View Full Version : Forum Offseason Media Thread
02-21-2012, 08:51 AM
New Orleans Saints sign:
LB Ernie Sims - Low - Depth and a potential starter at LB.
CB Pacman Jones - Mid - Likely the nickel corner.
S Tom Zbikowski - Mid - Potential starter at SS with Roman Harper moving on.
02-21-2012, 08:53 AM
Atlanta Falcons sign:
S James Sanders - Mid - Spent last season as a backup with the team and could earn the starting job with DeCoud moving on.
CB Marcus Trufant - Low - Depth at CB who could see action with Grimes franchised and Dunta Robinson wildly inconsistent.
02-21-2012, 08:54 AM
Carolina Panthers sign:
CB Dominique Foxworth - Low - Potentially the nickel corner while he shows he's recovered from injury.
WR Legadu Naanee - VM - Depth WR and special teamer returning to the team.
DE Antwan Applewhite - VM - Rotational pass rusher for depth.
02-21-2012, 08:58 AM
Tampa Bay Bucs sign:
DE Aaron Kampman - VM - Veteran DE depth to add to the rotation with last year's highly drafted youngsters.
CB Tim Jennings - L - Potential starter or at least a solid nickel corner.
OT Brandon Keith - VM - Backup swing tackle at least, could compete with Trueblood for the RT job.
02-21-2012, 08:59 AM
San Francisco 49ers sign:
WR Courtney Roby - Low - Depth WR and special teamer.
OG Chilo Rachal - Low - Depth on the o-line with experience in the system.
LB Mario Haggan - Low - Backup at ILB with Grant being traded away.
02-21-2012, 09:00 AM
Seattle Seahawks sign:
LB Wesley Woodyard - Mid - Likely starter if he kicks outside.
OG Anthony Herrera - Low - Experienced depth player behind an o-line that is injury prone.
02-21-2012, 09:02 AM
Arizona Cardinals sign:
OT Jeff Backus - Mid - Could start at either tackle position or provide a veteran backup swing tackle.
LB Clark Haggans - Low - LB depth with experience in the system.
02-21-2012, 09:02 AM
St. Louis Rams sign:
RB Jason Snelling - Low - Backup for Stephen Jackson.
02-21-2012, 09:05 AM
Baltimore Ravens sign:
C Jason Brown - Low - Former Raven returns to Baltimore as the likely starter at center or potentially guard.
LB Gary Guyton - VM - Depth at the position with the potential to start next to Ray Lewis.
DE Cory Redding - VM - Received no interest on the market, so he returns to his niche with the Ravens.
RB Cedric Benson - VM - Surprisingly got no other offers on the market, so he will head to Baltimore to backup Ray Rice in the role vacated by the retiring Ricky Williams, another former Texas RB.
LB Dannell Ellerbe - VM - See Guyton above + system familiarity.
C Matt Birk - VM - Savvy veteran returns as the potential starter at center.
OT Bryant McKinnie - VM - Played surprisingly well last season as a trash heap pick-up and returns in the same role this year.
02-21-2012, 09:07 AM
Pittsburgh Steelers sign:
OL Trai Essex - Low - Versatile o-line backup with system familiarity.
RB Knowshon Moreno - VM - First round bust will get a shot in Pittsburgh as a backup with the RB situation in question due to Mendenhall's injury.
02-21-2012, 09:14 AM
Cincinnati Bengals sign:
K Mike Nugent - Low - Bengals bring back their kicker from the last couple seasons.
FB Mike Sellers - Low - Big bruising veteran fullback.
02-21-2012, 09:15 AM
Cleveland Brown sign:
OT Oniel Cousins - Low - "It's a job" says the GM. Backup tackle.
DT Tony Brown - Low - Veteran d-line depth.
02-21-2012, 09:17 AM
New England Patriots sign:
RB Benjarvus Green-Ellis - Low - Got some minor interest elsewhere, but chose to come back to the Pats where he's enjoyed success.
DT Gerard Warren - VM - Depth DL player.
TE Garrett Mills - VM - Former Belichick favorite returns to the team as TE depth.
02-21-2012, 09:22 AM
NY Jets sign:
S Sean Jones - Low - Returns as a potential starter or at least quality depth with Leonhard moving on.
S Deon Grant - Mid - Like Jones, provides a potential starter or at least quality depth. May have returned to the Giants but the Jets offered a good deal more money than they did.
S Courtney Greene - Low - Safety depth.
OT Winston Justice - Low - Potential starter at RT or at least good depth.
OT Robert Turner - VM - Team favorite who will provide tackle depth.
LB Bart Scott - VM - Received no other offers, so he swallows his pride and returns to the Jets at a majorly reduced deal.
OLB Bryan Thomas - VM - Another Rex Ryan favorite who will return from injury on a reduced salary.
02-21-2012, 09:25 AM
Buffalo Bills sign:
LB Kirk Morrison - VM - Veteran LB depth.
OLB Shawne Merriman - Low - Will work in as a rotational/situational pass rusher on a cheaper deal.
CB Cedric Griffin - Mid - Potential starter at CB or at least solid depth.
S Bryan Scott - Low - Will provide depth and probably be used in the nickel S/LB role again.
DE Chris Kelsay - VM - Long time vet returns to the team as DE depth.
02-21-2012, 09:28 AM
Miami Dolphins sign:
DE Frostee Rucker - Low - Very solid base 4-3 end on the cheap side.
LB Frank Zombo - Low - Could be a solid starter at LB or at least provide good depth.
S Yeremiah Bell - VM - Veteran safety returns to the team to provide depth.
C Fernando Velasco - VM - Depth on the OL.
OT Chad Clifton - VM - Experienced in the system and will provide depth.
DT Andre Fluellen - VM - DL depth.
02-21-2012, 09:31 AM
Houston Texans sign:
CB Terrence Newman - Low - More popular on the market than expected, Newman signs with Houston to play under his former coach in Dallas Wade Phillips.
WR Kevin Walter - VM - Veteran WR experienced in the system returns to the team on a reduced salary.
DE Tim Bulman - VM - DL depth.
QB Jake Delhomme - VM - Veteran presence at backup QB to tutor Yates and be there in case Schaub gets hurt again.
02-21-2012, 09:34 AM
WR Josh Morgan - Mid - Could be the #2 WR across from Britt and brings a higher ceiling to the table when healthy than the Titans other WRs.
DT Anthony Hargrove - Low - DL depth.
02-21-2012, 09:37 AM
Indianapolis Colts sign:
DT Shaun Rogers - Low - Rogers was popular on the market but Colts gave him the best opportunity to be a full time starter in Pagano's aggressive scheme.
LB Jameel McClain - Low - Comes to a guaranteed starting job with the Colts and is familiar with Pagano's scheme from Baltimore.
WR Jacoby Jones - VM - Depth WR and potential return man.
OT Quinn Ojinaka - VM - Depth at OT.
QB Chad Pennington - VM - Veteran mentor for the rookie the draft #1 overall.
02-21-2012, 09:40 AM
Denver Broncos sign:
CB Richard Marshall - Mid - Likely starter at CB.
C Jamaal Jackson - Low - Potential starter at C or at least experienced depth.
G Manual Ramirez - Low - Depth on the OL.
FB Moran Norris - Low - Bruising FB should the Broncos stick with the Tebow offense.
DT Rocky Bernard - Mid - Likely starter at DT.
02-21-2012, 09:41 AM
San Diego Chargers sign:
CB William G ay - Low - Potential nickel corner and depth.
DT Casey Hampton - Low - Depth at NT.
DE Luis Castillo - Low - Returns to the team that drafted him at reduced salary.
02-21-2012, 09:46 AM
Oakland Raiders sign:
QB Vince Young - VM - Compete with Pryor to backup Carson Palmer.
LB Geno Hayes - VM - Experienced starter who may start or at least provide LB depth.
OG Jacob Bell - VM - Experienced starter who may start or at least provide OL depth.
S Haruki Nakamura - VM - Good depth player and special teamer who will be given the chance to win a starting job.
RB Mewelde Moore - VM - Shifty veteran 3rd down back to create a 3 headed monster with Bush's power and Taiwan's speed.
DT Jonathan Fanene - VM - Quality depth and rotational player at DT.
DE William Hayes - VM - Depth and rotational player at DE.
OT Guy Whimper - VM - Started 15 games last year for Jacksonville and will at least provide a veteran backup swing tackle.
LB Joe Mays - VM - Experienced in Dennis Allen's defense and will at least provide depth.
DT Marcus Thomas - VM - Experienced in Dennis Allen's defense and can be a rotational DT.
CB Shawntae Spencer - VM - Potential starter or at least some depth at CB.
CB Kelly Jennings - VM - Depth and potential nickel corner.
02-21-2012, 09:49 AM
Kansas City Chiefs sign:
S Tyrell Johnson - Low - Depth at safety.
WR Early Doucet - Mid - Potential starter at WR.
LB Stewart Bradley - Mid - Potential starter at ILB.
C Dan Koppen - Mid - Will compete with Rodney Hudson and at least provide a veteran backup center.
02-21-2012, 11:27 AM
Green Bay Packers sign:
OLB Aaron Maybin - Mid - (RFA 2nd Round Tender - NY Jets) - Maybin was a huge bust in Buffalo before breaking out as a situational pass rusher in NY last season. Without a pass rusher to take advantage of the attention Clay Matthews could draw, the Packers defense dropped to one of the worst in the league last season. They feel that Maybin may be able to fill that role and are willing to part with a 2nd round pick to make it happen. The Jets will have 24 hours from this posting to match the deal (if they can.)
TE Visanthe Shiancoe - Low - After trading franchised TE Jermichael Finley to Buffalo, the Packers were suddenly thin at the position. Shiancoe doesn't have the raw athleticism of Finlsey but is a consistent, solid-all-around TE who will provide some consistency at the position.
QB Dennis Dixon - Low - Dixon received a few offers to be the backup QB during the 2nd round of free agency, but opted to go to the Packers with the money being equal. Rodgers has missed a game or two each of the previous seasons and the Packers have a track record spanning the last two decades of developing their backup QBs into starters elsewhere effectively.
**UPDATE** - It has been pointed out to me that in order to tender an RFA with draft pick compensation, the team must have their original pick in that round. Since the Packers traded their original 2nd round pick to Buffalo in the Jermichael Finley trade, their offer to Aaron Maybin is null and void. He will remain a tendered free agent of the Jets.
02-21-2012, 01:56 PM
New England Patriots Free Agency Recap
Randy Moss is back in town.
The bulk of free agency has come and gone and New England moves into the 2012 NFL Draft with two selections in the first round, two in the second round, one in the third round, one in the fourth round, one in the fifth round, and two in the sixth round, meaning that the AFC Champions are poised to load their roster with talent for another shot at a Lombardi Trophy. So how did the free agent period go for the Patriots? Read on for a position-by-position overview of the Patriots' free agent moves.
Brian Hoyer was traded to Denver yesterday to challenge incumbent starter Tim Tebow for a modest price after the Patriots' negotiations with Washington fell through. Head coach Bill Belichick was reportedly dissatisfied with the lethargy of Washington's front office to pull the trigger on a trade; the Redskins will enter the 2012 NFL Draft with the 34 year-old David Garrard as their starting quarterback coming off of a back surgery which prevented him from playing in 2011. Adding a third quarterback in the draft is a potential option for the Patriots, although Bill Belichick may feel comfortable with just two quarterbacks and a practice squad option; Mike Hartline is a possibility after being waived by the team during roster cutdowns.
Subtractions: Brian Hoyer (traded to Broncos), Mike Hartline (released)
Running back is a position which will likely see relatively little turnover from 2011 to 2012. Free agent BenJarvus Green-Ellis opted to take a hometown discount in order to return to New England, where he will join Danny Woodhead, Stevan Ridley, and Shane Vereen in the backfield. The only absences will be fullback Lousaka Polite, who was released this offseason but will likely find himself on the team's emergency list, and long-time fan favorite Kevin Faulk, who was drafted by New England in 1999 and spent his entire career with the club; however, Faulk attempted to return from a torn ACL in 2011 at the age of 35 and found his role snatched away by Woodhead.
Re-signed: RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis (low)
Subtractions: Kevin Faulk (retired), Lousaka Polite (released)
The most intriguing inclusion in New England is undoubtedly wide receiver Randy Moss, who returns after an extended absence at 35 years old to try and provide the Patriots with the deep threat they have lacked since his departure in the middle of the 2010 season. Whether Moss can still produce in the NFL after floundering in both Minnesota and Tennessee and spending the 2011 season in retirement remains to be seen, but his prior success in the organization and freakish fluidity and coordination make him a worthwhile low-cost investment. Moss joins Wes Welker as the team's two primary targets; Welker was slapped with the franchise tag. Deion Branch re-signed with the organization, but appeared to slow down in 2011 and may be headed for a reduced role in 2012. Brandon Lloyd and Matthew Slater were also pursued by the Patriots, but ended up joining defensive end Andre Carter in Jacksonville, who paid all three players above market value in order to procure their signatures. Wide receivers Britt Davis, Chad Ochocinco, and Tiquan Underwood were all cut from the team and remain available in free agency.
Additions: Randy Moss (low)
Re-signed: Deion Branch (low), Wes Welker (franchise tag)
Subtractions: Britt Davis (released), Chad Ochocinco (released), Matthew Slater (Jaguars), Tiquan Underwood (released)
Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, both 2010 NFL Draft picks, form the most dangerous duo of tight ends in the NFL. They will be a focus of the team's offensive strategy, while tight end Garrett Mills opted to return to New England on a contract for the veteran minimum after spending some of the 2011 season on the Patriots' practice squad. He is expected to to be the top reserve at H-Back behind Aaron Hernandez.
Re-signed: Garrett Mills (vet. Minimum)
Mark LeVoir is another former Patriot who will be returning to Foxboro on a low-cost deal, replacing Matt Light as one of the team's four offensive tackles alongside Nate Solder, Sebastian Vollmer, and Marcus Cannon. LeVoir was trimmed during roster cutdowns last season, but his versatility and experience in the system make him a logical fit for roster depth; he spent last season playing for Josh McDaniels in St. Louis. The offensive line will have to adapt to the departures of Light, center Dan Koppen, and fourth guard Donald Thomas, but overall the unit should be just as productive as they were in 2011, if not moreso. Getting younger and more athletic appeared to be a priority in the trenches. Matt Kopa and Nick McDonald remain free agents.
Additions: Mark LeVoir (low)
Re-signed: Dan Connolly (mid)
Subtractions: Matt Kopa (released), Dan Koppen (Chiefs), Matt Light (traded to Cardinals), Nick McDonald (released), Donald Thomas (released)
Making upgrades along the defensive line was a point of emphasis for the Patriots during the offseason; Bill Belichick was forced to incorporate a variety of different defensive fronts in order to mask the team's deficiencies in 2011. The Patriots signed Kendall Langford from Miami and Marcus Spears from Dallas, two five-techniques with experience playing for Bill Parcells who are projected to start in New England's odd fronts. Mark Anderson opted to re-sign with New England and reprise his role as a pass-rush specialist. Defensive ends Andre Carter, Shaun Ellis, and Eric Moore all entered free agency; Moore remains available, while Ellis signed with the Detroit Lions for the veteran minimum. Florida products Jermaine Cunningham and Justin Trattou were cut, although Trattou remains a candidate to return to New England's practice squad after being acquired from the New York Giants for defensive end and sexy Rutgers man-beast Alex Silvestro. Gerard Warren, another Gator alum, returns on a deal for the veteran minimum to provide depth.
Additions: Kendall Langford (mid), Marcus Spears (mid)
Re-signed: Mark Anderson (mid), Kyle Love (exclusive rights), Gerard Warren (veteran minimum)
Subtractions: Andre Carter (Jaguars), Jermaine Cunningham (released), Shaun Ellis (Lions), Eric Moore (free agent), Alex Silvestro (traded to Giants), Justin Trattou (released)
Last offseason, the Patriots were linked to both Manny Lawson and Matt Roth but failed to land either player. Both figure into New England's plans in 2012 after signing mid-level deals with the team. Roth is a similar player to Rob Ninkovich and is projected to play both defensive end and left outside linebacker, the team's “elephant” position. He has extensive experience playing for Josh McDaniels and very appealing size at 6'4” and 275 pounds. Lawson is 6'5” and 250 pounds and figures to play outside linebacker in both the 3-4 and 4-3; he is most noteworthy for his run defense, coverage ability, and athleticism, but is limited as a pass rusher. Tracy White was brought back in order to lead New England's special teams, while Gary Guyton, Christian Cox, Aaron Lavarias, and Mike Rivera all left town. Cox and Lavarias are both practice squad candidates.
Additions: Manny Lawson (mid), Matt Roth (mid)
Re-signed: Tracy White (low)
Subtractions: Christian Cox (released), Gary Guyton (Ravens), Aaron Lavarias (released), Mike Rivera (released)
The defensive backfield was a position of weakness in 2011, but with the signing of Michael Griffin, the Patriots are hoping that the secondary has been stabilized for years to come. Ras-I Dowling returns from injury to compliment Devin McCourty as the team's two starting cornerbacks, and the Patriots signed Chris Carr and re-signed Antwaun Molden to low-level deals in order to provide depth on the outside. Kyle Arrington and Sterling Moore are the team's two nickel cornerbacks. Patrick Chung will start at strong safety, with Sergio Brown and Josh Barrett providing the team's depth at the back end. James Ihedigbo, Bret Lockett, Nathan Jones, Ross Ventrone, and Malcolm Williams all left town. Williams is a practice squad candidate, while Ross Ventrone is a mortal lock to be signed and released at least fifteen times in 2012.
Additions: Chris Carr (low), Michael Griffin (elite)
Re-signed: Antwaun Molden (low)
Subtractions: James Ihedigbo (free agent), Bret Lockett (free agent), Nathan Jones (free agent), Ross Ventrone (released), Malcolm Williams (released)
The Patriots did not make any moves at kicker, punter, or long snapper, but lost special teams contributors James Ihedigbo, Matthew Slater, and Malcolm Williams. Chris Carr has experience returning punts, and Antwaun Molden is another potential returner who contributes on coverage units. Tracy White was brought back as one of the team's special teams captains.
02-21-2012, 02:53 PM
Oakland Raiders Free Agency Recap
New GM Reggie McKenzie reportedly considered letting go of QB Carson Palmer and attempting to resign the much cheaper Jason Campbell, but was dissuaded by others in the Raiders organization. So, Palmer will remain the started headed into 2012. Terrell Pryor, selected in the 3rd round of the supplemental draft last offseason, will also remain on the roster and will battle free agent pickup Vince Young for the job. Young signed a low end deal with no guaranteed money, so it's possible that he may be released if he loses the battle for the backup job in training camp.
Most notably, the Raiders traded oft-injured but talented RB Darren McFadden to the division rival Denver Broncos for a first round pick. Al Davis may not have approved of the move, but this was a clear sign that this is McKenzie's team now. The move picked up a first round pick for the Raiders who were lacking their own as a result of the Carson Palmer trade. After the trade, the Raiders resigned their own free agent in RB Michael Bush. Bush is a big bruising back who will be the primary ball carrier to pair with lightning quick 2nd year player Taiwan Jones. The Raiders weren't done however and also picked up shifty 3rd down back Mewelde Moore, formerly of the Steelers. Moore would be the best pass catching and pass blocking back on the roster and will likely see duty in passing situations. Fullbacks Marcel Reese and Manase Tonga remain on the roster as well.
This is a position of immense talent and youth for the Raiders. There is plenty of speed to be had between DHB, Jacoby Ford, Denarius Moore and Louis Murphy. Derrick Jones rounds out the group as a 5th WR. The team did not make any additions or subtractions here.
The well rounded Kevin Boss remains the clear starter at the position, backed up by Brandon Myers, David Ausberry, and Richard Gordon. The team did not make any signings or releases here either.
The team made resigning center Samson Satele one its top priorities and he returns to the team in that position. That keeps the left 3/5 of the line stable with Jared Veldheer at LT and Stefan Wisniewski at LG. Incumbent RG Cooper Carlisle will battle with athletic youngster Bruce Campbell and the recently signed veteran Jacob Bell for the starting RG spot. Joseph Barksdale remains the starter for now at RT while the team brought in veteran Guy Whimper from the Jaguars as a backup swing tackle option.
This remains an area of need for the Raiders, as Matt Shaughessy was the only true 4-3 DE already on on the roster. Lamarr Houston would be best served moving inside to DT. The team did add former Buc William Hayes for depth at the position.
As previously stated, the team would like to move Lamarr Houston into the DT spot to rotate with Richard Seymour and Tommie Kelly. Desmond Bryant is another backup already on the roster. The team also added former Bengal Jonathan Fanene and Marcus Thomas, who played under new head coach Dennis Allen in Denver. They will provide depth to the position as well.
Despite his hefty prince tag, LB Aaron Curry has remained on the roster and figures to start on the weakside. Rolando McClain remains at MLB for now, though his legal issues may become a problem down the line. The team signed former Bronco Joe Mays as a backup at the MLB position just in case. Mays played under Allen in Denver and is familiar with the scheme. Kamerion Wimbley remains the starter at the SAM position. The team also brought in former Buc Geno Hayes who has a good deal of starting experience. He can backup any of the positions in a pinch.
With the release of Stanford Routt early in the offseason, the Raiders were left with very little at the position. Youngsters DeMarcus Van Dyke, Chimdi Chekwa and Bryan McCann return to the roster, as do new additions Shawntae Spencer and Kelly Jennings, two experienced veterans. The best corner currently on the roster is likely Jason Allen, who had a career year in Houston last season. There figures to be a wide open competition during training camp between these players to determine the final pecking order.
Tyvon Branch was allowed to walk and eventually signed with the Redskins. That leaves Michael Huff the starter at FS and Marvin Mitchell at SS with Jerome Boyd in a backup role. The team also added former Raven Haruki Nakamura to bolster the position. He may challenge Mitchell for the starting SS job.
Seabass and Lechler. Nuff said. Plus speedzzzz at WR to return kicks and punts.
02-21-2012, 04:54 PM
Bucs Match Deal on Michael Bennett
by DC Insider Rick Bennett
The Buccaneers have exercised their option to match the deal the Buffalo Bills offered to restricted free agent DE Michael Bennett.
To clear enough cap space to match a Mid-level deal, the Bucs released the following players, saving ~$4 million in cap space.
WR Sammie Stroughter
DE Daniel Teo'Nesheim
DE Nick Reed
RB Kregg Lumpkin
TE Zach Pianalto
02-21-2012, 06:36 PM
New Cardinals flock to Arizona
The Arizona Cardinals held multiple press conferences today to introduce the plethora of new players to the public. The 1st of the day was for Peyton Manning needless to say this was the most highly anticipated.
When asked why Manning had chosen the Arizona Cardinals he replied with simply, "It's the best situation for me and my family, Larry Fitzgerald and I have gotten close throughout the years and both of us have the same drive and desire to win a Championship here in Arizona". Also at the press conference was his former leading receiver Reggie Wayne. Wayne was brought on after the signing of Manning along with WR Robert Meachem to provide the All-Pro QB with enough fire power to start WWIII. Wayne ended up signing for lower than expected and said, "There simply wasn't a market for me, but Arizona is better than anything I could of wished for".
The next press conference was for bookends Matt Light and Jeff Backus who will start at left and right tackle for the Cardinals. While neither are premiere talents at their position both are grizzled veterans and should benefit from Manning's pre and post snap reads. Both were excited for the opportunity to be a part of what looks like a special team.
And the last press inference of the day was held for the only defensive addition to the Cardinals, OLB, Anthony Spencer. Spencer hadn't found many suitors until later in the Free Agency process but once they did come calling he had his heart set on Arizona. With a guaranteed starting spot and an elite d-line in front of him Spencer may very well have found the right situation to reach his potential.
02-22-2012, 08:13 AM
Report: Two Teams Trying to Trade Up for Griffin?
#2 or #3 Pick?
The Colts couldn't even wait for the draft to officially begin before announcing that they are taking Stanford QB Andrew Luck with the #1 overall pick.
Now, it looks like a bidding war has ensued for the next two picks. Rumors are swirling that both the Browns and Redskins are trying to strike 11th hour deals to secure the rights to Baylor's Robert Griffin III.
The Browns make sense in that they have less of a distance to cover between their pick at #4 and the #2 pick. They also have two first rounders to work with thanks to their draft day trade last year with Atlanta. They currently sport incumbent Colt McCoy and the recently signed Kevin Kolb at QB...neither is an ideal starting option.
Washington, meanwhile, famously missed out on signing Peyton Manning and currently have recent free agent signees David Garrard and Matt Leinart at QB. They have more of a distance to cover in order to get into position to draft Griffin but may be the more desperate team.
The Rams have reported spoken with both teams and currently have a deal all but finalized with one of them. Should things fall through, the other will be in a great position to land Griffin. Apparently, one of the teams does have a contingency deal in place already with the Vikings, who hold the #3 pick, should the Rams stay at #2.
Keep an eye on this story as it continues to develop.
02-22-2012, 09:33 AM
Indianapolis Colts Free Agency Recap
Quarterback: Well, Peyton Manning will be officially moving on from the franchise where he has spend the last 13 seasons. He was simply owed too much bonus money to keep and the wedge driven between he and owner Jim Irsay was too great to overcome. The Colts have already announced that they will draft Stanford QB Andrew Luck with their #1 overall pick. Luck figures to be the day 1 starter as a rookie, just as Manning once was. After releasing last year's QBs Curtis Painter and Dan Orlovsky, the Colts were left without a backup option, so they signed long time veteran Chad Pennington. Pennington sat out the 2011 season after suffering an offseason knee injury but will return to action this year as the veteran mentor for the youngster Luck.
Running Back: This is a position the Colts have remained steadfast at so far this offseason, making no additions or releases. Joseph Addai will head into 2012 as the starter backed up by Delone Carter and Donald Brown Jerome Felton will apparently remain the team's FB.
Wide Receiver: Once a position of great strength for the Colts, the receiver position suddenly looks very thin. The team overpaid to resign Pierre Garcon who, while he had a career best year in 2011, was not worth the Elite WR money the Colts paid to him. He will now be Andrew Luck's primary target at the position. Long time veteran Reggie Wayne was not retained and will join Manning in Arizona. The oft-injured Anthony Gonzalez was also allowed to walk and has not yet signed with another team. Austin Collie and Blair White are currently the #2 and #3 receivers. Look for the Colts to add another player to the position, potentially in the mid-rounds.
Tight End: The Colts apparently came very close to releasing Dallas Clark, but opted to keep him. He will head into 2012 as the starter at the position. He will be backed up by Brodie Eldridge and Anthony Hill while previous backupJacob Tamme signed as a free agent in Atlanta.
Offensive Line: This remains an area of serious concern for the Colts, especially now that they'll be protecting a rookie QB instead of a wily vet like Manning. Second year player Anthony Castonzo will likely be called upon to anchor the LT position and the team did resign Quinn Ojinnaka who started 3 games for them last year as insurance. Veteran center Jeff Saturday jumped to the division rival Jaguars as a free agent, as did backup Mike Pollack who went to the Eagles. Guard Ryan Diem signed a deal with the Bengals. Jamie Richard and second year man Ben Ijalana will likely be asked to man the guard spots. The Colts badly need more help along the o-line and could use new starters at C and RT.
Defensive Line: The Colts will reportedly be switching to a 3-4 base defense with Chuck Pagano at head coach. Due to previous GM Bill Polian's preference for tiny defenders, the Colts will need to really overhaul their defensive roster in order to make the switch. Some combination of Fili Moala, Antonio Johnson, Tyler Brayton and Drake Nevis will fill out the starting spots and depth on the three man defensive line. The team also resigned DE Jamaal Anderson who will be added to that mix as well. DT Shaun Rogers was signed to be the likely starter at NT and would be the only player of the group with experience on a 3-4 DL. Additional help may be picked up here via the draft.
Outside Linebacker: The Colts would have liked to bring back stud pass rushers Robert Mathis and Dwight Freeney to man the OLB spots in their 3-4 defense, the team only managed to resign Mathis. Freeney was released in an attempt to reduce his salary but opted to instead jump ship to Cincy where he will remain a 4-3 DE. Jarret Johnson does have experience in Pagano's defense from their days in Baltimore and will be play opposite Mathis. The transition to the 3-4 may also help the Colts get something out of apparent first round bust Jerry Hughes who will also convert to OLB and may see work as a situational pass rusher.
Inside Linebacker: Veterans Gary Brackett and Ernie Sims were both shown the door, leaving Pat Angerer as the only likely starter on the roster. The team did manage to resign Philip Wheeler who may find more success in Pagano's attacking defense as it is similar to what he played in during college. Kevin Bently, AJ Edds and Scott Lutrus will battle for the backup jobs.
Corner: The Colts retained restricted free agent Jacob Lacey on a one year tender, and he figures to start if healthy. Jeraud Powers is the only other Colt worth mentioning at the position which was a revolving door last year. Justin Tryon was added as a low level free agent signing. This may be another position where the Colts could bring in help via the draft.
Safety: The Colts released two former starters in Melvin Bullitt and David Caldwell leaving Antoine Bethea as the most sure thing at the position. Jermele Hines and Joe Lefeged would battle for the other safety spot if the season started today.
Specialists: Adam Vinatieri and Pat McAfee remain the current kicker and punter respectively. Lefeged, who handled return duties last year, would likely handle them again without additional players being added.
02-22-2012, 10:25 AM
Dallas Cowboys Free Agency Recap
Quarterback: Tony Romo remains the starter obviously, but backup Jon Kitna has retired, leaving Stephen McGee as the de facto backup. While plenty of outsiders question Romo as a starter, it's pretty clear that Cowboys see him as their franchise QB. It's possible that the Cowboys draft someone in the mid-rounds to develop as the future backup.
Running Back: Felix Jones is likely to remain the primary starter, though a healthy DeMarco Murray will certainly challenge him for that role. Chauncey Washington is currently the 3rd back on the roster and could be upgraded. Tony Fiammetta was retained on a one year RFA tender to play FB.
Wide Receiver: Miles Austin and Dez Bryant remain the clear starters while Jesse Holly, Kevin Ogletree and Dwayne Harris return as depth players. The Cowboys did lose breakout 2011 receiver Laurent Robinson to the Bengals via free agency however, so look for them to make a move in the draft to add a possible #3 WR.
Tight End: Jason Garrett LOVES calling plays for the TEs...most notably screen passes...so he'll be saddened at the loss of Martellus Bennett to the Bears. Jason Witten remains at starter backed up by primary blocking TE John Phillips. This could be another position for the Cowboys to use a mid-round pick on, likely on an athletic pass catching TE to develop.
Offensive Line: The Cowboys seem set at the tackle spot with starters Doug Free and Tyron Smith, backed up by Jeremy Parnell. The team resigned guard Montrae Holland to compete with/backup Kyle Kosier, Derrick Dockery and 2nd year man David Arkin. Center is the most likely position to see a potential upgrade where starter Phil Costa struggled badly last year. He is backed up by 2nd year players Bill Nagy and Kevin Kowalski.
Defensive Line: Rob Ryan's first year was a mixed bag. He'll lose Marcus Spears at DE but gain free agent signing Red Bryant who was a starter in Seattle and is probably better suited to the 3-4 end position anyway. Jason Hatcher, Kenyon Coleman and Clifton Geathers will provide the other starter and depth. Jay Ratliff remains the starter at NT, though the long rumored move to DE could finally be in the works. Josh Brent is the team's backup NT. The team also took a free agent flier on Tommie Harris whose role in the 3-4 is not year clear. He may just be used as a situational pass rusher if he makes the final roster at all.
Outside Linebacker: All world pass rusher DeMarcus Ware returns as one starter, but the team lost Anthony Spencer to free agency. Returning players Victor Butler and Alex Albright will battle free agent pick Erik Walden for the other starting job, possibly being joined by any draft picks the Cowboys make at the position.
Inside Linebacker: Long time starters Keith Brooking and Bradie James are free agents who have not been resigned, leaving Sean Lee as the top returning player at the position. Second year player Bruce Carter will have the inside track for the other starting job with free agent pickup Tim Dobbins as the primary backup for now.
Corner: This was easily the biggest trouble area of Dallas last year and it remains as such right now. Mike Jenkins and Orlando Scandrick would be the starters if the season started today, but both struggled with injuries and inconsistency last year. Long time veteran Terrence Newman was released. Free agent Alan Ball has struggled badly at both CB and S, but is reported to be a favorite of owner/GM Jerry Jones, so he was resigned for depth. Look for this position to be addressed early and possibly often in the draft.
Safety: This was another position that struggled for Dallas in 2011. They return starter Gerald Sensabaugh and also resigned Abram Elam. The Cowboys should not want to enter the 2012 season with those two as starters however, so other moves should be made. Craig Steltz, a former Bear, was added as depth and a special teams player.
Specialists: Dan Bailey returns as the kicker, however, the team has not yet signed a punter. Former punter Mat McBriar remains a free agent and may be resigned if the position is not addressed during the draft. The Cowboys may not wish to risk starters Felix Jones and Dez Bryant to injury any long as the primary return men, but could stand to upgrade Kevin Ogletree who is the secondary return man for both punts and kicks.
02-22-2012, 11:10 AM
Miami Dolphins Free Agency Recap
Quarterback: The Dolphins were one of the teams in the Peyton Manning sweepstakes, but lost out of the former Colt. Instead, they signed former Packer Matt Flynn. Flynn will compete with incumbent Matt Moore for the starting job, and should win it easily. Pat Devlin remains the team's 3rd QB from last year and could be challenged for the job if Miami chooses to use a mid-late round draft pick on a developmental QB.
Running Back: Reggie Bush finally found some success in the NFL and should retain his role as starter. Second year man Daniel Thomas should see an increased role as well. The Dolphins will retain RFA Lex Hilliard as the 3rd RB with Charles Clay at FB.
Wide Receiver: Brandon Marshall remains as the team's #1 target with Brian Hartline and Davone Bess as the #2 and #3 options. Clyde Gates is the only other notable name on the roster for depth. The team did add veteran free agent Donald Driver from the Packers. While his on-field contributions will likely be minor at best, he could be very helpful in teaching new head coach Joe Philbin's offense to the rest of the team along with Flynn.
Tight End: The Dolphins return the solid but unspectacular Anthony Fasano at starter backed up by Will Yeatman and Jeron Mastrud.
Offensive Line: Jake Long will remain the starter at left tackle, no question. The Dolphins also brought in free agent Anthony Collins to compete with Marc Colombo for the RT job. Former Packer Chad Clifton was brought in as another backup option and, like Donald Driver, to help the transition to Philbin's offense scheme. The team lost long-time starter Vernon Carey at RG, where he'll likely be replaced with John Jerry to go with Richie Incognito at LG. Adding some additional depth here may be a possibility in the draft. Mike Pouncey is the starter at center where he'll be backed up by free agent acquisition Fernando Velasco.
Defensive Line: Dolphins new defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle will probably run a lot of hybrid looks next year as the team transitions from a 3-4 to a 4-3. The team lost former starters Paul Soliai and Kendall Langford as free agents, while Jared Odrick and Randy Starks will play end in the 3-4 or tackle in the 4-3. The team added former Bengals Frostee Rucker (a DE) and Pat Sims (a DT) to aid with their transition. Rucker is a good base 4-3 end and Sims can play NT in either scheme. Andre Fluellen was another low-level signing to add depth.
Linebacker: Stud pass rusher Cameron Wake will likely transition between 3-4 OLB and 4-3 DE quite a bit next season, as will Koa Misi. Kevin Burnett and Carlos Dansby will remain the starters at ILB in the 3-4 and will have to adjust when running the 4-3. Frank Zombo was also added as a low-level signing and could be the team's 3rd LB in both schemes. It may be a position to consider addressing, especially since Burnett was awful last year.
Corner: The Dolphins return with their solid starting duo of Vontae Davis and Sean Smith. Nolan Carroll, Jimmy Wilson and Jonathan Wade currently provide the depth.
Safety: Most notably, the Dolphins added former Bengal Reggie Nelson who had a career year in Cincy last year under Kevin Coyle. The team also cut and resigned Yeremiah Bell to a cheaper deal. They appear to be the team's starters with Reshad Jones and Tyrone Culver providing the depth.
Specialists: Dan Carpenter returns as the kicker with Brandon Fields at punter. Gates and Bess currently share the return man duties.
bored of education
02-22-2012, 08:18 PM
A breaking report comes out of Kansas City that comes as direct response to the acquisition of Quarterback, Ryan Tannehill. The Kansas City Chiefs have rleased Matt Cassel, the player whom many thought was the answer to KC's issues when Scott Pioli came to town. Cassel's release will save the Chiefs 7.5 mil in 2013 and 9 million in 2014. They still have Orton signed to a one year deal for approximately 5 million dollars. Who could foresee the Chiefs owing their 1 and 2 in 2013 12.5 million dollars with no true long term answer? They have that answer in Ryan Tannehill who will not start until the Head Coach feels he is ready. He will compete for the job but he will have to beat out Kyle Orton in training camp/preseason.
Scott Pioli could not stop glowing like a post-prom co-ed who was the date of the varsity QB. But he got his varsity QB. Scott thinks the with the current coaching staff, personnel and the foundation Ryan has mentally and physically can lead to numerous Division Championships pushing the Chiefs closer to their overall goal, the Superb Owl.
( I AM AN AWESOME WRITER and GM)
02-22-2012, 08:20 PM
Matt Cassel Trade Official
Chiefs save $7.5 Million and Cassel will be available to sign in the 3rd FA period.
(I accidentally deleted the good post......grrr....)
02-23-2012, 08:30 AM
Top Offseason Moves: NFC North
by DC Insider Rick Bennett
Green Bay Packers:
1.) Signing Jared Gaither and Keeping Scott Wells - Keeping the team's league MVP QB healthy was one of their utmost priorities this offseason. Veteran Chad Clifton moved on via free agency and Marshall Newhouse is better suited for a backup swing tackle/spot starter role. Gaither finished last season strong in San Diego and really revived his free agent stock. If he remains healthy, he should give Rodgers the best blind side protector he has had as a pro. One could almost copy paste the reasoning above for Wells here. Wells is a veteran center and the brains on the offensive line. Him staying in town will help keep some consistency in front of Rodgers.
2.) Trading Jermichael Finley - The Packers swapped some picks with Buffalo in exchange for franchised TE Jermichael Finley. While talented, he was inconsistent and had issues with dropped passes, which is a major no-no in an offense that requires a high level of efficiency. Plus, the Packers have so many other offensive weapons that he won't be missed much.
3.) Signing Dennis Dixon - With Matt Flynn moving on, the Packers were left without an experienced backup for Aaron Rodgers. Dixon was lost in the backup QB shuffle in Pittsburgh but will be the primary backup here. The Packers have traditionally developed their backups well, allowing many to become starters elsewhere. Dixon will now have that same opportunity while the Packers get a talented backup in case something should happen to Rodgers.
*Most Questionable Move*: While I did laud them for trading Jermichael Finley away, they really didn't have anyone to immediately step up on the roster to replace him at the position. The team did sign former Viking Visanthe Shiancoe, but he's far from a great athletic pass catcher. He'll bring a bit of well roundedness, but I'm not sure about his fit in the overall offense.
1.) Signing Marcus McNeill and Eric Steinbach - The Lions o-line hasn't exactly been a strength of the team in recent years. Long time starter at LT Jeff Backus has moved on to Arizona while the team parted ways with underachieving RT Gosder Cherilus. McNeill carries a BIG injury risk, but when healthy, is one of the league's better LTs while Steinbach was cut from Cleveland more for salary reasons than for any decline in his play. (Cleveland tried to get him back in fact.) Both will be starters tasked with keeping Matt Stafford upright and opening holes for the sub-par run game.
2.) Signing Lofa Tatupu - Tatupu was a former pro bowler at MLB for Seattle but battled injuries towards the end of his tenure there and sat out all of last season. With the loss of Stephen Tulloch to the Bills as a free agent, Tatupu has a great shot, if he's returned to good health, to start at MLB for the Lions.
3.) Resigning Kevin Smith - While Smith was far from the best RB available, his experience in the system and desire to play for the Lions made him a valuable signing with question marks surrounding Jahvid Best and Mikel Leshoure due to their health. Smith showed last season that he can be an effective ball carrier if called upon.
*Most Questionable Move*: Signing Bob Sanders and Brandon Merriweather: The cap space strapped Lions needed help at safety and solved it by....signing these two? Sanders has the uncanny ability to hit IR sooner and sooner each season while Merriweather was cut by New England and benched by Chicago, two teams who had major issues at the safety position, in a one season span. If the Lions are counting on either to start, they're in store for some major disappointment.
1.) Signing Dwayne Bowe and Martellus Bennett - One of the things plaguing the Bears passing attack the last few seasons was the lack of a great possession target for Jay Cutler. The Bears had a ton of smaller, speedier pass catchers but none who could be trusted to bring down a jump ball. Bowe immediately becomes the team's #1 WR while Bennett immediately becomes the best pass catching TE on the roster.
2.) Taking a chance on signing Jason Smith - Smith rose to be selected #2 overall by the Rams a few years back by virtue of being a super athletic LT prospect, but quickly flamed out in St. Louis. With the Bears current starters at tackle being J'Marcus Webb and the coming-off-of-injury Gabe Carimi, Smith should at least be a developmental backup swing tackle. If anyone can get something out of Smith, it'll be new offensive coordinator Mike Tice.
3.) Signing Jason Campbell - Caleb Hanie proved last year that he wasn't up to the task of being the team's backup QB, and he remains unsigned at this time. With only 2nd year developmental QB Nathan Enderle behind coming-off-of-injury Jay Cutler, the Bears needed a new backup and they chose well by signing Jason Campbell. Campbell did not receive offers as a starter anywhere, and has proven throughout his career that he can be a solid if unspectacular game manager when starting.
*Most Questionable Move*: Signing Rashean Mathis to a big deal. Mathis' overall play had been declining for the last few seasons even before suffering a season ending knee injury last year. Interest was minimal by the rest of the league, including the Jaguars who barely even made a play to keep him. I think the Bears overpaid for an aging, injured player here. Better, cheaper options were available.
1.) Signing Shaun Hill - Hill is a great veteran backup QB option and I'm surprised he didn't receive more interest. The Vikings were without a veteran mentor for young Christian Ponder and Hill will provide that while also providing the ability to start for stretches and be effective. This was a great move.
*Most Questionable Move*: Signing Tracy Porter and OJ Atogwe to big deals. The Vikings needed major secondary help, no doubt, but paying all of that money to these two? Porter is a solid corner but nothing special. He's not going to single handedly shut down the Megatrons, Jordy Nelsons and Dwayne Bowes of that division. So paying him an Elite deal is definitely a questionable move. The same goes for signing Atogwe to a Quality deal. The Redskins wanted nothing to do with him after just one season. He's a gambler who blows too many coverages. I think this pair of secondary additions will do more harm than good for the Vikings the next couple of years.
02-23-2012, 09:08 AM
Top Offseason Moves: NFC East
by DC Insider Rick Bennett
1.) Trading Osi Umenyiora - Osi has been disgruntled with his contract situation for as long as I can recall, and the Giants simply had too many other pass rushers to ever justify paying him. So, after several years and some holdouts, the Giants have finally sent him out of town to a team where he can get paid. With guys like JPP, Tuck and Kiwanuka still on the roster to get after opposing passers, he won't be missed much in NY.
2.) Trading for Jonathan Vilma - MLB was a position of serious issue for the Giants last year, and it was only stabilized with a Chase Blackburn band-aid midway through the season. Vilma may no longer be the pro-bowl caliber playmaker he was in his youth, but he's a certain upgrade over the Giants other potential MIKE LB candidates and didn't cost very much in trade compensation.
*Most Questionable Move* - Letting all of their depth escape, particularly at CB. This tends to happen to the Superbowl champs, where their free agents have their value inflated and jump ship for more money, but it was particularly bad for the Giants this year. But to get so robbed at CB, a position with weak depth to begin with, and have your answer be the oft-injured and aging Terrence McGee? Yikes. They better draft someone. What's that? No? A WR you say? From the GM's college no less? Ugh...
1.) NOT franchising Anthony Spencer - It was rumored be happening, and even owner GM Jerry Jones said that he would do it...but in the end, the team opted not to. Spencer isn't a bad player, but he wasn't worth franchise money. Not even close. He never really developed as a pass rusher and couldn't even take advantage of the attention DeMarcus Ware draws to get after the passer. You probably won't even notice much of a drop off to Victor Butler and Erik Walden at the position, and it may even be an improvement.
2.) Signing Red Bryant - The team cut perennial underachiever Marcus Spears finally, and to take his place, they signed former Seahawk Red Bryant. Bryant has had a couple of quietly solid seasons in Seattle as a base 4-3 end. That's hardly his ideal position, as he doesn't add much as a pass ruhser. His size and skills will be better utilized in Dallas' 3-4 front.
*Most Questionable Move* - Most of the Cowboys moves were pretty low level, so none are particularly questionable. Signing Tommie Harris might be the only one that left me scratching my head though. He doesn't have a place in the 3-4 front really, as he's not stout enough to play end. If they brought him in as a situational interior pass rusher, that might be alright, but his burst has been getting worse for several years now.
1.) Swapping Jacksons at WR - By this, I mean signing Vincent Jackson and trading away Desean Jackson. The team still has a speedy deep threat in Jeremy Maclin who is far less of a headache than Desean, so adding a big bodied jump ball receiver like Jackson should really help out Michael Vick by giving him a nice safety outlet. Meanwhile, they picked up a first rounder by trading Desean and saved money against the cap which they used to better their LB and OL situations by signing AJ Hawk, Gosder Cherilus and Mike Pollack. All likely starters. Not bad at all.
*Most Questionable Move* - NOT trading Asante Samuel. It's pretty clear that he would like to get out of Philly and it's pretty clear that Philly would like to move him. His salary price tag and the Eagles asking price were both simply too high however.
1.) Signing Chris Myers - Myers was a pro-bowl center in Houston and a perfect fit in the ZBS employed by Mike Shanahan in Washington. The two were also together for a few years with the Denver Broncos. Great fit.
2.) Signing Eddie Royal - This is definitely a roll of the dice for the Redskins, and a good one too. Royal had a great year as a rookie under Mike Shanahan but dropped off in subsequent seasons. He should be given a shot in Washington as the #2 WR to the recently signed Marques Colston.
*Most Questionable Move* - Paying the big money to London Fletcher. Fletcher is a big part of their defense and was still playing at a high level...but a Quality level deal to bring him back? Seems high considering how little interest a LB in his upper 30s got on the open market. They probably could have stood to wait a bit and offer him a little less in Round 2.
02-23-2012, 09:37 AM
Top Offseason Moves: NFC South
by DC Insider Rick Bennett
New Orleans Saints:
1.) Franchising Drew Brees - It was hard to think of something nice to say to be honest...No matter what other losses the team suffered, they could not afford to lose Drew Brees. As long as they have him, they'll be able to compete for a championship. It'll just be a little harder because...
*Most Questionable Moves* - They lost a good portion of their starting defense. The team gambled and lost by cutting Will Smith and Roman Harper. Resigning both to cheaper deals was the plan, but the market had other ideas, happily paying both of them. Additionally, they lost Jo Lonn Dunbar to the Rams where he joins former DC Gregg Williams and Tracy Porter to an Elite deal with the Vikings. Their DT depth also took a hit with Aubrayo Franklin and Shaun Rogers both leaving for likely starting jobs elsewhere. And to top it all off, they traded Jonathan Vilma to the Giants. Even if he wasn't worth his salary anymore, they still sent away yet another starter from last season. And in return, they brought in...Tom Zbikowski, Leroy Hill and Ernie Sims? Not to mention overpaying Pacman Jones to come in as the likely nickel corner. And I've yet to even mention their offensive losses in Carl Nicks, Colston and Meachem.
1.) Signing veteran depth - The Falcons didn't really make any big, splashy moves but they did add to the overall depth of their roster. Guys like Channing Crowder to play in Mike Nolan's defense (replacing the lost Curtis Lofton) and Andre Gurode (who will likely start at C replacing Todd McClure) are under the radar moves that will help the team. Marcus Trufant at CB is another as he didn't cost much and, when healthy, can still contribute as a starting CB.
2.) Taking chances on some low-key veterans - Guys like Steve Smith, Jacob Tamme, and Trevor Scott come to mind here. All have the potential find a niche with team in which they can be productive. Smith will likely be the slot WR to take advantage of the openings underneath caused by Roddy White and Julio Jones on the outside. Tamme will backup and contribute in 2 TE sets with Tony Gonzalez and gives them insurance should Gonzalez retire after this year. Scott was a productive role player early on with Oakland but missed time due to injuries the last two seasons. He could certainly contribute in a Kroy Bierman-like role as a rotational DE.
*Most Questionable Move* - None seem particularly questionable, though they may have overpaid just slightly to keep aging pass rusher John Abraham in town. Pass rushers were drawing premium deals on the market though (see Carter, Andre), and this was perhaps the only way to ensure they'd get him back as they have no one else on the roster capable of getting consistent pass rush.
1.) Signing Dominique Foxworth - The Panthers were in such bad cap space (due in large part to overpaying their own players last year) that they lacked the room to do much of anything. Foxworth, if he recovers from the injuries of the last few seasons, can be an adequate starting caliber CB.
*Most Questionable Move* - Just about everyone they signed last year.
Tampa Bay Bucs:
1.) Signing Finnegan and Landry - The Bucs had a TON of cap space and major needs just about everyone. One of the areas most sorely in need of help was the secondary. The Bucs brought in a true #1 CB in Finnegan who should help them slow down the passing attacks the NFC South has going. Landry will give them the best "enforcer"t type they've had at safety since John Lynch. He's a tough in-the-box safety but a little risky because of his mild case of Bob Sanders syndrome. Every time you blink, he's getting banged up.
2.) The middle of the pack signings - The Bucs did a good job grabbing some guys who will be solid contributors even if they aren't the biggest and best at their positions. Mike Tolbert will make for a hard-to-tackle partner with Blount if nothing else, and Ahmard Hall should do a great job of blasting open holes for them to run through. Joel Dreessen is a solid #2 TE who has played a lot the last two seasons. Dan Connor will be a tackle machine LB even if he isn't really special in any way. Tim Jennings should be an adequate #2/#3 CB behind Finnegan.
*Most Questionable Move* - Or non-move in this case...they should have gotten someone to compete with Josh Freeman. He was awful last season and now, entering his 4th year, faces a make-or-break situation. They brought in David Carr, but he's a true backup...not competition. If Freeman doesn't turn it around, this will be a wasted year for finding their QBotF.
02-23-2012, 09:57 AM
Top Offseason Moves: NFC West
by DC Insider Rick Bennett
San Francisco 49ers:
1.) Keeping most of their own FAs - Not really one in particular, but they kept almost all of their key contributors from last year's playoff run including Alex Smith, Carlos Rogers, Dashon Goldson, and Adam Snyder. They also retained some depth in players like Ted Ginn and Chilo Rachal.
*Move I'm Most Neutral On* - Not really questionable or good in my mind, but trading for Desean Jackson. The first they gave up for him will be worthwhile if he returns to his dominant deep-threat form after being paid his long term deal...but I just don't like the move all that much. Alex Smith isn't exactly a deep ball tossing QB and they have the exact same player as a return man in Ted Ginn, so they won't be getting the maximum overall value out of Jackson. I'm overall very "meh" on this move.
1.) Keeping David Hawthorne - Hawthorne was one of the better MIKE LBs available on the market but Seattle ponied up the money to keep him in town. It'll be a great boon for their defense to get him back.
2.) Signing Chad Henne - Henne was never outright awful as a Dolphin, but he never seemed to progress beyond being average either. Still, he should be an upgrade over Tarvaris Jackson and he'll actually be able to put his strong arm to use if Sidney Rice gets healthy. Plus, they didn't have to overpay like so many teams do in order to get QBs.
*Most Questionable Move* - More like non-move...I think they could have done more. With San Fran returning the same dominant team from last year and Arizona quickly becoming a contender by adding Peyton Manning, I think Seattle might get left in the dust. I think they'll be a solid team, but that won't be good enough to compete for that division next year.
1.) Signing Peyton Manning - The last time the QBs took a chance by starting a future HoF QB, they damn near won the Superbowl. The team already had a great WR in Fitzgerald, and now they've added Peyton to throw him the ball. Great move by the team and great fit for the player.
2.) Locking up Calais Campbell - Campbell had to be retained at all costs and the Cardinals did, first with the franchise tag and then used that as a starting point to lock him up long term. He's one of the best 3-4 DEs in the game today and a key part of their defense. Keeping him is to their defense what adding Peyton is to their offense.
*Most Questionable Move* - Not addressing the o-line further. Peyton got by in Indy with awful o-line play for years, but now that he's got a long-term risk with his neck, better o-line play is a must in front of him. The Cardinals scrambled to do what they could, but will aging veterans Matt Light and Jeff Backus be enough? What about the guards and the center? This will be the Cardinals biggest question mark next season and may be the determining factor in how far they actually go.
St. Louis Rams:
1.) Signing Manningham - The Rams badly need a #1 WR and can't constantly try to fill the position with so-so free agents and mid-round draft picks. Jeff Fisher is notorious for never putting much value on the WR position, so it's good to see the Rams start off by signing a better target for Bradford. Better WRs were available this offseason, but the Rams managed to get Manningham on a Quality deal rather than the Elite many feared it would take to bring him in.
2.) Signing Jo Lonn Dunbar - Dunbar was a solid starter in New Orleans last season, and the Saints did want him back. But the Rams offered a bit more money and the opportunity to keep playing for DC Gregg Williams to get him into town. He should be a good running mate for James Laurinaitis (holy ****, I spelled that right the first try.)
*Most Questionable Move* - Not signing a veteran backup for Sam Bradford. He was injured on and off quite a bit last year and has generally been ineffective since the end of his rookie year. Guys like Shaun Hill and Jason Campbell would have been attractive backup options, but the Rams basically signed no one and head into the draft with only Tom Brandstater behind Bradford.
02-24-2012, 07:51 AM
Top Offseason Moves: AFC North
by DC Insider Rick Bennett
1.) Signing Ahmad Brooks - The Ravens lost starters Jarret Johnson and Jameel McClain to free agency, while having very little in the way of proven depth at the position. Brook has racked up 18 sacks in the last 3 seasons, with a career high 7 last year in his first year a full time starter. Brooks is a great addition to the Ravens LB corps.
2.) Adding o-line depth - Though the team did retain top free agent Ben Grubbs, they also needed to bolster their depth all across the line. The team successfully resigned Matt Birk, last year's starting center, and Bryant McKinnie, a solid spot starter and swing tackle. They also got former Raven Jason Brown back after a largely underwhelming stint with the Rams that saw him get cut this past offseason. The Rams tried to bring him back, but the Ravens were offering just as much money and a better chance to compete for a championship. He will compete with Birk for the starting center role and backup the guard positions.
3.) Signing Cedric Benson - Benson has rushed for over 1000 yards the last 3 years, but his YPC and overall effectiveness has been trending downward. He doesn't bring much versatility as a RB, but should do well in the role Ricky Williams had last year behind Ray Rice. He also figures to pick up the team's short yardage and goal line duties.
*Most Questionable Move* - Resigning Ben Grubbs to an Elite deal. Don't get me wrong, if they didn't he would have gone to one of the many other interested teams for the same deal. But the Ravens already have one highly paid guard on the roster in Marshall Yanda, and with locking up Ray Rice long term, extending Joe Flacco and with Michael Oher headed for free agency after the 2013 season, this money may be needed elsewhere. (And that's all without mentioning the need to replace certain long time defenders coming in in the next few years.) Grubbs is a great player, but guard typically isn't a position where you pay top dollar for two players.
1.) Signing Vernon Carey - The Steelers were in the worst shape of any team in the league when it came to cap space entering the offseason, and they had to scramble with a ton of restructures and releases in order to get under. They managed to get far enough under to go after one top free agent, and Vernon Carey was their pick. He'll immediately become the starting RG and could also play RT in a pinch if Willie Colon continues to get hurt.
2.) Signing Aubrayo Franklin - The team cut long time starting NT Casey Hampton this offseason, leaving them without anyone to man the position. Franklin was a good under-the-radar signing as he was cheaper than Hampton, younger than Hampton, doesn't have the weight/conditioning problems of Hampton that we know of, and isn't coming off an ACL injury that required surgery.
*Most Questionable Move* - It's pretty hard to pinpoint any exact move, but the restructure (IRL) of so many players, essentially converting their base salaries into guaranteed money in the future, may come back to bite the team down the line. They're essentially counting on a raise in the salary cap and also some of their older veterans retiring to rebuild without actually rebuilding. It's a definite risk.
1.) Signing Dwight Freeney - I wouldn't have considered them players in the Dwight Freeney market after he was initially cut by the Colts, but they had the money to spend and will allow him to remain in the 4-3, two very appealing options for Freeney. With a talented young team around him on both sides of the ball, the presence of someone like Freeney could be a factor that pushes them from a simple one-and-done playoff contender to Superbowl contender status. Epic move.
2.) Signing Laurent Robinson and de-tagging Jerome Simpson - I can safely say that when the Bengals announced their intention to franchise tag Jerome Simpson, I wasn't the only one scratching my head. Once they succeeded in signing one of the cheaper (and quite honestly, better) free agent options at the position to play across from AJ Green, the Bengals wisely pulled the tag off of Simpson.
*Most Questionable Move* - An Elite level deal for Terrell Thomas. Perhaps if he was fully healthy, this move would have made sense. He was the Giants top corner in 2009 and 2010, but missed all of last year with an ACL injury. Now, the Bengals have given him a ton of money without knowing how effective he'll actually be on the field this season.
1.) Signing Rocky McIntosh - McIntosh looked to be one of the better up and coming linebackers in the league a few years ago, but he just wasn't the same player when Washington converted to the 3-4 defense. Now, he'll come back to the 4-3 in Cleveland and kick outside to play next to franchise player D'Qwell Jackson, giving Cleveland two athletic linebackers.
2.) Signing Jammal Brown - More than a few people raised an eyebrow when it was announced that the Redskins were releasing Brown, a guy they traded for just a few years ago. He's had a little trouble staying healthy, playing in 12 games last year, but is still a great option at RT and the Browns got him for a fairly reasonable deal. He and Joe Thomas will make great book end tackles to protect whoever plays QB.
*Most Questionable Move* - Heading into the draft with only Colt McCoy and FA pickup Kevin Kolb at QB. The Browns will have a chance to add someone with...more actual talent...than either guy, but if this is their big plan to address the QB situation, Cleveland is in for another lousy year passing the football. These are two backup quality QBs and shouldn't be this close to the starting job.
02-24-2012, 08:26 AM
Top Offseason Moves: AFC East
by DC Insider Rick Bennett
New England Patriots:
1.) Signing Michael Griffin - This was just a perfect fit no matter how you look at it. It might have been the best pure fit of any move all offseason. The Patriots went right out, made their case to Griffin, threw a great deal in front of him and brought him up to play in New England. After getting to the Superbowl with the likes of James Ihedigbo and Sterling Moore playing extended periods in the secondary, Griffin will look like a god send.
2.) Signing Manny Lawson - Lawson didn't get much attention last offseason before signing with Cincinnati, but after he further established himself as one of the league's better coverage linebackers there, he got more attention this offseason. If nothing else, the Patriots at least removed one of the guys who could help another team slow down their TE attack by signing Lawson.
*Most Questionable Moves* - Not getting a deep threat WR and not better addressing the pass rush. If bringing back Randy Moss after a year of retirement is the Patriots best answer to their biggest offensive question mark, then the team is in for another long season of Brady and Gronk carrying the passing attack. A deep threat to loosen up all of that underneath coverage would have done wonders...instead, they bring in Randy Moss again. And the pass rush was only addressed by a couple of mid-level signings once again. Two of the Patriots three biggest areas of concern remain as such.
1.) Keeping Sione Pouha - The Jets resisted the urge to tag Pouha again this year, and it paid off. They managed to bring him back at a more cost efficient long term deal to keep their NT in the fold.
2.) Signing Deon Grant - Paying Mid level money to a 33 year old 3rd safety might seem like a bit much, but the beauty in this move is that Grant will bring the veteran leadership that they are losing with Jim Leonard. Leonard was too big of injury risk to bring back on bigger deal. Grant should provide an upgrade to his position if for no other reason that him staying healthy.
*Most Questionable Move* - Not bringing in a QB to compete with Mark Sanchez. This was predictable, but foolish. The team didn't even bring in a new backup QB at all. So I take it they plan to roll into 2012 with Sanchez as the unquestioned starter and Greg McElroy as the only backup? No one to push Sanchez? This is something the team should have attempted to address, but did not.
1.) Signing Cliff Avril and Stephen Tulloch - One might look at the two Elite deals handed out to these guys with a raised eyebrow, but as a package deal, they immediately upgrade the Bills front 7. Avril easily becomes the team's best pass rusher and should slot in nicely at DE alongside Marcel Dareus and Kyle Williams, two very quality DTs. And Tulloch immediately becomes the team's best LB who will be able to take advantage of how clean those two DTs keep him.
2.) Trading for Jermichael Finley - While the team did resign last year's starter in Scott Chandler, Finley is definitely a major upgrade. While he's inconsistent and drops a good deal of passes, he's capable of being a dynamic playmaker at the TE position when things are clicking for him. Between acquiring him, franchise tagging Stevie Johnson to bring him back and getting Fred Jackson healthy, the Bills appear to be in good shape with their top 3 offensive players.
3.) Keeping their own free agents - A lot of teams seem to struggle with doing this and it really hurts the chemistry of the team, even if the players aren't particularly great. The Bills succeeded in bringing back LT Demetrius Bell, the afore mentioned Scott Chandler, CB Drayton Florence (who they cut and resigned cheaper,) LB Kirk Morrison, LB Shawne Merriman (who they also cut and resigned cheaper,) S and nickel LB Bryan Scott, and DE Chris Kelsay (who is another they cut and resigned cheaper.)
*Most Questionable Move* - Signing Terrell Owens. The Bills did a great job of filling needs and bringing back their own key pieces, but there isn't a player alive who can do more damage to team chemistry than TO. He behaved himself the last time he was in Buffalo, but he also contributed a lot more on the field than he probably will this time. Coming off of a year long retirement and an ACL surgery will probably minimize his on-field contributions, and TO simply isn't a guy I can see accepting a limited role as a 3rd or 4th WR.
02-24-2012, 09:08 AM
Top Offseason Moves: AFC South
by DC Insider Rick Bennett
1.) Keeping Mike Briseil - Particularly after losing Chris Myers as a free agent, keeping Brisiel at guard was a must for the Texans. Luckily, there wasn't much interest in him on the open market and the Texans brought him back on a reasonable deal.
*Most Quesitonable Move* - Losing so many players. It was a given that they weren't going to be bringing back Mario Williams due to his salary demands. They tried to bring back Chris Myers, but the Redskins simply had more money, the same system and a head coach he liked playing under before. They released Jacoby Jones and brought in an aging Santana Moss to replace him...I'm not so sure about that deal. Luckily they did cut and resign Kevin Walter to a cheaper deal to keep their WR up slightly.
1.) Getting Matt Hasselbeck back cheaper - It has been announced that there will be an open competition between Hasselbeck and Jake Locker for the starting QB job this season, and if that is the case, Hasselbeck was simply making too much money to be a backup. The team released him, he tested the market, and then chose to return to the Titans on a cheaper deal. This was a gamble that paid off.
2.) Bringing back Jordan Babineaux - Babineaux was a quality in-the-box SS for the Titans last year, and they kept him on a modest deal. This is all the more important seeing as how they lost Michael Griffin. Babineaux will provide some stability at the safety position as they try to fill Griffin's shoes next to him.
*Most Questionable Move* - Overpaying some veterans. I realize they needed pass rush, but a Quality deal for Will Smith? Even the Saints only made an effort to bring him back on a cheaper Mid level deal. Along those same lines, signing Steve Hutchinson to a Quality deal and Todd McClure to a Mid level deal? Both are solid veterans but past their primes and on the down slope of their careers. Signing Curtis Lofton was another move I'm not sure about. The team liked Colin McCarthy last year, so I'm not totally sure why this one was made. I think they panicked when some of the bigger free agents started signing and they still had money to spend.
1.) Signing Aaron Ross - They resisted the urge to get into the bidding for some of the higher level guys and came away with a solid player on a Quality level deal. Not bad.
2.) Keeping Jeremy Mincey - Mincey was the Jags best pass rusher last year and the team made it a priority to keep him around. There wasn't a whole lot of interest from other teams, but the Jags gave him a market level deal to ensure that he stays.
3.) Acquiring the WRs - The Jags landed Brandon Lloyd and Jerome Simpson on Quality level deals, and those two instantly become their top two receiving threats. And the Jaguars need all the help they can get there, because Blaine Gabbert needs all the help they can provide.
*Most Questionable Move* - Signing Andre Carter to a Quality level deal. Yes, he had a good year before getting hurt in New England last year, but he's 33 and has been wildly inconsistent in his career, never once posting back to back double digit sack seasons. I think a Quality level deal was just too much for a guy won't be around for more than maybe 2 seasons.
02-24-2012, 09:44 AM
Top Offseason Moves: AFC West
by DC Insider Rick Bennett
1.) Signing Mario Williams - You can't logically start off anywhere else but with this. The Broncos had plenty of cap space and needed all the defensive help they can get, so why not make Mario Williams the highest paid defensive player ever? Adding Mario to a front 7 containing last year's DRotY Von Miller is sure to give a major boost to the team's pass rush. It also puts Williams back in the 4-3 defense where he has had the most success.
2.) Signing John Carlson - While I would say that they overpaid for a TE who missed all of last year due to an injury, if they hadn't paid him a Quality level deal, he would have ended up elsewhere as half the league made him mid-level offers. This is a good move that will net them a well rounded TE, I just don't know how much help it will offer Tim Tebow specifically, as throwing to the TE usually requires throwing into traffic which isn't exactly a strength of his. (Using the worth "throwing" at all when talking about Tebow should be a sign that we're not talking about a strength.)
*Most Questionable Move* - Signing Jim Leonard to a Quality level deal. I know the Broncos had plenty of cap space, but Leonard isn't exactly a freak athelete, elite playmaker at the position. He's quite undersized and had both of his last two seasons ended by injury. A Quality level deal is some serious overkill.
San Diego Chargers:
1.) Addressing Nose Tackle - The Chargers made signing Paul Soliai their top priority to fill their void at NT. He's a solid player in his prime and should make the entire defensive front around him more effective, as good nose tackles are apt to do. They also took a flier on bringing in former Steeler Casey Hampton as a backup. Hampton has a fair share of issues, but as a backup NT, he should work out well.
2.) Adding o-line help - The Chargers lost their top two OTs in Jared Gaither and Marcus McNeill, so they did well to bring back long time center Nick Hardwick. He'll provide some consistency on the line at the very least. They also brought in former Falcons first round pick Sam Baker. Baker will probably take over at LT where he can be solid but does have his struggles, as evidenced by his benching in Atlanta. Low risk move though as he wasn't particularly expensive.
*Most Questionable Moves* - I can think of two that were equally questionable. The first was signing Kroy Bierman to a Quality level deal to move him to a stand up OLB position. Bierman was never an elite pass rush, but was a solid well rounded 4-3 DE. I'm sure he can still get by thanks to his high energy motor, but I don't think he'll ever make for a great pass rushing OLB. Additionally, not addressing the WR position better. The team still has Malcolm Floyd and is hopeful that Vincent Brown will continue his development, but they have no one to replace Vincent Jackson. And those they did bring in, Mike Sims-Walker and Chaz Schilenz, carry too many concerns to pencil in as contributors.
Kansas City Chiefs:
1.) Signing Carl Nicks - Obviously, this is first and foremost. Nicks is considered one of the best guards in the league and he'll make for a huge improvement on the Chiefs o-line.
2.) Keeping Kyle Orton - Orton was actually somewhat effective at the end of last season and was worth keeping around for another year. Other teams were interested, but the Chiefs offered him the most money to stay. With the recent release of Matt Cassel and the drafting of a first round QB, Orton definitely has the inside track to be the starter in 2012.
*Most Questionable Move* - Franchising Carr over Bowe. The team hoped to keep them both, but placed the tag on the wrong one I believe. At CB, they already had Brandon Flowers locked up so losing Carr wouldn't have been as devastating, but at WR, they only had unproven 2nd year player Jonathan Baldwin behind Bowe.
02-24-2012, 12:02 PM
Patriots draft Konz, Boykin, Chapman, Smith on first two days
Center Peter Konz was New England's top draft pick in 2012.
The New England Patriots concluded the first two days of the NFL Draft having acquired Wisconsin center Peter Konz in the first round and Georgia cornerback Brandon Boykin, Alabama nose tackle Josh Chapman, and Notre Dame safety Harrison Smith in the second round. New England surprised many observers by trading up twice during the draft period. The Patriots parted with a third-round pick in order to move up from the #27 overall pick to the #22 overall pick to select Konz and a fourth-round pick in order to move up from #63 overall to #58 overall for Chapman. Additionally, New England consummated a trade with the Ravens which sent the #31 overall pick and a fifth-round pick to Baltimore for the #61 overall selection (used to select Smith) and the Ravens' first-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft in a move that mirrors the Patriots' swap with the Saints in 2011. Backup nose tackle Ron Brace was traded to the Saints for fifth-round picks in both 2012 and 2013 minutes after the team drafted Chapman to replace him.
After re-signing center Dan Connolly during the free agent period, New England's decision to climb the draft board for Konz may come as a surprise, but the Patriots reportedly had the anchor of Wisconsin's offensive line graded out as a better prospect than recent top centers Maurkice and Mike Pouncey. Konz is 6'5" and 315 pounds and plays with a nasty, aggressive demeanor. Having played in Wisconsin's zone-blocking system, he displayed the ability to perform many responsibilities that the Patriots will ask him to handle and could edge out Connolly to become the team's starting center as a rookie. Connolly will eventually settle into a role as a swing reserve, with experience playing both guard positions and center. New England is flexible along the offensive line, with Connolly, Ryan Wendell, and Rich Ohrnberger possessing the versatility to line up at guard or center. Marcus Cannon is expected to succeed Brian Waters as the club's long-term right guard, but played extensively at right tackle in 2011. Mark LeVoir backups up Nate Solder at left tackle but has some experience on the right side as well.
Boykin, Chapman, and Smith are all expected to fulfill specific roles on New England's defense. Bill Belichick described the appeal of Boykin as "being able to add a three-year starter with versatility on offense, defense, and special teams." The senior SEC cornerback is one of the draft's fastest players and has been used as a weapon all over the field; he is expected to immediately take over as New England's kick returner and will challenge Kyle Arrington to become the team's top slot cornerback. The Bulldogs have also used Boykin as a wide receiver thanks to his incredible athleticism and strength.
Chapman has already anchored a two-gap 3-4 defense in college at Alabama under Nick Saban. He is mature, with a great anchor and the ability to redraw the line of scrimmage and command double teams with his bulk and strength. New England likely felt that Ron Brace was a risk considering his slow development so far and injury history. Chapman's presence will allow the Patriots to rest defensive star Vince Wilfork more often, as well as move Wilfork to defensive end in certain situations, where he has excelled. Carefully manging the big man's snaps was a priority going into the draft process, and Belichick noted in a press conference that the opportunity to add a quality nose tackle does not present itself often, which was the reason for the Patriots' move.
Harrison Smith joins Michael Griffin and Patrick Chung in the back end of the Patriots' defense. He is considered an excellent diagnostian and tireless worker with terrific leadership skills. Smith often plays in the box, but has experience in center field as well; he is considered very aggressive as well as a violent hitter and quality form tackler. New England has experimented with three-safety sets in the past, attempting to use former Patriots such as Brandon McGowan and Jarrad Page as rovers. Smith is also expected to provide quality depth for Patrick Chung, who missed a handful of games in 2011 and whose absence was accompanied by a significant drop-off in the effectiveness of New England's defense.
New England still has one pick remaining in the fifth round along with three selections in the sixth round.
02-24-2012, 02:06 PM
Packers improve the front seven
Packers draft Nick Perry (left) and Kendall Reyes (right) in the first two rounds of the draft.
In the first two rounds of the NFL Draft the Green Bay Packers defensive end, Nick Perry and defensive tackle, Kendall Reyes. Dom Capers and Mike McCarthy had already said going into the draft that they were looking to add to a defense that ranked last in the NFL last year and so they did by picking up two exciting defensive talents.
In the first round, general manager Super Packer deceided to make a trade with the Titans giving up their first, third and fifth to move up 8 spots. With the pick Green Bay selected Nick Perry, USC who will make the common transition to outside linebacker in Dom Capers 3-4 defense. It was obvious from the end of the season that the Packers would be looking to improve their second outside linebacker spot due to the inconsistency of Frank Zombo, Brad Jones and Erik Walden.
In the next round the Packers stuck to their word of adding to the defense by drafting DT Kendall Reyes, Connecticut. Reyes' value as been on the rise since he performed very well at the Senior Bowl and it is believed to be one of the main reasons Super Packer deceided to hand the card in with Kendall's name on it.
The Packers next draft pick is in the 4th round of the NFL Draft, where it is believed they will be looking to further add to the defensive side of the ball.
02-26-2012, 11:40 AM
With the fourth round in the books, here's an overview of one draft "expert's" top 32 available players!
1. Levy Adcock, OT, Oklahoma State – Right tackle/guard tweener. Injury kept him out of the Senior Bowl, combine snub.
2. Brandon Mosley, OT, Auburn – Converted tight end. JUCO player with good upside but needs development.
3. Trevor Guyton, DE, California – Big player, experience in Cal’s version of the 3-4. Could play DE in either scheme.
4. Nick Foles, QB, Arizona – Mid-round developmental QB. Great size, solid arm.
5. Cyrus Gray, RB, Texas A&M – Back-to-back 1000 yard, 12 TD seasons. Solid overall player
6. Josh Robinson, CB, Central Florida – Underclassmen CB that probably should have stayed in school. Scheme versatile.
7. Marcus Forston, DT, Miami (FL) – Early entry. 3 tech
8. Chris Givens, WR, Wake Forest – Another early entry, had a big season, underrated player, could definitely be a number 2.
9. Ronnie Hillman, RB, San Diego State – Back-to-back monster seasons. Good size.
10. Russell Wilson, QB, Wisconsin – Undersized QB with great athleticism. Great college player, tough to project to NFL.
11. Eric Page, WR, Toledo – Early entry WR. Projects well to the slot
12. B.J. Coleman, QB, Chattanooga – Raw QB, with great tools. Starting potential.
13. Chris Rainey, RB, Florida – Speedy third down back
14. Jack Crawford, DE, Penn State – Still learning the game of football. Solid athlete, rotational player
15. Robert Turbin, RB, Utah State – One of two Utah State backs in the draft. Good size, franchise back potential
16. Cliff Harris, CB, Oregon – Second rounder on tape, MAJOR off-field questions
17. Deangelo Peterson, TE, LSU – Underused TE that was hurt by awful LSU QBs. Solid athlete, H-back size
18. Olivier Vernon, DE, Miami (FL) – DE/OLB tweener. Freak athlete, will test off the charts. Raw on the field.
19. Keenan Robinson, OLB, Texas – Good size, mediocre athlete. Could play any LB spot in a 4-3 and probably inside in a 34.
20. Omar Bolden, CB, Arizona State – Forgotten CB due to injury that caused him to miss senior year. Starting potential.
21. Brian Linthicum, TE, Michigan State – Combine snub, solid overall player. Decent blocker, good receiver
22. Tyrone Crawford, DE, Boise State – Quality rotational DE with good size and athleticism.
23. Josh Kaddu, OLB, Oregon – Athletic linebacker that projects as a WLB in the NFL.
24. Eddie Whitley, FS, Virginia Tech – Good tackler, zone safety. Combine snub
25. Derek Wolfe, DT, Cincinnati – DT/DE tweener. Has been rising up boards lately.
26. Dwight Bentley, CB, Louisiana-Lafayette – Big Senior Bowl week has him rising boards. Scheme versatile CB.
27. Duke Ihenacho, SS, San Jose State – Great size and speed. Injuries derailed him mid-career but had a good senior year that’s put him back on teams’ radars.
28. A.J. Jenkins, WR, Illinois – Productive senior season. Good speed. Plays like a number two, slot receiver size.
29. Terrance Ganaway, RB, Baylor – Oversized power back.
30. TJ Graham, WR, North Carolina State – Slot receiver/return man. Good Senior Bowl week
31. Cory Harkey, TE, UCLA – Premier blocking back in this class. Great size, some think he could be an OT/OG convert although his short arms make that unlikely.
32. DeQuan Menzie, CB, Alabama – Gamer who is a better player than athlete.
02-26-2012, 12:21 PM
New England Patriots select Posey, Forston in fifth round
Marcus Forston was one of New England's fifth-round picks.
The New England Patriots traded up twice in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft, sending the #163 and #193 overall picks to the Denver Broncos and #182 and #183 overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars for the #139 and #140 picks, respectively, selecting Ohio State wide receiver DeVier Posey and Miami Hurricanes defensive tackle Marcus Forston with the two choices. Posey started two full seasons for the Buckeyes in 2009 and 2010 before being suspended for much of the 2011 season. He measured in at 6'2" and 211 pounds at the NFL Combine and ran a 4.50 in the 40-yard dash. His size, acrobatics, and ability to track the ball likely all factored into New England's decision to add youth to the wide receiver corps.
Forston was projected to be a first or second-round pick coming into the season, but suffered a torn ACL early on and decided to declare for the draft regardless. He is a 6'1", 301 pound defensive tackle known for his bulk and ability to knife into the backfield, and could be groomed as a five-technique in New England's three-man fronts. Forston is the second Hurricane on New England's defensive line, joining team captain Vince Wilfork in the trenches. The Patriots made upgrading the defensive line a priority in free agency and the draft, signing Kendall Langford and Marcus Spears to play defensive end in odd fronts and Matt Roth as a pass rusher and "elephant" linebacker. Kyle Love and Gerard Warren were both re-signed by the club, and they spent a second round pick on Alabama nose tackle Josh Chapman in addition to drafting Forston in the fifth round.
02-27-2012, 12:12 AM
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Colts Conclude Defense-Heavy Draft
After selecting Standford quarterback Andrew Luck first overall in this year's draft, the Indianapolis Colts focused on defense the rest of the way. Coach Chuck Pagano's fingerprints were clearly visible with each pick sent to the podium.
Round 1: Andrew Luck - QB - Stanford
Most expected this pick, and indeed the commissioner had not finished speaking before a Colts runner stood to the right of the podium with Lucks name on a pre-printed draft card. Luck was the future QB of the Colts the moment Indy lost to Jacksonville at the end of the 2011 season.
Round 2: Dontari Poe - DT - Memphis
Poe is a massive prospect, at 6'4 and 346 lbs. But even with his monstrous build and solid college reputation, Poe's 44 reps on bench press at the combine impressed even the biggest skeptics. With 32" arms he is slightly squattier than expected, but that matters less for a nosetackle prospect. Coach Pagano understand the importance of talented big men in the middle and will attempt to use Poe in a manner similar to how he used Haloti Ngata in Baltimore.
Round 3: Jared Crick - DL - Nebraska
GM Ryan Grigson continued to build the defensive trenches with this pick. A high-value selection, the Colts took a chance in not selecting a center here. Crick had some productive years both with and without Ndamukong Such next to him at Nebraska, but his final season was cut short due to injury. Crick is able to fit as a 3-4 DE, 4-3 DT, and even a 4-3 power DE, so coaches Pagano and Manusky should be able to move him around in the hybrid scheme Pagano intends to implement.
Round 3: Josh Norman - CB - Coastal Carolina
The Colts turned their attention to the defensive backfield with this pick. Norman is another small-school acquisition. His reported height of 6'2 turned out to actually be 6', but 6' and 200 lbs is still a solid height and weight for a corner. Norman is a man and press coverage corner which signals yet another step away from the Cover 2 zone defense the team previously ran. To obtain this pick the Colts traded away their 4th and 5th round picks to and switched 7th round picks with New Orleans.
Round 5: Derek Wolfe - DL - Cincinnati
The Colts put the final touches on their new defensive line rotation with another versatile pick. Wolfe compares to Crick in size and high-motor playing style, racking up a surprising 9.5 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss his final year at Cincinnati. Wolfe can play 3-4 DE, 4-3 DT, and even 4-3 power DE and should find a home in the Colts new hybrid scheme. To obtain this pick the Colts traded away their 6th and 7th round picks to Philadelphia. The team still has a compensatory pick at the end of the 7th round.
02-27-2012, 08:17 AM
Best Available per CBS Sports
by DC Insider Rick Bennett
1.) RB Ronnie Hillman, SDSU - Super productive if slightly undersized back.
2.) CB Dwight Bentley, LA-Lafayette - Productive small school CB.
3.) QB Ryan Lindley, SDSU - Raw but talented developmental QB with great physical tools.
4.) RB Tauren Poole, Tennessee - Solid but inconsistent RB who could make for a decent backup.
5.) TE DeAngelo Peterson, LSU - Undersized TE out of a big program.
6.) DL Brett Roy, Nevada - Undersized DT who may project better to 3-4 DE.
7.) RB Dan Herron, Ohio State - Solid inside runner who could be a good compliment/backup at least.
8.) C Quentin Saulsberry, Miss State - Experienced starter lacking ideal physical tools.
9.) S Eddie Whitley, Virginia Tech - Solid and experienced free safety.
10.) WR Eric Page, Toledo - Ultra productive slot receiver and return man.
11.) CB Mike Harris, Florida State - Solid corner with good size out of a big program.
12.) RB Vick Ballard, Miss State - Big bruising runner.
13.) OLB Kyle Wilber, Wake Forest - Undersized pass rusher who could be used situationally in the 3-4.
14.) OG Lucas Nix, Pitt - Massive mauling interior blocker.
15.) P Brian Anger, Cal - Seriously, a punter. One with an awesome last name wasted on a punter. Tell me that wouldn't be a better name for a linebacker.
16.) RB Terrence Ganaway, Baylor - Big power back of monstrous proportions.
17.) TE Brian Linthicum, Michigan State - Experienced TE.
18.) H-back Evan Rodriguez, Temple - Been compared to a poor-man's Aaron Hernandez.
19.) OT Matt Reynolds, BYU - Experienced and solid all around tackle who, like most BYU prospects, is a bit older than usual.
20.) OLB Emmanuel Acho, Texas - Solid 4-3 WILL LB type.
21.) QB BJ Coleman, Tenn-Chattanooga - Thickly built developmental QB prospect.
22.) CB Micah Pellerin, Hampton - Small school CB prospect with good size.
23.) DE Jack Crawford, Penn State - Quality DE still learning the position.
24.) S Tramain Thomas, Arkansas - Experienced FS type.
25.) OG Rishaw Johnson, Cal-PA - Talented small school interior lineman.
02-27-2012, 10:07 AM
An updated look at the Best 32 players available. Should be noted that this is pre-combine rankings...
1. Brandon Mosley, OT, Auburn - Converted tight end. JUCO player with good upside but needs development.
2. Ronnie Hillman, RB, San Diego State - Back-to-back monster seasons. Great speed, elusive. Showed up to the combine with much better size than expected
3. Russell Wilson, QB, Wisconsin - Undersized QB with great athleticism. Great college player, tough to project to NFL.
4. Eric Page, WR, Toledo - Early entry WR. Very productive, projects as a slot guy in the NFL in the Davone Bess mold
5. B.J. Coleman, QB, Chattanooga – Raw QB, with great tools. Starting potential down the line
6. Jack Crawford, DE, Penn State – Still learning the game of football. Solid athlete, rotational player that’s okay against both the run and the pass but not great at either
7. Olivier Vernon, DE, Miami (FL) - DE/OLB tweener. Freak athlete, will test off the charts. Raw on the field.
8. Brian Linthicum, TE, Michigan State - Combine snub, solid overall player. Decent blocker, good receiver
9. Eddie Whitley, FS, Virginia Tech – Good tackler, zone safety with solid overall skillset. Combine snub, should be a good special teamer
10. Dwight Bentley, CB, Louisiana-Lafayette – Big Senior Bowl week has him rising boards. Scheme versatile CB.
11. A.J. Jenkins, WR, Illinois – Productive senior season. Good speed. Plays like a number two, slot receiver size. Had a pretty good overall combine
12. Terrance Ganaway, RB, Baylor – Oversized power back. Solid overall combine.
13. Cory Harkey, TE, UCLA – Premier blocking back in this class. Great size, some think he could be an OT/OG convert although his short arms make that unlikely.
14. Tauren Poole, RB, Tennessee – Strong north/south runner that fits best in a one cut system
15. Ryan Lindley, QB, San Diego State – Toolsy QB with tons of upside. Poor decision making an spotty accuracy.
16. Tyler Nielsen, OLB, Iowa – Smart, instinctive linebacker. Well coached, good in coverage, undersized.
17. Quinton Saulsberry, C, Mississippi State – Versatile OL that can play any interior line position.
18. Emmanuel Acho, ILB, Texas – Lacks athleticism but has great instincts, sheds well, and tackles well. Versatile, can play all across 4-3 or inside in a 3-4.
19. Lucas Nix, OG, Pittsburgh – Solid athlete, good power, best fit in a man blocking scheme but good enough athlete to play in a ZBS as well.
20. D'Anton Lynn, FS, Penn State – College corner that made the move to safety at the Senior Bowl. Got better every day and showed promise
21. Julian Miller, DE, West Virginia – Good overall production but is a true DE/OLB tweener.
22. Charles Brown, CB, North Carolina – Good size and speed. Stock was hurt from UNC scandal and all the suspensions. Starting potential
23. Mike Daniels, DT, Iowa – Undersized 3 tech.
24. Case Keenum, QB, Houston – Super productive QB. Undersized, needs to be in a west coast offense
25. Dan Herron, RB, Ohio State – Bigger back that runs well inside, could be the thunder to someone else’s lightning.
26. Tank Carder, ILB, Texas Christian – Instinctual undersized linebacker that doesn’t have a great fit but tough to ignore all the production.
27. Adrian Robinson, OLB, Temple – Undersized DE/OLB tweener that looks to be a third down pass rush specialist
28. Chad Diehl, FB, Clemson – Arguably the top traditional fullback in this class.
29. Kyle Wilber, OLB, Wake Forest – Intriguing late round 3-4 OLB type. A bit small but highly productive with a nice skillset.
30. Vick Ballard, RB, Mississippi State – Big bruising back
31. Jacquies Smith, DE, Missouri – Undersized DE with intriguing athleticism.
32. Jaymes Brooks, OG, Virginia Tech – A bit undersized, might be able to move to center. Interior lineman with good flexibility and athleticism
02-28-2012, 07:40 AM
Best Available per CBS Sports - UPDATED 2/28
by DC Insider Rick Bennett
1.) RB Tauren Poole, Tennessee - Solid but inconsistent RB who could make for a decent backup.
2.) DL Brett Roy, Nevada - Undersized DT who may project better to 3-4 DE.
3.) RB Dan Herron, Ohio State - Solid inside runner who could be a good compliment/backup at least.
4.) CB Mike Harris, Florida State - Solid corner with good size out of a big program.
5.) OLB Kyle Wilber, Wake Forest - Undersized pass rusher who could be used situationally in the 3-4.
6.) P Brian Anger, Cal - Seriously, a punter. One with an awesome last name wasted on a punter. Tell me that wouldn't be a better name for a linebacker.
7.) RB Terrence Ganaway, Baylor - Big power back of monstrous proportions.
8.) TE Brian Linthicum, Michigan State - Experienced TE.
9.) H-back Evan Rodriguez, Temple - Been compared to a poor-man's Aaron Hernandez.
10.) CB Micah Pellerin, Hampton - Small school CB prospect with good size.
11.) OG Rishaw Johnson, Cal-PA - Talented small school interior lineman.
12.) CB Keith Tandy, West Virginia - Zone corner, former high school QB
13.) S Branden Taylor, LSU - Solid all around safety from a great college defense.
14.) RB Davin Meggett, Maryland - Solid if unspectacular workhorse type back.
15.) WR Rishard Matthews, Nevada - Highly productive and thickly built possession WR.
16.) RB Bobby Rainey, W. Kentucky - Short but powerful and productive workhorse back.
17.) TE Kevin Koger, Michigan - Raw TE with some upside who didn't fit Michigan's system in his time there.
18.) OT Tom Compton, South Dakota - Small school developmental OT with upside.
19.) WR Jordan White, W. Michigan - Highly productive MAC receiver.
20.) FB Emil Igwenagu, UMass - The best blocking fullback in the draft.
21.) LB Chris Galippo, USC - Likely 3-4 ILB who doesn't stand out in any one area.
22.) S Tysyn Hartman, Kansas State - Safety with intriguing size and height.
23.) LB Tyler Nielsen, Iowa - Solid all-around 4-3 OLB type who struggled with some injuries.
24.) RB Brandon Bolden, Ole Miss - Big power back.
25.) WR AJ Jenkins, Illinois - Productive receiver with average physical tools.
26.) WR Marquis Maze, Alabama - Undersized slot receiver and return man from a highly successful program.
27.) QB Chandler Harnish, N. Illinois - Athletic spread QB who put up great stats but has questions about arm strength and accuracy.
28.) TE George Bryan, NC State - Big, productive TE with soft hands.
29.) OG Josh LeRibeus, SMU - Good smaller conference interior lineman.
30.) DE Donte Paige-Moss, UNC - Athletic pass rusher who had a bad year in 2011 topped off by an ACL injury.
02-29-2012, 07:47 AM
Best Available per CBS Sports - UPDATED 2/29
by DC Insider Rick Bennett
1.) RB Tauren Poole, Tennessee - Solid but inconsistent RB who could make for a decent backup.
2.) RB Dan Herron, Ohio State - Solid inside runner who could be a good compliment/backup at least.
3.) RB Terrence Ganaway, Baylor - Big power back of monstrous proportions.
4.) CB Keith Tandy, West Virginia - Zone corner, former high school QB
5.) RB Davin Meggett, Maryland - Solid if unspectacular workhorse type back.
6.) WR Rishard Matthews, Nevada - Highly productive and thickly built possession WR.
7.) RB Bobby Rainey, W. Kentucky - Short but powerful and productive workhorse back.
8.) TE Kevin Koger, Michigan - Raw TE with some upside who didn't fit Michigan's system in his time there.
9.) WR Jordan White, W. Michigan - Highly productive MAC receiver.
10.) FB Emil Igwenagu, UMass - The best blocking fullback in the draft.
11.) LB Chris Galippo, USC - Likely 3-4 ILB who doesn't stand out in any one area.
12.) S Tysyn Hartman, Kansas State - Safety with intriguing size and height.
13.) RB Brandon Bolden, Ole Miss - Big power back.
14.) QB Chandler Harnish, N. Illinois - Athletic spread QB who put up great stats but has questions about arm strength and accuracy.
15.) OG Josh LeRibeus, SMU - Good smaller conference interior lineman.
16.) TE Rhett Ellison, USC - Solid all around TE who doesn't really stand out in any one area.
17.) S Damien Jackson, Ole Miss - Roaming safety with good size.
18.) CB Robert Blanton, Notre Dame - Aggressive, big bodied zone CB or FS conversion.
19.) DT Mike Daniels, Iowa - Penetrating DT with good burst but very undersized.
20.) FB Chris Diehl, Clemson - Excellent blocking FB and former LB.
21.) WR Tim Benford, Tenn Tech - Productive small school WR.
22.) S Kelcie McCray, Arkansas State - Experienced small school SS.
23.) WR Danny Coale, Virginia Tech - Solid if unspectacular WR.
24.) LB Max Gruder, Pitt - Heady 4-3 MIKE type.
25.) RB Edwin Baker, Michigan State - Undersized but fairly productive RB.
26.) OT Marcel Jones, Nebraska - Big but oft-injured RT type.
27.) CB Charles Brown, UNC - Short but thick corner who projects to the nickel in the pros.
28.) P Drew Butler, Georgia - Good punter and son of former Bears kicker Kevin Butler.
29.) OG Jaymes Brooks, Virginia Tech - Experienced if a bit undersized interior lineman.
30.) RB Lennon Creer, LA Tech - Big, productive back with off-field issues.
02-29-2012, 10:07 AM
Best Available by Position per CBS Sports - UPDATED 2/29 (OFFENSE)
by DC Insider Rick Bennett
(I thought this might be more helpful for some of you...I'm seeing a lot of "BPA at ____ position" big boards now.)
1.) Chandler Harnish, N. Illinois
2.) Aaron Corp, Richmond
3.) Austin Davis, Southern Miss
4.) Patrick Witt, Yale
5.) Tyler Hansen, Colorado
1.) Tauren Poole, Tennessee
2.) Terrance Ganaway, Baylor
3.) Davin Meggett, Maryland
4.) Bobby Rainey, W. Kentucky
5.) Brandon Bolden, Ole Miss
6.) Marc Tyler, USC
7.) Edwin Baker, Michigan State
8.) Lennon Creer, LA Tech
1.) Emil Igwenagu, UMass
2.) Chad Diehl, Clemson
3.) Brad Smelley, Alabama
1.) Rishard Matthews, Nevada
2.) Jordan White, W. Michigan
3.) Tim Benford, Tenn Tech
4.) Danny Coale, Virginia Tech
5.) Greg Childs, Arkansas
6.) LaVon Brazill, Ohio
7.) Junior Hemingway, Michigan
8.) Lance Lewis, ECU
9.) Jarrett Boykin, Virginia Tech
10.) Aldarius Johnson, Miami
1.) Rhett Ellison, USC
2.) Nick Provo, Syracuse
3.) David Paulson, Oregon
4.) Tyler Urban, WVU
5.) Beau Reliford, Florida State
1.) Marcel Jones, Nebraska
2.) Lamar Holmes, Southern Miss
3.) Landon Walker, Clemson
4.) Jeff Adams, Columbia
5.) John Cullen, Utah
1.) Jaymes Brooks, Virginia Tech
2.) Garth Gerhart, ASU
3.) Grant Garner, Oklahoma State
4.) Mason Cloy, Clemson
5.) Jeremiah Warren, USF
6.) Kelvin Beachum, SMU
7.) Scott Wedige, N. Illinois
02-29-2012, 10:22 AM
Best Available by Position per CBS Sports - UPDATED 2/29 (DEFENSE)
by DC Insider Rick Bennett
1.) Julian Miller, WVU
2.) Derrick Shelby, Utah
3.) Scott Solomon, Rice
4.) Taylor Thompson, SMU
5.) Justin Francis, Rutgers
6.) Frank Alexander, Oklahoma
7.) Ryan Van Bergen, Michigan
1.) Travian Robertson, South Carolina
2.) Vaughn Meatoga, Hawaii
3.) DeAngelo Tyson, Georgia
4.) Matt Conrath, Virginia
5.) Chas Alecxih, Pitt
1.) Chris Galippo, USC
2.) Max Gruder, Pitt
3.) Danny Trevathan, Kentucky
4.) Najee Good, WVU
5.) Darius Fleming, Notre Dame
6.) Adrian Robinson, Temple
7.) Adrien Cole, LA Tech
8.) D.J. Holt, Cal
1.) Robert Blanton, Notre Dame
2.) Charles Brown, UNC
3.) Trevin Wade, Arizona
4.) Emanuel Davis, ECU
5.) D'Anton Lynn, Penn State
6.) Terrence Frederick Texas A&M
7.) Coty Sensabaugh, Clemson
8.) Quenton Washington, USF
9.) Robert Golden, Arizona
10.) Antonio Fenelus, Wisconsin
1.) Tysyn Hartman, Kansas State
2.) Damien Jackson, Ole Miss
3.) Kelcie McCray, Arkansas State
4.) Christian Thompson, S. Carolina State
5.) Sean Cattouse, Cal
6.) Charles Mitchell, Miss State
7.) Eddie Pleasant, Oregon
8.) Jerrell Young, USF
9.) Brandon Hardin, Oregon State
10.) Blake Gideon, Texas
1.) Blair Walsh, Georgia
2.) Carson Wiggs, Purdue
3.) Randy Bullock, Texas A&M
4.) Philip Welch, Wisconsin
5.) David Teggart, UConn
1.) Drew Butler, Georgia
2.) Shawn Powell, Florida State
3.) Kyle Martens, Rice
4.) Brad Nortman, Wisconsin
5.) Brian Stahovich, SDSU
02-29-2012, 12:14 PM
Free Agency Round 3 Salary Cap Situations
by DC Insider Rick Bennett
Plenty of Space
- These teams could still sign anyone at any level of salary. The teams near the top of the list could still sign multiple high level salary players.
- Denver Broncos
- Kansas City Chiefs
- Cincinnati Bengals
- New Orleans Saints
- Jacksonville Jaguars
- Green Bay Packers
- Miami Dolphins
- Cleveland Browns
- Arizona Cardinals
- Seattle Seahawks
- Buffalo Bills
- Dallas Cowboys
- San Diego Chargers
- Washington Redskins
Could still sign a Mid-level
- These are teams who could still sign at least one Mid-level deal, but nothing higher than that. And they wouldn't have much space after.
- Tennessee Titans
- Philadelphia Eagles
- Oakland Raiders
- Pittsburgh Steelers
- New England Patriots
Could still sign a Low-level
- These are the teams that could still afford a low-level deal, but nothing higher than that.
- St. Louis Rams
- Atlanta Falcons
- Houston Texans
- NY Jets
- Indianapolis Colts
- Chicago Bears
- Baltimore Ravens
- Tampa Bay Bucs
Veteran Minimums only
- These teams are right up against the cap and can afford veteran minimums only.
- NY Giants
- Minnesota Vikings
- San Francisco 49ers
- Detroit Lions
- Carolina Panthers
02-29-2012, 12:37 PM
Best Available Free Agents - Round 3
by DC Insider Rick Bennett
1.) DE Israel Idonije - Quality - A very good base 4-3 DE who can kick inside and play some UT as well. Could also potentially line up as a 3-4 DE in the right scheme. He has generated essentially no interest at all so far and could probably start for any teams in need of a DE.
2.) RB Brandon Jacobs - Mid - The former Giant was cut earlier in the offseason and has generated no interest on the market thus far. He has been a pretty productive player for the Superbowl champion Giants and could be a good change of pace back for a team with a smaller, speedier guy already in place.
3.) LB Keith Brooking/Bradie James - Mid - Two veteran linebackers, both former Cowboys. Both are smart, experienced veterans who could provide a bit of leadership on the defensive side of the ball at MLB/ILB.
4.) RB Ronnie Brown - Mid - The former Eagle underwhelmed last season, but could still be a productive back with the right team. Could make for a quality backup if nothing else.
5.) QB Rex Grossman - Mid - Started for the Redskins last year and could still make for a decent backup if nothing else.
6.) LB Scott Shanle - Mid - Experienced veteran who could be an adequate starting SAM LB in the 4-3 or be a good backup option.
7.) WR Harry Douglas - Mid - Former Falcons slot receiver who would fill that role with a new team quite easily. Definitely worth a look.
8.) OG Deuce Lutui - Mid - MASSIVE interior o-lineman who started every game from 2008-2010 before being reduced to a backup role last year.
9.) OT Max Starks - Mid - Joined the Steelers mid-season last year and was an adequate starting LT. Did suffer a knee injury to end the 2011 season though, but could still be brought in as a backup swing tackle.
10.) WR Andre Caldwell - Mid - Could be an adequate #3 WR for some team, or even start in the right situation.
11.) OG Mike McGlynn - Mid - Experienced starting guard and center with the Bengals and Eagles. Could provide a versatile backup option if nothing else.
12.) LB Scott Fujita - Mid - Experienced starting linebacker and defensive leader. Could play outside in the 4-3 or inside in the 3-4.
13.) WR Chad Ochocinco - Mid - Would likely just want a chance to redeem himself after disappearing in New England last year. Might be wroth a flier to see what he still has in the tank.
14.) WR Plaxico Burress - Mid - Was decently productive in his first year back in football last season. Will have another year of NFL conditioning to get back into shape after prison and can at the very least provide a red zone threat with his size.
15.) S Eric Smith/Brodney Pool - Mid - Two former Jets with starting experience at safety.
16.) WR Roscoe Parrish - Mid - Injury prone slot receiver and return man who could still provide a spark in limited action if nothing else.
17.) S Will Allen - Mid - Experienced veteran safety who could still provide an adequate short-term starter.
18.) G Jake Scott - Mid - Experienced starting caliber guard who has started every game since 2005 with the Colts and Titans.
19.) LB Barrett Ruud - Mid - 4-3 MIKE with starting experience, but has a reputation for playing a bit soft.
20.) S Chris Hope - Mid - Veteran SS capable of starting when healthy.
21.) S Melvin Bullitt - Mid - Capable starting safety or at least a high quality reserve.
22.) DL Ty Warren - Mid - Versatile, experienced d-lineman who can play end in the 3-4 or tackle in the 4-3.
23.) S Steve Gregory - Mid - Undersized safety who started 13 games for the Chargers last year.
24.) OT Khalif Barnes - Mid - Veteran OT who started every game for the Raiders last year and could at least be a backup swing tackle.
02-29-2012, 05:30 PM
Titans release veteran linebacker Will Weatherspoon
Just minutes after their final selection in the 2012 NFL draft, the Tennessee Titans have parted ways with 31 year old linebacker Will Witherspoon. The versatile defender has played both middle and outside linebacker in his career but with the Titans invested a draft pick in Utah State standout Bobby Wagner and spending money on free agent middle linebacker Curtis Lofton, Tennessee suddenly finds themselves in an envious position - a wealth of formidable linebackers.
After dangling him out as trade bait during the draft, the Titans quickly realized the lack of a market for the aging defender and quickly parted ways the linebacker, who spent only two years in Titans blue.
Witherspoon was a free agent acquisition during 2010. The move saves the Titans $3.5 million.
03-01-2012, 08:30 AM
Idonije Visits Jaguars
by DC Insider Rick Bennett
Adding to the d-line rotation?
Long time Bears DE Israel Idonije was seen in Jacksonville in the hours following the draft per sources in the area.
Idonije generated little interest on the open market earlier in the offseason, especially after his former team replaced him by making a trade for Osi Umenyiora.
Idonije, who played college football in Canada, had been with the Bears since 2004. He started 31 games in the past two seasons, registering 13 sacks, as a base DE and can also help a team by sliding inside on passing downs.
It is unknown at this time whether the 31 year old has any other visits lined up, but it sounds as though the Jaguars made him a fairly lucrative offer, especially at this point late in free agency.
03-01-2012, 08:38 AM
Colts Host Starks
by DC Insider Rick Bennett
Starting left tackle?
Max Starks was out of football to start last season after having been cut by the Steelers in training camp for being overweight and out of shape.
However, midway through the season after several injuries and other struggles along the o-line, Starks returned to Pittsburgh and immediately became the starter at LT where he played fairly well. Unfortunately, Starks tore his ACL in the team's playoff loss and drew very little interest on the open market as a result.
Now that the draft has come and gone, teams that still find themselves with a few holes are picking through the remaining free agents and the Colts are showing some interest in Starks.
Protection issues have been a problem for the Colts since Tarik Glenn's retirement years ago and remained a problem last season. Starks would respent a low-risk, potentially high-reward gamble on the Colts if he could get healthy and protect #1 overall draft pick Andrew Luck's blind side.
03-01-2012, 08:44 AM
Patriots make post-draft roster cuts
Antwaun Molden is out of a job following the draft.
The New England Patriots have announced the release of four players on their roster as they attempt to meet the 53-man roster limit; being let go are TE Garrett Mills, OG Rich Ohrnberger, CB Antwaun Molden, and CB Chris Carr. New England heavily invested in the offensive line and defensive backfield, making Ohrnberger, Molden, and Carr expendable. Mills was another odd man out as the Patriots' third tight end behind Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. Molden was on the field for 355 snaps in 2012, although his snap count was inflated due to a number of injuries in the secondary, and the club likely determined that carrying more than five cornerbacks was unnecessary after selecting Brandon Boykin in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft. New England currently has 54 players on roster and is reportedly listening to offers for safety Sergio Brown, a Notre Dame product and special teams contributor who logged 349 snaps for the Patriots last season; the team signed Michael Griffin during the free agency period and drafted another Notre Dame product, Harrison Smith, with the 61st overall pick in 2012.
03-01-2012, 09:10 AM
Top 50 UDFAs per CBS Sports
by DC Insider Rick Bennett
1.) RB Davin Meggett, Maryland
2.) RB Bobby Rainey, W. Kentucky
3.) FB Emil Igwenagu, UMass
4.) RB Brandon Bolden, Ole Miss
5.) QB Chandler Harnish, N. Illinois
6.) TE Rhett Ellison, USC
7.) S Damien Jackson, Ole Miss
8.) CB Robert Blanton, Notre Dame
9.) DT Mike Daniels, Iowa
10.) FB Chris Diehl, Clemson
11.) WR Tim Benford, Tenn Tech
12.) S Kelcie McCray, Arkansas State
13.) WR Danny Coale, Virginia Tech
14.) LB Max Gruder, Pitt
15.) RB Edwin Baker, Michigan State
16.) CB Charles Brown, UNC
17.) P Drew Butler, Georgia
18.) RB Lennon Creer, LA Tech
19.) FB Brad Smelley, Alabama
20.) CB Trevin Wade, Arizona
21.) DE Julian Miller, WVU
22.) LB Danny Trevathan, Kentucky
23.) TE Nick Provo, Syracuse
24.) S Christian Thompson, SC State
25.) C Garth Gerhart, Arizona State
26.) S Sean Cattouse, Cal
27.) CB Emanuel Davis, ECU
28.) DE Derrick Shelby, Utah
29.) LB Najee Good, WVU
30.) OT Landon Walker, Clemson
31.) K Blair Walsh, Georgia
32.) CB D'Anton Lynn, Penn State
33.) RB Adonis Thomas, Toledo
34.) WR Greg Childs, Arkansas
35.) DE Scott Solomon, Rice
36.) CB Terrence Frederick, Texas A&M
37.) S Charles Mitchell, Miss State
38.) S Jerrell Young, USF
39.) TE David Paulson, Oregon
40.) C Grant Garner, Oklahoma State
41.) LB Adrien Cole, LA Tech
42.) FB Cody Johnson, Texas
43.) S Eddie Pleasant, Oregon
44.) K Randy Bullock, Texas A&M
45.) S Brandon Hardin, Oregon State
46.) TE Tyler Urban, WVU
47.) S Johnny Thomas, Oklahoma
48.) QB Aaron Corp, Richmond
49.) OT John Cullen, Utah
50.) C Mason Cloy, Clemson
03-01-2012, 09:15 AM
Lavon Brazill Draws Heavy UDFA Interest
by DC Insider Rick Bennett
Most popular UDFA?
The all time leading receiver in Ohio Bobcat history didn't hear his name called during the draft itself, but that doesn't mean NFL teams aren't interested.
Though we are still early in the process, multiple teams have reportedly contacted the undrafted wide receiver hoping to secure his services.
The 5'11 WR had a dominant year in 2011 and should be able to assist an NFL team via special teams while he works his way into the offense.
03-01-2012, 11:55 AM
Chandler Harnish Gets a Look in Denver
by DC Insider Rick Bennett
Athletic backup QB?
Questions were abound this offseason about just what the Denver Broncos would do at the QB situation. Tim Tebow certainly made it clear that he at least deserved an opportunity to compete for the starting job this season, but committing to him as the starting QB would mean building the offense around his strengths. Many wondered if team president John Elway, a hall of fame QB himself, would really commit to a triple option type attack on offense.
Well, things weren't looking good for Tebow and that offense when the Broncos traded for Patriots backup Brian Hoyer, a pro-style passer.
But the Broncos may still be looking for a more athletic backup QB just in case, and that QB might be Chandler Harnish of Norther Illinois.
Harnish didn't hear his name called on draft day, but may find a great opportunity in Denver to make the team. He is an athletic QB who put up good numbers in N. Illinois spread offense, but there were many questions about his arm strength and accuracy.
The Broncos appear intent on signing Harnish as an undrafted free agent.
03-01-2012, 02:16 PM
Baker Visits Eagles
by DC Insider Rick Bennett
The Eagles like their little backs.
Edwin Baker's decision to leave school early seems to have been a mistake now that he went undrafted.
However, he still has a chance to make a roster and Philly is looking to give him that shot.
Baker is a bit undersized and had a disappointing year in 2011 after a strong 2010 seasons, likely leading to him going undrafted.
The Eagles have Lesean McCoy firmly entrenched as a starter with 4th round pick Bernard Pierce likely acting as the team's power back for a change of pace. Baker would have to compete with Dion Lewis for the 3rd RB spot should he sign with the Eagles.
Teams have until Midnight eastern tonight to submit offers to UDFAs before they start signing.
03-01-2012, 02:23 PM
Vikings Host Kicker Walsh
by DC Insider Rick Bennett
Former Bulldog headed to Minnesota?
Georgia kicker Blair Walsh was recognized as one of the best in the nation last year, but that still didn't help him get drafted.
Still, it's a position where an undrafted free agent can really make an impact. If signed, Walsh would compete with incumbent veteran Ryan Longwell for the job. Longwell had the 3rd worst year of his career last season, and worst out of any in his previous 5 seasons.
03-01-2012, 02:41 PM
Aaron Corp Drawing Interest
by DC Insider Rick Bennett
From USC to Richmond to the NFL?
Corp is an interesting prospect to say the least. He actually beat out Matt Barkley at USC for the starting job several years back, but injured himself before the season and never got the job back.
He transferred to Richmond to play some 1-AA ball and continued to draw the interest of NFL scouts.
Though he didn't hear his name called during the draft, he's receiving plenty of interest from NFL teams currently. He has good height though could stand to build up further, and has a decent all around arm in terms of strength and accuracy.
Corp fits the mold of a 3rd string developmental QB or potential practice squad player. It appears as though he'll definitely get a shot in an NFL training camp at the very least.
03-01-2012, 02:49 PM
Childs Visits Giants
by DC Insider Rick Bennett
The big bodied receiver talking to Big Blue.
Childs is a big, strong possession receiver who had a great year in 2010 before suffering a pretty serious knee injury late in the year. He never seemed to fully recover from that and struggled throughout 2011, catching just 21 passes.
After going undrafted, Childs is now looking for an opportunity as an UDFA. He is visiting with the Giants today and has several other visits lined up as well.
If he can get back to pre-injury form, he may be a bargain for the team who signs him.
03-02-2012, 09:22 AM
by DC Insider Rick Bennett
WR Danny Coale, Virginia Tech - 30
RB Adonis Thomas, Toledo - 5
LB Chris Marve, Vanderbilt - 5
DE Frank Alexander, Oklahoma - 3
CB Robert Golden, Arizona - 2
WR DaJon McKnight, Minnesota - 2
C Garth Gerhart, ASU - 12
DE Justin Francis, Rutgers - 5
S Eddie Pleasant, Oregon - 4
P Mickey Grudy, FAU - 4
OG Al Netter, Northwestern - 5
OG Kelvin Beachum, SMU - 4
C David Snow, Texas - 4
WR Jarrett Boykin, Virginia Tech - 4
DT Chigho Anunoby, Morehouse - 4
OT James Carmon, Miss St - 3
RB Bryce Brown, Kansas St. 3
OT Mike Harris, Michigan - 2
RB Edwin Baker, Michigan St. - 7
QB Jordan Jefferson, LSU - 7
WR James Rodgers, Oregon St. - 3
DE Max Holloway, Boston College - 3
TE Rhett Ellison, USC - 8
DT Renard Williams, Eastern Wash. - 7
OT Trindon Sturdivant, Georgia - 6
RB Fozzy Whittaker, Texas - 3
LB Max Gruder, Pitt - 3
CB D'Anton Lynn, Penn St. - 5
LB Adrian Cole, LA Tech - 3
RB Marc Tyler, USC - 5
QB Aaron Corp, Richmond - 25
TE Tyler Urban, WVU - 2
CB Desmond Morrow, Toledo - 2
WR Derek Moye, Penn St. - 2
CB Terrence Fredrick, Texas A&M - 2
NT Ishmaa'ily Kitchen, Kent St. - 2
S Neiko Thorpe, Auburn - 2
S Josh Bush, Wake Forest - 2
OL Blake DeChristopher, Virginia Tech - 2
DT Travian Robertson, S. Carolina - 10
RB Michael Smith, Utah State - 3
WR Kashif Moore, UConn - 5
S Kelcie McCray, Ark. St. - 3
DE Derrick Shelby, Utah - 2
WR Greg Childs, Arkansas - 16
TE Cory Harkey, UCLA - 6
K Blair Walsh, Georgia - 15
P Drew Butler, Georgia - 10
S Donovan Richard, SC State - 5
WR Travis Benjamin, Miami - 9
OG Rokevious Watkins, S. Carolina - 3
RB Lennon Creer, LA Tech - 3
WR Lavon Brazill, Ohio - 15
CB Charles Brown, UNC - 10
OLB Sammy Brown, Houston - 10
DL Matt Conrath, Virginia - 7
S Nick Sukay, Penn St. - 3
QB Alex Tanney, Monmouth - 3
LB Caleb McSurdy, Montana - 3
OT Dustin Waldron, Portland State - 2
CB Robert Blanton, Notre Dame - 8
P Shawn Powell, Florida St. - 6
WR Tim Benford, Tenn Tech - 5
DT Mike Daniels, Iowa - 8
FB Emil Igwenagu, UMass - 8
S Damien Jackson, Ole Miss - 4
DE Scott Solomon, Rice - 2
QB Chandler Harnish, N. Illinois - 22
TE David Paulson, Oregon - 8
CB Justin Bethel, Presbyterian - 5
OG Johnnie Troutman, Penn St. - 5
OT Joe Long, Wayne State - 5
DE Tony Jerod-Eddie, Texas A&M - 5
RB Jonas Gray, Notre Dame - 5
LB Danny Trevathan, Kentucky - 5
QB Patrick Witt, Yale - 2
WR Junior Hemingway, Michigan - 2
WR LaRon Byrd, Miami - 2
TE Anthony Miller, Cal - 2
DE Taylor Thompson, SMU - 2
LB Nate Stupar, Penn St. - 2
CB Trevin Wade, Arizona - 16
S Sean Baker, Ball State - 2
03-02-2012, 10:38 AM
More UDFAs (all 1 point)
OT Bradley Sowell, Ole Miss
DT Christian Tupou, USC
QB Jacory Harris, Miami
FB Bruce Figgins, Georgia
LB Jabaree Tuani, Navy
TE Matt Veldman, ND State
FB Taylor Gentry, NC State
QB Dominique Davis, ECU
OT Landon Walker, Clemson
RB Stephfon Green, Penn State
CB Chaz Powell, Penn State
OG Elvis Fisher, Missouri
DE Manny Abreu, Rutgers
03-02-2012, 11:42 AM
SIGNING: JAGS LAND IDONIJE
by DC Insider Rick Bennett
The newest Jaguar.
Former Bears DE Israel Idonije, considered by many to be the best FA still on the market following the draft, has signed a Quality level deal today with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Broncos and Packers were also reportedly interested, but the guaranteed starting job as a 4-3 base DE sold Idonije on the Jags.
The Jaguars also signed Andre Carter earlier in the offseason, but the team views him more as a situational pass rusher at this point in his career. Idonije can also move inside to UT on passing downs.
03-02-2012, 11:50 AM
SIGNING: PLAX TO DENVER
by DC Insider Rick Bennett
If Tebow can't hit him, he can't hit anybody.
Another of the remaining big names comes off the free agent market, as the Denver Broncos have signed former Steeler, Giant and Jets WR Plaxico Burress.
Burress had a solid year last year with the Jets, and the belief is that with another year out of prison to get back into NFL playing shape, he may be even better next year.
If nothing else, the giant WR will give Tim Tebow a big target in the passing game. Plaxico is also a dangerous red zone threat thanks to his height.
The Eagles were another team on Burress' radar, and he has said repeatedly that he would love to play there. Money talks however, and the Quality deal the Broncos gave him dwarfed what the Eagles were willing to pay.
03-02-2012, 11:54 AM
SIGNING: CALDWELL TO EAGLES
by DC Insider Rick Bennett
Goes from the Queen City to the City of Brotherly Love (and Cheesesteaks)
After narrowly missing out on their top WR target in Burress, the Eagles rebounded quickly to sign former Bengal Andre Caldwell.
Caldwell has played a #3/#4 type WR role the last few years in Cincinnati, and figures to take up that same role behind Vincent Jackson and Jeremy Maclin.
03-02-2012, 12:01 PM
SIGNING: COWBOYS SIGN TWO LINEMAN
by DC Insider Rick Bennett
Jake Scott will bring his big beard to Big D.
The Dallas Cowboys have announced today that they've agreed to deals with former Titans guard Jake Scott (Mid) and former Bengals and Eagles lineman Mike McGlynn (Low.) Both are likely to be starters in Dallas.
Scott has started every game since 2005 with the Colts and Titans. He is a solid if a bit unspectacular and slightly undersized guard at 292 pounds. With the weakness of the Cowboys interior line, Scott could play either guard position. Plugging the veteran in at LG to help youngster Tyron Smith adjust to the LT position may be what the Cowboys do.
Also signed was Mike McGlynn who started 7 games for the Bengals last year and 14 for the Eagles before that. He is a versatile player and figures to compete with the much maligned Phil Costa for the starting center job. McGlynn was offered more money to be a versatile backup in some other spots, but liked his chances to start for the Cowboys.
03-02-2012, 12:10 PM
SIGNING: CARDINALS SIGN DT WARREN, RB BROWN
by DC Insider Rick Bennett
Let's hope he leaves the throwing of the ball to Peyton Manning...
The Cardinals have done some post-draft bolstering of their depth today, as they've announced the signings of former Broncos DL Ty Warren and former Eagles RB Ronnie Brown. Both signed Mid-level deals.
Warren will contribute to the d-line rotation. He is capable of playing DE in odd fronts and DT in even fronts. He received some minor interest elsewhere, but liked what the Cardinals were building.
Brown struggled last season, his only one as an Eagle. He will backup the oft-injured Beanie Wells.
03-02-2012, 12:17 PM
SIGNING: BROWNS LAND DOUGLAS
by DC Insider Rick Bennett
Former Falcon heads to Cleveland.
The Browns announced that they've signed former Falcons slot WR Harry Douglas to a Mid-level deal today.
Douglas showed promise as a rookie, but a knee injury caused him to miss all of the 2009 season. He looked slow in 2010 but started to show some improvement in 2011 as the 3rd WR behind Roddy White and Julio Jones.
Douglas didn't generate much interest early in free agency, but had several teams interested in him following the draft. With the monetary offers relatively equal, it came down to fit. Douglas felt like he could make the most impact in Cleveland's West Coast style offense offense and could potentially even land a starting role.
03-02-2012, 12:25 PM
by DC Insider Rick Bennett
S Madeiu Williams - VM
RB Brandon Jacobs - VM
S Chris Hope - VM
QB Mike Hartline VM
DE Justin Trattou VM
LB Aaron Lavarius VM
DB Malcolm Williams VM
WR Roscoe Parrish - Low
S Melvin Bullitt - Mid
S Jarrod Page
WR Domenik Hixon
LB Tavares Gooden
S Atari Bigby
OT Max Starks
LB Jermaine Cunningham
RB Steve Slaton
DE Igor Olshansky
OG Deuce Lutui - Low
RB Ryan Grant - VM
03-02-2012, 01:07 PM
Bills cut punter Brain Moorman
Bills saved 1.6 million by letting the life long Bill go.
The Bills drafted Cals Bryan Anger in round 7 in the 2012 NFL draft.
03-02-2012, 01:20 PM
FULL RAIDERS OFFSEASON REVIEW
by DC Insider Rick Bennett
Here, we will take a look at the situation for the Raiders at each position headed into the 2012 preseason.
Though new GM Reggie McKenzie briefly considered cutting incumbet starter Carson Palmer and his large salary loose, he was dissuaded by others in the organization. So, Palmer remains the unquestioned starter heading into the 2012 season. The team also signed Vince Young to a one year deal with no guaranteed money to compete with Terrelle Pryor for the backup job. Both are athletic QBs and the winner of the competition may have a shot of seeing some playing time this season should Palmer struggle. Since Young is signed to a veteran minimum deal, the Raiders may cut him if he loses the battle in training camp to Pryor. Pryor may meet a similar fate if he loses out since the new GM and coaching staff have no attachment to him. Bringing up the bottom of the depth chart is undrafted free agent Patrick Witt of Yale. He'll be a camp arm and likely practice squad candidate.
To the surprise of many, the team traded dynamic though oft-injured former starter Darren McFadden to the division rival Broncos for a first round pick. This freed them up to resign Michael Bush to be their starter. Bush is a big, bruising back who will carry the majority of the load for the Raiders in 2012. Behind him is slashing speedster Taiwan Jones who will be entering his 2nd year. He will provide the "lightning" to Bush's "thunder" in their two back attack. Also signed were veteran free agents Mewelde Moore and Ryan Grant. Moore excels as a shift 3rd down back, quite capable of pass blocking and catching passes out of the backfield. Grant follows former Packers executive Reggie McKenzie to Oakland where he will simply compete for a roster spot. Barring an injury to one of the above backs, he seems unlikely to make the roster, but his veteran savvy in training camp may be a boost to the younger players. The Raiders are set at fullback with Marcel Reese and Manase Tonga returning to the team.
This was not a position the Raiders addressed much this offseason. There is a ton of untapped potential thanks to the massive amount of speed at the position. Darrius Heyward-Bay, Denarious Moore, Louis Murphy and Jacoby Ford with fill out the top 4 spots on the depth chart in one combination or another. Last year's 5th WR, Derrick Jones, will compete with undrafted rookie free agents Junior Hemingway of Michigan and LaRon Byrd of Miami for that fifth and final WR roster spot.
TE is another position where the Raiders didn't make many changes. The well-rounded Kevin Boss holds the starting job and will be backed up by some combination of Brandon Myers, David Ausberry and Richard Gordon. The team did sign undrafted free agent Anthony Miller out of Cal. The team figures to pare down to just 3 players at the position after camp.
At left tackle, the Raiders will have youngster Jared Veldheer return as the starter. New offensive coordinator Greg Knapp will install a ZBS, and Veldheer should be a nice fit thanks to his athleticism. The right tackle position will up for grabs between incumbent Joseph Barksdale, newly signed free agent Guy Whimper and 4th round draft pick Tony Bergstrom of Utah. Barksdale is a questionable fit in the ZBS, but will enter camp as the starter. Whimper will make for a great backup swing tackle with starting experience should he lose out on the job while Bergstrom will be developed for the future.
At guard, the Raiders return starters Stefan Wisniewski and Cooper Carlisle. Athletic backup Bruce Campbell and newly signed Jacob Bell will compete with Carlisle for the starting RG spot. At center, the Raiders made it their top priority to resign Samson Satele and succeeded. He will be backed up by 6th round draft pick William Vlachos of Alabama.
This was the Raiders biggest area of need, with only Matt Shaughnessy on the roster as a potential starter. The Raiders began in free agency where they signed former Buc William Hayes. Hayes has previous starting experience and will be part of the rotation. When it came draft time, the Raiders used their top two picks on pass rushers, selecting Marshall's Vinny Curry in the first round and Arkansas' Jake Bequette in the third. Following the draft, the team also signed rookie free agent Taylor Thompson out of SMU. These three rookies will have a great chance of seeing considerable playing time in their first year.
Starters Richard Seymour and Tommie Kelly return to the team in those same roles for now. Former starting DE Lamarr Houston will kick inside to his natural DT position along with Desmond Bryant. The team also signed veteran free agents Jonathan Fanene and Marcus Thomas, who is experienced in new head coach Dennis Allen's system from their time in Denver. Seymour, thanks to his hefty bonus earlier in the offseason, is the only one guaranteed to have a starting job. The others will battle it out to find their spots in the rotation.
The Raiders return all of their starters from 2010, WILL Aaron Curry, MIKE Rolando McClain and SAM Kamerion Wimbley. Their depth has been thoroughly bolstered however. Veteran free agent pickups Joe Mays, who played under Allen in Denver, and Geno Hayes from Tampa, will be the primary backups. The team also signed former Penn Stater Nate Stupar as an undrafted free agent. He stands a good chance of making the roster if he shows value on special teams.
The Raiders have seen massive turnover at this position in each of the last two years. Former Texan Jason Allen was the Raiders biggest pickup at the position as he is coming off of a career year in 2011. He figures to be one of the starters while young incumbents DeMarcus Van Dyke, Chimdi Chekwa and Bryan McCann battle with veteran pick ups Kelly Jennings and Shawntae Spencer for the rest of the spots on the team. Also added was undrafted free agent Trevin Wade of Arizona. The Raiders have more quantity than quality at this position currently, but that should work itself out through training camp.
The team lost former starter Tyvon Branch as a top level free agent, but does return their other starter at FS in Michael Huff. Huff was a potential trade/cut candidate, but he has stayed with the team. Marvin Mitchell inherits the starting SS job which he will battle Jerome Boyd, free agent signing Haruki Nakamura, and 5th round draft pick Duke Ihenacho for. The team also signed former Ball State safety Sean Baker as an UDFA. He has a chance of making the roster if he displays good special teams potential.
The Raiders return studs at both positions in Sebastian Janikowski and Shane Lechler. No additions were made or required.
03-02-2012, 01:32 PM
Patriots sign WR Childs in undrafted free agency
Greg Childs is reunited with Ryan Mallett in New England.
The New England Patriots have announced the signing of four undrafted free agents: WR Greg Childs (Arkansas), TE Cory Harkey (UCLA), OL Elvis Fisher (Missouri), and DE Manny Abreu (Rutgers.) Childs (6'3", 219) ran a 4.55 in Mobile during pre-draft workouts after a disappointing senior season at Arkansas; he suffered a knee injury which negatively impacted his play, but appears to have regained his speed. He was one of Patriots backup quarterback Ryan Mallett's favorite targets in 2009 and 2010, with 13 touchdowns in that two-year span. The Razorbacks ran a pro-style spread offense in college, which should ease Childs' transition to the NFL.
Harkey is known as a proficient inline blocker and could work his way onto the 53-man roster if the Patriots decide they need a third tight end. Fisher was a four-year starter at left tackle for the Tigers but suffered a season-ending injury in 2011, while Abreu has played both defensive end and outside linebacker at Rutgers and possesses intriguing measurables (6'2", 260 pounds.)
Additionally, the club has re-signed QB Mike Hartline, DE Justin Trattou, LB Aaron Lavarias, and DB Malcolm Williams to the practice squad. All four players were members of the Patriots headed into the draft and passed through waivers unclaimed before being re-signed.
New England has additionally announced the release of SS Josh Barrett and FB Kyle Eckel.
03-02-2012, 01:35 PM
Green Bay Packers Offseason Recap
Packers say goodbye to three veterans.
Super Packers first move as Green Bay Packers general manager was to cut Chad Clifton, Donald Driver and AJ Hawk. The three players saved the Packers close to 15 million in cap space. Clifton who was set to earn close to 5 million this year has struggled with injury problems over the past few years and is nearing the end of his career. The Packers also released veteran linebacker AJ Hawk who failed to live up to his salary of 2011. Hawk was also set to earn around 5 million in 2012 which is part of the reason they decided to cut him, the other believed to be that he got outplayed by the two young inside linebackers Robert Francois and DJ Smith, who is set to become the starter. The final cut of they day, Donald Driver, scheduled to earn close to 4 million in 2012, saw his production drop last year. He struggled to make the impact expected of a man earning his money and the team wishes to look towards the future.
Packers franchise and then trade Finley.
With the most discussed move of their offseason, the Packers put the franchise tag on tight end Jermichael Finley and then later traded him to the Buffalo Bills. GM Super Packer had made it very clear of his interests from the get go so it was no suprise to see the talented yet underachieving receiver leave Green Bay. For the rights to Finley, Green Bay received Buffalo's second, fourth and fifth round pick in return for their second round pick and the tight end.
Gaither now a Packer.
With free-agency upon them, Green Bay wasted no time in signing and cutting players. The first two signings the Packers made sent out a clear motive, protecting Aaron Rodgers. The Packers had already declared their interest in resigning Scott Wells and thats exactly what they did when they signed him to a 4 year deal averaging in at around 5 million a year. They also announced they had resigned Jarret Bush to be the dime cornerback in Dom Capers defense.
They then surprisingly went the route they dont often ride on by bringing in three free agents Jared Gaither, Dennis Dixon and Visanthe Shiancoe. Gaither the left tackle made a great impression whilst at the Chargers. He went there mid-season and protected Philip Rivers from the moment he stepped on the field. The tackles deal, reported to be averaging 4 million a year will be set with the task of protecting Rodgers blind side. The Packers also signed former Steelers quarterback Dennis Dixon on a 1 million a year deal and will be asked to be the back up behind Aaron Rodgers. With the final free agent signing of their day, Green Bay signed tight end Visanthe Shiancoe formerly of the Vikings. After trading away Jermichael Finley, the Packers felt as though they needed a tight end with starting experience that could come in a play in front of the young players they currently have at the position. Shiancoe was also signed to a deal averaging 1 million a year.
With the five signings out the way general manager Super Packer turned his attention to cuts, They announced the release of safety Charlie Peprah, outside linebacker Frank Zombo and tight end Tom Crabtree.
Packers grab pass rusher, Nick Perry, USC.
With the free agency out of the way for the moment the Packers were allowed to turn all eyes onto the NFL Draft. It was obvious the Packers would go into the draft looking to improve on their defensive unit, who ranked dead last in 2011, and improve it is exactly what they did.
In the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers selected USC defensive end, Nick Perry, after making a trade with the Tennessee Titans which allowed them to grab him with the 20th overall pick. Perry, an exciting young player will be lined up opposite Clay Matthews at outside linebacker in the 3-4 defense and will be responsible for producing sacks and creating them for others.
In the second round, with the pick they received from Buffalo, Green Bay drafted defensive tackle Kendall Reyes, Connecticut. Tackle was also a position of need for them after letting Cullen Jenkins walk in 2011 and seeing Mike Neal again plagued by injuries.
With the later picks in the draft the Packers added secondary help in the form Furman cornerback, Ryan Steed and safety Aaron Henry out of Wisconsin. Sandwiched between these two was Boise State defensive tackle, Billy Winn who will come in to add competition on the defensive line. Outside linebacker, Kyle Wilber was also added to create some healthy pass rushing competition.
Green Bay then turned their attention to offensive depth by bringing in centre David Molk from Michigan, LSU tight end, DeAngelo Peterson, SMU offensive guard, Josh LeRibeus and Tennessee running back, Tauren Poole. They then finished their draft by picking Chris Galippo, the inside linebacker who will join his college team mate Nick Perry.
It was then later noted that the Packers had signed one undrafted free agent by bringing in Danny Coale, wide receiver out of Virginia Tech.
Packers trim roster to 53.
With the 2012 NFL season nearly upon us the Packers have been busy trimming their roster down looking to find the best 53 men on their team. This isn't a pleasant time for anyone especially the players who realise their future could be in doubt.
The unlucky seven were as follows; QB Graham Harrell, RB Tauren Poole, TE Ryan Taylor, TE Andrew Quarless, OG Ray Dominguez, DT Lawrence Guy and OLB Kyle Wilber.
Shane P. Hallam
03-02-2012, 01:47 PM
Chargers revamp their team
RB: With stud runner Ryan Mathews at the helm, the Chargers drafted Oregon RB Lamichael James and signed former Seahawks RB Justin Forsett to battle for the #2 role as the 3rd down receiving back.
WR: Losing free agent WR Vincent Jackson, the team tried to replace him with a number of options including Texas A&M WR Jeff Fuller drafted in the 4th round and free agent flyers Mike Sims-Walker and Chaz Schilens. The hope is that Malcolm Floyd and Vincent Brown can continue to develop and fill the void.
TE: One priority was finding the replacement and the Chargers feel that acquired the best TE in the draft in Georgia's Orson Charles who can both catch passes and block for the team.
OL: Due to medical and salary reasons, LT Marcus McNeil was released and replaced with cheaper free agent Sam Baker from Atlanta. Late rounder Donald Stephenson or UDFA Joe Long are expected to back-up Baker. The team resigned Pro Bowler Nick Hardwick to stay at center and kept most of the consistency of their offensive line.
DL: As 2nd year player Corey Liuget develops into a starter, the team resigned Luis Castillo and drafted Trevor Guyton to rotate on the other side. At Nose Tackle, both Paul Soliai and Casey Hampton were signed to fill a massive void in the middle of the defense.
LB: There will be no excuse for no pass rush as the Chargers now have 1st round pick Melvin Ingram and free agent Kroy Bierman to rotate opposite of Shaun Phillips. With last ditch efforts by Antwan Barnes, Larry English, and Everette Brown to revitalize their careers, competition will be fierce. Inside, the team kept starters Donald Butler and Takeo Spikes but felt they got a steal in the 6th round with Arkansas State LB Demario Davis to compete with 2nd year player Jonas Mouton as the primary back-up.
Secondary - CB wasn't a huge need, but the team signed former Steeler William *** to compete with Marcus Gilchrist in the nickel spot. They are excited to bring in high upside UDFA Justin Bethel as a potential developmental player. Free Agent Roman Harper will join Eric Weddle as the starters allowing for a more physical presence as a whole.
Specialists: Not many changes, but Lamichael James is expected to take over primary return duties.
03-02-2012, 02:16 PM
Giants Sign 5 Undrafted Free Agents
Giants Add Solid Depth And Hope To Find Success Again With UDFAs
After finishing a solid draft bringing in Mohamed Sanu to be the 3rd WR, OT Bobby Massie to bolster the Offensive Line as well as depth at the Running Back, Corner Back, Tight End and Defensive Tackle positions with Chris Polk, Donnie Fletcher, James Hana and Markus Kuhn, the Giants have signed 5 Undrafted Free Agents. They brought in Center Garth Gerhart from Arizona State to compete with David Baas who had a disappointing season with the Giants in his first year with the team. They also brought in Defensive End Justin Francis from GM scottyboy's Alma Mater Rutgers University to add depth to one of the most talented Defensive lines in the NFL. They also signed Safety Eddie Pleasant out of Oregon to provide depth. In addition to those three were Wide Receiver Marcus Rivers from Buffalo who provides a 6foot5 frame to be a potential red zone threat and punter Micky Groody was signed to the practice squad in case of injury to Steve Weatherford.
CONGRATS! You found the Tag Titles!
03-02-2012, 03:19 PM
Cardinals fill out practice squad with relative unknowns
Jeremy Lane, CB, Northwestern State
Damon Harrison, NT, William Penn
Delano Johnson, OLB, Bowie State
Natiel Curry, C, Bethune-Cookman
Devon Ramsey, FB, North Carolina
03-02-2012, 03:34 PM
Packers sign 8 players to practice squad
Newest addition to Packers practice squad.
The Green Bay Packers have announced the 8 players they have chosen to place on this years practice squad. The players are as follows:
QB Graham Harrell
RB Tauren Poole
WR Diondre Borel
TE Ryan Taylor
OG Ray Dominguez
DT Lawrence Guy
OLB Kyle Wilber
S Anthony Levine
03-02-2012, 03:47 PM
Patriots revamp practice squad
Florida quarterback John Brantley among newest UDFA signings.
The New England Patriots overhauled their practice squad today after a number of players made it through waivers unclaimed. QB Mike Hartline, OL Elvis Fisher, DE Manny Abreu, and LB Aaron Lavarias were released today in order to make room for QB John Brantley (Florida), WR Patrick Edwards (Houston), C Moe Petrus (Connecticut), and DB Jerrell Young (South Florida.) The Patriots' practice squad is as follows:
QB John Brantley
WR Patrick Edwards
TE Cory Harkey
OT Kyle Hix
C Moe Petrus
DE Justin Trattou
DB Malcolm Williams
DB Jerrell Young
03-02-2012, 04:00 PM
Raiders Release 11, Add 8 to Practice Squad
Patrick Witt released, signed to practice squad.
To get down to the 53 man regular season roster limit, the Oakland Raiders have announced the release of the following 11 players:
1.) QB Patrick Witt
2.) TE Richard Gordon
3.) TE Anthony Miller
4.) OG Zach Hurd
5.) WR Derrick Jones
6.) DE Brandon Thompson
7.) LB Nate Stupar
8.) CB Trevin Wade
9.) S Sean Baker
10.) WR Junior Hemingway
11.) DT Jonathan Fanene
And to fill out their practice squad, the Raiders brought back 8:
1.) QB Patrick Witt
2.) TE Anthony Miller
3.) WR Derrick Jones
4.) DE Brandon Thompson
5.) LB Nate Stupar
6.) CB Trevin Wade
7.) S Sean Baker
8.) WR Junior Hemingway
All but Jones are first year UDFAs.
03-02-2012, 04:38 PM
Houston Texans Off-Season Overview
The Houston Texans came into this offseason with three very key contributors due for free agency, namely Arian Foster, Mario Williams, and Chris Myers. In order to get some cap room to attempt bringing them back, the Texans started off by releasing three players in Matt Leinart, Kevin Walter, and Jacoby Jones. Jones had become hated amongst the Houston fanbase due to his miscues in the playoffs and simply had to be let go while Leinart was supplanted by Yates as the top backup and Walter simply wasn’t with the $3.5 million a year he was making. Those moves freed up around $10 million in cap room which gave them around $18 million to work with.
The first move the Texans made was to lock up Arian Foster long-term. Houston gave him a deal that made him the richest running back in NFL history.
During the first round of free agency, Houston focused its’ efforts trying to bring Chris Myers back but after spending so much on Arian Foster, the Redskins simply outbid them for his services. This was a huge blow for the Texans and left the front office scrambling. The Texans also lost backup tight end Joel Dreessen to the Buccaneers. The two positive things that came out of the first round was that they brought back kicker Neil Rackers, undoubtedly the best kicker they’ve had in their short existence, and they went out and acquired Santana Moss’ services to fill the number two wide receiver role. Moss was excited about the idea of playing with fellow ‘Da U’ alum Andre Johnson and the Texans front office considered him a significant upgrade to Jacoby Jones. In addition to losing Myers, the Texans also lost Mario Williams to the Broncos, and Jason Allen to the Raiders, and Matt Leinart to the Redskins although the Texans knew Williams was out of their price range and had no interest in bringing Allen back, and only were interested in Leinart on a veteran minimum deal.
During the second round of free agency, after losing Chris Myers, the Texans put a premium on bringing back guard Mike Brisiel. Fortunately, they were able to secure his services so they wouldn’t lose two starters from the interior of that line. In addition, the Texans were able to bring three guys back on veteran minimum deals, Tim Bulman, Jake Delhomme, and Kevin Walter while they lost out on bringing Tim Dobbins back as he took a better paying gig to go across state to Dallas. Bulman is a quality depth player along the defensive line, Delhomme was brought back to have a veteran backup and mentor, and Walter has been the number two WR for a few years and is very highly regarded around the clubhouse. In addition to these signings, for the second year in a row, the Texans acquired a free agent cornerback, using Wade Phillips to entice Terrance Newman from the Cowboys. Newman is no longer a number one corner but the Texans believe he can be a quality starter for a year or two while they figure out if one of their young corners can develop into a starting corner. In addition, former Texan Jacoby Jones joined the Colts following his release, exciting the fanbase as they can now sufficiently boo him when he returns next year.
In the draft, the Texans started out unhappy with the players available with the number 26 pick so they traded back with the Chiefs, acquiring their second and fourth round picks in this year’s draft and their 2013 second round pick. With the 44th pick, the Texans used their selection on wide receiver Stephen Hill from Georgia Tech. The Texans were considering Hill at 26 and were ecstatic when he fell to them at 44. Hill is a raw receiver but he’s got great speed and size and with Johnson, Moss, and Walter in place, Hill can learn the position and do what he does best, go deep. At pick 58, the Texans again weren’t in love with the players available and slid back five spots, to pick 63, picking up another fourth round pick from the Patriots. At 63, the Texans replaced Myers with Ben Jones from Georgia. Jones will compete with Antoine Caldwell for the starting center position. In the third round, the Texans selected Shea McClellin with the 90th selection. After losing Williams to free agency, the Texans were looking to shore up the depth at OLB and the front office had a second round grade on McClellin and felt he was too good to pass up on.
On the third day of the draft, the Texans opened up with three picks in the fourth round. With the first selection, 110 overall, the Texans selected Coryell Judie cornerback from Texas A&M. Judie is a guy the Texans had a second round grade on and is someone that they feel has the athleticism and ability to develop into a starter down the road. He also possesses solid kick return abilities. With the next pick in the fourth, pick 124, the Texans selected Isaiah Pead, the running back from Cincinnati. Once again, the value seemed just too good to pass up here and with third string running back Derrick Ward leaving via free agency, the Texans grabbed Pead to be a change of pace back and will compete with Judie to be the top return man. With the final selection in the fourth round, pick 129, the Texans again went with a value selection, taking Hebron Fangupo, the defensive lineman from Brigham Young. Fangupo has massive nose tackle size and also has experience playing defensive end. He is expected to provide depth at all three defensive line spots. With the 162nd pick in the fifth round, the Texans selected Shawn Loiseau from Merrimack. Loiseau replaces the departed Dobbins and should be a key contributor on special teams, something he excelled at in the East-West shrine game. In the sixth and seventh rounds, the Texans grabbed a couple more depth players with Desmond Wynn of Rutgers with the 194th pick and Andrew Szczerba from Penn State with the 231st pick. Wynn is a perfect fit as a developmental guard in the zone blocking scheme the Texans run and Szczerba is a quality two-way tight end that will compete for the backup tight end position vacated by Dreessen.
Following the draft, the Texans were unhappy that the value at tight end never seemed to match up well so they went out and signed Kellen Davis from the Bears. Davis spent last season as the starting tight end in Chicago and will compete with Szczerba and Garrett Graham for the two backup positions. In addition, the Texans signed eight undrafted free agents, running back Stephfon Green of Penn State, quarterback Alex Tanney of Monmouth, outside linebacker Sammy Brown of Houston, offensive tackle Dustin Waldron from Portland State, defensive lineman Matt Conrath of Virginia, safety Nick Sukay from Penn State, inside linebacker Caleb McSurdy from Montana, and cornerback Chaz Powell from Penn State. All of these players are expected to compete for backup jobs and many of them have value on special teams.
Following some intense roster battles, the Texans were forced to cut 14 players to get down to the NFL’s mandatory 53-man roster. The fourteen players released were quarterback Alex Tanney, running back Stephfon Green, tight end and seventh round pick Andrew Sczcerba, wide receiver Jeff Maehl, offensive tackle Dustin Waldron, offensive guards Thomas Austin and Andrew Gardner, defensive end Matt Conrath, outside linebacker Jesse Nading, inside linebacker Caleb McSurdy, cornerbacks Brice McClain and Chaz Powell, and safeties Nick Sukay and Quintin Demps. Tanney, Green, Sczcerba, Waldron, Conrath, McSurdy, Powell, and Sukay were re-signed to the practice squad after clearing waivers.
03-02-2012, 07:12 PM
Jaguars Offseason Recap
The Jacksonville Jaguars have officially wrapped up their busy offseason which included a very active three rounds of free agency, the draft, and undrafted free agency. The team is down to 53 players with an 8 man practice squad.
In the first round of free agency, the Jaguars gave K Josh Scobee the franchise tag and cut DE Aaron Kampman. Then they resigned DE Jeremy Mincey and S Dwight Lowery, two emerging players on their stout defense led by DC Mel Tucker. They then went on to sign QB Chris Redman, WR Brandon Lloyd, CB Aaron Ross, and ST ace Matt Slater.
“Special Teams is very important to us,” GM Unbiased said. “With Kassim Osgood, Montell Owens, and now Matt Slater, we now have 3 pro bowl special teamers.”
In the second round of free agency, the Jaguars added WR Jerome Simpson and C Jeff Saturday, and in turn, cut veteran Jaguar center Brad Meester.
In the early part of the draft, Unbiased received heavy negative backlash for drafting RB Trent Richardson with the 7th pick. Although that quieted down when it was revealed that the Jaguars had a trade worked out with the Cincinnati Bengals. Unbiased explained, “Both sides agreed to the trade before the draft, but the Bengals wanted to make sure Richardson was available with the Jaguars’ pick before the trade went through. They weren’t online so I made the pick they wanted in hopes that the commissioner would let the trade happen after the fact and we are fortunate that he did.”
With Richardson traded, they decided to add DB Dre Kirkpatrick, DE Whitney Mercilus, and OT Kelechi Osemele. In the 3rd and 4th rounds, they added playmakers Juron Criner and Chris Rainey. Then they used their stockpile of 6th and 7th rounders on the following: C Quentin Saulsberry, LB Jerry Franklin, CB Dwight Bentley, WR AJ Jenkins, DE Julian Miller, DT Nicolas Jean-Baptiste, and LB Ryan Baker.
Unbiased added his thoughts on his haul after the draft. “We hit some important needs by added a few pass rushers, some playmakers on offense, some talented defensive backs, and beefing up the lines as well. We’re especially excited about getting Bentley in the 6th round.”
The Jaguars weren’t done there. In the final round of free agency, they added yet another pass rusher by signing Bears defensive end Israel Idonije. They also signed Colts safety Melvin Bullitt for depth. Unbiased said of the Idonije signing, “We had too much cap room to not go after him. Idonije will be the LE, Mincey will remain the RE, and Andre Carter will be the designated pass rusher. Throw in Whitney Mercilus and we feel that we have 4 starting caliber defensive ends.
In order to get the roster down to 53 players, they had to make some tough cuts, including players like WRs Jarett Dillard and Cecil Shorts, DE John Chick, and DB Rod Issac.
GM Unbiased says he is now ready for the 2012 season and the 2013 draft to come around.
03-02-2012, 07:45 PM
New Coaching Staff Overhauls Roster
With an entirely new coaching staff bringing in a new offensive and defensive scheme, the roster needed to be completely rebuilt. On the offensive side of the ball the prize free agent addition was QB Matt Flynn. Flynn will be rejoining his former OC Joe Philbin in Miami. Former Packers Donald Driver and Chad Clifton also were signed to add depth. OT Anthony Collins was brought in to compete at RT. Fernando Velasco was brought in for interior OL depth.
As the defense transitioned to a 4-3 from a 3-4, the front 7 was the focus in FA. On the defensive side of the ball FS Reggie Nelson was brought in to add a playmaker in the secondary. Nelson wasn't the only former Bengal joining new defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle in Miami. DL Pat Sims and Frostee Rucker were also brought in to compete for starting spots on the defensive line. Barrett Ruud and Frank Zombo were added to bring depth at the LB position.
In the draft both sides of the ball were addressed. With their first round pick Miami took DE Quinton Coples, who will likely start at DE. In the second round OG Brandon Washington was selected, who will compete for the starting RG spot. TE Ladarius Green was drafted in the third to bring a vertical threat to the TE position and will play some WR as well. In the fourth they added CB Jayron Hosley who will compete for the nickel job as a rookie. Miami traded for LB Audie Cole who will compete for the back up WLB and MLB jobs. In the 5th Miami drafted WR BJ Cunningham, who the staff sees developing into a #2 WR. They also drafted DT Jaye Howard in the 5th who will contribute at both DT and base end. With their last pick Miami drafted DE Jamie Blatnick who will likely be a back up DE.
After the draft Miami added QB Jacory Harris, RB Lennon Creer, FB Bruce Figgins, WR Travis Benjamin, OL Rokevious Watkins, DL Adewale Ojomo, LB Jabaree Tuani and S Delano Howell. All players will be on the practice squad in 2012.
03-03-2012, 12:36 AM
STEELERS CUT 6, ASSIGN 8 TO PRACTICE SQUAD
The Pittsburgh Steelers rounded out their 53 man roster tonight by releasing 6 players. The most notable was OL Doug Legursky. Legursky, who started in Super Bowl 46, has been a key back up and spot starter for the Steelers. According to sources, new OC Todd Haley and current GM Hines felt he wasn't a fit for the new offense. Other players cut were RBs John Clay and Terrance Ganaway, safeties DaMon Cromartie-Smith and Cyhl Quarles, and DE Al Woods.
The 8 man practice squad roster was announced. Here is the list:
Desmond Morrow CB
Derek Moye WR
Terrance Fredrick CB
Blake DeChristopher OL
Ishmaa’ily Kitchen NT
Myron Rolle S
Trevis Turner OT
Kade Weston DL
03-03-2012, 09:06 AM
Patriots hoard Hurd on practice squad, sign Austin
You better believe the Patriots were gonna sign this guy.
New England's practice squad just got a little bit Huskier, as they announced that they have herded Zach Hurd to town on a practice squad deal. The 6'7", 321 pound behemoth finished his rookie season as a member of the Oakland Raiders and was a decorated member of UConn's offensive line throughout his collegiate career, as a team captain and first-team All-Big East selection with 39 career starts and 52 career appearances.
New England also announced the signing of offensive linemen Thomas Austin, who appeared in three games last season for the Houston Texans but who spent time during the 2010 season with the Patriots. Austin is considered a swing reserve who can play both center and guard. The team agreed to a deal with linebacker Aaron Lavarias as well, who has been signed and cut numerous times as a member of the team's emergency list.
New England decided to release offensive lineman Kyle Hix, center Moe Petrus defensive end Justin Trattou in order to make room for Hurd, Austin, and Lavarias; Trattou is reportedly not pleased that his mullet was cut before he was. Trattou has now been released twice in the same week and is on pace to rival Ross Ventrone for the title of "most tortured fringe player." The Patriots look forward to signing and releasing him at least six more times.
New England's current practice squad is as follows:
QB John Brantley
WR Patrick Edwards
TE Cory Harkey
OL Thomas Austin
OL Zach Hurd
LB Aaron Lavarias
DB Malcolm Williams
DB Jerrell Young
03-03-2012, 09:36 AM
Packers excited for 2013 Season
Greg Jennings can't wait for new season to start
With the start of the 2013 NFL Season round the corner we have had a chance to speak to Greg Jennings about the team and his goals for the season. "We just wanna win the Superbowl" said a relaxed Jennings, who is desperate to win his second superbowl in 3 years with the Packers and make up for the divisional playoff loss to the New York Giants last season. Jennings had this to say on the game and the season as a whole. "Its never nice to lose like that, especially after the season we had. We worked hard to get homefield advantage throughout the playoffs, but we just fell short. It was dissapointing to go out at Lambeau in front of the fans, but we intend to make up for it this season."
Jennnigs is also looking to improve on his own numbers, however he realises its a team game and spreading around the ball is part of the game. "Obviously you want as much of the ball as you can get, i wouldn't be a football player if i didn't, but part of it is excepting that you can't get the ball all the time. Especially when you have such good receivers here for Aaron to chose from."
Going into the 2013 NFL Season the Packers are again one of the favourties to win the Superbowl. The offense looks set to continue the great form they carried through most of last year, by adding Jared Gaither to help protect Aaron Rodgers. The Packers also added tight end Visanthe Shiancoe to replace the departing Jermichael Finley and promoted Tori Gurley from the practice squad who looks set to become a big part of this offense for years to come. Jennings was very complimentry of the offseason additions made by GM Super Packer, "Its what you like to see, competition breeds success, so bringing 3 guys who can make an immediate impact is great."
Green Bay also made significant improvements to their defense by dratfing outside linebacker Nick Perry and defensive tackle Kendall Reyes. Perry looks set to start in the first game of the season and should bring a much needed pass rush opposite Clay Matthews. Getting pressure on the quarterback was one of the main issues last season so getting that sorted is a great sign.
So as the opening week of the season nears, expect a revitilised looking Packers team who look set to improve on their 2012 season of ups and downs.
03-03-2012, 11:34 AM
Cowboys Cut Five, Get to Final 53
The Dallas Cowboys have made their final roster cuts, trimming their roster to 53. With the signings of Jake Scott and Mike McGlynn, Kevin Kowalski and David Arkin were now expendable. Three draft picks in the defensive back field allowed the Cowboys to release Alan Ball and Danny McCray. Linebacker Sean Lissemore was the final cut.
Bryce Brown and Jarrrett Boykin were the only two UDFAs that made the final roster. However, Assistant GM JRDrylie said their may be some last minute changes.
03-03-2012, 03:45 PM
New York Giants Off-season recap:
The Giants were picked apart by losing some key role players, as often happens to Super Bowl champs as their players gain value on the market. The biggest names lost were Terrell Thomas, Aaron Ross and Mario Manningham. Via trade and cuts, the Giants also lost Osi Umenyiora and Brandon Jacobs, respectively, due to being tight on money. However, the Giants feel confident they filled these holes by making other moves to improve the team. McGee is an upgrade over Aaron Ross and they share similarities in being oft-injured, but it was a risk the Giants were more than willing to take. Him with top 5 corner Corey Webster, 2nd year man Prince Amukamara and the drafting of rookie Donnie Fletcher make the Giants feel comfortable with their CB situation.
To replace Manningham and Jacobs, the Giants drafted Rutgers star Mohammed Sanu and Washington runner Chris Polk to infuse some youth and more talent on the offense. The acquisition of Bobby Massie adds a run mauler on the line, and will let Diehl and Beatty battle out at LT while McKenzie tutors Massie on the right for a year.
The Giants upgraded the middle big time acquiring Jonathan Vilma. A saavy vet and leader, he steps in to this defense with tons of talent. While he's not what he used to be, he's an upgrade at MLB and makes that front 7 very scary.
With Vilma, Blackburn is now kicked outside where he and Kiwanuka will split time and Boley will start and will be in on running downs, while the youngster Williams is used on the outside on passing downs. With the departure of Osi, Kiwanuka is expected to see some time on the line as well, keeping up the scary pass rush of the Giants. The Giants 53 man roster looks like this:
QB: Eli Manning, Charlie Batch
RB: Ahmad Bradshaw, Chris Polk, DJ Ware, Da'Rel Scott
FB: Henry Hynoski
WR: Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, Mohammed Sanu, Jerrell Jernigan, Devin Thomas
TE: Jake Ballard, Bear Pascoe, Mark Hanna, Travis Beckum
OT: David Diehl, Kareem McKenzie, Will Beatty, Bobby Massie
OG: Chris Snee, Mitch Petrus, Kevin Boothe
OC: David Baas, Jim Cordle
DE: Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul, Mathias Kiwanuka (joker role), David Tollefson, Justin Francis
DT: Chris Canty, Linval Joseph, Marvin Austin, Alex Silvestro, Markus Kuhn
OLB: Michael Boley, Chase Blackburn, Jacquian Williams, Clint Sintim
MLB: Jonathan Vilma, Mark Herzlich
CB: Corey Webster, Prince Amukamara, Terrance McGee, Donnie Fletcher, Bruce Johnson
S: Kenny Phillips, Antrel Rolle, Tyler Sash, Chad Jones
K: Lawrence Tynes
P: Steve Weatherford
LS: Zak DeOssie
With Ryan Perriloux, Case Keenum, Garth Gerhart, Marcus Rivers, Mickey Groody, Eddie Pleasant and Andre Brown on the Practice squad
03-03-2012, 05:07 PM
Bengals Offseason Recap
For years, the Bengals have been at the bottom of the AFC North with the Ravens and Steelers glaring down at them. They barely made the playoffs last season, but it didn't end up like they wanted it too. This offseason, they wanted to show people that they meant business, and it was clear. Their offseason started by getting Dwight Freeney, who will improve an already explosive pass rush. It wasn't surprising to see him leave the Colts after such a disappointing season. But they didn't stop there. They also ended up with Terrell Thomas, Evan Mathis, Ryan Diem, Mike Sellers, and Laurent Robinson. They easily had one of the better FA seasons in the league. Even though they did improve in some areas, they did have some key losses in Jerome Simpson, Reggie Nelson, and Pacman Jones.
It was soon draft time, and they were ready. They first traded up to get Trent Richardson, who will become their starting RB from day 1. Their 2nd round pick was cornerback Chase Minnifield. He will be their #4 CB, but with Thomas being injury prone, and Clements aging, he will definitely get plenty of playing time. They picked up safety Antonio Allen in the 3rd. He is an old school safety that plays great against the run. They had 2 picks in the 4th, and delivered on both. They drafted both linebacker Mychal Kendricks and tight end Michael Egnew. Kendricks will get some looks at both the middle and weakside LB spots. Tight end wasn't necessarily a huge need for them, but they lost Bo Scaife to free agency, and Egnew was the BPA at the time. The Bengals are expected to have one of the best tight end duos in the AFC with both Gresham and Egnew. With the rest of their picks, they picked up receiver T.J. Graham, defensive end Adrian Hamilton, and defensive tackle Tydreke Powell. Graham will fight with Andrew Hawkins for the slot receiver spot, and is expected to win it. Hamilton is going to be a developmental prospect for the Bengals. He came from a small school and played against lesser opponents, so he's going to need some time to adapt to the NFL game. Powell is going to have to battle with newly signed UDFA, Travian Robertson, for the back-up under tackle spot. Running back Michael Smith was also signed as an UDFA. He will start off on the practice squad.
QB: Andy Dalton, Bruce Gradkowski, Zac Robinson
RB: Trent Richardson, Bernard Scott, Brian Leonard
FB: Mike Sellers
WR1: A.J. Green, T.J. Graham, Andrew Hawkins
WR2: Laurent Robinson, Ryan Whalen
TE: Jermaine Gresham, Michael Egnew, Colin Cochart
LT: Andrew Whitworth, Anthony Collins
LG: Evan Mathis, Otis Hudson
C: Kyle Cook
RG: Clint Boling, Ryan Diem
RT: Andre Smith, Dennis Roland
LDE: Dwight Freeney, Robert Geathers
NT: Domata Peko, Nick Hayden
DT: Geno Atkins, Travian Robertson, Tydreke Powell
RDE: Carlos Dunlap, Michael Johnson
LOLB: Keith Rivers, Thomas Howard
MLB: Rey Maualuga, Mychal Kendricks
ROLB: Dontay Moch, Vincent Rey
CB1: Leon Hall, Nate Clements, Rico Murray
CB2: Terrell Thomas, Chase Minnifield
FS: Robert Sands, Jeromy Miles
SS: Taylor Mays, Antonio Allen
KR/PR: Brandon Tate
K: Mike Nugent
P: Kevin Huber
LS: Clark Harris
RB Michael Smith
WR Armon Binns
WR Jordan Shipley
WR Vidal Hazelton
DE Adrian Hamilton
LB Roddrick Muckelroy
LB Dan Skuta
03-03-2012, 05:21 PM
Bills to 53 man roster, plus practice squad
QB : Ryan Fitzpatrick : Josh Johnson : Brock Osweiler
RB : Fred Jackson : C.J. Spiller : Tim Hightower
FB : Corey McIntyre
TE : Jermichael Finley : Scott Chandler : Lee Smith
WR : Stevie Johnson : Marcus Easley
WR : Donald Jones : Tommy Streeter
Slot : David Nelson : Roscoe Parrish
LT : Demetrius Bell : Chris Hairston
LG : Andy Levitre : Chad Rinehart
C : Eric Wood : Kraig Urbik
RG : Kraig Urbik : Chad Rinehart
RT : Erik Pears : Chris Hairston : Sam Young
RDE : Cliff Avril : Shawne Merriman : Arthur Moats
NT : Marcell Dareus : Torell Troup
UT : Kyle Williams : Spencer Johnson
LDE : Courtney Upshaw : Alex Carrington : Chris Kelsay
ROLB : Nick Barrnett : Keenan Robinson
MLB : Stephen Tulloch : Kirk Morrison
LOLB : Kelvin Sheppard : Tank Carder : Arthur Moats
CB : Drayton Florence : Trumaine Johnson
CB : Aaron Williams : Leodis McKelvin : Cedric Griffin
Nickel CB : Justin Rogers : Leodis McKelvin
FS : Jairus Byrd : George Wilson
SS : George Wilson : Da'Norris Searcy : Bryan Scott
K : Rian Lindell
P : Bryan Anger
RB : Johnny White
WR : Lavon Brazill
WR : Naaman Roosevelt
OG : Michael Jasper
DE : Donte Pagie-Moss
DT : Kellen Heard
LB : Chris White
CB : Charles Brown
03-03-2012, 07:30 PM
OFFICIAL REPORT: BRENT GRIMES TO HOLD OUT
Grimes will not sign Atlanta's franchise tender until after training camp at the earliest.
As has been reported, Atlanta CB Brent Grimes will not be signing his franchise tender. (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/03/03/brent-grimes-doesnt-plan-to-sign-the-franchise-tag/)
The Falcons applied the tag to the would-be free agent earlier in the offseason. Grimes was looking forward to hitting the free agent market before the application of the tag.
"We have no plans to sign the tag at this time,” Grimes’ agent, Ben Dogra, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Friday. “We hope to be able to continue to discuss all the issues at the appropriate time.”
It is expected that Grimes will hold out through training camp and the preseason, signing just before the start of the regular season to ensure that he is paid the full amount for this season.
Missing training camp will likely affect Grimes' conditioning as it is difficult to simulate the intensity of an NFL workout away from official club practices. It will also hurt his ability to pick up new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan's system.
03-03-2012, 07:38 PM
OFFICIAL REPORT: WES WELKER TO HOLD OUT
The Patriots will lose a large part of their offense until Welker decides to return.
To the surprise of few, Patriots WR Wes Welker, who received the franchise tag earlier this offseason, has announced that he will hold out seeking a long term deal.
Welker feels offended by the application of the tag and wants to finish his career as a Patriot, something that he feels is in jeopardy due to the tag.
And don't expect Welker to show up anytime soon. Welker's hold out is expected to be an ugly one. (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/02/09/franchise-tag-could-be-coming-for-wes-welker/) It is entirely possible he holds out deep into the regular season, signs the tender, and plays the remaining games.
As with Grimes mentioned previously, it is difficult to stay in NFL playing shape while away from the team. And though he is already experienced in new coordinator Josh McDaniel's scheme, a protracted holdout will likely damage the timing he has with QB Tom Brady, something that is very important to his style of play.
03-03-2012, 07:47 PM
OFFICIAL REPORT: KRIS DIELMAN RETIRES
The former pro bowl guard retires due to concussion issues.
The shakeup of the Charger's offensive line continues as guard Kris Dielman has announced his retirement today.
Dielman infamously suffered ugly after effects of a concussion last season, stumbling on the field and having seizure. Fearing for his health, Dielman will not return to football.
“Kris played the game the way it’s supposed to be played: with heart and passion,” Chargers President Dean Spanos said. (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/03/01/chargers-praise-dielman-as-they-say-goodbye/) “He’s a throwback … an old-school player. All he cares about is his family and playing football and today he’s making family his top priority, as it should be, and I respect him tremendously for that."
The Chargers already lost previous starters Marcus McNeil and Jared Gaither to free agency, so this move will further shake up their offensive line.
03-04-2012, 01:37 PM
OFFICIAL REPORT: FINES, SUSPENSIONS HANDED DOWN IN "BOUNTYGATE"
Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams (pictured,) Saints head coach Sean Payton, Saints GM Mickey Loomis and Giants LB Jonathan Vilma will be punished.
As a result of the whole "Bountygate" investigation by the NFL which turned up evidence of "bounties" being paid to Saints defenders for injuring opposing players, the league has announced that they will fine and suspend many of the parties involved.
Most heavily penalized is current Rams, and former Saints and Redskins, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams who instituted the bounty policy in New Orleans. Williams will be suspended for the first 8 games of the 2012 season and fined $250,000.
In addition, due to his knowledge of the bounties being paid and not putting an end to it, Saints head coach Sean Payton will also be fined $250,000 and suspended for the first two games of the 2012 season.
Third, Saints GM Mickey Loomis has been fined $500,000 not only for the bounty system itself, but for lying to NFL investigators as well.
Finally, former Saint and current Giants LB Jonathan Vilma will be fined $100,000 and suspended for the first two games of the 2012 season for offering a $10,000 bounty during the 2009 playoffs to anyone who injured then-Vikings QB Brett Favre.
03-04-2012, 09:05 PM
Vikings make cuts to get down to 53
The Minnesota Vikings cut 11 players to get down to the league mandated 53. The following players were released: Caleb King, RB; Matt Asiata, FB; Stephen Burton, WR; Emmanuel Arcenaux, WR; Beau Reliford, TE; Derek Dennis, OG; Larry Dean, LB; Tyrone McKenzie, LB; Asher Allen, CB; Eric Frampton, S; and Andrew Sendejo, S.
The Vikings also named eight players to their practice squad today.:
WR Stephen Burton
TE Beau Reliford
OG Derek Dennis
RB Adonis Thomas
LB Chris Marve
DE Frank Alexander
CB Robert Golden
WR DaJon McKnight
Burton is the only non-2012 rookie on the practice squad. Reliford and Dennis were each drafter in the 7th round, and Thomas, Marve, Alexander, Golden, and McKnight were all signed as UDFA.
After the cuts, the Vikings roster looks like:
QB: Christian Ponder | Joe Webb | Shaun Hill
RB: Adrian Peterson | Toby Gerhart | Jordan Todman
FB: Ryan D'Imperio
WR1: Percy Harvin | Jarius Wright
WR2: Nick Toon | Michael Jenkins | Devin Aromashodu
TE: Kyle Rudolph | Mickey Shuler | Allen Reisner
LT: Reilly Reiff | DeMarcus Love
LG: Charlie Johnson |
C: John Sullivan |Brandon Fusco
RG: Kevin Zeitler | Joe Berger
RT: Phil Loadholt | Patrick Brown
RE: Jared Allen | Everson Griffen
UT: Kevin Williams | Christian Ballard
NT: Brandon Thompson | Remi Ayodele | Letroy Guion
LE: Brian Robison | D'Aundre Reed
SLB: Chad Greenway | Tyler Nielsen
MLB: James-Michael Johnson | Jasper Brinkley
WLB: Erin Henderson | Kenny Onatolu
LCB: Antoine Winfield | Casey Hayward | Marcus Sherels
SS: Husain Abdullah | Jamarca Sanford
FS: OJ Atogwe | Trenton Robinson | Mistral Raymond
RCB: Tracy Porter | Chris Cook | Brandon Burton
K: Ryan Longwell
P: Chris Kluwe
LS: Cullen Loeffler
WR Stephen Burton
TE Beau Reliford
OG Derek Dennis
RB Adonis Thomas
LB Chris Marve
DE Frank Alexander
CB Robert Golden
WR DaJon McKnight
03-04-2012, 09:31 PM
Bucs Final 53
QB: Josh Freeman | David Carr | Nick Foles
RB: LeGarrette Blount | Mike Tolbert | Doug Martin
WR1: Mike Williams | Preston Parker
LT: Donald Penn | Brandon Keith
LG: Jeremy Zuttah | Ted Larsen
C: Jeff Faine
RG: Davin Joseph | Derek Hardman
RT: Jeremy Trueblood | Demar Dotson
TE: Kellen Winslow | Joel Dreesen | Luke Stocker
Slot: Arrelious Benn
WR2: Justin Blackmon | Dez Briscoe
LE: Da'Quan Bowers | Michael Bennett | George Johnson
NT: Brian Price | Roy Miller
UT: Gerald McCoy | Trevor Laws | Frank Okam
RE: Adrian Clayborn | Aaron Kampmann
SLB: Dan Connor | Adam Hayward
ILB: Mason Foster | Vontaze Burfict
WLB: Quincy Black | Dekoda Watson
LCB: Cortland Finnegan | E.J. Biggers |Tim Jennings
SS:LaRon Landry | Cody Grimm
FS: Tanard Jackson | Ahmad Black
RCB: Aqib Talib | Elbert Mack | Myron Lewis
K: Connor Barth
P: Michael Koenen
LS: Andrew Economos
Devin Holland, S
Larry Assante, S
Anthony Gaitor, CB
E.J. Wilson, DE/DT
Tre Grey, WR
Mossis Madu, RB
Rudy Carpenter, QB
Ed Gant, WR
Blue = New Acquisition
03-05-2012, 07:38 AM
49ers release 53 man roster with Practice Squad
QB – Alex Smith – Colin Kaepernick
FB – Bruce Miller -
RB – Frank Gore – Anthony Dixon – Brandon Jacobs - Kendall Hunter
WR – DeSean Jackson -Micheal Crabtree – Kyle Williams – Courtney Roby -
Tedd Ginn Jr.
TE – Vernon Davis – Delainie Walker – Kyle Nelson
OT – Joe Staley – Anthony Davis – Alex Boone
OG – Mike Iupati – Adam Snyder – Chilo Rachal – Ryan Miller (3) - Dan Kilgore
C – Jon Goodwin – Chase Beeler
DE/DT - Justin Smith – Ray McDonald – DeMarcus Dobbs -Logan Herrell (6) – Will Takaufu
DT/NT – Isaac Sopoaga – R.J. Francois – Ian Williams
OLB - Aldon Smith – Paryls Harlson – Nigel Bradham (4) - Micheal Wilhoite
ILB – Patrick Willis – Navarro Bowman – Mario Haggan -
CB – Carlos Rodgers – Alfonzo Dennard (2) -Terrell Brown – Tremaine Brock – Chris Culliver
FS – Dashon Golston - Madeiu Williams -
SS - Donte Whitner – Reed Doughty - Chris Hope
P – Andy Lee
K – David Akers
LS – Brian Jennings
Winston Guy (4)
Matt Daniels (5)
Drake Dunsmore (7)
LB Max Gruder
CB D'Anton Lynn
LB Adrian Cole
RB Marc Tyler
Redskins Claim Three, Resign Gano
The Washington Redskins have announced signing of the following UDFAs; Isaiah Frey, CB, Nevada , Cordarro Law, DE/OLB, and Lance Dunbar, RB, North Texas.
Redskins Final 53
QB - Robert Griffin // David Garrard // Matt Leinart
RB - Roy Helu // Evan Royster // Lance Dunbar
FB - Darrel Young
WR - Marques Colston // Leonard Hankerson // Niles Paul // Terrence Austin
WR - Jabar Gaffney // Eddie Royal // Marquis Maze // Chris Givens
TE - Chris Cooley // Fred Davis // Logan Paulsen
LT - Trent Williams // Willie Smith
LG - Kory Lightensteiger // Will Montgomery
C - Chris Myers // Eric Cook
RG - Chris Chester // Sean Locklear // Maurice Hurt
RT - Barry Richardson // Mitchell Schwartz
DE - Adam Carriker // Jarvis Jenkins
NT - Barry Coefield // Chris Neild
DE - Stephen Bowen
OLB - Brian Orakpo // Cordarro Law // Markus White
MLB - Perry Riley // Keyaron Fox
MLB - London Fletcher
OLB - Ryan Kerrigan // Rob Jackson
CB - DeAngelo Hall // Kevin Barnes // Isaiah Frey
CB - Josh Wilson // Byron Westrbook // Brandyn Thompson
FS - Markelle Martin // DeJon Gomes
SS -Tyvon Branch
KR - Marquis Maze
PR - Marquis Maze
P - Sav Rocca
K - Graham Gano
B = Rookie
G = Signed via FA
03-05-2012, 08:29 AM
Lions cut 2 release final 53 man roster
2012 Depth Chart
QB - Matt Stafford > Drew Stanton > Tyler Thigpen
RB - Javid Best > Mikel Leshour > Kevin Smith > Keiland Williams
WR1 - Calvin Johnson > Titus Young > Rashied Davis
WR2 - Nate Burleson > Devon Wylie > Stefan Logan
TE - Brandon Pettigrew > Tony Scheffler > Will Heller
LT - Marcus McNiel > Jason Fox
LG - Rob Sims > Dylan Gandy
C - Dominic Raiola > Mike Brewster
RG - Eric Steinbach > Stephen Peterman
RT - Cordy Glenn > Jonathan Scott = Ryan O'Callaghan > Corey Hilliard
DE - Lawrence Jackson > Willie Young
DT - Ndamukong Suh > Sammie Hill
DT - Corey Williams > Nick Fairley
DE - Kyle Vanden Bosch > Olivier Vernon
OLB - Justin Durant > Bobby Carpenter
MLB - Lofa Tatupu > DeAndre Leavy > Ashlee Palmer
OLB - DeAndre Levy > Terrell Manning > Doug Hogue
LCB Chris Houston > Alphonso Smith > Aaron Berry
RCB Stephon Gilmore > Don Carey
SS - Amari Spievey > Brandon Merriweather
FS - Louis Delmas > Bob Sanders > John Wendling
Shane P. Hallam
03-05-2012, 08:40 AM
Chargers 53 man roster
QB: Phillip Rivers - Billy Volek
RB: Ryan Mathews - Lamichael James - Justin Forsett
FB: Jacob Hester
WR: Malcolm Floyd - Jeff Fuller - Vincent Brown - Chaz Schilens - Mike Sims-Walker
LT: Sam Baker - Donald Stephenson
LG: Tyronne Green - Steve Schilling - Johnnie Troutman
C: Nick Hardwick - Collin Baxter
RG: Louiz Vasquez - Johnnie Troutman
RT: Jeromey Clary - Brandyn Dombrowski
TE: Antonio Gates - Orson Charles
DE: Corey Liuget - Luis Castillo - Trevor Guyton- Jacquez Cesaire - Vaughn Martin
DT: Paul Soliai - Casey Hampton - Cam Thomas
OLB - Shaun Phillips - Melvin Ingram - Kroy Bierman - Travis Laboy - Antwan Barnes - Larry English
ILB: Donald Butler - Takeo Spikes - Demario Davis- Jonas Mouton
CB: Antoine Cason - Quentin Jammer - William G ay - Marcus Gilchrist - Shareece Wright
S: Eric Weddle - Roman Harper - Darrell Stuckey
P: Nick Scifres
K: Nate Kaeding
LS: Mike Windt
KR: Lamichael James
PR: Lamichael James
03-05-2012, 09:17 AM
NFC North 2012 Predictions
by DC Insider Rick Bennett
Green Bay Packers:
2011 Record: 15-1
- The Packers were definitely the "regular season champions" in 2011, but failed spectacularly in the playoffs against the Giants. League MVP Aaron Rodgers obviously returns to the team to head a dangerous passing attack with multiple quality receivers already in the fold. 2nd year man Randall Cobb also figures to see the field more on offense and they'll need him to help replace the production of departed TE Jermichael Finley and veteran WR Donald Driver. The Packers also picked up Jared Gaither to protect Rodgers blind side. The defense is still the greatest area of concern. BJ Raji and Clay Matthews had down years in 2011 and will need to pick it up to be productive again in 2012. First round pick OLB Nick Perry should help, but questions still remain in their secondary where Charles Woodson is another year older and the team did nothing to upgrade their safeties who struggled in 2011.
2012 Prediction: 13-3 - 15-1 will be hard to duplicate, especially if the defense fails to improve drastically. As long as their key players stay healthy though, the Packers should be in contention for NFC homefield advantage once again.
2011 Record: 10-6
- No one can question that the Matt Stafford to Calvin Johnson connection was the biggest part of the Lions 2011 success. Stafford staying healthy will definitely be a big part of the Lions 2012 success and beyond, and the addition of Marcus McNeil at LT should help that, assuming that he can stay healthy. (His career was threatened by neck injuries in San Diego.) The Lions running game was also a weakness last season, and will hinge on health in 2012. Jahvid Best is one more concussion away from having his career ended, backup Mikel Leshoure will be returning from a devastating ruptured achilles and 3rd stringer Kevin Smith also carries a plethora of injury risks. Defensively, the Lions will need to make up for the loss of DE Cliff Avril in their pass rush, and it will be interesting to see if DT Nick Fairley can stay healthy for this season. The Lions are also banking on Lofa Tatupu to start at MLB after being out of football in 2011 and struggling with injuries in the seasons prior. And finally, the secondary is a huge question mark once again. The team's top 3 corners are Chris Houston, Alphonso Smith and rookie 2nd rounder Stephon Gilmore. No big upgrades for this unit which struggled badly in 2011. Additionally, Amari Spievey, another player who struggled badly in 2011, is slated to start once again with only questionable veteran pickups Brandon Merriweather and Bob Sanders to compete with.
2012 Prediction: 8-8 - Yes, I have the Lions taking a step back in a year where many predict them to take a step forward. There are serious health questions with far too many of their players and their defense still has far too many holes for my liking. I see them winning some shootouts with Stafford and Calvin, but any moderately good offense should carve that defense to shreds.
2011 Record: 8-8
- Things were looking great for the Bears in the middle of last season. The team was 7-3 with Jay Cutler and the offense absolutely rolling along...then he got hurt. The team finished on a 1-5 note, though they kept most of the games extremely close, a real credit to that defense pulling together. With Cutler healthy, Forte also healthy and on a one year franchise offer, and a true #1 WR added in Dwayne Bowe, the Bears offense has the potentially to be the best it's been in a long time. There are still question marks around the o-line, but the team has somehow found success despite that. With former o-line coach Mike Tice now calling the offensive shots and Cuter reunited with his favorite QB Coach from Denver in Jeremy Bates, you can bet that protecting Cutler and tailoring the offense to his strengths (something Mike Martz did not do) will be points of emphasis in 2012. Defensively, the Bears added Osi Umenyiora to help their pass rush. He and Julius Peppers should make for a scary one-two punch in that regard. Age is going to start to become a concern down the line, but veteran defensive anchors like Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs were still playing at a high level last season. Pro bowler Charles Tillman remains as strong as ever and the team added former Jaguar Rashean Mathis to the other side who, if even remotely healthy, will be a major upgrade over the Bears past #2 corners. The safeties also remain a concern, though Major Wright and Chris Conte showed a little potential in 2011. Add in the always great special teams unit, particularly Devin Hester and Robbie Gould, under one of the best special teams coordinators in the league in Dave Toub, and the Bears should contend for a playoff spot in 2012.
2012 Prediction - 11-5 - I look for a rebound year as a solid all-around Bears team stays on the Packers heels for a division title and ultimately ends up with a wildcard slot.
2011 Record: 3-13
- The Vikings certainly had their struggles in 2011. QB Christian Ponder had flashes here and there, but overall played like a rookie QB. Adrian Peterson suffered a devastating knee injury making his effectiveness for the 2012 season, if he plays at all, a serious factor. Percy Harvin will once again be the team's only dangerous offensive weapon in Peterson's absence. The LT position was upgraded with first round pick Rielly Rieff, but protection will still remain an issue. The team's biggest improvements came defensively. Jared Allen, Kevin Williams and Chad Greenway will continue to anchor the front 7. The secondary received some nice upgrades with OJ Atogwe and Tracy Porter.
2012 Prediction: 5-11 - I like the defensive improvements, but the potential absence/ineffectiveness of Peterson couple with Harvin as the only dangerous offensive weapon in the passing game will hurt the offense.
03-05-2012, 09:53 AM
NFC East 2012 Predictions
by DC Insider Rick Bennett
2011 Record: 9-7
- The Giants had a rather forgettable regular season, just barely winning the division in Week 17 and sneaking into the playoffs. From there, they did win the Superbowl, but I bet they'd prefer to not cut it as close in the regular season this year. The Giants passing game should remain strong, even with the loss of Manningham, as they added Mohamad Sanu with their first round pick. Brandon Jacobs is gone, so they'll need DJ Ware and rookie Chris Polk to step up. They return mostly the same o-line from last season, where they struggled at times but could be mostly solid overall. Defensively, emerging stud pass rusher JPP will be back, along with Justin Tuck to bring the heat on opposing QBs. They traded away the disgruntled Osi Umenyiora, so they'll probably figure to use Kiwankua as a DE more often. Jonathan Vilma upgrades the MLB spot but don't forget that he'll miss the first two games due to his bounty suspension. At corner, they still have Corey Webster but will need either 2nd year man Prince Amukamara (who was benched several times in 2011) or oft-injured FA pickup Terrence McGree to step up. They did lose veteran safety Deon Grant as a FA, so their depth there will take a hit behind quality starters Kenny Phillips and Antrelle Rolle.
2012 Prediction: 10-6 - An improvement over their regular season record from a year ago, but less than you'd like to see from the defending champs. Still, as long as they get to the playoffs, we know what they're capable of in them.
2011 Record - 8-8
- The Cowboys had a shot to make the playoffs in week 17, but just couldn't best the Giants. 8-8 is a disappointing finish for a team with the hype they always receive, and you can bet they'll receive it again in 2012. Tony Romo is a good QB who gets too much flak, and he'll be key to the Cowboys offense in 2012. Around him, health will be the next most important factor. DeMarco Murray and Felix Jones, if healthy, will make for a solid RB tandem, as will Miles Austin and Dez Bryant at WR. Their depth took a hit when they lost Laurent Robinson as a free agent, so they'll need other players to step up as often as Austin and Bryant seem to get banged up. TE should be solid with the ever present Jason Witten at the position, though they lost his primary backup in Martellus Bennett to the Bears. The offensive line will be shaken up once again, with tackles Tyron Smith and Doug Free swapping places. And the starters on the interior may end up being entirely made up of newcomers. Expect another big year from DeMarcus Ware and Sean Lee in the LB corps defensively, but the secondary is what will need the most improvement. Janoris Jenkins was added in the first round of the draft to help the group of CBs, but the Cowboys return the same struggling safeties from 2011 in Sensabaugh and Elam. Also, Dan Bailey will need to shake off any mental stigma still held over from last season's misfortune.
2012 Prediction: 8-8 - I see another .500 effort coming from the Cowboys. I think this is the dumbest organization in the league, starting at the very top with the decisions made by Jerry Jones and going right down through the coaching staff and players. Some combination of injuries, ineffectiveness and just plain stupidity will end up tanking another Cowboys season.
2011 Record: 8-8
- The most disappointing team of 2011 was the Eagles. They'll return much of the same offense, with the biggest difference being Desean Jackson swapped out for Vincent Jackson. Michael Vick will badly need to replicate the success of 2010 more than what he did in 2011 in order for the offense to improve. First round pick Jonathan Martin at RT is the only other major change. Defensively, the Eagles needed to shore up their front 7 which got absolutely gashed to hell and back repeatedly in 2011. Their d-line remains unchanged, but they upgraded every linebacker position, adding Larry Grant, AJ Hawk and rookie Donta Hightower. And though they tried to trade him, the team kept Asante Samuel who was quite honestly their best corner in 2011...even outperforming mega FA signing Nnamdi Asomugha.
2012 Prediction: 12-4 - I have the Eagles improving enough to win this division. They shored up their biggest defensive weakness at the LB position with multiple additions and their struggles in the red zone should be helped majorly by 6'5 WR Vincent Jackson. I could see the Eagles being a VERY dangerous team in 2012.
2011 Record: 5-11
- To anyone with a pulse, entering the 2011 season with Rex Grossman and John Beck as the top QBs seemed like a terrible idea. To anyone not named "Shanahan" at least...and the season went about as badly as expected. More of the offense struggled than did not, with Roy Helu and Fred Davis being a few of the bright spots. So, the Redskins overhauled the QB position completely by trading up for Robert Griffin and adding veteran FA David Garrard. Expect Griffin to start most, if not all, of the season. FA addition Marques Colston will help Griffin out quite a bit as will the addition of pro bowl ZBS center Chris Myers. Defensively, the Redskins are strong up front. They kept veteran ILB London Fletcher and have two great young OLBs in Orakpo and Kerrigan. Tyvon Branch was also signed to add some punch at safety, though the CB position still scares me.
2012 Prediction: 5-11 - Though I think the team is improved, this will be a hellishly competitive division (I don't see them beating the Giants twice again...) and they will probably be starting a rookie QB for most of it. Griffin may be good, but 99.9% of rookie QBs don't play like Cam Newton did last year, and that would be the kind of effort it would take for the Redskins to improve in 2012.
03-05-2012, 09:56 AM
Dallas Cowboys Final Roster
1. Tony Romo
2. Stephen McGee
3. Kirk Cousins
1. DeMarcco Murray
2. Felix Jones
3. Bryce Brown
1. Tony Fiametta
2. Shaun Chapas
1. Miles Austin
2. Dez Bryant
3. Ryan Broyles
4. Jesse Holley
5. Dwayne Harris
6. Jarrett Boykin
1. Jessie Witten
2. John Phillips
1. Tyron Smith
2. Doug Free
3. Jermy Parnell
1. Jake Scott
2. Montae Holland
3. Kyle Kosier
4. Antoine McClain
1. Mike McGlynn
2. Phil Costa
1. Jay Ratliff
2. Red Bryant
3. Jason Hatcher
4. Kenyon Coleman
5. Tommie Harris
1. Alamed Ta'Almu
2. Josh Brent
1. DeMarcus Ware
2. Eric Walden
3. Victor Butler
4.. Alex Albright
1. Sean Lee
2. Bruce Carter
3. Tim Dobbins
4. Emmanuel Acho
1. Michael Jenkins
2. Janoris Jenkins
3. Orlando Scandrick
4. Cliff Harris
5. Mario Butler
1. Gerald Sensabaugh
2. Abram Elam
3. Janzen Jackson
4. Craig Steltz
5. Mana Silva
1. Dan Bailey
1. Chris Jones
1. L.P. Ladouceur
OG Al Netter
OG Kelvin Beachum
C David Snow
OT James Carmon
OT Mike Harris
DT Chigbo Anunoby
WR Andre Holmes
LB/FB Isaiah Greenhouse
03-05-2012, 10:20 AM
NFC South 2012 Predictions
by DC Insider Rick Bennett
(Shortening these to speed up the process)
New Orleans Saints:
2011 Record: 13-3
2012 Prediction: 10-6 - Their losses really started to add up this offseason: their top two WRs, Carl Nicks, Will Smith, Roman Harper...Drew Brees got the franchise tag...Jonathan Vilma was traded away...plus no first round pick...I think the Saints were likely headed backwards a bit to begin with. Now with all of this "Bountygate" hangover and losing head coach Sean Payton to a suspension as a result, I see the Saints definitely headed backwards. Drew Brees alone will still keep the Saints in playoff contention, but they have a lot to overcome.
2011 Record: 10-6
2012 Prediction: 10-6 - The best thing that happened to the Falcons this offseason was the Saints getting in trouble. They upgraded their coordinators and made some minor moves, but I expect them to be similar to the 2011 version of themselves but with Julio Jones gaining another year's experience. The defense will likely be a hybrid under Mike Nolan and it's hard to tell how the pieces will fall into place there.
2011 Record: 6-10
2012 Prediction: 8-8 - I see continued improvement for the Panthers in Cam Newton's 2nd year. If he manages to avoid any type of sophomore slump, the Panthers could be a dark horse playoff contender. They didn't make many moves this offseason outside of the draft, but did bolster their defense there. I still think they're another year away from serious contention though.
Tampa Bay Bucs:
2011 Record: 4-12
2012 Prediction: 5-11 - Slight improvement. They have an entirely new coaching staff and splurged on all sorts of free agents, but I think everything will hinge on the development of Josh Freeman. It's his 4th year int he league and next season will be make or break for him. Based on 2011, I'm erring on the side of "break," which will hold the Bucs team back as a whole.
03-05-2012, 10:32 AM
NFC West 2012 Predictions
by DC Insider Rick Bennett
San Francisco 49ers:
2011 Record: 13-3
2012 Prediction: 12-4 - The 49ers may have had the best overall defense in the sport last year and got just enough done on offense to win. In 2012, teams will know what to expect with them and they won't be sneaking up on anyone anymore. Add to that the improved Cardinals team in the division, and I think they go backwards a little bit record wise. Plus, is Alex Smith the real deal or not?
2011 Record: 8-8
2012 Prediction: 11-5 - Even a 75% Peyton Manning represents a huge upgrade for the Cardinals at QB, and no one will benefit from his presence more than Larry Fitzgerald. Throw in some other WR additions and some veteran stop gaps to plug holes on the o-line, and the Cardinals offense should be all around better in 2012. Their defense had a quietly strong year last season as well and should compliment the upgraded offense nicely. I see playoffs for the Cardinals.
2011 Record: 7-9
2012 Prediction: 7-9 - I see another year much like last year for Seattle. Chad Henne isn't much of an upgrade at QB, if he's an upgrade at all, and once again they didn't sign or draft any youngsters to develop there. Marshawn Lynch's running plus an overall solid defense will help keep them from being embarrassingly bad, but I don't see any great improvement for Seattle next year.
St. Louis Rams:
2011 Record: 2-14
2012 Prediction: 3-13 - I think the Rams will improve slightly in year one under Jeff Fisher, but the Gregg Williams issues will hurt them. Sam Bradford's development should be helped a bit with the addition of first round pick LT Matt Kalil, but he still lacks any great weapons since I don't see Mario Manningham as a #1 WR. Defensively, they won't be bad up front, but their secondary is still a crap shoot mess. Throw in the suspension of their defensive coordinator and I think the defense overall is doomed to struggle.
03-05-2012, 10:33 AM
53 man roster
WR :: Sidney Rice : Ben Obomanu
TE :: Zach Miller : Anthony McCoy : Cameron Morrah
LT :: Russell Okung
LG :: Robert Gallery : Amini Silatolu : Paul Fanika
C :: Max Unger
RG :: John Moffitt : Anthony Herrera
RT :: James Carpenter : Breno Giacomini : Allen Barbre
WR :: Mike Williams : Golden Tate : Doug Baldwin
QB :: Chad Henne : Tarvaris Jackson
FB :: Michael Robinson
RB :: Marshawn Lynch : Leon Washington : Vick Ballard
LDE :: Chris Clemons : Chandler Jones : Rennie Moore
LDT :: Fletcher Cox : Clinton McDonald : Lazarius Levingston
RDT :: Brandon Mebane : Alan Branch
RDE :: Cam Johnson : Dexter Davis
WLB :: KJ Wright : Adrian Moten
MLB :: David Hawthorne : Heath Farwell
SLB :: Wesley Woodyard : Malcolm Smith
CB :: Byron Maxwell : Richard Sherman
SS :: Kam Chancellor : Jeron Johnson
FS :: Earl Thomas : Chris Maragos
CB :: Brandon Browner : Kelvin Hayden : Walter Thurmond
K :: Steven Hauschka
P :: Jon Ryan
LS :: Clint Gresham
03-05-2012, 12:44 PM
AFC East 2012 Predictions
by DC Insider Rick Bennett
New England Patriots:
2011 Record: 13-3
2012 Prediction: 10-6 - I have the Pats taking a noticeable step back. Michael Griffin will be a great addition to their secondary, but they failed to address several other key areas. If an aging, just spent a year out of football Randy Moss is their best answer to their need of a deep threat WR, then they're in trouble. They kept roughly the status quo at pass rusher, bringing back Mark Anderson and replacing Andre Carter with Matt Roth. Throw in the threat of an extended Wes Welker holdout and I think the Pats are going to struggle more than some may think.
2011 Record: 8-8
2012 Prediction: 8-8 - I like the Jets offensive additions via the draft, but their aging defensive core isn't quite what it was during their AFC Championship game runs. Plus they brought in no competition for Mark Sanchez...not even a quality backup. Barring sudden, drastic, consistent improvement from Sanchez, I don't think the Jets make the playoffs.
2011 Record: 6-10
2012 Prediction: 9-7 - The Bills surprised me with their improvement this offseason. Cliff Avril, Stephen Tulloch and Courtney Upshaw are great additions to their defensive front. They traded for a TE with a lot of potential in Finley and kept the core of their offense together by bringing back Stevie Johnson and Demetrius Bell. And Fred Jackson will be back healthy. I think this team goes as far as Ryan Fitzpatrick takes them...which is almost to the playoffs here. Almost.
2011 Record: 6-10
2012 Prediction: 8-8 - I'm seeing slight improvement upcoming for the Dolphins. Whether Matt Flynn proves to be a worthwhile pickup or AJ Feeley all over again will play a big part in this. They have solid talent in places and it will be interesting to see how their defensive conversion shakes out. I think everything will average out to them being a .500 team in 2012.
03-05-2012, 01:41 PM
AFC North 2012 Predictions
by DC Insider Rick Bennett
2011 Record: 12-4
2012 Prediction: 12-4 - Not much of a change up here. The Ravens will continue to be Superbowl contenders...and then fall short. They're not winning a Superbowl with Joe Flacco at QB and Cam Cameron calling the plays.
2011 Record: 12-4
2012 Prediction: 10-6 - Slight step back. They had to gut a lot of their older veterans hurting their depth and, while they managed to hang onto Mike Wallace, will have questions in the run game as Mendenhall recovers from a late season ACL tear.
2011 Record: 9-7
2012 Prediction: 11-5 - What happens when you have a very young team make the playoffs, then spend money on free agents and use two first round picks? Improvement. That's what. Trent Richardson should make for a great addition to Dalton and Green on offense, as should free agent pickup Laurent Robinson. Add Dwight Freeney to the defense (yeah, they pulled that off) and look out AFC.
2011 Record: 4-12
2012 Prediction: 4-12 - Slight defensive improvements won't cancel out the mediocrity on offense. First round pick Kendall Wright adds some speed but who will get the ball deep to him? McCoy? Kolb? Weeden? I'm going to attempt to type the sound I make in my head when I hear that trio of QBs: "Gewwahhhughhh." Better luck with Barkely in 2013 maybe?
03-05-2012, 01:55 PM
AFC South 2012 Predictions
by DC Insider Rick Bennett
2011 Record: 10-6
2012 Prediction: 12-4 - The Texans will get better simply by getting Matt Schaub healthy. They were competitive in the playoffs with a rookie 3rd string QB even. Another year of development for Wade Phillip's defense plus a healthy Schaub and anything they get out of their rookies will lead to improvement. And the division isn't exactly the toughest thing around.
2011 Record: 9-7
2012 Prediction: 8-8 - The Titans definitely overachieved last year and damn near made the playoffs to the surprise of many. However, it was pretty clear that they hit their ceiling with Matt Hasselbeck starting and will likely transition to Jake Locker this year. Throw in some of their big losses, like Finnegan and Griffin, and I see the Titans taking a step back before they can take any forward.
2011 Record: 5-11
2012 Prediction: 4-12 - 4 wins is good assuming Blaine Gabbert gets pulled at some point. I just want to grab him and shake him while screaming "are you serious!?" as he plays. Plus, the coaching combination of Mike Mularkey and Bob Bratkowski leaves...quite a bit...to be desired.
2011 Record: 2-14
2012 Prediction: 4-12 - This won't be a quick turnaround. 96% of the offense was built to function exclusively with Peyton Manning at QB and Andrew Luck won't be that...right away at least. I like their defense to improve more quickly under Chuck Pagano, as they made some good investments there with free agents and draft picks.
03-05-2012, 02:11 PM
AFC West 2012 Predictions
by DC Insider Rick Bennett
2011 Record: 8-8
2012 Prediction: 6-10 - Tebowmania finally dies its long overdue death as the team tries to work Tebow into a more pro-style offense. He manages to eek out about half a seasons worth of starts before he's finally, mercifully benched. Brian Hoyer takes over and is immediately better, but not good enough to complete turn this season around.
San Diego Chargers:
2011 Record: 8-8
2012 Record: 10-6 - The perennially underachieving Chargers manage to make the best of a bad division and improve to playoff contention levels. The additions of players like Soliai and first round pick Melvin Ingram help to improve the Chargers defensive front while Philip Rivers gets back to playing at a high level.
2011 Record: 8-8
2012 Prediction: 5-11 - Carson Palmer proves to be a washed up QB that should never have been traded for. While some parts of the team start to gel better than the did in 2011, the lack of anyone great at QB prevents the team from being worthwhile.
Kansas City Chiefs:
2011 Record: 7-9
2012 Record: 8-8 - Getting everyone healthy helps the Chiefs out a bit, but a mediocre passing game holds the team back. Ryan Tannehill gets some late season starts to develop for the future.
03-05-2012, 11:05 PM
Broncos release final 53 man Roster
1. Tim Tebow
2. Brian Hoyer
3. Chandler Harnish
PS: Adam Weber
1. Darren McFadden
2. Willis McGahee
3. Lance Ball
4. Jeremiah Johnson
PS: Mario Fannin
1. Plaxico Burress
2. Demaryius Thomas
3. Eric Decker
4. Dwight Jones
5. Eric Page
PS: D'Andre Goodwin
1. John Carlson
2. David Paulson
3. Virgil Green
PS: Julius Thomas
1. Ryan Clady
2. Zebrie Sanders
3. Orlando Franklin
4. Ryan Harris
PS: Tony Hills
1. Zane Beadles
2. Chris Kuper
3. Deuce Lutui
4. Manuel Ramirez
1. J.D. Walton
2. Jamaal Jackson
1. Brodrick Bunkley
2. Rocky Bernard
3. DaJohn Harris
4. Kevin Wickerson
1. Mario Williams
2. Elvis Dumervil
3. Robert Ayers
4. Juqua Parker
1. Von Miller
2. D.J. Williams
3. Will Witherspoon
PS Josh Kaddu
PS Mike Mohamed
1. EJ Henderson
2. Scott Fujita
3. Nate Irving
1. Champ Bailey
2. Eric Wright
3. Richard Marshall
4. Omar Bolden
5. Syd'Quan Thompson
PS: Chris Harris
1. Jim Leonhard
2. Quinton Carter
3. David Bruton
4. Rahim Moore
1. Matt Prater
1. Britton Colquitt
1. Lonie Paxton
QB Adam Weber
RB Mario Fannin
WR D'Andre Goodwin
TE Julius Thomas
OT Tony Hillis
LB Josh Kaddu
LB Mike Mohammed
CB Chris Harris
The Broncos concluded the day by releasing the following reserves: Mark Dell, Cornelius Ingram, Mitch Unrein, Jonathan Wilhite, and Tony Carter. The Broncos earlier signed veteran Linebackers Will Witherspoon and Scott Fujita to fill out the roster.
03-05-2012, 11:38 PM
Broth's Season Predictions pt. 1 of 2
1. Atlanta Falcons
2. Tama Bay Bucs
3. New Orleans Saints
4. Carolina Panthers
Panthers didn’t give a depth chart the penalty is that Cam Newton is injured and the panthers are screwed. The Falcons added more depth to the WR position adding Steve Smith (PHI) and Jacob Tamme who filled in nicely for Dallas Clark a few seasons back. The question becomes can Matt Ryan take advantage of his new toys on offense?
The Bucs did a great job giving Freeman another weapon in Justin Blackmon who will take away the double team from Mike Williams. They added a great set of depth at the RB but no burner. Courtland Finnegan at the CB position is a vast upgrade. The only question I have is LaRon Landry but they will be a wild card team.
The Saints take a step back losing both big NTs and replacing it with Ron Brace. They did a good job at making improvments in the run D and Tom Zbikowski isn’t going to miss any tackles. But on the offensive side of the ball they lost a ton in the WR position and replacing your best WR Colston with Brian Quick and also losing another WR in Mechem has to hurt their production on the offensive side of the ball add that to a possible suspension to Payton it is going to be a down year for the saints.
1. KC Chiefs
2. Denver Broncos
3. San Diego Chargers
4. Oakland Raiders
The Raiders are behind the 8 ball with no draft picks, no cap space and Carson Palmer at the QB position Carson proves he was a waste of a first and second round pick as they rebuild over the next two seasons. Chargers lost a ton of pieces and will be in a hard battle with the Broncos but when it is all said and done that D is going to be deadly. Add that to the fact that Norv can’t put a consistent product on the field drops them to third. If Denver had anyone behind center other than Tim Tebow or Blain Gabbert they very may well have won the division. That D is NASTY. Doom + Mario skeet skeet skeet. Enter Run DMC this is a playoff team in the NFC adding Wright and Leonhard were also great additions. The Chiefs were masterful in this off season they needed a NT got one of the best in the AFC. Needed a 2nd RB got a very good under rated guy in the late rounds need a guard get one of if not the best in the NFL. RT sucks draft one. These additions to an already good team if they can stay reasonably healthy this time around this should be the team to win the division.
1. Chicago Bears
2. Green Bay Packers
3. Detroit Lions
4. Minnesota Vikings
The NFC North is a huge battle amongst the top three teams. We may have seen the game plan be published against the Pack near the end of last season. They lost Finley and Shiancoe is a poor replacement IMO can Nick Perry play OLB? Adding Gaither is a lateral move as well how well will an aging Charles Woodson do for another season in the NFL? The Vikings are a better team than their record will show. Peterson coming off a tough injury last season and Ponder entering his second season with not much to speak of at the WR position other than Harvin fat Pat retiring hurts the D-Line its an aging team trying to rebuild it will happen soon enough. The Chicago Bears were a team on the verge of the playoffs before Cutler and Forte got injured and even if Cutler does get injured Jason Campbell is no slouch. Osi and J-Pep makes me pee my pants. As sad as it is Jason Smith is a good improvement to the LT position. Top that off with Dwayne BOWE the Bears are going to be a team contending for a first round bye. Finally the Lions being pressed up against the cap was forced to take risks in free agency to attempt to return 24 free agents scheduled this off season. The O-Line is vastly improved but Shaun Ellis is a poor replacement for Cliff Avril.
1. New England Patriot
2. Buffalo Bills
3. Miami Dolphins
4. New York Jets
Even before reading the rosters the Pats pretty much won. When your team has the best TWO QBs in division its hard to lose it. The O-Line is back with some depth added nice. The big question is can the Pats bring back the momentum that the secondary had at the end of last season? The Bills are by far the most improved team adding Avril who should be a beast in the 3-4 and Tulloch should be an improvement to this team. Insurting Courtney upshaw just adds better pass rushes. Finley adds another dimension as well if Scott Chandler can be a stud in this offense so can Finley. Miami will be close Flynn will be OK but not nearly what he was against the Lions last year. Where as the Jets didn’t really gain anyone to push Sanchez the in fighting in the locker room will boil over and the offense will be more stagnant despite Miller’s best efforts.
03-05-2012, 11:43 PM
FYI Bills are going 43 not 34. In real life and here.
03-05-2012, 11:43 PM
FYI Bills are going 43 not 34. In real life and here.
I thought they were going hybrid?
03-06-2012, 02:24 AM
Broth's Season Predictions Pt 2 of 2
1. Houston Texans
Texans basically run away with the division its almost too easy. They don’t lose much outside of Mario Williams. They gain two good WRs in Moss and Hill the T-New pickup is a questionable one but that is the only weakness. I wanted to put the Titans 4th for not having a depth chart. But the Jags and Colts suck way too much. The Colts have surely improved on the defensive side of the ball so it gives them a head to head tie breaker with the Jags. Speaking of the Jags Gabbert is the QB nuff said.
1. Pittsburgh Steelers
2. Cincinnati Bengals
3. Baltimore Ravens
4. Cleveland Browns
Horrifically difficult division the Steelers won it for me based off from the vast improvment to the O-Line. Mendenhall isn’t a huge loss and they got considerably younger at NT and Upgraded to Franklin a healthy Polamalu gives them a week 17 clinch of the division. Then comes the Bengals adding trent Richardson is HUGE for the bengals this adds another threat and should open things up for AJ Green and Laurent Robinson down the field it would have been nice to see them take another WR though. But I guess you can’t complain about adding Dwight Freeney to a team who was top 5 in defense. In a close 3rd was the Ravens age starts to get to them finally as the ageless ed reed and ray louis finally slow down a little. Finally the Browns are the odd man out they did well this off season but they couldn’t secure a top QB.
1. Philadelphia Eagles
2. Washington Redskins
3. New York Giants
4. Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys got worse and the team is currently wondering if Romo is the answer after losing faith in him by mid season. Adding Jenkins is a start but not enough to fix everything. The Giants take a step back next season they are no longer disrespected and no longer as motivated adding Vilma is huge and they are right up there for 2nd in the division but the Skins sweep the Giants in the regular season giving the Skins the better record. The Skins last year had one glaring weakness and that was QB while rookies at that position don’t usually make a huge impact lets face the facts RGIII is 10x the QB that Rex is. They added Colston and Royal to help out as well The D was great last year but now they have the offense. The Eagles had one obvious weakness that was stopping the run up the middle. Dont’a Hightower stiches that right up and adding Hawk should also help in the Run D on top of a team that is amazing on paper and nearly came back to take the division after a putrid start.
2. San Fran
As I’ve done before Rams didn’t leave a depth chart thus fall to the bottom. The Seahawks are great on the O-Line but they were a victim of circumstance that they are forced to start Chad Henne (although I <3 Henne) but next draft they should make a huge jump. Arizona wins this division because they have Peyton Manning. Much like what the AFC south use to be the other three teams are rutterless at the QB position (that includes Alex Smith) putting together Peyton (I make good WRs look like HOFers) Manning and Larry (I make John Skelton look like a starting QB) Fitzgerald and add Reggie Wayne to the mix how do you stop that.
1. New England
2. Houston Texans
3. Pittsburgh Steelers
4. KC Chiefs
5. Cincinnati Bengals
6. Denver Broncos
1. Philadelphia Ealges
2. Arizona Cardinals
3. Chicago Bears
4. Atlanta Falcons
5. San Francisco 49ers
6. Green Bay Packers
03-06-2012, 02:37 AM
TBW's 2012 NFC Regular Season Picks
Overview: Eagles improve all-around despite losing DeSean Jackson and some quality Offensive Linemen. Improve in basically every area. Slight drop-off by the Superbowl Champs. The troubles of Jonathan Vilma will hurt a team already struggling with the Mike position. Cowboys still start some stinkers in the secondary. The rest of the East looks to be pass-heavy so lapse in the defensive backfield looks to stunt the 'Boys potency. Look for the 'Skins to be a surprise as they improved upon most areas to a team with a solid Defense as well as new stud QB Robert Griffin.
I see the division looking identical to that of last season. The Packers added depth on defense and a good young tackle in Jared Gaither who has potential to be a franchise player in Green Bay. the Bears added some pieces I like in Bowe and Umenyiora, however without paying more attention to the offensive line, as well as an aging defense, they may be in trouble in the future. The Lions lost some key pieces on defense and failed to replace them adequately. Expect explosive offense and meh defense. The Vikings will have trouble starting off the season without Adrian Peterson. Minnesota should be an improved defensive unit, but they have a way to go before becoming competitive within the NFC North.
Overview: the Falcons look to be winners of a close NFC division. Improved offensive depth should provide the explosion that the Falcons lacked this past season making them a team to watch out for. The Bucs may be the league's most improve team, signing good players in free agency as well as drafting impact rookie Justin Blackmon. If Josh Freeman performs well, this could be a playoff team. Despite not knowing exactly how the Panthers look going into the season, you have to assume they've improved. Cam Newton came on last year, and with many players coming back from injury, we shall see what the enigmatic quarterback can really do. Lastly, the biggest surprise. The Saints lost multiple impact players, are having legal problems with the league, and failed to sign QB Drew Brees to a long term deal. I fully expect this Saints team to be a mess and to be seeking new leadership going into 2013.
Overview: The Cardinals made free agency's biggest splash by landing Peyton Manning. Bringing in other good players that fit needs, the Cardinals are my early NFC representative for the Super Bowl. The 49ers aren't far behind. Adding explosive playmakers on offense, the '9ers should be one of the most competitive teams around if Alex Smith can repeat last year's performance. Neither the Seahawks or Rams impressed me in this process, making minimal improvement at best. I expect both to be picking early in next year's draft.
03-06-2012, 08:52 AM
OFFICIAL REPORT: DREW BREES REFUSES TO SIGN FRANCHISE TAG, WILL HOLD OUT
The record setting QB will sit out unless and until he gets a new deal.
As if the Saints needed more problems in this offseason that has already seen them hit with penalties for the "Bountygate" scandal, news now comes out of New Orleans that Brees is "livid" (http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nfl-shutdown-corner/report-drew-brees-livid-franchise-tag-011643713.html) with the application of the franchise tag and "sources in the Brees camp say that he will not sign the franchise tag deal."
An ugly situation just got far worse for the Saints, as any time missed by Brees will have a serious negative impact on the offense.
It is unknown whether Brees would hold out into the season itself or not, but even missing camp and the preseason would be a major detrament to the team's already shaky 2012 chances.
The only other QBs on the Saints roster are Chase Daniel, who has never started an NFL game, and late round draft pick rookie Kellen Moore.
03-06-2012, 09:16 AM
Here are some quick predictions before I go to school:
AFC East: Patriots – Bills – Jets – Dolphins
AFC North: Bengals - Ravens – Steelers – Browns
AFC South: Texans – Titans – Colts – Jaguars
AFC West: Chargers – Chiefs – Broncos – Raiders
Playoff teams: Patriots, Bengals, Ravens, Steelers, Texans, Chargers
NFC East: Eagles – Giants – Cowboys - Redskins
NFC North: Packers – Bears – Lions - Vikings
NFC South: Falcons - Saints - Buccaneers – Panthers
NFC West: Cardinals – 49ers – Seahawks – Rams
Playoff teams: Eagles, Giants, Packers, Falcons, Cardinals, 49ers
03-07-2012, 12:33 PM
Top 10 Picks of the 2013 Draft Predicted
Possible #1 Overall Pick?
1.) St. Louis Rams - WR Robert Woods, USC - If the Rams end up picking this high once again, there will be calls to replace Sam Bradford at QB. However, head coach Jeff Fisher seems committed to Bradford and, having just drafted a franchise LT last year in Matt Kalil, the Rams go back to the Trojan well for the draft's top WR in Robert Woods with this pick. The reduced payments thanks to the rookie salary scale help to justify taking a WR here, and Bradford will be extremely glad to have a true #1 target.
2.) Indianapolis Colts - OT DJ Fluker, Alabama - Protecting new franchise QB Andrew Luck will be a huge priority for the Colts. Between Fluker and 2011 first round pick Anthony Castonzo, the Colts would have a pair of bookend tackles for years to come.
3.) Cleveland Browns - QB Matt Barkley, USC - The Colt McCoy/Kevin Kolb/Brandon Weeden show needs to be mercifully put to an end. Barkely is far superior to any of them and has all the tools needed to become Cleveland's first franchise QB since reentering the league.
4.) Oakland Raiders - QB Tyler Bray, Tennessee - Carson Palmer was a major failure and a terrible waste of resources, but at least with their first 1st round pick in two years, the Raiders can rectify that here. He'll sure have a lot of speed at WR to utilize if nothing else.
5.) Jacksonville Jaguars - DE Jarvis Jones, Georgia - While it is painful to watch Gabbert attempt to play "quarterback" in the NFL, there just isn't one available with this pick to justify replacing him. So, the Jaguars look to their pass rush where free agent signees Andre Carter and Israel Idonije simply aren't long term answers.
6.) Tampa Bay Bucs - WR Keenan Allen, Cal - The Bucs will likely be looking to replace Josh Freeman if they're picking this high, but with no QB prospect available here who would be worth the pick, they instead grab a playmaking WR to help out whoever their eventual QB does turn out to be.
7.) Washington Redskins - CB David Amerson, NC State - Robert Griffin gives the Redskins the most hope they've had at the QB position since...well...maybe ever. But it's the secondary that still needs help, so they pick the draft's top corner here in the 6'3 Amerson.
8.) Minnesota Vikings - OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M - After missing out on Kalil last year, the Vikings finally get the pass blocking LT they've always wanted in Matthews here. Hopefully he'll be able to provide better protection to developing QB Christian Ponder.
9.) Denver Broncos - QB Tyler Wilson, Arkansas - Time to wash that godawful Tim Tebow taste out of their mouths. Wilson feels like a very slight reach here now, but he has the potential to move up and demand is always high for QBs with franchise tools.
10.) Seattle Seahawks - CB Xavier Rhodes, Florida State - The Seahawks have a great young pair of safeties, some good linebackers and heavily invested in their d-line in the 2012 draft, so, with no more worthwhile QBs on the board, they look to close the last of their big defensive holes with the big corner in Rhodes here.
03-07-2012, 06:35 PM
Jaguars Get First Pick in the Draft
As the regular season comes to a close, and the playoffs begin, the draft order has begun to take shape. Below is the draft order for the teams that didn't make the playoffs.
03-07-2012, 06:53 PM
1. Houston Texans
2. New England Patriots
3. Baltimore Ravens
4. San Diego Chargers
5. Cincinnati Bengals
6. Pittsburgh Steelers
1. Arizona Cardinals
2. Green Bay Packers
3. Atlanta Falcons
4. Philadelphia Eagles
5. San Francisco 49ers
6. Chicago Bears
03-07-2012, 08:11 PM
Jaguars Look Forward to 2013 Draft
After a disastrous 2012 campaign, the Jacksonville Jaguars have fallen into the #1 pick in the draft. Second year QB Blaine Gabbert struggled for the second straight year, even after getting better offensive weapons in Brandon Lloyd, Jerome Simpson, Juron Criner, A.J. Jenkins, and Chris Rainey. General Manager Unbiased commented, “With better playmakers on offense and actually having a QBs coach this year, we expected better things from Blaine, but obviously we need to evaluate where he stands with this football team. You don’t get the #1 pick with good QB play.”
With the 2013 draft approaching, the Jaguars will have a chance to do a number of different things. If Unbiased is serious about reevaluating Gabbert’s position with the team, they can get the All-American QB Matt Barkley from USC. They could also take Barkley’s favorite target, WR Robert Woods, however, most draft experts can’t see them passing on the senior signal caller after Gabbert’s awful 2 years.
03-09-2012, 07:37 AM
CARDINALS DEFEAT TEXANS IN OVERTIME, WIN SUPERBOWL XLVII
Fitzgerald has a huge day as the Cardinals win.
It was a Superbowl for the ages. "One of the best ever played" said some long time sports writers in attendance.
This one had it all. Both starting QBs, Manning and Schaub, threw for over 400 yards, and both of their top WRs, Fitzgerald and Andre Johnson, caught for over 150 and 2 TDs each. Arian Foster had a great 80 yard TD run where his o-line opened up some great running lanes. And of course, who could forget Patrick Peterson's epic 90 yard spinning, diving, juking, field-reversing punt return TD.
Overall, there were 8 lead changes and the game was tied several more times until Arizona kicker Jay Feely knocked through a 35 yard game winner in OT, clinching the 41-38 victory for the Cardinals.
Peyton Manning had a stellar season, winning Comeback Player of the Year as well as his 5th MVP award in leading the Cardinals to the #1 seed in the NFC. Things were looking grim for the Cardinals when he was blown up while throwing by Houston's JJ Watt, causing the pass to sail and get picked off by Danieal Manning. The Texans went up 38-35 with just under 3 minutes remaining in the game, but Peyton rallied his troops and drove down for the game tying FG, sending the game into OT for the first time in Superbowl history.
The Texans started off hot in overtime, with Arian Foster running hard and Matt Schaub hitting Andre Johnson to get into Cardinals territory. But Calais Campbell, who received a contract extension just last offseason to remain with the team, tipped a Schaub pass intended for Owen Daniels that was picked off by Adrian Wilson and returned deep into Texans territory.
The Cardinals ran a few times to center the FG and Feely knocked it through.
This will surely be a game that forever lives in the hearts and minds of NFL fans everywhere. "Epic" is truly the only way it can be described.
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