- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner36 mins ago
New England Patriots offensive tackle Nate Solder had a routine physical about this time last year, at the start of offseason workouts, and he mentioned that he felt something around his testicle.
It turned out he had cancer. And because it was detected before it could spread, Solder was able to start all season for the Patriots, including a Super Bowl win.
Solder told his story to ESPN.com to spread awareness of testicular cancer. April is National Testicular Cancer Awareness month.
He told ESPN.com's Mike Reiss that the Patriots ordered an ultrasound, and the cancer was spotted. The cancer hadn't spread, so his testicle was removed.
"I was completely healthy, I'm a professional athlete. It can happen to anybody," Solder told ESPN.com. "Make sure you get yourself checked out, especially young men, because that's who it's really targeted toward."
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner1 hr ago
The relationship between Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings is deteriorating as his agent is trying his best to get his client traded.
Monday night, Ben Dogra (Peterson’s agent) posted a confusing picture on his Facebook account that had Vikings fans scratching their heads — or perhaps inducing more of their teeth gnashing.
Here’s the picture — with the caption “Game on!” — of Dogra with Peterson jerseys and him wearing a Tampa Bay Buccaneers hat:
What did it mean? Had AP been traded to the Bucs? Or just Dogra poking the bear a bit? Dogra, after all, reps some Buccaneers players, such as Gerald McCoy. Can’t the agent just be supporting two of his guys? (And … is that a Jerry Rice-autographed ball he’s holding? Cryptographers needed!)
On the hoof this might not mean much except for that it has been reported the Buccaneers are one of the teams interested in Peterson via trade. (Also worth noting: The Bucs travel to Minnesota for their preseason opener in August.)
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner20 hrs ago
There are a few ways to judge an NFL player's popularity, but the amount of merchandise he sells might be the best way.
And if you believe that to be true, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is the NFL's most popular player. Again.
For the second straight season, Wilsonled the NFL Players Association's player sales list. That takes into account all officially licensed products, including jerseys, Fatheads, ugly sweaters and bobbleheads. Wilson led all players in jersey sales and ugly sweaters (I had no idea NFL ugly sweaters was actually a thing until this list was released ... and I'm glad I didn't).
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner20 hrs ago
You want an offensive tackle in the draft? This is a pretty good year to find one. Just don’t wait too long.
There might not be a slam-dunk, top-10 surety in this group. There also is some question as to what the best pro position will be for some college left tackles in the pros. For instance, we grouped Iowa’s Brandon Scherff in with the interior group and LSU’s La’el Collins in with the tackle group, even though we could envision either player being effective at either spot at the next level.
Collins, Florida’s D.J. Humphries, Stanford’s Andrus Peat and Miami (Fla.)’s Ereck Flowers all look like first-round-caliber talents — and it’s possible to see even one more tackle prospect land in the top 32. Collins is a strong, athletic and durable tackle (or guard) and can fit into most blocking schemes. Humphries would be a great fit in a zone-based scheme and moves effortlessly but doesn’t have elite mass. Peat looks elite at times, less so at others, but could end up being the best of the bunch if he can harness his great size. Flowers plays with an edge and can pop but still needs some consistency in his raw game.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner21 hrs ago
In 2012, the Pittsburgh Steelers and receiver Antonio Brown agreed to what was a mutually beneficial contract extension.
Brown got $42.5 million over five years after his second NFL season. The Steelers recognized his talent and locked him up at a reasonable price early on, and Brown got some financial stability.
The problem is that Brown has outplayed that deal and wants a new one.
Fox Sports 1's Mike Garafolo reported that Brown wasn't at the first day of voluntary Steelers workouts on Monday, and is considering skipping minicamps and maybe even training camp to get a new deal. His base salary is slated to be $6 million this season. That's not bad money, but just 11th among base salaries for receiversaccording to Spotrac. And Brown ranks much higher than the 11th best receiver in the NFL; he is arguably No. 1.
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner22 hrs ago
You knew Tebowmania was going to hit the ground running (well, running and praying). We've been here before — the hype, the hope, the lunacy — so anybody that's going to break through the foaming mass of Tebow-love will have to come strong. And Philly Pretzel Factory has done just that:
The pose, of course, is reminiscent of that early-2010s craze of "Tebowing":
You remember that, don't you? Ah, we were all so young back then. Anyway, good on the Philly Pretzel Factory. All those Tebow conspiracy theorists will need something to snack on while they try to figure out how the Eagles signing Tebow ties into their theory that the NFL is blackballing the guy.
Also, should you purchase a Tebow pretzel, eat the arm first. We hear that's the tenderest part.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner22 hrs ago
I worry about the San Francisco 49ers this season.
Jim Harbaugh, who was not welcomed back by the 49ers and went to the University of Michigan after last season, pushed that San Francisco team hard. Here's what San Francisco guard Alex Boone had to say about it, on HBO's "Real Sports."
“He does a great job of giving you that spark, that initial boom,” Boone said, via Pro Football Talk . “But after a while, you just want to kick his (behind) ... He just keeps pushing you, and you’re like, ‘Dude, we got over the mountain. Stop. Let go.’ He kind of wore out his welcome.
“I think he just pushed guys too far," Boone said. "He wanted too much, demanded too much, expected too much. You know, ‘We gotta go out and do this. We gotta go out and do this. We gotta go out and do this.’ And you’d be like, ‘This guy might be clinically insane. He’s crazy. ... I think that if you’re stuck in your ways enough, eventually people are just going to say, ‘Listen, we just can’t work with this.'”
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner1 day ago
The Philadelphia Eagles brought in Tim Tebow for a workout in March but did not sign him. Now it appears they're ready to pull the trigger.
Fox's Jay Glazer is reporting that the team will bring Tebow back to town, this time with pen and contract ready.
Scoopage: The Eagles are plannng to bring in Tim Tebow and sign him tomorrow as they begin their offseason program FOX SPORTS has learned
The Eagles have been in mystery mode as far as their quarterbacks go. They have Sam Bradford (whom they acquired by trade a week before Tebow's first workout in Philly), old friend Mark Sanchez, Matt Barkley and G.J. Kinne currently on the roster but are reportedly prepared to add more at the position.
Eagles looking for a fourth QB for their offseason program but it's Tebows best chance to get back in the league
- Greg Cosell at Shutdown Corner1 day ago
We’ve looked at the edge defenders in this draft, and it’s a deep group. There are some possible impact defenders up the middle too, at the interior line and off-the-ball linebacker positions.
I want to start with TCU inside linebacker Paul Dawson, a player who people have forgotten about because he didn’t run well at the combine, which can be a big mistake.
Dawson is a guy who you actually have to watch the film on. His p lay recognition, ability to trigger instantly and downhill explosion in run game as good as any linebacker in this draft class. I think he’s a more athletic and twitchier mover than both Clemson’s Stephone Anthony and Mississippi State’s Benardrick McKinney, and a better prospect as a stacked inside linebacker than both of them. In fact, I think Dawson is the best inside linebacker prospect in the class.
- Greg Cosell at Shutdown Corner2 days ago
Everyone has an opinion on what the Tennessee Titans should do with the second pick. Should they go with a quarterback? Or take USC defensive lineman Leonard Williams?
I'd have a different answer if I was making that pick for the Titans. I'd take Florida outside linebacker/defensive end Dante Fowler. I think Fowler is the best defensive prospect in the draft.
When I watch film of college prospects, I like to watch a couple games on a prospect, move onto other players, and a couple weeks later watch a couple more of that prospect. I don't want my first impression to carry through six or seven games in a row on a player. I'm glad I took that approach with Fowler.
Early on, I saw a few flaws. I saw a troubling tendency when he was at defensive end to play too high at the point of attack and get moved by tackles and tight ends. He was engulfed by big tackles. I wondered if he had the size and girth to play defensive end.