Shaun King joins Mike Florio to preview NBC’s Sunday Night Football game pitting the San Francisco 49ers against the Seattle Seahawks. King thinks both young QBs have done a phenomenal job this season, but gives the winning nod to Colin Kaepernick due to the weapons he has at his disposal.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
PFT Live: Shaun King credits 49ers’ young QB
At least now that Denver quarterback Paxton Lynch is the one that got away, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has a new story to tell.
But the way he’s lamented not getting his latest quarterback crush does harken back to his infatuation with one Johnny Manziel.
Jones wanted to draft Manziel in 2014, but was overruled by his son, who wanted to draft some guard named Zack Martin instead. Of course, Martin’s been to two Pro Bowls and Manziel’s out of the league at the moment, but Jones still has a soft spot for the former Browns quarterback.
“I don’t have any sense of how I feel right now other than I just really like him and know him and like him,” Jones said, via Todd Archer of ESPN.com. “I really appreciate all the positive things he’s done while at A&M, what he did as a Heisman Trophy winner and what he is about [in] football. We have that in common.
“Consequently it really makes me dwell on him getting things in better shape for him so he can do not just football but anything. That’s because I have an appreciation for what he did do. You can’t take that away from him. He really did something special for A&M, football and for all of us. We’ll worry about the future later.”
Of course, the question of acquiring Manziel for his football team has largely gone away, thanks to Manziel. But at least he knows Jones will always have a soft spot for him, and probably a job if he ever decides football is important to him again.
Steve Belichick admitted he wanted to be just like his dad. So when he sat down with reporters Monday, the Patriots safeties coach even dug in his father’s closet for a Rutgers lacrosse pullover, as well as some interview inspiration.
Via Phil Perry of CSNNE.com, the younger Belichick even talked like his dad at times, such as when asked about his promotion from coaching assistant this offseason. “Leave that to us,” he replied.
He’s 29 and just promoted from an entry level coaching position, but Steve said he’d be his own man wherever he was working. But make no mistake, the imprint of his father is strong on him, for good reason.
“It’s been cool,” he said. “Obviously, I love my dad. He’s my role model. He’s my idol. I want to be just like him. I have since I knew what an idol was. It’s rewarding for me to, I guess, see him more and learn from him more, because I’ve been away from him in high school and college on a day-to-day basis.”
Of course, he has a nearly as close relationship with one of the guys he’s coaching now, as he and veteran safety Devin McCourty were classmates at Rutgers, and McCourty’s only a year younger.
Steve gave a Belichickian answer when asked about his long-term goals, and if they included being a head coach: “I just hope to be here at the end of the day.”
“I just had my head down,” he said of his formative years in the coaching business. “I was just trying to work and get better. You never know when stuff like this is coming. There’s tons of changes in the NFL, but you just got to be ready for whatever they ask you to do and work your hardest and do the best you can. That’s what I’m trying to do.”
There’s no doubt having a famous last name helped him get in the door, and now he has a better opportunity to prove his hire was something other than nepotism.
The 2016 draft continues to loom fairly large in the rear-view mirror, and PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio continues to digest the selection process and its aftermath.
On Tuesday, we’ll take a closer look at the Cleveland and Washington drafts with the assistance of Sashi Brown and Scot McCloughan, respectively. They’ll both join the show in hour three.
We’ll also be discussing everything else happening in the NFL. And plenty is happening in the NFL, even though the draft is over.
Tune in at Sirius 213, XM 202, NBCSportsRadio.com, the NBC Sports Radio app, and any of our various terrestrial affiliates. It all gets started at 6:00 a.m. ET. Which is in like 10 minutes.
The Denver Broncos waived safety Ryan Murphy on Monday.
Murphy was sent back to Denver prior to Super Bowl 50 after police questioned him in regards to a prostitution sting in San Jose. A Bay Area native, Murphy was not cited by police in the investigation. However, head coach Gary Kubiak elected to send him back to limit any distractions in the lead up to the game.
Murphy was re-signed to a futures contract in February. He was a seventh-round draft pick of the Seattle Seahawks last year.
Denver also released punter Will Johnson after drafting Syracuse punter Riley Dixon in the seventh round of the NFL Draft on Saturday.
Broncos linebacker Von Miller won’t be expanding his trophy case before next February.
Miller, who chased his Super Bowl 50 MVP award with an appearance on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, has been eliminated from the contest, via Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post.
As a practical matter, Miller is now available to participate in the Broncos’ offseason program, which launched Phase Two on Monday. Though unsigned, he can participate by signing a letter of protection, which will guarantee his $14.1 million franchise tender if he suffers a season-ending injury on team property.
Miller presumably will continue to withhold services as leverage toward a long-term deal. But if he suffers a season-ending injury while working out on his own, Miller will get nothing from the Broncos this year.
The Jets possibly didn’t devote a second-round pick to quarterback Christian Hackenberg to have him hold a clipboard in 2016.
G.M. Mike Maccagnan told WEPN-FM in New York on Monday that Hackenberg could play as a rookie.
“I think, with any player coming into the league, there’s definitely a maturation process, and it doesn’t matter, again, what position you play,” Maccagnan said, via Dom Cosentino of NJ.com. “I think quarterbacks are probably one of the harder positions to transition into the NFL. I know there’s always a desire and feel to have them go out there and play right away. The reality of it is, though, it’s going to be determined by how he does. And I think my personal opinion is we’ll see where he’s at and how he is in terms of assimilating to our offense and our system. But like I said, I think it’s a natural maturation process.”
Maccagnan apparently hopes that Hackenberg, who played his best college football as a true freshman at Penn State, will have an extended maturation process.
“I think in a perfect world, especially with quarterbacks — some quarterbacks come in and play right away, and some do well, and some struggle, and they go through growing pains,” Maccagnan said. “But I think at the end of the day, in a perfect world, you like to give those guys a chance to sort of grow, develop before you have to throw them into the fire.”
Maccagnan also addresses a broader question that many Jets fans have asked since the Hackenberg pick was made: Why him?
“I can’t really have insight into how everybody views him and sees him,” Maccagnan said. “I just know that we liked him and we thought he was a good prospect. Again, there’s risk. We know that. But we also think that there’s also a lot of potential there to develop into a very good player, too.”
By rolling the dice on Hackenberg, Jets management now has a vested interest in him, which means at some point they’ll get him onto the field to see what he can do. If Ryan Fitzpatrick returns, that likely won’t happen at least until the Jets are eliminated from postseason contention in 2016.
If Fitzpatrick doesn’t re-sign, who knows? The Hackenberg Show could be debuting just down the road from Hackensack.
The Seattle Seahawks signed another free agent quarterback to add to their depth following the NFL Draft.
Seattle signed former New York Jets quarterback Jake Heaps on Monday after adding TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin as an undrafted free agent. Oregon quarterback Vernon Adams will also attend the team’s rookie mini-camp this weekend as a tryout player.
Heaps grew up outside Seattle in Issaquah and was the No. 1 prep quarterback in the country at Skyline High School. His college career didn’t live up to that lofty expectation as he bounced from BYU to Kansas to Miami during his career. He signed with the Jets as an undrafted free agent last May. He spent training camp with the team before being released in August.
Heaps took part in Pro Day workouts at the University of Washington in March to get back in front of pro scouts.
The Seahawks said they have still been in discussions with Tarvaris Jackson about returning in a backup role. However, Heaps, Boykin and potentially Adams give Seattle some passers for offseason practices at the very least.
The decisions are in, and 12 first-round picks from 2013 did not have their fifth-year contract options picked up by the teams that drafted them.
The deadline for such decisions was Monday. Some were of the last-minute variety, though it’s possible some teams just held off on announcements until Monday.
PFT tracked them all here.
There were slam-dunk option decisions — those for Tyler Eifert, Kyle Long and DeAndre Hopkins come to mind — and some close calls. We didn’t find out until Monday that the Chiefs picked up 2013 No. 1 pick Eric Fisher’s option, or that the Jaguars declined to pick up the option on the No. 2 pick from 2013, Luke Joeckel.
Those players whose options were picked up now have their 2017 salaries guaranteed. Those whose options weren’t exercised can be free agents following the 2016 season.
Among the decisions either not made until Monday or only released by various sources and reports, the Ravens declining the option on safety Matt Elam, the Raiders declining the option on cornerback D.J. Hayden and the Packers declining the option on outside linebacker Datone Jones were among the easiest.
Some of the players whose options were declined could still end up signing new deals with their current teams, as 2012 first-rounder Doug Martin did in March following a big season with the Buccaneers. Among this group, Lane Johnson had previously signed a long-term deal with the Eagles, while a Dion Jordan decision is still a year away for the Dolphins due to his suspension.
The Steelers have declined to pick up the fifth-year option on outside linebacker Jarvis Jones, per multiple reports.
The deadline for picking up the options on 2013 first-round picks is midnight Monday. If the Steelers were debating the option or potentially negotiating a long-term deal with Jones is unclear.
The option would have paid Jones $8.4 million in 2017, so the Steelers declining it makes financial sense.
The two sides can still negotiate a long-term deal. His rookie contract will now expire following the 2016 season.
Jones started 15 games in 2015 and had his best season, recording two sacks, a forced fumble and an interception. He has started 26 of 36 career games and has just five sacks in three seasons.
Moritz Boerhinger has another “first” to add to his list of accomplishments: He’s the first draft pick to sign a contract in 2016.
The Vikings have announced that the sixth-rounder from Germany who played no college football has agreed to terms on a four-year deal.
The man who made the pick, Vikings G.M. Rick Spielman, appeared on Monday’s PFT Live. I asked, “How can you evaluate someone who never played college football?”
Spielman laughed and said coach Mike Zimmer asked Spielman the exact same question.
It won’t be easy for Boehringer, because he’s never faced competition of the quality he’s about to see. We’ll all see whether he can meet the challenge.
He has the physical skills to do it, but the game is a lot more than that. With Zimmer’s guidance, maybe Boehringer can gradually become a real contributor.
Former NFL defensive lineman Dana Stubblefield faces rape charges in California.
According to Jason Green of Bay Area News Group, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office formally accused Stubblefield, 45, of raping a “developmentally delayed” female.
“This was a crime of violence against a vulnerable victim,” Deputy District Attorney Tim McInerny said in a statement. “She was looking for a job and she was unconscionably assaulted.”
Stubblefield allegedly contacted the woman through an online service under the guise of looking for a nanny. He allegedly interviewed her on April 9, 2015, she left, and she soon received a text message from Stubblefield indicating he wanted to pay her for her time.
At that point, she allegedly returned to the house, where Stubblefield allegedly picked her up, carried her to a room, and raped her. He then allegedly gave her $80 and let her leave.
The alleged victim went directly to a police station and said she’d been raped by a man named Dana. Stubblefield’s DNA allegedly matched DNA obtained from the victim.
Stubblefield is accused of five felony counts and faces, according to prosecutors, a substantial prison sentence if convicted.
He spent 11 years in the NFL, playing for the 49ers from 1993 through 1997, Washington from 1998 through 2000, the 49ers again in 2001 and 2002, and the Raiders in 2003. A three-time Pro Bowler, Stubblefield was the 1993 NFL defensive rookie of the year and the 1997 NFL defensive player of the year.
The Saints have supplemented their draft class by adding 19 undrafted free agents. The team announced the full slate of rookies who chose the Saints, and not vice-versa, on Monday.
The new Saints are Michigan State offensive lineman Jack Allen, Wisconsin defensive back Mike Caputo, Texas A&M offensive lineman Joseph Cheek, Colorado defensive back Ken Crawley, Western Kentucky wide receiver Jared Dangerfield, Mississippi defensive back Trae Elston, Texas A&M defensive back De’Vante Harris, Boise State offensive lineman Marcus Henry, Michigan running back Sione Houma, Alabama linebacker Dillon Lee, Northern Illinois receiver Tommylee Lewis, Arkansas defensive lineman Mitchell Loewen, BYU offensive lineman Ryker Mathews, Alabama defensive lineman D.J. Pettway, North Carolina linebacker Jeff Schoettmer, Louisiana-Lafayette linebacker Dominique Tovell, North Carolina offensive lineman Landon Turner, Ball State receiver Jordan Williams-Lambert, and Auburn offensive lineman Avery Young.
Coupled with the team’s five draft picks, that’s 24 new players and not a single new quarterback. So much for the chatter that they were considering Paxton Lynch.
The Bills officially have two quarterbacks entering contract years.
Per multiple reports, the Bills opted not to pick up the fifth-year option on Manuel.
It’s the latest confusing signal from the club regarding a quarterback who has moved up and down the depth chart, repeatedly, in three NFL seasons. And it’s the clearest sign yet that the Bills admit the decision to select him three years ago with the 16th overall pick was a mistake.
Manuel started 10 games at a rookie, four in 2014, and two last year. His 2015 starts came when Taylor was injured.
For his career, Manuel has a 59.1-percent completion percentage, 3,371 passing yards, 19 touchdown passes, and 15 interceptions. He also has lost four fumbles.
The Patriots didn’t make a first-round pick in 2013, but they did have a decision to make about a 2017 option for a player who did go on the first day of the draft that year.
New England acquired guard Jonathan Cooper in a trade with the Cardinals this offseason that sent defensive end Chandler Jones to the desert, leaving them with the chance to secure the rights to Cooper beyond this season. Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that the team is passing on that chance, which sets Cooper up for free agency after the 2016 campaign.
Cooper missed his entire rookie season with a broken leg and made 11 starts over the last two seasons for Arizona while playing in 24 games. That’s not the kind of track record that leads teams to pick up $11.9 million options that are guaranteed against injury only.
There were five offensive linemen selected in the first 10 picks of the 2013 draft. Cooper, Jaguars tackle Luke Joeckel and Titans guard Chance Warmack have all had their options declined while tackle Lane Johnson signed an extension with the Eagles, making Chiefs tackle Eric Fisher the only member of that group to have his option exercised.
In Philadelphia, the incumbent veteran quarterback reacted poorly to the team’s decision to use a first-round pick on a quarterback. In Denver, the opposite has occurred.
Veteran Mark Sanchez said Monday that he regards the decision to draft a quarterback instead of acquiring a more experience passer as a positive.
“Absolutely,” Sanchez told reporters as to whether he views the move as a vote of confidence. “That’s been the message that I’ve received. I’m thrilled about this opportunity.”
Then again, it sounds as if Sanchez was going to view the glass as half full regardless of how much of the milkshake another quarterback drank out of it.
“Whether it was a veteran that came in, any of the names that were out there, any of these guys in the draft that are becoming pros this year, my focus wouldn’t change,” Sanchez said. “The most important thing for me was getting involved with the players here, meeting these guys, develop a relationship, learn this playbook as fast as I can and then get involved in the community and establish myself as a leader on this team. That’s going to take time and that’s going to take reps, no matter who was here. It happens to be Paxton [Lynch]. We’re happy. He’s a great talent. He’s going to add to our quarterback room. That’s going to make it fun.”
Sanchez said he texted a note of congratulations to Lynch and all of the rookies.
“It’s a special day for all of those guys,” Sanchez said. “Drafted or undrafted, they’re realizing their NFL dreams. That was the first thing I said. ‘Congratulations on that, welcome to the team, holler if you need anything.’”
Sanchez also had no expectation that he’d heat from coach Gary Kubiak or G.M. John Elway before the team acquired a quarterback.
“They don’t owe me that,” Sanchez said. “They don’t owe me anything like that [or] any of the players. This is their team. They’re going to do exactly what they want to do. I think the message is clear. We’ll roll with that. I’m excited to be a part of it. We’re just getting rolling. It’s Phase Two [of the offseason program]. It was fun today, so it was nice to get on the field with these guys.”
Eventually, Sanchez and Lynch will be competing for the starting job. Trevor Siemian, a seventh-round pick in 2015, also will be in the mix. The former Northwestern quarterback told reporters on Monday that he “absolutely” believes he has a chance to win the starting job.
Siemian has a built-in advantage, because he knows the offense and learned last year from Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler. With, as Siemian said, an expectation that reps will be divided evenly in the offseason, Siemian has a chance.
“I think I don’t try and do anything crazy,” Siemian said. “I think [if I] play my best football, I’ve got a chance. I’m going to take it one day at a time and go from there.”
One thing we know about the Broncos is that whoever is playing the best will get to play on Sundays. The team that pulled the plug on Tebowmania, benched Peyton Manning, and then benched Brock Osweiler has proven that, when it comes to the quarterback position, there’s no sacred cow or anointed one. The best player plays, and that attitude coaches all players to play their best.