Von Miller is staying home after Broncos franchise tag their best player:

Photo credit: Joe Amon / Denver Post

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Denver Broncos were adamant about not letting their best player walk out the free agency door. Von Miller who was flat out dominant in the Super Bowl for the Broncos recording 6 tackles, 2 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. He was inked to a one year deal with the Broncos when Denver decided to place the franchise tag on him. Miller publicly stated that he would like to return to the Broncos however at the end of the day “money talks.” Meaning Miller wants to stay with the team but he want to earn the most money he can over the course of his professional career, also making it clear that was a serious goal of his. With the Broncos placing the franchise tag on Miller he will make around 14.1 million dollars in 2016. The Broncos would of liked to avoid these circumstances and really wanted to come to a long term deal with Miller. Yet the two sides were apparently just two far apart and letting Miller hit the open market was just out of the question for the Denver Broncos. The team will pay a big price for Miller but the team was going to pay highly for Miller one way or another. Miller proved his worth on the field as one of the most dominant defensive players in the league. Outside of JJ Watt you could could easily consider Von Miller a nominee for the second best player in the league. The guy has been absolutely stellar over the course of his career. Whether it be sacking the quarterback, forcing fumbles, or helping Denver win a Super Bowl. Not to mention Miller was the Most Valuable Player in Super Bowl 50 and his two force fumbles both led to Denver touchdowns. The Broncos made the right decision because letting Miller walk away means the Denver defense aren’t Super Bowl contenders anymore. Von Miller is not only the best player on that defense but he is also the best player on that team as well. Letting him leave Denver was clearly out of the picture for John Elway and that is why Elway is one of the best G.M’s in the business.

Charity of the day: Witness for Peace

Go donate! www.witnessforpeace.org

Alshon Jeffery will be staying in Chicago after Bears franchise tag him:

Photo credit: Joe Robbins / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

Alshon Jeffery is a big factor in the Chicago Bears passing game and the team made sure he wasn’t going to leave the Windy City. The Bears franchise tagged Jeffery today to ensure that he won’t leave town via free agency. Jeffery is the Bears most talented wide receiver and the front office knew he was an essential piece to the puzzle moving forward. Jeffery will be in Chicago for at least one more season and the Bears will certainly try to negotiate a deal to keep him from leaving next year. The franchise tag essentially means the Bears retain Jeffery on a one year deal but they will be paying top price for the receiver. The amount Jeffery will make in 2016 is $14.599 million dollars. Not a bad paycheck for just one season of action, although Jeffery would most likely prefer the security that a long term deal entails. Regardless Jeffery has earned his respect as one of the better receivers in the league. He has caught 24 touchdowns over his 4 year career and has was also able to go over the 1,000 yard receiving mark two times in his career. Those contributions were enough for the Bears to covet Jeffery as a good enough player to apply the franchise tag to. With the Bears going 6-10 last year with Matt Forte and Alshon Jeffery on the roster, the team would of been in trouble losing both players. They minimized the damage by placing the tag on Alshon Jeffery and you have to consider this a win because ultimately he doesn’t leave town. By keeping their top receiver around it allows the Bears to get additional help for Jay Cutler in the offseason. Without having to replace the teams number 1 receiver, which would have set the Bears offense way back. Now the team will be able to build around Jeffery and find other pieces that will elevate Cutler. Too sum it up this was a really good move for Chicago.

Charity of the day: Ronald McDonald House Charities

Go donate! www.rmhc.org

Tom Brady will be in a Patriots uniform until 2019:

Photo credit: Doug Pensinger / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

The New England Patriots are doing all that they can to ensure that Tom Brady will retire in Foxborough. The Patriots inked Brady to a two year extension that will keep Brady in New England until at least 2019. Brady will be 42 years old when his contract expires in 2019 and one has to wonder how many years he could play beyond that age? Brady has stated he would like to play 10 more seasons during 2015. While that may be a stretch one thing is for certain, the way Brady plays which is to sit in the pocket and trust his offensive line. Allows him to minimize the damage that he takes throughout a season. Brady focuses on quick decisions and getting the ball out of his hands as fast as possible. For the most part that philosophy has led to Brady being healthier over the course of his career than most quarterbacks. Brady was only seriously injured during the 2008 season when he missed 15 games to a ACL and MCL tear. When you consider that other QB’s around the league like Tony Romo, and Jay Cutler are often injured. You begin to realize just how protected Brady has been during his 17 seasons with New England. The next question seems to be who will go first, Tom Brady or Bill Belichick? Both have been paired at the hip since Brady came into the National Football League. You have to wonder how much the duo have left in them? They’ve already managed to bring four Lombardi trophies back to Massachusetts. There isn’t much left Belichick or Brady have left to prove, other than continuing their dynasty and maybe winning a couple more Super Bowls. Sooner or later though the grind of going to every practice and traveling to every game will be too much to handle. That likely won’t happen for at least two more seasons but you never know how things will pan out in the NFL. People usually get out a little sooner than expected and with Manning set to retire this offseason. Brady might not be that far behind him. The two will finish as two of the best quarterbacks the league has ever seen and they changed the league from a running game to a passing league. That transition is something that made the game more entertaining and played a huge role in the growth that the NFL has made today.

Charity of the day: Ronald McDonald House Charities

Go donate! www.rmhc.org

Sam Bradford: The best option at the moment for the Eagles

Photo credit: Elsa / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Philadelphia Eagles are doing whatever they can to retain quarterback Sam Bradford. Including offering Bradford a larger offer than they initially offered their starting quarterback of the 2015 season. Bradford who came to Philadelphia in a trade for Nick Foles. Managed to go from a player who was unwanted in St. Louis to now a player who is being coveted by the Eagles. Much of that comes down to necessity, the Eagles are clearly better off with Bradford on their roster. That is why the Eagles sweetened the pot and did their best to keep Bradford in town. With free agency looming and no deal between the two sides. Bradford is slated to test the open market and could very well end up leaving the Eagles. Doing so would leave Philadelphia in a very dire position, and the team would have to make due with Mark Sanchez as the team’s starting quarterback. In a surprising twist there has even been rumors that the Eagles would look to trade for Nick Foles and with the intention of bringing him back to Philly. Foles who was shipped off by Chip Kelly had a Pro Bowl year for the Eagles in the past and there has been speculation that the team would like him to return. Clearly the team feels limited on options and doing everything they can to retain Bradford is the best choice. Bradford threw for 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in the regular season. Looking good at times on his throws. However there was also times Bradford struggled handling the pressure and looked timid in the pocket. The Eagles are hoping that by giving him another year at the helm taking all of the snaps, that he will continue to progress in 2016. That would be ideal for the team if they do manage to strike a deal. It looks like Bradford is adamant about be able to choose his next location though. It would be unseen if he does indeed re-sign but then again anything is possible when it comes to business side of things. It also has to be a kind gesture that the Eagles are willing to do all they can to bring back the 7th year signal caller.

Charity of the day: Pancreatic Cancer Action Network

Go donate! www.pancan.org

Jared Goff is the most talented quarterback at the 2016 NFL combine:

Photo credit: David Madison / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

When you talk about football it’s hard not to acknowledge that quarterback is the most important position on the field. Quarterbacks are not only the face of every NFL team, they all serve as a face of the league and drive fan support, revenue, and serve as role models in communities. So when a team makes a decision to draft a quarterback in the first round it’s a huge commitment on the teams behalf. It looks like the top quarterback going in the 2016 draft will be former Cal quarterback Jared Goff. Goff looked impressive at the combine and was raved about by pro scouts. NFL draft specialist Mike Mayock stated that “Goff is the most ready to play quarterback in this draft.” Showing just how good Goff was in Indianapolis for the combine, and it’s very likely the Browns will select him with the second overall pick in April. When you plug in the game film and watch Goff’s highlights at Cal. It becomes clear that he does a great job with his pocket presence. Not only is Goff always aware where the pressure is coming from. He also does a great job of trusting his footwork and he does a great job of getting the ball out of his hands quickly. While at times some of Goff’s spirals need to be tighter, he does always go to the right read on his throws. He also does a great job of breaking the game down from a football I.Q stand point. Often understanding where he has to go with the football before the snap and then delivering the strike effectively. It’s those characteristics that make this guy the clear cut top choice coming out this year. To even further support that case, he also ran a 4.83 40 yard dash and connected on most his throws in drill work this week. Just further solidifying him as the cream of the 2016 quarterback crop.

2015 Cal stats: 4,719, 43 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions

Charity of the day: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Go donate! https://www.cff.org

Brandon Marshall flourished on all levels in 2015:

Photo credit: Jerome Davis / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

Brandon Marshall was once a player that some teams considered too much to handle. That was evident when the Broncos, Dolphins, and Bears all traded him way. Looking back at the production Marshall had in 2015 and how well he also handled himself off the field. It’s hard to think that any team would ever want to get rid of him. Marshall not only caught 1,502 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns for the Jets. He also did an outstanding job with Inside the NFL, a television show that Marshall co-hosts during the season. That opportunity could of easily turned into a distraction for Marshall on the football field. However the exact opposite happened, instead Marshall has had to be more responsible with the show and living up to the expectations of a pro athlete. When you also factor in that he has matured as a person as well. You can really see the growth that has taken place in Brandon Marshall’s life. The New York Jets have to be very happy about that. They took a risk when they traded for the 6 time Pro Bowler and that risk ultimately ended up paying off. If the team can retain Ryan Fitzpatrick which they likely will, this team has all the makings of a playoff team. If they could of knocked off the Buffalo Bills one time in 2015 they most likely would of got there. Yet you can’t complain about a 10-6 record if you’re owner Woody Johnson. The team really struggled during the end of the Rex Ryan era and Bowles first year showed a whole lot of promise. It was moves like landing Brandon Marshall and landing Ryan Fitzpatrick that gave this team the chance to succeed in 2015. In 2016 it will be up to the same guys to push the envelope even further and get back to the playoffs. Marshall puts fans in the stands and he also produces touchdowns consistently for this offense. It’s safe to say Marshall has the Jets flying higher than they’ve been in awhile.

Charity of the day: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Go donate! https://www.cff.org

Running wild: How Elliott and Henry will stack up against the pros?

Photo credit: Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

Ezekiel Elliot and Derrick Henry were two of the best running backs in the nation at the collegiate level last fall. Now with the draft looming in April both backs will look to successfully transition to the pro ranks. Henry was the Heisman winner last year and played on the National Championship winning Alabama Crimson Tide. Henry was flat out amazing last year on the football field, and he was a big part of why Bama was able to take down Clemson on the big stage. Henry Rushed for 158 yards and 3 touchdowns in that match up. Showing that no matter how high the stakes are, he can still have success. What stands out most about Henry is his overwhelming size and his ability to be a physically dominant down hill runner. Henry is a load to handle for any defense and now he will put NFL defenses to the test. Elliott is a little bit different style of running back. He has the ability to make defenders miss in the open field, he also has big play capability and can score every time he touches the ball. Elliott was a key piece to the Buckeyes National Championship victory in 2014. He very well could be a player that comes in and has an immediate impact for a team in the National Football League. Many times watching Ohio State Buckeyes’ games you felt like Ezekiel Elliott was the best player on the field for that team. If he can take the discipline side of being a pro athlete well and really prepares his body to be in top form. He easily could come out and have an impact for a team that was on par with how Todd Gurley did this year for the Rams. With the combine taking place right now it should be noted that Henry ran a 4.54 40 yard dash, while Elliott ran a 4.47. Both players looked good athletically at the event. It should also be noted that Henry jumped an impressive 37 inches on the vertical jump. While Elliott jumped 32.5 inches. That leg power might be the deciding factor for Henry and whether or not he has success in the National Football League. It would be a safe bet to say he will.

Charity of the day: Global Hunger Project

Go donate! www.thp.org

The Packers need to get over that playoff hump before the window closes:

Photo credit: Jennifer Stewart / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Green Bay Packers have had a team worthy of making it to the postseason for the last seven seasons. The last time the Packers didn’t make it to the playoffs was back in 2008 when the team finished 6-10. With the Packers losing in the conference championship in overtime last year against the Seahawks and losing to the Cardinals in overtime in the divisional round this year. You have to wonder what the Packers are going to do to get over that playoff hump. The recipe for success still seems to go defensive and just put the best defensive product you can on the field. Like the Packers chose to do last year when they drafted Damarious Randall and Quinten Rollins in the first two rounds. Both Randall and Rollins are defensive backs expected to contribute significantly to Green Bay’s future. If the team can get better against the run in the offseason that would help take this team take it too that next level defensively. Whether that be adding an inside linebacker that can take care of all the inside running game or adding a nose tackle that can take up both a gaps remains to be the question? It seems like an inside backer would be a better fit for the Packers because the team wants to play Matthews exclusively on the outside moving forward. Obviously landing a guy like Jaylon Smith out of Notre Dame or Reggie Ragland out of Alabama would be a dream come true. The team should also take a look at Scooby Wright out of Arizona and Kentrell Brothers out of Missouri. Outside of that maybe landing a nose tackle to eventually replace Raji would be an option for this team. It’s always good to be younger on the defensive front and the Packers need to start dominating the line scrimmage defensively to win that big game deep in the playoffs. As far as offense goes, it’s clear this team has to learn how to protect the quarterback. Rodgers at one point was being absolutely demolished by opposing defenses so expect the team to add a couple of free agents or draft picks to protect the former league MVP. The team will also get a big boost from having Jordy Nelson back and with all of these moves being made. The team might be able to get back to the Super Bowl. Still like any other team it won’t be easy and it will take a little bit of luck as well.

Charity of the day: Breast Cancer Society

Go donate! www.breastcancersociety.org

Big Apple Mindset: Addressing life post Tom Coughlin

Photo credit: Jim Mcisaac / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

The New York Giants have turned the page on the Tom Coughlin era. The former Giants head coach did an outstanding job of bringing two Super Bowls back to NYC, however it became alarmingly clear that those days were in the past. Coughlin’s ways were starting to wear thin on the new school generations coming up in the league and moving forward was most likely a good move for this team in terms of that perspective. Still it’s hard to argue with Coughlin’s success, the guy will end up being a Hall of Fame coach someday and it won’t be easy to replace those efforts. Luckily the Giants didn’t change away from that Coughlin mindset too much due to the fact the team decided to hire within. The choosing of a candidate (Ben McAdoo) who was groomed under Coughling means that a lot of those Coughlin tendencies and philosophies will still be in effect. One noticeable change that McAdoo is bringing to the team is the team will no longer practice on Mondays. Most teams practice on Monday and then give the team Tuesday off. McAdoo will give his player Monday off and then have them back on Tuesday. The goal is to allow his player more time to rest which he hopes will cut down on injury recovery time. Coughlin believed having his players there on Monday set the tone for the week, but with the NFL being a league that is so drastically changed by injuries. You have to wonder whether or not McAdoo has a good idea there. It appears he does and that is just one of the changes the new Head Coach has made. Other than that the team will look to address it’s struggling defense. The Giants finished dead last in yards surrendered defensively. Allowing a horrible 420 yards per game to opposing offenses. In order for the Giants to get back on track McAdoo must go against what he knows (he was an Offensive Coordinator) and address the defensive side of the ball. It’s no secret defense wins championships and the Giants need to get back to having 11 helmets on the football every play. If these necessary adjustments can be made in the offseason we should see a positive change for the better for that blue New York team. Regardless it will be interesting to watch as the team transitions under McAdoo’s new leadership.

Charity of the day: Breast Cancer Society

Go donate! www.breastcancersociety.org

Greg Hardy unlikely to return to the Dallas Cowboys:

Photo credit: Tom Szczerbowski / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

Greg Hardy is very unlikely to return to the Dallas Cowboys. After one season with the team and several questionable incidents, the team has decided that moving on would be in the teams best interest. When head coach Jason Garrett was asked about Greg Hardy’s status at the combine Garrett was straight forward. “He’s a free agent” Garrett said, hinting that the players time with the Cowboys had come to an end. While this is a big statement from the head coach in terms of Hardy’s status with the team, it doesn’t come as any surprise. Hardy was a problem child all season long for the Cowboys and his impact was more felt in the rift he was causing with the team. Rather than on opposing quarterbacks like the Cowboys had hoped when they signed the former Panthers pass rusher. Hardy showed questionable character time and time again with the Cowboys and the incident that sticks out the most is when he got in an argument with the team’s special teams coordinator. That insubordination is something that sets a bad precedent with the team and tarnished the teams culture throughout the season. When star players like Romo and Bryant go down, the team must work even harder from a leadership perspective to account for those losses. Hardy didn’t help the Cowboys enough in those desperate times and he even went as far as to set the team back. Even though Hardy did produce six sacks the Cowboys felt that his off the field attitude and mentality outweighed that production on the field. It’s hard to win football games when the team is divided and Hardy was a distraction for everyone else in that locker room. He even was a distraction to coaches such as Rich Bisaccia who was out there trying to execute the game plan for the team. The Cowboys made the right move by choosing to move on from Hardy. Until this guy learns how to keep his emotions in check and until he learns how to be a team player. He shouldn’t be on an NFL sideline.

Charity of the day: World Food Program USA

Go donate! wfpusa.org

1 109 110 111 112 113 156