Eric Edholm

  • Bills might not have their QB, but Rex Ryan gambling on supporting cast

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 26 mins ago

    It's funny that both LeSean McCoy and Kiko Alonso were rumored to be on the trade block, but somehow the idea of them being traded for each other makes Tuesday's trade between the Buffalo Bills and Philadelphia Eagles fascinating.

    From the Eagles' perspective, it makes a ton of sense. But from the Bills' angle, the trade requires a little hope and vision.

    Oh, sure, there's the immediate return of McCoy and everything he brings. He fell short of his 2,000-yard rushing goal for 2014 (by almost 700 yards), but he rallied after a slow start, remains relatively young  (turning 27 before training camp) and is the kind of pass-receiving back who can make a bad quarterback average.

    And that's exactly what the Bills have now.

    So what's a team to do in that situation?

    The drawbacks are these:

    • And, yeah, still no QB.

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  • NFL draft watch: Injured running backs' limitations complicate forecast

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 5 hrs ago

    The quad injury hasn't yet healed, and so Cobb will have to hope that teams look back at the strong tape he put up during the season and at the Senior Bowl before stamping a grade on him.

    [All Draft News, All The Time: Follow Shutdown Draft 365 on Tumblr]

    The same goes for other injured running backs such as Georgia's Todd Gurley, whose ACL rehab limited him from doing anything but lifting at the combine, and Indiana's Tevin Coleman, whose foot injury will keep him on the shelf until April 15.

    Could other backs pass them up during the pre-draft process? It's possible.

    This is a deep group this year, and it's possible that with a strong pro day and his late-season momentum — plus better health — that Melvin Gordon could slip ahead of Gurley, even though Gordon's good but hardly great 40-yard dashes in Indy represent a missed opportunity for a stock raise.

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  • NFL Draft Top 50, Nos. 31-40: Cedric Ogbhuehi tumbles but has talent

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 7 hrs ago

    Shutdown Corner has compiled information from teams, watched college tape and gathered our notes from the Senior Bowl and NFL scouting combine to assemble our top 50 overall prospects available in the 2015 NFL draft.

    We'll roll our list out 10 players at a time this week, counting backward from 50 (along with those who just missed the cut). Please note: These are the best players available — and not where we think the prospects will be drafted.

    31. Florida State CB P.J. Williams  6-0, 194

    Tough, active and physical corner who plays with an edge. The position is still relatively new to him, having switched from safety in high school, but Williams has developed nice instincts and brought some salt to the position. He's still a bit grabby and occasionally loses focus, so Williams could grow with the right teacher in the NFL. His ball skills and instints are strong, and Williams has more physical gifts than 2014 second-round pick Lamarcus Joyner and projects to be an outside starter in the league in time, especially in a man-based scheme. Attention to detail will be the key.

    NFL comparison: Chris Culliver

    Draft range: Second round

    32. Miami (Fla.) OT Ereck Flowers 6-6, 329

  • NFL draft in Chicago has indoor-outdoor theme, come rain or shine!

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 10 hrs ago

    We must admit we've been a bit skeptical of the NFL's plans to hold the draft at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago given that it's smaller than the venue — Radio City Music Hall — that the league just left and claimed was too small.

    As more details come out about the Chicago 2015 NFL draft plans, the more our eyebrow raises. This will be the first NFL draft outside New York City in 50 years, and there are plenty of changes afoot. And sadly, we're not sure we can get on board with a few of them just yet.

    [All Draft News, All The Time: Follow Shutdown Draft 365 on Tumblr]

    NFL senior vice president of events Peter O'Reilly told ESPN.com that there will be an indoor-outdoor element to the draft, with both ESPN and NFL Network having sets inside the venue and outside at Grant Park about a quarter of a mile away.

    But get this: All 32 teams will have draft tables with team representatives outside as well as inside. Uh, what?

    Sounds like a fascinating plan. One that is sure to go off without a hitch.

  • Texans inform Andre Johnson of reduced role, allow him to seek trade

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 1 day ago

    The Andre Johnson era could be soon coming to an end in Houston.

    The Houston Texans have allowed Johnson to seek a trade, per the Houston Chronicle's John McClain, after telling Johnson he'd be in for a reduced role next season.

    Texans gave Andre Johnson permission to seek a trade. Told him he'd have a reduced role next season. He asked to be traded or cut instead.

    The wide receiver has spent his entire career after the Texans made him their first-round pick in 2003. Johnson, 33, has accumulated 13,597 receiving yards — 12th most in NFL history and second-most among active players, assuming Reggie Wayne returns to the NFL next season.

    [Check out Shutdown Corner's full 2015 free agent rankings – click here for offensive players, and click here for defensive players and specialists]

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  • NFL Draft Top 50, Nos. 41-50: Devin Funchess talented but flawed player

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 1 day ago

    Shutdown Corner has compiled information from teams, watched college tape and gathered our notes from the Senior Bowl and NFL scouting combine to assemble our top 50 overall prospects available in the 2015 NFL draft.

    We'll roll our list out 10 players at a time this week, counting backward from 50 (along with those who just missed the cut). Please note: These are the best players available — and not where we think the prospects will be drafted.

    41. Michigan WR-TE Devin Funchess  6-4, 232

    Funchess shifted from tight end in the Wolverines' offense to wideout last season and had a disappointing final season. Partly to blame was an early season injury and bad quarterback play, but Funchess also showed a bit too passive of a mentality at times and lacks the long speed to envision him having a Mike Evans-like impact on offense. Funchess is not a tight end, and — despite a first-round-caliber body — too often played like a fourth-rounder. He's an enigma and will require some polish to his game to project him any higher than this. The team that drafts him will need a plan and some patience, and might need to get him to play with better concentration and urgency.

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  • Miami Dolphins cut cornerback Cortland Finnegan

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 1 day ago

    The Miami Dolphins have cut cornerback Cortland Finnegan.

    The team has released CB Cortland Finnegan.

    Finnegan, 31, would have pinched the Dolphins' salary cap for $6.475 million this coming season, but cutting him reduces that dead-money number to a mere $1 million. In an injury-plagued season — despite playing fairly well early on — Finnegan did not have an interception in 2014.

    The Dolphins were busy last week, hacking wide receivers Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson, and now they've shaved more cap space by cutting Finnegan. Is Mike Wallace next? Don't be shocked if the Dolphins are active in free agency with some of their newfound cap space.

    Finnegan might have a limited appeal on the market with age and injuries working against him. But he could be a valuable addition at the right price for a team seeking to add a little spice to their defensive backfield. Finnegan plays with intensity and confidence and could be a nice fit on a contender with depth issues at corner.

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  • Marshawn Lynch to Turkish TV on Super Bowl play: 'I was expecting the ball'

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 2 days ago

    Marshawn Lynch doesn't always talk to the media. But when he does, it's fascinating.

    The most interesting man in the NFL (maybe a stretch, but he's reaching that level quickly) has decided to speak in detail for the first time about the final offensive play for the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX. You know, the one that didn't go to Lynch but did end up in the hands of New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler.

    Lynch spoke to — naturally — a Turkish journalist on the matter. He was in Turkey along with fellow NFLers DeAngelo Hall and Gary Barnidge. It turns out that Barnidge and New York Jets offensive tackle Breno Giacomini founded an international camp called American Football Without Barriers — a non-profit organization that supports the growth of American football in countries such as China, Brazil and Turkey.

    Brilliant stroke. Here was Lynch's unabridged comments on the matter:

    "To be honest with you, I would be lying if I didn't tell you that I was expecting the ball. Yes, I was expecting the ball. But in life, these things happen. Like I told a reporter after the game, it's a team sport.

    Related video

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  • Cowboys could franchise Dez Bryant, allow DeMarco Murray to test market

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 2 days ago

    Monday is the deadline for the Cowboys — and every other NFL team, for that matter — to receive the franchise tag. All indications point toward Dez Bryant being the recipient of it, with the team telling his agents that it planned to do so (per ESPN.com's Todd Archer) short of some kind of Hail Mary contract extension before then.

    So what then of Murray? Well, it appears that the Cowboys are willing, for now, to let Murray find out what his market value might be in free agency. Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones told Fox Sports Southwest as much.

    "[Murray] is probably going to, you know, get some peace and see what's out in the market and then we'll talk and see," Jones said. "I do believe deep down he'd love to stay in Dallas."

    There's also still a chance both men end up back with the Cowboys. Jones said they've played this game before.

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  • Josh McCown decides to sign with the Cleveland Browns

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 4 days ago

    The Cleveland Browns have a new quarterback. Yet another one.

    Josh McCown, who was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after a lost 2014 season, has opted to sign with the Browns over other teams he met with, including the Buffalo Bills, New York Jets and Chicago Bears.

    NEWS: Browns agree to terms with QB Josh McCown pic.twitter.com/7BReYJ2Teu

    ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the deal was for three years.

    McCown, who turns 36 on July 4, struggled in his one season with the Bucs, going 1-10 as a starter and throwing for 2,206 yards with 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He had signed a two-year, $10 million deal before the season, coming off a terrific 2013 campaign with the Chicago Bears with a 13-1 touchdown-interception ratio.

    The market was surprisingly strong for McCown after his release, likely indicating a few things:

    • Other teams view McCown's bad season as an aberration.

    • The free-agent market at the position looks mostly terrible.

    • The draft, after Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota, doesn't hold much promise either.

    • There is widespread desperation for any kind of quality play at the position.

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