Skip to content

League not commenting on whether Arians violated tampering policy

Bruce Arians AP

As the name “Bruce Arians” begins to bubble up on the list of potential head-coaching candidates (the Steelers are still waiting for him to retire), the man who currently is serving as the interim head coach of the Colts arguably needs to brush up on some of the rules that apply to folks who speak publicly about football matters.

And, more specifically, about football players who are under contract with other franchises.

I’d love to have him on my team,” said Arians regarding Lions defensive tackle Ndamukon Suh.  “I like the way he plays.  He plays aggressive, hard, fast and physical.”

Since Suh remains two years away from free agency, it’s not tampering in the classic sense.  But it could be tampering in the literal sense.

The league’s anti-tampering policy prohibits “[a]ny public or private statement of interest, qualified or unqualified, in another club’s player . . . to a member of the news media.”  The policy includes this specific example of a forbidden statement:  “He’s an excellent player, and we’d very much like to have him if he were available, but another club holds his rights.”

The league has declined comment on whether Arians’ comments violate the anti-tampering policy.

Though far more troubling violations occur, it’s rare that any coach or G.M. says something that so clearly falls within the confines of what the policy prohibits.  Though it arguably wouldn’t be fair to punish the Colts for a fairly innocuous comment, the rule says what it says.  If the league’s not going to enforce the policy as written, the league needs to change the policy.

Permalink 34 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Detroit Lions, Home, Indianapolis Colts, Rumor Mill
yo

With Pitta gone, Ravens kick tires on tight ends

Kellen+Davis+DOjoqPnGYGSm Getty Images

Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta has dislocated the same hip he dislocated in training camp a year ago.  He’s done for the year, and the Ravens are looking for help.

Per a league source, the Ravens worked out four tight ends on Tuesday:  Kellen Davis (pictured), Matthew Mulligan, Jake Murphy, and Emmanuel Ogbuehi.

Veteran Owen Daniels becomes the top option for the Ravens, with Pitta gone.  Also on the roster at tight end are Crockett Gillmore (or is it Gillmore Crockett?) and Phillip Supernaw.

Permalink 4 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Jags, Raiders, Bucs acquire dibs on waivers

LS002243 Getty Images

From the end of one regular season through the third week of the next regular season, the team with the worst reason in the prior season has dibs on all players placed on waivers.

This year, that was the Texans, from February through today.

As of today, that ended.  The Jaguars, Raiders, and Buccaneers — all 0-3 and tied when it comes to strength of schedule played so far — are tied for the top spot.  If two or more make a waivers claim for the same player, the issue will be resolved by the flip of a coin.

The Jets and Rams are tied for fourth position, and the Chiefs, Vikings, and Saints are tied at No. 6.  Again, coin flips would decide priority.

A five-way tie exists at No. 9, with the Browns, Packers, Colts, Dolphins, and Washington.  Ditto for the coin flips.

The Bengals currently are last on the 32-team pecking order.

The deck will now be reshuffled on a weekly basis, based on won-loss record and schedule strength.  Through the trade deadline, all players with less than four years of service pass through waivers.  After the trade deadline, all players who are released must first go through waivers.

Permalink 6 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Titans cut T.J. Graham, sign Chase Coffman

T.J. Graham AP

Wide receiver T.J. Graham’s career prospects looked pretty bright when the Bills drafted him in the third round of the 2012 draft, but they’ve dimmed significantly this season.

Graham caught 54 passes in his first two years with the Bills, but failed to make the team of training camp this summer and was claimed off of waivers by the Titans. He didn’t see action in any of the first three Titans games of the season, however, and the team decided to move in a different direction on Tuesday.

The Titans announced that they have waived Graham and signed tight end Chase Coffman. Coffman has four catches in 22 career games with the Bengals and Falcons and spent training camp with Tennessee before being dropped as the team set its initial 53-man roster.

Graham’s speed was his big calling card coming into the NFL and it could earn him looks from other teams in the future, but it takes more than a good set of wheels to make it in the NFL and Graham is running out of time to show that he has the other requisite skills.

Permalink 3 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Joe Philbin again declines to name Ryan Tannehill the starter for Week Four

Kansas City Chiefs v Miami Dolphins Getty Images

On Monday, Dolphins coach Joe Philbin declined to say that Ryan Tannehill would start at quarterback against the Raiders in London this weekend and that guaranteed he’d be asked about it again on Tuesday.

Philbin didn’t change course when the inevitable question came. Philbin said, via Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, that the team would play the “best 46″ against Oakland and that the team’s coaches would take this week’s practices into account before making the call between Tannehill and Matt Moore.

Dolphins players don’t seem to be buying into the uncertainty at quarterback. Salguero reports that it “seems obvious” to several members of the team that Tannehill will remain the starter this week.

That does seem to be the likeliest outcome. Making a move to Moore at this point would strap Philbin’s future as the team’s coach to Moore’s performance, which is at least as risky a proposition as moving forward with Tannehill and comes with the added demerit that Tannehill hasn’t progressed nearly as much as the team would have hoped under Philbin’s tutelage.

That said, Tannehill hasn’t played well enough to have the job on lockdown and there’s no reason for Philbin to try to make him feel otherwise going into a game that would deal a serious blow to both men if the Dolphins fall to 1-3.

Permalink 30 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Goodell meets with former players to discuss conduct policy

Goodell AP

As Commissioner Roger Goodell embarks on an overhaul of the personal-conduct policy, he has done something that some players would say he hasn’t done enough — he has asked former players for input.

According to Mark Maske of the Washington Post, Goodell met with 11 former NFL players to discuss changes to the NFL’s current approach of off-field player misconduct.

Attending the session at 345 Park Avenue were Mike Singletary, Willie McGinest, Roman Oben, Eddie Mason, Matt Birk, Patrick Kerney, Robert Porcher, Charles Way, Scott Turner, Tony Paige, and Marty Lyons.

A 12th former player, Troy Vincent, attended the 3.5-hour meeting in his capacity as the executive V.P. of football operations.

Goodell plans to seek input from other experts and the NFL Players Association, with the goal of unveiling a new conduct policy before the Super Bowl.  The biggest question continues to be Goodell’s role in the enforcement of the new policy.

Currently, Goodell makes the initial decision regarding discipline, and he has the right to handle the appeal of the outcome.  At a minimum, look for him to surrender the initial decision to an expert in disciplinary matters.  Ultimately, Goodell will have a hard time yielding final say regarding any punishment that comes from presiding over the appeal process.

Permalink 26 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

John Brown unfazed by climb from Pittsburg State to NFL

Brown Getty Images

If Cardinals receiver John Brown were currently where he was a year ago, he’d be preparing to play Fort Hays State.  Instead, Brown’s next game will come against the Denver Broncos.  And he doesn’t seem to be freaked out by that.

“It’s not too much of a big transition,” Brown tells Paul Burmeister of NBCSN’s Pro Football Talk in an interview that will be televised on today’s edition of the show.  “At the end of the day it’s just football to me I just have to do a lot more studying and learn guys.”

One thing he’s learning is to forget about his blunders.

“Just learning from those guys every time I make a mistake they just tell me to forget about it,” Brown said regarding teammates Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd.  “They don’t remember the time they made a mistake, they make me have a short-term memory and just extra work putting it in after practice to be where those guys are.”

Brown already is where those guys are, after only three career regular-season games.  Averaging only three catches per week, he’s already got three touchdowns.

So join us at 5:30 p.m. ET for more from John Brown, along with more from Burmeister, Tony Dungy, Jason Taylor, Ross Tucker, and yours truly.

Permalink 17 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Vernon Davis “feeling great” so 49ers cut a tight end

San Francisco 49ers v Dallas Cowboys Getty Images

Late last week, the 49ers promoted tight end Asante Cleveland from the practice squad to give them a healthy body in the event that Vernon Davis and Vance McDonald weren’t able to play against the Cardinals because of injury.

Neither player could go, but things are looking up for Davis this week. Coach Jim Harbaugh said on Monday that he was “optimistic” that Davis would return to the lineup against the Eagles this week and Davis provided more reason for optimism on Tuesday.

“I’m feeling great,” Davis said, via the Sacramento Bee. “This is going to be a good week for me.”

If Davis is back in action, there’s not much need for Cleveland on the roster and the 49ers made a move Tuesday that showed their confidence in Davis’s condition. They waived Cleveland and re-signed quarterback Josh Johnson, who was dropped to make room for Cleveland on the roster.

Permalink 18 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Cary Williams apologizing about his practice gripe

Cary Williams AP

Eagles cornerback Cary Williams apologized for causing a flap by complaining about the length of practices.

Sort of.

Williams said he should have kept the critiques of coach Chip Kelly’s methods in-house.

“I did that out of anger and frustration. I could have been better in that situation,” Williams said, via Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I spoke to the team today. I addressed each man in there. Told them that I was sorry for what I said and put them in a difficult situation. I told them it won’t happen again.

“I told them I won’t talk negatively about the team or where we’re going. We are 3-0. That’s something to be proud of. I am happy that we are 3-0 because things could have gone otherwise.”

At the same time, he didn’t exactly walk back his criticism, saying “I try not to lie. In that situation I don’t think I did.”

Kelly declared it a non-issue yesterday, and the facts in the case seem to bear him out.

As the league noted earlier today, the Eagles have scored 74 second half points this season, more than 21 teams have scored all season.

 

Permalink 23 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Aaron Rodgers: Offense will be fine

Aaron Rodgers AP

The Packers offense has not gotten off to the fast start to the season that the team would have liked.

The unit has not looked particularly good outside of scoring 28 points in the second and third quarters of the victory over the Jets in Week Two and last Sunday’s outing against the Lions wasn’t good enough in any respect. The run game never got going, quarterback Aaron Rodgers wasn’t his sharpest and the offensive line didn’t serve either part of the attack all that well.

On his weekly radio show on ESPN Milwaukee, Rodgers copped to some poor throws and said that running 51 plays means the offense didn’t play fast enough in the loss to Detroit. He also said that it wasn’t time to panic or look for deeper reasons for the slow start to the season.

“Five letters. R-E-L-A-X. Relax. We’re going to be fine,” Rodgers said, via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com.

Rodgers called the Packers a “resilient bunch” and the fact they went from 1-2 to NFC North champs the last two years suggests that there’s something to be said for the patient approach after three weeks of the season.

Permalink 45 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Jay Gruden on Cousins keeping job: Crazy things have happened in the NFL

Washington Redskins v Philadelphia Eagles Getty Images

Quarterback Kirk Cousins provided plenty of support for arguments that he’s a good fit for head coach Jay Gruden’s offensive scheme in Sunday’s start against the Eagles.

Cousins went 30-of-48 for 417 yards in the 37-34 loss with only a slight downgrade for an interception to mar his record for the day. It’s the kind of performance that explains why some believe Cousins should be the team’s starter even when Robert Griffin III is healthy. It also leads to questions for Gruden about whether Griffin could wind up playing the role of Wally Pipp this season. Gruden didn’t rule it out before and he isn’t ruling it out now.

“Crazy things have happened in NFL,” Gruden said, via Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News. “I’m not going to discount anything.”

Cousins has looked very good since replacing Griffin in Week Two and more of the same in the coming weeks would make it very hard for the Redskins to pull the plug even if Griffin hadn’t looked uncomfortable in the offense during the Week One and the preseason. Since there are going to be several games between now and Griffin’s return, there’s not much reason for Washington to make a call either way at this point in the season but the stage is certainly set for Cousins to extend his run.

Permalink 78 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Michigan could be moving closer to making a run at Harbaugh

Harbaugh AP

With the University of Michigan struggling to such a bad start that the program has been forced to give tickets away to anyone who purchased a bottle of Coca-Cola (unless it didn’t), the speculation already has begun regarding the next coach of the Wolverines.

Coincidentally, the speculation has been ongoing regarding the future of 49ers coach (and former Michigan quarterback) Jim Harbaugh for a while.  Mired in a contractual impasse that has been tabled until after the season, any college or program now knows that Harbaugh is in play for a jump to a new job come 2015.  With the 49ers already mired in a disappointing, stressful year, that jump could be more likely.

And while other NFL programs technically must wait to openly pursue Harbaugh until after the NFL season ends, Michigan can get a jump on everyone by dumping Brady Hoke and beginning the discussions with a man who has had great success at every stop of his coaching career.

Could Harbaugh be tempted to leave?  If he’d leave the NFL for any job, it surely would be the Michigan job.  And the Michigan job likely won’t be open every few years.  This could be the only time the planets line up just right, allowing Harbaugh to exit the 49ers after four seasons and return to the college game.

Where he can run the show.  And run the town.  And run to the bank with more money than the 49ers will pay him.

Permalink 57 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Brian Orakpo has torn ligament, will play with cast

Washington Redskins v Philadelphia Eagles Getty Images

Brian Orakpo might not be able to tackle anybody.

But he still plans to play.

The Washington outside linebacker said he has a torn ligament in his hand, but plans to get a big cast to try to stay on the field.

Via Tarik El-Bashir of CSNWashington.com, Orakpo met with a hand specialist this week. X-rays were negative, but he has a torn ligament which needs to be kept straight. He had a splint on his left middle finger.

Orakpo only missed a few plays against the Eagles

“I don’t feel as bad this week as I did in the game so I can still play my normal right side,” Orakpo said. “I’ll be fine. . . .

“I don’t know how it will affect me because I haven’t been in that situation yet. We’ll see. I should be fine. I’m on the edge. I can hold the edge. I only need to grab [when I] tackle.”

If he can stand the pain and get somebody to the ground, playing with a club should be manageable.

His only limitation will be his inability to fly the Double Bud Adams, limiting him to the Manziel.

Permalink 11 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Jaguars sign Sherrod Martin amid flurry of moves

Atlanta Falcons v Jacksonville Jaguars Getty Images

The Jaguars are 0-3 and they brought in three players on Tuesday they hope will help them get rid of that zero in the win column.

The team announced that they have signed safety Sherrod Martin, tight end Nic Jacobs and linebacker Jeremiah George to their 53-man roster. Martin is the only member of the trio with professional experience.

Martin was a second-round pick in Carolina in 2009 and made 36 starts for them before tearing his ACL in December 2012. He didn’t play in the league at all last season and was with the Jaguars this summer. The need for Martin’s help arose when Chris Prosinski hurt his triceps. He was waived/injured on Tuesday and his departure leaves the Jags with only wide receiver Cecil Shorts and defensive tackle Tyson Alualu to show from the 2010 and 2011 drafts.

Jacobs was signed off of the Saints practice squad, where he landed after failing to make the team as an undrafted free agent. George was a Jets fifth-round pick this year and joins the Jaguars front heir practice squad.

The Jags also announced that they waived wide receiver Kerry Taylor and tight end Marcel Jensen and that defensive tackle DeAndre Coleman has left their practice squad for a job on Miami’s 53-man roster.

Permalink 6 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Kaepernick, Houston dispute quarterback’s use of slur

CK AP

The NFL’s letter informing 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick that he’s been fined for using abusive language doesn’t specific what he said.

Bears defensive end Lamarr Houston now says that Kaepernick used the “N” word.  Kaepernick contends he didn’t.

Via Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, Houston said Monday night that he heard Kaepernick utter the slur.  After the Week Two game, however, Houston had said he heard nothing.

Ultimately, the available audio tape may resolve this one.  Especially since receiver Michael Crabtree wore a microphone during the game and seemed to be close enough to Kaepernick to pick up whatever he said.

Maybe Kaepernick simply said, “Bobby, give me my money.”

Permalink 28 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Odell Beckham gets in a limited practice

cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznpty4otm3owq2mdviyty2zgqxntayztrimzc1zjblmzvm AP

The Giants offense leapt to life in Sunday’s win over the Texans and the good news continued for the team on Tuesday.

Wide receiver Odell Beckham was a limited participant in practice, which usually isn’t a cause for smiles unless the player has only taken part in two practices since being drafted in the first round four months ago. That’s the case for Beckham, who has been out with a hamstring injury for almost all of his brief Giants career.

The Giants are playing Thursday, so Beckham is not going to be making his debut in Week Four. Getting in a little practice time now and ramping things up next week could put him in play for the game against the Falcons, but it’s wait and see for a player who has yet to practice two days in a row as a professional.

Linebacker Jon Beason was also listed as a limited participant after missing the win over Houston. Beason aggravated the foot injury that hampered him in the offseason, but an extended absence may not be in the cards for the Giants starter.

Permalink 10 Comments Feed for comments Back to top