The public normally has knowledge of the first overall pick in the NFL draft days in advance. This year is much different. With just over 24 hours left until commissioner Roger Goodell announces the Kansas City Chiefs’ pick, the selection is still unknown. Mike Florio and the rest of the ProFootballTalk crew discuss their options.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
ProFootballTalk: Chiefs keep the No. 1 pick a secret
The Jets continue to employ veteran quarterback David Garrard, even though they continue to not use him.
They apparently are interested in continuing to not use him in 2014. Unless, of course, they aren’t.
According to Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post, Garrard said after practice that the team has broached the possibility of a return next season. Garrard said the Jets raised the issue informally two weeks ago, telling Garrard, “[O]nce a Jet, always a Jet.”
(Wait, so Tim Tebow is still a Jet?)
Hubbuch also writes that Garrard contacted the Post later in the day to explain that Garrard didn’t mean to suggest the Jets specifically had talked to him about a return next season. A Jets spokesman said the same thing.
So why are the Jets tiptoeing on eggshells regarding the question of whether a guy they aren’t using will be back next season? Garrard presumably signed a one-year deal under the so-called minimum salary benefit. The Collective Bargaining Agreement says that such contracts “may not be extended or renegotiated in any manner.”
It sounds like the Jets did indeed talk to Garrard about staying, that someone figured out that the Jets could get in trouble for doing that, and that the official position suddenly became that the Jets haven’t talked to Garrard about returning.
That’s a lot of words devoted to a guy who hasn’t actually played in a game since 2010. Then again, there’s a chance we’ll see him at some point on Sunday.
Heck, Tim Tebow would arguably better than all three of him. Since he’s technically still a Jet, maybe they should give him a call.
The Lions have shuffled their roster to respond to the knee injury suffered by rookie cornerback Darius Slay.
Slay, the Lions’ second-round draft pick, was officially declared out today after he suffered a torn meniscus in practice on Thursday. That’s an injury that typically keeps players out for multiple weeks, although the fact that the Lions are keeping him on the active roster suggests that they think he’ll return before the season is over.
To bolster the depth at cornerback, the Lions have promoted Chris Greenwood from the practice squad to the active roster. A 2012 fifth-round draft pick of the Lions out of Division III Albion College, Greenwood is raw but has a lot of athletic ability. He has never played in a regular-season NFL game.
To make space on the 53-man roster for Greenwood, the Lions cut receiver and return man Micheal Spurlock. Jeremy Ross had already supplanted Spurlock as the Lions’ returner, so it’s no surprise that Spurlock has been released.
The Steelers need some help on the offensive line. They’ll get some Sunday, sort of.
Matt Spaeth, regarded as one of the top blocking tight ends in the NFL, has been activated from the injured reserve list.
A third-round pick of the Steelers in 2007, he returned in 2013 via free agency after spending two seasons in Chicago. Spaeth suffered a foot injury in the preseason.
The addition of Spaeth to the active roster required a corresponding roster move. Tight end Richard Gordon has gotten the heave ho.
The Chargers’ No. 1 pick in the 2012 draft, Ingram spent the first 12 regular-season games of 2013 on the physically unable to perform list as he recovered from a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered in May.
Ingram (6-1, 265) recorded 41 tackles and one sack in 16 games (two starts) as a rookie. As a senior at South Carolina, Ingram notched 10 sacks.
In a corresponding roster move, the Chargers released linebacker Adrian Robinson, who appeared in San Diego’s last two games on special teams.
Dennis Pitta is back on the Ravens’ roster for the stretch run.
According to NFL Network’s Albert Breer, the Ravens are adding Pitta to their active roster from injured reserve. Pitta has missed the first 12 regular-season games after suffering a broken and dislocated hip in July.
The 28-year-old Pitta was the Ravens’ top receiving threat at tight end in 2012, catching 61 passes for 669 yards and seven touchdowns in regular-season play, then adding 14 receptions for 163 yards and three scores in the postseason as the Ravens went on to win Super Bowl XLVII.
The return of Pitta could strengthen the Ravens’ passing game, which hasn’t been as sharp as it was a season ago.
The Ravens (6-6) currently hold the AFC’s final playoff spot. They host the Vikings on Sunday in Baltimore.
Arizona coach Bruce Arians said Friday that he has “all the confidence in the world” that Palmer will be able to play. And Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that Palmer took all snaps at today’s walkthrough and is expected to start Sunday.
Palmer got off to a shaky start this season as the Cardinals started the year 3-4, but his improvement has been a big part of the team’s improving fortunes.
The Cardinals, at 7-5, still have a chance to catch the 8-4 49ers in the NFC wild card race. Sunday’s game against the Rams is a game they’ll need to win if they want to be a playoff team, and the presence of Palmer makes a win on Sunday a lot more likely.
Cowboys special teamer Dwayne Harris, who can change a game in an instant, was listed as questionable after practicing for the first time Saturday. Harris, who is second in the league in both kick and punt return average, hadn’t worked prior to today because of a hamstring strain.
Along with Cutler, linebacker Lance Briggs is listed as out for the Bears. Otherwise, they’re a largely healthy group, as wide receiver Brandon Marshall, safety Major Wright and guard Kyle Long are all listed as probable.
The Cowboys are likewise well, with the exception of cornerback Morris Claiborne, who is out with a hamstring problem.
For Sunday’s game between the Fighting Flynns and the Flailing Falcons, plenty of tickets are available on the secondary market, for cents on the dollar.
Via FOX 11, a ticket with a $97 face value in Section 123 can be had for a mere $30.
Supply continues to outpace demand, given the ongoing absence of starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers to a broken collarbone.
If enough people sell and not enough buy, it probably will be smart for any Packers scoring touchdowns on Sunday to pass on the Lambeau Leap. There’s a chance no one will be there to catch them.
The authorities in Kansas City believe that 30-year-old Kyle Van Winkle’s death was a homicide. But they don’t specifically know what killed him.
According to the Associated Press, Van Winkle left last Sunday’s game between the Chiefs and Broncos early. He went to a Jeep in an Arrowhead Stadium parking lot that he apparently believed was the Jeep he rode to the game in.
But it wasn’t. And when the owner of the Jeep in which Van Winkle was sitting arrived, an argument ensued. Fans tailgating in the vicinity came over, and a fight broke out.
Van Winkle collapsed during the struggle. He died at a local hospital.
Police expect that a precise cause of death will be known in four to six weeks.
Van Winkle was married with a seven-week-old son.The incident happened one year to the day after Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher committed suicide in another Arrowhead Stadium parking lot after killing the mother of his daughter.
Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt may stay only one year in San Diego. And his boss is OK with that.
San Diego head coach Mike McCoy said talk that the Texans will be interested in hiring Whisenhunt after the season is a good indication that Whisenhunt is well respected around the NFL.
“It goes to show what type of coach he is,” McCoy said, via Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego. “When you have good coaches on your staff and you do good things, there’s going to be opportunities for people. That’s something you explore, getting in the business. It’s all part of it. But he’s an outstanding coach. We’re lucky to have him. It wouldn’t surprise me at all.”
Whisenhunt has done an excellent job with the Chargers’ offense this season, and he had some success during his time as head coach of the Cardinals, leading them to the Super Bowl after the 2008 season. However, Whisenhunt also had some bad seasons in Arizona, and he struggled to get the quarterback position figured out after Kurt Warner retired. (And even when he had Warner, it took Whisenhunt way too long to figure out that Warner was better than Matt Leinart.)
In both San Diego and Pittsburgh, Whisenhunt has proven himself as one of the NFL’s best offensive coordinators. It remains to be seen whether he can parlay his fine work as an offensive coordinator into another opportunity to be a head coach.
In September, someone (possibly with the Eagles) was putting out the word that the Eagles nearly traded for 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick prior to the 2012 draft, and that the Eagles otherwise wanted to pick Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.
Philly instead settled for Nick Foles in the third round.
Now that Nick Foles has become Nick Freaking Foles, you’ll hear no chatter about what might have been in Philly. Instead, the current buzz centers on the front office’s foresight.
That’s the gist of the latest item from Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com, with extensive quotes from G.M. Howie Roseman: The Eagles saw in Foles that which no one else did.
Fine. So why did they nearly trade for Kaepernick? And why did they covet Wilson? And why did someone (possibly with the Eagles) leak that in September?
The competing, albeit chronologically separate, quarterback narratives hint at a certain amount of insecurity in the organization, especially as it relates to the selection of players before the arrival of coach Chip Kelly. While the Eagles successfully concealed for months the post-Andy Reid power structure, word eventually emerged that Kelly negotiated final say over personnel as part of his deal.
As a result, Roseman sets the table for Kelly. And Roseman needs Kelly to regard Roseman as a competent table setter. Otherwise, Kelly eventually could have the power to hire his own guy to set the table.
In September, the message is that Roseman wanted Kaepernick or Wilson over Foles. Now, the message is that Roseman wanted Foles.
Meanwhile, Kelly is the guy who picked Mike Vick over Nick Foles prior to Week One. Based on Foles’ performance, that could be the strangest decision of them all.
Despite being listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game at San Diego with a knee ailment, Giants running back Brandon Jacobs is making the trip west with the club on Saturday, Conor Orr of the Newark Star-Ledger reported.
One of the Giants’ reserve tailbacks, Jacobs did practice on Thursday or Friday. He missed the Giants’ Week 13 win at Washington with his knee ailment.
The 31-year-old Jacobs has rushed for 238 yards and four touchdowns on 58 carries for the Giants, who re-signed him after the season opener.
The Chiefs have added some tight end depth in advance of Sunday’s game at Washington, promoting Dominique Jones from the practice squad. The club announced the move on Saturday morning.
Jones, 26, has played in 10 NFL regular-season games in the last two seasons, all with Indianapolis. The Chiefs signed him to the practice squad on Oct. 30.
To make room for Jones, the Chiefs released wide receiver Chad Hall.
What goes into the decision to go for it?
Saints coach Sean Payton was asked Friday about risk taking as a play-caller, and he indicated the call on whether to go for it was often related to the playbook.
“We will look closely at situations, timing in the game,” Payton said according to a transcript from the club. “A lot of times the decision to go for it on fourth down or hypothetically a two-point play is based on whether you still have a play you like.
“Sometimes, say in short-yardage situations, you’ve run a play you really like, converted, maybe you would run another one. A lot of times it depends on if you have that play still that you haven’t shown. That factors in more than you think.
“I think it also is based on the game in itself and how it is unfolding, what you are doing defensively and what you are doing offensively and paying attention to that and trusting your instincts when the time comes. Each game is different.”
Excluding 2012, the Saints are 51-of-111 on fourth downs (45.9 percent) in regular-season games in Payton’s tenure. Also, they are 5-of-11 on fourth down (45.5 percent) in postseason contests coached by Payton.
By the numbers, the Saints are a little less than a coin flip to convert on fourth down. But should they go for it, we can safely assume Payton — a well-regarded play-caller — has something he’s confident in springing on an unsuspecting defense.
The officials didn’t miss it. The league office didn’t, either.
According to Katherine Terrell of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Sherman was fined $7,875 for the blow to Stills.
But Stills had no problem with the hit, and he doesn’t think Sherman should have been fined.
“I don’t think it deserves a fine,” Stills said. “We had just been talking trash to one another, and I guess he saw an opportunity to take a shot. It’s football. You’re going to get hit. . . . I didn’t take any offense to it. I think it’s funny.”
But the league didn’t, and the victim of the illegal hit has no say in the discipline.