Josh McDaniels says he wants to be a head coach again, happy he stayed with Patriots

Patriots assistant coach Josh McDaniels spoke to the media Friday for the first time since backing out of the Colts head coaching job, and it appears he’s still happy with the decision he made earlier this offseason to remain with the Patriots as offensive coordinator.

While speaking with reporters at Gillette Stadium where all of New England’s assistant coaches were made available to the media, McDaniels fielded questions about turning down the job saying he was “very happy” and “thankful.” However, he also reiterated that he still wants to become a head coach again.

Not calling the Giants seemed utterly foolish, but if the Jets were indeed comfortable with Mayfield, Darnold or Josh Rosen, which is the case according to Breer, then ultimately their move was the right one. It looked expensive to give up all those picks for a shot at their third option and it looked foolish not to call the Giants and try to guarantee themselves one of the top two picks. But they did some nice due diligence, guaranteed they could get one of the quarterbacks they believed was a franchise signal caller with their pick and didn’t sacrifice a future first-round pick to do it.

On the first passing play of what turned out to be the final start of his NFL career, Johnny Manziel rolled into his drop after a play-action fake and was hit — hard — by Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Dee Ford just moments after whipping an incomplete pass. This was back in December 2015, and the hapless Browns went on to lose, 17-13, of course. It was the first of five times the 6-foot, 207-pound Manziel would be hit behind the line of scrimmage, as he not only struggled to throw with anticipation and accuracy — he completed only 13 of 32 passes for 136 yards and an interception — but also took a beating doing it. Oh yes, Manziel did some Johnny Football things that day, using his trademark break-neck, Fran Tarkenton-ish scrambles to rush 11 times for 108 yards.

Bottom line: This is a pivotal year for the franchise given Lewis’ tenuous hold on the head coaching job and back-to-back losing seasons. There’s been a familiar pattern in the division the last two years, too: Cincinnati sweeps Cleveland, splits with Baltimore and loses both games to Pittsburgh. If Cincinnati can find a way to make that record 4-2 or better, then it will be in the AFC wild-card hunt. If it’s less than .500, the Bengals might be looking to change directions once and for all. Record prediction: 8-8

The NFL is planning further changes to the kickoff, hoping to reduce the number of high-speed collisions that happen on the play. A proposed new rule that owners will vote on next week will make several changes to the kickoff.cowboys_098

WR Russell Shepard asks for release from Panthers, report says

Russell Shepard has asked for his release from the Panthers after he refused to take a pay cut, the Charlotte Observer reported.

The release occured Monday, which will make the receiver a free agent.

Shepard confirmed his release on Instagram, where he posted “It was fun while it lasted.”

With his release, the Panthers now have an extra $2.1 million in cap space. He was signed to a three-year, $10 million deal in 2017, but Shepard didn’t move the needle much for the team.

Love them or loathe them, fans watch the Cowboys. They don’t completely give up their rooting interest, either for or against, when Dallas’ stars move into TV, according to ESPN commentator and native Texan Will Cain.

“Maybe it’s the star. Maybe it’s the blue and silver. Maybe it was Roger Staubach or Troy Aikman,” Cain told Sporting News in an interview. “But the Dallas Cowboys, in my estimation, symbolize what’s great about the state of Texas, and what’s great about the state of Texas symbolizes what’s great about the United States of America. They are America’s Team.”

“The problems posed by sports betting are much the same as they were 25 years ago,” Hatch said in a press release. “But the rapid rise of the Internet means that sports betting across state lines is now just a click away. We cannot allow this practice to proliferate amid uneven enforcement and a patchwork race to the regulatory bottom. At stake here is the very integrity of sports. That’s why I plan to introduce legislation in the coming weeks to help protect honesty and principle in the athletic arena. I invite stakeholders and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join me in addressing this important issue.”

The word “integrity” quickly has become a hot button in the gambling debate, because sports leagues hope to impose an “integrity fee” onto the betting framework, giving them ostensibly revenue for ensuring that their sports have a high degree of integrity but as a practical matter giving them money for nothing, because they already should be striving for the highest degree of integrity in an atmosphere of legal gambling in Nevada and widespread illegal gambling elsewhere. It will be much easier to get Congress to impose an “integrity fee” that would apply to all states than to negotiate the fee in 50 different jurisdictions.ravens_159

Eagles draft 346-pound Australian rugby player Jordan Mailata

It took a grand jury 11 minutes to end Khaseem Green’s NFL career.

The former Rutgers football star was indicted on a gun charge following a shooting outside an Elizabeth nightclub in 2016.

He didn’t fire the gun, but prosecutors claimed that he handed the weapon to the shooter. They said they had security camera footage of the handoff and the gunman, Jason Sanders, implicated Greene.

Okay, well you can recant at another time. Not tonight, one of the detectives tells Sanders. When the prosecutor’s office talks to you about your case you can say that wasn’t Khaseem…

After talking to a couple people on the cap side of the business, my feeling is Ryan’s contract has three elements to it that are worth paying attention. First, Cousins broke ground by getting a fully guaranteed three-year deal in March. Ryan didn’t pull that off. But he did get his first three years fully guaranteed, and he’s due a total of $94. 5 million over that time.

On Thursday morning, ESPN leaked to ESPN that Witten was indeed joining ESPN. And that news invites speculation as to the impetus of the following tweet from Warner, posted late Wednesday afternoon: “I remember the days growing up believing the BEST person for the job — not race, not gender, not age, not pedigree — led to gaining position… trying to figure out if it ever TRULY applied (thinking I was just a naive kid) but, if so, how did we get so backwards!?”

If Warner was the fallback choice to Witten and if ESPN was ready to leak to ESPN as of Thursday morning that Witten would be joining ESPN, it’s possible if not probable if not most likely that Witten made his decision and communicated it to ESPN on Wednesday at the latest, and that Warner would have gotten word that he has won silver in a gold-medal-only contest at some point on Wednesday as well. So if Warner knew ESPN was going with Witten before Warner posted his tweet (and it would be a surprise if Warner didn’t), it’s fair to think there was a connection between his sentiment and his situation.broncos_016_c87cfd1fa4367b1f-180x180

Robert Meachem’s money manager accused of stealing $1 million from him

A woman accused of stealing more than $1 million from former Saints receiver Robert Meachem was arrested Wednesday, according to the Associated Press.

Meachem hired Tonya Lynn Adkism in 2010 to manage his finances. Instead, she faces charges of mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. If convicted of all charges, Adkism faces more than 300 years in prison.

An agent for Meachem declined comment to the Associated Press.

The New England Patriots haven’t experienced a smooth-sailing offseason, but beyond controversy regarding Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski and a tough March during which they lost key players Nate Solder, Malcolm Butler, Danny Amendola and Dion Lewis, New England signed a potentially high-impact pass-rusher at what appears to be a discounted rate.

That seems like a prudent move, since White has mostly been injured, and injury is the only thing the option is guaranteed for.

The former No. 7 overall pick has played five of a possible 48 games in his three pro seasons, and the Bears stacked in options at the position over him this year. They’ll still give him a chance to contribute, but he’s now in the mix with free agent pickups Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel and second-round pick Anthony Miller.

If White somehow stays healthy and has a breakout season, he could cash in as a free agent next spring, but there’s little reason to expect that.

As someone who was falsely accused of this very serious charge over 22 years ago, and never given the opportunity to defend myself and clear my name, I find it incredibly unfair, disappointing, and frustrating that this story would resurface now with the only purpose being to damage my character and reputation. I firmly maintain my innocence, as I have always done. I would never condone any of the behavior that was alleged and will always respect and protect the rights of anyone who has been harassed or is the victim of violence.broncos_076_47055b351ccc3dea-180x180

What differences did Red Sox see in Yankees’ Luis Severino?

The Boston Red Sox were the one team that got to Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino this season.

Kiero Small, FB, Arkansas GM John Schneider traded their first-rounder (pick 32) to Minnesota (Teddy Bridgewater) and picked up an extra second-rounder in the process.

After a second trade (the Lions moving up to get linebacker Kyle Van Noy at 40), that second-rounder eventually became Paul Richardson.

If Richardson delivers on the intrigue he has teased as a vertical threat, it will be in Washington, where he just signed for $16.5 million guaranteed as a free agent.

(The Seahawks are hoping that recently acquired ex-Cardinal Jaron Brown can fill Richardson’s perimeter deep threat role.) Justin Britt took a few years to get going but found his traction once he moved to center in 2016.

His skill set clearly fits best there, though in 2017 he didn’t quite build on the upside he showed at first blush.

“I don’t think I’m talking today,” Flacco said.

Now, it would be irresponsible to add more importance to those six words than they carry on their own. It would also be irresponsible to assume they mean nothing. They exist on their own. A newsworthy thing happened to the team Flacco’s a member of. He didn’t want to talk about it.

The reality is, when you use a first-round pick on a quarterback, the clock starts ticking on the incumbent.

Flacco has four years left on his contract, but all the guaranteed money is gone after this season. And as Florio mentioned yesterday, there’s a reasonable chance that they could part ways with him as soon as after this season and at least after two more years.

That’s plenty of time for an apprenticeship, and the 33-year-old Flacco has to know it. He might have thoughts on the subject, but we don’t know that.

He’s best outside but proficient in the slot.) Such versatility was supposed to describe Austin Seferian-Jenkins, but he was erratic and is now with the Jaguars, who hope his two or three tantalizing outings each year can turn into… four, maybe five?broncos_007_f2b3860642a09f78-180x180

Brady’s theory is simple: There are just too many other entertainment options for today’s consumer.

There’s so much for us to consume, I mean, as we all know, there’s so much happening, Brady said.

The 40-year-old quarterback even admitted that HE doesn’t even pay as much attention to the NFL as he used to.

I hate to say it: I don’t follow it like I used to, because, so many other things to follow, Brady said. And it’s just what can grab your attention, there’s a lot more competition today than there’s ever been, I think, especially with social media, for people to consume information or to consume content. The NFL has had a great product, people love watching the game and I think it’s still doing better than every other program out there, but compared to a time when there was less things to do, it doesn’t live up to those standards.

Maddox recorded eight interceptions over the course of his collegiate career, including a pair during in 2017. During his senior campaign he had a team-high 11 pass breakups and three forced fumbles. He earned All-ACC honors from both the media (second team) and the coaches (third team).

At 5-foot-9, 184 pounds, Maddox is a bit undersized for today’s NFL defensive backs. He makes up for that with his speed, as he recorded a 4.39 40-yard dash time at the NFL Combine.

The comments came in response to an ESPN story published this week in which Dee Haslam is quoted as saying the Browns want a role in the growth of Cleveland. Haslam and her husband, Jimmy, own the team.

Those growth conversations could include discussions on upgrading or replacing First Energy Stadium, the lakefront home of the Browns, the story quotes Haslam as saying.

But no conversations are underway, Mayor Frank Jackson’s administration said in a statement.

Durham Smythe, TE, Notre Dame Grade: C Little early, but well-versed as a blocker. Shined when given opportunity to catch passes at Senior Bowl. Limited out wide. 124. Armani Watts, FS, Texas A&M Grade: A Hyper active DB. Will make plays on the outside. Twitchy. Just lacks size. 125. Avonte Maddox, CB, Pittsburgh Grade: A Feisty, ultra-aggressive slot CB with the agility to match with quickest WRs in the league. Gets his hands on loads of passes. 126. Ito Smith, RB, Southern Mississippi Grade: A Smith has amazing jump-cut ability, vision, and is tremendous in the screen game. 127. Rick Leonard, OT, Florida State Grade: D+ Leonard has the measureables. Doesn’t have quick feet or good balance. Must get stronger too.tigers_069-115x115

After the Ravens pick, Aikman framed his comments differently.

He’s obviously a terrific talent. He’s got a lot of ability, and his passing game did improve as he moved through the last few seasons, and his passing ability did improve fairly well. If you look at him, he’s been well-coached, coming from the Louisville offense and Bobby Petrino. He probably ran more pro concepts than Baker Mayfield at Oklahoma, in a more complicated offense than Sam Darnold ran at USC. So, the fact that he’s able to sit back and watch and learn and become a little bit more accurate as a passer is going to serve him well.

Rudolph will slot in as Ben Roethlisberger ‘s backup, possibly serving as the team’s third-string quarterback in his rookie year with a plan to develop him into a starter. The Oklahoma State product will be reunited with his college teammate receiver James Washington, who was selected with the Steelers’ previous pick during the second round.

The two were one of the most prolific passing combinations in college the past two seasons. Mason Rudolph Bio Position: QB School: Oklahoma State College Experience: Senior Height: 6-5 Weight: 235 lbs Strengths Ideal size and plays with toughness, often taking shots in the pocket to allow routes to develop in Oklahoma’s downfield offense. Consistently strong ball placement from the pocket. Maximizes short passing game with yards after the catch.

Just wanted to let you know that I look forward to playing with you. I’ll be an open book, so if you ever need anything or have any questions, feel free to ask. Hope all is well.

Rosen seemed appreciative of the message and was shown texting Bradford back. The exchange can be seen in the latest episode of the team’s Flight Plan series.

On Thursday, most of the team’s players and coaches attended a golf event to benefit Cardinals charities. Before teeing off, cornerback Patrick Peterson told reporters Rosen texted him soon after being drafted.

Shazier attended a Penguins game and stood up, with some help, while fans gave him a standing ovation:

ESPN’s Adam Schefter shared on Super Bowl Sunday that Shazier hasn’t just regained feeling in his legs, but he’s also regained movement and is engaging in a regular walking routine. But Michele Tafoya reported that Shazier wasn’t walking on his own, which Shazier then confirmed himself. tigers_005-115x115

Browns eyeing new stadium, exploring early options for its possible development

Although the Cleveland Browns have more than a decade before the lease at their current stadium runs out, the team is already trying to figure out what might come next. During an interview with this week, Browns co-owner Dee Haslam revealed that the team is in the very early stages of planning a major downtown development project that could include a new stadium. Haslam also said that the team might consider renovating FirstEnergy Stadium, which opened in 1999.

The main thing is to start the conversation, at some point, Haslam said. I don’t know that we’re ready to start the conversation, but we are ready to get all the information we can about what’s possible.

The Browns’ lease at FirstEnergy Stadium expires in 2029. If the Browns do build a new stadium, it likely wouldn’t be up and running until 2030. To put that in perspective, even if Baker Mayfield turns out to be an All-Pro quarterback, he’d be well into the back half of his career, as he’d be going into his 13th season when the stadium opens.

But the root of the connection actually goes back further.

He was the one tight ends coach at my Pro Day, Carter told NJ Advance Media. We’ve known each other for a while. I just want to come in here and prove myself. Knowing that he is the head coach now, hopefully if I do what I’ve got to do, he’ll bang the table for me.

Giants’ 53-man roster projection: Who makes it?

The Vikings released Carter before their NFC Divisional Playoff Game in order to get no-longer-injured backup quarterback Sam Bradford on the active roster. Carter played 28 offensive snaps and 18 special teams snaps in the final three games of the regular season.

It was a crazy time, Carter said. I had just gotten on the active roster a couple weeks before so I was on my high horse thinking everything is good: We are NFC North champs and going to the playoffs. Things happen. That’s how it is in the NFL. I ended up losing that opportunity there. I was down in the dumps for a little bit.

Then he went food shopping.canucks_037

Trump will reportedly appoint Belichick to White House sports council

The Donald Trump-Bill Belichick bromance appears to be going strong. President Trump will appoint the Patriots’ head coach to his Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition, per Axios. The group, which prioritized nutrition during the Obama administration, will reportedly focus on encouraging kids to play sports.

General manager John Lynch took defensive end Solomon Thomas, inside linebacker Reuben Foster and cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon with the first three picks of his first draft in 2017. They are joined by fifth-round tight end George Kittle as projected second-year starters in ’18.

That’s pretty good immediate help from a 10-pick haul, with major help from trading down from No. 2 overall. In this year’s NFL free agency, Garoppolo saw the team add center Weston Richburg and running back Jerick McKinnon to be key parts of Kyle Shanahan’s offense. The big splash, however, came on defense in signing cornerback Richard Sherman soon after he was released by the rival Seahawks.

Maybe it ends up being a more structured offense with less playground potential and that’s better for Dak Patrik Walker of 247 Sports and I discuss just that on Friday’s Pick Six Podcast but at the end of the day, you need to have talent around your quarterback.giants_147

FirstEnergy Stadium has been the home to the Cleveland Browns since they entered the league again back in 1999. It replaced Cleveland Stadium, which has stood on the same site from 1931 to 1996.

It now looks like the team is looking to either substantially renovate FirstEnergy or move into a new venue in downtown Cleveland at some point in the not-so-distant future.

We’re excited for the opportunity to be part of the conversation about downtown re-development, co-owner Dee Haslam said, via ESPN. We should be part of the conversation in a bigger way, and I think we will be.

Chargers OC: Pouncey signing was ‘tremendous get’

The Los Angeles Chargers inked former Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey to a two-year contract in March. Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt is gushed about the addition of the veteran lineman.

Whisenhunt is confident Pouncey will be able to fit in easily with his new teammates and especially with Rivers.

Philip does a lot of things, and he always has, Whisenhunt said. Mike came in here and said he wants to be involved with that. That’s a good mentality for him [and] I think the communication between those two is very important. Mike’s been doing it, he’s very good at what he does from the standpoint of how he plays the game. The communication between those two will be good, and hopefully that can only make us better.

We all know how it played out: the Browns took Baker Mayfield first. The Giants didn’t even consider trading out of No. 2, and indeed selected a non-quarterback in Saquon Barkley. That left the Jets with their pick of Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen, and Lamar Jackson at No. 3.

According to the New York Daily News, the only people who knew the Jets’ preference in this spot were CEO Christopher Johnson, GM Mike Maccagnan, and head coach Todd Bowles. The Jets kept things so secretive that Maccagnan didn’t even put final grades on the draft cards pertaining to the five quarterbacks most teams had grouped together atop the heap.

The Jets ratcheted up their secrecy before the franchise’s most important draft in memory. Browns general manager John Dorsey joked that his wife didn’t even know that he was going to take Mayfield with the No. 1 overall pick. Well, Jets GM Mike Maccagnan kept his intentions close to the vest, too. Only CEO Christopher Johnson, Todd Bowles and Maccagnan knew the exact signal caller pecking order on One Jets Drive.nike_jets_1638