Jack Mewhort

Colts OL Jack Mewhort Retires

Colts guard/tackle Jack Mewhort has retired from the NFL, according to an announcement from the team. Mewhort was set to enter his age-27 season, but has decided to hang up his cleats instead. 

I would like to thank the Irsay family and the entire Colts organization for giving me the opportunity to live a childhood dream,” Mewhort said in a statement.

Mewhort entered the league as a second-round pick of the Colts in 2014. Mewhort has been a starter for the Colts throughout his career, but he has been seriously hampered by knee problems as of late.

Mewhort’s season ended in October thanks to a knee injury, marking his second straight incomplete campaign. Over the last two years, Mewhort has missed 17 games out of a possible 32.

Despite his health issues, the Colts re-signed Mewhort to a one-year, $1.5MM deal in March that could have been worth up to $3MM with incentives. However, the Colts did not bank on his health as they added guards Quenton Nelson and Braden Smith in the first two rounds of the draft. The club also has new interior lineman Matt Slauson in the mix for depth, so they won’t necessarily have to go shopping for offensive line health.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Colts To Re-Sign G Jack Mewhort

The Colts are bringing back guard Jack Mewhort. It’s a one-year deal with a base value of $1.5MM and another $1.5MM in incentives, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets

Mewhort’s season ended in October thanks to a knee injury, marking his second straight incomplete campaign. However, he did have three quality years as an NFL starter before that and the Colts did not want to let him get away. Mewhort doesn’t turn 27 until October, so he’s still young enough to bounce back and be a difference maker in 2018.

Mewhort will likely compete with Matt Slauson for the starting job at left guard. Beyond that, the Colts currently project to start left tackle Anthony Castonzo, center Ryan Kelly, right guard Joe Haeg, and right tackle Denzelle Good.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

The Top 25 Remaining NFL Free Agents

Many of this year’s top free agents came off of the board during the legal tampering period, including Kirk Cousins, Trumaine Johnson, Sammy Watkins, and Allen Robinson. Still plenty of the names from our list of the Top 50 Free Agents remain, including some new additions. Here’s a rundown of the players to keep an eye on as free agency officially begins, ranked roughly by their expected contract value:

1. Ndamukong Suh, DT (Dolphins): The Dolphins bailed on Suh’s mega contract midway through, freeing him up to sign another high-priced contract. He won’t get anything close to a six-year, $114MM deal this time around, but he should settle in at an AAV that keeps him among the best compensated players at his position. Last year, Pro Football Focus ranked Suh fifth among 122 interior defenders. 

2. Tyrann Mathieu, S (Cardinals): The Cardinals worked feverishly to hammer out a new contract with the Honey Badger, but the two sides could not come to terms on a deal to lessen his 2018 cap hit. He has been released, allowing him to hit free agency as the best safety available. The Jets are not believed to be interested, despite his connection with head coach Todd Bowles. The other tenant of the Meadowlands, however, could have interest thanks to the presence of former Arizona DC James Bettcher.

3. Sheldon Richardson, DT (Seahawks): Richardson may have lost some luster following the trade that sent him from the Jets to the Seahawks, but he among the best defensive tackles currently available. With plenty of cap space remaining, Richardson should find a lucrative deal, though it probably won’t come from Seattle. Our own Dallas Robinson estimates that Richardson will fetch about $9MM/year.

4. Dontari Poe, DT (Falcons): Poe missed out on a big payday last year when teams shied away from him due to lingering back issues. After turning in his second consecutive 16-game season, things could be different this time. For the record – Poe has missed only two regular season games over the course of his career, so he boasts a better attendance record than a lot of other veterans on this list. He’s unlikely to circle back to Atlanta.

5. Josh Sitton, G (Bears): With Andrew Norwell off of the board, Sitton stands as the best guard on the market. He’s missed six games over the last two years, but he has four Pro Bowl appearances to his credit. He’s set to meet with the Dolphins.

6. A.J. McCarron, QB (Bengals): It’s difficult to peg McCarron’s value heading into free agency. Outside of some quality starts in 2015, there isn’t much film out there on McCarron, despite that fact that he has spent four years in the NFL. Hue Jackson was itching to reunite with McCarron, but the Browns no longer seem a likely destination for him after the acquisition of Tyrod Taylor. It’s also hard to see him landing with the QB-needy Jets after they re-signed Josh McCown and added Teddy Bridgewater. McCarron will find a home, but it may not be as a starter. [UPDATE: McCarron has signed with the Bills]

7. E.J. Gaines, CB (Bills): Injuries in the fall limited Gaines to just 11 games last season, but he proved to be a quality return for the Bills in the Watkins trade, in addition to the second-round pick that came with him. Gaines graded out as the No. 13 cornerback in the league last year, per PFF, and he just turned 26 in February. Gaines missed all of ’15 due to injury and didn’t look all that sharp in ’16, but timing is everything in free agency. You can expect multiple teams to call on him and the Texans could still have interest, even after inking Aaron Colvin.

8. Eric Reid, S (49ers): Reid is just 26 and is undoubtedly a starting quality safety. He has both youth and versatility on his side, but it’s possible that his anthem protest participation could hurt him when it comes to some suitors. Injuries over the last two seasons will hurt his market as well.

Read more

PFR’s Top 50 NFL Free Agents For 2018 1.0

There will be tons of free agents available in March, but only a some of them can be real difference makers for your favorite team. To help separate the wheat from the chaff, we’ve assembled our early list of the Top 50 NFL Free Agents for 2018.

Our early version of the NFL’s top 50 free agents may include players who will be re-signed between now and March 14. When we update this list next week, a few of the big names will be spoken for while new high-profile names will join the fray as veterans become cap casualties.

Recently, we broke down the top free agents by position on both offense and defense, but our rankings below may not have each player listed in the same order. Those position lists took the short-term value of a player into account more heavily, meaning many players in their 30s received prominent placement. Our overall top 50 list favors longer-term value, and is more about forecasting which players will be in highest demand when it comes to years and dollars.

With those caveats out of the way, let’s dive in! Here are Pro Football Rumors’ top 50 NFL free agents for 2018:

1. Kirk Cousins, QB (Redskins): At long last, Kirk Cousins is headed towards unrestricted free agency. You may or may not regard Cousins as a star, but he is the best quarterback in recent history to reach the open market and QB-needy teams will be rolling out the red carpet for him. The Jets, Vikings, Broncos, and Cardinals have been named as the top suitors for his services, but the NFL is full of surprises this time of year and we would not be surprised to see other teams get involved. The cash-flush Browns are reportedly keen on signing a lower-cost vet and drafting a QB early, but who’s to say they won’t change course and get in on the Cousins sweepstakes? The Bills, Giants, Dolphins, Bucs, and Colts could also consider kicking the tires here, but there are obstacles in that bunch ranging from established starters already in place (Eli Manning, Ryan Tannehill, Jameis Winston, and Andrew Luck) to financial constraints. No matter where he goes, it’s almost certain that Cousins will become the league’s highest-paid player of all-time. That is, until another top-tier QB signs a contract extension soon after.

2. Drew Brees (Saints): There are multiple possibilities for Cousins but it’s hard to see a scenario in which Brees actually leaves the Saints. Brees has already said that he does not plan on testing free agency, so he’ll likely put pen to paper before things begin on March 14. As far as we can tell, the only way Brees will think about leaving is if he is lowballed to an extreme degree by the Saints, but that seems improbable based on his history with the team

3. Case Keenum (Vikings): One year ago, no one ever would have expected Keenum to be one of 2018’s most sought-after free agents. The Vikings signed the former Rams signal caller to a one-year, $2MM deal in March with the idea that he would back up Sam Bradford and, eventually slide down to third on the depth chart when/if Teddy Bridgewater returned to full health. When Bradford went down in September, Keenum exceeded all expectations and put together the best season of his career. The 30-year-old graded out as Pro Football Focus’ ninth-ranked QB in 2017, putting him above the likes of Jimmy Garoppolo, Aaron Rodgers, Marcus Mariota, Matthew Stafford, and Tyrod Taylor. With Keenum at the helm, the Vikings earned a first-round bye and beat the Saints in a playoff thriller before succumbing to the Eagles in the NFC championship game. Of course, after four seasons of mediocrity, teams are wondering whether this was an aberration or a real sign of things to come. Teams know that Keenum is not a lock, but he’s also the best Plan B for any team that loses out on Cousins or doesn’t have the means to sign him.

4. Andrew Norwell, G (Panthers): There was a time when tackles were the only offensive linemen to really cash in on the open market. That’s no longer the case, as evidenced by the contracts of Kevin Zeitler (five years, $60MM) and Kelechi Osemele (five years, $58.5MM). Osemele inked his free agent deal with the Raiders in 2016 and Zeitler signed his in the 2017 offseason. Given the cap increase and the natural progression of the market, Norwell figures to reset the market for interior linemen. Keenum figures to gross no less than $20MM/year on his next contract, so he’s slotted behind him, but an average annual value of $13-14MM is not out of the question for the former undrafted free agent.

5. Nate Solder, OT (Patriots): Solder isn’t coming off of his best season and he might be the least sexy name in the top ten. Still, there’s a dearth of tackles league-wide and Solder has been among the league’s best at his position for quite some time. The Patriots are bracing for Solder to leave as they fear he’ll garner offers of $12MM/year. No other tackle in this year’s free agent crop is even close to him in terms of ability, so we’re also buying into the hype. Injuries contributed to Solder’s up-and-down season, particularly early on, so teams will take that into account when evaluating him.

6. Allen Robinson, WR (Jaguars): The Jaguars opted against using the franchise tag on Robinson, which is understandable since they have limited cap space. Robinson missed almost all of 2017 with an ACL tear, but his 2015 season (and even his so-so 2016 campaign) gives teams reason to believe that he can be a quality WR1. Robinson is one of only two such players on the unrestricted market, so expect him to get paid. Robinson probably couldn’t do worse than Kenny Britt‘s four-year, $32MM deal with the Browns from last season (and he should do a whole lot better), but if he is underwhelmed by the multi-year offers he receives, he could always go the Alshon Jeffery route. Jeffery inked a one-year, $9.5MM prove-it deal with the Eagles and that turned out to be a smashing success for both parties. Jeffery was rewarded with a four-year, $52MM extension in December, so Robinson’s camp will surely be open to a pillow contract if necessary. 

7. Sammy Watkins, WR (Rams): Some may view Robinson and Watkins as 1A and 1B in this year’s wide receiver class, particularly since Robinson missed all of 2017 and Watkins, despite his own injury history, played in all but one of the Rams’ games. Unfortunately, Watkins did not have the platform year he was hoping for as he caught just 39 passes for 593 yards. If we strike Robinson’s lost year and Watkins’ down year from the record, the breakdown favors the Jags receiver – Robinson averaged 77 receptions for 1,078 yards and eight touchdowns per 16 games in that set versus Watkins’ 66 grabs for 1,063 yards and seven scores. These two should come pretty close in average annual value, but we give the edge to Robinson.

8. Trumaine Johnson, CB (Rams): Players often bemoan the franchise tag, but Johnson can’t really complain after receiving two consecutive tags from the Rams and earning more than $30MM between 2016 and 2017. The Rams, rightfully, did not consider a third consecutive tag for Johnson at a cost of ~$20MM and they already have his replacement in Marcus Peters. That’s one suitor down, but plenty of other teams will be eager to speak with Johnson, who profiles as the best cornerback in a deep class.

9. Sheldon Richardson, DT (Seahawks): Richardson gave the Jets lots of headaches, but he also gave them high-end production. He didn’t quite match that production in Seattle, but Richardson is positioned for a massive payday anyway since impactful defensive linemen are at a premium. Our own Dallas Robinson estimates that Richardson will garner about $9MM/year, but I would say that is his floor. The top-end of free agency rarely yields team-friendly deals, so Richardson could easily creep into eight figures in AAV, particularly since he does not turn 28 until November.

10. Dontari Poe, DT (Falcons): Poe thought he was in for a monster contract last offseason, but concerns about his lingering back issues forced him to take a one-year, $8MM deal with Atlanta. Teams may still worry about his back being a ticking time bomb, but perhaps they’ll view him in a different light now that he has played back-to-back 16 game seasons and has only missed two regular season contests over the course of his career.

Read more

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.

Read more

Colts Place Jack Mewhort On IR

The Colts injury bug hits again. Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star reports (via Twitter) that offensive guard Jack Mewhort is headed to the injured reserve. The lineman’s knee swelled up yesterday, and a subsequent MRI revealed that he needed surgery.

Sep 13, 2015; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Indianapolis Colts guard Jack Mewhort (75) against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Bills beat the Colts 27 to 14. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Mewhort, 26, has started each of his 45 NFL games since entering the league as a second-round pick in 2014. This isn’t the first time the lineman has experienced knee issues. After suffering an injury during the 2016 preseason, Mewhort missed the first few weeks of the regular season. He went on to play in 10 games for the Colts, but his campaign ultimately ended on the IR.

This is yet another blow to a Colts offensive line that has allowed 18 total sacks this season. The team has previously lost Denzelle Good and Deyshawn Bond, although neither of those players were as essential as Mewhort. While Pro Football Focus wasn’t particularly fond of his performance in 2017 (he only ranks 48th among 72 eligible guards), he was rated much higher in previous seasons. With Mewhort done for the season, one of Le’Raven Clark, Mike Person, or Kyle Kalis could be promoted to the starting lineup.

Fortunately, there is some good news for the Colts. ESPN’s Mike Wells tweets that tight end Jack Doyle has cleared the concussion protocol and will play on Monday night. The 27-year-old missed last week’s game against the 49ers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Chiefs, Johnson, Colts, Chargers

Some assorted notes from around the NFL as we wrap up this Monday evening…

  • Chiefs coach Andy Reid said he was not involved in the evaluation process in promoting Brett Veach to GM (Twitter link via James Palmer of NFL.com). The Chiefs promoted the 39-year-old earlier this month, and reports indicated that while Veach will have control over the roster, he’ll ultimately work in tandem with his head coach.
  • Here’s something that could affect the Browns‘ roster bubble: Duke Johnson profiles more as a wide receiver right now than a running back, Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer writes. Johnson is the leading candidate to replace Andrew Hawkins as the team’s No. 1 slot receiver and has been split out wide at times in practice. After carrying the ball 104 times as a rookie, Johnson ran the ball only 73 times in 2016 and he could be looking at another reduction this year.
  • The Colts have not had substantive extension talks with left guard Jack Mewhort as he enters his contract year, Stephen Holder of the Indy Star tweets. Mewhort has started at left guard with some appearances at tackle since entering the league in 2014. Unfortunately, the former second round pick saw his season cut short last year due to a knee injury. Mewhort has graded out as a starting caliber player for the Colts in each of his NFL seasons. In 2016, he was PFF’s 23rd ranked guard.
  • Titans guard Sebastian Tretola apparently suffered a minor injury from a bullet, and ESPN’s Paul Kuharsky tweeted a statement from the organization: “We are aware of the reports that Sebastian received treatment for a wound when he was grazed by a bullet…He has been released from the hospital and is thankful for only a minor injury.” The 2016 sixth-round pick appeared in only one game as a rookie last season.
  • Following news that Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams might need season-ending surgery on a herniated disk in his back, ESPN.com’s Eric D. Williams explored whether the team could bring back veteran Vincent Jackson. The writer ultimately believes that he wouldn’t be a fit, as the team could rely on a number of young players to fill the void. Alternatively, the team could opt for a number of free agents (including Stevie Johnson and Vincent Brown) who are more familiar with the team’s current offensive scheme. Jackson spent the first seven seasons of his career in San Diego, earning a pair of Pro Bowl selections.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Colts Move Jack Mewhort, Clayton Geathers To IR

The Colts will finish their season without the services of two starters after placing left guard Jack Mewhort and free safety Clayton Geathers on IR.

A left knee injury will sideline Mewhort, per the Associated Press, with Geathers being unable to overcome a neck malady that sidelined him for the past two games.

To fill the duo’s roster spots, Indianapolis promoted wide receiver Devin Street from the practice squad and signed safety Duke Williams.

Thought to potentially be out for the entire season with a torn ACL sustained during preseason play, Mewhort returned in time for Week 1 and started for the Colts in each of the 10 games for which he was active. Mewhort has rated as a top-25 guard in each of the past two seasons in the opinion of Pro Football Focus, coming in as the No. 22 player at the interior-line spot after finishing 2015 as the site’s ninth-highest-graded guard.

The former second-round pick has started each of the 40 games he’s played and will be entering a contract year in 2017.

A fourth-rounder last year, Geathers rated as a top-10 run-defending safety, per PFF, but played in just nine games in this his second season. Geathers finished with 58 tackles, five pass deflections and a forced fumble during his first season as a full-time starter, a status he will likely return to in 2017 assuming he overcomes this neck setback.

The 6-7 Colts now have eight players on IR, also placing backup linebacker Curt Maggitt on the season-ending list.

The Bills cut Williams earlier this year after the former fourth-round pick in 2013 made 10 starts for Buffalo from 2014-16.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Colts’ Jack Mewhort

2:04pm: Great news for the Colts, as owner Jim Irsay tweets that Mewhort will only be sidelined for two-to-four weeks, and will not require surgery, according to initial test results.

9:58am: Colts left guard Jack Mewhort is believed to have suffered a torn ACL during Saturday night’s preseason contest against Philadelphia, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). Stephen Holder of The Indianapolis Star tweets that Mewhort will have an MRI today to confirm. If it is, in fact, a torn ACL, Mewhort’s season would likely be over.

Sep 13, 2015; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Indianapolis Colts guard Jack Mewhort (75) against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Bills beat the Colts 27 to 14. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

This comes as a crushing blow to an offensive line that was already a major cause of concern, especially since Mewhort was the most reliable member of that unit. The third-year pro started all 16 games for the Colts last season, grading out as the ninth-best guard in the league out of 81 eligible players, per Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required). Even head coach Chuck Pagano was at a loss for words Saturday, as Holder observed that Pagano “looked like he [had] seen a ghost”during last night’s press conference and admitted that he did not have a “clear picture” of his team because of the rampant injuries it has faced (Twitter links). Mewhort joins Vontae Davis, Kendall Langford, Clayton Geathers, and Henry Anderson as players who, at the very least, may not be ready for the start of the regular season. Pagano could not give a definite answer on when his injured players will return to the practice field full-time.

ESPN’s Mike Wells observes that rookie Joe Haeg would likely be in line to start at left guard if Mewhort’s season is over, but Haeg is out with an ankle injury. That means Jonotthan Harrison, who is also the backup center, could end up starting at left guard. As Wells writes, “The Colts have to ride the right arm of Andrew Luck to have any chance this season. That’ll be hard to do if the offensive line can’t protect the franchise player.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

Sunday Roundup: Browns, Whitworth, Brees

Dwayne Bowe is a healthy scratch for the Browns in Week 3, which, given Cleveland’s dearth of talent at wide receiver, speaks volumes about Bowe’s present ability. Tony Grossi of ESPNCleveland.com appears to believe that the team will cut ties with Bowe sooner rather than later, tweeting that the team will wait for GM Ray Farmer to return from suspension after next week’s game and then pull the plug on Bowe. Grossi’s ESPN colleagues Adam Caplan and Jeremy Fowler, however, disagree. Fowler tweets that the Browns will at least wait to see if Bowe can get himself into game shape, while Caplan tweets that, between the $9MM in guaranteed money the Browns invested in Bowe, combined with the team’s need at wideout, Bowe will have a little more time to prove himself.

Now let’s take a peek at a few more links from around the league:

  • Johnny Manziel may not be playing for the Browns this week, but as Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes, he continues to impress Cleveland brass with the strides he has made both on and off the field. The team will continue to roll with veteran Josh McCown for the time being, but if the Browns should begin to slip from the playoff picture, Manziel will get the chance to prove he is the team’s long-awaited solution under center.
  • Coley Harvey of ESPN.com believes the extension that the Bengals recently gave to Andrew Whitworth is a clear indication that the team does not see its window of opportunity closing, and that they will continue to be championship contenders for the foreseeable future. Although the team has not officially announced the extension, Harvey tweets that the announcement could come after today’s game against Baltimore.
  • Drew Brees‘ injury clouds his future with the Saints, and as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes, the team could free up $20MM in salary cap room by parting ways with Brees next year and beginning the rebuilding process. Of course, before that happens, the team would have to have a viable alternative under center; Luke McCown is not the answer, and rookie Garrett Grayson, needless to say, has a long way to go.
  • If Brees should end up looking for a new home next year, Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com says the Jets would likely be a strong contender for his services.
  • Chuck Pagano may be coaching his last season in Indianapolis, but he is apparently unafraid to make drastic changes to jump start his struggling club. As Mike Wells of ESPN.com tweets, the Colts went with a new-look offensive line today, starting Jack Mewhort at left guard, Hugh Thornton at right guard, and Joe Reitz at right tackle. Free agent acquisition Todd Herremans, notably, moves to the bench.
  • During the 2009 draft, the Jaguars traded their seventh-round pick in that draft and their second-round pick in the 2010 draft to the Patriots in exchange for New England’s third-round pick in 2009. As ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets, Jacksonville selected Derek Cox with that third-round pick, and the Pats parlayed their two choices into Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman.