Nate Robinson

Extra Points: NFL-NBA, Supp. Draft, Spillman

Several NFL players took to social media Friday to post incredulous reactions to the big money thrown around at the outset of NBA free agency, as highlights. Among those who weighed in were Broncos receiver Emmanuel Sanders, Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams and Lions tight end Eric Ebron. One of Sanders’ teammates, safety, T.J. Ward, had perhaps the strongest and most controversial response, referring to the money NFLers are making as “peanuts” compared to NBA and Major League Baseball players. As a result, ESPN’s Jim Trotter (Twitter link) expects the dollars bandied about in the NBA to come up when union meetings with NFL players take place at training camp. The system in the NFL favors the owners, meaning the players don’t have the ability to institute real change, Trotter notes (Twitter link).

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Back to the NFL…

  • In addition to Purdue defensive tackle Ra’Zahn Howard – who declared for the July 14 supplemental draft last week – the league has given eligibility to Cameron Walton (Concordia College), running back Jalen Overstreet (Sam Houston State), defensive back Tee Shepard (Mississippi), wide receiver Rashaun Simonise (Canada) and long snapper Eddie D’Antuono (Virginia Tech), reports The Associated Press. Given that he’s almost completely deaf, Shepard’s story is the most interesting of the group, and the defender insisted when he left the Ole Miss program last October that his hearing problems have never served as an impediment on the field. Mississippi’s coaches disagreed, though, according to a frustrated Shepard. If an NFL team selects any of these players, it’ll have to surrender a corresponding pick in the 2017 draft. That means a player who goes in, say, the fourth round of the supplemental draft would cost his new team a fourth-rounder in next spring’s draft.
  • Returning to the basketball-football connection, former NBA point guard Nate Robinson has shifted his focus to becoming an NFL wideout, writes’s Sheil Kapadia. The 32-year-old previously tried out for the Seahawks as a defensive back, and head coach Pete Carroll suggested that Robinson take a shot at receiver. The former dunk champion is now working with trainer Dwayne Frampton, whose other clients include Odell Beckham Jr. and DeSean Jackson.
  • One year after his arrest, former NFL cornerback C.J. Spillman has been sentenced to five years in prison for sexual assault, reports FOX 4 News in Texas (via Twitter). Spillman, 30, played with the Chargers, 49ers and Cowboys from 2009-14.

Ben Levine contributed to this post.

West Notes: Robinson, 49ers, Webb, Calhoun

Former NBA point guard Nate Robinson didn’t earn a roster spot after trying out for the Seahawks earlier this month, but he hasn’t given up on making an NFL squad at some point, according to Sheil Kapadia of Robinson is now working out with former NFL receiver Dwayne Frampton as he continues to chase his dream. “It’s as hard as you could possibly get,” Seattle head coach Pete Carroll said of Robinson’s attempt. “He’s 32 as well. I don’t know if anybody could do it. But if anybody could, it might be Nate. He’s that versatile an athlete and that great a competitor.” Robinson is trying to make it in the NFL as a defensive back.

Here’s more out of the NFL’s two West divisions:

  • General manager Trent Baalke considers the 49ers to be a “draft-and-develop” team, but because the club hasn’t fulfilled the latter part of that equation in recent years, San Francisco will continue roll cap space into future years, Matt Maiocco of writes. Joe Staley, Colin Kaepernick, NaVorro Bowman, and Quinton Dial are the only 49ers who have been extended lately, and because the team’s front office doesn’t anticipate spending money on big-ticket free agent additions, they’ll likely continue to have gobs of cap space. San Francisco currently leads the league with more than $49MM in financial wiggle room.
  • As Roster Resource shows, the Seahawks will be fielding several new players along their offensive line — not only will Garry Gilliam, Justin Britt, and Mark Glowinksi be asked to play larger roles, but the former two will be switching positions. First-rounder Germain Ifedi is projected to start at right guard, but offensive line coach Tom Cable says free agent signee J’Marcus Webb, who will line up at right tackle, could tie the front five together. “I think, again, it’s about getting someone to believe in him, and that’s my job, and in getting him to believe in himself,” Cable told SiriusXM NFL Radio. “And if those two things can marry up right, I think this kid can really, really do something cool for us. And we need him to.”
  • Former Michigan State defensive end Shilique Calhoun was one of the more productive defensive players available in the 2016 draft, but the Raiders will be asking the third-round pick to man a different position in the NFL, as Scott Bair of writes that Calhoun will play rush linebacker in Oakland’s 4-3 scheme. “I’ve been playing a little bit of everything,” Calhoun told SiriusXM NFL Radio. “I’ve been moving around, but I’m mainly at (strongside linebacker) and the LEO. I’m trying to learn those two positions and master them behind two great players in Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin.” The Raiders have been more than willing to move players around the defense, and Mack is Exhibit A, as he infamously made the All-Pro Team at both end and linebacker.

Seahawks Notes: Robinson, Chancellor, Bennett

Here’s the latest on the Seahawks, all of which comes courtesy of The Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta:

  • Pete Carroll confirmed longtime NBA point guard Nate Robinson‘s tryout with the Seahawks and lauded his athletic ability, but the head coach indicated that the 5-foot-9, 180-pounder faces long odds of getting a contract (Twitter link). Robinson, 32, hasn’t played competitive football since his days at the University of Washington. It will make for an excellent story if the Seahawks do sign the local product, who’s vying for a defensive role, but it doesn’t appear likely.
  • Safety Kam Chancellor spoke after practice today and expressed happiness regarding his situation (via Twitter). That’s a far cry from Chancellor’s state a year ago, when he was upset with his contract and ended up holding out until Week 3 of the regular season. The Seahawks called Chancellor’s bluff then and still haven’t awarded him a new deal. As of now, the four-time Pro Bowler remains under the contract he signed in 2013. That deal, which pays Chancellor upward of $7MM per year, is set to expire after the 2017 season.
  • Defensive end Michael Bennett, who also hasn’t made his desire for a new contract a secret, told reporters Tuesday that he believes he’s a $100MM player (Twitter link). Bennett, like Chancellor, has two more years remaining on his current contract. The only D-linemen in the league on deals worth at least $100MM are Ndamukong Suh, J.J. Watt and the newly signed Fletcher Cox. Bennett is already 30 and, although outstanding, has neither the track records of Suh or Watt nor the youth of Cox, so it’s highly improbable he’ll land a deal remotely close to theirs. However, if Bennett maintains his performance (or something close to it), he should be in line for an appreciable raise over his $7.13MM-per-year average salary whenever he signs his next deal.

Nate Robinson Trying Out For Seahawks

3:52pm: The Seahawks aren’t signing Robinson today, but they’ll keep his number handy for down the road, Ian Rapoport of tweets.

2:35pm: It appears that former NBA player Nate Robinson is making a run at playing in the NFL. The diminutive point guard is now packaging himself as a defensive back as he tries out for the Seahawks today, sources tell Master Tesfatsion and Mark Maske of The Washington Post.

Robinson originally went to the University of Washington Nate Robinson (vertical)on a football scholarship and made a name for himself on the gridiron with his electrifying plays, but it has been many years since he tried his hand at football. In a YouTube video released in March, the 32-year-old first announced his NFL aspirations and spoke about playing both offense and defense. However, the early word is that Robinson is looking to play on defense.

Strangely, Robinson signed a deal with an Israeli basketball team just days after saying that he would pursue football. As teams tinker with 90-man rosters, however, Robinson is shifting his focus back to the gridiron once again. It would make for a great story if Robinson is able to land a deal from the Seahawks, particularly since he is a Seattle native.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

FA Rumors: N. Robinson, Blanton, Bills, 49ers

Veteran NBA guard Nate Robinson raised some eyebrows last week when he suggested that he intended to try his hand at earning a spot on an NFL roster. It seemed that Robinson’s NFL dream may have fallen by the wayside several days later, when he signed to play basketball in Israel, but apparently the 31-year-old hasn’t given up quite yet on the idea of making a move to football.

“After I get back from playing [in Israel], I’m going to go get ready to train, and get ready to go to the NFL,” Robinson told basketball reporter David Pick (Twitter link).

Despite the fact that Robinson originally attended the University of Washington on a football scholarship, his age and his lack of football experience over the past decade makes him a long shot to realize his NFL dream, but it could be a fun story to follow if he commits to making it happen.

Here’s more from around the NFL as free agency continues:

  • Free agent safety Robert Blanton is paying a visit to the Bills on Friday, marking the first time this month that Buffalo has hosted a defensive free agent, the team announced in a press release. Although Blanton made 13 starts for the Vikings in 2014, he has primarily been a special-teamer and a part-time defensive player during his four NFL seasons.
  • Before he agreed to re-sign with the Packers, running back James Starks drew interest from the Dolphins, tweets Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. According to Jackson, the team and Starks’ agent had “multiple conversations” in recent days. Having also missed out on Lamar Miller, C.J. Anderson, and Chris Johnson, the Dolphins continue to search for running back help.
  • Free agent cornerback Antwon Blake ultimately agreed to sign with the Titans, but he had no shortage of potential suitors when he was on the market. Terry McCormick of tweets that Blake garnered interest from the Steelers, Patriots, Jets, Lions, and Giants.
  • Head coach Chip Kelly is perfectly fine with the 49ers not venturing much into free agency this offseason, suggesting that the team doesn’t want to pay solid players like superstars. Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle has the details and the quotes from Kelly.

Free Agent Rumors: Robinson, Jaguars, Beachum

Well, that was fun while it lasted. Just days after announcing a planned attempt at playing in the NFL, former NBA guard Nate Robinson has signed a deal with an Israeli basketball team, as Chuck Myron of Hoops Rumors writes. Robinson, a former football standout at the University of Washington, had not stepped on the gridiron in more than a decade. Now, his NFL dream is on hiatus and, perhaps, done for good.

Here’s the latest on the guys who are still hoping to play in the NFL in 2016:

Free Agent Rumors: Robinson, Raiders, Weddle

Can Nate Robinson go from the pages of Hoops Rumors to Pro Football Rumors? In a YouTube video released this week, the diminutive former NBA guard announced that he is going to make a run at the NFL. The well-produced video features testimonials from Marcedes Lewis and Brendon Ayanbadejo, former NBA teammates Jamal Crawford and Glen Davis, as well as former football coach Rick Neuheisel, all of whom insist that Robinson is perhaps the only athlete who could make the transition from professional basketball to professional football.

Robinson originally went to the University of Washington on a football scholarship and made a name for himself on the gridiron with his electrifying plays, but it has been many years since he tried his hand at football. The 31-year-old (32 in May) did not say which position he would like to play in the NFL, but he spoke about both offense and defense in the video, inferring that he might try to market himself as being able to play on either side of the ball.

Here’s the latest news on some of this week’s more typical NFL free agents:

  • The Raiders are zeroing in on Eric Weddle, Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets. It’s not immediately clear whether Weddle has a visit scheduled with Oakland. We learned last night that the Steelers are also fond of the veteran.
  • The plan is for Akiem Hicks to visit the Bears tomorrow, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune tweets.
  • Safety Rashad Johnson is traveling Friday for a visit with the Titans, a source tells Josina Anderson of (on Twitter).
  • Chargers GM Tom Telesco says he’s ready for the second wave of free agency, as’s Eric D. Williams writes. Telesco also says that he is open to newly signed safety Dwight Lowery serving as a stopgap for Eric Weddle.
  • Cardinals free agent linebacker Sean Weatherspoon will meet with the Falcons on Friday, per Jay Adams of the Falcons (on Twitter).