Vikings RB Adrian Peterson joins Mike Florio to discuss Sunday’s win over the Rams, the likelihood of breaking Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record, and Minnesota’s hopes of postseason play.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
PFT Live: Is Peterson destined for history?
Last night’s erroneous analysis of the running back franchise tag calculation from NFL Network, which pushed the idea that the release of Adrian Peterson will reduce the tender even though it won’t, provided one valuable service, albeit indirectly and unintentionally.
The #fakenews brought to light the fact that the exclusive franchise tender for running backs in 2017 will be dramatically lower than the non-exclusive tender. Which means that the Steelers can use either one on running back Le’Veon Bell, at the exact same cost. So which one would they/should they use?
The difference matters only if another team would be inclined to sign Bell to an offer sheet and surrender a pair of first-round draft picks if the Steelers don’t match. Given the position he plays, his injury history (three weeks ago, Bell said he still doesn’t know if he’ll need surgery to repair a groin muscle injured during the playoffs), and multiple substance-abuse policy suspensions, it’s highly unlikely that anyone (even one of the teams at the bottom of the first round) would cough up that kind of compensation for Bell.
Still, with the non-exclusive tag, Bell would be allowed to visit other teams and negotiate with them. With the exclusive tag, he’d be blocked from talking to anyone except the Steelers.
If the Steelers choose to use the non-exclusive tag, the message to other teams could be that Pittsburgh would be willing to trade Bell for something less than two first-round picks — and Bell would have the ability to shop himself via negotiation with interested parties. The decision that Pittsburgh makes in this regard therefore could say plenty about whether the Steelers are willing to move on from Bell, at the right price.
When the 49ers hired former NFL safety and broadcaster John Lynch to become their General Manager, the easy punch line was that it sounded a lot like the Lions hiring Matt Millen.
But Lynch touched base with Millen as he embarked on his new gig, to make sure his team didn’t turn into the same kind of joke.
Via Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com, Lynch said he had a conversation with Millen about what not to do.
“Matt Millen and I had a great conversation the other day,” Lynch said during an interview on 95.7 The Game. “I found it was very interesting to talk to him. He shared with me some of the things that he would’ve done differently. I think you can learn a little bit from everything and everyone, but ultimately you go to put your head down and go to work.
“We’ve put together a really, really quality team that I’m excited about. We’re in full stride and working every day to knock down things on our list. It’s a big list, and we’re ambitious on how aggressive we want to attack that. But it’s going very well.”
Among Lynch’s moves was hiring the guy who replaced Millen in Detroit as a senior personnel executive. And while Martin Mayhew’s 47-81 record as G.M. wasn’t sterling, it was better than Millen’s 31-61.
49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick recently parted ways with his agents. Per NFLPA records, he has yet to hire a replacement.
He’ll need to move fairly soon. As Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group recently pointed out, the window for opting out of his contract in San Francisco opens on March 2 and closes on March 7.
Apart from needing an agent to file the right paperwork to opt out on time (then again, former 49ers receiver Terrell Owens had an agent to file the proper paperwork and there still was a snafu), Kaepernick needs an agent to talk to other teams during the two-day window before free agency opens on March 9, because teams can’t talk directly to players during that window — even if the players are self-represented.
Of course, it may not matter for Kaepernick; there’s no indication that a land rush for his services will unfold when free agency opens, in part because some owners will view the potential fallout from embracing a player who engaged in a season-long National Anthem protest as making him radioactive, from a business standpoint.
Regardless of politics, the fact remains that NFL teams need to persuade fans to part ways with their money and time. With a certain percentage of the fan base automatically alienated by Kaepernick’s arrival, some teams will look elsewhere when the time comes to add a quarterback, regardless of his past accomplishments, his current/future potential, and the ongoing effort by plenty of teams to upgrade at the position.
Sometimes when you’re looking for a job, you have to look on the other side of the ball.
According to Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com, former Texans offensive coordinator George Godsey has been hired by the Lions for a job that sounds kind of made up on the fly.
His new title is defensive assistant/special projects. That has a certain air of mystery about it, like he’s a football spy or something.
Godsey worked with Lions General Manager Bob Quinn in New England, providing the hook. But he’s always been on offense, going back to his days as a quarterback at Georgia Tech to his first coaching gig at Central Florida with George O’Leary.
In this week’s installment of his Monday column for TheMMQB.com, Peter King spent some time discussing quarterbacks who will be or are expected to be on the move this offseason.
Jay Cutler was on that list as the general feeling heading into the new league year is that the Bears will part ways with the veteran. King floated the Cardinals as a destination for Cutler to serve as a backup, citing coach Bruce Arians being the league’s “biggest proponent of the deep ball” and the possibility of Carson Palmer departing after the 2017 season.
It doesn’t look like that thought balloon has much air in it, though. Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic reports that the Cardinals have “zero interest” in bringing Cutler to the desert this offseason.
The Cardinals haven’t been shy about talking about the need to set themselves up for when Palmer moves on, but that talk has seemed to focus more on quarterbacks younger than Cutler. For his part, Cutler may be able to find a situation where he’s able to at least compete for the starting job and that may be a more appealing option than resigning himself to a backup role with the Cardinals or anyone else.
Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo doesn’t know whether he’ll remain with the Patriots or get traded this offseason, and he doesn’t sound like he has a strong preference either way.
Garoppolo appeared on Adam Schefter’s podcast and made a point of saying that he’ll accept whatever his future holds, whether that’s another year as Tom Brady’s backup in New England, or a new home in some other NFL city.
“Your guess is as good as mine,” Garoppolo said.
Garoppolo can’t stop the Patriots from trading him, nor can he force the Patriots to trade him. He could, however, exert pressure one way or the other: He could make noise about not wanting to be a backup for another year and say publicly that he wants to start, which might spur the Patriots to trade him because they don’t want an unhappy camper. Or if he wants to stay put for another year, he could announce that he won’t sign a contract extension with any team that trades for him and will test free agency in 2018, which would make teams hesitate to acquire him.
But it appears that Garoppolo isn’t trying either of those tactics. Instead, he’ll just wait and see where he ends up.
Regardless of the outcome of his criminal case in Pittsburgh, the Jets still have a decision to make about cornerback Darrelle Revis. They already owe him $6 million fully guaranteed for 2017; if he’s on the roster on March 10, they’ll owe him another $2 million in the form of a roster bonus.
As Brian Costello of the New York Post explains it, the Jets ultimately need to make a football decision about Revis — especially since the criminal case seems to be a bit on the flimsy side. If they cut him, he’ll become a free agent.
So how about returning home to Pittsburgh, for reasons other than a court date? The Steelers were one of the teams reportedly interested in Revis two years ago, along with the Browns, Packers, Chiefs, and Ravens.
Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says the Steelers shouldn’t want Revis. Based on how he played last year, that’s easy to understand. But what if a change of scenery, a return home, a new position (safety), and a desire to prove the doubters wrong (you know, those who had the audacity to notice that he didn’t play well last year) gives him the kick in the pants he needs as he enters the twilight of his career?
There’s another potential benefit for joining the Steelers. With a criminal case pending in Pittsburgh and with the local legal system apparently inclined to throw a bone to the locals who play with pigskins, becoming a Steeler could help Revis get the same kind of discretion exercised in his favor that Steelers linebackers coach Joey Porter recently enjoyed.
There’s been plenty of discussion about the possibility of wide receiver DeSean Jackson returning to the Eagles as a free agent next month, something that few people considered a realistic turn of events when Jackson was released by Philadelphia in 2014.
Chip Kelly was the coach of the Eagles when Jackson left and he’s since been replaced by Doug Pederson in a move that’s helped fuel the chatter about a second stint with the Eagles. Jackson isn’t tipping his hand about his plans for what could be a robust market for his services, but acknowledges the narrative appeal of a return engagement.
“It definitely is a great story or ending, I guess you could say,” Jackson said on Adam Schefter of ESPN’s podcast. “Starting your career somewhere then going to a division rival team [and] having the possibility of maybe going back. You just kind of think about all of that when you start somewhere maybe you could finish it. There is just a lot of speculation of a lot of thoughts. It all sounds good, but you really never know until the final decision is made. I’m just a firm believer that if you work hard, you put in the work, continuously go out there and show everybody what you’re capable of [then] the sky’s the limit.”
Jackson said that he’d love to play with a “great quarterback” and used that adjective to describe Redskins teammate Kirk Cousins. He also said Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz was “lights out” as a rookie and “he has all the intangibles” to be at that level as well.
Attorney Robert Del Greco Jr. worked his magic for Steelers linebackers coach Joey Porter in a court of law. Porter will have a much harder time pulling a rabbit from the hat in the Football People’s Court.
Porter still faces scrutiny under the Personal Conduct Policy, where non-players (who don’t have union protection) are held to a higher standard — and where the NFL now disregards the outcome of the criminal justice process. A suspension remains possible, and not just for pleading guilty to a “disorderly conduct citation,” which sounds like “glorified parking ticket.”
The league will look at everything, including the video that the Pittsburgh Police Citizens Police Review Board concluded should have resulted in the pursuit of aggravated assault charges. The league won’t give a Steelers employee the same pass that the powers-that-be in Pittsburgh did.
Unless of course the league wants to. That seems to be how discipline is ultimately meted out at 345 Park Avenue, with the outcome chosen in advance and the process engineered to get there.
Joey Porter is going to take a knee.
According to the Associated Press, the Steelers assistant coach is going to plead guilty to a disorderly conduct citation this afternoon, ending the flap about his dispute with a bouncer and a police officer in January.
Charges had been reduced from the original aggravated assault, following a dust-up outside a South Side bar. The Steelers placed him on an indefinite leave, which turned out to be less than a week.
The citation is the least serious charge possible, and the league was still reviewing the case the last time anyone asked.
Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson was criticized in some corners for not participating in the Senior Bowl, but those people won’t have anything to complain about at the Scouting Combine.
Via the Associated Press, Watson said he planned on doing everything in Indianapolis, which should keep the “entertain us” crowd happy.
“That’s the plan,” Watson said of the Combine. “Run, throw, meetings, everything.”
Watson has completed his degree and won a national championship, so the second Davey O’Brien award he picked up Monday night was icing on a pretty good cake of a year. He threw for 41 touchdowns and ran for nine more to lead the Tigers to the title, and figures to be a first round pick.
“I’m hearing that. First round, anywhere in that range, top 10, top five, just depends on what the teams say,” Watson said. “It’s something I can’t control. I just make sure I can control what I can control. Stay positive.
“The height is the height. This is how God made me. My hands are this size. I can’t really control that. I can put on weight and be able to go out there and throw and run and talk in the interviews and my knowledge.”
There may be flaws teams can find, but they won’t be able to knock Watson for not participating.
The Patriots should have stability on the offensive line.
Which Ravens are set for a step forward in 2017?
Running back depth could be a priority for the Texans this offseason.
SEC linebackers could fit with the Titans in the draft.
Former Broncos RB Terrell Davis is in limited company as a Hall of Famer selected in the sixth round.
Raiders coach Jack Del Rio wants his players to stay safe on their New Zealand vacation.
The Chargers are gone, but former C Nick Hardwick remains part of San Diego.
Don’t count former Cowboys WR Drew Pearson among those that feel bad about Terrell Owens missing the Hall of Fame.
Will Tom Coughlin’s moves with the Jaguars wind up impacting the Giants?
Running through some under the radar issues for the Redskins this offseason.
Remembering the historic achievement and perfect name of former Bears QB Willie Thrower.
A Lions-centric free agency preview of wide receivers and tight ends.
The top plays of the Falcons season.
Tight end doesn’t look like a focus for the Saints this offseason.
Former Buccaneers QB Parnell Dickerson will be inducted into the Black College Football Hall of Fame this weekend.
Jen Welter is going from Cardinals coaching intern to coaching Australia’s entry in in the IFAF Women’s World Championship.
The 49ers are expected to host DT Earl Mitchell on a Tuesday visit.
There have been visits, and some other suggestions of interest in former Browns cornerback K’Waun Williams. But some teams have finally made tangible expressions of their desire.
According to Darryl Slater of NJ.com, the Jets have offered the free agent corner a contract, one of four teams to do so.
He also visited the Lions, and the Vikings, Dolphins and 49ers were reported to have some degree of interest. That leaves the door open for Mystery Team, the most active of free agent shoppers every season.
The slot corner is expected to make a decision later this week.
Williams didn’t play last season because of an ankle injury, and a disagreement over the treatment of it led to an end of his time with the Browns.
Tight end Julius Thomas is set for a physical in Miami on Tuesday, a day after the Jaguars and Dolphins agreed to a trade that would send Thomas to South Florida when trades are officially allowed to be processed on March 9.
Thomas agreed to rework his contract as part of the deal, something that could have turned into a sticking point if Thomas preferred to force the Jaguars to cut him so he could pick his own destination. Miami offered something no other team could offer, however.
Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports that Thomas’ desire to reunite with Dolphins coach Adam Gase, who ran the offense for the Broncos in 2013 and 2014, was the impetus to agreeing to a new deal with a new team. Thomas’ 108 catches for 1,277 yards and 24 touchdowns during those two seasons landed him the big free agent contract with the Jaguars that he’s now reworking and his failure to replicate that production has him on the move, so it’s not hard to see the appeal.
Thomas was catching passes from Peyton Manning in those two seasons, something that won’t be the case in Miami. Ryan Tannehill turned in a strong first season under Gase, however, and adding Thomas to Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker and company sets him up with weapons to do the same in 2017.
Cedric Benson played nearly a decade in the NFL, and now says it has impaired his ability to drive. Or spell. Or something.
The longtime Bears and Bengals running back was charged with driving while intoxicated in Texas Saturday morning, and had a novel excuse for not undergoing a field sobriety test.
According to Rachel Rice of the Austin American-Statesman, police affidavit said that when the Austin police officer asked him to recite the alphabet, Benson “stated he couldn’t do that because he played 8 years in the NFL.” He also claimed he was unable to count higher than 3, and refused a balance test.
Of course, this happened at 2:47 a.m., so there are many possible explanations for his sudden weakness in math and written skills. Police said his eyes were glassy, he was swaying and mumbling, and that he smelled of alcohol and was: “talkative, uncooperative [and] cocky.”
Benson has a long history of trouble with the law in Texas, and with alcohol-related problems. He was cut by the Bears in 2008 after being busted for both drinking and boating under the influence in a short amount of time. He was charged with public intoxication in 2014 after an argument with a woman in a cab. In 2010 he was charged with assault for punching a bar employee and was sentenced to 20 days in jail.
Any of those alone might have been enough to signal a problem that needed to be addressed, but apparently it hasn’t for Benson.