Bengals agree to terms with third-round choice Zach Carter

NFL Combine
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The Bengals have agreed to terms with third-round draft choice Zach Carter, Aaron Wilson of profootballnetwork.com reports.

Carter will sign a four-year, $5.06 million deal.

He started 25 of the 46 games he played at the University of Florida and totaled 107 career tackles, 17.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and eight pass breakups.

The Bengals made Carter the 95th overall choice.

Only fourth-round pick Cordell Volson remains unsigned.

First-round safety Daxton Hill, second-round safety Cam Taylor-Britt, fifth-round safety Tycen Anderson and seventh-round defensive end Jeffrey Gunter have signed their four-year deals.

FMIA: 2022 NFL Power Rankings Has Bills, Chargers, Rams Leading Pack; Pats, Cards, Steelers Stepping Back

DENVER BRONCOS VS LOS ANGELES CHARGERS, NFL
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Before you starting perusing my 2022 NFL power rankings (my annual rating of the teams 1 to 32, after free agency and trades and the draft), a bit of a warning. I’m not great at this.Now that’s a great sales tool to get people to read this column. But I want to be honest as [more]

Report: Marquise Goodwin agrees to terms with Seahawks

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The Seahawks have agreed to terms with free agent receiver Marquise Goodwin, Michael-Shawn Dugar of TheAthletic.com reports.

The team had an open roster spot after waiving fourth quarterback Levi Lewis on Friday.

Goodwin spent last season with the Bears and made 20 receptions for 313 yards and a touchdown in 14 games. He played 393 offensive snaps.

The Bills made Goodwin a third-round choice in 2013, and he spent four seasons in Buffalo before going to San Francisco. His best season came in 2017 with the 49ers when he caught 56 passes for 962 yards and two touchdowns.

He joins the competition behind Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf and Dee Eskridge. The Seahawks also have Freddie Swain and Penny Hart and seventh-round picks Bo Melton and Dareke Young.

George Kittle is working on Josh Allen, Zach Wilson to attend Tight End University

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It’s hard to pull of Tight End University with out a QB1 (or two) there to throw footballs. George Kittle and company have taken that into consideration for the second year of the tight end conclave.

Kittle told #PFTPM on Friday that a group of quarterbacks will be attending. Former 49ers Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard will be there. Current 49ers quarterback Trey Lance is also making the trip.

Two others have not yet committed: Zach Wilson of the Jets and Josh Allen of the Bills.

‘You can help me peer pressure him,” Kittle said, “but Zach Wilson is at about 99 percent. He’s trying to decide if he wants to come back from Cabo or not. I was like, ‘Zach, you’re going to come back from Cabo,’ so if you want to help me influence him a little bit. Then the last one I’m working on, Josh Allen’s trying to see if he can make it work. Hopefully, we have a handful of awesome quarterbacks there who could also talk to us about running routes and what they see out there.”

Kittle agreed that Allen could play tight end if he wanted to. And he could. He’s doing just fine at his current position, however.

Tight End University happens in Nashville from June 22-24. Kittle, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, and former NFL tight end Greg Olsen established the event in 2021.

Jadeveon Clowney returns to the Browns

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The Browns once again have three No. 1 overall picks under contract.

Per multiple reports, defensive end Jadeveon Clowney has agreed to terms with the Browns. It will be his second season in Cleveland.

Clowney, the first pick in 2014, joins Myles Garrett, the first pick in 2017, and Baker Mayfield, the first pick in 2018. Mayfield isn’t expected to be there when the season begins. At this point, it’s unclear whether they’ll trade him, release him, or keep him.

Appearing in 14 games last season for the Browns, Clowney had 9.0 sacks.

Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that it’s a one-year, $11 million deal. We’ll see whether the details match that amount; it’s possible some of the $11 million comes in the form of incentives.

Charean Williams enters the Texas Sports Hall of Fame

Valero Texas Open - Round Two
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Thanks to Charean Williams, PFT has had a presence in the Pro Football Hall of Fame since 2018. Now, Charean has added a little extra legitimacy (or, as the case may be, erased a little more of the illegitimacy) to this operation via her induction into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.

On Saturday night, Charean entered the Texas Sports Hall of Fame as a member of a group of eight media members, including our good friend John McClain, who recently retired after nearly five decades with the Houston Chronicle.

Charean has become a key fixture here in recent years. She joined us after a long run covering the Cowboys for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. In addition to her daily posts and regular appearances on #PFTPM, she looks for any opportunity she can to remind me of the Hail Mary play (featuring uncalled pass interference) that vaulted the Cowboys to a 1975 playoff win over the Vikings. Actually, she just did it again yesterday.

Congratulations to Charean. We’re blessed to have her as part of the PFT team.

Deshaun Watson’s lawyer: Trevor Bauer suspension “has no logical connection” to Watson

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When Major League Baseball suspended Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer for two full seasons based on allegations of off-field sexual misconduct, the harsh punishment caused some to wonder whether it would prompt the NFL to impose an even greater suspension on Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson than the six-to-eight game ban that many in league circles have been expecting.

Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer recently asked Watson’s lawyer, Rusty Hardin, whether the Bauer suspension will influence the Watson discipline.

Hardin said he hopes Bauer’s suspension won’t impact Watson.

“I’m going to try to be an optimist and say it will have no effect at all,” Hardin said. “Because it has no logical connection.”

Logic doesn’t matter, however. What matters is P.R. The entire Personal Conduct Policy apparatus arises from P.R. considerations.

So if baseball suspends Bauer for two years and there’s no real outcry against the harshness of the penalty (and there hasn’t been), NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell could indeed be influenced to apply a stronger punishment to Watson. Even though the cases are different and the allegations are different and the sports are different, the two-year suspension of Bauer sets a new bar. Whatever the NFL does to Watson necessarily will be judged in comparison to that standard.

Without Bauer’s two-year suspension, a Watson penalty in the range of six or eight games creates one impression. Post-Bauer, six or eight games for Watson creates a different vibe entirely.

Ultimately, Goodell will try to balance the criticism for not suspending Watson enough against the criticism for being too harsh. Remember, it was Goodell’s failure to be sufficiently harsh with Ray Rice that nearly brought Goodell down in 2014.

That’s where logic comes into play. Goodell, knowing full well the fallout from a perception that he didn’t go far enough with Rice, becomes more likely to err on the side of going too far with Watson.

It’s not about right or wrong. It’s not about fairness or equity. It’s not about law or legalities. It’s about the reaction that the league anticipates from possibly being too lenient to possibly being too strict.

And, yes, the Bauer suspension becomes an important factor in figuring out the right punishment for Watson.

Saban vs. Fisher brought back memories of Schwartz vs. Harbaugh

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[Editor’s note: The recent dust-up between Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher, two of college football’s most prominent coaches, made me wish that something similar would happen among NFL coaches. Eleven years ago, it sort of did. After a regular-season game between the 49ers and Lions, San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh and Detroit coach Jim Schwartz had an interaction that became a full-blown brouhaha. Coincidentally, the Schartz vs. Harbaugh incident became one of the 100-plus chapters in Playmakers. So, with the express written consent of the fine folks at Hachette, I’ve copied and pasted the chapter. If you like what you see, you can see more that you’ll like when you buy Playmakers.]

IN THE EARLY portions of the past decade, John and Jim Harbaugh had become two of the most accomplished coaches in the NFL. Both have reputations for being fiercely intense and competitive. In 2011, that intensity and competition led one of them to cause a minor melee in Michigan.

Those who know both men—Jim coached the 49ers from 2011 through 2014, and John has coached the Ravens since 2008—claim that they possess equal fire but that John usually does a better job of keeping it under wraps (except, for example, when the lights went out in the second half of Super Bowl XLVII, which pitted brothers against each other for the first time ever in the league’s championship game). Jim, on the other hand, typically wears his heart, mind, ego, and temper on his sleeve.

It came to a head in Jim’s sixth game as coach of the 49ers. And it had its roots in an offseason dinner with the coach of his opponent that day. At the NFL’s annual meeting in March, not long after a lockout that would wipe out the offseason had commenced, Lions coach Jim Schwartz lectured Jim Harbaugh on the challenges of being competitive in his first season on the job given the lack of opportunities to practice from April into June.

“We were having dinner the other night, and Jim Schwartz told [Jim] basically there’s no way you’re going to be able to get it done [if the lockout lasts into the summer],” John Harbaugh said at the time. “[Schwartz] told him there’s no way you’re going to be able to accomplish what you need to accomplish in two weeks if this thing lasts a while. Jim [Harbaugh] just kind of bit his tongue, which is what you’ve got to do in this situation. Because there’s nothing you can do about it.”

Jim Harbaugh had a chance to do something about it when the 49ers visited the Lions on October 16, 2011. Detroit had started 5–0 for the first time since 1956. The 49ers unexpectedly had won four of five games to start the year but were 4.5-point underdogs.

Regardless of whether Jim Harbaugh still had the offseason condescension from Schwartz in mind (and surely Harbaugh did), another incident laid the foundation for what was eventually to come. After Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford connected with tight end Brandon Pettigrew on a 16-yard touchdown pass, Jim Harbaugh threw the red challenge flag. That year, however, the league had passed a rule making all scoring plays automatically reviewable. Harbaugh drew a 15-yard penalty for challenging a play that coaches no longer could challenge. On the other sideline, Schwartz taunted Harbaugh, strutting and preening and shouting “Know the rules” at Harbaugh, whose expression suggested that he was more dumbfounded by the development than disrespected by Schwartz.

The touchdown plus the extra point had given the Lions a 10–0 lead. The 49ers, however, managed to erase the deficit, to take the lead, and to hold the lead, winning the game 25–19 and dropping Detroit to 5–1.

That was when things became interesting. Harbaugh got excited. The TV copy shows him pulling up his shirt to reveal a ghostly white midsection. But Harbaugh wasn’t trying to show off his incipient dad bod; the gesture came from a gimmick Harbaugh had hatched to inspire a blue-collar work ethic in his players.

After the initial rosters for the season had become set, Harbaugh had work shirts made for all players and coaches. Dark blue, short sleeved, with a name plate stitched over a pocket. Harbaugh had explained that the 49ers would be a rough-and-tough team that earned each day’s pay. And, like blue-collar workers, they’d come home, kiss the wife and kids, grab a beer, sit in a favorite chair, untuck the work shirt, and watch TV. Harbaugh, in his excitement, untucked his shirt as a nod to the hard day of work that had led to an upset win in Detroit.

The excitement continued into a hard postgame handshake with Schwartz, followed by a slap on Schwartz’s back. Schwartz called out to Harbaugh, Harbaugh said something back to Schwartz, and Schwartz then followed Harbaugh, chasing him in order to confront him (or, at a minimum, to create the impression that he was trying to confront Harbaugh).

Officials and players and photographers and even 49ers PR director Bob Lange (in full suit and tie) scurried to keep Schwartz from getting too close to Harbaugh. The team congregated at the lone tunnel to the locker rooms, and cooler heads eventually prevailed.

Not everyone wanted things to quiet down so easily. When 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman realized what was about to happen, a team official cautioned him, “Be smart.” So Bowman put his helmet on and buckled his chinstrap before running to the middle of the action.

Ultimately, there was not much action. The incident, however, is one of the biggest examples from the past twenty years of the manner in which competitive drive mixed with toughness, real or contrived, can spill beyond the players to the coaches, causing one to be perhaps a little too exuberant and forcing the other to try (or at least to seem to try) to confront his foe with physical force.

For Schwartz, it was good that his effort was unsuccessful, or at least inauthentic. Harbaugh, a first-round draft pick of the Bears and long-time NFL quarterback, likely would have made quick work of Schwartz, a Division III linebacker at Georgetown who never played a down of football beyond college.

[This article is an from Playmakers: How the NFL Really Works (And Doesn’t) by Mike Florio © 2022. Available from PublicAffairs, an imprint of Perseus Books, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc.]

Packers see “faster and stronger” Amari Rodgers this offseason

Green Bay Packers vs Detroit Lions
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After the Packers traded Davante Adams to the Raiders, many wondered who the team would add at wide receiver before the 2022 season.

They signed Sammy Watkins and drafted three wideouts, but they are also looking for growth from holdovers from last season’s roster. One of those players is 2021 third-round pick Amari Rodgers.

Rodgers only caught four passes for 45 yards and made his biggest contributions as a returner during his rookie season. Wide receivers coach Jason Vrable said this week that he’s seen Rodgers “taking those steps” to become a more viable offensive option.

“Biggest thing we worked on, I talked to him in the offseason, how do you get your confidence? Well, you work and train harder than you ever did,” Vrable said, via Zach Kruse of USAToday.com. “So if you were to see him right now, he already looks faster and stronger than he ever did. He’s in the best shape of his life. His mindset is, ‘I’m going to be the No. 1 guy at all three positions.’ He has that going for him. His route-running is already cleaner and crisper. He’s trained an entire offseason.”

An offseason of change in the Packers receiving corps opened the door for new players to make an impression. It sounds like Rodgers’ bid to do that got off on the right foot.

George Kittle: Travis Kelce’s pay in comparison to receivers “boggles the mind”

NFL: JAN 27 Super Bowl LIV - Chiefs Opening Night at Marlins Park
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As the receiver market pushes toward $30 million per year, another group of players who catch plenty of passes is languishing by comparison.

In a Friday visit to #PFTPM promoting the second annual Tight End University, 49ers tight end George Kittle made that point, while singing the praises of Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.

Asked simply to identify the tight end that impresses Kittle the most, Kittle started rattling off the credentials of Kelce — and Kittle raised the pay disparity unprompted. (In other words, I wasn’t trying to stir the shit. This time.)

“I mean Travis Kelce, six seasons in a row, 1000 yards,” Kittle said. “I’m pretty sure he has the most receiving yards over any wide receiver, skill position in the last six years. He gets paid half of what a wide receiver makes, which just boggles my mind. I mean, to me, Travis Kelce, he’s been doing it for so long and at such a high level. And he doesn’t have an off game. I think he has one bad game a year, and it’s just because he’s getting triple-teamed.

“He’s a player I look at like, when he gets the ball in his hands, he’s a monster. . . . More tight ends and more tight ends are starting to get the ball more, starting to be more part of the offense, be more explosive. [I] love watching Darren Waller. [I] love watching Mark Andrews. [Zach] Ertz is really fun now down in Arizona. That’s just fun to see him just kind of dominate, getting a lot of touchdowns. [T.J.] Hockenson, [Robert] Tonyan. There’s all these tight ends that are explosive and fun to watch, but Kelce — when you have six 1.000 yards in a row, you’re hell of a football player.”

After Kittle went to the difference between receiver and tight end pay, I followed. I asked him about the gap, which has Kelce’s former Kansas City teammate Tyreek Hill at $30 million per year (it’s more like $25 million, but nevertheless) and Kelce at under $15 million annually.

“Every NFL team . . . that’s won a Super Bowl or been to the Super Bowl for like the last five years has had an All-Pro tight end a part of the team,” Kittle said. “I feel a tight end’s not just like a cog in the wheel, it’s an important position that can really add to your offense or diminish it.”

Kittle currently makes $15 million per year. He’s clearly one of the most important pieces of the San Francisco offense. So if the 49ers manage to make receiver Deebo Samuel happy with something close to $30 million per year, will the team be getting a relative bargain, dollar for dollar?

Putting it another way, would you want Hill or Samuel at full retail, or Kelce or Kittle at half the price?

Chances are that bargains like this may not last long. Given that there simply aren’t the same supply of tremendous tight ends in every draft (unlike receiver), the best ones necessarily become more valuable. It seems like just a matter of time before the market adjusts to reflect that fact, especially in comparison to receivers.

Bears throwing Velus Jones “into the fire pretty quick”

NFL Combine
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Wide receiver Velus Jones never played a high-profile role in the passing game during his first five college seasons, but he caught 62 passes at Tennessee last year and the Bears have high hopes for what that will mean in their offense.

The Bears made Jones a third-round pick last month and wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert said the team isn’t moving slowly when it comes to integrating him into their scheme. Jones is working at both inside and outside receiver during their offseason program.

“We’ve thrown him into the fire pretty quick, put him at two positions immediately,” Tolbert said, via Adam Jahns of TheAthletic.com. “Get him to learn it now. Because we want him to learn the whole concept but, specifically, a couple of positions to get him going. The more he can do, the more, obviously, he’ll have a chance to play.”

Tolbert said that “any situation is about opportunity” and the thin Bears receiving corps offers Jones a big opportunity to show that he was overlooked earlier in his college career. If he can, the feeling the Bears didn’t do enough to bolster their offense this offseason may not be a lasting one.

Birmingham Stallions move to 6-0 with win over 1-5 Michigan Panthers

USFL Week Six - Michigan Panthers v Birmingham Stallions
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The only true home team for the USFL’s inaugural (sort of) season has made the most of its advantage.

The Birmingham Stallions ran their unbeaten record to 6-0, with a 33-17 win over the Michigan Panthers on Saturday night.

All USFL regular-season games for 2022 will be played in Birmingham. The Stallions lose that advantage in the postseason, when the games move to Canton.

Running back Bo Scarbrough generated 105 rushing yards for the Stallions, including a 28-yard score that shut the door on an attempt by the Panthers to pull off the win. Instead, the Panthers (led by long-time NFL head coach Jeff Fisher) fell to 1-5. (And, yes, there’s still a chance he’ll finish the 10-game season with nine losses.)

The game, televised live by NBC, moved to CNBC with roughly three minutes to play. More importantly than the late local news was the pending Saturday Night Live season finale. Anyone who was watching the game on Peacock didn’t notice the change.

Anyone who was watching on NBC may not have noticed, either; it was already 33-17 at that point. There was no threat of a Heidi reprise.

Leonard Williams “liking what I’m seeing” from Kayvon Thibodeaux

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Giants defensive lineman Leonard Williams has been impressed with rookie defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux since the Giants first hit the practice field.

“I’m liking what I’m seeing so far,” Williams said of Thibodeaux. “It’s small things where we have a few guys on defense giving the ones — or giving whoever a show look, and if they need an offensive lineman or something like that, he’s one of the first ones to run in there and give a look. I appreciate things like that from top picks because he knows that there’s still more that he has to give to the team. Just because he got drafted high doesn’t mean that he can’t help out.”

Williams said Thibodeaux, the No. 5 overall pick and a well-known player coming out of college, has shown the humility that veterans like to see from rookies.

“Meeting him in person, he’s a humble guy and he’s ready to work, and like I said, he’s one of the first people to go in there when we need a look and things like that,” Williams said. “I’m definitely impressed with those things.”

Williams expects to benefit from Thibodeaux putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

“It’s going to be great for me inside and playing with guys like that that are going to make the quarterback step up, and if I’m playing in the middle and they’re doing their job, I’m going to make them roll out to them and vice versa,” Williams said. “We feed off of each other.”

Report: NFL owners are “counting votes” toward a possible ouster of Daniel Snyder

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There’s plenty of smoke surrounding Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder. Even in the absence of the confirmed existence of an actual fire, the smoke is getting the attention of his partners.

As reported by Jarrett Bell of USA Today, one NFL owner said that the group is “counting votes” as to Snyder.

It would take 24 votes to get rid of him. Of course, that would be just the beginning, not the end. Snyder would surely fight hard to not be forced to sell his business. Although the various members of Club Oligarch accept the rules of life in the league, the antitrust violation that would come from 24 or more business owners forcing another business owner to sell his or her business is hiding in plain sight.

Still, the rest of the owners are moving toward their breaking point with Snyder.

This isn’t new. We’ve reported on multiple occasions that Snyder is on thin ice. During Super Bowl week, we confirmed past reporting from 106.7 The Fan in D.C. that, if the league had asked attorney Beth Wilkinson for a written recommendation at the conclusion of her 10-month investigation into chronic workplace misconduct in Washington, she would have recommended that Snyder be forced to sell.

The league retained Mary Jo White, not Wilkinson, to investigate more recent claims of misconduct made against Snyder by former Washington employee Tiffani Johnston. We reported on the day of Super Bowl LVI that, “As one ownership-level source recently put it, the Johnston allegations could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for the league, prompting Snyder’s partners to take steps to push him out.”

That was before the allegations of financial improprieties. Those allegations included a claim from a long-time employee that money was being kept from Snyder’s partners.

As we’ve said plenty of times here and particularly on PFT Live, Snyder has had so many issues and controversies and allegations that, regardless of the merits of each one, at some point the mere existence of the issues and controversies and allegations become enough to justify pushing him out. At least one owner seems to agree with that position.

“There’s growing frustration about the Washington situation and not over one issue, but over how much smoke there is,” an unnamed owner told Bell. “I think everybody’s getting tired of it.”

The people not involved in NFL ownership definitely are tired of it. The question is whether the owners are willing to hold Snyder to a standard that potentially could be applied to them in the future. That’s why he got a pass last year. That’s why the league didn’t ask for a written report from Wilkinson. If a report had been created, Snyder’s ongoing ownership of the team would have become untenable. And every other current and future owner would have had to worry about the possibility that claims made by disgruntled employees could trigger the same outcome for them.

Again, they weren’t protecting Snyder by brushing it all under the rug. They were protecting themselves.

It’s gotten to the point where they possibly aren’t worried about that. Where they perhaps realize that none of them has to be concerned about being held to the same standard, because none of them would ever be involved in so many controversies.

The financial irregularities become the potential icing on the toxic cake. A source told us after the news broke that, if Snyder was indeed picking the pockets of his partners, it would be his “death knell.”

Bell echoes that reality with this quote from an unnamed owner: “If that happened, I think that’s the nail in the coffin.”

Bell also reports that owners “vehemently raised” concerns about the lack of a written report during league meetings in March. Again, Commissioner Roger Goodell and the league, while directly helping Snyder, was doing the rest of them a favor by not creating a road map for regime change. However, that absence of transparency has hounded the league for months, culminating in a Congressional investigation.

The irony continues to be that the release of emails that brought down Raiders coach Jon Gruden triggered a delayed effort to push the NFL and the Commanders or more transparency. Without the Gruden hit job, Congress most likely never would have shown up.

Some think the Gruden emails were released not by the league office but by Snyder. Whoever did it, the universe of suspects is small. If it turns out that Snyder lit the fuse on the bomb that ultimately blows up in his face, he’ll get what he deserves. Then again, there’s a pretty good chance he deserves it anyway.

Throw in the fact that there is evidence that he’s not really serving a suspension when he’s supposed to be, and it’s very difficult to feel bad for Snyder about the direction in which this could be heading.

Fire or not, the smoke continues to billow. In 2007, Goodell beefed up the Personal Conduct Policy to justify punishment of players who simply found themselves in off-field entanglements, regardless of ultimate convictions or guilty pleas. If the league is inclined to apply the same standard to owners (and as made clear in Playmakers it isn’t), Snyder should already be long gone.

Deshaun Watson’s lawyer says “no settlement talks are in the offing”

Cleveland Browns v Houston Texan
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Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson still faces 22 civil lawsuits accusing him of sexual misconduct during massage therapy sessions. At one point last year, 18 of the cases were ready to be settled; currently, none are.

Lawyer Rusty Hardin told Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer that “no settlement talks are in the offing.”

If the cases don’t settle, they’ll eventually have to go to trial. It’s now likely that the trials won’t begin until 2023. And it will be difficult if not impossible to conduct 22 trials during the 2023 offseason, especially if Watson intends to participate fully in the offseason program.

So what will the NFL do? Wait for the cases to end? Impose discipline now and be done with it? Discipline Watson now, while keeping the door open to discipline him later, based on how the cases unfold?

Regardless of what the league does, the cases will linger. It’s a burden that Texans fans previously had to carry. Browns fans get to deal with it now, even though Watson has more than enough money to end these cases today, if he wanted to.

Speaking in Buffalo, Roger Goodell seeks “long-lasting changes that will hopefully prevent this in the future”

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A day after the Bills organization visited Buffalo’s East Side neighborhood to show support for a community devastated by racially-motivated mass killings at a grocery story, other NFL figures showed up.

The contingent included the Commissioner.

“I have a personal connection to this community because it really is my home,” Goodell said, via ESPN.com. “I think we wanted to make sure people here knew they weren’t alone, that we were all supportive over them and how proud we are of the way they’re responding. The thing that gave me the most comfort was talking to the individuals. We all know we have a tragic circumstance here, 10 victims, but there are a lot of other people here really hurting. We just want them to know that all of us are standing behind them and we’re all gonna do whatever we can to support them.”

Goodell, who along with his wife donated $50,000 to the Bills Social Justice Fund, also expressed an aspiration for “long-lasting changes that will hopefully prevent this in the future.”

That’s good. That’s smart. It’s far better to prevent these tragedies than to respond to them. As we’ve mentioned a couple of times since last Saturday, Goodell is in a unique position to express loud displeasure to a broadcast partner whose news division gives mainstream credibility to the racist and anti-Semitic theory that white Americans are systematically being replaced by minorities.

Given the various things about which the NFL does not hesitate to complain to its partners (including ESPN’s Playmakers show), why wouldn’t the league make its strong disagreement known when it comes to something like this? Assuming, that is, that the league does indeed strongly disagree with the replacement-theory rhetoric emanating from the news division of one of its broadcast partners. Hopefully, the league does.