March 2017 - Football Wiretap

Johnny Manziel Receiving Interest From Saints

Mar 23, 2017 10:38 AM

Johnny Manziel has discussed a return to the NFL with Sean Payton.

Manziel has kept a low profile recently as he trains for a return but the New Orleans Saints have interest in him.

Manziel and Payton were spotted having breakfast together during Super Bowl week.

Manziel sat out the entire 2016 season. Manziel's domestic violence case is still under investigation by the NFL.

Ian Rapoport/NFL.com

Tags: New Orleans Saints, Free Agent Rumor, Misc Rumor

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Bears To Hold Private Workout With DeShone Kizer

Mar 23, 2017 2:10 PM

The Chicago Bears will hold a private workout with Notre Dame's DeShone Kizer.

The Bears also sent a contingent to the Clemson pro day last week to get a closer look at QB Deshaun Watson. The club also had at least one representative at North Carolina's pro day earlier this week, where another top-rated QB, Mitch Trubisky, worked out.

The Bears signed Mike Glennon in the offseason but he's considered a bridge quarterback.

Dan Parr/NFL.com

Tags: Chicago Bears, Draft, Draft Misc, Misc Rumor

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Roger Goodell Has 'Felt Increased Commercialization' Of NFL

Mar 23, 2017 11:31 AM

The NFL is working on improving the experience of television viewers, which could include decreasing the number of in-house promos run by the networks during the telecast.

“We . . . know that you feel there are too many elements in the broadcast that aren’t relevant to the play on the field,” Goodell wrote in a letter to fans. “With our partners, we will be looking to instead focus on content that is most complementary and compelling to you — whether that is analysis, highlights or stories about our players. All of these changes are meant to give you more of what you want: a competitive game with fewer interruptions and distractions from the action.”

Goodell elaborated the point during an appearance on ESPN Radio on Thursday.

“It could be commercial related, it could be an advertisement for selling a jersey, it could be a promo for something that the network’s running that week,” Goodell said. “And frankly, to be blunt about it, it’s like an intrusion on the game. And I sense that. I’ve felt the increased commercialization.”

Mike Florio/Pro Football Talk

Tags: Legal

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ESPN Decided Adam Schefter Should Stop Driving To Maximize Reporting

Mar 23, 2017 10:54 AM

Seth Markman, a senior coordinator producer of ESPN's NFL coverage decided a few years ago that Adam Schefter shouldn't drive anymore.

Markman thought Schefter should be freed up to call and text at all times so he could break as many stories as possible without the danger of texting while driving.

Producers have had to warn Schefter about approaching staircases because he's so locked into his phone.

Whenever Schefter travels to Bristol from his home near New York City, he either hires a driver or Markman sends a member of the ESPN security team to pick him up.

Markman also created a game ranking the top-50 free agents and assigns points based on the value of each player for the reporter who is first with who he signs with. Last year Schefter had 616 points with the second-place finisher scoring 155.

Tim Rohan/Sports Illustrated

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Jaguars Sign Mychal Rivera

Mar 23, 2017 8:45 AM

The Jacksonville Jaguars have signed Mychal Rivera, who will fill the void left behind by Julius Thomas at tight end.

Rivera averaged 1.10 yards receiving per route run, which was 65th out of 133 tight ends in the league, per Pro Football Focus.

Michael DiRocco/ESPN

Tags: Jacksonville Jaguars, Free Agent Rumor, Misc Rumor, Terms Agreement

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Packers Agree To Re-Sign Christine Michael

Mar 23, 2017 8:41 AM

Christine Michael has agreed to re-sign with the Green Bay Packers, according to a source.

The Packers claimed Michael off waivers on Nov. 16 in the wake of numerous running back injuries.

Field Yates/ESPN

Tags: Green Bay Packers, Free Agent Rumor, Misc Rumor

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Latavius Murray Undergoes Ankle Surgery

Mar 23, 2017 8:37 AM

Latavius Murray, who signed a three-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings last week, underwent ankle surgery on Wednesday.

The Vikings said in a statement that they knew about Murray's need for an operation before they signed him and they expect him to be ready for training camp.

Murray's ankle condition was made known to teams in free agency, according to a league source.

Ben Goessling/ESPN

Tags: Minnesota Vikings, Injury, Misc Rumor

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Raiders' Relocation Vote Expected Next Week

Mar 22, 2017 10:53 AM

NFL owners are expected to vote at next week's meetings whether to approve the Oakland Raiders' relocation to las Vegas.

One owner, who wished to remain anonymous, told ESPN's Dan Graziano that a vote next week is "more probable than not."

In January, Raiders owner Mark Davis filed an application to move the team to Las Vegas in time for the 2020 season.

The Raiders are proposing to build a $1.9 billion stadium near the Strip.

A new stadium in Las Vegas is not expected to be completed until 2020. The Raiders have two more years on their lease at the Oakland Coliseum but likely will have to play at a temporary facility in 2019.

ESPN

Tags: Oakland Raiders, Legal

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Kamar Aiken Signs One-Year Deal With Colts

Mar 22, 2017 8:43 AM

The Indianapolis Colts have signed Kamar Aiken to a one-year deal.

Aiken led the Baltimore Ravens with 75 catches for 944 yards and five touchdowns in 2015, but followed that up with just 29 receptions, 328 yards and one score this past season.

Kevin Patra/NFL

Tags: Indianapolis Colts, Free Agent Rumor, Misc Rumor

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Reuben Foster Taken Off Draft Board Of Team With Top-15 Pick

Mar 22, 2017 8:39 AM

At least one NFL team has removed Reuben Foster from their draft board in the wake of a heated argument between the Alabama linebacker and a hospital worker at the Scouting Combine, according to a report.

That club holds a pick in the top-15.

"He already had immaturity, issues with life skills. This is the same guy," a team evaluator said of Foster. "We're not in the market."

Foster is widely considered the top linebacker in this year's draft class.

Chase Goodbread/NFL

Tags: Draft, Misc Rumor

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Dolphins, Kiko Alonso Agree Upon Four-Year Extension
The linebacker led the Dolphins with 115 tackles last season.

James Walker/ESPN

Solomon Thomas Goes To 49ers At No. 2 In Half Of Major Mock Drafts
Solomon Thomas had 8.5 sacks and 14 tackles for loss last season, including a sack in the Sun Bowl.

Daniel Mano/San Jose Mercury News

Cam Newton To Undergo Shoulder Surgery
Cam Newton will undergo surgery for a partially torn rotator cuff.

Max Henson/NFL.com

Marshawn Lynch's Agent Unsure If He'll Return
According to Marshawn Lynch's agent, money won't be the biggest issue with regard to a comeback.

Jerry McDonald/Oakland Tribune

Patriots, Saints Haven't Discussed Malcolm Butler Trade
The Patriots won't negotiate until Malcolm Butler signs his restricted free agency tender.

Ian Rapoport/NFL

Donald Trump Takes Credit For Colin Kaepernick Being Unsigned
Donald Trump has taken credit for the fact that Colin Kaepernick has not signed with a team since opting out of his contract with the 49ers three weeks ago.

ESPN

Tom Brady's Super Bowl Jersey Found In Possession Of Media Member
The jerseys were found in Mexico and currently are being authenticated by authorities, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said.

Darren Rovell, Mike Reiss/ESPN

Jets Sign Josh McCown To One-Year Deal
Josh McCown's deal is worth $6 million and is fully guaranteed.

Ian Rapoport/NFL.com

Saints Close To Signing Manti Te'o
Manti Te'o, who turned 26 in January, has missed a combined 26 games in his four previous NFL seasons.

ESPN

Ben Roethlisberger 'Leaning Towards' Return In 2017
Ben Roethlisberger, 35, has dealt with a number of injuries throughout his career.

Nick Shook/NFL

49ers Remain Open To Bringing Back Colin Kaepernick
The 49ers currently have Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley as options under center.

Jeremy Bergman/NFL

Ray Rice Hasn't Given Up On Continuing NFL Career
Ray Rice would still like to play football and believes that he could help an NFL team.

ESPN

Blake Bortles Working On Quicker Release, Other Tweaks
Blake Bortles has spent the last two months working on his mechanics at 3DQB in California instead of worrying about whether the Jaguars view him as their quarterback long-term.

Michael DiRocco/ESPN

Dwight Clark Reveals ALS Diagnosis
Dwight Clark is best known for his leaping touchdown catch during the NFC Championship Game in 1982.

ESPN

Saints Bring In Chase Daniel For Visit
The Saints have Luke McCown, who will make $1.5 million in the final year of his contract, but Chase Daniel is five years younger.

Adam Caplan/ESPN

Jared Cook Wants To 'Bribe' Amari Cooper For No. 89
Jared Cook has worn No. 89 throughout his NFL career and would like to continue to do so with the Raiders.

Jimmy Durkin/Mercury News

Chargers Won't Rule Out Drafting Quarterback
While the Chargers are thrilled with Philip Rivers, they won't rule out drafting his potential successor in this spring's NFL Draft.

Conor Orr/NFL

Rex Ryan Signs Multi-Year Deal With ESPN
It remains to be seen if Rex Ryan will replace current talent as reports have indicated that ESPN will be cutting payroll in the coming months.

New York Daily News

Giants Sign Geno Smith, Josh Johnson
Geno Smith was a second round pick by the Jets in 2013.

Jordan Ranaan, Adam Schefter/ESPN

Jason Pierre-Paul Agrees To Deal With Giants With $54M Guaranteed
Jason Pierre-Paul will average approximately $17 million per season.

Adam Schefter/ESPN