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Roger Goodell on Ray Rice punishment: ‘I didn’t get it right’

Ray Rice apologyThe NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell have faced an enormous amount of backlash since the decision to punish Ray Rice with only a two-game suspension after he assaulted his now-wife Janay Palmer. On Thursday, Goodell sent a letter to all 32 NFL teams outlining a new policy that will help to avoid a similar situation in the future.

“Effective immediately, violations of the Personal Conduct Policy regarding assault, battery, domestic violence or sexual assault that involve physical force will be subject to a suspension without pay of six games for a first offense, with consideration given to mitigating factors, as well as a longer suspension when circumstances warrant,” the letter read. “Among the circumstances that would merit a more severe penalty would be a prior incident before joining the NFL, or violence involving a weapon, choking, repeated striking, or when the act is committed against a pregnant woman or in the presence of a child.

“A second offense will result in banishment from the NFL; while an individual may petition for reinstatement after one year, there will be no presumption or assurance that the petition will be granted. These disciplinary standards will apply to all NFL personnel.”

[Previously: Maine governor blasts Roger Goodell's punishment of Ray Rice]

To his credit, Goodell directly addressed the Rice situation and admitted he made a mistake in only handing down a two-game suspension.

“My disciplinary decision led the public to question our sincerity, our commitment, and whether we understood the toll that domestic violence inflicts on so many families. I take responsibility both for the decision and for ensuring that our actions in the future properly reflect our values. I didn’t get it right. Simply put, we have to do better. And we will.”

Rice and the Ravens are fortunate the NFL didn’t smarten up sooner.

Jerry Jones: Not drafting Johnny Manziel is a ticket to more 8-8 seasons

Johnny Manziel Cowboys jersey

Jerry Jones really, really wanted to draft Johnny Manziel with the 16th overall pick in the NFL Draft earlier this year. We already established that when we heard the story about Stephen Jones having to restrain Jerruh so he wouldn’t pass in the draft card with Manziel’s name on it. But you still might be surprised to hear how badly Jones feels his team needed Manziel.

As part of a lengthy profile for ESPN’s Outside the Lines, Jones told Don Van Natta Jr. that he wanted Johnny Football to call America’s Team his own so the Cowboys could remain relevant.

“If we had picked Manziel, he’d guarantee our relevance for 10 years,” Jones said shortly after the draft. “When we were on the clock, I said if we pick the other guy — any other guy — it would be a ticket to parity, more 8-8 seasons.”

Offensive tackle Zack Martin, the player the Cowboys ended up taking at No. 16, can’t feel too great about that. Neither can Tony Romo, though Van Natta also witnessed Jones joking around with his starting quarterback about his obsession with Manziel.

“And what is amazing, if there’s anybody on this planet that could’ve handled Manziel competin’ with him …” Jones said with his arm draped around Romo’s shoulder. “This guy could handle any damn thing — this is your fighter pilot. This is your fighter pilot. This is the guy you want goin’ in, droppin’ and winkin’ at ‘em, and comin’ out, and drinkin’ beer. This is him. So he could handle it. It wasn’t a question of not handlin’ it.”

Manziel couldn’t beat out Brian Hoyer for the Week 1 starting job, so he certainly wasn’t going to beat out Romo. Still, Jones absolutely loves him some Johnny Football.

“The only way to break out is to gamble — take a chance with that first pick, if you wanna dramatically improve your team,” he added. “That’s why I wanted Manziel but I was the only guy who wanted him. I listened to everybody … And I’m … not … happy … .”

Browns and Vikings fans need to watch out — Jerruh is coming for your biggest superstars.

Adrian Peterson told Jerry Jones he wants to play for Cowboys

Adrian PetersonAdrian Peterson admitted late last year that he has daydreamed about playing for the Dallas Cowboys or Houston Texans before he retires. Peterson grew up a Cowboys fan outside of Dallas, so it makes sense that he would think about representing his home state. A recent report makes it seem like Peterson is more serious about that than we initially thought.

In a lengthy profile of Jerry Jones for ESPN’s Outside The Lines, Don Van Natta Jr. wrote about a phone call that the Cowboys owner shared with Peterson back in June. Van Natta was with Jones in his private suite at the time a phone was handed to Jerry that had Peterson on the other line.

“Well, I understand, Adrian,” Van Natta heard Jones tell Peterson. “I’d like that, too … Well, I love your story. I love your daddy’s story. I’ve always respected what you’ve been about. I’ve always been a fan of yours.”

It quickly became clear what the two were discussing.

“Well, we’ll see what we can do, if we can make that happen,” Jones said. “Hmm hmm … I’d like that, too … Well, we’re talking pig Latin here, but let’s see if we can do that … We’re talking pig Latin here, but let’s see what we can do about that. OK, Adrian, thanks.”

Jones confirmed that Peterson told him he wants to play for the Cowboys, which may not have been a great idea. While Jerruh didn’t think the call should be considering tampering, NFL rules state that a club that is contacted by a player who is under contract with another team “must immediately report such contact to the owner or operating head of the club which holds the player’s rights” or face potentially “severe” penalties.

Jones said he did not contact the Vikings about the call.

Peterson is 29 and in the fourth year of a seven-year, $100 million contract with the Vikings. It would only be human nature for him to be tired of losing in Minnesota, though the Cowboys have become the poster team for mediocrity in recent years. Plus, they have a promising young back in DeMarco Murray.

But if Peterson wants to force his way out of Minnesota, there’s no doubt he can find a way. And if that day comes, expect the first call his agents make to be to Jerruh.

Greg Amsinger does it again by calling Buster Posey walk-off homer (Video)

Greg Amsinger is the closest thing to a baseball psychic we have in this world. Remember when the MLB Network analyst absolutely nailed his prediction of Mike Trout driving in Derek Jeter with a double in Jeter’s final All-Star game? Amsinger did it again with Buster Posey’s walk-off home run on Wednesday night.

“I’ve got that feeling in my bad knee, just so you know,” Amsinger said when Posey strolled to the plate with a runner on first in the ninth. “My bad knee never lets me down. … All I’m saying is we might get a, ‘IT IS OUT OF HERE.’ So let’s listen in live on MLB Tonight.”

The second Amsinger said that and they started listening in, Posey hit a towering shot down the left field line. And wouldn’t you know it, the ball cleared the wall and we heard, “IT IS OUT OF HERE!” Amsinger reacted accordingly.

Greg-Amsinger-celebrates
Plenty of analysts throw mud at the wall in situations like that and hope that it sticks, but Amsinger seems to nail these predictions in detail. The man just might be The Baseball Whisperer.

H/T Eye on Baseball

Johnny Manziel stars in Snickers commercial as aerobics instructor (Video)

Johnny Manziel has landed a number of endorsement deals since he was drafted by the Cleveland Browns, and one of them is with Snickers. As a result, we all get to enjoy the enthusiasm of “Johnny JamBoogie.”

Snickers released a commercial this week that stars Manziel in one of those “you aren’t yourself when you’re hungry” spots that they do. Manziel basically starts out as Richard Simmons before a member of the Browns enters the room, reminds him that he’s Johnny Football and gives him a Snickers.

Whether you’re a Manziel fan or not, you have to admit that watching him “add a little jazz to it” is pretty funny:

Johnny-Manziel-Snickers

Josh Gordon interested in playing for CFL team that ‘badly’ wants him

Josh GordonJosh Gordon is reportedly interested in playing in the Canadian Football League while he is suspended from NFL action for the next year, but is there any way he can make that happen? Probably not.

According to Pro Football Talk, the Calgary Stampeders hold the rights to Gordon and “badly want to sign him.” ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported on Wednesday morning that Gordon was exploring the possibility of playing for Calgary, but it doesn’t sound like he has a chance. There are a number of reasons for that.

For starters, a CFL official said the league’s rules prohibit players who are under contract but suspended from another league to play for a CFL team. Ricky Williams played for the Toronto Argonauts while under suspension from the NFL in 2006, but he was apparently able to do that by way of a loophole that has since been closed.

To make Gordon’s wish even less likely to come true, there is a provision in his contract with the Cleveland Browns that would prevent him from heading north of the border to play. Gordon would need the team’s permission, and Mary Kay Cabot reports — unsurprisingly — that the team is not willing to grant it.

If Gordon really thought he should be allowed to play in Canada while suspended from the NFL, he could always explore legal action. The chances of him getting anywhere are slim to none.

Michael Vick was upset that Riley Cooper didn’t text him back

Riley-Cooper-EaglesMichael Vick called supporting Riley Cooper “the best thing I have done as a professional athlete” in a recent interview with Ian O’Connor of ESPNNewYork.com. Vick was the first person to publicly support Cooper and accept his apology after the receiver was filmed making racist remarks at a country music concert last summer.

Vick believes that without his support, Cooper’s career may have ended. Prior to this week, he questioned whether Cooper appreciated it.

“I just hope he’s [appreciative] of my boldness to step out in front of the world and say what I said, and he appreciates what I did and understands the magnitude of it, because nobody else was going to step up and say anything,” Vick explained. “I could’ve said the same thing that 25 of my teammates were saying, and there was built-up anger.

“A couple of things transpired since [the incident] that I dislike, and I’ll be honest with you. After he signed his contract, I sent him a text and I never got a text back, and that made me feel a certain type of way. But I’m not the type of guy who holds grudges.”

Vick obviously was holding some sort of grudge, or he never would have brought up the unreturned text message. However, the veteran quarterback’s spokesman told O’Connor on Wednesday that Vick and Cooper had spoken since Vick’s interview and are “all good.”

“I changed the whole dynamic of that situation, and that was a proud moment for me,” Vick added. “I was able to save a young man’s career, and that young man went on to have the greatest year of his career and get a contract that he probably never imagined he would get.”

While we don’t know if Vick deserves all the credit for Cooper’s success last season, there were rumblings about Cooper’s career potentially being in jeopardy. An endorsement from a black teammate certainly helped ease the tension on some level.

H/T Deadspin