Posts by Jason Cole

Martin, Dolphins working toward offseason trade

Offensive tackle Jonathan Martin’s interview on NBC with Tony Dungy on Tuesday night is part of a progressive plan to help him return to the NFL, although not with the Miami Dolphins. Despite the fact the team recently hired Dennis Hickey as general manager, Martin is still not expected to return to the team.

Offensive tackle Jonathan Martin’s interview on NBC with Tony Dungy on Tuesday night is part of a progressive plan to help him return to the NFL, although not with the Miami Dolphins. Despite the fact the team recently hired Dennis Hickey as general manager, Martin is still not expected to return to the team.

At the same time, Martin has no plans to sue the team or seek any other action. Instead, Martin wants to work with the team so that he can be traded to a team with earnest interest in him. The Dolphins can’t trade Martin until after the beginning of the 2014 league year in March.

While Martin is not expected to get a lot in return for the Dolphins, two general managers said last week at the Senior Bowl that Martin would probably worth something.

“You can play the game with them a little that they’re probably going to have to cut him if they can’t trade him, but then he goes through waivers and you have to compete with other teams in that process. If you trade for him, you get him on a decent contract,” one general manager said.

More importantly, both GMs said that Martin has value because he is an offensive tackle and possesses rare physical traits.

“He’s not a great player, but there aren’t many people who can play the position. Unless something else comes out that we don’t know about, he’s going to be playing next season,” the GM said.

A report compiled by attorney Ted Wells about the incident between Martin and former teammate Richie Incognito is expected to be released after the Super Bowl.

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NFLPA debating whether to use $2M option on cap

The NFL Players Association is debating whether to use a $2 million per team option to help increase the salary cap to more than $128 million in 2014 and end a string of four consecutive years in which the cap has been below its high-water mark in 2009 under the previous Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The NFL Players Association is debating whether to use a $2 million per team option to help increase the salary cap to more than $128 million in 2014 and end a string of four consecutive years in which the cap has been below its high-water mark in 2009 under the previous Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Spending on players has been below $128 million per team in 2009, the final year of the cap under the previous CBA. A new CBA was agreed upon in 2011 in which players took a significant decrease in compensation.
In addition, the union is hoping to reverse two years of uncomfortable negotiations aimed at boosting the cap and avoiding player unrest. The union has had to fend off a possible decrease in the cap from 2011 to 2012 and then get a $3 million increase from 2012 to 2013.
In 2012, the union agreed with owners to move the payment of certain benefits to later years of the CBA and move that money to salary compensation. In the process, the union also agreed with the owners not to bring any charges of collusion against the NFL for actions prior to the current CBA. That was despite the fact that owners have acknowledged that they made an agreement in 2010 among themselves not to spend more than $120 million per team in the uncapped year.
In 2013, the union also agreed to defer the payment of performance-based pay to all players, causing a negative reaction in the agent and player community.
This year, the salary cap is preliminarily expected to increase to $126.3 million, which would mark the fifth straight year that the cap was below the 2009 level, when current NFLPA Executive Director De Smith was elected. The good news for the union is that the projected increase of $3.3 million is considered a conservative estimate.
However, if the cap comes in at the current projection, the union could use the $2 million option to boost the cap to at least $128.3 million.
NFLPA spokesman George Atallah declined to say whether the union would use the option.
“The new economic model places an emphasis on cash spending to players not on cap, which is the highest it has ever been. Any report on what the salary cap will be next season is speculative because we will not know until mid-March. No decisions can be considered until then. Any reporting on the salary cap without the context or understanding of how the new system works is incom-plete,” Atallah wrote in an email.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed the option exists, but deferred any question about what the union would do to the union.
Follow me on Twitter @JasonPhilColehttp://www.twitter.com/jasonphilcole

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Ravens to hire Kubiak today

The Baltimore Ravens have hired former Houston coach Gary Kubiak to be their next offensive coordinator, replacing Jim Caldwell, according to multiple reports. Kubiak is expected to be joined by former Houston assistants Rick Dennison and Kyle Shanahan, although those hirings have not been finalized.

Kubiak was the head coach of the Texans

The Baltimore Ravens have hired former Houston coach Gary Kubiak to be their next offensive coordinator, replacing Jim Caldwell, according to multiple reports. Kubiak is expected to be joined by former Houston assistants Rick Dennison and Kyle Shanahan, although those hirings have not been finalized.

Kubiak was the head coach of the Texans for eight years and built one of the league’s most consistent offenses until the team was undermined by injury and inconsistent play this season. In particular, quarterback Matt Schaub had his worst season. Kubiak was fired with three games left in the season after Houston fell to 2-11. However, his teams were a combined 22-10 the previous two years before losing in the playoffs.

Follow me on Twitter @JasonPhilColehttp://www.twitter.com/jasonphilcole

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Report: Ravens trying to hire Kubiak, Shanahan

ESPN reported Monday morning that the Baltimore Ravens are trying to assemble an offensive coaching staff that would feature former Houston coach Gary Kubiak as the coordinator with Kyle Shanahan and Rick Dennison as his top assistants.

Shanahan was the offensive coordinator under Kubiak in Houston before going to Washington to work with

ESPN reported Monday morning that the Baltimore Ravens are trying to assemble an offensive coaching staff that would feature former Houston coach Gary Kubiak as the coordinator with Kyle Shanahan and Rick Dennison as his top assistants.

Shanahan was the offensive coordinator under Kubiak in Houston before going to Washington to work with his father. Dennison joined Kubiak in 2010 as Houston’s offensive line coach, but worked with Kubiak as both an assistant coach and as a teammate during more than 15 years together in Denver. Shanahan and Dennison also know each other well. Dennison worked under Mike Shanahan with the Broncos.

Prior to Monday, Ravens assistant coach Jim Hostler was considered the favorite to get the offensive coordinator job.

Follow me on Twitter @JasonPhilColehttp://www.twitter.com/jasonphilcole

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Goodell impressed by Pro Bowl

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had a favorable reaction to the new format and competitiveness of the annual Pro Bowl. In the game played on Sunday in Honolulu, Team Rice beat Team Sanders 22-21.

“You have to admit it was very competitive,” Goodell told ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning on Monday.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had a favorable reaction to the new format and competitiveness of the annual Pro Bowl. In the game played on Sunday in Honolulu, Team Rice beat Team Sanders 22-21.

“You have to admit it was very competitive,” Goodell told ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning on Monday. “Exciting. Fun. I think the players played much harder … I believe it was a very, very positive step. I salute the players.”

Over the weekend, NFL Players Association President Domonique Foxworth said Goodell came close to canceling the annual all-star game. Foxworth made suggestions to the format, such as changing the AFC vs. NFC format and turning the game into a draft to help amp the competitive-ness of the game.

The suggestions seem to have worked for now, but the NFL remains concerned about whether the game will be taken seriously by fans.

Follow me on Twitter @JasonPhilColehttp://www.twitter.com/jasonphilcole

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