Cardinals RB Rashard Mendenhall explains his retirement

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Arizona Cardinals running back Rashard Mendenhall will retire. Yes, at the tender age of 26. How’s that for a surprise to kick off NFL free agency?

UPDATE: Rashard Mendenhall explains his retirement decision to HuffPo

ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter first reported this development. Mendenhall battled turf toe for much last season. When he finally got to be 100%, Mendenhall scored five touchdowns in his final eight games. Rashard Mendenhall was “kind of a big deal” coming out of Niles West high school. As a five-star prospect, he was rated the No. 1 recruit in the state of Illinois by Scout.com. He committed to Ron Turner and the Illini where re-wrote the Illinois single season rushing record book.

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2013 NFL Season Predictions: Super Bowl Champion Bengals!

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Making predictions for the Super Bowl on February 2nd today on August 27th. Yes, you got to love it. That’s why I’m all about the Cincinnati Bengals as your Super Bowl champion. When you make NFL divisional and Wild Card picks before even the 4th preseason game…well that’s bold.

Look for these to be about as accurate as my NFL mock draft. So don’t take this with a grain of salt. How about a whole truckload of salt. Well, time is a wasting so let’s jump right to the predictions.

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2012 Fantasy Football Preview: D/ST

Football fans, you’re Christmas is right around the corner. Preseason games have already started and the regular season is right around the corner. Nearly as important, the fantasy football season is finally here! In the coming weeks, we will prepare you ready for the upcoming fantasy season by breaking every position. First up, we’ll rank the top the top defense & special team units.

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The Great Unknown: 2012 Indianapolis Colts preview

The Indianapolis Colts have endured quite the eventful — and often turbulent — offseason in 2012.

The firings of Vice Chairman Bill Polian, GM Chris Polian and coach Jim Caldwell. The hires of GM Ryan Grigson and coach Chuck Pagano.

The release of quarterback Peyton Manning, the greatest and most iconic Indianapolis Colt of all time, and the subsequent cuts of long-time fan favorites Joseph Addai, Gary Brackett, Melvin Bullitt and Dallas Clark.

The selection of Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck — the franchise’s cornerstone for the future — with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.

And on the not-so-bright side, the fan backlash at owner Jim Irsay and the club, particularly for parting with Manning and for announcing just weeks ago the Colts would black out home games that weren’t 100-percent sold out despite a new league rule that allows a minimum 85-percent attendance to air games.

After all this uber-whirlwind of change and drama surrounding the Colts, it’s finally, thankfully, time to play some football.

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Steelers Hines Ward is Right- New England Secondary is AWFUL

It’s not that the New England Patriots secondary is the worst in NFL history- I still think it’s a tie between the 1995 Atlanta Falcons (after Deion $anders and Tim McKyer left, D.J. Johnson was their “best” DB) and the 2010 Houston Texans (you and I could have burned them for a TD…if we had a good QB getting us the ball).

It’s that the Patriots have the worst pass defense in the NFL this season, and they have quite possibly the worst secondary in the history of “really good NFL teams.” Think about that- what NFL team that routinely appears in the top 5 of many power rankings is also DEAD LAST (as the Pats are in passing yards allowed per game) in one of the four major statistical categories (passing, rushing, rush defense, pass defense).

Opponents routinely do to New England what British redcoats tried to do it in the 1770s- destroy it!

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Steelers Troy Polamalu’s College Counterpart (Hair Wise): Illini RB Troy Pollard

The similarities between Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu and Illinois Fighting Illini leading rusher Troy Pollard go further than just the amazing coincidence in names. There’s the hair thing too!

You’ve seen Polamalu’s shampoo commercials, right? “Troy Polamolecules dude.”

You can go here for more. But let’s learn more about the man nicknamed “bucket o’ hair.”

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Fantasy Football Studs, Duds & Sleepers: AFC North

With the NFL lockout finally behind us, football fans can finally turn our attention from the courtrooms and onto the field, where it belongs. In the coming weeks, I will rank the fantasy studs, duds and sleepers for each division. Today, the AFC North gets some time under the microscope.

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VIDEO of Ben Roethlisberger Partying During Super Bowl Week

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During the week of Super Bowl XLV, Steeler quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was caught on video living it up at a local bar in Fort Worth, Tex.

By: Justin Mertes-Mistretta

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