NFL Nation: Adam Schefter

For months, the main concern for Miami Dolphins fans centered around Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey potentially missing the start of the regular season because of his involvement in last year's bullying scandal. Many wondered if a NFL-mandated suspension was looming, but it turns out it doesn't matter.

Pouncey will be sidelined anyway for the start of the 2014 season because of hip surgery, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. Pouncey is expected to miss the next three to four months, which includes all of training camp, the preseason and the start of the regular season.

This is a huge loss for Miami. A strong case can be made that Pouncey is the one player Miami can least afford to lose. Not only is Pouncey one of Miami's top two or three players, he is the center who works closest with young quarterback Ryan Tannehill and in charge of calling pre-snap protections at the line of scrimmage. Without Pouncey to start the regular season, the Dolphins are expected to have five new starters on the offensive line in Week 1.

Speaking of Week 1, that is when the rival New England Patriots come to Miami. The Dolphins are an awful 4-8 against division foes the past two seasons and need to start the division games on the right foot. The same goes for Week 2 against the Buffalo Bills, who swept the Dolphins last season. Both opponents have solid defensive lines who will look to take advantage of Miami's plight without Pouncey.

The Dolphins' offensive line was awful last year and allowed a franchise-record 58 sacks. New Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey spent the entire offseason remaking the offensive line center around Pouncey. Now, Pouncey won't be available in September. Schefter also reports running back Knowshon Moreno will miss several weeks and should return at some point in training camp, which is of lesser concern.

Where does Miami go from here?

The Dolphins have three options at this stage. First, they can go with undrafted second-year player Sam Brenner, who received second-team reps at center this offseason and filled in at guard last season for the suspended Richie Incognito. Second, versatile backup Nate Garner also played center last season in place of Pouncey for two games and could be the second in-house plan. The third option is to look for outside help via trade or free agency, which could be slim pickings at this stage of the offseason.

Whatever choice Miami makes, it's replacement plan won't be nearly as good as Pouncey. He is one of the top centers in the NFL and the drop off will be significant no matter who plays in Week 1.

This is a make-or-break year for many in Miami's organization to make the playoffs. The Dolphins need a fast start to accomplish that task and it just became much more difficult.
PITTSBURGH -- The good news for the Steelers in regard to the salary cap extends beyond 2014.

NFL ESPN Insider Adam Schefter reported Friday that the cap will jump from $123 million to $133 million this year, and such a spike would leave the Steelers roughly $5.75 million over the cap with less than two weeks to get in compliance with it.

The spending ceiling could exceed $150 million by 2016, something that bodes particularly well for an organization that has to sign its quarterback to another long-term contract.

The Steelers don’t appear to be in any hurry to sign quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to a long-term deal. But if they buy into projections of the cap making much more than incremental increases over the next three years it could accelerate their plans in regard to Roethlisberger.

Roethlisberger has two years left on his contract, which is the time when the Steelers usually sign their quarterback to a new deal. The Steelers have every intention of doing that with Roethlisberger as everyone from team president Art Rooney II to general manager Kevin Colbert has said they want Big Ben to play his entire career in Pittsburgh.

The timing couldn’t be better for the Steelers to sign Roethlisberger sooner rather than later.

His cap hit for 2014 is a projected $18.9 million, and the Steelers could lower that number with a new deal while also not having to backload what would probably be at least a five-year contract for Roethlisberger.

They could give Roethlisberger a hefty signing bonus and healthy base salaries in the first three years of the deal with the cap expected to rise in large chunks from now until 2016. That would allow them to pay their franchise quarterback without putting themselves in a precarious cap situation near the end of his deal by backloading it or later restructuring it, something they have done with Roethlisberger’s current deal.

However the Steelers proceed with Roethlisberger the unexpected spike in the salary cap is huge for the organization in 2014 -- and beyond.
Earlier Wednesday, we reacted to the Oakland Raiders' announcement that standout left tackle Jared Veldheer would be out for at least half the season with a torn triceps. The team said he could miss the entire season.

Ayodele
Veldheer
Our reaction was that this wasn’t pretty. Veldheer is a potential star, and his current replacement, Alex Barron, didn’t play in the NFL last year. It would be devastating blow.

However, ESPN’s Adam Schefter provides hope. He reported Wednesday evening that Veldheer has only a partially torn triceps and that physicians believe he will be available for most of the season.

While recovery times vary, this could be a one-to-three-month injury. Former Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis and San Francisco defensive end Justin Smith both came back from similar injuries last season.

If Veldheer, a free agent after this season, misses only a few games it would be a huge relief for Oakland. I talked to ESPN analyst Matt Williamson after the initial news broke, and he painted an ugly picture.

“It is a total mess,” Williamson said at the time. “I really liked Veldheer and felt like he was on the cusp of becoming one of the better left tackles in football and clearly one of the Raiders’ few building blocks for the future.”

Suddenly, though, the immediate future looks brighter for Veldheer and the Raiders.

Sources: Packers, Clay Matthews near deal

April, 3, 2013
4/03/13
3:04
PM ET

When the deal for Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews gets done this offseason -- and it will -- it will come in at or north of $13 million a year in new money, sources have told Adam Schefter. Matthews, 26, has 42.5 sacks in his four seasons with the Packers, including 13 last season.

The Packers are also working on an extension for Aaron Rodgers, with sources saying last week the sides are closing in on a long-term deal that would make the quarterback the highest-paid player in NFL history.

Click here for the rest of Schefter's story.

The Miami Dolphins appear just a day away from landing their most coveted free agent. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the "league-wide expectation" is that Miami will sign former Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Mike Wallace when free agency begins on Tuesday.

Miami has been the favorite to land Wallace all along. The Dolphins have the cap room and are in desperate need for a No. 1 receiver and a deep threat. Wallace fills those roles.

Most expect Wallace's contract to be in the range of $11-$12 million per season. That’s a lot of coin, but it’s also the price of doing business with quality wide receivers. Dwayne Bowe recently signed a five-year, $56 million contract to stay with the Kansas City Chiefs. That is the bar Miami and Wallace are currently working with.

Is Wallace a lock for Miami? You can never be 100 percent sure with free agency until pen hits the paper. However, Miami signing the top receiver on the open market appears to be one of the safer bets this offseason.

Video: NFL, locked-out refs talking again

August, 31, 2012
8/31/12
12:54
PM ET

Adam Schefter talks about the NFL resuming negotiations with its locked-out officials.
Among the points from ESPN's Adam Schefter during his Monday morning appearance on Mike & Mike:
  • Alex Smith is waiting on Peyton Manning. Schefter does not think Smith would sign with Miami without knowing whether the San Francisco 49ers remained an option for him.
  • Dolphins could have had Matt Flynn. Schefter bases this contention on the relatively modest money Flynn commanded from Seattle. In his view, Flynn was "there for the taking" if the Dolphins valued him highly enough. He thinks Miami had a price limit for Flynn and wasn't interested to the degree the Dolphins were when chasing Jim Harbaugh, Jeff Fisher or Manning.
  • No idea on Manning timetable. Schefter wouldn't be surprised if Manning made a decision Monday or several days from now. There is no indication anything is imminent on that front.
Cue the audio.

ManningWatch: Schefter picks Dolphins

February, 24, 2012
2/24/12
4:00
PM ET

ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter lists the Miami Dolphins as the favorites to land future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning. The Indianapolis Colts are expected to release Manning in March before his $28 million roster bonus is due.

In the video, Schefter addresses all 32 NFL teams and narrows it down to the Final Four with the best chance.

Also, here is my column this week agreeing with Schefter's assessment that Miami is the best fit for Manning.

Bengals add safety help

August, 22, 2011
8/22/11
8:22
PM ET
Mays
Mays
The Cincinnati Bengals traded an undisclosed draft pick to the San Francisco 49ers for safety Taylor Mays, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. The deal has been rumored for weeks since Donte Whitner spurned the Bengals in free agency for San Francisco.

Cincinnati's depth and athleticism in the secondary have been lacking. Mays, 23, could add both to the Bengals. He recorded 38 tackles in six starts for the 49ers last season.

The Bengals searched for safety help in free agency. The team thought it landed Whitner when he verbally agreed to a two-year contract. But Whitner accepted a better, three-year offer from the 49ers just hours later.

Chris Crocker and Reggie Nelson are Cincinnati's starting safeties. Mays will be added to that mix and should have a chance to compete.

Video: NFLPA to vote on deal

July, 20, 2011
7/20/11
11:45
AM ET

ESPN's Adam Schefter says the league's players will decide today whether to ratify the latest proposal.
New Orleans fans, ESPN’s Adam Schefter says in this Insider post that there’s no reason the Saints can’t be a Super Bowl favorite.

Schefter makes it clear that part of that equation entails rookies Cameron Jordan, Mark Ingram and Martez Wilson being productive right off the bat. No argument here. If those guys are what everyone seems to think, they should fill some holes the Saints had last season.

Schefter also cites that the Saints could face strong competition in the NFC South from the Falcons and Buccaneers and sings the praises of the draft classes throughout the division.

Video: Marshall stabbed, hospitalized

April, 23, 2011
4/23/11
11:02
AM ET

ESPN's Adam Schefter says Dolphins receiver Brandon Marshall is expected to make a full recovery and the player's wife was sent to jail following the incident.

Busy week for QB Ryan Mallett

March, 28, 2011
3/28/11
11:34
AM ET
With the NFL draft just a month away, interest is picking up in Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett.

This week Mallett will meet with two teams in pursuit of quarterbacks -- the Cincinnati Bengals and Miami Dolphins. Mallett will hold a private workout for the Dolphins on Tuesday in Fayetteville, Arkansas, then visit the Bengals in Cincinnati on Thursday and Friday, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

Mallett is arguably the best pure passer in this year's draft. He could be a target for Cincinnati as a potential replacement for starter Carson Palmer, who demanded a trade and threatened to retire. Mallett reportedly enters the draft with some character concerns, which could keep him out of the first round.

The Dolphins are exploring other avenues at quarterback after an inconsistent 2010 season from starter Chad Henne. Miami's endorsement of Henne this offseason has been lukewarm, at best, and the Dolphins would like to add viable competition for the starting quarterback job next season. The Dolphins will host an additional two-day visit with Mallett on April 14-15 in Miami.

ESPN's Adam Schefter also reports Miami and Cincinnati have scheduled private workouts with Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, who is a projected first-rounder.

Video: NFL labor talks analysis

March, 6, 2011
3/06/11
9:43
AM ET

Adam Schefter discusses what to expect this week with the negotiations.

Video: Labor negotiations update

February, 14, 2011
2/14/11
11:14
AM ET


Adam Schefter discusses the obstacles facing each side in the NFL labor talks.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

NFL SCOREBOARD

Sunday, 1/25