Eight NFL teams have rookies reporting to training camp this week, and there are some really intriguing players we’ll be keeping an eye on. Leading up to the official start of the NFL summer, we’re taking a look at one rookie that has a chance to stand out this first week. Kendall Sheffield, cornerback, Atlanta Falcons The Falcons are obviously intrigued by this former Ohio State star, having selected Sheffield in the fourth round. A bit of a project from a technique perspective and a guy who isn’t particularly big on the corner (5-foot-11, 193 pounds), Sheffield has sprinter’s speed and is an aggressive tackler. Atlanta features a rock-solid secondary, but with a solid summer of work Sheffield could work himself into the nickel defense as the third cornerback. He’ll have his chance to shine this week and needs to make the most of the opportunity. Quinnen Williams, defensive tackle, New York Jets The third overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft, Quinnen Williams has a lot to live up to as a rookie coming out of
In addition to Richie Incognito‘s two-game suspension, this news-dump Friday included another multi-game ban. Free agent defensive lineman Malik McDowell‘s troubles continue, with the former Seahawks draft pick set for a two-game suspension, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. The No. 35 overall pick in 2017, McDowell has never played an NFL down. An ATV accident during his rookie offseason scuttled chances of the Michigan State product making an early impact as a pro, and the 2019 offseason has gone poorly from a legal perspective. McDowell has been charged for two separate incidents, one more squarely in the NFL’s purview than the other. He was charged with assault and resisting arrest and then operating a vehicle while intoxicated and, according to the Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta, “receiving and concealing stolen property” in purchasing a Ford truck with a $74K value for just $3K. McDowell spent 2017 and 2018 on Seattle’s NFI list, but agent Drew Rosenhaus said in March he received clearance from an independ
We see it every year around the NFL. Highly anticipated star rookies flaming out big time. That included the likes of quarterback Josh Rosen and offensive tackle Kolton Miller in 2018. It’s going to happen again this season. Top picks are not guaranteed to have initial success. Whether it’s the position they are put in or something completely different, here are 10 NFL rookies set to disappoint this season. Rashan Gary, EDGE, Green Bay Packers It’s not that Gary was overdrafted by Green Bay. Considered a likely top-10 pick heading into the 2019 NFL Draft, he went 12th overall. That’s decent value. Unfortunately, Gary’s talents never translated to overall success at Michigan. The former five-star recruit recorded 9.5 sacks in three seasons, including just 3.5 as a junior last year. Green Bay didn’t necessarily need to add at this position after picking up Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith in free agency. At best, Gary will be a situational pass rusher as a rookie. That’s not going to equate to a ton of succe
When the Seahawks used a third-round pick on C.J. Prosise in 2016, the former Notre Dame running back looked as though he’d be an integral part of the Seattle offense. Penciled into a backfield that also included Christine Michael and Thomas Rawls, Prosise was viewed as a capable runner and a valuable receiver, a dual-threat back who could contribute in multiple facets of the game. But Prosise simply hasn’t been able to stay on the field. He showed flashes during his rookie campaign, especially during a Week 9 nine start in which he handled 17 carries for 66 yards while adding seven receptions for 87 yards. However, Prosise fractured his scapula in the Seahawks’ next contest and was subsequently placed on injured reserve. An ankle injury ended his season in 2017, and multiple ailments (abdomen, groin, and hip flexor) landed him on IR in 2018. The injuries haven’t stopped in 2019. Seattle head coach Pete Carroll revealed in March that Prosise had recently undergone surgery. And just last month, the now-25-yea
We heard yesterday that the Seahawks could be interested in veteran defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin, and now they’re following through on that interest. Rubin is in Seattle right now to visit with the team, according to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. Condotta writes that if the two sides can agree on a deal, Rubin “would likely sign a one-year, low-risk (veteran minimum or just above) deal.” Rubin has some familiarity with the Seahawks, as he spent two seasons with the team in 2015 and 2016. He originally entered the league as a sixth-round pick of the Browns back in 2008, and he spent the next seven seasons in Cleveland. He had a productive 2015 campaign, and earned a new three-year, $12M extension from Seattle. He lasted just one year into that pact before getting cut just prior to the start of the 2017 season. Rubin signed with the Raiders last offseason, but missed the entire year with a biceps injury. Rubin is turning 33 later this month but Seattle’s run-defense really struggled last year, so perhaps
Malik McDowell has seen his once-promising football career go down the drain because of a non-football injury and several legal issues, the most recent of which resulted in a police officer using a Taser on the former Michigan State star. McDowell was arrested in Michigan back in February following a traffic stop in which an officer witnessed his jeep speeding and spinning out on a snowy night. The officer asked McDowell to stay seated in his vehicle, but he refused and demanded to speak with a supervisor. The 23-year-old then continued to ignore orders and got out of the car and started to walk into a convenience store. At that point, the officer grabbed McDowell and attempted to detain him, but McDowell continued to ignore orders. When the officer told him to lay on the ground on his stomach and put his hands behind his back, McDowell refused and instead sat down with his hands in front of him. The officer warned him several times that he was going to be tased, and eventually the weapon was used. McDowell,
The Seahawks could be interested in reuniting with old friend Ahtyba Rubin, as Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times tweets. If Seattle were to sign the defensive lineman, who turns 33 later his month, it would likely be on a veteran minimum deal (or something close to it). Rubin, a former sixth-round pick of the Browns, was a stalwart on Cleveland’s D-line from 2010-14, and he was generally a solid starter during that time. He hooked on with the Seahawks on a one-year pact in March 2015, and he enjoyed a strong first season in Seattle, starting all 16 games and compiling 36 tackles and two sacks. Seattle rewarded him with a three-year, $12M pact the following year, but that contract did not hold up particularly well. Rubin again started all 16 games for the Seahawks in 2016, but the club shopped him prior to the 2017 season and, finding no takers, released him. He played for both the Broncos and the Falcons in 2017 and signed with the Raiders last June, though he tore his triceps during a practice in August and
The Seahawks’ quarterback room has some serious name value. Behind starter Russell Wilson, the club is currently rostering both Geno Smith and Paxton Lynch. The odds of both players making the final cut is slim. Historically, the Seahawks have carried only two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster and both players have their warts. Smith, a former second-round pick of the Jets, has yet to do much at the pro level. Once positioned as the Jets’ starting quarterback, his last attempt at NFL relevance was stopped by the fist of a teammate and a subsequently broken jaw. Lynch, a former first-round pick of the Broncos, lost the starting QB competition twice to former seventh-round pick Trevor Siemian. To date, Lynch has four career starts on his resume with a 61.7% completion rate, 792 passing yards yards, four touchdowns and four interceptions. Smith – who has 40 career appearances with 31 starts – hasn’t fared much better in a larger sample. He’s completed 57.7% of his throws with just 29 touchdowns against 36 picks
Bobby Wagner has one year left on his current contract with the Seahawks, and the two sides have begun extension talks. It’s unclear how much progress has been made, but with Wagner (understandably) aiming to break the $17M/year payout that C.J. Mosley landed from the Jets this offseason, there may be some bumps in the road. For what it’s worth, Robert Mays of The Ringer believes that the two sides will come to terms before the season begins. After all, the Seahawks are projected to have more than $75M in cap space in 2020, and though they will be paying a ton of money to Russell Wilson for the foreseeable future and also want to extend Jarran Reed, they will be able to fit Wagner, one of the game’s best defensive players, on their books. As Mays notes, head coach Pete Carroll said back in March that, “Bobby’s going to be a Seahawk.” Wagner attended this month’s minicamp but did not participate in team drills, and he has stated that he will continue to remain on the sidelines until he gets a new deal. And as
Things are not looking good for free agent defensive lineman Malik McDowell. McDowell, who was selected by the Seahawks in the second round of the 2017 draft, is facing charges of assault, resisting arrest and operating a vehicle while intoxicated, as Brady Henderson of ESPN.com writes. McDowell was scheduled to appear in Oakland County (Mich.) Circuit Court on Thursday. The charges stem from a February arrest, and the police report indicates that McDowell was pulled over "after speeding, spinning out and driving recklessly." The report also says that McDowell, who pulled into a gas station, smelled strongly of intoxicants and that he refused to show the officer his driver’s license. McDowell repeatedly asked for a “supervisor,” and then he exited his car and began walking into the gas station. The officer tried to arrest McDowell at that point, but McDowell "began actively fighting" the officer, who was unable to subdue McDowell with a Taser. A second officer arrived at the scene to assist, and both officer
While Trevone Boykin‘s chances of reviving his NFL career were already slim, it looks like they took another hit. Darrin Gantt of ProFootballTalk.com reports that the former Seahawks quarterback was arrested Friday night on charges of aggravated assault against a family member and tampering with a witness, according to police records. The Seahawks released Boykin in March of 2018 following accusations of domestic abuse from his girlfriend. While he denied the allegations, Boykin was arrested on charges of aggravated assault with serious bodily injury. It’s uncertain if this most recent arrest was connected to that incident. Following the first arrest, the NFL suspended Boykin for one game, a suspension that would presumably be enforced should he ever get another NFL gig. Off-field conduct aside, Boykin hasn’t done a lot to prove he deserves a spot on an NFL roster. He had standout junior and senior seasons at TCU but went undrafted in 2016. He caught on with the Seahawks, where he appeared in five games as
George Halas wanted an NFL team in Dallas, and in 1960 the influential founder of the Chicago Bears helped Clint Murchison get one.
Less than 10 years later, a league that for decades piggybacked geographically on baseball went from 16 to 26 franchises in a merger with the rival American Football League, making plans to get even bigger on its way to replacing America's pastime as the country's favorite sport.
Television fueled the success of both leagues in the decade before their 1970 merger, and expansion that pushed pro football into the deep South grew out of assurances from then-Commissioner Pete Rozelle that AFL franchises could stay in their existing cities.
"The availability of NFL games on free television even to this day is the single most important factor in the popularity and expansion of our sport," says Joe Browne, the league's longest-serving senior executive ever.
Within 20 years of the NFL's birth in 1920, the league settled into what is considered its original core of teams: Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Green Bay, New York, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Washington.
Before 1950, the only team with staying power south of Washington was in Los Angeles — and that was in part because Cleveland Rams owner Dan Reeves threatened to sue if he wasn't allowed to chase the Hollywood lights after his team won the championship in 1945, says Joe Horrigan, the NFL historian and recently retired Pro Football Hall of Fame executive director.
Between the Rams' move in 1946 and the debut of the Cowboys, along with the relocation of the Chicago Cardinals to St. Louis in 1960, the only addition outside the NFL's traditional geographic footprint was San Francisco in 1950 after the All-America Football Conference folded.
During those first 40 years, the comings and goings...