August 2014

Any hopes for success are on Fitzpatrick's inconsistent arm
Ryan upset with leaky Jets defense
Giants undefeated but Eli unimpressive
Giants undefeated but Eli unimpressive
Redskins defense stands out heading toward regular season
San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Ray McDonald was arrested and charged with felony domestic violence early Sunday morning.
Jimmy Garoppolo will be carrying a clipboard for Tom Brady on the New England Patriots' sideline this season. The Patriots traded former Brady backup Ryan Mallett to the Houston Texans on Sunday, elevating Garoppolo to the No. 2 job behind the two-time NFL MVP. Garoppolo was a second-round pick in this year's draft - the highest coach Bill Belichick has ever selected a quarterback in New England.
Another acrimonious contract stalemate has come to an end before the start of the NFL's regular season. The Kansas City Chiefs and quarterback Alex Smith, who had butted heads for months over a new deal, have come to an agreement on a four-year, $68 million contract. The new contract includes $45 million in guaranteed money. [ Smack talk season is back at Yahoo Sports: Sign up and play free Fantasy Football! ] At an average per year of $17 million, Smith will be paid on the lower end of the top-shelf quarterbacks, between the New York Giants' Eli Manning ($16.25 million average) and the Detroit Lions' Matthew Stafford ($17.67 million). At first glance and considering the guaranteed money, Smith's deal also appears to be more of a sure-thing deal than the incentive-laden deals signed earlier this offseason by the Cincinnati Bengals' Andy Dalton and the San Francisco 49ers' Colin Kaepernick (Smith's former teammate in San Fran). Smith was entering the final year of his deal. The Chiefs had the option of franchising Smith, but they also must take care of impending free agent Justin Houston and have a tight salary cap situation. The two sides had exchanged several rounds of negotiations without making much progress, per reports, and the situation could have turned ugly. Luckily, for the Chiefs, Smith showed up to camp, remained quiet about his contract and hoped for things to work out, which is what happened. He is coming off a career season, with 3,313 passing yards and 23 touchdowns and some impressive play down the stretch as the Chiefs went from winning two games in 2012 to 11 and a playoff berth in 2013. - - - - - - - Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Eric_Edholm
The New York Giants fullback competition might not have been the team's most glamorous, but it was certainly one of the closest, according to head coach Tom Coughlin. That's because in Henry Hynoski and John Conner, New York had two very capable lead blockers, both of whom have proven to be a backbone in the Giants' rushing game. "Two very good players," Coughlin said. In the end, however, the team went with Hynoski, the starter every season since 2011.
John Elway's free agency bonanza included $109.5 million worth of contracts for a trio of defensive stars in Aqib Talib, T.J. Ward and DeMarcus Ware. So it was easy to overlook the one-year, no-bonus $570,000 deal that nose tackle Marvin Austin signed with the Denver Broncos this spring. The former second round pick of the New York Giants whose career has been bogged down by injuries made the Broncos' 53-man roster after a strong training camp six months after back surgery. Austin's re-emergence led Elway to release nine-year veteran Kevin Vickerson, who carried a $2.266 million cap figure.

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