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Friday, January 20, 2017

Football

Adrian Peterson mentions teams he would be interested in joining

Adrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson still hopes to be back in Minnesota next season, but he does have his eye on a few other teams in case things don’t work out with the Vikings.

Peterson joined ESPN’s “First Take” on Thursday morning and was asked where he sees himself playing next season.

“I see myself in purple,” said Peterson. “There’s a lot that has to take place approaching March. So that’s here soon. But I see myself finishing off in purple. It’s a business at the end of the day, so with that things could end up differently, so I’m just trying to control the things I can control.”

Peterson is due to make around $18 million next season, which includes a significant roster bonus due in March. The Vikings are likely to cut him before then. If that happens, Peterson would be able to pick his next team. He told “First Take” he’s thought about some teams he’d be interested in.

“There’s a couple of teams that I’ve thought about,” said Peterson. “New York is one of them that’s popped up. Tampa Bay. A lot of teams. Houston. I’ll just stop there.”

Peterson didn’t go any further listing teams, but it’s clear he’s given thought to where he’d want to play. Peterson, who is 31, also says he thinks he could play another five seasons.

Mike Mularkey: Marcus Mariota ‘should be ready’ for 2017 season

Marcus Mariota Titans

Tennessee Titans fans may be spared from the Matt Cassel Experience to begin the 2017 campaign.

In an appearance on 102.5 The Game, Titans head coach Mike Mularkey said quarterback Marcus Mariota is making encouraging progress in his recovery from a fractured fibula and should be ready for the start of next season.

“I spoke with Marcus this afternoon,” Mularkey said, per Josh Alper of ProFootballTalk. “He actually had an appointment, and they did a good thorough checkup on him. He’s on track. He’s doing great. He should be back when we get this thing rolling.

“I can’t tell you exact times of when he’s going to practice, but he should be ready for the season, which is what we want him for,” Mularkey continued. “But he’s doing good. He’s going to be a very good patient, if I have anything to do with it.”

Mariota suffered the break on this sack in a Week 16 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was given a four-to-five month recovery timetable after undergoing surgery at the end of December, which would put his return some time around the start of organized team activities and minicamp.

The Titans still have reason to be cautious with their franchise QB, especially given the dual-threat nature of his game. But Mariota already appears to be making positive progress just weeks after his surgery, which should give them a lot of confidence heading into the 2017 season.

Johnny Manziel says he was a ‘douche’ in 2016, vows to be better person

Johnny Manziel hair

Johnny Manziel claims he is ready to turn over a new leaf … again.

In a series of tweets on Thursday, Manziel admits that he made mistakes in 2016 and hinted that he had issues with alcohol abuse. He also said he is very happy with where his life is at right now and vowed to be a better person going forward.

Manziel also addressed a recent report that claimed he would be at the Super Bowl in Houston charging fans for his autograph and to take selfies with him. The former Cleveland Browns quarterback says that is totally false.

Manziel’s tweets coincide with a report we heard earlier this week claiming he is very serious about making an NFL comeback. Unfortunately, the 24-year-old has not exactly earned the benefit of the doubt. Manziel said he was going to get sober last summer and was later seen double-fisting drinks at a bar, so he has a long history of going back on his word.

At this point, Manziel would be wise to simply get sober and try to stay on the right path. He may have little chance of ever playing in the NFL again, but he is plenty young enough where he can find success elsewhere if he truly wants to.

Report: Seahawks could lose second-round pick for not disclosing Richard Sherman injury

Richard Sherman

The Seattle Seahawks may lose a draft pick for keeping a Richard Sherman injury quiet throughout the season.

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported Thursday that the loss of a second-round pick is being considered as a possible punishment for the Seahawks after the admission that Sherman dealt with an MCL injury which never appeared on an injury report.

Sherman’s various missed practices were called “not injury related,” and failing to accurately disclose things like that on the injury report is a violation of league rules. It sounds like there are other, potentially lesser punishments on the table, but one way or another, the Seahawks will be facing discipline.

Report: NFL admits referees made crucial mistake in Packers-Cowboys game

The NFL has reportedly admitted that a crucial 15-yard penalty the Dallas Cowboys were assessed in last weekend’s playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers should not have been called.

With Dallas trailing 7-3 in the first quarter and the ball on the Green Bay 37-yard line, officials called a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on wide receiver Brice Butler for entering the huddle and then not participating in the play. The call erased a 22-yard completion to Terrance Williams that would have placed the Cowboys at the Packers’ 16-yard line.

According to NFL reporter Michael Lombardi, the league admitted the call was a mistake.

Had the play happened in the fourth quarter, it would have been magnified. But the fact that it took place early in the game doesn’t make it any less important.

Instead of having a first down in the red zone, the Cowboys faced 2nd-and-20 at their own 48-yard line. They punted two plays later, so you could argue that the incorrect call took a score away from them in a game that ended on a last-second field goal.

As CBS Dallas notes, NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino defended the call on Twitter during the game, saying a sub can’t come off the bench and into the huddle without participating. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett and several players said they had never heard of the rule.

We have seen the NFL admit in the past that a mistake cost a team the game, but hearing that has to really sting for Cowboys fans.

Photo: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Woody Johnson named ambassador to UK, may give up control of Jets

Woody JohnsonPresident-elect Donald Trump on Thursday revealed that New York Jets owner Woody Johnson has been named the United States ambassador to the United Kingdom.

Johnson, who has a close relationship with Trump and served as vice president of the soon-to-be president’s victory campaign, has been considered the favorite for the position since Trump was elected. It is common for incoming presidents to give ambassador titles to big financial backers.

Johnson has owned the Jets since 2000. He has never held a position in government, and Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported earlier this month that Johnson is expected to hand day-to-day control of the Jets over to his brother Chris if Trump named him to an ambassador position.

That likely means Johnson will step away from the Jets for the time being, at least publicly. His relationship with a certain aging star player or two will likely still be considered when the team is making roster decisions, but suddenly “Jets owner” does not sound like the most important thing on Johnson’s priority list. Fans of the team can only hope that somehow results in a better season in 2017.

Raiders officially file paperwork to relocate to Las Vegas

Mark Davis

The only thing standing in the way of the Oakland Raiders packing up and moving to Las Vegas is the approval from 24 of the NFL’s 31 other team owners.

On Thursday, the Raiders officially filed the necessary paperwork to relocate to Vegas.

While there has been talk about a new stadium being approved for Oakland or some other area of California, the filing provides concrete evidence that Raiders owner Mark Davis is serious about taking the team to Nevada. Now that the paperwork has been filed, a vote will be held in the spring. If 24 NFL owners approve the relocation, construction will begin on a new stadium.

Reports of Oakland making progress on a new stadium have been unfounded. As Ian Rapoport of NFL Media said over the weekend, it is only a matter of time before the Raiders move to Las Vegas. Once they receive the green light, they will likely play at least the next two seasons in Oakland before the proposed $1.9 billion stadium in Vegas is completed.

That should go over well with the rabid fans in the Black Hole.

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