Before Chicago Bears quarterback Brian Hoyer suffered a broken forearm in last week’s game, there were rumblings that he was going to be the team’s starter even when Jay Cutler was healthy. Cutler apparently heard that chatter, and he’s not even going to pretend he didn’t.
Cutler was asked after practice on Tuesday if he believes he still has the support of head coach John Fox. His response was quite blunt.
“He doesn’t have a choice, I guess, at this point,” Cutler said, via Rich Campbell of The Chicago Tribune. “Brian is out, so I’ve got to go. I’ve had good conversations with Foxy this week, last week, the week before. There’s never been any strain in our relationship. We’re both very open and honest, and we’re on the same page. We just want to win football games.”
Cutler added that he never got around to wondering if he would get his job back, as he was not yet cleared to practice. Now that he has been, he says his feelings were not hurt when Fox indicated Cutler may end up holding a clipboard for the rest of the season.
“It is what it is,” the veteran said. “Anytime you have a backup quarterback—and to Brian’s credit, he played well. I think as a team, we wish we would have won some more of those ball games. But Brian went in there and did a great job. My discussions with everybody that I have relationships with in here were positive, and whenever I was ready to go, I’d be ready to go. There was never any discussion regarding (whether I’d take back over) with me.”
If you believe the report we recently shared with you about Cutler’s plans for the future, you understand why the 2016 season could get even uglier for the Bears down the stretch.
New York Knicks big man Joakim Noah is willing to give the Cavaliers props for winning the NBA title, but his thoughts on Cleveland still haven’t changed one bit.
The Knicks open the 2016-17 NBA season in Cleveland on Tuesday, a game in which the Cavs will receive their championship rings in a pregame ceremony. Before the contest, Noah took an opportunity to congratulate the Cavs and to throw some more shade at the city of Cleveland in the process, per Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.
Famous Cleveland denigrator Joakim Noah on being there for ring night: "Congratulations to Cleveland, even though it's not a vacation spot."
— Stefan Bondy (@SBondyNYDN) October 25, 2016
Of course, Noah and the Rock and Roll Capital of the World have a lengthy history with one another. Back in 2010, the University of Florida product famously quipped that he’d never heard of anybody going to Cleveland on vacation. Noah’s jabs at Cleveland continued over the years, as did his blood feud with LeBron James.
In an age of such turmoil and uncertainty, it’s quite comforting to know that we can rely on one constant to serve as our guiding light through it all: Joakim Noah will always hate Cleveland.
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- Joakim Noah
The New York Giants released Josh Brown on Tuesday, and both the kicker and the team issued statements when the roster move was announced. For whatever reason, Brown released his own revised version of that statement less than two hours earlier.
In his first statement, which was issued through ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Brown denied ever physically abusing his ex-wife. Here it is in its entirety:
“I am sorry that my past has called into question the character or integrity of The New York Giants, Mr. Mara or any of those who have supported me along the way. I have taken measures to get help so that I may be the voice of change, not a statistic. It is important to share that I never struck my wife, and never would. Abuse takes many forms, and is not a gray area. Through the past several years I have worked to identify and rectify my own behaviors. The road to rehabilitation is a journey and a constant modification of a way of life. My journey will continue forever as a person determined to leave a positive legacy and I embrace the opportunities to show and speak about what has helped me to be that man. In the interim, I am cooperating with the Giants and the NFL. Thank you to everyone that has supported me, I will not let you down.”
Shortly after that statement was released, the Giants issued a different version. The most important part — Brown denying that he struck his wife — was omitted.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) October 25, 2016
Interestingly enough, the Giants say they did not alter the statement. The team claims that is the statement Brown gave them Monday night, so it’s unclear when or why the kicker added the line about never physically abusing his wife.
Giants say their Josh Brown statement was received last night. The ESPN one w/the "I never struck my wife" part, was an updated version.
— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) October 25, 2016
Obviously, the line that was left out of the team’s version of the statement is critical. When details from Brown’s domestic violence investigation surfaced last week, we learned that he allegedly admitted to abusing his ex-wife physically and emotionally. You can read more about that here.
Somehow, a hideous situation continues to get uglier by the minute.
Just six days remain before the deadline for 2013 first-round draft picks to sign a contract extension with their respective teams, and Detroit Pistons guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope still has yet to do so. Now we may know why.
According to a report by Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press on Tuesday, Caldwell-Pope is rumored to be looking for deal worth over $20 million annually to re-up with the Pistons. The problem is that a deal of that magnitude is likely to take Detroit over the luxury tax threshold.
The 23-year-old Caldwell-Pope makes for an interesting case. He’s developed into a borderline-elite one-on-one defender, but he’s never reached the 15-point-per-game mark in his three years in the league so far, nor has he shot 35 percent or better from three in a single season.
The potential for a Caldwell-Pope breakout in 2016-17 is enormous, particularly with Reggie Jackson on the shelf because of a knee injury. But the Pistons for the most part must base their decision on what the University of Georgia product has already showed them.
It’s worth noting that Caldwell-Pope is represented by Rich “The Money Whisperer” Paul and that the market for middle-tier shooting guards is booming (Evan Fournier got a five-year, $85 million extension from the Magic this offseason, while Evan Turner landed four years, $70 million from the Blazers, to name a couple). But it just seems unlikely that Detroit is willing to tie up their entire cap on this core of players, meaning that we may have to prepare for Caldwell-Pope to hit restricted free agency this summer.
Image Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
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- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
The New York Giants announced on Tuesday that they have released kicker Josh Brown.
Brown, who was placed on the commissioner’s exempt list after details emerged concerning his history of domestic violence, will likely never kick in the NFL again. In addition to his off-field baggage, Brown will turn 38 before next season.
It was only a matter of time before the Giants cut ties with Brown. The roster move came less than two hours after the kicker released a statement claiming he never physically abused his ex-wife. Team president John Mara said in a statement that the Giants’ decision to re-sign Brown during the offseason and defend him was “misguided.”
Giants prez John Mara: "Our beliefs, our judgments and our decisions were misguided. We accept that responsibility." pic.twitter.com/moEa8QzqMW
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) October 25, 2016
Brown was suspended for the first game of the season after being arrested for domestic violence, though the charge was later dropped. Details of the investigation into his alleged abuse surfaced last week, and there was some disturbing information that indicated Brown had been abusing his wife mentally and physically for years. You can read more details here.
Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis is planning to play in Game 1 of the World Series Tuesday night, but he may need a pain-killing injection before he takes the field.
As many baseball players have done before him, Kipnis suffered an injury while celebrating his team’s pennant-clinching win last week. The sprained ankle has been downplayed, but there’s no way Kipnis isn’t hurting.
— Heidi Watney (@HeidiWatney) October 25, 2016
Kipnis poked fun at himself on Twitter over the weekend and shared a photo from the moment the injury occurred.
— Jason Kipnis (@TheJK_Kid) October 23, 2016
Unfortunately, we have shown you countless examples over the years (see them all here) of players who have suffered injuries while celebrating big moments. Kipnis had 15 stolen bases during the regular season. We wouldn’t expect him to add to that total in the early part of the World Series.
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Josh Brown released a statement on Tuesday addressing the domestic violence scandal surrounding him. In it, the New York Giants kicker claimed he has never physically abused his wife.
“I am sorry that my past has called into question the character or integrity of The New York Giants, Mr. Mara or any of those who have supported me along the way. I have taken measures to get help so that I may be the voice of change, not a statistic,” he wrote, via ESPN’s Adam Schefter. “It is important to share that I never struck my wife, and never would. Abuse takes many forms, and is not a gray area.
“Through the past several years I have worked to identify and rectify my own behaviors. The road to rehabilitation is a journey and a constant modification of a way of life. My journey will continue forever as a person determined to leave a positive legacy and I embrace the opportunities to show and speak about what has helped me to be that man. In the interim, I am cooperating with the Giants and the NFL. Thank you to everyone that has supported me, I will not let you down.”
Brown was arrested in May 2015 for domestic violence, but the charge was later dropped. He was suspended for the first game of the 2016 season, and disturbing details of the investigation surrounding the case were recently revealed.
In a letter to friends that Brown allegedly wrote in March 2014, the 37-year-old admitted that he abused his ex-wife Molly “physically, emotionally and verbally.” Similar things were written in a personal journal entry from 2013 that was attributed to Brown.
One report claims the NFL helped Brown’s then-wife change hotel rooms at the 2015 Pro Bowl after an incident between the former couple. You can read more about that here.
- Josh Brown
Ben Roethlisberger underwent knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus just eight days ago, but the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback is already back to throwing passes in practice.
Roethlisberger was spotted on the field Tuesday as the Steelers got some work in during their bye week.
Eight days after knee surgery, Ben Roethlisberger is throwing on the Steelers’ practice field. pic.twitter.com/M7AZLsuvZy
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) October 25, 2016
While there has been some concern that Roethlisberger could miss more than a month, it is starting to seem likely that he will return to face the Baltimore Ravens in Week 9. The Steelers are coming off a tough loss to the New England Patriots and cannot afford to lose more ground in the AFC, especially in their own division.
Despite some recent criticism from a former NFL linebacker, Big Ben has a history of playing through pain and injuries. If doctors clear him to return against Baltimore, he’ll be on the field.
- Ben Roethlisberger
Greg Hardy has not been able to find work since he finished an uninspiring season with the Dallas Cowboys last year, and that could be why he is supposedly behind on some hefty payments.
A lawsuit obtained by TMZ Sports shows that Hardy is being sued for more than $200,000 for allegedly failing to make payments on two cars he leased — a Ferrari and a Bentley. He leased the 2013 Bentley GT, which is valued at about $240,000, back in 2014 and the 2012 Ferrari, valued at around $200,000, a year later.
Both cars were leased from Second City Leasing, which is now demanding $200,736.82 from Hardy. The company claims Hardy stopped making payments on both cars in June 2016.
Hardy made more than $18 million playing in the NFL from 2010 through 2015, but he has had quite a few issues off the field. Most recently, the former Pro Bowler was arrested for possession of cocaine and gave police one of the lamest excuses you will ever hear.
Hardy, who essentially become unemployable after disturbing details from his domestic violence case surfaced last year, revealed earlier this month that he is pursuing a career in mixed martial arts.
- Greg Hardy
Demaryius Thomas is one of the most physically gifted wide receivers in football, but he has a tendency to lose focus when he is not heavily involved in the game plan. That has reportedly become a source of frustration for the Denver Broncos.
According to Jason Cole of Bleacher report, the Broncos are irritated with the number of mistakes Thomas has made this season.
“The team believes he has Hall of Fame talent, but costly mistakes keep occurring,” Cole said Tuesday. “The latest example was a dropped pass in the fourth quarter of the victory on Monday night against Houston. He could have secured the Broncos win earlier, but another blunder kept Houston in the game.”
The drop Cole is referring to allowed the Texans to stay within two possessions, though Denver’s defense ultimately slammed the door on any potential comeback. Thomas has now dropped several passes on the year.
Thomas was at his best when Peyton Manning was throwing to him for several seasons. That’s not to say he is a product of Manning’s greatness, but he seems to drop more passes and stop fighting for the ball when the Broncos’ offense isn’t firing on all cylinders. Obviously, Trevor Siemian is nowhere near as gifted a passer as a healthy Manning was.
There’s a reason Thomas and fellow receiver Emmanuel Sanders have been given a certain label, and they addressed that earlier this season. Truth be told, losing focus when the target share isn’t there is quite common among the NFL’s biggest stars.