By Bill Smith
Five US Senators have introduced legislation to eliminate NFL Blackouts.
The NFL has announced that they will play 13 Thursday night games next season. The games will continue after the traditional Thursday night league kickoff and run through week 15.
The league also announced that every NFL team will get at least 1 prime time game.
The Eagles announced they will plan to put the franchise tag on WR DeSean Jackson. They will try to work out a trade. That would mean if he signs the tender he would get around 9.5 million dollars for 2012. He has said he would accept the tender but the tag cannot be placed until Feb. 26th. The Eagles would get two first round picks from any team that signed him as a tagged player. The Eagles will try to trade him this offseason for a first and another player.
The Jags have named Mark Lamping as their team president. He will oversee all non-football operations.
Agent Tom Condon has said “Peyton’s not done.” Peyton Manning has been medically cleared to play by his doctors in 2012. However, he has not been cleared by the team. The Big question is where will he play? Odds are good that the Colts will pay the 28 million dollar bonus to him and keep both Manning and Andrew Luck the likely first overall pick in the draft.
Former Browns and current Chief OC Brian Dabol has said he wants competition for starting QB Matt Cassel. The team trusts their QB but not enough to guarantee him the job. HC Romeo Crennel said Dabol will not coach a position. The HC wants his OC to focus on calling plays.
The Bills have announced they will change their D to the 4-3 in 2012. That means that several of their D players may be on the trading block because they no longer fit the system. Dwan Edwards might be one such player.
The Plain Dealer reported that the Browns feel QB Colt McCoy will be better in 2012 because of a full season under HC Pat Shurmur. That of course assumes Shurmur can help Colt develop.
RB Cadillac Williams is now Chevy Williams. He turns 30 this year and will not be back with the Bucs. He has never been the same after his injuries in 07 and 08. He has never been the back he was expected to be when he was drafted.
The Saints are trying to resign QB Drew Brees before they address any other position. WR Marques Colston is expected to be addressed after they sign Brees.
Steelers WR Hines Ward said he is willing to renegotiate his contract. The Steelers are not sure they want him back at all. They may keep him if they can. He is a slot guy and they don’t have that without him.
The Steelers also are planning 2012 without RB Rashard Mendenhall. He is in the last year of his contract and it will take a full year to recover from his ALC injury late in the season.
The Steelers have already gotten some cap relief by reworking the contracts of CB Ike Taylor, and LBs LaMarr Woodley and Lawrence Timmons. Even with these moves the team is still more than 10 mil over the cap.
The Pats and HC Belichick have not won a Super Bowl since the Video Gate controversy broke.
KC HC Romeo Crennel recently said that he would like to have a QB to challenge starter Matt Cassel. Chief fans can only hope Romeo does not decide the starter by flipping a coin like he did in Cleveland.
QB Peyton Manning spent a couple of days in the Cards facility working with the coaching staff and receiver Larry Fitzgerald. That would be a great place for Manning to continue his career. It would also signal the end of the Kevin Kolb experiment. Kolb is owed a 7 mill roster bonus next week. He lost the starting job to John Skelton and will not get the bonus as the 3rd QB. If he is allowed to become a UFA, look for the Browns to get involved in bidding for his services in 2012. He is well schooled in the West Coast Offense and has ties to Browns’ GM Tom Heckert.
Look for several teams to be interested in FA WR Randy Moss. Because he was a FA at the end of 2011 season he can sign immediately. The Pats are one of the teams reported to be interested. The lack of downfield speed has been one reason the team has failed to win another Super Bowl. If Moss still has most of his speed, he will likely be signed for 2012.
Titan UFA CB Cortland Finnegan will be looking for around 10 mil a season in a new deal. He is going to get multiple offers but given the 120 mil salary cap for 2012 he will not get that much. He should get 7-8 mil.
Texan UFA DE Mario Williams will not be back. He does not want to play OLB in a 3-4 D and will opt to a 4-3 team. He made 1.8 mil last year and could become the highest paid defensive player in the league with an income of up to 14 mil.
The NFL has secretly been looking for ways to fix the Pro Bowl. As usual I have the ultimate solution. Pick the teams as always. But rather than spending all that money to send everyone to Hawaii, use Madden to play the game. The “winning” network could still broadcast the game and use its announcers to call it. There would be a lot better tackling and the new use of a contract corporation would promote the video game and save the 25 fans that attend the game the cost of the tickets.
Last week on my show I threw out the name of possible Browns’ QB targets. I added the name of ex-Eagle, ex-Redskin and ex-Viking QB McNabb as a joke. Now, the longtime Eagle is rumored to be in the mix for the Browns. If he is signed by the Browns, I will be scheduling the Pitchfork and Torch demonstration before game 1 rather than after another 4-12 season in 2012.
Denver 9News is reporting that the team is looking into the possibility of signing Peyton Manning if he is available. The goal would be having him tutor QB Tim Tebow and filling in until the team decides if Tebow is the QB of the future or it finds the next guy.
If you enjoyed this, join us for the Internet version of News, Notes and Rumors on http://mooheadradio.com/2.0/ Monday –Thursday 6-7:30 PM EST.
Follow me @NNRonDSN
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits https://fryingpansports.com and has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/.
- A plan for rebuilding the Cleveland Browns (fryingpansports.com)
- Cleveland Browns: Brad Childress Hire Proof of Another Lie to the Fans (fryingpansports.com)