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Players who need to finally show their worth in 2015 (The Associated Press)
(Wed, 29 Jul 2015 23:56:10 PDT)
Alshon Jeffery proved himself last year as a prime target in Chicago. Everson Griffen showed his stuff as a sackmaster in Minnesota.

Falcons add depth for camp by signing DeMarcus Love (The Associated Press)
(Wed, 29 Jul 2015 13:41:17 PDT)
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) -- The Atlanta Falcons have made a move to bolster their offensive line depth before the start of training camp by signing tackle DeMarcus Love.

Quinn taking up-tempo approach to rebuilding Falcons (The Associated Press)
(Tue, 28 Jul 2015 17:02:42 PDT)
As Seattle's defensive coordinator, Dan Quinn helped lead Seattle to two straight Super Bowls, including one championship. Quinn opens his first training camp as Falcons coach on Friday trying to overhaul Atlanta's woeful unit. The Falcons allowed the most total yards and yards passing and tied for 30th in sacks in 2014, when they finished 6-10 for their second straight losing record.

Confident Winston ready to take over Bucs' offense (The Associated Press)
(Tue, 28 Jul 2015 17:01:37 PDT)
The large billboard standing on a major thoroughfare a few blocks from the home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers suggests an offensive explosion is on the horizon. Jameis Winston is preparing to lead it. ''Cannons will fire,'' reads the sign bearing an image of the top pick in the NFL draft presumably poised to throw a touchdown pass.

Bryant, Romo on track with Cowboys set to open training camp (The Associated Press)
(Tue, 28 Jul 2015 11:30:07 PDT)
Dez Bryant won't miss any of training camp because of a contract holdout, and Tony Romo won't need a crash course on conditioning in the mountains of the West Coast. Throw in the reduced season-opening suspension for defensive end Greg Hardy, and the focus will be just where the Dallas Cowboys want it for their first workout Thursday in Oxnard, California: starting preparation for what they hope is their first deep playoff run since winning the Super Bowl 20 years ago. The most significant development was locking up Bryant on a five-year, $70 million contract July 15, hours before a deadline that would have forced the emotional All-Pro receiver to play on a one-year deal - or not at all.

Most intriguing NFL team of 2015? Ranking the storylines of all 32 squads (Shutdown Corner)
(Tue, 28 Jul 2015 09:00:09 PDT)
This is a highly subjective list. Using my sophisticated OPI (Own Personal Intrigue) method, I carefully have ranked the teams in order of interest and intrigue prior to the 2015 NFL season. Please note: These are not power rankings. This is not how I think the 2016 NFL draft order will look. Nothing like that. Intrigue can be both bad and good. My top-ranked team here missed the postseason a year ago; my 32nd-ranked team made it. Hopefully, you get the idea. I’m just speculating which teams will be the most buzzworthy and boast the most fascinating storylines heading into the season. The Washington Redskins, for instance, have mastered the art of bad-team intrigue. [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football: Sign up and join a league today! ] And some might argue that for years, the New England Patriots — even as remarkable as their run has been — are the most boring good team out there. Of course, not this year. Not with deflate-gate and Tom Brady's suspension threatening to rule the first month of the season. So here they are, my indisputable OPI rankings heading into training camp.  The most intriguing team of 2015 is ...  1. Philadelphia Eagles — Chip Kelly: secret genius or mad scientist? This could be the year we find out. He enters Year Three having shuttled off nearly the entire roster he inherited — including many of the Eagles’ highest-regarded players. How are we not intrigued? One of his biggest imports, DeMarco Murray, he shockingly poached from the rival Dallas Cowboys. We will find out this season if Chip’s system — which is more about team building than some gimmicky offensive philosophy — is built to last. If Kelly reincarnates Sam Bradford and fixes that defense, it might be time to give it up, haters. But if Bradford struggles (or struggles to stay healthy), and the ball is put in the hands of Mark Sanchez or — gasp — Tim Tebow, it might be worrisome. You have to wonder, after Kelly missed out on landing Marcus Mariota, if finding a perfect-fit quarterback will forever be Kelly’s Camelot. 2. San Francisco 49ers — The attrition that has ravaged this team might have reached historical levels. After a strange, strained battle with ownership, Jim Harbaugh walked at what looks like precisely the right time. In his wake, the foundation of his steely squad either retired, was shipped out or left via free agency. Thrifty owner Jed York opted to go cheap — under the auspice of trust, dependability and locker-room harmony — in hiring the less-than-lucid Jim Tomsula (one game of head-coaching experience). There are scores of veterans trying to revive their careers — Aldon Smith, Colin Kaepernick, NaVorro Bowman, Vernon Davis, and more. There’s talent, but is there turmoil? The first half of the schedule, by the way, is brutal. 3. Buffalo Bills — Are you excited yet? Maybe you’re not the biggest Rex Ryan fan (you communist!), and maybe you’re laughing at their quarterback options. Fair enough. But maybe Tyrod Taylor — who beat out Russell Wilson for ACC Player of the Year in 2010 — is a secret killer, or at least not a total disaster. And everywhere else there is exciting talent, playing in a city dying to win for a coach who will do anything and everything he can to (a) stick it to the Jets, (b) beat Tom Brady and (c) deliver a winner to some long-suffering fans. The defense could be the league’s best, and there are playmakers littered throughout the offense. There’s something happening here — and some excitable personalities coming to town with Ryan, LeSean McCoy, Richie Incognito and Percy Harvin — and what it is ain't exactly clear. 4. New England Patriots — It has been a wild six months since they beat the Indianapolis Colts, setting the Bad Ship Deflate-gate into motion, stealing a Super Bowl win in mind-blowing fashion and watching Brady get dragged through the mud in the league’s phony and laughable attempt to uphold the integrity of the game . And while everyone knows that what doesn’t kill the Patriots tends to make them stronger, navigating their way back to another Super Bowl appears far tougher, with a stronger division, Brady turning 38 and the Patriots’ huge losses in the secondary. If they do win it all this year, it will be their fifth title. The significance of this: The Patriots would own 10 percent of all the Super Bowl championships. The title also would be Bill Belichick’s seventh, which would tie him all time with former Broncos and 49ers scout/administrator Neal Dahlen for the most in league history. 5. Dallas Cowboys  — The Dez Bryant signing removes a smidge of the drama, but it’s still a team we’ll be thinking about almost daily. Last season shocked me — I pegged their defense to be historically bad. And that’s why this season is so intriguing. For the first time, legitimately, the Cowboys are a Super Bowl contender for the first time in forever, and yet they’re missing a huge piece with Murray gone (to the hated Eagles, no less). The guys vying to replace him are a possibly washed-up back in Darren McFadden and a player guilty of shoplifting underwear and cologne last year in Joseph Randle. Randy Gregory and La’el Collins also will be fun to chart as high-profile rookies looking to make a lot of teams wish they hadn't passed them over in the draft. 6. Seattle Seahawks — Russell Wilson’s contract looms as one of the more fascinating negotiations in recent NFL history, textured by the fact that he’s coming off the haunting Super Bowl interception. His gift: a Marshawn Lynch contract extension and trades for receiving help in Jimmy Graham and Tyler Lockett. But Michael Bennett could hold out? And Earl Thomas will miss all of camp? Intrigue! In a certain way, these are the same Seahawks we’ve come to know, so there’s a ceiling to it, and there’s no reason to think they can’t get back to a third straight Super Bowl. But we’ll always be paying attention to what this outlaw bunch is doing and saying.

Fantasy Preview: Schedule (Rotoworld)
(Mon, 27 Jul 2015 21:01:00 PDT)
Evan Silva breaks down every NFL team from a fantasy perspective heading into the 2015 season. Check out the weekly schedule.

Atlanta Falcons Capsule (The Associated Press)
(Mon, 27 Jul 2015 07:04:51 PDT)
OPEN CAMP: July 31, Flowery Branch, Georgia.

Seattle Seahawks Capsule (The Associated Press)
(Mon, 27 Jul 2015 07:04:50 PDT)
OPEN CAMP: July 30, Renton, Washington.

Denver Broncos Capsule (The Associated Press)
(Mon, 27 Jul 2015 07:03:46 PDT)
OPEN CAMP: July 31, Englewood, Colorado.

2015 NFL training camps: 32 intriguing rookies to watch (Yahoo Sports)
(Sun, 26 Jul 2015 20:36:58 PDT)
Bucs QB Jameis Winston is obvious, but what other first-year guys should command the most attention during camps?

Buccaneers Fantasy Preview (Rotoworld)
(Sun, 26 Jul 2015 07:25:00 PDT)
How will Jameis Winston perform in his rookie campaign? Evan Silva explores in his 2015 Bucs Fantasy Preview.

Shutdown Countdown: Saints move in a different direction this offseason (Shutdown Corner)
(Sun, 19 Jul 2015 08:09:48 PDT)


Brett Favre returns to Lambeau for Packers Hall of Fame (The Associated Press)
(Sat, 18 Jul 2015 20:19:07 PDT)
Brett Favre headed up the Lambeau Field tunnel, a path that he had walked dozens of times. The Green Bay Packers' locker room was just down the hall on the right. The three-time MVP quarterback had his No. 4 jersey retired by the Packers on Saturday night before being inducted into the franchise's Hall of Fame in a ceremony inside Lambeau Field.

NFL-National Football League roundup
(Sat, 18 Jul 2015 15:42:22 PDT)
Quarterback Brett Favre was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame and had his No. 4 retired on Saturday in the Lambeau Field Atrium in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The 45-year-old Favre played for the Packers from 1992-2007 and led Green Bay to a 35-21 victory over the New England in Super Bowl XXXI at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans at the end of the 1996 season. Favre also played for the Atlanta Falcons (1991), New York (2008) and Minnesota Vikings (2009-2010).

Big weekend arrives for Favre, joining Packers Hall of Fame (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 17 Jul 2015 13:27:02 PDT)
The big weekend in Green Bay is finally here for Brett Favre. The former quarterback renowned for his durability and gunslinger mentality will be inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame and have his No. 4 jersey retired on Saturday. It's a day some Packers fans thought they might never see.

Shutdown Countdown: Hard to be optimistic about the 49ers (Shutdown Corner)
(Fri, 17 Jul 2015 08:53:11 PDT)


Shutdown Countdown: The Falcons have many issues to fix (Shutdown Corner)
(Thu, 16 Jul 2015 08:32:00 PDT)


Looking at the last playoff win for all 32 NFL teams: How long has your squad gone? (Shutdown Corner)
(Wed, 15 Jul 2015 19:50:47 PDT)
There are certain NFL franchises which, year in and year out, face the same old trite jokes about losing ... year in and year out. But do you know which team has had the longest drought without a playoff victory? The list might surprise you a bit. Seventeen of the 32 teams have won at least one playoff game in the past five seasons. But 11 teams — more than a third of the NFL! — have gone 10 seasons or more without a postseason victory. That's pain. We've compiled the list of playoff win droughts, from shortest to longest, and it might give you a new perspective for which teams have suffered the longest for playoff success: 32. New England Patriots Last playoff victory: February 1, 2015 (Super Bowl XLIX) Days since last playoff victory (as of July 15): 164 days You remember this play? Yeah, you might have seen it once or twice this offseason. 31. Seattle Seahawks Last playoff victory: January 18, 2015 (2014 conference championship game over Green Bay Packers) Days since last playoff victory (as of July 15): 178 days In one of the most remarkable playoff comebacks in league history, the Seahawks erased a 16-0 first-half Packers lead and a 19-7 edge with a little more than two minutes left to win in overtime. But hardly anyone talks about that now the way the subsequent Super Bowl ended. t-30. Green Bay Packers Last playoff victory: January 11, 2015 (2014 division round against Dallas Cowboys) Days since last playoff victory (as of July 15): 185 days Another classic and controversial victory — sealed when Dez Bryant's catch/non-catch was ruled incomplete — that has been somewhat lost in the narrative after the Packers couldn't finish the deal the following week. t-30. Indianapolis Colts Last playoff victory: January 11, 2015 (2014 division round against Denver Broncos) Days since last playoff victory (as of July 15): 185 days Andrew Luck was able to beat the man he replaced in Indy, Peyton Manning, who looked old and tired in the Broncos' home loss that started the clock on the Manning Retirement Watch. (An aside: How great were these past playoffs? We've just named four pretty incredible games, some of the best in recent postseason history, right out of the chute here.)

Broncos, Cowboys show faith in their star wide receivers (Shutdown Corner)
(Wed, 15 Jul 2015 13:17:06 PDT)
  Dallas Cowboys star Dez Bryant was the second-highest paid receiver in the NFL for less than an hour. Then Demaryius Thomas of the Denver Broncos joined him. It was humorous how the two each got five-year, $70 million deals in the hour before Wednesday's 4 p.m. ET deadline, with all the talk of collusion between the two teams beforehand . Wednesday was the last day for teams to sign franchise-tagged players to long-term deals. In a flurry of activity on Wednesday, four of the five got paid. Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston got a monster deal, getting $101 million over six years, the biggest deal in franchise history. New England Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski got paid too , getting four years and a little more than $17 million. Not bad for a kicker. The only franchise-tagged player who didn't get a long-term deal on Wednesday was New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, for reasons that we all understand. Pierre-Paul injured himself in a fireworks accident on July 4.  Although Bryant and Thomas didn't get as much as Houston, the commitment to them by their respective teams was significant. It sets a new bar for receivers, and many more will be getting their own big deals soon, like Julio Jones of the Atlanta Falcons and A.J. Green of the Cincinnati Bengals, not to mention the handful of apparent stars from the 2014 draft class.  The salary expectation has been raised for them. Mike Wallace of the Minnesota Vikings was the second-highest paid receiver in terms of his annual haul at about $12 million per year (let that sentence wash over you), a contract he got from the Miami Dolphins, and then No. 1 on the list was the incomparable Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions at a pretty big jump of about $16 million per year. Bryant and Thomas found a nice resting point in the middle of that gap at $14 million per year. [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football: Sign up and join a league today!l ] That's a sign of the times in the NFL. It's a passing league, and if huge money isn't going to running backs anymore, it has to go somewhere. Not too long ago the Cowboys might have paid running back DeMarco Murray, last season's NFL offensive player of the year, the money that Bryant got. But players like Bryant and Thomas are the difference makers, able to screw up a defense's plan with their ability to make plays. It took the Cowboys and Broncos a while to get to a deal with their star receivers, but in hindsight it was inevitable. Both teams know what those players mean to their ultimate goal of winning a Super Bowl. - - - - - - - Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab

HBO's John Oliver hits all the right notes on stadium funding rant (Shutdown Corner)
(Mon, 13 Jul 2015 07:14:57 PDT)
Giving professional sports owners many, many millions in taxpayer money to build new stadiums has never made sense, but it keeps happening. Most of us understand this is a scam. Studies have argued repeatedly that there's no real economic impact from a new stadium. There's no real economic impact on a city, county or state, that is. The economic impact for a pro sports owner is very real. That's why this will be the 21st straight season the NFL doesn't have a team in Los Angeles. The NFL is an incredibly smart business that makes a ton of money; if it thought having a team in Los Angeles would be a boon financially it would have happened long ago. They league figured out that not having a team in Los Angeles, and blackmailing taxpayers through threats of relocating their team to L.A., can pay off tremendously . And most logical people know and understand this concept, yet taxes are still allocated to new palaces for sports teams (or tax breaks or other favors are given to them). So when John Oliver, a British comedian who hosts "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" on HBO, went on a 19-minute rant about the topic on last week's show, it's not like we didn't know about the issue already. But it was still eye-opening and funny to see them all laid out in one place (WARNING: most of the clip is edited but there is some adult language in it): I mean, $12 billion spent on 51 facilities from 2000-2010? That money could have gone elsewhere. It's especially hard to swallow that the money went to sports owners who obviously make major profits, though they won't open their books even as they ask for and receive public funding for stadiums. Some of Oliver's points can be argued — he says teams keep all the profits, but a team like the San Francisco 49ers pays the city of Santa Clara $24.5 million in rent annually, according to The Atlantic , and other teams pay rent too — it's clearly a one-sided financial arrangement. The NFL is a repeat offender. According to a CNN story this year, $4.7 billion in taxpayer money has been used from 1997 to now to build 20 NFL stadiums (the Rams and Raiders left Los Angeles in 1994, by the way). Now the Chargers, Raiders and Rams are running the same scam, with the same tired media stories on the NFL's bluffing mechanisms to convince everyone that hey this is real, we're really moving to Los Angeles this time! .... Unless those cities get publicly funded stadiums, of course. It's tough, though. The cost of taking a stand is losing a team. If Milwaukee doesn't build a new arena for the Bucks, I'm quite sure the NBA wouldn't mind leaving that small market for Seattle or Las Vegas, as has been threatened. And that would serve as a warning to all other cities: Look what happened in Milwaukee, it could happen to you too if you don't give us tax money for an arena. Eventually, some city will not give in and the NFL will have to follow through on the Los Angeles threat. And it will be a tough day for that city when it loses its NFL team. So it's a tough question to answer. I'm sure people in Minnesota, Atlanta, New Orleans and other cities that have gotten stuck up by their NFL team get how awful and unfair it is that a billionaire owner is digging in their pockets so he can get a new stadium. It would probably have hurt more to lose the Vikings, Falcons or Saints, though, at least for those who root for those teams (pity on the taxpayers who pay for those stadiums and couldn't care less about football). Hopefully there's some way around this madness going forward. Oliver's piece pointed out how dumb it is. Common sense also tells us how awful this scam has been. - - - - - - - Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab

Chargers tight end Antonio Gates suspended 4 games (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 02 Jul 2015 15:28:31 PDT)
Antonio Gates' squeaky-clean image took a big hit Thursday when the San Diego Chargers' star tight end was suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2015 season for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances. The NFL said in a statement that Gates can participate in training camp and exhibition games. One of the NFL's top tight ends for more than a decade, Gates has had a Hall of Fame-caliber career after joining the Chargers as an undrafted rookie in 2003 following a college basketball career.

Cowboys LB Rolando McClain suspended for substance abuse (Shutdown Corner)
(Thu, 02 Jul 2015 12:24:14 PDT)


Running Back Target Rankings (Rotoworld)
(Fri, 26 Jun 2015 15:10:00 PDT)
Evan Silva takes a look at which teams targeted their running backs most last season, and how we might apply that to 2015.

Tom Pleads His Case (Rotoworld)
(Thu, 25 Jun 2015 08:46:00 PDT)
In this week's Bump and Run, Jesse Pantuosco looks at Tom Brady's appeal hearing and Terrelle Pryor's switch to wide receiver.

NFC Team-by-Team OTA Notes (Rotoworld)
(Wed, 24 Jun 2015 11:52:00 PDT)
Adam Levitan sifts through the news that came out during offseason practices to uncover useful fantasy nuggets. Doug Martin was a winner.

Russell Wilson remains silent on contract talks with Seattle (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 18 Jun 2015 17:03:31 PDT)
Russell Wilson wouldn't budge much Thursday when asked about his ongoing contract negotiations after the Seattle Seahawks finished up minicamp. Wilson is set to enter the final year of his rookie deal, which is worth $1.5 million in 2015. ''As you guys know, I'm not going to go into great detail about that at all,'' Wilson said.

Beasley ready to show Falcons they made right decision (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 18 Jun 2015 15:35:47 PDT)
Now that Vic Beasley has signed a four-year rookie contract and finished his first mini-camp, the rookie defensive end is eager for the next phase of his development with the Atlanta Falcons. Beasley, the NFL's No. 8 overall draft pick, must wait until the start of training late next month to show his new coaches and teammates what he can do in pads. Until then, Beasley plans to spend time with his family in Adairsville, Ga., and settle into his new life after receiving an $8.8 million signing bonus as part of a $14.5 million contract he signed last week.

Bill Callahan brings passion to Redskins (The Associated Press)
(Wed, 17 Jun 2015 17:57:57 PDT)
Bill Callahan coached the Oakland Raiders to the Super Bowl after the 2002 season. Last season as Dallas won the NFC East for the first time in five years, Callahan was the coordinator and line coach for the NFL's second-ranked run offense.

Falcons' Jones focused on new offense, not contract talks (The Associated Press)
(Wed, 17 Jun 2015 15:35:53 PDT)
Julio Jones is learning there are more ways to go about his job in the Atlanta Falcons' new offense. Jones said Wednesday that he will not hold out like fellow NFL wideouts Dez Bryant and DeMaryius Thomas.

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