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Goodell: Don’t blame Beyonce for power outage

beyoncesb Getty Images

The power went out at the Superdome at Super Bowl XLVII only a few minutes after Beyonce finished her halftime show, and that has some people asking: Did something about the performance lead to the blackout?

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says absolutely not.

“There’s no indication at all that this was caused by the halftime show,” Goodell said at a press conference in New Orleans today. “Absolutely none. I know that’s been out there, to say that Beyonce’s halftime show had something to do with it; that is not the case from anything that we have at this point.”

Among those who have mentioned a possible connection between the halftime show and the subsequent power outage was Boomer Esiason, who worked the Super Bowl pregame show for CBS and then served as the color commentator for the game’s radio broadcast. Esiason said on the radio today that he had heard there were issues with Beyonce’s act taxing the electricity at the Superdome.

“And by the way, Beyonce blew the electric in the Superdome twice, I’m told, during her rehearsals during the week,” Esiason said.

Goodell, however, says Beyonce is not to blame.

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Bobby Wagner’s “Can’t keep everyone” tweet an economic reality


Well, perhaps not everyone is thrilled with Russell Wilson’s new deal with the Seahawks.

After the quarterback reached his new monster extension this morning, one of his teammates took up his mantle as the team’s top subtweeter.

For linebacker Bobby Wagner to drop a “Can’t keep everyone” so soon after Wilson’s deal illustrates the potential bind it puts the Seahawks in.

While signing the quarterback means they could always use the franchise tag on Wagner this offseason, it also means they’ve made a choice.

Even though they began discussions on an extension for Wagner this summer, it’s unlikely they could wedge another big deal in now, since he’s making $977,427 in base salary this year, the last of his rookie deal.

Whether their success the last few years has been because of Wilson, or because having a cheap quarterback allowed them to surround him with many fine parts, the Seahawks have declared their intentions now.

And they are going to have to keep finding more undervalued talents in the draft, because the economic reality is that they won’t be able to retain all the talent of their current core.

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Marvin Lewis: If we win Super Bowl, I’ll walk away from Bengals


The Bengals gave coach Marvin Lewis an extension through the 2016 season in April and that led some of Lewis’s detractors to ask how long Lewis will stay in his job without winning a playoff game.

Bengals owner Mike Brown hasn’t answered that question as Lewis tries to improve on his 0-6 postseason record, but he revealed one potential end to his tenure earlier this week. Lewis said that he’ll happily leave the job for someone else if the Bengals take home the Lombardi Trophy.

“I want to hand Mike the trophy, then just walk away,” Lewis said, via the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Lewis has been the Bengals coach for 12 years and isn’t the first coach of a team in the current AFC North to remain in the same job that long without winning a trophy. The first was Chuck Noll, who had the benefit of winning four Super Bowls before embarking on the long stretch that ended with his departure from the Steelers and the NFL. That leaves Lewis in uncharted waters with a team he thinks has the talent to end the drought.

“We’re good enough, but we have to play good enough,” Lewis said.

If they do play good enough, Lewis will ride off into the sunset with a ring that would make a nice capper for the overhaul of the trajectory of the Bengals organization that he’s overseen over the last dozen years. If they don’t, the Bengals could decide that a 14th season would be too many after an unlucky 13 in a row.

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Russell Wilson’s deal is a four-year extension


Russell Wilson will indeed be in Seattle for four more years. Beyond this year.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the new contract is a four-year extension. Which means that the total deal covers four years, with a value of $89.142 million.

So the “new money” average, under the $87.6 million extension, is $21.9 million. The total value average is $17.82 million.

Most importantly, the five-year deal binds Wilson to the team through 2019, not 2018. Which means that the Seahawks won’t be back in the position they’ve occupied over the past six months for five more years.

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Bruce Arians, Mike Zimmer join PFT Live today


The last show of the first non-slow week edition of PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio since the draft ends with a bang.

In addition to all the interesting stuff we have to discuss, from the Tom Brady suit to the fresh attention on a six-month old erroneous #DeflateGate report to Stephen A. Smith vowing to fire back at PFT on the air today to the new Russell Wilson contract, we’ll cover as much as we can in 180 minutes.

Part of that time will be devoted to 1/16th of the NFL’s entire group of head coaches, with Vikings coach Mike Zimmer and Cardinals coach Bruce Arians joining the show. (You’ll notice that I put Arians first in the headline and Zimmer first in the text, for balance. For further balance, Zimmer joins the program before Arians.)

Arians, Zimmer. Zimmer, Arians. With a picture of neither in this post.

Also on the program will be Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times and Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. Mehta, Condotta.

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Matt Forte doesn’t want 100 catches again this year

Matte Forte AP

Setting an NFL record is usually a positive thing for a player, but Bears running back Matt Forte would be happy not to top the mark he established last season.

Forte set a record for running backs by catching 102 passes last season, but his comments on Thursday suggest he thinks that was a product of an offense that wasn’t functioning properly rather than some special talent that Forte possesses as a receiver out of the backfield.

“Catching 100 balls is not my goal as a running back,” Forte said, via the Chicago Tribune. “If you’re running the ball and you can run it effectively you get to control the clock and keep other offenses off the field. Which is what we want to do. If we can control the game, control the pace of the game, and grind out tough yards and score, then that’s what we’re going to do.”

Forte’s heading into the final year of his contract, a situation that led to a brief absence from the team during voluntary work this offseason and an acknowledgement from Forte that he wanted to see the Bears reward him for his efforts the last few seasons. If he generates another 1,800-plus yards of offense in any fashion this season, he’ll be in good shape to land another deal whether those yards come through the air or on the ground.

It’s hard to argue with his take that a more effective running game will be better for the Bears, however. Controlling the pace of the game and limiting the chances for Jay Cutler to turn the ball over would be steps in the right direction offensively and Forte’s presence makes it a realistic approach for the team to take.

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Bashaud Breeland suspended one game

Washington Redskins v Indianapolis Colts Getty Images

The NFL has been handing down suspensions the last few Fridays and this one is no exception.

Albert Breer of NFL Media reports that Redskins cornerback Bashaud Breeland has been suspended one game by the league. Per Breer, the suspension is related to Breeland’s citation last summer for marijuana possession.

Breeland, who was a fourth-round pick last year, started 15 games during his rookie season and had 67 tackles, two interceptions and two forced fumbles. He was set to compete for another starting gig across from Chris Culliver this season and was in line to be part of the team’s main cornerback trio with Culliver and DeAngelo Hall whether he was considered part of the starting lineup or not.

There’s not much reason to think that will change because Breeland will miss the first week of the season. He’ll be able to practice and play in the preseason, so the suspension shouldn’t really interfere with his preparations for the fall.

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Branden Albert “fully, fully confident” he’ll be same player after ACL tear

Branden Albert, Cameron Wake AP

Left tackle Branden Albert avoided a stay on the physically unable to perform list at the start of Dolphins camp, which is a good development for the team’s offensive line since Albert tore his ACL last season and spent the offseason unsure about when he’d be able to resume football activities.

Albert said he also felt unsure about whether he’d be able to play football again immediately after the injury and remains unwilling to guarantee that he’ll be on the field for the first week of the regular season, but there is one thing he’s sure about as he makes his way toward the 2015 season.

“I’m fully, fully confident I’ll be the player I was,” Albert said, via the Miami Herald.

Albert said he’ll be concentrating on rebuilding strength in his leg in the early part of camp as he progresses from taking part in walkthroughs to full participation in the team’s practices. Assuming that progression happens in time for Week One, Ryan Tannehill should be able to breathe a bit easier with Albert protecting his blind side.

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Russell Wilson gets $21.9 million per year in “new money”

Wilson Getty Images

He beat Aaron Rodgers on the football field in January. But Russell Wilson hasn’t beaten Rodgers in the contract department, yet.

Despite a widespread belief that Wilson intended to become the highest-paid player in the game, with a contract worth more than the $22 million the Packers gave to Aaron Rodgers, the four-year, $87.6 million “extension” (as reported by Peter King of gives Wilson a new-money average of $21.9 million.

It’s still unclear whether Wilson is under contract for four more years beyond 2015, or whether it’s a new four-year deal that replaces the one-year remaining on his rookie contract. Wilson’s tweet mentions “four more years“; if it’s an extension, he’s under contract for five more years.

That’s a potentially critical distinction. If it’s a fresh four-year, $87.6 million deal, Wilson is under contract through 2018. If it’s an extension, Wilson will be under contract through 2019.

Obviously, the sooner he’s eligible for another new deal, the better.

As it stands, he’ll either be in line for a new deal at age 30, or at age 31.

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Russell Wilson agrees to new contract with Seahawks

Russell Wilson Getty Images

Sometimes all it takes to get a deal done is setting a deadline. The Seahawks and quarterback Russell Wilson have reached a deal at the last minute.

Wilson confirmed on Twitter that he will be with Seattle for four more years.

According to Peter King of, Wilson’s total take over the four years of the deal will be more than $87 million.

We’ll have much more about the structure of the contract. For now, Seahawks fans can celebrate that their man won’t be going anywhere.

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Lardarius Webb passes conditioning test, cleared to practice

Joe Morgan, Lardarius Webb AP

It didn’t take long for Lardarius Webb to get himself in proper shape, and back on the field.

According to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun, Webb passed his conditioning test this morning, and will be activated from the non-football injury list and cleared to practice.

Webb failed the test initially when he reported to camp, which both he and coach John Harbaugh were disappointed in.

The test consists of six 150-yard runs, with different times for every position group. The veteran cornerback apparently was able to get his time within the appropriate range, so he can get back on the field with his teammates.

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ESPN tabs Chris Berman and Trent Dilfer as MNF B-team

The 2015 ESPYS - Show Getty Images

Chris Berman and Trent Dilfer will be in the booth for ESPN for the Week One late game on Monday Night Football.

With the normal Monday Night team of Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden calling the early game, Eagles-Falcons, Berman and Dilfer will be in San Francisco working the late game, Vikings-49ers. Lindsay Czarniak will serve as the sideline reporter in San Francisco.

This will be the third time that the Berman-Dilfer pairing has served as the Monday Night B-team. ESPN previously teamed Dilfer with Brad Nessler for its late Monday Night Week One game, and before that used the pairing of Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg, with Mike Ditka joining Mike & Mike in the booth twice and Steve Young joining them once.

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Friday morning one-liners

Jim Tomsula AP

Bills WR Sammy Watkins says his hip is fine after offseason surgery.

DT Ndamukong Suh is predicting great things from the Dolphins defensive line.

Patriots linebackers Jerod Mayo and Dont’a Hightower are on track after rehabbing injuries this offseason.

Sheldon Richardson’s arrest may lead to even more playing time for Jets rookie DL Leonard Williams.

RB Justin Forsett says he’s still hungry after a breakout 2014 season for the Ravens.

Bengals CB Leon Hall has no interest in a permanent move to safety.

Said Browns CB Joe Haden of WR Terrelle Pryor, “As far as size-wise, he’s a little bigger than [Josh Gordon], but as far as fluid and being able to run effortless and coming up out of their routes, I haven’t really been able to check him to see what he’s got, but he’s fast, he’s huge, and it looks like it could work.”

The Steelers are stressing better conditioning as they try for a healthier team.

Expectations are higher in Texans coach Bill O’Brien’s second season.

A look back at Bill Polian’s work in the draft with the Colts.

The Jaguars are happy to have a healthy LB Paul Posluszny back in the lineup.

NT Sammie Hill will take some time on the PUP list before joining Titans practices.

WR Emmanuel Sanders is eager to serve as a leader for younger Broncos players.

Confidence isn’t a problem for Chiefs rookie CB Marcus Peters.

Raiders rookie WR Amari Cooper says he isn’t feeling any undue pressure to perform.

RB Melvin Gordon was popular with Chargers fans at training camp on Thursday.

Cowboys DE Greg Hardy shrugged off a left side strain.

Giants co-owner John Mara reiterated his disappointment in DE Jason Pierre-Paul’s plans for recovering from his fireworks accident.

WR Nelson Agholor says Eagles QB Sam Bradford has looked great in their workouts.

Coach Jay Gruden has tweaked his priorities in his second year with the Redskins.

Can Bears DL Jeremiah Ratliff stay healthy for an entire season?

Running through the Lions receiving corps.

Are the Packers cornerbacks tall enough?

The Vikings offensive line wants redemption this season.

Falcons WR Roddy White remains confident in his ability to beat cornerbacks in 1-on-1 situations.

The Panthers added P Matt Wile and WR Avius Capers while waiving CB Garry Peters and placing T Jonathan Martin on the reserve/retired list.

Drew Brees wasn’t reminded of his San Diego days when the Saints drafted QB Garrett Grayson.

Former NFL players Johnny Knox, Alshermond Singleton and Mark Anderson are coaching interns with the Buccaneers.

Cardinals players take their conditioning test on Friday.

Ten questions about the Rams to ponder during training camp.

Said 49ers coach Jim Tomsula, ““You want to talk proud? I’m proud to be a part of this. I’m proud to be a part of the entire organization. There are so many good people here and so many people who want things for the right reason. You can’t help but be proud of this organization.”

A look at the numbers for the Seahawks defense with and without S Kam Chancellor.

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Bills fullback Felton expects Shady to lead the NFL in rushing

Jerome Felton

Bills running back LeSean McCoy will be playing in a new offense this year, with a fullback in front of him more than he’s had in the past. That fullback has high expectations for McCoy.

Jerome Felton told the Buffalo News that McCoy should at minimum lead the NFL in rushing, and hopefully hit 2,000 yards or even break Eric Dickerson’s single-season record of 2,105.

I want him to break records,” Felton said. “I want him to get 2,000 yards. I want him to lead the league in rushing. Him and Adrian are cut from the same cloth. I would be very disappointed if he’s not the leading rusher in the league next year, that’s for sure.”

Felton was the Vikings’ fullback in 2012, when Adrian Peterson gained 2,097 yards, the second-most in NFL history. Felton doesn’t see why McCoy won’t have a similar season to that.

“Why not?” Felton said. “He has the ability that it takes. For a runner to get 2,000 yards, you have to be able to score from anywhere on the field. That’s my goal for him.”

A 2,000-yard season is farfetched, but McCoy will get a lot of carries on a Bills team that is trying to win with the ground game and defense. McCoy led the league in rushing in 2013, and it wouldn’t be a shock if he did it again in 2015.

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Taylor Lewan: Titans were soft on offensive line last year

Pittsburgh Steelers v Tennessee Titans Getty Images

The Titans will have a new quarterback in Marcus Mariota this year and they’d like to put the second overall pick of the 2015 draft in position to have as much success as possible.

Some of that will be done by bringing him along at the right pace during training camp and some will be done by making sure that Mariota doesn’t get overwhelmed by opposing defenses in the regular season. The offensive line will play a big part in the latter as they’ll be responsible for both protecting Mariota and opening holes in the run game so that the team doesn’t have to put too much on the rookie’s shoulders.

According to left tackle Taylor Lewan, doing that will require a big change from last year’s unit.

“To be brutally honest, I think we were soft,” Lewan said, via “And I think [offensive line coach] Bob Bostad would say the same thing. That’s one thing he’s definitely been preaching this offseason. We want to be tough, we want to road grade, we want to run that power like no one’s ever done it. … As an offensive line, it starts with us. We have to be the foundation of this offense, the foundation of the team. And if we work together, play a little dirty, a little over the line a little bit, a little crazy, and work together, then I think we’ll be real successful.”

With the exception of rookie tackle Jeremiah Poutasi and former Panther Byron Bell, the Titans will be trying to pull off the transformation with players that were on the roster last season. Everyone may not be up to making the changes needed for better results this season, but it seems Lewan will have them go down fighting one way or another.

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Mortensen pulls plug on WEEI appearance

Mort Getty Images

Apparently, only 11 of 12 reminders about his WEEI appearance to Chris Mortensen went through.

Mortensen was scheduled to appear on the Dennis & Callahan show at 7:45 a.m. ET, but he has canceled.

“You guys made a mistake by drumming up business for the show and how I would address my reporting for the first time,” Mortensen informed WEEI. “I will not allow WEEI, [Patriots owner Robert] Kraft or anybody to make me the centerpiece of a story that has been misreported far beyond anything I did in the first 48 hours. Maybe when the lawsuit is settled, in Brady’s favor, I hope, we can revisit. Don’t call.”

They tried to call him anyway. No answer.

I like and respect Mort. As Adam Schefter of ESPN said on WEEI on Thursday, Mortensen is a pioneer in this business. But his false report should be the centerpiece of the story. Because without that false report there is no story. More specifically, without that false report, there is no finding of cheating.

The false report instantly changed the narrative from “the NFL checked the Patriots footballs at halftime” to “someone deflated 11 of the 12 the Patriots footballs by two pounds each; what did Brady and Belichick know?” It made another Ted Wells investigation logical, it put the Patriots on the defensive, and it kept the Patriots from responding to the accurate PSI readings by pointing out that, on one of the two air-pressure gauges used, they fall squarely within the range expected by the Ideal Gas Law.

On Thursday, Schefter suggested that Mort was given false information by one or more high-level NFL officials. On Tuesday, the circumstances suggested that Stephen A. Smith of ESPN was given true information by one or more high-level NFL officials to introduce to the public the notion that “Tom Brady destroyed his cellphone.”

This would be a perfect topic for an ESPN Outside the Lines investigation as to how the NFL manipulated the media on multiple occasions for P.R. purposes. If only a couple of prominent ESPN employees hadn’t been pulled into this mess.

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