Shanahan calls Haynesworth lazy, insults his character

Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan didn't hold back when asked to respond to former Redskins defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth's remarks where he called Shanahan “conniving.”

Haynesworth was dumped by the Redskins, traded to the New England Patriots for a late-round draft pick after a disappointing tenure in Washington.

“Let me put it this way, the only people I really haven’t gotten along with since I’ve been a head coach and an assistant coach is someone that’s lazy, and No. 2, someone that’s lazy and they may lack character, or they’re lazy and lack passion for the game,” Shanahan told Washington reporters. “Those are really the only people I haven’t gotten along with as a head coach or as an assistant coach. And so that’s what you’re looking for.

“And through my years,people that are lazy and have lacked passion for their job, they don’t go into the next year of their job, and if they do, they don’t last the next year. And so the people that I’ve looked at that come back and complain and do some of the things that you do when you don’t get along with someone as a head coach or an assistant coach, usually falls in one of those couple areas: lazy, lack of passion, and lot of times, a lack of character, and he fits all three.”


Why didn't Shanahan mince words? Lets just say he has a special level of contempt for Haynesworth.

“You usually take the high road as much as you can, but I thought that he’s been talking quite a bit, I thought, over the last couple years,” Shanahan said. “So, I thought I’d at least be honest with you guys and kind of tell you how I feel.”

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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.

49ers activate Aldon Smith from non-football injury list

The San Francisco 49ers activated troubled All-Pro outside linebacker Aldon Smith from the non-football injury list.

Smith has been in rehab for alcohol treatment since late September, missing five games.

Smith turned himself in on felony weapons charges on Tuesday and is free on bail.

Smith could potentially play as soon as a Nov. 10 game against the Carolina Panthers following the 49ers' bye.

He has met with 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh this week.

Smith has court dates on Nov. 12 and Nov. 19 on a driving under the influence charge and the weapons case.

Smith, 24, has been on an indefinite leave of absence.

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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.

$60 million lawsuit points to $100 million scam

A lawsuit filed Thursday in Florida by a group of 16 current and former NFL players may be the latest evidence of perhaps the biggest scam of player money in league history.

Two sources said the losses could approach $100 million or more.

The lawsuit, which includes Ray Lewis, Jevon Kearse, Frank Gore and Fred Taylor, claims a Florida-based bank participated in the illegal opening of accounts and transfer of funds that resulted in the players losing nearly $53 million.

However, that is only part of a much larger group of players who were once represented by disgraced financial advisor Jeff Rubin. At one time, Rubin’s client list numbered more than 100 athletes, including boxer Floyd Mayweather. In 2012, Mayweather separately sued Rubin for $4 million and the 16 players who sued Thursday are less than half the number who invested in a failed Alabama casino investment.

Furthermore, the casino was only one of several investments that Rubin had players participate in, according to attorney Andy Kagan of the Kagan Law Firm in Fort Myers, Fla. Kagan is one of the lawyers who represents the group of 16.

That led another source to suggest the numbers could well approach $100 million.

“You start to think about some of the guys who have settled already or aren’t in this suit,” a source said, alluding to players such as Greg Olsen and Jonathan Stewart. “There’s $4 million here, $2 million there. If you just write the numbers on the back of an envelope, I think $100 million is very possible.”

Kagan said the lawsuit was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Fort Lauderdale after his firm spent approximately two years working on the case. The suit was filed against Branch Banking and Trust, although the improprieties are alleged to have been allowed by BankAtlantic. Branch Banking and Trust bought BankAtlantic in 2012.

“It’s pretty unbelievable that a bank would allow this to happen,” said Kagan, one of the lawyers representing the 16 players. “With the Bank Secrecy Act and other regulations put in place, it’s pretty shocking that this would happen. It shouldn’t have happened if the bank had followed everything.”

The suit accuses the bank with negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract and aiding and abetting. The suit alleges that BankAtlantic employees allowed financial advisor Jeff Rubin to open accounts with documents that included forged signatures. According to the suit, the bank was influenced by the large sum of money Rubin deposited. Kagan estimated in an earlier interview that Rubin had approximately $100 million in player money deposited in BankAtlantic at one point.

Rubin was allegedly allowed to transfer money from those accounts to various investments, including an Alabama bingo casino operation. The lawsuit accuses BankAtlantic of failing to properly notify the players of the transfers.

Frank GoreSan Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore was allegedly scammed out of $1.6million.

As a result, the suit specifies that at least $59.893 million was transferred from the accounts of those players without their knowledge and “for illegitimate purposes.”

Aside from Lewis, Kearse, Gore and Taylor, other players involved in the suit are Jamal Anderson, Jacob Bell, Tavares Gooden, Santonio Holmes, Greg Jones, Brandon Meriweather, Gerard Warren, Jabar Gaffney, Kenard Lang, Santana Moss, Clinton Portis and Lito Sheppard.

Kagan’s firm may seek damages on top of return of the lost funds.

Gore and Kearse are listed as two of the victims in the suit. Gore had at least $1.6 million transferred from his account. Kearse had $7.958 million taken from his account. Both Anderson and Sheppard lost more than $5 million each. Lewis lost $3.778 million.

As an aside, Kearse, Portis and Moss also all lost homes to foreclosure in the aftermath of having the money transferred from their accounts.

Rubin, along with his relationship with NFL agent Drew Rosenhaus, was the subject of a six-month investigation by Yahoo! Sports that was published in September 2012. Rubin formerly ran a concierge financial services firm called Pro Sports Financial. He invested as much as $43.6 million of the players’ money in the Alabama casino project alone, according to bankruptcy documents.

However, Kagan said Rubin invested in numerous other projects without telling the players. According to the lawsuit, Rubin did that by using his influence at BankAtlantic/Branch Banking and Trust.

“BB&T allowed … accounts to be opened and to be maintained without following its own protocols and without regard to reasonable or due care or concern for the authenticity of the signature cards associated with each … account in order to promote its own self-interest,” the suit states. “After allowing the … accounts to be opened as power of attorney accounts without the … plaintiffs’ knowledge or consent, BB&T also occasionally accepted and acted upon wire transfer instructions from Pro Sports employees who were not even named as the attorney-in-fact for a particular account.”

The suit specifically names BankAtlantic employees Steve Johnson and Phil Fitzpatrick as having worked with Rubin or being in charge of overseeing the accounts.

The suit further alleges the bank “substantially assisted in allowing and concealing” the improper accounts and transfers.

In a related case, former NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens filed a $6.5 million lawsuit against agent Drew Rosenhaus in August. Owens has alleged that in 2005 Rosenhaus recommended that he use Rubin as a financial advisor. Owens said he followed that advice and eventually found out his money had been invested in the Alabama casino project.

In 2008, Rubin began recruiting players to invest in the Alabama casino project. Rubin eventually convinced 35 players to invest, of which 18 were Rosenhaus clients. No other agent had more than four players involved.

Of the 16 players in the lawsuit filed Thursday, 10 are current or former Rosenhaus clients. No other agent has more than two players in this lawsuit.

Rosenhaus has said on numerous occasions that he had no knowledge of his players’ investments in the casino project on in what Rubin was doing.

By 2011, players began discovering the improprieties.

In 2012, an NFLPA source said the union was investigating the relationship between Rosenhaus and Rubin. As of now, no penalties or discipline have been announced.

Follow Jason on Twitter: @JasonPhilCole

Editor's note: A Friday phone conversation with Kagan brought to light a couple of changes recently made to the lawsuit. 49ers running back Frank Gore lost $1.6 million, not $8.7 million, which changes the total from $60 million to approximately $53 million.

Andrew Hawkins activated from short-term IR

The Bengals might be adding another weapon to its explosive offense.

The organization activated receiver Andrew Hawkins, who had been on the short-term injured reserve since the beginning of the season with an ankle injury.

Hawkins joins a unit featuring A.J. Green and Marvin Jones, who exploded for four touchdowns last week.

With his activation, there's a chance Hawkins plays Thursday night against Miami.

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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.

Doug Marrone: Thad Lewis is 50/50 for Sunday

As of now, Bills quarterback Thad Lewis has a 50 percent chance to play against the Chiefs on Sunday, according to head coach Doug Marrone.

Lewis missed Thursday's practice as he continues to recover from a rib injury. He'll likely need to practice Friday in order to play Sunday.

On Wednesday, the website Pro Football Talk reported that Lewis would be able to play. Funny enough, Marrone said he hope the site has good information on that.

“I’m hoping the league source is right,” Marrone said, via “Because I really don’t know right now. It’s 50-50. Trust me.”

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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.

LeSean McCoy jokes that Pitt couldn't afford Terrelle Pryor

The joke of the week was told in Philadelphia.

During an interview, Eagles running back LeSean McCoy was asked about Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor, who grew up in Jeannette, Pa.

McCoy, who played college football at the University of Pittsburgh, said he was given the task to try and recruit Pryor to play for the Panthers, which was unsuccessful. Why, you might ask?

“I tried to recruit him to Pitt. But we couldn't afford him,” McCoy said, via 975 The Fanatic.

McCoy apparently mentioned he was kidding directly after the comment. Obviously, the reference is to Pryor's time at Ohio State, when he was suspended for the first five games of the 2011 season for accepting free tattoos for autographs.

Pryor decided to forgo his final season and enter the supplemental draft, to which Oakland drafted him.

Word from the Oakland media is that Pryor deflected a question about McCoy's joke.

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Dolphins downgrade Jonathan Martin to out

The Miami Dolphins officially ruled out offensive tackle Jonathan Martin for tonight's game against the Cincinnati Bengals, downgrading him from doubtful to out.

The Dolphins promoted Ryan Spadola from the practice squad to the active roster as he takes over Brandon Gibson's vacated roster spot. Gibson is on injured reserve.

Martin is getting treatment for emotional issues following an incident in the team cafeteria, according to FOX Sports.

Martin hasn't been with the team all week due to the situation, where being the victim of a prank from a teammate angered him enough to “smash his food tray on the ground.”

Martin is officially listed as doubtful with an illness on the Dolphins' injury report. Tyson Clabo will start in his place.

NFL Network reported that Martin is with his family since the incident and had an “emotional breakdown.”

Per the report, Martin sought treatment at a local hospital before leaving and is now with his family.

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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.

John Sullivan wants Christian Ponder to start

Forget the fact that Christian Ponder has struggled mightily all season.

Center John Sullivan said he would prefer to have Ponder taking snaps from him than either Josh Freeman or Matt Cassell this Sunday against Dallas.

Sometimes, merit outranks ability. In this instance this might be the case. Ponder has had a poor season but isn't someone his teammates seem too down on.

Sullivan said his grit last week against Green Bay spoke volumes.

“[Ponder] prepared really hard and he went out there and laid it all on the line,” Sullivan said, via the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “You know, you see that last run that he made when things were getting out of reach [a 19-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter against the Packers on Sunday] and he's still out there fighting until the end. I mean, that's not my decision. But I'd love to see him stay back there, of course.”

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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.

NFP power rankings

Our top-9 from last Thursday took care of business in predictable fashion during Week 8, so we have no movement to report prior to slot No. 10, where the Detroit Lions rise following the team’s 31-30 comeback win over the Dallas Cowboys.

The numbers in brackets indicate each team’s Power Ranking, which is based on a scale of 1-100. These numbers can be used as a baseline to determine the point spread between any two teams on the list. Keep in mind that these numbers do not account for home field advantage, situational analysis (extra rest, back-to-back road games, divisional rivalries, etc), injuries, weather or public perception. They are merely to be used as a baseline for your initial analysis.


1. Denver Broncos [90.0]
7-1 (Won 45-21 vs. Washington)
Previous ranking: 90.0 (1)

2. Seattle Seahawks [89.5]
7-1 (Won 14-9 at St. Louis)
Previous ranking: 89.5 (2)

T3. New Orleans Saints [88.5]
6-1 (Won 35-17 vs. Buffalo)
Previous ranking: 88.5 (T3)

T3. San Francisco 49ers [88.5]
6-2 (Won 42-10 at Jacksonville in London)
Previous ranking: 88.5 (T3)

5. Green Bay Packers [87.5]
5-2 (Won 44-31 at Minnesota)
Previous ranking: 87.5 (5)

6. Cincinnati Bengals [87.0]
6-2 (Won 49-9 vs. NY Jets)
Previous ranking: 87.0 (6)

7. New England Patriots [86.5]
6-2 (Won 27-17 vs. Miami)
Previous ranking: 86.5 (7)

T8. Kansas City Chiefs [85.0]
8-0 (Won 23-17 vs. Cleveland)
Previous ranking: 85.0 (T8)

T8. Indianapolis Colts [85.0]
5-2 (Bye)
Previous ranking: 85.0 (T8)

10. Detroit Lions [84.5]
5-3 (Won 31-30 vs. Dallas)
Previous ranking: 83.5 (T12)

T11. Dallas Cowboys [84.0]
4-4 (Lost 31-30 at Detroit)
Previous ranking: 84.5 (10)

T11. Baltimore Ravens [84.0]
3-4 (Bye)
Previous ranking: 84.0 (11)

13. Carolina Panthers [83.5]
4-3 (Won 31-13 at Tampa Bay)
Previous ranking: 83.5 (T12)

14. San Diego Chargers [83.0]
4-3 (Bye)
Previous ranking: 83.0 (14)

T15. Chicago Bears [82.0]
4-3 (Bye)
Previous ranking: 82.0 (T16)

T15. Miami Dolphins [82.0]
3-4 (Lost 27-17 at New England)
Previous ranking: 82.0 (T16)

17. Atlanta Falcons [81.5]
2-5 (Lost 27-13 at Arizona)
Previous ranking: 82.5 (15)

T18. Arizona Cardinals [81.0]
4-4 (Won 27-13 vs. Atlanta)
Previous ranking: 80.5 (22)

T18. Washington Redskins [81.0]
2-5 (Lost 45-21 at Denver)
Previous ranking: 81.0 (T19)

20. New York Jets [80.5]
4-4 (Lost 49-9 at Cincinnati)
Previous ranking: 81.5 (18)

21. Houston Texans [80.0]
2-5 (Bye)
Previous ranking: 80.0 (23)

T22. Tennessee Titans [79.5]
3-4 (Bye)
Previous ranking: 79.5 (24)

T22. Pittsburgh Steelers [79.5]
2-5 (Lost 21-18 at Oakland)
Previous ranking: 81.0 (T19)

24. New York Giants [79.0]
2-6 (Won 15-7 at Philadelphia)
Previous ranking: 78.5 (T25)

25. Philadelphia Eagles [78.5]
3-5 (Lost 15-7 vs. NY Giants)
Previous ranking: 81.0 (T19)

T26. Oakland Raiders [77.5]
3-4 (Won 21-18 vs. Pittsburgh)
Previous ranking: 77.0 (T28)

T26. St. Louis Rams [77.5]
3-5 (Lost 14-9 vs. Seattle)
Previous ranking: 78.5 (T25)

T26. Cleveland Browns [77.5]
3-5 (Lost 23-17 at Kansas City)
Previous ranking: 78.5 (T25)

T29. Buffalo Bills [77.0]
3-5 (Lost 35-17 at New Orleans)
Previous ranking: 77.0 (T28)

T29. Minnesota Vikings [77.0]
1-6 (Lost 44-31 vs. Green Bay)
Previous ranking: 77.0 (T28)

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers [76.5]
0-7 (Lost 31-13 vs. Carolina)
Previous ranking: 76.5 (31)

32. Jacksonville Jaguars [73.0]
0-8 (Lost 42-10 vs. San Francisco in London)
Previous ranking: 73.0 (32)

Hit me up on Twitter: @JoeFortenbaugh

Panthers not concerned with carry distribution

With Jonathan Stewart back in the mix at running back, one school of thought would be that the Panthers have to figure out a way to distribute the carries among the position group accordingly.

DeAngelo Williams and Mike Tolbert have put in some good games of late and Cam Newton has run the ball well at the quarterback position.

So how does Stewart fit into the equation? Well, he might, he might not.

“One thing we can’t worry about is making sure everybody gets enough touches,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said, via the Charlotte Observer. “What has to happen is when these guys get their opportunities they have to be quality touches. We can’t force things. What we’ve got to do is [offensive coordinator] Mike [Shula] has to continue to call his game the way he wants to call it, and at the end of the day when you get your opportunity, make the best of it.”

A year ago, Stewart ran for 336 yards and a touchdown. After eight weeks, Williams has run for 477 yards and a score.

It will be hard for the Panthers to vary from what's been working.

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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.