PFT Live: Russert breaks down the Bills’ worst moments

In the final segment of today’s PFT Live, NBC News correspondent Luke Russert shares his picks for the most devastating moments in Buffalo Bills history, highlighting their Week 17 derailment in 2004, their Super Bowl XXVIII collapse and more.

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PFT Live: Kluwe takes a stand on special treatment for some players

Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe takes offense at reports some of his fellow NFL players were trying to get individual benefits before approving a new deal, says he’s eager to get the season going and more in the third segment of Wednesday’s PFT Live.

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PFT Live: Leonhard healthy and ready to start playing

New York Jets safety Jim Leonhard says his fluke leg injury is completely healed, credits coach Rex Ryan for his passion to inspire his players, understands compromise is important in the labor talks and more in the second segment of Wednesday’s PFT Live.

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PFT Live: Crazy for players not to approve CBA deal

In the first segment of Wednesday’s PFT Live, Mike Florio says he thinks approving the CBA deal should be a no-brainer for the NFL player representatives, discusses Peyton Manning’s injury setbacks, hopes the Hall of Fame game won’t be canceled and more.

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PFT takes over Dan Patrick Show on Thursday, again

AP

Two weeks ago, yours truly fired up the home radio studio for a three-hour tour with The Dan Patrick Show, while Dan (whose Chris Berman impression makes me laugh every time, which I needed to mention to justify the selected photo for this item) and company were filming their roles in Adam Sandler’s 2012 offering, tentatively titled I Hate You, Dad.

This week, Dan and his crew are on vacation.  With the league’s owners meeting on Atlanta to vote on the proposed labor deal, it made sense for a football guy to guest host an all-sports show.

Guests tentatively include Chris Rose of MLB Network, Rich Eisen of NFL Network, Tony Dungy of NBC’s Football Night in America, and Pirates owner Bob Nutting.

So join the fun at DanPatrick.com or on one of the many radio stations that carry the show or on one of the various smartphone apps that stream the show.  It’s radio only, so I won’t be playing any pinball — or drinking any booze — in the Milford “man cave” during the breaks.

I’ll just drink booze here instead.

07/20: Jim Leonhard, Chris Kluwe, Luke Russert

Mike Florio talks with Jets safety Jim Leonhard about his leg injury and playing for Rex Ryan. Vikings punter Chris Kluwe defends his twitter attack on Peyton Manning and Drew Brees. Finally, NBC News correspondent Luke Russert helps Florio count down the worst moments in Buffalo Bills history.

 

Concussion lawsuit the next challenge for NFL

The obsessive NFL fan follows every piece of news relating to the game.  The mainstream news media pays attention only to a handful of pretty big stories.

The mainstream news media realizes that the latest lawsuit filed against the NFL could become, if it isn’t already, a pretty big story.

Here’s yours truly, earlier this afternoon on MSNBC, talking about the concussion suit filed by 75 former players against the league on Tuesday.  Once we get through the lockout, we’ll realize how big of a story this could be.

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Orton’s salary makes him tough for Broncos to keep

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The plan in Denver appears to be for Tim Tebow to start at quarterback, even if the Broncos won’t say it yet.

The team figures to shop Kyle Orton around for a mid-round draft pick.  The expectation is that the Broncos would be happy to keep Orton if they don’t get the right price, but it’s worth considering if they can afford him.

Orton is due almost $9 million in 2011, which includes a $1.5 million roster bonus.  That’s a huge total for a potential backup quarterback, and it’s even more problematic because the Broncos have a lot of money on the books.

Denver has $129 million in salary commitments, according to the Denver Post.  They can cut that down by re-negotiating contracts and making cuts before attempting to accomplish quite a bit in free agency.

Tim Tebow is going to need a quality backup because of his physical style of play, but can the Broncos afford to pay so much to a guy not in the plans for 2012?

It seems to us that Orton should only be on the Week One roster at that salary if he has a legitimate chance to start.

Peyton Manning didn’t appear on Colts’ injury report despite neck ailments

AP

We passed along a report this morning that Peyton Manning won’t be ready to go for the start of the Colts’ training camp (assuming the Colts’ training camp opens on time) because he’s still recovering from neck surgery. But it’s also worth noting that the same report says that Manning was bothered by the same injury throughout last season.

Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star writes that Manning had recurring neck problems throughout the ’10 season.

The fact that Manning had neck surgery in the 2010 offseason is old news, but Kravitz’s report about a neck problem affecting Manning throughout the regular season is interesting because Manning’s name appears nowhere on any of the Colts’ injury reports from the 2010 season.

Our friend Stephanie Stradley pointed out the discrepancy between the reports about Manning’s neck ailment and the Colts’ official injury report, and that discrepancy is something that should be explained. We get the sense sometimes that injury report shenanigans are so widespread in the NFL that hardly anyone cares about them anymore, but as long as the rules on reporting injuries are in place, we’re puzzled why Manning’s neck went unreported all season long.

Report: CBA more “tenuous” than widely believed

Reuters

As the powers-that-be with the NFLPA* meet in Washington to digest the proposed labor deal and as the owners prepare to do so tomorrow, Don Banks of SI.com has sprayed some cold water, Javon Walker style, on the optimism that the agreement will be approved.

Banks reports that the status of the deal is more “tenuous” than widely believed.  He also reports that it’s too early to know whether the players will vote on the proposed agreement on Wednesday.

Many think that the folks who have something to say at the meeting in D.C. will say what they have to say, and that the players then will vote to approve the deal.  If the guy they hired to negotiate the deal, NFLPA* executive director DeMaurice Smith, recommends the proposed package, then there’s no reason to reject his advice.

But not every NFL player is logical and rational, especially once they’ve been worked up by months of rhetoric from Smith and others who are leading the charge.  Some players want a fight, and Smith’s challenge will be to persuade them that a fight was indeed waged, and that by preserving a 48-cents-per-dollar cut of an ever-growing revenue pie, the players have won.

Smith also needs to be able to remind the players how much they’ll lose once preseason games, and the revenue they generate, begin to evaporate.

Hall of Fame game decision expected this week

AP

The Hall of Fame Game still hasn’t been canceled.  We should know by the end of the week whether it will be played.

John Mullin of CSNChicago.com reports that folks in Canton expect a decision to be expected to be relayed to them later this week.

As we’ve been saying for a while, we’d be surprised if the game doesn’t happen. As long as there is a labor agreement this week, there’s no real reason the teams can’t play in what amounts to a glorified scrimmage.

Raiders, 49ers discuss sharing a stadium

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The San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders both want new stadiums. And if that means one new stadium in the Bay Area, both teams are open to that.

Officials with both teams told the San Francisco Chronicle that they have met to discuss the possibility of sharing a new stadium.

“We’ve put our teams together,” 49ers Chief Executive Jed York said. “It doesn’t mean we’re going to find the right deal that fits for both teams, but we’re certainly going to get a look at those options.”

Raiders chief executive Amy Trask said her team is open to the idea as well.

“We have said repeatedly that we have an open mind with respect to our stadium solution,” Trask said. “An open mind means an open mind as to sharing a facility with the 49ers. I say to Jed regularly that we should have not only an open mind to the sharing of the facility, but to the location of the facility which we might share. And so there are a lot of options for us to consider.”

If they do it, it actually wouldn’t be the first time the Raiders and 49ers shared a field: They both played home games at Kezar Stadium in 1960. And a shared stadium has worked well in the NFL for the Giants and Jets, who started sharing the Meadowlands in 1984 and worked together to open a new stadium last year.

It’s not clear where a new stadium would be or how it would be financed. Last year Santa Clara approved $114 million in taxpayer money for a new stadium for the 49ers, but that stadium may never be built because no one knows where the rest of the money will come from. Perhaps adding a second team to the stadium could make it financially feasible.

Kris Jenkins announces retirement

AP

Kris Jenkins and Cullen Jenkins apparently aren’t going to join forces in Washington after all.

Jenkins announced Wednesday via Facebook that he’s going to retire.

“It is time for the torch to be passed to the younger players. I am going to hang up the cleats! The mind is always willing to play but my body deserves the rest. Thank you for the opportunites to play Carolina and New York,” Jenkins writes.

It’s an unfortunate end to an underrated career, but it’s not a shocking end.  When Jenkins left the field last September after tearing his ACL for the second time in as many years, we assumed he was through as a pro.  Instead, Jenkins rehabbed the injury hard to give himself a chance to play in 2011.

Perhaps he had a setback or maybe he just realized his body wasn’t going to respond well enough this time.  A NFL.com report indicated the Redskins were interested in signing the Jenkins brothers.

A four-time Pro Bowler, Jenkins was one of the most dominant interior linemen of his era when he was healthy.  He played 16 games in six seasons, but played no more than six games in his other four years.

Jenkins’ play seemed to wane in his later Carolina years, but he was always a player opponents had to gameplan for.  A gregarious and intelligent guy, it wouldn’t b a surprise if Jenkins joined the New York media scene.

ESPN reports conflict on whether named plaintiffs sought benefits

AP

Here’s the last thing we’ll say (we hope . . . as do the rest of you) regarding the story that took the NFL world by storm on Tuesday, prompting Vikings punter Chris Kluwe to drop a D-bomb on Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Vincent Jackson, and Logan Mankins.

(Actually, since we’ll be posting at some point the clip of Kluwe’s Wednesday appearance on PFT Live, it’s technically not the last thing we’ll say about it.)

Once the proverbial poo hit the propeller on Tuesday, the backtracking began.  And the end result has been another case of ESPN-on-ESPN crime.

Chris Mortensen reported that agent Tom Condon, who represents Brees and Manning, said the players weren’t seeking special treatment.  “They haven’t asked for anything individually and continue to be 100 percent behind the players’ efforts to resolve the negotiations,” Condon told Mortensen.

Sal Paolantonio, appearing this morning on ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning, had this to say:  “Are Jeffrey Kessler and Tom Condon holding things up a little bit to ensure that the named plaintiffs achieve free agency and don’t get tagged down the road?  Absolutely.”

Um.  Oops.

The truth likely is that the players never personally asked for anything, but that their agents and/or Kessler were doing the asking for them.  It’s a distinction without a difference, but for the men who faced an unexpected backlash on Tuesday, it’s important to be able to say, with a straight face, that they had nothing to do with any request for special treatment.

Still, when one reporter merely passes along what he’s told without analysis or skepticism and another reporter tells it like it is, it creates a little awkwardness, to say the least.

Metrodome turf needs to be replaced, after only one year

AP

Last year, new turf was installed at the Metrodome.  This year, new turf will be installed at the Metrodome.

Per Rochelle Olson of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the one-year-old surface needs to be replaced because it spent too much time under water as a result of the roof collapse that occurred in December 2010, after a blizzard.

The low bid for the new field was $476,000.

And, like last year, there’s a chance this field will be used for only one year, too.  With the Vikings’ lease at the Metrodome expiring after the 2011 season and with the politicians’ heads residing in a place other than on their shoulders, this could be the last year that anyone plays football there.

To the delight of Luke Russert and the many Bills fans who hope to see someone other than Buffalo’s team move to L.A.