Posted April 17, 2014

Washington Redskins raving about a healthy Robert Griffin III

Washington Redskins
Washington Redskins raving about a healthy Robert Griffin III

Robert Griffin III ran for 326 fewer yards in 2013 than in 2012, on 34 fewer rushing attempts. (Simon Bruty/SI)

In recent weeks, the reports about Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III all have been positive. Many people believe that he will be able to return to his rookie form after a disappointing year in 2013, and even a handful of his teammates seem to be jumping on board with the praise.

The latest to speak out on Griffin’s progress are Washington receiver Santana Moss and former tight end Chris Cooley.

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Posted April 16, 2014

Report: 49ers put LaMichael James on trading block

NFL rumors, San Francisco 49ers
LaMichael James has endured a frustrating first three seasons with the 49ers. (Tony Avelar/AP)

LaMichael James has endured a frustrating first two seasons with the 49ers. (Tony Avelar/AP)

The San Francisco 49ers are actively looking to trade running back LaMichael James, reports Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee.

James was the team’s second-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, and the Niners have a log jam at the position, with starter Frank Gore, and backup Kendall Hunter.  The team also has Marcus Lattimore, who is recovering from knee surgery on his ACL.

James, 25, was the team’s primary punt returner last season, averaging 11 yards per return. He only saw 12 rushing attempts as a back last season and also caught two passes.

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Posted April 16, 2014

2014 NFL draft position rankings: Calvin Pryor, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix lead deep safety class

NFL Draft, NFL draft 2014
2014 NFL draft position rankings: Calvin Pryor leads deep safety class

Calvin Pryor has the potential to be an amazing NFL safety. (Garry Jones/AP)

Remember when the safety position used to be an afterthought? When it was primarily composed of guys running downhill and tackling like rabid hyenas, leaving the true coverage to the cornerbacks? Well, those days are clearly gone, as the NFL moves to more diverse defenses than ever before to counter offenses that run everything from three-tight end sets to five-wide formations in the blink of an eye. The die cast by Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu a decade ago has been forwarded by amazing athletes like Earl Thomas, Eric Berry, Eric Weddle, and Jairus Byrd. And the six-year, $54 million contract given to Byrd by the New Orleans Saints in March (with $26.3 million guaranteed) indicates that no NFL team worth its draft picks undervalues the position anymore.

In the 2014 draft class, there are two safeties with the skills to be every bit as good as the names listed above, and a sub-group with unique and special attributes. It’s a deep and under-the-radar bunch, especially in the projected middle rounds, where hybrid defenders will be available at a bargain price. Continue Reading

Posted April 16, 2014

Report: Seahawks sign Sidney Rice to one-year deal

NFL Free Agency, Seattle Seahawks
Sidney Rice spurned other offers so he could return to play for Seattle. (Joshua Weisberg/Icon SMI)

Sidney Rice spurned interest from other teams so he could return to play for Seattle. (Joshua Weisberg/Icon SMI)

Free agent wide receiver Sidney Rice has agreed to terms with the Seattle Seahawks on a one-year deal, according to Pro Football Talk.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Rice was cut by the Seahawks in February, saving the team $7.3 million under the salary cap.

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Posted April 16, 2014

The SI 64, Nos. 19-17: Ra’Shede Hageman, Taylor Lewan and Marqise Lee

NFL Draft, NFL draft 2014, The SI 64
2014 NFL draft top prospects: Nos. 19-17: Marqise Lee, more

Marqise Lee disappointed in 2013, but he still has the talent to be a top-flight NFL wide receiver. (Peter Read Miller/SI)

With the 2014 NFL draft fast approaching, it’s time for all 32 NFL teams to start getting their draft boards in order and ranking players based on their own preferences. At SI, it’s time for us to do that, as well. And to that end, Doug Farrar and Chris Burke have assembled their own definitive Big Board, consisting of the players they feel deserve to be selected in the first two rounds.

The SI 64 – which recently covered prospects 24-20 and can be found in its entirety here – uses tape study to define the best prospects in this class and why they’re slotted as such. Starting Thursday, our top 16 players in the 2014 class each will be highlighted in an individual post. Here, we cover prospects 19-17, a trio of players bordering on the upper-echelon of this draft.
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