Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

Congress takes up issue of offensive NFL team name

Bill in Congress challenges Redskins trademark

Faleomavaega is joined in his effort by nine lawmakers as original co-sponsors of the bill. They include Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., and Betty McCollum, D-Minn., the co-chairpersons of the Congressional Native American Caucus, and Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., a civil rights icon.

Cole, a member of the Chickasaw Nation, is one of two Native Americans in the U.S. House. In January, he told Roll Call that redskin is “not a term of respect” and “needlessly offensive to a large part of our population.”

I'm usually not a fan of Congress getting involved in sports (especially with PEDs), but when it comes to removing a blatant racial slur from everyday life? That's worthwhile.

Monson: Welker to Denver a perfect fit

Five Great Free Agent Moves

I always assumed that Wes Welker would return to New England, figuring his value there was always likely to be higher than it would be outside of Foxboro, but a little part of me always wondered what Welker could do in Denver given the success of Brandon Stokley last season.

...Wes Welker for all his faults might be completely uncoverable running a certain route tree of underneath routes, and my mouth is watering at the prospect of the potential upgrade for Denver. Given the cost of the deal, this has the potential to take that offense to a different level, giving Manning a target he can guarantee will be open when he needs to pick up a short pass. Great move for both sides.

It's been suggested in some circles that Welker isn't that big an upgrade over Stokley, but that's likely only true relative to per-target efficiency. But Welker is five years younger, does not have the extensive concussion history Stokley does, and has been the league's most prolific slot receiver of all time. As Monson suggests, bringing in Welker is a perfect fit for Denver, and a no-brainer - especially given the price.

NFL owners approve six rule changes for 2013 season

NFL owners eliminate ‘Tuck Rule’, approve all proposed rules changes

NFL owners approved all six of the rule changes proposed by the Competition Committee, votes that eliminated the “Tuck Rule” and the implementation of a rule making it illegal for ball-carriers and tacklers to lead with the crown of their helmets when both players are outside of the tackle box.

Other changes include a ban on peel-back blocks within the tackle box,  an elimination of the replay rule that cost the Lions on Thanksgiving last year, and a way to make FG and XP tries safer.

Also, tight ends and H-backs may now wear uniforms numbered 40-49, although it's unclear whether there's an exception for the number 15.

The devolution of Jay Cutler, running quarterback

Chicago Bears, Jay Cutler will run read option in 2013

The read option is spreading. Even quarterbacks that aren’t exactly speed merchants will work on it in 2013.

Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman revealed Wednesday at the NFL Annual Meeting in Phoenix that the read option would be part of the Bears’ playbook. We wouldn’t expect Jay Cutler to use the attack much, but it will give defenses more to prepare for. Cutler is athletic enough to at least make defenses pause on option-type plays.

Trestman couldn’t hide his excitement about working with Cutler on Wednesday—and it’s not because of Cutler’s running ability. The new coach called Cutler “exceptionally tough” and said Cutler’s arm was better than any quarterback Trestman has ever worked with.

Here we go again--another (new) coach telling us that Jay Cutler's arm is amazing.

Tell us something we don't know. Cutler's problem has never been his million-dollar arm.  It's been his ten-cent mechanics. 

Running a few option plays here and there won't change that.

No word yet if Cutler plans to get read-option lessons from the Ultimate Teammate™ in exchange for lessons, on--well, throwing.

Agents, lawyers, and money—guess what comes next?

Attorney: Elvis Dumervil's former agent wants NFLPA to examine contract snafu with Broncos

Agent Marty Magid is defending his conduct last week in representing former client Elvis Dumervil, saying that his email agreement to accept a contract offer from the Denver Broncos was sufficient under the rules of the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement. Attorney David Cornwell said Tuesday that he has contacted the NFL Players Association to discuss the matter, hoping that the union will examine the case on behalf of both Magid and possibly Dumervil, who’s now a free agent…

...The issue is important on multiple levels. First, Magid is hoping to maintain his standing as a certified agent with the NFLPA. Second, any legal claims by Dumervil if he is unable to get $8 million this season would possibly be directed at the Broncos or the NFL rather than Magid, who has been fired by Dumervil. There is also some concern that the estate of the late agent Gary Wichard could pursue legal action in the Dumervil case. Because Wichard, who died in 2011, negotiated Dumervil’s original deal, his estate (and not Magid) may be entitled to the standard 3 percent commission from the contract. In this case, that would have been $240,000. A person close to Wichard’s family said Monday that Wichard’s estate would likely look into the matter.

Hard to pick sides on this one, but one thing's for sure: the lawyer always win.

Avril’s deal even smaller than reported; Dumervil’s leverage shrinks more

Cliff Avril’s two-year deal with the Seahawks is worth $13 million

According to a source with knowledge of the contract details, Avril’s deal in Seattle is actually worth $13 million, with $11 million in guaranteed money and a little over $2 million available in incentives and escalators.

As part of his deal with the Seahawks, Avril received a $4.5 million signing bonus and has a $1.5 million base salary in 2013 that is fully guaranteed for a first-year cap hit of $3.75 million…

Avril is due a $7 million base salary in 2014, $5 million of which is currently guaranteed for injury only. On the fifth day of the 2014 waiver period, which begins the day after Super Bowl XLVIII, the $5 million in base salary will become fully guaranteed.

On Friday, Elvis Dumervil thought he was agreeing to a deal worth $30M over three years. At this point, he may be lucky to get a $20M contract over that same span...

Add Steelers to list of known Dumervil suitors

Ravens, Steelers interested in Elvis Dumervil, source says

The Ravens’ biggest rival, the Pittsburgh Steelers, are also interested in Dumervil after cutting outside linebacker James Harrison as a salary-cap casualty prior to the free agent signing period, according to a league source with knowledge of the situation.

Structuring a contract high enough for Dumervil could be tough for either team because of tight salary-cap situations, but teams can always make adjustments to their roster by cutting players if they need to make room for an elite player.

Yesterday, Wilson reported that Baltimore, New England, and Tennessee were interested in Elvis Dumervil. Mike Garafolo adds Houston and Detroit to that list, and continues to report that Elvis would strongly prefer to return to the Broncos.

Doom puts boot in agent’s ass

Elvis Dumervil fires agent, looking at Tom Condon to take over

Dumervil informed his agent Marty Magid on Saturday afternoon that he wants another agent to handle his next contract. Multiple NFL sources say Dumervil is leaning toward retaining super-agent Tom Condon, who represents Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning among many high-profile players….Even with the switch of agents, the Broncos’ chances of re-signing Dumervil may be long as Von Miller’s pass-rush partner may want to put this contract controversy behind him by moving on…

...The Baltimore Ravens were among those teams who have expressed interest in Dumervil. If the Broncos lose Dumervil, proven edge rushers who are still available in free agency include Osi Umenyiora, Dwight Freeney and John Abraham.

And the saga continues.  At least now you've got an idea who was right in the verbal fight between John Elway and Dumervil's agent (whatever his name was).

Klis is right in not assuming anything at this point. I'd say it's a coin flip as to whether Doom stays.  Vic Lombardi's sources think this means Doom stays.  Gary Miller's sources say the exact opposite: the Broncos are moving on.

Despite all the drama, the Broncos will be fine with or without Dumervil.  If Doom wants to join the Broncos' Super Bowl orgy, great.  If not, someone will certainly jump at the chance to rush the passer with a lead.

Donte Stallworth hospitalized with serious burns

Stallworth injured when balloon hits power lines

NFL free agent Donte Stallworth was hospitalized Saturday with serious burns after the hot air balloon carrying him and two other people crashed into power lines above South Florida, his agent said.

The 10-year NFL veteran won’t suffer any permanent damage from the accident in Homestead, said Drew Rosenhaus, Stallworth’s agent.

“He’s going to be OK. He has some burns, but he’s going to be fine,” Rosenhaus said. “He will be able to continue his NFL career. The injuries are not to the extent they will jeopardize his career.”

Latest from Klis: Elvis wants to stay in Denver

Broncos release Elvis Dumervil because new contract too late

In the meantime, Dumervil is a free agent, and Magid said his cell phone “has been blowing up” by calls from interested teams. However, two sources close to the situation said Dumervil wants to get his paperwork fiasco fixed and return to the Broncos.

This situation can be rectified, with no harm, and no foul. But you know what they say - money talks, bullshit walks.