Stephen Jackson has one year left on his deal with St. Louis, but will he void the remaining $7 million? Mike Florio speculates what Jackson’s final decision will be and runs down the rest of St. Louis’ off-season needs.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
ProFootballTalk: Will SJax suit up in St. Louis?
On Wednesday, Vikings G.M. Rick Spielman and coach Mike Zimmer traveled to Houston to meet with running back Adrian Peterson. After the four-hour sit-down between the three men, Peterson said the session went well, according to ESPN.com.
How well or why it went well isn’t known; Peterson opted not to share any of the details.
By agreeing to meet face-to-face with his head coach and by not cutting it off before four hours passed, that’s a very good sign for the continuation of Peterson’s career in Minnesota. Coupled with the Vikings’ apparently willingness to pay Peterson the full $12.75 million he’s due to earn in 2015, it could be that Peterson will let bygones be bygones and return to the franchise with which he has spent his entire career.
One source with knowledge of the team’s thinking believes that’s exactly what will happen. While it’s too early to call it a done deal, there’s suddenly some reason for optimism that Peterson will be wearing purple come Week One.
With three key linebackers slated to be unrestricted free agents, the Cowboys have added some depth at the position.
The 28-year-old Rivers has been an outside linebacker in 4-3 schemes throughout his pro career. He recorded 16 tackles in 12 games (three starts) for Buffalo in 2014.
The No. 9 overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, Rivers (6-2, 235) played his first four seasons with the Bengals, then had a two-season stint with the Giants (2012-2013) before joining Buffalo, which released him in February.
Peyton Manning didn’t want to say much about his pay cut, which could have been even bigger than $4 million he gave back.
According to Mike Klis of the Denver Post, the Broncos actually asked for more of a concession than the $4 million, before settling on the figure with Manning today.
It’s the first pay cut of Manning’s career, so you can imagine it wasn’t anything he wanted to discuss at length.
“I don’t talk about my contract. I never have in 18 years and I’m not going to start now,”Manning said. “I’ve been working real hard and I’m excited to be back with the Denver Broncos. Can’t wait for April 13 to get here when the team can finally come together. I’m excited to get to work and get to know the new coaches and looking forward to trying to make 2015 a special year.”
Manning will have a chance to earn the money back, but the next order of business will be his physical tomorrow at Broncos headquarters, of which he said: “I see that as being pretty routine.”
Once that’s taken care of, he’ll sign the new deal, and then split until team conditioning begins on April 13.
And having just gone through this process, you can imagine how he responded when asked about finishing out his contract in 2016.
“I’m tired of talking about the past and the future,” Manning said. “I’m excited to talk about now.”
Now, the question is whether the savings will help the Broncos keep any of their free agent targets, or whether this was just a pay cut they forced on Manning because they could.
The 49ers are reportedly open to dealing one of their reserve inside linebackers.
With Navorro Bowman (knee) missing the entire season and Patrick Willis (toe) sitting out the final 10 games, the 28-year-old Wilhoite was a 16-game starter for San Francisco in 2014, notching 87 tackles, six passes defended and two picks.
However, Wilhoite figures as a backup this season, and the 49ers are willing to move the exclusive-rights free agent, the Bee reports. The club seeks a sixth- or seventh-round pick, the newspaper said.
The Broncos taketh away, and the Broncos potentially giveth back.
Per multiple reports, Denver quarterback Peyton Manning can earn as incentives the money he agreed to sacrifice in 2015 base salary. In other words, his $19 million base salary has become a $15 million base salary plus up to $4 million in incentives.
The triggers aren’t yet known. It’s also not known whether Manning took a portion of his 2015 base salary as a signing bonus, creating even more 2015 cap room (but pushing extra cap room into 2016).
The type of incentives also becomes important. So-called “likely to be earned” incentives count as 2015 cap dollars, with a credit in 2016 if not earned. “Not likely to be earned” incentives count as 2016 cap dollars, if earned.
Defensive end Chris Canty played his home games in MetLife Stadium before moving to the Ravens in 2013 and he could be headed back there, although he’d be headed for a different locker room.
Canty played for the Giants in his previous New Jersey stint, but the Jets are reportedly showing interest in him after his release from Baltimore. Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun reports that Canty is scheduled to visit the Jets on Friday and Saturday.
The Jets don’t have a need for a starter at defensive end as Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson are two of the best players at their position in the league, but Canty has experience playing inside in some fronts and would be a useful part of a rotation up front for the Jets in 2015.
Canty isn’t the only place the Jets are looking for help on the defensive line. Kendall Langford is slated to visit and the team announced Wednesday that they have signed defensive end Ronald Talley as a free agent. Talley last played in the regular season in 2013 when he saw action in six games for Arizona. Jets coach Todd Bowles was the Cardinals defensive coordinator at the time, which probably didn’t hurt Talley’s efforts to get back into the league.
The Eagles formally announced the release of linebacker Trent Cole on Wednesday afternoon and confirmed that a failure to agree on a reworked contract preceded their decision.
Cole was set to count $11.6 million against the cap and said earlier in the offseason that he was open to doing something to pare that number down, but coach Chip Kelly said in a statement announcing Cole’s departure that the Eagles wanted him to pare it down further than Cole was willing to go.
“We spoke with Trent and his agent and expressed a desire to have him back,” Kelly said. “We have been talking for a couple of weeks. However, at this point, we think it’s best to let him explore other options around the NFL.”
The phrasing suggests that the Eagles would still be open to a return if Cole’s exploration of those options gives him a different view on their offer. With free agency close to opening, that might not mean much if the Eagles find something more to their liking.
Cole would also have something to do with that possibility and his apparent response to being released after 10 years in Philly — a tweet reading “no respect” — may be a sign that he’s ready to fly the coop for good.
The Saints are parting ways with one of the key contributors to their win in Super Bowl XLIV five years ago.
Known for his pass-catching prowess, Thomas hauled in 45 passes for 378 yards and one TD and rushed 45 times for 222 yards and two TDs in 2014. The Illinois product has spent his entire eight-season career with the Saints, with whom he signed as an undrafted free agent in 2007.
Overall, Thomas racked up 3,745 yards rushing and 28 TDs on 817 carries and caught 327 passes for 2,608 yards and 12 TDs in regular season play for New Orleans. In the win over the Colts in Super Bowl XLIV, Thomas caught six passes for 55 yards and a touchdown and added 30 yards rushing on nine carries.
The move will result in some salary-cap relief for the financially strapped Saints. Thomas, 30, was set to make $2.1 million in salary in 2015 and $2.2 million in 2016, according to NFLPA records.
With Thomas reportedly departing, Travaris Cadet could have a bigger role on passing downs next season for New Orleans. Cadet is set to be a restricted free agent.
When it comes to the looming NFLPA executive director election, PFT has tried to assume a neutral and objective posture. But that doesn’t mean we’ll ignore baseless accusations made by members of the media who may have a bias against current union leadership or a desire to see some other candidate prevail in the voting.
On Wednesday, reports emerged that the NFLPA’s annual meeting, which will include the executive director election, will be held in Hawaii, with player representatives, alternatives, and candidates for the job held by DeMaurice Smith flown first class and lodged at the Ritz-Carlton. That has prompted some to suggest that the costs are unnecessary, that they will be covered by union dues, and/or that the decision to splurge on a trip to Hawaii for the first time since 2010 represents an effort by Smith to “buy off” at least 17 of the 32 men who’ll be voting on whether to keep Smith or to replace him.
There’s nothing wrong with having suspicions. But to hurl uncorroborated accusations when a quick phone call or text message to the NFLPA would lead to a much different truth is irresponsible. (Some would say it’s even despicable or reprehensible.)
NFLPA president Eric Winston tells PFT that the Executive Committee, not Smith or his staff, determined via vote the location for the annual meeting. Also, Winston said all union operations are funded not by player dues but by revenues from Players, Inc., the for-profit arm of the NFLPA that raises money via licensing, merchandising, and revenue streams unrelated to the money paid by each player for the membership in the union.
Likewise, a source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that player representatives and alternates always are flown via first-class fare to the annual meeting.
When owners travel in expensive fashion and stay in swanky hotels, some say that’s because the owners crushed the NFLPA in the last CBA. When the NFLPA does, those inclined to say the NFLPA was crushed in the last CBA accuse the union of waste, incompetence, and/or corruption.
Whatever the motivation, it’s wrong to suggest a false narrative when the truth is so easy to discover.
Believe the Eagles will win Super Bowl 50 and just so happen to be staying at the Wynn hotel in Las Vegas?
Well, the price on the Eagles is more favorable than it was Tuesday, and it has everything to do with a certain running back appearing to be on his way out of Philadelphia.
According to Micah Roberts of “The Linemakers” of Sporting News, Wynn Las Vegas oddsmaker John Avello moved the Eagles’ Super Bowl odds from 15-1 to 20-1 after news emerged of the club having a deal in place to trade tailback LeSean McCoy to Buffalo.
“Who will run the ball for them?” Avello said of the Eagles, per “The Linemakers.”
For the record, the Wynn lists the Bills at 50-1, the same as before the reports of McCoy’s acquisition, Roberts reported.
Multiple other Nevada sports books didn’t react at all to the McCoy news, with the MGM resorts among those not adjusting their odds on Buffalo or Philadelphia, Roberts reported.
Nevertheless, it’s always interesting to see what makes the odds move. In the case of the Wynn, it was word of a most surprising potential trade.
Ron Jaworski has some advice for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as they consider picking Jameis Winston with the first overall pick in the NFL draft: Don’t do it.
Jaworski said on Mike & Mike that he simply doesn’t think Winston is a good enough passer to make him worth going No. 1 overall.
“I’ve studied a lot of him, I think Jameis Winston has a big upside in the NFL, but there are some real flaws to his game,” Jaworski said. “Quite honestly, I would not take him at that No. 1 pick.”
Winston has had off-field troubles as serious as a rape accusation, as trivial as shoplifting and as stupid as getting suspended for screaming obscenities on the Florida State campus. But Jaworski made clear that his problems with Winston are about the way he plays the quarterback position.
“I’m not talking about the off-the-field stuff. I have no comment on that because I’m not privy to that kind of information. But there are certainly mechanical flaws in his game that are troubling to me,” Jaworski said.
From all indications, the Buccaneers are leaning toward taking Winston first overall, but their evaluations aren’t over. Jaworski thinks that the more they look at Winston’s film, the more flaws they’ll find.
When the Jets opted not to apply the franchise tag to Harris, the notion that the Bills will try to bring Harris to Buffalo to teach Ryan’s defense to other players became stronger. Harris played for Ryan for six years, and it’s now likely that relationship will continue.
Look for Ryan to move quickly, if he’s going to move at all. In 2009, he showed up at former Ravens linebacker Bart Scott’s house at midnight on the first day of free agency, prompting Scott to think his dogs were chasing deer. Ryan got Scott, and Ryan likely will get Harris if Ryan wants him.
Even though the Buffalo defense was run in 2013 by Ryan pupil Mike Pettine, Ryan will want someone who can get the other players lined up the way Ryan has been lining them up since 2009. If Harris isn’t that guy, it would be a major surprise.
It took a little time and the arrival of wide receiver Odell Beckham in the lineup for the Giants to find themselves offensively last season, but things looked pretty good by the time their first season under offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo came to a close.
Things might have looked even better if wide receiver Victor Cruz had been healthy for the entire season. Cruz tore his right patellar tendon in October and missed the rest of the year, leading to a long rehab that Cruz thinks will have him in position to return to the field for training camp.
“Obviously the next couple of months are very, very important in terms of building the strength and continuing to mold my body back into running shape and things like that,” Cruz said on Sirius XM NFL Radio with Bob Papa and Ravens wideout Steve Smith. “And I just want to take these next couple of months to do that and really focus on that. Training camp is definitely the timetable. More importantly, even before training camp, I’ll be feeling almost 100 percent around May-ish, June-ish and I can really start rehabbing and strengthening it and start running routes and things like that, hopefully.”
General Manager Jerry Reese has said this offseason that the team isn’t relying on Cruz making it back to his former level of play, something that’s much easier to do thanks to Beckham’s emergence during his rookie season. There would be even less pressure on Cruz if Rueben Randle and tight end Larry Donnell, who Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News reports was tendered as an exclusive rights free agent on Wednesday, remain consistent targets as the Giants would be able to stretch defenses thin with four reliable options through the air.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has created some memorable sound bites over the years, sometimes when he knew a microphone was present and sometimes when he didn’t. In a Dallas courtroom, Jones could soon be making a new wave of sound bites.
The judge presiding over the lawsuit arising from the Super Bowl XLV tickets that didn’t have corresponding seats has told the lawyers handling the case that she is leaning toward requiring Jones to testify in the case, according to Jeff Mosier of the Dallas Morning News.
That’s a potential coup for the plaintiffs, and possibly very bad news for the defendants. Loquacious billionaires often don’t do well when testifying. For starters, they loathe having to submit to any authority other than their own. Second, they typically regard themselves as the smartest people in the room. Third, they usually don’t realize that the lawyers grilling them have experienced similar evasive and/or obstructive and/or non-responsive tactics dozens if not hundreds of times. Fourth, it becomes very delicate (to say the least) for the lawyers representing loquacious billionaires to properly prepare them for cross-examination, because that requires telling the loquacious billionaires things they don’t want to hear. (For example, there’s a good chance you may not be the smartest person in the room.)
So things could get very, very interesting if/when Jones testifies — especially if/when (when) he decides to abandon the script and to try to charm his way out of whatever traps the questioning lawyer sets for him regarding what Jones knew and when he knew it about the inability of his stadium to accommodate hundreds of people who thought they would be attending the Super Bowl.
The Broncos wanted Peyton Manning back, and he wanted to be back.
But the Broncos have $4 million reasons to be happier today.
According to Chris Mortensen and Jeff Legwold of ESPN, the Broncos and Manning are in the “final stages” of a deal to cut his pay from $19 million to $15 million.
This kind of news was anticipated, as both sides wanted each other.
But giving back $4 million (especially when Tom Brady ends up with more money to create cap space) is a win for the Broncos, as they attempt to keep tight end Julius Thomas after franchising wide receiver Demaryius Thomas.