NFL 2017-2018 Preseason Schedule

 

By: Will Stevenson

Can you feel it? Just imagine the droughts and sounds of the NFL season. Two-a-days, minicamps, veteran camps, seven on seven drills, torn acl’s, Non-contact injuries, position battles, and most importantly: Expert analysis of guys in shorts.

There are countless things that could irritate a football fan, but actual football isn’t one of them. So between now and the first preseason game, we have months to comb through every team, transaction and predict who will do what when the season rolls around. It will be exciting to see how the top drafted rookie quarterbacks find their footing on teams that made the playoffs last season: Chiefs and Texans. We all know how the preseason goes: Stars play in one or two games for a few series, then the backups. I also have an interest in fringe plays attempting to made rosters within the new safety guidelines for special teams.

So let us take a look at the preseason schedule. The competition will be early as starters make their way off the field after a few possessions, but don’t let that deter you from consuming the whole game. Position battles, overall team health, sheer talent, and a basic understanding of the team’s philosophy will be on display. So it’s not the Pro Bowl, but it’s damn near close for those first few series.

Not need to worry. Football is own it’s way, and it starts with the Hall of Fame Game on August 3rd with the Cowboys and the Cardinals.

 

 

NFL/Hall of Fame Game – AUGUST 3
DAY DATE VISITOR HOME LOCAL ET NAT. TV
Thurs Aug. 3 Dallas Cowboys vs Arizona Cardinals 8:00 PM (ET) 8:00 PM NBC
WEEK 1 – AUGUST 9-13
DAY DATE VISITOR HOME LOCAL ET
Wed Aug. 9 Houston Texans at Carolina Panthers 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Thurs Aug. 10 Minnesota Vikings at Buffalo Bills 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 10 Atlanta Falcons at Miami Dolphins 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 10 Washington Redskins at Baltimore Ravens 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Thurs Aug. 10 Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Thurs Aug. 10 Denver Broncos at Chicago Bears 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 10 New Orleans Saints at Cleveland Browns 8:00 PM (ET) 8:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 10 Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Friday Aug. 11 Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Giants 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Friday Aug. 11 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cincinnati Bengals 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Friday Aug. 11 San Francisco 49ers at Kansas City Chiefs 8:00 PM (CT) 9:00 PM
Sat Aug. 12 Tennessee Titans at New York Jets 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Sat Aug. 12 Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams 6:00 PM (PT) 9:00 PM
Sat Aug. 12 Oakland Raiders at Arizona Cardinals 7:00 PM (MST) 10:00 PM
Sunday Aug. 13 Detroit Lions at Indianapolis Colts 1:30 PM (ET) 1:30 PM
Sunday Aug. 13 Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Chargers 5:00 PM (PT) 8:00 PM
WEEK 2 – AUGUST 17-21
DAY DATE VISITOR HOME LOCAL ET NAT. TV
Thurs Aug. 17 Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 17 Buffalo Bills at Philadelphia Eagles 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 17 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Jacksonville Jaguars 8:00 PM (ET) 8:00 PM ESPN
Friday Aug. 18 Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks 7:00 PM (PT) 10:00 PM
Sat Aug. 19 Carolina Panthers at Tennessee Titans 2:00 PM (CT) 3:00 PM
Sat Aug. 19 Kansas City Chiefs at Cincinnati Bengals 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Sat Aug. 19 Indianapolis Colts at Dallas Cowboys 6:00 PM (CT) 7:00 PM
Sat Aug. 19 New York Jets at Detroit Lions 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Sat Aug. 19 Green Bay Packers at Washington Redskins 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Sat Aug. 19 New England Patriots at Houston Texans 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Sat Aug. 19 Los Angeles Rams at Oakland Raiders 7:00 PM (PT) 10:00 PM
Sat Aug. 19 Denver Broncos at San Francisco 49ers 7:00 PM (PT) 10:00 PM
Sat Aug. 19 Chicago Bears at Arizona Cardinals 7:00 PM (MST) 10:00 PM
Sunday Aug. 20 Atlanta Falcons at Pittsburgh Steelers 4:00 PM (ET) 4:00 PM
Sunday Aug. 20 New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Chargers 5:00 PM (PT) 8:00 PM
Monday Aug. 21 New York Giants at Cleveland Browns 8:00 PM (ET) 8:00 PM ESPN
WEEK 3 – AUGUST 24-27
DAY DATE VISITOR HOME LOCAL ET NAT. TV
Thurs Aug. 24 Miami Dolphins at Philadelphia Eagles 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 24 Carolina Panthers at Jacksonville Jaguars 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Friday Aug. 25 New England Patriots at Detroit Lions 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Friday Aug. 25 Kansas City Chiefs at Seattle Seahawks 5:00 PM (PT) 8:00 PM CBS
Sat Aug. 26 Arizona Cardinals at Atlanta Falcons 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Sat Aug. 26 Buffalo Bills at Baltimore Ravens 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Sat Aug. 26 New York Jets at New York Giants 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Sat Aug. 26 Indianapolis Colts at Pittsburgh Steelers 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Sat Aug. 26 Cleveland Browns at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Sat Aug. 26 Oakland Raiders at Dallas Cowboys 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Sat Aug. 26 Los Angeles Chargers at Los Angeles Rams 5:00 PM (PT) 8:00 PM CBS
Sat Aug. 26 Houston Texans at New Orleans Saints 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Sat Aug. 26 Green Bay Packers at Denver Broncos 7:00 PM (MT) 9:00 PM
Sunday Aug. 27 Chicago Bears at Tennessee Titans 12:00 PM (CT) 1:00 PM FOX
Sunday Aug. 27 Cincinnati Bengals at Washington Redskins 4:30 PM (ET) 4:30 PM FOX
Sunday Aug. 27 San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM NBC
WEEK 4 – AUGUST 31
DAY DATE VISITOR HOME LOCAL ET
Thurs Aug. 31 Jacksonville Jaguars at Atlanta Falcons 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Detroit Lions at Buffalo Bills 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Los Angeles Rams at Green Bay Packers 6:00 PM (CT) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Cincinnati Bengals at Indianapolis Colts 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Philadelphia Eagles at New York Jets 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Pittsburgh Steelers at Carolina Panthers 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 New York Giants at New England Patriots 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Washington Redskins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Cleveland Browns at Chicago Bears 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Dallas Cowboys at Houston Texans 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Miami Dolphins at Minnesota Vikings 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Baltimore Ravens at New Orleans Saints 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs 7:30 PM (CT) 8:30 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Arizona Cardinals at Denver Broncos 7:00 PM (MT) 9:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Seattle Seahawks at Oakland Raiders 7:00 PM (PT) 10:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Los Angeles Chargers at San Francisco 49ers 7:00 PM (PT) 10:00 PM

Former Saint Signs with The Green Bay Packers a day of the NFL Draft

Played for the Saints 2006 Through 2015. Then Signed with the Seahawks in 2016. But shortly he was cut from the Seahawks. September Saints resign him to play guard. He lost a Step.  He isn’t The six time Pro Bowler he used to be. He is a Solid pick up for the packers. Since They lost TJ Lang in Free Agency. Jahri Evans isn’t the long term answer for the position. I wouldn’t be Surprised that he would be cut. They need to draft a guard here regardless.

Since they lost Lang they been looking. If they think he is going to help avoid to draft one. They thinking wrong By not drafting one. He is 33 years old now 11 years in. Yes he is a veteran. I know people are afraid By starting a rookie or a young guy. A older guy risks more injuries than a younger guy. He be to bring along the young guy. Other than that they need to draft a younger player to start there.

By

Timothy Kevin Crouch Jr

Copy & Paste: NFL Free Agency and Randomness

By Will Stevenson

The chances of a player duplicating their numbers on a new team is 50-50. The ceiling is a 50 percent chance of duplicating your success, everything else is lowered form there. There’s more to free agency than just “Copy & Paste”. We feel a wide receiver for this team will have the same production on another team. In some cases, it happens, but rarely. We tend to forget about offensive systems, jargon, quarterback play, offensive lines, plays run, defensive strategy and of course, injuries. We like to assume the best for guys, or do we? Are we assuming the best for Brandon Cooks because we want to see he succeed as a human being, or are we solely invested in our fantasy leagues and personal bragging rights. We love to take a player from one team and drop him on the next team and simulate his numbers to an All-Pro level like we are a General Manager for Madden, and then ridicule them if they don’t live up to our expectations.

This isn’t fantasy sports, nor is this Madden. This year’s NFL Free Agency has once again reminded us that the game has changed while we were stuck in the middle of who to draft in the 5th round of our fantasy league. For most fans, when it comes time for the sports-transaction period (trade deadline and free agency), we tend to get caught up in the names of players, what they use to do, and what we would do if we were the GM on Madden. I don’t know if we have noticed, but it doesn’t work that way. We have been fooled from time to time from owners like Jerry Jones, Daniel Snyder and other teams that use to spend whatever it took to get a certain player on their team, overlooking the possibility that a certain player might not mesh with the current installed gameplan. We watched a few years ago when Darryl Morey decided to throw together any and everyone for the Houston Rockets. They did have a successful season in which they advanced to the conference finals against the Warriors, but the way that team was setup, it was destined to fail. Remember the Rockets had James Harden, Dwight Howard, Patrick Beverly, Trevor Ariza on that team. They then decided to keep Josh Smith, sign Ty Lawson and bring in Michael Beasley. Just with those names, look at the personalities and add in a coach in Kevin McHale that was on his last legs with this team.

That’s what we as fans do, we look at a player and then we cut and paste their previous production to a destined team and “wallah”, we are projecting them to be an All-Pro. We do this kind of analysis with the quarterback position all of the time. We will take Tony Romo and literally put him on 26 teams for the upcoming season, and somehow he will be projected to have a great season on all 26 teams. We put him on the Texans and he’ll lead the Texans. The AFC South is so horrible is Brock could get them to the playoffs, we know that Tony Romo could. We put him on the 49ers and of course he’ll flourish under that offensive system. We dare not put him on the Jets because the Jets ruin all quarterbacks and all passing offense projections.

The one Copy and Paste we have overlooked is the running back position. Some of us have caught on that teams care not for the expensive running back. I feel like this happened once Demarco Murray led the league in rushing with the Cowboys and the low-balled him with an offer a rookie wouldn’t take. He ended up with the Eagles, and of course the projections were he would dominate again under Chip Kelly, but as we know now that was never possible. So while the quarterback position has be elevated, but not so much the talent at qb, the running backs are becoming the center position in the NBA. After the rookie wage scale was scaled back, we thought older players would get the money that was taken away from the rookies: Not even close. There is a salary floor for each team, but that money isn’t going to a position that is becoming more replaceable by the season. Adrian Peterson is still on the market, and more than likely he’ll sign a one year deal, for no more than 5 million. Eddie Lacy signed a one year deal with the Seahawks, and  Jamaal Charles is still on the market. It’s strange how the running back has be weeded out each season. Not having a feature back has allowed for more running backs to have the opportunity to be in the league, which is good. That bad thing is the 3rd string running back can’t get paid as a feature back in this league once it’s his time to test the market. When you can only garner 10 to 20 percent of interest, and then knowing that those teams aren’t starting a bidding war for you, it’s destructive to the position. Why pay Adrian Peterson when you can draft a 5th rounder or sign Legarette Blount on a one year deal for less. Even guys like Devonta Freeman are one season away from becoming Ron Mercer.

Lastly, the wide receiver. We’ve watched Alshon Jeffrey and Brandon Marshall move to two teams on deals that seem incomplete. Alshon signed for one year with the Eagles, so we’ll Copy and Paste his production and elevate his numbers because the we feel the Eagles are a better offensive team than the Bears. We think he will be a success in Philly, but we’ve seen this before with players going to a new system with a new quarterback and a young one at that. There’s more to signing with a team than just the dollar amount. There are agents, former coaches, living situations and others. Terrelle Pryor left the Browns (one destructive organization) to sign a one year deal with the Washington franchise (currently another destructive franchise). They literally let the old receivers leave to make room for the young ones, then brought in a average aged-one in that is trying to get paid.

One last thing about this year’s free agency: Why is everyone being so nice to the Patriots? People are trading them decent players and not signing away their own players. I just don’t understand what is going on. For all we know Rex Burkhead will be a gem for them next season, and Brandon Cooks will be an afterthought. Crazy as it sounds, the higher profile you are before the Patriots, the higher chance you won’t even dress for the playoffs. The Patriots have more misses than hits on the offensive side in free agency, but we tend to forget those types of things.

Tyrod Taylor took a pay cut. Why? I’m so use to the NBA that I forget these NFL contracts are worth as much as Blockbuster credit cards. I wish these contracts were fully guaranteed, or 80 percent at the least. There’s no reason for a player’s contract to be 60 million, but only 24 million are guaranteed over 4 years, and the team can release them after year two. Brock Osweiler, as bad as he was in Houston, should not be traded like he’s  Luke Ridnour or Keith Van Horn. The penalty of making a bad free agent signing is the cap number to your team. You either start him, bench him, or cut him and take the penalty. The NFL is making money all over the place, and it just seems like teams have once again been able to maneuver contracts, restructure them, or give themselves a yearly out-clause. The more injuries that take place, the easier it is to lower the pay of those that are just trying to make a team. Even the 24-26 year old players are taking cuts to stay with a team or signing shorter deals, even though they are 2 knee injuries away from becoming Priest Holmes.

 

How Many People Will Be Overpaid During this Year’s NFL’s Free Agency Period?

By Leo Silbert

Every year players seem to be getting more and more per season, setting new salary records for position groups and setting the salary floor for a player of a certain level.  Last year, Olivier Vernon was given more guaranteed money than J.J. Watt was given by the Texans, even though he is not the same level of a player as Watt (not a jab at Vernon, more me saying no one is at the same level as Watt therefore no one should be paid more than him at his position).  Vernon wasn’t the only high-priced free agent from last offseason though, with Josh Norman signing a record high contract for a corner back, Fletcher Cox and Malik Jackson signing the 2nd and 3rd highest contracts given to a defensive tackle and Kelechi Osemele becoming the highest paid guard in NFL history.  For the most part, the big signings of this past free agency period worked out well for their teams, but that is a rare occurence with many more examples of free agent flops than success stories over the years (like Albert Haynesworth, Nnamdi Asomugha and Brock Osweiler).

melvin-ingram

First, there were 6 players franchise tagged so far, quarterback Kirk Cousins and Le’Veon Bell were given exclusive franchise tags, becoming the 16th and 17th players to ever be given the exclusive franchise tag while edge rushers Chandler Jones, Jason Pierre-Paul and Melvin Ingram, defensive tackle Kawann Short and corner back Trumaine Johnson were given non-exclusive tags.  These 7 players would have been the cream of the crop in free agency so now with them being basically off the market (unless a team wants to give up 2 first round picks to go along with the cost of the players who have been non-exclusive tagged) so that means the lesser players on the market will be given the kinds of deals the top guys would have taken up.  There has also been 2 mega deals given out to Eric Berry and Antonio Brown which set new standards for a market deal at the safety and wide receiver positions respectively.

Military service members honored during Chicago bears game

The first person who is almost assured to be overpaid is going to be Alshon Jeffery.  When Jeffery is healthy and not suspended and on his game, he is one of the top 15 wide receivers in the league, but since he is going to be a free agent, chances are he will end up being paid like a top 5 wide receiver.  Because Jeffery is the top receiver on the market, teams will be competing for his services hard and he’ll likely end up with a deal similar to the deals given to Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas.  Another receiver to likely get overpaid is Terrelle Pryor from the Browns.  This was Pryor’s first real season of any real production at the receiver spot and he is already 28 years old, but his market value is projected to be around $9 million per season right now but that is likely to be raised by teams trying to outbid the Browns who have the most cap space in the league with over $100 million to give out this season.  Other wide receivers who I can see getting overpaid are: Kenny Still due to his speed and the fact that Taylor Gabriel was such an important piece on the Falcons as a speedy deep threat, Terrance Williams due to his size and that he was on a good offense in Dallas and Kenny Britt due to his size and the fact that he got 1,000 yards receiving with a bad Rams offense.

USP NFL: AFC WILD CARD-OAKLAND RAIDERS AT HOUSTON S FBN USA TX

Next, I am going to go over the guys trying to cash in on a great season in their contract year.  First is obviously AJ Bouye who before this season wasn’t well-known to anyone but by the end of the 2016 season, he was playing like one of the 5 best corners in the league.  He is also helped by the contract Josh Norman was given last off-season as a very similar player.  Tony Jefferson from the Cardinals played like a top 10 safety for the first time in his career and he has to be loving how Eric Berry set a new high for safeties since Jefferson will likely get something somewhat close to Berry’s deal?  Jonathan Cyprien is another safety who stepped up his game immensely at the safety position this past season so he is also set to be paid handsomely.  Zach Brown had a breakout year on a 1 year deal with the Bills so he can end up getting a similar deal to the one given to Jerrell Freeman last year.  Nick Perry finally showed some of his first round potential in his fifth season and is now set to hit the open market.  Ricky Wagner was horrendous in 2015, but has possibly turned his great contract year into $10 million per season.  Terrelle Pryor also fits into this category.

kevin-zeitler

Now, I’m just going to list the offensive guards who are going to benefit from not only Kelechi Osemele’s 5 year $58 million deal from last off-season, but also from Laurent Duvernay-Tardif’s 5 year $41.25 deal that sets the market for an above average guard.  First off is Kevin Zeitler who is one of the best guards in the game and has a chance to set a new record high contract for a guard this off-season as Osemele did last off season.  Then there is TJ Lang who is a little bit older, but he is another top 1o guard in this league and will be paid as such.  Larry Warford has had an up and down career, but he is going into free agency on an upswing so his contract will too.  Ronald Leary is a good guard who thanks to Duvernay-Tardif can expect more than $40 million in a contract in his near future with his pedigree of being a part of one of the best lines in football upping his stock. And finally J.C. Tretter who can play both guard and center well will be looking for a new contract possibly outside of Green Bay so he can go into free agency with the reputation of being versatile and being a part of one of the best lines in the league.

jabaal-sheard

And finally, here are the players who will be overpaid because they are now the best at their positions available after the top guys got stuck with the franchise tag.  Jabaal Sheard was the top pass rusher on the Superbowl winning Patriots so he can now probably expect over $40 million over a 5 year deal.  Stephon Gilmore has never lived up to his first round billing, but with Trumaine Johnson being franchised and Logan Ryan saying he will let the Patriots match any offer he will get in free agency which means to pry him away a team would have to go into Josh Norman money territory, which I don’t believe any team will do, and AJ Bouye having already been covered in this article, then Gilmore can expect somewhere in the $12 million per season area.  Both Jonathan Hankins and Brandon Williams will end up in the contract range of Damon “Snacks” Harrison’s 5 year $46.5 million deal signed last off-season with Kawann Short being tagged and likely expecting something in the Fletcher Cox contract stratosphere.  Colin Kaepernick hitting the market could lead a team to believe that they can fix his faults ad pay him $12 million a year.  As for running backs, I don’t think any of them will be overpaid unless they go to the wrong system like Jamal Charles to a power running scheme or Adrian Peterson to a shotgun running scheme.