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Hernandez apartment search yields new evidence

Aaron Hernandez AP

The news that Carlos Ortiz met with police the day before Aaron Hernandez was arrested came via a story regarding things found at an apartment Hernandez kept roughly 20 minutes from his $1.3 million home in North Attleboro.  For completeness, we probably should mention what was found when the apartment was searched.

According to the Boston Globe, authorities found “numerous boxes” of ammunition and a white hoodie that Hernandez possibly wore the night of Odin Lloyd’s death.

“This sweatshirt is consistent in color and type with the sweatshirt that Hernandez is observed to be wearing on surveillance cameras the night of the homicide,” authorities wrote in an affidavit.

Ortiz also had told police he forgot his phone at Hernandez’s apartment.  The phone was retrieved during the search.

Per the Boston Herald, police also found a cranberry-colored baseball hat Hernandez was believed to be wearing two nights before the killing of Lloyd.

No drugs were found in the search, despite a Herald headline seizing language in the search warrant mentioning the possibility that cocaine could be concealed on any of the persons present at Hernandez’s apartment.  Also present were paychecks from the Patriots and Puma, an endorser that has since dropped Hernandez.  (It may be a good idea to get those checks cashed ASAP.)

The clothing will help prosecutors establish some of the various pieces of evidence necessary to build a thorough, methodical case against Hernandez.  With video images of Hernandez wearing the hoodie (on the night of the murder) and the hat (two nights earlier, outside a club with Lloyd), prosecutors need to be able to seal off any potential “it wasn’t me” defense.

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Bengals will play it safe, keep Burfict out of preseason games

SANTA CLARA, CA - DECEMBER 20:  Vontaze Burfict #55 of the Cincinnati Bengals reacts after a play during their NFL game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium on December 20, 2015 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) Getty Images

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis told reporters Tuesday that he plans to keep linebacker Vontaze Burfict out of the team’s four preseason games this summer.

Though the NFL has suspended Burfict for the first three regular season games for repeated on-field misconduct incidents, the decision to also keep Burfict out of preseason games was made by Lewis.

Lewis wants to keep Burfict out of trouble, and more importantly wants to make sure that he stays healthy a year off microfracture surgery.

“I kept him on the sideline as often as I could during this offseason,” Lewis said Tuesday. “I did everything I could during this offseason and I’m going to do the same thing this training camp. There’s no reason for us to risk him getting hurt. It’s hard because he’s so competitive [that] we have to continue to hold him back. One day he gets it the next day he wants to fight me on it. That’s it.

“There’s just no reason for us to expose him to injury because he’s too valuable.”

Burfict, 25, went to the Pro Bowl in 2013, his second season after signing with the Bengals as an undrafted free agent. He’s been held to 15 games over the last two seasons but has remained a productive and important player.

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Chiefs don’t expect Justin Houston to work at training camp

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 15:  Linebacker Justin Houston #50 of the Kansas City Chiefs beats the block of Michael Schofield #79 of the Denver Broncos to get to quarterback Brock Osweiler #17 of the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on November 15, 2015 in Denver, Colorado. The Chiefs defeated the Broncos 29-13.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) Getty Images

Safety Eric Berry isn’t expected to join his Chiefs teammates on the field for the start of training camp and he won’t be the only high-profile member of the defense missing from the field.

Linebacker Justin Houston had surgery to repair his ACL in February and the team initially gave a 6-12 month timetable for his recovery. General Manager John Dorsey later said that the expectation is that Houston will be able to play this season, but coach Andy Reid said Tuesday that he doesn’t expect Houston to be ready during training camp.

“I don’t think that will happen,” Reid said, via the team.

That would seem to make Houston a candidate for the regular season version of the physically unable to perform list, which would leave him ineligible to play during the first six weeks of the season. Tamba Hali and Dee Ford should lead the group of outside linebackers until Houston’s ready to go.

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Colts sign Chase Coffman

ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 23:  Chase Coffman #86 of the Tennessee Titans leaps over Kemal Ishmael #36 of the Atlanta Falcons in the second half of a preseason game at the Georgia Dome on August 23, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Colts signed tight end Chase Coffman on Tuesday.

Coffman has played in 37 career regular-season games and three playoff games. Originally drafted by the Bengals in 2009, he’s also spent time with the Falcons, Titans and Seahawks.

Undrafted rookie cornerback Daniel Davie was waived, and the Colts placed running back Tyler Varga on the reserve/did not report list.

Varga was placed on the team’s season-ending injured reserve list last October. He had made the team as an undrafted rookie and played in three games.

The team had previously announced some procedural moves, most notably placing safety Clayton Geathers on the non-football injury list and placing defensive end Henry Anderson on the physically unable to perform list.

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Josh Gordon returns to Browns, lands on NFI with quad injury

Josh Gordon

The Browns moved reinstated wide receiver Josh Gordon to the 90-man roster Tuesday, but Gordon then landed on the team’s active/non-football injury list.

Gordon was allowed to be in the team’s facility for the first time in more than a year, and a physical revealed a quad injury. The Browns open camp on Friday, but the team’s release said Gordon was injured “while working out on his own this summer” and that Gordon is “expected to be out at least a couple of weeks.”

Gordon is allowed to participate in training camp and the preseason but will be suspended for the first four games of 2016 as part of his conditional reinstatement, which the NFL announced Monday.

Per multiple reports, Gordon met with new Browns coach Hue Jackson, executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown and other key Browns personnel Tuesday. The team is likely to have strict guidelines for Gordon to follow as he tries to return from suspension.

After leading the NFL with 1,646 receiving yards in 2013, Gordon has played in only five games over the last two seasons due to various suspensions. He last played a game in Dec. 2014.

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Cowboys’ Charles Brown retires

New Orleans Saints v New England Patriots Getty Images

The Cowboys have lost some veteran depth on their offensive line.

Charles Brown, who served as the Cowboys’ third tackle last season, had decided to retire.

The 29-year-old Brown was the a second-round pick of the Saints in 2010 out of USC. He spent four seasons in New Orleans and then had short stays with the Giants and Jets before signing with the Cowboys last season.

Brown, who played just 21 offensive snaps and 51 special teams snaps last season, was no lock to make the Cowboys’ roster, which may have played a role in his decision to retire.

The Cowboys also waived rookie tackle David Hedelin and signed offensive tackles Cameron Bradfield and Darryl Baldwin.

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Texans owner was as sick of DeflateGate as the rest of us

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 13: New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft (right) shakes hands with Houston Texans owner Bob McNair before the game on December 13, 2015 at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images) Getty Images

Like most of the rest of the world, Texans owner Bob McNair was tired of #DeflateGate.

But unlike a lot of people, he thinks the guy who presided over it is doing a great job.

McNair told John McClain of the Houston Chronicle that he — in a sentiment shared by most — grew tired of the spectacle created by whether Tom Brady did or did not authorize the removal of air from a football.

I’m just glad it’s all behind us,” McNair said. “We all allowed it to become a mountain out of a molehill. It was completely overplayed. All the parties could have handled it better. Hopefully, we’ve all learned from it and will be better able to handle difficult situations in the future in the best fashion.”

Whether or not that’s the case remains to be seen, but McNair’s defense of commissioner Roger Goodell was unequivocal.

“I support Roger,” McNair said. “I think he’s done a good job. He’s got the toughest job. Imagine the amount of stress he’s placed under, the people pulling from different directions. He’s got 32 bosses. I’m sure there are a few who aren’t happy with some of his decisions.

“He’s got to do, in his opinion, what’s in the best interests of the league.”

He was also paid more than $30 million for that onerous task, and McNair’s stance also underscores why Goodell is the world’s highest-paid pinata and his bosses are happy to fill him with candy.

For the owners, writing an annual check for a million bucks each buys them the kind of PR insurance they love, so they can at once complain about Goodell’s legacy, and congratulate him for it.

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Nigel Bradham arrested for assaulting hotel worker

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 25: Nigel Bradham #53  of the Buffalo Bills celebrates a touchdown during the NFL game between Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills at Wembley Stadium on October 25, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images) Getty Images

Eagles linebacker Nigel Bradham was spending a little time at the beach in Miami before heading up to Eagles camp, but his trip took a turn for the worse last week.

NBC Miami reports that Bradham turned himself in to Miami Beach police on Monday as a result of an incident that took place on the beach last Thursday. Per the report, Bradham was part of a group of six people who got angry at an employee of the Hilton Bentley because they believed it was taking too long for him to bring the umbrella they had paid for.

A verbal argument allegedly escalated to a physical altercation that featured a glass bottle being broken over the employee’s head. The victim allegedly suffered cuts as a result and the group left, although Bradham was identified off a receipt as he had paid for the umbrella with his credit card.

Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News reports that Bradham is expected to report to Eagles camp on Wednesday.

The Eagles issued a statement on Tuesday saying that they are aware of the incident and have spoken to Bradham “and the proper authorities.” Bradham signed with the Eagles as a free agent this offseason after spending four years with the Bills, who have their own experience with arguments over beach accessories turning into matters for law enforcement.

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Bucs place Louis Murphy, J.R. Sweezy on PUP list

NEW ORLEANS, LA - SEPTEMBER 20:  Louis Murphy #18 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is brought down by Damian Swann #27 of the New Orleans Saints during the second quarter of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on September 20, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) Getty Images

When we last discussed Buccaneers wide receiver Louis Murphy on these pages, it was in relation to him falling asleep while at a wedding and waking up to find himself locked inside a museum.

Murphy had to break a pane of glass in order to summon help, but it wasn’t an injury sustained in that breakout that landed him on the physically unable to perform list on Tuesday. Murphy tore his ACL last October and did not take part in the offseason program while working his way back to health.

Guard J.R. Sweezy also landed on the PUP list, so his first training camp practice as a member of the team will be a bit delayed. The Bucs announced that Sweezy, who signed as a free agent this offseason, had surgery in April, but did not specify what injury led to that outcome. Pewter Report reports it was a back issue.

The Buccaneers rounded out the day’s transactions by placing safety Elijah Shumate on the non-football injury list, signing offensive lineman Joel Hale and waiving offensive lineman Garrett Gilkey with an injury designation.

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Bengals place Eifert on PUP, Maualuga on NFI

CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 13:  Tyler Eifert #85 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs with the ball after catching a pass during the first quarter of the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium on December 13, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Bengals made a host of pre-camp roster moves Tuesday, most notably placing Pro Bowl tight end Tyler Eifert on the active/physically unable to perform list and placing veteran linebacker Rey Maualuga on the active/non-football injury list.

Eifert had offseason ankle surgery. He’s likely to miss all or most of training camp and the preseason.

The Bengals also placed wide receiver James Wright and defensive tackle Brandon Thompson on active/PUP. Thompson and Wright are both coming off knee injuries.

Players on active/PUP and active/NFI count against the team’s 90-man preseason roster and can be activated at anytime when they’re cleared to return.

The Bengals also officially signed rookie wide receiver Rashaun Simonise, who became a free agent after going unpicked in the supplemental draft, and cut two players, rookie wide receiver DyShawn Mobley and first-year defensive end Dezmond Johnson.

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Tyrann Mathieu among four Cardinals on PUP list

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 27:  Free safety Tyrann Mathieu #32 of the Arizona Cardinals smiles on the sidelines during the NFL game against the Green Bay Packers at University of Phoenix Stadium on December 27, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) Getty Images

Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu isn’t ready to start practicing, but it isn’t because of any lingering contract issues.

The Cardinals announced today that Mathieu is among four players who will open camp on the active/physically unable to perform list because of offseason injuries and/or surgeries.

Also on the list are cornerback Justin Bethel, defensive tackle Frostee Rucker and outside linebacker Zack Wagenmann.

The Cards are still hoping to find common ground on a contract with Mathieu, and the fact he’s coming back from a torn ACL doesn’t change that.

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Eric Berry doesn’t plan to show up for start of Chiefs camp

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 09:  Eric Berry #29 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates his first quarter interception against the Houston Texans during the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at NRG Stadium on January 9, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Chiefs and franchise-tagged safety Eric Berry didn’t come to an agreement on a long-term contract before the July 15 deadline, which means Berry can only play this season on a one-year deal. But even that deal isn’t likely to be done before training camp opens.

Berry isn’t expected to report to the start of training camp with the rest of the Chiefs, Ian Rapoport of NFL network reports.

Even though negotiations on a long-term deal can no longer take place, Berry might want to negotiate something more than the $10.806 million guaranteed salary that comes with the franchise tag. For instance, Berry could be trying to negotiate an agreement from the Chiefs not to franchise him again next year.

Or Berry might just not want to go to training camp. Because he isn’t under contract, he can’t be fined for staying home. If things get ugly between the two sides, however, the Chiefs could also rescind the franchise tender and let Berry become a free agent.

Eventually, Berry is likely to sign the franchise tender and play this season for $10.806 million. If he waits until the season starts, he’d lose $635,647 each week that he misses, and that seems unlikely. But Berry only starts losing money if he remains unsigned when the regular season starts. Until then, he’s free to make the Chiefs sweat — and stay home while his teammates are sweating through practice.

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Dion Jordan reinstatement request lingers, curiously

TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 11:  Defensive end Dion Jordan #95 of the Miami Dolphins sets on defense against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers November 11, 2013 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images) Getty Images

Nearly 15 months ago, the NFL suspended Dolphins defensive end Dion Jordan for at least a year. Nearly two months ago, he applied for reinstatement. With training camp looming, no action has been taken on his request.

It’s a strange situation, mirroring the unexplained delay that clouded the initial reinstatement efforts of Browns receiver Josh Gordon. In Gordon’s case, the suspension later was extended; in Jordan’s case, a source with knowledge of the situation has expressed a high degree of confidence regarding the player’s compliance with all requirements of his treatment program and his successful completion of all drug tests. If there’s any reason why Jordan shouldn’t be reinstated, Jordan and those close to him aren’t aware of it.

The delay takes on even greater importance because Jordan is due to receive a $1.7 million roster bonus on the fifth day of training camp, which is Monday. Despite a report that the bonus no longer is owed, the truth is that the bonus is no longer guaranteed. If he’s on the roster on the fifth day of camp, the team owes him the money. If he’s not, he doesn’t get it.

And so the inaction regarding the consideration of Jordan’s reinstatement request has triggered suspicion that the delay isn’t accidental or inadvertent. If it is, the league should in all fairness rule on the request sooner than later — especially since the training-camp roster bonus was developed as a compromise to the offset debate, giving the player a large chunk of his compensation for the current year without credit for the team if he’s cut more than five days after camp opens.

Even without the roster bonus hinging on the decision, Jordan deserves to know whether he’ll be playing. If he won’t be, he deserves to know why.

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Colts add four to PUP/NFL lists

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - AUGUST 22: Jeremy Langford #36 of the Chicago Bears runs the ball near the goal line against Clayton Geathers #42 of the Indianapolis Colts in the second half of a preseason game at Lucas Oil Stadium on August 22, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Colts will hold their first practice of training camp on Wednesday and they announced the names of four players who haven’t been medically cleared on Tuesday.

Safety Clayton Geathers and tight end Mike Miller have been placed on the non-football injury list while defensive end Henry Anderson and tight end Darion Griswold are on the physically unable to perform list. All four will be ineligible to practice while on the list, but can be activated at any time before the start of the regular season.

Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star reports that Geathers, who is a contender for a starting spot, was wearing a boot on his foot and was told by a source that it is not a serious injury. Any extended absence would give 2016 second-round pick T.J. Green more of a chance to show what he can do.

Anderson tore his ACL last year in Week Nine, ending a rookie season that saw him start nine games while recording 31 tackles and one sack. Both tight ends signed with the team as undrafted free agents in May.

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Cowboys weren’t at fault in fatal bus-van collision

Cowboys Football AP

The Cowboys have been cleared in the bus wreck that claimed the lives of four motorists.

According to the Associated Press, investigators from the Arizona Department of Public Safety have concluded the van which hit the iconic bus failed to yield the right-of-way at a stop sign.

Four passengers in the van died. They were identified as Chinese nationals who were visiting the country. A 53-year-old male was driving, and was accompanied by two 52-year-old females and a 19-year-old female. All four were wearing their seat belts.

“We as an organization are deeply saddened, and our thoughts, prayers and concerns at this time are with the family members and loved ones of all who were lost,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in a statement from the team.

The accident happened on U.S. Highway 93, a main thoroughfare from Phoenix to Las Vegas. The bus was carrying staffers to an event in Las Vegas.

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Rosenhaus: Anthony Davis and 49ers have “patched things up”

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 08:  Guard Alex Boone #75 and tackle Anthony Davis #76 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrate a field goal against the Seattle Seahawks in the second quarter on December 8, 2013 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California.  The 49ers won 19-17.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) Getty Images

49ers tackle Anthony Davis, after a one-year retirement, has decided to return. His official effort to be reinstated (which typically entails simply sending a reinstatement letter) has commenced, but it comes after a period of time during which Davis seemed to be agitating for his release. So I asked his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, whether Davis truly wants to be a 49ers.

“That’s a fair comment, Mike, but I do think since some of his comments I do believe that he has patched things up with the organization,” Rosenhaus said on Tuesday’s PFT Live. “He has been in contact with the organization and I also believe with the coaching staff and they’ve rebuilt that relationship. So whatever damage took place in my estimation has been repaired.”

Unless something else is happening that has never been reported or disclosed, the reinstatement process should go smoothly and quickly.

“I’m confident that Anthony is ready to go to work with the 49ers and resume his career with them, and I believe the 49ers will welcome him back,” Rosenhaus said. “It’s hard for me to speak for them but the impression I have is that, from all my discussions with them, that they would be excited to get Anthony back and that Anthony would be happy to work with them again. So hopefully he can pick up where he left off and continue his outstanding career before he retired last year.”

Davis was aggressive in April about trying to get out of San Francisco, possibly (and I’m speculating) because the 49ers declined to pay back to Davis the signing bonus allocation from 2015 that he refunded when he retired. The CBA does not require the repaid bonus money to be refunded, which may have prompted frustration for Davis.

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