Rich McKay

NFC Rumors: P. Peterson, Winston, Peters

We heard last week that the Cardinals were at least willing to listen to trade offers for Deone Bucannon and Haason Reddick, and while GM Steve Keim later threw cold water on those rumors, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports that Arizona is not only looking to deal Bucannon and Reddick, but that the team is also open to parting with star cornerback Patrick Peterson. Mike Jurecki of the team’s official website tweets that there is zero chance that the Cardinals move Peterson, but even if that’s the case, it seems apparent that the rebuilding Cards will be busy as we approach the October 30 trade deadline.

Now let’s take a look at a few more items out of the NFC:

  • Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network (video link) reports that Jameis Winston‘s job with the Buccaneers is pretty secure for the time being, but the rest of the season will be critical in determining Winston’s long-term future with the club. He is under club control through 2019 under the fifth-year option, but that option would cost the Bucs $20.9MM and is guaranteed for injury only, so if Winston performs poorly but remains healthy, Tampa Bay could conceivably cut ties after the 2018 season.
  • La Canfora reports that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell tried to hire Falcons team president Rich McKay in recent years to oversee the league’s football operations, a department that has come under fire for its handling of Bountygate, Deflategate, and other scandals. However, the compensation committee, which has been trying to cut spending, would not authorize the creation of an expensive executive position like that, and there is nothing to indicate that anything will change in that regard, even if McKay were open to such a post (which he apparently was).
  • Eagles LT Jason Peters suffered a torn biceps against the Giants on Thursday night, but Rapoport tweets that Peters is expected to return and play this season and could miss just a game or two. While Peters has not been performing to his usual standards in 2018, this is still obviously great news for Philadelphia.
  • Redskins head coach Jay Gruden and cornerback Josh Norman have discussed the halftime incident that garnered some media attention earlier this week and have put the matter behind them, per Rapoport (video link). Rapoport says that Gruden stepped to the front of the locker room to address the team at halftime of Monday’s loss to the Saints, and Norman had his headphones on — as he always does at halftime — and had his back to Gruden, so did not know that the head coach had begun talking. Gruden took exception to what he perceived as a lack of attention and yanked the headphones of off Norman’s head, which obviously made Norman upset. Norman walked away from Gruden and was therefore benched to start the second half, but it does not sound as if this issue will be a lingering problem for the two men moving forward.
  • The Packers, at 2-2-1, are clearly not performing as well as they would like, and Pete Dougherty of PackersNews.com has a couple of suggestions as to how Green Bay might shake things up. Dougherty believes the team should consider making a change at safety, either by giving Jermaine Whitehead a shot at starting or moving Bashaud Breeland into the rotation (when healthy), and he also believes Robert Tonyan should get more snaps at tight end.

Falcons Extend Team President Rich McKay

The Falcons have signed team president and CEO Rich McKay to an extension. The new five-year deal will take him through June 2022. Rich McKay (vertical)

Rich has been so important to our businesses and Atlanta’s growth for many years. We are thrilled to extend his contract with the Falcons and AMB Sports & Entertainment,” said team executive Steve Cannon in a press release. “He has been instrumental in the success of the Atlanta Falcons on and off the field and has played a very important role in making Mercedes-Benz Stadium a reality, and in bringing Major League Soccer to Atlanta. Rich is a great champion of our core values and will continue to be a strong leader in our organization and community for years to come.”

McKay, who has been with the Falcons since 2004, helped to make the Falcons’ forthcoming new stadium a reality. The exec was initially hired in 2004 as the Falcons’ president and general manager, but he was elevated to his present title in 2011, pushing him more towards the business end of things. The Falcons’ statement highlights McKay’s many achievements, including his role on the league’s competition committee and his work to help renegotiate and extend the current collective bargaining agreement. McKay was suspended from the competition committee in the wake of the team’s artificial crowd noise scandal.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Campbell, Mathis, Falcons

Back in June, we heard that quarterback Jason Campbell was planning to retire from the NFL. However, Campbell hasn’t yet made the decision official, and according to Peter Schrager of FOX Sports (Twitter link), at least three teams have inquired on the veteran free agent. As Joel Corry of CBSSports.com points out (via Twitter), pseudo-retirement ended up benefiting Kyle Orton a year ago, so it’s possible a desperate team will make it worth Campbell’s while to continue his playing career.

Here’s more from around the NFL..

  • Field Yates of ESPN.com has the breakdown of Evan Mathis‘ one-year deal with the Broncos, tweeting that the pact features $750K in per-game roster bonuses and up to $750K in playing-time incentives. Mathis can start earning those incentives if he plays 55% of Denver’s offensive snaps, and would max out if he plays at least 85%.
  • Falcons president Rich McKay, who was disciplined by the NFL as part of the team’s penalty for pumping in fake crowd noise to their stadium, has been reinstated to the league’s competition committee, tweets D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The decision becomes effective immediately.
  • Colts coaches seem to be doing their best to create competition at the nose tackle spot, which defensive coordinator Greg Manusky acknowledges is one of the most important positions on the team’s defense. Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star has the details.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

NFC Notes: McKay, Bears, JPP, Rodgers

Falcons president Rich McKay, who received a suspension from the NFL as part of the team’s penalty for pumping fake crowd noise into the Georgia Dome, is set to meet with commissioner Roger Goodell and league officials about reinstatement to the competition committee, writes D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Owner Arthur Blank says he’s “optimistic” McKay will be reinstated.

Here’s more from around the NFC:

  • The Bears, having traded guard Ryan Groy to the Patriots, have been keeping an eye out for potential offensive line additions during camp. According to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, the club worked out veteran free agent Lucas Nix last week. Nix, 25, started 10 games for the Raiders in 2013.
  • Despite Jason Pierre-Paul‘s absence from the Giants‘ training camp, co-owner John Mara says the team still has “a good relationship” with the defensive end, tweets Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News. However, Mara added that JPP won’t rejoin the Giants “until he’s ready to come do some [physical] therapy.”
  • Speaking to Peter King of TheMMQB.com, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers thinks he’s got another eight years in him. Of course, since Rodgers is still just 31 years old, it’s impossible to predict what his health or his NFL future will look like seven or eight years down the road. For what it’s worth, the two-time MVP also said two years ago that he hoped to play eight more seasons.
  • The Rams‘ new two-year extension with quarterback Nick Foles is a smart deal for both sides, opines Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
  • The Seahawks recently worked out several defensive linemen, including former Colorado State Pueblo pass rusher Darius Allen, reports Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter).

NFC Notes: A. Smith, Rams, Falcons, Panthers

Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee has had a look at how Aldon Smith‘s release will impact the 49ers as a whole and a few individual players moving forward. For instance, Barrows writes that the team had been working with $10MM of cap space which, if unused, would roll over to 2016 and would be put toward a player. That player, of course, was Smith. Now, the team will need to decide what to do with its surplus cash. The team could bring in free agent guard Evan Mathis, and players like Vernon Davis, Ian Williams, and Quinton Dial might also be in line to get some of that money.

Barrows also details the emotional and strategic fallout of Smith’s release, and he writes that Corey Lemonier, who looked destined to be cut just a couple of days ago, may be able to hold on to his roster spot.

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

  • Paul Domowitch of The Philadelphia Inquirer tweets that Rams head coach Jeff Fisher took the St. Louis head coaching job because of Sam Bradford, but he traded Bradford because he could not afford to gamble that Bradford would not suffer a third ACL tear.
  • Within an article touching on Julio Jones, Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com reports that Falcons president Rich McKay will meet with commissioner Roger Goodell and executive vice president Troy Vincent to discuss McKay’s reinstatement to the NFL’s competition committee. McKay, Atlanta’s GM from 2003-08, was suspended from the committee as a result of the Falcons pumping in crowd noise during home games the past two seasons.
  • In his latest mailbag at ESPN.com, David Newton writes that despite Michael Oher‘s slow start in camp, the Panthers are in a much better place at left tackle than they were a year ago. Head coach Ron Rivera has spoken in defense of Oher, and Carolina is content with Nate Chandler and Amini Silatolu as Oher’s backups.
  • While the Panthers‘ front seven has been widely lauded, the clubs’ secondary has remained largely anonymous, even being labeled the “Legion of Whom” by broadcaster Jon Gruden. But as Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer notes, Carolina’s defensive backfield could start to generate some headlines this year, as young corners Bene Benwikere, Tre Boston, and Josh Norman will be joined by veterans Charles Tillman, Kurt Coleman, and Roman Harper.

Dallas Robinson contributed to this post.

NFC South Notes: J. Jones, McKay, Kuechly

After checking in on the AFC East earlier this afternoon, let’s shift our focus to the NFC South and pass along a few items from out of the division….

  • Falcons receiver Roddy White tells Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (Twitter links) that if he were the team’s GM, he’d get fellow wideout Julio Jones locked up now. “The more they wait, the more it’s going to cost them,” White said. “It’s important that he feels comfortable.” There’s a sense that Atlanta could get something done with Jones this summer, but the club will have the franchise tag available to use on the 26-year-old in 2016, if necessary.
  • Falcons president Rich McKay is now eligible to apply for reinstatement, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes. McKay was suspended from the NFL competition committee as part of the team’s penalty for pumping fake noise into the Georgia Dome during the 2013 and 2014 seasons — the NFL also fined the Falcons $350K and took away its fifth-round pick in the 2016 as part of the punishment. At this time, it’s unknown whether McKay has applied for reinstatement.
  • Justin Houston’s new deal with the Chiefs deal likely won’t impact Panthers Pro Bowler Luke Kuechly, according to Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer. Unfortunately for Kuechly, there hasn’t been enough advancement in the inside linebacker market to really give him momentum. “The problem is the market’s been stagnant,” former agent Joel Corry said. “There’s no one to advance the ball. So Kuechly’s the one’s who’s going to be setting new standards.”

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Falcons Fined $350K, Lose Fifth-Round Pick

After announcing the penalties levied against the Browns for their “Textgate” scandal, the NFL has also confirmed the discipline for the Falcons for piping artificial crowd noise into their home stadium. According to Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com (Twitter links), the Falcons have been fined $350K, and will lose a fifth-round pick in 2016.

Per McClure (via Twitter), team president Rich McKay will also be suspended from the league’s competition committee, as Adam Schefter reported earlier today. That ban will begin on April 1, and McKay can’t be reinstated until at least June 30. As for the draft pick, McClure notes that if the team ends up holding multiple fifth-rounders, the higher pick will be taken away.

The Falcons’ former director of event marketing, Roddy White (not to be confused with the wide receiver of the same name), was found responsible for implementing the fake crowd noise at the club’s home games in 2013 and 2014. According to McClure (via Twitter), White will face an eight-week suspension if he gets a job with another team.

The penalty for the Falcons’ rule violations is perhaps a little harsher than the one the Browns received after GM Ray Farmer was found to have sent text messages to the sidelines during games. Cleveland was hit with a $250K fine, and Farmer will have to stay away from the team during the first four weeks of the regular season, but the Browns didn’t lose a draft pick.

Discipline Imminent For Falcons, Browns

10:33am: According to Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal Consitution (via Twitter), the Falcons expect to lose a draft pick for 2016, rather than 2015.

9:55am: An announcement regarding the discipline for rules violations by the Falcons and the Browns is expected to come by Tuesday, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (via Twitter). The NFL has been looking into violations by both teams for several weeks.

The Falcons, who admitted to piping artificial crowd noise in at their home games, are expected to lose a draft pick, sources tell Schefter (Twitter link). While Schefter doesn’t specify which pick Atlanta will lose, I doubt it would be an early-round selection. The NFL will also likely suspend team president Rich McKay from the league’s competition committee, per Schefter.

As for the Browns, general manager Ray Farmer, who reportedly sent text messages to coaches on the team’s sideline during games, figures to be suspended for his role in the “Textgate” scandal. However, the Browns aren’t expected to lose a draft pick, according to Schefter (via Twitter).

Schefter adds that both teams may also receive “hefty fines” for running afoul of NFL rules.

The investigations into the Falcons and Browns are just two of a handful of notable ongoing cases for the league — Peter King of TheMMQB.com noted today that the league still has “a while to go” on tampering allegations made by the Jets and Patriots regarding Darrelle Revis. It doesn’t appear as if the Deflategate investigation, led by Ted Wells, is close to wrapping up either. The NFL is also reportedly looking into potential violations by more than half the teams in the league during this month’s “legal tampering” period prior to free agency.

Falcons Extend Smith, Dimitroff, McKay

The Falcons have officially extended the contracts of head coach Mike Smith, general manager Thomas Dimitroff, and president/CEO Rich McKay, the team announced today (link via Jay Adams of AtlantaFalcons.com). Smith and Dimitroff each had one year added to their current deals, while McKay received four new years, extending his contract through May 2019.

“We are fortunate to have talented key leaders at the Falcons who are dedicated to a common goal of being a league leader on and off the field,” owner and chairman Arthur Blank said in a statement. “I have great respect for the skills and commitment of Rich, Thomas and Smitty, and I look forward to continuing to support and work with them in the years to come.”

Smith and Dimitroff have spent six seasons with the Falcons so far, and are coming off a disappointing 4-12 campaign. However, the team still has a 60-36 record during their respective tenures, with 2013 representing the lone sub-.500 season during that six-year stretch.

For Smith, who received a three-year contract extension with one year left on his original deal in February 2011, the one-year extension removes his lame-duck status heading into the 2014 season.