|NFL free agency update: Lions make hard push for Reggie Bush||03.13.13 at 9:54 am ET|
The Lions continue their aggressive pursuit of Dolphins free agent running back Reggie Bush, reportedly telling Bush on Tuesday that he can start ahead of Mikel Leshoure.
Bush is rumored to be considering the Cardinals, Redskins and Bengals as well, with an eye toward the team that will give him the best opportunity. He rushed for 986 yards last season.
“Reggie has a tough decision to go through,” a source close to Bush told Yahoo! Sport’s Jason Cole. “He’s very careful about how he considers these situations. He asks a lot of questions and wants to know all the ins and outs about how a team wants to use him.
“But, you know, in his heart, he wants to play all the time.”
• Rams free agent receiver Brandon Gibson reportedly has a visit scheduled with the Jets on Wednesday, with the Dolphins waiting should New York not make an acceptable offer. Gibson caught 51 passes for 691 yards and touchdowns in 16 games (13 starts) last season.
• Defensive lineman Mike DeVito joined the exodus out of New York, leaving the Jets to sign a reported three-year, $12 million deal with the Chiefs. The 28-year-old DeVito, a Cape Cod native and University of Maine product, started the past three seasons for the Jets.
• The Chiefs also acquired tight end Anthony Fasano, who caught 41 passes for 332 yards and five touchdowns in 2012, his fifth season with the Dolphins. Fasano, 28, started his pro career with two seasons in Dallas.
• According to multiple reports, the Buccaneers are making a push to acquire Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis, with the Eagles in the picture as well. The Jets, desperate for cap space, reportedly restructured the contracts of receiver Santonio Holmes and cornerback Antonio Cromartie.
• In addition to landing receiver Mike Wallace on Tuesday, the Dolphins acquired Ravens free agent linebacker Dannell Ellerbe as well. Ellerbe’s deal is said to be worth $35 million over five years. Ellerbe, 27, had 66 tackles (43 solo) and 4.5 sacks last season, his fourth in Baltimore.
• The Ravens, who lost Ellerbe and Paul Kruger (Browns), picked up defensive lineman Chris Canty, reportedly for $8 million over three years. The 6-foot-7, 317-pound Canty, 30, had three sacks in nine games for the Giants last season. Canty played for the Cowboys from 2005-08 before joining the Giants.
• The Bears picked up a couple of assets in tight end Martellus Bennett and offensive tackle Jermon Bushrod. Bennett, signed for four years, had 55 catches for 626 yards and five touchdowns for the Giants last season. Bushrod, 28, spent the past six seasons with the Saints, starting at left tackle the last four years. His five-year deal is worth a reported $35.965 million.
• The Broncos added some protection for Peyton Manning, signing former Chargers guard Louis Vasquez to a four-year, $23.5 million deal, according to USA Today. Vasquez, a third-round pick of the Chargers in 2009, started 54 games in San Diego, including all 16 last season.
• The Titans signed a tight end and lost one, bringing in Delanie Walker while seeing Jared Cook head to the Rams, according to multiple reports.
• The Chargers agreed to a two-year deal with Eagles free agent offensive tackle King Dunlap, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. The 6-foot-9, 330-pound Dunlap, who started 12 games in Philadelphia last season, reportedly could earn as much as $6 million under his new contract. Dunlap, 27, was a seventh-round draft pick in 2008 and has spent his entire career in Philadelphia.
|Free agent snapshot: Defensive lineman Mike DeVito||02.12.13 at 11:42 am ET|
We’ve already touched on the possibility of Ed Reed as a potential Patriot here, but when free agency begins, there are a handful of less-heralded players who could appeal to New England as well. Over the next week, we’ll look at five relatively under-the-radar possibilities for the Patriots to consider when free agency opens early next month. Again, we have to stress that these guys aren’t necessarily considered the elite of the free agent class — instead, they are players we think would be a good fit in New England. On Monday, we looked at Desmond Bryant. Next, it’s Mike DeVito.
Position: Defensive lineman
Age: 28 (will turn 29 on June 10)
Weight: 305 pounds
The skinny: A sturdy and dependable presence up front for the Jets for the last five seasons, this New England native — he grew up on Cape Cod and played collegiately at Maine — was signed by the Jets as an undrafted free agent in the spring of 2007. One of the few holdovers from the Eric Mangini era, he flourished under Rex Ryan when he took over in 2009. Since the start of the 2008 season, DeVito has played in 75 of a possible 80 games, starting 38 of them. He’s not an every-down guy — he’d likely come off the field on third downs in the New England defense — but his versatility has been impressive, as he’s lined up at defensive tackle, defensive end and nose tackle over the course of his career. He’s known primarily as a run-stopper — per Pro Football Focus, DeVito has graded out in the top 10 in run defense among 3-4 defensive ends each of the past three seasons, including a top-four finish in 2011. When it comes to free agent defensive ends, there are some relatively big names out there, including Cliff Avril, Dwight Freeney and Osi Umenyiora, which likely will reduce DeVito to a spot on the secondary level of contracts. If the Patriots land DeVito, it certainly wouldn’t qualify as a big splash, but whoever lands him will be getting a highly regarded player who could be an important part of an elite defense.
By the numbers: According to Pro Football Focus, DeVito played 635 defensive snaps in 2012, the second most of his career. He finished the 2010 season (including the playoffs) with 697 snaps.
Why it would work: DeVito’s versatility would allow him to work at multiple spots in the New England offense. While he’s spent the bulk of his career at defensive end, he’s also lined up at defensive tackle and nose tackle as well, and could provide a complementary presence for fellow linemen/linebackers like Vince Wilfork, Brandon Deaderick, Kyle Love, Chandler Jones, Rob Ninkovich, Jermaine Cunningham and Justin Francis. And as with Bryant, the Patriots could compensate him relatively fairly but also structure a cap-friendly deal that wouldn’t break the bank. (For a reference point, DeVito is coming off a three-year contract that had him making base salaries of $1.04 million in 2010, $1.475 in 2011 and $1.31 million in 2012.)
Why it might not work: DeVito underwent shoulder surgery prior to the start of the 2012 season, and he also suffered an injury to his left MCL late in the 2011 season. But other than that, there don’t appear to be too many medical red flags. There’s also the possibility that the Jets could prioritize him in free agency, but their cap situation is such that they had to make some cuts, and DeVito could be available as a result.
Quote: “I can tell you this about Mike DeVito: He is an outstanding football player. There is no question about it.” – Jets coach Rex Ryan
Our take: It’s hard to find someone with a bad word about DeVito — my “NFL Sunday” partner Matt Chatham played with him briefly in New York and raved about his skill level and how well he would mesh with the New England system. His versatility is impressive, as well as his willingness to see the bigger picture. (He took a cut in his base salary before the start of the 2012 season to help the Jets’ try to get some cap relief; he was able to make a chunk of it back by hitting playing-time incentives.) In 2010, the Patriots were able to swipe Danny Woodhead off the New York roster, and the running back went on to great success in New England. DeVito isn’t as an underrated presence as Woodhead was, but it appears he can bring the same sort of under-the-radar impact. Don’t break the bank for him, but he could be the sort of guy who could end up playing a lot of snaps in New England’s system if he signed with the Patriots.
|Pats-Jets roundup: Mike DeVito says Jets are ‘loose’ heading into Thanksgiving night game||11.21.12 at 12:50 pm ET|
The Jets are 4-6 and heavy underdogs heading into Thursday night’s game against the Patriots, but one player indicated the team is feeling “loose” heading into the contest.
Jets defensive end Mike DeVito said the normal tightness associated with a matchup against the Patriots is missing this week, and he said the team is ready to go.
“I feel like we were real loose this week at practice, which is good to see,” said DeVito a Cape Cod native who played collegiately at Maine. “I think a tendency that we’ve had in the past when it’s Patriots Week is to tighten up, you naturally get a little bit tight because you recognize the importance of the game, and how physical and ratcheted up it always is. … You play this game too tight, you’re not going to be successful. You play this game loose and with swag and having fun, that’s when you’re going to do well, and I think guys are happy about that.
“I just know we play well when we feel like this.”
Added DeVito when asked if the team was ready to play its best game: “Without a doubt, yeah, without a doubt. Guys are really confident. We’re jelling as a team, we believe in each other, and I have no doubt that we’re going to be ready to go on Thursday night.”
Jets center Matt Slauson wants it to be known that the Jets are ready to fight.
“I would expect to see a high-motor, high-enthusiasm team. … We’re going to be flying around that field,” he said. “Regardless of what happens in the game, we’re going to fight until the very end of the game with everything we got.”
♦ Rex Ryan is not underestimating the talent level of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. The Jets coach hailed Brady as a “once-in-a-generation quarterback” as he prepares his team to defend the Patriots offense.
“The thing about him, he’s a machine yet he’s passionate and a fiery leader,” Ryan said Tuesday. “You wish he was just a machine. His competitive side elevates his team as well. That’s what you get from those once-in-a-generation-type quarterbacks.”
|Michael Lombardi on D&C: Rex Ryan ‘hasn’t been really honest with himself’ about struggling Jets||10.21.11 at 9:27 am ET|
NFL Network columnist Michael Lombardi made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning to discuss news from around the NFL.
Lombardi said there should be concern in New York, where the 3-3 Jets have shown few signs of improvement.
“The Jet team to me is just not an overly talented team, especially on defense,” Lombardi said. “They’re front seven doesn’t have a dominating player that can control the game. And then they have to play great defense, because they don’t want their quarterback to ever affect them in the game. They want to minimize Mark Sanchez‘ effect in the game, so it has to complement their defense. And if their defense can’t stop the run, which they haven’t been able to do all season, and their defense can’t handle some passing games, which they’ll struggle with San Diego this week, I think that’s a concern.”
Asked if the Jets won’t make the playoffs, Lombardi said: “I suspect they really won’t. I think they’re a team that’s kind of built up with this false bravado that they’re the greatest team ever, and I think that Rex [Ryan] hasn’t been really honest with himself. I think when you look at their front seven and you analyze every player, Mike DeVito‘s the best player on their front seven. And last week they finally got him back on the field because New England ran him out of the nickel defense, and [the Jets] came up with a nickel front that puts DeVito back on the field. They’ve got to play that.
“Now, DeVito’s never been the best player on any team he’s played for, going back to high school. But he is on this Jet team right now, and that tells you where they are. Bart Scott‘s not the same player. Guaranteed contract for next season as well. Calvin Pace, not the same player. By the way, guaranteed contract for next season. This Nnamdi Asomugha recruiting process that they got caught up with really has affected the team, because they re-did some contracts that affected them for next year on players that might not be good enough this year.”
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