May 2018 - Football Wiretap

Report Outlines NFL's Use Of Alternate 'Cheerleaders'

May 31, 2018 7:15 PM

NFL teams employ noncheering cheerleaders who serve as scantily clad hostesses and are frequently paid minimum wage to mingle with fans.

The women often dressed exactly the same as cheerleaders dancing on the field. 

“It’s a really big secret, and now you know about it,” said Jackie Chambers, 33, a model with more than a decade of experience who worked as a Houston Texans noncheering cheerleader last season. “But teams don’t want fans to know about it. All of the cheerleaders are supposed to blend in with each other.”

The Texans, Patriots, Saints and Washington are among the teams that use or have used this type of tactic.

While sports has generally moved away from the concept of women-as-accessories to events, the NFL has moved in the opposite direction.

In interviews with six former ambassadors of Washington, the women described the job as being more of a sexualized saleswoman than a cheerleader.

“You thought it was going to be so glamorous and glitzy, like what the Cowboys’ cheerleaders have, but then you realized that they wanted to put you in your place as an ambassador,” said one former ambassador.

One ambassador dreaded working at team-sponsored tailgate parties where intoxicated men would grab and hug them while also making inappropriate comments.

Juliet Macur/New York Times

Bill Belichick Remains Focused On Winning, Not Fun

May 31, 2018 2:48 PM

During a press conference on Thursday, Bill Belichick was asked if he finds it important for him to come up with ways for players to feel like they're enjoying themselves with the work they're putting in.

“We feel what’s important to us is to win,” Belichick said. “So that’s really what we’re trying to do.”

Belichick was then asked about criticism from people like Lane Johnson.

“Yeah, we’re focused on what we’re doing, trying to get better and taking each day we can to try to improve our football team,” Belichick said. “Not really focused on what everybody else is doing.”

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski have been away from the Patriots during OTAs.

Mike Florio/Pro Football Talk

Tags: New England Patriots

Lawyer Suggests Kaepernick Case 'About To Take Dramatic Turn'

May 31, 2018 12:02 PM

Lawyer Mark Geragos suggested a witness may be set to come forward that could provide further evidence in Colin Kaepernick's collusion case against the NFL.

“I would stay tuned because this case is about to take a dramatic turn,” he said.

Geragos wouldn’t offer specifics other than a suggestion that “somebody has decided they were going to dime out the NFL for what they were doing.”

Kaepernick has remained unsigned since becoming a free agent in 2017 despite being widely considered a starting caliber quarterback.


Michael David Smith/Pro Football Talk

Tags: Legal

Tevin Coleman Expects More Touches In 2018

May 31, 2018 8:52 AM

Tevin Coleman, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract, expects to be more involved in the Atlanta Falcons' game plan in 2018.

"They are just going to use me more ... lining up out wide and stuff," Coleman said. "It's going to be pretty fun."

Coleman had a career-high 156 carries for 628 yards last season. He also caught 27 passes for 299 yards.

He saw around 10 touches per game when both Coleman and Devonta Freeman were healthy.

"Now, we want to make sure we are really featuring him and Devonta in as many ways as we can," Dan Quinn said. "Splitting them outside, leaving them in the backfield, the amount of catches and touches that we can get for those guys, we know how explosive they are."

Kevin Patra/NFL

Tags: Atlanta Falcons, Misc Rumor

Jay Ajayi Wants To Return To Workhouse Role

May 31, 2018 8:43 AM

Jay Ajayi wants to be a workhouse for the Philadelphia Eagles next season.

The Eagles acquired Ajayi from the Miami Dolphins at midseason in 2017. He split time with LeGarrette Blount and Corey Clement as the team rolled toward a Super Bowl title.

Blount left in free agency, but Darren Sproles is back after an ACL injury. The Eagles also have Wendell Smallwood, Donnel Pumphrey and Matt Jones on the roster.

"Obviously, things have gotten a little shaken up in our room," Ajayi said. "I'm excited to get into that lead role, do what's needed of me and just go bull. It was kind of a year and a half removed from being 'the guy.' So I'm excited to kind of get back in that role and showcase again to the world what I can do."

Ajayi is entering the final year of his rookie deal.

Jeff McLane/Philly News

Tags: Philadelphia Eagles, Misc Rumor

Peyton Manning Believes Andrew Luck Needs 'Reps'

May 31, 2018 8:38 AM

Peyton Manning can relate to the mental obstacles Andrew Luck will face after missing a full season.

Luck is expected to return this season for the Indianapolis Colts after missing all of 2017 with a right shoulder problem, which he originally injured in Week 3 of the 2015 season.

Manning missed the 2011 season with a neck injury.

"Everything is an individual thing, so you have to be careful speaking on it since injuries are different," Manning said. "But it's also universal. For me, I was a [repetition] guy. I liked to get all the reps on practice. The theory of 10,000 reps, I believe in that. I felt like I was kind of behind because I hadn't gotten the reps even though you have a lot in the bank. It took me a few games before I felt like I was coming back. Getting as many reps as possible is key."

Luck is currently limited in his participation during the team's OTAs.

"For me, coming off missing the entire year with the neck, I knew I was going to have to play a different kind of way, a different sort of physical state," Manning said. "I was looking for things like positive feedback from receivers on whether the ball felt the same coming in and then when you get into the game and you throw a deep out. We played a preseason game and I threw a deep comeback route, and that was a thing to check off the box. You want to do everything for the first time again. You want to get hit, you want to make a tight throw, have a two-minute drive. I wanted to do all those things again."

Mike Wells/ESPN

Tags: Indianapolis Colts, Misc Rumor

NFL Owner Admits Being Swayed By Trump On Not Signing Kaepernick

May 30, 2018 1:34 PM

An NFL owner testified under oath during a collusion grievance deposition that he changed his mind on signing Colin Kaepernick following remarks made by Donald Trump about firing players who protest during the national anthem.

Kaepernick filed a grievance last October against NFL owners for collusion.

Attorney Mark Geragos told the “Straight Aim” podcast Tuesday that the unidentified owner's testimony proves collusion.

"In this civil case, there’s no doubt that the existing coaches — and I’m talking about Super Bowl-winning coaches — have testified under oath that he’s a starting quarterback in this league, and so that’s mind boggling,” Geragos said. “When you ask them … specifically why he isn’t he being hired … they say because of the national anthem policy.

"The only reason — and the owners will admit that — they haven’t signed him is they’re afraid of Trump, and they’ve colluded because of Trump,” Geragos said.

Scooby Axson/Sports Illustrated

Tags: Legal

Kam Chancellor Will Play If Medically Cleared

May 30, 2018 12:12 PM

Kam Chancellor revealed he wants to continue his playing career if he's medically cleared.

Chancellor suffered a career-threatening neck injury last season.

"If my body says I can play, I'm playing," Chancellor said. "If my body says don't play, I'm not playing. I'll listen. I'm a very good listener."

John Schneider said before the draft that Chancellor was scheduled to have a scan in late June or early July.

Kevin Patra/

Tags: Seattle Seahawks, Injury, Misc Rumor

Clay Matthews: Green Bay's OLB Depth 'Not That Great'

May 30, 2018 9:32 AM

The Green Bay Packers didn't add a linebacker in free agency and only used the 248th draft pick on the position.

Clay Matthews believes the team has depth issues.

"Well, I wasn't surprised with the first two picks; I'll go ahead and say that," Matthews said of the Packers taking cornerbacks with their top two draft selections.

"But obviously, you look at the depth at the outside-linebacker position, and it's not that great. That's not a slight to the guys who are behind Nick and myself, but you look around the league, a lot of times they're rotating in pass-rushers. You can look a couple years ago when we had Mike Neal and Julius [Peppers] here, Datone [Jones] as well. We had a pretty good rotation. Sometimes I'm sure it doesn't work out the way in which [the front office wants], and obviously they only get so many picks and only have so much cap money to spend."

Green Bay ranked 17th in the league with 37 sacks last season.

Kevin Patra/NFL

Tags: Green Bay Packers, Misc Rumor

Nick Foles Never Heard About Browns Trade Offer

May 30, 2018 9:28 AM

The Cleveland Browns reportedly offered the 35th pick in this year's draft to the Philadelphia Eagles for Nick Foles earlier this offseason.

The Eagles rejected the offer, according to the report, in part because Foles had no desire to leave Philadelphia.

Foles said Tuesday that he heard of the offer when he received text messages about the report.

"I haven't turned down anything," Foles said. "We haven't talked about anything. ... At the end of the day, I'm not the G.M. of the team. I have a great relationship with Howie [Roseman] to where if something did happen, we could have a discussion. But at the end of the day, he gets to decide."

Zach Berman/Philadelphia Inquirer

Tags: Philadelphia Eagles, Cleveland Browns, Misc Rumor, Trade Rumor

Derek Carr Thrilled To Be Pushed By Jon Gruden
Derek Carr is happy with Jon Gruden's aggressive approach as the new coach of the Raiders.

East Bay Times

Philip Rivers Would Welcome Antonio Gates Back With Chargers
Philip Rivers would welcome Antonio Gates back with the Chargers in the wake of Hunter Henry's torn right ACL.

Eric D. Williams/ESPN

Seahawks Sign Brandon Marshall To One-Year Deal
Brandon Marshall suffered a season-ending injury to his ankle in Week 5.


RGIII: Lamar Jackson Pick Not 'A Shot At Me'
Robert Griffin shared second-team snaps in organized team activities with Lamar Jackson last week.

Austin Knoblauch/NFL

Julio Jones: No Bad Blood Between Me, Falcons
Julio Jones is skipping voluntary workouts, but that doesn't mean he's at odds with the Falcons.

Kevin Patra/NFL

Cassius Marsh Says He Hated Playing For Patriots
Cassius Marsh, who was claimed off waivers by the San Francisco 49ers last year, says he hated playing for the New England Patriots and isn't apologetic to fans who "can't handle the truth."


Avril: Seahawks Questioned Pete Carroll After Super Bowl INT
Cliff Avril said recently that some of his former Seahawks teammates "began questioning" Pete Carroll after the team's last-minute Super Bowl loss to the Patriots.


Sam Hinkie Visits Broncos For Consult
Sam Hinkie met with John Elway, along with the pro and college scouting staffs.

Nicki Jhabvala/The Athletic

Antonio Brown To Le'Veon Bell: 'Show Up And Get Better'
Antonio Brown wants Le'Veon Bell with the Steelers during OTAs.

Chris Wesseling/NFL

Rob Gronkowski, Patriots Nearing Reworked Contract
Rob Gronkowski is signed through the 2019 season and scheduled to make $9 million this season and $10 million next season.

Jeff Howe/The Athletic

NFL Wants Roof Open At Super Bowl LIII In Atlanta
The NFL wants the retractable roof at Atlanta's $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium open for the next Super Bowl.

Vaughn McClure/ESPN

NFL Owners Approve Policy Requiring Players To Stand For Anthem
The policy subjects teams to a fine if a player or any other team personnel do not stand for the anthem.

Kevin Seifert, Dan Graziano/ESPN

Robert Kraft: Tom Brady Will Be At Mandatory Minicamp
Robert Kraft has been in contact with Tom Brady and expects the quarterback to attend the Patriots' mandatory minicamp next month.


Hunter Henry Suffers Torn ACL During OTAs
The Chargers suffered a major blow on Tuesday when Hunter Henry tore his right ACL on the first day of OTAs.

Eric D. Williams/ESPN

Eagles Rejected Browns' Offer For Nick Foles
The Browns would have sent the 35th overall pick to the Eagles for Nick Foles.

Michael Silver/

Raiders Acquire Christian Hackenberg From Jets
Christian Hackenberg served as the fourth-string quarterback in 2016 and the third-stringer last season.

Rich Cimini/ESPN

NFL Considering 15-Yard Penalty For Kneeling During Anthem
Owners also discussed having the home team decide whether they want players on the field during the anthem at all.

Albert Breer/Sports Illustrated

Eagles Release Mychal Kendricks
Mychal Kendricks is expected to receive considerable interest in free agency.

Adam Schefter/ESPN

Ryan Tannehill To Fully Participate In Dolphins' OTAs
Ryan Tannehill tore his ACL in August of 2017.

Herbie Teope/

Myles Garrett Aiming For More Playing Time This Season
Myles Garrett is healthier and stronger than he was last year, which he believes will allow him to have more of an impact on the Browns.

Nate Ulrich/Akron Beacon Journal