NFL GridIron Gab Daily Digest

NFL GridIron Gab Daily Digest

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Signs Point to Buffalo Being the Most Attractive to Move to L.A.

Posted: 27 Jun 2011 05:44 AM PDT

Kevin Fishbain of Pro Football Weekly reports although not mentioned by Tim Leiweke of AEG as one of the teams he spoke to about relocating to Los Angeles, the Bills could be the team that eventually winds up in Los Angeles.

Bills owner Ralph Wilson has said the Bills will go to the highest bidder after he dies. Although Wilson wants the Bills to stay in Buffalo, it will be out of his hands.

CEO Russ Brandon discussed the team’s future with multiple media outlets on the heels of the unveiling of new uniforms, pushing the Bills’ regionalization in Ontario, Canada and Rochester, N.Y.

“Back 5-10 years ago, no one thought we would sell 160 suites, that we would sell 188 suites in the new NFL, so to speak. We were able to accomplish that by regionalizing,” he said.

“We are very happy in Buffalo and we are focused on Buffalo,” Brandon added. “Our focus is right here in Buffalo — point blank, period.”

The Bills lease on Ralph Wilson stadium with Erie County is up at the end of 2012. Brandon said he has talked with Chris Collins, the county executive, about the lease, but he said that not much could be done without a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The buyout of the lease is reportedly very low.

AEG group wants to not only build a stadium but also wants to own a team and bring it to L.A. The Bills, unlike the Vikings, Chargers and Rams, will be up for sale sooner than later, as Wilson is 92 years old.

This makes the Bills a viable candidate to relocate to Los Angeles.

Bengals Keeping Options Open with WR Chad Ochocinco

Posted: 26 Jun 2011 05:31 PM PDT

The future of Chad Ochocinco remains very much up in the air according to Dan Pompei of the National Football Post. He hears the Bengals are keeping all options open with him, meaning he could remain with the team, he could be traded or he could even be cut. Some of it has nothing to do with Ochocinco.

If rookie A.J. Green looks like he's ready to play, and second year man Jordan Shipley looks like he's ready to keep up, the Bengals will have little motivation to continue to put up with the flashy veteran.

In that case, they likely would test the market and look to have their young receivers grow with their young quarterback Andy Dalton.

New Deal for Saints QB Brees Likely On Hold Until Peyton Manning’s Deal is Done

Posted: 26 Jun 2011 03:40 PM PDT

Drew Brees still has one year left on the six-year, $60 million contract he signed in 2006 with the Saints. According to Jeff Duncan of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, don’t expect anything to get done until the Colts re-up with Peyton Manning, whose contract has expired in Indianapolis.

Manning and Brees are both represented by agent Tom Condon, and Manning’s deal is expected to set the market ceiling for franchise quarterbacks. Manning’s deal is expected to eclipse Tom Brady’s deal, which averages $18 million annually. The Colts placed the franchise tag on Manning, meaning next season he would make the average of the five highest-paid players at his position, $23 million for a quarterback. Similarly, the Saints could use the franchise tag on Brees after his deal expires in 2012.

At the NFL owners meetings in March, Sean Payton said a long-term contract extension for Brees was “certainly a priority. I think (General Manager Mickey Loomis) has got a real good handle on that. We put together a list of things that we want to get done. That’s a big one.” The Colts and Manning will continue to negotiate a long-term contract but the franchise tag gives the club a fall-back option in case they can’t work out a deal. Until then, the Brees deal likely will be on hold.

Bengals QB Scenarios with Carson Palmer Not Coming Back in 2011

Posted: 26 Jun 2011 02:29 PM PDT

By Bengals Gab Columnist Nathan Mallon

Since the odds are high that Carson Palmer will not be playing quarterback in Cincinnati in 2011 let's look at the experience of the other QB's currently on the Bengals roster and also what other free agent options that should be available after the lockout is lifted.

Currently on the roster (not including Carson):

Andy Dalton, 2nd Round draft pick, no experience.

Dan LeFevour, 2nd Season, no career statistics or regular season game experience.

Jordan Palmer - Career Stats:
Games – 4
Games Started – 0
Comp. Pct – 66.7
Yards – 59
TD's – 0
Int's – 2
Rate – 34.4


Potential free agent options:

Marc Bulger - Career Stats:
Games – 96
Games Started – 95
Comp. Pct – 62.1%
Yards – 22,814
TD's – 122
Int's – 93
Rate – 84.4
*Note: Over the past 4 seasons Bulgers completion percentage has been below 60% and he has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns.

Click HERE to read the rest

Panthers WR Steve Smith Might Be Dealt For a 3rd Round Pick

Posted: 26 Jun 2011 01:26 PM PDT

Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer reports wide receiver Steve Smith went to Panthers’ management before the lockout to express his displeasure following a couple of frustrating seasons for the four-time Pro Bowler. Smith said recently he wants to play for a team committed to winning immediately, but would not say whether the Panthers were such a team.

At 32, Smith remains a big-play threat who could thrive in Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski’s stretch-the-field system. But an unhappy Smith working with a first-year coach and quarterback might be more headache than it’s worth.

The Panthers will try to get a proven player in return for Smith, who is due about $15million over the next two years. But a third-round pick might be enough to pull the trigger.

Steelers QB Roethlisberger’s Foot Almost Healed, But Still May Need Surgery

Posted: 26 Jun 2011 11:22 AM PDT

The extended rest during the lockout has allowed Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s broken right foot from last season to “almost fully heal”, but surgery on the appendage may be necessary in the future, reports Scott Brown of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

“I could have had surgery, but according to the doctors it would have been a really nasty process because of where the break was. It was better off trying not to do anything,” Roethlisberger said. “It’s going to be something where we’re just going to have to, in essence, play it by ear. If it continues to be as painful as it was at the end of last year, then I’m going to probably have to have the surgery.

“It’s doing really good. It’s healed up. Obviously, it helps when I’m not cutting and planting and doing all of these different activities. It’s really come a long way. I haven’t had too many problems with it recently.”

Roethlisberger injured his foot during the first quarter of the Steelers’ 19-16 overtime win over the Bills. Roethlisberger remained in the game, completing 20-of-33 passes for 246 yards in a game he was sacked five times.

Lions CB Nathan Vasher Happy To Have Contract Done and Over With

Posted: 26 Jun 2011 09:20 AM PDT

A free agent frenzy is expected to occur shortly after the lockout is lifted for good, and Lions cornerback Nathan Vasher is happy to have avoided it, reports Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press.

“Just like any other free agents that are out there right now, it’s a good thing,” said Vasher, who signed a one-year extension in March. “It’s one thing I don’t have to deal with right now.”

The 5-foot-10, 187-pound Vasher was a 2004 fourth-round pick out of Texas by the Bears. After six seasons with the Bears, two (2007/2008) shortened by injury, Vasher was released and signed by the Chargers. Waived by the Chargers at the end of training camp, Vasher was signed by the Lions in Week 2.

In 14 games in Detroit, Vasher totaled 19 tackles, one interception, and five passes defensed. 15 of Vasher’s tackles, as well as his interception and pass break-ups, came as a starter over the final four weeks of the regular season.

Detroit did not address the secondary in the 2011 NFL Draft, and may lose Chris Houston, Brandon McDonald, and Tye Hill to free agency if pre-2010 rules guide free agency in the first year of a new collective bargaining agreement.

The Lions are expected to be active to address the cornerback position in free agency, and while more recognizable names like Nnamdi Asomugha and Antonio Cromartie are mentioned, Johnathan Joseph (Cincinnati) is the kind of big, physical cover corner Jim Schwartz may prefer.

Panthers Vets Impressed with Cam Newton’s Arm and Work Ethic

Posted: 26 Jun 2011 08:18 AM PDT

Panthers third-year cornerback/punt returner Captain Munnerlyn came away from the team’s player-run workouts impressed with first overall pick Cam Newton’s arm and work ethic.

“He’s a great kid, a great guy. He works hard. I’d say he’s a workaholic,” Munnerlyn said according to Ben Thomas of the Mobile Press-Register. “I didn’t think he could throw at first, but I was wrong. I watched him in the 7-on-7 drills and he looks great. He’s a big dude and a great athlete. I hope we can make something happen with him.”

A 2009 seventh-round pick out of South Carolina, Munnerlyn has started nine games in his 31-game career with the Panthers, totaling 89 tackles and three interceptions, all coming during the 2010 season, and averaging 9.9 yards on 61 punt returns. Penciled in as the starting right cornerback and punt returner when the 2011 league year opens, which Munnerlyn thinks will be soon.

“I’ve heard maybe it will be over in a few weeks,” said Munnerlyn. “Hopefully, we can get things settled and make it to training camp on time. With a rookie quarterback coming in and a new coaching staff (headed by Ron Rivera), we need to get back on the field as soon as possible.”

Packers Fans: Pick 2011 Rookie Of The Year

Posted: 26 Jun 2011 07:58 AM PDT

Legendary senior writer jclombardi polls fans for 2011 Packers rookie of the year.

Two months ago, we ran a poll to see which 2011 Draft rookie would have an immediate impact to help the team.  WR Cobb and OT Sherrod ran 1st and 2nd in the poll.  Today we ask fans who will be the Packers rookie of the year.


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