Legal - Football Wiretap

Martavis Bryant Hasn't Failed Or Missed Drug Test

Jun 21, 2018 3:19 PM

Martavis Bryant has not missed or failed a drug test.

The Raiders declined comment but “fear potential NFL discipline” for Bryant for a situation “believed to pertain to the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.”

Bryant has missed more games due to failed drug tests (20) than he has started in his four-year NFL career. 

The Oakland Raiders acquired Bryant this offseason.

Vic Tafur/The Athletic

Tags: Oakland Raiders, Legal, Suspension

Al Jazeera Claims Peyton Manning 'Confirmed' Doping Allegations

Jun 2, 2018 10:12 AM

Al Jazeera America claims Peyton Manning "confirmed" much of the doping allegations made against him by its primary source.

The report cited the word of Charlie Sly, who the network indicated was a pharmacist who had worked at the Guyer Institute in Indianapolis.

According to memorandums from Al Jazeera, reporter Deborah Davies contacted Manning's CAA agent Tom Condon before the documentary aired to get comment on something that Sly had been recorded saying. Specifically, Sly stated, "I did part of my training at the Guyer Institute which is like this anti-aging clinic in Indiana. [Peyton Manning] and his wife would come in after hours and get IVs and s***. ... So one thing that Guyer does is he dispenses drugs out of his office, which physicians can do in the United States it’s just not very many of them do it. ... And all the time we would be sending [wife] Ashley Manning drugs. Like growth hormone, all the time, everywhere, Florida. And it would never be under Peyton’s name, it would always be under her name. ... We were sending it everywhere."

Manning reacted strongly when the documentary came out by calling it a "total fabrication" and even was reportedly considering his own defamation lawsuit at one point, Al Jazeera has more to say.

"Plaintiffs contend that the Documentary should not have been broadcast because they have never used PES of any kind, and because, after learning his PES peddling was about to be aired, Sly created a short, homemade video in which he recanted every word he had ever said to Al Jazeera’s undercover reporter," states Al Jazeera's court brief. "Sly’s recantation rang hollow. As explained in Defendants’ Motion to Compel against Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, Sly’s last-minute denials followed a visit to his family’s home by investigators hired by lawyers for National Football League player Peyton Manning ... which prompted Sly’s sister to call 911. On the video, Sly appeared to be reading a statement that was prepared for him while sweating profusely, and his statements about Liam Collins’ character were clearly based on information that had been supplied to Sly. On top of that, the Mannings (through counsel) had already corroborated Sly’s most explosive claims, making his denials all the less believable."

Manning's spokesperson made a statement in response:

"Al Jazeera’s self-serving claim that Peyton Manning’s attorneys 'confirmed' Al Jazeera’s allegations about Peyton Manning is absolutely false. In fact, information was provided to Al Jazeera that confirmed the Al Jazeera allegations about Peyton Manning were unfounded. In addition, the sole source for Al Jazeera’s allegations has publicly recanted them. Moreover, the NFL conducted an extensive investigation of the claims raised in Al Jazeera’s programs and found no evidence to support them. This is a desperate move by Al Jazeera to distract the courts from its own wrongdoing."

Eriq Gardner/Hollywood Reporter

Tags: Legal

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

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

NFL Owners Approve Policy Requiring Players To Stand For Anthem

May 23, 2018 1:23 PM

The NFL owners have approved a new national anthem that requires players to stand if they are on the field but they have the option to remain in the locker room if they prefer.

Jed York of the 49ers abstained from the vote.

The policy subjects teams to a fine if a player or any other team personnel do not stand for the anthem. That includes any attempt to sit or kneel, as dozens of players have done during the past two seasons. 

"This season, all league and team personnel shall stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "Personnel who choose not to stand for the Anthem may stay in the locker room until after the Anthem has been performed.

"We believe today's decision will keep our focus on the game and the extraordinary athletes who play it -- and on our fans who enjoy it."

Kevin Seifert, Dan Graziano/ESPN

Tags: Legal

NFL Considering 15-Yard Penalty For Kneeling During Anthem

May 22, 2018 5:28 PM

NFL owners have discussed assessing a 15-yard penalty for players kneeling during the national anthem.

Owners also discussed having the home team decide whether they want players on the field during the anthem at all.

The NFL is being sued by Colin Kaepernick as they are being accused of colluding against him following his anthem protests during the 2016 season.

Albert Breer/Sports Illustrated

Tags: Legal

Multiple Teams Considered Colin Kaepernick As Starting Caliber QB

May 21, 2018 2:13 PM

Multiple NFL teams viewed Colin Kaepernick as a starting NFL quarterback in 2017 and continue to view him in that way, according to a source.

Internal franchise documents generated as part of the free agency evaluation process as part of Kaepernick's collusion case against the NFL show this viewpoint to be the case.

The more difficult part of Kaepernick's case will be whether coordination can be proven.

Mike Florio/Pro Football Talk

Tags: Legal

Panthers Finalize Terms To Sell Franchise For $2.275B

May 17, 2018 8:34 AM

The Carolina Panthers have finalized terms to sell the franchise to David Tepper for $2.275 billion.

The NFL's owners will approve his purchase of the Panthers from Jerry Richardson, according to a report.

Tepper's net worth has been projected at $11 billion by Forbes.

The New York Times reported that Tepper's bid wasn't the highest. Ben Navarro, who runs an investment firm, offered $2.6 billion.

Judy Battista/NFL

Tags: Carolina Panthers, Legal, Misc Rumor

NFL Owners To Vote On Whether To Make All Ejections Reviewable

May 16, 2018 6:53 PM

The NFL will vote on a proposal to make all ejections subject to review.

The rule is part of a larger effort to discourage players from lowering their helmets to initiate contact.

Assuming it is approved, a replay review will be required for all ejections, whether they result from a violation of the helmet rule, throwing a punch or any other flagrant act.

The proposal is similar to what a group of special-teams coaches suggested during a May 2 meeting at NFL headquarters.

Kevin Seifert/ESPN

Tags: Legal

49ers Could Part Ways With Reuben Foster

Apr 24, 2018 8:38 AM

Reuben Foster's roster spot with the San Francisco 49ers is in jeopardy after he was charged with three felonies resulting from a February arrest related to an alleged domestic violence incident.

Foster isn't participating in team activities while he deals with his legal matters.

John Lynch said Monday that Foster could rejoin the 49ers if circumstances change, but he'll be cut loose if found guilty.

"The gravity of these charges has not been lost on us," Lynch said. "We take it extremely seriously. We do feel like patience is the right approach right now. We're gonna learn things through this legal process. I do want to be abundantly clear that if these charges are proven true, if Reuben did indeed hit this young lady, he will not be part of this organization going forward."

Josh Alper/Pro Football Talk

Tags: San Francisco 49ers, Legal, Misc Rumor

John Harbaugh, Ozzie Newsome To Be Questioned In Kaepernick Case
The Ravens considered signing Colin Kaepernick last offseason.

Mike Florio/Pro Football Talk

Inglewood Stadium Complex Estimated To Cost Nearly $5 Billion
The cost of the stadium alone was originally projected to cost $2.6 billion.

Vincent Bonsignore/Los Angeles Daily News

Panthers Receive $2.5B Bid To Purchase Franchise
The Panthers are valued by Forbes at $2.3 billion.

David Newton, Darren Rovell/ESPN

Tod Leiweke Steps Down As NFL Chief Operating Officer
Mary Ann Turcke of NFL Media will replace Tod Leiweke in the position.

Daniel Kaplan/Sports Busines Journal

New ESPN President's Top Priority Is Repairing NFL Relationship
Jimmy Pitaro has already met with league executives despite being on the job for a few days.

John Ourand/Sports Business Journal

Jerry Jones Reimburses NFL More Than $2M
The NFL sought the reimbursement of the legal fees that were incurred in Ezekiel Elliott's fight of a six-game suspension.

Adam Schefter/ESPN

NFL Salary Cap For 2018 Set At $177.2M
The NFL's cap has increased by at least $10 million for five straight seasons.

Field Yates/ESPN

NFL, Papa John's End Sponsorship Deal
The brand became the official pizza of the NFL in 2010.

Darren Rovell/ESPN

NFL Forces Jerry Jones To Reimburse League For Legal Fees
Jerry Jones' conduct has been ruled detrimental to the NFL.

Ken Belson/New York Times

2018 Franchise Tag Projections Based On $178M Salary Cap
Le'Veon Bell is likely to receive the franchise tag again in 2018.

Albert Breer/Sports Illustrated

Jane Goodell Included On Colin Kaepernick's Deposition Request List
Jane Goodell had been surreptitiously using the Twitter account @forargument to defend her husband.

Charles Robinson/Yahoo! Sports

Reuben Foster Arrested In Domestic Violence Case
The 23-year-old is expected to be one of the 49ers' defensive building blocks, but this is the second time he's been arrested this offseason.

San Francisco Chronicle

Colin Kaepernick's Suit Against NFL In Discovery Phase
Colin Kaepernick's attorneys and the NFL recently exchanged almost 100,000 documents as part of his collusion case.

Jason La Canfora/CBS Sports

NFLPA 'Preparing For War' Ahead Of 2021 CBA Expiration
DeMaurice Smith was asked if he has any hopes for a smooth agreement before a possible work stoppage.

Kevin Seifert/ESPN

New WSJ/NBC Poll Shows Fans Following NFL Less Closely
Just 51 percent of men aged 18 to 49 say they follow the NFL closely, down from 75 percent four years ago.

Jared Diamond, Andrew Beaton/Wall Street Journal

NFL Won't Facilitate Team Signing Colin Kaepernick In 2018
Colin Kaepernick knelt during the national anthem before games during the 2016 season to protest racial inequality and other social injustices.

Kevin Patra/

NFL: 'Armchair Experts' Need Facts When Concerned On Player Safety
The NFL and NFLPA has cleared the Panthers from any wrongdoing in regards to how they handled a potential concussion suffered by Cam Newton.

Joseph Person/Charlotte Observer

Conference Championship Ratings Down Eight Percent
The Patriots' win over the Jaguars reached 44.1 million viewers, while Philadelphia's blow out of Minnesota reached 42.3 million.

David Bauder/Associated Press

Joe Lockhart Steps Down As NFL's Chief Spokesman
Joe Lockhart told members of his staff he is stepping aside after the Super Bowl to spend more time with his family, do political commentary and perhaps teach.

Mark Maske/Washington Post

NFL Divisional Round Ratings Down 16 Percent From 2017
The weekend's four games averaged 30.43 million viewers, off from 36.22 million the year before.

David Bauder/Associated Press