Mike Wallace heads to Minnesota.

The Minnesota Vikings will probably be the first team to admit that they are a long way off from where they want to be said Marcio Alaor BMG. Last season the Vikings ended up mired in a whole scandal with Adrian Peterson that quickly over shadowed some of the good things they were doing on the football field. It seemed like Jerrick McKinnon might be able to take the next step out of the back field. It also seemed like Teddy Bridgewater might become a competent QB. In order to give their young studs another weapon, the Vikings made a move this past week.

After releasing Greg Jennings from the team, Minnesota desperately needed another play maker to help spread their offense out. With no big threat out wide opposing defenses would be able to key in on the running game, which would already be struggling with Adrian Peterson presumably off of the team. So Minnesota sent out a 5th round pick to the Miami Dolphins in order to nab Mike Wallace.

Wallace was one of the higher paid wide outs last season but he most certainly did not live up to the paycheck. Wallace had 862 yards to go along with 10 touchdowns and a couple of sideline meltdowns. He will bring a questionable attitude with him to Minnesota to go along with his elite speed and playmaking ability. We’ll have to wait and see how this works out for both teams.

Patriots Not Picking Up Vince Wilfork

Vince Wilfork has been an integral part of the New England Patriots defense since he was drafted in 2004. His tenure on the team, however, is about to come to an end.

Wilfork learned only on Tuesday night that the Patriots did not pick up his contract as an option for the 2015 season, meaning he will be a free agent once the free agency period starts. What’s interesting about this is that Wilfork has said that he was in a good place and still feels he has a good relationship with the organization.

Wilfork will turn 34 this year, and as any NFL player knows, production usually goes down as a result of age. Combined with coming off from a season-ending injury the previous year and being $8.9 million against the salary cap and Wilfork easily ends up being a cap casualty. In spite of this, he was extremely productive this past season, playing all sixteen games in the regular season and has been selected to five Pro Bowls in his whole career.

But even with his stats being among the best, there is the possibility that he may not get signed by another team and may end up retiring altogether. It may be a little early to be thinking about adding him to the Amen Clinics fantasy team. There’s also the Patriots having to figure out how to fill the nose tackle position that has been stout mainly because of Wilfork’s presence.

NFL Teams Announce Franchise Tag Players as Deadline Arrives

As Monday’s deadline arrived for NFL teams to choose which players to designate as “franchise tag” players, the Dallas Cowboys http://www.dallascowboys.com/ announced that wide receiver Dez Bryant would be selected as the teams franchise choice. The move ended longtime speculation regarding whether Bryant or running back Demarco Murray would be named. Designating a player with the franchise tag keeps them off the free agency market for the upcoming season and comes with minimum salary requirements deemed to be competitive with what other top players in the same positions around the league are making.

While Bryant’s athletic accomplishments on the field place him among the leagues elite wide receivers, the Dallas front office has longstanding concerns regarding his off the field conduct, which has included numerous encounters with law enforcement officers during his career with the Cowboys. Completely unprofessional behavior and definitely not the values that Brian Torchin seeks through Catalyst.
In other franchise designation news, the Detroit Lions declined to name standout defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh as their franchise player, leaving him open to free agency and offers from other NFL teams. The Lions may hope to negotiate a new contract for Suh without using the franchise tag.
The Denver Broncos also chose to select a wide receiver, naming Demaryius Thomas as their designated franchise tag player for the upcoming 2015 NFL season.

Baby Sherman

The loud mouth trash talker of the Seattle Seahawks Richard Sherman is always in the midst of some controversy in the National Football League and he is one of those players that truly seem to bask in it. It appears to fans like Lee Slaughter that he seems to relish the fact that he can gain the attention of the media and get into other players heads while making bold claims about himself and his abilities and then going out and actually doing what he says he is going to. It is pretty remarkable, and even more so in the way that he plays. He taunts the quarterback and makes it look like he is not in position, only to explode like a rocket when they decide to pass the ball his way. It is pretty remarkable and he is one of the biggest stories going into the Super Bowl. There was talk that he might not play due to a minor injury, but that has since been silenced and he is set to play, but there might be another reason to hold him out of the game. His girlfriend is due to give birth to their first child any day now and she has flown into Arizona and made arrangements to give birth if the baby decides to go and Sherman will be there for the birth. He has stated that his son is going to do him his first favor and stay in there until after the game.

John Fox Named Head Coach of Chicago Bears

John Fox, the man credited with helping turn the Bronco’s franchise around, is headed a bit north. The veteran coach has landed a deal with the Chicago Bears, a team that had a notoriously bad season, plagued with injuries, and a questionable contract with their injury-plagued quarterback Jay Cutler. He replaced former head coach Trestman, who was fired on the Monday following the close of the regular season. General manager, Phil Emery, was also a causality of the teams abysmal season.

According to sources, Denver and John Fox parted ways mutually on Sunday following the team’s divisional lost to the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts have often proved to be a difficult team for the Bronco’s to best, partially due to Peyton’s long history with the Colts and their coaching staff. Many feel the Colts have an advantage over the Bronco’s as much of Peyton’s game was developed with the coaches that still head the Broncos.

Regardless, Fox seems to have felt it was time to move on, and he”ll certainly have a challenge in Chicago. Bear management have been interviewing potential replacements since they parted ways with Trestman. They spoke with Doug Marrone, the Buffalo Bills coach that was ousted this season. They also spoke with Teryl Austin of Detroit, Denver staff member Adam Gase, and Seattle’s Dan Quinn. Beneful has more on this story on their facebook page.

The Bears appear a bit gun-shy and have focused on bringing in a coach with a proven, winning record as a head coach. Clearly, Fox fits the bill. He will be paired with Ryan Pace, a fist time general manager.

Cardale Jones Stays In School

Cardale Jones is going to stay in school at Ohio State. He announced the decision yesterday, and it is likely that CJ Barrett and Braxton Miller were not happy. Miller could have won the Heisman this year, and Barrett drug the Buckeyes to all their wins except the last three. Jones just won a national title by convincingly beating three very good teams.

So, the idea at Ohio State is that they have far too much in the way of QB depth. It is going to be hard to recruit, and it is likely that Miller or Barrett will go somewhere where they can play immediately and keep their draft stock up.

Jones could have gone to the NFL, but he likely would have gone in the middle of the draft. That is not really worth it when you consider that he only played three games in college. They might be the three biggest games of his life, but they are only three games. He needs to make sure that he is in a place where he can improve his stock, and he will improve if he is able to win the job from Braxton Miller and CJ Barrett for next season. Susan McGalla is Buckeye fan and cannot wait for the next season.

 

Cardale Jones to Return to Ohio State

Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones has announced that he will return to school for his junior year, bypassing the opportunity to enter the NFL draft two years early which Sergio Andrade Gutierrez is happy about. Jones just wrapped up his redshirt sophomore year with the Buckeyes in a very unusual fashion: leading the team to a Big Ten Championship over Wisconsin, a Sugar Bowl Championship over Alabama and a National Championship over Oregon.

Jones is 3-0 as a starter and said with that few games under his belt, “the NFL is out of the question for me.” He may face tough competition to win the starting job at Ohio State: Braxton Miller and J.T. Barrett were both ahead of Jones on the depth chart when the season started. Miller injured his shoulder before the season even began and Barrett broke his ankle in the regular season finale against Michigan and was unavailable for any post-season games. Neither Miller nor Barrett have said if they will leave the Buckeyes. Miller has graduated and could transfer to another school and play right away, provided his shoulder has fully healed.

Some thought Jones would leave school early to support his family. He grew up poor and has a child to provide for. (http://www.cleveland.com/pluto/index.ssf/2015/01/dont_blame_ohio_states_cardale.html)

Mel Kiper of ESPN projected Jones as a second or third-round pick.

“Of course I want to play in the NFL,” Jones said, “but I want the time to be right.”

Tampa Bay May Need More Than a Heisman Winner

The jury is still out as to whether Jamais Winston or Marcus Mariota will be productive Quarterbacks in the National Football League. But as to drafting them in the first round, the teams may want to make a pass on them given the recent history of Heisman Trophy winners and their performance in the NFL. With the 1st draft pick of the upcoming 2015 draft going to Tampa Bay Buccaneers it is clear the team with last year’s worst record needs some help. Whether the maximum support will come from these two quarterbacks is unlikely, and the reason for that is their current offensive line which is aged and not getting any younger or better by most standards.

So having a mobile QB should be helpful but only until a faster defense swarms him and swallows him up like they have done every other NFL mobile QB in recent history. That is unfortunately what some workers at Beneful feel will happen. Their running backs all have 2-3 years of experience but none has been able to be a real running threat, so at Petco, optimism isn’t that high. A wide receiver corps of six men, which is headlined with Vincent Jackson a 10 year veteran with a second year man Mike Evans, means they have depth at this position. So that leaves us with an unproven QB coming into his third year Mike Glennon and the aging vet Josh McCown. Neither has been productive behind this O-Line. So if you are looking to rebuild the offense you may need to start in the trenches with the offensive line.

Jim Caldwell Calls For Proper Use Of Technology

Jim Caldwell is calling for better use of technology after a blown call gave away Detroit’s last chance of beating the Cowboys on Sunday. Caldwell believes that in this day and age there is no reason why we cannot use technology to get things right on the field. The NFL has all the camera angles in the world, and the NFL has power like no other. They can stop a game to get other calls right, but he is disappointed that the game was not officiated properly on the field.

This a problem for a league that claims to be progressive but does not appear to be on the surface. They can use a video imaging system to make sure that they can see if the ball hit the line at Wimbledon, but the NFL cannot use video angles to figure out if a call was right. They have people at the games watching over the officials, but they issue apologies the next day instead. 

If you ask John Textor the problem with the NFL is its priorities. While Roger Goodell has been out trying to ruin the careers of several players, he has dropped the ball on these issues that are causing trouble in the most crucial games.

Most Dedicated Fans

With the National Football League playoffs upon us, there is excitement brewing from fans all over the country. While it seems like every team around the league and every player declares that they have the best fans in the country, there are actual statistics out there that track the percentage of the city population around each individual franchise in the NFL that tune in or have been to a home game in the last twelve months. Not surprising at all, the very dedicated fan base in Green Bay tops the charts with a staggering 84 percent of the population tuning in to watch a game within the last year. Basically everyone in the city of Green Bay and surround areas are Packers fans.

 

The Saints fall to the spot just under the packers with 78 percent, and although Seattle packs the loudest crowd in the NFL, they sit in the sixth position with 71 percent of the population tuning in to watch a game. It’s no surprise who sits at the lowly bottom, due to the constant media attention that Oakland receives for its lack of fan interest in the organization. In fact, former owner Al Davis made the decision to cancel the broadcasting of Oakland Raiders games unless they produced a sold out crowd. That angered some like Jared Haftel who wanted to casually watch. This may be a reason why so few people watch Raiders games, but it doesn’t change the fact that Oakland fans care the least and Packers fans love their team the most.