Football Wiretap

Cam Newton Dismisses Speculation About Reason For Benching

Dec 9, 2016 7:30 AM

Cam Newton dismissed speculation about why he was benched for the first offensive series against the Seattle Seahawks last week as "falsified stories."

Ron Rivera said Newton violated a team dress-code policy, but there have been stories floating around the internet that the quarterback was at a strip club late the night before the game.

"I violated the wardrobe [policy], and that's it," Newton said. "You don't have to dig into certain stories that I violated curfew, was out at a club, somebody was calling the room. I still stand by Coach Rivera's decision, and that's just a warning for everybody.

"At no point in time -- or even still -- do I think I'm above the law. I never thought that. I'm not that type of player."

David Newton/ESPN

Tags: Carolina Panthers, Misc Rumor

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Eagles Working To Fix Carson Wentz's Mechanics

Dec 8, 2016 6:39 AM

Carson Wentz is the NFL's lowest-rated passer since Week 6 and the Philadelphia Eagles are working to help him change that.

After Sunday's loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia's sixth in their last seven games, Doug Pederson attributed the slump to mechanical flaws that many saw in Wentz at North Dakota State.

"Strictly mechanics," Pederson said. "... Young quarterback, missed quite a bit of time in the preseason, but now we have to keep cleaning this thing up."

Wentz works daily on his mechanics with offensive coordinator Frank Reich and quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo. Pederson admitted that the overhaul would be more complete if his rookie was still sitting behind a veteran quarterback.

"These are some of the decisions that I made back when the (Sam Bradford) trade was made," Pederson said. "These were going to be some of the pains we were going to have to go through, and just him understanding and him learning and us growing together as an offense, he and I growing as coach and quarterback together, it's all part of the process."

Chris Wesseling/NFL

Tags: Philadelphia Eagles, Misc Rumor

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Jamaal Charles Hopes To Return By Playoffs

Dec 9, 2016 7:34 AM

Jamaal Charles is eligible to return from the injured reserve in Week 17 and hopes to be on the field in the postseason.

The Kansas City Chiefs are expected to lock up a playoff berth in the coming weeks.

Charles had surgery to trim his meniscus early last month.

Chris Wesseling/NFL

Tags: Kansas City Chiefs, Injury, Misc Rumor

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Derrick Johnson Suffers Ruptured Left Achilles

Dec 9, 2016 7:26 AM

Derrick Johnson suffered a ruptured left Achilles in Thursday night's win over the Oakland Raiders.

The Kansas City Chiefs linebacker had to be helped off the field without putting any weight on his foot.

"A sad deal there," Andy Reid said. "I felt a little bit of a letdown when it happened."

Johnson, who missed most of the 2014 season because of a torn right Achilles, was injured on Oakland's only touchdown drive of the game.

Johnson is the longest-tenured Chiefs player, along with punter Dustin Colquitt. He arrived in Kansas City as its first-round draft pick in 2005.

Adam Teicher/ESPN

Tags: Kansas City Chiefs, Injury, Misc Rumor

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Seahawks Don't Expect Earl Thomas To Retire

Dec 8, 2016 11:04 PM

The Seattle Seahawks expect Earl Thomas to resume his playing career next season despite openly talking about contemplating retirement following his season-ending broken tibia.

“Absolutely. He loves to play this game, there’s no doubt," said defensive coordinator Kris Richard. "Of course we’re all disappointed. I know he is. He’s not getting a chance to do what he loves to do. I certainly hope so because the game is better with him out there playing.”

Pete Carroll and teammate Richard Sherman on Wednesday also each said they expect Thomas back in 2017.

Bob Condotta/Seattle Times

Tags: Seattle Seahawks, Free Agent Rumor, Injury, Misc Rumor

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Fitzgerald Not Planning On Playing Long Enough To Catch Rice, Gonzalez

Dec 8, 2016 10:51 PM

Larry Fitzgerald doesn't expect to play long enough to catch Jerry Rice and Tony Gonzalez on the all-time receptions list.

While Fitzgerald insisted he wasn't announcing a pending retirement, the math shows he could be heading there soon.

He's 220 receptions away from passing Gonzalez, who has 1,325 career catches. Fitzgerald is on pace to finish this season with a career-high 117 catches after setting a career high with 109 in '15.

If Fitzgerald, who's in his 13th season and is tied for the NFL lead with 88 catches, were to finish with 117, he would head into next season needing 191 to pass Gonzalez for No. 2 all time and 415 to pass Rice, whose 1,549 catches rank first.

Fitzgerald could theoretically catch Gonzalez sometime in 2018.

"I don't plan on playing that long to catch those guys," Fitzgerald said.

John Weinfuss/ESPN

Tags: Arizona Cardinals

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Jeff Fisher, Les Snead Relationship Described As 'Toxic'

Dec 8, 2016 5:05 PM

Jeff Fisher criticized the Los Angeles Rams' personnel decisions when asked about the contract extension agreed upon by Les Snead.

“I’m so busy here, I was honestly unaware he was extended. I’m being honest with you, we’re just working here,” Fisher said. “I look at this as being my responsibility, the win-loss record. We need to do a better job from a personnel standpoint. We’ve had some unfortunate things take place with some high picks in Stedman Bailey and Tre Mason and those kinds of things you don’t anticipate.

“But we’re moving forward.”

The comments weren't well received within the Rams' front office.

“It pissed me off because I knew it was meant as a shot,” said one Rams source. “You see it under that umbrella—‘We need to do a better job in personnel.’ OK, but you want everyone to think that you have full control. You can’t have it both ways, and it can’t always be the talent. Look at the roster, 2012 to now. In ’12, Jeff did a masterful job with what he was given. But we’ve gotten more talent, and we’ve gotten worse.”

Fisher and Snead arrived as part of an arranged 2012 marriage after the Rams fired Steve Spagnuolo and Billy Devaney.

The relationship between Fisher and Snead has been consistently described as “toxic.” 

“It’s always good to have healthy tension between the coach and GM, but that shouldn’t hurt the team or cause finger-pointing,” said another club source. “Over five years, (Tuesday) was the first time you saw public comments. That should never happen. … The organization has given them a long leash. And given that they’ve had time, they have to win, and they have to be able to work together.”

Albert Breer/NFL.com

Tags: Los Angeles, Misc Rumor

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Falcons Sign Robert Alford To Four-Year, $38M Extension

Dec 8, 2016 4:35 PM

The Atlanta Falcons have signed Robert Alford to a four-year, $38 million contract extension. The deal will contain $21 million in guaranteed money.

The Falcons selected Alford in the second round of the 2013 draft. He was in the final year of his rookie contract.

Alford has become a solid contributor at cornerback in Dan Quinn's scheme.

The Falcons paid to keep Alford off the market. Per OverTheCap.com, Alford's $38 million in total value places him tied for 15th highest paid at his position, alongside Raiders CB Sean Smith.

Kevin Patra/NFL.com

Tags: Atlanta Falcons, Free Agent Rumor, Misc Rumor

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Robert Griffin III To Start At Quarterback Against Bengals

Dec 8, 2016 4:32 PM

The Cleveland Browns will start Robert Griffin III at quarterback.

"It's all about being in the right situation at the right time," Griffin said Thursday after he was named the starter for Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals. "My job is to make sure that this is the right situation and the right time."

Hue Jackson also said it's important to see Griffin so the Browns can garner more information before deciding if they should bring him back in 2017.

Pat McManamon/ESPN

Tags: Cleveland Browns

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Justin Forsett Will Split Carries With Devontae Booker In Week 14

Dec 8, 2016 6:23 AM

Gary Kubiak expects Justin Forsett to split carries with Devontae Booker this Sunday against the Tennessee Titans.

The Broncos claimed Forsett off waivers on Monday, but he has familiarity with Kubiak's offense.

Cameron Wolfe/Denver Post

Tags: Denver Broncos, Misc Rumor

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Hue Jackson Won't Let Browns Trade Joe Thomas While He's Coaching
Joe Thomas has been mentioned in trade rumors for the past two years, but Hue Jackson says the Browns aren't moving the left tackle.

Mary Kay Cabot/Cleveland Plain Dealer

Adrian Peterson Will Only Return If Vikings Remain In Playoff Hunt
The Vikings have lost six of their last seven games after a 5-0 start.

Ben Goessling/ESPN

Oregon Hires Willie Taggart As Head Coach
When Willie Taggart was at Stanford, he helped recruit Andrew Luck.

Brett McMurphy/ESPN

Frank Reich: Losing Is Wearing On Carson Wentz
After opening the season 3-0, the Eagles have dropped seven of their last nine games and Carson Wentz's play has tailed off as well.

Josh Alper/Pro Football Talk

Jason Pierre-Paul Has Surgery, Will Miss Rest Of Regular Season
Jason Pierre-Paul had surgery Wednesday morning to repair a sports hernia and his injured groin and is likely to be sidelined for the rest of the regular season, according to a source.

Jordan Raanan/ESPN

D'Qwell Jackson Suspended Four Games For PED Violation
The Colts will have to make the playoffs in order for D'Qwell Jackson to play again this season.

Mike Wells/ESPN

Rashaan Salaam Passes Away At 42
Rashaan Salaam won the Heisman Trophy in 1994 while at Colorado.

ESPN

Broncos Claim Justin Forsett Off Waivers From Lions
The Broncos have claimed Justin Forsett off waivers from the Lions, reuniting the running back with coach Gary Kubiak.

Chris Wesseling/NFL

Jets Bench Ryan Fitzpatrick, Will Start Bryce Petty Rest Of Season
The Jets pulled Ryan Fitzpatrick in favor of Bryce Petty on Monday night and will start Petty in the final four games of the season.

Rich Cimini/ESPN

Frank Gore Passes Tony Dorsett For Eighth On Rushing List
Frank Gore finished Monday night's game with 79 rushing yards, allowing him to pass Tony Dorsett for eighth place on the NFL's all-time rushing list.

Mike Wells/ESPN

Lamar Jackson, Deshaun Watson Headline Heisman Finalists
Lamar Jackson has long been considered the favorite to win the award after opening September on a torrid touchdown pace

Andrea Adelson/ESPN

Percy Harvin Out For Remainder Of 2016
The Bills gave Percy Harvin a one-year deal with a prorated $1.56 million base salary and per-game roster bonuses of $22,500.

Mike Rodak/ESPN

Leonard Fournette Declares For 2017 NFL Draft
RealGM's Jeff Risdon lists Leonard Fournette as the fourth best projected running back available in the draft.

Chase Goodbread/NFL.com

Cam Newton Benched For Not Wearing Tie On Panthers' Flight
Cam Newton boarded the team's charter flight wearing a black turtleneck and blazer.

Lindsay H. Jones/USA Today

49ers Bench Colin Kaepernick Late In Loss To Bears
Colin Kaepernick went 1-for-5 with four yards passing in the snowy game.

Andie Hagemann/NFL

Brock Osweiler: Texans Close To Exploding On Offense
Brock Osweiler turned in a decent performance on Sunday against the Packers and believes the Texans are close to hitting their offensive stride.

Josh Alper/Pro Football Talk

Jay Gruden Blasts Washington After Loss To Cardinals
Jay Gruden chewed out Washington after Sunday's 31-23 loss to the Cardinals.

John Keim/ESPN

Cam Newton Benched For First Series Following Dress Code Violation
The Panthers benched Cam Newton for the team's first offensive series against the Seahawks on Sunday night because of a dress code violation.

David Newton/ESPN

Earl Thomas Suffers Broken Leg, Out At Least Six Weeks
During the game, Earl Thomas tweeted that he had "no regrets," but that there was a lot running through his mind, "including retirement."

Sheil Kapadia/ESPN

Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Washington Selected For Playoffs
Alabama opened as a 14-point favorite over Washington. Ohio State opened as a 3-point favorite over Clemson.

ESPN