Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Company You Keep..The DeSean Jackson Drama

After weeks of speculation from journalists and denials on the part of the organization and players, Philadelphia Eagles parted ways with WR DeSean Jackson late last week. The move seem to come as a surprise even to Jackson who was posting pictures on his Instagram account last week of him working out and mocking messages to the media about false reports. Regardless, Eagles had finally had enough of the drama that is DeSean.The Eagles had been shopping him for weeks before finally releasing him on Friday.

Reports from Eagles officials say that Jackson was a distraction to the organization. He showed up late to meetings, had a poor work ethic, a bad attitude and had a cold relationship with head coach Chip Kelly. The final straw came when a NJ.com report showed Jackson had ties to the Crips gang. Specifically Jackson's name came up during the investigations of two gang related homicides. Jackson was also known for throwing up signs often associated with the Crips gang and even posted photos on his Instagram of himself hanging out with members of the Crips (the photos have subsequently been removed).

Regardless if Jackson is actually a member of the Crips or is just on friendly terms with those associated with the gang, the issue was enough to concern the Eagles to cut all ties with the three time pro bowler who was coming off his best season with the team. Many Eagles fans felt the move was unjust but some inside the NFL said the move was understandable.

Arizona Cardinals DT Darnell Dockett took to his twitter account to discuss the issue:

The NFL shield is bigger than any football player.. It's all about how you represent that shield and the team you play for.
I may do crazy stuff for a good lol, or share my world but I won't do nothing dumb or really stupid. I have never had to go sit with goddel
Meanwhile, other players like Richard Sherman, who has known Jackson since childhood took to Instagram and Twitter to show support. Sherman posted a photo of himself and Jackson as children on a little league team together
Richard ShermanVerified account‏@RSherman_25 @DeseanJackson10 and me have been boys since we were kids... No one should be judged by the actions of others! #fam pic.twitter.com/Q7yuxMcz6a
as well as tweeted to defend his lifelong friend 
Devin k Anonsen @AnonsenK @RSherman_25@DeseanJackson10 U R who U associate with. How can you say "oh I'm not xyz but I hang around people who are" come on really?

Richard Sherman        ✔ @RSherman_25 @AnonsenK I hang with him and I'm in no gang that's how

Devin k Anonsen @AnonsenK @RSherman_25 So because your not in a gang that HAS to mean that NO ONE else he hangs with can be in a gang?

Richard Sherman        ✔ @RSherman_25 @AnonsenK no it just means don't judge him by who he hangs with .... If one of ur friends commits a crime does that make u a criminal?
Redskins S Ryan Clark took to Twitter to compare Jackson who was released by the Eagles to Eagles current wide receiver Riley Cooper who just received a contract extension:
Some get "he needs treatment". Some get "to apologize for being racist". Some get "released for the good of the team" due to "affiliations".
The whole issue has left many confused, but not completely stunned by the move. Ever since the Aaron Hernandez situation, teams have been more ready and willing to cut ties with players whose affiliations and actions may bring more negative attention to a team then they are willing to tolerate. Numbers aside, if Jackson was a distraction in the locker room and affiliated with shady characters, Eagles may have felt that his release was their best option. No player is worth the headache if he is that much of a detriment to the team.

While I don't know Jackson personally and cannot speak on who he affiliates with, I will say that we live in a society where people are judged by the company they keep. If you hang out with gang members or drug dealers or bank robbers, you will be perceived as being one of them. The old saying "if it walks like a duck it must be a duck" is what people believe. If you don't want to be perceived as a criminal, don't hang with criminals. Especially if you work for a highly visible organization.

Since being released, Jackson says he has had nine teams contact him. Being reunited with his former head coach Andy Reid in Kansas City has been eliminated though, as the team admits they could not afford the star receiver with their limited salary cap space. The front runner for now seems to be the Washington Redskins with the Oakland Raiders and Buffalo Bills also showing interest in signing him as well. Jackson will not be a free agent long.

Despite whatever misgivings teams may have about him, he is still one of the best wide receivers in the league and at 27 has several more years left in him. Whatever team he signs with next may put him on a shorter leash and have stipulations regarding his off field affiliations. Whatever the case, look for Jackson to be signed and playing with a new team next season.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

What Ralph Wilson Meant to the NFL

Sad news struck the NFL today when the owner of the Buffalo Bills, Ralph Wilson, passed away.

Wilson was 95 and a beloved figure in the Buffalo community. Once a minority owner of the Detroit Lions, he bought the ownership rights to the Bills name and franchise in 1959 for $25,000. The team is now worth more than $840 million.

Wilson was one of the original founding members of the American Football League, the league that would come to challenge the dominance of the National Football League before the two finally merged in 1970.

Year after year as the economy in western New York began to struggle, the idea came down to move the Bills to a more flourishing community and every year without fail, Wilson would dismiss the talk. He was loyal to the Buffalo community and kept his franchise there from its inception in 1959.

The Bills won two AFL titles in 1964 and 1965 and made four consecutive Super Bowl appearances from 1990 to 1994. The team has not made the playoffs since 1999 and has not had winning season since 2004. Despite the struggles, Wilson never lost faith in his team or his city and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009.

Owners of the other 31 franchises, who were in the NFL Annual Meeting this week, all expressed their grief and admiration for Ralph Wilson and what he meant to football. Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement "Ralph Wilson was a driving force in developing pro football into America's most popular sport."

With Wilson gone, the fate of the team is unsure. Many believe the team will be sold and new owners will more than likely move the team from Buffalo. With such an uncertain future, his loss to the league and to the community he loved will be very profound.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

What went wrong with Richie Incognito

After the Martin incident with the Dolphins, the NFL launched an investigation. NFL Investigator Ted Wells released a scathing report revealing just how far the bullying went inside the entire Dolphins organization. While Mike Pouncey and John Jerry also played a part in the harassment and abuse of players, Incognito was the ringleader.

Incognito's bullying, brutal and erratic behavior was not new. He was known for his violent behavior and nasty temper in college. Players like Warren Sapp admitted to having confrontations with Incognito before the incident with the Dolphins came to light.

With his entire NFL career in jeopardy, Incognito's behavior went from apologetic to angry to bizarre. His rantings on twitter ranged from sad and empathetic, to angry and accusatory. He lashed out at Martin, the media, fans, reporters. The final straw happened when Incognito bashed in his own Ferrari with a baseball bat. With that Incognito checked into a psychiatric facility to undergo treatment.

Now that Incognito is in treatment, people speculate what will happen with his career. The Dolphins are almost assuredly going to release him. With such a deplorable background, finding a team willing to take a chance on him will be difficult. There are too many other offensive guards in the league and available in the draft each year to risk so much on a player known for being a problem child. Terrell Owens was a phenomenal player, but in the end his words and behavior that undermined the locker room of every team he played for was his undoing. With Incognito being a good but not great guard, chances are even greater for him to have his fate sealed just like Owens did.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Downfall of Darren Sharper

As Darren Sharper sits in a Los Angeles County Jail, charges and evidence continue to mount up against the former NFL player and analyst.

Sharper is charged with multiple counts of drugging and raping women. He was being held in Los Angeles County on two counts in California. A grand jury in Arizona indicted Sharper on two counts of sexual assault and three counts of administering dangerous drugs. 

He is under investigation for assaults in Louisiana, Nevada and Florida. 

New Orleans police have issued an arrest warrant for Sharper. Another man, Eric Nunez, was charged with two counts of aggravated rape and released on $400,000 bond on Monday in the New Orleans case.

A case is still under investigation in Miami Beach. 

A five time pro bowl player, Sharper played for the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints during his fourteen year NFL career. After retiring, he worked as an analyst for NFL Network, before being terminated due to the ongoing investigation.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Start of Free Agency

As free agency begins today, fans and teams alike are excited to see the moves that teams will make.

Free agency is the time of year when teams that are sorely lacking in key positions can pick up veteran players from other teams. Before free agency, players were locked into a team until they outlived their usefulness. Now a player can use free agency to get the most money he possibly can. Even if he chooses to resign with the team he currently plays for, he can restructure his contract and receive a new signing bonus.

While teams once fought tooth and nail against free agency, smart teams have been able to use it to build playoff and even Super Bowl caliber franchises. We are no longer in the age of players staying with one team for 10-15 years. In this day and age, players move on after just a few years and maximize their profit.

Keep in mind the average NFL career is only 3.5 yrs. That being said, it is always in a players best interest to make as much money as he can while he still has the ability to do so. Some of the best players available in free agency right now are:

Arizona Cardinals

Andre Roberts, WR (signed to Redskins)
Jim Dray, TE
Kory Sperry, TE
Karlos Dansby, LB (signed to Browns)
Jeff King, TE
Eric Winston, OT
Mike Gibson, G
Frostee Rucker, DT (resigned to Cards)
Matt Shaughnessy, LB (resigned to Cards)
Antoine Cason, CB
Bryan McCann, CB
Yeremiah Bell, S

Atlanta Falcons

Sean Locklear, OT
Omar Gaither, LB
Jeremy Trueblood, OT
Dominique Franks, CB
Chase Coffman, TE
Joe Hawley, C (resigned to Falcons)
Peria Jerry, DT
Stephen Nicholas, LB
Jonathan Babineaux, DT (resigned with Falcons)
Asante Samuel, CB
Thomas DeCoud, S (released)

Baltimore Ravens

Michael Oher, OT (signed to Titans)
Corey Graham, CB (signed to Bills)
Tandon Doss, WR
Jacoby Jones, WR (resigned to Ravens)
Dallas Clark, TE
Ed Dickson, TE
Eugene Monroe, OT (resigned to Ravens)
Arthur Jones, DE (signed to Colts)
Terrence Cody, DT
Daryl Smith, LB (resigned to Ravens)
Corey Graham, CB (signed to Bills)
James Ihedigbo, S (signed to Lions)
Jeromy Miles, S
Vonta Leach, FB (released)
Jameel McClain, LB (released)

Buffalo Bills

Scott Chandler, TE (resigned to Bills)
Thomas Welch, OT
Alex Carrington, DE (signed to Rams)
Arthur Moats, LB (signed to Steelers)
Willie Jefferson, LB
Jairus Byrd, S (signed to Saints)
Jim Leonhard, S
Dan Carpenter, K (resigned to Bills)

Carolina Panthers

Derek Anderson, QB
Jimmy Clausen, QB
Lamont Bryant, WR (signed to Titans)
Ted Ginn, WR (signed to Cards)
Domenik Hixon, WR (signed to Bears)
Brandon LaFell, WR (signed to Patriots)
Steve Smith, WR (signed to Ravens)
Ben Hartsock, TE
Bruce Campbell, OL (signed to Redskins)
Geoff Hangartner, OL
Chris Scott, OL
Travelle Wharton, OL
Garry Williams, OL
Colin Cole, DT
Jordan Senn, LB
Dan Connor, LB
Jason Williams, LB
Drayton Florence, CB
Captain Munnerlyn, CB (signed to Vikings)
Quintin Mikell, S
Mike Mitchell, S (signed to Steelers)

Chicago Bears

Patrick Mannelly, LS
Derrick Martin, DB
Josh McCown, QB (signed to Bucs)
Devin Hester, WR/KR (signed to Falcons)
Jonathan Scott, OL
Eben Britton, OL
Julius Peppers, DE (signed to Packers)
Corey Wootton, DE
Landon Cohen, DT
Henry Melton, DT (signed to Cowboys)
James Anderson, LB
Blake Costanzo, LB
D.J. Williams, LB
Zackary Bowman, CB
Sherrick McManis, CB
Charles Tillman, CB (resigned to Bears)
Craig Steltz, S
Major Wright, S
Adam Podlesh, P
Michael Bush, RB

Cincinnati Bengals

Bernard Scott, RB
Tank Johnson, DT
Zoltan Mesko, P
Brandon Tate, WR (resigned to Bengals)
Alex Smith, TE
Anthony Collins, OL (signed to Bucs)
Dennis Roland, OL
Mike Pollak, OL (resigned to Bengals)
Michael Johnson, DE (signed to Bucs)
Michael Boley, LB
Brandon Ghee, CB
Chris Crocker, S
Taylor Mays, S

Cleveland Browns

Brandon Weeden, QB (signed to Cowboys)
Willis McGahee, RB
Oniel Cousins, OL
Shawn Lauvao, OL(signed to Redskins)
T.J. Ward, S (signed to Broncos)
Davone Bess, WR
Brian Tyms, WR
Paul Hazel, LB
D'Qwell Jackson, LB (signed to Colts)

Dallas Cowboys

Phil Costa, C (signed to Colts)
Brandon Carter, G
Jon Kitna, QB
George Winn, RB
Brian Waters, OL
Ryan Cook, OL
Anthony Spencer, DE/LB
Jarius Wynn, DE
Corey Irvin, DT (signed to Lions)
Jason Hatcher, DT (signed to Redskins)
Edgar Jones, LB
Ernie Sims, LB
Demarcus Ware, LB (signed to Broncos)
Danny McCray, S

Denver Broncos

Knowshon Moreno, RB (signed to Dolphins)
Andre Caldwell, WR (resigned to Broncos)
Eric Decker, WR (signed to Jets)
Winston Justice, OL
Zane Beadles, OL (signed to Jags)
Dan Koppen, OL
Robert Ayers, DE
Jeremy Mincey, DE (signed to Cowboys)
Shaun Phillips, LB
Stewart Bradley, LB
Paris Lenon, LB
Wesley Woodyard, LB (signed to Titans)
Champ Bailey, CB (signed to Saints)
Quentin Jammer, CB
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB (signed to Giants)
Steve Vallos, C
Mike Adams, S
Michael Huff, S

Detroit Lions

Leroy Harris, G
Shaun Hill, QB (signed to Rams)
Nate Burleson, WR (signed to Browns)
Kevin Ogletree, WR (resigned to Lions)
Micheal Spurlock, WR
Tony Scheffler, TE
Brandon Pettigrew, TE
Jason Fox, OL
Dylan Gandy, OL
Leroy Harris, OL
Israel Idonije, DE
Austen Lane, DE (signed to Bears)
Willie Young, DE (signed to Bears)
Andre Fluellen, DT
Rocky McIntosh, LB
Rashean Mathis, CB
Louis Delmas, S (signed to Dolphins)
John Wendling, S
David Akers, K
Corvey Irvin, DT
Don Muhlbach, LS

Green Bay Packers

Seneca Wallace, QB
Greg Van Roten, G (signed to Seahawks)
Kahlil Bell, RB
Matt Flynn, QB
James Starks, RB
John Kuhn, FB
James Jones, WR
Jermichael Finley, TE
Andrew Quarless, TE
Marshall Newhouse, OL (signed to Bengals)
Evan Dietrich-Smith, OL (signed to Bucs)
Mike Neal, DE (resigned to Packers)
C.J. Wilson, DE
Johnny Jolly, DT
Ryan Pickett, DT
B.J. Raji, DT
Rob Francois, LB
M.D. Jennings, S (signed to Bears)

Houston Texans

Matt Schaub, QB (signed to Raiders)
Ray Graham, RB
Jonathan Grimes, RB
Deji Karim, RB
Chad Spann, RB
Ben Tate, RB (signed to Browns)
Greg Jones, FB
Owen Daniels, TE (signed to Ravens)
Garrett Graham, TE (resigned by Texans)
Andrew Gardner, OL
Ryan Harris, OL
Wade Smith, OL
Antonio Smith, DE (signed to Raiders)
Terrell McClain, DT (signed to Cowboys)
Earl Mitchell, DT (signed to Dolphins)
Bryan Braman, LB (signed to Eagles)
Joe Mays, LB (signed to Chiefs)
Darryl Sharpton, LB
Elbert Mack, CB

Indianapolis Colts

Justin Anderson, T
Ahmad Bradshaw, RB
Donald Brown, RB (signed to Chargers)
Tashard Choice, RB
Tauren Poole, RB
Deion Branch, WR
Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR
Josh Lenz, WR
Jeff Linkenbach, OL
Mike Johnson, OL
Mike McGlynn, OL
Samson Satele, OL
Ricardo Mathews, DE
Lawrence Sidbury, DE
Aubrayo Franklin, DT
Pat Angerer, LB
Kavell Conner, LB
Vontae Davis, CB (resigned to Colts)
Cassius Vaughn, CB
Antoine Bethea, S (signed to 49ers)
Sergio Brown, S
Samson Satele, C

Jacksonville Jaguars

Delone Carter, RB
Maurice Jones-Drew, RB (signed to Raiders)
Taylor Price, WR (signed to Seahawks)
Sam Young, OL (resigned to Jags)
Brad Meester, OL
Uche Nwaneri, OL
Jason Babin, DE (resigned to Jags)
Brandon Deaderick, DT
Kyle Love, DT
Will Blackmon, CB (resigned to Jags)

Kansas City Chiefs

Terrance Copper, WR
Dominique Jones, TE
Chad Hall, WR
Jerrell Jackson, WR
Dexter McCluster, RB/WR (signed to Titans)
Kyle Williams, WR
Branden Albert, OL (signed with Dolphins)
Jon Asamoah, OL (signed to Falcons)
Geoff Schwartz, OL (signed to Giants)
Tyson Jackson, DE (signed to Falcons)
Anthony Toribio, DT
Robert James, LB
Akeem Jordan, LB (signed to Redskins)
Frank Zombo, LB (resigned to Chiefs)
Dunta Robinson, CB
Husain Abdullah, S
Quintin Demps, S
Kendrick Lewis, S (signed to Texans)

Miami Dolphins

David Arkin, G
Austin Spitler, LB
Nolan Carroll, CB (signed to Eagles)
Christopher Owens, CB
Chris Clemons, S (signed to Jags)
Marlon Moore, WR
Dustin Keller, TE
Tyson Clabo, OL
Bryant McKinnie, OL
Richie Incognito, OL
John Jerry, OL
Dimitri Patterson, CB
Paul Soliai, DT (signed to Falcons)
Randy Starks, DT (resigned to Dolphins)
Brent Grimes, CB (resigned to Dolphins)
Johnathan Martin, OT (signed to 49ers)

Minnesota Vikings

John Carlson, TE (signed to Cards)
Jared Allen, DE  (signed to Bears)
Kevin Williams, DT
Fred Evans, DT
Letroy Guion, DT
Chris Cook, CB (signed to 49ers)
Desmond Bishop, LB
Seth Olsen, G
Joe Berger, C (resigned to Vikes)
Marvin Mitchell, LB
Charlie Johnson, G
Josh Freeman, QB
Toby Gerhart, RB (signed to Jags)
Jerome Simpson, WR
Joe Webb, WR
Greg Childs, WR
J'Marcus Webb, OL
Charlie Johnson, OL (resigned to Vikes)
Erin Henderson, LB

New England Patriots

LeGarrette Blount, RB
Austin Collie, WR
Julian Edelman, WR (resigned to Pats)
Steve Gregory, S
Matthew Mulligan, TE
DJ Williams, TE
Will Svitek, OL
Ryan Wendell, OL
Andre Carter, DE
Dane Fletcher, LB
Brandon Spikes, LB (signed to Bills)
Aqib Talib, CB (signed to Broncos)
Cory Grissom, DT (signed to Chiefs)

New Orleans Saints

Chris Carr, CB
Luke McCown, QB
Robert Meachem, WR
Darren Sproles, RB (signed to Eagles)
Charles Brown, OL
Zach Strief, OL (resigned to Saints)
Brian De La Puente, OL
Kenyon Coleman, DE
Keyunta Dawson, DE
Parys Haralson, LB
Will Herring, LB (signed to Cowboys)
Ramon Humber, LB
Lance Moore, WR (signed to Steelers)
Will Smith, LB
Darren Sproles, RB
Jonathan Vilma, LB
Jabari Greer, CB
Malcolm Jenkins, S (signed to Eagles)
Roman Harper, S

New York Giants

Curtis Painter, QB (resigned to Giants)
Andre Brown, RB (signed to Texans)
Peyton Hillis, RB (resigned with Giants)
Louis Murphy, WR
Hakeem Nicks, WR (signed to Colts)
Brandon Myers, TE (resigned to Bucs)
Bear Pascoe, TE
Chad Jones, S
Kevin Boothe, OL
Justin Tuck, DE (signed to Raiders)
Linval Joseph, DT
Mike Patterson, DT
Shaun Rogers, DT
Keith Rivers, LB (signed to Bills)
Jon Beason, LB (resigned to Giants)
Trumaine McBride, CB
Aaron Ross, CB
Terrell Thomas, CB
Stevie Brown, S
Ryan Mundy, S
Josh Brown, K (resigned to Giants)

New York Jets

Mark Sanchez, QB (signed to Eagles)
David Garrard, QB
Willie Colon, OL (resigned to Jets)
Darius Reynaud, RB
Antonio Cromartie, CB (signed to Cardinals)
Lex Hilliard, FB
Josh Cribbs, WR
Santonio Holmes, WR (released)
Kellen Winslow, TE
Austin Howard, OL (signed to Raiders)
Ed Reed, S
Vladimir Ducasse, OL (signed to Vikings)
Ellis Lankster, CB
Calvin Pace, LB
Leger Douzable, DL
Isiah Trufant, CB
Aaron Berry, CB
Brady Quinn, QB

Oakland Raiders

Rashad Jennings, RB (signed to Giants)
Darren McFadden, RB (resigned to Raiders)
Jacoby Ford, WR (signed to Jets)
Jeron Mastrud, TE
Tony Pashos, OL
Jared Veldheer, OL (signed to Cardinals)
Andre Gurode, OL
Lamarr Houston, DT (signed to Bears)
Jason Hunter, DE
Daniel Muir, DT
Pat Sims, DT
Vance Walker, DT (signed to Chiefs)
Phillip Adams, CB (signed to Seahawks)
Mike Jenkins, CB
Tracy Porter, CB (signed to Redskins)
Charles Woodson, CB
Usama Young, S

Philadelphia Eagles

Michael Vick, QB (signed to Jets)
Clifton Geathers, DT
Nate Allen, S (resigned to Eagles)
Colt Anderson, S
Kurt Coleman, S
Donnie Jones, P
Jason Avant, WR (signed to Panthers)
Arrelious Benn, WR
Jeremy Maclin, WR (resigned to Eagles)
DeSean Jackson, WR (signed to Redskins)

Pittsburgh Steelers

Jonathan Dwyer, RB
Felix Jones, RB
La'Rod Stephens-Howling, RB
Plaxico Burress, WR
Jerricho Cotchery, WR (signed to Panthers)
Emmanuel Sanders, WR (signed to Bronocs)
David Johnson, TE (signed to Chargers)
Michael Palmer, TE
Levi Brown, OT
Rashad Butler, OL
Guy Whimper, OL
Fernando Velasco, OL
Cody Wallace, OL
Brett Keisel, DE
Ziggy Hood, DT (signed to Jags)
Al Woods, DT (signed to Titans)
Larry Foote, LB
Jamaal Westerman, LB
Stevenson Sylvester, LB
Curtis Brown, CB
Ryan Clark, S (signed to Redskins)
Mat McBriar, P
Greg Warren, LS
Will Allen, S (resigned to Steelers)
Lamarr Woodley, LB (signed to Raiders)

San Diego Chargers

Charlie Whitehurst, QB
Ronnie Brown, RB
Chris Gronkowski, FB
Le'Ron McClain, FB
Seji Ajirotutu, WR
Cam Thomas, DL
Danario Alexander, WR
Rich Ohnrnberger, OL
Derek Cox, CB (signed to Vikings)
Richard Marshall, CB (resigned to Chargers)
Johnny Patrick, CB (signed to Jets)
Reggie Walker, LB (resigned to Chargers)
Lavelle Hawkins, WR (signed to Bucs)

San Francisco 49ers

Colt McCoy, QB
Anthony Dixon, RB (signed to Bills)
Anquan Boldin, WR (resigned to 49ers)
Mario Manningham, WR
Kassim Osgood, WR
Jonathan Goodwin, OL
Tarell Brown, CB (signed to Raiders)
Eric Wright, CB (resigned to 49ers)
Carlos Rogers, CB (signed to Raiders)
Donte Whitner, S (signed to Browns)
Phil Dawson, K (resigned to 49ers)
Perrish Cox, CB

Seattle Seahawks

Tarvaris Jackson, QB
Michael Robinson, FB
Arceto Clark, WR
Sidney Rice, WR
Golden Tate, WR (signed to Lions)
Bryan Walters, WR
Kellen Davis, TE
Breno Giacomini, OL (signed to Jets)
Paul McQuistan, OL
Chris Maragos, S (signed to Eagles)
O'Brien Schofield, LB (signed to Giants)
Brandon Browner, CB (signed to Pats)
Steven Hauschka, K (resigned to Seahawks)
Walter Thurmond, CB
Clinton McDonald, DL (signed to Bucs)
Tony McDaniel, DT (resigned to Seahawks)
Chris Clemons, DE (signed to Jags)
Red Bryant, DE (signed to Jags)
Michael Bennett, DE (resigned to Seahawks)

St. Louis Rams

Kellen Clemens, QB (signed to Chargers)
Brady Quinn, QB
Adam Henry, WR
Rodger Saffold, OL (resigned to Rams)
Chris Williams, OL (signed to Bills)
Jo-Lonn Dunbar, LB
Will Witherspoon, LB
Matt Giordano, S
Darian Stewart, S (signed to Ravens)
Shelley Smith, OL (signed to Dolphins)
Harvey Dahl, G
Cortland Finnegan, CB (signed to Dolphins)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Dan Orlovsky, QB
Spencer Larsen, RB
Brian Leonard, RB
Erik Lorig, FB
Tiquan Underwood, WR (signed to Panthers)
Kyle Adams, TE
Nate Byham, TE
Jamon Meredith, OL
Ted Larsen, OL
Daniel Te'o-Nesheim, DE
Gary Gibson, DT
Adam Hayward, LB (signed to Redskins)
Dekoda Watson, LB (signed to Jags)
Jacob Cutrera, LB
Michael Adams, CB
Danny Gorrer, CB
Darrelle Revis, CB (signed to Pats)
Rian Lindell, K
Derek Landri, DL
Andrew Economos, LS
Michael Hill, RB
Davin Joseph, OL
Jordan Rodgers, QB

Tennessee Titans

Rusty Smith, QB
Chris Johnson, RB (released)
Leon Washington, RB (resigned to Titans)
Greg Jones, FB
Kenny Britt, WR (signed to Rams)
Marc Mariani, WR
Kevin Walter, WR
Damian Williams, WR
Mike Otto, OL
Kevin Matthews, OL
Chris Spencer, OL
Rob Turner, OL
Antonio Johnson, DT
Zac Diles, LB
Alterraun Verner, CB (signed to Bucs)

Washington Redskins

Rex Grossman, QB
Dezmon Briscoe, WR
Josh Morgan, WR
Santana Moss, WR (resigned to Redskins)
Fred Davis, TE
J.D. Walton, OL
Adam Carriker, DL
Rob Jackson, LB
Darryl Tapp, LB
Nick Barnett, LB
London Fletcher, LB
Bryan Kehl, LB
E.J. Biggers, LB (resigned to Redskins)
Josh Wilson, CB (signed to Falcons)
Reed Doughty, S
Jose Gumbs, S
Brandon Meriweather, S
Sav Rocca, P

(Check back often..this will be updated frequently)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Should Jadeveon Clowney or Johnny Manziel be taken at number one?

With Houston Texans currently holding onto the number one pick overall, the question becomes what should they do with the pick, and who they should draft.

First, should the Texans trade down for more draft picks? Quick answer, no. While more draft picks would be very beneficial for a team that completely collapsed last year, the best option for this team is to hang onto this pick and draft the best player at the positions they need most.

That being eliminated, who should the Texans draft becomes the next question. Before this past weekend at the combine, the obvious pick here would be Johnny Manziel. First because the team is in desperate need of a franchise quarterback and second because of the proximity of Texas A&M to Reliant Stadium. Bringing in the Aggies former QB would bring a massive amount of new fans who have already been following the young QBs college career. Manziel is fast, sharp and elusive. In his two years starting for the Aggies he won the Heisman Trophy, the Davey O'Brien Award and led his team to a victory in the Cotton Bowl in 2013. He ran a 4.68 40 yd dash at the combine, which isn't the fastest, but pretty good. He would be an excellent pick for the Texans after years of misery, uncertainty and injuries at the quarterback position.

The combine however, changed everything. The most impressive player to come out of this weekend is former South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Clowney ran a 4.53 40 yd dash putting him on par with some of the top WRs who were at the combine. The 6'6" 249 pound defensive end is big and explosive. While his 21 bench press reps was unimpressive, his speed and size make him dangerous coming off the end on a pass rush. Clowney was an All-American and won the Ted Hendricks award and led his team to an Outback Bowl victory.

Either pick would be a great one for the Texans but the Texans need to address their most pressing need. If they are smart, they draft a quarterback with this pick. The logic of course nowadays is that teams draft the best player on the board regardless of need, which would be Clowney. With two months to go until the draft, it is wait and see time for the NFL and all their fans.

Draft order and who should draft what in 2014

With the combine completed and the draft just two months away, teams are busy preparing themselves for locking in the players that they want to fit into each slot they need to fill. Here are the teams and the positions that they need to fill and some likely candidates to fill vacancies.

1. Houston Texans
Need: QB, OT, Safety
This team started 2-0 before dropping the next 14 games straight and firing their coach with three games left in the season. The biggest issue for them is their desperate need for a franchise quarterback. After that would be an offensive tackle who can protect the QBs blindside, a major issue all season for the Texans. They also need to address their secondary issue by bringing in a safety who won't get burned on every play. They will most likely draft their quarterback in the first round.

2. St. Louis Rams
Need: OL, WR, Safety
This team is in desperate need to upgrade their o-line. They lack the ability to keep any quarterback upright or get a push for any running back out the backfield. The lack of a true number one receiver has plagued them for years and will need to be addressed in this draft along with their issue at safety in the secondary. It is likely they will draft their receiver first.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars
Need: QB, DE, OT
The mission to turn Blaine Gabbert into a franchise quarterback has failed miserably. This team will need to find a new quarterback quickly. They also need to address issues on offensive line at the tackle position and defensive line at end. They will most likely go after the DE first.

4. Cleveland Browns
Need: QB, RB, OG
Browns are another team in need of a franchise QB. From Colt McCoy to Seneca Wallace to Jason Campbell to Brandon Weeden, none have been the answer the Browns need to turn this team around. After trading away RB Trent Richardson midseason last year, they will also need to bring in a running back as well as an offensive guard. Quarterback is their most likely pick in the first round.

5. Oakland Raiders
Need: QB, WR, OT
All of the Raiders needs are on the offense with the most obvious need at quarterback. They also need a quality number one receiver and an offensive tackle. Quarterback should be the need they address first.

6. Atlanta Falcons
Need: DE, OL, TE
With the retirement of Tony Gonzalez, this team will need to bring in a tight end, but their most pressing issue is at defensive end and O-line so they can get the ball moving down the field. Expect the O-line issue to be addressed first.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Need: DE, TE, OT
Bucs are in need of an edge rusher on defense and a tackle on offense as well as a decent tight end. They may go offensive tackle as well.

8. Minnesota Vikings
Need: QB, DE, OG
After the collapse of Christian Ponder, the disastrous choice of bringing in Josh Freeman then back to Ponder, the Vikings MUST address their quarterback issue FIRST. They also need to bring in an offensive guard to protect the quarterback and a defensive end to come in off the edge.

9. Buffalo Bills
Need: LB, TE, RT
While the bills are in need of a right tackle, and a good tight end for their young star quarterback, the most pressing issue issue is linebacker. Expect this to be the issue they address first.

10. Detroit Lions
Need: CB, WR, Safety
The Lions started off well and fell off quickly. They need to find a quality number 2 receiver, but their most pressing needs are on defense where they are sorely lacking in the secondary both at corner and at safety. CB is the position they will most likely fill first.

11. Tennessee Titans
Need: Safety, DE, QB
Another team that needs to address their secondary issues especially at safety. They need a good edge rusher and with QB Jake Locker plagued with injuries, another quarterback would be in their best interest as well. The safety position is the one most likely to be filled first.

12. New York Giants
Need: LB, CB, OL
Keeping QB Eli Manning vertical is an issue that the Giants suffered from all season. They will need to find a top notch O-Line fast. They also will need to address the linebacker and the CB positions. They will most likely fill their O-Line need first.

13. St. Louis Rams
Need: OL, WR, Safety
With their second pick in the first round the Rams will likely draft their O-lineman here.

14. Chicago Bears
Need: DL, Safety, OL
The Bears were plagued with injury on defense throughout the season, both on the line and in the secondary at safety. They also need to address issues on their O-Line which failed QB Jay Cutler miserably. The D-Line issues will most likely be addressed first.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers
Need: OT, Safety, CB
The Steelers are in serious need of a good offensive tackle. What may be more pressing though is their issues in the secondary both at safety and at CB. They will most likely address their OT issue first though.

16. Dallas Cowboys
Need: DE, CB, Safety
The Cowboys always start out promising and fizzle out quickly. This has more to do with their problems on the defense especially at end and in the secondary. Their best choice would be to draft a safety with their first selection.

17. Baltimore Ravens
Need: OT, C, WR
The Ravens had a poor showing last year with their offense struggling to score points. They have to address their offensive tackle and center issues but a quality number two receiver may be the way they go.

18. New York Jets
Need: WR, OG, RB
Defense can only get you so far when your offense is a mess. This is the lesson learned by the Jets this past season. They need to get a top wide receiver, an offensive guard to protect the quarterback and a running back who can rush up the middle especially in third down situations. Best pick here would be a wide receiver.

19. Miami Dolphins
Need: OT, OG, RB
The controversy with the Dolphins was a distraction, but worse was their poor performance on the field. This team will need to get an offensive tackle, offensive guard and a running back. The OT is the most likely position filled here.

20. Arizona Cardinals
Need: OT, CB, OLB
Cards biggest issue is the OT position though needs at CB and an outside rusher on D can't be overlooked. This is likely to be a OT selection.

21. Green Bay Packers
Need: TE, Safety, LB
The Pack needs to replace the loss of Jermichael Finley but will more than likely fill their needs on defense first. They need another LB and at safety with Safety being the safest bet to fill at this spot.

22. Philadelphia Eagles
Need: OLB, Safety, CB
The biggest needs of the Eagles are all on defense starting with a need for an outside pass rush at linebacker and needs at safety and cornerback.Linebacker is the likeliest pick here.

23. Kansas City Chiefs
Need: WR, DL, ILB
With Dwayne Bowe being there best receiver, a good deep threat at WR is a necessary addition. They also need to address their defensive woes at lineman and linebacker. Andy Reid will most likely go for a DL here.

24. Cincinnati Bengals
Need: CB, OLB, Safety
Another team with a strong offense but a shaky defense. Bengals would do best to pick up a corner here and address their LB and safety needs in later rounds.

25. San Diego Chargers
Need: CB, OG, OLB
The Chargers are good but need to fix an issue in the middle of their offensive line. They also need an outside pass rusher and a decent corner in their secondary. The OG would be the safest pick here.

26. Cleveland Browns
Need: QB, RB, OG
With their second pick in the first round the Browns should address their need at RB if they made the smart pick and picked their QB earlier, but the safe bet is for them to pick their offensive guard here.

27. New Orleans Saints
Need: OT, OLB, CB
The Saints could use an offensive tackle an outside pass rusher and a solid corner in their secondary. This pick could go any of those three ways but likely the OT will be picked here.

28. Carolina Panthers
Need: WR, CB, OL
The Panthers could definitely use another top quality WR to compliment the aging Steve Smith and Brandon Lafell. They could also use an offensive lineman and a reliable safety in their secondary. The WR would be their best pick here.

29. New England Patriots
Need: OL, DL, CB
Patriots need more protection up front to help Brady. They also need a good pass rusher and a solid corner on their defense. The offensive lineman is the likeliest pick here.

30. San Francisco 49ers
Need: WR, DL, CB
With Boldin and Crabtree as their main threats the 49ers could use a deep play receiver. They also need to address their issues on their defense at the line and in the secondary at CB. The likeliest here is DL.

31. Denver Broncos
Need: OT, CB, DL
After a crushing defeat in the SB the Broncos are in need of an offensive tackle to protect Peyton. They also need more pass rushing on their defense and a solid CB to replace the aging Champ Bailey.

32. Seattle Seahawks
Need: WR, TE, OL
Seahawks could use a true number receiver as well as a top shelf tight end. Their O-Line could use an upgrade as well. This slot will likely go to the WR.