April 18, 2014

Peyton Hillis Embraces Social Media and Supplementing His Income

I am a little bit surprised that Peyton Hillis’ contract hasn’t been a topic of conversation thus far this pre-season.  Even though we constantly hear what a nice, humble and pleasant guy Peyton Hillis is – and I’ve now seen it with my own eyes at camp – I still can’t believe we haven’t talked about his contract status.  Peyton Hillis is still on his rookie deal from the 2008 draft when he was selected 227th in the 7th round by Denver.  This season he is set to make a paltry (at least by NFL standards) $555,000.

Despite being the John Madden video game cover boy, Hillis truly is just a one-year wonder at this point.  Still, that was a pretty substantial year as Hillis was 6th in the NFL in terms of yards from scrimmage.  He had some fumbling problems as well, but let’s not pretend like he and his agent couldn’t have postured their way into forcing the Cleveland Browns to give him an extension sooner than the expiration date on his contract. [Read more...]

NFL and Players Reportedly Agree to Rookie Scale

Of all the things that the NFL was arguing about with the players during the lockout, I figured the rookie pay scale was one of the least controversial.  You wouldn’t know that to be the case the way it was reported so breathlessly yesterday throughout the sports media universe.  Maybe that speaks more to the NFL media being extra desperate for anything meaningful to write about more than it does to the issue of the rookie pay scale.  Regardless, though, I am ready to celebrate this one even if it comes far too late for the Cleveland Browns.

Can you imagine for just a second what the Browns could have gotten from the New York Jets when they traded the pick that turned out to be Mark Sanchez if the Jets didn’t have to fork over $28 million guaranteed and as much as about $50 million overall in contract dollars before he ever took his first NFL snap?  Sure, all indications are that the Jets are more than satisfied, but you just never know when the next Jamarcus Russell ($32 million guaranteed for 31 career games) for will reveal himself. [Read more...]

CSU’s Bullock Aims to be the Next Antonio Gates

jnathanbullockIn 2002, the mid-major Kent State Golden Flashes wreaked havoc on plenty of brackets by making it to the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament.  A big reason for this success was the play of forward Antonio Gates.  At 6’4″, 260 pounds, Gates had a relatively successful career at the collegiate basketball level by averaging 16.5 points and 7.8 rebounds between his one season at Eastern Michigan and the two that followed at Kent State.  He ultimately made First Team All-MAC as a Senior.

The rest of Gates’ “career” is now well known as he switched sports by signing with the San Diego Chargers as an undrafted free agent.  Since then, he has broken the NFL record for tight end touchdowns within a season with 13 and has been selected to the Pro Bowl five times, three times as a First Team All-Pro.

And now with his senior basketball season behind him, Cleveland State’s J’Nathan Bullock has a decision to make.  He will widely be considered too small to succeed at the next level on the hardwood.  But as it stands right now, Bullock would like to follow Gates’ lead and give it a shot in the NFL.

[Read more...]

Overvaluing Tight Ends in the NFL

Sorry Vernon, you are overrated.

Sorry Vernon. You are overrated.

The Browns will be getting a second round draft pick this year, and a fifth round pick in the 2010 draft for tight end Kellen Winslow.  As a precedent, the New Orleans Saints gave up a second- and a fifth-round pick for Jeremy Shockey.  What do we learn from this?

Well, for starters, if you draft a TE in the first round then you are an idiot.  Seriously.  It’s like buying a new car, they lose their value as soon as you drive them off the lot.  If a Pro-Bowl TE isn’t worth trading a first-round pick, then no TE is worth drafting in the first round.  Sorry San Francisco, that pick you spent on Vernon Davis?  You overpaid.  Any team looking at Brandon Pettigrew with their first rounder – you have been warned. [Read more...]

Some mistakes you never stop paying for

winslowknee.jpgKellen Winslow Jr. will not be joining teammates Braylon Edwards, Josh Cribbs, Joe Thomas and Ryan Pontbriand in Hawaii for the Pro-Bowl. As first alternate, he would have been invited had the former Kent State basketball standout Antonio Gates decided not to play due to his foot injury. The window of opportunity for the tight end closed when the deadline passed on Wednesday. Instead it will be Winslow, not Gates that goes under the knife.

Winslow mentioned his intentions to have knee surgery on a radio interview with WKNR on Friday. The surgery, to be performed on his right knee, is the latest in a long line of procedures that have haunted the Browns star since the famous motorcycle accident in 2005. In fact, Winslow has had at least one operation in the off season every year since he was drafted. [Read more...]

02/02 Minute: Chicks Dig The Long Snap

Ryan Pontbirand, Action Shot!I’m not sure how I missed this earlier in the week, but with big thanks to Mike over at Kid Cleveland I am now privy to the information that Browns long-snapper Ryan Pontbriand is heading to Hawaii with teammates Joe Thomas, Braylon Edwards and Joshua Cribbs. As he mentioned, with the Pontbriand selection back in 2003, Butch Davis and the rest of the Browns organization were thrashed by the media for using a draft selection (5th round, mind you) on a long-snapper.

Four years later, Pontbriand is not only joining the first group of Cleveland players in the Pro Bowl since 2001, but he had also signed a new four-year deal earlier in the season.

Ryan (Pontbriand) has been amazingly consistent with his snapping ability over the years,” General Manager Phil Savage said in the release. “He is considered by many to be the best in the NFL, so it is only fitting that he is receiving the recognition of being a Pro Bowler.”

[Read more...]