December 2017 - Football Wiretap

Rick Smith Taking Extended Leave Of Absence From Texans

Dec 31, 2017 5:42 PM

Rick Smith is taking an extended leave of absence from the Houston Texans to take care of his wife, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.

Smith has been tending to his wife throughout this season while she has undergone treatment in Arizona.

"I am eternally grateful to the McNair family for their unwavering support during this trying time," Smith said in a statement Sunday. "This was an extremely difficult decision for me to make as I love this organization and every member of this team both on and off the field. I remain committed to our quest to bring a championship to the city of Houston, yet my family needs me now and they are my priority."

Sarah Barshop, Adam Schefter/ESPN

Tags: Houston Texans, Misc Rumor

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Colts Fire Chuck Pagano

Dec 31, 2017 5:39 PM

The Indianapolis Colts have fired Chuck Pagano.

Pagano was hired by the Colts in 2012.

The Colts went 4-12 during the 2017 season.

Ian Rapoport/NFL.com

Tags: Indianapolis Colts, Misc Rumor

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Raiders Likely To Part Ways With Michael Crabtree

Dec 31, 2017 3:32 PM

The Oakland Raiders will likely move on from Michael Crabtree in the offseason.

Sources say Crabtree's production is not worth the issues they've had with him off the field.

Crabtree is owed a $7 million salary in 2018, the third season of a four-year, $34 million extension he signed late in 2015. No dead money against the salary cap will accompany his anticipated release, given that extension included no signing bonus or guarantees in the deal’s second half. 

Crabtree entered Week 17 with 56 receptions for 601 yards and eight touchdowns.

Michael Gehlken/Las Vegas Review-Journal

Tags: Oakland Raiders, Free Agent Rumor, Misc Rumor

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Jim Schwartz Considered Favorite For Giants' Head Coaching Job

Dec 31, 2017 10:39 AM

Jim Schwartz is considered the favorite to become the next head coach of the New York Giants.

The Giants fired Ben McAdoo after Week 13.

Schwartz is expected to interview next week while the Philadelphia Eagles are on a bye.

John Mara said the team wants to hire an experienced coach, and Schwartz would qualify. Schwartz was head coach of the Detroit Lions for five seasons.

In two seasons in Philadelphia, Schwartz has made significant strides with the Eagles' defense. 

Adam Schefter/ESPN

Tags: New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, Misc Rumor

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Bears Expected To Fire John Fox

Dec 31, 2017 10:21 AM

The Chicago Bears are expected to fire John Fox as head coach.

Fox was hired by the Bears in January of 2015 and the team has finished last in the NFC North in each of his three seasons.

Chicago has missed the playoffs in 10 of the past 11 seasons.

Adam Schefter/ESPN

Tags: Chicago Bears, Misc Rumor

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Texans Expected To Retain Bill O'Brien

Dec 31, 2017 10:20 AM

The Houston Texans will likely retain Bill O'Brien as head coach in 2018.

While O'Brien is expected to return, there are issues to be discussed and details on his contract.

O'Brien has one season remaining on a five-year deal he signed when he became the Texans' coach in 2014. Houston would likely require O'Brien to sign an extension.

Earlier this month, O'Brien said that he "will never quit as head football coach of the Houston Texans. Ever."

Deshaun Watson has voiced his support for O'Brien.

Adam Schefter/ESPN

Tags: Houston Texans, Misc Rumor

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Raiders Ready To Pursue Jon Gruden

Dec 31, 2017 3:05 AM

The Oakland Raiders are preparing to pursue ESPN analyst Jon Gruden with an offer so strong it could even include an ownership stake in the team, according to league sources.

Gruden will be tempted to accept it, according to sources, but would prefer not to make any decisions until the regular season finishes Sunday and the Raiders make a final determination on their current head coach, Jack Del Rio, who signed a contract extension last summer.

Gruden never wanted to leave the Raiders in 2001 and feels strongly about Derek Carr.

Mark Davis has offered Gruden an ownership stake in the past. An ownership source said owners might not be so quick to approve the deal, because they wouldn't want to establish a precedent. 

Jack Del Rio's agent, Bob LaMonte, also represents Gruden, leading to what one source described as "a lot of sensitive situations."

Adam Schefter, Chris Mortensen/ESPN

Tags: Oakland Raiders, Misc Rumor

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Washington Plans On Retaining Jay Gruden In 2018

Dec 30, 2017 11:00 AM

Washington plans on retaining Jay Gruden as head coach in 2018.

With a number of injuries throughout the roster, Washington struggled to repeat their success of 2016.

Gruden had been linked to the Bengals.

Ian Rapoport/NFL.com

Tags: Washington Redskins, Misc Rumor

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Sam Darnold Not Ready To Make NFL Decision

Dec 30, 2017 10:33 AM

Sam Darnold remains undecided about his future following USC's loss in the Cotton Bowl to Ohio State.

Darnold threw for 356 yards on 26-of-45 passing. Darnold had a pick-six and lost two fumbles.

"Right now, I think I'm really just focused on just hanging out with my teammates for the next couple of days and really just saying bye to the seniors, because they've put together such a great season," Darnold said. "But it's tough.

"I'll look at everything and make my decision after that."

Darnold said he would consult his family, coaches and former players who have faced a similar decision. The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the NFL draft is Jan. 15.

"He's got all the time in the world," USC coach Clay Helton said. "And right now, it's just nice, like he said, just to go back and be with your buddies."

While Darnold is expected to be a top-10 pick in the draft, he has been rumored to be strongly considering remaining at USC.

Mitch Sherman/ESPN

Tags: Draft, Draft Misc

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Andrew Luck Optimistic He Won't Need Additional Surgery

Dec 29, 2017 5:05 PM

Andrew Luck addressed the media after spending the past six weeks working with a trainer in the Netherlands.

Luck underwent right shoulder surgery last January and went to Europe after the Colts gave him a cortisone shot. Luck missed the entire 2017 season.

"My gut and my feeling tells me that I do not need another surgery," Luck said Friday. "I think I need to work more and to stay on this straight and narrow, if you will. I don't want to sound like throwing is the test. I'm doing well, and I will continue to do well. That's how I feel today."

Luck said he did not receive any injections in his shoulder while in the Netherlands. It was strictly "rehab, strength training, soft-tissue work" with a trainer whom he has worked with in the past and one the Colts approve of.

Luck looked and talked like a person who's mentally drained from the entire injury process. 

"I've never entertained the thoughts that this is [career-ending]," Luck said. "Sure, it's crossed my mind. But I don't think that at all, at all."

Mike Wells/ESPN

Tags: Indianapolis Colts, Injury

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Davante Adams Agrees To $58M Extension With Packers
Davante Adams was scheduled to become a free agent.

Ian Rapoport/NFL.com

Buccaneers Retain Dirk Koetter As Head Coach
Dirk Koetter is 13-18 in his two seasons as head coach.

Rick Stroud/Tampa Bay Times

Sources Expect Jon Gruden To Become Head Coach Of Buccaneers
Jon Gruden joined ESPN for Monday Night Football in 2009.

Mike Florio/Pro Football Talk

Texans Won't Be Disciplined For Tom Savage Concussion
Tom Savage re-entered Houston's Week 14 game after suffering a concussion.

Sarah Barshop/ESPN

Jets Extend Contracts Of Todd Bowles, Mike Maccagnan
The Jets have agreed upon contract extensions with Todd Bowles and Mike Maccagnan.

Ian Rapoport/NFL.com

Brandon Marshall Wants To Return To Giants
Brandon Marshall produced just 18 catches for 154 yards in five games before suffering the injury and needing surgery.

Jordan Raanan/ESPN

Giants Hire Dave Gettleman As General Manager
Dave Gettleman spent the past four seasons as GM of the Panthers after 15 years with the Giants.

Jordan Raanan/ESPN

Dez Bryant Will Reject Request By Cowboys To Take Pay Cut
Dez Bryant is set to count $16.5 million against the salary cap.

Todd Archer/ESPN

Chiefs To Start Patrick Mahomes In Week 17
Kansas City may look to trade Alex Smith this offseason as they invested a first round pick in Patrick Mahomes in 2017.

RealGM Staff Report

49ers Fine With Jimmy Garoppolo Altering Draft Position
The 49ers were given a 95 percent change to finish with a top-five pick at one point, but now could fall out of the top-10.

Nick Wagoner/ESPN

Kirk Cousins Wants To Be Associated With Winning
Kirk Cousins wants Washington to be a team known for winning without drama.

John Keim/ESPN

Rams May Rest Several Key Starters In Regular Season Finale
The Rams clinched the division title and aren't in a position to play for a first round bye.

Alden Gonzalez/ESPN

James Harrison Agrees To Sign With Patriots
James Harrison was recently released by the Patriots.

Field Yates/ESPN

Jerry Jones: Head Coaching Change Not In Best Interest Of Cowboys
While Jerry Jones praised the talent on the Cowboys' roster and put most of the blame on Jason Garrett and the coaching staff for missing the playoffs.

Jon Machota/Dallas Morning News

Todd Gurley Records Most Points In Fantasy Football Playoff History
Todd Gurley had the most fantasy football points Weeks 14-16 in NFL history.

Scott Pianowski/Yahoo! Sports

Pete Carroll Calls Earl Thomas 'Come Get Me' Comments As Unfortunate
Pete Carroll downplayed the significance of Earl Thomas talking about joining the Cowboys.

Brady Henderson/ESPN

Bruce Arians, Cardinals Likely To Part Ways
Bruce Arians is prepared to take a hiatus from coaching.

Hub Arkush/Pro Football Weekly

Jerry Jones Voices Support For Jason Garrett
Jason Garrett signed a five-year deal after directing the Cowboys to a 12-4 record in 2014.

Todd Archer/ESPN

NFL Won't Have Sunday Night Game In Week 17
The NFL hasn't had a regular season end without a night game on Sunday or Monday since 1977.

Jenna Laine/ESPN

Teams Argue Packers Should Be Forced To Release Aaron Rodgers
Multiple teams have complained to the NFL league office that the Packers violated rules regarding player eligibility on injured reserve.

Adam Schefter/ESPN