An assortment of news items from around the NFL:
- Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning will have his long-awaited physical on Monday, and it could determine his future, writes Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com. He has undergone four surgeries on his neck, and if the examination shows any risk of further damage, the future Hall-of-Famer could be forced to retire. A physical at the same time last year guaranteed his $20MM salary for both 2013 and 2014, but negative results now would void his 2014 salary. All parties involve believe the tests will be reveal that Manning is good-to-go for next season.
- Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com looks at whether it makes sense to trade a first-round-pick for a head coach. This article comes in the wake of the Jim Harbaugh-to-Cleveland rumors, and is buttressed by comments from Patriots president Jonathan Kraft. The Patriots, notably, traded their 2000 first-round-pick for Bill Belichick.
- Football Outsiders pioneered the “speed score,” which uses a running back’s forty-yard-dash time and his physical size to assess his explosiveness, and they take a look at the top four backs in this year’s class by said metric.
- The Steelers will have to make some tough decisions to emerge from their current cycle of mediocrity, writes Greg Bedeard of TheMMQB.com.
- Grantland.com’s Bill Barnwell examines the rise of analytics in sports, and how they could be useful in both play-calling and roster construction.