Tag:NFL free agency
Posted on: February 9, 2012 1:24 pm
Edited on: February 9, 2012 3:16 pm
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Report: Peyton can't 'throw the ball to his left'

Manning reportedly can't throw the ball to his left. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

On Wednesday evening, Ryan Wilson passed along a report that Peyton Manning's arm "is a noodle." That description was not complimentary. And neither is the the description of Manning from NFL Network's Michael Lombardi.
Manning's Offseason Saga

Lombardi, appearing with Bill Simmons on "The BS Report," said that Manning "can't throw the ball to his left." Ruh-roh.

"I've talked to people who have caught the ball for him," Lombardi said. "He can't throw the ball to his left. He can't throw the ball across his body because he doesn't feel it. People that catch the ball for him say that he doesn't really have the velocity on the ball yet."

Maybe Peyton's just not an ambi-thrower? Eh, that seems unlikely, since we have a reasonable sample size to back up Peyton's ability to throw all over the field. Instead maybe it's possible that the "noodle" report and the "can't throw the ball to his left" report are just really one and the same.

Right now, the strength of the nerves in Manning's arms simply aren't built up enough to throw the ball well. That's bad news for Manning's future, but the good news is that Manning has a month to continue rehabbing and prove that he's healthy enough to play in the NFL.

If he's shown improvement with the strength and velocity on his throws by March 8, it's possible Jim Irsay will keep him on the Colts. (It's possible. Just not likely.) And if Irsay doesn't keep Manning, then Peyton will have until March 13 to prove to teams he's improving enough to step in and produce in 2012.

Of course, if reports are still circulating about Manning's lack of arm strength at that time, it might not matter.

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Posted on: January 31, 2012 11:34 am
 

Report: Browns now want Peyton Hillis back

Hills could be back in Cleveland next year. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

2011 wasn't Peyton Hillis' year. But maybe 2012 already got him clear of the Madden Curse, as the Browns reportedly want to re-sign the running back, despite his injuries during the previous season.

That's according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, who reports that Hillis "worked his way back into the team's good graces" over the final six weeks of the season, and that Cleveland would like him back in 2012.

Hillis struggled with injuries, a belief that he was soft, playing time, and all the other things that accompany the Madden Curse in 2011. After busting out for 1,177 yards in 2011, Hillis took a major step back in 2012, rushing for just 587 yards in 10 games, nine of which he started.

At one point, he was the embodiment of Cleveland athletics, a blue-collar guy whose style of running fit perfectly with the way Cleveland sees itself. Which is precisely why the Browns kept saying they'd re-sign him.

That they're now interested in locking up Hillis again is interesting, but perhaps the timing of the interest is obvious, given how much cheaper  Hillis will be to sign than he was a year ago at this time.

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Posted on: December 30, 2011 12:05 pm
 

Peyton Hillis believes in Madden Curse after 2011

By Will Brinson

You think Peyton Hillis wants to forget all about 2011? Probably so; Hillis went from a surprise running back in 2010 to a potential franchise player before 2011 to an in-season distraction to an absolute afterthought for the Browns at times.

And, as is completely understandable, he's willing to blame these problems on appearing on the cover of Madden 12.

"No doubt about it," Hillis said Thursday when asked if the Madden Curse was real, per the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. "Things haven't worked to my favor this year. There's a few things that happened that made me believe in curses. Ain't no doubt about it."

Hillis entered 2011 looking to nail down a new contract with Cleveland, a team and city that his blue-collar attitude seemed to encapsulate. Instead, he struggled from the start with low production and injuries and the Browns never made any overtures.

It appears now, as our Browns Rapid Reporter Marty Gitlin notes, that Hillis is headed to free agency, as the running back hasn't heard anything about possible contract negotiations.


"If there has been, I don't know know of any," Hillis said.

Per Gitlin, Hillis is interested in returning to the Browns in 2012, but depending on how he plays down the stretch that may be a difficult proposition. The Browns obviously won't franchise tag him and if Hillis finishes strong down the stretch, he may want more money than the Browns are willing to pay.

And Hillis knows how important Week 17's game against Pittsburgh is for potential suitors in free agency.

"I want people to see that I'm not a one-hit wonder and that I can always play well," Hillis said when asked about Sunday's game against the Steelers.

If Hillis wants to do that, he should probably also avoid landing on any Madden covers in the future. Although that probably won't be a problem any time soon.

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Posted on: December 18, 2011 12:41 pm
Edited on: December 18, 2011 1:05 pm
 

Casserly: free agency to be 'carnage' for players

The NFL salary cap isn't expected to increase my much for next season. (Getty Images)


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By Ryan Wilson

With just three games remaining in the regular season and many teams already looking ahead to 2012, CBS NFL insider Charley Casserly, during his weekly appearance on The NFL Today, discussed what the first free agency in the post-lockout NFL world will look like for the players.

"By my calculation," Casserly told CBS Sports' James Brown Sunday, "more than 25 percent of the NFL will be unrestricted free agents (this spring). That's the most in the history of free agency.

"This past week at the labor seminar, clubs were informed that the (salary) cap for next year will either not go up or go up very slightly. What's that mean? Carnage for the players: less money for free-agent players than last year. Not a good sign if you're a free agent this year."

We'll be hearing more about this as free agency approaches, specifically as it relates to the NFLPA's shortsightedness regarding the collective bargaining agreement the players and owners signed off on in July.


With more than 25% of the league's players being unrestricted free agents Charley Casserly sat down with James Brown to discuss what this means for the players.

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Posted on: August 4, 2011 9:00 pm
 

Eye on Football's free agency winners and losers



Posted by Will Brinson

Free agency isn't done yet (you can follow the latest updates at our 2011 NFL Free Agency Tracker) but wow, what a freaking week that initial run was, huh?

We saw big names sign big contracts in surprising places, we saw various players value drop tremendously and we saw the Carolina Panthers spend eleventy billion dollars*. Well, a full week in, it's about time for some knee-jerk winner/loser reactions, yes?

WINNERS
Philadelphia Eagles: There's no way around it -- the Eagles are the biggest winner in free agency. The last-second signing of the biggest free agent cornerback, Nnamdi Asomugha, guarantees that, especially when coupled with their ability to pawn off backup Kevin Kolb for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round pick and then pick up Vince Young to replace him. Also, they signed everyone else available. Or that's what it feels like.

Carolina Panthers: Well, maybe "Charles Johnson/DeAngelo Williams" is a better way of putting it, because they got straight paid. So did Thomas Davis, by the by. But in general, the Panthers stepped up in a big way by bringing back a ton of their players and convincing Steve Smith to hang around and kick off the Cam Newton Era. (Yes, it warrants mentioning that Newton's reduced contract is how they're able to afford all these guys.) Even if they don't win their division -- and it's unlikely they will -- they're still reinvigorating a fanbase that was pretty complacent after last year.

Rams/Lions: Everyone who roots for these teams keeps asking why they're not spending money, and that's exactly why they're winners -- they recognized that now's not the time to go out and blow up the plan by spending a pile of cash on a big-name free agent. Both teams landed quality guys (Eric Wright for Detroit, Harvey Dahl for the Rams, to name a pair) and I'd add the Buccaneers in here but anyone who spends $19 million on a punter isn't winning.

Houston Texans: The fact that Houston was able to pick up front-seven defensive help in the draft (J.J Watt) and then swoop in on Johnathan Joseph is huge. Even more impressive? That they realized when it was time to cut bait on chasing Nnamdi and nab Joseph, therefore giving them a top-flight cornerback and a serious chance to compete and/or win the AFC South.

Roger Goodell/DeMaurice Smith: After teetering on the brink of becoming the two most-hated men in a world that features no football, Goodell and Smith rallied their troops, repaired their relationship and got a deal done that will provide labor peace for the next decade. As a result, traffic, interest and excitement for football picked up right where it left off after an amazing 2010 season. They really should just pair up for a US presidential run in 2012.

LOSERS
Rookie quarterbacks: Christian Ponder and Jake Locker were supposed to be starters coming out of the gate. Um, not so much -- it sure looks like they're going to be sitting behind Donovan McNabb and Matt Hasselbeck during 2011. The only two rooks who have serious shots at taking early snaps are Andy Dalton and Cam Newton, and that's only because they are actually the best quarterbacks on their team.

Oakland Raiders: It would be one thing if they just lost Nnamdi. But they also lost tight end Zach Miller, who had previously been franchised. Topping it all off? They lost Miller because they shelled out $48 million for Kamerion Wimbley. Every time you think things are changing in Oak-town, they stay the same. /Googles "Weekend at Bernie's" clips

Linebackers: Well, linebackers not named Paul Posluszny, anyway. Poz is a nice addition to the Jaguars but I'm not entirely sure they should have given him $7 million a year over six years with $15 million guaranteed, especially with other available talent on the market. That available talent -- Nick Burnett, Stephen Tulloch and Manny Lawson, most notably -- ended up getting one-year deals as a result of the market swing after the Jags' overpaid.

New York Jets: The Jets made a lot of moves and nearly grabbed Nnamdi, but losing him isn't why they're on this side of the list. They're here because they paid a lot for Santonio Holmes and still saw the overall quality of their receiving corps drop drastically. In addition, they had to give $32 million to Antonio Cromartie in order to shore up the other side of their secondary. They'll probably end up going to the AFC Championship Game (again) and we'll hear plenty of Super Bowl guarantees, but this is an offense that could struggle in 2011.

Miami Dolphins: The Fins made a splash by trading for Reggie Bush, but, um, yeah, about that quarterback situation. When was the last time you heard fans chanting for Kyle Orton? Things are going to get ugly before they get pretty in South Beach, and if their chances at landing someone who can compete for the starting QB gig went so poorly that Brett Favre has to come in, well, you don't need me telling you whether they won or lost.

* Approximate. OK, I made that number up but either way, the Panthers dropped a lot of coin.

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Posted on: July 26, 2011 12:23 pm
 

Vick hints DeSean could hold out of Eagles camp

Posted by Will Brinson

Though you can certainly make a case that DeSean Jackson could be better about maintaining his image (a notable and regrettable homophobic slur on the radio this offseason stands out like a sore thumb), give him this: he's played ball with the Philadelphia Eagles when it comes to his contract status.

That doesn't appear to be a guarantee any longer, though, and Philly quarterback Michael Vick hinted to reporters on Tuesday at the team's facility that Jackson might actually hold out before the 2011 season begins.

"Hopefully, he'll be here tomorrow," Vick said, per Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer. "DeSean just has some things to think about and some decisions to make that only himself can make."

One of the fascinating aspects of this whole ordeal is that, as we've previously discussed, Jackson's agent is Drew Rosenhaus who previously worked with the Eagles on another touchy situation involving a talented wide receiver, Terrell Owens.
Eagles Offseason

Rosenhaus has said he's going to handle things differently this time around, and Jackson himself has repeatedly said he wouldn't be a problem and has indicated he trusts the Eagles to get a deal done.

But at the same time, it became clear last year -- following Jackson's big concussion-causing collision with Dunta Robinson -- that he's concerned about his getting paid while he's still healthy and one of the only players in the NFL capable of making the Pro Bowl as a receiver and return man.

Which is why it wouldn't be entirely shocking to see him steer clear of the Eagles facility for a while.

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Posted on: July 26, 2011 11:27 am
 

CBS Football Podcast: The lockout endeth

Posted by Will Brinson

You know what? That whole thing yesterday about the lockout ending -- it wasn't a dream. Whew, right? Also not a dream: anything, really, because we stayed up all night firing out podcasts and reading about undrafted free agents on Twitter.

So that won't do us/me much good today, but it will help you out, since fellow EoF blogger Josh Katzowitz and I have a nice little 30-minute treat to get your post-lockout workday going.

Hit play below and don't forget to Subscribe to iTunes.


If you can't view the podcast, click here to download.

Posted on: July 25, 2011 9:22 pm
 

Could Braylon Edwards go to jail?

EdwardsPosted by Josh Katzowitz

Monday was a big day for Jets WR Braylon Edwards, because, as you might have heard, he – and about 1,900 other players – is employed by the NFL once again.

Now, he must turn his attention to Wednesday, because that is the day he might be going to jail.*

*This would definitely put a crimp in his free agency plans, don’t you think?

As the Newark Star Ledger writes, Edwards is due in Cleveland Municipal Court for a probation violation hearing, and he could face up to six months in prison.

The potential probation violation stems from his September DWI arrest (to which he pleaded guilty last week). Edwards was on probation in the first place after pleading no contest to an aggravated disorderly conduct charge in 2009. At the time, he received a 180-day suspended sentence, but now that he has a DWI conviction on his record, the court might make him serve the time.

“He's going to deal with whatever may come with that," Peter Frankel, Edwards’ attorney told the newspaper last week. "But with everything he's done over the past 18 months, the tremendous charitable contributions he's made ... I think that he's ready to put this behind him and move forward."

How the potential jail time affects his free agency position remains to be seen, but it’s safe to say that if he has to serve time, it’s going to reduce his leverage against anybody who’s interested in signing him.

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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