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Bengals re-sign Devon Still so he can pay for daughter’s cancer treatments

Devon-Still-daughter

If you pay attention to the NFL 365 days a year, you will probably hear the phrase “football is a business” anywhere between 50 to 10,000 times. Teams are constantly making cold-hearted decisions with the best interests of their business in mind, but there are always exceptions — even in football. Just ask Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still.

Still, a 2012 second-round pick out of Penn State, has not been able to focus enough time and energy on football throughout training camp and the preseason. That’s because his 4-year-old daughter Leah was diagnosed with Stage 4 pediatric cancer in June. As a result, the Bengals cut him.

[Previously: MLB player hits home run for cancer survivor]

However, releasing Still from their 53-man roster didn’t mean the Bengals were completely severing ties with the 25-year-old. In order to help him pay for his daughter’s treatments, the Bengals signed Still to their practice squad.

“I completely understand where the Bengals were coming from when they cut me because I couldn’t give football 100 percent right now,” Still told ABC 5 News earlier this week. They could have washed their hands with me and said they didn’t care about what I was going through off the field. It’s like a blessing in disguise for me.”

[For more heartwarming stories, click here]

As a member of the Bengals practice squad, Still’s family will receive full health coverage and he will be paid $6,300 per week. He’ll also have to travel far less than he would if he was on the active roster. The team has helped put him in position to help fight off Leah’s terrible disease.

“We’re going to go to battle with cancer,” Still said. “She’s willing to put up a fight to beat it.”

Fortunately, football isn’t always a business. There are exceptions to every rule.

Photo: Instagram/Devon Still

Wes Welker reportedly took Molly at Kentucky Derby

Wes Welker Kentucky Derby

Wes Welker was suspended four games by the NFL for violating the league’s drug policy after testing positive for amphetamines in May.

[Also see: Welker suspended four games by NFL for amphetamines]

Pro Football Talk reports that Welker took Molly at the Kentucky Derby. Molly is one of the nicknames for the drug MDMA, which is also commonly known as ecstasy. Molly is the same drug that led to Orlando Scandrick’s suspension.

Welker made headlines for his behavior at the Kentucky Derby. He won big and began handing out $100 bills to fans. Churchill Downs later said they accidentally overpaid Welker.

Michael Sam released by Rams

Michael Sam money gesture

The St. Louis Rams released Michael Sam as part of their final roster cuts on Saturday afternoon, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

While it had long been reported that Sam was on the roster bubble, his fate with the Rams will come as a surprise to people who watched the former Missouri star throughout the preseason. There were times when Sam did a great job of pressuring the quarterback, registering two sacks, two QB hits and four QB hurries on 133 preseason snaps.

Sam is slightly undersized for a defensive end and it not exactly a freak athlete, but many felt he had showed enough to earn a spot on the Rams roster. The fact that he does not play on special teams made it a tougher decision for the Rams. St. Louis will likely try to keep him on board as a practice player, but don’t be surprised if Sam finds a home elsewhere.

More Michael Sam coverage:
Video: ESPN reports on Michael Sam’s showering habits
Chris Long: Everyone but ESPN is over Michael Sam being gay
Video: Michael Sam sacks Johnny Manziel, flashes money sign

50 Cent opens up about relationship with Floyd Mayweather

floyd-mayweather-50-cent

For whatever reason, 50 Cent has launched a full-blown social media assault on Floyd Mayweather Jr. over the past couple of weeks. It started with 50’s spin-off on the Ice Bucket Challenge when he offered to donate a ton of money to the charity of Mayweather’s choice if Floyd could read one page of a Harry Potter book. The feud has snowballed from there.

The interesting thing about all this is 50 Cent and Mayweather used to be best friends. During a recent interview with Miranda Johnson of XXL Magazine, 50 tried to explain how his relationship with the champ went south.

“Floyd is one-dimensional,” he said, via Edward Chaykovsky of BoxingScene.com. “The Money Team concept is one-dimensional. We actually started pushing it during the recession. It was cool because his viewership was going up but it’s not actually the right message for me and who I am.

“So I started working with the United Nations and The World Food Program and Feeding America. Providing meals through the SK Energy Shots and that was at the same time because I started realizing that this is not the right concept of what you should present to the public.”

In other words, 50 decided that Floyd is too selfish. He said that Mayweather does things he doesn’t understand, which results in 50 becoming agitated and doing things in response — like posting this hilarious Manny Pacquiao meme mocking Floyd. However, 50 insists he loves Mayweather like a little brother.

“I don’t hate him. I love him, actually,” he said. “Entering the sport of boxing is a reflection of that relationship. He doesn’t make any money away from the sport of boxing. That tells you when he’s done fighting, he’s done period. I just try to encourage him to do things away from the sport…

“It’s pretty tough to digest the concept that we don’t spend money the same. He spends all of his money. He lives a richer lifestyle than we actually live day to day. In the end, it’s not a sustainable lifestyle. I’ll have to help him when it gets too tough. We’ve had conversations about this.”

Could this be why Mayweather recently welcomed Warren Buffett to The Money Team? Maybe he realized that he needs to explore other avenues for making money, especially since he is in his late 30s. I doubt he’s worried just yet, regardless of what Curtis has to say.

USC RB Anthony Brown calls Steve Sarkisian a racist on Instagram, quits team

Anthony Brown USC

USC senior running back Anthony Brown quit the program this week and went out with a blaze of glory.

Well, not exactly.

Brown called new Trojans head coach Steve Sarkisian a racist on Instagram Thursday morning and quit the football team.

Here’s the Instagram post and caption, which has since been deleted:

Anthony Brown USC Instagram

According to TMZ, Brown’s racist accusations stem from a meeting with Sark in the coach’s office Tuesday. Brown wanted to meet with the coach to find out where he stood with the team since he has been injured.

“When I walked in the room [Sarkisian] said, ‘You have the f**king guts to walk in here — coward.’

“The way he was talking to me … it was like a slave master talking to his slave.”

According to TMZ, Brown says Sark never used any racist words, but he felt the coach had a “racist” tone.

“I called a meeting up with this disrespectful guy!!! He called me a coward, all types of f**k words.”

“He stereotype my mom and dad. like he belittle me to another level.”

“I just responded Yes Sir and No Sir!”

“Never been treated like that before!! Don’t Wish it upon anyone! That’s who he is!”

Sarkisian responded to Brown’s accusations Thursday and disagreed.

“Quite honestly I’m shocked,” Sarkisian said to the media in response.

“It’s ridiculous. Any of you guys that know me, ask any of our players. That’s the furthest thing from the truth,” said Sark via ESPN reporter Arash Markazi. “I had encouraged him to play. I thought he could play. I didn’t want him to quit.”

According to the LA Daily News’ Scott Wolf, Sarkisian met with Brown Thursday to go over the running back missing rehab sessions.

Brown played both ways as a high school senior at Kaiser High in Fontana, Calif., and arrived on campus aiming to play running back for Lane Kiffin. He made the switch to cornerback and was a starter the past two seasons, but he was limited by injuries. He decided to switch back to running back for his senior season, but that did not go well — he was buried on the depth chart.

Lest you think this is a common sentiment among Trojans players, here’s defensive tackle Antwaun Woods defending Sark:

Overall it’s been a terrible week for USC in terms of media attention. First they had to deal with Josh Shaw fabricating a story about rescuing a drowning nephew, and now this. Oh, and they’re also getting picked on by the national media, too.

Josh Shaw lied to USC about drowning story, is suspended indefinitely

Josh Shaw USC Trojans

Josh Shaw on Wednesday admitted to USC officials that he lied about the story of how he injured his ankles. He has been suspended by the program indefinitely.

Shaw suffered two high-ankle sprains on Saturday and told USC the injuries occurred when he jumped off a second-story balcony to save a 7-year-old nephew from drowning in a swimming pool. USC publicized that account with a story published on their website Monday, complete with quotes from Shaw and head coach Steve Sarkisian.

A day after the heroic story went viral, USC began investigating the story more thoroughly. There were rumors that Shaw was not out in his hometown of Palmdale that night, but rather that he was involved in an incident with his girlfriend and may have injured himself escaping from her apartment.

[Previously: Police responded to scream at apartment of Josh Shaw's girlfriend]

“We are extremely disappointed in Josh,” said USC head football coach Steve Sarkisian. “He let us all down. As I have said, nothing in his background led us to doubt him when he told us of his injuries, nor did anything after our initial vetting of his story.

“I appreciate that Josh has now admitted that he lied and has apologized. Although this type of behavior is out of character for Josh, it is unacceptable. Honesty and integrity must be at the center of our program. I believe Josh will learn from this. I hope that he will not be defined by this incident, and that the Trojan Family will accept his apology and support him.”

USC also says Shaw now has Donald Etra as legal counsel. It’s unclear what he needs a legal adviser for, but it could be related to the alleged incident with his girlfriend.

Etra released the following statement on Shaw’s behalf.

“On Saturday August 23, 2014, I injured myself in a fall. I made up a story about this fall that was untrue. I was wrong to not tell the truth. I apologize to USC for this action on my part.

“My USC coaches, the USC Athletic Department, and especially Coach Sarkisian have all been supportive of me during my college career and for that, I am very grateful.”

Josh Gordon appeal denied, one-year suspension upheld

Josh GordonCleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon has been suspended for the entire 2014 season. The suspension ruling was officially upheld on Wednesday after a long appeal process.

“I’d like to apologize to my teammates, coaches, the Cleveland Browns organization and our fans,” Gordon said in a statement. “I am very disappointed that the NFL and its hearing office didn’t exercise better discretion and judgment in my case. I would like to sincerely thank the people who have been incredibly supportive of me during this challenging time, including my family, my agent, my union, my legal team, and the Cleveland Browns staff.”

Gordon had maintained that he failed his most recent drug test because of second-hand marijuana smoke. His attorneys also argued that a significant flaw in the NFL’s testing process resulted in Gordon testing positive. That argument is broken down in more detail here.

Gordon was suspended for the first two games of the 2013 season after testing positive for using codeine syrup as a recreational drug. He was then placed in the NFL’s Stage III drug program and has since had to pass 10 drug tests per month. The 23-year-old was also arrested for driving while under the influence in July, two months after his failed marijuana test.