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When will YOUR city host the Super Bowl? (Shutdown Corner)
(Wed, 25 May 2016 06:54:29 PDT)


Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles selected to host Super Bowls (The Associated Press)
(Tue, 24 May 2016 16:31:23 PDT)
The NFL awarded Super Bowls to Atlanta, Miami and Los Angeles, three cities that made significant financial investments in new stadiums or recently upgraded an existing one. Atlanta will host the game in 2019, followed by Miami (2020) and Los Angeles (2021), it was announced Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings. ''I think if they find guys like me that are willing to do it, I think they want to show them that it is worthwhile,'' Rams owner Stan Kroenke said.

Los Angeles lands 2021 NFL Super Bowl
(Tue, 24 May 2016 14:10:22 PDT)
Los Angeles was awarded the right to stage the Super Bowl in 2021 on Tuesday as National Football League chiefs picked Atlanta and Miami as venues for the money-spinning showpiece in 2019 and 2020. The host cities were announced after a vote at the annual NFL owners meetings in Charlotte, North Carolina. The choice of Los Angeles had been widely anticipated following the NFL's decision earlier this year to sanction the move of the St Louis Rams back to the Californian metropolis.

Dalton to Green: Like old times at Bengals offseason workout (The Associated Press)
(Tue, 24 May 2016 13:08:19 PDT)
Andy Dalton took the snap during an 11-on-11 drill, looked deep and let it fly. Dalton completed his long throw to Green on Tuesday, leaving Jones punching at the air in frustration. In his first time running the offense since he broke his thumb, Dalton was right on the mark.

10 defensive rookies in need of reboot for 2016 season (Yahoo Sports)
(Mon, 23 May 2016 18:55:45 PDT)
Randy Gregory leads the list after a disappointing start with the Cowboys.

Falcons' Vic Beasley Jr. samples new dual role as OLB and DE (The Associated Press)
(Mon, 23 May 2016 13:43:14 PDT)
Vic Beasley Jr. is learning a new position for his second season with the Atlanta Falcons. Beasley, the Falcons' 2015 first-round pick from Clemson, spent most of his rookie season as a defensive end. Beasley was hanging out with the linebackers and defensive ends in Monday's opening day of the Falcons' offseason team activities.

Blank says work on Falcons' new stadium is on schedule (The Associated Press)
(Mon, 16 May 2016 11:46:46 PDT)
As he awaits word on Atlanta's bid for to host a Super Bowl, Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank said Monday construction of the team's new Mercedes-Benz Stadium is back on schedule to open in June, 2017. NFL owners will choose next week between Atlanta and other cities competing to host Super Bowls in 2019, 2020 and 2021. The vote will be taken at the NFL owners meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Falcons announce fan-friendly concessions pricing for new stadium (Shutdown Corner)
(Mon, 16 May 2016 07:47:27 PDT)
Here's a novel idea: an NFL team that actually cares about fans who aren't sitting in private boxes. On Monday, Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank and team president Rich McKay announced a revolutionary concept: "fan first" pricing on popular concession items at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which is set to open before the 2017 NFL season. How friendly will the prices be? Judge for yourself : $2 – Non-alcoholic beverage products with unlimited free refills $2 – Dasani bottled water; hot dogs; pretzels; popcorn $3 – Peanuts; pizza; nachos; waffle fries $5 – 12 oz. domestic beer Blank stressed that the prices are not short-term , a gimmick to celebrate the opening of the stadium; they are part of a "core philosophy" to say thank you to fans for their loyalty. The pricing will be in place for all events at the stadium: Falcons games, Atlanta United FC games and major events already scheduled, like the Peach Bowl, SEC Championship game and NCAA Final Four (scheduled for 2020). And when it comes to the soda refills, there will be self-serve stations away from the concession stands, so fans can help themselves. Quite the gesture, in our opinion.

NFL-National Football League roundup
(Sat, 14 May 2016 15:54:23 PDT)
Minnesota star running back Adrian Peterson, who recently said the Vikings can win it all this season, compares quarterback Teddy Bridgewater's game to Tom Brady. Peterson feels the 23-year-old Bridgewater is ready to come into his own as a third-year starter while making the comparison to the four-time Super Bowl champion quarterback of the New England Patriots. "He reminds me of a Tom Brady because Tom Brady is great at those mediocre passes," Peterson said on Friday's Pro Football Talk Live on NBC Sports Radio.

Australians Edwards, Hackett take aim at Jets' punting job (The Associated Press)
(Sat, 07 May 2016 15:12:26 PDT)
Lachlan Edwards and Tom Hackett are two laid-back guys from Down Under trying to get a leg up in the New York Jets' punting competition. The Australian-born players are squaring off this offseason for a job in the NFL after successful college careers in the United States. ''It's the Aussie showdown in New York City, I guess,'' Hackett said with a smile during Jets rookie minicamp.

Chiefs' Tyreek Hill arrives for minicamp amid controversy (The Associated Press)
(Sat, 07 May 2016 13:35:28 PDT)
Tyreek Hill understands that people are going to be skeptical of him, that there are many Chiefs fans who don't believe the speedy return man deserves a second chance. The Chiefs selected Hill in the fifth round of last weekend's draft, despite pleading guilty last August to abusing and strangling his girlfriend. Hill, who joined other rookies in Kansas City on Saturday for the start of a three-day minicamp, said he hadn't heard about the backlash.

Gathers trades high tops for cleats, takes shot with Cowboys (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 06 May 2016 16:19:31 PDT)
One of the first times Rico Gathers put on pads after the former Baylor basketball player decided to pursue a career in the NFL, he was asked to dunk in them. The forward-turned-tight end won't get that request from the Dallas Cowboys. You know, things Gathers hadn't really done in nearly a decade before choosing football over a shot at the NBA, and taking the practice field for the first time Friday at the Cowboys' rookie minicamp.

First-round pick Keanu Neal pleased to have contract signed (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 06 May 2016 15:10:54 PDT)
Keanu Neal didn't want to wait too long before signing his first NFL contract. Drafted 17th overall by the Atlanta Falcons last week, Neal signed a four-year deal worth over $10 million before the team's two-day rookie mini-camp started Friday. The former Florida standout says it was important to get the contract done so he could focus on football.

Broncos seem pretty confident Paxton Lynch can start as a rookie (Shutdown Corner)
(Fri, 06 May 2016 14:58:33 PDT)
Not long after the Denver Broncos drafted Paxton Lynch came the inevitable follow-up question: When does he start? We won't know for a while. Nobody knows how Lynch will adapt to the NFL game, or even if he'll put in the work over the summer to be as prepared as he needs to be to start Week 1. Even if the Broncos have an idea now, months of practices and four preseason games could change their minds for better or worse. Make no mistake, however, the Broncos' verbal clues are giving off every impression that they're planning on Lynch to start at some point as a rookie. “Is that going to happen tomorrow? Probably not, but you never know when it can happen,” Broncos general manager John Elway said on Denver Sports 760 , via Pro Football Talk . “We think he’s going to be ready quicker than a lot of people think.” Coaches and high-profile executives like Elway don't say things like that for no reason. Maybe Elway is trying to push Lynch by keeping that carrot in front of him, or maybe he's preparing everyone for a rookie to take over at quarterback. We'll all be waiting to see who will start that Thursday night regular-season opener, when the Super Bowl champions start the defense of their title.

Bengals' top 2 picks were locked on each other in bowl game (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 06 May 2016 14:56:20 PDT)
Tyler Boyd knows all about the cornerback who will be guarding him during the Cincinnati Bengals' rookie minicamp this weekend. The Bengals' top two picks have already shared a big moment together. Jackson was Houston's top cornerback and Boyd was Pitt's best receiver in the Armed Forces Bowl following the 2014 season.

Silva: Dynasty Rookie Rankings (Rotoworld)
(Fri, 06 May 2016 08:05:00 PDT)
See where Baylor-turned-Browns WR Corey Coleman lands as Evan Silva ranks this year's rookie class for Dynasty leagues.

Falcons become first NFL team to sign all draft picks (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 05 May 2016 17:11:51 PDT)
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) -- One day after becoming the first team to agree to terms with its first-round draft pick, the Atlanta Falcons have become the first team to sign all their selections.

Once thought fragile, Redskins TE Reed gets 5-year extension (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 05 May 2016 12:28:05 PDT)
Jordan Reed's route-running and pass-catching skills have never been in doubt - just his durability. Figuring the tight end's talent outweighs any lingering questions whether he can stay on the field, the Washington Redskins signed Reed to a five-year contract extension Thursday that will start with the 2017 season. ''It means a lot that the Redskins invested that kind of money into me and think that highly of me as a player and as a person.

Falcons' rookie free agents include Georgia's Dawson, Mayes (The Associated Press)
(Thu, 05 May 2016 10:49:19 PDT)
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) -- The Atlanta Falcons have agreed to terms with 22 college free agents, including Georgia defensive linemen Josh Dawson and Chris Mayes.

Good deed by Falcons' Freeman makes way to social media (The Associated Press)
(Wed, 04 May 2016 12:31:13 PDT)
Falcons running back Devonta Freeman said Wednesday it was ''motivation to me'' when he was walking in his neighborhood this week and saw 82-year-old Eleanor Szendel struggling to empty the bag on her lawn mower. Freeman stopped to offer his help and says he also offered to cut her grass in the future. ''I was just walking in the neighborhood and I saw this old lady,'' Freeman said.

Falcons agree to terms on 4-year deal with Keanu Neal (The Associated Press)
(Wed, 04 May 2016 12:21:54 PDT)
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) -- The Atlanta Falcons have agreed to terms on a four-year contract with safety Keanu Neal, the team's first-round pick from Florida.

Falcons' Devonta Freeman stops his jog, helps woman with lawnmower (Shutdown Corner)
(Wed, 04 May 2016 08:32:37 PDT)
Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman was just getting in a nice little evening jog Monday when he saw a woman struggling in her front yard. Eleanor Szendel, 82, was having trouble unloading her lawnmower, and Freeman decided to veer his workout a little bit. Pretty soon he was offering to step in and mow Szendel's grass for her as she was struggling to empty the grass clippings from the mower, because it was getting dark as afternoon quickly was turning to night. According to the Tallahassee Democrat , Freeman's offer was respectfully rebuffed — she was pretty much finished — but he instantly endeared himself to Szendel and her daughter-in-law, Denise Szendel, who was planting rose bushes for Mother’s Day nearby. Although the famous Falcons and former Florida State footballer didn't initially identify himself, Szendel knew exactly who he was. “My mom recognized him because she’s had all four of her kids, a daughter-in-law and son-in-law go to FSU over the last 12 years, and so she was like ‘You’re Devonta Freeman,’” said her son, Bryan Szendel. He was indeed, and Bryan posted the proof on Instagram to point out Freeman's good deed, which has caught the eye of Falcons and Seminoles fans the past few days.  “She was just really touched that he stopped and helped her out like that,” Denise said. Freeman is known as one of the more charitable young players in the NFL, so this comes as little surprise. This is the same player who found out about his first Pro Bowl selection while delivering Christmas gifts this past years to families in need. For the Szendel family, it was a chance meeting and just a simple offering, but also a perfect representation of one of their city's best ambassadors and one of their alma mater's finest gentlemen. “I just really like meeting a young man who was so respectful. I just really liked the way he represented my kid’s school,” Denise said. - - - - - - - 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

An inside look at the other draft, as free agents find spots (The Associated Press)
(Sun, 01 May 2016 23:08:22 PDT)
Gary Shipman was at his desk at noon Saturday, thumbing through depth charts and occasionally looking across the room at the wall-mounted TV trumpeting the start of the NFL draft's final day. Shipman, who represents four college football players eligible to play in the NFL this season, didn't expect to hear any of their names called, even when teams are willing to take chances in the sixth or seventh round. Shipman and his staff were busily studying NFL rosters, trying to find the right fit for their players, keeping tabs on how franchises are using picks and trying to sell teams on his list of undrafted free agents well before the 253rd and final selection was made in Chicago.

NFL Transactions Tracker (Rotoworld)
(Sun, 01 May 2016 21:41:00 PDT)
Nick Mensio keeps track of every offseason transaction for all 32 teams.

Draft 2016: NFC Draft Grades (Rotoworld)
(Sat, 30 Apr 2016 21:03:00 PDT)
Evan Silva unveils his 2016 Draft Grades for the NFC.

Falcons add more defensive help with Minnesota LB Campbell (The Associated Press)
(Sat, 30 Apr 2016 16:40:00 PDT)
For the second straight year, defense was the early priority in the NFL draft for coach Dan Quinn and the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons chose Minnesota linebacker DeVondre Campbell in the fourth round on Saturday. Campbell was the third defensive player and second linebacker taken in Atlanta's first four picks.

Falcons release recruiting video to undrafted free agents (The Associated Press)
(Sat, 30 Apr 2016 09:38:45 PDT)
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) -- The Atlanta Falcons are recruiting undrafted free agents, and they began the process before the final round of the NFL draft.

NFL Draft team-by-team picks (Rotoworld)
(Sat, 30 Apr 2016 09:23:00 PDT)
Running team-by-team selections in the 2016 NFL Draft.

2016 NFL draft grades for Rounds 2-3 (Shutdown Corner)
(Fri, 29 Apr 2016 21:44:10 PDT)
CHICAGO  –  The Jags look scary. Jerry Jones gambled, as only he can. And there was a surprise at what quarterbacks heard their names called on Friday night. Oh, and someone traded UP to get a kicker. Here are knee-jerk reactions and grades for Day 2 of the NFL draft, which featured Rounds 2 and 3. Round 2 1. Cleveland Browns: DE Emmanuel Ogbah – A big, talented rush end who might stand up in the Browns’ 3-4 defense or bulk up and play the end spot. A bit of a curious pick given that uncertainty, but Ogbah is athletic and has a track record of getting to the QB. Grade: C+ 2. Tennessee Titans: DE Kevin Dodd – Pass rusher run! Dodd was one of our favorites, Shutdown Corner’s No. 14 overall player, and he has a chance to be a very good pro after breaking out last season and residing in the shadow of Shaq Lawson until the national title game. Dodd can play on his feet, has great length and is ascending. The Titans needed front-seven help. A nice start to their second day. Grade: A- 3. Dallas Cowboys: LB Jaylon Smith – Giddy up! Smith is a clear top-10 talent whose questionable knee caused forced him off some teams’ boards. But the Cowboys were willing to gamble on potential greatness here, and their team doctor performed the surgery on Smith after his Fiesta Bowl injury, so there’s a level of comfort there. Smith could be a star in this defense, either as a weakside or a middle linebacker. Figure on 2016 being a wash. This risk is significant; the payoff could be huge. Grade: C+. 4. San Diego Chargers: TE Hunter Henry  – This was about as easy a pick to mock in Round 2 as there might have been. The Chargers liked what they saw in the good receiving tight end, who reminds some of Greg Olsen and could be a natural replacement for Ladarius Green this year and Antonio Gates in 2017. Henry is not a great blocker but he can stretch the seam. Grade: B- 5. Jacksonville Jaguars: LB Myles Jack   – What a coup. We mocked Jack to the Jaguars for months before the injury news on his knee seemed to worsen by the day. But to trade up and score Shutdown Corner's fifth-rated player here — in addition to landing our best talent, Jalen Ramsey, on Day 1 — could be an incredible, once-a-decade type of coup. Even if Jack plays only five good years, it’s worth it. Grade: A 6. Kansas City Chiefs: DT Chris Jones – Jones has great potential, but he’s young and raw, and has some bust qualities to his game. Some weeks he looks great, others less so. But he could play almost any spot on the Chiefs’ front and could help immediately replace Mike DeVito up front. Grade: B- 7. Miami Dolphiins: CB Xavien Howard  – A later riser in the draft process who has the big frame the Dolphins are seeking at such a big need of a position. Howard was sneaky good last season and might be a good fit if he’s used correctly. He’s a very physical, grabby corner, which can work against him. Grade: C+ 8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DL Noah Spence – The Bucs wanted to come out of this draft with a pass rusher, and they got one. Spence has bent over backward for teams to show he does not have a problem after his multiple failed drug tests at Ohio State before he was kicked out of the Big Ten. Spence lacks bulk and can be run at, but he has great pass-rush feel and talent. Grade: A-

The Latest: 3rd round a graduation party for Bengals' Dunlap (The Associated Press)
(Fri, 29 Apr 2016 20:27:59 PDT)
Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap turned the third round of the NFL draft into his own graduation party. Dunlap missed his graduation from Florida - he returned to get a bachelor's degree in the offseason - so that he could participate in the draft. ''It's awesome what they had Carlos doing,'' Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said.

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