Off the Snap: Is David Beckham NFL-bound?
Catching you up on the latest must-read news and analysis from around the web….
• Could David Beckham, now retired from the game of soccer, take a crack at being a kicker in the NFL? Maybe, according to the Mirror Online. The U.K. publication reports that “an NFL franchise scout contacted (Beckham) to see if he would be interested in trying out as a star kicker.”
Beckham’s well-known for his proficiency off set pieces and, more specifically, for being able to bend the ball at his whim. He also would not be the first professional player to try the crossover from futbol to football. Multiple athletes have attempted that jump, including former United States National Team keeper Tony Meola, who tried out for the Jets following the 1994 World Cup.
• Cian Fahey at Pre Snap Reads has done some extensive and impressive work this offseason, analyzing the tapes of some of the NFL’s top cornerbacks. This week, he reached out to several writers (including yours truly) to help him roll through those he’s deemed the “Tier 1 Cornerbacks” in the league.
Tops on his list is new Tampa Bay shutdown defender Darrelle Revis, despite an injury that cost Revis most of 2012. He’s followed by Richard Sherman, Leon Hall (my focus for the piece), Stephon Gilmore and Brandon Flowers.
• The Green Bay Packers released linebacker Desmond Bishop on on Monday — the 29-year-old sat out the entire 2012 regular season with a hamstring injury. Bishop may not have to travel all that far to relocate, though. He told Jason Wilde of ESPNWisconsin that he’ll meet with the Minnesota Vikings, a team that certainly could use a talented and motivated inside ‘backer, on Tuesday.
• The controversy over the Redskins’ moniker will not go away, even as owner Daniel Snyder continues to insist that he will not change his team’s name. There seems to be more of a vocal group pushing for Washington’s NFL franchise to drop the “Redskins” name that at any point before. So, InTheCapital.com took to the streets of Washington to see what tourists had to say about the situation.
• “I think as an offense we felt like we slipped up, especially at the end of the season.” That’s what Patriots running back Shane Vereen told ESPNBoston’s Mike Reiss, regarding the Patriots’ motivation heading into the 2013 season. New England was shut out in the AFC title game’s second half, which allowed the Ravens to coast to a 28-13 win and a Super Bowl berth.
Another interesting tidbit from Reiss’ Vereen post: The running back praised backup QB Ryan Mallett, saying that he has “arm strength like I’ve never seen.” Mallett’s place on the depth chart behind Tom Brady has come into question multiple times — either with Mallett’s name surfacing in trade rumors or when veteran QBs like ex-Patriot Matt Cassel have become available as free agents. The Patriots have not shown any indication that they’re ready to send Mallett packing, and his high upside is part of the reason why.