It seems since draft day, the media has been casting a negative shadow on Jets QB Geno Smith. Mike Florio believes until he has an agent in place, there will be no one in Smith’s corner swinging back at the media on his behalf.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
ProFootballTalk: Without representation, media keeps piling on Smith
The NFL and the Giants both said that they had no knowledge of the information included in the release of new documents by the King County, Washington Sheriff regarding Giants kicker Josh Brown’s history of domestic violence, but it appears that’s not quite true.
One of the pieces of information included in those documents, as reported by Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv, involved NFL security moving Brown’s ex-wife Molly from her hotel room at the 2016 Pro Bowl after an incident with the kicker. Per Molly Brown, she took the trip with her sons and the daughter she had with Brown while the couple was in the process of getting a divorce at her ex-husband’s request.
Once there, she said she was subjected to “cutting comments” and had her phone taken by Brown so he could search her texts before pounding on her door (they had separate rooms) while drunk until NFL and hotel security intervened. She said NFL security eventually moved her to a new room on the Friday night before the game, something that Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com confirmed with the league, and the family had no further incidents over the course of the weekend.
That information raises further questions about why the league cited “insufficient information” about the issues between Brown and his ex-wife when they opted to suspend Brown for one game earlier this year.
One of the lead storylines for Monday night’s game is Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler’s return to Denver to face the team he played for during his first four NFL seasons.
The Texans issued their first practice report ahead of that game on Thursday and Osweiler’s name is among the most notable on it. Osweiler is listed with a foot issue, although there doesn’t seem to be a high likelihood that he’ll miss the game as he is listed as a full participant.
Another name that catches the eye on the injury report is wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins is listed as limited with a hamstring injury, but there’s no word from Houston at this point to indicate that he’s in danger of missing the game.
The Texans are expected to get Will Fuller back in the lineup after he didn’t play in Week Six due to his own hamstring injury. Fuller was also limited in practice along with defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and right tackle Derek Newton.
In a league where, at the most important position, supply doesn’t match demand, Steelers quarterback Landry Jones now has an important opportunity, for anywhere from one to five games.
Jones, who appeared in five games last year with two starts, will be starting at least one game in his contract year. If he can play like he did when he replaced Mike Vick against the Cardinals a year ago, completing eight of 12 passes for 168 yards and two touchdowns in a 25-13 win, Jones could position himself for a chance to be a starter elsewhere next year.
Jones lost at Kansas City in his first start last year, a tough spot for any quarterback to thrive. For the years, he had three touchdowns and four interceptions, but an impressive per-attempt average of 9.3 yards.
He gets a chance to build on that starting Sunday against the Patriots, with possible future chances against the Ravens, Cowboys, Browns, and Colts. If he passes the eyeball test, he could be getting his fingers on plenty of cash come March.
On Wednesday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that he expected the reduction of practice time negotiated as part of the last Collective Bargaining Agreement will “undoubtedly” come up again during negotiations for the next CBA.
Count Packers coach Mike McCarthy among those who would like to see those reductions go away. McCarthy’s team has been hit by enough injuries that they ruled seven players out for Thursday night’s game against the Bears and he said that he believes the “outrageous” amount of injuries around the league are a result of the limits placed on practice time.
“I think it’s clearly a reflection of the training part of it. People don’t want to hear coaches say that, but how can you not be in tune to the fact you have a younger football league than pre-2011 and now you’re spending five less weeks with the players?” McCarthy said, via Mike Garafolo of NFL Media. “I mean, that’s not the best formula. I think it’s been proven since then.”
McCarthy also bemoaned the impact of less practice time on the quality of play around the league, a notion that Goodell rejected on Wednesday but has come up with other coaches since the new regulations were put in place in 2011.
As with anything in the CBA, negotiating a change would require the league to give the players something else they want in return for increasing the amount of time players spend with the team. That’s not an impossibility, but it will be up to owners to decide what’s worth giving up to put practice time back on the table.
Bills running back LeSean McCoy hurt his hamstring in Wednesday’s practice and didn’t take part in Thursday’s session, which appears to be a prelude to him missing Sunday’s game against the Dolphins.
Josina Anderson of ESPN reports that McCoy will not play this weekend. Anderson adds that McCoy could miss more time, which would put him at risk of missing Buffalo’s home game against the Patriots in Week Eight. The rate that McCoy heals would determine that, however, and that won’t be known until some point next week.
McCoy has a history of hamstring issues, something that will likely factor into the decision as the Bills would like to avoid aggravating the injury in a way that leads to an extended absence.
The Bears have activated linebacker Pernell McPhee ahead of their Thursday night game in Green Bay.
McPhee had been on the team’s physically unable to perform list. He had missed the team’s offseason program and preseason while recovering from knee surgery, and the Bears kept him on PUP to start the regular season to give him extra time to heal.
McPhee, who’s probably the team’s best pass rusher, had six sacks and one interception last season, his first with the Bears.
Fullback Paul Lasike was waived to make room on the roster for McPhee.
Chip Kelly is not going to be the Oregon coach. Again.
In his first year with the 49ers after three-and-out in Philly, rumors of a return to college football already are percolating regarding Kelly, fueled by his 1-5 record. Meeting with reporters on Thursday, Kelly was asked whether he is committed to remaining in San Francisco.
“Unless the media has an opportunity for me somewhere, I’ll always explore those opportunities,” Kelly told reporters. “But, I’m not going anywhere.”
He may not be going anywhere, voluntarily. A full-blown free fall could, in theory, result in the 49ers making a change after only one season. It’s not nearly as uncommon a phenomenon as many believe; indeed, the 49ers did it only one year ago, firing Jim Tomsula after a single year on the job — and he won five games.
At a time when evidence of family discord has emerged and fans are still trying to figure out precisely how to hold Jed York accountable (beyond, you know, getting stuck “in traffic” — for three hours), York may feel compelled to press the reset button if 1-5 becomes anything worse that Tomsula’s 5-11, firing everyone and starting over again, rolling the dice in search of his own personal Bill Walsh.
So, yes, there’s a chance Chip Kelly will be back in the ranks of college football next year. Whether he wants to be or not.
Once again, P.R. as in public relations for the NFL will trump P.R. as in player rights.
The league had its chance to develop any and all information that it could regarding the conduct of Giants kicker Josh Brown. The league failed to get the information that it needed in order to make a proper decision as to the discipline to be imposed on Brown, because the league couldn’t get Brown’s ex-wife or the relevant law-enforcement authorities to cooperate.
Instead of telling Josh Brown that the inability to get all the information about his conduct won’t count as a mitigating circumstance that reduces the standard six-game suspension for committing an act of domestic violence or that the NFL simply won’t allow him to play until Brown persuades his ex-wife and/or the authorities to provide the needed information, the league imposed a one-game suspension on Brown and closed the books.
Now, with the information the NFL failed to obtain regarding Brown’s misconduct obtained and published, the NFL apparently plans to do precisely what it tried to do to Ray Rice after the video the NFL should have obtained became available to the public: Punish Brown a second time for the same behavior.
This is no longer about whether Brown should have been suspended for more than one game; obviously, he should have been. This is now about whether the NFL can reach back and fix a mistake borne of negligence, incompetence, and/or extending a courtesy to an extremely influential owner by imposing a second penalty on Brown for the same misconduct.
Like the Ray Rice case, the league will likely argue that Brown lied during the original investigation. Unlike the Rice case, the league likely will argue that Brown is being punished not for the incident that occurred in May 2015 but for separate conduct described in the materials obtained by SNY.
Because the Josh Brown case won’t be generating the intense focus and criticism that the Ray Rice case did (which was exacerbated by the AP report that the league had the critical video before TMZ published it), Commissioner Roger Goodell most likely won’t be delegating his authority over the internal disciplinary process to a retired judge or any other independent party. Instead, buoyed by the federal appeals court decisions in litigation arising from suspensions imposed on Tom Brady and Adrian Peterson, the league office will do what it wants with Brown, stickhandling its way through the contours of the relevant precedent and engineering a way to take action against Brown.
The end result? The NFL will as a practical matter acquire the ability to punish a player twice for the same general misbehavior.
And if the Giants decide to cut Brown and not pay the balance of his salary, the Giants could face a grievance of their own, like the Ravens did when they cut Rice. The player may be in better position to get a fair shake on that one, since resolving it likely wouldn’t fall under the NFL’s authority.
Regardless, even though Brown never should have been re-signed by the Giants, the Giants knew or should have known all about his conduct before bringing him back. They shouldn’t be allowed to slide out of Hell’s Kitchen now that their potentially willful ignorance has been confirmed.
Bottom line? The NFL and the Giants had their chance to do the right thing. For whatever reason(s), they failed. It now would be unfair to Brown and all other players for the league and the Giants to say or do anything other than, “We blew it the first time, and we have no legal right to a second bite at the apple.”
Colts owner Jim Irsay said he disagrees with the players who are protesting the national anthem. The Colts cut cornerback Antonio Cromartie two weeks after he began kneeling during the national anthem. Cromartie’s wife says those two things are more than a coincidence.
Terricka Cromartie wrote on her private Instagram account that taking a knee during the anthem is what led to Antonio losing his job in Indianapolis.
“One things for sure I know my husband was told Not to take a Knee and he went with his heart and he took one. And that cost him his Job,” she wrote, according to the Indianapolis Star.
That may be Cromartie’s wife’s perception, but that doesn’t make it accurate. Cromartie played badly early in the season, and he was cut after an ugly game against the Jaguars that saw the Colts make several changes on defense that involved people who hadn’t knelt for the anthem, including cutting Sio Moore. The Colts also got two cornerbacks back from injuries around the time they cut Cromartie, which suggests that he was released because he no longer had a place on the defense.
Cromartie himself has not said whether he thinks his anthem protest was related to his departure from Indianapolis.
It’s starting to look like the initial explanation might have had some credence. Palmer was listed as a non-participant in practice on Wednesday due to a hamstring issue and Thursday is shaping up the same way.
Darren Urban of the team’s website reports that Palmer came out to the field without a helmet and is working on the side with a trainer. Urban adds that he doesn’t expect the team to provide much of an update on Palmer’s condition as coach Bruce Arians isn’t scheduled to address the media on Thursday and offensive coordinator Harold Goodwin, who will speak to reporters, doesn’t discuss injuries.
Whether through Arians’ comments or Palmer’s practice status, Friday should bring some more clarity about whether the hamstring will have any impact on the quarterback’s readiness for Sunday night’s game against the Seahawks.
It’s looking like Reed is going to miss another game for the Redskins this weekend. Reed was able to practice in a limited fashion on Wednesday while wearing a non-contact jersey, but he took a step in the other direction on Thursday.
Reed didn’t participate in practice at all, which isn’t the best of signs about his ability to get cleared through the league’s concussion protocol in time to face the Lions on Sunday. Vernon Davis would continue to see an expanded role in the event that Reed is out of the lineup.
Going without Reed would be a major blow to the Redskins passing game and it’s not the only injury concern on that front heading into the matchup with Detroit. Wide receiver DeSean Jackson missed a second straight day of practice with a shoulder injury, which makes it easier to be skeptical about his Wednesday vow of confidence that he’ll be on the field.
Reports emerged on Thursday that Packers running back Eddie Lacy will have surgery on his ankle and miss at least the next eight weeks of the season while on injured reserve.
The Packers made it official later in the day. The team has announced that Lacy has been placed on injured reserve while he deals with his ankle injury.
Green Bay also announced that they have promoted running back Don Jackson from the practice squad, a move that’s been talked about as a possibility all week given Lacy’s injury and James Starks‘ knee surgery. Jackson signed as an undrafted free agent out of Nevada in May and didn’t play in the preseason because of an injury, which means his next snap will be his first one in an NFL game.
The release of new documents by the King County, Washington Sheriff regarding Giants kicker Josh Brown’s admissions of domestic violence had many people wondering why the NFL didn’t come up with a punishment more severe than a one-game suspension.
The NFL has joined the Giants, who re-signed Brown as a free agent and boasted they had done due diligence into Brown’s past, in saying that they were unaware of the existence of documents featuring Brown, who explained his arrest as one moment before evidence of more than 20 incidents came to light, admitting to abusing his then-wife and referring to her as “his slave.” The league issued a statement on Thursday saying that the release of these new documents will lead to Brown’s case being re-opened with the potential for further discipline.
“NFL investigators made repeated attempts — both orally and in writing — to obtain any and all evidence and relevant information in this case from the King County Sheriff’s Office. Each of those requests was denied and the Sheriff’s Office declined to provide any of the requested information, which ultimately limited our ability to fully investigate this matter. We concluded our own investigation, more than a year after the initial incident, based on the facts and evidence available to us at the time and after making exhaustive attempts to obtain information in a timely fashion. It is unfortunate that we did not have the benefit or knowledge of these materials at the time.”
“In light of the release of these documents yesterday, we will thoroughly review the additional information and determine next steps in the context of the NFL Personal Conduct Policy. We will not be making any comments on potential discipline until that time.”
Given all that was already known about Brown’s behavior, including his ex-wife telling police about a letter he wrote to friends admitting abuse in a report that was previously available, there will still be questions about the initial response of the league and the Giants to Brown’s actions.
There may also be questions about why the Commissioner’s exempt list, used in the Greg Hardy and Adrian Peterson cases, wasn’t used as a way for Brown to be removed from the roster while still being paid and under investigation if the league was unsatisfied with the information available to them in their investigation.
When they decided to keep kicker Josh Brown after allegations of domestic violence, Giants owner John Mara said the team “did do some due diligence” on the case.
But last night’s news that Brown admitted to years of physical and emotional abuse of his then-wife was news to them too.
According to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY, a team spokesman said “the team was unaware of the information and documents in the Josh Brown case released to the press last night.”
Brown is on the field and practicing today, in advance of the team’s trip to London. He hasn’t talked to reporters today, and coach Ben McAdoo was not scheduled to talk until they arrived in England tomorrow. He does have a scheduled radio appearance later this afternoon.
When the first reports of abuse emerged in August, Mara said the team was “comfortable with the decision” to re-sign the free agent kicker after they were aware of his past.
“I’m not going to get into whether they were valid or invalid. We did do some due diligence on this. We had a number of conversations with a number of different people,” Mara said then. “We had a lot of facts and circumstances that were presented to us. We looked at all of those things. This is an organization that always tries to do the right thing. I don’t know if we always get it done, but we try.
“We did our homework here. We got as many of the facts and circumstances in front of us as we could, and we made the determination.”
The NFL was also unaware after their investigation, so the Giants don’t have to feel alone. Brown was suspended one game by the league, far less than the six-game “baseline” for domestic violence suspensions.
After getting off to a great start with back-to-back 100-yard games to start the season, Texans rookie receiver Will Fuller has been struggling with a leg injury. Last week he didn’t play at all against the Colts, and the week before that he was limited to one catch for four yards against the Vikings.
But when the Texans take the field on Monday night against the Broncos, Fuller fully expects to be there.
“I felt good out there,” Fuller said after practicing fully, via the Houston Chronicle. “I was running routes. I’m ready to go.”
Despite the injury, Fuller is second on the team behind DeAndre Hopkins with 20 catches for 327 yards and two touchdowns, plus a punt return touchdown. Having him back gives the Texans a big-play threat against the stout Denver defense.