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Browns signed CB Joe Haden to a five-year, $68 million contract extension through the 2019 season.

Somewhat coming out of nowhere to close the deal, the Browns have Haden locked up through his age-30 season. Per PFT's Michael David Smith, the deal includes a $14 million signing bonus and $22 million fully guaranteed. Another $23 million is guaranteed for injury. All of the figures surpass Richard Sherman's deal, which is actually a year shorter in length. In terms of annual average, Sherman is still the highest-paid corner. Haden was a top-18 corner at PFF last season. Quarterbacks had a 75.2 passer rating throwing at the former No. 7 overall pick. The Browns got Haden some help this past weekend in the draft, taking CBs Justin Gilbert eighth overall and Pierre Desir in the fourth round.
Tue, May 13, 2014 12:27:00 PM

ESPN Dallas' Todd Archer believes impending free agent Dez Bryant is "destined" for the franchise tag.

Archer is one of the most plugged-in NFL beat reporters and has been anticipating Dez wearing Dallas' 2015 franchise tag since last summer. The price of the wide receiver tag is expected to be around $13 million. The Cowboys want to eventually lock up Bryant long term, but Archer "highly doubts" the sides will strike a deal before free agency opens on March 10.
Source: ESPN Dallas
Jan 30 - 9:30 PM

Jaguars owner Shad Khan stated Friday at the Super Bowl that he is "very optimistic" about the 2015 return of suspended WR Justin Blackmon.

"Absolutely," Khan stated vehemently. "As a matter of fact, I’m very optimistic. I think he’s paid his dues. I think he’s got his life together. I think he can be a role model for people who have gone through hard times. We’re waiting for him." Blackmon's return would be a huge boost to Jacksonville's wideout corps, which is dealing with Allen Robinson's foot fracture and Cecil Shorts' free agency. 25-year-old Blackmon is a run-after-catch machine with an ability to threaten the intermediate sections. He'd be a big upgrade on Shorts at Z receiver.
Jan 30 - 2:11 PM

Peyton Manning met with new Broncos coach Gary Kubiak on Wednesday and team president Joe Ellis on Friday regarding his future plans.

He'll chat with GM John Elway shortly. Appearing at the Super Bowl, Manning reportedly appeared "relaxed" and "invigorated," and the Denver Post continues to expect him to play football in 2015. "I’d like to make a decision soon," Manning said in Arizona. "At the same time, coach and Joe and John have instructed me to take some time so I’m kind of following their orders."
Source: Denver Post
Jan 30 - 1:48 PM

ESPN Chicago's Michael C. Wright writes that "nobody knows" whether Brandon Marshall will be back with the Bears in 2015.

The Bears signed Marshall to a new four-year, $39 million deal last May, but the regime that handed him that extension is gone. Marshall is still a fine player and worth the money, but there's some question whether he'll be able to coexist with Chicago's new staff. OC Adam Gase was the Broncos' WRs coach when Mike Shanahan banished Marshall from Denver. Marshall also had a 2014 falling out with Jay Cutler. Per the website OverTheCap.com, the Bears could save $3.95 million in cap space by cutting Marshall this offseason.
Jan 30 - 10:13 AM

ESPN's Adam Schefter says there's a "real sense" Tampa Bay has its sights set on Oregon QB Marcus Mariota at No. 1 overall.

Schefter concedes that "many NFL executives and scouts believe Florida State's Jameis Winston is the best pro quarterback prospect in this draft." But perhaps the Bucs and new OC Dirk Koetter see things differently, placing more stock in Mariota's mobility and clean off-field resume. More likely, there's just a lot of speculation out there right now with the draft still three months away. We're skeptical the Bucs have come close to making up their mind yet.
Source: ESPN.com
Jan 29 - 11:06 AM

Broncos hired Wade Phillips as defensive coordinator.

Everyone except irrational Cowboys fans seems to realize how great a coach and defensive mind Phillips is. This is a fantastic hire for the Broncos, who reunite Gary Kubiak with Phillips after the two teamed to turn the Texans into a legitimate Super Bowl contender in the early 2010s. Phillips runs an aggressive "one-gap" 3-4 defense, which will play to the edge-rushing strengths of Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware. Outgoing DC Jack Del Rio essentially refused to blitz in 2014, and ultimately failed to maximize Denver's otherworldly defensive talent.
Jan 28 - 8:23 PM

NFL Network's Albert Breer reports the 49ers are expected to promote QBs coach Geep Chryst to offensive coordinator.

This was expected when the 49ers hired Steve Logan as QBs coach. San Francisco is staying in-house after Rob Chudzinski re-signed with the Colts. Chryst has coached the 49ers' quarterbacks the last four seasons and has limited playcalling experience, but did serve as the Chargers' OC from 1999-2000. It's not an exciting hire for a team that already has an unproven coach in Jim Tomsula. The 49ers' coaching staff has taken a big step back this winter.
Jan 28 - 7:12 PM

ESPN's Ed Werder reports Richard Sherman has torn ligaments in his elbow.

It's the first we've heard of any torn ligaments, but Sherman has continually insisted it's not an issue. Sherman has been practicing in full ahead of Sunday's Super Bowl. Per Werder, Sherman is "improving daily," and "finished with treatment." It's possible we'll learn that Sherman is dealing with a more serious injury than he's letting on following SB XLIX.
Jan 27 - 7:21 PM

Colts agreed to terms with WR Duron Carter.

The deal isn't expected to be officially announced until next month, but all signs have been pointing Carter toward the Colts for weeks. Carter has been a hyped prospect for years, but couldn't make the Vikings as a 2013 undrafted free agent, due in part to character concerns. He then headed to Canada where he had a productive two-year stint for the Montreal Alouettes. Carter boasts imposing size at 6-foot-4, 200-ish pounds, but sure-thing prospects don't spend two years north of the border. He's a high-upside flier for the Colts, but not one that's guaranteed to make the roster, let alone earn a starting job.
Jan 27 - 7:01 PM

Former agent Joel Corry confirms Trent Richardson's suspension voids the guarantees on his $3.18M 2015 base salary.

Richardson was suspended during the playoffs for conduct detrimental to the team. He'll likely file a grievance through the NFLPA, but if the suspension stands then the Colts can dump their inept running back without paying him the final year of his guaranteed rookie contract. It would be a tiny silver lining for the franchise, who gave the Browns a first-round pick to acquire Richardson early in the 2013 season. He's been outperformed badly by players named Boom Herron and Zurlon Tipton.
Jan 27 - 10:28 AM

Colts re-signed Rob Chudzinski to a new contract under the title of associate head coach.

Chudzinski, who served as a "special assistant" to head coach Chuck Pagano in 2014, garnered interest from at least the 49ers and Rams over the last few weeks. It's interesting that he's passing on those offensive coordinator opportunities to stay in a background role with Indy. It's likely a financial promotion coupled with the presence of Andrew Luck (vs. Colin Kaepernick or Sam Bradford) swayed him. Regardless, arguably the top OC candidate that was still available is now off the board. Chud is a talent maximizer that loves to utilize the tight end in the pass game. His return is great news for Luck, Dwayne Allen, Coby Fleener and the entire Colts offense that ranked No. 3 in the league.
Jan 27 - 9:39 AM


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