Marshawn Lynch will get his own reality show

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The film treatment of the life of Marshawn Lynch didn’t fare so well. Next up, the reality version of it.

Via NBC Sports California, Lynch will be the star of a new Facebook-based series titled No Script. The weekly features, 10-to-15 minutes in duration, are scheduled to debut later this month.

Lynch typically doesn’t have much to say to the media, but when he does, Lynch can be very entertaining. He’s genuine, funny, and engaging.

It’ll be interesting to see how much of the series includes footage captured in the Raiders locker room or elsewhere on team premises — and whether the team regards any of this as the kind of distraction that could get players with lesser talent a one-way ticket to anywhere else.

Tyreek Hill currently has no agent

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When Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill signed his rookie contract in 2016, Hill was represented by Bus Cook, Donald Weatherell, and Madison Howard. Currently, Hill is represented by no one.

Based on NFLPA records, the accuracy of which PFT has confirmed via a union source, Hill has no agent at the present. It’s unclear why the change was made and when it happened.

He could be in the process of hiring a new agent. By rule, players must wait five days after firing an agent before hiring a new one.

Hill isn’t eligible for a new contract until after the completion of his third regular season. So there’s nothing any agent can really do for him until January 2019, at the earliest. Meanwhile, Cook and his colleagues will continue to draw a fee from the balance of Hill’s rookie contract, which pays him $540,000 this year and $630,000 next year.

Hill also received a signing bonus of only $70,000 — far less than the $220,000 or so that his slot called for. He receives the balance via roster bonuses aimed at protecting the team against a suspension, an obvious reaction to the domestic violence incident that happened while Hill was playing college football.

Given the allegations against Hill (who admitted among other things to choking his then-pregnant girlfriend), it’s hard to imagine the Chiefs agreeing to any other structure, if Hill made the move due to lingering frustrations with the deal his agents negotiated.

Browns should be rooting for the Bengals

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As the Texans commence their annual game of quarterback roulette, a team that made it to the league’s final eight in 2016 could be hard pressed to get back there — especially with an offensive line that gave up 10 sacks against the 2017 Jaguars (not the 1985 Bears) in Week One. And one team that will benefit from the unexpected dysfunction in Houston is the Browns.

The Browns, thanks to the trade that allowed the Texans to draft Deshaun Watson, hold Houston’s first-round pick next year. The Browns, thanks to the hot-potato maneuver that allowed the Texans to unload the contract of Brock Osweiler, hold Houston’s second-round pick next year, too.

So the worse the Texans are this year, the better off the Browns will be next year. Which means that Cleveland fans should hold their noses, forget about the Sam Wyche snowball shade from 28 years ago, and root for the Bengals on Thursday night when they host the Texans.

Texans fans should root for coach Bill O’Brien to pick a horse and remain on it for the duration. For quarterbacks, leadership continues to be an underrated quality. Overlooked when it comes to leadership are the things teams do to help a quarterback properly lead.

The Texans quickly have tossed Tom Savage to the curb, handing the baton on the fly to Watson. So who’s the leader of the offense and the locker room? And how will Watson be able to thrive as the starter when most of the first-team reps went to Savage throughout the offseason, training camp, and the preseason?

It’s something the Texans will have to figure out on the fly, especially with the next game coming on Thursday night in Cincinnati. Against a Bengals team that the Browns should be supporting zealously, along with every other team that plays the Texans this year.

Michael Bennett: Police encounter “changed me, spiritually”

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It’s been a week since Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett disclosed that he had an encounter with Las Vegas police on August 26. On Wednesday, Bennett appeared on Good Morning America to discuss the situation.

Bennett said the incident, which he contends included having a gun pointed at his head, “changed me, spiritually.”

“Every time I see my wife, I try to kiss her like it’s the first time we ever met,” Bennett added. “Every time I play with my daughters I try to hold them like they were just born. Because I don’t know. And the situation right there just made it a reality for me that . . . it could happen at any moment.”

Bennett feared being shot by police, after Bennett ran from the sound of shots being fired.

“I’m terrified,” Bennett said. “I’m literally just, like, worried if I make the wrong decision . . . if I move too fast, if I twitch, and somebody says I’m resisting . . . because I’m a big guy, you know what I’m saying?”

Bennett continues to explain his belief that the decision to not stand for the national anthem isn’t un-American.

“I think it’s un-American what happened to me, having guns drawn on me,” Bennett said. “I say it’s un-American what happened to Eric Garner. It’s un-American, what happened to Trayvon Martin. It’s un-American that there’s . . . no equality for people. . . . What I’m doing is . . . it’s the most American thing that you could do, is fight for equality for everybody, and have a unity for the country.”

As people continue to take issue with players using the anthem as a platform for bringing attention to causes they find meaningful, fans continue to disrespect the anthem without any real purpose for doing so.

“This past game we heard guys even in the moment of silence for the hurricane victims . . . I heard people shouting and being to me disrespectful,” Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin said on Wednesday’s PFT Live. “But again everybody has their own opinion. They have their own beliefs. It is what it is. For me personally the reason why I stated that and why I thought it was important is because as athletes we have a platform. We have an opportunity to speak up about social issues that we feel dearly about. And I know that some fans could say that you’re being paid to put on this product. And I agree with them wholeheartedly. They’re not being paid to stand in the stands. They’re actually paying to come to the games. They don’t necessarily have a platform in that particular instance to make a social topic relevant. So why is it difficult for fans to understand that and also to just follow suit as well to stand for the national anthem if they feel so strongly about that? There’s a broader topic here, a broader conversation. My point is we’re all imperfect human beings. Why can’t we just inject some more empathy and understanding instead of just pointing the finger all the time?”

Empathy and understanding. What a concept. It’s apparently a concept that, for many, has become way too elusive.

Tom Brady thinks he never threw the ball better than he did in 2016

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Tom Brady‘s new book is out. Mike Reiss of ESPN.com has a copy of it. And Reiss has shared some of the highlights.

For starters, Brady claims in the introduction that he threw the ball better in 2016 (at age 39) than he did at any other time in his career. Brady specifically focused on his arm skills that emerged during a private workout with trainer Alex Guerrero in the late summer, as Brady’s four-game suspension was approaching.

“I’d never thrown the ball as well as I did that day — not when the Patriots won the Super Bowl in 2001, or in 2004, 2005 or 2014 — not ever, in fact, in my life,” Brady said. “It was one of those days. I was ‘in the zone.’ . . . I remember being really excited about the opportunity to play and to show all the things I’d been working on in the offseason.”

It’s unclear how excited he was about the opportunity to play and to show all the things I’d been working on in the offseason entering the 2017 season. It is clear that he didn’t perform well, connecting on only 16 of 36 passes against the Chiefs, the lowest completion percentage of any quarterback who played in Week One.

As one league source with knowledge of Brady’s skills and abilities told PFT over the weekend when asked to explain Brady’s performance, “He’s 40.”

While that may overly simplistic, the reality is that Father Time eventually will win. Sometimes, it comes suddenly.

Some believe that Brady’s legs will go before his arm. I was able to watch most of Thursday night’s game via the feed from the cable cam in an NBC trailer, and it was clear that Brady can still move and slide and jump away from pressure. But when Brady threw down the field, he simply wasn’t accurate.

The standard TV angle doesn’t do the inaccuracies justice. Watching the throws from the aerial position behind the quarterback, it was obvious in many cases from the moment the ball came out that the ball wasn’t going to hit the mark, starting with Brady flat-out missing a wide-open Dwayne Allen on the first play from scrimmage.

More than a few throws from Brady down the field — especially to the left — were off the mark. If it wasn’t just a bad night and if he’s actually in the early stages of losing the ability to make the ball go where he wants it to go, the end could be closer than the season that follows his 45th birthday.

Sam Bradford wins his first NFC offensive player of the week award

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Yes, it was the best game of his career. And the people responsible for issuing weekly awards noticed.

Sam Bradford is the NFC’s offensive player of the week. For the first time in his career.

Bradford completed 27 of 32 passes (84.4 percent) for 346 yards (10.8 yards per pass) and three touchdowns in a 29-19 win over the Saints. Blessed with time by an offensive line that was much better than it was in 2016, Bradford consistently found open receivers. And on one play when his intended receiver wasn’t open, Bradford dropped the ball over the coverage and into the hands of receiver Jarius Wright. It was the middle snap of a three-play, three-throw sequence that gave the Vikings the lead — and that made it clear they would win the game.

It’s a great acknowledgement of a carer night for Bradford, but there’s a long way to go. Above all else, he needs to stay healthy, something he hasn’t consistently done throughout his career. Last year, he somehow survived a constant onslaught of hits, thanks to the team’s subpar blocking. This year, it should be easier for him to keep lining up and taking snaps.

If he does, and if he gets the time he enjoyed on Monday night, the Vikings could end up a lot better than last year’s 3-8 collapse after a 5-0 start.

Three rookie running backs debut with 100 yards for first time since 1979

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Many believed that the 2017 draft had an abundance of running backs. The class did something that hasn’t been done in 38 years. More specifically, three of them did.

Via the NFL, a trio of rookie running backs generated 100 or more rushing yards in Week One for the first time since 1979.

Chiefs third-rounder Kareem Hunt hauled butt for 148 yards, Vikings second-rounder Dalvin Cook generated 127, and Jaguars first-round selection Leonard Fournette ended up with exactly 100 as each launched their careers.

In Week One of the 1979 season, Ottis Anderson came within seven yards of 200 for the Cardinals, William Andrews ran for 167 with the Falcons, and Jerry Eckwood racked up 121.

The eighth overall pick in 1979, Anderson would go on to rush for more than 10,000 yards, winning along the way the comeback player of the year in 1989 and the Super Bowl XXV MVP award. Andrews, a third-rounder in ’79, would spend six years with Atlanta and rush for 5,986 yards.  Eckwood, also a third-rounder, rushed finished his rookie season with 690 yards and rushed for 1,845 over a three-year career.

While it remains to be seen which of this new trio will become Anderson, which one will be Andrews, and which will be Eckwood, the instant impact of Hunt, Cook, and Fournette underscores the reality that plenty of young running backs can move the chains if given blocking — and if they can be trusted to hold onto the football and pick up blitzers on passing plays. Given that the Vikings were due to pay Adrian Peterson $18 million for 2017 and will instead pay Cook $6.3 million over the next four years proves that it always makes sense to go younger and cheaper when it comes to the tailback position.

Josh Gordon due to complete 90-day rehab stint next week

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The longer receiver Josh Gordon remains out of football, the harder it will be for him to get back in. But after two full seasons on suspension for his latest violation of the league’s substance-abuse policy, Gordon still hopes to return. Soon.

Via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Gordon is scheduled to complete on September 21 a 90-day rehab program.

He’s coming,” former Olympian Tim Montgomery, who has been working with Gordon, told Cabot. “I think he’s going to be there this season.”

It’s Gordon’s fourth trip to rehab.

“He’s been clean, so we’re hoping after 90 days he’s reinstated and they put him back in the league, which it looks like they’re going to do that,” Montgomery said.

That’s a tough claim to make, given that no one knows what the league will do, and the league has the ability to do pretty much whatever it wants to do on matters regarding the league’s blanket prohibition on marijuana use.

Through it all, the NFL continues to be deprived of a talented player — a player who could help a team score more points and generate more excitement. Given the dearth of Week One points and excitement, the league should be looking for ways to keep guys like Gordon on the field, not off it.

NFL didn’t ask Elliott’s accuser to testify

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The federal court ruling that delayed the suspension of Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott cited several flaws in the NFL’s disciplinary procedure. Judge Amos L. Mazzant III, in determining that the process lacked fundamental fairness, mentioned among other things the failure of arbitrator Harold Henderson to require the NFL to produce Elliott’s accuser, Tiffany Thompson, for testimony.

The league’s position, per a source with knowledge of the situation, is that the NFL has no subpoena power, and thus can’t compel Thompson or anyone else to appear and testify. Also, the league has concerns about putting alleged domestic violence victims in awkward and uncomfortable positions, a lesson learned when Janay Palmer Rice attended with former Ravens running back Ray Rice a disciplinary hearing at NFL headquarters.

That said, PFT has learned that the league didn’t ask Thompson to appear and testify at the appeal hearing before Harold Henderson. She voluntarily agreed to be interviewed six times by the league; perhaps she would have agreed to appear and testify under oath, if the request had been made.

Yes, she would have been required to face Elliott and confront cross-examination from his lawyers. But that same approach would have applied if prosecutors had filed criminal charges against Elliott, and that same approach will apply if Thompson eventually files a civil lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires.

The league’s reluctance to ask her to testify became moot once Henderson refused to compel the league to make her available. However the current litigation plays out, the decision not to require Thompson to testify in a case that Elliott believes turns on issues of witness credibility will continue to be a significant point of contention.

No offense vs. defense issues after Week One in Seattle

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After the Seahawks’ offense mustered only 225 yards, nine points, and no touchdowns on Sunday, safety Earl Thomas spoke his mind.

“Man, it’s been like this for eight years, man,” Thomas told reporters on Sunday. “We understand that sometimes the offense isn’t in rhythm like they need to be.”

So does that kind of talk create issues between the offense and defense? Receiver Doug Baldwin addressed the topic during a Tuesday visit to PFT Live.

“You guys know this,” Baldwin said. “We’re very open with each other and vulnerable in our locker room. We speak truth. It’s very important to us is that we hold each other accountable and we’re honest with each other. Earl was being honest, and if I’m being honest he was speaking truth. It has been like this for a lot of years.”

There’s a business reason for it, as Baldwin sees it.

“The reality of the situation is that the majority of our money is spent on the defense,” Baldwin said. “They are gonna be tasked with pulling more of the weight because that’s their job. Offensively, yes, that’s not an excuse offensively. We have our job and our weight to pull as well. We didn’t play well last Sunday and we’re gonna get that corrected. But he’s right. Our defense has always led the way. Pete Carroll is a defensive-minded coach. So it’s important that our defensive guys feel that and understand that.”

It’s a theory that hasn’t previously been articulated to explain the gap between the team’s offense and defense, but there’s some merit to it. Especially as it relates to the money spent — or not spent — on the offensive line.

49ers to consider ideas for enhancing stadium on hot days

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The 49ers started their fourth season in Levi’s Stadium on Sunday, and the #trafficproblems in Santa Clara were in midseason form.

The factors contributing to troubling images of sparse attendance have nothing to do with conditions outside the stadium, and everything to do with conditions inside them.

“It’s a bad team, ripped from its historic roots, playing in a flawed building, charging exorbitant prices,” explains Ann Killion of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Complicating matters are the conditions on hot days. As noted by Killion, the kickoff temperature for Sunday’s game against Carolina was 87, which caused many to flee the sunny side of the stadium for the shade, contributing to the photo Killion captured and tweeted during the game of hardly anyone in the stands.

Killion also explains that the 49ers have hired an architecture firm to “review a number of aspects of the stadium with the goal of enhancing the fan experience . . . to investigate feasible solutions to address concerns regarding warm weather days, both for the short and long terms.”

One possibility is a canopy, like the one installed recently in Miami. But Levi’s Stadium is tall, and issues already exist regarding the height of the building and the flight path in and out of the San Jose airport.

Whatever the 49ers do, they need to do something, or one or more somethings. Win, improve the stadium, and/or cut prices. Without that, get ready to see more pictures of people not seeing the 49ers play in person.

Alex Smith, Sam Bradford make Week One history

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Taken five years apart as the first overall picks in the draft, there’s a lingering sense that neither Alex Smith nor Sam Bradford have done enough to become true franchise quarterbacks, other than to get paid like one.

In Week One, they each did something no quarterback had ever before done in league history.

According to the NFL, Bradford and Smith became the only quarterbacks in league history to complete 80 percent or more of their passes, to gain at least 325 passing yards, to throw three touchdown passes, and to produce no interceptions in a season-opening game.

Bradford completed 27 of 32 throws (84.4 percent) for 346 yards and three scores in a win over the Saints. Smith connected on 28 of 35 passes (80 percent) for 368 yards and four touchdown passes.

While it make not be enough to immediately change the perceptions and narratives about each guy, it could be that Smith and Bradford (both on the right side of 35) are lining up to become the wrong-side-of-35 franchise quarterbacks once the likes of Tom Brady (whom the 33-year-old Smith beat) and Drew Brees (whom the 29-year-old Bradford beat).

Sean Payton regards in-game communication from Adrian Peterson as “positive”

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On Monday night, Saints coach Sean Payton said he was aware of no “heated exchange” with running back Adrian Peterson. By Tuesday, Payton still believes there was no such incident.

Per a league source, Payton acknowledges that there was an interaction, but that he interpreted Peterson’s words in a “positive way.”

After the game, Peterson explained himself with a since-deleted tweet: “Let’s be clear . . . I said we need to run the ball up their Donkey. Nothing more. I’m passionate but respect my coach at the same time.”

Watch the video. The one word that an untrained lipreader can discern from Peterson’s comments is “ass.” Let’s run the ball up their ass. That was the message.

So there’s no problem, for now. Really, there shouldn’t be. What did Peterson expect when he made the surprising decision to sign with the Saints? The Saints under Payton have always used multiple tailbacks, dating back to his first season as coach of the team — which also happened to be the rookie season of the guy who was supposedly the next Gale Sayers.

The Saints didn’t force the ball to Reggie Bush in 2006, and they won’t be forcing the ball to Adrian Peterson now. While Peterson’s extreme confidence may have caused him to think that once the Saints see what he can do they’ll change their approach, that’s always been the approach.

In May, Payton said Peterson’s role will be “very clear and defined.” Surely it was. And surely the clear and defined role that he’ll be playing is the role he played on Monday night.

Six carries for Peterson, six carries for Mark Ingram, seven carries for Alvin Kamara. Each would have had more if the Saints either would have scored touchdowns instead of field goals in the first half or would have stopped the Vikings from scoring a couple of touchdowns in the second quarter. By the time the game was slipping away, it was time to primarily pass the ball.

However it goes from here, Peterson has no basis to complain about no longer being the workhorse because that’s the role he signed up for. And while what he did last night may have flowed in part from his desire to have more of a chance to stick it to his old team, it was a far cry of the true heated exchanges we’ve seen between coach and player over the years.

There’s surely one heck of a story behind Patriots decision to rip up field

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In May the Patriots installed a new FieldTurf playing surface at Gillette Stadium. After two preseason games, one practice, and one regular-season game, they’ve ripped it out like ugly-ass carpet.

So how did that decision come to be? There’s surely one hell of a compelling story regarding arguments among and between members of the organization and/or among and between Patriots representatives and folks from the company that manufactured and installed the surface — both after and quite possibly before the Week One loss to the Chiefs.

Were players complaining? Were coaches complaining? Who was in favor of ripping up the field? Who was against it?

Via Mike Reiss of ESPN.com, the team decided that the surface was “not meeting team standards.” As PFT understands it, the field was consistently on the wrong side of the line dividing soft (and the surface definitely felt soft and spongy last Thursday night) and sloppy.

Still, the conversations and discussions leading to the conclusion must have been fascinating, with coach Bill Belichick undoubtedly making the ultimate call to, as he may have put it, get that crap the hell out of the stadium.

Belichick had a conference call with New Orleans reporters on Tuesday, and the issue didn’t come up. (They would have had no reason to ask him about it, since the Patriots and Saints play at the Superdome.) Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia met with reporters covering the Patriots on Tuesday, and the issue didn’t come up with them, either. (They’d probably defer to Bill, if they said anything at all.)

It’s still a fair question for Belichick, quarterback Tom Brady, and any other players made available to the media as the week unfolds.

It’s also a potentially interesting question for Chiefs safety Eric Berry, who tore his Achilles tendon on turf that was deemed at some point in the past week to be not a good enough platform for NFL players.

Time after time, substandard playing surfaces are spotted in NFL stadiums. And for every team that immediately rectifies the situation (like the Patriots did), there are teams that tolerate the circumstances for one reason and one reason only: The cost of making things better.

Week One power rankings

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1. Packers (1-0): Maybe the defense is finally fixed.

2. Raiders (1-0): Marshawn Lynch is still Marshawn Lynch.

3. Chiefs (1-0): Alex Smith is no longer Alex Smith.

4. Cowboys (1-0): Dak Prescott is Dak Prescott 2.0.

5. Patriots (0-1): How many points would the Patriots have surrendered if Bill Belichick wasn’t a genius?

6. Seahawks (0-1): If they can’t run the ball, they can’t win on the road.

7. Falcons (1-0): To cure their Super Bowl hangover, the Falcons nearly ended up swigging a little Super Bowl hair of the dog.

8. Steelers (1-0): When Le’Veon said “I’mma need 17,” was he talking about yards?

9. Lions (1-0): Opposing defenses will soon be trying to figure out how to kill Kenny.

10. Eagles (1-0): Carson Wentz >> Kirk Cousins.

11. Jaguars (1-0): All those up-downs triggered a down-up for the Jags.

12. Dolphins (0-0): Few teams have encountered more adversity without playing a single game that counts.

13. Ravens (1-0): Four years after “In Ozzie We Trust,” they can finally trust in Ozzie again.

14. Vikings (1-0): It only took them a decade to realize they had too many eggs in Adrian Peterson‘s basket.

15. Broncos (1-0): The offense built a lead, and then the offense tried to blow the lead. That should go over well with the defense.

16. Buccaneers (0-0): Given what the Bucs have endured the past week (and given the softening nature of training camp), they may want to re-think the title of the Hard Knocks series.

17. Panthers (1-0): Christian McCaffery’s “batteries” could be the best way to stave off Cam Newton‘s Kryptonite.

18. Rams (1-0): The Rams nearly scored one point for every fan in attendance.

19. Titans (0-1): The meat-and-potatoes Titans are too good for game-opening gimmicks like a surprise onside kick.

20. Bills (1-0): It was just the Jets.

21. Cardinals (0-1): If the Cardinals lost their swagger last year in a Week One loss to the Patriots, what did the Cardinals lose this year in Detroit? (Beyond their star running back.)

22. Chargers (0-1): New city, same position in the AFC West standings.

23. Bears (0-1): There are no moral victories — except when there were only three actual victories a year ago.

24. Giants (0-1): Time for OBJ to get PĀD.

25. Washington (0-1): It’s good they have Scot McCloughan to fix the problems on the roster oh wait.

26. Saints (0-1): It looks like that string of three straight 7-9 seasons will indeed be broken.

27. Browns (0-1): For one day in September, the Factory of Sadness generated a batch of Sadness Lite.

28. Texans (0-1): Get used to the bottom five, until Duane Brown is among the top five among all offensive linemen salaries.

29. Bengals (0-1): Maybe we now know why they resisted trading A.J. McCarron.

30. Jets (0-1): When the Jets play in Oakland on Sunday, New York fans will be rooting for the CBS feed to switch to Heidi.

31. 49ers (0-1): The 49ers nearly scored one point for every fan in attendance.

32. Colts (0-1): Andrew Luck should refuse to play until he’s healthy enough to play . . . for another team.