Rookie Seahawks QB Russell Wilson talks about Seattle’s struggles on the road this season and his play thus far. Wilson talks about his weekly preparations for games and why he tries to be like Drew Brees.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
PFT Live: 1-on-1 with Russell Wilson
When linebacker Jason Worilds signed his transition tag with the Steelers, he was guaranteed a one-year contract at $9.754 million if he can’t reach agreement on a long-term deal with the Steelers.
He also appears to have guaranteed the end of linebacker LaMarr Woodley’s run in Pittsburgh. Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the Steelers will release Woodley when the league year begins on Tuesday. PFT has confirmed that Woodley will be let go.
It’s a move that most saw coming as Woodley’s $13.6 million cap hit and recent injury history made him vulnerable even before Worilds got tagged. Woodley has missed 14 games over the last three seasons and drew criticism last year for his approach to offseason workouts while recording just five sacks off the edge for Pittsburgh.
Now he’ll need to go elsewhere in hopes of a bounce-back season as Pittsburgh sticks with Worilds and Jarvis Jones at outside linebacker. There will be plenty of teams looking for help in the pass rush, although Woodley will likely be settling for a deal that better fits his current circumstances than the one that’s coming to an end with the Steelers.
Woodley’s release will be designated a June 1 cut, allowing the Steelers to spread out the remaining cap hit. Doing so clears over $10 million from the cap this season.
Here’s even more evidence why you have to take the legal tampering “interest,” in certain players with a grain of salt.
The Steelers clearly need to restock their secondary. Thus, according to Scott Brown of ESPN.com, they’ve “inquired about” cornerbacks including Alterraun Verner of the Titans, Captain Munnerlyn of the Panthers and Nolan Carroll of the Dolphins.
In other news, I am considering “inquiring about” a filet from the Capital Grille tonight, either that or perhaps running through the McDonald’s drive-thru for something off the value menu.
Munnerlyn had high hopes a year ago, but settled for a cut-rate one-year deal with the Panthers. Carroll is young and being replaced by more expensive parts.
So the fact they’re interested in players at vastly different price points should indicate a few things.
Yes, they need corners.
No, they probably can’t afford Verner, but might be interested in knowing which teams might.
And once he signs elsewhere, they can turn their attention back to the cheaper items on the menu.
A well-regarded veteran safety is reportedly garnering interest from several clubs, including the team for whom he’s played the last three seasons.
The Chronicle also reports the 49ers have interest in bringing back the 28-year-old Whitner, who notched 73 tackles and intercepted two passes for San Francisco in 2013.
Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, citing an unnamed source, reported that the Browns have considerable interest in adding Whitner. If the Browns were to sign Whitner, he would likely take the place of T.J. Ward, who can also test free agency on Tuesday.
Whitner is the 28th-ranked player on PFT’s Free Agent Hot 100.
The Panthers shaved two names off their long list of potential free agents on Monday, although neither one qualifies as one of the biggest names on the list.
The team announced that they have signed offensive lineman Garry Williams to a one-year deal and tight end/fullback Richie Brockel to a two-year deal. Williams was set to become an unrestricted free agent on Tuesday while Brockel was en route to restricted free agency.
Williams started the 2013 season opener at right guard, but tore his ACL and missed the rest of the season. That was part of a revolving door at both guard spots all season in Carolina. With Travelle Wharton and Geoff Hangartner both headed for free agency, Williams could be back in the mix for a starting spot this summer if his knee is sound enough to allow it.
Brockel has played the last three years for the Panthers, seeing action in 43 games and making a pair of starts. He’s caught four passes and run the ball four times in those games while seeing action on the team’s special teams units.
Cortland Finnegan doesn’t have a team at the moment.
And when he finds another one, it will be without the benefit of an agent.
Finnegan told Josina Anderson of ESPN he wants to join a contender, but doesn’t think he needs to pay someone to help him find one.
“I still feel like I can contribute and also benefit a team by bringing a young kid along,” he said. “What’s different now is that I don’t have an agent. I’m representing myself in this process. Let me tell you I am getting an upfront look at what’s it’s really like to talk to these General Managers, coordinators and coaches and take in how they really feel about you. I’m asking questions and getting answers that I would never get from an agent.
“Personally I think I’ve had some real conversations with a few teams. I may take a few visits but sometimes I feel like I can collect the information that I need on the phone. I know the teams that have a standard for winning already. That’s really my focus now.”
Finnegan’s play dropped off sharply last year, to the point that his patron Jeff Fisher cut him. That’s probably as clear a signal as could be sent.
But if a good team needs a veteran stable-pony, Finnegan seems inclined to accept a smaller role than in the past.
And with his smaller paycheck, saving the 3 percent might be a wise investment.
Seattle General Manager John Schneider has identified keeping Bennett as a “top priority,” and Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the Seahawks are now the favorites to sign Bennett. Bennett led Seattle with 8.5 sacks last season, and after Red Bryant’s departure, the Seahawks would hate to lose another key player on the defensive line.
The fact that both the Bears and Seahawks are eager to sign Bennett will be good news for his bottom line. Whether it’s in Seattle or Chicago, Bennett is going to get paid somewhere.
Bennett is the No. 2 player in our Free Agent Hot 100.
San Diego announced Monday that guard Chad Rinehart has re-signed with the team on a two-year deal. Rinehart, like all free agents, has had the opportunity to hear from teams over the weekend and the decision to stay in San Diego suggests he didn’t hear anything to make him think that the grass would be greener somewhere else.
Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News reported the news before the announcement. Vacchiano covers the Giants, who were one of the teams believed to be interested in potentially adding Rinehart to their offensive line. Jon Asamoah, Geoff Schwartz and Zane Beadles are some of the other options that the Giants could explore if they still plan to try to upgrade at guard.
Rinehart started 10 games when not ailing last season, his first in San Diego after stops in Washington and Buffalo. His return at left guard means the Chargers have their entire starting offensive line from last season under contract for 2014.
One of the top centers available in free agency has been linked to a club in need of offensive line help.
Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News reports the Giants have shown “interest” in Saints center Brian de la Puente.
The 28-year-old de la Puente is No. 87 on PFT’s Free Agent Hot 100. He has started 44 games in the last three seasons for New Orleans.
David Baas, the Giants’ starting center in 2013, is slated to make $4.75 million in 2013, and the club wants to reduce his compensation. He appeared in just three games last season because of neck and knee injuries, and he will be 33 in September.
The Steelers released linebacker Larry Foote last week as part of their effort to create cap space ahead of free agency and some wondered if that might be the end of the line for Foote.
The longtime Steeler played just one game last season before a torn biceps sent him to injured reserve and he turns 34 this summer, a combination that isn’t likely to make him a hot commodity on the open market. Foote isn’t throwing in the towel, though.
He told Josina Anderson of ESPN that he has no immediate plans to retire after 12 NFL seasons. He also told her he’d like to catch on with a contender and that he’d like to sign before the summer, although it isn’t clear if that will be the deciding factor in continuing his career if the only offers come from teams with longer shots at a championship.
Foote isn’t likely to be too high on anyone’s priority list as free agency opens and many teams may see him as a fallback option if neither free agency nor the draft brings the help they desire, so it may be tough for him to avoid an extended wait while remaining active in the NFL.
Free agent left tackle Branden Albert must really like South Beach.
Otherwise, how would he have seemingly settled on a destination without having been made a firm offer?
According to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, the technicalities are just that, and Albert will “be a Dolphin.”
Of course, Salguero points out that nothing is 100 percent done, which is because by the letter of the law it can’t be. The league has sent out its memo telling teams they can’t do the kind of thing that is apparently being done here, which is share numbers and reach agreements.
Which, of course, no one believes.
Miami landing Albert would be a huge step in rebuilding their offensive line, but more work needs to be done.
As soon as it can be officially done, of course.
Martha Ford, the widow of William Clay Ford Sr., will inherit the Detroit Lions. Their son Bill Ford Jr. will remain the team’s vice chairman.
The Lions announced on Monday, a day after the death of Ford Sr., that Martha Ford will inherit controlling interest in the team.
“Pursuant to long-established succession plans, Mr. Ford’s controlling interest in Lions passes to Mrs. Martha Ford. She and her four children will continue to be involved in the ownership of the franchise, as they have during Mr. Ford’s tenure,” the team said in a statement.
Bill Ford Jr., who has played an increasingly prominent role in the Lions, will likely be the public face of team ownership. The Lions are not expected to make any significant changes in the front office.
Longtime Lions owner William Clay Ford died on Sunday and the team announced that his widow will take over as chairman of the team while Bill Ford Jr. will remain the team’s vice chairman.
On Monday’s PFT Live, Mike Florio will talk to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press about what impact the loss of the elder Ford will have on the team’s operations. With free agency opening on Tuesday, there will also be some discussion of the Lions’ plans and president Tom Lewand’s statement that a Ndamukong Suh extension isn’t essential to fulfilling those plans.
The only free agent quarterback market that the Lions will be in is one for backups should Shaun Hill not be re-signed. This year’s crop of free agent signal callers is long on backups, but short of potential starters outside of Michael Vick and Josh McCown. Florio will preview the group during Monday’s show.
It all gets going at noon ET and you can watch it all live by clicking right here.
They haven’t come to an agreement yet, but they are reportedly still trying to make it happen. Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reports that the Jets continue to push for a contract with Howard as he also speaks to other teams that are hoping the Jets aren’t able to secure a signature on the dotted line.
Howard, who placed 60th on PFT’s Hot 100 list of free agents, has started 32 straight games for the Jets and turned in a solid season as a pass blocker in 2013. Right tackles don’t break the bank the way their counterparts on the left side of the line do, but their value has risen in the last couple of years as teams do all they can to secure strong blocking across their entire frontline.
The Patriots turned to Michael Hoomanawanui last year when their tight end position was a mess on and off the field.
Monday, he was rewarded for it.
According to Alex Marvez of FOX Sports, Hoomanawanui agreed to a two-year deal to stay with the Patriots.
While he was a solid complementary tight end, the Patriots obviously need a healthy Rob Gronkowski this year, as Hoomanawanui posted 12 receptions for the season, scoring one touchdown.
Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan primarily coached units that played 3-4 schemes prior to landing in Atlanta, but he has run a 4-3 base defense for head coach Mike Smith over the last two seasons.
The addition of an outside linebackers coach to the squad creates some question about whether there might be some schematic changes coming to Atlanta in 2014. Alex Marvez of FOX Sports reports that the team has promoted Mark Collins from defensive assistant to the outside linebacker position, which was not a position on the Falcons staff in the past.
Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports that there’s been talk from some Falcons players about just such a change and points out a slew of free agents and draft-eligible players who would help facilitate a change in schemes. It’s all speculative, but free agency could wind up telling the story of how the Falcons defense lines up next season.
Marvez also reports that the Falcons have hired former Southern Miss safeties coach Andrew Thacker to replace Collins as the team’s defensive assistant.