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Adrian Peterson’s dad: This is a victory for all NFL players

Adrian Peterson AP

Judge David Doty’s ruling on Thursday that the NFL could not retroactively discipline Vikings running back Adrian Peterson under the terms of the league’s new personal conduct policy was quickly hailed as a victory of “fairness” by the NFLPA.

Peterson hasn’t issued any statement of his own yet, but his father Nelson gave Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press a similar take on Doty’s ruling.

“I’m happy and blessed that the judge saw this in Adrian’s favor and I see this ruling as not only a victory for Adrian but it’s a victory for all the players in the NFL,” the elder Peterson said.

The next steps for Adrian Peterson remain on hold since the NFL can appeal Doty’s ruling, but his father said that the Vikings “hold that card” whenever the time comes to make a decision about Peterson’s future because a contract’s in place through 2017. He repeated previous comments about no doors being closed regarding a return to the Vikings and no trade demand being made, although he also said that he’s heard “rumors” of interest from the Cowboys, Cardinals and Colts in a trade for his son.

All of that will have to wait until the NFL decides what action they’ll take in response to a ruling that might have pushed Peterson closer to a departure from Minnesota.

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Reports: Bills talking deal with Josh McCown

Josh McCown AP

The Bills are reportedly trying to add Josh McCown to their quarterback ranks.

The Associated Press reports Buffalo is trying to work out a contract with the 35-year-old McCown, who’s regarded as one of the top passers available in free agency.

According to Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News, a Bills agreement with McCown could occur Friday, an unnamed NFL source told the newspaper.

McCown started 11 games for the Buccaneers in 2014, completing 184-of-327 passes for 2,206 yards with 11 touchdown passes. However, he committed 18 turnovers. The Buccaneers released him on February 11.

McCown visited the Bills not long after being cut by Tampa Bay. He visited the Browns on Wednesday and Thursday but did not strike a deal with Cleveland.

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Chiefs to part ways with veteran tight end Anthony Fasano

Kansas City Chiefs v Arizona Cardinals Getty Images

The free agent market continues to fill up, with more players being cut and getting a chance at an early glimpse.

According to Jeff Darlington of the NFL Network, the Chiefs are cutting veteran tight end Anthony Fasano.

Fasano caught just 25 passes, and scored four touchdowns for the Chiefs last year. He was scheduled to make $2.8 million this year, so they took the chance to get younger and cheaper.

The 30-year-old Fasano should still get some looks, and now he has a two-week head start on the rest of the free agent tight ends.

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Judge Doty finds NFL can’t apply new conduct policy retroactively

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The 16-page ruling from Judge David Doty that reinstates Vikings running back Adrian Peterson turns on one fairly simple conclusion:  The NFL cannot apply its new personal conduct policy retroactively.

“There is no dispute that the Commissioner imposed Peterson’s discipline under the New Policy,” Judge Doty wrote. “It is also undisputed that in the [Ray] Rice arbitration, the hearing officer unequivocally recognized that the New Policy cannot be applied retroactively, notwithstanding the Commissioner’s broad discretion in meting out punishment under the CBA. . . . Consistent with that recognition, the Commissioner has acknowledged that he did not have the power to retroactively apply the New Policy: ‘The policy change was forward looking because the League is “required to provide proper notice.”‘ . . . Yet, just two weeks later, the Commissioner retroactively applied the New Policy to Peterson.”

In other words, Judge Doty concluded that the NFL was making it up as went along.

Some will surely criticize Doty for “rewarding” a man who spanking his four-year-old son until the boy’s legs bled. But this isn’t about criminal justice; this is about respecting the terms of the labor deal that the NFL and the NFLPA have negotiated. It may be easy for the NFL to impose stringent consequences based on the underlying facts, but that doesn’t justify violating a player’s rights.

Meanwhile, the NFL has appeal rights in this case. It’ll be interesting to see whether the NFL tries to get Judge Doty’s ruling overturned, or whether the NFL will attempt to erect other roadblocks to Peterson’s return to football.

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NFLPA quick to declare victory for Adrian Peterson, fairness

Trumka, Labor Leaders Call For Boycott Of Hyatt Hotels Getty Images

It didn’t take long for the NFLPA to declare victory today, after Judge David Doty overturned the suspension of Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.

“This is a victory for the rule of law, due process and fairness,” NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said. “Our collective bargaining agreement has rules for implementation of the personal conduct policy and when those rules are violated, our union always stands up to protect our players’ rights.

“This is yet another example why neutral arbitration is good for our players, good for the owners and good for our game.”

Of course, the league still has the right to appeal the decision, but it’s unclear what their plan is at the moment.

The only official word from the league is a brief “We will review the decision.”

Sof if you thought this game of legal football was over, we might just be getting to the fourth quarter.

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Judge sides with Adrian Peterson

Minnesota Vikings v St. Louis Rams Getty Images

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has won a major victory in the courtroom of Judge David Doty.

Doty ruled today in Peterson’s favor on his appeal of the suspension that he was handed after Peterson pleaded no contest to reckless assault on his son. Peterson and the NFL Players Association argued that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was wrong to apply a new policy to Peterson for an act he committed before that policy was put into place. Judge Doty agreed.

That means Peterson has taken a major step toward being reinstated to the Vikings, although it’s unclear whether he’ll play for the Vikings, get traded to another team or get released. It’s also unclear whether the NFL will exercise its right to appeal Doty’s ruling.

Peterson has indicated that he does want to play this year, but there are multiple reports that he wants to go elsewhere because he feels the Vikings did not support him. The Vikings have said they expect Peterson to play for them this year.

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James Casey adds more stops to his search for a new job

Tennessee Titans v Philadelphia Eagles Getty Images

Tight end James Casey is free to sign with any team in the league after his release from the Eagles and he may meet with all of them before landing a gig for the 2015 season.

Adam Caplan of ESPN reports that Casey has scheduled visits with the Bengals, Jaguars and Redskins. They join the Titans, Browns, Broncos and Cardinals on the list of teams that have met with Casey or set up meetings with him since he hit the open market.

Casey’s a valuable special teams player in addition to being able to play a role as an effective blocker at tight end, fullback or H-back on offense. That usefulness explains why so many teams have shown interest in bringing Casey on their roster.

The expanding list also suggests none of them have proffered a contract that’s made Casey content to stop exploring what else might be out there. We’ll see if that changes with these three new additions or if Casey will wind up making more stops on tour than Taylor Swift.

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Michael Roos announces retirement

Tennessee Titans v Houston Texans Getty Images

The Titans’ long-time left tackle is calling it a career after 10 NFL seasons.

Michael Roos, a 148-game starter for Tennessee since 2005, announced his retirement Thursday on Instagram. The Titans also announced Roos had informed them of his plans to retire.

“After 10 years as a Tennessee Titan I have decided to retire from football,” Roos wrote on Instagram. “I have given this decision much consideration. I feel fortunate to have played this long coming from a TE turned DE turned OT from Eastern Washington University.”

A second-round pick in ’05, Roos started every regular season game in which he played for Tennessee. He missed the final 11 games of the ’14 campaign because of a right knee injury.

Taylor Lewan, the Titans’ No. 1 pick in ’14, is now Tennessee’s left tackle.

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Cowboys have no comment on Wal-Mart incident report

Dallas Cowboys v Philadelphia Eagles Getty Images

On Thursday morning, the media company partially owned by the Cowboys published a police report from a July 2011 incident at a Wal-Mart in Lancaster, Texas.  The Cowboys tell PFT that they have no comment on the police report.

Previously, the Cowboys haven’t officially commented on the reports and rumors of an incident at a Dallas-area Wal-Mart; as recently as last night, the Cowboys said they’re “not in the business of commenting on rumors or an alleged tape the contents of which no one can validate.”  Folks like COO Stephen Jones has told members of the Dallas media that the team has no knowledge of any video.  In contrast, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media declares that the Cowboys have known about the incident that occurred in a Wal-Mart parking lot “for some time” and have “taken particular interest in it.”

They should.  Police were called because someone saw a woman being pulled out of a Mercedes registered to Dez Bryant and dragged to another car.  The woman, who returned to the scene with Dez Bryant, told the responding officer that she got into an argument with a man named Alex Penson, and that she said she “was not assaulted or injured in any way.”

The police officer “determined that there was no offense” after “speaking with all parties involved.”  But the police report reveals no conversation with Alex Penson, who clearly was one of the “parties involved.”  The police report also says nothing about whether and to what extent the incident that prompted the call to police was captured by Wal-Mart surveillance cameras.

Every Wal-Mart store has a security office that includes one or more monitors for viewing the real-time and recorded contents of the surveillance cameras.  The police officer merely had to walk into the store, ask for directions to the security office, and request assistance for the retrieval of the surveillance video, if any.

This story became an open secret among national NFL media members not because of the police report but because of the rumored existence of a video.  While the police report contains no accusations against Dez, who at the time was preparing to start his second NFL season, it contains enough inconsistencies to justify a review of the video at the time the incident happened.  And it definitely justifies an ongoing pursuit of the video — or at a minimum the pursuit of a clear statement that there is no video.

So now the race to get the video (or a clear statement that there is no video) intensifies, whether the video comes from law enforcement, from Wal-Mart, or from someone else who happens to have it and may be inclined to swap it for cash.

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Brandon Bostick found a new friend in Earnest Byner

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In the time it took to make one mistake on the football field, Brandon Bostick lost a chance at a Super Bowl and a job.

But he’s at least found a new friend, someone who empathizes with his plight.

In a first-person account for The MMQB.com, Bostick said he was surprised to get a call out of the blue from a man who understands — Earnest Byner.

Byner’s fumble (and not just any fumble, but The Fumble) cost the Browns the 1987 AFC Championship, so he understands the pressure on Bostick after he cost the Packers a shot at the Super Bowl by misplaying an onsides kick.

“In times of adversity you find out who really has your back,” Bostick said. “One guy in particular has been a big help. His name is Earnest Byner, and you may know him as the running back responsible for The Fumble, which cost the Browns the 1987 AFC title.

“Byner called me out of the blue, and now we talk about once or twice a week. His biggest advice: Face your mistake, don’t run from it.”

Bostick will get that chance in Minnesota now, as the Vikings were quick to claim him off waivers, as they do many Packers cast-offs.

“I’m excited to get out there and seize the opportunity, but I know 2015 won’t be easy,” he wrote. “I will still be haunted by that onside kick, and I will still be remembered as the guy who blew a trip to the Super Bowl. That’s just the way it is.

“Even though I will think about it every day, I hope one day I will be remembered for something else. I do know this: If I ever get another chance to play in a conference championship game, no matter what uniform I’m wearing, I will take a moment to apologize to my teammates on the 2014 Packers. I sincerely wish I didn’t jump up for that ball. I wish we were celebrating a Super Bowl right now.”

Byner probably has similar thoughts about the Browns, and has probably told Bostick that the infamy won’t fade anytime soon.

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Eagles to cut Todd Herremans

Philadelphia Eagles v New Orleans Saints Getty Images

Longtime Eagles guard Todd Herremans is on the way out.

Herremans will be released by the Eagles today, Adam Caplan of ESPN reports.

The 32-year-old Herremans was a fourth-round draft pick of the Eagles in 2005 and has been a starter when healthy for all 10 of his seasons in Philadelphia. Last year he started the first eight games of the season before being placed on injured reserve with a biceps injury.

Apparently the Eagles decided while Herremans missed the second half of the season that the team could do without him. Now Herremans will hit free agency, where he’ll surely be signed by some team that could add veteran depth at guard, even as his age and injury history mean he’s likely going to have to take less money than he’s been making in Philadelphia the last few years.

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PFT Live: NFL exec Eric Grubman on L.A., Bengals/Steelers offseason to-do lists

AMBI Pictures portrait session in Hollywood Getty Images

Plenty of eyes are on Los Angeles right now with the Rams, Chargers and Raiders all in the mix for a move to the City of Angels and we’ll be turning our attention in that direction during Thursday’s PFT Live.

NFL executive V.P. of NFL ventures and business operations Eric Grubman will join Mike Florio to discuss the next steps that will be taken as the league moves toward a return to L.A. Grubman recently said that the most important thing about the competing bids for stadiums “increases the possibility” that something actually gets done.

Florio will also be spending some time in the AFC North where he’ll outline the offseason to-do lists for the Bengals and Steelers after a year that saw both teams make the playoffs before losing their postseason openers.

We also want to hear from PFT Planet. Email questions at any time via the O’Reilly Auto Parts Ask the Pros inbox or get in touch on Twitter at @ProFootballTalk to let us know what’s on your mind.

It all gets started at noon ET and you can listen to all three hours live via the various NBC Sports Radio affiliates, through the links at PFT, or with the NBC Sports Radio app. You can also watch a simulcast of the first hour of the show by clicking right here.

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49ers to bid to host college championship game also

Denver Broncos v San Francisco 49ers Getty Images

If the college football folks wanted to stir up some big-city interest, it seems to be working.

According to the Associated Press, the 49ers plan to bid to host a national championship game at Levi’s Stadium.

New York-New Jersey officials are also considering a bid for the title game, as organizers are reaching out to non-traditional college football sites.

The 49ers (and Giants and Jets and perhaps the Colts and Vikings) would be bidding on either the 2018, 2019 or 2020 college title games. Teams have until May to bid, with a decision expected in the fall.

Semifinal games in the four-team playoff are staying within the existing bowl structure, while the championship game is being shopped around.

The Cowboys hosted the first one last month, and the next two will be in Glendale, Ariz., and Tampa, Fla.

Levi’s Stadium has already landed the obligatory Super Bowl for a new building, and has also hosted the Pac-12 championship game, along with bringing 70,000 in for a hockey game last weekend.

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Mike Tannenbaum: For now, Mike Wallace is under contract

Mike Wallace AP

The Dolphins have been noncommittal about wide receiver Mike Wallace’s future with the team since he ended the 2014 season on the bench after a spat with the team’s coaching staff.

Executive vice president of football operations Mike Tannenbaum is remaining that way in the face of a report that the team is shopping Wallace to other teams in hopes of making a trade. Tannenbaum wouldn’t comment on that report from Ian Rapoport of NFL Media during a Thursday appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio and he didn’t offer much more while being interviewed on WINZ in Miami.

“For now, Mike’s under contract. We’ll see where we go from there,” Tannenbaum said, via Dave Hyde of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Wallace is set to make $9.9 million in 2015 in the third year of a deal that runs through 2017, which would make him tough to deal if he weren’t also coming off two years of underwhelming on-field performance punctuated by off-field discontent. Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports that the team has also discussed asking Wallace to take a pay cut or just releasing him, something that would leave a healthy chunk of dead money on their cap for 2015.

Whatever route it takes, Salguero adds that his best guess is that Wallace isn’t playing for Miami in 2015. Based on Tannenbaum’s phrasing, that doesn’t sound like a bad guess at all.

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Greg Cosell: Randy Gregory is a better athlete than Jadeveon Clowney

2015 NFL Scouting Combine Getty Images

Nebraska defensive end Randy Gregory said before the combine that he thinks he’s worthy of being the first overall pick of this year’s draft.

With the Buccaneers in need of a quarterback in a year with Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota available, that’s unlikely to happen but at least one draft analyst thinks Gregory is a better prospect than the guy who went first overall last season.

Greg Cosell of NFL Films has said in the past that he feels Gregory is a better prospect than Jadeveon Clowney, who was described by some as a once-in-a-blue-moon prospect heading into the draft last year. During an appearance on The Midday 180 on 104.5 The Zone in Nashville on Wednesday, Cosell said he “probably” still feels that way after watching Gregory during the combine.

“He’s a better athlete than Clowney. He’s more flexible. He’s more explosive in his movement,” Cosell said. “Clearly, not as strong. Clowney could get inside and push back, but Clowney did not have the loose hips that this guy does. Gregory’s a much more explosive mover, a much looser athlete.”

Gregory weighed 235 pounds at the combine and Cosell said the big question about his transition to the NFL is whether he’s going to have enough power and strength to win when engaged with bigger blockers. That’s balanced with having “the traits you would theoretically put down on a piece of paper” for a successful pass rusher, leaving teams high in the draft with an interesting decision to make in a draft with several pass rushing prospects.

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