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Tag:DeAngelo Williams
Posted on: February 20, 2012 10:20 am
Edited on: February 20, 2012 12:22 pm
 

Report: Rice wants a 'Peterson type of contract'

Rice is good, but is he worth 'AP money'? (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

One guy we expect to see franchised over the next fortnight or so is Ravens running back Ray Rice. Rice is an unrestricted free agent, is just 25, and is one of only 16 NFL players since the merger to accumulate multiple seasons with 2,000 or more yards from scrimmage. But we also expect Rice and the Ravens to work out a new long-term deal; Rice said he's OK with the tag provided it leads to such a deal.

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But his expectations might be too high: Peter King of Sports Illustrated writes Monday morning that he's hearing Rice "wants an Adrian Peterson-type of contract" for his next deal.

Unfortunately, that's probably not happening. Prior to the 2011 season, Peterson signed a seven-year deal worth up to $100 million, with $36 million guaranteed.

That's "best running back in the NFL" money, and Peterson might be lone exception when discussing running backs who are worthy of that kind of cheddar. (Of course, Peterson spent much of 2011 dealing with a high-ankle sprain that Leslie Frazier later parlayed into a torn ACL by rushing his franchise player back onto the field too quickly.)

Rice, as talented as he is, isn't worth that much money. The Ravens know this and they won't give Rice "AP money." King writes as much, saying that he "doesn't see them going anywhere near that for Rice," although he believes that Baltimore will find a way to get Rice his cash.

A closer approximation to what Rice could get? The deal the Carolina Panthers handed DeAngelo Williams after the 2011 lockout. Williams got a five-year, $43 million deal with $21 million guaranteed.

Rice is more valuable than Williams (the stats bear that out, particularly in 2011), but Williams deal was -- and remains -- a straight-up overpay. The Panthers threw the market for "franchise running backs" out of whack, and now guys like Rice and Matt Forte, who run a lot of risk by only playing for a one-year guaranteed deal in 2011, will suffer because of it.

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Posted on: February 4, 2012 12:48 pm
Edited on: February 4, 2012 12:54 pm
 

DeAngelo, Stewart talk Panthers at Playboy party

Eye on Football hit Playboy's Super Bowl party Friday night. (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)

By Will Brinson

INDIANAPOLIS -- DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, known as "Double Trouble" for the combination of their rushing attack with the Panthers, were at the Playboy blue carpet on Friday night. As everyone who reads this blog knows, there's no one who works here who's a homer at all when it comes to the Panthers.

We talked to them about Cam Newton, the rushing attack, the new Panthers logo and then made them give a shoutout to my buddy Zeke. Good times all around.



Also check out the full slideshow of pictures from the Bud Light blue carpet:


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Posted on: October 5, 2011 11:17 am
Edited on: October 6, 2011 4:59 pm
 

Film Room: Panthers vs. Saints preview

Posted by Eye on Football Analyst Andy Benoit



The Saints are 3-1 but it’s the 1-3 Panthers creating most of the chatter. Or, Cam Newton creating the chatter. Through a quarter of his rookie season, the No. 1 overall pick is, in a word, sensational. But obviously not perfect. The Panthers are still dwelling in the basement of the NFC South.

Here’s a comprehensive look at Newton and his club as they head into their first divisional showdown of the season.



1. How good is he, really?
Through four games, Newton has far exceeded all expectations. Remarkably, this includes expectations about his physical talents. We knew the 6’5”, 245-pound Auburn Tiger was an athletic monster, but rarely are quarterbacks still athletic monsters once they reach the NFL. Newton has been a productive runner, both with power and speed.

He’s a poor man’s Vick when it comes to eluding tacklers and a poor man’s Roethlisberger when it comes to shedding them. That’s a rich combination considering no other quarterback truly exhibits any of these traits (save for maybe Josh Freeman shedding defenders).

Most impressive, however, is that Newton has not leaned on his athleticism. Operating almost exclusively out of shotguns, he’s been a willing and poised statuesque passer who willingly works through his progressions from the pocket. His decisions are usually capped off by a bullet either downfield, outside the numbers (he has the uncanny arm strength to stretch the field both horizontally and vertically) or, if need be, underneath.

For the most part, Newton’s decisions have been good. He has faced an aggressive blitzing defense in Arizona, a classic 3-4 press defense in Green Bay (playing without Tramon Williams, the Packers kept Charles Woodson outside and blitzed far less often than usual that game) and, most recently, a classic Cover 2 defense in Chicago. He posted a legit 370-plus yards passing against all three of them.

The proof that it’s not all daisies and roses is that Newton also threw crucial interceptions in all three games and came away with a loss. He’s still a rookie and still prone to the occasional blunder. The blunders have been far less frequent than anyone expected, but they’ve been costly nevertheless.

2. Panthers dual tight ends
We assumed that with tight ends Jeremy Shockey and Greg Olsen, Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski would craft a dink-and-dunk, run-first system. Indeed, the Panthers have kept two tight ends on the field a majority of the time, but often, at least one of them (usually Olsen) has split out, serving essentially as a No. 3 receiver.

This poses serious personnel issues for defenses. Leave your base three-linebacker unit on the field and risk getting burned through the air (Shockey and Olsen have been superb downfield route runners the first four weeks). Use your nickel personnel and you risk getting run on by a team that always has a top-10 running back on the field.

The Saints are one of the few defenses that have an answer for this: strong safety Roman Harper. He is their second best run defender (behind Jonathan Vilma) and a demon in the box. He’s versatile enough to play press man coverage (he’s not particularly good at it, but Gregg Williams feels comfortable using him sporadically in this capacity) or blitz (3.5 sacks on the season).
 
Expect the Panthers in Week 5 to continue to be pass-first with their tight ends. And expect the Saints to not simply react to this, but rather, to attack by changing up what they do with Harper throughout the game in order to get Newton thinking.

3. Running Impact
Newton is the first quarterback since Vick to pose a veritable threat as a runner (Vince Young can’t be counted as a running threat quarterback because he was such a limited passer that defenses could get away with putting nine in the box against him; not a chance that happens against Newton). Having a running threat under center does wonders for your rushing attack.

The Panthers have all the resources to pound teams on the ground – DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart are an excellent duo, center Ryan Kalil can lock defenders at both the first and second level, left tackle Jordan Gross is a Pro Bowler and right tackle Jeff Otah flashed his old power against Chicago last week. But for whatever reason, Chudzinski has not gone in that direction. Carolina is averaging 25.5 rushing attempts per game, tied for 18th in the NFL.

Chudzinski would be wise to change this. The threat that Newton poses really opens things up. We saw this on the third play of the game against Chicago last week:


4. What Newton will see from Saints D
The Saints have one of the most aggressive defenses in football – both in terms of execution and presnap disguise. That has a lot to do with the trust Gregg Williams has in his secondary. Jabari Greer is one of the best ball-man corners in the game. Patrick Robinson had a rough Week 1 at Green Bay but has come on the last few outings (he was phenomenal at Jacksonville).

Playmaker Tracy Porter was eased back into action last week – he missed two games with a calf injury – and should see more snaps Sunday. When you factor in free safety Malcom Jenkins’ range, the Saints clearly have the resources to handle a Panthers’ wide receiving corps that is underwhelming outside of Steve Smith.

Dealing with the tight ends might be an issue, but Roman Harper’s versatility could cause Newton to question that matchup at times. How will Newton react when he sees Harper leave Olsen or Shockey and blitz? The simple answer would be, “He’ll throw to Olsen or Shockey”. But if you and I can predict this, so can Gregg Williams.

The Saints are one of the best green dog blitzing defenses in the league. (A green dog blitz is when a linebacker has a running back man-to-man, sees that the running back is staying in to pass protect and so he goes after the quarterback in response.) These blitzes can be hard to recognize because they come unexpectedly and late in the action.
 
When blitzing is not involved, Carolina’s offensive line can contain a Saints pass-rush that has been hit-or-miss early this season (the return of end Will Smith certainly helps). Thus, expect Gregg Williams to go after Newton and get him guessing before the snap. Many of Williams’ blitzes come out of nickel personnel packages. The Saints used their nickel later in the game against the Texans to counter the receiving impact of Houston’s two tight ends (Owen Daniels and James Casey). Don’t be surprised if they refer to their nickel early against the Panthers’ two-tight end offense.

5. The other side of the ball
The Saints have remade their offense this season. It now runs through Darren Sproles and Jimmy Graham. Sproles has been better for the Saints than Reggie Bush ever was (much better, in fact). That could be in part because Sproles doesn’t yet draw the attention that Bush drew. But more than anything, it’s because he has lightning quick feet and an understanding for how to create and exploit spacing in both the run and pass game.

Graham is the dynamic athlete we all knew he’d be after his 2010 debut. It just so happens that the ex-power forward is developing much quicker than expected. He’s a mismatch for any linebacker, has the size to out-position defensive backs and has better hands than Robert Meachem (who is now the fourth option in this pass offense, behind Sproles, Graham and, when healthy, Marques Colston).

Panthers strong safety Charles Godfrey has been stellar in coverage this season and can compete with Graham, but the Panther linebackers (who are really missing Jon Beason) will have trouble with Sproles. Carolina’s best hope is to get pressure on Brees early in the down.

Defensive ends Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy are capable of embarrassing New Orleans’ athletic but grossly unreliable tackles Jermon Bushrod and Charles Brown. But Brees knows this and is also capable of adjusting.

So who will win? Check our Week 5 NFL expert picks for all the games

Follow @Andy_Benoit on Twitter or contact him at Andy.Benoit-at-NFLTouchdown.com.
Posted on: September 9, 2011 11:40 pm
 

Charles Godfrey gets five-year, $27.5M extension

Posted by Will Brinson

The Carolina Panthers continued their offseason spending spree on Friday, giving strong safety Charles Godfrey a five-year, $27.5 million extension that includes $12.4 million in guaranteed money.

That's according to our Panthers Rapid Reporter Steve Reed, who also earlier reported that Godfrey was named one of the team's captains for 2011, along with tackle Jordan Gross, wide receiver Steve Smith, linebacker Jon Beason, punter Jason Baker and linebacker Thomas Davis.

“He’s on top of the world and he’s thrilled because this is what he wanted," Godfrey's agent Doug Hendrickson told Reed. "He really loves the new defense and the staff and everything about the organization. They stepped up big time."

He should be. Godfrey's one of several Panthers -- including Beason, Davis, defensive end Charles Johnson, running back DeAngelo Williams and linebacker James Anderson -- to pick up a big-time financial commitment from Carolina this offseason.

In 43 starts since being drafted in the third round of 2008, Godfrey's racked up 157 tackles, seven interceptions (including five in 2010) and six forced fumbles.

And though some folks might wonder why a 2-14 team would be slinging around so much cash for a group of players that didn't produce all that much in 2010, aside from Williams, the Panthers have made their significant investments into a defense that was much better than the team's record would indicate.

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Posted on: August 30, 2011 8:41 pm
Edited on: August 30, 2011 9:33 pm
 

Frank Gore finally gets his contract extension

GorePosted by Josh Katzowitz

It’s been an interesting few hours for 49ers running back Frank Gore.

First, a tweet from the account of Pro Player Solutions congratulated Gore on signing a contract extension, a fact that hadn’t been confirmed by Gore minutes earlier during his news conference when he said he and the team were getting closer to a deal.

Now, Pro Football Talk has details of the extension to end a strange, but probably exhilarating afternoon for Gore -- three years, $21 million with $13.5 million guaranteed.

It seems like a fair deal, especially when you consider Gore -- who was supposed to make nearly $5 million in his contract year -- is 28 years old and almost surely won’t continue to be as effective as he was in his prime (he’s also coming off a season-ending hip injury).

At the same time, he wasn't ever in the running to get the kind of deal the Panthers gave DeAngelo Williams (five years, $43 million, $21 million guaranteed) -- even though that's what Gore wanted. But San Francisco also didn't want to let him go; indeed, the club had talked about making him a 49er for life.

"Frank is a true 49er. I've said that from when I first got here," coach Jim Harbaugh said, via the AP. "That's how I thought I would feel about Frank Gore. Now, I know how I feel about Frank Gore. The guy is awesome. Somebody should do a movie. Somebody should do the Frank Gore story, because it's an awesome story."

Said Gore before the deal was reported: "I told Drew (Rosenhaus, Gore's agent), 'Man, just call me when he feels right, when he feels what's fair for both sides.' Hopefully I can be a Niner. I want to be here for my whole career."

Now, there's a pretty decent chance of that happening. And hopefully now that the 49ers have taken care of him, he has no reason to snap at assistant coaches.

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Posted on: August 15, 2011 7:09 pm
Edited on: August 16, 2011 10:13 am
 

Chris Johnson not likely to show up any time soon

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Apparently, Titans RB Chris Johnson doesn’t just want top-tier running back money in order to end his holdout from Tennessee camp. He wants top-tier NFL player money. That’s the word from ESPN.com, which reports that there are no signs the Johnson-Titans impasse will end anytime soon.

Johnson's Contract Journey
Although the Titans have stated they’re willing to make Johnson the highest-paid RB in the league -- if you were looking for comparisons, Adrian Peterson will make $10.7 million this year, and the Panthers gave DeAngelo Williams $21 million guaranteed this offseason -- they actually haven’t made a formal offer to Johnson’s agent.

Meanwhile, Johnson, whose base salary for 2011 is $800,000, says he wants $30 million guaranteed for his next contract, and he’s willing to lose a year of accrued free agency to do it. It should be noted that Tennessee gave Johnson a raise to end his holdout last year, so when the Titans say they won’t negotiate with Johnson if he’s not in camp, it’s questionable whether they mean it.

Especially since we all know how important Johnson is to their cause.

Otherwise, the Titans will feature Javon Ringer, who hurt himself in Tennessee’s first preseason game and missed Monday's practice, as their starting RB. Which might not be a terrible thing, because it seems like the coaching staff and players are impressed at Ringer’s talent (even if the awesomeness of Johnson has blocked most everybody else from seeing it).

But Tennessee also doesn’t know exactly what it’s getting if the Titans need to get him 25 carries a game. With Johnson, they do.

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Posted on: July 27, 2011 1:41 pm
Edited on: July 27, 2011 2:43 pm
 

DeAngelo agrees to $43M deal with Panthers

Posted by Will Brinson

If you thought the Carolina Panthers might sit on their laurels in free agency, well, whoops: less than a day after dropping a $76 million beast of a deal on defensive end Charles Johnson, the Panthers have reportedly signed running back DeAngelo Williams to a five-year, $43-million deal that features $21 million in guaranteed money.

"DeAngelo Williams is back #doubletrouble" Jonathan Stewart, Williams' backfield partner, tweeted shortly after Michael Lombardi of the NFL Network first reported the deal.

Williams, like Johnson, became an unrestricted free agent following the implementation of the new CBA rules and cashed in big-time with his hometown team on Wednesday.

Reports also indicate that the Denver Broncos and Williams' former coach John Fox were in heavy pursuit of the running back, but much like Johnson, it appears the Panthers were willing to pony up and keep him in-town.

The Panthers have also since signed kicker Olindo Mare to a four-year, $12 million deal and signed tight end Ben Hartsock. Yes, it's safe to say they're being a tad active this offseason.

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Posted on: July 18, 2011 9:42 am
Edited on: July 18, 2011 2:02 pm
 

Ahmad Bradshaw 'very interested' in Dolphins

Posted by Will Brinson

You don't need a crystal ball to know that the Miami Dolphins -- who are likely to rid themselves of Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown this offseason -- will be chasing a running back in free agency.

Their top target will likely be DeAngelo Williams (yes, we're assuming a reversion to old rules here), but there's no guarantee the 'Fins can pick him up, particularly if the Panthers really do want to re-sign him and John Fox picks up his pursuit in Denver.

So, how about a fallback option like Ahmad Bradshaw? Is that something the Dolphins might be interested in? Because if they are, Bradshaw is also interested.

"I represent Ahmad. He's training here in Miami and would be very interested in the Dolphins," Bradshaw's agent Drew Rosenhaus told Sports Xtra, per Omar Kelly on Twitter. "If they (Dolphins) are interested in Ahmad (Bradshaw), we're interested back."

I'm not sure if this constitutes tampering or not (I don't think so), but Rosenhaus waved at the Dolphins from the set of the show, knowing that the Dolphins watch. And maybe that doesn't count either. Whatever, predicting what the Dolphins need and then assuming your client fits that need isn't quite like figuring out where Hoffa's body is.

Rosenhaus also made an interesting point about the 'Fins running-back situation -- they'll try and find someone who can compliment rookie Daniel Thomas, who the Dolphins moved into the second round to draft in April.

Conveniently, Sports Xtra had a relevant guest to that topic -- one Daniel Thomas.

"I can go every down, but if we get a [scatback] it will help the team,"said Thomas who, per Kelly, also said he's more of an inside runner.

So, yeah, you can tell why Bradshaw would be interested in this job opportunity -- it involves getting paid handsomely to carry the ball often for a run-first team that isn't going to make you get beat up by going between the tackles as often as you would elsewhere.

Of course, the quarterback setup may dictate the Dolphins spending ability at the running back position. If Miami can strike early and pick up a quarterback who will push Chad Henne for the starting gig and/or someone they'd feel comfortable starting the 2011 season with, you have to imagine they'll know more quickly what they can spend on a running back.

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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