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Jeremy Maclin expects bigger role in the Eagles offense this year

Jeremy+Maclin+Washington+Redskins+v+Philadelphia+xDgP1gWiIrul Getty Images

Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin is entering the final year of his contract and he thinks that he’s going to get ample opportunities to bump up his asking price this season.

Maclin thinks that he is going to have a bigger role in the offense this season with Chip Kelly as head coach than he did when Andy Reid was on the sideline. Maclin explains that Reid’s offense prioritized getting the ball to DeSean Jackson, which he believes explains why he has yet to cross the 1000-yard mark in any of his first four seasons.

“I’m going to be honest, the last offense was geared to the position that D-Jack played,” Maclin said, via Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com. “That’s just what it was. That’s just what it was. So the fact that I was able to personally accomplish what I accomplished, I think as far as the position I was playing, I think that’s above what that guy normally does. D-Jack and I were able to complement each other, and it worked well. But that’s just how the offense was tailored.”

Maclin hasn’t put up gaudy totals of receiving yards, but he’s scored more touchdowns than Jackson and measures up well with other receivers like Hakeem Nicks and Dez Bryant who were drafted around the same time. If Maclin winds up playing as big a role in this offense as he believes, the chances of a breakout year look pretty good and he could find himself garnering the kind of Pro Bowl consideration that those NFC East rivals have enjoyed recently.

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Rams have sold 63,000 season tickets

OXNARD, CA - MAY 06:  Head coach Jeff Fisher of the Los Angeles Rams takes to the field during a Los Angeles Rams rookie camp on May 06, 2016 in Oxnard, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Getty Images

Los Angeles is ready to support the Rams.

Rams COO Kevin Demoff told the Ventura County Star that the Rams have already sold 63,000 season tickets. The team’s goal is to sell 70,000 season tickets and leave the remaining seats for single-game sales.

The Rams plan to configure the Coliseum at a capacity of 80,000, although they can open it up for 90,000 fans if there are big games when the demand warrants it.

Demoff said the Rams have felt welcomed in Southern California.

“This has really been a labor of love over the past five months to get this team up and running in every facet,” Demoff said. “Our group has been working tirelessly. I must say, the warm reception we have received from everybody in this community has been unbelievable.”

The team and the community are looking like a good match. Now the question is whether the Rams, who haven’t had a winning record since 2003, can give Los Angeles a team worthy of that support.

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Jay Gruden hires Jon Gruden’s son

1408309630000-AP-Redskins-Camp-Football AP

The Nepotism Football League continues to live up to its name.

In Washington, the latest keep-it-in-the-family hire comes from coach Jay Gruden hiring his brother Jon’s son, Deuce Gruden, to serve as a strength-coach intern, according to Dan Sternberg of the Washington Post.

Coaches hiring children and other family members has become a way of life in the NFL, presumably because nepotism has been commonplace among the ranks of team ownership since the NFL was founded nearly 100 years ago. But with owners, where the choices are to pass the franchise to a son or daughter or sell it, nepotism is natural. It’s not as natural when an employee who doesn’t hold equity in the operation does it.

The practice is nevertheless accepted by most owners, who apparently believe it would be hypocritical to prohibit coaches from grooming family members when ownership is doing the exact same thing.

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Manziel’s father: “He’s a druggie and needs help”

Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel addresses the media after NFL football minicamp in Berea, Ohio, Wednesday, June 17, 2015. (AP Photo/David Richard) AP

Paul Manziel, father of ex-Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel, told ESPN’s Josina Anderson Friday that his son “is a druggie” and that jail “would be the best place for him.”

Anderson contacted Paul Manziel after Johnny Manziel’s attorney, Bob Hinton, accidentally texted the Associated Press that he intends to seek a plea deal for the pending assault charges his client is facing but worries about Johnny Manziel’s ability to stay clean.

Hilton texted the AP, among other things, this rather unforgettable line: “Heaven help us if one of the conditions is to pee in a bottle.”

The Browns released Johhny Manziel in March. Since then he’s been seen only on TMZ and other sites that have covered his partying and legal matters. The assault charge stems from a January incident with his ex-girlfriend after which Manziel signed a restraining order barring him from contact with her.

Paul Manziel’s full statement to ESPN read: “He’s a druggie. It’s not a secret that he’s a druggie. I don’t know what to say other than my son is a druggie and he needs help. He just hasn’t seeked it yet. Hopefully he doesn’t die before he comes to his senses. That’s about all you can say. I don’t know what else to say. I hate to say it but I hope he goes to jail. I mean, that would be the best place for him. So we’ll see.”

Per the report, Hinton’s accidental text to the AP Wednesday also said he “was given a receipt by a colleague that purports to show [Johnny] Manziel spent more than $1,000 at a drug paraphernalia shop 15 hours” after Manziel was involved in a hit-and-run crash earlier this week.

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Saints’ West Virginia training camp facility closes due to heavy flooding

West-Virginia-flooding-from-CNN-jpg

The Saints possibly will be staying in Louisiana for training camp this year, after all.

The Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, has closed indefinitely after heavy flooding on Thursday.

With the Saints not arriving until July 27, it’s likely that the situation will be resolved by then. However, major efforts could be required to get things back to normal in roughly four weeks.

The more immediate concern is accounting for any and all missing persons in the areas affected by the West Virginia flooding, where 20 already are confirmed dead. Eventually, a decision will have to be made regarding the upcoming PGA event at The Greenbrier; based on the stunning before/after photo of the golf course, it could be very difficult to have things up and running in less than two weeks.

Donations for those affected by the West Virginia flooding can be made through the Red Cross, by visiting redcross.org or calling 1-800-RED-CROSS. An immediate $10 donation came be made by texting REDCROSS to 90999.

We routinely share donation information following natural disasters and encourage contributions, but this one hits very close to home for me. If you’re a regular here, please consider taking a minute and text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation for people who definitely could use the assistance right now.

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Rams cut Wells, Worton

OXNARD, CA - MAY 06:  J.J. Worton #9 of the Los Angeles Rams warms up during a Los Angeles Rams rookie camp on May 06, 2016 in Oxnard, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Rams trimmed their offseason roster by two Friday, waiving linebacker Matthew Wells and wide receiver J.J. Worton.

Wells was a sixth-round pick of the Patriots in 2015 and was traded to the Bears during his first training camp. He was waived by the Bears and eventually landed on the practice squad with the Rams before signing a futures contract with the Rams in January.

Worton’s second stint with the Rams lasted just over a month. Worton was arrested on charges that he assaulted a man and two women at a Foxborough, Massachusetts bar last January. He was also accused of groping both women and then knocking out one of their boyfriends.

The Patriots dropped him from their practice squad after that incident. He’d spent some time with the Rams last season before heading to New England, and the Rams signed him again last month after he participated in their minicamp as a tryout player.

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Tarvaris Jackson arrested after allegedly pointing gun at wife

Seattle Seahawks v Arizona Cardinals Getty Images

Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson is without a team for the 2016 season, although that may be the least of his worries in the near future.

Chris Hush of WESH in Orlando reports that Jackson was arrested for aggravated assault after pulling a gun on his wife. Hush shares a shot of the police report from the Osceola County Sheriffs Office from an officer who reported to the scene of a domestic disturbance.

Per the report, Jackson was intoxicated and loaded his gun during an argument with his wife before telling her “I’ll kill you, bitch.” Another adult who was at the house grabbed Jackson before things could escalate any further.

Jackson’s wife told police she feared for her life and grabbed an iron and knife at points for protection, but Jackson initially said nothing more than arguing occurred. He also told police that there was no gun in the house, but they found a handgun on the kitchen counter along with marijuana.

Jackson later told police he did grab a bag containing his gun and told his wife that he should shoot her. Per the report, Jackson’s wife replied that he “better be accurate because you ain’t accurate on the field.”

The Seahawks signed Trevone Boykin and Jake Heaps as backup options for Russell Wilson after Jackson filled the role for the last three years. They’ve said the door isn’t closed on a return to the team, although this incident and whatever happens next could certainly shut it.

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Manziel’s lawyer accidentally texts case strategy to AP

635980421329783748-AP-Manziel-Indictment-Football Getty Images

Johnny Manziel may need a new lawyer. The AP eventually may need a new lawyer, too.

To cap a week that has consisted of plenty of renewed discussion regarding the manner in which the prosecutors in the 1995 O.J. Simpson trial botched the case, Manziel’s lawyer committed a technological faux pas by sending a text message accidentally to the Associated Press. Lawyers representing the AP likewise may have made a tactical error by authorizing publication of a text message that wasn’t intended for the AP.

“Manziel’s lawyer accidentally texts AP, confirms he is seeking plea deal in assault case, worries about QB’s ability to stay clean,” the AP posted at its NFL page. To the extent anyone may wonder whether the Twitter account was hacked, the AP has published a stand-alone story confirming the accidental text.

The mistake happened after an AP reporter texted lawyer Bob Hinton, seeking comment regarding the recent hit-and-run involving a car owned by Manziel. Hinton responded with a text that said, among other things, “Heaven help us if one of the conditions is to pee in a bottle.”

Per the report, Hinton’s accidental text also said he “was given a receipt by a colleague that purports to show Manziel spent more than $1,000 at a drug paraphernalia shop 15 hours after the crash.”

It’s not Hinton’s first miscue in the case. Colleague Jim Darnell previously had to walk back Hinton’s off-the-cuff remark that he’d prefer to see Manziel and the ex-girlfriend he allegedly assaulted “kiss and make up.”

Nothing contained in Hinton’s unintended sequel is shocking, given what we already know about Manziel. The broader question is whether the AP should have shared the information that was accidentally shared with the AP, legally or ethically. The lawyer clearly wasn’t “on the record” with the AP; it was an accidental message clearly not meant for the AP or any other news operation.

Some would say that Hinton’s text should have been regarded as an off-the-record communication not authorized for use by the AP or anyone else. If Manziel’s lawyer believes that, and depending on how the law specifically applies to situations like this, there could be a few more rounds until this unexpected skirmish is over.

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Report: Purdue defensive tackle entering supplemental draft

NFL logo AP

Purdue defensive tackle Ra’Zahn Howard will enter the supplemental draft, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Friday.

Citing a source, Schefter reported that Howard is leaving school for academic reasons. Players who have a change of circumstance after the early-entry deadline for the draft can apply for the supplemental draft.

Howard was suspended in January and announced his intention to transfer. He was a three-year starter at Purdue.

Purdue listed Howard at 6-foot-3, 325, so NFL teams will at least give Howard a look. The supplemental draft is held in July, and Schefter reported that Howard will hold a pro day workout in New Jersey on July 8.

A team that selects a player in the supplemental draft gives up its corresponding pick in the following year’s draft. Five players have been selected in the supplemental draft in the last six years, most recently offensive tackle Isaiah Battle by the Rams last year and most notably wide receiver Josh Gordon with a second-round pick by the Browns in 2012.

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Packers report record profit, revenue over last fiscal year

Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers,  renovated in 2003, is set for play  August 16, 2004. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images) Getty Images

Very little about the NFL escapes public scrutiny these days with the notable exception of the financial records of the 31 privately held teams under no obligation to share that information.

The Packers are not privately held, however, and their annual report gives us an idea about how things are faring in bank accounts around the league. You won’t be surprised to hear that business is good.

The Packers reported a franchise-record $408.7 million in revenue for the fiscal year that ended on March 31 along with a record $48.9 million in net income and $75 million in profit from operations. Those last two numbers represented 68 percent and 91 percent jumps from the previous year.

Packers president Mark Murphy attributed an 11 percent increase in local revenue to $186.2 million to the success of business at the Lambeau Field atrium and strong sales/marketing programs. National revenues — money shared equally by the league’s teams — went up six percent to $222.6 million, which provides part of the picture of the financial outlook for the rest of the teams in the league.

Part of the reason for the rise in the team’s profits this year was a drop in expenses that the team attributed to “a league assessment related to debt refinancing” and the previous year’s spending on the Titletown project near Lambeau Field. Murphy said he did not expect to see the same profit margin next season as player expenses appear set to rise.

“We have a number of core players with contracts ending,” Murphy said. “We could have a number of signings next year, and the biggest thing there [on the balance sheet] is the signing bonuses.”

Even so, it’s a good bet that the professional football business will remain a financially rewarding one for the Packers.

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Broncos, Miller haven’t spoken since early June

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 24:  Linebacker Von Miller #58 of the Denver Broncos looks on from the sideline during a game against the St. Louis Rams at Sports Authority Field Field at Mile High on August 24, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. Miller will miss the first six regular season games of the season after being suspended for violating the NFL's drug policy. The Broncos defeated the Rams 27-26.  (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) Getty Images

After the Broncos visited the White House on Monday, June 6, someone (the Broncos) leaked to the media the terms of an offer that the team had made to linebacker Von Miller — and that had expired on Tuesday evening, June 7. Since that time, the two sides haven’t talked much, if at all.

Josina Anderson of ESPN.com reports that the Broncos and Miller have had no conversations since early June.

As of last Friday, PFT learned that neither side had contacted the other in the aftermath of the contract signed by defensive tackle Fletcher Cox in Philadelphia.

Even when the two sides were communicating, they weren’t actually negotiating. Instead, they traded proposals without the kind of in-depth back and forth that can bridge the gap on key terms.

If/when player and team truly negotiate, they should be able to work something out. For now, there’s no reason to talk. The team’s attempt to apply artificial deadlines didn’t get a deal done. The real deadline arrives on July 15.

At this point, it would be a surprise if the two sides resume discussions before Monday, July 11. If a deal is going to get done, it’ll likely happen not long before 4:00 p.m. ET on Friday, July 15. Assuming the fax machines are working, of course.

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Saints place Kyle Wilson on injured reserve

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - OCTOBER 25:  Kyle Wilson #24 of the New Orleans Saints recovers a fumble against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 25, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) Getty Images

Cornerback Kyle Wilson has never lived up to the potential that made him a first-round pick of the Jets in 2010. He won’t get a chance to in 2016.

The Saints have placed Wilson on injured reserve.

The nature of the injury wasn’t disclosed, and it’s not known specifically when it happened. With no obligation to disclose injuries during the offseason, that’s no surprise.

After five years with the Jets, Wilson joined the Saints in 2015. He appeared in 15 games with four starts.

The Saints have replaced Wilson on the roster with defensive tackle C.J. Wilson. A seventh-round pick of the Packers in 2010, Wilson spent four years with the Packers, 2014 with the Raiders, and 2015 with the Raiders and Lions.

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Leonard Marshall worries advocacy could cost Eugene Monroe a job

Baltimore Ravens v Houston Texans Getty Images

Former Giants defensive end Leonard Marshall is among the growing number of former players who want the NFL to take a closer look at medicinal (if not recreational) marijuana.

But that’s easier for former players than current ones, and Marshall thinks current advocate Eugene Monroe could suffer for it.

The Ravens said they cut the veteran left tackle for football reasons only, but Marshall said it’s hard to imagine that Monroe’s advocacy for marijuana research wasn’t a contributing factor.

Asked by Kalyn Kahler of TheMMQB.com if he thought Monroe was taking a risk by being so outspoken, Marshall replied: “We’ve seen that it already has been a risk, he’s been released by the Ravens.”

And when asked if other teams might be hesitant to sign Monroe because he’s outspoken, Marshall suggested there could easily be some blackballing.

“Yes, no doubt,” Marshall said. “I mean that’s the way things are. Are you part of the solution or are you part of the problem? This is a clear case where if you are a guy who is attempting to fight the establishment, you will be made the odd man out.

There are teams that have shown interest in Monroe (specifically the Giants), but so far, none of them have been willing to sign him. And if they don’t, Marshall has a good idea why they didn’t.

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Peyton rooting for Osweiler to have a great year

Peyton Manning, Brock Osweiler AP

In his first year of retirement, Peyton Manning will have a lot of favorite teams. One will be the Texans.

Manning said today at the Manning Passing Academy that he’ll be rooting for Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler, his old teammate in Denver, to have a big year in his first season as a franchise quarterback after four years as Manning’s understudy.

“I look forward to this year being a fan of a lot of teams and people I have connections with,” Manning said. “I’ll be pulling for Brock. I know he’s going to have a great year.”

Manning said he’ll also root for his two former teams, the Broncos and Colts, as well as the Giants (his brother’s team), the Lions (his former Colts coach Jim Caldwell’s team) and the Dolphins (his former Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase’s team).

Manning didn’t say which team will be his favorite. We imagine him spending his Sundays with multiple TVs in his living room, watching the Texans, Broncos, Colts, Lions and Dolphins’ games simultaneously.

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Browns sign fourth-round pick Joe Schobert

MOBILE, AL - JANUARY 30: North team's outside linebaker Joe Schobert #58 with Wisconsin runs the ball down the sidelines during their game against the South Team on January 30, 2016 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Browns had plenty of picks during the 2016 draft and now they have all but one of them signed.

The team announced Friday that they have signed fourth-round linebacker Joe Schobert. Like all players drafted after the first round, Schobert agreed to a four-year deal.

Schobert started 28 games at Wisconsin after joining the team as a walk on following a stint at the University of North Dakota. Schobert had 9.5 sacks, 19.5 tackles for losses and was named a second-team All-America by the Associated Press after the 2015 season. He also did well on special teams, which will be a path to early playing time for Schobert in Cleveland.

With Schobert signed, the Browns now have 13 of their 14 draft picks under contract. Third-round defensive end Carl Nassib is the only one unsigned in Cleveland and one of the few draft picks around the league yet to sign a deal.

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Broncos P.R. staff wins Rozelle Award

ENGLEWOOD, CO - SEPTEMBER 21:  The Denver Broncos team flag flies at half staff outside the Denver Broncos Headquarters at Dove Valley in memory Bronco wide receiver Kenny McKinley on September 21, 2010 in Englewood, Colorado. McKinley, 23, was found dead in his home in an apparent suicide September 20, 2010 in Arapahoe County, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) Getty Images

As one of the premier organizations in the NFL, the Denver Broncos could be aloof, distant, and uncooperative with the media. They’re the exact opposite.

The team’s P.R. staff, led by Patrick Smyth, has won this year’s Pete Rozelle Award. Bestowed by the Professional Football Writers Association, the prize acknowledges a consistent effort to strive for excellence in the team’s dealings and relationships with the media.

Other nominees were the Cardinals, Bengals, Dolphins, and Giants.

The award is well deserved, based on PFT’s dealings with the Broncos. Many other teams are worthy of acknowledgement; PFT’s nominees for the award based on the past year would have included the Dolphins, Jaguars, Cardinals, Vikings, Falcons, and Panthers.

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