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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Football

Greg Hardy cocaine arrest video released

Greg Hardy

Some footage from the night Greg Hardy was arrested for possession of cocaine was released on Wednesday, and it confirms that the former NFL defensive lineman told police he did not know how drugs got into his wallet.

In a video that was shared by TMZ, officers are shown searching Hardy’s vehicle before placing him under arrest. When Hardy was informed that a small purple baggie filled with narcotics was found in a wallet in his center console, he admitted the wallet was his but claimed to have no idea how the drugs got there.

“I just got a job, I play football. I was at a party. I got drunk,” Hardy could be heard saying. “Literally last night. I was at a mixer with NFL guys trying to do an interview. Like I said, I don’t know what happened between me and him, he could’ve slipped stuff in my pocket. Some people offered me some stuff. I literally don’t know what is in that. Whatever it is. I haven’t even seen it. I thought that I had nothing in the car.”

Hardy, who was with a woman at the time, said he just came from a date and was trying to spend some time with the young lady before going to “try to get a job playing ball.” He was a free agent at the time and has not signed with an NFL team since.

Hardy ended up striking a plea deal and got two years of probation. His career has been on a downward spiral since disturbing details from his domestic violence case surfaced, though he is committed to taking part in a new independent football league with training camp beginning next month.

Browns will reportedly ‘make another run’ at Jimmy Garoppolo

Jimmy Garoppolo

The Cleveland Browns have yet to find their starting quarterback for the 2017 season, and they are still holding out hope that they can somehow convince the New England Patriots to give up Jimmy Garoppolo.

Tony Grossi of ESPN Cleveland wrote this week that he still considers Garoppolo to be the best bet to start for the Browns in Week 1, though the level of confidence is not high. While the Browns have been unsuccessful in attempting to trade for Garoppolo thus far, a source told Grossi they are likely going to “make another run” at the quarterback at the league meetings later this month. A deal could also be revisited closer to the NFL Draft on April 27.

The Browns have the No. 1 and No. 12 overall picks in the draft, and they are supposedly not willing to give up both for Garoppolo. With how in love the Patriots are with the 25-year-old QB, it would almost certainly take multiple first-round picks to convince Bill Belichick to part ways with him.

If reports like this one are true, none of it matters. Cleveland could offer the Patriots every draft pick they have and still be turned down. The reality is it is starting to seem like Belichick considers Garoppolo the heir to the Tom Brady throne. And if that’s the case, Jimmy G. truly is untouchable.

Mark Sanchez to visit Bears

Mark Sanchez

Mike Glennon might not be the only free agent quarterback signing to get Chicago Bears fans excited.

NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo reports that Mark Sanchez will be visiting the Bears on Thursday.

Sanchez was once upon a time thought to be a potential franchise quarterback for the Jets, but a couple of buttfumbles later and he’s settled into the role of a backup.

The USC product spent last season with the Cowboys and the previous two with the Eagles.

In addition to Glennon, the Bears also have Connor Shaw and David Fales on their roster at quarterback. Sanchez would be an upgrade over both as a backup.

Kiko Alonso reportedly signs long-term extension with Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins have reportedly agreed to terms on a contract extension with linebacker Kiko Alonso.

Mike Garafolo of NFL Network first reported the news, with ESPN’s Adam Schefter later adding that the new deal will be a four-year extension.

After a down year with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015, Alonso bounced back to record 115 total tackles, one forced fumble and four fumble recoveries in Miami last season. He also played through a significant hand injury, though he actually drew criticism from an opponent over that.

Alonso, 26, was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the second round back in 2013. He was later acquired by his former college coach, Chip Kelly, in a trade that sent him to Philadelphia in exchange for LeSean McCoy before landing with the Dolphins.

Cam Newton to undergo shoulder surgery

Cam Newton tie

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton will undergo surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder, the team announced Tuesday.

Newton suffered the injury during a Week 14 game against the San Diego Chargers last season.

“It is well-documented and well-researched that overhead throwing athletes commonly have wear and tear to their rotator cuffs,” team athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion said. “As a result of the MRI, we modified all of Cam’s work in the weight room and on the field for the final three weeks of the season.”

The Panthers were just 5-8 after their Week 14 win over the Chargers and had virtually no shot at making the playoffs, so you have to wonder why the team bothered having him play down the stretch.

“We developed a plan for Cam to take a period of rest, a period of rehabilitation and treatment, and then start a gradual throwing program the first part of March,” Vermillion added. “Cam started his program, and the early parts of his rehab had been going well. However, as we worked to advance him into the next stage – the strengthening stage, the throwing stage – he started to have an increase in his pain level and started having pain while throwing.”

Even if Newton’s shoulder was showing signs of improvement and team doctors felt he might be able to avoid surgery, it’s fair to question the decision to play him in meaningless games. Now, the quarterback will have to wait at least 12 weeks before he begins throwing exercises again and 16 weeks before he can throw with the team. If all goes to plan, he should be back for the start of training camp in July.

Marshawn Lynch’s agent says RB ‘does miss football’

Marshawn Lynch has said numerous times in the past that he has no interest in reviving his playing career, but some recent rumors coupled with the words of the running back’s own agent tell a much different story.

In an interview with KNBR on Monday, Lynch’s agent Doug Hendrickson said he would not be surprised if Lynch came out of retirement next season.

“He’s one of the most unique guys I’ve ever been with in my life,” Hendrickson said, adding that he has not spoken to Lynch about the possibility of a return. “Marshawn, it wouldn’t shock me in three days if he says, ‘Hey, I want to play.’ It wouldn’t shock me if he says, ‘Nah, I don’t know where this came from. I don’t want to play.'”

While he claims he is unsure if Lynch will end up playing in 2017, Hendrickson did say he knows the 30-year-old back misses football and could return strictly for the love of the game.

“He doesn’t spend any of the money he’s made. He’s got a lot of money,” Hendrickson said. “He does miss football, no question. He loves the game of football. He’s 30. But until I meet with him this week, you know, I don’t know what his mindset is. He’s the kind of guy that can shift by the hour.”

Less than a year ago, Lynch snapped at a reporter (video here) who asked him about a potential NFL comeback. The vibe seems a lot different now, with rumors swirling that Lynch wants to play for his hometown team, the Oakland Raiders. The Seattle Seahawks would have to trade or release Lynch for that to happen, but that shouldn’t be an issue since he is supposed to count $9 million against the cap if he comes out of retirement, and the Seahawks don’t have that kind of cap space. For now, it seems like there’s a good chance we haven’t seen the last of Beast Mode.

Report: Von Miller’s stolen helmet being sent to Denver FBI

Von Miller

When authorities began searching for Tom Brady’s missing game-worn jersey from Super Bowl LI, Von Miller probably didn’t realize the investigation would lead to him having a valuable possession of his own returned. Sometimes things just have a way of working themselves out.

Mauricio Ortega, the former Mexican newspaper director who has been accused of stealing two of Brady’s Super Bowl jerseys, is allegedly the same person who took Miller’s helmet after Super Bowl 50. On Tuesday, Jay Glazer of FOX Sports reported that Miller’s shell and Brady’s jerseys were on their way to be authenticated so they can be returned to their rightful owners.

“Von Miller’s helmet is going to be transported as early as (Tuesday) — if it already hasn’t been — to the FBI office in the Denver area for them to authenticate it,” Glazer said on Fox Sports 1.

What originally appeared to be the case of a brazen thief who wanted Brady’s jersey after the New England Patriots’ incredible comeback against the Atlanta Falcons was actually only a piece of an elaborate scheme. Ortega was a credentialed member of the media, and one report claims he has been selling sports memorabilia items for years.

Miller probably didn’t consider the possibility that his helmet was in the same place as Brady’s jersey, but it would appear the same man who walked into the Patriots’ locker room after Super Bowl LI (video here) was also in the Denver Broncos’ locker room a year prior.

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