Now not working, Aldon Smith asks for reduction in child support

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In 2013, Aldon Smith was one of the best defensive players in the NFL and was making millions of dollars a year and expecting to make millions of dollars a year for many years to come. Based on his income, Smith was ordered to pay $9,007 a month in child support to the mother of their then-infant son.

Since then, Smith’s career has fallen apart. He is currently suspended by the league indefinitely, and as a result he is asking for a reduction in child support.

“I have had no income since November 2015,” Smith said in court documents. “I have done my best to stay current, but without an income I have fallen behind.”

Smith is currently behind almost $79,000 in payments, but TMZ reports that he continues to live a lavish lifestyle, suggesting that he still does have some money left from those NFL millions.

The 28-year-old Smith recorded 19.5 sacks and was a first-team All-Pro in 2012. He most recently played for the Raiders and would go back to them if he is reinstated.

Nick Folk cleared to resume kicking after knee surgery

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Free agent-to-be Nick Folk has been cleared to resume kicking after knee surgery last season, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com.

Folk had posted four straight seasons converting over 80 percent of his field goal attempts with the New York Jets before joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last offseason. Folk won the Buccaneers’ kicking job over Roberto Aguayo and Zach Hocker only to have issues himself during the regular season. He converted jut six of 11 field goal attempts and missed two of nine extra point tries in four games before being placed on injured reserve.

Exactly how much his knee injury hindered him last season in uncertain. However, his track record of previous success should at least warrant a chance to earn a job in a training camp this summer. He will be an unresticted free agent alongside other veterans such as Graham Gano, Adam Vinatieri, Sebastian Janikowski, Matt Bryant, Blair Walsh and Mike Nugent.

Lions add Brian Picucci as offensive quality control coach

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The Detroit Lions continue to fill out their coaching staff around new head coach Matt Patricia.

The team announced Tuesday the addition of Brian Picucci as an offensive quality control assistant.

Picucci spent the last two seasons as an assistant at the University of Maine. He was the team’s offensive line coach and run game coordinator last season, and running backs coach in 2016.

A former fullback and tight end at Syracuse from 1989-93, Picucci has spent 24 years as a coach in the college ranks.

Bears cornerback Deiondre’ Hall, Chiefs cornerback Makinton Dorleant get probation for bar fight

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Chicago Bears cornerback Deiondre' Hall pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and public intoxication stemming from an arrest in Cedar Falls, Iowa following a bar fight last March.

Via Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times, Hall pleaded to the misdemeanor charges on Feb. 6 and received six months probation.

Hall was arrested with the police report of the incident claiming he spat in the faces of officers, refused to answer questions and tried to escape before being tasered.

Cornerback Makinton Dorleant was also arrested and pleaded guilty to interference with official acts. He received a year of probation for his plea.

Hall has appeared in 10 games for the Bears over the past two seasons after being a fourth-round pick in 2016.

Dorleant played in four games for the Green Bay Packers in 2016 before being released last April. He signed a futures contract with the Kansas City Chiefs in January.

Dolphins may be trying to trade Jarvis Landry

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There’s another possible message that the quick decision to tag receiver Jarvis Landry sends to other teams, other than, “Don’t tamper with him next week.” And the message may be this: “Make us an offer.”

A league source tells PFT that the the quick tag is being interpreted as a desire by the Dolphins to trade Landry.

No trade can happen unless and until Landry signs the tender. As a practical matter, a trade is unlikely unless and until he’d agree to an acceptable long-term contract from the new team.

The challenge comes from calculating a long-term offer, given that Landry can sit tight and make more than $16 million in 2018, with the promise of a shot at the open market or a 20-percent raise in 2019.

Rumors of a potential Landry trade emerged last year. With Landry officially tagged as all teams prepare to head to Indianapolis, every team is on notice that Landry possibly could be had — if a deal can be worked out both with the player and his current team.

Eli Rogers off the crutches five weeks after ACL surgery

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Steelers receiver Eli Rogers gave an update on his recovery from ACL surgery.

“Off the crutches,” Rogers tweeted Tuesday.

Rogers, 25, injured his knee on the final drive of the Steelers’ 45-42 playoff loss to the Jaguars on January 14. He underwent surgery three days later. Based on the timing of the injury, Rogers faces a challenge in returning for the start of the 2018 season.

He becomes a restricted free agent next month.

Rogers had only 18 catches for 149 yards and one touchdown in 2017, losing snaps to Martavis Bryant and JuJu Smith-Schuster.

Early tag on Landry sends a message, but what’s the message?

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Typically, franchise tags get applied near the end of the two-week window for doing so, not the beginning. As mentioned on PFT Live this week, an early tag happens only when the team wants to send a message.

As to Miami’s decision to tag receiver Jarvis Landry, the content — and recipient — of the message isn’t clear. Surely, the Dolphins had one or more reasons for doing it on the first day.

Here’s a potentially significant possibility: By tagging Landry now and removing any doubt as to his status, Landry’s agent (and in turn Landry) won’t become aware next week at Tampering Central a/k/a the Scouting Combine of the long-term offers that other teams would make if Landry wasn’t tagged.

Instead, Landry has now exited the market, making it useless to tell him what he’d get if he managed to get to free agency. And no one will be signing him to an offer sheet, since an offer sheet that is signed and not matched would cost a pair of first-round draft picks. Thus, the question becomes whether he and the Dolphins will work out a long-term deal before July 16.

Of course, there’s also a question as to whether the Dolphins truly want to do a long-term deal. Maybe they’ve decided to keep Landry around (at more than $16 million) for one more year while they wait to see whether 2015 first-round receiver DeVante Parker will be the better option to pair over the long haul with Kenny Stills.

Regardless, and barring a decision to remove the tender, Landry will spend at least one more year with the Dolphins. We’ll know by the middle of July whether he’ll definitely be on the team for at least two more years.

Ryan Shazier still has sights set on Hall of Fame

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There are certain people against whom it’s never wise to bet, no matter the odds. Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier is one of those people.

Shazier underwent spinal stabilization surgery in December. For most, the procedure that rules out contact sports, permanently. Shazier already has shown that he’s far different from most.

Via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Shazier said on teammate Roosevelt Nix‘s podcast that he intends to play again — and to play well enough to make it to the Hall of Fame.

“Since I’ve been in college, I really wanted to go to the Hall of Fame, I still want to go to the Hall of Fame,” Shazier said. “All my goals are like making me want to go to the Hall of Fame.”

He has confidence in his ability to play, and he has confidence in his ability to play at a high level.

“I really feel I’m the best linebacker ever,” Shazier said. “I just got to be back out there so everybody can see it. You know what I’m saying?”

Whether he can return to play depends on his ongoing recovery from the injury. He explained the rehab efforts.

“I’m really trusting the process,” Shazier said. “I know the end goal. So I’m taking every step of the way, I’m giving everything I got. The therapists are like, ‘Man this is crazy; I’ve never seen anyone work this hard.’ They almost see progression every day.”

Shazier recently attended a Penguins game. He said that he stood up during the game in order to send a message.

“I really wanted to do that because I felt everybody needed to see that,” Shazier said.

We all saw it, and we can’t want to see what Ryan Shazier does next. No matter where this lead, Ryan’s attitude and outlook has served as an inspiration to anyone who is dealing with any type of adversity.

Dolphins announce they have used franchise tag on Jarvis Landry

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The Dolphins didn’t wait long, using the franchise tag on receiver Jarvis Landry on the first day. The team announced the move Tuesday night.

The franchise tag for a receiver is projected to cost $16.2 million.

The Dolphins now have until 4 p.m. ET on July 16 to get Landry signed to a long-term deal.

Landry, 25, has 400 catches for 4,038 yards and 22 touchdowns in his four-year career.

Report: Dolphins likely use franchise tag on Jarvis Landry

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The Dolphins are expected to use the franchise tag on receiver Jarvis Landry, Joe Schad of the Palm Beach Post reports.

The franchise tag for a receiver is projected to cost $16.2 million.

Teams have until 4 p.m. ET on March 6 to use the tag, and the Dolphins then would have until 4 p.m. ET on July 16 to get Landry signed to a long-term deal. Otherwise, Landry would play under the one-year deal.

Landry, 25, led the league in receptions with a single-season franchise-record 112 last season. He gained 987 yards and a career-best nine touchdowns.

With more receptions than any other player in NFL history after four seasons (400), Landry would find a lot of interest on the open market.

Andrew Luck has started throwing, says second surgery “not an option” right now

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Andrew Luck sounds more hopeful even than Frank Reich does about his return.

The Colts quarterback said he has started throwing, though he remains in the phase of building strength.

“I’m in the middle of sort of a little bit of throwing, strengthening and preparing my shoulder for the throw load of being an NFL quarterback,” Luck said in a pre-recorded interview with Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, via Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star.

Luck missed all of last season but sounds encouraged by his rehab.

“I feel awesome. I really do,” Luck said. “I’m in a great place.”

Two weeks ago, General Manager Chris Ballard said Luck does not need a second surgery, and Luck confirmed Tuesday.

“That is not an option for me right now,” Luck said. “That ship has sailed in my mind as far as I’m concerned, which is a relief. I’m not going to lie.” “

Frank Reich “hopeful” Andrew Luck able to throw in OTAs

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Andrew Luck still is building strength in his surgically repaired shoulder, but new coach Frank Reich hopes the quarterback can participate in OTAs.

The Colts, though, learned last season that “hope” isn’t a guarantee.

“You know what? I’m hopeful that maybe that could happen,” Reich said, via Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star. “I’m hopeful, yeah. I know it sounds odd, but I’m not demanding an answer on that. I’m not, ‘Hey, someone tell me, is he ready?’ I hope he’s there, but we’ll go on if he’s not. I’m optimistic, and I’m hopeful, but honestly that’s not the forefront question on my mind every day coming to work.”

Colts General Manager Chris Ballard said two weeks ago that the team doesn’t believe Luck needs more surgery.

Jon Gruden asks what Oakland will have when Raiders leave, A’s answer

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New Raiders coach Jon Gruden wasn’t attempting to insult Oakland’s baseball team with a recent observation about the Raiders’ imminent departure. But the Athletics took it as an insult.

In an interview with Sports Illustrated, Gruden said he wondered what the city will have left once the Raiders leave Oakland and become the Las Vegas Raiders.

“It’s kind of sad, man,” Gruden said. “What will they have once we go?

On Twitter, the official account of the Oakland A’s responded:

“Oakland will have the Athletics, the club with the third most championships in Major League Baseball,” the team tweeted.

Gruden’s return has generated excitement among Oakland fans, who would love to see the Raiders win a Super Bowl before they leave for Las Vegas. But his choice of words won’t be well received in Oakland.

Giants ticket prices remain unchanged for 2018

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The Giants are not raising ticket prices for 2018 after going 3-13 last season.

“There is no change in the cost of your season tickets from a year ago,” team owners John Mara and Steve Tisch said in a letter to Giants season ticket holders, via Paul Schwartz of the New York Post.

The Giants raised ticket prices by an average of 4 percent for 2017, which was the first increase since MetLife Stadium opened in 2010. But Big Blue went only 2-6 at home last season.

“As always, we thank you on behalf of our players, coaches and staff for your continued support,” Mara and Tisch said in their letter. “Last season was disappointing for you and us, and we are committed to producing the kinds of results we all expect.”

Report: Steelers minority owner David Tepper a “strong contender” to buy Panthers

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Jimmy Haslam went from minority owner of the Steelers to majority owner of the Browns in 2012 and someone else may follow the same path to purchasing the Panthers.

Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reports that David Tepper, who owns a small piece of the Steelers and founded the hedge fund Appaloosa Management, is considered a “strong contender” to buy the team. Garafolo spoke to a source who called Tepper the “leader in the clubhouse” to buy the team from Jerry Richardson this year.

Forbes has estimated Tepper’s worth at $11 billion and he’s already gone through the league’s vetting process while making the deal to buy his stake in the Steelers. He would, of course, have to sell that stake if he’s chosen as the buyer in Carolina.

South Carolina businessman Ben Navarro is also reportedly working to put together a bid for the team, which Richardson has owned since it became part of the NFL.