Mike Florio talks with Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about the mess in Dallas. Cowboys nose tackle Jay Ratliff has been arrested for a DUI, Jerry Jones has taken play-calling rights from head coach Jason Garrett and offensive coordinator Bill Callahan has been accused by former Raiders players of possibly sabotaging Super Bowl XXXVII.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
PFT Live: No shortage of drama in Dallas?
With each team able to carry 90 players this time of year, the idea of not being one of the top 2,880 players in the league is tough for Michael Vick to accept.
And he admitted to his hometown newspaper that it’s hard realizing he might be out of the league.
“Sometimes, it takes certain things to wake you up and [last year] was certainly a wake-up call for me,” Vick told Ed Miller of the Virginian-Pilot.
For all the highlights and controversy he created early in his career, last year might be remembered for his admission that he wasn’t prepared to play against the Chargers, and things didn’t really get better from there.
But he’s continuing to work. A month away from his 35th birthday, he’s continuing to work, saying he’s added muscle and that his arm is stronger than ever.
“I still feel like I can help a football team win a couple of games,” he said. “I see my role as being a mentor first and foremost, a confident quarterback who can come off the bench if necessary in whatever the situation may be and win football games.
“Whether it’s two or three games a year or four or five, I feel like I can put myself in that situation where I can, . . . use the weapons around me, play some smart football.”
Whatever the role, he said he’d like to play three more years. But at this stage, he might need to worry about one more, since there doesn’t appear to be much of a market for his services.
There may be people in a hurry for Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson to get his contract finished.
According to his agent, none of those people are Russell Wilson.
Agent Mark Rodgers, appearing on the “Brock and Salk” show on 710 ESPN today, said there was no pressure to get a done quickly, and that Wilson was content playing out the year on his current deal.
“Neither side has any real deadlines,” Rodgers said. “I know the public and the fans and some of the media has put a sense of urgency on this, but there really are no deadlines.
“Russell Wilson’s under contract with the Seahawks and he absolutely, if he has to, would certainly be fine playing his fourth year under a four-year contract that he signed coming out, and then moving on from there. I don’t feel any particular crunch on time and any real particular deadlines.”
Wilson’s scheduled to make $1.5 million on the final year of his rookie deal, and Rodgers said his client had budgeted as if that’s all he was going to make in 2015. But he described talks with the Seahawks as “positive” and “robust at times.”
Rodgers insisted Wilson was not seeking to become the league’s highest-paid player.
“I think what he’s looking for is what everybody’s looking for,” Rodgers said. “And that’s a deal that feels fair, that feels reasonable and that at the end of the day makes him feel comfortable with the compensation he’s receiving for the skill and the performance that he’s delivering.”
And while that message isn’t coming from Wilson himself, it at least isn’t coming in the form of a subtweet.
But to hear it from Kelly, that talk hasn’t happened yet.
At a press conference Thursday at the Eagles’ OTAs, Kelly indicated he had twice contacted McCoy, but the tailback “didn’t accept my call,” per John Gonzalez of CSNPhilly.com.
While most relationships between coaches and former players don’t draw much public attention, this one is different.
A lot different.
In an interview with ESPN The Magazine published in May, McCoy suggested race might have had a hand in some of Kelly’s roster decisions.
“The relationship was never really great,” McCoy said of Kelly, per ESPN. “I feel like I always respected him as a coach. I think that’s the way he runs his team. He wants the full control.
“You see how fast he got rid of all the good players. Especially all the good black players. He got rid of them the fastest. That’s the truth. There’s a reason.”
On Thursday, Kelly said he disagreed with McCoy’s contentions regarding race and personnel.
“I’ve got great respect for LeSean. However, in that situation, I think he’s wrong,” Kelly said, according to CSNPhilly.com. “We put a lot of time in looking at the characters and factors that go into selection and retention of players, and color’s never been one of them.”
The question now is whether the two men will get together to try and make this right.
Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. won’t surprise anyone this year, as every opposing secondary will play the Giants knowing that stopping Beckham is the top priority.
But while Beckham is expecting to see double coverage this season, he’s not expecting that to slow down the Giants’ passing game.
“I definitely expect to receive a lot more attention,” Beckham said, via NJ.com. “But it’s just not going to work.”
“You know you have Vic and Reuben, it’s going to be hard to double or have a safety over the top with the stuff that we have going on,” Beckham said. “I don’t think it’s going to be beneficial for them.”
Beckham may be right that doubling him won’t work, but defenses will try. After Beckham tore opposing secondaries apart last season, the Giants’ opponents will do everything they can to stop the NFL’s best young receiver.
We’ve heard a variety of opinions about the NFL’s decision to change the rules for extra points since the announcement that kicks will now be snapped from the 15-yard line instead of the 2-yard line.
Some kickers have wondered about the impact on those kicking outside in cold weather and others have discussed the possibility of going for two more often, but not everyone thinks there’s much to think about. Eagles coach Chip Kelly was asked about the change on Thursday and took some issue with the very notion that anything changes.
“I don’t know what changes, to be honest with you,” Kelly said, via Albert Breer of NFL.com.
Geoff Mosher of CSN Philly adds that Kelly said that the team made 96 percent of their kicks from 15 yards or closer last season, which means that moving the kick back offers little incentive to go for two at points when they wouldn’t have gone for two last season.
The Ravens recently signed former Patriots cornerback Kyle Arrington and it appears that wasn’t the end of their plans to increase their depth in the secondary after scrambling for healthy bodies as the 2014 season drew to a close.
Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun reports that the team has agreed to a one-year contract with Cassius Vaughn.
Vaughn spent last season in Detroit, where he played in 13 games and started five times for the Lions. Vaughn had 18 tackles and two interceptions last year and has seven interceptions over the course of a five-year career that has also seen him spend time with the Broncos and Colts.
Arrington is expected to join Jimmy Smith and Lardarius Webb as the top three corners in Baltimore this season, which would leave Vaughn to compete with Rashaan Melvin and Asa Jackson for the next rungs on the depth chart.
Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata spent the last nine years as a member of the Baltimore defense and had his responsibilities in that scheme down pat before he was traded to Detroit this offseason.
Now Ngata is being asked to be more aggressive at the point of attack by penetrating through the offensive line and getting upfield, something he says he enjoys even though he’s still getting used to having that frame of mind on a consistent basis.
“It’s definitely difficult,” Ngata said, via the Detroit Free Press. “You’re going to, when you get fatigued, you get back to your old technique, your old ways of doing things. I saw it on film [Tuesday], I just kind of seen some of my technique going back to what I used to do in Baltimore. So just knowing that once I’m fatigued I’ve got to still focus, understand what my technique is, what they want me to do on the defense and try to attack all the time.”
Ngata is set to be a free agent after the season and the Lions have talked about giving him some time to get his feet wet before serious extension talks begin, something Ngata echoed when discussing his plans on that front. With Ngata still getting comfortable, it seems likely that those talks won’t get underway for a bit.
We spent time on Wednesday listening to Vikings coach Mike Zimmer talk about running back Adrian Peterson and then we heard Peterson’s response to the coach saying that Peterson could play for the Vikings or not play at all in 2015, but Thursday will bring a conversation with a player who is actually practicing with the team right now.
Linebacker Chad Greenway will join Mike Florio on PFT Live to catch us up with the latest from Vikings OTAs, including any thoughts he might have about his longtime teammate’s future with the team. We’ll also ask Greenway about his decision to take a pay cut to remain with the Vikings for 2015 and what he thinks the team is capable of doing this season.
Florio will also check in with Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News about the latest on the Jets quarterbacks and defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson’s desire for a new contract. Kevin Acee of U-T San Diego will have the latest on the Chargers on the field and in their search for a new stadium and PFT‘s own Darin Gantt will drop in to talk about the Panthers during the show.
We also want to hear what PFT Planet thinks. Email questions at any time via the O’Reilly Auto Parts Ask the Pros inbox or get in touch on Twitter at @ProFootballTalk to let us know what’s on your mind.
It all gets started at noon ET and you can listen to all three hours live via the various NBC Sports Radio affiliates, through the links at PFT, or with the NBC Sports Radio app. You can also watch a simulcast of the first hour of the show by clicking right here.
The Cowboys knew they wanted La’El Collins, and felt like they got him at a bargain rate — even if they didn’t know where to put him.
But injuries are taking care of that for the moment, as the famously undrafted rookie is working at right tackle while incumbent starter Doug Free recovers from offseason ankle surgery.
“It’s definitely a new position for me, so a new challenge,” Collins said, via Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I have to go out each and every day and focus on the small things – my technique, my assignments. It’s been a great two days for the OTAs.”
Collins played exclusively on the left side at LSU, and might eventually slot in as the Cowboys left guard. But the fact they think he can do several things only underscores the value they see in him.
“We think he has the physical ability to play a couple of different spots,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “He was a tackle for most of his career in college but did play guard. We see him as a guy who can maybe do both of those things as he goes.
“The big thing for him is to try to get him acclimated as quickly as we can. So right now he’s going to play right tackle for us. He and Darrion Weems are competing at that spot in Doug Free’s absence, and we’ll just see how that unfolds. All those guys, having some position flex and some versatility on the offensive line is really, really important. He’s someone who’s demonstrated that in college and has the physical traits to do it at this level.”
He also gives the Cowboys flexibility when it comes time to pay people, as they can leverage a guy who would have been a first-rounder before his name was linked to a double-murder investigation (in which he still isn’t considered a suspect).
It’s a long-term perk to what should be an excellent short-term move, giving the Cowboys the chance to keep an excellent line together for several years.
The Saints are coming back to West Virginia. And this year, they’ll have company.
Per multiple sources, the Patriots intend to join the Saints for three days of practices at the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia.
The practices will occur prior to the August 22 preseason game between the two teams in New Orleans. The Patriots will travel to West Virginia, the two teams will practice there, and then both teams will travel to Louisiana for the game.
The Saints held three weeks of training camp at the Greenbrier in 2014, providing them an environment with lower temperatures and humidity.
In West Virginia, the two teams will practice at a first-class facility that the Greenbrier built in a fairly short period of time. The Cardinals are considering spending the week practicing there between October games at Detroit and Pennsylvania.
Cornerback DeAngelo Hall restructured his contract this offseason to take away any guaranteed money and make his entire $4 million salary contingent on making the Redskins’ 53-man roster for the start of the regular season.
Hall made the move after tearing his Achilles tendon last season and likely would have been looking at unemployment while he was rehabbing had he not agreed to the adjustment. Now he just needs to prove to the team that the injury hasn’t taken away his ability to play at a good level.
That proof will have to wait. Hall says that he feels good eight months after the injury, but he’s not going to practice until training camp.
“They have a plan and they’re sticking with that plan,” Hall said, via John Keim of ESPN.com. “As good as I feel now, I look at it as more time to feel better. I feel I can go out there and make plays. If they want to hold me out for a while that’s fine with me. I got one shot to show what I can do, whether that’s waiting or going right now. I definitely want to be as healthy as possible. It wasn’t me coming to them and saying ‘let’s wait.’ It was them saying, ‘Let’s stick to this timetable. I know you feel good. I know you want to get out there. But let’s take our time and ease into it.’ I’ve been following that motto.”
Hall will have to show that he’s a better option than either Bashaud Breeland or David Amerson to start across from Chris Culliver in the fall, something that should be within reach if he’s healthy when he does make it back to the field.
The makeover of the Eagles front office didn’t end when Chip Kelly got Howie Roseman kicked upstairs (and out of his football building).
In fact, it was only beginning.
Kelly has made a series of moves since then to restructure and restock his football operation, with some of the moves subtle and unannounced.
According to Geoff Mosher of CSNPhilly.com, the Eagles have hired former Dolphins executive Chris Shea as their director of scouting administration/strategic management.
The move wasn’t publicized, putting it in line with other hires Kelly has made this offseason since former General Manager Roseman was given a better title but stripped of authority over the roster (though Kelly swears he has no problem with him).
But with vice president of player personnel Ed Marynowitz working underneath/alongside him, Kelly has put his own imprint on things.
Shea has Kelly’s preferred diverse background, which includes scouting, coaching, contracts and analytics. He also has a law degree and worked for the league’s management council. That kind of broad-based experience sounds a lot like what a G.M. does, and that’s probably not an accident, as every hire Kelly makes increases the distance between him and Roseman.
Several Roseman loyalists were already fired this offseason, and Shea gives Kelly another voice which sings in the same key he does, and a guy who could ostensibly handle Roseman’s duties (cap and contracts specifically).
So if Kelly’s goal is to not only marginalize Roseman’s influence but to get rid of it, this could easily be construed as a next step in that direction.
In 2012, the Lions suffered through a plague of arrests and off-field issues. With the arrival of coach Jim Caldwell in 2014, the Lions opted for a different approach.
“Jim has a great saying, a great thing that he lives by and that he espouses to the team,” CEO Tom Lewand said Wednesday at an event for the Kensington Community Church, via Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “It’s very simple. He doesn’t believe in a lot of rules, but he encapsulates it in a great way. He says, ‘Do right and fear no one.’ Do right and fear no one. You don’t have to worry about a whole lot else if you do right. You don’t have to worry about a lot of those things. And those are the kind of players that we look for.”
The Lions are now gravitating toward players who exude high character and/or who demonstrate maturity and stability. The team, as Birkett notes, has drafted five players in the last two years who were married or engaged.
“This group that we have that we drafted and signed as free agents is probably the best group of players as [far as] checking the three boxes of physical talent, emotional intelligence and maturity and work ethic that I’ve seen in maybe the 21 years I’ve been with the Lions,” Lewand said. “And we’ve got players coming in here who have a previous disposition to doing the right thing, whether that’s how they work off the field, whether that’s how they work on the field, how they prepare, their love of the game.”
In looking for players who “do right,” the Lions are tiptoeing through a potential minefield by incorporating Christianity into their business approach. Lewand mentioned that he, Caldwell, and G.M. Martin Mayhew gather for weekly Bible study, and that their shared values have “a lot” of influence over the construction of the roster.
“There’s not a test that we put guys through,” Lewand said. “Are you a Christian? What’s your religious background? Or anything like that. Far from it.”
Lewand is smart enough to know that no employer can make decisions based on religious beliefs and/or practices. But when all things are equal between two players and the Lions know one is a Christian and one isn’t, will that be a factor in the decision regarding which one has a job and which one doesn’t? If so, that could be a problem, from a legal perspective.
From the franchise’s perspective, however, that’s a much better problem to have than a locker room with more than a few guys who don’t know how to “do right.”
The Texans got back to work on Wednesday after canceling Tuesday’s practice because of the flooding in Houston, which meant that the team got its first look at the competitors for the quarterback job in team drills.
Brian Hoyer was the first of those competitors to work with the first team at Wednesday’s practice, which may not wind up meaning much in August or September but is the kind of thing that people obsess over in May as they try to get some idea about what’s going on inside the heads of the coaching staff. Hoyer lived through the same kind of spotlight in Cleveland last year and, as a result, he says he won’t be thrown by the process.
“I’ve been through it before,” Hoyer said, via the Houston Chronicle. “I’m not going to let it affect me and I’ll just be myself and really focus on the things that I can control.”
The only big difference from last year will be the addition of cameras filming the action for Hard Knocks, although that rise in attention may be mitigated by the absence of Johnny Manziel. Ryan Mallett will be Hoyer’s competition this time around and the holdover from 2014 said he felt “ready to go” after recovering from surgery to repair an injured pectoral.
But that doesn’t mean Tyrod Taylor is giving up on his chance to win the starting job.
“I know what I’m capable of,” Taylor said, via Jerry Sullivan of the Buffalo News. “It’s my job to prove it to the coaches. I think that they are aware, but as long as I continue to work and continue to impress them each and every day. . . . It’s not my job to call it. I’ll let the coaches decide.”
At a minimum, the man who arrived via free agency after four years with the Ravens could be used in a specialty package. Forcing a defense to prepare for Taylor dilutes the amount of time that can be devoted to preparing to face the base offense under Manuel or Cassel or, in theory, Jeff Tuel.
Or maybe Taylor could win the job outright. Regardless, the sooner the Bills pick a starter and give him all of the first-team reps, the better off the Bills will be. Otherwise, the guy who wins the right to start Week One also will win the privilege of being the first guy benched.