NFL rumors: Hakeem Nicks now says he wants a long-term deal

Hakeem Nicks actually wants a long-term Coupon Code. (USATSI) More NFL offseason: Mock Drafts | Prospect Rankings | Pro Days | Top free agents

As we make our way toward free agency on Tuesday, here were the news, reports and rumors that happened on Sunday.

Coming off the news that Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks wouldn’t mind signing a one-year, prove-it deal in order to make himself a more attractive free agent next offseason, Nicks would like to amend that theory.

Speaking to ESPN’s Josina Anderson, here’s what Nicks said: “Ideally this is what I want: I want to go to a team where I’m the missing link. There are a number of teams that I have my eye on once I hit the market. I know if I went to a place like Indianapolis I would be dangerous with a quarterback like Andrew Luck. I can see myself catching passes from Cam Newton or even Philip Rivers. Players have already started to reach out to me from other teams saying they would love for me to come join them. I just want to make it clear that I want a long-term deal and I want to be happy. I’m excited about talking to teams and making it work.”

For the record, the Colts are about $38 million under the 2014 salary cap, while the Panthers are only about $7 million under (unless they release Steve Smith) and the Chargers are only $5 million under.

But considering how mediocre he’s played the past two years, it’s fair to say that Nicks might not get that long-term deal quite yet. Instead, he might have to sign with somebody for a year in order to rehab his image.

Hit the road, Jack
    According to CBSSports.com’s Jason La Canfora, Vikings defensive end Jared Allen will not be back in Minnesota. Allen has whittled his free agency wish list down to five teams, but the Vikings are not one of them.
Got to get paid
    With the assumed loss of defensive end Jared Allen, the Vikings made a big play for another defensive end, reportedly signing Everson Griffen to a five-year deal worth $42.5 million (with $20 million guaranteed). Griffen only has 17.5 sacks in his first four seasons in the league, but apparently, he’s been impressive enough for Minnesota to re-sign him to a huge deal.
Rumors
    The Ravens apparently are feeling more optimistic they can re-sign left tackle Eugene Monroe, according to the Baltimore Sun. If Monroe is signed, the paper expects that it would cost the team between $8.5 million and $9 million per season.
Photo of the day
    I’m not sure I understand why the Texans would be interested in acquiring Patriots backup quarterback Ryan Mallett for, say, a second-round pick. It sounds like it’s not going to happen anyway, but it’s a little bit of a mystery why Mallett’s name emerges as potential trade bait every year.
    With the Saints already cutting receiver Lance Moore and running back Darren Sproles in order to save money on the salary cap, there have been rumblings that running back Pierre Thomas could be the next to go. He’s due $2.5 million in base salary and another $400,000 in bonuses, and he counts $2.9 million against the 2014 salary cap (and would leave behind no dead money if he was to be released). But so far, Thomas’ agent, Lamont Smith, says everything is status quo for now.
Tweet of the day
    Panthers cornerback Mike Mitchell, coming off a season in which he recorded a career-high four interceptions along with 72 tackles and two forced fumbles, has plenty of suitors, according to the Charlotte Observer. Among those who are reportedly interested include the Redskins, Bears, Eagles, Broncos and Falcons with Washington and Philadelphia showing the most interest.
    Linebacker Jasper Brinkley will return to the Vikings on a one-year deal, according to Fox Sports’ Mike Garafolo. Brinkley spent the first four seasons of his career in Minnesota, but he signed with the Cardinals before the 2013 season. He was released by Arizona at the end of last month.
    With a 2014 salary cap number that was nearly $15 million, the Jets did the expected Sunday and released cornerback Antonio Cromartie. Said coach Rex Ryan: “Cro is one of the finest athletes I’ve ever coached. He was willing to contribute wherever the team needed him to win games, be it defense, special teams or offense. He has a passion and enthusiasm for the game and I wish him and his family the best.”

With the death of Lions owner William Clay Ford at the age of 88, here’s a photo of him from 1953, via Getty Images.

In the picture, King Paul of Greece is sitting in one of the Ford company’s first cars, called the Quadrangle. William Clay Ford is standing to the right, while Henry Ford II is to the left.

More on Ford.

Team president Tom Lewand: “No owner loved his team more than Mr. Ford loved the Lions.” http://t.co/l4IVDYPEVg pic.twitter.com/D7Y3tn1aO7

- Detroit Lions (@DetroitLionsNFL) March 9, 2014

Isis progress: 2/3 of users have inputted card info, make 6-7 transactions per month

Two-thirds of Isis’ users have installed at least one payment card into their Isis wallet, the mobile payments company said, and that group of users makes an average of six to seven NFC-based financial transactions per month.

Isis now supports iPhone via an NFC case from Incipio.

The figures are some of the first released by Isis, the mobile payments joint venture from AT&T Mobility ( NYSE:T), Verizon Wireless ( NYSE:VZ) and T-Mobile US ( NYSE:TMUS), since the offering launched nationwide in mid-November.

"The usage that we’re seeing from some of our partners is very encouraging for them and very encouraging for us," said Jaymee Johnson, Isis’ head of marketing. Johnson declined to provide the total number of Isis users. "So far so good. It’s where we want to be."

Johnson also said that Isis’ promotional efforts have also enjoyed success. He said that the company’s promotional offering through toys r us promo code “R” Us during the holidays, which offered $15 back on purchases over $30, was the toy retailer’s “most effective digital coupon campaign they have ever run.” He also said Isis’ partnership with Jamba Juice is successful: “They continue to see very strong results from that.”

Isis’ NFC-based mobile payments service is now supported on 60 smartphones. Perhaps more importantly, virtually all of the new payment terminals that are sold to stores and other retailers today can support NFC payments. Industry watchers estimate that merchants on average upgrade or replace their payment terminals once every seven to 10 years, which means that in the coming years virtually every payment terminal that today supports standard credit card payments will in the future support NFC-based payments.

Isis’ service relies on a “secure element” inside a smartphone that stores users’ credit card information. Isis users can make payments with participating retailers and banks (Wells Fargo, Chase, American Express and others through American Express’ Serve technology) by tapping their phone on a payment terminal.

Interestingly, Isis officials also argued that the company’s NFC-based payment service is more secure than standard credit card payments using the card’s magnetic strip. Scott Mulloy, Isis’ CTO, said that the recent hacking of Target, which included information on more than 40 million payment cards, wouldn’t have affected Isis users because of the design of the company’s technology. He said each Isis transaction uses a separate authorization code, which prevents a hacker from being able to steal credit card information, as in Target’s recent security breach, and use those credit card numbers to make additional purchases.

"The data breach would have happened," Mulloy explained, "but the ability to commit fraud—you can’t make that next transaction."

Mulloy also addressed the new Host-Card Emulation NFC payments technology that was recently endorsed by Visa and MasterCard. HCE is a cloud-based payment service that bypasses the secure element embedded in the hardware of a phone that forms the basis for Isis’ service. Industry analysts see HCE as a method companies could use to bypass Isis and other, similar payment technologies, thus rendering them obsolete.

However, Mulloy argued Isis and other hardware-based mobile payment technologies that rely on a secure element could work alongside cloud-based payment systems like HCE. “I think in many ways HCE and a hardware solution are very complementary,” he said, adding though that he believes hardware-based technologies like Isis are more secure than cloud-based technologies like HCE.

Moreover, Mulloy said that Isis is considering using HCE technology to store users’ loyalty card and coupon information. He said this data doesn’t need as much security as a user’s credit card information, and so Isis might consider storing loyalty card and coupon information in the cloud via HCE instead of in the device’s secure element. He said the secure element has a limited amount of space, while an HCE system could store an almost limitless amount of data, and therefore an HCE system might make more sense for a user who collects lots of loyalty cards and coupons. “I’m investigating HCE” for loyalty cards and coupons, Mulloy said.

Further, Mulloy said Isis would consider supporting HCE directly for credit card payments if banks decide they want to use the technology. “If we need to bring that into the wallet as well, it’s something that we’ll look into,” Mulloy said of HCE.

Related Articles:
MasterCard, Visa sidestep Isis and wireless carriers with HCE support for mobile payments and NFC
Weve teams with MasterCard to tackle ‘messy’ mobile payments market
Apple reportedly looking to expand mobile payments capabilities
Isis gets thumbs down in Google Play
Isis mobile payments venture rolls out nationwide

Redskins reportedly set to tag Orakpo if no deal signed by deadline

Posted by Josh Alper on March 3, 2014, 11:04 AM EST

The Redskins have been knocking around what to do about linebacker Brian Orakpo ‘s pending free agency since the end of the regular season and they face a big deadline on Monday afternoon.

Washington has to decide whether or not to use their franchise tag on Orakpo by 4 p.m. ET on Monday, something that they were reportedly unsure about over the weekend. With push coming closer to shove, though, Ed Werder of ESPN reports that they have come to a decision.

Werder reports that the Redskins will use the tag on Orakpo Monday if they are unable to agree on a long-term contract by the deadline. Doing so would all but ensure Orakpo’s return since other teams would have to fork over two first-round picks to sign him away and would also buy more time to reach agreement on a multi-year Promotional Code that would be a better fit in the overall salary structure in Washington.

The franchise tag for linebackers is $11.455 million this year.

BusinessWest

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Sears auto biz: Miller new prez, Finney gone

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (Feb. 4, 2014) - Sears Holdings Corp. has hired Norman Miller, president and COO of Dollar Financial Corp., to be president of its automotive business, including sears auto Centers, filling a position vacated at year-end 2013 by Joe Finney.

Mr. Miller, who will also be a senior vice president of Sears Holdings, will be responsible for the oversight and leadership of the company’s automotive business, which Sears identified last September as a business it might divest.

"Norman is a proven executive whose operations, management and sales experience make him an ideal fit to lead the transformation of Sears Auto Centers," said Edward S. Lampert, Sears Holdings chairman and CEO.

"His deep expertise in driving the development and execution of growth and sales strategy for large, complex organizations makes him a strong addition to our team."

Mr. Miller’s hiring comes just three months after Sears announced it is evaluating divesting its Sears Auto Center and Lands’ End businesses as part of a strategy to “improve our financial flexibility and accelerate our transformation into a leading ‘integrated retailer.’”

Sears operates 758 Sears Auto Centers throughout the U.S., most integrated with its Sears retail stores.

(Tire Business file photo)

Mr. Finney is now CEO of Florida-based Arrow Environmental Services Inc. and operating partner at Concentric Equity Partners, according to his LinkedIn page.

Sears did not comment on the reasons for Mr. Finney’s leaving.

The former Michelin North America Inc./Tire Centers L.L.C. executive was hired by Sears in August 2010 to be president of Sears Automotive Group and a senior vice president of Sears Holdings.

Mr. Miller has been president of Dollar Financial since June 2013 and COO since 2007. Prior to his time with Dollar Financial, Mr. Miller was group president, Sports and Entertainment unit, at Aramark Corp., where he worked from 1997 until 2007.

He also was president of the company’s Correctional Services unit from 2002 to 2003.

His career also includes nine years with Nestle, Kraft General Foods and PepsiCo, serving in management positions in sales, marketing and operations.

He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.

Moto X $100 Off Codes: Post ‘em if You Got ‘em

From 3PM - 4PM ET this afternoon, Motorola held another sale for their 2013 flagship, Moto X. During that time, you could cruise over to Motorola’s site and fill out a form that would land you a Coupon code for $100 off a device. For those who managed to sign-up during that short 1-hour window, you should have already received your code that is good until February 3 at midnight.

With $100 off of a full retail Moto X, you are looking at a starting price of just $299 (MotoMaker included). If you upgrade features, like say the storage to 32GB, you could still get into a brand new custom designed Moto X for as little as $349. Or better yet, the Developer Editions were also down to $349 with this deal. Talk about a steal.

Since the sale happened during the middle of the day, we can imagine that many of you didn’t have a chance to reserve your promo code before the hour was up. For those who missed out, we thought we’d put together another spot for DL community members to share codes that they don’t plan on using. We have done this in the past and always seem to see plenty of love being tossed around.

So if you need a code or have an extra lying around, feel free to share in the comments.

Reed battles back against criticism on national stage with…

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A frustrated Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed struck a defiant tone in television appearances Thursday morning, battling back against criticisms he was ill-prepared for Winter Storm Leon and calling out TV networks for broadcasting images of stranded drivers outside city limits.

His appearances on The Today Show and MSNBC comes a day after NBC’s meteorologist Al Roker roundly criticized the mayor and Gov. Nathan Discount for what he called “poor planning” ahead of the well forecast storm which left untold thousands stranded in their cars on icy interstates and forced children to stay overnight in schools.

Reed took pains to define his jurisdiction from that of the state and schools, noting his lack of control over interstates and school closings.

Asked by Matt Lauer whether he had the best information possible ahead of the storm, Reed said “It’s not solely about my call. In the city of Atlanta the state, myself and the school system which are all separate.”

In a post-Today Show interview with a WXIA reporter, Reed continued to draw clear delineations between his role and that of the state’s, being careful not to criticize his political ally Nathan Deal.

"I’d really appreciate if Al Roker and Channel 11 would differentiate between the responsibility of the city of Atlanta (and the state),” he said. “We do not have responsibility for the interstate.”

MSNBC’s Morning Joe anchor Mika Brzezinski pressed Reed to name names in a Thursday morning interview: “So who screwed up, mayor?”

Reed responded that “we all have responsibility” in government.

"I shared what I was responsible for. We should have made a different judgment about how we released our citizens as we got a million citizens out of our city," said Reed.

The mayor expressed sympathy to drivers still stranded on highways and said: “We did everything we could in a partnering fashion to clear our highways and keep folks safe.”

To both networks, Reed repeated his now well-publicized admission that leaders failed by releasing millions into the storm at once.

"What is learned from this is that the state, city, school board and private business need to stagger a releasing of citizens to go home in severe weather events," he said, elaborating that schools and parents should be sent home first.

He also touted what he sees as successes: all Atlanta Public Schools children are reunited with their families and more than 80 percent of Atlanta streets were clear after 24 hours.

But the recently re-elected mayor, his voice gravelly and fatigue wearing on his face, harshly criticized the networks on which he’s a regular guest as misleading in its use of images.

"I do want to clarify is the images that you show as you talked about Atlanta were often photos that were not in the city,” Reed said to Brzezinski, in an especially combative interview.

That’s when the anchor threw in the towel, cutting the mayor off by saying “it’s just not helping you.”

Reed has made a round of network interviews in days since the storm hit the region, including this tense exchange with CNN’s Carol Costello Wednesday.

For updates, return to AJC.com.