Mike Florio says Jason Garrett may be the lone hiccup in an otherwise playoff-worthy Dallas team and wonders if his tenure may come to an end later this off-season. Florio also comments on the recent RGIII injury report, and the new mobile QB fad among NFL teams.
PFT Live: Will RGIII return to full-strength?
At a press conference to wrap up the league meetings in Boston, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that the league saw “no choice” but moving next year’s draft to May because of a conflict with Radio City Music Hall.
Goodell said that a choice would be made soon about whether to hold the draft from May 8-10 or May 15-17 in New York. The change has been forced by a conflict with another event at the venue and Goodell said that there’s been no determination about when the event would be held beyond 2014. Because the conflicts with the spring event at Radio City will recur, the Commissioner also said that the draft could move if the decision was made to move things back to April in future years.
“Beyond that, if we want to move the draft back into April, we’ll have to look at other alternatives,” Goodell said.
Goodell also said that other proposed changes to the offseason schedule, including moving the start of the league year ahead of the combine were still being discussed with the NFLPA. Goodell said that he believed that such alterations would be a “good change for fans and for football” and that the league would continue working toward an agreement on a new calendar for February, March, April and May.
The San Diego Chargers needed an offensive tackle. Max Starks needed a job. It just made sense for them to get together. So it’s no surprise that Starks agreed to terms with the Chargers today.
Starks told Josina Anderson of ESPN that he has accepted a one-year contract offer.
The 31-year-old Starks has played in Pittsburgh for his entire nine-year NFL career. Last season Starks started all 16 games for the Steelers.
A fourth-round selection from Stanford, Toilolo is likely to fill a complementary role in the Atlanta offense as a rookie. He caught 24 passes for 393 yards and four touchdowns in 2012 for the Cardinal.
The return of Tony Gonzalez for 2013 gives the Falcons a proven pass-catching threat at tight end for 2013, but there could be a chance for the 6-foot-8, 260-pound Toilolo to contribute in multi-TE sets right off the bat. Moreover, he gets the chance to learn from a surefire first-ballot Hall of Famer in Gonzalez. Longer term, there is certainly a chance for Toilolo to earn a bigger role, what with Gonzalez nearing the end of his special career.
There was some uncertainty about whether or not safety Reshad Jones was going to report for the start of OTAs with the rest of the Dolphins on Tuesday.
As it turns out, Jones wasn’t the member of the secondary to worry about. The safety reported for duty, but rookie cornerback Jamar Taylor missed the session. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports that Taylor had sports hernia surgery in Philadelphia on Tuesday instead of practicing with his teammates.
Taylor is expected to be sidelined four-to-six weeks as a result of the surgery, which means that he won’t be joining his teammates on the field for the remaining offseason workouts or the June minicamp. The second-round pick is expected to be healthy in time for the start of training camp.
If he is good to go at camp, Taylor will have to make up some lost time in the fight for snaps in the defensive backfield. Brent Grimes, Richard Marshall, Nolan Carroll, Dimitri Patterson and fellow rookie Will Davis will be his chief competition in that battle.
The Mt. Rushmore nomination process descends into the Black Hole.
Yes, Raiders fans, it’s time to nominate candidates for the four-person Oakland/L.A/Oakland Mt. Rushmore.
Post your favorites below, and then at some point next month you’ll get to vote on the final four from a list that may include Al Davis, John Madden, Ken Stabler, Marcus Allen, Fred Biletnikoff, Gene Upshaw, Art Shell, Ray Guy, George Blanda, Todd Christensen, Jack Tatum, Lester Hayes, Mike Haynes, Ted Hendricks, Howie Long, Willie Brown, Tim Brown, Tom Flores, Jim Otto, and/or some combination thereof.
Good luck. You’ll need it.
The Chargers have released offensive tackle Kevin Haslam, the club said Tuesday.
Promoted from the practice squad on November 24, Haslam started three games at left tackle for San Diego down the stretch of the 2012 regular season.
The 6-foot-5, 310-pound Haslam played collegiately at Rutgers. The Jaguars signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2010. The Chargers added him to their practice squad in September after he was released by Oakland.
The Chargers have now let go of two of their starters at left tackle from a season ago. Previously, they parted ways with Jared Gaither. The club added ex-Eagles tackle King Dunlap in free agency and has done its due diligence on other veteran left tackles, including Max Starks and Bryant McKinnie. Starks remains unsigned, while McKinnie re-signed with Baltimore.
One of the burning questions about the Houston Texans for the 2013 season is whether they will be able to break through and advance beyond the second round of the playoffs after losing in that round in each of the last two years.
If they do, it’s likely that rookie wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins will help them get over the hump. Hopkins was the team’s first-round pick last month and it’s hoped that he’ll make their passing game more dangerous by forcing defenses to pay less attention to Andre Johnson. Hopkins will be a guest on Tuesday’s Pro Football Talk on NBC Sports Network and we’ll find out how ready he thinks he is for that kind of contribution.
Burning questions for the rest of the teams in the AFC South will also be on the docket as Erik Kuselias, Mike Florio and Ross Tucker discuss the Colts, Titans and Jaguars. Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area will also be on hand to talk about the NFL’s decision to award Super Bowl L to the 49ers’ forthcoming stadium in Santa Clara.
It all gets started at 5 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network.
Any time football players get on the field, there’s a chance of injury.
That includes offseason workouts and OTAs, although aches and pains from May rarely wind up meaning that much. The exceptions are the serious injuries, of course, and injuries for players who have histories that make any physical setback reason for concern.
Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray would fall into the latter group. He’s missed nine games over his first two seasons, including six last season with a foot problem, and had his fair share of injuries in college as well. That backdrop made word that Murray missed the first day of Cowboys OTAs with what coach Jason Garrett described as a “hamstring tweak” jump out more than it might for another player.
Garrett said, via the team’s website, that the team was taking a conservative approach with Murray because there’s no sense in doing anything else in May. He’s right, although that won’t do much to quiet concerns about the Cowboys offense should Murray wind up missing any significant time. Philip Tanner, Lance Dunbar and rookie Joseph Randle represent a big drop from Murray and the team will need a more effective running game to snap their playoff drought in 2013.
Any practices happening this time of year are non-contact.
But that doesn’t mean they’re safe.
Tretter apparently suffered the injury during a fumble recovery drill during OTAs Monday.
Tretter, a fourth-round pick from Cornell, was working at right tackle for a group looking for answers on that side of the line.
But according to Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego, Chargers officials haven’t ruled out getting Ingram back on the field this year.
Ingram had surgery today, and let’s face it, a six-month rehab for Ingram would be the best-case scenario. That would put him back in late November, and doesn’t consider time for conditioning.
But because the team respects Ingram’s work ethic and athleticism, they’re willing to consider it.
The other advantage for leaving the door open is psychological, as such a statement can be a confidence-booster for a player who just suffered a serious injury.
With the injured reserve-designated for return slot available to them, there’s no point to make a decision now. If they need it later for a shorter-term injury, so be it.
We were gone for a week. Now we’re back. And we need content.
So we’re leaving it to you to decide on the topic for the final segment of Tuesday’s Pro Football Talk on NBC Sports Network.
Pick a topic from among the possibilities below, and Ross Tucker (whom I’ve promised to no longer refer to as a meathead), Erik Kuselias (whom I’ve not yet promised to no longer refer to as Zoolander), and yours truly will take it up at 5:00 p.m. ET.
Actually, we’ll take it up later in the show. But we’d really like for you to tune in at 5:00 p.m. ET.
Back in October, an Illinois man who traveled to Jacksonville for the game between the Bears and Jaguars was killed the night before the game.
The man accused of murdering William Pettry pleaded guilty to second-degree murder charges on Tuesday. The Florida Times-Union reports that Matthew Reid Hinson will be sentenced at a later date and could receive life in prison for his crime.
Hinson slashed Pettry’s throat at a bar in Jacksonville on Saturday night. Reports indicate that Pettry and a friend were talking to Hinson’s wife just before the attack.
In the days after the murder, former Bears tight end Kellen Davis organized fundraising efforts that raised more than $20,000 for Pettry’s family. Quarterback Jay Cutler also hosted Pettry’s family at a Bears game later in the season.
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross says the only way Miami will get the stadium it needs to host another Super Bowl is if taxpayers foot some of the bill.
Speaking on NFL Network shortly after the league’s other owners decided not to award an upcoming Super Bowl to Miami, Ross said he can’t pay all the costs of renovating the stadium on his own.
“It has to be a public-private partnership,” Ross said. “I think the percentage that I’m going to put up is probably more than anybody else has ever put up, and I’m willing to do that, but I think we’re going to have to work together.”
Ross noted that South Florida is a great Super Bowl host, but the league simply won’t put another game there if the stadium doesn’t get taxpayer financed renovations. He said that everyone in South Florida who wants another Super Bowl will need to go back to the drawing board to see how they can figure out a way to get public financing.
“We have to sit and think how we can really get the support for it,” Ross said.
Until the Dolphins get that stadium support, Miami won’t get a Super Bowl.
It turned out not to be all that long a wait. Johnson was on the field with the rest of the Bills at Tuesday’s practice after getting the green light to return to work. Johnson didn’t sound like he was quite 100 percent but was pleased to have progressed faster than initially expected.
“It definitely feels good to just be out there on the field, even through the little pains I have,” Johnson said, via Tim Graham of the Buffalo News. “It’s getting better every week. They gave me a six-to-eight-week thing to even get on the field, and it’s only been about three, so I feel good.”
Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett was also pleased that Johnson got the go-ahead to work because it will help him manage the “growing pains” of playing in a new system. Hackett also credited Johnson for giving a hand to less experienced teammates as they also learn the scheme the team’s installing this offseason. The Bills will likely take it easy with Johnson as long as he’s still having “little pains” as all the knowledge of the scheme won’t help much if the team’s best players aren’t available to run it.
Lost in the question of whether the Seahawks face fines for future player suspensions is the reality that, based on the policy created by the NFL in 2008, they likely paid more than $60,000 for suspensions that happened in 2012.
The NFL has declined comment on the question of whether and to what extent the Seahawks have been fined for past suspensions, explaining that this information isn’t disclosed for any team. But the league office has confirmed that the formula developed in 2008 still applies, and it’s public knowledge that three Seahawks were suspended during the 2012 season: offensive lineman Allen Barbre, safety Winston Guy, and cornerback Brandon Browner.
Barbre came first, suspended the first four games of the season under the performance-enhancing drugs policy. He was cut after the suspension ended in October.
Under the league’s policy, the Seahawks faced fines for the second suspension (Guy) and the third (Browner). Based on their salaries for 2012, Guy lost $97,500 in salary during his four-week suspension. The policy converts 25 percent of that into a fine, which equates to $24,375.
Next up was Browner, who served a four-game suspension and forfeited $109,411 in base salary. Since Browner’s suspension was the third of the year, one third of his lost salary became a fine. That’s $36,470.
The total of the two fines is $60,845.
This year, the Seahawks will be fined if there’s another suspension under the substance-abuse policy, the policy regarding steroids and related substances, or the personal-conduct policy, given that defensive end Bruce Irvin already will miss the first four games of the year after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.
It’s unclear whether fines will make teams more careful about acquiring players who carry the red flag of a possible violations. Former Chiefs G.M. Scott Pioli said on Tuesday’s PFT Live that the league has discussed the possibility of stripping draft picks as an alternative to fines.
That could be the best way to handle the situation. Team’s view fines as a cost of doing business; losing draft picks impacts competitive interests, and thus are more likely to get the franchise’s attention.