Giants practice scuffle escalated quickly, helmet swung

The Giants spent a lot of resources on new offensive linemen this offseason, so rookie coach Pat Shurmur couldn’t have been pleased when one of them nearly got brained and another one limped off after a practice scuffle that got out of hand.

Practice fights are the kind of things some coaches will tolerate, but this one clearly crossed a line, and Shurmur was smart to get it broken up quickly.

The truth always comes to the light, he said Wednesday, expressing vindication.

Anderson, who led the Jets in receiving yards (941), touchdowns (seven) and targets (114) last year, could still face discipline from the NFL for violating it’s personal conduct penalty. But not until this other case is resolved, at which point he will meet with the league.

I don’t think [I’ll be suspended], Anderson said.

As for his current standing with the Jets, Anderson said he was not told this is his last chance, and coach Todd Bowles didn’t address a similar question, deferring to the team’s policy on not talking about player incidents. Bowles did express optimism Anderson is ready to learn from his prior mistakes.

We’re confident in Robby’s ability and the person he is, and we’ve talked to him, so we’ve put that to bed on our end and we’ll go from there, Bowles said.

I’m all for it, you know what I mean? Elliott said, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. A lot is asked from the running back for the Dallas Cowboys, a lot has been asked for me the past two seasons, and I think I’ve had some great strides this offseason getting ready to carry that workload this season.

A heavy workload won’t be anything new for Elliott, who averaged over 24 carries a game last season after getting averaging 21 during his rookie season. That work came with more certainty in the receiving corps than the team enjoys this season, so it might be a good bet to take the over in what’s shaping up to as an Elliott-centric attack in Dallas.

I sat down next to him, he was extremely helpful with me, Hernandez said. He talked to me, he tried to coach me up, he tried to help me out a lot, so I love the guy. I’m glad he’s here, I’m glad he’s right there next to me in the meeting room. I’m glad he’s my teammate.

The coolest and best player names from the 2018 MLB Draft

The 2018 MLB Draft is a three-day event featuring 1,214 picks in 40 rounds. With so many picks, we’re bound to find some great names. And, oh boy, this year did not disappoint.

We don’t know whether these guys will ever make a name for themselves in the major leagues, but they have made themselves a name among the best names of the 2018 MLB Draft.

If Avila sees the Cabrera injury as the cue to consider the season over, he can start offering in earnest these half-dozen players to contenders:

I don’t know if [the attention] surprises me, Tebow said, who is hitting .245. To be honest, I don’t know if I really pay too much attention to it. Just try to go about my business and do what I came here to do.

Fleming, though, ended up spending the final five weeks of the 2017 season on Tampa Bay’s practice squad and was with the team this offseason.

The explosive receiver, who curiously scrubbed his social media feeds of Atlanta-related content earlier this year, has been working out with polarizing Hall of Famer Terrell Owens while forgoing team activities.

The fact that he’s running around with Terrell Owens has the front office uneasy, Falcons reporter D. Orlando Ledbetter said on ESPN Radio on Monday, per Pro Football Talk. Ledbetter added that the relationship between player and team is in a bad place right now.

The 29-year-old Jones, a five-time Pro Bowler, reportedly wants a new contract and recently skipped mandatory OTAs that the Falcons were anticipating he would attend.

Owens, who publicly declined his invitation to the Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony, continues to get into playing shape, with a little help from Jones. On Monday, the former Bengals, Eagles and Cowboys receiver posted a video of his 40-yard dash, as Jones clocked in the time on the sidelines.

Giants’ Odell Beckham works out at minicamp

That’s indisputable, and no Giants fans would argue with O’Hara’s assessment that it’s been hard to sit and watch that happen. Still: How much of that falls on Manning himself?

This is going to be one of those rare instances in sports where we’re about to get an answer, because even the staunchest Manning defender over the past few seasons has to agree that the excuses are gone.

Poor offensive line? The Giants spent $77 million and used a second-round draft pick to completely overhaul it.

No betting would be allowed on high school sports, on college events taking place in the state, or any event involving a New Jersey college team anywhere.

A group of pro sports leagues criticized the bill Thursday, saying it does not include basic protections to mitigate risks to the integrity of sports and to ensure fairness for New Jersey consumers.

With Mara front and center, the NFL passed a new policy last month requiring players on the field pregame to stand and show respect for the flag during the national anthem. It eliminated kneeling as a form of protest but left players with the right to stay off the field during the anthem.

NFL rumors: Does Patriots’ Julian Edelman’s 4-game suspension for PEDs help the Jets?

Things have not gone well for the New England Patriots in 2018.

First, they lost Super Bowl LII to the Philadelphia Eagles, 41-33.

But that night, Lutty said Dykstra did call 911. He called 911 and told everybody I was kidnapping him.

Lutty says he was in fear for his life, slammed on the brakes to knock Dykstra off balance and sped to the police station while fighting off Dykstra.

Much of the footage of Dykstra shows police trying to ascertain if he had a gun in his possession, to which Dykstra repeatedly replies he did not have one.

And, he adds, I’m a convicted felon, I can’t own a firearm.

Officers didn’t locate a weapon, but police said they found cocaine, MDMA and marijuana among Dykstra’s belongings

NBA won’t be changing its anthem policy

More than a week after the NFL clumsily changed its national anthem policy in a way that managed to take a bad situation and make it worse, the NBA won’t be changing its own rules and regulations regarding the anthem.

As a result, the problem lingers. As does the NFL’s reluctance to negotiate the kind of conclusive resolution that would happen if the league and the union would agree that players will stand for the anthem. All because the NFL doesn’t want to give something up to get the outcome it so desperately needs.

He spent all of last season on injured reserve in Carolina due to a back injury. Simonson signed with the Raiders as an undrafted free agent out of Assumption College in 2014. He appeared in four games for Oakland that season before being waived the following summer.

He bounced between the Panthers practice squad and active roster for much of the next two seasons, appearing in 14 games. The Giants waived defensive back Aaron Davis with an injury designation to clear a spot for Simonson on their roster.

Hey Matthew, what about the increased emphasis on running the ball with new backs LeGarrette Blount and rookie Kerryon Johnson?

We’re just trying to get better, man, Stafford said. We’re just trying to figure out who fits where, and just trying to call plays.

Fans are hungering for football tidbits even in early-June, and there’s fascination with the new direction. No team is obligated to be forthright or glib, but this feels like a strategy, and maybe it’s a safe one for a new staff, to avoid any bold proclamations.

Browns bump Denzel Ward up to first team

capitals-224The Browns have been adamant that Tyrod Taylor will be their starting quarterback in Week One while Baker Mayfield begins his NFL career as a backup, but their other first-round pick may not have to wait for his chance to run with the first team.

T.J. Carrie and Terrance Mitchell worked as the first-team cornerbacks during an OTA practice open to reporters last week, but Denzel Ward was alongside Carrie when team drills got underway on Tuesday. Coach Hue Jackson said he’s seen Ward getting a little bit better every day in practice and that’s why he got bumped up in the rotation.

The series continues this week breaking down the safeties.) FRISCO, Texas – If you follow our coverage leading up to the NFL draft, you should have an idea of how I feel about the next top safety on this list.

It’s great and we’ve always had a great relationship, Brady said. I’ve been here for a long time and I love this team and I love this organization and I love playing quarterback for them. I loved it last year and I’m having fun now, so that’s obviously what’s most important.

All is well, nothing to see here. Except not all is well in Foxboro on Thursday, thanks to the news of Julian Edelman ‘s four-game suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances, information that was not yet public when Brady spoke to reporters. Unlike Edelman’s preseason injury, New England will enter training camp knowing it won’t have Edelman for the first quarter of the season (barring a successful appeal on the part of Edelman), adding importance to offseason preparation.

Then again, Hernandez seems more agreeable off the field than he does on it.

The second-round pick has lived up to the cranky billing bestowed on him by general manager Dave Gettleman. He scuffled with starting inside linebacker B.J. Goodson at the end of his first career practice snap as a member of the first-team offense — and he hasn’t slowed down.

Delanie Walker would welcome Dez Bryant to the Titans

capitals-278Dez Bryant has been looking for work for nearly two months. One veteran pass catcher has a possible answer.

Titans tight end Delanie Walker would be happy to have Bryant in Tennessee.

[W]e’ve got some good, premier receivers on our team, Corey Davis, Rishard Matthews, Walker said Saturday at Michael Crabtree’s youth football camp in Dallas, via the Dallas Morning News. It’s another element if they was to bring him to the team. If he can help us out, gladly I would welcome him with open arms.

Regardless, with offseason programs nearly over, Bryant will face a real challenge to learn an offense and earn playing time if/when he signs. And the later he agrees to terms into training camp, the harder it will be.

Free-agent running back Chris Johnson’s chances of getting another NFL gig have potentially gotten a little slimmer.

The man once known as CJ2K, who in his prime was regarded as one of the best running backs in the game, faces a misdemeanor battery charge in Florida.

Via WFTS in Tampa, Johnson entered a plea of not guilty through his lawyer on Thursday. He allegedly assaulted a valet at The Lodge, a restaurant on South Howard Avenue in Tampa’s Hyde Park section.

The alleged victim suffered a bloody nose and a cut lip. Parking-lot surveillance cameras captured there incident on video. Johnson was identified by the owner of the club, and the victim separately picked Johnson out of a lineup.

Indeed, 97 percent of Manziel’s throws in college came out of sets with at least three receivers on the field, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. That number dropped to 70 percent over two seasons with the Cleveland Browns.

Say goodbye to your friendly neighborhood bookie

Today is the day that bookies throughout America have dreaded.

On the surface, those who have been taking illegal bets on sporting events should be relieved that the primary impediment to legalization has been cleared. But few bookies ever get busted for taking bets; other illegal activities and/or income tax irregularities tend to be the things that get those who serve as the mom-and-pop “house” the wrong kind of jackpot.

Once gambling is legal in a given state, the state will have a clear incentive to protect its state-run gambling program by keeping people from placing bets elsewhere. Which will give the state something it never previously had. Namely, the state will have a clear financial incentive to wipe out competition.

In 2017 the Ravens ranked 29th in passing yards. Flacco threw 18 touchdown passes and barely eclipsed 3,000 yards. The front office acquired multiple assets at wide receiver and tight end.

Now, there’s no excuse for a pedestrian year throwing the ball. The Super Bowl XLVII champion and MVP still has a stronghold on his position, but two more down years may force the organization to re-evaluate the starting spot in 2020. Until then, Jackson will hold the clipboard.

He played left tackle for LSU the past two seasons but battled a knee injury last season, costing him six games.

Johnny Manziel is returning to the pro football ranks this summer.

The former Cleveland Browns quarterback signed a two-year contract with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League on Saturday, the team announced . The Tiger-Cats held Manziel’s exclusive rights and were considered his best option back into football after he was out of the sport for two years.

We’re excited to add Johnny Manziel to our roster, particularly getting it done now so that Johnny can join his new teammates and the coaching staff for a full training camp, Tiger-Cats coach June Jones said. “We feel like we’ve got an excellent group of quarterbacks, and the addition of Johnny only improves our football team in our pursuit of the ultimate goal, which is to win a Grey Cup Championship.”

Don’t get Baffert wrong, either. It’s not like he plans to put his feet up and leisurely watch the horses circle the track Saturday evening when the 143rd running of the Preakness Stakes takes place.cardinals_048

Cody Kessler was ready for move, happy to be in Jacksonville

The Browns moved on from Cody Kessler after the 2016 season, so the quarterback admits he was ready to move on from Cleveland after last season.

The Browns traded him to the Jaguars on March 28, giving Kessler a fresh start.

“My agent was talking to them, and obviously they got Tyrod [Taylor] and what happened last year, I think I didn’t really have a future there,” Kessler told Mike Kaye of First Coast News. “I told my agent I wanted [another] opportunity…. It was kind of a long process through it all and obviously, I’ve only been in the league for two years, so I didn’t really know how it worked, but [my agent] just told me, ‘If that’s what you want to do, we’ll work on it and see what we can do.’”

Daily fantasy sports. Three full seasons have passed since daily fantasy crashed headlong into every sport, none more visibly than the NFL, which again defined it as legal and acceptable just like in conventional fantasy. The states that challenged their legality changed their tunes long ago.

“John has led two different franchises to the Super Bowl and he has a great football acumen, just the kind of experience and perspective we were looking to add to our NFL studio coverage,” senior coordinating producer Seth Markman said in the statement. “In addition to his football smarts, John is also a great storyteller and he has a fun personality, so we expect fans to see a different side of the former coach in his new analyst role.”

Fox was fired at the end of last season after the Bears finished the regular season 5-11, bringing his overall record in Chicago to 14-34 during his tenure. He is 133-123 in 16 years as head coach.

Even when they won their only Super Bowl with Drew Brees and Sean Payton, the Saints were a one-dimensional team. Gregg Williams ran an — ahem — aggressive defense, but it wasn’t necessarily a good defense, just an opportunistic one. Last year things magically changed in New Orleans, thanks in large part to a historically good draft class that featured Marshon Lattimore and Marcus Williams, first- and second-round picks respectively, step up in a big way and improve the defensive side of the ball.

Among the biggest changes: The covering team can’t get a running start before the kick; all but three players on the return team must line up within a 15-yard “setup zone” beginning 10 yards from the spot of the kick; and all those players at midfield can’t hit each other until the ball hits the ground or is caught by the receiving team.cowboys_073

Cleveland cleanse: Browns coach Hue Jackson to jump in Lake Erie

Before diving into the 2018 season, Hue Jackson will plunge into Lake Erie.

The Browns coach will uphold the promise he made following his first season in Cleveland and jump in the lake on June 1.

“It’s just been a good mix. Guys have been here so long that they know what they need to do and what the team needs to do to find success,” said Stephenson.

Carlson said the veterans have to guide the younger players a bit differently.

“You have different conversations, there’s a different feel in the room. But ultimately it comes down to trying to be a positive influence on the kids. Show them work ethic, that sort of thing. But get them engaged, show them what it takes to play in this league. Everybody comes in with a boatload of skill, but it’s about grooming the personality to fit with the game,” he said.

Of course, bringing a bit of personality to a team mired in postseason heartbreak can be a good thing, too.

Bryant has had a hard time finding any team willing to sign him. Although he was once among the league’s elite receivers, his production has declined of late, and he hasn’t always been known as the easiest player to get along with, which could scare some teams off. He still has a couple months before training camps open to find a team.

“For me, it’s normal,” said Jose Calderon, who is Spanish. “I’m used to it. In Europe, everybody does that. Every team goes looking the exact same way every time to play. Depending what is your team, you can go all with the same sweats, you can go all with the same suits, but usually everybody dresses to travel the same.”

The Cavs aren’t as strict with the dress code as many European teams — they don’t wear the suits on the plane, for instance — but even the times they do wear the suits has taken some getting used to for a few players.ravens_142

New helmet rule may have far more limited impact than language would suggest

In March, the NFL owners adopted a broad, ominous rule that generally prohibits lowering the helmet to initiate contact. If enforced as written (which, frankly, all rules should be), it would result in a dramatic impact on the game.

As mentioned during Wednesday’s PFT Live, the NFL needs to get its act together, its story straight, and its messages consistent and understandable on this rule, as soon as possible. It’s one thing to implement rules aimed at trickling down to youth football and, in turn, saving it. It’s quite another to break pro football along the way.

And with a potential nationwide proliferation of legalized gambling coming very soon, the last thing the NFL needs is another vague, ambiguous, and arbitrary rule that will provide conspiracy theorists with fodder for thinking that the fix may be in, once the flags start flying — or not — during games.

Freeman, 32, signed a three-year deal with the Bears before the 2016 season. But injuries and suspensions limited him to 13 games in two seasons.

He played only one game last season, making 10 tackles.

After the league handed him a 10-game suspension, Freeman said he was dealing with a head injury and experiencing memory loss.

Freeman made it to the NFL from Division III Mary Hardin-Baylor via the Canadian Football League. He played six NFL seasons, totaling 647 tackles for the Colts and Bears. He spent three years with the Saskatchewan Roughriders before the Colts signed him in 2012.

Today’s episode has a pair of interviews, plus plenty more. Conversations include one with Jets G.M. Mike Maccagnan, and one with Ian Rapoport of NFL Media.

The second interview lasts a solid 40-45 minutes, primarily because I wanted to keep Rapoport on the line long enough for him to have to hang up on me abruptly. Alas, it never happened.broncos_050_809bc2c864b8ac8d-180x180