2020-01-21

Lane Johnson Named to Third Consecutive Pro Bowl

ERIC HARTLINE/USA TODAY SPORTS
Philadelphia Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson was added to Pro Bowl as an alternate, Adam Caplan first reported on Monday.

Johnson wasn’t pleased about being snubbed when Pro Bowl selections were originally announced in December. It will be Johnson’s third consecutive Pro Bowl appearance.


Johnson, 29, was graded as the second-highest tackle in the league at 88.8 by Pro Football Focus. He allowed only one sack and four quarterback hits. He performed at an elite level as a run-blocker – receiving the highest grade (92.6) by PFF.

In November, he was rewarded with 4-year, $72M contract for his on-field performance, signing the richest contract for an NFL offensive lineman in league history.

He missed four games this season -- one game with a concussion and the final three regular season games with high ankle sprain.

Johnson will join former Oklahoma players – tight end Mark Andrews, tackle Orlando Brown and punter Tress Way.

The 2020 Pro Bowl will be played Sunday 2 PM/CT on ESPN/ABC.

2020-01-20

Kyler Murray Is Open To Playing Both In NFL, MLB

Matt York/Associated Press
Kyler Murray might have bigger aspirations than playing in the NFL.

Achieving successful playing careers on both the baseball diamond and gridiron. Becoming the only athlete selected in the first round in both the Major League Baseball and National Football League drafts.

Murray, 22, has reopened the door to possibly playing both sports professionally at some point. Reminders of  Deion Sanders and Bo Jackson.

"I think I could," Murray told the Arizona Republic. "Athletically, I think, yeah, I could do it. I've been playing both my whole life. I would love to add that to the résumé."

Murray, while at Oklahoma, was an outfielder that hit .296 with 10 home runs, 47 RBIs in 2018 season. Drafted ninth overall in 2018 MLB Draft by Oakland Athletics, the organization holds the rights to Murray after signing a $4.66M signing bonus.

However, he opted to continue his flourishing football career -- winning the 2018 Heisman Trophy and becoming the first overall selection in 2019 NFL Draft.

"I don't understand why in sports they try to marginalize it," Murray told the Republic. "They try to make you pick one and I get it, but we'll see. I think it would be fun. Right now, though, I'm just focused on football."

Coming off a successful rookie campaign as Arizona Cardinal's quarterback – setting franchise and league records. Ambitions of pursuing a major league career might be complicated, as Mike Floria of Pro Football Talk notes:

“ [If] Murray decides to play baseball, there’s nothing the Cardinals can do about it. Although the Buccaneers included in Jameis Winston‘s rookie contract a term that would have allowed the team to get an injunction to prevent Winston from engaging in any type of baseball activity, the NFL and the NFL Players Association have agreed to eliminate the power of teams to slam the door, legally, on a two-sport effort. Although playing baseball would void Murray’s guarantees.”

Murray signed a 4-year, $35.1M a rookie contract last season, according to Over The Cap. Of that, $35.1M is fully guaranteed unless he pursues his major-league aspirations.

2020-01-18

Andrews, Brown Named to First Career Pro Bowl

Ric Tapia, Associated Press
Baltimore Ravens tackle Orlando Brown, Jr. and tight end Mark Andrews were named to their first career Pro Bowl, the team announced on Thursday.

Andrews, 23, in his second season he broke the franchise record for most touchdown receptions by a tight end (7) and led the league with most touchdowns at the position (10).

Andrews expressed gratitude upon hearing the announcement.

"This is an extreme honor, especially since I'm in my second year," Andrews said, via Baltimore Ravens.

A staple of the Ravens' offense, Andrews was quarterback Lamar Jackson’s favorite target.

The 6-5 playmaker was targeted 98-times, catching 64 passes or 65.3% of the throws his direction. He averaged 13.31 yards, accumulating 852.

 "I wouldn't be here without my teammates, particularly our other tight ends – Nick Boyle and Hayden Hurst – with everything that we all do on the field. They make my job easier, so this is not an individual award – it's a team award."

Brown, 23, a key member of the future success of the Ravens’ dynamic offense was named a Pro Bowl alternate.  A starting point and providing protection for quarterback Lamar Jackson, and helping Baltimore lead the league in rushing and points per game.

Jackson, a favorite to win league MVP, threw 36 touchdowns, including seven to former Oklahoma teammate Marquise Brown. Jackson added another 1,206 yards on the ground behind Brown's 6-8, 345lb presence.

The journey has been tremulous at times for Brown. After his junior season, he opted to forego his senior season after being named an unanimous All-American at Oklahoma. Many considered him a consensus first-round prospect.

However, Brown had what many considered a historically bad work out at the NFL Scouting Combine. Only able to bench press 14 reps, and running a 5.85, 40.

Brown’s draft stock fell. Ravens opted to risk a third-round pick on the son of Baltimore great, Orlando Brown, Orlando Brown, Jr. at 83rd overall.

Week seven of 2018 season, he made his debut as a starter at right tackle -- a position he didn't relinquish. Not missing a snap since earning the role against Tennessee Titans.

At the start of 2019 season, though, Brown missed the opening of training camp due to a failed physical.

Once he joined teammates, the second-year veteran, Brown resumed where he left off. Starting  in  l 16 games in his Pro Bowl campaign, taking 100% of the snaps – 1107 total.

He allowed defenders to only sack Jackson on three occasions.

Beyond his size, Brown has displayed his field awareness, he accounted for only two penalties this season, offensive holding and illegal formation.

Brown and Andrews will join a record-breaking 11 teammates in the league's annual Pro Bowl on January 26.





2020-01-08

Report: Dallas Didn't Consider Lincoln Riley A Candidate For Opening

Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
Oklahoma fans took a sigh of relief when Dallas Cowboys found their next head coach and his name wasn’t Lincoln Riley.

The team is expected to name Mike McCarthy their next head coach after informing Jason Garrett they plan to move on after his January 15 contract expires, Jay Glazer of FOX Sports' first reported on Monday. McCarthy previously served as Green Bay Packers head coach from 2006-2017.

It was believed Jones would try and lure Riley away from Oklahoma with millions, however, team ownership didn’t attempt to, according to Glazer.

“(People) thought they would go after a Lincoln Riley, but that wasn’t the case. They didn’t want someone with college experience, they wanted someone who was an NFL head coach, ” Glazer told Colin Cowherd on The Herd.

It contradicts a report that Jones wanted to “take the temperature, ” of Riley's interest “in coming to the NFL, ” Ian Rapoport of NFL Network said on Sunday.

Jones has previously praised 36-year-old Riley, “I am impressed with him, but boy, I’m impressed with Baylor’s Rhule too, ” he told Dallas radio station 105.3 The Ticket in December.

Riley is signed through 2024 at $6M+ a year to stay at Oklahoma. He is 36-6 in three seasons.

2020-01-02

Kenneth Murray To Enter NFL Draft Foregoing Senior Season

IAN MAULE/Tulsa World
Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray a.k.a. "K9" will forego his senior season to enter the 2020 NFL Draft, Murray Tweeted on Thursday.

As a junior, Murray had a team-high 17 tackles for loss and was named an All-Big 12 selection. He had 332 tackles, 182 solo, 37.0 TFL in 42 career games, per SoonerSports.com.

“After discussing with my family and my coaches, I’ve decided that it’s time for me to chase my biggest dream and enter the 2020 NFL draft,” Murray said, via Tulsa World.



“I will always be a Sooner and I believe this is the right time for me to enter the NFL.”

Listed at 6-2, 234lbs, according to Sports Reference. Murray is considered a late first-round prospect, according to draft analyst Matt Miller of Bleacher Report.

“The Packers will be torn between giving Aaron Rodgers more talent at wide receiver or tight end and drafting to round out a defense that was much better in 2019 but still has hole,” Miller writes.

“Murray was a one-man wrecking crew for the Sooners and has shown the speed and instincts to line up at middle linebacker in any defensive alignment. His ability to play against the pass as well as he plays the run will make him a highly coveted prospect in Round 1.”

Murray will join teammate CeeDee Lamb in forgoing his final season to enter April's draft.

The league's annual Scouting Combine is February, 23-March 2 in Indianapolis.

2019-12-14

Adrian Peterson Seeks Another Career Milestone

Matt Ludtke / AP
Running back Adrian Peterson could hit another milestone when Washington Redskins host Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

Peterson, the sixth all-time leading rusher in NFL history, has over 14,036 career yards and could leave tomorrow's game fifth on the NFL rushing leaderboard.

Peterson needs 66 yards to pass five-time Pro Bowler Curtis Martin for fifth. In his second season with Washington, Peterson is averaging 60 yards rushing per game in 12 starts.

Peterson, 34-years-old, signed a two-year, $5M contract in the offseason with Washington. However, the contract could reach $8M if he triggers incentives, according to OverTheCap.com figures. One such trigger, Peterson must break the 1,000-yard rushing mark to receive a $500,000 bonus.  Peterson is 282 yards shy.

It may feel Peterson, known as All Day or AD by Oklahoma fans, has been breaking tackles for a lifetime in terms of football longevity as he near the age of 35. But his age hasn’t deterred him, “It'll happen. I'm going to keep going,” Peterson said, via ESPN.com.

Peterson says, he'll continue to play as long as it's at a high-level, "My body is feeling good. I'm still loving the game. Obviously I can still play and perform at a high level. Why walk away from it now? So, I'm going to keep going."

Washington hosts Philadelphia Eagles at noon  Sunday.

Brown, Andrews Rewrite Record Book in Ravens Win

Dan Kubus/Getty Images
A pair of Sooners established themselves in Baltimore Ravens’ record books in Thursday's 42-21 win against New York Jets.

Mark Andrews set a franchise record for most touchdown receptions in a season by a tight end with eight. The franchise record had previously been held by Todd Heap (2005) and Dennis Pitta (2012).


Andrews wrapped up the night with four receptions for 52 yards and touchdown grab.

Following the game, quarterback Lamar Jackson talked about saving the record-breaking ball for Andrews.


Marquise Brown, Jackson's second favorite target (67), tied the franchise mark for most touchdowns in a single-season by a wideout with seven, tying Torrey Smith (2011) and Marlon Brown (2013). Brown was held to four receptions and 45 yards and a touchdown against the Jets.

Ravens travel to Cleveland to play Baker Mayfield’s Browns next week.

2019-12-11

Mark Andrews Limited In Practice on Tuesday

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Baltimore Ravens tight end Mark Andrews (knee) returned to the practice field after missing Monday's practice, Aaron Kasinitz of PennLive.com reported on Tuesday.

Andrews, Ravens' leading receiver, was limited in Baltimore's 24-17 win over Buffalo Bills on Sunday playing only nine snaps. His injury is described as "contusion between his thigh and knee,” according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. And is considered “nothing major,” Schefter noted.

Andrews has 54 catches, 707 yards, and seven touchdowns this season.

Ravens (11-2) have a short turnaround as they host New York Jets (5-8) on Thursday.

2019-12-09

Lane Johnson Exits Game With Ankle Injury

Associated Press
Eagles tackle Lane Johnson exited Monday night's game against New York Giants with an apparent high ankle sprain after X-rays returned negative for a break, Derrick Gunn of NBC Sports reports.


Johnson rejoined teammates in Philadelphia, PA., after missing practice last week following the death of his Grandmother. Ahead of tonight's game, Johnson dedicated the game to her – posting on Twitter, “Game night! This one’s for you, Grandma!”

Johnson sat out two games with concussion-like symptoms before returning to action last week against Miami Dolphins.

Lane Johnson To Play In Honor of Grandmother Against Giants

Mitchell Leff/Getty Images
Eagles tackle Lane Johnson will play in Monday night's game against the New York Giants, in honor of his Grandmother who passed away last week.


Last week, Johnson missed two practices to travel back home to visit family in Texas. He recently returned to the Eagles' lineup against Miami after missing two games with concussion-like symptoms.


Johnson, a two-time Pro Bowler, signed the richest contract in league history for a tackle last month, signing a four-year, $72M contract extension that will keep him in Philadelphia through 2025.