teams (59.7 percent) began the year at either 1-1 or 0-2, including five of the eight division champions in 2013 – Carolina (NFC South), Cincinnati (AFC North), Green Bay (NFC North), Indianapolis (AFC South) and Philadelphia (NFC East).  A look at how playoff clubs in 2012 and 2013 began their seasons:

Here are some key stats from today’s AFC winners:

Bills (2-0) 29 Dolphins (1-1) 10:

The Dolphins offense had no answer for the Bills defense in the first half. The unit had three sacks and didn't allow the Dolphins to cross the 50-yard line. Miami QB Ryan Tannehill was sacked four times and tossed one INT.  Bills starter, EJ Manuel, who missed both games against Miami last injury due to injury was an efficient 16 for 26 for 202 yards and one touchdown.

Last week Bills RB Fred Jackson made the big play with a 38-yard run in overtime to set up the winner, today it was CJ Spiller. Following a Caleb Sturgis field goal which cut the Bills lead to six points, Spiller returned the ensuing kickoff 102 yards for a touchdown. It was the longest of his career. His only other kickoff return touchdown came in Week 3 of his rookie season in 2010 against the New England Patriots.

Patriots (1-1) 30 Vikings (1-1) 7

The Vikings started strong without their deactivated star running back Adrian Peterson but the Patriots, who had been outscored 30-0 over the last two and a half quarters going back to last week woke up and scored 30 unanswered points to salvage a 1-1 start to the 2014 season. QB Tom Brady was average at best but his defense was outstanding. The Pats registered six sacks, four interceptions of Matt Cassel and a blocked field goal for a touchdown. The win was the 200th for HC Bill Belichick.

Bills sacked Tannehill 4 times on Sunday

Bills sacked Tannehill 4 times on Sunday

RB Matt Asiata had only 36 yards on 13 carries in place of Peterson, who was deactivated after being charged with child abuse Friday in Texas. The Patriots let Miami rush for 191 yards last week in a season-opening loss, but they held the Vikings to 54 yards on 19 attempts without Peterson.

The pass-run ratio last week for the Patriots was 60-20 in a shaky loss at Miami, but they established a much better balance here. Stevan Ridley carried 25 times for 101 yards, and Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes wasn't able to keep up with Julian Edelman, who finished six catches for 81 yards and a touchdown.

The Patriots revamped secondary held the speed of the Vikings receivers in check. Matt Cassel was 0-for-8 with three interceptions on throws deeper than 10 yards downfield. Cassel only attempted three throws deeper than 10 yards downfield (1-3, 18 yards) in Week 1. Cassel is the first quarterback in ESPN Stats & Info's data set (since 2006) to start Week 1 and 2 without completing multiple attempts deeper than 10 yards downfield.

Browns (1-1) 26 Saints (0-2) 24:

The Browns (1-2) broke an eight-game losing streak in home openers, while the Saints (0-2) lost their first two game for the first time since the 2012 "bounty" season in which coach Sean Payton was suspended.

Drew Brees must not like playing against the Browns. The Browns upset the Saints 30-17 the last time the two teams met in Week 7 of 2010. In that game, Brees threw 4 interceptions, 2 of which were returned for TD. While he wasn’t that bad today, he wasn’t good enough to outduel Cleveland QB Brian Hoyer, who was very good today, especially at crunch time. The numbers won’t dazzle but he was marvelous in the clutch, moving the Browns from their own 4 to the New Orleans 11, allowing Billy Cundiff to hit the 29-yard game winner with .03 seconds to play. Hoyer completed several big passes on the final drive, including one on fourth down to tight end Gary Barnidge and a 28-yarder to Andrew Hawkins with 13 seconds to go. In all, he was 8 of 11 for 78 yards on the last drive and finished 24 of 40 for 204 yards and a TD. He came out for a few plays as Manziel, the hyped rookie, handed the ball off twice and had one incompletion.

With starting tight end Jordan Cameron and running back Ben Tate both inactive, Cleveland's backups at tight end and running back stepped up on Sunday. Terrence West had 90 yards from scrimmage Sunday, the first running back with at least 90 yards from scrimmage in his first two games since Chris Johnson and Matt Forte in 2008. Hoyer consistently got production from his backs and tight ends in the passing game as well.

Drew Brees finished 10-of-13 for 118 yards, two touchdowns and an interception targeting Jimmy Graham. Five other Saints had three catches in the game, but no one had more than that. Drew Brees' interception was returned 62 yards by Tashaun Gipson for a touchdown. It was his first pick-six since Week 2 of last season against the Buccaneers. Brees has had 10 interceptions returned for TDs in the last five seasons, three of which came in two games against the Browns.

Bengals (2-0) 24 Falcons (1-1) 10:

460xThe Cincinnati Bengals took care of business at home on Sunday, with a dominating presence on both sides of the ball. Cincinnati's 24-10 win over Atlanta marks the third-time (2005, 2006) that the Bengals have started the season 2-0 during the Marvin Lewis era.

A week after shredding the Saints, Matt Ryan, and the Falcons passing game was shut down by the Bengals secondary. Ryan finished 4-of-9 for 79 yards and two interceptions on throws at least 15 yards downfield, his first game with multiple interceptions on deep throws since Week 8 of last season. Ryan was 5-of-12 for 45 yards and an interception against at least five pass rushers Sunday (3.8 yards per attempt). Ryan averaged 7.2 yards per attempt last week against the Saints (7-of-12, 86 yds. TD).

A.J. Green left in the 1st quarter with a toe injury. Sunday marks the 1st time Green's been active and didn't record a catch. However, the Cincy rushing attack picked up the slack. Led by Giovani Bernard, who ran 27 times for 90 yards, including a 4-yard touchdown. He also caught a team-high five passes for a career-high 79 yards, including a 46-yard catch-and-run when Dalton flipped the ball to him as he was getting hit. The Bengals wound up with 472 yards and averaged 6.8 yards per play. Rookie Jeremy Hill ran for 74 yards and a touchdown, and the Bengals rushed for 170 overall. The inability to stop Cincy's running game should be particularly concerning for Atlanta, as its beefed up defensive line looked like the feeble group from 2013.

The Falcons were very excited about beating New Orleans last week at home. The Saints are now 0-2 while Atlanta has to have concerns about its defense. The Falcons have given up 450+ yards of total offense in back-to-back games for the first time since Weeks 6-7 of the 2010 season.

Chargers (1-1) 30 Seahawks (1-1)  21:

Check the calendar, the San Diego Chargers played perhaps their best game today under coach Mike McCoy, who was visibly excited following his teams nine point victory over the defending Super Bowl champs. Normally a performance the Chargers give with their season on the line in December, they were the better team for 60 minutes on Sunday—in September.

Not many offenses have been able to come up with an answer for the Seahawks tough hard hitting secondary known as the Legion of Boom but Chargers QB Philip River and Future Hall of tight end Antonio Gates sure did. The 34-year-old Gates scored TD’s on catches of eight—eight and 21 yards. Rivers, who passed for 284 yards and no INT’s, is the first QB with 3 TD passes against the Seahawks since Week 8 in 2012, when Matthew Stafford did it. Those are the only two players to throw 3 TD passes against Seattle with Richard Sherman on the field. The three touchdown receptions tied Gates' career high.

Seattle’s vaunted defense allowed 377 total yards to the Chargers but it was SD’s defense that played better on the day. They held the Russell Wilson and Seahawks to less than 300 total yards, including just 36 rushing yards to Marshawn Lynch. The six carries today tied for Lynch’s fewest since joining Seattle.

The Chargers (1-1) dominated time of possession and wore out the Seahawks' vaunted defense on a hot day in southern California. San Diego had the ball for 42:15 compared to 17:45 for Seattle, and gained 26 first downs to 14 for the Seahawks. The Seahawks loss was their first by more than 7 points since Week 9 of 2011 against the Cowboys

Texans (2-0) 30 Raiders (0-2) 14

The Texans have now starred 2-0 for five straight seasons. However, they are hoping that starting 2-0 this season yields much different results than when they did so last year. After starting unbeaten through two games in 2013, the Texans dropped 14 straight games to finish the season with the No.1 overall pick in May’s NFL Draft. Houston is the first team to start 2-0 in five straight seasons since 1994-1999 Dolphins.

J.J. Watt

Courtesy of Icon Sportswire

The Texans didn't have to range too far outside to beat the Raiders Sunday… – The Texans rushed 36 times for 151 yards and a touchdown in between the tackles Sunday. Arian Foster gained 123 of his 136 yards on those rushes. – Ryan Fitzpatrick was 11-of-13 for 111 yards and a touchdown when passing between the painted field numbers. He attempted only 6 passes outside the numbers. The march up the middle allowed the Texans to cruise to a 30-14 victory. The Texans last pass attempt came at 4:02 of the third quarter, and was followed by 17 rushes…

The 2012 NFL Defensive Player of the year, JJ Watt, didn’t have his usual day on defense, registering just a lone QB hit but he added to his athletic resume regardless. On second-and-goal at the one, the Texans first scoring drive of the game, Watt lined up at tight end and was wide open in the end zone when two Oakland defenders covered RB Arian Foster. Watt caught his first pass since his days as a tight end at Central Michigan in 2007 to give the Texans a 7-0 lead.

Rookie Derek Carr continued to play like a rookie. Playing against the team that drafted his big brother David first overall in 2002, Derek Carr went 27 for 42 for 263 yards with a late TD pass to James Jones and two interceptions. The Raiders committed four turnovers, all in scoring territory.

Broncos (2-0) 24 Chiefs (0-2) 17:

The Broncos did just enough to eke out a win over division rival Kansas City on Sunday. KC outgained the high octane offense of the Broncos and if you looked at the stats alone, may have figured the Chiefs won the game. The Chiefs (0-2), without All-Pro running back Jamaal Charles for much of the game due to an ankle injury, converted 11 of 16 third-down opportunities overall. They just couldn't capitalize in the biggest moments as the Broncos mustered two goal-line stands for the second straight week.manningnew

The Broncos (2-0) didn't think it would come down to another goal-line stand. But Aqib Talib's pick-6 earlier in the drive was negated by Quanterus Smith's offside penalty. Then, Nate Irving's fumble recovery following DeMarcus Ware's sack and strip was changed to an incomplete pass after a review. The Chiefs ninth life was expunged when Terrance Knighton deflected Alex Smith's fourth-and-goal pass from the two- to Dwayne Bowe with 15 seconds left. He was engaged with center Rodney Hudson when he reached up and felt the football smack into his right arm.

Manning was 21 of 26 for 242 yards and three TDs with no interceptions, but spent most of the game on the sideline. The Broncos had the ball for less than 10 minutes in the second half. Manning was also 6-of-6 for 122 yards and a touchdown on throws deeper than 10 yards downfield. Manning has a league-high 19 touchdowns on throws deeper than 10 yards downfield since the start of last season, but passed even his own standard in Sunday's win. – Manning is the only quarterback to open 2014 with three touchdowns and no interceptions in back-to-back weeks. This is the 47th game of Manning's career with at least three touchdowns and no interceptions. All three touchdowns came against standard pressure.

Emmanuel Sanders led the Broncos with eight catches for 108 yards, the first 100-yard game of his career. Demaryius Thomas had an 80-yard TD catch negated when right tackle Chris Clark was whistled for being downfield. Denver will head to Seattle next week in a rematch of Super Bowl XLXIII. The result may not be much different, as Seattle will be looking to get back on track after losing to the AFC West Chargers today.

NFL Weekly Transaction Tracker

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

This week's two major transactions are continuations of two moves that happened last week: an offer sheet was matched and a released player has found a new home. These two 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.

Cleveland Browns re-sign C Alex Mack

Last week the Jacksonville Jaguars extended a five-year offer sheet to Mack, giving the Browns five days to decide whether to match or not. It took just a few hours for Cleveland to decide to match the offer.

A five-year contract worth $42 million––an average of $8.4 million per season––it makes him the highest paid center in the league by a few hundred thousand dollars per season. The deal includes $26 million in guaranteed money. This comes from his base salaries in the first three seasons. There is also a no-trade clause. Most importantly, after two years he can opt out of his contract and enter free agency. If he exercises this clause he can't be franchise tagged.

Alex Mack

Courtesy of ICON SMI

This offseason the Browns placed the rarely used transition tag on him. This gave him a one-year contract worth just over $10 million. Any team could sign him to an offer sheet and the Browns would have five days to match the offer or let him sign with that team. If he did leave the team, the Browns would have received no draft pick compensation.

Since the Browns drafted him with the 21st overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, he has started all 80 games that Cleveland has played.

This past season Pro Football Focus graded him as the fourth best center in the league and was within one decent game of the leader. Every year he has graded in the top 10 and his best finish was this season.

Center is an underrated position on the offensive line and a great one can do wonders for an offense. Mack is one of the best centers in the NFL and his departure would have left a gaping hole in the Browns' offensive line––which is one of the better in the league.

With the Browns' quarterback position in a mess, they are expected to draft one earlier in May. Having Mack around to help the rookie will make life much easier on the rookie. The center, along with the quarterback, makes pre-snap reads on the line-of-scrimmage and having Mack around will help the rookie quarterback. That and Mack is also great at in both pass and run blocking.

Overall, the Browns made the right decision to match the Jaguars' offer sheet for Mack. While the contract may be big, so is his performance and impact on the team.

New York Jets sign RB Chris Johnson

Last week the Tennessee Titans released Johnson due to a high cap hit and declining production on the field. This week he is signed with the New York Jets.

After visiting with the Jets earlier in the week, he decided that New York was the right spot for him as he signed a two-year deal worth $8 million with another $1 million available in incentives. There is $3 million in guaranteed money and all of it comes from the signing bonus.

Drafted by the Titans with the 24th overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft out of East Carolina, he was the starter for Tennessee in each of his six years with the team.

At the 2008 NFL Combine he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.24 seconds, a combine record that still stands today.

In just his second season in the league he ran for 2,006 yards. This is the sixth-best single season rushing performance in NFL history and only the seventh player to go over 2,000 yards in a season.

That year he also set the NFL record for most yards from scrimmage in a single season with 2,509. With 2,006 yards rushing, 503 yards came from catches.

Thanks to this performance and good seasons in 2008 and 2010, he signed a four-year contract extension worth $53.5 million before the start of the 2011 season.

While he has rushed for over 1,000 yards in all six of his seasons, his performance has declined over the last few seasons and he averaged 3.9 yards per carry last season. His explosiveness that made him so good before has declined and he is no longer the same running back.

For the Jets this move makes sense. Their offense was in dire need of playmakers and they have addressed that by signing quarterback Michael Vick, wide receiver Eric Decker and now Johnson. With the addition of Johnson, the Jets will have a good one-two punch at running back with Chris Ivory––who has a career average of 4.9 yards per carry––backing Johnson up. Vick and Johnson will combine to create an explosive tandem in the backfield for New York.

Other Moves:

The Atlanta Falcons waive CB Saeed Lee.
The Atlanta Falcons waive TE Adam Nissley.
The Carolina Panthers sign DE Alex Hall.
The Carolina Panthers cut WR R.J. Webb.
The Chicago Bears waive DE Cheta Ozougwu.
The Cincinnati Bengals sign P T.J. Conley.
The Cleveland Browns sign FB Chris Pressley.
The Detroit Lions claim DE Kourtnei Brown off waivers.
The Detroit Lions re-sign CB Rashean Mathis to a one-year deal.
The Green Bay Packers release WR Sederrik Cunningham.
The Green Bay Packers re-sign QB Matt Flynn.
The Houston Texans sign DT Ricardo Mathews.
The Indianapolis Colts sign FB Stephen Campbell.
The Indianapolis Colts sign FB Cameron White.
The Jacksonville Jaguars release LB Russell Allen.
The Jacksonville Jaguars release DE Will Pericak.
The Jacksonville Jaguars release DE D’Aundre Reed.
The Jacksonville Jaguars release WR Jabin Sambrano.
The Minnesota Vikings sign S Kurt Coleman.
The Minnesota Vikings sign TE Allen Reisner.
The Minnesota Vikings claim LB Terrell Manning off waivers.
The New York Giants sign QB Josh Freeman to a one-year deal.
The Pittsburgh Steelers sign P Adam Podlesh.
The San Diego Chargers release LB Terrell Manning.
The San Francisco 49ers waive WR Brandon Carswell.
The San Francisco 49ers sign WR Brandon Lloyd to a one-year deal.
The Seattle Seahawks re-sign WR Sidney Rice to a one-year deal.

NFL Weekly Transaction Tracker

March 28, 2014 in 2014-free-agency, NFL Personnel

By Staff Writer Matt Pearce:

As time passes, the free agent market thins out and less quality players are left on the market. This week saw the best free agent left come of the market and head to a surprise team in the NFC North. As always the rest of the moves are down below with some of the more significant ones highlighted in red.

Chicago Bears sign DE Jared Allen

Last week it was initially reported that Allen had signed with the Seattle Seahawks, but that turned out to be false. Now he is heading to Chicago after playing for their NFC North rival, the Minnesota Vikings.

It is a four-year deal worth $32 million with $15.5 million guaranteed. After three years, the contract can void. At this point he will have earned $24 million. It is on par with the contracts that other veteran pass rushers Julius Peppers and Demarcus Ware signed.

Jared Allen

Courtesy of ICON SMI

With the Vikings last season Allen––who will be 32 on April 3––recorded 52 tackles, 11.5 sacks and forced two fumbles. According to Pro Football Focus, he was the 34th best 4-3 defensive end last season out of 52. In 2012 he graded as the 25th best out of 62.

Prior to playing for the Vikings he played for the Kansas City Chiefs who drafted him in the fourth round of the 2004 NFL Draft. Playing four seasons with the Chiefs, he recorded 43 sacks including 15.5 in 2007––which was his final season in Kansas City.

During the 2008 offseason, Kansas City placed their franchise tag on him, but soon traded him to Minnesota for a first-round pick, two third-round picks and the teams swapped sixth-round picks. After the trade, the Vikings signed him to a massive six-year contract worth around $74 million.

This trade payed off for the Vikings as their new star pass rusher recorded 85.5 sacks in six seasons and was in double digits every year. His best season came in 2011 where he had 22 sacks, which is tied for second best all-time, just 0.5 away from tying the record owned by Michael Strahan.

For the Bears, this signing signals that they believe they are a legitimate Super Bowl contender this season. Allen is the third starting-caliber defensive end that they have signed this offseason, with the others being Lamarr Houston and Willie Young. Allen's best year's are behind him and his play is declining, but he still can provide pass rushing ability.

New York Jets sign QB Michael Vick

Moving to the offensive side of the ball, the Jets added Vick to their roster to compete with Geno Smith who will be entering his second year in the league.

For Vick it is just a one-year deal worth $4 million with $2 million guaranteed. This $2 million comes as a signing bonus and the other non-guarnteed money is $2 million in the form of base salary.

Last season he started six games for the Philadelphia Eagles while dealing with injuries and eventually lost his job to Nick Foles. Due to this, it was a forgone conclusion that Vick would leave via free agency this offseason.

Drafted by the Atlanta Falcons with the first overall pick in the 2001 NFL Draft, his NFL career has been full of ups and downs.

The good includes being named to the Pro Bowl four times (2002, 2004, 2005 and 2010), being named the 2010 NFL Comeback Player of the Year, leading the NFL in all-time rushing yards for a quarterback (5,857 yards) and leading the Falcons to the NFC Championship Game in 2004 against the Eagles where the Falcons lost 24-10.

The bad includes breaking his leg in 2003 and only playing in five games and––of course––his conviction in 2007 in being part of a dog fighting ring with some of his friends. This led to him serving 23 months in a federal prison with another three years of probation after that. While in prison he missed the 2007 and 2008 seasons. In 2009 he saw little playing time as well.

After serving his prison sentence he signed with the Eagles and played five seasons with them.

For the Jets, he will compete with Smith for the starting job. It seems likely at he moment that Vick will win the job while Smith learns as the backup. Smith's performance as a rookie last year was inconstant and the Jets were known to be looking for someone to push him. Expect Vick to win the starting job, but Smith will remain the future quarterback for Rex Ryan and the Jets.

Other Moves:

The Atlanta Falcons release FB Bradie Ewing.
The Baltimore Ravens sign S Darian Stewart.
The Baltimore Ravens trade a 2015 fifth-round pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for C Jeremy Zuttah.
The Carolina Panthers sign WR Tiquan Underwood.
The Carolina Panthers sign CB Antoine Cason to a one-year deal.
The Carolina Panthers sign QB Joe Webb.
The Cincinnati Bengals sign OT Marshall Newhouse.
Cincinnati Bengals QB Greg McElroy has announced his retirement.
The Cincinnati Bengals sign CB R.J. Stanford.
The Cincinnati Bengals sign DT Domata Peko to a two-year contract extension.
The Cleveland Browns sign OL Paul McQuistan.
The Detroit Lions sign S James Ihedigbo to a two-year deal.
The Houston Texans sign S Kendrick Lewis to a one-year deal.
The Houston Texans trade QB Matt Schuab to the Oakland Raiders for a sixth-round pick.
The Jacksonville Jaguars claim FB Bradie Ewing off waivers.
The Kansas City Chiefs cut DL Brandon Moore.
The Kansas City Chiefs sign CB Chris Owens.
The Miami Dolphins sign RB Knowshon Moreno to a one-year deal.
The Minnesota Vikings sign OL Vlad Ducasse.
The New England Patriots re-sign DT Vince Wilfork to a three-year deal.
The New Orleans Saints re-sign QB Luke McCown.
The New York Giants sign sign G John Jerry to a one-year deal.
The New York Jets release QB Mark Sanchez.
The Philadelphia Eagles sign QB Mark Sanchez.
The Pittsburgh Steelers sign TE Michael Palmer.
The Pittsburgh Steelers sign WR Lance Moore to a two-year deal.
The Pittsburgh Steelers sign LB Arthur Moats to a one-year deal.
The St. Louis Rams sign CB Greg Reid.
The St. Louis Rams sign LB Etienne Sabino.
The St. Louis Rams sign DL Alex Carrington to a one-year deal.
The St. Louis Rams sign QB Shaun Hill.
The San Francisco 49ers re-sign WR Kassim Osgood.
The San Francisco 49ers re-sign CB Perrish Cox.
The Seattle Seahawks sign CB Phillip Adams.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign WR Louis Murphy.
The Tennessee Titans sign DE Shaun Phillips to a two-year deal.
The Washington Redskins claim DE Brandon Moore off waivers.
The Washington Redskins re-sign CB E.J. Biggers.

NFL Weekly Transaction Tracker

March 7, 2014 in 2014-free-agency, NFL Personnel

By Staff Writer Matt Pearce:

The last transaction tracker before the start of free agency on March 11, most teams were active this week either re-signing, cutting or using their franchise or transition tag on different players.

Franchise and Transition Tags

Jimmy Graham

Courtesy of ICON SMI

Last Monday was the deadline for teams to place the franchise or transition tag on any of their impending free agents. Usually multiple teams use their franchise tag, but it is rare to see a transition tag used. The difference between the two is that the franchise tag completely takes the player off the free agent market while the transition tag allows the player to still test the open market, but their team gets the right to match any contract offer that the player signs. Once the player signs the transition tag tender, he can't receive offers from other teams. This is what Jason Worilds of the Pittsburgh Steelers has already done. It is basically like restricted free agency without draft pick compensation if the player leaves. The only exception to this is the non-exclusive franchise tag, which is what the Saints used on Jimmy Graham. This means that the player can test the free agent market and sign with another team. Their old team can match any offer, but if they don't they will receive two-first round picks from the team that signs the player.

Since these tags have been much discussed already and because this week also saw numerous other moves, I am just going to list the tagged players and not go in depth for them.

The Carolina Panthers place their franchise tag on DE Greg Hardy. This tag is worth $13.1 million.
The Cleveland Browns place their transition tag on C Alex Mack. This tag is worth $10.04 million.
The New Orleans Saints place their franchise tag on TE Jimmy Graham. This tag is worth $7.05 million.
The New York Jets place their franchise tag on K Nick Folk. This tag is worth $3.56 million.
The Pittsburgh Steelers place their transition tag on OLB Jason Worilds. This tag is worth $9.75 million.
The Washington Redskins place their franchise tag on OLB Brian Orakpo. This tag is worth $11.5 million.

Baltimore Ravens re-sign TE Dennis Pitta

Up first this week is Pitta, the tight end for the Baltimore Ravens.

An impending free agent, he signed a five-year deal worth $32 million with $16 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $11 million. This pays him as a top-10 tight end, which he is.

Drafted by the Ravens in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft, the 28-year old (29 at the start of the season) has quickly developed into quarterback Joe Flacco's favorite target.

Off the field, the two are best friends and on the field, this relationship carries over. Flacco's favorite receiver to look for is Pitta. This is one of the reasons why Flacco struggled this last season as Pitta missed the first 12 games with a hip injury.

Early in training camp, Pitta landed badly on his hip after making a leaping catch. In doing so, he dislocated and fractured his hip. At the time, it was thought that he would be out for the season. However, just before the season began, the Ravens placed him on injured reserve with a designation to return. This allowed to to return later in the season and he didn't have to take up a roster spot while recovering.

He finished this past season with 20 catches for 169 yards and one touchdown in just four games.

His best season came the year before when the Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII. For the season, the sure-handed Pitta had 61 catches for 669 yards and seven touchdowns. In the postseason, he added another 14 catches for 163 yards and three touchdowns, including four catches for 26 yards and one touchdown in the Super Bowl.

Not run blocker by any means, he is a pure pass-catching tight end––something that has become more and more common over the recent years. He spends a lot of his time lined up in the slot a receiver to create mismatches over the middle of the field. This led to speculation that he could have been ruled a wide receiver if the Ravens placed the franchise tag on him. Thanks to this new deal though, that won't be necessary.

New offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak loves to utilize tight ends and two tight end sets in his offense. While he has remade his offense to better fit the Ravens, expect Pitta to be a key component of this offense. Currently, Pitta is the only tight end under contract with the Ravens right now, so more work is needed at this position.

It may look like he is overpaid a bit, but consider two things: he is Flacco's favorite target and tight ends are becoming more important to offenses every year. Even at $6.4 million per year, Pitta is only in the top-10 for tight ends in terms of average value of the contract. He is certainly a top-10 tight end the NFL and is worth more to the Ravens than any other team.

San Diego Chargers re-sign ILB Donald Butler

Receiving the longest contract of the week is Butler who signed a deal that can go up to seven years.

However, there is a catch. After the third year of the contract, there is a team option. If that is picked up, then he stays for another four years, if not then he becomes a free agent. The first three years of the deal are worth about $20 million with $12 million guaranteed. If the team option is picked up, then another $15 million becomes guaranteed and will take the total value of the contract up to $48 million.

No doubt, this is a creative contract that provides protection to the team in case he struggles. A potential reason for this type of contract is that he has sustained numerous injuries so far in his NFL career.

After being drafted by the Chargers in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft, the 25-year old has started 40 games for the team. The only full season that he has played in was his second year. His rookie season, he tore his Achilles tendon before the season started. In his third season, he missed four games and he missed three games this season due to a groin injury.

In that only full season, he recorded 96 tackles, two sacks, one interception and two forced fumbles. This past season, he had 84 tackles, 0.5 sacks and one interception.

According to Pro Football Focus, his 2011 season was the best of his career. This season, he ranked as the 45th best inside linebacker (out of 55). He struggled all around, but his worst grade came in coverage.

Essentially, this is a three-year contract that averages $6.6 million per year. This is a lot of money for a player that struggled last season, but the team is obviously banking on their defensive leader improving over the coming years. However, if his play continues to be similar, San Diego overpaid.

Philadelphia Eagles re-sign WR Jeremy Maclin

After re-signing three key players last week, the Eagles continue to work by signing the 25-year old Maclin to a one-year deal.

This one-year deal is worth a maximum of $6 million and contains $3.5 million in guaranteed money.

The reason why this is a one-year deal is because Maclin missed all of last season due to a torn ACL. He––smartly––was willing to take a one-year deal to prove that he is fully recovered and allow him to cash in even better next offseason.

Drafted by the Eagles with the 19th overall pick of the 2009 NFL Draft out of Missouri, he has started 57 games for Philadelphia in four seasons of play. (He has been with the team for five years, but he saw no playing time last season due to his torn ACL.)

Statistically speaking, his best season came in 2010––his second year in the league. Catching 70 passes for 964 yards and 10 touchdowns, he set career-highs in all three of these categories. Pro Football Focus grades his best season as his rookie year.

In his last season played, he caught 69 passes for 857 yards and seven touchdowns.

It will be interesting to see how he can perform in head coach Chip Kelly's imaginative offense. Maclin has great speed and was expected to play a major role in the offense last season before his injury.

This signing gives the Eagles a potent wide receiving corps of DeSean Jackson (who may or may not be on the trade block right now), Riley Cooper and Maclin.

For the Eagles, there is no risk involved in this deal since it is just for one year. Teams can't go wrong with one-year "prove it" deals. He could blow up and have a great season or he could get injured again or he could perform badly. If he plays well, then the Eagles have a good player on a cheap deal. If he does bad or gets injured again, they have no future money committed to him.

Miami Dolphins re-sign CB Brent Grimes

Last up this week is Grimes, who signed a four-year deal after playing last season on a "prove it" deal like Maclin will do this season.

Grimes did well for himself, turning the one-year "prove it" deal worth $5.5 million––very similar to Maclin––into a four-year deal worth just over $32 million with $16.95 million guaranteed.

The reason that Grimes took a one-year deal last offseason was because he was coming off a torn Achilles tendon. He was playing that season––2012––under the franchise tag after failing to reach a long-term agreement with the Atlanta Falcons.

Prior to signing with the Dolphins last season, he had only played for the Falcons. After the 2006 NFL Draft, they signed him as an undrafted free agent. After spending time with the Hamburg Sea Devils in NFL Europe, he made the Falcons roster in the 2007.

He then became a part-time starter in 2008 and 2009. After intercepting six passes in 2009 (a career-high), he became a full-time starter in 2010.

According to Pro Football Focus, his best season came in 2011––which led to him being franchise tagged––but last season came a very close second. This year saw him grade as the second best cornerback in the league behind only Darrelle Revis. (In 2011 Grimes was the third best.)

Averaging $8 million per year, this deal is fair for both sides. Without him the Dolphins severely lacked cornerback depth. Now he finally gets that long-term contract that he was looking for back in 2012.

Other Moves:

I've highlighted some transactions below in red to point them out as they were also significant. There were so many moves this week that not all could be discussed in depth.

The Arizona Cardinals release LB Jasper Brinkley.
The Arizona Cardinals sign C John Estes.
The Arizona Cardinals re-sign DT Alameda Ta'amu.
The Atlanta Falcons re-sign DT Corey Peters.
Atlanta Falcons RB Jason Snelling has announced his retirement.
The Buffalo Bills cut LB Willie Jefferson.
The Buffalo Bills re-sign CB Brandon Smith to a two-year deal.
The Buffalo Bills re-sign S Aaron Williams to a four-year deal.
The Carolina Panthers re-sign K Graham Gano to a four-year deal.
The Chicago Bears re-sign CB Kelvin Hayden.
The Chicago Bears cut P Adam Podlesh.
The Chicago Bears re-sign DT Jeremiah Ratliff to a two-year deal.
The Chicago Bears sign DE Trevor Scott.
The Cincinnati Bengals re-sign G Mike Pollak to a three-year deal.
The Cleveland Browns release WR Davone Bess.
The Cleveland Browns cut WR Bryan Tyms.
The Cleveland Browns cut LB Paul Hazel.
The Cleveland Browns re-sign K Billy Cundiff.
The Dallas Cowboys release DE Everette Brown.
The Dallas Cowboys cut OT Jeff Olson.
The Dallas Cowboys cut OL Ray Dominguez.
The Dallas Cowboys cut DL Corvey Irvin.
The Dallas Cowboys cut C Phil Costa.
The Denver Broncos release CB Champ Bailey.
The Detroit Lions cut OL Leroy Harris.
The Detroit Lions sign DT Corvey Irvin.
The Houston Texans re-sign OLB Ricky Sapp.
The Houston Texans cut LB Evan Frierson.
The Indianapolis Colts sign LB D’Qwell Jackson to a four-year deal.
The Indianapolis Colts cut C Samson Satele.
The Jacksonville Jaguars release G Uche Nwaneri.
The Jacksonville Jaguars re-sign OT Cameron Bradfield to a two-year deal.
The Jacksonville Jaguars re-sign TE Clay Harbor to a two-year deal.
The Jacksonville Jaguars re-sign OT Sam Young.
The Kansas City Chiefs release LB Robert James.
The Kansas City Chiefs release TE Dominique Jones.
The Miami Dolphins re-sign QB Pat Devlin.
The Minnesota Vikings release TE John Carlson.
The Minnesota Vikings release DT Letroy Guion.
The Minnesota Vikings release WR Greg Childs.
The New England Patriots release S Steve Gregory.
The New York Jets claim CB Johnny Patrick off waivers.
The Oakland Raiders re-sign OL Khalif Barnes.
The Philadelphia Eagles re-sign DE Cedric Thornton.
The Philadelphia Eagles release WR Jason Avant.
The Pittsburgh Steelers sign TE Heath Miller to a two-year contract extension.
The Pittsburgh Steelers sign S Troy Polamalu to a two-year contract extension.
The Pittsburgh Steelers cut LB Larry Foote.
The Pittsburgh Steelers cut OT Levi Brown.
The Pittsburgh Steelers cut CB Curtis Brown.
The Pittsburgh Steelers re-sign S Will Allen.
The San Diego Chargers release FB Le'Ron McClain.
The San Diego Chargers cut CB Derek Cox.
The San Diego Chargers release CB Johnny Patrick.
The San Francisco 49ers re-sign WR Anquan Boldin to a two-year deal.
The Seattle Seahawks release WR Sidney Rice.
The Seattle Seahawks release DE Red Bryant.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers re-sign RB Bobby Rainey.
The Tennessee Titans re-sign S Bernard Pollard to a two-year deal.
The Tennessee Titans re-sign DE Ropati Pitoitua to a three-year deal.
The Washington Redskins re-sign S Jose Gumbs.
The Washington Redskins release DE Adam Carriker.
The Washington Redskins release P Sav Rocca.
The Washington Redskins cut TE Richard Quinn.
The Washington Redskins cut RB Davin Meggett.
The Washington Redskins cut RB Jawan Jamison.

Monday NFL Rewind – What is Going On in NY?

September 23, 2013 in NFL, NFL Observations, NFL Predictions

Here's the week's top NFL stories & my thoughts:


1.  Two of the league’s young stars have had horrible weeks.

Both pro bowlers Aldon Smith and Von Miller are now not with their teams.  Aldon Smith left the 49ers’ locker room and is headed to rehab after a DUI and marijuana arrest.  It is a huge loss for the Niners but Smith needs help and the Niners are doing the correct thing. After two bad losses it will be interesting to see if they can bounce back.

As for Miller it got worse for him as it came out he and his tester attempted to fix his failed test.  I think the NFL blew it with only giving Miller a six game suspension. He deserves more and probably the whole season.


2. Ravens Ups & Downs

After a wild offseason and giving up 7 touchdown passes to Peyton Manning the Baltimore Ravens looked to be in possible trouble.  But after a tough win over Cleveland and this week a blowout over the Texans, they looked to be back.

Even without Ray Rice, the Ravens looked like they are still contenders in the AFC and should not be forgotten.  The AFC North saw the Bengals get a comeback win versus the Packers and it looks like it should be a good two team race in the division.


3. What is going on in New York?

The Jets were supposed to be the bad team and the Giants the contender, but so far it’s completely opposite.  The Jets now sit at 2-1 while the Giants got embarrassed in Carolina to remain winless.  Only Washington could be considered more of a disappointment.  The Jets are getting a spark from Geno Smith to go along with their good defense.  Can it hold up though all season?

As for the Giants I wasn't that big on them going into the season, but I didn't see this happening.  I felt they had offensive line holes and a suspect defense going in, but it has been a disaster.  Can Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning do what they have done in the past and do a complete 180 during the season?  If so, this would be their greatest comeback of their careers.


4. Should we just write in Seattle and Denver for the Super Bowl?

It’s early but it could be looking that way.  Especially for Seattle who looks dominant so far.  The rest of the NFC will not want to go to Seattle come playoff time, but it is looking that way so far.  Having an early two game lead on the waffling 49ers is exactly what Pete Carroll had to be hoping for.

As for the Broncos their only worry may be keeping their stars healthy.  Losing Ryan Clady this early is bad.  We already discussed Von Miller and I wonder if he is hanging out with Ryan Braun? Manning has that offense going so well that the loss of Miller hasn't been a factor.


5.  MNF Prediction

Courtesy of ICON SMI

Courtesy of ICON SMI

Speaking of the Broncos, tonight they battle the Raiders.  Everyone has to be shocked with how Oakland has started even though their win was over the Jags.  I just talked about Broncos and we know they are good.  I think Pryor can give the Denver defense some problems but the other QB is Peyton Manning.

Denver 37 – Oakland 20



NFL Weekly Transaction Tracker

August 30, 2013 in NFL Personnel

By Staff Writer Matt Pearce:

Since all NFL teams had to get their rosters down to 75 players on Tuesday, there were lots of moves made, but most of them involved undrafted free agents.

New England Patriots cut CB Ras-I Dowling

In a surprising move, the Patriots cut their second round draft pick from 2011.  Not only was Dowling their second round draft pick, but he was selected 33rd overall, which is the first pick of the second round.

Due to a guarantee in his contract, the Patriots will still have to pay Dowling $351,377 of his $732,190 base salary.

Dowling, who played his college football at Virginia, is still only 25-years old so there is time for him to turn his career around.  In his two seasons, he has only been able to play in nine games due to injury.  That means he has only played in 56.25 percent of his possible games.

His rookie season, Dowling started the first two games of the season for the Patriots before he injured his hip and was done for the season.  The following season, he was able to play in seven game but started none of them.  For these two seasons, he recorded 10 tackles and one pass deflection.

It is unknown where Dowling's football career goes from here.  He was released in the first major roster cuts, which gives time for him to find a new team.  While the fact that he went unclaimed on waivers may look like a bad sign, any team that claimed him would have had to pay that guarantee, which would have turned any interested teams away.  Since he is still only 25 and was recently a high draft pick, Dowling should get an opportunity to play for another team.

New York Jets release WR Braylon Edwards

The up and down career of Braylon Edwards continues as the 30-year old receiver has been released by the Jets.

Braylon Edwards

Courtesy of ICON SMI

After being drafted third overall in the 2005 NFL Draft, Edwards has bounced around the league.  He played five seasons with the Cleveland Browns, who drafted him out of Michigan.  With them, he put up one great season, in 2007, where he caught 80 passes for 1,289 yards with 16 touchdowns.  This performance led to being named to the All-Pro team and a Pro Bowl appearance, both for the first and last times.  In the rest of his time with the Browns, he caught 158 passes for 2,408 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Midway through his fifth season with the Browns, Edwards was traded to the New York Jets and finished the season off with 35 catches for 541 yards and 4 touchdowns.  He then played with the Jets for the next season, 2010, as well, catching 53 passes for 904 yards and 7 touchdowns.  This would prove to be his last productive season.

In free agency, Edwards signed with the San Francisco 49ers but only lasted nine games, catching 15 passes.  The Seattle Seahawks then signed him in the following offseason, and this time lasting to December before being waived.  The Jets decided to bring him back after this as they claimed him off waivers and he finished the season there.  This offseason, Edwards signed a one-year deal with the Jets.

It looks like Edwards career could be over as three teams have given up on him in the last two years.  He had one good season with the Jets and two good seasons and one great season with the Browns.  However, other than that, he hasn't produced much, especially recently.

Other Moves:

The Arizona Cardinals release K Dan Carpenter.
The Arizona Cardinals cut WR Jarett Dillard.
The Arizona Cardinals cut WR Nick Edwards.
The Arizona Cardinals cut QB Caleb TerBush.
The Arizona Cardinals cut OL Deveric Gallington.
The Arizona Cardinals cut OT Joe Caprioglio.
The Arizona Cardinals cut DT Jonathan Mathis.
The Arizona Cardinals cut LB Korey Jones.
The Arizona Cardinals cut DT Cordian Hagans.
The Arizona Cardinals cut CB Ronnie Yell.
The Arizona Cardinals sign TE Richard Quinn.
The Atlanta Falcons release TE Colin Cloherty.
The Atlanta Falcons release TE Tim Biere.
The Atlanta Falcons release FB DeVonte Campbell.
The Atlanta Falcons release LB Nick Clancy.
The Atlanta Falcons release QB Seth Doege.
The Atlanta Falcons release DE Cam Henderson.
The Atlanta Falcons release DE Brandon Thurmond.
The Atlanta Falcons release OT Jeff Nady.
The Atlanta Falcons release RB Donald Russell.
The Atlanta Falcons release S Troy Sanders.
The Atlanta Falcons release C Matt Smith.
The Baltimore Ravens release WR Tommy Streeter.
The Baltimore Ravens release LB Bryan Hall.
The Baltimore Ravens cut OLB Meshak Williams.
The Baltimore Ravens cut CB Moe Lee.
The Baltimore Ravens cut TE Visanthe Shiancoe.
The Baltimore Ravens cut DE Will Pericak.
The Baltimore Ravens cut RB Damien Berry.
The Baltimore Ravens cut OL Jack Cornell.
The Baltimore Ravens cut WR Rashaad Carter.
The Baltimore Ravens cut G Ramon Harewood.
The Baltimore Ravens cut OT David Mims.
The Baltimore Ravens cut WR Gerrard Sheppard.
The Baltimore Ravens sign QB Dayne Crist.
The Buffalo Bills sign QB Matt Leinart.
The Buffalo Bills trade LB Chris White to the Detroit Lions for QB Thaddeus Lewis.
The Buffalo Bills release WR Da’Rick Rogers.
The Buffalo Bills release DB Dominique Ellis.
The Buffalo Bills release WR DeMarco Sampson.
The Buffalo Bills release CB Jumal Rolle.
The Buffalo Bills release C Ryan Turnley.
The Carolina Panthers waive OT Bruce Campbell.
The Carolina Panthers waive WR Kealoha Pilares.
The Carolina Panthers waive FB Michael Zordich.
The Carolina Panthers cut QB Colby Cameron.
The Carolina Panthers cut P Jordan Gay.
The Carolina Panthers cut CB Nick Hixson.
The Carolina Panthers cut K Morgan Lineberry.
The Carolina Panthers cut WR Dale Moss.
The Carolina Panthers cut DE Louis Nzegwu.
The Carolina Panthers cut LB Ryan Rau.
The Carolina Panthers cut S Ricardo Silva.
The Carolina Panthers cut G Justin Wells.
The Carolina Panthers sign OL Travelle Wharton.
The Carolina Panthers waive WR Joe Adams.
The Carolina Panthers waive DT Frank Kearse.
The Chicago Bears cut DE Kyle Moore.
The Chicago Bears release S Tom Zbikowski.
The Chicago Bears release OL AJ Lindeman.
The Chicago Bears cut WR Devin Aromashodu.
The Chicago Bears cut TE Leonard Pope.
The Cincinnati Bengals release TE Richard Quinn.
The Cincinnati Bengals cut DT Vaughn Meatoga.
The Cincinnati Bengals cut WR Jheranie Boyd.
The Cincinnati Bengals cut CB Terrence Brown.
The Cincinnati Bengals cut LB Jordan Campbell.
The Cincinnati Bengals cut K Quinn Sharp.
The Cincinnati Bengals cut G Otis Hudson.
The Cincinnati Bengals cut OT Jason Weaver.
The Cleveland Browns release CB Vernon Kearney.
The Cleveland Browns release DE Dave Kruger.
The Cleveland Browns release WR Cordell Roberson.
The Cleveland Browns release LB Tommy Smith.
The Cleveland Browns waive WR Jordan Norwood.
The Cleveland Browns release CB Trevin Wade.
The Dallas Cowboys cut WR Anthony Amos.
The Dallas Cowboys cut TE Colin Cochart.
The Dallas Cowboys cut G Dennis Godfrey.
The Dallas Cowboys cut WR Jared Green.
The Dallas Cowboys cut LB Deon Lacey.
The Dallas Cowboys cut K Brett Maher.
The Dallas Cowboys cut WR Eric Rogers.
The Dallas Cowboys cut QB Nick Stephens.
The Dallas Cowboys cut CB Brandon Underwood.
The Denver Broncos release WR Greg Orton.
The Denver Broncos release C Quentin Saulsberry.
The Denver Broncos release TE Deangelo Peterson.
The Denver Broncos release DE Lanston Tanyi.
The Denver Broncos release WR Kemonte Bateman.
The Denver Broncos release CB Mario Butler.
The Denver Broncos release OT Manase Foketi.
The Denver Broncos release QB Ryan Katz.
The Denver Broncos release LB Uona Kaveinga.
The Denver Broncos release CB Nigel Malone.
The Detroit Lions cut CB Domonique Johnson.
The Detroit Lions cut WR Chaz Schilens.
The Detroit Lions cut G Derek Hardman.
The Detroit Lions cut DT John Drew.
The Detroit Lions cut CB Ross Weaver.
The Detroit Lions cut DE Ronnell Lewis
The Detroit Lions cut WR Cody Wilson.
The Detroit Lions cut S Chris Hope.
The Detroit Lions cut CB Myron Lewis.
The Detroit Lions cut K Havard Rugland.
The Detroit Lions cut CB DeQuan Menzie.
The Green Bay Packers release QB Graham Harrell.
The Green Bay Packers cut WR Justin Wilson.
The Green Bay Packers cut WR Omarius Hines.
The Green Bay Packers cut WR Alex Gillett.
The Green Bay Packers sign K Zach Ramirez.
The Green Bay Packers release K Giorgio Tavecchio.
The Houston Texans release RB Ray Graham.
The Houston Texans release QB Stephen McGee.
The Houston Texans release LB Elliot Coffey.
The Houston Texans release FB Zach Boren.
The Houston Texans release G Bryan Collins.
The Houston Texans release OT Nick Mondek.
The Houston Texans release DE Earl Okine.
The Houston Texans release CB Travis Howard.
The Houston Texans release P Andrew Shapiro.
The Houston Texans release LB Ja’Gared Davis.
The Houston Texans release TE Adam Schiltz..
The Indianapolis Colts cut CB Johnny Adams.
The Indianapolis Colts cut CB Allen Chapman.
The Indianapolis Colts cut G Danous Estenor.
The Indianapolis Colts cut DT Kellen Heard.
The Indianapolis Colts cut K Brandon McManus.
The Indianapolis Colts cut RB Davin Meggett.
The Indianapolis Colts cut LB C.O. Prime.
The Indianapolis Colts cut C Rick Schmeig.
The Indianapolis Colts cut S Ashante Williams.
The Indianapolis Colts cut WR Maurice William.
The Indianapolis Colts cut CB Teddy Williams.
The Indianapolis Colts waive WR Nathan Palmer.
The Jacksonville Jaguars cut LS Jeremy Cain.
The Jacksonville Jaguars cut G Mark Asper.
The Jacksonville Jaguars cut P Ken Parrish.
The Jacksonville Jaguars cut CB Lionel Smith.
The Jacksonville Jaguars cut LB Maalik Bomar.
The Jacksonville Jaguars cut LB Jeremiah Green.
The Jacksonville Jaguars cut DE J.D. Griggs.
The Jacksonville Jaguars cut DE Paul Hazel.
The Jacksonville Jaguars cut LS Luke Ingram.
The Jacksonville Jaguars cut WR Jamal Miles.
The Jacksonville Jaguars cut S Ray Polk.
The Jacksonville Jaguars cut OT Roderick Tomlin.
The Jacksonville Jaguars sign CB Will Blackmon.
The Jacksonville Jaguars waive CB Marcus Burley.
The Kansas City Chiefs release WR Terrance Copper.
The Kansas City Chiefs release QB Ricky Stanzi.
The Kansas City Chiefs cut DB Vince Agnew.
The Kansas City Chiefs cut DE Miguel Chavis.
The Kansas City Chiefs cut OL Ryan Durand.
The Kansas City Chiefs cut OL Hutch Eckerson.
The Kansas City Chiefs cut DB Otha Foster III.
The Kansas City Chiefs cut OL A.J. Hawkins.
The Kansas City Chiefs cut DE Rob Lohr.
The Kansas City Chiefs cut CB Kamaal McIlwain.
The Kansas City Chiefs cut RB Jordan Roberts.
The Kansas City Chiefs cut WR Tyler Shoemaker.
The Kansas City Chiefs cut CB Neiko Thorpe.
The Kansas City Chiefs cut FB Braden Wilson.
The Miami Dolphins cut G Lance Louis.
The Miami Dolphins cut FB Jorvorskie Lane.
The Miami Dolphins waive LB Michael Clay.
The Miami Dolphins waive WR Jeff Fuller.
The Miami Dolphins waive WR Julius Pruitt.
The Miami Dolphins waive WR Andrell Smith.
The Miami Dolphins waive LB Nathan Williams.
The Miami Dolphins waive LB David Hinds.
The Miami Dolphins waive DE Emeka Onyenekwu.
The Minnesota Vikings release DE Lawrence Jackson.
The Minnesota Vikings cut WR LaMark Brown.
The Minnesota Vikings cut WR Erik Highsmith.
The Minnesota Vikings cut G Tyler Holmes.
The Minnesota Vikings cut DE Marquis Jackson.
The Minnesota Vikings cut LB Stanford Keglar.
The Minnesota Vikings cut DB Greg McCoy.
The Minnesota Vikings cut RB Bradley Randle.
The Minnesota Vikings cut WR Chris Summers.
The Minnesota Vikings cut QB James Vandenberg.
The Minnesota Vikings cut C Camden Wentz.
The Minnesota Vikings cut RB Jerodis Williams.
The Minnesota Vikings cut DB Roderick Williams.
The New England Patriots sign CB Stephon Morris.
The New England Patriots sign DL Scott Vallone.
The New England Patriots cut WR Kamar Aiken.
The New England Patriots cut CB Brandon Jones.
The New England Patriots cut LB Niko Koutouvides.
The New England Patriots cut CB LeQuan Lewis.
The New England Patriots cut LS Mike Zupancic.
The New England Patriots cut TE Evan Landi.
The New England Patriots cut DT Anthony Rashad White.
The New York Giants release LB Aaron Curry.
Former New York Giants LB Aaron Curry has announced his retirement.
The New York Giants release WR Terrell Sinkfield.
The New York Giants release FB Ben Guidugli.
The New York Giants release WR Brandon Collins.
The New York Giants release TE Jamie Childers.
The New York Giants release TE Chase Clement.
The New York Giants release OL Michael Jasper.
The New York Giants release OL Austin Holtz.
The New York Giants release LB Jake Muasau.
The New York Giants release LB Etienne Sabino.
The New York Giants release DT Frank Okam.
The New York Giants release CB La’Ron Scott.
The New York Giants release CB Junior Mertile.
The New York Giants release S Alonzo Tweedy.
The New York Jets cut WR Joe Collins.
The New York Jets cut S Donnie Fletcher.
The New York Jets cut G Patrick Ford.
The New York Jets cut OT Trey Gilleo.
The New York Jets cut S Bret Lockett.
The New York Jets cut RB Joe McKnight.
The New York Jets cut G Stephen Peterman.
The New York Jets cut LB Sean Progar-Jackson.
The New York Jets cut P Ryan Quigley.
The New York Jets cut WR Marcus Rucker.
The New York Jets cut LS Patrick Scales.
The New York Jets cut RB Chad Spann.
The New York Jets cut WR K.J. Stroud.
The New York Jets cut WR Rahsaan Vaughn.
The New York Jets release K Billy Cundiff.
The New York Jets sign K Dan Carpenter.
The New York Jets sign QB Graham Harrell.
The New York Jets release C Dalton Freeman.
The New Orleans Saints trade a conditional 2014 7th round pick to the San Francisco 49ers for OLB Parys Haralson.
The New Orleans Saints release WR Tim Toone.
The New Orleans Saints release LB Eric Martin.
The New Orleans Saints release DB Akwasi Owusu-Ansah.
The Oakland Raiders cut WR Josh Cribbs.
The Oakland Raiders sign K Justin Medlock.
The Oakland Raiders release OT John Wetzel.
The Oakland Raiders release WR Sam McGuffie.
The Oakland Raiders release C Andrew Robiskie.
The Oakland Raiders release DB Cory Nelms.
The Oakland Raiders release DT Myles Wade.
The Oakland Raiders release WR Tray Session.
The Oakland Raiders release FB Jon Hoese.
The Oakland Raiders release RB Deonte Williams.
The Oakland Raiders release LB Eric Harper.
The Philadelphia Eagles release S Kenny Phillips.
The Philadelphia Eagles release LB Jamar Chaney.
The Philadelphia Eagles release WR Nick Miller.
The Philadelphia Eagles release P Brad Wing.
The Philadelphia Eagles release TE Derek Carrier.
The Philadelphia Eagles release DE Eddie McClam.
The Philadelphia Eagles release OT Nic Purcell.
The Philadelphia Eagles release OLB Isaac Remington.
The Philadelphia Eagles release TE Will Shaw.
The Philadelphia Eagles release DT Daryell Walker.
The Philadelphia Eagles release CB Eddie Whitley.
The Philadelphia Eagles release LS James Winchester.
The Philadelphia Eagles release OLB Phillip Hunt..
The Pittsburgh Steelers release RB Baron Batch.
The Pittsburgh Steelers release LB Stevenson Sylvester.
The Pittsburgh Steelers waive G Justin Cheadle.
The Pittsburgh Steelers waive CB DeMarcus Van Dyke.
The Pittsburgh Steelers cut OT D’Anthony Batiste.
The Pittsburgh Steelers cut OT Mike Farrell.
The Pittsburgh Steelers cut WR David Gilreath.
The Pittsburgh Steelers cut CB Ryan Steed.
The Pittsburgh Steelers cut TE Peter Tuitupou.
The Pittsburgh Steelers cut QB John Parker Wilson.
The Pittsburgh Steelers release WR J.D. Woods.
The Pittsburgh Steelers release RB Jeremy Wright.
The San Diego Chargers waive WR Deon Butler.
The San Diego Chargers waive QB Nathan Enderle.
The San Diego Chargers cut RB Edwin Baker.
The San Diego Chargers cut C Colin Baxter.
The San Diego Chargers cut CB Greg Brown.
The San Diego Chargers cut S Tony Burnett.
The San Diego Chargers cut G Brandyn Dombrowski.
The San Diego Chargers cut P Richard Kent.
The San Diego Chargers cut DL Jamarcus McFarland.
The San Diego Chargers cut TE Dallas Walker.
The San Francisco 49ers waive QB Scott Tolzien.
The San Francisco 49ers waive RB DJ Harper.
The San Francisco 49ers waive OL Al Netter.
The San Francisco 49ers waive LB Joe Holland.
The San Francisco 49ers waive P Colton Schmidt.
The San Francisco 49ers waive DT Lamar Divens.
The San Francisco 49ers waive DE Lawrence Okoye.
The San Francisco 49ers release S Darcel McBath.
The Seattle Seahawks sign LS Clint Gresham to a two-year contract extension.
The Seattle Seahawks release CB Will Blackmon.
The Seattle Seahawks cut WR Donavon Kemp.
The Seattle Seahawks cut TE Jameson Konz.
The Seattle Seahawks cutWR Perez Ashford.
The Seattle Seahawks cut LB Kyle Knox.
The Seattle Seahawks cut TE Andrei Lintz.
The Seattle Seahawks cut LS Kyle Nelson.
The Seattle Seahawks cut DT Martin Parker.
The Seattle Seahawks cut LB Craig Wilkins.
The Seattle Seahawks cut WR Brett Swain.
The St. Louis Rams waive LB Jabara Williams.
The St. Louis Rams release WR Andrew Helmick.
The St. Louis Rams release WR Raymond Radway.
The St. Louis Rams release WR Demetrius Fields.
The St. Louis Rams release TE Colby Prince.
The St. Louis Rams release QB Tim Jenkins.
The St. Louis Rams release K Brett Baer.
The St. Louis Rams release CB Robert Steeples.
The St. Louis Rams release LB Joseph Lebeau.
The St. Louis Rams release DT Al Lapuaho.
The St. Louis Rams release LS Jorgen Hus.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers cut QB Adam Weber.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers cut TE Mike Shanahan.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers release TE Zach Miller.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers waive WR Terriun Crump.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers waive LB Jacob Cutera.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers waive WR Chris Denton.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers waive G Adam Smith.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers waive DB Branden Smith.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign WR Jordan Norwood.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers release DE Aaron Morgan.
The Tennessee Titans release OT Barry Richardson.
The Tennessee Titans release WR Roberto Wallace.
The Tennessee Titans release TE DeMarco Cosby.
The Tennessee Titans release K Maikon Bonani.
The Tennessee Titans release S Tracy Wilson.
The Tennessee Titans release WR Justin Hilton.
The Tennessee Titans release OL Eloy Atkinson.
The Tennessee Titans release S Markelle Martin.
The Washington Redskins cut FB Eric Kettani.
The Washington Redskins release WR Donte Stallworth.
The Washington Redskins cut K John Potter.
The Washington Redskins cut OT Jeremy Trueblood.
The Washington Redskins cut LB Roddrick Muckelroy.
The Washington Redskins cut LB Ricky Elmore.
The Washington Redskins cut LB Quan Sturdivant.
The Washington Redskins cut WR Chip Reeves.


August 4, 2013 in NFL, NFL Game Preview, NFL Observations, NFL Predictions, NFL Preseason

Join Alan Zlotorzynski and Stephen Shoup, of Fanspeak.com for a special Sunday edition of “Friday Football Frenzy” …..Show starts at 6, click on link for details.

Tonight, the guys will recap the week that was in the NFL, as they update the injury news and they will have at least one tidbit about every team’s first week in camp.

Alan & Steve will recap the Hall of Fame inductions, as Jonathan Ogden, Warren Sapp, Chris Carter, Bill Parcels and others were inducted into Canton on Saturday night. The guys will then preview Week 1 of the NFL Preseason, which begins tonight with the Dallas Cowboys and the Miami Dolphins playing in the Hall of Fame game.

With only 32 days until the Broncos and Ravens kick off the NFL season, it’s time to get into predicting how each division will stack up in 2013. Tonight, Alan and Steve will break down the AFC East. Will the Patriots continue to reign supreme despite losing most of Tom Brady’s favorite targets? Will the Dolphins offseason spending spree help them catch NE and how much will rookie QB’s play in Buffalo and NY this season?

The FANSPEAK FANTASY FOOTBALL GUIDE is set for release tomorrow, when you can download it FOR FREE on FANSPEAK.COM— In honor of this occasion, Alan & Steve will break down the QB position, and recap the RB’s, WR’s & TE’s. It’s no secret that Aaron Rodgers , Drew Brees and Peyton Manning are three of the top fantasy QB’s in the game but what other signal callers could join them as elite and which ones could fall this season, Alan & Steve will have the answers.

Showtime is set for 6:00 p.m.

NFL Weekly Transaction Tracker

June 21, 2013 in NFL Personnel

By Staff Writer Matt Pearce:

While this week doesn't have as many moves as last week, there is still plenty to talk about.

New York Jets sign TE Kellen Winslow

A former 6th overall pick by the Cleveland Browns in 2004, Winslow is now moving on to his fifth NFL team.

After being drafted by the Brown, Winslow played in two games his rookie year due to a broken right fibula.  In his limited game-time, Winslow recorded 5 catches for 50 yards.  The following offseason, Winslow was involved in a motorcycle accident that tore his ACL forcing him to miss the entire 2005 season.  He also suffered a staph infection after his knee surgery.  Winslow then played three seasons for the Browns catching 214 passes for 2,409 yards and 11 touchdowns.

In 2009, the Browns traded Winslow to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for 2nd and 5th round draft picks.  The Buccaneers subsequently signed Winslow to a 6-year contract worth $36 million, then the biggest contract for a tight end in history.  Winslow lasted three seasons with the Buccaneers catching 218 passes for 2,377 yards, and 12 touchdowns.

Traded to the Seattle Seahawks for a conditional 7th round draft pick, Winslow failed to impress with the Seahawks and was released before playing a regular season game after he refused to take a pay-cut.  Soon after, Winslow signed with the New England Patriots and played four snaps in one game, catching 1 pass for 12 yards.  The following week, Winslow asked for his release, and the Patriots released him.

Now, Winslow has signed a 1-year deal with the New York Jets after trying out at the team's minicamp this week.  Both head coach Rex Ryan and general manager John Idzik.  With the Jets, Winslow will compete for a spot on a roster that has 45 career receptions from tight ends on the roster, with 32 of them coming from expected starter Jeff Cumberland.

The concern with Winslow is his knees, as he has had at least five knee surgeries since 2005.  If his knees hold up, Winslow has a chance to be a good contributor for the Jets like he did for the Browns and Buccaneers.  However, that is a big if.

San Francisco 49ers re-sign DT Justin Smith

At 33-years old, Smith is nearing the end of his playing days, and has signed a contract extension that seems to take him to the end of his career.

Justin Smith

Courtesy of ICON SMI

Interestingly, Smith negotiated this new contract by himself.  His new contract is a 2-year extension which will keep him with the 49ers through 2015, when he will probably retire, based on some of the comments he has made about the contract.  In this new contract, Smith changed his his $7.5 million base salary for this year into a $6.56 million signing bonus.  His 2013 salary now consists of a $940,000 base salary with a $500,000 workout bonus and a roster bonus of $100,000.  In 2014, he gets a base salary of $3.15 million with $2 million of that guaranteed.  His base salary in 2015 will be $2.65 million.  This new contract puts the 49ers at $6.4 million in cap room right now.

This contract is very team friendly as Smith cut his cap hit this year, and added on two more years for cheap.  Considering that when healthy Justin Smith is one of the best 3-4 defensive ends in the game, this contract is a steal for the 49ers.

Smith's impact on the 49ers defensive is very dramatic.  Since Smith partially tore his triceps against the Patriots in week 15 last year, star outside linebacker Aldon Smith had zero sacks in six games. To put that in comparison, Aldon Smith already had 19.5 sacks in 13 games that season, all when Justin Smith was healthy.  Justin Smith takes up blocker which allows Aldon to get easier lanes to the quarterback.  With Justin Smith injured, offensives can just single-team him and put more focus on Aldon, which led to the lack of sacks.

Aldon Smith will be hoping that Justin Smith is fully recovered from triceps surgery, which he had over the offseason, and hope that he is back in his old form.  If Justin Smith is heathly, expect another big year from both of the Smith's, and, it will make Justin Smith's contract look even more team-friendly.

Green Bay Packers release LB Desmond Bishop

In a not surprising move, the Packers have released former starting inside linebacker Desmond Bishop.  This move has been suspected for some time as the Packers were rumored to be shopping Bishop during the draft.  By releasing Bishop, the Packers save $3.464 million in cap room this year but Bishop will still be on the books for $800,000 next year.

The Packers tried to get Bishop to take a pay cut but, he refused so they cut him.  Bishop missed all of last season with a torn hamstring.  The previous two year, 2010 and 2011, Bishop was one of the Packers starting inside linebackers in their 3-4 defense.

After his breakout performance in 2010, the Packers signed him to 4-year contract worth $19 million.  In this season, Bishop became a starter in week four after an injury to Nick Barnett.  Bishop then recorded 103 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 1 interception.  That year, the Packers made it to Super Bowl XLV where Bishop had 8 tackles and recovered a key fumble.

When Bishop was injured last season, Brad Jones stepped up and his performance next to A.J. Hawk made Bishop expendable to the Packers. This offseason, the Packers re-signed Jones to a 3-year deal worth $11.75 million.

Bishop has already visited with the Minnesota Vikings and he was scheduled to meet with the Kansas City Chiefs yesterday.  Despite rumored interest from the Jacksonville Jaguars, Bishop is expected to choose between the Vikings and Chiefs.

Other Moves:

The Atlanta Falcons sign TE Colin Cloherty.
The Atlanta Falcons waive TE Anthony Miller.
The Carolina Panthers waived/injured WR R.J. Webb.
The Carolina Panthers sign WR Dale Moss.
The Dallas Cowboys release DE Anthony Hargrove.
The Denver Broncos sign C Dan Koppen.
The Detroit Lions sign TE Matt Veldman.
The Detroit Lions waive WR Dominique Curry.
The Kansas City Chiefs release DT Daniel Muir.
The Miami Dolphins waive WR Courtney Gardner.
The New England Patriots release K David Ruffer.
The New England Patriots sign RB George Winn.
The New York Jets cut LS Travis Tripucka.
The Pittsburgh Steelers cut TE Zach Pianalto.
The San Francisco 49ers waive WR Brandon Carswell.
The Seattle Seahawks release QB Jerrod Johnson.
The St. Louis Rams sign S Matt Giordano.
The St. Louis Rams release S Don Unamba.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers cut G Jeremy Lewis.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sign CB Mike Adams.
The Tennessee Titans sign OT Barry Richardson.

Monday Morning Quarterback: Gronk's Injury, Irvin's Suspension & Too Much Jets News

May 20, 2013 in NFL Observations

By Staff Writer John Manuel:


News Bits of the Past Week:

Dwight Freeney finally has a team and it is the San Diego Chargers.  For his age and recent drop off in numbers he still was able to get decent money from the Chargers.  The Chargers may have pulled a Vinny Cerrato freak out signing after Melvin Ingram went down for the 2013 season.  Feels like Jason Taylor after the Philip Daniels season ending injury.  Freeney wasn't the same in the 3-4 as an outside backer, but maybe he can become a big veteran presence that new coach Mike McCoy has to be looking for since the team has seemed to lack that the past few seasons.

Bruce Irvin was suspended for the first four games in the upcoming season and no one seems shocked.  Irvin was a solid part of Seattle's success last season as a rookie who many felt his past and size made him way too high of a first round selection.  Pete Carroll seemed to be prepared for something like this to happen by signing both Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett in free agency so the Seahawks should be fine.  The question shouldn't be about weeks 1-4, but more about Irvin's longer term situation.

Rob Gronkowski's immediate future now has major questions after we learned of now two injury concerns.  Not only is his surgically repaired arm still an issue but even more concerning may be his sudden back issues.  Gronk has been a game changer in his short career like Calvin Johnson, Adrian Peterson and Arian Foster but he did come into this league with major injury concerns.  Could part or possibly all of Gronk's 2013 season be in question?  RG3 injury watch may soon be replaced by Gronk injury watch.

Why the New York Jets are Going to be Horrible Again Update:

No team gets more coverage and is as bad as the Jets.  Even with the release of Tim Tebow NFL informers like ESPN continue to slam us with Jets news.  The Jets were bad last year and they will bad this year again.  The past week they most likely lost journeyman running back Mike Goodson for awhile after his arrest.  Problem is that the Jets were counting on Goodson to compete with Chris Ivory as their feature back in 2013.  Now its most likely Ivory's job and he will probably be high on fantasy draft boards but is he any better than the 4th back he was on the Saints?  Maybe not but he is a Jet now so we will hear plenty about him as Rex Ryan will most likely proclaim him a future 2000 yard runner.

Main problem for Ivory and Rex is still questions on their offensive line and of course the quarterback position.  David Garrard has now left the Jets after deciding he couldn't physically do it anymore.  Garrard had a good shot to start the season as the starter but now Ryan has to most likely choose to go back to Mark Sanchez or throw rookie Geno Smith to the wolves day 1.  Either way, I don't like their chances.

Top 5 Teams of as Today:

1. San Francisco 49ers 
NFC Champs are loaded for 2013 but will see a much tougher NFC West than past years.  A potential superstar quarterback leads a team that has made additions like Boldin, Reid, and Nnamdi to make a return run to the Super Bowl.  What may be missed is the addition of Phil Dawson as an upgrade over the struggling David Akers.

2. Denver Broncos 
Hard to choose them over Baltimore but I think like the 49ers they are well stocked also.  Manning in his second year in Denver figures to be Manning again.  They lost Dumervil but I am not as concerned as most are about that.  Denver is still looking to upgrade their roster.  Welker could be huge in 2013, especially after seeing what Brandon Stokely was able to do in 2012.

3. Baltimore Ravens 
The champs are almost even on my list to Denver.  Denver will have a chance week one to prove it to try and topple the defending champions.  Baltimore will have many areas to watch this season on the field with questions at receiver and on the sidelines without the leadership of Ray Ray.  But remember that John Harbaugh is still on the sidelines and it’s his team so they should be in good shape.

4. Seattle Seahawks 
The Seahawks loaded up this off season to make a run at the Niners not only the NFC West although they were close last season.  Percy Harvin should step in and make a difference but watch out for what Antoine Winfield brings to Seattle and his impact to an already solid secondary.

5  New England Patriots 
No shock here although I almost went with Green Bay or Houston.  Gronk's health is as key as if Amendola can step in for Welker.  But the Pats still have Belichick and Brady which will keep them near the top of any NFL rankings.

Out There Story of the Week:

Robert Griffin III has quickly skyrocketed in the past year to the top of NFL stardom.  And this past week we saw how popular he is or how crazy some fans are.  Griffin's wedding registry was found and many fans sent gifts to RG3 for his upcoming nuptials.  This is crazy, but if fans want to do that so be it.  I wouldn't personally, but it is their choice.

And it seems some have questioned Griffin on this and he has fired back via his twitter account to defend himself and his fans.  Griffin is the most popular person in Washington DC and I don't mind this story as a break from the still constant discussion of who was at fault in the Seattle game.    We did get this funny pic from RG3 as a gift to us.