Friday, October 28, 2011

Leigh Bodden Released By New England Patriots

Two days before they're set to face the Pittsburgh Steelers, the New England Patriots have released one of their cornerbacks. Leigh Bodden was cut by the Patriots Friday, according to multiple reports.

Bodden, who had been demoted to the Patriots nickel cornerback, signed a four-year deal with New England worth $22 million prior to the 2010 season. He is making $3.9 million this season.

According to, the 30-year-old Bodden had played 222 snaps this season, with 22 passes being thrown in his direction. He’d allowed 12 completions and one touchdown, while breaking up four attempts.

Bodden has 18 career interceptions during his nine season in the NFL.

The Patriots currently have the worst pass defense in the NFL.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski Apologizes For Bibi Jones Photos

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski apologized Wednesday for pictures of him posing shirtless with pornstar Bibi Jones. In the photos, Jones is wearing Gronkowski No. 87 New England jersey. The pictures were posted on Jones' Twitter page.

"I didn't intend anything to hurt the reputation of anyone on the New England Patriots or on behalf of Robert Kraft," said Gronkowski. "It was just a simple picture, and that's all."

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, meanwhile, is reveling in the fact that the tabloids aren't talking about him.

"I'm just glad I'm no longer the one that people are making fun of on my team on a daily basis," said Brady, who is married to supermodel Geisle Bunchan. "Gronk has definitely pulled into the lead there."

Fantasy Football 2011: Week 8 Waiver Wire

Injury lists get a little longer for NFL teams this time of year and we're starting to see some prominent names popping up on those lists. Last week was a tough one for several players, many of whom are every week fantasy starters. Beanie Wells, Willis McGahee, Darren McFadden, Marshawn Lynch, Santana Moss and Earnest Graham all went down with injuries in week seven and many of them will miss multiple weeks.

Finding consistent replacement players for the guys mentioned above won't be easy on your waiver wire, but there are some good options out there for those of you looking to cobble together a line-up every week. Here are the week 8 waiver wire pick-ups from The Source.

Christian Ponder, QB, Minnesota Vikings
Never before has a quarterback who completed 41% of his passes been a cause for optimism. But for the Minnesota Vikings, Ponder certainly breathed new life into a struggling offense and nearly engineered a comeback win over the unbeaten Green Bay Packers on Sunday. Ponder's ability to get the ball downfield makes him a valuable fantasy quarterback. He finished Sunday's game with 219 yards passing, 31 yards rushing and 2 TDs - a solid stat line for a guy making his first career start. Ponder has some favorable match-ups coming up and is worth stashing as a QB2 right now - with the potential to start for your fantasy team in a couple of weeks.

Bernard Scott, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
Scott is the epitome of a short-term investment. Scott will fill-in for Cedric Benson on Sunday, who's serving a one-game suspension. Scott is expected to get the bulk of the carries for the Bengals against the Seattle Seahawks. Scott is a good play this week simply based on opportunity. Scott could be in line for 20 or more touches and that's a good amount of work for a player sitting on a lot of waiver wires.

Knowshon Moreno/Lance Ball, RBs, Denver Broncos
With McGahee likely out for two games with a broken hand, the Broncos will turn (once again) to Moreno as their main ball carrier. I know a lot of owners dumped Moreno after a slow start, so he might be available if you need RB help. However, if Moreno is gone and you're still desperate for a RB, consider picking up Ball. Look for ball to get the short yardage and goal line carries (at least the ones not taken by Tim Tebow).

Roy Helu, RB, Washington Redskins
Good luck trying to figure out Mike Shanahan, but if you need a RB, Roy Helu may be the guy with the most upside on the waiver wire. With Tim Hightower done for the season with a knee injury, the Redskins will rely on Helu and Ryan Torain to carry the load. While Torain appears to be the front-runner for more carries right now, Helu should get his opportunities as the season goes on. But then again, good luck trying to figure out Shanahan.

Michael Jenkins/Devin Aromashodu, WRs, Minnesota Vikings
There are several reasons to like the Vikings wide receivers these days. The Vikings now have a QB in Christian Ponder who isn't afraid to throw the ball downfield, Bernard Berrian is out of the picture and Percy Harvin has a lingering rib injury. Jenkins is coming off his first career 100-yard game and looked like Ponder's favorite target. Aromashodu meanwhile, is on the field the most of any Vikings WR and was targeted on several deep passes in Sunday's loss to Green Bay. If you need one WR it should be Jenkins. However, if you're in a deeper league where the waiver wire has been picked clean, Aromashodu may be for you.

Jabar Gaffney, WR, Washington Redskins
With Moss sidelined with a broken hand for 5-7 weeks, Gaffney will likely see an increase in targets. Gaffney is more valuable in PPR leagues because of the number of targets he'll get, but in standard leagues he's just marginal. He's there if you need him, but if you don't need him don't waste a transaction on him.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Report: Minnesota Vikings Release Bernard Berrian

The Minnesota Vikings have reportedly cut ties with Bernard Berrian. According to NFL Newtork's Jason La Canfora, Berrian was released Tuesday morning.

Berrian was deactivated for Sunday's game against the Green bay Packers, the second deactivation of the season for him. Vikings head coach Leslie Fraizer declined to address Berrian's benching, only saying the two would have a meeting this week. The meeting happened and Berrian is gone.

Berrian signed with Minnesota as a free agent in 2008 and had a very good first season with the Vikings, catching 48 passes for 964 yards and seven touchdowns. Berrian's production fell off after that. In 2009, he finished with 55 catches for 618 yards and four touchdowns and last year he managed just 28 catches for 252 yards and zero touchdowns.

So far this season, Berrian had just 7 catches for 91 yards and zero touchdowns.

Berrian signed a six-year, $42 million contract with the Vikings in 2008 that included $16 million in guaranteed money. The Vikings restructured his deal this offseason, making Berrian a free agent after the season.

Minnesota Vikings CB Chris Cook Charged With Felony

Minnesota Vikings cornerback Chris Cook will face felony charges stemming from a domestic assault early Saturday morning. According to multiple reports, the Hennepin County attorney in Minneapolis filed a felony domestic assault strangulation charge against Cook on Tuesday.

Cook was arrested at 2:10 a.m. Saturday at his home in Eden Prairie, Minnesota after a neighbor reported screaming from Cook's residence, according to police.

According to the charges, Cook choked his girlfriend multiple times and struck her in the ear.

Cook has spent the past three days in jail and missed Sunday's loss to the Green Bay Packers.

This was Cook's second arrest in eight months. In March, he was arrested in Lynchburg, Va. after he was accused of pulling a gun on a neighbor. Cook was found not guilty of that charge.

Fantasy Football 2011: Week 7 Tuesday Takeaways

If you didn't believe it before week seven, you must believe it now, the NFL is a quarterback driven league and you need a good one if you want to win.

This weekend in the NFL, the Minnesota Vikings took their rookie signal caller for a test drive, The Green Bay Packers rode their reliable QB to victory and the Carolina Panthers' young gun looks legit. Then there's that guy named Tebow.

It was an action packed week seven that can't be replayed. But it can be relived in the The Source's Tuesday Takeaways. Here are The Source's takeaways from week seven.

1) The Minnesota Vikings have found themselves a quarterback. Rookie Christian Ponder (pictured) made his first career start Sunday against the Packers and looked solid. While his stat line doesn't jump off the page - 13/32 (41% comp. percentage), 219 yards, 2 TDs/2 INTS - Ponder immediately changed the Vikings offense. What Ponder did, and what Donovan McNabb didn't do, was he forced the ball down the field. Ponder's average yards per pass completion was 16.8, McNabb was averaging 6.6 yards per completion as a starter. Ponder's ability to complete passes downfield made the Vikings offense less predictable and opened up (a lot of) running room for RB Adrian Peterson (175 yards, 1 TD). Another reason Vikings fans should be optimistic, Ponder has converted 6 of 8 (75%) third downs. Previous to his benching, McNabb was converting third downs 44% (42-96) of the time.

2) Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers posted his second highest passer rating in his career in Sunday's 33-27 win over the Minnesota Vikings. Rodgers finished Sunday with a 146.5 passer rating, which was 8.9 points lower than his career best of 155.4, which came against the Cleveland Browns in 2009. Through the first seven weeks of 2011, Rodgers has had a passer rating of at least 110 or greater in every game, he's the only QB in NFL history to accomplish this feat. A league MVP trophy will look nice next to his other awards.

3) Despite playing awful football for 57 minutes, Denver Broncos QB Tim Tebow continued to prove he's a valuable fantasy football quarterback. Tebow managed 15 fantasy points on Sunday's 18-15 win over the Miami Dolphins, continuing his impressive fantasy run dating back to last season. In his past five games (games where Tebow saw significant playing time), he has scored 15, 17, 21, 16, 15 fantasy points (standard leagues). The guy throws an ugly, inaccurate ball, but he scores fantasy points.

4) I mentioned Peterson's big game against the Packers, but it was another former Oklahoma Sooner running back who stole the show on Sunday. Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray was filling in for the injured Felix Jones and rattled off a ridiculous 253 yards rushing, including a 91-yard touchdown. What Murray did on Sunday was remarkable for two reasons:
  • Coming into Sunday's game, Jones had 255 yards rushing ALL SEASON.
  • Murray is now the Cowboys all-time single-game rushing leader, outperforming Emmitt Smith and Tony Dorsett. Not bad company.
By the way, Peterson and Murray's 428 combined rushing yards in week seven set an NFL record for the most rushing yards by two players from the same school (Oklahoma Univesity).

5) All Larry Fitzgerald wanted before he signed his big contract this offseason was a commitment from the Cardinals that they would get him a quarterback. As it turns out, Arizona still haven't lived up to their end of the bargain. QB Kevin Kolb has been inconsistent this season, throwing for 1,553 yards, 7 TDs, 7 INTs. (with a 58% completion percentage). More importantly, Kolb's arrival hasn't improved Fitzgerald's numbers much over last year.
  • 2010: 35 rec. 403 yards, 4 TDs (seven games)
  • 2011: 31 rec. 505 yards, 2 TDs (six games)
Fitzgerald has more yards this year compared to last year, which is encouraging, but he's on pace for five touchdowns. Fitzgerald is a player who should have double digit TDs every season. Keep in mind, Fitzgerald scored 35 touchdowns from 2007-2009. He should be finding the endzone more often - I don't care who's playing quarterback.

6) I can't say Tennessee Titans RB Chris Johnson took the money and ran when he signed his new contract this offseason - mostly because he hasn't done much running this season. After a miserable performance (10 carries for 18 yards) on Sunday against a leaky Houston Texans run defense, Johnson is now on pace to rush for 715 yards this season. That's startling bad, especially when you consider Peterson currently has 712 yards rushing after seven weeks.

7) Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton continues to prove his critics wrong. Newton tied a rookie quarterback record by scoring his seventh rushing touchdown of the season in Sunday's 33-20 win over the Washington Redskins. Newton tied Vince Young, who set that rookie rushing TD mark with the Tennessee Titans in 2006. Newton has nine games left to break the record. My guess is he'll break the record soon and then make that record unbreakable.

8) Something very rare happened Monday night and Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice would like to forget it. Rice lost a fumble against the Jacksonville Jaguars snapping a 522-carry streak without a fumble. The last time Rice fumbled was December 27, 2009. Jay Sean's song Down featuring Lil Wayne was the number one song in America the last time Rice fumbled.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Week 7 NFL Twitter Takeaway

Twitter and NFL Sundays have become like peanut butter and jelly, hamburger and fries or Beavis and Butthead - it's hard to imagine one without the other.

When something happens on your big screen, you instinctually reach for your small screen and moments later the Twitter world is reading your instant analysis.

A former colleague of mine and an Emmy-award winner at WCCO-TV, Gregg Litman, wrote an article about this topic earlier this year. It's a very good article about how tweeting during live events has changed the way we watch TV. His article inspired me to take all my favorite tweets from NFL Sunday and post them here. While you're at it, give all these folks a follow.

Closing in on Unitas' unbreakable 47 straight games w/ a td pass, @drewbrees now at 34 games. Favre had 36 straight. Marino-30.

#Packers QB Aaron Rodgers' passing rating of 146.5 was the 2nd highest of his career. Best was 155.4 at Cleveland on Oct. 25, 2009.

Eight of Ponder's 13 completions went at least 12 yds today. Averaged 16.8 yds/comp. McNabb avgd 6.58. Huge difference.

Kyle Boller completed a better percentage of his passes than Carson Palmer. They had 6 INTs combined, completed 15 to their own team. Wow.

#Browns are 2-0 without Peyton Hillis - yes fans they can win without him although it'd be nice to keep Hillis

As of now, #Bears (4-3) would be 6th seed in the NFC, behind 3 division leaders and the Lions. Wins over Bucs and Falcons is HUGE

#Packers WR Greg Jennings might have the #Vikings number. 28 catches for 461 yards & 6 TDs in last 4 games against MIN. 7-116-1.5 average.

Felix Jones this season: 255 yards and a TD on 64 carries. DeMarco Murray on Sunday: 253 yards and a TD on 25 carries.

The #Saints have more points tonight (62) than the #Rams have all season (56)

One last thought on Ponder: Put that 4th q drive together without Harvin and behind beatup offensive line.

I've converted to Christian Ponder.