Former NFL tight end Anthony Becht stops by PFT to talk about some of the hottest topics around the NFL including whether Tony Gonzalez will retire, if Darrelle Revis will be traded and how to put up big numbers at the upcoming combine.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
PFT Live: Becht dishes out combine advice
In the absence of news about Joey Bosa’s contract negotiations, Chargers fans are scrambling for anything to cling to.
But the latest shiny object should not be confused with a glimmer of hope.
According to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune, Chargers fans were stirred up by reports that the Spanos family’s private plane was in Fort Lauderdale, which happens to be Bosa’s hometown.
But there’s no indication the negotiations have moved, and a team official said the plane was in Florida on unrelated business.
Thus, the last remaining unsigned rookie has effectively turned Chargers fans into a bunch of reporters chasing college coaching searches, tracking tail numbers in search of clues.
Why would another team want to trade for a receiver who is entering his fourth NFL season, will miss the first four games of it, and potentially will be hitting the open market next year? Because he won’t be hitting the open market.
Browns receiver Josh Gordon will be a restricted free agent in 2017, according to multiple league sources.
Gordon arrived in round two of the 2012 supplemental draft, and he obtained accrued seasons toward free agency in 2012 and 2013. In 2014, however, a 10-game league-imposed suspension coupled with a one-game suspension imposed by the team kept him from participating in six games — and from in turn obtaining a year of credit toward free agency.
Per the sources, the grievance filed by Gordon challenging the suspension was eventually dropped, which means that 2016 will be his third accrued year for free agency purposes. His four-year contract will expire, but he won’t be eligible for unrestricted free agency.
So whoever holds his rights after the season will be able to keep him in place another year under one of the various RFA tenders. Which would make him a little more valuable as a potential trade target.
Vikings running back Adrian Peterson led the league in rushing attempts last season with 327, marking the first time he’s led the league in that metric and the fourth time that he’s run the ball at least 314 times in a season.
Only a handful of running backs 30 or older have run the ball that many times in a season and many of them saw their production drop in subsequent seasons. Peterson showed no signs that such a drop was in his immediate future in 2015 and offensive coordinator Norv Turner says that none have presented themselves during training camp either.
“From this camp, I have not seen anything,” Turner said, via the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “He’s got burst. He’s got such a quick start and we know he’s powerful in breaking tackles and running through. He finishes runs out here. We’ve all seen him take off and run the length of the field. … Obviously, it’s training camp. But he keeps such good care of himself. And we did a good job last year of taking care of him through the season. He doesn’t look like he’s slowing down to me.”
Turner said earlier this summer that he expects to get Peterson about 20 carries a game, which is right on line from last season and would provide plenty of opportunities to test whether time is taking a toll on a player poised to move into the all-time top 10 in rushing yards.
When training camp opened, Bears guard Kyle Long missed a bit of time with a calf injury but he returned well ahead of the start of the preseason schedule.
The Bears are hoping that the same will be true of a shoulder injury that has kept him out of the last three practices. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports that it is a labrum issue and that the team is evaluating how serious an issue it is. Biggs quotes one source as being “not optimistic” while another expressed confidence that Long will be ready for the regular season.
Coach John Fox wasn’t breaking any ties on Tuesday.
“It doesn’t really matter what I think,” Fox said. “There are medical people involved and when he’s cleared, he’ll play.”
The Bears have already lost center Hroniss Grasu for the season to a torn ACL, forcing them to move Ted Larsen to the pivot. Larsen kicked back over to guard to replace Long in a recent practice with Cornelius Edison playing center and the Bears also have Khaled Holmes and Amini Silatolu as interior depth should they need to fill in for Long in the coming weeks.
Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter wasn’t happy with the way his offense performed in Tuesday’s joint practice with the Browns and his mood probably didn’t get any better once he got word of an injury to right guard Ali Marpet.
Marpet has his right foot a walking boot at Wednesday’s practice for the two teams after showing no obvious signs of an injury when Tuesday’s practice concluded. At that point, Marpet told JoeBucsFan.com that his biggest concern was getting experience against Cleveland’s 3-4 front as he rarely saw them in college and had a hard time when facing them in his rookie season.
There’s no word on the severity of Marpet’s issue at this point, but it comes at an inopportune time for the Bucs as they are already missing prospective left guard J.R. Sweezy due to a back injury. Recent reports have pointed to Sweezy starting the regular season on the PUP list, so any extended absence for Marpet would leave the team thin on the interior of the line.
Kevin Pamphile has been in Sweezy’s spot and backup center Evan Smith is a likely replacement for Marpet with inexperienced options behind them on the depth chart.
The Dolphins have a new offense, and they have a new tempo to the offense. That new tempo is causing opponents to lose their ability to lose old foodstuffs.
Receiver Jarvis Landry told the story on Tuesday as it relates to the Week Two preseason game against the Cowboys, via Chris Perkins of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
“I think you look at that game there were a couple of guys on their team throwing up while we were driving, so it’ll be interesting to see for four quarters if those d-lines can hold up against our tempo and the way we want to move the ball down the field,” Landry said.
Miami offensive lineman Billy Turner was unable to confirm Landry’s version of the events.
“I have no idea,” Turner said. “I didn’t see it, thank God.”
Regardless, Turner sees the benefit of the offense moving quickly.
“Whenever you’re in an offense where you don’t huddle, and don’t have to huddle, and you’re always on the ball, that creates a sense of chaos for the defense so they’re running around trying to get the right personnel on the field,” Turner said.
If it helps the Dolphins move the ball, it will help them score points. Which will help them win games (duh).
Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett talked about upholding the “code,” after he was thrown out of practice for fighting.
But for Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin, some things supersede the code, as their offense tries to establish its identity after an offseason of change.
“I mean, yes, there is a code. But Mike B. doesn’t always necessarily operate by that code, either,” Baldwin said, via Gregg Bell of the Tacoma News Tribune.
That didn’t stop Baldwin and cornerback Richard Sherman (longtime teammates going back to their days at Stanford) from going at each other, in what was described as quite the fight. After Baldwin got behind the Seahawks secondary for a long touchdown in practice, Sherman went across the line of scrimmage to go after Baldwin, throwing punches as the two yelled at each other before coaches separated them. Baldwin had a dark bruise and what appeared to be about stitches off the side of his nose, which Baldwin attributed to his helmet coming down on it.
“No, it wasn’t orchestrated,” Baldwin said. “Obviously, tempers flare. Sherm’s really upset that we keep destroying him in practice.
“He’s upset that the receivers are getting the best out of him and the defensive backs this year. So he takes offense to that.”
That fight was one of many the Seahawks have had in camp, but Baldwin said he wasn’t bothered by it.
“Not concerned with it, as long as it doesn’t spill over into our play on Sunday — or, Thursday, this week, I guess you should say,” Baldwin said. “But we always like that level of chippiness, because it brings out the true level of competitiveness in all of us. I’ll admit it: I’m kind of an agitator in that, at times. But it’s because we need it. We don’t like it just to be peas and carrots all the time in practice. We want to bring out that competitive nature. We want to see the dog in guys so we can bring out the best in their abilities.
“So, yeah, not too concerned about it. We’ll probably taper it down here a little bit as we get closer to the season, to make sure we are all healthy and focused on the task at hand.”
There’s a certain degree of competitiveness coaches want to see in practice, and at a certain level, it’s good for star players to be the ones to show it. But the Seahawks also have a lot of money invested in guys who keep putting themselves in spots to potentially be injured or injure a teammate. They’ve been fortunate so far it hasn’t gotten out of hand, and it will be interesting to see if they can throw the switch as easily as Baldwin suggests.
The Patriots have started paring down their roster well ahead of next week’s cut to 75 players with center Bryan Stork, running back Donald Brown and cornerback E.J. Biggers among those given their release.
Washington signed with the Patriots in March and was part of what coach Bill Belichick called “probably as good” a competition for roster spots at the position as the team has had during Belichick’s tenure. Washington never made his way to the front of that competition, catching one pass for eight yards in two preseason outings, and will now have to find another team if he’s going to play a 12th NFL season.
With Washington gone, the Patriots are left with rookie Malcolm Mitchell, Keshawn Martin, Aaron Dobson and Chris Harper in the hunt for spots behind Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola and Chris Hogan. Amendola remains on the PUP list and Mitchell has an elbow injury, which could impact the decisions still to be made in the coming weeks.
In a surprising move, the Patriots are cutting their starting center, Bryan Stork.
A fourth-round draft pick of the Patriots in 2014, Stork finished last season as the starting center and is listed as the starter on the Patriots’ depth chart as of Wednesday morning.
But despite his status as a starter, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that the Patriots have decided to release Stork today. When last we heard from Stork he was getting kicked out of a practice last week, although there obviously has to be more going on than just one practice fight to get him booted out of New England.
David Andrews will now be the Patriots’ starting center, and Stork will go on waivers, where it seems likely some team would claim him. Stork surely has some NFL playing time ahead of him, but that time will not be in New England.
Plenty of people will be taking part in fantasy football drafts in the coming weeks and they’re likely looking high and low for an edge that can put them in the winner’s circle come the end of the season.
Saints coach Sean Payton might not be the likeliest tipster for such information, but he’s offering it up all the same. Payton was talking about rookie wide receiver Michael Thomas on Tuesday and used fantasy football as a way to illustrate how high the expectations are for Thomas heading into the season.
“I’ve got high expectations from him,” Payton said, via the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “Listen, I think he’s going to contribute early. And I don’t follow fantasy football, but, shoot, I’d try to have him. I think he’s going to do well.”
Thomas is behind Brandin Cooks and Willie Snead on the depth chart at the moment and tight end Coby Fleener should also get the ball a fair amount, so drafting Thomas in the early rounds may not wind up paying the biggest dividends. Having another receiver who can stretch the field for Drew Brees should be a boost for the Saints in reality football, however, and that will likely be enough to soothe Payton if his career as a fantasy pundit doesn’t take off.
When Adam Schefter of ESPN reported yesterday that the Browns had fielded trade offers for receiver Josh Gordon, he added that a Browns source told him the team is not looking to trade Gordon. But now another ESPN reporter is suggesting that the Browns may have planted that story precisely because they’re considering trading Gordon.
Longtime Cleveland reporter Tony Grossi writes today, “There is a cynical point of view out there that the Browns floated the story of interest in Gordon to promote more activity.” The headline of Grossi’s piece at ESPN.com is, “There’s something fishy about the Josh Gordon trade rumors.” That’s an interesting headline for ESPN to use, seeing as those “rumors” were started by ESPN.
The cynical point of view makes sense: Who else but the Browns would know that multiple teams have expressed interest in trading for Gordon? And who else but the Browns would benefit from a perception around the league that if a team is going to trade for Gordon, that team will need to make a good offer?
Would the Browns want to trade Gordon? On its face, that doesn’t seem like a great idea: Gordon is the Browns’ most talented player, a player who led the league in receiving yards in 2013 despite missing two games. But Gordon has a long history of off-field issues, and if the Browns think he’s going to screw up again and get himself suspended again, they’d be wise to get anything they can for him in a trade now.
The truth is, the Browns would surely trade Gordon if some team bowled them over with a great offer. The Browns haven’t received such an offer yet, but floating a story about a Gordon trade may be a way to generate a good offer.
In 2015, Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick made his preseason debut in the team’s second game and then didn’t play in another game all year due to a torn ACL suffered in a subsequent practice.
Scandrick made this year’s preseason debut last Friday against the Dolphins and it will likely be his last game action of the preseason. Scandrick hopes that the story takes better turns from there this time.
Scandrick has a groin strain that will keep him out this week and he’ll likely join the rest of the team’s first-stringers on the bench for the fourth game in hopes of being ready to go for the first week of the regular season.
“My thing is to get back on the practice field and compete as fast as possible,” Scandrick said, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “At the same time I don’t want to hurt myself more. I want to be out there more than anybody. I worked so hard to get back. This is frustrating. The bright side is my knee feels great. I just need to get through this little hiccup and I will be fine. In a perfect world, I would love to be back on the practice field Saturday. I think I will definitely be ready Week One barring something happening that is out of my control.”
Scandrick’s absence will give the Cowboys a longer look at corners like Deji Olatoye and Anthony Brown who are vying for roster spots with roster cuts looming.
The Texans were looking for defensive line depth, but it didn’t take long for them to realize Alex Carrington wasn’t going to provide it.
According to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, the Texans released the veteran defensive end.
It’s still unclear when Watt will be back, though coach Bill O’Brien has said it will be “sooner than later.”
Cornerback Josh Norman knows that the big contract he signed as a free agent this offseason means that he’s “no longer the underdog” and that he “has to take on a new mask.”
Based on the interview he gave to ESPN The Magazine that made headlines on Tuesday, that mask won’t get in the way of Norman delivering attention-getting quotes about Roger Goodell, his former team and just about everything else in the NFL. After Redskins practice Tuesday, Norman opted not to discuss the article directly, but did talk about the target that gets hung around your shoulders when you take shots at others.
Norman, who will also be part of FOX Sports’ coverage of the NFL this season, said everything is “magnified by 10” when you sign a five-year, $75 million contract and that he can handle all that comes with it.
“I can take it,” Norman said, via CSNMidAtlantic.com. “I can go and use it and use it as another tool to try to find myself as a person and as an individual player to come in and bring something different. I think if I can have that unique set of tools and skills to be able to fend off everything that people say, I can take it. I can take it and continue to be successful. … I can take it. I’m a big boy. I got some big shoes. We’ll be having fun with it and enjoying our teammates that’s on the team now.”
How much fun anyone has with it will come down to how well Norman plays. Making yourself the center of attention is gimmicky and won’t be for everyone, but it can work as long as there’s something backing it up on the field. Anything less is likely to lead to derision, which might not be as enjoyable for Norman to take.
The Phillies scout won’t be feeling like the Maytag repairman at next week’s Tim Tebow workout, apparently.
Adam Schefter of ESPN, co-worker of Tebow’s at ESPN, reports that more than 20 teams are “confirmed” to attend Tebow’s Major League Baseball showcase/workout/one-man fantasy camp/whatever in L.A. next Tuesday.
The Phillies are simply doing their due diligence. Apparently, the other teams are doing the same. Indeed, if any team had specific interest in evaluating and possibly signing Tebow, a workout would have happened since he announced his baseball wishes and signed memorabilia dreams two-plus weeks ago — and someone from CAA surely would have told Schefter about it.
By implication, the news that anything less than all teams will be attending means that multiple teams have absolutely no interest in batting an eye at Tebow swinging a bat. But that wouldn’t make for a very useful headline from the company that currently employs Tebow, now would it?