Monday, March 6, 2017

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Why The #Bengals Should Sign DeSean Jackson In Free Agency

A.J. & D-Jax were voted the two best deep threats in the NFL

In a 2009 interview, Lewis even said he believed Jerome Simpson and DeSean Jackson would both be great players. During the second-round of the 2008 NFL Draft, the Bengals had a chance to draft DeSean Jackson but instead picked Jerome Simpson. Simpson struggled for years, while Jackson became one of the most electric Pro Bowl receivers in the game. Scheduled to hit free agency in 2017, DeSean and the Bengals could be an ideal match.

DeSean Jackson played for the Philadelphia Eagles from 2008-2013 where he made the Pro Bowl three times (2009, 2010, 2013). He was released by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2014. This was the first of many idiotic decisions made by former Eagles head coach Chip Kelly. At the time, the Bengals had Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu, so there wasn't a reason to consider Jackson.

 Jackson eventually signed with the Redskins and went on to have two productive seasons in 2014 and 2016 totaling 2,174 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns. 2015 was a year in which Jackson was plagued with injuries where he only recorded 528 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns. Although he has a knock for being injured, he actually has remained relatively healthy throughout his career.

There are several reasons I believe DeSean Jackson and the Bengals could have mutual interest. 

Lewis grew up with Jackson's mom
I. His relationship ties to Marvin Lewis
The first reason would be DeSean's mother. Marvin Lewis grew up with DeSean Jackson's mother and his grandfather was  Marv's minister.

James Urban coached Jackson in Philly
II. James Urban

The second connection is Bengals' wide receiver coach James Urban. One would believe that Urban and D-Jax would have been familiar with each other while in Philly. Urban was the offensive quality control and quarterbacks coach for the Eagles from 2008-2010.

Jackson played in Gruden's style of the west coast offense
III. Familiarity with the Bengals' offense
DeSean played in Jay Gruden's offense and was productive as a result. The Bengals still run Gruden's offense to this day. This would make it easier for D-Jax to grasp the offense quickly, something a rookie wouldn't be able to do.

IV. Speed & playmaking ability
James Urban said recently that the Bengals could be in the market for a deep threat. DeSean Jackson showed in 2016 that he hasn't lost a step when it comes to speed. DeSean ranked as the number two deep threat in the NFL behind A.J. Green in 2016. DeSean is the exact weapon that the Bengals and quarterback Andy Dalton need. Since Marvin Jones left, they have been looking for a weapon that can take off the top of a defense. Who better than DeSean Jackson?

DeSean could be a steal value in FA
V. Price Value
With a robust free agent wide receiver market, a strong draft class, and his age of 30, Jackson may not command a huge deal. He is projected by Spotrac to have a projected market contract value of two years $15.2 million. This would mean Jackson would have an average salary of $7.6 million per year. This is great value considering that Alshon Jeffery could land $15 million in salary per season. The Bengals would likely see a great return on this investment if Jackson can be had at this price.

A.J. was vocal about signing free agents this offseason
VI. Appeasing A.J. Green | Winning Environment
In a recent interview, A.J. Green said he would like the Bengals to be active in free agency. If the Bengals were able to retain Whitworth and sign Jackson, you would have to think that would be enough to satisfy Green. The Bengals would not only provide DeSean with a decent deal, but also the chance to win. Most believe DeSean could return to Philly, but Philly is a long way away from contending. At the age of 30 and if the money is close, I believe DeSean would lean towards playing for a winner.

Adding D-Jax could increase draft options
VII. Draft Flexibility
By signing Jackson, the Bengals would allow themselves a ton of draft flexibility with the need of receiver minimized. This would allow for the Bengals to use those 11 draft picks to add depth at linebacker, edge rusher, offensive line and running back.

Just think about it for a minute. A.J. Green, DeSean Jackson & Tyler Eifert on the field at the same time...Seems like a recipe for insomnia for a lot of defensive coordinators. I believe DeSean could be the missing piece in the Bengals offense and take this team to the next level. We will get to see if it happens in the upcoming weeks. 
When you have to defend AJ, D-Jax, & Eifert on the same play

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

John Thornton Talks #Bengals Free Agency,Draft,Ownership;Fournette

Former Bengals DT & current sports agent John Thornton stops by to discuss his experience with Cincinnati Bengals as a player and as an agent. He speaks on topics ranging from front office operations, the upcoming 2017 free agency, Leonard Fournette, Myles Jack, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Joe Mixon & the upcoming NFL draft.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Why The #Bengals Should Pass on Chance Warmack

There’s been a lot of talk amongst fans suggesting that the Bengals should look into signing free-agent guard Chance Warmack when Kevin Zeitler leaves in free agency. Warmack was drafted as the tenth pick in the first-round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He was considered by draft pundits to be an elite talent at the time, but after four seasons with the Titans, he simply hasn’t lived up to the hype. In reality, Warmack has been below average at best and the Bengals should look to avoid considering him as a replacement.

Most columnists widely consider Chance Warmack a bust. He has consistently struggled in the run game and in pass protection. In 2015, PFF graded Warmack 62nd out of 82 guards in the NFL. Greg Cosell said on Nashville radio that Warmack stands out more often in a negative way than a positive one and is not living up to his draft status. If that isn’t convincing enough, the fact that the Titans declined to pick up his fifth-year option for the upcoming season should speak volumes.

Some people have looked at the success of the Titan’s offensive line in 2016 and assume Warmack is good by association. The problem is, Warmack only played two games in 2016 due to a controversial season ending injury to his middle finger. The coaching staff believe Warmack could’ve played through the injury.  The Titans’ offensive line played better without Warmack. After the 2016 season, PFF graded the Titans’ unit 1st overall.   After the 2015 season when Warmack played, PFF graded the Titans’ unit 25th overall. WalterFootball ranked Warmack 13th overall on their 2017 Free Agent Guards list referring to him as “awful”.

Chance Warmack obviously is not good by any stretch. The Bengals should avoid him as a potential option in free agency. Warmack clearly would be a huge downgrade for the Bengals at guard. The team would be better off with another free agent, a current player on the roster, or a draft prospect. They shouldn’t feel the need to take a chance on Warmack. (Pun intended)

Monday, February 13, 2017

Podcast Episode 31: Chance Warmack Is Not Good

On a bonus episode of NSC, I talk about the exact reason why Kevin Zeitler won't be back, why Chance Warmack shouldn't be considered, Andrew Norwell & where Zeitler could land.
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Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Real Reason Why Kevin Zeitler Will Likely Leave The #Bengals In NFL Free Agency

Offensive Guard Kevin Zeitler
Kevin Zeitler became a key anchor on the Bengal's offensive line and helped form one of the best units in the NFL from 2013-2015. Zeitler seemed to follow in the footsteps of former Bengals All-Pro guard Eric Steinbach. While the Bengal's offensive line struggled in 2016, Zeitler received a PFF top run blocking grade of 83.1. With a report by Paul Dehner on an unlikely extension,  it appears that Zeitler's days as a Bengal may have come to an end.

Kevin Zeitler's agent, Joe Panos
Before the 2016 season, the Bengals and Zeitler were unable to come to terms on a contract extension. 700 WLW's Dave Lapham made the claim that the Bengals offered Zeitler $5.5 million per year average salary. If this indeed was the offer, it wasn't close to the average salary range that  Steeler's guard David DeCastro, received at $10 million per year in his extension. Lap's offer, if true, was more than likely offered before DeCastro agreed to his extension.

Another major factor working against the Bengals that most have overlooked is Zeitler's agency representation. Per Spotrac, Kevin Zeitler is represented by sports agent Joe Panos. According to the NFLPA, Panos is a member of Athletes First sports agency. Athletes First has inked players such as Von Miller, Josh Norman and Kelechi Osemele to historic positional deals.
Athletes First's Guard Kelechi Osemele

Last year, free agent guard Kelechi Osemele left the Baltimore Ravens for the Oakland Raiders in 2016 free agency. He signed a 5-year $60 million deal with an average salary of  $11.7 million per year. This was a historic contract for guards and as a result, reset the market. Since Zeitler is considered an elite guard and has the same representation as Osemele, it's safe to assume Panos will likely try to land similar compensation for him.

A. Rodgers & C. Matthews are both repped by Athletes First

There are several teams I believe could vouch for Zeitler's services in free agency. The Green Bay Packers could definitely be in play. With a reported $43 million in cap space and Zeitler's hometown location, it wouldn't surprise me if KZ landed there. Athletes First also represents current Packer's players Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews and their agency is based out of Wisconsin. The Redskins, Vikings, and Browns could also be potential landing spots for KZ due to their former Bengals coaching ties. The Broncos, 49ers, Jaguars, Panthers are likely options for Zeitler as well.

It appears the Bengals have realized Zeitler's market and have a contingency plan in place. The front office's philosophy has always been to assign high dollars to premium roster positions. The front office does not consider guard to be a premium position. This was proven when Eric Steinbach left in free agency for a lucrative deal with the Browns in 2007.

Bengals drafted Christian Westerman in 2016 
According to writer Geoff Hobson, Andrew Whitworth and Dre Kirkpatrick are the top priorities of the front office. The Bengals drafted Arizona State guard Christian Westerman in the fifth-round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Although Westerman didn't play last season, draft experts compared him to Falcon's Alex Mack. Hobson eluded to T.J. Johnson, Trey Hopkins, or Alex Redmond possibly replacing Zeitler as well.
Kevin Zeitler & Andrew Whitworth

My personal belief is that Kevin Zeitler should be the top priority in 2017 free agency. To me, Zeitler is an All-Pro guard and the better long term option for the offensive line. I know Andrew Whitworth is important, but he may only play for two more seasons at best. The Bengal's offensive line gave up 40 sacks with Zeitler during 2016 season. It would be scary to see how they would hold up without Zeitler.

At the same time, I also understand the Bengal's front office will have to execute some major extensions over the next three seasons. Geno Atkins, Carlos Dunlap, Vontaze Burfict, Jake Fisher and others will all be up for extension. These deals could all equal or exceed $10 million per year in average salary. After a little research into Zeitler's representation, it may be time to accept the strong possibility that KZ will no longer be in stripes going forward.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Moody's Mock: 2-Round NFL Mock Draft 2017

Courtesy of WalterFootball
Mock By:  @T.Moody 
1.  Browns: Myles GarrettDefensive EndTexas A&M 
Browns need a lot & Garrett is the best player in the draft to me. Cleveland gets a Franchise type player to build around on defense.

2.  49ers: Mitch TrubiskyQuarterbackNorth Carolina 
SF has needed a QB for awhile now. New coach Kyle Shanahan needs to get his guy to develop, so he reaches a bit here.

3.  Bears: Jonathan AllenDefensive TackleAlabama 
Teaming Allen with last year's 1st round pick Leonard Floyd & big free-agent acquisition Pernell Mcphee is just too enticing for the Bears. They need help on defense in the worse way.

4.  Jaguars: Jamal AdamsSafetyLSU 
I predict the Jags are going to lose Safety Jonathon Cyprien to free agency. So they need replace him with a bonafide stud & leader in Jamaal Adams. Suddenly, you have a great duo in the defensive backfield with Adams & Jalen Ramsey.

5.  Titans: Mike WilliamsWide ReceiverClemson 
Mariota needs someone to throw to and Kendall Wright isn't a #1 Wide Receiver & will probably leave via free agency. Titans get a home run pick here.

6.  Jets: Marshon LattimoreCornerbackOhio State 
Revis is old, Jets secondary was atrocious last season. Lattimore has the potential to be a #1 Cornerback in the league.

7.  Chargers: Malik HookerSafetyOhio State 
Hooker is special, some say his ball skills rival soon to be hall of famer Ed Reed. 'Nuff said!

8.  Panthers: Leonard FournetteRunning BackLSU 
Fournette will help the entire Panthers offense get back to where they play their best ball............smashmouth football!

Foster has All-pro potential, place him in the middle of your defense & he will hold down the position for the next 7-10 yrs. Combining him with Vontaze will have opposing RBs, WRs, & TEs scared to cross the middle. Good luck to the rest of the AFC North!

10.  Bills: DeShone KizerQuarterbackNotre Dame 
Tyrod probably won't be a Bill next season. Enter Deshone Kizer. He has the strong arm to make NFL throws, he just needs to develop his technique & be more consistent.

11.  Saints: Solomon ThomasDefensive EndStanford 
Thomas can be special, he moves all around the defensive line. He can rush the passer at 3-4 OLB, 4-3 DE; 4-3 DT. Just put him on the field & watch him work.

12.  Browns: Deshaun WatsonQuarterbackClemson 
Watson is a gamer, he shows up when you need him to. Hue Jackson will likely let him sit until he thinks he has a good enough offensive line to protect his prize QB.

13.  Cardinals: Sidney JonesCornerbackWashington 
Jones is the cousin of Pro Bowl LB Vontaze Burfict, so there are some bloodlines here. Jones is a smooth athlete with good man-to-man coverage skills, he may need to add some weight, though.

14.  Colts: Ryan RamcyzkOffensive TackleWisconsin 
New GM should want to protect the franchise (Andrew Luck). Get Luck some help ASAP!

15.  Eagles: Corey DavisWide ReceiverWestern Michigan 
Some say he's better than Mike Williams. While I disagree, I still think Corey Davis is a stud WR with #1 WR potential. Wentz is jumping up & down when the Eagles make this pick.

16.  Ravens: Derek BarnettDefensive EndTennessee 
Barnett drops out of the top 10 over concerns about his ceiling. Ozzie runs to the podium to put this pick in. T-Sizzle is old now, Barnett can start at 3-4 OLB from day one.

17.  Redskins: Dalvin CookRunning BackFlorida State 
Cook may be the best RB in this draft, he's a home run threat from anywhere on the field. Jay Gruden will have lots of fun with his new toy.

18.  Titans: Quincy WilsonCornerbackFlorida 
The Titans have already drafted WR Mike Williams, now they need to address the secondary. Why not start with Wilson, who I believe can be a pro bowler. Good size, good technique; good upside.

19.  Buccaneers: O.J. HowardTight EndAlabama 
O.J. is a stud. I believe he wasn't used to his potential at Bama. Mainly because Bama is a ball control offense, good for Jameis & company though as they get the best tight end in this draft.

20.  Broncos: Cam RobinsonOffensive TackleAlabama 
Denver's offensive line was one of the reasons why they didn't get back to the playoffs. I think Cam is better suited for the right side in the pros. Either way, he upgrades the Broncos line & can start from day one.

21.  Lions: Taco CharltonDefensive EndMichigan 
The Lions need a rusher opposite Pro Bowler Ezekial Ansah in the worse way. The Lions only has 26 sacks in 2016. Taco will struggle early on, but I believe he starts to get it by the end of the season.

22.  Dolphins: Takkarist McKinleyDefensive EndUCLA 
Raw! Relentless. He needs to develop some technique & pass rush moves. The potential is there, though.

23.  Giants: Garett BollesOffensive TackleUtah 
Sleeper pick here. He's a good athlete but just has to get stronger. This allows former 1st-round pick, Ereck Flowers to move to the right side where he belongs.

24.  Raiders: Gareon ConleyCornerbackOhio State 
The third Ohio State secondary player to come off the board in the 1st-round. He's talented & has NFL size. He's very raw, but with time he can be good.
25.  Texans: Dan FeeneyOffensive GuardIndiana Texans don't have a lot of holes, but they do need some offensive line help after losing guard Brandon Brooks last year. Feeney fits the Texans scheme also. Good spot for Feeney.

26.  Seahawks: Forrest LampOffensive TackleWestern Kentucky 
Some say he's the best offensive lineman in the draft & compare him to Zach Martin. I'm not going that far, but he's good & versatile enough to play right tackle also.

27.  Chiefs: Jarrad DavisOutside LinebackerFlorida 
Veteran ILB Derrick Johnson is getting long in the tooth, he's still a good LB, though. Davis is going to be an enforcer in the league. He's one of the hardest hitters in this class. KC could use the toughness of Davis.

28.  Cowboys: Charles HarrisDefensive EndMissouri 
Dallas doesn't have a lot of holes, but with former 2nd-round pick, Randy Gregory suspended, the Cowboys take BPA. To me, that player is Edge Rusher, Charles Harris.

29.  Packers: Jalen TaborCornerbackFlorida 
Green Bay secondary was horrible, they need all the help they can get. Tabor may need some time, but he will be starting the season's end. Also, the Packers released long time corner Sam Shields, so they have to replace him.

30.  Steelers: Marlon HumphreyCornerbackAlabama 
Pittsburgh drafted Artie Burns last year. Why not get him a running mate. Humphrey has all the tools to be a good corner in the league. He struggles with the deep ball at times, has to be more disciplined.

31.  Falcons: David NjokuTight EndMiami 
Atlanta has a stacked young roster. They could use a TE though. Njoku is a good receiving TE, just don't ask him to block.

32.  Patriots: Christian McCaffreyRunning BackStanford 
One of the most dangerous playmakers in the draft lands right in the lap of Tom Brady & this great New England offense. McCaffrey does everything, he can catch, run, block, return punts & kicks. Just like how Bill likes his players............. VERSATILE!

Round 2