Tag Archives: back
Cleveland wide receiver Josh Gordon was one of the Browns’ few bright spots in 2013, rebounding from a drug-related suspension to become one of the league’s best receivers. He’s also apparently one of the league’s leading tattoo aficionados, as he demonstrated this week with the unveiling of his full-back canvas:
Whoa. That’s impressive. In addition to Gordon’s name and number, we spot a geisha, a samurai sword, a sene statue’s head, and what appears to be some sort of plant life between the “1″ and the “2.” Plus, there’s a gargantuan koi fish running up the left side of his back, as you can see in this angle:
That’s some impressive workmanship. Somebody needs to make a t-shirt of that one.
Love ya, offseason.
Faced with the “Mac equivalent of the Blue Screen of Death” situation – a MacBook failing to boot and showing a blue screen only – a developer decided to resort to extreme measures to try to bring his MacBook Pro back from the dead: cook it at 170 degrees for precisely seven minutes. Ales Kocjancic, founder of Live Systems wrote on his blog that he followed an extremely simple recipe to bring back his Mac from the dead since he didn’t have any AppleCare and other fixes around the web proved to be useless.
Six years was enough for Rashard Mendenhall.
The Cardinals running back, who is better known for his time with the Steelers, wasn’t a great back after tearing his ACL two years ago but he still could have collected more NFL checks. The Cardinals inexplicably gave him 217 carries last year, and some other team would have employed the free agent.
But Mendenhall is done with football. At just 26 years old, after six NFL seasons, he is retiring according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
That seems sudden, but not too surprising. In a Huffington Post column on Feb. 25, Mendenhall hinted he was ready to retire. He talked about having a religious vision the day after tearing his ACL.
“The journey I envisioned is the two years of rebuilding that would follow,” Mendenhall said. “And as I write this, today is the day that the journey is over and I am fully at peace. Eagerly looking to a new way, which lies ahead.”
Mendenhall was a former first-round pick of the Steelers, and played in a Super Bowl for Pittsburgh at the end of the 2010 season. He averaged just 3.2 yards per attempt last year but did score eight touchdowns. Mendenhall rushed for 4,236 yards and 37 touchdowns for his career, with his best output coming in 2010 when he had 1,273 yards and 13 touchdowns in Pittsburgh.
Again, he likely would have found NFL work and the large paychecks that go with that again. But apparently that’s not what Mendenhall wanted anymore.
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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 defensive backs:
It might be hard for NFL teams to find a tight end in free agency, but that is not the case with defensive backs. There are enough quality cornerbacks and safeties out there to create a buyer’s market, which will help any team looking for secondary help.
Unfortunately, that may not help some players who are desperately seeking a lucrative long-term deal, such as Detroit safety Louis Delmas, New Orleans safety Malcolm Jenkins, Baltimore safety James Ihedigbo, St. Louis cornerback Cortland Finnegan, or Minnesota cornerback Chris Cook. Those players might be forced to sign short term deals – Finnegan cannot complain after the $ 50 million contract ($ 27 million guaranteed) he signed in 2012 – but potential playoff teams can add another defensive back without overspending.
Top Attraction: Jairus Byrd, Bills, S
When a three-time Pro Bowler who is 27-years old hits the free agent market, he is going to attract a lot of interest. Byrd suffered through four coaches (Dick Jauron, Perry Fewell, Chan Gailey and Doug Marrone) and five losing seasons in Buffalo since he was drafted in 2009. He received the franchise tag in 2013, but Buffalo did not apply the same designation this year. It means Byrd will finally obtain a long-term deal, and possibly with a winning team.
Byrd has 356 tackles, 33 pass breakups and 22 interceptions in his career. He did not play until Week 6 due to foot soreness last season, but finished with four interceptions in 11 games.
Any team that does not acquire Byrd will likely obtain Browns safety T.J. Ward, and both are elite defensive backs. Some teams prefer Ward over Byrd, but each safety will have several options.
Chicago, Green Bay, Cleveland and Tennessee are the most obvious destinations for Byrd. Each team needs safety help. However, do not rule out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Gill Byrd, Jarius’ father, became Tampa Bay’s cornerbacks coach in January, and there might be a father-son reunion this offseason.
Buyer Beware: Charles Tillman, Bears
Sure, Tillman is a two-time Pro Bowler, and he once was viewed as one of the NFL’s top cornerbacks. There are a few other things that need to be added to Tillman’s résumé.
Tillman’s streak of 53 consecutive games played was snapped last year due to a knee injury. He missed the final seven games of the season with a torn triceps muscle, and still has not been medically cleared because of that injury. Tillman is 33-years old. He will probably not receive much more than a one-year deal, which means he will have to fight for a roster spot.
Frugal Addition: Brandon Browner, Seahawks, CB
How can Browner’s agent convince an NFL team to invest a lot of money into his client?
Browner fought to be reinstated by the NFL after violating the substance abuse policy – again. His indefinite suspension was removed, but he still must serve a four-game suspension to start the 2014 season. Browner has talent, which means at least one team will take a risk. It is hard to imagine he will receive a contract with many financial guarantees.
Vontae Davis is arguably the top free agent cornerback available, and Indianapolis is struggling to re-sign him. According to Stephen Holder of The Indianapolis Star, both sides are “relatively far apart in negotiations.” Davis is 25, an elite corner, and one team will reward him during free agency.
Best of the Rest
Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib stayed out of trouble during his two years in New England, which should help him during contract negotiations. New England must remember Denver had a 3-0 lead in the AFC championship game before Talib’s injury affected the outcome. Of course, Talib has sustained injuries in two straight AFC championship games, and availability is more important than athletic ability … Packers cornerback Sam Shields signed a one-year restricted tender worth $ 2 million last summer prior to minicamp and made the league minimum before that. He is definitely going to cash in … Jets safety Ed Reed is technically a free agent, but there may not be a market for him … Panthers cornerback Captain Munnerlyn is 5-foot-8, but started in 16 games last season. Carolina may not have enough salary cap space to re-sign him. That is good news for other NFL teams.
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Crowd Goes Wild discusses the value of kickers if the NFL moves back the extra point.
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones does not believe Tony Romo deserves the blame for not having much postseason success during the quarterback’s tenure. Jones thinks his decisions as owner and general manager have resulted in one playoff win (three appearances) during Romo’s eight seasons as Dallas’ starting quarterback.
Talk about being late to the party.
“We should have been knocking on the door and we haven’t and I have no excuses, it starts here,” Jones said on the Ben and Skin show on 105.3 The Fan (via The Dallas Morning News). “But we have not, and I know that to the extent that we have a healthy Romo, our best chance to get back there right now, our best chance to get in the Super Bowl is a healthy Romo.”
A healthy salary cap would help, but Dallas is currently over its spending limit. Jones deserves all of the blame for his team’s current situation, which will likely lead result in the release of veteran defensive end DeMarcus Ware.
Jones said several consultants around the league believed Dallas was among the top five NFL teams, in terms of personnel, between 2006 and 2009. Dallas reached the playoffs in three of those seasons, but never advanced beyond the divisional round.
“Now, for us not to have gotten it done during those years is a mess up,” Jones said (via The Dallas News). “You’ve got to get it when you’re high like that, when you’re high up on it. I think that you can miss your bus when you’ve got your quarterback and you’ve got good talent around him.
“And if you miss that bus in the NFL, then you’re going to have to adjust back down on your cap, because in order to get that talent and pay it and keep it at that level, you’re going to have to push that cap. Then when you don’t get there, those players can age on you. Their actual skills diminish, as well as your ammo basically goes down because you’re having to pay the fiddler for spending on the credit under your cap. All of that boils down to management.
“When I look back on it, we probably paid some people that we probably would’ve been better off not paying.”
Unfortunately, for Cowboys fans, Jones is poised to destroy the 2014 season.
In addition to being over the salary cap, Jones hired Scott Linehan, who recently served as Detroit’s offensive coordinator, as the team’s passing game coordinator and play-caller. Bill Callahan was stripped of his play-calling duties, but is still the offensive coordinator.
Meanwhile, Dallas promoted Rod Marinelli, who coached the Cowboys’ defensive line in 2013, to defensive coordinator, while Monte Kiffin was demoted to assistant head coach/defense.
Romo may struggle in December, but Jones struggles year-round.
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Paula Deen continued maneuvering for a comeback Sunday, turning a beachside cooking demonstration into a public apology for the racist comments that decimated her career last year.
Apple and Samsung are headed back to court next month, after attempts at negotiating a settlement over ongoing patent infringement disputes in the US failed. The two firms had been … Continue reading
INDIANAPOLIS —New head coach Jay Gruden is putting the finishing touches on the Washington Redskins’ playbook, and he will roll it out to quarterback Robert Griffin III and the rest of the offense when the team hits the April OTAs.
The good news, Gruden said Friday at the NFL scouting combine, is that Griffin can’t wait to sink his teeth into it.
“He’s excited to get the new playbook,” Gruden said. “We can’t give it out yet; we’re still in the process of making that, and once the OTAs start, we are able to introduce it to him.
“I think the one thing about him, he’s a very fiery competitor. He’s a good, solid leader, and he’s excited to get to work.”
Gruden was hired, in part, to oversee the rebuilding of a fantastic prospect who hit the highest of highest in a transcendent rookie season in 2012 but also the depths of a brutal 2013 campaign in which RG3 came back too soon from torn knee ligaments, never really go on track and he and the Redskins limped to a 4-12 mark.
Adding insult to injury, the team now must watch another club — the St. Louis Rams — use its former No. 2 overall pick that would have been theirs for their poor performance. Except that pick was part of the pre-draft trade that eventually landed Griffin two years ago.
“He’s only going to be in his third year,” Gruden said of Griffin. “Last year was a tough year, a humbling year for a lot of people, especially him. He’s eager to get back into shape, eager to work. He’s got a great work ethic — I can already see that.”
Gruden said he isn’t worried about Griffin letting last season weigh too heavily on him and feels his quarterback, who turned 24 last week, has the resolve to move on confidently, even if not every young player could handle such a burden.
“It could be [difficult] for some guys if they are not mentally tough,” Gruden said. “But the good thing about Robert is that he’s a tough kid. He’s going to let last year be a learning experience for him, and he’s going to do everything in his power to not let it happen again.
“If you’re a mentally tough kid, a physically tough kid like he is, he can have a bright future as long as he doesn’t let it affect him in too negative or too positive a way. Just stay even-keeled, because there’s not question about the talent he possesses.”
Gruden also is banking on help from a run game anchored by Alfred Morris and Roy Helu to help ease the load on Griffin’s shoulders.
“You don’t want to put too much on your quarterback ever,” Gruden said. “We’re going to do the best we can with our running game.”
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