With so much happening around the NFL on a daily basis, it is hard to stay apprised of all the latest trends, headlines, updates and rumors. In just a blink of the eye, things can change in a hurry. It is easy to miss something and in just a moment’s notice, news that was once current can be outdated only minutes later. In the ever-changing landscape of the NFL and its constantly evolving news cycle, one must be alert at all times to stay on top of the latest news bulletins.
The goal of the Daily Dime is to keep you up to date on the NFL’s biggest stories of the day while providing you with the most current and accurate information.
The Red Zone: 2017 NFL offseason player releases
Trivia Blitz: 2016 statistical leaders
This Week in NFL History: February 12th – February 18th
What’s Trending: Sarkisian hire; skipping the White House; overtime failure
cover32’s Way Too Early Predictions: How will the 2017 NFL season play out
Vince Young Eyeing NFL Comeback
Former Tennessee Titans’ quarterback, Vince Young, hired agent, Leigh Steinberg, who announced via Twitter on Wednesday that the 33-year-old signal caller is hoping to make a return to the NFL in 2017. Young was last on the field in 2011 with the Philadelphia Eagles, playing in six games and starting three, while throwing for four touchdowns and nine interceptions.
Young was drafted out of the University of Texas by the Titans with the third overall pick in 2006. The Texas product led the Longhorns to a National Title in 2005 and was the Heisman Trophy runner-up. He spent five years with the Titans, playing to a 30-17 record as a starter and earned two trips to the Pro Bowl for his efforts. Following his stint in Tennessee, Young landed briefly with the Eagles as a backup and then bounced around from the Green Bay Packers to the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns, but had difficulty finding a long term role.
Young officially announced his retirement from the NFL in 2014.
Franchise and Transition Tag Open Season
As the NFL’s offseason progresses, the first major threshold has been crossed as the period for teams to tender the use of their franchise or transition tag has begun. From now until March 1st, NFL clubs have the ability to tag one of the most valuable players on their roster. It is considered the first key stage of the offseason where teams make some of their biggest financial decisions regarding their rosters.
Opening on Wednesday, each team has the option of using their franchise tag on one of their unrestricted free agents. If the franchise tag is not used, teams may employ the use of their lone transition tag instead. The tag ensures that clubs are able to keep their most valuable players or receive compensation in the event they are not.
Teams are given the choice of using either a non-exclusive or exclusive rights franchise tag. Non-exclusive rights entail a one-year offer that is the average of the top-five salaries at a player’s position or 120 percent of a player’s salary from the previous season; whichever is greater. Despite the tag, players are still allowed to negotiate with other clubs and if signed by someone else, the issuing team will receive compensation in the form of two first-round picks.
Exclusive rights necessitates a one-year contract that is the average of the five largest salaries at a player’s position at the conclusion of the restricted free agency period or 120 percent of the player’s salary from the previous season; whichever is greater. If given an exclusive rights tag a player is not allowed to negotiate with other teams.
A transition tag offers a player a salary equal to the average of the top-10 players at a position. If a transition tag is applied, players are allowed to negotiate with other clubs, but the issuing team has right of first refusal and has the ability to match the offer. If the team chooses not to match the offer, no compensation will be awarded.
Possible targets for the franchise or transition tag include Steelers’ running back, Le’Veon Bell, Redskins’ quarterback, Kirk Cousins, Chiefs’ safety, Eric Berry, Chargers’ running back, Melvin Gordon and Bear’s wide receiver, Alshon Jeffery.
The deadline for teams to place either a franchise or transition tag on a player ends on March 1st, at 4 P.M. EST.
Roddy White Disappointed with Shanahan’s Play Calling
Former Falcons’ wideout, Roddy White, was disappointed with previous Atlanta offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan’s play calling in Super Bowl LI. White was particularly outspoken about Shanahan’s decision not to run ball when the Falcons’ were in field goal range late in the game, when a field goal would have put Atlanta up by two scores.
White felt he could have saved Atlanta from Shanahan’s questionable play calling, that ultimately contributed to the Falcons’ 25-point collapse to the Patriots. He claims that he would have jumped offsides after hearing the play call.
Shanahan’s decision to pass on a second and 11 play in field goal range resulted in a 12-yard sack. On third down, Atlanta needed to gain 23 yards for a fresh set of downs. They threw a short pass towards the sidelines but a holding penalty set them 10 yards further back and out of field goal range.
This is not the first time White has been critical about Shanahan. The four-time Pro Bowler first took issue with the offensive guru about his usage in the offense 2015. White was released by the Falcons at the end of the season after struggling with injuries and having difficulty gaining separation from defensive backs.
The 35-year-old, former first-round-pick, put most of the blame for the Falcons’ Super Bowl loss on Shanahan, but relented and said someone should have spoken up when a pass play was called. He further admitted that Atlanta would have a better chance of returning to the Super Bowl with Shanahan, who has filled the San Francisco 49ers’ head coach vacancy, than without him.
For his part, Shanahan has admitted that he will live with the calls for the rest of his life, but does not regret playing aggressive. Though Shanahan appears to be free of regret, those in Atlanta will have to live with his decisions for the rest of their lives.
Brady to Play Well Into His 40’s
At an age when most players’ careers are on the decline, Tom Brady appears to be at his best and has gained a step. 2017 saw Brady have one of the best seasons of his career while engineering the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history on his way to a record setting performance. It comes as no surprise then, that the ageless quarterback plans to stick around for some time longer.
Brady has no interest in stepping away anytime soon and has maintained that he will not be considering retirement until he at least reaches his mid-40’s. However, nothing is guaranteed in the NFL, but the four-time Super Bowl MVP is a-whole-nother beast altogether. He is not like most other quarterbacks.
At 39, Brady says he is in the best shape of his life and hurts less now and feels younger than he did at age 25. The most prolific quarterback in football history has a $200 cookbook, along with a unique nutritional plan that allows him to operate at a level that most spend their careers in search of. He has even gone so far as to develop a system of his own; one that allowed him to be on the field for 99 plays of Super Bowl LI — the most in a single game of his career.
Brady was one of the league’s top-five players all of last season and a leading MVP candidate, despite sitting out the first four games with a suspension due to his role in the Deflategate scandal. He is not going to walk away at what could very well be the peak of his career.
One thing is all but assured, next year will almost certainly not be his last. If Brady is to have it his way, he will be haunting opposing defenses for at least another decade.
NFL and CBS Looking at Speeding-up Games
In a high-level meeting, the NFL and CBS recently discussed how they could speed up games and attempt to recoup some of their lost ratings. Considered one of the premier properties in all of media, the NFL suffered unexpected ratings woes throughout the 2016 season. Viewership was down around nine percent during the regular season and near six percent amid the playoffs.
The ratings downturn has left the Roger Goodell and the NFL looking for ways to turn last year’s disaster around. In conversations between Goodell and CBS CEO, Les Moonves, the pair has discussed speeding up instant replay and potentially reformatting advertisements without cutting down on the number that appear throughout games. Another tactic being considered is decreasing the number of commercials and changing how the appear.
While speeding up games may not be the only answer, the NFL recognizes that they have a problem and there is a definite need to address it or viewership will continue to stray.