Linehan Out As Cowboys’ Offensive Coordinator – Scott Linehan is no longer the Dallas Cowboys‘ offensive coordinator, the team announced Friday. The Cowboys will move ahead with a different playcaller for the first time since 2014. “This was not an easy decision because of how highly we regard Scott Linehan as a football coach and as a person. He and I had some really positive, substantive and open discussions which took place in the latter part of this week, and we ultimately agreed that it would be in the best interest of all of the parties involved if we were to make a change at this position,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said in a statement.” Later Friday afternoon, Linehan issued his own statement and said he met with Garrett on Wednesday and they had “a good, direct talk. At the end, we resolved that a fresh start was probably best for both of us.”
Saints; Watson Inactive For NFC Championship Game – New Orleans Saints tight end Ben Watson will be inactive against the Rams in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday, according to a source. Watson has been battling appendicitis and missed practice Wednesday and Thursday as doctors tried to decide whether surgery was necessary. Watson has been able to avoid that for now and returned to practice Friday, but the Saints decided he would be inactive for Sunday. If surgery is necessary, it would be a tight turnaround for Watson to play in the Super Bowl, should the Saints make it. If the Saints don’t advance to the Super Bowl, then Watson’s final game will have been last week against the Eagles in the divisional round of the playoffs. Watson has announced that this year will be his final season in the NFL. He plans to retire after the season, which is his 15th in the NFL. A first-round pick for New England in 2004, Watson has also played for the Browns and Ravens. This is his second stint with the Saints.
PFWA Names Matt Nagy Coach Of The Year – Today it was announced that Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy was named the Pro Football Writers of America Coach of the Year. Some might remember that back in December, news broke that Nagy was named AP Coach of the Year, but that ended up being an unofficial title. This one, is official. Nagy took over a Chicago Bears team that finished 3-13 and 5-11 the past two seasons respectively under John Fox, and took them to a 12-4 finish and in the process snagged the Bears first NFC North Championship in nearly a decade. Because of that, it’s easy to see why the PFWA made the choice it did. Of course, turn arounds like this rarely happen in a vacuum, and this Bears team is no exception. PFWA also named Vic Fangio it’s Assistant Coach of the Year for his role in an excellent defensive year for the Bears. For those that don’t know, Chicago finished at or near the top in many statistical categories, including 3rd in yards per game, 1st in yards per play, 1st in first downs per game, 1st in total points, and 1st in takeaways.
Fournette Challenges Void Of Guarantees – Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette has filed with the NFL a challenge to the team’s decision to void the guaranteed money in the final two years of his contract, a league source confirmed. An arbitrator will rule at a later date whether the Jaguars are able to withhold the $7.1 million in guaranteed money ($2.93 million in 2019 and $4.17 million in 2020) as punishment for Fournette’s NFL suspension. ProFootballTalk first reported the challenge. The NFL suspended Fournette for one game without pay after he left the bench, ran across the field and fought Buffalo Bills defensive lineman Shaq Lawson during the Jaguars’ 24-21 loss at Buffalo on Nov. 25. Fournette and Lawson also exchanged words as they were being escorted off the field. The Jaguars informed Fournette shortly after the suspension that they were voiding the remaining guaranteed money in his rookie contract because of a clause that allows them to do so if a player isn’t able to play for reasons other than a football injury.
Seahawks, Flying Solo With Wilson, Signs QB Lynch – The Seattle Seahawks have signed quarterback Paxton Lynch to a futures deal, giving the former first-round pick an opportunity to compete to be Russell Wilson‘s backup. The 24-year-old Lynch was drafted 26th overall by the Denver Broncos in 2016, but he started only four games over two disappointing seasons with the team and was waived before the start of the 2018 season. He remained unsigned, making him eligible to sign a futures contract with Seattle before the start of free agency in March. Before signing Lynch, Wilson was the only Seahawks quarterback under contract for 2019.
Lions Hire Darrell Bevell As OC – News was scant on the Detroit Lions offensive coordinator search, but out of nowhere, a name was finally revealed for the job. Detroit revealed they are hiring former Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell to the job. Bevell was most recently the Seahawks offensive coordinator, and helped Seattle to two straight Super Bowls, coming within an eyelash of defeating his new boss Matt Patricia at Super Bowl XLIX. Bevell, who coached in Seattle from 2011-2017, will bring with him plenty of experience in the NFC North too, given he coached in Minnesota and Green Bay as well. He will have to be charged with getting things going for Matthew Stafford, and given his work with Russell Wilson, Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers and company, he could be expected to do just that in Detroit.
Ex-NFLer Martin ToGo To Trail Over Social Post – Former Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Jonathan Martin must go to trial on felony charges related to a threatening post on his Instagram account in February 2018. The image on the post showed a shotgun and ammunition and tagged four accounts, including those belonging to former Dolphins teammates Richie Incognito and Mike Pouncey. It also included hashtags for Harvard-Westlake, where Martin went to high school in the Los Angeles area, and the Dolphins. The caption read: “When you’re a bully victim & a coward, your options are suicide, or revenge.” Martin was charged in March with four felony counts of making criminal threats. One of the counts was dismissed Wednesday, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office told the Los Angeles Times. Martin’s lawyer argued that the post was not specific enough to constitute a criminal threat, but Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Shellie Samuels disagreed.
Possible Contract Extension For Tomlin – Will Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin be offered a contract extension between now and the start of the regular season? Steelers team president Art Rooney II was asked on Wednesday during his annual end-of-the-season season with members of the local media if there are currently any plans to get Tomlin signed to a new deal during the offseason and according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com, he said that topic could be addressed later during the offseason. “Those are things we get to do sort of later in the offseason, so we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it,” Rooney said. Currently, Tomlin has two years remaining on the contract extension that he signed in August of 2017 which means that it won’t expire until after the 2020 season. In past years, Tomlin has signed a new extension two years out and thus that’s why Rooney was asked that question on Wednesday.
- Colorado Avalanche 2 – Ottawa Senators 5
- Boston Bruins 3 – Philadelphia Flyers 4
- Buffalo Sabres 4 – Calgary Flames 3
- Edmonton Oilers 3 – Vancouver Canucks 2
- San Jose Sharks 3 – Arizona Coyotes 6
Jaguars Expect To Hire John DeFilippo As OC – John DeFilippo resurfaced in Florida. The ex-Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator is expected to become the Jacksonville Jaguars‘ new OC, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday, per sources informed of the situation. It’s a vital hire for Jags coach Doug Marrone, who needed to inject some creativity into his ground-and-pound offense. DeFilippo has experience working for Jags EVP Tom Coughlin. The OC began his NFL coaching career as a quality control coach in New York under Coughlin and now rejoins him in Jacksonville. The move to hire DeFilippo is also certain to set off further speculation that the Jags could target quarterback Nick Foles this offseason. DeFilippo was widely credited with aiding the reigning Super Bowl MVP during his stint as the Philadelphia Eagles‘ quarterbacks coach during last season’s playoff run.
Rick Scangarello Expected To Become New Broncos OC – Following his sit-down with the “Godfather,” Rich Scangarello was extended a proposition: leave the (49ers), take the (Broncos’ offer). He’s close to accepting. NFL Network’s Ian Rappoport reports Scangarello remains in Dove Valley on Wednesday after his Tuesday interview for Denver’s offensive coordinator position, which “went well,” per Rapoport. “Barring a snag” in negotiations, San Francisco’s quarterbacks coach is expected to earn the job. No surprise here. The Broncos quickly identified Scangarello as an OC candidate after Gary Kubiak opted out of the role, citing philosophical differences. They were initially denied an interview by the 49ers, but negotiations held over the weekend prompted general manager John Lynch to permit Scangarello to explore a would-be promotion. Groomed by Kyle Shanahan, who once was an option for the Broncos’ head-coaching gig, Scangarello’s first NFL assignment came in Atlanta, where he served as an offensive quality-control coach alongside Shanahan, then the offensive coordinator. Scangarello spent 2016 as the OC of Wagner College before Shanahan got the 49ers’ head job and recruited Scangarello to run the QBs.