Mike Florio runs down the Bills biggest off-season needs and says it’s time to pull the plug on Ryan Fitzpatrick, but only if they can find a suitable replacement. Florio also believes it’s time the Bills get a No. 2 wideout to line up opposite Stevie Johnson, and improve on the defense– preferably by getting ‘nastier’.
PFT Live: How can Buffalo improve this off-season?
A mere five months have passed since Buffalo Bills tight end Scott Chandler suffered a torn ACL in a loss against the Miami Dolphins in December. Yet, Chandler is already back on the practice field running routes, making cuts and catching passes.
Chandler isn’t participating with the rest of the team during OTAs. He had an individual workout away from the team Thursday catching passes from undrafted rookie quarterback Jeff Tuel. But for being just over four months removed from reconstructive surgery on his knee, it was a strong showing of the progress he’s made in his rehab process.
“The knee feels really good,” Chandler said, via the team’s official website. “I feel great. Running routes you could probably tell it’s not 100 percent, but it’s better than most so I feel good.”
Chandler said he’s been running routes for the last three weeks. Despite his progress, the Bills will likely choose to be cautious and continue to hold him out of team activities through the team’s mini-camp in June. For Chandler, being ready for training camp was always the goal anyway.
“I feel it’s realistic,” Chandler said. “It’s kind of what I expected. Honestly I just wanted to be ready to go when training camp and the season came around. I’m not a guy who is going to sit there and hope that it gets better. I’m going to be proactive.”
Chandler appeared in 15 games last season for the Bills before the injury and made 13 starts. He caught 43 passes for 571 and six touchdowns.
Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Wilson played through a labrum injury at the end of last season. The injury was substantial enough to require surgery over the offseason and the it turned out to be more severe than first realized.
According to Rich Campbell of the Washington Times, the injury also required repairing of Wilson’s pectoral muscle when the extent of the damage was fully known. Despite the severity of the injury, Wilson hopes to be ready for the start of training camp in July. Per Mike Jones of the Washington Post, Wilson’s surgery occurred two months ago.
Wilson has played for the Redskins the last two seasons and started all 32 games over that span. He’s recorded 136 tackles with four interceptions, four forced fumbles and a sack.
The Seattle Seahawks have signed another player who tried out with the team during their rookie mini-camp two weeks ago.
The team announced they have signed wide receiver Justin Veltung on Thursday. Veltung played at the University of Idaho and battled injuries his final two years. Veltung appeared in 43 games with 62 catches for 901 yards and eight touchdowns for Idaho.
The Seahawks were apparently intrigued by Veltung’s athleticism. As seen in the video below, Veltung can complete a 56-inch standing box jump. Veltung fills the roster spot of quarterback Josh Portis, who was released earlier this week after he was arrested and charged with suspicion of DUI.
One Thursday, the Colts signed one linebacker and waived another.
So why the post about the arrival of Caesar Rayford and the departure of Jake Killeen, two players who have never appeared in an NFL game?
It is a reminder there are various ways to be discovered by pro football’s most prestigious league.
Rayford, 27, has been a defensive end with the Utah Blaze of the Arena Football League the last four seasons, notching 27.5 sacks. The Colts will try the 6-foot-7, 265-pound Washington product at outside linebacker.
The 27-year-old Killeen, meanwhile, is a former Indoor Football League standout whom the Colts signed in January. Like Rayford, the Colts listed him at outside linebacker.
The Colts aren’t the only NFL team to scout the other professional leagues, not by a longshot. But this is a uniquely Colts transaction. General manager Ryan Grigson played and scouted in the Canadian Football League, and he had a stint in the Arena League as a coach and evaluator.
While Rayford certainly is no lock to make the Colts, it’s notable he’s getting a chance. He had just 5.5 sacks in four seasons at Washington, and he is six years removed from college. He had to earn his way onto the NFL’s radar, and then he had to hope someone would notice him on the screen.
The Colts apparently did.
The Falcons have moved carefully and specifically this offseason, not adding many players, but adding veterans at positions of need.
They may be about to again.
The Falcons don’t have a glut of cap room, but still would be interested in adding a player such as Seymour, a four-time Pro Bowler who would add some gravity to a defense that needs it.
According to multiple published reports, Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent faces a court date Friday as Dallas County District Attorney’s office alleges he has violated his bond conditions in connection with the auto accident that took the life of teammate Jerry Brown last year.
According to the Dallas Morning News, the district attorney’s office alleges Brent either has been in close proximity of alcohol or has consumed alcohol; either is forbidden according to the conditions set after Brent was charged with intoxication manslaughter in December. Per multiple reports, Brent faced a $100,000 bond.
An unnamed source told ESPN Dallas that Brent did not consume alcohol.
Also, the Associated Press, citing prosecutors, reported that Brent is alleged to have tampered with an alcohol-detection monitor he is to wear.
Brent is slated to go to trial in September.
Despite only being in existence since 1996, the Ravens have won two Super Bowls. Which will make it difficult to limit the pantheon of franchise greats to only four.
Ray Lewis and Jonathan Ogden can safely be installed in two of the spots. For the other two, consider candidates like Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs, Peter Boulware, Joe Flacco, Ray Rice, Anquan Boldin, Matt Stover, Ozzie Newsome, John Harbaugh, Steve Bisciotti, Art Modell, Jamal Lewis, Chris McAlister, Haloti Ngata, Matt Birk, Willis McGahee, and Shannon Sharpe.
Nominate your favorites below.
The unveiling of team-by-team Mt. Rushmores will commence on June 2, on NBCSN’s Pro Football Talk.
What else are you gonna do in June? Watch baseball?
After his appearance at Redskins’ OTA practice on Thursday, quarterback Robert Griffin III said he has “only” two hurdles left in his recovery from a torn ACL: (1) clearance for “explosive” sprinting; and (2) clearance to cut.
Those are both fairly significant hurdles.
As to these obstacles, perhaps the most important maneuver for an athlete with a new ACL, a source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that there is no timetable for said clearance.
“It is still a ways off,” the source said. “No one is going to rush anything.”
That’s the most important thing for Griffin, the Redskins, the media, and the fans to remember. Griffin got into this mess because not enough attention was being paid to his health. This time around, despite anything anyone says, they’re going to be careful.
The 6-foot-3, 262-pound Montgomery will play outside linebacker in the Texans’ 3-4 scheme. He recorded 19 sacks in three seasons for LSU.
After the selection of Montgomery, Texans linebackers coach Reggie Herring called the rookie linebacker a “big, strong, powerful, explosive individual.”
“His play strength is (the) exception, it’s about average,” Herring said, according to a transcript from the club. “As far as the run game, he has that play strength that you need to play early in this league. I think he’ll blend in well as far as the run game and setting the edge in our package.
“The other thing is when we look at our outside backers, we look at pass rush as a priority in our defense. He does bring an element of rush off the edge that is, once again, probably undeveloped and raw, but he has the basic ingredients, and that is, he can rush speed to power.”
Montgomery, who garnered first-team all-Southeastern Conference honors from league coaches in 2012, declared for the draft with one season of eligibility remaining.
McDonald, whom the 49ers selected in the second round, could compete for playing time right off the bat for San Francisco, which lost Delanie Walker in free agency. According to Pro Football Focus, Walker played 589 regular-season snaps a season ago for the 49ers, with Vernon Davis — the Niners’ top tight end — logging 942 snaps, per PFF data.
A Rice product, the 6-foot-4, 267-pound McDonald caught 120 passes for 1,513 yards and 15 touchdowns in four seasons with the Owls. He was the No. 55 overall pick.
Adam Caplan of TheSidelineView.com first reported McDonald’s signing.
The 49ers also confirmed the signing of defensive lineman Tank Carradine, their other second-round selection in the 2013 draft.
We noted before the draft that Terrell Brown was a 6-foot-10, 388-pound defensive lineman from Ole Miss who had drawn some interest from NFL teams. But that’s not quite right.
Actually, Rams coach Jeff Fisher says, Brown is a 6-foot-10, 403-pounder. And Fisher says that after the Rams signed Brown as an undrafted free agent, they decided that his future is on the offensive line.
“Actually, we weighed him in at 403,” Fisher told reporters today. “We had him in for the tryout and he had some issues that we had to clear up from a physical standpoint. But he got that put behind us. We worked him out on both sides of the ball, defensive line and offensive line, and we felt like his best position would be right tackle. [Rams offensive line coach Paul Boudreau] said he’d love to have him. He’s a defensive lineman that we’ve converted to offensive lineman.”
Fisher also noted that with Brown’s height, the Rams might be able to put him on the field goal block team.
“He might be able to block some kicks,” Fisher said.
And if he can’t do that, he might have a future in the WWE, which is looking for some big-bodied football players. And it might help Brown make it in professional wrestling that he already has experience with folding chairs.
It sure looks like a lot of NFL contract negotiators are heading to the beach this weekend, given the dizzying pace of rookie signings.
Carradine’s coming off a torn ACL last November at Florida State, but they think he could be cleared to return by training camp.
Considering he ran a 4.75-second 40 at his pro day at 265 pounds, there is evidence to back up that belief.
The 49ers have shown a tendency to draft guys a year away (or more) from when they’re needed, but Carradine’s skills, along with age and some departures on the 49ers defensive line could push him forward.
A fifth-round pick from Georgia, the 6-foot, 216-pound Commings has gotten a look at safety early in his NFL career, a position where the Chiefs have Eric Berry and Kendrick Lewis as starters. He can also line up at cornerback, the position he primarily played at Georgia.
Commings, 23, notched 51 tackles and intercepted three passes in 2012, his senior at Georgia. He started 35 games in his final three seasons for the Bulldogs. Commings was timed at 4.41 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine.
While discussing Mathieu’s agreement, we mentioned dueling post-draft reports that the Cardinals wanted to sign Mathieu to a contract that included no guaranteed money and that Mathieu was unwilling to sign such a contract. The Cardinals didn’t announce the terms of the deal, but Albert Breer of the NFL Network reports that Mathieu wound up coming out ahead on that front.
Per Breer, Mathieu got the full slotted signing bonus for the 69th overall pick. That’s $662,500, but Mathieu won’t see it all up front. He will be paid $265,000 right now with the remainder of the bonus coming in the next three years with annual payments of $132,500 that must be paid unless Mathieu is cut because of drugs. The total value of the deal is $3.052 million.
Breer’s colleague Ian Rapoport also reports that Mathieu agreed to regular drug testing with the Cardinals, although the details of that agreement are not part of the contract. Mathieu’s agent Pat Lawlor told Rapoport that “both sides understood the issues we were dealing with all along” while working on the contract and the resulting deal is one that satisfies both the Cardinals’ desire for protection against a relapse from Mathieu and Mathieu’s desire to be paid what the 69th overall pick of the draft is supposed to be paid.
There was a wide range of opinions about quarterback Matt Barkley heading into the draft, but the side that argued he was too flawed a quarterback to go in the first couple of rounds won out in the end.
That left Barkley to go to the Eagles in the fourth round and we’ll find out his thoughts about how things turned out when he joins Carolyn Manno for a conversation on Thursday’s edition of PFT on NBCSN. Manno will also talk to Barkley about his first impressions of playing for Eagles coach Chip Kelly and how he sees the quarterback derby playing out in Philly this year.
Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News will also be on hand to talk about the Giants with wide receiver Hakeem Nicks‘ absence from OTAs likely to be a prime topic of conversation. Mike Florio and Tom Curran will also be on hand to talk about the biggest news of the day and the burning questions that AFC East teams will need to answer heading into the season.
It all gets started at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN.