Posted by Mike Florio on May 16, 2013, 4:28 PM EDT
The Kansas City Chiefs have a new coach and a new G.M. With the draft come and gone, they also have a bunch of new front-office employees.
On Thursday, the team announced that former Saints V.P. of football operations Will Lewis will serve as the director of pro personnel, and that former Falcons scout Marvin Allen will serve as the director of college scouting.
“Will and Marvin are tremendous at what they do,” Chiefs G.M. John Dorsey said. “I had the privilege of getting to know Will while working with him in both Seattle and Green Bay, and he has a lot of experience that will benefit us. Marvin’s been in this league a long time, and he is an incredible person with a lot of ability.”
Allen’s tenure includes 16 years with the Patriots and four with the Falcons.
The Chiefs also have hired Randy Ball to be the team’s Pro Scouting Assistant and Trey Koziol will work as an Area Scout. The Chiefs promoted Mike Borgonzi to Assistant Director of Pro Scouting, Dom Green to Assistant Director of College Scouting, Brett Veach to Pro and College Personnel Analyst, and Ryan Poles to College Coordinator.
On Wednesday night, a source close to linebacker Rolando McClain told PFT that McClain’s decision to retire was spurred by a desire to clean up his personal life before thinking about getting back onto a football field.
On Thursday, McClain told the world the same exact thing. McClain released a statement to PFT and other media outlets on Thursday explaining why he told the Ravens he was retiring.
“Clearly, my decision to retire has raised some questions,” McClain said in the statement. “Quite simply, I love football, but I have decided at this time it is in my best interest to focus on getting my personal life together. Beyond that, I’m not sure what the future holds for me, including football. This was entirely my decision and the Ravens have been very supportive during this process. I am very grateful for the opportunity they gave me and wish them the best of luck in the future. God willing, maybe I’ll play for them one day.”
The Ravens placed McClain on the Reserve/Retired list, so they will hold onto his rights while the linebacker takes care of his personal life. Should he resolve the legal cases still pending against him and avoid any further additions to his rap sheet, it seems like a pretty good bet that the 23-year-old will turn back to the game he says he loves at some point in the future.
The retiring-because-of-a-bad-knee quarterback told Jim Corbett of USA Today he’s been offered a coaching internship by the team.
“The Jets offered me the chance to come back if I want to take a shot at that coaching thing with an internship in training camp,” Garrard said. “I told them I’d talk with my wife about it, so I could still work with those guys. “It’s definitely something I’m considering.”
Garrard said his understanding was that the Jets didn’t plan to add another quarterback, saying: “I’m not sure if they want to add any more controversy.”
And it was also clear from Garrard’s early impressions of Geno Smith that he thinks the Jets found a future starter in the second round, though he believes there’s a genuine competition for the job this year.
“I think Geno’s going to be great,” Garrard said. “He still has a lot to learn in the NFL. He definitely has to work. But he has what it takes. Now he has to go out and prove it.
“The one thing the kid has is he’s definitely the guy of the future. He’ll get a whole lot more attention from the fans, because they definitely want to see that new guy, especially since Mark has had a rough couple of years.”
And from the tone of those remarks, it sounds like if Garrard coached with the Jets beyond this year, Smith’s the one he’s expecting to be working with most closely.
Dwight Freeney’s visit with the Chargers stretched into Thursday, but the former Colt’s father isn’t sure that a deal will get done in San Diego.
Hugh Freeney called into Adam Schein’s radio show on Sirius XM Mad Dog Radio to talk about his son’s search for a new job and said that the Chargers were not a team that the younger Freeney had been considering before Melvin Ingram’s injury. At issue is the fact that the Chargers “don’t play the defense” that Freeney prefers, namely a 4-3 where he can rush the passer from the defensive end spot. Freeney struggled as an outside linebacker when the Colts switched to a 3-4 after hiring Chuck Pagano, brother of Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano, as their head coach.
The elder Freeney didn’t rule out a deal, saying that “it’s all about the money now, I guess.” If all things were equal, though, he says he has a good idea where his son would wind up signing.
“He’d love to be with the Giants, but the Giants unfortunately don’t have the money for it. They’re broke,” Hugh Freeney said.
All won’t wind up being equal and the Giants may not be in the market for another veteran defensive end with Mathias Kiwanuka expected to spend the majority of his time at the position after Osi Umenyiora’s departure as a free agent. That might leave San Diego, imperfect scheme or not, as the landing spot for Freeney if he doesn’t want to continue playing the waiting game.
Free, the Cowboys’ starting right tackle, has agreed to a new deal that will cut his pay from $7 million to $3.5 million this season, ESPN reports.
Cowboys owner and General Manager Jerry Jones has been saying for months that he wants Free to stay around, but that he doesn’t want to pay Free $7 million. The big question has been whether the two sides could agree to a new deal that keeps Free at a more affordable price, or whether the Cowboys would release him before the start of the regular season.
As it turned out, they were able to work out a new deal long before the start of the regular season. And Free will remain on the Cowboys’ offensive line for at least another year.
Posted by Michael David Smith on May 16, 2013, 2:53 PM EDT
The Jets’ decision to trade for running back Chris Ivory and sign free agent running back Mike Goodson is a strong signal that running back Joe McKnight’s job is in jeopardy. But McKnight says he’s not going down without a fight.
“I don’t care who they bring in, they’re going [to have to] kill me to take my spot. You understand that now?” McKnight told the New York Daily News. “Just because they bring Goodson and Ivory in they already think I’m gone. They just bringing people in for competition, they ain’t bringing nobody in to say, ‘Joe is done.’”
McKnight is currently penciled in at No. 4 on the depth chart behind Ivory, Goodson and Bilal Powell, but he doesn’t see any reason to worry.
“Yeah, I’m going to be on the team, I ain’t going, no damn way,” he said. “They have to beat me to take my spot first. Man, look, they told me it’s a fresh slate.”
It may be a fresh slate, but McKnight is an underdog to make the team. Fortunately for him, the Jets won’t really have to kill him to cut him.
The Texans added a pair of players to the mix at outside linebacker during the draft and they’ve gotten one of them under contract.
John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reports that the Texans have agreed to terms with fourth-round pick Trevardo Williams on his rookie four-year deal. That leaves the Texans with five players from their 2013 draft class under contract and four to go before they can put a bow on the whole group.
One of the unsigned group is former LSU linebacker Sam Montgomery, who is expected to compete with Williams for playing time at outside linebacker. After rookie minicamp, Texans coach Gary Kubiak said that he thought Williams was a bit ahead of Montgomery in terms of readiness.
Williams played with his hand on the ground at Connecticut, so there’s definitely going to be some transition time to his new role. Brooks Reed, who is recovering from surgery and who has been mentioned as a candidate to move inside, and Whitney Mercilus are expected to be part of the mix on the outside as well.
That calculation includes CEO Russ Brandon (45) and head coach Doug Marrone (48), and was part of the team’s larger plan.
“I stood here on January first and made some promises to our fans and quite frankly to people in our organization,” Brandon said. “One of the things that I mentioned was we were going to do whatever it takes to restore the pride in the franchise moving forward. We talked about being progressive and forward thinking and attacking in everything that we do. We also talked about identifying top talent and empowering those people with making impact decisions. We did that today, by naming Doug Whaley the General Manager of the Buffalo Bills.”
The Bills’ story mentions the Browns, Lions, Jaguars, Eagles, 49ers and Chargers as being young at the top as well.
And while (the lack of) age doesn’t automatically equate to wisdom, the Bills are smart to embrace a new approach.
They haven’t gone to the playoffs since 1999, and the combination of an old stadium and the meteorological realities of Western New York make it a less-than desirable locale. Honestly, they have to overspend to get free agents to go there and freeze.
That’s going to make it harder for them to be on even footing, revenue sharing notwithstanding. Frankly, they have to be better-organized and better-run than teams in nicer locales to compete.
Replacing Nix wasn’t necessary because he was old, but simply because the Bills weren’t getting anywhere. Playing the same game as the rest of the league hasn’t worked for a generation, so trying a new method is a valid idea.
Before the Super Bowl, PFT reported that wide receiver Randy Mossplanned to play at least one more year whether or not he was re-signed by the 49ers.
The 49ers have passed on bringing him back and we haven’t heard much about interest elsewhere in the league for the services of a veteran receiver who looked like he was missing the top gear that made him one of the most dangerous wideouts in football earlier in his career. He was a good soldier despite playing a limited role he admitted not liking all that much, but no team has stepped forward to ask him to play any kind of role for them next season.
Now comes word from Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com that Moss isn’t sure whether or not he wants to play any role for any team. Freeman reports that Moss is still making up his mind as teams start OTAs around the league.
Without more information, it’s hard to tell if Moss’ indecision has anything to do with the league’s indifference to his talents. But we don’t need too much more in the way of detail to know that Moss’ feelings on a return don’t matter all that much if teams around the league remain interested in moving in other directions.
“My knee never got back to the point where I could go out and be fully healthy and compete,” Garrard said, via the Newark Star-Ledger. “I didn’t want to put the team in a tough spot knowing that I wouldn’t be healthy enough to play everyday.”
Of course, anyone who has paid attention to Garrard, who hasn’t thrown a pass in a game since 2010, should have known this was the inevitable outcome. The Dolphins job was on a platter for him last year, and he couldn’t hold up physically.
But with the Jets, he was a legitimate option, which speaks more to quarterbacks on hand than Garrard himself.
“The Jets told us it would be an open QB competition, . . . nobody was ever promised the starting job,” Garrard said.
It’s hard to imagine that if the Jets seriously considered letting Garrard start that Mark Sanchez has much of a shot. Drafting Geno Smith sealed that up for the long-term, but that day may come sooner now.
David Garrard’s decision to throw in the towel on his bid to make the Jets because of a knee injury is the latest curveball in a quarterback competition that’s had plenty of them with months to go before the Jets ever play a game.
With Garrard out, it would seem that Mark Sanchez’s chances of sticking with the team into the 2013 season would improve since the team’s other quarterbacks all have little to no experience at the professional level. Sanchez addressed his role in what he called a “fierce” competition on Thursday — yes, he was wearing a headband at the time — and said it doesn’t feel any different to him than it did before Garrard’s announcement.
“Nothing’s changed. My mindset is the same,” Sanchez said, via Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.
While his chances of making the team might have improved, Sanchez’s answer makes plenty of sense. He was competing for the starting job against Garrard and company before, so Garrard’s departure just means that it is a slightly different cast of competitors as opposed to a completely different situation. Geno Smith, Greg McElroy and Matt Simms are still in camp and Sanchez still has to beat them out to get the nod for a fifth straight season.
Sanchez was also asked about Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith’s comment that he wouldn’t catch “a paper bag sandwich” thrown by Sanchez. Sanchez wished Smith and the Panthers well, which should pretty much end that storyline while the quarterback competition rages on.
Posted by Mike Florio on May 16, 2013, 1:25 PM EDT
Former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb will retire as a member of the team that drafted him in 1999. He hopes that, when it happens, the Eagles will permanently set aside the number he wore during 11 seasons with the team.
“I would love for that to happen but if they don’t I won’t be upset about it,” McNabb told 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia regarding the possibility of the team retiring No. 5.
The Eagles have retired seven numbers, according to the 2012 Official NFL Record & Fact Book: Steve Van Buren (15), Brian Dawkins (20), Tom Brookshier (40), Pete Retzlaff (44), Chuck Bednarik (60), Al Wistert (70), Reggie White (92), Jerome Brown (99).
“Syracuse is definitely retiring my number,” McNabb added. “I know [the Eagles] retired Dawkins’ number and that was well deserved. He deserved to be retired and no one should ever wear No. 20 again. We’re talking about different things. Everyone will know more information as we continue on. . . . That comes down to Jeffrey Lurie. Lurie being the great owner of the Philadelphia Eagles obviously took a chance on me and Andy Reid in 1999. That’s will be Jeffrey’s decision as to what the next steps are.”
Speaking of Reid, McNabb has refuted a report that the retirement will occur when the long-time Philly coach returns to Lincoln Financial Field as the coach of the Chiefs.
“We haven’t chosen the date yet,” McNabb said. “The ceremony is something that we’ve been communicating back and forth. I want [the retirement ceremony] to be something that is special. Not only for me but for the fans. We’re discussing some different things that we want to get done, that I would like to see get done. Everything right now is in the works, nothing is written in stone. It was just one step of acknowledging that I wanted to retire as a Philadelphia Eagle. As things continue to break down for the particular event I’ll let everyone know exactly what is going on.”
McNabb also made clear that he’d love for another type of ceremony to happen, in Canton.
“If you ask me and I had all the votes to put me in I would say yes,” McNabb said regarding whether he’s a Hall of Famer.
He doesn’t have all the votes, or any of them. Neither do the rest of us, but we’ll go ahead and run a poll on the topic anyway.