Browse Month: May 2018

History is not on side of ‘Hard Knocks’-bound Browns or coach Hue Jackson

As if the Cleveland Browns didn’t face a big enough challenge as they try to rebound from last year’s 0-16 season, now they’ll face the Hard Knocks Effect, which may be on the way to replacing the Sports Illustrated Jinx in the NFL.

Cleveland has won one game since Jackson’s arrival in 2016 with a quarterback carousel that has become comical. We can already picture how the first episode will begin — with slow-motion shots of Jackson’s impending leap into Lake Erie (scheduled for June 1) to make good on a promise that he’d dunk himself should the team fail to improve on its 1-15 showing in 2016.

And go ahead and toss in some dramatic b-roll from the January parade in which approximately 3,000 Browns fans “celebrated” the 0-16 season. There will be shots of fans wearing bags over their heads and scenes from the draft party — Cleveland’s version of the Super Bowl — celebrating Mayfield’s arrival.

“Good QBs are hard to find.” Still, a handful of NFL evaluators polled by Yahoo Sports agreed that even if Manziel initially wins the starting job for Hamilton — which is no sure thing, as the presumptive No. 1 quarterback, Jeremiah Masoli, started 12 of 18 games there last year — he will likely need to have at least one, realistically two, productive and drama-free seasons in the CFL before an NFL team feels comfortable bringing him in.

“He probably needs a few years of good football, combined with zero off-field issues,” one decision-maker said. “He needs to show that he is committed, and a changed person,” another added. “Go play in Canada and show you can play,” one league source said, who also wondered if Manziel’s pride would allow him to put in the necessary work to improve. And therein lies the rub.

“Last year I let everything get to me.” Ross said, via the team’s website. “I let my injury get to me. I was trying to do more than I could. I was out of shape. I’m not trying to make excuses, but its real life things. You can’t just come in the NFL and be that guy. You have to come in and prepare. I’ve learned that. It’s growth and progression from here on.”cowboys_073

Fun with prop bets, part one

Tuesday’s PFT Live was largely devoted to Monday’s landmark Supreme Court ruling that opens the floodgates (and/or Pandora’s box) for gambling, along with the ramifications of the potentially dramatic change to the sports landscape. Along the way, and in the spirit of many games of chance to come, we put took at stab at some prop best for the 2018 season.

Part one focuses on whether Carson Wentz or Andrew Luck will start more games in 2018, but it begins with Chris Simms getting everyone (including himself) confused on the question of whether the Browns will have more wins than the Patriots have losses.

Give it a listen, see if you understand it, and then explain in the comments whether you do.

The 65,000-seat stadium that can expand to seat 75,000 hosted it’s first NFL game in 1998. And of course, like Hard Rock Stadium in South Florida, it too recently went through a renovation project.

“He’s responding more than he was at this time last year, so that’s what I feel good about,” McVay said, via Siciliano.

Rams General Manager Les Snead allowed last month that Donald is “on the verge of being the highest-paid defensive player in football.” Broncos linebacker Von Miller currently has that title, with a $114.5 million deal that pays him $19.083 million per season.

Donald, 26, is the reigning defensive player of the year after making 11 sacks last season.

Jason Garrett, Cowboys: The Cowboys’ inconsistency has to be getting maddening in Dallas. Watch the heat slowly rise in Big D if the Cowboys get off to a slow start.

Bill O’Brien, Texans: Houston can’t afford to drop further back from Jacksonville and Tennessee in a division it owned not long ago. O’Brien’s Year 2 work with Deshaun Watson will be key.ravens_150

Report: Washington cheerleaders experienced strange Costa Rica trip

From time to time over the past few years, stories have emerged regarding overworked, underpaid NFL cheerleading squads. From time to time, stories regarding lawsuits arising from cheerleaders who aren’t properly compensated for their total time spent working has included odd and/or disturbing accounts of the things that the managers of the squad will say to the cheerleaders about how to dress, and more.

The latest tale of a team allegedly taking advantage of a cheerleading squad comes from the New York Times, and it centers on a Costa Rican excursion featuring the Washington cheerleaders.

It happened in 2013, and it begins with the cheerleaders having their passports confiscated once they arrived. It continues with a photo shoot that included topless photos and body paint. Although the photos contained no nudity, male sponsors and FedEx Field suite holders had access to the project as it was happening.

Regardless, the allegations have been made by unnamed members of the 36-cheerleader squad. The question now becomes whether the team or the league will look into the situation, and whether anyone will be held accountable for any lines that were crossed.

If lines were crossed, the organization may have some tough questions to answer. As explained by the Times, senior V.P. of operations Lon Rosenberg and president of business operations Dennis Greene attended the visit to the night club that featured nine of the cheerleaders serving as escorts for sponsors.

“The issue was that management seemed to condone all of this,” one of the cheerleaders at the event told the Times.

Whether the league will condone all of this or aggressively investigate it (in the same way the NFL would and does investigate players) remains to be seen.

In May, it’s beginning to look like maybe, perhaps, possibly the rule won’t be applied according to its plain language, but instead reserved to specific circumstances where the helmet indeed becomes weaponized. Frankly, it’s still not clear how the rule will be applied, when looking at the things the NFL has said in the past, and the things it’s saying now.broncos_034_c31546d6c12a912b-180x180

Chargers pick up option on Melvin Gordon

The Chargers didn’t add any depth at running back until the seventh round, but they added a year to Melvin Gordon‘s contract.

Via Field Yates of ESPN, the Chargers have picked up the fifth-year option on Gordon’s rookie deal.

That guarantees Gordon’s salary for 2019 (against injury), and gives the Chargers some cost-certainty at the position where he again figures to get most of the work.

Gordon hasn’t averaged 4.0 yards per carry yet in his career, but he had 1,105 rushing yards and 476 receiving yards last year. He also had a combined 12 touchdowns, and the Chargers haven’t given much reason to think he’ll continue to get most of the carries.

Mike Vrabel has been roundly praised for his leadership qualities, and it doesn’t hurt that he spent the majority of his career watching Bill Belichick do his thing.

During his Patriots career, there was no player more respected for his football intellect and revered for his leadership by his teammates than Mike, Patriots chairman Robert Kraft said in a statement following Vrabel’s retirement in 2011, according to Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe. He was elected a team captain by his peers and is a player who I think everyone knew was destined to become a coach after his NFL playing career was over.

Allen’s decision to enter the draft at all seemed unusual, since he was benched this year at Houston after transferring. But once upon a time, he was one of the top quarterback recruits in the country.

Allen was Sam Darnold‘s workout partner this offseason, working under quarterback tutor Jordan Palmer, which was the extent of the similarities with the Jets first-rounder.

The Panthers don’t have much behind Cam Newton. They’ve discussed bringing back Derek Anderson, and they have Garrett Gilbert and Taylor Heinicke on the roster at the moment.

Mike Vrabel is as well-suited for coaching as any player I have ever coached, Belichick added at the time, per Bedard. He has a tremendous feel for people, players, coaches and what his team needs regardless of the situation. He is outstanding in his knowledge of the game, which contributed to his excellence as a player. I have no doubt Mike will develop tough, intelligent, fundamentally sound winners.

That’ll do.broncos_064_e0fdde3eb79786b2-180x180

C.J. Goodwin, Gabe Martin among five Cardinals cuts

The Cardinals announced agreements with 24 undrafted free agents this week and that left them with some work to do to clear roster space before they arrive to sign contracts at next week’s minicamp.

They took care of some of it on Tuesday. The Cardinals announced they have dropped five players, including linebacker Gabe Martin. Martin had six tackles in 11 games for Arizona over the last two seasons, but tore his Achilles while working out this offseason. He was waived with an injury designation as a result.

Uncertainty about how Griffin would translate to the NFL, considering he had his left hand amputated when he was young, caused the slide in the draft.

But it’s not like he doesn’t have a track record.

Griffin was a great player for UCF the past two seasons.

In addition to passing on the chance to hold onto defensive tackle Danny Shelton, multiple reports indicate the team also chose not to exercise the options on wide receiver Phillip Dorsett or defensive tackle Malcom Brown. Brown was the only one of the three originally drafted by the Patriots as Shelton came to New England in a trade with the Browns while Dorsett was acquired from the Colts.

Dorsett only had 12 catches for 194 yards for the Patriots after last year’s trade and he’ll be trying to earn playing time in a competitive group again this year. He had 51 catches in his first two NFL seasons.

Brown has been a regular up front since being drafted and has started 37 games in his first three years. That makes this decision somewhat more surprising than the other two, although the Patriots may feel they can work out a deal that sets up better for them than the $7 million-plus Brown would be set to make under the option.

The Saints provided a stylist on game days, but Davis paid for semi-monthly manicures, a makeup set for community appearances, an annual spray tan membership, false eyelashes for every game and appearance and 20 pairs of tights each year.broncos_122_21be279738d7ad2f-180x180

Saints Pro Bowl RB Mark Ingram suspended four games for violating NFL’s PED policy

New Orleans Saints Pro Bowl running back Mark Ingram has been suspended the first four games of the upcoming season for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy.

Two former Detroit Lions employees who claim they experienced unequal treatment and disparaging comments because of their race have filed suit against the team, alleging they were fired because of racial and age discrimination….

Reid seems to think that it’s the owners — not general managers and coaches — who are preventing him from getting a fair contract to play football. Meanwhile, players like Torrey Smith and Devin McCourty have come out in support of Reid.

Ingram was born in Hackensack as the son of former Giants wide receiver Mark Ingram, a member of the Super Bowl XXV champions.

The younger Ingram grew up in Michigan, attended high school in the state and went to college at Alabama, where he won a national title and the 2009 Heisman Trophy.

As his son blossomed into a star and first-round NFL Draft pick, the elder Ingram spent more than six years in prison from 2009-15.

The suspension will cost Ingram about $1.2 million in bonus pay and game checks, according to reports.

The Saints might be the Eagles ‘ biggest challenger for the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs and a potential slow start without Ingram could make a difference later. They meet head-to-head in Week 11.sharks-044

He had nine strikeouts, eight of them swinging.

His counterpart, Mike Clevinger, was also throwing a no-hitter vs. the Yankees except through four innings. Aaron Hicks broke it up with a single up the middle to start the fifth.

The first-pitch temperature of the game was 61 degrees, with a little wind.

German lost his perfect game when he walked Jose Ramirez with two outs in the fourth inning. He also walked Edwin Encarnacion to start the fifth.

The former Cedar Creek High School star has used his redshirt and one year of eligibility and will be a two-time transfer if he lands at another school.

After his suspension and subsequent defection from Michigan, Rutgers coach Chris Ash gave Mitchell a second chance and later brought in his older brother , Damon, as a graduate transfer from Arkansas with the dual purpose of upgrading the wide receiver talent and being a mentor to his brother.

He hasn’t played in two years, three years, however long its been. So now that will be the new excuse as to why they won’t sign him. This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

This is on the NFL’: cheerleaders urge league to halt ‘blatant discrimination’ More Fresh allegations follow continued claims of low pay, long hours and sexual harassment. Will commissioner Roger Goodell listen? Bailey Davis, one of two National Football League cheerleaders to file gender discrimination claims against the league, says she is disappointed that the commissioner Roger Goodell has yet to agree to a sit-down meeting, as cheerleader claims of sexual harassment and discrimination continue to mount.

In a stretch of 18 games without a day off in a 17-day span (April 20-May 6), they’ll face a mediocre Texas Rangers pitching staff (team 4.68 ERA, 1.46 WHIP), play a Thursday doubleheader against a pair of hittable Toronto Blue Jays starters, then make a three-game trip to hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium while missing Luis Severino in the New York Yankees’ rotation. The eight-game schedule is advantageous to Indians hitters, but more so is the fact that five of those games are scheduled to be played against left-handed starting pitchers.tigers_056-115x115