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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Football

Report: Browns could trade Joe Haden

Joe-Haden

There has been a lot of talk about the Cleveland Browns potentially trading Pro Bowl offensive tackle Joe Thomas before the deadline, but it could end up being another one of the team’s few star players that gets dealt.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that Joe Haden, who has been battling a groin injury, is drumming up interest on the trade market.

The Browns are going nowhere at the moment, and Haden and Thomas are their two most valuable veterans. Teams that are in contention would likely be interested in either player for the right price.

Given what Browns head coach Hue Jackson said about the Thomas rumors last week, it will be interesting to see how he reacts to Haden’s name now being thrown around.

Ben Roethlisberger reportedly expected to start in Week 9 vs. Ravens

Ben-Roethlisberger

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is reportedly on track to play against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 9.

According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, team doctors have expected a two- or three-week recovery period since Roethlisberger underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus earlier this month. The two time Super Bowl champion participated in team drills last week and is considered on schedule.

This is obviously very good news for the Steelers, who lost to the New England Patriots last week and are fighting to keep their lead in the AFC North. Fortunately, the initial report about Roethlisberger missing more than a month appears to be inaccurate.

Big Ben injured his knee in a Week 7 loss to the Miami Dolphins, and one former NFL linebacker accused him of being overly dramatic. It goes without saying that Roethlisberger didn’t appreciate the criticism.

Chris Lammons apologizes for punching Tennessee player

Chris Lammons punch

South Carolina DB Chris Lammons posted an apology note on Twitter after the Gamecocks beat Tennessee Saturday for punching a Vols player, which led to his ejection from the game.

Lammons was being blocked by Vols wide receiver Jauan Jennings in the first quarter on a running play by quarterback Josh Dobbs. He did not respond well and ended up punching Jennings twice during a scuffle (video here).

Lammons was ejected from the game for his actions and received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

Luckily for him, his Gamecocks held on for the win over the Vols, which allowed him to post this apology note without feeling quite as guilty as he could have:

Josh Norman, Jordan Reed expected to play against Bengals

Josh Norman bow and arrow

Josh Norman and Jordan Reed are both expected to play in Washington’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals in London on Sunday, according to a report.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter says Washington expects both players to play in the game as they have been cleared from their concussions.

Norman was concussed in Washington’s Week 7 game against Detroit but made the trip to London with Washington, indicating it would be possible for him to play. He is expected to shadow Cincinnati’s top receiver, A.J. Green, in the game.

Reed missed the team’s past two games due to a concussion suffered against Baltimore. He said that he hid the symptoms so he could continue playing.

Reed said during the week that he was symptom-free.

Both players are officially listed as questionable for the game.

Braxton Miller selling ‘I Made Kyle Choose Baseball’ merchandise about Kyle Schwarber

Kyle Schwarber Cubs

Braxton Miller and Kyle Schwarber once played high school football against each other in Ohio. Miller went on to quarterback Ohio State and is now a wide receiver for the Houston Texans. Schwarber gave up the sport to play baseball at Indiana, and is now something of a phenomenon with the Chicago Cubs.

Miller thinks he deserves some credit for that. First, on Facebook, he posted an image of Schwarber trying and failing to tackle him during one of their high school meetings.

Miller took things a step further on Saturday, introducing new merchandise to his official shop that he calls “The Kyle Collection.” In it, you can get shirts, hoodies, mugs, and more with the picture and a caption: “I Made Kyle Choose Baseball.”

With moves like this, it’s no wonder that Miller made Schwarber look foolish. Given how his career has gone, though, it’s probably a safe guess that Schwarber has no regrets about how things have gone for him.

H/T Deadspin

Pete Carroll: Michael Bennett may need knee surgery

Michael Bennett Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett is still feeling the effects of a right knee injury suffered in Week 6 against the Atlanta Falcons, and now there’s talk that he may need to go under the knife.

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said on Friday that there’s a possibility Bennett, who has already been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints, will require surgery on the knee.

“There’s a possibility, yeah,” Carroll said, per Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. “It popped up during the game so we’re not sure (when it happened). Nothing showed after the game after Atlanta and there was a little something we found in the MRI so we’re gonna make sure we know what we’re doing and take good care of him. So something happened during the week it looks like.”

Bennett, 30, managed to play 81 snaps during the team’s 6-6 tie with the Arizona Cardinals in Week 7, one week after suffering the injury on a cut block by Falcons left tackle Jake Matthews.

The ex-Pro Bowler is one of the cornerstones of Seattle’s front seven, so losing him for any significant period would be an incredibly tough pill to swallow.

Bob Arum claims he nearly brought about deal to bring Nick Saban to the Giants

Nick Saban

Famed boxing promoter Bob Arum claims that he nearly helped the New York Giants make a rather spectacular coaching hire during the offseason.

According to Arum, connections he had with both an agent and Giants chairman Steve Tisch led to him nearly setting up the hire of Nick Saban to replace Tom Coughlin.

Arum told Keith Idec of the Bergen Record that Nick Khan, an agent at Creative Artists Agency and friend of Arum, had called Arum up saying his colleague, Saban’s agent, said Saban was interested in the Giants job. Arum, in turn, called his friend Tisch informing him of Saban’s supposed interest.

“I guess [Tisch] talked to [John] Mara,” Arum said, “because he called me back and he said, ‘Yes, we would be very interested. But we’re on a deadline. We’re about to hire somebody else,’ which turned out to be [Ben] McAdoo. ‘He’s got to get back to us in one day. This has got to be done in one day and it’s got to be confidential. If it is, it’ll be a go.’

“So I called Nick [Khan], who relayed it to his colleague at CAA. They came back and said, ‘Nick is delighted. Now he’s talking to his wife.’ They went so far as to contact real estate agents in New Jersey, for homes in New Jersey. Then Nick [Khan] called back the next day and said, ‘Call Steve. Tell him Nick can’t do it. His wife loves Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She doesn’t want to move, so Nick can’t take the job.'”

For what it’s worth, the story was corroborated in the New York Post by comedian Tom Arnold, another friend of Tisch. The Giants firmly denied it.

This is an odd one. Sure, Saban usually gets linked to at least one NFL job every single offseason, but Arum being the go-between even after Saban and the Giants were allegedly alerted to the mutual interest is strange. It makes for a fun story, though, and a fascinating what-if. Imagine Saban trying to handle Odell Beckham Jr. The possibilities are endless.

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