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In announcing they were going to re-open their investigation into the domestic abuse history of New York Giants kicker Josh Brown, the NFL claimed the King County (Wash.) Sheriff’s Office denied any overtures made by the league to learn more about the case and allegations against Brown.
Sheriff John Urquhart fired back at the NFL in an interview with Dori Monson on KIRO 97.3-FM in Seattle on Thursday.
“I don’t like to get pushed around by a bully,” Urquhart said.
The NFL said in a statement Thursday that repeated attempts to seek cooperation from the Sheriff’s Office were denied.
Because the case against Brown was an open investigation, the Sheriff’s Office was not going to release case files. Urquhart said they never received any written requests from anyone claiming to be a representative of the NFL. He said four days after the incident with Brown opened an investigation, the Sheriff’s Office received a public disclosure request from a Robert Agnew from a generic Comcast.net email address. Another request came from Agnew months later where he again didn’t state his affiliation.
“Nowhere on the request does he say that he works for the NFL and so, we don’t know that it’s the NFL and we’re not gonna give it out anyway, so we denied it,” Urquhart said. “… To our discredit, perhaps, we didn’t use the Google, to Google this guy’s name. Turns out that he is a security representative based in Seattle for the NFL. But he never told us that. The NFL never told us that. At no time has the NFL ever filed a written request – public disclosure request – for any of these files. Period. It’s never happened.”
A different league representative did make calls to the Sheriff’s Office seeking the case file. She was also denied multiple times due to the fact the case was an open investigation. A Seattle police officer claiming to represent the league also asked for the files and was denied as well.
Urquhart said if the league had gone through proper public disclosure channels, the request would have come to his desk and a conversation with the league about the situation could have been more fruitful.
“I would have said exactly the same thing, ‘We cannot release the case file.’ But since this is a hot-button item in the NFL, since it’s the NFL, we probably would have told them orally a little bit more about what we had.” he said. “But we don’t have them calling us here. We’ve got some goofus from Woodinville named Rob Agnew asking for the case file. We have no idea who he is.”
“We would have told them… ‘Be careful, NFL, don’t rush into this. This case is blossoming way more than what happened on May 22nd of 2015. We’re getting more information, be careful,’” he said. “Again, we’re not gonna give them specifics but we certainly would have cautioned the NFL to be careful about what they were going to do.”
Urquhart said he was unhappy with the NFL’s placing blame on his department for the NFL not knowing enough about the case.
“I don’t like the NFL taking shots at the sheriff’s office when it’s not deserved,” Urquhart said. “It’s real simple.”
“I’ll give them credit, they did not have all the information. There’s no question about that,” he said. “And, frankly, I’m not criticizing them for only giving him a one-day suspension based on what they knew. What he was arrested for, in the scheme of things, was relatively minor but obviously there was much more under the surface that apparently they did not know and we couldn’t tell them.
“But for them to say it’s our fault — and it’s not our fault any more than it’s their fault when you get right down to it — for them to say it’s our fault that they only gave them a one-day suspension, that’s just not true. That’s what I object to.”
For someone who once said he couldn’t be a receiver because he couldn’t catch, Terrelle Pryor has done a fantastic job of making the transition for the Cleveland Browns.
Pryor has done so well in making the move to receiver that the Cleveland Browns are looking to give him a contract extension.
According to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Browns and Pryor have had preliminary discussions on a new contract.
The former quarterback has become a bright spot on another underwhelming Browns team. Pryor has caught 33 passes for 413 yards and three touchdowns in six games for Cleveland this season. He’s rushed for a fourth touchdown as well. Pryor is currently on a one-year contract with the Browns.
With Seattle in 2014, Pryor wouldn’t entertain the idea of playing another position.
“I don’t know how to catch. I don’t know how to run the ball as a running back,” Pryor said. “I’ve been a quarterback my whole life.”
The Browns should be thrilled Pryor committed to a change. Pryor should be too.
It’s one thing to say that an NFL team applies a “zero tolerance” approach, in one or more various contexts, as to the players who aren’t critical to the effort to win games. It’s quite another to apply “zero tolerance” to key players or other employees.
Which gives rise to Friday’s question of the day for PFT Live: Do you want your favorite team to apply a “zero tolerance” policy on any issue — domestic violence, drugs, weapons, or any other type of criminal conduct?
By “zero tolerance,” we mean true “zero tolerance,” where any player who is determined to have crossed the line gets cut, no matter who he is. It’s easy to take a position in the abstract; it’s harder when considering what it could mean based on which players or non-players find themselves in trouble.
So vote and then comment and then tune in for Friday’s edition of PFT Live, which gets rolling at 6:00 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Radio, before sliding over to NBCSN at 7:00 a.m. ET.
After a slow start, the Packers finally found a way to balance keeping the ball away from the Bears with letting quarterback Aaron Rodgers throw it on almost every down.
The Bears found themselves out of gas — and without much chance to keep up. The Packers ran away in the second half and went on to win Thursday night at Lambeau Field, 26-10.
Rodgers set a franchise record with 39 completions. He was 39-of-56 for 326 yards and three touchdowns.
The Bears actually led, 10-6, a few plays into the third quarter on a Leonard Floyd sack and fumble recovery before the Packers finally got their offense going. After managing two field goals in the first half, the Packers had scoring drives in the second half that covered 74, 88 and 85 yards, respectively.
Davante Adams caught a pair of touchdown passes from Rodgers. Adams ended up catching 13 passes for 132 yards, Randall Cobb had 11 catches for 95 yards and a touchdown and Ty Montgomery played both running back and wide receiver. Mongtomery had 60 yards rushing and 66 yards receiving on 10 catches.
Rodgers had his first 300-yard passing game since Week 10 last season. Adams’ 13 receptions tied for the second-most in team history in a single game, and three receivers from the same team had at least 10 catches in the same game for the first time since 1994.
The Packers didn’t have a true running back available after rookie Don Jackson was hurt, leaving Montgomery to both run and play wide receiver. Knile Davis played a little in mop-up time, but he’s still learning the offense after being acquired in a trade earlier this week.
The 88-yard scoring drive was the longest of the season for the Packers.
Matt Barkley finished the game at quarterback for the Bears after Brian Hoyer suffered a broken left arm in the second quarter. Barkley’s first completed pass was his first completion in a regular season game since 2013, and he was picked off twice in the fourth quarter.
The Bears were dreadful offensively, managing just 189 total yards. The Packers had the ball for 38:55 and had a 32-13 advantage in first downs.
The Packers finally have generated some offense, and they hold a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter.
Adams and Ty Montgomery have accounted for a bunch of the Green Bay offense. The Packers don’t have a true running back available after rookie Don Jackson was hurt, leaving Montgomery to both run and play wide receiver.
Early in the fourth quarter, Montgomery has 56 rushing yards and 59 receiving yards. Adams has 12 catches for 116 yards. The second touchdown drive covered 88 yards, the longest of the season for the Packers.
The Bears are struggling to get off the field. Matt Barkley is at quarterback after Brian Hoyer suffered a broken left arm in the second quarter. The Bears’ only touchdown came on a fumble recovery by rookie pass rusher Leonard Floyd.
Bears quarterback Brian Hoyer broke his left arm in the second quarter Thursday night, Bears coach John Fox told CBS sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson.
The Packers lead, 13-10, in the third quarter after an Aaron Rodgers touchdown pass to Davante Adams. The Bears took a 10-6 lead less than a minute into the second half after rookie pass rusher Leonard Floyd sacked Aaron Rodgers in the end zone, then recovered Rodgers’ fumble.
It was the Bears’ first defensive touchdown in 35 games. Floyd has two sacks on the night.
It was 6-3, Packers, at halftime. Hoyer was replaced by Matt Barkley in the second quarter after landing awkwardly when he was hit by both Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers on the Packers while releasing a pass.
Bears guard Kyle Long is questionable to return due to an arm injury. Packers rookie running back Don Jackson is also out with a hand injury, leaving wide receiver Ty Montgomery as the Packers’ top option at running back. Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson limped off early in the third quarter.
They got their first points on Barkley’s first series on a 39-yard field goal by Connor Barth. The Packers hold a 6-3 halftime lead in a rather ugly one at Lambeau Field.
Prior to Thursday night, Barkley had last completed a pass in a regular season game in 2013. He had four interceptions and no touchdowns in his career prior to this game.
CBS reported that Hoyer suffered a broken left arm.
The Packers got a field goal on their first series and the Bears got a goal line stop inside the 1 on the Packers’ second drive. The Packers took the lead on Mason Crosby’s second field goal of the night late in the first half.
The Packers are again struggling offensively and two of their biggest plays have come via penalty. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is 19-of-30 for 150 yards.
Bears guard Kyle Long is questionable to return due to an arm injury. Packers rookie running back Don Jackson is also out with a hand injury, leaving wide receiver Ty Montgomery as the Packers’ top option at running back.
The Packers hold an early 3-0 lead over the Bears on Thursday Night Football.
A 32-yard Mason Crosby field goal opened the scoring. The Packers drove 53 yards in 13 plays.
The Packers converted a fourth and 3 from inside the Bears’ 30 on a pass to Jordy Nelson to keep the drive alive. A dropped pass by Randall Cobb a few plays later forced the Packers to settle for a field goal.
The Packers are shorthanded by injury issues on both sides of the ball. Wide receiver Ty Montgomery started at running back and got a carry on the Packers’ first play. Later in the drive he caught a pass as a wide receiver. Rookie Don Jackson, just promoted Thursday, also got a carry.
The Bears punted on their first two drives.
According to multiple reports, they are signing longtime Bear Robbie Gould to fill Brown’s role for this weekend’s game. Gould is on his way to England to meet the team.
Gould was released by the Bears in early September after serving as their kicker since 2005. He made 85.4 percent of his field goal attempts over that period, which is only a little bit better than the 84.6 percent he managed on 39 attempts last season.
Gould is a temporary fill-in at the moment, but he could get the job on an extended basis. Brown could be facing further league discipline and/or paid leave from the team thanks to the renewed interest from the league in the domestic violence case that led to his one-game suspension to start the regular season. Brown could also be released by the Giants, who said they will “revisit this issue” after they return from London.
As the Packers prepare to host the 1-5 Bears in a game the home team should win, questions persist regarding the struggles of quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
On Thursday’s PFT Live, I addressed 10 potential explanations, harvested not from film review or hot-take short-order cooks but from people in position to know what’s going on.
Here are the 10 possible explanations, all or some of which are causing the guy who not long ago was the clear-cut best quarterback in the NFL to experience a sharp decline while still in his prime.
1. Too many hits.
Although it doesn’t account for the full range of Rodgers’ struggles, which began with a 77-yard performance against the Broncos last October, recent issues may have something to do with the pounding he took against the Vikings five weeks ago. While never on the wrong end of a huge hit, Rodgers was constantly peppered with shots from an aggressive Vikings pass rush.
This has created a belief that he’s paying too much attention to the blocking and the rush, and not enough to watching which of his receivers is or will be open.
2. Defenses are keeping him in the pocket.
As noted recently by Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, whose assessments of the situation are regarded in league circles as completely accurate, Rodgers throws much better when he escapes the pocket. By keeping him inside the pocket, Rodgers is simply less effective than he otherwise could be.
3. Free plays aren’t happening.
Rodgers had become very good at using the hard count to get a defensive lineman to jump in the neutral zone, quickly call for the snap, and fire a nothing-to-lose ball down the field, often resulting in a big play.
Per McGinn, last year Rodgers turned neutral-zone infractions into gains of 52, 34, 29, 27, and 22 yards — along with a 52-yard pass interference penalty — in the first six weeks of the season. Since then, none.
4. Receivers aren’t getting open.
As noted both by McGinn and future Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner, the receivers aren’t getting open quickly enough. Whether that’s due to the offensive design, which requires receivers to beat man coverage without a bunch of gimmicks and tricks (like bunch formations), or the limitations of the receivers, if they’re not open, it’s hard to get them the ball.
5. Rodgers isn’t trusting what he sees.
Rodgers may be partially responsible for the receivers not being open because he’s not trusting what he sees when receivers are trying to get open.
By not anticipating that the receivers will get open and waiting until they are, the delay in the process of seeing them open and delivering the ball results in them not being open by the time the ball arrives. Or it results in Rodgers holding the ball too long and missing the window completely.
6. Rodgers lacks a high-end pass-catching tight end.
Every since the retirement of Jermichael Finley, the Packers have struggled to replace the production of the tight end position in the passing game. Without that presence putting pressure on the middle of the defense, it’s easier to account for the pass-catchers on the outside.
7. Sitton’s departure.
Some think the absence of Pro Bowl guard Josh Sitton is a factor in the regression of Rodgers. But the problems began while Sitton was still there.
Put simply, the belief is that the issues would still exist, even if Sitton was still a Packer.
8. Impaired running game.
It’s no secret that a potent running game makes it easier to throw the ball, especially via play-action. The Packers haven’t had a potent running game in recent months, which has allowed defenses to skew toward stopping the pass.
9. Rodgers may be freelancing.
It’s impossible to know this unless someone publicly or privately breaks ranks, but there’s a theory from some in the know that Rodgers has developed a habit of ignoring the plays that have been communicated to him from the sideline. Apart from creating extra tension with the coaching staff (regardless of whether Rodgers’ efforts are successful), it’s possible that Rodgers is changing the play from something that would have worked to something that doesn’t.
“My guess is that Rodgers, after 12 years as a pro, would be a hard man to coach,” McGinn recently wrote. That can manifest itself in many ways, including Rodgers thinking he knows what works better than the men paid a lot of money to decide on what will and won’t.
10. Personal issues.
Last year, Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com threw a rock into the hornet’s nest by suggesting that Rodgers may be having issues with girlfriend Olivia Munn. For that reason and plenty of others, I won’t be nearly that specific.
But the reality is that personal issues can indeed make it harder to be successful at work for anyone. It can be even more of an issue for NFL franchise quarterbacks, who carry their work pretty much everywhere they go.
Regardless of what the issues may be or how they may have arisen or who they may involve, when trying to identify the potential reasons for a consistent dip in the play of a short-list franchise quarterback, it’s fair to wonder whether something unrelated to football is affecting his football performance.
This isn’t about intruding on his privacy or pouring salt into any wounds. It’s about trying to understand why, at a time when his remaining physical skills and ever-accumulating experiences should be causing him to enter the mid-30s sweet spot where he essentially becomes a coach on the field, Rodgers isn’t playing like he did in his 20s.
That said, he still has the skills and the brains to turn it around. If/when it happens, the Packers will be a dangerous presence down the stretch and in the postseason.
But it hasn’t stopped her from making it clear she’s not thrilled with her son’s employer today.
In the wake of Giants owner John Mara’s rather tone-deaf comments about the Josh Brown situation, Apple went on a bit of a Twitter rant, and rightfully so.
The tweet came after Mara’s appearance on WFAN to explain the decision to leave their kicker home from the London trip, after reports emerged of his admission of physical and emotional abuse of his then-wife.
“He’s admitted to us he’s abused his wife in the past,” Mara said. “But what I think is a little unclear is the extent of that.”
Mara said in August that they had done their “due diligence” before re-signing the free agent kicker this offseason, but the team admitted they didn’t know about the most recent information until it was reported last night.
Apparently, the abuse they knew about fell within the threshold allowed for a kicker. Because knowing and signing him anyway (did we mention he’s a kicker?) sends a horrible signal for a franchise often cited as one which operates in a first-class manner.
And their first-round pick’s mother picked up on that hypocrisy, and isn’t pleased.
Unfortunately for both the Bears and the Packers, injuries made filling out their respective inactive lists ahead of Thursday night’s game in Green Bay relatively easy.
The Packers had already ruled seven players out. The Bears had previously listed two as out, four as doubtful and seven as questionable.
Notably, Bears cornerback Tracy Porter and tight end Zach Miller will play after being listed as questionable. Guard Josh Sitton, a former Packer, is out with an ankle injury after being listed as doubtful. Rookie Jordan Howard again starts at running back with Jeremy Langford still out.
The Packers list rookie Don Jackson as their starting running back. He was just promoted from the practice squad Thursday afternoon, filling the roster spot opened when the Packers put starting running back Eddie Lacy on injured reserve.
Also potentially in the mix for snaps at running back are wide receivers Ty Montgomery and Randall Cobb and veteran running back Knile Davis, just acquired in a trade with the Chiefs earlier this week.
Jets Coach Todd Bowles told reporters Thursday that rookie linebacker Darron Lee has been ruled out of Sunday’s game vs. the Ravens.
Lee suffered an ankle injury during Monday night’s loss at Arizona. Bowles said he’s hopeful that Lee only misses one game.
Lee, the team’s first-round pick last April, started in Arizona because veteran linebacker David Harris missed the game due to injury. Harris has been back at practice this week.
Jets tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (ankle), right tackle Brent Qvale (neck) and tight end Braedon Bowman (knee) all missed Thursday’s practice due to injury. Seferian-Jenkins missed the Arizona game; Qvale left that game after suffering a stinger and did not return.
The NFL has reopened its investigation, the Giants have closed the door on his trip to England, and the union has opted for silence. For now.
The NFL Players Association has no comment (yet) on recent developments regarding kicker Josh Brown. Information obtained by the media demonstrates that Brown’s domestic violence issues extended far beyond a supposedly isolated incident in May 2015, and now the NFL and the Giants are commencing the process of taking enhanced action against Brown — months after the league imposed a mere one-game suspension.
Some will call on the union to discipline or to condemn Brown on its own, but that’s not how labor unions operate. The NFLPA has an absolute obligation under federal law to defend Brown’s rights. The union is his paid representative, and if he chooses to fight further discipline from the league and/or the team, the union has no choice but to defend him.
Brown has rights. He already has been punished once for domestic violence, under circumstances where the league and the Giants had limited information, due to their own incomplete efforts (wilful or otherwise) to get to the truth. Forced by the efforts of the media to get to the truth, the league and the team are now being shamed into doing more.
That’s not the way it’s supposed to work. By all appearances, the league and the team wanted to look the other way, and so they did. Now that their eyes have been pried open, Clockwork Orange-style, they have no choice but to take action, from a P.R. standpoint.
Brown should have received a more stringent punishment in the first place. The league and/or the team, in potential violation of his rights, will try to impose further punishment on him — not because of anything new he did, but because facts about which they should have known are suddenly news to them.
Thus, the union can and should fight any further effort to discipline Brown, both for his sake and for the sake of any other player who may find himself in this situation in the future. As the team and the Giants stumble through a potential minefield of CBA violations, it makes no sense for the union to say anything that would cause management to figure out a way to punish Brown without violating his rights.
Giants coach Ben McAdoo had little to say today about kicker Josh Brown, who will miss Sunday’s game amid new information about his history of domestic violence becoming public. Instead, McAdoo is focused on the field.
“We decided not to take Josh with us, make sure we get all the facts, do everything right by Josh, the organization and the locker room,” McAdoo said on WFAN about the decision not to take Brown to London for Sunday’s game against the Rams.
McAdoo said he doesn’t know who his kicker will be on Sunday in London, but he expects that the team will contact a kicker tonight or tomorrow and have him fly to London in time to play on Sunday. Randy Bullock, who kicked for the Giants while Brown was suspended in Week One, is still an available free agent. The best free agent kicker available is former Bear Robbie Gould. McAdoo said wide receiver Odell Beckham can kick in an emergency, although McAdoo doesn’t expect to use Beckham in that role.
It was telling that in his WFAN interview, McAdoo was focused on getting his team ready and getting a kicker in place, and not on the ugly story that is swirling around the Giants regarding Brown and the team’s and league’s failure to discipline him appropriately for multiple domestic violence incidents that the team now admits it knew about. In the NFL, it’s all about getting ready to win on the field.