Tag:Chad Henne
Posted on: March 4, 2012 11:49 am
 

For now, market for STL No. 2 pick is soft

At this point, it's unclear who will draft RG3. (Getty Images)
By Josh Katzowitz

Coming off his standout performance at the scouting combine last month, the stock for Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III might not ever be higher than it is right now. And thus, it makes sense that the Rams would like to trade their No. 2 draft pick as soon as possible in order to get the biggest booty in exchange for the rights to select Griffin in April.

Once free agency begins on March 13 and a number of quarterbacks like Kyle Orton, Matt Flynn, Jason Campbell and Chad Henne hit the open market, the desire to trade a trove of draft picks to the Rams for RG3 might decrease significantly.

Who wants RG3
But even before free agency begins, the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports, the Rams haven’t found a huge seller’s market.

According to the paper, the Browns, who already hold the No. 4 overall pick and obviously would have to give that up to move up to No. 2, aren’t willing to part with their second first-round pick this year (at No. 22). The idea of St. Louis not getting -- at the absolute bare minimum -- two first-round picks to give up their No. 2 selection is ridiculous, and if Cleveland sticks to that plan, perhaps the organization feels better about current quarterback Colt McCoy than many people might have guessed.

Adding to the Rams woes, the Redskins apparently are willing to part with their No. 6 pick this year and their first-round pick in 2013 but don’t want to give up their second-round pick this year. As the paper writes, that simply isn’t acceptable to the Rams.

The Post Dispatch also writes that trades won’t be worked out with eiter the Dolphins (the No. 8 pick) because Miami doesn’t want to deal with the coach in Jeff Fisher who spurned them for a job or the Seahawks (No. 12) because St. Louis doesn’t want to have to face RG3 twice a year for the foreseeable future.

What’s interesting about this scenario is if the Browns feel they can gamble and not trade for the No. 2 pick and still hope RG3 falls to them at No. 4, especially with the Vikings probably not looking at RG3 with Christian Ponder, a first-round pick last year, as the starting quarterback.

But as always, you have to take with a grain of salt any trade reports that occur before the NFL draft. At this point, it’s still a poker game with plenty of bluffing from all sides.

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Posted on: February 29, 2012 7:02 pm
Edited on: March 1, 2012 12:50 pm
 

Henne could make $4M, challenge for starting job?

Some teams view Henne as a QB who could push the incumbent for the starting gig. Miami disagrees.  (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

The Dolphins may have no interest in Chad Henne, but Miami's 2008 second-round pick (and the No. 5 quarterback in our free-agency rankings) will generate plenty of interest from QB-needy teams.  In fact, FoxSports.com's Alex Marvez goes so far as to suggest that after Peyton Manning and Matt Flynn, Henne "has emerged as the NFL’s hottest quarterbacking commodity set to hit the market when the signing period begins March 13."

We had to read that twice, too.

But after the aforementioned Manning and Flynn (and for completeness, we'll throw in Drew Brees), it's a decidedly mediocre crop of candidates. Maybe Marvez is onto something, or more specifically: Marvez's sources, one of whom described Henne as a good fit for teams seeking a "1A" option (a player who can push the so-so incumbent for the starting gig but who ain't looking for starter's money), are onto something.

"That’s not to say he will come cheap, especially with the limited free-agent options available," Marvez wrote Wednesday. "Regarded in some circles as a better alternative than second-tier retreads like Jason Campbell, David Garrard, Vince Young and Kyle Orton, Henne is expected to land a contract that averages between $4 million to $5 million a season. Excluding demoted starters, the NFL’s top backup quarterbacks command no more than $3 million a year."

Not bad for a guy who never lived up to expectations in a market not known for its die-hard NFL fan base. Then again, we'd take Henne over Garrard, Young and Orton. (We have a soft spot for Campbell, who must've been a horrible person in a previous life to suffer his NFL fate in this one.)

We say that with the understanding that Henne is a backup, not a guy you build a team around, which is the same conclusion the Dolphins came to. So why does there appear to be legitimate interest in Henne? First: it's slim pickins' (see this link again). Second: just like the combine, coaches, scouts and front-office types fall in love with measurables. Henne looks like he should be good. And at times, he's shown promise. But frustratingly inconsistent is a more apt description of his first four years in the league.

But as PFT's Gregg Rosenthal notes, he'd take Henne over Mark Sanchez. This redefines the term "soft bigotry of low expectations." Put differently: in the right system, Henne would be adequate, maybe slightly better. And in the right system, that could be good enough. Sanchez got two two AFC Championship games, after all.

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Posted on: February 21, 2012 9:42 pm
 

Report: Dolphins won't attempt to re-sign Henne

Henne's career in Miami ends after four uninspiring seasons. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

We spent a good part of the latest Pick-6 Podcast talking about where Chad Henne will play in 2012 because while Miami's front office hasn't come out and said it, it's a foregone conclusion that he played his last game for the Dolphins in Week 4 before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury.

On Tuesday, a league source told the South Florida Sun Sentinel's Omar Kelly that Dolphins won't be making Henne an offer. Which means that the unrestricted free agent will be free to hawk his wares to any of the other 31 NFL teams.


In early January, Henne, the Dolphins' 2008 second-round pick, said he would "love" to return to Miami. But the 13-18 career record as a starter and the career-best 79.0 passer rating through four games of the 2011 season were two good reasons for the organization to continue its search for the next franchise quarterback.

“Chad has done what we’ve asked him to do," Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland said at the Senior Bowl last month according to Kelly. "I like Chad personally very well. He’s very smart. Very intelligent. Very tough. A football guy. He loves being around the game and is a very good teammate. But this football team didn’t win enough games when he was quarterback here.

"But that doesn’t mean he did everything wrong, or right. If he goes somewhere else, Chad’s a good football player. He can play in this league.”

While Henne won't have trouble finding work, barring an extraordinary set of circumstances, it won't be as a starter. (CBSSports.com's Will Brinson pegs the Chiefs, Jets and Broncos as possible destinations.)

As for the Dolphins, two names are often mentioned at the top of their wish list: Peyton Manning (who owner Stephen Ross is reportedly infatuated with) and Matt Flynn, who knows new head coach Joe Philbin well from their time together in Green Bay.

Flynn might make the most sense because he's familiar with Philbin's offense and hasn't had four neck surgeries. But Manning would give the Dolphins something they haven't had since Dan Marino retired: one of the league's best quarterbacks. The only difference is that Manning's best days could be behind him. Exacerbating matters: we won't know one way or the other for weeks, maybe months.

One thing is for certain, however: Henne's career in Miami is officially over.

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Posted on: February 21, 2012 8:25 pm
 

Pick-6 Podcast: Ranking the free-agent QBs

Will Peyton end up in the Valley of the Sun?(CBSSports.com illustration)

By Will Brinson & Ryan Wilson

The old saying goes something like this: yes, it's officially the NFL offseason but there really is no offseason. The Giants won the Super Bowl a few weeks ago but teams can already franchise would-be free agents, the combine begins this week and free agency the week after.

There are plenty of storylines, and Peyton Manning's future is among the biggest. On the latest Pick-6 Podcast, we talk whether the Arizona Cardinals make the most sense for Manning (he does look dashing in red), and where the other free-agent quarterbacks (Matt Flynn, Kyle Orton, Jason Campbell, Chad Henne) might end up this spring.

The conversation then turns to Big Ben and Todd Haley, and a possible theory for why the Steelers could let Mike Wallace leave as a restricted free agent.

(Did we mention that you should subscribe to the podcast via iTunes? And if you can't listen to the podcast below, download it here. And if you'd like to keep working while listening in your browser, pop that puppy out in a new tab here.)


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Posted on: February 21, 2012 1:10 pm
Edited on: February 21, 2012 5:01 pm
 

2012 NFL Free Agency: Quarterback rankings

The 2012 free-agent quarterback class is an, um, diverse group. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Leading up to the start of free agency on March 13, we're compiling lists of the best 2012 NFL free agents by position. These are the quarterbacks.

Though the list of free-agent quarterbacks for 2012 isn't necessarily the greatest crop of players in NFL history, it does have the potential to be one of the most intriguing in years, because of one man: Peyton Manning. Manning's saga is well-documented at this point; the back-and-forth between Manning's camp and Jim Irsay dominated the freaking Super Bowl.

Releasing him into the wild seems like a mere matter of timing. So we're going to take that assumption and add Manning to our lists of free agents. We're also including the Saints Drew Brees and 49ers Alex Smith on this list, since both are technically unrestricted free agents, until they receive the franchise tag from their respective teams. There's a better likelihood of Jimmy Clausen unseating Cam Newton than there is Brees not returning to New Orleans, but maybe someone in the Saints office will forget to fax in the franchise-tag paperwork.


Brees offseason could be interesting.  (Getty Images)

1. Drew Brees

Breakdown: The biggest problem for the Saints isn't that Brees might leave. He's not going to unless something really ridiculous happens. The biggest problem for the Saints is that if they're forced to use the franchise tag on Brees, they could end up losing Carl Nicks and Marques Colston. That won't make Brees any happier when it gets down to brass-tack negotiating.
Potential Landing Spots: Saints

2. Peyton Manning

Breakdown: Perhaps you've heard of Manning before. He's third all-time in passing yards (54,828). He's third all-time in passing touchdowns (399). He's won more MVPs than anyone in NFL history (four). And he's second in his own family with Super Bowl rings (one). That last item isn't a shot at Manning, though. It's the reason we believe he's not done when it comes to football, and that he'll come back to the game supremely motivated. No one knows whether or not he'll be fully healthy by the time the 2012 season begins. We do know he won't be fully healthy by the time March 13 rolls around, though. Which means that anyone who signs him will be engaging in a serious high-risk, high-reward game of chicken with Manning's neck.
Potential Landing Spots: Cardinals, Dolphins, Seahawks, Jets, Redskins

3. Matt Flynn

Breakdown: Flynn's attempted just 132 passes at the professional level, but 81 of them are pretty impressive. Those came in the only two starts of his career, when Flynn managed to go 55 of 81 for 731 yards, nine touchdowns and two interceptions. There are concerns that Flynn can't make every throw (right now) and that he might be a product of Green Bay's system. But that system's in Miami now, as former Packers quarterbacks coach Joe Philbin is the Dolphins head coach. If Miami doesn't make a run at Flynn when free agency opens up, that should be a big red flag for anyone else interested in Aaron Rodgers backup.
Potential Landing Spots: Dolphins, Seahawks, Redskins

4. Alex Smith

Breakdown: Smith resurrected his career under new 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and, in the span of about two playoff minutes against the Saints, nearly flipped the entire narrative of his career. As it is, Smith's improvement in 2011 is impressive; according to Pro Football Focus, he had the third-highest accuracy percentage in the NFL (factoring in drops, throwaways and spikes) last year, behind only Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees. Smith's said he isn't interested in leaving San Francisco, and Harbaugh's gotten his back publicly, even though there's zero chance they'll use the franchise tag on him.
Potential Landing Spots: 49ers
Henne could surprise in the right spot. (Getty Images)

5. Chad Henne

Breakdown: Miami drafting a quarterback in the second round: an April tradition unlike any other! But no, seriously, Henne's in a long line of signal-callers that the Dolphins took in the second round who didn't pan out. He's had serious problems with interceptions; Henne's got a 3.5 percent INT rate over his career and only nine of his 36 NFL games have not featured him throwing a pick. And Henne tends to look particularly robotic at times in the pocket (these things go hand in hand). But he's only 26 and it's not fair to blame him for all of Miami's woes the past three years. Henne can make all the throws and flashed some serious potential at times during his tenure in South Beach. He's the highest-upside backup quarterback out there and he's got several former coaches -- Brian Daboll, Tony Sparano -- coaching in spots that could use a backup quarterback.
Potential Landing Spots: Chiefs, Jets, Broncos

6. Jason Campbell

Breakdown: It's hard not to feel sympathetic for Campbell. The former Auburn star and first-round pick has had roughly 25 offensive coordinators since he started taking snaps in college and he's about to start out on his third NFL roster once the free-agency shuffling begins anew this year. He's 30 and hasn't played a full season in the past two years, either because of injury or being benched. The latter was for Bruce Gradkowski, so it's hard to tell what's worse for his reputation. He makes a lot of sense for a team that wants someone to push their starter without making a stink in the locker room.
Potential Landing Spots: Chiefs, Eagles, Jets

NFL Free Agency

7. Kyle Orton

Breakdown: Orton's was a "winner" with the Bears, he was a stat-hog for a season with the Broncos, he flirted with the Dolphins and finally he was a streak-killer with the Chiefs. He's not going to be anyone's starter in 2011, unless Washington seriously misplays everything in free agency and the draft (not out of the question). But he's an above-average backup in the NFL and could certainly compete with the starters that various teams -- KC, Washington, Jacksonville, for example -- will trot out in 2011. Orton doesn't want to deal with being a "stop-gap option" but it's unlikely he'll have a choice next year.
Potential Landing Spots:
Redskins, Chiefs, Jaguars, Bears, Broncos

8. David Garrard

Breakdown: Pete Prisco's second-favorite quarterback missed the entire 2011 season after the Jaguars cut him and he underwent surgery for a herniated disk in his back. There was interest in the 34-year-old last year after teams lost quarterbacks to injury, but he decided to recover from the surgery instead. While that's the smart move, Garrard won't find the market as friendly for his services this time, especially since his agent said on February 15 Garrard would be ready in "four to six weeks." Expect someone with a steady starter and tenuous backup to look to Garrard.
Potential Landing Spots: Bears, Broncos, Buccaneers, Rams, Raiders

9. Shaun Hill

Breakdown: Hill's 32 and not exactly a spring chicken. But he performed admirably in place of Matthew Stafford in 2010 and the fit between he and the Lions is a nice one. The Lions are tight with cap space, but Hill appears to like where he's at, and it's not like he'd break the bank in another location anyway.
Potential Landing Spots: Lions
VY's likely to remain a backup. (Getty Images)

10. Vince Young

Breakdown: Now seems like a good time to remind you that the guy who coined "Dream Team" in Philly was indeed the backup quarterback and someone on a one-year contract. His personality and turnovers will cause a problem for teams looking to sign him. Unless that team happens to run the read-option offense and could really use a mobile quarterback with success in the NFL to step in and freelance if/when Tim Tebow gets hurt/melts down.
Potential Landing Spots: Broncos

11. Rex Grossman

Breakdown: Did you know that Rex Grossman is actually "Rex Grossman III"? Poor Mike Shanahan had RG3 on his roster the whole time and didn't even know it. Sigh. Anyway, Grossman's not going to attract a lot of attention on the market, and nor should he. As the old saying goes, though, "love the one you're with." And Grossman and the Shanahans are with each other, even if Rex isn't starting next year. It would be surprising to see him playing anywhere else in 2012.
Potential Landing Spots: Redskins

HONORABLE MENTION

Unrestricted Free Agents: Dennis Dixon, Josh Johnson, Brady Quinn, Charlie Whitehurst, Donovan McNabb, Dan Orlovsky, Drew Stanton, Caleb Hanie, Charlie Batch, Kellen Clemens

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Posted on: February 16, 2012 6:01 pm
 

Sherman doesn't think Fins are 'that far away'

ShermanBy Josh Katzowitz

For a guy who lost out on the Buccaneers head coaching job to Greg Schiano and instead had to take a job as the Dolphins offensive coordinator, it’s nice to see Mike Sherman maintaining his sense of humor.

I mean, the idea that Sherman said he doesn’t think the Dolphins are far away from a Super Bowl is absolutely hysterical. Good one, Mike, you slay me every time!

Oh … he wasn’t kidding? OK, then.

"I've watched the tape, I don't think we're that far away," Sherman told reporters today, via the Miami Herald. "We're missing a couple of pieces here and there and we have a chance to build upon what Jeff Ireland has put together here. After watching the tape, I feel like we get a couple of pieces here and there and we'll be close."

So, um, what?

"We'll have some very explosive potential with the talent we have on offense," he said. "We have to fill some holes but overall we have some explosive players and that's exciting. If you have explosive players, you should have explosive plays."

Right, right.

OK, I’m obviously being snarky with his comments, because last year, Miami was nowhere near qualifying for the postseason (or a winning record, for that matter). To think the Dolphins can completely turn around their organization in a year with a first-time head coach in Joe Philbin and a starting quarterback in Matt Moore and/or Chad Henne who is not exactly elite and a defense that was almost exactly average last year seems a bit … oh … optimistic.

But it’s not like the Dolphins have to climb out of hole the Rams or the Buccaneers find themselves in. There were times last year, especially when Tony Sparano’s job was on the line, that the team actually played well. And Sherman is right that there is talent.

The emergence of Reggie Bush was one of the more underplayed stories in the AFC East this year, and Brandon Marshall is a top-flight receiver. Assuming the Dolphins go after a free agent quarterback in the offseason (perhaps a guy like Peyton Manning?), Sherman might have a decent point.

The Dolphins aren’t Super Bowl bound anytime soon, but perhaps they can put together enough to compete for a division title.

"I never think much more than this year so next year or the following year, we're going to be as good as we can be this year," Sherman said. "We'll see what happens and see how it goes. I don't think anyone would have picked the Giants necessarily to win the Super Bowl this year."

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Posted on: February 2, 2012 11:10 am
 

Matt Flynn to Miami still would be a risk

Flynn

By Josh Katzowitz

People can’t seem to help but get excited about Packers and soon-to-be free agent quarterback Matt Flynn. Although he’s only started two career games in four seasons, all spent backing up Aaron Rodgers, his time on the field has been productive. Hell, it’s been record-setting, like when he set franchise marks with 480 passing yards and six touchdowns in Green Bay’s Week 17 win vs. the Lions.

Since that performance, the Redskins and Dolphins reportedly have had interest in obtaining his services, and though Miami could very well go after Peyton Manning if the Colts cut him loose, receiver Brandon Marshall reached out to Flynn about making the move to south Florida.

"Obviously, Matt [Moore] had a great year," Marshall said at the Pro Bowl. "You don't want to take anything away from Matt, but I think we really [should] bring in somebody who can compete and make the team better."

That person, in Marshall’s mind, could be Flynn, but there are two things to remember before Miami fans welcome Flynn with a ticker-tape parade in South Beach.

In like Matt Flynn
1) Flynn has taken significant snaps only twice in the past two years. Sure, he performed well in both cases -- he nearly beat the Patriots in 2010 -- but it’s still only two games. That isn’t much of a sample size.

2) Current Dolphins starter Matt Moore had a solid year, taking over for Chad Henne as Miami’s quarterback. Yes, Flynn probably has a more exciting name, though certainly not a better resume, and he has more upside than Moore. But Moore has proven he’s a solid quarterback in the league. We can’t say that yet about Flynn.

But here’s why the Flynn-to-Miami rumblings make sense. New coach Joe Philbin is coming off a strong reign as the Packers offensive coordinator, and though most of us don’t know how Flynn performs on a daily basis at practice, you can be sure Philbin knows exactly what Flynn can do. And if Philbin wants Flynn, how could anybody argue that?

“With Matt Flynn, know what he can’t do, and make sure you build the offense around things he can do,” Lombardi told Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post. “Obviously, Joe Philbin knows him.”

Still, that doesn’t mean Flynn isn’t a risk. After all, remember the $63 million contract the Cardinals bestowed on Kevin Kolb last offseason, even though Kolb only had a limited resume? How well did that work out for Arizona?

“I don’t think it’s risky to go get him. I think it’s risky to give him $60 million, or give him $20 million over two years like Kevin Kolb,” Lombardi told the Post. “I think there’s a lot of chance for failure there.”

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Posted on: January 2, 2012 9:21 pm
Edited on: January 3, 2012 8:25 am
 

Chad Henne would 'love' to return to Dolphins

Henne wants another chance to prove he's an NFL starter. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

The NFL may be a passing league but it's decidedly short on quality passers. The perception is skewed by the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Tom Brady as well as guys like Ben Roethlisberger, Tony Romo, Matthew Stafford and Philip Rivers.

Beyond that there's plenty of uncertainty. It's why the Jets and Broncos could be looking for a quarterback this offseason (never mind what their respective front offices said recently; if the opportunity arises, they're jumping at a chance to improve the position), and it's why players like Chad Henne -- an average NFL QB -- won't have any trouble finding work.

(We talked about Sanchez, Tebow and Henne during Monday's Week 17 recap podcast, conveniently embedded below.)


Henne injured his non-throwing shoulder in October and was placed on injured reserve. Matt Moore took his place in the lineup and the Dolphins played well. After an 0-7 start, they finished 6-10 (we've joked that they're the best 6-10 team in league history). Henne will be a free agent this spring but said Monday that he's willing to return to the Dolphins.

"I'm going to be here until they push me out of here," he said in the team locker room, according to the Palm Beach Post's Brian Biggane.

Henne said that he hopes to talk to management about a new contract but "If not, then I'll move on, but I love this team, I love being down here."

Henne, who underwent shoulder shortly after suffering the injury and has been rehabbing ever since, said he was impressed with how well Moore played under some difficult circumstances.

"Matt stepping in doing a really good job (with) the offense and just making plays out there put a smile on my face," he said.

"You can look at the turnovers, but that was at the end of the game when you had to force the ball. I feel like I can make the big plays at the end. I can do that and I will do that. But it's just more consistency."

Henne, taken in the second round of the 2008 draft, was 13-18 as a starter in Miami. His 79 passer rating through four weeks of the 2011 season was a career best, which confirms that the Dolphins' search for a quarterback to replace Dan Marino (who retired after the 1999 season) continues.

Could Henne eventually be the full-time replacement? Sure. But it's just as likely that Miami's new head coach could look to turn the page on the Tony Sparano regime, and that includes a fresh start at QB. But that doesn't mean Henne won't be employed in short order. His best bet will come as a backup, but in the right situation he could also get another chance to start. (Is he that much different from Sanchez in New York or Tarvaris Jackson in Seattle? Or any number of quarterbacks currently listed atop their respective team's depth chart? No, no and no.)

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com