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Tag:Ryan Kalil
Posted on: February 23, 2011 5:37 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2011 9:26 pm
 

Woodley's signing doesn't mean much

Woodley Posted by Josh Katzowitz

UPDATED (9:24 p.m.): According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Jets LB David Harris also has signed his franchise tag tender. Like Woodley, he will make about $10.2 million for next season.

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Steelers LB LaMarr Woodley made $550,000 last season, but after Pittsburgh franchise-tagged him , he was due to make more than $10 million. That’s a pretty hefty raise for one of the team’s best defenders, and that’s probably why he became the first player this offseason to sign his tender.

All along, Woodley seemed fine with the position he was placed in by the Steelers, and his quick signing of the tender seems to prove that theory.* Also, because Pittsburgh reportedly plans to sign him at some point to a long-term deal.

* Also, Panthers C Ryan Kalil apparently will sign his franchise tag tender as well.


Now, what does this mean for the NFLPA – which is on the record as heavily opposing the franchise tag (they've tried to point out that with the expiration of the CBA next month, owners are not allowed to tag players)?

Well, nothing really.

They’re not breaking rank with the NFLPA (and remember, the players aren’t striking, so there’s no picket line to cross or anything. If the owners lock out the players, they couldn’t play the game, even if they wanted). Rather, they’re just insuring that they’ll have a great payday if the franchise tag survives into the new CBA. And if not, the signing doesn’t really mean anything at all.

In other words, no harm could come from signing the tender.

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Posted on: February 22, 2011 1:39 pm
Edited on: February 22, 2011 3:21 pm
 

Updated: Panthers tag Kalil; Williams to be a UFA

Posted by Andy Benoit

UPDATE 3:00 p.m. EST: GM Marty Hurney says the Panthers will use their franchise tag on C Ryan Kalil. Kalil is guaranteed at least $10 million in 2011. RB DeAngelo Williams and DE Charles Johnson will be free agents.

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DeAngelo Williams could be on his way out of Carolina. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Panthers will NOT use their franchise tag on the 27-year-old running back. Thus, WilD. Williams (US Presswire)liams will become an unrestricted free agent (once a new CBA is in place).

Carolina’s decision, ostensibly, is less about Williams and more about the people around him. The Panthers could use their franchise tag on either center Ryan Kalil or defensive end Charles Johnson. Kalil, 25, is coming off a second straight Pro Bowl appearance. Johnson, 24, had a breakout 2010 campaign, leading the team with 11.5 sacks.

From a financial standpoint, tagging Kalil would make the most sense. If the Panthers were not willing to pay the $1 million-plus per game that a Julius Peppers tag would have cost a year ago, it wouldn’t make sense to write that kind of check for the less talented Johnson. The deadline for applying the franchise tag is Wednesday, February 23.

Even without Kalil or Johnson to consider, it’s possible the Panthers would not have tagged Williams anyway. Backup Jonathan Stewart is actually the more gifted runner of the two. Stewart is thought of as a power guy, but in actuality, his best attributes are his lateral agility and change-of-tempo speed.

What’s more, injuries limited Williams to just six games in ’10. During his time away, the Panthers discovered that little-known Mike Goodson, a fourth-round pick in ’09, is capable of handling third down duties (if not more).

At his best, Williams is one of the most dynamic runners in the NFL. The Panthers may not desperately need him, but plenty of other teams will decide they do.

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Posted on: July 13, 2010 12:22 pm
Edited on: July 14, 2010 12:18 pm
 

Position rankings: centers

 Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit resume their debate, with today’s focus on centers.

Andy's top five list

5. Matt Birk, Ravens

4. Andre Gurode, Cowboys

3. Alex Mack, Browns
N. Mangold chomping on a burger (Getty)

2. Olin Kreutz, Bears

1. Nick Mangold, Jets


The veteran stability provided by Matt Birk is a big reason the Ravens' young offensive line will be the best in football this season. Birk has always made his teammates better. Gurode can be comically inept in shotgun snaps at times, but opponents never laugh after facing him in the ground game.

Mack amazed me on film as a rookie. He plays with the savoir faire of a 10-year veteran. He sustains well in pass protection despite having questionable strength, which speaks to his well-honed technique. Most importantly, Mack gives the Browns a second source of mobility inside next to left guard Eric Steinbach.

Kreutz is aging, which only makes him meaner. He uses his hands as well as any blocker in the game. I’m part of the rest of the football universe that has decided Mangold is, far and away, the NFL’s best center. The fifth-year pro has no particularly-glaring weakness.

Josh's top five list

5. Jeff Saturday, Colts

4. Olin Kreutz, Bears

3. Andre Gurode, Cowboys

2. Matt Birk, Ravens

1. Nick Mangold, Jets


There’s no reason to argue the pick of Mangold, who only sometimes stuffs his face with a burger (pictured at right). He’s the best center in the NFL, and considering he’s entering only his fifth season, he has plenty of years left. Memo to the New York Jets: you might want to lock up this guy to a long-term deal.

Birk has been around forever, and he, somehow, doesn’t have any weaknesses. His run-blocking – as backs like Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice and Willis McGahee will attest – is some of the best around. Gurode is tough and a punishing run-blocker. You mentioned his shotgun snaps – a fair criticism – but I’ve got another critique. He takes way too many penalties. He had nine of them last year, which led the league. He had six the year before. You know who that doesn’t impress? Albert Haynesworth.

Kreutz, at 33, isn’t quite as good as he was, and he’s coming off Achilles tendon surgery. But you know what I like about him? He can get out in space on sweeps and screen passes, and he can make a block downfield. I LOVE centers who hustle to do that. Saturday has helped keep Peyton Manning upright for the past 192 starts. He’s a four-time Pro Bowler, and although he just turned 35, he’s still one of the best centers in the league.

I don’t mind the Mack selection, but I’m going to need to see him do it for more than one season before he displaces one of the veterans on my list who have been doing it for years. You see, I like my centers like I like my women: old and gritty and, if possible, missing some teeth.

Andy’s rebuttal

And I like MY centers like I like MY women: young, flexible and willing to do anything. That’s why I anticipate the 24-year-old Mack being at least No. 2 on my list by season’s end. But I understand you wanting to see more evidence at this point.

If you like old and gritty, you could have also gone with Kevin Mawae. He’s an unsigned free agent right now – owners might be blackballing him because he heads the NFLPA – but there isn’t a craftier, steadier leader in the game. The Titans will really miss Mawae in 2010. Another gritty veteran worth mentioning is the Giants’ Shaun O’Hara, an outstanding second-level run-blocker.

Two guys who didn’t make our lists were Tampa Bay’s Jeff Faine and St. Louis’s Jason Brown. I point them out because Faine became the league’s highest-paid center in ’08, and Brown became the highest-paid in ’09. Both have been decent, but only decent.

Josh’s final word

We also didn’t talk about Carolina’s Ryan Kalil, who grades out as one of the better pass-blocking centers in the league. I probably would have made him my No. 6 or No. 7 if we had expanded our lists.

Other positions: Safety | Cornerback | 3-4 Scheme Outside Linebacker | Punter  | Kicker | 4-3 Scheme Outside Linebacker | Inside Linebacker  | Defensive Tackle  | Defensive End | Offensive Tackle )

--Josh Katzowitz and Andy Benoit

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter.

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