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Tag:Will Brinson
Posted on: February 16, 2012 9:09 am
 

Pick-Six Podcast: Peyton Manning's latest surgery

What will the latest surgical report do to teams' interest in Manning? (Getty Images)

By Will Brinson & Ryan Wilson

Peyton Manning was sick of Randy Moss stealing the spotlight, obviously. Taking the attention back Wednesday was a report of a fourth procedure on Manning's neck, which, actually, probably didn't make Manning happy.

We break down that news, discuss how it affects Manning's value on the open market, what it means for "politician" Jim Irsay and all the Manning news that's fit to print.

Then we break down whether or not Andrew Luck is a "once-in-a-lifetime prospect," if Robert Griffin III can realistically compete with Luck for the No. 1 draft pick, where he would fit in the NFL. We also talk about Terrell Owens being broke, the possibility of Moss going to the IFL, Jerry Jones wanting Super Bowl L to come back to Dallas and what it means with Ron Jaworski getting the boot from the MNF booth.

(Did we mention that you should subscribe to the podcast via iTunes? And if you can't listen to the podcast below, download it here. And if you'd like to keep working while listening in your browser, pop that puppy out in a new tab here.)


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Posted on: February 14, 2012 4:24 pm
 

Roddy White thinks Roger Goodell is overpaid

Roddy's not a huge fan of Roger Goodell's salary. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

In discussing a reported "doubling" of Roger Goodell's salary on Monday, we made mention of Falcons receiver Roddy White's response to the news on Twitter: he wasn't too thrilled about Goodell getting a raise.

Or, more specifically, he thought Goodell was overpaid. (Consider yourself [sic]'d until further notice.)

"How in the hell can u pay a man this much money that cant run tackle or catch," White tweeted when hearing the news of Goodell's salary bump. "Roger Goodell is getting over never seen anything like it 20 million for looking over the league with tremendous help I guess the NFL is banking. The NFL is not a company it's a nonprofit organization that makes a lot of profit.

"Ok i am done."

But White wasn't done because, as often happens on Twitter, people responded to him. Someone said that Goodell's "job allows [White] to make money." White took umbrage with that.

"Thats the stupidest thing i have ever heard the players make this league dont ever forget that," White tweeted in response. "My god given talents feed me not him."

Goodell might not pay White's salary, but he is in charge of making the NFL increase its revenue stream, which does put money in White's pocket, albeit in an indirect way. And besides, if you'll recall our post on Goodell's salary bump, we actually quoted the guy who does pay White's salary: Falcons owner Arthur Blank.

Blank heads up the NFL's Compensation Committee and, thusly, is the guy who ultimately pays both Goodell and White. So perhaps Roddy should just have a chat with his bossman about Goodell's salary instead of broadcasting his business beliefs on Twitter.

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Posted on: February 14, 2012 2:32 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2012 3:03 pm
 

Report: Ravens, Flacco to talk contract next week

Baltimore regards Flacco as the future of the franchise, apparently. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

When we ran down possible destinations for Peyton Manning in 2012, we left the Ravens off the list because they already have, in theory, a franchise quarterback in Joe Flacco. Many folks would disagree. But, apparently, not the Ravens.

According to Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network, the Ravens and Flacco's agent, Joe Linta, will sit down in Indianapolis at the 2012 NFL Combine to talk about getting Flacco a new, long-term contract.

Latest NFL News, Notes

LaCanfora writes that the Ravens are "committed to keeping the 2008 first-round pick." There's no secret that Flacco wants to get paid: Flacco said during the regular season that he deserved a new contract with the Ravens based on his performance.

"It is what it is," Flacco said at the time. "It's either going to happen at some point or it's not. The bottom line is I'm not too worried about it either way. Do I feel like I deserve one? Yeah. Do I feel like I'm going to get one? Yeah. If I don't get one, is it going to be a huge deal? No, it is what it is. It's not really up to me. It's up to me to go out there and focus on my play each and every game and put our team in the best spot to win a football game."

This is a mantra Flacco's repeated for some time now; that the Ravens are finally willing to talk turkey means that either they were a) as impressed with Flacco's playoff performance as our own Clark Judge was; or b) they understand that the "known" of Flacco is better than the "unknown."

The unknown being, of course, whoever else might be out there in free agency or the draft after the 2012 season. (If they tried to franchise him after the coming season, there would be some evil laughter and giddy fu-manchu rubbing as Flacco sprinted to sign that guaranteed contract.)

Based on what John Harbaugh's said before, it sounds like their answer is (a).

"I've said it many times," Harbaugh said. "I think his best football is in front of him. He only gets better. He's our kind of guy. He's a tough guy. He's a competitive guy. He's a leader. And I just can't wait to see where this thing goes with him. We are proud to have him as our quarterback."

So the question then becomes: how much is Flacco worth? Kevin Kolb and Matt Cassel both got contracts that paid them more than $60 million, with $20 million and $28 million guaranteed, respectively. (Kolb signed a five-year extension, while Cassel signed a six-year deal.)

There's no way Baltimore can get away with paying Flacco less than those guys. He's 44-20 in his career, he's started every single game since his rookie season, he's got a completion percentage over 60, he's got 11 game-winning drives and an 80:46 touchdown record.

He's also won five playoff games in four years and was one Lee Evans drop (or one accurate deep ball to Torrey Smith, if you prefer) away from taking the Ravens to the Super Bowl last year. He outplayed Tom Brady in the AFC Championship Game.

Kolb's never played more than nine games in a season (!), or thrown for more than 2,000 yards. Flacco's average season with Baltimore dwarfs Cassel's average season with New England and Kansas City.

So unless he's taking a serious hometown discount, Flacco's going to get north of $10 million a year and $30 million in guaranteed money. That's a lot of cheese. It's going to be extremely interesting to see how Cam Cameron and Jim Caldwell can help Flacco grow over the next few years.

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Posted on: February 14, 2012 11:57 am
 

Pick-Six Podcast: Where will Randy Moss play?

Moss is coming back -- where could he end up? (Getty Images)

By Will Brinson & Ryan Wilson

Move over, Mr. Valentine: there's a new guy in our hearts, and his name is Randy Moss. Moss announced his return to football via USTREAM and in the latest installment of the Pick-Six Podcast we break down his performance on live Internet television, and wonder where he might end up playing in 2012 (if anywhere).

We also discuss whether or not DeSean Jackson is a worthwhile franchise-tag candidate, what other wide receivers are available on the free-agent market, who'd they rather have in a wrasslin' match between Jason Pierre-Paul and Brandon Jacobs, and whether Roger Goodell is overpaid at $20 million a year or not. All that plus much, much more below.

(Did we mention that you should subscribe to the podcast via iTunes? And if you can't listen to the podcast below, download it here. And if you'd like to keep working while listening in your browser, pop that puppy out in a new tab here.)


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Posted on: February 14, 2012 9:07 am
Edited on: February 21, 2012 9:59 am
 

What players will get franchise tagged in 2012?

Brees reportedly won't be happy if he gets tagged. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

On Monday February 20, NFL teams can begin to apply the franchise tag to players. They can do so up until March 5 at 4 p.m. ET. For those that don't know, the franchise tag is a method of keeping players from hitting the open market. Previously, the franchise-tag number was generated by averaging the top-five salaries at a position to determine a number for that position.

This year, the franchise tag value will be a percentage of the overall salary cap figure for the previous five years. As such, NFL.com (the league's official website, making the figures trustworthy, one would hope) the following figures, plus figures from last year that we've included:

Position 2012 Franchise Tag Value*
2011 Franchise Tag Value
Quarterback
$14.4 million $16.1 million
Running Back
$7.7 million $9.6 million
Wide Receiver
$9.4 million $11.4 million
Tight End
$5.4 million $7.3 million
Offensive Line
$9.4 million $10.1 million
Defensive End
$10.6 million $13 million
Defensive Tackle
$7.9 million $12.5 million
Linebacker
$8.8 million $10.1 million
Cornerback
$10.6 million $13.5 million
Safety
$6.2 million $8.8 million

*The only instances this doesn't apply: when a player already made more than the franchise-tag value, or when a player receives the franchise tag for the second-straight year, in which case tagging said player would cost 120 percent of their previous base salary.

Aside from the asterisked exception above, it's clearly much more cost effective to utilize the franchise tag on a player in 2012 than it was in 2011. Wide receivers like DeSean Jackson, Dwayne Bowe and Marques Colston might not be tag candidates at $11.4 million. At $9.4 million, they certainly are.


With all of that in mind, let's look at some possible franchise-tag candidates, in order of likelihood to be tagged.

New Orleans Saints: Drew Brees, Marques Colston or Carl Nicks

The Saints are all but guaranteed to use their franchise tag. Brees is a free agent and there is a zero percent chance that they let him walk into free agency. This is an absolute zero; losing Brees would not only be a disaster for the franchise in terms of winning, it would result in riots on Bourbon Street.

Various reports have emerged about where Brees and the Saints stand. (His agent, Tom Condon, is involved in a small contract situation surrounding Peyton Manning in Indianapolis.) As CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman wrote last week, "the road could be rockier than initially thought" when getting Brees a new deal.

If the Saints can't get a deal done by the tag deadline, they will use the tag on Brees and sort out a deal later. If they can negotiate a deal with Brees before then, either Colston or Nicks will likely get tagged. My money's on Nicks, who could be a steal at less than $10 million given his age and his performance on the interior line the last two years.
DeSean might finally catch that money. (Getty Images)

Philadelphia Eagles: DeSean Jackson

Reports are already rolling in that Jackson will be tagged and that the team will seek to trade him once they place the tag on Jackson. Philly better be comfortable rolling with D-Jax if they can't find a suitor, though, because the wide receiver is a good bet to swoop in and sign his tender quickly. The $9.4 million represents more than triple what Jackson's made in his entire career thus far, and you can bet he'd like to see some guaranteed money.

Worst case, of course, is that Philly ends up giving its top playmaker one more "contract year" at turning in a big performance before hitting free agency. $9.4 million is a lot to pay for a wideout, but it's better than a) doling out a big contract to someone new and/or a malcontent, or b) letting Jackson walk for nothing in return.

Chicago Bears: Matt Forte

The rumors of Forte getting tagged began long ago as the Bears said they simply won't let him get to free agency. And they can't: Mike Tice replaced Mike Martz, but that could mean Chicago becoming more dependent on Forte's skills as a rusher and pass-catcher.

Forte said he's OK with the franchise tag provided it leads to further contract negotiations. Those appear to be more successful this time around, without Jerry Angelo on the other side of the table. But if Forte struggles early in his return from injury (an MCL sprain) things could get dicey.

Regardless, he's a steal at $7.7 million in 2012.

Baltimore Ravens: Ray Rice

Another no-brainer for the team here: Rice is one of the most dynamic backs in football and accounted for a large chunk of the Ravens offense. Rice's league-leading 2,068 yards from scrimmage accounted for 38.2 percent of the Ravens 5,419 yards, to be exact.

Rice lead the team in rushing ... and receptions. The Ravens need him and it's unfathomable that they'd let Rice walk. He probably won't be happy about playing for $7.7 million in 2012 and it seems obvious that Ozzie Newsome would like to lock down a guy who's averaged just shy of 2,000 yards from scrimmage in the three years he's been a starter for the team.
Will Welker's drop hurt his value? (Getty Images)

New England Patriots: Wes Welker

Welker's taken a lot of grief for his now-infamous drop in the Super Bowl. But just because the guy missed one catch doesn't mean we should forget what he's done for the past five years in New England: Welker averaged 111 catches and 1,221 yards per season since arriving from Miami.

Here's where it gets interesting though: Welker will be 31 when 2012 begins. He's considered a "slot" receiver. But he reportedly wants to be paid like an "elite" receiver. (It's, uh, kind of hard to blame him.) Lots of people think Welker wouldn't be as successful without the Patriots system, but how successful would the Patriots be without Welker?

In other words, we might be headed to an old-fashioned standoff, where the Pats use the franchise tag on Welker (it's all but certain they will, mainly to avoid him landing with an AFC East rival), and Welker refusing to play. Our Rapid Reporter Greg Bedard's speculated as much previously, and it wouldn't be surprising to see Welker sit out the first few weeks if the Pats aren't willing to give him a long-term deal.

Washington Redskins: Fred Davis

Davis had a big year in 2011, catching 59 passes for 796 yards in just 12 games (with Rex Grossman and John Beck throwing him the ball). He missed four games when he was suspended under the NFL's substance-abuse policy. But that actually works in Washington's favor here, since they can commit just $5.5 million to Davis without any fear of long-term blowback.

Buffalo Bills: Stevie Johnson

I spoke with Johnson at the Super Bowl and he said he'd be amenable to playing under the franchise tag in 2012. And it's hard to imagine Buffalo letting one of the more talented and underrated receivers in the game simply walk away. Johnson, depending on the market, could be one of the top wide receivers available.

Given the nature of Buffalo's weapons on offense, $9.4 million isn't all that steep for someone who's produced as steadily as Johnson has over the past two seasons. He took a small step back in receptions, yardage and touchdowns in 2011, but part of that can be attributed to the injuries to Ryan Fitzpatrick, and the Bills late-season swoon.

And if he's willing to ditch the penalty-inflicting celebrations? He's worth it.

Bowe's a fan favorite in KC -- for good reason.(Getty Images)

Kansas City Chiefs: Dwayne Bowe or Brandon Carr

This is quite the conundrum for KC: does new coach Romeo Crennel, recently promoted from defensive coordinator, push to keep the 25-year-old defensive back, or does he sit back while the franchise lets Carr walk and hangs onto it's top wideout?

Bowe quietly put together another monster season in 2011, catching nine more balls than he did in 2010 and only three yards less. Granted, he found the end zone 10 times less this past season, but chalk that up to the Chiefs stupid-easy schedule against the pass in 2010. Oh yeah, and because he was catching balls from Tyler Palko for a quarter of the season.

Bowe's a better value at his franchise cost ($1 million less) I suppose, but Carr will be harder to retain in free agency, because of the nature of cornerbacks on the open market.

Atlanta Falcons: Brent Grimes or Curtis Lofton

The Falcons, not so quietly, have a ton of guys up for free agency this year. Grimes, Lofton, defensive ends John Abraham and Kroy Biermann and center Todd McLure lead the list. One of Grimes or Lofton surely will get the franchise tag.

For the same reason as listed with the Chiefs, Grimes makes the most sense -- he'll simply be harder to retain in free agency. Lofton would be $2 million cheaper but Grimes is more important to the Falcons defense. A logical move might be to feel out contract negotiations with both players (provided the Falcons want to keep both of them anyway), work out an extension with one as quickly as possible, franchise the other defender and look to cut a deal with them down the road.
It's hard to put a price on Avril's pass rush. (Getty Images)

Detroit Lions: Cliff Avril

Avril's made no bones about the possibility of being franchised, and isn't happy with the notion. But the franchise tag actually doesn't exist simply to keep a guy around for another year without paying him big money. It's to keep a guy around while you work out a long-term contract.

That's what Avril, who will turn 26 in April, wants, and it should be what the Lions want too, given their dependence on a strong pass rush on the defensive end of things. At $10.6 million he would provide nice value. Provided he played the whole season anyway.

Indianapolis Colts: Robert Mathis

Chuck Pagano's a defensive guy, and even though he's coming into a rebuilding project, it's hard to see he and general manager Ryan Grigson passing on a shot to keep a talented pass-rusher like Mathis around for one more year at a reasonable rate.

Mathis probably said it himself over the weekend on Twitter when he noted that "The #TAG is an honor but personally if i was tagged now id feel they didnt want me but just have not found my replacement yet." Prepare to be honored sir.

Dallas Cowboys: Anthony Spencer

According to one report out of Texas, the Cowboys are at least considering franchising Spencer. The logic isn't that the outside linebacker, drafted 26th overall in 2007, is a monster and worth $8.8 million next year. He's not.

But Spencer might be worth holding onto if the Cowboys don't believe they can fill that spot with a reliable enough player through free agency and don't want to force themselves into selecting an outside linebacker early in the draft and forcing him to play.

Giving Spencer that sort of cash at least provides a safety net for Rob Ryan's defense.

Green Bay Packers: Jermichael Finley

Finley's case is a fascinating one. At $5.5 million, the tight end is a no-doubt-about-it franchise tag choice. But what about at $9.4 million? I ask because Finley's reportedly ready to argue that he's actually more of a wide receiver than a tight end, based on the number of snaps he takes from a wide receiver position. (He may want to remove the words "best tight ends in the league" from his website then.)

The Packers don't seem ready to give Finley a long-term deal yet, but they're also not willing to let him go. That tune could change if Finley's awarded the same price as a wide receiver in arbitration.
Wallace's RFA status is a concern. (Getty Images)

Pittsburgh Steelers: Mike Wallace

Wallace is actually on a restricted free agent, but as Wilson pointed out on Tuesday's podcast, there's been a lot of discussion in Steelers-land about the possibility of using the full-blown franchise tag on Wallace regardless of his status.

Here's some hypothetical logic: the Steelers use the non-exclusive tag on Wallace, the Patriots, with two first-round picks in the coming draft, negotiate a deal with Wallace and force the Steelers to match said deal or take one of the picks from the Pats. The pick isn't that high and Wallace is a stud, so Pittsburgh, who wants to lock down Wallace anyway, would be letting the Pats (or whomever) negotiate for them.

Lest you think this is silly, look no further than a guy we already talked about: Welker. The Patriots obtained him via trade, but only after the Dolphins used the restricted tag on Welker. After they did, the Pats negotiated with Welker to work in a provision in his contract that would include a monster bonus if he played X games in the state of Florida (AKA "a poison pill"). The Dolphins caved and simply dealt Welker to the Pats instead of trying to play chicken.

The downside is that the Steelers would be forced to paying $7 million extra in 2012 for their No. 1 wideout. The upside is not getting poison-pilled by an AFC rival who'll then hijack the Steelers for the deep threat they need. Hypothetically speaking of course.

Oakland Raiders: Michael Bush

The idea of paying Bush more than Darren McFadden's been bandied about, and it makes sense given Run-DMC's injury history. It doesn't make sense when you consider that new GM Reggie McKenzie would suddenly have a ton of money committed to two running backs. But here's an idea: tag Bush, trade McFadden and then give Bush a new contract. You keep him off the market, you recoup some of those Carson Palmer draft picks and you keep the back best suited for Greg Knapp's zone-rushing attack.

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Posted on: February 13, 2012 4:19 pm
Edited on: February 14, 2012 6:35 am
 

Report: Jets, Eagles 'curious' about Randy Moss

The NFL denied Harrison's appeal of his one-game suspension(Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

On Monday morning, Randy Moss fired up the Internets by proclaiming "I wanna play football" on USTREAM. Yes, that's him coming back to football. And he's eligible to sign with a team whenever he wants. However, it's not likely you'll see anyone sign him before they find out what kind of wide receiver market emerges vis-a-vis franchise-tagging.

There are definitely teams interested in Moss, though. Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports reports that the Eagles and Jets are "curious" when it comes to Moss and that the 49ers and Patriots should be lumped into potential suitors for Moss as well.

Latest NFL News, Notes

Moss spoke on Monday morning about dealing with some personal and/or family issues. If he was going through things that altered his concentration and motivation, it's possible there's another reason for his poor production in 2010.

After all, Moss was considered "done" after a 2006 season with the Raiders that saw him catch 42 balls for 553 yards and three touchdowns at the age of 30. A year later, he was destroying the NFL for a record-breaking Patriots team, catching 98 passes for 1,493 yards and 23 touchdowns.

Sure, Moss is five years older now than he was then. But he's one of the all-time physical freaks in NFL history, and if he's motivated and healthy, he can be a difference-maker.

The Patriots make sense for Moss because they lack a deep threat. Sure, Bill Belichick isn't known for second go-rounds, but he's already done it with Deion Branch; why wouldn't Moss work too if he's willing to work hard, be quiet and take less money than Chad Ochocinco?

The Jets are a logical fit also because, well, they're the Jets. If a famous veteran is on the market, they'll chase him. Also, he would fit the personality of the Jets, in theory. However, Mark Sanchez under center could be a concern for Moss, particularly if his top goals are producing big stats and winning a championship.

That applies to the 49ers, who are also a run-based team. But there's no other top wideout in San Francisco and the Niners have an easier path to the playoffs out of the NFC West.

And, of course, there's the Eagles. After last year's "Dream Team" debacle, it's easy to cringe at the idea of adding Moss. But if DeSean Jackson is dealt out of town to plug a hole on defense and a motivated Moss can come in and catch bombs from Michael Vick, that's a pretty spicy proposition.

No one knows what Moss will look like, of course. But it's Randy Moss we're talking about, which is why it's hard not to be curious.

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Posted on: February 13, 2012 2:52 pm
Edited on: February 13, 2012 2:58 pm
 

Report: Brandon Jacobs wrestling in TNA for JPP

Jacobs will reportedly step into the ring for JPP on TNA. Just FYI. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Lovers of fine television theatre cameos shed a tear when Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul declined to rumble against Kurt Angle in Monday's TNA Wrestling event. But fear not, fine patrons: running back Brandon Jacobs will reportedly take his place on Monday night.

That's according to Alex Marvez of FOXSports.com, who writes that the 6'4", 264-pound Giants running back will be the one squaring off against Angle in a segment that will air Thursday on Spike TV.

If we want to take this a step further (which is one step too far, really), let's now point out that Jacobs is actually a better fit than JPP when it comes to wrestling. Sure, JPP is a freakish athlete.

But Jacobs is a brute force. He's a tippy-toed wrecking ball whose wreckless behavior is a perfect symbol of wrasslin. And while JPP's willingness to guarantee a victory might be a fantastic wrestling cliché, Jacobs willingness to insult his opponent's wife is the most wrestling thing ever.

According to Marvez, Jacobs won't actually be a contestant in any match, but there "may be some degree of physicality that wouldn't violate his NFL contract."

We hope that's real enough for you, mister.

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Posted on: February 13, 2012 1:34 pm
 

Report: Goodell's salary to 'double' up to $20M

A $20 million/year smile? (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Roger Goodell recently received a five-year contract extension from the NFL, and according to a report, his salary will "double" up to $20 million annually by the end of the deal.

That news comes from Daniel Kaplan of the Sports Business Journal, who also reports that Arthur Blank, Falcons owner and head of the NFL's compensation committee, said Goodell's new deal will "bring Goodell in line [financially] with other top sports commissioners."

“If you compare [Goodell] to any of the other commissioners in other sports, we think he would rank very high in that group, and he needs to be compensated on that basis,” Blank said at the Super Bowl.

MLB commissioner Bud Selig made $18.35 million in 2007, per Kaplan, and has since received two contract extensions. It is a logical assumption that Selig is paid more than $20 million annually at this point.

Goodell received $9.89 million in base salary according to federal tax returns filed by the NFL last year. Though we won't know the actual number of Goodell's new base salary until the next time the NFL files its tax returns (which could be as early as Wednesday), it stands to reason that Goodell will see a significant bump in his base, given that he received the extension just a few weeks ago.

And while the response from NFL players on Twitter -- Falcons wide receiver Roddy White wondered "How in the hell can [you] pay a man this much money that cant run tackle or catch" -- hasn't been ideal, it's difficult to get too angry at what Goodell's bringing in.

The NFL successfully navigated a potentially brutal lockout, came away with new television deals and is poised to continue growing exponentially between now and the end of Goodell's newest contract.



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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com