Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
 
Tag:NFL Pulse
Posted on: December 18, 2011 12:41 pm
Edited on: December 18, 2011 1:05 pm
 

Casserly: free agency to be 'carnage' for players

The NFL salary cap isn't expected to increase my much for next season. (Getty Images)


Follow all the Week 15 action live: Inactives | Scoreboard

1 p.m. ET games: MIA-BUF | SEA-CHI | CAR-HOU | TEN-IND | GB-KC | NO-MIN | WAS-NYG | CIN-STL
4 p.m. ET games: DET-OAK | CLE-ARI | NE-DEN | NYJ-PHI



By Ryan Wilson

With just three games remaining in the regular season and many teams already looking ahead to 2012, CBS NFL insider Charley Casserly, during his weekly appearance on The NFL Today, discussed what the first free agency in the post-lockout NFL world will look like for the players.

"By my calculation," Casserly told CBS Sports' James Brown Sunday, "more than 25 percent of the NFL will be unrestricted free agents (this spring). That's the most in the history of free agency.

"This past week at the labor seminar, clubs were informed that the (salary) cap for next year will either not go up or go up very slightly. What's that mean? Carnage for the players: less money for free-agent players than last year. Not a good sign if you're a free agent this year."

We'll be hearing more about this as free agency approaches, specifically as it relates to the NFLPA's shortsightedness regarding the collective bargaining agreement the players and owners signed off on in July.


With more than 25% of the league's players being unrestricted free agents Charley Casserly sat down with James Brown to discuss what this means for the players.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: December 18, 2011 11:55 am
Edited on: December 18, 2011 1:19 pm
 

Bears Matt Forte won't return until he's 100%

Chicago was was 7-3 on Nov. 20. Now they're 7-6 with two of their best offensive players on out with injuries. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

On November 20, the Bears beat the Chargers to win their fifth game in a row. Their record stood at 7-3, and they appeared headed for a wild-card berth. But quarterback Jay Cutler sustained a broken thumb on his throwing hand against San Diego and in the three weeks since the Bears, with Caleb Hanie under center, are 0-3. Not helping: the team's second-best offensive weapon, running back Matt Forte, went down with a knee injury on December 4 and it's not clear when he'll return to the field.

"Day to day, I just see how it feels," Forte told ESPNChicago.com on Saturday. "It's always really stiff in the morning because I've been asleep. It hurts in the morning, but once I get warmed up, I just try to see how it feels. I've been doing some straight-ahead jogging this week which has been OK, but I'm nowhere near 100 percent. So it's not looking good for next week, I know that. ...

"These injuries, they usually take four to six weeks [to heal] they say," Forte said. "And this will only be week three. I'm not going to rush to get back on the field and play while I'm hurt, because you're not at 100 percent you may injure it even more if you do that."

The Bears need Forte in the worst way and it doesn't look like he'll be available to help them in time for a late playoff push. And that leads us to this: does that prove Forte's worth to the front office? He's in the last year of his rookie deal and is looking for a new contract, one that hadn't come before his December 4 injury.

Conventional wisdom suggests that Forte's productivity and his importance to the organization are reasons enough to keep him in Chicago. But months after the Titans backed up the truck to pay Chris Johnson only to watch him turn into one of the league's worst backs should also serve as a stark reminder that running backs, in general, are fungible.

Then again, how Chicago plays over the final three games of the regular season could demonstrate just how important Forte is to this offense. And as it stands, he has no intention of returning to the lineup until he's completely healthy.

"You got to make that decision personally," Forte said. "My mindset is kind of set on that. I'm not going to really go out there and play unless I'm 100 percent and I can run straight ahead and sprint and make cuts, because as a running back you have to make people miss. You can't just take on hits and get pounded on. You'll have more injuries to rehab."

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: December 18, 2011 11:19 am
Edited on: December 18, 2011 1:20 pm
 

Cards could move on from Kolb relatively cheaply

If Kolb continues to struggle, Arizona could move forward with few financial ramifications. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

The Cardinals moved quickly to trade for Kevin Kolb during free agency, partly because it was abbreviated due to the lockout, but also because head coach Ken Whisenhunt probably couldn't bear the thought of Derek Anderson as Arizona's starting quarterback for another day.

But even as the organization was announcing that they had acquired Kolb from Philly for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round pick, and promptly gave him a $63 million contract extension that included $20 million in guarantees, we (along with plenty of other people) were wondering why the Cards would invest so much in an unproven quarterback.

Well, we're heading into Week 15 and and Kolb has struggled with injuries and inconsistencies this season. He's started just nine games, completed 57.7 percent of his throws with 9 TDs and 8 INTs. Put differently: he's an improvement over Anderson but not a $63 million-extension improvement. Which is why Arizona can move on from Kolb relatively cheaply. Details via NFL Network's Jason La Canfora:
Kolb will earn a $10 million signing bonus and $2 million salary in 2011. He is due a $7 million roster bonus this March which could conceivably be declined by the club, meaning they would could get out of Kolb's deal after paying him just $12 million over one year.

Kolb has a $1 million salary in 2012, bringing his total compensation for that year to $8 million, and $20 million over the first two years of the deal.

With a $9 million salary and $2 million roster bonus due to Kolb in 2013, the Cardinals again have another chance to move on with limited financial ramifications at the beginning of that league year.

If Kolb were released in 2013 -- when the salary cap projects to jump considerably -- he would count just $6 million in dead cap space. He would count $8 million against the salary cap if released in 2012, but the team would save $8 million in real dollars by not owing him his $7 million roster bonus and $1 million salary.
Kolb will almost certainly get another year to prove he's a capable NFL starter, but if 2012 looks a lot like 2011, the Cardinals could again be in the market for their next franchise quarterback.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: December 18, 2011 10:48 am
Edited on: December 18, 2011 1:21 pm
 

Polian: Colts rookie QB would struggle in 2012

Indy president Bill Polian doesn't think a rookie 'marquee player' will 'come in and contribute immediately.' (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

The Colts are on a collision course with 0-16. This eventuality means a couple things: the inglorious end to the Jim Caldwell era and, quite possibly, the beginning of the end to the Peyton Manning era because Indianapolis will almost certainly draft Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the first-overall pick.

Except that, unlike Caldwell, Manning's Colts career might not already be over. Any number of variables will determine his future -- his health and the $28 option bonus he's due in March chief among them. And based on recent comments by team president Bill Polian, any scenario that has Luck playing as a rookie is a scenario that's fraught with possible disappointment.

“If we were to take a rookie quarterback [in the 2012 draft] and if we were to play him, he would struggle," Polian said during his weekly radio show, according to the TribStar.com. "Remember, Peyton was 3-13 his rookie year. He did not really look like the quarterback that he became until, ironically, this time of year in Baltimore [in 1998] where we lost a shootout [38-31]. ...

“It’s going to take any rookie, whether it be [2011 first-round draft pick] Anthony Castonzo [at left offensive tackle] or anyone else, a good long time, one year to get their feet under them and really know what the National Football League is all about," he continued. "Then you have an off-season program and the second year [and] now he’s ready to contribute. No matter who we draft next year, there’s going to be a break in period for them. You won’t see the real quality of that player until a year later and in some cases, depending upon what the system is and how he fits. It takes time for young players to develop,” he added.

“Even if we were to draft a marquee player in the first round, no matter who it is, that guy’s not going to come in and contribute immediately, unless he were a running back. That’s the exception.”

That's a great theory except for names like Cam Newton, Andy Dalton, and in the last few weeks, T.J. Yates, Jake Locker and Christian Ponder. As for rookies who don't play quarterback or running back there's: A.J. Green, Aldon Smith, Von Miller, Patrick Peterson, Julio Jones and Mike Pouncey, (see where we're going with this?).

So, yes, Polian's partially right -- there is a break-in period with rookies -- but it's a stretch to say that we won't "see the real quality of that player" for at least a year.

Also worth considering: if Luck truly is the best quarterback prospect since John Elway, it's all the more reason to get him on the field immediately and let him learn by doing. What's the downside? The Colts can't lose more than 16 games in a regular season. Plus, after Peyton's 3-13 effort as a rookie he went 13-3 in Year 2. And from 2000-2011, the Colts made the playoffs 10 of 11 times.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com