News from Yahoo.com and Bengals.com
News from Yahoo.com and Bengals.com
Vikings re-sign Cassel for two years
If they stay at the top of the draft, it might just be too hard of a choice to pass up on Johnny Manziel. He had an impressive outing at the combine, and his local roots make him the obvious choice for Houston with the first pick. There's more than a chance they decide to draft Jadeveon Clowney, but after all the rumblings about drafting a top-tier quarterback, it may prove a hard sell a fan base that seems overly enticed at the chance to call Johnny Football a Houston Texan. The combine was cruel to Jake Matthews, he didn't do anything to hurt his stock, and by all accounts should still be one of the top players taken... but man, how great did Greg Robinson look?
With the NFL's salary cap increasing by about $10 million from last year to $133 million and teams having holes to fill, free agency should be hectic. Shutdown Corner will have you covered, with a preview of a different position each day leading up to the start of the free-agency period on Tuesday. Here is Shutdown Corner’s breakdown of free agent offensive linemen: Market Watch There is something for everyone in this class of linemen. There are top left tackles, mauling guards and impact centers. There are players who can start and star right away and others who would provide solid depth. After the flurry of signings the past week, this group might be the strongest remaining as free agency nears. There will be some massive contracts handed out to the big fellas. [Be sure to check out Shutdown Corner's NFL free-agent rankings. Click here for the list of offensive players , and click here for the list of defensive and special teams players ] Top Attraction: Eugene Monroe, Baltimore Ravens OT Monroe is a rarity on the unrestricted free-agent market: A proven, top player at a premium position who is just entering his prime. He has been in the top 15 of Pro Football Focus' tackle rankings each of the last three years, and he doesn't turn 27 until mid-April. The former first-round pick is good in run blocking and pass protection. It's hard to figure out how the rebuilding Jaguars, who traded Monroe to the Ravens in the middle of last season, are better off without a top left tackle like him, but that's another story. Simply, there's not a safer and better investment in all of free agency than Monroe. He'll get top dollar.
After the Seattle Seahawks won Super Bowl XLVIII, all 32 teams officially entered the offseason and started plotting how they could position themselves for a shot at Super Bowl XLIX. Shutdown Corner will look at the offseason blueprint for each of the 32 NFL teams, presenting one team a day (using the 2014 draft order, starting with the Houston Texans and finishing with the Seahawks), leading you right up to the start of free agency on March 11. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 2013 record: 12-4 Projected current salary-cap space ( according to OverTheCap.com ): $12.7 million under the cap Key free agents: CB Aqib Talib, C Ryan Wendell, LB Brandon Spikes, WR Julian Edelman, RB LeGarrette Blount, TE Michael Hoomanawanui, OT Will Svitek, LB Dane Fletcher. Possible salary-cap casualties: DT Vince Wilfork, OG Dan Connolly, NT Isaac Sopoaga, DT Tommy Kelly. Draft situation: The Patriots own the 29th pick in the first round. They swapped their fifth-round pick for the Philadelphia Eagles’ sixth-round pick in the Sopoaga trade. [Be sure to check out Shutdown Corner's NFL free-agent rankings. Click here for the list of offensive players , and click here for the list of defensive and special teams players ] Revisiting 2013: Early on, Tom Brady struggled to mesh with his new, weakened group of pass catchers with Rob Gronkowski still returning from offseason surgery. The Patriots started out 4-0 thanks to an improved defense but did not hit their offensive stride until later. Still, all things considered, this had to be one of Bill Belichick’s best coaching jobs ever, as he managed the roster beautifully amid scores of injuries on both sides of the ball. By the end of the season, the offense and defense were fairly gutted but the team finished 12-4 as the No. 2 seed in the AFC with all four losses by one score on the road. The regular season included incredible comebacks against the New Orleans Saints and Denver Broncos that added to the Belichick-Brady legend. But the Patriots ran out of gas in the AFC championship game, falling at Denver, as it was clear the Patriots had no answers for Peyton Manning.
Bills won't play in Toronto next season
If youve read any Redskins related articles lately, youve no doubt encountered the phrase lots of needs to address. Indeed, the team has many holes, ranging from wide receiver to punter, that it must fill between the start of free agency on March 11 and Week 1 in September. In the coming days, Redskins Insiders Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler will identify those needs and present various ways the team can fill them. Leonard Hankerson, who was the other starter before tearing his ACL in mid-November, may not be ready for training camp.
After the Seattle Seahawks won Super Bowl XLVIII, all 32 teams officially entered the offseason and started plotting how they could position themselves for a shot at Super Bowl XLIX. Shutdown Corner will look at the offseason blueprint for each of the 32 NFL teams, presenting one team a day (using the 2014 draft order, starting with the Houston Texans and finishing with the Seahawks), leading you right up to the start of free agency on March 11. CAROLINA PANTHERS 2013 record: 12-4 Projected current salary-cap space ( according to OverTheCap.com ): $7.1 million under the cap Key free agents: G Travelle Wharton, CB Captain Munnerlyn, S Quintin Mikell, S Mike Mitchell, WR Brandon LaFell, WR Ted Ginn Possible salary-cap casualties: WR Steve Smith, S Charles Godfrey Draft situation: Carolina has the 28th overall pick, and one pick in every round. It traded its seventh-round pick, but gained another seventh-round pick in a trade with the Giants. [Be sure to check out Shutdown Corner's NFL free-agent rankings. Click here for the list of offensive players , and click here for the list of defensive and special teams players ] Revisiting 2013: It was a tremendous year for the Panthers. After a slow start, Carolina won 11 of its final 12 regular-season games. A last-minute win over the Saints in Week 16 was the key to the Panthers winning an improbable NFC South title. The front seven on defense, led by NFL defensive player of the year Luke Kuechly, carried the team, and quarterback Cam Newton continued to be one of the NFL's best quarterbacks. The difference for Newton in 2013 was he led some game-winning drives and more people finally noticed how good he is. That was long overdue. The Panthers lost their first playoff game to San Francisco, but that doesn't erase everything they accomplished.
The checkbooks open on March 11 at 4:00pm eastern.