The NFL and the NFLPA are reportedly close to finalizing a new offseason schedule that would move the scouting combine, draft and OTAs up a month. Mike Florio thinks this will help further the NFL’s dominance over the other sports in the American landscape.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
ProFootballTalk: Next step towards total dominance for NFL
The Cowboys plan to make rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott a workhorse.
That’s the word from David Helman of DallasCowboys.com, who writes that Elliott will have somewhere in the range of 280 to 300 carries, or around 18 a game, in 2016.
That would suggest that the Cowboys plan to use Elliott about as much as any NFL team uses any running back. Last year Adrian Peterson led the NFL with 327 carries, while Doug Martin was second with 288 carries. If Elliott really carries the ball 18 times a game, he could compete for the league lead in carries.
Of course, that’s nothing compared to the way Cowboys coach Jason Garrett used running back DeMarco Murray in 2014, when Murray had 392 carries, the most for anyone in any season in the NFL in the last 10 years. Garrett has proven he won’t hesitate to give a running back a heavy workload.
Elliott won’t have that heavy a workload. But he’s going to get the ball a lot this year.
Seahawks rookie quarterback Trevone Boykin faces one count of misdemeanor assault for his role in a Dec. 31 fight in San Antonio that resulted in Boykin being sent home before his final college game, TMZ reported Tuesday.
Boykin was initially charged with a felony count of assualting a public servant, public intoxication and resisting arrest. Court documents say Boykin struck an officer trying to take him into custody after he was removed by staff members from a bar. He didn’t play in the Alamo Bowl for TCU after the charges.
The report said Boykin faces up to a year in a jail on the assault charge he’s facing and is due to be arraigned in August.
Boykin signed with the Seahawks after the draft. The Seahawks went through the spring with only Boykin and Jake Heaps in their quarterback room behind Tarvaris Jackson, and with Jackson still unsigned and now facing gun charges after an incident last weekend, Boykin could end up being the team’s No. 2 quarterback.
The Vikings didn’t pick up their fifth-year option on wide receiver/kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson’s contract this offseason, leaving the 2013 first-round pick on track for free agency after the season.
If Patterson is going to generate a robust market for his services, he’ll need to be more than the kick return specialist he was in 2015. Patterson returned two kicks for touchdowns, but caught just two passes while playing 64 snaps on offense. One way that Patterson can improve his chances of seeing the field as a wideout is by boosting his work ethic. It’s an area that Patterson admits has been lacking at times.
“Sometimes you can be here and you feel like you’ve got to be on the team,” Patterson said, via the Pioneer Press. “You feel like, ‘Yeah, I’m a first-round pick, I’m on the team.’ Things like that, sometimes they make you not work hard, they make you don’t want to do things, make you be lazy.”
Patterson’s work this offseason drew notice from coach Mike Zimmer for being short on the mental errors that have plagued him in the past, although the addition of Laquon Treadwell in the first round leaves little room at the top of the depth chart. Patterson says he feels thing “will work out well” for him if he shows the coaches that he can “do what I’m supposed to.” Anything less and there won’t be much offensive film for Patterson to show suitors on the open market next year.
With the NFL and the NFL Players Association squaring off over whether and to what extent five players implicated by an Al Jazeera documentary featuring since-recanted allegations of PED use, it makes sense to retreat to square one and determine when and how an investigation regarding PED use based on media reports can even happen.
Arguably, it can’t happen at all, in the absence of “credible evidence” that would justify discipline of Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers, Mike Neal, and/or James Harrison. (Peyton Manning was implicated, but he has retired and is apparently not subject to discipline.)
Most PED violations occur when a player submits a urine sample that reveals a banned substance. Under the PED policy, discipline also may be imposed for (as the title of Section 5 of the policy states) “violations of law and other documented evidence-based violations.”
With no alleged violation of the law happening in the case of the players implicated by the Al Jazeera report, the question becomes whether the Al Jazeera report and any ensuing investigation by the league permits discipline based on “other documented evidence-based violations.”
Under the policy, that clause specifically is triggered when players “are found through sufficient credible documented evidence (see footnote 4) to have used, possessed or distributed performance-enhancing substances.” At footnote 4, the policy defines “credible documented evidence” as “criminal convictions or plea arrangements; admissions, declarations, affidavits, authenticated witness statements, corroborated law enforcement reports or testimony in legal proceedings; authenticated banking, telephone, medical or pharmacy records; or credible information obtained from Players who provide assistance pursuant to Section 10 of the Policy.”
Footnote 4 at no point includes “media reports” or anything remotely close to it, making the Al Jazeera report an insufficient basis for imposing discipline. At most, it can be the starting point for an investigation.
But what is the ending point? According to the policy, a violation can be based only on “criminal convictions or plea arrangements; admissions, declarations, affidavits, authenticated witness statements, corroborated law enforcement reports or testimony in legal proceedings; authenticated banking, telephone, medical or pharmacy records; or credible information obtained from Players who provide assistance pursuant to Section 10 of the Policy.”
Setting aside for now the question of what that laundry list of potential pieces of evidence does and doesn’t include, the structure of the policy indicates that the league must determine that a violation has occurred based on “credible evidence,” impose discipline, and allow the appeal process to unfold.
As crafted, the policy doesn’t contemplate a “probable cause”-type determination of a potential violation that then justifies interrogating players under a proverbial or actual hot light. Instead, the policy requires the league to first find “credible evidence” of a violation, impose discipline for the violation, share the “credible evidence” with the players, and then hear from the players as part of the appeal process.
In other words, there’s no language in the policy requiring the players to provide any information before the NFL concludes based on the information it already has developed that a violation occurred.
The league is blurring the lines in this case, possibly for fear of creating the impression that it regards the Al Jazeera report to be “credible evidence” without having a chance to directly assess the credibility of the players who were implicated. Still, the policy as negotiated by the NFL and the NFLPA requires the league to make an assessment based on “credible evidence,” impose discipline, and then allow the players to defend themselves against the allegedly “credible evidence.”
If the NFL is sufficiently concerned that the players in this case would be able to successfully defend themselves in front of a neutral arbitrator, then maybe the “credible evidence” isn’t.
Critics of the NFLPA routinely blame the union for not doing enough at the bargaining table to, for example, compel the Commissioner to surrender final say over matters like the Personal Conduct Policy or threats to the integrity of the game. In this case, it’s fair to point out that the league signed off on a procedure that requires it to develop and identify “credible evidence” of a violation before the player must potentially implicate himself by answering questions at a hearing.
That seems to be the crux of the problem. Given the relevant language of the policy, the NFLPA’s best approach could be to say, “Impose discipline if you believe you have ‘credible evidence’ of a violation. Until that happens, the players have no obligation to do anything.”
In case Johnny Manziel’s father is wondering if his tough love message last week got through, the answer seems to be a resounding “No.”
The message includes the oh-so-rebellious hashtag #hiDad, which doesn’t suggest that the son was very receptive to his father calling him a “druggie” and saying he hoped he went to jail.
Of course, Manziel also made it clear Gordon wasn’t with him. Though the two are friends, Gordon’s probably relieved he pointed that out.
After all, Gordon’s trying to get reinstated, and apparently taking the steps needed to achieve that goal.
The Seahawks signed rookie long snapper Nolan Frese Tuesday and released linebacker Khairi Fortt.
Frese tried out for the Seahawks Monday and becomes the third long snapper the team has signed this offseason. Andrew East was signed and later released and is now with the Raiders, and now the signing of Frese means he’ll compete with Drew Ferris for the team’s long snapping job when training camp opens in late July.
The Seahawks released Clint Gresham earlier this offseason. Gresham had been the team’s long snapper for the last six seasons.
Ferris signed with the Seahawks in March. He was briefly with the Jets last season.
Fortt has bounced around the league the last two seasons. He had signed with the Seahawks last month.
The Wayne County Medical Examiner’s office has announced that former Colts running back Zurlon Tipton died in Michigan on Tuesday after accidentally shooting himself at the age of 26.
FOX2 in Detroit reports, via Roseville police, that Tipton pulled into a car dealership on Tuesday morning and removed a duffel bag from his trunk. The bag had two guns inside of it and police say that one of them went off with the bullet striking Tipton in the stomach.
Tipton was reportedly speaking to people on the scene before being transported to the hospital. An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday.
Tipton, who was arrested on a gun charge last December, played 16 games for the Colts over the last two years after making the team as an undrafted free agent out of Central Michigan in 2014. Tipton was waived near the end of last season and was not on any NFL roster this offseason.
Just as receiver Jaelen Strong, a third-round pick in 2015, was ready to emerge as the primary complement to star Texans wideout DeAndre Hopkins, the Texans added two more in the draft — first-rounder Will Fuller and third-rounder Braxton Miller. So how did Strong react to the development?
“I felt like it was a great addition,” Strong told PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio. “I feel like we’re going have some fun out there this year and I’m very excited for Braxton and Will. Two young guys ready to come to work every day. Every day they’re excited, they ask questions and that’s the stuff we need.”
How do you keep everyone happy when there’s that many talented receivers and only one football?
“Well, we all just want to win,” Strong said. “That’s all there is to it. We stay on top of each other. When the opportunities come you have to make the best of your opportunities. With those guys around us, around everybody and the teammates that we got, Brock [Osweiler] and Coach [Bill] O’Brien it’s all business, all fun. We’re just ready to go out there and do whatever we can to help our team win.”
Having four quality wideouts will help the team win plenty of games this year, assuming Osweiler and O’Brien can figure out hot to get the ball into their hands as often as possible.
The long legal battle between Hall of Famer Jim Brown and video game maker Electronic Arts over the use of Brown’s likeness in an edition of Madden NFL has come to an end.
Brown’s law firm Hagens Berman announced that their client has accepted $600,000 from the company to settle Brown’s claim that his likeness was used without his authorization. Brown claimed EA approached him about using his likeness as part of the roster of old Browns teams in the game and then used an avatar with the height, weight, skin color, experience, team, position and ability level after Brown, who originally filed suit in 2008, refused their request.
“I took a stand for all athletes and laid a framework for future plaintiffs with my great legal team,” Brown said in a statement. “Hopefully, this is a step forward in getting companies like Electronic Arts to recognize the value that athletes have in selling their products.”
Brown’s attorney Robert Carey said companies like EA “should think twice before it turns players’ hard-won identities and achievements into merchandise without permission or compensation.” EA had argued that the use of the likeness was “incidental,” which did not sway a Los Angeles court to grant their motion to dismiss the case in 2015.
It’s been a couple of weeks since tackle Eugene Monroe was released by the Ravens and it doesn’t sound like an announcement of his next team is imminent.
Monroe had conversations with the Giants right after being dispatched by Baltimore that were reportedly centered around Monroe making the move to right tackle after playing on the left side throughout his time with the Jaguars and Ravens. During an appearance on Sirius XM NFL Radio with Bruce Murray and Brady Quinn, Monroe said he’s “very respectful” of the early interest but that he doesn’t feel pressure to sign with a team right away.
“After the Ravens released me, some interest sprung up,” Monroe said. “We’ve been in discussions with a few teams, but this is very new. I’ve been released and it’s been just a short amount of time since that happened. I’m weighing my options right now. I don’t feel like I have to jump on one of the first opportunities that come up.”
Monroe didn’t say anything concrete about whether he’s willing to move to the right side when asked on Tuesday, saying only that “time will tell” what’s best for him. He did say that he hoped that his outspoken support for the NFL to OK the use of medical marijuana would not impact his playing future. Giants coach Ben McAdoo said that the team isn’t put off by that advocacy, which may leave his willingness to take on a new position as the biggest thing standing in the way of a new job.
Hours after the death of Buddy Ryan, Bills coach Rex Ryan has released a statement remembering his legendary father.
“On behalf of the entire Ryan family, we want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their sympathies, prayers and warm thoughts with the passing of my dad,” Rex Ryan said. “He was many things to many people–outstanding coach, mentor, fierce competitor, father figure, faithful friend and the list goes on. But to me and my brothers Rob and Jim, he was so much more. He was everything you want in a dad–tough when he had to be, compassionate when you didn’t necessarily expect it, and a loving teacher and confidant who cherished his family. He truly was our hero.”
Rex, who hired his twin brother Rob as an assistant this year, said he takes pride in following in his father’s footsteps in the coaching profession.
“For Rob and me, we’ve had the great fortune of sharing the coaching profession that he was so proud of and cherished so much. There is no way we can possibly begin to measure how much football we have learned from him over the years and we are forever thankful to him for instilling within us his unwavering love for the game of football,” Rex said. “While today is a tough day for all of us in the Ryan family, we are consoled in knowing how much dad was loved by so many and the love he gave back in return. Though we will miss him dearly, we take comfort in knowing that his memory will live on through all of us.”
Rex and Rob got their first NFL job coaching on Buddy’s staff in his final stint as a head coach, with the Cardinals in 1994 and 1995.
It’s a quiet time around the league right now, which leaves players coming off of injuries with little to do other than make sure that they’re feeling well when it comes time for training camp.
Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola is in that group. Amendola had knee and ankle surgeries earlier this offseason that kept him off the field during OTAs and minicamp, but he didn’t sound like he expects the procedures to have much impact on the regular season during an appearance on ESPN Tuesday.
“I feel really good,” Amendola said. “I had a couple minor procedures done after the season. Everybody knows how long the season can be. I wanted to go into next season feeling as fresh and ready as I can.”
Amendola will likely be eased back into work once camp gets underway and he’ll join Chris Hogan, Nate Washington, Keshawn Martin, rookie Marvin Mitchell and others in a competition for snaps along with Julian Edelman at receiver. Taking a pay cut for the second straight year probably doesn’t hurt a healthy Amendola’s chances of emerging with a similar role to the one he played while catching 65 passes for 648 yards.
As the Raiders and Las Vegas continue a money-fueled mating dance, the team that may move to Nevada has officially commenced the process of getting to know more about its potential new neighbors.
Via Richard N. Velotta of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, an 83-question survey has been sent to more than 10,000 addresses in the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce’s database.
The Chamber of Commerce sent the survey as a community service, at no cost to the Raiders.
The survey addresses issues like potential interest in a move and seating preferences at a new stadium. It steers clear of the potentially controversial question of public vs. private financing.
And for good reason. Lawyers shouldn’t ask questions to which they don’t already know the answer, and pollsters shouldn’t ask questions that could lead to answers they don’t want to know.
A potential tug-of-war looms regarding the existing plan to use roughly $750 million in taxpayer dollars and a recent suggestion from a top economic consultant to the governor that the amount should be reduced by $200 million.
Former NFL wide receiver Preston Parker hopes to get back into the league.
But for now, staying out of jail will suffice.
According to Hannah Winston of the Palm Beach Post, the former Buccaneers, Saints and Giants wideout got three years of probation after pleading guilty to drug charges.
The 29-year-old Parker pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine and paraphernalia. Palm Beach County Circuit Court Judge Samantha Schosberg Feuer told him if he violated his probation he could serve up to 16 years in prison, but he said he hoped to return to football.
“You’ve been given a lot of opportunities, this is your last chance,” the judge said. “I do hope you go back to NFL, but you need to do well on probation first.”
Parker was arrested in March after he ran a stop sign, and cops found drugs and a legally registered gun in his possession. He was later arrested for possession of marijuana, charges which are still pending.
The Giants cut him last September after a rough stretch of dropped passes. He entered the league with the Bucs as an undrafted free agent from Florida State.
Many have blamed Miko Grimes for getting her husband, Brent, cut by the Dolphins. Miko Grimes recently suggested in an interview with Sarah Spain, Jane McManus, and Kate Fagan of ESPN Radio’s The Trifecta that perhaps Brent wanted out. She nevertheless contends it happened regardless of anything she said or did.
“It had nothing to do with me,” Miko Grimes said, via JoeBucsFan.com. “It had everything to do with my husband wanting to leave the Miami Dolphins and them not wanting him to leave. You guys don’t know that, though. You’re listening to what [Dolphins owner Stephen Ross] is saying. That’s why I was able to say whatever I wanted to say because my husband wanted to leave.”
But even after the Dolphins cut Brent Grimes, they still wanted to bring him back at a reduced rate — which undercuts the idea that they no longer wanted him because of the things his wife was saying (attacking Ryan Tannehill, e.g.) and doing (getting arrested before a game, e.g.).
“When we signed with the Bucs, the Dolphins asked to match the offer,” Miko Grimes said. “So was Miko really the problem? Why would you want to match it? See what I mean. You guys don’t know what’s really happening.”
She added that 17 total teams called about Brent Grimes once he became available. Ultimately, Miko had significant say in the final outcome.
“My husband does not negotiate his contract. I do,” Miko Grimes said.
Ultimately, the Buccaneers had no qualms about Miko Grimes because they’d rather have the distraction that comes from a good player with an outspoken wife than the distraction that comes from having a crappy defense. While it appears that Brent Grimes inevitably would be let go by Miami due to his contract, the Buccaneers are happy to have him, and they apparently have no problem with anything his wife may say or do.
UPDATE 2:12 p.m. ET: A prior version of this item failed to identify the hosts of the ESPN Radio program or its name. That oversight has been pointed out to us, so we have updated the story to include the information, the omission of which was not deliberate. Besides, it’s important for us to provide that courtesy at all times because ESPN and ESPN.com always take great pains to make sure that the full show name and host is mentioned whenever using quotes from radio shows on a rival network. Wait, did I say always? I meant rarely-to-never.