Under current NFL rules, personal foul penalties cannot be reviewed in instant replay. In 2018, that could change.
Next week the NFL owners will consider two proposals that would change the league’s replay rules to allow the referee and head of officiating to review personal fouls.
One proposal, made by the Chargers, would allow roughing the passer and hits on players in a defenseless posture to be reviewed. A broader proposal made by Washington would allow all personal fouls to be reviewed.
NFL owners have been hesitant to allow replay reviews for personal fouls, saying that those penalties are often judgment calls. And yet the league office routinely uses video footage to determine whether to fine or suspend players for personal fouls. If the video can be used later in the week to determine league discipline, why can’t it be used on Sunday to determine whether the call on the field was correct?
The answer may be that the league doesn’t want to do anything that would add to the already too-frequent replay delays in NFL games. Reviewing everything would make for longer games at a time when the league wants games to move faster.
The San Francisco 49ers are supremely happy that Jimmy Garoppolo is their starting quarterback of the future. The team is so happy about Garoppolo’s prospects that they gave him a massive contract extension this offseason despite starting just five games for the team following his trade from New England last November.
However, that didn’t mean that 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan wasn’t a bit wistful about the prospect of a reunion with Kirk Cousins going out the window following the trade.
49ers General Manager John Lynch said in an interview with ESPN Radio that Shanahan was initially “in mourning” following the trade.
“For Kyle, I think the thing I would tell people is we made the trade and then there were some days that Kyle Shanahan was like in mourning, because I think everybody knows his master plan was to have Kirk Cousins come in eventually,” Lynch said, via WEEI.
“I was proud of Kyle. Because I think he knew that this was the right thing for our franchise, and he didn’t hesitate. But even then Jimmy had to really prove himself. I think it was really smart. (Kyle) didn’t play him right away. He waited until he had some semblance of an understanding of our scheme when he did put him in. And he put him in in a position to succeed. And then I would tell you that Jimmy really impressed Kyle, to the point that he said, This is our guy.”
The trade for Garoppolo doesn’t get made without Shanahan being on board with the decision. Nevertheless, Shanahan coached Cousins in Washington and succeeded with the now Minnesota Vikings signal caller. Acquiring Garoppolo meant closing the door on Cousins and it took some time for Shanahan to completely move on from the idea that had lingered for some time.
The way Garoppolo played in those five starts likely assuaged any lingering concerns Shanahan may have had as well.
Muhammad Wilkerson was named to a Pro Bowl and was twice a second-team All-Pro selection during his seven seasons with the New York Jets.
But after a bitter ending to the relationship with the Jets and a pair of inconsistent seasons, Wilkerson is hoping to rejuvenate his career with the Green Bay Packers.
“I’m ready to get back to my dominant play,” Wilkerson said, via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. “I know what type of player I’m capable of being, and I’m just ready to do it at a new place, a new organization and a new group of guys. I’m just really excited about the things to come this year.
“I’m capable of being a dominant player that those years have shown, the stats have shown.”
Those stats showed particularly impressive seasons in 2013 and 2015. Wilkerson recorded 10.5 sacks in 2013 and posted a career-high 12 sacks in 2015. That production slipped the last two years with just 3.5 and 4.5 sacks, respectively. Wilkerson was also benched for the final three games of the season for reportedly showing up late.
Despite taking other visits after the Jets cut him earlier this month, Wilkerson elected on a reunion with former Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine in Green Bay.
A one-year deal with the Packers should help provide incentive for Wilkerson to find his motivation again as well. He’s still capable of being a problematic defensive lineman when he plays to his peak ability. The Packers will hope he can get them that version of himself more frequently than in New York.
Terrelle Pryor has a new team.
The quarterback turned receiver has a deal in place with the Jets, as reported by Calvin Watkins of Newsday.
Pryor, acquired as a quarterback by the Raiders in the third round of the 2011 supplemental draft, joins the Jets after an injury-marred season in Washington. The year before that — his first full season as a receiver — resulted in more than 1,000 receiving yards as a member of the Browns.
The Seahawks and Browns also showed interest in Pryor. It’s unclear whether he signed another one-year deal, or whether it’s a multi-season commitment.
He joins a depth chart the includes the likes of Jermaine Kearse and Robby Anderson.
Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Mychal Kendricks had surgery on his ankle on Thursday, according to Tim McManus of ESPN.com.
Kendricks had the surgery in Green Bay, which indicates a likelihood it was performed by Dr. Robert Anderson. Anderson, who used to be based in Charlotte before moving to Green Bay, is the foot and ankle specialist many NFL teams call upon when surgeries are necessary.
The surgery is only expected to sideline Kendricks a few weeks.
Kendricks has appeared in 85 career games for the Eagles with 74 starts over six seasons with the team.
The Jaguars re-signed exclusive rights free agent Ben Koyack, Ryan O’Halloran of the Jacksonville Times Union reports.
Jacksonville tendered Koyack on March 12.
Koyack, a seventh-round pick in 2015, spent his rookie season on the practice squad. He has appeared in 30 games over the past two seasons, with 10 starts.
Last season, he caught five passes for 38 yards and no touchdowns.
It appears Terrelle Pryor apparently has decided his next destination.
The free agent receiver is closing in on a deal with the Jets, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports. The sides are “hammering out the final details and should be done tonight,” per Rapoport.
Pryor also visited Seattle, and the Browns expressed interest.
He joins a Jets team where he likely sees plenty of snaps. The team’s top returning receivers are Robby Anderson, Quincy Enunw and Jermaine Kearse, with questions surrounding Anderson and Enunw.
Pryor’s one season in Washington didn’t work out, but he had 1,007 receiving yards in 2016.
Exclusive rights free agent Shilique Calhoun signed his tender, guaranteeing his return to the Raiders.
Calhoun, 26, was a third-round pick of the Raiders in 2016. He has played 19 games over the past two seasons.
The Raiders waived him after the preseason in 2017 but later signed him to the practice squad. Oakland promoted him to the active roster on October 14.
Calhoun appeared in nine games last season.
He has 11 tackles and half a sack in his career.
Previously suspended by NFL Network pending an investigation regarding allegations raised in a sexual harassment lawsuit, analyst Ike Taylor no longer is employed by NFL Network.
A source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that Taylor’s tenure with the league-owned broadcasting operation has ended.
Taylor, a former Steelers cornerback, was suspended along with former NFL running back Marshall Faulk and former NFL fullback Heath Evans after Jami Cantor’s lawsuit was amended to specifically accuse them of misconduct in the workplace.
It’s unclear whether Taylor left voluntarily or involuntarily, and there’s no update for now on the status of Faulk and Evans. An NFL Network spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
When it comes to quarterbacks with NFL experience, Johnny Manziel won’t be alone in the four-team Spring League. Former NFL quarterback Zach Mettenberger has joined the Spring League, too.
A sixth-round pick of the Titans in 2014, Mettenberger has 14 regular-season appearances and 10 regular-season starts. He threw for more than 2,300 yards in two years with the Titans.
Cut after 2015, Mettenberger spent time in 2016 with the Chargers and Steelers. He was out of the NFL for all of 2017.
The Spring League will play a two-week season, with games on April 7 and April 12.
The Bears have re-signed core special teams player Sherrick McManis to a two-year deal, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports.
Three other teams pursued McManis, per Biggs, but he elected to return to Chicago for a seventh season.
McManis, 30, led the Bears with 269 snaps on special teams despite missing three games. He tied Benny Cunningham with 12 tackles on special teams, and McManis also blocked a field goal and recovered a fumble.
He was a special teams captain last season.
McManis has made 80 tackles on special teams since the Bears acquired him from the Texans in a 2012 trade for fullback Tyler Clutts.
The Rams announced a one-year deal with inside linebacker Ramik Wilson.
Wilson played three seasons with the Chiefs after they made him a fourth-round pick out of Georgia in 2015. He has played 30 games in his career.
He was set to become a restricted free agent when the new league year began last week, but the Chiefs declined to place a tender on Wilson. That made him an unrestricted free agent.
Wilson, 25, has 112 tackles, an interception, three pass breakups and a forced fumble in his career.
Drew Stanton did not visit Cleveland after all.
Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal clarified an earlier ESPN report that the Browns hosted the former Cardinals quarterback.
Instead, according to Ulrich, the Browns’ braintrust briefly ran into Stanton while on the West Coast scouting draft prospects. The Browns notified the league of the talk.
So it doesn’t sound as if the Browns have any real interest in Stanton.
They already named Tyrod Taylor the starter for 2018 and are expected to draft a quarterback in the first round, perhaps with the No. 1 overall pick.
Offensive lineman Kevin Pamphile signed a one-year deal with the Titans, Jenna Laine of ESPN reports.
Pamphile, 27, spent his first four seasons in Tampa Bay after the Bucs made him a fifth-round pick. He played left guard and right tackle for the Bucs but is capable of playing all five positions on the line.
Pamphile has played 53 games with 33 starts in his career, including 15 starts at left guard last season.
The Bucs wanted Pamphile back, per Laine, but it came down to a better opportunity for him in Tennessee.
The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office will not pursue vandalism charges against Bills receiver Zay Jones because of insufficient evidence, Mike Rodak of ESPN reports.
Jones was arrested Monday after a bizarre fight with his brother.
TMZ posted footage of a naked Jones struggling with his brother, Vikings receiver Cayleb Jones, at a Los Angeles apartment building. Zay yells, “I’m going to fight for Jesus,” before witnesses said Cayleb attempted to stop Zay from jumping out a 30th floor window.
Zay broke free, according to TMZ, and entered a public balcony area, where he smashed his foot through a window. Photos showed blood on the floors and windows.
Jones’ father, former Cowboys linebacker Robert Jones, tweeted Zay is “gonna be fine.”