Mike Florio and Michael David Smith are back at it as they pick the winners of this weekend’s Wild Card games. Florio may have taken the regular season championship, but MDS thinks he’s poised winning in the playoffs. The only thing they agree on is that the Seahawks will knock off the Redskins.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
PFT Live: Seahawks primed to knock off Redskins?
It’s going to be very hard for the Buccaneers to trade cornerback Darrelle Revis.
The problem, as it usually is, is money. The contract Revis signed last year gives him $16 million per year. A season in to his relationship with the Bucs, the team that traded for him wanted him to take less.
Per a league source, Revis declined Tampa’s request to reduce his compensation. Which sparked the effort to trade him and the inevitable decision, if they can’t trade him, to cut him.
The source explains that Revis won’t take a pay cut to facilitate a trade. Really, why would he? If a team like the Browns would pay him $12 million in 2014 as part of a trade, they’d at least pay that much if they can get him without giving up a draft pick or a player or multiple of either.
So unless someone is willing to acquire the current contract as written via a trade with the Buccaneers, a trade won’t happen.
The next question becomes whether and to what extent another team would pay Revis above whatever the Buccaneers were willing to pay on a reduced deal. While it’s tampering for other teams to answer hypothetical questions, agents need to know what’s behind Door No. 2 before rejecting what’s behind Door No. 1. It’s safe to assume those conversations have occurred.
There’s another dynamic to consider when it comes to employing Darrelle Revis. Teams prefer having a happy Darrelle Revis. If he believes he’s underpaid, he won’t be happy. And he will be considering his options, including but not limited to a holdout.
Even a happy Revis is something some teams may not want. He has a reputation, forged by a pair of holdouts in New York and the threat of another that prompted owner Woody Johnson to punt. Some teams don’t want the potential headache, even though the talent remains.
Our prediction? Revis will be cut, and he’ll sign for more than the Bucs wanted to pay. Keep an eye on contending teams with franchise quarterbacks, including but not limited to the Patriots, Broncos, and Falcons. For non-contenders, the only way to get Revis will be to trade for his contract, and hope that he’ll be happy.
It wouldn’t be an offseason without a good Darrelle Revis sweepstakes, and we may now have one.
According to Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Raiders have emerged as a possibility to deal for the Buccaneers cornerback, along with the Browns.
The Raiders certainly have motive and opportunity, with plenty of cap space and plenty of room for impact defenders.
What’s not as clear is if Revis is interested in joining them, which could bog down any potential deal, as that $16 million salary is just sitting there.
If nothing else, the Buccaneers might have a bit of leverage, as two desperate teams get involved for a player they can wave to their fanbase to prove that they’re serious.
Donte Whitner could be a member of the Cleveland Browns within a few hours.
Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Whitner expects to sign with the Browns as soon as free agency officially opens at 4 p.m. Eastern. In Cleveland, Whitner would fill a void in the secondary left by safety T.J. Ward, who is expected to leave in free agency.
The 28-year-old Whitner started all 16 games for the 49ers last season, and the 49ers are interested in re-signing him. But the Browns have more cap space than the 49ers, and the Browns can also give Whitner the opportunity to come home: Whitner was born and raised in Cleveland and played his college football at Ohio State.
Whitner is the No. 28 player in our Free Agent Hot 100, but that doesn’t necessarily make him an upgrade for the Browns’ secondary: Ward is the No. 20 player in our Free Agent Hot 100. The Browns appear set to lose one good safety and gain another.
The Falcons are keeping defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux in the fold for at least a tenth season.
The club announced Tuesday it had reached a three-year contract with Babineaux, who was slated to be an unrestricted free agent.
The 32-year-old Babineaux has played his entire career in Atlanta. He was selected in Round Two of the 2005 draft, one round after the club took wideout Roddy White. Babineaux (6-2, 300) started all 16 games in 2013, recording 42 tackles.
For his career, Babineaux has notched 310 tackles and 23.5 sacks. He has started 92 regular season games in the last six seasons for the Falcons, missing only four games in that span.
The most complete defensive end in the free-agent class (according to his agent) may be completing his career in New York, after all. Or at least continuing it.
Per a league source, Tuck’s exploration of the market currently is causing him to lean toward remaining with the Giants.
One team, we’re told, was willing to pay Tuck $3 million per year. For that amount elsewhere, Tuck is inclined to stay in New York.
The question becomes whether anyone else would pay Tuck more. Sure, he turns 31 this month. But he had 11.0 sacks last season. With the market nudging toward $9 million per year, it’s hard to imaging Tuck not getting more than a third of that.
The Lions are poised to sign one the top prospective restricted free agents of 2014 to a new contract.
The deal contains $4.3 million in guarantees, Caplan reports.
Bell’s versatility has suited him well in a pass-happy Detroit offense. The 27-year-old Wayne State product rushed for 650 yards and eight TDs on 166 carries and added 53 receptions for 547 yards in 2013.
Bell and Reggie Bush look likely to again be the Lions’ top tailbacks in 2014.
UPDATE 1:44 p.m. ET: According to Caplan, the new two-year contract for Bell covers 2015 and 2016, and he will take his one-year RFA tender for 2014.
Bell’s total compensation for the next three years is $9.3 million, according to Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com.
Every year, free agents emerge and sign quickly who weren’t necessarily in the middle of radar screen in the days before the process opened.
This year, one guy who’s not getting a lot of attention will be popping up with a new team within 24 hours after the light goes green: Buccaneers linebacker Dekoda Watson. Per a league source, Watson is expected to sign a contract with a team other than Tampa soon after the free-agency frenzy launches.
A seventh-round pick in 2010, he has appeared in 60 career games with six starts. The Bucs would like to keep him, but not at the numbers he’s likely to get elsewhere.
And here’s where we usually mention a guy’s spot on the PFT Free Agent Hot 100. The only problem? Watson didn’t make the cut.
(Of course, now that word’s out, there’s always the chance he won’t make it.)
Woodyard is undersized but fast, and would definitely give the Patriots a different dynamic at the position than Spikes.
He had 15 tackles and a forced fumble against the Patriots in the regular season, and clearly made an impression.
Giants punter Steve Weatherford has reportedly had his salary cut for 2014.
Weatherford, who was due $2.025 million in salary next season, will instead draw a salary of $900,000, according to Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News.
Weatherford can recapture $1.125 million in incentives, Vacchiano reported.
According to Tom Pelissero of USA Today, Weatherford’s had his pay reduced by $950,000, though Weatherford can make $350,000 in incentives in 2014.
Weatherford, 31, posted a 38.2-yard net average in 2013. Opponents returned 48 of Weatherford’s 91 punts racking up 655 yards and three TDs. All three punt-return scores came in the Giants’ first seven games.
He might not get the full treatment his friend Jordan Gross got earlier this offseason, but the Panthers lost another longtime blocker to retirement.
The former fifth-round pick was a smart and capable blocker, but was out of work when the call came to rejoin his old pals Gross and Travelle Wharton.
“I’ve known for a while I was going to retire,” I knew when I came back this was going to be my last year. It was a good way for me to end because I got to come back and play for a team I loved playing for and finish out with my buddies. Luckily we had some success, which made it even more fun. It was a fitting way for me to end my career.”
Hangartner started 85 games in his career (including a stint when he left the Panthers to sign with the Bills), and came back as part of the Panthers right guard by committee/Spinal Tap drummer search this year.
The Buccaneers are expected to cut Darrelle Revis tomorrow, unless they can find a trading partner. So where will they find a trading partner?
Perhaps in Cleveland, where Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that the Browns are considering trading for Revis.
Why trade for Revis when he’s about to be on the free market anyway? One reason could be that the Browns think Revis can command even more money on the free market than the $16 million a year he makes on his current contract. Another could be that the Browns think that if Revis were to become a free agent, he wouldn’t want to play for the Browns.
Browns coach Mike Pettine knows Revis well: Pettine was the defensive coordinator of the Jets from 2009 to 2012, and Revis was a first-team All-Pro in all three of his healthy seasons playing in Pettine’s defense.
Revis is one of the NFL’s best cornerbacks, and the Browns have the cap space to afford him. Revis in a Browns uniform sounds farfetched, but it could happen.
As new Texans head coach Bill O’Brien remakes his team, he’s clearly going to be moving some parts from last year’s 2-14 bunch.
But in a bit of a surprise, one of the first moves was away from a guy who was productive when they were still good.
The move clears $4.5 million worth of cap room, but Daniels had been willing to restructure. He missed 11 games last year after breaking his tibial plateau, but was coming off a 62-catch, six-touchdown season in 2012.
The 31-year-old Daniels should still draw a good market if he’s well. Considering former Texans coach Gary Kubiak is now with the Ravens, that becomes one of the first potential landing spots.
Not everyone celebrates New Year’s Day on January 1. For the NFL, it’s a day in March that is determined at some point before March.
This year, today’s the day. So Merry New Year!
As of 4:00 p.m. ET, the NFL’s 2014 year officially begins. At that point, every team must be in compliance with the salary cap. At that point, trades may happen.
At that point, free agents may actually receive offers and reach agreements and make travel plans and otherwise hit the market.
The official start of the new league years comes after three-plus days of illogical negotiations that can’t become a consensus. And as we get closer to 4:00 p.m. ET, it’s becoming harder to keep the non-deal deals under wraps.
If the NFL is serious about its rules, the NFL will investigate every report of a premature agreements and/or travel plans made before 4:00 p.m. ET. While it could be hard to get reporters to name their sources, some of the reports are coming from the NFL’s house band, which makes it (in theory) a lot easier to compel cooperation, if the NFL is truly serious about enforcing its bizarre negotiate-but-don’t-agree tampering window.
Don’t count on that happening. The league simply wants to keep the deals under wraps until 4:00 p.m. ET, in the hopes of eventually crafting a college football-style signing day, where players will announce in 15 minute intervals their next destinations, live on NFL Network.
For now, it’s a free for all. And you can follow all of it right here — for free — through the rest of the day and all night and into Wednesday and beyond.
Beyond a constant stream of posts, we’ll be talking free agency on PFT Live at noon ET and on Pro Football Talk on NBCSN at 5:30 p.m. ET.
See you there. See you here. See you wherever.
We’re hours away from the official start of free agency, although there’s been plenty of chatter already about deals that are set to be signed when the clock strikes 4 p.m. ET.
We’ve heard about Miami locking up tackle Branden Albert, Tampa landing defensive end Michael Johnson and several other deals that we’ll run down during the show. Mike Florio will have the latest on other expected moves as well as we edge even closer to the feeding frenzy that is NFL free agency.
Florio will be welcoming fellow PFTers MDS and Darin Gantt to the show to help set the stage. He’ll be talking to Gantt about the apparent end of the road for wide receiver Steve Smith in Carolina and what else the Panthers might have in the works for the first stage of free agency.
It all gets started at noon ET and you can watch it all live by clicking right here.
Technically, NFL teams aren’t allowed to reach an agreement on a contract with an unrestricted free agent until unrestricted free agency officially opens today at 4 p.m. Eastern. In reality, teams and agents have been negotiating for the last three days, and in some cases the agreements are already done.
In the case of the Buccaneers and free agent defensive end Michael Johnson, Josina Anderson of ESPN reports that they’ve already agreed to a five-year, $43.75 million deal, with $24 million guaranteed. The deal can’t be announced until free agency officially opens in five hours, but that doesn’t stop the two sides from having an understanding.
If the Bucs have already come to an agreement with a free agent, they’ve technically broken the rules. But the rules just aren’t realistic. The whole point of team executives and agents talking right now is to try to reach an agreement on a contract.
In this case, the Bucs and Johnson have apparently reached an agreement a little early. Johnson should be a good fit in Lovie Smith’s defense, even if Smith still has to wait five more hours before he can officially say so.