Category Archives: American Football

Andrew Luck extends contract with Indianapolis Colts

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Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck has signed a contract extension with his team which could make him the highest paid American football player.

Reports from NFL Media Insider Ian Rapport states that the deal extends Luck’s contract through to 2021, and is worth $140 million.

Rapport said Luck’s six-year contract will surpass Luck’s new salary will surpass current average salary of Baltimore Raven’s Joe Flacco, whose average salary is approximately $22.1 million.

Rapport’s report added that the contract extension pays him $75m over the first three years of the deal, and slightly less over the final three.

Colts owner Jim Irsay was hopeful that the constractual agreement would be completed before Independence Day, with three weeks left before the Colts report to training camp on 26 July.

“This is an exciting day for the organization and Colts fans around the globe,” Irsay said.

“Andrew is the consummate professional, possesses extraordinary talent and is our leader on and off the field. When you consider what this team has accomplished in four seasons with Andrew under center, you cannot help but be thrilled about the future.”

Luck was the No1 overall pick in 2012, having enjoyed a successful start to his career in Indianapolis.

He consistently led his team, carrying them to the NFL playoffs in each of his first three seasons, as well as winning the AFC championship game in 2014 and back-to-back AFC South titles.

However, his form dipped last year, and his season ended early after suffering a kidney injury against the Denver Broncos. He also missed two early starts with a shoulder injury, and completed just 55.3% of his pass attempts while committing 13 turnovers in 2015.

His current 74.9 quarterback rating put him in the bottom of regular starters in the NFL.

But he is keen to get back on top of things.

“I am thrilled and excited to continue with this great organization,” Luck said in a statement.

“I am thankful to the Irsay family and Mr Irsay for providing me with this great opportunity and the trust that they’ve shown in me. I can’t wait for this season to start.”

Peyton Manning retires, ends illustrious career at 39

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Peyton Manning retires, ends illustrious career at 39

After 18 years of NFL, five MVP awards and a second Super Bowl trophy with the Broncos, Peyton Manning will be hanging up his boots at the age of 39.

The quarterback made four Super Bowl trips, and will retire with a galore of honors, such as the NFL’s all-time leader in passing touchdowns (539), passing yards (71,940) and quarterback wins (186, tied with Brett Favre).

Manning, who played his first 14 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, was a first-ballot Hall­ of­ Famer before spinal fusion surgery caused him to miss the 2011 season.

Transferring to the Broncos on a free agent in 2012, the Sheriff had the most prolific season of any quarterback in history in 2013. The Broncos, under his lead made two Super Bowl trips in Manning’s final three seasons. Manning would also follow in Elway’s footsteps, retiring as a Super Bowl winner.

However, his retirement comes after a season with under-fire performance from Manning. Nonetheless, the Denver Broncos team still managed to get by, trumping the Carolina Panthers by 24-10 at Super Bowl 50.

But as news of his retirement starts to spread, virtually every other personality from either the sports or entertainment world has come forward to acknowledge and pay tribute to one of NFL’s all-time greats.

Even his longtime-rival, New England Patriot’s Tom Brady tweeted to congratulate Manning on an incredible career and his honor to have played against the Sheriff, and to acknowledge the achievements man who had changed the NFL game.

NFL establishes Rooney Rule for women executives

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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell had announced that the National Football League had introduced a Rooney Rule that require teams to interview female candidates for executive positions.

The rule, established to groom diversity in the game was first introduced in 2003, making it compulsory for teams to interview at least one minority candidate for head coaching or senior football operation jobs.

Speaking at the league’s Women’s Summit on road to Super Bowl 50, Goodell said that the league believes in diversity and that the game is better with “good people on the table”.

“You can see that progress is being made and our commitment is, we have something called the Rooney Rule, which requires us to make sure when we have an opening that on the team or the league level that we are going to interview a diverse slate of candidates.”

“Well, we’re going to make that commitment and we’re going to formalize that we, as a league, are going to do that for women as well in all of our executive positions.”

“Again, we’re going to keep making progress here and make a difference.”

Among the prominent women in the NFL is the sole game official, Sarah Thomas (pic).

Also, Jen Welter coached the Arizona Cardinals during pre-season while Kathryn Smith recently became the first full-time female NFL coach, hired by the Buffalo Bills.

Meanwhile in the boardrooms of the NFL, Katie Blackburn holds the position of vice-president of the Cincinnati Bengals, while Amy Trask was the Oakland Raiders’ CEO from 1997 until 2013.

Five things we learn from College Football rankings

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The winner is still anyone’s guess from the Big 3.

The second installment of the College Football Playoff rankings is in, and there’s a newcomer in the top four. What do we make of the latest rankings? Here are five quick observations:

1. The Notre Dame-Stanford game looms large.

With Notre Dame moving into the top four this week and Stanford rising four spots from No. 11 to No. 7, the game between the Irish and Cardinal to end the regular season looks increasingly more like a play-in game. They play in Palo Alto, California, which means a road win of that stature could really boost Notre Dame’s chances.

Stanford, on the other hand, needs a marquee nonconference win to override the season-opening loss at Northwestern. You have to love committee chairman Jeff Long saying the fact that Stanford was essentially playing a 9 a.m. Pacific time game in its loss to Northwestern was a factor in that loss not hurting the Cardinal as much. Even so, no remaining game potentially shapes the playoff any more than the Notre Dame-Stanford game on Nov. 28.

2. Look out, here come the Hawkeyes.

The state of Iowa was in an uproar last week when the unbeaten Hawkeyes barely cracked the top 10 at No. 9 in the initial rankings. But look at what a win over Indiana — a hard-fought 35-27 win, no less — did for the Hawkeyes. They shot all the way up to No. 5 and are now sitting there on the doorstep of the all-important top four. Iowa’s next two games are at home, against Minnesota and Purdue, and then there’s the regular-season finale at Nebraska. The Hawkeyes will be favorites in all three games, and if they win all three, they could already be perched in the top four when they face the East Division champion in the Big Ten championship game. The Hawkeyes own two wins over top-25 teams, and it looks like the committee waited a week before rewarding them.

3. The Big 12 still isn’t getting any respect.

Granted, there’s a round robin tournament coming over the next three weeks for the Big 12, but through the first two weeks of the rankings, no Big 12 team has been able to crack the top four. Can you say, “No respect”? Baylor was the highest-ranked team this week and remained at No. 6. The Bears’ strength of schedule is ranked 94th in the country, so the committee obviously still wants to see them beat somebody of note despite how impressive they’ve been on the field.

Oklahoma State has the best win of anybody in the Big 12 after taking down TCU last week and moved from No. 14 to No. 8. The Cowboys still get Baylor and Oklahoma at home. Oklahoma is probably the only one-loss team in the Big 12 that has a chance, especially if the Sooners can run the table these last three weeks with wins over three straight top-15 teams. A lot can still happen, but are we looking at a second straight year of the Big 12 being left out of the playoff?

4. The big three control their own destiny.

It’s pretty simple for the top three teams. If No. 1 Clemson, No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 Ohio State win out, they’re in. It doesn’t matter what anybody else does. Those three teams control their own destiny. The Crimson Tide moved up two spots this week, and their 30-16 beatdown of LSU was the most impressive win over a quality team that anybody in the country has to this point. It’s also noteworthy that Alabama is No. 2 and Ohio State is No. 3, meaning if that holds, we’ll get a rematch of their semifinal game last year, when the Buckeyes won 42-35 in New Orleans.

5. The American Athletic Conference is flexing its muscles.

Remember when the Pac-12 was supposed to be one of the strongest conferences in the country? Well, get this: The American Athletic Conference has four teams in the rankings this week and the Pac-12 only two. Don’t rub your eyes. It’s true. Other than Stanford, only UCLA at No. 19 made the cut. But Navy, based on its win over Memphis, jumped into the rankings at No. 20 and is joined by No. 21 Memphis, No. 22 Temple and No. 24 Houston. The winner of that league doesn’t have a chance to make the playoff but will grab the Group of 5 spot in the New Year’s Six bowl games.