Monday, February 1, 2016

Leadoff with Lee 2.1.16

By @cleeverizon

Calvin Johnson reportedly told the Lions that this past season was his last. If this is true it's the best kept secret in the NFL that never leaked. Johnson hasn't announced anything publicly yet but according to ESPN's Adam Schefter retirement is what's in store. Calvin Johnson made $113.8M on the field in his NFL career. This is the money Calvin Johnson walked away from: 2016: $24 million, 2017: $21.3 million, 2018: $17 million, 2019: $18.25 million. Calvin Johnson is Detroit's all-time leader in receptions (731), receiving yards (11,619) receiving TD (83) & receiving yards per game (86.1). Johnson has made the Pro-Bowl six times 2010-2015 and was All-Pro three times 2011-2013.

Even though I thought Cleveland's own Travis Kelce should have won MVP, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson throws three touchdown passes as Team Irvin beats Team Rice 49-27 in the NFL Pro Bowl. Teddy Bridgewater finished  6 of 8, 129 yards, 2 TD's & 1 INT.

Here are the key dates you need to know about the Browns and your favorite team, so make sure you keep this handy.

Teams are already in draft preparations, scouting the East-West Shrine Game and Senior Bowl in the last two weeks. Teams have also been able to trigger the fifth-year option on their 2013 first-round picks since January 4, and have until May 3 to do so.

February 8 is the first day teams can cut players and the day the waiver system begins. Teams can start signing CFL players with expired contracts on Feb. 9

The period to designate franchise tags and transition tags is February 16 - March 1. Seven teams used the franchise tag in 2015.

The NFL Combine is back in Indianapolis from Feb. 23-29, where the athletes perform the 40-yard dash, three-cone drill, and other performance tests, but most importantly get checked out by each team’s doctors.

The “legal tampering” period for NFL free agency lasts from March 7-9. Free agents can negotiate with other teams, but cannot sign a contract until March 9. But they can re-sign with their current team at any time, including now. The Browns have 17 free agents this year including FS Tashaun Gipson, LB Craig Robertson, RT Mitchell Schwartz, CB Johnson Bademosi, WR Travis Benjamin, LB Scott Solomon, G Austin Pazstor, LB Tank Carter, DT Jaime Meder, K Travis Coons, FS Don Jones, WR Terrelle Pryor, tackles Darrian Miller and Kaleb Johnson, RB Raheem Mostert, WR Darius Jennings and QB Pat Devlin.

The NFL calendar officially flips to 2016 on March 9 at 4 p.m. At this point, free agents can sign with any team, players can be traded, and each team has to be compliant with the new salary cap.

Teams have 90 players on the roster in the offseason, but only the top 51 contracts count against the salary cap. Early projections from the NFL Management Council have estimated the 2016 salary cap at $154 million (plus whatever unused cap space each team rolls over from 2015), but based on previous years the cap could reach $160 million or even higher.

There are two sets of owners meetings this spring. From March 20-23 in Boca Raton, Fla., the owners and Competition Committee will vote on new rules for the 2016 season. And from May 23-25 in Charlotte, N.C., NFL owners will vote on the sites for Super Bowls 53 and 54 (2019 and 2020). The candidates are Miami, Atlanta, New Orleans, Tampa, and Los Angeles (2020 only).
Teams with first-year head coaches can begin their offseason program April 4, and teams with returning coaches can begin April 18. Offseason workouts are strictly defined for the type of contact and type of drills that are allowed, and last nine or 10 weeks.

The NFL Draft is April 28-30 in Chicago. The Rookie Symposium is June 19-25 in Aurora, Ohio. The deadline for franchise-tag players to sign long-term extensions is July 15, and training camps will open around July 28.

Sunday afternoon kicked off with the two Eastern Conference teams facing each other. The Atlantic Division got the win over the Metropolitan in a close game which ended with a score of 4-3. You can see Dylan Larkin's winning goal on Cory Schneider.

Next up were Brent Burns, Joe Pavelski, John Scott, and the rest of the Pacific division taking on the Central. This game was much more high scoring, with a final of 9-6 for the Pacific. Scott had two goals and fought Patrick Kane.

The third and final game of the tournament was the Atlantic vs. the Pacific and the lowest scoring of the three, ending 1-0 after no goals were scored in the first twenty minutes. Unfortunately, Corey Perry had the only goal of the match.

John Scott was voted MVP. Scott won a Honda Pilot and a share of the one million dollars that will be split between the winning team.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman signs deal through 2022, according to a person familiar with the situation and which Bettman confirmed prior to the NHL All-Star game.  Financial details were not disclosed, the deal would run through the term of the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NHLPA. Bettman, who has served as commissioner since 1993, earned about $9.6 million during the 2013-14 season. He has been the league's leader since 1993, when it had 24 teams. Now it has 30 franchises and there may be one or two more in a couple of years.

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