The Eagles play their final home game this Sunday. Is this the last time we see Michael Vick and Andy Reid in Philly?This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
ProFootballTalk: The end is near for Reid
The Colts kicked off their search for a new General Manager by firing Ryan Grigson last weekend and the list of candidates they’re putting together will look familiar to anyone who has been keeping an eye on the 49ers’ search.
Tom Pelissero of USA Today reports that the team has requested permission to interview Chiefs director of football operations Chris Ballard. He joins Packers exec Eliot Wolf, Vikings exec George Paton, interim G.M. Jimmy Raye and Seahawks co-player personnel directors Trent Kirchner and Scott Fitterer on their list.
The Chiefs blocked Ballard from interviewing for the opening with the 49ers, but their ability to do that ended once their season ended with a loss to the Steelers in the divisional round of the playoffs. There was also a report that Ballard was not interested in interviewing with other teams, so we’ll have to see if the new opening in Indianapolis leads to a different outcome.
All of the candidates identified in Indianapolis were in the mix for the 49ers opening, although Paton is the only one still in the running. He’s expected to interview with the 49ers a second time on Saturday.
While many have pulled out, the 49ers do still have candidates for their General Manager opening.
According to Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic, Cardinals executive Terry McDonough is expected to have his second interview with the 49ers Saturday.
And since Saturday is the day Falcons offensive coordinator and coach-in-waiting Kyle Shanahan can talk to the 49ers, that meeting will presumably take place in Atlanta.
McDonough, the Cardinals vice president of player personnel, has gotten an endorsement from former 49ers coach Mike Nolan, and is one of few known remaining candidates.
Minnesota’s George Paton is also still apparently in the mix, though the Colts want to talk to him as well.
Not long after former Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel sent the President of the United States some advice about social media via social media, he deleted his social media account.
Now, he says he got out of the Twitter business because it was a “distraction” for him as he tries to get back to the NFL.
“Twitter has been nothing but a distraction for me. I’ve said all I can say,” Manziel told TMZ Sports. “Now I need to shut the hell up and work on bettering myself and my situation.”
This came after tweeting at President Donald Trump with the suggestion to forego the notifications, saying it “will drive you crazy.”
Manziel has said he’s sober and wants another chance to get back into the league. And while getting rid of Twitter doesn’t necessarily move him closer to that goal, it could at least reduce one factor which could might slow that progress.
The Patriots haven’t faced the Falcons since the 2013 season and Atlanta’s team has changed considerably since they lost to the Patriots 30-23 on their way to a 4-12 season.
Belichick outlined one of the biggest differences he sees in this year’s Falcons team when he fielded a question about the stamp Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff has put on the team. After noting that he worked with Dimitroff’s father when both men were with the Browns and with Dimitroff when he was in charge of college scouting in New England, Belichick noted Atlanta is “explosive offensively” and pointed to how fast the Falcons are playing on defense.
“I’d say the stamp on the team, the thing that I would notice the most is just the speed, the team speed that the Falcons have,” Belichick said during a conference call. “They have a lot of fast guys. Defensively they close up space very quickly. Their linebackers run well. Their defensive line, although they have a couple of big, strong, physical guys in there, overall they have usually nine or 10 players on the field that I would say are fast. They’re either as fast or faster than probably what the average speed of their position is in the league. I’d say that’s a big stamp that he has put on the team.”
Later in the call, Belichick said that he saw similarities between the Falcons defense and the one Dan Quinn ran when he was the defensive coordinator with the Seahawks. That unit hasn’t posted the same kind of results as the Seattle one did on their way to a 28-24 loss to the Patriots in the Super Bowl two years ago, but they’ll get a chance at gaining a better result in Houston.
Eliot Wolf got another raise out of the Packers after pulling out of the running for the 49ers job. He may be about to parlay a surprise opening into another one.
According to Tom Pelissero of USA Today, the Colts have asked for permission to interview Wolf for the job formerly held by Ryan Grigson.
The Packers blocked the 34-year-old Wolf from interviewing with the Lions last offseason, but that’s reasonable considering their presence in the same division.
It’s also reasonable to wonder if they’ll be talking to Wolf’s co-worker Brian Gutekunst as well, since he also interviewed with the 49ers.
The Colts are also expected to interview the Seattle tandem of Trent Kirchner and Scott Fitterer, along with Minnesota’s George Paton and internal candidate Jimmy Raye III.
We have our first mildly interesting story to emerge from Senior Bowl week.
Per multiple sources, the Saints have been taking Senior Bowl players off site for interviews. This has been rubbing other teams the wrong way because it takes time to get the players off site, interview them, and bring them back. With limited total time for the interviews, that makes it hard for every team to interview every player it wants to interview.
As one source explained it, many of the players become confused when they are driven away, but they don’t know to say no.
The Saints aren’t breaking any rules, and some of the blame should go to the folks running the Senior Bowl for letting it happen. Regardless, teams aren’t happy about it, and if that’s the biggest problem to emerge from the week in Mobile, Alabama, it’s not a bad week.
At a time when it’s fair to explore the message being sent by the Steelers via the leaks regarding Antonio Brown, it’s more than appropriate for the Steelers to explore the message being sent by the comments from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s regarding his future.
In not committing automatically to a return in 2017, the soon-to-be-35-year-old quarterback said, given his age, “that’s the smart and prudent thing to do every year.”
Signed through 2019, Roethlisberger would be walking away from $12 million in 2017, $17 million in 2018, and $17 million in 2019. Perhaps most importantly, he’d owe the team $18.6 million if he quits now, $12.4 million a year from now, and $6.2 million in 2019 in signing bonus money that previously was paid to him.
For that reason alone, it’s unlikely that he’ll be leaving. Nevertheless, the Steelers need to start thinking immediately about a replacement.
For 20 years, the Steelers had a revolving door at quarterback between the careers of Terry Bradshaw and Roethlisberger. They went to only one Super Bowl during that window.
Franchise quarterbacks are very hard to find, especially when a team typically drafts in the bottom half of round one. Still, it’s time for the Steelers to fully evaluate all quarterbacks in each and every draft and decide whether and when to pull the trigger on a Roethlisberger replacement.
Roethlisberger may not like the decision to use a first- or second-round pick on a quarterback. Based on his comments from Tuesday, however, he has no basis for complaining.
Now that there’s some mystery about whether the Steelers will have a Big Ben in their future, they can at least take comfort in having a Big Karlos under contract.
The team announced that they signed 11 players to future contracts Tuesday, including large running back Karlos Williams.
Williams was cut by the Bills last summer after showing up for camp out of shape, blaming his condition on sympathy pounds gained with his pregnant fiancee. But he lost weight and gained it back, and they cut him and went on to lead the league in rushing.
When he’s been in shape Williams has been productive, averaging 5.6 yards per carry and scoring seven touchdowns in 2015. Williams was also suspended 10 games by the league in November for a second violation of the league’s substance abuse policy, but the Steelers apparently saw fit to give him another chance anyway. According to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the remainder of his suspension has been lifted by the league.
The Steelers also signed nine other players who spent time on their practice squad this season, including running backs Gus Johnson, Brandon Brown-Dukes, and Dreamius Smith, cornerbacks Brandon Dixon and Mike Hilton, offensive linemen Keavon Milton and Matt Feiler, safety Jacob Hagen, and wide receiver Marcus Tucker. They also added former Packers practice squad wide receiver Dez Stewart.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s comment today that he is considering retirement came as a surprise to some people, but not to coach Mike Tomlin.
Tomlin told reporters today that he wants to keep coaching Roethlisberger but will understand if the soon-to-be 35-year-old Roethlisberger decides to walk away.
“Ben said it so you do take it seriously. I’m not alarmed by it, that’s football. Obviously, I’m hopeful he returns,” Tomlin said, via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Not surprised by that thought process by Ben. We’ll react and plan accordingly. We haven’t met yet. He’s one of last I meet with.”
Although Roethlisberger is still a good starting quarterback, given his age it wouldn’t be a huge shock to see him quit this offseason. Tomlin said the Steelers will plan accordingly for the possibility that they’ll be building a new offense with a new quarterback in 2017.
The NFL had a hard time finding a quarterback to join the AFC team at this week’s Pro Bowl, but their search has come to an end.
Philip Rivers of the Chargers will take the spot vacated by Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger this week. Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor and Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian were previously invited, but recent surgeries meant they had to turn down the opportunity to go to Orlando.
Rivers was the one turning down an invitation the last two years as injuries and personal reasons led him to pass on a chance to play in the annual exhibition. He has played in three other Pro Bowls.
Everywhere Brandon Spikes turns up, animals seem to end up dying. And this one could again cost him a few real bucks.
According to Melinda Miller of the Buffalo News, the Bills linebacker has been sued by The Fish Guy of Framingham, Mass. for $4,045 worth of care for his tropical fish, some of which did not survive the move to Buffalo.
According to lawsuit filed by Joshua Wolfson (The Fish Guy in question), Spikes did not pay for taking care of his fish, and after two years, he got a court order to garnish Spikes’ wages.
Spikes’ lawyer countered by saying that since some of the fish died upon moving to Buffalo, because Wolfson sold him a $8,000 tank which “proved to be inadequate for the type and number of tropical fish owned by Mr. Spikes.”
Lawyer Thomas Bender also mentioned “the almost instantaneous death” of other fish when Spikes hired Wolfson to move his fish when he was playing for the Patriots.
Spikes’ time with the Patriots ended after he was involved in a hit-and-run incident in which his car was found abandoned, leaving damage which he claimed was caused by hitting a deer. Of course, they never found the deer.
The veteran linebacker is a free agent this offseason. It seems unlikely the Dolphins will be signing him. At least if they know what’s good for them.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger gave an interesting answer on Tuesday to a question about how much longer he thinks he will be playing in the NFL.
During an appearance on “The Cook and Poni Show” on 93.7 The Fan, Roethlisberger said he didn’t know how much longer he’d be playing and stopped short of confirming that he would be returning for the 2017 season.
“I’m going to take this offseason to evaluate, to consider all options,” Roethlisberger said. “To consider health, and family and things like that and just kind of take some time away to evaluate next season, if there’s going to be a next season. All those things. I think at this point in my career, at my age, that’s the prudent and smart thing to do every year.”
Roethlisberger was asked a follow up to confirm that he was considering not playing anymore which drew a laugh and a repeat of his feeling that it was prudent to evaluate. He said he wants to walk away from his career rather than get carted off and said “head injuries are always a big thing” when discussing some of the things he’d be considering.
Roethlisberger is signed for three more years under an extension signed in 2015 that came with a $31 million signing bonus. Retiring could lead him to pay back some of that bonus while also foregoing $46 million in salary and bonus as well as escalators in the final two years that could lead to a higher payout.
Those are plenty of reasons to keep playing and a tough loss to the Patriots may be coloring his thoughts, but Roethlisberger says, for now, that he’s not sure of anything.
Last week’s ominous remarks from Steelers coach Mike Tomlin may have been more than a warning to Antonio Brown; they may have been the first step in baiting the hook to trade the star receiver.
“That’s often why you see great players move from team to team,” Tomlin said in the wake of Brown’s Facebook Live fiasco. “Don’t want that to happen to Antonio Brown.”
Maybe Tomlin does. The recent leak to NFL Network reporter Aditi Kinkhabwala, who is embedded with the Steelers, that the team believes Brown cares too much about his statistics and that he was “pouting” after the first touchdown of Sunday’s loss to the Patriots could be regarded as a deliberate effort by the team to slide Brown toward the trading block.
Brown has one year left on a contract that he has outperformed. After the Steelers slid money from 2016 to 2015 and from 2017 to 2016, Brown now expects a market-value deal.
Before the Steelers consider that, why not see whether another team makes a call? Six years ago, the Steelers unloaded Super Bowl XLIII MVP Santonio Holmes after the league imposed a four-game suspension under the substance-abuse policy. While Brown has gotten in no trouble away from the field, the Facebook Live incident coupled with team-leaked concerns about Brown’s willingness to put personal goals behind team goals could be enough to prompt the team to give the tree a mild shake and see what happens.
Don’t be shocked if the Steelers issue a public denial of the report from a media outlet that the Steelers partially own, since they may end up having to continue the relationship with Brown. Even if they do, the message apparently is sent: If you’re interested in Antonio Brown, make an offer.
The Bills hired Rick Dennison as their offensive coordinator last week and they added someone to his staff on Tuesday.
The team announced that David Culley will be their quarterbacks coach. The move represents a change of responsibilities as well as a change in teams for Culley.
He spent the last four years as the assistant head coach and wide receivers coach with the Chiefs. Culley followed Andy Reid to Kansas City from Philadelphia, where he coached the Eagles wide receivers from 1999-2012. He’s also coached wideouts with the Buccaneers and Steelers.
He’s reportedly going to be replaced in Kansas City by Greg Lewis, who played for Culley with the Eagles.
Culley will be working with 2016 fourth-round pick Cardale Jones. The rest of the quarterback group is less certain as EJ Manuel is headed for free agency and Tyrod Taylor, the starter for the last two years, may not have his contract option exercised due to over $30 million in guaranteed money that would kick in if it is picked up.
Next week, PFT Live heads to Texas for the first time since two inches of ice coated all of Dallas and beyond six years ago. We’ll be broadcasting every day from the media center at Super Bowl LI, and the guest list already is extensive and impressive.
In no particular order, we’ll tentatively be joined by Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Cardinals running back David Johnson, Washington cornerback Josh Norman, Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins, Broncos receiver Emmanuel Sanders, Jets receiver Brandon Marshall, Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David, Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson, Jaguars receiver Allen Robinson, Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, Lions defensive end Kerry Hyder, Saints defensive end Cam Jordan, Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks, Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri, Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian, Giants guard Justin Pugh, Vikings safety Andrew Sendejo, Raiders defensive back DJ Hayden, former NFL receiver Chad Johnson, former NFL fullback and FOX broadcaster Moose Johnston, and four Hall of Famers and counting: Marcus Allen, Dan Marino, John Randle, and Aeneas Williams.
Last but hardly least, the Pardon My Take guys, Barstool Big Cat and my Internet son, PFT Commenter, will be on set for what should be a rollicking (and hopefully no more profane than Tom Curran) segment.
If you or one or more of your clients would like to join the extravaganza, let us know. We’ll be on live every day from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. ET and taping segments through the day.