Next Chargers coach, G.M. will report to owner’s son, John Spanos
Posted by Michael David Smith on December 29, 2012, 10:11 PM EDT
While it’s been widely reported that the Chargers will fire General Manager A.J. Smith and coach Norv Turner after Sunday’s season finale, another change that hasn’t been reported before could result in a member of the Spanos family that owns the team taking more of a hands-on role in football operations.
Albert Breer of NFL Network reports that a looming change in the front office will result in owner Dean Spanos’s son, John Spanos, overseeing football operations. That will leave the new coach and G.M. to report to John Spanos.
For fans of the Chargers, that’s not necessarily good news. John Spanos has spent several years working in the team’s scouting department, but getting a scouting job handed to you because your dad owns the team isn’t quite as impressive a credential as working your way up through the scouting ranks.
But when you own the team, that’s your prerogative. For Dean Spanos, putting his son in charge of the team’s football operations is one of the privileges of owning the team.
Posted by Mike Florio on March 11, 2014, 4:29 PM EDT
With defensive end Michael Bennett staying in Seattle, it became a foregone conclusion that defensive tackle Clinton McDonald would be leaving.
Per a league source, McDonald has agreed to terms with the Buccaneers, joining new coach Lovie Smith’s 4-3/Tampa Two attack.
Acquired via trade with the Bengals in 2011, the 27-year-old McDonald had 5.5 sacks last season, with only one start. He also started in Super Bowl XLVIII.
McDonald apparently will be joined by former Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson, who reportedly will be signing a big-money deal with the Bucs.
Posted by Michael David Smith on March 11, 2014, 4:29 PM EDT
The NFL’s most dysfunctional offensive line is getting some veteran stability.
The Dolphins and free agent left tackle Branden Albert have agreed to a new contract. That’s been widely expected, so it’s no surprise that the deal got done just minutes after free agency officially started.
Albert’s deal is for $46 million over five years, with $25 million guaranteed, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald.
Miami’s offensive line was a mess on the field and an even bigger mess off the field last season, with Jonathan Martin leaving the team and Richie Incognito, John Jerry and Mike Pouncey all being accused of bullying him. It’s entirely possible that the Dolphins will need to find five new starters to open the season, but there’s no question about their starting left tackle: In Branden Albert, the Dolphins got their man.
Posted by Darin Gantt on March 11, 2014, 4:29 PM EDT
The Jaguars have made it a priority to remake their lines, and they’re acting on that with a pair of deals already.
After adding former Seahawks defensive end Red Bryant to add ballast to their defense, they’re working on the other side today.
According to Alex Marvez of FOX Sports, the Jaguars have a deal with Broncos guard Zane Beadles. Per multiple reports, it’s a five-year, $30 million deal.
He lends some athleticism to a group that didn’t give a quarterback a chance last year, and should help protect Chad Henne and whichever quarterback they end up drafting.
Posted by Mike Wilkening on March 11, 2014, 4:25 PM EDT
The Bears, who were expected to be big-time players for pass-rush help in free agency, have added one of the top defensive ends available in the Class of 2014.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com, the Bears have agreed with Raiders defensive end Lamarr Houston on a five-year, $35 million contract.
Houston, 26, recorded 69 tackles and six tackles in 2013. He was the ninth-ranked free agent and third-ranked free agent on PFT’s Free Agent Hot 100.
Houston’s arrival comes as the Bears reportedly look to move 33-year-old defensive end Julius Peppers.
Posted by Mike Florio on March 11, 2014, 4:20 PM EDT
When Cowboys owner Jerry Jones mused about cutting defensive end DeMarcus Ware, many believed he was huffing and puffing.
On Tuesday, Jones blew Ware’s house in.
Per multiple reports, which PFT has confirmed, the Cowboys have released Ware. He was due to count for $16 million under the salary cap, and he was due to earn $12.75 million in 2014.
It’s currently believed the Cowboys didn’t designate Ware as a post-June 1 release. Which means that they’ll take the full cap hit in 2014 for cutting him, but they’ll clear $7.4325 million in cap space immediately. Under the June 1 designation, he would have counted on the books at the full $16 million until June 2, at which time $12.75 million would have been created.
Ware now becomes a free agent, able to sign with any team at any time.
Posted by Josh Alper on March 11, 2014, 4:19 PM EDT
The Titans have themselves a new return man.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that Tennessee has signed former Chiefs punt returner Dexter McCluster
to a three-year deal
in the opening moments of free agency. Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean reports the total value of the deal is $12 million with $4.5 million guaranteed.
McCluster’s departure from Kansas City was expected after reports on Monday that he informed the Chiefs that he’d be moving on. The 2010 second-round pick made the Pro Bowl as a returner last season after scoring two touchdowns and averaging 11.8 yards per return.
The Titans used several different returners without much success last season, making their need for a player with McCluster’s skills an obvious one. McCluster also caught 53 passes last season, so he’ll likely help out on offense in Tennessee as well.
Posted by Darin Gantt on March 11, 2014, 4:15 PM EDT
If you wanted a free agent left tackle you had to act fast Tuesday.
And the Cardinals weren’t going to be left out of the mix.
Per multiple reports, the Cardinals landed Raiders free agent Jared Veldheer with a five-year, $35 million deal.
Veldheer is coming off a triceps injury, but gives the Cards the kind of pass-protector they need covering Carson Palmer, especially in a division full of premier pass-rushers.
Posted by Josh Alper on March 11, 2014, 4:11 PM EDT
The Redskins have been linked with several free agent receivers from other teams, but they were able to keep one of their own wideouts from leaving the team.
PFT has learned via a league source that veteran receiver Santana Moss will return to the team on a one-year deal.
Moss has spent the last nine years with the Redskins after starting his career with the Jets, but has seen his role decrease over the years. He had 42 catches for 452 yards and two touchdowns. It was the third year in a row that Moss had 46 catches or less and his average of 10.8 yards per catch was the lowest of his career.
No terms were immediately available and it’s not clear how this will impact the Redskins’ reported agreement with Andre Roberts or their reported interest in Andrew Hawkins and Kenny Britt.
Posted by Michael David Smith on March 11, 2014, 4:10 PM EDT
The Raiders have tens of millions of dollars in salary cap space available, and within minutes of the start of free agency they had started spending.
Former Rams offensive lineman Rodger Saffold has reached an agreement with the Raiders. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, it’s a five-year, $42.5 million deal that includes $21 million guaranteed.
Saffold was No. 25 in our Free Agent Hot 100.
Posted by Mike Wilkening on March 11, 2014, 4:08 PM EDT
The Raiders could reportedly be re-signing tailback Darren McFadden.
According to Fallon Smith of CSN Bay Area, McFadden is expected to take a one-year contract offer from the club.
The Raiders’ No. 1 pick in 2008, McFadden rushed for 379 yards on 114 carries in 10 games for Oakland last season. While talented, McFadden has missed three games in all six of his NFL seasons.
The 26-year-old McFadden ranks No. 67 on PFT’s Free Agent Hot 100.
Posted by Mike Florio on March 11, 2014, 4:06 PM EDT
Welcome to the new league year. We’re open for business.
With a minor exception.
The Rumor Mill is currently broken. (Yes, it took five years to kill the hamsters, and we finally did it.) All other links work.
So you can click links off the front page. You can use the search box. Or you can get all story links from our Twitter profile.
Posted by Josh Alper on March 11, 2014, 4:03 PM EDT
The Falcons are reportedly set to add guard Jon Asamoah as a free agent once they are allowed to officially sign deals.
If they do, it looks like Asamoah will be lining up next to center Joe Hawley. Adam Caplan of ESPN reports that the Falcons have re-signed Hawley to a two-year deal just ahead of Tuesday afternoon’s opening of the free agent market.
Hawley started the final seven games at center for the Falcons last season and outperformed previous starter Peter Konz by a noticeable margin. All 12 games of Hawley’s starting experience before last season came during the 2011 campaign and he has also played guard since joining the team as a fourth-round pick in 2010.
Asamoah’s arrival and Hawley’s retention are two steps toward building a more effective offensive line than Atlanta had at their disposal last season. More are expected after owner Arthur Blank vowed to have a tougher team in the trenches for 2014.
Posted by Mike Florio on March 11, 2014, 3:54 PM EDT
It took the Jets a long, long time to find a competent right tackle. Now that they have one, he could be walking away.
Per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, the Jets have been unable to work out a deal with Howard. He’ll be hitting the market at 4:00 p.m. ET.
Mehta reports that other teams already have reached out to Howard. Which begs the question — why didn’t they do it on Saturday?
Howard, who arrived as a street free agent in 2011, started 16 games each of the last two seasons.
Posted by Darin Gantt on March 11, 2014, 3:52 PM EDT
While the Buccaneers decide what to do with the expensive cornerback already on the roster, they may have a replacement on the way.
According to Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune, the Bucs are expected to show interest in Bears free agent cornerback Charles Tillman.
The news is not a surprise, given his long background with new Bucs coach Lovie Smith.
And while he’s not a Darrelle Revis-level cover man, he’s a more than serviceable corner who can help Smith install his schemes with a new team.
Posted by Mike Florio on March 11, 2014, 3:23 PM EDT
Asked to make a bold prediction on Monday’s edition of Pro Football Talk on NBCSN, I suggested that the Browns would resist the temptation to spend a bunch of cash and cap space to eradicate the stink of controversy after controversy after controversy in Cleveland.
I suggested wrong.
With linebacker Karlos Dansby reportedly agreeing to terms before the time for agreeing to terms has come and likewise doing the same for safety Donte Whitner, the Browns are spending plenty. Especially if they’re anywhere to Whitner’s asking price, believed to be $8.5 million annually.
And they could spend more if they opt to trade for the contract of cornerback Darrelle Revis, who would be as close to home as possible without playing for the Steelers.
If they don’t get Revis, look for them to spend on someone else.
It would make much more football sense to wait, as to all these moves. But football sense often doesn’t drive the decisions made in the early days of free agency. In Cleveland, other concerns will be pushing the Browns’ effort to do a cannonball in the Cuyahoga.