Mike Florio discusses the issue of NFL players driving while intoxicated and how harsher penalties may help prevent the problem from reoccurring. Florio also speaks on the Ravens firing Cam Cameron and how they are going to move forward from this. The Cardinals suffered the worst loss in franchise history in Week 14 against the Seattle Seahawks, and now it is only a matter of time before major changes start happening in Arizona.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
PFT Live: NFL doing enough to prevent drunk driving?
NFL executive V.P. Eric Grubman became the in-house point man for the league’s return to Los Angeles. He emerged, as chronicled in a lengthy item from Seth Wickersham and Don Van Natta, Jr. of ESPN the Magazine, as a perceived supporter of the Stan Kroenke’s desire to move the Rams to L.A.
Grubman apparently also surfaced within the league’s rumor mill, as noted in the ESPN article, as a candidate to land a cushy gig with the Rams after they return to L.A. The ESPN article calls the rumors “persistent,” creating a belief by some that Grubman was an “agent for Inglewood.”
Via Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Grubman takes umbrage at the notion he’ll land with the Rams.
“It couldn’t be further from the truth,” Grubman said two days before the Super Bowl, via Thomas. “I was personally insulted by that. I don’t like that implication or insinuation. It could not be further from the truth.”
The overall dynamics remain unusual. The ESPN article reports that Grubman at one point submitted a bid in the blind auction that resulted in Kroenke securing the land on which the new Rams stadium will be built. Which placed Grubman (or whoever he was representing in that stage of the process) at odds with Kroenke.
Now that Grubman has helped Kroenke leave for L.A., perhaps Grubman can help someone else return to St. Louis.
“I think it’s all about what St. Louis wants,” Grubman told Thomas. “If St. Louis wants to be an NFL city, they’ve got a hell of a chance of being one. If they don’t, or they’re ambivalent about it, then it’s a lot tougher.”
Ultimately, it comes down to how deep the politicians are willing to dig in the public coffers. Or, as in the case of Kroenke and the Rams, whether an owner is hell bent on moving his team to St. Louis, even if he has to pay for the stadium himself.
When Emmitt Smith was playing in the NFL, teams didn’t hesitate to run their best players into the ground. When Smith played through a separated shoulder in a big game against the Giants, all the talk was about what a tough guy Smith was, not about whether it might be inadvisable for a player to play through an injury.
Times change, and these days, it’s not only acceptable for a player to sit out when he’s hurt, but a requirement if the injury in question is a concussion. Smith thinks greater concerns about player safety — particularly CTE — will shorten careers, and as a result he thinks it’s unlikely that any running back will play long enough to break his all-time record of 18,355 rushing yards.
“It’s a reflection of the changing times in terms of how they value the running back position and how the game has changed into a running back-by-committee approach,” Smith told ESPN. “It could be because of the CTE stuff, it could be because of how offenses use spread formations vs. the I-formation and it could be the way they rotate players in and out.”
Smith acknowledged that Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has a shot at the rushing record, but Smith doubts that anyone other than Peterson could reach it.
“If he doesn’t get it, I don’t know who’s going to get it,” Smith said. “He’s still got a lot of yards to go. I’m not going to lie to you.”
Although Peterson is still going strong, leading the NFL with 1,485 yards last season, he is unlikely to top Smith’s record: Peterson turns 31 next month and is still 6,680 yards behind Smith. Even if Peterson can run for 1,485 yards a season at ages 31, 32, 33 and 34 — an enormous “if” — he would still be short of Smith’s record.
At a time when players like Marshawn Lynch, Calvin Johnson, Patrick Willis, Jason Worilds, Jake Locker, Anthony Davis and Chris Borland are walking away from the game early, fewer and fewer players will want to keep playing as long as Smith did. That’s one reason his record seems safe.
Should the Patriots, who need help at running back, pursue Forte, too?
The Bills’ “Bermuda Triangle” reunited for the first time more more than three decades. (Which is fitting, since the team’s playoff appearances for roughly half that time have been as elusive as the Loch Ness Monster.)
How the case involving former Ravens RB Ray Rice may have delayed the NFL’s return to L.A.
Whatever happened to former Colts TE Ken Dilger?
They’re replacing seats in the upper deck of the stadium where the Titans play. (Apparently, the seats go bad if they’re never used.)
Former Chiefs WR Otis Taylor, 73, is bedridden with Parkinson’s disease and dementia.
Season-ticket packages for Raiders games start at $225 — for the whole season.
The Chargers are looking at Mission Valley as the site for a new San Diego-area stadium.
Should Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and former coach Jimmy Johnson make it to the Hall of Fame?
Here’s a look at how the Eagles offense will be different under new coach Doug Pederson.
The Packers are installing an 850,000-gallon tank to hold storm water.
Falcons G.M. Thomas Dimitroff and coach Dan Quinn have a 100-day plan.
Coach Ron Rivera knows the Panthers won’t be sneaking up on anybody.
What should the Saints do at guard?
Donnie Shell will present former Buccaneers coach Tony Dungy for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Former 49ers special-teams coordinator Thomas McGaughey Jr. could land in Carolina.
Here are the top five decisions the Cardinals need to make this offseason.
Would the Seahawks be interested in RB Matt Forte?
Is the Rams’ defense championship ready?
Broncos safety Shiloh Keo was arrested on a DUI charge early Saturday in his native Idaho.
KBOI TV in Boise reported that Keo was booked into the Ada County Jail at 2:19 a.m. Saturday by the Idaho State Police.
Keo, 28, signed with the Broncos in December and saw significant action through the end of the regular season and playoffs for a banged-up Broncos secondary. He had three postseason tackles.
A fifth-round pick of the Texans in 2011, Keo played in 42 games in Houston from 2011-13.
In the early days of PFT, an article emerged regarding a defamation lawsuit filed against Peyton and Archie Manning. The litigation, which arose from an allegation that the Mannings defamed a former University of Tennessee trainer in a book they had written (Peyton said that the trainer had a “vulgar mouth”), sparked the publication of an accusation that Manning had placed his “naked butt and rectum” on the face of the trainer while she was examining him in 1996.
The longest-standing members of PFT Planet know that, from time to time over the years, we’ve used the phrase “naked butt and rectum” in reference to the story, which never caught fire in the pre-social media days of the Internet — even though the USA Today item was titled “Manning’s image could take hit in suit.” That article, which didn’t characterize the incident as a sexual assault, apparently flowed from a 74-page document filed in the defamation lawsuit. USA Today didn’t publish the full document, and it released no details beyond the reference to Manning allegedly placing “his ‘naked butt and rectum’ on [the trainer’s] face.”
Now that Peyton Manning has won his second Super Bowl and potentially will be walking off into the sunset, the same 74-page document has been sent to the New York Daily News.
The ensuing #longread from Shaun King of the Daily News is at times hard to follow, as it attempts to summarize most of the 74 pages in chronological order. Also, King’s article displays a clear anti-Peyton bias, and more than a little melodrama. This #notaslongread item comes from the 74-page document itself, which has been published in full by the Daily News.
Before going any farther, it’s important to understand what the 74-page document is, and what it isn’t. The 74-page document is a piece of advocacy. The 74-page document is something that was written by the lawyers representing Jamie Ann Naughright in her defamation case against the Mannings. The 74-page document is, necessarily, one-sided.
The 74-page document is not objective. The 74-page document is not supposed to be objective. The 74-page document is not a court order or any other decision made by a neutral party. And, ultimately, the 74-page document is incomplete without comparing it to the corresponding “Facts of the Case” document submitted by the defendants in the case.
There’s another very important, and intriguing, way in which the 74-page document is incomplete. While it contains testimony and allegations about the “naked butt and rectum” escapade, Naughright’s lawyers redacted when filing the 74-page document large chunks of information regarding an earlier alleged incident from 1994. At page 10 of the 74-page document, the lawyers for Naughright explain that, because Peyton Manning’s lawyers had asked that “certain exhibits and deposition testimony relating to this 1994 incident be designated as part of the ‘confidential record’ and not publicly be revealed,” the information absent from the public document was filed “under seal,” meaning that only the presiding judge and the judge’s staff could see it.
This means that the information about the 1994 incident was in some way more sensitive than the 1996 “naked butt and rectum” incident, which was detailed in the 74-page document, without redaction. Common sense suggests that this means the other incident possibly was more graphic and/or inflammatory and/or offensive and/or problematic for Peyton than the “naked butt and rectum” incident from two years later.
At page 14 of the 74-page document, Naughright’s lawyers tell the story of the 1996 incident, with excerpts from Naughright’s deposition regarding what allegedly occurred while she was examining Peyton Manning’s lower leg for a stress fracture.
“It was the gluteus maximus, the rectum, the testicles, and the area in between the testicles,” Naughright said. “And all that was on my face when I pushed him up and off.”
The 74-page document then alleges that Manning worked with another Tennessee trainer, Mike Rollo, to “hatch a story” that Manning was “mooning” another UT athlete. That was the version, according to Naughright’s lawyers, that Peyton Manning and Rollo provided to investigators and the media, and it was the version that appeared in the Mannings’ book.
“That’s what struck me as so bizarre about the whole situation,” Peyton Manning testified in the lawsuit, “that she was distraught, she was upset, and it seemed unusual. And I think I’ve described it in here as an incredible awkward or unusual occurrence. And I have no explanations for it.”
In the 74-page document, Naughright’s lawyers then attempt to expose that the “mooning” explanation was fabricated, describing the incident instead as a “sexual assault,” with Peyton Manning “committing a disgusting act and showing his contempt for someone he did not like.” The effort to debunk the “mooning” contention includes an affidavit from the alleged recipient of the “mooning,” Malcolm Saxon, along with a December 2002 letter from Saxon to Peyton Manning in which Saxon tells Peyton “you messed up” and urging him to “take some personal responsibility” for the situation.
“Coming clean is the right thing to do!!” Saxon writes to Peyton Manning. “You might as well maintain some dignity and admit to what happened.”
The 74-page document also alleges that Peyton Manning later taunted Naughright by reenacting the incident two other times.
“Mr. Manning looked at me. The athlete was behind me. He pulled down his pants and sat on the athlete’s face,” Naughright testified as to the first incident of reenacting/taunting.
“Mr. Manning saw me,” she testified as to the second incident of reenacting/taunting, “walked over to the gentleman, pulled his pants down, and sat in the gentleman’s face while looking at me, pulled his pants back up, looked at me, and headed off to the locker room.”
The 74-page document contains other allegations aimed at showing that Peyton Manning had disdain and dislike for Naughright. The 1996 incident apparently was used against Peyton Manning in the Heisman Trophy campaign, which allegedly left him bitter. (Peyton admitted under oath that he said to Archie, “I’m not going to win the f–king trophy, read the papers, it’s going to [Charles] Woodson.”)
Also, Archie Manning allegedly made comments to the ghost writer of the Mannings’ book regarding Naughright, including an alleged statement from Archie Manning to the ghost writer that Naughright, who is white, “had been out with a lot of black guys.”
Again, the entirety of the 74-page document published by the New York Daily News was prepared by the lawyers for Naughright in connection with an effort to win her lawsuit against Peyton and Archie Manning. It’s not apparent from Shaun King’s article that he sought comment or a response from Peyton or Archie Manning. (PFT has reached out to Peyton’s agent, Tom Condon, for comment.)
It’s unclear how much traction a 13-year-old court filing regarding a 20-year-old incident will achieve, but I’ve already been alerted to the item published little more than four hours ago by at least four different people, and the article seems to be catching fire on Twitter. So there’s a chance that in this first weekend without NFL football since Labor Day, NFL fans will notice this one, even if few take the time to read all 74 pages of the document.
Much has been said about one key omission from the new Hall of Fame class. Let’s take a moment to talk about one key inclusion.
Linebacker Kevin Greene finally has made it, passed over for more than a decade despite being third on the all-time sack list with 160. He has more sacks that Hall of Famers Chris Doleman, Michael Strahan, Richard Dent, John Randle, Lawrence Taylor, Rickey Jackson, Derrick Thomas, Charles Haley, Andre Tippett, Warren Sapp, and Howie Long.
Greene picked up those 160 sacks in 15 NFL seasons. But he got none as a rookie, which means that he averaged nearly 11.5 sacks every year for 14 seasons.
So how didn’t he make it sooner? Appearing on Friday’s PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio and NBCSN, Greene suggested that, because he spent the bulk of his career with the Los Angeles Rams, he may have gotten lost in the cracks.
Greene, one of the first players to change teams via true free agency, spent three seasons with the Steelers after eight in L.A. Then came a year in Carolina, a year with the 49ers, and two more with the Panthers. (Greene called his time in San Francisco a “fart in the wind,” which also accurately describes Jim Tomsula’s lone year as head coach — in multiple ways.)
Ultimately, it was PFT’s Darin Gantt (who holds the Carolina vote for the Hall of Fame) task to make the case for Greene, and this year Greene got in.
So as many wring hands (rightfully so) for the omission of Terrell Owens, it’s time for a deep exhale on Greene — and not simply because of an effort to avoid inhaling the odors of a fart in the wind.
Panthers defensive end Kony Ealy is having more problems with dogs in Charlotte than he was Broncos in Santa Clara last week.
According to Michael Gordon of the Charlotte Observer, Ealy was named in a lawsuit which claims he bilked sports bar owner Kris Johnson out of $3,000 when a dog-breeding plan fell through.
The lawsuit says Ealy and his brother Danny “Dogman” Jones lured him into a plan to breed African Boerboel puppies. The dogs can grow to more than 200 pounds, and the lawsuit said Ealy and his brother told Johnson they needed $6,000 for a breeding female, promising they could make $35,000 a litter and $1 million a year.
(It sounds like they might have neglected the sheer amount of chow it takes to feed a bunch of 200-pound dogs when formulating this business plan.)
(Also, Ealy has a brother named “Dogman.”)
Johnson wrote a check for $3,000, but then the operation never came together for whatever reason, so he’s suing to get his money back.
Ealy could not be reached for comment, but attorney Kenneth Raynor said Ealy and his brother: “dispute the allegations , . . . and I plan on vigorously defending the lawsuit.”
The second-year defensive end had three sacks and an interception in the Super Bowl, raising his profile a bit, and making him a more visible target.
The United States isn’t the only country where the Super Bowl is a huge television draw.
According to John Kryk of the Toronto Sun, 18 million Canadians watched at least part of Super Bowl 50. That represents 52 percent of the Canadian population — the same percentage of Americans who watched at least part of Super Bowl 50. Last year, Super Bowl XIL was actually watched by a slightly higher percentage of the Canadian population than of the American population.
Twice as many Canadians watched the Super Bowl as watched the Grey Cup, the championship game for the Canadian Football League.
The experiment with the Bills playing one game a season in Toronto failed, but that’s not a reflection of the level of interest in the NFL in Canada. Football is big north of the border, too.
Before the Ray Rice, Greg Hardy, and Adrian Peterson cases of 2014, NFL players who faced criminal charges typically continued to show up for work while prosecution was pending. Except in rare cases (like Mike Vick’s dogfighting and gambling indictment of 2007, which sparked an indefinite suspension without pay), the league took no action until the court proceedings had ended.
The notorious Ray Rice video, followed four days later by the child-abuse allegations against Peterson and amid the then-lingering domestic violence case against Hardy, prompted the NFL to find a way to get Peterson and Hardy off the field without suspending them. They both agreed to be placed on paid leave at a time when they otherwise were free men who were presumed innocent.
In December 2014, the NFL codified the availability of paid leave for any players facing criminal charges. It’s a vague, discretionary process that the league uses in some cases and not in others, with no clear rules or formulas for invoking it.
As to Bills running back LeSean McCoy, who is expected to be charged with aggravated assault in Philadelphia, the league won’t be using paid leave during the portion of the calendar in which all players are on unpaid leave. At some point, however, the players will return — and the wheels of justice often grind slowly. If McCoy chooses to fight the case through trial, he could miss all of the 2016 season, but with pay.
The alternative would be to resolve the charges with a plea deal. The prosecutors will know that McCoy needs to get the case behind him in order to play, which means they’d potentially drive a harder bargain.
If McCoy pleads guilty to anything before the start of the 2016 season, he’ll then face an unpaid suspension for a baseline of six games, which can be increased or decreased based on a variety of factors.
From the team’s perspective, there’s no good solution. Already, $2.5 million of McCoy’s base salary is fully guaranteed for 2016. The remaining $2.3 million becomes fully guaranteed on March 9. A suspension would void the guarantees, and it also would allow the Bills to recover a portion of his signing bonus. Paid leave would have no impact on the guaranteed money; even if they cut McCoy now or while he’s on paid leave, they’ll still owe him the money. (That said, cutting him now would avoid the extra $2.3 million guaranteed.)
For McCoy, the question becomes whether it’s more important to play in 2016 or to maximize his earnings. He could get all of his money for 2016 but then face an unpaid suspension in 2017, if he’s convicted in the next offseason. Or he could plead guilty sooner than later and lose a large chunk of his 2016 pay after being suspended by the league.
Few will shed tears for McCoy, based on videos that seem to show him participating in an assault. Regardless, the league’s post-Rice protocols will put McCoy in a much more delicate spot than he would have been before 2014, when players who were facing charges typically played while the charges were pending, no questions asked.
Willie Richardson, a star receiver for the Colts in the 1960s and a member of one of the most athletic families in the history of football, has died at the age of 76.
After an All-American career at Jackson State, Richardson was drafted by both the Baltimore Colts of the NFL and the New York Jets of the AFL in 1963. He signed with the Colts and became a first-team All-Pro in 1967, when he was third in the league with 63 catches and added 860 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.
Richardson had five brothers who played at Jackson State, and three of them played in the NFL: Gloster Richardson played for the Chiefs, Cowboys and Browns, Tom Richardson played for the Patriots and Ernie Richardson played for the Browns.
In Super Bowl III, Richardson was the Colts’ leading receiver, catching six passes for 58 yards in a loss to the Jets.
The Dolphins added another coach to Adam Gase’s first staff on Friday afternoon.
The team announced that Daronte Jones has been named the team’s assistant defensive backs coach. He will work with Lou Anarumo, who moved back to the defensive backs role he occupied before being named the interim defensive coordinator when Kevin Coyle was dismissed during the regular season.
Jones spent the 2015 season as the defensive backs coach at the University of Wisconsin and served in the same role at the University of Hawaii from 2012 to 2014. He’s also coached in the CFL and at lower collegiate levels since entering coaching in 2001.
The Dolphins also announced that they have parted ways with Eric Stokes, who was the team’s senior personnel executive and assistant general manager for the last two years. Stokes accompanied Dennis Hickey from Tampa Bay to Miami when Hickey was named the General Manager in 2014, but Hickey was relieved of his duties with the team last month.
The Panthers picked up 12 penalties on their way to their 24-10 loss in Super Bowl 50, including a personal foul on the final play of the game.
Wide receiver Joe Webb was flagged for unnecessary roughness at the end of a short pass completion to running back Fozzy Whittaker. PFT confirmed with the league on Friday that Webb has been fined $8,681 for the play, which is a sour cherry to put on top of an altogether unpleasant Sunday.
The league also confirmed that guard Trai Turner was not fined after being penalized for unnecessary roughness at the end of a 10-yard run by Whittaker in the third quarter. Safety Tre Boston also avoided a fine after being penalized for an illegal blindside block and unsportsmanlike conduct during the game. Those are both personal fouls, which may result in an ejection if the NFL adopts a rule proposed by commissioner Roger Goodell at his Super Bowl press conference.
McCain lasted one season in Miami after a big year with the Steelers in 2014 helped him land $3 million in guarantees from the Dolphins on the open market.
McCain, 29, was due to make $2.5 million in 2016. He finished 2015 with one interception, 10 pass breakups and 31 tackles in 11 starts.
Coples was claimed off waivers from the Jets last November. He played in six games for the Dolphins without recording any stats.
A first-round pick of the Jets in 2012, Coples has 16.5 career sacks but had none last season.
Broncos defensive lineman Malik Jackson had a big game in the Super Bowl, but he’s not getting his full paycheck from the game.
The NFL has fined Jackson $8,681 for a late hit on Cam Newton in the second quarter.
Although Jackson got a 15-yard penalty for the hit, it turned out not to be costly for the Broncos. On the next play, the Panthers gave the ball to Mike Tolbert, who fumbled the ball back to the Broncos.
Jackson scored the game’s first touchdown when he recovered Newton’s fumble in the end zone. He also tipped a pass and was in on five tackles, all of which were tops for two or fewer yards. So other than the penalty, it was a strong game from Jackson.
The Packers re-signed an impending free agent defensive lineman on Friday when they agreed to terms on a deal with Letroy Guion, but another one hasn’t heard from the team yet.
B.J. Raji told Ryan Wood of the Green Bay Press-Gazette that Guion’s new deal was “well deserved” and that he hasn’t started any contract negotiations with the team at this point. The Packers also extended defensive end Mike Daniels before the end of the regular season.
Guion’s deal is reportedly worth up to $11.25 million and Raji said he was “uncertain” about how that contract might impact Raji’s future with the team. Given that both players see time on the interior of the defensive line and played out last season on similar one-year deals, it’s fair to assume that there’s going to be some impact on what the Packers are willing to do to keep Raji at this point.
Raji started 17 games for Green Bay across the regular season and playoffs, which was his sixth as a member of the Packers. He had 22 tackles and half a sack in the regular season and four more tackles in the postseason.