NFL News: Mike Glennon, Jonathan Stewart And Other Big-Name Players Released

Behind the backdrop of the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, head coaches and general managers are meeting to discuss plans ahead of the draft and free agency. On Wednesday, several teams decided to part ways with some notable players.  Many of the moves were expected. Chicago Bears, for example, released reserve quarterback Mike Glennon. After starting the first four games of the season, Glennon was benched for lackluster play in favor of first-round rookie Mitchell Trubisky. The Bears signed Glennon in March 2017 to a three-year deal with $18.5 million guaranteed. The Bears also announced they would cut linebacker Willie Young, a productive pass rusher who, at age 32 and coming off a major injury, did not fit into the team’s future plans. The Bears now have more than $80 million in salary-cap space. The Carolina Panthers released longtime running back Jonathan Stewart. The 30-year-old is the team’s all-time leading rusher, despite only rushing for 1,000 rushing yards once in his career. The move clears $3.71 million from their salary cap. Jonathan Stewart #28 of the Carolina Panthers runs for a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings in the first quarter during their game at Bank of America Stadium on December 10, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo: Grant Halverson/Getty Images Only two years after signing a massive $86 million contract, the New York Jets severed ties with defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson. The former first-round pick made the Pro Bowl in 2015, but his production declined after signing that large contract. By releasing Wilkerson, the Jets clear up $11 million in salary-cap space. After agreeing to a one-year deal with cornerback Vontae Davis, the Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott said the team would not cut quarterback Tyrod Taylor, according to Buffalo News reporter Vic Carucci. Taylor has a salary-cap hit of $18 million for 2018. "Tyrod's on our roster right now, that's the plan," Bills general manager Brandon Continue Reading

5-at-10: NFL news galore, LeBron’s the best ever, Ejected fans, Rushmore of gangster movie

NFL BID-ness We are two weeks from the official start of the next NFL year. If that seems strange, well, we understand that. March 14 does not exactly seem like New Year's Day in any measure. (Side note: The following day would have been my parents' 50th wedding anniversary.) With that caveat — and with the knowledge that the Underwear Olympics are about to be in full swing (at the combine, being in full swing can mean multiple things, ask former Mississippi State defensive lineman Chris Jones) — there still is a lot of news swirling around the NFL. First, there's the Jerry Jones stuff. The bitter NFL asking for $2 million in legal fees from Jones' tantrum about the Ezekiel Elliott stuff. Nothing screams petulant child like billionaires squabbling over millions, right? Speaking of dough, the NFL has a new pizza provider. (See what we did there, Spy? Pretty classy, right?) Papa John is out. Pizza Hut is in. Then there is discussion about a rule to prevent another Josh McDaniels-type situation. Here's more.  There will be much discussion and debate and attempts from Adam Schefter to scoop everyone about where Kirk Cousins goes. We like that. (Side note, II: We think Denver outbids the New York Jets in the end, but we like the thoughts of Minnesota getting in the mix. If you are Johnny Vikings Fan, would you rather have Cousins at $30 million or Case Keenum at $25-plus million or whatever the franchise tag will be? Exactly.) Another quarterback story line came Tuesday when reports surfaced that Sam Darnold will not throw at the combine. Gang, why would anyone who has that type of film throw at the combine, when a) his biggest question marks are decision-making and turnovers, and neither of which can be helped by slinging it with no defenders, and b) why risk it with receivers you do not know? Then there is the rule-change discussion, and the more interesting revelation has nothing to do with changes to the catch rule. Continue Reading

Buffalo Bills center Eric Wood announces retirement from NFL

Buffalo Bills center Eric Wood announced his retirement from the NFL on Monday afternoon at the Buffalo Bills complex in Orchard Park.  More: Bills center Eric Wood issues statement confirming that he will retire from the NFL News of Wood's impending retirement broke on Friday morning and he announced plans for Monday's new conference. Former teammate Ryan Fitzpatrick was among those in attendance to show their support for Wood.“I was diagnosed with a neck injury as part of my season-ending physical with the Bills,” Wood said. “After consulting with Dr. Cappuccino and other physicians, I was informed that I was no longer cleared to play football, even with surgery or further treatment. I appreciate and thank everyone for their thoughts, concerns and prayers, and I will shed more light on the situation at a press conference on Monday at the team facility.”Wood, 31, was chosen by the Bills in the first round of the 2009 draft and started all 120 games that he played for the team.This is a developing story. Check back for more details.  Continue Reading

NFL notes: Brady back at practice, Gronkowski still out

Brady back at practice, Gronk still out New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady returned to full practice nine days before the Super Bowl, but tight end Rob Gronkowski is still recovering from a concussion. In Friday’s injury report, the team said neither Gronkowski nor defensive lineman Deatrich Wise would play if the game were this Sunday. Brady required stitches in his right hand and thumb after an injury in practice last week. After missing parts of practice leading up to the AFC championship, he started in the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars and led New England to a 24-20 victory. Arizona hires coordinators • Former San Diego head coach Mike McCoy has been hired as offensive coordinator and Al Holcomb is following new Arizona Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks from Carolina to be defensive coordinator. The Cardinals also hired Jeff Rodgers as special teams coordinator. The hires were announced Friday. McCoy, the Chargers head coach from 2013-2016, was offensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos for five seasons, including 2017. Guilty ruling in death of ex-NFL player • A jury in suburban New Orleans Friday night found Ronald Gasser guilty of manslaughter in the 2016 shooting death of former NFL running back Joe McKnight. Manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of 40 years. Gasser shot McKnight after what prosecutors said was a road rage incident that included aggressive driving along a 5 mile route. Prosecutors told jurors Friday the evidence showed Gasser angrily pursued McKnight and shot him from inside his own car. A defense lawyer said McKnight was the aggressor and that Gasser fired in self-defense. Bills center calls it quits • Buffalo center and respected team leader Eric Wood is retiring after nine seasons as a result of a debilitating neck injury. Wood revealed his decision in a statement the Bills posted on their Twitter account Friday. Wood says the injury was discovered during a season-ending physical. Wood adds he has Continue Reading

What the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft looks like right now

The top 20 picks in the NFL Draft are set among the 20 teams that did not make the postseason. For the 12 remaining, their draft position is based on how their season ends. The losers of the Wild Card games select in the 21st through 24th positions in all rounds, according to the reverse order of their standing. Buffalo is No. 22 based on its 9-7 record. Tennessee, the other AFC Wild Card, is No. 21. The Bills also own the Chiefs' first-round pick, which is No. 24 based on record. The losers in the second round of the playoffs select No. 25 to No. 28. The conference championship game losers pick No. 29 and No. 30 with the Super Bowl loser at No. 31 and the Super Bowl winner at No. 32. Some notes on the first 20 picks, according to an NFL news release: Since Oakland and San Francisco have the same strength-of-schedule, and neither the divisional nor the conference tie-breaker applies, the tie for the ninth and 10th positions will be determined by a coin flip. The tie between Green Bay and Washington for the 13th and 14th position was broken by conference tie-breakers. Since both clubs had the same conference record (5-7), their win-loss-tie percentages in common games is applied. Since Washington (1-4) had a lower win-loss-tie percentage in common games than Green Bay (2-3), the Redskins are given priority in the Draft order. The tie between Dallas and Detroit for the 19th and 20th position was broken by conference tie-breakers. Since Dallas (7-5) has a lower win-loss-tie percentage in conference games than Detroit (8-4), the Cowboys are given priority in the Draft order. Continue Reading

Recent NFL news should alter your fantasy football approach

0 View Gallery  View Comments Three transactions rocked the NFL and fantasy football Friday, including a six-game suspension for Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. Elliott was handed the suspension following the NFL’s drawn out investigation into allegations of domestic abuse. Also Friday, the Bills traded top wide receiver Sammy Watkins to the Rams and acquired former Eagles receiver Jordan Matthews in another trade. There were some draft picks and cornerbacks involved with both trades but we’ll stick to the fantasy relevant players here. First, the suspension of Elliott means a large shakeup in the first round of the draft, if he actually serves the suspension. Elliott will likely appeal and the NFL would have 10 days to schedule a hearing. If for some reason, the process gets drawn out, Elliot could play until the appeal is resolved. If Elliott serves the suspension, his draft value takes a hit and he’d fall to the second, third and maybe the fourth rounds. Backup Darren McFadden will figure to start while Elliott is out. He would be viable in fantasy as a starting running back. Matthews joins Anquan Boldin and Zay Jones as the Bills’ wide receivers. Matthews’ becomes the No. 1 wideout with Buffalo, but doesn’t hold as much value as Watkins did in the same role. That isn’t to say Matthews will be a bust. He had a career-low 804 receiving yards with three touchdowns last year. This year he bounces back as a WR2 in fantasy. The fantasy winner in this trade could be Philadelphia wideout Nelson Agholor, who will see an expanded role with Matthews gone. Since becoming the Eagles’ first-round pick in 2015, Agholor has had a tumultuous start to his career, struggling with confidence issues that led to underwhelming numbers. It seems that Agholor is ready to put it all behind him. He’s drawn a lot of praise from Eagles’ beat writers, including NFL Network analyst and former Eagles’ scout Continue Reading

Injured Giants WR Brandon Marshall compares watching NFL news to soap operas

Brandon Marshall had season-ending ankle surgery on Tuesday but the ongoing national anthem debate had him tweeting up a storm on Wednesday morning. “This isn’t the game I started playing at 6. This may not be a game anymore. #NFL,” Marshall tweeted. He later clarified what he was referring to: “Politics…,” he said. “Sitting here watching #NFL news and it feels like I’m watching soap operas,” Marshall added. Marshall was likely responding to President Trump’s tweet Wednesday morning that “it is about time that Roger Goodell of the NFL is finally demanding that all players STAND for our great National Anthem-RESPECT OUR COUNTRY.” While Cowboys owner Jerry Jones appears to be bowing to Trump by announcing he won’t play players who kneel for the anthem, Goodell reacted Wednesday to Trump’s misinterpretation of the commissioner’s Tuesday statement. “Commentary this morning about the Commissioner’s position on the Anthem is not accurate,” the NFL statement said, before explaining that the NFL is “doing the hard work of trying to move from protest to progress.” Marshall, meanwhile, has one more year on his contract with the Giants but no guaranteed money included in that second year of his deal. So it’s very possible this left ankle stabilization surgery ends his NFL career. Marshall is outspoken and has done plenty of media work including on Showtime’s "Inside the NFL," though, so his voice will continue to be heard. Continue Reading

NFL commish Roger Goodell in his own Stupor Bowl talking about concussions

SAN FRANCISCO – Roger Goodell was the captain of the football, basketball and baseball teams his senior year at Bronxville High School. He was a safety and tight end on the football team — he was a quarterback for a number of years — and had offers to play college football. Jackie Sherrill at Pitt was interested. “I hurt my knee late in the spring,” he said. INTERACTIVE: RANK THE BEST GAMES IN SUPER BOWL HISTORY Any thoughts of playing college football were out, even at small college Washington and Lee, where he enrolled. “If there is ever a regret in my life, it’s not playing college football,” Goodell told me years ago. The knee injury might have been the best thing that happened to him. It eventually could save his life. Instead of playing college football and perhaps suffering multiple concussions, he used his free time away from the classroom and library tending bar, which in most cases is much safer. So in the midst of the annual Super Bowl celebration in the host city, Goodell is battling the biggest health crisis in the history of sports: the proliferation of concussions, the dreadful posthumous diagnosis of the degenerative brain disease CTE in Junior Seau, Dave Duerson and Andre Waters, who all committed suicide that was connected to CTE, as well as in other former players who were exhibiting memory loss or other abnormal behavior before their death. GOODELL LAUGHS AT ROGER STAUBACH'S CONCUSSION JOKE Goodell has twin teenage daughters, so he’s never faced the issue of whether to allow his kids to play middle school or high school football. But he insisted Friday at his annual state-of-the-NFL news conference that if he had a son, he would not only endorse him playing, he would encourage him to lace ’em up. He said this despite the sad state of so many former players who are suffering and at least nine high Continue Reading

Effectiveness of NFL’s HGH policy in question

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was basking in the glow of a new season, and a new collective-bargaining agreement at the first of many events to celebrate Super Bowl XLVIII, to be played three years later at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., the league’s first cold-weather championship game. But there was one issue that would prove to be a thorn in Goodell’s side as the commissioner mingled with guests and the media during that 2011 breakfast at the Museum of Modern Art: human growth hormone. The owners and the Players Association had agreed in principle a few weeks earlier to implement blood testing for the drug, but the union later balked over questions about the effectiveness of the test. “It’s our intention to do it as soon as possible,” Goodell said then of HGH testing. “We hope sooner rather than later. We wanted to start at the beginning of the (2011) regular season.” The NFL’s HGH testing wasn’t implemented until September 2014, three years later, thanks to the union’s relucatance. It continues to be a lightning-rod topic as Peyton Manning prepares for his fourth Super Bowl appearance Feb. 7, perhaps his final football game in an NFL uniform. No players have tested positive for HGH since the NFL began testing for it, raising questions about the effectiveness of the NFL drug policy. “It’s 100% propaganda. If the NFL was interested in catching players who are doping, they wouldn’t be doing the testing the way they are now,” says BALCO founder Victor Conte, who has for years been an anti-doping advocate. Conte says he believes players are able to avoid detection by microdosing or using fast-acting PEDcreams that stay in an individual’s system for a very short window of time. “I think the policy is completely inept,” he said. Human growth hormone – banned by the NFL and other sports leagues -- shot to the forefront of Continue Reading

Why Dan Quinn has the toughest challenge of any NFL coach

When the Atlanta Falcons reconvene later this month to begin their offseason conditioning program, Dan Quinn knows the elephant is coming to the room, too.Quinn, still a ball of optimistic energy, insists that there’s no reason to try erasing history — the Falcons blew the biggest lead in Super Bowl history — when he assembles with his team again.Sure, a new season beckons. There’s the usual turnover of players and a few new coaches on staff. They will focus on what’s ahead rather than behind them. Yet a part of moving on includes processing what happened. So Quinn will address it with players at least once more on their first day back.“You have to acknowledge it,” the Falcons coach said this week, during his media breakfast session at the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix. “You have to own the moments that went bad. But you also have to own the ones that went well, too. That’s what I intend to do.” More NFL newsSome teams will gear up this season with rookie coaches, others will be pressed to stop the bleeding with perennial losers. Organizational dysfunction will test others.Yet Quinn will have the toughest challenge of any NFL coach this season. It will be hard enough for the Falcons to deal with the hangover that typically afflicts Super Bowl losers. That’s proven to be a real mother for ya, as Johnny “Guitar” Watson crooned back in the day. You’d have to go back to the Buffalo Bills and their four consecutive losses in Roman Numeral games during the early 1990s to find a team that made it back to the Super Bowl after losing it the previous year.Last year, that task confronted Ron Rivera and the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers went on to miss the playoffs.Yet the Falcons might have an even higher hurdle, given the way they collapsed and squandered a 25-point lead against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI.“You’re not over it, but you’re past it,” Continue Reading