We’re sorry, Tom. We won’t doubt you again. Same for you, Colin.
If you’re not watching Sunday Night Football, what’s wrong with you?
We’re sorry, Tom. We won’t doubt you again. Same for you, Colin.
If you’re not watching Sunday Night Football, what’s wrong with you?
Dolphins defensive end Dion Jordan has been reinstated to the NFL on a conditional basis.
Jordan, who had been suspended for multiple violations of the league’s substance-abuse policy, was informed by Commissioner Roger Goodell today that he is conditionally reinstated. Before he can practice at training camp he needs to set up clinical services in Miami. He will need to meet with the NFL before the regular season to review his progress in order to be allowed to play in Week One.
The Dolphins liked Jordan so much heading into the 2013 NFL draft that they traded up to the third overall pick to select him. But he has started just one game, recorded just three sacks, and hasn’t been a part of the team at all since he was suspended in April of 2015.
Jordan’s camp has put out word that he is in great shape and ready to contribute to the Dolphins this season. He’ll be able to show that on the field soon.
While the Dolphins’ co-tenants in their refurbished stadium have made backup plans for September, the Dolphins are going to operate without a net.
Owner Steve Ross met with reporters Friday morning, and said the $500 million renovation project may have been more extensive and complex than he imagined, but that he planned to play the team’s preseason finale there.
“I know we will be playing Sept. 1,” Ross said, via Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. “There.”
And while he admitted having some concerns about the pace of the project in the past, he added: “I don’t feel them today. There is no backup plan.”
Earlier this month, the Miami Hurricanes admitted they were lining up a Plan B for their Sept. 3 regular season opener. The Dolphins and/or the league shifted their Week Three preseason game to Orlando, in part as a dry run for the Pro Bowl game being held there.
The Dolphins open the regular season with two games on the road and don’t play at home until Sept. 25, giving them plenty of buffer in case the project hadn’t gone as planned.
Ross also said the tests they’ve done show the canopy being installed over the seating area drops the temperature by 31 degrees, a bit of shade Dolphins fans should enjoy.
The Cardinals had a strong season in 2015 as they passed the Seahawks for the NFC West title and then held off the Packers in the playoffs to earn a spot in the NFC title game.
Things didn’t go so well for the Cardinals in Carolina, but the team returns most of the key parts of last year’s team and has made additions to a couple of weak spots that could make for a deeper team. That would explain why coach Bruce Arians believes that anything short of a Super Bowl win will be an unacceptable end for the 2016 season.
“When you have the type of season we had, you expect to do better,” Arians said, via ESPN.com. “So, we got to do better. We got to get back to where we were first and then do better.”
The Cardinals have built up a formidable roster over the first three years with Arians and General Manager Steve Keim pulling the strings and the team’s enjoyed success on the field as a result. Failing to take the final step this year wouldn’t invalidate that work, but there are only so many bites at the apple before time and contracts force that roster to be reworked.
Money isn’t always easy for Broncos players to come by.
As history has shown, that’s a reasonable expectation when dealing with John Elway, and Sanders said he’s hoping the ongoing talks can reach an amicable conclusion.
“It’s not frustrating. It’s actually a blessing,” Sanders said, via Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post. “We’re talking millions and millions of dollars that I can earn just by the game that I love. At the end of the day, I’m looking forward to it, but I know you guys want to know the answers to that, where are we at.
“We’re trying to find that middle ground of saying, you know what, this is a fair deal for me and for the Denver Broncos. I said it from Day One — I’m not trying to break the bank. I want to be here. But I also want a fair deal, and I want a fair deal for the production I’ve been putting out, so we’ll see how it goes.”
Sanders is entering the final year of the deal he signed in 2014, and is scheduled to make $5.6 million this season. But with recent contracts signed by Doug Baldwin and Allen Hurns and Keenan Allen, a player of his production appears underpaid.
Of course, with the Broncos, that’s hardly reason to think a deal’s going to happen, though the two sides are still talking.
It’s been almost a year since Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin tore his ACL during a training camp practice and that was enough time filled with enough rehab that the team felt comfortable giving him the green light for the first practice of this year’s camp.
Benjamin only did individual work during OTAs, but made several catches during team drills on Thursday. While it’s early in the process and Benjamin has rust to knock off, Benjamin’s work made a good impression on head coach Ron Rivera.
“It could be a good harbinger in terms of seeing Kelvin — I don’t want to say in top form — but pretty doggone good form,” Rivera said, via the Charlotte Observer. “He’s still got a ways to go in terms of getting in game shape. But it’s really good to see him moving around.”
Benjamin’s loss seemed like a bad harbinger for the Panthers last summer, although things played out in a much better fashion for the eventual NFC champions. Their success in his absence may mean that Benjamin will be targeted less frequently than the 145 throws he saw as a rookie, but his return to health would be a boost to Carolina’s chances at repeating their success from last season.
The Bills have a couple of options for more speed on the outside of their offense.
Based on his experience at LSU, Dolphins coach Adam Gase thought it would be hotter in Miami for practices.
Said Jets coach Todd Bowles, “We didn’t have any offseason problems. So this camp is a little calmer than last year.”
There’s going to be a siren at Browns camp.
Ten questions to ponder as Titans camp gets going.
Tickets to the Raiders’ game in Mexico City went quickly.
Ben McAdoo will keep some of Tom Coughlin’s traditions as he starts his first training camp as Giants coach.
The Falcons added former London Warriors DE Efe Obada to their 90-man roster.
A look at what to expect from the Rams running backs.
Sifting through the tight end options for the 49ers.
Seahawks G.M. John Schneider said having organizational continuity is a big part of success.
There was a point this offseason when people wondered if the Eagles might trade running back Darren Sproles as he stayed away from the team’s offseason work, but coach Doug Pederson said during the team’s minicamp that Sproles’ “role will be extensive” this season.
It might be extensive next season as well because Sproles isn’t going to be a free agent come March. The Eagles announced on Friday morning that they have signed Sproles to a contract extension that runs through the 2017 season. Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports Sproles will make $4.5 million in 2017.
“Being one of the oldest guys, to know you’re going to be here a little bit longer, that’s a good feeling,” Sproles said, via the team.
Sproles leads all NFL players in all-purpose yards since 2007 and has continued to be a jack of all trades since coming to the Eagles in a 2014 trade. Pederson’s words suggest he’ll be a runner, receiver and returner again this year as the Eagles move forward with a backfield that also includes Ryan Mathews and Wendell Smallwood.
Arian Foster’s Dolphins debut is going to be a little later than expected.
The veteran running back was among a group of five players who will start training camp on the physically unable to perform list, the team announced.
Foster was signed last week, after visiting a taking a physical. The fact they signed him suggested he was sufficiently recovered from last year’s torn Achilles, and he said he was healthy and wanted to prove he was still a “pro Bowl-caliber player.”
He may do that, but it’s not going to be this weekend, apparently.
But after posting and deleting an inflammatory image of a masked man stabbing a police officer in the neck (which came between police officers killing two men in Louisiana and Minnesota, but before the killings of five police officers in Dallas), Crowell continues to emphasize to whoever will listen that he’s not going to be defined by his terrible social media mistake.
According to Dan Labbe of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Browns running back used at least five versions of “that’s not who I am” during his press conference at the start of camp.
He’s also issued a video apology, promised to donate his first game check to the Dallas Fallen Officer Foundation and attended the funeral of Patrick Zamarripa, one of the police officers who was killed in Dallas. He’s also met with local police, trying to soothe feelings that are understandably raw.
“I feel like I have to prove [that’s not who I am] every day,” Crowell said. “I feel like I can shake it off and move on. My main focus is football and trying to be the best I can be for my teammates and coaches. I understand what’s going on.
Crowell has admitted at every juncture that the grisly image was wrong, but he also comes from a background which makes a certain distrust of police understandable. He said he’s had friends and family members have “situations with police,” but wasn’t trying to justify his mistake either.
“I feel like that did have part of my emotions that day,” he admitted. “But I feel like there’s still no excuse for what happened and I apologize for it. . . .
“I want to be part of the solution and not the problem, and posting that picture I was part of the problem. I don’t want to be that.”
Those are the right words to say. More importantly, his actions since making his mistake indicate a genuine contrition, and will be the only way for Crowell to remain in the team’s good graces.
When word first surfaced that Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell was facing a suspension for a missed drug test, Bell denied knowing anything about it. He was lying.
On Thursday, Bell admitted that the NFL notified him in March that he was facing discipline for a missed test. That contradicts what he said in June, when he claimed he had absolutely no knowledge of such discipline.
“I don’t know what you are talking about,” Bell said, two months after the NFL had informed him. “People are going to say what they want to say on the Internet. It is people who really have nothing to do. I don’t get upset or let it bother me.”
That’s exactly what Bell did, and it was foolish. He could have simply said, “The NFL’s drug-testing policy is confidential, so I won’t talk about it.” Instead, he lied.
Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones wasn’t able to finish the first practice of training camp with some degree of injury, but coach Dan Quinn said to trust him, everything was just fine.
According to Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com, Jones suffered a minor injury, and was seen on the sidelines stretching both legs to deal with the pain.
Quinn said it wasn’t cramps, but wouldn’t give any other information, saying: “I’m not going to disclose that. He’ll be back in there tomorrow.”
“We just held him out,” Quinn said. “He had a little tweak, so we just decided to hold [him]. He’ll likely be back in there for tomorrow. He could have gone back in today and was asking me to, but I decided not to.”
The good news is that their best player is OK, but it’s disappointing that another coach is already playing coy with information so early in camp. It’s not a full-on John Fox/Kremlin approach, but it seems more difficult that it needs to be, considering the information is of major interest to his entire fanbase.
As the Buccaneers prepared to open camp, they received the perfunctory introductory speech from their first-year head coach. And while Dirk Koetter opted not to share publicly the remarks he privately delivered to his players, one of his players opted not to be quite as discreet.
“Dirk basically said we’re striving for a championship around here and we’ve got some good, good players,” tackle Demar Dotson said, via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. “We’ve got a young group of good players and the outside world doesn’t know how good this team is going to be. He stressed that we know it. It doesn’t matter that they don’t know it right now. We’ve got to keep building because we’re not where we’re supposed to be yet. But he said we’re going to come out of that tunnel, Lord willing, when we play Atlanta [on September 11] and then we’re going to show the world.’’
The early reviews on Koetter’s methods have been positive, at least as far as Dotson is concerned.
“Dirk has that player-coach feel, but you’ve got to respect him because he tells you what he wants and he demands it out of you,” Dotson said. “But also he keeps it loose around here. Nobody is tight. You’re not walking around here scared to do something. He lets you be a man, he lets you be a pro but he demands that respect from you.”
The Buccaneers could be demanding respect from everyone, if in the first year with Koetter as coach and the second year with Jameis Winston as quarterback and the first year with Mike Smith as defensive coordinator it all comes together for a team that has struggled to be relevant for most of the current decade — and that hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2007.
Backup quarterback may be the biggest uncertainty for the Seattle Seahawks as training camp gets set to begin on Saturday.
Undrafted rookie free agent Trevone Boykin and 2015 undrafted free agent Jake Heaps are the only two quarterbacks on the roster outside of Wilson. Jackson, who handled the duties for the last three years, likely won’t be back after allegedly pulling a gun on his wife and being charged with aggravated assault.
While general manager John Schneider said that Boykin has done some nice things over the offseason since being signed in May, he also said the team would keep looking for quarterback options elsewhere as well.
“Yep, absolutely. And we do that with every position. We’ll have one, two, three guys like on standby,” Schneider said.
“I like all our players, I’m just never really one of those guys that’s like, ‘Yeah, we got this. We got this.’ You know what I mean?” he added. “Pete’s job is to instill confidence in people and he does a great job; it’s one of his best attributes, making everybody feel great about themselves and instilling confidence in their abilities. My job is to be forward thinking and our staff – Dan (Morgan), Trent (Kirchner), Scott (Fitterer) – to be ready for what’s coming next if it doesn’t work out.”
Schneider said he believes Boykin would have been a third- to a fifth-round pick if not for his legal troubles prior to the Alamo Bowl with TCU in December. He also said that he believes Boykin has handled the transition to becoming a professional well so far.
“Great athlete, tons of arm strength,” Schneider said of Boykin. “I like the way he dialed himself in as a pro in that short period of time he was here, kind of studying and watching Russell and learning as much as he possible can. He started putting together some practices that were consistent all the way through instead of – he’s a rookie, so that’s why that’s impressive.”
However, that won’t keep Seattle from seeing what else is available. The Seahawks reportedly put in a waiver claim on Connor Shaw earlier this month. As teams release veterans – like the Rams did by cutting Nick Foles on Wednesday – Seattle will likely be inquiring about potential fits as Wilson’s backup.
Paul Posluszny has been on a lot of bad football teams.
He’s never experienced a winning season in nine years in the NFL. A pair of 7-9 teams in Buffalo are the best he’s been a part of during his career.
Posluszny knows bad rosters when he sees them. That’s why he’s hopeful this year is different with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
According to Mike DiRocco of ESPN.com, Posluszny believes the 2016 Jaguars are the most talented team he’s been a part of during his NFL career.
“I would definitely say so,” Posluszny said Wednesday. “Especially with depth, the group that we have here is the most talented since I’ve been in Jacksonville, for sure. It’s exciting because you say, ‘Hey, we have guys that can be elite players at multiple positions.’ It’s been a long time since we’ve had that.”
That bar isn’t exactly a high one to clear. Jacksonville has won just 19 games in five seasons since Posluszny joined the team in 2011.
However, this iteration of the Jaguars seems far less anemic than in previous years. The offense showed it can move the football and score points with consistency last season and the defense has been bolstered by the additions of Malik Jackson, Tashaun Gipson, Prince Amukamara, Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack.
Potential doesn’t mean anything though unless it translates to wins and losses, but the Jaguars seem positioned to be much more capable of finding victories than they’ve been in nearly a decade.
Maybe even good enough for Posluszny to be a part of a winning team for the first time in his career.
On what coincidentally was the first day of the NFL draft in 1999, I ran a half marathon roughly 30 miles outside of Columbus, Ohio. Several hundred people showed up to trudge through neighborhoods and back roads. Five or six miles in to the 13.1-mile race, I came to a spot where it wasn’t clear whether to turn right or keep going straight. Based on the markings on the road, it looked like I should turn right, but the lead pack(s) had gone straight.
So I decided to turn. And it quickly became obvious that roughly 50 people who had been in front of me had gone the wrong way. Which meant that, halfway through a half marathon, I was in first place.
I knew it wouldn’t last. But I enjoyed it while it did. And I didn’t bother to check behind me, because I knew that ultimately there was nothing I could do to hold off the guy who was going to win. (Along with plenty of others.)
I thought of that day for the first time in a long time after I saw this headline at ESPN.com: “Arriving at camp above Rams’ depth chart, Case Keenum not looking over his shoulder.”
There’s no reason for Keenum to look over his shoulder. It’s just a matter of time before he’ll be passed by rookie first-rounder Jared Goff.
Sure, the Rams may try to make it look like Keenum has a chance to play most or all of the season, for the same reason they toyed with everyone for two-plus weeks before making it known that Goff would be the first overall pick. They also may want to give Goff a chance to build confidence by creating the impression that he actually accomplished something instead of having the starting job handed to him.
So enjoy the lead while you can, Case. Eventually, you’ll be looking at the back of a blue jersey with “GOFF” in gold letters.