Derrick Coleman

Cardinals To Sign FB Derrick Coleman

Derrick Coleman agreed to a one-year deal with the Cardinals, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The deal puts the veteran in line to be Arizona’s new starting fullback. 

Coleman, 28 in October, appeared in all 16 of the Falcons’ regular season games in 2017. He is regarded as one of the best at his position, but his market was slow to develop this offseason as most teams do not utilize a fullback in their offense. Known mostly for his blocking ability, Coleman has just three catches in his last two NFL seasons and 13 grabs across four active years in the league.

Coleman made headlines for the wrong reasons during his Seahawks tenure. An alleged hit-and-run incident in 2015 kept him out of football in 2016, but he avoided jail by agreeing community service plus 12 months of community supervision.

Coleman joins a roster that already has several fringe running backs competing for work. Beyond starter David Johnson, Elijhaa Penny, and fourth-round rookie Chase Edmunds, D.J. Foster, T.J. Logan, and Bronson Hill are fighting to make the final cut.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Jets Work Out FB Derrick Coleman

The Jets auditioned fullback Derrick Coleman on Monday, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Coleman was one of several veterans to audition for the team, joining edge rusher Lamarr Houston, defensive tackle Chris Jones, and defensive linemen Tyrunn Walker and Lavar Edwards

Coleman, 28 in October, appeared in all 16 of the Falcons’ regular season games in 2017. He is regarded as one of the best at his position, but hasn’t found much of a market this offseason as most teams do not utilize a fullback in their offense. Known mostly for his blocking ability, Coleman has just three catches in his last two NFL seasons and 13 grabs across four active years in the league.

Coleman made headlines for the wrong reasons during his Seahawks tenure. An alleged hit-and-run incident in 2015 kept him out of football in 2016, but he avoided jail by agreeing community service plus 12 months of community supervision. The Jets already have multiple players who are dealing with legal trouble, so they’ll do some serious homework on Coleman before extending him an offer.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Top 2018 NFL Free Agents By Position: Offense

NFL free agency will get underway on Wednesday, March 14th, and while the list of free agents will change between now and then, we do have some idea of who will be available when free agency kicks off. The frenzy is right around the corner and it’s time for us to break down the outlook for each position. We’ll start today on offense, before getting to defense and special teams later this week.

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each offensive position. The rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts that each player is expected to land in free agency, they are simply the players we like the most at each position, with both short- and long-term value taken into account. Restricted and exclusive-rights free agents are not listed here since they are unlikely to actually reach the open market. The same goes for players who have been franchise tagged or transition tagged.

We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some guys than you are, so we encourage you to make your voice heard in our comments section to let us know which free agents we’ve got wrong.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by offensive position for 2018:

Quarterback:

  1. Kirk Cousins
  2. Drew Brees
  3. Case Keenum
  4. A.J. McCarron
  5. Sam Bradford
  6. Teddy Bridgewater
  7. Colin Kaepernick
  8. Josh McCown
  9. Mike Glennon
  10. Drew Stanton
  11. Jay Cutler
  12. Chase Daniel
  13. Ryan Fitzpatrick
  14. Brock Osweiler
  15. Tom Savage

There were many difficult calls when putting this list together, but ranking Kirk Cousins as the No. 1 QB available was not among them. Cousins is the best quarterback to reach free agency in recent history and he’ll become the highest-paid player of all-time – at least, for some period of time – in mid-March. Who will make history with Cousins? That’s anyone’s guess right now. The Browns have more cap room than any other team, but a recent report from Adam Schefter of ESPN.com listed the Broncos, Cardinals, Jets, and Vikings as the final suitors for Cousins. Of those four, the Jets have the most money to work with, but they’re concerned about the Vikings winning out and Cousins’ desire to win could point him in another direction. If the Broncos and Cardinals want in on the Cousins sweepstakes, they’ll have to get creative with the books.

Drew Brees is included here, but by his own admission, he’ll be re-signing with the Saints rather than testing the open waters of free agency. Unless the Saints lowball their franchise QB, it’s hard to see him leaving New Orleans.

Case Keenum put together a tremendous season for the Vikings, but he doesn’t have a history of success beyond 2017. There will be plenty of interest in Keenum, but only after QB-needy teams strike out on Cousins. The incumbent Vikings could re-sign Keenum, but right now, it seems like they are intent on exploring the Cousins waters first.

There isn’t a ton of footage on A.J. McCarron, which made his placement on this list awfully tricky. We know this much: McCarron did well in place of Dalton in the home stretch of the 2015 season and his former offensive coordinator Hue Jackson was salivating at the chance of landing him before the Browns bungled the trade with the Bengals. McCarron’s relative youth is a plus (he won’t turn 28 until September) and his lack of experience can be looked at as a positive. Unlike some of the other names on this list, he hasn’t run up his NFL odometer.

What will NFL teams make of Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford this offseason? Not long ago, both seemed like quality starting options. However, there are serious injury questions about both players and any team signing them will either look to backstop them with another decent option or ask them to come onboard as a QB2. With that in mind, one has to wonder if Bradford would consider retirement if asked to hold the clipboard for another signal caller. Bradford has earned upwards of $110MM over the years in the NFL, so it’s safe to say that he has enough money in the bank to call it quits if he wants. For now, he’s intent on playing.

Colin Kaepernick‘s placement on this list is sure to draw some strong reactions from his fans and detractors alike. Looking purely at his football ability, there’s no question that he belongs on someone’s roster. At minimum, Kaepernick profiles as a high-end backup, even after a year out of the game.

Quarterbacks coaches have long believed that Mike Glennon is capable of great things, due in part to his height. At 6’7″, he can see over any defensive line, but he hasn’t done much on the field to prove that he is a quality Week 1 starting option. Josh McCown, who is a decade his senior, edges him here for his surprisingly strong performance in 2017 at the helm of a weak Jets offense.

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Falcons Sign Derrick Coleman, Two Others

The Falcons announced the signing of three players on Tuesday afternoon. They have added fullbacks Derrick Coleman and Soma Vainuku plus guard Hugh ThorntonDerrick Coleman

Prior to today, the Falcons didn’t have any fullbacks on the roster, so Coleman and Vainuku now make up their entire FB depth chart. Of course, when all is said and done, they could carry just one fullback, or possibly none if they do not care about prioritizing lead blocking. The Falcons lost one of the league’s best fullbacks this offseason when Patrick DiMarco signed with the Bills in free agency.

You might remember Coleman from his time with the Seahawks. An alleged hit-and-run incident in 2015 kept him out of football in 2016, but he avoided jail by agreeing to 240 hours of community service plus 12 months of community supervision. Although he is out of the woods in terms of legal trouble, he still has to serve a four-game NFL suspension. We had him ranked as one of the best remaining fullbacks on the board heading into Tuesday.

Thornton, 26 in June, started 32 games for the Colts from 2013-2015. The former third-round pick has been held back by injuries and has not seen regular season action since December 2015.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Top 2017 Free Agents By Position 3.0: Offense

The initial wave of NFL free agency is now complete, and while many of the league’s top available players are now off the board, there are still plenty of quality options still on the open market.

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each offensive position. These rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts – or the amount of guaranteed money – that each player is expected to land in free agency. These are simply the players we like the most at each position, with both short- and long-term value taken into account.

Restricted and exclusive-rights free agents, as well as players who received the franchise tag, aren’t listed here, since the roadblocks in place to hinder another team from actually acquiring most of those players prevent them from being true free agents.

We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some free agents than you are, so feel free to weigh in below in our comments section to let us know which players we’ve got wrong.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by offensive position for 2017:

Quarterback:

  1. Jay Cutler
  2. Chase Daniel
  3. Ryan Fitzpatrick
  4. Colin Kaepernick
  5. Josh McCown
  6. Robert Griffin III
  7. Case Keenum
  8. Matt McGloin
  9. Mark Sanchez
  10. Christian Ponder
  11. Blaine Gabbert
  12. Ryan Nassib
  13. Shaun Hill
  14. Kellen Moore
  15. Austin Davis

Tony Romo is not a free agent…at least not yet. If the Cowboys do not find a suitable trade and release him, you’ll find him at the top of this list.

Laugh if you must, but Cutler is far and away the best quarterback available on the open market. While most of this year’s QB-needy teams are done with their free agent shopping, the Jets are still searching for their 2017 starter and no one would make more sense for them than Cutler. He’s not all that far removed from playing solid football and he’s a logical transitional option for the Jets until they can isolate a better, younger option for 2018. Jay Cutler (Vertical)

Kaepernick’s reps wisely told the press that he will be standing for the National Anthem this year. Still, Kaepernick is an outspoken guy who wants to use his platform to discuss hot button issues, so there’s no guarantee that the media circus around him will cease. Jets owner Woody Johnson loves seeing his team on the back pages of the New York tabloids, but even he has to have more sense than to entertain Kaepernick. McCown, who has been contact with the team, would be an okay choice if they can’t get something done with Cutler. Chase Daniel could be an option too, but there isn’t much game film on him.

Needless to say, the No. 3 ranked player on this list isn’t an option in New York.

Running back:

  1. Adrian Peterson
  2. LeGarrette Blount
  3. Jamaal Charles
  4. Rashad Jennings
  5. Tim Hightower
  6. DeAngelo Williams
  7. Chris Johnson
  8. Christine Michael
  9. Benny Cunningham
  10. Bobby Rainey
  11. Brandon Bolden
  12. Denard Robinson
  13. James Starks
  14. Matt Asiata
  15. Kenjon Barner

Honorable mention: DuJuan Harris, Antonio AndrewsKhiry Robinson

Adrian Peterson (vertical)The Vikings have moved on and Peterson will not be back in Minnesota. Where he goes from here is anyone’s guess. When Peterson’s option was declined by the Vikings earlier this month, there were tons of stories (likely sourced by Peterson’s camp) about interest from a litany of contenders. Since then, each team – through anonymous sources – has denied being in the mix for the veteran. It would be easy to doubt Peterson at this juncture, but he has come back from serious injuries multiple times in his career and he is only one year removed from his stellar 2015 campaign. He gets the top spot over the bruising Blount as well as Charles, who hasn’t been healthy in a long while.

Jennings was brought to New York with the idea that he would be the team’s workhorse. Unfortunately, two of his three seasons with the G-Men were marred by injury. Jennings is currently putting his agility to good use on Dancing With The Stars and it remains to be seen how committed he is to football. After that, we have a trio of vets (Hightower, Williams, CJ2K) who could still advance the ball in limited spurts.

In case you’re wondering – Mike Gillislee is not listed here because he is a restricted free agent.

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Top 2017 Free Agents By Position 2.0: Offense

NFL free agency is right around the corner! The legal tampering period starts on Tuesday and free agency officially starts on Thursday. The list of available free agents will change between now and then as players re-sign with teams or get cut loose, but we have a pretty good idea of who will be available right now. After looking at the top defensive players, we now shift our attention to the other side of the ball.

Here are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each position. The rankings aren’t determined by earning power, they are simply the players we like the most at each position, with a combination of short- and long-term value taken into account. You won’t find restricted free agents or franchise tagged guys here since they are unlikely to go leave their current clubs.

Player evaluation is always subjective, so we encourage you to make your voices heard in the comments section in cases where you disagree with us.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by offensive position for 2017:

Updated 3-7-2017, 2:55pm CT

Quarterback:

  1. Mike Glennon
  2. Nick Foles
  3. Brian Hoyer (story)
  4. Ryan Fitzpatrick
  5. Colin Kaepernick
  6. Josh McCown
  7. Case Keenum
  8. Matt McGloin
  9. Mark Sanchez
  10. Ryan Mallett
  11. Christian Ponder
  12. Blaine Gabbert
  13. Geno Smith
  14. Matt Schaub (story)
  15. EJ Manuel

Honorable mention: Ryan Nassib, Landry JonesShaun Hill Mike Glennon (vertical)

Colin Kaepernick’s agents have (wisely) let everyone know that their client will stand for the National Anthem in 2017. That may seem like a minor point, but teams say they would have automatically removed him from consideration if he continued his attention-grabbing protest. He grabbed headlines for his actions on the sidelines last year, but he actually turned in an OK season. From a football standpoint, Kaepernick would make sense for a lot of teams as a QB2 with upside.

Interestingly, this list includes three quarterbacks who couldn’t cut it as the Jets’ starter and three rejects from the 49ers. They say that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure and all six of those players (Ryan Fitzpatrick, Kaepernick, Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith, Christian Ponder, Blaine Gabbert) come with varying degrees of potential and proven effectiveness. Smith, somehow, could reportedly be retained by the Jets and installed as the starter in 2017.

Ryan Nassib is just outside of the top 15 here with EJ Manuel getting the final spot. Despite positive word about his play in practice, Nassib is unproven and the Giants’ apparent lack of interest in re-signing him says a lot. It’s also possible that he might not be 100% after ending the 2016 season on IR with an elbow injury. Manuel, for all his warts, has shown potential in small bursts.

Running back:

  1. Eddie Lacy
  2. Adrian Peterson
  3. LeGarrette Blount
  4. Latavius Murray
  5. Jamaal Charles
  6. Darren McFadden
  7. Jacquizz Rodgers
  8. Rex Burkhead
  9. Rashad Jennings
  10. Danny Woodhead
  11. Tim Hightower
  12. DeAngelo Williams
  13. Andre Ellington
  14. Chris Johnson
  15. Christine Michael

Honorable mention: Robert Turbin, Travaris Cadet, Benny Cunningham, Lance Dunbar, Bobby Rainey, Brandon BoldenDenard Robinson, James Starks

Adrian Peterson (vertical)As expected, the Vikings have cut Adrian Peterson loose and he is expected to garner interest from contending clubs this week. Some might peg Peterson as the most talented running back in this year’s free agent class, but it all comes down to how you weigh his age and injury history. Peterson has shocked the football world in the past with an incredible comeback, but I’m a little skeptical of his ability to do it again in his age-32 season. Eddie Lacy, who has injury question marks of his own, takes the top spot at the position.

The Patriots believe they won’t be able to match the offers that come in LeGarrette Blount‘s direction. Latavius Murray could circle back to the Raiders, but he won’t be agreeing to a deal with them before free agency opens on Thursday.

Jamaal Charles has the most impressive resume of anyone on this list, with the exception of Peterson. However, no one knows exactly what he can do after playing eight games in the last two years. He’ll turn 31 in December and that’s usually not an indicator of success for running backs.

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Top 2017 NFL Free Agents By Position: Offense

[UPDATE: CLICK HERE FOR THE LATEST EDITION OF THE TOP 2017 NFL FREE AGENTS BY POSITION]

NFL free agency will get underway on Thursday, March 9th, and while the list of free agents will change between now and then, we do have some idea of who will be available when free agency kicks off. The frenzy is right around the corner and it’s time for us to break down the outlook for each position. We’ll start today on offense, before getting to defense and special teams later this week.

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each offensive position. The rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts that each player is expected to land in free agency, they are simply the players we like the most at each position, with both short- and long-term value taken into account. Restricted and exclusive-rights free agents are not listed here since they are unlikely to actually reach the open market.

We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some guys than you are, so we encourage you to make your voice heard in our comments section to let us know which free agents we’ve got wrong.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by offensive position for 2017:

Quarterback:

  1. Kirk Cousins
  2. Mike Glennon
  3. Nick Foles
  4. Brian Hoyer
  5. Ryan Fitzpatrick
  6. Case Keenum
  7. Matt McGloin
  8. Mark Sanchez
  9. Geno Smith
  10. Ryan Mallett
  11. Josh McCown
  12. Christian Ponder
  13. Blaine Gabbert
  14. Matt Schaub
  15. Ryan Nassib

Honorable mention: Shaun Hill

As of this writing, Kirk Cousins is far and away the best potential free agent quarterback in this year’s crop. By the time March gets here, we’re fully expecting Cousins to be spoken for. Ultimately, the Redskins could franchise tag him, work out a long-term deal with him, or swing some type of trade that nets them a massive haul of talent and picks. That will leave a crop of retread quarterbacks that would probably best serve as transitional options for QB-needy teams. Kirk Cousins

Mike Glennon hasn’t done much in his 18 career starts, but talent evaluators are still in love with his size and potential. The 6’7″ quarterback will get more money this spring than you might expect, particularly since there are no surefire QBs in this year’s draft.

Teams looking for stopgap QBs will find a plethora of experienced, though perhaps uninspiring, signal callers. Nick Foles, Brian Hoyer, and Ryan Fitzpatrick all have their best football behind them, but they could hold down the fort for a team in 2017 and maybe even find some success if the defense is strong enough. Of course, the ideal role for those guys would probably be as a backup to a better, younger quarterback.

Running back:

  1. Le’Veon Bell
  2. Eddie Lacy
  3. LeGarrette Blount
  4. Latavius Murray
  5. Darren McFadden
  6. Jacquizz Rodgers
  7. Rashad Jennings
  8. Danny Woodhead
  9. Rex Burkhead
  10. Tim Hightower
  11. DeAngelo Williams
  12. Andre Ellington
  13. Chris Johnson
  14. Christine Michael
  15. Robert Turbin

Consider Le’Veon Bell‘s name written in Etch-A-Sketch, because he is very unlikely to get near the open market. That could leave Eddie Lacy as the best tailback available in March. Lacy has struggled with weight issues in recent years and he lost much of the 2016 season to injury. Still, he is a bruising back that could nicely complement a quicker ball carrier. Before he was shut down for the year, Lacy was averaging 5.07 yards per carry in five games for Green Bay.

LeGarrette Blount (vertical)In the last two years, LeGarrette Blount seems to have put his off-the-field troubles behind him. Whether that’s a sign of his maturity or a product of the Patriots’ culture remains to be seen. Teams can ignore his past indiscretions, but they will be wary of his age. Blount turns 31 in December.

Latavius Murray has shown glimpses of being a special running back, but he has been inconsistent and his 4.0 yards-per-carry average of the last two years isn’t overly impressive. Darren McFadden ran for more than 1,000 yards in 2015, but 2016 was pretty much a lost year for him. Jacquizz Rodgers seemed to break out last year, but he wound up succumbing to the same injury bug that took down a host of other Buccaneers running backs. Speaking of injuries, Rashad Jennings was initially brought to the Giants to be a workhorse back, but two of his three years in New York were marred by ailments. Everyone in this tier has the potential to make a difference, but none should be counted on as anyone’s main guy in 2017.

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Extra Points: Hardy, Siemian, LaFell, Patriots

Defensive end Greg Hardy‘s NFL career could be over because of his myriad off-field issues, the latest being a September drug possession charge. Hardy is now eyeing a career in mixed martial arts as a result, and UFC president Dana White hasn’t ruled out eventually signing the 28-year-old if he proves he’s worthy of a contract (a big “if,” of course).

In a Wednesday appearance on FOX Sports 1’s “Speak For Yourself,” White said of Hardy (via MMAFighting.com), “I’m one of those guys too who believes that we’re all human beings and we all make mistakes. And when you make a mistake, you pay your penance, whatever it might be, and you should be allowed to make a living and move on in your life. Is he good enough to come into the UFC and fight? I highly doubt it.”

More on the NFL, including news on another free agent:

  • A year before the Broncos drafted him in 2015, quarterback Trevor Siemian was disappointed that the Patriots selected Eastern Illinois signal-caller Jimmy Garoppolo, writes Kalyn Kahler of TheMMQB. Siemian, who had just finished his penultimate season at Northwestern, hoped to end up behind Tom Brady in New England the next year, his former college roommate and teammate told Khyler. “He was like, ‘Ahh I think I could have done well in that offense,’” ex-Northwestern center Hayden Baker said. As a seventh-round pick, Siemian went much lower than Garoppolo did the previous year (Round 2), though it’s the former who’s now an NFL starter. Siemian took over the role after sitting behind Peyton Manning on a Super Bowl-winning team as a rookie and has performed well this year for the 4-2 club. Garoppolo was even better during his first three starts this season, but injuries and the return of Brady from a four-game suspension have combined to send him back to the bench.
  • With the Bengals and Patriots set to square off Sunday, Cincinnati receiver Brandon LaFell spoke Friday about the end of his two-year New England tenure (via Mike Reiss of ESPN.com). “I played great my first year. My second year, I was an average guy and that’s why they had to let me go,” said LaFell, who played in all of the Super Bowl-winning Pats’ games in 2014 and finished the regular season with 74 receptions, 953 yards and seven touchdowns. In 11 games last year, LaFell’s catch total fell by half (37), he failed to find the end zone, and he dropped six passes. Those struggles led New England to release LaFell in March, and the 29-year-old revealed Friday that a left foot injury contributed to his woes in 2015 and helped bring about the end of his stint with the Pats. “I could never get back into my rhythm and get back to playing like the way I know how to play,” he said. “I felt like I was hurting the team going out there playing half-injured, but we had so many other guys at the receiver position that were hurt, so I had to play.” Healthy again, LaFell has amassed 21 catches, 276 yards and two scores in his first five games as a Bengal.
  • After pleading guilty Oct. 6 to vehicular-assault and hit-and-run charges, free agent fullback Derrick Coleman avoided jail time Friday. A potential 12- to 14-month sentence was on the table for the former Seahawk, who was instead sentenced to 240 hours of community service and 12 months of community supervision, according to the Seattle Times. Earlier Friday, the NFL hit Coleman with a four-week suspension.

Derrick Coleman Gets Four-Week Suspension

The NFL has suspended free agent fullback Derrick Coleman for the next four weeks, according to Field Yates of ESPN (Twitter link). Coleman pleaded guilty on Oct. 6 to vehicular-assault and hit-and-run charges stemming from a 2015 crash, per Sara Jean Green of the Seattle Times. Jail time is a possibility for Coleman, whose sentencing is scheduled for Friday.

Derrick Coleman

The past year has been a tumultuous one for Coleman, who appeared in 31 of the Seahawks’ games from 2012-15 and was a member of their 2013 Super Bowl-winning team. Bellevue, Wash., police arrested Coleman last October after he was driving a Dodge pickup at a “high rate of speed” and struck a Honda Civic traveling the same direction, according to witnesses.

The police report indicates that Coleman’s truck was going 60 in a 35 mph zone, and his foot was on the accelerator at 100 percent for several seconds. That pushed the other vehicle 260 feet off the roadway up a hill and caused it to flipped over. The driver went to the hospital with a head injury and a fractured left clavicle, while police found a barefoot Coleman two blocks from the scene. Coleman’s lawyer said the accident dislodged Coleman’s hearing aids, which may have left him disoriented and led to his departure from the scene. Coleman admitted to smoking a form of synthetic marijuana, not illegal in Washington, an hour before the collision.

Prior to joining the Seahawks, the 25-year-old Coleman was a notable contributor at UCLA, where he rushed for 1,780 yards in four years and earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors as a senior. Coleman’s NFL career began with the Vikings, who signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2012.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Colts, McLeod, McCown

Some assorted notes from around the NFL…

  • There were questions surrounding the relationship of Colts general manager Ryan Grigson and coach Chuck Pagano, but ESPN.com’s Mike Wells writes that the two have seemingly resolved their issues ever since receiving extensions. With the pair being under contract for the same amount of years, the duo has made sure that they’re “on the same page when it comes to the makeup of the roster.”
  • Before settling in on a five-year, $37MM contract with the Eagles, safety Rodney McLeod received similar offers from other teams. Jimmy Kempski of The Philly Voice tweets that McLeod heard from the Jaguars, Browns, and Buccaneers.
  • Josh McCown would prefer that the Browns make their starting quarterback decision sooner than later, the signal-caller said on 850 WKNR in Cleveland (via Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com). “I’m a human being and there’s no doubt, you want things mapped out,” McCown said. “I don’t like it, but I think it helps me get better.”
  • Former Seahawks fullback Derrick Coleman was charged with vehicular assault following a car crash last October (via the Associated Press). The 25-year-old appeared in 14 games with Seattle in 2015, compiling 32 yards on eight rushing attempts.