Cleveland Browns Sever Ties With Pro Bowl Cornerback Joe Haden

The Cleveland Browns have made the decision to move on from Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden.

In the past few days, the Cleveland Browns engaged other NFL teams in trade talks to move Joe Haden. Unable to find a team to take Haden, the Cleveland Browns decided it was time to move on from the injury plagued cornerback.

“We want to thank Joe for all he has done for this organization both on and off the field,” head of football operations Sasha Brown told the press. “He has been a great teammate and a true asset to the Cleveland community. These are very difficult decisions, we have the utmost respect for Joe and in my eyes, he will always be a Cleveland Brown.”

The seventh pick of the 2010 NFL Draft, Haden has been an integral member of the Browns secondary. Just a few seasons prior, he was one of the best shutdown NFL cornerbacks. His effectiveness in coverage has seen a decline due to lingering injuries. Haden was a Pro Bowler in 2013 and 2014. On a weekly basis, he defended the opponent’s best receiver.

According to NFL Insider Ian Rapoport, the Cleveland Browns had been shopping Haden for over a year. The team signed Jason McCourty to start at cornerback and were highly impressed with Boddy-Calhoun. Those views led to the Browns feeling comfortable with moving on from Haden.

Several league sources indicate Joe Haden will be signed within 24 hours of his release from the Cleveland Browns. Joe Haden’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus has reiterated those comments that his client has “tons of interest” and that “he will have a new deal with another team by tomorrow afternoon.” As an eight year pro, Haden will be free to sign with another team just eight hours after his release.

By cutting Joe Haden, the Cleveland Browns will save $6.7 million in salary cap. The main issue with finding a trade partner was his contract size. Haden signed a five-year extension worth $67.5 million in 2014 and was due to make over $11 million this season and the next two seasons.

Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions Agree to New NFL Record Breaking Deal

The Detroit Lions announced that quarterback Matthew Stafford has agreed to a contract extension to remain in Detroit through the 2022 NFL season.

Matthew Stafford’s five-year extension is worth $135 million, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The deal gives Stafford $92 million in guaranteed money including a $50 million signing bonus. The previous record for guaranteed money was $87 million for Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts.

Stafford is guaranteed $60.5 million at signing and $86 million by the start of year two of the contract. The full $92 million is guaranteed by year three of the contract.

Earlier this summer, the Oakland Raiders made quarterback Derek Carr the highest salaried player with a contract of $25 million per year. Now it’s the Detroit Lions who roster the highest yearly earning player.

Matthew Stafford was the first overall pick in 2009 by the Detroit Lions out of Georgia. Stafford has had much success and has had his fair share of misfortunes. Early in his career he suffered a season ending injury to his shoulder that required him to sit out an entire year. He has since followed that up with a 5,000 yard season and multiple 4,000 yard passing seasons. He has always had the luxury of playing next to a dynamic receiver in the wide-out. With the talent around him, it’s baffling that he has a high turnover rate. Through his eight seasons, he has 108 interceptions and 18 lost fumbles. That equates to more than one turnover per game.

Rankings: The NFL Receiving Core To Start the 2017 Season

With such a large commitment to Stafford, the Detroit Lions will need to become more of a threat to make the playoffs in order to justify such a large deal. The team has only made the post-season in three of the eight seasons in which Stafford has been the starter.

Rankings: The NFL Receiving Core To Start the 2017 Season

The NFL preseason is underway and teams are beginning to get a chance at first look action of their players. The summer was filled with trade rumors, free agent signings, and the return of a few retired players. The Oakland Raiders handed quarterback Derek Carr the highest NFL contract in NFL history but what good is a quarterback without a supporting cast of wide receivers.

Last season, the NFL was a pass happy oriented league with the upper echelon on playoff teams finishing in the range of 260 yards receiving per game or more.

In this era of NFL football, quarterbacks will not be successful without high-caliber receiving targets.

Last season the New Orleans Saints led the league in receiving yards per game at 328. The league’s worse receiving team, the San Francisco 49ers, posted 198 yards per game. The 2017 NFL season is approaching quickly and we have our latest rankings for each receiving unit.

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The Dallas Cowboys will Go As Far As Second Year Quarterback Dak Prescott

The Dallas Cowboys found unexpected success last season in quarterback Dak Prescott. The question is whether he can follow up with an encore performance in his second year.

A week ago the Dallas Cowboys were 11-1 favorites to win the Superbowl. After second year running back Ezekiel Elliott‘s six game suspension, the Cowboys are now 13-1 favorites. Much of the team’s success will hinge on the play of quarterback Dak Prescott. And the odds seem to favor the idea.

Prescott’s story book beginning all started when the Cowboys lost not one, but two, starting quarterbacks to injuries during the 2016 preseason. Tony Romo suffered a broken bone in his back. Backup Kellen Moore sat out the year with a broken leg. The Cowboys attempted to acquire a veteran quarterback in Josh McCown from the Cleveland Browns but were unsuccessful.

And that’s when the Cowboys turned to rookie quarterback Dak Prescott.

And the rest is in the history books.

The Elliott-less Schedule

The Dallas Cowboys are hoping to build from last season’s disappointment playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers. The Cowboys will face two playoff teams from last season in their first six games. Dallas opens the season against the New York Giants — a team Prescott has yet to beat in his career. The following week the Cowboys will face the Denver Broncos.  The Broncos game will be followed up against the Arizona Cardinals and then the Los Angeles Rams. Week 5, the Cowboys face the Green Bay Packers in what will be a revenge game for the Cowboys. After a week six bye week, the Cowboys will face the restructured San Francisco 49ers.

The Measuring Stick for Prescott will start against tough defenses

Dak Prescott posted the highest qualified rookie passer rating in NFL history in 2016. Let that sink in for a moment. N-F-L History. This year could be a little different for him.

Earlier in the summer, Dak Prescott was asked if he was worried that defensive coaches having a year of film to study him would be an issue. His response was simple. “I have a year of film on them, too.” After a full off-season of naysayers believing his rookie season was a fluke, this time around Dak is out to prove he is the quarterback of the future for the Cowboys. He opens against three high quality defenses that will have had a whole year to prepare to stop him and minimize the Cowboys offense. The Giants found success against the first year signal caller and they will attempt to confuse him with a mixed bag of defensive looks this year.

But don’t expect that to slow him down.

He will have to carry the team immediately against some of the best defenses that the league has to offer for three consecutive weeks.

This year, Dak will have a full offensive arsenal at his disposal that he did not have early on last season. His receiving core is at full strength with Dez Bryant and often targeted slot receiver, Cole Beasley leading the charge. Without Elliott in the backfield, the Cowboys will use Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden. The team also is almost at full strength on the offensive line minus left tackle Tyron Smith, who is being held out on health precautions but should be able to play week one of the regular season.

Dallas Cowboys Running Back Ezekiel Elliott Suspended Six Games To Start 2017 Season

Off-season improvement

Prescott did not see many opportunities to air the ball downfield last season. His 28.7 passing attempts per game were near the league bottom amongst starting quarterbacks. In fact most of the Cowboys big plays of 20 yards or more last season came from big runs or short slot receptions that went for big gains after the catch. The absence of a down field threat like Bryant was a key contributor for those numbers. But that should change this season.

Prescott has proved he is capable of protecting the ball as he threw 23 touchdowns to only four interceptions in leading the Cowboys to a 13-3 record. But his lack of confidence to throw the ball downfield needs to change.

Prescott has built on last season’s success through training camp and team practices as of late. He is playing with more confidence and sharper instincts because of his familiarity with the offense and comfort in the system.

He is challenging himself in practice with more aggressive throws. More aggressive throws is what he needed to be able to complete in order to see the offense become a bit more of a three-headed monster.

“He has been real solid,” Cowboys quarterbacks coach Wilson said. “Dak is making great decisions. He has turned the ball over a couple of times, but he is wanting to see if he can grow. The only way to do that is if you challenge yourself. He is not afraid to do that and then learn from it.”

Prescott commented on his increased confidence making tougher throws. “It’s risk vs. reward, measuring out what throws I can make, what shots I can take. Some of them have been good. Some of them have turned into batted balls and interceptions. It’s measuring that out now.”

If the Dallas Cowboys are to have a chance at a Superbowl appearance this year, Dak Prescott will have to be the one to lead them.


The Buffalo Bills Trade Sammy Watkins and Add Jordan Matthews To The Receiving Core

The Buffalo Bills are no longer in the Sammy Watkins era. They are moving on with Jordan Matthews as the featured receiver for the team.

In a shocking turn of events, the Buffalo Bills have decided to trade Sammy Watkins to the Los Angeles Rams. The Los Angeles Rams will receive wide receiver Sammy Watkins and a 2018 sixth round pick and the Buffalo Bills will add corner back E.J. Gaines and a 2018 second round pick.

Watkins is entering his fourth season and coming off an injury plagued 2016 campaign that saw him only play in eight games. In those eight games he was targeted 52 times with only 28 receptions and 2 scores.

The Rams needed a big play making receiver to pair with quarterback Jared Goff and Watkins is just that.

Corner back E.J.Gaines is entering his fourth season as well after spending his first three seasons with the Rams.

Gaines missed the entire 2015 season with a Lisfranc injury in his foot. He played in the 2014 and 2016 seasons, starting 25 games for the Rams. He will likely fill in for former Bills corner, Ronald Darby.

Jordan Matthews headed to Buffalo

In a second separate trade, the Buffalo Bills made a move to acquire fourth year receiver Jordan Matthews to the team from the Philadelphia Eagles. The Philadelphia Eagles acquired corner back Ronald Darby from the Bills for Matthews and a 2018 third round pick.

Matthews durability is likely the reason for the pursuit for the Bills while attempting to keep a solid number one option at receiver. The Bills needed to keep downfield play maker at receiver for quarterback Tyrod Taylor.  During three seasons, Matthews has only missed two games due to minor injuries.

The Eagles still have plenty of options at receiver with Alshon Jeffrey headlining the group with Nelson Agholor and Torrey Smith.

The Buffalo Bills are apparently setting themselves up for a strong draft in April of 2018. They now have two first round picks, two second round picks, and three third round picks.

Dallas Cowboys Running Back Ezekiel Elliott Suspended Six Games To Start 2017 Season

The NFL has handed down punishment to second year running back Ezekiel Elliott. He will miss the first six games of the season for violating the personal conduct policy.

Suspension from the NFL finally came down more than a year and a half ago, after an incident in Columbus, Ohio. The Columbus City Attorney’s office announced they would not pursue charges against Dallas Cowboys Ezekiel Elliott. The information given to the attorney’s office became too inconsistent when supplied during the investigation. Authorities came with the conclusion that Elliott’s accuser was not credible. As a result, they rejected charging him criminally. Several witnesses overheard the woman yell at Ezekiel Elliott. She made claims that she would ruin his career when she became unhappy that they would not continue their relationship.

The NFL reserves the right to penalize a player under their personal conduct policy.

Elliott will appeal the suspension as routine. Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones has defended Elliott throughout the NFL’s investigation and will surely stand by Elliott’s expected appeal.

He has three business days to file his appeal which must have a hearing scheduled within 10 days of notice. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will overhear the appeal process. Commissioner Goodell could choose to appoint someone in his stead. If Elliot does file an appeal with the court, he could continue to play while the appeal process is conducted.

The Dallas Cowboys will likely use a running back by committee in Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden while Ezekiel Ellliott is out on suspension. Ezekiel Elliot will play an integral part in the Dallas Cowboys run to the playoffs once he returns. The Dallas Cowboys are considered to be in the hunt for a Superbowl appearance as well.

The NFL has taken a much stricter stance on situations involving domestic violence in the last few seasons with minimal success from player’s appeals.

Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers Wants to Play Football Into His 40’s

Aaron Rodgers is 33 years old entering this upcoming NFL season. He wants to play football for another six, seven, eight or more years if possible for the Green Bay Packers.

Mr. Discount Double Check, Aaron Rodgers, wants to grow old as a Green Bay Packer. So old he can claim to be one of only a handful of quarterbacks to play into his 40’s.

“I do think it’s realistic,” the 33-year-old Aaron Rodgers said. “I hope it’s in this locker room, though. That would mean it’s been at a high level. Like I said, hopefully Dec. 2 of 2024, help me out, 2023. Thank you.”

Aaron Rodgers was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in 2005. His admiration to want to play into his 40’s attributes to being a fan of sports.

“It’s being a sports fan and watching some of my favorite all-time players either not finish in the place they started or the place where you fell in love watching them play — or they did,” Rodgers said. “And seeing how different the memory is of those players as a fan, and seeing some of my favorite players growing finishing up now or have finished up in the last two or three years — the Derek Jeters, the Kobe Bryants, the Tim Duncans doing it their entire career in one place, that makes things pretty special. So again, I’m a realist as well. I have to play well, the team has to want to bring me back, but I’ve said I’d like to finish things here where we started.”

If Aaron Rodgers is able to play for another eight seasons with the Packers that would place him with the franchise for 19 years.

For Rodgers to continue to play, he will need to sustain a high quality of play. The Green Bay Packers would likely not want to wade into mediocrity just for the sake of keeping Rodgers.

Aaron Rodgers has made his intentions clear that Green Bay is where he wants to end his NFL career. Rodgers reiterated that his desire to stay with one team was due to watching the way Joe Montana, Michael Jordan and former teammate Charles Woodson played for other teams in the ending stages of their careers.

“The legacy,” Aaron Rodgers stated, “you’re going to be remembered for multiple teams. It would be cool to start with one team and finish with one team.”

Green Bay must continue to surround Aaron Rodgers with talent. They must remain a championship caliber team. And then it’s on Aaron Rodgers to remain healthy and productive.

At the moment it seems Rodgers is on a good track to see his vision out.

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