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Globe: Lloyd’s death could be tied to July 12 double murder

Odin Lloyd AP

More and more media outlets have confirmed the jaw-dropping news from FOX  25 that police are investigating Aaron Hernandez in connection with a July 2012 double murder that occurred in Boston.

The latest detail from the Boston Globe will make jaws drop even farther.  According to Maria Cramer of the Globe, an unnamed law-enforcement official has said there’s a possible link between the crimes.

“The motive [for killing Odin Lloyd] might have been that [Lloyd] knew [Hernandez] might have been involved” in the July 2012 homicides, the unnamed law-enforcement official told Cramer.

If true, this would help explain why Hernandez allegedly was upset with Lloyd for something he had said to others on Friday, July 14.  As prosecutor Bill McCauley explained it in court on Wednesday, “The victim had spoken to a couple of people and the defendant told him he was upset about that because he had essentially troubles with those people.”

While McCauley didn’t elaborate, it doesn’t require a huge leap in logic to wonder whether Lloyd had given a friendly warning to the people with whom Hernandez had “troubles” regarding the way Hernandez had dealt with other people with whom he had “troubles” in the past.  Though we’re speculating, the motive to kill Lloyd surely came from something that gave Hernandez serious concern.  Concern doesn’t get much more serious than Hernandez fearing Lloyd would say something that would result in Hernandez being arrested or prosecuted for the July 2012 murders.

If, at is appears, at least one or both of the other two men who were in the car with Hernandez and Lloyd on the night of Lloyd’s death have cooperated with police, it’s possible that one or both of the other two men told the authorities about the events of July 16, 2012.

Regardless of how this all plays out, look for Hernandez’s lawyer to complain at today’s bail hearing about the apparent violation of the gag order that the presiding judge imposed on Wednesday.  It’s hardly a coincidence that news of the other investigation has emerged the day after Hernandez was charged with killing Lloyd.  To the extent the unsolved murders of July 2012 enhance the motive for killing Lloyd, the leak hurts Hernandez even more in the court of public opinion.

Please keep in mind that Hernandez has not been charged with any other crimes beyond the events surrounding the death of Odin Lloyd.

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Fred Davis accused of throwing dirt at ex-girlfriend

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More details have emerged in the latest allegations against former Washington tight end Fred Davis, even if he were to regard them as “made up and flagellant.”

Vergie Arandid shared with FOX 5 in D.C. the details regarding an incident that happened on June 2 at a D.C.-area restaurant.  Davis allegedly confronted Arandid and a male friend.

“He told me that he would hit me and he referred to my friend as the ‘infamous rapper’ 2 Chainz,” Arandid said regarding Davis, with whom she has a “brief romantic history.”

“He came out of nowhere, pushes my shoulder down, twists my body so my backside was facing my friend and that’s when he said, ‘What are you even doing with her? She ain’t got no ass.  Look at her,’” Arandid said.

Embarrassed by the incident, Arandid said she went outside for a cigarette.  Davis allegedly followed her, grabbing “a handful of dirt from a pot that was hanging from [a] railing and throw[ing] it at me,” she said.

At that point, it nearly escalated.  With condiments.

“Out of impulse, I grabbed a ketchup bottle and I was going to spray him to be honest,” Arandid said.  “You’re way taller than me, 280 pounds, you’re a football player, I’m 4’11”, why are you so intimidated by me?  Why would you throw dirt at me and humiliate me like that in public?  It’s not right.  I just wanted to set an example.”

While Davis shouldn’t place his hands on anyone without his or her consent (or throw dirt at them), this seems like a technical assault, at best.  Arandid said she wasn’t injured, but of course she may nevertheless sue.

Hopefully, he’ll represent himself again.

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Thursday morning one-liners

Logan Mankins AP

Bills QBs Jeff Tuel and Thad Lewis split the reps with the twos as they compete for the backup up.

All it took was LeBron James leaving and the Dolphins going to camp to make Miami a football town again.

Patriots G Logan Mankins is still trying to prove himself, and is clean-shaven for a change.

Jets TE Jeff Cumberland was excused from the start of camp after a death in the family.

Ravens OLB Terrell Suggs is looking forward to their defense being “fast and violent.”

The Bengals new faster pace could be a challenge for QB Andy Dalton.

The Browns are expecting a full house for the first few camp practices.

The Steelers are dealing with higher expectations as they head to camp.

The Texans solidified their offensive line with veteran T Tyson Clabo.

Colts WR Reggie Wayne arrived at training camp in style.

The Jaguars did some bottom of the roster shuffling.

The Titans will at least have better food this season.

Broncos boss John Elway was emotional when discussing the decision for owner Pat Bowlen to step aside because of Alzheimer’s.

Chiefs QB Alex Smith is ready for his offense to pick up where it left off.

Raiders S Charles Woodson wants a different mentality in camp this year.

Chargers TE Antonio Gates is back with the team after missing time to attend to personal matters.

The Cowboys remain open to bringing DT Josh Brent back.

There’s no countdown clock this year, but Giants G.M. Jerry Reese thinks they should be a “really good football team.”

The Eagles are counting on S Malcolm Jenkins to bring a new attitude to the defense.

The Redskins placed four players on the PUP list to begin camp.

Bears backup QB Jordan Palmer opens camp with a slight edge over Jimmy Clausen.

Lions TE Eric Ebron has an opportunity to become a leader.

The Packers’ secondary is looking for redemption.

Vikings coach Mike Zimmer remains close with Hall of Famer Bill Parcells.

The Falcons are hopeful that rookie RB Devonta Freeman can make a difference.

Here’s a new one: The Panthers aren’t asking for more public money for stadium renovations.

Fans welcomed the Saints to their West Virginia home for the summer.

The Bucs want to continue an NFC South habit of worst-to-first.

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians thinks his defense is getting stronger.

Rams rookie Deantre Harlan is focusing on one sport now.

Should pain slowed 49ers DE Justin Smith last year, he admitted.

What the loss of Sidney Rice means to the Seahawks WR corps.

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Falcons, Roddy White agree on extension

Roddy White AP

The Falcons and wide receiver Roddy White were talking contract extension earlier in the offseason, but tabled things for a while after White’s brother was killed.

They have both resumed and completed those talks. On Thursday morning, the Falcons announced that they have agreed to terms with White on a four-year contract extension that will keep him tied to the Falcons through 2018.

There are no financial terms to pick through yet, but if White sees it to the end there’s a good chance it will be the last contract he’ll ever sign as he’ll turn 37 in the final year of the deal. It would also mean that he spent his entire career in a Falcons uniform and that he’d further cement himself as the best receiver in Falcons history.

White battled injuries last year and caught 63 passes for 711 yards, his lowest season totals since the 2006 season. Better health for him and for the rest of the Falcons offense should lead to a better season all around.

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Alex Smith hopes Chiefs offense picks up where it left off

Dallas Cowboys v Kansas City Chiefs Getty Images

The Chiefs made sure running back Jamaal Charles would be in camp on time by reaching agreement on a revised contract that gives Charles a salary more in line with his role on the team’s offense.

Among the people who should be thrilled with that development is Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith. Smith is looking for a contract of his own, but he surely knows that his chances of putting up another strong season leading the K.C. offense are greatly enhanced by Charles’ presence and Smith hopes that’s just one way that the Chiefs offense will resemble the one they rolled out as last season came to a close.

“I felt at the end of last season we were doing some good things offensively,” Smith said, via the Kansas City Star. “We were really on a roll those last six weeks … moving the ball, scoring some points and protecting the football. We had a great off-season and want to get back into it.”

The Chiefs didn’t make any big additions at wide receiver this offseason, but the group they had on hand was enough to help Smith throw for 14 touchdowns and three interceptions over the final two months of the regular season. Smith also had a huge game against the Colts in a playoff contest the Chiefs might have won if Charles had not been injured during the proceedings.

That bodes well for the Chiefs offense this season and Smith’s chances of getting a deal that keeps him in Kansas City a little while longer.

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Zimmer will see all three QBs in the preseason before picking one

Teddy Bridgewater AP

The Vikings have, according to offensive coordinator Norv Turner, a great group of quarterbacks in Matt Cassel, Christian Ponder and Teddy Bridgewater. So how will head coach Mike Zimmer pick one starter?

Zimmer says he wants to see how all three of them perform in the preseason, which he views as a better indication than what they’ve done in the offseason, or what they will do in training camp.

“We’re not going to forget what they did in the spring. But we’re going to continue to evaluate them each day as we get going. The preseason games will probably be a little bit more of a judge, when we’re going against other people,” Zimmer told the Star-Tribune.

Asked about his time frame for picking a starter, Zimmer answered, “I have an idea in mind, but I’m going to keep that to myself right now.”

Cassel is generally viewed as the safe pick, while Bridgewater is the quarterback of the future. But if Bridgewater plays well in the preseason, he’ll also be the quarterback of the present.

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Jerry Jones: No one has a better feel for me than Jason Garrett

jonesgarrett AP

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett has one very important thing going for him: His boss loves him.

That was confirmed by Cowboys owner and General Manager Jerry Jones, who when asked about Garrett’s job security insisted that the two of them are joined at the hip.

“I know first hand that we’ve got a relationship, that I have a relationship — there’s nobody that has a better feel for me than Jason in terms of a relationship,” Jones said.

Asked if the 2014 season is a make-or-break year for Garrett, and if Garrett has to make the playoffs or else he’ll be fired, Jones insisted that’s not the case. Jones also said he wouldn’t even use the word “playoffs” because he doesn’t want to jinx anything.

“This is not make or break. I’m not going to use that word you just used just because of superstitions,” Jones said. “But I’ll be serious with you: No, this is not. In terms of the record of this team, this is not a make-or-break situation for Jason and members of this staff.”

Right now, Jones is saying nothing but supportive things about Garrett. Five months from now, if Garrett is concluding a fourth straight 8-8 season (or if the Cowboys’ record is even worse), Jones may feel it’s time for a new head coach.

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Jermaine Gresham to PUP, Christo Bilukidi non-football injury list for Bengals

Wild Card Playoffs - San Diego Chargers v Cincinnati Bengals Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals have placed tight end Jermaine Gresham on the physically unable to perform list and defensive end Christo Bilukidi on the non-football injury list ahead of the start of training camp on Thursday.

According to Coley Harvey of, the Bengals said Gresham is dealing with a back injury and Bilukidi is suffering from a tooth problem.

Gresham missed the majority of the Bengals offseason workouts due to hernia surgery, which appears unrelated to his current issues.

Cincinnati now has 15 players listed on the physically unable to perform list or non-football injury list to begin training camp.

Joining Gresham on PUP is defensive tackle Geno Atkins (knee), guard Clint Boling (knee), linebacker Marquis Flowers, cornerback Leon Hall (Achilles), punter Kevin Huber (neck), receiver Colin Lockett (hamstring), defensive tackle Zach Minter (back), defensive tackle Devon Still (back), receiver Ryan Whalen (hamstring) and offensive lineman Mike Pollak (knee).

Joining Bilukidi on the non-football injury list is receiver Marvin Jones (ankle), quarterback A.J. McCarron (shoulder) and cornerback Onterio McCalebb (knee).

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Golden Tate and Ziggy Ansah placed on PUP for Lions

Dallas Cowboys v Detroit Lions Getty Images

Shoulder injuries will keep a handful of players on the physically unable to perform at the start of training camp for the Detroit Lions.

According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, receivers Golden Tate and T.J Jones, and defensive end Ziggy Ansah will open training camp on the physically unable to perform list.

Ansah had shoulder surgery in February and was expected to be ready for the start of the season. However, he apparently still isn’t quite able to get on the field for the start of camp.

Jones also had shoulder surgery in June to repair a lingering college injury. Tate missed mini-camp in June after falling on his shoulder during OTAs.

The move to place the trio on PUP for the start of training camp in likely just a procedural decision. All three players are expected to be healthy in time for the season. However, the Lions would lose the ability to place the players on PUP for the regular season if they aren’t designated before the start of camp.

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Seahawks expected to sign receiver Morrell Presley

Seattle Seahawks Rookie Minicamp Getty Images

The unexpected retirement of wide receiver Sidney Rice on Wednesday leaves the Seattle Seahawks with an open roster spot ahead of the start of training camp on Friday.

According to Jayson Jenks of the Seattle Times, the Seahawks are expected to fill the vacancy with receiver Morrell Presley.

Presley, an undrafted rookie from Division II California (Pa.) University, took part in the Seahawks rookie mini-camp in May as a tryout player.

Presley was a highly touted prep athlete that was initially committed to Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll at USC. Presley ultimately signed with rival UCLA before transferring down to California.

At 6-foot-3, 225 pounds, Presley could be an interesting player to keep an eye on as the Seahawks lack height at the receiver position. Only Presley and former Canadian Football League star Chris Matthews (6-foot-5) are taller than 6-foot-2 following Rice’s retirement.

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Jim Brown sues to stop sale of 1964 NFL championship ring

Brown Getty Images

To whoever successfully bids on the 1964 NFL title ring awarded to Jim Brown, buyer beware.

According to the Associated Press, Brown has filed suit in a Manhattan federal court, claiming that the ring was stolen from Brown.  The complaint seeks to stop the online auction, which is scheduled to end on Friday.

Joshua Evans, the founder of Lelands Collectibles, says the lawsuit is “without merit.”  (Will someone who is sued ever declare in response, “Well, we thought we’d get away with it.”)

Brown immediately claimed via comments to the St. Paul Pioneer Press that the ring was stolen after word of the auction first emerged earlier this month.  Lelands claims that a clear and proper chain of title and authenticity exists, with Brown giving the ring to a family member who sold it to Lelands.  The company sold the ring in 1998, and it has since bought the ring back.

The current high bid on the ring is $58,948.68.

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Charles deal is worth $28 million over four years

Kansas City Chiefs v New Orleans Saints Getty Images

Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles was planning to hold out from training camp unless he wasn’t.  In the end, it didn’t matter; Charles signed a new contract that will pay him, per a league source, $28 million over four years.

“Jamaal is an elite player in the National Football League,” Chiefs General Manager John Dorsey said in announcing the deal. “It was important for us to keep him here in Kansas City long-term.”

Multiple reports have characterized Charles as moving to No. 2 on the running back compensation list, behind only Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.  The truth, according to one source, is that Charles has finagled the second highest new-money average, with the two extra years adding another $18.1 million to the existing two-year deal.

That’s a new-money average of $9.05 million.

That 0.05 become critical to the analysis and was hardly a coincidence, given that Eagles running back LeSean McCoy averages $9 million per year on a five-year, $45 million deal.  Likewise, Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams received $27 million over three years under a five-year, $43 million contract he signed in 2011.

Without knowing the money fully guaranteed at signing — because it hasn’t been leaked yet it’s likely not near the top of any league-wide lists — it’s impossible to know how much Charles actually will get.  His 2014 pay moves from $3.9 million to $8.3 million, a raise of $4.4 million.  Instead of making $6 million in 2015, he’ll make $6.7 million.

That’s $15 million over two.  Over three, it’s $21 million.  Play all four and he gets $28 million.

The full structure of the deal will shed more light on how much more money Charles actually is getting, beyond his $4.4 million raise for 2014.  But he’s not currently the second highest-paid running back in the NFL, not with an annual average on his full contract of $7 million.

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Browns rookie RB Terrance West lands on non-football injury list

Terrance West AP

Rookie tailback Terrance West, expected to be a key part of the Browns’ backfield, was one of six Cleveland players placed on the non-football injury list on Wednesday, according to the NFL’s daily transaction report.

On his Twitter account, West said he passed the club’s conditioning test and was “healthy” and “ready to go.” However, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal and Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer both reported West was on the non-football injury list because of the conditioning test.

A third-round pick from Towson, West appears the primary contender to veteran Ben Tate for carries in Cleveland’s backfield. The Browns’ first training camp practice is Saturday, giving West time to get off the list.

Other Browns placed on the non-football injury list Wednesday were linebacker Tank Carder, offensive tackle Chris Faulk, defensive tackle Jacobbi McDaniel, offensive guard Jeremiah Warren and defensive end Billy Winn. Per the Beacon Journal, Faulk, McDaniel, Warren and Winn were put on the list because of the conditioning test.

The Browns also made several other transactions Wednesday. They added offensive tackle Abasi Salimu, an undrafted free free agent from Nicholls State, on waivers from St. Louis. Cleveland also waived three veteran players: defensive back Royce Adams, linebacker Brandon Magee and wide receiver Conner Vernon.

The Browns have 88 players on the roster.

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Jerry Jones: Kyle Orton doesn’t intend to retire

Kyle Orton AP

When the Cowboys released quarterback Kyle Orton in July, it was widely believed Orton was weighing stepping away from the game for good.

Well, not so fast.

On Wednesday, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones indicated Orton still has designs on playing in 2014, according to Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

However, Orton won’t be playing for Dallas, which will move on with Brandon Weeden, Caleb Hanie and Dustin Vaughan as Tony Romo’s backups.

According to the Star-Telegram, Jones said the release of Orton was financially motivated, with the club now able to use some of the savings from Orton’s departure to address other areas, including potential contract extensions for wide receiver Dez Bryant and left tackle Tyron Smith.

By releasing Orton, the Cowboys got out from under his $3.25 million salary in 2014, but he gets to keep his signing bonus from Dallas.

Weeden, one of the Browns’ first-round picks just two years ago, got something of a vote of confidence from Jones on Wednesday, with the club’s owner saying his play helped the Cowboys feel comfortable parting ways with Orton, according to Nick Eatman of

If Orton indeed wants to play this season, he would rank as one of the top unsigned reserve quarterbacks on the market. A injury to a club’s starter could be a catalyst for interest in the 31-year-old Orton, who’s appeared in 75 regular season games.

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Giants defend hiring David Tyree despite anti-gay comments

D. Tyreecatch AP

The Giants’ decision to hire former receiver David Tyree as their new director of player development raised some eyebrows because Tyree has a history of anti-gay comments.

Tyree, best remembered for his “helmet catch” that helped the Giants win Super Bowl XLII, has said that he would give up that catch and that Giants Super Bowl title in exchange for banning gays and lesbians from getting married. Tyree views allowing gays and lesbians to marry as akin to “anarchy” and has also claimed that homosexuality is a choice, even though experts in the study of human sexuality say that’s not the case.

Now strong opposition to Tyree has come from the Human Rights Campaign, America’s largest LGBT civil rights advocacy group. Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin blasted the Giants for hiring Tyree.

“The idea that someone can change their sexual orientation or gender identity is ludicrous, and the New York Giants are risking their credibility by hiring someone who publicly advocates this junk science,” Griffin said. “His opposition to basic legal equality aside, David Tyree’s proselytizing of such dangerous practices goes against the positive work the Giants organization has done in recent years.”

The Giants, however, are standing by Tyree. Giants General Manager Jerry Reese confirmed that the Giants knew about Tyree’s anti-gay comments but still believe he’s the right man for the job.

“We do our due diligence on everyone we try and hire around here,” Reese said, via the Star-Ledger. “David was, No. 1 he was qualified, and we think he’s a terrific fit for us. We’re happy to have him on board.”

Tyree has committed to speak with Wade Davis, an openly gay former NFL player who has spoken publicly about the importance of the sports world being welcoming to gay athletes. To satisfy those who are criticizing the Giants, Tyree may also have to disavow some of his previous comments. So far, Tyree has not done that.

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Chargers waive Jonas Mouton

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The Chargers have let go of a former second-round pick whose career has been marked by injuries.

The club waived linebacker Jonas Mouton with a failed physical designation on Wednesday, the team announced. In all, Mouton – the No. 61 pick in 2011 — played just three games for San Diego, recording one tackle. The 26-year-old Michigan product missed the 2013 season with a torn right ACL and most of the 2011 campaign with a shoulder ailment.

In another transaction Wednesday, the Chargers placed right guard Jeromey Clary (hip) on the active/PUP list, the club said.

The Chargers have 89 players on their roster, one short of the limit. This includes ex-Ravens linebacker Adrian Hamilton, whose signing the team announced Tuesday. The 26-year-old Hamilton (6-3, 255) played in two games for Baltimore in 2012.

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