August 2017 - Football Wiretap

DeAndre Hopkins Agrees To Record Extension With Texans

Aug 31, 2017 7:05 PM

DeAndre Hopkins has agreed to a five-year extension with the Houston Texans worth $81 million. The deal includes $49 million in guaranteed money, which the largest single guarantee for any wide receiver in NFL history.

Hopkins was a Pro Bowler and Second-team All-Pro in 2015. Hopkins caught 111 balls for 1,521 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2015. Last season, Hopkins caught 78 balls for 954 yards and four touchdowns.

Hopkins held out for a new contract last year.

Adam Teicher/ESPN

Tags: Houston Texans, Misc Rumor, Signing

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NFL's Only Study Since $100M CTE Pledge Has Been On Jockeys

Aug 31, 2017 11:52 AM

Last year, the NFL announced a $100 million commitment to concussion research. But in the time since that pledge was announced, the NFL has only funded a study focused on jockeys.

The study aims to find out why high concussion rates in horse racing don't translate into "deteriorating brain function in later life," a question that many scientists believe has little to do with football. The study is led by an Australian researcher who once described American coverage of CTE as "carry-on and hoo-hah" and a British doctor whose concussion presentations sometimes have included flippant jokes and video of tumbling jockeys set to slapstick music. 

The NFL has taken the science in-house and under its control.

"I would view it just as if any giant corporation was doing internal research," said Stefan Duma, a concussion researcher who is the interim director for Virginia Tech's Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science. "This is internal research that the NFL controls."

Several concussion experts reached by Outside the Lines doubted that equestrian sports were an appropriate vehicle to draw conclusions about long-term mental illness in football players. 

The NFL has announced just two projects from its $100 million "Play Smart, Play Safe" campaign, totaling $210,000.

"It's going to take 500 years to distribute this money" at this rate, said one concussion researcher.

The NFL believes better helmets will improve player safety, though they had a similar initiative in 1994.

"The majority of that $100 million -- $60 million -- is going to technology, and 'technology' is a nice word to say 'better helmet,'" said Dr. Robert Cantu. "They're hoping they can come up with a better helmet that will largely make the problem go away. Helmets can obviously make it better, but no, realistically, it's the violent shaking of the brain, the rapid movement of the head. And the masses involved of individuals colliding with their heads and other body parts is just too great. They could probably get it better, but I don't think the helmet will ever solve the issue."

Mark Fainaru-Wada, Steve Fainaru/ESPN

Tags: Legal

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Kevin Colbert Signs Two-Year Extension Through 2020 With Steelers

Aug 31, 2017 11:08 AM

The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed Kevin Colbert to a two-year extension through at least the 2020 NFL Draft.

Colbert become general manager of the Steelers in 2010 after previously serving for a decade as Director of Football Operations.

“I am excited to announce we have extended Kevin Colbert’s contract for an additional two years,” said Steelers President Art Rooney II. “Kevin’s dedication and diligent work have played a major role in our success. We are pleased he will continue to lead our personnel efforts for at least the next three years.” 

Adam Schefter/ESPN

Tags: Pittsburgh Steelers

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49ers Paying $11M Per Year Combined For Kyle Shanahan, John Lynch

Aug 31, 2017 10:01 AM

The San Francisco 49ers fired their head coach for the third consecutive season, parting with Chip Kelly after they posted a 2-14 record in 2016. The 49ers also fired general manager Trent Baalke, who previously won an internal battle against Jim Harbaugh.

The 49ers hired Kyle Shanahan as head coach and John Lynch as general manager on six-year deals for approximately $11 million combined per season.

Lynch had no prior front office experience as he was hired away from his television job with FOX.

Shanahan has been a successful offensive coordinator in several stops, though this is his first head coaching job.

Tim Kawakami/The Athletic

Tags: San Francisco 49ers, Misc Rumor

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NFL Investigating Jarvis Landry For Alleged Domestic Incident

Aug 31, 2017 9:39 AM

The NFL is investigating an alleged domestic incident involving Jarvis Landry, according to a report.

A league spokesman told Andy Slater of WINZ that "the matter remains under review."

The league is believed to be in possession of a video of the incident.

Landry says he's fully cooperated with the investigation and his girlfriend, the alleged victim in the incident, has been uncooperative with authorities and refuted the claims against him.

Curtis Crabtree/Pro Football Talk

Tags: Miami Dolphins, Misc Rumor

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Teams Still Avoiding Tying Salary To Percentage Of Salary Cap

Aug 31, 2017 9:37 AM

NFL players have been unable to secure a contract tied to the growth of the salary cap. Darrelle Revis attempted to get it into his contract in 2010 while Kirk Cousins sought a clause in his 2016 negotiations.

The NFL salary cap has grown by 37 percent since 2013.

Teams have resisted tying salary to the cap as it negates their benefit of a long-term deal.

In the NBA, maximum contracts are tied to the salary cap for the first season of the deal and then have pre-determined raises every year thereafter. When a player becomes a free agent again, they can sign for a percentage of the salary cap again depending on their years of service.

As Peter King points out, quarterbacks are making approximately the same percentage of the cap (15 percent) as they were in 1997. Brett Favre had an average salary of $6.5 million in 1997, which was 15.7 percent of the cap. In 2017, Matthew Stafford's average salary of $25.3 million represents 15.1 percent of the cap.

Mike Florio/Pro Football Talk

Tags: Legal, Misc Rumor

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Seahawks Trying To Trade Jermaine Kearse

Aug 31, 2017 9:34 AM

The Seattle Seahawks are looking to trade Jermaine Kearse, according to a report.

Kearse has started at receiver for the Seahawks since 2014, but is coming off a season in which he caught 41 passes for 510 yards and one touchdown.

He is set to make $2.2 million in base salary in 2017 as part of the three-year, $13.5 million deal he signed in March 2016.

Brady Henderson/ESPN

Tags: Seattle Seahawks, Misc Rumor, Trade Rumor

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Vontaze Burfict's Suspension Reduced To Three Games

Aug 31, 2017 9:31 AM

The NFL has reduced Vontaze Burfict's suspension from five to three games.

Burfict's suspension was for an illegal hit against Kansas City Chiefs fullback Anthony Sherman during a preseason game.

According to the league, Burfict hit the player while in a defenseless posture. It is a new rule the NFL is implementing this season to protect the player who can't protect himself.

ESPN

Tags: Cincinnati Bengals, Misc Rumor

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Chiefs Acquire Cam Erving From Browns For 5th Round Pick

Aug 30, 2017 8:01 PM

The Kansas City Chiefs have acquired Cam Erving from the Cleveland Browns for a fifth round pick in 2018.

Erving was a first round pick on the offensive line in 2015.

From 2007 through 2016 the Browns took 13 players in the first round of the draft. Three are still with the team.

The Chiefs are set in their starting lineup at both tackle positions, right guard and center for the foreseeable future, with all four players being signed at least through 2018. The only opening for Erving in the starting lineup would possibly be at left guard; last year's starter, Parker Ehinger, has yet to play in the preseason after tearing his ACL last year.

Pat McManamon/ESPN

Tags: Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs, Misc Rumor, Trade Rumor

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Joe Haden Agrees Upon Three-Year, $27M Deal With Steelers

Aug 30, 2017 4:24 PM

Joe Haden has agreed upon a three-year, $27 million deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Haden will receive $7 million in Year 1 guaranteed.

Haden had better financial offers from other teams.

Haden was released on Wednesday by the Cleveland Browns.

Haden last made a Pro Bowl in 2014.

Adam Schefter/ESPN

Tags: Pittsburgh Steelers, Free Agent Rumor, Misc Rumor, Signing

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ESPN Football Analyst Leaves Job Due To Concerns About Player Safety
Sean Cunningham was an offensive lineman for five seasons in the NFL and paired for most of the last decade with Mike Patrick on ESPN.

John Branch/New York Times

Spencer Ware Out For 2017 With Torn PCL, LCL
Spencer Ware will undergo surgery and faces a lengthy recovery period.

Ian Rapoport/NFL.com

NFL Cancels Texans-Cowboys Game In Dallas
The cancellation will allow the Texans to return to their families in Houston.

John McClain/Houston Chronicle

Aaron Rodgers: Lack Of Job Security Reduces NFL Players' Activism
Aaron Rodgers has said he envies the culture of the NBA in which their athletes are enabled to speak more freely about social issues.

Mina Kimes/ESPN

DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller Amongst 10 Texans Stuck In Houston
The Texans have moved some players who live in areas stricken by bad flooding, housing them in a hotel near NRG Stadium.

Aaron Wilson/Houston Chronicle

Marvin Lewis Comfortable Without Contract For 2018
Marvin Lewis is about to embark on his 15th season as head coach of the Bengals.

Katherine Terrell/ESPN

Broncos Fielding Trade Offers For T.J. Ward
The Broncos have received calls from teams with interest in veteran safety T.J. Ward, according to a report.

Jeremy Bergman/NFL

Texans Want Season Opener To Remain In Houston
The Texans are currently scheduled to host the Jaguars in Week 1 of the regular season.

Charean Williams/PFT

Browns Release Joe Haden
It was reported on Tuesday that the Browns were open to trade offers for the cornerback, who was due to be paid $11.1 million this season.

ESPN

Jets Exploring Trade Of Matt Forte
Matt Forte ran 218 times for 813 yards and seven touchdowns last season.

Tom Pelissero/NFL.com (via ProFootballTalk)

Browns Open To Trading Joe Haden
Joe Haden is due to be paid $11.1 million this season, and $11.2 million and $10.4 million in 2018 and '19.

Pat McManamon/ESPN

Jerry Jones: No Evidence Against Ezekiel Elliott
Jerry Jones supported Ezekiel Elliott with public comments on Tuesday.

Todd Archer/ESPN

Steelers Acquire Vance McDonald From 49ers
The 49ers will receive an undisclosed draft pick for Vance McDonald.

RealGM Staff Report

Leonard Fournette Wants To Play This Week
Leonard Fournette hasn't played in the Jaguars' last two preseason games because of a foot injury, but he returned to practice over the weekend and wants to play in the exhibition finale.

Josh Alper/Pro Football Talk

Doug Marrone: Blake Bortles Is 'Best I've Seen Him'
Blake Bortles has never looked better than he has during the three-day stretch since being renamed the starter for the Jaguars on Saturday, according to Doug Marrone.

Michael DiRocco/ESPN

Eric Dickerson Signs One-Day Deal To Retire With Rams
Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson will sign a one-day contract with the Rams on Tuesday and officially retire with the organization.

Alden Gonzalez/ESPN

Adam Gase: Dolphins Won't Trade Jarvis Landry
Adam Gase is shooting down speculation that the Dolphins have put Jarvis Landry on the trading block.

James Walker/ESPN

Matthew Stafford Agrees To Five-Year, $135M Extension With Lions
The deal puts Matthew Stafford ahead of the $25 million annually earned by Derek Carr.

Michael Rothstein/ESPN

Texans-Cowboys Preseason Game Moved To Arlington
Houston is currently in a state of emergency due to severe flooding in the area.

RealGM Staff Report

John Harbaugh, Ravens Agree Upon Extension Through 2019
John Harbaugh was under contract through 2018.

Ian Rapoport/NFL.com