Monday was a fairly quiet day in the NFL, right up until word broke that the Green Bay Packers were going to sign Vince Young to a one-year contract . Young won't start in Green Bay, if he even makes the 53-man roster, but the signing does make some sense. The Packers open the season against the San Francisco 49ers and Washington Redskins, two offenses that utilize the read-option. Young could help the defense prepare for those meetings. • Over the weekend, the Oakland Raiders announced that kicker Sebastian Janikowski and long-snapper Jon Condo had signed multi-year contract extensions. According to a source with knowledge of the contract details, here's how the Janikowski and Condo deals break down: • In terms of new money, Janikowski's extension is worth $15.1 million over four years ($3.775 million per year). Total value of his contract is $18.9 million over five seasons, with $8 million guaranteed. Signing bonus : $1.8 million Base salaries/Cap numbers : 2013 : $3.5 million (fully guaranteed) / $4.9 million 2014 : $2.7 million (fully guaranteed) / $3.06 million 2015 : $3.25 million / $3.61 million 2016 : $3.6 million / $3.96 million 2017 : $4.05 million / $4.41 million • Under his previous contract, Condo was due $1.2 million in 2013. Condo will now earn $1.55 million this season in an extension that includes $3.2 million in new money and will pay out $4.4 million over the next four seasons, with $1.7 million guaranteed. Signing bonus : $710,000 Base salaries/Cap numbers 2013 : $840,000 (fully guaranteed) / $1,125,833 2014 : $900,000 ($150,000 fully guaranteed) / $1,077,500 2015 : $950,000 / $1,127,500 2016 : $1 million / $1,177,500 • San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis underwent surgery on his fractured right hand , ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports. Willis is not expected to miss any time in the regular season. • Injury situations continue to mount on the Denver Broncos. Right tackle Orlando Franklin injured his hip on Monday, the Denver Post reports. Joel Dreessen, the team's No. 1 tight end, will miss three-to-four weeks after undergoing knee surgery.
The NFL season is approaching and Shutdown Corner is previewing all 32 teams, counting down our power rankings with one team a day until No. 1 is unveiled on Aug. 4, when the preseason kicks off with the Hall of Fame Game in Canton. Go to our Facebook page after you read the preview for all airing of grievances; we’ll have a daily discussion there to go with each preview. In 2011, the San Francisco 49ers defied expectations by winning 13 games and advancing to the NFC championship game, which they lost, in overtime, to the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants. The 49ers' turnaround in Jim Harbaugh's first season was due to his conservative, mistake-free approach on offense and a Vic Fangio-coordinated defense that was impossible to run against, created turnovers and wreaked havoc on opposing quarterbacks. More of the same was expected in 2012 as the 49ers doubled down on Alex Smith, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2005 NFL draft who had overcome injuries and repeated benchings to, with the help of the 2011 lockout that wiped out that offseason, win the starting job and be the game manager Harbaugh needed him to be for the 49ers to have success in his first season on the job. The 49ers were humming along in 2012, as well, entering their Week 9 bye with a 6-2 record. In Week 10, Smith sustained a concussion in a 24-24 tie to the St. Louis Rams and he was replaced by Colin Kaepernick, a 2011 second-round pick out of Nevada. The rest is history. With Kaepernick under center, or in the Pistol formation, the 49ers became a much harder team for opposing defenses to prepare for. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Kaepernick's threat as a runner gave the 49ers a dangerous option attack. Kaepernick himself ran for over 300 yards and three touchdowns in the final seven-plus games as the 49ers' top quarterback. In the divisional round of playoffs, Kaepernick embarrassed the Green Bay Packers with 181 rushing yards and two touchdowns in a 45-31 win. In the NFC championship against the Atlanta Falcons, Kaepernick was the focus of the defense, which allowed Frank Gore and rookie LaMichael James to combine for 124 yards and three touchdowns, including two by Gore that erased a 10-point deficit in the second half and propelled the 49ers into Super Bowl XLVII and a meeting with the John Harbaugh-coached Baltimore Ravens. The 49ers would come out on the losing of the "Harbaugh Bowl", but if it were not for Kaepernick, the score would not have been as close as it was. Trailing 28-6 early in the third quarter, Kaepernick was excellent in the second half, passing for 163 yards and a touchdown, rushing for 46 yards and a 15-yard touchdown that pulled the 49ers to within two points of the Ravens with 10 minutes to play. That would be as close as the 49ers would get as their final offensive possession would end with three straight incomplete pass attempts to Michael Crabtree and the confetti would rain down on the Ravens and the older of the Harbaugh brothers. As disappointing as the first Super Bowl loss in franchise history was, the 49ers have every reason to expect to be in position to win it all this season. They have a great young quarterback in Kaepernick. Versatile offensive weapons in Gore, James, Vernon Davis and Crabtree, if he can return from a torn Achilles. The 49ers have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, an active defensive front featuring the best four starting linebackers in the league and Harbaugh leads an outstanding coaching staff that includes Fangio and offensive coordinator Greg Roman, both of whom could receive head coaching opportunities next offseason. It won't be easy — they will face stiff competition from the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West — but the 49ers have every right to enter the 2013 season as the favorites to win not only the NFC West, but the entire NFC and could very well open up Levi's Stadium by unveiling a Super Bowl XLVIII champions banner.
The "Shutdown Countdown" has entered the home stretch. In addition to previewing each team, Shutdown Corner will be taking a brief look at each team's salary cap situation heading into the 2013 season and beyond. We continue the series with the Green Bay Packers. 2013 Adjusted Cap Number : $130.822 million (11th-highest in the NFL in 2013) 2013 Cap Room Remaining : $14.564 million (6th in the NFL, as of Aug. 1) Best Bargain(s) : The top three receivers on the current Packers roster are Randall Cobb, James Jones and Jordy Nelson, who combined to catch 193 passes for 2,483 yards and 29 of the team's 40 touchdown passes last season. Cobb (12th), Jones (13th) and Nelson (17th) all placed in the Top 20 in Football Outsiders' receiving DYAR (Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement) last season. In 2013, that trio will earn $7,066,766 combined , which is 54.4 percent of the cash that former Packers receiver Greg Jennings will take home this season from the Minnesota Vikings. Potential Camp Cap Casualty : Head coach Mike McCarthy stuck with veteran kicker Mason Crosby during his well-documented struggles during the 2012 season. The Packers brought in Giorgio Tavecchio to push him for the job during the preseason. If Tavecchio wins out, or Crosby just struggles and is replaced with a veteran free agent, the Packers would save $2.4 million in cash and cap space this season.
As long as the Green Bay Packers have Aaron Rodgers, they'll be contenders. Whether the team around Rodgers is good enough to make it back to the Super Bowl is another story. The defense in particular was really bad in a playoff loss to San Francisco. The Packers were as poorly prepared as any NFL team in recent memory. The special teams, especially kicker Mason Crosby, was inconsistent all season too. A few additions were made, but mostly through the draft since general manager Ted Thompson is never a major player in free agency. Green Bay's season could have been different had the Seattle game not been taken away on a bad call, or if had closed out late losses at Indianapolis or Minnesota. One more win would have given the Packers a bye and home-field advantage in the second round. So the Packers aren't that far off. But the image of Green Bay's defense repeatedly being torched by Colin Kaepernick, or the defense being unable to get a key stop late against the Colts or Vikings, makes one wonder if the Packers are still on the same level as the other top teams in the NFC.
The Green Bay Packers were tired of their inconsistent running game over the last few seasons, so they looked to do something about it with authority in the 2013 NFL draft. General manager Ted Thompson and his staff selected Alabama running back Eddie Lacy in the second round, and went back to the well in the fourth by picking UCLA speedster Johnathan Franklin. Lacy was known to be a power back more than anything for the Crimson Tide – while he did have some second-level speed, his primary attribute was his ability to bull through at the line and gain those tough yards. Judging from his first preseason in the NFL, and a picture making the rounds on the Internet (Lacy was trending on Twitter on Monday evening as a result), it looked like Lacy had been bulling through some of his teammates at the training table.
The "Shutdown Countdown" is chugging along. In addition to previewing each team, "Shutdown Corner" will be taking a brief look at each team's salary cap situation heading into the 2013 season and beyond. We continue the series with the Atlanta Falcons. 2013 Adjusted Cap Number : $122.782 million (5th-smallest adjusted cap number in 2013) 2013 Cap Room Remaining : $5.282 million (20th in the NFL, as of July 26). The remaining cap room does not reflect the new five-year, $103.75 million extension signed by quarterback Matt Ryan last week. Before the extension, Ryan had a $12 million cap hit this season. His cap charge could remain unchanged (Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rogers has a $12 million cap hit after signing a $110 million extension on April 25) or go down, as evidenced by Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco's $6.8 million cap number in the first season of his $120.6 million contract. Where Ryan's cap hit goes all depends on how the Falcons and agent Tom Condon agreed to structure the contract. Best Bargain : At a shade under 5-foot-6, Jacquizz Rodgers is unlikely to be a 15-20 carries per game running back in the NFL, but he serve an important role on third downs and in the return game. Rodgers played in 43.9 percent of the Falcons' snaps last season and totaled 764 yards from scrimmage with a pair of touchdowns. Rodgers was most effective as a receiver, catching 53 passes for 402 yards and a touchdown and was fourth among running backs in Football Outsiders' receiving DYAR (Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement), trailing Darren Sproles and Danny Woodhead, who will earn between $1.75 million (Woodhead) and $3 million (Sproles) while playing similar roles that Rodgers will play this season for the league minimum ($555,000). Potential Camp Cap Casualty : The weakest link on the Falcons' roster is arguably the linebacker corps. One player who could find himself on the roster bubble is Stephen Nicholas, who turned 30 and underwent sports hernia surgery this offseason. Nicholas is due $2.5 million in non-guaranteed base salary and if Akeem Dent and Sean Weatherspoon establish themselves as the top two linebackers on the roster, and capable of playing three downs, Nicholas could be the odd man out.
The "Shutdown Countdown" is chugging along. In addition to previewing each team, "Shutdown Corner" will be taking a brief look at each team's salary cap situation heading into the 2013 season and beyond. We continue the series with the Atlanta Falcons. 2013 Adjusted Cap Number : $122.782 million (5th-smallest adjusted cap number in 2013) 2013 Cap Room Remaining : $5.282 million (20th in the NFL, as of July 26). The remaining cap room does not reflect the new five-year, $103.75 million extension signed by quarterback Matt Ryan last week. Before the extension, Ryan had a $12 million cap hit this season. His cap charge could remain unchanged (Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rogers has a $12 million cap hit after signing a $110 million extension on April 25) or go down, as evidenced by Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco's $6.8 million cap number in the first season of his $120.6 million contract. Where Ryan's cap hit goes all depends on how the Falcons and agent Tom Condon agreed to structure the contract. Best Bargain : At a shade under 5-foot-6, Jacquizz Rodgers is unlikely to be a 15-20 carries per game running back in the NFL, but he serve an important role on third downs and in the return game. Rodgers played in 43.9 percent of the Falcons' snaps last season and totaled 764 yards from scrimmage with a pair of touchdowns. Rodgers was most effective as a receiver, catching 53 passes for 402 yards and a touchdown and was fourth among running backs in Football Outsiders' receiving DYAR (Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement), trailing Darren Sproles and Danny Woodhead, who will earn between $1.75 million (Woodhead) and $3 million (Sproles) while playing similar roles that Rodgers will play this season for the league minimum ($555,000). Potential Camp Cap Casualty : The weakest link on the Falcons' roster is arguably the linebacker corps. One player who could find himself on the roster bubble is Stephen Nicholas, who turned 30 and underwent sports hernia surgery this offseason. Nicholas is due $2.5 million in non-guaranteed base salary and if Akeem Dent and Sean Weatherspoon establish themselves as the top two linebackers on the roster, and capable of playing three downs, Nicholas could be the odd man out.
The transition from professional football the life after the game can be difficult for many players, and none more so that those who face an uncertain future with the aftereffects of head injuries suffered during their time between the lines. Former NFL running back Dorsey Levens has combined two concerns to try and so some good. Levens, who played in the NFL from 1994 through 2004 with the Green Bay Packers, Philadelphia Eagles, and New York Giants, has become very involved in film and theater over the last few years. He's now working on a documentary called "Bell Rung," about the post-football concussion effects athletes must endure. To extend the movie from 48 minutes to the projected final length of 90 minutes, Levens has turned to the increasingly popular method of crowd-funding. In 2011, crowd-funding platforms raised an estimated $1.5 billion worldwide. In 2013 that number is projected to exceed $5.1 billion. Indiegogo has established itself as an industry leader by raising millions of dollars a week for campaigns across 24 categories. For example, through Indiegogo (the company Levens is using), the HONY & Tumblr Hurricane Sandy Fundraiser generated three times its original goal, resulting in nearly $320,000 for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. When we recently spoke with him, Levens had a lot to say about his film, and the ways in which the NFL deals with (and has dealt with) concussions. Shutdown Corner: How did you get involved in crowd-funding? Dorsey Levens: We were trying to raise funds for about a year, to try and extend "Bell Rung" from 48 minutes to 90 minutes. I met up with i ndiegogo -- they hit me up on LinkedIn, and they said, 'Listen -- we have a platform.' I had heard of Kickstarter, but I hadn't heard of indiegogo, though they're right there in the same network. So, we traded messages and talked on the phone, and I thought it would be a good idea. The other stuff wasn't working, so it was time to try something new and see what we could come up with. We had tried to reach out to investors -- I have a lot of friends in Los Angeles with a lot of connections, and we bounced that around. We have a distribution deal in place, but we need to finish the film and get it released. SC: Standard negative answer: Football players have all this money; why are you asking for money from the public? Your response? DL: Well, I don't have all the money in the world [laughs]. It's funny, because I went to the Tribeca Film Festival this summer, and Whoopi Goldberg had raised some money on Kickstarter for a movie she's doing on Moms Mabely. And she got the same response: 'You're Whoopi Goldberg; why do you need money?' But this stuff is expensive. And that's the way it's done, most people don't spend their own money. You go out and get investors -- people with money and knowledge of the industry. SC: Let's say this film comes out and makes $10 million above cost. What do your public investors get in return? DL: They get perks -- once you make a donation, the perks run from DVDs to autographed photos to helmets, and a trip to Lambeau Field for a Packers game with me. SC: Before we get into the film, let's talk about concussions, and where things are. You're a part of the larger series of lawsuits brought by former NFL players against the league, and I'm just curious -- how many concussions would you estimate you suffered during your NFL career?
July 26 (The Sports Xchange) - Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is disappointed in Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun after his admission this week that he violated baseball's policy on performance-enhancing substances. "Well, I was shocked, I really was, just like I know many of you were," Rodgers said Friday at the Packers' training camp. "I was backing up a friend, who looked at me in the eye on multiple occasions and repeatedly denied these allegations. ...
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is disappointed in Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun after his admission this week that he violated baseball's policy on performance-enhancing substances.

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