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ESPN fires Rob Parker

Rob Parker, the commentator who created controversy when he questioned whether Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is a “cornball brother” because he has a white fiancee, has been fired by ESPN.

“Rob Parker’s contract expired at year end. Evaluating our needs and his work, including his recent RGIII comments, we decided not to renew,” an ESPN spokesman said in a written statement.

ESPN can spin this as simply a decision not to renew his contract, rather than a firing, but the reality is that ESPN specifically stated on December 20 that Parker had been suspended for 30 days, and as of December 20, ESPN was expecting Parker back at the end of his 30-day suspension. (He made the comments on December 13, so a 30-day suspension from that date would have ended on January 12.)

So why did Parker’s discipline change from a 30-day suspension to termination? ESPN isn’t saying, but it may be that the network was unhappy with a recent interview Parker gave in which he said that ESPN knew what he was going to say on the air before he said it. In that interview, Parker also seemed to backtrack on his previous apology, complaining that people took his “cornball brother” statement out of context.

Parker has long been known for drawing attention to himself by stirring up controversy, and it’s unsurprising that he eventually took it too far and got himself fired. But ESPN is hardly blameless in all this: Parker made his comments on ESPN First Take, a show that celebrates provocation, and at first ESPN’s producers were so pleased with Parker’s comments about Griffin that the network re-aired the comments on Best of First Take. It was only later, after ESPN was criticized for airing the comments, that the network apologized.

And now, much later, ESPN has finally done what many viewers said it should have done from the beginning, and fired Parker.

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Packers apparently will have to beat out every other NFL team to host draft

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Every team apparently has a desire to host the NFL Draft, according to Packers CEO Mark Murphy. Murphy told shareholders Monday that every NFL city, plus Canton, Ohio, has bid to host the draft.

The Packers have bid for 2019, 2020 and 2021.

“What I’ve heard is they’re gong to announce soon the ‘18 draft [location], so it would probably around this time a year from now that they’re looking at ’19,” Murphy said, via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.

The Packers’ Titletown District would play host to the event, with the 10,000-seat Resch Center, which sits across Oneida Street from Lambeau, mentioned as a possibility for the draft itself.

The 2014 draft was the last one in New York City, with Chicago hosting in 2015 and 2016. Philadelphia hosted this year.

The Cowboys are viewed as the favorites for 2018, with Kansas City having expressed strong interest in hosting the event in the next few years.

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Adolphus Washington pleads not guilty on concealed firearm charge


With the Bills set to start training camp this week, defensive tackle Adolphus Washington took care of some legal business on Monday.

Washing was arrested in Cincinnati earlier this month and charged with improperly carrying a concealed firearm. A police report from the incident says Washington “reached for and displayed a gun while sitting inside his vehicle, just feet away from officers” and a video of the incident features an officer telling Washington he was lucky that things didn’t escalate after showing the firearm.

Washington pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charge on Monday and a pre-trial hearing was set for August 1. His attorney Clyde Bennett told Mike Rodak of that he hopes to have the case dismissed.

“I believe the charges are factually and legally inappropriate,” Bennett said. “I don’t believe that Mr. Washington committed any crimes. That is why we have filed a motion to dismiss. Our intent and plan is to have the charges against him dismissed.”

Washington, a 2016 fourth-round pick, is due at the Bills’ first practice of training camp on Thursday.

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Cowboys’ Lucky Whitehead arrested, warrant issued for shoplifting

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Cowboys wide receiver Lucky Whitehead was reportedly arrested for shoplifting last month, then had a warrant issued for his arrest after he failed to appear in court to answer for the charge.

Whitehead’s initial arrest took place on June 22 in Virginia, according to TMZ. At that time, he was accused of taking less than $200 worth of items from a convenience store.

On July 6, Whitehead failed to show up at Prince William County Court for an appearance related to the June 22 arrest, and a warrant was issued for his arrest. He will now also face a charge of failure to appear in court.

It’s been an odd offseason for Whitehead, who said last week that his dog had been taken and was being held for ransom, then said a day later that his dog had been returned.

Whitehead has an uphill battle to make the Cowboys’ roster, and off-field distractions won’t help.

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Clayton Geathers will be on PUP list to start regular season

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The Colts won’t have safety Clayton Geathers in the lineup for the first six weeks of the regular season.

General Manager Chris Ballard said Monday that Geathers will go on the physically unable to perform list at the start of training camp and will remain on that list when the team makes the cut to 53 players. That means he will be ineligible to play or practice for at least the first six weeks of the regular season.

The word from Ballard doesn’t come as a surprise as the possibility of Geathers missing regular season time has been on the table since he had neck surgery in March.

In better health news at safety, Ballard also said, via George Bremer of the Anderson Herald Bulletin, that first-round pick Malik Hooker is good to go for the start of camp. Hooker had shoulder and sports hernia surgeries after his final season at Ohio State, but has recovered and should be a strong candidate for a starting spot right out of the gate.

Quarterback Andrew Luck will open camp on the PUP list, but is expected to come off before the start of the season. The same is true of defensive lineman Kendall Langford and offensive lineman Brian Schwenke.

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Willie Snead says he’ll be at camp on Thursday

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Saints wide receiver Willie Snead has not signed the exclusive rights free agent offer that the team tendered early this offseason and made no bones about his desire for a different deal than the one-year, $615,000 one that’s on the table, but that won’t stop him from being at training camp on Thursday.

Snead wrote in a text message to Josh Katzenstein of the New Orleans Times-Picayune that he will report to camp with the rest of the team’s veterans.

“No holdout,” Snead wrote. “I’ll be on the practice field Thursday.”

Because Snead hasn’t signed his tender, he would not be a holdout if he did decide to stay home but the wideout participated in all of the team’s offseason activities so it’s no surprise that he’ll continue to get his work in.

Snead has 141 catches for 1,879 yards and seven touchdowns over the last two seasons and is set for a big role in the offense again this year. If he doesn’t sign a multi-year deal with the team this season, Snead will be a restricted free agent in 2018.

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Linebacker Zach Orr visiting Texans today

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Zach Orr’s quest to get back into the league after initially announcing his retirement earlier this offseason has taken him to Houston.

According to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, the former Ravens linebacker is visiting the Texans Monday.

Orr was a second-team All-Pro selection last year and led the team in tackles, but the Ravens didn’t tender him as a restricted free agent. That wasn’t negligence on their part, it came after he announced his retirement because of a neck issue which was deemed career-ending.

But Orr has found doctors willing to clear him, and now he’s looking for a team for follow suit.

He had some interest earlier this summer after announcing his comeback plans, talking to the Lions, Colts and Jets.

The Texans could use some linebacker depth after losing John Simon to the Colts in free agency.

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Andrew Luck to open Colts camp on PUP

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The good news is Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is throwing footballs again.

The bad news is he’s not ready to start training camp with the rest of his teammates.

Via Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star, Colts General Manager Chris Ballard said that Luck would open camp on the physically unable to perform list.

Luck can come off that list at any time, and Ballard said there had been no setbacks after Luck’s shoulder surgery, and that he’s still expected to be ready for the regular season.

Ballard added that Luck’s progressing well, with his weight gain on target as he works to build strength. In a macro view, that’s fine, but because Luck’s so central to everything they do, anything other than perfect health is going to cast a cloud over everything the team does.

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Mark Murphy presumes a Super Bowl appearance for the Packers

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The Packers haven’t been to the Super Bowl since 2010. Their CEO thinks that streak will end in 2017.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun for all our fans to drive across the state when we’re in the Super Bowl in Minneapolis,” Mark Murphy told shareholders on Monday, via Aaron Nagler of

It’s a dream scenario for Packers fans, and a potential nightmare for Vikings fans. And the Packers will indeed be one of the favorites to make it to Minnesota for Super Bowl LII.

Of course, they’ve been one of the favorites for each of the past six seasons, but they still haven’t gotten there. Making it to the first, and likely only, Super Bowl to be played at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis will more than make up for losing the first regular season game there, which happened last September.

If it happens, it still could have been worse for Vikings fans. The Packers could have signed running back Adrian Peterson and brought him home to Minnesota for a game the Vikings haven’t played since 1977.

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Who are the quarterbacks on the hot seat entering 2017?

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Monday’s PFT Live included two hours with Barstool Big Cat of the Pardon My Take podcast, and we devoted a segment to an exercise in identifying quarterbacks facing the proverbial hook in 2017.

We each picked three of them, squabbling a bit about the selections in a genuine way.

Who are yours? Listen to ours, and then make your case in the comments for the quarterbacks you deem to be in danger, grave or otherwise.

And tune in Tuesday morning for another three-hour show, with Barstool Big Cat again in studio for the final two TV hours.

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Jordan Matthews, Jordan Hicks to be limited early in camp

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A pair of Eagles with the same first name and different injury concerns are going to be limited participants when the team holds its first full-squad practice of training camp later this week.

Coach Doug Pederson said at a press conference on Monday that wide receiver Jordan Matthews and linebacker Jordan Hicks will both be building up to full participation. Matthews was bothered by knee tendinitis during the offseason program and continues to deal with it, but Pederson said he’s not worried about the wideout being ready to go come the regular season.

“We’ve just got to stay on top of it, obviously,” Pederson said, via “We’ve been rehabbing all spring and summer. He was in North Dakota with the guys. He’s another one we need to monitor as we go. Again, we don’t play a game for a long time, so I’m not concerned.”

Hicks broke a bone in his hand while on his honeymoon in June and Pederson said the linebacker will do “individuals, our 7-on-7” until he’s given the green light to move up to more work.

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Vikings place Latavius Murray on PUP, Sharrif Floyd on NFI

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The Vikings have made some of the initial roster designations that every team makes, every year as camp opens. In Minnesota, the most significant name is the one that hasn’t appeared yet.

The team has announced that running back Latavius Murray and linebacker Shaan Washington have been placed on the physically unable to perform list. Also, defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (pictured) has landed on the non-football injury list.

To date, the team has not placed quarterback Teddy Bridgewater on the PUP list. Coach Mike Zimmer has said, however, that the designation is expected. Apparently, Bridgewater has yet to arrive for camp; he can’t be assessed and/or designated for PUP until he does. Look for that to happen later in the week.

Murray missed all of the offseason program after undergoing ankle surgery after he signed with the Vikings. Floyd has had a chronic knee injury, which limited him to one game in 2016.

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Clark Hunt: Brett Veach has control of 53-man roster

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Chiefs owner Clark Hunt shed some light on his decision to dismiss John Dorsey and promote Brett Veach to the General Manager job during a press conference on Monday.

Hunt said that there wasn’t a single thing that led to his decision not to offer Dorsey a contract extension — the former G.M. was headed into the final year of his deal — but “there were enough issues that popped up that prompted” doubt about the team’s ability to build on recent winning seasons.

“It was a difficult decision, but after a thorough evaluation of our football operations, in the long-term interests of the Chiefs I felt it was best to make a change,” Hunt said, via Terez Paylor of the Kansas City Star.

When Dorsey was let go, there was some speculation that head coach Andy Reid would be taking a greater role on the personnel side of things. Hunt said, however, that Veach will have the same control over the 53-man roster that Dorsey did when he was in the role.

Reid will surely have influence over those calls and the overall shape of the team’s roster as they head toward the start of the regular season in Kansas City, but Hunt’s message on Monday was that the ball is now in Veach’s court to show that he can keep the Chiefs on the right side of .500 and moving closer to the second Super Bowl title in club history.

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Saints want to see rookie Ryan Ramczyk at left tackle before moving others

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The Saints are forced to adjust on the offensive line, with Terron Armstead expected to miss a large portion of the season after shoulder surgery in June.

But they’re going to see if their latest first-round pick can handle the job before they consider moving a previous first-rounder.

Saints coach Sean Payton told the “Dunc & Holder” show on Sports 1280 AM that they’re going to let rookie Ryan Ramczyk and veteran Khalif Barnes compete for the job, rather than moving 2015 first-rounder Andrus Peat from left guard. Peat filled in at left tackle last year, but they want to let him concentrate on left guard unless they have to make a switch.

“The key for us during this time in which Terron is out is finding those answers,” Payton said. “How’s Ryan look? (He’s) a young player. We were fortunate to have Khalif back in real good shape, and we’re deeper at that position than in probably any of the years we’ve been here.

“When you’re able to take a tackle in the first round, in the end of the first round, like a guy like Ramczyk. That’s a huge pick, so I’m anxious to see how he does (and) how the veteran (Barnes) does before moving Andrus there in a rotation. I like the work he’s had at left guard, but we have some flexibility.”

Armstead, along with center Max Unger (foot surgery) will start training camp on the physically unable to perform list. That is throwing the Saints line into flux, though they’re hoping Unger will be ready by the start of the regular season.

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Michael Irvin will hold a press conference regarding dismissal of criminal case

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It felt like the end, but in many ways it’s just the beginning.

With prosecutors in Broward County deciding not to charge Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin with sexual assault, Irvin has decided to hold a press conference at or about 2:00 p.m. ET on Monday. The email announcing the press conference says that Irvin will be “responding” to the decision not to charge Irvin.

But what’s he going to say? He’s already won; there will be no arrest, no indictment, no trial.

Irvin likely hopes to sway public opinion even stronger in his direction, hopeful to get ahead of the alleged victim filing a lawsuit or sitting for an interview. Perhaps more importantly, Irvin (like every other NFL employee) needs to be concerned about the possibility that the league’s internal investigation will reach a different conclusion, under a much lower standard of proof than the one the authorities apply.

Irvin isn’t protected by a union. If the NFL decides to take action against Irvin, his rights will be sorely limited in comparison to the rights secured by the CBA. And his status as an on-air analyst could be riding on how Irvin handles the situation.

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Giants wideout Roger Lewis’ OVI charges dismissed

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Giants wide receiver Roger Lewis got training camp off to a good start before he even showed up.

According to Jordan Raanan of, Lewis had a charge of operating a vehicle while impaired dismissed Monday, according to a Licking County (Ohio) Municipal Court clerk.

He was fined $150 for driving in marked lanes and $25 for a tinted windows restriction. He was arrested in June, and Reynoldsburg Police said they found evidence of drug abuse in his car, and that they found a small amount of marijuana.

Lewis made the Giants as an undrafted rookie, and played in 13 games last year.

While he’s off the hook legally in Ohio, he could still face sanction from the NFL, as they no longer need convictions to punish players.

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