- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner9 hrs ago
When linebacker Chris Borland walked away from the NFL, he said it was because he was aware of the concussion risks and decided that wasn't for him anymore.
Receiver Austin Collie presumably knows all the risks too. But he can't land an NFL job, even though he wants to. He thinks his concussion history is the reason.
Collie signed with the Canadian Football League's B.C. Lions earlier this year as he attempts his comeback. His NFL story is a tough one: A fourth-round pick with the Colts in 2009, Collie was off to a great start with 15 touchdowns and more than 1,200 yards in his first 25 career games through two seasons. Then he suffered three scary concussions. He played one game in 2012, seven in 2013 and none in the NFL last season.
And Collie thinks that his concussion history is the reason he has had a hard time getting a chance to further his career, given the NFL's recent sensitivity to it.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner10 hrs ago
It makes sense that NFL players are thrill seekers. You don't go through the adrenaline rush of playing on Sundays in the fall and then sit at home all offseason and watch old movies.
That's why Tom Brady was giving New England Patriots fans a heart attack by cliff diving. But Brady's rush looks like playing in the kiddie pool compared to Detroit Lions linebacker DeAndre Levy's mode of offseason relaxation.
Someone turned off the "Fasten Seat Belts" sign on Levy's flight, so he went up to the top of the old Red Baron propeller biplane and took in the flight from there. Here's what he posted to his Instagram account:
Whoa. I don't think the flight attendant would approve of that.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner11 hrs ago
The New York Jets have made a big splash this offseason, adding key pieces such as Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie and Brandon Marshall. But NBC analyst — and, oh yeah, former New England Patriots safety — Rodney Harrison doesn't seem all that impressed.
“You can say whatever you want about Darrelle Revis — and I do believe he’s the best cornerback in the league — but Darrelle Revis has not thrown a touchdown pass," Harrison said, via ESPN.com. "He’s not your quarterback. Yes, he can shut down a No. 1 receiver, but they need a quarterback. The Jets are, all of a sudden, on a high, thinking they’re going to win a championship. You’re not going to win a championship — you’re not even going to make the playoffs — because you don’t have a quarterback."
Well, they have one, but do they have one have one? Harrison says no. Certainly not one like this former teammate, Tom Brady.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner13 hrs ago
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There had been a little debate going around league circles the past few months. Which was the worse crime: Cleveland Browns general manager Ray Farmer found guilty of texting down from the booth to the sideline or the Atlanta Falcons guilty of piping in crowd noise during games?
It turns out that the Falcons got the worst of it, losing a draft pick while the Browns didn't.
- Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner15 hrs ago
In an interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio Channel's "The End Zone" show over the weekend, former Washington Redskins quarterback Doug Williams, who now serves as a personnel executive in the organization, placed a portion of the blame for widespread criticism of Robert Griffin III on social media.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner15 hrs ago
When Sam Bradford went down with a second torn ACL in less than a year last preseason, it would have actually been odd if the thought of retiring hadn't crossed his mind.
The road back from a major injury like that is not a ton of fun. When Bradford re-injured his ACL in a preseason game at Cleveland last season, the thought of doing all that rehab again had to be devastating.
It's really no surprise that the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote that Bradford, who was traded from the St. Louis Rams to the Philadelphia Eagles this offseason, needed to be talked out of retirement by Josh Heupel, his former quarterbacks coach at Oklahoma.
- Greg Cosell at Shutdown Corner2 days ago
The question about Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota is how he’ll transition to the NFL.
Mariota, like all quarterbacks from spread college offenses, is a bit more of a complicated projection. The game he played at Oregon will not be the same game he plays in the NFL. There will be a three-step, five-step, seven-step drop foundation he’ll need to learn. Even if the Philadelphia Eagles and former Oregon coach Chip Kelly end up drafting Mariota, it will be a different game for him than he's used to.
Mariota was very comfortable in Oregon offense. He understood and executed the concepts at high efficiency with great confidence. But does he have to run that offense in the NFL to be successful?
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner2 days ago
Tom Brady has given the New England Patriots several friendly bargains with his contract. Perhaps one concession written into his deal is that he can perform wild and acrobatic activities off the field, and Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft can't say anything about it.
Watch as Brady frightens Patriots Nation here, posting a video to his Facebook page (click the photo on top) of him cliff diving in — we believe — Costa Rica, where he's vacationing with his family. The jump, which is set to the Superman soundtrack, appears to be well over 30 feet — quite frightening.
Brady just sent fans into a tizzy. Naturally, he lived to tell the tale and post the video, along with a funny caption: " Never doing that again! #AirBrady"
That's Belichick's hope, anyway. The fans of New England, too, could use some reassurance on this front as well.
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- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner2 days ago
Anyone who has ever attempted to put together a mock draft knows that there are a handful of teams whose picks represent flashpoint moments in the draft.
Think back to last year. The Jacksonville Jaguars taking Blake Bortles third overall was the first bolt out of the blue, and it helped set the table for the rest of the first round.
Then there are the trades. The Cleveland Browns shifted up, down and around the first round (and elsewhere) and easily became one of the pivotal, first-round shaping teams last season. (Which is different from being effective drafters, but that's another point.)
There are a handful of teams who can change the tide of Round 1 on April 30 — either by making surprising picks or by making moves up or down that could shift the landscape significantly. We might not know what the effect of these plate tectonics might be, but we certainly can see where the fault lines might lie.
Here's a look at the teams that significantly could alter how the top of the draft is shaped:
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner3 days ago
It has been widely assumed, as it should be, that Michael Sam was not the only gay player in the NFL when he was with the St. Louis Rams and the Dallas Cowboys last year.
Sam confirmed that, saying several NFL players contacted him after he was drafted and told him they were gay. The difference, of course, is that Sam was the only one who was openly gay.
“I am not the only gay person in the NFL,” Sam said, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I’m just saying there is a lot of us. I respect the players that did reach out to me and had the courage to tell me that they were also gay, but they do not have the same courage as I do to come out before I even played a down in the NFL."