November 2016 - Football Wiretap

Chip Kelly Denies Having Interest In Oregon Job

Nov 30, 2016 11:38 PM

Chip Kelly said he has no plans to leave the San Francisco 49ers despite his old job at Oregon now becoming available again.

Oregon fired Mark Helfrich on Tuesday.

Kelly was asked if he planned on staying with the 49ers.

"Yep," Kelly said. "So we're all done with that, I hope."

Asked if there's any chance he will return to Oregon, Kelly shook his head and said, "No."

Kelly said he called Helfrich, his close friend, on Wednesday morning to offer support.

"I have not talked to anybody at Oregon except for Mark Helfrich," Kelly said.

Nick Wagoner/ESPN

Tags: San Francisco 49ers, Misc Rumor, NCAA

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Mike Zimmer To Undergo Emergency Eye Surgery

Nov 30, 2016 11:36 PM

Mike Zimmer was to have emergency eye surgery Wednesday night and his status for Week 13 against the Dallas Cowboys is uncertain.

Zimmer had surgery to repair a torn retina on his right eye Nov. 1, after he had scratched his eye during the Vikings' loss to the Chicago Bears on Oct. 31.

Doctors had initially told Zimmer he ran the risk of going blind in the eye if he did not have the first surgery.

Interim offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur and offensive line coach Tony Sparano have both been NFL head coaches, and Shurmur assumed offensive play-calling duties when Norv Turner resigned Nov. 2, the same day Zimmer first discussed his eye surgery.

ESPN

Tags: Minnesota Vikings

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Oregon Fires Mark Helfrich After Four Seasons

Nov 30, 2016 1:38 PM

Oregon has fired Mark Helfrich as head coach after four seasons.

"No one wanted Mark to be more successful at Oregon than me," athletic director Rob Mullens told reporters Tuesday night. "For the past several months I've grown concerned over the direction of the program. We were not competitive in a number of games and we were on a poor trajectory."

Players were given less than a half-hour notice Tuesday night to attend an emergency team meeting at the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex, where they were informed of the decision. After the meeting, players walked to Helfrich's office and formed a line outside as they waited to say their thanks. 

The search will be assisted by the firm Parker Executive Search, and will go "far and wide," Mullens said.

Oregon finished the 2016 season with a 4-8 record.

UO representatives reportedly met with Tom Herman last week before he left Houston for Texas on Saturday. Another report from Texas said UO is "kicking the tires" on Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, the former Oakland Raiders, Tennessee and USC coach. A 247 Sports report also indicated that TCU's Gary Patterson was not receptive to UO overtures.  

Western Michigan's P.J. Fleck (29-21 in four seasons) and Boise State's Bryan Harsin (38-13 in four seasons, including 2013 at Arkansas State) are reportedly targets of Oregon's. 

Ben Sherman/Oregonian

Tags: NCAA

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Cowboys Can Clinch Playoff Berth In Week 13

Nov 30, 2016 9:24 AM

The Dallas Cowboys can become the first NFL team to clinch a playoff berth this weekend.

The Cowboys would clinch with a win over the Minnesota Vikings and either a Tampa Bay Buccaneers loss or tie to the San Diego Chargers or a Washington Redskins loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

NFL

Tags: Dallas Cowboys

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Patriots, Marcus Cannon Agree To Five-Year Extension

Nov 30, 2016 9:21 AM

The New England Patriots have agreed to a five-year contract extension with Marcus Cannon.

The deal is worth $32.5 million, including $14.5 million in guarantees, according to a source.

Cannon, 28, was a fifth-round pick in 2011.

Ian Rapoport/NFL

Tags: New England Patriots, Free Agent Rumor, Misc Rumor, Terms Agreement

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NFL Plans To Stop Playing Early-Morning Games In London

Nov 30, 2016 9:18 AM

The NFL plans to stop playing early-morning games in London going forward, according to a report.

Beginning in 2017, the games will be played in the usual North American time windows.

As the NFL tries to make it's product more appealing, they won't consider ditching or limiting Thursday Night Football.

Mike Florio/Pro Football Talk

Tags: Misc Rumor

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Ben Roethlisberger: Steelers 'Can't Have' Antonio Brown's Flags

Nov 30, 2016 9:09 AM

The Pittsburgh Steelers have talked to Antonio Brown about his celebration penalties following touchdowns, according to Ben Roethlisberger.

Brown received his third touchdown-celebration penalty of the season against the Indianapolis Colts on Thanksgiving.

"He knows, we all know, Coach [Mike] Tomlin brought it up yesterday, that is a huge penalty and we can't do that," Roethlisberger said on 93.7 The Fan. "We put our kick coverage team in a bad situation and we can't have that, and AB knows that."

Roethlisberger added that he understands Brown's excitement after scoring and believes the officials are watching Brown closely.

Jeremy Fowler/ESPN

Tags: Pittsburgh Steelers, Misc Rumor

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Darren Sharper Receives 20-Year Sentence In Rape Case

Nov 30, 2016 9:04 AM

Darren Sharper has been sentenced a 20-year prison term in an embarrassing rape case.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor denounced Sharper's "horrible conduct'' and "disgraceful abuse of trust'' during the hearing that concluded prosecutions that unmasked the former All-Pro safety and Super Bowl champ as a serial rapist.

Under the terms of a plea deal negotiated with prosecutors in four states, Sharper will be eligible for parole in about eight years because California law requires he serve half his sentence and he has already been behind bars more than two years since his arrest.

Associated Press

Tags: Legal

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Falcons, Cowboys, Eagles Rank In Top-3 Of DVOA

Nov 29, 2016 8:44 PM

Similar to the Trench Counter, Football Outsiders' DVOA continues to produce more noise than signal.

Five teams are packed together within five percentage points, all far below any No. 1 team of years past.

The Atlanta Falcons now rank No. 1 in DVOA ahead of the Dallas Cowboys.

Despite a losing record, the Philadelphia Eagles rank No. 3.

The Seattle Seahawks dropped from first to fourth following their performance in a loss at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, Oakland Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins and Washington round out the top-10.

Aaron Schatz/Football Outsiders

Tags: IQ, Stats

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Tim Tebow Turned Down $1M Commercial After Talking To Bill Belichick

Nov 29, 2016 2:12 PM

Tim Tebow turned down $1 million for a one-day commercial shoot after asking Bill Belichick if he was okay with it.

Tebow was with the New England Patriots during the summer of 2013.

"I remembered when I had signed with the team in June [of 2013]. Then I'd had an offer on the table to make a one-day appearance endorsing a product for a million-dollar paycheck. I'm sure you'd agree that a million bucks is a lot to make in just twenty-four hours. But I wasn't quick to say yes."

"So when the offer for the one-day commercial turned up, I was sure to discuss the opportunity with him. 'I want to know what you think, Coach,' I said. 'I respect you and I want to fit in. I want to be one of the guys. Should I do it?'

Belichick advised Tebow to turn down the offer.

"He thought for a moment and then shook his head. 'Timmy, I would really appreciate it if you didn't.'

"Highly respecting the man, I turned down the deal. I didn't even think twice about it. I wanted the chance to impress Coach Belichick more than I wanted the money. I'll say that if I were on any other team, I would have probably said yes to the offer. But the thoughts he offered in our initial conversation mattered to me -- even more than a million dollars."

Tebow was later cut by the Patriots.

Dan Hanzus/NFL.com

Tags: New England Patriots

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Adrian Peterson Running On Side During Vikings' Practice
Adrian Peterson is on track to make a December return before the playoffs.

Conor Orr/NFL.com

Cowboys Not Planning On Decreasing Workload Of Ezekiel Elliott
Ezekiel Elliott has 243 carries for 1,199 yards with 11 touchdowns and is on pace for 354 carries and 1,744 yards.

Todd Archer/ESPN

Cowboys Struggling To Generate Pressure On Quarterbacks
The pass rush has been a concern for the Cowboys this season despite a stellar win-loss record.

Drew Davison/Star-Telegram

Gary Kubiak Wants Broncos To Handle Emotions Better
Aqib Talib shoved Jordan Norwood after Norwood muffed a punt early in the fourth quarter of Sunday night's loss to the Chiefs.

Jeff Legwold/ESPN

Eric Dickerson: Jeff Fisher Banned Me From Rams Sideline
Eric Dickerson told ESPN on Monday that Jeff Fisher basically told him he didn't want him on the Rams sideline during games because some of his public comments have made players "uncomfortable."

Alden Gonzalez/ESPN

NFL Will Reevaluate Thursday Night Football
The current contract with CBS and NBC runs through 2017.

Mike Florio/Pro Football Talk

Derek Carr Doesn't Expect Finger Injury To Cause Any Lingering Effects
A mistimed snap between Derek Carr and center Rodney Hudson on the second play of the second half appeared to cause the injury.

Paul Gutierrez/ESPN

Colts Expect Andrew Luck To Return From Concussion For Week 13
Andrew Luck suffered the first concussion of his career in Week 11.

Mike Wells/ESPN

Washington Won't Decide On Kirk Cousins Until After Season
Placing the tag on Kirk Cousins is projected to cost Washington nearly $24 million in 2017.

Mike Florio/Pro Football Talk

Tom Brady Ties Peyton Manning's Record With 200th Career Win
Tom Brady helped the Patriots top the Jets on Sunday, tying him with Peyton Manning for the most victories by a quarterback (200).

Mike Reiss/ESPN

Washington Prepared To Use Franchise Tag On Kirk Cousins Again
Kirk Cousins is being paid a guaranteed $19.95 million in 2016 after he became the second quarterback to play under the franchise tag.

Adam Schefter/ESPN

Seantrel Henderson Facing 10-Game Ban As He Treats Crohn's Disease
Seantrel Henderson has been told by his doctors medicinal marijuana is the best treatment for Crohn's disease.

Adam Schefter/ESPN

Jets Nearly Lost Matt Forte To New England
The Jets were in no rush to get the paperwork done to finalize the deal with Matt Forte, which made him nervous and made him turn to the Patriots.

Adam Schefter/ESPN

Sammy Watkins Expected To Play For First Time Since Sept. 15
Sammy Watkins was out with lingering soreness stemming from offseason surgery to repair a broken bone in his left foot.

Mike Rodak/ESPN

GMs Expect Kirk Cousins To Make At Least $20M Per Season
Kirk Cousins has the highest passer rating of any quarterback over their last 20 starts.

Chris Wesseling/NFL.com

Tom Brady Returns To Practice, Expected To Play Against Jets
Tom Brady has rarely missed practice during his career.

Mike Reiss/ESPN

Dez Bryant, Josh Norman Scuffle After Cowboys' Win
Dez Bryant said "Washington needs to get their money back from Josh Norman" which was a callback to what Norman said last Thanksgiving.

Todd Archer/ESPN

Bruce Arians Expected To Be On Sidelines For Cardinals
Bruce Arians returned to work on Tuesday after being admitted to the hospital on Monday.

Kevin Patra/NFL

Bills Expect Sammy Watkins To Practice On Wednesday
Sammy Watkins is on injured reserve because of a foot injury, but the Bills can activate him as their designated player to return to action this season.

Josh Alper/Pro Football Talk

Elliott Wants To Avoid 'Ball Security Issues' Against Washington
Ezekiel Elliott fumbled twice in Week 2 against Washington and was replaced by Alfred Morris on the Cowboys' game-winning drive.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram