Tag:Will Brinson
Posted on: March 10, 2012 11:41 am
 

Eye on Football Blog has a new home!

 
Greetings, CBSSports.com readers, football fans, and family members who patronize the Eye on Football Blog. We have some site news: EoF has moved to to a new blog platform and with it, a new URL.

You can now find us here so please set your bookmarks accordingly.

This page -- you know, the one that you're currently staring at -- will no longer be updated, but will remain on the site in archived form.  So worry not -- the three handsome mugs you see above are still here, just in a new location.

Thanks for supporting the Eye on Football Blog and we'll catch ya on the flip side.

-- EoF staff
Posted on: March 10, 2012 11:37 am
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Posted on: March 9, 2012 8:46 am
 

Orson Charles arrested for DUI Friday

Charles, a top tight end prospect, was arrested for DUI Friday. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Former Georgia tight end Orson Charles, one of the three best tight end draft prospects in this class, was arrested for DUI on Friday morning.

That news was first reported by the Georgia student newspaper Red & Black. CBSSports.com has since confirmed with the Athens-Clarke County Police that Charles was arrested at 4:31 a.m. ET on Friday morning.

Charles was arrested for DUI and "minimum speed." Per the police office, that means "basically, he was driving too slow."

There are few worse times to get arrested than right now for Charles: he had an impressive showing at the combine a few weeks ago and had the potential to land as high as the first round because of the scarcity of tight ends in this class.

Now it's highly unlikely that he can vault himself above Dwyane Allen of Clemson and Cody Fleener of Stanford. 

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Posted on: March 8, 2012 3:08 pm
 

Report: Eli reworks contract, saves Giants $6.75M

Eli's restructured his deal to help the Giants make another run. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

We've spent most of the past week talking about Peyton Manning, but his little brother Eli Manning -- you know, the one who just won a Super Bowl -- deserves some love too. Especially since he just reportedly restructured his contract to save the Giants some room under the salary cap.

According to Paul Schwartz of the New York Post, Eli made changes to his contract that will get him more money immediately and lower his salary for 2012.

Originally, Manning stood to make $10.75 million in 2012. Under the new restructured terms, his salary will be just $1.75 million, though he pockets $9 million right now. (Decent payday, and well worth the money.)

That means the Giants will receive $6.75 million in cap relief for 2012. Manning's contract for 2013, 2014 and 2015 remains unchanged: he'll still make $13 million, $15.15 million and $17.5 million, respectively.

It's a wise move for both sides. Manning gets a big cash payment, the Giants get more room (they were one of the more salary-soaked teams in the NFL) and Eli allows the Giants to try and keep valuable pieces around him, as they look to re-load and make another run at a title.

Here's an interesting additional twist, courtesy of Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk: because Peyton and Eli are now making significantly less than they were a week ago for 2012, recently-franchised Saints quarterback Drew Brees could see his franchise-tag value take a serious dip. Obviously that could change depending on how much Peyton signs for whenever he signs, but for now, it's just another reason for Brees to be less than thrilled.

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Posted on: March 8, 2012 12:46 pm
 

Report: Manning 'put out feelers' to Cardinals


Earlier on Thursday, I whipped up a little opus relating to the teams who have likely (maybe? definitely?) contacted Peyton Manning about his interest in their respective franchises.

One of those interested teams was the Arizona Cardinals. It appears, based on a report from Adam Schein of FOXSports.com, that the feeling is mutual. 

That's because, according to Schein, Manning "put out feelers" to the Cardinals about their level of interest.

Schein also writes that Manning is "very intrigued" about the possibility of playing with star wideout Larry Fitzgerald and that Manning "also likes Arizona's young, talented defense."

Additionally, Manning likes the idea of "bringing along [Reggie] Wayne as his wingman," which is something we've heard rumored before.

This all makes sense: these are the reasons I laid out when I listed the Cardinals as the No. 1, most-likely destination for Manning this offseason.

However, Arizona does have one problem: a tiny window with which to talk to Manning. Kevin Kolb is due a roster bonus of $7 million on March 17. That's 10 days from when Manning became a free agent and it's not as if the entire league has their quarterback situation sewn up.

Manning is a wanted man and he probably wants to see what various teams have to offer. Of course, those various teams also want to see what Manning has to offer. At some point in the next week or so, he has to throw for teams that are interested. (I mean, right?)

If that throwing session doesn't happen until free agency actually begins on March 13, the Cardinals will be in a tightly-squeezed situation that could be difficult to resolve.

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Posted on: March 8, 2012 10:19 am
Edited on: March 8, 2012 3:29 pm
 

Up to 12 teams contacted Peyton Manning Wednesday

So ... many ... choices ... (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

On Wednesday, the Colts released Peyton Manning, a sentence that still seems weird to write.

Also on Wednesday, the Manning-to-Team-X rumor mill got chugging along nicely. It's believed that as many as a dozen NFL teams (12!) have been in contact with Manning's camp, or Manning's agent Tom Condon. However, CBSSports.com's NFL Insider Mike Freeman reported Thursday morning that some folks believe Manning's already narrowed his list. Freeman points to the Dolphins, Redskins and ... Broncos as the short list.

Peyton's Free Agency

But for the sake of really figuring out who's in play, let's break down the teams that could've/should've/might've contacted Manning on Wednesday. Follow the parenthesis for the full count.

49ers (X) general manager Trent Baalke told everyone that the 49ers are not interested in Manning. That doesn't technically preclude any contact on their part, but it does point to a low interest level.

Despite the presence of Tebowmania, the Broncos (1) are absolutely interested in Manning. See: Freeman's report, as well as a report from Mike Klis of The Denver Post Wednesday, in which Klis says the Broncos will check in with Manning but believes they will likely stick with Tebow. That's probably more as a result of striking out on Manning, but as Freeman notes, maybe they're in play after all.  

The Dolphins (2) are quite obviously interested. Our buddy Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post believes the Dolphins are in the pole position to land Manning. And there's good reason to think Volin is right, the least of which is that he's in South Beach right now. (Well, we assume he's still there.) Adding to the pressure of Miami, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat Twitter account are all recruiting/harassing Peyton.

Speaking of the AFC East, the Jets (3) are another divisional team purportedly in hot pursuit of Manning. Or purportedly "split" about whether or not they want to chase Manning. They do. They know it. The problem? They just don't think they can actually get him, so they're trying to play it cool.

The most obvious suitor? The Washington Redskins (4), who essentially feel like they're already drunk-dialing Condon to talk about Manning. What? That counts as an "aggressive" pursuit of a free agent.

Or maybe the Seahawks (5) are the most aggressive team ... only they're going about it quietly. Albert Breer of the NFL Network reported they'd be the first team on the phone with Peyton Wednesday, and Peter King and Jim Trotter of Sports Illustrated both believe John Schneider and Pete Carroll would be in hot pursuit of Manning. It's interesting, as Doug Farrar of Shutdown Corner notes, because Schneider said at the combine that he wasn't interested in "passing camp" quarterbacks.

Thursday, Adam Schefter of ESPN named a couple additional teams as well. Most notably, he cited the Chiefs (6) as a suitor for Manning. They make a lot of sense. Schefter also listed the Titans (7) as a team that contacted Manning, but that goes contrary to what they said they'd do. Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean also reports that the Titans have not (6) had contact with Manning.

That's six teams, which is a lot. And yes, I'm ignoring the Titans. I'm also ignoring the Texans, who were already ruled out by King. So who are the other six teams?

The Cardinals (7) are a team that we haven't mentioned yet, but they're still my favorite to land Manning. They have a limited window to land Manning because of the Kevin Kolb roster bonus due on March 17, and they can't be too public about their pursuit of Manning (well, Darnell Dockett can). But maybe they don't have to be public about anything: Manning has reportedly put out his own "feelers" to talk with the Cards. It probably has nothing to do with Larry Fitzgerald.

Then there's a slew of cruddy teams that we should add off the bat: the Browns (8), the Bills (9) and the Jaguars (10) are all teams with quarterbacks. But they're also teams with quarterbacks who are not Peyton Manning. And if the respective GMs of those clubs didn't at least call and say "Hey, would he be interested in playing in our city for our team?" then they should be jailed for negligence.

So we need a pair of sleepers now. Let's rule out the rest of the AFC; for one reason or another, everyone has a quarterback. Let's also rule out the NFC East. We've already included the NFC West, sans the Rams. Only one team from the NFC South and the NFC North needs a quarterback.

So only two teams remain: the Vikings (11) and the Buccaneers (12). OK, Christian Ponder and Josh Freeman are both recent first-round picks, but this is Peyton Manning we're talking about. They'd be nuts not to at least inquire through backchannels if there was any possible interest.

If you think I missed someone, leave em in the comments. Or argue why your team deserves Manning.

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Posted on: March 7, 2012 2:54 pm
 

Report: Skins to make 'aggressive' run at Peyton

Washington will get "aggressive" in chasing Manning. (CBSSports.com Illustration)
By Will Brinson

Peyton Manning will officially be a free agent, likely in a few hours, after his release from the Colts on Wednesday. We polled all the CBSSports.com experts on where Peyton will land but there wasn't much interest in the Redskins.

That won't stop Washington from making a run at Manning, though: Mark Maske of The Washington Post reports that the 'Skins will "aggressively" pursue Manning in free agency.

Maske cites sources that say the team is "comfortable with the risks associated with signing Manning," and the "team will pursue him intently."

This isn't shocking at all, really. Clark Judge recently pointed out that Washington has two choices: land Manning or go after Robert Griffin III in the draft. And we all know that Dan Snyder likes to spend money and that Mike Shanahan is infatuated with Manning. (Who isn't?)

But will Manning actually entertain the idea of playing in Washington? Maske also cites a source who says that "he wasn't certain if Manning would consider an offer by the Redskins seriously" because Washington lacks a good offensive line, doesn't have any receivers, is coming off a five-win season and has to play against Eli Manning and the Giants twice a year.

For those who don't think the Eli factor matters: it does. Manning joining the Redskins would create a direct roadblock to the playoffs for his brother. (Or, perhaps more likely, for Peyton.) I don't think it'll keep Peyton from joining any team in the NFC, as Marshall Faulk posited on the NFL Network Wednesday, but it could quite likely keep him from going to the NFC East.

That's not to say Washington is completely eliminated; they're not. But they face more of an uphill battle than most will think in the fight to land Manning.

Don't worry though Redskins fans. According to Maske, Washington's idea is to follow along with Clark's aforementioned plan of attack and target RG3 if they miss out on Manning. Interestingly, Maske also reports that the Redskins signing Manning "would not preclude the addition of a young quarterback" like Griffin or Ryan Tannehill out of Texas A&M.

As we noted in our NFC East preview, it ultimately comes down to the quarterback position for Washington in 2012. This isn't breaking news. But it's also why it's not surprising to see Washington crank things up in their pursuit of the biggest free agent in NFL history.

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Posted on: March 7, 2012 1:20 pm
 

Peyton Manning 'confident' he'll play in 2012

Manning is "confident" he'll be back in 2012. (AP)
By Will Brinson

Peyton Manning is done as a member of the Colts. That was made officially official on Wednesday. But don't think he's done in the NFL; not even close.

Asked Wednesday after a class-filled speech about his playing status for 2012, Manning said he was "confident" he'd be on the field.

"I am confident," Manning said. "I don't know what these next steps are -- this is all kind of new to me."

It's new to everyone; Manning's been in a Colts uniform ever since he entered the league in 1998. And despite rumors (mainly from Rob Lowe) to the contrary, Manning isn't considering retirement.

"I don't want to retire," Manning said. "And no I don't feel like I have anything to prove. Nobody loves their job more than I do. Nobody loves playing quarterback more than I do. I still want to play. There's no other team I've ever wanted to play for."

But Manning has to find a new team now, and that new team is going to wonder about his health. According to Manning, he's "come a long way" but still has "some progress to make."

"I'm throwing it pretty well. I've still got some work to do. I've got some progress to make," Manning said. "But I've come a long way. I've really worked hard. I can't tell you the hours I've put in to working hard."

Not many people can -- the only shots of Peyton playing are some Zapruder-like film shot at Duke University. But that shouldn't stop teams from seeing just how ready Manning is to play.

I've broken down the spots where I think Manning could end up, and there are plenty of rumors as to just how interested those various teams are. Don't expect those rumors to slow down much, especially if Manning can prove in the coming days and weeks why he's so confident.

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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