January 2021 - Football Wiretap

NFL Salary Cap For 2021 Could End Up At $180M

Jan 19, 2021 11:40 AM

The NFL salary cap for the 2021 season could end up in the $180 million range.

The NFL and NFLPA agreed previously that the cap would not drop below $175 million for the 2021 season.

Both players and multiple teams want the number to be as high as possible to avoid having to create the space necessary to comply with a $175 million cap.

Most contracts have been previously negotiated with an expectation that the cap would continue to increase by five to 10 percent instead of a sudden 15 percent drop.

Mike Florio/ProFootballTalk

Tags: Legal

Michael Thomas To Undergo Surgery On Ankle

Jan 19, 2021 11:30 AM

Michael Thomas will undergo surgery on the torn deltoid and other injury ligaments in his high ankle this offseason.

Thomas attempted to play through the pain anticipating this would be the final season of Drew Brees' career.

Thomas finished the season with 40 receptions, 438 yards and no touchdowns over seven games. In 2019, Thomas had 149 receptions for 1,725 yards and nine touchdowns.

The New Orleans Saints and Thomas agreed to a five-year, $100 million extension in 2019.

Adam Schefter/ESPN

Tags: New Orleans Saints, Fantasy, Injury

Terry Fontenot Hired As Falcons GM

Jan 19, 2021 9:04 AM

The Atlanta Falcons are hiring Terry Fontenot as general manager.

Atlanta is hiring Fontenot away from the New Orleans Saints where he served as assistant GM/VP of pro personnel.

Fontenot was with the Saints for 16 years.

Grant Gordon/NFL

Tags: Atlanta Falcons, Misc Rumor

Ravens To Release Mark Ingram

Jan 19, 2021 9:01 AM

The Baltimore Ravens are releasing Mark Ingram, according to sources.

Ingram, 31, was a healthy scratch for four of the Ravens' final five contests this season, including both playoff games.

The move will create $5 million in cap space for Baltimore.

Ingram, a first-round pick by the New Orleans Saints in 2011, spent his first eight seasons there. He signed a three-year, $15 million deal with Baltimore in 2019.

Jamison Hensley/ESPN

Tags: Baltimore Ravens, Free Agent Rumor, Misc Rumor

Washington Expected To Name Marty Hurney GM

Jan 19, 2021 8:58 AM

The Washington Football Team is expected to make Marty Hurney its new general manager, according to sources.

Hurney spent parts of five seasons with Ron Rivera with the Carolina Panthers, having been fired twice. He hired Rivera in 2011 and spent one more year there before being ousted.

John Keim/ESPN

Tags: Washington Football Team, Misc Rumor

Andy Reid: Patrick Mahomes Might've Returned Pre-Protocol

Jan 19, 2021 8:55 AM

Andy Reid doesn't know if Patrick Mahomes will clear the NFL's concussion protocol in time to play in Sunday's AFC Championship Game.

However, the Kansas City Chiefs coach indicated Mahomes might have felt well enough to have returned to Sunday's playoff game against the Cleveland Browns.

"There was a chance back in the day that Patrick comes back in [the game]," Reid said. "You saw him run up the tunnel. By the time he got to that point, he was feeling pretty good. But there's a certain protocol you have to follow and that takes it out of the trainer's hand and the player's hand and the doctor's hand."

Mahomes was replaced in the third quarter by Chad Henne, who finished the Chiefs' 22-17 win over the Browns.

The Chiefs face the Buffalo Bills on Sunday at Arrowhead in the AFC title game. Reid said they would have a plan whether Mahomes or Henne starts at quarterback.

"Because of the protocol, it's a no-brainer from a coaching standpoint,'' Reid said. "You don't have to think about it. You just have to go forward and make sure you have an answer if he's there and an answer if he's not there. I can't tell you from a medical standpoint. I don't know that. That's their decision and I just follow it.''

Adam Schefter/ESPN

Tags: Kansas City Chiefs, Misc Rumor

NFL To Change Combine Format Due To COVID-19

Jan 18, 2021 9:10 PM

The NFL's coaches, scouts and personnel executives will not descend on Indianapolis in February for the annual scouting combine. The combine will be modified due to COVID-19 precautions. 

This year, all on-field workouts will be conducted at on-campus pro days, and Monday's memo outlines that the league will try to have as much uniformity in the on-field drills as possible to give teams the ability to compare the workouts from one site to another.

The medical exams, for the most part, are expected to be conducted in a combination of virtual interviews between players and each team's medical staffs, to go with exams done at medical facilities near the prospect's home campus.

Jeff Legwold/ESPN

Justin Fields Leaving Ohio State For 2021 NFL Draft

Jan 18, 2021 1:38 PM

Justin Fields is leaving Ohio State to declare for the 2021 NFL Draft.

Fields played his freshman season at Georgia before transferring to Ohio State in January 2019.

ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. ranks Fields as the No. 3 overall prospect for the 2021 draft, behind Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Oregon offensive tackle Penei Sewell.

Adam Rittenberg/ESPN

Tags: Draft, Draft Misc, NCAA

Drew Brees Not Ready To Announce Retirement Decision

Jan 18, 2021 8:40 AM

Drew Brees did not officially announce his intention on retiring from the NFL offseason after the New Orleans Saints' loss in the NFC Divisional Round.

"I'm gonna give myself an opportunity to think about the season, think about a lot of things, just like I did last year, and make a decision," Brees said when asked directly if he just played his final game.

Jay Glazer reported before the game that Brees intends to retire.

Brees said he had no regrets about coming back this season after he nearly retired following the 2019 campaign.

"I would never regret it. Never," said Brees, who missed four games in November and December because of a punctured lung and 11 broken ribs but still helped the Saints earn the No. 2 seed in the NFC with a 12-4 record before their disappointing finish.

"No complaints. No regrets. Man, I've always tried to play this game with a great respect and a great reverence for it. And I appreciate all that this game has given to me," said Brees, who led the Saints to their only Super Bowl win in franchise history in 2009 and holds the NFL record for career passing yards. "There are obviously so many incredible memories, so many incredible relationships that have come as a result of playing this game. And, man, you find out so much about yourself and you have to fight through so much when you play this game.

"And I'd say this season, I probably had to fight through more than I've ever had to in any other season in my career -- from injury to all the COVID stuff to just crazy circumstances. And it was worth every moment of it. Absolutely."

Mike Triplett/ESPN

Tags: New Orleans Saints, Misc Rumor

Lions To Hire Dan Campbell As Head Coach

Jan 18, 2021 8:38 AM

The Detroit Lions will hire Dan Campbell as head coach.

Campbell would replace Matt Patricia, who was fired in November after less than three seasons with the franchise and a 13-29-1 record.

Campbell is assistant head coach/tight ends coach of the New Orleans Saints.

Campbell doesn't have much experience as a head coach -- just 12 games as an interim head coach for the Miami Dolphins.

Campbell played 10 seasons in the NFL, including the final three years of his career for the Lions.

Adam Schefter, Michael Rothstein/ESPN

Tags: Detroit Lions, Misc Rumor

Chargers Hire Brandon Staley As Head Coach

Lindsey Thiry/ESPN

Deshaun Watson Increasingly Likely To Be Traded

Adam Schefter/ESPN

Falcons Hire Arthur Smith As Head Coach

RealGM Staff Report

Lions Set To Interview Todd Bowles

Josh Alper/Pro Football Talk

Russell Wilson Wants Input On Seattle's Next Offensive Coordinator

Brady Henderson/ESPN

Falcons Offer Head Coaching Job To Arthur Smith

Dianna Russini, Turron Davenport/ESPN

Jaguars Hire Urban Meyer As Head Coach

Michael DiRocco/ESPN

Panthers Hire Scott Fitterer As General Manager

David Newton/ESPN

Jets Hire Robert Saleh As Head Coach

Rich Cimini/ESPN

Jared Goff To Start For Rams In Divisional Round

Josh Alper/Pro Football Talk

Urban Meyer, Jaguars In Advanced Talks On Agreement

Adam Schefter/ESPN

Steelers Won't Bring Back Three Coaches, Including Randy Fichtner

Brooke Pryor/ESPN

Lions Hire Brad Holmes As General Manager

Adam Schefter/ESPN

Report: Some Dolphins Aren't Sold On Tua Tagovailoa

Mike Florio/Pro Football Talk

Jaguars, Urban Meyer Met Again Wednesday

Adam Schefter/ESPN

Ravens Won't Back Down From Blitz Against Josh Allen

Jamison Hensley/ESPN

Bears GM: Everything Is On Table With QB Spot

Jeff Dickerson/ESPN

Broncos Hire George Paton As GM On Six-Year Deal

Jeff Legwold/ESPN

NFL Won't Penalize Eagles For QB Decisions In Week 17

Rob Maadi/Associated Press

Chargers Emerge With Interest In Urban Meyer

Ian Rapoport/NFL Media