Dez Bryant and 4 other players get Franchise Tagged

Slideshow: Justin Houston

Only 5 NFL players got the franchise tag and one got the transition tag by today’s deadline. Dez Bryant, Justin Houston, Demaryius Thomas, Stephen Gostkowski and Jason Pierre-Paul got franchise tagged today by their teams. Tight end Charles Clay of the Dolphins got a one year transition tag.

The teams all elected to use the non-exclusive franchise tags on their players. So Dez Bryant and the others are free to negotiate with other NFL teams. However if one of these five players sign a contract their original team has the option of matching the offer and keeping the player or taking two number one draft picks from the team that signed him.

Justin Houston would be the most likely player to be signed by a new team. Houston is an elite NFL pass rusher who can play linebacker or defensive end. To some team that usually drafts late in the draft he is well worth losing two number one draft picks, if they can sign him. 

Did Coach K know about the Sexual Assault claims?

Slideshow: Coach K

Rasheed Sulaimon the Duke Basketball player kicked off the team in January has been accused of sexually assaulting two women. Coach K kicked Rasheed Sulaimon off the team for failing to live up to obligations. Now people are wondering if Coach K knew about the sexual assault charges and didn’t kick Rasheed off the team when he heard about it.

Both ESPN and Deadspin are reporting that Coach K knew about the sexual assault claims as much as 14 months before kicking Rasheed off the Duke Basketball Team. People are already comparing Coach K to Joe Paterno and the Penn State child sex abuse scandal.

As bad as I hate Duke I won’t say the Coach K cover-up is as bad as Penn State covering up child sex abuse. That being said it’s pretty bad that Coach K would allow a basketball player to remain on the team when he has been accused of raping two women. 

The Carolina Panthers do not sign big name free agents

Slideshow: Suh

The Carolina Panthers just don’t sign big money free agents. Every time a big name is mentioned in free agency some Panthers fans start clamoring for them. I just don’t see the Carolina Panthers spending a lot of money in free agency on one player.

I think the Sean Gilbert trade did something to Jerry Richardson that keeps him from spending big again. Yes Gilbert was a trade and not a free agent but the concept is the same. Jerry Richardson does not want to spend a lot of money on one outside free agent and look bad if he flops with the Panthers.

It isn’t that Jerry Richardson is cheap, he spends what the salary cap demands, just on his own free agents usually. Dave Gettleman said he wouldn’t be shopping at the dollar store for free agents this season.

I do not expect the Panthers to try to sign a big name free agent like Suh or Cobb. I think the team will go for several mid level free agents to shore up the offensive line and wide receiver positions. I just don’t see the Carolina Panthers going after a top free agent. 

Offensive tackles the Panthers may consider in Free Agency

Slideshow: Ron Rivera

Here is a list of offensive tackles that the Carolina Panthers may be interested in during free agency. Offensive tackle has been the biggest need of the Panthers since Jordan Gross retired. The Panthers are not bringing back Byron Bell and probably need to starting tackles in free agency or the draft. I don’t see the Panthers who live to cry poor in free agency going after Buluga or Free who are the top offensive tackles in free agency.

Michael Orr

The Carolina Panthers already visited with Michael Orr who was released by the Titans. Don’t think because the movie “Blindside” was about Orr, that he is a great player. Orr is a solid offensive tackle when healthy but nothing special. Still a healthy Orr is an upgrade over Byron Bell.

Ryan Harris

Harris has mostly played right tackle in the NFL and would be a good player for the Panthers to look at. Harris is a journeyman and won’t break the bank for the Carolina Panthers in free agency.

Eric Winston

Winston was a top offensive tackle at one point but he got old. Good guy for the Panthers to look at as a possible mentor to a rookie and part time starter if needed.

Joseph Barksdale

Barksdale is one of the best offensive tackles in free agency and played well for the Rams. The problem is that he is a right tackle. I really think the Panthers will draft a left tackle because they are so hard to come by in free agency.

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Jeff Gordon off to a slow start in his last NASCAR season

Slideshow: Jeff Gordon

Jeff Gordon is not off to a good start in his final NASCAR season. Yesterday in Atlanta Jeff Gordon hit the wall in an unprotected spot and was knocked out of the race. Last week Kyle Busch hit a section of wall without the safety barrier system in Daytona and suffered a bad injury. Jeff Gordon was unhurt yesterday but has two bad starts.

Jeff Gordon currently is in 36th place in points after two races into his final NASCAR season. Its hard to believe that he is walking away from the sport. On one hand it feels like he has been in NASCAR for 50 years, on the other he looks like a 20 something year old.

I have pulled against Jeff Gordon or at least not for him during his career but have to admit he is one of the best NASCAR drivers of all time. It’s a long season and I am sure Jeff Gordon will win a race or two and be in the points race but he is off to a slow start.

Video Best NBA Fights Ever

Slideshow: Shaq

This is my article about some of the best fights in NBA history. Each NBA fight I write about will have a video included with the article. Some of the fights are just good NBA fights and some may just be funny. Feel free to leave a comment below or hit me up on Twitter.

Shaq vs Charles Barkley

Not much of an actual fight but I found it very funny when Charles Barkley bounced a basketball off of Shaq’s head. I was never a fan of either guy so if they want to beat on each other I was happy to watch it.

Doc Rivers vs Kevin Johnson

Doc Rivers and Kevin Johnson had a decent fight with some bench clearing action. Starks seemed madder than anyone in this NBA fight.

Detroit Pistons vs whoever they were playing lol

No article about fights in the NBA can be written without mention of the Bad Boys from Detroit.

Malice in the Palace

The Ben Wallace and Ron Artest fight that ended up in the stands. 

The Carolina Panthers should stay away from Brian Hartline

Slideshow: Brian Hartline

The Carolina Panthers should stay away from Brian Hartline. As soon as the Miami Dolphins parted ways with wide receiver Brian Hartline, I saw Carolina Panthers fans clamoring for him on social media. I think that signing Hartline would be a bad move for the Carolina Panthers.

Hartline is popular with some fans because of Hard Knocks and frankly because he is white. Brian Hartline had two decent NFL seasons with the Dolphins but really dropped off last year. Granted the Dolphins are not a great football team and Cam Newton is a better quarterback than what Hartline had in Miami.

At 6ft 2 inches tall and 200 pounds Brian Hartline should be a decent red zone target but he isn’t. Hartline only has 12 touchdown catches in 6 NFL seasons. The Carolina Panthers need a speed wide receiver to compliment Kelvin Benjamin, not a tall slow wide receiver who is overrated like Hartline.

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2015 Dallas Cowboys NFL Mock Draft

Slideshow: Dallas Cowboys braintrust

Thanks for checking out my 2015 Dallas Cowboys mock draft. Yes this is a Carolina Panthers blog but I cover the entire NFL as well, and was even a Dallas fan in the late 1970’s and early 80’s. I will list the players I think the Dallas Cowboys will draft.

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2015 Dallas Cowboys Mock Draft

Round 1- 27th pick

Alvin Dupree- DE- Kentucky

Dupree has versatility and could play in a 4-3 or 3-4 defense. Has a high motor and some pass rushing skills, which the Dallas Cowboys need in the 2015 draft.

Round 2-60th pick

Ifo-Ekpre-Olomu CB-Oregon

Olomu is raw but he is very, very fast and the Cowboys need speed in their secondary.

Round 3-91th pick

Tevin Coleman RB-Indiana

Coleman is a big back at 6ft 1 and has had some success catching the football out of the backfield. In this Dallas Cowboys mock draft, Coleman makes sense to try to replace DeMarco Murray.

Round 4-124th pick

Sean Mannion QB-Oregon State

Mannion needs to be more consistent but has a NFL arm. If Mannion can sit a year or two and get better, he could be the replacement for Tony Romo down the road.

Round 5- 157th pick

Corey Crawford DE-Clemson

At 6ft 5 and 275 Crawford could get a little bigger but the Cowboys will love his attitude and intensity.

Round 7-206th pick

Austin Shepherd OT-Alabama

Shepherd played some big boy football at Alabama and while he is a developmental project, he could be versatile enough to play guard or tackle for the Dallas Cowboys

Poll Should Mike Tomlin be on the hot seat with the Steelers?

Slideshow: Mike Tomlin

This is a poll asking if Mike Tomlin should be on the hot seat with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2015. Yes Mike Tomlin has a Super Bowl win but what has he done lately? Vote here on whether Mike Tomlin should be on the hot seat.

The Steelers went 11-5 last year under Mike Tomlin but were 8-8 the previous two seasons. Mike Tomlin has a career record of 82 and 46 with 5 playoff wins and 4 playoff losses. There have been rumblings of Steelers players being tired of Tomlin and that happens with coaches from time to time.

What impressed me when the Steelers hired Mike Tomlin was that he was 4-3 coach. Being a good coach he went with the 3-4 defense in Pittsburgh that they had been using for years. Dick LeBeau. Of course LeBeau has been fired now but Mike Tomlin is still there. Should the Steelers fire Tomlin next year if they don’t have success in the playoffs?