Skip to content

Cutler fine if he gets franchised, if the Bears want to

Baltimore Ravens v Chicago Bears Getty Images

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler knows his injuries aren’t helping him get a long-term contract, but he said during his weekly radio show that he’s fine if the Bears decide to use the franchise tag on him this offseason.

In fact, it sounds like he’s already making summer plans.

I’m not gonna take anything personally,” Cutler said on ESPN 1000. “If they want to franchise me, I’m gonna feel good about the situation we’re in. We’re gonna be in our second year of the offense with these guys. We’re gonna be better. I’m gonna be better. So it’s not personal. It’s business.”

Of course, he admitted that if the tag comes (a one-year deal worth north of $16 million), he might not spend the whole offseason getting better with his teammates.

“Well, you just don’t show up for a little while,” Cutler said. “But everyone at some point comes back to work, right? I’m not just gonna not show up. I might be like, ‘I’m gonna miss a few OTAs and go on an extra vacation.’ But at some point, I’m gonna be back there.”

That said, Cutler made he clear he wanted to “stay in Chicago,” and thought the progress the offense showed this year made it more likely the group might stay together.

Of course, General Manager Phil Emery and coach Marc Trestman have a say in the process as well.

Permalink 26 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Chicago Bears, Home, Rumor Mill
yo

Judge in NJ gambling case is Marcel Shipp’s brother, which gambling supporters say is a conflict

Cincinnati Bengals v Arizona Cardinals Getty Images

Michael Shipp, the judge who granted a temporary restraining order preventing New Jersey from legalizing sports gambling in the state, is the brother of former NFL running back Marcel Shipp. Some supporters of sports betting in the Garden State say that’s a conflict of interest.

Marcel Shipp played for the Cardinals from 2001 to 2007 and has expressed interest in coaching in the NFL (he is currently an assistant at his alma mater, UMass). According to some advocates of sports gambling in New Jersey, that calls into question the partiality of his brother, the judge who handed down the ruling the NFL wanted to prevent the state from beginning its plan to allow sports gambling at racetracks and casinos.

State Sen. Raymond Lesniak told the Asbury Park Press that Judge Shipp should recuse himself from the sports gambling case because of “a strong appearance of a conflict of interest that could compromise Judge Shipp’s ability to make an objective decision.’’

Gaming attorney Daniel Wallach agreed, saying he’s not accusing Judge Shipp of wrongdoing but is suggesting that it’s reasonable to ask whether the judge can be unbiased given that a close family member played in the NFL and may want to work for the NFL.

“It’s not whether the judge is biased, but whether his impartiality can be questioned. That question is clearly there,’’ Wallach said.

The NFL has long opposed any expansion of sports gambling, and Judge Shipp’s ruling was a victory for the league. Supporters of gambling understandably would like to see Judge Shipp benched — even if it sounds like a stretch to suggest that his brother’s connection to the NFL calls his impartiality into question.

Permalink 0 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Johnny Manziel is fine sitting and watching for now

Johnny Manziel AP

Apparently, neither of the Fs in JFF stands for “frustrated.”

Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel said Friday that he didn’t necessarily agree with coach Mike Pettine’s assessment that he was getting antsy about not playing.

I don’t necessarily think that’s the right word,” Manziel said, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “Obviously coming from the situation I’ve been in the past couple years of every rep, every snap, every down of every game, coming into the situation that I’m in now is going to be a lot different for me. So I’m sure there are signs of this being a different situation for me, but I don’t feel frustrated. Obviously, being a competitor I want to play, but there is a difference.”

Manziel said he thinks he’s “in the role that I need to be at this time,” which is backing up Browns starter Brian Hoyer. And he acknowledged that he had a poor camp, when he was given every opportunity to make the job his own.

“I’m still extremely hungry,” he said. “I still feel that obviously coming out training camp, I was disappointed. I wanted to play better and at the same time I am a rookie and I can’t be too hard on myself. I remember thinking back to the days when I was learning the offense at [Texas] A&M. It was frustrating. And it’s like that for everybody coming into a new system and a new place a long way away from home. So there’s a lot of things that were going on in my life at the time. Now I’m a lot more settled in, a lot more comfortable with everything that’s going on in the day-to-day operations.”

The fact he’s been able to cool off a bit hasn’t hurt either, as being in the center of the social media whirl this summer only added expectations that he wasn’t ready to meet.

So for now, Johnny Football is fine with being a backup, which is a nicer F for a middle initial anyway.

Permalink 4 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Owen Daniels questionable for Sunday night

Owen Daniels AP

While Ravens tight end Owen Daniels was able to practice on Friday, his status for Sunday night’s game at Pittsburgh remains somewhat uncertain.

Daniels, who had minor knee surgery last week, is listed as questionable on the club’s injury report. According to the team, Daniels put in a full practice on Friday.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh indicated the call on Daniels will likely be made Sunday.

Crockett Gillmore and Phillip Supernaw are the tight ends behind Daniels, who is second on the Ravens in catches (27) and third in yards (275) and TD receptions (three).

Ravens defensive end Chris Canty (wrist) and left guard Marshal Yanda (knee) are also questionable, but both practiced fully on Friday. Harbaugh appeared to indicate Yanda would play.

“We’ll see how the knee reacts, but he’s a tough guy,” Harbaugh said, according to the club.

The Ravens and Steelers are each 5-3. With a win, Baltimore will sweep the season series with Pittsburgh.

Permalink 0 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Reggie Wayne gets in a full practice

Reggie Wayne AP

On Thursday, Colts coach Chuck Pagano said that it was too soon to tell if wide receiver Reggie Wayne will return to the lineup on Monday night after missing last week’s game because of an elbow injury.

Friday brought some positive developments for Pagano to consider while trying to come to a decision. Wayne was a full participant in practice, which gives the team a chance to see if the elbow issue is affecting him on the field. If it isn’t, offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton explained why the team will happily welcome him back to the offense to face the Giants.

“It makes all the difference,” Hamilton said, via the team’s website. “We just finished our third-down practice and having Reggie Wayne available makes it a lot easier for the quarterback. Find Reggie and find a way to get him the ball.”

Saturday will bring another Colts practice and the release of the team’s official injury report for Monday night. Saturday is also when we should get word on the team’s plans for safety LaRon Landry. Landry’s four-game suspension is up this week, but the team doesn’t have to activate him until Tuesday if they decide he’s not ready to help the defense yet.

Permalink 0 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Tony Romo thanks his blockers with expensive bags

17822-louis-vuitton-travel-bags

Tony Romo wanted to reward the guys who help him with his “pain tolerance,” for the fact he hasn’t had to tolerate as much this year.

According to Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com, a week after taking five sacks and injuring his back, Romo gave tight end tight end Jason Witten and his offensive linemen Louis Vuitton travel bags just before their trip to London Monday.

Appreciate it,” Witten said. “Timing is now for the London trip, I’m assuming. So perfect timing.”

The linemen are cleaning up lately, with running back DeMarco Murray giving them iMac computers after they helped him to six straight 100-yard games.

“They’re taking care of us this year,” left guard Ronald Leary said. “We appreciate it.”

Of course, if they want the tokens of appreciate to continue, they might want to keep Romo on his feet.

Permalink 30 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Ryan Mathews practices for first time since knee injury

San Diego Chargers v Arizona Cardinals Getty Images

The Chargers won’t have running back Ryan Mathews in the lineup when they play in Miami on Sunday, but it looks like there’s a good chance that he’ll be able to play when they return from their bye in Week 11.

Mathews was a limited participant in Friday’s practice, which marked the first time that he’s been able to practice in any capacity since getting hurt in the second week of the regular season. It’s the first step back toward being active for a game, something coach Mike McCoy suggested would be happening sooner rather than later.

“He’s getting close,” McCoy said, via Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego.

The backfield should have one returning player this weekend even with Mathews ruled out once again. Donald Brown is listed as probable to play after recovering from a concussion, although Branden Oliver will likely continue to be the top option on the ground given how he’s played over the last few weeks.

Permalink 3 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Eric Berry set to return this Sunday

Denver Broncos vs. Kansas City Chiefs Getty Images

The Chiefs have won four of their last five games and they’ll get some help in their quest to make it five of six against the Jets this Sunday.

Coach Andy Reid said Friday that safety Eric Berry will play for the first time since spraining his ankle in September. Berry has missed the last five games while recovering from the injury and Reid said he wasn’t sure what his role would wind up being against the Jets.

“We’ll just see how he does, see how he feels,” Reid said, via Herbie Teope of the Associated Press.

Ron Parker has replaced Berry in the starting lineup during his time on the sideline and done a solid job, so Kansas City will likely find a role for him once Berry resumes a full workload in the secondary.

Cornerback Jamell Fleming, linebacker Josh Martin, cornerback Chris Owens and wide receiver Donnie Avery have all been ruled out.

Permalink 3 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Jordan Cameron out this week after his third concussion

Jordan Cameron AP

The Browns will be without tight end Jordan Cameron for at least another week, as coach Mike Pettine said he’d miss this week’s game against the Buccaneers because of his concussion.

According to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Pettine said “we’ll see about next week” when asked about Cameron for next Thursday night against the Bengals.

Cameron’s concussion last week against the Raiders was his third in two seasons.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate to do it right at this time when it’s still fresh and [he's] recovering from it,” Pettine said when asked about long-term concerns. “We’ll see how long it takes and the severity of this one. If that’s something we need to address we will.”

Without Cameron, the Browns will rely on Jim Dray and Gary Barnidge.

Also, defensive lineman Phil Taylor will miss his fourth straight game because of a knee injury, while Billy Winn is expected back after missing three games with a quad injury.

 

Permalink 4 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Rivera thinks Hardy should be allowed to return to the Panthers

Carolina Panthers v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Getty Images

Panthers coach Ron Rivera wants defensive end Greg Hardy back.

Hardy, who is awaiting a jury trial on a domestic violence charge, has been on the commissioner’s exempt list (essentially the NFL’s version of paid leave) since Week Three. Now that Hardy’s trial has been postponed until after the season, Rivera believes it’s only fair that Hardy be allowed to play, rather than to have to wait indefinitely for due process.

In so many words, yes,’’ Rivera said when asked by reporters if Hardy should be allowed to return, via ESPN. “If things had all transpired and gone a certain way, then his availability might be now.’’

Hardy, who was initially allowed to play in Week One before being deactivated for Week Two, has already missed eight games. The NFL’s proposal to toughen the rules against players who commit domestic violence included a suspension of six games for a domestic violence conviction, so you could make the argument that Hardy should already be finished with his league-imposed discipline.

Of course, you could also argue that Hardy has been lucky to be placed on paid leave, rather than a suspension without pay. And you could argue that it’s simply untenable in the NFL right now to allow Hardy to play until and unless he’s been cleared of the domestic violence charge. Now it appears that Hardy will neither be convicted nor cleared until after this season is over, which means that he may remain in the limbo that is the commissioner’s exempt list for the rest of the season. Even if Rivera thinks that’s unfair.

Permalink 43 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Hall re-tore Achilles by slipping while getting pizza

Noid

The Noid strikes back.

For the second straight year, a pizza-related incident has resulted in an injury to an NFL player.  Last year, former Lions receiver Nate Burleson broke an arm in a car accident that happened after Burleson tried to keep a pizza from falling onto the floor.

This year, Washington cornerback DeAngelo Hall re-tore his surgically-repaired Achilles tendon when he slipped and fell in his kitchen while getting a slice of pizza, according to Tarik El-Bashir of CSN Washington.

Hall will have a second surgery to re-attach the tendon.  At this point, there’s no reason to think he won’t be ready to go in 2015.

As long as he’s more careful during those late-night pizza runs.

Permalink 37 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Joseph Randle and Dez Bryant try to step slowly away from spat

Dez Bryant, Michael Irvin AP

Maybe it’s the second-biggest mistake he’s ever made in his life.

Cowboys running back Joseph Randle, who has made all the wrong kind of headlines lately, was on the apology trail again after practice Friday.

According to Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Randle said he regrets everything he said during his booking on charges of stealing underwear and cologne.

That apparently includes asking a female cop for a massage in exchange for $100, and invoking teammates Dez Bryant and Josh Brent in an effort to minimize his own mistake.

The mention of Bryant triggered a spat at practice today, with veteran tight end Jason Witten stepping in to tell Randle to shut up.

Bryant tried to de-escalate the matter, telling Calvin Watkins of ESPNDallas.com it apparently wasn’t a deal of any substantive size.

“Oh man, it’s all good, it’s all right,” Bryant said. “That ain’t no big deal, it ain’t a big deal. It ain’t no big deal.”

Of course, the adventures of a backup running back wouldn’t be a big deal at all if he learned to pay for his own drawers and not talk too much.

Permalink 21 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Illness has Jadeveon Clowney unlikely to play this weekend

Houston Texans v Tennessee Titans Getty Images

The Texans got linebacker Jadeveon Clowney back in the lineup last weekend after a long spell on the sideline following surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee, but coach Bill O’Brien indicated Friday that Clowney may not be able to play this Sunday.

Tania Ganguli of ESPN.com reports that O’Brien said that the chances of Clowney playing against the Eagles don’t look good at the moment.

It’s not a setback with his knee that is causing concern for the team, however. Ganguli reports that Clowney is ill and presumably that sickness has left him drained enough that the team is concerned he won’t be back to full strength in time for Sunday’s kickoff.

The Texans website doesn’t mention the illness, but calls Clowney a game-time decision and reports that the team will check him out on Saturday before making a final determination.

Permalink 19 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

A.J. Green on track to play, Giovani Bernard ruled out

Tennessee Titans v Cincinnati Bengals Getty Images

The Bengals announced some good news and some bad news for their offense on Friday.

The good news is that it looks like wide receiver A.J. Green should be in the lineup against the Jaguars this Sunday. Green has missed the last three weeks with a toe injury, but he practiced every day this week and coach Marvin Lewis said on Friday that he should play this weekend.

“A.J. has looked fine,” Lewis said, via the team’s website. “He wants to play. He’s telling everybody he wants to play. If everything stays the way it is, he’ll play.”

Green is officially listed as questionable and now it’s time to get to the bad news. Running back Giovani Bernard has been ruled out because of the hip injury that’s kept him out of practice this week. It’s a setback for the Bengals Offense, although it will likely give them a chance to take an extended look at rookie Jeremy Hill on Sunday. The Bengals play the Browns next Thursday night, but Lewis said it was too soon to say whether Bernard would be healthy enough to play at that point.

Permalink 5 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Lovie Smith takes a jab at Mark Barron’s “passive” comment

Minnesota Vikings v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Getty Images

Now-Rams safety Mark Barron took a shot at his former team on the way out the door, so they returned fire.

After Barron referred to the Buccaneers Defense as “passive,” Bucs coach Lovie Smith took a dig at the former first round pick.

Via Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times, Smith was asked about wide receiver Mike Evans trying to chase down Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr during last week’s game-winning overtime fumble return.

“The effort he gave, he looked like a safety on that play,” Smith said. “One that wasn’t real passive on that play, going down and trying to strip the ball.”

Zing.

Then asked specifically about Barron’s comments, Smith defended his style.

“I’m not going to talk about any players that aren’t here anymore,” Smith said. “Our safety position that we play, one of the requirements isn’t for you to be passive, I will say that.”

That must be why the Bucs were willing to take a fourth- and a sixth-round pick in exchange for a guy who was the seventh overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft, a choice not made while Smith was there.

Permalink 11 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Bashaud Breeland headed for MRI after knee injury in practice

Washington Redskins v Dallas Cowboys Getty Images

Redskins rookie cornerback Bashaud Breeland had a strong game against Cowboys receivers Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams last Monday night as Washington was on its way to beating Dallas in overtime, but he may not get an immediate chance to follow up on it.

Coach Jay Gruden said, via Mike Jones of the Washington Post, that Breeland got his cleat caught in the grass during Friday’s practice and hurt his knee. Breeland is going to have an MRI so the team can assess the severity of the damage.

While we can’t know what the imaging will turn up, non-contact knee injuries have a habit of costing players a fair amount of time. If that’s the case for Breeland, it will interrupt his rookie season at a moment when things appeared to be coming together for him. Breeland saw his playing time rise after DeAngelo Hall’s initial Achilles tear and he’s responded to the increased responsibility well.

If Breeland is out, E.J. Biggers, Chase Minnifield and Tracy Porter are likely options to see increased playing time in his absence.

Permalink 10 Comments Feed for comments Back to top