Arch Manning

Arch Manning already favored to be No. 1 overall draft pick

Arch Manning won’t step on the field for the University of Texas until 2023 but he’s already the favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft four years from now. has opened a trio of prop bets around Manning since the consensus No. 1 prospect in the Class of 2023 committed to the Longhorns last week.

The potential action begins with the five-star prospect being offered at +450 to forgo a redshirt season and -190 to start immediately as a true freshman.

Manning chose Texas over a host of powerhouse programs including Alabama, Georgia, LSU and Clemson. The expectation is that the 6-foot-4 New Orleans native will be given an immediate opportunity to take the reins of the Longhorns’ offense.

Manning is the nephew of former NFL greats Peyton and Eli Manning and the grandson of Archie Manning. He is the son of Cooper Manning.

Arch Manning threw for 26 touchdowns and ran for seven more as a junior at Isidore Newman High School. He could be the starting quarterback for Texas in 2025, which would be his junior season and the year the Longhorns enter the SEC.

Manning’s commitment led to a recruiting surge for Longhorns coach Steve Sarkisian.

Seven players have committed to the program since Manning’s announcement, including five on Sunday alone. Five-star defensive back Derek Williams added his commitment on Monday.

“That kind of shocked me,” Williams told ESPN of Manning’s decision. “I knew (Manning) was (likely) going there, but I was just making sure. That impacted my decision going (to Texas).”

Texas has vaulted from the mid-30s to the No. 3-ranked recruiting class for 2023 by 247Sports in the past week.

“This has been a great run,” Sarkisian said Monday, per ESPN. “Hopefully it’s not over. I don’t think it is.

“We may have a few more to go here this week. Hopefully we can continue to capture some of the momentum that has been created.”

–Field Level Media

Jun 15, 2022; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans head coach Lovie Smith looks on during drills at minicamp at Houston Methodist Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Report: NFL fines Texans’ Lovie Smith $50K for prohibited drills

The NFL fined Houston Texans head coach Lovie Smith $50,000 after learning that his offensive and defensive linemen engaged in prohibited one-on-one drills, ESPN reported on Friday.

The Texans held their mandatory minicamps this week under the direction of Smith, who was hired as the team’s coach in February.

Smith, 64, spent the 2021 season as the Texans’ associate head coach and defensive coordinator under David Culley, who was fired after Houston went 4-13 in his only season.

Friday’s news comes on the heels of the NFL reportedly fining Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera $100,000 and stripping the team of two organized team activity practices in 2023 for conducting practices with excessive contact in spring sessions.

The league also reportedly pushed back at the Dallas Cowboys and coach Mike McCarthy for getting too physical in their organized team activities for a second consecutive year.

–Field Level Media

Nov 14, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; General view of a CBS sports sideline camera prior to the game between the against the Philadelphia Eagles against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Report: NFL preparing to launch streaming service in July

The NFL will soon be exploring yet another revenue stream, as the league is set to launch its own streaming service in July, per a report Wednesday from Sports Business Journal.

“NFL Plus” would charge customers in the range of $5 a month, with live games streaming to tablets and phones being the primary selling point.

Still, those games would be limited to games fans can already receive in their local markets, which calls into question how valuable a service this might actually be for many fans.

From the NFL’s perspective, having access to monthly subscriptions dollars as well as customer data is a highly appealing prospect. But it remains to be seen what other content in addition to games will be available to draw fan interest.

Possibilities listed by SBJ include podcasts, radio and various team-produced pieces of content.

Multiple media outlets have further speculated that the league may also house its “Sunday Ticket” package within the new format, though the league is currently bidding that package out.

–Field Level Media

Sep 19, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden looks on from the sidelines against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second quarter at Heinz Field. Las Vegas won 26-17.  Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Nevada judge rejects dismissal, Gruden vs. NFL case cleared for trial

Former Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden’s case against the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell can move forward, a Nevada judge ruled Wednesday.

District Court Judge Nancy Allf also denied a Motion to Compel the case into binding arbitration under the terms of Gruden’s NFL contract. Attorneys for the NFL and Goodell presented their positions separately on each motion, clearing the case to proceed via trial.

Gruden was present in court but did not take questions, offering a brief comment while exiting the courtroom: “We are going to let the process take care of itself. Good luck to the Raiders. Go Raiders.”

Barring other issues or a settlement between parties, moving forward with the case opens the possibility of the legal discovery phase and bring public parts, or all of the investigation, into the Washington NFL franchise.

Gruden resigned as head coach of the Raiders in October following backlash from racially-charged and insensitive email messages. Gruden claims the messages that were all dated to previous years were leaked by the NFL as part of an “orchestrated” and “malicious” campaign.

Gruden filed his lawsuit in the district court of Nevada’s Clark County in November.

The two-time Raiders coach had six seasons remaining on a 10-year contract worth $100 million.

Messages published by the Wall Street Journal and other outlets were captured by the NFL as part of an investigation into the culture of the Commanders — then known as the Washington Football Team. Many of the messages reported to be from Gruden were sent to team president Bruce Allen, who also had roots with the Raiders and worked with Gruden in Oakland.

Following Gruden’s resignation, Raiders owner Mark Davis called for the NFL to release all details related to the WFT investigation. Commissioner Roger Goodell said the NFL had no plans to make the breadth of the findings or additional email messages public.

The New York Times published details of a series of messages from Gruden with misogynistic and anti-gay language.

The NFL’s position in the Nevada filing points to Gruden not denying the legitimacy of the messages or claiming that they were somehow altered or edited.

“Gruden does not, and cannot, dispute that he wrote the published emails. He does not, and cannot, dispute that he sent those emails to multiple parties,” the NFL filing states. “Nor does he claim that they were somehow altered or edited and that the repugnant views espoused in them were not in fact expressed by him. Instead, Gruden filed the instant complaint against the NFL and the commissioner, painting himself as the victim in a fictional story and seeking money through baseless claims against the NFL.”

–Field Level Media

Feb 7, 2022; Los Angeles, CA, USA; A display for the Super Bowl LVI Pepsi Halftime show featuring Dr. Dre, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar at the Super Bowl LVI Experience at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Pepsi ends decade-long run of presenting Super Bowl halftime show

The Super Bowl’s halftime show will go on without Pepsi.

The soda and snack giant announced Tuesday that it will no longer sponsor the performance held at intermission of the NFL’s annual championship game.

“We have decided it’s time to pass the mic,” Pepsi said in a tweet. “Thank you to the amazing artists and fans who helped us create some incredible moments along the way. Now on to the next stage…”

Pepsi had been the show’s sponsor for a decade, but its contract with the NFL expired after the 2021-22 season. Before Pepsi took over in 2012, tiremaker Bridgestone held the rights.

The final halftime show Pepsi presented featured hip-hop icons Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Eminem and Kendrick Lamar. More than 208 million people watched Super Bowl LVI, where the Rams beat the Bengals 23-20.

Pepsi renewed a four-year deal with the league Tuesday, but it doesn’t include being the namesake of the Super Bowl halftime show. According to CNBC, Pepsi retains “pouring rights” at the top NFL events, like the draft, and Gatorade will remain highly visible on NFL sidelines.

According to multiple reports, the rights to be the presenting sponsor of the halftime show could sell for up to $50 million.

–Field Level Media

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson listens to questions during his introductory press conference at the Cleveland Browns Training Facility on Friday.

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Browns QB Deshaun Watson, NFL talks begin

Before he travels to the Bahamas to work out with new teammates, Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson met with NFL investigators on Tuesday to discuss his legal matters with lead investigator Lisa Friel, ESPN reported.

Friel conducts investigations for the NFL on matters related to the personal conduct policy and, when violations are found, helps mete out punishment. Watson can be fined or suspended if the NFL rules that he violated the league policy on personal conduct.

Two grand juries in Texas did not indict Watson, who still faces 22 civil lawsuits around allegations of sexual misconduct with women who claim they met the quarterback while providing professional massage services.

The Athletic reported the NFL has interviewed multiple women involved in the civil case.

Players who were not convicted of crimes have still faced fines and suspensions under the same policy, including retired Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. In 2010, Roethlisberger was not indicted on sexual assault charges in Georgia, but the NFL investigated and determined he would be suspended six games without pay. A 20-year-old college student accused Roethlisberger of wrongdoing following an incident in a bar bathroom.

Upon appeal, Roethlisberger’s suspension was reduced to four games, but commissioner Roger Goodell made clear his actions warranted punishment.

“My decision today is not based on a finding that you violated Georgia law, or on a conclusion that differs from that of the local prosecutor,” Goodell wrote in a letter to Roethlisberger. “That said, you are held to a higher standard as an NFL player, and there is nothing about your conduct in Milledgeville that can remotely be described as admirable, responsible, or consistent with either the values of the league or the expectations of our fans.”

Watson said at his introductory press conference with the Browns, who signed him to a $230 million contract, that the claims were unfounded.

But in a pre-trial deposition last week, Watson admitted at least one massage therapist left their session in tears and he sent her an apology, according to attorney Tony Buzbee, who represents the women.

Buzbee previously shared the message in question.

“Sorry about you feeling uncomfortable,” he wrote, according to the screenshot from plaintiff lawyers. “Never were the intentions. Lmk if you want to work in the future. My apologies.”

–Field Level Media

Quarterback Josh Allen will lead the Bills against the Rams on Sept. 8.

 Syndication Democrat And Chronicle

NFL Week 1 lines: No big favorites

Three teams are 6.5-point favorites in opening lines for the 2022 NFL regular season released by sportsbooks with the 18-week game schedule finalized.

The NFL released a full schedule for the regular season on Thursday night, including the opening game of the season in Los Angeles between the Rams and Buffalo Bills. The Super Bowl champion Rams are a 1-point favorite at SoFi Stadium.

The AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals are 6.5-point favorites over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1 and no team is a bigger favorite on the early lines.

San Francisco is a 6.5-point favorite at Chicago and the Tennessee Titans are 6.5-point favorites over the New York Giants.

The primetime games in Week 1 include Russell Wilson returning to Seattle with the Denver Broncos. Wilson’s new crew is a 4-point favorite over the Seahawks on “Monday Night Football.”

Dallas is a home underdog on “Sunday Night Football.” The Cowboys are +2.5 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

–Field Level Media

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) gestures downfield in the second quarter during Super Bowl 56 against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Feb. 13, 2022, at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif. The Cincinnati Bengals lost, 23-20.

Nfl Super Bowl 56 Los Angeles Rams Vs Cincinnati Bengals Feb 13 2022 1393

Bills-Rams season opener among highlights of 2022 NFL schedule

The defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams will open the 2022 NFL season at home against a leading contender in the AFC, the Buffalo Bills.

That was one of many missing pieces finalized Thursday when the NFL revealed the complete 272-game regular-season schedule. For the second straight season, the slate covers 18 weeks.

Teams have known the 17 opponents they will face since the end of the 2021 season, but the schedule reveal, complete with bye weeks and primetime broadcast assignments, has become a made-for-TV offseason event for the league.

The league announced a series of select games in the week-plus leading up to Thursday, including five international games to be played across London, Munich and Mexico City, and the Rams’ game against the Denver Broncos as part of the first-ever Christmas Day tripleheader.

Among other Week 1 fixtures, the unretired Tom Brady and his Tampa Bay Buccaneers will hit the road to play the Dallas Cowboys for the first “Sunday Night Football” game of the year, and the Broncos will visit the Seattle Seahawks on “Monday Night Football,” making quarterback Russell Wilson’s first game with the Broncos coincide with his return to Seattle after 10 seasons.

The Kansas City Chiefs will host the Bills in Week 8 in a rematch of the 2020 AFC Championship Game and a 2021 AFC Divisional Round playoff game, both of which were high-scoring instant classics. The Chiefs won both meetings, the latter in overtime.

The Chiefs will also get another swipe at the Buccaneers when they play at Tampa Bay in Week 4 on “Sunday Night Football” in a rematch of Super Bowl LV, in which Brady’s Bucs defeated Patrick Mahomes’ Chiefs.

The rest of the Christmas tripleheader will contain the Green Bay Packers at the Miami Dolphins and the Buccaneers at the Arizona Cardinals. Broncos-Rams will be the second game of the three.

The full Week 1 schedule is below (all times ET):

Sept. 8
Buffalo at L.A. Rams, 8:20 p.m.

Sept. 11
New Orleans at Atlanta, 1 p.m.
Cleveland at Carolina, 1 p.m.
San Francisco at Chicago, 1 p.m.
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati, 1 p.m.
Philadelphia at Detroit, 1 p.m.
Indianapolis at Houston, 1 p.m.
New England at Miami, 1 p.m.
Baltimore at N.Y. Jets, 1 p.m.
Jacksonville at Washington, 1 p.m.
N.Y. Giants at Tennessee, 4:25 p.m.
Kansas City at Arizona, 4:25 p.m.
Las Vegas at L.A. Chargers, 4:25 p.m.
Green Bay at Minnesota, 4:25 p.m.
Tampa Bay at Dallas, 8:20 p.m.

Sept. 12
Denver at Seattle, 8:15 p.m.

–Field Level Media

Jan 23, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) walks off the field looking at the scoreboard during the second half against the Los Angeles Rams during a NFC Divisional playoff football game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Tom Brady’s un-retirement threw NFL schedule into upheaval

A team of people and computers have a massive task every season: create as “fair” an NFL schedule as logistically possible. And do it within a system that can produce literally trillions of possibilities.

But as the Los Angeles Times reported Monday, that lengthy process had to essentially be done twice this offseason, thanks to the retirement and un-retirement of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady earlier this spring.

“When Tom Brady retired, we were concerned about the strength of the NFC package because there were so many terrific Tampa Bay games we were looking at,” NFL executive Howard Katz told the Times. “Then a month later he un-retires and we sort of started all over again.”

The NFL has taken a slow drip approach to releasing its 2022 schedule. After finalizing and releasing opponents for each team on Jan. 20, the league revealed on April 22 that it will hold its first ever Christmas Day triple-header this season.

The teams tabbed for those games, as well as the league’s international contests and other special event games, are expected to be leaked over the course of this week prior to the full schedule release Thursday.

On Monday, the league revealed that it will hold two Monday Night Football games during Week 2 action Sept. 19. The Tennessee Titans will visit the Buffalo Bills before the Philadelphia Eagles host the Minnesota Vikings in the nightcap.

–Field Level Media

Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry (22) throws Buffalo Bills cornerback Josh Norman (29) aside as he rushes up the field during the second quarter at Nissan Stadium Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020 in Nashville, Tenn.

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NFL plans two MNF games Week 2

Tandem “Monday Night Football” games are scheduled for Week 2 of the 2022 NFL season.

The league is taking the long road to announce select games this season before releasing the full 2022 regular season schedule Thursday night.

Unlike the recent trend of back-to-back Monday games for Week 1, the NFL will overlap its primetime Monday offerings Week 2 this season.

The first game on Sept. 19 is the Tennessee Titans visiting the Buffalo Bills at 7:15 p.m. ET, an ESPN broadcast of a rematch of a 34-31 shootout in Week 6 last season.

In the second game, the Philadelphia Eagles host the Minnesota Vikings, an 8:30 p.m. ET kickoff airing on ABC.

–Field Level Media