Monthly Archives: November 2016

Rich Eisen runs a 6.10 40-yard dash at the 2015 NFL Combine

The top prospects from around the nation have been measured, weighed and analyzed via on-field workouts and drills over the past week, which means only one thing was left to do on Monday: Rich Eisen’s 40-yard dash. As usual, Eisen took the field in Indianapolis in his full suit and football cleats, but he didn’t manage to beat his best time of 5.98 seconds, putting up an official time of 6.10 seconds.

We’ve got video of his attempt below:

The typical recovery for labrum surgery is six to eight months, according to ESPN’s Ed Werder, which jeopardizes the beginning of the season for Thomas. However, Rapoport reports the Seahawks believe that Thomas will be able to recover sooner rather than later. The possibility still exists, though, that Thomas could begin the season on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list.

Thomas earned his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl honors in 2014 and his third consecutive first team All-Pro honors. He recorded only one interception in 2014, but managed a career-high four forced fumbles. Thomas signed a five-year, $44.7 million deal with the Seahawks in April 2014.

Teams still have plenty of time to go through the vetting process in examining Winston’s off-field issues, but that doesn’t appear to be as big of an obstacle anymore. McShay heard that Winston “really impressed” teams during his interviews at the Combine, and that he blew them away with his pure football intelligence.

The strong performance of the consensus top two quarterbacks, Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota, at the Combine solidified McShay’s views on where the duo will land in the draft. The analyst kept Winston as the No. 1 overall pick, and also still has Mariota going to the New York Jets at No. 6. This is the second straight version for McShay with the quarterbacks in those positions; his initial mock draft in December featured Mariota as the top pick and Winston going next to the Tennessee Titans.

the Vikings could almost definitely acquire Romo for 2017 for far less than a first-round pick

If Bridgewater isn’t able to play, the Vikings could almost definitely acquire Romo for 2017 for far less than a first-round pick, with Romo promising a much higher ceiling than Bradford, albeit with a similarly scary injury history at an older age. The package they used to spring Bradford probably will end up as enough to get Garoppolo next year, too. The Vikings couldn’t have foreseen Dak Prescott’s emergence in Dallas making Romo available, but the unique attrition rate and rapid player value fluctuation in the NFL has to be accounted for when you make win-now, pay-later trades. The landscape can change dramatically in a year.

So … was it a regrettable trade?

Contrast the situation in Minnesota with Denver. We could have made the same arguments for the Broncos, who were built around a dominant defense with players such as Von Miller and Aqib Talib in the prime of their careers. It’s true they just won a Super Bowl, but that fact shouldn’t influence their future decision-making; just as the Vikings would have been wasting a year of Peterson’s prime, the Broncos didn’t pay a premium for somebody like Bradford and chose to risk wasting a year of their defense’s prime.

2016 CFL stats: 87 tackles, three interceptions, one sack in 18 games

College: West Alabama

Lacey, 26, spent time in the Dallas Cowboys’ training camp in 2013 before playing the past three seasons in Edmonton. He could be a good fit for an NFL team that needs to stock the special-teams end of its roster. He had six sacks in the 2015 season.

Deon Lacey raises the Grey Cup after the Edmonton Eskimos defeated the Ottawa Redblacks on Nov. 29, 2015.
Defensive back Kevin Fogg, Winnipeg Blue Bombers

2016 CFL stats: 79 tackles, four interceptions, 14.2-yard average on punt returns

College: Liberty

Fogg, 26, got some interest in 2014 from NFL teams enamored by his speed and return skills, spending time with both the Miami Dolphins and Pittsburgh Steelers. But he has now put a season of defense on tape for scouts to see, even if it only relates to his adaptability to special teams, and could be more marketable now.

Receiver Terrence Toliver, Hamilton Tiger-Cats

2016 CFL stats: 65 receptions, 1,036 yards, nine touchdowns in 13 games

The Colts cut ties with the player who cost them a first-round pick in 2013

The Indianapolis Colts announced they have waived running back Trent Richardson, days after signing veteran Frank Gore. Richardson was acquired for a first-round pick from the Cleveland Browns in 2013 after struggling to fit in with then-head coach Rob Chudzinski’s offense. But he has never lived up to the hype of being the third overall draft pick.

The former Alabama star was handed a two-game suspension before the 2014 AFC Championship for missing a walkthrough and failing to contact the team. Richardson’s explanation details an account of taking his pregnant girlfriend to the hospital for a medical emergency that involved life-or-death circumstances.

The Colts could still owe Richardson $3.18 million in guaranteed money, or they could use his suspension as reason to void his contract. In that case, the NFLPA would likely file a grievance.

Mathews managed to start 14 games only twice in his career, in 2011 and 2013. He racked up 2,346 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns in those two years combined, including a trip to the Pro Bowl in 2011. He tallied only 330 yards and three touchdowns in his final season, though, while battling knee and ankle injuries. He eventually took a backseat to Branden Oliver during the stretch run of the 2014 season.

Except for the injuries, the Fresno State product offers a similar package of skills as Gore and Mark Ingram, two other backs the Eagles chased. He fits what Kelly wants to do on offense by adding a true north-south running back for an inside zone system.

The Eagles also have Darren Sproles and Chris Polk at running back, which means they won’t need to lean on Mathews for a heavy workload. If that can help him stay healthy, it could turn out to be a net plus for the team. But like every other move the Eagles have made so far this offseason, it’s just another question mark for now.

Terrelle Pryor and Joe Thomas are right to be mad that Browns QBs are getting hit so much

After the Browns’ 24-9 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, Cleveland wide receiver Terrelle Pryor and left tackle Joe Thomas voiced their frustration about the hits Cody Kessler and Josh McCown took during the game.

On Monday, Hue Jackson said it wasn’t Pryor’s job to say the quarterbacks need better protection.

“We can’t keep getting these guys hit,” Pryor said after the loss. “I’m tired of our guys getting hit, and I’m nobody to complain, because I don’t run it, but it’s personal for me because I care for those guys, and I don’t like seeing them get hit like that. Point blank, period. Somebody’s got to say it. I’m going to say it.”

Jackson said he spoke with Pryor about his comments, and according to Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot, said Pryor “was awesome.” Still, Jackson doesn’t think it’s Pryor’s place to criticize the Browns’ pass protection.

It’s the second concussion this season for Kessler, and Jackson acknowledged Sunday that it may put the remainder of Kessler’s season in jeopardy.

Left tackle Joe Thomas was also asked about the hits on the Browns’ quarterbacks following Sunday’s loss, and Thomas made some pointed comments about the departures of center Alex Mack and right tackle Mitchell Schwartz in free agency.

“You’ve got to lie in the bed that you’ve made,” Thomas said via Cleveland.com. “We lost a couple really good players, I think the best at their position. But that was our strategy in the offseason. That’s what we decided to do.

“The guys that are making the personnel decisions, they’re the experts on that, so they’re the ones that have to make those decisions and look at those decisions when they’re made.”

Jackson said Thomas’ perspective is coming from “a good place.”

Browns players are exasperated because the team is winless through 11 weeks of the season, and the hits Cleveland’s quarterbacks keep taking are a big part of the problem.

Loss to Redskins all but clinches it: Packers are as bad as they look

Bad things don’t happen to good teams. There are no coincidences this season for the Green Bay Packers.

They’re in this hot mess of a season for good reason.

Make that reasons. And many of them were on display for all of the football world to see on Sunday night, when the Washington Redskins ran them out of FedEx Field, 42-24, for the Packers’ fourth straight loss:

Maybe McCarthy was just trying to get the inevitable over as soon as possible and give his offense as much time as possible after another defensive breakdown. Redskins receiver Jamison Crowder ran past Quinten Rollins for a 44-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter, and Pierre Garcon gave LaDarius Gunter the same treatment on a 70-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. The latter was the Packers’ 11th touchdown allowed on throws of 15 or more yards down the field, tying them with the Browns for the most in the NFL. According to ESPN Stats & Information data, they allowed only six touchdowns on such throws all of last season.

Dom Capers’ defense has given up 40-plus points in consecutive games, and the Packers have allowed 30 points or more in four straight games for the first time since the final four games of the 1953 season.

“Defense, we didn’t stop ’em,” McCarthy said. “Our pass defense, we didn’t get off the field. It was touchdown, touchdown, touchdown, touchdown, field goal in the second half. I think that tells the story.”

Maybe you want to pin your hopes on Cook, who had six catches for 105 yards and a touchdown in his first game since his Week 3 ankle injury. But given how the Packers wasted his 47-yard catch in the third quarter, which at the time was the Packers’ longest play of the game, what does it matter? Mason Crosby rendered that catch meaningless after he missed a 36-yard field goal at the end of that drive. And then, to cap it all off, Cook fumbled the ball away in the final minutes of the game.