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Late last month, New York Jets second-round quarterback Geno Smith fired his agents after falling out of Round 1 in the 2013 NFL draft. Smith is expected to announce a decision on a new agent soon — the favorite is Jay-Z’s “Roc Nation” sports agency — but he won’t be the only Jets draft pick to change agents after being selected slightly later than expected.
According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, Jets first-round pick Dee Milliner has fired Impact Sports after he was not selected with one of the first five picks in the 2013 NFL draft. Milliner “tumbled” all the way to the ninth overall pick in the draft.
Milliner was expected to be a first round pick, but there were no iron-clad guarantees that he would be selected in the top five, or even the top ten. In our pre-draft, “Shutdown 50″ series, Milliner was ranked ninth by editor Doug Farrar, who had Milliner going to the Cleveland Browns with the sixth overall pick in his mock draft. Greg Cosell had Milliner going to the Pittsburgh Steelers with the No. 17 pick in his mock draft.
Milliner was represented by Tony Fleming and Mitch Frankel, who were set to negotiate Milliner’s four-year rookie contract which would be worth around $ 12.66 million, all of which would be fully guaranteed, including a $ 7,588,072 signing bonus. Based on the contract signed by Detroit Lions defensive end Ziggy Ansah on May 10, the No. 5 overall pick in the 2013 draft, Milliner would have received a four-year contract worth $ 18,594,502 in fully guaranteed money.
“I know that everything was done to ensure that Mr. Milliner would be drafted as high as possible,” Fleming told Rapoport. “Dee was the first cornerback selected, and he was drafted ninth overall to the New York Jets. This is a tremendous accomplishment. I wish Mr. Milliner future success in his professional career.”
Per NFLPA rules, Milliner has to wait five days before he can officially hire a new agent.
While there is a nearly $ 6 million difference in the value of the first (and perhaps only) NFL contract Milliner will sign, it’s difficult to see how falling out of the top five can be pinned on Fleming or Frankel as neither agent was in charge of a draft war room making those selection. Perhaps Milliner was promised he’d go in the top five, but on the surface, that seems doubtful. Fleming and Frankel have three dozen active players and Impact Sports (Sean Kiernan is a third agent with that agency) as a group has over 50 active players in the NFL and 2013 was not this group’s first rodeo.
Among their active client list, a dozen players were selected in the first two rounds of the draft, with six players chosen in Round 1, including Green Bay Packers linebacker Datone Jones, the No. 26 overall pick in the 2013 draft.
As we and many others reported yesterday, the New England Patriots released defensive tackle Kyle Love this week in the wake of the news that he has Type-2 diabetes. And for those who were wondering whether Love’s release might have been for other reasons, there’s a lot of evidence that there were no other reasons. First, there was the fact that New England released Love, who started 25 games for the team over the last two seasons, with a non-football injury designation. And, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the Pats gave Love two options: Either retire for a year, in which case the team would not move to recover any part of the $ 500,000 signing bonus he received as part of his two-year, $ 3.09 million contract extension he signed in 2012, or take a risk on playing sooner, and take a walk.
Love chose the latter, and as it turned out, he didn’t have to wait long for a team interested in his services. The Jacksonville Jaguars reported, per the team’s official website, that they picked Love up off waivers on Thursday. Love had lost about 30 pounds off his 315-pound frame in the offseason, which left him unable to participate in off-season activities for the Pats, but according to his agent, Richard Kopelman, Love is back in fighting shape and ready for action.
“Prior to the diagnosis, Kyle recently experienced unexplained weight loss, but since being diagnosed and having altered his diet, Kyle has regained most of the weight he lost, is in good health, and was not limited in any way during offseason workouts in which he was engaged up until being told he would be released,” Kopelman told ESPN Boston on Wednesday.
Love is the second former Patriots defensive lineman picked up by the Jaguars this week — they also acquired defensive end Brandon Deaderick off waivers on Tuesday.
Love played primarily as a run-stopping tackle for the Patriots, and he could well perform the same role for new Jags head coach Gus Bradley, who learned a lot about multiple fronts from Pete Carroll when Bradley was Seattle’s defensive coordinator. Jacksonville signed tackles Sen’Derrick Marks and Roy Miller this offseason, moved former tackle Tyson Alualu to end (where Deaderick will also compete for playing time), and the Jags, who have been missing true pass-rush effectiveness for a number of years, will try Jason Babin as the LEO pass-rushing end.
Kudos to the Jags for taking a chance on Love, who had quietly morphed into a good rotational player in his third NFL season. He was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2010 out of Mississippi State, and became an important cog in a championship-level line. It’s also worth mentioning — once again — that diabetes is far from an NFL career-ender.
Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2008, two years after the Denver Broncos selected him in the first round. Three-time Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Sinclair, who racked up 73.5 sacks for the Seattle Seahawks between 1992 and 2001 and still holds the team’s single-season sack mark with 16.5, was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes late in his career. And offensive guard Kendall Simmons started 83 games for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Buffalo Bills from 2002 through 2009 as a Type 1.5 (Latent Autoimmune) diabetic.
As for the Patriots, you’d think they’ll have some explaining to do if the NFLPA comes calling with questions about the way this was handled. And the NFLPA should be doing exactly that.
In case you had any doubt as to the truism that professional football is a ruthless business, wonder no more. Two weeks after he was diagnosed with diabetes, former New England Patriots defensive tackle Kyle Love was released by the team via a non-football injury designation.
“This comes on the heels of Kyle having been diagnosed within the past two weeks with Type-2 diabetes,” Richard Kopelman, Love’s agent, told ESPN Boston. “Naturally, we are disappointed that the Patriots decided to part ways with Kyle, especially in light of the fact that a number of elite professional athletes with diabetes – both Type-1, which is known to be far more difficult to manage than Type-2 diabetes – have had very successful careers in professional football, hockey, baseball and basketball.
“Prior to the diagnosis, Kyle recently experienced unexplained weight loss, but since being diagnosed and having altered his diet, Kyle has regained most of the weight he lost, is in good health, and was not limited in any way during offseason workouts in which he was engaged up until being told he would be released.”
Love, who had been with the Patriots since 2010, started 25 games over the last two seasons in the Pats’ interior defensive line, most often as Vince Wilfork’s bookend. Used primarily as a run-stopping expert, the 6-foot-1, 315-pound undrafted Mississippi State alum signed a two-year, $ 3.09 million contract extension in 2012 to prevent him from hitting the market as a restricted free agent.
Wilfork, whose father died after a long struggle with the disease, and whose foundation is committed to raising awareness about diabetes, can’t be happy about this at all.
Love played his last snaps for New England in the Pats’ AFC Championship loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. Love suffered a knee injury in the first half, and the Ravens took advantage with several big running plays in the last 30 minutes of the game. According to Pro Football Focus’ run defense metrics among defensive tackles, Love was the 22nd most effective player at his position in the league last year.
“Having consulted with leading authorities on the effects of Type-2 diabetes, we have every reason to believe that Kyle will, in the immediate future, be at 100 percent, and will be prepared to participate in training camp in a couple of months,” Kopelman concluded. “As Kyle said, ‘there is no way something like this is going to stand between me and a long and successful NFL career.’”
Several prominent players have succeeded in the NFL despite known diabetes diagnoses. Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2008, two years after the Denver Broncos selected him in the first round. Three-time Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Sinclair, who racked up 73.5 sacks for the Seattle Seahawks between 1992 and 2001, was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes late in his career. And offensive guard Kendall Simmos started 83 games for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Buffalo Bills from 2002 through 2009 as a Type 1.5 (Latent Autoimmune) diabetic.
Simmons is now a full-time advocate for those who manage diabetes.
“I wasn’t going to use diabetes as an excuse for missing a block or use [my blood sugar] being high and not really being able to focus as an excuse for missing an assignment,” Simmons told the War Eagle Reader in 2011 . “But you have to mentally tell yourself, ‘I can do this.’”
Clearly, Kyle Love has told himself the same thing, and we wish him the best.
Former NFL receiver Titus Young has squandered his talent — that much is for sure. And at this point, a future in the NFL is least of his worries.
Young, who was released by the Detroit Lions in February after a number of on-field and off-field incidents, was arrested on Friday and charged with burglary, assaulting a police officer, and resisting arrest. This happened after Young was reportedly seen breaking into a San Clemente, Calif. home. When officers arrived Friday night, Lt. Joe Balicki of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department told the Detroit News, Young fled on foot and fought with police after he was pursued for a short time. There were no injuries in the fracas. He is being held on $ 75,000 bail.
“He actually tried to fight with them,” Balicki told the Detroit Free Press. “But there were more deputies than him so they were able to subdue him without — I guess there were some punches thrown, but they were able to get him into handcuffs without too much damage.”
On Sunday, May 5, Young was arrested twice in a 15-hour span in Southern California:
He was pulled over at 12:01 a.m. by the Moreno Valley police in Southern California for suspicion of drunk driving, and subsequently arrested for driving under the influence. He was booked at a local detention center, was issued a citation, and was released from custody.
Ah, but we’re not done yet. At 2:22 p.m. that very same day, police responded to a tow yard, where Young had been seen jumping over the fence. He was trying to find his black Mustang, which had been impounded upon his first arrest of the day. Young was taken to the same detention center and booked for trying to steal his own car.
Young’s car was towed again before the Friday break-in.
Selected in the second round out of Boise State by the Lions in the 2011 NFL Draft, was cut by the team after a string of strange behavior that included sucker-punching teammate Louis Delmas, refusing to run the correct routes on the field, and blitzing everyone in sight in a series of bizarre and paranoid social media rants. The St. Louis Rams tried to see if he was worth rehabilitating after Detroit gave up on him, but that didn’t last too long, either.
“Based on the last time I did see him, I knew unless he got some help there was going to be some issues, and I told him that, too,” E.C. Robinson, Young’s high-school coach, told the Free Press last week. “And I thought maybe since I hadn’t heard anything from him, he was in some institute getting some help. That’s what I just figured. But I know the last time I saw him, I was just shocked the stage he was in at that time.”
Young needs a lot of help (or some time away from general society), and he needs it very, very soon. Stories like this don’t generally get better — they tend to end in tragedy.
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Are you using an iPhone 5 on T-Mobile? Are you in an area with re-farmed 1900MHz HSPA+ spectrum? Well rejoice! Some enterprising folks over at TmoNews have hacked Apple’s carrier update for T-Mobile to boost data speeds on the 1900MHz (PCS) HSPA+ band. Better yet, this tweak applies to both T-Mobile’s iPhone 5 and the AT&T / unlocked versions — no jailbreak required. White the official carrier update enabled LTE for the iPhone 5 on T-Mobile, it also decreased data speeds on re-farmed PCS HSPA+ spectrum for many users. The hacked file makes a number of adjustments: it enables Release 9 for dual-carrier HSPA+ and sets the band preference to “auto” from AWS. Follow the source link below for more details and step-by-step instructions.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers spent a great deal of money this offseason to re-do their defensive backfield this offseason in an attempt to regain the glories of past Bucs defenses. Now, the last man standing from the 2002 team that won Super Bowl XXXVII has decided to call it a career. After 16 NFL seasons, cornerback Ronde Barber will retire.
Jay Glazer of FOX Sports was the first with the news.
Just got off the phone w Ronde Barber who told me he is officially retiring. “I’ve had a better run than I ever could’ve dreamed of having.”
— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) May 8, 2013
Barber was selected by the Bucs in the third round of the 1997 NFL draft, and he was a huge fixture on a defense that excelled with multiple mid-1990s draft picks — Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks, and John Lynch as the other prominent players. From 1996 through 2005, Tampa Bay always ranked in the top 10 in points allowed, and the 2002 defense is rightly regarded as one of the best in NFL history. Through the years, Barber was the leader of that secondary, and his leadership transferred to a new generation of Bucs defenders as the other veterans retired and moved on to other things.
When the Bucs took Alabama safety Mark Barron in the first round of the 2012 draft, Barber was the first to show him the ropes.
“Sometimes I just sit back and watch Ronde to pick up some of the things he knows,” Barron said last August. “There isn’t too much in this league Ronde Barber hasn’t seen. When I ask him for help, he usually has a good answer for me.”
But that Tampa Bay secondary was in serious transition in 2012, and the Bucs had one of the first pass defenses in the NFL last season. To shore that situation up, the team added former San Francisco 49ers safety Dashon Goldson, engineered a long-rumored trade for ex-New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis, and selected Mississippi State cornerback Johnthan Banks in the second round of the 2013 draft. If Barber was to come back, his role would have obviously been diminished.
In 2012, the 37-year-old Barber continued a trend that he’d established since 2000 in which he started every game the Bucs played. However, it was also the first time he was asked to play safety, which is generally a sign that a cornerback is slowing down. But he did pick off four passes, returning one for a 78-yard touchdown, and put up 13 passes defensed. Barber may have had a future as a nickel or dime player in Tampa Bay’s revised secondary, but he’s gone a different way.
In his career, Barber started 232 games, and played in 241. Barber wasn’t just a great pass defender in his prime — he amassed 28 quarterback sacks and 1,025 total tackles. He also intercepted 47 passes (which put him fifth on the all-time list among active players), and forced 15 fumbles.
Now that the Florida Legislature has let a vote lapse that might have passed a hotel tax facilitating up to $ 380 million in subsidies for Sun Life Stadium, Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has gone on the attack. Ross, who has owned the team since 2009, blasted Speaker of the House Will Weatherford. Ross claimed that Weatherford backed out of a promise to let the stadium improvements go to a vote.
Last week, the Dolphins held a job fair at the stadium, while knowing that the project may not go forward.
“Tonight, Speaker Weatherford did far more than just deny the people of Miami Dade the right to vote on an issue critical to the future of our local economy,” Ross said Friday in an official team-released statement. The Speaker singlehandedly put the future of Super Bowls and other big events at risk for Miami Dade and for all of Florida. He put politics before the people and the 4,000 jobs this project would have created for Miami Dade, and that is just wrong.
“I am deeply disappointed by the Speaker’s decision. He gave me and many others his word that this legislation would go to the floor of the House for a vote, where I know, and he knows, we had the votes to win by a margin as large as we did in the Senate. It’s hard to understand why he would stop an election already in process and disenfranchise the 40,000 people who have already voted. I can only assume he felt it was in his political interest to do so. Time will tell if that is the case, but I am certain this decision will follow Speaker Weatherford for many years to come.”
The decision to refuse a vote seems to have had immediate, and possibly far-reaching, effects on the team. Not only will Sun Life and the Dolphins be on the outside looking in for any future Super Bowl bids without improvements, but team CEO Mike Dee has intimated that the Dolphins aren’t a lead-pipe lock to stay in Miami on a no-matter-what basis. While Dee stopped short of saying that Ross might move the team, he told WFOR-TV that another owner might down the road.
“I don’t think it’s an option for Steve Ross, but for a subsequent owner? The Dolphins are one of the only franchises in the National Football League that do not have a long-term lease with their community.”
Dee said that the team wanted $ 3 million per year for the next 30 years from the state, to which Ross would pledge a 70 percent payment for all the stadium improvements. But the team wants to make it very clear — without a private-public partnership,” as Dee put it, Ross has no intention of putting up his own capital.
The team had already agreed to pay for a May 14 referendum on the vote, and absentee balloting had already begun. The Senate had already approved the tax use, so no matter what you think of public funding for professional sports teams, it would appear that Weatherford went a bit rogue in allowing the vote to drop.
“I think part of the complication was the fact that it wasn’t just the Dolphins,” Weatherford said last week. “You had five or six different franchises that were looking for a tax rebate, and that’s serious public policy. You’re talking about hundreds of millions of dollars, and I think the House just never got comfortable there when the session ended.”
“We suspect that it’s a pure political decision, that [Weatherford is] choosing politics over the right for the voters of Miami-Dade County to decide this issue, and that’s a shame.”
The Dolphins were going to bid for Super Bowl L in 2016 and Super Bowl LI in 2017 at the upcoming owners meetings, but without any projected outcome for stadium improvements, they might as well not bother. The San Francisco 49ers, who will have a new stadium in Santa Clara, and the Houston Texans, are expected to take the lead in the process.
Still, Ross hasn’t given up.
“In the weeks ahead, I will do all I can to convince my fellow owners to bring the Super Bowl back to Miami Dade,” Ross said at the end of his statement. “The Bid Committee has done a tremendous job to give us a great shot, and my only hope is that it is enough to overcome the terrible message Speaker Weatherford has sent to the NFL … In addition, I will continue to do all I can to build a winning team for the people of Miami Dade … I will look to play an important role in fixing the dysfunction in Tallahassee and will continue to work to create good jobs in Miami Dade and throughout South Florida.”
The New York Jets have informed quarterback Tim Tebow that he will be released, Brian Costello of the New York Post reports.
The Jets acquired Tebow on March 23, 2012 from the Denver Broncos, who had selected the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner in the first round of the 2010 NFL draft. Tebow’s first season with the Jets was forgettable as he failed to unseat or even pressure Mark Sanchez for the starting job and played in just 6.8 percent of the Jets’ offensive snaps, according to official playing-time documents.
Tebow completed six of his eight pass attempts for 39 yards, was sacked twice, and gained 102 yards on 32 rushing attempts with zero touchdowns after rushing for 12 touchdowns over his first two seasons in the NFL. Tebow had a larger role on the Jets’ special teams units, serving as a part-time decoy/personal punt protector on 12.72 percent of the special teams plays.
Releasing Tebow has been expected for months as the Jets have a logjam at the position, especially after adding West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith in the second round of the 2013 NFL draft. There was no trade market for the polarizing passer, which prompted the decision to place Tebow on waivers Monday. After the Jets picked Smith, there were reports that the Jets were considering releasing Mark Sanchez, but his $ 8.25 million base salary is fully guaranteed with no offset language (the Jets would still have to pay the full amount if Sanchez signed elsewhere) and there would be significant salary cap ramifications.
With Smith expected to need time before he’s ready to start, Sanchez remains the Jets’ best option at quarterback as his closest competition for the starting job — veteran David Garrard — has had back and knee injuries that have kept him out of a regular season game since 2010.
Denver received two mid-round draft choices (which were used on center Philip Blake in the fourth round and linebacker Danny Trevathan in the sixth round) from the Jets, who also agreed to repay $ 2.531 million of a salary advance that Tebow received from Denver in his rookie contract. The Jets are still on the hook for $ 1.531 million of that repayment, which will count against the team’s salary cap in 2013.
Since Tebow is not a vested veteran, he will be subject to waivers. Tebow has two seasons at base salaries of $ 1.055 million in 2013 and $ 895,000 in 2014, with large but likely unattainable base salary escalators available in the second season. Tebow will likely pass through waivers, at which point he will become a free agent and he and his agent, Jimmy Sexton of CAA Football, can find the best football fit on their own.
The Jacksonville Jaguars, Tebow’s hometown team, had interest when the Broncos fielded trade offers in 2012, but new Jaguars GM David Caldwell ruled out the Jaguars as an option for Tebow when he was hired in January. With more NFL teams looking to incorporate the read-option into their offense, Tebow should draw interest on the free agent market, though it may be difficult for some of those teams, particularly those with first-year and first-time head coaches, to invite the circus that has accompanied Tebow to their facility.
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Former Green Bay Packers safety Leroy Butler played all 12 of his NFL seasons in the Frozen Tundra from 1990 through 2001. He was a key cog in the Pack’s Super Bowl XXXI-winning team, is credited with inventing the Lambeau Leap, and grabbed 38 interceptions in 181 games and 165 starts despite childhood disabilities that forced him to wear leg braces. Since Butler’s NFL career ended, he’s been pretty tireless with his philanthropic work, heading up the Leroy Butler Foundation. Butler works with churches in the Wisconsin area, but there’s one local church that decided to cancel his scheduled appearance.
Why? Apparently, because Butler dared to congratulate basketball player Jason Collins for coming out last week.
Congrats to Jason Collins
— leroy butler (@leap36) April 29, 2013
Butler went through the timeline of events on his Twitter account.
Wow, I was schedule to speak at a church in WI, and a member said that the pastor wants to cancel my event, I said ok why? — leroy butler (@leap36) May 1, 2013
Then I was told, because I said congrats to Jason Collins on twitter, I said really? we have a contract, he said check the moral cause, — leroy butler (@leap36) May 1, 2013
FYI the fee was 8500$ ,then I was told if i removed the tweet, and apologize and ask god forgiveness, I can have the event, I said no, — leroy butler (@leap36) May 1, 2013
Only god can judge,
— leroy butler (@leap36) May 1, 2013
So. Butler was pulled not for endorsing homosexuality as a preference or lifestyle, but for simply congratulating someone for making an important personal decision. On Twitter. How very sensible.
Kudos to Butler for sticking to his own convictions. Maybe that church could get Chris Broussard to speak instead.