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Jon Bon Jovi says he isn’t trying to buy the Bills

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At 4-7, the Bills’ playoff chances are living on a prayer.

That isn’t making the guy who sang Livin’ on a Prayer any likelier to purchase the team, however. On Sunday, Jason LaCanfora of CBSSports.com reported that Jon Bon Jovi was positioning himself to purchase the team whenever the team goes on the market but Bon Jovi’s publicist downplayed any such notions on Monday.

Ken Sunshine told the Associated Press that while Bon Jovi is interested in becoming an NFL owner, reports that he is actively pursuing the Bills are “preposterous.” Sunshine also said that the former owner of the Arena League’s Philadelphia Soul has too much respect for Bills owner Ralph Wilson to engage in any discussions about the team.

Wilson has said that he will not sell the Bills in his lifetime. Rogers Communications of Toronto, which owns the Blue Jays and the arena formerly known as SkyDome that the Bills will call home this Sunday, is thought to be interested in buying the team whenever it does go on the market. Should Bon Jovi choose to enter the bidding at that point, going against a company that size in a bidding war could lead the rocker’s bid to go down in a blaze of glory.

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Monday morning one-liners

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TE MarQueis Gray has found a home with the Bills.

CB Zack Bowman looks like he’s on the roster bubble heading into camp.

What can the Patriots learn from their last Super Bowl repeat?

The Jets are taking a look at Dakota Dozier at center.

Breaking down the competition for playing time at defensive tackle with the Ravens.

Looking back at the last five Bengals drafts.

Comparing the Browns secondary with the rest of the units in the league.

What might a Super Bowl hosted by the Steelers look like?

Texans P Shane Lechler is filling his down time by doing some fishing.

Are there more roster moves coming before the Colts start camp?

The Jaguars have made a smooth transition on offense this offseason.

Vegas doesn’t have much love for the Titans.

How many yards will Broncos RB C.J. Anderson get this season?

Longtime Chiefs executive Jack Steadman died at 86.

Remembering the Raiders’ role in the “Golden Age” of Bay Area sports.

Everything you need to know about Chargers DL Corey Liuget.

Assessing the fallout from LB Rolando McClain’s suspension for the Cowboys.

Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News scolds Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul for injuring himself while setting off fireworks.

T Isaiah Battle could be a fit for the Eagles in the supplemental draft.

Taking a look at RB Alfred Morris’s future with the Redskins.

Forecasting WR Kevin White’s role in the Bears Offense as a rookie.

Will WR Ryan Broyles win the slot receiver job with the Lions?

Donny Anderson and Jim Grabowski remain connected to the Packers long after their playing days.

A lot of people are waiting to see if the Vikings move their headquarters.

Falcons CB Desmond Trufant threw out the first pitch at a recent Braves game.

A look at why Panthers LB Luke Kuechly ranks at No. 14 in NFL Network’s list of the top players in the game.

Saints players were among those cheering on the U.S. soccer team on Sunday night.

The Buccaneers find comparisons from the past for their current players.

Three suggested additions to the Cardinals Ring of Honor.

Rams rookie QB Sean Mannion is adjusting to life in the NFL.

Some things the 49ers won’t miss about former coach Jim Harbaugh.

What will DE Cliff Avril’s role be for the Seahawks?

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Tony Romo on Dez Bryant talks: “I think it will work out with Dez”

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Maybe it’s just because he’s on vacation and back home in Wisconsin, but Tony Romo doesn’t seem worried.

Asked at his football camp back home about the Cowboys’ ongoing negotiations with wide receiver Dez Bryant, Romo expressed confidence a deal would get done.

“The NFL is a business, it really is, ” Romo said, via Mike Ramczyk of MyRacineCounty.com You’ll see that side sometimes, with DeMarco [Murray] leaving and Dez not being part of the offseason.

I think it will work out with Dez.”

Asked about the way the business side of the game affects the locker room, Romo took an equally que sera, sera approach.

“Once you play in the NFL, you recognize there’s turnover,” he said. “One of the big flaws for a football team will be if you have a little bit of success, you think you’re just going to pick up where you left off. You have to start over every year. Your team will be different each year.

“You’re not worried about much more than improvement on an individual basis. Collectively, you don’t worry about people that aren’t there. Over time, everyone will get better if you take that certain approach.”

If Bryant had stayed away in a huff all offseason, it would be easy enough to stretch that comment into a dig at the star wideout. But because Bryant’s been hanging around, joking with Romo on the sidelines during minicamp, it’s easy to see where the quarterback’s confidence comes from.

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Jason Pierre-Paul has burns, but his fingers remain intact

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When the initial reports of Jason Pierre-Paul’s fireworks injury came out, there were few details beyond the term “severely injured.”

But while he has plenty of doctors visits in his future, it appears he may have escaped the worst of the damage.

According to  Paul Schwartz of the New York Post, some of the flesh on the Giants defensive ends’ hand was burned off his palm and fingers, but his fingers are intact. (Sorry if you were eating breakfast while reading this.)

While there was some speculation on the internet that he might have lost fingers or part of his hand, a Giants source told the Post those were “overblown.” We can only imagine what that same source said when Plaxico Burress shot himself in the leg.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported last night that the injury wasn’t career-threatening, and colleague Chris Mortensen followed that up by saying it “may not be game or season threatening either.”

Of course, massive burns, the kind that would result from an explosive device going off in one’s hand, are obviously still a serious issue. And that will likely have the Giants reviewing all their options with Pierre-Paul, who had yet to sign his $14.8 million franchise tender.

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Chris Borland says money was never a factor in retirement call

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Former 49ers linebacker Chris Borland has been widely supported for his decision to walk away from the NFL after a year because of long-term health concerns.

But when he talks to people, he hears a common refrain, wondering how he could step away fro NFL paychecks.

“That has been the biggest surprise for me,” Borland said, via Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “People can’t get over the money.

“That’s all they think about. But your health is a little more important.”

Borland volunteered to hand back three-fourths of his signing bonus, or $463,077 from the $2.3 million deal he signed.

“I think people were surprised,” he said. “But I signed a contract. I was living by the contract.”

Borland suffered a concussion during his rookie training camp with the 49ers but didn’t report it, but as time went on, that began to weigh on him.

“Just a combination of my own experience, along with a lot of data that is out there regarding long-term health effects of head injuries,” he said of leaving. “And I play a position and a style of play where I was susceptible to the worst of it.

“I played a physical brand of football and played through some things where it makes sense for me.”

Borland said he’s still exploring “a few pretty decent options,” but wasn’t in a hurry to begin his next career. As with other calls, he seems willing to wait to make the right one at the right time.

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Giants can withdraw Pierre-Paul’s tender, but will they?

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With Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul suffering injuries from a fireworks mishap that reportedly aren’t career-threatening, the Giants now must address a more important question regarding his career: Will they rescind his franchise tender?

They can; under Article 10, Section 2(d), the franchise tender can be withdrawn at any time. It would instantly create $14.8 million in cash and cap space, but it also would make Pierre-Paul an unrestricted free agent, free to sign with any team, with no compensation for the Giants if Pierre-Paul signs with a new team.

But if Pierre-Paul signs the contract, he’s entitled to $14.8 million, fully guaranteed. Article 10, Section 2(c) contains a procedure for terminating a franchise player’s contract for failure “to establish or maintain his excellent physical condition,” which would allow the Giants to pull the plug on the contract if, for example, the Giants realize after he signs the tender that his injuries will keep him from playing.

But that likewise would make Pierre-Paul a free agent. There’s one approach that wouldn’t. The Giants could determine that Pierre-Paul won’t be able to play due to a non-football injury, they can place him on the non-football injury list, and they can elect to not pay him. He would be able to file a grievance challenging the designation, but if the medical evidence due to the fireworks-related injuries is clear, he’ll have a hard time prevailing.

Regardless of how it plays out, the Giants have picked up some leverage. Whether by rescinding the tender or terminating the contract or placing him on NFI, they can drop Pierre-Paul’s compensation for 2015 from $14.8 million to whatever another team would pay a guy with an injured hand to, if they choose the NFI route, nothing. This dynamic could push Pierre-Paul’s expectations on a long-term deal toward a range that Giants are willing to satisfy.

At a minimum, the injury could result in a structure that pays Pierre-Paul based in part on his ability to play, primarily through the use of per-game roster bonuses. Since Pierre-Paul is responsible for the injuries that have now created real questions about his ability to play, he should be amenable to a contract that protects the Giants in the event that he can’t.

Either way, the clock continues to tick. The Giants and Pierre-Paul have 10 days to work out a long-term deal, or the only option will be a one-year contract.

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Jason Pierre-Paul’s fireworks injury not believed career threatening

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Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul hurt his hand in a fireworks accident on the Fourth of July, but there is some good news to report.

Pierre-Paul’s injury is not believed to be career threatening, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

As we in the United States celebrate our nation’s birthday, fireworks are, for millions of Americans, part of the fun. But they’re not without their risks. The fifth of July is always a day full of news stories about injuries in fireworks accidents, and yesterday at least one man died while setting off fireworks.

Pierre-Paul easily could have lost his hand, or worse. If he survived this accident with his career intact, he can count himself as lucky.

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Raiders take out full-page ad to support U.S. women’s team

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As the U.S. national women’s soccer team prepares to face Japan in the final match of the World Cup, the Raiders have issued something far more significant than the perfunctory tweet in support of the effort.

Via the Sunday Night Football twitter page, the Raiders took out a full page ad in the Vancouver Sun, with a photo of star player Alex Morgan and beneath it the slogan “Just Win Baby,” along with the Raiders logo.

The match starts at 7:00 p.m. ET. The U.S. women’s team last won the World Cup in 1999.

The ad appeared in Saturday’s edition, which was the 86th anniversary of the birth of former owner Al Davis.

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Report: Jason Pierre-Paul injured in fireworks accident

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For many of us, last night was a chance to blow off some steam, if not some fingers.

But Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul might have gotten a little too close to the action.

According to Andy Slater of WINZ in Miami, Pierre-Paul “severely injured” his hand in a fireworks accident last night.

A woman who said she was his neighbor tweeted out a photo of a “truck load of fireworks,” showing large boxes in a van.

Details at this point are few, but this could potentially have a huge impact on him and the Giants, as he hasn’t signed his franchise tender worth $14.8 million, and they’d have a tremendous lack of pass rush without him if he missed an extended amount of time.

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New U-T San Diego column argues city may be better off without Chargers

Breakup

As the Chargers prepare to break up with San Diego, San Diego seems to be preparing to tell the Chargers, “I. Am Breaking up with you.”

Beyond the unscientific U-T San Diego poll that shows a preference to keep Comic-Con over keeping the Chargers, a new column from Dan McSwain of U-T San Diego argued that the town may be better off without the team.

McSwain calls a new stadium “a bad business deal for the public,” with hidden costs beyond up-front taxpayer expenses driving the contribution much higher. Then there’s the question of whether having an NFL team in town actually generates significant revenue.

As a practical matter, the column gives those not inclined to subsidize a new NFL stadium more ammunition for arguments with those who do. And if gives those who are on the fence about the issue ammunition for coming to a conclusion that having the Chargers move 90 miles up the road may not be such a bad thing.

Ultimately, it gives San Diego a way to fire a middle finger back at the franchise that currently is displaying both of them in the direction of the city.

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Ron Wolf knows Holmgren failed in Cleveland because he couldn’t find a quarterback

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Soon, Ron Wolf will enter the Hall of Fame in Canton. Just up the road resides a team with which he has multiple connections.

In addition to a short stint with the Browns in 2004 that ended quickly because then-coach Butch Davis “got a bee up wherever one gets a bee up,” Wolf had a key role in recommending the hire of Mike Holmgren as CEO by former owner Randy Lerner.

So what went wrong in Cleveland for the guy who coached the Packers team Wolf built to a Super Bowl win?

It didn’t work,” Wolf tells the Canton Repository. “I don’t know the reason why it didn’t.”

And then Wolf touched on the potential reason..

“They tried to bring a quarterback in,” Wolf said. “They brought [Colt] McCoy in, and it didn’t work. They brought [Brandon] Weeden in, and it didn’t work.”

The decision to use a first-round pick on Weeden confused Wolf.

“I was shocked when they brought Weeden in only because, from being around Mike, his first thing about a quarterback was feet,” Wolf said. “It was the first thing Mike talked about . . . feet. That guy had no feet. . . .

“To me, the No. 1 tenet in the game is, you’ve got to have a quarterback. If you don’t have a quarterback, then you can’t play. They didn’t get that guy.”

The Browns are still looking for that guy, an admission that 2014 first-rounder Johnny Manziel likely won’t become that guy and an acknowledgement that veteran Josh McCown is merely the dog-paddle option while they keep searching for that guy.

As long as there are NFL teams looking for that guy, plenty of guys who already are that guy with another team will be paid plenty of dollars to keep that guy from becoming that guy with another team.

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Mike Tice: Trent Richardson’s “quickness came around”

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There’s no clearer sign that running back Trent Richardson’s career has not gone as planned than the fact that he’s starting his fourth NFL season on his third team after being the third overall pick by the Browns in the 2012 draft.

If there’s an optimistic spin to put on Richardson signing with the Raiders after an ineffective pair of years in Indianapolis following a trade with Cleveland for a first-round pick, it’s that Richardson will get a fresh start with a new coaching staff. While discussing all of the team’s options at running back, offensive line coach Mike Tice said that the Alabama product has made a good early impression in Oakland.

“Each one has their own style,” Tice said on Sirius XM NFL Radio, via the Raiders website. “I like the [Latavius] Murray kid. He really came on in that veteran mini-camp. He got his legs under him and showed some quickness, some good finish. I thought the young man out of Alabama came on. He lost some weight, his quickness came around.”

Richardson hasn’t gotten high marks on quickness in his first two stops, making Tice’s observation a step in the right direction for a player who hasn’t taken enough of them in the last three years.

The Raiders also have Roy Helu, whose “nice hands” got a compliment from Tice as well, so there’s plenty of competition for playing time in Oakland this season. Murray is at the top of that list, but Richardson may work himself into another chance if he can keep doing things that the coaching staff likes once camp gets underway.

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Packers issue statement on Andrew Quarless, saying little

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After Packers tight end Andrew Quarless was accused of firing two shots during an argument with a group of women, it wouldn’t have been at all surprising if the Packers had issued a statement saying they had cut him. So the Packers’ actual statement is good news for Quarless.

Instead of cutting him immediately, the Packers have issued the boilerplate statement that teams often issue when a player finds himself in off-field trouble.

“We are aware of the matter involving Andrew Quarless and are in the process of gathering more information. We will withhold further comment,” the team’s statement said.

Unless the “more information” the Packers gather shows that he’s been falsely accused, there’s still a very good chance he’s going to find himself unemployed before the start of training camp.

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Odell Beckham: One-handed catch “still a little crazy to me”

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Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham made several big plays during his rookie season, but any list of his highlights will start with his leaping, one-handed touchdown catch against the Cowboys on November 23.

The Giants lost the game, although that didn’t do anything to dim the luster of Beckham’s grab in the days, weeks and months after the game. In an interview to accompany his naked photos in ESPN the Magazine, Beckham said it is “unfortunate, in a way, to be known only for ‘the catch'” because of all the things he accomplished as a rookie.

Acclaim for Beckham’s rookie output went well beyond praise for that catch, which even Beckham finds it hard to believe he pulled off.

“When I watch it, I’m like, ‘Wow, that really happened!’ It’s still a little crazy to me. I envisioned myself making some kind of catch in the end zone, but I didn’t know exactly what it was going to be,” Beckham said. “You have to have a picture of what you want to do before you can do it — I learned that from [Cardinals safety] Tyrann Mathieu. I knew that I was capable of it, but just seeing it and the reaction to it, it was by far the craziest thing that has ever happened to me.”

As long as Beckham is healthy, something the team can’t take for granted after more hamstring trouble this offseason, there should be plenty more highlights to come in 2015. None of them may surpass his catch against the Cowboys, but it will be even harder to believe that anyone knows him just for one catch if he can replicate the rest of his 2014 work.

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Ronde Barber sees “zero fear” in Jameis Winston

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Former Buccaneers cornerback Ronde Barber struck plenty of fear in the hearts of quarterbacks, thanks to a level of versatility that made his approach to any given play unpredictable. But Barber apparently wouldn’t have rattled new Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, because Barber sees in Winston a guy who won’t get rattled.

[H]e plays with zero fear,” Barber recently said, via JoeBucsFan.com. “He’ll let go of any ball. He has that confidence.

“I’ve played against guys that have supreme confidence in themselves and their ability to make plays. You can already see it. He has no fear letting the ball go.”

Barber said he has seen fear from Winston’s predecessor at Florida State, EJ Manuel.

“He’s timid. He holds the ball,” Barber said of Manuel. “He’s scared to deliver it when he needs to. [Winston] is the complete opposite, maybe to a detriment at times. He throws a lot of interceptions.”

Despite the interception, Barber used what he dubbed a “tired-ass cliche” in saying Winston has “that ‘it,’ that bravado, that gunslinger mentality.”

Still, the mentality has to be matched by the physicality. Can Winston hold up between the white lines against the freakish athletes who play defense in the NFL? If the answer to that question is no, he’ll end up losing his bravado, quickly.

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Austin Collie catches TD in CFL debut

AFC Championship: New England Patriots Vs. Denver Broncos Getty Images

July is a very slow month in the NFL until training camps open and July 4 falling on Saturday means it has been even quieter than usual the last few days, but it was opening weekend for the B.C. Lions in the CFL.

That meant it was also time for wide receiver Austin Collie to get back on a field for a meaningful game since he was with the Patriots during the 2013 season. Collie’s NFL career, most of which was spent with the Colts, was derailed by concussions, but he’s healthy and made a positive impact in a losing cause for the Lions.

Collie caught five passes for 65 yards and a touchdown, suggesting he’s right to feel that his tank isn’t on empty yet.

“I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s so much for the love of the game,” Collie said, via the Salt Lake Tribune. “I just felt like I wasn’t done. That feeling of not being done, that’s what kept my drive going.”

The Lions lost 27-16 to the Ottawa Redblacks in the debut for Collie and head coach Jeff Tedford, who was supposed to be the offensive coordinator in Tampa last year before a health problem kept him away from the team. Henry Burris, who had stints with the Packers and Bears, threw three touchdowns for Ottawa.

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