Mike Florio talks with Colts WR T.Y. Hilton about what exactly goes through his mind as he is ready to return a kick. They also discuss why Hilton thinks he’s had so much success so early in his career and how the team continues to battle for ill coach Chuck Pagano.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
PFT Live: T.Y. Hilton: Colts staying ChuckStrong
Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs is all for eliminating the extra point. But why stop there?
Gibbs told Colin Cowherd on ESPN Radio that he wouldn’t mind getting rid of field goals in addition to extra points. Why should 11 football players have to march the ball down the field only to put the team’s fate on the foot of a puny kicker? Gibbs thinks that if you want to give out partial points to a drive that gets stopped short of the end zone, award points for a team that gets inside the 10-yard line or the 5-yard line but fails to score.
“Even field goals, you know what I mean? I was one who wanted to let the team decide,” Gibbs said. “You get to the 10 you get one point, you get to the 5 you get two. I’m for anything like that where the team — that’s 11 guys — help determine the outcome of the game. Not one person kicking something.”
Gibbs is an old-school coach whose career started back in the days when men were men and kickers were expected to play another position, not just specialize. So it’s not surprising that when Gibbs thinks of a team of 11 guys determining the outcome of a game, he’s not thinking of one of those guys being a kicker.
But eliminating field goals isn’t even up for discussion in the NFL. Anyone who wants to de-emphasize kicking would be wise to keep the focus on extra points.
The Saints are reportedly releasing one of their key running backs.
However, a league source tells PFT’s Mike Florio that New Orleans has yet to release Sproles and that efforts to trade him continue. However, Sproles will be released if he cannot be dealt.
Sproles hauled in 71 passes for 604 yards and two TDs in 2013. He also rushed for 220 yards and two scores on 53 carries.
The apparent impending departure of Sproles is the latest move by the Saints to retool a skilled-but-aging roster. Moreover, a trade or release of Sproles would save the Saints quite a bit of money; Sproles is due $3.4 million in salary and a $100,000 workout bonus, per Rotoworld.com salary data.
Three years ago, the Seahawks signed wide receiver Doug Baldwin as an undrafted free agent.
Clearly, Seattle found itself a steal, a point that has been driven home time and again, perhaps never more than in the 2013 postseason, when Baldwin hauled in 13 passes for 202 yards and a touchdown for a Super Bowl-winning club.
On Friday, we were reminded again of Baldwin’s value. According to NFL writer Brian McIntyre, the Seahawks have given Baldwin a second-round tender as a restricted free agent. Teams interested in signing away Baldwin would have to surrender a second-round pick, and the Seahawks would have the right to match any offer.
The second-round tender is a one-year, $2.187-million contract for 2014.
Give the lack of action in restricted free agency in most years, it’s likely Baldwin — No. 74 on PFT’s Free Agent Hot 100 — will stay put in Seattle another season, and if he plays out his one-year deal, he could potentially test unrestricted free agency next March.
Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier didn’t run the 40-yard dash at the Scouting Combine because of a tweaked hamstring. At his Friday Pro Day, he tweaked it again at the end of the run.
And yet he still covered the 120 feet in 4.36 seconds. Unofficially.
Yes, a linebacker ran the 40 in 4.37 seconds. And he weighed 237 pounds, more than the scouts expected.
“I feel like I can gain 10 more pounds if I had to,” Shazier said, via Cleveland.com. “I feel good right now.”
At the Scouting Combine, Shazier also sprang 42 inches in the vertical jump, more than anyone.
The buzz is that Shazier has moved into the first round. Then again, if every player about whom there was first-round buzz was actually taken in the first round, there would be 100 players taken in the first round.
The Jaguars re-signed quarterback Chad Henne on Friday, something they’ve said they wanted to do since the start of the offseason even though Henne himself knows that the team is looking for a young quarterback who can be a long-term answer to the position.
That young quarterback isn’t guaranteed to be the short-term answer, though. Coach Gus Bradley said Friday, via the Florida Times Union, that Henne will be first on the depth chart heading into OTAs and would likely be the starter come Week One even if the team uses the third pick in the draft on a quarterback.
This is not the time of year to take anything coaches or general managers say about free agency and the draft at face value and Jaguars fans who remember Byron Leftwich and David Garrard know that being called the starting quarterback doesn’t mean a thing until you actually start a game at quarterback.
That said, bringing Henne back gives the Jaguars flexibility not to reach for a quarterback if they don’t feel he’s worth taking with the third pick. Blaine Gabbert is still on the roster as an example of how wishing doesn’t make it so with highly drafted quarterbacks. The Jaguars may decide that the quarterback they want will come later in the draft and need some time before he’s ready to take over, which would make giving Henne the reins of an offense he already knows an easy decision.
In an annual rite that is as discussed and as worried-about and as inevitable as potty training infants, the Cowboys are under the salary cap before the start of the league year.
Amazingly, it happened again.
Of course, every team in the league has to be under the cap for the start of the league year, so it’s not as if the Cowboys have actually achieved anything. But it’s the Cowboys, so their ability to do it earns them notice beyond the normal participation certificate.
The Cowboys created most of the cap room over the course of the week, by re-doing the deals of linebacker Sean Lee, cornerback Orlando Scandrick and quarterback Tony Romo, whose contract has undergone more restructures than Joan Rivers’ face.
Of course, all those moves also make it more difficult for them to get under the cap again next year, since all the restructures just add to future liabilities.
But we’ll talk about that next year. We always do.
When we last heard from former Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch, he was saying he had been told by NFL scouts that he could be a pro quarterback. But at his Pro Day workout today, NFL scouts wanted to see how he looked doing drills as a running back or defensive back.
Lynch hadn’t prepared to do any position drills on defense, but when some coaches who attended the Pro Day asked him to, Lynch obliged.
“A few teams really like me at running back and I did some safety footwork drills today out of the blue and got some positive feedback there. They said I have nice feet, quick feet,” Lynch told 670 The Score in Chicago.
There’s no doubt that Lynch has quick feet: His time of 6.55 seconds in the three-cone drill wasn’t just the fastest of any quarterback at this year’s Combine, but was faster than any running back as well. Lynch has the athletic talent to play some position at the next level.
But for all his success as a Heisman Trophy finalist in college, he’s probably not a good enough passer to play quarterback in the NFL, even if he’s still holding out hope that he can.
“I helped myself today,” Lynch said. “I threw every NFL route today. Threw on time, threw on target, threw everything. Maybe a few incomplete passes here and there.”
If Lynch helped himself today, it was most likely because of his willingness to work out at a position other than quarterback.
Free agents will have to wait until Tuesday to actually put their names on contracts with new teams, but they can start getting a sense of their value on the market on Tuesday.
A 72-hour negotiating window for agents and teams opens on Saturday, allowing for discussions that will be the first step in the slew of signings we expect to see once the gun goes off on Tuesday afternoon.
On Friday’s Pro Football Talk on NBCSN, we’ll discuss the logistics about how things will work over the weekend as part of our continuing preview of free agency. We’ll run down all the news from Friday to see how it impacts the landscape for Tuesday and beyond.
It all gets underway at 5:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
The Giants visited with free agent linebacker Jameel McClain this week, signaling the need for some new blood at the position for the 2014 season.
It won’t be out with all of the old, however. The team announced Friday that they have re-signed linebacker Mark Herzlich, who was set to become a restricted free agent on Tuesday.
Herzlich beat cancer after being diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma while at Boston College and signed with the Giants as an undrafted free agent in 2011. He’s played 43 games since joining the team, but his six starts have shown that he’s best suited for a backup role on defense while being a core member of the team’s special teams units.
The Giants have shown interest in re-signing linebacker Jon Beason, who was acquired in part because of Herzlich’s struggles at middle linebacker early last season, but Beason appears to be headed to the open market. Whether it is McClain or someone else, the Giants would be well served to replace Beason with a better option than Herzlich should the veteran depart for another team.
Terms were not disclosed. Johnson and Jeanpierre were slated to be restricted free agents.
Jeanpierre, 26, started three regular season games at center for the Seahawks in 2013. He’s played in 47 regular season games for Seattle, starting eight.
The 25-year-old Johnson has appeared in 31 regular season games for Seattle in three seasons. He notched four special teams tackles and two defensive tackles in 2013, according to club statistics.
Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said at the Scouting Combine that he wanted a tight end who can block.
He got one Friday, as the Cardinals agreed to a two-year deal with John Carlson, the team announced.
Carlson was cut by the Vikings this week, going down as one of the early busts of free agency in recent years. For the five-year, $25 million contract they Vikings gave him two years ago, he caught just 40 passes.
Carlson also had at least three concussions during that span, which makes his role throwing his body into people a risky one.
But the Cardinals are intent on adding to their protection in free agency (they’re a natural fit for several offensive linemen), and bringing Carlson in now is part of that.
Browns defensive end Desmond Bryant saw his 2013 season come to an end after 12 games because of a persistent irregular heartbeat.
The condition required him to undergo a cardiac ablation in December to correct the issue and the team said he was expected back at 100 percent for the 2014 season. Nothing happened since then to change that outlook and Bryant announced on Twitter Friday that he’s received full medical clearance to return to the field.
Bryant, who signed a five-year, $34 million deal last offseason, got off to a strong start in his first year in Cleveland, recording 3.5 sacks in the first three games while playing well against the run as well. Bryant’s play tailed off as the season progressed, which may have been related to an October flareup of the heart condition.
Now that he’s healthy, new Browns coach Mike Pettine should find plenty to like about Bryant’s ability to impact games up front for the Browns.
Add the Vikings to the list of clubs getting a prospective restricted free agent under contract ahead of the start of the new league year.
The 26-year-old Sherels recorded 46 tackles in 16 games (three starts) for Minnesota in 2013. He also returned 22 punts for 335 yards, including a touchdown against the Giants.
A fourth-year pro, Sherels (5-10, 175) played high school football in Rochester, Minnesota and attended the University of Minnesota.
Texans tackle Duane Brown wound up in the Pro Bowl as an injury replacement last season, but his own analysis of his play in 2013 didn’t mesh with his place in the league’s all-star game.
Brown said he thought he was just “OK” during the season and that he failed to play up to his potential. It was a common complaint in Houston last season as the Texans finished the year with 14 straight losses and changed coaches when the year came to a close. They’ll spend the offseason trying to correct the issues that contributed to that record, an effort that includes Brown gaining back weight after he played last season at 12-15 pounds less than he usually carried on his frame.
“I lost a lot of weight last year and I’m off that. I’m staying pretty big these days,” Brown said, via the Houston Chronicle.
Brown’s run blocking took a step backward last season, which may have been a result of playing with less bulk. Even with that step back, Brown was one of the top performers in Houston last season and, at any weight, figures to remain one in 2014 as well.
Suh has made his choice and he decided to go with an agent. Liz Mullen of Sports Business Journal reports that Suh has hired Jimmy Sexton of CAA to represent him. CAA and RocNation Sports, the agency founded by Jay Z that represents Suh for marketing deals, have a working relationship involving other clients, including Victor Cruz, so it’s no surprise to see Suh go that route.
It’s also no surprise to see him opt to work with an agent rather than try to tackle what could be a tricky negotiation without experienced help at the table with him. The Lions were among those who thought it would be a mistake for Suh to go it alone and the advice seems to have reached its target.
With Sexton in as Suh’s agent, the Lions can now get to work on an extension for the defensive tackle that would allow them to bring down his mammoth cap number of $22.4 million for the 2014 season. Suh’s in an advantageous position when it comes to making demands for that deal because of his value to the defense and the value of the cap space he can provide and the sooner it can done the better for the Lions with free agency about to get underway.