The Chiefs are on the clock, but who they’ll select with the first overall selection is still a mystery. Mike Florio says they’ll most likely take an offensive tackle, but which one?This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
ProFootballTalk: No. 1 pick still a mystery
As the Texans prepare for a playoff push, they won’t have one of the members of their receiver rotation, for the rest of the year.
The Texans have placed receiver Jaelen Strong on injured reserve, ending his season.
Strong had been ruled out for Sunday’s game at Indianapolis with an ankle injury. To fill his spot on the roster, the Texans elevated cornerback Denzel Rice from the practice squad.
A third-round pick in 2015, Strong faced stiff competition on the depth chart, when the Texans added receivers Will Fuller and Braxton Miller in the 2016 draft. Strong caught 14 passes in his second season, matching his total for 2015.
Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly is still not cleared from the league’s concussion protocol and will not play on Sunday against the Chargers.
The Panthers announced today that Kuechly, who returned to practice this week, still hasn’t been given the medical go-ahead to play.
Kuechly suffered the concussion in Week 11 against the Saints and was carted off the field. He hasn’t played since.
The 25-year-old Kuechly also missed three games with a concussion last season. Given that the 4-8 Panthers will almost certainly not make the playoffs this season, it might make sense for Carolina to shut Kuechly down for the season even if he does gain medical clearance next week. This has already been a miserable year in Carolina, and lingering concussions for Kuechly could make this year even worse.
The Buccaneers are getting running back Charles Sims back on the field in time for a push to the playoffs.
Tampa Bay is activating Sims from the injured reserve list to the active roster, according to Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times.
Sims played in the first four games of the season and started two before suffering a knee injury that has kept him out the last eight games. He was not off to a very good start, with just 116 yards on 41 carries, but Sims has shown promise in the past and could be an important part of the Bucs’ offense down the stretch.
The Bucs are also promoting receiver Donteea Dye from the practice squad to the 53-man roster and waiving offensive lineman Josh Allen and defensive tackle John Hughes to make room for Sims and Dye on the 53-man roster.
Jets WR Brandon Marshall could return punts this weekend at San Francisco.
Is Bills coach Rex Ryan sliding back toward the hot seat?
The Patriots could be playing a game in London or Mexico next year.
In 35 games played against Cleveland since the team returned to the NFL, the Bengals have had an 100-yard rusher 18 different times.
Browns players want to get a win on Sunday for coach Hue Jackson.
The Raiders are catching heat for their play calling on third and one from the Kansas City 14.
The Cowboys received a motivational speech this week from Ray Lewis.
Giants coach Ben McAdoo is hoping for snow on Sunday night against Dallas.
Young Bears players remain fully engaged, despite the team’s 3-9 record.
LB Travis Freeney, previously on the Pittsburgh practice squad, didn’t expect the phone call that made him a Saint.
WR Josh Huff could be a key figure for the Buccaneers against New Orleans.
As the Browns try to get their first win in nearly a full calendar year and the Bengals try to avoid becoming the first team to lose to the Browns in a full calendar year, one of the skirmishes that will determine the outcome involves the ability of the Cincinnati cornerbacks to slow down the Cleveland passing game.
Initially, Jones declined to speak about Pryor, as explained by Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Then, Jones decided to talk a blue streak, Jack.
“He pushes off, every route. He’s an OK receiver,” Jones said. “They do feature him a little bit so he does get more looks than a guy who would be in his situation. He’s just a guy to me.”
Jones went on to explain that Pryor won’t be able to push off at the top of his route, “so you’ve just got to be in good position.” And it apparently worked the last time the Bengals played the Browns.
“We played him last game and he didn’t do sh-t,” Jones said.
Specifically, Pryor caught two passes for 18 yards.
“Yeah,” Jones said. “I don’t like him. You can put that in there.”
So, basically, there’s now a reason to watch the game beyond the question of whether the Browns can turn perhaps their last, best chance for a victory into something other than another loss.
The Raiders and the Chiefs don’t draw like the Cowboys, but it’s close.
Thursday night’s game between the AFC West arch-rivals delivered 17.4 million TV viewers, according to NBC. It’s the first time this year that an audience of more than 17 million tuned in for back-to-back Thursday night games. (Last week, more than 21 million watched the Cowboys beat the Vikings.)
Because last year’s Week 14 Thursday night game was televised only on NFL Network, there’s no apples-to-apples comparison to be made from one year to the next.
Next week, the Rams face the Seahawks on Thursday night in Seattle. The struggles of the L.A. franchise will make it hard to match the 17-million mark, but the Seahawks have developed a strong national following in recent years.
On Thursday morning, Raiders offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele became sufficiently ill to get treatment at a Kansas City-area hospital. But the Raiders didn’t disclose that development, as required by league rules.
Then, 90 minutes before kickoff, Osemele appeared on the inactive list, and news of the illness emerged for the first time.
The NFL tells PFT that it has no comment on the situation. The same thing happened a year ago, when Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen became ill before a Sunday afternoon game with the Chiefs but the illness wasn’t revealed. The league reportedly planned to investigate the matter, but no resolution ever was reported or announced.
The dilemma for the league office in these situation arises from the importance of enforcing the rules on one hand and a desire on the other to not unnecessarily expose the fact that liberties were taken with rules aimed at eliminating a window of opportunity for gamblers to acquire inside information.
On Thursday, that window was wide open. Osemele was sick, and he was in jeopardy or not playing. At some point before the moment at which the Raiders were required to submit their list of inactive players, they decided he wouldn’t be able to play.
The information about Osemele, their most important offensive lineman, was there to be had. And the Chiefs, favored by three points, eventually covered the spread.
Now, fast forward by a few years and imagine the reaction if this had happened not with the Oakland Raiders but the Las Vegas Raiders.
If nothing else, it should give the owners something to chew on this week when they hear from the league office a report aimed at persuading them to give Oakland a chance to keep the team.
A former Browns and Patriots executive is talking up the possibility that the Browns and Patriots will make a trade for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in the offseason.
Mike Lombardi, a longtime friend and colleague of Patriots coach Bill Belichick who also served as G.M. of the Browns in 2013, said on FS1 that he thinks the trade would make sense for both teams.
“The next quarterback that’ll be the Cleveland Browns’ quarterback perhaps is Jimmy Garoppolo in New England,” Lombardi said, via the Akron Beacon Journal. “I think Cleveland understands, [coach] Hue Jackson specifically understands he needs a quarterback. I think they’ll be very aggressive. I think Jimmy Garoppolo’s on top of their list, and I think they’ll go hard after him.”
Lombardi didn’t work with the current brass in Cleveland, and when he was last with the Patriots Garoppolo had never started a regular-season game, so he may not have a lot of insight into the teams’ current thinking about Garoppolo’s worth. The trade could make sense, though. The Browns still need to find a franchise quarterback, and most draft analysts don’t think there’s a franchise quarterback available in the 2017 NFL draft. And the Patriots, who are set at quarterback with Tom Brady, may think that there’s no reason not to acquire something of value for Garoppolo.
Garoppolo is under contract next year at just $820,000 before hitting free agency in 2018. That means the Patriots are under no salary cap pressure to trade him and can drive a hard bargain. The Browns, with two first-round picks and two second-round picks in the 2017 NFL draft, may be the team best suited to putting together a package that would pry Garoppolo out of New England.
Hall of Fame former Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman again drew the interest of NFL fans this week when he detailed the time he considered — for a day — an offer to come out of retirement and play for the Eagles.
Although Aikman has told the story before, his comments this week suggested that he was more seriously considering the offer during the 2002 season than he has previously let on.
“I retired, got into broadcasting. Then it was two years later when I got a call from Andy Reid in the middle of a game that I was broadcasting after Donovan McNabb had broken his leg,” Aikman said, via the Dallas Morning News. “He wanted me to sign with Philadelphia and come out of retirement right then and go to work for them. And I gave it some consideration – actually I told Andy I was going to sleep on it and call him in the morning. I called my producer at FOX and asked him what he thought my career was long-term in television. Then I called [former Cowboys offensive coordinator] Norv Turner and talked to him about it from the football perspective. And I woke up the next morning and I just thought, ‘Man, is this something I really want to do?’ And I decided against it. So I called Andy and said, ‘Look. I appreciate the interest, but I’m going to stay put and best of luck.’ And they ended up going on and having success with A.J. Feely. And ultimately they made it to the NFC Championship Game that year.”
The Cowboys actually released Aikman before he retired, so there was nothing contractual stopping him from signing with any team thereafter. But Aikman was 36 years old, hadn’t played in two years, and hadn’t played very well the last year he did play. It’s highly unlikely the Eagles would have been as good with a rusty, old Aikman at the helm as they were with Feely, a backup who helped the Eagles go 4-1 in the five games he started that season. Aikman did Reid a favor by turning him down.
Chargers coach Mike McCoy has just one year left on his contract, and his team is 5-7 and in last place. That’s raising questions about McCoy’s job security, and they’re questions the Chargers don’t want to answer.
San Diego G.M. Tom Telesco was asked on 1360-AM in San Diego whether McCoy will be back in 2017, and Telesco declined to give a direct answer.
“Contrary to public opinion, we don’t sit around here daily preoccupied with job status,” Telesco said, via ESPN. “It’s just not how it works. I’m not worried about next year right now. To be honest with you, I’m not worried about next week. I’m worried about this week and playing Carolina. We’ll worry about next year, next year. We’re 100 percent committed to this season. We only have 16 games to play, and we’ve got four games to go here, and that’s what we’re worried about. We’re not even looking toward 2017 yet.”
Telesco’s contract runs through the 2019 season, so his job appears to be safe. But with McCoy now missing the playoffs three years in a row, it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see him given the axe.
The decision may come down to what the Chargers’ ownership thinks is the best way to get support from its fan base. With the possibility that the Chargers will move to Los Angeles this offseason and share a stadium with the Rams, the Chargers may decide they need continuity on the field while they make a big move off the field. On the other hand, they may decide that a new coach is what they need to generate excitement in Los Angeles. McCoy’s job could hinge on off-field concerns.
The 49ers don’t have many players worthy of long-term extensions. They believe they have at least one.
Tight end Vance McDonald has signed a five-year extension. The team announced the deal, which puts McDonald under contract through 2021, on Friday night.
A second-round pick in 2013, McDonald was due to become a free agent in March.
“Vance has shown consistent growth throughout his four-year career and his production this season is the result of his dedication and hard work,” G.M. Trent Baalke said in a press release. “We believe he has only scratched the surface of what he will be able to accomplish in his career. Vance is a tremendous ambassador for the 49ers, and his passion for helping others provides a wonderful example for this organization. We look forward to his continued contributions to this organization, both on and off the field.”
McDonald has 10 starts in 10 appearances this season, with 24 catches for 391 yards and four touchdowns.
The deal reportedly is worth $35 million in new money, according to ESPN. The contract also carries $16 million guaranteed, which as we know by now means little without knowing how much is fully and actually guaranteed at signing.
With the bell tolling for Oakland’s football future, the race is on to put a viable stadium proposal on the table. Or at least to act like a viable stadium proposal is on the table.
Oakland has announced the details of a stadium plan that would keep the Raiders from moving to Las Vegas or, in theory, Los Angeles. But the lengthy release regarding the details of the stadium plan is devoid of actual, you know, details.
“This term sheet agreement puts Oakland in the running to keep the Raiders in a way that is responsible to the team, the league, the fans and the taxpayers,” Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said in the press release. “Everything the City and County and the investor team is doing is about putting forward the best offer to encourage the Raiders ownership and the NFL to keep the Raiders in Oakland, where the team belongs.”
The term sheet agreement to which Schaaf referred hasn’t been disclosed yet. Instead, the press release lists the following “key elements” of the plan: (1) “an economically viable proposal that can keep team in Oakland and Alameda County with no taxpayer monies, but instead the use of the Coliseum land”; (2) “a professional group of investors to develop the stadium and other associated mixed-use projects to support cost of stadium”; (3) “the creation of a major Grand Central station-like development around the property that incorporates and enhances the use of the BART station”; and (4) “a location for a new Oakland A’s stadium should the Major League Baseball team determine it wants to remain at the Coliseum site.”
So how much will the stadium cost? How much will the Raiders and the NFL pay for it? How big will it be? How will the revenue be generated and shared?
Most importantly, will the people providing the private financing that will bridge the gap between the team and league contribution expect to buy a piece of the team — and if so, how much?
The press release answers none of those questions.
According to the press release, the County of Alameda will hold a public hearing and vote at 2:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Dec. 13, and the Oakland City Council will hold a hearing and vote at 9:30 p.m. ET on the same day as part of an expedited financial development proposal and exclusive negotiation agreement.
The timing isn’t coincidental; NFL owners will meet the next day, and at that time the league office is expected to make a proposal that extolls the virtues of keeping the Raiders in Oakland.
There’s currently no reason to believe the Raiders will be interested in the proposal. Owner Mark Davis has at no time deviated from his intent to move to Las Vegas, explaining that the folks in Nevada stepped forward and crafted a viable plan at a time when Oakland couldn’t or wouldn’t. It would be a surprise if the formal proposal changes his mind.
The NFL’s “My Cleats My Cause” weekend allowed players across the league to support various messages and causes during last week’s games outside the league’s usually stringent uniform rules.
The catch was that there was supposed to be actual cause.
Green-Beckham apparently said his cleats were meant to support “The Yeezy Foundation,” but the NFL was not buying that such a foundation existed.
The Rams had nothing to say on Thursday regarding a report of dysfunction between coach Jeff Fisher and G.M. Les Snead. On Friday, Fisher had plenty to say.
“When you’re 4-8, people are frustrated, you know, they’re frustrated,” Fisher told reporters. “We’ll find out where it’s coming from.”
The issue arose from comments made by Fisher to the media on Tuesday that seemed to criticize the front office for the plight of the team. An unnamed Rams source told Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com that Fisher’s words were regarded as a shot at a front office that Fisher ultimately controls.
“If you go back and look at the transcripts, I was speaking the truth,” Fisher said. “Honestly, I don’t know where this came from. . . . I’ll find out. In our business, unnamed sources, they’re not good. If we’ve got sources within the organization that are speaking, then we’ll address it. But there are no issues between Les and I – by no means. We agree to disagree and we’ve had a fun run, but we’re certainly disappointed – as I said on Tuesday – in the outcome and where we are. We’ve got work to do, but we’re doing it together.”
Fisher specifically took issue with a contention from Breer that front-office personnel “question how hard the team is pushed, with a lack of in-season padded practices being an example of the perceived problem.”
Said Fisher: “Somebody said that we don’t pad our practices. We padded on Wednesday. So whoever is talking obviously has not been out to practice or does not understand the CBA. Enough is enough, Les and I are good, we’re all good. Our focus is on Atlanta right now.”
Fisher also suggested that the characterization of the organization as “Rams Junior High” didn’t originate with anyone in the organization but with those who published the story.
“That came from either the editor or the writer, but I didn’t think the ‘junior high’ thing came from an unnamed source,” Fisher said. “But again, I don’t pay as close attention to those things as you do because I’m more concerned about the Falcons. But I’ll just say this again, Les and I are fine. We work together. We talk every day. I don’t know where that’s coming from.”
Fisher may need to pay closer attention. Breer wrote that “some in the building have come to know [the organization] as ‘Rams Junior High,'” and that the “Junior High” nickname has stuck inside the building. So the name wasn’t manufactured by a writer or an editor; it came from one or more people in the organization.
Regardless, the principal is about to find out who’s been talking out of school. And that’s an exercise that will do little to get those who are or aren’t using the “junior high” nickname to stop.
Titans defensive tackle Jurrell Casey didn’t practice again Friday, and Titans coach Mike Mularkey told reporters that Casey will be a game-time decision Sunday for the Broncos.
“We’ve still got 48 hours,” Mularkey said Friday.
Casey is dealing with a sprained foot he suffered two weeks ago against the Bears. The Titans were off last weekend and enter the home stretch in a three-way tie atop the AFC South with the Texans and Colts.
Casey, a Pro Bowler last season, has missed only one game in his six-year career.
Mularkey said the Titans are likely to make an extra defensive lineman active for Sunday’s game even if Casey is active and said the decision “could go all the way up” to 90 minutes before kickoff, when teams have to submit their active players for that day’s game.