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PFT’s Week One Power Rankings

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1. Patriots (0-0): Winning the Super Bowl comes with two benefits: Hosting the game that opens the season (unless the local baseball team has a game and refuses to change it . . . we’re still looking at you, Orioles) and occupying the top spot in the next year’s initial power rankings. Barring an Elway-to-Brister-style change at quarterback, the Super Bowl champ always lands here.

2. Ravens (0-0): Bears fans will be shocked to learn that any team that employs Marc Trestman would be regarded so highly, but the latest example of the NFL’s Peter Principle will do well now that he has fallen one spot below the level of his incompetence.

3. Packers (0-0): Ted Thompson showed the patience of Teddy KGB (sans Oreos) while waiting for the Giants to set James Jones free. They’ll still miss Jordy Nelson, but not nearly as much.

4. Broncos (0-0): A little less Manning plus a little more defense could be the key to replicating what the team did nearly 20 years ago with a little less Elway and a little more everything else.

5. Seahawks (0-0): Even with two straight years of playing into February, the worst hangover of the Super Bowl era, and a bizarre contract impasse with one of the most important players in the locker room, the Seahawks remain one of the best teams in all of football.

6. Cowboys (0-0): Jerry Jones has said he’d write a huge check to win a Super Bowl. His refusal to write a big check to DeMarco Murray shows that plenty of guys can move the chains at the NFL level.

7. Colts (0-0): Coach Chuck Pagano and G.M. Ryan Grigson need to start treating this year’s marathon like a three-legged race. Otherwise, a two-legged Alabama coach could be trading crimson for the four-leaf clover of a franchise quarterback.

8. Steelers (0-0): With the Steel Curtain becoming tin foil, many see the Steelers taking a step back. But that’s when this franchise usually finds a way to overachieve. Having a great offense doesn’t hurt, either.

9. Bills (0-0): Same defense, better coach, better running back, better receivers, plus a quarterback that can’t be any worse than Kyle Orton gives the Bills an edge entering the season. The challenge will be keeping the new coach and the pre-existing G.M. on the same page.

10. Chiefs (0-0): Written off last year after a disastrous Week One home loss to the Titans (yes, the Titans), the Chiefs nearly turned it around. This year, their talent on both sides of the ball isn’t getting nearly the credit it deserves.

11. Cardinals (0-0): The more things change, the more coach Bruce Arians keeps things on the right track. His toughest test comes this year, with a new defensive coordinator, a quarterback who holds the ball just long enough to get himself injured, and an unsettled running game.

12. Bengals (0-0): How many years can a team go to the postseason without winning a game there? There’s a good chance that the limit is four.

13: Texans (0-0): This feels like a team that will remain on the fringes of the postseason until it finds a long-term replacement for Arian Foster and a year-in, year-out answer at quarterback.

14. Eagles (0-0): The defense is better than advertised, the offense is full of question marks. This season, Chip Kelly will either cement his genius or be exposed as a fraud.

15. Vikings (0-0): On paper, this Vikings should be a lot better than they were last year. Now they have to prove it. At a time when many presume they will, there’s still a chance they won’t.

16. Dolphins (0-0): Even with the addition of Ndamukong Suh, the franchise feels like a middle-of-the-pack team. It’s on Suh and Ryan Tannehill to make the Dolphins something more than mediocre.

17. Lions (0-0): They can say they won’t miss Ndamukong Suh because what other choice do they have? With solid Packers and Vikings teams and a strong out-of-division schedule, the chances of two straight playoff berths aren’t great.

18. Chargers (0-0): Teams that could be moving claim they aren’t distracted. They are. And when it’s time to summon that extra something to win key games that will become the difference between playing in January or packing the bags for L.A., the unsettled issues regarding the team’s home in 2016 could become a ball and chain.

19. Panthers (0-0): Last year, coaching overcame a so-so roster. It wasn’t good enough to get to 8-8, but it was good enough to get to the playoffs and win a game there. This year, it feels like the rest of the division is on the verge of catching up.

20. Saints (0-0): Of all the offseason experiments, none was as significant as giving up on Jimmy Graham in the hopes of pumping up a paltry defense. The ability of coach Sean Payton and G.M. Mickey Loomis to stay on the same page despite more than a few roster misfires is a strong example for all other NFL teams, and their partnership could produce another playoff berth against competitors whose top two non-playing employees are more concerned about pointing fingers than solving problems.

21. Rams (0-0): The pieces seem to be in place for a playoff run. Will the looming run to L.A. derail it?

22. Falcons (0-0): Two straight horrible seasons after a half-decade of above-.500 performances makes their placement entering the season deserved. But with a franchise quarterback, a great receiver, and a defensive-minded coach with experience in a gold-standard franchise, the Falcons could climb the ladder, quickly.

23. Giants (0-0): The team’s refusal to spend significant cash on good players has caught up with the roster, leaving only a sprinkling of greatness and not nearly enough help for Eli Manning. The offensive line and defensive line — key components of both Super Bowl runs under Manning and coach Tom Coughlin — aren’t anywhere close to what they used to be.

24. Browns (0-0): Every time it seems like the Browns are ready to emerge from 16 years of dysfunction, something happens to pull them back into the quicksand. At least the new uniforms look good.

25. 49ers (0-0): Has an elite team ever fallen so far, so quickly? Then again, has any team ever undergone so much turnover and turmoil in one offseason? Anything better than 6-10 should make Jim Tomsula a candidate for coach of the year.

26. Raiders (0-0): Last year at this time, I said that the Raiders were the only team in the NFL that had no chance at making it to the playoffs. This year, they at least have a chance. Especially if Khalil Mack and Derek Carr continue to improve in their second seasons.

27. Jets (0-0): The clouds could be parting soon. At some point, they have to. For now, suspensions and sucker punches and a lingering sense of malaise will make it hard to compete with the Patriots, Bills, and Dolphins.

28. Jaguars (0-0): G.M. Dave Caldwell and coach Gus Bradley continue to dig out of the mess that was left for them. The only question is whether the owner will give them the time they need to get there.

29. Bears (0-0): The blunders of Phil Emery, who tied the team to Jay Cutler for at least 2015 and maybe 2016, can’t easily be erased. While new coach John Fox has done plenty with lesser quarterbacks, the transition to a 3-4 defense and real questions about the quality of the offense and the ability of former Bronco offensive coordinator Adam Gase to do the job without Peyton Manning to run the show keeps this team low, for now.

30. Titans (0-0): They made the smart move in drafting a guy who can become the face of a franchise that had become irrelevant nationally. Now they need to use him the right way. Otherwise, someone like Chip Kelly could be the guy using Marcus Mariota the right way as coach of the Titans in 2016.

31. Buccaneers (0-0): They earned the ability to get Jameis Winston by being the worst team in football a year ago. They could be a lot better than that this year (especially with an actual offensive coordinator) but it’s going to take time.

32. Washington (0-0): Glass half full outlook? Securing the first overall pick will eliminate all temptation to trade up for the next potential franchise quarterback.

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Hard Knocks recap: Tough cuts, harsh realities

Charles James AP

The finale of Hard Knocks: Houston Texans dealt with the team’s final cuts from last weekend, following some of the players spotlighted over the previous four episodes on their long walks through the hallway and into the office of coach Bill O’Brien.

The series started in mid-August with O’Brien delivering a motivational speech laced with F-bombs to the entire team, which was then 90 players. It ended Tuesday night with O’Brien telling the remaining 53 Texans players, “You have to compete, you have to understand your role and you have to earn it every f—–g day.”

The rare and generally unfiltered access is part of what makes Hard Knocks so good — and made this one of the best. Though a lot of the drama in the finale was tempered by the actual cuts having taken place three or four days before the finale aired, the cameras were in the car with Uzoma “EZ” Nwachukwu as he drove to officially receive his walking papers, when Kourtnei Brown was too distraught to speak in the office of general manager Rick Smith and in the locker room when Charles James playfully hid behind a t-shirt in hopes he couldn’t be found and summoned to O’Brien’s office.

Besides J.J. Watt, James was probably the biggest player star of this Hard Knocks season. In the first episode he was introduced as an undrafted underdog with an affinity for colorful socks, and from there James was portrayed as a locker-room favorite who was guaranteed nothing.

In the last episode the cameras caught O’Brien and Smith having their final conversation about James and his dead heat for the final cornerback spot with Jumal Rolle. In the end, Rolle had a stronger finish to the preseason and was taller than James, who’s just 5’9.

“This will be a tough one because this kid, he gave us everything he had,” O’Brien told Smith.

James revealed that he cried and struggled to eat after being cut by the Giants in 2013 and again last year, but by the time the call came this year he thanked O’Brien for the opportunity and later took a call from Smith, who told James he’d bought him some socks and didn’t know what to do with them.

“Yes, I feel like I should have made the team,” James said. “It hurts. Especially being an undrafted free agent, this s–t, it is hard every day.”

James has since signed with the Ravens’ practice squad.

The finale also spotlighted Arian Foster, who’s aiming for an October return after an early-camp injury; third-round pick Christian Covington, who struggled but eventually made the team; and a scene in which veteran nose tackle Vince Wilfork held a field-goal kicking competition with Women’s World Cup hero Carli Lloyd.

Wilfork made field goals from 25 and 35 yards. At 325 pounds.

His biggest Hard Knocks hit was still showing up for work in nothing but overalls, but the kicks were impressive, too.

O’Brien played the lead role well in the series. Though there’s clearly a little of bit of his former boss, Bill Belichick, in his coaching style, O’Brien came across as personable, driven and funny. When he caught himself screaming at a team employee in a practice scene in the finale and then discovered he was wrong about the situation, O’Brien dropped and did pushups as punishment.

“You can tell me to go screw myself,” he yelled back to the sideline.

There were lots of F-bombs in the series. There was plenty of Watt, too, and in a memorable scene from the finale O’Brien practically salivates while watching practice film of Watt and Jadeveon Clowney playing on the same defense. The Texans are interesting — Hard Knocks probably helped that — even if they’re a little less colorful without James on the roster.

O’Brien joked with reporters in Houston earlier this week that the Hard Knocks cameras leaving the facilty marked one of the best days of his life. For five weeks, though, those cameras and O’Brien made for some really good television.

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PFT’s 2015 season predictions

Super Bowl Football AP

Here it is, your annual opportunity to tell the PFT staff that we’re idiots who hate your favorite team.

These are our predictions for the 2015 NFL season, where we’ll tell you our picks for the six playoff seeds from each conference, how we see the playoffs playing out, and our pick for Super Bowl 50.

Will we get these picks right? Well, probably not. Last year at this time, no one on the PFT staff picked the Patriots to win the Super Bowl. But we did all pick the Patriots to win the AFC East and the Seahawks to win the NFC West, and we all correctly predicted the Broncos, Colts and Packers to win their divisions as well. So it’s not like we’re making these picks by throwing darts at a list of teams.

But if you think your picks are better than ours, well, that’s what the comments section is for. Any commenter who correctly predicts the winner of Super Bowl 50 gets to read PFT for free all through 2016.

Josh Alper


1. Patriots; 2. Colts; 3. Broncos; 4. Ravens; 5. Dolphins; 6. Chiefs.

Wild card: Dolphins over Ravens, Broncos over Chiefs.

Divisional round: Broncos over Colts, Patriots over Dolphins.

Conference championship: Patriots over Broncos.


1. Packers; 2. Seahawks; 3. Eagles; 4. Saints; 5. Cowboys; 6. Vikings.

Wild card: Eagles over Vikings, Cowboys over Saints.

Divisional round: Packers over Cowboys, Eagles over Seahawks.

Conference championship: Packers over Eagles.

Super Bowl: Packers over Patriots.

Curtis Crabtree


1. Colts; 2. Broncos; 3. Patriots; 4. Ravens; 5. Dolphins; 6. Steelers.

Wild card: Patriots over Steelers, Ravens over Dolphins.

Divisional round: Patriots over Broncos, Colts over Ravens.

Conference championship: Colts over Patriots.


1. Packers; 2. Seahawks; 3. Cowboys; 4. Falcons; 5. Eagles; 6. Vikings

Wild card: Cowboys over Vikings, Eagles over Falcons.

Divisional round: Seahawks over Cowboys, Packers over Eagles.

Conference championship: Packers over Seahawks.

Super Bowl: Packers over Colts.

Darin Gantt


1. Colts; 2. Ravens; 3. Patriots; 4. Broncos; 5. Dolphins; 6. Steelers.

Wild card: Patriots over Steelers, Dolphins over Broncos.

Divisional round: Dolphins over Colts, Ravens over Patriots.

Conference Championship: Ravens over Dolphins.


1. Packers; 2. Eagles; 3. Cardinals; 4. Falcons; 5. Seahawks; 6. Cowboys.

Wild card: Cardinals over Cowboys, Seahawks over Falcons.

Divisional round: Cardinals over Eagles, Packers over Seahawks.

Conference championship: Packers over Cardinals.

Super Bowl: Ravens over Packers.

Zac Jackson


1. Patriots; 2. Colts; 3. Chargers; 4. Steelers; 5; Broncos; 6. Texans

Wild card: Chargers over Texans; Steelers over Broncos.

Divisional round: Steelers over Patriots; Chargers over Colts.

Conference championship: Chargers over Steelers.


1. Packers; 2. Eagles; 3. Seahawks; 4. Falcons; 5. Cardinals; 6. Lions.

Wild card: Seahawks over Lions; Cardinals over Falcons.

Divisional round: Packers over Cardinals; Seahawks over Eagles.

Conference championship: Packers over Seahawks.

Super Bowl: Packers over Chargers.

Michael David Smith


1. Patriots; 2. Colts; 3. Broncos; 4. Ravens; 5. Steelers; 6. Chiefs.

Wild card: Broncos over Chiefs, Ravens over Steelers.

Divisional round: Ravens over Patriots, Broncos over Colts.

Conference championship: Broncos over Ravens.


1. Seahawks; 2. Packers; 3. Eagles; 4. Falcons; 5. Vikings; 6. Rams.

Wild card: Eagles over Rams, Vikings over Falcons.

Divisional round: Seahawks over Vikings, Eagles over Packers.

Conference championship: Seahawks over Eagles.

Super Bowl: Seahawks over Broncos.

Mike Florio


1. Patriots; 2. Colts; 3. Ravens; 4. Broncos; 5. Chiefs; 6. Steelers.

Wild card: Ravens over Steelers, Broncos over Chiefs.

Divisional round: Ravens over Colts; Patriots over Broncos.

Conference championship: Patriots over Ravens.


1. Packers; 2. Seahawks; 3. Cowboys; 4. Saints; 5. Vikings; 6. Eagles.

Wild card: Cowboys over Eagles; Vikings over Saints.

Divisional round: Seahawks over Cowboys; Packers over Vikings.

Conference championship: Packers over Seahawks.

Super Bowl: Patriots over Packers.

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The full list of September 6 waivers claims

Stephen Morris, Jordan Dangerfield AP

On Saturday, teams dropped a bunch of players in reducing their rosters to 53. That opened a 20-hour window to turn one team’s trash into another team’s treasure via, as to players with less than four years of service, the waiver wire.

Here’s a full list of all players who were claimed, per a league source with knowledge of the transactions.

The Falcons claimed former Saints tackle Bryce Harris.

The Bills claims former Titans center Gabe Ikard.

The Bears claimed former Cardinals defensive back Harold Jones-Quartey and former Buccaneers guard Patrick Omameh.

The Browns claimed former Jaguars tackle Austin Pasztor.

The Broncos claimed former Texans center James Ferentz and former Packers tight end Mitchell Henry.

The Colts claimed former Seahawks defensive tackle T.Y. McGill and former Ravens guard Robert Myers.

The Chiefs claimed former Chargers tight end Brian Parker.

The Dolphins claimed former Cardinals quarterback Logan Thomas.

The Patriots claimed former Packers defensive tackle Khyri Thornton.

The Saints claimed former Seahawks defensive end Obum Gwacham and former Vikings linebacker Michael Mauti.

The Giants claimed former Ravens defensive back Asa Jackson and former Texans defensive tackle Louis Nix.

The Jets claimed former Seahawks defensive back Ronald Martin.

The Raiders claimed former Seahawks defensive back Keenan Lambert.

The Eagles claimed former Jaguars quarterback Stephen Morris.

The Steelers claimed former Buccaneers defensive end Caushaud Lyons.

The Buccaneers claimed former Texans defensive end Kourtnei Brown, former Jaguars linebacker Jeremiah George, former Saints quarterback Ryan Griffin, former Chiefs linebacker James-Michael Johnson, and former Chiefs center Eric Kush.

The Titans claims former Bears defensive end David Bass and former Broncos linebacker Steven Johnson.

For each of the 27 player claims, a roster spot needs to be created. For some teams, the roster already was at 51 or 52. For others, players will need to be released. And many of them will be subject to waivers. And anyone who claims one of them will have to drop someone else.

And the process will continue, until the season ends.

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The full Jeffrey Kessler transcript

Tom Brady Appeals Suspension In NFL "Deflategate" Case Getty Images

[Editor’s note: Lawyer Jeffrey Kessler, a partner at Winston & Strawn, appeared on Friday’s PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio, one day after securing victory for the NFL Players Association and Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in federal court. The full transcript, with minor edits like the periodic radio reset, appears below.]

MF: Tell me what you do to celebrate a victory like the one you had yesterday?

JK: I’m pretty modest in my celebrations. We had a great team in our law firm Winston who worked on this, and we just all went our for a nice celebration lunch, toasted a few and then back to work.

MF: That’s one of the things about practicing law. There isn’t enough time to enjoy a victory and the good news is there isn’t a whole lot of time to wallow in defeat, not that you’ve had to do that recently against the NFL. You’re 5-0 in these high-profile cases. Is this because Jeffery Kessler is working legal magic or it because the NFL is giving you some low-hanging fruit to deal with when you’re going to court?

JK: Well, I’d like to say it’s all my legal magic, but the situation is we have a league that just doesn’t want to comply with the CBA. It doesn’t want to follow the rules of arbitration when they’re arbitrating, and they really create these situations. It’s the reason why, for example, it’s so important that the players picked De Smith to be the head of the union, who’s an experienced lawyer. You could say, “Well, why do you need to be an experienced lawyer to be the head of the union?” Well, that’s the only way that the union’s been able to protect the legal rights of these players. So it’s been critical to this process, but frankly if the NFL behaved like a lot of other leagues and we had a system that was fair and open in which they followed the rules they would need a lot less of my time.

MF: How did it get to this point? You’ve been involved with the NFL for a long time. Has it always been this way or is this a recent phenomenon?

JK: It hasn’t always been this way, look this system of the Commissioner being able to arbitrate discipline, I’ll bet you it’s more than 75 years old. It long predates the union let alone the last CBA, and yet it has only become an enormous problem since I would say 2012 with Bountygate. It’s like some switch got flipped in the league office where they said, “Okay, let’s see how far we can push this and basically impose penalties wherever we want to without any process and let’s see what happens.” Well, what’s happened is that the union’s had to repeatedly fight and as you mentioned we’ve had great success in protecting the players’ rights. It’s been a hand-to-hand combat that would seem not to be what you would want. From the league standpoint, from the player standpoint, there’s got to be a better way, and that’s what the union would like to see happen here.

MF: We’ve heard now in recent days members of ownership saying, “Maybe things need to change.” Most recently Falcons owner Arthur Blank, Patriots president Jonathan Kraft, 49ers CEO Jed York. But from a nuts and bolts standpoint how do we go from the Commissioner having final say in these cases to a collectively bargained outcome where he doesn’t have final say?

JK: Well, it’s very easy to do. You know, De Smith has made it very clear to the owners and to the Commissioner that he’s willing to sit down at any time to try to make a better system. There’s no need to wait for the end of an agreement. The baseball players just showed that. The baseball players union and their owners, you know with the new Commissioner Rob Manfred, sat down and they get a new personal conduct policy for domestic violence and they put in a fair system with neutral arbitration and everybody said, “Boy, this is a great model.” Well, the NFL players agree. We’d like to sit down with the owners, that’s what De Smith wants to do, and figure out how to craft the system that both addresses the important issues of things like domestic violence but also protects players’ rights. It’s only when you marry the two together that you get a fair system.

MF: Is the problem here, though, that even if the NFL realizes it’s in the league’s best interest to give up that final say over these player discipline issues, at the bargaining table the NFL is going to want something big in return? It’s going to be hard to craft a win-win because you get back at that hand-to-hand combat at the bargaining table over, “Hey I have a cookie. You have a donut. You want my cookie. I want your donut. You better give me your donut before I give you my cookie.”

JK: But that’s why we should do this now. The baseball players and the baseball owners get this and I don’t think the players had to give up any cookies to get it. They did it because both sides said, “This is the best system for both sides and for the game,” and there’s no reason that Roger Goodell can’t say right now, “You know what? I’ve looked at this as Commissioner and I think that we can improve this system by my being the disciplinarian but bringing in a neutral system that everyone will get behind and take the league office out of it and I’m doing it because it’s the right thing for the game.” I believe in what he says, he cares for this game. And I see no reason why he and the owners can’t look at that now and say, “This is the way to go. Put this all behind us and concentrate on football.” I mean why do people want to hear from me? You know, they should want to hear about the Thursday night game, not about the lawsuit.

MF: We’re talking about cookies and donuts. Number one it’s making me hungry, number two it’s forcing me to focus on the steak as we have limited time remaining. And here’s the filet mignon as far as I’m concerned. What is the process going forward from a timetable standpoint? The NFL has filed a notice of appeal. When do you expect a final ruling from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals?

JK: I would expect ordinarily sometime in 2016, probably in the Spring. There’s no way to be sure until the Second Circuit sets the schedule but that would be kind of the normal schedule I would expect in this case. Could be a little sooner, a little later. But you know I would think it’s going to be sometime in the Spring of next year.

MF: I practiced in the Fourth Circuit and every time I had a case there I didn’t find out who the judges were until the morning of oral argument. You’ve got twenty-two judges in the Second Circuit. Three will be assigned to this case. When will you know in the Second Circuit who the three judges are?

JK: I think it’s the week before.

MF: Page 39 of Judge Berman’s ruling lists three specific issues he did not address as it relates to Roger Goodell’s competence to be the arbitrator. Why do you believe Judge Berman didn’t address those issues?

JK: Well, I think frankly it’s because he had a limited amount of time. And since he did not have to address those other issues, because he gave us a complete victory without addressing them, I just think he thought that that was sufficient. And by the way, what it means is that let’s say lightning were to strike and the Second Circuit were not to affirm Judge Berman, which I think they will. Then you’d have to consider the other three issues. So in effect he’s left other grounds to overturn this if we needed them. But I don’t think we’re ever going to get there.

MF: So in theory if the NFL would win this appeal, it goes back to Judge Berman and then he could address those other three issues and say, “NFL once again you lose.”

JK: Right or the Second Circuit could say, “You know what? We’re going to reach one of those other three issues and overturn it on that ground.” They have that authority also.

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PFT’s 2015 NFC 53-man roster cuts tracker

Kansas City Chiefs v Arizona Cardinals Getty Images

We’re keeping track of the moves as teams make them this weekend, as they have to get to their 53-man roster limit by Saturday at 4 p.m. Check back throughout the weekend, as we’ll update throughout:


The Cowboys cut defensive lineman Ben Gardner, quarterbacks Dustin Vaughn and Jameill Showers, running back Gus Johnson, running back Ben Malena, offensive lineman Laurence Gibson, offensive lineman Shane McDermott, defensive lineman Efe Obada, fullback Ray Agnew, wide receiver Clyde Gates, tackle John Wetzel, offensive lineman Ronald Patrick, wide receiver Nick Harwell, cornerback Joel Ross, linebacker Donnie Baggs, linebacker Dekorey Johnson, safety Joel Ross, cornerback Rod Sweeting, wide receiver A.J. Jenkins and linebacker Ka’Lial Glaud. Defensive end Greg Hardy and linebacker Rolando McClain were moved to the suspended list.

N.Y. Giants

The Giants cut veteran wide receiver James Jones, along with fullback Henry Hynoski and kicker Chris Boswell. The team also cut linebacker Jameel McClain, quarterback Ricky Stanzi, defensive back Chykie Brown, defensive back Jeromy Miles, linebacker Ashlee Palmer, defensive end Brad Bars, tackle Emmett Cleary, defensive back C.J. Conway, tackle Sean Donnelly, linebacker Cole Farrand, defensive back Chandler Fenner, guard Adam Gettis, defensive tackle Dominique Hamilton, running back Kenneth Harper, tight end Adrien Robinson, receiver Julian Talley and receiver Corey Washington.

The Giants also put defensive back Nat Berhe and center Brett Jones on injured reserve.


The Eagles cut receiver Rasheed Bailey, offensive lineman Brett Boyko, offensive lineman Malcolm Bunche, cornerback Randall Evans, tight end Andrew Gleichert, linebacker Najee Goode, receiver Freddie Martino, defensive end Brian Mihalik, offensive lineman John Moffitt, running back Raheem Mostert, receiver Quron Pratt, safety Chris Prosinski, defensive tackle Travis Raciti, safety Ed Reynolds, linebacker Deontae Skinner, punter Kip Smith, quarterback Tim Tebow, tight end Eric Tomlinson, offensive lineman Julian Vandervelde, linebacker Diaheem Watkins, and defensive back Jaylen Watkins. Wide receiver Jeff Maehl was placed on injured-reserve.


The Redskins waived-injured wide receiver Evan Spencer and cut center Austin Reiter, defensive tackle Jerrell Powe, linebacker Houston Bates, wide receiver Reggie Bell, running back Mack Brown, fullback Jordan Campbell, tackle Takoby Cofield, defensive end Corey Crawford, defensive back DaMon Cromartie-Smith, safety Akeem Davis, wide receiver/cornerback Quinton Dunbar, tight end Je’Ron Hamm, linebacker Sage Harold, center/guard Tyler Larsen, wide receiver Colin Lockett, linebacker Terrance Plummer, defensive lineman Travian Robertson, defensive lineman Robert Thomas, tight end D.J. Williams and running back Trey Williams.


The Bears cut linebacker Mason Foster, tight ends Dante Rosario and Bear Pascoe, linebacker David Bass, quarterback Zac Dysert, offensive lineman Michael Ola, wide receiver Ify Umodu, defensive tackle Terry Williams, wide receiver AJ Cruz (waived-injured), linebacker Matthew Wells, linebacker Jonathan Anderson, tight end Gannon Sinclair, cornerback Jacoby Glenn, offensive lineman Tyler Moore, wide receiver Rashad Lawrence, offensive lineman Connor Boffeli, cornerback Qumain Black and outside linebacker Kyle Woestmann.

The Bears also placed safety Anthony Jefferson on injured reserve and defensive lineman Jeremiah Ratliff on the reserve/suspended list.


The Lions cut quarterback Kellen Moore, tight end Joseph Fauria, defensive tackle Jermelle Cudjo, defensive end Larry Webster, defensive tackle Kerry Hyder, defensive tackle Jerel Worthy, linebacker Julian Stanford, defensive back Isaiah Johnson, defensive back Brian Suite, defensive back Nate Ness, running back George Winn, running back Emil Igwenagu, receiver Jeremy Ross, tight end Casey Pierce, center Braxston Cave, guard Torrian Wilson, tackle Xavier Proctor, center Al Bond and center Joe Madsen.

Wide receiver Greg Salas and defensive end Corey Wootton were placed on injured-reserve.

Green Bay

The Packers released wide receiver Jared Abbrederis, defensive lineman Khyri Thornton, linebacker Carl Bradford, defensive lineman Christian Ringo, running backs Rajion Neal and John Crockett, wide receivers Larry Pinkard (waived/injured) and Ed Williams, tight ends Justin Perillo and Mitchell Henry, offensive linemen Matt Rotheram, Garth Gerhart, Andy Phillips and Jeremy Vujnovich, linebackers Joe Thomas, James Vaughters and Jermauria Rasco (waived/injured), cornerbacks Tay Glover-Wright and Ryan White and safety Jean Fanor.

The team also placed defensive linemen Datone Jones and Letroy Guion on the reserve/suspended list.


The Vikings on Saturday cut offensive tackle Babatunde Aiyegbusi, defensive tackle Chigbo Anunoby, defensive end B.J. Dubose, guard Isame Faciane, center Tom Farniok, wide receiver Donte Foster, wide receiver Isaac Fruechte, safety Anthony Harris, running back DuJuan Harris, defensive tackle Greg Hickman, defensive end Leon Mackey, linebacker Michael Mauti, linebacker Brian Peters, cornerback Shaun Prater, fullback Blake Renaud, cornerback Josh Thomas, tackle Tyrus Thompson, center Bob Vardaro, linebacker Brandon Watts, wide receiver Ryan Whalen, running back Dominique Williams and offensive lineman David Yankey.

The Vikings also made a trade with the Chargers for offensive lineman Jeremiah Sirles and placed cornerback Jabari Price on the reserve/suspended list.


The Falcons reached an injury settlement with running back Antone Smith. They also placed guard Jon Asamoah, fullback Collin Mooney, and cornerback Travis Howard on injured reserve, and cut tight end Tony Moeaki, linebacker Derek Akunne, offensive lineman Pierce Burton, cornerback Akeem King, offensive lineman Eric Lefeld, linebacker Stansly Maponga, nose tackle Joey Mbu, wide receiver Carlton Mitchell, and linebacker Tyler Starr.

Offensive lineman Adam Replogle, running back Jerome Smith, and tight end D.J. Tialavea were waived-injured.

On Friday, the Falcons cut quarterbacks Rex Grossman and T.J. Yates, linebacker Terrell Manning, defensive end Cliff Matthews, tackle Jake Rodgers, safety Sean Baker, guard Jared Smith and cornerback Kevin White.


Released wide receivers Brenton Bersin and Mike Brown. Cut linebacker Jason Trusnik and running back Jordan Todman, waived defensive tackle Chas Alecxih, safety Marcus Ball, wide receiver Brenton Bersin, linebacker Brian Blechen, wide receiver Mike Brown, cornerback Carrington Byndom, wide receiver Damiere Byrd, defensive end Rakim Cox, tackle David Foucault, linebacker Adarius Glanton, cornerback T.J. Heath, tight end Marcus Lucas, guard Jordan McCray, defensive tackle Terry Redden, tight end Scott Simonson, tackle Martin Wallace and cornerback Lou Young. They also released center Brian Folkerts with an injury settlement, cut guard Ricky Henry and placed defensive end Arthur Miley on injured reserve.

New Orleans

The Saints waived linebacker Justin Anderson, running back Edwin Baker, tackle Nick Becton, tight end Orson Charles (who is suspended for Week One), linebacker Henry Coley, linebacker Jerry Franklin, guard Mike Golic, quarterback Ryan Griffin, tackle Bryce Harris, tackle Sean Hickey, kicker Dustin Hopkins (whose contract is partially guaranteed), defensive back Stanley Jean-Baptiste (whose contract is partially guaranteed), receiver Seantavius Jones, guard Cyril Lemon, tight end Chris Manhertz, running back Toben Opurum, defensive back Sammy Seamster, and defensive back Pierre Warren and they cut four vested veterans: linebacker Parys Haralson, receiver Joe Morgan (pictured), receiver Josh Morgan, and tight end Alex Smith.

Tampa Bay

The Buccaneers cut guard Patrick Omameh, defensive ends Da’Quan Bowers and Lawrence Sidbury, Jr., linebacker Larry Dean, kicker Connor Barth, cornerback Jude Adjei-Barimah, wide receiver Kaelin Clay, tackle Edawn Coughman, defensive end Ryan Delaire, cornerback Brandon Dixon, wide receiver Donteea Dye, cornerback Isaiah Frey, linebacker Khaseem Greene, safety Chris Hackett, linebacker Josh Keyes, wide receiver Tavarres King, quarterback Seth Lobato, defensive tackle Caushaud Lyons and waived-injured kicker Patrick Murray and guard Garrett Gilkey.

The team placed wide receiver Kenny Bell and defensive end Larry English on injured reserve.


The Cardinals cut quarterbacks Logan Thomas and Phillip Sims on Saturday. The team also cut veteran defensive linemen Matt Shaughnessy and Alameda Ta’amu, running backs Marion Grice (waived-injured), Robert Hughes, Paul Lasike and Kerwynn Williams, wide receivers Trevor Harman and Jaxon Shipley, guards Jon Halapio, Antoine McClain and Anthony Steen, tackle Cameron Bradfield, linebacker Gabe Martin, cornerbacks Cariel Brooks, Jonte Green, C.J. Roberts and Jimmy Legree (waived-injured) and safeties Harold Jones-Quartey and Anthony Walters.

St. Louis

The Rams cut offensive tackle Isiah Battle; quarterback Austin Davis; defensive end Martin Ifedi; safety Christian Bryant; center Barrett Jones; tight ends Justice Cunningham and Alex Bayer; running back Malcolm Brown; wide receivers Emory Blake and Daniel Rodriguez; defensive tackles Marcus Forston and Louis Trinca-Pasat; safety Jacob Hagen; cornerbacks Montell Garner, Trovon Reed and Brandon McGee; fullback Zach Laskey; defensive end Matt Longacre; linebacker Marshall McFadden and guard Brandon Washington.

San Francisco

The 49ers on Saturday cut wide receiver DiAndre Campbell, cornerback Marcus Cromartie, offensive lineman Dillon Farrell, running back Kendall Gaskins, tight end Xavier Grimble, cornerback Leon McFadden, linebacker Nick Moody, defensive tackle Kaleb Ramsey, offensive lineman Justin Renfrow, defensive lineman Marcus Rush, nose tackle Garrison Smith, quarterback Dylan Thompson, guard Andrew Tiller and safety Jermaine Whitehead.

The team also placed tight end Busta Anderson and running back Kendall Hunter on the injured-reserve list, placed wide receiver Jerome Simpson on the reserve-suspended list and acquired center Nick Easton in a trade with the Ravens.

Friday, the 49ers released veteran defensive tackle Darnell Dockett, guard Joe Looney, safety Craig Dahl, linebacker Philip Wheeler, wide receiver Isaac Blakeney and offensive lineman Patrick Miller.


The Seahawks placed running back Robert Turbin and cornerback Mohammed Seisay on injured-reserve. Defensive tackle Jesse Williams was placed on the reserve/non-football illness list.

Cornerback Will Blackmon and tight end Anthony McCoy were released, as were offensive tackle Terry Poole, defensive tackle T.Y. McGill, cornerback Douglas McNeil III, safety Ronald Martin Jr., guard Keavon Milton, safety Ryan Murphy, guard/center Will Pericak, linebacker Eric Pinkins, linebacker Alex Singleton, wide receiver Kevin Smith, running back Rod Smith, defensive end Julius Warmsley, wide receiver Kasen Williams, linebacker Tyrell Adams, tight end Rashaun Allen, quarterback R.J. Archer and defensive end Obum Gwacham.

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PFT’s 2015 AFC 53-man roster cuts tracker

Marquis Flowers, Kwame Geathers, Nico Johnson, Orleans Darkwa AP

[Editor’s note: We’re keeping track of the moves as teams make them this weekend, as they have to get to their 53-man roster limit by Saturday at 4 p.m. Check back throughout the weekend, as we’ll update throughout.]


The Bills on Saturday cut quarterback Matt Cassel, saving more than $4 million in base salary. The team also cut defensive tackle Red Bryant, linebacker Kevin Reddick, safety Johnathan Meeks and center Dalton Freeman.

Friday, the Bills released linebacker IK Enemkpali and quarterback Matt Simms in addition to linebacker Quentin Groves, wide receiver Dezmin Lewis, offensive lineman Will Campbell, fullback John Conner, wide receiver Andre Davis, defensive lineman Andre Fluellen, running back Bronson Hill, offensive lineman Darryl Johnson, offensive lineman Alex Kupper, defensive end BJ Larsen, cornerback Merrill Noel, wide receiver Tobias Palmer, offensive lineman Cyril Richardson and running back Cierre Wood.


The Dolphins cut quarterback Josh Freeman on Friday. On Saturday they cut kicker Caleb Sturgis, offensive tackle Aundrey Walker, quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson, wide receiver Damarr Aultman, center Sam Brenner, defensive tackle Deandre Coleman, linebacker James Davidson, defensive end Emmanuel Dieke, running back Mike Gillislee, wide receiver Cobi Hamilton, tackle Donald Hawkins, linebacker Mike Hull, defensive tackle Anthony Johnson, safety Don Jones, guard Michael Liedtke, linebacker Jeff Luc, tight end Tim Semisch, tight end Jake Stoneburner, safety Cedric Thompson and linebacker Jordan Tripp. The team also waived-injured wide receiver Christion Jones.

New England

The Patriots cut wide receiver Reggie Wayne and running back Jonas Gray on Saturday. The team also cut wide receiver Jalen Saunders, tight end Asante Cleveland, cornerback Justin Coleman, cornerback Robert McClain, linebacker Darius Fleming, defensive lineman Zach Moore, defensive back Daxton Swanson, linebacker Xzavier Dickson and safety Brandon King.

Wide receiver Brandon LaFell was placed on PUP.

On Friday the Patriots released quarterback Ryan Lindley, running back Tony Creecy, wide receiver Zach D’Orazio, wide receiver DaVaris Daniels, guard Ryan Groy, tackle Caylin Hauptmann, tackle Chris Martin, linebacker James Morris, defensive tackle A.J. Pataiali’i and defensive tackle Casey Walker.

N.Y Jets

The Jets cut veteran pass rusher Jason Babin Saturday, along with quarterbacks Matt Flynn and Josh Johnson. Veteran linebacker Joe Mays was released, along with wide receivers Shaquelle Evans, Chris Owusu and Walt Powell, tight ends Arthur Lynch and Wes Saxton, running back Daryl Richardson, fullback Julian Howsare, offensive linemen Charles Brown and Wes Johnson, defensive linemen Ronald Talley and Jordan Williams, linebackers Deion Barnes and Taiwan Jones, cornerback Keon Lyn and safety Durell Eskridge. Defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson (four-game suspension) and offensive lineman Oday Aboushi (one game) begin their suspensions, and they also placed running back Stevan Ridley on the reserve/physically unable to perform list.


The Ravens waived wide receiver Tom Nelson, wide receiver Daniel Brown, linebacker Andrew Bose, tackle Blaine Clausell and cornerback Quinton Pointer. Traded center Nick Easton to the 49ers. Cut cornerback Asa Jackson, offensive lineman Jah Reid, wide receiver Jeremy Butler, guard Robert Myers, cornerback Cassius Vaughn, linebacker Brennen Beyer, guard Kaleb Johnson, running back Terrence Magee, running back Fitzgerald Toussaint, fullback Kiero Small, tight end Konrad Reuland, quarterback Bryn Renner and safety Nick Perry. They also waived-injured defensive end DeAngelo Tyson and defensive tackle Micajah Reynolds (waived-injured). Undrafted rookie linebacker Zach Thompson was placed on injured reserve.


On Saturday the Bengals cut defensive tackle Devon Still, cornerback Brandon Ghee, safety Shiloh Keo, wide receivers Michael Bennett and Jake Kumerow, guards Dan France, Trey Hopkins and Tanner Hawkinson, quarterback Keith Wenning, kicker Tom Obarski, center Jake Smith, cornerback Troy Hill, tight end Matt Lengel, safety Floyd Raven Sr., linebacker Trevor Roach, offensive tackle Matthew O’Donnell, defensive tackle DeShawn Williams and running backs James Wilder, Jr. and Terrell Watson. Linebacker Vontaze Burfict was placed on PUP.


The Browns cut quarterbacks Thad Lewis and Pat Devlin, running backs Shaun Draughn and Tim Flanders, wide receivers Darius Jennings, Josh Lenz and Vince Mayle, defensive backs Kendall James, Robert Nelson, Landon Feichter, De’Ante Saunders and Joe Rankin, linebackers Hayes Pullard and Mike Reilly, offensive linemen Eric Olsen, Karim Barton, Erle Ladson, Andrew McDonald, Darrian Miller and Vinston Painter and defensive lineman Jacobbi McDaniel Dylan Wynn.


The Steelers released running backs Jawon Chisholm and Josh Harris, defensive linemen Matt Conrath, Ethan Hemer, and Mike Thornton, safeties Jordan Dangerfield, Alden Darby, and Gerod Holliman, offensive linemen Reese Dismukes, B.J. Finney, and Doug Legursky, cornerbacks Kevin Fogg and B.W. Webb, linebackers L.J. Fort, Shayon Green, and Howard Jones, and wide receivers Shakim Phillips and Jarrod West. The Steelers also waived offensive linemen Kevin Palmer and Mitchell Van Dyk with the “injured” designation.


The Texans cut cornerback Charles James, wide receiver EZ Nwachukwu, defensive tackle Louis Nix, wide receiver Damaris Johnson, defensive lineman Brandon Deaderick, running back Kenny Hilliard, linebacker Lynden Trail, tackle Joseph Treadwell, defensive end Fili Moala, defensive end Dan Pettinato, safety Kurtis Drummond, defensive end Tevita Finau, linebacker Kourtnei Brown, offensive lineman Matt Feiler, safety Corey Moore, center James Ferentz, linebacker Max Bullough, linebacker Tony Washington and wide receiver Chandler Worthy. Guard Chad Slade and quarterback Tom Savage were placed on injured reserve.


The Colts placed defensive tackle Arthur Jones and linebacker Junior Sylvestre on injured reserve and released defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles, wide receiver Duron Carter, wide receiver Vincent Brown, guard David Arkin, outside linebacker Daniel Adongo, quarterback Bryan Bennett, wide receiver Quan Bray, cornerback Chance Casey, nose tackle Josh Chapman, inside linebacker Carlos Fields, defensive tackle Montori Hughes, tackle Ulrick John, outside linebacker Cam Johnson, safety Dewey McDonald, tight end Sean McGrath, linebacker Henoc Muamba, guard Kitt O’Brien, cornerback Eric Patterson, tight end Erik Swoope, cornerback Raymon Taylor and running back Zurlon Tipton.


The Jaguars waived running back Storm Johnson, cornerback Jeremy Harris, wide receiver Neal Sterling, tight end Ben Koyack, quarterback Stephen Morris, defensive tackle Richard Ash, defensive end Camaron Beard, defensive end Cap Capi, wide receiver Kasey Closs, guard Will Corbin, tight end Connor Hamlett, defensive end Ike Igbinosun, wide receiver Erik Lora, guard Chris Reed, cornerback Rashaad Reynolds, linebacker Todd Thomas, cornerback Peyton Thompson and wide receiver Tony Washington. The team released linebacker Jeremiah George, safety Craig Loston and tackle Austin Pasztor and placed defensive tackle Ziggy Hood on injured reserve.


The Titans on Saturday cut wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, receiver Tre McBride, tackle Byron Stingily, guard Josue Matias, guard Will Poehls, receiver Jacoby Ford, receiver Rico Richardson, quarterback Alex Tanney and running back David Fluellen. The team also placed linebackers Zaviar Gooden, J.R. Tavai and Yawin Smallwood on injured reserve.

Friday, the Titans traded guard Andy Levitre to the Falcons for a 2016 sixth-round pick and a conditional 2017 draft pick. They cut linebacker Andy Studebaker, fullback Zach Boren, cornerback Ri’Shard Anderson, center Gabe Ikard, defensive back Khalid Wooten, defensive back Jemea Thomas, defensive lineman Isaako Aaitui, wide receiver Josh Stewart and linebacker Kaelin Burnett.


Cut veteran cornerback Tony Carter, nose tackle Sione Fua, linebacker Zaire Anderson, linebacker Lamin Barrow, running back Kapri Bibbs, wide receiver Isaiah Burse, center Dillon Day, safety Josh Furman, guard Ben Garland, tight end Marcel Jensen, linebacker Steven Johnson, tight end Dominique Jones, wide receiver Corbin Louks, nose tackle Chuka Ndulue, cornerback Taurean Nixon, linebacker Gerald Rivers, tackle Kyle Roberts, tackle Charles Sweeton, wide receiver Jordan Taylor and defensive end Josh Watson. Placed safety T.J. Ward and defensive lineman Derek Wolfe on the reserve/suspended list.

Kansas City

The Chiefs traded safety Kelcie McCray to the Seahawks on Saturday, placed tight end Richard Gordon on injured-reserve and placed cornerback Sean Smith on the reserve-suspended list. The team also cut receiver Da’Ron Brown, defensive end Mike Catapano, safety Sanders Commings, linebacker Ja’Gared Davis, defensive tackle Hebron Fangupo, center Garrett Frye, defensive lineman David Irving, linebacker James-Michael Johnson, center Eric Kush, receiver Tello Luckett, center Daniel Munyer, defensive back Deji Olatoye, guard Jarrod Pughsley, running back Darrin Reaves, cornerback Kevin Short, tackle Derek Sherrod, tight end Ryan Taylor, fullback Spencer Ware and receiver Fred Williams.


Oakland cut quarterback Christian Ponder, safety Taylor Mays, receiver Kris Durham and defensive lineman C.J. Wilson. The following players were placed on waivers: RB George Atkinson, G Mitch Bell, RB Michael Dyer, LB Spencer Hadley, DE Shelby Harris, T Dan Kistler, TE Brian Leonhardt, DT Ricky Lumpkin, CB Tevin McDonald, DT Leon Orr, LB Josh Shirley, K Giorgio Tavecchio, DE Max Valles, DE Gary Wilkins and WR Devon Wylie. Oakland also waived/injured tackle Anthony Morris and put safety Brandian Ross on injured reserve.

San Diego

Released kicker Nick Novak, tight end John Phillips, wide receiver Austin Pettis, linebacker Chi Chi Ariguzo, cornerback Richard Crawford, cornerback Greg Ducre, wide receiver Javontee Herndon, guard Michael Huey, safety Johnny Lowdermilk, cornerback Jordan Mabin, linebacker Ryan Mueller, tight end Brian Parker, safety Adrian Phillips, cornerback Lowell Rose, running back Dreamius Smith, quarterback Brad Sorensen, defensive tackle Damion Square, linebacker Colton Underwood and guard Kenny Wiggins. Traded offensive lineman Jeremiah Sirles to Minnesota. Placed tight end Antonio Gates and guard Craig Watts on reserve/suspended list.

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Hard Knocks recap: Wilfork gets laughs, 10 get cut

Houston Texans OTA's Getty Images

The fourth episode of HBO’s Hard Knocks: Houston Texans went heavy on inside access and other staples of the show that takes viewers inside an NFL training camp and preseason. There were tears, trades, cuts and a cancer survivor, David Quessenberry, finding out on his birthday he’s still a year away from returning to football.

“Every day is a birthday for me, man,” Quessenberry told Texans coach Bill O’Brien. “I’m on bonus time now.”

The theme of the most recent episode was that football time is running out for dozens of players. The Texans had to cut their roster from 90 to 75, and in next week’s series finale they’ll close the preseason and go to 53. Besides Ryan Mallett’s inexplicable practice absence last week and Vince Wilfork’s fashion choice, this episode centered around players on the bubble — and those on the wrong side of it.

Wide receiver Travis Labhart talked openly about getting cut, then got cut, then still allowed the cameras back to his house as he discussed it with his wife. Cameras caught offensive lineman Aaron Adams crying while O’Brien told him he had no doubt he’d be successful after football.

“But the football playing has to improve if you want to continue,” O’Brien told Adams.

The episode started with O’Brien addressing his players about “a critical time in camp” and the Texans’ quest to no longer be “the almost team…the team that almost made the playoffs.”

O’Brien was lighter on the F-bombs than he was in the first three episodes; the fourth was heavier on candid, closed-door conversations and the stars of the show, names you probably know like Wilfork and J.J. Watt and one you might not in Charles James.

James is a cornerback who dabbles as a running back and is an O’Brien favorite, though the coach reminded James in a private meeting “it’s going to be tough” to make the team.

Cameras caught Texans general manager Rick Smith talking trade with John Elway while driving and later finishing it “in the bowels” of the Superdome during last weekend’s preseason game. O’Brien gets specific with the team’s wide receivers about there being too many of them and the backup offensive lineman about there not being enough of them.

Wilfork showing up in overalls, cowboy boots and really nothing else was the comedic highlight, but rookie defensive tackle Christian Covington catching a punt to get the veterans released from the training camp hotel and James taking off for a touchdown that was later negated in the preseason game come close.

Late in the episode, cameras caught O’Brien telling Covington to “make a play. You haven’t made a play in like six f—–g days.” In the final three minutes, 10 players are shown being informed of their release, making the long walk through the locker room to O’Brien’s office and hugging friends on their way out.

The preseason is almost over and Hard Knocks is almost over, too. The series has been good enough for viewers to expect a very strong finish next week.

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NFL important dates, 2015-16

A listing of upcoming National Football League deadlines and events…

August 28-30 – Third Preseason Weekend.
September 1 – Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must reduce their rosters to a maximum of 75 players on the Active List.
September 3 – Final Preseason Games.
September 5 – Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, clubs must reduce rosters to a maximum of 53 players on the Active/Inactive List.
September 5 – Simultaneously with the cut-down to 53, clubs that have players in the categories of Active/Physically Unable to Perform or Active/Non-Football Injury or Illness must select one of the following options: place player on Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform or Reserve/Non-Football Injury or Illness, whichever is applicable; request waivers; terminate contract; trade contract; or continue to count the player on the Active List.
September 6 – Claiming period for players placed on waivers at the final roster reduction will expire at 12:00 noon, New York time.
September 6 – Upon receipt of the Personnel Notice at approximately 1:00 p.m., New York time, clubs may establish a Practice Squad of 10 players. No club, including the player’s prior club, will be permitted to sign a player to a Practice Player Contract until all clubs have received simultaneous notification via the above Personnel Notice that such player’s prior NFL player contract has been terminated via the waiver system.
September 6 – After 4:00 p.m., New York time, a club is permitted to place a player on Reserve/Injured as “Designated for Return.”
September 10 – At 12:00 a.m., New York time, the Top 51 Rule expires for all NFL clubs.
September 10, 13-14 – Regular Season opens.
October 4 – NFL International Series, New York Jets vs. Miami Dolphins, London, England
October 6-7 – Fall League Meeting, New York, New York.
October 16 – Beginning on the sixth calendar day prior to a club’s seventh regular season game (including any bye week) and continuing through the day after the conclusion of the 11th regular season weekend, clubs are permitted to begin practicing players on Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform and Reserve/Non-Football Injury or Illness for a period not to exceed 21 days. Players may be activated during the 21-day practice period, or prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the day after the conclusion of the 21-day period, provided that no player may be activated to participate in a Week 6 game.
October 25 – NFL International Series, Buffalo Bills vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, London, England
November 1 – NFL International Series, Detroit Lions vs. Kansas City Chiefs, London, England
November 3 – All trading ends for 2015 at 4:00 p.m., New York time.
November 4 – Players with at least four previous pension-credited seasons are subject to the waiver system for the remainder of the regular season and postseason.
November 17 – At 4:00 p.m., New York time, signing period ends for Franchise Players who are eligible to receive offer sheets.
November 17 – Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to sign their unsigned Franchise and Transition Players, including Franchise Players who were eligible to receive offer sheets until this date. If still unsigned after this date, such players are prohibited from playing in NFL in 2015.
November 17 – Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to sign their Unrestricted Free Agents to whom the “May 12 Tender” was made. If still unsigned after this date, such players are prohibited from playing in NFL in 2015.
November 17 – Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to sign their Restricted Free Agents, including those to whom the “June 1 Tender” was made. If such players remain unsigned after this date, they are prohibited from playing in NFL in 2015.
November 17 – Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to sign their drafted rookies. If such players remain unsigned after this date, they are prohibited from playing in NFL in 2015.


January 3 – Week 17.
January 4 – Earliest permissible date for clubs to renegotiate or extend the rookie contract of a drafted rookie who was selected in any round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Any permissible renegotiated or extended player contract will not be considered a rookie contract, and will not be subject to the rules that limit rookie contracts.
January 4 – Option exercise period begins for Fifth-Year Option for First- Round Selections from the 2013 NFL Draft. To exercise the option, the club must give written notice to the player on or after January 4, 2016, but prior to May 3, 2016.
January 9-10 – Wild Card Playoffs.
January 10 – Assistant coaches under contract to playoff clubs that have byes in the Wild Card weekend may be interviewed for head coaching positions through the conclusion of the Wild Card games.
January 16-17 – Divisional Playoffs.
January 17 – Assistant coaches under contract to playoff clubs that won their Wild Card games may be interviewed for head coaching positions through the conclusion of Divisional Playoff games.
January 18 – Deadline for college players that are underclassmen to apply for special eligibility. A list of players who are accepted into the NFL Draft will be transmitted to clubs on January 22.
January 23 – East-West Shrine Game, Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida.
January 24 – AFC and NFC Championship Games.
January 30 – Senior Bowl, Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Alabama.
January 31 – NFL Pro Bowl, Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii.
January 31 – An assistant coach, whose team is participating in the Super Bowl, who has previously interviewed for another club’s head coaching job may have a second interview with such club no later than the Sunday preceding the Super Bowl.
February 7 – Super Bowl 50, Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, California.
February 16 – First day for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.
February 23-29 – Combine Timing and Testing, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana.
March 7 – Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.
March 6-9 – Beginning at 12 noon, New York time, clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with the certified agents of players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents upon the expiration of their 2015 player contracts at 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 9. However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 9.
March 9 – The 2016 League Year and Free Agency period begin at 4:00 p.m., New York time.
March 9 – The first day of the 2016 League Year will end at 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 9. Clubs will receive a personnel notice that will include all transactions submitted to the League office during the period between 4:00 p.m., New York time, and 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 9.
March 9 – Trading period for 2016 begins at 4:00 p.m., New York time, after expiration of all 2015 contracts.
March 20-23 – Annual League Meeting, Boca Raton, Florida.
April 4 – Clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2015 regular season may begin offseason workout programs.
April 18 – Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs.
April 22 – Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign Offer Sheets.
April 27 – Deadline for prior club to exercise Right of First Refusal to Restricted Free Agents.
April 28-30 – NFL Draft, Chicago, IL.
May 23-25 – Spring League Meeting, Charlotte, NC.

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NFL 2015 suspension tracker

Cleveland Browns v Atlanta Falcons Getty Images

Here is a list of all the NFL players who have been suspended in 2015.

16 games for substance abuse

Browns WR Josh Gordon

Dolphins DE Dion Jordan

10 games for substance abuse and 4 games for performance-enhancing substances

Free agent CB Jarrett Bush

10 games for performance-enhancing substances

Free agent S LaRon Landry

10 games for substance abuse

Free agent WR Ace Sanders

Free agent S Jakar Hamilton

Free agent CB Loucheiz Purifoy

6 games for substance abuse

49ers WR Jerome Simpson

4 games for Deflategate

Patriots QB Tom Brady (overturned)

4 games for performance-enhancing substances

Chargers TE Antonio Gates

Free agent G Ryan Seymour

Broncos DE Derek Wolfe

Giants LB Victor Butler

4 games for substance abuse

Jets DE Sheldon Richardson

Cowboys LB Rolando McClain

Steelers WR Martavis Bryant

Rams RB Trey Watts

4 games for personal conduct

Cowboys DE Greg Hardy

3 games for substance abuse

Bears DT Jay Ratliff

Cardinals RT Bobby Massie

Chiefs CB Sean Smith

Packers DT Letroy Guion

2 games for substance abuse

Free agent WR Da’Rick Rogers

Vikings CB Jabari Price

Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell

1 game for substance abuse

Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount

Bills DT Marcell Dareus

Jets OT Oday Aboushi

Buccaneers DT Akeem Spence

Packers DE Datone Jones

Free agent RB Ahmad Bradshaw

Free agent OT Eben Britton

1 game for personal conduct

Saints TE Orson Charles

1 game for undisclosed reason

Free agent RB Quentin Hines

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Hard Knocks follows familiar template, delivers strong episode

Houston Texans OTA's Getty Images

Long before the third episode of Hard Knocks: Houston Texans dove into the news of the week and the team’s quarterback situation, it provided some downright entertaining television.

Texans rookie tight end Khari Lee delivering a spot-on impersonation of Texans coach Bill O’Brien — in front not only of O’Brien but the entire team — was the highlight, but not the only one.

Brian Cushing puked during practice. Repeatedly. For the first time in this edition of Hard Knocks, the cameras were behind closed doors as a player was released. Unknown and bubble players got their 15 seconds of spotlight. And a series that’s featured J.J. Watt and and the F-bomb was strong from the opening sequence, when Watt addressed his teammates in a practice huddle by telling them, “Together, we’re the baddest f—–g team on the planet and that’s how we’re going to attack every f—–g day.”

A little cheesy but almost fully unplugged, both that quote and the third episode as a whole followed the classic Hard Knocks model: private coach to general manager and player discussions, rookie skit night, candid non-football scenes and enough variety to satisfy the hardcore football fan, too. At one point O’Brien called for Watt to be put in a goal line play, and Watt of course came through the line unblocked and knocked the ball away from running back Alfred Blue.

“That’s why you put me in the damn game,” Watt told the cameras after retreating to the sideline.

Journeyman outside linebacker Kourtnei Brown, cut seven times over the last three years, was shown getting the business from outside linebackers coach Mike Vrabel for not performing and later shown returning an interception 69 yards for a touchdown in last weekend’s preseason game. Vrabel has made a handful of cameos in the series, almost all of them colorful, and what was shown of his halftime chat with Brown and others was short but powerful.

“We’re either gonna be an NFL player or we’re not,” Vrabel said. “It ain’t for everybody, but the ones it’s f—–g for, it’s f—–g great.”

He unintentionally summed up this episode of Hard Knocks well.

O’Brien likes cornerback Charles James so much he tried him at running back in a practice. The first appearance by general manager Rick Smith took viewers inside a workout by veteran safety Quintin Demps, the subsequent release of rookie defensive lineman Jasper Coleman and how Smith and O’Brien converse on what they’ve seen in practice and what they’d like to see more.

O’Brien was so disgusted with his offense’s showing at Denver that he was caught screaming from the sideline to the offense that it “looks like s—t. Speed the f—–g s–t up. I’m tired of watching this slow b——t.” In a different sequence he told a full-staff meeting that the coaches might be throwing too much at the players instead of just letting them play.

“Sometimes,” O’Brien said, “we’re trying to stuff 15 pounds of s–t in a 10-pound bag.”

That’s a new one. The episode template was not, but both the Texans and HBO’s producers delivered. It closed with O’Brien delivering the news to quarterbacks Brian Hoyer and Ryan Mallett that he’d picked Hoyer as the team’s starter, mostly due to consistency. Inexplicably, cameras did not catch much reaction from either Hoyer or Mallett.

Near the end of the episode viewers got their first mention of O’Brien’s 13-year old son Jack, who was born with a rare neurological disorder and suffers seizures every morning. The segment on Jack O’Brien was brief but open, and it transitioned back to football quickly.

An interview with O’Brien’s wife, Colleen, was highlighted by her saying her husband “doesn’t curse as much at home.”

She’s apparently been watching Hard Knocks, too.

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Hard Knocks recap: More F-bombs, more actual football in latest episode

Cushing AP

A week after Hard Knocks: Houston Texans started with a bunch of F-bombs from Texans head coach Bill O’Brien and linebackers coach Mike Vrabel, the second episode started with more F-bombs from O’Brien and Vrabel.

Soon, too, came more of the J.J Watt infomercial that the first episode delivered. Watt is the unquestioned star of the Texans, and it’s almost like the Hard Knocks producers are trying carefully to avoid a Watt overdose.

Hard Knocks is supposed to be raw and real, and O’Brien hasn’t held back. Though Vrabel has played a secondary role, early in the second episode the cameras caught up him close with rookie Lynden Trail — like, practically inside Trail’s facemask — asking Trail how many times he was going to give up the same play.

The answer, apparently, was a bunch. Which brought the cameras back to Vrabel, who was screaming.

“Trail, let’s see if you can play,” Vrabel said. “Here’s what we’re gonna try, we’re all gonna worry about our own f—–g game. There’s plenty to worry about with Trail.”

That set the stage for some other Hard Knocks staples, like the segue from uncensored screaming to a personal off-field piece and, later, the jump from spotlighting an established veteran to a player struggling to make the team. Though this year’s second episode lacked the sizzle of the first, it was heavier on football and dove deeper into stories that didn’t involve Watt or O’Brien.

There was a great O’Brien moment, though, with the head coach addressing his assistants during a practice break. He made it known he was stopping the music that often plays over the speakers during team periods because “I want to hear the play. I want to see what these f—–s know. I want to know what these f—–s know.

“I know you know,” he told his coaches. “We’re telling them what to do on every play and if they don’t know, that’s part of the evaluation and we cut their f—-g asses. Let’s see what the f–k they know.”

From there, Hard Knocks went heavy on highlights of the Texans’ preseason debut last Saturday night. The Brian HoyerRyan Mallett quarterback competition, skimmed over in the first week, was spotlighted in the second half of the newest episode. A montage of both quarterbacks scoring touchdowns in practice was followed by game footage.

Hoyer, who started last week, left the game after one drive and one touchdown. Mallett, who’s starting this weekend vs. the Broncos, played well but mismanaged a two-minute drill and called his own number on a third down and three play, and the cameras caught his post-gaffe conversations with O’Brien.

Veteran linebacker Brian Cushing was shown apologizing to running back Alfred Blue for bumping into him after a play.

“Just kidding,” Cushing said. “I did it on purpose.”

Then came a two-minute sequence of Cushing and Blue battling in a one-on-one pass-protection drill. Cushing challenges Blue to one more try at the end of the drill, and in that additional rep Cushing basically throws Blue to the ground with one hand and touches the tackling dummy with the other. It was total domination and great television.

Blue was caught by the cameras walking away from the drill and saying of Cushing, “That mother f—-r is strong, boy.”

Blue had another quality cameo later when the cameras followed him to a local barber shop on the day before the preseason opener. The barber questioned Blue about his new role as the lead back following Arian Foster’s injury, then asked Blue if he had any insight on the quarterback competition.

Blue responded that he couldn’t talk about that because “I don’t want (O’Brien) cussing me out.”

Earlier in the episode, O’Brien discussed media responsibilities in a full-squad meeting and told his rookies they didn’t have to answer any questions about teammates or just generally made them uncomfortable. When he got a cliche answer from rookie linebacker Benardrick McKinney about just wanting to help the team, O’Brien smiled and called McKinney’s answer “beautiful.”

For three more weeks, though, the Texans have nothing to hide. Every meeting, every word and every battle are caught by cameras and microphones. Hard Knocks, even when it’s not riveting, is thorough.

Near the end of the episode, a play from the preseason opener during which rookie running back Kenny Hilliard found some yardage but took a very stiff shot was replayed from multiple angles. Hilliard was caught coming to the sideline and hearing from O’Brien, “Welcome to the NFL.”

To which Hilliard replied, “This s–t is really real, bro.”

That sums up Hard Knocks. The Texans, their quarterbacks and a bunch of F-bombs will be back next week.

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Hard Knocks recap: F-bombs and fists fly, Watt stars

J.J. Watt Getty Images

One episode into the 10th season of Hard Knocks, there are three clear stars.

One is Texans coach Bill O’Brien. The others are each spelled out in four-letter words: Watt and F–k.

Tuesday night’s HBO debut of Hard Knocks: Houston Texans featured a lot of J.J. Watt, the NFL’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year. It featured a lot of swearing, too, transitioning quickly from the traditional serene pre-camp practice field time lapse scene to a fiery O’Brien reminding his assistants that the Texans get no f—–g respect leaguewide. Later, the two themes were combined with Watt swearing just before the Texans and Washington Redskins scuffled during a joint practice.

As usual, Hard Knocks was a fun f—–g ride.

The first episode was short on football-related storylines. Watt, predictably, was the featured player, but the quarterback competition wasn’t spotlighted until almost 40 minutes into the show and Pro Bowl running back Arian Foster’s injury suffered early in camp that could keep him out for more than two months was only a quick side story, too.

Though O’Brien said before Tuesday’s debut he wasn’t proud of the language he’d used and was certain would show up in the series, the finished product of the first episode came off a little like the coach was the executive producer. His main messages of togetherness and team building were emphasized throughout the episode, right from the start.

Among O’Brien’s quotes from meetings with his staff or the full team that were featured…

**”Let’s be honest. This place has no respect in the league, just so you guys are all aware of that. Turn your TV on. No one talks about the Houston Texans.”

**”The only thing that matters in that f—–g locker room is are you willing to help? Are you willing to help the team win.”

**”You say this is the guy from Georgia? He’s got a name. I don’t give a f–k about Georgia. I care about people, This guy is Akeem Dent. Know him. Can we get 90 guys on the same page? I don’t know. I’m counting on the leaders. Everybody’s talented in the NFL. It’s more than that.”

**(To the team after Foster’s injury) “Personally I feel bad for him but listen very carefully. This is the National Football League and injuries happen every day. That’s why you have a competitive roster. The next guy has to stand up. If you listen to ESPN, (it’s like) ‘Oh s–t! Why the f–k are we even playing the games?’ Like f–k that. We’re a competitive football team. we’re going to work our asses off.”

Watt working his ass off — before camp, during practices and in a solo post-practice session — is featured prominently. Watt is shown tossing what he says is a 1,000-pound tire in a solo workout and later tells the camera crew that last offseason he tossed that tire 30 times in a day.

During this offseason, Watt says, he tossed that tire 51 times in a single day. Then, one day, he tossed a 1,000-pound tire 65 times.

Pretty f—–g strong, Watt is.

Hard Knocks, too, is off to a strong start. Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins traded verbal jabs with Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall — then beat Hall so badly in a 1-on-1 matchup that Hall lost his footing and was injured. Candid sequences featuring defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel and Mike Vrabel getting colorful with their players are featured, too, with Crennel telling his defense it’s “s—-y” and “going to get our ass beat” after one bad practice and Vrabel calling the Texans “soft as f–k, the nicest f—–g team I’ve ever seen” during one of the joint practices with the Redskins.

The first episode closed with frustrations boiling over on the third day of the Texans-Redskins practices and one shoving match turning into a fight, which turned into another fight, and soon there weren’t enough cameras to keep up with flying fists and bodies and even guys not in uniform mixing it up with guys who were.

In the final sequence, cameras caught Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph telling teammates, “Let’s get the f— out of Richmond.”

The Texans did. The good news for viewers is Hard Knocks returns next Tuesday.

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Patriots release emails to NFL on leaks of false information

Email Getty Images

Judge Richard M. Berman has told the NFL and the NFLPA to tone it down regarding the Tom Brady case. That directive apparently doesn’t apply to the Patriots.

The website created by the team in response to the 243-pages-and-nearly-as-many-flaws Ted Wells report has added a new story. It’s dubbed, “League failure to correct misinformation.”

The item consists of a chain of emails between Patriots general counsel Robyn Glaser and NFL general counsel Jeff Pash. The Patriots explain that it is “presented to illustrate the attempts by the Patriots to ask the NFL to correct initial misinformation being reported by the media and to investigate sources of such misinformation, which could only have been league personnel.”

The communications in question began on February 17, when ESPN’s Kelly Naqi reported that the Patriots tried to introduce an unapproved kicking ball into the AFC title game against the Colts. (PFT later reported what actually occurred.) The report from Naqi also contradicted, to a certain extent, the original report from Mortensen.

Patriots spokesman Stacey James complained to NFL spokesman Greg Aiello that “we have ANOTHER leak . . . resulting in a report providing details that no one else would possibly have in a story that tries to implicate a day of game employee.” James also mentioned in his email the NFL’s ongoing refusal to release the accurate PSI measurements, despite the original ESPN report that 11 of 12 Patriots footballs were two pounds under the 12.5 PSI minimum.

“I cannot comprehend how withholding the range of PSIs measured in the game is beneficial to the NFL or the Patriots,” James wrote. “I can only assume, based on the scientific evidence that has been provided to us by multiple independent scientists that the PSI numbers will be within the scientific range. If we had been provided this data within days of the original report, we could have changed the narrative of this story before it led all national news and the damage was done. It has been over 4 weeks and we still can’t get a simple detail that I assume was available the night of the AFC Championship Game!”

The next morning, Glaser forwarded the Stacey James email to Pash, reiterating the team’s earlier request that “the scope of Ted Wells’ independent investigation be expanded to include a review of actions by League personnel.” Glaser said that Pash had promised to “consult with the Commissioner” about the request, but that Pash never responded after that.

Pash replied within 30 minutes, saying that “I have no reason to think [the latest ESPN story] came from our office but I certainly do not condone leaks which I do not serve [sic] anyone’s interest.”

Glaser argued in response that “the leaks would only come from the League office as it would not serve anyone else’s purpose” and urging Pash “to bring your staff and office under control.”

“We have cooperated fully and expediently with Attorney Wells and are now seriously starting to question whether we should do that while our public image and brand continues to be unnecessarily and irreparably tarnished by the League,” Glaser wrote.

Pash later told Glaser that he has “doubts that piecemeal disclosures are likely to accomplish much,” and that “[i]f anything, I would think they are likely to prompt additional questions, additional stories, and additional irresponsible speculation and commentary.”

And then Glaser had enough.

After calling Pash’s responses “pretty disingenuous,” Glaser explained that “if the League is disclosing information that is correcting inaccuracies and misinformation that are currently are hammering away at our brand, we WELCOME the additional stories and commentary.”

“Jeff, you need to step up,” Glaser wrote. “I can’t tell you the number of times you’ve told me that you and your office work for us member clubs. It has been made resoundingly clear to us that your words are just a front. They have no substance at all. If you worked for us, you would already have released today a statement to the effect of, [‘]ESPN, you’ve got it wrong. You do not have full information, you are irresponsibly reporting information that is untrue and you need to stop. Furthermore, as you now know and report reporting yourselves, your original story that 11 of 12 balls were 2 pounds below the minimum allowable psi was just blatantly wrong, we know that because we have the information and here it is…[‘]

“I would appreciate it if you would please tell me everything you are doing, and will continue to do, to stop leaks from occurring. This is information we do not have. We know of not one thing you are doing internally to investigate the sources of the leaks and/or to curtail them. We do know that the one thing we’ve asked you to do — include the League leaks as part of the scope of the Wells investigation — has been rejected by you. So do you blame us for wondering just what the heck you mean when you said, ‘I will continue to do what I can to stop leaks from occurring’?”

The last message in the chain comes from Pash, who called Glaser’s message “personal and accusatory.” He also declined to provide a point-by-point reply, acknowledging that he works for all teams, not just the Patriots.

“Sometimes that creates tension, as it apparently has here,” Pash said.

Still, the messages make it obvious that the Patriots repeatedly asked the NFL to direct Wells to explore the leaks as part of his investigation, and that the NFL refused to do so.

That directly contradicts comments from Commissioner Roger Goodell at a press conference in May. Pressed by Tom Curran of on whether Ted Wells was asked to investigate leaks (including the original 11-of-12-balls debacle), Goodell said that Ted Wells “had the opportunity to evaluate that.”

Apparently, he didn’t. But that doesn’t make it too late for Wells or someone else to make another million or so finding out who in the league office turned #DeflateGate from an act of gamesmanship at worst into the crime of the century, all by leaking blatantly false information to Chris Mortensen of ESPN.

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Robert Kraft tees off on Brady ruling

Robert Kraft AP

[Editor’s note: On Wednesday morning, Patriots owner Robert Kraft unexpectedly provided a statement to the media before a previously-scheduled press conference from coach Bill Belichick. The full text of Robert Kraft’s statement appears below.]

I felt it was important to make a statement today, prior to the start of training camp. After this, I will not be talking about this matter until after the legal process plays itself out, and I would advise everyone in the organization to do the same and just concentrate on preparation for the 2015 season.

The decision handed down by the league yesterday is unfathomable to me. It is routine for discipline in the NFL to be reduced upon appeal. In the vast majority of these cases, there is tangible and hard evidence of the infraction for which the discipline is being imposed, and still the initial penalty gets reduced. Six months removed from the AFC championship game, the league still has no hard evidence of anybody doing anything to tamper with the PSI levels of footballs.

I continue to believe and unequivocally support Tom Brady. I first and foremost need to apologize to our fans, because I truly believe what I did in May, given the actual evidence of the situation and the league’s history on discipline matters, would make it much easier for the league to exonerate Tom Brady.

Unfortunately, I was wrong.

The league’s handling of this entire process has been extremely frustrating and disconcerting. I will never understand why an initial erroneous report regarding the PSI level of footballs was leaked by a source from the NFL a few days after the AFC championship game, [and] was never corrected by those who had the correct information. For four months, that report cast aspersions and shaped public opinion.

Yesterday’s decision by Commissioner Goodell was released in a similar manner, under an erroneous headline that read, “Tom Brady destroyed his cellphone.” This headline was designed to capture headlines across the country and obscure evidence regarding the tampering of air pressure in footballs. It intentionally implied nefarious behavior and minimized the acknowledgement that Tom provided the history of every number he texted during that relevant time frame. And we had already provided the league with every cellphone of every non-NFLPA that they requested, including head coach Bill Belichick.

Tom Brady is a person of great integrity, and is a great ambassador of the game, both on and off the field. Yet for reasons that I cannot comprehend, there are those in the league office who are more determined to prove that they were right rather than admit any culpability of their own or take any responsibility for the initiation of a process and ensuing investigation that was flawed.

I have come to the conclusion that this was never about doing what was fair and just. Back in May, I had to make a difficult decision that I now regret. I tried to do what I thought was right. I chose not to take legal action. I wanted to return the focus to football.

I have been negotiating agreements on a global basis my entire life. I know there are times when you have to give up important points of principle to achieve a greater good. I acted in good faith and was optimistic that by taking the actions I took the league would have what they wanted. I was willing to accept the harshest penalty in the history of the NFL for an alleged ball violation because I believed it would help exonerate Tom.

I have often said, ‘If you want to get a deal done, sometimes you have to get the lawyers out of the room.’ I had hoped that Tom Brady’s appeal to the league would provide Roger Goodell the necessary explanation to overturn his suspension. Now, the league has taken the matter to court, which is a tactic that only a lawyer would recommend.

Once again, I want to apologize to the fans of the New England Patriots and Tom Brady. I was wrong to put my faith in the league. Given the facts, evidence, and laws of science that underscore this entire situation, it is completely incomprehensible to me that the league continues to take steps to disparage one of its all-time great players, and a man for whom I have the utmost respect.

Personally, this is very sad and disappointing to me.

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