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53-man roster tracker

NFL teams have until 9 PM EDT on Friday, August 31 to cut their rosters from 75 players to 53 players. We’ll track all the moves that every team makes to get down to 53 players right here.

Arizona Cardinals: Waived wide receivers DeMarco Sampson and Isaiah Williams, cornerback Crezdon Butler, linebackers Antonio Coleman, Clark Haggans, Colin Parker, and Quan Sturdivant, safety Blake Gideon, guard Russ Hochstein, defensive tackle Ricky Lumpkin, cornerback Larry Parker, tight end Stephen Skelton, running back Alfonso Smith, defensive end Ronald Talley, defensive end Everrette Thompson, tight end Martell Webb, center Scott Wedige, and tackle D.J. Young. The Cardinals also waived/injured linebacker Brandon Williams and wide receiver Stephen Williams, and placed running back Javarris James and quarterback Richard Bartel on injured reserve.

Atlanta Falcons: Cornerback Dominique Franks and long snapper Joe Zelenka highlighted the Falcons full list of cuts. They also released fullback Mike Cox and placed safety Shann Schillinger on injured reserve, waived-injured wide receiver Kerry Meier and reached injury settlements with tight end Lamark Brown and guard Andrew Jackson. They waived the following players: linebacker Spencer Adkins, linebacker Rico Council, wide receiver Drew Davis, cornerback Dominique Franks, tackle Bryce Harris, linebacker Jerrell Harris, center Tyler Horn, wide receiver Marcus Jackson, cornerback Marty Markett, running back Dimitri Nance, defensive tackle Conrad Obi, defensive tackle Micanor Regis, wide receiver James Rodgers, linebacker Pat Schiller, cornerback Peyton Thompson, and safety Suaesi Tuimaunei.

Baltimore Ravens: Waived running back Anthony Allen, safety Omar Brown, linebacker Josh Bynes, linebacker Nigel Carr, guard Jack Cornell, receiver Dorian Graham, guard Cord Howard, nose tackle Nicholas Jean-Baptiste, nose tackle Ishmaa’ily Kitchen, guard Antoine McClain, defensive end Terrence Moore, quarterback Curtis Painter, receiver Logan Payne, safety Cyhl Quarles, linebacker Chavis Williams and guard Tony Wragge. Placed tight end Matt Balasavage, running back Damien Berry, guard Justin Boren, linebacker Ricky Brown, tight end Bruce Figgins and receiver Tommy Streeter on injured reserve.

Buffalo Bills: The Bills announced the following moves: Waived wide receiver Kamar Aiken, offensive lineman Mark Asper, tight end Kevin Brock, running back Zach Brown, linebacker Tank Carder, offensive lineman James Carmon, wide receiver Marcus Easley, defensive end Robert Eddins, defensive tackle Dwan Edwards, defensive tackle Jarron Gilbert, defensive back Isaiah Green, wide receiver Derek Hagan, defensive tackle Kellen Heard, wide receiver Ruvell Martin, linebacker Scott McKillop, punter Shawn Powell, wide receiver Naaman Roosevelt, defensive back Nick Saenz, offensive lineman David Snow, running back Johnny White, offensive lineman Keith Williams and placed offensive lineman Zebrie Sanders on injured reserve.

Carolina Panthers: Waived wide receivers Seyi Ajirotutu and Jared Green, running back Tauren Poole, offensive tackle Matt Reynolds, defensive tackles Ogemdi Nwagbuo and Ryan Van Bergen, along with linebackers Kion Wilson and David Nixon and cornerbacks Darius Butler and R.J. Stanford. The last of the Panthers’ cuts: Safeties Jonathan Nelson, Jordan Pugh, and Reggie Smith, tight ends Nelson Rosario and Joe Jon Finley, running back Armond Smith, guards Zackary Williams, Bryant Browning, and Justin Wells, defensive tackle Nate Chandler, and linebacker Jason Williams.

Chicago Bears: Got down to 53 by releasing quarterback Josh McCown, running back Armando Allen, linebacker Xavier Adibi, defensive end Chauncey Davis, receiver Rashied Davis and cornerback Jonathan Wilhite. Also waived receivers Joe Anderson, Terriun Crump and Brittan Golden; tackles Cory Brandon, James Brown and A.J. Greene; cornerbacks Cornelius Brown, Isaiah Frey and Greg McCoy; guard Ricky Henry; safety Mark LeGree; defensive tackle Jordan Miller; tight end Brandon Venson; defensive end Aston Whiteside; and linebacker Jabara Williams. Defensive tackle Nate Collins is on the reserve/suspended list.

Cincinnati Bengals: Waived quarterback Zac Robinson, running back Daniel Herron, fullback James Develin, fullback Jourdan Brooks, tight end Colin Cochart, wide receiver Vidal Hazelton, tackle Matt O’Donnell, guard Otis Hudson, center Reggie Stephens, defensive end Micah Johnson, defensive end DeQuin Evans, defensive tackle Vaughn Meatoga, linebacker Grant Hunter, linebacker Emmanuel Lamur, cornerback T.J. Heath, cornerback Chris Lewis-Harris and linebacker Roddrick Muckelroy. Waived-injured defensive tackle Nick Hayden. Placed defensive tackle Pat Sims on PUP list and safety Tony Dye on injured reserve. Placed linebacker Dontay Moch on suspended list.

Cleveland Browns:  Released tight end Dan Gronkowski, quarterback Seneca Wallace, tight end Evan Moore, linebacker Ben Jacobs, defensive tackle Brian Schaefering, cornerback James Dockery, wide receiver Rod Windsor, defensive end William Green, guard Jarrod Shaw, defensive tackle Ronnie Cameron, wide receiver Josh Cooper, linebacker Quinton Spears, running back Adonis Thomas, defensive tackle Kiante Tripp, fullback Brad Smelley, receiver Josh Cooper, guard Stanley Daniels, center Garth Gerhart, defensive end Ernest Owusu, guard Dominic Alford, defensive tackle Brian Schaefering, guard Jarrod Shaw, tackle J.B. Shugarts. Placed linebacker Scott Fujita on reserve/suspended list.

Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys announced that they have waived defensive end Ben Bass, cornerback Lionel Smith, linebacker Orie Lemon, linebacker Adrian Hamilton, defensive end Clifton Geathers, safety Eddie Whitley, cornerback Teddy Williams, cornerback Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, defensive tackle Robert Calloway, wide receiver Saalim Hakim, wide receiver Danny Coale, running back Lance Dunbar, wide receiver Tim Benford, running back Jamize Olawale, quarterback Rudy Carpenter, tight end Andrew Szczerba, tackle Jeff Adams, offensive lineman Pat McQuistan and fullback Shaun Chapas. Guard Daniel Loper was waived-injured.

Denver Broncos: Got to the 53-man limit with the following moves: They placed linebacker D.J. Williams and tight end Virgil Green on the reserve/suspended list. Defensive end Jeremy Beal was placed on injured reserve. They also waived the following players: Defensive end Jamie Blatnick, safety Rafael Bush, cornerback Drayton Florence, linebacker Jerry Franklin, defensive tackle Ben Garland, guard Adam Grant, tackle Ryan Harris, wide receiver Jason Hill, guard Tony Hills, safety Duke Ihenacho, tight end Cornelius Ingram, running back Jeremiah Johnson, linebacker Mike Mohamed, wide receiver Greg Orton, wide receiver Gerell Robinson, nose tackle Sealver Siliga, cornerback Syd’Quan Thompson, guard Wayne Tribue and quarterback Adam Weber.

Detroit Lions:  Waived punter Ryan Donahue, guard Pat Boyle, defensive end Ugo Chinasa, tight end Alex Gottlieb, wide receiver Nate Hughes, defensive tackle Edmon McClam, linebacker Carmen Messina, wide receiver Wallace Miles, defensive tackle Tracy Robertson, cornerback Ross Weaver, tight end Austin Wells, cornerback Alphonso Smith, receiver Patrick Edwards, guard Dan Gerberry, guard Rodney Austin, defensive end Everette Brown, safety Reshard Langford, receiver Lance Long, receiver Maurice Stovall and cornerback Justin Miller. Running back Mikel Leshoure is on the reserve/suspended list.

Green Bay Packers: Placed tackle Derek Sherrod on reserve/PUP and linebacker Vic So’oto on injured reserve. They also released tackle Shea Allard, wide receiver Diondre Borel, tight end Brandon Bostick, quarterback B.J. Coleman, fullback Nic Cooper, tackle Andrew Datko, guard Tommie Draheim, guard Sampson Genus, wide receiver Curenski Gilleylen, wide receiver Tori Gurley, defensive end Lawrence Guy, safety Anthony Levine, cornerback Otis Merrill, wide receiver Dale Moss, defensive tackle Daniel Muir, running back Marc Tyler, guard Greg Van Roten and guard Reggie Wells.

Houston Texans: Announced the following cuts: quarterback Case Keenum, safety Troy Nolan, center Cody Wallace, fullback Moran Norris, linebacker Shawn Loiseau, tight end Logan Brock, defensive end Keith Browner, defensive end David Hunter, receiver Juaquin Iglesias, defensive end Mitch King, offensive tackle Nate Menkin, linebacker Rennie Moore, tight end Phillip Supernaw, center Cody Wallace, guard Cody White, linebacker D.J. Bryant, nose tackle Loni Fangupo, running back Jonathan Grimes, receiver Jeff Maehl, fullback Moran Norris and safety Eddie Pleasant. Wide receiver Jerrell Jackson said on Twitter that he had been cut. Offensive lineman Rashad Butler is heading for injured reserve.

Indianapolis Colts: Announced the following roster moves: Waived wide receiver Jeremy Ross, running back Darren Evans, tight end Andre Smith, tackle Mike Tepper, center Zane Taylor, tackle Steven Baker, defensive tackle Jason Shirley, linebacker Greg Lloyd, tight end Kyle Miller, guard Hayworth Hicks, linebacker Jerry Brown,  safety Latarrius Thomas, defensive tackle Chigbo Anunoby, wide receiver Kashif Moore and long snapper Justin Snow. They waived-injured running back Deji Karim, defensive end James Aiono, linebacker Tim Fugger, cornerback Brandon King and safety Mike Newton. Placed wide receiver Jabin Sambrano and cornerback Korey Lindsey on injured reserve and released tackle George Foster from IR.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Waived quarterback Jordan Palmer, tight end Colin Cloherty, running back Richard Murphy, cornerbacks Rod Issac and Trumaine McBride, defensive end Odrick Ray, linebacker J.K. Schaffer, offensive tackles Will Robinson and Lee Barbiasz, safety Courtney Greene, defensive lineman Corvey Irvin, cornerback Leigh Torrence, wide receiver Demetrius Williams, offensive lineman Daniel Baldridge, defensive lineman Kendrick Adams, wide receiver Mike Brown, defensive end Ryan Davis, cornerback Antonio Dennard, guard D.J. Hall, linebacker Joshua Jones, and fullback Will Ta’ufo’ou.

Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs waived wide receiver Junior Hemingway, defensive lineman Jerome Long, defensive end Brandon Bair, cornerback Mikail Baker, wide receiver Josh Bellamy, center Rob Bruggeman, fullback Patrick DiMarco, cornerback Chandler Fenner, guard Darryl Harris, linebacker Gabe Miller, tackle David Mims, wide receiver Jamar Newsome, safety Terrance Parks, center Lucas Patterson, guard Rich Ranglin, cornerback Neiko Thorpe and defensive back Donald Washington. They placed safety Da’Quan Menzie and quarterback Alex Tanney on injured reserve and released defensive lineman Amon Gordon and linebacker Leon Williams.

Miami Dolphins: Terminated the contract of veteran linebacker Gary Guyton and waived the following 18 players: Cornerbacks Vincent Agnew, Quinten Lawrence and Anderson Russell, offensive tackles Will Barker, Rey Feinga, Andrew McDonald and Lydon Murtha, defensive tackles Ryan Baker and Isaako Aaitui, defensive end Jamaal Westerman, linebackers Cameron Collins and Shelly Lyons, wide receivers B.J. Cunningham, Jeff Fuller, Clyde Gates, Chris Hogan and Roberto Wallace and guard Chandler Burden. Rookie defensive end Jarrell Root was waived/injured, cornerback Kevyn Scott was waived with an injury settlement and offensive lineman Ryan Cook was traded to the Cowboys in exchange for an undisclosed 2013 draft pick.

Minnesota Vikings: Released veteran quarterback Sage Rosenfels as part of their final moves. They also terminated the contracts of veteran defensive end Jeff Charleston, cornerback Chris Carr and safety Eric Frampton. They waived wide receiver Manny Arceneaux, defensive tackle Chase Baker, guard Chris DeGeare, fullback Ryan D’Imperio, cornerback Bobby Felder, defensive tackle Trevor Guyton, running back Lex Hilliard, guard Tyler Holmes, cornerback Reggie Jones, tackle Kevin Murphy, linebacker Corey Paredes, guard Austin Pasztor, defensive end Nick Reed, center Quentin Saulsberry, tight end Mickey Shuler and running back Jordan Todman. They also placed tackle DeMarcus Love on injured reserve.

New England Patriots: Rookie running back Jeff Demps was placed on IR, and they cut 22 players to get to the limit. They released wide receiver Deion Branch, quarterback Brian Hoyer, safety Sergio Brown, defensive lineman Marcus Harrison, wide receiver Jesse Holley, safety James Ihedigbo, offensive lineman Matt Kopa, center Dan Koppen, linebacker Niko Koutouvides, safety Derrick Martin, linebacker Jeff Tarpinian and safety Malcolm Williams. They also waived fullback Eric Kettani, defensive lineman Aaron Lavarias, tight end Alex Silvestro and wide receiver Kerry Taylor, along with 2012 seventh-round wide receiver Jeremy Ebert and rookie free agent tight end Tyler Urban and offensive linemen Derek Dennis, Dustin Waldron, Jeremiah Warren and Darrion Weems.

New Orleans Saints: Released kicker John Kasay, wide receiver Greg Camarillo and tight end Derek Schouman to get to the 53-man limit, along with the following moves: They waived linebacker Kadarron Anderson, defensivse end Braylon Broughton, linebacker Ezra Butler, quarterback Sean Canfield, defensive end Alex Daniels, tight end Michael Higgins, cornerback Nick Hixson, safety Jerico Nelson, guard DeOnt’ae Pannell, tackle Aderious Simmons, wide receiver Andy Tanner, guard Matt Tennant and linebacker Lawrence Wilson. They placed running back Joe Banyard, safety Jose Gumbs, cornerback Marquis Johnson and wide receiver Nick Toon on injured reserve, and linebacker Ramon Humber and defensive end Will Smith on the reserve/suspended list.

New York Giants: The Giants have announced the following moves: They waived/injured cornerback Bruce Johnson and cut wide receivers David Douglas, Dan DePalma and Isiah Stanback, defensive ends Craig Marshall and Matt Broha, defensive tackles Marcus Thomas and Dwayne Hendricks, linebacker Jake Muasau, tight end Larry Donnell, offensive linemen Chris White, Matt McCants, Selvish Capers and Stephen Goodin, defensive backs Laron Scott and Dante Hughes and quarterback Ryan Perrilloux. Cornerback Terrell Thomas and defensive tackle Shaun Rogers were placed on injured reserve.

New York Jets: Released the following 22 players to get to the 53-man limit: Running back Terrance Ganaway, wide receivers Royce Pollard and Jordan White, tight end Hayden Smith, offensive lineman Paul Cornick, linebacker Ricky Sapp, defensive back Donnie Fletcher, quarterback Matt Simms, wide receivers Joseph Collins and Eron Riley, offensive linemen Robert Griffin, Fred Koloto and Matt Kroul, tight end Tarren Lloyd, defensive linemen Jay Richardson and Martin Tevaseu, linebackers Marcus Dowtin and Brett Roy, defensive backs LeQuan Lewis, D’Anton Lynn and Julian Posey and punter Spencer Lanning.

Philadelphia Eagles: Released cornerback Joselio Hanson, quarterback Mike Kafka, wide receiver Mardy Gilyard, tight end Chase Ford, linebacker Keenan Clayton, guard Brandon Washington, safety Phillip Thomas, wide receivers Chad Hall and Marvin McNutt, guard/center Steve Vallos, tight end Brett Brackett, defensive tackle Landon Cohen, fullback Emil Igwenagu, tackle D.J. Jones, linebacker Adrian Moten, defensive tackle Ollie Ogbu, linebacker Ryan Rau, defensive end Monte Taylor, defensive tackle Frank Trotter, punter Mat McBriar, defensive tackle Antonio Dixon.

Oakland Raiders: Waived LB Kaelin Burnett, K Eddy Carmona, WR Derek Carrier, WR Brandon Carswell, DE Hall Davis, TE Kyle Efaw, DL Dominique Hamilton, OL Kevin Haslam, OL Nick Howell, LB Chad Kilgore, OL Dan Knapp, WR Eddie McGee, C Colin Miller, RB Lonyae Miller, WR Roscoe Parrish, WR Travionte Session, LB Nathan Stupar and S Curtis Taylor. Placed LB Aaron Curry on PUP and TE Tory Humphrey, P Marquette King and S Brandon Underwood on IR.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Placed linebacker Sean Spence on injured reserve, and released 21 other players to get to the 53-man roster limit. They cut veteran offensive lineman Trai Essex and waived-injured punter Jeremy Kapinos. They also released the following 19 players: Defensive backs Damon Cromartie-Smith, Terrence Frederick and Josh Victorian, linebackers Brandon Hicks and Marshall McFadden, defensive linemen Corbin Bryant, Igbinosun Ikponmwosa and Jake Stoller, quarterback Jerrod Johnson, running back DuJuan Harris, wide receivers Tyler Beiler, Toney Clemons, David Gilreath, Marquis Maze and Derrick Williams, and offensive linemen Ryan Lee, John Malecki and Chris Scott.

San Diego Chargers: Terminated the contracts of veterans Jacques Cesaire, Anthony Davis, Mario Henderson, Jacob Hester and Nick Novak. Waived Edwin Baker, Colin Baxter, Bront Bird, Charlie Bryant, Ricky Elmore, Daryl Gamble, Gregory Gatson, Logan Harrell, Arthur Hobbs, Robert Malone, DeAndre Presley, Damik Scafe, Stephen Schilling, Kory Sperry and Mike Willie. Safety Sean Cattouse was placed on injured reserve.

San Francisco 49ers: Traded safety Colin Jones to the Panthers for an undisclosed draft pick, and released the following 21 players to get to the limit of 53: linebacker Ikaika Alama-Francis, linebacker Eric Bakhtiari, running back Rock Cartwright, tackle Derek Hall, linebacker Joe Holland, defensive tackle Tony Jerod-Eddie, linebacker Cam Johnson, quarterback Josh Johnson, defenfsive tackle Matthew Masifilo, cornerback Anthony Mosley, tight end Kyle Nelson, tackle Al Netter, wide receiver Chris Owusu, wide receiver Nathan Palmer, tackle Mike Person, tight end Konrad Reuland, linebacker Kenny Rowe, wide receiver Brett Swain, safety Michael Thomas, tackle Kenny Wiggins, linebacker Michael Wilhoite.

 St. Louis Rams: Released the following players, via the Post-Dispatch: quarterback Tom Brandstater, fullback Ovie Mughelli, running backs Ben Guidugli and Chase Reynolds, receiver Nick Johnson, tight end Deangelo Peterson, offensive linemen Tim Barnes, T-Bob Hebert, Joe Long and Bryan Mattison, defensive linemen Mason Brodine and Vernon Gholston, linebacker Sammy Brown and defensive back Kendric Burney. Receiver Austin Pettis has been placed on the reserve/suspended list. More Rams cuts: Defensive tackle Cornell Banks, center Tim Barnes, defensive end Jamaar Jarrett, linebacker Aaron Brown, tight end Cory Harkey, defensive end Scott Smith, and guard Jose Valdez.Seattle Seahawks: Waived wide receiver Kris Durham, wide receiver Deon Butler, quarterback Josh Portis, defensive back Phillip Adams, defensive end Pierre Allen, linebacker Allen Bradford, guard Paul Fanaika, guard Rishaw Johnson, wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, linebacker Kyle Knox, wide receiver Ricardo Lockette, tight end Sean McGrath, center Kris O’Dowd, defensive back DeShawn Shead, linebacker Korey Toomer and wide receiver Lavasier Tuinei. Linebacker Matt McCoy was placed on injured reserve and tight end Cooper Helfet and running back Vai Taua were waived-injured. Cornerback Walter Thurmond was placed on the PUP list and guard Allen Barbre is serving a four-game suspension.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Released running back Mossis Madu, defensive tackle Frank Okam, safety Larry Asante and defensive back Keith Tandy, per Pewter Report. They’ve also released defensive tackle Amobi Okoye, who is headed back to Chicago, per the Chicago Sun-Times. The rest of the Buccaneers’ 2012 cuts: Wide receivers Tiquan Underwood, Jordan Shipley, and Landon Cox, defensive backs James Rogers and Sean Baker, linebackers Rennie Curran and Jacob Cutrera, tight ends Drake Dunsmore and Zack Pianalto, kicker Kai Forbath, offensive linemen Jermarcus Hardrick, Moe Petrus, and Desmond Wynn (injured), running back Robert Hughes, fullback Cody Johnson, defensive linemen E.J. Wilson, Teryl White, and Jordan Nix, and quarterback Brett Ratliff.

Tennessee Titans:  Released receiver James Kirkendoll, per TitansInsider.com. Cut offensive lineman Kyle DeVan, tight end Brandon Barden, offensive lineman Michael Jasper, defensive end Malcolm Sheppard, defensive tackle Lamar Divens, tight end Cameron Graham, and wide receiver D.J. Woods, per the Tennessean. The Titans also cut defensive tackle Zach Clayton, wide receivers Devin Aguilar and Michael Preston, safeties Aaron Francisco and Tracy Wilson, cornerback Chris Hawkins, fullback Collin Mooney, and center Chris Morris. They placed on injured reserve defensive end Dave Ball, cornerback Terrence Wheatley, defensive tackle Leger Douzable, guard Ryan Durand, and linebacker Kevin Malast.

Washington Redskins: Released running back Tim Hightower, cornerbacks David Jones, Brandyn Thompson, and Travon Bellamy, defensive linemen Doug Worthington, Marlon Favorite, and Delvon Johnson, linebackers Donnell Holt, Bryan Kehl, and Brian McNally, wide receiver Terrence Austin, offensive linemen Erik Cook, Willie Smith, Tom Compton, and Grant Garner, running back Tristan Davis, quarterback Jonathan Crompton, receiver Anthony Armstrong, fullback Dorson Boyce, nose tackle Delvin Johnson, tight end Richard Quinn, linebacker Markus White, defensive lineman Darrion Scott. Defensive end Kentwan Balmer was placed on reserve/left squad, and safety Tanard Jackson was placed on reserve/suspended.

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Union hasn’t heard from Commissioner on recusal request, yet

Smith Getty Images

In a wide-ranging interview with Bob Ley of ESPN’s Outside the Lines, NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith addressed the status of the union’s request that Commissioner Roger Goodell recuse himself from the appeal hearing in Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s four-game suspension for being “at least generally aware” of a scheme to deflate footballs.

Smith told Ley that the union has yet to hear anything in response to the formal request that Goodell step aside, due both to his status as a witness in the case and his inability to be impartial. The request apparently will be reiterated if a response doesn’t come soon.

“If we don’t get a response by the end of next week, we’ll certainly increase the volume of the request,” Smith said.

Goodell’s comments from Wednesday indicate fairly clearly that he still intends to handle the appeal personally. Smith declined to divulge whether a lawsuit challenging Goodell’s intent to serve as the arbitrator will be filed before or after Goodell issues a ruling on the appeal.

Earlier on Friday, the league office told PFT that a date has not yet been set for the Brady appeal hearing.

As to the arguments in support of a reversal of the suspension, Smith opted not to share many details. Most significantly, he pointed to the decision to embrace the recollections of referee Walt Anderson on all points except the question of which of the two pressure gauges he used when setting air-pressure levels before the game. The gauge that Anderson recalled using generated halftime PSI readings that are almost entirely consistent with the operation of the Ideal Gas Law.

Smith also provided this general assessment of the 243-page document generated by independent investigator Ted Wells: “The Wells report delivered exactly what the client wanted.”  As to the independence of the Wells investigation, Smith added, “You can’t really have credibility just because you slap the word ‘independent’ on a piece of paper.”

Many still wonder why the NFL would have wanted to find the Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady guilty. At one level, this was about re-establishing the Commissioner’s role as “The Enforcer,” proving to the world that he’ll never again go too easy on anyone suspected of wrongdoing. At another level, it created an opportunity for one or more league officials with a bias against the Patriots to initiate the launch sequence for full-blown investigation and punishment by, most significantly, leaking false PSI information to ESPN, which created the impression that someone must have messed with the air pressure and which placed the Patriots, who didn’t know the true readings until March, on their heels.

After ESPN reported that 11 of 12 New England footballs were two pounds under the 12.5 PSI minimum, the NFL never corrected the record. The real numbers ultimately appeared in May, as part of a lengthy report that never even acknowledged the false leak that ultimately allowed Ted Wells and company to milk millions from the league’s coffers in an investigation that, if the real numbers had been released at the outset, probably would have never happened.

This didn’t start as a grand conspiracy. It started based on halftime readings below 12.5 PSI and ignorance at to the application of science to football air pressure, and it grew into an occasion to re-establish the potency of the Commissioner.

At a time when many believe the Commissioner’s strings are manipulated from above, this case may have been sparked by his strings being manipulated from below. And now the NFLPA is hoping to get the case resolved by someone who has no strings attached to the league or any of its teams.

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Brees dodges #DeflateGate questions

Brees Getty Images

This time around, Drew Brees doesn’t need an explanation.

Three years after the Saints found themselves in the cross hairs of a league investigation that had the feel of a mouse being hunted with an elephant gun, the Patriots find themselves in the same situation. With the Patriots, however, Saints quarterback Drew Brees is keeping a much lower profile.

“Honestly, I’m just worried about my team and doing what we need to do to win a championship, and to your point, being on that side of it at one time, it’s a difficult situation, it’s not favorable for either side to have to go through something like that,” Brees said earlier this week on ESPN Radio, Nick Underhill of New Orleans Advocate. “You hope for the best resolution, and then it’ll be back to playing football.”

Brees had more (but not much more) to say about the process of preparing footballs for game play.

“Honestly, I’ve never given it that much thought,” Brees said. “I really haven’t. You know, there is a process by which we pick footballs before a game. You kind of break them in, in practice, you kind of rub them down, whatever, but once they’re out on game day, you’ve got other things to worry about other than what the balls are like.

“You know, you’re focused on throwing to the right guy, being on time, where are the defenders, who’s coming to get you. You’ve got enough things going on, but honestly, I really have never given it that much thought other than, I like the balls broken in a certain way, but then after that, I think you just play ball with whatever ball comes up.”

It’s no surprise that Brees is keeping a low profile. Most players are. Still, like many other players who don’t play for the Patriots, Brees opted not to rush to Tom Brady’s defense. Which, when considering the volume of the players who have opted not to rush to Brady’s defense, says something.

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Twenty-four years ago Friday, the NFL moved to add two teams

Carolina Panthers v San Francisco 49ers Getty Images

The 1980s saw the NFC dominate the NFL, winning eight of 10 Super Bowls. The 49ers were the team of the decade, capturing four championships. Teams were prone to make music videos. Coaches were known to wear wonderful sweaters.

However, one thing we didn’t see in the 1980s was NFL expansion. The league stayed put at 28 teams, just as it had since 1976, when Seattle and Tampa Bay came on board.

But at the start of the 1990s, the NFL wanted to get bigger. And 24 years ago today, the league’s teams approved a plan to expand by two teams by 1994.

Ultimately, the two new teams — the Carolina Panthers and Jacksonville Jaguars — did not start play until 1995. They were followed by the “new” Cleveland Browns (1999) and Houston Texans (2002).

The question now, of course, is when a Los Angeles-area team or teams follows these additions.

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Bills say they still don’t want to do “Hard Knocks”

Rex Ryan AP

It sure looks like the Texans can be on “Hard Knocks” if they want to, since the other alleged finalists swear they don’t want to.

Washington has already indicated a lack of interest, and now the Bills have affirmed theirs.

They said in March they didn’t want to, and a team source tells Mike Rodak of ESPN.com that they’re still not.

They’re not on the list of teams which could be compelled to do it, since they have a first-year coach, but a report this morning listed them as a finalist for the show.

That’s kind of a shame, as Texans coach Bill O’Brien doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who will make compelling television. We already know Rex Ryan does.

And even though O’Brien has seemed indifferent about the show in the past, it’s looking more and more like he’s got it.

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Colts rookie Phillip Dorsett making a fast first impression

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 21: Wide receiver Phillip Dorsett of Miami looks on during the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 21, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Colts definitely had bigger needs than another wide receiver in the first round of the draft.

But after their first look at him, they don’t think Phillip Dorsett is just another wide receiver.

It’s definitely not too big for him,” quarterback Andrew Luck said, via Mike Wells of ESPN.com. “He fits in very, very well.”

Of course, the fit has been the biggest question. The Colts are well-stocked at the position with T.Y. Hilton and Andre Johnson starting, and Donte Moncrief, Duron Carter and Vincent Brown in reserve.

But Dorsett could separate himself the same way he separates from cornerbacks, with his speed. He averaged more than 24 yards per reception last year at Miami, and is falling into a system with a star quarterback who can throw a deep ball.

“All of his balls are catchable and he’s so smart,” Dorsett said of Luck. “He knows what to do. He knows where to put the ball.”

Luck can only put it in one set of hands at once, however, so Dorsett’s role this year might be unclear, as he works on returns and working his way into the starting lineup down the road.

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Patriots keep Wells report website active

Wells Getty Images

Yes, the Patriots decided not to appeal the punishment imposed against them by the NFL. No, the Patriots haven’t changed their minds about the outcome of the Ted Wells investigation.

The strongly-worded, 20,000-word rebuttal to the Wells report remains active with a link from the front page of the team’s official website, three days after owner Robert Kraft explained that the Patriots won’t be exercising the right to appeal the $1 million fine and the loss of a first-round draft pick in 2016 and a fourth-round draft pick in 2017. The response to the Wells report likely will remain active indefinitely.

If it remains active indefinitely, it also could be updated and supplemented based on additional information and analysis of the 243-page report that failed, in the opinion of many, to adequately prove that tampering occurred prior to the AFC title game.

So while the Patriots have dropped their appeal rights, they haven’t dropped their concerns about the process, the investigation, or the conclusions.  Those concerns presumably will continue to be on display, during quarterback Tom Brady’s appeal and beyond.

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Report: Texans favorites to be on “Hard Knocks”

Dallas Mavericks v Houston Rockets - Game Two Getty Images

Earlier on Friday, there was a report that the Texans, Redskins and Bills were the three teams under consideration to be featured on this summer’s edition of “Hard Knocks.”

It seems that the Texans may be ahead of the other two teams in terms of who will wind up on the program. Tania Ganguli of ESPN.com reports that the Texans are the favorites to be given a time slot on HBO.

There were reports in March that the Bills weren’t interested in doing the show and the league couldn’t compel them to do it because they have a new coaching staff this offseason. John Keim of ESPN.com also reports Friday that the Redskins do not want to do the show and that they are “not one of the finalists.”

If the Texans do wind up on the show, you can probably expect that the team’s quarterback competition and Jadeveon Clowney’s return from microfracture surgery will provide heavy doses of drama. And they might even carve out a little bit of time for defensive end J.J. Watt, who you may have heard a few things about in recent years.

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Report: Bills still want to extend Dareus before camp

Marcell Dareus AP

Earlier this offseason, Bills General Manager Doug Whaley called signing defensive tackle Marcell Dareus to a contract extension the team’s top priority after the draft.

Dareus was suspended for the opening game of the regular season on Thursday for a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy, but it doesn’t seem to have changed anything about the team’s desire to hold onto the 2014 All-Pro. Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that the team still hopes to sign Dareus to a new deal before training camp.

While the suspension is unfortunate, it shouldn’t have come as any surprise to the Bills after Dareus was arrested last year on charges of possession of synthetic marijuana and drug paraphernalia. If they were interested in extending him with the knowledge of that arrest, the fact that the league disciplined him doesn’t give much cause for a change of heart.

Dareus is set to make $8.06 million in 2015 as he plays out the final year of his rookie contract.

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Mike Shanahan: Injuries aren’t why RGIII has struggled last two years

Robert Griffin III,

When Robert Griffin III landed in the NFL in 2012, the Redskins closed the regular season with seven straight wins to take the NFC East and advance to the playoffs.

Griffin missed one of those games with a knee injury, which served as a preview of the more serious knee injury he’d suffer in the playoff loss to the Seahawks. Griffin rehabbed through the next offseason and then struggled in 2013 in an offense that was designed to limit Griffin’s runs in hopes of having him develop into a more traditional quarterback.

It didn’t happen, which led to squabbling with Mike Shanahan before Shanahan was fired as the team’s head coach. Griffin had another serious injury last year and continued to struggle in Jay Gruden’s offense, but Shanahan doesn’t think the injuries have been the quarterback’s problem.

“I don’t think getting hurt has anything to do with it,” Shanahan said of RG3 on the Grant and Danny Show on 106.7 The Fan, via CSNWashington.com. “In college he didn’t have a route tree, didn’t have a playbook. That does take some time. … If you take a QB like that you must run the kind of system that allows them to be successful … I really believe Robert thought he was more of a drop back quarterback. He hasn’t done things the NFL asks you to do. It does take some growing pains. You better really work on it inside and out.”

No one who has watched Griffin the last two years would argue that he looks as comfortable in the offense as he did as a rookie, although you have to wonder why the Redskins made such a big play for Griffin if they weren’t willing to give him that time or run an offense more suited to his needs. The answer to the latter is largely because of the injury risk involved with running a smaller quarterback repeatedly against NFL defenses, but the failure to do the former may lead to the end of Griffin’s time in Washington without much to show for the investment they made in him.

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New 49ers running back says Colin Kaepernick owes him a thumb

thumb up Getty Images

After working with 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, Kurt Warner said he was impressed with the touch he was able to put on passes.

He might want to run that by 49ers running back Mike Davis, who said on Twitter that Kaepernick “owe me a new thumb” after one pass in OTAs this week.

My thumb is good, man. It was just one day,” Davis said, via Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com. “My thumb was messed up because of Kap, but I’m all right. . . . Kap, man, [has] a lot of power. I didn’t know he could throw the ball that hard. As I can see yesterday, I can tell how hard he can throw it. . . .

“I didn’t know it was coming that fast and it hit my thumb. I still caught it, but it was crazy.”

The 49ers are hoping Davis can contribute as a receiver, after he caught 66 passes his final two seasons in college. But if he’s going to, Kaepernick might need to take a little something off of them.

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Derrick Shelby on Dion Jordan: It’s a bad situation, he’s not replying to texts

Dion Jordan AP

The Dolphins didn’t have much to say about defensive end Dion Jordan’s status with the team before he was suspended for the entire 2015 season and they haven’t had much to say about his future with the organization since that suspension was handed down in late April.

Coach Joe Philbin and General Manager Dennis Hickey have opted to pass on questions about whether the former third overall pick will be welcomed back to the team and it seems Jordan is also passing on opportunities to stay in touch with teammates. Defensive end Derrick Shelby said that he’s reached out to Jordan to no avail.

“It’s a [bad] situation,” Shelby said, via the Miami Herald. “I’ve texted him a few times but got no response.”

Let’s hope Jordan is speaking to someone about his issues with drugs, because they have obviously had a major impact on his ability to do his job and build a career. Whether he has a future in Miami or not, Jordan’s chances for a successful life will only improve by getting a handle on them in the next year.

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Sheldon Richardson enjoying the meaning of voluntary

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 28:   Sheldon Richardson #91 of the New York Jets reacts during their 24 to 17 loss to the Detroit Lions at MetLife Stadium on September 28, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Ron Antonelli/Getty Images) Getty Images

Jets defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson is absent from Jets voluntary workouts because he wants a new contract.

Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson is absent from Jets voluntary workouts because, well, because they’re voluntary.

Richardson tweeted out word to his concerned fans that all is well and he’s just holding the word voluntary to its true meaning.

I have a life outside of football n I chose to enjoy my family a little longer so to u fans that know everything please worry bout yourself,” he wrote this morning.

OK then.

The Jets weren’t sure about the reasons for his absence, or if they were they weren’t saying.

But when coach Todd Bowles said he hoped all his players would show up “but unfortunately, that’s not the case,” it made it clear how coaches view the the meaning of the word.

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Frank Gore, Andre Johnson make “pretty seamless” transition to Indy

James Laurinaitis, Frank Gore AP

It has been a long time since running back Frank Gore and wide receiver Andre Johnson have had to get used to playing for a new team.

Gore was with the 49ers for 10 years before signing with the Colts as a free agent this year and Johnson spent a dozen seasons in Houston before heading to Indianapolis after the Texans released him. Given what they say about old dogs and new tricks, there might have been some fear that their transition to new surroundings would take some time.

Not so, says Colts coach Chuck Pagano.

“Pretty seamless,” Pagano said, via ESPN.com. “They don’t miss a beat as far as the playbook goes, knowing what to do. Every time I see them in the huddle, break a huddle, to me it looks like they’re going the right direction. They’re lining up right. They’re very talented, talented guys. They fit right into the locker room. They’re professionals. Again, the resume speaks for itself. They’re not talkers. They’re workers, they’re doers.”

Gore and Johnson were both in line for reduced roles if they had remained with their old teams, but the Colts don’t appear to be thinking about things the same way. Gore should again be the workhorse in the backfield while Johnson is going to get a lot of looks from Andrew Luck while playing a version of the Reggie Wayne role from Andrew Luck’s first two seasons.

A slow transition wouldn’t have changed those plans, but picking things up quickly will only make life easier on offense for the Colts.

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Montreal Alouettes sign Michael Sam

Michael Sam AP

Michael Sam is bound for the Canadian Football League.

Sam, the former Rams and Cowboys defensive end, has signed a two-year contract with the Montreal Alouettes, the club announced Friday.

“With the signing of Michael Sam, we have become a better organization today,” Alouettes General Manager Jim Popp said in a team issued-statement Friday. “Not only have we added an outstanding football player, we have added even a better person that brings dignity, character, and heart to our team.”

Joining Montreal gives the 25-year-old Sam a chance to jump-start his career in a professional league that occasionally serves as a launching pad back to the United States, with Miami’s Cameron Wake and Cleveland’s Andrew Hawkins among the CFL alumni currently in the NFL. Sam’s pass rush ability — he notched three sacks in four preseason games in 2014 — should serve him well in a fast-paced league.

Sam, who became internationally known after announcing he was gay in February 2014, has not been with an NFL club since being released from the Cowboys’ practice squad in October.

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Chiefs sign tight end Ryan Taylor

Kansas City Chiefs v Green Bay Packers Getty Images

The Chiefs have added another tight end to the mix.

The NFL’s daily transaction report brings word that Kansas City has signed veteran Ryan Taylor to their roster. Taylor was released by the Dolphins earlier this month.

Taylor entered the league as a 2011 seventh-round pick of the Packers and played in 50 games for the team before being dropped from the roster last October. He spent a little time in Baltimore and then played eight games for the Browns to close out the season. Taylor saw most of his work on special teams, but did catch eight passes while he was with the Packers.

Travis Kelce has a lock on the starting tight end job for the Chiefs. Demetrius Harris, Richard Gordon and 2015 fifth-round pick James O’Shaughnessy will join Taylor in the scrum for backup work.

The Chiefs released guard Ricky Henry to make room for Taylor on the roster.

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