Can the Ravens repeat? Yes. Will they? It doesn’t seem probable. The PFT guys also give a 2013 outlook of the 49ers, and it may not look as good as we once thought.
ProFootballTalk: Ravens repeat in store?
Add another team to the list of those with all of their draft picks under contract.
The Redskins tweeted a picture of third-round tight end Jordan Reed signing his contract on Friday. With the 85th overall pick under contract, all seven members of their 2013 draft class have agreed to deals with the team.
Reed caught 45 passes for 559 yards and three touchdowns at Florida in 2012 and profiles as a pass-catching specialist at the professional level. Greg Cosell of NFL Films was a big fan of Reed’s heading into the draft, comparing him to former Gator and current Patriot tight end Aaron Hernandez when it comes to his ability to make an impact in the passing game.
For now, the Redskins will likely settle for Reed serving as a complement to Fred Davis. Davis is in the final year of his contract, so the best-case scenario would have Reed stepping up to be part of the plan to replace him if Davis winds up leaving after the 2013 season.
Former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis has already lined up a TV gig to keep him busy in retirement, but that’s not the only thing that the two-time Super Bowl champ will be doing now that he’s hung up his cleats.
Lewis will climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania next month as part of an effort to raise money and awareness for clean water projects in East Africa. Lewis opened up a website to help spread the word of his efforts and solicit donations with contributions on either front giving the donor a chance to win an autographed helmet.
“In one month, I will climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania to raise money and awareness for clean water projects in East Africa. I am so FIRED UP for this adventure, but until then, I need your help to bring clean water wells to thousands of children and families. Show your support by following my TackleKili journey, spreading the word, and donating to TackleKili,” Lewis wrote.
Many people have reached the summit of Kilimanjaro, which rises 19,341 feet above sea level. Lewis will likely be the first to attempt the squirrel dance upon completion of the trek, assuming he’s got enough oxygen in his lungs to generate the necessary gyrations to pull it off.
Prosecutors still may win the war, but today they lost the battle.
Evidence introduced at the hearing included testimony that Brent has failed on 22 occasions to log data to his SCRAM device, which monitors alcohol levels. However, there was no evidence that Brent used alcohol or that he tampered with the device.
Brent faces a September trial for intoxication manslaughter charges. He allegedly was under the influence of alcohol during a crash that claimed the life of Cowboys linebacker Jerry Brown.
Brent is not expected to play for the Cowboys in 2013, but he reportedly has been present at the team’s facility during the offseason. The NFL undoubtedly will suspend Brent, at least for a year, if he pleads guilty to or is convicted of manslaughter.
The move fits with the Falcons’ overall strategy this offseason as they have signed players like running back Steven Jackson and defensive end to go with the returning Tony Gonzalez in a bid to advance beyond the NFC Championship Game next season. Seymour’s another veteran piece to throw into the mix in an all-out push for the Super Bowl.
It doesn’t sound like there’s any reason to rush out and get a Seymour jersey in Falcons colors before Memorial Day weekend is out, however. Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network confirms that the Falcons have expressed interest in Seymour and notes that they are the closest team to where he lives, but reports that there is “nothing serious” as far as Seymour actually signing up with the team is concerned.
There was a report in early May that Seymour “definitely” wants to play in the 2013 season, but the word since his release by the Raiders has been that he’s looking for a sizable salary in order to join another team. The Falcons may not have the ability to offer Seymour such a deal, but the lack of other suitors at his price may mean that Seymour will need to compromise if he really wants to continue his career.
Continuity is the key to a good offensive line, and the 49ers should now have it.
But it’s costing Jonathan Goodwin a little money to make sure they stay together.
According to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com, the veteran center has taken a pay cut of $1.2 million.
That gives the team enough cap space to sign their remaining draft picks, and also strengthens the chances he hangs around. His base salary was reduced from $3.7 million to $2.5 million, though $1 million of that amount is now guaranteed.
Goodwin had started every game for the 49ers since signing in 2011, but might have been vulnerable if he hadn’t taken a pay cut. He’s the third vet to take the haircut to increase their chances to stay, following Parys Haralson and Mario Manningham.
The Bengals are on a roll, and they’re almost finished with rookies.
According to Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Bengals signed third-round pick Shawn Williams Friday, the ninth of their 10 picks to sign. That leaves only first-rounder Tyler Eifert without a deal, after three straight days of signing one for the team.
Williams might have the best chance to start of any of the Bengals rookies, as there’s a safety job open opposite Reggie Nelson.
Running back Mike Goodson has not practiced with the Jets since his arrest on five gun and drug charges earlier this month, but that could change next week.
Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com reports that Goodson expects to return to practice with the Jets on Tuesday. Goodson was at the team’s facility this week, but did not take part in the round of organized team activities after discussions with the team.
Mike Garafolo of USA Today reports that the Jets are not confirming anything about Goodson’s status, although the voluntary nature of the workouts means that the decision to show up or not lies with Goodson. Unless the team cuts him, of course, but there’s been no sign that the Jets are prepared to take that step with a player they signed to a three-year deal earlier in the offseason. For now, they’ve said that they are gathering information and have offered no other public comment on Goodson’s status.
Goodson pleaded not guilty to all charges this week and faces another court hearing that falls in the middle of the Jets’ mandatory minicamp in June.
No matter how many young and fast quarterbacks enter the NFL, Michael Vick isn’t prepared to say any are faster than him.
Vick said on the Dan Patrick Show that he still believes that when it comes to running full-speed in the open field, he’s faster than San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick, Washington’s Robert Griffin III or any other NFL quarterback.
“These guys are young and they’re fast and they’re quick, the thing I do have is a very quick get-up,” Vick said. “I really don’t feel like there’s a quarterback in the league who can beat me in a 40-yard dash. If somebody wants to set something up, I’ll be more than glad to accept the challenge. But as of right now I’m going to say me. But Colin Kaepernick is fast and RG3 is fast as well.”
Although Vick is coming off a disappointing season and will turn 33 next month, he may be right: Vick still averaged 5.4 yards a carry for the Eagles in 2012, and he can still beat Eagles running back LeSean McCoy in a footrace. Vick has every reason to be confident in his speed.
I didn’t plan it this way, but what the hell.
On the same day that I’ve come to Cleveland for a cameo in the Kevin Costner film Draft Day, we’re concluding the Mt. Rushmore nomination process with the Cleveland Browns.
In the comments, nominate your favorite Browns players, coaches, owners, etc. Chances are that most of the nominees will come from the pre-1996 era, before a certain former owner who has little chance of making it to the Browns’ Mt. Rushmore moved the team to Baltimore. Since the team returned in 1999, there has been only one playoff appearance, and few players or other figures to overcome the likes of Jim Brown, Paul Brown, Otto Graham, and Lou Groza.
But we’ll consider any nominations as we put the list of 12 finalists together. Drop the preferred names below.
The NFL releases a list of transactions from around the league toward the end of every day that has transactions to report.
The biggest pieces of news on that list have normally been reported on as they happen, but sometimes something pops up on the release that hasn’t been discussed previously. Such was the case on Thursday when the league revealed that Saints safety Roman Harper has signed a renegotiated contract.
Larry Holder of the New Orleans Times-Picayune has gotten no word on the details of the restructured deal, but Harper’s long been seen as a candidate for such maneuvering. Harper was set to make $5.2 million in 2013 with half of the money already guaranteed. It wouldn’t be surprising if the rest of that salary has been affected by the renegotiation.
Harper also had another year on his deal with a $6 million base salary and a cap number of $7.9 million. Those numbers are very high for a team that just drafted Kenny Vaccaro in the first round and also has Malcolm Jenkins at safety. However the restructured contract winds up looking, there’s a good chance this is Harper’s last year in New Orleans.
Washington linebacker London Fletcher turned 38 on Friday, but he says he hasn’t given serious thought to retiring.
Instead, Fletcher told the Washington Post that he is looking forward to a good season on a good team as he heads into his 16th NFL season.
“It’s just the desire to continue to play,” Fletcher said. “I’m still playing at a high level, the team still wanted me to play. So, a lot of those things come into play. I still love the game of football, so those were the decisions. Also, I like where this team is at, the makeup of it. Those were all factors.”
Fletcher’s coach, Mike Shanahan, said early in the offseason that when players Fletcher’s age start thinking about retirement, that probably means it’s time to retire. It’s good news for Washington that Fletcher isn’t thinking about it. He’s still playing well, past the age when most linebackers hang it up.
When discussing proposed changes to the NFL calendar that would push the draft back to May, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said he believed that such changes would be good for fans and good for the game.
General Manager David Caldwell doesn’t think that it would be good for the Jaguars, however. Don Banks of SI.com reported earlier this week that there was some grumbling from personnel men about the shift in the schedule and Caldwell gave voice to a few of them when asked about the proposal to delay the draft until the middle of May.
“You prefer to have them in our camp and us training them,” Caldwell said, via Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union. “We get them in the first weekend after the draft and then send them home with two weeks of our workouts so when they do come back for OTAs, they’re accustomed to what we do. You want your rookies in here as soon as you can and we’re a team that will always want production from our rookies.”
Caldwell’s surely not the only team exec to feel that way and you could probably find more than a few who would want the draft even earlier so they have more time to work with rookies before the start of their first professional seasons. Those complaints probably won’t wind up meaning much since owners appear to have their hearts set on moving the draft to May and the opinions of the guys who write the checks tend to outweigh the opinions of the guys cashing them.
Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden grew up in Oklahoma, went to college in Oklahoma and he’ll be returning to the state this week to do anything he can to help the community of Moore dig out from under the damage caused by a tornado earlier this week.
“I’ll do anything, whether it’s getting in the rubble and doing whatever, it doesn’t matter,” Weeden said, via the Associated Press. “I’ll be there to help.”
Weeden has been communicating with Oklahoma Lt. Governor Todd Lamb and will spend Memorial Day weekend in Moore, where his wife Melanie grew up. Melanie’s mother and brother still live there and suffered damage to their houses, but they escaped without any physical injury.
Browns wide receiver Josh Cooper is also an Oklahoma native and his father works in Moore. His father is fine and Cooper, who also plans to pay a visit to his home state in the near future, says that the whole community will recover in the long run.
“Everybody is kind of helping everybody,” Cooper said. “We’ll be fine. We get through things like this all the time. Oklahoma strong, you know?”
We’ll be rooting for just that.
Allen told Dan Wiederer of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that he has “absolutely no idea” where he will wind up playing in 2014 after his contract, which will pay him more than $14 million in 2013, with the Vikings expires. He’s seen veteran teammates like Matt Birk and Antoine Winfield wind up heading elsewhere and knows that this might be it for him in Minnesota, something that he admits would not be the case in his best-case scenario.
“Best-case scenario would have been that we would have never gotten to this point. Best-case scenario would have been the organization would have gotten something done a few years back,” Allen said. “Well ya know what? That’s not the case. And I understand it. … I’m just happy I’m in a spot where both sides are honoring the contract.”
As Wiederer points out, the Vikings and Allen could split up no matter how this year plays out. If Allen plays well, he’ll likely be too expensive for the Vikings to keep. If he doesn’t, they might feel like it is time to move on to a younger and cheaper player at defensive end. Allen isn’t overly concerned about either scenario.
“I kind of feel like I hold all the cards in that aspect,” Allen said. “And if it doesn’t work out with the Vikings, I’m not too worried that I won’t be able to find a job, ya know?”
The lack of dialogue on an extension, which would make Allen’s cap hit significantly lower, suggests that the Vikings are just as willing to let the chips fall where they may after the 2013 season. And that makes it a lot likelier that this is Allen’s final year in purple.
The ligaments in his right knee will heal.
But apparently, the relationship between Robert Griffin III and his coaches was never a problem.
Griffin talked to reporters at Redskins OTAs yesterday, updating his physical condition.
But after the early part of his rehab was dominated by questions about whether he should have been in position to be injured in the playoffs, Griffin said Thursday that part was fine.
“There was an unfortunate situation there at the end of the season,” Griffin said, via Mark Maske of the Washington Post. “I don’t think there’s anything that needs to be repaired [in his relationship with the coaches and the team]. . . . The only thing that needed repair from last year was my knee.”
Griffin taking the high road will help keep the issue at bay, but there clearly were some questions about the way he was used last year. He said he “didn’t have a problem” with the way he was used, but others have voiced their concern on his behalf.
RG3 said he and coach Mike Shanahan had “hashed everything out,” making it appear there were some concerns at some point.
“Coach and them, they know exactly what they’re doing,” he said. “We’ve had talks about the offense.”
Of course, if there were never any issues, there wouldn’t have necessarily been a reason to talk about it.