Archive for July 29th, 2011

Reports: Cam Newton comes to terms with Panthers

Friday, July 29th, 2011

First-overall pick Cam Newton agreed to a four-year contract with the Panthers Friday evening, according to multiple reports. The deal is believed to be for $22 million, all of which is guaranteed. The deal includes an option for a fifth year that is included for all first-round picks under the new collective bargaining agreement.

Newton threw for 2,854 yards and 30 touchdowns while running for 1,473 yards and 20 scores for Auburn last season en route to winning the Heisman trophy. Those numbers made him the consensus No. 1 pick by the time the draft rolled around.

Newton can be considered one of the losers of the new CBA. Last season, 2010 number-one pick Sam Bradford grabbed a six-year, $78 million deal last season with the Rams with $50 million of that being guaranteed. If it is to be assumed that Newton would have received a similar deal, then the former Auburn star would have lost out on $28 million in guarantees.

Reports: Nnamdi Asomugha signs with Eagles

Friday, July 29th, 2011

No, there wasn’t any hour-long ESPN special. No Boys & Girls Club. No Jim Gray.

Just Twitter.

According to multiple reports that nearly exploded the social media site, star cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha has decided to sign a five-year deal with the Eagles. ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who first reported the news, tweeted that the deal is worth $60 million with $25 million being guaranteed.

The three-time Pro Bowler had spent eight seasons playing for the Raiders and notched 19 tackles and zero interceptions in 14 games last year. However, his strength is not in his statistics. Many teams consider Asomugha to be so good at covering wide receivers that they will simply not throw the ball in his direction, leading to fewer tackles and picks.

Asmougha was rumored to be signing with either the Jets or the Cowboys before the news broke that both were out of the running. The Eagles appeared to enter as a mystery team and inked the corner to a deal in a similar fashion to the way their baseball friends the Phillies signed Cliff Lee during the baseball offseason.

The Eagles allowed the third-most passing touchdowns in 2010 with 31 and ranked tied for 14th in passing yards allowed per game last season with 216.8.

Report: Ty Warren not expected back with Patriots

Friday, July 29th, 2011

The Boston Globe is reporting that a hamstring issue caused defensive end Ty Warren to fail his conditioning test. The Patriots released the former All-Pro Friday, with Warren telling the Globe that he isn’t angry at the Patriots, but does not expect to be back in New England.

“I am definitely not mad about my release,” Warren told the Globe. “I appreciate the Patriots and our journey together, and I appreciate the Krafts for drafting me in 2003 and providing an opportunity.

“I look forward to doing bigger and better things. I look forward to going to another contending team this fall.”

Warren played his entire career with the Patriots after being selected 13th overall in the 2003 draft.

Report: Raiders sign Jared Gaither

Friday, July 29th, 2011

The exodus of Robert Gallery to Seattle left a hole in a somewhat struggling Oakland offensive line. But the Raiders and owner/GM Al Davis looked to fill that hole when they agreed to sign offensive tackle Jared Gaither on Friday, according to a tweet by Vittorio Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle.

The Raiders had a solid run offense in 2010 as they ranked second in the league with 2,494 rushing yards last season. But the offensive line struggled to protect quarterback Jason Campbell and others in the backfield during passing situations. The team allowed the sixth-most sacks in the NFL during 2010 with 44.

Gaither, however, could be a bit of a risk for the Raiders. He didn’t play a down last season due to a thoracic disc injury and has played in all 16 games just once during his four-year career in the NFL.

Notes from Friday afternoon’s session

Friday, July 29th, 2011

FOXBORO — The Patriots held their second of two practices Friday at Gillette Stadium, and it was highlighted by the sight of Chad Ochocinco donning a New England jersey and helmet.

Ochocinco came out in workout gear, the same attire he was wearing in the first session (he did not participate in drills Friday morning). Then, after a brief disappearance — a span in which it was noticed that tight end Aaron Hernandez was wearing No. 81 on his shorts — Ochocinco came reemerged on the field, wearing his familiar No. 85, but in a new color. If Hernandez, who seemingly sold his number to Ochocinco, ends up wearing No. 81 (his college number), California rookie receiver Jeremy Ross will be forced to take No. 89, the only number in the 80s or teens that isn’t currently taken.

Ochocinco also changed his cleats during the practice, losing a pair that was white with either red or orange (potentially from his Bengals days) and putting on a pair of new white and blue ones.

-Those missing from practice included Ras-I Dowling, Kyle Arrington, Shane Vereen, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Ryan Coulson and Logan Mankins. Brandon Deaderick, James Sanders and Aaron Hernandez were seen riding the stationary bike. Marcus Cannon was on the field in shorts.

– While fans cheered Ochocinco in uniform and gave a round of applause for every catch he made, he had a couple of ugly drops, both of which were along the sidelines and both of which were passes from Tom Brady. Darnell Jenkins made a couple of nice catches, with Jonathan Crompton completing some nice passes. In rookie fashion, Mallett carried Hoyer’s pads after practice.

– Friday marked the return of the “bucket drill,” one of the more fun drills to observe. An empty plastic barrel is placed halfway into the corner of the end zone, with quarterbacks taking turns trying to land passes in it from a certain distance away. Nobody was successful Friday, as the quarterbacks attempted the drill from the 25 yard line. Brian Hoyer came the closest, hitting the barrel on one attempt, while a pass from Brady fell just short. (more…)

Report: Dawan Landry signs with Jaguars

Friday, July 29th, 2011

The Jaguars have signed safety Dawan Landry, according to a tweet from Vito Stellino of The Florida Times-Union.

Landry had a career-high 111 tackles (86 solo, 25 assisted) for the Ravens in 2010 to go with one sack and four pass deflections. The Jaguars allowed the fifth-most passing yards per game (250.2) last season and tied with the Bills for the sixth-most passing touchdowns allowed with 28.

Stellino notes that Landry “figures to step in and start” in an attempt to aid that terrible Jaguars secondary.

Report: Jets restructuring deals to potentially sign Nnamdi Asomugha

Friday, July 29th, 2011

Everyone knew that Jets management wanted to sign Nnamdi Asomugha during this abbreviated free-agent signing season, but Friday brought the clearest indication yet that the players are also willing to do whatever they can to bring in the lockdown corner.

NFL Network’s Michael Lombardi tweeted that the Jets have restructured the contracts of linebacker Bart Scott, running back LaDainian Tomlinson, linebacker Calvin Pace, guard Brandone Moore and will renegotiate a new deal with recently cut quarterback Mark Brunell in order to create the cap space necessary to sign Asomugha.

Asomugha had 19 tackles and zero interceptions over 14 games in 2010, but his biggest strength wasn’t in numbers; rather it was his ability to cover his receiver so well that quarterbacks wouldn’t dare throw the ball his way. Together with Darrelle Revis, the pair would arguably create the best cornerback tandem in the league.

Dallas is thought to be the second team in on the Asomugha sweepstakes.