July 2013 - Football Wiretap

Nick Barnett Signs Two-Year Deal With Redskins

Jul 31, 2013 9:28 PM

Nick Barnett has agreed to sign a one-year deal with the Washington Redskins.

Barnett was a longtime linebacker of the Green Bay Packers and spent the past two seasons with the Buffalo Bills.

Barnett was an All-Pro in 2007.

Ian Rapoport/NFL.com

Tags: Washington Redskins, Free Agent Rumor, Misc Rumor, Signing

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Broncos Sign Ryan Lilja To Play Center

Jul 31, 2013 9:27 PM

The Denver Broncos have reached agreement with Ryan Lilja.

Lilja was a longtime guard with the Indianapolis Colts and he will fill the Broncos' injury hole at center.

RealGM Staff Report

Tags: Denver Broncos, Free Agent Rumor, Misc Rumor, Signing

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Titans Experimenting With Jake Locker In Pistol Formation

Jul 31, 2013 9:22 PM

The Tennessee Titans are experimenting with Jake Locker in the pistol formation in camp.

"It doesn't quite tip off what runs you can do when the back is offset," Mike Munchak said. "The offense has more options for what they can do." 

Locker is one of the NFL's more mobile quarterbacks, so the formation may better match his skill-set.

Paul Kuharsky/ESPN

Tags: Tennessee Titans, IQ

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Eagles' Riley Cooper Caught Using N-Word On Video

Jul 31, 2013 4:10 PM

Riley Cooper was caught on tape using the n-word while at a Kenny Chesney concert at Lincoln Financial Field last month.

Cooper is expected to compete for time at wide receiver following the season-ending injury to Jeremy Maclin.

Cooper was also in an altercation in the parking lot of the concert.

“I will jump that fence and fight every [n-word] here, bro.”

Cooper played collegiately at Florida.

Kyle Scott/Crossing Broad

Tags: Philadelphia Eagles

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Pro Bowl Eliminates AFC Vs. NFC Format

Jul 31, 2013 2:30 PM

The Pro Bowl will no longer have a format of NFC versus AFC.

Captains will pick 43 players per teams regardless of conference.

The two leading vote-getters will be named captains.

The changes were proposed by NFL Players Association president Domonique Foxworth and were jointly announced Wednesday by the NFL and the union.

ESPN

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Be The GM: Cam Newton Or Matt Ryan

Jul 31, 2013 1:12 PM

The current comparison between Cam Newton and Matt Ryan is a prototypical example of how quarterbacks are judged (fairly or unfairly) by their team success. Quarterbacks have a larger direct impact on whether their team wins or loses than a starting pitcher in baseball, but that is something we have begun to discount in favor of advanced analytics.

Newton inherited a 2-14 Panthers’ team when he entered the NFL as a rookie and led a four-win improvement, but his second season resulted in just one more win and a lower completion percentage.

Ryan, on the other hand, took a 4-12 team to an 11-5 record in his rookie season and an appearance in the playoffs. The Falcons missed the playoffs in his second season and his stats were worse almost across the board.

The Panthers remain a team in flux and that means we do not know yet if Newton is merely the type of quarterback that will put up big fantasy football numbers with mediocre team success, or the type of transcendent quarterback that won a National Championship at Auburn and who can lead his team to a Super Bowl performance with dominant individual performances similar to what we saw from Colin Kaepernick with the 49ers last January. Many observers in the NFL would prefer Kaepernick or Ruseell Wilson over Newton, but he is younger than both players.

Newton had a passer rating of 84.5 as a rookie and 86.2 last season, which has become league average in the modern NFL. His ability to run the ball (5.7 yards per career attempt) makes him special and potentially impossible to stop if he can become more accurate. Until the Panthers give Newton a better offensive scheme and receiving weapons, we are left wondering if the results ever match the potential.

Ryan became one of the NFL’s most accurate quarterbacks last season with an increase in his responsibilities. The Falcons went away from the run and Ryan completed 68.6 percent of his 615 attempts, which shattered his previous career high. Ryan had a passer rating of 99.1, becoming an elite quarterback when it looked like he might plateau on that second strata around 90.0.

Ryan is now 28, but there is little doubt that his skill-set will age well and he almost certainly will get to play the remainder of his career throwing to a legitimate lead receiver in Julio Jones.

After some early career playoff disappointments, the Matty Ice nickname has become deserved. Ryan had a number of remarkable comebacks during the regular season in 2012 and miraculously setup a Matt Bryant field goal to defeat the Seahawks to advance to the NFC Championship Game. We know Ryan is now more than capable of leading a quality team to a Super Bowl and being in that 85-90 percentile while minimizing mistakes is hugely valuable.

The Panthers had another strong candidate in Luke Kuechly, while Julio Jones could be the best receiver in the NFL not named Calvin Johnson, but two quarterbacks of this caliber in their twenties are the clear choices.

CLICK HERE to vote for Cam Newton or Matt Ryan.

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Christopher Reina/RealGM

Tags: Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, IQ

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Brady Has Never Felt Better Physically

Jul 31, 2013 12:38 PM

Tom Brady is now 36, meaning he unquestionably is nearing the end of his career as his physical abilities begin to decline. But Brady has continued to post incredibly productive numbers in his thirties.

“I think over the years I’ve actually learned to take care of myself a little bit better, so this is the best I’ve ever felt,” Brady said. “I’ve never felt any better than I have at this point, so I’m excited. We’ve had three good days with the whole team together and I think we’ve seen some improvements, but we still have a long way to go.”

Brady's bigger issue this season may be the loss of his receiving weapons.

James Walker/ESPN

Tags: New England Patriots, Fantasy

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Matt Flynn Distancing Himself In Raiders' QB Competition

Jul 31, 2013 12:22 PM

Matt Flynn is distancing himself as the Oakland Raiders' projected starting quarterback this season.

Flynn entered camp the favorite ahead of Tyler Wilson and Terrelle Pryor.

Flynn lost a similar competition last season with the Seattle Seahawks to Russell Wilson.

"I took away a lot of things from Seattle last year," Flynn said Tuesday. "But the thing that I took away the most was that I want this even more now, even more this year.

"I'm blessed to have another opportunity at this, and I'll try to take advantage of it and do as much as I can to not let it get away from me."

Flynn has been the most accurate and best leader at quarterback for the Raiders to date.

"I'm going in there and trying to be the best quarterback out here, trying to be the best quarterback for this team and help this team win as best I can," Flynn said. "I'm coming in here every day with my hard hat on, trying to prepare."

Josh Dubow/AP

Tags: Oakland Raiders, IQ

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Rams To Wear 1999 Throwbacks In Two Games

Jul 31, 2013 2:15 AM

The St. Louis Rams will wear their 1999 throwback uniforms twice during the 2013 NFL season.

The Rams will wear them on Nov. 3 against the Tennessee Titans and again on Dec. 22 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Rams defeated the Buccaneers in the NFC Championship Game that season before beating the Titans in the Super Bowl.

The Rams switched from royal blue and yellow to century gold and millennium blue in 2000.

The Rams wore the ’99 throwbacks only once in 2012, a win over the San Francisco 49ers.

Jim Thomas/St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Tags: Los Angeles Rams

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Percy Harvin To Undergo Hip Surgery, Likely Out Until November

Jul 30, 2013 10:26 PM

Percy Harvin will undergo hip surgery.

It is unclear how long Harvin will be out, but early estimations put the number at three to four months. Harvin would not be able to return until November under that timeframe.

The Seattle Seahawks acquired Harvin in the offseason in exchange for a first-round and seventh-round pick in 2013 and a third-round pick in 2014. Harvin also signed a six-year, $67 million extension with $25 million guaranteed.

ESPN

Tags: Seattle Seahawks, Fantasy, Injury

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Sidney Rice Undergoing Regenokine Knee Procedure In Switzerland
Sidney Rice has left for a non-surgical procedure on his knee that is not allowed in the United States.

Nick Eaton/Seattle Post-Intelligenter

Dolphins Sign Julius Pruitt Over Collie, Laurent Robinson
Julius Pruitt was one of the first receivers cut by Joe Philbin last year in training camp.

Omar Kelly/South Florida Sun

Cowboys Seek Improved Red Zone Conversions With Run Game
The Cowboys scored a touchdown when entering the red zone on just 25 of their 49 possessions last season.

Jean-Jacques Taylor/ESPN

Rice: Seahawks Trust Percy Harvin On Injuries
Percy Harvin has often missed practices with various ailments throughout his NFL career and is currently seeking a second opinion on his injured hip.

Mike Sando/ESPN

Patriots Only Will Use Tim Tebow At Quarterback
Tim Tebow has only spent time in the quarterback meeting room and wears a red non-contract jersey.

Ben Volin/Boston Globe

Steelers Giving First Team Reps To Le'Veon Bell
The Steelers ranked No. 26 in the NFL in the running game last season.

Ed Bouchette/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Mayhew Looking To Turnaround Lions, Avoid Hot Seat
The Lions went 4-12 last season after reaching the playoffs in 2011.

Chris McCosky/Detroit News

Geno Smith Impressive But With 'Embarrassing' Conditioning
Geno Smith was impressive over the weekend in his first training camp with the Jets, but his conditioning was an issue.

Dan Hanzuz/NFL.com

Teddy Bridgewater Takes Out $10M Insurance Policy
Teddy Bridgewater, entering his junior season at Louisville, is widely considered the top quarterback prospect in the country.

Mike Huguenin/NFL.com

Richt: Jadeveon Clowney Might Be Best Football Player Alive
Jadeveon Clowney will begin his junior season at South Carolina this year and is projected as a top-3 selection at defensive end in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Chase Goodbread/NFL.com

Be The GM: Patrick Peterson Or Chris Long
The Cardinals and Rams feature a pair of defensive players as nominees in Patrick Peterson and Chris Long.

Christopher Reina/RealGM

Jason Phillips Out For 2013 With Torn ACL
Jason Phillips will miss the entire 2013 season for the Eagles with a torn ACL in his right knee.

Jeff Darlington/NFL.com

Ravens Unclear On Identity Of Offense
The Ravens' offense will look vastly different in 2013 from 2012 due to the trade of Anquan Boldin and season-ending injury to Dennis Pitta.

Don Banks/Sports Illustrated

Robert Griffin III Will Wear Brace For Entire 2013 Season
Robert Griffin III will wear a brace on his surgically repaired right knee during the entire 2013 season.

Mark Maske/Washington Post

Jeff Saturday Won't Come Out Of Retirement For Broncos
Jeff Saturday has no plans on ending his retirement to fill the Broncos' void at center.

Ed Werder/ESPN

Blaine Gabbert Injures Ankle
Blaine Gabbert was carted off the practice field on Monday with a sprained ankle.

Will Brinson/CBS Sports

49ers Experiment With Lining Up Vernon Davis As WR
The 49ers are experimenting with lining up Vernon Davis as a wide receiver as the team attempts to fill the production gap caused by the injury to Michael Crabtree.

ESPN

Eagles To Retire Donovan McNabb's No. 5
Donovan McNabb will become the eighth member of the Eagles to have his number retired.

Gregg Rosenthal/NFL.com

Bears Lose Turk McBride For 2013 With Ruptured Achilles
Turk McBride will miss the entire season after suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon.

Chris Wesseling/NFL.com

Dee Milliner Signs $12.66M Rookie Deal With Jets
Dee Milliner's contract includes a signing bonus of $7.588 million.

Gregg Rosenthal/NFL.com