Posts Tagged ‘NFL’

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The Houston Texans broke the bank to trade up for Deshaun Watson in this year’s draft, so it’s likely a matter of when, not if, the rookie quarterback will earn the starting job in 2017 – especially with only journeyman Tom Savage in his way.

However, Bill O’Brien’s offense is notoriously difficult to master – Watson is no lock to be under center in Week 1. The former Clemson standout says he’ll know he’s ready when the head coach calls his number.

“Honestly, whenever Coach (O’Brien) and the coaches feel like I’m ready to go (I’ll be ready),” Watson told NFL Network’s Alex Flanagan on Tuesday, according to Conor Orr of NFL.com. “The team feels like they can operate with me behind the wheel and being the quarterback. It’s gonna take time, it’s gonna be a process, really no rush. Just kinda taking it one day at a time, and whenever that time comes, I’ll be ready.”

The Texans are ready to win now, boasting one of the league’s most dominant defenses along with strong offensive weapons in DeAndre Hopkins and Lamar Miller.

Throwing a rookie quarterback into the mix is a risk, but Watson’s arguably the most pro-ready quarterback in the 2017 class, and Houston is built in a way that can protect a rookie pivot.

 NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers
 

The end of Philip Rivers‘ illustrious career is looming, but the star quarterback is hoping to stick around long enough with the Chargers to play in their new stadium in Los Angeles, which is set to open in three years.

Rivers told NFL Network’s Rich Eisen that he has no plans to walk away from football anytime soon, despite the move away from San Diego.

“I hope to still be playing football in 2020, and certainly I hope I’m still playing here,” Rivers said, according to ESPN’s Eric D. Williams. “So yeah, I hope to get to see that stadium then. That’s a long way out. I’ve learned to just take them one year at a time and one game at a time at this point. I’m certainly thankful I’ve been able to be out there for all of them since 2006.

“I don’t take that for granted. And hopefully I’m still playing well enough and we’ve won enough football games that I will be able to trot out there in 2020 in that new stadium.”

Rivers will turn 39 near the end of the 2020 season, and while his physical skills have begun to show signs of decline, his style is suited to a career that extends into his 40s if he wishes.

And while Rivers’ loyalty to San Diego means the relocation to L.A. has likely been a tough adjustment, the veteran pivot is excited for a new challenge at this stage of his playing days.

“I really am excited about embracing this chapter, both from an organizational standpoint and then personally in my career,” Rivers said. “It’s a new market and new fan base. I do think over time, at least it seems like more and more of the fans that we’ve had that are in San Diego are kind of getting more and more warmed up and excited.

“I’ve had a bunch of people tell me, ‘We’re coming up and we’ll be up there for a game.’ I think if we can get it going we truly can be – and I know the Rams are already up there – but it’s kind of Southern California’s team right there in L.A.”

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Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson announced Monday that general manager Dave Gettleman has been fired. Gettleman had been the Panthers’ GM since 2013.

“After much thought and a long evaluation of our football operations, I have decided to relieve Dave Gettleman of his duties as general manager,” Richardson said. “I want to thank Dave for the role he played in our success over the past four seasons. While the timing of this decision is not ideal, a change is needed.”

As Richardson admitted, it’s a surprising decision at this stage of the offseason, especially considering Gettleman built a roster that went to the Super Bowl in 2015.

The Panthers did severely regress in 2016, finishing the season 6-10, but there were no signs that Gettleman’s job was in danger.

He inherited a roster that was hard up against the cap due to poor contract decisions by the previous regime, making the Panthers’ run to the Super Bowl even more impressive, though the roster remains worryingly top heavy.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports Gettleman’s deteriorating relationship with Richardson was a factor in the decision, with the issues stemming from Gettleman’s handling of the Josh Norman situation last offseason, which ended with the Panthers removing the franchise tag from the cornerback and allowing him to sign with the Washington Redskins in free agency.

The timing of the firing is even worse considering that Carolina’s former assistant GM who was the likely in-house favorite to replace Gettleman, Brandon Beane, left to become the Buffalo Bills’ GM in May.

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According to the NFL, it’s much cheaper to move to Las Vegas than to Los Angeles.

The Rams and Chargers, who will both be playing in L.A., will pay $645 million between December 2019 and December 2028, while the Raiders will pay $378 million over 10 years to relocate to Las Vegas, sources told ESPN’s Darren Rovell.

The 29 NFL teams who are not or have not relocated to Los Angeles or Las Vegas are taking home a hefty profit from those who are.

Each team will receive a sum of $55.2 million over an 11-year period stemming from the relocation fees paid by the Rams, Chargers, and Raiders.

The Green Bay Packers released their projected net sum from the relocation fees as $27.1 million, accounting for present value of money over time and taxes, at a recent shareholders meeting.

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Bruce Arians’ job title may be head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, but he will always be a father first.

The veteran coach says he does not allow assistant coaches to stay at the facility past 10:00 p.m. and that he makes sure they do right by their kin.

“For our coaches, I tell them, if you miss a recital or a football game or a basketball game, I’ll fire you,” Arians told SiriusXM NFL radio. “You can always come back and work.

“Those kids are not going to be there forever. They’re going to grow up and be gone.”

Arians says he made the policy in spite of one of his former bosses and mentors, Marty Schottenheimer, who didn’t allow coaches to leave the office with the Kansas City Chiefs. Thanks to a lenient offensive coordinator, Arians was able to go see his son play a seventh-grade football game, and recalled the anecdote when deciding his own coaching policies.

“It was killing me to miss the game, and they played Thursday afternoons and Joe Pendry was a great offensive coordinator that we had,” Arians said. “He said, ‘Why you upset?’ I said, ‘I wanted to go see Jake play. They’re playing right now.’ He said, ‘Go ahead.’ I said, ‘You know Marty doesn’t allow us to leave the office.’ He said, ‘Well, I’ll tell him you went jogging. Just, when you get back, throw some water on your face.’

“As soon as (Jake) saw me in the stands, he lit up. It was some of the best days, watching the kids play.”

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Aaron Rodgers may not be planning to end his career soon, but he’s willing to admit it’s closer to the end than it is to the beginning.

The 33-year-old has hinted before that he would like to play into his 40s, which is still on the table as he didn’t endure the typical wear and tear at the beginning of his career.

“I think I’m on the back nine of my career,” Rodgers told NFL Network on Tuesday. “But I think I’m just kind of starting the back nine. This will be my 10th year starting, I got to sit for three years. So I’m not the typical 13-year pro, having the opportunity to sit for three years and not take the wear and tear to learn the game.”

Rodgers famously had to wait behind Brett Favre before he was able to take over as the Green Bay Packers starting quarterback – a position he would like to hold until his time as a pro is up.

“I think we all have numbers,” Rodgers said. “When I was a young player, I remember thinking as I looked at some of the older guys, if I got to five that’d be cool, or eight, or anything after 10 would be amazing.

“For me, I think the longevity is tied to being a Green Bay Packer. I’d like to finish my career in Green Bay.”

Despite his extended redshirt period, Rodgers has had historical success in the league. He is just three scores away from becoming the 11th passer ever to throw for 300 touchdowns, while throwing only 72 interceptions in the process.

Rodgers will likely get at least one more contract with the Packers if his prediction is correct, with his current deal expiring after the 2019 season.

NFL: New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles

Think of the NFL player that’s most like LeBron James.

Chances are you aren’t imagining Eli Manning.

Yet James is the player New York Giants defensive tackle Damon Harrison used when explaining why he believes his teammate Manning was slighted by not being included on NFL Network’s Top 100 list for 2016.

“Eli, when you look at Eli, it’s kind of like when you look at LeBron,” Harrison said Monday during an interview on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football.”

“I’m not saying they’re the same, but look at Eli’s numbers. If any other quarterback would have those numbers it would be an amazing year, but, it being Eli, no one is respecting it much like we do LeBron. LeBron could average 30 (points), 15 rebounds, and 12 assists and it’s like ‘he didn’t do enough.’ I don’t know what’s the deal.”

Manning threw for over 4,000 yards last season, but a dozen quarterbacks threw for more. Additionally, 11 quarterbacks threw as many or more touchdown passes than he did.

Manning certainly had a respectable year, but it wasn’t a grave injustice for him not to be included in the Top 100.