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Over the last few days, we’ve heard plenty of opinions from current players about 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to sit during the playing of the national anthem in protest of the way people of color are treated and now we’ve heard one who says he plans to do the same before the final preseason game of the summer.
Eagles linebacker Myke Tavarres, an undrafted rookie out of the University of the Incarnate Word, told ESPN that he “will be taking a stand — or sitting down — for the fourth game” against the Jets this week. He said that people around the team know his plans and the Eagles had an “open forum” to discuss the issue during a meeting on Monday that reportedly saw Tavarres share his thoughts.
“We’ve got an issue in this country in this day and age, and I feel like somebody needs to step up and we all need to step up,” Tavarres said. “We’ve got that right. There’s just a lot going on that people don’t want to talk about, and I feel like us as athletes, we’re looked at as role models. And I feel like with Colin Kaepernick, he’s doing a great job for standing up in what he believes in, and most people may not like that, but that’s his opinion, he’s entitled to it, and I respect him for doing it.”
Tavarres survived the Eagles’ cut to 74 players, but there’s another big one to go and he says he expects there to be some “backlash” for his decision. Whether that backlash would weigh into the Eagles’ decision or not, Tavarres added that “what’s at stake is my pride” and that outweighs any negative response that might come for his action.
The Chargers and defensive end Joey Bosa finally found a middle ground. In the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t much. For Bosa and the Chargers, it was everything.
Per a league source with knowledge of the situation, the kicker came from the team’s willingness to apply language that makes it easier for Bosa to earn $6.5 million in guaranteed training-camp roster bonuses. Specifically, he gets the training-camp roster bonuses if he’s on any type of “active” list, including the non-football injury or non-football illness list.
Training-camp roster bonuses have become an alternative to the removal of offset language from a player’s guaranteed money at the top of the draft. Multiple players, however, have language in their contracts that allow the roster bonuses to not be paid if the player is on the NFI list. For example, Dolphins defensive end Dion Jordan lost $1.7 million this year because of a knee injury that caused him to land on the non-football injury list. Other players have a similar term in their contracts.
Bosa doesn’t, which ensures he’ll get the training-camp roster bonuses unless he’s on a “reserve” list when the money comes due.
Also, the Chargers altered the payout schedule of the signing bonus in 2016. He still gets 85 percent this year and 15 percent next year, but Bosa gets more of the 85 percent up front. Although the specifics aren’t yet known, Bosa gets a greater percentage of the bonus payout this year than the last four No. 1 overall picks did.
Finally, the Chargers didn’t take a penny off the table, despite last week’s vow to do so.
So the deal is done and Bosa is a Charger and we’ll all soon forget the holdout ever happened. Until the next time a Chargers player holds out and the long list of other Chargers is rattled off, with Bosa’s name as the most recent. Other than, you know, the next guy holding out.
The Bengals cut 11 players from their 90-man roster on Monday, leaving them four shy of the 75-man limit ahead of Tuesday’s deadline to pare the roster to that number.
The unlucky 11 are wide receiver Michael Bennett, fullback Jeff Luc, defensive lineman Jack Gangwish, cornerback Corey Tindal, safety Floyd Raven, linebacker Darien Harris, quarterback Joe Licata, wide receiver Antwane Grant, kicker Zach Hocker, tight end John Peters, and linebacker Jayson DiManche.
DiManche played 28 games for the team in 2013 and 2014 before being released last September. He returned to the team in January after spending time with the Browns and Chiefs last season. Hocker kicked for the Saints and Rams in 2015, but couldn’t unseat Mike Nugent.
The Bengals could place defensive tackle Andrew Billings, who tore the meniscus in his knee, on injured reserve and move defensive tackle Brandon Thompson to the regular season PUP list as they continue making their way to 75 players.
There was really one resolution to the public spat between the Browns and cornerback K’Waun Williams over Williams’ health and availability, and that came Monday.
The Browns released Williams on Monday afternoon, trimming their roster to 75. Browns Coach Hue Hackson declined comment on the matter.
The Browns had announced a suspension and fine for Williams for a violation of team rules after he didn’t play in the preseason opener. Williams and his agent maintained that Williams wasn’t healthy enough to play and later supplied an outside medical opinion that said Williams needed surgery to clean up bone spurs in his ankle.
Williams will be subject to waivers, though the follow-up medical opinion could mean he’ll remain a free agent until any potentially interested teams know he’s healthy enough to play.
Williams made the Browns as an undrafted rookie in 2014 and played in 13 games — mostly as a nickel cornerback — in each of his first two seasons.
The news today was as bad as it looked.
Via Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic, Jenkins suffered a torn ACL and is out for the season.
The Cardinals signed the former Cowboys first-rounder this offseason to lend some stability to a secondary that needed it, and will now have to find someone to start opposite Patrick Peterson.
Colin Kaepernick played his best football for Jim Harbaugh, who frequently praised his quarterback’s talent and work ethic when they were together in San Francisco.
But now that Harbaugh is at Michigan, and Kaepernick has made the decision to sit down in protest during the national anthem, Harbaugh has lost respect for the player he once held in such high regard.
“I acknowledge his right to do that, but I don’t respect the motivation or the action,” Harbaugh said today.
Harbaugh has often expressed his patriotism and at times taken shots at those who he sees as less than patriotic. Shortly after he took the Michigan job, a campus controversy about the showing of the movie American Sniper led to Harbaugh announcing that the Michigan football team would watch the movie and that he didn’t care for the views of those who found the movie problematic.
Now Harbaugh is speaking up again, and declining to offer support to a player who once helped him get to the Super Bowl.
Today, they put out another one to say they signed him.
The team announced via its own website that the third overall pick in the draft had signed his four-year deal.
“We look forward to having Joey join us and getting him prepared as quickly as possible for the 2016 season,” General Manager Tom Telesco said in the statement.
Of course, they didn’t mention what the offer was like, or which side bent or whether there was actually some compromise in the situation.
Bosa was the last pick from this year’s draft to sign, after an impasse stemming from offset language and the timing of his signing bonus payments.
NFL coaches are all getting asked about how they’d respond if a member of their team followed 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s lead and sat during the playing of the national anthem.
Some answers are unsurprising, like Patriots coach Bill Belichick declining to offer a comment or Giants coach Ben McAdoo saying that the team doesn’t consider it “mandatory” to stand while adding he’d be disappointed if any players opted to sit.
Others create an opportunity for coaches to show off their knowledge of the French Enlightment writer Voltaire or at least of a quote erroneously attributed to him.
“Voltaire so eloquently stated, ‘I may not agree with what you say, but I’ll defend it until death your right to say it,'” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said, via ESPN.com. “That’s a principle that our country is founded on. I don’t think you cannot deny someone the right to speak out or mock or make fun or belittle anybody else’s opinion.”
The quote actually came from Voltaire biographer Evelyn Beatrice Hall in 1906, but it is in line with much of Voltaire’s writings on freedom of expression. Harbaugh knows Kaepernick through his brother and said the quarterback is from a “great family” before adding that if a player does want to speak out, they should do it in a way that doesn’t “detract or disrespect the efforts of all the other players on the football team.”
Cowboys rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott’s visit to a marijuana store in Seattle ahead of last week’s preseason game against the Seahawks drew a rebuke from Cowboys owner Jerry Jones that appears to have made an impression on Elliott.
Jones said “it’s just not good” for Elliott to be at the store and taking pictures with fans even if he didn’t buy or use marijuana during his visit. On Monday, Elliott said that he understands why Jones feels his sightseeing made for bad optics.
“I was curious,” Elliott said, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong. I wasn’t breaking any laws or anything. It was a bad decision. It was something I shouldn’t have done. But I know now. … You definitely got to think of the perception of things before you actually do certain things. It may not seem like a big deal to you yourself but there is a bigger picture. It’s definitely a learning experience about the scrutiny. You just got to be careful and not give anyone a chance to say anything.”
Visiting stores selling legal products isn’t usually the sort of thing that leads to scrutiny of players from the league or teams, but Ed Werder of ESPN reported that there’s concern about a “pattern of disturbing behavior” around Elliott. If that’s the case, one would hope that domestic violence allegations leveled against Elliott are at the forefront rather than the way he chose to explore Seattle before the game.
The four current players implicated last December in the Al Jazeera documentary regarding PED use (Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers, James Harrison, and Mike Neal) have submitted to interviews. So what’s next?
The expectation from the players’ perspective is that all four will be exonerated quickly, in the same way Peyton Manning was. That’s also the way the wind currently is blowing at 345 Park Avenue, where the private message continues to be that this all could have been quickly taken care of in March, if the players had merely agreed to talk.
Will it be quickly taken care of in August? The players, through the NFL Players Association, feared that the NFL secretly had other evidence beyond the claims of former Guyer Institute employee/intern/whatever Charles Sly, or that the league would follow the interviews with a request that the players produce their phones.
For now, there’s no indication that the NFL plans to move in that direction. Given that Sly necessarily was discredited by the finding in the Peyton Manning investigation suggests that Sly will be discredited as to the others, too. If not, the investigation and disciplinary process will hover over the start of the 2016 season, if not beyond.
Several coaches have chosen to talk about the Colin Kaepernick situation in San Francisco. Patriots coach Bill Belichick has chosen not to.
“We’re really focused on what we do and getting ready for the Giants, improving our football team,” Belichick told reporters on Monday. “We’re not here to talk about political commentary or ideology and all of that.”
And that was that. No follow up, no alternative approach, no tiptoeing-on-eggshells effort to get the Wizard to deviate from his initial position.
Belichick’s father was a renowned scout at the Naval Academy, and Bill was a fixture on the Annapolis campus as a boy. His opinions, if he’d express them, could be intriguing.
On one hand, refusing to stand for the national anthem can be seen as a sign of disrespect to the military, and to the country. On the other hand, it can be viewed as the exercise of one of the basic freedoms for which thousands have died.
For now, no one knows where Belichick lands on that spectrum. Chances are we never will.
The Packers are blessed with enough offensive options that their backups get more attention than some teams’ starters.
And they got two guys they haven’t seen enough of back on the field Monday.
Janis has been out since Aug. 10 with a broken hand, and was practicing with a large club-type cast on. While that complicates the life of a person who catches things for a living, Janis would be able to take part in special teams with such an apparatus.
Hundley has only played in one preseason game, but unlike Aaron Rodgers, that wasn’t on purpose. He’s been bothered by an ankle injury throughout camp that has left most of the reps they were planning to give him in the hands of undrafted rookies Joe Callahan and Marquise Williams.
The Packers also announced the first six of their cuts. They released defensive tackle Demetris Anderson, cornerback Randall Jette, wide receiver Jamel Johnson, linebacker Derrick Mathews, punter Peter Mortell and wide receiver Ed Williams.
The cuts have started in Detroit ahead of Tuesday’s deadline to get to 75 players.
The Lions announced that 10 players have been dropped from the roster and that long snapper Jimmy Landes has been placed on injured reserve. That group includes the previously reported release of veteran offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz.
Tight end Matthew Mulligan and cornerback Crezdon Butler joined Schwartz as vested veterans given their release on Monday. Mulligan, a blocking specialist, signed with the team in April while Butler has played 45 games for eight teams since 2010, including eight with the Lions last season.
Placing Landes on injured reserve with a shoulder injury means Don Muhlbach will be handling the team’s snapping for another year.
Kicker Devon Bell, wide receiver Quinshad Davis, guard Chase Farris, defensive end Deonte Gibson, defensive end Louis Palmer, cornerback Rashaad Reynolds and defensive end Quanterus Smith round out the list of former Lions. Detroit now has 78 players on the roster.
On Thursday night in Orlando, Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh suffered an ankle injury. On Monday, he had an opportunity to provide an update regarding his condition.
Asked about the severity of the injury, Suh said, “You’ll have to ask coach.”
Asked whether it’s affecting him at all, he provided a two-word version of the same answer: “Ask coach.”
Teams aren’t required to disclose injury information in the preseason, and players never are. For Miami, the first obligation comes in advance of the Week One game at Seattle.
Sometimes, a team’s approach to injury information creates conflict with the players, who would prefer that fans and media would be aware of an excuse for poor performance. Teams prefer to keep the target off the injured area and otherwise to keep the opponent in the dark, as much as possible.
The Broncos are trying to find a way to get quarterback Mark Sanchez off the roster while getting something back in return, but they need to drop to 75 players by Tuesday whether they can trade him or not.
They started the process of getting there on Monday by parting ways with 11 players, leaving them with four more moves to make before the deadline.
Safety Brandian Ross and wide receiver DeVier Posey are the most experienced of the group. Ross has played 45 games with the Raiders, Dolphins and Chargers since the start of the 2012 season while Posey caught 22 passes in 26 games for the Texans after they drafted him in the third round of the 2012 draft.
The other players let go are tight end Manasseh Garner, safety Antonio Glover, defensive lineman Calvin Heurtelou, tackle Cameron Jefferson, nose tackle David Moala, wide receiver Durron Neal, linebacker Darnell Sankey, linebacker Frank Shannon and offensive lineman Mathu Gibson.