Frank Schwab

  • Desperate Buffalo Bills trade for quarterback Matt Cassel

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 1 hr ago

    One of the thousands of questions surrounding the Buffalo Bills' trade for running back LeSean McCoy on Tuesday: How does this help their quarterback situation? 

    A day later, the Bills agreed to terms to trade for veteran Minnesota Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel. The deal will send two undisclosed draft picks to Minnesota, and Cassel and an undisclosed pick to Buffalo.

    QUARTERBACK PROBLEM SOLVED!

    The Bills are probably hoping to take the approach of loading up a great supporting cast and letting the quarterback be a game manager. They have a former All-Pro in McCoy to run the ball, Watkins should develop into a nice playmaker when whoever plays quarterback can get him the ball, and the defense with a lot of talent and new coach Rex Ryan around to run it should be nasty.

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  • Detroit-area billboards have some message for Ndamukong Suh

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 1 hr ago

    Ndamukong Suh is about to get paid. A lot.

    The Detroit Lions defensive tackle is less than a week from hitting free agency, if he chooses not to re-sign with the Lions before then, and he could get the most guaranteed money for a defensive player in NFL history. That has led to "$uh" being used on Twitter, and that has turned into a billboard around Detroit.

    The Detroit Free Press said several digital billboards have popped up around the Detroit and Grand Rapids areas with the simple message "$uh?"

    Yup. These billboards are popping up all over Detroit right now. #Suh pic.twitter.com/ZzHHg4Fixf

    What does this ambiguous message mean? Et tu Suh?

    This will not be the first or last message directed at Suh, one of the most coveted unrestricted free agents in NFL history. It'll be tough to top Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee's tweet at Suh, however.

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  • NFL free agency preview: The teams to watch

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 3 hrs ago

    We know all the relevant free agents by each position and have scannedthe top 25 overall, but these free agents need teams to sign them.

    There will be a wide variety of shoppers at the free agent market when it opens on March 10, from the Jacksonville Jaguars and their staggering $68.5 million in cap room to the New Orleans Saints, who are $22.4 over the cap with less than a week to clear some space. Who are the most interesting teams to track in free agency? Here they are, with all current cap numbers coming from OverTheCap.com:

    Green Bay Packers ($32.5 million under the cap): They're not here because they'll spend; general manager Ted Thompson doesn't believe in free agency. They're on the list because of what they can lose.

  • In shocking trade, Eagles send LeSean McCoy to Buffalo for Kiko Alonso

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 18 hrs ago

    Massive player-for-player swaps in the NFL are rare, but Tuesday's deal between the Buffalo Bills and Philadelphia Eagles would certainly count as massive.

    According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Eagles will trade running back LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills for linebacker Kiko Alonso. Alonso played for Eagles coach Chip Kelly at the University of Oregon.

    Multiple outlets confirmed Schefter's report.

    The trade will end the Eagles career of McCoy, one of the franchise's biggest stars the last few years. McCoy was a two-time first-team All-Pro, but his numbers took a huge dip last year and there was speculation he wouldn't return in 2015. McCoy had 2,146 yards from scrimmage in 2013, but just 1,474 last year. His average dropped nearly a yard per carry too, from 5.1 to 4.2.

    Trent Cole, who will reportedly be cut by the Eagles after 10 years and 88.5 sacks with the team, took to Twitter to sum up his feelings shortly after the trade was reported.

    No respect!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Caption that!

    It is the type of mega-deal you don't see often in the NFL, one that will be debated for many years to come.

  • Ray Rice's wrongful termination grievance netted him a nice payday

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 1 day ago

    Ray Rice got a lot of money for not playing last season.

    The Baltimore Ravens running back was cut amid public backlash after a video of him striking his fiancee in an elevator was released last September. It turns out the NFL and the Ravens made mistakes in handling Rice's punishment. The NFL's indefinite suspension of Rice was overturned last November when a former U.S. District Court judge ruled the league had improperly increased his punishment after the video surfaced. Rice also got a nice check from the Ravens in a wrongful termination grievance.

    The Baltimore Sun's Aaron Wilson reported that Rice was paid $1.588 million by the Ravens in the grievance. Rice was scheduled to make $3.529 million in salary last season, the Sun said, but like most NFL contracts that was not guaranteed. The Ravens and Rice settled before an arbitration hearing, the Sun said.

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  • Shutdown Corner's top 25 NFL free agents

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 1 day ago

    We counted down all the relevant offensive and defensive free agents, position by position, this week at Shutdown Corner. Now it's time to narrow the focus.

    Who are the top 25 difference-makers who are scheduled to hit the open market, regardless of position? Here they are, listed with the team they were with last season:

    25. San Diego Chargers running back Ryan Mathews

    There's a good chance whoever signs Mathews will regret it the first time he lands on the injury report with some nagging ailment. But the talent is legit. He's a 220-pound back who can catch the ball out of the backfield or run between the tackles. If he could just stay healthy ...

    24. Dallas Cowboys outside linebacker Bruce Carter

    23. Baltimore Ravens receiver Torrey Smith

    22. Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley

    21. Cleveland Browns tight end Jordan Cameron

    20. Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Pernell McPhee

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  • Can the 49ers' new Australian rugby star make an impact in NFL?

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 1 day ago

    If Jarryd Hayne doesn't make it in the NFL, it won't be because he can't hack it athletically.

    Hayne, an Australian rugby star, signed with the San Francisco 49ers on Monday. It's easy to see why he was a great rugby player. He measured 6-foot-2, 226 pounds during a pro day workout for NFL scouts, according to the National Football Post, and looked natural running and catching the ball, even fielding punts. He reportedly ran a 4.53 40-yard dash.

    Hayne wants to play running back, and only five running backs at the combine last month ran better than a 4.53.

    Hayne won the Rugby League International Federation's International Player of the Year award in 2009, the most prestigious honor in the sport that for all practical purposes crowned him the best rugby player in the world that year. So he's comfortable on the field of competition.

    So he's a physical marvel and a phenomenal athlete. But what will that mean for the 49ers?

    But we know this: He won't look out of place physically on an NFL field.

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  • 2015 NFL free-agent rankings (defensive players and specialists)

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 1 day ago

    NFL free agency starts on March 10, with teams hoping to find the next star who can push them to the next level.

    Here are Shutdown Corner's free-agency rankings for defensive players and specialists, with every relevant unrestricted free agent set to hit the market (for offensive players, click here) :

    DEFENSIVE ENDS

    1. Jerry Hughes: Hughes never panned out for the Colts, but two 10-sack seasons in Buffalo have put him in great position as he heads into free agency before his age-27 season.

    2. Greg Hardy: This one is complicated. He’s a tremendous talent and won’t turn 27 until July. He also had a domestic violence incident that landed him on the NFL’s exempt list. If not for that he’d get an enormous contract. He might still get it.

    3. Jabaal Sheard: Sheard was a better fit as a 4-3 end, but the Browns switched to a 3-4. Sheard’s sack totals have slipped every year since his rookie season. Maybe he can find the right fit in free agency.

    Others worth noting: Alan Branch, Alex Carrington, Leger Douzable, Fili Moala, Darryl Tapp, Jarius Wynn

    DEFENSIVE TACKLES

  • 2015 NFL free-agent rankings (offensive players)

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 1 day ago

    NFL free agency starts on March 10, with teams hoping to find the next star who can push them to the next level.

    Here are Shutdown Corner's free agency rankings for offensive players (for defensive players and specialists, click here) , with every relevant unrestricted free agent set to hit the market:

    QUARTERBACKS

    1. Brian Hoyer: Like most years, there are no great free-agent options at quarterback. Hoyer has looked good in a few spurts. He also got benched for Johnny Manziel last season when the Browns were still in the playoff race. With Cleveland signing Josh McCown, it appears Hoyer will hit the open market.

    2. Mark Sanchez: On the bright side, he had eight starts with the Philadelphia Eagles last season and posted an 88.4 rating, and he has good experience with 70 NFL starts. But he has also shown he is  mistake-prone, and that’s unlikely to change.

    5. Matt Moore: He had a good season starting for Miami in 2011. He has thrown 29 passes in three seasons since. His past success hasn’t been totally forgotten.

    RUNNING BACKS

    FULLBACKS

  • Reports: Justin Houston, Demaryius Thomas among franchise tags

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 2 days ago

    The Kansas City Chiefs weren't letting a 26-year-old coming off a 22-sack season reach free agency. So Justin Houston will get the franchise tag.

    The Broncos felt the same way about receiver Demaryius Thomas. He'll get the franchise tag too, the Denver Post's Mike Klis reported. ESPN's Adam Schefter was first with the Houston news. Yahoo Sports' Rand Getlin said that the New York Giants decided to tag defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul. Tim Twentyman of the Detroit Lions' official site reported the team will not use the franchise tag on Ndamukong Suh, which isn't unexpected since Suh would have cost almost $27 million to tag.

    The point of the franchise tag is that it virtually guarantees you'll keep that player. It'll be interesting to see if an NFL team ever tries to pry one away.