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Tag:DeAngelo Williams
Posted on: April 28, 2011 7:42 am
Edited on: April 28, 2011 11:45 am
 

'A couple RBs in 1st round' says one top prospect

Posted by Will Brinson

NEW YORK -- There's not a whole lot that anyone knows about the 2011 NFL Draft, thanks to the labor situation keeping the Panthers from negotiating with one prospect. But there is one truth that we think we know: there might be a single running back taken in the first round.

One. That's it ... if someone bites on Mark Ingram with their top pick. However, Virginia Tech running back Ryan Williams -- the third-ranked RB on CBSSports.com's prospect board -- thinks something different might unfold. In fact, he thinks we'll see "a couple running backs" go early on Thursday.

"The draft is full of surprises," Ryan Williams told CBSSports.com at NIKETOWN on Wednesday. "They say they don't want running backs in the first round -- how can you not take running backs in the first round when a lot of teams are taking running backs.

"I think we're going to get a couple running backs in the first round."

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A bold prediction to be sure, and one that's certainly a bit convenient, as a result of Williams hoping that he goes early.

But at the stage that he said this (less than 24 hours from the first round), there's not a whole lot for him to gain from saying this. He knows who's interested in his services.

And he also knows how many teams might be desperate for a second and/or first explosive running back capable of stepping in and making a difference right away.

"You look at the Dolphins, they're losing Ricky [Williams], Ronnie [Brown]," Williams said. "You look at the Bengals, they're losing [Cedric] Benson. Redskins lost [Clinton] Portis.

"Knowshon [Moreno] with the injury problems. Baltimore Ravens with Willis McGahee … so the list goes on."

Williams also added about the Panthers' DeAngelo Williams, "he's already gone."

And he's right. These guys are either out the door or likely gone. Miami's made their intentions clear (it's why nearly everyone has Ingram pegged to the Dolphins), DeAngelo seems like a lock to leave the Carolinas because of his status and Jonathan Stewart, Benson is an unrestricted free agent, etc., etc.

That's the weird thing about this draft -- there's a lot of teams who need running backs but a ton of teams who aren't acting all that interested in taking a running back early. After all, there's a ton of depth and, as always in this day and age, a ton of teams that actually need healthy, talented running backs.

For the Dolphins, Williams already has a solution: draft and pair him with Darren Evans, our 31st-ranked running back prospect , who also happens to have played at Virginia Tech.

"You know what would be great? If the Dolphins picked up me and Darren [Evans of Virginia Tech]," Williams half-joked. "I feel like me and Darren pair well with each other. They're losing Ricky and Ronnie -- pick up Ryan and Darren."

No one's going to bank on the Dolphins listening to Williams' advice, much less a pile of teams jumping all over a running back in the first round, but just remember if they do -- after giving credit for where you heard it first -- tell someone to hire Williams as a draft analyst ASAP.

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Posted on: April 24, 2011 10:39 am
 

Offseason checkup: Carolina Panthers

Posted by Will Brinson

J. Clausen hopes to get Carolina turned around in 2011 (Getty).

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Not to try and bring back the Anchorman meme that probably became uncool a few years ago, but, man, things really got out of hand fast in Carolina, didn't they? John Fox is gone, Ron Rivera is in, Jerry Richardson is likely not too popular with the fans because of the labor situation, and the draft-pick situation for the Panthers is a nightmare.

There's also a pile of questions relating to how 2011 will unfold based on the rules once the labor situation is settled. And the whole problem of everyone else in the NFC South being potentially dominant or at least pretty good ... primarily because of quarterback play. And thus, we see the Panthers problem: they need a franchise quarterback. Andrew Luck's decision to return to school put a big crimp in the plans for the No. 1 overall pick, and Cam Newton's been penciled in at this point by basically anyone.  

Even if he is the pick, the Panthers can't negotiate with him, so who knows at this point? There's ample argument for why Carolina should take a cornerback, a defensive tackle, trade the top pick, or just roll the dice with Newton.




Defensive Tackle, Quarterback

The odd things about Carolina's roster is that in 2010, they had the talent to succeed. Injuries (Jeff Otah and Thomas Davis most notably), poor play (Matt Moore and Jimmy Clausen most notably) and an awkward coaching situation changed things dramatically and the team unraveled. It became pretty clear, though, that even with a talented offensive line and two superb running backs in Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams, you can't run the ball if no one respects your passing game.

Can Newton fix that passing game? Is his upside worth passing on a very-much-needed defensive tackle like Marcell Dareus out of Alabama? Does it even matter if Newton can be Tim Tebow 2.0 and sell a pile of jerseys while making the Panthers nationally relevant, at least for a season?

It seems clear that Newton's going to either be a total home run, though not likely right away, or an absolute, unmitigated disaster. There might be an in-between area, but given the hype surrounding the potential No.1-overall pick, it's hard to imagine Newton settling into something that's just "average."



1. Quarterback
Value Over Replacement Player is typically a statistic that you see in baseball. But the notion remains true when you talk about the MVP race: how would the Patriots fare if you took out Tom Brady and plugged in an "average" quarterback? Well, the Panthers showed that if you plug in the player most below average in the NFL, disaster ensues. Quarterback is absolutely the most important position of need for Carolina -- it's just a matter of whether or not Newton or Blaine Gabbert could end up becoming "the guy" in Carolina as a top pick, just one season after the Panthers apparently wasted a second-rounder on Clausen. No one -- and I mean NO ONE -- can know the answer until we sees how it plays out. That's what makes their top pick so insanely controversial.

2. Defensive Tackle
Making the Panthers' choice at the top of the draft even more difficult is the presence of Dareus, who seems like a pretty good bet to succeed in the NFL. Or, at least, to not flop at defensive tackle. With (maybe) four winnable games on the 2011 schedule, the Panthers could conceivably draft Dareus, hope they perform to 2010-level expectations with a vastly more difficult schedule, and land Andrew Luck in the next season. Playing chicken with a franchise quarterback and gambling on losing a lot isn't really an efficient way to manage in the NFL, but is drafting Cam Newton really a safer option?

3. More Draft Picks
I said this for Denver and they probably have more holes to fill than the Panthers, but Carolina doesn't even have a second-rounder because they traded their pick to the Patriots in order to draft Armanti Edwards out of Appalachian State, which might secretly be the worst draft decision in quite some time, especially because it's the first pick on the second day of the draft and a coveted spot. With a draft that's deep at defensive line, and the Panthers in need of a cornerback, a quarterback and a defensive tackle, having more picks -- as opposed to, say, LESS picks -- would be a pretty big advantage for the franchise.



2011 could be disastrous for the Panthers. I mentioned four winnable games, and that's not a joke: can they beat Detroit in Ford Field? Arizona out west? Tennessee at home in Week 10? Washington at home in Week 7? The Jaguars at home in Week 3? Okay, that's actually five, so we're getting somewhere! Or not -- those games are as far from locks as you get, and they're the easiest ones on the schedule. Maybe an upset or two in the NFC South is doable, but that's a bit optimistic for anyone who watched what happened in 2010.

Hey, but hope springs eternal. Or something. Ron Rivera's got a talented staff in place and the Panthers do still have a roster with some stars; at the very least, they've got studly linebackers and a strong offensive line, should free agency fall they way they want (and when you've got your owner leading the negotiations, well, that's never a bad thing). Drafting Newton could immediately reenergize the fanbase and turn out to be an absolute gamechanger when it comes to the franchise's future. But if there's one team that actually wouldn't mind seeing a lockout last through the entire 2011 season, it's probably Carolina.

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Posted on: April 17, 2011 11:04 pm
 

Miami's plan to 'restock' RB involves draft, FA?

Posted by Will Brinson

For whatever reason, every single mock draft in the country* has the Miami Dolphins taking Mark Ingram out of Alabama with their first-round pick.

It's not that far-fetched of a notion (since both Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams appear headed out of town), it just seems a little too convenient (because any time everyone's in agreement on something, it's usually wrong). But Omar Kelly of the Miami Sun-Sentinal notes that the Fins will likely approach a position of need via both the draft and free agency.

"The Dolphins intend on adding a scatback type like DeAngelo Williams through the draft or free agency," Kelly writes (emphasis mine). "They clearly want a runner who can get the edges on stretch plays and sweeps. Or as Ireland puts it, someone who can make something out of nothing. The plan is to also restock the running back corp with a combo of veteran and draftee."

First of all, the Williams-to-Miami notion makes a lot of sense. He'd give them what they want in terms of a veteran running back, he'd get straight paid, and he'd slide in behind a decent offensive line. However, Williams has pointed out he wants to land in a situation with a good quarterback, and Miami might not fit the bill (although more so than Carolina right now).

What I find interesting about this is that while Ingram and Williams would be a devastating combo, the part I bolded seems like Miami might be more inclined, in my opinion, to sign a big-name free agent like Williams, wait on the deep running back talent in this draft class (something our own Derek Harper addressed recently), and address another position of need with their first-round pick.

*Slight exaggeration

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Posted on: February 28, 2011 2:09 pm
Edited on: February 28, 2011 2:50 pm
 

Report: Pat Dye was agent to be cuffed (UPDATED)

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

UPDATED (2:40 p.m.):
Liz Mullen from the Sports Business Journal spoke with Dye, and he claimed “I have done nothing wrong or illegal.”

According to Dye, the incident occurred at the players hotel Thursday night, not at the stadium Friday. He said he was invited to the hotel by Under Armour to finalize a seven-figure deal for his client, former Alabama WR Julio Jones, and he was led through security by Under Armour personnel and was issued Under Armour credentials.

Apparently, he spent less than 15 minutes in the hotel and did not have contact with any players, but when he left the hotel, he was arrested.

Mullen tweeted that she’d have more in the SBJ, and I hope so, because I’m not sure I understand Dye’s story at all.

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News broke late Saturday night from the National Football Post’s Aaron Wilson when he reported that at least one player-agent was handcuffed and led out of Lucas Oil Field Stadium when he (or they) was found to have illegitimate passes to watch the workouts.

Now, Sports By Brooks has reported their names. According to the website, the offender was Pat Dye Jr., who was handcuffed, detained and led away from the stadium, while his partner, Jimmy Sexton, escaped arrest.

The two broke the rules and obtained their passes from Under Armour, and apparently, the person who gave them those passes was sent home immediately.

Sports by Brooks was unable to reach either agent for comment, and the NFL declined comment.

More from the blog posting:

Sexton’s NFL client list includes Tim Tebow, Ravens left tackle Michael Oher, Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams, Browns running back Peyton Hillis, and Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers.  Sexton’s coaching clients include Bill Parcells, Tony Sparano, Nick Saban, Lane Kiffin, Steve Spurrier, Houston Nutt and Tommy Tuberville.

Dye, Jr., who is the son of former Auburn football coach Pat Dye, represents Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware, Jets linebacker Calvin Pace, Raiders linebacker Rolando McClain, and Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher.

The Sexton/Dye firm also represents DeMarco Murray, Julio Jones and Sam Acho in this year’s NFL draft class.

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Posted on: February 24, 2011 10:05 am
Edited on: February 24, 2011 1:11 pm
 

Report: Panthers to RFA tag DeAngelo, DE Johnson

Posted by Will Brinson

The Panthers already utilized their franchise tag, placing it on center Ryan Kalil. Such placement led many folks to believe that running back DeAngelo Williams and defensive end Charles Johnson were going to get their sayonara on.

That might not quite be the case just yet -- Darin Gantt of of the Rock Hill Herald reports that the Panthers will place RFA tenders on both Williams and Johnson.

Yes, this is kind of awkward and complicated and yes, it's perfect that it's being done by the team Jerry Richardson owns.

See, under the current CBA, Williams and Johnson -- both of whom have four years of service with Carolina -- would be unrestricted free agents. But without a new CBA in place, these guys will be the "new" Vincent Jackson or Logan Mankins -- to name some high-profile guys who were RFA'd last year; Richard Marshall and Thomas Davis of the Panthers also apply from 2010.

Gantt phrases it best by saying that the tenders "are a way to squat on the rights of a player" until the labor negotiations shake themselves out.

The Panthers aren't going to make the players particularly happy, but they'll also keep from losing the substantial core of their team, at least for now.

That could obviously change if a new CBA is established and Williams/Johnson become unrestricted free agents. But provided the Panthers make use of this tactic, they're at least -- for now -- restricting the potentially imminent departure of some key players.

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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: February 3, 2011 12:22 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2011 2:02 pm
 

Panthers to franchise RB Williams, extend Beason?

Posted by Will Brinson

The Carolina Panthers have a pile of free agents that they need to take care of going into 2011, and DeAngelo Williams is one of the biggest names on their list to handle.

According to CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Steve Reed, the Panthers are planning to franchise Williams beginning in the 14-day window that begins on February 10th.

Reed estimates that Williams will make $9.8 million in 2011, which is pricey, but certainly more palatable for the Panthers than awarding Williams a huge contract just a few months after he was unable to play 16 full games in a time-share backfield.

His injuries are particularly concerning in the long-term because of the relatively low mileage he's accumulated since being drafted in the first round by Carolina.

Williams served as a backup to DeShaun Foster (yes, that seems really weird to type now) in 2006 and 2007 (he started two games and only carried the ball 265 times in those two years) before busting out for 1,515 yards on 5.5 yards per carry in 2008.

In the remaining two years, Williams has only played in 19 games and has seen his yards per carry average dip down to 5.2 in 2009 and 4.1 in 2010.

In other words, Carolina would probably like to see Williams return to full health before considering any sort of bigger contract.

They're reportedly focusing their contract negotiation concerns on star linebacker Jon Beason, DE Charles Johnson, center Ryan Khalil and linebacker Thomas Davis. Inking those four -- although it won't happen until after a new CBA -- would immediately bring some stability back to a defense that was underrated in 2010, particularly if Carolina can add a young playmaker at the top of the draft.

The looming problem at quarterback is just that, but that the Panther are at least indicating what key players they want to re-sign is good news for their fans.

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Posted on: January 4, 2011 1:11 pm
Edited on: January 4, 2011 5:07 pm
 

Panthers hint at coaching hire, labor talks

Posted by Will Brinson

Jerry Richardson held his first full-media press conference on Tuesday in quite some time, and offered to answer any questions the media had about, well, anything.

He discussed the Panthers coaching search some, but primarily deferred to general manager Marty Hurney when discussing potential candidates. Perhaps the most interesting part of his answers was his reaction to the labor negotiations.

"I'm personally not as optimistic as some are that we are making much progress," Richardson said when asked about the collective bargaining agreement.

Richardson is the at the front of the labor negotiations and, as such, has trimmed payroll to lead by example for other owners. Part of that means leaving a slew of free agents out there, including stars like DeAngelo Williams.

Even the most important pieces of the franchise, however, shouldn't expect to see any new money from Richardson and Hurney any time soon though.

"No," Richardson answered when asked if any new deals would be reached before a new CBA.

However, that doesn't preclude the Panthers from stockpiling via the draft, and Richardson may have dropped a hint as to the Panthers plans with the No. 1 overall pick (although that largely depends on whether Andrew Luck leaves school, one could argue).

"I think it would be somewhat unusual for us to trade down in this particular case," Richardson said when asked if the Panthers would entertain offers for the No. 1 pick.

The way he said it, too, seemed to indicate that he understands what the 'Cats need badly (a quarterback) and what will likely be available with that top spot (Luck, a stud quarterback).

One thing seems certain, though -- Richardson wasn't posturing to try and land Jim Harbaugh, Stanford's head coach and the hottest NFL coaching candidate we've seen in quite some time (who may or may not actually be leaving).

Richardson stated emphatically that he had not had any contact with Harbaugh, even at one point reading from the local paper and mocking "sources" that indicate otherwise. Hurney indicated the team would certainly consider a college coach, but they hired Fox from an assistant coach position and, as Hurney said, "it worked out the last time."

Well, it didn't exactly "work out" -- Fox is gone. And apparently could have been gone a while ago.

"If we look at John Fox's tenure, he did an outstanding job in a number of ways," Richardson said. "But the facts are in nine years we had three winning seasons and we failed to have two winning seasons back-to-back."

Whatever current assistant is hired -- and you can all but guarantee that the Panthers will hire one -- better be confident he can put a streak like that together. Otherwise he probably won't last as long as Fox.

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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