Legal - Football Wiretap

NFL Shortens Regular Season Overtime To 10 Minutes

May 23, 2017 1:01 PM

Owners have approved a rule change to shorten overtime in the regular season from 15 minutes to 10 minutes.

Last season, there were six overtime games in which the extra period lasted more than 10 minutes.

The NFL claims the proposal was made with player safety in mind.

Adam Schefter/ESPN

Tags: Legal

Owners Discuss Allowing Teams To Hire Coaches Still In Playoffs

May 23, 2017 10:47 AM

Owners are discussing a change on the timing of certain NFL head coaching hires that would allow teams to agree upon deals but not announce them until their incumbent teams are out of the playoffs.

If the change is approved, it will alter the timing of when teams can officially hire coaches still in the playoffs and allow those organizations to begin assembling coaching staffs so they will not be playing catch-up later.

The Falcons have experienced it on both ends, with waiting to hire now-head coach Dan Quinn away from the Seattle Seahawks during the 2014 postseason and having the San Francisco 49ers court then-offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan while they were marching through last season's playoffs.

Adam Schefter/ESPN

Tags: Legal

O.J. Simpson To Receive Parole Hearing In July

May 23, 2017 9:01 AM

O.J. Simpson could be released from prison this year after nearly a decade behind bars.

Simpson is set to face a parole hearing this July, according to the Nevada Department of Corrections. The date for the hearing won't be set until next month.

The former NFL running back has been serving 33 years in a Nevada prison on burglary and kidnapping charges.

NBC News

Tags: Legal, Misc Rumor

Former Lions All-Pro Wayne Walker Dies At Age 80

May 20, 2017 1:16 AM

Former Detroit Lions All-Pro linebacker and kicker Wayne Walker has died at the age of 80.

Walker, the Lions' fourth-round pick in 1958, played 15 seasons with Detroit, and when he retired he held a team record with 200 games played -- a mark since passed by Jason Hanson.

Tags: Detroit Lions, San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders, Legal, Misc Rumor

Court Releases Hernandez's Letter To Fiancee

May 6, 2017 1:23 AM

Massachusetts court officials on Friday released an excerpt of the letter that former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez wrote to his fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins Hernandez, before he killed himself last month.

Tags: New England Patriots, Legal, Misc Rumor

Stephen Jones Supports Reexamination Of NFL's Marijuana Policy

May 4, 2017 7:22 PM

Stephen Jones believes the NFL should take another look at their marijuana policy.

Jerry Jones recently said the NFL should "drop its prohibition" on marijuana.

"Well, our system, our testing, has been in place for years and not unlike we do in our organization . . . we always look to see how we can do it better," Stephen Jones told PFT Live. "I think Jerry's opinion, my opinion, is this program, this system has been in place for a long time. I think it needs to be heavily scrutinized in terms of its results.

"Is it helping players in terms of their accountability? And, obviously, addiction is a sickness and you want to make sure - obviously, there's accountability but it's also a program that helps players get better. . . . Jerry and I think that it might could be done better and we just need to take a look at it. Like I said, it's been the same program that's been in place for many, many years and I think all things to do with the NFL, we should all want the very best for our players. We should want the very best for our organizations and we should want the very best for our fans, and that's anything that has to do with the NFL.

"In my opinion, we should take a long hard look at how we're doing this and see if there's a way, a better way to do it. What that is, I don't have the answer. But we have a lot of smart people that can get in there and analyze something and really make some good decisions and see if there need to be changes."

Cindy Boren/Washington Post

Tags: Dallas Cowboys, Legal

Roger Goodell: NFL Sees No Benefits Of Medical Marijuana

Apr 28, 2017 12:19 PM

Roger Goodell said on Friday that the NFL sees no medical benefits to the use of marijuana. 

Goodell's comments came amid a federal lawsuit filed by more than 1,800 former players who say they suffered long-term health problems because of improper and deceptive prescription drug-distribution practices by NFL teams.

"We've been studying that through our advisers," Goodell said. "To date, they haven't said, 'This is a change we think you should make that is in the best interest of the health and safety of our players.' If they do, we're certainly going to consider that. But to date, they haven't really said that.

Goodell did add that "medical marijuana is something that is evolving, and that's something that at some point the medical advisers may come to us and say, 'This is something you should consider.'"

Goodell's comments Friday morning suggest the league has no plans to reconsider the possibility of allowing players to use marijuana.

"I think you still have to look at a lot of aspects of marijuana use," Goodell said. "Is it something that can be negative to the health of our players?

"Listen, you're ingesting smoke, so that's not usually a very positive thing that people would say. It does have addictive nature. There are a lot of compounds in marijuana that may not be healthy for the players long-term. All of those things have to be considered.

"And it's not as simple as someone just wants to feel better after a game. We really want to help our players in that circumstance, but I want to make sure that the negative consequences aren't something that is going to be something that we'll be held accountable for some years down the road."

Kevin Seifert/ESPN

Tags: Legal, Suspension

Joe Thomas Suffering From Memory Loss

Apr 27, 2017 11:24 AM

Joe Thomas believes he is already suffering from memory loss at the age of 32.

"I definitely expect memory loss," Thomas said on "In Depth With Graham Bensinger." "I'm already seeing memory loss, and maybe that's just because of my old age or maybe it's football, it's hard to tell.

"I mean, there's no double-blind studies when it comes to people's life. It's just a part, I think, of sometimes getting older. And it's hard to tell it's because of football or because you're 32 and you're not 21 anymore and you have a lot of stuff going in your life."

Thomas was asked to describe the type of memory loss.

"Short-term memory loss -- hard times remembering things that have happened recently," he said. "Like, you walk to the grocery store and you're like, 'Huh, I can't remember what I needed to get.'

"Just little stuff like that, and I think if you let it really bug you, I think it can make you depressed and feel sad. Like, 'Wow, I don't have the memory I used to have.' But, you know, I try to be relatively good-natured about it at this point."

Thomas is entering his 11th season with the Browns.

Pat McManamon/ESPN

Tags: Cleveland Browns, Injury, Legal

Netflix Not Interested In Broadcasting Live Sports

Apr 19, 2017 1:21 PM

Netflix is not interested in following Amazon or Twitter into broadcasting live sports.

“Investors ask us about Amazon’s move into NFL football,” the company said in a statement as it released its Q1 2017 results. “That is not a strategy that we think is smart for us, since we believe we can earn more viewing and satisfaction from spending that money on movies and TV shows.”

Revenues increased by 35% for Netflix, while the service added 5 million new members.

Rimma Kats/eMarketer

Tags: Legal

Jury Acquits Aaron Hernandez In Double-Murder Trial

Apr 17, 2017 8:25 AM

Aaron Hernandez, who is already serving a life sentence for a 2013 murder, was acquitted Friday in a 2012 double slaying prosecutors said was fueled by his anger over a spilled drink.

The former New England Patriots tight end wept quietly as the verdicts were read in Boston.

After six days of deliberations, the jury found Hernandez not guilty of first-degree murder in the killings of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado. It convicted him of a single charge: unlawful possession of a gun. The judge sentenced him to an additional four to five years in prison, separate from his existing life sentence.


Tags: New England Patriots, Legal, Misc Rumor

Robert Kraft Declined Adelson's Offer Of Killing Raiders' Vegas Move
Robert Kraft and Sheldon Adelson have been friends for decades and are members of the same synagogue.

Seth Wickersham, Don Van Natta Jr./ESPN

Sheldon Adelson Doesn't Care About NFL, Thought Goodell's 'An Idiot'
Mark Davis wanted to partner with Sheldon Adelson as both a financier and a fixer as he attempted to relocate the Raiders to Las Vegas.

Seth Wickersham, Don Van Natta Jr./ESPN

St. Louis Sues Rams, All 31 Other Teams Over Relocation
The suit says the Rams made intentional false claims that only enriched themselves and damaged the plaintiffs.

Kevin Spain/USA Today

NFL Relocation Fees Won't Be Shared With Players
The Raiders, Rams and Chargers will spend anywhere from $1.43 billion to $1.68 billion, or a distribution of approximately $46 million to $54 million per team.

Dom Cosentino/Deadspin

Amazon Buys Thursday Night Football Live Stream Rights For $50M
Amazon paid $50 million for the rights, substantially more than the $10 million that Twitter paid for "TNF" streaming rights last season.

John Ourand/Sports Business Journal

Seth Godin Uses NFL, Raiders As Way 'Capitalism Corrupts Our Culture'
Seth Godin writes that the NFL's approval of the Raiders' move "ignores the long-term in exchange for a relentless focus on today."

Seth Godin

Colin Kaepernick Remaining Unsigned This Late Is Historical Anomaly
Since 1966, only one under-30 quarterback has had as good a year as Colin Kaepernick’s 2016 has gone unsigned the next year.

Kyle Wagner, Neil Paine/Five Thirty Eight

Roger Goodell's Job Again Considered Stable By Owners
Owners have privately expressed their belief that the NFL has managed to maneuver past Deflategate, CTE and the Ray Rice situation.

Mike Freeman/Bleacher Report

John Harbaugh Doesn't Believe Colin Kaepernick Is Being Blackballed
Colin Kaepernick remains a free agent but John Harbaugh believes it is "stupid" and "intellectually lazy" to believe he is being blackballed by NFL teams.

Owners Approve Raiders' Relocation To Las Vegas 31-1
The Raiders will continue to play in Oakland in 2017 and 2018 before likely finding a temporary venue for 2019.

Ian Rapoport/

Oakland Presents Revised Plan For $1.3 Billion Stadium
Under the city's plan, a new home for the Raiders would be built on a 55-acre parcel on the southern edge of where their current home sits.

Jim Trotter/ESPN

Roger Goodell Has 'Felt Increased Commercialization' Of NFL
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.

Mike Florio/Pro Football Talk

Raiders' Relocation Vote Expected Next Week
NFL owners are expected to vote at next week's meetings whether to approve the Raiders' relocation to las Vegas.


Raiders President: Vegas Financing Isn't An Issue
Raiders president Marc Badain told the Las Vegas Stadium Authority Board on Thursday that "financing will not be an issue" as he reaffirmed the team's desire to move to southern Nevada.

Paul Gutierrez/ESPN

Goldman Sachs Considering Exit From Raiders' Vegas Deal
Goldman Sachs had been in line to help underwrite Raiders owner Mark Davis' financial commitment.

Ramona Shelburne/ESPN

Adelson Family Withdraws From Raiders' Stadium In Vegas
The family of Sheldon Adelson have withdrawn as investors in a proposed $1.9 billion, 65,000-seat domed football stadium.

Richard N. Velotta/ Las Vegas Review-Journal

Raiders File Paperwork For Move To Las Vegas
The team's relocation to Las Vegas must be approved by three-fourths of the NFL's team owners.

Paul Gutierrez/ESPN

Raiders Plan On Filing Relocation Papers To Las Vegas
The move will be made official in the coming days, but the Raiders will need 24 votes from the NFL's owners to formally make the move.

Ian Rapoport/

NFL Averaged 30.3M Viewers For Wildcard Games
Last season, the NFL had an average of 32.6 million viewers but just 29.9 million in 2015.

Mike Florio/Pro Football Talk

NFL TV Ratings After Election Down 1 Percent Compared To 2015
NBC saw an 11 percent spike in viewers for its Sunday night broadcasts after Donald Trump won the presidential election Nov. 8.

A.J. Perez/USA Today