Skip to content

Roethlisberger contract looms over Steelers’ season

Ben AP

It was no accident that, in an “exclusive” interview with the website he ultimately owns, Steelers president Art Rooney II declared that his most important employee, Ben Roethlisberger, won’t be getting a new contract until after the 2014 season.  Obivously, the Steelers wanted to push their version — the practical equivalent of a press release — to the public before Roethlisberger had a chance to share his own narrative.

Roethlisberger has now shared his own narrative.  And it goes a little something like this:  I want $20 million per year.

He should.  Lesser quarterbacks with fewer Super Bowl wins already get that much and more.  Despite having an $18.895 million cap number pumped up by restructurings in past years that helped the team stay on the right side of the salary cap, Roethlisberger gets $12.1 million in 2014.  Next year, the final season of his long-term contract, Ben will receive $11.6 million.

“Playing this year at my current salary, it’s kind of taking a hometown discount,” Roethlisberger told Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.  “I’ve played seven years on my current contract, which is the most of any [NFL] player or any quarterback. . . .  It is kind of taking a discount compared to maybe where it could be compared to other quarterbacks.”

On one hand, no one forced Roethlisberger to commit through 2015.  On the other hand, his currently resides well below market value.  Although he has two years left on his contract, that’s typically when the Steelers have addressed quarterback deals in the past.

“Usually the Steelers do a quarterback deal with two years to go, which would be this year. . . .  It’s kind of a unique thing,” Roethlisberger said.

He could have said a lot of words other than “unique.”

While Roethlisberger said he “prays” he can stay with the Steelers, he added that he must “do what’s best for his family.” That’s a mild adjustment to his comments from the 2013 season, when reports attributed to “Steelers sources” from the national network the Steelers partially own indicated that Roethlisberger possibly wanted to be trade, forcing Roethlisberger to declare that he never wants to leave.

Is it that crazy to think the Steelers may have leaked the information (before officially denying its accuracy, of course) in order to cajole from an angry Roethlisberger the kind of strong verbal commitment to stay that would make it a lot harder for him to threaten to leave if he doesn’t eventually get top dollar?

I’d retire before I’d accept a trade,” Roethlisberger said at the time.

Whether that works remains to be seen.  He told Robinson that the Broncos have built a Super Bowl team around Peyton Manning, despite paying him $15 million this year and carrying a cap charge of $17.5 million.  With the salary cap going up $10 million in 2014 and expected to begin an annual series of spikes, the Steelers should be able to pay Roethlisberger market value.

Then again, the only way to get true market value is to get to the market.  The Steelers hold Roethlisberger’s rights through 2015, and an $18.395 million cap number next year would drive his franchise tender to $22.074 million.  If the Steelers opt for the exclusive version of the tag (which probably wouldn’t increase the tender beyond $22.074 million), Roethlisberger will have to play for the Steelers, or no one.

Under that formula, freedom may not come until 2017, when Roethlisberger would be due to make $26.4888 million, at a time when he’ll still be three years younger than Peyton Manning is right now.

It all becomes moot if the Steelers work Roethlisberger out to a long-term deal after the season.  But if he believes he’s already giving the Steelers a hometown discount, he may not be inclined to do it again.  Which could make it harder to find a middle ground that both sides find acceptable.

Permalink 77 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Pittsburgh Steelers, Rumor Mill, Top Stories
yo

Jarran Reed denies spitting on Joe Hawley

GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 23:  Defensive tackle Jarran Reed #90 of the Seattle Seahawks during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 23, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals and Seahawks tied 6-6.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Getty Images

Bucs center Joe Hawleythinks” Seahawks defensive lineman Jarran Reed spat in Hawley’s face last Sunday. Reed denies that he supplied any saliva.

“First of all, we play in between the lines,” Reed said, via Curtis Crabtree of KJR (and PFT). “You can go back and watch the film. You will see that. If he thinks he’s a clean player, then I don’t know what he’s seeing. But as far as the allegation of me spitting in his face, that’s not true at all. I mean, show me the play, show me where I did it, then you can say something. Other than that, I just think it’s funny.”

There’s not much that’s funny about Reed’s attitude toward the Buccaneers or fans that have been criticizing him on anti-social media for spitting.

“I definitely saw it earlier on my Twitter account,” Reed said. “I guess the Buccaneers nation is pretty pissed. But I really don’t care. I don’t care for him or their organization or about the comments he made. That’s really it. They can keep talking about it all they want to.”

As Crabtree notes, Hawley became irate at Reed after the first play of the fourth quarter. But the TV broadcast of the game was not focused on the two men before it became clear Hawley was upset. So why was Hawley mad, Jarran?

“I mean, I don’t know, I guess because he couldn’t block a rookie the way he wanted to,” Reed said. “So I’d be pretty pissed too. I guess you need to do a better job. . . .

“Nobody said nothing after the game. It was all cordial. Nobody was mad or anything. Now all of the sudden . . . I thought we were all grown men. I think it’s pretty funny. He sounds like a 14-year old girl running to everybody, ‘Oh, he spit in my face’ and all that. Anyways, next.”

“Next” is probably the most accurate assessment, from the league’s perspective. If the NFL would be punishing Reed for the incident, it would have happened before Friday. It’s unknown whether the Buccaneers specifically complained to the league office about it.

Permalink 3 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Man who killed Joe McKnight previously cited for battery at same intersection

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 23:  Joe McKnight #30 of the Kansas City Chiefs is tackled after making a catch by Audie Cole #57 of the Minnesota Vikings  at Arrowhead Stadium on August 23, 2014 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) Getty Images

The man who shot and killed former NFL player Joe McKnight over an apparent traffic incident had previously been cited for battery over a confrontation at the very same intersection where he killed McKnight.

The New Orleans Advocate reports that Ronald Gasser, who admits he shot and killed McKnight on Thursday, was issued a misdemeanor summons for simple battery in 2006, after another motorist called 911 and reported that Gasser had followed him to a gas station and punched him over a traffic dispute. That dispute took place at Holmes Boulevard and Behrman Highway in the New Orleans suburb of Terrytown, the very same intersection where Gasser shot McKnight.

In the 2006 incident, police say the victim had first called a phone number on a pickup truck to report that the truck was being driven unsafely. It turned out that Gasser was the one driving the truck, and the phone number listed on the truck was Gasser’s cell phone. Gasser answered the call for unsafe driving, berated the caller, figured out which nearby car the call was coming from, and followed the man.

Gasser’s misdemeanor battery summons was later dismissed for reasons that the Sheriff’s Office now says are unclear.

After Gasser killed McKnight on Thursday, he stayed at the scene, acknowledged to police that he had committed the shooting, and gave officers the gun. Although Gasser was initially brought to a police station, he was released without charges. Gasser claims he shot McKnight in self defense, and Louisiana law allows people to shoot to kill if they believe they are being threatened.

Permalink 38 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Mark Helfrich talked to Chip Kelly about an Oregon return

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 03:  Head coach Chip Kelly of the Oregon Ducks participates in a post-game press conference after they defeated the Kansas State Wildcats 35 to 17 in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 3, 2013 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) Getty Images

After Oregon fired coach Mark Helfrich, 49ers coach Chip Kelly insisted he’s not interested in returning to the place where he had his greatest coaching success. But the topic has been discussed.

Helfrich himself said on ESPN Radio that he talked to Kelly about the possibility that Kelly would take his place. Helfrich wanted Kelly to know there would be no hard feelings if Kelly decided to return, and in fact Helfrich said he hopes Kelly does succeed him because Kelly would be more likely to keep some of his assistants in place than a new coach who would clean house.

However, Helfrich said he thinks Kelly is committed to remaining coach of the 49ers.

“I think he wants to make it right in the NFL. I think he wants to win at that level. He’s had a rough go of it this year, but he’ll make it right,” Helfrich said of Kelly.

All indications are that Kelly prefers coaching in the NFL to coaching in college, in large part because Kelly dislikes recruiting. The question, however, is whether Kelly may soon find himself unable to land an NFL job. After getting fired in Philadelphia last year, he’s 1-10 in San Francisco this year. If he gets fired by the 49ers, he might return to college because he has no job available to him in the NFL. But it sounds like it would have to reach that point before Kelly would consider leaving the pros.

Permalink 12 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Jerry Jones expects La’el Collins to be back this year

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 18: Quarterback Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys passes while teammate offensive guard La'el Collins #71 blocks against the Washington Redskins in the first quarter at FedExField on September 18, 2016 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Cowboys’ already good offensive line may soon get better.

La’el Collins, who has been out since Week Three with a foot injury, is expected to return soon. Cowboys owner and General Manager Jerry Jones said on his radio show on 105.3 The Fan that the Cowboys plan to use their return designation on Collins, allowing him to be the one player on injured reserve to come back and play this year.

What remains to be seen is whether Collins returns to the starting lineup. Although he was the starting left guard before he got hurt, Ron Leary has played so well in Collins’ absence that Leary may keep the starting job.

“So that gives us depth going into the playoffs. We’ve got the quarterbacks. We’ve got our offensive line,” Jones said. “This thing looks good.”

The Cowboys look very good, and a good player getting back on the field will only make them look better.

Permalink 6 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Seahawks were first team to challenge on a penalty in the end zone

TAMPA, FL - NOVEMBER 27: Head coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks looks on against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first quarter of the game at Raymond James Stadium on November 27, 2016 in Tampa, Florida. The Buccaneers defeated the Seahawks 14-5. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Getty Images

When Seahawks coach Pete Carroll threw his challenge flag on Sunday in Tampa Bay, wanting the officials to rule that a Buccaneers holding penalty had taken place in the end zone rather than the field of play, you may have said, “I didn’t think a coach could challenge that.”

That’s because until Carroll did it on Sunday, no coach ever had.

The rule allowing coaches to challenge the spot of a penalty that would result in a safety in the end zone is a new rule this season, and no coach had ever used that challenge before. NFL Senior V.P. of Officiating Dean Blandino said in a video distributed to the media that Carroll rightly challenged the ruling on the field: The Buccaneers had committed holding in the end zone, and it should have been a safety, not half the distance to the goal line from the 1-yard line, which is what the officials ruled on the field.

“Seattle challenged the ruling which is new this year — they can challenge the spot of a foul,” Blandino said. “That’s a good challenge, the first time we’ve had a review of this nature and certainly the first overturn to create a safety because of a foul occurring in the end zone. So that is a new rule this year. You can review the spot of a foul, and good use of the challenge in this situation.”

The NFL regularly adds new calls that can be challenged by the coaches. Eventually the NFL may just adopt the Bill Belichick proposal to allow everything to be challenged.

Permalink 12 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

NFL Referees Association hasn’t heard from league regarding full-time officials

BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 09:  NFL referee hat on the field during a football game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Washington Redskins at M&T Bank Stadium on October 9, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) Getty Images

The NFL made news on Thursday by saying that it plans to hire up to 17 full-time officials this offseason. That news was news to the NFL Referees Association.

“Like so many things, the devil is in the details and we have yet to hear from the league on those details,” NFLRA executive director Scott Green said in a statement. “We look forward to meeting with them to discuss numerous issues, this being one of them.”

The notion of hiring some full-time officials isn’t new; the ability to do so simply hasn’t been implemented to the extent that it could be.

“We agreed in the 2012 Collective Bargaining Agreement that we did not oppose using some full-time officials under certain circumstances including equitable compensation, benefits, clearly documented work duties, employee protections, etc.,” Green said. “Details such as these should be discussed in the off season.”

In other words, the NFLRA has no problem with the concept of full-time officials, as long as they receive fair compensation and protections. With some officials having lucrative primary jobs, getting them to give up their separate compensation (and the security that comes from having other work for which they aren’t regularly graded and potentially terminated if they make too many mistakes) becomes expensive.

Permalink 20 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Week 13 injury report roundup

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 28:   Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates the 27-13 win over the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on November 28, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) Getty Images

Week 13 kicked off on Thursday with a Cowboys win and it continues with 13 more games on Sunday, which means that the 26 teams in those games submitted their final injury reports of the week on Friday.

Questionable players are uncertain to play, doubtful players are unlikely to play and out should be self-explanatory. Players who are on active rosters and don’t appear below should be considered in the lineup barring any announcements on Saturday. The teams playing on Monday night won’t release their injury reports until Saturday and are not listed here.

With that housekeeping out of the way, here are all the injury reports for Sunday.

Chiefs at Falcons

The Chiefs listed LB Dee Ford (hamstring), LB Justin Houston (shoulder), WR Jeremy Maclin (groin), DT Dontari Poe (back) and DE Kendall Reyes (knee) as questionable. Poe didn’t practice at all this week.

DE Adrian Clayborn (knee) is out for the Falcons and LB Paul Worrilow (illness) is listed as questionable on a short injury report.

Dolphins at Ravens

C Mike Pouncey (hip) is out again this week, but Dolphins coach Adam Gase expressed optimism about getting T Branden Albert (wrist) and G Laremy Tunsil (shoulder) back. They’re listed as questionable along with LB Kiko Alonso (hamstring), T Jermon Bushrod (calf), RB Kenyan Drake (knee), LB Jelani Jenkins (knee, hand), DT Earl Mitchell (back) and WR DeVante Parker (back). CB Xavien Howard (knee) is listed as doubtful.

TE Crockett Gillmore (thigh), T Alex Lewis (ankle) and RB Lorenzo Taliaferro (thigh) are out for the Ravens. RB Buck Allen (non football injury) is listed as doubtful while WR Kamar Aiken (thigh) and CB Jimmy Smith (back) are listed as questionable.

49ers at Bears

Questionable listings for LB Aaron Lynch (ankle) and WR Quinton Patton (concussion) account for the entire 49ers injury report.

QB Jay Cutler (shoulder) is headed for injured reserve, but isn’t there yet so the Bears ruled him out. S Adrian Amos (foot), LB Leonard Floyd (concussion), CB Deiondre’ Hall (ankle), WR Eddie Royal (toe), G Josh Sitton (ankle) and LB Willie Young (knee) are listed as questionable for Chicago.

Eagles at Bengals

Eagles RB Ryan Mathews (knee) and T Halapoulivaati Vaitai (knee) will not play on Sunday. WR Jordan Matthews (ankle) is listed as questionable.

WR A.J. Green (hamstring) remains out for the Bengals. DE Wallace Gilberry (calf) and S Derron Smith (thigh) have both been ruled out. LS Clark Harris (groin) and TE C.J. Uzomah (calf) are on track to being ruled out as well after drawing doubtful tags.

Texans at Packers

The Texans won’t have RB Tyler Ervin (ribs), LB John Simon (chest), WR Jaelen Strong (ankle) this weekend. They listed RB Alfred Blue (calf), DE Jadeveon Clowney (elbow, wrist), LB Brian Cushing (back) and S Andre Hal (illness) as questionable.

QB Aaron Rodgers (hamstring) was limited in practice all week and is listed as questionable. Linebackers Blake Martinez (knee), LB Clay Matthews (shoulder) and Jake Ryan (ankle) are also listed as questionable. LB Kyler Fackrell (hamstring) and CB Demetri Goodson (knee) will not play and neither G T.J. Lang (foot) nor C J.C. Tretter (knee) is expected to play after being listed as doubtful.

Broncos at Jaguars

The Broncos ruled out WR Bennie Fowler (knee), LS Casey Kreiter (calf) and QB Trevor Siemian (foot).

WR Rashad Greene (achilles), WR Allen Hurns (hamstring), RB Chris Ivory (hamstring) and DE Jared Odrick (shoulder) have been ruled out by the Jaguars. TE Julius Thomas (back) is unlikely to play after being listed as doubtful and DE Yannick Ngakoue (ankle) drew a questionable designation.

Rams at Patriots

The Rams don’t expect to have WR Tavon Austin (chest) in New England after listing him as doubtful. C Tim Barnes (foot), T Andrew Donnal (hip), DE Robert Quinn (concussion) and T Rodger Saffold (hand) are listed as questionable.

S Jordan Richards (knee) joins TE Rob Gronkowski (back) as Patriots who will not play this weekend. TE Martellus Bennett (ankle, shoulder), QB Tom Brady (knee), S Nate Ebner (concussion), WR Julian Edelman (foot), DE Trey Flowers (shin), DT Woodrow Hamilton (illness), WR Chris Hogan (back), LB Elandon Roberts (jaw) and WR Matt Slater (foot) are this week’s group of questionable players.

Lions at Saints

Lions DE Ziggy Ansah (ankle), S Don Carey (hamstring), WR Marvin Jones (thigh), LB DeAndre Levy (knee), RB Theo Riddick (ankle) and LB Tahir Whitehead (knee) are all listed as questionable for Sunday’s game in New Orleans.

RB Mark Ingram (toe) is questionable for the Saints after returning to practice on Friday. T Terron Armstead (knee, quadricep) and RB Daniel Lasco (hamstring) have been ruled out.

Bills at Raiders

The Bills took full use of the questionable designation this week by using it on LB Lorenzo Alexander (ankle), S Sergio Brown (hamstring), TE Charles Clay (knee), DT Marcell Dareus (abdomen), RB Mike Gillislee (hamstring), T Cordy Glenn (back), WR Marquise Goodwin (wrist), S James Ihedigbo (ankle), G Richie Incognito (neck), G John Miller (shoulder) and WR Sammy Watkins (foot). They veered away by ruling out CB Ronald Darby (concussion), WR Percy Harvin (illness) and WR Robert Woods (knee).

CB D.J. Hayden (hamstring) is ruled out and the team will be placing him on injured reserve. DT Darius Latham (ankle), DT Stacy McGee (ankle) and LB Shilique Calhoun (knee) have also been ruled out. CB David Amerson (knee), WR Michael Crabtree (ankle), C Rodney Hudson (knee), RB Latavius Murray (ankle), G Kelechi Osemele (knee), LB Perry Riley (hamstring) and LB Malcolm Smith (hamstring) are listed as questionable.

Redskins at Cardinals

The Redskins won’t have DL Anthony Lanier (shin) or TE Jordan Reed (shoulder) this weekend. CB Bashaud Breeland (ankle), LB Terence Garvin (shoulder), DE Ricky Jean Francois (knee), LB Trent Murphy (ankle), T Ty Nsekhe (ankle), G Brandon Scherff (ankle), LS Nick Sundberg (back) and RB Chris Thompson (illness) were all listed as questionable.

S Tyrann Mathieu (shoulder) isn’t expected to play for the Cardinals thanks to a doubtful listing. WR John Brown (illness) is questionable as he continues to look for an answer to problems caused by his sickle cell trait.

Giants at Steelers

The Giants ruled out S Nat Berhe (concussion), LB Mark Herzlich (concussion), DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa (knee) and G Justin Pugh (knee). Offensive linemen Brett Jones (calf) and Marshall Newhouse (knee) are both questionable after missing last week.

The Steelers ruled out WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (foot) and RB DeAngelo Williams (knee), but have no one else with an injury designation this week.

Buccaneers at Chargers

S Chris Conte (chest) and C Evan Smith (knee) were ruled out by the Buccaneers. DT Gerald McCoy (foot), TE Brandon Myers (hip), RB Jacquizz Rodgers (foot) and S Ryan Smith (shoulder) are listed as questionable.

Chargers LB Jeremiah Attaochu (foot), LB Jatavis Brown (knee) and CB Brandon Flowers (concussion) are out this weekend. TE Asante Cleveland (concussion, knee), DT Tenny Palepoi (shoulder) and WR Tyrell Williams (shoulder) drew questionable tags.

Panthers at Seahawks

The Panthers ruled out DE Mario Addison (foot), S Kurt Coleman (concussion), LB Luke Kuechly (concussion) and T Daryl Williams (ankle) on Friday.

DE Michael Bennett (knee) is expected back for the Seahawks, but drew a questionable tag. DE Damontre Moore (foot), RB Troymaine Pope (ankle) and TE Luke Willson (knee) are listed the same way. LB Brock Coyle (foot), RB C.J. Prosise (shoulder), WR Paul Richardson (hamstring) and LB Jordan Tripp (thigh) have been ruled out.

Permalink 7 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Report: NFL will loosen some rules for teams posting on social media

20100503_i-phone-twitter-getty_w Getty Images

Following criticism that followed a strange set of new rules for team accounts, Yahoo Finance reported Friday that the NFL is changing its social media policy again.

The most public — and most criticized — part of the changes that took effect in October related to the posting of in-game video. The NFL changed the rules and threatened to fine teams up to $100,000 if they posted in-game video footage to their social media accounts before the league made the footage available on an internal server.

That generally related to teams posting GIFs or other short videos on their official Twitter accounts during games. For example, the Patriots didn’t violate rules in October by posting a replay of a Tom Brady touchdown pass because it had already been posted on the league’s official Twitter page.

Some teams responded to the rule changes by posting cartoons or photos of the old electric football game depicting that day’s matchup.

The Yahoo Finance report said the new changes could be implemented as early as next week, Week 14 of the season, and that those changes relate to the window for posting in-game content and additional flexibility for posting highlights. Though details were scarce, the report said the rule about not posting plays before the league does is likely to stay in place.

It seems to make sense to allow teams to share big plays and other highlights to push folks towards actually tuning into the games, and we’ll see if common sense prevails.

UPDATE: The Yahoo Finance report was updated to add that the rule changes include a “test agreement” between the NFL and Giphy to make the GIF provider the “source of high quality and authentic NFL GIFs of ancillary game and historical/iconic content.”

Permalink 12 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

David Bruton out in Washington after signing three-year deal in offseason

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 12: Defensive back David Bruton #30 of the Washington Redskins celebrates after breaking up a pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second quarter at FedExField on September 12, 2016 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) Getty Images

Safety David Bruton signed a three-year deal with the Redskins as a free agent this offseason, but his stay in Washington has come to an end after appearing in four games.

Bruton opened the season as a starter for the Redskins, but landed on injured reserve after four games because of a concussion. The team signed Donte Whitner to fill his spot on the defense and announced on Friday that they have released Bruton off of I.R.

Bruton’s deal had a total possible value of $9 million and he had a $2.5 million signing bonus, which will leave the Redskins with dead money on the cap next year.

The Redskins also announced that they have waived tackle Blaine Clausell and promoted cornerback Dashaun Phillips from the practice squad. Cornerback Bashaud Breeland is listed as questionable to play against the Cardinals because of an ankle injury.

Permalink 13 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Broncos promote practice-squader to replace their punt returner

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 27:  Wide receiver Jordan Norwood #11 of the Denver Broncos jumps while tackled by wide receiver De'Anthony Thomas #13 of the Kansas City Chiefs in the second quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on November 27, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) Getty Images

Aqib Talib won’t have a chance to shove Jordan Norwood for muffing another punt.

Primarily because the Broncos have replaced Norwood in that role.

The Broncos filled the roster spot created by putting fullback Andy Janovich on injured reserve by promoting wide receiver Kalif Raymond from the practice squad. He’ll return punts for them Sunday against the Jaguars, after Norwood muffed two of them last week against the Chiefs.

“He’s going to play. I expect to suit both him and Jordan,” Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said, via Cameron Wolfe of the Denver Post. “Really, it’s a reward more than anything. This kid does everything, . . . He deserves an opportunity to help us out.”

They can spin it as a bump for the undrafted rookie from Holy Cross if they please, but this was a straight-up demotion for Norwood after a terrible week of special teams, of which he was only a part.

Broncos special teams coordinator Joe DeCamillis called the Chiefs game “the worst game he’s been a part of special-teams wise.”

“Obviously that’s unacceptable; we can’t put the ball on the ground,” DeCamillis said prior to Raymond’s promotion. “We have to maintain field possession for our team and it was not a good night. We have to get that corrected quickly.”

The Broncos now have eight wide receivers on the roster, in addition to two long snappers, meaning there are more transactions in their future.

Permalink 12 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell fined for joint touchdown celebration

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 24:  Antonio Brown #84 of the Pittsburgh Steelers reacts after making a touchdown catch in first quarter of the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 24, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Getty Images

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said this week that wide receiver Antonio Brown can’t keep getting penalties for celebrating his touchdowns as he did against the Colts on Thanksgiving night.

Brown and running back Le’Veon Bell danced together after one of Brown’s three touchdown catches in the Pittsburgh win and drew flags for violating the league’s prohibition on choreographed celebrations. The league office joined the officials and Roethlisberger in castigating Brown this week.

Tom Pelissero of USA Today reports that Brown, who had two previous celebration penalties and three other fines this season, has been fined $24,309 as a result of the celebration. Bell has been fined $12,154 for his part in the dance party.

Brown and the Steelers will face off with the Giants this weekend and we’ll find out if the rebukes have had any effect if Brown makes his way into the end zone during that contest.

Permalink 50 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Steve Smith not fined for headbutting Vontaze Burfict

BALTIMORE, MD - NOVEMBER 27: Wide receiver Steve Smith #89 of the Baltimore Ravens and outside linebacker Vontaze Burfict #55 of the Cincinnati Bengals are seperated by referee Clete Blakeman #34 in the first quarter at M&T Bank Stadium on November 27, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) Getty Images

Early in last Sunday’s game between the Ravens and Bengals, Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict shoved Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith to the ground during a play and then stood over him when the play was over.

Smith responded by headbutting Burfict in the sternum when he got up. Burfict fell to the ground with more than a little extra embellishment, which may have helped cause Smith to be flagged for unnecessary roughness on the play.

It also may have helped the league decide against fining Smith as a result of the penalty. PFT has confirmed with the league that neither Smith nor Burfict were fined for their interaction in a game the Ravens went on to win 19-14.

PFT has also confirmed that Ravens safety Eric Weddle was not fined for an unnecessary roughness penalty he picked up later in the game.

Permalink 11 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Corey Coleman fined for facemask penalty

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 20:  Artie Burns #25 of the Pittsburgh Steelers breaks up a pass intended for Corey Coleman #19 of the Cleveland Browns during the third quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium on November 20, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) Getty Images

Browns rookie wide receiver Corey Coleman was fined $9,115 for grabbing the facemask of Giants cornerback Eli Apple during last Sunday’s game, PFT has confirmed.

The penalty occurred in the second quarter as the Browns were in Giants’ territory and Josh McCown was trying to hit Coleman on a deep ball along the sideline. Besides grabbing the facemask, Coleman actually did a good job of preventing the pass from being intercepted.

Coleman caught a 21-yard touchdown pass later in the game.

Permalink 2 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Rolando McClain suspended indefinitely

Wild Card Playoffs - Detroit Lions v Dallas Cowboys Getty Images

The NFL career of Rolando McClain may have come to an end with yet another suspension.

McClain has been suspended indefinitely, the NFL made official today. McClain has violated the league’s substance-abuse policy again, which means he would have a lengthy road back that would require treatment and an ability to pass drug tests consistently.

It’s hard to see McClain ever returning at this point. He has already missed all of this season for a previous violation of the league’s substance abuse policy. Given his history of off-field problems, he may never find another team willing to give him a chance even if he does get reinstated by the league.

At age 27, McClain may be done in the NFL.

Permalink 60 Comments Feed for comments Back to top

Aaron Rodgers listed as questionable for Sunday

LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 20: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers looks on against the Washington Redskins in the third quarter at FedExField on November 20, 2016 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) Getty Images

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers practiced for the third straight day on Friday, but those limited sessions weren’t enough to keep him from getting an injury designation on the team’s injury report for Sunday’s game against the Texans.

Rodgers is listed as questionable because of the hamstring injury he suffered against the Eagles last Monday night. The injury didn’t keep Rodgers from playing as well as he has all season and there hasn’t been any suggestion from Green Bay this week that he’s at risk of missing the game.

So it is probable that Rodgers will play despite the questionable tag and that’s also been the indication about linebacker Clay Matthews. Matthews hurt his shoulder against the Eagles and got the same designation for this week’s game, but coach Mike McCarthy has said that he expects Matthews to be in the lineup against Houston.

Guard T.J. Lang and center J.C. Tretter are both listed as doubtful to play while linebackers Jake Ryan and Blake Martinez round out the group of players listed as questionable.

Permalink 50 Comments Feed for comments Back to top