Feb 16, 2011
Unless a CBA agreement is miraculously reached in the next two weeks, league news is going to come to a pretty sudden halt. But for now, we have some coaching hires, some franchise tags, and other miscellany to talk about.
Colts franchise Peyton… Although contract talks remain fluid between Peyton Manning and the Colts, Indy is going to make sure that the greatest player in team history won’t test the free-agent market. The Colts placed the franchise tag on Manning, meaning he will earn about $23 million in 2011 should the two sides not agree on a contract extension before the season begins. Manning’s salary is 120% of his $19.3 million salary in 2010; by rule, the franchise tag gives a player a one-year deal equivalent to the average salary of the five highest-paid players at the position or 120% of that player’s previous salary, whichever figure is higher. If you’re asking for a hunch, the Colts will get a deal with Manning worked out before the season.
Ngata gets tagged… Also on the franchise front, the Ravens opted to tag DT Haloti Ngata, which will pay him about $12.5 million in 2011. But honestly, we’d be surprised if it got to rough negotiations at any point. Ngata has expressed his desire to sign with Baltimore long term, and the last two Ravens to get franchise tags – CB Chris McAllister and DE Terrell Suggs – each signed long-term deals shortly after. The catch for Ngata is the fact that the “30% rule” in the current CBA will prevent the Ravens from signing him to an extension. But then again, the current CBA expires next month. So, who knows?
VJax receives franchise tag… It appears ugly that a guy who held out in 2010 will once again be operating without a long-term deal in 2011, but Charger WR Vincent Jackson is due a hefty raise from the $3.3 million salary he refused to play for last season. The Chargers placed the franchise tag on Jackson, as he fully expected, and should the tag’s power carry over into the new CBA, Jackson plans to play under its terms. Jackson’s tag is expected to net him around $11 million, so he’ll have a lot of extra dough floating around while he negotiates a long-term deal.
Titans tab Palmer to head offense… Veteran coach Chris Palmer announced his retirement from the NFL last year, but he apparently couldn’t pass up the challenge of rebuilding an offense. The Titans have no QB, but they do have an offensive coordinator, as Palmer agreed to join Mike Munchak’s staff. Most recently, Palmer was the head coach of the UFL’s Hartford Colonials, and he’s perhaps best known for his stint as head coach of the expansion Browns in 1999 and 2000. Palmer was most recently an offensive coordinator with the Texans from 2001 to 2005. Palmer’s two decades of NFL experience were a big selling point for Munchak, who is in his first year as a head coach, has a QB coach (Dowell Loggains) with just one year of experience, and an offensive line coach (Bruce Matthews) with none.
- No surprise here, but Steeler defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau has agreed to a one-year extension to stay in Pittsburgh. LeBeau has operated on one-year deals since joining the Steelers for a second stint in 2004.
- The Chiefs didn’t make a big splash with their offensive coordinator, so they made one at QB coach. Former Redskin coach Jim Zorn will come onboard, a clear sign the Chiefs want QB Matt Cassel to keep progressing (well, duh).
- Hall of Fame DB Rod Woodson has been named the Raiders’ DB coach.