Former NFL player Corey Chavous tells Mike Florio his view on the 2013 draft and the combine standouts. Chavous now runs DraftNasty.com and follows the NFL draft closely each season.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
PFT Live: Talkin’ NFL draft with Corey Chavous
The franchise tag deadline will pass at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday and Browns executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown said that the team’s plans haven’t changed regarding wide receiver Terrelle Pryor.
Speaking from the Scouting Combine, Brown said, via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com, that the team is not going to use the tag on Pryor and that they know that “means he’s effectively a free agent” even if free agency doesn’t officially get underway until next week. It doesn’t mean that he won’t be with the Browns in 2017, however.
Brown said that he plans to speak to Pryor’s agent Drew Rosenhaus in Indianapolis and termed Pryor’s return a “priority” for Cleveland as the offseason gets underway. While that’s the case, Brown knows that Pryor’s status makes his departure a real possibility and added that “we won’t panic if he’s not on our roster.”
Pryor caught caught 77 passes for 1,007 yards and four touchdowns in his first full year in Cleveland’s offense as a wide receiver and ranks among the top free agents at the position this offseason.
That comment was revisited recently when Peterson tweeted about the Giants making “interesting moves” early in the offseason, which kept the New Jersey club on many minds as a possible destination for Peterson.
With the Vikings confirming this week that Peterson will be free to talk to other teams on March 7 and sign with them on March 9, the running back’s future was an obvious topic for Giants coach Ben McAdoo’s press conference on Wednesday.
McAdoo said, via Dan Duggan of NJ.com, that the Giants will look at Peterson and evaluate him in the same way that they would any free agent who might be on their radar. Outside observers have noted the Giants’ frequent use of shotgun alignments and infrequent use of fullbacks as reasons why Peterson might not be a great fit for the Giants, but the team’s view will obviously trump any of those opinions when it comes time for the team to decide on a course of action in the backfield.
New Bills head coach Sean McDermott says there’s no way he’s getting rid of running back LeSean McCoy.
McDermott told PFT Live that McCoy is a player he has long admired, going back to their time together with the Eagles, and that McCoy will continue to play in Buffalo.
“LeSean is going to be with the Buffalo Bills moving forward,” McDermott said. “He’s a great player. We worked together in Philadelphia and when you look at the skill set LeSean brings to the table, we’re excited to be working with him.”
McCoy has an $8.875 million cap hit this season, which may prove to be the highest of any running back in the NFL this year after Le’Veon Bell signs a long-term deal with the Steelers. That cap hit has led to some speculation that the Bills may want to get out from under his contract.
But McDermott’s comments pretty well end that speculation. McCoy is staying with the Bills.
The Rams have again placed the franchise tag on cornerback Trumaine Johnson ahead of Wednesday’s deadline for franchise tag decisions.
Johnson also played last season under the franchise tag. Last March, the Rams essentially faced the decision on whether to keep Johnson or to keep cornerback Janoris Jenkins, who hit free agency and signed with the Giants.
Getting another franchise tag means Johnson will make about $16 million and be the NFL’s highest-paid cornerback in 2017 unless he and the Rams work out a long-term deal at a different rate.
Johnson, 27, had one interception in 14 games last season. He had a career-best seven interceptions in 2015 and has 16 interceptions in his five-year career. The Rams drafted Johnson in the third round in 2012.
The projected salary cap figure for 2017 that’s been bandied about in recent weeks of $168 million wasn’t exactly right, but it’s pretty close.
A league official told Judy Battista of NFL Media that the salary cap will actually be set at $167 million for the coming season. That’s a rise of about $12 million from last season and the cap has gone up about $47 million over the last five years.
Some of the biggest beneficiaries of the continued rise in the cap will be the players who hit the open market as free agents next week as they’ll see plenty of that money funneled toward their bank accounts. Given this year’s crop of free agents, that’s sure to lead to a few deals that leave people scratching their heads in the early days of free agency but the combination of being free to sign anywhere and the amount of money teams are required to spend makes it a good time to be out of contract.
The Browns, 49ers, Buccaneers and Jaguars are among the teams with the most cap space heading into free agency.
The Ravens won’t place the franchise tag on defensive tackle Brandon Williams, Ravens coach John Harbaugh told reporters Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Harbaugh said the Ravens hope they can still bring Williams back on a new deal. Free agency and the new league year begin next week, March 9.
Harbaugh said the Ravens have been “negotiating” with Williams and two other potential priority free agents, right tackle Rick Wagner and fullback Kyle Juszczyk. Both Williams and Wagner rank in the top 25 on PFT’s Hot 100 Free Agents list.
Williams, who’s become one of the game’s best run-stuffing defensive tackles, figures to draw attention from multiple teams if the Ravens can’t keep him off the open market. Williams and Dontari Poe of the Chiefs, who also won’t be getting the franchise tag, figure to be the top options for teams looking for interior defensive help.
Williams said last month he was unsure about his future and understood that he might hit the open market.
The Chiefs assured that safety Eric Berry would stay off the open market by signing him to a six-year extension on Tuesday that will make Berry the highest-paid safety in the league and allow them to avoid doing the franchise tag dance for the second year in a row.
It appears they will also avoid doing that dance with defensive tackle Dontari Poe. According to multiple reports, the team will not use their franchise tag on Poe before Wednesday afternoon’s deadline.
That will put Poe on the path to become an unrestricted free agent next week. He could still sign an extension with the Chiefs before the new league year starts on March 9, although it seems unlikely that he’d do that without at least hearing what other teams have to say during the “legal tampering” window that opens a couple of days before the new league year.
It may also be a difficult contract for the Chiefs to put together if they’re going to have much flexibility to make other moves after extending Berry and guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif this week.
Perhaps you’ve read this once or twice or seven times before, but suspended wide receiver Josh Gordon plans to apply for reinstatement, ESPN reported Wednesday.
Gordon was conditionally reinstated in time to participate in training camp with the Browns last season, and part of that deal was a suspension for the first four games of 2016. Before he could be activated, though, he entered a rehab facility and remained under indefinite suspension.
Gordon’s business manager, Michael Johnson, told ESPN that “Josh is living with me and is in the best place mentally that he has been in dating back years before entering the NFL. He has taken the proper steps to treat his issues and has followed a very strict protocol that the league and our team here has laid out for him.
“He’s also in the best shape of his life and feels even better than he did when he had his breakout year in 2013. This will be a special year for Josh and we are all very proud of the way he has taken the necessary steps to turn his life around.”
Gordon has been posting workout pictures and videos to his social media accounts. Those making the decision at the NFL, though, won’t be interested in that. Gordon is a multiple-time offender and would have to prove to the NFL that he can stay clean.
He’s served some sort of suspension in each of the last four seasons. A drug policy change made him eligible to play the final six games of 2014, and he was suspended for all of 2015. He led the NFL with 1,646 receiving yards in 2013 despite missing the first two games due to a suspension that was cut down by appeal from four games. The Browns still hold the rights to Gordon, who turns 26 in April, but nothing thus far has changed regarding his indefinite suspension.
An NFL spokesman told Cleveland.com Wednesday that the league had no comment on Gordon’s latest reinstatement bid.
One of the biggest questions heading into this offseason was whether the Patriots will trade quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo before he enters his fourth NFL season.
If that trade is going to happen, the next week is going to be a crucial negotiating period. At the moment, though, it looks like it is going to be a quiet one.
A trade may not be expected, but that doesn’t preclude teams from calling the Patriots in the coming days in an effort to get them to change their mind. There could be an offer that makes New England reconsider and the most effective way to chum the waters to see if one pops up is by letting it be known that a deal isn’t expected.
The Patriots may also be content to just hold onto Garoppolo through the final year of his rookie deal under any circumstances and then deal with whatever might come in the 2018 offseason when they have a full picture of where the team and quarterback Tom Brady stand at that point.
Bears guard Kyle Long was slated to have two surgeries after going on injured reserve last November, but one of those surgeries won’t happen so that Long can concentrate on ankle rehab.
Long went on injured reserve as a result of ligament damage in his right ankle and he’s had surgery to address that injury, but will not have an operation to repair the torn labrum in his left shoulder. Long played through the torn labrum last season and signed an extension with the Bears last September after suffering the injury.
Long’s father Howie told Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune that his son “struggled with medication” related to the ankle surgery and that he has lost 40 pounds since the surgery. Some of that weight loss was prescribed to help with his ankle recovery, but Biggs says that will now be an “extended process” that will require more focus than Long could devote if he was also rehabbing from shoulder surgery.
There’s no word on just how extended that process is going to be and the change in plans suggests that Long will a limited participant at best through the offseason program.
Colin Kaepernick hired new agents recently and it looks like their first order of business will be finding their client a new team for the 2017 season.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that agents Jeff Nalley and Sean Kiernan have informed NFL teams that Kaepernick will be opting out of his contract. A window for Kaepernick to do so opens on Thursday and the 49ers hold the same option to back out of a deal that called for Kaepernick to make a $14.5 million base salary in 2017.
That wasn’t a particularly realistic option, but there was a chance for the two sides to agree on a new number that would make more sense. That can still happen, of course, although Kaepernick’s decision suggests that he’ll be talking to other clubs before any deal is struck for next season.
Which clubs will be interested in Kaepernick’s services is the next question that needs to be answered, although he’ll need to wait until next week for formal discussions with anyone other than the 49ers to get going.
Pro Bowl defensive tackle Kyle Williams isn’t going anywhere.
Bills coach Sean McDermott announced at the Scouting Combine this morning that Williams will remain in Buffalo for 2017.
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Kyle, what he’s done for the Bills’ organization, one of our leaders, and I can announce at this time that Kyle is coming back and we look forward to working with Kyle,” McDermott said.
There had previously been talk that the Bills might cut Williams to avoid an $8.3 million cap hit for a 34-year-old. McDermott did not say whether Williams had agreed to a pay cut to stay in Buffalo, but it’s now clear that one way or another, Williams will remain a Bill.
Will the Broncos make a move for Tony Romo? Not from the sound of coach Vance Joseph’s comments today.
“We’ve got two young guys that combined to win nine games last year as starters, probably should have won two more, so we’re fine there with those two kids,” Joseph said.
It’s true that the Broncos went 8-6 with Siemian as the starter and 1-1 with Lynch as the starter in 2016, but that was with the best defense in the NFL. When you have the best defense in the NFL, you’d like to be better than 9-7 and out of the playoffs.
So it may just be posturing from Joseph, and the Broncos may still look for a new starting quarterback. But publicly, anyway, the Broncos are insisting that their quarterback situation in 2017 will be the same as it was in 2016: Siemian and Lynch are the guys.
When Colts punter Pat McAfee announced that he was retiring and taking a job at Barstool Sports, he says, “everyone” thought he was joking. He’s serious.
McAfee said this morning on PFT Live that he’s had three knee surgeries, will need more and simply can’t kick a football without pain anymore.
“My knees have just gotten to the point where they just get beat up,” McAfee said. “I played soccer my whole life, I’m kind of a heavier person, and whenever you kick and punt, no matter how limited an activity it is, my brain and shoulders are going to be OK because I didn’t play a tough guy position, but my knees took a lot of wear and tear from the kicking.”
The 29-year-old McAfee said the only way he could possibly put himself through the knee pain again is if he runs completely out of money.
“Let’s say I go completely broke, I’m about to start in the next 30 for 30: Broke,” McAfee said.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said last weekend that no decision has been made about the future of quarterback Tony Romo, who is not expected to be back with the team to serve as a backup to Dak Prescott again in the 2017 season.
The new league year is rapidly approaching and it would seem to be an impetus for the Cowboys to make a move so that they can set themselves up to make other moves that will impact the team that takes the field come September. Executive vice president Stephen Jones said no meeting has been scheduled between his father and Romo or his agents during this week’s Scouting Combine, but that it shouldn’t be long before it happens.
“I would say it’s going to come,” Jones said, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I think Jerry’s going to be due to meet with him sooner than later, but I wouldn’t say there’s a definitive meeting as of yet.”
Jones went on to talk about how much Romo has meant to the franchise, something that’s been a frequent refrain since the back injury that opened the door for Prescott last summer without changing the fact that a parting of the ways is the most realistic way for things to play out in the coming days.