How can the Chargers build on their solid foundation? Mike Florio says they need to upgrade around Phillip Rivers with skill position players, and Florio also picks through the crop of free agents worthy of another deal with San Diego.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
ProFootballTalk: Chargers must build around Rivers?
The Rams will reportedly add a fifth year to defensive end Robert Quinn’s contract.
According to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the club will pick up the 2015 option on Quinn, their 2011 first-round pick and one of the NFL’s top pass rushers, by the May 3 deadline.
Quinn, 23, notched 19 sacks in 2013 and garnered Defensive Player of the Year honors from the Professional Football Writers of America.
When the Rams pick up the 2015 option, Quinn will be due a base salary of $6.969 million, according to Albert Breer of NFL Media, who reported the 2015 salary numbers for first-rounders selected with picks Nos. 11-32 on Friday.
Quinn was picked one spot before the Dolphins took center Mike Pouncey 15th overall in 2011. Were the Dolphins to pick up Pouncey’s option, the Pro Bowl center would make $7.438 million in 2015, according to the figures reported by Breer.
Today’s Pro Football Talk on NBCSN includes a visit from former Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr. The younger brother of 2002 first overall pick David Carr, some think Derek could be a first-rounder, too.
Derek believes it could happen, based on everything he has been hearing.
“I would say there’s a very good chance,” Carr said in an interview to be played on Friday’s broadcast. “Just from what coaches have told me, something I’ve heard from General Managers. I’d say that the chances of it happening are very good.”
The chances of the full interview being shown during Friday’s show are very good, too. The chances of Ravens defensive lineman Chris Canty joining the program as a guest analysis are even better.
The chances of you answering the poll question posted below will be 100 percent, at the moment you answer it.
The chances of you tuning in at 5:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN are hopefully closer to 100 percent than zero. The chances of me holding my breath or any other bodily function for it are precisely zero.
The Dolphins spent a lot of money on free agent linebackers last year, and they appear to be set to shuffle some of those guys around.
Ellerbe would then move to the weakside, and Phillip Wheeler would play the strongside spot.
Misi signed an extension last fall, after former General Manager Jeff Ireland spent on Ellerbe and Wheeler last offseason.
Such a move would be a huge admission that last year’s moves were a mistake, but since Ireland was fired, they’re the kind that are easier to admit.
Running backs might not be a first round staple anymore, but teams are still going to be selecting the top collegiate runners from 2013 at some point over the three day draft process.
One that should be off the board near the top of the list is Boston College’s Andre Williams. Williams was a Heisman finalist last year after running for 2,177 yards and scoring 18 touchdowns and has drawn good reviews as a pass blocker, but he will need to show he can catch the ball after going the entire 2013 season without catching a pass for B.C.
Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun reports that four AFC squads are showing particular interest in Williams making that growth as a member of their roster. Wilson names the Patriots, Browns, Steelers and Jets as showing the most interest, although it’s hard to see the Jets spending an early pick on a back after signing Chris Johnson this week.
The same could be said of the Steelers, who signed LeGarrette Blount to create an opening for a back with the Patriots. The Browns signed Ben Tate, but could use Williams or another young runner as a complement to their free agent acquisition.
Dolphins receiver Brandon Gibson had his season ended by a torn patellar tendon last year, the kind of knee injury that often prevents a receiver from being ready to return for the start of the following season. But Gibson has no doubts that he’ll be ready to go when the season starts.
Gibson told ESPN he’ll “definitely” be ready for Week One, and he’s already jogging six months after the injury.
“The important thing is to not overstress your patellar tendon; It’s involved in everything you do, really,” Gibson said. “It connects a lot, your knee and your quad. So I basically was on bed rest for a while, a couple months. The only thing I was doing was just rehabbing and little bit of upper-body work. You don’t want to cause too much heavy stress on your knee, but I’m slowly getting into things.”
There’s been some talk that Gibson might not be with the Dolphins when the season starts, but a report from the Miami Herald Gibson will stay in Miami, not least because he would still cost the Dolphins $2 million against the salary cap even if he’s not on the roster. Gibson was off to a good start last season, with 30 catches for 326 yards and three touchdowns in seven games, and from all indications he’ll be a contributor to the receiving corps in Miami this year.
The Harbaugh brothers are scheduled to face one another in a rematch of Super Bowl XLVII in the exhibition season this summer and it sounds like they’ve figured out a way to spend some time together ahead of the contest without infringing on practice time.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reports that the Ravens and 49ers are planning to join up for practice and a scrimmage ahead of their August 7 preseason opener. Those practices would give both teams a chance to see their players against outside competition in a controlled setting, something that several teams do to change up their practice schedule in the summer.
It would also make for a more productive trip across the country for the 49ers, who would get to give frontline players a bit more time in a scrimmage than they would normally get if they were just playing a handful of snaps in the first preseason game.
And then there’s the chance to ask “Who’s got it better than us?” to sweeten the deal all the more.
Just before defensive tackle Henry Melton signed with the Cowboys, he was sued by a Texas bar owner for more than $1 million for allegedly biting the man in the back during an incident December of last year.
Melton, who countersued with a claim that he was attacked by employees of the bar, called it a “money grab” after signing with Dallas and it may have been a successful one. Jeff Mosier of the Dallas Morning News reports that a court filing on Thursday said both parties agreed to dismiss all filings against each other. No details of the settlement have been announced.
None are likely to be announced, so we’ll just go ahead and assume that someone’s serving as a butler.
According to Mosier, the settlement does not apply to anyone named in Melton’s counterclaim other than the owner of the bar. There are four others and a company named in addition to the bar owner in Melton’s claim and Melton still has a hearing this month related to criminal charges stemming from the incident.
In 2011, although South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney immediately made his presence known in college football, the reporters who covered the SEC voted Georgia running back Isaiah Crowell as the conference’s freshman of the year.
Three years later, while Clowney (who was voted freshman of the year by the SEC’s coaches) is a candidate to be the first overall pick in the draft, Crowell is just hoping some NFL team will give him a chance. Crowell was kicked off the Georgia team after he was arrested in the summer after his freshman year, and he spent the last two seasons playing at Alabama State.
Now Crowell tells the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that when he talks to NFL teams, conversations always circle back to his off-field issues, even though charges were eventually dropped in connection with the weapons charges that led to his dismissal at Georgia.
Crowell is talented enough that there would be no doubts about his ability to make it in the NFL if he didn’t have any off-field issues. But because he does have off-field issues, it’s unclear where — or whether — he’ll be drafted. Crowell ran for 1,121 yards and 15 touchdowns last year at Alabama State, and that performance may have been enough to convince some team that he’s worth a draft pick. Just not as high a pick as he would have been had he stayed out of trouble and stayed at Georgia.
Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News reported that it’s “very unlikely” the option will be exercised. Earlier on Friday, Adam Schefter of ESPN explained that the 49ers are “not expected” to extend the contract from a four-year deal to a five-year deal.
Per a league source with knowledge of the team’s thinking, however, the 49ers still haven’t made a decision. And they don’t have to make a decision until May 3, the deadline for picking up the option.
The option-year salary of $9.75 million for Smith would be guaranteed for injury only until the first day of the 2015 league year. At that point, it would become fully guaranteed for 2015.
Until then, the 49ers would owe Smith the money only if he suffers an injury that would render him unable to play not only this year but next year. And if they decide to trade him at some point, the 49ers would be able to send to Smith’s new team a contract that covers more than one year.
Other than avoiding the small risk of a two-year injury, the only potential benefit of not exercising the option would be motivational. The Lions, for instance, aren’t using it for defensive tackle Nick Fairley, in order to prompt him to play hard as he chases a long-term deal. For Smith, who has 42 sacks in 43 career regular-season games, it’s not about on-field motivation; it’s about staying out of trouble. The opportunity to earn $9.75 million in 2015 should provide all the motivation he needs in that regard.
Regardless, no decision has been made. Yet. The 49ers have roughly two weeks to deliberate.
Tania Ganguli of ESPN.com reports that the Texans will host Bridgewater next week as they continue to peruse the quarterback options available to them in this year’s draft.
There was a time when Bridgewater was considered a possibility with Houston’s first overall pick, but it is harder to find people who think things will break that way. That doesn’t mean that he won’t wind up in Houston, however.
The Texans also have the first pick of the second round and they could opt to go for Jadeveon Clowney with the first pick before using that pick on a quarterback. Bridgewater could be in play for them if they stay put at the top of the round or if they decide to move back into the first round using that pick as part of a trade package.
That might not be where Bridgewater thought he’d wind up being selected when the process started, but there would be worse landing spots than Houston for a quarterback with designs on starting.
Rolando McClain’s comeback attempt didn’t get off to such a hot start, but the Ravens are apparently letting him continue to attempt it.
According to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun, the plan is for McClain to join the Ravens “as soon as Monday” for the offseason program.
He was reinstated from the reserve/retired list this week, despite reportedly faring poorly in his conditioning test.
At this point, he’s a low-risk/no-risk investment.
If he’s interested in being a football player again, Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome (a fellow Alabama man) appears inclined to give him a chance. If McClain doesn’t get in shape, the only thing they’ve wasted is time and a roster spot, of which there are 90.
Some quarterbacks decompress over the offseason by burying themselves in football (and possibly violating the CBA).
Others take a difference approach.
Colts quarterback Andrew Luck spent a few months traveling the world, getting away from football before returning to work next week.
“You do have to get away, at least in my mind you do, so I did,” Luck said, via the team’s official website. “I made sure I gave myself a solid month-and-a-half, two months to get back into football shape before starting this voluntary workout session.
“It’s something I think I did better this year than last year. Every year, hopefully [I’ll] continue to do better in balancing that time. I know getting away from football is as important almost as making sure your mind’s fresh and clear as the training aspect.”
Luck said his football itch returned in March, leading him to the feeling of, “I’ve really got to get this thing cranked up again.”
Luck made solid strides from his rookie year to his second, especially in terms of limiting turnovers (at least until the postseason). Now, he has a new weapon with which to work, after the Colts brought in Hakeem Nicks.
“I haven’t had a chance to throw with him. We’ve talked, though,” Luck said. “He’s a winner, a vet, a good football player. I’m very excited.
“Every off-season is key in building rhythm. That’s one of the bigger focuses as a quarterback. [It’s] either build on the rapport you have with guys like a T.Y. [Hilton] or Reggie [Wayne]. Also to integrate the new guys, sort of feel each other out football-wise. The work you put this off-season hopefully will pay dividends when the season comes.”
But for Luck, the work starts next week, when offseason conditioning begins.
One of the Saints’ primary deep threats is back for another season in New Orleans.
The club said Friday it had signed wideout Robert Meachem to a one-year contract. The 29-year-old Meachem caught 16 passes for 324 yards and two TDs in regular season play for New Orleans in 2013, then added three receptions for 109 yards in the playoffs.
The Saints’ first-round pick in 2007, Meachem (6-2, 215) has caught 171 passes for 2.800 yards and 27 touchdowns in his NFL career. He has played six seasons with New Orleans, including a five-season stint (2007-2011) at the outset of his career. He signed with the Chargers before the 2012 season but struggled in his time with San Diego, catching just 14 passes for 207 yards and two TDs in his lone campaign away from New Orleans.
Forty-two of Meachem’s regular season receptions have gone for 20 yards or more. What’s more, he had three catches of 40 yards or longer in the 2013 regular season, then hauled in receptions of 40 and 52 yards in the postseason.
The Jaguars have already had Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater in for a visit.
Now, they want to see a little more.
According to Josina Anderson of ESPN, Bridgewater will have a second meeting and workout tomorrow with the Jaguars.
This comes right as reports are building that Bridgewater’s stock might not be as high as previously thought.
The Jaguars desperately need a long-term answer at quarterback. They also own the third overall pick in the draft. And the 39th.
Whether they think Bridgewater is more worthy of one than the other may dictate their interest. But after he had a lackluster pro day, he has a chance to convince them on a one-on-one basis tomorrow.
The Falcons own the sixth pick in next month’s draft and they have sent some pretty clear signals about what direction they’d like to go with their top selection.
They’ve been meeting with the top offensive tackles and defensive front seven players as they try to formulate their plan for May 8. D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal Constitution will join Mike Florio on Friday’s edition of PFT Live to discuss those options and we’ll find out what Ledbetter thinks is the team’s smartest course of action.
We’re also interested in hearing what’s on your mind as another week draws to a close. We’ll be taking questions from PFT Planet again, so send them in on Twitter — @ProFootballTalk — or by giving a call to 888-237-5269 during the show.
It all gets underway at noon ET and you can watch it all live by clicking right here.