GridironGrit.com http://gridirongrit.com NFL, College Football, NFL Draft and Fantasy Football News Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:48:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 Ace Sanders Suspended For First Four Games in 2014 http://gridirongrit.com/2014/07/ace-sanders-suspended-for-first-four-games-in-2014/ http://gridirongrit.com/2014/07/ace-sanders-suspended-for-first-four-games-in-2014/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 23:57:24 +0000 http://gridirongrit.com/?p=24819

Jacksonville Jaguars second-year receiver Ace Sanders will serve a four-game suspension to open the 2014 NFL season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

“I’ve made some mistakes that I could have handled a little differently,” Sanders told Jacksonville.com.

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

Photo Credit: Jaguars.com

Photo Credit: Jaguars.com

[RELATED: Age Brings Wisdom: The NFL's All Over-30 Team]

This isn’t a huge blow to the Jaguars since Sanders was firmly behind Cecil Shorts and rookies Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson as the team’s No. 4 receiver in an up-and-coming young offense that is going to rely heavily on Toby Gerhart and an improving defense to win games.

[RELATED: Breakout Candidates For Every NFL Team in 2014]

But the former No. 101 overall pick from the 2013 NFL Draft, who hauled in 51 receptions for 484 yards and a score in his rookie campaign, could be jeopardizing his chances of even having a role in 2014 due to his off-the field issues and time spent away from the team.

Nevertheless, due to the nature of his suspension, Sanders says he’ll be able to be around the team during the first four games of the season and plans to make the most of his opportunities when he returns to the field.

The biggest beneficiary from Sanders’ suspension seems to be veteran receiver Tandon Doss, who was battling Sanders for the punt return job after leading the league in yards per punt return in 2013.

Stay tuned to GridironGrit.com for the latest news and analysis on the NFL and College Football.

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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Report: Chargers Release Former First Round Pick Larry English http://gridirongrit.com/2014/07/report-chargers-release-former-first-round-pick-larry-english/ http://gridirongrit.com/2014/07/report-chargers-release-former-first-round-pick-larry-english/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 19:34:05 +0000 http://gridirongrit.com/?p=24807

The San Diego Chargers have reportedly pulled the plug on former first round pick Larry English.

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

Photo Credit: Chargers.com

Photo Credit: Chargers.com

[RELATED: Age Brings Wisdom: The NFL's All Over-30 Team]

English was selected with the No. 16 overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft out of Northern Illinois. His name will likely never grace the lists of the biggest draft busts of all time, but there’s no question he failed to live up to the hype.

The 28-year-old edge rusher missed 28 games over the past four seasons primarily due to right foot problems. In five seasons with the Chargers, English started just nine games and racked up a total of 91 tackles with 11.0 sacks and a forced fumble. He should have a chance with another NFL team this offseason, but his chances of success seem rather slim considering he got cut before the start of training camp.

Stay tuned to GridironGrit.com for the latest news and analysis on the NFL and College Football.

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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Report: Andre Johnson Will Show Up To Training Camp On Time http://gridirongrit.com/2014/07/report-andre-johnson-will-show-up-to-training-camp-on-time/ http://gridirongrit.com/2014/07/report-andre-johnson-will-show-up-to-training-camp-on-time/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 19:17:39 +0000 http://gridirongrit.com/?p=24805

Houston Texans fans and fantasy football players can waive a sigh of relief: Andre Johnson is expected to report to training camp on time, according to Jerome Solomon of the Houston Chronicle.

As noted by ESPN Texans beat writer Tania Ganguli, the seven-time Pro Bowler showed up to NRG Stadium in Houston on Monday to talk to the team’s brass. Johnson, who just turned 33, skipped OTAs and mandatory minicamp as he mulled his NFL future and likely considered requested a trade (though he never did).

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

Photo Credit: HoustonTexans.com

Photo Credit: HoustonTexans.com

 

[RELATED: Age Brings Wisdom: The NFL's All Over-30 Team]

Despite being renown as the ultimate pro on and off the field throughout his career, it didn’t come as much of a shock that the former 2003 first round pick (No. 3 overall) was frustrated with the notion of sitting through another rebuilding project having experienced just three winning seasons and two playoff wins since he joined the franchise in its second season.

But Johnson never really had any leverage due to his contract. The 6-foot-3, 230-pound star wide out suffered through poor quarterback play last season, but still managed to finish with the third-most catches (109) and seventh-most receiving yards (1,407) in 2013. Over the last two years, he’s hauled in a combined 221 receptions for 3,005 yards and nine TDs.

Houston didn’t do a ton to upgrade the quarterback position this offseason, trading T.J. Yates to the Falcons and Matt Schaub to the Raiders, holding onto Case Keenum (at least for now), picking up Ryan Fitzpatrick off the open market (and naming him the starting quarterback) and taking Tom Savage in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

But the club is hands down one of the most-improved teams this offseason and should re-emerge as a legitimate playoff contender by running the football with authority with Arian Foster back healthy behind a strong offensive line and playing smashmouth defense. Don’t forget the Jets made back-to-back trips to the AFC Championship with a guy known best for his infamous buttfumble.

[RELATED: Jets Fan Buys Buttfumble Jersey, Wants To Blast It Into Space]

Houston also faces a relatively easy schedule and plays in arguably the league’s weakest division. And recent history is also on their side. Each of the last two years, the team that had the No. 1 pick in the draft went on to make the playoffs.

New head coach Bill O’Brien doesn’t seem to be concerned that Johnson’s missed the implementation of his new offense.

“I believe based on the different systems that he’s been in that he’d be able to pick up our system,” O’Brien said, via Yahoo! Sports. “He’s a bright, a very bright guy and a guy that’s done a lot in this league. So I think he’d be able to figure that out.”

 [RELATED: 10 NFL Sleeper Teams Poised For Playoff Run]

Stay tuned to GridironGrit.com for the latest news and analysis on the NFL and College Football.

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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Report: Zach Mettenberger Sucker Punched At Bar http://gridirongrit.com/2014/07/report-zach-mettenberger-sucker-punched-at-bar/ http://gridirongrit.com/2014/07/report-zach-mettenberger-sucker-punched-at-bar/#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 19:41:05 +0000 http://gridirongrit.com/?p=24794

Zach Mettenberger’s draft stock certainly took a hit leading up to May’s draft, but the Tennessee Titans’ sixth round rookie quarterback was actually “sucker punched” over the weekend at a bar in Nashville. No, seriously. 

According to the bar’s owner, Steve Ford, a fellow bar patron told Mettenberger “Roll Tide!,” and the former LSU star signal-caller turned around and said “Good luck with that.” That’s when the guy’s buddy sucker-punched Zach before running out of the bar and getting chased down by the “door guys” at Losers Most Wanted Bar & Grill on Division Street.

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

Photo Credit: TitansOnline.com

Photo Credit: TitansOnline.com

[RELATED: Age Brings Wisdom: The NFL's All Over-30 Team]

Mettenberger didn’t require medical attention and nobody plans to press charges in the incident.

“It is what it is and it’s over. No one is pressing charges,” Ford said. “It shouldn’t have happened to begin with. The guy said ‘Roll Tide.’ He tried to provoke him. But Zach did not throw one punch, period. I was standing right next to him.”

Mettenberger is expected to compete for the third-thing QB job with Tyler Wilson in training camp, which is open to the public and kicks off Saturday morning at Saint Thomas Sports Park.

The 6-foot-5, 224-pound signal-caller is built like Joe Flacco and has a cannon of an arm, but will need to operate behind a strong offensive line in order to succeed at the next level due to his lack of pocket mobility.

We wouldn’t be shocked if he eventually makes some starts in his rookie campaign, but since he’s coming off an ACL tear and starting quarterback Jake Locker is in the final year of his deal, he has a better chance of seeing significant playing time in 2015.

Stay tuned to GridironGrit.com for updated news and analysis on the NFL and College Football.

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/2014/07/ranking-the-10-best-nfl-free-agents-still-available-8/ http://gridirongrit.com/2014/07/ranking-the-10-best-nfl-free-agents-still-available-8/#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 16:48:10 +0000 http://gridirongrit.com/?p=24792

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: Breakout Candidates For Every NFL Team in 2014]

Photo Credit: Packers.com

Photo Credit: Packers.com

[RELATED: Age Brings Wisdom: The NFL's All Over-30 Team]

With training camp about to kick into full swing across the league and preseason just around the corner, let’s take a look at the 10 best unsigned players still available to add talent and depth to NFL rosters.

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Report: Chris Snee Has Decided To Retire http://gridirongrit.com/2014/07/report-chris-snee-has-decided-to-retire/ http://gridirongrit.com/2014/07/report-chris-snee-has-decided-to-retire/#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 02:03:11 +0000 http://gridirongrit.com/?p=24788

New York Giants four-time Pro Bowl guard Chris Snee has decided to hang up his cleats.

Photo Credit: Giants.com

Photo Credit: Giants.com

The former 2004 second round pick (No. 34 overall) out of Boston College spent his entire NFL career with the G-Men, starting 152 out of a possible 158 contests (including the playoffs) prior to last season, when he missed the final 13 games due to hip and elbow injuries.

The four-time Pro Bowler, three-time All-Pro and two-time Super Bowl champion reportedly hasn’t progressed enough physically to continue his NFL career. Nevertheless, Snee, 32, is a definite candidate to be entered into the Giants’ Ring of Honor and many argue he’s the best offensive lineman in franchise history.

The Giants are expected to converted offensive tackle Brandon Mosley or free agent addition John Jerry (who was involved in the Bullygate scandal) as Snee’s replacement.

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

Stay tuned to GridironGrit.com for the latest news and analysis on the NFL and College Football.

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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Watch: Andy Dalton Is Unstoppable At Pop-A-Shot http://gridirongrit.com/2014/07/watch-andy-dalton-is-unstoppable-at-pop-a-shot/ http://gridirongrit.com/2014/07/watch-andy-dalton-is-unstoppable-at-pop-a-shot/#comments Sun, 20 Jul 2014 23:27:32 +0000 http://gridirongrit.com/?p=24780

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton may not have the strongest or most accurate arm in the NFL, but when it comes to the pop-a-shot arcade game, “Red Rifle” looks absolutely unstoppable.

Photo Credit: Bengals.com

Photo Credit: Bengals.com

In an Instagram video posted by Bengals receiver Marvin Jones, Dalton fires on at least 16 consecutive shots.

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Embed by embedinstagram.com

In three NFL seasons, the former 2011 second round pick (No. 35 overall) out of TCU has completed 992 of 1,630 passes (60.9 percent) for 11,300 yards with a 80:49 TD-to-INT ratio.

Star receiver A.J. Green, who recently told NFL Network that he doesn’t want anyone throwing him the football except the pop-a-shot master, expects the team to re-sign Dalton very soon.

I know they know he’s the guy,” Green told the team’s official website. “… I feel like they’re going to get something done before the season starts.”

Green, who was just voted the No. 9 best player on the NFL’s Top 100 List, also went out of his way to defend Dalton’s troubles in the postseason.

“A lot of people give him crap about not winning a playoff game, but we’ve made the playoffs the last three seasons,” Green said. “We’ve won 10 or more games (twice). Playoff games … we’re still young. I feel like we’re going to win them, it just takes time.”

Stay tuned to GridironGrit.com for the latest news and analysis on the NFL and College Football.

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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Report: Jo-Lonn Dunbar Arrested in South Beach http://gridirongrit.com/2014/07/report-jo-lonn-dunbar-arrested-in-south-beach/ http://gridirongrit.com/2014/07/report-jo-lonn-dunbar-arrested-in-south-beach/#comments Sun, 20 Jul 2014 18:47:03 +0000 http://gridirongrit.com/?p=24775

St. Louis Rams linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar and former Sacramento Kings guard Donte King have reportedly been arrested on battery and disorderly conduct charges in South Beach.

CBS 4 in Miami reports that the Rams’ starting Sam linebacker was hanging out with King when a “physical atercation” broke out outside of Dream Nightclub and the two players were arrested early Sunday morning.

[RELATED: Age Brings Wisdom: The NFL's All Over-30 Team]

Photo Credit: StLouisRams.com

Photo Credit: StLouisRams.com

[RELATED: Ranking the 10 Best Undrafted Players in NFL History]

No other details are currently available, but we’ll keep you posted when more information surfaces.

Dunbar, 29, was suspended for four games last season for violating the league’s public-enhancing drug policy, but the former 2008 undrafted product out of Boston College hasn’t had any other off-the-field trouble as a pro.

In six NFL seasons with the New Orleans Saints (2008-11) and St. Louis Rams (2012-13), Dunbar has appeared in 71 contests (53 starts) and totaled 313 tackles with 6.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and a pair of interceptions.

The Rams re-signed the 6-foot, 235-pound linebacker to a two-year, $3.5 million contract back in March.

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

Stay tuned to GridironGrit.com for the latest news and analysis on the NFL and College Football.

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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Le’Ron McClain Irritated That Mike Priefer Got Suspended Before Jim Irsay http://gridirongrit.com/2014/07/leron-mcclain-irritated-that-mike-priefer-got-suspended-before-jim-irsay/ http://gridirongrit.com/2014/07/leron-mcclain-irritated-that-mike-priefer-got-suspended-before-jim-irsay/#comments Sat, 19 Jul 2014 23:26:33 +0000 http://gridirongrit.com/?p=24771

The Minnesota Vikings handed down a three-game suspension to special teams coach Mike Priefer on Friday for making at least one homophobic slur during the 2012 NFL regular season.

Meanwhile, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has yet to hand down punishment to Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, which seems to be galling some players around the league.

All-Pro fullback and current free agent Le’Ron McClain echoed these sentiments Friday evening on Twitter when he said he agreed with Mike Pendleton of FullScaleSports.com that it’s irritating that Priefer got suspended before Irsay.

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

Photo Credit: Chargers.com

Photo Credit: Chargers.com

[RELATED: Age Brings Wisdom: The NFL's All Over-30 Team]

Irsay, of course, was arrested for DUI on March 16, but has yet to face his day in court or league-imposed punishment.

There have also been reports since the arrest involving the drug-induced death of a female who lived in a house Irsay had purchased and that the Colts owner, who has a reported net worth of $1.6 billion, was also around another female acquaintance and her young children right before he ended up in handcuffs.

Still one of the NFL’s better lead blockers and one of the better free agents still on the open market, McClain, 29, reveled about a month ago that he remains committed to playing and expects to sign with a team before training camp.

The two-time Pro Bowler graded out as a Top 15 lead blocker by Pro Football Focus in 2013 and should only require a veteran-minimum contract. McClain has missed just one game in seven NFL seasons with the Baltimore Ravens (2007-10), Kansas City Chiefs (2011) and San Diego Chargers (2013) and has shown the ability to handle the rock fairly well throughout his career, rushing for 1,310 yards and 13 touchdowns on 354 carries (3.7 YPC). He’s also hauled in 94 receptions for 557 yards and three TDs.

Stay tuned to GridironGrit.com for the latest news and analysis on the NFL and College Football.

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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Aldon Smith Sentenced To Jail For Vehicle Charges http://gridirongrit.com/2014/07/aldon-smith-sentenced-to-jail-for-vehicle-charges/ http://gridirongrit.com/2014/07/aldon-smith-sentenced-to-jail-for-vehicle-charges/#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 22:47:34 +0000 http://gridirongrit.com/?p=24759

San Francisco 49ers star edge rusher Aldon Smith has been sentenced to 12 days in jail.

Photo Credit: 49ers.com

Photo Credit: 49ers.com

However, each of his three felony weapons charges—which stem from a party in 2012 where a man was stabbed and Smith partied with Norteño street gang members—have been reduced to misdemeanors.

The former 2011 first round pick (No. 7 overall) out of Missouri looks to have gotten off pretty lightly, as the 12-day jail term can actually be served on work crews starting July 28, five days after the team reports to training camp.

Smith, 24, will still be able to work out with the team and participate during the preseason, but he’s fully expected to miss out on some regular season action as he serves a looming suspension.

Trent Davis of SpoonFedSports.com expects the All-Pro outside linebacker to miss eight games in 2014.

“A couple years ago, Ben Roethlisberger got a six game suspension, which was eventually knocked down to four, for two incidents in which he was never changed, nor arrested. Smith has been arrested multiple times, most recently for an incident in LAX where he reportedly told a TSA agent he had a bomb.

Other reports indicate he’ll miss four to six games. Either way, San Francisco will likely have to battle the Dallas Cowboys, Chicago Bears, Arizona Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles without arguably their best defensive player and may not have him in the lineup in the following contests against the Chiefs, Rams (twice) and Broncos.

In three seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, Smith has registered a total of 137 tackles with 42.0 sacks, one interception and five forced fumbles through 43 games (24 starts).

Stay tuned to GridironGrit.com for the latest news and analysis on the NFL and College Football.

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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