Usually, Bill Belichick stockpiles mid-round draft picks, but this year the Patriots won’t select in rounds four through six, and if the Steelers don’t match the offer the Pats made to Emmanuel Sanders, New England won’t have a pick in the third round either. Mike Florio believes the Patriots best bet is to draft an interior offensive lineman to protect Tom Brady.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
ProFootballTalk: The Patriots are on the clock
The Browns made a roster move Friday, promoting cornerback Darius Hillary to the active roster and releasing defensive lineman Gabe Wright.
The Browns have been ravaged by injuries in the secondary. With cornerback Joe Haden likely to miss a second straight game Sunday, Hillary should be active Sunday vs. the Bengals. Hillary, an undrafted rookie and a native of Cincinnati, spent the offseason with the Bengals and the first four weeks of this season on their practice squad.
Wright has appeared in three games this season and has also spent time on the Browns’ practice squad.
The Seahawks are likley to be without Kam Chancellor again this week.
The veteran safety is listed as doubtful for Sunday night’s game against the Cardinals, not making enough progress from the hip injury which kept him out of last week’s game.
He was injured in practice last week.
Tight end Jimmy Graham was held out of practice Thursday because of knee and hip injuries, but coach Pete Carroll told reporters Graham was “ready to go.”
The NFL announced on Friday that Giants kicker Josh Brown has been placed on the Commissioner’s exempt list “to permit the league fully to review” documents from the King County (WA) Sheriff’s Office that it says it did not have access to before they were released this week.
In their letter to Brown, the NFL points out his right to appeal that decision. The NFL Players Association, which passed on an opportunity to comment earlier this week, has done the same in a statement about the league’s decision.
“The NFL has the ability to place a player on the exempt list and the player has the right to appeal that decision, if he chooses. The League office wanted unilateral control of this process and accordingly, their system lacks transparency.”
The league has cited “other incidents of abuse separate from the May 22, 2015 incident for which” Brown was suspended one game under the Personal Conduct Policy earlier this year. That phrasing suggests the league is trying to find a way to penalize Brown again, which would likely lead to a further response from the union given the way things played out in the Ray Rice case.
The league agreed.
Via Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer, the NFL fined Short $18,231 for his roughing the passer penalty last week.
Short said he thought the hit looked worse than it was because of Brees’ stature, but he’s the one a little short in the wallet this week.
At the end of last Sunday’s victory over the Rams, the Lions lined up for quarterback Matthew Stafford to take the familiar kneeldowns that run out the clock on a win.
The Rams weren’t willing to concede defeat, however, and defensive tackles Aaron Donald and Dominique Easley crashed into the Lions linemen on two straight snaps. They got pushed back into Stafford and Lions center Travis Swanson hurt his hand during the pushing and shoving that followed.
According to multiple reports, Donald has been fined $18,231 for unnecessary roughness as a result of the plays. Easley was not fined.
Rams coach Jeff Fisher said that the call to rush the Lions didn’t come from the sideline and intimated that his players were frustrated by “some things that Aaron endured during the game” without elaborating on what those things might have been.
Donald was fined $21,269 after being ejected in Week One for making contact with an official.
Specifically, Davis was fined for simulating a jump shot while celebrating a touchdown. The NFL ruled that Davis shooting the ball over the goalpost constitutes using the ball and the goalpost as a prop, and that’s against the rules.
There is to be no fun in football or basketball, apparently.
The Redskins won the game, 27-20.
The Colts have ruled seven players out of Sunday’s game at Tennessee, most notably starting guard Jack Mewhort.
Colts Coach Chuck Pagano said rookie Joe Haeg took the majority of the reps at left guard this week. Haeg is listed as the team’s starting right tackle, and if he moves inside Joe Reitz figures to be the right tackle.
Pagano said Mewhort’s injury is more “week-to-week” than day-to-day but doesn’t know if Mewhort will miss additional games.
Also out for the Colts sunday are tight Dwayne Allen, defensive end Henry Anderson, wide receiver Phillip Dorsett, defensive tackle Zach Kerr, linebacker Curt Maggitt and wide receiver Donte Moncrief. The Colts placed wide receiver Quan Bray on injured reserve earlier in the week, meaning they’re down to four healthy receivers for Sunday: T.Y. Hilton, Chester Rogers, Devin Street and Tevaun Smith.
The NFL’s biggest flaw in the handling of Josh Brown arose from its decision to impose discipline before the authorities had concluded their investigation. The conclusion of the investigation has allowed the prosecutor to conclude that no formal charges should be filed.
At the very end of the better-late-than-never-but-still-way-too-late report filed last month, Detective Robin Ostrum of the King County Sheriff’s Department explains that “[t]his case file will be sent to the King County Prosecutor’s Office for their review of filing charges of [two] counts of DV-Assault 4 Degree.”
Via NJ.com, the King County Prosecutor determined on Thursday, October 20, to not file charges. The memo cites the reluctance of Molly Brown to cooperate with the case as the primary reason for the decision not to proceed.
The two counts mentioned by Detective Ostrum relate to the May 22, 2015 incident for which Brown was arrested, and a May 2014 incident that occurred after Josh Brown “had come home intoxicated after being at a bachelor party.” Molly Brown confronted Josh Brown for driving drunk, and she claimed that he responded by slamming her “into a large mirror with a very large frame around it,” and that she struck her head and left arm on the frame.
The impact caused a crack in the mirror, and she then fell and landed on a marble floor.
“Molly was face down on the floor and Josh held her down by putting his forearm across the back of her neck and laying on her with his full body weight,” Detective Ostrum wrote. “Molly’s face was pushed into the carpet and she stated that she could not move her heard or her body, and it made it very hard for her to breathe.”
Detective Ostrum personally inspected the crack in the mirror, and Josh and Molly Brown’s young daughter witnessed Josh holding Molly down on the floor.
The memo from the prosecutor also points out that the investigation was left open for a year in the event Molly Brown changed her mind. Still, the authorities seemed to move quickly to resolve the matter after the NFL imposed a one-game suspension on Josh Brown — and after media inquiries undoubtedly snowballed regarding the status of a case that quickly was growing stale.
The Patriots won’t have to face Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger Sunday, but they still have some issues of their own.
They listed nine guys as questionable for this week, including linebacker Jamie Collins, who was out last week because of a hip injury.
Collins has been listed as a limited participant in practice all week.
Also questionable for the Patriots are tight end Martellus Bennett (ankle), running back Brandon Bolden (knee), wide receiver Julian Edelman (foot), defensive tackle Woodrow Hamilton (shoulder), defensive end Shea McClellin (concussion), wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell (hamstring), linebacker Elandon Roberts (ankle) and defensive tackle Vincent Valentine (back).
Backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is no longer listed on the report at all, as his shoulder issue isn’t even limiting him at this point.
Poyer suffered a lacerated kidney and was hospitalized for two nights. Andrews was penalized for an illegal blindside block, but Andrews not being fined indicates that after further review of the play the league office believed there was no helmet-to-helmet contact and that Andrews did not lead with his helmet.
Poyer was not pleased that Andrews posted video of the play on his Instagram account with the tag, “relentless.” The Browns placed Poyer on injured reserve earlier this week.
It looks like the Cardinals will have quarterback Carson Palmer in the lineup against the Seahawks on Sunday night after he practiced for a second straight day on Friday despite a hamstring injury that sidelined him on Wednesday.
It’s not looking so good for wide receiver John Brown. Brown missed a third straight day of practice with what the team had been calling a hamstring injury, although coach Bruce Arians said Friday that’s not quite accurate.
Per Arians, a blood test determined that Brown has a sickle cell trait that is causing Brown to experience pain in his leg. Work is being done to figure out a solution and the Cardinals haven’t ruled Brown out of the game, but it looks like there’s a decent chance he’ll be out of the lineup for the NFC West matchup.
The biggest fine to come out of last Sunday’s Patriots victory over the Bengals was the $75,000 penalty levied on Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict for stepping on Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount’s leg.
That wasn’t the only fine for a player in that game and Blount was among the other players penalized by the league. PFT has confirmed with the league that Blount received a $9,115 fine for an unnecessary roughness penalty he received after getting stepped on by Burfict. Blount reacted by shoving Burfict and getting into it with Bengals defensive tackle Pat Sims.
Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was also fined $9,115 after being flagged for taunting in the fourth quarter. The flag came at the end of the second of two straight catches by Gronkowski that ended with him barking at members of the Bengals, including Burfict, before getting barked at by Bill Belichick.
Suh was rushing Roethlisberger in the fourth quarter, and the Steelers reportedly filed a formal complaint with the NFL because they believed Suh intentionally kicked Roethlisberger.
The league office apparently disagreed with the Steelers’ view of things, and Suh wasn’t fined.
The NFL officially has placed Giants kicker Josh Brown on the Reserve/Commissioner Exempt list based on information that came to light earlier this week. The text of the letter from senior V.P. of labor policy and league affairs Adolpho Birch to Brown makes it clear that Brown is now being investigated for “other incidents of abuse separate from the May 22, 2015 incident for which you were disciplined under the Personal Conduct Policy.”
The move, which essentially suspends Brown with pay pending the outcome of the investigation, is a precursor to an eventual, inevitable suspension of Brown without pay for Personal Conduct Policy violation(s) arising from the conduct explained in the materials released by the King County (Washington) Sheriff following the official conclusion of the investigation of the May 2015 incident.
And so Brown will be prevented from working indefinitely (while getting paid) before eventually absorbing another suspension for, as he possibly will argue, conduct about which the league knew or should have known. Brown’s case could be bolstered by Thursday’s comments from Giants co-owner John Mara, who said a day after the release of materials reflecting other potential incidents of abuse that Brown had been honest with the team and that the Giants knew Brown had engaged in domestic violence. Thus, Brown can — and should — argue that he already has been punished once for the conduct for which he is now on the Commissioner-Exempt list.
Whether that argument has any success remains to be seen. Armed with recent federal appeals court rulings from cases against Tom Brady and Adrian Peterson, the league has the blueprint for doing whatever it wants to do to Brown. As long as Commissioner Roger Goodell doesn’t delegate the internal appeals process to a truly neutral arbitrator (like he did when the league tried to suspend Ray Rice a second time for allegedly lying to the league during his original internal appeals process), the league likely will prevail in its effort to suspend Josh Brown a second time — absent any smoking-gun admissions from the league or the team that Brown’s initial suspension was intended to be comprehensive. (Mara’s comments already could be that smoking gun, frankly.)
No matter how wrong and despicable his conduct may have been, Brown has rights. By bungling the case in the first instance via the failure to acquire information needed to reach an informed decision and/or an inexplicable refusal to wait for the investigation to end before imposing discipline, the league has put the union and anyone interested in the fair treatment of all players in the unenviable task of having to defend Brown.
Maybe that’s how the league decided to handle the case if/when the truth ever came out. Instead of admitting that they should have known more before suspending Brown for only one game, the league can now deflect criticism by pivoting back toward the man many will agree is the real culprit for more discipline.
Regardless of whether it’s supposed to work that way (and it’s not), the league and the Giants will now try to avoid any and all scrutiny or criticism of its flawed investigation by doing to Brown now what should have been done months ago.
Specifically, Brown should have been placed on the Commissioner’s-Exempt list pending the outcome of the investigation in King’s County, which would have ensured that the investigation didn’t fall into a black hole for more than a year, and which in turn would have resulted in the information that was released Wednesday coming to light many months ago.
Another week, another instance of Giants receiver Odell Beckham getting fined by the NFL.
This time Beckham was fined $24,309 for unsportsmanlike conduct. Beckham was flagged 15 yards after scoring the game-winning touchdown on Sunday because he took his helmet off in celebration.
The NFL is taking things too far when it comes to cracking down on celebrations, and it seems rather silly that Beckham is fined more for taking his helmet off than players are often fined for serious penalties that could injure an opponent.
On the other hand, every NFL player knows the rules say you can’t take your helmet off during a celebration, and Beckham still hasn’t learned his lesson. Beckham has also been fined this year for a touchdown dance, for taunting an opponent, and for a blindside hit. Eventually, he’s going to have to learn to tone it down. But he hasn’t learned yet.