May 2016 - Football Wiretap

Alshon Jeffery Nearly Certain To Play 2016 Under Franchise Tag

May 31, 2016 11:26 AM

Alshon Jeffery signed his $14.6 million franchise tag tender with the Chicago Bears on March 8th.

Jeffery has stayed away from the Bears during the voluntary portion of the offseason program and has been working out in Miami.

Both sides plan for Jeffery to be at the mandatory minicamp in mid-June and at training camp in late July. 

 

The Bears almost certainly will not agree upon a long-term deal with Jeffery before the July 15th deadline.

Rich Campbell, Dan Wiederer/Chicago Tribune

Tags: Chicago Bears, Free Agent Rumor, Misc Rumor

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Dion Jordan To Apply To NFL For Reinstatement

May 30, 2016 7:11 PM

Dion Jordan will apply for reinstatement to the NFL this Wednesday.

Jordan said he "never" had a drug problem and hasn't used any illegal substances for over two years.

Jordan, third overall pick in the 2013 draft by the Miami Dolphins, was suspended for the entire 2015 season after one of his samples was diluted.

He has been suspended three times during his brief NFL career.

ESPN

Tags: Miami Dolphins, Suspension

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Peyton Manning Nearly Signed With Titans In 2012

May 29, 2016 1:10 PM

Peyton Manning talked about how he nearly signed with the Tennessee Titans in 2012.

Manning signed with the Denver Broncos and also considered the Titans and San Francisco 49ers.

"I was pretty close," Manning said.

"I was hoping we would win out," the late Titans' owner Bud Adams said at the time. "I thought we'd be ahead of Denver. I thought he'd want to stay in Tennessee."

Chris Wesseling/NFL.com

Tags: Denver Broncos, Tennessee Titans, Misc Rumor

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Jets' Three-Year Offer To Ryan Fitzpatrick Includes $12M For 2016

May 27, 2016 10:56 PM

The New York Jets made a three-year offer to Ryan Fitzpatrick in March with $12 million guaranteed in the first year.

The offer has remained on the table ever since.

Fitzpatrick and the Jets have been locked in a contract stalemate. 

Fitzpatrick is a free agent after emerging with the Jets in 2015 and throwing 31 touchdown passes.

Dennis Waszak Jr./Associated Press

Tags: New York Jets, Free Agent Rumor, Misc Rumor

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Navy Defers Military Service Of Keenan Reynolds To Play For Ravens

May 27, 2016 6:39 PM

Keenan Reynolds may defer his military service to pursue his NFL career with the Baltimore Ravens. Reynolds was a sixth round pick by the Ravens.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter made the announcement in his graduation speech to the Naval Academy.

"It is a blessing to hear the news from Defense Secretary Carter today," Reynolds said in a statement. "I am truly excited to proudly serve my country while having the ability fulfill my dream of playing for the best organization in the NFL.

"I would like to thank the Navy for allowing me to represent them while taking advantage of this unique opportunity."

Max Meyer/NFL.com

Tags: Baltimore Ravens

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Ameer Abdullah Underwent Labrum Surgery In January

May 27, 2016 10:58 AM

Ameer Abdullah underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder in January.

The Detroit Lions expect him back by the start of training camp.

Jim Caldwell confirmed Abdullah had surgery but declined to give specifics, including whether Abdullah was playing with the injury the entire season.

He also said "we'll see" when he expects Abdullah to return.

"He's recovering nicely," Caldwell said.

Abdullah was a second round pick in 2015 and led the Lions in rushing yards with 597.

Michael Rothstein/ESPN

Tags: Detroit Lions, Fantasy, Injury

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Ray Rice Speaks To Ravens' Rookies

May 27, 2016 10:56 AM

Ray Rice was at the Baltimore Ravens' practice on Wednesday as he addressed the team's rookies.

"[Rice] delivered an important message that included his story, both the good and the bad," the Ravens said in a statement. "He clearly had the attention of our rookies."

It is believed to be the first time Rice has been at the Ravens facility since an acrimonious split between him and the team.

Rice was cut in September 2014 after a video of him hitting his then-fiancée, Janay, drew widespread attention. 

Rice received $1.588 million from the Ravens as part of a settlement in March of 2015.

Jamison Hensley/ESPN

Tags: Baltimore Ravens

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Patriots: NFL Pursued Predetermined Result On Deflategate

May 25, 2016 4:06 PM

The New England Patriots said in court papers filed Wednesday in Manhattan that it has a "strong interest" in sparing Tom Brady from starting the season with a four-game suspension.

The papers say the Patriots "strongly believe" nobody tampered with footballs at the 2015 AFC Championship Game. New England defeated the Indianapolis Colts 45-7 in that game and went on to win the Super Bowl.

A three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-to-1 last month to reinstate Brady's four-game suspension. A lower-court judge had ruled last September that the NFL erred in its handling of the probe regarding the deflated footballs and he rejected the suspension a week before the season began.

The following was in a footnote from the Patriots:

“From the outset of this matter the League’s conduct reflects less a search for the truth than pursuit of a predetermined result and defense of a report which, despite no direct evidence of tampering or Mr. Brady’s involvement, was relied on to impose penalties with no precedent or correlation to the alleged offense. The League’s commitment to the conclusions of the Wells Report on which the penalties were based was so absolute that in Mr. Brady’s appeal one of the chief Paul Weiss investigators and an author of the Report, Mr. [Lorin] Reisner, served as the League’s counsel and examined witnesses. In addition, at the very outset of the investigation the League leaked materially incorrect PSI information and refused to correct it for months, allowing public misperceptions to fester. At the AFC Championship Game itself, and despite having no knowledge of the impact of weather on PSI (as admitted under oath), League personnel were already accusing the Patriots of cheating. The League made a ‘preliminary finding’ of wrongdoing by Patriots’ employees less than 24 hours after the Game. Penalties were imposed only three business days after receipt of the 139 page Wells Report and the 82 page Exponent Report and obviously without any critical assessment of either. The Commissioner publicly praised the Wells Report, imposed penalties based on it, and then insisted on hearing and deciding Mr. Brady’s appeal himself despite the authority to appoint an independent person to do so. When evidence at that hearing did not provide support for enhanced findings against Mr. Brady (to go beyond ‘general awareness’ of violations by others), the Commissioner made new findings and changed the basis on which Mr. Brady was being penalized.”

AP

Tags: New England Patriots

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Eddie Lacy: I Think I Look Good

May 25, 2016 1:37 PM

Eddie Lacy has appeared to lose weight this offseason as he made his first public practice with the Green Bay Packers during the new league year.

"I think I look good," said Lacy.

Lacy's listed weight is 234 pounds but he appeared to play in the 260 range in 2015.

Mike McCarthy called the power back out in January, making it clear that Lacy "cannot play at the weight he played at" in 2015.

Chris Wesseling/NFL.com

Tags: Green Bay Packers

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NFLPA President: NIH Report 'Microcosm' Of How NFL Treats Players

May 25, 2016 11:51 AM

NFL Players Association president and Bengals offensive tackle Eric Winston criticized the NFL over allegations in a recent congressional report on the way the NFL improperly handled its recent concussion study was "a symptom" and "microcosm" of the way the league treated its players.

The 91-page report highlighted ways the NFL pressured the National Institutes of Health to take the $16 million project from a prominent Boston University researcher, and instead redirect the money to members of the league's committee on brain injuries. The study was to have been funded by a $30 million "unrestricted gift" the NFL gave the NIH in 2012.

According to Winston, such actions by the NFL are par for the course.

"The way they treated NIH is a symptom and is just a microcosm of really the way they treat players throughout the league, right?" Winston said Tuesday. "Every player needs to know because it's every player that's going to be affected by a study like this. It's every player that's going to be affected by personal conduct. It's every player that's affected by these things. So it's not just about my vendetta or it's not just about me. ... It's about educating the players and letting them know, 'Listen, this affects you.'"

Coley Harvey/ESPN

Tags: Legal

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Larry Fitzgerald Has 'No Idea' If 2016 Could Be His Final Season
Larry Fitzgerald had a resurgent season in 2015, catching 109 balls for 1,215 yards and nine touchdowns.

Dan Hanzus/NFL.com

Roger Goodell Calls Raiders To Vegas Reports 'Premature'
Mark Davis told reporters on Tuesday at the meetings that the move would "unite Raider Nation."

Conor Orr/NFL.com

Tyler Eifert To Undergo Minor Ankle Surgery, Out Three Months
Tyler Eifert has dealt with injuries throughout his career.

Kevin Patra/NFL.com

Atlanta Awarded 2019 Super Bowl, Miami Gets 2020, LA In 2021
The Falcons are building a new stadium that will house the game.

RealGM Staff Report

Bills' GM: Football Is A Violent Game Humans Not Supposed To Play
Sammy Watkins underwent surgery this offseason on a broken foot.

Mike Rodak/ESPN

Dwight Freeney Works Out For Bengals
Dwight Freeney recorded eight sacks and forced three fumbles in just 245 snaps in 2015.

Coley Harvey/ESPN

Browns Release Brian Hartline
Brian Hartline struggled to gain separation and was a below replacement level wide receiver.

Kevin Patra/NFL.com

Congressional Report: NFL Tried To Influence Study On Brain Damage
The study was to have been funded out of a $30 million "unrestricted gift" the NFL gave the NIH in 2012.

Steve Fainaru, Mark Fainaru-Wada/ESPN

Tom Brady To Appeal Four-Game Suspension
The court upheld Tom Brady's suspension in a 2-1 decision April 25.

ESPN

Buccaneers Had Winston 1A, Mariota 1B In 2015
Jon Robinson was with the Buccaneers during that draft decision and is now GM of the Titans.

John Breech/CBS Sports

Brock Osweiler Doesn't Hold Grudge Against Broncos
Brock Osweiler passed on an opportunity to remain with the Broncos to become the starting quarterback of the Texans.

Conor Orr/NFL.com

Bears To Use 'Hot Hand' Strategy At Running Back
John Fox has always liked a running back by committee approach.

Kevin Patra/NFL.com

Buccaneers Inspired By Belichick, Gostkowski In Selecting Kicker Early
The Buccaneers had a first-round grade on Roberto Aguayo.

Chris Wesseling/NFL.com

Steelers Experimenting With Robot Tackling Dummies
The dummies could aid in tackling development without the risk of players hitting each other.

Kevin Patra/NFL.com

Tom Benson Testifies Estranged Heirs Tried To Kill Him
Tom Benson petitioned to prevent the Saints or Pelicans to pass to his daughter and her children.

Mike Florio/Pro Football Talk

NFL Moving Pro Bowl From Hawaii To Orlando
The NFL held the Pro Bowl in Miami in 2010 and in Glendale, Arizona in 2015.

Scott Soshnick/Bloomberg

Jalen Ramsey Has Small Tear In Meniscus
The Jaguars expect Jalen Ramsey to be available for Week 1 of the regular season.

Mike DiRocco/ESPN

Peyton Manning 'Got His Fill' Of Playing Football
Peyton Manning says his retirement is going well so far.

Marc Sessler/NFL.com

Cowboys Sign Ezekiel Elliott To Four-Year, $24.9M Deal
The deal includes an option for the fifth season and the first four years are fully guaranteed for Ezekiel Elliott.

Chris Wesseling/NFL.com

Michael Bennett Unhappy With Contract But Won't Hold Out
Michael Bennett has two seasons remaining on the four-year, $28.5 million deal he signed during the 2014 offseason.

Sheil Kapadia/ESPN