Matthew Stafford’s contract could be redone this offseason
Posted by Josh Alper on January 17, 2013, 10:14 AM EDT
Last year, the Lions needed to give wide receiver Calvin Johnson a new deal in order to free up cap room to fill out the rest of the roster.
Johnson wound up with a fat new contract as a result, something that may have quarterback Matthew Stafford licking his chops right now. The Lions are heading into the offseason over the cap with 23 current members of the roster slated for unrestricted free agency, a pairing that doesn’t bode well for the overall health of their roster. Chopping down Stafford’s $20.3 million cap number via a new deal is one of the easiest ways to remedy the situation. General Manager Martin Mayhew sounds like a man planning to do just that.
“It’ll be a challenge. It was a challenge last year. As we sat here last year we had $60 million in four players and half the cap was in four players. We didn’t have Cliff Avril signed, we didn’t have Jeff Backus signed, we didn’t have Stephen Tulloch signed, we didn’t have Shaun Hill signed. Guys that all were important guys to us, but they weren’t signed and we had half our cap in four guys,” Mayhew said, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “I thought (team president Tom Lewand) did a great job renegotiating some contracts. Obviously, getting Calvin done was a big accomplishment for us and we freed up a little bit of room. But it was just enough room really to operate and to get our own guys back. This year will be somewhat similar.”
Stafford won’t be the only player impacted by the Lions’ race to get under the cap, but he’ll likely wind up being the most meaningful one since his cap number is so large and the team isn’t going to be cutting him outright. The same might not be true of defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch and other pricey Lions as the team comes off a 4-12 season.
Posted by Mike Florio on October 23, 2016, 2:19 PM EDT
Case Keenum’s job was believed to be in jeopardy, if he had a poor showing on Sunday against the Giants.
Apparently, four interceptions wasn’t poor enough.
After the game, Rams coach Jeff Fisher told reporters he’s sticking with Keenum. Then again, that’s also what Jets coach Todd Bowles told reporters six days ago regarding Ryan Fitzpatrick, after a 28-3 clunker at Arizona. Bowles then said the next day that he’d never tip his hand about a quarterback change before talking to his assistant coaches.
And then the next day the Jets benched Fitzpatrick.
So maybe Fisher will do the same thing. Or maybe rookie Jared Goff really isn’t ready to play — either because he’s genuinely not ready or because the Rams picked the wrong guy.
After losing three in a row, the Rams are 3-4, which puts them roughly on track to be 7-9.
Posted by Josh Alper on October 23, 2016, 2:13 PM EDT
Geno Smith’s return to the Jets lineup turned out to be a short one.
Smith was sacked by Ravens linebacker Matt Judon in the second quarter and limped off the field to get attention from the team’s training staff. He spent time laid out on a table as they looked at his knee, got up to try some jogging and then headed back to the locker room with just over six minutes to play in the half.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is warming up on the sideline and looks set to enter the game the next time the Jets get the ball. Fitzpatrick was benched in favor of Smith in last Monday’s loss to the Cardinals and coach Todd Bowles announced later in the week that Smith would start against the Ravens.
Smith’s last run as a starter also ended with an injury, although it was of the off-field variety when a punch from then teammate IK Enemkpali broke his jaw. This one is more conventional, but the result is the same when it comes to Smith’s spot on the offense.
Posted by Darin Gantt on October 23, 2016, 2:08 PM EDT
The Raiders finally pushed through to the end zone, which hasn’t been that difficult for them in the past.
The Raiders are up 13-3 on the Jaguars, in a game of missed opportunities and made field goals.
The Raiders had been very good in the red zone on offense all season (12 touchdowns on 15 trips). But the Jaguars held them to Sebastian Janikowski field goals on the first two trips, keeping things close.
Then running back Chris Ivory emerged, with a season-long 42-yard rush which put the Jags in position, but they too had to settle for a three-pointer.
The Jaguars also have a pair of turnovers early, and the Raiders finally cashed in on a long drive. Latavius Murray’s 2-yard touchdown run capped an 11-play drive, when they looked like their normal, efficient offensive selves. Of their 75 yards, 63 of them came on the ground, as they patiently made their way downfield.
Posted by Michael David Smith on October 23, 2016, 2:01 PM EDT
It’s been a fairly ugly game so far in Detroit today, and injury news has made it uglier.
Key players on both teams — Washington guard Brandon Scherff and Detroit cornerback Darius Slay — have exited with injuries.
Scherff appeared to hurt his shoulder, and Washington’s offensive line suffered and gave up pressure a few times after Scherff exited the game. Slay appeared to hurt his leg, but the Lions’ defense was able to hold on its first drive without him.
Neither team has gotten close to the end zone and both teams have missed field goals. The Lions have also made a field goal and lead 3-0.
Posted by Zac Jackson on October 23, 2016, 2:01 PM EDT
The officials forced Browns rookie quarterback Cody Kessler to leave Sunday’s game in the second quarter to be checked for a concussion.
Kessler grabbed for his helmet after taking a hit from Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap after releasing a pass. He was escorted to the sideline by referee Ed Hochuli, then TV cameras caught Kessler talking with an independent neurologist on the sideline.
Kessler eventually jogged on his own to the locker room.
The Browns had already been using Kevin Hogan as a change-of-pace running quarterback. Hogan became the sixth different player to take snaps at quarterback for the Browns this season.
The Browns got an Isaiah Crowell touchdown run to cap the drive on which Kessler was forced out to go up 10-7. The Bengals answered right back with a long touchdown pass from Andy Dalton to Brandon LaFell to go up 14-10.
Posted by Josh Alper on October 23, 2016, 1:51 PM EDT
Geno Smith has thrown his first touchdown pass since returning to the starting job and the Jets have scored their first offensive touchdown since the second quarter of their Week Five loss to the Steelers.
Smith hit Quincy Enunwa over the middle and Enunwa ran away from the Ravens defense for a 69-yard touchdown that ended a long spell without a touchdown for the Jets offense. The score cut the Ravens’ lead to 10-7 after the first 15 minutes at the Meadowlands.
Smith ended his first quarter back in the starting job 3-of-7 for 88 yards, so the big play was an outlier after two ineffectual drives to open the game. The Jets also saw center Nick Mangold leave with an ankle injury. His return is called questionable.
The first of those drives was followed by punter Lachlan Edwards letting a snap go through his hands for a Ravens touchdown and the second saw the Jets defense give up a 53-yard pass to Mike Wallace before settling down to force a Justin Tucker field goal.
Posted by Mike Florio on October 23, 2016, 1:49 PM EDT
Turnovers and injuries have been the story of the day so far in Philly.
Eagles cornerback Ron Brooks has been carted off with a leg injury. He seemed to injure his right knee without contact while trying to make a tackle.
With Brooks out, safety Malcolm Jenkins is expected to fill Brooks’ slot role.
The game between the Vikings and Eagles remains scoreless through one quarter.
Posted by Darin Gantt on October 23, 2016, 1:46 PM EDT
The good news is the Saints can score in a hurry. The bad news is they can give points up just as quickly.
They have multiple problems at the moment, beginning with the way the Chiefs came back to take a 14-7 lead.
Spencer Ware took a screen pass 46 yards for the touchdown, blowing his way through a number of bad tackles and bad angles against the league’s worst defense, in terms of points allowed.
And then things got tougher for their offense, as left tackle Terron Armstead was just helped off the field by athletic trainers. He had just some back from a knee injury, and backup Andrus Peat is out with a groin injury. That left journeyman Tony Hills at left tackle.
The Chiefs then pounced, with a tipped pass falling into the hands of safety Daniel Sorensen, who returned it 48 yards for a touchdown and a quick 14-point turnaround.
Posted by Josh Alper on October 23, 2016, 1:43 PM EDT
The Bills scored touchdowns in the first quarter of all four games in their current winning streak, but they couldn’t get the ball in the end zone over the first 15 minutes in Miami.
Their only points of the quarter came on a Dan Carpenter field goal in the final minute. The score was set up by a 30-yard Brandon Tate punt return that gave the Bills the ball on Miami’s 30-yard-line.
Carpenter’s kick tied the score at 3 and the score remained tied through the remaining seconds of the opening quarter. The Dolphins got their points at the end of a 15-play, 64-yard drive that opened the game. Jay Ajayi ran well and Ryan Tannehill threw for three first downs, but things petered out after a holding penalty on center Mike Pouncey.
Bills running back LeSean McCoy came into the game with a hamstring injury, but has run the ball three times and been on the field for a few other plays early in the game. The Bills have only run nine overall, so that’s helped keep the workload down even if the Bills haven’t shown signs of limiting McCoy.
Posted by Mike Florio on October 23, 2016, 1:41 PM EDT
The injury bug primarily has hit the Vikings on the offensive side of the ball this year. It’s now possibly striking on defense.
Safety Andrew Sendejo has been carted off after suffering a lower leg injury. Officially listed as questionable, he suffered the injury after making a first quarter interception of Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz.
The game has featured five turnovers in the first quarter, with three from Wentz and two from Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford.
Posted by Mike Florio on October 23, 2016, 1:30 PM EDT
Sam Bradford’s head apparently has been Photoshopped onto Ryan Fitzpatrick’s body.
With the Vikings on the door step of the end zone following a Carson Wentz interception, the Vikings starter threw an ugly interception in the end zone, picked off by Eagles safety Rodney McLeod.
The Vikings got the ball back after a Wentz fumble, and then Bradford promptly fumbled.
The Bradford fumble apparently was returned for a touchdown by Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, but replay review showed that Jenkins was down by contact after recovering the ball.
Either way, Bradford already is having his roughest day as a Viking. Especially since on the team’s first drive of the game he underthrew receiver Charles Johnson for what would have been an easy touchdown.
If Bradford doesn’t settle down quickly, it’s going to be a long day for the Vikings.
Posted by Darin Gantt on October 23, 2016, 1:22 PM EDT
The Saints have a horrible defense, for sure.
But they at least don’t have to worry about being in deep holes early.
Drew Brees just hit Brandin Cooks for a touchdown pass, giving the Saints a 7-0 lead over the Chiefs.
It’s the fourth straight game in which the Saints have scored a touchdown on their opening drive, a franchise record.
They need that kind of performance, as they’re last in the league in scoring defense, giving up 33.6 points per game.
Posted by Josh Alper on October 23, 2016, 1:21 PM EDT
The Jets are losing, which is familiar enough this season, but the way they went down 7-0 shows a little creativity.
A snap from long snapper Tanner Purdum to punter Lachlan Edwards flew through Edwards’ hands and into the end zone where it was recovered by Ravens wide receiver Chris Moore for a touchdown. It’s windy at the Meadowlands, but the snap didn’t appear to be affected by it enough that Edwards should have missed the ball completely.
The punt came at the end of Geno Smith’s first drive in his return to the starting job. He was 1-of-3 for eight yards, although a third down pass to Charone Peake should have been caught for a first down that would have kept the drive alive.
It didn’t, however, and the Jets were trailing just a few moments later.
Posted by Zac Jackson on October 23, 2016, 1:19 PM EDT
There’s nothing like an old-fashioned offensive tackle touchdown.
The Titans went up 6-0 on the Colts after a 10-yard touchdown pass from Marcus Mariota to Taylor Lewan on a designed throwback screen to the tackle.
The Titans drove 78 yards in 10 plays. A dropped snap on the PAT kick never gave it a chance.
The Colts came right back with an impressive drive of their own and took the lead after Andrew Luck threw a touchdown pass to Frank Gore. The Colts drove 72 yards in 10 plays.
Mariota was 5-of-5 for 47 yards on the opening drive. Luck was 4-of-6 for 52 yards.
Posted by Zac Jackson on October 23, 2016, 1:11 PM EDT
The Bengals got the ball first Sunday. The Browns provided little opposition on the first drive.
A 5-yard touchdown run by Giovani Bernard opened the scoring. The Bengals went 75 yards in seven plays.
Jeremy Hill had a 40-yard run on the drive. A.J. Green caught two passes for 18 yards, and given the state of the Browns’ secondary, Green might go on to have a really big day.