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Megatron: I’m content with what I did, not coming back

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Former Lions receiver Calvin Johnson says anyone who thinks he might come out of retirement can think again.

I’m not coming back. You don’t have to worry about that,” Johnson told the Detroit Free Press.

Johnson said the wear and tear on his body from nine NFL seasons contributed to his decision, but the most important reason he decided to retire is simply that he thinks he has accomplished enough in the game of football and is willing to move on to other things in his life.

“There’s just a time when you’re content with what you did. I’m content with what I did,” Johnson said.

Although Johnson was a fairly private and quiet guy off the field, in retirement he said he may start advocating for “common sense” gun laws. He’s ready to make contributions to society that don’t involve catching a football.

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Browns drilling RG3 in throwing mechanics, avoiding hits

BEREA, OH - APRIL 21, 2016: Quarterback Robert Griffin III #10 of the Cleveland Browns drops back to pass during a voluntary mini camp on April 21, 2016 at the Cleveland Browns training facility in Berea, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images)  *** Local Caption *** Robert Griffin III Getty Images

As Browns quarterback Robert Griffin III enters his fifth NFL season, he still needs to be reminded of some of the basics.

Specifically, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports, the Browns have three major lessons they’re drilling into Griffin in his first few months with his new team:

1. Plant your back foot, then throw.
2. Get down, then slide.
3. Throw the ball away, don’t take needless hits from the defense.

Usually, a player who has been in the NFL as long as Griffin would be expected to have the fundamentals down. But Griffin was so successful, so early in his career, while relying so much on his natural gifts, that he still has a lot to learn about playing the position.

Griffin’s downfall in Washington was his inability to avoid taking hits, and when Griffin couldn’t avoid the pass rush in the preseason last year, Jay Gruden ultimately decided that Griffin wasn’t up to the task of quarterbacking his team. Hue Jackson will have to be convinced that Griffin has learned enough to lead the Browns.

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Tarvaris Jackson free on $2,500 bond after threatening to kill wife

St Louis Rams v Seattle Seahawks Getty Images

Former Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson has been released from jail on a $2,500 bond, after allegedly pointing a gun at and threatening to kill his wife.

According to Chris Hush of WESH, the 33-year-old Jackson was released from jail Friday.

Jackson was arrested after an incident with his wife in which he was intoxicated, and threatened to shoot her. She grabbed an iron and a knife at one point to protect herself, before another adult at the residence separated them. She also taunted the free agent quarterback, saying “You better be accurate because you ain’t accurate on the field.”

Jackson has a 59.6 percent career completion percentage.

According to the police report, several children were in the home at the time of the incident, and police found marijuana along with his 9mm handgun. He is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

“She felt fearful and she thought he could kill her,” said Twis Lizasuain with the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office.

The report also stated there may have been prior disputes between Jackson and his wife, which will certainly complicate the case and his bid for future employment. The Seahawks had previously said they’d welcome the veteran backup back, but that seems less likely now.

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Rams have sold 63,000 season tickets

OXNARD, CA - MAY 06:  Head coach Jeff Fisher of the Los Angeles Rams takes to the field during a Los Angeles Rams rookie camp on May 06, 2016 in Oxnard, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Getty Images

Los Angeles is ready to support the Rams.

Rams COO Kevin Demoff told the Ventura County Star that the Rams have already sold 63,000 season tickets. The team’s goal is to sell 70,000 season tickets and leave the remaining seats for single-game sales.

The Rams plan to configure the Coliseum at a capacity of 80,000, although they can open it up for 90,000 fans if there are big games when the demand warrants it.

Demoff said the Rams have felt welcomed in Southern California.

“This has really been a labor of love over the past five months to get this team up and running in every facet,” Demoff said. “Our group has been working tirelessly. I must say, the warm reception we have received from everybody in this community has been unbelievable.”

The team and the community are looking like a good match. Now the question is whether the Rams, who haven’t had a winning record since 2003, can give Los Angeles a team worthy of that support.

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Manziel’s father: “He’s a druggie and needs help”

Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel addresses the media after NFL football minicamp in Berea, Ohio, Wednesday, June 17, 2015. (AP Photo/David Richard) AP

Paul Manziel, father of ex-Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel, told ESPN’s Josina Anderson Friday that his son “is a druggie” and that jail “would be the best place for him.”

Anderson contacted Paul Manziel after Johnny Manziel’s attorney, Bob Hinton, accidentally texted the Associated Press that he intends to seek a plea deal for the pending assault charges his client is facing but worries about Johnny Manziel’s ability to stay clean.

Hilton texted the AP, among other things, this rather unforgettable line: “Heaven help us if one of the conditions is to pee in a bottle.”

The Browns released Johhny Manziel in March. Since then he’s been seen only on TMZ and other sites that have covered his partying and legal matters. The assault charge stems from a January incident with his ex-girlfriend after which Manziel signed a restraining order barring him from contact with her.

Paul Manziel’s full statement to ESPN read: “He’s a druggie. It’s not a secret that he’s a druggie. I don’t know what to say other than my son is a druggie and he needs help. He just hasn’t seeked it yet. Hopefully he doesn’t die before he comes to his senses. That’s about all you can say. I don’t know what else to say. I hate to say it but I hope he goes to jail. I mean, that would be the best place for him. So we’ll see.”

Per the report, Hinton’s accidental text to the AP Wednesday also said he “was given a receipt by a colleague that purports to show [Johnny] Manziel spent more than $1,000 at a drug paraphernalia shop 15 hours” after Manziel was involved in a hit-and-run crash earlier this week.

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Manziel’s lawyer accidentally texts case strategy to AP

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Johnny Manziel may need a new lawyer. The AP eventually may need a new lawyer, too.

To cap a week that has consisted of plenty of renewed discussion regarding the manner in which the prosecutors in the 1995 O.J. Simpson trial botched the case, Manziel’s lawyer committed a technological faux pas by sending a text message accidentally to the Associated Press. Lawyers representing the AP likewise may have made a tactical error by authorizing publication of a text message that wasn’t intended for the AP.

“Manziel’s lawyer accidentally texts AP, confirms he is seeking plea deal in assault case, worries about QB’s ability to stay clean,” the AP posted at its NFL page. To the extent anyone may wonder whether the Twitter account was hacked, the AP has published a stand-alone story confirming the accidental text.

The mistake happened after an AP reporter texted lawyer Bob Hinton, seeking comment regarding the recent hit-and-run involving a car owned by Manziel. Hinton responded with a text that said, among other things, “Heaven help us if one of the conditions is to pee in a bottle.”

Per the report, Hinton’s accidental text also said he “was given a receipt by a colleague that purports to show Manziel spent more than $1,000 at a drug paraphernalia shop 15 hours after the crash.”

It’s not Hinton’s first miscue in the case. Colleague Jim Darnell previously had to walk back Hinton’s off-the-cuff remark that he’d prefer to see Manziel and the ex-girlfriend he allegedly assaulted “kiss and make up.”

Nothing contained in Hinton’s unintended sequel is shocking, given what we already know about Manziel. The broader question is whether the AP should have shared the information that was accidentally shared with the AP, legally or ethically. The lawyer clearly wasn’t “on the record” with the AP; it was an accidental message clearly not meant for the AP or any other news operation.

Some would say that Hinton’s text should have been regarded as an off-the-record communication not authorized for use by the AP or anyone else. If Manziel’s lawyer believes that, and depending on how the law specifically applies to situations like this, there could be a few more rounds until this unexpected skirmish is over.

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Packers report record profit, revenue over last fiscal year

Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers,  renovated in 2003, is set for play  August 16, 2004. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images) Getty Images

Very little about the NFL escapes public scrutiny these days with the notable exception of the financial records of the 31 privately held teams under no obligation to share that information.

The Packers are not privately held, however, and their annual report gives us an idea about how things are faring in bank accounts around the league. You won’t be surprised to hear that business is good.

The Packers reported a franchise-record $408.7 million in revenue for the fiscal year that ended on March 31 along with a record $48.9 million in net income and $75 million in profit from operations. Those last two numbers represented 68 percent and 91 percent jumps from the previous year.

Packers president Mark Murphy attributed an 11 percent increase in local revenue to $186.2 million to the success of business at the Lambeau Field atrium and strong sales/marketing programs. National revenues — money shared equally by the league’s teams — went up six percent to $222.6 million, which provides part of the picture of the financial outlook for the rest of the teams in the league.

Part of the reason for the rise in the team’s profits this year was a drop in expenses that the team attributed to “a league assessment related to debt refinancing” and the previous year’s spending on the Titletown project near Lambeau Field. Murphy said he did not expect to see the same profit margin next season as player expenses appear set to rise.

“We have a number of core players with contracts ending,” Murphy said. “We could have a number of signings next year, and the biggest thing there [on the balance sheet] is the signing bonuses.”

Even so, it’s a good bet that the professional football business will remain a financially rewarding one for the Packers.

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Broncos, Miller haven’t spoken since early June

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 24:  Linebacker Von Miller #58 of the Denver Broncos looks on from the sideline during a game against the St. Louis Rams at Sports Authority Field Field at Mile High on August 24, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. Miller will miss the first six regular season games of the season after being suspended for violating the NFL's drug policy. The Broncos defeated the Rams 27-26.  (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) Getty Images

After the Broncos visited the White House on Monday, June 6, someone (the Broncos) leaked to the media the terms of an offer that the team had made to linebacker Von Miller — and that had expired on Tuesday evening, June 7. Since that time, the two sides haven’t talked much, if at all.

Josina Anderson of ESPN.com reports that the Broncos and Miller have had no conversations since early June.

As of last Friday, PFT learned that neither side had contacted the other in the aftermath of the contract signed by defensive tackle Fletcher Cox in Philadelphia.

Even when the two sides were communicating, they weren’t actually negotiating. Instead, they traded proposals without the kind of in-depth back and forth that can bridge the gap on key terms.

If/when player and team truly negotiate, they should be able to work something out. For now, there’s no reason to talk. The team’s attempt to apply artificial deadlines didn’t get a deal done. The real deadline arrives on July 15.

At this point, it would be a surprise if the two sides resume discussions before Monday, July 11. If a deal is going to get done, it’ll likely happen not long before 4:00 p.m. ET on Friday, July 15. Assuming the fax machines are working, of course.

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Peyton rooting for Osweiler to have a great year

Peyton Manning, Brock Osweiler AP

In his first year of retirement, Peyton Manning will have a lot of favorite teams. One will be the Texans.

Manning said today at the Manning Passing Academy that he’ll be rooting for Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler, his old teammate in Denver, to have a big year in his first season as a franchise quarterback after four years as Manning’s understudy.

“I look forward to this year being a fan of a lot of teams and people I have connections with,” Manning said. “I’ll be pulling for Brock. I know he’s going to have a great year.”

Manning said he’ll also root for his two former teams, the Broncos and Colts, as well as the Giants (his brother’s team), the Lions (his former Colts coach Jim Caldwell’s team) and the Dolphins (his former Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase’s team).

Manning didn’t say which team will be his favorite. We imagine him spending his Sundays with multiple TVs in his living room, watching the Texans, Broncos, Colts, Lions and Dolphins’ games simultaneously.

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NFL plans to interview Peppers, Matthews, Harrison about PEDs

GREEN BAY, WI - OCTOBER 2: Julius Peppers #56 of the Green Bay Packers celebrates with Sam Shields #37, Letroy Guion #98, and Clay Matthews #52 after scoring against the Minnesota Vikings on an interception in the second quarter on October 02, 2014 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by John Konstantaras/Getty Images) Getty Images

When training camps open, the NFL plans to interview Packers linebackers Julius Peppers and Clay Matthews and Steelers linebacker James Harrison about allegations that they used performance-enhancing drugs.

Tom Pelissero of USA Today reports that the league informed the players’ union that officials will be there on the first day of training camp to question the three players, who were named in an Al-Jazeera America documentary about PEDs. An interview with free agent Mike Neal, also named in the documentary, is also expected to take place within the next four weeks. But the biggest name in the documentary, Peyton Manning, was not named in a letter from NFL V.P. Adolpho Birch to the players’ union.

“On January 11, 2016, the league notified Messrs. Peppers, Neal, Matthews and Harrison that it had initiated an investigation following the airing of the Al-Jazeera America documentary, which raised serious issues concerning their possible violation of the NFL/NFLPA Policy on Performance-Enhancing Substances,” Birch’s letter said. “The players were further advised that, with their full and timely cooperation, the investigation would be conducted expeditiously and with minimal disruption.

“While the investigation has proceeded, we have yet to interview the players. We have attempted since early April to work through the NFLPA to schedule them, but despite multiple requests the NFLPA has failed to respond, except to seek reconsideration of the basis for the investigation. This continuing delay and avoidance has obstructed our ability to conduct and conclude the investigation.

“In fairness to all, including the players involved, we must move forward with the interviews. Accordingly, this will advise that the interviews of Messrs. Peppers, Matthews and Harrison will be scheduled for the first day of their respective training camps, and the interview of Mr. Neal (free agent) will take place on or before July 22. The players will be advised of the specific scheduling details by separate correspondence on which the NFLPA will be copied, and of course an NFLPA representative may attend each interview should the player so request.”

The NFL is also investigating the allegations against Manning, although any league discipline would be meaningless now that he’s retired. If the NFL finds that Peppers, Matthews, Harrison or Neal violated the league’s PED policy, that could result in suspensions even if they’ve never failed a drug test. It is unknown whether the four players plan to answer all of the NFL’s questions — and whether the league would discipline the players if they don’t fully cooperate.

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NFL “monitoring” situation in UK

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Everyone is trying make sense of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union. That includes the NFL.

“We are monitoring and have been in contact with our UK office,” league spokesman Brian McCarthy told PFT by email. “We head into the 2016 season in strong shape with the 3 UK games already nearing sell outs again — a testament to the strong and passionate fan base there — and all key media, sponsorship and licensing partnerships locked in.”

For the NFL, the bigger question becomes the viability of the British experiment beyond 2016. With Prime Minister David Cameron already resigning, major changes seem to be coming to United Kingdom. At some point, those changes could make the league’s ongoing relationship with the nation not viable.

At a minimum, any talk of a team moving to England will surely subside until more is known about the future of the UK following the vote to leave the EU.

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Shaun Suisham calls Hall of Fame Game injury “catastrophic”

Shaun Suisham AP

When Steelers kicker Shaun Suisham suffered a knee injury in last year’s Hall of Fame Game, attention immediately turned to the turf at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio. Now that Suisham has been released by the Steelers, more questions should be raised about that turf.

Suisham released a statement after the Steelers cut him suggesting that the injury will prove to be career-ending.

“Unfortunately, the injury I sustained in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game last preseason was catastrophic and has proven to be critical to continuing to my career. My journey in the NFL has come to a crossroads,” Suisham wrote. “I will mis the challenge of game day and the preparation that is required. Change is hard, but I’m comfortable with where I am in life as a husband and father.”

Although Suisham did not actually say he’s retiring, the statement came across as a retirement announcement. Suisham did not say whether he plans to take legal action against the Steelers, the NFL or the Hall of Fame in order to recoup the millions of dollars of lost future income that a forced retirement will cost him.

Whether Suisham sues or not, it’s incumbent on the NFL to ensure that every stadium where football is played — the 31 home stadiums as well as stadiums that host preseason games, International Series games and the Pro Bowl — is safe. If the Hall of Fame Stadium can’t install turf that’s up to the standards that NFL players demand, then the Hall of Fame Stadium shouldn’t host NFL games.

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Muhammad Wilkerson is running as broken leg rehab continues

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 13: Defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson #96 of the New York Jets celebrates after sacking quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the fourth quarter during a game at MetLife Stadium on October 13, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Steelers defeated the Jets 19-6. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images) Getty Images

Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson hasn’t signed his franchise tender or a long-term deal with the team, leaving him unwilling to say whether he’ll report to training camp on time next month.

If he does decide to show up, it doesn’t look like the broken leg that he suffered in the final week of the 2015 season will stop him from doing too much. Wilkerson posted a video of himself running on Instagram Friday that showed no signs of limitations as a result of the injury.

While the leg injury was a serious one, there hasn’t been a sense that questions about his ability to return from the injury have been the stumbling block in any contract talks with the Jets. The bigger issue appears to be the Jets’ feeling that the presence of Sheldon Richardson and Leonard Williams on the defensive line makes signing Wilkerson to a huge contract less of a necessity than it might be under other circumstances.

There’s still time before July 15 for the two sides to come together, but the way things have played out the last few months makes it seem like a better bet that Wilkerson is doing his running in a different uniform come 2017.

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No progress seen on the Kirk Cousins contract front

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 03: Kirk Cousins #8 of the Washington Redskins looks for an open receiver against the Dallas Cowboys during the first quarter at AT&T Stadium on January 3, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) Getty Images

Expect Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins to play this season on his one-year guaranteed salary of $19.95 million.

That’s the word from Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com, who reports that both sides assume they’re stuck on the one-year deal for 2016 and will have to reassess in 2017. Breer describes contract talks as “going nowhere.”

If Cousins were to get franchised again next season, he’d be guaranteed at least $23.94 million for 2017. And if he doesn’t get franchised again next season, he’s a free agent who can shop his services to any team. So unless the team is willing to guarantee him more than $44 million over the first two years of any long-term deal, there’s no reason for Cousins to sign.

And from all indications, Washington isn’t ready to commit that kind of money to Cousins, who played very well over the second half of last season but still isn’t very experienced.

If Cousins has a big season in 2016, Washington is going to have to pay him a fortune in 2017, either on the franchise tag or on a long-term deal. (And the quarterback market will only grow, as Andrew Luck and the Colts may agree on the biggest contract in NFL history within the next month.) So Cousins would be in a very good negotiating position if he plays in 2016 like he played over the second half of 2015.

But for Washington, that would be a good problem to have: If Cousins proves himself as a franchise quarterback this year, Dan Snyder will happily pay him a fortune. That just isn’t going to happen this year.

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Texans pouring resources into sports science department

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 03: DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Houston Texans warms up before playing against the Jacksonville Jaguars on January 3, 2016 at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Houston Texans are attempting to create an edge off the field with the addition of a sports science department, which General Manager Rick Smith started this offseason. But if you want to know exactly what a sports science department does, Smith won’t tell you.

“It is new and it’s emerging,” Smith told ESPN. “And the fact that we have spent a considerable amount of time, effort, energy and resources on it, yeah, some of it is proprietary. . . . I’m not interested necessarily in letting everybody know all the stuff that we’re doing. So beyond that I’m not going to get into real detail about what we’re doing.”

Texans players wear a tracker around their chests while they practice, allowing the team to track data, although the team declines to say which data is tracked. The Texans are also taking a more scientific approach to monitoring players’ nutrition and sleep patterns.

Many coaches and teams across the NFL are leaning more on sports science departments to provide them with information. Some players, however, are skeptical.

“I think it helps for sure, but I’m from the country,” Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins said. “Just go out there and play football.”

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