News and Views

Like GM, McCoy Locked In On Philip Rivers As Chargers' QB Tuesday, March 24, 2015 | Time: 3:56 PT |  Reported by
The Facts: Following up on the ongoing story. ... NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported last week that the San Diego Chargers have no intention of trading Rivers this offseason. GM Tom Telesco confirmed that stance Monday, via's Eric Williams, at the NFL Annual Meeting. "It's not even on our radar," Telesco said. "He's a Charger." HC Mike McCoy was just as emphatic on Tuesday, telling reporters that Rivers is "one of the best in the business."
Diehards Line: There has been chatter, given Rivers' reservations about a potential franchise move to Los Angeles and wanting to play out his contract to maintain control over his future in 2016, about the possibility of trading him. "The only thing I'm worried about is this next season. We can't worry about 2016 and beyond," McCoy added. "He's under contract for this year, and we plan on Philip Rivers retiring a Charger." We'll about that last part; but for now, it's hard to see how trading Rivers makes sense for the Chargers.
Lewis: Bengals Are Committed To Andy Dalton Tuesday, March 24, 2015 | Time: 12:38 PT |  Reported by
The Facts: HC Marvin Lewis is understandably tired of all the Dalton questions. Saddled with what we view as a middle-of-the-pack QB, Cincinnati has been one-and-done in four straight playoff appearances with Dalton at the helm. So why not bring in competition at the most important position in sports? That's what we tried to ask Lewis during Tuesday's AFC coaches’ breakfast. "What team in the NFL has had a quarterback competition and it's worked?" Lewis asked in return.
Diehards Line: Reminded that Joe Montana and Steve Young competed as did Drew Brees and Philip Rivers -- and more recently, Russell Wilson getting the chance as a rookie to win the job Seattle, Lewis wasn't buying it. "So you feel like Andy Dalton is the best you can get at the quarterback position?" I asked. "We feel Andy Dalton's our quarterback, yes we do," Lewis said. "It's a different era than when Steve and Joe were there." But why not draft someone; take a shot at a higher ceiling and work to improve the position long-term? "Well, we just signed Andy long-term," Lewis said. "So we committed ourselves to Andy long-term, and we feel really good about him." Fortunately, most fantasy football owners aren't committed to him.
Bowles: Geno Smith Is The Jets' No. 1 QB... Right Now Tuesday, March 24, 2015 | Time: 12:37 PT |  Reported by
The Facts: The Jets traded for Ryan Fitzpatrick this offseason and will likely change the QB dynamic after last summer's faux competition for the starting job between Smith and Michael Vick. HC Bowles said on Tuesday's edition of NFL AM that Smith has the early advantage. "He's the No. 1 guy right now," Bowles said.
Diehards Line: The coach added: "Fitzpatrick is injured and we don't have a draft yet, but we're looking at a competition there based on the way he finished the last game and some of the things he did, he did a great job doing that but without seeing him and sitting down and talking to him it's kind of hard to say right now. He has made some strides ..." Bowles deftly side-stepped a follow-up question about the Jets using their No. 6 overall pick on a quarterback. Mariota has been consistently connected to the Jets. The coach also told a pack of reporters at Tuesday's coaches breakfast that Smith "is going to get the majority of the reps" during the early portion of the team's offseason program. Smith has the early advantage, but as suggests, we shouldn't confuse that with true favorite status. A lot can still change.
Michael Crabtree Willing To Wait For The Right Situation... And Money Tuesday, March 24, 2015 | Time: 12:19 PT |  Reported by
The Facts: Crabtree, an unrestricted free agent, is willing to wait however long it takes to find an appealing situation for the 2015 season.
Diehards Line:The 49ers are interested in re-signing Crabtree, but the six-year veteran prefers to seek a contract with a team that places a greater emphasis on the passing game, a source told's Matt Maiocco at the NFL owners meetings. Crabtree has taken just one free-agent visit since the opening of the signing period on March 10. He met with Miami Dolphins coaches and officials last week but left without a contract. The No. 10 overall pick in the 2009 draft, Crabtree averaged $5.33 million per season with the 49ers. It is likely Crabtree would have to accept a cut in pay from any team, including the 49ers. And Crabtree would not be expected to be an every-down wide receiver with the 49ers, who already have Anquan Boldin under contract and signed former Baltimore Ravens wideout Torrey Smith to a five-year, $40 million contract as a free agent. As Maiocco reminded readers, Crabtree is no stranger to showing patience when it comes to signing a contract. In 2009, Crabtree and his agent, Eugene Parker, believed he should not be paid higher than his draft slot. Crabtree finally signed his contract with the 49ers after four regular-season games.
Jaguars Might Have Some Interest In Greg Jennings Tuesday, March 24, 2015 | Time: 12:18 PT |  Reported by the Florida Times-Union
The Facts: Talking to reporters at the NFL owners meeting, GM Dave Caldwell suggested the Jaguars would have "some interest" in Jennings. "We’ll see where it goes," Caldwell added. "We have to get the input of our coaches and the rest of our personnel staff when we get back."
Diehards Line: As Times-Union staffer Ryan O'Halloran noted, the Jaguars wanted to acquire Green Bay receiver Randall Cobb, but he opted to stay with the Packers before the market opened. Since then, the Jaguars haven’t engaged in the now-dwindling veteran receiver market. Jennings, 31, has 552 catches and 63 touchdowns. The Jaguars have not scheduled a visit. "We still have [veterans] Tandon Doss and Arrelious Benn to compete for those fourth and fifth spots and all those spots are open," Caldwell said. "I don’t think anything is solidified. ...” The Dolphins and Panthers are also interested in Jennings.
Whisenhunt: Marcus Mariota Would Be Titans Day 1 Starter... If They Draft Him Tuesday, March 24, 2015 | Time: 11:29 PT |  Reported by
The Facts: At first blush, hearing Titans HC Ken Whisenhunt say this at the annual AFC coaches breakfast Tuesday - "If (Mariota) comes to us at No. 2, he's definitely going to be the Day One starter" - certainly makes us think the Zach Mettenberger era has come and gone. "You're talking about taking a quarterback with the first or second pick, you're probably going to play that guy," he said. "As far as whether or not he's ready to do it, we're still in the process of evaluating. We like what we've seen so far, he's a talented player."
Diehards Line: Whisenhunt went on to say that the Titans have narrowed their focus down to about six players for the No. 2 pick, and that he's looking forward to spending time with Jameis Winston. He hasn't had the opportunity to work him out privately like he's done with Mariota. Still, the Titans coach sounded high on the former Oregon prospect who will almost certainly be sitting there for him on draft day. Bottom line? As suggests, while there may have been a momentary sense of certainty, the Titans' situation at No. 2 is still clear as mud. So much so that Whisenhunt also had some nice things to say about Sam Bradford, who is currently on the Eagles and is employed by a coach who really wants to draft Mariota.
Battle Lines Drawn Between Adrian Peterson And Vikings Tuesday, March 24, 2015 | Time: 12:05 PT |  Reported by USA Today
The Facts: Following up on a previous item. ... Peterson's agent spent an hour holding court Monday in the lobby of the swanky hotel where NFL owners are gathered this week, but Ben Dogra would allow just one comment for the record. "We want out of Minnesota," Dogra told USA TODAY Sports.
Diehards Line:That's a steep further than saying it's not in the running back's best interest as previously reported. As USA Today's Jim Corbett suggests, "It was surely a line-in-the-sand type of position that reiterates the tone that has been coming from Peterson's camp. ..." However, the Vikings, who stood by Peterson through his legal issue and paid him $13 million last year, should not have to beg him to return to his job. As adamant as Peterson's agent was on Monday, Vikings GM Rick Spielman seemed equally committed to his position. "Adrian's a member of our football team," Spielman said. "He's under contract with us. We are focused on the 2015 season and expect Adrian to be a part of that. Our whole focus is getting ready for that season with Adrian." Asked point-blank about a trade, he said, "We're not going to deal in hypotheticals. ..." The battlefield is prepped. Look for things to heat up in coming days.
Browns Expect Johnny Manziel To Take Part In OTAs Next Month Tuesday, March 24, 2015 | Time: 12:04 PT |  Reported by
The Facts: The Browns are expecting Manziel to participate in offseason workouts beginning April 20 after he completes more than two months of treatment, a source told However, GM Ray Farmer, while appearing to confirm that plan, emphasized Monday that the final decision rests in the hands of the people handling Manziel's rehab. "If he is prepared and he demonstrates the things that he needs to demonstrate, then yeah, he should get every opportunity to be the guy," Farmer said.
Diehards Line: Manziel checked into a facility Jan. 28. HC Mike Pettine has visited Manziel during his treatment stint. Other Browns officials, including Farmer, have spoken with him. Pettine has said Manziel has the Browns' "full support" and that the team considers football an afterthought to his health. According to's Jeremy Fowler, sources close to Manziel have stressed he's doing great with treatment. Manziel will compete with Josh McCown, Connor Shaw and the recently acquired Thad Lewis at quarterback.
Agent Doesn't Think It's In Adrian Peterson's Interest To Remain A Viking Monday, March 23, 2015 | Time: 6:15 PT |  Reported by
The Facts: According to Bleacher Report's Jason Cole, Peterson's agent Ben Dogra, asked about his client's current situation, replied: "I don't think it's in the best interest of Adrian Peterson to play for the Minnesota Vikings."
Diehards Line:This stance is not surprising after Dogra turned down the team's invitation to meet with management at this week's NFL owners meeting in Phoenix. Once again, Peterson and Dogra are trying to persuade the Vikings to part with Peterson, whom they have under contract for three years. The ball is in the Vikings' court. Unless they trade or release him (the latter being quite unlikely), Peterson will get $13 million to play for the Vikings this year or as recently suggested, he can retire and pay back $2.4 million in unearned signing bonus money. Stay tuned.
GM: Trading Philip Rivers Isn't Even On Chargers' Radar Monday, March 23, 2015 | Time: 5:18 PT |  Reported by
The Facts: Rivers is in the final year of his contract, and the Chargers are working out Oregon QB Marcus Mariota before the draft. However, for his part, GM Tom Telesco wants Rivers in San Diego for 2015 and beyond, telling Eric D. Williams of that dealing the 12th-year QB wasn’t something the franchise was actively weighing or contemplating right now. “It’s not even on our radar,” Telesco said, per ESPN.
Diehards Line: The Chargers want to sign Rivers to a new deal, Telesco indicated to ESPN, but the quarterback has previously said he’s inclined to play out his current contract. And as PFT's Mark Wilkening suggests, unless Rivers changes his mind and wants to sign an extension, the trade rumors will continue to bubble up leading up to the 2015 NFL Draft. Such uncertainty fosters speculation no matter what is said. ... So we'll be following along. Stay tuned.