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Sunday, February 25, 2018

Football

Harvard-Westlake School issues statement on closure due to Martin’s threat

Jonathan Martin media

Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles has issued a statement in response to the school being shut down on Friday due to a threat made by school alumna, Jonathan Martin.

In its statement, the school said it learned of the threat made by Martin on Thursday evening and they closed out of caution.

“Last evening, we learned of an Internet post that mentions Harvard-Westlake by name. Out of an abundance of caution, and because the safety of our students, faculty, and staff is our top priority, we made the decision to close school today. We are working closely with law enforcement and will share more information when we are able,” the school said in a statement.

Harvard-Westlake is an extremely prestigious private school that has two separate campuses, one for grades 7-9 and the other for grades 10-12. Martin attended the school and played football there before going to Stanford and eventually the NFL.

The internet post referenced by the school in its statement was a photo posted on Martin’s Instagram story. The photo showed a shotgun on a bed with several bullets around it. The post says, “When you’re a bully victim & a coward, your options are suicide, or revenge.” The post specifically names four people, including two former Dolphins players — Richie Incognito and Mike Pouncey — whom Martin accused of bullying him.

In 2015, Martin talked about how he contemplated suicide while playing.

Report: Dolphins made NFL aware of Jonathan Martin threat

Jonathan Martin USC

Quick action by the Miami Dolphins and the NFL may have been a huge reason nothing bad happened at Harvard-Westlake School as a result of Jonathan Martin’s threats.

A report Friday indicated that the Dolphins’ director of security first took note of the former offensive lineman’s threatening Instagram post and alerted the NFL about it.

While it’s not clear what the NFL did with the information, someone made both Harvard-Westlake and the authorities aware of the post, as the school closed for the day and Martin was ultimately taken into custody.

Obviously, there’s no way of knowing if Martin had any intention of following through on his threats. Thanks to some apparent quick thinking and an abundance of precaution, we didn’t have to find out.

Report: Jonathan Martin taken into custody after threat against high school

Jonathan Martin media

Former Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Jonathan Martin was reportedly taken into custody Friday after sending an alarming threat aimed at the high school he attended.

Earlier Friday, Martin had sent what appeared to be a clear threat against Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles, where he had attended high school. The image of a rifle was also tagged with several of Martin’s former Dolphins teammates, including Richie Incognito and Mike Pouncey, who were accused of bullying him. The message appeared to be a threat that he would either commit suicide of commit “revenge.”

Martin’s image was considered serious and credible enough that Harvard-Westlake canceled all classes on Friday.

Martin has discussed previous suicide attempts openly in the past. Clearly, he has a lot of demons and needs a lot of help, and hopefully he gets it before something bad happens to him — or he inflicts tragedy on someone else.

Calais Campbell has great reaction to old scouting report from college

Calais Campbell

Calais Campbell had a career year with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2017, so there is no better time than now for the star defensive end to dig up old scouting reports that said negative things about him.

On Friday, a scout from Bleacher Report shared an old Pro Football Weekly scouting report on Campbell from when he was coming out of Miami. While he was ranked the No. 5 overall defensive end, there were still plenty of concerns about him ranging from his inability to step up against superior competition to his “lazy” style of play.

That doesn’t really sound like the Campbell who recorded 14.5 sacks and three forced fumbles this year while anchoring one of the best defensive lines in football. Here are Campbell’s thoughts:

Campbell spent the first nine seasons of his career with the Arizona Cardinals, and he has seemingly gotten better with age. Jacksonville presented him with the perfect situation, and the 31-year-old rewarded the Jags by becoming one of the best free agent signings of the 2017 season. If ever there were a time for Campbell to brag, it’s now.

Report: Chiefs, Rams agree to trade for Marcus Peters

The reports about the Kansas City Chiefs shopping cornerback Marcus Peters in trade talks were apparently accurate.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Chiefs have agreed to trade Peters to the Los Angeles Rams and could finalize the deal as early as Friday.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network says the Rams are sending a package of draft picks to Kansas City.

Peters, the No. 18 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, has recorded 19 interceptions in his first three NFL seasons. He’s set to count just over $3 million against the cap in 2018 and the Chiefs have a $9.5 million club option for him in 2019, so it’s somewhat surprising that they are dealing him.

While Peters is considered a solid cover corner, the Chiefs ranked near the bottom of the NFL in defense last season. The former Washington star was also involved in an unfortunate incident where he was so upset about a penalty that he threw a flag into the stands. It’s possible that played a role in Kansas City’s decision, but they are likely just looking to shake things up on defense with how poor their secondary played in 2017.

Report: Martellus Bennett wants to keep playing, could return to Patriots

Martellus Bennett

Martellus Bennett returned to the Patriots last season under bizarre circumstances after a brief stint in Green Bay, and he has since said that he will likely retire. Has the tight end had a change over heart over the past several months?

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Bennett is planning to play in 2018. He is still under contract with New England at the moment, and Rapoport wonders if the Patriots could choose to keep him.

Bennett will turn 31 next month, so he could conceivably have at least another good season in him if he’s healthy. He dealt with hamstring and shoulder injuries during his short time with the Packers in 2017, the latter of which eventually sent him to injured reserve.

The Packers waived Bennett in November and said he failed to disclose a shoulder injury. Bennett’s agent then supposedly dissuaded teams from picking up his client off waivers because of his shoulder, though the tight end changed his mind once the Patriots showed interest and decided to sign with them. Bennett was ripped by several of his former teammates in Green Bay after he rejoined the Pats.

Should he decide to return, perhaps the Patriots will restructure Bennett’s contract to spread the money out. They can never have enough offensive weapons, and Bennett played a huge role en route to a Super Bowl title two years ago when Rob Gronkowski went down with a back injury.

Steelers will reportedly listen to trade offers for Martavis Bryant

Martavis Bryant

It was only four months ago that Martavis Bryant had decided he wanted nothing to do with the Pittsburgh Steelers and demanded that they trade him. Despite all that, Bryant remained on the roster and could be back again in 2018.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that the Steelers are not actively shopping Bryant in trade talks, but they are willing to listen to offers.

“At this point, the Steelers are not shopping him but it sounds like they are listening to potential deals for him,” Rapoport said. “It remains to be seen whether or not they would actually go through with it. He’s a productive player, but he’s been outspoken in the past about wanting to be traded. They’re expected to have some conversations (at the Scouting Combine).”

Bryant is a talented player who is under contract for just over $700,000 in 2018. It’s always beneficial to have players who contribute on the field count practically nothing toward the salary cap, so the Steelers likely have no problem keeping Bryant for another year. While he created some tension with the team last season when he criticized rookie receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster in an Instagram comment, Bryant said last month that he wants to remain in Pittsburgh.

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