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Sean Pamphilon should tread lightly when making demands

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The more I learn about filmmaker Sean Pamphilon, the less comfortable I feel with the contrived narrative that paints him as the “Deep Throat” of the NFL’s concussion-fueled culture change.

My first instinct was that Pamphilon is an opportunist who was willing to put his own interests above the wishes of the man without whom Pamphilon never would have been in position to capture damning audio from former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.  As time has passed, the feelings have grown stronger.

A recent item from Johnette Howard of pushes those sentiments to a new level, with Pamphilon unintentionally raising more questions regarding his failure to say or do anything for weeks, even though he was supposedly deeply troubled by what he heard.

“As I sat there, I thought, ‘Either this guy really doesn’t get what is so wrong about this or he doesn’t care,'” Pamphilon told Howard, adding that Pamphilon was “stunned” by what he heard.

Fine.  So tell someone that night.  Or the next day.  Or the next day.  Instead, Pamphilon filed it away and showed up at the game and rooted for the Saints to win and keep right on going without considering seriously the possibility of taking any action until the NFL announced in early March that the Saints had maintained a bounty system for three years.

And then Pamphilon saw an opportunity to generate publicity — and possibly a buyer — for his Steve Gleason documentary and, possibly, for Pamphilon’s broader look at the game, The United States of Football.

Thus, a dilemma that didn’t even register the faintest blip of Pamphilon’s radar screen from January 13 until March 2 suddenly became a crisis of ethics.

“And what do you do? What do . . . you DO?” Pamphilon said to Howard in justifying his eventual disregard for Gleason’s wishes.  “What I thought releasing this audio would do is create a public dialogue that could not be ignored . . . something that’s going to make everyone think and talk.  Because before this, people knew bounties existed.  But nobody knew what a bounty actually sounded like.  How disgusting it is.”

But why didn’t those questions arise before the bounty scandal became the biggest topic in the NFL?

This one is simple, folks.  Pamphilon saw an opening to advance an agenda, even if it meant betraying Gleason — and in a roundabout way causing Gleason to betray the Saints.

Now that the story has died down, Pamphilon has re-inserted himself into it again, telling Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports that NFL Security is hounding Pamphilon for the “Gregg Williams tapes.”  But Pamphilon, displaying what has been described by one person who knows him as a “warped sense of morality and self-importance,” wants Commissioner Roger Goodell to “answer real questions first.”

Yeah, with Pamphilon’s cameras rolling and his microphone taped to Goodell’s lapel.

Pamphilon should be careful about making demands.  Though the league won’t comment on the situation, the NFL’s lawyers surely are churning up the billable hours scouring the statutes and common law in Louisiana (where the project originated) and California (where the Williams tapes were created) to find any plausible argument to support a claim that Pamphilon had a special license to attend otherwise secret meetings, and that this special license includes turning over any materials generated to the entity ultimately responsible for the meetings that Pamphilon had a special license to attend.  (Apparently, legal precedent arising from past disputes known as “common law” in 49 states is known as “jurisprudence” in Louisiana.)

Putting unreasonable conditions on giving the tapes to the NFL after Pamphilon already has made 12 minutes of audio publicly available serves only to cement the notion that Sean Pamphilon is all about Sean Pamphilon — and to stir up the tank of blue-suited sharks who soon could be forcing Pamphilon to spend money he doesn’t have to defend his legal right to avoid doing something that, if he’s truly committed to doing the right thing, he should do without hesitation.

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Rosenhaus: Anthony Davis and 49ers have “patched things up”

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 08:  Guard Alex Boone #75 and tackle Anthony Davis #76 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrate a field goal against the Seattle Seahawks in the second quarter on December 8, 2013 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California.  The 49ers won 19-17.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) Getty Images

49ers tackle Anthony Davis, after a one-year retirement, has decided to return. His official effort to be reinstated (which typically entails simply sending a reinstatement letter) has commenced, but it comes after a period of time during which Davis seemed to be agitating for his release. So I asked his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, whether Davis truly wants to be a 49ers.

“That’s a fair comment, Mike, but I do think since some of his comments I do believe that he has patched things up with the organization,” Rosenhaus said on Tuesday’s PFT Live. “He has been in contact with the organization and I also believe with the coaching staff and they’ve rebuilt that relationship. So whatever damage took place in my estimation has been repaired.”

Unless something else is happening that has never been reported or disclosed, the reinstatement process should go smoothly and quickly.

“I’m confident that Anthony is ready to go to work with the 49ers and resume his career with them, and I believe the 49ers will welcome him back,” Rosenhaus said. “It’s hard for me to speak for them but the impression I have is that, from all my discussions with them, that they would be excited to get Anthony back and that Anthony would be happy to work with them again. So hopefully he can pick up where he left off and continue his outstanding career before he retired last year.”

Davis was aggressive in April about trying to get out of San Francisco, possibly (and I’m speculating) because the 49ers declined to pay back to Davis the signing bonus allocation from 2015 that he refunded when he retired. The CBA does not require the repaid bonus money to be refunded, which may have prompted frustration for Davis.

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Bills hire son of offensive line coach Aaron Kromer

WESTON-SUPER-MARE, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 05:  A man sits in a deckchair as he enjoys the September weather on the beach at Weston-Super-Mare on September 5, 2012 in Somerset, England. Many seaside resorts are reporting a dismal season after the wettest summer on record and will hope the forecast for fine weather for the next few weeks will reverse their fortunes.  (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Bills are going to need another deck chair for the S.S. Nepotism.

According to Mike Rodak of, the Bills have hired Zak Kromer as an entry-level coaching assistant.

His father, Aaron, is the team’s offensive line coach. Zak spent the last four seasons as a student assistant at the University of Oklahoma.

The pair of Kromers were involved in a dispute over some beach chairs with their neighbors last July, with both charged with misdemeanor battery. Aaron was accused of punching a boy in the face and threatening to kill his family, while Zak was accused of putting his hands on one of the accusers.

Charges were eventually dropped against both of them, and the father was suspended six games by the team.

Now, he’ll have an opportunity to keep a close eye on his son.

If nothing else, being able to keep an eye on wayward family members is a sign the Bills want to make a better place — after coach Rex Ryan hired brother Rob as his assistant head coach/defense.

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Broncos add a linebacker, go with one long snapper

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The Broncos made a roster move Tuesday, signing undrafted rookie linebacker Darnell Sankey and waiving rookie long snapper Nathan Theus.

Sankey was a four-year contributor at Sacramento State and was a first-team All-Big Sky pick last fall. Theus was a four-year long snapper at Georgia and signed with the Broncos after this year’s draft.

The release of Theus leaves first-year player Casey Kreiter as the lone long snapper on the Broncos’ roster. The team cut long snapper Aaron Brewer in March after he performed well for four seasons.

The Broncos start training camp Thursday.

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Report: Randy Gregory in treatment facility, facing longer suspension

SAN DIEGO, CA - AUGUST 13:   Randy Gregory #94 of the Dallas Cowboys on the sidelines before the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on August 13, 2015 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Getty Images

Defensive end Randy Gregory will miss the first four games of the 2016 season while serving a four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy, but the terms of the ban allowed him to practice and play for the Cowboys in the preseason.

It appears that won’t be happening, however. Ed Werder of ESPN reports that Gregory has checked into a treatment facility and will not be reporting to Cowboys camp, which opens later this week.

There are no specific details about what led Gregory to check into the facility, but Werder’s colleague Adam Schefter reports that Gregory has violated the substance-abuse policy again and now faces an extended suspension. Whatever the term of that suspension, Gregory’s history of problems in this area will make it hard to count on getting anything from him in 2016 or beyond.

That’s not great news for a Cowboys defense that’s also without defensive end Demarcus Lawrence for four games and linebacker Rolando McClain for 10 games as they serve suspensions of their own.

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Rosenhaus believes Browns are committed to Josh Gordon

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 23:  Josh Gordon #12 of the Cleveland Browns walks with his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, prior to the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on November 23, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) Getty Images

With a lukewarm-at-best statement from executive V.P. of football operations Sashi Brown and an unusual reinstatement coupled with a four-game suspension, some wonder whether the Browns will welcome receiver Josh Gordon back with open arms.

Agent Drew Rosenhaus believes they will. Appearing on Tuesday’s PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio, Rosenhaus addressed the basic question of whether the Browns still want Gordon.

“I do believe the Browns are a big part of Josh getting reinstated,” Rosenhaus said, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I do believe that Sashi Brown . . . had a lot to do with this. I believe that Hue Jackson is very committed to working with Josh Gordon. I believe that Jim Brown, who’s an integral part of this process who got to know Josh and has served as a mentor in some respects had a lot to do with this. I really do think that the Browns are committed to Josh and want to see him succeed.”

Rosenhaus believes that the earlier-than-expected reinstatement of Gordon arose directly from a meeting that occurred last week with Commissioner Roger Goodell.

“I believe that Commissioner Goodell really got to know Josh,” Rosenhaus said. “I’m convinced that he believed it would be in Josh’s best interests to go to training camp on time this week as opposed to waiting any longer. Being with his teammates, being with his coaches, and the Browns organization is going to put in a very good supporting system in place for Josh with counseling. They’ve got professionals that are going to work with him to support him moving forward so that he can be a successful football player and work within the system. I really believe the Commissioner wanted to give Josh this opportunity at the outset and see if Josh is able to grow from his experiences and make this transition.”

As to the conditional reinstatement combined with a four-game suspension, Rosenhaus recognizes that Goodell opted to depart from the strict language of the substance-abuse policy, which contemplates full excommunication of a player banished with the chance to apply for reinstatement.

“Commissioner Goodell made a major change in my opinion with this decision in that Josh, now during the four games that he is suspended, he can still work with the team,” Rosenhaus said. “That is a huge change from the past. . . . Commissioner Goodell is making a modification here for Josh that I think could benefit not only Josh but other players down the road because it’s very difficult when you’re on suspension as a young player. You need help and you’re basically on your own once you’re suspended. Now Josh can continue to be around his teammates, his coaches, administrators, people in the front office, and counselors from the Browns. That’s huge. They can still work with him, he can stay very close to everything that’s going on and not be on an island and I think that is a huge development and I thank Commissioner Goodell for that. I think this hopefully is a change that can be modified for certain young players going forward.”

Rosenhaus said Monday that Goodell explained the move was also aimed at building bridges with the NFL Players Association at a time when most bridges have been obliterated by a fundamental lack of trust.

For more from Rosenhaus, check out the podcast at iTunes or audioBoom.

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Lions adding wide receiver Anquan Boldin

SANTA CLARA, CA - OCTOBER 18:  Wide receiver Anquan Boldin #81 of the San Francisco 49ers in action against the Baltimore Ravens at Levi's Stadium on October 18, 2015 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) Getty Images

This is the time for last-minute roster-tweaking, and for veterans, a last chance to find a chair before training camps begin.

For veteran wide receiver Anquan Boldin, that means another trip to Detroit, after his visit in June.

According to Adam Schefter of, the Lions are finalizing a one-year deal with the veteran wideout today.

Boldin has some familiarity with Lions coach Jim Caldwell from their days together with the Ravens, and he gives the Lions the kind of physical receiver they may have lacked after the retirement of Calvin Johnson this offseason.

They signed free agent Marvin Jones early in free agency to go with Golden Tate, but Boldin’s a known commodity.

His numbers were down last year in San Francisco, but so were everyone else’s, and he’s been a consistently productive player over the course of his 13-year career.

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Report: Jake Long signing with Ravens

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 5: Offensive tackle Jake Long #77 of the St. Louis Rams blocks linebacker Trent Cole #58 of the Philadelphia Eagles in the third quarter on October 5, 2014 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Ravens parted ways with a veteran tackle when they released Eugene Monroe recently and it looks like they’ll be adding another one to the roster.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that Jake Long is flying to Baltimore on Tuesday to sign with the Ravens. Per Schefter, it will be a one-year deal.

Long was the first overall pick of the 2008 draft by the Dolphins and spent five years as a starter in Miami before moving on to two years in the Rams lineup. Injuries slowed him down over the years, however, and he appeared in just four games without making a start while with the Falcons in 2015.

With first-round pick Ronnie Stanley pencilled in at left tackle and Ricky Wagner at right tackle, Long will likely be vying for a backup role in Baltimore.

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Rick Spielman: Cordarrelle Patterson has made “tremendous strides”

Jarius Wright, Cordarrelle Patterson AP

Vikings wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson said recently that he didn’t always work as hard as he could have or should have during his first three years in the NFL, but the guy who made Patterson a first-round pick in 2013 seems to think that wasn’t an issue this offseason.

General Manager Rick Spielman called Patterson “probably the premier kickoff returner in the league” and a “big play waiting to happen” before suggesting that the work Patterson put in will open up the possibility of Patterson making some of those big plays on offense.

“Where Cordarrelle has made tremendous strides this year is on his route running ability and becoming a better receiver,” Spielman said, via the team’s website. “He is very tuned in and very focused trying to prove to everybody, including himself, that he’s going to be not just a great athlete with the football in his hands, but a true receiver in the NFL.”

Stefon Diggs and Laquon Treadwell will have big roles on offense for the Vikings this season with Jarius Wright, Charles Johnson and Adam Thielen also back from last season. Patterson’s ability to break a big play is attractive, but he will likely need to show a consistent ability to make all kinds of plays to have a spot in the offensive mix.

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Jordy Nelson says ACL is fine: “No one needs to freak out”

Jordy Nelson AP

Recuperating wide receiver Jordy Nelson told fans to not panic, by giving them something else to panic out about.

According to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network, the Packers wideout said the reason he was placed on the physically unable to perform list yesterday had nothing to do with the torn ACL which cost him last season.

“It’s not the ACL. No one needs to freak out,” Nelson said.

Nelson said he tweaked the other knee while working out this offseason, which of course is something different to worry about. According to Rob Demovsky of, Nelson described it has a “hiccup” in the other knee, and said he wasn’t worried about the regular season opener.

I’m sure the Packers faithful will remain calm. All is well.

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Report: Washington has discussed adding Greg Hardy

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 7: Quarterback Kirk Cousins #8 of the Washington Redskins passes the ball while teammate Trent Williams #71 blocks against defensive end Greg Hardy #76 of the Dallas Cowboys in the first quarter at FedExField on December 7, 2015 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) Getty Images

With Junior Galette lost for another year with a ruptured Achilles tendon, Washington needs help at the position. Help could come in the form of free-agent Greg Hardy.

Ed Werder of ESPN reports that the team has discussed adding Hardy, who spent five years with the Panthers and last season in Dallas.

Werder points out that cornerback Josh Norman would vouch for Hardy, based on their mutual time together in Charlotte. The bigger question is whether Washington would be willing to withstand the potential P.R. fallout from adding Hardy.

Last week, the Jaguars worked out Hardy without much of a major negative reaction. Even if Washington would be criticized for giving Hardy another second chance based on his domestic violence incident from two years ago, the franchise knows a thing or two about ignoring criticism and moving forward.

Hardy has played defensive end in a 4-3 defense throughout his career. In Washington, Hardy would become a linebacker in the 3-4 attack. Ultimately, his primary role would be to rush the passer from the edge of the defensive line. That’s a skill that remains the same regardless of defensive alignment.

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Mike McCarthy: Eddie Lacy is ready

Eddie Lacy AP

When the Packers players reported for training camp on Monday, coach Mike McCarthy said that he thinks quarterback Aaron Rodgers is in the best shape he’s been in during their time together.

McCarthy didn’t share his thoughts about running back Eddie Lacy’s condition, which was of interest after McCarthy opened up the offseason by saying that Lacy was too heavy last season. Lacy’s fitness came up on Tuesday as the Packers got set for their first practice of camp and the review was positive, although McCarthy added that it would be the last.

“Eddie is ready,” McCarthy said, via Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I’m done talking about people’s weight. I felt like I gave an honest answer.”

If the Packers had doubts about Lacy’s condition, they could have put him on the PUP list to open camp but he was given the green light to get on the field Tuesday. A return to form for Lacy this year would be a big positive for the Packers offense and for his own earning potential as he enters the final year of his rookie deal.

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Kawann Short moves forward with confidence in his value

CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 17:  Kawann Short #99 of the Carolina Panthers reacts after a sack against the Seattle Seahawks in the 1st quarter during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Bank of America Stadium on January 17, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Getty Images

Panthers defensive tackle Kawann Short is eligible for a new contract, but he won’t be signing one. Unless the Panthers decide to give him Muhammad Wilkerson’s deal.

That’s where Short expects to be, at some point.

With camp approaching, Short hasn’t changed his mind about showing up and laying the foundation for a great contract year. With a base salary of $1.036 million and daily fines of $40,000, Short realizes the short-term economics don’t favor a holdout. The long-term economics have Short targeting a deal worth $17 million per year or more come 2017.

The Panthers, of course, will have the ability to apply the franchise tag to Short. The Panthers did just that with cornerback Josh Norman, only to rescind the tag in late April after apparently becoming exasperated with Norman’s demands and/or concerned he’d stay away until days before Week One of the regular season.

A tag on Short could prompt a deliberate effort to get the tag rescinded. Or it could spark a long-term contract before the July 15 deadline a year from now. Or the Panthers could sign him before applying the tag.

It’s also possible that the Panthers will simply let Short leave via free agency, given the abundance of interior defensive linemen and confidence they can find and coach up more.

Either way, barring serious injury or an unexpectedly steep decline in his play, Short is going to get paid.

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Arthur Jones: You can take cough syrup and the NFL calls it a PED

Philadelphia Eagles v Indianapolis Colts Getty Images

Colts defensive lineman Arthur Jones isn’t saying what substance he took to earn him a four-game suspension in the league’s performance-enhancing substance policy. But he is saying it’s something he took legally, and accidentally.

In addition to blaming his suspension on failing to read the ingredients list on a supplement, Jones pointed out today that a lot of perfectly legal medications have banned substances in them.

“I mean with the NFL you can take too much cough syrup and it says PED,” Jones said, in comments distributed by the Colts. “I’m not going to get into too much detail over that.”

Jones is correct about that: The full list of banned substances under the NFL’s PED policy includes pseudoephedrine, which is found in common cold medicines like Sudafed. However, the NFL allows the use of pseudoephedrine if a player can document that he was taking it for cold relief, on the recommendation of a team doctor.

What Jones actually tested positive for has still not been released and may never be. Jones has declined to say, and the NFL doesn’t release details of PED tests. If it was as innocent as taking an over-the-counter medication without scrutinizing the ingredients list, Jones might be better off, from a PR standpoint, explaining exactly what he took.

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Falcons G.M. says Devin Hester passed physical, release was “football decision”

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - AUGUST 29: Devin Hester #17 of the Atlanta Falcons returns a kickoff during a preseason game against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on August 29, 2015 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Falcons cut the most prolific return man in NFL history Tuesday, but it wasn’t because he was having a hard time staying on the field.

According to Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff said health issues weren’t the reason they parted ways Tuesday.

“He passed his [pre-camp] physical,” Dimitroff said. “It was a football decision for us in the end. Not to be evasive about it, but we wish him a lot of luck and we think it’s best for the organization for us to move forward.”

The 33-year-old Hester missed most of last season with a big toe injury and hadn’t participated this offseason while recovering from surgery. But he did play the final five games of last season, though he didn’t make many plays and only played one snap of offense.

Over his career, he has set league records for total return touchdowns (20) and punt return touchdowns (14), but the combination of age and rule changes which lessen the impact of return men made him expendable.

There’s also the small matter of the $3 million in base salary he was owed this season, which was likely as much of a factor as any.

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List of 2016 HOF presenters finalized

2011 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony Getty Images

The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced Tuesday the official list of presenters for the eight-man class of 2016 that will be inducted next week.

The group of presenters includes Hall of Fame coaches Marv Levy and John Madden; Colts owner Jim Irsay; longtime coach Dom Capers; Brett Favre’s wife, Deanna; and Lisa DeBartolo, the daughter of former 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr.

Deanna Favre will become just the second wife to serve as her husband’s presenter, while Lisa DeBartolo will become the fifth daughter to present her father.

Former Rams tackle Orlando Pace will be presented by his son, Justin. Tony Dungy will be presented by his former teammate, Donnie Shell.

Capers will present former Panthers, Steelers, Rams and 49ers linebacker Kevin Greene. Irsay will present former Colts wide receiver Marvin Harrison. Madden will present former Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler, while Marv Levy will present former Lions guard Dick Stanfel.

The class of 2016 will be inducted Aug. 6 in Canton, Ohio.

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