Vikings fullback Jerome Felton talks about teammates Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin, regular season needs, NFC Pro Bowl honors and more. Felton states the right place for him in 2013 is Minnesota, despite knowing the “business” behind his contract.
PFT Live: Talkin’ Vikings with FB Jerome Felton
The Turk could be getting a visit from, well, the Turk.
At a press conference held in connection with the quarterly ownership meetings in Boston, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that the league is interested in making the process of widespread roster cuts more “humane,” according to multiple Twitter entries from folks covering the press conference.
Currently, the NFL’s teams jettison up to 37 players each in the days after the third preseason game through the days after fourth preseason game, cutting offseason rosters from a maximum of 90 down to 53. Typically, the players who are getting cut are asked to meet with the coach or the G.M., they get the news, and then they move on.
It’s hard to envision a way to make the scene, which has played out numerous times on Hard Knocks over the past decade, any different. For football players, who are used to being chewed out on the practice field, a calm, rational, matter-of-fact meeting is as “humane” as bad news ever gets.
Goodell also mentioned the possibility of post-cut services for players who will be faced with the task of transitioning to a new line of work. Perhaps that’s how the process can become more “humane,” given that currently the players basically get a handshake and a clear path through the door.
Regardless, there’s only so much the NFL can do to alter the harsh reality that players get cut — routinely. Whether they get a ribbon for participation or a pat on the back or a juice box or a swift kick in the ass, the end result is that the player who previously had a spot on the roster no longer does. Other than making those post-cut services available to ease the transition to life after football, we’re not sure what else can be done.
Apart from, you know, not releasing a guy right after he is diagnosed with diabetes or any other health condition that can be managed and treated.
In addition to discussing changes to the league’s offseason schedule on Tuesday in Boston, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell also addressed the future of the Pro Bowl.
The game is set for 2014 in Hawaii and Goodell said that the league is still contemplating changes to the game to make it more entertaining for fans and players alike. Goodell did not address talk about making the Pro Bowl more like a “game show” in the future, but he did touch on another proposal that’s been bandied about in recent weeks.
Goodell said that the idea of having team captains pick two squads from the players voted into the game under the current process was one that “may happen” as soon as this season. He credited players for coming up with the idea of having a schoolyard-style draft to set the rosters for the game and indicated that a decision could come soon about the format that this year’s game will take.
There wasn’t much direct discussion of the future of the game overall, although Goodell did say that the league had interest from cities on the mainland about hosting the game in the future. That (and still-strong TV ratings) could serve as a suggestion that the Pro Bowl isn’t going away despite the many complaints about its quality.
Yet another former Eagle has landed in Cleveland.
On Tuesday, the Browns announced they were awarded rookie running back Miguel Maysonet on waivers from Philadelphia.
In something of a surprise move, the Eagles let go of Maysonet after giving him a healthy signing bonus for an undrafted free agent. In Cleveland, he will compete with Montario Hardesty, Chris Ogbonnaya, Brandon Jackson and Dion Lewis — another ex-Eagle — for backup spots in the Browns’ backfield.
With Maysonet arriving, the Browns waived fellow rookie tailback Jamaine Cook.
Trent Richarson is the Browns’ featured back, and Hardesty, Ogbonnaya and Jackson were his backups a season. The question is, who sticks on the depth chart behind Richardson this year? The competition got a little more crowded on Tuesday.
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.