Michael Silver

Michael Silver

Michael Silver joined NFL Media in August 2013 after spending six years covering the NFL for Yahoo! Sports. Prior to joining Yahoo!, Silver spent 13 years at Sports Illustrated, during which time he wrote more than 70 cover stories and authored 13 consecutive Super Bowl game stories for the magazine. In his role as NFL Media reporter/columnist, Silver appears on a variety of NFL Network programs and writes columns for 



WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- Journalism, for me, has always been a contact sport, and in the three-plus decades I've been pinballing around locker rooms and VIP rooms in my chosen profession, there have been moments wrought with potential peril. I've be... more

SEATTLE -- On that late-August afternoon when Jadeveon Clowney stormed out of NRG Stadium as a member of the Houston Texans for what he correctly assumed would be the final time, the disruptive defensive end was not a happy man. Having been resigned... more


SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The sequence, to Jimmy Garoppolo, was nothing special, even if the result was spectacular. With three minutes left in the third quarter of a game that the Green Bay Packers were suddenly threatening to turn competitive, the San... more

OAKLAND -- Josh Jacobs lay on his back on the black-paint-covered grass in the corner of the end zone, arms at his side, surrounded by jubilant teammates and showered with the extremely loud love of 51,954 fans. The rookie running back's 18-yard scor... more

BALTIMORE -- His momentum stopped and, for a split second, so did 71,157 heartbeats at M&T Bank Stadium, and so many more across the football universe. Lamar Jackson was so close to putting away the New England Patriots and securing a signature vict... more


SEATTLE -- He had driven his team deep into Seattle Seahawks territory, all but ensuring a go-ahead score at a pivotal moment. Yet as he strode to the sidelines, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson was pretty far from satisfied, and it showed.... more

When the surprising news broke Tuesday that the Los Angeles Rams had traded cornerback Marcus Peters , Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell kept his cards close to the vest -- and his iPhone even closer. It wasn't hard to do the math:... more

LOS ANGELES -- It was a plot made for Tinseltown: The moment of reckoning for a cast of upstarts awash in hype but, in the eyes of many skeptics, short on substance. If the undefeated San Francisco 49ers were finally going to be exposed, it seemed... more

EDITOR'S NOTE: NFL Media's Michael Silver had a lengthy on-the-record discussion with 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman following Monday night's Cleveland-San Francisco game. After the publishing of this column, video surfaced that showed Browns... more


SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The ball bounced off the chest of Richie James Jr., who was sweeping in front of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo as the shotgun snap arrived, and T.J. Watt dove to the Levi's Stadium grass to cradle it -- a gift from the San Franc... more

LOS ANGELES -- He snatched the ball out of the air just beyond his own 40-yard line, charging forward into the New Orleans Saints' secondary with star cornerback Marshon Lattimore closing in from his left and 10 months' worth of frustration lurking b... more

METAIRIE, La. -- He had been sharing his thoughts for more than 90 minutes, proudly providing an "MTV Cribs"-style tour of the New Orleans Saints' newly revamped training facility and opening up about topics ranging from his future in the Crescent Ci... more

OAKLAND -- Derek Carr understood the magnitude of the moment, and he knew exactly what he wanted. Still emotionally exhausted from the longest spring and summer of his life, fresh off a surreal week that brought a merciful end to the Antonio Brown Si... more

CHICAGO -- The red flag sat on the Soldier Field grass, a symbol of stress and frustration on the most momentous night of his professional career, and Matt LaFleur angrily stuffed it back into his pocket while muttering expletives at the man responsi... more

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Long before he emerged as Aaron Rodgers' most trusted target in Titletown, before the game-winning catches and the playoff touchdowns and the Pro Bowl selections, Davante Adams was confronted with a crisis that compelled him to run... more


THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Clay Matthews jogged off the practice field with a bounce in his step and a grin on his face, prefacing our interview outside the weight room at the Los Angeles Rams' temporary training facility last Tuesday with an emphatic... more

Even before suffering bizarre injuries to his feet that have caused him to miss all but two days of his first training camp with the Oakland Raiders, Antonio Brown alarmed coaches and teammates by railing against the NFL's enforcement of helmet... more

PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- As a man who has run for more than 10,000 yards in 10 NFL seasons, LeSean McCoy would seem to be the quintessential candidate for Most Likely to Coast Through the Preseason. Yet, as the Buffalo Bills prepare for their preseason o... more

DAVIE, Fla. -- Brian Flores stood up to greet me as I entered his office on the second floor of the Miami Dolphins' training facility Sunday morning, circling back to grab a bottle of water. There were four sunken chairs aligned in equidistant fashio... more


WESTFIELD, Ind. -- He is easing his way into the 2019 NFL season, a process that included spending the bulk of the Indianapolis Colts' first training camp practice on Thursday afternoon watching from the sidelines while wearing a baseball cap. Yet An... more

The Rams locked up their most precious asset, signing coach Sean McVay to a five-year contract extension in the wake of the team's first Super Bowl appearance in 17 years. In two seasons, McVay has a 24-8 regular season record and a pair of postseaso... more


GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Matt LaFleur leaned back in his chair and braced himself for the replay, reflexively massaging the black, plastic clicker he uses to watch film at his Lambeau Field office. On this Monday night in early June, however, there was no... more

RENTON, Wash. -- Russell Wilson plopped his sweaty body into a low, well-cushioned lounge chair outside the locker room at the Seattle Seahawks' plush training facility and flashed a self-satisfied smile, an expression befitting a 30-year-old quarter... more


TEMPE, Ariz. -- The night before making the most important draft pick of his career, Steve Keim had an acute understanding of the substantial stakes. As the embattled general manager of an Arizona Cardinals franchise which, by virtue of its miserable... more

Early Tuesday morning, Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider fidgeted inside a conference room at the team's luxuriant lakeside training facility, anxious to crack a celebratory beer. Standing between Schneider's desired toast with agent Ma... more


In signing Eric Reid Monday to a three-year deal worth more than $22 million, with incentives that could push the total package to $24 million, the Carolina Panthers made a statement about the veteran safety's value to the organization. The larger... more

ATLANTA -- His eyes were glazed, awash in a cruel confluence of confusion, misery and self-flagellation. His steps were swift and his chin was tucked. Jared Goff had just flamed out on the biggest night of his life -- and done his best to explain it... more

ATLANTA -- Aqib Talib plays cornerback with the subtlety of a DMX rap, and his words often pack a similarly potent punch. It's not surprising, then, that when asked about the circumstances that compelled the Denver Broncos to trade him to the Los Ang... more


LOS ANGELES -- The mood was tense. The stakes were enormous. The din was deafening -- and that was just in the Los Angeles Rams' huddle . Trailing 13-0 early in the second quarter of the NFC Championship Game in New Orleans two Sundays ago, his tea... more

NEW ORLEANS -- He had remained unflinching in the face of fury, dialing up a must-have, fake-punt call on the second play of the second quarter and keeping his cool as the massive boombox known as the Mercedes-Benz Superdome reverberated with... more

LOS ANGELES -- Jared Goff had the football in his hands, along with what was left of the Dallas Cowboys' postseason dreams -- and cold-hearted deceit on his brain. The Los Angeles Rams' slower-than-the-405-at-rush-hour quarterback needed seven yards... more

HOUSTON -- His body was back in Philadelphia, but Frank Reich's head remained in the clouds. The Philadelphia Eagles' offensive coordinator was still glowing from the team's epic Super Bowl LII victory over the New England Patriots two days earlier w... more


CARSON, Calif. -- He had just run his record as an NFL starter to 5-1, and passed for a career-high 204 yards. And now, after a season-defining road victory that may well have transformed the Baltimore Ravens from playoff wannabes to AFC North champi... more

LOS ANGELES -- The football sat just past midfield, its nose another yard shy of the first-down marker, and Nick Foles turned to the Philadelphia Eagles' sideline for guidance. Five minutes into the second quarter of a vital Sunday Night Football sho... more

CHICAGO -- The big man broke the huddle with a gleam in his eye, intent on selling his newfound role as a bruising ball carrier with every fiber in his 6-foot-5, 332-pound being. Just a week removed from his first career touchdown run , Chicago Bea... more

When Mike McCarthy confronted the first crisis of his coaching tenure with the Green Bay Packers, navigating his way through legendary quarterback Brett Favre's abrupt, awkward and contentious un-retirement in the summer of 2008 , he and his new star... more


CARSON, Calif. -- Midway through an anxious week, as he slogged through a mid-day Southern California commute, Philip Rivers had turkey and traffic on the brain. Sitting in the back of the custom SUV that routinely transports him from the Los Angeles... more

LOS ANGELES -- Patrick Mahomes reached down to take the snap, faked a handoff to halfback Kareem Hunt and dropped back deep in the pocket, his eyes staring westbound across the grassy field that had served as his personal landscape. With 1:28 left in... more

SEATTLE -- Clay Matthews swooped in from the side and popped the football free, and teammate Tramon Williams lunged onto the turf to recover it, a heavenly takeaway made possible by two veterans acutely familiar with the Green Bay Packers' heartrendi... more

LOS ANGELES -- Jared Goff was in hurry-up mode, exhibiting intense focus amid the surrounding chaos, when suddenly the third-year quarterback made a split-second decision that altered the trajectory of his evening. Driving through the windy,... more

DENVER -- He stood on the east sideline of Broncos Stadium, staring out at the field from an unfamiliar vantage point while scoping a scene he regarded as hauntingly familiar. Five days after having been traded to the Houston Texans, veteran wide... more

The conversation turned from the inanity of Time Warner's expense-report system to Bill Walsh and the West Coast Offense, and I piped in immediately, eager to share my first-hand experiences with a living legend. There I was in an upscale South Beach... more


LOS ANGELES -- Jared Goff took off his helmet, put on a baseball cap and stared across the L.A. Coliseum field, feeling as helpless as a quarterback with a near-flawless game in the books and a two-point lead in the final minutes can feel. Standing... more

JACKSONVILLE -- He may be an All-Pro when it comes to blocking out the noise, but Blake Bortles is not tone-deaf. As the universally maligned quarterback -- for now, at least -- of a Jacksonville Jaguars team best known for a playmaking defense and a... more

BALTIMORE -- In the days leading up to Sunday's scintillating stylistic showdown between the NFL's top scoring offense and its stingiest scoring defense, New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton was in touch with his inner nerd. Awash in several binder... more

OAKLAND -- As he readied his game face for what he hoped would be his first NFL head-coaching victory in exactly nine years and 10 months, Jon Gruden sat in the coaches' area of the home locker room at the Oakland Coliseum on Sunday morning, scrolled... more


LOS ANGELES -- The black Range Rover pulled toward the road connecting the northwest corner of the Coliseum to the City of Angels, creeping up alongside what was left of the friends and family section at the end of the locker-room tunnel. The man in... more

MINNEAPOLIS -- "He was a nervous wreck before this game," Ann Zimmer declared, shortly after I'd entered the head coach's private locker room at U.S. Bank Stadium, and before she and I had been properly introduced. "It's true. He was really worried.... more

EAGAN, Minn. -- Kirk Cousins' first flash of freedom arrived like a lightning bolt in the bitter frost of winter. After six seasons with the Washington Redskins, three as their highly productive starter, Cousins was out in the cold -- and the... more


Veteran tight end Brent Celek has informed the Philadelphia Eagles he is retiring and will release a farewell statement on the team's website Friday morning. Celek was the Eagles' longest-tenured player when he was released in March, a little more... more

NAPA, Calif. -- The first two days of Jon Gruden's first training camp in a decade had played out in idyllic fashion, with energized and engaged men in silver and black jerseys attacking their jobs in the heart of Northern California's wine country -... more

SEATTLE -- Nearly three hours before his first game in 585 days, Andrew Luck stood near the middle of CenturyLink Field's west sideline Thursday and wistfully pondered what might have been. Next door at Safeco Field the previous night, Pearl Jam ha... more

GREEN BAY, Wisc. -- As he prepares for his 14th NFL season, Aaron Rodgers does not look back fondly on his unlucky 13th. He missed nine games due to a broken collarbone -- and, not coincidentally, the Green Bay Packers missed the postseason for the f... more

NASHVILLE -- Malcolm Butler was strolling through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport a couple of months ago when he noticed another traveler pointing his way, and the Tennessee Titans' newly minted cornerback immediately ran for cover.... more

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- More than four hours before the start of a Pro Football Hall of Fame acceptance speech unlike any other, Terrell Owens stood alone on a podium in The McKenzie Arena on Saturday morning, nervously rehearsing his lines. Clad in a... more


Shortly before the start of the league year, the Philadelphia Eagles turned down a potential trade that would have sent Super Bowl LII MVP Nick Foles to the Cleveland Browns for the 35th overall pick in the 2018 draft, according to three sources fami... more


TEMPE, Arizona -- For the past several months, as Josh Rosen submitted to a scouting process that forced him to answer questions about his bravado, interpersonal relationships, outspoken opinions and perceived lack of affection for the game of footba... more

SANTA ANA, Calif. -- Josh Rosen reclines in his metal chair on a semi-crowded Starbucks patio, tugging on the strings of his hooded Billabong sweatshirt as he talks about his problem. "Everyone hates me," Rosen declares, offering half a smile, but... more


MINNEAPOLIS -- Jeffrey Lurie sat in the corner of a mint-green loveseat in the back of a jam-packed victory party early Monday morning, clutching his mother's left arm with one hand and the Lombardi Trophy with the other. The 66-year-old owner of t... more

PHILADELPHIA -- When Jeffrey Lurie reflects back upon the night of Dec. 31, 2014, the words Happy New Year do not come to mind. The Eagles' cerebral and personable owner had just watched his team complete a second consecutive 10-6 regular season und... more


PHILADELPHIA -- Two years ago, Chris Long got the offseason phone call many NFL players dread. As then-Rams coach Jeff Fisher informed the veteran defensive lineman of his impending unemployment in February of 2016, Long wasn't chagrined, outraged or... more

PHILADELPHIA -- The football slipped out of wide receiver Alshon Jeffery's grasp and popped into the air, and when it landed in the arms of a lurking defender, the collective reaction of the Philadelphia Eagles' offense was the sporting equivalent of... more

MINNEAPOLIS -- Case Keenum was down to his last chance, a final, futile heave into the heart of the New Orleans Saints' secondary, a last-gasp attempt to overcome the exquisitely clutch brilliance of his Hall of Fame counterpart on the opposing sidel... more

LOS ANGELES -- He has felt the sting of postseason heartache more acutely than any coach in recent memory, having twice watched apparent Super Bowl triumphs disintegrate in surreal fashion. So when Dan Quinn walked into the Daily Grill restaurant ins... more

LOS ANGELES -- As Sean McVay headed home from the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on a sunny Sunday evening in mid-September, his black BMW 750i exiting the interstate and traversing the north slope of the Santa Monica Mountains, the Rams' 31-year-old... more


SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- He is a 315-pound mountain of a man, and he had just spent three-and-a-half hours burdened by circumstance, having stood his ground against the NFL's most statistically fearsome defense. And yet, as San Francisco 49ers left tac... more

SEATTLE -- A little more than an hour before the biggest game of his very young life, Sean McVay bounced across the CenturyLink Field turf like an old-school hype man on a hip-hop stage. "Let's go!" McVay kept repeating to various people in his line... more

EDITOR'S NOTE:  Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson announced Monday -- after this piece was published -- that Carson Wentz will miss the remainder of the 2017 season with a torn ACL. LOS ANGELES -- "Yeeeeaaahhhhhh!" Brent Celek screamed as... more

EDITOR'S NOTE: This column was published Sunday. On Monday, the Giants fired head coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese . OAKLAND -- It had been one of the most surreal Sundays of his 14-year career, and when it was over, Eli Manning w... more


LOS ANGELES -- Drew Brees rolled into Tinseltown with 68,894 career passing yards, an eight-game winning streak and perhaps the most well-rounded New Orleans Saints team since the one he led to the franchise's only Super Bowl championship eight years... more

SEATTLE -- Matt Ryan stood on the rain-drenched CenturyLink Field turf and surveyed the opposing defense, detecting a gaping-wide gap in the depleted Legion Of Boom. And then the veteran quarterback's eyes lit up, and he prepared to receive a shotgun... more

LOS ANGELES -- Halfway through Sunday's home game against the Houston Texans, it was clear that the NFC West-leading L.A. Rams had a problem: a 6-foot-5, 270-pound game-wrecker in an opposing uniform. Thanks largely to the disruptive and destructiv... more


SEATTLE -- The loudest, brashest member of the "Legion of Boom" strode across the CenturyLink Field turf Sunday afternoon and came face-to-face with a rookie quarterback sporting a limp in his gait, and Richard Sherman's eyes got wide with excitement... more

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Last Tuesday, Ezekiel Elliott was granted a temporary restraining order, at least partially thanks to a judge's vacation schedule. Five days later, there was no restraining Elliott, and the San Francisco 49ers essentially be... more

OAKLAND -- When it was all over, after the hometown hero's ejection and the sideline spat and the four false endings and the fantastic finish, Derek Carr didn't even want to go there. The fourth-year quarterback had just led the Oakland Raiders to... more

ARLINGTON, Texas -- He lofted a tantalizing touch pass toward the left side of the end zone, envisioning a dramatic touchdown -- and then wincing as the throw sailed past its target. The eyes of Texas were upon Aaron Rodgers as his intended receive... more

DENVER -- They muted Melvin Gordon, erased Ezekiel Elliott and snuffed Shady, a.k.a. LeSean McCoy. So when the Denver Broncos suited up Sunday for a battle with the Oakland Raiders and their punishing, recently unretired running back, they were fairl... more


SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- She had a skinny margarita in her hand and a knot in her stomach, a familiar feeling intensified by the circumstances. As Nancy Goff sat at a Mexican restaurant near Levi's Stadium on Thursday afternoon and stole a quiet moment... more

DENVER -- He stood in the parking lot outside the south tunnel of the stadium where his team had just demolished the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night, cavorting with family members and friends and his extended Denver Broncos family -- players, coaches... more

NASHVILLE -- The Oakland Raiders had just won a football game in methodical and physical fashion, and they trudged into the cramped visitors locker room at Nissan Field on Sunday looking more tired than triumphant. Their 26-16 victory over the Tenne... more

Three menacing Dallas Cowboys defenders chased the young quarterback toward the right sideline, long arms outstretched and closing with a vengeance. At the last second, a retreating Joe Montana sailed a third-down pass that, to the naked eye, seemed... more

IT WAS A SCENE that made a grown man cry -- and for the record, few sobbing men in the history of Oakland have been quite as grown as Donald Penn. Penn, the Raiders' 340-pound left tackle, had just trudged off the Oakland Coliseum playing field... more


Titans coaches and players use Monday's eclipse as a chance to hit pause on the preseason grind. (Michael Silver/ NASHVILLE -- Marcus Mariota stood near the south end zone of the Tennessee Titans' practice field, his eyes locked on a rapid... more

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- As Adam Gase strolled the sidelines two hours before Thursday's preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens, the Miami Dolphins' second-year coach exuded the expectant edginess of a teenager embarking upon his first day at a ne... more

The Atlanta Falcons and two-time Pro Bowl running back Devonta Freeman have agreed to a five-year contract extension that makes him the NFL's highest-paid running back, a source informed of the situation told NFL Network's Michael Silver. The extensi... more

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.V. -- Tom Savage had just gotten his big break, displacing Brock Osweiler as the Houston Texans' starting quarterback last Dec. 19 and promptly directing a Christmas Eve victory over the Bengals that clinched the AFC South... more

PHILADELPHIA -- He is one of the NFL's most curious case studies, a Birkenstock-loving control freak who parlayed an off-the-beaten-path collegiate experience into a starring role in one of America's most hypercritical sports cities. Now firmly... more


OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Terrell Suggs vividly remembers his instantaneous indoctrination into the Raven Way -- and his first taste of linebacker Ray Lewis' decidedly unsubtle leadership style. After a brief contract dispute caused Suggs to show up two... more

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was published before the Broncos announced Shane Ray may miss up to eight weeks with a torn ligament in his left wrist . ENGLEWOOD, Co. -- When Aqib Talib thinks back to the 2016 offseason, the Denver Broncos' ruthless an... more


Despite a strong desire by Pro Bowl quarterback Derek Carr to hammer out a lucrative contract extension before the start of training camp, there has been no significant communication between his agent and the Oakland Raiders within the last several w... more

CLEVELAND -- The Browns were almost on the clock, and 12 massive members of the NFL's most maligned team, including a future first-ballot Hall of Famer, had their eyes fixed on a large television screen last Thursday as they enjoyed a post-workout lu... more


BEREA, Ohio -- Three minutes into the 2017 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns were on the clock, and Hue Jackson was on the move. Jackson, the Browns' second-year coach, anxiously paced around the war room on the second floor of the team's training faci... more


PHOENIX -- Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson had just embarked upon a Sunday morning jog alongside the canal adjacent to the Arizona Biltmore when Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie popped into view. The two men briefly exchanged... more

INDIANAPOLIS -- After a decade's worth of doing the dirty work as one of the NFL's habitually unheralded utility men, Lorenzo Alexander got the football world's attention in 2016, making a stunning run at the NFL sack title. So when the Buffalo Bills... more


HOUSTON -- As newly crowned NFL MVP Matt Ryan flipped a swing pass to Tevin Coleman, and the Atlanta Falcons running back effortlessly skipped into the right corner of the end zone with 8:31 remaining in the third quarter of Super Bowl LI, most of t... more

HOUSTON -- Bill Belichick was talking, and the man on the other end was listening -- but the voice in Thomas Dimitroff's head kept telling him, loudly and resoundingly, to tune out the advice of a guy whose football acumen he revered. It was April... more

HOUSTON -- The rookie center showed up for his first training camp, and his new Cleveland Browns teammates were naturally curious about the jewel of their 2009 draft class. Would Alex Mack really make an impact commensurate with his status as the... more


HOUSTON -- When it comes to hitting pay dirt, few NFL players are as accomplished as Devonta Freeman, who has reached the end zone 27 times over the past two seasons. Now, as he prepares to play in the biggest game of his career, the Atlanta Falcon... more

ATLANTA -- If you were a Green Bay Packers fan, and you'd just watched a nightmarish first 28 minutes of Sunday's NFC Championship Game play out at the crunk and soon-to-be-defunct Georgia Dome, you were still clinging to a reasonable shred of hope... more

The 49ers are expected to offer Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan their vacant head coaching job, and Shanahan is almost certain to accept the position, according to sources familiar with both parties' intentions. Because of NFL rul... more

ATLANTA -- He stood at the back of the west end zone at the Georgia Dome, presiding over a huddle that had every right to be teeming with tension. Matt Ryan's team held a tenuous 12-10 lead over the Seattle Seahawks with 3:48 remaining in the first h... more

GREEN BAY, Wisc. -- Aaron Rodgers took the snap, stepped to his left and handed the ball to Ty Montgomery, a receiver-turned-running back in search of a single yard to convert a crucial fourth down. As a wall of Giants rebuffed and stuffed the helple... more


ARLINGTON, Texas -- He had just imposed the full force of his will on the Detroit Lions, triggering a run of four unanswered touchdowns that doomed his desperate-for-a-playoff-berth opponents to a 42-21 defeat. And now Dez Bryant, the Dallas Cowboys'... more

DENVER -- Their bid for another epic victory over Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, and possibly their chance to defend a Super Bowl championship, ended with a whimper Sunday afternoon in front of 76,893 chilled and dejected fans at Sports Auth... more

SEATTLE -- Nearly seven years ago, on a chilly Friday morning in early January, John Schneider was sitting in his office at Lambeau Field, marveling at the trajectory of his amazing NFL journey and pondering what adventures might lay ahead. Schneid... more

OAKLAND -- Michael Crabtree stood on the sideline, looked up at the scoreboard above the north end zone and took a deep breath. The eighth-year receiver crunched the numbers: His Raiders trailed the Buffalo Bills, 24-9, with 9:01 left in the third... more


DENVER -- The Kansas City Chiefs are not always easy on the eyes, and it's hard sometimes for even the keenest of observers to spot the collective grit that has propelled them to unforeseen heights over the past 13-plus months. Perhaps it was fitting... more

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- "This is how we roll," Kim Pegula says, laughing loudly as she sashays her large, dark SUV through pregame traffic, a trail of flashing lights serving as her beacon. In three hours, the Buffalo Bills, the team Pegula and her husband... more

LOS ANGELES -- She was leaning over a railing atop the wide, well-worn tunnel leading from the L.A. Coliseum's locker rooms to the corner of the west end zone, waiting for the chance to make a visual connection with her son before he took the field t... more

NASHVILLE -- On a gorgeous autumn afternoon in Music City, Mike McCarthy sat in a small corridor at the Loews Vanderbilt hotel and showed his hand. A day before his struggling team would take on the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium, the Green Bay... more

OAKLAND -- He had spent the bulk of his night imposing his will against an esteemed but overmatched opponent, relocating accomplished defenders like DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller as if they were bales of hay blocking the barn door. Then, with the subt... more


ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- She is the hugely popular owner of the Buffalo Bills, an effervescent woman who, along with her husband, is hailed by many Western New Yorkers for keeping the local NFL franchise from relocating and revitalizing a moribund downt... more

SEATTLE -- He took a shotgun snap, got flushed to his right and backpedaled with a purpose, a pair of Atlanta Falcons defenders descending with ill intent and a spirited fourth-quarter comeback teetering on the edge of a cataclysmic crash landing. Th... more

OAKLAND -- Derek Carr felt the heat, racing away from onrushing San Diego Chargers linebacker Korey Toomer and hurrying a short pass to Amari Cooper that had no chance of being completed. With 1:15 remaining in the third quarter of a game the Raiders... more

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- He sat in a folding chair a few feet from the showering area of the visitors' locker room at University of Phoenix Stadium, flashing the tiniest hint of a self-satisfied smile under his ubiquitous Highway Patrolman's mustache. Je... more


ARLINGTON, Texas -- Nearly 10 years ago, midway through a nationally televised night game, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Drew Bledsoe threw a short pass to the left flat that was intercepted by New York Giants cornerback Sam Madison a yard shy of the en... more

DENVER -- The ball came spiraling off of Andrew Luck's right hand, and Aqib Talib saw it all play out in front of him: the interception, the runback, the joyous celebration in the north end zone of a pick-six that would turn a tense game with the... more

DENVER -- Last year, the Broncos captured a title  by following a formula for success that seemed cribbed from a bygone era: keep it conservative on offense and rely on a prolific defense to make pivotal plays in the decisive moments of close games.... more

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The house was rocking. The Cardinals were coming. And the cold, cruel hand of fate appeared to be on the verge of a corrective smackdown that would put young Jimmy Garoppolo in his place. The New England Patriots, without Tom Bra... more

It's the most important position in football -- and the most enigmatic. Players, coaches and executives open up about a nearly impossible job: quarterbacking an NFL team in 2016. On a mild, mid-October morning in Madison five years ago, Seattle... more


CLEVELAND -- As Hue Jackson made the short flight across Ohio in Jimmy Haslam's private jet on Jan. 13, he felt excited, exhausted, conflicted -- and very, very far from grounded. Only a couple of hours earlier, Jackson had agreed to become the head... more

CANTON, Ohio -- More than three hours before what was supposed to be the first game of the 2016 NFL season, the culmination of an emotional weekend in which thousands of fans expressed their admiration for a legendary Titletown gunslinger, the Green... more

Of all the striking sights Nikki DeBartolo has witnessed during her loud and eventful life, from raucous Super Bowl victory parties to bedside notes from childhood "first crush," occasional house guest and San Francisco sports icon Dwight Clark , the... more


ENGLEWOOD, Co. -- Last December, shortly before the end of his second season as a backup quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, Mark Sanchez sent bottles of wine to coaches, front-office employees and other staffers as a token of his appreciation.... more


PHILADELPHIA -- To Doug Pederson's credit, he resisted the temptation to laugh. A little more than three months after accepting his first NFL head-coaching job, Pederson was confronted with a mini-crisis that raised eyebrows throughout the football... more


This story was originally published in August 2015. NEW ORLEANS -- When Deuce McAllister and I saw the semi out the window, midway through an improbable, emotional journey from Jackson, Mississippi, into the wake of a horrific storm, neither of us... more

This story was originally published in September 2015. HOUSTON -- The oversized man in the white toga struts into the kitchen, immediately commanding the attention of 40 sets of eyes. At first glance, the scene is reminiscent of John Blutarsky... more

This story was originally published in December 2015. Ronnie Lott remembers the moment he fully grasped the intensity of the rivalry between the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys, during a high-speed interaction that underscored the... more


LOS ANGELES -- He arrived fashionably late to the pre-draft dinner, leaning over to greet his esteemed guest from North Dakota just as the food arrived. Then Jeff Fisher, the battle-hardened head coach of the newly rechristened Los Angeles Rams, felt... more

Jeff Fisher and Les Snead arrived in Berkeley on a cloudy February morning , and as soon as quarterback Jared Goff began his private workout at California Memorial Stadium -- as if on cue -- the rain came pouring down like the Andy Dufresne escape s... more


Even without a fully healed right knee, former UCLA linebacker Myles Jack has vaulted toward the top of many NFL teams' draft boards. It now appears that Jack might stay there without running a timed 40-yard dash for NFL clubs. When Jack declined... more

While the Denver Broncos and Cleveland Browns attempt to work out a trade for Colin Kaepernick, the 49ers are preparing for a third scenario -- retaining the 28-year-old quarterback and allowing him to compete with Blaine Gabbert for the starting job... more


INDIANAPOLIS -- In addition to serving as a mass-evaluation extravaganza for 32 franchises, the NFL Scouting Combine is a weeklong circus of speculative schmoozing and spring-break-style socializing, and this year's annual pilgrimage to Naptown was h... more

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The superstar known as Superman had a choice to make, and on paper, it seemed like a super simple one: With the football on the ground and the Carolina Panthers' season hanging in the balance, Cam Newton -- the NFL's newly crow... more

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- He plays football with the subtlety of a 747 charging down a runway in a driving snowstorm, a physical corner who runs his mouth, gets in opponents' faces and backs down to nobody. And long before Aqib Talib developed into the... more

FOXFIELD, Colo. -- They call it "Club 58," but really, Von Miller's basement is even cooler than that, a festive and protected space where the All-Pro pass rusher and his Denver Broncos teammates can recline, unwind and enjoy the finer things a fabul... more


Before Super Bowl 50 writes the next chapter in the history of football in the Bay Area, NFL Media is examining local football heroes who were, in their own, unique ways, ahead of their time. Here's the story of an owner unbound by stone-age... more

DENVER -- He had been pressured, pushed around and downright pummeled for the better part of three hours, and now Tom Brady was down to his last chance, and it looked obscenely fat. Trailing 20-12 in Sunday's AFC Championship Game at Sports Authority... more

DENVER -- He was locked in a tense battle against a proud, resolute opponent, a brisk, Rocky Mountain wind and, most menacing of all, the cold touch of Father Time. Then suddenly, early in the fourth quarter of Sunday's Divisional Round playoff game... more

CINCINNATI -- Vontaze Burfict caught the ball, fell to the ground and immediately got up and took off running, sprinting three-quarters of a football field and into the south end zone of Paul Brown Stadium. A contentious, theatrical first-round pla... more

CINCINNATI -- The number with the 510 area code flashed across the low-resolution screen of my BlackBerry on an overcast late January afternoon four years ago, and when I answered it on the first ring, Hue Jackson, a football coach banished to... more


DENVER -- He poked at his kale and arugula salad, mining for dried cranberries and searching for answers. Hue Jackson, the Cincinnati Bengals' innovative offensive coordinator, knew his untested, fill-in quarterback would face a stern test against a... more

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Mike Zimmer had just completed another interview for another head-coaching job, and at long last, the accomplished but perpetually passed over defensive coordinator felt he'd finally nailed it. "The GM walked me down to the c... more

MINNEAPOLIS -- His white pants were smeared with blood, his heart was pumping at an advanced rate and his brain was buzzing with possibility. As Seattle Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett bounded up the tunnel toward the visitors' locker room... more


He held up his right thumb as though it were an artificial appendage, or some sort of grotesque contraption one finds in a costume store just before Halloween. Glancing at the swollen, fleshy, misshapen digit, Brett Favre told me matter-of-factly, "W... more

OAKLAND, Calif. -- As an autumn wind whipped across the visitors' sidelines at Coliseum on Sunday afternoon, and an unlikely division leader's fifth consecutive win loomed, three Minnesota Vikings at different stages of their football lives conv... more

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The least popular player in professional football was closing in on Sam Bradford, putting the oft-injured passer and the Philadelphia Eagles' fortunes in immediate jeopardy, and time seemed to stand still for the lone man standing... more

SAN FRANCISCO -- Midway through an outdoor corridor in the back of an ultra-hip lounge across the Bay on Tuesday night, two powerful pillars of Oakland football converged: Marshawn Lynch, the Seattle Seahawks' star running back, who holds his hometow... more


INDIANAPOLIS -- What the Chuck? In an ignominious moment that took the air out of a surprisingly tense Sunday Night Football showdown between the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts -- you know, the defending Super Bowl champs, and the riv... more

CINCINNATI -- Michael Bennett flashed into the Bengals' backfield, just as Andy Dalton was flipping the ball to Rex Burkhead on a carefully crafted jet-sweep, and suddenly it felt to all the football-watching world like the high-flying home team with... more

When Myles Jack walked out of UCLA football coach Jim Mora's office Sunday afternoon, the Bruins' injured two-way star felt secure that he was ending his collegiate career on a mutually satisfying note. Having told Mora of his plans to withdraw from... more

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The gesture seems collegiate, perhaps somewhat redundant -- and, given the team in question, even a little macabre. When you consider the context of the 2015 New York Giants, a team reeling from the loss of its most celebrated... more


GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Carson Palmer may have toyed with the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, albeit after getting spotted a two-touchdown lead before producing his first scoring drive, but the Arizona Cardinals' 35-year-old quarterback has certainly faced... more

GREEN BAY, Wisc. -- Pete Carroll's Seattle Seahawks bull-rushed their way into the ranks of the NFL elite, exuding a stress-free swagger as they blew out Peyton Manning in one Super Bowl and came within a painful yard of prevailing over Tom Brady in... more

DENVER -- As a man who has thrown more touchdown passes than any player in NFL history, and one whose personal performance standard rivals that of anyone who has ever stepped on a playing field, Peyton Manning isn't one to hand out high fives or hype... more

In the seven months between his triumphant jaunt across the confetti-drenched University of Phoenix Stadium turf and the legal victory that secured his presence for Thursday's Kickoff Classic in Foxborough, Massachusetts, Tom Brady kept a lower... more


CANTON, Ohio -- The muscular man in the purple jersey reached out his hand to greet me, and before my brain cells could fire out of their three-point stance, the damage was done. Making the most foolish mistake in sports journalism -- shaking the han... more

CANTON, Ohio -- Slipping into a glass-enclosed hotel elevator after buying a Sunday paper on an early December morning in Atlanta, I looked up at the only other passenger -- a 6-foot-5, 240-pound business acquaintance in a nondescript, grey sweatsuit... more


Bill O'Brien directed a seven-win improvement in Year 1 with the Texans. (Aaron M. Sprecher/AP) HOUSTON -- Ask Bill O'Brien to assess the stress of being a sports dad, and the Houston Texans' hyper-intense second-year coach holds nothing back.... more


EARTH CITY, Mo. -- The cluster of remaining draft cards magnetically affixed to the St. Louis Rams' draft board Friday night formed the shape of a partial football helmet, with so many offensive linemen sharing the same, second-round rating that some... more

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- At certain uncomfortable junctures throughout his 20-year career as an NFL head coach, Jeff Fisher has had to adapt to circumstance, reshaping his offense as a pass-heavy attack, or one that takes advantage of a quarterback's mobil... more

JACKSONVILLE -- The Jaguars' war room had come to a hush, and all eyes -- and ears -- were focused on Dave Caldwell, the general manager on the verge of formalizing the third overall selection of the 2015 NFL Draft. And as Caldwell delivered the go... more


To see the full interview with Kevin White, tune in to "NFL Draft Kickoff" at 1 p.m. ET on NFL Network. SCRANTON, Pa. -- A little more than three years ago, Kevin White was so far removed from realizing his dream of playing in the NFL, he couldn'... more


The Colts have gone 11-5 in all three seasons under Ryan Grigson's watch. (Darron Cummings/AP) As a former standout offensive lineman at Purdue who spent a year with the Detroit Lions before beginning his career as a tireless talent evaluator,... more

Kiko Alonso was pumping iron last Tuesday when he was broadsided by the ping of his smartphone. A text from his agent, Steve Caric, informed Alonso, one of the NFL's top young defenders, that his boss would be calling ASAP. Uh-oh , Alonso thought t... more


INDIANAPOLIS -- He arrived at the NFL Scouting Combine and blazed a trail of reputational redemption, quickly shedding his stigma as an immature knucklehead and impressing coaches and talent evaluators as a bright, committed, intelligent leader full... more

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- "I can take a punch," Pete Carroll texted me late Sunday night, nearly three hours after the conclusion of one of the greatest Super Bowls ever played -- and about 170 minutes removed from one of the most universally reviled play c... more


PHOENIX -- On the second morning of the new millennium, Pete Carroll asked his boss, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, to come to his office and answer a very pointed question. That Sunday shaped up as a day of reckoning for Carroll, who a few... more

OAKLAND -- As much as Marshawn Lynch detests doing interviews, something the Seattle Seahawks' star running back reinforced during his "I'm just here so I won't get fined" auto-answer session during Media Day (and his "You know why I'm here" follow... more

SEATTLE -- Russell Wilson is not a seer, and he did not arrive at CenturyLink Field for Sunday's NFC Championship Game in Doc Brown's DeLorean. Yet the Seattle Seahawks' third-year quarterback does believe fervently in the power of visualization, and... more

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- He took a shotgun snap, went through his progressions and slipped gingerly to his left, avoiding outside pressure from Dallas Cowboys defensive end Demarcus Lawrence. And then Aaron Rodgers -- a man desperately striving to avoid an... more

INDIANAPOLIS -- Because he wears a horseshoe on his helmet, spins a football with exquisite touch and has taken full command of his surroundings since the time he became a Colt, Andrew Luck is inevitably compared to his legendary predecessor -- which... more


It was a wave that would have made Queen Elizabeth proud: There was Atlanta Falcons defensive end Osi Umenyiora, the football in his right hand and 50 yards of unfettered green in his field of vision, turning back toward the north end zone of the... more

GREEN BAY, Wisc. -- Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler are rivals on the field, but they are also friends who happen to be members of a relatively small fraternity. And as a franchise quarterback who credits a supportive and open environment for helping hi... more

CLEVELAND -- The play is called "92 Weak," and when Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson delivered it to quarterback Andy Dalton with 30 seconds remaining in Sunday's obscenely one-sided Battle of Ohio, it might have seemed on its sur... more

SAN DIEGO -- In the wake of a disappointing afternoon in Green Bay that marked the end of their seven-game winning streak , the New England Patriots relocated to sunny Southern California, where they spent a week as surly snowbirds hell-bent on resto... more


GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The bloody hand hung there in the frigid dusk, looking like a prop you'd find on a Twilight movie set. It was an eerie sight -- eerier still because the man to whom the hand was attached, Aaron Rodgers, seemed completely unfazed b... more

SEATTLE -- The Seahawks' smothering defense, the unit that swallowed up Peyton Manning and the Broncos' record-setting offense so resoundingly in Super Bowl XLVIII, got its swagger back Sunday, snuffing out the NFC West-leading Cardinals in a 19-3... more

He was sitting on the team bus outside of Arrowhead Stadium, preparing to head to the airport after a long, draining and disappointing day. A few minutes into a telephone conversation following the Seattle Seahawks' 24-20 defeat to the Kansas City... more

MENLO PARK, Calif. -- Nearly 40 minutes into an interview that was beginning to feel like an inquisition, Aldon Smith lost his patience. For a few seconds, I feared the talented pass rusher with the tattered image might get up out of his chair and ca... more

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The pass sailed directly over the blue-and-white star in the center of the AT&T Stadium turf, and a split-second after Carson Palmer released it, he had that sinking feeling that all quarterbacks loathe. And for good reason: Rooki... more


The climax was playing out like another Edward Jones Dome nightmare, the home team on the verge of surrendering what was left of a once-healthy advantage and suffering another disheartening defeat. Like everyone in the stadium Sunday , not to menti... more

The first time Herschel Walker touched the football for the Minnesota Vikings -- 25 years ago next Wednesday -- he took a kickoff four yards deep in the Metrodome end zone and raced 51 yards down the right sideline. And in the Texas Stadium press box... more

INDIANAPOLIS -- Jimmy Irsay sat at his desk on an early August afternoon, reflecting back upon a moment that changed everything. Above the Indianapolis Colts owner's head, displayed in a glass case, hung one of the most famous instruments of the 20... more

DENVER -- Peyton Manning lined up a few yards behind center, crouching at the precipice of history. Bearing down on the north end zone of Sports Authority Field with a chance to become the second NFL quarterback to throw his 500th career touchdown pa... more


SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- He runs with the blunt force of The Equalizer , pushing through holes that look almost invisible, finding yards where they don't otherwise exist. As one of the least likely star running backs in NFL history, Frank Gore is ab... more

As Demaryius Thomas came down with the football just inches inside the back of the end zone, the raucous roar that typically courses through CenturyLink Field suddenly disappeared, replaced by the haunting sound of 68,447 Seattle Seahawks fans -- and... more

DESOTO, Texas -- "I hate the word diva , by the way," Dez Bryant said, his eyes ablaze with passion, his raspy voice nearly trembling with intensity. "I hate it. That fits me nowhere." We were 30 minutes into a sit-down interview for NFL Network's... more

Before Sunday, if I'd shared a story involving several Buffalo Bills powerbrokers, screaming and slamming into lockers, you'd have assumed it detailed another blowup between coach Doug Marrone, general manager Doug Whaley and team president Russ Bran... more

SEATTLE -- Marshawn Lynch strutted over with his pads unfastened, a black skull cap covering his prodigious dreads, his feet covered only by blue-and-neon-green Nike socks. A few seconds later, the world's most enigmatic running back fielded a report... more

NFL Network Viral gold from the "Fail Mary" telecast: The dumbfounded reactions of Aaron Rodgers and a certain NFL columnist. SEATTLE -- Even before the fiasco of a finish that made replacement refs an everlasting symbol of ineptitude -- an... more


The Cowboys expect the NFL to announce its punishment of former defensive tackle Josh Brent before the start of the 2014 season, possibly as soon as Friday. According to a team source, the Cowboys -- who plan to re-sign Brent as soon as he is able to... more

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Five years ago, on a surreal Sunday in pro football's most storied stadium, Brett Favre returned to Titletown in white and purple, and tens of thousands of former Favre-o-philes loudly and repeatedly voiced their displeasure. Fro... more


Walt Zeboski/Associated Press George Seifert (left) was well aware of Joe Montana's football talent, but who knew about the QB's gift of gag ? Deep in the heart of Sierra College -- the dry, dusty and heartlessly hot erstwhile summer home of... more

CINCINNATI -- On a mid-June morning at Paul Brown Stadium, Andy Dalton sits attentively at the start of a quarterbacks meeting, softly reciting a polysyllabic play call while watching tape of his perfectly timed sideline throw to star wideout A.J. Gr... more


In the past five months, the Cleveland Browns have given us an awkward and abrupt firing of a rookie coach , a drawn-out and dysfunctional search for a replacement, the subsequent dismissal of the team's feuding CEO and general manager, a reported... more

ST. LOUIS -- The war room carries a prodigious mystique, fueled by a public faith in the draft's transformative powers and the fact that professional football teams conduct this weighty bit of business shrouded from public scrutiny. And yet, for the... more

ST. LOUIS -- In the war room, history came suddenly. With the clock running out on the seventh and final round of the 2014 NFL Draft on Saturday evening and the St. Louis Rams holding two of the last eight picks, Rams coach Jeff Fisher turned to ge... more

Four years ago, I rolled up to a plush house in a modest North Texas neighborhood well before sundown and waited for Dez Bryant to arrive. It was the night before the 2010 NFL Draft , and Bryant, a notoriously tardy and polarizing ex-Oklahoma State... more

It's the ultimate delay of game call, a move that has provoked a chorus of complaints: In personnel and coaching circles, the reaction to the decision to push this year's draft back two weeks to Mother's Day weekend has been akin to an entire eleme... more


If Alex Mack was looking for a metaphor -- for his fresh start with the Browns, the deep freeze the franchise applied to his fleeting Floridian flirtation or both -- the Pro Bowl center was confronted with an obvious one Tuesday morning when he peeke... more

The Washington Redskins just raided a division rival's top playmaker, signing Philadelphia Eagles castoff DeSean Jackson five days after the explosive receiver hit the market , and all across the football-watching world -- and throughout the mean st... more


In conjunction with NFL Network's "49ers Dynasty Week," Michael Silver spoke with former team owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. The conversation, in which DeBartolo ponders a potential return to NFL ownership, took place prior to news breaking about the deat... more

If there were ever a 21st century football player to whom the term Born to be a Raider applied, Richard Dominick Incognito would seem to be that guy. Known for his nasty and sometimes over-the-line work in the trenches -- and cast as an outlaw in... more


INDIANAPOLIS -- It is a metal fastener, and a metaphor, and -- in the eyes of one proud franchise searching for employees and answers at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine -- a highly relevant and potentially revelatory topic of conversation. I'm talkin... more

INDIANAPOLIS -- He stood at the podium with his head held high, his voice projecting poise and confidence, his statements full of reason and devoid of defensiveness. As coming-out parties go -- so to speak -- Michael Sam's first press conference s... more

The blue, green and white confetti was still swirling at MetLife Stadium when the doom and gloom began descending across various media platforms, social and traditional: Sure, the Seattle Seahawks were the NFL's best team this season, as proven... more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Seattle Seahawks spent the bulk of the 2013 season lulling millions of football fans into adopting a distorted perception of their relative might. They conserved their comprehensive displays of excellence for key moments... more


JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- It was a notorious NFL coaching shaft, a premature termination on par with the final scene from the last "Sopranos" episode. Nineteen years ago, Pete Carroll was his era's version of Rob Chudzinski , a one-and-done head coach w... more

NEWARK, N.J. -- Right around the time he was unveiling the seven-letter slight that poked fun at a vanquished Tom Brady -- the notorious U Mad Bro? social-media missive dropped in October 2012 -- Richard Sherman began to realize he might be part of... more

EDITOR'S NOTE: Michael Silver wrote this piece after an exclusive interview with Marshawn Lynch last week, when the running back wasn't sure if he would attend Super Bowl XLVIII Media Day. On Tuesday, Lynch did indeed appear at the event to briefly... more

RENTON, Wash. -- The Seattle Seahawks opened their locker room to the media Thursday afternoon, three days before the flight across the country for a week's worth of Super Bowl XLVIII hype, and, as with Sundays at CenturyLink Field, it was all about... more

SEATTLE -- He was brash. He was defiant. He was mouthy. He was combative. And Richard Sherman was absolutely sure he would have the last word, because that's the way the dude is wired , his legions of denigrators be damned. This was on Friday nigh... more

SEATTLE -- Richard Sherman called it last March, on that surreal Monday when the Seattle Seahawks traded for dynamic wideout Percy Harvin and -- before the football world had digested the news -- the San Francisco 49ers swung a tit-for-tat deal for... more

SEATTLE -- The seaplane soared high above the Space Needle, giving restricted free agent receiver Brandon Marshall a magnificent view of the Seattle skyline and Qwest Field. Then it turned southeast and landed atop Lake Washington, drifting gently to... more

In an exquisitely concise text message requiring a mere three words and three exclamation points, Pete Carroll captured the essence of a phenomenal NFL Final Four that millions of football fans have been hoping might happen for the past 12 months.... more

SEATTLE -- You don't spit into the wind, or so the saying goes, but if you're Russell Wilson, the uncannily mature young leader of a loaded football team, and the pocket is collapsing on third-and-8 with 4:41 remaining in the first half of a... more

Now that Jay Gruden has agreed to become the next head coach of the Washington Redskins , and Hue Jackson has been promoted to succeed him as the Cincinnati Bengals' offensive coordinator , the professional lives of two young, embattled quarterbacks... more

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- He strode out of the Lambeau Field tunnel and into the bitter chill, his bare arms exposed for Titletown and all the football-watching world to see. On NFL Network NFL Replay will re-air the San Francisco 49ers' 23-20 wi... more

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- They gathered in the visitors' locker room at Lambeau Field on a wet and frigid January afternoon 17 years ago, searching for collective focus, ferocity and inspiration. What they heard in the adjacent training room made the San... more

On the first day of 2014, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took a page out of the 2013 Kansas City Chiefs' Quick-Fix Playbook , choosing Lovie Smith as the next coach of their talented but underachieving team. Just as the Chiefs did one year ago in hiring... more


In a drastic move that virtually no one saw coming -- but which, in retrospect, seemed like a page out of the Factory of Sadness playbook -- the Cleveland Browns fired first-year coach Rob Chudzinski on Sunday night, hours after the completion of a... more

When Peyton Manning signed with the Denver Broncos 21 months ago, he was a fallen star with an uncertain future. Coming off four neck surgeries and coming to grips with the possibility that his career would end prematurely, Manning seemed to be coaxi... more

SAN FRANCISCO -- He sat in the cramped, musty locker room and braced himself for a verbal beatdown, a familiar sting of disappointment slicing through the thick, chilly air. On a glum, early December Sunday in 1980, a young quarterback named Joe Mo... more

While second-year Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie is likely safe for 2013, coach Dennis Allen is very much on the hot seat. Going into Sunday's game against Kansas City, a source familiar with the mindset of ownership said that the... more

"Oh man, do I have a story for you," Michael Thomas said, a few minutes after emerging from the sweetest postgame shower he'd ever experienced. "You won't believe how I got here -- and how I almost didn't get here." On NFL Network NFL Replay... more

DENVER -- Greatness comes in many forms, and in 2013, when every waking moment is a de facto photo op, we recently were treated to an unlikely glimpse of an all-time great in quite an unusual position. It is often said in NFL circles that "you... more

"That (expletive) was nuts!" -- Philadelphia Eagles guard Todd Herremans When a team storms back from a 14-0 third-quarter deficit to claim a 34-20 victory, in a late-season battle of division leaders staged amid a blizzard that looks like a scen... more

When a pair of mediocre teams awash in drama and dysfunction get together on a chilly December Sunday, there is ample reason to refrain from becoming conspicuously enthusiastic. Yet, in the ever-egalitarian 21st century NFL panorama -- where disbel... more

As he celebrated his team's fourth consecutive victory Sunday night, a 24-21 triumph over the Arizona Cardinals that ranked as the Philadelphia Eagles' most impressive result of the 2013 season, veteran tight end Brent Celek wanted to talk about his... more


As the Arizona Cardinals trudged off their home field following a thoroughly demoralizing "Thursday Night Football" defeat to the Seattle Seahawks last month, Larry Fitzgerald had that old, sinking feeling. The playoff picture How would your tea... more

ATLANTA -- Last January, at the end of a bipolar Sunday at the Georgia Dome , they were 10 yards away from the Super Bowl. Ten months later, to borrow from the Rolling Stones' abbreviated psychedelic phase, the Atlanta Falcons are 2,000 light y... more

The time had come to speak to his players about the task at hand, as Pete Carroll does virtually every Saturday night during the NFL season, but the Seattle Seahawks' relentlessly upbeat coach called an indulgent and understandable audible.... more

Back in late September, before terms like racist , bullying and leadership void became buzzwords associated with the Miami Dolphins, Jeff Ireland seemed to be comfortably lodged on his general managerial throne. With the Dolphins off to a 3-0... more

Eight months ago, on the final night of the annual league meeting, I sat in a booth at City Hall Steakhouse in Scottsdale, Ariz., and talked about leadership with Richie Incognito. Before the first appetizer arrived, Incognito, a Miami Dolphins gua... more

Ron Rivera had a decision to make, and he didn't hesitate: With the Carolina Panthers leading by four points and facing a fourth-and-1 from the Atlanta Falcons' 14-yard line with five minutes left in the first half of Sunday's game at Bank of America... more


FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- The Cincinnati Bengals disembarked from their flight here Wednesday night with a bounce in their step, flying high from a four-game winning streak that most recently included a comprehensive destruction of Rex Ryan's defense... more

As the Detroit Lions took their final timeout with 1:14 remaining in Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys, veteran linebacker Stephen Tulloch knew his team faced a daunting set of circumstances. Trailing by three and powerless to stop the clock... more

TAMPA, Fla. -- Greg Schiano arrived with a bang, ticking off Tom Coughlin in just his second game as an NFL coach and unrepentantly puffing out his chest in response. Barring a shocking and almost inconceivable turnaround during his second season... more

Down they went, nearly two hours and 400 miles apart, a pair of strong-armed leaders hobbling off the field in obvious pain. And by the time the Chicago Bears and St. Louis Rams had flown west and returned to their respective homes Sunday night, th... more

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- When Patrick Peterson takes the field Thursday night at University of Phoenix Stadium, the Arizona Cardinals' third-year cornerback will put his considerable talents on display for 63,000 fans and millions of NFL Network viewers.... more

When Aaron Rodgers saw Randall Cobb hit the turf in agony after taking a direct shot to the knee, the Green Bay Packers' star quarterback was mad enough to start a fight. Instead, against all odds, a relatively civilized debate ensued -- though Rod... more

Mike Zimmer paced along the Paul Brown Stadium sideline in the middle of a monsoon, at one with the elements, enjoying every drop. Minutes from completing a masterpiece and closing out a crucial victory over one of the greatest quarterbacks of all ti... more

CLEVELAND -- For 10 consecutive Sundays during the 2012 regular season, Brian Hoyer sat on his sofa, grabbed the remote and looked for signs that his NFL career might not be over. Ultimately, he couldn't bear to watch. Released on the final... more


The Houston Texans were headed for a biceps-flexing victory over the powerful Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, clinging to what remained of a 17-point second-half lead while marching toward a potential game-clinching field goal, when a calamitous chain of... more

ST. LOUIS -- Because he has had so much success so quickly, Jim Harbaugh's résumé has a glaring hole: While marching steadily along a gold-plated coaching path from the University of San Diego to Stanford to the Bay-breeze-kissed sidelines of... more

He stood on the Metrodome sideline with a knot in his stomach and a glimmer of hope in his heart, waiting on the happy ending that never comes. Brian Hoyer So often in D'Qwell Jackson's eight-year career with the Cleveland Browns, the under... more

PHILADELPHIA -- Last December, two days before the Philadelphia Eagles' most recent appearance on "Thursday Night Football," I stood with Andy Reid on the edge of the team's outdoor practice fields at the NovaCare Complex and wondered aloud if the b... more

The iconic iPhone ring tone sounded shortly before midnight Pacific Time, at the end of a riveting and revealing second Sunday of the 2013 NFL regular season, and the man on the other end of the line sounded energized enough to suit up and do it all... more

Rex Ryan's team had been written off by America, its situation messier than Miley Cyrus twerking on the VMA stage. Surely, it seemed, the New York Jets were headed for an inglorious fall -- but their defiant head coach stood tall amid the negativity.... more

Two yards, and it could all be his: an emotional victory, a measure of redemption and the finishing touch on what surely would be the most satisfying opening-day performance of a long and luxuriant NFL career. Anquan Boldin, the San Francisco 49ers... more

DENVER -- Peyton Manning's Mile High Aerial Circus, Act II, had its dress rehearsal 12 days ago, and the head coach who experienced it from the opposing sideline came down with an acute case of altitude sickness. Reflecting on the dizzying no-huddl... more

Once upon a time, on a website far, far away, we used to take a weekly, top-to-bottom trip around the National Football League known as "32 Questions." Thanks to some grumpy men in purple, that ended abruptly last September, leaving far more than 3... more


As a man coming off a season-long banishment that sent his franchise into an extended patch of turbulence, Sean Payton wouldn't seem to be a likely candidate for a Wanna Get Away? experience. Trust him, or anyone else in The Crescent City: He... more

He set his feet, steeled his gaze and uncorked a heavenly heave, a 60-yard Hail Mary headed toward a pair of Seattle Seahawks receivers on the right side of the Georgia Dome's south end zone. And, quite naturally, Russell Wilson convinced himself tha... more

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