Mike Florio chats with Tom Curran of CSN New England to discuss the Patriots as they hit the homestretch of their season. Florio asks if Vince Wilfork is the favorite for DPOY, if Matt Schaub can be placed in the same category as Tom Brady, and the injury status of TE Rob Gronkowski.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
PFT Live: Can the Pats run the table?
The Falcons and wide receiver Roddy White agreed on a contract extension this summer that will likely keep White in a Falcons uniform until he’s done playing.
Julio Jones would like to see his career end the same way. The Falcons exercised their fifth-year option on Jones’ rookie deal, so they’re not at risk of losing him before the end of the 2015 season. That means there’s not a tremendous amount of urgency to get an extension done right now and Jones says he’ll use the time to offer more arguments in favor of keeping him in Atlanta for the long term.
“That’s on them to decide. I just have to come here and show up and work every day. I’ve got to make them feel like they want me here for the remainder of my career. The only thing I can do is keep working and keep my nose clean and just do the right things,” Jones said, via ESPN.com. “When it comes, I’ll deserve it. I don’t like anybody giving me anything. I like to work hard for everything I get.”
If Jones makes a full return from last year’s foot injury, it is hard to imagine the Falcons letting him go at any point in the near future.
The Bills only have two healthy tight ends for the Hall of Fame Game.
The Patriots offense hopes to benefit from facing a physical defense in practice every day.
Strong practice performance is key for players hoping to get a shot on special teams with the Bengals.
LB Terrence Garvin hopes versatility earns him a role with the Steelers.
The Colts are short on experience on the interior of their offensive line.
The Titans cranked up the noise during practice for the first time this summer.
Broncos players and coaches got a rules review from officials on Thursday.
The Eagles won’t have great depth on the offensive line early in the season.
Things are blander around the Redskins this year.
Said Lions C Dominic Raiola of the offensive line, “Who are you? Are you going to be the same group? Because now, if we fall off any, we’re going to hear it. So we have to keep our level of play up there or better, because we don’t want to be the group that holds this team back.”
The Packers are looking for more production from their recent first-round picks.
Five former Cardinals players are coaching interns with the team this year.
The Seahawks and their fans were treated to a Helocast demonstration by Marines following Thursday’s practice.
Jim Kelly, the great quarterback of the Buffalo Bills in the 1990s, is still ailing as he battles cancer. But no matter how sick Kelly is, he wouldn’t dream of being anywhere other than Canton, Ohio, this weekend to witness his receiver Andre Reed’s induction in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Kelly’s wife, Jill Kelly, told the Buffalo News that it won’t be easy for Jim.
“He’s pushing it,” Jill said. “Don’t get me wrong. It’s not as if he’s all better and good to go. There’s still the looming test in August, the not knowing if treatments worked, the fact that he’s still on a feeding tube. His life is still in that place of uncertainty, not knowing really what’s going to happen with all of this. So he’s still beat down; he’s still tired, he still gets sick quite a bit. But he would not miss this for the world.”
Kelly wants to be there for Reed in large part because Reed has been there for Kelly, traveling with him to support him during cancer treatments.
“Andre was at the hospital,” Jill Kelly said. “He was at the house the day we flew to New York City. He came to New York and again when we got back. Every time Andre was there, Jim was down and out, struggling. But it was always the conversation. It was a given that Jim was going to be at the Hall of Fame.”
Kelly will stay in Canton for a day after Reed’s enshrinement, as he’s been chosen to toss the coin at the start of the Hall of Fame Game on Sunday night.
NFL rules have already done plenty to favor the passing game, but this year may be the biggest passing season yet.
That’s because, as explained by veteran referee Ed Hochuli, NFL officials are planning to emphasize defensive holding and illegal contact this season. Hochuli said that early in the year, when defensive backs haven’t yet learned how strictly the officials are going to call the penalties, the flags will fly frequently.
“I would expect there may be more fouls called in the first preseason game and the first regular-season game,” Hochuli told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “The big one is holding. We’ve also tightened up the rule on illegal contact. We’ve always given a little leeway on that.
Opposing offenses complained last season that the Super Bowl champion Seahawks were grabbing and holding and not getting flagged for it. This year the Seahawks may have to adjust their style. And offenses across the league may put up even bigger numbers than ever before.
While the team isn’t pursuing Jermichael Finley, the team did bring in another veteran tight end for a workout this week.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, the Seahawks brought in Steve Maneri for a workout on Thursday.
Maneri is a former offensive tackle that was converted to a tight end by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2012. In five years, Maneri has played for the Houston Texans, New England Patriots, Chiefs, Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Maneri was released by the Buccaneers in May. With his former offensive line background, Maneri is a proficient blocker at the tight end position. Behind starter Zach Miller, the rest of Seattle’s current tight end group is far more proficient as pass catchers than blocking options.
Maneri has six receptions for 51 yards in 23 career games.
Vick, 34, signed a one-year deal with the Jets earlier this offseason to serve as a veteran backup to second-year starter Geno Smith.
While Vick doesn’t view his skills as being relegated to that of a backup quarterback, he has accepted his role as a backup and mentor to Smith for the Jets.
“You never envision yourself being in this role (when you’re younger),” Vick said. “But as you grow older, you start to (realize) it’s inevitable. You know it’s going to happen. At the same time, I just try to keep myself in shape and keep trying to be the best that I can be, because you never know what can happen.”
Vick threw for 1,215 yards and five touchdowns with three interceptions in seven games for the Philadelphia Eagles last season before an injury handed the starting job to Nick Foles.
The Bears added a right tackle with starting experience Thursday, announcing the signing of Dennis Roland to a one-year deal.
The 31-year-old Roland has played in 71 regular season games (30 starts). He has experience both as a tackle and an extra blocker. Roland appeared in five games for Cincinnati a season ago, all as a reserve.
Roland’s most extensive starting experience came in 2009 and 2010, when he made nine starts apiece at right tackle.
Roland’s signing comes one day after Bears reserve tackle Eben Britton suffered a hamstring injury.
In a corresponding roster move Thursday, the Bears waived undrafted rookie free agent tackle Cody Booth.
With the hearing officer assigned to the appeal of Browns receiver Josh Gordon’s suspension facing an all-or-nothing mandate, the player and the league have extra incentive to try to control the outcome via a negotiated compromise.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, a “slight chance” of a resolution exists. Any deal presumably would entail a suspension for Gordon that lasts less than a year.
If one side is less inclined to negotiate than the other, it’s possible that the hearing officer will send signals, indirect or explicit, that it would be wise for that party to be more open-minded. Which could get a deal done during the hearing or after it.
A ruling is expected fairly soon. The substance-abuse policy requires only that the decision be issued with a “reasonable time.”
Whatever 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh wants on a new contract, whatever the 49ers have offered isn’t good enough. And so Harbaugh and the team have agreed to table any discussions on a new deal until after the season.
“We actually just had this conversation [Wednesday],” owner Jed York said on CSN Bay Area’s Yahoo! SportsTalk Live. “Lots of people were talking to him about it. We just said, ‘You know what, let’s not do anything during the season. Let’s sit down a week or so after the season is over and let everybody know we’re not focused on anything that’s off the field right now.’
“Jim and I will sit down a week or so after the season is over and we’ll figure out where we go.”
Where they go after the season will depend in large part on where they go during the season. If Harbaugh wins the franchise’s first Super Bowl in 20 years, his leverage and price go up. If he has another season that entails knocking on the door but not kicking it in, he may still want more than the 49ers want to pay.
And if that’s the case, the 49ers will have to decide whether to let Harbaugh coach out his contract and become a free agent, allow him to leave if a college program offers him the money he wants, or trade him to another NFL team — as they came a lot closer to doing with the Browns than anyone will admit.
If the 49ers make it to the playoffs, the potential universe of NFL openings will be known before York and Harbaugh have their chat. And with most owners inclined to fire coaches of bad teams making up their minds to make a change well before the end of the season, there’s a good chance that the 49ers will have a good idea what they could get for Harbaugh, if they decide to swap the final year of his deal for draft picks.
So this could indeed be Harbaugh’s last year with the 49ers. And now any potentially interested college or NFL program can decide whether to include him on their wish list.
Eagles running back LeSean McCoy led the NFL in rushing and yards from scrimmage last season, but McCoy says he’s faster now than he was last year.
After making a concerted effort to cut out junk food (particularly late-night snacking on Doritos), McCoy says that he’s down about five pounds from the 215 he weighed last season, and he can feel the difference.
“At a lighter [weight], I feel like I’m so much more effective,” McCoy said, via CSNPhilly.com. “I looked at all my old film and saw how much quicker I was when I was 210 [pounds], 209. It’s a big difference. And I’m feeling like that again.”
McCoy says a five-pound weight loss might not mean anything to a back who makes plays by running through tackles, but McCoy says that with his running style, every extra pound counts.
“I play with leverage,” McCoy said. “Certain guys are different. A guy like Marshawn Lynch, he’s more of a running through a guy. Mine is to get a guy off balance and going through an arm tackle, go through a shoulder, those types of things. Get them going one way and try to hit the other side.”
McCoy will hit the other side just a little bit more quickly this season. That’s well worth resisting a late-night craving for Doritos.
For all the attention he’s gotten thus far, Johnny Manziel is still the Browns backup quarterback.
He admitted Thursday it’s going to take him a minute to push through that, but the Browns appear willing to let him ease into it a little at a time.
“It’s a process for me,” Manziel said, via Pat McManamon of ESPN.com. “It’s not something that I should just come in here naturally because I played well in college and just know how to run this offense.
“It’s a complete 180 from everything that I’ve been used to. And it’s going to take time. It’s a process coming from a spread, air raid system in college to a pro style system that’s very unfamiliar [to] me as far as terminology and routes.”
“I think I’ll play whenever these coaches decide that I’m ready,” Manziel said. “I don’t think there’s any rush. For me, it’s whenever coach [Mike] Pettine, coach [Kyle] Shanahan and the staff here decide that. I don’t think they want to throw me into a situation I’m not ready for or something I can’t handle. I don’t know if they drafted me necessarily thinking that I should come in and start Week 1. I think they wanted to see where I’m at and how I progress.”
Using Manziel as part of specific packages is an option, as he brings and athleticism to the position Brian Hoyer doesn’t have. But the acknowledgement he has some ground to cover is probably a good one for the rookie, who will end up with the job eventually.
The Seahawks got their starting running back in camp today, and Marshawn Lynch got something out of his brief holdout.
A league source tells PFT that the Seahawks agreed to bump up Lynch’s base salary to persuade Lynch to report.
Under Lynch’s previous contract, he was due to make a $5 million base salary this year, plus $500,000 in per-game roster bonuses, and he could have earned another $500,000 in incentives if he had rushed for 1,500 yards. Now Lynch gets a base salary of $6 million (meaning the Seahawks effectively guaranteed the $1 million he previously would have had to earn), plus they’re taking $500,000 that he had been scheduled to get paid in 2015 and giving it to him now instead. In all, Lynch will make $6.5 million this year.
The Seahawks also agreed not to enforce the fines that they were entitled to dock him from the work he has already missed. We’re also hearing that the league office was pressuring the Seahawks to go after some of Lynch’s signing bonus money if he refused to report, as teams are permitted to do under the Collective Bargaining Agreement. But the Seahawks resisted that.
Instead, the Seahawks and Lynch reached a deal amenable to both sides, and Lynch is in camp, making more money in 2014 than he was scheduled to make under his old deal.
Lost in the u-mad-bro back-and-forth between Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson and Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman regarding their one-up contracts is the fact that Browns cornerback Joe Haden got a pretty good deal, too.
All three deals were strong; whether one guy or another got the “best” deal resides in the eye of the beholder, as influenced by the specific factors considered.
Peterson got the most in “new money,” thanks to another $50,000 added to the final-year base salary that pushes the average from $14 million (which Sherman got) to $14.01 million. Haden’s deal averages $13.5 million in new money.
But Haden has the highest “true” guarantee at signing, with $22.678 million, more than $6 million more than Peterson’s $16.25 million. At signing, Sherman received $12.431 million fully guaranteed. Haden also pockets the most total cash in each year through 2018. Starting with $20.878 million in 2014.
Then again, Haden started with a higher base salary for 2014 than Peterson and Sherman. Haden, due to make $6.678 million, had the bulk of that money shifted to a signing bonus, dropping the base salary to the minimum. Which allowed Haden to craft a higher guarantee out of the gates.
When it comes to the conversion of injury-only guarantee to fully-guaranteed money through the February 2016 waiver period (which comes days after Super Bowl 50), Peterson leads the way with $42.6 million. Haden through the same point will have $41.078 million guaranteed. Sherman will see $35 million become fully guaranteed by then.
All three deals are very good. Peterson got his with two years left under contract, a point that shouldn’t be overlooked given the injury risk he managed to push to the team. With Sherman and Haden, even a Brewster’s Millions effort to spend every penny would make it hard for the trio to run out of cash in their lifetimes.
When TV cameras captured Sam kissing his boyfriend, Jones reacted by calling it “horrible.” The Dolphins’ response was to send Jones home from offseason work and say he couldn’t return until he completed sensitivity training. Now Jones says he realizes his choice of words was poor.
“I didn’t intend [any] harm,” Jones told the Miami Herald. “I just made a bad mistake. I had to learn from it.”
Jones said that he has no animosity toward gays, despite what his tweet suggested.
“I don’t have [a] problem with gay [people],” Jones said. “Shoot, I do have a bunch of family members that are gay. My brother, my cousins. I never really had a problem.”
On some teams, Jones’s tweet probably would have resulted in nothing more than a stern talking-to, but the Dolphins are particularly sensitive about the need for players to treat each other with respect after the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin fiasco last year. Jones put something stupid on Twitter, but he deserves credit for dealing with it forthrightly and moving on.
Reports on Thursday afternoon indicated that running back Marshawn Lynch was set to make his delayed arrival to Seahawks camp in the next 24 hours, but the team didn’t have to wait that long for Lynch’s return.
Lynch arrived at the Seahawks’ facility a bit later on Thursday, a moment broadcast on NFL Network and shared on Twitter by Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports. Curtis Crabtree of PFT is at the team headquarters and passes along word that Lynch’s arrival at the building was met by loud cheering from an auditorium and that a Brinks truck pulled up to the facility a few minutes later.
If the earlier report from ESPN about Lynch not getting a new deal is correct, the truck is just a humorous coincidence. There are reportedly some “financial concessions” coming Lynch’s way, which could be the forgiveness of the fines that Lynch accumulated while staying away from the team.
Either way, Lynch is back now and should resume his place as a centerpiece of the team’s offensive attack. With a salary that could reach $7.5 million due next season, it will be interesting to see if this is Lynch’s final year in Seattle as the Seahawks will need to keep some money free for possible extensions for quarterback Russell Wilson and other younger players finishing up their rookie deals.