It’s not just fans who are disgusted by how the NFL and the New York Giants have handled the new findings about kicker Josh Brown.
According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, rival executives are very unhappy with both the NFL and the Giants over how things have transpired. Some note that the Giants and commissioner Roger Goodell have a very close relationship, which they say may have impacted the initial punishment that led to a simple one game suspension.
League officials strongly denied these allegations, maintaining that they did not discuss Brown’s punishment with the Giants while the investigation was ongoing.
Pretty much nobody is pleased with how the NFL and the Giants have handled this. Many fans aren’t pleased, and even the law enforcement agency doing the Brown investigation had some harsh words for the league. It’s another PR problem for a league that has had too many of them with relation to their handling of domestic violence.
Fresh off winning the American League pennant, the Cleveland Indians may get another reason to celebrate.
Indians manager Terry Francona said on Friday that right-hander Danny Salazar, who has been out for over a month with a forearm strain, will throw a simulated game over the weekend and could be a rotation option for them in the World Series, per Jordan Bastian of MLB.com.
Francona: Salazar will throw sim game this weekend, possibly up to three innings. Manager didn't rule him out as rotation option.
— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) October 21, 2016
Salazar, 26, was originally given a recovery timetable of 3-4 weeks when he first suffered the strain in mid-September. He went 11-6 with a 3.87 ERA and 161 strikeouts in 25 starts during the regular season and only allowed left-handed batters to hit .203 against him. As such, Salazar, if healthy, would be a strong weapon for Cleveland to have against either the Cubs or the Dodgers, both of whom have lineups that skew somewhat lefty-heavy.
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The Pittsburgh Steelers have become the latest team to voice concerns about the formations used on offense by the New England Patriots.
Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler told the Steelers’ “Coordinators’ Corner” show that the Patriots sometimes skirt the edge of legality in what they do.
“I don’t think they’re doing anything special,” Butler said of the New England offense, via Phil Perry of CSN New England. “I think sometimes they do things outside the box sometimes, you know, that might be on the edge of being legal or not legal.
“They’ve done a couple of things in the past … putting an offensive tackle out as ineligible but he’s not really. And so sometimes the emphasis by the NFL in terms of what they call and what they don’t call, they use that a little bit. And they’ve been accused of doing a lot of things. But the thing we’ve got to do is ignore that and play, and hopefully we can give them something they haven’t seen from us.”
Two seasons ago, the Patriots used controversial offensive formations that the Baltimore Ravens complained about, which got them a sharp retort from Tom Brady. Now that that’s been dredged up again, it will be interesting if Brady has anything new to say about it.
If LaMarcus Aldridge is dissatisfied with his situation in San Antonio, he isn’t saying so publicly.
Aldridge told the Jim Rome Show on Thursday that he has no complaints about his situation with the Spurs.
“I talk to [Gregg Popovich] daily and he’s always telling me that I’m doing great,” Aldridge said on Thursday’s Jim Rome Show, via ESPN. “Trying to be a more of a leader. He’s put me in positions where I can be more of a leader. As long as the guys here aren’t saying bad things to me. All my teammates have said nothing but great things to me.”
Aldridge insisted that he’s very happy being with the Spurs.
“Yeah, for sure I am,” Aldridge said. “We made history last year [by going 40-1 at home, matching an NBA record]. They’ve incorporated me into the family. Try to make me one of the big pieces.
“I’m winning. Of course I’m happy. That’s why I don’t buy into the rumors. I feel like I do my job here and I feel like I’ve done everything that they’ve asked. That’s why I haven’t bought into the rumors.”
Aldridge has reportedly been displeased to be in one teammate’s shadow. These stories came out of the blue, and for now, he’s content to downplay them publicly.
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- LaMarcus Aldridge
The Boston Celtics have so much depth and young talent that much of it simply fritters away on the bench, unable to find minutes. Now the team appears to be searching for a solution to that unusual problem.
According to a report by Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical on Friday, the Celtics are offering James Young or RJ Hunter, their first-round picks in 2014 and 2015 respectively, in exchange for a second-rounder with final roster cuts needing to be made.
As cutdown looms, the Celtics continue to offer James Young or RJ Hunter for a second-round pick, league sources tell @TheVertical.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) October 21, 2016
Young, 21, was a one-and-done out of The University of Kentucky (providing us with this memorable jam in the 2014 NCAA National Championship Game). But he has only managed to play 8.9 minutes per game for in 60 total appearances for the Celtics since being drafted.
Meanwhile, Hunter had a memorable college career at Georgia State, including a game-winning three-pointer to upset No. 3 Baylor in the first round in the 2015 NCAA Tournament. But the 22-year-old has had similar struggles with playing time, earning just 8.8 minutes per game in 36 appearances as a rookie.
It likely won’t get better for either player in 2016-17 with Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart, Jae Crowder, and now No. 3 overall pick Jaylen Brown all cluttering up the wing rotation in Boston. As a knockdown three-point shooter capable of playing either guard position, Hunter probably has the higher value. But in reality, both players have the talent to start on a handful of other teams, so a change of scenery for one or both could be best in order for them to begin realizing their true potentials.
Image Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
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San Francisco 49ers coach Chip Kelly is still being linked to possible collegiate job openings, but he continues to make it clear he has no intention of leaving the NFL.
Amidst reports that Kelly was likely to go for a college job after the season, the Niners coach denied that in a Thursday press conference.
“Unless the media has an opportunity for me somewhere,” Kelly joked to reporters, via Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. “I’ll always explore those opportunities.”
“I’m not going anywhere,” he asserted more firmly.
These rumors are pretty much an annual thing with regards to Kelly. It’ll likely remain that way as long as he continues to struggle in the NFL after having had so much success in the college game. That’s especially true with a number of high-profile college coaching positions either open already, such as LSU, or possibly coming open after the season.
- Chip Kelly
Josh Brown has been placed on the commissioner’s exempt list and has likely played his last snap for the New York Giants, according to a report.
According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, Brown will no longer be on the Giants’ active roster as of Friday afternoon. While the kicker has not been released, Mortensen is reporting that he will not be welcomed back with the Giants and there is “real doubt” he will ever kick in the NFL again.
Players on the commissioner’s exempt list remain there for an undetermined amount of time and still collect their salary. A player can appeal when he has been placed on the list, but it is unlikely Brown will do that.
Given what we learned this about Brown’s history of domestic violence with his ex-wife, it is surprising the Giants have not completed distanced themselves from him. It’s equally shocking that Brown was only suspended for the first game of the year when the NFL has instituted a zero-tolerance policy for cases of domestic abuse. One report claims the league helped Brown’s then-wife switch hotel rooms at the Pro Bowl multiple times because of an incident between the two.
LeSean McCoy’s status for Sunday might not be as cut and dried as we thought.
McCoy surprised everyone by participating in Friday’s practice, albeit on a limited basis, and coach Rex Ryan asserted that his running back will be a game time decision on Sunday.
Rex: "McCoy will be a game time decision."
Shady: "I was very limited today. We'll see how it feels Sunday. Just trying to be smart." pic.twitter.com/yHWnJaRYsy
— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) October 21, 2016
Rex Ryan: "Shady wants to play … We're not ruling Shady out."
— Matthew Fairburn (@MatthewFairburn) October 21, 2016
McCoy suffered a hamstring problem in practice on Wednesday and his status for the weekend immediately looked in doubt. Initial reports indicated the potential for a rather lengthy absence. The Bills, however, seem to have a different idea, and McCoy’s status bears watching come Sunday.
- LeSean McCoy
Notre Dame has been arguably the most disappointing team in college football this season, but that is not going to cost the team’s head coach his job.
According to Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, Brian Kelly is not coaching for his job against Miami next weekend and will be back with the team in 2017.
“Brian will lead this team out of the tunnel opening day next year,” Swarbrick told Matt Fortuna of ESPN.com.
The Irish are 2-5 and have lost four of their last five games. They fired defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder last month but have not improved since. Kelly has been criticized for publicly calling out his players and berating them on the sidelines, but Swarbrick insists the relationship between the coach and team is very strong.
“I’m not going to reveal the nature of the postgame discussion between Brian and the team after Stanford [a loss on Saturday], but that was a discussion between a coach and a team who really care about each other and have a great relationship, and that’s what I get to see every day,” Swarbrick said. “What we have to do is try to avoid the situation, which creates a different perception because that perception doesn’t reflect the reality. We have to figure out how to be better at it.”
Kelly made the questionable decision to bench DeShone Kizer on Saturday after the junior quarterback threw two interceptions. Kizer is considered one of the top quarterback prospects in the country, and one former Notre Dame player unloaded on Kelly for not showing confidence in his leader.
If Notre Dame continues its downward trend, Swarbrick might be change his mind. That said, Kelly has a 57-28 record in seven seasons as the head coach of the Irish. Perhaps he has earned the benefit of the doubt.
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Washington law enforcement and the NFL are very much at odds over the handling of the Josh Brown investigation.
King County Sheriff John Urquhart spoke to KIRO in Seattle on Thursday in light of the NFL’s assertion that they were denied further information by his office. Urquhart maintained that league investigators never even told his office that they were investigating on behalf of the NFL.
“NFL, National Football League, he could have [said] any of that,” Urquhart said, via ESPN. “Robert Agnew, Comcast.net, post office box in Woodinville. We had no idea who this yokel is.
“Nowhere on the request does he say that [Agnew] works for the NFL and so, we don’t know that it’s the NFL and we’re not gonna give it out anyway, so we denied it.”
Urquhart said that NFL investigators who did state as much failed because they did not go through proper procedure to get information, and would have had more success if they had.
“I would have said exactly the same thing, ‘We cannot release the case file,'” Urquhart said. “But since this is a hot-button item in the NFL, since it’s the NFL, we probably would have told them orally a little bit more about what we had. I don’t like to get pushed around by a bully.”
On Thursday, the NFL blamed the sheriff’s office for not disclosing further information in the case that has put the league in a potentially embarrassing situation. Sheriff Urquhart is clearly not having that excuse.