Is this the year we see an all-Harbaugh Super Bowl? Mike Florio examines the rarity of this feat and says the brothers’ accomplishments should not be overlooked. Florio also discusses the biggest playoff storylines including the four QBs left and if the Texans are in store for major changes this off-season.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
PFT Live: Brady the best QB left?
The only thing teams need to do to hold onto players designated as exclusive rights free agents is tender them a one-year contract offer and Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times reports the Buccaneers did that with four players on Monday.
Wide receiver Adam Humphries is a notable contributor on the list. He caught 55 passes for 622 yards in 2016 as one of the more prominent members of the passing game not named Mike Evans. Humphries caught 27 passes as an undrafted rookie in 2015 and has more catches than 27 of the wideouts that were drafted that year.
Nickel back Jude Adjei-Barimah was also a 2015 undrafted free agent signing and he’s another player who was tendered on Monday. Adjei-Barimeh played a regular role through the first 12 games of the season before a suspension brought his year to an early end.
Linebacker Adarius Glanton and wide receiver Freddie Martino were also tendered. Tight end Cameron Brate and defensive end Howard Jones are also set to be exclusive rights free agents, but have not been tendered at this point.
As Washington closes in on the deadline for deciding whether to apply the franchise tag for a second straight year to quarterback Kirk Cousins, the tag-and-trade option continues to percolate. If Washington goes that route, however, it won’t have many options.
John Keim of ESPN.com reports that Cousins would accept a trade only to the 49ers. It’s a match that flows clearly and obviously from the dot-connecting process sparked by former Washington offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan’s emergence as the presumed successor to Chip Kelly in San Francisco.
So why would Cousins be able to block a trade to any other team? While, in theory, any player under contact can be traded anywhere (absent a no-trade clause), no team is going to give Washington significant compensation for a one-year, $23.94 million deal that has no security for the new team beyond 2017. It therefore becomes critical for any trade talks to include contract negotiations, so that the team that acquires Cousins from Washington will have him under contract for multiple years.
The real question, as posed here last week, is whether Cousins would take less than $53 million fully guaranteed over the first two years as part of a long-term deal with the 49ers. That amount, which reflects the 2017 tag and a 20-percent transition-tag raid for 2018, is what he’s believed to want in Washington in order to do a long-term deal. It’s unknown whether he’d give the 49ers a new-hometown discount in order to facilitate a trade.
If Cousins won’t take less, would the 49ers plunk down that much plus send one or more draft picks to Washington to get a quarterback who will be able to run the Shanahan offense? It’s an issue that will be resolved, if anywhere, this week in Indianapolis as all teams gather there for the Scouting Combine.
The Patriots found their new tight ends coach.
Browns T Joe Thomas doesn’t have the most pleasant memories of the Scouting Combine.
The Steelers invested in a pair of offensive stars on Monday.
Which free agents will the Colts retain this offseason?
Mike Mayock of NFL Media thinks the Jaguars will get a difference-maker with the fourth pick.
Will the Titans draft more offensive line help?
Some caution about the Broncos drafting an offensive lineman in the first round.
A look at how the draft shapes up for the Chiefs.
Reviewing the work of the Raiders’ 2016 rookie class.
The way they use the third overall pick will reveal what kind of team the Bears want to be.
Is Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey a potential Lions draft pick?
A call for the Falcons to draft for help on the offensive and defensive lines.
David Johnson could have new company in the Cardinals backfield.
Getting to know a bit about Rams tight ends coach Shane Waldron.
The 49ers will be looking for plenty of help at the Scouting Combine.
Offensive tackle remains a position of need for the Seahawks.
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross wants to help his players succeed in the future. But he also thinks his latest venture could help the team in the present.
Via Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, Ross is hosting 16 of his players for a “business combine” this week in New York to give them some insight into future opportunities beyond their playing days.
The players ranged from quarterback Ryan Tannehill and defensive end Cameron Wake to fringe players and free agents. Ross connected the players with area business leaders, put them in meetings and took them out of the office to explore real estate and other opportunities. Six players signed up for last year’s version.
“This is really to give them an insight into what business is about,” Ross said. “I mean, don’t forget, these guys have concentrated their college and their professional football careers into becoming better football players and have been kind of shielded a little bit from the business world.
“This is really to create them and develop them so that when they do make the transition out of football they’re better prepared. I think every owner should have the responsibility of developing them not only as football players but also after their careers and as people. That way it’s better for them, it’s better for the team, it’s great to see these guys that are so passionate for what they do and the capabilities they have, how they use it to start the next level.”
Ross said he thought getting a group of players together outside the football function could help with camaraderie and relationships, and having his quarterback and defensive leader on board will help in that regard. Players are paying their own way, since Ross picking up the bill would circumvent the salary cap.
“Well, I mean, and with what the team is doing, it kind of brings them together,” Ross said. “And, you know, I think they experience these type of things together, they become closer together and they realize what the organization does and they’re more committed to the Miami Dolphins.
“And certainly, I think, when other players outside when they’re looking to see what teams they’d like to play for, it doesn’t hurt. Because the word spreads. When I was speaking yesterday [at a business conference for NFL players in Ann Arbor] and the amount of players that came up to me and we spoke. Because I was there speaking, I think they really appreciate it.”
More players should take advantage of such opportunities to parlay their football money into a future beyond their playing days. And Ross is right, there should be a responsibility for owners to put them in such positions, after profiting handsomely from their athletic gifts during the short time players can trade on those.
The Giants announced on Monday that they’ve used the franchise tag on defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul for the second time in three years, something that sets Pierre-Paul up to make around $17 million for the 2017 season.
That would be a big chunk of the Giants’ cap and it’s thought the team would like to get a longer deal done in order to lower Pierre-Paul’s cap number and have more flexibility to make other moves. Pierre-Paul has expressed his displeasure with the notion of playing out the year on a one-year deal, so he’s on board with a longer contract but his agent Doug Hendrickson said a lot of work is needed to get to that point.
“Obviously we’re talking, but nowhere near a deal,” Hendrickson said, via the New York Post.
Hendrickson didn’t delve into where the differences lie in negotiations and said that the two sides will be talking again in Indianapolis in the coming days. If things move quickly in those conversations, the Giants may be able to start free agency without Pierre-Paul eating up a healthy chunk of the money they have available for this year.
The Jaguars are clearly reworking their offensive line this offseason, and they’re willing to look beyond our borders to do it.
Via Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union, the Jaguars signed journeyman offensive lineman Greg Van Roten.
Van Roten played in 10 NFL games with the Packers in 2012 and 2013 and was with the Seahawks during the preseason in 2014. He was out of football after being cut there, but spent the last two seasons in Canada
He was named the Toronto Argonauts’ most outstanding lineman during both his seasons there, and former Argos head coach Scott Milanovich is coaching quarterbacks in Jacksonville now, so he must have put a good word in for him.
The Jaguars declined a contract option on left tackle Kelvin Beachum, and are allowing former No. 2 overall pick Luke Joeckel to become a free agent. They’ve set up a trade with Miami for left tackle Branden Albert, which can’t become official until March 9.
Tony Dorsett was in Dallas last weekend to celebrate football history, but he also offered a reminder he might not remember all of it.
Via Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dorsett admitted he struggles at times. He was diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in 2013, and said during an anniversary celebration for the Cowboys 1992 Super Bowl champions that he’s dealing with the daily ups and downs.
“I’m fighting CTE,” Dorsett said. “I have good days and I have bad days. The unfortunate thing sometimes is I have more bad than good. It is what it is. I’m trying to maintain and handle it.”
Dorsett has said he has problems with long- and short-term memory because of the disease, and bouts of anger.
The 62-year-old Hall of Famer has been upfront about his condition, willing to talk about the issue of head injuries for years since his diagnosis. While he has said in the past he’d be willing to let his son play football, he’s also pointed out that he would be far more cognizant of the health risks involved in the sport, which he wasn’t when he was playing.
The NFL plans to put microchips in every football during the 2017 season, but the chips will not be used to help the officials.
Instead, Daniel Kaplan of Sports Business Journal reports, the chips will be used as part of the NFL’s “Next Gen Stats,” which track player performance.
The league already puts chips on every player’s shoulder pads for the Next Gen Stats, and having chips in footballs as well will allow teams to track everything from how fast a quarterback throws a football to how well a defensive back moves toward the ball while it’s in the air. Next Gen Stats are closely guarded secrets, with only a tiny portion of them ever becoming public.
The NFL has previously put chips in kicking balls to determine how significant the change would be if the goal posts were narrowed. There’s long been a movement to put chips in footballs to help determine when a ball crosses the goal line, but logistical challenges have prevented that from happening.
Falcons President Rich McKay, the chairman of the competition committee, says the full scope of the way the data from chips in footballs will be used won’t be known until after the season. But it will be a significant amount of data that the league has never had before.
New Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson is getting a new job.
Tomlinson will be taking a position in the Los Angeles’ Chargers front office, Fred Roggin of NBC Los Angeles reports.
There’s no word on whether this job will be ceremonial in nature and focused mostly on public relations, or whether he’ll have some say in the football operation. The latter would seem unlikely as Tomlinson hasn’t always been on the same page as the Chargers, including saying last year that he thought they should trade Philip Rivers.
Tomlinson also has a job on NFL Network, where he’s already based in Los Angeles.
Indianapolis Colts defensive tackle David Parry was arrested early Saturday morning in Scottsdale, Ariz. on suspicion of robbery, auto theft, criminal damage, resisting arrest and driving under the influence, via a report from Holly V. Hays of the Indianapolis Star.
Parry, a fifth-round pick of the Colts in 2015, allegedly hit a man on the head before stealing his street-legal golf cart. Police found Parry on the sidewalk, apparently intoxicated, after he crashed the cart into a gate. The alleged victim was using his cart as a taxi to take people home from a bar when Parry allegedly hit him and stole the vehicle. He was arrested around 2:30 a.m. on Saturday.
Parry has started every game for the Colts over the last two seasons. He’s amassed 78 tackles and four sacks over that span.
Business is booming indeed.
After patiently waiting until he entered the final year of his contract, which is when the Steelers will extend non-quarterback deals with one year left, Steelers receiver Antonio Brown cashed in on Monday, in a big way.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, here’s the breakdown:
1. Signing bonus: $19 million.
2. 2017 salary: $910,000.
3. 2018 roster bonus: $6 million due on the fifth day of the league year.
4. 2018 salary: $7.875 million.
5. 2019 roster bonus: $2.5 million due on the fifth day of the league year.
6. 2019 salary: $12.625 million.
7. 2020 salary: $11.3 million.
8. 2021 salary: $12.5 million.
The Steelers and Brown had been working diligently to get the deal done, with three different trips to Pittsburgh over the past three weeks by agents Drew and Jason Rosenhaus, along with negotiations during Senior Bowl week.
Despite the Facebook Live fiasco and leaks to the media that seemed to trace directly to the team, the Steelers have rewarded Brown for his past services and provided him with the ability to make plenty of money over the next five seasons, with a $17 million average over the four new years, good for a new-money average of $17 million. (Counting the $4.71 million he was due to earn in 2017, the five-year average at signing is $14.54 million. Reasonable minds differ on whether new money or total value is the proper metric; the fact remains that it’s the biggest new-money average for a receiver in league history.)
Brown will have $29 million in new money through 2018, $44.2 million through 2019, and $55.5 million through 2020. The practical guarantee at signing is $19.910 million, along with either $13.875 million more in 2018 (total of $33.875 through two years) or a quick path to the open market if they choose not to pick up his roster bonus next year. He’ll add another $15.125 in 2019 — or he’ll get an early trip to the market if the Steelers opt not to pay the $2.5 million roster bonus.
The cap numbers generated by the new deal are $4.710 million in 2017, $17.675 million in 2018, $18.925 million in 2019, $15.1 million in 2020, and $15.8 million in 2021. Coupled with prior prorations, Brown’s total cap number for 2017 remains at $13.618 million.
NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock did his annual pre-NFL Scouting Combine marathon conference call with reporters on Monday, and Mayock was asked lots of questions about the quarterbacks in this year’s draft class.
Mayock isn’t much of a fan, at least not of their NFL readiness.
“If you’re asking me whether the Jets should take a quarterback at No. 6, I would emphatically tell you no,” Mayock told one reporter, per the NFL Network’s official transcript. “As a matter of fact I don’t have a top 10 grade on any quarterback in this year’s draft, so I would not be in that conversation.”
Earlier in the call, Mayock said he is “not bullish” on any of this year’s draftable quarterbacks because he doesn’t believe any of them are ready to play right away.
“I’d love to have one of those kids in the second round,” he said. “Take my time, develop them. For different reasons, they’re not ready.”
He said he still believes at least one quarterback — and maybe as many as three — will be drafted in the top 10 picks, but was adamant that he doesn’t rank them there.
“I don’t have any quarterbacks anywhere near the top 10,” Mayock said. “That doesn’t mean I think there’s no talent there, because I think there are four quarterbacks that have first-round talent. In my order I had for my initial top five it was [DeShone] Kizer, [Deshaun] Watson, [Mitch] Trubisky, [Patrick] Mahomes. All four of them have holes in their games. I don’t think any of them are ready to start Week One.”
The Chargers have placed the franchise tag on outside linebacker Melvin Ingram, per multiple reports.
With the deadline for franchise tags coming Wednesday, the Chargers moving to keep Ingram off the market comes as no surprise. He would have been one of the top players and pass rushers on the free agent market had he made it that far, and the Chargers hope to keep him and Joey Bosa as building blocks of their defense going forward.
Ingram, 27, had eight sacks last season and has 18.5 sacks over the past two seasons.
Ingram joins pass-rushers Chandler Jones of the Cardinals and Jason Pierre-Paul of the Giants in getting the franchise tag, which buys their teams time to work on a long-term deal with the new league year set to open March 9.
I personally like Richard Sherman, and I greatly respect his football abilities. But, man, from time to time he says some questionable things.
Our own night-shift supervisor Curtis Crabtree, while performing his day-job duties for KJR radio in Seattle, has put together an article picking apart Sherman’s effort to suggest that his controversial threat to “ruin the career” of a Seattle reporter is the latest example of the “fake news” phenomenon.
“Nobody ever knew what I said,” Sherman said in an interview with ESPN, via Crabtree. “Once again, ‘sources say.’ Who was there? Did anybody see it? Who was there? Who said it?”
Asked directly by Cari Champion of ESPN whether the quote was not correct, Sherman said, “Nobody knows. Nobody knows what was correct. All you hear is, ‘He said, she said.'”
In this case, there was no misunderstanding. Sherman said what he said, and people heard it. But, possibly taking his cue from the current political climate at the highest reaches of American government, Sherman has opted to dismiss anything that casts him in a negative light as not real.
“It gets to the point where nobody needs the truth anymore,” Sherman said. “Nobody cares to know what the truth is. You can just fabricate a story and go with it and then I got to defend a fabricated story. After a while you just get irritated of defending stories that don’t exist. So it’s like, why would I talk to you when I can write my own story?”
The man who plays football in Washington state had gone to the next level in his homage to certain recent residents of Washington, D.C. Sherman isn’t simply saying that other people are saying false things about him; he’s saying that words he actually uttered weren’t said.
And so a bizarre story that everyone presumed to be over has now sprouted a new chapter that somehow is even more bizarre than any of those already written. Maybe Sherman’s next move will be to claim that the reporter actually threatened to ruin Sherman’s career.
The Chiefs are trying to finalize a deal with safety Eric Berry that would make Berry the NFL’s highest-paid safety, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Monday.
Getting that deal done soon would not only keep Berry off the market but would give the Chiefs the chance to use their franchise tag on nose tackle Dontari Poe instead of using it on Berry for a second straight year. The deadline to place the franchise tag on players in Wednesday, March 1.
With that deadline looming and the Chiefs wanting to keep both players, the report said the sides are “working hard” at nailing down the details on a new contract for Berry.
Both Berry and Poe have played their entire careers with the Chiefs and both rank in the top 25 of PFT’s Hot 100 Free Agents list. The league year and free agent period open next week, on March 9.
Berry, 28, is a five-time Pro Bowler who beat Hodgkin’s lymphoma after being diagnosed in 2014 and has played some of his best football over the last two seasons. Poe, 26, could be headed for free agency for the first time. He was a first-round pick in 2012, is a two-time Pro Bowler and has only missed two games in his five-year career.