The Packers will continue to be a Super Bowl threat, but Mike Florio says they need to shop for a left tackle that can protect Aaron Rodgers‘ blind side. Could moving Bryan Bulaga from the right side to left side be Green Bay’s quick fix?
ProFootballTalk: Packers must protect Rodgers’ blind side
The moment when Darrelle Revis went down with a torn ACL last year, Buccaneers General Manager Mark Dominik recognized an opportunity.
Dominik told NFL Network that he immediately thought about the possibility that the Jets might decide to trade Revis, and that the Bucs’ front office started thinking about what Revis could mean to Tampa’s future during the 2012 season.
“Quite frankly, it started when he blew out his knee,” Dominik said. “I actually went into our director of player personnel Dennis Hickey’s office and I said, ‘That could be a reason why he could leave the Jets.’ Because I knew what his contract situation was, and so when he hurt his knee, I thought, ‘That’s going to be an out possibility’.”
Dominik said all indications are that Revis is making big strides in his recovery, and that he’s going to be the same Revis who was a three-time All-Pro for the Jets.
“I think we’re getting the No. 1 cornerback in the National Football League,” Dominik said.
If Dominik is right about that, he was smart to start thinking about Revis the moment he went down.
Good news about Seahawks defensive ends is getting harder to find than stores renting VHS tapes.
Chris Clemons is rehabbing from a torn ACL and the team isn’t sure when he’ll be able to get back on the field. Michael Bennett has a torn rotator cuff, which doesn’t require surgery but is still something he’ll have to deal with over the course of the season. And Bruce Irvin will be serving a four-game suspension to start the year after violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy.
The last thing they really need at this point, then, is an injury to Cliff Avril. When it rains in Seattle, it pours. Avril injured the plantar fascia (the connective tissue on the bottom of the foot) in his foot about a month ago and will be out at least another couple of weeks as he tries to recover.
“Well, it hurts. You could ask him about it. The plantar fascia thing is a real uncomfortable thing. You just have to wait it out,” coach Pete Carroll said, via Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune. “It’s something that you can come back from. It’s not a problem. But you just have to wait it out. He’s real anxious to go, and he’s doing very well in his rehab. And he runs some this week for the first time. So it will take another couple weeks at least.”
OTAs aren’t vital for a veteran player like Avril, certainly less important than making sure his foot is 100 percent come training camp and the regular season. It wouldn’t be surprising at all if Avril was held out for the remainder of the offseason work, including next month’s minicamp, in hopes of avoiding the run of bad luck at defensive end that calls to mind Spinal Tap’s problems finding a permanent drummer.
Bengals cornerback Leon Hall missed OTAs last season as he recovered from an Achilles injury and he’s going to miss at least a portion of the team’s organized team activities again this year.
Geoff Hobson of the Bengals website reports that Hall tore a ligament in his thumb while lifting weights. As a result, Hall is going to be on the sideline when the team starts this year’s set of OTAs on Tuesday.
According to the report, Hall is expected back at some point during OTAs so this isn’t nearly as serious an injury as the Achilles issue from last year. Given Hall’s status as a veteran foundation of the defense and the team’s need to keep such a player in the lineup, it wouldn’t be surprising if he took things easy until at least the team’s mandatory minicamp next month.
Dre Kirkpatrick, who also had injury issues in 2012, isn’t expected to do any team drills until training camp as he rehabs from knee surgery performed in hopes of keeping him on the field this season. Should everyone be healthy at cornerback come the start of the season, the Bengals secondary should be better than it was last season and that should keep them in the hunt for a third straight playoff berth.
Kyle Love made the Patriots roster as an undrafted rookie.
And he left the roster in kind of the same way, learning a lesson that no player (at least one not named Tom Brady) isn’t replaceable.
That’s why he wasn’t surprised when the Patriots released him after he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes this offseason. The Jaguars quickly claimed him.
“That’s how they run their business up there; veteran guys who have been there for years and put in a lot of work get treated like rookies,” Love told Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union.
Love said that both his parents have diabetes, which made him expect to receive a similar diagnosis. He said he had worked out regularly at Patriots facility, and any weight loss resulting from the disease wasn’t dramatic.
“It’s not like I lost 30 pounds,” he said. “I was never out of shape — I participated every day so I don’t know where that came from.”
Love has a chance to help the Jaguars immediately, but coaches met with the team’s medical staff before putting in a claim to make sure he’d be able to do what he does best.
“They reviewed it and felt good about the situation and felt like we can get him the care he needs,” coach Gus Bradley said. “We went through a preliminary meeting [Monday] to talk about what he can and can’t do and the number of reps. We’ll bring him along slowly and get a chance to see him.”
Love said he’s had to cut out a lot of desserts and carbohydrates from his diet, but that’s something he’s willing to do to manage the disease.
“My wife asked me how I felt after the whole thing went down and it was bittersweet,” Love said. “You’re sad, but then you’re happy at the same time. I’m just trying to move on and not really worry about what happened.”
If they can manage the disease, the Jaguars likely found an upgrade at a position of need. And if that happens, they can thank the Patriots for making a cold calculation that helped them.
Usually when guys stay away from voluntary workouts, it’s because they’re trying to make a statement.
In the case of Bears offensive lineman Gabe Carimi, the statement seems to be that he’s putting all the pressure on himself.
Today will be the fifth of 10 voluntary OTA days for the Bears, and Carimi will have missed all five. He’s working out in Arizona with former Pro Bowl lineman LeCharles Bentley, who said the chance he’s taking is worth it.
“Any time a player opts to make an investment in himself that is outside the scope of what the team expects, that’s a gamble,” Bentley told Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. “That’s sometimes a risk that players have to be willing to take. Sometimes, when guys are in a situation like Gabe, maybe the player feels comfortable betting on himself.
“Now, where it gets a little sketchy, you can’t go back and be OK. You can’t go back and be good. You’ve got to go back and be damn good. That’s where the pressure falls back onto the player and, to be quite frank, that is where it belongs. Let these guys stand up and man up for themselves. These are their careers. If Gabe Carimi is going to be labeled as a bust, let this man do it on his own terms.”
The Bears have tried to play nice, saying they will welcome him with open arms when he returns. But he was on the roster bubble before this, and playing keep-away is no way to endear yourself to a new coach and a General Manager who didn’t pick you in the first round.
When Carimi did show up for a minicamp, he was working as a second-team right guard. He struggled at tackle last year (as did most Bears offensive linemen), and has battled knee problems.
That’s not the strongest position from which to gamble, but that’s the risk Carimi is taking, as he tries to prove his bust label is not an accurate one.
The Dolphins hope the pieces are in place for a more productive secondary in 2013.
A snapshot of the Bengals roster as the team starts OTAs.
Former Browns LB David McMillan was shot and killed in Georgia last weekend.
The Steelers face plenty of questions as they reach the OTA portion of the offseason.
Said Texans WR Andre Johnson of WR DeAndre Hopkins, “You could kind of tell that he’s thinking a lot when he’s playing, but that’s part of being a rookie. He’s picking up everything pretty well. He went and made some plays today and that’s a good thing. I think day-by-day, he’ll continue to get better and better.”
A visit to the Indianapolis 500 reinforced Colts coach Chuck Pagano’s belief in teamwork and communication.
An analysis of the Titans’ 2013 schedule.
It looks like the Chiefs will be running a more aggressive defense this season.
Arizona State coaches are reading Giants coach Tom Coughlin’s book.
The Redskins are happy with the progress made on their training camp location in Richmond.
Said Lions DT Nick Fairley, “Hopefully we get them in third-and-long a lot this year so we can pin our ears back on D-line and go get the quarterback. I think we’ll do pretty good on defense and, as a team, we’re expecting big things out of everybody.”
Five big questions for the Panthers to answer during the rest of the offseason.
The Rams went the big-ticket route in free agency this year.
Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo will miss Organized Team Activities after having surgery to remove a cyst from his back.
Romo, however, says there’s nothing to worry about, and that the procedure was fairly minor.
“If this was the regular season and I had to play next week, I could,” Romo told the Dallas Morning News. “This is just about being smart. That’s why I did it now. This will have no effect on training camp. No way will it have an impact. And I still think there’s a good chance I’m on the field for minicamp.”
Although it hadn’t been reported previously, Romo had the cyst removed a month ago. He said the surgery was simple enough that his wife could drive him home that day, and he was playing with their son that evening.
“It was a pretty routine afternoon,’’ Romo said. “I was back at the [Cowboys] complex the next day to go through what we would do in the teaching sessions and the throwing sessions this off-season. . . . It was not much of anything, I just went in and had them look at it. It was more of an ache than anything. I just thought, ‘well, it’s something I’d rather not feel.’ I’d rather be 100 percent, not 96 percent. It’s done and it’s made me feel better.”
And while Romo isn’t feeling enough to get to work now, he’s expecting to be as good as ever before the season starts.
Multiple suspensions in a given year won’t simply cause a team to lose the services of a player. The teams also are required, under certain circumstances, to forfeit to the league office a portion of the salary that some players won’t be paid during the suspension.
The policy applies once a team has a second suspension in a given league year. For the first suspension that triggers a fine (i.e., the second suspension in a given league year), the penalty is 25 percent of the player’s base salary for the duration of the suspension. For the next suspension in a given league year, the fine is one third of the player’s base salary for the term of the suspension, not to exceed $350,000. For the next suspension drawing a fine in a given league year, the penalty is half the player’s base salary for the term of the suspension, not to exceed $500,000.
For 2013, the Seahawks are in the clear, because the policy applies only to multiple suspensions in the same league year. In the current league year, the Seahawks have had only one suspension, so far. For the next suspension arising under the substance-abuse policy, the personal-conduct policy, or the policy regarding steroids and related substances, the fines will begin to accumulate.
For the Seahawks, the more pertinent question isn’t whether they’ll be fined in the wake of the Bruce Irvin suspension in the 2013 league year, but whether and to what extent the Seahawks have been fined for the four prior suspensions occurring since 2011.
In 2011, the NFL expanded the program to encompass teams whose players have incurred fines for on-field infractions equaling and exceeding $100,000 in a given league year.
Dolphins safety Reshad Jones has changed his mind and decided to attend Organized Team Activities.
Jones, who is unhappy with his contract, skipped Monday’s voluntary workout. But Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports that Jones will show up to the Dolphins’ OTA session today.
Jones’s agent, Joel Segal, and Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland spoke several times on Monday, and Ireland told Segal the Dolphins would open discussions on a new contract “eventually” if Jones showed up, Salguero reports. Whether “eventually” means any time soon, and whether the Dolphins’ offer will be enough to satisfy Jones, is a separate question. But Ireland’s assurance was enough to get Jones to report.
The Dolphins chose Jones in the fifth round of the 2010 NFL draft, and he’s scheduled to make $1.3 million this year, on the final season of his rookie contract. Jones has been a good player in Miami, earning a starting job in his second season and starting all 16 games while leading the team with four interceptions last year, so the Dolphins would like to keep him around for several more years.
Broncos safety Rahim Moore says he’s doing his best to ignore the nasty comments from fans after he gave up the game-tying 70-yard touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter of Denver’s playoff loss to Baltimore.
“I’ve had some bad comments, but I keep those to myself because it’s part of the territory,” Moore said. “Just from random people, anybody, you know? So, but I hear them, I just keep walking. Or I just keep them in the back of my head.”
Moore said he doesn’t blame fans who are angry with him.
“The fans, that’s what they’re supposed to do, that’s why they’re there for us, they pay all their money, their hard-earned money and they want to see greatness,” he said. “So, I don’t fault them at all. But this year, we’re going to do all we can to put some smiles on their faces.”
It’s one thing for Denver fans to boo Moore at the time he gave up the Joe Flacco-to-Jacoby Jones touchdown pass. But if fans are still making “bad comments” to Moore when they see him out and about in Denver, those fans need to get over it.
Still, all Moore can do is ignore anything fans say about that touchdown. And not let it happen again.
Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was the victim of a burglary this weekend as his Maryland home was broken into and several things were taken from the residence.
According the Associated Press, Rice had $2,000 and a pair of guns stolen from his home Friday night. Rice was out-of-town but a friend was staying at the house and notified police of the incident. Police say the burglar entered through a rear window and ransacked Rice’s home.
Surveillance video caught the burglar on tape.
Apparently even winning a Super Bowl just four months ago isn’t enough to earn Rice a reprieve from being a crime victim. At least he wasn’t home when the robbery happened.
Arizona Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington has pleaded not guilty to his arrest earlier this month on assault charges stemming from an incident with his ex-girlfriend.
According to the Associated Press, Washington entered the plea Monday.
Per Phoenix police, Washington’s former girlfriend and mother of his baby claims he grabbed her by the throat and threw her to the ground during an altercation at her apartment. He was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and criminal trespass and released on bond.
Washington has been able to practice with the Cardinals during offseason workouts. He has been getting second-team reps with a four-game suspension and possible further discipline from the league from this arrest looming in the future. Karlos Dansby instead saw action with the Cardinals’ first-team defense.
It’s essentially a Te’obargo, and the Chargers now admit they won’t be making their second-round pick available to the media at all until the middle of June.
So why are they not letting Te’o talk? Chargers director of public relations Bill Johnston addressed the situation today on XTRA Sports 1360 in San Diego.
“Right now, anything that he does . . . makes news,” Johnston said. “Right now, the news that people are talking about with him is really not the news that we want him to be talking about. Really, he’s a rookie, he’s a second-round draft pick, yet everybody wants to talk to him. Well, why? Well, it all goes back to that stuff that happened back in the winter, and back when he was at Notre Dame.
“To us, that’s not what we want him talking about. We want him focused on becoming a Charger, on becoming a better player. Learning our system. Getting comfortable here. We want him talking football, talking Chargers, and that’s all we want him focused on right now. So we’re doing what we think is in his best interests to stay focused and become the best player he can.”
That really doesn’t make much sense, frankly. Media availability inherently is a distraction, regardless of the topics addressed. Any time spent talking to the media takes away from Te’o's effort to become a better player and learn the system.
Moreover, the furor regarding the Lennay Kukua nonsense largely has subsided. It wasn’t, for example, much of an issue during the first session between Te’o and the media on May 10, in connection with the team’s rookie minicamp.
Of course, the controversy can remain relevant if Te’o does things to keep it relevant. For example, he chose to attend the Maxim party honoring a list of women that included the non-existent Kukua. Under the circumstances, it’s fair game to ask him why he did it.
It’s not fair game for the Chargers to protect him, or anyone other player simply because the team wants him to talk about certain subjects and not others. Watch the video from the May 10 session; the kid can handle himself well. Besides, they picked him knowing what having him on the team would entail. It’s short-sighted to treat him differently than every other player.
Think of the message that sends this to the locker room, at a time when he’d love nothing more than to simply be one of the guys. He’s necessarily not one of the guys, because the team is giving him different treatment than the rest of his teammates.
Meanwhile, the team is making the issue even bigger than it should be, giving Te’o yet another topic to address when he finally talks to the media and making it harder for him to lay the foundation for a positive relationship with the folks who buy ink by the truckload.
While it’s hard for any organization to reverse a decision that has been made and implemented, the best move for the Chargers would be to treat Te’o no differently than any other player — and to hope that the media eventually will do the same thing.
The Seattle Seahawks spent the offseason adding to an already talented roster in hopes of making a Super Bowl run this fall. But on the first day of OTAs Monday, Pete Carroll had to address off-field issues for his team instead of the additions to it.
Defensive end Bruce Irvin was handed a four-game suspension Friday for a violation of the league’s performance-enhancing drugs policy. Irvin is the sixth member of the Seahawks active roster to test positive for performance-enhancing drugs in the last three seasons. Backup quarterback Josh Portis was also arrested earlier this month on suspicion of DUI and joins running back Marshawn Lynch as Seahawks with pending DUI cases.
It’s not the focus Carroll was hoping would be on his football team.
“Unfortunately if you go wrong, you get popped and that’s how this thing works, and I’m really disappointed that we have to deal with anything like this. But there are going to be other issues too, and we have to deal with them,” Carroll said.
Carroll stressed the team takes the issue of players getting in trouble seriously and they continue to focus on improving how they handle the situations when they arrive. He said the team employs people specifically to help players in these situations.
“We have people on staff that are here specifically to work with our individual guys because I really see this as an individual challenge. We try to bring each kid as far along as we possibly can to make them available for the opportunity that they have,” Carroll said.
He said the team goes beyond the punishment set in place by the league to make sure players understand the seriousness of the incidents. However, with players still finding trouble, the team may need to explore other avenues of getting the message across.
“We have to figure this out and try to help through education and through all of the ways we can, and we’ll always compete to find more creative ways to make the message clear,” Carroll said.
The Seattle Seahawks continue to deal with issues that will potentially affect the availability of their players on the field.
According to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times, Portis was arrested and charged with a gross misdemeanor on May 5 after being pulled over on a freeway just outside of Seattle. The officer noted a “strong odor of intoxicants coming from the vehicle” and Portis registered reading of .092 and .078 in tests following the stop. Washington’s legal limit is .08.
Portis was released from the Seahawks practice squad last November before being re-signed by the team in April. Portis has not played in a regular season since signing with the Seahawks as an undrafted free agent in 2011.
Portis was on the practice field and participated in the team’s first OTA workout on Monday. He faces a battle with Brady Quinn and recently signed Jerrod Johnson for possibly one or two roster spots at the quarterback position. Seattle only kept two quarterbacks on the roster last season.