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One of the players who made the Saints’ offense special the past few years was running back Darren Sproles, but he won’t be returning to New Orleans.
Sproles was let go by the Saints, part of the team’s housecleaning to get out of a salary cap mess.
Another player who has made New Orleans’ offense great, tight end Jimmy Graham, tweeted shortly after that news broke, and he wasn’t pleased.
Of course, Graham has a few things he could have been disappointed with. The team also let go of receiver Lance Moore on Friday. They’re reportedly shopping running back Pierre Thomas. And Graham isn’t too happy with being slapped with the franchise tag, or the fight over whether he should be considered a tight end or receiver as New Orleans’ franchise player. He stands to lose about $ 5 million by being tagged as a tight end instead of a receiver.
[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]
The Saints had to make a lot of moves because they were well over the salary cap. Sproles’ release saves the Saints about $ 3.5 million on the salary cap, and cutting Moore and Sproles will save at least $ 6 million, the New Orleans Times-Picayune said. Sproles, whose stunning quickness was a great asset out of the backfield for the Saints, was less upset than Graham, at least publicly.
Graham is correct, however, in that it has been a tough offseason in New Orleans. The Saints previously let safety Roman Harper, end Will Smith, cornerback Jabari Greer go and said they won’t re-sign linebacker Jonathan Vilma.
The ironic thing about Graham’s dissatisfaction is the Saints had to make at least some of those cuts to give him the $ 7 million he’s set to make as a franchise-tagged tight end.
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Philadelphia Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson’s home was burglarized in January, and it appears he has been victimized again this offseason.
Rumor has it the Eagles are willing to trade Jackson.
Geoff Mosher of CSNPhilly.com told PFT Live the reasons Philadelphia could part ways with Jackson is because of coach Chip Kelly’s “aversion” to small receivers, dislike of “me-first” players, and the receiver’s behavior, such as the recent theft at his home.
However, Philly.com writer Jeff McLane disagrees, and he describes any report claiming Jackson might be traded as “speculative.” Here is a portion of McLane’s story:
Reports that the Eagles could be open to trading Jackson – as if they aren’t open to trading any player for the right price – or that he is one more slip-up away from being released – as if posting Instagram pictures with rappers is a slip-up – are purely speculative. Theories on the True Detective killer have nothing on the Jackson rumors. Are the Eagles always thrilled about what Jackson does during the offseason and how he broadcasts in on social media? No. Were they happy when he sat by his locker the day after the Eagles lost to the Saints in the playoffs and told wave after wave of reporters that he thought he was “deserving” of a new contract? No. But these are small potatoes. Would the Eagles have to reconsider their position if Jackson did something that was an actual serious lapse in judgment? Of course. But when has he ever done anything to suggest he’s capable of illegal behavior? Never.
McLane’s assertion makes a lot of sense.
NFL teams are always more concerned about athletic ability than the baggage a person may bring. Many NFL observers believed Kelly would release Riley Cooper after his n-word rant, which was far more disruptive than anything Jackson has done in his NFL career. Instead, Cooper rejoined his team, had a great season, and was recently rewarded with a $ 25 million contract.
Jackson is coming off a career year in which he caught 82 passes for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns. Sure, Jackson is slated to earn $ 10.25 million in 2014, but Jeremy Maclin and Cooper cannot carry the offensive workload without Jackson. Cooper and Maclin are complementary players, but Jackson is a game-changer.
More importantly, as McLane points out, player-for-player trades are difficult to pull off. Heck, it is hard to pull off any trade in the NFL. It is easy to trade players in fantasy football, but there is a reason why teams are not lining up to give the New Orleans Saints two first-round draft picks after Jimmy Graham received the franchise tender. But nobody expected the Cleveland Browns to trade Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts last year, so anything can happen.
It just might be a lot harder to trade Jackson.
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So we know that malware developers absolutely love targeting Android since it’s not only the most widely used mobile operating system in the world but it’s also the least tightly controlled of all the other major mobile platforms. The Next Web points us to the latest study from F-Secure showing that, unsurprisingly, 97% of mobile malware found last year targeted Android phones. However, there’s some potentially good news here for Android users: As long as they’re smart, the chances of them ever encountering such malware are pretty slim.
I don’t think there’s anyone more excited than I am about never having to deal with a terribly designed car infotainment system again. I have used the best and the worst, and they are all downright horrible. I have also found that the more expensive the car, the worse the system you’re stuck with is. Bentley? The worst. Mercedes? Getting better but still horrid. Porsche? Functional but basic. Tesla is in another league so we’re going to leave them out of this for now. But seriously, let’s just go over this one time and one time only so we don’t ever have to speak about it again, alright?
A site quoted Sundar Pichai saying at MWC that Android was designed to be open instead of safe, but that doesn’t appear to be exactly what the Google exec said. TechCrunch secured a transcript in English from Google on the Android malware-related discussion between Pichai and reporters. The executive apparently said the opposite, that Android is designed to be safe and secure, especially its latest versions, hinting that OEMs that ship dated Android versions on their devices may be partly responsible for any malware issues.
We’ve mentioned before that Nokia’s Lumia 520 line of smartphones is one of the world’s biggest smartphone bargains and now it looks like future Windows Phones could offer even better deals for budget buyers. Infosonics CEO Joseph Ram tells PCMag that Microsoft plans to cut licensing fees for Windows Phone by as much as 70% in an effort to draw more manufacturers to use the platform and to help make Windows Phones cheaper to battle the onslaught of dirt-cheap Android phones that are spreading through emerging markets.
The night before Porsche handed me the keys to its 2015 Macan to drive on both road and track, the company threw together a great dinner for the assembled media in Leipzig. Hosted in Porsche’s spaceship-shaped customer delivery center in the eastern German town, I’ll admit that I spent the bulk of my night grabbing hors d’oeuvres from passing waiters (they do a nice tuna sashimi), milling around a collection of historic and interesting vehicles on the top floor and gulping down Warsteiner.
In an era of mega car companies, the story of how the 918 came to be was really refreshing.
Before the evening was over, however, Porsche design chief Michael Mauer stopped by my table to exchange pleasantries and thank us all for coming out to drive the Macan. My fellow diners and I passed a pleasant half-hour or more picking the brain of the forthcoming Mauer, and somehow or another, the topic turned to Porsche’s newest supercar, the 918 Spyder. In an era of mega car companies (the Volkswagen Group included) and massive development teams, the story of how the 918 came to be is really refreshing.
Porsche has a series of mandates around nearly every concept car that it builds – constraints that other, larger companies might rarely have to deal with. Mauer told me that concepts out of his department must be fairly close to production-readiness (no “flights of fancy” with nothing under the hood), and must be executed by small teams on tight time budgets.
All of that was true and in play for Geneva 2010, when Porsche first showed the 918 Spyder concept car that, frankly, blew all of us away. Little did we realize, the car was the product of just a five-man design team. What’s more, the same five people were also responsible for the final design of the actual production vehicle.
Australian professional golfer Steve Elkington was trying to make a point about ESPN’s coverage of Michael Sam.
It somehow got lost in his delivery.
Elkington decided to rip ESPN for its coverage of Sam’s sexual orientation during the NFL scouting combine. He originally tweeted “ESPN covering Michael Sam as a gay athlete is embarrassing …..” and followed those thoughts by saying “ESPN reporting Michael Sam is leading the handbag throw at NFL combine…. No one else expected to throw today.”
As Yahoo’s Jay Busbee wrote, “Ha! Get it? Because he’s gay, he must throw a handbag!”
What happened next?
Elkington deleted both tweets.
Instead of letting it go, Elkington tried to clean up his random thoughts with this tweet (political correctness be damned):
Oriental? Are we talking about rugs or food?
Mr. Elkington, feel free to add “Asian” to your vocabulary.
If Elkington’s goal was to say Sam should be judged as a football player, not his sexual orientation, that tweet is understandable. However, whenever someone in the public eye decides to get cute while discussing a controversial topic, it often leads to trouble. When that person follows up those thoughts by labeling someone ‘oriental’, it makes you wonder why that person is talking about a subject that does not affect him.
Maybe Elkington should stick to golf.
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Wrestling legend Jake “The Snake” Roberts confirmed he has a cancerous tumor growing behind his knee, but he said he won’t let the illness slow him down.
The good news for New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham is he will likely receive a pay increase this offseason.
The bad news is Graham will have to fight for every penny.
Graham is slated to become a free agent on March 11, but Saints general manager Mickey Loomis previously said his organization would use the franchise tag to retain their tight end. The one-year franchise tag salary for a tight end is expected to be around $ 6.7 million, according to ESPN.com.
However, Graham believes he is used like a receiver, and prefers to get paid like one. That tag value is $ 11.5 million.
Graham did not seem worried about his impending contract battle when asked about it on Thursday.
“For me, I’m just standing,” Graham told Nola.com. “I take every day one day at a time. I’m just going to wait and see what happens because that’s where it’s at.”
Graham was asked if he considered himself a tight end or receiver and gave an elusive answer.
“That’s not for me to decide,” Graham told Nola.com. “I’m going to do, and I’m going to play, whatever I’m asked to do. It’s that simple.”
Simplistically, Graham is poised to become the highest paid tight end in league history.
Graham earned $ 1.323 million (non-guaranteed base salary) in 2013. It was the final year of a $ 3.3 million rookie contract that included just $ 665,140 in guaranteed money. His new contract will likely exceed the six-year, $ 53 million extension New England’s Rob Gronkowski signed in 2012, which made him the highest paid tight end in league history.
The franchise tag is probably the last thing either side wants. Even is Graham does get tagged, the Saints can continue working on a long-term deal with him throughout the offseason.
Graham is not worried, and it is hard to blame him for being tranquil.
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