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On Monday, Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said he’d let the media know “in the next couple of days” whether quarterback Robert Griffin III will remain the starter for the rest of the season.
As of Tuesday night, Shanahan has said nothing. To anyone.
Jeff Darlington of NFL Network reports that, as of 6:30 p.m. ET, Shanahan has not informed Griffin about his status for Sunday at Atlanta.
A league source confirms to PFT that the Redskins are holding the info close to the vest for now.
They can’t do it much longer. Even if Shanahan decides to renege on his promise to reveal the decision “in the next couple of days,” word will emerge after practice on Wednesday, when Griffin or Kirk Cousins take the first-team reps.
Now that owner Daniel Snyder reportedly has called Shanahan’s bluff, the head coach has to decide whether he’ll go through with his potential plan, which would open Shanahan up to even more criticism regarding what appears to be a blatant effort to get fired and get paid for 2014.
And while on the surface Snyder can pretend he doesn’t care if Griffin doesn’t play in three meaningless games, a strong showing by Cousins down the stretch could create an unwanted quarterback controversy among fans who possibly have begun the process of falling out of love with RGIII.
At a time when Redskins owner Daniel Snyder may be thinking about the next high-profile coach he’ll overpay to underachieve, Nick Saban would like to remind Snyder and the rest of us that Saban is still coaching.
Gil Brandt of NFL.com tweets that he’s been told by a source that Saban currently is in negotiations with Alabama regarding a contract extension that would pay him in the range of $7 million per year.
Coincidentally (or not), current Redskins coach Mike Shanahan currently earns $7 million per year.
The more likely explanation for this latest development is that word of the potential extension was leaked by Saban or someone close to Saban to a member of the media with close ties to the University of Texas as a message to the Longhorns, who are believed to be interested in hiring Saban. But Brandt also has close ties to the NFL, which makes us wonder whether Snyder is one of the intended recipients of Saban’s message.
Why wouldn’t Snyder be interested in Saban? Sure, he burned out after two years in Miami because a little thing called the salary cap prevented him from over-recruiting the most talented players in the nation and then lining them up and letting them win championships. (Besides, NFL kickers are way better at making 57-yard field goals.) No numbers of crystal footballs will soothe Saban’s lingering torment over the perception that he couldn’t get it done at the highest level of the sport.
The key for Saban would be negotiating a contract that gives him as much power in the NFL as he enjoys in a town he runs called Tuscaloosa, with enough extra money to make up for the fact that he’d to deal with a far more zealous and independent press corps in D.C. So if $7 million per year keeps him in Alabama, what would lure him back to the NFL?
$8 million plus total control of the football operations and a promise from Snyder to stay out of the building?
$10 million plus full control?
Surely, there’s a number and a set of terms that will get Saban’s attention. But first, Saban has to get Snyder’s attention.
Philadelphia police are investigating after a Lions fan said he was attacked by a group of Eagles fans after Sunday’s game.
Police told the Associated Press that a 33-year-old man wearing a Lions hat and jersey was assaulted while leaving Lincoln Financial Field after the Eagles beat the Lions on Sunday.
The fan told the Philadelphia Inquirer that because he was wearing a Barry Sanders jersey, Eagles fans pelted him with snowballs throughout the game, and that as he left after the game, a group of six men surrounded him and screamed at him.
“I was like, ‘Are you guys serious? You won, enjoy it,’” the man said.
Instead, he says, the group of Eagles fans attacked him, punched him, choked him and knocked him unconscious.
Philadelphia police say they are searching for surveillance video that may help identify anyone involved in the attack, and they are asking witnesses to come forward.
Campbell got cleared by doctors and made the start in the 27-26 lead and it appears Weeden is also doing better because the Browns announced that they have released Hanie. If Weeden is cleared to return this week, he’ll serve as Campbell’s backup and Alex Tanney will continue in the No. 3 role.
The Browns filled Hanie’s roster spot by signing running back Edwin Baker off of the Texans practice squad. Baker was a seventh-round pick of the Chargers in 2012 and spent most of the season on their practice squad. He was on the Broncos practice squad this year before moving on to Houston and, now, Cleveland.
Two years ago, Wade Phillips passed on the chance to interview for the head-coaching position in Tampa. That doesn’t mean the three-time former head coach doesn’t want to be the next head coach of the Texans.
Phillips has made it clear that he’s interested in removing the “interim” label from the job he inherited after Gary Kubiak was fired last week. In fact, Phillips won’t say that he’s willing to remain as the team’s defensive coordinator, if someone else gets the coaching job.
“I would never say that, because then they wouldn’t hire you as the head coach,” Phillips said Monday, via John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. “I’m not going to fall for that one.”
Appearing on Tuesday’s PFT Live, McClain said that he doesn’t believe Phillips will be viewed as a serious candidate for the job. If, however, the team can break an eleven-game losing streak and win the next three games, Phillips’ candidacy could gain some steam.
McClain also said that G.M. Rick Smith remains entirely safe, and that any candidate who is offered the job but who doesn’t want Smith setting the table will not be the next coach of the team.
Another intriguing topic — what will the Texans do if they “earn” the first overall pick in the draft? Though some have dismissed the possibility that McNair would want Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, McClain thinks McNair would have no qualms about adding the 2012 Heisman winner to the team, if his stock rises to the point where the pick is justified.
There may not be a hotter seat in the NFL right now than the one under Redskins coach Mike Shanahan.
The question that must be answered is whether Shanahan is providing the flame himself. We’ll discuss that on Pro Football Talk on NBCSN on Tuesday in an attempt to make heads or tails of what’s gone on in Washington over the last few days. The rest of the vulnerable coaches will also be up for discussion during our weekly temperature check of the coaching ranks.
We’ll also have a look at the power rankings for this week. The Seahawks weren’t shaken from their perch at the top by last weekend’s loss, but the conversation will cover which other teams are moving up and down the list with just a few weeks left in the regular season.
It all gets started at 5:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.
American football should be in the Olympics. Eventually, it could be.
The folks at USA Football advise PFT that the International Olympic Committee granted the International Federation of American Football provisional IOC recognition during today’s IOC meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The move, which reverses the IOC’s May 2013 stiff arm to the IFAF, means that a vote on adding American football to the Olympic games could happen as early as 2017. If that occurs, American football would become a sport in the 2024 Summer Olympics.
(After this past weekend’s games, American football could be far more compelling as an event in the Winter Olympics.)
“IFAF is proud to receive this recognition and join the Olympic family,” IFAF President Tommy Wiking said in a news release forwarded to PFT. “The enduring ideals of sport that comprise the Olympic Charter reside in our game’s timeless values and in the spirit of the millions who love to play it.”
Sixty-four countries on six continents currently have national federations of American football.
During the most recent Summer Olympics, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told a certain Internet hack who was hosting a certain well-listened-to national radio program that American football “absolutely” should be among the many sports. That development absolutely would help fuel the sport’s international growth.
While it would result in an easy gold medal for the United States in the first several Olympic games including football, more countries will become more competitive over time.
Until then, there’s always the bronze medal game.
Two of the worst teams in the NFL will meet on Sunday in Atlanta, in a terrible game that will have big implications in the NFL draft.
At 3-10, Washington and Atlanta are tied for the second-worst record in the NFL. So the loser of Sunday’s meeting will be in the driver’s seat for the second overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft.
Except that Washington shipped its first-round pick to St. Louis as part of the trade to acquire Robert Griffin III. So this is a big game for the Rams, who will be rooting for the Falcons.
One of the most surprising parts of this NFL season is that the four teams with the worst records in the league — Houston, Atlanta, Washington and Minnesota — were all in the playoffs last season. Fans of three of those teams at least have the ability to daydream about what their teams can do with next year’s first-round pick. Fans in Washington don’t even have the draft to console them as they trudge through a miserable December.
While Redskins coach Mike Shanahan decides whether he wants to do the equivalent of dragging a World Series trophy around the parking lot by the bumper of his car, the equivalent of Big Stein isn’t going to meddle.
According to Mark Maske of the Washington Post, Redskins owner Daniel Snyder “won’t intervene in the Redskins’ pending quarterback decision.”
In short, if Shanahan wants to create a minor mutiny by benching Robert Griffin III in the guise of a safety decision now (as opposed to, say, earlier in last year’s Seahawks playoff game), Snyder is going to let him.
“He won’t step in and interfere with that,” a source close to Snyder told Maske. “He’s not going to step into a personnel decision that way.”
Shanahan suggested that he might turn to Kirk Cousins because all of the sacks Griffin was taking lately, but if you were going to hold him back for his own well-being, it seems September might have been a more logical time.
But Shanahan said he’d decide by Wednesday, and that if he went with Cousins, he’d be shutting Griffin down for the rest of the season.
It’s not hard to decode that one as an attempt to rile Snyder into firing him.
But Snyder’s apparently willing to call his bluff.
The Seahawks and 49ers aren’t scheduled to play again this season, but that doesn’t mean they can’t continue their habit of signing players with experience on their NFC West rivals.
The latest players to jump sides are guard Ryan Seymour and wide receiver Devon Wylie. The 49ers announced that they have signed Seymour off of the Seahawks’ practice squad and that they have added Wylie to their practice squad. The receiver spent a few days on Seattle’s practice squad last week.
Seymour will take the spot of defensive lineman Tank Carradine on the 53-man roster. Carradine was a second-round pick in April and started the season on the non-football injury list because of a torn ACL suffered while he was at Florida State. He was activated from the NFI list in late October, but was never active for a game and his rookie year will go down as a redshirt season.
Seymour was a seventh-round pick, but didn’t make the Seahawks this summer and signed to the practice squad in September.
The Bills don’t have much left to play for in 2013, but there’s a chance to evaluate some players for 2014 and they’ll get that chance with rookie safety Jonathan Meeks.
The team announced Tuesday that they have activated Meeks, a fifth-round pick out of Clemson in April, from injured reserve/return. It’s the first week that Meeks is eligible to play after going on the injured reserve list in October.
Meeks was playing only on special teams before getting hurt, but the team could give him a look on defense before the year is out. Jairus Byrd is set for free agency after the season and the team might like to get an idea of what Meeks can offer them in the future.
Linebacker Jamaal Westerman was released to make room for Meeks. Westerman had nine tackles in 12 games for the Bills this year.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was trying to come back a week ago, but he said Tuesday it didn’t take him long to realize that wasn’t happening.
During his weekly radio show with Jason Wilde of ESPN Wisconsin, Rodgers said he had too much pain to reasonably continue to try to play against the Falcons.
“The scan last week did not show [enough] healing. We would need different results this week in order to play this week,” Rodgers said (as transcribed by Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Doing quick movements or giving a handoff with left hand, those are things that gave me some discomfort. That was a clue. . . .
“It’s frustrating, very frustrating. I was trying to push it before science tells you before it’s possible.”
He said he was going to try to practice tomorrow, but didn’t want to predict whether he thought he’d have a chance to play against the Cowboys this week.
Rodgers seems to have come to the realization that a four-week recovery from an injury that most had pegged taking at least six to eight weeks was unrealistic. And with three to play, and the Packers clinging to just the thinnest, most mathematical playoff hope, you understand why he’s hanging on.
But it also appears less and less likely that he’s going to get the news he’s hoping for.
The Broncos have a quick turnaround from Sunday to Thursday night this week and it may not be enough time for wide receiver Wes Welker to get healthy enough to be in the lineup.
Lindsay Jones of USA Today reports that Welker did not participate in practice on Tuesday after suffering a concussion against the Titans on Sunday. The league’s concussion protocol dictates a series of tests that Welker must pass before he’ll be cleared to play, something that usually takes more time than the Broncos have at their disposal right now.
The final injury report for the game will come out on Wednesday and we’ll find out Welker’s status for Thursday at that point. As of now, though, questionable seems like a stretch. Luckily for the Broncos they also have Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Knowshon Moreno and Julius Thomas available to catch passes from Peyton Manning.
Jones also reports that defensive end Derek Wolfe and cornerback Champ Bailey were held out of practice. Wolfe hasn’t played since suffering seizure-like symptoms on the Friday before the Week 13 game with New England and Bailey’s been in and out of the lineup with a foot injury all season.
The news was as good as the Cowboys could have hoped. Ed Werder of ESPN reports that the tests showed no structural damage in Lee’s neck and that he’s expected to play against the Packers in Week 15 despite “soreness and stiffness.”
Lee’s one of the most valuable members of a Cowboys defense that ended its string of capable performances at two by getting torn apart by Josh McCown and the Bears. They’ll need to be better regardless of who starts at quarterback for the Packers, but could still catch Green Bay without Aaron Rodgers if Rodgers’ Wednesday visit with doctors doesn’t result in a green light to return.
Werder also reports that linebacker Bruce Carter, who went for an MRI of his own after hurting his hamstring on Monday, is unlikely to play against Green Bay.
Every time the topic of concussions has come up, Brandon Stokley has said he wants to keep playing.
After the most recent of his double-digit career concussions Sunday, the Ravens decided to make the decision for him.
The team announced they were putting the veteran wide receiver on injured reserve, replacing him on the roster with running back Bernard Scott.
In the team’s release, they cited Stokley’s multiple concussions and said they “determined after testing that this would end his season.”
The 37-year-old wideout played in just six games because of a variety of non-head injuries. He caught 13 passes for 115 yards. And with his track record, it might be a surprise if anyone gives him a chance to continue to play.