Jordan Reed deserves every penny of the $50 million dollar extension he signed today:

Photo credit: Rob Carr / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Washington Redskins knew they had a special talent with Jordan Reed and today the team extended Reed’s contract for 5 more years and for $50 million more dollars. Reed had the best year a Redskins tight end has ever had in 2015 recording 952 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. Those efforts were enough to impress the front office and that is why we should see Reed in Washington for plenty of years to come. Everyone in the D.C area who has watched a Redskins game recently knew this guy was a flat out “gamer”. Week in and week out Reed showed up and toasted some of the league’s best defenses. Now with the Redskins being the closest they’ve been in a long time to winning a Super Bowl. The team knew they had to do everything in their power to ensure Jordan Reed was in the mix for the long haul and that is why this deal was finalized today. Reed also does a great job of helping Kirk Cousins out at the quarterback position. Reed can work the middle of the field on post and seam routes and find windows in the opposing team’s defense. That makes life on Cousins much easier and adds another dimension to this Redskins offense. There is a reason Reed scored 11 touchdowns last season, it’s because the guy has a knack for getting open and making big time plays. Both sides have to happy about striking the deal and the Redskins continue their outstanding off-season which also includes the addition of Josh Norman to the mix. So you know the Redskins are going to be a quality team entering the 2016 season and it will be a lot of fun to watch Jordan Reed continue to grow within his role. Don’t surprised if this kid shapes up to be the best tight end in the league someday. All of the tools are there and he should only get better with age and awareness. Overall this was great move for the Redskins and give their front office credit for making the extension happen.

Charity of the day: Animal Welfare Institute

Go donate! www.awionline.org

Buffalo will be a great home for Cardale Jones:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

Cardale Jones starts his professional career as a Buffalo Bill after being selected in the 4th round of the 2016 Draft. Jones was the quarterback who helped guide Ohio State to a National Championship in 2014. Now after having an off year in Columbus Jones will look to come into the pro’s and try to establish himself as a successful football player. The location is a great fit for Jones because Rex Ryan is a guy who believes in his players and will look out for what is in Jones best interest. This is guy that the Bills will try to develop over the course of a few seasons and hopefully he will be able to contribute at some point. Tyrod Taylor is the starter for the Buffalo Bills and if he should ever go down. Jones and Ej Manuel will be next in line to seize that opportunity. With Manuel’s contract option recently declined by the Bills, you’d have to think that the team would be inclined to play Jones if the two players were close competition wise. The team just drafted Jones and Manuel very well might be out of Buffalo after the 2016 season. So the quarterback situation is in Cardale Jones favor for the back up role and who knows if Tyrod Taylor were to stumble. Jones could step up and be the hero if he put in the work during the off-season. Now this could go the either way as well, Jones could fall short and never really pan out. However you have to think with how bad things went for him last year at Ohio State. That Cardale Jones is going to come out and play with a chip on his shoulder. That is good news for the Buffalo Bills and clearly the team saw something in Jones to draft him in the 4th round. Overall this is a good move for the Bills and it’s also a good fit for Jones.

Charity of the day: Earthjustice

Go donate! www.earthjustice.org

The Vikings are trying to take the next step under Mike Zimmer:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

The Minnesota Vikings knew they were getting a good football coach when they hired Mike Zimmer. The long time defensive coordinator has made a name for himself in the National Football League and it was really about his transition into the Head Football Coach role. Zimmer hasn’t skipped a beat since becoming the Vikings Head Coach and he even took the team to the playoffs last season. That accomplishment is great for the Vikings momentum and it makes Minnesota a much more desirable destination for other players. Most NFL players want to play for a team that is a contender and you know you have a chance to compete with the Vikings. The team should of eliminated the Seahawks last year in the playoffs but came up short on a Blair Walsh missed kick. Now with the off-season just about over the team will look to take that next step under Mike Zimmer. Part of that next step process included drafting Laquon Treadwell out of Ole Miss and signing Andre Smith along with Michael Griffin in free agency. Treadwell is a talented receiver who should be able to provide some support for Teddy Bridgewater. He recorded 2,393 receiving yards and 21 touchdowns in 3 seasons at Oxford. Those efforts will go a long way on the offensive side of the ball for the Vikings and this was a good pick for the team. Andre Smith will also help out Bridgewater as well by giving him a little protection upfront. Smith is a former first round draft pick out of Alabama and will blend nicely with what the Vikings want to do in both the run game and the passing game. Finally Michael Griffin will be joining Mike Zimmer’s defense and Griffin is coming off back to back 100 tackle seasons. This guy is a guided missile and will make a lot of big time tackles for the Vikings in the open field. Those main additions will be exactly what Zimmer needs to get out of the NFC Wildcard in 2016. They just have to come out, execute, and get a little lucky. The Vikings are in better shape than they’ve been in awhile and much of that credit belongs to Mike Zimmer. Now we will see if he is good enough to take the next step?

Charity of the day: Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research

Go donate! www.michaeljfox.org

Football online: The future is bright for Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson

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Author: Jon Kuzma

When the Arizona Cardinals drafted running back David Johnson in the 3rd round (2015 Draft) out of the University of Northern Iowa they had high expectations for Johnson. David Johnson was a 6’1 224 pound load at the running back position and fit well in the Cardinals system as a power back. Bruce Arians liked Johnson’s ability to break tackles and keep the chains moving for the Cards. That grittiness is what led Johnson to 3 straight 1,000 yard rushing seasons at the collegiate level and you could just see that those abilities were going to convert over to the professional level. In Johnson’s rookie see he didn’t disappoint either, he rushed for 8 touchdowns for Arizona and gave the Cardinals a nice change up to Chris Johnson, and Andre Ellington. Those efforts were good enough to earn Johnson not only respect from everyone in the Cardinals organization but also from around the league as well. NFL executives hold David Johnson in high regards and most people expect Johnson to seize the Cardinals starting running back job at some during the 2016 season. His downhill running ability is a good counter to the Cardinals outstanding passing attack, and he adds another dynamic to this offense. Now in his sophomore season expect Johnson to improve significantly in the rushing yards category. He only had 581 yards rushing last year, but with his gained awareness and deeper understanding of the game that number will likely increase next season. If Johnson can improve on his 8 touchdowns a season that will also pay huge dividends for the Cardinals as well. The team needs to limit the amount of drop backs that quarterback Carson Palmer takes in order to keep him fresh for the playoffs. The team can do that by trusting David Johnson and the other backs on the ground and that is why Johnson’s value is up so much entering the new season. Expect this guy to have a big season and he should be high on every fantasy football owner’s draft board.

Charity of the day: Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research

Go donate! www.michaeljfox.org

The Houston Texans went after weapons for Brock Osweiler in the Draft:

Photo credit: Jon Durr / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Houston Texans got their starting quarterback this off-season when they signed Brock Osweiler to 4 year $72 million dollar contract. In order to make life easier on their new quarterback the team decided that targeting the receiver position in the draft would be the best course of action for the team. That is exactly what the Texans did during the Draft last weekend selecting 2 wide receivers in the first 3 rounds. The Texans got their night started by drafting Will Fuller out of Notre Dame. Fuller is a very talented receiver who has big play capability. While playing for the Irish Fuller managed to rack up back to back 1,000 yard receiving seasons. Which show his ability to provide huge amounts of production for his offense. Fuller also recorded 30 career touchdown receptions in 3 years in South Bend. So you know the guy is as good as advertised and can bring a lot to the Houston Texans’ attack. The Texans weren’t content with just Fuller either, 2 rounds later the team selected Braxton Miller out of Ohio State to also help bolster their passing game. Miller made the transition from quarterback to receiver last year in Columbus but he did have some growing pains along the way only recording 3 touchdowns receptions in all of 2015. Still Miller has a tremendous amount of potential and upside which made him a flashy choice in the 3rd round. The Texans are hoping Miller will continue to progress in his transformation to wide receiver and they are also hoping his game breaking speed will add a boost to their offense. When you combine both Miller and Fuller along with Deandre Hopkins who was one of the best receivers in the league last year. Suddenly the Texans have a trio of receivers that can help get the job done. When you factor in that they will be catching passes from Osweiler who is much better than Brian Hoyer. You begin to notice that this team will have a much more dynamic attack in 2016 and the Texans are looking to be a major player in the future. Overall this organization has to be happy about their draft efforts.

Charity of the day: Diabetes Research Institute Foundation

Go donate! www.diabetesresearch.org

The Cowboys believe Dak Prescott will eventually be Tony Romo’s successor:

Photo credit: Grant Halverson

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Dallas Cowboys knew at some point they had to draft a quarterback to replace Tony Romo and we know now that is former Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott. Prescott is a great choice for the Cowboys because he put together a solid body of work during his collegiate days. Those efforts include 29 touchdowns and 5 interceptions just a season ago and 70 career touchdown passes and only 23 career interceptions. When you look at those numbers a couple things stand out right away. First Prescott does an excellent job of taking care of the football, that can be seen in the fact that Prescott was only intercepted 23 times during his time in Starkville. That is one thing you really look out for when drafting a quarterback, whether or not they can avoid bad decisions and limit turnovers. Prescott does really well in this particular area and the Cowboys have to upbeat about landing him in the 4th round. The next thing you notice when looking at Prescott’s career stats is that he has over a 3:1 touchdown to interception ratio. Meaning he is giving you 3 touchdown passes for every 1 interception he throws. When you have a quarterback who has a knack for throwing that many touchdown passes you just hope that success translates over to the professional level. The Cowboys certainly thought it was worth the chance in the 4th round and you have to think those stats were in the back of their mind when selecting the Bulldogs’ signal caller. Finally you have to like Prescott’s size, he is 6’2 230 pounds so you know he has the big frame which most NFL teams prefer. His size will also help him endure the hits that he will have take from those massive NFL defensive lineman. So really when you look at all the angles you have to think this was a good pick for the Cowboys. While some might say they should of drafted a qb sooner. You have to remember that Tony Romo was undrafted so this easily could pan out as a win for the Cowboys and it was a great pick by Jerry Jones. Now if Romo can’t hold up health wise in 2016 the Cowboys have an insurance policy with Prescott. A player who will serve as a much better option than Matt Cassel and Brandon Weeden did in 2015.

Charity of the day: Diabetes Research Institute Foundation

Go donate! www.diabetesresearch.org

Draft summary: Bengals get defensive

Photo credit: Scott Cunningham / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Cincinnati Bengals put together an outstanding draft board and then they made it all happen when the time came. The Bengals started their draft off on a good note by landing William Jackson the third out of the University of Houston. Jackson was as good as any defensive back in the nation and finished his senior season with 5 interceptions (2 for touchdowns), and 23 pass break ups. Those stats are big time numbers for the cornerback position and the Bengals couldn’t pass up on Jackson’s skills and talents. What impresses you most when watching William Jackson on film is his ability to take away separation and his knack for breaking on throws. That makes Jackson one of best the defensive backs in the country and the Bengals are upbeat about adding him to their defensive mix. The Bengals went offense in the second round to help replace the departures of Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones. They drafted Tyler Boyd out of Pittsburgh to help limit that loss of production at the receiver position. Boyd was outstanding for the for the Panthers recording two seasons of 1,100 receiving yards. Boyd and Dalton should mesh well together and it was another good draft pick for the Bengals. The surprise of the draft for Cincinnati was getting Andrew Billings in the fourth round. Billings was the best defender on Baylor’s defense and he will fit nicely next to Geno Atkins. You can’t blame the Bengals for going defense first, especially with what we’ve seen the Seahawks and Bengals do in recent years. Marvin Lewis should be happy with the additions the team made in the off-season and the Bengals will certainly improve from the additions. If Andy Dalton can stay healthy entering the postseason you have to like this team’s chances later on in the year.

Charity of the day:  Arbor Day Foundation

Go donate: www.arborday.org

The Buffalo Bills got it right in the Draft:

Photo credit: Jon Durr

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Buffalo Bills had an outstanding Draft and the team put themselves in a great position to succeed in 2016. The Bills got the good momentum going early on by drafting Shaq Lawson out of Clemson. Lawson was one of the best defenders in the country last year and a big reason why Clemson made it all the way to the National Championship game. Lawson will do a great job of replacing Mario Williams and he will definitely help upgrade Rex Ryan’s defense. It’s no secret Ryan puts a priority on defense and that certainly had to play a part in the Bills choosing Lawson. In the second round the Bills continued to build up the defensive side of the ball by drafting stand out Alabama linebacker Reggie Ragland. Ragland recorded 220 career tackles while playing for Nick Saban and was key factor in the Crimson Tide’s National Championship run. Those efforts were too much to pass up for the Bills front office and the defense will without a doubt be better this upcoming season. When the Bills implement the youth of Lawson and Ragland with Marcell Dareus, and Jerry Hughes good things are going to happen. Buffalo’s third round pick was also an interesting one as well. The team’s front office stated before the draft that they were contemplating drafting a quarterback and they followed through on that statement by drafting Cardale Jones in the third round. Jones is a great development player who can be molded within in the Bills system. This was a great move for the team because it allows Tyrod Taylor to remain the Bills starting quarterback, and it also gives the Bills an insurance policy should Taylor get hurt. Rex Ryan got a heck of a lot better on paper and he has to be excited about the improvements the team has made this off-season. The only knock you could give Buffalo is the lack of drafting a receiver but overall it was still a good draft.

Charity of the day: American Sexual Health Association

Go donate! www.ashasexualhealth.org

The Browns deserve more credit than they’ve gotten for their Draft efforts:

Photo credit: Jon Durr

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Cleveland Browns pulled some great moves during the 2016 draft. First they traded down from the 2nd overall spot to the 8th spot for 5 draft picks. Then the team traded down from the 8th spot to the 15th spot and added 2 more draft picks. The double trade down is a move that is usually only done in Madden franchises but the Cleveland Browns executed the both moves phenomenally in this Draft. Now the team will have 7 additional draft picks that they didn’t have before the beginning of this Draft process. If that isn’t an A+ draft I really don’t know what is? While many other experts disagreed with the Browns choice to select Corey Coleman. You have to understand at the 15th spot that wasn’t a bad choice at all. The guy recorded 20 touchdowns last year and was the Biletnikoff Award winner. Those capabilities will mesh well with what new coach Hue Jackson wants to do and that offensive mindset of Jackson is why we’ve seen the Browns make several offensive acquisitions this off-season. The Browns also had good picks in Emmanuel Ogbah and Carl Nassib which will help balance things out on the defensive side of the ball. Those two talented pass rushers will improve the Browns front 7, and it’s clear that the Browns are under much superior leadership than they were in the past. You have to like what you see coming out of Cleveland. Yes this team has had their struggles in the past, but they thought outside of the box with their draft approach and that will certainly pay dividends down the stretch. The best thing about these trades are they come at the beginning of Hue Jackson’s time with the Browns. So Jackson will have these additional picks to boost his coaching production on the field. The Cleveland Browns are going to be a much better football team in the future and you have to be excited for what’s to come.

Charity of the day: American Sexual Health Association

Go donate! www.ashasexualhealth.org

NFL Draft Order: The Jacksonville Jaguars have been stellar in the 2016 Draft

Photo credit: Don Juan Moore

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Jacksonville Jaguars had a great first day at the Draft by selecting Jalen Ramsey. Then the team followed that pick up by choosing Myles Jack out of UCLA. Jack at one point was projected to be a Top 10 player before slipping to the second round for medical reasons. The Jaguars got a steal by landing Jack in the second round and when you pair him along with Ramsey, Dante Fowler, and Malik Jackson. You begin to see why the Jacksonville Jaguars are becoming one of the hottest upstart teams in the league. You can guarantee that they will have some force on the defensive of the ball, which will help Blake Bortles get more offensive possessions in 2016. The thing that impresses most is the athletic ability though, Jack was one of the best athletes coming out at the linebacker position and Ramsey was one of the best athletes coming out at the cornerback back position. There is a lot of talent in those two picks which will go a long way for this organization. If you are rating the Jaguars draft there is no doubt Jacksonville gets an A+. They played their cards well and deserve a lot praise for making the right moves when the time came. The Oakland Raiders and the Jacksonville Jaguars have been the most improved teams this off-season by far. It will be  interesting to see if these rosters additions translate to wins on the field. On paper both teams are clearly better but now they must go out and execute during the 2016 season. If Blake Bortles continues to improve there is no reason the Jaguars can’t win the AFC South. They are much more talented team this time around and talent trumps everything in the National Football League. Give credit to David Caldwell and the rest of the front office they did an excellent job of making it happen this off-season.

Index- NFL Draft Order: The Jacksonville Jaguars have been stellar in the 2016 Draft

Charity of the day: American Humane Association

Go donate! www.americanhumane.org

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