Shutdown Corner

  • Browns trade QB Colt McCoy to the 49ers

    Colt McCoy has been traded to the 49ers (USA Today Sports Images)

    The Cleveland Browns have traded quarterback Colt McCoy to the San Francisco 49ers, reports Jason La Canfora of

    According to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, McCoy and a 2013 sixth-round pick will head west in exchange for fifth- and seventh-round picks in the 2013 NFL draft. From a compensation standpoint, the Browns have essentially obtained a seventh-round pick in return for McCoy as the pick they're sending back to the 49ers (No. 173 overall, which originally belonged to the Philadelphia Eagles) is just nine slot lower than the fifth-round pick (No. 164) they'll receive as part of the trade. The seventh-round pick is No. 227 overall, which originally belonged to the Cincinnati Bengals.

    Originally selected in the third round of the 2010 NFL draft out of Texas, McCoy started 21 games over the his first two seasons in the league, completing 400-of-685 pass attempts for 4,309 yards with 20 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. McCoy lost his starting job last season to 2012 first-round pick Brandon Weeden and appeared in just three games last season, completing nine of 17 attempts for 79 yards and a touchdown.

    McCoy is entering the final year of his rookie contract and is scheduled to earn $1.5 million in base salary, which is more than the $1,395,844 that 49ers' starter Colin Kaepernick and third-stringer Scott Tolzien will make combined this season.

    Read More »from Browns trade QB Colt McCoy to the 49ers
  • For the khaki-deficient man with everything else. (

    Well, you knew it was coming. Every April 1, a whole lot of people who consider themselves Original Pranksters take this April Fool's Day opportunity to get all hilarious. The NFL is not exempt from such shenanigans ... far from it. So far this year, the San Francisco 49ers franchise is out in the lead with this bit from the team's official website:

    With a wardrobe that stands the test of time, 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh is bringing his attire to the masses by launching his own clothing line, the Jim Harbaugh Collection.

    A trendsetter in the coaching profession, Harbaugh has inspired fans with a unique sideline look that he carries over into all facets of his life. Whether the 2011 AP Coach of the Year is stalking the sidelines of Candlestick Park or enjoying a round of golf at Pebble Beach, chances are he'll be dawning his black fleece, khaki pants and 49ers black cap.

    "I probably save about 20 minutes per day," Harbaugh said about limiting his daily clothing decisions. "I've cut down a lot of drag."

    The accompanying slideshow shows Harbaugh "reducing drag" during several different activities wearing the same thing he always wears in public -- 49ers cap, 49ers sweatshirt, khakis. So, if you're ready to reduce drag and go all Harbaugh, you now have a way to do so. Clenched teeth are optional. Contempt for the media is mandatory.

    We also have Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, Harbaugh's divisional arch-rival, getting into the April Fool's act on Twitter. This, following the trade of backup quarterback Matt Flynn to the Oakland Raiders:

    Read More »from 49ers lead NFL April Fool’s Day goofiness with the ‘Jim Harbaugh Collection’
  • The Packers and Aaron Rodgers are $2M per year apart (USA Today Sports Images)

    Last week, a report surfaced that had the Green Bay Packers and quarterback Aaron Rodgers nearing a long-term extension that would make the Super Bowl XLV Most Valuable Player the highest-paid player in NFL history.

    On Monday, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported that the two sides are approaching a resolution on a new deal and currently are $2 million per season apart.

    According to Rapoport, the Packers' current offer averages more than $21 million per season, which would be a nice increase over the $20.1 million average per year (APY) that Super Bowl XLVII MVP Joe Flacco received from the Baltimore Ravens in a contract signed on March 4, 2013. A $2 million gap suggests that Rodgers, who has passed for 21,332 yards with 170 touchdowns and just 46 interceptions in his first five seasons as a full-time starter in the NFL, is seeking a deal in the $23 million per year range, which would make his contract a bit harder for upcoming quarterback extensions to leap-frog in the APY rankings.

    Quarterbacks who are expected to receive long-term extensions in the near future include Eli Manning of the New York Giants, Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Matthew Stafford of the Detroit Lions, whose willingness to restructure their contracts have resulted in exorbitant cap charges in upcoming seasons. Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons and Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears are entering the final years of their current contracts and will likely receive long-term deals this offseason. Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers and Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers will be eligible for extensions following the 2013 season, while the Seattle Seahawks can start to pay Russell Wilson what he's worth following the 2014 season.

    Rodgers is represented by David Dunn of Athletes First, who does not represent any of the other eight quarterbacks listed above and may be inclined to play hardball. That group is represented by Tom Condon (Manning, Stafford and Ryan), James "Bus" Cook (Cutler, Newton and Wilson), Ryan and Bruce Tollner (Roethlisberger) and Scott Smith (Kaepernick).

    Read More »from Report: Packers, Aaron Rodgers are $2 million per year apart on new contract
  • RGIII cuts down the net for the Lady Bears during their 2012 championship run. (Getty Images)

    It's safe to say that Baylor alum and Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III was less than pleased with the circumstances that led the Lady Bears to an early exit in the women's NCAA basketball tournament. Baylor came in as the defending national champs and the number-one seed, but were knocked out by Louisville in the semifinal round on Sunday night in an 82-81 upset.

    Griffin, who has long been supportive of his school's endeavors in women's basketball (and once challenged center Brittney Griner to a dunk contest), was not specifically unhappy about the loss. He was, however, unusually vocal about the officiating after the game -- especially the ways in which (at least in his view) Louisville took after Griner throughout the game. Using a defense Louisville coach Jeff Walz called the "claw-and-one," the Lady Cardinals put as many as three players around Greer, and went all Hack-A-Shaq from there.

    Griffin really didn't appreciate it.

    Read More »from Robert Griffin III vents about officiating on Twitter after Baylor women lose in NCAA tournament
  • Raiders acquire QB Matt Flynn from the Seahawks

    Matt Flynn has been traded to the Raiders (USA Today Sports Images)

    The Oakland Raiders and Seattle Seahawks have pulled the trigger on a trade that will send quarterback Matt Flynn to the Raiders in exchange for a pair of draft picks, reports Jay Glazer of

    According to a release from the Seahawks, they have acquired the Raiders' fifth-round pick in 2014 and a conditional draft choice in 2015.

    Word broke last Friday that the Raiders and Seahawks were close to a deal for Flynn, appeared in three games in his first season in Seattle after signing a three-year, $19.5 million contract as an unrestricted free agent last March. The 2008 seventh-round pick out of LSU by the Green Bay Packers played in just over three dozen offensive snaps, completing five of his nine pass attempts for 68 yards in relief of rookie Russell Wilson, who won the Seahawks' starting job after an open competition during training camp.

    Read More »from Raiders acquire QB Matt Flynn from the Seahawks
  • Luke Joeckel could be the first overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. (Getty Images)

    You didn't think that we were finished doing podcasts with our buddy Greg Cosell of NFL Films and ESPN's NFL Matchup just because the NFL season is over, did you? Well, if you did, fear not -- we're back in the saddle (and Greg's now writing for Shutdown Corner as well) to do a new series of podcasts in which we evaluate the draft prospects by position. We've already discussed the quarterbacks, running backs, receivers and tight ends in this year's class, and how it's time to talk about a very intriguing group of offensive linemen. Greg has taken his decades of experience, and oodles of coach's tape, and transferred both to the college side just in time for the pre-draft process.

    The Shutdown Corner draft podcast with Greg Cosell: Evaluating the offensive linemen

    A few words of wisdom from Mr. Cosell:

    On Texas A&M LT Luke Joeckel: "The strength of his game is repetitive execution, snap after snap. Not elite athleticism and movement. He's not unathletic, but ... I think he does everything right on almost every snap. I would say he's a smoother mover than Jake Long with Long came out of Michigan, but he's not as fluid as, say, Ryan Clady when he came out of Boise State. I think he'll be a perfectly good NFL left tackle, and if you draft him, you'll be fine at the position. If you look at him solely as a prospect, you wouldn't put him in the Orlando Pace/Jonathan Ogden/Walter Jones category, but he'll be a really good NFL left tackle.

    On Central Michigan LT Eric Fisher: "You can make the argument that he's a little bit better as an athlete than Joeckel. His feet are a little quicker, and his lateral movement is a little more fluid. I thought they were very similar in that they were rarely off balance. Fisher shows excellent athleticism and movement as a pass-blocker, and pulling in the run game. You can talk about the level of competition and all that -- it's not the same -- but when you look at Fisher's skill set, it translates really, really well. I would not be surprised if some teams had Fisher rated higher than Joeckel."

    The Shutdown Corner draft podcast with Greg Cosell: Evaluating the offensive linemen

    On Oklahoma LT Lane Johnson: "It was evident watching him through the season -- and I try to watch them with the right chronology, so I can get a sense if they're improving or not -- but because he doesn't have a lot of experience at left tackle ... early on, you saw the athleticism, but he wasn't that great a player. It didn't translate. As the season went on, it started to translate much more, but the main concern is to get him to play to that level snap after snap."

    Read More »from The Shutdown Corner draft podcast with Greg Cosell: Evaluating the offensive linemen
  • Kevin Kolb may be on the verge of a new NFL opportunity ... of sorts. (Getty Images)

    A few weeks after releasing former franchise quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick over salary issues, the Buffalo Bills are set to bring in a replacement -- but the name won't exactly get toes tapping in upstate New York. Kevin Kolb, like Fitzpatrick a once-grievously overpaid player in comparison to his skill set, reportedly finalized a deal on Saturday that will make him the newest member of the Bills. The prospective deal is for two years, could max out at around $13 million, was first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter.

    The scientific term for this might be "Microscopic Lateral Move."

    Kolb signed a six-year, $62.5 million deal with the Cards in 2011, after a limited run of reasonable success as a backup with the Philadelphia Eagles, who selected him in the second round of the 2007 NFL draft. But he played in just 15 games in two seasons, starting 14, as injuries and ineffectiveness derailed his time there. He was cut on March 15 because general manager Steve Keim and new head coach Bruce Arians, Arizona's new men in power, didn't want to throw good millions after bad. Similarly, the Bills cut Fitzpatrick loose because they didn't want to be on the hook for a $3 million bonus when the new league year began.

    Read More »from Report: Kevin Kolb signs two-year deal with Buffalo Bills
  • McNabb and Romo in 2010. (Getty Images)

    You work hard in your career. You try your best to rep your city well. You take your team to the Big Game, and sure, you don't win, but you try your best. And then you become a punch line. Bad enough, right? And now this: somebody who's demonstrably worse at your job than you were getting a contract that defies belief.

    [Report: Packers, Aaron Rodgers nearing long-term extension]

    Welcome to the world of former Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb. When he heard of Tony Romo's new contract extension, he offered up a succinct assessment on Twitter:

    Read More »from Donovan McNabb is not pleased with Tony Romo’s new contract
  • Dallas Cowboys, Tony Romo agree to six-year contract extension

    Tony Romo has agreed to terms on an extension (USA Today Sports Images)

    [Report: Packers, Aaron Rodgers nearing long-term extension]

    The Dallas Cowboys and veteran quarterback Tony Romo have reached agreement on a "blockbuster" six-year extension that will make Romo the highest-paid player in Cowboys' history, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports.

    According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, Romo's new deal with the Cowboys is worth $108 million and includes $55 million in guaranteed money.

    Romo, who turns 33 in April, is scheduled to earn $11.5 million base salary in 2013, which is the final season of his current contract. Romo is technically signed through the 2016 season, but the final three seasons of that contract will void after this season.

    In terms of guaranteed money, Romo's $55 million ranks behind fourth behind New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees ($60.5 million), Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning ($60 million) and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady ($57 million), but ahead of the $52 million that Joe Flacco received from the Baltimore Ravens.

    [Also: Will QB Matt Barkley get drafted in the first round?]

    Rapoport reported on Thursday that the Cowboys would not be able to use the franchise tag on Romo after the season. In the wake of that report, "Shutdown Corner" noted that even if the Cowboys could use the tag on Romo, his $16.818 million cap hit this season would result in a one-year franchise tender worth $20.1 million, which is too great of a cap hit for the Cowboys to take next season as it would be accompanied by $8.181 million in signing bonus proration that would accelerate onto the Cowboys' cap if his current deal were allowed to void.

    Read More »from Dallas Cowboys, Tony Romo agree to six-year contract extension
  • Report: Seahawks trade of Matt Flynn appears ‘imminent’

    Matt Flynn may be headed to the Raiders (USA Today Sports Images)

    According to ESPN's Ed Werder, the Seattle Seahawks are engaged in discussions regarding a trade of quarterback Matt Flynn with an unidentified team and that a trade is "imminent".

    Multiple NFL reporters, including Jason La Canfora of and Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, are indicating that the Seahawks' trade partner for Flynn is the Oakland Raiders.

    [Report: Packers, Aaron Rodgers nearing long-term extension]

    The Seahawks signed Flynn to a three-year, $19.5 million contract on March 21, 2012. That deal included $10 million in guaranteed money, including $2 million of Flynn's $5.25 million base salary for the 2013 season. Flynn competed with incumbent starter Tarvaris Jackson and 2012 third-round pick Russell Wilson for the starting job last summer. Despite Flynn's solid showing in the preseason, Wilson won the starting job and would validate Pete Carroll's decision, passing for 3,118 yards, tying an NFL single-season rookie record with 26 touchdown passes, and capping the year off by playing in the Pro Bowl.

    Flynn took 37 snaps over three games in relief of Wilson last season, completing five of his nine pass attempts for 68 yards.

    By trading Flynn, the Seahawks will save $5.25 million in cash and $3.25 million in salary cap space for 2013. Trading Flynn also leaves Wilson as the only quarterback under contract on the Seahawks' 90-man offseason roster. According to La Canfora, one option could be Tyler Thigpen, an unrestricted free agent whose experience with the read-option could make him a natural fit behind Wilson on Seattle's depth chart.

    Read More »from Report: Seahawks trade of Matt Flynn appears ‘imminent’