Posted on: November 5, 2011 11:58 am
Edited on: November 5, 2011 1:33 pm

Harvin not happy about $7.5K fine for fighting

The NFL continues to haphazardly mete out punishments to the confusion of everyone. (US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The NFL continues its crackdown on the game's biggest scourge (or so it would seem given the vociferousness with which they're addressing the issue): fining players for, well, just about everything.

The latest victim: Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin, who's now $7,500 lighter in the wallet for his sideline scuffle with Panthers cornerback Captain Munnerlyn last Sunday. You can watch the two players, in all their innocuousness, below:

We've seen worse behavior between middle-aged men pulling down seven figures.

Harvin was fined because he was assessed a personal foul after the incident. An NFL spokesman says Harvin's now out $7,500 because he grabbed Munnerlyn's facemask.

Uh huh. Because it has nothing to do with the league failing to understand the connection between punishment and deterrence (like, say, this). Instead their philosophy seems to be: fine first, ask questions later if we get around to it.

Munnerlyn wasn't flagged on the play and wasn't fined, either. This prompted Harvin to take to twitter and ask a perfectly legitimate question: "Can someone please explain how I get fined and the other player gets nothn..wow."

We eagerly await the league's mealy-mouthed response.

Will this be the week Pete gets back over the hump and has a winning week? He joins Lauren Shehadi to give his picks for this week.

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Posted on: October 13, 2011 10:46 am
Edited on: October 13, 2011 5:26 pm

VIDEO: LeBron James to the NFL, 'Madden' style

Posted by Will Brinson

In these desperate NBA times, we've seen a superstar like LeBron James discuss jumping to the NFL. While the league wouldn't comment on it when we asked them, and while it's unlikely that 'Bron actually ever makes that jump (for any number of reasons, really), Pete Carroll is courting him to Seattle pretty, pretty hard these days.

And it got me wondering what exactly LeBron would look like in the NFL. So, in an attempt to really make Mrs. Brinson think I'm a dork find out, I fired up Madden 12, created a LeBron James character for the Cleveland Browns and played a game. No, seriously: there's video proof below.

But first, a couple pieces of information that are helpful. One, I edited the video. Duh. (You don't want to watch me playing Madden for 20 minutes, even with LeBron.) Two, I put him on Cleveland because I wanted to deal with an average quarterback. And also, Cleveland deserves something. Three, I started out on "Pro" level, but cranked it up to "All-Madden" after the first series. Four, LeBron rates out, based on the characteristics I gave him (see below), to an 83 as a tight end, a 71 as a wide receiver and a 74 as a fullback. Five, he would be a LOT higher, except his route running is shoddy as is his pass- and run-blocking footwork.

Six, he is a beast.

OK, so you probably want to know how we got here. Well, for starters, I brought in Eye on Basketball's Matt Moore to persuade me that LeBron's better than I believed on the football field. That bought the king a pile of points, as Moore's substantially more in love with his ability to transition to the NFL than I am.

The result of inputting the various particulars made LeBron the 10th best tight end in the NFL. Which is pretty ridiculous considering he has no practice on anything.

Here are the full characteristics I plugged in, and I'm totally willing to concede that some stuff is off; if you've got beef with a rating leave it in the comments or holler at me on Twitter @WillBrinson. Trucking, for instance, could be higher. And catching could be lower. (See Moore's influence above.)

Strength: 90
Agility: 88
Speed: 91
Acceleration: 93
Awareness: 65
Catching: 90
Carrying: 70
Pass blocking: 50
Run blocking: 50
Jumping; 99
Trucking: 77
Elusiveness: 85
Stiff arm: 79
Spin move: 85
Juke move: 90
Impact blocking: 65
Run block strength: 85
Run block footwork: 50
Pass block strength: 85
Pass block footwork: 50
Spectacular Catch: 90
Catch in Traffic: 85
Route Running: 55
Release: 55
Injury: 85
Stamina: 90
Toughness: 65

Ed. Note: Here's the YouTube for anyone having trouble with the vid above.

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Posted on: October 12, 2011 3:01 pm
Edited on: October 13, 2011 11:39 am

LeBron James jokes about jumping to the NFL

Posted by Will Brinson

UPDATE: We spent all of Wednesday night creating LeBron in Madden, playing with him and recording it. Watch the video here.

The NBA is in a state of lockout sadness that never hit the NFL -- the first two weeks of the NBA season were cancelled by David Stern and no one knows what to do. Well, other than watch football in the mean time. Or, if you're LeBron James, maybe play football.

James hopped on Twitter Tuesday and created quite a stir in discussing the possibility when he asked John Clayton of ESPN when the deadline to sign free agents was.

Pete Carroll then made jokes about how much James would make as an undrafted rookie free agent (it's not much!). LeBron then pointed out that it's more than he makes.

This is true. It's also true that every single NFL team would KILL to get LeBron on their team right now. Not only is he a 6'8", 250-pound athletic freak with great hands, but he would crank the value of that team's tickets through the roof, and merchandise sales would be absurd.

Where would he play? My choice would be tight end, because he's like a lovechild of Antonio Gates and Jimmy Graham, but with better jumping ability and experience playing football. Or something.

He'd be special. It would be fun to watch. But it's probably not happening -- there's like a semi-reasonable chance that LeBron could suffer a career-ending injury playing for a non-guaranteed contract in football, which would likely nullify his current contract with the Heat. And that's just bad business.

There's also the issue of whether the NFL would let him play, as that might be a bit touchy with their compatriots at the NBA. We reached out to get a comment from the league but they hadn't responded at the time of this posting.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: October 7, 2011 6:39 pm

Drew Rosenhaus: 'NFL would fall apart without me'

Drew Rosenhaus might be the NFL's most powerful agent. (Getty Images/US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Drew Rosenhaus is a polarizing figure in the National Football League. This is what happens when you're its most successful agent with a stable of some of the biggest names in the sport. It's also a testament to just how good he is at his job. Because if he didn't get his clients the best deals, we wouldn't be talking about him, and he wouldn't be featured on 60 Minutes this Sunday.

The man who many credit with making Willis McGahee a first-round pick despite suffering a devastating knee injury in his final college game is also the same guy best remembered for his "Next question!" answers to the impromptu press conference that broke out in Terrell Owens' yard several years ago.

But Rosenhaus, at least to hear him tell it, is also the glue that holds the league together.

He doesn't put on the pads or walk the sidelines, but Drew Rosenhaus, the agent who represents the most NFL players, is a force to be reckoned with - even if he has to say so himself. Scott Pelley reports for "60 Minutes" on Sunday, Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

“I really believe that the NFL would fall apart without me,” Rosenhaus tells 60 Minutes' Scott Pelley. “That may sound cocky, that may sound arrogant, but I am telling you the truth. ...

“When it breaks down between the team and the player, the agent is there to pick up those pieces,” he says. “If a guy says ‘I want to be traded; I hate this team. I hate this coach.’ I say to the player, ‘Tell me, don’t tell the coach. I don’t want you to ruin your relationship with the team. Come to me,’”

Rosenhaus says he takes “a couple hundred" calls a day at all hours, gives his players advice about everything on and off the field, and he'll even visit them behind bars.

“There’s nothing, nothing tougher than that,” he tells Pelley.

Rosenhaus' client, Plaxico Burress would agree. He was released from prison this summer and Rosenhaus was there for him even though Burress' football future was far from certain.

“I didn’t expect anything less [from Rosenhaus]. Because…I know him as a person and you know where his heart is,” Burress tells Pelley.

But it's not all rainbows and unicorns; Rosenhaus is in the business of making money. And Sunday night, 60 Minutes gets a glimpse behind the curtain.

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Posted on: September 28, 2011 1:43 pm
Edited on: September 28, 2011 1:51 pm

Where could Les Miles land in the NFL?

Posted by Will Brinson

When the CBSSports.com NFL newsletter landed in my inbox Wednesday, I thought there had to be some kind of mistake. After all, the topic was Les Miles, and he has nothing to do with the NFL, except that he coaches guys who will end up playing there.

As it turns out, my man Mike Freeman's excellent 10-Point Stance column was about Miles and how he's the "most intriguing coaching prospect" that one team exec has "seen in a long time." WUT?

Les Miles? Really? Because, um, yeah, that doesn't make sense.

Whatever, Miles is wacky but he wins a lot, so at some point, NFL teams will be interested. Let's run through some of the usual suspects -- teams who stink this season and/or teams that are always considered possibilities for head-coaching candidates -- and discuss whether or not they're viable candidates.

Miami Dolphins: Tony Sparano's seat is arguably hotter than anyone else in the NFL right now and he's got games coming up against the Chargers and Jets. Not being 0-5 would be an accomplishment if that tells you anything about where this season is going for the Fins. There's a good chance he doesn't make it through the season. So would Miles work?

Well, Stephen Ross wants to add some spice to Miami's public persona, and Miles would definitely do that. But is he gonna sexy up the offense? I'm not so sure -- LSU currently ranks 98th in the NCAA in passing yards and 48th overall in rushing yards. In 2010, Miles' team totaled 2,023 passing yards, which is like a September for Tom Brady. The most passing yards while Miles has been at LSU came in 2007, when Matt Flynn led the team with 2,407 yards and the Tigers totaled 3,154 yards for the season.

Oh, and there's this little bit of history -- remember the last time the Dolphins decided to go out and hire a championship-winning coach from LSU? That worked out superbly for them, and I can't imagine that there's a whole lot of love in South Beach for the Tigers coaching tree.

Kansas City Chiefs: There's a pretty good chance Todd Haley's gone by the start of next season, but is this the spot for Miles? Perhaps not -- after all, Scott Pioli's likely to get one more chance at hiring a coach he wants, and you can all but bet that he'll go off the Belichick tree.

Miles doesn't fit that role and it makes no sense for Pioli to really put his neck on the line by trying to bring in a college coach who isn't necessarily guaranteed to buy into his personnel system.

Dallas Cowboys: This isn't to even suggest that Jason Garrett's on the hot seat. He's not. But as Freeman wrote, people think Miles might be the "next Jimmy Johnson," and he coached in Dallas.

So did Miles, though he showed up to Big D after Johnson was gone and only coached tight ends there.

Still, Jerry Jones is always a guy that people associate with "big names" and he's the last guy to have success with a college coach who jumped up a level.

Oakland Raiders: Hue Jackson's doing a great job by the bay, but if a name is out there, he's going to get mentioned with Oakland, because that's how these things work. Plus, you never know if 2011's rendition is going to fall off a cliff or not. They are, after all, the Raiders.

But Miles has tremendous job security at LSU right now, and as we mentioned in the Miami section, he doesn't exactly fit the mold of what Al Davis wants in terms of chunking the ball down the field. Although he does coach in the SEC, so maybe the speed correlation works.

Indianapolis Colts: OK, so we've figured out that Miles isn't going to be a great offensive guru or anything, right? Well, this might actually make sense -- there's little in the way of requirement to be an offensive savant in Indy, as long as the Colts can squeeze three or more years out of Peyton Manning. He runs the system and Jim Caldwell just stands there.

Miles' biggest hair-pullers come on the offensive end of things in crunch time, and it would be a non-issue with Manning on the field. Additionally, he'd make the Colts substantially better on special teams and on defense, right off the bat, even if the personnel might need some revamping. He's a Michigan man and born in Ohio -- Indianapolis is less than a five-hour drive from both.

The Colts will be coming off a terrible season after 2011 and that means better resources to invest in future talent; Indy's a team that could nab the first-overall pick in the draft and somehow still remain a decent team.

Would it be a departure from the modus operandi of the Colts? Definitely, but there's a good opening to bring in a fresh face for 2011, and they seem to have less chance of having Miles' quirky traits, lack of offensive ingenuity and poor clock management implode on them than anyone else.

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Posted on: September 8, 2011 10:37 am

ESPN gets 8-year, $1.8B extension for 'MNF'

Posted by Will Brinson

Are you ready for some Hank Willlliiiiiiiams? Because as long as the country singer can make it through another eight years, you'll probably be hearing his voice over the intro for 'Monday Night Football,' as ESPN inked a deal with the NFL to hold onto their primetime football programming for another eight years.

That's according to Daniel Kaplan and John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal, who report that ABC/ESPN paid $1.8 billion for the next eight years of 'MNF' despite not securing a spot in the Super Bowl rotation and only the possibility of landing a Wild Card playoff game in the future.

The price of the deal is, according to SBJ, a 63 percent increase over the current deal. So what'd ESPN get? Well, "many more highlight reels" of NFL footage for starters -- ESPN will use that footage to create two new football-related television programs and expand the time frame for airing current shows.

Oddly, 'NFL Matchup' is not included in this list and presumably will keep airing at 0-dark-thirty, even though it remains the best show on the entire network.

Additionally, ESPN gets "a wide swath of digital rights" that is expected to give them mobile/tablet/online streaming capabilities, which is a big win given the way the NFL guards its digital properties.

Yes, the deal is huge for both ESPN -- they keep the only football on Mondays for the next eight years. But it's a tremendous win for the NFL and just further proof of why a lockout during the season would have been patently ridiculous.

If this is an indication of how the revenue pie will grow in coming years, a failure to get a deal done would have been embarrassing.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: August 23, 2011 12:54 pm
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Posted on: August 23, 2011 12:52 pm
Edited on: August 24, 2011 11:51 am

Pryor thought he was going to Miami or Washington

Posted by Will Brinson

Terrelle Pryor is the newest member of the Raiders, costing Al Davis team a third-rounder in 2012 thanks to their decision to reach for draft him in the third round of this season's supplemental draft.

But Pryor apparently didn't think he was headed to Oakland, and believed that Dolphins and Redskins had the most interest in him.

"I thought Miami or maybe the Redskins," Pryor says in an interview with Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk that will air Tuesday.  "I talked to Miami a bunch of times.  That's where I thought I was gonna end up going, but I’m happy where I'm at right now.  I couldn't be happier, and I definitely appreciate the opportunity to play for the Oakland Raiders."

Pryor adds that he heard nothing from the Raiders leading up to the supplemental draft. That's amusing considering that the Raiders must have thought they were being really sneaky with their interest in Pryor, but that was pointless since everyone knew they were interested the moment Pryor ran a 4.36 in the 40 at his pro day.

Pryor's Journey to Oakland

Meanwhile, in other Pryor news, Jim Tressel, speaking from Colts training camp, told Albert Breer of the NFL Network that he believes Pryor's going to have a lot of success at the NFL level.

"He's the biggest perfectionist I've ever been around," Tressel told Breer from Colts camp. "Football means a great deal to him, his teammates mean a great deal to him, he wants to help a franchise win, and he has one of the biggest hearts of any kid I've been around. There was a lot of pressure on him at Ohio State. We didn't expect him to start as a freshman at Ohio State, but he we needed him and he delivered. He's carried a lot of pressure. He's just a special kid."

Tressel also said "it'll be scary" to see what Pryor can do on the NFL level now that he's not dealing with "going to class, doing schoolwork, and the social aspects of being that age." (Must. Not. Make. Jokes ...)

If -- and it's a reasonably big if -- Pryor can be successful as an NFL quarterback, the Raiders will have found themselves a rare steal. If he ends up being a marginally successful wide receiver, they blatantly overpaid for him.

And if he's a really fast athlete who doesn't really produce at an NFL level, none of those traits that Tressel praises will matter. But all of that -- plus the fact that Pryor's the first-ever athlete to be suspended by the NFL for something he did in college -- are what make him such an enigma.

Which is why we'll be talking about him all season, even if he spends 2011 either suspended or being a rich man's Armanti Edwards.

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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