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Riddick is a candidate in Kansas City, but he hasn’t directly been contacted yet

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A strange situation emerged on Sunday morning, when the league-owned media conglomerate (i.e., partially owned by the Chiefs) reported that the Chiefs had reached out to ESPN analyst and former NFL defensive back Louis Riddick about interviewing for the unanticipated G.M. vacancy in Kanas City. Riddick, who presumably would be interested in interviewing for the job given his interest in the 49ers G.M. position earlier this year, took to Twitter to declare that he hasn’t been contacted by the Chiefs.

So what’s going on? One theory, as offered earlier today on the non-vacation vacation edition of the PFT Live podcast (and in the video attached to this post) is that Riddick simply hadn’t been contacted yet, but that he will be. In that case, his more prudent move arguably would have been: (1) to appreciate having his name in circulation for another G.M. job; and (2) to wait for what may have been inevitable.

As one media source explains it to PFT, the truth is that, technically, the Chiefs hadn’t directly contacted Riddick, but that the team had contacted his representation. Which allowed Riddick to technically claim that he hadn’t been contacted by the Chiefs.

So why did Riddick, who definitely is a candidate for the job, shout down the report from Ian Rapoport of NFL Media on social media? It likely has something to do with what he said, or more accurately didn’t say, about the situation to ESPN. Another factor quite likely may be the fact that ESPN’s NFL information machinery ended up being scooped by a competitor — a dynamic that one specific reporter at ESPN is reputed to be very sensitive about, even if said reporter pretends publicly to not be.

For now, Riddick is continuing to pretend to not be a candidate for the Chiefs job, even though he is. It likely is a matter of time for him to interview, unless he withdraws his name or the team decides based on the clunky public denial to move on to another candidate.

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Vernon Davis recalls the hardest hit he ever took, from Kam Chancellor

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Washington tight end Vernon Davis is heading into his 12th NFL season, but one hit stands out above all the rest as the hardest he’s ever taken.

Davis made an appearance for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington and told a group of kids that the hardest hit he’s taken came from Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor, who hit Davis so hard he felt disoriented.

It was crazy. He hit me so hard, I just got up, I didn’t know where I was going. I kind of lost my memory a little bit. I just got up like this, my face was just like aaagh,” Davis said as he made a face, making the kids laugh. “I just didn’t know what happened. I was like, ‘Wow I just got hit by a very big man.’ He hit me hard. You know what somebody told me? He said, ‘Shake it off. It’s all right. Shake it off.’ I’m like, ‘I can’t remember anything. You tell me to shake it off? Why don’t you go shake it off, buddy?’ That was quite a hit.”

The hit Davis referred to gave him a concussion and drew a flag on Chancellor, although Chancellor was not fined by the NFL.

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“Huge win” for Michael Floyd

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Yes, Vikings receiver Michael Floyd is going back to jail. No, he’d prefer not to. Yes, the fact that his sentence has been limited to only one day is being viewed by him and his representatives as a major victory.

One source with knowledge of the situation called it a “huge win,” pointing out that the presiding judge had broad discretion. The judge could have, for example, forced Floyd to spend in jail the 96 days he was given the opportunity to serve on house arrest. Likewise, the judge could have imposed a fresh sentence of house arrest, with an order requiring Floyd to serve the term in Arizona.

As it stands, one day in jail and five days of house arrest represent a “can I start serving it right now?”-type of an outcome, allowing Floyd to quickly pay his debt to Arizona and then to focus on his efforts to make the team in Minnesota, and to have a major impact on the field in 2017. This outcome allows him to miss not a single day of training camp and the preseason.

Also, the decision possibly will have no impact on his looming suspension from the league for the extreme DUI guilty plea. He faces a baseline suspension of two games, and it can be increased based on aggravating factors. The positive alcohol test becomes less of a problem if, from the judge’s perspective, the glitch necessitated only one day in jail.

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Saints place Nick Fairley on non-football illness list

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Saints defensive tackle Nick Fairley has been visiting doctors recently for opinions about a heart condition that created concern about his ability to continue playing in the NFL.

It looks like the consensus is that it is better for Fairley to put his career on hold. The Saints have placed Fairley on the reserve/non-football illness list, which means he will not be playing football for the team this season.

Coach Sean Payton said earlier this month that Fairley visited with three doctors and that at least one of them told him to stop playing football.

The Saints also have the option not to pay Fairley while he is on the list. Fairley signed a four-year, $28 million contract with the Saints after recording 6.5 sacks for the team last season, but Monday’s news casts serious doubt about whether he will be on the field during the life of that deal.

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Arthur Blank expects Devonta Freeman extension soon

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Falcons running back Devonta Freeman’s contract has been a storyline since Super Bowl week with Freeman making it clear he wants an extension as he moves into the final year of his rookie contract.

Freeman said recently that he believes “something special is coming” and the guy who would ultimately be paying the salary associated with any deal supports that viewpoint.

During an appearance with Jamie Dukes and Mike Bell on 92.9 The Game on Monday, Falcons owner Arthur Blank was asked about contract talks with Freeman. Blank said that he expects a deal with Freeman will be completed soon.

Blank added that General Manager Thomas Dimitroff and coach Dan Quinn will be doing the legwork on negotiating a deal. Dimitroff said in May that he expected conversations about the extension to heat up heading into camp, so it looks like that timeline is shaping up as an accurate one.

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Drug charges against Matt Elam dropped

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Former Ravens first-round pick Matt Elam was arrested twice this offseason, but he is no longer facing criminal charges in either of those matters.

According to multiple reports, authorities in Florida have dropped drug charges against Elam related to a February arrest. Theft and battery charges stemming from a May incident were dropped last week.

Elam was arrested in Miami-Dade County after a traffic stop on February 26. He was charged with marijuana possession, possession with the intent to sell or deliver and possession of a controlled substance after police found marijuana and oxycodone in the vehicle.

Elam played safety for the Ravens for the last four years, but the team did not pick up their option on his contract for the 2017 season. He became a free agent in March as a result and has not drawn any reported interest, although that could potentially change now that Elam is no longer facing charges.

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Ortiz roast scrapped from TV, due in part to Gronk being Gronk

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Sometimes, Gronk being Gronk isn’t suitable for television.

Via the Boston Globe, last week’s roast of former Red Sox star David Ortiz ended up not being shown on NESN over the weekend due to concerns about the over-the-top nature of many of the jokes. Some of those were told by, or referred to, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.

Others referred to former (and now deceased) Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez.

Jimmy Traina of SI.com has posted the video of Gronkowski’s routine, which likely prompted The Situation to say, “Man, that was awkward.”

“Anthony [Mackie] played Falcon in Captain America: Civil War. Anthony, you were terrible, dog. It was the worst I’ve seen a Falcon look since the second half of Super Bowl LI,” said Gronkowski regarding the game in which he was unable to participate due to injury. “I don’t even need to play the f–king game, and I’m still going to the Hall of Fame! And that superhero, you know, that Falcon, the superhero. That’s the black guy. You know, who can even fly when he’s not being chased by the cops? That’s his super power.”

That wasn’t the only potentially offensive joke Gronkowski told: “You wanna know why Jews do play football? To get their quarter back, you cheap f–k.”

And then there was this one, possibly from the Christmas album and apparently in reference to Ortiz’s reputation for showing up late to his endorsement appointments: “David, thanks for showing up on time to all the Dunkin Donuts shoots. I had a blast jackin’ off for two hours in your green room every time. Hopefully you never use those pillows on your breaks.”

Hopefully, Gronk will never do standup comedy again.

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Michael Floyd prosecutor isn’t buying the kombucha tea defense

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More will be known about the fate of Vikings receiver Michael Floyd when we returns to court at 4:30 p.m. ET regarding allegations that he violated the terms of his house arrest. For now, it’s clear that the prosecution is not inclined to cut him any slack.

“He’s in violation and should serve the rest of his jail time,” Caron Close told Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Floyd received a 120-day jail term after pleading guilty to extreme DUI in Arizona. He served 24 days in custody, and he then was permitted to finish the time on house arrest. Presumably, the prosecutor will be taking the position that the full 96 days that Floyd was due to serve on house arrest should now be spent behind bars.

If that happens, Floyd would unavailable for all of training camp, the preseason, and into the regular season. Though he currently faces a minimum suspension of two games for the DUI guilty plea, he otherwise would be permitted to participate in practices and preseason games.

Floyd admits that he tested positive for alcohol; he claims that he had been drinking kombucha tea, and that he didn’t know it contains alcohol. His BAC was measured at 0.055 percent, which means that it contained a lot of alcohol or that he drank a lot of it.

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Eagles WR coach: Alshon Jeffery had his best offseason in years

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The Eagles hired Mike Groh as their wide receivers coach this offseason, which set Groh up for a reunion when the Eagles signed wide receiver Alshon Jeffery to a one-year contract as a free agent in March.

Groh was Jeffery’s position coach with the Bears from 2013-15 and Jeffery turned in his two best NFL seasons in the first two years of Groh’s tenure in Chicago. During a recent discussion of Jeffery’s work this offseason, Groh said that the wideout looked the best he has since their first season working together.

“He and I have a history together, so he knows what I think, and I understand the way that he works and goes about his business,” Groh said, via ESPN.com. “I think the spring that he’s had is as good as he’s had since maybe 2013. Pleased with where he is physically, mentally I think he is in a good place. He’s coming in here and learning a new system and working on the chemistry with Carson [Wentz] and everything like that, but it’s been a good spring for him.”

Jeffery had 89 catches for 1,421 yards and seven touchdowns in 2013 and followed that up with 85 catches, 1,133 yards and 10 touchdowns the next year. Injuries have limited him to 21 games and 106 catches over the last two seasons and surely played a role in his signing a one-year deal with Philly this offseason.

If getting back together with Groh and a productive offseason lead to a rebound on the field this fall, Jeffery will likely be looking at longer deals if he’s back on the open market in 2018.

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Cam Newton throwing again, vows “100 percent” by training camp

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It wasn’t on the practice field during minicamp as coach Ron Rivera suggested was a possibility, and it wasn’t even on a field at all.

But Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is throwing again.

Last week, Newton did some throwing inside the stadium with head athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion, his first since undergoing surgery on March 30 on his throwing shoulder.

Newton described the process to Bill Voth of the team’s official website in an exclusive interview/staff meeting.

“Cool, a lot of anticipation,” Newton said. “Obviously, it’s still not 100 percent, but seeing the ball come out of my hand in a throwing motion was good. . . .

“When I say it’s not 100 percent, I’m noting the range of motion part. Like if you sleep with your legs hanging off your bed the whole night, you’re going to wake up and be super stiff. Or like sitting on your hands, or sitting in an awkward position and finally getting up and moving – that’s how I feel.”

Newton acknowledged that waiting so long to have surgery was a difficult decision, since he played the last meaningless month of the season with the injury. But he insisted he stayed on the field at something less than full power because of his commitment to the team.

“I knew something was wrong,” Newton said. “I knew it was going to hurt, continuously hurt. No matter what the treatment was, it takes just one hit or fall and it’s going to inflame again. And it did. Some of it was stubbornness, but I wanted people to know what I’m willing to do for this franchise. At the end of the day, no one could say I quit. . . .

“I figured it would heal on its own. I was trying to get the proper treatment, overtreatment. Get it stretched, get a massage, get the ice, stem, everything. Over time I was like, ‘You know what? It’s just not getting better.’  So when I came back to Charlotte, I got another MRI, and by that time, everything had pretty much cleared up. It wasn’t as swollen as it was during the season so they could see and it showed up as a partially torn rotator cuff.”

Newton said “There’s no doubt” he’d be ready for training camp in a month, saying he should have the kinks worked out in two weeks. It’s an important time for him and the team, as they’re tweaking the offense to make things easier on him, and he’s done little more than watch through the entire offseason.

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Chiefs to interview in-house Brett Veach for G.M. job

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The Chiefs have been turned down at least once, but they have one known candidate for their vacant General Manager job.

According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, they’ll interview internal candidate Brett Veach to replace fired G.M. John Dorsey.

Veach has background with coach Andy Reid, which can’t hurt since there’s at least the perception that Reid emerges from the recent upheaval with more power. Their structure has been to have a coach and a G.M. who each report to owner Clark Hunt.

Veach’s name came up in Buffalo, primarily because LeSean McCoy was pumping his candidacy.

But having him around could help the Chiefs navigate what has been a tumultuous time for a team with a good roster and what had been perceived as some stability, at least until this offseason.

Minnesota’s George Paton has turned down a chance to interview, and ESPN’s Louis Riddick disputed reports he was on the list.

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Le’Veon Bell looks healthy on basketball court

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Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell had core muscle surgery in March and it looks like his recovery is moving along well.

Bell shared a video (the language in the video isn’t safe for most workplaces) of his participations in a basketball game on Sunday and it shows him moving well as he knifes through the lane for a couple of layups. Two snippets of action on video don’t make for a sound medical analysis, obviously, but it would seem that Bell is well on his way to a full recovery.

That could come at the start of training camp, although Bell’s health wasn’t the only thing keeping him off the field during the Steelers’ offseason workouts this year. Bell has not signed his franchise tender and has not agreed to a long-term contract, so he did not join the team for that work.

Bell and the Steelers have until July 17 to work out a longer deal and it will be up to Bell to decide about making an on-time arrival to camp if one doesn’t come to fruition. If he does decide to show up, the glimpse of his basketball moves suggests he’ll be ready for football action as well.

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Cam Jordan: Saints are ready to win Super Bowl now

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Saints quarterback Drew Brees raised eyebrows when he told PFT Live in March that his team is “very close” to getting back to the Super Bowl. One of his teammates has now taken the next step.

“We’re building a team to win a Super Bowl,” defensive end Cam Jordan tells Greg Bishop of SI.com, who guest-wrote Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback column this week. “We’re not building for the future. It’s hard not to believe in our team. We’re ready to win it now.”

So how much of that is the glass-half-full optimism/delusion that litters the league in June, and how much of it is real? The Saints have put together three straight 7-9 seasons despite having an abysmal defense. If the defense improves a little, they get to the playoffs. If the defense improves a lot, they’ll be partying like it’s 2009, with the kind of record that forces the road to Minnesota through Louisiana.

The team continues to be led by a 38-year-old quarterback whose teammates still believe in him. Zealously.

“Is there a better quarterback?” Jordan said regarding Brees. “You tell me how many 5,000-yard seasons have been produced in NFL history.”

There have been nine, in the 98-year history of the league. Brees has five of them. Every other quarterback who ever has played the game combined has four.

The Saints also have Adrian Peterson, a potential secret weapon that the team hasn’t been trying very hard to keep secret. Multiple players have praised his lingering abilities. If, when paired with Brees, Peterson can perform like he has throughout his career when healthy, many who should have seen it coming will be saying “we should have seen it coming.”

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Cam Newton: A Super Bowl ring is the one thing missing from my life

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Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is motivated by just one thing.

A Super Bowl ring, Newton told high school players at a 7-on-7 tournament he hosted, is what drives him, and the only thing he’s seeking in life.

“I’m looking at my life right now and I’m saying, ‘I’m missing one thing: I want a Super Bowl,’” Newton said, via the Charlotte Observer. “Yeah, but it’s really certain things that you have to really fine-tune and say, ‘Am I deserving to be a Super Bowl-winning quarterback? How can I push myself to be a better me?’”

Newton told the young players that when he was their age, he decided success at the highest level was his only option.

“The only way I put myself in this situation to be successful was I didn’t have no plan B,” Newton said. “I told myself, at the end of the day, I’m gonna be a football player and a football player only. And a lot of guys get it misconstrued because you’re setting yourself up for failure; that’s what some people think. But in myself I was thinking, ‘I ain’t got no other alternative. Either I’m gonna dominate this man in front of me or not.’”

Newton has done plenty in football since he told himself he had no plan B: He won a Heisman Trophy and a national championship in college, and he has an MVP award in the NFL. Now he just needs that ring.

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Louis Riddick: I haven’t heard from Chiefs about G.M. opening

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Sunday morning brought a report from Ian Rapoport of NFL Media that the Chiefs have reached out to ESPN analyst Louis Riddick about setting up an interview for the General Manager vacancy they created by dismissing John Dorsey last week.

That report has been disputed by someone very close to the situation. That would be Riddick himself, who took to social media on Sunday to say that word of the Chiefs’ interest has not been conveyed to him.

That doesn’t mean that the Chiefs won’t reach out to Riddick at some point, but, for now, it seems that all is quiet on that front as the Chiefs look for Dorsey’s replacement.

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