NCAAF and NFL Off the Field News

NCAAF and NFL Off the Field News

Book: Brady mulled 2018 divorce from Belichick

 

 

A new book about New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick gives the latest glimpse into his allegedly rocky relationship with star quarterback Tom Brady.

 

According to "Belichick: The Making of the Greatest Football Coach of All Time," by ESPN writer Ian O'Connor, Brady had a tough time deciding whether to return to

 

 

A new book about New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick gives the latest glimpse into his allegedly rocky relationship with star quarterback Tom Brady.

 

According to “Belichick: The Making of the Greatest Football Coach of All Time,” by ESPN writer Ian O’Connor, Brady had a tough time deciding whether to return to the Patriots this season.

 

“If you’re married 18 years to a grouchy person who gets under your skin and never compliments you, after a while you want to divorce him,” a source told O’Connor after the 2017 season. “Tom knows Bill is the best coach in the league, but he’s had enough of him. If Tom could, I think he would divorce him.”

 

Late last season, multiple media outlets reported about a rift between Brady and Belichick, reportedly over the team’s treatment of Brady’s personal trainer, Alex Guerrero. The Patriots reportedly banned Guerrero from the sideline, took away his office at Gillette Stadium and no longer allowed him to fly with the team.

 

Guerrero reportedly has been back in the team’s good graces this season.

 

O’Connor wrote of Brady’s offseason decision-making, “But in the end, even if he wanted to, Brady could not walk away from the game, and he could not ask for a trade. The moment Belichick moved (Jimmy) Garoppolo to San Francisco, and banked on Brady’s oft-stated desire to play at least into his mid-forties, was the moment Brady was virtually locked into suiting up next season and beyond. Had he retired or requested a trade, he would have risked turning an adoring New England public into an angry mob.”

 

The book also alleges that Brady was unhappy about Belichick’s response to the Deflategate scandal.

 

A close friend of Brady told O’Connor, “I thought Bill handled it terribly, especially when it involved a guy who’d done everything to help your career as a coach, and you hung him out to dry.”

 

Belichick, 66, had a 36-44 record in five seasons as the Cleveland Browns coach before starting his legendary run in New England. Since taking over in Foxborough in 2000, he has a 215-75 regular-season mark with the Patriots.

 

He and Brady have reached eight Super Bowls, winning five championships.

 

–Field Level Media

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Browns releasing troubled wide receiver Josh Gordon

CLEVELAND (AP) — Josh Gordon's troubled tenure with the Cleveland Browns has ended.

The team announced Saturday night that it intends to release the former Pro Bowl wide receiver, whose immense talent has been overshadowed by substance abuse that has derailed a promising career.

The stunning news came just hours after the Browns said Gordon

CLEVELAND (AP) — Josh Gordon’s troubled tenure with the Cleveland Browns has ended.

The team announced Saturday night that it intends to release the former Pro Bowl wide receiver, whose immense talent has been overshadowed by substance abuse that has derailed a promising career.

The stunning news came just hours after the Browns said Gordon would miss Sunday’s game in New Orleans with a hamstring injury. Gordon has been suspended by the NFL for most of the past four seasons because of multiple drug violations, and the Browns have been supportive of the 27-year-old for years as he tried to get his life together.

Not anymore.

“This afternoon we informed Josh Gordon and his representatives that we are going to release him on Monday,” general manager John Dorsey said in a statement. “For the past six years, the Browns have fully supported and invested in Josh, both personally and professionally and wanted the best for him, but unfortunately we’ve reached a point where we feel it’s best to part ways and move forward. We wish Josh well.”

The team provided no details behind their decision to part ways with Gordon. He missed three weeks of training camp this summer to undergo counseling and treatment, and he recently said he was in a good place mentally and physically.

Gordon played in last week’s season opener against Pittsburgh, his first appearance in a Week 1 game since 2012, when he was a rookie.

Gordon was expected to have an expanded role this week against the Saints after being targeted just three times in a tie against Pittsburgh. He caught a game-tying, 17-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter against the Steelers, but was mostly used as a decoy.

Gordon started the opener despite coach Hue Jackson saying he wouldn’t be on the field for the first snap as punishment for missing camp. Jackson blamed Gordon’s appearance on the first played a “mistake” and “miscommunication.”

Jackson refused to elaborate on the situation this week, saying he and the coaching staff wanted to “move on.”

Gordon emerged as one of pro football’s most dynamic players in 2013, when he led the league with 1,646 yards receiving and scored nine touchdowns. Gordon was suspended for the entire 2015 and 2016 seasons.

He sat out the first 11 games last year before returning for Cleveland’s final five games.

The Browns selected Gordon in the 2012 supplemental draft despite his background of drug use in college.

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Former Jets LB Donahue suspended 14 weeks by NFL

NEW YORK (AP) — Former New York Jets linebacker Dylan Donahue has been suspended 14 weeks by the NFL for violating its substance abuse policy.

The 26-year-old Donahue pleaded guilty last month to charges in two separate incidents in which he was arrested for driving while intoxicated.

Police said he caused a wrong-way

NEW YORK (AP) — Former New York Jets linebacker Dylan Donahue has been suspended 14 weeks by the NFL for violating its substance abuse policy.

The 26-year-old Donahue pleaded guilty last month to charges in two separate incidents in which he was arrested for driving while intoxicated.

Police said he caused a wrong-way crash in February that injured four people in New Jersey. He also received a three-month suspended sentence and was fined $1,000 for a DUI crash in his hometown of Billings, Montana, in May 2017.

Donahue was among the Jets’ final roster cuts two weeks ago and is currently a free agent.

Howard Balzer of BalzerFootball.com first reported the league’s punishment Friday.

Donahue spent a month in a substance-abuse treatment facility in Florida shortly after crash in the Lincoln Tunnel in February. He told reporters last month that he hadn’t had alcohol since.

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Best Gambling And Sports Betting Scenes: ‘I’m Shocked’ In ‘Casablanca’

The post Best Gambling And Sports Betting Scenes: ‘I’m Shocked’ In ‘Casablanca’ appeared first on SportsHandle.

Time for another installment in Sports Handle’s ongoing series on The Best Best Gambling And Sports Betting ScenesThere’s a lot of high-quality movies centered on gambling, including on horse racing and poker Let It Ride and

The post Best Gambling And Sports Betting Scenes: ‘I’m Shocked’ In ‘Casablanca’ appeared first on SportsHandle.

Time for another installment in Sports Handle’s ongoing series on The Best Best Gambling And Sports Betting ScenesThere’s a lot of high-quality movies centered on gambling, including on horse racing and poker Let It Ride and Rounders). All quality gambling scenes, whether strictly sports betting or not, the focus of the film or a short aside, will be included/considered. 

We were reminded recently of this scene from the classic 1942 film Casablanca after reading U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s written questions regarding the nomination/confirmation Brett Kavanaugh to become an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

In case you missed it, Whitehouse has grilled Kavanaugh about gambling, asking about debts, an apology in 2001 for “growing aggressive after blowing still another game of dice,” and his participation in a poker game and more.

Saying absolutely nothing about whether or not Kavanaugh has a problem (he has denied that) and the serious threat that such debts could pose to the high court and the nation… here is the “I’m shocked” scene from Casablanca. Gambling has always existed in the U.S. and always will, while occasionally a game gets shut down, as it is here by Major Heinrich Strasser (Conrad Veidt), who tasks Captain Louis Renault (Claude Reins) with sending everyone out.

Read more Best Gambling And Sports Betting Scenes: ‘I’m Shocked’ In ‘Casablanca’ on SportsHandle.

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Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch sits during national anthem

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch sat during the national anthem ahead of the team's season opener.

Lynch declined to stand for the anthem before a game against the Los Angeles Rams on Monday night. Lynch also sat for the anthem all of last season but never gave a reason for

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch sat during the national anthem ahead of the team’s season opener.

Lynch declined to stand for the anthem before a game against the Los Angeles Rams on Monday night. Lynch also sat for the anthem all of last season but never gave a reason for his decision.

No other players on either team demonstrated during the anthem. Only a handful of players took some sort of action to protest police brutality and social injustice in America on opening weekend.

The league and the players’ union have yet to announce a policy for this season regarding demonstrations during the anthem after the league initially ordered everyone to stand on the sideline when “The Star-Spangled Banner” is played, or remain in the locker room.

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The Latest: Pair of Dolphins only NFL players seen kneeling

The Latest on the NFL's first Sunday of the regular season (all times eastern):

1:10 p.m.

Miami Dolphins wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson are the only NFL players seen kneeling during the national anthem of early games in protest of police brutality and social injustice.

Dolphins defensive end Robert Quinn raised

The Latest on the NFL’s first Sunday of the regular season (all times eastern):

1:10 p.m.

Miami Dolphins wide receivers Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson are the only NFL players seen kneeling during the national anthem of early games in protest of police brutality and social injustice.

Dolphins defensive end Robert Quinn raised his right fist, and San Francisco wide receiver Marquise Goodwin raised his right arm with fist clenched during the anthem in New Orleans.

Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey and linebacker Telvin Smith Jr. stood during the national anthem after staying in the locker room for “The Star-Spangled Banner” during the preseason before playing the New York Giants.

Titans wide receiver Rishard Matthews also was on the sideline after staying in the tunnel or locker room during the anthem much of last season.

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10:10 a.m.

President Donald Trump has tweeted his disapproval of the NFL on Sunday morning before the first full slate of games.

The president has criticized players for their demonstrations protesting social injustice during the national anthem, and the league for not requiring players to be on the sideline at attention when “The Star-Spangled Banner” is played.

He made reference to lower ratings on NBC in Thursday night’s season opener in which Super Bowl champion Philadelphia beat Atlanta 18-12.

“Wow, NFL first game ratings are way down over an already really bad last year comparison,” Trump tweeted. “Viewership declined 13%, the lowest in over a decade. If the players stood proudly for our Flag and Anthem, and it is all shown on broadcast, maybe ratings could come back? Otherwise worse!”

The NFL unilaterally passed a policy requiring players to stand at attention for the anthem or to stay in the locker room or in the tunnel under the stands. When that policy met with heavy criticism, it was put on hold while the league and players’ association discussed other options. Those discussions are continuing.

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Ex-Browns LB Kendricks pleads guilty to insider trading

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Former Cleveland Browns linebacker Mychal Kendricks has pleaded guilty to insider trading charges in a Philadelphia courtroom.

The 27-year-old told the judge on Thursday he knows he was wrong and entered the guilty plea because "it's the right thing to do."

He faces up to 25 years in prison when he's sentenced

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Former Cleveland Browns linebacker Mychal Kendricks has pleaded guilty to insider trading charges in a Philadelphia courtroom.

The 27-year-old told the judge on Thursday he knows he was wrong and entered the guilty plea because “it’s the right thing to do.”

He faces up to 25 years in prison when he’s sentenced in December.

Prosecutors say analyst Damilare Sonoiki fed Kendricks confidential information on four companies about deals that sent their stock prices soaring.

They say at the end of the two-year scheme, Kendricks made about $1.2 million.

Sonoiki’s lawyer tells the Philadelphia Inquirer that his client also would plead guilty, but no date is set.

Kendricks, who signed a one-year contract with the Browns in June after winning a Super Bowl title last season with the Eagles, was released from the Browns last week after the charges were filed.

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Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer, http://www.inquirer.com

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NFL Ownership Position on Player Protests

Before the third preseason game of the 2016 NFL season, then San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeled during the national anthem. His protest set off a slow-building storm across the league that effectively ended Kaepernick's career and brought politics into the middle of the sports arena. 

Two years later, there is no formal league-wide

Before the third preseason game of the 2016 NFL season, then San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeled during the national anthem. His protest set off a slow-building storm across the league that effectively ended Kaepernick’s career and brought politics into the middle of the sports arena. 

Two years later, there is no formal league-wide policy on how to handle anthem protests. In May, the NFL announced that it would fine teams if players sat or kneeled. Two months later, after it was revealed that Miami Dolphins players would be suspended for up to four games for protesting, the league put its policy on hold. 
 
Every team and owner has handled the protests in different ways. This list serves as a cursory look at each NFL owner and their policy on the anthem protests. Many owners policies have been separated into two parts. For many owners they have had two separate stances. After Trump initially tweeted about the anthem in week 3 of the 2017 season, the owners responses were mostly to side with their players. Now that the owners have met and had a season to reflect on what it means for the business, most owners are taking a side of neutrality or support for punishing players who kneel.
 



AFC East

Buffalo Bills

Co-Owners: Terry and Kim Pegula

At the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference in Boston in February, Kim Pegula said of the players protesting “They came in on the player side, so a lot of them just didn’t understand or know the impact that it had on the business, on the organization, on our community, good or bad. I do think there’s definitely an impact.”  She later added  “I wouldn’t shy away from it at all, because I think there is a common ground and I think a lot of it is just more about communicating and learning from each other on both sides and coming to some type of compromise at some points. And sometimes, you won’t be able to come to a compromise, but something usually gets done when that happens.”

The Pegulas bought the team in 2014 after the death of founder and original owner Ralph Wilson. 

 

Miami Dolphins

Owner: Stephen Ross

Stephen Ross released this statement through twitter on July 20th. The tweet and statement came after a reference from a leaked club document suggested that players could be fined or suspended for protesting.

New England Patriots

Owner: Robert Kraft

Back in 2017, Kraft seemed to take the side of the players when he criticized the president’s tone in a statement from September 2017.

Still, Kraft voted in favor of the new anthem policy which comes with penalties for players who kneel. The month before, at a confidential meeting about the anthem protests, Kraft called the president’s policies horrible. “The problem we have is, we have a president who will use that as fodder to do his mission that I don’t feel is in the best interests of America,” said Kraft, in that meeting as reported by the New York Times. “It’s divisive and it’s horrible.”

New York Jets

Co-Owner: Woody Johnson and Christopher Johnson

Christopher Johnson is the acting chairman and CEO of the New York Jets while his brother Woody serves out his term as the U.S. Ambassador to Britain. In a May interview with Newsday Johnson said, “If somebody [on the Jets] takes a knee, that fine will be borne by the organization, by me, not the players. “I never want to put restrictions on the speech of our players. Do I prefer that they stand? Of course. But I understand if they felt the need to protest. There are some big, complicated issues that we’re all struggling with, and our players are on the front lines. I don’t want to come down on them like a ton of bricks, and I won’t. There will be no club fines or suspensions or any sort of repercussions. If the team gets fined, that’s just something I’ll have to bear.”

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens

Owner: Steve Bisciotti

Back in September, Steve Bisciotti released this statement, “We recognize our players’ influence. We respect their demonstration and support them 100 percent. All voices need to be heard. That’s democracy in its highest form.”

Cincinnati Bengals

Owner: Mike Brown

Pro Football Talk reported that former 49ers safety and free agent Eric Reid met with the Bengals and talked with Brown personally.  According to PFT, Brown “initiated discussion regarding the issue of kneeling” and “the conversation almost exclusively centered on the topic.” During the conversation Brown told Reid he planned to prohibit kneeling during the anthem.

Cleveland Browns

Co-Owners: Jimmy and Dee Haslam

The owners of the Browns have been in conversations but haven’t put a clear stance on the record. The most recent statement defers to the ongoing discussions happening between the NFL and NFLPA.

“The league and the players’ association are working to come up with a win-win solution and I think there’s cautious optimism on both sides that that will happen,” Jimmy Haslam said. “So, until that happens, I don’t think we have any comment.”

Pittsburgh Steelers

Owner: Art Rooney II

After the policy to penalize players was put in place the Washington Post reported that Rooney said, “Those who are not comfortable standing for the anthem have the right to stay off the field.  We’re not forcing anybody to stand who doesn’t feel that that’s within the way they feel about particular subjects. But those that are on the field are going to be asked to stand. We’ve listened to a lot of different viewpoints, including our fans, over the last year. I think this policy is meant to come out at a place where we’re respecting everybody’s point of view on this as best we could.”

He later told the Post that he believes there is a “common ground” to be found that he is pleased at the NFLPA is willing to talk with the owners about a policy.

AFC South

Houston Texans

Owner: Bob McNair

The New York Times reported that during the confidential NFL meeting to discuss the national anthem protests in April, McNair thought that the players should influence their colleagues to stop kneeling, saying “You fellas need to ask your compadres, fellas, stop that other business, let’s go out and do something that really produces positive results, and we’ll help you.”

McNair is also the owner who compared the players to prisoners saying “we can’t have inmates running the prison.”

Indianapolis Colts

Owner: Jim Irsay

Back when the anthem protest first began in 2016 Jim Irsay told USA Today’s Jarrett Bell, “I think it’s the wrong venue,” and that “It hasn’t been a positive thing. What we all have to be aware of as players, owners, PR people, equipment managers, is when the lights go on, we are entertainment. We are being paid to put on a show. There are other places to express yourself.”

In May, Irsay came out in favor of the league’s idea to fine players. 

Jacksonville Jaguars

 

Owner: Shad Khan

Jaguars owner Shad Khan released a statement to Adam Schefter last year when he said, “Our team and the National Football League reflects our nation, with diversity coming in many forms — race, faith, our views and our goals. We have a lot of work to do, and we can do it, but the comments by the President make it harder.” Khan released the statement below after the policy vote in May. 

Tennessee Titans:

Owner: Amy Adams Strunk

Strunk herself hasn’t personally offered a statement, but before the protest policy was put on hold, WKRN reported that head coach Mike Vrabel said that if Titans players decide to stay inside during the national anthem they have Strunk’s full support. He said, “I told them this morning they had the entire organization’s and Miss Amy’s support to make a decision when that time came.” 

No Titans player has taken a knee and the team has not addressed how it will respond should a player decide to protest on the field.

AFC West

Kansas City Chiefs

Owner: Clark Hunt

Last year, before a game with the Cowboys in November Clark Hunt said, “When it rolled around last year, it really wasn’t a big deal for us, and we’ve tried to stay with that this year. Obviously we’ve had some guys who have sat or knelt during some of the games this year, but we’ve continued to work with them and communicate with them that we prefer for them to stand. But at the end of the day, it’s their decision.”

With the NFLPA and NFL currently discussing the anthem policy, Hunt has taken a position of neutrality. “As you guys have probably read or seen elsewhere, the league and the players’ union are discussing that policy right now,” Hunt said in a press conference. “There’s really nothing to report on that. We’re not doing anything on it and until the league tells us what the policy is, there’s really nothing to talk about.”

Los Angeles Chargers

Owner: Dean Spanos

Despite standing and linking arms with players in Week 4 last season, Dean Spanos said, “I have the upmost respect for our players, and everybody has the right to express themselves the way they want to. I believe that all the players and everybody in our organization should stand for the anthem. I think the players know that. But if they elect not to? So be it.”

Oakland Raiders

Owner: Mark Davis

Last year when speaking with ESPN, Davis said, “About a year ago, before our Tennessee game, I met with Derek Carr and Khalil Mack to ask their permission to have Tommie Smith light the torch for my father before the game in Mexico City. I explained to them that I was asking their permission because I had previously told them that I would prefer that they not protest while in the Raiders uniform. And should they have something to say, once their uniform was off, I might go up there with them. Over the last year, though, the streets have gotten hot and there has been a lot of static in the air and recently, fuel has been added to the fire. I can no longer ask our team to not say something while they are in a Raider uniform. The only thing I can ask them to do is do it with class. Do it with pride. Not only do we have to tell people there is something wrong, we have to come up with answers. That’s the challenge in front of us as Americans and human beings.”

Denver Broncos

Owner: Pat Bowlen

Bowlen is the owner but gave up football operations in 2013 because of a battle with alzheimer’s disease. That means the anthem policy rests on team president Joe Ellis. The Broncos made headlines last season when nearly half the team kneeled before a game in Buffalo. After that game, the players held a team meeting where they agreed to be unified and the whole team stood for the rest of the season. 

Now, with the NFL taking a new stance, the Broncos aren’t concerned. Von Miller believes the team already confronted this issue last year. “We have an understanding as players on what needs to be done regarding the national anthem,” Miller told the Denver Post. “We were already done with that last year and we came together as a team. It’s a situation that we were already past. Any new policy the league imposes it really doesn’t affect us.”

Ellis has basically left it up to his players but released a statement the week prior, “We want all members of our organization to stand for the national anthem. At the same time, we need to listen to our players and support the issues and causes that matter to them.”

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys

Owner: Jerry Jones

Jones has been quite outspoken about his stance on the national anthem protests.  Even after the NFL decided to freeze the national anthem policy, he said in a press conference, “Our policy is you stand during the anthem, toe on the line.” Jones also said that players would not be permitted to stay in the locker room during the anthem, and last year said that he would bench a player for an anthem protest.

New York Giants

Co-Owners: John Mara and Steve Tisch

The Giants have taken one of the most supportive stances of the protests when Tisch told the Hollywood Reporter that no Giants would be punished by the organization if they chose to protest during the national anthem.

Philadelphia Eagles

Co-Owners: Jeffrey Lurie

In May, Jeffrey Lurie released a statement saying, “I have always believed it is the responsibility of sports teams to be very proactive in our communities. In this great country of ours, there are so many people who are hurting and marginalized, which is why I am proud of our players for continuously working to influence positive change. Their words and actions have demonstrated not only that they have a great deal of respect for our country, but also that they are committed to finding productive ways to fight social injustice, poverty and other societal issues that are important to all of us. We must continue to work together in creative and dynamic ways to make our communities stronger and better with equal opportunities for all.”

Washington Redskins

Majority Owner: Daniel Snyder

Snyder stood locking arms with players last season, and a 2017 statement that was attributed to the team but not signed by Snyder, said: “Football has always served as the great unifier, bringing people together to celebrate the values of courage, commitment and achievement. We are proud of the players, coaches and fans of the Washington Redskins for all that they have done to improve the lives of others in neighborhoods all across our region. We are also grateful for the sacrifices made by the brave men and women of our armed forces that have provided us the freedom to play football. In that great tradition, the Washington Redskins will work to address divisions and bring unity, civility and respect to our greater community.”

NFC North

Chicago Bears

Principal Owner: Virginia Halas McCaskey

Bears chairman George McCaskey, according to the Chicago Tribune, told reporters after the NFL announced the anthem policy, “There is no easy answer to the anthem issue. No one is entirely right, nor entirely wrong. The policy change enacted a couple of weeks ago by NFL teams, including the Bears, isn’t perfect. But we think it will return the anthem to what it should be — a unifying force — while providing an option to those players and other team personnel who choose not to stand.”

He went on to say that he personally believes that players should stand during the anthem. 

Detroit Lions

Owner: Martha Firestone Ford

Last season, Ford stood and linked arms with protesting players. Later in the season it was reported by the Detroit Free Press that she asked her players not to kneel before a game with the Vikings.  In exchange for not kneeling, Ford told players she would donate money to causes they care about in the community.

Green Bay Packers

Owner: Stockholders

Chairman and CEO Mark Murphy, the only person who is not an owner to vote on the national anthem policy, explained to NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero on twitter the thoughts behind the policy.

Minnesota Vikings

Owner: Zygi Wilf

Wilf, who stood and linked arms in support of the players last season, hasn’t made a statement in regards to how the team would deal with protests this season only saying, “Whatever we do, we’re going to do as a team.” Wilf supports the policy the NFL rolled out in May.  

NFC South

Atlanta Falcons

Owner: Arthur Blank

The Associated Press reported that Blank said the Falcons are “very committed to the military.” He also said he believes players have “very significant rights” and appeared to say he wouldn’t fine players for exercising those rights. Blank said players should be allowed to make their own decisions on what he described as the “complex issue” of standing or kneeling for the national anthem.

Carolina Panthers

Owner: David Tepper

Tepper, the NFL’s newest owner, hasn’t addressed the national anthem policy specifically, but during a press conference in July he said he wants to be committed to social justice, reciting the pledge of allegiance and zeroing in on its final six words—”with liberty and justice for all.” Those words, as he described the players’ protests, are the “most patriotic thing going.”

Tepper was introduced as the Panthers’ new owner in early July. 

New Orleans Saints

Owner: Gayle Benson

Benson recently took over ownership and operations of the Saints after her husband, Tom Benson, passed away in March.  She hasn’t publicly announced her stance regarding the anthem protests.  Tom Benson was against kneeling during the national anthem, and although no reports of him benching players were made last season, some players for the Saints sat on the bench during the national anthem.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Owner: Malcolm Glazer

In the middle of last season co-chairman Joel Glazer posted this statement to twitter.

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals

Owner: Michael Bidwill

ESPN.com’s Josh Weinfuss shared Bidwill’s stance in July: “I think it’s important to speak up. People are saying stick to sports? You know what? We ask our players 20 days a year—game days—to restrict their statements. The rest of the days, we want our players to get engaged in the community. Just like I am and other owners are. In fact, I’m working with [an NFL] committee called the Social Justice Committee, where we’re working with players across the league to get them more involved in changing policy and making America a better place for everyone.”

Los Angeles Rams

Owner: Stan Kroenke

Kroenke released this statement last season addressing the anthem protest, “The Los Angeles Rams, our fan base and our city are all comprised of people from a variety of backgrounds and beliefs. When we recognize that this diversity is our strength and seek to understand different perspectives, we are more enlightened and empathetic human beings. Our organization is committed to celebrating diversity, inclusion and respect, values that help define Los Angeles. We are proud of the work that our players and all NFL players do to make our communities better places to live. We believe in the tenets of the national anthem, which is a pillar of this country; just as freedom of speech is another pillar and a constitutional right. We will continue to support our players’ freedom to peacefully express themselves and the  meaningful efforts they make to bring about positive change in our country.”

San Francisco 49ers

Owner: John Edward York

York was the only owner to abstain from voting on the NFL’s anthem policy. KRON4 was able to question him on the subject.

Seattle Seahawks

Owner: Paul Allen

Allen released this statement on behalf of the Seahawks regarding the anthem protest.

Ted works more on the business side of National Football Post while contributing the occasional article. He graduated with honors in Marketing and Economics from Seattle University. A lifelong fan of Boston sports teams and avid cyclist Ted can be found on one of Seattle’s bike paths when not watching sports.

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Barkley has top-selling NFL jersey without playing a down

Nice job, rookie.

A guy who has yet to take a snap in a real NFL game has the best-selling jersey in the league.

Saquon Barkley, the All-America running back from Penn State selected second overall in the draft by the Giants, is the leader according to DICK'S Sporting Goods Jersey Report .

Nice job, rookie.

A guy who has yet to take a snap in a real NFL game has the best-selling jersey in the league.

Saquon Barkley, the All-America running back from Penn State selected second overall in the draft by the Giants, is the leader according to DICK’S Sporting Goods Jersey Report .

Barkley is one of two rookies in the top 10; top overall pick Baker Mayfield, Cleveland’s quarterback, is ranked ninth.

Only one defensive player makes the top 10: Denver linebacker Von Miller.

Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz ranks second, followed by Tom Brady.

A year ago, Cowboys QB Dak Prescott was first, followed by Brady. Prescott is fourth this year.

Along with Barkley and Mayfield, popular rookie jerseys belong to Buffalo QB Josh Allen, followed by Denver DE Bradley Chubb and Cleveland DB Denzel Ward.

Joining Miller on the defensive list are Carolina LB Luke Kuechly, Houston DE J.J. Watt, Cleveland DE Myles Garrett, and Chubb.

The NFC East dominates sales on the Jersey Report with the top three teams: the Giants, Eagles and Cowboys, New England is fourth, Denver fifth.

San Francisco is the least-popular club, though if Jimmy Garoppolo and remain unbeaten as a starting quarterback, who knows if that will last.

BIRDS OF PRAY

The story of the Philadelphia Eagles’ first NFL championship since 1960 has been told in many ways and with many angles.

None has been as refreshing or unique as the theme taken by AP Football Writer Rob Maaddi in his new book, “Birds of Pray.”

With a foreword by Carson Wentz , Maaddi examines how the strong faith and religious devotion in the Eagles’ locker room helped drive them to the highest achievement in pro football. Maaddi, who has covered Philadelphia sports since 2000, not only interviews dozens of players and their families, he chronicles the ups and downs of the team’s title season with a pinpoint focus on the power that belief — whether it be in God or each other — can bring.

“The real story of the Super Bowl champions can’t be told without talking about the strong faith and the unique bond many of the players shared,” Maaddi says. “I’ve never seen a team that was more united than the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles, and their faith is what created that special brotherhood, and their faith is what allowed them to persevere and overcome so much adversity and ultimately become champions.”

IN DEMAND

The Dallas Cowboys are the NFL’s No. 1 team, while the Jacksonville Jaguars and San Francisco 49ers are coming on strong?

Who says?

Ticket buyers on the secondary market, according to StubHub .

For the fifth straight year, demand for Cowboys tickets is the highest in the league. StubHub sees an increase of nearly 300 percent in sales over the average when the Cowboys are the visiting team.

“The Cowboys are an iconic franchise with a reputation that continues to draw a crowd season after season,” says Scott Jablonski, StubHub’s general manager of NFL, NBA & NHL.

But a Cowboys contest is not the most-sought ticket heading into the season. That game actually is in London, where the Jaguars host the Eagles on Oct. 28. It’s the first time an international series game has appeared in StubHub’s top 10 most in-demand games.

“Eagles fans have always been passionate, but their Super Bowl win has truly ignited the fan base to unprecedented levels,” says Jablonski. “We’re seeing Eagles fans willing to travel long distances to watch their team play, including internationally for their game in London.”

The Jaguars and 49ers have seen large demand growth compared to last season; San Francisco has moved up from 19th to sixth, while sales for Jacksonville games are up 318 percent following the team’s run to the AFC title game last January.

ROSEN ON LEBRON

Like many — probably most — athletes, Josh Rosen is impressed by the career and stature of LeBron James. The rookie quarterback of the Arizona Cardinals, who has drawn criticism from some for being arrogant because of his frankness and willingness to take a stand, has strong praise for the latest venture of the NBA’s biggest star.

Asked by Adam Schein on his SiriusXM satellite radio program how Rosen sometimes has been perceived, the 10th overall selection in this year’s draft noted: “I think it is always about crafting the message. There is always a good intention at heart; anything I do or say in putting myself out there is for the sake of helping others and trying to give people a voice who don’t actually have one.

“And on that topic, LeBron’s new show, ‘The Shop,’ it is exactly what this country means when they talk about ‘We need to have a conversation.’ And people are like, ‘What does that even mean, it’s conceptualist.’

“This show and that concept of athletes taking a lead and taking a role of sort of progress is really admirable, and that is exactly what we all should be rooting for, not criticizing.”

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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NFL Banned Substance List

The NFL banned substance list covers a wide range of drugs from steroids to supplements. Players test positive defense is often a variation of, "I didn't know it was in the supplement I took."

It sounds like a questionable defense at first, but see for yourself the vast number of substances

The NFL banned substance list covers a wide range of drugs from steroids to supplements. Players test positive defense is often a variation of, “I didn’t know it was in the supplement I took.”

It sounds like a questionable defense at first, but see for yourself the vast number of substances players have to be aware of. Here’s the this list of all the NFL’s banned substances:

   
   
The following substances and methods are prohibited by the National Football League:
   
I. ANABOLIC AGENTS  
   
A.   ANABOLIC/ANDROGENIC STEROIDS:  
   
Generic Name Brand Names (Examples)
Androstenediol Androstederm
Androstenedione Androstan, Androtex
Androsterone  
1-Androstenediol 1-AD
1-Androstenedione  
5?-androst-2-ene-17-one  
(Delta-2-androst-17-one) Delta-2
Bolandiol  
Bolasterone Myagen
Boldenone Equipoise, Parenabol
Boldione  
Calusterone  
Clostebol Turinabol, Steranabol
Danazol Cyclomen, Danatrol
Dehydrochloromethyltestosterone Oral-Turinabol
Dehydroepiandrosterone DHEA, Prasterone
Desoxymethyltestosterone DMT, Madol
Dihydrotestosterone DHT, Stanolone
Drostanolone Drolban
Epi-dihydrotestosterone  
Epitestosterone  
Ethylestrenol Maxibolin, Orabolin
Etiocholanolone  
Fluoxymesterone Halotestin
Formebolone Esiclene, Hubernol
Furazabol Miotolon
Gestrinone Tridomose
17-Hydroxypregnenedione  
17-Hydroxyprogesterone  
Hydroxytestosterone  
4-Hydroxytestosterone  
17-Keto-DHEA  
Mestanolone  
Methasterone  
Mesterolone Proviron
Methandienone Danabol, Dianabol
Methandriol Androdiol
Methandrostenolone Dianabol
Methenolone Primobolan
Methyldienolone  
Methyltestosterone Metandren
Methyl-1-testosterone M1T
7?-Methyl-19-nortestosterone MENT
Methylnortestosterone  
Methyltrienolone  
Metribolone  
Mibolerone Testorex
Nandrolone  
19-Norandrostenediol 19-Diol
19-Norandrostenedione 19 Nora Force
19-Norandrosterone  
Norboletone Genabol
Norclostebol  
Norethandrolone Nilevar
19-Noretiocholanolone  
Normethandrolone  
19-Nortestosterone (Nandrolone) Deca-Durabolin
Oxabolone  
Oxandrolone Anavar, Lonovar
6-Oxoandrosterone 6-Oxo
Oxymesterone Oranabol
Oxymetholone Anadrol
Prostanozol  
Quinbolone Anabolicum Vister
Progesterone  
Stanozolol Stromba, Winstrol
Stenbolone  
Testosterone Andronate
1-Testosterone  
Tetrahydrogestrinone THG
Trenbolone Finaject
  and other substances with a similar chemical structure and similar biological effect(s)
   
B.   PROTEIN AND PEPTIDE HORMONES:  
   
Generic Name Brand Names (Examples)
Human Growth Hormone (hGH) Saizen, Humatrope, Nutropin AQ
Animal Growth Hormones  
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) Novarel, Menotropins
Insulin Growth Factor (IGF-1)  
Erythropoietin (EPO)  
Growth Hormone Releasing Hormones (GHRH) CJC-1295, Sermorelin, Tesamorelin
Growth Hormone Secetagogues (GHS) Ghrelin, Ghrelin mimetics (Anamorelin, Ipamorelin)
Growth Hormone Releasing Peptides (GHRP)    Alexamorelin, GHRP-6, Hexarelin, Pralmorelin (GHRP-2)
   
   
C. OTHER ANABOLIC AGENTS (INCLUDING BETA-2-AGONISTS)  
   
Generic Name Brand Names (Examples)
Clenbuterol  
Zilpaterol Zilmax
Tibolone  
Zeranol  
   
D.   ANTI-ESTROGENIC AGENTS:  
   
Generic Name Brand Names (Examples)
Aminoglutethimide Cytadren
Anastrozole Arimidex
Androsta-3,5-diene-7,17-dione Arimistane
4-androstene-3,6,17 trione 6-oxo
Clomiphene Clomid
Cyclofenil  
Exemestane Aromastin
Fadrozole Afema
Formestane Lentarone
Fulvestrant Faslodex
Letrozole Femara
Raloxifene Evista
Tamoxifen  
Testolactone Teslac
Toremifene Acapodene
Vorazole Rivizor
   
E. SELECTIVE ANDROGEN RECEPTOR MODULATORS (SARMs) (LGD-4033, etc.)
(brand names include Andarine, Ostarine)  
   
II. MASKING AGENTS  
   
A.     DIURETICS  
   
Generic Name Brand Names (Examples)
Acetazolamide Amilco
Amiloride Midamor
Bendroflumethiazide Aprinox
Benzthiazide Aquatag
Bumetanide Burine
Canrenone  
Chlorothiazide Diuril
Chlorthalidone  
Cyclothiazide Anhydron
Ethacrynic Acid Edecrin
Flumethiazide  
Furosemide Lasix
Hydrochlorothiazide Aprozide
Hydroflumethiazide Leodrine
Indapamide Lozol, Natrilix
Methyclothiazide Aquatensen
Metolazone Zaroxolyn
Polythiazide Renese
Probenecid Benemid
Quinethazone Hydromox
Spironolactone Aldactone
Triamterene Jatropur, Dytac
Trichlormethiazide Anatran
  and other substances with a similar chemical structure and similar biological effect(s)
   
III. STIMULANTS  
   
Generic Name Brand Names (Examples)
Adrafinil  
Adrenaline  
Amfepramone  
Amiphenazole  
Amphetamine Greenies, Speed, Adderall
Amphetaminil  
Armodafinil Nuvigil
Benfluorex  
Benzphetamine  
Benzylpiperazine  
Bromantan  
Cathine  
Clobenzorex  
Cropropamide  
Crotetamide  
Dimethylamphetamine  
Ephedrine Ma Huang, Chi Powder
Etamivan  
Etilamphetamine  
Etilefrine  
Famprofazone  
Fenbutrazate  
Fencamfamin  
Fencamine  
Fenetylline  
Fenfluramine Phen-Fen, Redux Fenetylline
Fenproporex  
Furfenorex  
Heptaminol  
Isometheptene  
Levmetamfetamine  
Lisdexamfetamine Vyvanse
Meclofenoxate  
Mefenorex  
Mephentermine  
Mesocarb  
Methamphetamine  
2-amino-6-methylheptane Octodrine
P-Methylamphetamine  
Methylenedioxyamphetamine  
Methylephedrine  
Methylhexaneamine (Dimethylpentylamine)  
Methylphenidate Ritalin, Daytrana, Metadate, Methylin
Modafinil Provigil
Nikethamide  
Norfenefrine  
Norfenfluramine  
Octopamine  
Oxilofrine  
Parahydroxyamphetamine  
Pemoline  
Pentetrazol  
Phendimetrazine  
Phenmetrazine  
Phenpromethamine  
Phentermine Fastin, Adipex, Ionamin
Prenylamine  
4-Phenylpiracetam Carphedon
Prenylamine  
Prolintane  
Propylhexedrine  
Pseudoephedrine * Sudafed, Actifed
Selegiline  
Sibutramine  
Strychnine  
Synephrine Bitter Orange,Citrus Aurantium
Tuaminoheptane
   
* Except as properly prescribed by Club medical personnel.  

 

Ted works more on the business side of National Football Post while contributing the occasional article. He graduated with honors in Marketing and Economics from Seattle University. A lifelong fan of Boston sports teams and avid cyclist Ted can be found on one of Seattle’s bike paths when not watching sports.

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The NFL Testing Procedure for PEDs

The official NFL testing procedure for performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs):

The independent administrator for the NFL has the sole discretion to make determinations, consistent with the terms of the policy.

Typically urine testing is used but blood testing may be used during the off-season or under special circumstances when it's deemed necessary by the independent administrator.

The official NFL testing procedure for performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs):

The independent administrator for the NFL has the sole discretion to make determinations, consistent with the terms of the policy.

Typically urine testing is used but blood testing may be used during the off-season or under special circumstances when it’s deemed necessary by the independent administrator.

The NFL outlines the following circumstances for testing:

Pre-employment: Pre-employment tests may be administered to free agent players (whether rookies or veterans). In addition, testing will be conducted at the annual scouting combines.

Annual: All Players will be tested for Prohibited Substances at least once per League Year. Such testing will occur at training camp or whenever the Player reports thereafter and will be deemed a part of his preseason physical.

Preseason/Regular Season: Each week during the preseason and regular season, ten (10) Players on every Club will be tested. By means of a computer program, the Independent Administrator will randomly select the Players to be tested from the Club’s active roster, practice squad list, and reserve list who are not otherwise subject to ongoing reasonable cause testing for performance-enhancing substances. The number of Players selected for testing on a particular day will be determined in advance on a uniform basis. Players will be required to provide a specimen whenever they are selected, without regard to the number of times they have previously been tested consistent with the limits set forth in the Policy.

Postseason: Ten (10) Players on every Club qualifying for the playoffs will be tested weekly so long as the Club remains active in the postseason. Players to be tested during the postseason will be selected on the same basis as during the regular season.

Off-Season: Players under contract who are not otherwise subject to reasonable cause testing may be tested during the off-season months at the discretion of the Independent Administrator, subject to the collectively bargained maximum of six (including blood tests) off-season tests. Players to be tested in the off-season will be selected on the same basis as during the regular season, irrespective of their off-season locations. Any Player selected for testing during the off-season will be required to furnish a urine specimen at a convenient location acceptable to the Independent Administrator, subject to the qualification set forth in Section 3.2 for specimen collections occurring away from the Club facility. Only Players who advise in writing that they have retired from the NFL will be removed from the testing pool. If, however, a Player thereafter signs a contract with a Club, he will be placed back in the testing pool.

Reasonable Cause Testing For Players With Prior Positive Tests Or Under Other Circumstances: Any Player testing positive for a Prohibited Substance, including a Player who tested positive or for whom there is sufficient credible evidence of steroid involvement up to two football seasons prior to his applicable college draft or at a scouting combine, will be subject to evaluation by the Independent Administrator, after which the Independent Administrator may in his or her discretion place the Player into the reasonable cause testing program. Reasonable cause testing may also be required when, in the opinion of the Independent Administrator, he receives credible, verifiable documented information providing a reasonable basis to conclude that a Player may have violated the Policy or may have a medical condition that warrants further monitoring.

Notification and Collection

Collection is done by the Independent Administrator and  Collection Vendor.

Collection at a Club facility, stadium or scouting combine venue requires no advance notice to the player and is required in no more than three hours.

For collection occurring away from the Club facility, the player will be contacted by telephone, voicemail or text message to notify him that he has been selected and to schedule a collection time within 24 hours at a site not more than 45 miles from the players’ location.

Urine may be collected on any day of the week. The collection of blood specimens is prohibited on game days unless the player’s day off is scheduled for the day following a game day, in which case blood collections may occur following the end of the game.

Failure or Refusal

Unexcused failure or refusal to appear for testing, or cooperate will result in disciplinary action.  Any attempt to substitute or dilute a specimen is considered a violation of policy and may result in more severe discipline than would have been for a positive test.

Notice to Player

After a positive result is confirmed, the Independent administrator will notify the player in writing of the positive result and request that the player call him to discuss the result.  The player with then go in for a medical evaluation and be placed on reasonable cause testing at a frequency decided by the independent administrator.

Discipline

Discipline comes in the form of game suspensions dependent on the severity of the offense and will begin when the player accepts discipline or the decision on appeal becomes final.

In the final article of this series, we’ll examine exactly which substances are banned by the NFL.

Ted works more on the business side of National Football Post while contributing the occasional article. He graduated with honors in Marketing and Economics from Seattle University. A lifelong fan of Boston sports teams and avid cyclist Ted can be found on one of Seattle’s bike paths when not watching sports.

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NFL linebacker Mychal Kendricks charged with insider trading

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Federal prosecutors in Philadelphia say Cleveland Browns linebacker Mychal Kendricks used insider trading tips from an acquaintance to make about $1.2 million in illegal profits on four major trading deals.

U.S. Attorney William McSwain says co-defendant Damilare Sonoiki was paid $10,000 in kickbacks as well as perks like tickets to

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Federal prosecutors in Philadelphia say Cleveland Browns linebacker Mychal Kendricks used insider trading tips from an acquaintance to make about $1.2 million in illegal profits on four major trading deals.

U.S. Attorney William McSwain says co-defendant Damilare Sonoiki was paid $10,000 in kickbacks as well as perks like tickets to Philadelphia Eagles games. Kendricks played for the Eagles before signing with the Browns in June.

Prosecutors say Sonoiki was a trader at an unnamed firm. An IMBD profile lists him as a writer on the popular TV series “Black-ish” as well as other movies and TV shows.

Kendricks says in a statement released by his lawyer Wednesday that he’s sorry and “deeply” regrets his actions.

He says he “didn’t fully understand all of the details of the illegal trades.”

A message seeking comment from the federal defender representing Sonoiki wasn’t immediately returned.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy says the league is reviewing the situation.

___

More AP NFL: http://apnews.com/tag/NFL and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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The NFL’s Full PED Policy

With the majority of the suspensions at the start of the 2018 season coming from PED's, we thought it would be worth taking a moment to look a little deeper in the NFL's substance abuse policy on banned substances. If you're not in the mood for legal writing skip past this official statement of policy

With the majority of the suspensions at the start of the 2018 season coming from PED’s, we thought it would be worth taking a moment to look a little deeper in the NFL’s substance abuse policy on banned substances. If you’re not in the mood for legal writing skip past this official statement of policy for our explanation.

  1. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

The National Football League Management Council and NFL Players Association

(“NFLPA”) (collectively, the “Parties”) have jointly developed this Policy on

Performance-Enhancing Substances (the “Policy”) to prohibit and prevent the use of

anabolic/androgenic steroids (including exogenous testosterone), stimulants, human or

animal growth hormones, whether natural or synthetic and related or similar substances.

For convenience, these substances, as well as masking agents or diuretics used to hide their

presence, will be referred to as “Prohibited Substances.”1 These substances have no

legitimate place in professional football. This Policy specifically means that:

 

— Players may not, in the absence of a valid therapeutic use exemption, have Prohibited

Substances in their systems or supply or facilitate the distribution

of Prohibited Substances to other Players.

— Coaches, Athletic Trainers, Club Personnel, or Certified Contract Advisors may

not condone, encourage, supply, or otherwise facilitate in any way the use of Prohibited

Substances.

— Team Physicians may not prescribe, supply, or otherwise facilitate a Player’s use of

Prohibited Substances.

— All Persons, including Players, are subject to discipline for violation of this Policy.

The Parties are concerned with the use of Prohibited Substances based on three primary

factors:

 

First, these substances threaten the fairness and integrity of the athletic competition on

the playing field. Players may use these substances for the purpose of becoming bigger,

stronger, and faster than they otherwise would be. As a result, their use threatens to

distort the results of games and League standings. Moreover, Players who do not wish

to use these substances may feel forced to do so in order to compete effectively with

those who do. This is obviously unfair to those Players and provides sufficient reason to

prohibit their use.

Second, the Parties are concerned with the adverse health effects of using Prohibited

Substances. Although research is continuing, steroid use has been linked to a number of

physiological, psychological, orthopedic, reproductive, and other serious health

problems, including heart disease, liver cancer, musculoskeletal growth defects, strokes,

and infertility.

Third, the use of Prohibited Substances by Players sends the wrong message to young

people who may be tempted to use them. NFL Players should not by their own conduct

suggest that such use is either acceptable or safe, whether in the context of sports or

otherwise.

 

The NFL Player Contract specifically prohibits the use of drugs in an effort to alter or

enhance performance. The NFL Player Contract and the League’s Constitution and Bylaws

require each Player to avoid conduct detrimental to the NFL and professional football or

to public confidence in the game or its Players. The use of Prohibited Substances violates

both these provisions. In addition, the Commissioner is authorized to protect the integrity

of and public confidence in the game. This authorization includes the authority to forbid

use of the substances prohibited by this Policy.

 

The Parties recognize that maintaining competitive balance among NFL clubs requires that

all NFL Players be subject to the same rules and procedures regarding drug testing. The

rules and procedures set forth herein are designed to protect the confidentiality of

information associated with this Policy and to ensure the accuracy of test results, and the

Parties intend that the Policy meets or exceeds all applicable laws and regulations related

thereto. The Parties also recognize the importance of transparency in the Policy’s

procedures, including the scientific methodologies that underlie the Policy, the appeals

process and the basis for discipline imposed, and reaffirm their commitment to deterrence,

discipline and a fair system of adjudication.

The NFL has deemed the use of “any” performance enhancing drug on their banned substance list punishable.

Tomorrow we’ll take a look at the NFL’s procedure for administering this policy.

Ted works more on the business side of National Football Post while contributing the occasional article. He graduated with honors in Marketing and Economics from Seattle University. A lifelong fan of Boston sports teams and avid cyclist Ted can be found on one of Seattle’s bike paths when not watching sports.

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Reports: Giants, Beckham agree to $95M extension

Reports: Giants, Beckham agree to $95M extension

The New York Giants and Odell Beckham Jr. agreed to a five-year extension worth up to $95 million to make him the highest-paid wideout in NFL history, according to multiple reports Monday.

Per reports, the deal is worth $90 million in base value,

Reports: Giants, Beckham agree to $95M extension

The New York Giants and Odell Beckham Jr. agreed to a five-year extension worth up to $95 million to make him the highest-paid wideout in NFL history, according to multiple reports Monday.

Per reports, the deal is worth $90 million in base value, with an additional $5 million available through incentives. The contract includes $65 million guaranteed for injury and $41 million fully guaranteed at signing. According to NFL Network, the deal averages $20 million over the first three seasons.

The annual average ($19 million) and guaranteed money are both records among wide receivers, eclipsing Antonio Brown ($17 million annually) and Mike Evans ($55 million guarantee), respectively.

Fellow Giants wideouts Sterling Shepard and Roger Lewis each posted videos on social media of Beckham and teammates dancing in celebration in the Giants’ locker room.

Beckham, 25, was scheduled to make just under $8.5 million in 2018, on the fifth-year option of his rookie contract. The sides opened negotiations in late July and have steadily made progress since. Beckham has routinely told reporters he expected the situation to work itself out.

A first-round pick in 2014, Beckham racked up 288 catches for 4,122 yards and 35 scores through his first three seasons, all Pro Bowl campaigns. He collected 25 grabs for 302 yards and three touchdowns in four games last season before suffering a season-ending broken ankle.

Beckham has yet to play this preseason, but he is expected to be fully ready for the Sept. 9 regular-season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

–Field Level Media

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Patriots G Mason receives $50M extension

Patriots G Mason receives $50M extension

New England Patriots right guard Shaq Mason has signed a five-year, $50 million extension with the team, according to multiple published reports.

Mason reportedly will receive $23.5 million in guaranteed money. He is now signed through the 2023 season.

The extension

Patriots G Mason receives $50M extension

New England Patriots right guard Shaq Mason has signed a five-year, $50 million extension with the team, according to multiple published reports.

Mason reportedly will receive $23.5 million in guaranteed money. He is now signed through the 2023 season.

The extension makes Mason one of the highest-paid right guards in the NFL. Zack Martin of the Dallas Cowboys reportedly is the highest with a $14 million average (six years, $84 million).

Mason, who turns 25 on Tuesday, is slated to earn $1.9 million in base salary this season during the fourth season of his rookie contract.

New England coach Bill Belichick declined to confirm the extension while meeting with reporters on Monday before praising Mason.

“Shaq’s done a good job for us from the time he got here,” Belichick said. “He came from an offense that was quite different from ours, and he adapted quickly and did a really good job of learning new techniques. He’s an athletic player, has good strength, good balance. Excellent run blocker. Can pull, run, hit. He’s gotten better each year, and he’s done a good job for us.”

Mason has played in 46 games (41 starts) over the past three seasons. He was a fourth-round pick in 2015 from Georgia Tech.

–Field Level Media

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NFL, NFLPA resume anthem dialogue

NFL, NFLPA resume anthem dialogue

Members of the NFL executive committee and NFL Players Association are meeting Monday in East Rutherford, N.J., to resume discussions designed to establish a policy or universal protocol for the national anthem.

Owners and active players are at the table again after the NFL touted

NFL, NFLPA resume anthem dialogue

Members of the NFL executive committee and NFL Players Association are meeting Monday in East Rutherford, N.J., to resume discussions designed to establish a policy or universal protocol for the national anthem.

Owners and active players are at the table again after the NFL touted progress two weeks ago.

Los Angeles Chargers offensive tackle Russell Okung tweeted Monday: “At today’s meeting between @NFLPA reps & @NFL execs/owners, I plan to share this viral video of @RepBetoORourke being asked if NFL players kneeling is disrespectful. The tone he sets makes me proud to be a Texan & gives me hope that a productive dialogue is possible.”

O’Rourke is running for U.S. Senate in Texas opposite Ted Cruz. At a town hall meeting last week, O’Rourke reasoned “I can think of nothing more American” in a detailed response to a question about how he felt about NFL players kneeling during the national anthem.

“I’m looking forward to today’s meeting in NYC,” Okung continued via Twitter. “I believe this face to face conversation is pivotal & will determine if meaningful progress will be made. Critically, I hope we can stop avoiding the conversation that @RepBetoORourke so eloquently encouraged us to have.”

In March, owners announced a new policy that required players to either remain in the locker room during the playing of the anthem or stand to show respect.

The policy, which stated players could be fined for violations, was quickly scuttled as the NFLPA resisted the measure not being collectively bargained.

President Donald Trump continues to speak up on his belief that all players should stand at attention during the anthem. Some owners, including Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys and Bob McNair of the Houston Texans, have strongly endorsed that position.

–Field Level Media

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Brady ends radio interview over Guerrero questions

Brady ends radio interview over Guerrero questions

Soon after being asked questions about trainer Alex Guerrero traveling with the New England Patriots to Charlotte last week, quarterback Tom Brady ended the chat with WEEI.

During the opening of the Monday morning radio interview, Brady made it clear the topic of

Brady ends radio interview over Guerrero questions

Soon after being asked questions about trainer Alex Guerrero traveling with the New England Patriots to Charlotte last week, quarterback Tom Brady ended the chat with WEEI.

During the opening of the Monday morning radio interview, Brady made it clear the topic of Guerrero wasn’t one he planned to discuss.

And when co-host Kirk Minihane went back to that well a fifth time without shifting gears, Brady responded by signing off.

Brady’s relationship with Guerrero came to light in Brady’s book, “TB12 Method,” which included joint marketing efforts.

Their pact and whether it sits well with coach Bill Belichick became a narrative when ESPN broke a story last season about friction between Guerrero and the team. Belichick reportedly took away Guerrero’s Gillette Stadium office and removed his privileges to travel with the team on charter flights to and from road games.

Minihane asked Monday whether the policy had changed.

“You know, I don’t want to … I’m not getting into all that,” Brady said.

Minihane followed up “OK, when I ran into him at the Super Bowl last year in Minneapolis, I remember talking about it at the time. When I talked to him there, he had said, in his opinion, all this stuff had been overblown, that he and Belichick had a pretty good relationship, even then. Would you say that was true?”

Brady said, “I said I don’t want to get into it. … Yeah, everyone knows, it’s well documented the work he and I do together.”

Then Minihane asked if Guerrero was on the sideline for the Patriots-Panthers game last week.

“Yeah, all right guys, have a great day. I’ll talk to you later.”

During training camp, Brady halted an interview on the sideline over questions implying Guerrero was connected to wide receiver Julian Edelman during the period in which Edelman allegedly violated NFL rules prohibiting performance-enhancing drugs. Edelman is suspended for the first four games of the regular season.

–Field Level Media

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Injured C Shipley signs extension with Arizona

Injured C Shipley signs extension with Arizona

The Arizona Cardinals have signed veteran center A.Q. Shipley to a one-year contract extension through the 2019 season -- torn ACL and all.

The team announced the signing Friday.

Shipley, 32, sustained the season-ending knee injury on Aug. 4 and

Injured C Shipley signs extension with Arizona

The Arizona Cardinals have signed veteran center A.Q. Shipley to a one-year contract extension through the 2019 season — torn ACL and all.

The team announced the signing Friday.

Shipley, 32, sustained the season-ending knee injury on Aug. 4 and underwent surgery five days later. He was set to become a free agent after the season.

Rookie Mason Cole, a third-round draft selection from Michigan, has taken over as the Cardinals’ starting center. Before his injury, Shipley had started 32 straight games, missing just three snaps.

Shipley expressed his gratitude to the Cardinals on Twitter Friday.

“I cant say enough good things about the @AZCardinals organization. I just want to say thank you to the Bidwill family, Steve Keim, Coach Steve Wilks and the entire Cardinals organization for giving me an opportunity to continue playing the game that I love,” he wrote.

–Field Level Media

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Jets sign former Chiefs RB West

Jets sign former Chiefs RB West

Full of bodies but in search of a surefire No. 1, the New York Jets added another name to their backfield on Friday.

The Jets announced they have signed running back Charcandrick West, less than 48 hours after the Kansas City Chiefs released the

Jets sign former Chiefs RB West

Full of bodies but in search of a surefire No. 1, the New York Jets added another name to their backfield on Friday.

The Jets announced they have signed running back Charcandrick West, less than 48 hours after the Kansas City Chiefs released the veteran.

Signed as an undrafted free agent in 2014, West, 27, became the Chiefs starting back during the 2015 season, rushing for 634 yards and scoring five total touchdowns. His playing time and touches decreased in each of the two following seasons, and the club let him go Wednesday after he cleared the concussion protocol.

He joins a Jets backfield that includes Isaiah Crowell, Bilal Powell, Thomas Rawls and Trenton Cannon. Crowell was signed to a three-year, $12 million contract in the offseason from Cleveland, but he has yet to reach 1,000 yards in four seasons. Powell is entering his eighth season with the Jets, and his 772 yards last season are a career high.

Rawls showed flashes of potential in Seattle, but never played more than 13 games in any of his three seasons, and saw his carries and yards dip in each of the last two seasons.

–Field Level Media

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Gurley won’t play in preseason, Goff uncertain

Gurley won't play in preseason, Goff uncertain

Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley will not play at all this preseason, and quarterback Jared Goff might not play either, head coach Sean McVay told reporters Thursday.

There had been no expectation that Gurley would play in Saturday's dress-rehearsal preseason game

Gurley won’t play in preseason, Goff uncertain

Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley will not play at all this preseason, and quarterback Jared Goff might not play either, head coach Sean McVay told reporters Thursday.

There had been no expectation that Gurley would play in Saturday’s dress-rehearsal preseason game against the Houston Texans, but McVay had previously indicated Goff would play versus Houston.

That likelihood has shifted with the health of starting offensive linemen Andrew Whitworth and John Sullivan, who will miss Saturday’s game. Right tackle Rob Havenstein also could miss the game with an ankle injury, which could leave Goff with unproven protection against J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney & Co.

“I wouldn’t feel great about going against those guys without our line,” McVay said. “But we’ll see what happens.”

This week would be the last opportunity for the signal-caller to play, as starters will be rested in the Aug. 30 preseason finale. Goff is not concerned about the situation either way.

“Whatever they decide to do, I’m on board with,” he said. “I think we got a lot of good work in training camp through different situations that may come up. But [I’m] planning to play and [will] see what happens.”

The Rams’ approach with Gurley is less complicated. They are simply making sure the reigning Offensive Player of the Year is at 100 percent for the season opener, after he handled 343 touches last season.

“We feel like this is going to put him on that track, and that was more important to us [than Gurley playing],” McVay said. “You try to get him as much good work as you can.

“…You definitely don’t want to take away from the value of the preseason, so I don’t want that to be misunderstood by any stretch. But, [there is] that risk-reward and then also kind of being mindful of getting Todd as fresh as possible.”

Gurley is certainly not complaining about the lack of work before Week 1.

“That is everyone’s dream to not play in the preseason, what are you talking about?” Gurley joked with reporters. “…At the end of the day, it’s always going to be different between playing in the preseason and playing in the regular season. But I’m kind of happy not to be playing in it.

“…Some guys just like being out there, just to get a feel for it, and see. But not this guy.”

Goff appeared in three preseason games last season, while Gurley appeared in two. The Rams did not hesitate to hold both players out to preserve their health in Week 17 of the regular season, after the team had already clinched the NFC West.

L.A. opens the season on Sept. 10 on Monday Night Football against the Oakland Raiders.

–Field Level Media

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Bowlen, Brandt named HOF contributor finalists

Bowlen, Brandt named HOF contributor finalists

Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen and former Dallas Cowboys personnel man Gil Brandt have been named the two contributor finalists for the Hall of Fame Class of 2019, the entity announced Thursday.

Each will now require 80 percent approval from the 48-member selection committee

Bowlen, Brandt named HOF contributor finalists

Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen and former Dallas Cowboys personnel man Gil Brandt have been named the two contributor finalists for the Hall of Fame Class of 2019, the entity announced Thursday.

Each will now require 80 percent approval from the 48-member selection committee on Feb. 2, one day before Super Bowl LIII, to gain induction to Canton.

Bowlen, 74, bought the Broncos in 1984. He served as the team’s CEO until 2014, when he stepped down from day-to-day operations after announcing he was fighting Alzheimer’s, a disease his wife, Annabel, was diagnosed with earlier this year. Longtime executive Joe Ellis has run the team since 2014.

Since Bowlen purchased the team, the Broncos have more Super Bowl appearances (seven) than losing seasons (six) and the league’s second-best winning percentage (.602), claiming three Lombardi Trophies. Bowlen also helped negotiate the league’s new $18 billion television contract while serving on the league’s broadcasting committee.

“This is an exciting day for our family and the Broncos fans who have been so supportive of Pat Bowlen for the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” the Bowlen family said in a statement released by the team. “Pat would be the first to say it’s not just about him but a credit to the many players, coaches and executives he worked with over the years. We’re thankful to the Contributor Committee for recognizing the incredible impact Pat’s had on the NFL. As we look forward to the final vote, our family also congratulates Gil Brandt on his well-deserved nomination.”

Broncos general manager John Elway was thrilled with the development and expressed his thoughts on Twitter.

“When you talk about contributors, nobody’s given more to the game than Pat Bowlen. His impact on the Broncos and NFL will never be matched, and it’s great to see that recognized today.

“I can’t wait for the day Pat’s bust joins the Bronco family in the @ProFootballHOF!”

Brandt, 85, was the Cowboys’ vice president of player personnel from 1960 to 1989, helping the team to 20 consecutive winning seasons, five Super Bowl appearances and two Lombardi Trophies during that span. He is widely credited with setting standards for how modern personnel departments operate in terms of scouting, player evaluation, drafting and roster building.

Brandt was dismissed from the team shortly after Jerry Jones bought the Cowboys in 1989 and has since been an analyst and draft expert, including for the last several years at NFL.com.

The Hall of Fame announced last Thursday that former Kansas City Chiefs safety Johnny Robinson is the seniors finalist for the 2019 class. He will also need 80 percent of the vote on Feb. 2 to be inducted.

–Field Level Media

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Bills LB Robinson retiring at age 29

Bills LB Robinson retiring at age 29

Buffalo Bills linebacker Keenan Robinson has chosen to retire, a month after he signed with the Bills as a free agent, the team announced Thursday.

Robinson, who turned 29 on July 7, signed a one-year deal with Buffalo on July 24 worth a

Bills LB Robinson retiring at age 29

Buffalo Bills linebacker Keenan Robinson has chosen to retire, a month after he signed with the Bills as a free agent, the team announced Thursday.

Robinson, who turned 29 on July 7, signed a one-year deal with Buffalo on July 24 worth a reported $835,000.

He had spent much of training camp with the second and third teams, battling for a roster spot. The Bills placed him on the reserve/retired list Thursday and now have a roster spot to use elsewhere.

Robinson spent the previous two seasons with the New York Giants, starting nine of 22 games, after playing his first three seasons for the Washington Redskins, who took him in the fourth round of the 2012 draft. Robinson’s best season came in 2014, when he started 13 games and tallied 109 tackles, 1.5 sacks, an interception and three passes defensed.

In 58 career games (30 starts) across five seasons, Robinson has 298 tackles and 15 passes defensed.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Lions acquire OLB Harold from 49ers

Reports: Lions acquire OLB Harold from 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers traded outside linebacker Eli Harold to the Detroit Lions for a conditional seventh-round pick on Thursday, according to multiple reports.

"Life moves at you pretty fast," Harold posted Wednesday night on his Instagram story.

Harold, 24,

Reports: Lions acquire OLB Harold from 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers traded outside linebacker Eli Harold to the Detroit Lions for a conditional seventh-round pick on Thursday, according to multiple reports.

“Life moves at you pretty fast,” Harold posted Wednesday night on his Instagram story.

Harold, 24, has played in all 48 games in his career and started 24 over the last two seasons, tallying 71 tackles and 5.0 sacks. A third-round pick in 2015, he was pegged as a pass rusher coming out of Virginia, but he has just 5.0 sacks and 14 quarterback hits in his career.

Dekoda Watson, who has 4.0 career sacks in eight years primarily spent as a special teamer, has been working with the 49ers’ second team behind Harold.

Harold is expected to provide depth at strongside linebacker in Detroit behind free agent signee Devon Kennard, who started camp on the non-football injury list before being activated Aug. 1.

–Field Level Media

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Bell’s return date a mystery to teammates

 

 

One prominent member of the Pittsburgh Steelers said he is in the dark when it comes to Le'Veon Bell's next step.

 

"I wish I knew," center Maurkice Pouncey told ESPN. "He's kind of kept to himself about it."

 

Bell is not with the team because he doesn't want to risk injury

 

 

One prominent member of the Pittsburgh Steelers said he is in the dark when it comes to Le’Veon Bell’s next step.

 

“I wish I knew,” center Maurkice Pouncey told ESPN. “He’s kind of kept to himself about it.”

 

Bell is not with the team because he doesn’t want to risk injury playing under the franchise tag. He will earn $14.5 million in 2018 but isn’t under contract until he signs the deal. The two sides couldn’t reach an agreement on a long-term contract. The same thing happened last August, and Bell reported and signed his one-year franchise tender at the start of Week 1.

 

Bell is training on his own in South Florida.

 

Pouncey said he’d like Bell to show up earlier this year to connect with the offensive line.

 

“With the business part of it, you hate to even comment on it,” Pouncey said. “It’s their own decision how they make it … I hope he shows up next week. We’ve got Carolina (Aug. 30). We could get some practice reps in with him, see how things turn out. I’m pretty sure he’s in great shape.”

 

Pouncey said he and his teammates have faith in second-year running back James Conner if he turns out to be the primary back in Week 1 against Cleveland. He has carried the ball just nine times in the preseason and averaged 9.1 yards.

 

Last season, Bell rushed for 1,291 yards and scored nine touchdowns. He added 655 yards on 85 receptions plus two touchdowns through the air.

 

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: Helmet rule remains unchanged after league review

NFL notebook: Helmet rule remains unchanged after league review

Despite a review by the NFL competition committee, there will be no changes to the controversial helmet rule established in the spring, NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent announced Wednesday.

The committee held a conference call in which

NFL notebook: Helmet rule remains unchanged after league review

Despite a review by the NFL competition committee, there will be no changes to the controversial helmet rule established in the spring, NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent announced Wednesday.

The committee held a conference call in which feedback from players, coaches and game officials was reviewed.

“The committee resolved that there will be no changes to the rule as approved by clubs this spring,” Vincent said, “which includes no additional use of instant replay. The committee also determined that inadvertent or incidental contact with the helmet and/or facemask is not a foul.”

The rule — which penalizes a player for lowering the helmet with intent to initiate contact — has been a source of confusion and frustration for players, coaches and fans alike through the first half of the preseason. Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer even opined Monday that the rule might end up costing people jobs.

–Dallas Cowboys center Travis Frederick announced he has been diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a rare auto-immune disorder, and is uncertain when he will be able to play.

Frederick posted a statement on Twitter, saying the diagnosis came after “a very extensive examination and discovery process over the past few weeks.”

Frederick has seen multiple neck-and-spine specialists after sustaining a series of stingers in his shoulder and neck area during training camp. He saw a specialist in Los Angeles last week after having “several (stingers) over the course of a couple days,” and was scheduled to see more specialists this week in Dallas after experiencing another stinger Monday.

–The New York Jets are one of more than a dozen teams to reach out to the Oakland Raiders to express interest in trading for defensive end Khalil Mack, the New York Daily News reported.

The report adds that Oakland has not given any interested teams permission to discuss a new contract with Mack, who has held out of all of training camp while seeking a new deal. That permission would presumably be the final step to any deal, assuming the Raiders decided to trade Mack and could agree with a team on compensation.

ESPN reported last week there is “no end in sight” to Mack’s holdout, which included the entirety of the offseason program as well. Entering the fifth-year option of his rookie deal, the 2016 Defensive Player of the Year will make $13.85 million. He is likely seeking to become the highest-paid defender in NFL history at more than $20 million annually.

–Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb is being shopped in trade discussions around the league, former NFL personnel man Michael Lombardi said on The Ringer’s GM Street podcast.

Entering the final year of his contract — in which he is due $8.6 million in salary — Cobb was rumored as a possible release candidate this spring, but the older Jordy Nelson was let go instead. Cobb, who turned 28 Wednesday, will count $12.7 million against the Packers’ cap this season, a figure that would be reduced to $3.65 million in dead money if he is traded (or, for some reason, released).

Many have speculated the Packers could be interested acquiring Mack from Oakland, but no substantive reports have linked the two teams.

–One move the Raiders reportedly have made is signing free agent cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, according to multiple media outlets. Rodgers-Cromartie told ESPN earlier in the day that he visited the team and his workout “went great.”

The 32-year-old had visited the Washington Redskins in March and the Seattle Seahawks earlier this month since being released in the spring by the New York Giants, with whom he spent the last four years.

–Five days after leaving a preseason game with what many feared was a broken collarbone, Buffalo Bills quarterback AJ McCarron has returned to limited practice work.

Coach Sean McDermott told reporters the plan is to ease McCarron — whose collarbone was found to be intact after further testing — back into practice and see how he feels with increased activity. McDermott said McCarron has “general soreness right now” in his right (throwing) shoulder, but the team doesn’t feel the need to sign another quarterback at the moment.

McCarron appears unlikely to play in Sunday’s third preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals, which rookie first-rounder Josh Allen will start, with Nathan Peterman working in afterward. Meanwhile, running back LeSean McCoy is day-to-day while dealing with a groin/hip injury, the coach said.

–Giants rookie running back Saquon Barkley was back at practice for the first time in more than a week, albeit on a limited basis. Barkley had missed the last eight practices after straining a hamstring.

“Felt good, felt good to actually get to participate in (individual drills) a little bit and practice drills,” Barkley told reporters afterward. “Feeling strong and continuing to strengthen it.”

Head coach Pat Shurmur has been cautious about rushing Barkley back and is focused on having him ready for Week 1. Per Shurmur, Barkley was limited to individual drills in practice Wednesday.

–New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is wearing a new helmet for the first time in more than a decade this season, but the change has been mostly seamless so far.

“I really like it,” Brady told reporters of his new helmet. “It’s been a good transition, a smooth transition, which is all I can ask for.”

Brady is one of a few prominent quarterbacks who had previously used helmets that are now on the NFL’s disallowed list.

–As quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Packers work toward an extension, the quarterback insists he’s “not trying to screw” the team when it comes to staying competitive. In a wide-ranging interview with ESPN Radio’s “Wilde and Tausch” airing in multiple segments this week, Rodgers termed his situation with the Packers as a “partnership.”

Rodgers, 34, still has two years remaining on his contract. His $22 million annual average, which was the highest in NFL history when the deal was signed in April 2013, now ranks 10th among NFL quarterbacks. Rodgers can make a little more than $20.5 million this season and $21.1 million in 2019 before his contract expires, including roster and workout bonuses.

–Safety George Iloka signed with the Vikings less than a week after his release by the Bengals. “I’m in a good situation here. I’m where I’m wanted and where I want to be,” Iloka said.

Terms of the deal weren’t immediately available, but Iloka said he signed a one-year deal. ESPN later reported it is a veteran’s minimum deal for $790,000, plus a $90,000 signing bonus.

Iloka, 28, was released in a cost-cutting move as the Bengals trimmed $5.3 million in salary and roster bonuses for 2018. The Vikings are familiar with Iloka, who played for Zimmer for two seasons when Zimmer was the Bengals’ defensive coordinator.

–Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim has returned to the team after serving a five-week suspension following his July arrest for driving under the influence.

Keim, who has been with organization for 20 years and served as GM since 2013, said it was “torture” being away from the team and called his experience “extremely humbling and embarrassing beyond belief.”

–San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman says he will play in the team’s third preseason game Saturday against the Indianapolis Colts, his first game action since tearing his Achilles last November.

Also dealing with a strained hamstring sustained in camp, Sherman said, “Those things are feeling great. … I could have played last week.”

MORE COMINGS AND GOINGS

The Patriots announced the release of wide receiver Kenny Britt, the third prominent subtraction from the position group this month alone. The Patriots released Jordan Matthews with an injury settlement on Aug. 1, five days after injury-plagued wideout Malcolm Mitchell was waived. … The Kansas City Chiefs released veteran running back Charcandrick West, leaving Kareem Hunt and Spencer Ware to share the bulk of the workload out of the backfield to begin the season. West, 27, had only 72 yards on 18 carries last season, but was a key member of the special teams. …

Kicker Cairo Santos will be released by the Jets because injuries have made it impossible for the team to get a good look at him in camp, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported. The Jets claimed Jason Myers off of waivers from the Seahawks on Tuesday and were scheduled to audition recently released Vikings kicker Kai Forbath. … Defensive end Charles Johnson is retiring from the NFL after 11 seasons. A third-round pick in 2007, Johnson spent his entire career with the Carolina Panthers before being released in February. …

The 49ers announced the retirement of defensive tackle Cedric Thornton and the signing of defensive tackle Chris Jones to take the vacant roster spot. Thornton, 30, joined the team on a one-year, $915,000 deal this offseason after spending 2017 with the Buffalo Bills.

–Field Level Media

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Cowboys C Frederick diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome

Cowboys C Frederick diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome

Dallas Cowboys center Travis Frederick announced Wednesday evening he has been diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a rare auto-immune disorder, and is uncertain when he will be able to play.

Frederick posted a statement on Twitter, saying the diagnosis came after "a very extensive

Cowboys C Frederick diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome

Dallas Cowboys center Travis Frederick announced Wednesday evening he has been diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a rare auto-immune disorder, and is uncertain when he will be able to play.

Frederick posted a statement on Twitter, saying the diagnosis came after “a very extensive examination and discovery process over the past few weeks.”

“In the last 48 hours, I have received two treatments that address my condition, and I am feeling much better from an overall strength perspective,” he added in the statement. “I will continue these treatments over the next few days. I am very optimistic about my condition and the immediate future, as I have been told that the illness was detected at a fairly early stage. My doctors have told me that it is not possible to determine a time table for a return to the field right now, but I am hopeful that I will be able to play as soon as possible.

“I am deeply grateful for all of the people who have expressed concern for me throughout the past four weeks, and my teammates and the Cowboys organization have provided me and my family with tremendous support.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, Guillain-Barre Syndrome is a disorder in which the immune system attacks the body’s nerves, causing weakness and tingling in the extremities. It can range from being very mild to a severe medical emergency. The syndrome has no known cure, but various treatments can ease symptoms.

Frederick has seen multiple neck-and-spine specialists after suffering a series of stingers in his shoulder and neck area during training camp. He saw a specialist in Los Angeles last week after having “several [stingers] over the course of a couple days,” and was scheduled to see more specialists this week in Dallas after suffering another stinger Monday.

He described his issues with stingers as a shooting pain that caused some strength loss in his arms and hands.

The 27-year-old has started all 80 games and hasn’t missed a snap since the Cowboys took him 31st overall in the 2013 draft. He is riding a streak of four consecutive Pro Bowl appearances and also earned first-team All-Pro honors in 2016, after garnering second-team honors in ’14 and ’15.

Seventh-year pro Joe Looney, who has appeared in all 32 games (three starts) for the Cowboys over the last two seasons, has lined up as the starting center in Frederick’s absence during camp.

Two-time All-Pro guard Zack Martin saw occasional snaps at the pivot during walkthroughs in training camp, but he’s viewed as more of a last resort if Frederick were to miss much of the season. Martin is also dealing with an injury of his own, a hyperextended knee, although he is expected to be ready for the Sept. 9 season opener at the Carolina Panthers.

The Cowboys lost depth on the interior last week when reserve guard Marcus Martin was placed on injured reserve with a torn ligament in his right big toe.

–Field Level Media

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Cardinals GM Keim returns from suspension, apologizes

Cardinals GM Keim returns from suspension, apologizes

Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim returned to the team on Wednesday after serving a five-week suspension following his July arrest for driving under the influence.

"For the past 50 days, I've replayed over and over in my mind, what would I say

Cardinals GM Keim returns from suspension, apologizes

Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim returned to the team on Wednesday after serving a five-week suspension following his July arrest for driving under the influence.

“For the past 50 days, I’ve replayed over and over in my mind, what would I say or how could I apologize in a way that people would understand, or forgive me for my inexcusable actions,” an emotional Keim told reporters at a news conference. “The truth is, there is nothing I can say that can make what I did right. In fact, taking ownership and my behavior going forward is what ultimately will define me as a man.

“I do want to take this opportunity to personally apologize to our fan base, the entire Cardinals organization and most of all, my family.”

Keim was arrested early on the morning of July 4 and had a blood-alcohol content of .193, more than twice the legal limit of .08 and above the .15 extreme DUI benchmark, according to the Chandler (Ariz.) Police report. He pled guilty to extreme DUI and was suspended and fined $200,000 by the team, which the Cardinals said was donated to the Arizona chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. He was not punished by the league, which supported the team’s punishments.

The Cardinals said Keim also had to complete counseling and a DUI education course, as well as take part in DUI awareness in education programs before returning to the team.

Keim, who has been with organization for 20 years and served as GM since 2013, said it was “torture” being away from the team and called his experience “extremely humbling and embarrassing beyond belief.”

Arizona’s new head coach, Steve Wilks, voiced his support for his general manager.

“Steve and I, in a short period of time, have become real close,” Wilks said. “I know him as a person, beyond the GM role, and for anyone to endure and go through what he did … we’re not saying we feel sorry for him, because again, it was poor judgment, but I can’t commend him enough with the way he has stepped up and taken ownership.

“It touched my heart the fact of how it affected his family. When you start talking about kids … it really hits home. I think he’s grown from it.”

Keim signed a contract extension in February that runs through the 2022 season.

–Field Level Media

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Patriots release WR Britt

Patriots release WR Britt

The New England Patriots announced the release of wide receiver Kenny Britt on Wednesday, the third prominent subtraction from the position group this month alone.

Britt was due $1.05 million in 2018, though the team will now save $400,000 he could have earned in per-game roster

Patriots release WR Britt

The New England Patriots announced the release of wide receiver Kenny Britt on Wednesday, the third prominent subtraction from the position group this month alone.

Britt was due $1.05 million in 2018, though the team will now save $400,000 he could have earned in per-game roster bonuses.

The Patriots released Jordan Matthews with an injury settlement on Aug. 1, less than four months after signing him in free agency. Five days later, injury-plagued wideout Malcolm Mitchell was waived.

Britt, who turns 30 on Sept. 19, has battled a hamstring injury throughout training camp after previously being expected to take a significant role in New England’s offense. He was released by the Cleveland Browns last December but signed a two-year, $2.4 million deal with the Patriots a few days later, a rare multi-year deal for a midseason signing.

Britt caught just two passes for 23 yards in three games with the Pats in 2017, after catching 18 passes for 233 yards and two scores in nine games with the Browns in the first year of a four-year, $32.5 million contract.

Entering his 10th NFL season, Britt’s best campaign came in 2016, when he had 68 grabs for 1,002 yards and five scores with the 4-12 Los Angeles Rams.

The Patriots have Julian Edelman — who is suspended for the first four games of the season — and Chris Hogan atop the depth chart at wide receiver, with Phillip Dorsett and offseason trade acquisition Cordarrelle Patterson listed next. Patterson has six catches for 89 yards in 70 preseason snaps through two games.

The team also signed veteran Eric Decker three weeks ago, but he has struggled with drops. New England drafted slot man Braxton Berrios in the sixth round of April’s draft.

–Field Level Media

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Vikings sign safety Iloka

Vikings sign safety Iloka

Safety George Iloka signed with the Minnesota Vikings on Wednesday.

"I'm in a good situation here. I'm where I'm wanted and where I want to be," Iloka said.

Terms of the deal weren't immediately available, but Iloka said he signed a one-year deal.

Vikings sign safety Iloka

Safety George Iloka signed with the Minnesota Vikings on Wednesday.

“I’m in a good situation here. I’m where I’m wanted and where I want to be,” Iloka said.

Terms of the deal weren’t immediately available, but Iloka said he signed a one-year deal. ESPN later reported it is a veteran’s minimum deal for $790,000, plus a $90,000 signing bonus.

Iloka, 28, was released in a cost-cutting move by the Cincinnati Bengals over the weekend, trimming $5.3 million in salary and roster bonuses for 2018. The Bengals took a $900,000 dead-money hit in 2018 and a $1.2 million hit in 2019, after Iloka was set to count $6.2 million against the cap this year.

The Vikings are familiar with Iloka, who played for Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer for two seasons with the Bengals when Zimmer was defensive coordinator.

Andrew Sendejo is the starter at strong safety alongside Pro Bowler Harrison Smith. Iloka could unseat Sendejo with the first team and improve one of the NFL’s best defenses. Both could play in a “big nickel” package, as Zimmer already said he’s concerned with the team’s depth at linebacker.

During free agency in 2016, Iloka visited with Zimmer and considered the Vikings, but Minnesota backed away when the Bengals made a $30 million offer.

Originally a fifth-round pick from Boise State in 2012, Iloka has been a starter in all 76 games he has been active over the past five seasons, missing four games in 2015 because of ankle and groin injuries. He is coming off a year in which he had a career-best 80 tackles for the Bengals along with one interception.

In 83 career games, Iloka has totaled 343 tackles and nine interceptions.

–Field Level Media

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Brady: Transition to new helmet has been ‘smooth’

Brady: Transition to new helmet has been 'smooth'

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is wearing a new helmet for the first time in more than a decade this season, but the change has been mostly seamless so far.

"I really like it," Brady told reporters Wednesday of his new

Brady: Transition to new helmet has been ‘smooth’

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is wearing a new helmet for the first time in more than a decade this season, but the change has been mostly seamless so far.

“I really like it,” Brady told reporters Wednesday of his new helmet. “It’s been a good transition, a smooth transition, which is all I can ask for.”

Brady, 41, has long worn the Riddell VSR-4, which was outlawed by the league this offseason in efforts to improve player safety. Like others who have previously worn the model, Brady could have stayed with it for the 2018 season, but opted to make the change now before it is outlawed for all players in 2019.

After sticking with the VSR-4 at summer minicamp, Brady switched for training camp to the Riddell Precision Fit SpeedFlex, a popular model worn by many, including Peyton Manning in his final NFL season. Its hexagonal panel just above the facemask — which is designed to flex upon contact — represents a jarring visual departure from the seamless dome Brady has sported for ages.

“I’ve been wearing a very old helmet for a long period of time, but it’s worked pretty well, too,” Brady said. “That’s why I’ve been a little hesitant to change.

“I think there are still a few little tweaks I’d like, but for the most part, it’s really comfortable. I asked the guys, ‘Do I look any younger or faster in it?’ They said yes, so I feel like I might keep it.”

The major focus for Brady is to maintain a wide field of vision, maximizing what he can see from the pocket without disrupting any sightlines.

“You’ve seen something a certain way for a long period of time, so I like as much vision as possible with the peripheral vision,” Brady said. “It’s all important, it all matters, so yeah, just making sure it’s kind of similar to what the experience has always been.

“Like I said, there’s still some tweaks to go and I’m working it out. But overall, hopefully the helmet provides more protection.”

Brady didn’t get into detail on the tweaks, but they presumably relate to the facemask, which he wants to remain open but also prevent too many fingers from reaching his face.

“It hasn’t happened often in my career, but I’ve had a few hands get through the mask a little bit,” Brady said. “Typically quarterbacks have much more open [areas], like receivers probably do, with the vision. The more you can have, the better.”

Brady is one of a few prominent quarterbacks who had previously used helmets that are now on the NFL’s disallowed list. New Orleans Saints signal-caller Drew Brees also wore the VSR-4 during offseason workouts before switching to the Precision Fit SpeedFlex during training camp, while Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is still wearing his Schutt Air XP Pro, which he will not be allowed to wear after this season.

–Field Level Media

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Chiefs release veteran RB West

Chiefs release veteran RB West

The Kansas City Chiefs released veteran running back Charcandrick West on Wednesday, leaving Kareem Hunt and Spencer Ware to share the bulk of the workload out of the backfield to begin the season.

West, 27, had only 72 yards on 18 carries last season, but

Chiefs release veteran RB West

The Kansas City Chiefs released veteran running back Charcandrick West on Wednesday, leaving Kareem Hunt and Spencer Ware to share the bulk of the workload out of the backfield to begin the season.

West, 27, had only 72 yards on 18 carries last season, but was a key member of the special teams.The 5-foot-10, 205-pound former Abilene Christian star posted career highs with 160 carries for 634 yards and four touchdowns in 2015, adding 20 catches for 214 yards and a touchdown as a receiver.

West, who missed the first two preseason games, was cleared from the concussion protocol on Tuesday. He was facing a stiff battle to make the team with the Chiefs also having veterans Damien Williams and Kerwynn Williams along with undrafted rookies Ray Lawry and Darrel Williams on the roster.

Releasing him now gives West a better opportunity to hook on with another team before the start of the season.

–Field Level Media

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Packers QB Rodgers: New deal shouldn’t hamper team

Packers QB Rodgers: New deal shouldn't hamper team

As Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers work toward an extension, the quarterback insists he's "not trying to screw" the team when it comes to staying competitive.

In a wide-ranging interview with ESPN Radio's "Wilde and Tausch" airing in multiple segments

Packers QB Rodgers: New deal shouldn’t hamper team

As Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers work toward an extension, the quarterback insists he’s “not trying to screw” the team when it comes to staying competitive.

In a wide-ranging interview with ESPN Radio’s “Wilde and Tausch” airing in multiple segments this week, Rodgers termed his situation with the Packers as a “partnership.”

“I’m not trying to screw them, you know,” Rodgers said, per ESPN. “This is a partnership. That’s the only way this is going to work, and the best way things work in this situation is that we’re in this thing together. And if they make that financial commitment, that’s what they’re saying, and also there’s an expectation that you’re going to play well. And then that’s my side of the bargain.”

Any new contract is expected to make Rodgers the highest-paid player in NFL history.

That mark is currently held by Atlanta’s Matt Ryan, who signed a five-year, $150 million deal with $94.5 million guaranteed at signing in May.

Rodgers, 34, still has two years remaining on his contract. His $22 million annual average, which was the highest in NFL history when the deal was signed in April of 2013, now ranks 10th among NFL quarterbacks. Rodgers can make a little over $20.5 million this season and $21.1 million in 2019 before his contract expires, including roster and workout bonuses.

“Obviously, it’s important to me,” said Rodgers. “Obviously, I’d love to finish my career here. But I’m busy right now. I’m being a leader on this team. I’m focused on being the leader of the team. And if nothing gets done, it won’t change anything. Because all I’m worried about right now is playing ball.”

Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst told PFT Live in May that he expected an extension to get done sooner rather than later.

A CBS Sports report in May suggested Rodgers would receive around $110 million guaranteed over the first three years of his new deal.

Rodgers, a six-time Pro Bowler and two-time MVP who missed nine games with a broken collarbone last year, made his preseason debut Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

He played one drive against the Steelers, going 2-of-4 for 35 yards with an 8-yard touchdown to free agent signee Jimmy Graham before ceding to Brett Hundley.

–Field Level Media

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Vikings expected to sign safety Iloka

Vikings expected to sign safety Iloka

Safety George Iloka is expected to sign with the Minnesota Vikings during a visit to team headquarters on Wednesday.

Iloka, 28, was released in a cost-cutting move by the Cincinnati Bengals last week.

The Vikings are familiar with Iloka, who played

Vikings expected to sign safety Iloka

Safety George Iloka is expected to sign with the Minnesota Vikings during a visit to team headquarters on Wednesday.

Iloka, 28, was released in a cost-cutting move by the Cincinnati Bengals last week.

The Vikings are familiar with Iloka, who played for Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer for two seasons with the Bengals when Zimmer was defensive coordinator.

Andrew Sendejo is the starter at strong safety alongside Pro Bowler Harrison Smith. Iloka would likely unseat Sendejo with the first team and improve one of the NFL’s best defenses. Both could play in a “big nickel” package, as Zimmer already said he’s concerned with the team’s depth at linebacker.

During free agency in 2016, Iloka visited with Zimmer and considered the Vikings, but Minnesota backed away when the Bengals made a $30 million offer.

Iloka was owed $5.3 million in salary and roster bonuses for 2018. His salary cap hit of $6.2 million was reduced by $4.4 million.

Originally a fifth-round pick from Boise State in 2012, Iloka has been a starter in all 76 games he has been active over the past five seasons, missing four games in 2015 because of ankle and groin injuries. He is coming off a year in which he had a career-best 80 tackles for the Bengals along with one interception.

In 83 career games, Iloka has totaled 343 tackles and nine interceptions.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Retired Colts radio voice accused of racial slur

Report: Retired Colts radio voice accused of racial slur

Longtime radio play-by-play voice of the Indianapolis Colts Bob Lamey, who had announced his retirement on Sunday after more than three decades in the booth, was reportedly accused of using a racial slur days before he revealed his decision to retire.

Report: Retired Colts radio voice accused of racial slur

Longtime radio play-by-play voice of the Indianapolis Colts Bob Lamey, who had announced his retirement on Sunday after more than three decades in the booth, was reportedly accused of using a racial slur days before he revealed his decision to retire.

According to a report Tuesday by NBC affiliate 13 WTHR in Indianapolis, the 79-year-old Lamey was recounting a story about his days working at Indianapolis Motor Speedway a week earlier at Colts training camp when he allegedly said a derogatory term aloud when sharing someone else’s tasteless joke.

The story was reported two days after the Colts released a respectful statement following the retirement of Lamey, who called Colts games since 1984 — other than three years away from the club from 1992-94. The Colts’ statement made no mention of the incident.

“Bob Lamey is a legend and icon, and his name is synonymous with Indianapolis Colts football,” owner Jim Irsay said in a statement Sunday. “With his historic calls, familiar sayings and passion for football, he became part of the fabric of this entire community.

“No one has been more ‘Indianapolis’ than Bob Lamey. Even more so, he was very much a part of our team family, and he’s as dear to us as anyone who has ever worn the Horseshoe.”

The Emmis Communications whistle-blower who requested anonymity to Jennie Runevitch of 13 WTHR said, “People don’t know the whole truth. … No person you look up to uses that kind of hurtful language at all. It made me sick to my stomach.”

According to the story, the employee said Lamey was off the air following a radio interview when he apparently started a story about an old conversation from his past experience working at the track.

“He had asked me if the mics were off and I said, ‘Yeah, I turned everything off. You’re fine’,” the employee said. “Bob Lamey’s describing this person saying he was asked in an interview, ‘Do you think anyone’s holding back their speed at IMS during quals? Do you think anyone’s holding back?’ And that person had replied, ‘There aren’t any ‘blank’ (referring to the n-word) in this race.’ ”

When reached for comment on Tuesday night, Lamey’s attorney told the Indianapolis Star that Lamey did cross the line while telling the story last week. But he denied that the incident forced the Colts to push Lamey out.

“It should be noted that Bob does want to acknowledge that while repeating a story whole off-the-air last week to a friend at a local radio station, he used an inappropriate word that had been used in the story,” James H. Voyles said of his client Lamey. “Bob immediately apologized to the people involved for the comment and would hope that this error in judgment would not tarnish his long-held reputation in the sports community where he has been known as an accurate and passionate reporter.”

According to the story, the employee lodged a complaint with the human resources department at Emmis Communications, which informed the Colts of the allegation.

–Field Level Media

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NFL notebook: NFL suspends Ravens CB Smith four games

NFL notebook: NFL suspends Ravens CB Smith four games

The NFL announced a four-game suspension for Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith on Tuesday for violating the league's personal-conduct policy.

The Ravens released a statement saying they "fully support the NFL's decision," adding the league "found evidence of threatening and emotionally

NFL notebook: NFL suspends Ravens CB Smith four games

The NFL announced a four-game suspension for Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith on Tuesday for violating the league’s personal-conduct policy.

The Ravens released a statement saying they “fully support the NFL’s decision,” adding the league “found evidence of threatening and emotionally abusive behaviors by Jimmy toward his former girlfriend that showed a pattern of improper conduct. Our player’s behavior was inappropriate and wrong. …”

The Baltimore Sun reported in November — during a child custody case between Smith and Micaela Sanchez, the mother of his first child — that details emerged from Sanchez alleging domestic violence and drug use by Smith, which the Ravens veteran denied. According to multiple reports, the league did not find evidence of physical violence but discovered evidence of “threatening” behavior.

Smith, who turned 30 last month, will forfeit about $2.12 million in salary. He will be eligible to rejoin the team Oct. 1, a day after the Ravens play the Pittsburgh Steelers.

–Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles won’t miss any game action due to a shoulder injury he sustained last week, as coach Doug Pederson said the signal-caller will play Thursday against the Cleveland Browns.

According to Pederson, Foles probably will play the whole first half before giving way to third-stringer Nate Sudfeld. Starter Carson Wentz was ruled out on Monday as he continues his recovery from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

Foles returned to practice this week and split first-team reps with Wentz, who worked his way back into team drills for the first time since early in camp after being held out as a precaution.

–Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden praised newly signed running back Adrian Peterson for his conditioning and said he expects the veteran to play Friday in a preseason game against Denver.

“Oh yeah, if we get him up to speed … I’d like to get him a few touches in this game to see where he’s at,” Gruden told reporters when asked about Peterson playing against the Broncos.

Peterson, 33, joined the Redskins on Monday on a one-year deal worth just over $1 million, according to Spotrac. He spent 10 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings.

–Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson told reporters that wide receiver Josh Gordon should be back on the practice field “very soon,” with an eye on being ready for the regular-season opener.

Gordon, 27, returned to the team Saturday after missing the first few weeks of training camp to tend to his rehabilitation from drug and alcohol addiction.

He remains on the active/non-football injury list and will not play Thursday against the Eagles, but Jackson said he could practice on Saturday and “there’s a chance” he’ll play in the Aug. 30 preseason finale against the Detroit Lions.

–Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Eli Rogers has been suspended without pay for the team’s season opener due to a violation of the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse, the league announced.

Rogers will be eligible to return to the Steelers on Sept. 10, one day after the opener against the Cleveland Browns.

Rogers hasn’t practiced or played in the preseason, as he remains on the physically unable to perform list while recovering from a major knee injury (torn ACL) sustained in a playoff loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

–Free agent quarterback Trevone Boykin has been suspended for the first game of the 2018 season by the NFL.

ESPN confirmed the suspension for Boykin, which the 24-year-old disclosed on Twitter over the weekend. It’s unclear if Boykin’s one-game suspension falls under the NFL’s personal-conduct policy, according to the ESPN report.

The Seattle Seahawks released Boykin shortly after reports of an alleged domestic violence attack on his girlfriend began circulating in March. Boykin was subsequently arrested in Mansfield, Texas, on suspicion of aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury.

–Carolina Panthers left tackle Matt Kalil will be evaluated on a week-to-week basis after having an arthroscopic procedure performed on his right knee, the team announced.

The operation was performed by Dr. James Andrews. Kalil, 29, traveled to Florida on Monday to get a second opinion on the injury.

As a result of the surgery, Kalil’s availability for Carolina’s season opener against the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 9 is unclear. The Panthers are expected to feature 2017 second-round draft pick Taylor Moton at left tackle in their third preseason game on Friday.

–San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan reiterated that the team would be interested in re-signing free agent safety Eric Reid at the right price, but noted the situation likely wouldn’t interest Reid.

Asked about a report from the spring that San Francisco offered Reid, 26, a minimum deal to re-sign, Shanahan told reporters the 49ers chose Jaquiski Tartt — who signed a two-year, $13 million extension in April — over Reid as their starting strong safety, and thus could only offer Reid a backup role at the minimum salary.

One of the first players to join then-teammate Colin Kaepernick in kneeling during the national anthem during the 2016 season, Reid has gone unsigned since becoming a free agent in March despite tallying 10 interceptions, 36 passes defensed and a Pro Bowl appearance in five years with the 49ers.

–The Atlanta Falcons will once again refrain from using star wide receiver Julio Jones and running back Devonta Freeman in their third preseason game this Saturday, according to coach Dan Quinn, who added that the two will “likely” not play until the regular-season opener.

Jones and Freeman have each sat out the Falcons’ first two preseason games even though they have been healthy and practicing. Jones hauled in 88 catches for 1,444 yards and three touchdowns last season despite recovering from foot surgery and a hip flexor injury.

Freeman, 26, had 865 rushing yards and seven scores in 14 games last season. He dealt with ligament damage in his right knee toward the end of the campaign and has a history of concussions.

–Panthers rookie wideout D.J. Moore was cited for speeding earlier this month after being clocked at 113 mph in a 65 mph work zone on Interstate 77 in Charlotte, N.C.

According to the state trooper’s report, Moore was pulled over at 2:52 a.m. on Aug. 10, shortly after the team returned to Charlotte from their preseason game at the Buffalo Bills. He was charged with speeding and speeding in a work zone at over 80 mph. Moore has a court date set for Oct. 2.

Moore, 21, was the team’s first-round pick in April, the first wideout off the board at 24th overall. He had four catches for 75 yards against the Bills in the preseason opener before going catchless on two targets against the Miami Dolphins on Friday.

–Former New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz announced his retirement from the NFL and is set to join ESPN as an NFL analyst.

Cruz announced his intentions in a video posted on Uninterrupted. He will make his ESPN debut on Wednesday.

Cruz, 31, said in May he had a date in mind that he would retire if he remained unsigned, hinting at training camp being the unofficial deadline. He finishes his career with 303 receptions in 70 regular-season games. A Pro Bowler in 2011, Cruz caught 303 passes over six NFL seasons, all with New York.

–The Tennessee Titans and wide receiver Rishard Matthews agreed to a one-year contract extension, the team announced.

The extension is reportedly a team option worth a base value of $7.75 million for 2019. According to ESPN, the Titans must make a decision on the option by the third-to-last day of the 2018 league year. Exercising it would include paying Matthews an option bonus of $3.25 million. His base salary for 2019 under the option would be $4.5 million.

Between 2018 and 2019, Matthews’ deal includes new money of close to $11 million available via bonuses, according to ESPN. NFL Network reported Matthews fired his agent and negotiated the deal, which includes no guaranteed money.

–The New Orleans Saints released veteran running back Terrance West, according to multiple reports.

West gained 36 yards on seven rushes between two games this preseason. Competing for the chance to back up Alvin Kamara while Mark Ingram serves a four-game suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drugs policy, West fell behind Jonathan Williams on the depth chart.

West, 27, joined the Saints in June after three seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. West finished last season with 39 carries for 138 yards and two touchdowns, a year after totaling 774 rushing yards and five scores for the Ravens.

–Seahawks running back J.D. McKissic sustained a Jones fracture in his foot and will be sidelined four to six weeks, ESPN reported.

Seattle coach Pete Carroll made no mention of McKissic when running down a list of injuries with reporters following Tuesday’s practice.

The injury likely means C.J. Prosise will begin the season as the fourth running back behind Chris Carson, first-round pick Rashaad Penny and Mike Davis. A receiving specialist, Prosise has 295 receiving yards and 195 rushing yards through two seasons while battling a series of injuries.

–Tampa Bay Buccaneers starting left tackle Donovan Smith left practice early with a knee injury, but it appears he won’t miss significant time.

Smith, 25, had his legs rolled up on from the backside of a running play during team drills. He tossed his helmet off and remained on the ground for a few minutes before being helped off by trainers.

Coach Dirk Koetter offered few details after practice, saying, “We’ll have to see,” but the Tampa Bay Times reported later in the evening that the Bucs are optimistic Smith can return in time for the team’s Sept. 9 regular-season opener against the Saints.

–The New York Jets claimed kicker Jason Myers off waivers from the Seattle Seahawks and reportedly will bring former Vikings kicker Kai Forbath in for a workout Wednesday.

Both kickers were let go by their previous teams, as Sebastian Janikowski beat out Myers for the job in Seattle, and rookie fifth-rounder Daniel Carlson made Forbath expendable in Minnesota.

The Jets are expected to move on from Cairo Santos, who has been out for much of the summer with a groin injury after he was waived/injured by the Kansas City Chiefs with a similar issue last September. Santos, 26, joined the Bears for two games last season before a groin injury flared up in December.

–Former Seahawks punter Jon Ryan is expected to sign with the Buffalo Bills, according to multiple reports.

Ryan was cut by the Seahawks on Monday after reportedly requesting his release.

Ryan, 36, had spent the past 10 seasons with Seattle, winning one Super Bowl title. He has remained a highly effective punter into his mid-30s but was also due to count $2.6 million against the salary cap in 2018.

–Field Level Media

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Belichick on new helmet rule: ‘It’s not a change for us’

Belichick on new helmet rule: 'It's not a change for us'

The biggest complaints from NFL coaches and players this preseason have undoubtedly centered around the league's revised helmet rules.

Despite the many outspoken critics of the controversial new guidelines, Bill Belichick does not seem concerned one bit.

Belichick on new helmet rule: ‘It’s not a change for us’

The biggest complaints from NFL coaches and players this preseason have undoubtedly centered around the league’s revised helmet rules.

Despite the many outspoken critics of the controversial new guidelines, Bill Belichick does not seem concerned one bit.

Quite the contrary, the New England Patriots head coach is going against the norm of those publicly blasting the rule tweaks aimed at trying to reduce injuries and violent, dangerous collisions.

“From my standpoint, there’s really … it’s not a change for us, for our coaching staff,” Belichick said Monday night on WEEI 93.7 in Boston. “We’ve never taught tackling with the crown of your helmet, putting your head down, leaning your body forward in that type of position.

“I don’t think fundamentally that’s a good position to be in. It’s not effective.”

The rule — which penalizes a player for lowering the helmet with intent to initiate contact — has been a source of confusion and frustration for players, coaches and fans alike through the first half of the preseason. The regulation was added this offseason to improve player safety, but players and coaches have been vocal about their confusion.

Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer told The Athletic on Monday that the rule is “going to cost some people some jobs. Playoffs, jobs, the whole bit, I guess.” One of Zimmer’s players, hard-hitting safety Andrew Sendejo, expressed his disdain for the rule earlier this month, wearing a hat bearing the words “Make Football Violent Again.”

San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman vented about the new rule over the weekend on Twitter, saying the NFL “will be flag football soon.”

However, Belichick seems ambivalent about anything helmet-related.

“We’ve always tackled with our head up, eyes open, head back, so we can see what we hit. That’s the only way I’ve ever coached,” Belichick said. “If we do it that way, we’ll be within the rules.

“I think we understand it. I think I understand it. … The officials have a tough job to make that judgment, but I think the rule is fairly clear cut. If you lead with your head and make contact with the opponent, then that’s a foul.”

According to multiple reports Monday, the NFL will spend the majority of a previously scheduled Wednesday conference call discussing the league’s new helmet rule and how to tweak or improve it.

Pro Football Talk reported that tweaks could include limiting the application of the rule to the top or crown of the helmet (it currently applies to all parts of the helmet), or requiring forcible helmet contact, which would eliminate penalties for incidental contact or glancing blows from the side. PFT added that replay review could be added as a failsafe.

ESPN reported that NFL vice president of officials Al Riveron will make revisions after the preseason to the video tutorial that has been sent to officials, coaches and players, helping them better understand what plays will and won’t be called in the regular season.

Nevertheless, Belichick minimized the outcry.

“It doesn’t matter whether I like the rule or don’t like the rule,” Belichick said. “My job is to understand the rule and coach it.”

–Field Level Media

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NFL suspends Ravens CB Smith four games

 

 

The NFL announced a four-game suspension for Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith on Tuesday for violating the league's personal-conduct policy.

 

Smith will sit out home games against the Buffalo Bills (Sept. 9) and Denver Broncos (Sept. 23), as well as two prime-time road games against AFC North rivals: A Thursday night visit

 

 

The NFL announced a four-game suspension for Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith on Tuesday for violating the league’s personal-conduct policy.

 

Smith will sit out home games against the Buffalo Bills (Sept. 9) and Denver Broncos (Sept. 23), as well as two prime-time road games against AFC North rivals: A Thursday night visit to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 2, and a Sunday night trip to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 4. He will be eligible to rejoin the team Oct. 1, a day after the Steelers game.

 

Smith will forfeit about $2.12 million in salary.

 

The Athletic reported Monday that the Ravens were bracing for a multi-week suspension for Smith, who left the team over the weekend and met with league officials Monday as part of his appeal.

 

Smith’s violation of the personal-conduct policy has not been specified, but it could be connected to a child custody case between Smith and Micaela Sanchez, the mother of his first child. A story published in November by the Baltimore Sun included details from Sanchez that alleged domestic violence and drug use by Smith, which the Ravens veteran has denied.

 

The suspension continues a tumultuous several months for Smith, who was enjoying perhaps his best season in 2017 before suffering a torn Achilles in early December, weeks after the Baltimore Sun report emerged. Before the injury, Smith was appealing a four-game suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. After getting hurt, he accepted that suspension and served it over the season’s final four games while on injured reserve.

 

Smith, who turned 30 last month, joined his Baltimore Ravens teammates on the field at mandatory minicamp in June, about two months ahead of schedule in his recovery, and he has been a full participant at training camp.

 

In seven seasons with Baltimore, Smith has played in all 16 games in just two seasons (2013 and 2015), missing four-plus games in every other year.

 

In 86 career games (68 starts), Smith has 11 career interceptions (two returned for touchdowns) and 254 tackles. The Ravens chose Smith with the No. 27 selection in the first round of the NFL draft in 2011.

 

–Field Level media

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Steelers WR Rogers suspended one game for substance abuse

Steelers WR Rogers suspended one game for substance abuse

Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Eli Rogers has been suspended without pay for the team's season opener due to a violation of the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse, the league announced Tuesday.

Rogers will be eligible to return to the

Steelers WR Rogers suspended one game for substance abuse

Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Eli Rogers has been suspended without pay for the team’s season opener due to a violation of the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse, the league announced Tuesday.

Rogers will be eligible to return to the Steelers on Sept. 10, one day after the opener against the Cleveland Browns.

“We are disappointed that Eli Rogers has been suspended for Week 1 of the regular season as part of the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse,” Pittsburgh general manager Kevin Colbert said in a statement. “The suspension will begin following the final roster cutdown on September 1.

“He will be allowed to continue his (injury) rehabilitation and attend meetings at team’s headquarters, but he will not be permitted to practice with the team during his suspension or attend the Week 1 game.”

Rogers hasn’t practiced or played in the preseason, as he remains on the physically unable to perform list while recovering from a major knee injury (torn ACL) suffered in a mid-January playoff loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Rogers caught 18 passes for 149 yards and one touchdown last year in his second NFL season. He had 48 receptions for 594 yards and three touchdowns as a rookie.

The Steelers declined to tender Rogers as a restricted free agent this offseason, but brought him back on a one-year, minimum deal in July.

–Field Level Media

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Panthers rookie Moore cited for speeding, clocked at 113 mph

Panthers rookie Moore cited for speeding, clocked at 113 mph

Carolina Panthers rookie wideout D.J. Moore was cited for speeding earlier this month after being clocked at 113 mph in a 65 mph work zone on Interstate 77 in Charlotte, N.C.

According to the state trooper's report, Moore was pulled

Panthers rookie Moore cited for speeding, clocked at 113 mph

Carolina Panthers rookie wideout D.J. Moore was cited for speeding earlier this month after being clocked at 113 mph in a 65 mph work zone on Interstate 77 in Charlotte, N.C.

According to the state trooper’s report, Moore was pulled over at 2:52 a.m. on Aug. 10, shortly after the team returned to Charlotte from their preseason game at the Buffalo Bills. He was charged with speeding and speeding in a work zone at over 80 mph.

The trooper said Moore was “polite and cooperative,” saying he was “wanting to get home,” after the team had just landed at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport. Moore has a court date set for Oct. 2.

“When it all happened, D.J. came to us right away and explained the situation,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. “He was very remorseful. He understood. We chastised him obviously. And he’s moving on. And it’s an opportunity to learn for him and for the other young guys. ‘Hey, you have a responsibility to the community.'”

Moore, 21, was the team’s first-round pick in April, the first wideout off the board at 24th overall. He had four catches for 75 yards against the Bills in the preseason opener before going catchless on two targets against the Miami Dolphins on Friday.

–Field Level Media

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NFL Players With Most Arrests Since 2000

As with all of our arrest posts, we have to mention that NFL players are arrested at a significantly lower rate than the national average. But because they are constantly in the news, it can feel like the NFL has issues with crime but the data does not support that assumption. That being said,

As with all of our arrest posts, we have to mention that NFL players are arrested at a significantly lower rate than the national average. But because they are constantly in the news, it can feel like the NFL has issues with crime but the data does not support that assumption. That being said, some players have become notorious for more frequent run-ins with the law, here are four of those players:

No. Arrests  

Player

10

Adam Jones

7

Kenny Britt

6

Aldon Smith

6

Chris Henry

 

Adam”Pacman” Jones has had ten arrests over the course of nine years. He is probably best known for an altercation in a Las Vegas Strip Club called Minx. While “making it rain” with rapper Nelly, Jones got in an argument with the manager. After Jones was evicted from the premises a gunman, who Jones claimed he didn’t know, came into the club and wounded three people, including the manager. The jury believed the connection to Jones was clear and the court ordered him to pay $10.5 million to the manager who was paralyzed from the waist down. He has three other police encounters due to assault and one other related to guns. He also has four other arrests/charges due to alcohol and/or drugs.

 

Within a two year period Kenny Britt had encounters with the police seven times, mostly behind the wheel. He had one DUI but was found not guilty, he drove with a revoked driver’s license, he falsified information on his driver’s license application, and pled guilty to charges of eluding the police and reckless driving.

 

Chris Henry had six arrests between the years of 2005 and 2008. His arrests were mostly due to drugs, alcohol, and assault. He was in the NFL from 2005-2009 but died at the end of the 2009 season when he fell from a moving truck driven by his fiancee during a domestic dispute. After he died, the autopsy revealed that Henry had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a brain injury that is caused by numerous head injuries. Studies have shown that CTE can cause impulsive actions, aggression and poor judgment.

 

Aldon Smith also had six arrests, but Smith’s arrests were almost entirely due to the consumption of alcohol and drugs. Half of the arrests were from DUIs and the other three were from incidents involving alcohol and/or drugs.

 

Again it is important to note that the NFL has an arrest rate significantly lower than the general population for men between the ages of 20 and 39. While these players were all arrested more than the average, the vast majority never has a run in with the law. Here are how arrest stats have been affected by year and month.

 

Elise is a data scientist and a football fanatic. She was raised in Seattle where her love for sports grew as she followed the Seahawks, Mariners, and Sonics. After graduating high school, Elise attended High Point University in North Carolina for two years, then before her Junior year of college, she decided to transfer to the University of Washington for their undergraduate mathematics program. She graduated from UW in December 2017 then not long after completed the Data Science Immersive program at Galvanize in Seattle. Elise is looking forward to another competitive fantasy football season as she works on building a predictive model for NFL rushing yards.

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Incognito arrested for disorderly conduct, threats at funeral home

Incognito arrested for disorderly conduct, threats at funeral home

Free agent offensive guard Richie Incognito was arrested Monday for disorderly conduct and making threats, stemming from an incident at Messingers Funeral Home in Scottsdale, Ariz., police said.

According to Pro Football Talk, Incognito allegedly created a disturbance by "acting erratically

Incognito arrested for disorderly conduct, threats at funeral home

Free agent offensive guard Richie Incognito was arrested Monday for disorderly conduct and making threats, stemming from an incident at Messingers Funeral Home in Scottsdale, Ariz., police said.

According to Pro Football Talk, Incognito allegedly created a disturbance by “acting erratically and making the employees feel incredibly uncomfortable,” while handling arrangements for his late father. The report says Incognito also allegedly made a gun gesture toward an employee and said he had guns in his truck, which proved to be true. The weapons were impounded, per PFT.

Incognito announced on Twitter over the weekend that his father died.

Incognito, 35, has had a turbulent offseason. He reportedly took a paycut from the Buffalo Bills and then abruptly announced his retirement in April before changing his mind and being released by the Bills in May, as he planned to continue his career.

Two days after his release, Incognito was held for a mental evaluation in South Florida after a gym altercation in which police said he was in an “altered, paranoid state.” According to the incident report, Incognito “believed ordinary citizens were government officials that were tracking and recording him,” and allegedly threw a tennis ball and a dumbbell at another gym patron.

Earlier this month, Incognito aimed profane tweets at Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer after the coach told reporters that the team had not been in touch with the guard. Incognito apologized to Zimmer a day later.

The 11-year veteran has continued to voice his interest in returning to the NFL.

He started all 48 games for the Bills over the last three seasons, earning Pro Bowl nods each year. He was also a Pro Bowler in 2012 with the Miami Dolphins.

–Field Level Media

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Titans extend WR Matthews through 2019

Titans extend WR Matthews through 2019

The Tennessee Titans and wide receiver Rishard Matthews agreed to a one-year contract extension, the team announced Tuesday.

The extension is reportedly a team option worth a base value of $7.75 million for 2019. According to ESPN, the Titans must make a decision on

Titans extend WR Matthews through 2019

The Tennessee Titans and wide receiver Rishard Matthews agreed to a one-year contract extension, the team announced Tuesday.

The extension is reportedly a team option worth a base value of $7.75 million for 2019. According to ESPN, the Titans must make a decision on the option by the third-to-last day of the 2018 league year. Exercising it would include paying Matthews an option bonus of $3.25 million. His base salary for 2019 under the option would be $4.5 million.

Between 2018 and 2019, Matthews’ deal includes new money of close to $11 million available via bonuses, according to ESPN.

NFL Network reported Matthews fired his agent and negotiated the deal, which includes no guaranteed money.

Matthews, 28, was set to become a free agent after the conclusion of a three-year, $15 million contract at the end of this season.

Matthews is currently on the PUP list and has sat out practice sessions during camp with an undisclosed injury. He has yet to make his preseason debut.

Matthews, a seventh-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, caught 53 passes for 795 yards and four touchdowns last season. His best year came in 2016, when he hauled in 65 catches for 945 yards and nine scores.

–Field Level Media

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Reports: Titans extend WR Matthews for 1-year, $7.75M

Reports: Titans extend WR Matthews for 1-year, $7.75M

The Tennessee Titans and wide receiver Rishard Matthews agreed to a one-year contract extension worth a base value of $7.75 million, according to multiple reports Tuesday.

The extension is reportedly a team option for 2019. According to ESPN, the Titans must make

Reports: Titans extend WR Matthews for 1-year, $7.75M

The Tennessee Titans and wide receiver Rishard Matthews agreed to a one-year contract extension worth a base value of $7.75 million, according to multiple reports Tuesday.

The extension is reportedly a team option for 2019. According to ESPN, the Titans must make a decision on the option by the third-to-last day of the 2018 league year. Exercising it would include paying Matthews an option bonus of $3.25 million. His base salary for 2019 under the option would be $4.5 million.

Between 2018 and 2019, Matthews’ deal includes new money of close to $11 million available via bonuses, according to ESPN.

NFL Network reported Matthews fired his agent and negotiated the deal, which includes no guaranteed money.

Matthews, 28, was set to become a free agent after the conclusion of a three-year, $15 million contract at the end of this season.

Matthews is currently on the PUP list and has sat out practice sessions during camp with an undisclosed injury. He has yet to make his preseason debut.

Matthews, a seventh-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, caught 53 passes for 795 yards and four touchdowns last season. His best year came in 2016, when he hauled in 65 catches for 945 yards and nine scores.

–Field Level Media

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Free agent QB Boykin suspended 1 game

Free agent QB Boykin suspended 1 game

Free agent quarterback Trevone Boykin has been suspended for the first game of the 2018 season by the NFL.

ESPN confirmed the suspension for Boykin, which the 24-year-old disclosed on Twitter over the weekend.

"One game suspension," Boykin wrote.

Free agent QB Boykin suspended 1 game

Free agent quarterback Trevone Boykin has been suspended for the first game of the 2018 season by the NFL.

ESPN confirmed the suspension for Boykin, which the 24-year-old disclosed on Twitter over the weekend.

“One game suspension,” Boykin wrote.

The Seattle Seahawks released Boykin shortly after reports of an alleged domestic violence attack on his girlfriend began circulating in March. Boykin was subsequently arrested in Mansfield, Texas, on suspicion of aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury.

The arrest came less than two days after Shabrika Bailey, Boykin’s girlfriend, told WFAA-TV in Dallas that Boykin broke her jaw in two places and choked her until she passed out during a March 20 incident at her home in Mansfield.

Boykin denied Bailey’s accusations in a statement obtained by NFL Network: “I understand the Seahawks decision to release me. The story that was reported casts a bad light on the organization and on me. I want to be clear that the story is false.”

Bailey was arrested with Boykin in March 2017 when she was the driver in a car that struck several pedestrians outside of a nightclub in a Dallas suburb. Boykin was charged with misdemeanor public intoxication and marijuana possession, and the incident led to him being arrested again a week later due to a probation violation from a December 2015 resisting arrest charge while the QB was at TCU.

The marijuana charge against Boykin has since been dismissed.

It’s unclear if Boykin’s one-game suspension falls under the NFL’s personal conduct policy, according to the ESPN report.

Boykin played in five games in two seasons with the Seahawks, all in 2016. He completed 13 of 18 passes for 145 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

–Field Level Media

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WR Cruz retires, to join ESPN

WR Cruz retires, to join ESPN

Former New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz announced his retirement from the NFL on Tuesday and is set to join ESPN as an NFL analyst.

Cruz announced his intentions in a video posted on UNINTERRUPTED. He will make his ESPN debut on Wednesday.

WR Cruz retires, to join ESPN

Former New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz announced his retirement from the NFL on Tuesday and is set to join ESPN as an NFL analyst.

Cruz announced his intentions in a video posted on UNINTERRUPTED. He will make his ESPN debut on Wednesday.

“As I officially close one chapter of my life and begin another, I could not be more thrilled to join another championship team at ESPN,” Cruz said in a statement. “I’m excited to get started and share my insight and analysis with the viewers and fans of the NFL.”

Cruz said in May he had a date in mind that he would retire if he remained unsigned, hinting at training camp being the unofficial deadline.

The 31-year-old former Pro Bowler was a member of the Chicago Bears last year before being cut in early September and sitting out the entire regular season.

Cruz had 39 catches for 586 yards and a touchdown during his last season with the Giants in 2016. He missed the entire year prior recovering from a patellar tendon tear in his right knee sustained during a game in 2014.

From 2011-13, Cruz caught 241 passes for 3,626 yards and 23 touchdowns. He was Pro Bowler in 2011.

–Field Level Media

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NFL reportedly to discuss helmet-rule tweaks Wednesday

NFL reportedly to discuss helmet-rule tweaks Wednesday

The NFL will spent the majority of a previously scheduled Wednesday conference call discussing the league's new helmet rule and how to tweak or improve it, according to multiple reports Monday.

The rule -- which penalizes a player for lowering the helmet with

NFL reportedly to discuss helmet-rule tweaks Wednesday

The NFL will spent the majority of a previously scheduled Wednesday conference call discussing the league’s new helmet rule and how to tweak or improve it, according to multiple reports Monday.

The rule — which penalizes a player for lowering the helmet with intent to initiate contact — has been a source of confusion and frustration for players, coaches and fans alike through the first half of the preseason. The conference call could lead to some simplification.

Pro Football Talk reported that tweaks could include limiting the application of the rule to the top or crown of the helmet (it currently applies to all parts of the helmet), or requiring forcible helmet contact, which would eliminate penalties for incidental contact or glancing blows from the side. PFT adds that replay review could be added as a failsafe.

ESPN reported that NFL vice president of officials Al Riveron will make revisions after the preseason to the video tutorial that has been sent to officials, coaches and players, helping them better understand what plays will and won’t be called in the regular season.

ESPN also quoted a source saying the reaction to the rule has been “predictable hysteria” because of how new it is, with another source expecting a “probable three-year” adjustment to the rule changes.

The rule was added this offseason to improve player safety, but players and coaches have been vocal about their confusion.

Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer told The Athletic on Monday, the rule is “going to cost some people some jobs. Playoffs, jobs, the whole bit, I guess.”

One of Zimmer’s players, hard-hitting safety Andrew Sendejo, expressed his disdain for the rule earlier this month, wearing a hat bearing the words “Make Football Violent Again.”

–Field Level Media

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Vikings’ Zimmer: Helmet rules ‘going to cost some people some jobs’

Vikings' Zimmer: Helmet rules 'going to cost some people some jobs'

Two days after a roughing-the-passer call drew his consternation, then seemingly his understanding, Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer again spoke Monday about the confusion surrounding the NFL's new helmet rules.

This time, he had some eye-opening commentary regarding

Vikings’ Zimmer: Helmet rules ‘going to cost some people some jobs’

Two days after a roughing-the-passer call drew his consternation, then seemingly his understanding, Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer again spoke Monday about the confusion surrounding the NFL’s new helmet rules.

This time, he had some eye-opening commentary regarding potential ramifications of the new rules.

“It’s going to cost some people some jobs,” Zimmer said Monday, per The Athletic. “Playoffs, jobs, the whole bit, I guess.”

There were two plays in particular that left many viewing the game scratching their heads. On one, Vikings linebacker Antwione Williams was flagged for roughing the passer after sacking the Jaguars’ Cody Kessler on a play that looked pretty standard for an edge-rush sack.

While seemingly bewildered by the call on the field, Zimmer said after the game he understood the call per the parameters of the new rules.

“After I calmed down a little bit, I looked at it and he was, his head was to the side and he was going to the side and if he would’ve just rolled, but he kind of pumped him into the turf,” Zimmer said after the game. “I actually think that was a good call.”

Early in the first quarter of the game, Jags cornerback A.J. Bouye was flagged for lowering his head on Vikings fullback C.J. Ham, who had caught a swing pass and also lowered his head before the contact.

According to The Athletic, Zimmer sent video of the Bouye hit to the NFL and requested clarification on the penalty call.

“We haven’t had any called on us so far,” Zimmer said of penalties stemming from the new rules. “It’s just hard to figure out. No one has ever said to me, ‘Hey, don’t worry about it, we’re going to call it less or we’ll get it straightened out in the regular season. Or we’re going to come up with a revised rule.’ No one has ever said that.”

–Field Level Media

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How to Choose Your Fantasy Football Site

The days of analog fantasy football are, for the most part, gone.

Sparing a rare case of longstanding tradition, season-long fantasy football players have plenty of options that make being an educated and invested season-long player much easier.

Season-long fantasy football attracts perhaps the widest range of

The days of analog fantasy football are, for the most part, gone.

Sparing a rare case of longstanding tradition, season-long fantasy football players have plenty of options that make being an educated and invested season-long player much easier.

Season-long fantasy football attracts perhaps the widest range of participants. From longtime friends, to your office, to those who play in random leagues, fantasy football is by far the most popular fantasy sport in America.

FF requires minimal effort for those whose involvement is simply to set their lineups each week but the hardcore fans can spend hours pouring over the waiver wire or making roster decisions.

It’s a low-to-no risk, marginal reward vehicle that gives you enough of a rooting stake to where you may find yourself tuned into a Thursday night midseason game between two teams you couldn’t care less about.

Interested in season-long fantasy, but don’t know where to start?

I signed up for a wide range of season-long Fantasy Football sites and ranked the top five on user experience:

YAHOO! SPORTS

I chose a standard, head-to-head 10-team league. I joined a free league and was launched into a live draft within five minutes. There are also money leagues with as low as $20 entries. The draft board included a potpourri of Yahoo!’s different ranking systems, such as expert pre-season ranks, rankings based on league settings, average draft position and fan points.

You can also find player stats from last season and any potential injuries or other recent headlines that could affect whether they’re on the field, and playing at 100 percent. This is helpful for those who want to take the expert rankings and compare it to where users at large actually draft a player.

It’s nice to have different metrics splayed out in front of you during a live draft. You can take one with a grain of salt, disregard another, or just trust one the entire time. Or you could roll the dice and auto-draft, but where’s the fun in that?

Simply click on a ranking system, and the chart reorganizes accordingly on the draft board, and utilize them to make an educated pick. There’s also a smack talk corner, which feels like it should be a requirement in a league with friends or coworkers.

 

ESPN

What sets ESPN apart is its content. My FF experience has almost exclusively existed on ESPN.com leagues. It’s where I first started with a group longtime friends and ESPN has done nothing to steer me away. The library of fantasy content produced is some of the best in the business. What separates ESPN is the game day experience through ESPN FantasyCast. It provides a wealth of resources, live scoring and an easy-to-use mobile app to keep up to date on the go throughout your Sundays. Follow along with its daily podcast “Fantasy Football Focus” with Matthew Berry, Field Yates and Stephanie Bell to stay tuned in throughout the week.

 

NFL.COM

Video highlights is what sets the league’s fantasy site apart. With a wealth of content, highlights and information, the league’s exclusive site has resources that can only be found with their access. NFL.com owns every game.

If you have the NFL Game Pass, which allows you to watch live out-of-market games, your football experience will be centralized on the NFL.com homepage. Plus, its projections and predictions make your game watching experience much easier.

 

CBS

The TV network that has long been interlocked in a rights deal with the NFL also has a highly detailed fantasy football site. With a section on your personalized fantasy home page dedicated to draft prep, you can access player rankings, cheat sheets, ratings by position and a stockpile of resources like its CBS Sports HQ, which includes fantasy analysis and NFL reporting from the network’s FF writers/personalities. The most helpful tool for me was the “Roster Trends” list. It ranks the most added and most dropped players by percentage of change.

 

FOX SPORTS

Another network with a wide range of FF content, Fox Sports provides users plenty of resources to enhance the season-long FF experience. If that’s important to you, Fox Sports is a site worth trying. But the fantasy interface doesn’t necessarily offer anything the others don’t.

Andy Buhler is a graduate of Gonzaga University and writes for The Columbian. He’s a lifelong fantasy football player.

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NFL notebook: Helicopters over Lambeau were complete surprise

NFL notebook: Helicopters over Lambeau were complete surprise

The helicopters that flew over Lambeau Field after a Green Bay Packers touchdown during Thursday night's preseason game caught everyone by surprise, including local police.

"That had us scrambling last night," Paul Ebel, a Green Bay Police commander in charge of operations

NFL notebook: Helicopters over Lambeau were complete surprise

The helicopters that flew over Lambeau Field after a Green Bay Packers touchdown during Thursday night’s preseason game caught everyone by surprise, including local police.

“That had us scrambling last night,” Paul Ebel, a Green Bay Police commander in charge of operations on gamedays at Lambeau, told the Green Bay Press-Gazette on Friday.

The Press-Gazette reported the helicopters were from the U.S. Navy, but their appearance was not a traditionally planned flyover. Moments after Jimmy Graham caught a touchdown from Aaron Rodgers early in the first quarter, the two MH-60R Seahawks circled over the stadium. Several fans tweeted videos of them passing by.

Ebel told the newspaper that law enforcement had not been told of any planned flyover — which would usually be scheduled to happen before a game, during the national anthem — nor did the team. “I was as surprised as anyone,” Packers president Mark Murphy added Friday.

–New England Patriots rookie offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn will miss the 2018 season with a torn Achilles after he was injured in the first quarter of Thursday’s preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The Patriots’ top pick in last month’s draft, Wynn was playing right tackle in his preseason debut. Wynn was blocking a pass rusher when he was injured. He walked off the field on his own and was examined in the sideline medical tent before being taken by cart to the locker room.

New England’s other first-round pick, another Georgia product in running back Sony Michel, remains out after having a minor procedure on his knee earlier this month. He is not expected to play in the preseason.

–Dez Bryant’s two-day visit to Browns headquarters ended without a deal, but the wide receiver is open to playing in Cleveland and dialogue is expected to continue.

According to multiple reports, signs are positive, and the two sides are expected to continue talking about a deal despite Bryant’s departure from the team’s Berea, Ohio, facility. Factors being weighed include the return to the team of wide receiver Josh Gordon and Bryant’s desire for a multi-year contract.

The 29-year-old Bryant was released by the Dallas Cowboys in April and turned down a three-year deal with the Baltimore Ravens because he hoped to play for a contender. The Browns were 0-16 last season, but a revamped roster includes Pro Bowl wide receiver Jarvis Landry and an entirely new backfield — quarterback Tyrod Taylor and running back Carlos Hyde — plus likely future quarterback Baker Mayfield.

–ESPN will not be broadcasting the national anthem during Monday Night Football this season, president Jimmy Pitaro said.

MNF started including the anthem as a regular part of its broadcasts a few seasons ago, but stopped doing so last season other than a select few occasions.

“We generally have not broadcasted the anthem and I don’t think that will change this year,” Pitaro told Axios.com. “Our plan going into this year is to not broadcast the anthem. … Again, that could change. It’s unpredictable what could happen in the world but as of now, we’re not. We have communicated that back to the NFL. They have not asked but as courtesy and good partners, we have let them know what our plans are.”

–Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin has ramped up his conditioning and remains on track for the season opener, while running back C.J. Prosise will play in Saturday’s preseason game, head coach Pete Carroll said.

“We think he’s going to be fine, but we’d like to have a really good active week next week so the week after that can be a good competitive week,” Carroll told reporters of Baldwin, who has been out since early in camp with a knee issue.

Prosise, meanwhile, is “ready to go,” Carroll said, and the team would like him to “play quite a bit” Saturday night against the Los Angeles Chargers. Prosise, who has battled injuries throughout his career and missed 11 games last season with ankle issues, returned to practice this week after sitting out with a minor hip injury.

–Longtime Philadelphia Eagles tight end Brent Celek said he is more likely to retire than play a 12th NFL season, adding that he wouldn’t play for the rival Dallas Cowboys even if they made him a monster offer.

“I think I’m leaning more toward retirement,” Celek said in a radio appearance on 97.5 The Fanatic. “I’ve had a few offers, but none of them are worth leaving a city that I have been in for 11 years where I won the Super Bowl in my final year. It wouldn’t feel right to put another uniform on.”

Celek, 33, was released by the Eagles in March after 11 seasons with the team, which drafted him in the fifth round in 2007. He had an especially strong aversion to the idea of staying in the NFC East and joining Dallas, saying, “Hell no. Do you think I would play for the Cowboys? Philly is my home. If they offered me 10 million, I still wouldn’t go.”

–Running back Jerick McKinnon is out for the remainder of the preseason, but San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch said the team is hopeful their new starter is ready for Week 1 of the regular season.

Lynch said McKinnon is slowed by a right knee injury — head coach Kyle Shanahan pinpointed McKinnon’s right calf — but the 49ers said the injury is not serious.

Jeremy McNichols has been working with the first-team offense for the 49ers with McKinnon and Matt Breida out. Former Redskins and Cowboys running back Alfred Morris signed a one-year deal with the team this week.

–Former Kansas City Chiefs safety Johnny Robinson was selected as the Seniors Finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 2019 class, the entity announced.

“I’m thrilled to my bones. I can’t tell you how pleased I am to have been selected,” Robinson said as he received the news from Hall of Fame President David Baker in a conference call.

Robinson had 57 interceptions during a 12-year career in which he was voted to seven Pro Bowl squads and five first-team All-Pro nods. He will need to receive 80 percent of the vote from the 48-member selection committee to gain induction. The committee’s decisions will be made on Feb. 2, one day prior to Super Bowl LIII.

–Philadelphia Eagles receiver Bryce Treggs is expected to miss multiple weeks due to the hamstring injury he suffered in Thursday’s preseason game against the New England Patriots, according to a report from NFL Network.

Treggs pulled up lame while running a pattern in the third quarter of the contest. He caught two passes for 23 yards before exiting.

The timetable leaves Treggs uncertain for the season opener against the Atlanta Falcons on Sept. 6, and jeopardizes his chances of making the 53-man roster.

–Field Level Media

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Celek ‘leaning’ toward retiring; wouldn’t take $10M from Cowboys

Celek 'leaning' toward retiring; wouldn't take $10M from Cowboys

Longtime Philadelphia Eagles tight end Brent Celek said Friday he is more likely to retire than play a 12th NFL season, adding that he wouldn't play for the rival Dallas Cowboys even if they made him a monster offer.

"I think

Celek ‘leaning’ toward retiring; wouldn’t take $10M from Cowboys

Longtime Philadelphia Eagles tight end Brent Celek said Friday he is more likely to retire than play a 12th NFL season, adding that he wouldn’t play for the rival Dallas Cowboys even if they made him a monster offer.

“I think I’m leaning more toward retirement,” Celek said in a radio appearance on 97.5 The Fanatic. “I’ve had a few offers, but none of them are worth leaving a city that I have been in for 11 years where I won the Super Bowl in my final year. It wouldn’t feel right to put another uniform on.”

Celek, 33, was released by the Eagles in March after 11 seasons with the team, which drafted him in the fifth round in 2007. Before his release, multiple reports said Celek planned to continue his career, but Friday suggested he likely won’t keep playing unless the Eagles bring him back.

Celek’s aversion to wearing a different team’s jersey was especially strong, when he was asked about staying in the NFC East and joining the tight-end needy Cowboys.

“Hell no,” he said. “Do you think I would play for the Cowboys? Philly is my home. If they offered me 10 million, I still wouldn’t go.”

After the surprising retirement of Jason Witten to join ESPN’s Monday Night Football broadcast team, the Cowboys have just one tight end on the roster who has played more than one NFL season. Geoff Swaim, who turns 25 next month, is entering his fourth year.

The Eagles, meanwhile, don’t have an obvious reason to bring Celek back. They took Dallas Goedert, who has seven catches for 123 yards and a touchdown through preseason games, in the second round of April’s draft and signed veteran Richard Rodgers in free agency. Starter Zach Ertz is coming off his first Pro Bowl appearance and caught the game-winning touchdown in the Super Bowl.

In 11 seasons, Celek has 398 catches for 4,998 yards and 31 touchdowns while playing in all but one regular-season game.

–Field Level Media

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