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Roger Goodell Announces New Conduct Policy Forthcoming

Roger Goodell said Friday that there have been too many examples of late of the NFL "doing wrong" and "that starts with me."

Goodell made his first public comments since Sept. 10, and in them vowed that the league would "get our house in order first" and that he would work to earn back the trust of fans in the face of increasing criticism that the league has not acted quickly or emphatically enough concerning the domestic abuse cases.

The commissioner also said the league would implement a new personal conduct policy with the goal of finalizing it before the Super Bowl in February. He also said he would establish a "conduct committee" to ensure that the new policies and practices are followed.


Report: Ravens Misdirected Rice Case, NFL Did Scant Investigation

"Outside the Lines" interviewed more than 20 sources over the past 11 days -- team officials, current and former league officials, NFL Players Association representatives and associates, advisers and friends of Ray Rice -- and found a pattern of misinformation and misdirection employed by the Ravens and the NFL since he assaulted Janay Rice in an Atlantic City elevator.

The NFL took an uncharacteristically passive approach when it came to gathering evidence, opening itself up to widespread criticism, allegations of inconsistent approaches to player discipline and questions about whether Roger Goodell gave Rice -- the corporate face of the Baltimore franchise -- a light punishment as a favor to his good friend Steve Bisciotti. Four sources said Ravens executives, including Bisciotti and Ozzie Newsome, urged Goodell and other league executives to give Rice no more than a two-game suspension, and that's what Goodell did on July 24.

Goodell has been committed to player discipline, but did not immediately act when he learned verbally or visually of Rice's actions.

Within hours of the elevator attack, an employee of the Ravens was describing the inside-elevator video to friends in graphic detail, telling confidants that Rice knocked out his then-fiancée with a punch and that the video was "really bad," according to a source close to a Ravens official.

John Harbaugh urged the Ravens to release Rice immediately, according to sources.

Via Don Van Natta Jr., Kevin Van Valkenburg/ESPN

Jerry Jones Insists NFL Team In England Will 'Get Done'

The Dallas Cowboys will play the Jacksonville Jaguars in London at Wembley Stadium on Nov. 9 and Jerry Jones said the NFL will soon have a team based in England.

“I think it is going to get done because I see increasing interest and I see the ability to get the fans,” Jones said. “There is incremental value to increasing the pie there.” Shepherd’s pie, no doubt.

“You can expect a more intense feeling if and when we have a team over there,” he said. “We are basically trying to gain fans in the U.K., but at the same time we should be aware that should the U.K. have a team, there is an automatic, ‘Let’s beat the hell out of New York this week, let’s tear Dallas a new one’ — that kind of thing. And so that breeds competition. You guys invented it with the soccer rivalries that go on there.”

Via Robert Wilonsky/Dallas Morning News

Vikings Cut Jerome Simpson

The Minnesota Vikings released Jerome Simpson on Thursday, hours after ESPN reported he was cited on July 7 for misdemeanor charges of marijuana possession, driving on a limited license and having an open bottle in a motor vehicle.

Simpson has a Nov. 3 arraignment scheduled in Hennepin County for the charges, which came after a traffic stop in Bloomington, Minnesota.

Simpson was not arrested but was cited for the aforementioned charges.

Simpson was already serving a three-game suspension at the start of the season.

Simpson caught 48 passes for 726 yards last season.

Via Ben Goessling/ESPN

Romo 'All For' Taking Lesser Role With Cowboys Running More

The Dallas Cowboys have been more of a running team during the first two weeks of the 2014 season, which results in Tony Romo having a lesser role.

Romo underwent back surgery in the offseason.

"That's what a really good team is; everyone is complementary of each other," Romo said. "I'm all for going out and having games like we just had and playing the way Seattle has the last few years and just having those style of games. It makes everyone's job easier. If we continue to do that I think we'll have a great chance to be where we want to be at the end of the year." 

Via Tim MacMahon/ESPN

San Jose Police Haven't Released Info On Ray McDonald

The San Jose police have been quiet about the pending case against Ray McDonald, but they’re saying nothing about what they’ve learned.

“As a professional law enforcement organization we try not to offer a personal opinion on incidents we are responsible for investigating,” officer Albert Morales told Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com.  “To that end, our investigators continue to diligently conduct follow up investigations on this case.  At this time we are not at liberty to share any information that is directly related to this investigation.”

Per Maiocco, McDonald met with investigators for two hours on September 4 at the team’s facility.  At some point, more will be known about the case.  At some point, the 49ers may have to revisit their position.

Via Mike Florio/ProFootballTalk

Jonathan Dwyer Head-Butted, Punched Wife

Jonathan Dwyer head-butted his wife and broke her nose after she refused his sexual advances, and punched her in the face the next day, police said Thursday.

The details surfaced Thursday in a law enforcement report a day after Dwyer was arrested on aggravated assault charges and deactivated from all team activities after he was taken into custody at the Cardinals' practice facility and headquarters in Tempe. He spent a night in jail and made a brief court appearance before being released on bail early Thursday.

Dwyer was arrested Wednesday for investigation in two altercations that occurred on July 21 and 22 at his Phoenix residence, just days before the Cardinals reported to training camp. His wife left the state after the incidents but came forward a week ago after Dwyer apparently sent suicidal text messages including a photo of a knife.

In the first encounter, police say Dwyer attempted to kiss and undress his wife, but she refused. Someone who heard the argument reported the assault to police, who showed up at the apartment but did not make an arrest. Dwyer hid in a bathroom and the wife denied he was in the home because he threatened to kill himself in front of her and their child if she told police about the assault, police said.

The next day, Dwyer punched his wife with a closed fist on the left side of her face, according to police. He also punched walls and threw a shoe at his 17-month-old son, who was not injured, police said.


Chip Kelly Cut DeSean Jackson Because Of Size, Not Off-Field Issues

Chip Kelly claims DeSean Jackson's off-field issues were not a factor in the Philadelphia Eagles' decision to release him last offseason.

Jackson reportedly had ties to gangs in the Los Angeles area.

“Yeah, just trying to build the overall team in terms of what we’re looking for offensively and how we wanted to get bigger at the wideout spot and that’s what we did,” Kelly said.


Jackson was the Eagles' most productive wide receiver in 2013, catching 82 balls for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns.

One of the ways the Eagles replaced Jackson's playmaking ability was to trade for Darren Sproles, who is leading the club in catches and receiving yards.

Via Michael David Smith/Pro Football Talk

Brady Admits Needing To Stop Zeroing In On Favorite Receivers

Of Tom Brady's 44 completions this season, 20 have gone to Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski. Of his 78 passes, 32 were aimed at them.

"I've got to do a better job finding the other guys because it's a lot of good routes, they're big targets," Brady said Wednesday. "Guys are working really hard to get open. So, hopefully, it shows up this week in our pass game."

The discrepancy was most glaring in last Sunday's 30-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings. Edelman and Gronkowski caught 10 of the 13 passes aimed at them. The other wide receivers and tight ends caught just two of the five balls Brady threw toward them.

"We could certainly stand to get a lot more balance into our attack overall," Bill Belichick said. "We didn't have it in the run-pass ratio in Miami and we didn't really have enough of it in the passing game last week, or really for Miami for that matter."

"I have a lot of confidence in all our receivers and tight ends and backs in the passing game," offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said. "I would anticipate that we'll go forward and the ball will get distributed to a lot of those guys that can do a lot of good things with it."

Via AP

Texans Considering Using J.J. Watt More As Tight End

The Houston Texans will consider using J.J. Watt more as a tight end.

Watt caught a touchdown pass after linging up as a tight end on a second-and-1 from the 1-yard line on the first drive of the game.

Watt is widely considered the NFL's best defensive player.

Bill O'Brien told reporters he expects to use Watt "more and more" as a red zone tight end moving forward.

"We had some injuries at tight end a couple weeks ago and you've got a guy that is sitting over there that is 6-foot-7, 295 pounds; he can jump," O'Brien said. "He was a tight end early in his career in high school and in college, so he's got an idea on how to catch the ball and he can block. We can use him in different packages at tight end, which is good."

Via Kevin Patra/NFL.com