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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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Cam Thomas faces a Ron Mexico-style lawsuit

Thomas AP

Two years before Mike Vick became known as a dogfighter, he was sued for giving a woman herpes.  The case introduced the football-following world to Ron Mexico, the alias Vick allegedly used when seeking treatment.

Now, Steelers defensive lineman Cam Thomas faces a similar lawsuit.  Without the creative alternative name.

Via 10News.com in San Diego, a woman filed on May 30 a civil complaint against Thomas for sexual battery, assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, fraud through intentional concealment, and negligence.

The woman, who sued under the name Adrienne E., accuses Thomas of attempting to shove her from a moving car, using a “hot flat iron on her hair” during an argument, and choking her until she passed out.

Adrienne E. also claims that the couple had unprotected sex on multiple occasions, and she contends that she at one point asked Thomas about bruises and sores in the area of his genitalia.  He allegedly explained that the condition arose from the “girdle he wears in practice and during workouts.”

Via TMZ, a lawyer who represents Thomas claims that the plaintiff is a “bitter girl” who is “angry, vindictive and mean” because Thomas has “another woman, and a baby in his life.”

Thomas becomes the second Steelers player this year accused of assaulting a female.  Last week, Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey and his twin brother, Dolphins center Mike Pouncey, were sued by a trio of persons who contend they were assaulted at the brothers’ birthday party in Miami.  Maurkice allegedly punched a woman in the face, rendering her unconscious.  He denies the allegations.

Thomas signed a two-year, $4 million contract with the Steelers in free agency.

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Patrick Peterson says NFC West ripe for the taking

Seattle Seahawks v Arizona Cardinals Getty Images

Patrick Peterson feels the NFC West is more than just the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers.

In Peterson’s mind, the Arizona Cardinals have as good of a shot as anyone to win the NFC West this season.

The Cardinals finished 2013 as one of the league’s hottest teams, winning seven of their final nine games. Arizona finished with a 10-6 record but missed out on a playoff berth. Four of Arizona’s six losses came to NFC West rivals. They were 0-2 against the 49ers and split with the Seahawks and St. Louis Rams. In fact, the Cardinals are the only team to win a game on the road in Seattle over the last two seasons.

Peterson feels the Cardinals are right there with the Seahawks and 49ers and don’t need to close a massive gap to the division’s best teams.

We gave San Fran two games last year. Gave them two games last year,” Peterson said, via Tom Pelissero of USA Today. “Came out slow and played Seattle slow in the first game, and we still ended up climbing back in the game to the fourth quarter and we kind of tucked our tail again. We went up to Seattle (and won). And lord knows we gave the Rams the first game we played them.”

“We got what it takes. We’ve got the talent. We’ve got the personnel. We’ve got the great coaching staff, front office. We have everything in the pot that we need to help us win ballgames.”

Arizona’s only two losses over the final two months of the season each came by just a field goal to a pair of playoff teams. The Cardinals lost 24-21 on the road to the Philadelphia Eagles and lost 23-20 to the 49ers at home in Week 17.

However, the Cardinals lost two key pieces on their defense that could be difficult to replace in Daryl Washington and Karlos Dansby.

Arizona is a very talented team and could very well challenge for a playoff spot this season but supplanting the 49ers and Seahawks for the division crown may prove to be too tall a mountain for the Cardinals to climb.

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Mark Davis acknowledges San Antonio visit

Davis AP

Yes, Raiders owner Mark Davis recently took a trip to San Antonio.

We know this because the Raiders posted a three-part message on the matter at the team’s Twitter page, in response to the report from the San Antonio Express-News that the team could move to Texas.

“I was in San Antonio to honor Cliff Branch on his induction into the [Prairie View Interscholastic League Coaches Association Hall of Fame],” Davis said.  “Former San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros is a friend, and Henry suggested I take the opportunity to meet with some of the city officials while we were in town.”

Meet about what?

“I have nothing further to discuss on the topic,” Davis said.

Despite Davis slamming the door, San Antonio has more to say, via a memo sent by City Manager Sheryl Sculley to City Council after the news of the visit broke on Tuesday.

“I was asked to meet two weeks ago with the owner of the Oakland Raiders, Mark Davis, and members of his staff,” Sculley wrote.  “Mr. Davis has expressed interest in a possible relocation of his NFL team to San Antonio and we are engaged in preliminary due diligence.  The agenda for this visit included a tour of the Alamodome and meetings with local business leaders.”

Davis has been careful not to talk too much about possibly moving the team, because he doesn’t want to be perceived as making threats.  By meeting with officials from other cities about a possible relocation, he’s nevertheless exploring options and/or exerting leverage and/or laying the foundation to leave.

With a one-year lease at the O.co Coliseum, Davis could in theory leave Oakland after the 2014 season.  But at least 23 other owners would have to support the move.  The two already in Texas may not be thrilled with the potential dilution of the overall marketplace.

The NBA team in San Antonio also may not be thrilled with the dilution of its own fan base.  Per the Express-News, the Spurs are concerned that the Raiders (who wear the same colors as the Spurs) could impact the financial success of the defending NBA champions.

While it’s easy to assume nothing will happen with the Raiders and San Antonio, something has to happen for the team in Oakland or something will happen for it in some other city.

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Bears sign WR Dale Moss

Chicago Bears v Denver Broncos Getty Images

The Bears have brought back a wide receiver who has experience in Marc Trestman’s offense.

The club announced the signing of Dale Moss, who spent part of the 2013 offseason with Chicago. He was also on the Bears’ practice squad for a portion of the 2012 regular season.

The 25-year-old Moss entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2012. The South Dakota State product has played with Green Bay (2012), Tampa Bay (2012) and Carolina (2013). Moss was last in the NFL with the Panthers, who waived him in August 2013.

Moss is one of 11 receivers on the Bears’ roster. The Bears have filled all 90 roster spots.

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New Dolphins T-shirt carries lengthy credo written by the players

Dolphins

As the Dolphins try to put a challenging 2013 season behind them, they realize that they’re not that far away from becoming a true contender.  Their effort includes a T-shirt carrying a stream of slogans that were devised not by the coaching staff but by the players.

“It started in the offseason when [Coach Joe Philbin] came to a group of guys, veterans on the team, reiterating that this is our team,” defensive end Cameron Wake told PFT by phone on Tuesday night.  “If you go around any locker room, they’ll have all the mantras and the sayings.  From my experience, it’s been coach-driven, what they want the team statement to be.  He said it should come from you guys.  We sat down as a group of men, teammates, brothers and came up with a group of statements about what the Dolphins are and should be.”

Wake said that “everybody” was involved in coming up with slogans, which were collected and discussed.  The team then picked the best.

The end result, a “Miami Dolphins Credo,” has been placed onto a T-shirt.

“I am a Miami Dolphin,” the T-shirt reads.  “I am a warrior and a member of an unbeatable team.  I will always place the team first.  If I see something — I will say something — I commit to call it as it is.  I will develop undying trust with the man to my left and right.  I will never accept defeat.  I will never quit.  I am the change that I want to see in my team.  I live respect and truth telling.  I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, and proficient in my position tasks and drills.  I am a professional.  I am a Miami Dolphin.”

It’s no accident that the list begins and ends with “I am a Miami Dolphin.”

“Whatever you do, bad, good, great, terrible, it’s going to be attributed to the Miami Dolphins,” Wake said.  “Whatever you do, wherever you go, you are going to be representing this organization.”

The different sizes were used in large part to ensure that each sentence fit entirely on one line, and the large “I will never quit” sentence catches the eye.  And for good reason; last year’s scandal involving Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito was sparked by Martin essentially quitting on the team.  But Wake says that line is not about Martin.

“It never crossed my mind and never had anything to do with him whatsoever,” Wake said.  “I think about games like the Cincinnati game, like the Patriots game.  Where we have to fight until there’s no time left on the clock.”

The line “If I see something — I will say something — I commit to call it as it is” also invites speculation that it was influenced by the Martin/Incognito ordeal.  Wake says it’s actually about day-in and day-out efforts to hold teammates accountable in every way.  He explained that the new mindset resulted in 99-percent participation in the offseason program, and in a more vocal locker room and practice field when it comes to making sure everyone is doing everything he can to push the Dolphins to the next level.

“We’re not a zero-win team,” Wake said.  “We were a good football team that lost games we shouldn’t have.  To go in and tweak that small percentage to gain that extra yard, touchdown, gain hopefully comes from this whole effort.”

Whether intended or not, an effort to ensure accountability on and off the field will ensure that the 2014 Dolphins won’t be dealing with avoidable distractions like the one that may have ultimately affected the team’s ability to clinch a playoff berth after heading into the final two weeks at 8-6.  If the new attitude remains in place through the inevitable adversity that nearly every team encounters, maybe the Dolphins will end up being a lot better than expected this year.

 

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DeMarcus Lawrence carted off from Cowboys practice

Lawrence AP

An historically bad Cowboys defense won’t get any better in 2014 if its players can’t stay healthy.  While no injury this year can be as bad for the effort as the one suffered in the offseason by middle linebacker Sean Lee, each and every additional injury makes it harder for the Cowboys to turn things around.

The latest injury happened at practice on Tuesday night, with rookie defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence exiting practice via cart ride, per multiple reports.  Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says it could be an ankle injury.

Whatever the specific injury, it’s not a good development for a team that had an embarrassingly bad defense in 2013.

Lawrence, the 34th overall pick in the 2014 draft, is expected to help fill the void created by the release of DeMarcus Ware, a rare bright spot who was dumped due to concerns that his salary is to high — and who then got more money this year from the Broncos.

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Stephen A. Smith gets a one-week suspension

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Ray Rice’s suspension has spawned another one.

Stephen A. Smith, who foolishly suggested that women may play a role in provoking illegal violence from the men in their lives and then doubled down on Twitter before finally apologizing via teleprompter, has been suspended for a week by ESPN.  He won’t appear on ESPN2’s First Take or ESPN Radio (which he’s leaving for Sirius Mad Dog Radio anyway) until August 6.

“I believe his apology was sincere and that he and we have learned from what we’ve collectively experienced,” ESPN president John Skipper said, via the Associated Press.

While Smith’s apology may have been sincere, it apparently wasn’t a one-time slip of the tongue.

Given that the suspension came four days after the comments were uttered, the suspension likely was the result of a more lengthy and detailed conversation that possibly considered other options.  Those options may have included a longer suspension, or maybe a permanent one.

On one hand, stupid opinions and/or good opinions articulated stupidly can be stupid enough to result in tangible employment consequences.  On the other hand, the “embrace debate” premise of First Take creates an environment in which stupid opinions and/or good opinions articulated stupidly are encouraged, if not required.

Last year, stupid opinions about Robert Griffin III on First Take got Rob Parker fired.  Now, Smith has been suspended and possibly placed on a leash so short that he’ll have to tiptoe on eggshells to avoid stepping on a land mine.

Maybe the problem isn’t Parker or Smith but the show itself.  Debate should be authentic and organic.  When a network demands that a pair of analysts come up with diametrically opposed and yet equally hot takes on multiple topics per day, it’s somewhat amazing that the format hasn’t claimed more careers.

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Five questions: Cleveland Browns

Manziel AP

Since returning to the NFL in 1999 after a three-year hiatus, the Browns have had more lows than highs.  One playoff appearance a dozen years ago, one other winning season, and otherwise futility.

In recent years, the futility has flowed in large part from inconsistency, with four coaches and four General Managers since 2009.  Before the Browns can contend, the front office and the coaching staff need to stabilize.  It’s unclear whether that will happen.  But that’s not one of the five specific questions I’ve selected to address as the season approaches.

These are.

1.  Who will be the quarterback?

After the Browns traded up from No. 26 to No. 22 in round one to snag Johnny Manziel, the Browns opted not to install Manziel as the starter.  It’s possible, if not likely, that it was part of the effort to short-circuit the immediate ascension of Manziel to the same kind of power Robert Griffin III had (and likely still has) in Washington.

Nevertheless empowered by the team’s apparent acceptance of a “Work Hard, Play Harder” two-sided offseason T-shirt motto, Manziel eventually took it too far, hanging out with Justin Bieber and rolling up a dollar bill after the team told him to tone it down.

With an owner who isn’t bashful about handing out pink slips but with termination not an option, the next best way to send a message to Manziel becomes sending him to the bench.  Which is what the Browns now apparently plan to do, given the ongoing praise heaped upon Brian Hoyer.

It’s a dangerous game, for multiple reasons.  First, making Manziel the backup means exposing him to injury in the preseason behind the No. 2 offensive line.  Second, it opens the door for another Derek Anderson/Brady Quinn do-si-do that could delay the date on which Manziel ascends to the job they surely want him to have.  Otherwise, they wouldn’t have drafted him.

2.  Who will run the ball?

Ben Tate arrived via free agency, Terrance West comes to Cleveland through the draft.  Tate presumably will get the first crack at becoming the primary ball carrier, but his contract doesn’t point inescapably to Tate being the clear-cut bell cow.

“Competition is needed to have a good team,” Tate recently told reporters.  “You look at San Francisco. You look at Seattle. There’s competition at every position. Obviously you know who their guy is, but there are guys behind them that are good that can push them.  That’s what’s needed so I don’t see it as a threat.”

It’s only a threat for Tate if the competition results in a conclusion that West is a better option that Tate.

3.  What’s the plan at receiver?

Josh Gordon may or may not be suspended for the year, and the Browns haven’t done much to plan for life without him.  Miles Austin and Nate Burleson arrived via free agency, but both guys aren’t who they used to be.

G.M. Ray Farmer has defended the failure to make a move to replace Gordon by explaining that Super Bowl champs rarely have dominant receivers.  Of course, Super Bowl champs also often don’t have elite left tackles, but it’s unlikely that the Browns will be cutting Joe Thomas any time soon.

Perhaps the Browns ultimately played it right, if Gordon’s low concentration of marijuana metabolites and luck-of-the-draw “A” bottle/”B” bottle discrepancy results in a short suspension or none at all.  One way or another, we’ll know the answer soon enough.

4.  Will Kyle Shanahan be more flexible with Manziel?

The Browns possibly would like a Mulligan when it comes to drafting Manziel.  New offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan possibly would like a Mulligan of his own when it comes to taking a job with the team that drafted Manziel.

Kyle Shanahan ensured two years of RGIII in D.C., with plenty of dysfunction fueled by a quarterback who wouldn’t or couldn’t be coached the way Shanahan wanted to coach him to the degree that Shanahan likes to coach/control all of his quarterbacks.

Shanahan wants everything done according to his plan.  Manziel does some of his best work when the plan disintegrates into no plan at all.  Whenever Manziel plays, Shanahan will need to become more flexible, or he’ll lose whatever is left of his mind after 2012 and 2013.

5.  How good is the defense?

Pretty good.

Lost in all the talk about the team’s offense is a defense that finished in the top 10 both for yards and points allowed.  Sure, coordinator Ray Horton is gone after a year, and linebacker D’Qwell Jackson and safety T.J. Ward have been swapped out for Karlos Dansby and Donte Whitner, respectively.  But head coach Mike Pettine, who made a major impact during his only season with the Bills after stepping out of Rex Ryan’s shrinking shadow, could push the finished product to even greater heights.

To get there, Pettine needs to get more out of pass rushers Paul Kruger and Barkevious Mingo.  If forgotten top-10 cornerback Justin Gilbert can make a quick impact, he and Joe Haden could quickly become of the best tandems in the league.

The end result could be a defense that’s even better than it was a year ago, and in turn an offense that benefits from fewer points allowed, better field position, and more turnovers.

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Mike Smith: Steven Jackson “will be ready” for Week One after hamstring injury

Steven Jackson AP

We may have to wait until the regular season to see whether Steven Jackson has returned to top form.

Jackson, the Falcons’ starting tailback, sustained a left hamstring injury on Monday, coach Mike Smith told reporters today.

The good news? Smith anticipates Jackson will be available for the September 7 regular season opener against New Orleans.

“I don’t think it’s going to be anything that’s going to be real significant. He will be ready for the first game,” Smith said.

Jackson dealt with hamstring and toe injuries and missed four games in 2013, his first season with Atlanta. However, Smith said Jackson injured the opposite hamstring on Monday.

The 31-year-old Jackson rushed for a career-low 543 yards on 157 carries last season, gaining just 3.5 yards per carry.

Fourth-year pro Jacquizz Rodgers and rookie Devonta Freeman are among the top reserve options behind Jackson, who’s entering his 11th NFL season.

Jackson probably didn’t figure to get too much work in the exhibition games; he had a combined 25 carries in three preseason games in 2013, and he didn’t play at all in the finale. The play of Rodgers and Freeman now becomes something to watch all the more closely during the summer. Freeman, a fourth-rounder from Florida State, is the key new addition to a running game that struggled a season ago.

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Urban Meyer doesn’t get why the NFL doesn’t want a 47.9% passer

Urban Meyer, Tim Tebow AP

Tim Tebow remains out of the NFL, as he has for 11 months since the Patriots cut him at the end of last preseason. And Tebow’s coach at Florida, Urban Meyer, remains baffled that no NFL team will sign Tebow.

Meyer, now the coach at Ohio State, said at Big Ten Media Day that he can’t figure out why Tebow isn’t in a training camp.

I still don’t get that part of it,” Meyer said. “He’s the second-most efficient passer ever to play college football. . . . He’ll be successful in whatever he does, but he’s such a good player. I just wish it would work out for him.”

Since Meyer can’t figure it out, let me explain it to him: Tebow can’t get an NFL job because the essence of playing quarterback in the NFL is throwing a football accurately, and Tebow is not an accurate passer. Tebow has a career completion rate of 47.9 percent. That is, frankly, awful. Name a terrible NFL quarterback, and you can just about guarantee that he has a better career completion percentage than Tebow. Brandon Weeden? 55.9 percent. Blaine Gabbert? 53.3 percent. JaMarcus Russell? 52.1 percent.

It’s easy to see why Meyer loves Tebow, given the success the two had together at Florida. And in a world where Weeden and Gabbert still have jobs, it’s not unfair to ask why Tebow can’t get one. Tebow did, after all, provide the Broncos with a spark in 2011, leading them to a playoff victory. But even in that 2011 season, Tebow’s inaccurate passing was a huge problem. Tebow completed just 126 of 271 passes that season, a completion rate of 46.5 percent. Tebow remains the only NFL quarterback this century to throw more than 270 passes in a season while completing less than 47 percent of them. The last time an NFL quarterback threw that many passes with a completion percentage that low, it was San Diego’s Craig Whelihan in 1998. Whelihan never played in the NFL again.

And Tebow will never play in the NFL again. He will be remembered for that crazy season in Denver in 2011, when it seemed like every week the most exciting game in the NFL was a game featuring the Broncos, a game that came down to Tebow doing something in the closing moments. But Tebow will also be remembered as a quarterback who simply did not pass the ball well enough to last in the NFL.

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Winston saw a great opportunity in Seattle

Winston AP

Veteran right tackle Eric Winston, who has started 16 games every year since 2007, will try to extend that streak in Seattle.  His decision to sign there comes after an extended stretch of free agency.  His patience apparently paid off.

“I think the opportunity, not only at my position but the opportunity with the team,” Winston told reporters on Tuesday regarding the reasons for choosing the Seahawks.  “I wanted to go somewhere and win.  I think this had everything, so I looked at the situation – obviously I wanted to be a part of something special and I think these guys have a chance to do something special again this year.”

Winston can do something special in the zone-blocking scheme employed by offensive line coach Tom Cable.

“I think some of my best years have been in that zone scheme, obviously with Alex Gibbs, way back in Houston and that whole scheme after that and so I’ve had some of my best years and some of the best teams I’ve played on have used it,” Winston said.  “I think it’s a perfect fit for me and it definitely helps me with the learning process.  Obviously you got to learn how they call things, some of it is the same and some of it is different, but I think it will definitely help me learn quicker, just knowing the techniques and not having to learn everything completely new.”

For rookie second-round draft pick Justin Britt, it’s all new.  But Winston’s desire to play won’t keep him from helping the youngster, if he wants help.

“I think anytime you become a vet in this league, you’ve got an obligation to the young guys that come after you – to help them, teach them and obviously to compete against them,” Winston said.  “I had the same when I was coming up in Houston. I had older guys that I was competing against but at the same time, took me under their wing.  If Britt wants me to do that, then I’ll do that, and if he doesn’t want to hear it, then I won’t.  But I’ll be here for him and always be here to help him, that’s for sure.”

Whether he plays or not, Winston is the kind of guy the Seahawks need to avoid the complacency that comes from climbing the mountain and then having to go to the bottom and try to climb it again.  Winston, who has had only one taste of the postseason three years ago in Houston before spending a year with the Chiefs and then with the Cardinals, has every reason to push himself and his teammates back up the mountain.

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49ers waive QB Kory Faulkner, add OL Michael Philipp

Jim Harbaugh, Kori Faulkner AP

The only NFL club with five quarterbacks on the active roster parted ways with one of their passers on Tuesday.

According to the NFL’s Tuesday transactions, the 49ers waived rookie quarterback Kory Faulkner, an undrafted free agent from Southern Illinois. This leaves Blaine Gabbert, McLeod Bethel-Thompson and Josh Johnson as the three passers vying to back up starter Colin Kaepernick.

To replace Faulkner on the roster, the 49ers added undrafted free agent rookie offensive tackle Michael Philipp on waivers from Miami. The 22-year-old Philipp started 48 games at left tackle for Oregon State.

The 49ers have all 90 roster spots filled. However, eight spots belong to players on active-reserve lists, meaning they must pass physicals to return to the practice field. In short, the 49ers are a little shorter on depth than the 90-player limit would indicate.

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Report: Raiders could move to San Antonio

Daniel Snyder, Mark Davis AP

Raiders owner Mark Davis doesn’t make threats.  He makes plans.

With the Raiders on a one-year lease at O.co Coliseum and with the A’s possibly getting a 10-year lease that would complicate efforts to tear the Cow (Pie) Palace down and build a new venue on the same site, Davis is exploring options in a state that already has a pair of NFL teams.

According to the San Antonio Express-News, Davis and a pair of “top lieutenants” recently met with San Antonio officials to talk about a move of the Raiders.

Per the report, the meeting began on July 18, with Davis and company touring the Alamodome and other locations during a two-to-three day visit.

If a move happens, the Alamodome likely would be the temporary home until a new stadium is built.

Davis reportedly wants “a small, intimate” stadium in front of which he can place a statue of his father, the late Al Davis.

“We don’t have any information about it, so there is no reason for us to comment,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told the Express-News on Tuesday. “We have received no applications from any of our teams to relocate at this point, so there is nothing for us to respond to.”

The window for filing an application to relocate opens after the season, and it’s possible that Davis will make an application to move somewhere/anywhere absent a tangible plan to build a new home for the Raiders in the Bay Area.

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Peterson, Cardinals talking, deal may or may not happen soon

Patrick Peterson AP

The Cardinals and cornerback Patrick Peterson are close to a new contract.  Unless they aren’t.

Informed of the report from Yahoo Sports that a deal is close, a source with direct knowledge of the situation told PFT, “What does close mean?”

Per the source, the two sides have been talking about a new contract on and off for months.  Talks eventually broke down.  Within the past 48 hours, those talks have resumed.

Multiple sticking points still remain, including at least one that falls into the “deal breaker” category.  If that and the other issues can be resolved, the deal will be done.  If not, no deal happens, and Peterson will continue to be under contract for the next two years.

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Lack of HGH testing could contribute to Gordon suspension

marijuana-justi-sullivan-getty Getty Images

A difference of reporting exists as to whether an agreement on HGH testing would or wouldn’t result in a relaxed marijuana testing threshold for NFL players.  While no tentative agreement to use a higher limit for marijuana metabolites has been reached, it’s clear that the NFL would listen, if the NFLPA makes a request along those lines in an effort to break the lingering logjam arising from the authority of the Commissioner in PED/HGH appeals.

Regardless, the NFL’s current limit of 15 ng/ml needs to change, especially since (as pointed out by ESPN’s Bomani Jones) the World Anti-Doping Agency raised its limit by an order or magnitude in 2013, from 15 to 150 ng/ml.

A low limit of 15 ng/ml can be reached via second-hand smoke.  As pointed out by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Gordon’s appeal also will advance that argument.

No matter how or why or when the NFL adopts a higher limit, it will be grossly overdue and any positive tests or suspensions based on anything lower than the WADA limits will be grossly unfair — especially since the NFL has been consistently pointing to WADA to support its proposed HGH testing protocol.

Under the current policy as previously negotiated by the NFL and the NFLPA, arguments based on the disparity between Gordon’s “A” bottle and “B” bottle and whether the average concentration (based on the split sample) of 14.8 ng/ml in the two bottles came from second-hand smoke won’t matter.  A strict, literal application of the policy will result in Gordon being suspended for a full year, during which time he’ll be completely banished from his team and required to continue to pass up to 10 tests per months, or he won’t be reinstated.

If any notion of fairness and common sense is applied to the appeal process, Gordon won’t be suspended at all.  Especially since the NFL apparently hasn’t and won’t subject Colts owner Jim Irsay to the same kind of rigorous testing for an admitted addiction that, if it’s not cured, eventually would result in Irsay being kicked out of the league for at least a year, too.

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