Search Results for:

Bill Polian To Remain At ESPN

4:53pm: A source tells Florio that the deal between Polian and the Bills broke down primarily because of money — namely, Polian wanting more of it. Florio also speculates that Polian used Buffalo’s interest in him as leverage to garner a better contract with ESPN. Additionally, Polian had wanted Marrone to remain as head coach, so Marrone’s opt-out probably lessened Polian’s interest in the job.

1:29pm: Former NFL executive Bill Polian has informed Bills owner Terry Pegula that he will continue to work as an analyst for ESPN rather than accept a position with Buffalo, according to Chris Mortensen of ESPN (Facebook link via Adam Schefter). Bills ownership never made a formal offer to Polian, who worked with the club from 1984-93, but the two sides did have talks, both about an advisory role and a top front office job, before Polian decided to stick with his broadcasting position.

Reports yesterday indicated that Buffalo had hired Polian to serve as its team president, but Polian refuted those claims. Per Tim Graham of the Buffalo News, Polian was inclined to take the Bills position before speaking with ex-Buffalo coach Doug Marrone, who condemned the organization (Twitter links). As the two have a long relationship, Polian acted on Marrone’s advice, and declined Pegula’s offer.

Polian, 72, has worked as the general manager of three teams: the Bills, the Panthers, and most recently, the Colts, with whom he won a Super Bowl in 2007. Indianapolis fired him as GM after the 2011 season. According to Mortensen, Polian has received interest from other clubs, as well, but ultimately decided to stay with ESPN rather than return to a personnel role. A highly-decorated GM, Polian is a six-time recipient of the NFL’s Executive of the Year award.

Though current Bills general manager Doug Whaley is expected to keep his job, reports that Buffalo wanted to bring in Polian to lead its front office isn’t good news for Whaley, who had a hand in drafting E.J. Manuel and had already traded the Bills’ 2015 first-round-pick. Additionally, Buffalo CEO Russ Brandon is reportedly drawing interest from Oakland, which is interested in hiring Brandon as its team president, meaning that the organization’s entire structure could be in flux. Graham had reported that Brandon was likely to remain with the Bills, but as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk points out (via Twitter), it’s now clear that Buffalo was negotiating with Polian without Brandon’s knowledge or consent, which could indicate his role in the club’s hierarchy has been reduced.

Polian’s decision could also affect the Bills’ head coaching search — Polian was reportedly high on Chargers offensive coordinator Frank Reich, and was thought to be interested in bringing in the play-caller as Buffalo’s head coach. Reich will interview with the club next week, but it’s fair to wonder if he’s still among the favorites for the job without Polian in the front office.

Bill Polian Denies Bears Rumors

Could executive Bill Polian come out of retirement to join the Bears? The Hall of Famer is telling people close to him at ESPN that it’s not in the cards, as Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune writes. Bill Polian (vertical)

[RELATED: Bears Audition CFL Stars]

It’s absolutely wrong,” ESPN’s Adam Schefter told WMVP-AM 1000. “He laughed at the idea of it and was trying to figure out the genesis of it because he’s had absolutely no contact with anybody there. There is no job … and he was befuddled how he could be connected to the job.”

In the midst of a 3-10 season, there are big changes coming in Chicago. Whether those changes include a front office shakeup remains to be seen, but if Polian is to be believed, he will not a part of that turnover. Polian, 74, is a longtime friend of the team’s owners, but two of his television colleagues have been told that there have been no conversations between him and the organization regarding a job. Furthermore, the “senior advisory role” that he has been connected to does not currently exist in the organization.

Polian has worked as the general manager of three teams: the Bills, the Panthers, and most recently, the Colts. For now, it sounds like he is content with his second career in broadcasting.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bill Polian Receptive To Front Office Offers

Longtime NFL general manager Bill Polian is open to returning to a front office job, and would “strongly consider” a senior advisory role if offered, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com. The Bears, specifically, could be one option for Polian if Chicago decides to rework its decision-making structure.Bill Polian (Vertical)

[RELATED: Chicago Bears Depth Chart]

The Bears could restructure its front office after the season, per La Canfora, but it’s unclear whether that would mean parting ways with current general manager Ryan Pace. In any event, Polian sounds more open to a “football czar” role in which he could oversee a franchise’s roster machinations and coaching staff from a 30,000-foot view. While the Rams have also been tossed out as a contender for Polian’s services, the veteran executive is said to prefer a Midwestern team.

Polian was thought to be in talks for a advisory role with the Bills prior to the 2015 season, but ultimately decided to remain an ESPN contributor. Polian continued to offer informal advice to Bills owner Terry Pegula in the following months, but indicated that he wasn’t interested in a formal job with Buffalo. “If anybody asks, sure. If anyone has questions, I’m happy to answer and happy to help in any way I can,” Polian said at the time.

Polian, 74, has worked as the general manager of three teams: the Bills, the Panthers, and most recently, the Colts, with whom he won a Super Bowl in 2007. Indianapolis fired him as GM after the 2011 season. A highly-decorated personnel man, Polian is a six-time recipient of the NFL’s Executive of the Year award and a 2015 Hall of Fame inductee.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bill Polian Not Interested In Formal Role With Bills

Former NFL general manager and current ESPN analyst Bill Polian is happy to offer suggestions and ideas for how to improve the Bills, as he did last week, but he isn’t interested in any sort of formal role in the team’s front office, he tells John Murphy of BuffaloBills.com.

“Anything I could do to help in any way, I would,” Polian said on Tuesday. “But any kind of a formal role is absolutely precluded. Nor am I seeking that. I’m very happy with what I’m doing at ESPN.”

While there were indications last week that Polian might consider a consulting role with the Bills, he made it clear to Murphy that he’ll only talk to Buffalo or any another NFL team about football matters on an informal basis.

“There was a question later on which related to consulting, and which I misunderstood,” Polian said. “The committee on which I serve, the NFL Personnel Development Committee, has members – Charley Casserly, Ron Wolf, Ernie Accorsi – who frequently serve as consultants to teams when they go through the hiring process. And I made it clear that even though some teams have asked me to do that in the past, I can’t do it because of the terms of my ESPN contract. That prohibits me from doing that.”

Given Polian’s history with the Bills and his relationship with team owner Terry Pegula, rumors and reports have frequently linked the Hall of Fame NFL executive to Buffalo. A year ago, there were indications that the Bills talked to Polian about bringing him aboard either in an advisory role or as a top front office executive, but he ultimately decided to stay at ESPN. While Polian doesn’t plan on officially joining the Bills anytime soon, he still wants to see the franchise succeed.

“If anybody asks, sure. If anyone has questions, I’m happy to answer and happy to help in any way I can. And that includes whatever I could do for the community,” Polian said, referring to his conversations with Pegula. “I’m going to make a speech this spring in the community. Things I can do along those lines, I’m very happy to do. I want the Bills to do well. That’s the overarching message — I want the Bills to do well.”

AFC East Notes: Brady, Jets, Bills, Polian

Shortly after his base salaries for the next three seasons – totaling $24MM – became guaranteed over the weekend, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has agreed to rework his deal so that those salaries are now guaranteed for injury only, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Facebook link). While it doesn’t change Brady’s cap hit, the move allows the Pats to free up some cash, since the team no longer has to put $24MM for Brady in escrow right away, as PatsCap.com explains (via Twitter). That could allow the team to be a little more flexible this winter when discussing extensions with a handful of free-agents-to-be.

Here’s more from out of the AFC East:

  • Earlier today, Jets owner Woody Johnson told reporters that he’d “love” to have Darrelle Revis back in a Jets uniform in 2015. Considering Revis remains under contract with the Patriots, that comment could easily be viewed as tampering, which Johnson must have realized, since he has since backpedaled. Johnson’s latest statement, via the team: “I misspoke today when I commented on Darrelle Revis. I would never interfere in the contractual relationship of a player with another team and should not have used those words. I called [Patriots owner] Robert Kraft this afternoon to emphasize those points” (all Twitter links).
  • According to Tim Graham of the Buffalo News (via Twitter), the more he hears, the more he’s inclined to believe that Bill Polian will indeed return to the Bills. However, Graham cautions that there are no guarantees at this point. On Saturday, Polian refuted a report indicating that he was returning to the organization for which he was once the general manager.
  • On the heels of Kyle Orton‘s retirement announcement, Bills general manager Doug Whaley acknowledged that his team will have to add at least one quarterback, and maybe two. Whaley added that Buffalo will leave all its options open when it comes to acquiring a QB, so as not to put the team in a corner “or show our hand” (Twitter links via Mike Rodak of ESPN.com).

 

Bills Rumors: Polian, Taylor, Whaley, Williams

After declining to re-join the Bills’ front office in January, Bill Polian has volunteered his services to the current Bills’ hierarchy as a consultant, Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News reports.

The Bills’ general manager from 1986-1992 and 2015 Hall of Fame inductee, Polian told Carucci he will only provide consulting services for the Bills.

Listen, I owe this franchise virtually everything I have in the National Football League,” Polian said. “A good reason why a yellow jacket’s on my shoulder is because of the Buffalo Bills. The bottom line is, I want this team to succeed.”

Although the 73-year-old Polian turned down an offer to be the Bills’ football czar, his being inducted into the Hall of Fame in August could help his chances at departing ESPN and reuniting with his former team, Carucci writes.

Here are some more Polian- and Bills-related items on Christmas Eve.

  • Among the stances Polian offered to owner Terry Pegula in recent months was that semi-breakout quarterback Tyrod Taylor is not the team’s long-term answer under center. “You can win with Tyrod if the other pieces are good,” Polian told Carucci. “If there are six or seven Pro Bowlers at other positions, you can win with Tyrod. But he’s not the quarterback of the future. He’s not Jim Kelly, and, although he doesn’t have the same track record, he’s probably comparable to Frank Reich. But he’s not 6-feet-4 like Frank Reich. He’s small and he’s going to get hurt, and he did. Now, you have to find his backup and the quarterback of the future.”
  • Polian also would likely cut EJ Manuel if brought in as a consultant after recommending the sputtering ex-first-rounder’s release to Pegula in a recent phone conversation. Manuel has one year left on his rookie contract and represented a source of friction between current GM Doug Whaley and offensive coordinator Greg Roman, Carucci notes. The latter wanted Buffalo to retain Matt Cassel as Taylor’s backup, while Whaley, who played a key role in bringing Manuel to Buffalo at No. 16 overall in 2013, preferred the cheaper Manuel stay. Whaley has one year left on his contract, and per the Buffalo News, hasn’t had extension discussions.
  • Polian referred to the current Bills offensive line as “aging and unathletic,” a take that confused Buffalo News reporter Tyler Dunne, given that only Richie Incognito is over 29 among the current nucleus up front. Dunne also does not like the potential for coordination between Polian, Whaley and Rex Ryan, with Polian being critical of both recently.
  • Mario Williams‘ spree of assessments on the shortcomings of the Bills’ 21st-ranked defense continued, with the veteran insisting the current personnel does not fit Ryan’s scheme, per an Associated Press report. The 30-year-old edge presence also acknowledges his days with the Bills could very well be over soon. “Of course there’ll be changes,” Williams told media. “I mean, that’s obvious. You just wait and see if my number’s called.” Williams’ 2016 cap number of $19.9MM would be by far the most on the Bills.

 

 

Extra Points: Packers, Muamba, Polian

Weston Hodkiewicz of the Green Bay Press-Gazette thinks that the Packers will be forced to lean heavily on a cadre of young defensive lineman that will step into starting roles next season. Defensive linemen Mike Daniels, Datone Jones, and Jerel Worthy will likely replace departing free agents B.J. Raji, Ryan Pickett, and Johnny Jolly on the defensive front of the Packers’ base 3-4 defense. Defensive line coach Mike Trgovac expects Jones and Worthy to mimic Daniels’ 2013 campaign with breakout performances next year.

A few more Monday night notes:

Eagles Eyeing Chris Polian For Exec Role

MONDAY, 10:41am: A source tells Geoff Mosher of CSNPhilly.com (Twitter links) that Polian hasn’t actually interviewed twice with the Eagles, but Mosher adds that he still thinks Polian is a “serious candidate” for the team’s front office opening.

SUNDAY, 4:09pm: The Eagles have been searching for a general manager since they restructured their front office on January 2, and it seems like they could be getting closer to finding their front office executive. According to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Jaguars director of pro scouting Chris Polian recently had a second interview with the Eagles, and is considered a “serious candidate” for the position. ESPN’s Adam Caplan had appeared on 97.5 The Fanatic on Friday, speculating that Polian was the favorite for the job because he was simply the most qualified of the candidates (link via BleedingGreenNation.com).

The protracted nature of Philadelphia’s GM hunt must be in part attributed to a lack of definition of roles (at least from an outsider’s perspective). In announcing their front office changes in January, the Eagles said head Chip Kelly, who already owned final say over the 53-man roster, would take control of the club’s personnel department, while former GM Howie Roseman was “promoted” to the executive vice president of football operations, a position that will see him deal with cap and salary management.

Because Kelly and Roseman seem to have control over the two main functions of a front office, the question then becomes: what exactly would Polian’s role be? It’s a query that candidates interested in the position have surely asked, and one that Jacksonville should also be concerned with. If Polian won’t have say over the roster, or the draft, or cap management in Philadelphia, what is the Jaguars’ incentive to let him leave? These questions only add to the confusion reported by McLane earlier today, as many around the league still aren’t sure how the Eagles’ front office is structured.

Polian, 42, is the son of longtime NFL executive Bill Polian. He served as general manager of the Colts from 2009-11 after his father was promoted to team president, but was fired after the club posted a 2-14 record in ’11. He’s one of only two candidates known to have interviewed for the Eagles’ GM job, with the other being the Texans’ Brian Gaine, whose flirtation with Philadelphia earned him a promotion to director of player personnel. Polian is the only contender who has interviewed twice for the position.

Texans’ Bill O’Brien Cedes Play Calling Duties

Bill O’Brien decided that he already wears enough hats for the Texans. This week, the team’s head coach and GM announced that offensive coordinator Tim Kelly will take over play calling in 2020. 

[Kelly is] a really bright guy,” O’Brien said (via ESPN.com’s Mike Wells). “He’s a really good coach. Players really respect him. He just does a great job. Great knowledge of the whole offense from the passing game to the running game.”

O’Brien, who has served as the Texans’ HC since 2014, acted as the OC initially, then later gave those responsibilities to George Godsey. Early on in 2016, he took the headset back from Godsey and parted ways with him after the season.

Last year, the Texans finished 13th in yards per game and 14th in points per contest (23.6, on average). They’ll look to push further with Kelly at the helm.

Kelly and O’Brien go back a long ways, dating to their time together at Penn State. This will be Kelly’s second year as the OC, but his first with full control. O’Brien expressed complete confidence in the soon-to-be 34-year-old and also cited his relationship with Deshaun Watson as a major positive.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Texans Name Bill O’Brien As GM

The Texans have given head coach Bill O’Brien the title of general manager, per a club announcement. O’Brien has effectively been in charge of the roster for a while, but Tuesday’s announcement makes it official. Meanwhile, they’ve promoted executive vice president of team development Jack Easterby to executive vice president of football operations.

Preparations are underway for the 2020 season and I thought it was important to update titles, roles and responsibilities for Bill O’Brien and Jack Easterby so they more accurately reflect the way we have been operating for the past eight months,” said owner Cal McNair. “I was encouraged by the progress that our team made on the field this year which was due in part to our new structure, operating approach and the leaders within our football operations group. I am proud that we provided our fans with many thrilling victories at home, including a playoff win, and we delivered another double-digit win season. Our fans deserve that, but now it is time for the organization to get back to work toward our pursuit of a world championship for the city of Houston.”

Last summer, the Texans fired GM Brian Gaine after just one year at the helm. Since then, they’ve taken a GM-by-committee approach, with O’Brien leading the charge and Easterby holding significant influence over the roster. Execs Matt Bazirgan, James Liipfert, and Chris Olsen were also instrumental in the revamped configuration.

With O’Brien as the de facto GM, the Texans went 10-6, captured the AFC South title, and reached the divisional round for the fourth time in franchise history.

Bears Hire Bill Lazor As OC

The Bears fired offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich at the end of the 2019 season, and they have now filled their vacancy. Chicago has hired former Dolphins and Bengals OC Bill Lazor to replace Helfrich, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter).

Lazor, 47, was hired as Cincinnati’s quarterbacks coach in 2016 but ended up taking over as the team’s play-caller three games into the 2017 campaign. In 2018, his first full season as the Bengals’ OC, Lazor led a unit which ranked 17th in points, 19th in DVOA (efficiency), and 26th in yardage. In his first year as Miami’s OC, 2014, the ‘Fins finished 8th in DVOA, but they plummeted to 22nd the following year and Lazor was given the boot.

Part of Lazor’s responsibilities in Chicago will include getting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky back on track — assuming the Bears stick with Trubisky as their starter — and helping fix an offense that finished the 2019 season 29th in total offense, 31st in yards per play, and 29th in scoring. Head coach Matt Nagy, though, will retain play-calling duties.

Per Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, the Bears were interested in Pat Shurmur for their OC job, but Shurmur was recently hired by the Broncos, for whom he will call offensive plays. The presence of Nagy as play-caller and Trubisky under center could be a deterrent for the upper echelon of OC candidates, which may be why the team had to opt for a second-tier choice in Lazor.

Lazor was out of the league in 2019, though he did interview for the Redskins’ quarterbacks coach job last January.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins To Part Ways With Bill Callahan

Offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell could keep his job under new head coach Ron Rivera, but the same can’t be said for Bill Callahan. The Redskins will move on from the offensive line coach and one-time interim head coach, according to John Keim of ESPN.com (on Twitter). 

[RELATED: Redskins To Hire Jack Del Rio]

Callahan expressed interest in staying in Washington, though his comments came before the Rivera hire. It’s not clear if he would have been open to staying on as an assistant, however.

The Redskins went 0-5 under Jay Gruden and didn’t fare much better with Callahan at the helm. After a 3-8 showing in the final eleven games, they gave Callahan some consideration full-time post, but it might have been more of a courtesy than anything.

There should be plenty of opportunities out there for Callahan if he wants to serve as an assistant elsewhere.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Browns To Hire Bill Callahan As OL Coach

Shortly after his run as Redskins interim head coach ended, Bill Callahan will land on his feet in a familiar role. The Browns are expected to hire Callahan as their next offensive line coach, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.

They will be the fifth team to bring Callahan in as O-line coach, following the Eagles, Jets, Cowboys and Redskins. While Callahan has held higher-profile titles, most notably Raiders head coach, his primary NFL role has been as an O-line instructor.

Callahan will work with new Browns HC Kevin Stefanski for the first time. This takes the 63-year-old assistant out of the running for a Giants job. He was in play for Big Blue’s offensive line coach position, per Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter link). Former Cowboys boss Jason Garrett was named OC recently. Callahan worked under Garrett as Dallas’ OC from 2012-14 but accepted a job with the Redskins in 2015. He remained with Washington through the end of the 2010s.

Callahan will replace James Campen, who spent one season working as Browns O-line coach. While the Browns’ offensive line struggled in pass protection — namely at tackle — it ranked 11th in adjusted line yards, helping Nick Chubb to a second-place rushing finish.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Redskins’ Bill Callahan Wants To Stay

Redskins interim head coach Bill Callahan wants to shed the interim label, as Kareem Copeland of the Washington Post writes. Callahan, who took over in October, believes the team has made significant strides under his watch. 

I look at the fight of our players,” Callahan said. “I look at the resiliency, and [I] tried to bring back a work ethic into the program that I thought was lacking. I thought our players could have been better fundamentally. . . . I saw our players get better and compete for four quarters. I saw our players have stamina through four quarters of play. I thought long and hard about improving the team and what aspects I would really focus on. A lot of that was the second-half finish, and I thought we did that.”

The Redskins were 0-5 under Jay Gruden, but they’ve gone 3-7 under Callahan in the last ten games. Many believe that the Redskins will opt for a splashy hire, rather than staying the course with Callahan, but the 63-year-old isn’t giving up hope.

As Copeland notes, veterans were freelancing outside the scheme under Gruden in an effort to pad their stats. That didn’t necessarily stop under Callahan, but there have been fewer instances of players operating outside of play calls in recent weeks. Still, the Redskins still rank 31st in scoring offense and 24th in scoring defense.

Callahan will reportedly be considered for the gig, but he’s certainly not the frontrunner.

 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bill Cowher Elected To Pro Football Hall of Fame

During the pregame show for Saturday’s AFC Divisional Round matchup between the Titans and Ravens on CBS Sports, president of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, David Baker, showed up on set to surprise Bill Cowher with the news that he had been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a part of the class of 2020. Cowher is the first selection of the class, which will have twenty members.

Cowher, of course, built his Hall of Fame pedigree as the head coach of the Steelers from 1992-2006. Following in the footsteps of another Hall of Fame coach, Chuck Noll, Cowher led Pittsburgh to 11 playoff appearances, 6 AFC Championship games, 2 Super Bowls, and a Super Bowl victory in his penultimate season with the team.

Prior to Cowher’s arrival in Pittsburgh, the team had failed to make the playoffs in five of their previous six campaigns. After Cowher’s arrival, the team reached the playoffs in six consecutive seasons, including Super Bowl XXX (where they lost to the Cowboys). At that time, Cowher was the youngest head coach to reach the Super Bowl. Still, it would take him another ten years to reach the Super Bowl again. When he did, the Steelers defeated the Seahawks in Super Bowl XL, giving him his only Super Bowl ring.

After just one more season, Cowher stepped down to spend more time with his family. Since he has served as an analyst with CBS Sports. While many teams have been rumored to make runs to get Cowher back on the field, it appears he is content with what he has accomplished.

In the end, Cowher finished his career with a 149-90-1 regular season record and a 12-9 postseason record.

Jaguars To Hire Trent Baalke

Trent Baalke will resurface in Jacksonville. More than three years after the 49ers fired him from the GM post he held for much of the 2010s, Baalke will join the Jaguars as their director of player personnel, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.

The Jaguars are replacing Chris Polian with Baalke, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Polian had been with the Jags since Dave Caldwell came aboard as GM in 2013. This will be Baalke’s first role with a non-49ers team in 16 years.

Baalke, 55, worked his way up the ladder in San Francisco, going from regional scout to GM. His tenure produced notable clashes with Jim Harbaugh and ended with the 49ers becoming the first team to have back-to-back one-and-done HCs in nearly 40 years, but Baalke did team with Harbaugh to lift the 49ers to their most consistently strong stretch since the 1990s. The 49ers trekked to three straight NFC championship games from 2011-13 and came close to winning Super Bowl XLVII.

In 2017, Baalke joined the league office as a football operations consultant. This represents a key opportunity for the former 49ers, Jets and Redskins staffer. Baalke began his career with the Jets in the late 1990s before being a Redskins scout for four seasons in the early 2000s.

Polian was once linked to the 49ers’ GM job in 2017. That job went to John Lynch, who has played a key role in resurrecting a franchise that had endured a steep freefall in Baalke’s final years. Baalke hires Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly went a combined 7-25 between the 2015-16 seasons. A second-generation NFLer, Chris Polian had served under father Bill Polian in Indianapolis during the latter’s tenure there. Chris Polian re-emerged in Jacksonville and rose from pro personnel director to player personnel director during his lengthy tenure.

This hire comes shortly after Shad Khan surprised some by announcing Caldwell and Doug Marrone would return for another season, despite the Jags having fallen far since the 2017 AFC title game. Caldwell figures to enter the 2020 season on the hot set, but Baalke will attempt to help this regime right the ship.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Notes: Brady, Marrone, Polian, Jets

Speaking to the media on Thursday afternoon, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady adamantly denied that he had any involvement in the deflating of footballs during New England’s victory over the Colts in Sunday’s AFC Championship game. “I didn’t alter the ball in any way,” said Brady. “…I was surprised as anyone on Monday morning when I heard what was happening…I have no knowledge of anything…I’m very comfortable saying that” (Twitter links via Albert Breer of NFL.com). Furthermore, Brady stated that NFL has not yet contacted him as part of their investigation, but allowed that they might do so, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (Twitter link) — per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link), Brady would be the last person the NFL speaks to, based on Rapoport’s knowledge of the how the league conducts its probes. Here’s more from the AFC East, including a little more on DeflateGate:

  • Patriots head coach Bill Belichick also spoke to reporters earlier today, and one league source found it “shocking” that Belichick shifted the focus of the scandal to Brady, tweets Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. Of course, Belichick didn’t accuse Brady of anything improper, but he did say that “quarterbacks…know a lot more than I do,” which struck many as odd.
  • Some league insiders believe that ex-Bills coach (and current Jaguars OL coach) Doug Marrone and Jacksonville executive Chris Polian could be a head coach/general manager pairing in 2016, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN (Twitter link via Mike Rodak).
  • Packers assistant offensive line coach Steve Marshall is expected to join the Jets, presumably continuing to work with the offensive line, a source tells Adam Caplan of ESPN (via Twitter).
  • Kansas State receiver Tyler Lockett interviewed with the Dolphins on Wednesday, and the former Wildcat says the meeting went well, per James Walker of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Lions Rumors: GM Search, Polian, Megatron

The latest from Detroit:

  • Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press identifies Texans executive Brian Gaine and Jaguars exec Chris Polian as two names to watch for the Lions’ general manager job, along with interim GM Sheldon White. Gaine has been mentioned as a candidate for a promotion in Houston as well.
  • The Lions are scheduling a GM interview with Seahawks co-director of player personnel Trent Kirchner, league sources tell Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Kirchner interviewed with the Jets last year.
  • Calvin Johnson faces some uncertainty this offseason with the Lions, ESPN.com’s Michael Rothstein writes. Johnson will have a $24MM cap hit with a $15.95MM cash value in 2016 and the team could save $11.1MM on the cap by letting him go.
  • The Lions have requested to interview Cowboys assistant director of player personnel Will McClay for their GM job, but he decided to stay put, a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). McClay said he recently re-did his contract in Dallas and didn’t want to leave, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press tweets.
  • Vikings exec George Paton will be declining GM interviews, as well, Birkett tweets. The Lions haven’t formally requested an interview, but he is well respected and seemed like a probable candidate for the job.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Redskins To Consider Bill Callahan For Full-Time Job

The Redskins will consider interim head coach Bill Callahan for the so-called “permanent” post (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). That makes two known internal candidates – offensive coordinator Kevin O’Connell is also getting real consideration for the job. Rapoport expects the Redskins to evaluate Callahan and O’Connell before opening things up to external candidates in December. 

[RELATED: Redskins Considering OC Kevin O’Connell For HC Job]

If Callahan wants the gig, he’ll have to find a way to turn things around in Washington. Heading into tonight’s game against the Vikings, the Redskins are 1-6 with their only win coming against the lowly Dolphins a couple of weeks back.

O’Connell hasn’t gotten tremendous results, either, but he is highly respected around the league and in the Redskins’ front office. The Redskins, for all their woes, have a history of developing young offensive coaches that have skyrocketed through the ranks. After Sean McVay, Matt LaFleur, and Kyle Shanahan found success elsewhere, the Redskins may be inclined to keep O’Connell in their yard.

In other Redskins news – running back Adrian Peterson and cornerback Josh Norman are active for tonight’s game against the Vikings. The Redskins may also see Trent Williams again sometime soon, though there’s no guarantee that he’ll play even if he does report.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cardinals Owner Bill Bidwill Passes Away

Sad news out of Arizona, as Cardinals owner Bill Bidwill has passed away at the age of 88, the team announced in a release.

Bidwill’s father originally bought the team in 1932, and Bidwill has been the sole owner since 1972. His son Michael Bidwill serves as the team’s president and runs the franchise day-to-day. “Our dad passed away today the same way he lived his life: peacefully, with grace, dignity and surrounded by family and loved ones,” Michael said in a statement. “We are overwhelmed by the support our family has received, not only now but throughout the latest chapter of his life. We are especially grateful to the nurses, doctors and other caregivers whose endless kindness and compassion in recent years have made our dad’s life so meaningful.”

Above all else, we will remember him as a man devoted to the three central pillars of his life – his immense faith, his love for his family and his life-long passion for the Cardinals and the sport of football.

The team also released a video tribute on Twitter, narrated by Larry Fitzgerald. Arizona’s release notes that Bidwill was an “early proponent of front office minority hiring in the NFL,” and that “in 2004, Bidwill promoted Rod Graves to General Manager and named Dennis Green head coach, making the Cardinals the first franchise with minorities in both posts at the same time.”

All of us at PFR send our thoughts and condolences to the Bidwill family.

Page 1 of 15612345...102030...Last »