By Danny Cox
The final week of the season is upon us all, there is a lot of stuff going on with teams that won’t even be heading into the postseason. The New Orleans Saints finally get some good news this year. Terrelle Pryor is getting his chance in the spotlight. Oh yeah, and Rex Ryan is angry about something else.
Sean Payton and the Saints agree to a five-year contract extension
The New Orleans Saints have had the season from hell, and could really use some good news as their year is quickly coming to an end. Late on Friday night, they got that good news. Sean Payton and the franchise have agreed to a five-year contract extension that sources say will pay him $7.5 million annually.
Drew Brees was not shocked.
“Very happy it is official,” Saints quarterback Drew Brees said in an email to the Associated Press. “Never had any doubts.”
Well, many others did. A number of people believed that Payton would take his voided contract chance – due to Bountygate – and become a free agent, possibly landing in Dallas. Once getting approval from the NFL to talk to Payton a few weeks ago, it appears that negotiations went well enough to move very quickly.
Now, if only the Saints could do something about virtually their entire defense.
Terrelle Pryor to start for Raiders in place of injured Carson Palmer
Getting his first game start since starting for Ohio State in the 2011 Sugar Bowl, Terrelle Pryor will be under center for the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. Carson Palmer got banged up last week in a loss to Carolina so he was ruled out for the season finale. This week’s practice was used to see if Pryor or Matt Leinart would get the nod to start in his place.
“We know what his strengths are, we know what his weaknesses are,” coach Dennis Allen said Friday. “But really, to give him an opportunity to go out in a game, against a division opponent, at their place, and give him a chance to play, it gives us a view into the future.”
The Oakland Raiders won’t be in the playoffs, but they are in dire need of any type of offensive production, and they’re hoping that Pryor can help. Oakland hasn’t scored a touchdown in two weeks, but Pryor may have the spark necessary to get things going in a different direction. He’s going to have to shake off some jitters though.
“I’m nervous. Until the first play I’m going to be nervous,” he said. “I’m human like you guys. I’m human like everybody. I just happen to play one of the best sports in the world. I’ll be nervous until the first snap.”
Rex Ryan won’t accept being fired despite what reports may say
Rex Ryan and the New York Jets have plenty to be angry about this season, but this latest tidbit seems quite odd. A report claims that Ryan would welcome being fired if Jets owner Woody Johnson rails to make any changes in the offseason.
“That is totally untrue,” Ryan said. “The fact is — and it’s simple — this is the only team that I want to coach, period. And I think anybody that knows me knows that I’m telling you the truth.”
Believe it or not, Ryan was angry at this report from the New York Daily News. In fact, he was so mad and upset over the whole thing that some Jets players say he openly cried while speaking to them about it in a team meeting.
Ryan says that he doesn’t “want to coach anywhere else,” and is “not stepping down.” Jets players banded together in Ryan’s anger and expressed their displeasure with the report and the media as a whole. Now, if only the Jets can channel that anger into something useful.
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Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. His work can be found on Examiner.com.