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Goodell “hopeful” Josh Gordon understands he has to act differently

Josh Gordon AP

It’s been a little more than a year since Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon was suspended indefinitely by the NFL after a third violation of the league’s substance abuse policy, which means he’s been eligible to begin the process of getting reinstated for a couple of months.

At his Friday press conference in San Francisco, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell confirmed that Gordon has formally applied for reinstatement and outlined what needs to happen in order for Gordon to return to the football field.

“We did get the letter from Josh,” Goodell said. “The process is that we’ll go back and we’ll look at how he’s conducted himself over the last several months, what he’s done to make sure it’s consistent with the terms of a suspension and at some stage, we’ll have a report on that and I will engage with our people to understand where he is, where he’s been but most importantly where he’s going.  When these things happen, it’s about trying to avoid them in the future.  Our number one issue here is to prevent these things from happening.  I’m hopeful that Josh understands that he’s going to have to conduct himself differently going forward to be a member of the NFL and to be representing the Cleveland Browns, or any team in the NFL.”

League spokesman Greg Aiello said last month that players “must demonstrate sustained abstinence” if they hope to be reinstated and often submit testing records to show that they have avoided the substances that got them suspended in the first place. Tony Grossi of ESPN Cleveland reports Gordon “is confident he has met” the terms necessary to return to the field.

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Romo: Not conclusive that I’ll have collarbone surgery

Tony Romo AP

During his appearance on PFT Live from Radio Row in San Francisco on Friday, Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo confirmed a report that he’ll be waiting about a month before making a decision about having surgery on the left collarbone he broke twice during the 2015 season.

Romo said that the plan is to “find the bone density and see how strong it is and make a decision” three or four weeks from now about whether to have an operation.

“There’s no conclusive anything,” Romo said. “I think you just want to make sure — a silly thing in some ways, I understand it’s an injury — but a little collarbone which really hurts our football team and our season when that happens. I just want to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

Romo said he’s otherwise healthy and that his sometimes balky back feels the best it’s felt in two or three years. He also reiterated that he’s fine with the Cowboys taking a quarterback with the fourth overall pick, saying that he learned a while ago that “if you’re worried about your job you’re probably not as good as you think.”

To hear everything Romo said during his visit, check out the video of his appearance.

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Judge signs protective order keeping Manziel away from ex-girlfriend

Johnny Manziel AP

No criminal charges will be filed by the Dallas Police Department against Johnny Manziel after his ex-girlfriend accused him of hitting her with an open hand and throwing her into a car, but the lack of charges didn’t stop a judge in Tarrant County from barring Manziel from further interactions with the woman.

Rebecca Lopez of WFAA reports that a judge found “reason to believe that family violence occurred” during the incident and, as a result, signed a protective order that keeps Manziel from having contact with her for the next two years. Manziel has also been ordered to pay $12,000 in legal fees.

Manziel remains under contract to the Browns, although that’s expected to change when the new league year begins March 9. His repeated off-field problems are sure to chill interest in being the next team to have him as an employee, although that pattern of issues suggests Manziel needs to get his life in order before worrying about his future on the gridiron.

Offers to help him to do that have come from several directions in recent days, although Manziel’s father said that his son has thus far declined pleas to enter rehab.

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Eli jokes Giants could probably find spot for Peyton if he wants to be quality control coach

Peyton Manning, Eli Manning

Giants quarterback Eli Manning was a guest on Friday’s edition of PFT Live from Radio Row in San Francisco and Mike Florio asked him the question you’d expect given the focus on his brother this week.

Eli gave the answer you’d expect, which is that no one knows whether Peyton will be calling it a career after Super Bowl 50. The youngest Manning brother did say with a smile that he’d be happy to play for his brother if he decides to transition to life as a coach in 2016.

“I think if Peyton wants to come and be a quality control [coach] for the New York Giants and work in the quarterback room … earn his ropes, earn his way into the coaching routine I think we could probably open up a spot for him,” Manning said. 

As for his actual coaches, Manning said he’s happy to still be working with Ben McAdoo and expressed gratitude for what he learned about football and life from Tom Coughlin over their 12 years working together.

Manning also shared stories about the worst torture he faced from Peyton while they were growing up and his thoughts about being a nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award during an entertaining visit.

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Jets sign CFL pass rusher Freddie Bishop

VANCOUVER, BC - NOVEMBER 30:  Freddie Bishop III #95 of the Calgary Stampeders celebrates after sacking Zach Collaros #4 of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats during the 102nd Grey Cup Championship Game at BC Place November 30, 2014 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Jets have had to face Dolphins edge rusher Cameron Wake many times since Wake left the CFL for Miami in 2009 and started racking up the 70 career sacks he’s recorded over the last seven seasons.

Now the Jets hope that they can get some of the same success from a Canadian import of their own. Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the Jets have signed edge rusher Freddie Bishop to a two-year contract.

Bishop, who visited with several teams, is coming off an 11 sack season for the Calgary Stampeders. He had three sacks in his first year with the team and spent some time in 2013 with the Lions after wrapping up his college career at Western Michigan.

Schefter reports that the Jets also signed kicker Kyle Brindza to a future contract. Brindza opened the year as the Buccaneers’ kicker, but lost the job after missing six field goals and two extra points in the first four weeks of the year.

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Goodell: No independent investigation of HGH allegations at this point

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 05:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during a 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

During Friday’s press conference in San Francisco, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell faced a question about the HGH allegations made against Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning.

Specifically, the question had to do with the league’s response to this allegation in comparison to the independent investigations that were launched to look into bullying allegations involving Dolphins players and last year’s Deflategate saga. Goodell said that the league was looking into the HGH allegations with the same gusto despite the fact that there is no independent investigation planned by the league at the moment.

“We take every allegation of violations of our policies and procedures, particularly as it results to safety, very seriously,” Goodell said. “When these allegations first came up, very seriously. When these allegations first came up, we immediately began our own investigation. We were making sure we were working with the other sports involved and the World Anti-Doping Agency, making sure that we were getting all the pertinent information. We will work with law enforcement if they are involved, but we will also continue our own investigation working cooperatively with everyone.”

Goodell said that the league could still initiate an independent investigation and promised that “when we find the facts, we’ll share.”

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Goodell “disappointed” in last week’s Pro Bowl, hints at changes to format

HONOLULU, HI -  SUNDAY, JANUARY 31:  Jerry Rice, Team Irvin quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks Michael Irvin, and defensive end Michael Bennett #72 of the Seattle Seahawks pose with the Pro Bowl Trophy after the end of the 2016 NFL Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium on January 31, 2016 in Honolulu, Hawaii.Team Irvin defeated Team Rice 49-27.  (Photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images) Getty Images

The quality of the play in the Pro Bowl has been an issue for the NFL at various points in recent years and it has come up again this week after a lackluster showing in Hawaii last Sunday.

At his annual press conference from the Super Bowl, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was asked about his reaction to the game. The commissioner did not have a positive take on what he saw.

“I was disappointed in what I saw on Sunday,” Goodell said. “I raised this issue three or four years ago. We worked with a number of players to make changes to the game. They had a positive impact, at least in the short term but I didn’t see that this past week. …It’s not the kind of game we want to continue to have in its current format. … If it’s not real competition that we can be proud of, we have to do something different.”

There have been a variety of ideas tossed around about other ways to approach the Pro Bowl, including ditching the game entirely or having some sort of a skills competition. Goodell wouldn’t speculate on what path the league might take, but it’s become clear over the years that stripping away the physical nature of the games that matter leaves very little of value on the field in the Pro Bowl.

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NFL announces Texans and Raiders will play in Mexico City on November 21

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 30:  A Mexican flag is seen during the Women's Individual 1/16 Eliminations Archery match between Laishram Bombayala Devi of India and Aida Roman of Mexico on Day 3 at Lord's Cricket Ground on July 30, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images) Getty Images

Early in NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s annual press conference, he was asked about the NFL playing a game in Mexico City for the first time since 2005.

John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reported earlier in the week that the Texans and Raiders were expected to play a game at Azteca Stadium during the 2016 regular season. On Friday, Goodell confirmed it.

Goodell said that the two teams will play on Monday, November 21 in Mexico’s capital with the Raiders serving as the “home” team. The last game played in the stadium drew over 100,000 fans.

“Expanding our International Series of regular-season games to Mexico marks an important step in our continued international growth,” Goodell said in a release from the league sent out shortly after the announcement.  “We have a tremendous, passionate fan base in Mexico and we know the atmosphere on game day will be outstanding.”

The announcement means that there will be four games played outside the United States during the 2016 season. The Jaguars, Rams and Bengals will be serving as “home” teams for games in London that will be played at Wembley and Twickenham Stadiums.

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Montee Ball arrested after dispute with girlfriend

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 14:  Running back Montee Ball #28 of the Denver Broncos warms up prior to facing the Kansas City Chiefs at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 14, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Chiefs 24-17.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) Getty Images

Running back Montee Ball’s playing career went in the wrong direction this season and things have now taken a bad turn for him off the field as well.

Ball was arrested in Madison, Wisconsin on Friday morning after an altercation with his girlfriend. According to the Wisconsin State Journal, Ball was taken to Dane County Jail on a “tentative charge” of substantial battery.

“The woman told police she had a dispute with her boyfriend,” a police source told the newspaper. “She said he put his hands on her, picked her up and threw her.”

The woman told police that she suffered a cut on her leg that required stitches. Ball was described as “cooperative” when police arrived at the hotel at 3:40 a.m. to respond to the call.

Ball, a 2013 second-round pick, was released by the Broncos in September. He signed with the Patriots practice squad late in the season, but was not signed to a future contract when New England’s season ended with an AFC championship game loss to his former team.

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Emmitt Smith: Every player has to decide between nightlife and career

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - FEBRUARY 05:  Former NFL player Emmitt Smith visits the SiriusXM set at Super Bowl 50 Radio Row at the Moscone Center on February 5, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Sirius) Getty Images

When running back Emmitt Smith was on the Cowboys in the 1990s, he was part of a team that had great success on the field despite off-field issues that regularly made headlines.

Johnny Manziel has made the same kind of headlines without having the same kind of on-field success since entering the NFL. During a Friday appearance on PFT Live from Radio Row in San Francisco, Smith was asked what he’d say to the (for now) Browns quarterback.

I think Mr. Manziel has a decision to make,” Smith said. “It’s either the nightlife of his career. Just that simple. I think every player comes to that crossroad. It’s either the nightlife, the streets, or your career. I chose my career and I think a lot of players choose their career as well. Some don’t. He needs to get it. He may be a guy that already has enough, if you will, but you have to be hungry. You gotta be willing to sacrifice certain parts of your life.”

Smith said “if you’re not willing to do it, maybe [playing in the NFL] is not for you.” Some of Smith’s teammates were able to excel without limiting themselves away from the game, but there aren’t a lot of players who have been able to strike that balance during their time in the league.

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Jim Harbaugh: Colin Kaepernick will flourish

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 19: Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the San Francisco 49ers has a word with Colin Kaepernick #7 during a game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on October 19, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) Getty Images

Around this time three years ago, Colin Kaepernick was getting ready to start at quarterback for the 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII.

Kaepernick would throw for 302 yards in a loss to the Ravens in that game and then helped the 49ers to the NFC championship game the next season. Kaepernick signed a contract extension before the 2014 season, but the results haven’t been as good for him or the team over the last two seasons.

That’s led to questions about the quarterback’s future with the 49ers and his suitability as a long-term starter, but the man who installed Kaepernick as a starter midway through his second season with the Niners is still a believer.

“He’ll flourish,” Jim Harbaugh said, via CSNBayArea.com. “He’s a great talent and one of the ultimate competitors, so he’ll flourish.”

While Kaepernick’s play slipped before Harbaugh and the 49ers parted ways, he still looked much better with Harbaugh than he did without him last year. A reunion isn’t possible with Harbaugh back in the college ranks at Michigan, which means someone else will need to have the same belief in Kaepernick’s future for his career to get back on track.

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Melvin Gordon recovering from knee surgery

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 13: Melvin Gordon #28 of the San Diego Chargers rushes the ball at Arrowhead Stadium during the third quarter of the game against the Kansas City Chiefs  on December 13, 2015 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) Getty Images

Chargers running back Melvin Gordon’s rookie season wasn’t what the team hoped for when they took him with the 15th overall pick of the 2015 draft.

Gordon ran for 641 yards in 14 games and fumbled the ball six times before landing on injured reserve because of a knee injury. Gordon had surgery on the knee last month and told Darren Smith of the Mighty 1090 that he expects to be back to full speed in a couple of months.

“It’s getting better. Rehabbing’s going well. I’m not where I need to be right now, but I got a lot of time. As long as I’m ready when it’s go time, that’s when it matters.”

Gordon’s injury was one of many suffered by members of the Chargers offense in 2016 and they’ll need to avoid a repeat of those problems, along with better play from Gordon and the offensive line, if they’re going to get their record moving back in the right direction.

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PFT Live: Emmitt Smith, Eli Manning, Tony Romo

30 JAN 1994:  RUNNING BACK EMMITT SMITH OF THE DALLAS COWBOYS FLASHES THE NUMBER ONE SIGN DURING THE COWBOYS 30-13 VICTORY OVER THE BUFFALO BILLS IN SUPER BOWL XXVIII AT THE GEORGIA DOME IN ATLANTA, GEORGIA.  SMITH RUSHED FOR TWO TOUCHDOWNS AND WAS SELECT Getty Images

Saturday will bring the announcement of a new class of Pro Football Hall of Famers and we’ll have both members of the hall and a candidate for election joining us on PFT Live as we wrap up the week on Radio Row.

Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith, Curtis Martin and Derrick Brooks will join Mike Florio to reminisce about the moment they found out that they would be receiving busts and yellow blazers. Tony Dungy is one of the finalists for election this year and will also be on the show to discuss that and his memories of winning Super Bowls as a player and coach.

Giants quarterback Eli Manning also has memories of winning the Super Bowl and we’ll find out what he thinks his brother needs to do to join him as a two-time champion. Hines Ward, another two-time champ, will  drop by the show as well.

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo will fill us in on the latest with his collarbone and Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa will discuss his plans to prepare for the draft while Jets center Nick Mangold and Ravens running back Justin Forsett round out a great guest list for the final day live from San Francisco.

All three hours of the show will stream at PFT, NBCSports.com, and the NBC Sports Live Extra app. The audio is available at NBCSportsRadio.com, the NBC Sports Radio app, Sirius 213, XM 202, and plenty of terrestrial stations across the country.

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Friday morning one-liners

SANTA CLARA, CA - FEBRUARY 04:  Tyler Polumbus #76 of the Denver Broncos takes a selfie with Snoop Dogg during the Broncos media availability for Super Bowl 50 at the Stanford Marriott on February 4, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. The Broncos will play the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 on February 7, 2016.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Bills signed CB Javier Arenas to a future contract.

The Dolphins offensive line remains in need of an upgrade.

Said Patriots S Devin McCourty of his offseason plans, “Right now, I have no plans. I haven’t planned anything. I usually always take it slow to try to let the body heal up. I’ll be back in Arizona again before the season starts. It’s been working, so if it works, I’ll just keep doing that.”

Former Jets LB Bart Scott thinks the team would have won a Super Bowl while he was there if Alex Smith was their quarterback instead of Mark Sanchez.

The Ravens have started the process of switching their field from turf to grass.

WR Marvin Jones isn’t going to extend the Bengals a hometown discount in free agency.

The Browns will continue to hold training camp in Berea.

Former Steelers RB Willie Parker still gets asked about his 75-yard touchdown run in the Super Bowl.

Odell Beckham was happy to see CB Charles James make the move from practice squad to active roster with the Texans.

A look at Colts WR Marvin Harrison ahead of Saturday’s Hall of Fame vote.

Jaguars WR Allen Hurns is feeling better after sports hernia surgery.

Playing in the Pro Bowl at home in Hawaii is something Titans QB Marcus Mariota would like to experience.

Snoop Dogg asked one of the final questions of Broncos QB Peyton Manning’s week with the media.

A look at the Chiefs’ Super Bowl I roster 50 years after the game.

Raiders WR Amari Cooper thinks the Panthers will win the Super Bowl.

Coaching for the Chargers was a step forward in Ron Rivera’s career.

Cowboys TE Jason Witten says DeMarcus Ware was one of his favorite teammates.

Will G Geoff Schwartz be back with the Giants in 2016?

Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo is new to the team, but not the Philadelphia sports scene.

Even the British are into Redskins QB Kirk Cousins‘ catchphrase.

Bears T Kyle Long thinks the team can win big with John Fox.

Steve Young thinks the Lions need more from QB Matthew Stafford.

What should the Packers look for at tight end?

Alan Page reminisced about his trips to the Super Bowl with the Vikings.

Falcons coach Dan Quinn and owner Arthur Blank spend a lot of time discussing leadership.

What will Panthers LB Thomas Davis be calling at Sunday’s coin toss?

Saints QB Drew Brees thinks the team’s window of opportunity is opening.

Aqib Talib has come a long way since his time with the Buccaneers.

Cardinals president Michael Bidwill thinks there are still pieces needed for the team to make the Super Bowl.

April 18 will be the first day of workouts for the Rams this offseason.

One take on how 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick can get back on track.

Which of their free agents should the Seahawks prioritize in the next few weeks?

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Kubiak: Peyton looks “as good as he’s looked all year long”

Peyton Manning AP

The Broncos had every member of the 53-man roster practicing fully on Thursday, which means it is unlikely that any of those players will miss Super Bowl 50 because of an injury.

Safeties T.J. Ward and Darian Stewart and guard Louis Vasquez had been limited on Wednesday and Kubiak said the team anticipated the same level of participation Thursday, but all three players reported they were feeling fine so the team changed course. Quarterback Peyton Manning has been a full participant both days and Kubiak said after practice that Manning looked fresh and strong at practice.

“This is as good as he’s looked all year long,” Kubiak said, via the pool report submitted by Peter King of TheMMQB.com. “You saw some big downfield throws today. This is what Peyton looked like back at the start of the season.”

Big downfield throws haven’t been a major part of the Broncos offense since Manning returned to the lineup in the second half of their Week 17 win over the Chargers. It seems unlikely that they’d head back in that direction, but Kubiak may want the Panthers thinking about the possibility in order to open up other things come Sunday.

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