Monthly Archives: March 2016

NFL-National Football League roundup (Reuters)

The Cincinnati Bengals officially signed linebacker Karlos Dansby, a free agent who led the Cleveland Browns in tackles last season, to a one-year contract Wednesday. The Bengals also reached a contract agreement with free agent wide receiver Brandon LaFell, who spent the past two seasons with the New England Patriots. Dansby, 34, started every game for the Browns in 2015, recording 108 tackles and three interceptions, with two for touchdowns.

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NFL draft profile: Alabama C Ryan Kelly, safest pick in the draft? (Shutdown Corner)

Shutdown Corner is counting down the top 50 prospects in the 2016 NFL draft with a scouting report, quotes from NFL evaluators and a projection where they might be drafted. 35. Alabama C Ryan Kelly 6-foot-4, 311 pounds Key stat : Committed one penalty in his past 23 games, a stretch of more than 1,500 snaps. Kelly also didn’t allow a sack in 15 games, including playoffs, in the 2015 season. [ Follow Yahoo Sports draft expert Eric Edholm on Facebook and Twitter ] The skinny : Blue-collar leader who took over for decorated Crimson Tide center Barrett Jones and elevated the play at the position in some respects, despite being slowed down by two separate MCL injuries in 2013 and again in 2014. Kelly handled all the line calls, challenged teammates to get better and helped steady an offense that occasionally was plagued by up-and-down QB play. His experience in big games against SEC competition and in playoff contest the past two years are considered big plusses. Kelly had a solid workout at the combine and at his pro day, but what wowed scouts was his nearly 80-inch wingspan, which has led some teams to believe he could be a five-position player on the offensive line if needed. Grandstanding: A Yahoo Sports podcast Subscribe via iTunes or via RSS feed Best-suited destination: There aren’t many teams for which Kelly would not be an asset, and he’s the type of player who could fit in a veteran, businesslike locker room such as that of the New England Patriots or go to an up-and-coming team such as the Jacksonville Jaguars or Tampa Bay Buccaneers and emerge as a rookie leader right away and help the growth of a young quarterback immensely. The Rimington Award winner could fit in a man- or zone-blocking scheme and play center, guard or perhaps even tackle.   Reason he’ll rise in draft : The combination of smarts, toughness, experience and versatility makes Kelly one of the safer picks in the draft. Teams will know exactly what they’re getting, and finding centers with those traits has proven to be difficult the past few years. Reason he’ll fall in draft : How high do you take a center who might not be the most athleticially blessed player? Quicker players have given Kelly a bit of trouble, and he struggled to handle Clemson’s bulky nose tackle D.J. Reader, a fringe NFL prospect, in the national title game. A history of knee problems (Kelly also had a torn ACL, LCL in high school) could get the medical folks a little yippy. Kelly might have showed up at the combine at 311 pounds, but scouts note that he was playing in the 290-300 range most of last season. Scouting hot take : “One of the easier write-ups I did this year. He’s just a quality center. They asked him to be a little stronger in the run game before last season and it showed. Nick [Saban] breeds tough guys down there. Guys knock [Kelly] for not being a great athlete, but he tested better than Max Unger and John Sullivan. I love the guy.” — NFC area scout Player comp : Travis Frederick Expected draft range : Second round Previous profiles 50. Ohio State WR Braxton Miller 49. Indiana OT Jason Spriggs 48. Florida DL Jonathan Bullard 47. Texas Tech OT Le’Raven Clark 46. Arkansas TE Hunter Henry 45. Oklahoma WR Sterling Shepard 44. Michigan State QB Connor Cook 43. West Virginia S Karl Joseph 42. Michigan State DE-OLB Shilique Calhoun 41. Notre Dame WR Will Fuller 40. Pitt WR Tyler Boyd 39.  Oklahoma State DE Emmanuel Ogbah 38. Alabama DE-DT A’Shawn Robinson 37. Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott 36. Memphis QB Paxton Lynch More on NFL prospects – – – – – – – Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Eric_Edholm  

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Browns sign RG3, quarterback gets fresh start after fall (The Associated Press)

Robert Griffin III is getting a chance to revive a career that once seemed unstoppable. One of the NFL’s brightest and flashiest stars just a few years ago, Griffin signed Thursday with the Cleveland Browns, a franchise on a perpetual mission to find a quarterback. Griffin hasn’t been the same since his dazzling rookie season in Washington in 2012, when RG3 – possessed with a rocket arm, a tailback’s speed and endless swagger – burst onto pro football’s stage.

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Nose tackle Ian Williams signs one-year deal with 49ers (The Associated Press)

Free agent nose tackle Ian Williams signed a one-year contract Wednesday with the San Francisco 49ers. On March 9, Williams reached agreement on a five-year deal that was restructured once his doctors in Miami shared findings about an undisclosed injury with the 49ers medical staff. Williams underwent four surgeries near the ankle – having screws and plates put in and then removed – and began the 2014 training camp on the physically unable to perform list following an offseason setback.

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Miami’s Ross: Miko Grimes’ behavior played role in Brent’s release (Shutdown Corner)

If the Miami Dolphins wanted to move on from 32-year old cornerback Brent Grimes this offseason because he reportedly refused to take a pay cut, that is their right. Though he was a Pro Bowler all three seasons he wore a Dolphins uniform, Miami believed Grimes, who was scheduled to make $8 million in 2016, was expendable. But Grimes’ outspoken wife, Miko, made headlines on numerous occasions last year, most notably letting her feelings on quarterback Ryan Tannehill be known, and getting arrested before a home game last season (all charges were dropped). And according to Dolphins’ owner Stephen Ross, Miko’s conduct is part of the reason the team cut her husband. ” I’m not going to get down to that level,” Ross told reporters on Tuesday at the NFL annual meeting. “I think everybody knows what she represented and I thought it was best the Dolphins move on from Brent and Miko.”  For her part, Miko tweeted (her self-imposed Twitter break lasted less than 24 hours) that Ross “knows better” than to disrespect her and he “doesn’t have a clue in real life.” The Tampa Bay Buccaneers clearly have no issues with Brent or Miko, as they signed him to a two-year, $13.5 million contract not long after he was released, and on Tuesday Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan told reporters he would have liked to bring Brent to his club, but the Bills couldn’t afford him . But while Ross was handing out blame, he didn’t apparently see that he’s to blame when he said Tannehill needs to get “the right kind of coaching” to reach his potential. In case Ross has forgotten, he’s the one who hired former head coach Joe Philbin and then gave him a contract extension before firing after a 1-3 start last season.

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