Skip to content

David Akers: I was three inches from a perfect day

NFC Championship - San Francisco 49ers v Atlanta Falcons Getty Images

San Francisco kicker David Akers led the league in missed field goals in the regular season and missed his only field goal attempt in the NFC Championship Game. But Akers says his confidence remains high heading into the Super Bowl.

Three inches to the right and I would have had a perfect game today,” Akers said after the 49ers beat the Falcons, via the San Francisco Chronicle. “All touchbacks, real deep balls so they couldn’t get returns. I felt really good going out and kicking the ball. I thought it would come in a little bit more. Again, it’s just one of those things I just keep scratching my head.”

In a sense, Akers is right: His missed 38-yard field goal bounced off the left upright, and other than that, he was perfect: You can’t do better than five touchbacks on five kickoffs, and he made his four extra points. But, really, so what? You don’t get points for being close.

And Akers has missed so many field goals that he faced questions after the game about whether he would even be the 49ers’ kicker in the Super Bowl.

“I’m here until they tell me otherwise,” Akers answered.

After a brief flirtation with Billy Cundiff, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh has said he’s sticking with Akers. But he probably won’t feel confident if the Super Bowl comes down to one last-second field goal.

Permalink 15 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Home, Rumor Mill, San Francisco 49ers

PFT, NBC extend deal into 2023


July 1 will mark the seventh anniversary of the PFT-NBC partnership, which launched on that day back in 2009. So why not sign up for another seven years?

PFT can confirm with a high degree of confidence (in lieu of saying “that’s news to me“) the report from Eric Fisher of SportsBusiness Journal that a long-term extension has been executed between NBC and PFT. Strengthening our confidence in this report is the fact that NBC separately has announced the deal.

According to a source with knowledge of the agreement (i.e., me), the digital deal runs through the 2022 NFL season and into 2023. The new agreement relates only to the digital relationship between NBC and PFT, pursuant to which PFT licenses all content directly and exclusively to NBC.

NBC has been a great partner, fueled by strong relationships with multiple NBC Sports employees in digital, TV, and radio. Hopefully, the first seven years and second seven years will be followed by another seven years and more, with PFT and NBC doing business until I croak with my crocs on, and beyond.

Permalink 0 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Broncos wideout Cody Latimer calls cops on girlfriend, bails her out

Cody Latimer AP

Broncos wide receiver Cody Latimer called the cops on his girlfriend, and ended up in trouble himself.

According to Mike Klis and Jeremy Jojola of KUSA, Latimer was arrested for failing to appear in court to pay an old traffic ticket, leading to him paying $311.50 to settle that charge.

But that was the ordinary part of the day. According to the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office, Latimer called the cops at 2:40 a.m. Monday , saying his girlfriend “put her hands on him.”

His girlfriend, 25-year-old Jaimee Rando, was arrested for assault and disturbing the peace. But Latimer posted her bail on Tuesday afternoon.

He wasn’t at Broncos practice Tuesday, with coach Gary Kubiak saying it was for personal reasons. Latimer has been a disappointment on the field, as the former second-rounder has just eight catches in two seasons.

Permalink 7 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Falcons trying Tevin Coleman as a kick returner

Tevin Coleman AP

The Falcons are giving running back Tevin Coleman a look as a kickoff return man during their organized team activity (OTA) practices.

With Devin Hester at 33 and recovering from offseason surgeries, giving Coleman at least a look in the return game is a spring experiment that could end up being a long-term fit.

“With that speed and making one cut is very similar to playing running back,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn told reporters about Coleman. “If he can add another value to the team, that’s certainly something that we’ll look at.”

A third-round pick in 2015, Coleman played in 12 games as a rookie and posted two big games but took a back seat to Devonta Freeman’s career year. Coleman carried 87 times for 392 yards and a touchdown.

Coleman returned 30 kickoffs during his college career at Indiana and took one back for a touchdown.

Permalink 3 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Lions add rookie TE after placing Wright on IR

Green Bay Packers v Detroit Lions Getty Images

The Lions addressed a shortage at tight end by signing Ben McCord on Tuesday, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reported.

McCord went undrafted last month. He was a four-year contributor at Central Michigan who caught five touchdown passes as a senior.

The Lions lost Tim Wright to a torn ACL last week. Wright was waived-injured by the Lions, and after clearing waivers he was placed on the season-ending injured reserve list Tuesday.

With Eric Ebron sitting out due to an undisclosed injury last week, the Lions were shorthanded for practice after Wright’s injury. McCord will get a chance to make an impression, and the team will likely keep an eye on the waiver wire through the summer as it looks to improve depth at the position.

The Lions waived tight end Casey Pierce earlier this month after he spent last season on the team’s practice squad. Veteran Matthew Mulligan signed with the Lions in April.

McCord joins Adam Fuehne and Cole Wick as rookie tight ends trying to stick with the Lions.

Permalink 9 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Kaepernick has perfect spring attendance, in line to collect bonus

Colin Kaepernick AP

Despite not being cleared for football activities, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has “taken an active role” in the team’s offseason workout program, Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area reported Tuesday.

Kaepernick has financial interest in doing so. Maiocco reported that Kaepernick is in line to collect a $400,000 bonus for participating in at least 90 percent of the team’s offseason program, which concludes next week with a mandatory minicamp.

The report said Kaepernick has attended every session of the program since it opened on April 4. He had surgery on his left (non-throwing) shoulder in November, then had surgeries on his left thumb and right knee after the season, so his participation has been limited.

The team expects Kaepernick to be cleared for full participation in time for training camp. The report said Kaepernick has done footwork drills and taken mental reps during the team’s OTA practice sessions.

New 49ers coach Chip Kelly has said he’s in “no hurry” to pick either Kaepernick or Blaine Gabbert as his starting quarterback. The 49ers allowed Kapernick to talk with Broncos top executive John Elway earlier in the offseason about a potential trade, but the sides did not agree on a deal.

Permalink 14 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Broncos QBs sharing first-team reps

STANFORD, CA - FEBRUARY 04:  Head coach Gary Kubiak of the Denver Broncos  stands on the field during practice at Stanford Stadium on February 4, 2016 in Stanford, California. The Broncos will play the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 on February 7, 2016.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Broncos are in their second week of on-field practice work, and the starting quarterback’s job remains open.

It’s so open that Broncos coach Gary Kubiak told reporters Tuesday that he’s splitting reps evenly among Mark Sanchez, Trevor Siemian and rookie first-rounder Paxton Lynch. As for any kind of depth chart/pecking order, Kubiak said that will come later.

Per Mike Klis of 9News in Denver, Sanchez started with the first team in Tuesday’s practice but later took reps with the third unit. Siemian and Lynch also got first-team reps.

Sharing the reps is an interesting approach, but Kubiak clearly believes it’s the right one. Sanchez is the only competitor with real NFL experience, and though his draft position says Lynch’s time will come sooner than later, the Broncos are trying to repeat as Super Bowl champs and won’t rush him. Through the early practices, Siemian has played well enough to create some buzz.

It’s only May, but this figures to remain one of the most interesting — and apparently open — position battles in the NFL through the summer until a starter emerges, or until Kubiak has to pick one.

Permalink 10 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Cowboys sign fourth-rounders, including Dak Prescott

STARKVILLE, MS - NOVEMBER 14:  Dak Prescott #15 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs looks to pass against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Davis Wade Stadium on November 14, 2015 in Starkville, Mississippi.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Cowboys haven’t drafted many quarterbacks lately, and the one they took this year now has a contract.

Per the league’s official transaction wire, the Cowboys have signed fourth-round defensive end Charles Tapper and quarterback Dak Prescott.

Prescott, the 135th overall pick, was the first quarterback they’ve taken since using another fourth-rounder on Stephen McGee in 2009.

He was the consolation prize when they were unable to move back into the late first round to take Paxton Lynch, and an interesting prospect in his own right. He ought to have time to develop, as starter Tony Romo said he wants to play another four or five years.

As with other teams, they’re now down to just one unsigned pick, third-round defensive tackle Maliek Collins.

Permalink 6 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

J.J. Watt thinks he’ll be practicing soon

J.J. Watt AP

Texans defensive end J.J. Watt isn’t practicing with the team right now as he continues to recover from offseason groin surgery required to repair core muscle injuries he suffered during the course of the 2015 season.

The Texans obviously want to be sure Watt is 100 percent for the start of this season, so he’s been working out on the side while his teammates go through practices during OTAs. Watt said Tuesday that he expects his participation level will rise in the near future.

“I feel really good,” Watt said, via the Houston Chronicle. “As soon as I’m allowed, I’ll be out there. You guys know me well enough now to know that it’s not up to me. I think it will be soon.”

The Texans have two more OTAs this week, four over the next two weeks and then a three-day mandatory minicamp that ends on June 16. Watt should be doing more by the time that schedule wraps up, but may not be full go until training camp. That should work out just fine for the Texans defense as long as it ensures a healthy Watt come September.

Permalink 3 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Report: Toxicology shows Will Smith was legally drunk

570a1c8ce3c36_willsmith Getty Images

Saints defensive end Will Smith, who was shot and killed in what has been described as a road rage incident, was legally drunk at the time, according to a new report.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that toxicology tests put Smith’s blood alcohol content at 0.24, or three times the legal limit of 0.08. An attorney for Smith’s family had previously claimed that Smith was not inebriated to the point where he couldn’t drive.

Cardell Hayes has been charged with murdering Smith and attempting to murder his wife Raquel, who was also shot in the incident. Hayes’ lawyer is claiming the shooting was self defense.

Surveillance cameras and witness statements indicate that that Smith’s SUV bumped Hayes’ Hummer and drove off before Hayes caught up to Smith, rammed into the SUV, and shot him in an ensuing argument.

Permalink 27 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Tim Wright goes on IR, after tearing his ACL

Calvin Johnson, Timothy Wright AP

It was at least a little curious last week when the Lions put tight end Tim Wright on waivers, but now we know why.

The team announced this afternoon that Wright reverted to injured reserve after clearing waivers, and that he had torn his ACL.

The Lions acquired Wright in a trade with the Buccaneers (after they had previously traded him to the Patriots and later brought him back).

He played in nine games last year, catching nine passes for 77 yards and two touchdowns. The Rutgers product has 13 touchdowns over his three NFL seasons.

Permalink 0 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Carson Wentz says the Eagles have “an awesome quarterback room”

Quarterback Carson Wentz throws a pass during the Philadelphia Eagles' rookie minicamp at the team's NFL football training facility, Friday, May 13, 2016, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) AP

On the outside, it appears that the Eagles’ quarterback situation is something of a mess, with the declared starter Sam Bradford not hiding his disappointment that the team traded up to draft Carson Wentz. But from Wentz’s perspective, everything is great.

Wentz said that he, Bradford and Chase Daniel have quickly developed a good rapport and are getting along well, with the two veterans helping the rookie learn to be a professional.

“So far it’s been great,” Wentz said. “Working with Sam, working with Chase, we’ve got an awesome quarterback room. A lot of really good discussions about the playbook, about life, it’s been great. And then on the practice field, they’ve been great for me. We have a really good relationship, so nothing but great things to say about those guys.”

Wentz is putting a happy face on what could be perceived as an uncomfortable situation. We’ll see in three months how happy everyone is when one quarterback is named the starter and the other two have to bide their time on the bench.

Permalink 13 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Report: Malcolm Butler will be at OTAs this week

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 20:  Malcolm Butler #21 of the New England Patriots intercepts a pass intended for  Harry Douglas #83 of the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium on December 20, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Patriots opened up the OTA portion of their offseason schedule last week without cornerback Malcolm Butler and his absence was accompanied by a report that Butler wants a new contract as he heads into his third year with the team.

Butler’s not required to be at any team practices until next month’s mandatory minicamp, but it doesn’t look like he will be missing in action for much longer. The Patriots will hold two more OTAs on Wednesday and Thursday this week and Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald reports that Butler will be in attendance.

Howe adds that the “strong indication” is that Butler’s absence last week was not part of a push for a new contract and that Butler wants to avoid “unnecessary attention” this offseason after missing a flight on his way to practices last year.

Butler is set to make $600,000 in 2016, which is certainly a bargain price for a player in his role for the Patriots but it isn’t one that there’s much pressure for the Patriots to adjust. Butler is set for restricted free agency after the season and extending a first-round tender would likely be enough to ensure that he doesn’t leave town until 2018 at the earliest.

With linebackers Jamie Collins and Dont’a Hightower progressing toward unrestricted free agency, Butler may be third in line among New England defenders for extension talks in the immediate future.

Permalink 47 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Broncos could keep Ware on sideline until training camp

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 27: outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware #94 of the Denver Broncos celebrates after sacking the quarterback while playing the Detroit Lions in the first quarter on September 27, 2015 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) Getty Images

A week after saying that outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware would likely be limited through OTA practices and minicamp due to back issues, Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said Tuesday that Ware might not do any on-field work until the Broncos open training camp in late July.

Given that Ware is going to be 34 this summer and is very much a proven player, that’s probably a smart move. It’s notable because those back issues sidelined Ware at two different times last season and because the Broncos are counting on him to be a productive pass rusher.

A week ago, Kubiak said Ware sitting out the start of OTAs was “more preventative than anything” and said “we’ll probably make decisions on DeMarcus day to day based on how he is feeling.”

Ware had 7.5 sacks last season, 4.5 in the first four games before the back flared up, though he recovered well enough to play in the postseason and had two sacks in the Super Bowl. He took a pay cut in the offseason to stay with the Broncos.

A first-round pick of the Cowboys in 2005, Ware came to the Broncos in 2014. He’s only missed eight games in his career, all in the last three seasons, and has 134.5 career sacks.

Permalink 14 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Branden Albert not worried about Laremy Tunsil being left tackle of the future

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 29:  Branden Albert #76 of the Miami Dolphins in action against the New York Jets during their game at MetLife Stadium on November 29, 2015 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) Getty Images

Laremy Tunsil wasn’t expected to be on the board when the Dolphins were picking 13th in the first round of last month’s draft, but Tunsil tumbled after a video showing him smoking pot surfaced and Miami was there to stop his fall.

Tunsil played left tackle at Ole Miss and is expected to play that position in the NFL as well, although it looks like his first stop on the Dolphins offensive line will be at guard because Branden Albert and Ja’Wuan James are installed at left and right tackle. Albert said Tuesday that he isn’t threatened by Tunsil’s addition and that he’s spending time making sure the rookie is ready to play as soon as possible because it’s the best thing for the team.

“I’m the left tackle of this team. I wasn’t worried about anything,” Albert said, via “I’m trying to bring [Tunsil] along the best I can. The faster he moves along, the faster that his progress comes, the faster we get the five best offensive linemen on the field. … and that’s going to help the team.”

Albert said he’s down to 313 pounds, which is as light as he’s been since leaving the Chiefs for the Dolphins, and that losing weight has made for less impact on his knees a year after returning from a torn ACL and MCL. A healthy Albert would be a good thing for the Dolphins line in 2016 and beyond, even if it means Tunsil continues his NFL education at other positions.

Permalink 12 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Kelvin Benjamin trying “not to baby” knee in return to field

SEATTLE, WA - JANUARY 10:  Kelvin Benjamin #13 of the Carolina Panthers reacts after scoring a 15 yard touchdown thrown by Cam Newton #1 in the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks during the 2015 NFC Divisional Playoff game at CenturyLink Field on January 10, 2015 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Panthers had wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin on the practice field for the first time in almost a year last week when he joined the team at Thursday’s OTA session.

Benjamin was back at it on Tuesday and said after the workout that it feels good to be on the field after such an extended layoff. Benjamin isn’t a full participant at this point, but told reporters that he isn’t holding anything back during the drills that he is able to do.

“Not at all. I try not to baby it,” Benjamin said. “I try to go hard. Whatever the route is, I try to trust in the process that we have been doing, the rehabbing. So I just go ahead and make that plant.”

Benjamin said that a knee brace was recommended, but that he’s going without one because it “would be a mind thing” that could get in the way of returning to full speed. After seeing Benjamin catch 73 passes for 1,008 yards and nine touchdowns as a rookie in 2014, no one in Carolina’s going to want to get in the way of that either.

Permalink 13 Comments Feed for comments Back to top