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League acknowledges Blakeman should have been more descriptive

Blakeman Getty Images

A day after the NFL supported, sort of, the decision to pick up the flag that had been thrown at the end of the Patriots-Panthers game, the NFL has acknowledged that it does not support Clete Blakeman’s bare-bones, real-time explanation of the non-call.

Said Blakeman at the time:  “There is no foul on the play.  The game is over.”

Should he have said more?

“Yes, absolutely,” the league office tells PFT.  “In that situation, we certainly want the referee to explain over the mic why the flag was picked up and why the play did not result in a foul.”

While a more detailed explanation would have done nothing to make the call more or less accurate, it would have gone a long way toward making the general public feel good about the outcome.  In an age where opinions become quickly cemented and then shouted around the world via Twitter, it’s important for the league to set the agenda quickly.  And there’s no quicker way to do it than to have the referee tell the world the moment after the play happened.

People love to complain about guys like Ed Hochuli, who likes to talk even more than he likes to wear tight shirts.  But having Hochuli assigned to Monday night’s game would have resulted in a far more detailed explanation than the one we got.

We possibly wouldn’t have been able to understand it, but that’s still better than having nothing at all.

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Falcons drop Justin Durant, William Moore

Zz1jMjkxZjg5N2NkYmZkOWE4NmFkMzBmMDZhN2JkYjI0Yw== AP

On Monday, teams can begin cutting players. The Falcons have dumped a pair of them.

Gone are linebacker Justin Durant (pictured) and safety William Moore. The team announced the moves on Monday.

“We want to thank both of these guys for their commitment and work ethic,” coach Dan Quinn said. “They battled through injuries to give everything they had for their teammates this season and I will always be appreciative of that.”

As to Durant, the Falcons avoid his base salary of $1.75 million for 2016. The team will take a cap charge of $833,000. Regarding Moore,the Falcons avoid his base salary of $4.5 million, but they take a cap charge of $3.3 million, the remainder of the $8.25 million signing bonus he received in 2013.

Durant was a second-round pick of the Jaguars in 2007; he signed last year with the Falcons. Atlanta drafted Moore in the second round of the 2009 draft.

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Making sense of Cam Newton’s abrupt departure

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Much can be said about the demeanor of Panthers quarterback Cam Newton at his post-Super Bowl press conference, and reasonable minds may differ as to whether it was a sign of immaturity or evidence of his passionate desire to win.

Here’s an area where the answer is more clear. As noted last night on Twitter and throughout Monday’s PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio, the video of the press conference suggests that Newton bolted not because of any questions asked by the reporter but because he could hear someone from the Broncos crowing about the victory. Via the Denver Post, it was Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr.

So while Newton arguably should have been less sullen when talking about the game, the tone and content of his answers and the decision to get up and leave are really two different things.

Besides, if Newton’s reaction means that Newton will become even more determined to get back to the Super Bowl and win it, Panthers fans will be very happy about the outcome a year from now.

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Falcons hire Collier as personnel director

KANSAS CITY, MO - CIRCA 2011: In this handout image provided by the NFL, Joel Collier of the Kansas City Chiefs poses for his NFL headshot circa 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by NFL via Getty Images) Getty Images

The Falcons have hired Joel Collier as their director of player personnel.

Collier’s addition comes as part of a restructuring of the personnel department, though general manager Thomas Dimitroff was retained. Former director of player personnel Lionel Vital left the team last month, and former general managers Ruston Webster and Phil Emery were hired.

Collier was assistant general manager with the Chiefs from 2009-13 and previously was an assistant coach with the Dolphins and Patriots. His father, Joe Collier, is a former head coach of the Bills and defensive coordinator with the Broncos and Patriots.

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Peyton Manning likely didn’t want to take attention from teammates

Zz01NTM0MTlhOTg4YmUxNTJlZDA4NTAwMGM2M2NkM2ZmNA== AP

After the Super Bowl, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning supplied the same message about his future every time he spoke. He’s waiting on the recommendation of Tony Dungy, who advised against an emotional decision.

It’s clear, then, that the emotional decision would have been to retire.

There’s another benefit that comes from waiting. By not announcing his intentions on Sunday night, Manning didn’t take attention away from his teammates and coaches.

During a pregame interview with Bill Cowher, which had been taped at some point before Sunday, Manning became emotional when talking about the importance of being known as a good teammate. And but for one slip after a 2005 playoff loss in which he said, after explaining that he’s trying to be a good teammate, the team had problems with protection, Peyton has always been an impeccable teammate.

If he knows he’s retiring, his decision to keep the decision to himself becomes a genuinely selfless act, allowing the aftermath of the win to be all about the team and not all about Peyton.

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Bengals sign veteran CB Chykie Brown

Washington Redskins v New York Giants Getty Images

The Bengals have signed veteran cornerback Chykie Brown.

Brown was out of the NFL last season but has 54 games of experience with the Ravens and Giants from 2011-14. He played in every game when the Ravens won the Super Bowl in the 2012 season.

He went to the Giants via waivers in 2014 and was cut by the Giants prior to the start of the 2015 season.

The Bengals also signed offensive tackle Darryl Baldwin, who was with the Ravens as an undrafted rookie last season. Baldwin is a developmental prospect who was a defensive end at Ohio State before the arrival of 2016 NFL Draft prospect Noah Spence, among others, pushed him to the offensive side of the ball.

Baldwin played one preseason game with the Ravens before being placed on the non-football illness list and eventually waived by the Ravens before the regular season.

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Eagles release Riley Cooper

Riley Cooper AP

The Eagles announced the release of wide receiver Riley Cooper on Monday.

Cooper was due to make $4.5 million in 2016. He’d signed a five-year deal worth a guaranteed $8 million prior to the 2014 season. He’ll still count for $2.4 million against the cap in 2016.

Cooper caught 21 passses and two for touchdowns last season after having caught 102 passes and scored 11 touchdowns over the 2013-14 seasons. With those declining numbers, Chip Kelly gone and the Eagles having drafted Nelson Algholor in the first round last year, the move is not surprising.

Monday marked the first day teams could cut players who’d finished the 2015 season on an active roster. Cooper, 28, immediately becomes a free agent and does not have to wait for the start of the new league year in March to seek out a new team.

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Chris Harris Jr: Signing extension with Broncos was “greatest decision of my life.”

Denver Broncos’ Chris Harris Jr. (25) smiles with fans after the NFL Super Bowl 50 football game Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016, in Santa Clara, Calif. The Broncos won 24-10. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson) AP

Denver Broncos cornerback Chris Harris Jr. knew he was potentially leaving money on the table when he signed a five-year extension with the team in December 2014 instead of waiting for free agency.

But Harris says that decision to take a “pay cut” and remain with the Broncos was one of the best choices he’s ever made.

“Taking that pay cut, man, was the greatest decision of my life,” Harris said while basking in the glow of the Broncos 24-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50. “To be here and be a Super Bowl champion… man, I probably would have been on the Titans or the Raiders. There’s no telling what team I would have been on, but to here with this great organization. I know (John) Elway is always going to keep a great team here and I just always put my faith in them and my group. I can’t ask for a better group to play with and I’m just thankful for everybody.”

“It was very tough, but I wanted to win,” he continued. “I knew I’d probably for the Titans or Raiders, somebody sorry, but I decided to stay and play with this great group. And the great thing about it is we’re going to be here for a while. We’ve got the same core that’s locked in for a while and it’s going to be scary for the teams to come.”

Harris played with a left shoulder injury throughout the playoffs that made it difficult to be as aggressive as normal.

“It was pretty bad. I was lying to y’all,” Harris said with a laugh about the injury. “…Any hit, my arm just went dead.”

Harris said he doesn’t believe he’ll need surgery but that he needs to get it reevaluated to make sure. He feels he should be good with rest and back in about a month.

“Just to grind through these playoffs, it was a very hard playoffs for me. Was never healthy. To put in that extra work every day to even just come out and play really with my injury you’re supposed to go on (injured reserve), but I fought through it and it makes it feel even more special because I had to play with pain this whole postseason. A lot of pain, and to be able to get this win playing through that makes me even more grateful.”

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Browns announce eight staff additions

Cleveland Browns head coach Hue Jackson, right, laughs as he answers questions during a news conference, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016, in Berea, Ohio. Jackson has experience as a head coach, knows the AFC North and has fixed quarterbacks. Jackson, who waited four years for his second crack at leading an NFL team, has been hired as Cleveland's next coach, the struggling franchise's eighth since 1999 and sixth since 2008. Browns owner Jimmy Haslam is on the left. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) AP

The Browns officially announced eight additions to Hue Jackson’s first coaching staff Monday.

Former NFL players Johnny Holland and Rock Cartwright are among the previously reported additions. Louie Cioffi returns as defensive backs coach after serving the last two years under new Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton in Tennessee and previously under Horton with the Browns in 2013.

Also named to the staff were Ken Delgado, assistant defensive line coach; Cannon Matthews, assistant defensive backs coach; Robert Nunn, defensive line coach; Eric Sanders, defensive quality control coach; and Ryan Slowik, outside linebackers coach.

Holland will coach inside linebackers, while Cartwright will be the offensive quality control coach.

“Johnny Holland is a seasoned, veteran coach,” Jackson said in a statement. “He played in this league and has had success as a player and a coach. He is a very passionate demanding teacher. I know without any question he is going to get the best out of our linebackers.”

Nunn was the defensive line coach with the Giants the last six seasons.

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Von values a Super Bowl ring over the MVP award

SANTA CLARA, CA - FEBRUARY 07:  Super Bowl MVP   Von Miller #58 of the Denver Broncos celebrates with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California.  The Broncos defeated the Panthers 24-10.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) Getty Images

Upon receiving the Super Bowl MVP trophy this morning, Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller said it’s only the second-best award he’s receiving.

Miller emphasized his love for the entire Broncos team and said that the Super Bowl ring he’ll get for yesterday’s game is what means the most, because it’s what all of his teammates will share.

“The MVP is special, but the Super Bowl ring is something I’ll carry with me for life,” Miller said.

Asked about the defense carrying Peyton Manning and the offense, Miller insisted that the offense contributed, too.

“We carried each other,” Miller said. “If it wasn’t for Peyton making the decisions he made to throw the ball short so we could punt the ball.”

It says a lot about how far Manning has fallen that he’s now being credited just for putting his team in a position to punt, but Miller said he loves the offense, the defense, the coaches and everyone in Denver. Miller also singled out John Elway and said he’s confident that they’ll come to an agreement on a new contract this offseason. Miller said any reports that there will be difficult negotiations are false.

“It’s going to be a peaceful thing. I’m not really worried about it. That’s another thing that the media tries to play up,” Miller said.

The Broncos would love to have Miller in Denver for many more years, and it sounds like the feeling is mutual.

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Police report says McCoy, Curtis Brinkley assaulted three officers

LeSean McCoy, Percy Harvin, Robert Woods AP

The police report from the Sunday morning incident that resulted in two off-duty police officers being hospitalized in Philadelphia said three officers fought with Bills running back LeSean McCoy and former NFL running back Curtis Brinkley.

The report said there was “a dispute over the purchase of champagne” between the men and Brinkley “grabbed the bottle.” Nothing good generally happens after 2 a.m., and the report lists 2:45 a.m. as the approximate time of the incident.

A law enforcement official told CSNPhilly.com that two of the officers suffered broken ribs.

ABC-6 in Philadelphia first reported that McCoy was being investigated for assault. No arrests have been made.

The Bills said in a team statement that they’re aware of the situation and have no further comment at this time. The Bills acquired McCoy in a trade with the Eagles last year.

Brinkley is a native of Philadelphia. He played for the Chargers and Bears between 2009-13.

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Broncos’ Brandon Marshall: Peyton’s the reason I’m here

during Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. Getty Images

After the Super Bowl, Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall said it was Peyton Manning who got him into the game.

According to Marshall, when he was on the practice squad it was Manning who convinced the Broncos to call him up to the active roster. Marshall said that when Manning addressed the team, it was an emotional time because of the respect the team has for its quarterback.

“I got emotional,” Marshall said. “A lot of people don’t know but Peyton is the reason I’m here. When I got picked up on the practice squad, I was playing my tail off at practice. He was one of the ones that noticed me. He would ask the coaches, ‘Who is this guy? Who is this guy Brandon Marshall? We have to get him up.’ So he noticed me, and a lot of the offensive guys started talking about me, and that allowed me to get my chance. So I love Peyton. I have a different appreciation for him. I feel like he had a hand in me getting off the practice squad and onto that roster. I told Peyton before the game, I said, ‘Man, I want to win this for you.’ I’ve been feeling that way all year.”

Marshall said Manning’s speech to the team was inspiring.

“You know Peyton. He cracked a few jokes in there. He thanked everybody. He thanked the support staff, the coaches, the players. It was speech where he got emotional and he was recapping the year. He even mentioned my name because I told him I wanted to win for him. Peyton is a hell of a guy, and I’m so happy we won for him,” Marshall said.

Manning didn’t do a lot on the field to help the Broncos win, but there’s little doubt that his teammates credit him as being an important part of their championship team.

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Report: LeSean McCoy accused of assaulting off-duty officers

LeSean McCoy, Marcus Peters AP

Bills running back LeSean McCoy is accused of assaulting two off-duty police officers early Sunday morning, ABC-6 in Philadelphia reported Monday.

The report says both officers were hospitalized after the incident that occurred around 2:30 a.m. Sunday at the Recess Lounge in Philadelphia’s Old City district.

The report said neither McCoy nor a friend who was also involved were arrested. An investigation is ongoing.

McCoy played for the Eagles from 2009-14 before being traded last year.

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What happened to Mike Carey?

Mike+Carey+GBQOfbXEXprm Getty Images

Lost in last night’s Super Bowl was the fact that CBS officiating expert Mike Carey apparently got lost.

Carey contributed only once to the broadcast, in connection with an incomplete pass from Panthers quarterback Cam Newton to receiver Jerricho Cotchery that Carolina coach Ron Rivera challenged.

Before referee Clete Blakeman announced the outcome, Jim Nantz threw it to Carey for an explanation.

“I think this is a good challenge by Carolina,” Carey said. “The receiver goes up, he’s going the ground. So he must maintain control of the ball, which he does. If I was in the booth, I would reverse this to a catch.

“The ball never hits the ground. Even though there’s a bobble inside, maintains good control, up off the ground. He rolls over, keeps it off the ground at the end.”

But the ruling on the field was upheld, because the ball did hit the ground and because there was no indisputable visual evidence that the ruling on the field of the ball moving too much upon hitting the ground was incorrect.

After the play, Carey was never heard from again. Sure, there was only one more replay challenge (a tap-in putt that would have allowed Carey to quickly explain that Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning will be treated as down even with the slightest contact from a Carolina defender), but the game presented other opportunities for explanations from Carey, including an illegal blindside block during a punt return.

Likewise, multiple players had a pair of personal fouls, which Commissioner Roger Goodell has proposed would result in an ejection. Carey could have said something about the dilemma officials face when potentially sending a player to the showers prematurely.

Based on last week’s comments from CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus, it’s obvious that CBS is aware of, and sensitive to, the criticism of Carey. It seems that someone opted to protect Carey and CBS from further fodder for more criticism but putting him on ice for the rest of Super Bowl 50.

CBS has not yet responded to an email sent last night request comment on Carey’s disappearance from the broadcast. There’s at least a chance the disappearance will be something more than temporary, given his body of work.

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Seahawks mum on whether they’ll collect Marshawn’s bonus money

Marshawn AP

Peyton Manning chose not to announce his retirement after last night’s game. Marshawn Lynch chose to announce his retirement during it.

Vague at first, it quickly became clear that Lynch is indeed done, with tweets from Richard Sherman, Russell Wilson, and (most convincingly) owner Paul Allen confirming it.

The one thing the Seahawks haven’t and likely won’t confirm is whether Lynch will be permitted to keep the $5 million in signing bonus money he hasn’t earned yet. The safe guess is that it was understood a year ago that the Seahawks wouldn’t seek reimbursement if he retired after 2015. But the Seahawks would be wise to not publish that, because then other players who retire with unearned signing bonus money may expect the same courtesy.

It’s also unknown whether the Seahawks conditioned Marshawn’s retention of the money on his commitment to remaining retired. If he returns later in the year and plays for another team, the Seahawks would be entitled to be more than a little miffed.

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Patriots, Seahawks, Steelers installed as early favorites for next season

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 05:  The Vince Lombardi trophy sits in front of a gold "50"during the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell press conference prior to Super Bowl 50 at the Moscone Center West on February 5, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Broncos have been Super Bowl champions for less than 24 hours, but time waits for no man and no team.

Las Vegas has already started looking ahead to next season and they’ve installed three teams as favorites to follow the Broncos as the top team in the NFL. The Westgate SuperBook in Vegas has the Patriots, Seahawks and Steelers listed as 8-1 favorites to secure the Lombardi Trophy in Houston.

The Broncos are considered a 14-1 shot to repeat while the Panthers are given 10-1 odds to take the final step that eluded them this time around. The Cardinals and Packers join the Panthers at that number while the Bengals slot in next to the Broncos. The Cowboys are ninth at 16-1 while the Chiefs, Colts and Vikings are at 20-1.

On the other end of the spectrum are the Browns. Hue Jackson is considered a 200-1 shot to lift the trophy in his first year on the sideline in Cleveland, which is way below the 49ers — the book’s 31st choice at 60-1 — and everyone else in the league.

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