Football Wiretap

Steelers Thought They Had Long-Term Deal Done With Le'Veon Bell

Aug 18, 2017 10:03 PM

The Pittsburgh Steelers expected to reach an agreement with Le'Veon Bell on a long-term contract.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Friday that Bell nixed an offer "at the last minute," even though team officials thought they had come to terms with his agent on a contract paying more than $12 million annually over five years.

Bell's agent, Adisa Bakari, said he and his client never had any agreement with Steelers. "All stories to contrary are false," Bakari told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Bell skipped training camp and hasn't signed his $12.1 million franchise tender.

Bell told ESPN after the deadline expired that "I feel I'm worth more than what they are offering me," but that he would play a full season in 2017. Bell could report to the team as early as next week, though the team has maintained it isn't sure exactly when he will return.


Jeremy Fowler/ESPN

Tags: Pittsburgh Steelers, Free Agent Rumor, Misc Rumor

Jaguars Open Up Quarterback Competition With Blake Bortles Struggling

Aug 18, 2017 11:48 AM

The Jacksonville Jaguars are opening up their quarterback competition following Blake Bortles' bad performance in Thursday's preseason game.

Chad Henne will share first-team reps with Bortles.

"I'm looking for someone that's going to lead this offense," Doug Marrone said. "I'm not happy with the performance today. I'm not going to sit here and B.S. anyone. Everyone saw it out there. Whatever you want to call it, I'm still trying to evaluate who the best person is at that position."

Bortles was 8-for-13 for 65 yards over four drives that all led in punts. Henne also got snaps with the first-team offense late in the first half Thursday.

Michael DiRocco/ESPN

Tags: Jacksonville Jaguars

Patriots Expect Derek Rivers To Miss Entire Season With Knee Injury

Aug 18, 2017 10:50 AM

The New England Patriots fear Derek Rivers will miss the entire 2017 season with a knee injury.

Rivers was the Patriots' top selection in 2017, selected in the third round.

Rivers, who was selected 83rd overall, was projected to be part of a rotation at defensive end, which was arguably the Patriots' thinnest position entering training camp.

Trey Flowers leads the depth chart at defensive end.

Field Yates, Mike Reiss/ESPN

Tags: New England Patriots, Injury

Sean Smith Charged With Felony Assault

Aug 17, 2017 8:32 PM

Sean Smith has been arrested and charged with felony assault.

Smith allegedly beat and stomped on the head of his sister's boyfriend on July 4th.

Smith could face up to seven years in state prison if convicted. 

Smith signed a four-year, $40 million contract with the Oakland Raiders in 2016. There were recently reports that Smith may not make the Raiders' regular season roster.


Tags: Oakland Raiders, Suspension

Le'Veon Bell To Report Before Week 1

Aug 17, 2017 5:37 PM

Le'Veon Bell plans on reporting back to the Pittsburgh Steelers before the start of the regular season. Bell is holding out after the two sides were unable to agree upon a long-term contract.

It is not yet clear when Bell will report but he's not expected to miss any games.

Bell will play under the $12.1 million franchise tag in 2017.

Bell is considered in the top tier of running backs by RealGM for fantasy football.

Adam Schefter/ESPN

Tags: Pittsburgh Steelers, Fantasy, Free Agent Rumor, Misc Rumor

NFL Not Currently Considering Josh Gordon's Reinstatement

Aug 17, 2017 2:03 PM

Roger Goodell said the NFL is not currently considering the reinstatement of Josh Gordon.

Gordon hasn't played a regular season game since 2014 and his reinstatement petition in May was denied.

Gordon participated in preseason before the 2016 season.

The Browns would welcome Gordon back to the team even though they've largely moved on from him.

Ian Rapoport/

Tags: Cleveland Browns, Free Agent Rumor, Misc Rumor, Suspension

David Johnson Adopts Plant-Based Diet

Aug 17, 2017 11:20 AM

David Johnson adopted a plant-based diet approximately a month ago after watching two food documentaries on Netflix.

Johnson and his wife watched "What the Health" and "Forks Over Knives." 

Johnson realized quickly as training camp began in late July that sticking with a strict plant-based diet caused him to lose more weight than he intended. He reported to training camp at 223 pounds, lighter than he had been in the past. Johnson is ranked as the No. 1 pick in fantasy football drafts by RealGM.

"It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be," Johnson said. "I thought it would definitely be hard just because, as Americans, we're taught to eat a whole bunch of meat. It's not even just eating meat, it's the portions. What I've learned is that we're taught eating like 24 ounces of steak is a manly thing, when really you're only supposed to eat 8 to 10 as a portion."

Johnson now eats about six small meals a day instead of the three or four he had when he wasn't following a plant-based diet. Between meals he snacks on nuts, mainly cashews.

"That's another way to get my calories," he said. "Some of that stuff also has protein in it."

Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady have converted to either a completely or partially plant-based diet.

Josh Weinfuss/ESPN

Tags: Arizona Cardinals, Fantasy

Joe Thomas Believes Browns 'Grooming Brock' Osweiler To Start

Aug 17, 2017 9:34 AM

The Cleveland Browns haven't named their starting quarterback for Week 1, but Joe Thomas has an idea of who will get the job.

"I think they're grooming Brock [Osweiler] to be the starter Week 1," Thomas told reporters Wednesday. "I don't expect DeShone Kizer to be the starter week one."

The left tackle added: "Just because DeShone might be good in a few years doesn't mean he's ready now."

Hue Jackson announced Wednesday he will start Osweiler against the New York Giants on Monday. Kizer will get No. 2 reps with Cody Kessler slated to take snaps third.

Conor Orr/NFL

Tags: Cleveland Browns, Misc Rumor

Sammy Watkins Quickly Impressing Teammates With Rams

Aug 17, 2017 9:30 AM

Sammy Watkins is already making his presence felt in practice with the Los Angeles Rams.

Watkins was acquired to be the team's No. 1 receiver and has already made head-turning catches on the practice field.

"I did a little bit," Jared Goff said when asked if he noticed Watkins' first highlight catch. "You try not to, but I did kind of turn around, like, 'Everyone see that? All right.' It was a good catch and hopefully something that won't be quite a surprise any more."

Watkins is a former first-round pick.

"When the ball is in his hands you can feel his speed and his juice down the field," coach Sean McVay said. "I thought it was good to get him out here. We were comfortable with the things we were asking him to do, so it was great to have Sammy out there and get him in the mix."

Kevin Patra/NFL

Tags: Los Angeles Rams, Misc Rumor

Mitch Trubisky Isn't Buying His Own Hype

Aug 17, 2017 9:26 AM

The hype around Mitch Trubisky is growing, but the Chicago Bears rookie quarterback isn't buying it.

"I don't know what hype you're talking about," Trubisky said. "I don't pay attention to it. It's good to be back at Halas. Finished up camp pretty well. We've just got to continue to bring the energy and keep getting better every day like we have so far. We've still got a lot of work to do. But it's good to be back here and getting back at it."

The Bears' offense came alive when Trubisky took over in last week's preseason game. He completed 18 of 25 passes for 166 yards and picked up three first downs running the ball.

"I've still got a lot of work to do," Trubisky said. "I was pleased with how I played, but plenty more mistakes are going on in practice for me that I need to work on and continue to improve in my game and make sure when I go out there that I'm doing my job to help other people do their job. I think it just showed me that I'm making progress, that I could go out there and lead and do my job like I wanted to show. But it was just a small sample; it was the first game and you've just got to continue to be consistent in reproducing that. That's why we're out here working and practicing."

Michael David Smith/Pro Football Talk

Tags: Chicago Bears, Misc Rumor

John Lynch: Anthem Protests Are 'Divisive'
All members of the 49ers stood for the national anthem before last week's preseason opener, but other players around the league made silent protests.

Nick Wagoner/ESPN

Thomas Davis, Panthers Agree Upon Extension Through 2018
Thomas Davis' deal is worth $6.75 million.

David Newton/ESPN

NFL, NFLPA Begin Fight Over Ezekiel Elliott Suspension
Ezekiel Elliott will argue, according to the documents, that Tiffany Thompson made multiple threats to "ruin his career."

Todd Archer/ESPN

RealGM Radio Fantasy Football: Where It All Starts - The Draft
Starting with the draft, we look at how to organize your draft board and the strategies to maximize your roster.

RealGM Staff Report

Mercedes-Benz Stadium To Have Chick-Fil-A Stand Closed On Sundays
Seven of the Falcons’ eight regular season home games are on Sunday this season.

Matt Bonesteel/Washington Post

Saints Fire Doctors After Delvin Breaux Misdiagnosis
Delvin Breaux was originally diagnosed with a contusion.

Mike Triplett/ESPN

Eli Manning Thinks He Can Play Four More Seasons
Eli Manning is under contract through the 2019 season and would turn 40 at the end of the 2020 campaign.

Ian O'Connor/ESPN

Panthers Give Thomas Davis One-Year Extension
The Panthers have signed Thomas Davis to a one-year contract extension, which will keep him with the franchise through 2018.

David Newton/ESPN

Eagles Release Ryan Mathews
Ryan Mathews suffered a herniated disk in his neck in Week 16 last season.


Tom Savage 'Not Going To Let Anyone' Taking Starting Job
Tom Savage is confident he'll be the starting quarterback for the Texans this season.

Kevin Patra/NFL

Tom Brady: Don't Compare 2017 Patriots To Past Iterations
Tom Brady doesn't think it's fair to compare the 2017 Patriots to any of the franchise's past teams.

Mike Reiss/ESPN

Trey Griffey Signs Deal With Dolphins
The Dolphins have signed Trey Griffey, the son of Baseball Hall of Famer Ken Griffey, Jr., to a contract.


Devonta Freeman In NFL's Concussion Protocl
Devonta Freeman could miss the remainder of the preseason.

Conor Orr/

Ezekiel Elliott To File Appeal Of Six-Game Suspension
Ezekiel Elliott's appeal will attack credibility of accuser.

Ian Rapoport/

Chiefs Promote Patrick Mahomes II To Backup Quarterback
Andy Reid said the move was one that Patrick Mahomes earned and not something the Chiefs would have done regardless of how he played.

Adam Teicher/ESPN

Ravens Sign Thad Lewis
Thad Lewis has played for seven teams over the past seven seasons, compiling a 2-4 record as a starter.


Jordan Matthews Suffers Chip Fracture In Sternum
Jordan Matthews is considered week-to-week with the injury.

Mike Rodak/ESPN

Andrew Luck's Status For Week 1 Remains Uncertain
Jim Irsay cannot "unequivocally" say that Andrew Luck will play in their Week 1 opener against the Rams on Sept. 10.

Mike Wells/ESPN

Michael Bennett Remains On Bench For National Anthem
Michael Bennett sat with a towel over his head during the national anthem on Sunday before the Seahawks took on the Chargers in the preseason opener for both teams at the StubHub Center.

Eric D. Williams/ESPN

Marshawn Lynch Sits During National Anthem
Marshawn Lynch was not in the NFL during Colin Kaepernick's kneeling protest against racism and police brutality last season.

Paul Gutierrez/ESPN