Jerry Jones stated that Dez Bryant is the “ultimate decision-maker” when it comes to hand surgery. He’ll most likely play on Sunday, but what would the perception have been if Bryant opted to sit out the remainder of the season?This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
ProFootballTalk: Dez’s decision to make
Carolina announced that they were tendering Bell on Monday without noting the level of the tender, but Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer reports that it is of the second-round variety. If Bell signs it, he’ll make $2.187 million in 2014. If another team wants to sign him away, it will cost them a second-round pick to secure Bell’s services.
Bell has made 40 starts at right tackle for the Panthers over the last three years and his performance is one of the reasons why the Panthers need to focus on upgrading the offensive line this offseason. With Jordan Gross retired, the Panthers couldn’t really afford to let him get away but it wouldn’t be a surprise if someone else was starting come the regular season.
The Panthers also tendered exclusive rights free agent Chris Scott, who made eight starts at guard last season. As with Bell, there’s uncertainty at guard in Carolina but upgrading from Scott would be a good thing for the offense.
Josina Anderson of ESPN reports that the decision has been made, and the 49ers will cut Rogers.
Under his old contract, Rogers had a cap number of more than $8 million for the 2014 season, so the decision to cut him comes as no surprise. Rogers has started all 16 games in all three of his seasons with the 49ers, but he’ll be 33 before the season starts and isn’t worth the kind of money he was scheduled to make.
Last year, defensive end Michael Bennett signed a one-year, $5 million deal in Seattle. This year, he’ll be making a lot more.
But he could have made even more. Per a league source, Bennett turned down more money from two teams to re-sign with the Seahawks.
One team is believed to be the Bears. The other team currently isn’t known.
Bennett will make $28.5 million over four years. He gets $10 million in 2014, $16 million through the first two years, and $21 million over three.
Of the total, $16 million is guaranteed. It’s unclear how much is fully guaranteed beyond the first year.
It’s an average of $7.125 million per year, less than the $8.5 million average the Vikings paid to defensive end Everson Griffen on a five-year deal. Griffen has one career start, and 17.5 career sacks, all in the last three seasons. Bennett has 23.5 sacks over the last three years.
Still, Bennett played in only 57 percent of the snaps last year. The Seahawks presumably intend to keep his workload at the same level. And his compensation likely is based on the idea that he won’t be on the field every down of every drive.
Regardless of his workload, Bennett becomes the first Seahawk to take less in order to stay in Seattle. If more do the same, the Seahawks will be well positioned to win more Super Bowls.
When free agency opens in 24 hours, and players are able to take visits, most of them will be ready to make a move.
But one is still waiting for a very important piece of information.
Wherever he goes, that team will put him through a comprehensive physical, after his recent neck surgery.
But reports have been hopeful throughout, with Packers officials they were “open and optimistic” about his return.
If his neck checks out, Finley should draw plenty of attention in a market that lacks many receiving weapons at the position.
It’s unclear whether the Cowboys will cut defensive end DeMarcus Ware, whether he’ll restructure his contract by taking less money, or whether both sides will proceed with Ware earning $12.25 million in base salary this season, along with a $500,000 workout bonus.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, a resolution is expected soon. Ideally, it’ll come by 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
Cutting Ware with a post-June 1 designation would result in $3.25375 million in dead money for 2014, along with another $5.31775 million in 2015. Cutting Ware without the post-June 1 designation would result in $8.5715 million hitting the cap in 2014.
Either way, $12.75 million in cash would be avoided. A post-June 1 designation would create precisely that amount of cap space. Otherwise, the move clears $7.43225 million.
But here’s the catch. Ware’s full salary and workout bonus will remain on the books until June 1, resulting in the Cowboys getting no cap relief until June 1, at which time $12.75 million would appear. The challenge for the Cowboys would be to find a way to participate in free agency with Ware still counting for $16 million until June.
Per a league source, defensive end Michael Bennett has reached an agreement to remain with the Seahawks. It’s a four-year deal.
Bennett, the No. 2 man on the PFT Free Agent Hot 100, became a free agent last year, after finishing a contract with the Buccaneers. He signed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Seahawks.
Despite participating in only 57 percent of the snaps, Bennett racked up eight sacks. He’ll have four more years to do more of the same.
The Jets left the door open a crack to a possible return from cornerback Antonio Cromartie when they cut him on Sunday, something that appeared to be of interest to Cromartie earlier in the offseason when discussing the possibility that he and his $9.5 million cap charge would be thrown overboard.
On Monday, Cromartie said that he’s not ruling out re-signing with the Jets after they made what he called “a business decision” after a less than “ideal season” in terms of performance and health. He’s not just going to wait for the Jets to call him back, however.
“The door’s still open,” Cromartie said on ESPN Radio, via the New York Daily News. “But I’m going to test the market, see where my numbers are.”
Wherever he winds up, Cromartie promised that the league would see the Cromartie of old rather than the one that struggled through the 2013 season with a bad hip. With the Jets reportedly showing interest in corners like Alterraun Verner and Captain Munnerlyn and Cromartie saying they didn’t attempt to adjust his contract, that may well prove to be in another uniform.
The Cardinals, Chiefs and Panthers all won double-digit games in 2013. The Cards were competitive in the NFL’s toughest division, and the Panthers and Chiefs each made the postseason.
However, Nevada oddsmaker CG Technology appears willing to risk that those clubs will not play nearly as well in 2014 as they did a season ago.
CG (formerly Cantor Gaming) released its regular-season win total props last week – wagers where bettors can choose whether a team will go OVER or UNDER a certain number of victories. And of the 32 NFL teams listed at CG, only the Cardinals, Chiefs and Panthers had regular-season win totals at least three games lower than their number of 2013 regular-season wins.
The Panthers, who were 12-4 in 2013, have a 2014 win total of 8.5 at the CG sports books. The Chiefs (11-5 last season) check in at eight wins at the CG books.
The Cardinals, meanwhile, have a 2014 win total of just seven after finishing 10-6 in 2013. In short, those who want to take the Cardinals to go OVER the CG win total just have to hope for an 8-8 record.
That seems like a low bar for Arizona to clear.
Well, the Cardinals do have to face the 49ers and Seahawks twice next season, and they were a combined 1-3 against the NFC West’s best a season ago. What’s more, the Cardinals merely split a pair of games against the Rams, giving Arizona a 2-4 division record. If the Cardinals can’t improve on that record, they would have to go at least 6-4 in their non-division slate to reach .500.
It’s important to note that win total props are a reflection of how oddsmakers believe a team will be viewed by the betting public. While the props take into account oddsmaker expectations for the clubs, the bets are tailored to reflect expectations of how bettors will wager upon these teams.
One example: the Texans, who were 2-14 last season, have a win total of 8.5.
Let’s suppose the Texans had a win total of, say, 4.5. Well, you would probably have to get in line to back Houston at that price — and it probably wouldn’t be on the board for long.
Here are CG’s 2014 win totals for each NFL team:
49ers, Broncos, Seahawks: 11 wins
Packers, Patriots: 10 wins.
Saints: 9.5 wins.
Bengals, Colts, Steelers: 9 wins.
Bears, Eagles, Panthers, Ravens, Texans: 8.5 wins
Chargers, Chiefs, Cowboys, Falcons, Lions: 8 wins
Dolphins: 7.5 wins
Cardinals, Giants, Redskins: 7 wins
Bills, Browns, Buccaneers, Jets, Rams, Titans, Vikings: 6.5 wins.
Raiders: 5 wins.
Jaguars: 4.5 wins.
Santonio Holmes’s days with the Jets are done.
The team officially announced on Monday afternoon that Holmes has been released. The move had been widely expected and saves the Jets more than $8 million on the 2014 salary cap.
“I appreciate Tone’s contributions over the last four seasons,” Jets coach Rex Ryan said in a statement. “I’ve always admired his knack for making the clutch play. He’s a tremendous competitor who wants the ball in his hands when the game is on the line. I wish him nothing but the best.”
After Holmes had an outstanding 2009 season with the Steelers, Pittsburgh traded him to the Jets. A year later, the Jets signed Holmes to a five-year, $45 million contract. But Holmes never had the kind of production with the Jets that he had with the Steelers. His numbers have declined since his first season with the Jets, and he’s been plagued with injuries the last couple years while often seeming to be an unhappy camper.
Now the 30-year-old Holmes will become an unrestricted free agent. On the right team, he may still be able to contribute. Even if it was past time for him to move on from the Jets.
Some free agents will set up visits and make the rounds of interested suitors once free agency officially opens on Tuesday, but others are expecting their stay on the open market to be brief.
Cornerback Alterraun Verner is in the latter group. During an appearance on Mad Dog Radio with Adam Schein Monday, Verner said that he thinks “it’ll be a quick process” and gave some insight into how he’ll make his choice.
“I feel more compelled to go to a team that I think can win. I haven’t had that experience for the past four years in Tennessee,” Verner said. “Money is [priority] but it isn’t. I look at it differently. Some look at it tangibly. I look at it as more of a respect value. I would feel more obliged to go to a team that paid me $6 or $7 million and made me one of the highest-paid players on the team than go to a team that paid me $8 or $9 million and I wasn’t one of the highest-paid players on the team.”
Verner said the Jets could be a fit and said the Patriots are a “possibility,” while noting that Devin McCourty, whose brother was Verner’s teammate in Tennessee, has been “lobbying” for him to come to New England. The Broncos were also mentioned as a good situation, with Verner adding he’d be interested in the 49ers but doesn’t think that’s a direction they’re looking to go.
Add another name to the free agent pass-rusher pool.
According to multiple reports, Jaguars defensive end Jason Babin has voided the final two years of his contract, and will become a free agent.
The Jaguars are “keeping their options open” with Babin, per Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union, but this sounds like the good old “mutual decision.”
Babin was productive enough, with 7.5 sacks last year. But he was due to make $6 million, and that’s not the rate 33-year-olds get paid in this climate.
By jumping now, Babin gets a head start on finding a new home rather than waiting around to get cut.
Per a league source, Bennett definitely is leaning toward staying with the Seahawks. A decision could be made later today.
At issue are salary and, presumably, anticipated playing time. While the Bears reportedly are offering $8.5 million per year and the Seahawks are offering $8 million, the Seahawks used him only 57 percent of the time in 2013. The Bears could want him on the field more frequently than that.
Bennett is the No. 2 free agent on PFT’s Hot 100 list. He could be off the market before it even opens.
With the clock ticking toward the free agency period, teams are scrambling to hang onto their own role players.
Zombo played in all 16 games for the Chiefs last year, with 2.0 sacks. But he’s the kind of fill-in that good teams need.
General Manager John Dorsey brought him over after three years in Green Bay, and he was a solid part for the Chiefs.
Plus, he’s Frank Zombo, and unless you can get Barkevious Mingo, it’s the kind of name you want on your roster.
Last October, agent Pat Dye Jr. said he thought a comeback was possible for his client Rolando McClain.
McClain retired abruptly last May after another arrest was added to his lengthy police blotter, leaving the former eighth overall pick out of football entirely at the age of 24. According to Matt Zenitz of the Carroll County Times, McClain would like to make Dye look prescient.
Zenitz reports that McClain has been telling people that he plans to play in 2014. Per the report, McClain has been working out regularly and is in a better mental state than he was when he walked away from the game.
The Ravens own McClain’s rights after signing him following his release from the Raiders and there’s no word on their interest in a return from a player who never actually suited up for them. As Zenitz notes, it’s already been a long offseason for the Ravens on the legal trouble front and they could opt to let another team roll the dice on a McClain comeback bid.
The Seahawks played it cool with defensive end Michael Bennett. Once the Bears leaked that they “expect” to sign Bennett, the Seahawks woke up.
Now, the Seahawks have jumped into the bidding, in an effort to close the deal.
It’ll be intriguing to see what Bennett ultimately gets. There are reports that the Bears have offered $8.5 million per year, and that the Seahawks are willing to pay $8 million per year. That’s a bargain, given that the Vikings signed defensive end Everson Griffin to a five-year deal worth $8.5 million annually.
(He’s the same Everson Griffen who has started one career game. And who once was moved to linebacker for offseason workouts before moving back to defensive end in training camp. And who has a history of off-field issues.)
Still, Bennett was nearly a part-time player in 2013, participating in 57 percent of the snaps. Based on how the Seahawks used him and presumably how they plan to in 2014 and beyond, $8 million could be a very fair number — especially if the Bears will expect a lot more than 57-percent playing time for $8.5 million per year.
So now we wait, with the Seahawks having the ability for another 26 hours or so to not just negotiate but to make offers and to talk to the player directly and to get a deal done before Bennett can even go to Chicago.