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Tag:Peyton Manning
Posted on: March 2, 2012 8:36 pm
 

Dungy traces Manning's injury to Williams' D

In this photo from Oct. 22, 2006, Manning loses his helmet after getting hit in a game against the Redskins(Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

Former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams apologized Friday evening for his part in the team's "pay for performance" bounty program that rewarded players for injuring opponents. In fact, one NFL source told CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman that linebacker Jonathan Vilma offered up $10,000 to any teammate who knocked then-Vikings quarterback Brett Favre out of the game.

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Freeman says to expect more leaks in the coming hours and days.

(Apparently, Williams had a similar program when he was with the Redskins; a former player told the Washington Post that compensation ranged from "hundreds to thousands of dollars" with the biggest payout thought to be $8,000.")

One story we should expect to hear more about: Peyton Manning. He missed the 2011 season with a chronic neck injury, and he's probably taken his last snap for the Colts. Back in September, Tony Dungy, Manning's former coach who now serves as an NFL analyst for NBC, traced Manning's neck issues to a 2006 game.

The opponent? The Redskins. And the defensive coordinator? Yep, Gregg Williams.

Sports Illustrated's Peter King wrote about Dungy's remarks in his Week 1 Monday Morning Quarterback column:
Dungy had an excellent observation on our ... NFL special on NBC. He said Manning's neck history dates to Oct. 22, 2006, when his neck got wrenched and his helmet ripped off on a hit by two Washington defenders. We showed the highlight on our Saturday show, and Manning, after being hit and crumbling to the ground awkwardly, lay there for a second, and when he rose, he stretched his neck and shook his right arm for a second, as if trying to get the feeling back in it.

"Earlier in the game,'' Dungy told me, "I'm outraged that there was a flag for roughing-the-passer on Dwight Freeney for just grazing the quarterback's helmet. So I'm yelling at the ref [Scott Green], 'Where's the flag! Where's the flag!' And I don't yell much, but I did then. So I didn't notice Peyton calling timeout and being shaken up. Peyton came to the sideline and said to [backup] Jim Sorgi, 'Jim, start warming up.' As the timeout went on, he said to us, 'I can stay in, but we need to run the ball here.' ''
Former Colts president Bill Polian told King that Manning was fine at the end of the 2010 season and had "no recurrence of the neck problems that caused his first surgery after the 2009 season."

In January 2010, a week before the Saints faced the Colts in the Super Bowl, Williams (by then New Orleans' defensive coordinator) was asked about some controversial hits on Brett Favre in the NFC Championship Game.

“Here’s the deal," he said. "When you put too much of that type of worry on a warrior’s mind, he doesn’t play all out. If it happens, it happens. And the only thing you’d like for me to say is that if it happens you hope he doesn’t get back up and play again.”

Williams may have been sincere when he apologized Friday, but the remarks above makes them seem less geniune. More than that, you might think that the only reason Williams is sorry is because he got caught.

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Posted on: February 29, 2012 7:02 pm
Edited on: March 1, 2012 12:50 pm
 

Henne could make $4M, challenge for starting job?

Some teams view Henne as a QB who could push the incumbent for the starting gig. Miami disagrees.  (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

The Dolphins may have no interest in Chad Henne, but Miami's 2008 second-round pick (and the No. 5 quarterback in our free-agency rankings) will generate plenty of interest from QB-needy teams.  In fact, FoxSports.com's Alex Marvez goes so far as to suggest that after Peyton Manning and Matt Flynn, Henne "has emerged as the NFL’s hottest quarterbacking commodity set to hit the market when the signing period begins March 13."

We had to read that twice, too.

But after the aforementioned Manning and Flynn (and for completeness, we'll throw in Drew Brees), it's a decidedly mediocre crop of candidates. Maybe Marvez is onto something, or more specifically: Marvez's sources, one of whom described Henne as a good fit for teams seeking a "1A" option (a player who can push the so-so incumbent for the starting gig but who ain't looking for starter's money), are onto something.

"That’s not to say he will come cheap, especially with the limited free-agent options available," Marvez wrote Wednesday. "Regarded in some circles as a better alternative than second-tier retreads like Jason Campbell, David Garrard, Vince Young and Kyle Orton, Henne is expected to land a contract that averages between $4 million to $5 million a season. Excluding demoted starters, the NFL’s top backup quarterbacks command no more than $3 million a year."

Not bad for a guy who never lived up to expectations in a market not known for its die-hard NFL fan base. Then again, we'd take Henne over Garrard, Young and Orton. (We have a soft spot for Campbell, who must've been a horrible person in a previous life to suffer his NFL fate in this one.)

We say that with the understanding that Henne is a backup, not a guy you build a team around, which is the same conclusion the Dolphins came to. So why does there appear to be legitimate interest in Henne? First: it's slim pickins' (see this link again). Second: just like the combine, coaches, scouts and front-office types fall in love with measurables. Henne looks like he should be good. And at times, he's shown promise. But frustratingly inconsistent is a more apt description of his first four years in the league.

But as PFT's Gregg Rosenthal notes, he'd take Henne over Mark Sanchez. This redefines the term "soft bigotry of low expectations." Put differently: in the right system, Henne would be adequate, maybe slightly better. And in the right system, that could be good enough. Sanchez got two two AFC Championship games, after all.

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Posted on: February 29, 2012 2:16 pm
 

Report: Redskins want 'high-profile' FA wideout

Wayne and Garcon could reportedly be targeted by Washington. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

The Redskins, under Dan Snyder, are often referred to as the "offseason champs." This is not a good thing. But what might be a good thing, if the Redskins are truly intent on moving up to grab Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, is adding a talented wide receiver to a roster that features Jabar Gaffney the No. 1 target.

According to a report from Mark Maske of the Washington Post, the 'Skins have plans to do just that, and plan to add a "high-profile wide receiver" in free agency, rather than try and improve their wideouts via the draft.

The free-agent market for wide receivers is a good one, with guys like Marques Colston, Vincent Jackson, Reggie Wayne and Stevie Johnson all likely to hit the open market. DeSean Jackson, Wes Welker and Dwayne Bowe could also be available, although all three are expected to be franchised. (Maske specifically lists Vincent Jackson, Colston, Pierre Garcon as targets.)

Pursuing a wide receiver in this market, then, is a smart thing. There's talent to be had, and it's talent that's proven, rather than a risk in the draft. Additionally, the Redskins biggest need is at quarterback. And pursuing a "high-profile" wide receiver in free agency will help them no matter who they add under center.

If Washington's trying to pursue a big-name quarterback like Peyton Manning (provided he does, as expected, become available), adding a talented wideout will only make the team a more attractive destination, particularly if Manning wants to continue playing with Wayne in a new destination.

Should the Redskins make a hard push for both Wayne and Garcon, it's a clear indication of where they're going in their quarterback search. But it's a smart plan regardless, because if the Redskins end up missing out on Manning but landing RG3 in the draft, he'd be aided tremendously by the presence of veteran, talented wide receivers on the roster.

And the same thing applies to any quarterback that ends up with Washington. Even if the worst-case scenario plays out and Washington is forced to settle on someone like Kyle Orton to step in and play, it's pretty obvious that Orton will be better with players like Wayne and Garcon than he would be with someone like Gaffney.

Of course, that's all predicated on the Redskins taking a smart approach to their wideout plan and not out-pricing themselves. And that's never a guarantee when we're talking about Snyder's squad.

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Posted on: February 29, 2012 1:31 pm
 

Tannenbaum won't rule out pursuit of Manning

Manning's not totally ruled out in New York yet. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

A week in Indianapolis proved a lesson already learned at the Super Bowl: if you're involved in football and have a pulse, you'll be asked about Peyton Manning. This is particularly true if the person in question is in charge of a football roster and has a shaky quarterback situation. Just ask Rex Ryan, who wouldn't rule out the possibility of taking a look at Peyton if the right opportunity presented itself.

Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum took a similar approach when asked specifically if the Jets would "kick the tires" in a recent radio interview.

"It’s really important that we always try to improve the team," Tannenbaum said, via the New York Post. "With that said, I expect Mark Sanchez to be our quarterback next year, but when we have opportunities to improve our team that’s what we’re going to do."

But what about hurting Sanchez' confidence with the potential pursuit of a player like Peyton?

"You still have to do what’s in the best interest of the team," Tannenbaum said. "My philosophy is you’ve got to be aggressive, you have to know what’s going on out there, and you have to look for opportunities. Sometimes there will be consequences, some are intended, some are unintended, and with that, you kind of factor that into the equation, and then you go from there."

Pursuing Manning at this point probably wouldn't do much to hurt Sanchez' feelings; the Jets have already made it clear that they're willing to at least consider Manning if and when he hits the free-agent market. (Though it's worth noting that their discussion of Manning doesn't really cross the line that Romeo Crennel did, in as much as it's about a specific talent.)

And if Manning's hits free agency, the Jets will warrant consideration as a spot where he could end up playing. They've gone down the veteran road before, they have offensive line talent and some weapons on offense and a defense that could put them over the top if it can bounce back from a poor showing in 2011.

But Manning would also have to be willing to play in the same city as his brother and deal with the harsh media spotlight that is the Big Apple. Even if the Jets could bring Reggie Wayne into the mix -- and idea floated on Wednesday -- it still might be a long shot. But that doesn't mean the Jets won't examine it.

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Posted on: February 28, 2012 3:11 pm
Edited on: February 28, 2012 4:41 pm
 

Report: Teams like idea of Manning, Wayne package

Manning and Wayne could end up playing together again. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

It's presumed that by March 13, when NFL free agency opens, that Peyton Manning will no longer be a member of the Colts. Reggie Wayne, our ninth-ranked free-agent wideout, will be available. We've previously floated the idea that Wayne and Manning could team up again in a new location.

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And according to Peter King of Sports Illustrated, that's an idea that interests several teams potentially in the market for the legendary quarterback.

King cites an NFL source who says that Manning "would love to see it happen," and reports that "at least two potential suitor teams would seriously consider" making a run at Wayne in order to "lure" Manning if/when he becomes a free agent.

The potential suitors are exactly who'd you expect (in order that King lists them): the Dolphins, Jets, Seahawks, Redskins, Cardinals and Chiefs. (The Chiefs, by the by, are coming on strong as a darkhorse candidate to upgrade at the quarterback position.)

Miami makes a lot of sense, as they have a good offensive line, decent running game, and adding Wayne and Manning to Brandon Marshall and Davonne Bess would make for offensive fireworks in South Beach, something owner Stephen Ross has said he wants.

The Jets appear to be a longer shot, but they've been down the veteran-quarterback road before, as the first post-Packers team to land Brett Favre. King believes they'd even be willing to cut Santonio Holmes and take his cap hit, if it meant landing Wayne to secure Manning.

The Seahawks and Cardinals are in a reactionary mode against the 49ers after a successful year, and Rod Graves and Ken Whisenhunt wouldn't rule out the possibility of going after Manning when speaking at the combine. Wayne would quickly be the best receiver in Seattle, while in Arizona he'd probably post monster numbers while teams focused on Larry Fitzgerald.

Washington makes sense as a destination for Manning because of Dan Snyder's penchant for acquiring big-name talent. And the Redskins could use a top-end wide receiver as well. But Mike Shanahan's system is terrible for Manning, and he'd have to be willing to change it to suit a less-mobile quarterback. Additionally, if Washington can procure Robert Griffin III, even if it costs a reported four draft picks, they might actually have more success right away.

And then there's KC, who might have to deal with tampering charges before they can even consider Manning as a potential free-agent acquisition. KC's got the hardest row to hoe in terms of landing Manning or RG3, but there are some nice pieces in place there and, as Romeo Crennel (unwisely) said, they'd be "crazy not to consider" at least trying to get him.

Of course, all of this speculation is null and void if Manning can't prove to teams that he's healthy by the time he starts to work out with free-agent suitors. But if he shows that he can play, anyone who wants to acquire him would be wise to first obtain Manning's favorite target of the past decade.

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Posted on: February 25, 2012 5:43 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2012 12:13 pm
 

Crennel: Chiefs 'crazy not to consider' Peyton

KC would be 'crazy not to consider' Manning, according to their coach. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- As we've noted throughout the week, there are lots of Peyton Manning-related questions for the players, coaches and general managers in Indy for the combine. Most of the comments resulting from the Peyton questions have resulted in vague answers of the ducking variety.

But not new Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel. Asked if there would be any consideration" for Manning, Crennel stated that he couldn't talk about someone on another roster ... and then proceeded to talk about someone on another team's roster.

"I'm not supposed to talk about anybody else's players and he's still a player with Indianapolis," Crennel said. "But with a talent like that I would be crazy not to consider it if he were available."

Crennel's boss, Scott Pioli, had been less forthcoming the day before.

"I would never talk about a player that's with another team, even if he's projected to be a free agent," Pioli said. "There are NFL tampering rules that prevent me from talking about that."

Crennel's comment was precisely what Pioli wanted to avoid: a direct comment about a specific player currently under contract with another team. An NFL spokesman told CBSSports.com that the league will not comment on potential tampering charges

Ed. Note: A previous version of this story contained a comment from the NFL that was the result of a miscommunication. We apologize for the error.

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Posted on: February 25, 2012 12:29 pm
 

Irsay met with Peyton in the 'last week or so'

Irsay says he and Manning have met in the 'last week or so.' (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- There's been plenty of speculation and talk about Peyton Manning this week in Indy, but not much of it coming from Colts owner Jim Irsay. That's surprising given that Irsay couldn't stop talking about Manning during the Super Bowl.

He couldn't quite make it to the end of the 2012 NFL combine without discussing Peyton, tweeting (of course) on Saturday around lunch that he and Peyton have "communicated frequently" in the last week or so. To the [sic]-mobile:

"Not sure why some speculate that Peyton n I haven't met in person recently..we've met in person n communicated frequently n last week or so," Irsay tweeted. "As we have in the last month."

We're not sure where the "Peyton and Irsay aren't talking" speculation is coming from. The only real speculation surrounding Manning the past few days has involved teams other than the Colts, with Arizona's front office not denying their potential interest in Manning, and Rex Ryan doing the same thing.

Oh, and fans in Miami who really like Peyton; but still, other teams. It's not unusual, though, for Irsay to tweet about rumors that we haven't actually heard. And it's just further proof that this saga becomes more and more convoluted as March 8 gets nearer and nearer.

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Posted on: February 24, 2012 11:00 pm
Edited on: February 25, 2012 1:50 am
 

McCarthy on Flynn: 'It's his time to play'

After playing behind Rodgers, Flynn's in line for a starting job in 2012. (US PRESSWIRE)

By Ryan Wilson

As is the case most years, the 2012 combine is all about the quarterback. Sure, there are plenty of other players to evaluate but the NFL is a passing league. To win consistently, teams need franchise quarterbacks. (Just take a look at the recent Super Bowl winners for proof -- Eli Manning (twice), Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger (twice), Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.)

While much of the focus falls on Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, there has been plenty of talk about current NFL QBs -- old faces possibly playing in new places in 2012. Peyton Manning tops that list even if no one can speak to when he'll be healthy enough to return to the field.

After Manning, there's Matt Flynn who has often been compared to Kevin Kolb for his lack of on-the-job training followed by what's sure to be a big payday to be some team's starter. The comparisons are probably unfair, especially if Flynn can play in a system that fits his strengths (like, say, Miami).

First things first, though; after the Packers signed tight end Jermichael Finley to a two-year deal this week, the speculation was that the organization would then franchise Flynn with the plan to then tag and trade him before March 5.

On Friday, Packers general manager Ted Thompson wasn't interested in speaking in particulars, telling the media that “I’m not going to stand here and tell all the 31 other teams what I think about Matt Flynn.”

Packers head coach Mike McCarthy, however, was much more forthcoming.

“Matt’s had a chance to play versus New England (in 2010), versus Detroit (in 2011), so based on what I’ve seen in the every day — classroom, practice field — he’s ready,” McCarthy said via NFL.com. “It’s his time to play.”

“You don’t ever know if that backup quarterback can take that next step and go out and play 16 games. I know mentally, he’s ready; emotionally, he’s definitely ready,” McCarthy continued. “But until you play the position and go play those 1,100, 1,200 snaps, that’s when you really find out. I think Matt’s ready for that.”

On Thursday, NFL Films' Greg Cosell made the case for Flynn to the Dolphins and it came down to this: "It would make good sense for Flynn to join his former offensive coordinator in Miami. [New head coach Joe] Philbin understands from personal experience Flynn’s strengths and limitations. If he gets the chance, he will take a page from the Bill Walsh book, and cast Flynn in his rightful role: an efficient passer in a multi-dimensional passing game in which the scheme rules, not the quarterback."

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is reportedly "infatuated" with Manning but Sports Illustrated's Peter King thinks Peyton-to-South Beach doesn't make a lot of sense.

"As one GM told me today, problem with Peyton to Miami is Philbin wants to control his team and his offense -- not cede it to Manning," King tweeted Friday.

General manager Jeff Ireland said the organization would be okay with a "short-term solution" at quarterback but added that "Obviously you'd like a long-term solution, but you can do both."

The pool of free-agent quarterbacks is pretty thin. In fact, if you're willing to accept that Manning's future remains uncertain, Flynn is easily Miami's best option. If they agree, then the question becomes whether they can get him for a good price.

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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