Vikings and Peterson agree to restructure final 3 years

The Minnesota Vikings and All-Pro Running Back Adrian Peterson announced a ‘mutual’ agreement to restructure the final 3 years of his deal. Peterson was due $47.4m over the next three years with nearly all of that due in salary. This huge figure was what proved difficult in shifting the troubled back in a trade earlier in the offseason. Although no details of exactly how the contract was restructured, it is likely Peterson will get more bonus money (lowering the cap hit) and less actual salary, with a big chuck of that due up front. This will suit Peterson who has already turned 30 and the Vikings should they choose to release him later in the deal. Peterson missed all but one game last year due to suspension over child abuse allegations.

Mike Zimmer, Vikings HC

Returning Peterson to the fold after his attempts to orchestrate a trade earlier in the year will prove a coup for Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer and his offence, as they look to add weapons around their young QB in Teddy Bridgewater. The Vikings will look to the Seahawks and see what an experienced and reliable running back can do to take the pressure off a young QB. (Now all they’ll need is a all time top defence)

Peterson won the MVP in 2012 with over 2000 yards, narrowly missing out on on the all time record of Eric Dickersons 2105 yards. If Peterson can be even remotely as productive in 2015 the Vikings will see themselves a force in the NFC North. The Vikings were 14th in rushing 2014 and ranked towards the bottom in passing. Now with his legal issues and injury issues behind him Peterson will be hoping to get back to his 2012 form, one last time in his career.

source: vikings.com

Bouncing Back: Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars

The Jaguars seem to be in that constant “rebuilding” phase. After seven wins in the past two seasons, it’s about time they used some of the promising building blocks that are in place to assemble some wins. So can they turn things around?

The Draft

Despite many excellent picks, the 2015 Jaguars’ draft class is facing an uphill battle to be considered successful. This is due to the fact that their first round pick Dante Fowler Jr. has already torn his ACL without playing a single down in the NFL. Hopefully he can still live up to the potential he clearly has, but he won’t have much of an influence on the 2015 season. On the other side of the ball, T.J Yeldon is primed to play a large role in the Jaguars’ backfield. The 2nd round selection out of Alabama, is believed to have already been earmarked as the potential workhorse back for this offense. While Denard Robinson could be effective as a change-of-pace back, the former “Offensive Weapon” showed last season that his production won’t hold up to a high number of carries week after week. 3rd round pick AJ Cann could start from day one. The rest of the draft brought them more potential starters, and DT Michael Bennett (6th round pick), was considered a potential 2nd rounder by many analysts. General manager David Caldwell seems to be getting the hang of this NFL Draft thing.

Free Agency

It’s difficult for teams like the Jaguars to be successful in free agency. The top free agents want to go to teams that win. Losing teams need to pay a premium if they want to swing a deal for one of these players. It’s a tax on losing games. This tax was surely a factor in the Jaguars missing out on Demarco Murray, and having to fork out over $20 million in guaranteed money to tie down Julius Thomas. Thomas was a touchdown machine in Denver, but this Jaguars offense is a totally different animal. He’ll be vital in turning around his new team’s dismal red zone numbers, and he’ll also play a big part in the development of Blake Bortles. They need him to be the same Julius Thomas we saw in Denver, but that’s no guarantee. Defensive end Jared Odrick, offensive tackle Jermey Parnell, and center Stefen Wisniewski were also solid additions, but they were forced to overpay.

The Competition

Unfortunately for the Jaguars, they seem to be on the rise at the same time as almost everybody else in the AFC South. Unless Bortles miraculously becomes an elite passer in the next few seasons, it’s unlikely that they will finish above Andrew Luck’s Colts in the foreseeable future. The Texans are another team that will be tough to beat, if they can salvage consistent quarterback play from Brian Hoyer, or Ryan Mallett. The Titans shouldn’t pose much of a threat this season while Marcus Mariota adjusts to the NFL. They face a resurgent AFC East (Although as it stands they’ll be facing Jimmy Garoppolo in September instead of Tom Brady), and an NFC South that was historically bad last season. Most of their wins will still need to come from games against the Titans, and those against weak teams in other divisions.

The Good

  • Blake Bortles showed flashes of franchise quarterback play last season, and his passing mechanics are seemingly better than ever at OTAs after spending last season getting beaten up behind a shaky offensive line.
  • A strong core of young players should set the Jaguars up for a bright future. They have a young stable of pass-catchers, and the last couple of drafts under David Caldwell should give Jaguars fans some hope.
  • The defensive line should remain one of their largest strengths, despite the loss of Dante Fowler Jr.
  • They’re getting back an experienced defensive leader in the form of Paul Posluszny.

The Bad

  • The offensive line was among the worst in the league last season, particularly in pass protection. The new additions to the roster need to make an instant impact if they want Bortles to survive a second season in this league with all his internal organs intact.
  • The Jaguars secondary only had 3 interceptions last season. The additions of Davin House, and Sergio Brown, might help in some way, but the development of the young secondary from last season is the real key to improving these numbers.
  • The youth of this roster is a double-edged sword. The future does indeed look bright, but this roster just isn’t ready to compete at the highest level right now.
  • Their helmets are still two-tone abominations.

The Verdict

Taking these factors into account, it’s easy to see these Jaguars taking a step forward this season. However, the playoffs will almost certainly be out of reach for the eighth season in a row. Getting double their number of wins from last season is a reasonable expectation for this team. Playoff hopes should become more concrete in 2016.

Predicted Record: 6-10

Football Players who fought on D-Day

– All gave some, some gave all

71 years ago today 160,000 allied troops landed at Normandy in Northern France, beginning the fight back against Hitlers Third Reich and ultimately victory in Europe. By land, air and sea, men, machines and supplies landed on Utah, Omaha, Sword, Gold and Juno beachheads, many of them never left.

What we consider todays NFL didn’t exist in 1944 but some of the teams did and many of the men that would go on to take up positions in the Hall of Fame were on those beaches that day.

Sid Luckman 1916-1998
Sid Luckman
1916-1998

Perhaps the most famous was Chicago Bears Quarterback Sid Luckman. Luckman fought at Normandy after volunteering for the merchant marine at the close of the 1943 season. Luckmans Coach, the legendary George Hallas, was the “Welfare and Recreation Officer” for the 7th Fleet in the Pacific.  Luckman went on to play 7 more seasons for the Bears and was admitted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1965.

 

 

Frank 'Gunner' Gatski  1921-2005
Frank ‘Gunner’ Gatski
1921-2005

Frank Gatski was at Marshall College when they cancelled the football program in 1943. His reserve unit was quickly called up to fight and he was among the infantrymen landed on D-Day. After the war Gatski attended Auburn and spent a brief amount of time working in mines until he got a tryout for the a new team, the Cleveland Browns. Gatski eventually became the Browns starting centre and with Otto Graham at QB, won 3 titles in his first 6 with the Browns.

 

 

Pete Pihos 1923-2011
Pete Pihos
1923-2011

Pete Phios served in the 35th Infantry Division under General George Patton. He Received a battle field commission to 2nd Lieutenant and was awarded the Bronze Star and Silver Star for bravery. He was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 1945 but wasn’t able to join the team until 1947. He played in the first 6 Pro Bowls and won 3 receiving titles. In his 8 year career he missed just one game and played on both offence and defence.

The courage and sacrifice shown by these man and the many more not named here helped ensure the free world as we know it today. On this the 71st Anniversary, we are thankful for all they have done.

 

 

Goodell to hear Brady Appeal

Goodell appoints himself to hear Tom Brady’s Deflategate Appeal

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has appointed himself to arbitrate over Tom Brady’s Deflategate appeal. Brady was suspended for four games as a result of the Ted Wells report into the alleged deflating of footballs in the AFC Championship game verses the Colts.

Albert Breer reported via twitter that Goodell had taken the responsibility on himself to hear the appeal. If anything it is thought that Goodells involvement will speed up the appeals process. The Patriots were fined $1m and a 1st round pick in 2016 and 4th round draft pick in 2017 removed from the team. The Patriots responded to the Wells reports on Wednesday contrary to what Robert Kraft had originally stated.


One thing that is for sure this will continue to rumble on right until the 4th round of the 2017 draft, when hopefully we’ll never hear the phrase Deflategate or Tom Bradys Balls again.

30 for 30 more

30 for 30
30 for 30

The excellent ESPN series 30 for 30 has been confirmed for a new season of 30 Episodes. 30 for 30 details the dramatic and unbelievable events that often surround sports. Across all sports, including football, the coming season is set to feature an episode on the Buffalo Bills of the 1990s that went to 4 successive Super Bowls and won none.

The series touches on many football stories like the episode entitled 17th of June, 1994, revolving around the arrest of OJ Simpson, the Kick off of the FIFA World Cup and the NBA Playoffs between the New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers all on the same day.

The episode about the wild men, including NFL Hall of Famer Michael Irvin, at the University of Miami in the 1980’s The U

Old Seasons of 30 for 30 are on Netflix.

Number 3 Over All Draft Pick Down

Draft Pick
Knee Injury for #3 Draft Pick

Dante Fowler Jr. The Jacksonville Jaguars first round draft pick and 3rd overall went down today at Jags camp. Fowler excelled at the Gators and the Jags took him high in this years draft to beef up their pass rush but things don’t look good following this spill.


The Jags were hoping Fowler would help them hunt down AFC South King Andrew Luck and the newest QB in town, Marcus Mariota. Jags fans will be hoping that this is just a bad twist and nothing more serious.

Tom Brady gets ripped by John Stewart

Tom Brady
Tom Brady and Deflategate rumbles on

John Stewart absolutely rips Tom Brady a new one. Warning this video contains the phrase “these nuts!”

As fun as Gronks interjection is, we don’t think it will be enough to save Brady the suspension he is likely facing. Will it be the Super-Bowl winning Quarterback won’t be there for the curtain raiser at Foxborough on opening night? The Patriots host the Steelers on opening night and what could prove to be a vital conference game come the end of the season. With the Bills & Dolphins surging this season the Patriots can ill afford to drop any conference games as they division may not be the walk in the park it has been for Tom Brady and the Patriots in recent years.

Amari Cooper can’t contain excitement

Amari Cooper

The Oakland Raiders selected Alabama Wide Receiver Amari Cooper with their first round pick. He looks thrilled about it.

In fairness to him, as big a deal as he was in college the few days around the draft have to be pretty draining especially when you’re one of the top guys at your position. Perhaps the the response to this tweet has been pretty big so the Raiders have Cooper forcing a smile in every other picture they took of him.


Thats a smile right?

C’mon Amari!!


Finally!!

The Raiders believe they have their QB, now they’re surrounding him with talent. Edge rusher, Mario Edwards and a Tight End Clive Walford followed in later rounds. Round 4 to 7 take place later tonight.

Draft Reaction

Draft

This draft is proving reasonably uneventful other than LSU Tackle La’el Collins having to leave early to assist police in Louisiana with their investigation into the murder of his ex-girlfirend. Is there is anything NFL teams love after the year that has just been, it’s drama. Collins made it known through his agent that if he wasn’t selected last night he would not sign with a team and re-enter the draft in 2016. Sounds like a solid plan because a year of not playing football is sure to improve your draft standing.

The New York Giants had the first pick of the 2nd round after acquiring it in a trade from Tennessee and they used it on Alabama Safety Landon Collins. Collins seemed pretty happy about it.

The Jets added another Receiver for Geno Smith to miss in Devin Smith. Smith was playing for Urban Meyer in Ohio so if new Jets Head Coach Todd Bowels is planning to introduce a little spread to his offence Devin Smith will feel right at home.

The Saints had 5 picks in the bag by the end of round 3, including Garret Greyson from Colorado, the 3rd quarterback off the board. They’ve also picked a guy that is sure to be giving commentators nightmares for the foreseeable future.

The Packers added some depth at the receiver spot picking Ty Montgomery from Stanford in the 3rd round. The Packers love adding mid round receivers in recent years and we assure you that is a regulation sized ball in Montgomerys hands in this photo. Whats not to like.

The Chicago Bears continued their great hometown draft. Dick Butkus announced the pick and the Chicago fans barely stopped cheering long enough for him to announce Eddie Goldman from FSU. This draft is stocked with talent on the defensive line so Goldman slid a little into the 2nd round but with Kevin White going to the Bears in the first round this was a great addition to an impressive draft so far for the bears. Beats Offensive Lineman Kyle Long seemed pretty happy about it.

Those are just some of the picks of night 2 of the NFL Draft. The Draft continues tonight with rounds 4 to 7.