January 2018 - Football Wiretap

Wells Fargo Quants Predict Patriots Will Win Super Bowl

Jan 31, 2018 4:24 PM

Wells Fargo Asset Management’s Analytic Investors LLC, the Los Angeles-based quant shop that’s beaten the point spread in 10 of the last 14 Super Bowls, advises gamblers to take the New England Patriots over the Philadelphia Eagles.

Analytic Investors applies its predictive quant models to the game and it shows that the Patriots will beat the Eagles by at least five points, since the point spread on the game is 4 1/2 points. 

“I know it’ll tick off a few of my Philly fan friends,” said Chris Lardieri, one of the study’s authors. “But the numbers don’t lie.”

Analytic predicted last season that the Falcons would beat the Patriots, which looked like a good forecast when the score was 28-3.

“The Falcons just had to run the clock out,” Lardieri said.“You can’t account for human error and questionable decisions.”

Dani Burger/Bloomberg

Tags: New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles

NFL Won't Facilitate Team Signing Colin Kaepernick In 2018

Jan 31, 2018 3:35 PM

Roger Goodell was asked about whether the NFL would get involved with facilitating an opportunity for Colin Kaepernick to sign with a team in 2018.

"I've been very clear on this before that all the clubs, individually, have to make their own decisions about who's on the roster, who's not on the roster," Goodell said. "Colin, as you know, has filed a grievance, so I'm not going to talk specifically about that case. But I think that's something that the clubs have to make -- that decision. We as a league, do not get involved in that in any way. So I don't anticipate that in any way."

Kaepernick knelt during the national anthem before games during the 2016 season to protest racial inequality and other social injustices. 

Kevin Patra/NFL.com

Tags: Legal, Misc Rumor

Von Miller Lobbies For Broncos To Sign Kirk Cousins

Jan 31, 2018 3:08 PM

Von Miller hopes the Denver Broncos sign Kirk Cousins in the offseason.

"I've talked to him before. He knows exactly how I feel ... and what he would mean to our team, and what he would mean to a lot of teams," Miller told "The Dan Patrick Show" on Wednesday.

"We need Kirk. I would like to have Kirk. We have great quarterbacks now. Kirk could take us over the edge."

Denver currently has quarterbacks Paxton Lynch, Trevor Siemian and Chad Kelly on the roster.

The Broncos also own the No. 5 overall pick.


Tags: Denver Broncos, Free Agent Rumor, Misc Rumor

Nick Foles Nearly Retired From NFL In 2016

Jan 31, 2018 12:33 PM

Nick Foles admitted he nearly retired before the 2016 season before his release by the Rams and rejoining Andy Reid with the Chiefs.

“In my heart at that time, I was probably going to step away from the game,” Foles said Tuesday. “But I also knew that being in that situation that I had to take a few days just to let all of the emotions settle.”

Foles is now set to start the Super Bowl in place of Carson Wentz.

“It had nothing to do with starting,” Foles said. “I really had to go with my heart in that situation. Getting the opportunity to step away, I went on a fly fishing/camping trip with my brother-in-law, Ryan, and coming back and just asking my wife Tori about it, I still didn’t have a clear decision about what I wanted to do.

“But that’s when I really prayed and really asked God for guidance. There wasn’t a sure path. I really just took a step on faith. I knew that I’d have more growth as a person going back to the game.”

Charean Williams/Pro Football Talk

Tags: Philadelphia Eagles, Misc Rumor

Fox Buys Thursday Night Football For $60M Per Game

Jan 31, 2018 11:57 AM

Fox has secured the rights to Thursday Night Football for the next five seasons at an annual average of more than $660 million per year.

Fox will broadcast Thursday games each season from Week 4 to Week 15, not including Thanksgiving night.

CBS paid $37.5 million per game for eight games during the 2014 and 2015 seasons. For the past two seasons, NBC joined CBS to broadcast five games each at a cost of $45 million each. The new deal values each game at an average of more than $60 million.

"We feel very confident in their ability to continue to grow this franchise," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said on a Wednesday morning conference call.

Darren Rovell/ESPN

Tom Brady On Hand: 'It's Getting Better'

Jan 31, 2018 8:48 AM

Tom Brady continues to wear a glove on his throwing hand, but he said of the injury: "it's getting better."

Brady injured his hand in practice two weeks ago, but didn't appear limited during the New England Patriots' win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC title game.

"My hand, it's getting better," Brady said. "It's not quite where I want it to be. So I'm just trying to protect it the best way I can. It's obviously a very important part of my body for a quarterback, so I just want it to be as healthy as possible for the game on Sunday.

"Under Armour just made it for me. It's a great glove. It's got a lot of recovery in it, and that's what I need."

Brady reportedly had 12 stitches to close a wound on the hand.

Nick Shook/NFL

Tags: New England Patriots, Injury, Misc Rumor

Jaguars Expected To Keep Blake Bortles

Jan 31, 2018 8:39 AM

The Jacksonville Jaguars are content with Blake Bortles and won't pursue another quarterback this offseason.

Bortles recently underwent wrist surgery. His $19 million contract is guaranteed for injury, so if he’s not ready to pass a physical on March 14, he's covered.

Ian Rapoport/NFL Network

Tags: Jacksonville Jaguars, Free Agent Rumor, Misc Rumor

Philadelphia Police Won't Grease Light Poles Ahead Of Super Bowl

Jan 31, 2018 8:37 AM

Philadelphia police won't grease light poles with Crisco to keep fans from climbing light poles if the Eagles win the Super Bowl.

Workers applied shortening to light poles before the NFC Championship Game, but it failed to stop some fans from climbing after the Eagles' victory.

Richard Ross, the Philadelphia police commissioner, is keeping his plan secret.

He promised that whatever police do, "it will be safe ... but it will be effective."

Associated Press

Tags: Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots, Misc Rumor

Chiefs Trade Alex Smith To Washington

Jan 31, 2018 12:29 AM

The Kansas City Chiefs have agreed to trade Alex Smith to Washington for a third round pick and Kendall Fuller. Kansas City received interest from at least six other teams.

Smith will sign a four-year extension with Washington averaging $23.5 million per season with $71 million in guaranteed money.

Washington will part ways with Kirk Cousins, who signed a franchise tag each of the past two seasons.

The Chiefs will start Patrick Mahomes at quarterback in 2018.

Smith, 33, came to the Chiefs in a 2013 trade that sent two second-round draft picks to the San Francisco 49ers.

Adam Teicher, John Keim/ESPN

Tags: Kansas City Chiefs, Washington Redskins, Misc Rumor, Trade Rumor

Alex Smith Wishes He Was In Control Of Future

Jan 30, 2018 12:06 PM

For the second time in his career, Alex Smith may be traded and replaced with a younger quarterback.

Smith was traded by the 49ers to the Chiefs following the emergence of Colin Kaepernick. The Chiefs are considering dealing Smith to clear a path for Patrick Mahomes.

“I wish I knew,” Smith said. “I’ve got a year under contract there in Kansas City. I wish I was in control of this thing. I wish I was the one who got to do this. That’s just not the reality.”

Smith was asked about going to Cleveland and Smith said they have “nowhere to go but up” after initially saying he hadn’t given it any thought. Smith added that he loves “where I’m at”

Dan Patrick Show (via PFT)

Tags: Kansas City Chiefs, Misc Rumor, Trade Rumor

Titans Hire Matt LaFleur As Offensive Coordinator
Matt LaFleur has worked with Matt Ryan and Jared Goff.

Jim Wyatt/Titans Online

Carson Wentz Admits It's Been Hard To Watch From Sidelines
The Eagles have rallied around Nick Foles, but Carson Wentz remains involved.

Darin Gantt/Pro Football Talk

Tom Brady Hopes Radio Host Isn't Fired For Comments About Daughter
Tom Brady cut his weekly appearance on WEEI in Boston short on Monday after host Alex Reimer made a negative comment about the quarterback's daughter during a show last week.

Josh Alper/Pro Football Talk

Jeffrey Lurie: Investing $12M In Nick Foles Was A Bargain
Jeffrey Lurie is very happy with the financial investment the Eagles made in backup quarterback Nick Foles.

Dan Graziano/ESPN

Titans Hire Dean Pees As Defensive Coordinator
Dean Pees coached Mike Vrabel with the Patriots.

Ian Rapoport/NFL.com

Tom Brady On Future: Things Change Quickly
Tom Brady has said he hopes to continue playing until he's 45 but he admits that the career of a player can go downhill quickly.

Jeremy Bergman/NFL.com

Blake Bortles Undergoes Surgery On Wrist
Blake Bortles had dealt with the injury since December of 2016.

Adam Schefter/ESPN

John Elway: Broncos Have Picks To Trade For Or Draft Quarterback
The Broncos continue to seek their quarterback for the present.

Nick Shook/NFL.com

James Harrison Open To Playing Another Two Seasons
James Harrison will turn 40 in May, but he has no plans to retire after Super Bowl LII.

Mike Reiss/ESPN

Broncos Could End Up Releasing Aqib Talib
The Broncos are looking to trade Aqib Talib, but they could end up releasing the cornerback.

Michael David Smith/Pro Football Talk

Von Miller, Delanie Walker Named Pro Bowl MVPs
After they each made a big play in the final minutes of Sunday's 24-23 AFC victory over the NFC, Delanie Walker and Von Miller were named MVPs of the Pro Bowl.

Michael DiRocco/ESPN

Cowboys To Open Contract Talks With DeMarcus Lawrence
DeMarcus Lawrence posted 14.5 sacks in a contract year.

Jenna Laine/ESPN

Tom Brady Has 12 Sitches Removed From Right Hand
Tom Brady played in the AFC Conference Championship Game with a bandage.

Ian Rapoport/NFL.com

Colts To Hire Josh McDaniels As Head Coach
Josh McDaniels met with the Colts on Friday and the two sides discussed long-term visions.

Adam Schefter/ESPN

Rob Gronkowski Returns To Practice, Remains In Concussion Protocol
The Eagles are expecting Rob Gronkowski to play in the Super Bowl.

Mike Reiss/ESPN

Panthers To Interview Marty Hurney, Jimmy Raye, Lake Dawson For GM Job
The Panthers fired Dave Gettleman in July.

Ian Rapoport/NFL.com

Carson Wentz Suffered Torn LCL In Addition To ACL
Carson Wentz does not anticipate the additional damage will significantly impact his length of rehab.

Tim McManus/ESPN

Cardinals To Hire Mike McCoy As Offensive Coordinator
The Cardinals are set to hire Mike McCoy as their offensive coordinator under new head man Steve Wilks.


XFL Will Return In 2020 Without Gimmicks
WWE chairman Vince McMahon announced on Thursday that he's giving professional football another try.

Darren Rovell/ESPN

Le'Veon Bell Encouraged By Contract Talks With Steelers
Even though he declined to offer specifics, Le'Veon Bell said he is "happy" with what the team has presented to him.

Jeremy Fowler/ESPN