Andy Reid has officially been named the new coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. Now what? Mike Florio breaks down what’s next for Reid and if a new starting QB is on his radar.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
ProFootballTalk: What’s Reid’s top priority in KC?
As the Jaguars prepare to unveil gigantic new video boards, they’re renewing their vows with an existing sponsor.
Via the Florida Times-Union, the Jaguars will announce on Friday a deal with EverBank that will keep the financial institution’s name on the stadium where the team plays through 2024.
Technically, it’s a 10-year extension to the five-year, $16.6 million contract signed in 2010. The average value of the new deal is expected to exceed the $3.32 million per year average of the current contract.
It’ll possibly need to go up a lot for the Jaguars to see a net gain. Jacksonville agreed to sacrifice its right to 25 percent of the money under the first contract. The Jaguars will have to negotiate that term all over again in the new deal.
The Jaguars quietly have surged in the local market since the sale of the team from Wayne Weaver to Shad Khan. Rumors of relocation have subsided if not disappeared, even though the team currently plays one game per year in London. Ticket sales are up, the team is improving, and a solid front office and coaching staff are in place, with Dave Caldwell and Gus Bradley leading the way.
Throw in a weak AFC South, and the Jags could make a run at their first playoff berth since 2007.
For a guy who went 24-40 in his last job, including a 3-13 dumpster fire which included alienating the franchise quarterback, Mike Shanahan is kind of picky.
The former Redskins coach told Jarrett Bell of USA Today that he wanted to coach again, but only if things are just right.
“If I get back into coaching, it would have to be a situation where there was a realistic opportunity to win a Super Bowl,” Shanahan said.
Beyond that shot, Shanahan’s thoughts for future employment shines some light on how dysfunctional things might have been with the Redskins.
Asked about quarterback Robert Griffin III, he said: “I’m not going down that road. I’m going to let that play itself out. We’ll see as time goes on.”
He also said he’d like a team with salary cap room, which is something he didn’t enjoy in Washington thanks to their penalty for circumventing the salary cap in 2010.
“It would have to be with the right ownership,” Shanahan added, a not-at-all-veiled shot at his old boss Dan Snyder.
He also mentioned working for Pat Bowlen, who fired him from the Broncos in 2008, saying: “He let you do your job. Every resource that he had, he’d give it to you.”
When he puts it like that, it’s almost like things in Washington last year were exactly as bad as they looked from the outside.
The Rams hold their first practice of training camp on Friday and there won’t be any restrictions on quarterback Sam Bradford when they do.
Bradford is coming off a torn ACL, but coach Jeff Fisher said Thursday that there wouldn’t be any limits on the quarterback during practice.
“Sam is in great shape,” Fisher said, via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “He’s ready to go. We don’t have [reservations] — right now as we speak, as camp starts — he’s full-go. If we need to back him down here and there, we’ll back him down.”
One place where the Rams might back Bradford down will be in the first preseason game, which Fisher suggested would go on without the starting quarterback while also saying that Bradford would see preseason action. Whatever action he does see, Bradford will need to use it to build a strong foundation for a season that will see him try once more to prove that he’s the franchise quarterback that the Rams wanted when they took him first overall in 2010.
If Bradford can’t do that, it will likely be time for the Rams to look in another direction under center after spending the last few years concentrating on overhauling the rest of the roster.
It’s fitting, we suppose, that as 34-year-old Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and his twice-cut-open back prepare to lift the team to unprecedented heights over the next four-to-five years, one of the team’s top executive says they won’t be relying on Romo as much as they used to.
“We will be running the ball more,” Cowboys V.P and COO Stephen Jones said Thursday, via Clarence E. Hill, Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I think our offensive line is better than it was last year and I think we ran the ball pretty well last year. I think we’ll run it better this year and I think there will be a bigger commitment to running it.”
If it’s true, why announce it to the world? While the million who play fantasy football will appreciate the head’s up, opposing defensive coordinators will appreciate it even more.
For that reason alone, it’s possible that Jones is trying to make opposing defensive coordinators think that the Cowboys will be running the ball more, if for no reason other than to take some of the heat off of Tony Romo and his twice-cut-open back.
So before burning a high pick on DeMarco Murray in that upcoming fantasy draft, keep in mind that Jones simply may be providing cover for the quarterback whose back may or may not allow him to perform at a high level, or at all, for a lot longer in the NFL.
Titans guard Andy Levitre has become quite familiar with the operating room over the last couple of years and he added another entry to his medical records on Thursday.
Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean reports that Levitre had his appendix removed this week and that he will miss a couple of weeks of camp while he recovers from the procedure. Per Wyatt, Levitre began having discomfort on Wednesday and doctors determined that he needed laparoscopic surgery to remove the offending appendix.
Levitre had knee surgery before camp last year and hip surgery after the year was out, although he didn’t wind up missing any games during the regular season. The hip surgery did limit Levitre during the offseason program, however, so he will be a bit behind in terms of preparation for the coming season once he is able to return to practice.
The Titans report to camp on Friday and have their first practice of the summer on Saturday.
Players come back from injuries all the time in the NFL.
But even though there’s a significant difference between his career-threatening neck injury and your basic torn ACL, Giants running back David Wilson is taking a low-key approach to his comeback.
“I always felt fine and capable of doing my job,” Wilson said, via Ralp Vacchiano of the New York Daily News. “You want to come out here and be safe as well. You have a long life after football, and football is something I love, so as long as I can play it, I want to play it.”
That kind of determination impressed the Giants, who often had to remind him to slow himself down after a potentially life-altering procedure.
“Hopefully — hopefully — it will go [well] as we bring him along. He wants to do everything now. He’s out there running back and forth like it’s nobody’s business.”
Maybe Andre Roberts would have signed with Washington again, after all.
Roberts, who recently said the arrival of DeSean Jackson would have been a factor in the former Cardinal’s free-agency decision-making progress, has been thrown a bone. Via Tarik El-Bashir of CSNWashington.com, Roberts has landed at the top of the depth chart for both kickoff and punt returns.
“Right now, I am,” Roberts said. “You never know during training camp what they’re going to do. [It could] depend on how much they use me on offense. . . . Right now, I’m on top. But we’ll see.”
We’ll definitely see, because DeSean Jackson has been a game-breaking return specialist in the past.
“I would like to be the kick returner and the punt returner but, you know, everybody doesn’t get what they want,” Roberts said last month. “Preferably, probably kick returner.”
Roberts signed a four-year, $16 million in March with $5.25 million guaranteed at signing. The real question is whether he does enough this year to prompt the team to keep him beyond the 15th day of the 2015 league year, at which point his $2.75 million base salary for 2015 becomes fully guaranteed.
All offseason, the concern for the Saints was whether they could make the numbers work with *tight end Jimmy Graham.
But when he showed up for work, he posted another number that reminded them of his value.
Saints coach Sean Payton said Graham had the “low time” in the team’s pre-camp conditioning test.
“That was significant. I told him to stay in Miami every offseason,” Payton said, via Mike Triplett of ESPN.com. “I mean, it was outstanding.”
Both Payton and General Manager Mickey Loomis said the difficult negotiation (which led to discussions of how far he lined up from the tackle) was simply part of the process, and the $10 million a year deal now has everyone happy.
“Look, it was a tough negotiation, obviously, but it ended well,” Loomis said. “Obviously going to an appeal hearing over the position argument was unique. But otherwise it was a negotiation. You know, all of these negotiations are tough. Obviously when it’s a high-profile guy, there’s more written about it. And those are personal issues for the players, in particular, and we understand that. But that’s behind us. We’re glad to have it done. I’m sure Jimmy’s glad to have it done.
“It’s just a process that we had to go through. And, look, I think both sides are pretty pleased with the outcome.”
Given that both Payton and Loomis testified in an arbitration hearing against Graham’s assertion that he should be a wide receiver for franchise tag purposes, there was the potential for awkwardness.
But now that business has been taken care of, they can get back to the business of football, and Graham is apparently ready.
That’s how things have played out. Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that Johnson appeared at the team’s facility again on Friday and reported on time for the start of camp.
Johnson’s agent didn’t comment on his client’s plans earlier this week, but did say that he and the Texans were communicating. Part of those discussions likely center on whether Johnson can recoup a $1 million roster bonus he lost by not taking part in voluntary portions of the offseason program, although Johnson’s gripes with the direction of the Texans and what it means for his future in Houston may also be on the agenda.
Those talks can continue, but the important news for the Texans is that they won’t have to go into coach Bill O’Brien’s first season without their top wide receiver.
The Dolphins offensive line is about to get to work.
Which Bengals have the most to gain in training camp?
There are some concerns about the Browns linebackers.
Five questions for the Steelers to answer in training camp.
The Texans added DT David Hunter to the roster.
The Jaguars named Luke Butkus as their interim offensive line coach.
The Raiders suffered some injuries during their conditioning test.
The Cowboys think they can have good success in the running game.
The Redskins took things inside during part of Thursday’s workout.
The Packers are considering variable pricing for the 2015 season.
Golfer Bubba Watson helped welcome the Saints to West Virginia.
The Cardinals are excited to get training camp underway.
The Rams are involved in a fundraiser honoring the late Philip Lutzenkirchen, who spent time with the team last summer.
Projecting the Seahawks’ 53-man roster for the 2014 season.
When the Lions passed on Pitt defensive tackle Aaron Donald with the 10th overall pick in the draft for yet another offensive weapon, their intention to keep defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh became even more obvious — especially since they decided not to pick up the fifth-year option on defensive tackle Nick Fairley in order to give him incentive to play harder this year (until he gets paid and can underachieve again). But with the season approaching, the Lions have yet to extend Suh’s rookie contract.
Per Chris Mortensen of ESPN, the Lions aren’t optimistic that they’ll get Suh re-signed. The problem ultimately flows from his $22.4 million cap number, which gives Suh the hammer of a 2015 franchise tag in the amount of $26.88 million. Which makes it hard to sign him to a long-term deal that pays out market value, especially with the market not exactly soaring at the defensive tackle position.
That cap number has been artificially increased by efforts to create cap space that included restructuring Suh’s contract and loading more dollars into 2014. Indeed, Suh will earn only (only?) $12 million in 2014. But good luck getting Suh, agent Jimmy Sexton, and/or marketing agent Jay-Z to negotiate the first year of a long-term extension based on the lower number.
It all points to Suh finishing his rookie contract, not being tagged, entering the mini-tampering period and finding out what other teams would pay, and either taking the Lions’ offer or signing elsewhere, for the same money or more (or possibly less, if other factors come into play).
Regardless, it quite possibly will be Suh’s last year in Detroit, thanks in part to the efforts of the team to do business while having three top-two picks from the last four years of the windfall system that existed before the rookie wage scale. They’ve extended two of them (Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford), and it looks like the third one will be walking away.
For the many who believe Commissioner Roger Goodell didn’t go nearly far enough by suspending Ravens running back Ray Rice only two games for knocking out the woman who would later become his wife, Rice got another piece of favorable treatment.
Via ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, the one-game fine attached to the two-game suspension will be calculated based on Rice’s 2013 base salary of $1 million, not his 2014 base salary of $4 million — even though the incident happened in 2014 and the suspension was imposed in 2014.
It reduces the fine from $235,529 to $58,823, a savings to Rice of $176,706.
That wrinkle wasn’t mentioned in the press release announcing the punishment, creating the reasonable impression that the money was coming from 2014: “[H]e will be suspended without pay for the first two 2014 regular season games and fined an additional game check.”
Meanwhile, some have defended the league’s wrist-slap for Rice’s chin-punch by pointing to other language from the release: “In May, Rice resolved the charges by entering into a pretrial intervention program. Under this program, he will not be prosecuted and is not required to serve jail time or pay any fine. After one year, the charges will be expunged and will not be part of Rice’s record.”
If the punishment from the league was truly intended to simulate the punishment imposed by the criminal justice system, why was Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger suspended four games for a civil lawsuit in 2009 and allegations that never culminated in an arrest in 2010? The obvious explanation is that the NFL did its own investigation and concluded that unacceptable behavior occurred, and that Roethlisberger had become a repeat offender. Which leads to the inescapable conclusion that the contents of the still-unleaked video of Rice punching the woman who became his wife supports the notion that Janay had crossed the line repeatedly before Ray reacted.
Maybe it’s time for that video to be released, since it happened in a public place and has become a matter of public concern.
When the Giants hired former receiver David Tyree as their new director of player development, it resulted in some criticism because Tyree has a history of making anti-gay comments. But Tyree says that he would be supportive of gay players on the Giants.
Wade Davis, an openly gay former NFL player, writes at TheMMQB.com that Tyree assured him that an openly gay player on the Giants would be welcomed.
“I would absolutely support any player on the Giants who identified as gay, in any way I could,” Tyree said. “And I will continue to stay in touch with Wade to ensure I am aware of the right ways to do that.”
Tyree is best remembered for his “helmet catch” in Super Bowl XLII. He has previously said that he would give up that catch and that Super Bowl to prevent gay marriage. Tyree hasn’t specifically disavowed those views, but he does recognize that accepting all players — including gay players — is a requirement of his job.
As training camps spring to life across the NFL, hope springs eternal in a league defined by its parity.
Praise of players and teammates also comes easily as everyone is “way better than last year,” “ready to take a step forward” or “poised for big things this season.”
One such player getting glowing reviews from teammates is Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh McCown.
“I don’t know how much people really know how good Josh McCown is,” McCoy said. “I think a lot of people are about to see how good he really is.”
“He’s (35), but with the amount of time he’s played, he’s 28. His mental capacity is as old as it gets. He’s been around for a while. His leadership ability is incredible, and he’s going to lead this team.”
McCown is the favorite to start for the Buccaneers this season. Entering his 12th season in the NFL, it would be only McCown’s second opportunity as a full-time starter. He also started 13 games for the Arizona Cardinals in 2004.
However, McCown parlayed a strong season in relief of Jay Cutler in Chicago into a starting job with the Buccaneers. McCown appeared in eight games with five starts for the Bears last year. He completed 66.5 percent of his passes for 1,829 yards with 13 touchdowns and one interception.
While it helps having arguably the best receiver tandem in the league in Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, McCown took full advantage of the opportunity and earned his chance in Tampa Bay. With Vincent Jackson, Mike Evans, and Austin Seferian-Jenkins among the targets McCoy will have to throw too, the league should find out if McCown can live up to the praise this season.
It’s been a tumultuous offseason for Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon that has seen him suspended (pending an Aug. 1 appeal) for another substance-abuse policy violation, ticketed for speeding and arrested for a DUI charge.
However, Gordon has apparently taken his latest infraction more seriously and has begun to seek help for his string of problems.
According to Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports, Gordon checked into a rehab facility following his DUI arrest in North Carolina earlier this month. Gordon is still expected to report to training camp with the Browns on Friday and the team currently has no intention of releasing him.
The move to attend rehab won’t do anything to help him avoid suspension. It likely won’t help him avoid further possible punishment stemming from the DUI arrest either. But it may be the first step toward Gordon getting his life in order to be able to return to football at some point in the future.
Or Gordon won’t learn from his mistakes and he’ll follow in Tanard Jackson’s footsteps instead. No matter what choice Gordon makes, the decision is up to him. Checking into rehab and admitting he has a problem is a good first step.