Jason Cole

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Jason Cole is an award-winning writer who covered the Miami Dolphins for 15 years at The Miami Herald and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. A member of the Pro Football Writers Association, he also has experience covering the NBA. Jason graduated from Stanford with a degree in communication.

  • Jaguars' new regime gives Blaine Gabbert fair shot instead of seeking short-term answers

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – If Sunday was any measure, there are roughly the same number of Gus Bradley fans as Tim Tebow supporters in the vicinity.

    Bradley, the Jacksonville Jaguars' first-year head coach, worked his way through a line of more than 300 people after Sunday's rookie minicamp practice smiling, shaking hands, signing autographs and taking pictures with anyone who asked.

    As that was going on, a Tim Tebow fan, presumably from the Jacksonville area, posted a petition on President Obama's official website. The petition was asking that Obama demand that the Jaguars sign Tebow to make the fans in his hometown happy.

    [More: Tim Tebow tops Forbes' list of most influential athletes]

    The petition was taken down after less than 400 people had signed. Fact is, first-year Jacksonville general manager David Caldwell made it clear a while ago that the Jaguars won't be signing the now-out-of-work Tebow. The Jacksonville quarterback job is already a battle that could ultimately end with no one

    Read More »from Jaguars' new regime gives Blaine Gabbert fair shot instead of seeking short-term answers
  • Jets owner Woody Johnson suggests odds against Miami winning bid for Super Bowl L

    PHILADELPHIA – New York Jets owner Woody Johnson told Yahoo! Sports on Tuesday that the Dolphins' failure to get upgrades for SunLife Stadium is "not good" for the Miami area as he and his fellow NFL owners get ready to vote on bids for future Super Bowl locations.

    Dolphins owner Stephen Ross (USA TODAY Sports)"I don't think it helps," Johnson said, referring to the failure of the Florida state legislature to push forward a vote on $200 million in funding for the stadium. "I think this business is a synergy between the community and a team to get renovations done."

    Dolphins owner Stephen Ross had promised to share in the renovation costs on the stadium, which is privately owned. The plan was for voters in Miami-Dade County to decide on the proposal on May 14. However, the bill stalled in the legislature last week and will not go to a special ballot.

    The belief by many is that the NFL will now vote to award Super Bowl L in 2016 to San Francisco over Miami when owners meet May 21 in Boston to determine the sites for Super Bowl L and

    Read More »from Jets owner Woody Johnson suggests odds against Miami winning bid for Super Bowl L
  • Geno Smith's firing of agents, pre-draft actions shed light on why QB may have dropped

    Less than a week after the New York Jets picked Geno Smith in the second round of the NFL draft, the quarterback is still under great scrutiny in league circles.

    Reports surfaced Tuesday that Smith fired agents Jeff Nalley and Eric Burkhardt of Select Sports Group. While Smith has publicly denied that it had anything to do with his falling out of the draft's first round last week, there are indications to the contrary.

    Geno Smith speaks during the Jets' introductory news conference Saturday. (AP)On April 23, Smith, his agents, some family members and several friends gathered for dinner in New York in advance of the draft, a gathering confirmed by a family member. At one point, everyone around the table stood to give a toast to celebrate the evening.

    Smith went last, thanking everyone and declaring that entire group – his agents included – were a "family" that would stay together his entire career, if not the rest of his life, the sources said. Smith, who at one point was expecting to be the No. 1 overall pick and at least a top 10 selection, has big plans for

    Read More »from Geno Smith's firing of agents, pre-draft actions shed light on why QB may have dropped
  • Jets' release of Tim Tebow could be blessing in disguise if QB is willing to take stock

    A little more than three years after being a first-round draft pick and a sprinkling of highlights later, Tim Tebow's NFL career is at a crossroads.

    And maybe this is the best thing that could happen to him.

    The New York Jets waived Tim Tebow on Monday morning, announcing the move in a two-paragraph, 138-word statement that was simple and direct. The irony of that was thick.

    Tim Tebow had a long year with the Jets. (Getty) Nothing about Tebow is simple and direct. Heck, Skip Bayless, who turned Tebow into a cottage industry for himself, would just be getting warmed up in 138 words.

    The argument over whether Tebow can actually play is not simple and direct. People who understand player development run headlong into the Tebowites who point to his winning record with the Denver Broncos in 2011 (8-5, including the playoffs).

    Heck, nothing about the way Tebow throws the ball is simple and direct.

    But what's disregarded about Tebow by so many people on both sides of the debate: He has the physical tools to play in the NFL, but not enough

    Read More »from Jets' release of Tim Tebow could be blessing in disguise if QB is willing to take stock
  • 2013 AFC draft grades: Dolphins earn only A

    With AFC teams leading off the first three spots in the NFL draft, most teams did at least a solid job with their selections. The Dolphins get high marks for an aggressive trade up, and their rivals in New England get knocked down for a questionable trade down. Then again, don't expect this draft to change the reality of the AFC East or the AFC as a whole. The Patriots are still right at the top of the heap and aren't going anywhere anytime soon.

    Here's how the AFC teams fared:

    [Related: NFC draft grades]

    AFC EAST

    Buffalo Bills
    Picks: QB E.J. Manuel, WR Robert Woods, LB Kiko Alonso, WR Marquise Goodwin, FS Duke Williams, DB Jonathan Meeks, K Dustin Hopkins, TE Chris Gragg.
    Analysis: The Bills played the right strategy game here to get the quarterback they really liked in E.J. Manuel. Buffalo traded back, picking up value in the process and still getting Manuel, who was the first passer off the board and the only one to go in the first round. The only question is whether Manuel is the right

    Read More »from 2013 AFC draft grades: Dolphins earn only A
  • 2013 NFC draft grades: Coming off a Super Bowl season, the 49ers have a super draft

    It was less than six months ago that Dallas owner Jerry Jones put himself on notice as GM of the Cowboys, saying he would have fired himself. Well, based on the early returns from this year's NFL draft, Jones once again has cause for self-dismissal.

    The Cowboys were the only team to earn a failing grade for their performance in the draft, an effort that included a trade down and the subsequent selection of a player they could have gotten rounds later.

    For the most part, the NFC performed well, led by teams such as San Francisco, Minnesota, Atlanta and, yes, Tampa Bay.

    Here's an early assessment of how the NFC teams fared:

    [Related: AFC draft grades]

    NFC EAST

    Dallas Cowboys
    Picks: C Travis Frederick, TE Gavin Escobar, WR Terrance Williams, FS J.J. Wilcox, CB B.W. Webb, RB Joseph Randle, OLB DeVonte Holloman.

    Analysis:  Travis Frederick (Getty)Last year, the Cowboys received a B after an aggressive move up the board to get cornerback Morris Claiborne. This year they traded down, and the grade bottomed out with it. Three

    Read More »from 2013 NFC draft grades: Coming off a Super Bowl season, the 49ers have a super draft
  • 2013 NFL draft winners/losers: Sam Bradford fully equipped; Bill Belichick thinking too hard

    Before anybody cries foul about how the Minnesota Vikings, Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets were left out of the winners section of this story, read my column from Thursday night. All of those teams had great opening nights of the draft and deserve plenty of praise. The Jets even deserve a little more for the value of getting quarterback Geno Smith in the second round, but there's a big question about whether Smith is going to be able to handle the fish bowl effect of New York.

    For now, here's a look at the overall winners and losers from the 2013 NFL draft:

    WINNERS

    Rams first-round draft picks Tavon Austin (L) and Alec Ogletree address the media Friday. (AP)St. Louis Rams QB Sam Bradford – The story goes that St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher had to tell Bradford and the other Rams quarterbacks to stop smiling when they went to West Virginia to work out Tavon Austin. Well, Bradford is beaming after the Rams actually got Austin to go with a receiving corps that also includes Brian Quick, Jared Cook, Chris Givens and Lance Kendricks. These are the weapons Bradford has been

    Read More »from 2013 NFL draft winners/losers: Sam Bradford fully equipped; Bill Belichick thinking too hard
  • New Cardinals DB Tyrann Mathieu continues to raise red flags in NFL circles

    NEW YORK – The excuses for Tyrann Mathieu come tumbling out so fast and with such constancy that it's hard to keep track of them.

    The Twitter flier for a party Thursday night that promoted the notion of him being a first-round pick was a miscommunication, Mathieu tried to explain. Two missed pre-draft meetings with NFL teams occurred because Mathieu was sick, according to his agent.

    Tyrann Mathieu works out during LSU's pro day. (AP)Perhaps what Mathieu might understand some day after going in the third round of the NFL draft to the Arizona Cardinals on Friday night is that everything, right up to the moment he was selected, was a test of whether he gets it. Does he understand how to control his life well enough to make choices that will allow him to make the most of his big-play talent?

    For many NFL executives, the answer from this week is pretty much the same as before.

    No.

    "Arizona is the only place where this kid has a chance because [cornerback Patrick] Peterson is there and that's maybe the one guy [Mathieu] listens to," an NFC

    Read More »from New Cardinals DB Tyrann Mathieu continues to raise red flags in NFL circles
  • New Jets QB Geno Smith will face much tougher obstacles in New York

    NEW YORK – It would have been understandable if Geno Smith had left New York after this year's NFL draft and never wanted to come back.

    Now, he gets to call it home.

    And while there is a question about how long he'll share his new residence with fellow quarterback Mark Sanchez, there is a bigger question about whether he can handle the scrutiny of New York.

    Roger Goodell (left) and former NFL player Wayne Chrebet (right) introduce Geno Smith. (USA TODAY Sports)This is, after all, a guy who almost ran away from the moment after falling out of the first round on Thursday night. He returned Friday after being encouraged by friends and getting a text message from Aaron Rodgers to stand up to the moment. It's no small coincidence that Rodgers once endured a similar fall, yet Friday became the highest-paid player in the NFL when he signed a contract extension with Green Bay.

    While Smith, who wore clothes his mother bought for him earlier in the day after his stay in New York went longer than expected, eventually returned, the NFL doesn't always afford people an opportunity to think through

    Read More »from New Jets QB Geno Smith will face much tougher obstacles in New York
  • E.J. Manuel surprisingly breaks away from crop of mediocre QBs to land spot in Buffalo

    NEW YORK – E.J. Manuel bounced from interview to interview, answering the same questions with the enthusiasm of a guy being asked each query for the first time.

    NFL commissioner Roger Goodell introduces E.J. Manuel. (USA TODAY Sports)It was proof that there's no weary for the wowed.

    Manuel emerged from a half-dozen quarterback prospects to be the only one taken in the first round of the NFL draft on Thursday night, bypassing the likes of Geno Smith, Matt Barkley and even Ryan Nassib, a guy who was coached in college by Manuel's new coach in the pros.

    That left at least one NFL team executive stunned.

    "Don't take this the wrong way, but I'm shocked by that," the executive said. "I mean, he's a nice player and I could see him going in the first round. But Buffalo wasn't the team I thought would take him, and he's the only one? Yeah, I'm shocked."

    Some might say that speaks to Buffalo's ability to keep a secret after the Bills successfully traded back from No. 8 overall to No. 16 and still got their top prospect.

    [More NFL draft: Pick-by-pick analysis of

    Read More »from E.J. Manuel surprisingly breaks away from crop of mediocre QBs to land spot in Buffalo

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