Shutdown Corner

  • Greg Cosell's NFL draft preview: Mitch Trubisky faces some challenges with his NFL transition

    Greg Cosell at Shutdown Corner 47 mins ago

    Some people believe North Carolina quarterback Mitch Trubisky could be selected as high as second overall to the San Francisco 49ers, although there’s a lot of time before the draft for the 49ers to evaluate quarterbacks or make another move at the position.

    Here’s what the 49ers (or any other team that looks at Trubisky in the draft) will have to evaluate: Trubisky will have a big learning curve, because 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense is a very technical and precise offense that starts with the quarterback under center. Right now, Trubisky wouldn’t be ready to run a precise NFL offense from the pocket. What I see on film from Trubisky is a quarterback who could make plays outside of the structure of the offense both throwing and running, but with limited efficiency within the pocket right away. The question will be whether he can develop as a pocket quarterback within the structure of the passing game. That can be tough to evaluate. And it will be a challenging transition in an offense that requires precision.




    Previous Greg Cosell draft previews

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  • NFL free agency preview: Where do we stand with all of the possible franchise-tagged players?

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 2 hrs ago

    Players hate the franchise tag, but it’s a necessity for NFL teams.

    Instead of letting their best players hit free agency, teams can use the franchise tag. A non-exclusive tag means teams can match any offer sheet to their player, or get two first-round picks as compensation. An exclusive franchise tag means their player can’t even negotiate with anyone else ( set out the rules of the game in detail here, and here were the estimated tag costs for each position).

    The deadline to tag a player this year is March 1, and many teams started making their decisions on Monday. Some still could use the tag by the deadline. As of Tuesday morning, here’s where we stand on who has already been tagged (or reportedly will get it before Wednesday’s deadline), who won’t be tagged, and who might still be tagged:


    Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell

    Verdict: Had to be done.

    Los Angeles Chargers OLB Melvin Ingram

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  • Adidas offering insane reward to record-breaking NFL combine runner: an actual island!

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 2 hrs ago

    There’s a lot at stake this week at the NFL scouting combine. Including an island valued at just under a million dollars.

    That’s right — the player who runs fast enough (and is wearing Adidas footwear) in the 40-yard dash could win an actual island, one that shows up on a map and everything. Of course, that player must break Chris Johnson’s vaunted 4.24-second 40 from a decade ago that no one has touched since.

    Paradise awaits.

    Break the 40-yard dash record, win your own island.#teamadidas

    — adidas Football US (@adidasFballUS) February 27, 2017

    It’s weird, right? But also awesome. A freaking island. Who wouldn’t want that? Sure, we’re not up on today’s capital gains taxes and island-maintenance costs, but that just would be something else.

    They’re good at the promotions at Adidas, eh?

    — Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) February 27, 2017

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  • Another top pass rusher has been franchised: Chargers tag Melvin Ingram

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 14 hrs ago

    It’s getting very hard for teams to add a veteran pass rusher, and free agency hasn’t even started yet. Another one has been franchised.

    The Los Angeles Chargers reportedly have locked down Ingram with the non-exclusive tag, and the two sides will have until July 15 to work out a long-term deal. Otherwise, Ingram would be locked into a one-year tender offer of about $14.1 million this season. True, another team could sign Ingram to an offer sheet, but it would owe the Chargers a princely sum (two first-round picks) if they failed to match it.

    Monday saw a slew of pressure defenders hit with the tag: the New York Giants’ Jason Pierre-Paul, the Carolina Panthers’ Kawann Short, and the Arizona Cardinals’ Chandler Jones, with more likely to come before Wednesday, which is the final day for franchise and transition tags to be applied.

    Alongside Joey Bosa, Ingram had a fantastic season in 2016, giving the Chargers one of the better pass-rushing duos in the NFL. Ingram totaled eight sacks, five passes defended and four forced fumbles this past season and now has started 39 consecutive games after gaining a reputation of being injury-prone, overweight and inconsistent early in his career.

  • The Steelers have made Antonio Brown one of NFL's highest-paid receivers

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 18 hrs ago

    The Pittsburgh Steelers had a busy and productive Monday with free agency fast approaching.

    First, they placed the exclusive franchise tag on running back Le’Veon Bell, meaning he’s not going anywhere this season. Then came this on wide receiver Antonio Brown from ESPN’s Adam Schefter:

    Steelers and Antonio Brown have reached agreement on deal to make him highest paid WR in NFL, per sources.

    — Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 27, 2017

    Antonio Brown deal: 4-year extension worth $68 million – 17M per year over 4 years, and $18.5M over 3 years. Tied to Steelers through 2021.

    — Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 27, 2017

    The most guaranteed money previously given to a current wide receiver at the signing is Jones at $35.5 million total. Retired receiver Calvin Johnson signed for a record $60 million guaranteed.

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  • Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul gets franchise tag again from New York Giants

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 19 hrs ago

    Defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has been on a one-year contract with the New York Giants for two straight seasons, and he won’t be happy about getting the franchise tag this year.

    The Giants have franchise-tagged Pierre-Paul for a second time, according to numerous reports. The first time they did it was 2015, but Pierre-Paul injured his hand in a fireworks accident on July 4. Last offseason he signed a one-year deal with New York so he could re-establish his value and hit the market. The problem was Pierre-Paul played too well and the Giants were unwilling to let him go. So they tagged him again.

    Pierre-Paul already saidhe won’t sign a one-year franchise tag contract, so this sets up a potential standoff between him and the team.

    The Giants and Pierre-Paul will work on that deal. The Giants would probably prefer to reduce that $17 million cap number by giving him a long contract, and Pierre-Paul presumably wants more stability too. The franchise tag isn’t what Pierre-Paul wanted, and now the Giants have to work on a way to make him happy.

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  • Josh McCown in, Tony Romo cut? Cowboys still figuring out their backup QB situation

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 19 hrs ago

    The Dallas Cowboys can’t trade quarterback Tony Romo until March 9, when the league year starts, but they might not have a trade partner anyway.

    The Dallas Morning News reported the Cowboys are expected to release Romo, “likely within the next two weeks.” That is in line with a report a few weeks ago from ESPN’s Ed Werder that said people close to Romo expected he would be released, not traded.

    First the Cowboys need to figure out what to do with Romo. If Romo is let go at some point over the next two weeks, one of the most interesting stories of the offseason will get really hot.

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  • Le'Veon Bell isn't going anywhere, as Steelers give him exclusive franchise tag

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 20 hrs ago

    The Pittsburgh Steelers had one of the easier decisions among all teams when it came to using the franchise tag.

    The Steelers focused their entire offense around running back Le’Veon Bell’s skills in the second half of last season, and rode him to the AFC championship game. The franchise tag for running backs isn’t too expensive, relatively speaking, and the Steelers didn’t wait until Wednesday’s deadline to slap the tag on him.

    [ STACK: Why Cowboys legends want Zeke Elliott to stop hurdling defenders ]

    Not only did Bell get the franchise tag, the Steelers gave him the exclusive tag, meaning he can’t negotiate with other teams. That news came from multiple outlets including NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.The running back tag is about $12.4 million for one season.

    [ STACK: Adidas is offering an actual island to the NFL prospect who breaks the NFL Combine 40-yard dash record


  • No Randy Moss, no Terrell Owens? Bill Polian says neither deserves Hall of Fame

    Shalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner 20 hrs ago

    In today’s edition of “Stay off my lawn!” we present Bill Polian.

    Polian, the former Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers and Indianapolis Colts general manager who was part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s class of 2015, said on Monday that if it were up to him, neither Terrell Owens nor Randy Moss would be enshrined in the Hall.

    To which we say: are you crazy, Bill Polian?!?

    [ STACK: Why Cowboys legends want Zeke Elliott to stop hurdling defenders ]

    Polian spoke with Clark Judge on Talk of Fame Network, and when asked which one of the two receivers he’d vote for in 2018, Polian said he wouldn’t pick either player.

    “First of all, here’s my position: [I want players who] contribute both individually and to the team,” Polian told Judge. “T.O.’s situation, T.O.’s temperament, his ability to contribute to the team was well known up front. He was going to be a problem. We did not want to deal with problem children. Others may. We didn’t.

    Next year is Moss’ first year of eligibility.

  • Panthers franchise Kawann Short, but will another Josh Norman situation play out?

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 21 hrs ago

    Carolina Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman has applied the franchise tag on a key defensive player for the second straight year. Now let’s see if it stays tagged.

    Defensive tackle Kawann Short has received the non-exclusive franchise tag from the Panthers, the same designation that cornerback Josh Norman received one year ago. Of course, we know how that one went. Norman’s tag eventually was rescinded, and he was allowed to walk — shockingly — to the Washington Redskins in free agency after it appeared he’d stay in Charlotte.

    Don’t expect the same to play out for Short. He has become one of the best interior rushers in the NFL, perhaps only behind the Los Angeles Rams’ Aaron Donald among defensive tackles in that regard. Although Short started last season slowly, he has led the Panthers in QB hits each of the past two seasons, starting every game over that span. With the recent re-signing of DE Mario Addison, the Panthers now have brought back their two leading sackers from the past three years combined.

    And we don’t expect that to happen.

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