Roger Goodell is typically judge, jury, and executioner in cases pertaining to player and league issue, but due to the bounty overruling, has the Commissioner’s power been undermined?This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
ProFootballTalk: NFL’s reaction to bounty decision
So why did recently-retired linebacker Zachary Orr unretire? As one league source put it on Wednesday morning, “He found a doctor who told him what he wanted to hear.”
The real question is whether Orr will find a doctor with one of the NFL’s various teams that will do the same thing. If the Ravens’ doctors thought Orr could have played without an unacceptable degree of risk due to a rare neck condition that could result in a serious, life-changing injury, he wouldn’t have been “forced” to retire in January.
Whether Orr will be able to continue his career will hinge on whether a doctor is willing to sign off on Orr’s ability to perform in a safe and adequate manner, without risk of a serious neck injury. Although some doctors will say whatever the person paying them wants the doctor to say, most won’t be inclined to put their name on a document that could become the gateway to a debilitating injury.
Surely, the Ravens would have liked to keep Orr around. He went from undrafted free agent to the team’s leading tackler in 2016. In Baltimore, doctors were able to set that aside and opt for a recommendation aimed at ensuring the player’s long-term health and safety. If any other doctor with any other team comes to a different conclusion, it will be interesting to hear the reasoning for it, because that doctor will essentially be saying the Ravens doctors got it wrong.
Linebacker Zachary Orr’s decision to try to play football in 2017 was an unexpected one based on his January announcement that he was halting his playing career because of a neck injury and the timing of that announcement has left him as an unrestricted free agent at this point in the offseason.
That probably would not have been the case had Orr waited a little longer to share his initial plan for the future. Just before Orr announced his “retirement,” there was a report that he and the Ravens were discussing a long-term contract and, failing that, Orr was set to be a restricted free agent who likely would have received a tender offer from Baltimore.
As a source with knowledge of the situation told PFT, the team did not do that because Orr said he was retiring. The source also asked “what would stop [another] player from doing that to escape” restricted free agency?
Players could try it, but the Ravens or another team could shut the loophole by simply tendering them at the lowest level regardless of their stated desire to stop playing. The player might not sign the tender, but if they aren’t going to play for another team because their original club would still hold onto their rights if they file retirement paperwork from the league.
The Ravens didn’t do that in this case, which may mean Orr winds up playing somewhere else in 2017 and should mean that teams approach any similar situations differently in the future.
Linebacker Zachary Orr reversed course on Wednesday morning when he announced that he wants to play in 2017 after saying earlier this year that he planned to retire from the NFL due to a neck injury.
Orr was set to be a restricted free agent with the Ravens, but the team didn’t tender him a contract as a result of his initial plan to walk away from the game. That means he’s an unrestricted free agent now and his announcement has led to a quick response around the league.
Dan Graziano of ESPN.com reports that Orr will visit with the Lions on Thursday and that he has heard from eight teams since his appearance on NFL Network Wednesday morning. Medical checks will likely be a big part of his visit with Detroit and anyone else who brings Orr in for a meeting in the coming days and weeks.
The Lions drafted Jarrad Davis in the first round in April and he’s slated to start in the middle of the Detroit defense. Tahir Whitehead is expected to start on the weak side, but was limited this spring because of a knee injury. Paul Worrilow, Antwione Williams and 2017 fourth-rounder Jalen Reeves-Maybin are also in the mix at linebacker for Detroit.
The St. Lucie Mets already are witnessing the Tebowmania, even if he still hasn’t played a game for the Single-A affiliate of the New York National League team.
Tuesday’s debut, which was rained out, had 500 advance tickets sales, via David Hyde of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Typically, the St. Lucie Mets have no advance ticket sales.
“This is to see if he can walk on water,” said one fan who showed up for the game that wasn’t played due to the weather.
And so the ice cream stand that was opened for the first time this season will have to wait a day, as will the tables of No. 15 T-shirts at $28 a pop. Likewise, Tebow will have to wait until a Wednesday doubleheader for the next step in what started last year as a One-Man Fantasy Baseball Camp.
“I’ve got a long way to go,” Tebow said, via Hyde. “But I’ve come a ways, too.”
Not as far as his recent elevation would suggest, however. As Hyde notes, Tebow’s .220 batting average with the low-A Columbia (S.C.) Fireflies was higher than only 10 other players in the entire league. Tebow also struck out 69 times in 64 games, against low-A pitching.
The real question is whether he can do enough to pass the eyeball test at this level to go the next one. Eventually, chances are he’ll land against a level of competition that puts him not only on the wrong side of the Mendoza line, but also dangerously close to the Blutarski line.
Wisely, Tebow isn’t obsessing over that possibility.
“It’s a scary place to get caught up in, the ‘Where’s this going to lead?,’ ‘What’s going to happen to my future?’, ‘What is the next day?'” Tebow said Tuesday, per Hyde. “I get today. Tomorrow’s not promised. I’m going to make the most of today.”
The mindset is admirable. The circumstances remain daunting. For as much as he has overcome to get to this point, it’s about to get a whole lot harder. As long as it remains profitable for the minor league teams that will see an influx of cash thanks to Tebow’s presence, that may not matter.
A bunch of retired guys played flag football in San Jose last night, in hopes of creating a product someone will watch on television.
But Saints quarterback Drew Brees is aiming even higher with his attempt to popularize the safer version of his sport.
According to Mike Triplett of ESPN.com, Brees is launching a co-ed youth flag football enterprise called the Football ‘N’ America League with an eye toward the future of the game.
“I think that this has the opportunity to really save the game of football, honestly,” Brees said. “I think we’re filling a void that is much-needed.
“We felt like, you know what, we have the opportunity here to really create what will be the premier youth co-ed flag football league in America.”
Brees said he came upon the idea while coaching a kids team in San Diego the last few offseasons. The league will begin in New Orleans and around Louisiana this fall, before expanding to other states next year.
Brees played flag football as a kid in Texas and didn’t play tackle until his freshman year in high school And he’s turned out OK. But now that he has four kids, he’s even more sure of the need for such programs.
“I would not let my kids play tackle football right now, because I don’t think that’s necessary, and I don’t think it’s as fun at this level, and I just think there’s too much risk associated with putting pads on right now at this age,” Brees said. “So how can I still allow them to enjoy the game and learn about the game and develop a passion for the game and enjoy everything it has to offer? Well, flag football.
“I think that flag football is the perfect alternative to the parents who have concerns about concussions and the injuries around football. Because you’re still able to enjoy the game of football, but in a very fun, safe and yet competitive environment. And you can still learn all the same life lessons and values from a game of flag as you would tackle.”
Between concussion concerns and the cost of equipment and insurance, it’s possible that the move toward flag football becomes a trend anyway. But while Brees is getting in this is as a business venture, he also raises some valid points, and his support can only help the movement.
After running back LeGarrette Blount signed with the Eagles in May, he said that he was the “weight I need to be at” when asked about his physical condition.
He reportedly has some financial incentive to get to the weight the Eagles want him at for the coming season. Field Yates of ESPN reports that Blount will make $50,000 if he weighs between 240-245 pounds when he reports to training camp next month.
Blount was listed at 250 pounds while with the Patriots last season, which doesn’t leave him with a tremendous amount of weight to drop if he was around that number this offseason. A minimal drop in weight makes sense as Blount’s greatest value to the Eagles comes as a battering ram and the team wouldn’t want to make him less effective in that role by losing too much of his bulk.
Players start reporting to Eagles camp on July 24 with the first full-team practice set for July 27.
The curious decision of FOX Sports to completely dump online written content carries at least a grain of non-stupidity: People are consuming video content via the Internet more frequently and zealously than ever.
The challenge for those generating the video content will be to provide something that’s relevant and interesting, and not simply a couple of dudes fake-yelling at each other about the latest low-hanging fruit of the day. Here’s something that should be relevant and interesting: Later today, we’ll be posting an interview with Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott.
Prescott’s appearance will occur in conjunction with the campaign dubbed “Ready. Raise. Rise.” It’s a Bristol-Myers Squibb initiative aimed at raising awareness of Immuno-Oncology, a rapidly-evolving area of research that seeks to offer renewed hope for people with cancer. Dak lost his mother to colon cancer, and chances are that everyone reading this has had a close family member or friend who has battled cancer in some form or fashion.
Stay tuned to PFT throughout the day for the interview to be posted. That’s not a deliberate device for getting you to keep coming back all day long looking for it. But if you do, I won’t complain.
The true measure of how much running back Marshawn Lynch has left in the tank after sitting out the 2016 season will come once the Raiders take the field in September, but it sounds like what the team has seen so far is a bit more than they may have been expecting.
During an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio with Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan, Raiders offensive coordinator Todd Downing was asked about the impression the running back made during his offseason work with the team.
“This is being as genuine as I can be,” Downing said. “He has pleasantly surprised me at every turn. It’s been really neat to be around him. … So everything that we’ve seen on him thus far — and, of course, we’ve only been in pajamas out there practicing — but what we’ve seen has been fantastic. And I’m as excited as the rest of Raider Nation to see what he’s got.”
Lynch will have to continue to impress once he’s out of pajamas and into full pads, but his past success and the quality of the Raiders’ offensive line provide reason to believe Downing won’t have to seriously downgrade his read on Lynch down the line.
Zachary Orr is making a comeback, after initially retiring because of neck issues.
According to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network, the Ravens linebacker has received new word from doctors that the neck and spine condition which caused him to call it a career in January isn’t as bad as initially thought, and that he can continue to play.
Orr was the Ravens leading tackler last year, and they were talking to him about a contract extension at the time he retired.
He was also a restricted free agent, and the Ravens didn’t offer him a tender (which made sense considering they thought he was retired). As such, he’s now an unrestricted free agent, free to talk to anyone.
Teams will want to do their own (thorough) checks to make sure they’re comfortable with his condition, but Orr immediately becomes one of the most interesting names on the market at the moment.
Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey appears to be making good progress in his recovery from core muscle surgery.
Ramsey had surgery to repair an injury suffered during the team’s Organized Team Activities less than two weeks ago and he’s hit one milestone in his path back to the field. Ramsey announced on Twitter Tuesday that he ran for the first time since having the operation.
It is the second straight year Ramsey has had surgery in the offseason. Ramsey had knee surgery after the Jags made him the fifth overall pick of last year’s draft, but never missed a game and turned in a strong rookie year.
The Jaguars signed A.J. Bouye to play across from Ramsey at corner and also added safety Barry Church to the secondary in free agency. If all are healthy — Church and safety Tashaun Gipson were out this offseason with injuries — the unit has the pieces to be a good one for Doug Marrone.
That does not mean he’s not hyped in his own way.
The Colts quarterback participated in a camp for a local children’s hospital yesterday, running around and playing with kids and having a good time but not yet throwing footballs to them. Or anyone else, either.
Asked about his recovery from shoulder surgery, he stayed positive despite not hitting the big landmark people are looking for.
“Feeling better and better every week,” Luck said, via Brody Miller of the Indianapolis Star. “Still haven’t started throwing. But that process will come when it’s ready.”
When asked about the status of his rehab, he replied: “No reason to be sullen or morose! It’s a beautiful day.”
Of course, it will be a brighter day for the football fans in his area when he can actually throw again. He’s still about a month away from the start of training camp so there’s still time to prepare, but the clock is ticking.
Logan Ryan signed a three-year, $30 million contract with the Titans this offseason, and one of his first orders of business was to pay off his brother’s student loans — and to speak up about a system that leaves millions of Americans with serious debt.
Ryan posted a picture on Instagram of an oversized check representing the $82,000 he paid to get his brother’s loans paid off. With it, he posted a message about how crippling student loan debt can be.
“Surprised my big bro and paid off his student loans for his 29th Bday!” Ryan wrote. “My man got accepted to college, graduated with honors, and now works as an engineer. He did everything the right way and still lives with a ridiculous amount of student loan debt. The system is broken and makes no sense! I’m Fortunate and blessed to be able to take care of that for him.. Love you big bro you deserve it!”
Ryan, a cornerback who played the last four seasons for the Patriots, also did a good deed recently when he and his wife asked all the guests at their wedding to donate to an animal shelter instead of buying gifts.
After injuries significantly hampered his first two seasons in the NFL, Texans defensive end Jadeveon Clowney finally had the type of year in 2016 that was anticipated when Houston made him the first overall pick in 2014.
Entering his fourth season, Clowney is now much more confident in his abilities. Nevertheless, Clowney received some additional encouragement from Texans’ defensive line coach Anthony Weaver, who told Clowney he has Hall of Fame potential.
“I told him he can be a Hall of Famer,” Weaver said, via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. “Now, there’s a number of things that have to happen. You’ve got to stay healthy, you have to be consistent and persistent. But he has all the qualities and athletic attributes in order to do that.”
Clowney was named to his first Pro Bowl after accumulating 52 tackles, six sacks and a forced fumble last year for the Texans. He managed to do so without J.J. Watt drawing double or triple teams for most of the season to make his life any easier either.
“It meant a lot to me,” Clowney said. “He sees the work I’ve put in from two years of being injured to the next year to the year after. All the guys around my team tell me to keep improving and keep getting better and come back for another great season this year.”
With Watt returning from injury, Clowney could be the biggest beneficiary. He could get more one-on-one matchups opposite of Watt and find his way into more sacks now that he’s healthy and has a full season of experience under his belt.
Previously, the NFL had plenty to say about its opposition to efforts by New Jersey to legalize sports wagering. With the Supreme Court agreeing to take up the question of whether New Jersey’s attack on the federal law prohibiting the expansion of betting on football games and other sporting events, the NFL has nothing to say.
The league has declined comment regarding the development, which puts the controversy on the docket for the next Supreme Court term commencing in October.
The NFL currently is tiptoeing through a minefield of hypocrisy when it comes to gambling, given the decision to allow the Raiders to eventually move to Las Vegas. Despite insistence by the Commissioner that the league continues to oppose betting on games, more and more people connected to the league believe that the legalization of wagering is inevitable — and that the NFL can make billions in profit from it.
The first step toward widespread gambling will be the elimination of the federal law that prevents states from adopting sports wagering. That could happen either in the Supreme Court, or through the legislative process.
After Jourdan Lewis signed with the Cowboys on Tuesday night, the number of unsigned draft picks across the NFL stands at just ten.
Seven of those 10 picks were selected in the first round.
The seven first-round picks yet to sign are: Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (second overall), 49ers defensive lineman Solomon Thomas (third), Titans wide receiver Corey Davis (fifth), Jets safety Jamal Adams (sixth), Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (10), Raiders cornerback Gareon Conley (24) and Browns defensive back Jabrill Peppers (25).
Safety Obi Melifonwu of the Raiders is the only second-round pick yet to sign. Defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes of the Raiders and Packers defensive end Montravius Adams are the remaining third-round picks yet to sign contracts.
First-round picks can sign a four-year contract with a fifth-year option while all remaining draft picks can only sign four-year deals.