NEW ORLEANS (AP) NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says next year's Super Bowl at the stadium used by the Giants and Jets will ``have an impact on future decisions for open-air, cold-weather sites.''
Goodell said Friday at his pre-Super Bowl news conference that the league ``will be prepared for the weather factor'' for the Feb. 2, 2014, championship game in East Rutherford, N.J. He also says he hopes the weather is ``not extreme.''
New York Giants co-owner John Mara said he thinks a good showing in 2014 will allow the site to ``have a shot at a future'' Super Bowl.
Mara added: ``If not, it'll be a much tougher sell.''
Asked about Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco's criticism this week about a cold-weather Super Bowl, Mara said: ``There are other people that have that opinion, too, but ... we think we'll prove ourselves next year.''
The Ravens have signed fifth-round draft pick Matt Judon, CSN has confirmed through an NFL source. Judon became the first of the Ravens’ 11 draft picks to sign, reaching agreement on a four-year, $2.595 million deal.
Judon led all of college football with 20 sacks last season at Grand Valley State, and will likely make the transition from defensive end to outside linebacker in the Ravens’ 3-4 defense. His combination of size (6-foot-3, 275 pounds) and quickness caught the eye of Ravens’ scouts at the combine, and he fit their desire to improve their pass rush in this draft.
“He’s an explosive pass rusher, which is something that was obviously of interest to us,” Ravens assistant general manager Eric DeCosta said after the draft. “I should also say that Joe Cullen, who works with our defensive line and rush linebackers, was really, really excited. This was a guy that we thought was an outstanding prospect, and he (Cullen) spent a lot of time with him this spring, and we felt very, very good about his ability to come in and help us right away.”
Watching Johnny Manziel make his court appearance Thursday on domestic violence charges was another reminder of how badly many of the Browns’ quarterback decisions have turned out.
Just two years ago, Manziel was the 22nd overall pick, and the Browns hoped he would be the answer to their quarterback problems. How wrong that looks now, with Manziel out of the NFL, with an uncertain future both on and off the field.
The Browns’ decision to take Manziel in 2014 looks even worse when you consider:
- Two other starting quarterbacks were drafted after Manziel in 2014 – Teddy Bridgewater of the Vikings (No. 32) and Derek Carr of the Raiders (No. 36).
- Eight first-round picks in the 2014 draft have already made the Pro Bowl – linebackers Anthony Barr (Vikings), Khalil Mack (Raiders), and C. J. Mosley (Ravens); wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (Giants), defensive tackle Aaron Donald (Rams); guard Zach Martin (Cowboys); cornerback Jason Verrett (Chargers), and Bridgewater.
The Browns’ new regime of executive VP Sashi Brown, chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta, and coach Hue Jackson could have spent another first-round pick on a quarterback this year. Instead, they signed Robert Griffin III during free agency, traded down out of the No. 2 spot in the draft, acquired some valuable draft picks, and waited until Round 3 to draft quarterback Cody Kessler of USC in the third round.
The Browns aren’t sure Griffin or Kessler will solve their quarterback problems either. But it’s hard to blame them for avoiding spending another first-round pick on a quarterback. Not after seeing how far Manziel has fallen so fast.
The Secretary of the Navy expressed confidence Thursday that sixth-round draft pick Keenan Reynolds will be able to play for the Ravens next season. Speaking on the Dan Patrick Show, Ray Mabus said there should be ways for Reynolds to fulfill his Navy obligations while pursuing his NFL career.
“If I was an NFL team I would want Keenan Reynolds in my locker room,” Mabus said on the show. “Keenan Reynolds is a great ambassador for not only the United States Navy but the United States military. I’m confident we can work something out so Keenan can do both, play and serve…I’m going to do everything I can to make sure he can do both.”
The Ravens were hopeful that Reynolds would be allowed to play, but said they would abide by whatever decision made by the Navy. Reynolds was a star quarterback at Navy, but will try to forge an NFL career as a wide receiver-punt returner. Reynolds is scheduled to participate in this weekend’s Ravens rookie minicamp.
A precedent for Reynolds being allowed to play has already been set. The Patriots drafted long snapper Joe Cardona in the fifth round last season, and he played all of last season while also working at a Naval Preparatory Academy in Rhode Island.
Reynolds could be a busy man as well next season, juggling Navy responsibilities with football. However, Reynolds has long dreamed of playing in the NFL, and Mabus’ comments were a positive sign.