Skip to content

Report: Johnny Manziel won’t fall past Browns at No. 4

Manziel Getty Images

Now things are starting to heat up.

With the NFL Draft three days away, the quarterback intrigue that any draft needs is kicking in.

Chris Mortensen of ESPN just reported that he expects the Browns to pick Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel at No. 4, if he’s still there.

Of course, there’s always the possibility that he won’t be, which is perhaps why the Browns are looking at tackles.

While taking a blocker fourth and a quarterback at No. 26 (or moving up to get one), it isn’t the flashy play.

The interest in Manziel seems obvious for the Browns, who need some spark as much as they need a quarterback. Frankly, it’s the kind of splash move we’ve been waiting for owner Jimmy Haslam to make.

The fact he wasn’t able to land Chip Kelly or Jim Harbaugh to coach his team only makes the need for a premier quarterback more acute.

Permalink 117 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Cleveland Browns, Rumor Mill, Top Stories
yo

Browns, who talked about Ray Rice, may sign a running back

Pittsburgh Steelers v Baltimore Ravens Getty Images

If Ray Rice is ever going to get back into the NFL, this may be his best chance.

The Browns, who have admitted to at least talking about the possibility of signing Rice, are now in the market for a running back. Coach Mike Pettine said today that the team might have to add a running back after injuries to Duke Johnson and Shaun Draughn.

Rice played for Browns running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery in Baltimore, and Pettine was also on the Ravens’ staff during Rice’s tenure there. And Browns owner Jimmy Haslam is on the record as saying that Rice deserves another shot.

So the Browns appear to be a team that is willing to deal with the off-field fallout of signing Rice, who became the poster boy for the NFL’s domestic violence problem last year. The next question is whether they think Rice can help them on the field.

Last year the Browns had one of the worst rushing attacks in the NFL, and if anything their running backs look even worse this preseason: The leading rusher, Terrance West, has just 78 yards on 22 carries, and overall the Browns’ running backs are averaging 2.8 yards a carry through three preseason games. So it would seem that Rice — even though he averaged just 3.1 yards a carry in 2013 — could be an improvement.

Which means that if the Browns aren’t willing to sign Rice, that probably means no NFL team is ever going to sign Rice.

Permalink 1 Comment Feed for comments Back to top

With two kickers still on roster, Jaguars could be looking for trade

Josh Scobee AP

The Jaguars have already made their way to 75 players and they kept two kickers through the first wave of cuts.

Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union thinks that they may be hoping to land a late-round draft pick in a trade for one of them before the cuts to 53 players. The question would be which of the kickers would be able to get them that kind of return.

Josh Scobee has been the kicker in Jacksonville for more than a decade and has made both of his field goal attempts this summer while also reaching the end zone on all five of his kickoffs. Jason Myers has hit on four of the five field goals he’s tried, missing from 58 yards, and put seven of his eight kickoffs into the end zone to earn good reviews for both his leg strength and accuracy.

Scobee is the proven entity, which might make him an appealing target for the Steelers in the wake of Garrett Hartley’s hamstring injury assuming the team is willing to pay the salary — $3.425 million — that comes with that status. Myers is cheaper, but has no regular season experience to entice a team looking for an upgrade at the position.

It may work against the Jaguars that there’s little chance they keep both kickers through the cuts to 53 players since the Steelers or other teams might prefer to hold onto their picks while seeing who winds up on the chopping block.

Permalink 1 Comment Feed for comments Back to top

Dante Fowler officially on injured reserve as Jags drop to 75 players

Dante Fowler Jr. AP

The Jaguars didn’t need to wait until Tuesday’s deadline to set their 75-man roster.

The team made their moves on Saturday, a day after facing the Lions in their third preseason game of the year. One of the moves is something we’ve been anticipating since their rookie minicamp in May.

Defensive end and third overall pick Dante Fowler tore his ACL at the first practice of that minicamp, but has remained on the active roster because any earlier attempts to put him on injured reserve would have required Fowler to go through waivers. The team also placed tackle Josh Wells on injured reserve and waived/injured wide receiver Greg Jenkins.

Quarterback Jeff Tuel, cornerback Tommie Campbell and wide receiver Tandon Doss are probably the best-known names among the 12 players waived by Jacksonville. Linebacker Mister Alexander, defensive end Camaron Beard, offensive lineman Cody Booth, safety Desmond Cooper, defensive tackle Eric Crume, linebacker Khairi Fortt, tight end Connor Hamlett, kicker/punter Kasey Redfern and offensive lineman Jack Rummells were also dropped from the roster.

Permalink 0 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

G.J. Kinne among early Eagles cuts

New York Jets v Philadelphia Eagles Getty Images

The Eagles gave quarterback G.J. Kinne a chance to try to make the team by showing what he could do as a wide receiver this summer, but those efforts didn’t help him survive the first round of cuts in Philadelphia.

Kinne was one of 12 players cut by the Eagles on Sunday as they start making their way to 75 players ahead of Tuesday’s deadline. Kinne has spent time on the Eagles practice squad the last two years, but has never appeared in a regular season game.

Tackle Kevin Graf, who spent time on the team’s active roster last season without seeing game action, was also waived.

Cornerback Marc Anthony, safety Brandan Bishop, center Mike Coccia, defensive end Alfy Hill, wide receiver Mike Johnson, linebacker Dasman McCullum, wide receiver Josh Reese, defensive end Jeremy Towns, tight end Justin Tukes and offensive lineman Jared Wheeler round out the first set of cuts.

Permalink 6 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

No ligament damage for Leonard Williams

Atlanta Falcons v New York Jets Getty Images

The Jets can breathe a sigh of relief about defensive end Leonard Williams.

The first-round pick was forced from Saturday night’s victory over the Giants with a knee injury. X-rays taken on Saturday night came back negative and there are multiple reports that a subsequent MRI showed no ligament damage.

Williams has been diagnosed with a muscle strain behind his knee and the team does not believe it will be a long-term injury. Williams will have two weeks to recover before the Jets start the regular season with a game against the Browns.

As long as he’s healthy, Williams will be in the starting lineup with Muhammad Wilkerson at defensive end while Sheldon Richardson begins serving a four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Williams has looked up to the task this summer and the Jets defense looked strong across the board while holding the Giants starters to seven points and scoring a touchdown of their own on an Antonio Cromartie interception return.

Permalink 1 Comment Feed for comments Back to top

Chargers say Frank Clark tried to punch Philip Rivers

Denver Broncos v Seattle Seahawks Getty Images

Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers appears to have avoided serious injury when he banged his right hand during Saturday’s game against the Seahawks and that apparently wasn’t his only close call of the night.

Chargers offensive linemen reacted strongly to what they say was an attempt by Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark to punch Rivers after the quarterback was sacked by Jordan Hill in the second quarter. A scrum broke out after the play and Chargers tackle King Dunlap was given a 15-yard penalty for yanking Clark out of the pile.

“That guy was on top of Philip, and that’s our quarterback,” Dunlap said, via U-T San Diego. “I protect the quarterback at all costs.”

Video of the play shows Rivers holding onto Clark’s jersey after the sack and it’s hard to see what else might have gone on to elicit the strong reaction from the Chargers. After the game, Clark was asked about the incident (but not the allegation that he tried to punch Rivers) and said Richard Sherman told him he has to avoid them even if this one didn’t result in a penalty against Seattle.

“Man this game, it’s a lot of emotions is involved,” Clark said, via the Seattle Times. “I’m a real emotional player but there are ways you react and ways you don’t react. You’ve got to be smart in this game. That was something Sherm [Richard Sherman] was telling me afterwards, that whole thing, even though I didn’t get called for anything, just to avoid situations like that.”

The Seahawks drafted Clark in the second round despite a domestic violence arrest that led to his dismissal from the Michigan team last November. The charge was downgraded to disorderly conduct as part of a plea arrangement in April.

Permalink 26 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Eddie Goldman suffered concussion Saturday

Eddie Goldman AP

Rookie Eddie Goldman’s role with the Bears early in the season is set to be a big one with Jeremiah Ratliff earning a three-game suspension from the league as a result of a DUI, but he’ll need to be healthy to get starts on the defensive line.

Right now, Goldman isn’t healthy. He suffered a concussion against the Bengals on Saturday night and will be out of the lineup until he passes through the league’s concussion protocol. Goldman started at nose tackle and helped the team keep Jeremy Hill out of the end zone on three runs inside the three-yard line in the first quarter before Andy Dalton was able to push the ball across on fourth down.

Ratliff started the game at defensive end, but he also left early with an injury to his ankle.

“It’s not broken,” coach John Fox said, via the Chicago Sun-Times. “I don’t know how much we would have played in him in the last preseason game. … He’s going to have a minute to heal.”

Thanks to the suspension, Ratliff has more than a minute to heal while the Bears will find themselves quite thin up front if Goldman isn’t able to make a quick return to the lineup.

Permalink 4 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Jets get down to 78 players

Atlanta Falcons v New York Jets Getty Images

The Jets have gotten a jump on Tuesday’s deadline to pare their roster to 75 players by cutting 12 members of their roster.

There are no big surprises among the dozen former Jets, but there are several familiar names on the list. Cornerback Javier Arenas, a former second-round pick, signed with the Jets earlier this month and wide receiver DeVier Posey, acquired in a trade with the Texans during the draft, have both been cut loose. The Jets also parted ways with former Giants tackle James Brewer and former Bills wide receiver T.J. Graham.

The rest of the cuts are cornerback Curtis Brown, center Dalton Freeman, wide receiver Saalim Hakim, wide receiver Austin Hill, linebacker Bryan Johnsontight end Matt LaCosse, cornerback Keith Lewis and wide receiver Jonathon Rumph.

With those players gone, the Jets will trim three more from the roster by Tuesday and then get to work on setting their initial 53-man roster by Saturday.

Permalink 2 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Eric Decker returned punts for the Jets against the Giants

Eric Decker, Brandon Marshall AP

The annual meaningless game played for an even more meaningless trophy of Snoopy often sees its participants behaving like the dog’s owner.

Over the years, the annual preseason intra-stadium game between the Jets and Giants has led to some unusual decisions and unfortunate injuries, as detailed a year ago by Gary Myers of the New York Daily News. From former Giants cornerback Jason Sehorn tearing an ACL while returning a kickoff in 1998 to current Giants quarterback Eli Manning being made to look like an extra in The Walking Dead in 2010 to former Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez suffering a season-ending shoulder injury that ended his career in New York, the teams all too often play the role of Charlie Brown trying to kick Lucy’s football.

On Saturday night, the Jets flirted with another disaster. Via Rich Cimini of ESPN.com, $7 million receiver Eric Decker fielded punts.

Decker was the emergency replacement for a concussed Jeremy Kerley, and coach Todd Bowles instructed Decker to call for a fair catch every time. Decker muffed the second punt, however, and then the Jets turned to Walter Powell. Powell responded by returning a punt 54 yards for a touchdown.

Which means that Powell should have been returning punts in the first place, not Decker. Whatever the alternatives to Decker, it never should have been Decker. In a meaningless practice game, it should have been no one before it was Decker.

But at least the Jets got lucky, this time. They may not have gotten lucky with rookie defensive lineman Leonard Williams.

Regardless, the Jets and Giants will continue to play an annual meaningless game. Before the next one, they’ll get together for one that counts during the 2015 regular season.

Don’t expect Eric Decker to be fielding punts in that one.

Permalink 4 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

A.J. Green’s agent noticed Julio Jones deal, but Green doesn’t sweat it

Cincinnati Bengals v Cleveland Browns Getty Images

Now that Falcons receiver Julio Jones has received a six-year, $81 million contract, is it time for a similar deal for the other great receiver from the 2011 first round?

Maybe. But Bengals receiver A.J. Green isn’t too worried about it.

That’s not to say Green isn’t aware. Green told the Cincinnati Enquirer that his agent called him yesterday to discuss the deal Jones signed. Green’s agent wouldn’t be doing his job if he weren’t keeping tabs on the other wide receiver contracts around the league, and keeping Green apprised about where things stand. But Green said that for himself, the primary focus remains on the field.

“It’s good for him,” Green said of Jones’s contract. “We will see. If it happens, it happens. If it don’t I’ll go out there and play. We’ll see.”

Green and the Bengals will likely reach a long-term deal at some point, and probably for about the same money that Jones got from the Falcons. Green will let his agent worry about the details.

Permalink 8 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

NFL may take a closer look at gloves

Jeremiah Anderson AP

In January, Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice said he used to put stickum on his gloves. Now that the gloves are so good that the stickum is already on them, the NFL may be talking a look at whether the built-in stickiness has gone too far.

“I think it’s time to go back and look at the gloves and see if, with what’s going on here with sports science in the past 10 years, if there isn’t too much of an advantage being gained,” recently-reinstalled Competition Committee chairman Rich McKay told Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times.

It sounds like it’s a look that’s long overdue.

“No one looks at those gloves,” Hall of Fame coach and legendary broadcaster John Madden told Farmer. “I saw them when I was at a meeting in Indy. They passed them around and somebody made the comment that, ‘Pretty soon, these gloves are going to be able to catch a ball without a hand in them.'”

Those gloves also may be able to throw the ball without a hand in them.

“You know something’s up when guys like Tom Brady and Kurt Warner and Peyton Manning are wearing gloves to throw a football,” former NFL quarterback and 2002 league MVP Rich Gannon told Farmer. “You’re starting to go, ‘Wait a second here. . . .’ Guys for years dreaded bad weather, cold weather, and they didn’t want to have anything that would take their hands off the football. Now guys are like, ‘These gloves are better than the human skin.'”

And to that many will say, “So what?” With the following of the sport dramatically enhanced by fantasy football, fans want to see passes caught, not dropped. And another Hall of Famer thinks one of the best catches in recent years wouldn’t have been possible without the gloves.

“You have to be careful about the way you analyze that play because you don’t want people calling you a hater or whatever,” Tim Brown told Farmer regarding last season’s three-fingered grab by Odell Beckham Jr. “But you can’t make that play without those kind of gloves. It’s just impossible.”

It will be impossible for the NFL to build on its momentum as the must-see sport if it reverses the advances that have occurred right under the league’s nose.

“I think if they took the gloves completely away from the guys, including the quarterbacks at this point, it would have a major impact on what the game looked like on the field,” former NFL receiver and Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth told Farmer. “And not for the better. . . . Every Sunday we say, ‘Oh, my goodness! Look at that!’ That’s a good thing. It’s an entertainment business. Why not make it as entertaining as possible?”

By paying no attention to the development of gloves, the NFL has allowed the game to become as entertaining as it is. It would make no sense for the NFL to suddenly declare that it has allowed the gloves to go too far.

Nike, the company that pays the NFL a lot of money to make and market the gloves, would probably agree.

Permalink 88 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Stevie Brown out in Houston, could return to Giants

Philadelphia Eagles v New York Giants Getty Images

The Giants likely lost another safety for the season late last week when Nat Berhe had calf surgery, but they may be getting some relief in the form of a familiar face in the next few days.

Stevie Brown was released by the Texans on Saturday and Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News reports that the Giants are trying to get Brown in for a physical. Brown spent three years with the Giants from 2012-2014, playing 16 games twice and missing the entire 2013 season with a torn ACL.

Brown’s agent Blake Baratz said he’s working on getting Brown and the Giants together for a meeting while adding that “a number of teams” are in the mix to land Brown’s services.

Brown signed with the Texans this offseason when they offered him more money than the Giants, but it doesn’t appear he was close to making the Houston roster given the timing of his release from the team.

Permalink 11 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Sunday morning one-liners

NaVorro Bowman, Jordan Norwood AP

Bills CB Ron Darby had a rough night against the Steelers.

QB Ryan Tannehill was frustrated with the Dolphins offense on Saturday.

The Patriots may be in the market for a fullback after James Develin’s leg injury.

A call from Jets C Nick Mangold helped police stop a string of burglaries in New Jersey.

Asa Jackson may not have nailed down the Ravens return job on Saturday.

Said Bengals WR A.J. Green, “We feel good, but we still have a lot of work to do. Not just a little. We’re the same team that got our butts kicked Monday night in Tampa. We have to keep our head down and keep grinding.”

Browns WR Travis Benjamin showed he still can break off a big punt return.

 

QB Michael Vick was sharp in his Steelers debut.

Texans T Duane Brown’s injury isn’t expected to keep him out Week One.

The Colts are evaluating the ankle injury suffered by DT Arthur Jones.

Jaguars coach Gus Bradley thinks his offensive line has a chip on its shoulder.

The Titans could add another running back to the roster.

LB Danny Trevathan was shaking off rust in his return to game action with the Broncos.

The first round of Chiefs cuts shouldn’t feature any tough decisions.

The Raiders cornerbacks figure to be tested against the Cardinals.

Chargers WR Stevie Johnson had a good half of work on Saturday.

Darren McFadden may be moving up in the competition for playing time at running back for the Cowboys.

The Giants saw DE Robert Ayers hurt his ankle before Saturday’s game with the Jets even started.

Said T Jason Peters of the Eagles’ offense on Saturday, “I think this is the best we’ve looked since [Chip Kelly] got here, in the preseason.”

Redskins LB Jackson Jeffcoat continued a good summer in Saturday’s game.

The Bears defense had a tough time with the Bengals.

WR Ryan Broyles’s time with the Lions may be coming to an end.

Injuries have taken an emotional toll on the Packers.

Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson offered a reminder of his explosiveness in the return game.

The Falcons have offensive line issues to sort out.

Panthers rookie LB Shaq Thompson’s tackling stood out on Friday night.

Players on the Saints roster bubble are running out of chances to impress coaches.

Special teams play was a lowlight for the Buccaneers against the Browns.

Cardinals G.M. Steve Keim’s hometown team won the U.S. little league title on Saturday.

Said Rams QB Nick Foles, ““I felt there was improvement. I expect more from myself and more from this offense.”

49ers LB Navorro Bowman wreaked some havoc in the Broncos backfield.

Tyler Lockett had another impressive punt return for the Seahawks.

Permalink 5 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Tre Mason’s hamstring could leave the Rams thin in backfield

Tre Mason AP

In a general sense, the Rams are deep in the backfield.

But specific to the regular season opener, they might be a little thin.

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, running back Tre Mason left last night’s game with a hamstring strain, creating some doubt about his availability.

With rookie Todd Gurley not expected to play in the opener after tearing his ACL last November, that could stretch the depth there.

The Rams still have Isaiah Pead and Benny Cunningham, so there are still some serviceable options. But without the top two, it could certainly change their game plans.

Permalink 1 Comment Feed for comments Back to top

Tomlin says it “doesn’t look positive” for Hartley in Week One

Garrett Hartley AP

The Steelers lost their second kicker in four preseason games on Saturday night, and it’s now looking like they’ll need another kicker for next Thursday night in Foxboro.

Garrett Hartley injured a right hamstring during the game, and he’ll have an MRI on Sunday.

Coach Mike Tomlin told reporters after the preseason game against the Bills that “it doesn’t look positive” for Hartley being ready for Week One against the Patriots.

That could be positive for Jay Feely, a free agent who matched Hartley field goal for field goal at a Heinz Field Gong Show Kick Off after Shaun Suisham was lost for the season with a torn ACL suffered at the Hall of Fame Game. Per a source with knowledge of the competition, both missed from 53 yards and made everything else.

Fifty-three becomes the operative number, if the Steelers sign Feely or another kicker. If Hartley can’t kick come Week One, will they carry Hartley on the 53-man roster, or move on? Having two kickers would mean keeping one less player at another position, and that may not be something the Steelers want to do.

Permalink 8 Comments Feed for comments Back to top