Skip to content

Panthers finally win a coin toss, take early lead

Atlanta Falcons v Carolina Panthers Getty Images

Maybe it’s an omen.

The Panthers won their first coin toss of the year, and thus inspired, drove down the field for an early lead on the Falcons.

The Panthers were 0-13 on coin tosses this year (including an overtime), which can perhaps only be explained by their black cat mascot.

Cam Newton then directed an impressive 11-play, 77-yard drive, hitting Greg Olsen for a 25-yard touchdown. Newton was 5-of-5 passing on the opening drive, continuing a run of solid play.

Permalink 1 Comment Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Home, Rumor Mill
yo

Cris Carter says he wouldn’t have made it to the Hall of Fame without Dennis Green

Plenty of people have heaped plenty of praise on Dennis Green, the former Vikings and Cardinals coach who died three days ago at the age of 67. One Hall of Famer who played for Green admits that, without Green, the gold jacket and bronze bust never would have been issued.

“No, absolutely not,” receiver Cris Carter told PFT Live on Monday regarding whether he would have made it to the Hall of Fame without Green. “I mean, he made me the focal point of the offense. He challenged me in ways no one ever challenged me as a man. He challenged me every game. I mean his pregame speech was, ‘Football’s a team game but it’s individual battles and in those individual battles I need you to whoop your man.’ He would just single me out, be like, ‘Chris Carter, are you gonna whoop your man?’ and I was like, ‘Yes sir.’

“‘They’re gonna double team you probably sixty to seventy percent of the time, are you gonna whoop your man?’ and I’d be like, ‘Yes, sir,'” Carter added.

“We had a roll call and Denny would go down through the locker room and ask them, ‘Johnny Randle are you gonna whoop your man?’ and then he typically would finish [with], ‘Don’t worry, I’m gonna whoop the other coach.'”

Part of whooping the other coach was having a keen eye for talent and the ability to get the most out of that talent. When it comes to the many quarterbacks who thrived under Green, Cris Carter had very strong comments about a guy who started only 10 games during Green’s 10-year career as head coach.

“He did an unbelievable job with Jeff George,” Carter said. “Man, I wish we could’ve played more with Jeff George because his story would be totally different. The vibe that he had with Denny and the relationship he had with the other players, where he didn’t have to be a leader. . . . Jeff George was truly an amazing talent and, man, we had no problems, no issues with Jeff George. Loved him in the locker room and got great results from him on the field.”

George left the Vikings after only one season, joining Washington as a free agent. After a failed attempt to woo Dan Marino to Minnesota, Green opted to go with Daunte Culpepper, a 1999 first-round pick who carried the Vikings to the NFC title game in 2000, a season overshadowed by a 41-0 embarrassment against the Giants.

Permalink 0 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Source: Mannings allowed NFL to see all relevant documents

ENGLEWOOD, CO - MARCH 07:  Quarterback Peyton Manning addresses the media as he announces his retirement from the NFL at the UCHealth Training Center on March 7, 2016 in Englewood, Colorado. Manning, who played for both the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos in a career which spanned 18 years, is the NFL's all-time leader in passing touchdowns (539), passing yards (71,940) and tied for regular season QB wins (186). Manning played his final game last month as the winning quarterback in Super Bowl 50 in which the Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers, earning Manning his second Super Bowl title.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) Getty Images

Throughout the investigation arising from the allegations in an Al Jazeera documentary regarding quarterback Peyton Manning, one clear path existed to getting to the bottom of the situation: Reviewing all relevant documents in the possession, custody, or control of the Guyer Institute regarding the treatment Manning and his wife received.

Although the statement released by the NFL seemed a bit vague on this point, a source with direct knowledge of the investigation tells PFT that, indeed, all relevant documents was provided to the NFL regarding the treatment the Mannings received.

Per the source, Peyton Manning was interviewed by the league recently. The session was lengthy and thorough.

Some may still say that the league didn’t try hard enough or that documents were falsified or anything other than, “The case should now be closed.” While skepticism often has its place, there’s really nothing more that can be done other than to accept that the NFL looked into the situation, that the Mannings cooperated fully, and that there was no credible evidence of a PED violation.

But if there are lingering suspicions that, a year after the NFL applied a scorched-earth approach to the Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady, the league didn’t pursue Manning aggressively enough, the NFL can blame only itself for allowing over the past few years a perception to arise that investigations are conducted with the desired ending point firmly in mind. That perception works to the detriment not only of the NFL but also to the detriment of people like Peyton Manning, who deserves the type of clear, unequivocal exoneration that becomes impossible if some have a plausible basis to decline to accept the league at its word.

In this specific case, there’s no reason not to accept the league at its word.

Permalink 8 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Terron Armstead, Keenan Lewis among Saints on PUP list

LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 15: Cornerback Keenan Lewis #21 of the New Orleans Saints looks on prior to a game against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on November 15, 2015 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images) Getty Images

Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis said recently that he expects to be on the field for the first day of training camp, but the team appears to have other ideas.

Lewis was on one of four Saints placed on the physically unable to perform list on Monday, leaving him short of clearance to take part in practice after an offseason that saw him have knee, hip and sports hernia surgeries. Lewis’ health woes limited him to six games last season and he didn’t play particularly well when he was on the field, so both team and player will be hoping things play out differently this season.

Left tackle Terron Armstead is also on the PUP list. Armstead, who signed a five-year extension this offseason, dealt with a knee injury last year, but practiced this spring so it’s likely a precautionary move by the team.

Defensive end Hau’oli Kikaha is on the list after tearing his ACL in OTAs and placing him on the list leaves open the possibility, however slim, that he could play this season. Wide receiver Vincent Brown rounds out the group of Saints players not yet cleared for practice.

Permalink 0 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Patriots start camp with six offensive starters on PUP

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 29:  Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots  carries the ball after a catch during the first quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium on October 29, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Patriots are starting training camp with a big contingent on the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Starting receivers Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman, starting running back Dion Lewis, starting tackle Sebastian Vollmer and starting guards Tre Jackson and Shaquille Mason are all on PUP.

That’s probably not a reason to be concerned, however. Players often open camp on PUP if they’re recovering from even minor injuries, and many players who open camp on PUP are ready to go before the start of the preseason.

It’s likely that all six starters will be on the field for Week One. If there’s a concern in New England, it’s that Tom Brady won’t be joining them.

Permalink 0 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Jordy Nelson, Jared Cook to start camp on PUP list

Jordy Nelson AP

Packers coach Mike McCarthy thinks quarterback Aaron Rodgers is in the best shape of his time in Green Bay, but six members of the team aren’t healthy enough to avoid the physically unable to perform list at the start of camp.

The NFL’s daily transaction report brings word that wide receiver Jordy Nelson, tight end Jared Cook, linebacker Sam Barrington, guard T.J. Lang, center Corey Linsley and wide receiver Ty Montgomery will all open camp on the PUP list. All six can be activated at any time, but they will not be eligible for the regular season version of the list once they take part in a practice.

Nelson missed last season with a torn ACL and has been the subject of several positive reports about his recovery, although there’s not much reason for the team to go from 0 to 60 right off the bat. Cook had foot surgery this offseason, Montgomery had ankle surgery and Lang had shoulder surgery, but there’s been no talk that they’re at risk of missing the start of the season.

The Packers also waived defensive end B.J. McBryde and running back Don Jackson. Jackson’s departure came with the non-football injury designation.

Permalink 7 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Browns will discuss expectations, direction with Josh Gordon directly

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 23: Josh Gordon #12 of the Cleveland Browns walks of the field after beating the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on November 23, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. The Browns won 26-24.  (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) Getty Images

The NFL conditionally reinstated Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon from his suspension on Monday, although he will miss at least the first four games of the year before he’s given the green light to return to game action.

Gordon will be allowed to take part in training camp and the preseason and is permitted to remain with the team while not practicing during those first four weeks. In a statement, Browns executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown said that the Browns will discuss what will happen at that point with Gordon when the team opens camp.

“With the league’s decision to afford Josh the opportunity to resume his career, he will be with us for the start of training camp,” Brown said. “At that time, we will discuss directly with Josh the direction of our team, our expectations of our players and our plan to support him on and off the field.”

Having Gordon on the field would be a boost to the Browns offense, although it will be a limited one if his return is followed by further off-field issues. Their conversations with Gordon in the coming weeks will likely determine whether the Browns feel that risk is too big for them to take.

Permalink 6 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

NFL, NFLPA unveil new concussion protocol enforcement policy

BALTIMORE, MD - NOVEMBER 22: Quarterback Case Keenum #17 of the St. Louis Rams holds his head after taking a hit against the Baltimore Ravens in the fourth quarter at M&T Bank Stadium on November 22, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Baltimore Ravens won, 16-13. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) Getty Images

Last year’s embarrassing failure of the Rams and the NFL to get quarterback Case Keenum off the field when he obviously had suffered a concussion resulted in no discipline for anyone involved. However, that failure apparently has contributed directly to the development of a new procedure for enforcing the concussion protocol with real discipline moving forward.

The joint agreement of the NFL and NFL Players Association announced Monday entails each party designate a representative “to monitor the implementation of the protocol and investigate potential violations.” The press release announcing the program explains that “[t]he investigation will not reach medical conclusions; it will only determine whether the protocol was followed.” After the investigation, the league and union “will review the findings to determine if a violation occurred and, if so, to recommend the proper disciplinary response.”

If the parties can’t agree on whether a violation occurred, the matter will be submitted to a third-party arbitrator. The arbitrator eventually will issue a report to Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith, and the involved parties.

Ultimately, Goodell has “absolute discretion” to determine the penalties. Still, this process creates a high degree of transparency, making it much harder for situations to be swept under the rug.

A first violation can trigger a fine of up to $150,000. If Goodell finds aggravating circumstances, the minimum fine will be $50,000. Subsequent violations will result in minimum fines of $100,000.

The procedure also allows for the Commissioner to strip draft picks, if Goodell “determines that the club’s medical team failed to follow the protocol due to competitive considerations.”

That’s the provision that will get the attention of the teams. Fines are viewed a cost of doing business; lost draft picks directly affect the ability to do business.

Whether it ever comes to that remains to be seen. Regardless, it appears that something good finally has emerged from last year’s bizarre failure of the Rams and the league to protect Case Keenum.

Permalink 15 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Report: Taylor Mays suspended additional four games

Taylor Mays AP

The Bengals released safety Taylor Mays over the weekend in a move that may be explained by Mays’ unavailability for the first half of the season.

We learned in March that Mays was suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. On Monday, we learned his absence will be even longer.

Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo of NFL Media report that Mays has been suspended for an additional four games. Rapoport reports that the Bengals haven’t ruled out bringing Mays back to the team once his punishment has run its course, although there’s a lot that will happen between now and then that could change their minds.

Mays played for the Bengals from 2011-2014 and spent last season with the Raiders after brief stints with the Lions and Vikings.

Permalink 6 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Jerry Jones issues statement following fatal crash involving bus

Jerry Jones AP

On Sunday, an accident involving the Cowboys bus resulted in the death of four persons in a van. On Monday, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones issued a statement regarding the incident.

An accident involving loss of life is tragic,” Jones said, via Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “We as an organization are deeply saddened, and our thoughts, prayers and concerns at this time are with the family members and loved ones of all who were lost.”

The Cowboys bus was traveling from Texas to Las Vegas for a promotional appearance. It was then due to arrive in Oxnard for training camp.

Officials have said the driver of the van caused the accident by making an illegal turn. Photos of the van from the scene of the accident show a graphic degree of significant damage.

Permalink 4 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Washington not interested in Dwight Freeney

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 27:  Linebacker Dwight Freeney #54 of the Arizona Cardinals walks off the field following the NFL game against the Green Bay Packers at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 27, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeatred the Packers 38-30.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Getty Images

Washington is suddenly without a veteran pass-rusher after Junior Galette suffered another torn Achilles today.

But they’re not looking to fill his spot with someone even more veteran.

According to John Keim of ESPN.com, Washington isn’t interested in signing free agent Dwight Freeney.

Freeney had 8.0 sacks for Arizona last season (and 119.5 in 14 NFL seasons), seemingly showing that he has enough left in the tank at age 36 to hustle up a job.

But Washington’s apparently willing to give long looks to second-rounders Preston Smith (2015) and Su’a Cravens (2016), and doesn’t want to invest in more of a proven commodity.

 

Permalink 7 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Washington waives injured safety Kyshoen Jarrett

LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 15: Strong safety Kyshoen Jarrett #30 of the Washington Redskins makes a tackle on wide receiver Brandin Cooks #10 of the New Orleans Saints in the first half at FedExField on November 15, 2015 in Landover, Maryland. The Washington Redskins won, 47-14. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) Getty Images

Washington safety Kyshoen Jarrett had a promising rookie season in 2015. But that rookie season ended with an injury, and now Jarrett’s time in Washington is over.

Jarrett was waived today with failed physical designation, as he is still dealing with nerve damage in his shoulder stemming from a collision with Cowboys running back Darren McFadden in Week 17. He has been seeing specialists across the country but has so far been unable to get healthy enough to play again.

A 2015 sixth-round draft pick out of Virginia Tech, Jarrett played in all 16 games as a rookie, starting six and also contributing significantly on special teams.

Washington currently has 88 players on its roster, so the team could add two more players without making any other transactions.

Permalink 6 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Jaguars say Jalen Ramsey is cleared for the start of training camp

jalen-ramsey-042916-getty-ftrjpg_1qkn7u8h8br4n1ajqgeg94igt8 Getty Images

The Jaguars have too much experience with offseason injuries to star picks to not be cautious.

But Jalen Ramsey has apparently shown them he’s well and ready to go.

According to the Associated Press, Jaguars General Manager Dave Caldwell confirmed Monday that his first-round pick would be cleared to begin training camp after needing surgery in May to repair a torn meniscus.

Ramsey, the fifth overall pick in this year’s draft, scared plenty of Jaguars fans when he went down during offseason work, after the team lost first-rounder Dante Fowler to an offseason injury last year.

But Ramsey’s progress has been quick, and they’ve been optimistic throughout that he’d be well.

The Jaguars are also expected to have free agent tackle Kelvin Beachum available, signaling he’s recovered from last year’s knee injury. Likewise, defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks, who missed the last seven games last year with a torn right triceps, has also bee cleared.

Offensive lineman Luke Bowanko and defensive end Jonathan Woodard are expected to start camp on the PUP  list.

Permalink 4 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Vick keeps campaigning for a job

SAN DIEGO, CA - OCTOBER 12:  Quarterback Mike Vick #2 of the Pittsburgh Steelers stands on the sidelines during a game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on October 12, 2015 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images) Getty Images

NFL teams have had 90 roster spots for months. And not a single team has given one of them to quarterback Mike Vick.

With camps opening, Vick continues to push for a preseason job. He recently said he wants to play for a contender. Appearing on Monday’s edition of The Dan Patrick Show, Vick seemed to be far less choosy.

“We had a couple phone calls,” Vick said. “I won’t say as many phone calls as I’d like. I understand the dynamics. I’m 36 years old. The thing is I still have a lot in the tank. I go work out, still go throw, still feel good. And the thing is with me, I just don’t like the way the season ended last year. I ended the year inactive and that’s not me. I’m truly better than that. And I believe in that.”

One of the reasons team shy away from Vick is that he never has fully embraced the role of a backup, with his high level of confidence causing him, even now, to not rule out the possibility of becoming a starter.

“I know I can still win football games,” Vick said. “Not saying that I can go out and be a 16-week starter, who knows? But you’ve got to get that opportunity. I still feel like I can produce.”

Dan suggested a way to prove it: Have a Pro Day workout.

“If I had a Pro Day, I would light it up,” Vick said. “I mean, I go work out and I look good in my training, and everybody tells me that. So that gives me the confidence that, you know, I do still have it. And the reason why I can think forward and think positive about where I’m at in my career, and how I can finish, and it’s all about finishing strong. So Pro Day, it’ll be exceptional for me and everyone watching. But do I want to run the 40 again? No.”

Vick believes he’d still do well in the 40 (even if he doesn’t want to run it), but playing quarterback entails much more than whatever straight line speed he still has. The fact that he still believes he can play at a high level, coupled with the reality that so many current players grew up idolizing him, limits his universe of teams to those with firmly established starters who would never be the subject of a potential locker-room mutiny fueled by starstruck youngsters who love the idea of playing with Mike Vick.

Vick found that spot in Pittsburgh in 2015, but when he got a chance to play, it didn’t work out very well. With Ben Roethlisberger injured, Vick eventually yielded to Landry Jones.

Part of the problem was that Vick didn’t know the offense because he arrived late. This year, he’d be joining the team without the benefit of participating in an offseason program.

Last year, it took an injury to Bruce Gradkowski to get Vick a chance. This year, it may take another injury. Even then, chances are Vick’s name is farther down the list than it was a year ago.

Permalink 12 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Texans put J.J. Watt, Duane Brown on PUP list

J.J. Watt AP

They didn’t do it with a handwritten note, but the Texans have made it official that defensive end J.J. Watt won’t be practicing with the team when training camp opens.

The Texans announced on Monday that Watt has been placed on the physically unable to perform list. Watt had back surgery recently and told fans that he expects to be back soon, although there are conflicting reports about just how soon that will be. Watt also had groin surgery this offseason, so more time to rest at this point in the calendar should have its benefits.

Left tackle Duane Brown was also placed on the PUP list as he continues to return from the torn quadriceps that ended his 2015 season. He said earlier this offseason that he expects to be back for Week One.

Tackle Jeff Adams, safety Lonnie Ballentine and cornerback Cleveland Williams III were also placed on the PUP list while linebacker Brennan Scarlett is on the non-football injury list. The Texans also announced that they have signed wide receiver Quenton Bundrage and waived wide receiver Richard Mullaney.

Permalink 1 Comment Feed for comments Back to top

Junior Galette done for year with torn Achilles

0218-junior-galette-getty-4 Getty Images

For the second straight year, Washington linebacker Junior Galette’s season is ending before it starts.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Galette has suffered a torn right Achilles tendon. He’s expected to miss the year.

Galette, whose Twitter page hints at a significant hardship of recent vintage, suffered the same injury in the left leg last August, during his first preseason with Washington. This year, the injury apparently has happened while Galette was not with the team. If so, that would allow Washington to place him on the non-football injury list and, if the team so chooses, to not pay his base salary of $1 million this season.

The team had planned to hold Galette back until training camp, given last year’s injury. But G.M. Scot McCloughan had noticed that Galette’s “explosion” had returned, and the team had hoped he’d return to the same form that allowed him to rack up 22 sacks over 2013 and 2014 combined, his last two years with the Saints.

Permalink 40 Comments Feed for comments Back to top