Pete Carroll only regrets not converting fourth-down try

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Seahawks coach Pete Carroll has been forced to explain some difficult nfl jerseys for sale tactical decisions in the postseason over the last year. Going for it on fourth-and-5 from the Carolina 18 with 2:22 remaining in the half of Sunday’s 31-24 loss to the Panthers should not have been one of them.


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Various analytic sites have measured the success rate between 45 and 50 percent, and the Seahawks were trailing by 31 points. Still, Carroll was nice enough to stand at the podium after the game and admit that he’d be losing sleep — for not nailing the attempt to go for it.

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“I’ll be kicking myself because we didn’t convert on the fourth down in the first half,” Carroll said, via 710 ESPN in Seattle. “Fourth-and-5. To make that a good decision you’ve got to win it.”

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Had Seattle kicked a field goal, it could have changed some of the parameters late in the game after the Seahawks stormed back. The Seahawks could have been down 31-24 instead of 31-21 on their final drive, which would have forced them to go for it and attempt a game-tying touchdown instead of a field goal to put them within seven at the 1:16 mark.

“We talked all about it,” Carroll said. “I didn’t want to give up the three points, but I thought we had a chance to make the fourth-and-5. I felt like we had a little momentum.”

This isn’t one he should agonize much about. The call was meant not only to try and erase the deficit, but get his offense back into the game emotionally. Seattle was down by more than 30 points on the road in a playoff game against the best team in football. Converting that certainly makes the second half different.

Injuries: Devonta Freeman, DeMarcus Ware likely out

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The Atlanta Falcons are preparing to face the Minnesota Vikings without breakout running back Devonta Freeman Jerseys.

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Coach Dan Quinn announced during Thursday’s press conference that Freeman won’t practice as he tries to come back from a concussion he sustained in last week’s loss to the Indianapolis Colts. The team is preparing to play without him, Quinn said, and rookie Tevin Coleman would see the bulk of the carries out of the backfield in his absence.


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The Falcons have dropped four of their last five games after starting the season 5-0. Freeman was a major part of their early success. The second-year running back leads the NFL with nine rushing touchdowns.

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Quinn also announced that kicker Matt Bryant Jerseys strained his quad during Wednesday’s practice and the team worked out Billy Cundiff Jerseys. Wide receiver Leonard Hankerson didn’t practice with a hamstring injury.

Here’s the rest of Thursday’s news:

1. Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford (shoulder/concussion) was inactive. Mark Sanchez started, as was previously expected.

Left tackle Jason Peters left the game with a left ankle injury and never returned. He was previously questionable to even play. Cornerback Nolan Carroll did not return after suffering a broken right ankle. Wideout Josh Huff went through the concussion protocol after suffering a potential head injury.

2. Broncos pass-rusher DeMarcus Ware officially didn’t participate at practice. He doesn’t expect to play Sunday night against the Patriots, according to the Denver Post. He’s been out the last two games for Denver after aggravating a previously existing back injury that cost him a game earlier this season.

3. Patriots wideout Danny Amendola was upgraded to practicing in a limited capacity after not practicing Wednesday with a knee injury. Offensive lineman Sebastian Vollmer was a full participant after being limited with a concussion. Wide receiver Aaron Dobson was nike nfl jersey size chart placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury.

4. Lions safety Glover Quin suffered a left ankle injury and missed the rest of the game. Wideout Lance Moore (ankle) did not return.

5. Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis and safety Dion Bailey (ankle) did not practice on Thursday. Center Nick Mangold (hand) was limited.

6. Redskins CB Chris Culliver tore his ACL and MCL during practice Thursday, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source informed of his prognosis.

7. Panthers cornerback Charles Tillman Jerseys (knee) and Philly Brown Jerseys (shoulder) are inactive for Carolina’s game against the Cowboys.

8. Colts running back Frank Gore was a full participant at practice as he deals with an ankle injury.

9. Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo left the game after suffering a left clavicle injury late in the third quarter. He did not return to the game. Safety Barry Church is questionable to return with a calf injury.

Next Gen Stats notebook: Todd Gurley’s vanishing act

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Football is the ultimate team game.

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Tom Brady isn’t the MVP frontrunner without Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, Dion Lewis, a passable offensive line and an astute coaching staff.


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Along the same lines, Todd Gurley doesn’t go from prohibitive Offensive Rookie of the Year favorite to an unproductive afterthought without a comprehensive breakdown in the Rams’ offense.

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Gurley topped 15.00 mph with the ball in his hands just once for the second straight week, per Next Gen Stats. Last week, he needed to run an inefficient 6.02 yards per rushing yard gained — easily a season high. In Week 12, that number jumped to 9.15.

We know Gurley is a special talent. He hasn’t lost his burst or forgotten what it takes to make plays. This is the direct result of the Rams’ quarterbacks and offensive line holding the ground attack hostage.

No quarterback situation has been more debilitating than the Nick Foles-Case Keenum tandem over the past three weeks, leaving defensive coordinators with no reason to resist crowding the box. The blocking has been just as problematic, with left tackle Greg Robinson starting to look like a Jason Smith-style draft bust. Even worse, the rookies comprising the right side of the line have simply been overmatched.

Gurley’s star hasn’t faded in recent weeks. Barring a catastrophic injury, he’s going to be a major offensive force for the next decade.

Like all football players, though, he can’t overcome enveloping ineptitude.

Here’s what else we learned from Next Gen Stats in Week 12:

1. Texans coach Bill O’Brien earned a heaping helping of derision for his early-season bungling of the quarterback room, but he also deserves plenty of praise for the youth nfl jerseys offensive innovation complementing a swarming defense of late. One week after using 12 different personnel combinations, including 25 plays with a sixth offensive lineman, he used nine different groupings and 15 plays with an extra lineman in the convincing victory over the Saints.

With little help beyond DeAndre Hopkins, O’Brien has gotten creative, dusting off a variety of gadget plays such as the Wildcat, the jet sweep and wide receivers throwing touchdown passes. Houston will be one of the most fascinating teams to watch over the season’s final month.

2. O’Brien isn’t the only coach tinkering with his offense on the fly. When Danny Amendola joined Edelman and Lewis on the sideline for Week 12, Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels shifted their focus to the tight-end position. The Patriots aligned in the “12” (two-tight end) formation 42 times against Denver. It’s no surprise, then, that Rob Gronkowski and Scott Chandler Jerseys led the team with a combined 11 receptions on 21 targets. With Gronkowski joining the injured trio in the trainers’ room this week, Belichick will have to scrap that game plan and head back to the drawing board.

3. The speed issues at wide receiver resurfaced again in Green Bay for the Thanksgiving loss to the Bears. James Jones Jerseys was held without a catch for the second time in three weeks. His fastest speed with the ball in his hands over the past five weeks is 16.79 mph, well below average. His inability to separate from coverage was also a prime culprit in Derek Carr’s disappointing rookie season in Oakland.

Davante Adams, relentlessly hyped by the Packers all offseason, has been abysmal, dropping four passes including the potential game-winner versus Chicago. Shaky hands aren’t the only issue. Adams hasn’t topped 15.00 mph with the ball since Week 9. According to the analytics site numberFire, Adams’ 2015 season is one of the least efficient of the past 15 years. On the receiving end of passes from the best quarterback of the past half-decade, Adams’ performance has been of the season’s true head-scratchers.

4. Speaking of Packers wideouts, Doug Baldwin has supplanted a drop-prone Randall Cobb as the league’s most productive receiver out of the slot. All six of Baldwin’s receptions for 145 yards and three touchdowns versus the Steelers came from the slot. He now leads all receivers with 662 yards out of the slot, while posting the highest yards-per-catch average (14.71) among players with at least 40 percent of their snaps in the slot. With Jimmy Graham out for the season, the Seahawks will need that Russell Wilson-to-Baldwin connection to continue firing on all cylinders.

5. On the Week 12 Recap edition of the Around The NFL Podcast, we noted that the Vikings’ biggest concern is the number of hits Teddy Bridgewater is taking as a scrambler. Next Gen Stats bear that out, noting that Bridgewater has the happiest feet in the pocket this season. He entered Week 12 averaging 13.84 yards run per drop back, the highest figure in the league. That number increased to 14.86 against the Falcons.

That trend suggests the receivers aren’t gaining separation, the offensive line isn’t holding its blocks or Bridgewater has been indecisive in pulling the trigger — or perhaps a combination thereof.

6. From the pure speed department: Carson Palmer Jerseys was lampooned for his “unathletic” game-winning touchdown scramble, but it generated the fastest speed of any Week 12 rushing touchdown. In fact, Palmer’s 18.88 mph on that play was slightly faster than Adrian Peterson’s maximum speed (18.86) in racking up 187 yards from scrimmage.

Next Gen Stats has taught us that the game’s best linebackers are often just as fast as starting running backs. Luke Kuechly Jerseys reached 18.37 mph on his second-quarter pick-six, equivalent to C.J. Anderson Jerseys’s 18.37 mph on the game-winning touchdown run in overtime Sunday night.

Jets GM: Ryan Fitzpatrick has a lot of good football left

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A year ago, former Jets general manager John Idzik delivered one of the more surreal midseason news conferences of all-time. The address — which included a rambling 20-minute filibuster to start — might have been the final nail in the coffin for the overmatched Idzik from a public opinion standpoint.


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On Wednesday, current general manager Mike Maccagnan avoided the mistakes of his predecessor. This is easier when your team is in the playoff race and not 1-7. One of the main topics centered around the present — and future — of the quarterback position.

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“We’re very happy what (Ryan Fitzpatrick Jerseys’s) done so far and what he’s brought to this team, he said. “Think he’s got a lot of good football left in him.”

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Maccagnan wouldn’t say whether the team would prioritize finding a quarterback in the 2016 draft. Fitzpatrick has started every game for the Jets, with Geno Smith Jerseys and rookie Bryce Petty serving as backups. Fitzpatrick, who did not practice Wednesday as he continues to recover from thumb surgery, is scheduled to be a free agent after the season.

As for Smith, Maccagnan was asked if he believed the third-year passer should be seen as a viable starting option in the future.

“The jury is still out, but not in a bad way,” Maccagnan said, via

Smith got far from a glowing endorsement from Maccagnan, a general manager who was not responsible for drafting the quarterback. Maccagnan was later asked if Smith still had a future in New York.

“Obviously, Geno’s under contract for next year,” he said, via the New York Daily News.

Bottom line: The Jets’ quarterback situation remains fluid. If Fitzpatrick finishes the season strong, there is a very good chance he’ll be re-signed with the opportunity to remain the starter in 2016. Bryce Petty — a strong-armed fourth-round project — remains something of a mystery.

Smith’s job feels the least secure. It comes through both in Maccagnan’s comments and on the practice field, where Fitzpatrick was participating in individual drills Wednesday and later told reporters he plans to start this weekend.

Smith appears cheap nfl jerseys free shipping to have lost the team’s faith, and there might not be an opportunity to get it back.

Brett Favre highlights Hall of Fame Class of 2016

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Brett Favre stood apart throughout his NFL career. It only makes sense that he didn’t have to wait long to join other legends in Canton, Ohio.

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Tony Dungy, Kevin Greene, Marvin Harrison, Orlando Pace, Eddie DeBartolo Jr., Ken Stabler and Dick Stanfel will join Favre in the 2016 Pro Football Hall of Fame class, announced Saturday night at NFL Honors. Stabler and Stanfel were nominated by the Seniors Committee. DeBartolo, the former 49ers owner, was enshrined as a nominee of the new Contributor Committee.

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Noticeably absent from the list: first-ballot options Terrell Owens and Alan Faneca. Kurt Warner and Terrell Davis were also forced to wait another year for potential enshrinement. But Saturday’s news was all about the eight men who will be immortalized in August with other football immortals.

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Favre won the MVP award in three consecutive seasons from 1995 to 1997 and had a peak of his career that rivals any quarterback to ever play the game. His day in Canton was delayed a few seasons by coming out of retirement and finishing out his career with the Minnesota Vikings, a team he nearly took to the Super Bowl in the 2009 season. His arm strength, willingness to make difficult throws, and ability to play through any injury at a high level helped define a singular career. He finished his 20 seasons as the league’s all-time leading passer in completions, yards, passing touchdowns, and wins at quarterback.

The Hall custom nfl jersey of Fame_dicKeepLinks4 committee righted a wrong by electing Harrison on his third year of eligibility. We’ve seen inferior players get in ahead of Harrison the last two years, but it was only a matter of time before he earned his due. Harrison was the silky smooth deep threat that matched Peyton Manning Jerseys’s maniacal attention to detail with the Indianapolis Colts Jerseys. Harrison was a rare route runner. He and Manning perfected the act of timing between a quarterback and a wide receiver. Defenses often knew what the Colts would do, but they were powerless to stop perfect execution.

The Colts drafted Harrison with a first round pick acquired in trade where the Colts gave up Jeff George, a deal that worked out rather well. A six-time All-Pro, Harrison retired fourth all-time in receiving yards.

It will be special for Harrison to join the Hall of Fame with his former Colts coach. Tony Dungy packed a lot of winning into his 13 seasons as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jerseys and Colts. Dungy immediately turned around a moribund Bucs franchise with his Tampa 2 defense and calm leadership. He became the first African-American head coach to win a Super Bowl with the Colts after the 2006 season and retired with a 148-79 record.

Longtime St. Louis Rams Jerseys tackle Orlando Pace, like Harrison, should have been a first-ballot pick. But it’s great to see one of the most dominant players of his era get rewarded by the Hall of Fame committee. Pace, the first selection of the 1997 draft, made five All-Pro teams and seven Pro Bowls. He was still often the most overlooked superstar on one of the greatest offenses in NFL history. Pace moved with the agility of a wide receiver, his nimble feet helping to keep Rams quarterbacks clean year after year.

Pace waited for his second year of eligibility to be chosen as a modern era candidate for the Hall of Fame.

Saturday marked the end of a 13-year wait for linebacker Kevin Greene. Best known for his days with the Rams and Steelers, Greene had double-digit sacks in ten seasons. Greene’s consistency, energy, and aggression stand out. It’s extremely rare for any player to be a first-team All-Pro three different times for three different teams, including the Carolina Panthers Jerseys. He could get after the passer in any uniform.

It doesn’t get any better for Eddie DeBartolo Jr. than learning about his enshrinement in San Francisco, the city he helped win five Super Bowls in. Beloved by his former players, DeBartolo hired Bill Walsh as head coach in 1979, turning the franchise around. He presided over a team that averaged 13 wins per season from 1981 to 1998. The 49ers were the first franchise to ever win five Super Bowls and posted the best winning percentages in both the 1980s and 1990s.

Hearing about Ken Stabler’s enshrinement is bittersweet. “The Snake” passed away last July at the age of 69. The winner of Super Bowl XI, Stabler was known for his was known for his love of life and fearless play at the end of games.

“I’ve often said, If I had one drive to win a game to this day, and I had a quarterback to pick, I would pick Kenny,” former Raiders coach John Madden said last year. “Snake was a lot cooler than I was. He was a perfect quarterback and a perfect Raider. When you think about the Raiders you think about Ken Stabler.”

Guard Dick Stanfel was the anchor of a dominant Lions team, earning team MVP in their 1953 championship season. While he only played seven seasons in the NFL, he was a first-team All-Pro five times. He was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1950s. Stanfel passed away in June last year custom nfl jersey.

Favre figures to get the most attention in the time leading up to enshrinement, but all eight men deserve praise for climbing this final NFL mountain. Years after their playing career finished, they have achieved the greatest individual honor in the sport.

Dorial Green-Beckham: I see myself as Titans’ No. 1 WR

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If Marcus Mariota is to take the second-year leap into the upper echelon of NFL quarterbacks he’ll need help from his receiving corps.


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The Tennessee Titans Jerseys added Rishard Matthews Jerseys this offseason. Kendall Wright Jerseys has been a solid slot receiver with run after-the-catch ability. However, both are No. 2 receiver material, not top-end, defense-changing players.
Tracker: Players | Positions | By grade
Draft coverage:
Mayock’s position-by-position rankings
Jeremiah: Top 50 draft prospects
2016 draft order and team needs
Draft rumors: Connecting players, teams
2016 pro days schedule and results
CFB 24/7: Full ‘Path to Draft’ coverage
Mock drafts:
Brooks 4.0: Broncos land QB of future
Jeremiah 4.0: Bears find QB of future
Zierlein 4.0: Dallas powers up run game
Davis 3.0: Goff lands with Eagles
Reuter 4.0: Four-round projection

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The one receiver on the roster with the physical talents to become an undisputed No. 1 wideout in Tennessee is second-year pro Dorial Green-Beckham.

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The uber-athletic 6-foot-5 wideout showed flashes during his rookie season, but was far from a consistent performer. In Year 2, the 22-year-old thinks he can become that go-to target for Mariota.

“I see myself as being that No. 1 receiver, because I know that I can help this offense. I know that I can do big things,” Green-Beckham told “That’s my motivation, to go out in the off-season and work hard and try to become that No. 1 receiver and go out there and just dominate. That’s my motivation right now.”

In 2015 DGB defined inconsistent. His roller-coaster rookie season included two games with over 110 yards receiving, several more with more than 50 yards and five games in which he didn’t have a single catch. After spending much of the early part of the season on the bench, Green-Beckham came on in the latter portion of the year, but the maddening inconsistencies remained.

DGB’s speed and size get him open with ease, but he had several easy drops and struggled mightily with route running. Perfecting his route tree is tops on the list of offseason goals.

At the NFL Scouting Combine, coach Mike Mularkey placed the onus in DGBs lap.

“A lot of that will depend on Dorial,” Mularkey explained at the time. “We’ll know right away (whether he’s been studying). … I think he knows that’s a point of emphasis for him. He’ll have a lot to say on whether he’s that guy or not.”

The second-year pro got the message.

“I feel like them saying that is them giving a challenge to me and saying to me that working in the off-season and (they’re) using that to get my head into motivation,” Green-Beckham said. “That motivates me that I can become one of kids nfl jerseys the big guys in this offense and on this team. I want to try to do that for myself also. I use that as motivation every time I go and work out. That’s what I’m trying to become is the person they want me to become.”

DGB added that he plans to get together with Mariota prior to offseason workouts beginning next month, to get a jump on the season.

If Green-Beckham becomes a game-changing receiver in Tennessee — his talent alone suggests he should — the Titans passing offense will be intriguing in 2016.

Eric Berry gets Chiefs’ non-exclusive franchise tag

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The Kansas City Chiefs won’t let the Comeback Player of the Year reach free agency.

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The Chiefs applied the non-exclusive franchise tag safety Eric Berry Jerseys on Tuesday, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported.


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Explaining the tag

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» The exclusive franchise tag is a one-year tender offer to a player for an amount no less than the average of the top five salaries at the player’s position, or 120 percent of the player’s previous salary, whichever is greater. The player’s team has all negotiating rights to the player. » The non-exclusive franchise tag is a one-year tender offer determined through a more complicated process. First, the average of the top-five salaries at the position over the last five years is calculated. Next, the percentage against the cap for each of those five seasons is averaged out and applied toward the current season cap to determine the offer amount. The player can negotiate with other teams. The player’s current team has the right to match any offer, or receive two first-round picks as compensation. » The transition tag is a one-year tender offer to a player for an amount that is the average of the top 10 salaries at the position and is calculated using the same formula as the non-exclusive franchise tag number. It guarantees the original club the right of first refusal to match any offer the player may receive from another team. The transition tag can only be used if the franchise tag is not used by a team in that year. Transition tags can be rescinded, but teams that rescind a transition tag cannot use it again until next season.

“Our goal is to keep Eric in Kansas City for the foreseeable future,” Chiefs General Manager John Dorsey said in a statement. “He’s a special player that means a lot to our organization, the city, and has been a critical piece in building our foundation. With today being the deadline to use the franchise tag, we felt it was in the best interest of the club to place the tag on Eric.”

The non-exclusive franchise tag for safeties sits at $10.806 million. Other team would have the option to negotiation and sign Berry to a tender, with K.C. owning the option to match. If it’s not matched, that team would owe the Chiefs two first-round draft picks — this is the tag used on most players. Outside of quarterbacks, most teams aren’t willing to risk two first-round draft picks for a position player, meaning Berry will be a Chief in 2016.

The sides have until July 15 to hammer out a long-term deal.

Berry returned from Hodgkin’s lymphoma this season without missing a beat, earning his fourth Pro Bowl selection and second first-team All-Pro designation along with the Comeback Player of the Year award.

Keeping Berry in Kansas City was a priority for general manager John Dorsey.

One of the best overall safeties in the NFL, Berry excels in coverage, allowing the Chiefs leeway on their back end and nfl jersey supply pressure packages. Berry played at a lighter weight in 2015 after beating cancer, allowing him to faster and more aggressive than his previous campaigns.

The Chiefs have a bevy of free agents on the defensive side of the ball they would like to keep, including Tamba Hali Jerseys, Derrick Johnson Jerseys, Jaye Howard Jerseys, Tyvon Branch Jerseys and so on.

Locking Berry down is priority No. 1. They’ll use the a franchise tag to ensure he goes nowhere.

McCarron has ‘significant’ sprain, unsure for Week 17

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Cincinnati Bengals Jerseys quarterback AJ McCarron’s injury suffered during Monday night’s loss to the nfl nike jerseys Denver Broncos Jerseys may be worse than initially thought.


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NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday that McCarron’s left wrist sprain is significant. However, since it’s on his non-throwing hand, he’s intent on going. The Bengals will not be sure whether to start McCarron until later this week.

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McCarron suffered the injury on the final fatal play in Denver, falling hard and colliding with DeMarcus Ware Jerseys after fumbling away a snap in overtime. Prior to the play, the second-year quarterback out of Alabama looked more than competent in the backup role completing 63 percent of his passes for 200 yards and one touchdown.

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Filling in for the injured Andy Dalton Jerseys — who may be out until the divisional round of the postseason — McCarron has proven to be the ideal backup quarterback for the Bengals, save for the late gaffe against the Broncos. He’s cost-effective, ultra confident, takes command of the offense and manages the game while still pulling the trigger on aggressive downfield nfl nike jerseys throws. However, if McCarron can’t perform in the postseason — whether he’s healthy or not — impatient Bengals fans won’t be very forgiving.

Ten free agents likely to switch teams

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Every year at this time, Around The NFL releases a preliminary ranking of the top free agents as well as a detailed overview of franchise-tag candidates. The problem with those lists, however, is that a disproportionate number of the premier free agents stay with their teams via the tag or a long-term contract.


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With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most interesting players headed for the open market and new opportunities in a different NFL city. Below are 10 impending free agents likely to switch teams in March:

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1. Eric Weddle, San Diego Chargers safety: The writing has been on the wall since last offseason when Weddle said he felt “highly disrespected” by the organization’s refusal to negotiate a contract extension. By January, the three-time Pro Bowler told reporters that he would probably never speak to the Chargers again. NFL teams don’t throw big money at aging defensive stars, but Weddle is still playing at a high level in his early thirties. Potential fits include the Raiders, Giants and Redskins.

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2. Matt Forte Jerseys, Chicago Bears running back: The Bears announced that Forte will not be re-signed, which means the player with the most yards from scrimmage since 2008 will reach the open market. Don’t expect Forte to default to the highest bidder, though, as he recently made it clear to NFL Network that competing for a chance to play in the Super Bowl is a higher priority than a mega contract.

It will be interesting to see if teams are scared off by the recent history of big-name free-agent running backs such as Steven Jackson Jerseys, Frank Gore and DeMarco Murray. Still, Forte would be a monstrous upgrade on Jackson in New England if he doesn’t opt to reunite with Marc Trestman in Baltimore.

3. Bruce Irvin, Seattle Seahawks pass rusher: Irvin has hinted at accepting slightly less money to stay with Pete Carroll, but he still might price himself out of the picture with a pair of former Seattle defensive coordinators running the show in Atlanta and Jacksonville. After the Seahawks declined his 2016 option last offseason, the former first-round pick was quoted as saying he was interested in returning home to play for the Falcons, a team sorely in need cheap nike nfl jerseys of young edge rushers.

4. Damon Harrison, New York Jets defensive tackle: With Muhammad Wilkerson expected to draw the franchise tag, the future of “Snacks” is up in the air on a crowded Jets defensive line. Harrison firmly believes he’s the league’s premier run-stuffing nose tackle and will want to be compensated accordingly.

5. Greg Hardy Jerseys, Dallas Cowboys defensive end: Hardy was one of the Cowboys’ most effective defensive stars last season, but he has tested the patience of otherwise lenient owner Jerry Jones with his tone-deaf public comments, sideline antics and off-the-field behavior. Coach Jason Garrett refused to discuss Hardy’s future in end-of-season sessions with reporters. The remorseless one’s talent will likely ensure another opportunity even if his character issues cost him money on the open market.

6. Lamar Miller, Miami Dolphins running back: The Dolphins reportedly want to re-sign Miller after watching three different play-callers underutilize him in the past three years. It’s a tricky situation, though, with salary-cap issues, a possible franchise tag for pass rusher Olivier Vernon and the organization’s belief that 2015 fifth-round pick Jay Ajayi is a starting-caliber running back. If Doug Martin returns to Tampa Bay, Miller could leapfrog Forte as the most coveted back available.

7. Derrick Shelby, Miami Dolphins defensive end: Shelby might not be a household name, but he had one of the NFL’s most overlooked contract-year pushes as Cameron Wake’s replacement down the stretch last season. A stout run defender with exceptionally strong hands, Shelby also made a habit of bulldozing linemen into the quarterback’s lap as a disruptive interior force on third downs. Although he lacks the speed to emerge as a premier edge rusher, Shelby is a versatile defensive lineman just entering the prime of his career. If the Dolphins find a way to keep Vernon, Shelby will be in line for an expanded role in another city.

8. Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts tight end: Allen has publicly stated a desire to return to Indianapolis, but multiple beat writers have sensed frustration with his diminished role in the Colts’ aerial attack. A well-rounded tight end, Allen is a physical blocker with suddenness after the catch and the ability to wall off defenders in the red zone. He has Pro Bowl potential if he stays healthy and lands with a savvy coordinator who will play to his strengths in an every-down role. He would be an interesting fit with the Falcons, who have struggled to find a successor to Tony Gonzalez.

9. Andre Smith Jerseys, Cincinnati Bengals right tackle: A slimmed-down Smith entered training camp with a vow to develop beyond “mediocre” only to suffer through the most disappointing season of his seven-year career. The Bengals signaled their intention to move on by selecting tackles Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher in the first two rounds of last year’s draft.

10. Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins running back: Morris lost his stranglehold on the starter’s job last season, splitting time with rookie Matt Jones in a Redskins ground attack that never could get on track. Team president Bruce Allen tipped his hand earlier this month, telling reporters, “If he gets a great contract (elsewhere), we’re going to applaud him.” A power back lacking receiving chops, Morris would fill a need as a timeshare back alongside Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah in Detroit.

Other possibilities: Sam Bradford, Jason Pierre-Paul, Marvin Jones, Chris Johnson Jerseys, Reggie Bush, Vernon Davis, Rishard Matthews, Casey Hayward

Joey Harrington looks back fondly on NFL career

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Joey Harrington’s football legacy is a complicated one and in a revealing essay for Sports Illustrated and The Cauldron this week, the former No. 3 overall pick (2002) aired some of his grievances while letting everyone know that he’s more than happy with the way his six-year NFL career turned out.


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Drafted by Steve Mariucci, now an NFL Media analyst, Harrington said he struggled with the coach’s style and told a story about a low point during his early career.

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I remember walking into the office of then head coach Steve Mariucci and telling him, “I need you to give me permission to throw the ball down the field.” I’d never felt so down. At that point, I was just searching — grasping? — for some kind of support.

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“Why do you need permission?” he asked.

“I’m afraid to make a mistake,” I said. “You tell me every day, if it’s close, check it down … and I’ve gotten into a rhythm where all I do is check it down, and I’m afraid to throw it down the field.”

He got up, went to his closet, grabbed a toothbrush, and started brushing his teeth. Then he walked towards the door, and said, “I have to go do some interviews. I’ll be back. If you want to come back later, we can talk.”

He just left.

That was at the very end, when things had all but collapsed around me. Mariucci was a good guy who was trying to save his job, but when one of my teammates went out and said I was the reason our coach got fired, it created a situation where I just imploded mentally. I couldn’t handle it.

Mariucci wasn’t immediately available for comment.

Harrington had worse things to say about short-term head coach Bobby Petrino, who ended up starting Harrington amid the Michael Vick Jerseys dog-fighting scandal. Harrington went 3-7 in 10 starts.

That team had a head coach, Bobby Petrino, who was so ill-equipped to coach an NFL team, it was laughable. If anybody challenged him, or suggested something different, the person was cast away. It was an unhealthy environment from the get-go, and it wouldn’t get any better.

If nothing else, the piece is worth your time. It provides some fresh insight into Nick Saban as an NFL head coach and lends a voice to a player who was destroyed by his nfl cheap jerseys teammates in Detroit (Dre’ Bly blamed Mariucci’s firing on Harrington). The interpersonal side of the game is so seldom explored, especially with the advent of fantasy sports. Players are so often looked at as cogs in a machine instead of individuals in an environment 100 times more turbulent than high school. Perhaps we can think twice before freely associating the ‘bust’ label again.