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NFL Free Agency 2014 - Top 100 Ranked Players

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NFL Free Agency 2014 - Top 100 Players
Free Agents - Unrestricted & ‘Street’ - No Franchise or Transitional Players listed

Photo – WR Eric Decker - Broncos

Top NFL Unrestricted Free Agents 2014:
Rank / Players / Position / Team

1. Jairus Byrd - S - Buffalo Bills
2. Lamarr Houston - DE - Oakland Raiders
3. Eugene Monroe - OT - Baltimore Ravens
4. Michael Johnson - DE - Cincinnati Bengals
5. Alterraun Verner - CB - Tennessee Titans
6. T.J. Ward - S - Cleveland Browns
7. Jared Veldheer - OT - Oakland Raiders
8. Branden Albert - OT - Kansas City Chiefs
9. Eric Decker - WR - Denver Broncos
10. Vontae Davis - CB - Indianapolis Colts
11. Randy Starks - DT - Miami Dolphins
12. Linval Joseph - DT - New York Giants
13. Brandon Browner - CB - Seattle Seahawks
14. James Jones - WR - Green Bay Packers
15. Aqib Talib - CB - New England Patriots
16. Jason Hatcher - DT - Dallas Cowboys
17. Jermichael Finley - TE - Green Bay Packers
18. B.J. Raji - DT - Green Bay Packers
19. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie - CB - Broncos
20. Rodger Saffold - OT - St. Louis Rams
21. Henry Melton - DT - Chicago Bears
22. Golden Tate - WR - Seattle Seahawks
23. Karlos Dansby - LB - Arizona Cardinals
24. Donte Whitner - S - San Francisco 49ers
25. Michael Vick - QB - Philadelphia Eagles
26. Walter Thurmond - CB - Seattle Seahawks
27. Julian Edelman - WR - New England Patriots
28. Josh McCown - QB - Chicago Bears
29. Anthony Collins - OT - Cincinnati Bengals
30. Arthur Jones - DT - Baltimore Ravens
31. Hakeem Nicks - WR - NY Giants
32. Robert Ayers - DE - Denver Broncos
33. Brian De La Puente - OC - New Orleans Saints
34. Brandon Pettigrew - TE - Detroit Lions
35. Emmanuel Sanders - WR - Pittsburgh Steelers
36. Zane Beadles - OG - Denver Broncos
37. Ben Tate - RB - Houston Texans
38. Dexter McCluster - WR - Kansas City Chiefs
39. Austin Howard - OT - New York Jets
40. Zach Strief - OT - New Orleans Saints
41. Jon Asamoah - OG - Kansas City Chiefs
42. Darren McFadden - RB - Oakland Raiders
43. Tarell Brown - CB - San Francisco 49ers
44. Andrew Quarless - TE - Green Bay Packers
45. Andre Roberts - WR - Jacksonville Jaguars
46. Knowshon Moreno - RB - Denver Broncos
47. Anthony Spencer - DE - Dallas Cowboys
48. Travelle Wharton - OG - Carolina Panthers
49. Jacoby Jones - WR - Baltimore Ravens
50. Tony McDaniel - DT - Seattle Seahawks

NFL Teams Designate Franchise and Transitional Tags

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NFL Teams Designate Franchise and Transitional Tags
The deadline for NFL teams to designate veteran free agents with either the franchise or transition player tags passed on Monday with a total of 6 players receiving labels.

Photo – TE Jimmy Graham - Saints

Franchise Tags
All Players were non-exclusive Franchised players

TE Jimmy Graham - New Orleans
DE Greg Hardy - Carolina
DE/LB Brian Orakpo - Washington
PK Nick Folk - Jets

The cost for any signing club for a franchised player with the non-exclusive tag would be two first-round picks, and the current club would hold the right to match the offer.

Transitional Players
C Alex Mack - Cleveland
LB Jason Worilds - Pittsburgh

Meanwhile, Mack and Worilds are able to sign offer sheets with other teams which the Browns or Steelers can match respectively to keep the player. However, if the offer sheets aren’t matched there is no compensation for their clubs. The transition designation gives teams five days to match any prospective offers. The salary cap numbers for Transitional players is approximately 20% lower than a Franchise tag at the same position.

NFL Free Agency begins March 11th. New Higher Team 2014 Salary Cap will be part of March NFL Free Agency Report – out this weekend.

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Thorpe etc for the past 20 years. He writes College Football Mondays weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He does sports radio shows for ESPN, Fox Sports and Sporting News on a year round basis related to College Football especially during the postseason team and All-star Bowl time. He has worked for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Yahoo and Rivals sports publications and web sites.

NFL 2014 Postseason Calendar - Clubs Franchise Players - Deadline Monday - New Higher Team 2014 Salary Cap

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NFL Postseason Calendar

NFL Free Agency & Trading Period Begins March 11th
Feb. 17 thru March 3rd: Time Period NFL clubs have to designate Franchise or Transition Players

Photo – OT Branden Albert - Chiefs

March 2014
March 1 - NFL Regional Combine, One Buccaneer Place, Tampa, Florida
March 3 - Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players
March 8-9 - NFL Regional Combine, Atlanta Falcons Training Facility, Flowery Branch, Georgia March 8-11: Clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with, the certified agents of players who will become unrestricted free agents upon the expiration of their 2013 player contracts at 4 p.m. ET on March 11. However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until 4 p.m. on March 11
March 11: New NFL League year, Veteran Free Agency begins
March 11: Before 4 p.m. ET, clubs must exercise options for 2014 on all players who have option clauses in their 2013 contracts
March 11: Before 4 p.m. ET, clubs must submit qualifying offers to their restricted free agents with expiring contracts
March 11: Before 4 p.m. ET, clubs must submit a minimum salary tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2013 contracts and who have fewer than three accrued Seasons of FA credit
March 11: All clubs must be under the 2014 salary cap before 4 p.m. ET
March 11 - Trading period for 2014 begins , New York time, after expiration of all 2013 contracts
March 15 - NFL Regional Combine, Halas Hall, Lake Forest, Illinois
March 22 - NFL Regional Combine, Doctors Hospital Training Facility at Nova Southeastern University, Davie, Florida
March 22-23 - NFL Regional Combine, Virginia Mason Athletic Center, Renton, Washington
March 23-26: NFL Owners Meeting - Orlando, Fla.
March 29 - NFL Regional Combine, Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center, Indianapolis, Indiana.
March 29-30 - NFL Regional Combine, Under Armour Performance Center, Owings Mills, Maryland.
April 7 - Clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2013 regular season may begin offseason workout programs.
April 12-13 - Super Regional Combine, Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan.
April 21: Clubs with returning head coaches may begin off-season workout programs.
May 2: Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets.
May 7: Deadline for prior club to exercise right of first refusal to restricted free agents.

May 8-10: NFL Draft 2014 - New York, Radio City Music Hall
May 8th - First round / May 9th - Rounds 2&3 / May 10th - Rounds 4 thru 7

NFL Scouting Combine 2014 Opens Today

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NFL Scouting Combine 2014 Schedule
NFL Combine - Feb. 19-25, 2014 - Lucas Stadium, Indianapolis, In

Photo – CB Loucheiz Purifoy - Florida

This week over three hundred of the very best college football players will participate in the NFL Scouting Combine (National Invitational Camp) in Indianapolis, Indiana. Top Executives, Coaching Staffs, Player Personnel Departments and Medical Personnel from all 32 NFL teams will be on hand to evaluate the nation’s top college football players eligible for the upcoming NFL Draft. This intense, four-day job interview is an exciting time for the athletes and a vital step in achieving their dreams of playing in the NFL. The NFL Network will televise the complete NFL Combine weeklong event.

How are players selected for the NFL Combine?
NFL Combine participants are determined each year by a Selection Committee. The Directors of both National and BLESTO scouting services, which combined represent 25 NFL teams, are joined by members of various NFL player personnel departments to form the committee. The participating NFL executives can rotate on a yearly basis, and remain anonymous. All eligible players are reviewed and voted on by the committee members. Each athlete receiving the necessary number of votes, by position, is then extended an invitation. While it is not a perfect science, the goal of the committee is to invite every player that will be drafted in the upcoming NFL Draft.

Schedule
DAY 1 ARRIVALS*: █ Group 1 (PK, ST, OL), Group 2 (OL), Group 3 (TE)

Wednesday - February 19, 2014 Travel to Indianapolis* ~ Registration ~ Hospital Pre-Exam & X-rays ~ Orientation ~ Interviews
Thursday - February 20, 2014 Measurements ~ Medical Examinations ~ Media ~ Interviews
Friday - February 21, 2014 NFLPA Meeting ~ Psychological Testing ~ PK/ST Workout ~ Bench Press ~ Interviews
Saturday - February 22, 2014 On-Field Workout (timing, stations, skill drills) ~ Departure from Indianapolis

DAY 2 ARRIVALS*: █ Group 4 (QB, WO), Group 5 (QB, WO), Group 6 (RB)
Thursday - February 20, 2014 Travel to Indianapolis* ~ Registration ~ Hospital Pre-Exam & X-rays ~ Orientation ~ Interviews
Friday - February 21, 2014 Measurements ~ Medical Examinations ~ Media ~ Interviews
Saturday - February 22, 2014 NFLPA Meeting ~ Psychological Testing ~ Bench Press ~ Interviews
Sunday - February 23, 2014 On-Field Workout (timing, stations, skill drills) ~ Departure from Indianapolis

DAY 3 ARRIVALS*: █ Group 7 (DL), Group 8 (DL), Group 9 (LB)
Friday - February 21, 2014 Travel to Indianapolis* ~ Registration ~ Hospital Pre-Exam & X-rays ~ Orientation ~ Interviews
Saturday - February 22, 2014 Measurements ~ Medical Examinations ~ Media ~ Interviews
Sunday - February 23, 2014 NFLPA Meeting ~ Psychological Testing ~ Bench Press ~ Interviews
Monday - February 24, 2014 On-Field Workout (timing, stations, skill drills) ~ Departure from Indianapolis

DAY 4 ARRIVALS: █ Group 10 (DB), Group 11 (DB)
Saturday - February 22, 2014 Travel to Indianapolis ~ Registration ~ Hospital Pre-Exam & X-rays ~ Orientation ~ Interviews
Sunday - February 23, 2014 Measurements ~ Medical Examinations ~ Media ~ Interviews
Monday - February 24, 2014 NFLPA Meeting ~ Psychological Testing ~ Bench Press ~ Interviews
Tuesday - February 25, 2014 On-Field Workout (timing, stations, skill drills) ~ Departure from Indianapolis

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Thorpe etc for the past 20 years. He writes College Football Mondays weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He does sports radio shows for ESPN, Fox Sports and Sporting News on a year round basis related to College Football especially during the postseason team and All-star Bowl time. He has worked for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Yahoo and Rivals sports publications and web sites.

NFL Clubs Designate Franchise or Transition Players Today

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Feb. 17: First day for NFL clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players

Feb. 19-25: NFL Combine 2014 - Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis
Feb. 22-25: NFL Combine - Workouts daily by position

Photo – CB Darqueze Dennard - Michigan St.

February 22 - NFL Regional Combine, Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa, California
March 1 - NFL Regional Combine, One Buccaneer Place, Tampa, Florida
March 3 - Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players
March 8-9 - NFL Regional Combine, Atlanta Falcons Training Facility, Flowery Branch, Georgia March 8-11: Clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with, the certified agents of players who will become unrestricted free agents upon the expiration of their 2013 player contracts at 4 p.m. ET on March 11. However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until 4 p.m. on March 11

March 11: New NFL League year, Veteran Free Agency begins

March 11: Before 4 p.m. ET, clubs must exercise options for 2014 on all players who have option clauses in their 2013 contracts
March 11: Before 4 p.m. ET, clubs must submit qualifying offers to their restricted free agents with expiring contracts
March 11: Before 4 p.m. ET, clubs must submit a minimum salary tender to retain exclusive negotiating rights to their players with expiring 2013 contracts and who have fewer than three accrued Seasons of FA credit
March 11: All clubs must be under the 2014 salary cap before 4 p.m. ET
March 11 - Trading period for 2014 begins , New York time, after expiration of all 2013 contracts
March 15 - NFL Regional Combine, Halas Hall, Lake Forest, Illinois
March 22 - NFL Regional Combine, Doctors Hospital Training Facility at Nova Southeastern University, Davie, Florida
March 22-23 - NFL Regional Combine, Virginia Mason Athletic Center, Renton, Washington
March 23-26: NFL Owners Meeting - Orlando, Fla.
March 29 - NFL Regional Combine, Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center, Indianapolis, Indiana.
March 29-30 - NFL Regional Combine, Under Armour Performance Center, Owings Mills, Maryland.
April 7 - Clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2013 regular season may begin offseason workout programs.
April 12-13 - Super Regional Combine, Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan.
April 21: Clubs with returning head coaches may begin off-season workout programs.
May 2: Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets.
May 7: Deadline for prior club to exercise right of first refusal to restricted free agents.

May 8-10: NFL Draft 2014 - New York, Radio City Music Hall
May 8th - First round / May 9th - Rounds 2&3 / May 10th - Rounds 4 thru 7

RB Lacy and DE Sheldon Richardson Win NFL Rookie of the Year Awards

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Eddie Lacy and Sheldon Richardson Win NFL Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year Awards

Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy and NY Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson win the NFL Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year Awards for their outstanding 2013 season

For Yearbook 2013 Scouting Reports on Rookies Lacy and Richardson from Draft Insiders Digest NFL Draft 2013 – Continue to Read Article - Frank Coyle / Publisher

Photo – RB Eddie Lacy - Packers

Eddie Lacy was selected in the 2nd-round in the NFL Draft 2013 out of Alabama. He was the #1 rated running back in Draft Insiders’ Yearbook 2013 in April. Lacy rushed for 1,178 yards on 284 carries with 11 touchdowns. He also had 35 receptions for 257 yards and was a key to helping the Packers weather the storm when star quarterback Aaron Rodgers went down with an injury in the middle of the season.

Lacy beat out San Diego Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen. Whereas Allen finished 22nd in receiving yards and 13th in receiving touchdowns, Lacy placed eighth in rushing yards and third in rushing scores. After Week 5 through the rest of the season, only LeSean McCoy and Jamaal Charles among running backs averaged more than Lacy's 86.7 yards per game.

Lacy carried Green Bay's offense for a crucial seven-game stretch when Aaron Rodgers was sidelined, emerging as the Packers' most valuable player. Most impressively, Lacy saved the season while toughing out an ankle injury and facing stacked boxes without Rodgers directing the Packers' offense.

A physical throwback type of runner, Lacy consistently got most of his yardage after contact. He finished near the top of the list in yards after contact and forced missed tackles. This award is a fitting tribute to a player who not only broke John Brockington's long-standing franchise record for rookie rushing yards.

Offensive Rookie of the Year voting
Player / Position / # of votes
Eddie Lacy - Green Bay Packers RB - 35
Keenan Allen - San Diego Chargers WR - 12
Giovani Bernard - Cincinnati Bengals RB - 1
Larry Warford - Detroit Lions OT - 1
Cordarrelle Patterson - Minnesota Vikings WR/KR - 1

New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson earns the 2013 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. Richardson was announced as the top defensive rookie at Saturday's "NFL Honors" awards show. It's rare for a defensive lineman to take home the award because the position's biggest contributions rarely show up in the box score or in casual game viewing.

The Jets realized early on that Richardson would make an immediate impact, teaming with Muhammad Wilkerson and Damon Harrison on the Sons of Anarchy defensive line that was arguably the league's best in 2013.

"He's had a tremendous year and I think he has a great future here," coach Rex Ryan said in December. "The production is a huge part of it and the way he plays. He's got that relentless motor. For a defensive tackle and being as productive as he is ... the tape doesn't lie."

Richardson won the award over the Buffalo Bills' Kiko Alonso, the Carolina Panthers' Star Lotulelei, the New Orleans Saints' Kenny Vaccaro and the Arizona Cardinals' Tyrann Mathieu.

The Jets defensive end totaled 77 tackles to go along with 3.5 sacks and a forced fumble. Those stats really don’t show his true impact as a defender. Among 3-4 defensive ends, only J.J. Watt produced more stops than Richardson's 41. The former Mizzou star gets off the ball quickly, pushes the pocket and blows up opposing run games.

Defensive Rookie of the Year voting
Player / Position / # of votes
Sheldon Richardson - New York Jets DE - 23
Kiko Alonso - Buffalo Bills LB - 19
Kenny Vaccaro - New Orleans Saints S - 4
Tyrann Mathieu - Arizona Cardinals S - 2
Star Lotulelei - Carolina Panthers DT – 2

For Yearbook 2013 Scouting Reports on Rookies Lacy and Richardson from Draft Insiders Digest NFL Draft 2013 – Continue to Next Page - Frank Coyle / Publisher

East-West Shrine Week Begins Key Final All-Star Games

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East-West Shrine Week Begins Key All-Star Weeks
Major All-Star Games – Week Practices and Weigh-In

Draft Insiders Digest Subscribers will get East-West Updates This Week – January Newsletter – available this week - Frank Coyle / Publisher

Photo - QB Jimmy Garoppolo - Eastern Illinois

The top All-star games begin this week with weigh-ins and practices. This will be followed by Senior Bowl week beginning Jan 20th with daily practices and interviews.

Both the East-West Shrine game in St. Petersburg and the NFLPA star game in Carson, California opened Jan. 13th with weigh-ins and interviews with interesting rosters of pro prospects for the NFL Draft 2014.

The line-up for the Shrine game is headlined by QBs Jimmy Garoppolo of Eastern Illinois, Jeff Mathews of Cornell and Northern Illinois All-American Jordan Lynch along with Tennessee running back Rajion Neal and RB Tim Flanders of Sam Houston St.

Other top prospects at the Shrine game will be wideouts Erik Lora of Eastern Illinois and Jeremy Gallon of Michigan along with Baylor TE Jordan Najvar and Colorado State TE Gilmore Crockett who will be showcased in the passing game. Oklahoma C Gabe Ikard, Stanford DE Josh Mauro and North Carolina safety Tre Boston all more highly regarded prospects to watch, though they have little name value.

Three additional small college prospects that have impressed pro scouts are Bloomsburg St’s DE Larry Webster and CBs Peirre Desir of Lindenwood and North Dakota State’s Marcus Williams. They may be the defensive sleepers in this deep draft class.

East-West Shrine Game - Jan. 18, 2014 - 4 pm est
http://www.shrinegame.com/en/Teams/westRosterNew

NFLPA All-Star Game - Jan. 18, 2014 – 6 pm est
http://collegiate.nflpa.com/roster/

Senior Bowl - accepted Invitations
Weigh-in / Practices / Game - Jan. 20-25 - 4 pm est

http://www.seniorbowl.com/accepted-invites.php

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Thorpe etc for the past 20 years. He writes College Football Mondays weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He does sports radio shows for ESPN, Fox Sports and Sporting News on a year round basis related to College Football especially during the postseason team and All-star Bowl time. He has worked for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Yahoo and Rivals sports publications and web sites.

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