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Bryan Thomas enters pre-trial intervention program to settle pending criminal charges

Bryan Thomas, Sam Bradford AP

Jets linebacker Bryan Thomas has resolved criminal assault and drug possession charges by entering into a pre-trial intervention program.

The arrangement was approved Monday by Judge Stuart Minkowitz.  The program, for first-time offenders, requires Thomas to submit to two years of supervised probation, to perform 100 hours of community service, and to undergo any drug, alcohol, or domestic violence training deemed necessary.

Thomas, who was arrested in October 2012, allegedly pushed his wife with a chair and punched her in the stomach.  He also was charged with possessing less than 50 grams of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and 20 hydrocodone tablets not in a prescription bottle.

The player’s wife attended Monday’s hearing.  According to the Morris County Daily Record, she was “visibly upset” and told reporters the situation is a “private matter.”

Lawyer Joe Tacopina also declined to address the situation.  “I don’t want to give the incident life,” Tacopina said.  “They’re a couple and like any couple they go through stresses.”

More stress likely is coming.  Even though the matter will be expunged from Thomas’s record if he complies with the terms of the intervention program, the NFL surely will review the case under the league’s personal-conduct policy and the substance-abuse policy.

UPDATE 4:51 p.m. ET:  NFL spokesman Greg Aiello tells PFT that the situation will be reviewed under both the personal conduct policy and the substance abuse policy.

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Texans release defensive end Alex Carrington

Carolina Panthers v Buffalo Bills Getty Images

The Texans were looking for defensive line depth, but it didn’t take long for them to realize Alex Carrington wasn’t going to provide it.

According to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, the Texans released the veteran defensive end.

The former Bills third-rounder was signed a week ago, as they were looking for someone to hold down the fort until J.J. Watt recovered from back surgery.

It’s still unclear when Watt will be back, though coach Bill O’Brien has said it will be “sooner than later.”

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Josh Norman: Everything’s magnified by 10, but I can take it

ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 11:  Josh Norman #24 of the Washington Redskins works out during pregame warmups prior to facing the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on August 11, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Getty Images

Cornerback Josh Norman knows that the big contract he signed as a free agent this offseason means that he’s “no longer the underdog” and that he “has to take on a new mask.”

Based on the interview he gave to ESPN The Magazine that made headlines on Tuesday, that mask won’t get in the way of Norman delivering attention-getting quotes about Roger Goodell, his former team and just about everything else in the NFL. After Redskins practice Tuesday, Norman opted not to discuss the article directly, but did talk about the target that gets hung around your shoulders when you take shots at others.

Norman, who will also be part of FOX Sports’ coverage of the NFL this season, said everything is “magnified by 10” when you sign a five-year, $75 million contract and that he can handle all that comes with it.

“I can take it,” Norman said, via “I can go and use it and use it as another tool to try to find myself as a person and as an individual player to come in and bring something different. I think if I can have that unique set of tools and skills to be able to fend off everything that people say, I can take it. I can take it and continue to be successful. … I can take it. I’m a big boy. I got some big shoes. We’ll be having fun with it and enjoying our teammates that’s on the team now.”

How much fun anyone has with it will come down to how well Norman plays. Making yourself the center of attention is gimmicky and won’t be for everyone, but it can work as long as there’s something backing it up on the field. Anything less is likely to lead to derision, which might not be as enjoyable for Norman to take.

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More than 20 teams showing up for Tebow’s baseball workout, supposedly

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 01:  Former University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow is seen on the sidelines prior to the start of the game during the All State Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 1, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Phillies scout won’t be feeling like the Maytag repairman at next week’s Tim Tebow workout, apparently.

Adam Schefter of ESPN, co-worker of Tebow’s at ESPN, reports that more than 20 teams are “confirmed” to attend Tebow’s Major League Baseball showcase/workout/one-man fantasy camp/whatever in L.A. next Tuesday.

The Phillies are simply doing their due diligence. Apparently, the other teams are doing the same. Indeed, if any team had specific interest in evaluating and possibly signing Tebow, a workout would have happened since he announced his baseball wishes and signed memorabilia dreams two-plus weeks ago — and someone from CAA surely would have told Schefter about it.

By implication, the news that anything less than all teams will be attending means that multiple teams have absolutely no interest in batting an eye at Tebow swinging a bat. But that wouldn’t make for a very useful headline from the company that currently employs Tebow, now would it?

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Giants brass says nothing, leaving Ben McAdoo to face Josh Brown questions

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 14:  Offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo and quarterback Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants look on from the sideline against the Arizona Cardinals during a game at MetLife Stadium on September 14, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Ron Antonelli/Getty Images) Getty Images

When Giants kicker Josh Brown was suspended one game (not six) as a result of his 2015 domestic violence arrest, Giants coach Ben McAdoo said he supported Brown “as a man, a father and a player.”

But since then, details have emerged about the situation — specifically the allegations by his ex-wife of over 20 acts of violence against her and her son — but the Giants have said nothing else.

Asked Tuesday about the recent developments, McAdoo retreated to last week’s comments.

I’ve said everything that I’m gonna say about Josh,” McAdoo said, via Seth Walder of the New York Daily News. “I respect that you have to ask that question but my comments stay my comments.”

To be fair to McAdoo, this one has gone flying past his desk and needs attention from others with more authority, but they don’t seem to want it.

So far, neither General Manager Jerry Reese nor owner John Mara have said anything about the situation, regarding the guy they re-signed this offseason knowing he had the arrest (and possible suspension) on his record.

At one point during Tuesday’s practice, Mara had a talk with Giants vice president of communications Pat Hanlon, and Hanlon then had a chat with Brown moments later. But none of them talked to reporters, who have reasonable questions to ask, especially after the Giants signed veteran kicker Randy Bullock to fill in for a week (or perhaps longer).

“Based on what I’ve said in the past, I’m gonna stick to my comments,” McAdoo said. “That’s what we feel is best for the circumstance at this point in time.”

Saying nothing hardly seems like the right play here for the Giants, though the NFL hasn’t done much to help either. They created another layer of questions by suspending Brown one game instead of six (the alleged baseline of their tough new policy) because Brown’s ex-wife wouldn’t be interviewed by them.

But for now, the league seems content to move on, and the Giants are apparently willing to let McAdoo twist in the wind alone.

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Steelers linemen on David DeCastro talks: “Pay the man”

Kansas City Chiefs v Pittsburgh Steelers Getty Images

The Steelers are working on a contract extension for guard David DeCastro, but they’re pushing up against their self-imposed deadline of the regular season.

So according to Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, his linemates are doing what they can to speed things up.

Pay the man,” center Maurkice Pouncey said.

“Please, pay the man,” left guard Ramon Foster added.

Of course, the former first-round guard from Stanford is under contract through this year (after they picked up the $8 million option on his rookie deal), but they don’t want to face the prospect of losing him for nothing in free agency after the season.

“He deserves [to get paid], and hopefully they can get it done so he can stay around for a long time,” Pouncey said. “One thing I know for sure is that we have to sign him before that first game.”

DeCastro termed the talks between his side and the team as “Nothing really,” though that could change in an instant.

“I would be lying if I didn’t say I didn’t think about it, but at the same time, it is just so hard to dwell on it,” DeCastro said. “You have practice every day and you have other things to worry about to keep your mind busy, so that’s a blessing.”

And before his eventual payday rolls in — whether from the Steelers now or someone else later — he knows he has the support of his linemates.

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Unsure what to do about Roberto Aguayo, Bucs are supporting him

NEW YORK - MAY 16:  Jayson Littman spreads his arms as he prepares to hug a woman May 16, 2004 in Washington Square Park In New York City.  For about the last month Jayson, a financial analyst, has been offering free hugs on Sunday from 1pm to 4pm.  (Photo by Stephen Chernin/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Buccaneers don’t know how to fix Roberto Aguayo at the moment.

But they know he’s theirs, so they’re going to support him.

After a rough day of practice from the rookie kicker yesterday which included heckling from his own fans, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter admitted the obvious.

He’s struggling,” Koetter said, via Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times. “He’s struggling a little bit right now. He has to work his way through it. We’ve talked to him. He knows what he has to do. He’s working through it.”

The former Florida State kicker never missed inside 40 yards in college, but opened his pro career by missing his first extra point in his first preseason game. He followed that with two more misses in the second game, before yesterday’s shank.

But his teammates know that they need to be there for him, especially the ones that have been scrutinized themselves. While the Bucs traded up to take Aguayo in the second round, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy was the third overall pick, who needed three seasons to make a Pro Bowl.

“One thing I’ve done with him is go to him and encourage him. He’s a rookie,” McCoy said. “He was drafted high as a kicker, so a lot of expectations come with that with being the guy. Who better than me to go talk to him about being drafted high and being expected to be the guy right away? Especially with me struggling the way I did early on with injuries and not living up to expectations, who better to go talk to him?

“I just go encourage him and say ‘Hey, listen, stay the course. It’ll come along.’ ”

That’s the human thing to do, and at this point, it’s the only choice the Bucs have.

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Wednesday morning one-liners

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 09:  Head coach Bill O'Brien of the Houston Texans looks on before playing against the Kansas City Chiefs during the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at NRG Stadium on January 9, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) Getty Images

Said Texans coach Bill O’Brien of the new kickoff rule, “When the rule was put into place, it was, I believe, intended to be put in for player safety, to monitor player safety and try to help that issue as far as big hits. What I’m seeing, though – and preseason is a lot about experimentation – are a lot of coffin corner-type kicks where teams are trying to funnel the coverage and the kick into the corner, outside the numbers.”

Peyton Manning is joining a roast of Rob Lowe, who once prematurely reported Manning’s retirement from the Colts.

Peter King was impressed by his visit to Jaguars camp.

Titans rookie OLB Kevin Dodd is eager to make his preseason debut.

Tyrod Taylor was the MVP of Bills camp.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick likes the way OT Marcus Cannon is playing in camp.

The Jets are a more boring team, which might make them a better team.

Dolphins TE Jordan Cameron says he can’t worry about his dropped touchdown pass.

Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger wouldn’t mind taking a hit in the preseason.

Ravens WR Mike Wallace says the team’s receiving group lifts each other up.

Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther wants his players to cut down on dropped interceptions.

Browns QB Josh McCown is facing his old team in the preseason game against the Buccaneers.

Here’s an argument that the Broncos should hand the starting quarterback job to Mark Sanchez.

The Chiefs are getting healthier as the regular season approaches.

The Raiders’ quarterbacks haven’t been sacked or even hit so far in the preseason.

It may be time for Chargers owner Dean Spanos to do whatever’s necessary to get a deal done with first-round pick Joey Bosa.

Are the Cowboys primed to jump from worst to first?

Giants CB Leon Hall knows how hard it is to cover WR Victor Cruz, at least if Cruz is healthy.

Eagles LB Stephen Tulloch says he’s ready to do whatever he’s asked in Jim Schwartz’s defense.

Washington outside linebackers coach Greg Manusky hurls bags at his players’ feet during drills.

Lions DE Brandon Copeland says a preseason game against the Ravens has extra meaning.

Bears RB Jacquizz Rodgers is looking good in camp.

Packers QB Aaron Rodgers says he’ll play as much as coach Mike McCarthy wants in his preseason debut on Friday.

The Vikings will continue to play it safe with QB Teddy Bridgewater, who resumed throwing on Tuesday.

The Falcons want to force more turnovers.

Panthers WR Philly Brown suffered a minor shoulder injury in practice.

Bucs TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins is trying to show he can be a model citizen.

Saints DB Roman Harper’s foundation is helping local school kids.

Kickoff for Sunday’s Cardinals-Texans game has been pushed back 25 minutes.

The Rams like what their tight end group can do in the passing game.

Said 49ers offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins of why the team hasn’t picked a quarterback yet, “It’s not time. It’s a competition, and [Colin Kaepernick] hasn’t had a chance to perform yet. So when that happens and when coach [Chip Kelly] feels like it’s time, we’ll do that. But right now, it’s not time. We’ve still got a ways to go before we play.”

Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin and CB Richard Sherman have a spirited competition in camp.

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Jay Gruden optimistic Josh Doctson will play Week One

FILE - In this May 14, 2016 file photo, Washington Redskins wide receiver Josh Doctson, 18, works out during NFL football rookie minicamp in Ashburn, Va. Doctson is inching his way back from an Achilles tendon injury, though the Washington Redskins still don’t know when the wide receiver will be ready to practice with the team, let alone play in a game. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File) AP

Last week, Washington coach Jay Gruden said he had “no expectations” for when receiver Josh Doctson would return from an Achilles injury. This week, Gruden says he has “total expectation” that Doctson will play in the first regular season game.

“He did the route tree today, which is very positive – not 100 percent yet obviously – he’s not running full-speed but he’s doing a lot more now than he did a week ago, which the progress that we see is a very, very good sign for us,” Gruden said on Tuesday. “I have total expectation that he’s going to be ready Week One, possibly the fourth preseason game, but we’ll still see. Like I said, it’s a new injury to me.”

Doctson, Washington’s first-round draft pick, is behind in practice reps because of the injury. But Gruden says that doesn’t put Doctson as far behind as it might seem.

“He’s getting all of the mental reps he can,” Gruden said. “He’s been working in the meeting rooms and he is studying the game and he is a very bright kid. He understands football, which is good.”

The wait to see what Doctson can do on the field is almost over.

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Pete Carroll: Jimmy Graham uncertain for opener, but “everything is positive” in recovery

Jimmy Graham AP

The Seattle Seahawks gave Jimmy Graham a day off on Tuesday after four heavy days of work as he continues his rehabilitation from surgery to repair a torn patellar tendon in his right leg over the offseason.

Graham has yet to be involved in full team workouts since being activated off the physically unable to perform list two weeks ago. He’s been relegated to early work in individual drills and rehab work on side fields during team periods of practice.

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said Graham was evaluated and tested over the weekend with all signs pointing in the right direction. However, he’s still uncertain whether Graham will be ready for Seattle’s season opener against the Miami Dolphins on Sept. 11.

I’m not calling that yet. I don’t know that,” Carroll said Tuesday in an interview with Dave “Softy” Mahler on 950 KJR-AM in Seattle. “Not until we really cut him loose in practice, which next week is going to be a really important week for him. He had a great week this week. He had his best day yesterday, really a big workload and he handled everything and feels really good coming out of that. So we’ll see. There has never been that deadline in my mind. We just want to get him back when he’s ready. But he looks really good, everything is positive and he’s really fired up and that’s what he wants to do. We’ll see if we can get that done.”

Graham’s injury has proven to be a difficult one for athletes to recover from and be the player they were before the injury. New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz hasn’t played a game in nearly two years after suffering similar injuries in the 2014 season. However, Carroll believes the player he’s seeing going through rehab work on a daily basis looks every bit the player Graham was when they traded for him a season ago.

“No, he looks exactly the same. I don’t think he’s going to be any different at all when he comes back. He’s worked too hard,” Carroll said. “We’ll have to see how the rigors of the games, how that weighs on him but I don’t see that. He looks really, really good. It’s jut been a marvelous effort by Jimmy to get back and the trainers to work with him. We just need to do it in the right timing. There’s not a rush. This is a very long season and if it takes a couple extra weeks that’s fine.”

If there was any doubt about Graham’s availability early in the season, the Seahawks could have left him on the physically unable to perform list to preserve the ability to place him on the reserve/PUP list to begin the season. That move would mean Graham would be ineligible for at least the first six weeks of the year.

Bringing him back to practice as early as they did means that the team believes he’ll be ready early in the season. If not Week 1, then soon after.

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Curious Phillies will check out Tebow workout

Unknown Getty Images

In 2015, Tim Tebow spent much of the offseason as an employee of the Eagles. He could possibly become an employee of the Phillies. But not likely.

Via Jim Salisbury of, Philadelphia’s Major League Baseball team will send a scout to Tebow’s baseball workout next Tuesday in L.A.

But the Phillies reportedly are merely doing due diligence, checking out Tebow in the same way they would send a scout to check out other amateur athletes hoping to play baseball.

For that reason, plenty of teams could show up to see what Tebow can do. The real question is whether anyone will hire him. It would be wise not to hold your breath, or any other bodily function, in anticipation of Tebow signing a contract to become a player on a Major League roster.

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Gordon hopes trade rumors aren’t true

Josh Gordon AP

Tuesday morning, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Browns have fielded multiple inquiries from teams potentially interested in trading for wide receiver Josh Gordon.

After the Browns practiced vs. the Buccaneers Tuesday in Tampa, Gordon told reporters he hopes he’s not going anywhere.

“I really can’t comment on [those rumors],” Gordon said, per the Browns’ official transcript. “I’m not really sure. I haven’t heard too much about it. Cleveland is my team. That is where I want to be.”

The NFL conditionally reinstated Gordon last month. He’s suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season, and assuming he stays out of trouble he’ll be a restricted free agent at the end of the season. These practices against the Bucs are Gordon’s first work vs. another team since Dec. 2014, when he played five games after being reinstated.

He was suspended for all of last season. Schefter’s report said the Browns didn’t want to trade Gordon, and the team quickly shot down the rumors.

“[Browns Owner] Mr. (Jimmy) Haslam, the organization and [Browns coach Hue] Jackson, I think the world of those guys and their decisions and this organization,” Gordon said. “They’re family. They’re showing me love and respect back to me by allowing me to stay here up to this point, and I expect to move forward with that.

“I’m excited about it. It’s where I want to be and I’m happy to be in Cleveland.”

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Marquise Goodwin leaves practice, enters concussion protocol

ORCHARD PARK, NY - SEPTEMBER 14:   Marquise Goodwin #88 of the Buffalo Bills runs the ball against the Miami Dolphins during the first half at Ralph Wilson Stadium on September 14, 2014 in Orchard Park, New York.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) Getty Images

Bills wide receiver Marquise Goodwin is in the NFL’s concussion protocol after leaving Tuesday’s practice.

Goodwin was examined by trainers and later escorted off the field after hitting his head on the ground while trying to make a catch.

The speedy Goodwin is trying to win a role in the Bills’ offense and has been impressive in camp. Two weeks ago, Bills offensive coordinator Greg Roman praised Goodwin and said he appears to be “on a mission.”

Goodwin, who just missed qualifying for the Olympics in the long jump, is listed as a second-teamer on the Bills’ unofficial depth chart. He was limited to two games last year by injury and had 17 of his 20 career catches as a rookie in 2013.

Though the Bills expect Sammy Watkins to play in this weeks preseason game, they’re still shorthanded at receiver. Bills Coach Rex Ryan told reporters that Marcus Easley and rookie Kolby Listenbee aren’t close to returning.

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Report: Harrison’s NFL interview set for Thursday

Wild Card Playoffs - Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers Getty Images

The NFL has scheduled Steelers linebacker James Harrison’s meeting with league investigators regarding performance-enhancing drugs allegations made in an Al-Jazeera report for this Thursday, Aug. 25.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported the change in date, which meets the initial requirements set forth by the NFL that players named in the report interview by Aug. 25. The league threatened to suspend players who refused to interview.

The NFLPA sent a letter on behalf of Harrison last week in which Harrison agreed to an interview. The initial date for that interview was Aug. 30.

Last week, Harrison told reporters the NFL has no credible evidence against him and proposed that his interview be broadcast live.

Packers players Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers are scheduled to interview Wednesday. Harrison’s interview will take place before the Steelers fly to New Orleans for their Friday night preseason game.

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Karlos Williams visits the Jets

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 12:  Karlos Williams #29 of the Buffalo Bills avoids Demario Davis #56 of the New York Jets to score a third quarter touchdown at MetLife Stadium on November 12, 2015 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) Getty Images

Free agent running back Karlos Williams didn’t get any takers on waivers, but he is drawing some interest around the league.

Williams visited the Jets today, Sal Capaccio of WGR in Buffalo reports. The Jets are one of five teams that have reached out to show interest in Williams.

At the moment, all of that interest appears to be more of a feeling out process than an immediate contract offer. Williams won’t be able to play for the first four weeks of the season anyway because he’s under suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy, and teams will need to be convinced that Williams won’t cause problems off the field before anyone will sign him. There are also concerns about Williams’ weight after he showed up to camp out of shape.

Williams is undeniably a talented player, and he made a number of big plays as a rookie for the Bills last season. If Williams can get in shape and stay out of trouble, he may still make plenty of big plays for some team this season. It could be the Jets, even if they’re not ready to sign him just yet.

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Jeremy Mincey announces retirement

Wild Card Playoffs - Detroit Lions v Dallas Cowboys Getty Images

Former Cowboys, Broncos and Jaguars defensive end Jeremy Mincey announced his retirement Tuesday.

Mincey, who played the last two seasons for the Cowboys, posted a picture on Instagram along with a thank-you letter in which he announced that he’s finished playing.

His contract with the Cowboys expired after last season. Mincey also had elbow surgery in the offseason after an elbow issue slowed him last season.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted that Mincey, 32, had offers from interested teams but opted to retire. Mincey had 26 sacks over nine NFL seasons and six in 2014 with the Cowboys.

A sixth-round pick of the Patriots in 2006, Mincey also spent time with the 49ers before he made his regular season debut with the Jaguars in 2007. He played for the Jaguars until 2013, when he was released and finished the season with the Broncos.

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