- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner2 hrs 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. Tim Twentyman of the Detroit Lions' official site reported the team won't use the franchise tag on Ndamukong Suh, which isn't unexpected since Suh would have cost almost $27 million to tag.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner2 hrs ago
In the end, the Detroit Lions couldn't justify placing the franchise tag on defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.
The #Lions will not place the franchise tag on DT Ndamukong Suh.
It would have cost the team a one-year tender of $27 million, which — along with the bloated salaries of Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford — would have crippled the Lions' salary cap situation and perhaps hindered their chances to re-sign Suh and even Nick Fairley, another key free agent.
The reason his figure was high was because Suh's cap number was $22 million a year ago in his redone deal, and the franchise rules require a 20 percent kicker over that number.
The Lions are playing with fire, but they still harbor hopes they can re-sign Suh to a long-term deal. They'll have until March 10, which is the opening of free agency, to lock up Suh or risk losing him to the open market, where the money could exceed what the Lions can afford.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner22 hrs 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.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner1 day ago
We are getting closer to figuring out the Dallas Cowboys' offseason strategy plans.
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."
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner2 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.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner2 days ago
It’s time to revive the need-vs.-BPA (best player available) debate, with an eye on this year’s draft.
I was stunned at how many comments, Twitter remarks and emails I got after my post-combine mock draft that were something along the lines of “[insert their favorite team] won’t do that … they have bigger needs.”
Knowing that my mock will be torn to shreds after the first round of free agency, I won’t defend the picks — but rather my method.
Think of it this way: If you were to go back and do a redraft from three, four, seven, heck, 10 years ago, what are you going to do? You’re going to look at the best players and not even think about need.
It’s not the most scientific way to approach it, but the point is this: Talent trumps all, and need should only be a tiebreaker.
[All Draft News, All The Time: Follow Shutdown Draft 365 on Tumblr ]
So let’s take a look at the first-round draft order and examine some teams’ big, pressing needs — and implore them to wait on filling them if the right player isn’t available.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner2 days ago
It might come as a surprise, but the Arizona Cardinals released defensive tackle Darnell Dockett, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Cardinals announced they released Darnell Dockett.
Dockett tore his ACL prior to last season and missed the entire 2014 campaign. The colorful and outspoken defensive lineman turns 34 in May and was scheduled to hit for nearly $9 million on this year's salary cap. Dockett signed a four-year, $35.3 million deal prior to the 2010 season and has spent his entire career with the Cardinals until now.
Although injury and age work against him, Dockett still should garner solid attention on the free-agent market. This feels like a salary cap-related move by the Cardinals, who previously were projected to have about $5 million in space to operate.
'Tis the season for NFL teams to hack veterans, and Friday brought a slew of financially motivated cuts.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner3 days ago
Michael Sam's Twitter account is still @MichaelSamNFL. He hasn't been employed by the NFL since late October.
But Sam hasn't given up. He has been accepted to participate in the first NFL veteran combine on March 22 in Arizona. That news was first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Vince Young will reportedly be there too. The former University of Texas quarterback has signed up to participate, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said. Young will turn 32 in May and hasn't played in an NFL regular-season game since 2011 with the Philadelphia Eagles.
It's a combine that will be similar to the college one, with position drills and physical tests, for NFL veterans who are free agents. The Associated Press reported earlier this year that about 100 players were expected to be invited.
- Greg Cosell at Shutdown Corner3 days ago
The conventional wisdom is that the NFL is now a passing league.
Any conversation about the NFL usually comes back to that notion. I don't disagree with that but no matter how much it’s said that it's a passing league, the Dallas Cowboys ran through DeMarco Murray last season.
The Cowboys were very good, too. They went from a string of .500 seasons to a 12-4 record, an NFC East championship and nearly a playoff win at Green Bay once the team started going through Murray. Murray allowed the Cowboys to control the tempo and to make sure the defense wasn’t on the field too much. He was their most important player, the foundation of their entire team.
Murray is scheduled to become a free agent on March 10, so do you re-sign him if you're Dallas? That’s a difficult question.
If you knew the unknowable, namely how Murray would hold up in seasons to come after a huge workload last season, then I think re-signing him is an easy choice. He was Dallas' most important player last season, and I don't buy the notion that running backs don't have value. But it's not that simple.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner3 days ago
In a move most people expected, the Atlanta Falcons parted ways with running back Steven Jackson.
The Falcons save $3.75 million in salary cap space by cutting him now but must carry $1.1 million on this year's books for a signing bonus spread over from last year. He is now a free agent and can look for a new home immediately if there's work out there.
The 6-foot-2, 235-pound Jackson signed with the Falcons two seasons ago but was limited to 1,250 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns in 27 games. His streak of eight straight 1,000-yard rushing seasons ended after he left the St. Louis Rams, with whom he spent his first nine years, in 2012.
Jackson, who turns 32 in July, is the NFL's active leading rusher and ranks 16th all time in rushing yards with 11,388. In order to crack the top 10 — and pass former Rams teammate Marshall Faulk — Jackson would need to rush for another 892 yards.