Sam Bradford is trying to push his way out of Philadelphia:

Photo credit: Rich Schultz

Author: Jon Kuzma

With news breaking out of Philadelphia that the Eagles have traded up in the 2016 Draft and plan to draft a quarterback. Current starting quarterback Sam Bradford has voiced his frustration with the Eagles plan and has stated that he would like to be traded from the team. Bradford who just received a 2 year $36 million dollar contract with the team on March 1st. Now seems to be completely unhappy with the organization and would like to continue his career elsewhere. While many people will be frustrated with Bradford’s decision, in some ways you have to feel bad for the guy. He thought he found a home in Philadelphia, and a team that believed in his talents. Only to have that support pulled out from underneath him and now it appears the Eagles will draft either Carson Wentz or Jared Goff with the number 2 overall pick in the Draft. Bradford understands that with the team choosing one of those quarterbacks, his time at the helm in Philadelphia will be limited. The surprising move in all this is the fact that the Eagles also signed Chase Daniel this offseason, so most people thought the Eagles were set at the quarterback position for the upcoming season. Eagles brass clearly thought differently, and the Eagles believe having an elite level quarterback will bode well for their future. All of these moves by Philadelphia explain why Bradford only received a two year deal and while they paid him $22 million in guaranteed money. It’s clear that the team doesn’t have a long term vision where Sam Bradford is the focal point. If Bradford does indeed get traded he will be on his 3rd professional team and find himself battling to prove his worth again. It’s a tough situation for Bradford at the end of the day because now he must pick up all his belongings and move again. Then walk into a new locker room and try to win the starting quarterback job. The off the field factors make it difficult for Bradford and he will have to find another situation that fits well with his abilities. Maybe if the Broncos could pull a deal that would be a good location for Bradford, or even the Jets if they don’t want to wait around for a Fitzpatrick deal to materialize. Regardless of where he goes, it does seem like the end of Sam Bradford’s time in Philadelphia.

Charity of the day: American Civil Liberties Union

Go donate! www.aclu.org

Melvin Gordon must get better in 2016 or his career will be over before it started:

Photo credit: Jonathan Daniel

Author: Jon Kuzma

Melvin Gordon was one of the most prolific running backs in all of college football just a couple seasons ago and that is why the Chargers selected Gordon 15th overall in the 1st round of the 2015 draft. That move was supposed to bolster the Chargers’ rushing efforts and make life easier on quarterback Philip Rivers. Instead the Chargers finished 31st in yards gained through rushing the football and were forced to throw more often due to the ineffectiveness of their ground game. Now with Gordon entering his second season of NFL action it’s officially do or die for his professional career. Gordon finished his rookie season with only 641 rushing yards and didn’t have a touchdown or a 100 yard rushing performance in a single game. That is completely lackluster for a 1st round pick and the complete opposite of how Gordon played at Wisconsin where he was able to rush for 4,915 yards and 45 touchdowns over the duration of his college career. That won’t sit well very long with the Chargers and Gordon now finds himself in a position where he has to prove his worth or he might be out of a job rather quickly. Gordon was also out performed by teammate Danny Woodhead and if that happens again in 2016, you’d have to think that the team moves forward with Woodhead as the full time starter. The one good thing going for Gordon is the fact he acknowledged he didn’t produce enough last season. Gordon stated that he “sucked” as a rookie and that ability to own up to his let downs might mean he can address those shortcomings on the gridiron. If he does everything right in the off-season and takes his training regimen seriously there is no reason Gordon can’t get back to playing at a high level of football. Regardless the success must come on the field and it has to come in 2016 for Gordon or the “bust” word will be coming into play. Something no draft pick wants to be labeled as.

Charity of the day: AdoptAPlatoon Soldier Support Effort

Go donate! www.adoptaplatoon.org

The Buffalo Bills would be best off trusting Tyrod Taylor:

Photo credit Brett Carlsen

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Buffalo Bills announced recently that they may be in the market for a quarterback. While you can’t blame the Bills for wanting to land a big name quarterback. The team would be better off sticking with Tyrod Taylor and upgrading the other positions on their roster. Taylor was surprising effective in 2015 finishing the year with 20 touchdown passes and only 6 interceptions. So it would make more sense for the Bills to draft a defensive tackle to put next to Marcell Dareus, rather than drafting a quarterback early on. That move would allow Rex Ryan’s defense to take the next step on the defensive front and it would greatly improve the Bills overall as a team. In the second round the Bills should draft another offensive lineman. With the Bills having two talented running backs (McCoy and Williams) and also Taylor who can carry the ball effectively. The Bills would benefit greatly from adding a 2nd round offensive lineman to the mix. Not to mention Rex Ryan prefers a ground and pound philosophy and the Bills had the second most rushing attempts in the National Football League in 2015. You’d have to think that Ryan will stick to that same approach and that is why going with a lineman with the 2nd pick would have such a great impact for this team. Finally by trusting Tyrod Taylor it allows the Bills to draft a wide receiver in the 3rd round and ultimately that gives this team the best chance to succeed. All the moves above aren’t possible if the Bills draft a quarterback early on. On top of that if you do draft a quarterback it would also lead to one quarterback sitting on the bench and not being utilized. It would be a much wiser decision for the Bills to add players who can potentially get on the field in 2016 and add to what the guys brought in 2015. We’ll see if the Bills get this decision right and we will also see how just how much they respect Taylor as a quarterback?

Charity of the day: Women for Women Internation

Go donate! www.womenforwomen.org

Joe Flacco can be elite at times:

Photo credit: Patrick Smith

Author: Jon Kuzma

The debate recently out of Maryland is whether or not Joe Flacco is an elite football player? While it seems like the state is divided on that discussion, without doubt Joe Flacco is a good football player and at times has been elite. However the question seems to be is he elite all the time? If you were looking at Flacco’s films from the 2013 playoffs the year which Baltimore would go on to win Super Bowl XLVII. You would say that without a doubt Flacco is an elite quarterback. The Ravens quarterback did a great job of understanding where the defensive pressure was coming from, and continuously stepped up in the pocket and made big time throws. During that period Joe Flacco was easily an elite quarterback and if you took him out of that equation. It would of been much tougher for the Ravens to win the Super Bowl that year because Flacco was truly “that good.” Is Flacco an elite player all the time though? He is on the bubble and sometimes he is and sometimes he isn’t. That would lead a lot of people to believe that he isn’t elite because he isn’t consistently playing at that high level. All of the tools are there but it’s the consistency that the fans in Maryland would like to Joe Flacco address and if he can get better in that area. Hands down Joe Flacco can be one of the best in the business. It will also take the Ravens adding some talented players around their signal caller to help improve his chances for success. Losing talented offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele certainly doesn’t help Flacco’s case and the Ravens must address that particular loss in the draft at some point. However with 162 career touchdowns passes and only 102 career interceptions. One thing has been for certain, and that is the fact that Joe Flacco has been very good. Now with a new 3 year $66 million dollar contract in hand we will see if Flacco can elevate his game and play elite level football every down in 2016. It’s hard to bet against him.

Charity of the day: Women for Women Internation

Go donate! www.womenforwomen.org

The Washington Redskins sign Josh Norman for $75 million dollars:

Photo credit: Aaron Ontiveroz

Author: Jon Kuzma

Josh Norman’ short free agency period officially came to end today when the Washington Redskins inked the Pro Bowl cornerback to a 5 year $75 million dollar contract. Norman who played for the Panthers in 2015, will head to Washington to help the Redskins repeat as NFC East champions and will also try to elevate the team when the postseason comes around. The Redskins were willing to throw the big dollars at Norman and that is why when it’s all said and done Norman will be heading to D.C. You have to respect Josh Norman and his agent’s negotiation skills. Norman was slated to make 13 million in Carolina under the franchise tag stipulations, and now because he held out. Norman will get his long term deal that he desired and $50 million dollars in guaranteed money. While Norman departs the best team in the NFC for the up and coming Redskins. It was a good move for both parties because Washington gets an elite level defensive back and Norman gets the big payday. If Norman would of signed his franchise tag, and had a bad year in 2016 or got hurt. There is no way he would of been able to earn as much money as he did with this contract. Josh Norman made the Pro Bowl in 2015 and was one of the best defensive backs in league, and he knew he had to cash in on those efforts. Anything can happen in professional football so you have to take that big payday when it’s there. You’d have to think there are plenty of players around the league who wish they played their cards as well as Josh Norman did in contract negotiations. While everyone was upset that Norman wasn’t on board with Panthers when they offered him the initial deal. Norman was able to see the big picture and that is ultimately why he walks away from that situation as the big winner. It just goes to show that sometimes you have to be patient and also be willing to reject offers that don’t meet your expectations. A business class could use Norman’s situation as an example of how to know your worth and stand firm on your demands. Give credit to Norman and his agent they both cashed in today.

Charity of the day: Alaska Conservation Foundation

Go donate! www.alaskaconservation.org

The Dallas Cowboys would be a great landing spot for Josh Norman:

Photo credit: Tom Pennington / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Dallas Cowboys have been looking at a variety of defensive players in the upcoming draft hoping to find a way to be competitive again. With Dez Bryant speaking out about how he would like the Cowboys to draft Jalen Ramsey, it makes sense that Josh Norman would fill in as a good substitute for Ramsey. Norman was one of the best corners in the league and the Cowboys haven’t had a big time cover guy in a long time. By signing Josh Norman the Cowboys can add a marquee defensive back, and then go ahead and draft a defensive front player in the first round of the 2016 draft. Those two moves would easily put the Cowboys back in contention and the rest of the draft could be used on upgrading the offense. Could you imagine Dez Bryant and Josh Norman lining up everyday at practice against each other? The competition that those two would bring everyday would allow both players to elevate their games on Sunday. The two have battled as rivals on the field in the past, but eventually the two players started to respect one another. That dynamic just makes the deal that much sweeter because now those two players can combine their efforts and instead unleash them on other NFL teams. Dallas will recover greatly by having a healthy Romo and Bryant out of the gate. Which they didn’t have a season ago, but the team must also find an insurance policy for Romo in the draft. By opening up the checkbook and signing Norman, it gives the Cowboys the opportunity to get a back up quarterback in the 3rd, or 4th round. A guy that they can groom within their system and develop into the successor of Tony Romo. It all starts by signing Norman and drafting either Joey Bosa, or DeForest Buckner in the first round. When the front office sets the tone by making competent and effective moves, good things happen on the field for football teams. It’s up to Jerry Jones to make this deal happen.

Charity of the day: Alaska Conservation Foundation

Go donate! www.alaskaconservation.org

Browns are the big winner after trading down the 2nd overall pick:

Photo credit: Peter G. Aiken

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Cleveland Browns entered the 2016 NFL draft with the 2nd overall pick and now they will be picking 8th overall. The Browns moved down six spots in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles and in return the Browns land 5 draft picks that will help Cleveland build in the future. Cleveland is the big winner in this trade because six spots isn’t that much to give up for what they got in return.The Browns obtained the 8th overall pick, a 3rd round pick, and a 4th round pick in this draft. Along with a 1st round pick next year, and a 2nd round pick in 2018 from the Eagles. Clearly Philly thinks they are making a good move because they will get one of the drafts top quarterbacks. However the Eagles gave up way too much in this trade and will pay the price for years to come. That letdown for the Eagles, is a celebration for the Cleveland Browns. The Browns load up on picks all of which can used to build the roster to new head coach Hue Jackson’s vision. Which means the Cleveland Browns will have the brightest future that the team has had in a long time. When the front office sets the tone by making positive moves for the better, it has a trickle down effect throughout the organization. When you combine that with a more talented roster, which the Browns will have after this trade. It’s easy to see good things are coming for the Cleveland Browns and I’d bet the house that they will be much better than 3-13. Their leadership has greatly improved from 2015 to 2016 and that is why we see trades like this happening for the Browns. It was a great move for the team and you have to beat upbeat about this organization’s future.

Charity of the day: Diabetes Action Research and Education Foundation

Go donate! www.daref.org

The Carolina Panthers pulled Josh Norman’s franchise tag offer:

Photo credit: Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

Josh Norman was one of the top cornerbacks in the National Football League last year while playing for the Carolina Panthers. Norman finished the 2015 season with 4 interceptions and did a great job of shutting down the most elite receivers the league has to offer. This off-season the Panthers and Norman were trying to strike a deal that would keep Norman in Carolina for the long haul, however the Panthers seemed reluctant to finalize that deal. Finally the Panthers decided to franchise tag Norman to at least keep him around for the 2016 season. Yet when it came time to sign the contract, Norman opted not to sign and effectively began a mini-holdout from Carolina. That must not have sat well with upper management in Carolina because the team has rescinded their franchise tag offer. That move made Josh Norman a free agent at around 2:30 P.M today and he has the choice to sign with any team in the league that he chooses. Rumors around the league are Norman would like to play in California, and we’ll see shortly what teams emerge as the likely candidate to land Josh Norman. You’d have to think Norman is somewhat happy with the decision because he will sign the big contract that he desires. The downside of the situation is the fact that Norman now will be leaving the Panthers and a team he helped guide to the Super Bowl last season. The departure is a surprise but the NFL is a business and the show must go on. Some team out there will get an excellent player and a guy who can come in and cut off half of the field in the passing game. Carolina will now have to look at filling that defensive back spot at some point in the draft, and right now Carolina is a worse football team defensively than they were a day ago.

Charity of the day: Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America

Go donate! www.bbbs.org

The Philadelphia Eagles are the latest team to overpay for an early draft pick:

Photo credit: Mitchell Left / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Philadelphia Eagles followed the Los Angeles Rams path today and traded up for the 2nd overall pick in the 2016 draft. Like the Rams, the Eagles had to give up several picks just to move up six spots in the draft and obtain the rights to draft either Jared Goff or Carson Wentz. While some fans in Philadelphia are likely happy that one of the best two quarterbacks in the draft are coming to the Eagles. The move handcuffs the team for years to come and it will be hard for them to have success later on because of this trade. The Eagles gave up the their first round pick, third round pick, and fourth round pick in the 2016 draft. As well as their first round pick in the 2017 draft, and their second round pick in the 2018 draft. That is five picks total that the Eagles gave up to acquire a talent which has never played a down in the National Football league. Those five picks could have went a long way in making new head coach Doug Pederson’s job much easier, but the team felt like the gamble was worth the risk when it was all said and done. Eagles general manager Howie Roseman seemed to be extremely upbeat about the move, but that excitement now will eventually turn into disappointment later. The Eagles already paid two quarterbacks a large amount of money this offseason (Bradford, Daniels). So why would they move up to draft a quarterback? Maybe the team feels like they can move one of those other quarterbacks before the season starts? Maybe the plan is to have either Wentz or Goff sit and learn the game from the sidelines? Regardless when it comes to winning football games in 2016, drafting another quarterback doesn’t seem like the best answer. The team could of added another talented player to the mix who could of been on the field this upcoming season. That move would of made the Eagles a better team in 2016 and it would also saved their future from being depleted of draft picks. Roseman might feel like the big winner today, but we will see how he feels next year when he doesn’t have a draft pick in the first round. All the glamour and glitz will be gone at that point. This was a bad move for the Eagles.

Charity of the day: Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America

Go donate! www.bbbs.org

Saints defensive woes must be addressed in the 2016 draft:

Photo credit: Ronald Martinez / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

The New Orleans Saints are heading into the 2016 NFL Draft with one of the worst defenses in all of football. The Saints finished the 2015 season ranked 31st overall in total yards surrendered. The team gave up 413 yards per game and really struggled to keep their team in football games. On the opposite side of the ball it was a totally different story. The passing offense was the best in the league and in order to bring balance to their football team. The Saints must do everything they can to add defensive playmakers, which can help the team get stops when the game is on the line. Now the Saints have a very good player in Cameron Jordan. Jordan contributes about 10 sacks a year for this team, however the Saints need to put other talented pieces around him to not only take pressure off of Jordan but also to elevate the rest of Saints defense as well. A good player who would go a long way in the Saints system would be a guy like Sheldon Rankins or A’Shawn Robinson. Either guy could come in and really hold down the defensive trenches for the gold and black. Either guy would also help in improving both the run defense and pass defense. Opposed to taking a defensive back early on who would only help the pass defensive. The defensive tackle spot is so crucial in plugging up running lanes and getting penetration on pass plays, that really it’s a no brainer for New Orleans. They need to start their draft off with one of those two guys or have a serious plan that addresses a number of holes on the defensive side of the ball. Drew Brees and Sean Payton only have so much time to bring another championship back to NOLA. Loading up on talented defenders would certainly give them the best shot. It will be up to the front office to execute that plan of action when the time comes in Chicago at the Draft. We’ll see if they get it right.

Charity of the day: Center for Reproductive Rights

Go donate! www.reproductiverights.org

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