|Report: Peyton Manning working on restructuring contract with Broncos||02.26.15 at 8:30 am ET|
Manning, who will turn 39 in March, is scheduled to have a $19 million salary both in 2015 and 2016. With the Broncos having a number of their own free agents to potentially re-sign, the team is looking to free up some cap space, and with Manning turning 39 years old, as well as looking at Tom Brady restructuring his contract to help the Patriots, this move was essentially just a matter of time.
The quarterback finished fourth in the NFL in passing yards this past season with 4,727 yards and second in the league with 39 touchdown passes.
Manning played the last month of the 2014 season with a quadriceps injury and underwent a fourth neck surgery four seasons ago. The Broncos lost to the Colts in the divisional round of the playoffs at home.
The report adds the Broncos and Manning’s representatives, led by agent Tom Condon, hope to reach a conclusion on a revised contract by early next week.
All this would lead to believe Manning will indeed return for his 18th season in the league.
For more Patriots news, visit weei.com/patriots.
|Jameis Winston plans on winning Super Bowl next year, wants to be viewed with Tom Brady||02.20.15 at 5:49 pm ET|
When meeting with the media Friday at the NFL combine, quarterback Jameis Winston certainly didn’t lack confidence.
This came up when he was asked if he saw it as a competition between he and Marcus Mariota as to who would be the No. 1 overall pick.
“I’m not into no competition type of thing,” Winston told reporters. “I’m in it to win games and be the face of someone’s franchise. This is no competition between just me and Mariota, because one thing about me, I plan on winning the Super Bowl next year so it’s going to be me vs. Peyton Manning and Jameis vs. Tom Brady. I want to be viewed like that.
“After all this combine stuff, you’re not going to hear no more about Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota. I want my name to stay relevant for the next 15 or 20 years of my career.”
Before taking any questions, Winston admitted he’s had some issues in the past and he’s putting them behind him.
“First off, before we start anything, I want to let you all know I know made mistakes and I know I have a past but right now it’s about me moving forward and earning the trust of all these 32 teams out there,” Winston said. “And by saying that, I’m a competitor and I know what I’m capable of doing so I will be throwing [Saturday] at the combine.”
A picture surfaced on the internet this week of Winston working out, which caused some people to question his conditioning and overall shape. Winston isn’t worried about what his critics think.
“A lot of people thought I was fat, but I’m here, I’m proving everybody wrong,” said Winston. “I look good and I know it.”
Winston won the 2014 National Championship with Florida State before losing to Oregon in the Rose Bowl this past January.
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|Free Agent Snapshot: Orlando Franklin||02.18.15 at 11:58 am ET|
When free agency begins in early March, there are a handful of players across the league who could appeal to New England. With the understanding that the status of these players could change because of the franchise or transition tag, here are a few possibilities for the Patriots to consider. We have to stress that all of these guys aren’t necessarily considered the elite of the free agent class — instead, they’re players we think would be a good fit in New England. We already featured C.J. Spiller, Hakeem Nicks, Torrey Smith, Rahim Moore, Charles Clay, Jerry Hughes and Pernell McPhee. Here is a look at offensive guard/tackle Orlando Franklin:
Position: Offensive guard/tackle
Age: 27, (turns 28 on April 12)
Weight: 320 pounds
The skinny: The durable Franklin represents one of the most versatile offensive lineman to potentially hit the free agent market. He started his first three seasons out of the University of Miami playing right tackle for the Broncos before moving to left guard this past season. He has started 63 of a possible 64 regular season games in his four NFL seasons. As general manager John Elway and head coach John Fox considered options to replace left guard Zane Beadles (FA to Jacksonville) they decided on Franklin. The massive Franklin also provided more of a physical presence along the interior to boost the running game to protect Peyton Manning. Like the Bengals did in 2013 with Andrew Whitworth, the Broncos moved one of their long and powerful tackles inside to a guard spot to help open up holes on the interior line. When Franklin debuted with the Broncos in 2011, Tim Tebow became the starting quarterback midway through the season. Franklin was named to the All-Rookie Team by Football Outsiders that season after starting all 16 regular-season contests and playing in 98.2 percent of the team’s offensive snaps. Franklin was a key part of an offensive line that paved the way for the Broncos to lead the NFL in rushing with a franchise-record 164.5 yards per game.
By the numbers: Allowed the fewest sacks (3.5) in the NFL among 16-game starting right tackles in 2012 while becoming the first right tackle and just the sixth offensive lineman overall in Broncos history to start every regular-season game as a rookie in 2011.
Why it would work: Value added. If 32-year-old Dan Connolly leaves via free agency, the versatile Franklin would immediately step in as the replacement, adding depth to the experienced Patriots offensive line, allowing the team to part ways with Connolly, who signed a three-year, $9.7 million contract in March 2012. It’ll take possibly three times that total dollar amount to bring Franklin on board in his prime. But protecting Brady is of utmost importance. And some money could be freed if the Patriots cut left tackle Nate Solder, who is due a pricey $7.438 million for 2015. Also, if the Patriots feel they need that cap space to re-sign Darrelle Revis and/or Devin McCourty, they could work out a long-term deal with someone like Franklin and save the money on the front end. In addition to the money, there’s no doubting that the Patriots (or any team) would value someone who has proven as durable and versatile as Franklin has in his first four seasons.
|Tim Hasselbeck on D&C: Peyton Manning still greatest QB of all time||02.02.15 at 9:56 am ET|
The Tom Brady-Peyton Manning debate arguably was settled Sunday evening when Brady picked up his fourth Super Bowl win. For Hasselbeck, though, the better quarterback doesn’t necessarily come down to who’s won the most championships.
When asked in a previous interview whose career he would rather have, Hasselbeck picked Manning over Brady, citing the way Manning changed the game offensively as his reasoning and noting that you can’t use postseason success as a measuring stick for a career. He defended that answer Monday.
“As somebody who played at the quarterback position in the NFL, at a time that both of those guys were playing, nobody’s changed the game more than Peyton Manning or changed the way that that position is played more than Peyton Manning,” he said. “And from my experience as a quarterback in the NFL, that’s a fact. Also what I said was when you look at wins and losses, especially in the postseason, there are so many other factors that dictate who wins and loses the game. It’s such a team environment, so … I just don’t think it does the careers justice for any of these quarterbacks to try to narrow it down to just what happens in these postseason games.”
Hasselbeck also pointed out that other contributions have to be considered when considering who is the best. For example, Manning never had a Bill Belichick in his ear. But Hasselbeck said that Manning has had a more lasting impact on the game of anyone else.
“As a player, as somebody that watched both of these guys play and we face common opponents and things like that, I had a huge appreciation for that, just like I had a huge appreciation for Brett Favre and his toughness, the way that he was ready to play each and every week, and just like I had an appreciation for Kurt Warner and his journey to achieve the things that he achieved,” he said. “So you’re asking me my opinion on what I would rather have, as somebody that played that position, that’s exactly how I feel about it.”
Were one to phrase the question differently, however, Hasselbeck said there’s little to no debate on the topic of who is the best postseason quarterback is or who is the best coach-quarterback duo. He also maintains that “Brady’s better right now,” but if you ask who the best of all time is, his answer remains Manning.
“Peyton Manning has won a Super Bowl, he’s achieved things that most quarterbacks aren’t able to ever achieve,” he said. “He’s going to own basically every passing record that exists. So you ask me whose career I would rather have, based on that and how I explained to you he changed the game of football from an offensive perspective, that was my answer.”
|Archie Manning on MFB: Peyton Manning won’t take long time to make decision on future||01.29.15 at 1:44 pm ET|
Appearing with Middays with MFB from Radio Row in Phoenix, former NFL quarterback — and father of Peyton Manning — Archie Manning explained how his son is approaching making a decision regarding the Denver QB’s future. To hear the interview, check the MFB audio on demand page.
“He’s trying to figure it out,” the elder Manning said. “I think he’s pretty good after the season of evaluating things, but he’s kind of a grinder and wants to get going again. He knows, 17 years. … He’s not the same as he was before he had the four neck surgeries. He kind of had to change his game when he went to Denver, but it’s worked OK. And then this year he played hurt at the end of the year and didn’t have a good finish. He’s smart enough to sit down and try and evaluate things, but he’s pretty good at that. I think he knows how to take his time and really think about [things] and try and comprehend all the things that go into a football season, which is a lot of a quarterback.
“I don’t know what he’s going to do, but he’s always made pretty good decisions.”
“Obviously that’s part of it, but I know he likes Gary,” Manning said. “He knows Gary a little bit. Gary was on the Texas A&M staff when they were recruiting him. He’s enjoyed his stay in Denver. I don’t think anybody really thought Coach Fox was going to be leaving and all of a sudden that’s pretty sudden stuff and it comes at the same time Peyton’s trying to make his decision. That’s all part of it. I don’t think he’ll go a long time and take this thing to March or anything like that. He’s got it on his mind and I think he’ll make a decision.
“He’s in a good frame of mind. He’s going to figure it out.”
Another huge factor for Peyton remains his physical status, which was in doubt at season’s end thanks to a torn quadriceps muscle.
“I think that’s important. He’s got to do that. I told him he has to be truthful about that,” said Archie regarding Peyton’s self-evaluation when it comes to the quarterback’s overall health. “If he has to watch film, or call up the defensive coordinator of the Raiders and see what somebody is saying about you, where you are and make a decision. And he’ll make a good one.
“His neck is fine. He had a problem with his leg, and that will heal so that’s not a factor.”
|Tom Brady passes Peyton Manning to become NFL all-time leader in postseason passing yards||01.18.15 at 7:52 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Check off another milestone in the hall of fame career of Tom Brady.
With a five-yard completion to Julian Edelman on the first play after a muffed punt by Joshua Cribbs, Brady reached 6,802 career postseason passing yards, passing Peyton Manning for the most in NFL history.
Brady entered the AFC championship tilt game against the Colts with 6,791 career passing yards, needing 10 more yards to surpass Manning (6,800) for the top spot.
This is the second straight record-setting week for Brady in the playoffs. Last week against the Ravens, he threw his 46th career postseason touchdown pass, moving ahead of boyhood idol Joe Montana.
Brady already has the NFL’s all-time mark for postseason wins by a starting quarterback, with 19, three more than Montana.
|Most memorable Patriots-Colts games of Tom Brady era||01.17.15 at 3:10 pm ET|
On Sunday evening, the Patriots will face the Colts in the AFC championship game. These teams are quite familiar with one another, and though the intensity of the rivalry may have waned when Peyton Manning played his final game for Indianapolis in the 2010 season, the game should prove to be an exciting one. Since 2001, when Tom Brady made his first start against Manning, the Patriots have edged the Colts in 12 of 17 meetings, outscoring them 545-401 in that time.
Brady guided the Patriots to wins against the Colts in his first six tries, but Manning followed that up with a little streak of his own, recording four victories in the next five meetings. During his last start as a Colt, Manning lost to the Pats and helped spawn a five-game New England win streak that stretches back to 2010 and is still alive. In the three games Brady and newcomer Andrew Luck have squared off, the Patriots have not scored fewer than 40 points.
In the teams’ matchup this season on Nov. 16, little-known running back Jonas Gray was the star. After noticing that using Gray in the run against Indianapolis proved just about unstoppable, the Patriots did it all game. All four of Gray’s touchdowns came from inside the 4-yard line, but he compiled 201 total yards throughout the course of the game on 37 attempts. Rob Gronkowski and Tim Wright each added a receiving touchdown and the Patriots recorded 503 total yards in the 42-20 victory.
Here are the most memorable games between the teams since Brady took over.
10. Nov. 18, 2012: Patriots 59, Colts 24
Andrew Luck‘s first tilt against the Patriots could have probably gone better. The rookie quarterback had led his team to a 7-3 start to the season, but New England proved to be too much for him to handle. The Colts jumped out to a 14-7 lead in the first quarter, but from then on, New England took over. The Pats held Indianapolis to 10 points over the remaining three quarters while they put 52 more points on the board. The 59 points tied a franchise single-game scoring record.
Tom Brady was 24-for-35 for 331 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions while Luck had 27 completions in 50 attempts, 334 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions — two of which were returned for touchdowns — and a sack.
Julian Edelman and Gronkowski each recorded a pair of touchdowns, including Edelman’s 68-yard punt return. Brady found both Gronkowski and Wes Welker seven times for 137 yards and 80 yards, respectively.
9. Nov. 7, 2005: Colts 40, Patriots 21
After six losses to Brady, Manning finally got his first win against him in 2005. Injuries to important players on the Patriots as well as a perfect Colts team that was only getting better spelled an unfortunate outcome for the back-to-back Super Bowl champs.
Manning finished 28-for-37 for 321 yards and three touchdowns with one interception. Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne each had nine receptions for the Colts for 128 yards and 124 yards, respectively, combining for three touchdowns. The Patriots also allowed 132 rushing yards and surrendered two touchdowns to the run game, giving Indianapolis 453 total yards.