Eagles: 2020 salary cap rules “huge thing to build up to”

AP

The Eagles didn’t wait for the last second to get a contract extension done with quarterback Carson Wentz as they signed him to a four-year extension earlier this month despite having him under contract through the 2020 season.

That year will be the final one conducted under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, which was on the team’s mind when it came time to set up a timeline for Wentz’s deal. When the CBA expired in 2010, the NFL had an “uncapped” year but that’s not the set up this time around.

Eagles vice president of football administration Jake Rosenberg said this agreement has “very specific rules that actually make it more difficult with the way we talk about these cap tricks and little ways we have in creating space and kind of finagling things around.”

“It’s a huge thing to build up to,” Rosenberg said on a team podcast, via NJ.com. “We started probably sometime early [2018] trying to prepare for it. The timing here, up against 2020, which is the last year on the CBA and has its own set of rules, is a little tricky and challenging. We got ahead of this in that we saw this coming. We knew that 2020, because of the rules, would make things extra difficult.”

The early planning extended to Wentz’s deal. Rosenberg said the team wanted to get ready to do Wentz’s deal “way in advance because that’s not your typical contract.”

Wentz was the No. 2 pick of the 2016 draft behind Jared Goff and the Rams have not been as aggressive in getting a new deal done with their quarterback. General Manager Les Snead said that they’ve had some preliminary talks recently, however, and have a lot of time left before the start of the 2020 league year for those to ramp up.

Cierre Wood indicted for murder, 20 felony child abuse charges

Getty Images

Former NFL running back Cierre Wood and his girlfriend were indicted on murder and 20 felony child abuse charges in the death of a five-year-old girl, the Associated Press reports.

Amy Taylor’s daughter, La’Rayah Davis, was found lifeless in Wood’s apartment in Las Vegas on April 9. Wood and Taylor are accused of killing Davis.

Taylor and her daughter moved in with Wood and his own daughter less than two weeks before Davis died.

Davis had 20 newly broken ribs, internal bleeding, a lacerated liver and bruises to her heart, diaphragm, and connective tissue, according to autopsy findings. Taylor told police she sat on the girl while disciplining her about a week before her death, per court documents.

Wood told police he used exercise as discipline, and Davis feel backward while doing sit-ups and hit her head on the carpeted floor, the AP reports.

Wood and Taylor each could get life in prison if convicted.

Wood plans to plead no guilty at his arraignment July 2, his attorney, Thomas Ericsson, told the AP.

Wood, who had five career carries for 12 yards, appeared in five career regular-season games with the Texans and Bills from 2013-15. He also spent time with the Patriots, Ravens, and Seahawks during his NFL career before playing parts of two seasons in the Canadian Football League with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Montreal Alouettes, and Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Kansas City radio host taken off air for comments about Andy Reid’s son

AP

A Kansas City sports radio host has been taken off the air for comments about Chiefs coach Andy Reid lacking discipline, citing Reid’s son, who died of a drug overdose.

“We are aware of the controversial comments made by Kevin Kietzman during yesterday’s broadcast of Between the Lines,” Sports Radio WHB said in a statement. “We have decided to take the immediate step to take Kevin off the air until further notice as we review this matter. We take Kevin’s comments and those of all on-air staff seriously. Kevin’s comments were clearly not to his or our standards. Please know that we will take necessary appropriate actions. We sincerely apologize to Andy Reid and his family, the Kansas City Chiefs organization and our loyal listeners and share their concerns.”

Discussing whether the Chiefs would discipline Tyreek Hill, Kietzman said that Reid has never been big on discipline.

“Andy Reid does not have a great record of fixing players,” Kietzman said on the air. “He doesn’t. Discipline is not his thing. It did not work out particularly well in his family life, and that needs to be added to this, as we’re talking about the Chiefs. He wasn’t real great at that either. He’s had a lot of things go bad on him, family and players. He is not good at fixing people. He is not good at discipline. That is not his strength. His strength is designing football plays.”

Reid’s son, Garrett Reid, died of a drug overdose at the Eagles’ training camp in 2012, when Reid was the Eagles’ head coach. Many who heard Kietzman’s statement interpreted it as a reference to Garrett’s death, but Kietzman denied that, saying he was referring to legal troubles Garrett and his brother had before Garrett died.

“I never mentioned one word about the tragic death of Andy Reid’s son and quickly corrected a caller who did,” Kietzman wrote on Twitter. “I was talking about the owner’s record of ‘fixing’ players, the team’s record and Andy’s record. I was referencing the drug addiction and convictions for dealing drugs. When they served time and Reid hired them to work for his football teams, it was no longer a private matter. But blaming a parent for the death of their child in these circumstances is unthinkable and reprehensible.”

Kietzman’s bosses apparently didn’t buy that explanation. It is unclear whether he will ever be back on the air.

Urban Meyer says Dwayne Haskins is “going to be great”

AP

Washington drafted Dwayne Haskins with the 15th overall pick for one (big) reason: They believe he is their next franchise quarterback.

Haskins’ college coach believes the same.

Former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said the only thing Haskins is missing is experience.

Haskins had only 171 snaps on offense before last season when he set 28 Ohio State records and seven Big Ten records as he passed for 4,831 yards and 50 touchdowns.

“He’s going to be great,” Meyer said, via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “He’s very intelligent. His only issue is that he played just one year. Every other thing, he’s got it. . . .Great kid. Very smart. He was the most accurate passer that I’ve ever had.”

Joe Theismann recently advocated for Washington to sit Haskins for the entire season. The team has veterans Case Keenum and Colt McCoy as bridge quarterbacks if that’s what it chooses to do.

But Haskins likely won’t sit for long. Washington drafted him to play.

Browns sue sponsor that failed to make agreed payment

Getty Images

The customer is always right. Except when the customer doesn’t pay.

The Cleveland Browns have sued a sponsor that failed to pay the agreed amount. According to Crain’s Cleveland Business, the team filed a civil action to enforce a $525,000 arbitration won against Hard Beverages for not making payment under the first year of a deal with the team.

The Browns agreed to display the company’s logo in a variety of contexts, and the company agreed to pay $525,000 per year. With interest, the amount owed has spiked to more than $580,000.

Absent compelling evidence of a significant problem with the arbitration process, a court decision turning the arbitration award into a formal judgment is a formality.

And, yes, I wrote all of this blurb without making a snarky comment about rebates. Well, almost all of it.

Dak Prescott loves Amari Cooper’s confidence in setting 2,000-yard goal

AP

Michael Irvin set the Cowboys’ single-season receiving yards record with 1,603 in 1995. Amari Cooper‘s goal is 400 yards higher than that, he told #PFTPM on Monday.

Cooper has never had more than 1,153 yards in a single season, but his 725 yards in nine games in Dallas last season after the trade from Oakland translates to 1,388 over 16 games.

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott nodded and smiled when told Cooper’s goal.

I love it. That means I’m throwing the hell out of it, so I love it,” Prescott said Tuesday at his ProCamp youth football camp in Haughton, Louisiana, via video from Mark Lane of WFAA.

No NFL receiver ever has had a 2,000-yard season, although Calvin Johnson came close in 2012 with 1,964 yards.

Cooper, though, showed in half a season he can be exactly what the Raiders thought when they made him the fourth overall choice in 2015. He just won’t be doing it with the Raiders.

Cooper and Prescott found a connection right away, and it only grew over their first offseason together. So while 2,000 yards might be asking a lot, it’s not out of the question for Cooper to have a career-best season.

“I love that confidence, honestly. Just that right there,” Prescott said. “For a guy that came in, people say he didn’t talk much or whatever happened on the last team he was [on]. For him to be as confident as he is, to be playing and practicing the way he’s been doing. . . .Our chemistry has grown so much in just the one offseason we’ve had. I’m excited for this year. I don’t think his goals or the things that he said or too far-fetched or out of reach.”

AEG Facilities will operate Raiders stadium in Las Vegas

Getty Images

The Raiders are set to move to a new stadium in Las Vegas for the 2020 season and Tuesday brought an announcement about the operations of that building.

AEG Facilities has been selected to operate the stadium once it is ready to begin hosting events. The UNLV football team will play its home games at the stadium and the facility is expected to host events like the Super Bowl, Final Four and college football title game in the years to come.

“We are honored to have the opportunity to partner with one of sports’ most recognizable, successful and iconic international brands and with a city known as the ‘sports and entertainment capital of the world’ in a stadium destined to set new standards for the fan experience that will be created,” AEG Facilities president Bob Newman said in a statement.

AEG Facilities also counts the T-Mobile Center in Las Vegas and the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, which the Raiders will call home in 2019, among the more than 150 properties it operates around the world.

Cordy Glenn likely back to left tackle with Jonah Williams out

Getty Images

The Bengals announced on Tuesday that they don’t expect to have rookie left tackle Jonah Williams on the field for the 2019 season after he had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder.

Williams was selected in the first round of this year’s draft and his arrival led to some shuffling on the offensive line in Cincinnati. Veteran Cordy Glenn moved from left tackle to left guard during offseason workouts, but Geoff Hobson of the team’s website writes that the move will likely be reversed now that Williams is on the shelf.

The question of who will take over at left guard may take some time to sort out.

Clint Boling started there last year, but didn’t practice at all in the spring due to an undisclosed injury. The team used Christian Westerman at left guard in minicamp while Glenn was filling in for Williams and also signed veteran John Jerry on June 10 in a move that may have been spurred by the need to restock the line with Williams out.

Michael Thomas: ODB is a “modern-day rock star” and great teammate

AP

The Giants will miss Odell Beckham Jr. on the field. In his five seasons, the Pro Bowl receiver averaged 78 catches for 1,095 yards and nine touchdowns per season.

His former teammates will miss him in the locker room, too, Giants safety Michael Thomas said.

Thomas callas Beckham a “great teammate.”

“What’s done is done. Everybody is trying to move on. His side, our side,” Thomas said on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “So I’m not going to touch it too much. I’ll just say this: He was a great teammate, like one of the best teammates you could ever ask for, especially somebody of his caliber. We’re talking about one of the modern-day rock stars. He was of a different caliber, but for someone of his stature, he was very approachable in the locker room.

“. . .He was a great teammate, a great locker room guy. For whatever reason, it didn’t work out. The Giants had a direction they wanted to go in. Hopefully, he finds what he was looking for in Cleveland. Both sides are ready to move on. It is what it is. I wish him nothing but the best. I love the way our locker room, our team is vibing right now. It’s a great culture fit. We’re ready to rock and get ready for this 2019 season.”

Thomas spent his first five seasons in Miami before signing with the Giants during the 2018 offseason.

Bengals expect Jonah Williams to miss season

Getty Images

The Bengals are expected to lose their first-round draft pick for the entire 2019 season.

Cincinnati announced today that rookie left tackle Jonah Williams had shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum and is likely to miss the year. He was injured during a practice this month.

“We look forward to Jonah being a major contributor in the future, and know that he won’t let this injury deter him from still being an important part of this team,” Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said. “We’re confident in our offensive line personnel as we head into training camp, and we believe they can do their part in helping this team achieve its goals.”

Williams was an All-American at Alabama last season and the Bengals took him with the 11th overall pick in the draft. Cincinnati was expecting Williams to be a starter from Day One, but now that will wait until Day One of the 2020 season.

Eric Bieniemy hopes “input” in Chiefs offense helps him in future

Getty Images

There aren’t many offenses in the NFL teams would more like to copy than the Chiefs’.

So even though he doesn’t call all the plays — head coach Andy Reid handles that — Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy said he’s still an integral part of what they do, which should qualify him for future head-coaching opportunities.

“Here’s my response about the playcalling: coach Reid has always done it his way, and that’s how historically he’s done it because he’s coach Reid,” Bieniemy said, via Vaughn McClure of ESPN. “He has a beautiful mind, and we all work hand-in-hand together. And he gives me the green light to do a number of things. I have input. I do scripts. I get the install. There are a number of things that I do.”

Bieniemy’s role in the offense should help him, at a time when teams are leaning toward hiring coaches from that side of the ball. Working with any offense which includes Patrick Mahomes only helps. But in a cycle in which eight jobs changed hands, only one minority coach was hired (Brian Flores in Miami).

Bieniemy interviewed for that job as well, along with the Jets, Buccaneers, and Bengals. He said he was grateful for the opportunities, and hopes they position him well for future interviews. But he didn’t agree with the perception that his lack of control of the offense, or his non-quarterback background (he’s coached running backs) made him less viable.

He was on hand this week at the NFL Quarterback Coaching Summit hosted by the league and Black College Football Hall of Fame, so his status stood out. He and Byron Leftwich of the Buccaneers are the only minority coaches in offensive coordinator positions.

“I’ve been an offensive coach my whole entire life,” he said. “People think just because you coach running backs you don’t understand the pass game. Well, when you’ve played the position, and you’re involved in coaching the position, you’ve got to make sure guys understand the entire game plan, meaning you’re very much involved in the pass game. You have to understand protections. You have to understand route concepts. You have to understand how defenses are structured going against you.

“Do we need more [minority] coaches on the offensive side of the ball? Yes. How do we go about doing that? We have to make sure there’s a plan for guys of helping guys get into that quarterback room and into quality-control positions so those guys can add that knowledge and learn how to deal with the quarterbacks, learn the language and speak it.”

And then to convince people they’re able to speak it to the entire team.

Jakeem Grant over “mental hump” in return from leg injury

Getty Images

Wide receiver Jakeem Grant made an impact on both offense and special teams over the first 10 games of the Dolphins 2018 season.

Grant caught two touchdown passes and joined Andre Roberts as the only players to return both a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns last year. A lower leg injury meant that Grant wasn’t able to add to those totals over the final six games, but he’s aiming for more this year.

While the initial fear that Grant tore his Achilles was misplaced, the wideout said the injury still “kind of messed with me mentally” as he worked to get back for this season. He believes he’s “over that mental hump” and ready to pick up where he left off last year.

“I feel like last year I kind of made a big name for myself in the return game I want to be the best returner in the league,” Grant said, via the Palm Beach Post. “And I want to be one of the top receivers in the league. I’m going to continue to play the best I ever can.”

Grant is set for free agency once the year is out and hitting either of those goals will set him up well for another contract.

John Parry: Pass interference review opens Pandora’s Box

Getty Images

John Parry retired as an NFL referee after officiating Super Bowl LIII, so he won’t ever work a game that includes a replay review to determine whether a pass interference foul occurred during a play.

Parry’s final game featured an incomplete pass to Rams wideout Brandin Cooks while he was covered and contacted by Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore. No flag was thrown on the play, but NFL senior V.P. of officiating Al Riveron has said that it would be a foul if reviewed under the rule adopted this offseason.

In an interview with Jonathan Jones of SI.com, Parry agreed there was contact but doesn’t believe it significantly hindered Cooks’ ability to catch the ball. He also doesn’t seem to believe that the move to a rule that would turn the play into a penalty is a step in the right direction.

“What do I think of it? I’ve wrestled with this since late February from being involved with the competition committee, and I don’t think a day goes by where I wonder is this good? Could this be done differently? Is there a better way? I have tried to convince myself that where we’re headed is good. I can’t get there, I just can’t get there. I’m struggling with it. . . . People talk about sky judge, well both teams have five to eight assistants in a booth with video. They’re the best sky judges we have. So we kind of already have that but no one talks about it in that way. Then you get to what do we look at? Pass interference or player-safety fouls or what? It’s Pandora’s Box that they’ve opened.”

Parry will be working for ESPN as a rules analyst this season, which means we’ll likely be hearing from him about this rule several more times before the year is out.

What changes to Hard Knocks would you like to see?

Getty Images

The NFL reportedly is considering changes to the Hard Knocks series. And that news provided us with a piece of low-hanging fruit as it relates to our daily PFT Live draft.

What changes should be made to the HBO series?

Simms and I picked three each, with the conversation sparking plenty of on-the-fly ideas. (Translation: We hadn’t really prepared all that much.)

Check out our thoughts, and then share your own. And, as always, tune in for PFT Live every weekday from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. ET, with the final two hours simulcast on NBCSN. These next three shows are the final episodes for four full weeks.

Tom Dundon wants his $70 million back from the AAF

AP

Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon is having a case of buyer’s remorse. But it could be too late for Dundon to get a refund.

Daniel Kaplan of TheAthletic.com reports that Dundon has filed a claim in the Alliance of American Football’s bankruptcy case. Dundon alleges that his investment happened due to “misrepresentations,” and he seeks a full refund of the $70 million he paid to keep the league afloat for five or six weeks during its only season, before Dundon shuttered it.

“Even though AAF executives told [Dundon Capital Partners] its contribution would get the AAF through the first season, those executives knew at the time of the execution of the Term Sheet that the AAF would likely need an additional $50,000,000 (including League revenue) on top of [Dundon Capital Partners’] investment of up to $70,000,000 to get through the first season,” the document alleges. “The AAF and its executives never disclosed this information to [Dundon Capital Partners].”

In other words, Dundon claims that the AAF led Dundon to believe that an infusion of $70 million would get the league through its first season, but that the AAF knew that in reality $120 million would be required. More specifically, Dundon claims that the AAF led him to believe that an amount considerably less than $70 million would be needed to finish the campaign.

“The AAF further represented that it could survive the season with only $55,000,000, leaving substantial capital to prepare for the following season,” the document contends. “During the weeks following the execution of the Term Sheet, [Dundon Capital Partners] learned a number of alarming facts that revealed that the AAF was not forthcoming with Dundon and [Dundon Capital Partners]. [Dundon Capital Partners] learned that, in addition to not having the funds to pay salaries after the first week of the League’s games, the AAF also had accumulated more than $13,000,000 in unpaid debts and commitments. The AAF did not disclose these unpaid debts or commitments to [Dundon Capital Partners] prior to the execution of the February 14, 2019 Term Sheet.”

Dundon also contends that the AAF failed to disclose the existence of “ongoing threatened litigation from a past associate who claimed to be a co-founder of the League and who was suing to obtain a 50% interest in the AAF.”

With precious few assets available to be distributed to the AAF’s many creditors, Dundon’s filing feels like the first move in a fresh game of chess/checkers/chicken against those who lured him to pump millions down what ultimately became (and possibly already was) a dry hole. Dundon could be trying to ensure that creditors won’t target him personally, he could be trying to lay the foundation to target personally those who lured him into the business, and/or he could simply be trying to ensure that the record is clear and unambiguous in the event the pending legal proceedings eventually take a southerly turn from the civil justice system.