Tag Archives: could

Geno Smith’s job with Jets in jeopardy, could join list of young quarterbacks discarded early in their careers

New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith is on the verge of joining an elite club. It is group he probably does not want any part of.

With the signing of Michael Vick on Friday, Smith’s starting job is in jeopardy. To be fair, Smith lost his starting job after struggling last season, but at least he could have dismissed it as the normal struggles of a rookie. Smith is learning that being a high draft pick does not ensure job security in the NFL.

Mark Sanchez (first round/2009), Josh Freeman (first round/2009), Tim Tebow (first round/2010), Jimmy Clausen (second round/2010), Blaine Gabbert (first round/2011), Christian Ponder (first round/2011) and Brandon Weeden (first round/2012) were high draft picks which were given up on within a few seasons. Sanchez and Freeman had four-year runs as starters before being replaced, while Weeden was released after two seasons and recently signed with the Dallas Cowboys.

Smith is not on that list yet, but is dangerously close.

The majority of those young quarterbacks lost their opportunity to start because of regime changes. John Elway quickly replaced Tebow after taking over as executive vice president of football operations; Carolina hired Ron Rivera, which led to Clausen’s quick demise; Gus Bradley was hired as Jacksonville’s coach last season and traded Gabbert this offseason; Cleveland’s coaching and front-office changes contributed to Weeden’s release.

Sanchez and Ponder were benched last season by the coaches who drafted them.

Of course, none of the aforementioned quarterbacks were benched after excelling on the field. They all struggled and arguably deserved to lose their jobs. Even when Freeman was given an opportunity to resurrect his career in Minnesota last season, he played poorly.

The biggest reason teams are giving up on quarterbacks so quickly is the rookie wage scale that was introduced during the recent collective bargaining agreement. Teams no longer must invest a lot of money into a high draft pick, like the $ 50 million guaranteed St. Louis gave Sam Bradford in 2010.

Technically, Smith is still New York’s starter. If Smith emerges from training camp as the starter, everyone within the organization will say signing Vick gave him an extra push.

However, if Smith loses his job, he will unwillingly join an exclusive club.

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Anwar S Richardson is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at NFLAnwar@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

Shutdown Corner – NFL – Yahoo Sports

Report: NFL could expand playoff field from 12 teams to 14 in 2015

MMQB.com editor Peter King wrote that the NFL is considering expanding the playoff field from 12 teams to 14, and that it could begin as soon as the 2015 season.

The topic, King writes, almost certainly will be discussed at next week’s owners’ meetings, and commissioner Roger Goodell will be asked about it.

“I’m hearing it’s probably a matter of when, not if,” King writes. He continues: “I’m also hearing the league would be inclined toward one team in each conference getting a first-week bye in the postseason.”

So we’d have this kind of setup: A 2 seed faces a 7 seed in round one, 3 vs. 6, and 4 vs. 5 in Round 1. That’s six wild-card games instead of four, and if you’re asking why, the answer often when it comes to NFL matters is default — money. Simply put, it’s adding two more games worth of gate receipts and TV monies.

King also has another interesting nugget. He believes we could have three days worth of wildcard playoff action, with at least one of those games likely moving to Monday night. So maybe — this is us just riffing here — it will be two games on Saturday, three on Sunday and one on Monday.

What do you think about the potential for expanded playoffs? Does it devalue the 17-week regular season?

Instead of 37.5 percent of the teams making the postseason field, that number is now 43.8 — much more than baseball (33.3 percent), but not quite up to NBA and NHL percentages (both 53.3).

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Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

Shutdown Corner – NFL – Yahoo Sports

Brandon Weeden could end up playing a significant role with Dallas Cowboys

Before you scoff at reports that 30-year-old Brandon Weeden has signed a contract with the Dallas Cowboys – two easy targets in one if there ever was one – consider this haunting possibility:

If the Cowboys can part ways with DeMarcus Ware for a bloated contract this offseason, what’s to stop them from doing the same next year with Tony Romo and his projected salary-cap number of $ 27.7 million?

[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]

That could mean Weeden is your favorite — as of now — to be the Cowboys’ Week 1 starter, circa September 2015. Current Cowboys backup Kyle Orton reportedly has wavered on his decision to come back next season, so that puts Weeden in play to be Romo’s backup this season and at least in consideration to start if he does well and Romo is gone. Think about that a minute.

Yes, the Cowboys are mired in a cesspool of bad vibes these days, having shuttled off their entire defensive line and left themselves in a financial vice grip, which has only gotten worse with owner Jerry Jones doling out bad contracts over the years and now having to kick the can down the road even more.

You think the Cowboys’ cap situation has been bad this year, leaving them unable to sign much incoming talent? Wait until next year.

Weeden is the first big name to come on board, and in a perfect world, he won’t play a snap in 2014. The hope, however unlikely, is that Romo can make it through the season healthy after his second back surgery in as many years. That’s why they paid him the big bucks, and a big Romo season might be the only thing keeping the Cowboys from a crash in ’14.

But Weeden not only must be on ready alert this coming season, but as we mentioned above, he really could be in the picture for 2015. This was a smart landing spot for player and team, and Weeden has a chance to save his career, which went badly off course with the Cleveland Browns.

The former 22nd overall pick has talent and smarts, and it could be cultivated if the Cowboys put him in a position to succeed without the unreal expectations of being a savior. Don’t laugh — this signing could end up having a big effect on the Cowboys this season and next.

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Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

Shutdown Corner – NFL – Yahoo Sports

MIT’s bionic plants could be used as energy factories and sensors

In many ways, plants are ideal technology hosts — they’re outdoor-friendly, self-healing and pollution-free. It only makes sense, then, that MIT scientists want to harness that potential by augmenting our leafy friends with nanotechnology. The…
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Fleet of underwater gliders could improve global weather forecasts

While our entire climate model is based on the world’s ocean currents, there’s a surprising lack of detailed measurements in that area. Researchers from Rutgers and elsewhere want to rectify that with the Challenger Glider Mission, which will see the…
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‘Game of Thrones’ math: How many dragons could a dire wolf eat?

Definitely cooler than a condor, Daenerys Targaryen's dragons would nonetheless taste pretty good to a dire wolf.

(Credit: Video screenshot by Michael Franco/CNET)

Possible spoilers ahead if you’re not through with the third season: With the fourth season of “Game of Thrones” imminent, there are a lot of questions in the air (especially if, like me, you haven’t read the books). Will the khaleesi finally make it to Westeros to capture the Iron Throne? Will the Starks in the diaspora ever find each other again? Will winter ever actually come? And will someone finally beat the royal stuffing out of Joffrey?

But I’ve been giving thought to a particularly pesky question that I’m sure hordes of fans are dying to know. (OK, probably not, but it’s certainly a question that’s crossed my random-factoid-focused science brain). It began when I started thinking about what would happen if Robb Stark ever met up with Daenerys Targaryen (which of course, can never happen now with Robb being all dead and whatnot). While some might think my ponderings might have turned to the beautiful offspring that surely would have resulted if those two ever got together, I had a much different question in mind: How many Targaryen dragons could a Stark dire wolf eat per year if it got its fangs on them? To find out, I embarked on some very scientific research.

[Read more]

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Crave: gorgeous gadgets and other crushworthy stuff. – CNET

Broncos swoop in and sign CB Aqib Talib; could DeMarcus Ware be next?

The Denver Broncos are not taking this losing the Super Bowl business quietly. They want back in the big game badly, if their early free-agent maneuvering is any indication.

The Broncos have signed former New England Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib to a monster contract, the second big move the team has made to upgrade its secondary in the first day of free agency.


[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]

Earlier Tuesday, the Broncos signed safety T.J. Ward to a contract. These moves should help a defense that was good but not elite last season.

But more help could be on the way. Several reports have free-agent pass rusher DeMarcus Ware heading to Denver to possbily take a physical with the Broncos and perhaps sign as soon as Wednesday.

A Ware-Von Miller pass rush combination would be even more exciting than a Talib-Ward secondary pairing, but most importantly, it would give the Broncos some serious firepower defensively that they lacked previously.

But Talib is a risk, too. He’s had hip injuries and also has incurred off-field issues, which ran him out of Tampa Bay just a few years ago. Plus, last we saw of him, he was being taken out in the playoff game … by the Broncos’ Wes Welker on a play that Bill Belichick called one of the dirtiest he had ever seen. Clearly, Talib disgareed — or has forgotten, or charmed by dollar signs, whatever.

As for the Patriots, losing Talib hurts. But they would have to be considered among the favorites to go after Darrelle Revis once he is cut, assuming neither the Oakland Raiders nor Cleveland Browns can consummate a trade for him.

What a confulence of events, less than 24 hours into the new league year. And there’s more coming.

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Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

Shutdown Corner – NFL – Yahoo Sports

Carolina Panthers trying to trade Steve Smith, could end up releasing him

It might be the end of an era for the best player in Carolina Panthers history.

Shutdown Corner can confirm the report of NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport that the Panthers are trying to trade wide receiver Steve Smith, the franchise leader in receiving yards and playoff touchdowns, who has played with the team since it made him a third-round pick in 2001.


[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]

Smith is due to make $ 7 million next season on a contract he signed (under former GM Marty Hurney) believing it would keep him a Panther for life. That isn’t likely now.

The Panthers likely will release Smith if they can’t trade him. Hurney has been replaced by Dave Gettleman, who was wishy washy at the scouting combine about Smith’s future, as was head coach Ron Rivera. Smith has said he is not ready to stop playing.

At 34, Smith is coming off a season in which he caught 64 passes for 745 yards and four touchdowns. For his career, he ranks 25th in NFL history with 836 catches and 19th all-time with 12,197 receiving yards. His entire career has been with the Panthers.

On Monday, the Panthers removed the sale of Smith’s jersey from their website.

In what might have been his final game as a Panther, Smith returned early from a strained PCL injury a few weeks earlier to score a first-half touchdown and gain 74 yards in a loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

If Smith were to be released, keep in mind the San Diego Chargers and New England Patriots as possible landing spots. Smith is close with Chargers head coach Mike McCoy and WR coach Fred Graves, and the Patriots are famous for reviving veterans’ careers. Smith also might not pass on the chance to play within the division with a chance at retribution twice per season, if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Atlanta Falcons or New Orleans Saints came calling.

Smith has been upset with the lack of communication between the Panthers’ front office and his agent. He has not heard what the team’s plans for him have been, only getting news of his future through media reports.

Although Smith and Gettleman met last week to “clear the air,” according to people familiar with the meeting, little was accomplished in that brief session.

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Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

Shutdown Corner – NFL – Yahoo Sports

Darrelle Revis being shopped by Buccanners; could be released if no takers

Last April, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers completed a trade to land one of the top cover corners in the NFL.

Now, the Buccaneers are trying to unload him.

According to various media reports, including one by Fox Sports’ Alex Marvez, the Bucs are dangling cornerback Darrelle Revis on the trade market to see if there are any takers. ESPN’s Adam Schefter followed that report with word that the Bucs would release Revis mid-week if no deal materialized.


[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]

Revis, 28 signed a six-year, $ 96 million deal following the trade in 2013, which is an exorbitant salart in NFL terms, but not a single dollar of it was guaranteed — which is highly unusual. It essentially breaks down like six one-year contracts worth salaries of $ 13 million per year, along with a roster bonus and a workout bonus every year worth $ 1.5 million apiece.

But that deal could be sent through the shredder if no team steps up with something in return. The chances are sparse but not zero. Revis played well following the trade and after suffering a torn ACL in 2012, but he’s a man-cover corner who is considered a poor fit in Lovie Smith’s and Leslie Frazier’s Tampa-2 zone defense, which Smith has skirted around without actually coming out and saying it.

So if the Bucs can’t get anything in return, they sent the Jets a first-round pick last year (which turned out to be Sheldon Richardson) and a fourth-rounder this year, plus $ 16 mil in salary for one year of Revis and a 4-12 season as Greg Schiano and GM Mark Dominik were canned. The conditional fourth-rounder would turn into a third-round pick if Revis is on the roster on the third day of the 2014 league year.

New GM Jason Licht apparently is ready to cut bait because Revis’ contract will allow them — and encourages them — to do so.

All of a sudden, the cornerback market would get very interesting if Revis suddenly hit the market. This has to be bad news for Alterraun Verner and Aqib Talib, roundly thought to be the two best available options starting tomorrow. Oh, they likely still will get paid. But they might have to wait out the Revis process to play out, and it could cost them some money, depending on how it all shakes out.

 

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Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

Shutdown Corner – NFL – Yahoo Sports

Maserati Levante production starting next year, Alfieri could come within 28 months

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Maserati Alfieri

Maserati is on a roll. The new Ghibli and Quattroporte have been huge successes, and it unveiled the gorgeous Alfieri concept (pictured above) at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. The next step for the brand is getting the Levante crossover into production.

“We are getting Mirafiori ready for production [of the Levante]. The first bodies are expected for 2015,” said Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne to Reuters in Geneva. He also said that there isn’t much keeping the Alfieri off the streets. “The platforms and motors are there. Technically, production could start in 24-28 months,” he said. However, Marchionne refused to say whether the company would actually give the concept a green light to be built.

Fiat hopes to be profitable again by 2016, and while its acquisition of Chrysler is certainly going to help, rejuvenating Alfa Romeo and Maserati are also a major part of the plan. In 2013, the Italian luxury brand saw sales more than double to 15,400 vehicles. Maser is still far away from its goal of selling 50,000 units by 2015, but it’s quite a start. Fiat bought Maserati in 1993, but business went through a decade or more of doldrums and falling sales. It appears that the century-old brand is finally finding a path forward with some gorgeous new cars.

Maserati Levante production starting next year, Alfieri could come within 28 months originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 08 Mar 2014 09:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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