Posted on: March 8, 2012 9:16 am
Edited on: March 8, 2012 2:45 pm

Has Manning already narrowed his choices?

Peyton Manning insists he's made no decision on his possible NFL destination. Sure, Peyton. Sure.

No one in the league believes that. They think Manning has a short list but doesn't want to publicly admit it so he can maximize the inevitable bidding war.

One team official that contacted Manning's agent, Tom Condon, says he got the definite impression that Manning indeed has already decided where he wants to go, or, at least, the handful of teams truly in the mix. The official, who did not want to be identified, believes that Miami, Washington and Denver are the front-runners. One report states Manning has already informed the Redskins he doesn't want to play for them.

But the official conceded the front-runner will be the team that, in the end, offers the most guaranteed money.

The official believes that contrary to some reports, Manning is indeed open to playing in the NFC, even in the NFC East where his brother Eli, is obviously king of the division.

It's still early in the process but one thing is clear: the Manning derby is fully under way and, despite his public protestations, Manning likely already has a good idea of where he wants to go.

Category: NFL
Posted on: February 23, 2012 4:10 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2012 4:11 pm

Peyton Manning's giant shadow hasn't left Indy

INDIANAPOLIS -- Peyton Manning remains everywhere. The coach of the Colts at a press conference here was asked about him. The Arizona Cardinals wouldn't rule out Manning coming to their team. Jets coach Rex Ryan wouldn't rule out Manning coming to his team. That should be Manning's nickname: Won't Rule Out.

Manning is associated with seemingly every team that needs a quarterback or has a quarterback that stinks. In Florida, fans are putting up billboards in a desperate attempt to lure him there.

So as Manning overshadowed the Super Bowl he does the same at the combine. He remains the biggest topic here. At the Super Bowl, he dwarfed Tom Brady and his brother Eli. Now, he minimizes Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin.

The Colts coach and general manager both said they had no new news on Manning and neither had seen him throw. He remains the hottest topic in football despite there being nothing original to report.

Manning and Irsay are talking but there isn't any clear indication a resolution is near. This could go down to the final day. The question is why? Everyone, including Manning and Jim Irsay, knows this relationship is over.

So everyone waits and while everyone does Manning remains the biggest story in football...still.

Category: NFL
Posted on: January 20, 2012 6:34 pm

Source: Dolphins hire Joe Philbin

The Miami Dolphins have completed their coaching search and hired Joe Philbin, according to a team source.

Philbin was the Packers' offensive coordinator and by many accounts he is one of the league's bright young talents. Now, it's easy to be a bright young talent when you have Aaron Rodgers as the quarterback but Philbin is still extremely innovative.

The Dolphins need an offensive mind and it also doesn't hurt the Dolphins that Philbin is tied to Matt Flynn, the quarterback in Green Bay.

A source close to Flynn told me that Flynn would "love to the challenge of being a starter" but emphasized he's loyal to the Packers. But if you had to wager don't put a lot of cash on Flynn staying in Green Bay.

It's been an emotional ride for Philbin and his family. Philbin lost his son in a tragic accident and now, just a short time later, he's set to become coach of the Dolphins.
Category: NFL
Tags: Dolphins, NFL, Packers
Posted on: January 8, 2012 3:30 pm
Edited on: January 9, 2012 7:33 am

Source: Fisher "95 percent certain" to coach Rams

Jeff Fisher continues to contemplate coaching the Rams or the Dolphins, though it is increasingly looking like Fisher has all but made a decision.

A source close to Fisher says the former Titans coach is "95 percent certain" he's going to accept an offer from the Rams. An official decision could come early next week.

Now, there's a caveat here, and it's a big one. It's the wallet of Miami owner Stephen Ross. It's very possible Ross makes a huge, final offer that could sway Fisher. So far, a source says, that hasn't happened.

But that doesn't mean it won't and that's the only reason, I'm told, it's not a totally done deal. Fisher is waiting for the final word from Ross.

A source also confirmed Fisher has a fear the Rams might move to Los Angeles, though that isn't said to be a deal-breaker.

But everything continues to point to Fisher coaching the Rams with the Ross wallet being the only possible hangup.

Category: NFL
Tags: Dolphins, Rams
Posted on: January 6, 2012 1:24 pm

Fisher faces classic choice

Jeff Fisher will make a decision soon and I'm told, for the moment, there's no clear favorite.

A source familiar with Fisher's thinking tells me Fisher's representation has discussed financial parameters of a deal with both Miami and St. Louis and for now Fisher is "completely torn" about where to go.

The source said Fisher would likely become one of the top five highest paid coaches in football if he went to the Dolphins. The source also said the deal Fisher's representation is discussing with the Rams may not be as lucrative. However, during his meeting with the Rams, I'm told, Rams officials pushed on Fisher the idea that he'd have a franchise quarterback in place.

In Miami, Fisher could make more money. With the Rams, he might have an easier route to a title because that team has a solid quarterback situation (not to mention a great running back situation).

People who know Fisher well say cash isn't foremost on his mind which is why Rams seem to be the likely landing spot.

But again, Fisher is genuinely torn, I'm told, and hasn't made a concrete decision.

And as I've reported before he is still looking to make a decision sometime early next week and though it remains unlikely don't be surprised if a surprise team jumps into the fray at the last second.

Category: NFL
Tags: Dolphins, Fisher, NFL, Rams
Posted on: December 28, 2011 9:10 am
Edited on: December 28, 2011 9:41 am

The Daily Shoutout: Jason Taylor Hall of Famer?

OPENING HIT: This week will likely be Jason Taylor's last game. The Miami Herald reported he will be retiring after a 15-year career. Is he a Hall of Famer?

This is what I do know. Taylor had the kind of career every player dreams to have. He played 15 seasons, a remarkable stint for a defensive lineman. He had a major impact on the sport as a top pass rusher. He had 139 1/2 career sacks. That is a staggering amount and he will finish his career trailing, as the Herald reported, only Bruce Smith, Reggie White, Kevin Greene, Chris Doleman and Michael Strahan. White might be the best defensive lineman of all time, Smith is probably top five, and Strahan deserves to be in the Hall. Again, Taylor is in good company.

Taylor was also a great representative of the sport. Now, that doesn't matter for the Hall of Fame. Lawrence Taylor is in the Hall of Fame and he was, ahem, not exactly a good dude. The Hall is all about numbers and impact but the fact Taylor wasn't snorting coke between snaps will help.

Back to the original question. Is Taylor a Hall of Famer? I'd probably vote for him. Longevity means a great deal to me and what Taylor did, play at a high level for a long time, means even more.
Category: NFL
Posted on: December 22, 2011 11:25 am

The Daily Shoutout: Brian Billick hot candidate?

OPENING HIT: This is an interesting one and it is one I don't quite get. But here goes: Brian Billick, I'm told by multiple NFL sources, is drawing interest from teams with coaching openings or potential ones. I even had one general manager tell me he was a "hot candidate."

Now, I like Billick. Very intelligent man. Not as smart as he sometimes thinks he is but very intelligent and while I thought his tenure as Baltimore coach was a good one -- he won a Super Bowl there -- I do wonder: Billick? A hot candidate?

It makes sense in some ways. See: Bowl. Super. Won it. Billick is a solid name an owner can sell to fans.

But as it was pointed out to me the fact Billick is a trending name might mostly be due to lack of other great candidates.

This is the bottom line. There aren't a large number of solid candidates out there. Indeed, this is one of the more down years for high profile candidates.

Many of the big names are in television studios and don't seem -- for the moment -- interested in returning. The worst secret in football is that Bill Cowher wants the Giants job and he'll likely stay in television if that doesn't open up (and it just might the way the Giants are playing). Jon Gruden seems content kissing player butt. Tony Dungy told the show "Pardon the Interruption" he's gotten offers but he's not coming back. Jimmy Johnson looks comfortable on Fox.

There aren't a lot of great college coaching candidates either.

So that leaves candidates like Billick and explains why he's getting interest. He's a proven winner. Has name recognition. Is a good public communicator. I could easily see Billick in Miami.

In a down year for big coaching prospects it is indeed possible Billick could be one of the big names.
Category: NFL
Tags: Billick, Dolphins, NFL
Posted on: October 28, 2011 10:48 am

The Daily Shoutout: Marshall guarantees win

OPENING HIT: Brandon Marshall tweeted this on Friday morning: "To: Media When we win Sunday please don't say the Giants didn't take us serious"

Now, a few things.

Brandon Marshall is guaranteeing a victory. Stupid.

He's on a winless Miami team and he's saying they'll beat the Giants and while he's at it, he's chastising the media. This comes on the heels of Marshall saying he was going to have a monster game against the Jets. He didn't have one.

I don't want to make too big a deal out of this but its moments like these when Marshall is hard to take. What you'd like to see from Marshall is just a guy putting his head down and busting his ass. Maybe Marshall is doing some of that but tweets like that one make him look foolish. Why in the hell is someone on a winless team guaranteeing victories?

Just shut up and play.

Is that too much to ask?
Category: NFL
Tags: Dolphins
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