More confusion regarding the new helmet rule

When asked by Dom Cosentiono of to provide the official language of the new helmet rule, the NFL provided the Unnecessary Roughness rule, as revised. After PFT provided its two cents on the apparent expansion of the Unnecessary Roughness rule to prohibit ramming, butting, or spearing with the helmet in a necessary and/or non-rough way, the NFL provided to PFT a separate codification of the new helmet rule.

So, yes, it’s got the potential to be a mess. In large part because it already is a mess. And depending on how the rule is applied, it could be the biggest single change to the game of football since the legalization of the forward pass.

And if you think that’s an exaggeration, give me one rule that has had a greater impact on every aspect of the game than the new helmet rule could have.

The 2004 Madden iteration of Vick was so good that it earned the No. 1 spot in’s list of the top players with a 99-overall rating in the game’s history, despite never actually earning a 99-rating.

It’s true. Michael Vick received no 99 overall ratings from EA Sports,’s Nick Toney writes. And yet … he’s hands-down the greatest ‘Madden’ player of all time. His 2004 avatar was invincible. He had the arm strength to hit Peerless Price on deep route after deep route or Brian Finneran over the middle (just flip the play because Vick’s a lefty). He had the speed and acceleration to roll around the field with immunity.

Michael Vick is difficult to contextualize in Falcons history because he’s polarizing for a number of reasons, Rank writes. But his six-year run in Atlanta was amazing. The playoff win at Green Bay. The overtime walk-off against the Vikings. And, of course, Madden ’04. He’s the reason why there are so many Falcons fans in the world. So, you could either be a flaming star like Nirvana, or be a mediocre band that churns out a bunch of terrible records. Like Nickelback. Seriously, Vick or Steve Bartkowski’s on-the-field career? Thought so.

NFL may limit NDA use

Much has been written and said about so-called Non-Disclosure Agreements in recent months, primarily in the realm of presidential politics. But it was the existence (and violation) of multiple NDAs that directly contributed to the decision of Panthers founder Jerry Richardson to sell the team. And it’s possible that NDAs could soon have limited use by NFL franchises.

In Thursday afternoon’s hey-its-not-Friday-so-the-media-can’t-call-it-a-bad-news-dump announcement that Richardson will surrender $2.75 million of his multi-billion-dollar windfall for selling the team as a fine, the Commissioner points out that not-really-independent investigator Mary Jo White recommends a prohibition against the future use of NDAs to limit reporting of potential violations or cooperation in League investigations under the Personal Conduct Policy.

That’s the ultimate problem in this specific case. Richardson had current or former employees threaten litigation regarding alleged workplace misconduct, and he settled the claims without advising the league office of the allegations. And if the recipients of the settlement proceeds hadn’t violated the NDAs, no one would have ever known.

That’s all by design, according to NFL Network, which reports that Winston and the NFL had a negotiated settlement that saw Winston accept his three-game suspension without appealing, and offer an apology to the woman, but not actually admit any guilt.

And that raises the obvious question: How sincere can an apology really be if it’s part of a negotiated settlement that includes no admission that he actually did what he’s apologizing for?

When Winston was first accused publicly, he left absolutely no doubt about his stance, releasing a statement that said, The accusation is false. Does Winston stand by that statement? Does he now admit that he groped the woman? Is his statement that he has stopped drinking alcohol intended to suggest that he was drunk and doesn’t remember the incident?

Steelers rookies get acclimated to life in the NFL, and in Pittsburgh, before training camp

Steelers rookies get acclimated to life in the NFL, and in Pittsburgh, before training camp More The National Football League used to have a Rookie Symposium which was meant to help rookies get acclimated to all facets of life in the league everything from living in a new city by yourself, earning more money than many have ever seen in their entire lives, and how to handle the success and fame which accompanies being an NFL star.

Chances are most, if not all, of those teams won’t go 5-7 this year, but that’s really not the point. No matter what, the potential herd has been thinned a bit by the Pac-12’s decision, and Rutgers has moved up the hypothetical board, if just by a few spots. Rutgers ranked 16th nationally in APR among teams with four and five wins on the penultimate weekend of last season. But two of the teams ahead of the Scarlet Knights were Pac-12 members. So Rutgers would have been 14th if the Pac-12 rule was applied then.

Associated Press in December that the political support for the casino project does not exist, and even Gural and Hard Rock say it could be five years or more before that might start to change.

New Jersey won a U.S. Supreme Court case in Ma y clearing the way for all 50 states to legalize sports betting if they desire. Delaware was the first state to do so following the ruling; New Jersey was close behind.

As we start thinking about where Trout will end up in his career, that’s going to matter. It’s not just that he has outhomered Bonds through 1,000 games, or that he has more WAR, but that he’s a year younger than Bonds was at this point. According to ZiPS projections, Trout has an estimated 25 percent chance of breaking Bonds’ WAR record, and a 10 percent chance of breaking the home runs record. Beyond those, Trout has outside shots at breaking the records for career runs or hits. MillerDaily notes: Pitcher and hitter rankings for Friday

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady may have teased a time frame for his eventual retirement while posting a comment on Instagram.

ESPN shared a statement Brady made to Oprah Winfrey about how he’s contemplating wrapping his NFL career now more than he has in the past and thinks he’s seeing that there’s definitely an end coming, sooner rather than later.

In the comments section of the post, Brady wrote Cuarenta y cinco, which translates from Spanish to 45.

This wouldn’t be the first time Brady threw out age 45 as the point at which he’ll seriously consider hanging up his cleats for good.

After a decent rookie season, the 10th overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft saw his level of play go off a cliff. And that was only half of it. Apple feuded with coaches and teammates so much that, per’s Jordan Raanan, safety Landon Collins called him a cancer.

Apple, who attributed his behavior to family problems, told Raanan that he’s no longer the same player or person.

Because obviously there was stuff that happened, he said. I want to continue to work on myself, communicate better, not let certain stuff get to me. Continue to strive and get better every day.

However, with a new offensive line coach in town in Frank Pollack, there have been some signs of improvement from Ogbuehi. Geoff Hobson of the team’s website went so far as to single out the 6’5, 310-pounder as enjoying a revival under the new coach.

Of course, minicamps and OTAs are a time of year when most reports are glowing. It’s hard to judge how well linemen are playing when they aren’t even really hitting one another. And with Cordy Glenn on the left side and Jake Fisher on the right, Ogbuehi appears slated to be the team’s swing tackle.

But if he wants more than just short-term prove-it deals in Cincinnati or elsewhere, he’s going to need quite the rebound year in 2018.

Because right now, Ogbuehi’s a bust and then some.

No NFL general manager wants to watch a first-round pick fall flat. And yet for all the players here, that’s exactly what has happened. In their NFL careers, each has failed to stay healthy and/or failed to perform.

Road to the College World Series: NCAA baseball tournament bracket, scores, schedule

The regionals of the 2018 NCAA baseball tournament began the road to the College World Series, which ends in Omaha, Neb.

The initial field of 64 college baseball teams began play at 16 regional sites around the country. The top 16 teams were seeded by the selection committee and will host a regional of four teams each.

The Bay Ridge, NY, native — who now lives in Gramercy, an easy commute to Rockefeller Center — is a pop-culture addict and a true comedy nerd. His warm-up act, Seth Herzog, is a veteran comic Fallon knew from a Lower East Side variety show. Some people are like, ‘Dude, the show was great, but especially the warm-up guy!’ I’m like, yeah, he’s OK. But I did a whole song and dance, I was covered in whipped cream going down a slide like a human tongue — that wasn’t entertaining?

One of the complaints about American football in London has been that the type of grass pitch that soccer teams use does not have the proper footing for American football. That results in players slipping and sliding, and the middle of the pitch getting torn up. Nobody is happy with that.

So the NFL is investing in a field that is specifically designed for American football. That field will be used for the first time on October 14, when the Seahawks face the Raiders.

Knox, whose father, Kevin Knox Sr., played wide receiver at Florida State and had two games with the NFL Cardinals in 1994, also will work out for the Cavaliers (eighth pick) and Bulls (seventh). Trading back a few notches, though, could be the best avenue to snare Knox.

Boston-based journalist Chris Mannix revealed on a podcast that Boston’s Kyrie Irving talked about playing for the Knicks with his former Cavaliers teammates, which has apparently alarmed the Celtics because he’s a 2019 free agent.

Jets have limited public practices this year

A staple of the slow time is the release of training-camp practice schedules. And this year’s training-camp practice schedule for the Jets will make fans feel like it’s still the slow time.

Via, the Jets will have only three public practices at the team’s facility. Due to scheduling conflicts, the team also won’t practice or scrimmage on Long Island, at Hofstra.

The reduced access comes in part from the team’s decision to conduct joint practices with Washington, at the team’s training camp in Richmond, Virginia.

The White House statement, which has also been rebuked by ex-Eagle Torrey Smith, claims that the Eagles did not stand proudly for the national anthem last season, and also suggests the Super Bowl champions have not honored military members appropriately.

Jenkins took exception to the characterization of the team not standing for the anthem, as he and other team members raised their fists but never knelt in protest during the regular season. Cornerback Ron Brooks knelt for the anthem before a preseason game prior to being cut.

He started 41 of 49 career games at Old Dominion, making a school-record 233 receptions for 3,193 yards and 30 touchdowns.

Ross signed with the Colts as an undrafted free agent on May 18. He participated in the team’s rookie minicamp on a tryout basis before being signed.

He played 18 games in two seasons at Kentucky, making 21 catches for 296 yards and one touchdown.

Long also called the NFL’s new national anthem policy clumsy, and said the move to ban protest from the sidelines was driven by fear of a diminished bottom line.

A group of Eagles was still planning on traveling to Washington before the official cancellation, as players had arranged to do charitable work in the area instead of visiting Trump.

Those plans were scrapped after the White House statement, and the team was back at practice on Tuesday.

A.J. Bouye reflects on how his father’s tough love molded him into an NFL star

A.J. Bouye reflects on how his father’s tough love molded him into an NFL star More Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback A.J. Bouye took the hard route to the NFL as an undrafted player who has found his way to stardom. However, climbing the ranks of the NFL after going undrafted out of the University of Central Florida was likely made easier by Bouye’s childhood.

Indeed, Brooks Koepka had just won, after out-dueling Johnson throughout Sunday’s final round. The duo entered Sunday tied for the lead at 3-over – along with Tony Finau and Daniel Berger – but Koepka fired up a 2-under 68 to close out the victory, while Johnson managed only an even-par afternoon.

The win makes Koepka the U.S. Open’s first back-to-back champion since 1988 and 1989, when Curtis Strange took the titles at The Country Club and Oak Hill.

Oh, and for those curious: Wayne Gretzky was nowhere to be seen. But we’re guessing he knew the score.

That curious answer clashes somewhat with Brady’s previous assertions that he sees himself playing until he’s 45 years old  and Pats owner Robert Kraft’s claim last year that Brady assured he had six, seven years left in him.

As long as I’m still loving it. As long as I’m loving the training and preparation and willing to make the commitment, Brady explained when asked by Oprah if that end could be as far away as his age-43 or age-45 season. But it’s also [that] I think what I’ve alluded to a lot in the [‘Tom vs. Time’] docuseries was there’s other things happening in my life too. I do have [three] kids that I love, and I don’t want to be a dad that’s not there driving my kids to their games. I think my kids have brought a great perspective in my life, because kids just want the attention. You better be there and be available to them, or else they’re going to look back on their life and go, ‘Dad didn’t really care that much.’

As demonstrated by these comments and the end of Tom vs. Time, Brady remains torn between playing as long as his pliable body will allow and being fully there for his family.

His wife, Gisele Bundchen, made headlines when in the finale of the Facebook Watch series, she said, These last two years have been very challenging for him in so many ways. And he tells me, ‘I love it so much and I just want to go to work and feel appreciated and have fun.

Aaron Donald absent from start of Rams minicamp

The Los Angeles Rams began mandatory minicamp Tuesday with a large hole on the defensive line.

All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald, the league’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year, was not present when the Rams took the practice field, NFL Network’s Steve Wyche reported.

Donald, 27, has become one of the NFL’s premier players since entering the league in 2014 as a first-round pick (13th overall) out of Pittsburgh. He has 205 tackles (148 solo), 57 sacks, nine forced fumbles and eight passes defensed in four seasons, and was selected as a first-team All-Pro in three straight seasons.

I wouldn’t say so much, man, he said. I think a lot of that’s mental. As you get older, you get smarter and you figure out ways to maybe better ways to take care of yourself, the way you eat or the way you sleep or the way you work out and the way you prepare for a game on a daily basis. I feel great physically. I really do. I’ve been fortunate to have be healthy for the most part for the last several years, stay on the field. For me, that’s the main thing. Just staying healthy.

Names can be just as harmful as sticks and stones. Just ask Cassidy Warner.

The 10-year-old Scranton, Pennsylvania, fourth-grader exhibited bravery beyond her years this March, posting a video on Facebook without her parents’ knowledge, detailing her struggles with being bullied. She does not speak in her video, instead holding up white sheets of paper with handwritten descriptions of bullying she has endured at school. She writes that classmates have spit on her, pulled her hair and spilled milk on her jacket. They’ve pushed and kicked her and threatened her life, and whenever she sits at a lunch table, other kids leave.

Her sadness was not limited to her own experiences. She also hoped her video could affect change in the world, ending her post with a message that read, This is my story… Stop bullying! Not just for me for other kids too. Please share my story!

Tom Brady reportedly expected to attend Patriots’ minicamp along with Rob Gronkowski

The offseason drama that has infected New England is nearing its end. A day after star tight end Rob Gronkowski revealed that he plans to attend the Patriots’ mandatory minicamp, which begins on Tuesday, the MMQB’s Albert Breer reported that star quarterback Tom Brady is expected to attend mandatory minicamp as well, as expected. Both players the team’s two most important players skipped voluntary OTAs.

A separate question asked, Do you think that NFL players who kneel during the national anthem are patriotic or unpatriotic?Forty-one percent of people said that kneeling is unpatriotic, but 42% selected, Kneeling is not related to patriotism.Only 14% said kneeling is patriotic. San Francisco 49ers players Eli Harold (57), Eric Reid (35) and Marquise Goodwin (11) kneel during the national anthem before a game against the Houston Texans in Houston on Dec. 10, 2017.

Long was questioned about Goodell’s silence in the wake of Trump’s comments about the Eagles in recent days.

He didn’t say anything? Long asked. Hey, I don’t speak for the commissioner, if he doesn’t want to stand up for the players, that’s not really my business.

As Trump and the White House made attacks on the Eagles for their approach to a canceled White House event celebrating the team’s Super Bowl LII victory. It also touched on their supposed proclivity for kneeling during the anthem — which nobody on the team did during the regular season or postseason — Goodell or the NFL have yet to comment on the situation or come out in support of the Eagles or any players.

The White House also accused the Eagles of abandoning their fans.

Goodell’s silence on the matter doesn’t concern Long, he said.