Skip to content

NBC Sports, Yahoo! Sports announce partnership

NBCSportsYodel

We take a short break for the many twists and turns of yet another hectic NFL weekend to point out that, on Sunday night, a pretty significant deal was announced.

Yahoo! Sports and NBC Sports have embarked on a new partnership, a web-and-TV integration that creates a digital and on-air powerhouse.

NBC’s Bob Costas made the announcement during Football Night in America.

“The complementary nature of this partnership is unmatched in digital sports media,” NBC Sports Group Chairman Mark Lazarus said.  “Through our growing television and digital platforms, the Yahoo! Sports partnership dramatically expands the digital reach of NBC Sports around the biggest sporting events.  We are committed to continually growing this alliance for the benefit of both parties, our sports-property partners, and, most importantly, sports fans.”

“Passionate fans need news and analysis about their favorite teams in real time, and they want access to that information no matter where they are,” said Ken Fuchs, V.P. of Yahoo! Global Media and head of Yahoo! Sports and Games.  “We’re thrilled to combine Yahoo!’s fantasy offerings, product innovation and editorial authority with NBC’s broadcast coverage of live sports events and award-winning on-air talent.  We think our users will love the result.”

For those of you who frequent this specific destination, nothing will change.  But in time there could be a lot more of you frequenting this specific destination.

We trust that our old friends and our new friends will find a way to get along in the comments section.  Just as soon as our old friends find a way to get along in the comments section.

Permalink 10 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Home, Rumor Mill
yo

Leah Still suffers health setback

Screen Shot 2015-05-30 at 3.43.35 PM

Leah Still, the daughter of Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still who has inspired millions with her battle against cancer, has suffered a setback.

Devon Still wrote on Instagram that Leah has been diagnosed with veno-occlusive disease, a liver problem that can be life-threatening.

“I need some prayers sent up for Leah tonight! We hit a pretty serious complication from the stem cell transplant called VOD. They caught it early so hopefully it gives the doctors a better chance of stopping it from getting aggressive. As you can imagine our minds are all over the place but we’re going to try and remain positive! #LeahStrong,” Still wrote.

The 5-year-old Leah has previously had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor as well as chemotherapy, radiation, and stem-cell transplants.

Permalink 0 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Jamaal Charles wants to play six more years

Jamaal Charles, Donnie Avery AP

Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles is coming off a season in which he played through nagging injuries all year. But at age 28, he doesn’t think his body is breaking down.

In fact, Charles thinks he’s going to keep playing through 2020, defying age and going far beyond what most running backs are able to achieve.

“I want to play another six years,” Charles said. “I’m seeing guys at 37 or 38 still playing football in the trenches and that’s somewhere where you don’t want to play. So I just want to change the game with the running backs. I want this to last longer and then when I retire, I’ll be happy with where I end my career at.”

If Charles does play six more seasons, he would play his last NFL game at age 34, an age at which few running backs are productive: The last time a running back at 34 or older managed a 1,000-yard season was in 1984, when John Riggins did it. But Charles thinks it will become more common in the future.

“Football is changing, sports are just changing,” Charles said. “You can see basketball, like Kobe Bryant, he is still playing at 36. You see Tim Duncan. I think back in the days you couldn’t play for long because there were a lot of people that didn’t know the fundamentals of hitting, running people over. That’s not my form.”

The good news for Charles is that, as the NFL’s all-time leading running back at 5.5 yards a carry, even if he slows down a step, he could still be a productive player. It’s not realistic to think Charles will still be playing at 34 the way he has played in his 20s, but it might be realistic to think he could still play well enough to have a spot on an NFL roster.

Permalink 21 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

DeMaurice Smith: NFL refused to give up power over players in 2011

DeMaurice Getty Images

When it comes to the power of Commissioner Roger Goodell over NFL players, the NFL Players Association routinely absorbs criticism for failing to take back that power four years ago, during the Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations.

Apart from the question of whether it would have made sense to trade something that helps all players in exchange for something that would protect, as a practical matter, only a few per year is the question of whether the NFL ever would have taken anything in exchange for the ability to have final say over certain matters regarding player conduct. NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith says the NFL simply wasn’t interested in giving up the league’s powers.

“That was a subject of our negotiations, and the owners’ response was what their response is now: They’re not interested in changing the policy,” Smith told Jim Trotter of ESPN.com. “That doesn’t mean, however, that the players should give up on the issue. The owners’ response to the drug policy in 2011 was that they did not want to change, and the players continued to negotiate that until we reached a resolution in 2014. One of the more powerful arguments for neutral arbitration and for a collectively bargained personal conduct policy is what happened last year. If there was ever an instance that demonstrated a need for a collectively bargained process, it’s a process that the NFL got wrong in [Ray] Rice that led to it being overturned, that it got wrong in [Adrian] Peterson that led to it being overturned.”

The Rice and Peterson outcomes show that the Commissioner’s power has limits, and the NFLPA has enforced those limits successfully in multiple high-profile cases, from the Saints bounty scandal to the Rice case to the Peterson case, and now in the Greg Hardy and Tom Brady suspensions. Even if the league has no interest in further reducing the power the Commissioner holds, the union can continue to challenge on a case by case basis the way the Commissioner tries to use it.

Permalink 19 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

June 21 looms as key date for Oakland stadium effort

Davis Getty Images

In early June, the Chargers will commence the process of figuring out whether they can stay in San Diego. Within a few weeks, the Raiders will learn more about whether they can stay in Oakland.

Raiders owner Mark Davis explained to ESPN’s John Clayton that an update on the efforts of Floyd Kephart to find the extra money needed for an Oakland stadium will be provided by the end of next month.

“They are attempting to come up with that $400 million gap through some type of a real estate development deal,” Davis said. “By June 21, they’re supposed to come with a financing plan to the city and the county and then to us. We’ll see if it’s a doable deal or not. We’re hoping that it is.”

Davis wants to build a new Oakland stadium in the site of the current one, with a $500 million private contribution that includes a $200 million loan from the NFL. The estimated price of a new Raiders stadium in Oakland is $900 million — far cheaper than most modern football venues.

“If we were to be in Oakland, we don’t really need to have all the bells and whistles on the stadium,” Davis said. “What we want is a football stadium. We don’t need massive clubs and things of that nature. The three things that are most important to me in a stadium up here would be ingress, egress and parking. The reason I bring those things up is that it makes it easy for people to get in and out and the parking. Tailgating is such a major part of the Raiders game day experience for our fans, that it’s something that I’m not willing to give up. Parking is such an important thing. If we have those things and were able to build a football stadium, similar to Seattle or something of that nature, we’d be more than happy.”

If that can’t happen, happiness would come via a move to Carson, in a joint stadium to be shared with the Chargers. Which has sparked an unlikely alliance between Davis and Chargers owner Dean Spanos.

“Dean and I have always seen each other but we’ve rarely talked, and I think it was a competitive-type thing,” Davis said. “We did have a vicious and we still do have a very vicious rivalry going on the football field. But once Dean and I got together about three or four months ago to talk about this project, we really got along. We have similar business principles and things are working out pretty good in that respect.”

It’s believed that a shared stadium would end the twice-per-year rivalry by resulting in one of the two teams changing conferences. Davis calls that angle premature.

“That hasn’t been brought up to me yet,” Davis said. “That hasn’t even been one of the discussion points. I know it’s been brought up by other people in the media and things of that nature, but that issue hasn’t been brought up. I think that’s something that the League will deal with when the time comes.”

Or “if” the time comes. Davis presumably hopes it’s an “if” not a “when.” And it’s possible that his use of “when” was a slip that reveals what he truly wants for the Chargers.

Permalink 24 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Saturday one-liners

Fred Getty Images

Some big names could be bounced by the Bills, including RB Fred Jackson.

Should the Dolphins be concerned about their interior offensive line?

Yes, the Patriots opened a portion of Friday’s OTA session to the media; no, the players didn’t have numbers on their shirts — or for the first time on the backs of their helmets.

Former Chan Gailey pupil Kordell Stewart believes the Jets new offensive coordinator will help QB Geno Smith flourish.

Young defensive players were happy to see veteran Ravens LB Daryl Smith participate in OTAs.

The tackle-rich Bengals likely aren’t inclined to trade one to Denver.

The Browns have dumped LS Christian Yount, which suggests that Charley Hughlett will get the job in 2015.

Steelers DT Daniel McCullers shed 15 pounds through a no soda, Doritos, or video-game-binge diet.

Jaguars receivers coach Jerry Sullivan says his unit lacks a “drum major,” but it has “a lot of guys I trust.”

Titans K Ryan Succop didn’t arm wrestle QB Marcus Mariota for No. 8; Succop simply gave it to him.

Colts P Pat McAfee sold out 1,600 tickets to a July 11 standup comedy show; a second show has been added.

Here’s the story behind the giant bruise on the leg of Texans DE J.J. Watt.

LB Von Miller will be used on the strong side in Wade Phillips’ 3-4 defense.

Chiefs WR Kenny Cook can relate to S Eric Berry; Cook overcame Hodgkin lymphoma in high school.

New Raiders RB Roy Helu is the “most excited I’ve been to play football in the NFL thus far.”

Expectations are increasing for second-year Chargers CB Jason Verrett.

Cowboys DE Randy Gregory calls himself “a little bit goofy” and an “introvert.”

Here are the three biggest surprises from the first week of Giants OTA sessions.

Should the Eagles have used RB Darren Sproles more often in 2014?

Could CB Chris Culliver be the key to improving the Washington secondary?

Bears undrafted rookie DT Terry Williams is known as the “Swamp Monster.”

Lions DE Corey Wootton says he never felt comfortable in the Minnesota defense last year.

Packers DL B.J. Raji has embraced yoga.

The Vikings have outgrown their Winter Park headquarters, and could move from Eden Prairie to Chanhassen.

Falcons QB Matt Ryan likes the increased pace of practice under Dan Quinn.

Here are five observations on the Panthers’ OTA sessions from the past week.

Compete Street” has appeared at the Saints’ practice facility.

CB Alterraun Verner is encouraged by the depth the Buccaneers are building at cornerback.

Get to know Cardinals QB Phillip Sims.

The 49ers have added a ring of artificial turf around the grass field.

Seahawks S Kam Chancellor says he’s had the strongest offseason of his career.

Here’s a great look at the background and upbringing of Rams G.M. Les Snead.

Permalink 4 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Plaxico Burress avoids jail on tax evasion charges

Martin Getty Images

Steve Martin’s “I forgot” defense apparently works.

Former NFL receiver Plaxico Burress won’t be going to prison for failing to pay income taxes. Via TMZ, Burress avoided incarceration by simply paying the money he allegedly didn’t pay to the State of New Jersey in 2013.

Burress claimed he made a “simple mistake,” not by forgetting to pay (so the Steve Martin thing was a bit of a stretch) but by trying to pay via bad electronic check. He owed nearly $48,000.

Indicted last month, Burress faced up to a decade in prison. Seven years ago, Burress served almost two years after shooting himself in the leg with a gun in New York City. Which is far different from, and yet eerily similar to, performing with an arrow through the head while performing live from New York on Saturday night.

Permalink 26 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Jets give Brandon Marshall a raise

New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall makes a catch during voluntary minicamp ahead of the NFL football season, Tuesday, April 28, 2015, in Florham Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) AP

The Jets want to keep veteran receiver Brandon Marshall happy.

As a result, they’ve given him a raise, Field Yates of ESPN reports.

Under Marshall’s old contract, which the Jets assumed when they acquired him in a trade with the Bears, he was due a maximum of $24.3 million over the next three years. Now Marshall could make as much as $26 million in the next three years. The Jets have also added $1.3 million in full guarantees to Marshall’s deal.

For 2015, Marshall has gone from a $7.5 million base salary and $200,000 workout bonus to a fully guaranteed $9 million base salary, with no workout bonus. Marshall is getting an even bigger raise in 2016, when he goes from a $7.9 million base salary to a $9.5 million base salary.

Marshall did, however, accept a pay cut from $8.3 million to $7.5 million on his 2017 base salary, perhaps an indication from both sides that by then Marshall will be in his mid-30s and not the same player.

Overall, this is a great deal for Marshall and a surprising move for the Jets, who could have simply told him that he was stuck playing for the contract he already signed. They obviously don’t want Marshall to become disgruntled, and they’re willing to spend some money to make sure he’s glad to be a Jet.

Permalink 61 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Chris Canty has some advice for Marc Trestman

Canty Getty Images

Ravens defensive lineman Chris Canty skipped the team’s OTA session on Friday, for a very good reason. He was hanging out with us, at the NBC Sports studio in Connecticut for Friday’s Pro Football Talk on NBCSN.

But while Canty was out of sight, the Ravens weren’t out of mind. He spoke with Paul Burmeister about various subjects relating to the team, including the new offense under Marc Trestman.

“I hope they don’t change it very much,” Canty said. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Canty praised the balance from 2014, establishing the run and (most importantly for Canty) keeping the defense off the field. And Canty hopes that balance continues with Gary Kubiak gone and Marc Trestman in as the offensive coordinator.

“Please, Coach Trestman, don’t change a whole lot,” Canty said, laughing.

Ravens fans surely feel the same way, given that the offense in 2015 was good enough to get to the divisional round of the playoffs — and to twice build 14-point leads over the Patriots in their own building.

For all of Canty’s chat with Burmeister, click the thing in the thing under this thing.

Permalink 30 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Lawyer claims Shembo didn’t mean to kill dog

Shembo Getty Images

Every criminal defendant has a lawyer, and every lawyer for every criminal defendant says the criminal defendant didn’t do it.

In the case of former Falcons linebacker Prince Shembo, then, his lawyer claims Shembo is innocent.

Froelich added that Shembo owns a dog, and that Shembo has never injured the dog.

It’s unclear whether the Christopher Moltisante defense will work for Shembo. On one hand, there were no witnesses to Shembo’s alleged crime. On the other hand, the injuries to the dog were extensive, which means that Shembo had better have a pretty good explanation for how those injuries happened.

Then there’s the fact that Shembo’s ex will testify that Shembo admitted to killing the dog. Shembo may claim that he said he killed the dog accidentally, which makes the dog owner’s testimony regarding what Shembo actually said and his demeanor while saying it critical.

Regardless, every criminal defendant in America is entitled to broad protections aimed at ensuring innocent people aren’t sent to jail. And plenty of guilty people have successfully taken advantage of those protections over the years.

Permalink 88 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Rams’ picks are all unsigned, with financial counseling coming first

toddgurley AP

Most of this year’s NFL draft picks have already signed their contracts. But none of the Rams’ picks have.

That’s because the Rams’ policy is to give each player financial counseling before anyone signs a contract.

In each of the last two years, the Rams have signed all their picks en masse, after gathering the rookie class together and giving the players a course on financial management. Players are instructed on what the team calls “Financial Planning 101,” with information about how to invest and how not to go broke.

The Rams’ rookies will get signing bonuses of anywhere from $70,000 for seventh-round pick Martin Ifedi, all the way up to more than $8 million for first-round pick Todd Gurley. The Rams want to give those players the money they need to use that money wisely.

The Collective Bargaining Agreement agreed upon in 2011 makes rookie contracts so straightforward that there’s little to negotiate, and little reason not to sign immediately. Except for the reason the Rams have found: Making sure players have some information about how to invest their money before they receive it.

Permalink 15 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Matt Barkley: Tim Tebow’s an arm, he’s not taking my reps

tebow AP

When the Eagles signed Tim Tebow, fellow quarterback Mark Sanchez dismissed Tebow as a camp arm. Coach Chip Kelly disagreed.

Eagles third-string quarterback Matt Barkley agrees with Sanchez, suggesting that Tebow was brought in so the Eagles would have another guy to throw to the receivers after GJ Kinne switched from quarterback to wide receiver.

“He’s not taking my reps on the field,” Barkley said, via NJ.com. “He’s an arm we need for the team, with G.J. making the move to receiver. Tim’s just one of us. He’s trying to make the team just like we all are. It hasn’t effected my approach to how I feel the team thinks of me or how I’m going out to compete every day.”

But while the other quarterbacks seem to see Tebow as a camp arm, it’s up to Kelly, who insists that Tebow is on the team to be a quarterback.

And really, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to sign Tebow to be a camp arm because Tebow doesn’t have a good arm. Tebow’s strengths lie in his ability to improvise and make plays when things break down. If Kelly just wanted another passer to help work with the receivers in camp, he could have found a better passer than Tebow, who would have come with fewer distractions than Tebow. Kelly signed Tebow because sees something in Tebow’s potential to help the Eagles win in the fall, not just to work with the team in the summer.

Barkley should realize that because if Tebow makes the team, Barkley won’t.

Permalink 100 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Kubiak wants Peyton practicing under center

peyton AP

In the latest sign that new Broncos coach Gary Kubiak will make significant changes to the offense, quarterback Peyton Manning has been spending his time under center at Organized Team Activities.

Kubiak said he knows Manning can run an offense in the shotgun, but he wants Manning to get work under center, and that’s the priority right now.

“That’s kind of the plan. We’re going to do that initially,” Kubiak said. “We know the other end of the stick (shotgun) is fine; that’s something that he’s been doing forever. So we’re going to spend a lot of time under center initially in our process and how we’re going to go about our teaching. We have a nine-day installation period that we have, so he’s going to be under [center] for a good three days before we move back, but he’s been very responsive, and he’s working extremely hard.”

Manning said he’s fine with making changes in Kubiak’s offense.

“Whatever they ask me to do, I feel like I can do it,” Manning said.

During his first three years in Denver, Manning was given free rein to run the show on the Broncos’ offense. But he won’t be given quite the same free rein this year. The Broncos are still Manning’s team. But even more, the Broncos are Kubiak’s team.

Permalink 30 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Report: Chris Chester signs with Falcons

Chester Getty Images

Free-agent guard Chris Chester had lined up visits with the Falcons and Eagles. And he won’t be taking those visits.

Via Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com, Chester has signed with the Falcons. It’s a one-year, $2.8 million contract.

Washington released Chester earlier this week. In Atlanta, he’ll be reunited with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.

Chester signed with Washington in 2011, after five seasons with the Ravens. He started all 64 regular-season games in four seasons with D.C.

Permalink 17 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Harbaugh “wouldn’t want any other quarterback” than “superstar” Flacco

Harbaugh Getty Images

Is Joe Flacco elite? It’s a question that has become a punchline in some circles. And coach John Harbaugh seems to be ready to punch anyone who would ask that question.

Someone asked that question, with different and more words, during a Friday press conference. And Harbaugh defended Flacco aggressively.

Joe Flacco’s been a great quarterback from the day he got here,” Harbaugh said. “You wanna look back and say this has been the most talented offense in the NFL for the last seven years and they carried Joe Flacco, you can say that if you want, but it’s ridiculous. Joe Flacco is a great player, he’s only gonna get better. I think he’s hitting his stride, hitting the peak of his career. And I wouldn’t want any other quarterback in the National Football League. Period, end of story. So just write than and be done with it, because that’s the last I really want to hear about it.

“This guy is a superstar in the National Football League, and I’m thrilled to have him and I can’t wait to see what he does with all that young talent around him.”

They’ll need more young — and cheap — talent around Flacco in 2016, once his cap number shoots from $14.55 million to $28.55 million. With the head coach speaking of Flacco in such glowing terms, it’s going to be expensive to both knock down that cap number and to extend his stay indefinitely beyond the current season.

Permalink 123 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

NaVorro Bowman returns to team drills, doesn’t like knee brace

Bowman Getty Images

With multiple inside linebackers surprisingly retired, the 49ers need to get Navorro Bowman back. And they’re moving closer toward doing just that.

Bowman returned to team drills on Friday, joining the 49ers for an OTA practice session more than 16 months after tearing an ACL in the NFC title game at Seattle.

“It’s great having him back out on the field,” coach Jim Tomsula said regarding Bowman on Friday. “Then also the road he’s traveled here in the last year and a half. It’s just awesome to have him out there and I think he’s really enjoying himself.”

Bowman’s not enjoying one thing — wearing a brace on his surgically-repaired knee.

“He is not, they are not friends,” Tomsula said of Bowman and his brace. “But, we really want him to wear it. Just why not, that’s all. And you know what, he’s doing great with it, he is. But, you know Bo. He’s something else, just pushing, pushing, pushing.”

Patrick Willis and Chris Borland called it a career after the 2014 season, making Bowman a key component of a defense that is squarely in transition, especially with defensive lineman Justin Smith retired, too.

Permalink 20 Comments Feed for comments Back to top