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Jim Irsay’s Twitter account spices up the slow times

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At this juncture of the calendar, the slow news days often are made more lively when a player does something he shouldn’t have done, often resulting in temporary incarceration or longer. This year, a Twitter misadventure from Colts owner Jim Irsay has helped fill the vacuum.

Overnight, Irsay’s account posted a photo of a naked woman from the neck down. Via Deadspin, it was an image from elsewhere on the Internet. According to the New York Daily News, the tweet was deleted 12 minutes after it was posted.

Earlier in the month, Irsay tweeted a warning that he’d been hacked. Presumably, he was hacked again, since per the Daily News the next tweet on the account was directed to multiple Indianapolis news stations and reporters, and for some reason the Indiana Pacers.

Irsay has not yet claimed that he was hacked, and there has been no statement issued from the team. It may be difficult for Irsay, the team, and the league to say nothing about this one, given the extent to which it’s been noticed and mentioned. Six hours later, “Jim Irsay” is still one of the top trending topics on Twitter.

If Irsay was hacked (again), it’s probably time for him to make his password considerably stronger than something like “GoColts” or “PluralLombardies” or “WhereHaveYouGonePeytonManning” or “WhyDidIFireBillPolian” or “passwurd.”

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Falcons promise affordable food and drinks at new stadium

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When the Falcons open their new stadium this season, they say they’re going to have something unusual: Food and beverages that aren’t a ripoff.

Falcons President Rich McKay told Fast Company that fans have spoken up repeatedly that food is too expensive in stadiums, and NFL teams haven’t done enough to listen. This year, the Falcons will have $2 hot dogs, $2 sodas, $5 beers and other affordable options.

“Every year we survey them on everything,” McKay said. “Every year they say the same thing: Food and beverage, don’t like the value, don’t like the price.”

McKay said the Falcons view ticket sales as the way to make money and don’t want to gouge fans on food after that.

“Our tickets in the NFL are not inexpensive, and we can’t use this as an opportunity to hit them harder,” McKay said.

Fans will certainly approve of that.

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Chip Kelly: Colin Kaepernick worked hard, never a distraction

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Former 49ers coach Chip Kelly says Colin Kaepernick was everything he wanted in a franchise quarterback last season.

Kelly said on Adam Schefter’s podcast that Kaepernick was as hard a worker as he could have asked for in their one season together.

“He came to work every day, extremely diligent in terms of his preparation, in terms of his work ethic,” Kelly said, via All22.com. “I really enjoyed Kap. I’ve talked to Kap three or four times since. I think he’s a really good player and a really good person, and I really enjoyed coaching him.

As for talk that Kaepernick’s decision to kneel for the national anthem serving as a distraction in San Francisco, Kelly said that was never the case.

“He explained to all the players his thought process and mindset of what he was doing,” Kelly said. “And there were some players that agreed with him and some players that didn’t agree with him. But after that point, we heard from the outside about what a distraction it is, except those people weren’t in our locker room and it never was a distraction. [Kaepernick] never turned it into a circus or whatever people think.”

Kelly and former 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh have both spoken out vocally in favor of some team giving Kaepernick a chance. So far, no team has.

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Dak Prescott stops by for special edition of PFT Live

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The regular radio version and NBCSN simulcast of PFT Live are on hiatus for the next few weeks, but we’re still doing regular podcasts to fill the time before everything gets back to normal next month.

Wednesday’s edition of the podcast is a good one thanks to a visit from Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott. Prescott joined Mike Florio to discuss what was missing from his rookie season, his relationship with Ezekiel Elliott, his expectations for the coming year and his work with the “Ready. Raise. Rise.” campaign to raise awareness of Immuno-Oncology research and support those battling cancer.

The full video of Prescott’s visit appears here. The interview also will be included in Thursday’s PFT Live podcast, which will be available for free at Apple Podcasts, audioBoom, and wherever else you can get the PFT Live podcast.

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NFL makes David Irving’s suspension official

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In May, there was a report that the Cowboys will be without defensive end David Irving for the first four games of the regular season because of a suspension but there was no official word from the team about the ban.

That word came on Wednesday. The league has announced that Irving has been suspended for a violation of the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy.

Irving will be eligible to return to the team after they play the Rams on October 1. He can participate in practices and preseason games before his suspension starts during the week leading up to their season opener.

Irving had four sacks and four forced fumbles while coming off the bench in 13 of his 15 appearances for the team last season. The Cowboys will roll with Demarcus Lawrence, Charles Tapper, Tyrone Crawford and first-round pick Taco Charlton at end until Irving is eligible to return to the team.

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Report: Clinton Portis was ready to kill a man who lost his money

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Former NFL running back Clinton Portis wouldn’t have been the first player to have lost most of his career earnings.

But he came perilously close to making things much worse.

According to a story by Brian Burnsed of Sports Illustrated, Portis was considering killing one of his former managers who was responsible for losing millions of dollars.

Portis was sitting outside a building with a gun, and had to be talked out of shooting the man by a friend.

“It wasn’t no beat up,” Portis told the magazine. “It was kill.”

He added that if he hadn’t been calmed down before seeing the man: “We’d probably be doing this interview from prison.”

Portis made $43.1 million during his career with Denver and Washington, but most of it was either spent or lost through bad investments and alleged withdrawals from his accounts without his consent.

He’s filed multiple lawsuits against former financial advisers, and was caught up in a Ponzi scheme. He filed for bankruptcy in 2015, and acknoweldged that he spent too lavishly during his heyday.

“Portis was on a different level,” former teammate Santana Moss said. “He didn’t think about tomorrow.”

At least someone intervened before he made matters worse, or his tomorrows might have been spent behind bars. Portis is now living in an apartment in Virginia, where he does some television work for his old team.

“Most people would have offed themselves if they had to deal with what I had to deal with,” Portis said. “Life is so much clearer after coming out of that storm.”

The story features a number of disturbing details, and should serve as a cautionary tale to other players.

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Could other RFAs follow Zachary Orr’s lead?

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Linebacker Zachary Orr’s decision to try to play football in 2017 was an unexpected one based on his January announcement that he was halting his playing career because of a neck injury and the timing of that announcement has left him as an unrestricted free agent at this point in the offseason.

That probably would not have been the case had Orr waited a little longer to share his initial plan for the future. Just before Orr announced his “retirement,” there was a report that he and the Ravens were discussing a long-term contract and, failing that, Orr was set to be a restricted free agent who likely would have received a tender offer from Baltimore.

As a source with knowledge of the situation told PFT, the team did not do that because Orr said he was retiring. The source also asked “what would stop [another] player from doing that to escape” restricted free agency?

Players could try it, but the Ravens or another team could shut the loophole by simply tendering them at the lowest level regardless of their stated desire to stop playing. The player might not sign the tender, but if they aren’t going to play for another team because their original club would still hold onto their rights if they file retirement paperwork from the league.

The Ravens didn’t do that in this case, which may mean Orr winds up playing somewhere else in 2017 and should mean that teams approach any similar situations differently in the future.

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Drew Brees wants to “save the game of football” with flag football

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A bunch of retired guys played flag football in San Jose last night, in hopes of creating a product someone will watch on television.

But Saints quarterback Drew Brees is aiming even higher with his attempt to popularize the safer version of his sport.

According to Mike Triplett of ESPN.com, Brees is launching a co-ed youth flag football enterprise called the Football ‘N’ America League with an eye toward the future of the game.

“I think that this has the opportunity to really save the game of football, honestly,” Brees said. “I think we’re filling a void that is much-needed.

“We felt like, you know what, we have the opportunity here to really create what will be the premier youth co-ed flag football league in America.”

Brees said he came upon the idea while coaching a kids team in San Diego the last few offseasons. The league will begin in New Orleans and around Louisiana this fall, before expanding to other states next year.

Brees played flag football as a kid in Texas and didn’t play tackle until his freshman year in high school And he’s turned out OK. But now that he has four kids, he’s even more sure of the need for such programs.

“I would not let my kids play tackle football right now, because I don’t think that’s necessary, and I don’t think it’s as fun at this level, and I just think there’s too much risk associated with putting pads on right now at this age,” Brees said. “So how can I still allow them to enjoy the game and learn about the game and develop a passion for the game and enjoy everything it has to offer? Well, flag football.

“I think that flag football is the perfect alternative to the parents who have concerns about concussions and the injuries around football. Because you’re still able to enjoy the game of football, but in a very fun, safe and yet competitive environment. And you can still learn all the same life lessons and values from a game of flag as you would tackle.”

Between concussion concerns and the cost of equipment and insurance, it’s possible that the move toward flag football becomes a trend anyway. But while Brees is getting in this is as a business venture, he also raises some valid points, and his support can only help the movement.

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Todd Downing “pleasantly surprised” by Marshawn Lynch

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The true measure of how much running back Marshawn Lynch has left in the tank after sitting out the 2016 season will come once the Raiders take the field in September, but it sounds like what the team has seen so far is a bit more than they may have been expecting.

During an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio with Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan, Raiders offensive coordinator Todd Downing was asked about the impression the running back made during his offseason work with the team.

“This is being as genuine as I can be,” Downing said. “He has pleasantly surprised me at every turn. It’s been really neat to be around him. … So everything that we’ve seen on him thus far — and, of course, we’ve only been in pajamas out there practicing — but what we’ve seen has been fantastic. And I’m as excited as the rest of Raider Nation to see what he’s got.”

Lynch will have to continue to impress once he’s out of pajamas and into full pads, but his past success and the quality of the Raiders’ offensive line provide reason to believe Downing won’t have to seriously downgrade his read on Lynch down the line.

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Zachary Orr trying to make a comeback

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Zachary Orr is making a comeback, after initially retiring because of neck issues.

According to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network, the Ravens linebacker has received new word from doctors that the neck and spine condition which caused him to call it a career in January isn’t as bad as initially thought, and that he can continue to play.

Orr was the Ravens leading tackler last year, and they were talking to him about a contract extension at the time he retired.

He was also a restricted free agent, and the Ravens didn’t offer him a tender (which made sense considering they thought he was retired). As such, he’s now an unrestricted free agent, free to talk to anyone.

Teams will want to do their own (thorough) checks to make sure they’re comfortable with his condition, but Orr immediately becomes one of the most interesting names on the market at the moment.

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Logan Ryan speaks up, pays his brother’s $82,000 in student loans

Logan Ryan signed a three-year, $30 million contract with the Titans this offseason, and one of his first orders of business was to pay off his brother’s student loans — and to speak up about a system that leaves millions of Americans with serious debt.

Ryan posted a picture on Instagram of an oversized check representing the $82,000 he paid to get his brother’s loans paid off. With it, he posted a message about how crippling student loan debt can be.

“Surprised my big bro and paid off his student loans for his 29th Bday!” Ryan wrote. “My man got accepted to college, graduated with honors, and now works as an engineer. He did everything the right way and still lives with a ridiculous amount of student loan debt. The system is broken and makes no sense! I’m Fortunate and blessed to be able to take care of that for him.. Love you big bro you deserve it!”

Ryan, a cornerback who played the last four seasons for the Patriots, also did a good deed recently when he and his wife asked all the guests at their wedding to donate to an animal shelter instead of buying gifts.

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Hearing on Michael Floyd’s suspension was held last week

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Now that Vikings receiver Michael Floyd has clarity regarding his situation under Arizona law, he’ll next learn his fate under the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, a hearing was conducted in Floyd’s case last week. Under the current policy, he faces a two-game unpaid suspension, at a minimum. Given that he pleaded guilty to extreme DUI, the penalty could be even greater.

“Absent aggravating circumstances, discipline for a first offense will be a suspension without pay for two (2) regular or postseason games,” the policy provides. “If the Commissioner finds that there were aggravating circumstances, including but not limited to felonious conduct, extreme intoxication (BAC of .15% or more), property damage or serious injury or death to the Player or a third party, and/or if the Player has had prior drug or alcohol-related misconduct, increased discipline may be imposed.”

Floyd’s blood-alcohol concentration was measured at 0.217 percent when he was arrested last year, putting him above the threshold for enhanced penalties.

There’s a separate question as to whether Floyd’s recent violation of the terms of his house arrest, arising from a positive alcohol test, constitutes a second offense under the policy. If it does, he’ll be subject to a separate suspension of eight games.

While that would seem excessive (and thus likely wouldn’t be the outcome), the 0.055-percent reading generated by the in-home testing procedures could be regarded by the league as a violation of Floyd’s treatment plan, assuming he was in the league’s substance-abuse program at the time of the positive test. Depending on his precise status, the incident could potentially trigger separate discipline.

The good news for Floyd is that, once he completes his house arrest, he will have no further obligation to avoid alcohol. This doesn’t insulate Floyd from consequences under the substance-abuse policy, if his treatment plan prohibits alcohol use.

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Vince Young expresses lingering bitterness toward Jeff Fisher

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The Titans made Vince Young the third overall pick in the 2006 NFL draft, and he played five seasons in Tennessee, all for coach Jeff Fisher. Young doesn’t think Fisher did much to help him develop as a franchise quarterback.

Young detailed for Sports Illustrated all the ways he felt mistreated by Fisher, who declined to comment for the story.

“I’m going to expose his ass,” Young said of Fisher, detailing the following issues between them:

1. Fisher leaked private discussions the two of them had to the media.

2. Fisher told the pilot of the team plane to take off without Young the day before a road game during Young’s rookie year, even though Young told Fisher he would only be a couple minutes late to the airport and Fisher had held the plane for other players in the past.

3. Fisher falsely told people that Young was suicidal.

4. Fisher banned Young from team meetings the week after Young walked off the sideline after Fisher pulled him from what turned out to be the last game Young ever played for the Titans.

5. Fisher didn’t respond years later when Young sent him a letter apologizing for his role in their strained relationship.

None of those issues reflect well on Fisher, but on closer scrutiny it’s hard to justify putting all the blame on Fisher for those issues, either.

1. Young is now doing the same thing he criticizes Fisher for doing, telling the media about private conversations the two of them had.

2. Young was late for a team flight. That’s on Young.

3. If Fisher really told people that Young was suicidal to discredit Young, that’s a terrible thing to do. But context matters here: At the same time that Fisher was allegedly telling people Young was suicidal, early in the 2008 season, Young’s own mother was telling the media that Young was “hurting inside and out” to such an extent that he might not want to play football anymore. It’s entirely possible that Fisher was telling people Young was suicidal because Fisher was genuinely worried that Young could hurt himself and was trying to get him help.

4. Young threw his shoulder pads into the stands and stormed off during a game. Fisher is hardly the only coach who would tell a player not to come back after that.

5. Fisher could have been the bigger man and responded to Young’s letter, but Young’s own account of the letter suggests that he realizes he bears some of the blame for his strained relationship with Fisher.

Young sounds like he still blames Fisher for his failures in Tennessee. Perhaps Young should look in the mirror when he wonders who to blame for his subsequent failures in Philadelphia, Buffalo, Green Bay, Cleveland and Saskatchewan.

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Eli Manning has no doubt Odell Beckham will be ready

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Giants receiver Odell Beckham skipped voluntary workouts this offseason, but quarterback Eli Manning isn’t concerned about the two of them being ready to go when the season starts.

“Odell and I, we talk constantly, and he’s up front with me about what his plans are, when he’s going to be there and what he needs to do to get better,” Manning told Jim Rome. “So hey, I promote him in doing whatever it takes for him to be at his best, and for that he thought he needed to be training on his own in California to get his workouts to make sure he’s healthy and ready to go for the upcoming season.”

Some players may skip voluntary workouts because they don’t enjoy putting in the work, but Manning said Beckham is definitely not one of those players.

“The guy’s a workhorse. He’s loves the training, he knows his body, he knows what he’s got to do to get ready and so he felt this was the best way for him to get prepared,” Manning said. “Sometimes as athletes, you know your body better than anyone else. You know what you need to do to get in the best shape and get the most work and that’s what he felt, and you have to support the guy, because he is working. He is doing the right things, and he is trying to get better.”

Beckham’s absence was the biggest story of the offseason for the Giants, but Manning sounds convinced that by the time training camp is open in a month, it will be a non-story.

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Carson Palmer: You never know when your last year is going to be

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Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer said recently that he doesn’t think his age is a reason to bet against him and the team this season and pointed to other quarterbacks who have won the Super Bowl with more experience than Palmer’s 14 NFL seasons.

Tom Brady was one example cited by Palmer and he won the Super Bowl after both his 15th and 17th years in the league. Palmer will make it to his 15th year, but anything beyond that remains up in the air. While Palmer said he’s stopped telling his wife that he’s going to retire after the season, he’s not predicting what he’ll say when the year comes to an end.

“I love every facet of it,” Palmer said, via the team’s website. “I don’t want to stop. But I’ll have to wait and make that decision after the season. … There’s always urgency, especially as you get to the second half of your career. You just never know when your last year is going to be.”

The Cardinals gave Palmer less work than usual this offseason in hopes of keeping him as fresh as possible for the regular season. How fresh he feels come the end of the season and the Cardinals’ spot in the standings will likely have a lot to do with Palmer’s ultimate decision about his playing future.

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