GridironGrit.com http://gridirongrit.com NFL, College Football, NFL Draft and Fantasy Football News Wed, 23 Apr 2014 22:13:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 Seahawks QB Russell Wilson Files For Divorce http://gridirongrit.com/2014/04/seahawks-qb-russell-wilson-files-for-divorce/ http://gridirongrit.com/2014/04/seahawks-qb-russell-wilson-files-for-divorce/#comments Wed, 23 Apr 2014 21:53:30 +0000 http://gridirongrit.com/?p=23681

The Seattle Seahawks released a statement Wednesday afternoon that Russell Wilson and his wife, Ashton, have filed for divorce.

“I have made the difficult decision to file for divorce,” Wilson said in a statement, according to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. “Clearly, decisions like these don’t come easy. Ashton and I respectfully ask for prayers, understanding and privacy during this difficult time. Moving forward, I will have no further comment on this personal matter.”

Photo Credit: Seahawks.com

Photo Credit: Seahawks.com

Russell and Ashton got married back on January 14, 2012.

Stay tuned to GridironGrit.com for up-to-date news and analysis on free agency and the 2014 NFL Draft.

Michael Gartman is a College Football and NFL Senior Writer, the AFC South and NFC West Lead Writer and the Founder, CEO of GridironGrit.com.  He’s also about to start reporting on topics across all sides of the political spectrum and analyze important issues in the liberty movement for a political website.  Follow him @_MichaelGartman on Twitter.  Be sure to ‘like’ Gridiron Grit on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @GridironGrit to keep up with the latest coverage on college football, the NFL and more!

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Chicago Bears Pick Up Another Weapon For Jay Cutler http://gridirongrit.com/2014/04/chicago-bears-pick-up-another-weapon-for-jay-cutler/ http://gridirongrit.com/2014/04/chicago-bears-pick-up-another-weapon-for-jay-cutler/#comments Wed, 23 Apr 2014 00:52:38 +0000 http://gridirongrit.com/?p=23670

The Chicago Bears picked up another veteran weapon for Jay Cutler on Monday by signing Josh Morgan to a one-year contract. A former 2008 sixth round pick out of Virginia Tech (No. 174 overall), Morgan has chalked up 199 career receptions for 2,488 yards and 11 touchdowns through 79 games (54 starts) in six seasons with the San Francisco 49ers (2008-11) and Washington Redskins (2012-13).

The 28-year-old wide out hauled in 20 catches for a career-low 214 yards in 14 games (seven starts), along with 239 yards on 12 kickoffs and 59 yards on eight punts for the ‘Skins in 2013.

Photo Credit: Redskins.com

Photo Credit: Redskins.com

Morgan, 29, looks to compete with 2013 seventh round pick Marquess Wilson and former Panthers receiver Domenik Hixon for playing time in the Bears’ receiving corps. Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery, tight end Martellus Bennett and running back Matt Forte are expected to enter the season as Cutler’s top targets.

Chicago kicks off its offseason program on April 22 and could add more depth through the draft.

Stay tuned to GridironGrit.com for up-to-date news and analysis on free agency and the 2014 NFL Draft.

Trent Davis covers the NFL for GridironGrit.com and is a co-host on the NFL Draft Insiders podcast. Follow him @TrentaSaru on Twitter.  Be sure to ‘like’ Gridiron Grit on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @GridironGrit to keep up with the latest coverage on college football, the NFL and more!

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Record 30 Players Will Attend 2014 NFL Draft http://gridirongrit.com/2014/04/record-30-players-will-attend-2014-nfl-draft/ http://gridirongrit.com/2014/04/record-30-players-will-attend-2014-nfl-draft/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 23:37:10 +0000 http://gridirongrit.com/?p=23666

A record 30 prospects will attend the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft in New York City, the NFL announced Tuesday.

The highly-anticipated event will kick off in primetime at 8:00 p.m. EST on Thursday night, May 8.

We also have a very exciting announcement:

Via NFL Official Facebook Page

Via NFL Official Facebook Page

Four of the 30 prospects are quarterbacks (Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater and Jimmy Garoppolo), five are offensive tackles (Greg Robinson, Taylor Lewan, Jake Matthews, Morgan Moses and Cyrus Kouandjio), seven are receivers (Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, Brandin Cooks, Odell Beckham Jr., Marqise Lee, Jordan Matthews and Cody Latimer) and one is a tight end (Eric Ebron) that could crack the Top 10.

13 defensive players will also be in attendance, including DE Jadeveon Clowney, DE Kony Ealy, DT Timmy Jernigan, DT Ra’Shede Hageman, DE/OLB Khalil Mack, LB C.J. Mosely, OLB Ryan Shazier, CB Kyle Fuller, CB Bradley Roby, CB Jason Verrett, CB Justin Gilbert and safeties Calvin Pryor and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.

Michael Gartman is a College Football and NFL Senior Writer, the AFC South and NFC West Lead Writer and the Founder, CEO of GridironGrit.com.  He’s also about to start reporting on topics across all sides of the political spectrum and analyze important issues in the liberty movement for a political website.  Follow him @_MichaelGartman on Twitter.  Be sure to ‘like’ Gridiron Grit on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @GridironGrit to keep up with the latest coverage on college football, the NFL and more!

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Ranking the 10 Best Bargains Still Available in Free Agency http://gridirongrit.com/2014/04/ranking-the-10-best-bargains-still-available-in-free-agency/ http://gridirongrit.com/2014/04/ranking-the-10-best-bargains-still-available-in-free-agency/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 21:19:37 +0000 http://gridirongrit.com/?p=23662

All too often, front offices around the NFL try so hard to scoop up what they think are the missing pieces to their Super Bowl puzzle on the open market that they wind up bending over backwards for overpriced big-name free agents that fail to live up to expectations. Unfortunately for these teams and their fans, dishing out loads of money in free agency rarely leads to championships.

[RELATED: 10 NFL Teams That Improved the Most in Free Agency]

Photo Credit: Vikings.com

Photo Credit: Vikings.com

[RELATED: Ranking the 10 Best NFL Free Agents Still Available]

While there’s no one-size-fits-all way to build NFL teams, perhaps the smartest and most effective approach is to follow in the footsteps of the Super Bowl XLVIII Champion Seattle Seahawks by unearthing gems with bargain free agency deals, along with tumbling steals in the middle-to-late rounds of the NFL Draft.

Announcement: Aaron Donald, the top-rated defensive tackle and a lock for the first round, will join GridironGrit.com’s Oren Shiri, Michael Gartman and Trent Davis tonight at 8:30 p.m. EST on the NFL Draft Insiders podcast!

Without further adieu, here are the 10 best bargains that are still available on the open market.

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Video: Brandin Cooks Surprises His Mom With Mercedes http://gridirongrit.com/2014/04/video-brandin-cooks-surprises-his-mom-with-mercedes/ http://gridirongrit.com/2014/04/video-brandin-cooks-surprises-his-mom-with-mercedes/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 05:28:16 +0000 http://gridirongrit.com/?p=23658

In his final two seasons at Oregon State, Brandin Cooks showcased his immense potential at the next level, hauling in 195 receptions for 2,881 yards and 21 touchdowns (including 128 catches for 1,730 yards and 16 TDs on the way to earning the Biletnikoff Award in 2013).

The former track athlete has drawn comparisons to the likes of Tavon Austin, Wes Welker, Steve Smith and DeSean Jackson and received rave reviews as a dynamic underneath receiver and an efficient route-runner that tracks the ball naturally over his shoulder on deep routes and has the home-run speed to score from anywhere on the field.

Photo Credit: NewYork Jets.com

Photo Credit: NewYork Jets.com

Despite his impressive skill set, some believe Cooks has an even better personality and charisma.

The projected mid-first-round receiver obviously hasn’t earned an NFL salary yet, but he’s already managed to spend his first big paycheck on his mother. Cooks won $100,000 from Adidas for running the fastest 40-yard dash in a blazing time of 4.33 seconds at the scouting combine and decided to purchase a brand new Mercedes-Benz GLK 350 for his mother, Andrea, who cared for him by herself after his father passed away when he was young. And it moved her to tears.

Cooks recently praised DeSean Jackson and proclaimed he can be a better version of him in the NFL.

His game is unbelievable,” Cooks told Philly.com. “The man can blow the top off, catch the deep routes, catch the underneath routes, produce in the return game. He’s just special. He’s a freak. I definitely admire his game. Maybe Chip Kelly is looking to take another speedy receiver in that first round, and that could be me. Who knows? And if that’s the case, a lot of people will wonder ‘Can he do it like DeSean Jackson?’ In my opinion, I can do it like him and do it better.”

Chip Kelly has reportedly closely scouted Cooks, and the fit makes plenty of sense. Coming out of college, the players were the same height (5-foot-10), but Cooks is 14 pounds heavier (189 to 175) and a smidgen faster (4.33 forty to 4.35). Cooks also put up far superior numbers despite playing in only two more collegiate games (226 catches/3,272 yards/24 TDs compared to Jackson’s 162/2,423/22 touchdown).

[RELATED: New York Jets Have Been 'All Over' Brandin Cooks]

Stay tuned to GridironGrit.com for up-to-date news and analysis on free agency and the 2014 NFL Draft.

Michael Gartman is a College Football and NFL Senior Writer, the AFC South and NFC West Lead Writer and the Founder, CEO of GridironGrit.com.  He’s also about to start reporting on topics across all sides of the political spectrum and analyze important issues in the liberty movement for a political website.  Follow him @_MichaelGartman on Twitter.  Be sure to ‘like’ Gridiron Grit on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @GridironGrit to keep up with the latest coverage on college football, the NFL and more!

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Raiders Trade Terrelle Pryor To Seahawks http://gridirongrit.com/2014/04/raiders-trade-terrelle-pryor-to-seahawks/ http://gridirongrit.com/2014/04/raiders-trade-terrelle-pryor-to-seahawks/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2014 00:23:32 +0000 http://gridirongrit.com/?p=23653

The Oakland Raiders have reportedly traded Terrelle Pryor to the Seattle Seahawks.

Terms of the trade were not immediately released, but Oakland is expected to receive a late-round pick in the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft in exchange of the 6-4, 233-pound signal-caller.

[RELATED: Ranking the 10 Best NFL Free Agents Still Available]

Photo Credit: Raiders.com

Photo Credit: Raiders.com

[RELATED: 10 NFL Teams That Improved the Most in Free Agency]

With Pryor under contract for a meager $705,000 in 2014, he wasn’t going to make it to Seattle on waivers, so they had to make the trade in order to get him. Pryor is expected to compete with B.J. Daniels for No. 3 duties behind Russell Wilson and Tavaris Jackson, who is currently locked in as the No. 2 signal-caller on a fully guaranteed deal.

The Silver and Black will head into the draft with Matt McGloin backing up Matt Schaub.

Michael Gartman is a College Football and NFL Senior Writer, the AFC South and NFC West Lead Writer and the Founder, CEO of GridironGrit.com.  He’s also about to start reporting on topics across all sides of the political spectrum and analyze important issues in the liberty movement for a political website.  Follow him @_MichaelGartman on Twitter.  Be sure to ‘like’ Gridiron Grit on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @GridironGrit to keep up with the latest coverage on college football, the NFL and more!

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2014 NFL Mock Draft Rounds 1-3: Jadeveon Clowney, Teddy Bridgewater To Houston Texans? http://gridirongrit.com/2014/04/2014-nfl-mock-draft-rounds-1-3-jadeveon-clowney-teddy-bridgewater-to-houston-texans/ http://gridirongrit.com/2014/04/2014-nfl-mock-draft-rounds-1-3-jadeveon-clowney-teddy-bridgewater-to-houston-texans/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 20:42:31 +0000 http://gridirongrit.com/?p=23637

With the 2014 NFL Draft less than three weeks away, it’s time to unveil team-by-team projections for the first three rounds before the festivities kick into swing on May 8. Here’s part one of the series on the Houston Texans.

The Texans entered the 2013 season as one of the top Super Bowl contenders but somehow managed to finish with a 2-14 record, as the team was plagued with a rash of injuries, turnovers and unsustainable drives.

Nevertheless, new head coach Bill O’Brien and the rest of the Texans brass did a solid job in free agency—despite the inevitable departures of DT Earl Mitchell, DE Antonio Smith and RB Ben Tate—picking up RB Andre Brown, a stopgap quarterback in Ryan Fitzpatrick and strengthening the secondary by replacing Danieal Manning with Kendrick Lewis and Chris Clemons.

[RELATED: 10 NFL Teams That Improved the Most in Free Agency]

Blake Bortles, Jadeveon Clowney, Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater - split image

[RELATED: Ranking the 10 Best NFL Free Agents Still Available]

Who will the Texans land in the first three rounds of the draft? Find out in the following slides.

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Video: Johnny Manziel Plays Jetski Football http://gridirongrit.com/2014/04/video-johnny-manziel-plays-jetski-football/ http://gridirongrit.com/2014/04/video-johnny-manziel-plays-jetski-football/#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 15:18:31 +0000 http://gridirongrit.com/?p=23645

Former Texas A&M star quarterback Johnny Manziel has a chance to state his case to become the No. 1 overall pick as he visits the Houston Texans in person today, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Manziel is hands down one of the most talked about and most polarizing prospects in the entire class, but it doesn’t look like the pressure is getting to the 5-11, 207-pound signal-caller.

The Heisman Trophy winner and projected Top 10 pick posted the following video to his Instagram account on Sunday, showing he’s got a decent set of hands to go along with his arm.

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Embed by embedinstagram.com

Stay tuned to GridironGrit.com for up-to-date news and analysis on free agency and the 2014 NFL Draft.

 [RELATED: Jerry Rice: Johnny Manziel Reminds Me of Steve Young]

Michael Gartman is a College Football and NFL Senior Writer, the AFC South and NFC West Lead Writer and the Founder, CEO of GridironGrit.com.  He’s also about to start reporting on topics across all sides of the political spectrum and analyze important issues in the liberty movement for a political website.  Follow him @_MichaelGartman on Twitter.  Be sure to ‘like’ Gridiron Grit on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @GridironGrit to keep up with the latest coverage on college football, the NFL and more!

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Tom Savage Declines Invitation To 2014 NFL Draft http://gridirongrit.com/2014/04/tom-savage-declines-invitation-to-2014-nfl-draft/ http://gridirongrit.com/2014/04/tom-savage-declines-invitation-to-2014-nfl-draft/#comments Sat, 19 Apr 2014 23:33:28 +0000 http://gridirongrit.com/?p=23631

Former Pittsburgh Panthers quarterback Tom Savage is arguably the fastest-rising prospect in the entire 2014 NFL Draft class. Over the last month, he’s emerged from a projected third-day selection (fourth to seventh round) to a potential late first round/early second round pick.

On Thursday, it was announced that Savage had received an invitation to attend the draft (May 8-10) in New York City, but he’s reportedly decided not to attend the event.

[RELATED: Cleveland Browns 'Really Love' Fresno State's Derek Carr]

Screenshot via Vimeo.com

Screenshot via Vimeo.com

[RELATED: Ranking the 10 Best NFL Free Agents Still Available]

The 6-4, 228-pound signal-caller is not only one of the fastest rising prospects, but he’s also one of the busiest. Peter King of TheMMQB.com reported last week that Savage will wind up meeting with 24 or 25 teams before the visit deadline on April 27. In fact, Savage’s schedule is so busy that his agent Neil Schwartz has had to tell a couple of teams that his client won’t be able to meet with them before the deadline.

“There are literally no days left on his calendar for him to go see any other teams,” Schwartz said.

It shouldn’t come as a shock that Savage is among the late rising prospects, considering he has the size and arm strength that teams covet at the next level, but has limited experience (played in just 28 games at Rutgers, Arizona and Pittsburgh) and put up less-than-impressive production last season—throwing for 2,958 yards with 21 touchdowns and nine interceptions behind a bad offensive line and mediocre receiving corps.

He’s got a really good arm,” NFL Films’ Greg Cossell recently said on the Russ Tucker podcast. “I ended my work by saying, ‘A very intriguing prospect based on arm talent and understanding NFL passing concepts.’ He’s one of the best prototypical pocket passers in this draft. How will that be valued in 2014? Now, he has other concerns. But he is your classic tall, erect prototypical pocket passer with a compact delivery and a strong arm, and he ran NFL passing concepts.”

Inevitably, a contingent of NFL teams will fall in love with Savage’s golden right arm and one will ensure their developmental prospect doesn’t get away, likely in the second round.

ESPN’s Todd McShay projects him to the Houston Texans in the No. 33 overall spot in his April 10 mock draft.

“This pick is made based on the premise that the Texans wouldn’t need him to play right away,” McShay wrote. “Savage has very good arm strength, but Bill O’Brien would need to work with him on getting the ball out quicker and improving his footwork.”

NFL.com’s Gil Brandt, who served as the VP of player personnel for the Dallas Cowboys from 1960-89, says that Savage’s arm “reminds me of [Troy] Aikman’s.”

At this point, it seems Savage has too much momentum and too much interest around the NFL to fall out of the second round, but not everyone is hopping on the bandwagon. Earlier this month, NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks claimed that Savage is “nowhere near ready to compete for a starting job in the NFL.”

“He is erratic with his accuracy and ball placement,” Brooks wrote. “He needs to work on controlling the velocity on his ball to make it easier for receivers to catch his passes. Additionally, Savage must develop better footwork and mechanics in the pocket to make up for his lack of athleticism and mobility.”

Even though he’s not a finished product and might not be ready to start right away, Savage certainly has plenty of potential and should find success at the next level.

Stay tuned to GridironGrit.com for up-to-date news and analysis on free agency and the 2014 NFL Draft.

Michael Gartman is a College Football and NFL Senior Writer, the AFC South and NFC West Lead Writer and the Founder, CEO of GridironGrit.com.  He’s also about to start reporting on topics across all sides of the political spectrum and analyze important issues in the liberty movement for a political website.  Follow him @_MichaelGartman on Twitter.  Be sure to ‘like’ Gridiron Grit on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @GridironGrit to keep up with the latest coverage on college football, the NFL and more!

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Ranking the 10 Best NFL Free Agents Still Available http://gridirongrit.com/2014/04/ranking-the-10-best-nfl-free-agents-still-available-2/ http://gridirongrit.com/2014/04/ranking-the-10-best-nfl-free-agents-still-available-2/#comments Thu, 17 Apr 2014 22:36:56 +0000 http://gridirongrit.com/?p=23577

Most of the big-name NFL free agents have already been snatched off the open market, but there are still a handful of notable players with a plenty of potential and big-play ability remaining in free agency.

[RELATED: 10 NFL Teams That Improved the Most in Free Agency]

Photo Credit: Packers.com

Photo Credit: Packers.com

With the first five weeks of free agency in the books, here’s a look at the 10 best players still available.

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