Drug Charges Against Matt Elam Dropped

Former Ravens safety Matt Elam has been cleared of drug charges stemming from his February arrest, according to ESPN.com. After also recently being cleared of theft and battery charges, Elam is now free of all the criminal charges that were hanging over him this offseason. Matt Elam (vertical)

[RELATED: Theft, Battery Charges Against Elam Also Dropped]

Police said that Elam had 126 grams of marijuana and three grams of oxycodone in his possession when he was arrested in Miami this winter. He was charged for possessing upwards of 20 grams of cannabis, possession of cannabis with the intent to sell/deliver, and possession of a controlled substance. Now, he’s off the hook for each of those.

Legally speaking, Elam is in the clear, but NFL teams will be thinking long and hard before getting into business with the safety. Even before the two arrests, the former first round pick didn’t do much for the Ravens. Elam struggled in his first two NFL campaigns and he missed the entire 2015 campaign thanks to a biceps tear in training camp. After losing much of last year to a knee injury, Elam didn’t do much in his nine games on the field.

It also seems likely that Elam will face discipline for the league office for his missteps.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Prosecutors Want Jail Time For Michael Floyd

Michael Floyd says that kombucha tea is to blame for his positive alcohol tests during house arrest, but that excuse doesn’t fly with Arizona prosecutors. In Scottsdale, prosecutors say they will ask a judge to hit the Vikings wide receiver with jail time for violating the terms of his probation. Michael Floyd (vertical)

[RELATED: Vikings Support Michael Floyd’s Claim]

It appears he’s in violation and he should be ordered to serve the rest of his jail time,” city prosecutor Caron Close told Brian Murphy of the Pioneer Press on Monday. “The deal he made really gave him special considerations by letting him transfer out of state to continue his career.”

Floyd served 24 days of a 120-day jail sentence after his February conviction for a DUI. He was allowed to serve out the remainder of the sentence from home, but prosecutors say they are miffed after Floyd violated the terms of his arrangement. The Vikings are supporting Floyd and backing up the fermented tea story, but it remains to be seen whether CEO Kevin Warren‘s letter to the judge will help Floyd’s case.

Floyd‘s one-year deal with the Vikings doesn’t contain any guaranteed money, so the Vikings won’t be on the hook for any portion of the deal if they want to bail. So far, however, they’re standing beside him.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chiefs Request Interviews With Two Execs

The Chiefs have requested permission to speak with Titans Director of Player Personnel Ryan Cowden and Seahawks co-director of player personnel Scott Fitterer for their GM job, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter links). If permission is granted, then the executives will become the first outside candidates to interview for the vacancy.

On Monday morning, we learned that Vikings executive George Paton declined the opportunity to be considered for the Chiefs job. In theory, that means that Cowden and Fitterer will have a little less competition for the position, provided that they are actually looking to take the job.

Fitterer has been in the mix for multiple GM jobs, including the Colts and 49ers earlier this year. He was also being considered for a top job with the Eagles before removing himself from consideration. The Seahawks have enjoyed great success in recent years, particularly when it comes to building through the draft and discovering talented undrafted free agents. While John Schneider oversees the operation, Fitterer and Trent Kirchner have been instrumental in building the roster.

After 16 years with the Panthers, Cowden was hired by the Titans in 2016 to oversee all areas of the scouting department, including collegiate scouting, NFL scouting, advance scouting, and international scouting for the draft, free agency, and upcoming opponents. Titans GM Jon Robinson offered glowing praise of Cowden at the time of the hire.

When I was first hired by the Patriots, Ryan was promoted by Carolina to handle the Southeast and we cut our teeth together in that region scouting,” Robinson said. “We were both learning the ropes, going to many of the same places and had a lot of interaction through the years on the road. He has a strong eye for talent, he has developed good managerial skills over the years and in the team-building process it will be nice to get his take, as they have put together very good teams there in Carolina over the years.”

Details On Chiefs’ Firing Of John Dorsey

There have been some apparent issues with the Chiefs’ front office in recent years, including the team’s salary cap woes. However, it sounds like suspect cap management was not the main impetus for the Chiefs firing former GM John Dorsey, based on what Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star writes. John Dorsey (vertical)

[RELATED: Chiefs To Interview In-House Candidate This Week]

Owner Clark Hunt’s decision to can Dorsey was fueled, in part, by concerns about his lack of internal communication and management style, Paylor hears from multiple sources with knowledge of the situation. While observers believed that Dorsey and coach Andy Reid were working harmoniously together, the two men also had different approaches to their jobs and that apparently led to some friction. Reid is known for being process-oriented and regimented while Dorsey has a more casual demeanor.

He’s not a big disciplinarian or big on chain of command,” one source said, “so people did what they wanted.”

For example, Dorsey made the sole decision to fire director of football administration Trip MacCracken and director of pro scouting Will Lewis. Both men were with the team for at least four years and, apparently, others in the building were not clear on why they were canned.

Paylor’s report gives us some insight as to why Dorsey was fired, but it does little to explain the timing of it all. Had the Chiefs made this decision in January, they could have promoted Chris Ballard to the top job before allowing him to accept the Colts’ offer. Instead, they allowed Dorsey to oversee the most important parts of the offseason and fired him at a time when all of the best outside candidates are already spoken for.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chiefs To Interview Brett Veach This Week

Chiefs owner Clark Hunt is expected to interview co-director of player personnel Brett Veach this week, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Veach has been identified as an early frontrunner for the job.

[RELATED: Vikings’ George Paton Turns Down Chiefs Interview]

Last week, Rapoport reported that Veach is the name to watch in the team’s GM search. Veach goes way back with Andy Reid, having served as his assistant with the Eagles. The exec has also gotten lots of face time with Hunt in recent years and has been highly regarded by the organization. Veach has come up as a GM candidate before, having been linked to the Bills’ vacancy earlier this year.

Veach’s fellow co-director of playr personnel, Mike Borgonzi, has also been mentioned as a leading in-house candidate. There’s no word yet on when or if he will get an interview, but logic dictates that he will also be interviewed by Hunt & Co. in the coming days.

Vikings’ George Paton Turns Down Chiefs

The Chiefs’ GM search is underway and the team was hoping to pencil in Vikings assistant GM George Paton for an interview. However, “for a variety of reasons,” he has declined the opportunity, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

Paton was a GM candidate for the Colts and 49ers openings before those jobs went to Chris Ballard and John Lynch, respectively. He has long been viewed as a rising front office name, so he likely feels that he can be selective about GM offers. One has to wonder if Paton has turned down the Chiefs because of the dysfunction going on in Kansas City. The Chiefs made the unusual decision of firing John Dorsey in June, long after the conclusion of the draft and the most important stages of free agency. Dorsey’s dismissal likely came after some in-fighting and poor communication and that’s not particularly appealing for a young front office man like Paton.

Paton completed his tenth season with the Vikings in 2016. Prior to that, he had experience elsewhere in the NFL including stops with the Bears and Dolphins.

NFC West Notes: Cardinals, Bethel, Seahawks

Here’s a glance at the NFC West:

  • The cornerback position tops the Cardinals‘ list of concerns heading into camp, Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com writes. The Cardinals still don’t have a clear-cut starter to go alongside Patrick Peterson, he writes, adding that Justin Bethel and Brandon Williams haven’t done much to separate themselves from one another. If that keeps up, one has to wonder if Arizona will turn to outside solutions at CB. On the other hand, as Weinfuss notes, players cannot engage in contact until the third day of training camp, so we haven’t gotten to see the man-press skills of either player. Once that comes into focus, Arizona might have a better idea of what they have in the two in-house candidates. On Sunday, PFR’s Dallas Robinson ran down the best available cornerbacks on the open market, including Darrelle Revis and Brandon Flowers.
  • Gregg Bell of The News Tribune wonders if Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham will have a big year for himself as he enters the final season of his $40MM contract. For what it’s worth, coach Pete Carroll is talking him up after watching him in practice this summer. “He’s so much more of a complete player than maybe we thought he would even become, really,” Carroll said. “So, he surprised us. He and Russell are really tuned in. They spend a lot of time together.” Graham is earning $10MM in 2017, making him the highest-paid tight end in the NFL. If he hopes for another big deal, he’ll have to reprise or best his numbers from last season. In 2016, his second season with the Seahawks, Graham had 65 catches for 923 yards and six scores. In his best seasons with New Orleans, Graham twice topped 1,200 yards.
  • Will 49ers rookie Solomon Thomas wind up as the best top ten pick from this year’s draft? Click here to cast your vote.

East Notes: Patriots, Garoppolo, Cowboys

Phil Perry of CSNNE.com wonders aloud about how Derek Carr‘s new deal may impact Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. In short, Perry comes to right conclusion – not much. Both players were taken in the second round of the 2014 draft, but the similarities between the two players start to dwindle after that. Carr, of course, has proved himself as a starter. Garoppolo, on the other hand, has only impressed in a limited sample size. Unless Garoppolo winds up seeing significant time in 2016, Perry concludes, the Carr deal won’t really have an immediate impact on him. Earlier this month, Jimmy G indicated that he would be open to discussing an extension with New England.

Here’s more from the East divisions:

  • The Cowboys‘ 2016 draft saw them land a franchise quarterback and an elite running back, but as with any draft, there were still potential misses. With that in mind, David Moore of The Dallas Morning News looked at the five players that the Cowboys likely regret passing on. The list starts with Eastern Kentucky defensive end, Noah Spence. Spence went No. 39 to the Bucs, five picks after Jaylon Smith, and made up for a slow start by finishing out with 5.5 sacks and three fumbles. Moore also lists defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (No. 69 overall, Jaguars), cornerback Tavon Young (No. 104 overall, Ravens), wide receiver/return specialist Tyreek Hill (No. 165 overall, Chiefs), and linebacker Corey James (No. 194 overall, Raiders) as missed opportunities.
  • Over the weekend, one beat writer ran down seven players who could still be released by the Jets this summer.
  • It sounds like wide receiver Brian Quick could be on the Redskins‘ roster bubble.

NFC North Notes: Packers, Rodgers, Lions

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has signed with CAA Sports to represent him in off-the-field work, Liz Mullen of Sports Business Journal tweets. That in and of itself is not necessarily headline news, but CAA represents some of the league’s highest-paid players and one can’t help but wonder if Rodgers may mull an agency change for his on-the-field work as he eyes a new deal.

On the other hand, as PFT points out, Rodgers was very complimentary of agent David Dunn recently.

Well, that stuff usually takes care of itself, and I have a fantastic agent, he does a great job. He worries about that stuff,” Rodgers said (via ESPN.com). “When it comes to setting the market values, I let that stuff take care of itself. I know my value in this league, and I know the team appreciates me. I’m going to continue to make myself an indispensable part of this roster. When you do that, when your time comes up to get a contract, you usually get a contract extension.”

Rodgers is under contract with Green Bay through 2019 thanks to the $110MM contract extension he inked in 2013. At the time, the deal gave him the richest contract in the league. Since then, however, he has slipped to No. 6 amongst QBs based on annual average value.

Here’s more from the NFC North:

  • Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press wonders how invested the Lions truly are in tackles Greg Robinson and Cyrus Kouandjio. The Lions added both veterans after learning that Taylor Decker would be missing significant time this season. Birkett indicates that the Lions are somewhat locked in with Robinson since the final year of his rookie contract is fully guaranteed for $3.322MM and has no offset language. On the other hand, the team isn’t nearly as tethered to Kouandjio. The former Bill got a $35K signing bonus from Detroit, but the rest of his deal is pretty lean. He’s due for a $690K base salary plus a $75K roster bonus.
  • Lions coach Jim Caldwell says that he hasn’t lost any faith in running back Dwayne Washington, despite some struggles in 2016. “Nobody really knows how good he can be, but he has talent,” Caldwell said (via Birkett). “He has ability. We like what we see in that particular area and he’s developing.” Washington likely profiles as Detroit’s No. 4 running back, behind Ameer Abdullah, Theo Riddick, and Zach Zenner. Free agent addition Matt Asiata is also in the mix, but Caldwell’s words could be a sign that the former seventh-round pick is not in danger of losing his roster spot.
  • Meanwhile, Bears running back Ka’Deem Carey may be in danger of missing the cut.
  • On Saturday, the Vikings offered support for wide receiver Michael Floyd.

PFR Originals: 6/18/17 – 6/25/17

The original content and analysis produced by the PFR staff during the past week:

NFL News & NFL Rumors