Mike Triplett of the Times-Picayune joins Mike Florio to discuss the latest news coming out of New Orleans. What exactly does Paul Tagliabue’s ruling mean for the players? What does it mean for the coaches? How difficult was Tagliabue’s decision? Did he undermine Roger Goodell’s power as commissioner?This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
PFT Live: Where do Saints players go from here?
Freeney said he wanted “to take all that emotion out and make that decision when it comes” rather than doing something fueled by the result of the game. It’s been a few weeks since that game ended with the Patriots storming back for the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history and it seems that’s been enough time for Freeney to make up his mind.
Tom Pelissero of USA Today reports that Freeney has decided that he wants to play a 16th season. His contract with the Falcons came to an end after the Super Bowl, so Freeney is set to become a free agent on March 9.
Freeney had three sacks in 15 games for the Falcons in the regular season and had another one in the Super Bowl.
But Chiefs owner Clark Hunt seems to be just fine sticking with Alex Smith under center.
According to Terez Paylor of the Kansas City Star, Hunt said he was on board with coach Andy Reid, and that they were comfortable moving forward with Smith.
“I would just reiterate what Andy has said several times throughout the offseason, which is he’s very happy with Alex and Alex is going to be our starter going into 2017,” Hunt said.
There’s a growing perception that the Chiefs have gone as far as Smith can take them, much in the way the 49ers had when they replaced him with Colin Kaepernick (which seems like forever ago).
At the same time, plenty can go wrong with any plan at quarterback if it centers on Romo, as the Cowboys found out two years ago before Dak Prescott bailed them out last season.
Smith has some clear faults, but he’s also efficient and smart and the Chiefs have gone 41-20 with him as the starter the last four years. While it’s tempting to dream of an upgrade, someone who is more of a threat downfield, the Chiefs apparently aren’t prepared to do anything rash to replace him.
The cap-rich, talent-starved Browns apparently will assume the risk that receiver Terrelle Pryor will leave via free agency.
Via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the team hasn’t changed its position that the franchise tag won’t be applied to Pryor. This year, the receiver version of the tag will consume 9.39 percent of the total salary cap. At the low end of the currently-expected range of $166 million, that’s $15.58 million.
Pryor, drafted six years ago as a quarterback, converted to receiver after all of his options at his initial position dried up. He caught 77 passes for 1,007 yards and four touchdowns in his first full season as a receiver.
The Browns have until 4:00 p.m. ET to decide whether to tag Pryor. The transition tag also is available, at 7.939 percent of the cap ($13.1 million); it would give the Browns a right to match but no compensation if he leaves.
The Colts are expected to continue looking for ways to improve their offensive line play this offseason and they’ve added another player to the mix ahead of the start of free agency.
The team announced Monday that they have signed tackle Fahn Cooper to their 90-man roster.
Cooper was a fifth-round pick by the 49ers last season and failed to make the team out of the summer. He was re-signed to the practice squad and remained there all season, but did not sign on again with the 49ers following the end of the regular season.
Cooper started 26 games at Ole Miss. Most of his time was at right tackle, but he saw time on the left side when Dolphins first-round pick Laremy Tunsil was serving a suspension.
The Panthers continued the sudden trend of #asexpected applications of the franchise tag, putting it on defensive tackle Kawann Short.
They have until July 15 to do a long-term deal with Short, but they’ve been working on that for over a year.
The difference in opinion on his value could make it an interesting negotiation.
Short had 6.0 sacks last season, still good but well off the 11.0 he had in 2015, when it became apparent he was going to get very rich.
Now we just have to see if things proceed amicably, unlike last year when they yanked the tag from cornerback Josh Norman, allowing him to go to Washington.
Before the spending begins, let the arguing begin.
The annual PFT Hot 100 Free Agents list has been posted. We know most of the top players — starting with No. 1 Le’Veon Bell — won’t be allowed to come near the open market, but we still ranked them among players at all positions who stand to get paid, handsomely, sometime in the next couple of weeks.
The list includes all sorts of players, young and old, who figure to make a bunch of money if they actually hit the open market next week. Because a lot can and will change between now and then and then certainly throughout March when the market actually opens, we’ll update the list as teams pass on contract options and roster bonuses and release other players to make way for their new and expensive acquisitions.
The status of each player will be noted as he receives a tag, signs an offer sheet or signs a contract, and the ranking order can change as more players become free when the movement begins. It wouldn’t be a terrible idea to bookmark the list for reference or even for argument’s sake.
The Tim Tebow One-Man Fantasy Camp continues.
Via HardBallTalk.com, the former NFL quarterback and would-be baseball player has arrived at New York Mets training camp. He received a non-roster invitation, and he’ll be around long enough to move merchandise and otherwise demonstrate that he’ll only play in the Majors if they expand the National League and American League dramatically.
The development comes nearly five years after the New York Jets traded for Tebow, after the Peyton Manning acquisition made Tebow expendable in Denver. He barely played in 2012 for the Jets, and he never made it to another team’s regular-season roster after that.
And while we’ve got no issue with a guy pursuing a dream, Tebow’s baseball ability and age demonstrate that it’s not a realistic dream. But if he can make a little money and the Mets can too, what’s the harm in it?
So meet the Mets. Meet the Mets. Step right up, and greet the Mets. Bring your kiddies. Bring your wife. Guaranteed to have the time of your life. Because the Mets are really sockin’ the ball, and running smack dab into a wall. Or something.
The Patriots have filled a vacancy on their coaching staff from within.
The team announced it had promoted Nick Caley to tight ends coach. He had been a coaching assistant the last two years, after working a number of college jobs on the defensive side of the ball.
He has the right pedigree, having graduated from and coached at John Carroll (it’s practically the Rutgers of their coaching staff).
That’s the alma mater of Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, director of player personnel Nick Caserio (‘99) and others on staff. Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco and Jaguars G.M. Dave Caldwell also graduated from the Division III school in Ohio, along with Bill Polian’s sons Chris and Brian.
He replaces Brian Daboll, who left to become offensive coordinator at Alabama.
The following are PFT’s top 100 free agents for the start of the 2017 league year. The rankings include prospective unrestricted and restricted free agents, as well as released players. Players expected to be released won’t be added until the transaction is official, and the list will be updated as events warrant, with signings, tags and re-signings denoted when announced and/or reported.
1. Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell
2. Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins
3. Chargers outside linebacker Melvin Ingram
4. Panthers defensive tackle Kawann Short (reportedly got the franchise tag from the Panthers on Feb. 27)
5. Chiefs safety Eric Berry
7. Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul
8. Texans cornerback A.J. Bouye
9. Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower
10. Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell
11. Bengals guard Kevin Zeitler
12. Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery
13. Washington wide receiver DeSean Jackson
14. Cardinals safety Tony Jefferson
15. Ravens defensive tackle Brandon Williams
16. Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore
17. Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson
18. Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor
19. Packers guard T.J. Lang
20. Bengals offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth
21. Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons
22. Chiefs nose tackle Dontari Poe
23. Packers outside linebacker Nick Perry
24. Ravens offensive tackle Rick Wagner
25. Cowboys guard Ronald Leary
26. Lions guard Larry Warford
27. Patriots safety Duron Harmon
28. Patriots cornerback Logan Ryan
29. Washington defensive end Chris Baker
30. Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett
31. Jaguars cornerback Prince Amukamara
32. Lions offensive tackle Riley Reiff
33. Packers safety Micah Hyde
34. Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills
35. Patriots outside linebacker Jabaal Sheard
36. Packers offensive lineman J.C. Tretter
37. Buccaneers quarterback Mike Glennon
38. Cardinals safety D.J. Swearinger
39. Cowboys safety Barry Church
40. Broncos offensive tackle Russell Okung
41. Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne
42. Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick
43. Cardinals linebacker Kevin Minter
44. Texans outside linebacker John Simon
45. Eagles defensive tackle Bennie Logan
46. Saints defensive tackle Nick Fairley
47. Bills linebacker Zach Brown
48. Giants defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins
49. Washington wide receiver Pierre Garcon
50. Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso (restricted)
51. Jets offensive tackle Ryan Clady
52. Broncos outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware
53. Jaguars safety Jonathan Cyprien
54. Bears quarterback Brian Hoyer
55. Bills outside linebacker Lorenzo Alexander
56. Vikings cornerback Captain Munnerlyn
57. Raiders running back Latavius Murray
58. Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson
59. 49ers linebacker Gerald Hodges
60. Patriots defensive tackle Alan Branch
61. Jaguars offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum
62. Browns running back Isaiah Crowell (restricted)
63. Packers running back Eddie Lacy
64. Rams safety T.J. McDonald
65. Colts tight end Jack Doyle
66. Eagles offensive lineman Stefen Wisnieswki
67. Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison
68. Ravens fullback Kyle Juszczyk
69. Steelers outside linebacker Jarvis Jones
70. Packers tight end Jared Cook
71. Buccaneers safety Bradley McDougald
72. Falcons wide receiver Taylor Gabriel (restricted)
73. Rams wide receiver Kenny Britt
74. Ex-Buccaneers cornerback Alterraun Verner
75. Rams defensive tackle Dominique Easley (restricted)
76. Cowboys defensive end Jack Crawford
77. Titans tight end Anthony Fasano
78. Washington center John Sullivan
79. Colts outside linebacker Erik Walden
80. Vikings wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson
81. Dolphins tight end Dion Sims
82. Packers outside linebacker Julius Peppers
83. Cowboys safety J.J. Wilcox
84. Texans tight end Ryan Griffin
85. Seahawks linebacker Michael Morgan
86. Ex-Jets center Nick Mangold
87. Vikings offensive tackle Andre Smith
88. Browns offensive lineman Austin Pasztor
89. Ravens defensive end Lawrence Guy
90. Raiders outside linebacker Perry Riley
91. Ex-Jaguars defensive tackle Jared Odrick
92. Chargers safety Jahleel Addae
93. Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr
94. Buccaneers center Joe Hawley
95. Packers outside linebacker Datone Jones
96. Seahawks tight end Luke Willson
97. Packers outside linebacker Jayrone Elliott (restricted)
98. Ravens running back Terrance West (restricted)
99. Colts safety Mike Adams
100. Ravens wide receiver Kamar Aiken
Marc Trestman is going back to Canada.
Trestman, the former Bears head coach who most recently was offensive coordinator of the Ravens, is slated to become the next head coach of the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts. Gary Lawless of TSN reports that the Argonauts have agreed to hire Trestman as coach and Jim Popp as G.M. and both deals are expected to be announced tomorrow.
Before the Bears hired him, Trestman spent five seasons as head coach of the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes. He had a winning record in all five of his seasons in Montreal and won the Grey Cup twice. Trestman’s success in Canada, however didn’t translate to success in the NFL, as he lasted just two seasons in Chicago and was fired during his second season in Baltimore.
Former Argonauts head coach Scott Milanovich resigned last month to become quarterbacks coach of the Jaguars.
We’re a little more than a week away from the start of free agency and the combine will take place this week.
The Packers have taken care of a little other business before those two milestones came up on the calendar. The team announced three additions to head coach Mike McCarthy’s staff on Monday and added that those moves leave them with their full staff in place for next season.
Jeff Blasko will be the team’s assistant offensive line coach after spending last year as a coaching administrator. Tim McGarigle left his post as the linebackers coach at the University of Illinois to take a job as defensive quality control coach and David Raih has been named the offensive perimeter coach after spending last year as the assistant offensive line coach.
The Packers parted ways with associate head coach/offense Tom Clements, but otherwise have all their key assistants returning for the 2017 season.
Wide receiver Antonio Brown may have had some uncomfortable moments with the Steelers during and immediately after their postseason stay, but that didn’t stop the team from making a new deal for their top wideout a top offseason priority.
Talks got going earlier this month and it sounds like things are moving along at a good clip. Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that the two sides have made “significant progress” toward a deal that promises to be a very lucrative one for the wideout.
Rapoport adds that the goal is to have the deal wrapped up by the start of the new league year on March 9. There’s no fear of losing Brown as a free agent as he has another year left on his deal, but locking him in would allow the Steelers to take care of the rest of their business with certainty about where things stand for Brown.
That’s not the only date looming large for the Steelers right now. Wednesday’s deadline to use franchise or transition tags is also one they’re up against when it comes to their plans for running back Le’Veon Bell.
The Cardinals aren’t letting Chandler Jones get away after only one year.
As expected, the Cardinals have placed the franchise tag on Jones, Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com reports.
Jones, the defensive end who arrived last year in a trade with the Patriots, is now guaranteed $15 million for the 2017 season if he wants to sign the one-year franchise tender. He can also negotiate a long-term deal with the Cardinals. To leave, he’d have to find a team willing not only to sign him to a long-term contract but also a team willing to give the Cardinals two first-round draft picks. that’s not going to happen.
The Cardinals had already announced that they would franchise Jones, a move that has been anticipated since they traded for him last year, as the trade wouldn’t have made any sense if the Cardinals weren’t committed to Jones for the long run. Now the move is official, and Jones is the first 2017 free agent to get the franchise tag.
The Jets have spent plenty of draft and actual currency on defensive linemen lately, and they may be ready to divest.
With Muhammad Wilkerson early in his big deal, and Richardson working the fifth-year option of his rookie deal, and 2015 first-rounder Leonard Williams still cost-effective, the Jets have nearly 20 percent of their salary cap tied up in three linemen in a 3-4 front.
Richardson has also created some off-field distractions during his time with the Jets, which might make it easier for them to make a move.
So clearing out Richardson’s 8.1 million might be the solution, since it’s unlikely they’d commit to him long-term after this season, and would risk losing him for just a 2019 compensatory pick. While they’d certainly like a first-rounder (and some ice cream, I guess), they might take less before his salary is guaranteed on March 9.
He gets it too, admitting during last season he’s the “odd man out,” as it pertains to the future.
With Wilkerson and Williams and a cast of serviceable guys in the middle, it might make the most sense to move him now.
Teams that consider drafting former Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon will want to get answers to many questions, including for example whether there’s a chance he may viciously punch a stranger while out and about in his first NFL city. Another question is whether Mixon has true remorse for the assault on Amelia Molitor, or whether he’s saying what he thinks he needs to say now in order to minimize an ugly incident and move on.
As it relates to the existence of remorse, the most obvious question is when did Mixon first apologize to Molitor or her family? Here’s what Mixon said during a Monday visit to PFT Live.
“It was actually about two years later,” Mixon said. “I’ve always wanted to apologize but from my legal team and a couple of people from the legal situation. . . . you know, in the Oklahoma program to media it wasn’t a right time for me, the right time for me to actually apologize. I pretty much told my legal team that if I could do anything for me to at least see her face-to-face you know where nobody is around I could at least apologize and ask her for my forgiveness but they didn’t allow me to do that. The first opportunity I got, you know, I’ve taken the initiative to ask for forgiveness and apologize to her and if I could’ve did it before I would’ve done that.”
If he truly was prevented from apologizing due to advice given by his “legal team” or anyone else, it wasn’t the best advice he could have gotten. In cases where responsibility is in dispute (e.g., a car accident), an apology can be characterized as an admission. In cases where it’s clear that the person did what he’s accused of doing, there’s no reason to stop him from apologizing, if he wants to.
Chances are that teams who meet with Mixon away from the Scouting Combine (by rule, he’s banned from attending) will ask some follow-up questions on this point — if the goal is to determine whether Mixon is truly sorry for what he did, or whether more than two years after the fact he’s saying what he needs to say in order to put the incident behind him. There’s no way of knowing the answer with certainty, but the teams that meet with him will be able to pose questions without cameras and microphones present, and Mixon will be able to answer without everything he says being recorded for future use.