David Long Jersey

Michigan had two players – Devin Bush Jr. and Rashan Gary – selected in the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday, but although many analysts thought the Wolverines could have two second-round picks, their names were not called.

Defensive end Chase Winovich and cornerback David Long were thought to be sure second-round picks by many draft analysts but had to continue waiting into the third round where they both were taken early.

Winovich was selected by the New England Patriots with the 77th pick and Long is heading home to Los Angeles to play for the Rams, which made him the 79th overall pick. The NFL Draft concludes Saturday. Bush was the No. 10 overall pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Gary went No. 12 to Green Bay.

David Long

Earlier this week, ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper projected Winovich and Long, who both had strong NFL Combine showings, in the second round. Winovich returned to Michigan for his final year of eligibility after considering an early jump to the NFL, and with that additional year in college football, he turned heads while earning the team’s Most Valuable Player distinction.

Long left the Wolverines with a season of eligibility remaining. He had one interception and eight pass breakups last season. He had six pass breakups in 2017 and three interceptions his final two seasons as a starter.

Winovich had 69 tackles, including 17 for loss and five sacks last fall. He was a colorful personality and not just because of his long blond hair. At the NFL Combine, Winovich said he wanted to convince teams there was more to him than just being a high-motor player.

Out of all the players who are leaving the West Virginia Mountaineers this year, there is no one I will miss more than David Long. An undersized prospects, standing under 6’-0” tall, Long has “it”. However you choose to define it for a defensive football player, Long has that quality. He instinctively finds the football and quickly, strongly, and immediately brings down the ball carrier – often behind the line of scrimmage. There is a reason he is named Mr. TFL. Long missed the first four games of his sophomore year and still finished 4th in the Big 12 in tackles. Despite playing only 11 games last year due to a hurricane, Long finished with over 100 tackles. In his 2+ years starting, he had over 250 tackles and 40 tackles for loss. Aqib Talib is in the perfect position to be a mentor to David Long entering his first season with the Los Angeles Rams.

Due to all of the uncertainty surrounding the cornerback position beyond the 2019 season with Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters, the Los Angeles Rams were expected to look at the cornerback position during the 2019 NFL Draft, which they did with David Long in the third round.

Thanks to impressive career at Michigan, the Rams hope to see Long eventually develop into a reliable starter on the defensive side of the football, but for now it looks like the rookie just needs to be a little extra patient.Plus, one of the main positive factors for Long to consider is now that he’s officially a member of the Rams is how he can benefit from one of the best in the game with Talib.

Football fans can say whatever they want about how much of a headache Talib can be at times, but at the end of the day, his talent is undeniable at the NFL level.

In a way, it’s amazing to think about how Talib will be entering his 13th NFL season (second with Rams), and has still proven to play football at a high enough level to make a major impact on the defensive side of the football.

Last year when Los Angeles acquired the veteran cornerback from the Denver Broncos, they knew all along that Talib would most likely only be a short-term answer since it’s tough to continue playing at his age (turned 33 in February).

Similar to Peters, Talib is entering the final year of his contract in 2019, but unlike his teammate, it seems more likely that Los Angeles will move on from Talib after this season, especially if Long has a successful year of development as a rookie.At the moment, Brown may have an experience advantage over Henderson since he’s heading into his fifth season with the Rams, but plenty could change from now until the end of training camp.

Watching Henderson end his career with the Tigers in one of the best ways possible by rushing for 1,909 yards to go along with 22 touchdowns is the perfect example of why the interest was there for Los Angeles in the draft.

Brown has been a favorite of McVay’s over the last two seasons, but the Rams head coach will always do what’s best for the team on offense, even if that means Henderson works his way into the No. 2 spot in the backfield.

Darrell Henderson Jersey

Two weeks before the NFL Draft, Darrell Henderson enjoyed a rare moment of peace when he wasn’t flying to meet various teams.

He had just finished an autograph signing at TNC Sports in Bartlett and was surrounded by cousins, his sister Jerrica and uncle Kelvin Holmes. They took turns cracking jokes and play fighting as two of Henderson’s younger cousins chased each other.

His cousin Bobby Sanford took a picture of Henderson and a friend, but the photo came out upside down. Henderson laughed while he grabbed the phone, showing him how to rotate the picture right side up.

For those used to Henderson as a soft-spoken running back, it was a side he rarely showed in public. The laughter and ease around those closest to him allowed him to relax before his life changes this week.

“You only got one family and you got to enjoy them while you’re here so I try to spend as much time with them as possible,” said Henderson, a projected third-round pick in this week’s NFL Draft in Nashville. “They keep me motivated.”

Former Memphis running back Darrell Henderson poses with several family members after completing his Pro Day at Memphis. On Henderson’s immediate left is his cousin Bobby Sanford and to his right is cousin Patrice Shipp and uncle Kelvin Holmes. (Photo: Photo courtesy of Henderson family)

“My dad was very strict on me and he wouldn’t let me hang around certain people that he felt would threaten me,” Henderson said. “He put us in the house and had me working and cutting grass for him.”

The elder Henderson worked during the day and when he came home, he took Darrell Jr. as he worked in neighbor’s yards. It gave his son the work ethic he needed when he was told he was too small at 5-foot-8 to be a star running back.

Darrell Henderson played for the Batesville Steelers in the Youth Football League in his native Mississippi. During one season, he ran for over 2,000 yards and led his team to the YFL championship

Memphis running back Darrell Henderson (middle) fights for positive yards against the Tulsa defense during action in Memphis, Tenn., Saturday, November 10, 2018. (Photo: Mark Weber, The Commercial Appeal)

“I told him they’re moving you around to make you more flexible for the offense,” Holmes recalled.

Norvell had high expectations for Henderson. After the two met along with then-running backs coach Darrell Dickey, who helped recruit him with Fuente’s staff, Henderson was even more confident that Memphis was where he needed to be.

As things stand at the 2019 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills will first select ninth overall with 10 picks in total. If things hold there, the team could have plenty of options to consider when turning in their selection cards.

During the run to up to the draft which starts on April 25, BillsWire will compile information on prospects the Bills could have interest in. Specifically, what scouting reports say about their game.

Next up in our prospect previews is running back Darrell Henderson. Here’s a rundown of the what the experts are saying about his game:

Despite Darrell Henderson receiving heavy praise for being one of the top running backs from the 2019 NFL Draft class, the Los Angeles Rams weren’t really considered a strong landing spot for the Memphis star.

With the No. 31 pick in the first round after falling to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 53, most football fans rightfully assumed that Los Angeles would focus on one of their top needs with the selection, whether it was the offensive line or somewhere on defense.

After all of the drama surrounding Gurley’s lack of impact during the NFC Championship and Super Bowl, it was discovered this offseason the former Georgia star was dealing with arthritis in his one knee, which explains a lot.

The Rams have already made it clear they would be taking a different approach with Gurley in 2019 to make sure his knee wasn’t overworked too much, but also just because the team will be taking a different approach doesn’t eliminate any concerns.

Talent wise, Henderson is one of the top prospects at running back for a reason since the 22 rushing touchdowns recorded in his final season with the Tigers gives him all sorts of NFL potential.

No matter how great Gurley has been for the Rams’ offense over the years, even he knows the team will need to do whatever it takes to put them in the best position possible to make a run at the Super Bowl in 2019.

Taylor Rapp Jersey

Three Washington players were selected in the second round of the NFL Draft on Friday.

Cornerback Byron Murphy, a Scottsdale, Ariz. native, is headed home after being taken by the Arizona Cardinals with the 33rd overall pick. The Cincinnati Bengals selected tight end Drew Sample with the No. 52 overall pick before the Los Angeles Rams took safety Taylor Rapp at No. 61.

The Huskies had four players drafted in the first two rounds as offensive tackle Kaleb McGary was taken by the Atlanta Falcons with the No. 31 pick in the first round on Thursday.

Washington tight end Drew Sample (88) and Washington tight end Cade Otton (87) celebrate Otton’s touchdown catch in the first quarter. The Washington Huskies played the Oregon State Beavers in a NCAA football game at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Wash., on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018.

A second-team AP All-American last season, Murphy announced he was foregoing his final two seasons of eligibility shortly after the Huskies fell to Ohio State in the Rose Bowl.

Considered by many experts to be the top cornerback in the draft, Murphy was the second cornerback off the board. The New York Giants took Georgia’s DeAndre Baker with the 30th pick of the first round.

Murphy, who joins former UW defensive backs Budda Baker and Zeke Turner in Arizona, was an All-Pac-12 first-team selection last season. He was named the Pac-12 championship game MVP after recording two interceptions, including one he returned 66 yards for a touchdown.

Sample was a 2018 Academic All-Pac-12 second-team selection and an honorable mention All-Pac-12 selection. He finished his UW career with 46 receptions for 487 yards and five touchdowns, catching 25 passes for 252 yards and three touchdowns last season.

According to Pro Football Focus, Sample ranked 14th in overall grade (75.5) among draft-eligible tight ends with at least 300 offensive snaps in 2018. He was first in run-blocking grade (82.2).

NFL.com wrote in its scouting report that “Sample’s size and lunch-pail demeanor are what NFL teams look for at the point of attack. While he might be typecast as just a blocking tight end, he possess enough speed and ball skills to become a more productive pass catcher than he was at Washington.”

Sample became the fifth Husky tight end to be drafted since 2014.

Rapp, who started 35 games in his three years at UW, was a back-to-back first-team All-Pac-12 selection in 2017 and 2018. In 2016, he was named the conference’s Defensive Freshman of the Year. A 2018 AP second-team All-American, Rapp finished last season with 59 tackles, three fumble recoveries and two interceptions.

He was considered the No. 3 safety by NFL.com heading into the draft. In his mock draft, Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller had Rapp going in the first round, writing that Rapp is “able to play either safety spot, is a huge hitter and can even match up in slot coverage when needed.”

Washington safety Taylor Rapp has a “hip flexor issue,” Dane Brugler of TheAthletic.com reports.

Brugler calls it “good/bad news” as it explains why he ran a 4.78 in the 40-yard dash but “some teams are worried about the injury.”

Will it affect his draft stock tonight? It’s not something that’s just popped up.

Rapp injured his hip in the Pac-12 championship game and didn’t play in the Rose Bowl loss to Ohio State after going through pregame warmups.

He projected as one of the top safety prospects behind Maryland’s Darnell Savage and Mississippi State’s Johnathan Abram, both of whom went in the first round Thursday.

The Cowboys are among the teams Rapp visited during the pre-draft process.

He was a first-team All-Pac-12 selection the past two seasons and was the conference’s defensive freshman of the year in 2016. He finished his junior season with 59 tackles, three fumble recoveries and two interceptions, earning second-team All-America honors.

Cory Littleton Jersey

Dante Fowler Jr. and Marcus Peters told McVay in advance that they had other obligations preventing them from attending the start of the offseason program.

“There was a couple guys that just had some different things going on. Dante and Marcus both communicated well in advance, but those are guys that will be here once they get some of those things taken care of that they had to do.”

It’s not a concern at all that Fowler or Peters aren’t attending the start of workouts, as expressed by McVay. It’s not as if they’re holding out, giving the coach notice well in advance of Monday’s initial session.

They weren’t the only players absent from the start of workouts. Restricted free agents Cory Littleton and Troy Hill were also missing, but McVay doesn’t sound overly concerned.

“I think once they come in, you’d like to be able to get those guys to sign. That’s something that we’re navigating through,” McVay said. “Cory was the other guy that, he communicated to us that he had something going on, so we don’t expect anything to be different. Those are guys that we hope to be on our team and looking forward to working with, but as far as anything specific, there’s really no news on that front.”

Six players signed free agent tenders on Monday after arriving to the team’s facility, including Blake Countess and JoJo Natson. Littleton and Hill are the only restricted free agents who haven’t yet signed their tenders.

Mandatory minicamp doesn’t start until June 11, so anyone who has not yet reported to the team still has plenty of time to do so without being fined.

Cory Littleton is among the Los Angeles Rams’ priority free agents this offseason, though on a slightly lower level. Not only is he a step below Ndamukong Suh and Rodger Saffold, but he’s also in a different situation.

Littleton is hitting free agency as a restricted free agent, making it far easier for the Rams to keep him. He’s not free to negotiate deals with other teams on the open market, which favors Los Angeles.

Littleton was thrust into a starting role after the Rams traded Alec Ogletree to the Giants and while he wasn’t without flaws, he did prove to be an upgrade over Ogletree. Where Littleton struggled was against the run, playing a role in the Rams defense allowing 5.1 yards per carry in the regular season – the highest rate in the NFL.

He’s on the slight side when it comes to inside linebackers, but his range allows him to roam sideline to sideline and make plays in the passing game. Littleton was 11th among linebackers this past season in coverage grade from PFF, which shows he was reliable against the pass.

The Los Angeles Rams had until Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET to hand out tenders to their restricted free agents, but they took care of that business one day in advance. The team announced on Tuesday that it has tendered nine restricted and exclusive rights free agents, including Cory Littleton.

Littleton was the only player given a tender higher than the original-round designation, receiving a second-round tender. That tentatively keeps Littleton in Los Angeles for one more year, but it doesn’t guarantee he’ll be back in 2019.

He can negotiate contracts with other teams and if he signs an offer sheet, the Rams have the opportunity to match it. If they opt not to, the team that signs him will have to give the Rams a second-round pick in return for Littleton.

Additionally, Blake Countess, Malcolm Brown and Troy Hill all received original-round tenders as restricted free agents. The Rams won’t get any compensation for Hill or Brown if they leave, since they were undrafted free agents. But Countess would net the Rams a sixth-rounder because that’s where he was drafted.

According to OverTheCap.com, a second-round tender is worth about $3.1 million, while the original-round tender pays $2 million for 2019.

As for the exclusive rights free agents, the Rams tendered JoJo Natson, KhaDarel Hodge, Dominique Hatfield, Morgan Fox and Kevin Peterson. Garrett Sickles was the only player not to get tendered, so he’ll become a free agent on Wednesday.

Andrew Whitworth Jersey

After the Los Angeles Rams’ loss to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII, Andrew Whitworth was among the players on a podium being peppered with questions from reporters. He left an impression on just about everyone watching.

When asked to reflect on the game and what it means to miss out on capturing the elusive Lombardi Trophy, Whitworth gave a very memorable quote – one that was trending on Twitter after the game.

“You’re not gonna get me to pout and feel sorry for myself,” Whitworth said. “I realize what this game means, I cherish the crap out of it. I don’t give a crap if you have a Hall of Fame bust, if you’ve been a Pro Bowler, or win 20 Super Bowls. At the end of the day, you’re all gonna die and you’re all gonna have the opportunity to not be playing football and who you are, how you carry yourself, whether you pout and feel sorry for yourself is the only thing that’s gonna matter — because that’s what people are going to remember about you.”

Image result for Andrew Whitworth

That’s pretty profound and powerful, coming from a player who’s spent more than a decade in the NFL. The quote was taken somewhat out of context in relation to the question that Whitworth was asked, but the meaning behind the message still held true.

During an appearance on Fox Sports 1’s “Fair Game” with Kristine Leahy, Whitworth clarified his comments and tried to expand on them.

With Rodger Saffold departing in free agency, many expect the Rams to add an interior lineman. But there’s also been a lot of talk about the Rams adding an offensive tackle. Andrew Whitworth publicly flirted with retirement this offseason before ultimately deciding to return for the 2019 season.

Many have argued the Rams need to draft a tackle early to prepare for the eventual retirement of Whitworth, but those arguments have mostly omitted the presence of Joseph Noteboom on the roster.

A third-round pick last year, Noteboom has mostly flown under the radar after essentially redshirting as a rookie. But it’s important not to forget about Noteboom when talking about successors to Whitworth, and this recent tweet from Vincent Bonsignore of The Athletic shows we might be underestimating how high the Rams’ coaching staff is on him.

Exercising the fifth year on a starting first-round pick is a perfunctory step for teams. Clubs have until May 3 to make the move.

Locking Goff in until the 2020 season provides the Rams flexibility with their free-agents-to-be next offseason — a group that currently includes Aqib Talib, Marcus Peters, Dante Fowler Jr., Andrew Whitworth and Blake Bortles, among others.

The Rams could look to reach a massive multi-year contract extension with Goff well before the 2020 season expires. As we’ve seen with starting quarterbacks, the longer the wait, the more intrinsically expensive they become.

The Rams’ move with Goff is the latest in a string of no-brainer fifth-year options picked up recently, which included Chargers pass rusher Joey Bosa and Ravens offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley.

Andrew Whitworth, who’s returning for his 14th NFL season, can’t wait to hear Sean McVay’s message about bouncing back from the Rams’ Super Bowl disappointment.

“Knowing that guy and the fire and intensity he has, I can’t imagine. It’s going to be good, you know that,” Whitworth said on NFL Network Wednesday. “I can’t wait to get back to work with him and really the whole group. I’m looking forward to it and I know he’s going to do a heck of a job as he always does of giving us a direct set mentality of how we move forward from here and that’s one of the best things he’s able to do.

“I look forward to this challenge of this next season and I’ve had a lot of fun training this offseason and, man, it’s right around the corner.”

Robert Woods also appeared on NFL Network Wednesday night, sharing his thoughts on a variety of topics, from the new pass interference rule to how the Rams can respond to their Super Bowl loss.

He echoed similar sentiments to Whitworth’s, calling the Rams a “big family” because of the job McVay’s done.

“Just his personality is exactly what this team is: young, energetic, excited to come to work. Every single player is excited when we step on the practice field, in the weight room, it’s a joy to be there with our teammates. Really, just a big family,” Woods said.

Robert Woods Jersey

Prior to Sean McVay’s arrival, the Los Angeles Rams hadn’t won an NFC West title since 2003. They also went 12 years without making the playoffs, failing to post a single winning season since going 12-4 in 2003.

Under McVay, though, they’ve won back-to-back division titles, won 24 regular-season games – the same number as they won in the previous four years combined – and reached the Super Bowl once. They’re eyeing a third straight division title in 2019, which the Rams haven’t done since 1977-79.

Robert Woods knows it won’t be easy, especially with the aggressive moves some of their division rivals have made this offseason. During an appearance on NFL Network’s “Total Access,” Woods was asked to name the Rams’ biggest threat in the NFC West.

He gave a political answer by complimenting all three teams.

“Going undefeated in the division, everyone’s going to be coming for us, every single team,” he said. “They’re matching up. You see what Arizona’s doing on the defensive side, adding (Terrell) Suggs. I know the 49ers are getting a lot of offensive weapons back, they played us pretty well. And Seattle, they always play well – great linebackers, great leaders.”

Host Scott Hanson tried to get an answer out of Woods by asking who will finish second in the division, but the wideout wasn’t giving anything away.

“Who cares about second? Who cares about second?” he said with a big smile and laugh.

The 49ers’ offseason has consisted of trade talks surrounding Antonio Brown and Odell Beckham Jr., as well as the acquisition of Dee Ford. The Seahawks lost Earl Thomas but retained Frank Clark on the franchise tag, and always have Russell Wilson to carry the load. Arizona signed Terrell Suggs and a host of free agents early in the process and could select Kyler Murray first overall to pair with Kliff Kingsbury.

The NFC West is always competitive and while the 49ers and Cardinals had rough 2018 seasons, Jimmy Garoppolo is returning and Arizona should have a new-look offense. All three teams will be gunning for the Rams, attempting to knock them off the hill atop the division.

This is the week that was for Ross. Two years ago this Saturday the Bengals took Ross with the ninth pick and both he and the team are looking for him to take off like he took off with the NFL scouting combine 40-yard dash record. The 4.22 seconds has translated into 21 catches and while his seven touchdowns are maybe one of the most overlooked stats of last season, Ross wants more.

“I overlook it myself because I feel like the touchdowns I was scoring weren’t really for someone of my build,” Ross said. “I was scoring (six) touchdowns in the red zone. I’ll take it, of course. It helps the team, and I definitely want to continue do that and other things and (make) bigger plays.”

He thinks he’s in the right offense for that, although he began the Taylor Era Tuesday like he began his career two years ago. On the sidelines for spring ball. But that’s the only similarity. Two years ago he didn’t get on the field until training camp because of shoulder surgery. Yet he may be back out there before the end of this camp because he says they’re just keeping an eye on after he developed some tightness in the wake of a stepped-up off-season conditioning program.

“I had to up my workload,” Ross said. “I’ve been grinding it getting into shape … I have to … Each year it gets bigger for me.”

Ross is looking to make the same kind of leap wide receiver Tyler Boyd did in his third season last year when he went from part-timer to a clutch 1,000-yard man. Throw in Hall-of-Famer A.J. Green and no wonder Ross has been looking at Rams tape since Taylor got hired. After all, the Rams, with Taylor as the quarterbacks coach, went to the Super Bowl with wide receivers Robert Woods and Brandin Cooks each getting more than 1,200 yards. Quarterback Andy Dalton agrees that this can be a Ross revival.

“You see everything that the Rams did, not that we’re going to be identical to the Rams,” Dalton said. “But they had three guys that were going to get 1,000 yards until (Cooper) Kupp got hurt. You see the skill set that (Ross) has if you compare him to a couple of those guys. Cooks probably has more straight-line speed than Woods does, but John has got that straight-line speed and he’s got some shiftiness. It will fit really well.”

With the Bengals unable to talk playbook with their new coaches until two weeks ago, Ross had been immersing himself in Rams video. It’s all he had and he liked what he saw.

“Something new is always exciting. Especially coming from where (Taylor) came from. I think a lot of us are excited. A lot of big plays. Not just from one player. A lot of people,” said Ross, who saw two things stand out on the tape. “Brandin Cooks and Robert Woods. Those are two great receivers that do their jobs really well. They play with a lot of energy and effort. That’s something for sure I know I can bring.”

While the helmetless Ross and Green (toe) shadowed receivers like Boyd and Auden Tate Tuesday during team work and seven-on-seven, their mates brought enough for Taylor to note and compliment.

Aqib Talib Jersey

Heading into the 2018 season, the Los Angeles Rams were one of the most exciting teams in the league. Their busy offseason bolstered an already strong roster, giving them a truly elite offense under Sean McVay.

As of now, the Cleveland Browns look like a similarly hyped team. After adding Odell Beckham Jr. and Olivier Vernon, and building on the success found with Baker Mayfield, Jarvis Landry and Nick Chubb, the Browns could be playoff contenders. The Rams will pay them a visit in Week 3 on Sunday Night Football, checking in to see just how legitimate the new-look Browns are.

Aqib Talib knows they look good on paper, but he’s still skeptical. On NFL Network’s “Total Access” segment titled “Buy, Sell or Hold,” Talib said he’s holding on Cleveland.

Image result for Aqib Talib

“I’m gonna hold. As of right now, I think it’s still on paper,” Talib said. “I’d like to see it with my own eyes, on the field, on TV or something – more than just on paper. As of right now, they had a losing record last season, so I gotta hold and see it with my own eyes, and then I’ll buy it.”

That’s a reasonable take from Talib. It’s hard not to be intrigued by the Browns after they put together a solid 2018 season behind Mayfield, but there’s no guarantee they’ll be successful next season.

The talent is absolutely there, but like Talib said, it’s still on paper. Games aren’t won and lost in March or April. There’s still a long way to go before the regular season begins in September, and until that point, Talib will have reservations about the Browns as AFC North contenders.

The slow period of the NFL offseason is officially winding down. The draft is right around the corner, and Wednesday night we’ll know the Los Angeles Rams’ full schedule for the 2019 season.

The league is releasing the schedules at 5 p.m. PT, pulling back the curtain on all 256 regular-season games. The Rams already know who their opponents will be, the only thing left to figure out is when they’ll be playing each one. The Rams have plenty of big games on their schedule, but perhaps the biggest one is a rematch of last year’s NFC championship game against the Saints.

The game caused a huge uproar, of course, because of the controversial non-call in the final few minutes. That non-call was the impetus for the league to change its rules and make pass interference calls reviewable.

The Saints have been hyping up the rematch for a while now, and are very much looking forward to their chance for revenge. It’ll be one of the most anticipated matchups of the entire NFL season, and Saints pass-rusher Cameron Jordan said recently he didn’t want it to happen too early.

“Let me get a couple games in so give me time for our unit to be super cohesive, know we’re battle-ready, sharpened up. I’m going to say game, like, five or six,” Jordan said.

Aqib Talib disagrees. The Rams cornerback did an interview on NFL Network’s “Total Access” Monday and said he doesn’t want to wait.

“They want to play us, we ain’t have no problem playing the guys, so let’s start it off Monday night or however,” he continued. “Put us under the lights and let’s get to it.”

Talib made it clear that the Saints aren’t the only ones looking forward to the rematch. New Orleans might be looking for revenge, but the Rams will be highly motivated as well. A lot of people tried to put an asterisk next to the Rams’ win because of the non-call, which surely angered many members of the team.

Talib isn’t one to back down from a fight, and he clearly wants to make a statement right away. He essentially one-upped the Saints and their trash talk, and it’ll be interesting to see if the schedule makers agree with Talib. General NFL fans will be hoping the matchup comes sooner rather than later. Fortunately, we won’t have to wait much longer to find out.

Aqib Talib has spent 11 years in the NFL and will make it a dozen in 2019 with the Los Angeles Rams. He’s earned about $64 million in his career, which is obviously a huge sum of money. If he remains with the Rams through next season and retires in 2020, he’ll have made about $72 million.

When you compare that figure to the contracts some MLB players are signing, it looks significantly smaller. Just this offseason, Bryce Harper signed a 13-year deal worth $330 million, all of which is guaranteed. Mike Trout also signed a 12-year, $430 million contract with the Angels, making him the richest player in MLB history.Aqib Talib has spent 11 years in the NFL and will make it a dozen in 2019 with the Los Angeles Rams. He’s earned about $64 million in his career, which is obviously a huge sum of money. If he remains with the Rams through next season and retires in 2020, he’ll have made about $72 million.

When you compare that figure to the contracts some MLB players are signing, it looks significantly smaller. Just this offseason, Bryce Harper signed a 13-year deal worth $330 million, all of which is guaranteed. Mike Trout also signed a 12-year, $430 million contract with the Angels, making him the richest player in MLB history.

Marcus Peters Jersey

Marcus Peters has made the playoffs every year he’s been in the NFL, playing on some of the best teams in the league. His teams have won at least 10 games each season and while they’ve all come up short in the postseason, the Chiefs and Rams both had success with Peters on the roster.

Although he didn’t have his best season in 2018, he was a big part of the Rams’ postseason run after he stepped up when Aqib Talib returned in Week 13. He admits he didn’t have a great year statistically, but he believes it was one of his best seasons in the NFL because of what the team accomplished.

“This year has been fun as [expletive] and I’m glad I’m a Ram now,” Peters said last week at his Fam 1st Family Foundation football camp. “With me, it wasn’t the best one statistically, but it was one of my best seasons because I made it to the Super Bowl. This had to be the best team that I was on, that really truly loved and cared about the whole outcome for the team.”

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The Rams are a very close-knit team with both veteran leaders and young stars like Jared Goff, Todd Gurley and Aaron Donald. Their chemistry is obvious on and off the field as all the personalities have meshed together perfectly without so much as a hint of animosity in the locker room.

Peters has an outgoing personality and is never afraid to speak his mind, resulting in entertaining press conferences and media sessions. One of the best of 2018 came when he spoke to reporters after the Rams’ Week 9 loss to the Saints when he called out Sean Payton.

Andrew Whitworth, who’s arguably the best leader on the team, commended Peters for standing up for himself after Payton took a shot at him for being a favorable matchup against Michael Thomas.

“After I finished talking to the media or whatever, ‘Whit’ was like, ‘Hey that’s how you stand up as a grown man. You take it for the good and the bad,’” Peters said.

The presence of leaders like Whitworth helps bring together a locker room, which helped make it possible for the Rams to add strong personalities like Peters, Aqib Talib and Ndamukong Suh in the same offseason. Peters mentioned how the Rams are “a genuine family” with “good people,” which makes him so excited to be a part of the team.

Some thought it would go horribly wrong for the Rams, but they proved without a shadow of a doubt that the personalities they acquired weren’t an issue at all.

“There was only two ways about it: Either it was going to explode or it was going to be good — you feel me?” Peters said.

The Rams exploded, but in a good way by breaking through and making it all the way to the Super Bowl. Their next goal is to win a Lombardi Trophy of their own.

Last offseason, the Los Angeles Rams made a splash move to acquire Marcus Peters via trade. The confident cornerback was traded from the Kansas City Chiefs to the Rams for a 2018 fourth-round pick and the Rams’ second-round selection in 2019.

He will have the No. 29 choice this year after the Chiefs came within an overtime of beating New England and reaching the Super Bowl. But he also has an additional second-round choice from the trade of volatile cornerback Marcus Peters to the Rams, and that means ample opportunity to get creative.

“The fact we have a one and two twos, and then a one and two twos next year, puts us in a position to be aggressive from now until the start of the season,” Veach said. “Looking toward not just next season, but for the next two, three, four, five years, if you’re not proactive in your approach then you’re always chasing your tail.”

Veach is one of the more open GMs in the league, willing to offer his opinion on just about any subject. But when it comes to discussing details, he’s as savvy and coy as a card shark.

Then again, it doesn’t take a genius to realize help on defense will top his draft to-do list.

The Chiefs fired coordinator Bob Sutton, ditched his 3-4 system and hired Steve Spagnuolo to put in a 4-3 scheme. They’ve already made a series of moves to create better fits for their personnel, but they still need help getting to the passer and in the defensive backfield.

The Chiefs signed Alex Okafor and traded for Emmanuel Ogbah, but they still need help. They hope Clemson DE Clelin Ferrell could fall to them late in the first round, and Montez Sweat of Mississippi State and TCU’s L.J. Collier are also possibilities.

The Chiefs released longtime but injury prone Eric Berry and signed Tyrann Mathieu in free agency, but they may not be done at safety. Jordan Lucas and Daniel Sorensen have some experience and Armani Watts made great strides before a season-ending injury as a rookie, but quality depth remains important. Someone like Maryland’s Darnell Savage might fit nicely.

Kendall Fuller excelled in his first season in Kansas City, and Bashaud Breeland joined in free agency. But things are thin beyond those two, making CB arguably the biggest need in the draft. Georgia standout Deandre Baker, Greedy Williams of LSU and Rock Ya-Sin of Temple all have the kind of size and athleticism that the Chiefs value on the outside.

Brandin Cooks Jersey

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Brandin Cooks has been praised by coaches and players throughout his career and Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia joined in on the praise.

Patricia used Cooks as an example in the film room and knows Cooks well after the two spent a season together with the New England Patriots two seasons ago. The Rams were lucky enough to trade for Cooks and get him away from the Patriots prior to the 2018 season.

Moments earlier, he’d shown a terrific catch by Rams receiver Brandin Cooks, from a game against the Saints. Patricia and Cooks overlapped in New England in 2017, and the Lions’ coach recalls what it was like watching Cooks in practice. Cooks “catches three balls on every play, whether it’s thrown to him or not” — a straightforward throw to his numbers, an over-the-shoulder catch like the one we just saw him make against the Saints, and then an even more difficult attempt.

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“He’s made that catch 1,000 times in practice,” Patricia says, pointing up to the video board. “Now, he may only have gotten it thrown to him twice (in a game), but he’s made it 1,000 times because he practices it every single day.”

The Lions wide receivers corps is talented, but it speaks volumes of Cooks’ talents seeing as his a coach on another team is using him as an example. Cooks is a fantastic speedy pass-catcher with some of the best hands in the league so it’s completely understandable why Patricia would use him to show his players how they can tweak their game.

After two years in a row consisting of being traded in the offseason, Brandin Cooks seems to finally have a set team in the Los Angeles Rams.

Around this time last year, the Los Angeles Rams were enjoying the excitement of acquiring Brandin Cooks from the New England Patriots in a trade that seemed to come out of nowhere.

After the Rams decided to let Sammy Watkins hit free agency instead of using the franchise tag on the speedster, Sean McVay and company seemed set on Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp handling most of the responsibilities in the passing game.

Other notable happenings from that game include the Seahawks being called for an offensive pass interference also courtesy of Kearse while the Saints were able to run a couple of successful pick plays that looked worse than Kearse’s infraction but were not flagged. One such play even led to a touchdown for the Saints.

Outside of Graham being gone, neither teams look much the same outside of their star quarterbacks. The matchup predates the arrival of Alvin Kamara for the Saints and features Tim Hightower as their primary back. The Saints defense was not young and revitalized yet and Brandin Cooks still caught passes from Drew Brees. For the Seahawks, the Legion of Boom was still intact. In fact, Earl Thomas returned a Mark Ingram fumble for a touchdown.

Christine Michael led the Seahawks in rushing yards and also scored a touchdown since current starter Chris Carson was still attending classes at Oklahoma State University. In addition to that, wide receiver Tyler Lockett was still hampered by an MCL issue and caught just four receptions for 32 yards. The often-injured C.J. Prosise led the team in receiving with four catches for 80 yards and also provided 23 rushing yards on four carries.

As you can tell, these teams have undergone significant changes in personnel over the last three offseasons. The Seahawks have rebuilt a Super Bowl contender from that season who would miss the playoffs the following year into a young, hungry playoff team in 2018. And the Saints have risen from a laughing stock on defense to Super Bowl contenders over the last two years.

In fact, it’s interesting this marquee NFC matchup with two dynamic offenses with very philosophies but similar styles wouldn’t be a primetime matchup, especially considering the history between the two sides with Marshawn Lynch’s Beast Quake being the standout memory. After all, these are two 2018 playoff teams meeting up.

Instead, it’ll be an afternoon game in week three, which doesn’t seem to do it justice.

The full schedule will be released at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. Keep posted for any other scheduling reveals before then.

The 2014 draft yielded six players, none of whom are still with the New Orleans Saints. Wide receiver Brandin Cooks got off to an impressive start in his rookie season before suffering a season-ending thumb injury and validated that with impressive back-to-back 1,100-yard plus receiving seasons in 2015 and 2016.

Ndamukong Suh Jersey

The Rams will not return veteran defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to the defensive line in 2019. In his sole season in horns, Suh started in all 16 games and tallied 4.5 sacks, 59 total tackles — four for a loss — 19 quarterback hits, and recovered two fumbles.

The three-time All-Pro had a particularly strong postseason, picking up 1.5 sacks, five quarterback hits, and two tackles for loss, along with a stifling effort against the run in three games.

Without Suh heading into 2019, defensive coordinator Wade Phillips has some decisions to make concerning the void at the nose of his unit, and he might not have to look far for the answer.

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“Now that I’ve kind of got comfortable paying at defensive end, you know I like playing that position, but if I have to play nose, I will do that too,” defensive tackle Michael Brockers said on the first day of the offseason program. “I told them that whatever I can do for this team, I will do it, so that’s the most important thing.”

Brockers is an in-house candidate to play the nose position in Phillips’ 3-4 defense in 2019. The 2018 team captain and seven-year Rams veteran played the nose in a 4-3 for the majority of his career, before the 71-year-old’s scheme was put in place in Los Angeles. Brockers took snaps at nose for a handful of games in 2017, before sliding down the line to get after quarterbacks as a five-technique defensive end.

Positions post-Suh are hardly set on the D-line, especially taking into account the Rams’ seven picks in next week’s NFL Draft, as well as how young members of the defensive line might contribute — like John Franklin-Myers, who saw solid playing time in 2018, and Sebastian Joseph-Day, who Brockers cited on Monday afternoon when discussing the position gap.

Regardless of who it is, the engine of the Rams’ most imposing position group for much of the 2018 campaign isn’t worried about next season sans Suh.

“We are just going to keep doing our job. We’ve got some great players that can come in and help us,” defensive tackle Aaron Donald said. “Suh was a good player for us and whatever the situation is, is his business, but no matter what happens, we are just going to do our job and do what we’ve been dong.”
The majority of free agents have already signed on the dotted line this offseason, but there is one big name still available on the market that doesn’t seem to be making the headlines – Ndamukong Suh.

Suh is no doubt one of the more polarizing players in the NFL; while many have lauded his play on the field over the years, he has earned a reputation as being a player who toes the line between playing hard and playing a little too over-aggressively. Be that as it may, he has been a consistent force on the interior over recent seasons, and he is one of only six players at the position who have recorded 80.0-plus overall grades in each of the last four campaigns.

Suh is also one of the more durable players in the league and has been a pinnacle of health throughout his career, averaging 935 snaps per season including the playoffs. He has only missed two games over his nine-year career and has finished with at least 40 quarterback pressures in every single season since 2010.

The 2018 season may not have been a banner year for Suh, but his performance throughout the Rams’ campaign is proof that he can still be a difference maker in the NFL. The ninth-year interior defender played the third-most snaps of any defensive tackle during the regular season, and when it was all said and done he had earned an 82.6 overall grade – the third-best mark of his career. His career-best overall grade (85.6) came just a season prior season with the Miami Dolphins, which perhaps shows that his play isn’t falling off as much as people think.

Over the last three seasons, Suh has been one of the most productive run stoppers in the entire NFL. He’s earned a run-defense grade of 91.1 over that span, sixth among qualifying players at the position, while his 83 run stops are tied for the seventh-most.

He obviously doesn’t come without concern, as the 32-year-old is coming off his lowest-graded season as a pass rusher, but even that resulted in a cool 57 pressures last year, while he also managed to tally nine pressures in the postseason, two more than even teammate Aaron Donald.

Unfortunately for the Rams, they seemingly don’t have the cap space to re-sign Suh, but he would be a solid addition to another team as a rotational impact player who can be a disruptive force against the run who can also contribute to the pass rush. Signing him to a one-year deal was a good move for the Rams last year, it could be so again for the next team that steps up.