close

NFL

[SPORTS] Everson Griffen ordered by Vikings to get mental health evaluation

Minnesota Vikings v Detroit Lions

The Minnesota Vikings informed Everson Griffen and his agent last week that the star defensive end would not be allowed back with the team until he underwent a mental health evaluation, according to a police incident report obtained by ESPN’s Courtney Cronin.

Les Pico, the Vikings’ executive director of player development, told police in Minnetrista, Minnesota, that team management sent Griffen and his agent the letter on Thursday, two days before an alleged incident involving Griffen at a Minneapolis hotel.

According to the incident report, Pico told police that Griffen had been “explosive, screaming and yelling” at the team facility and that he had been struggling in recent weeks. Vikings director of security Kim Klawiter told police that the team told Griffen not to play Sunday and to “go get his head straight.” When Griffen reported to the team facility for practice Saturday, he was sent home.

Even though the Vikings want Griffen to undergo the mental health evaluation, Pico told police that Griffen has not done or said anything that led the team to believe that he is a danger to himself or others.

Griffen, 30, is being evaluated at a Minneapolis-area hospital, according to the incident report. A league source told ESPN’s Josina Anderson that Griffen is “getting assistance on personal matters” and that the league is “comfortable he has a good support system around him.”

Pico told police that he intended to meet with Griffen on Saturday at Hotel Ivy, where Griffen had been staying. Pico told police that upon meeting Griffen at the hotel, the defensive end forgot why he wanted to speak to him and did not want to talk to him anymore.

According to a separate incident report obtained earlier Tuesday by ESPN, authorities from the Minneapolis Police Department were called Saturday to Hotel Ivy because an individual was threatening to shoot someone if he wasn’t allowed in his room.

Though his name was redacted from the Hotel Ivy incident report, sources told Cronin that the individual in question at the hotel is Griffen.

Following the incident at the hotel Saturday, Griffen allegedly attempted to break in to the home of teammate Trae Waynes before climbing into a stranger’s truck and being driven to his home in Minnetrista, according to an incident report.

In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, Waynes, however, denied that Griffen attempted to break in to his home.

“To clarify, there was no attempted break-in at our home and at no point did my family or I feel unsafe. We are friends with the Griffen family and we are here to support them in any way possible during these trying times,” he said.

Minnetrista Police then met with Griffen at his home. Asked by police why he went to Waynes’ home, Griffen said that “God made me do it” and later agreed to go to the hospital. The reporting officer placed a health and welfare hold on Griffen “based upon his actions and information I had acquired about him.”

While waiting for the ambulance to take him to the hospital, Griffen reportedly told an officer about people trying to kill him. Griffen also jumped out of the ambulance, saying he was in fear of someone shooting him, before ultimately being calmed and taken to the hospital.

The report notes that no criminal charges are forthcoming.

The defensive end did not practice last week and was listed as having a knee injury. The Vikings ruled him out of Sunday’s game against the Bills because of the injury, and coach Mike Zimmer said after the game that Griffen was not in attendance because he was dealing with a personal matter.

 

Sources told Anderson that a number of Vikings players and coaches were not aware of Saturday’s incident, even at game time on Sunday.

Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said Monday night in a statement that the team was “currently focused on Everson’s well-being and providing the appropriate support for him and his family.”

At a news conference Tuesday, Zimmer at first referred to Spielman’s statement before saying that “the only thing I’m really concerned for Everson about isn’t anything to do with football; it’s about him getting better.”

“He’s always been a really, really good model for us, and obviously he’s going through some tough times right now,” the coach added.

Zimmer noted that Griffen would not have been able to play Sunday due to the knee injury.

read more

[SPORTS] Competition committee wants to discuss increase in roughing the passer calls

nfl-logo_t755_h41eede71597dcfdd5baaf12238a5cc4fe6669e74

The NFL’s competition committee is scheduled to speak on a conference call next week about the proliferation of roughing the passer penalties, two sources told ESPN on Tuesday.

The sources said the committee is concerned about the frequency of these penalties and has voiced those concerns to the league office.

“There’s some concern that the officials are going a little bit too far with some of these calls,” one of the sources said.

Through three weeks, there have been 34 roughing the passer calls. Through three games last year, there had been 16, and through three games in 2016, there were 20.

Part of the issue is that the league this year made a “point of emphasis” of a 23-year-old rule that prohibits defenders from landing on the quarterback with their full body weight or driving him into the ground with excessive force. The NFL says that rule has been on the books since 1995 (Rule 12 , Section 2, Article 9) and that it made it a point of emphasis this season after hearing complaints from coaching staffs that it wasn’t being enforced. The competition committee issued the following recommendation this offseason:

“The Committee recommends that the Officiating department emphasize that the defender is responsible to avoid landing on the quarterback when taking him to the ground. The Committee also recommended that video be shown to players, coaches, and officials during the offseason demonstrating legal and illegal plays. Examples of rushing defenders getting their bodies to the side during the contact and avoiding putting their body weight on the quarterback must be included so that coaches can teach proper technique.”

NFL officials visited all 32 training camps, as they do every year, to explain rule changes and points of emphasis. Video examples were shown of what the league describes as proper and improper technique.

That specific call has been a big part of the early-season controversy, though part of the issue the competition committee has is with hits that don’t fit into that category — for example, the controversial Clay Matthews hit on Kirk Cousins in Week 2 that led to the Vikings’ game-tying touchdown. That play was put on the league’s weekly teaching tape as an example of how not to sack the quarterback, but one of the sources said the competition committee was confused about whether that penalty should have been called.

“I don’t recall ever hearing the terms ‘scoop and lift’ before,” the source said.

The sources both said they don’t expect any major changes this season, though discussions are ongoing and could eventually include officials.

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, who is on the competition committee, addressed the penalties in Monday’s game against the Buccaneers. There were 21 penalties called total, including four roughing the passer penalties.

“I’m an appreciator of the game, somebody that’s in this ecosystem that understands the entertainment of the fan makes it all go,” he said. “I just say it from that perspective — not as a member of the committee or anybody in a title position in any form or fashion, just somebody who loves football. That probably wasn’t a fun game to watch.”

read more

[MUSIC NEWS] Cardi B May Perform During 2019 Super Bowl Halftime Show If She Gets Her Own Set

index

The NFL has been catching heat for recruiting Maroon 5 for the 2019 Super Bowl Halftime Show in Atlanta, but rap fans will be happy to hear that it’s looking more and more plausible that Cardi B will join the band on stage.

According to TMZ, the NFL is in talks with Cardi B to perform her remix of “Girls Like You” with the pop-rock group for Super Bowl LIII. The only downside is that she wouldn’t have her own stage time, which may keep her from taking up the offer. She reportedly has other opportunities on the table around that time that would allow her to perform solo.

ast week, Billboard reported that the new mom, who just celebrated her one-year wedding anniversary with Offset, was already on the short list to perform at the event, though Travis Scott was also being considered. The NFL won’t confirm or deny the now-widespread rumors. XXL has reached out to Cardi’s publicist for a comment on the matter.

Both RZA and Waka Flocka Flame have spoken out for and against Maroon 5 performing at the Super Bowl, respectively. RZA reasoned, “If you gonna bring somebody like that, in these times, at least you got a guy like Adam Levine, who may bring out Drake for us.” Waka, on the other hand, feels an Atlanta rapper should be given the opportunity— himself included. “You’re coming to the biggest Black state in America,” he explained. “Why wouldn’t you let a Black artist perform and show the world that we’re progressing? That’s not cool.”

“Girls Like You”—which was recently sung by Stranger Things actress Millie Bobby Brown—also made headlines today (Sept. 24) as it finally reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. This makes Cardi B the first female rapper ever to have three No. 1 hits.

read more

[SPORTS] Cardinals RB David Johnson got paid

david-johnson-100416-usnews-getty-ftr_5pxjbytwpikl1ob2u09q9pu2t

The Arizona Cardinals running back signed a three-year extension Saturday, the team announced.

The deal is for $39 million, including $30 million guaranteed, and can be worth up to $45 million, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Johnson’s $30 million in guaranteed money is the third-highest figure among active running backs.

Earlier this week, he said he wanted his deal done as soon as possible.

“Every player wants to have a contract done and know that they have a contract,” Johnson said.

Now he does.

Johnson made it known this summer that he wanted a new deal. He held out of Arizona’s minicamp in June but reported to training camp. However, his impending contract was a topic every time he spoke publicly.

Johnson’s extension came the night before he was about to enter the fourth and final year of his rookie contract, which was worth $2.9 million. He was scheduled to earn $1.9 million this season.

His new deal doesn’t come without questions, however. Johnson, 26, has gotten injured in his past two games. He suffered a fractured wrist in Week 1 last season that forced him to miss the final 15 games. He also suffered a sprained MCL in Week 17 in 2016, which put a damper on an impressive season.

However, when Johnson was healthy in 2016, he was an All-Pro and Pro Bowler for the first time. That season, Johnson rushed for 1,239 yards and 16 touchdowns on 293 carries. He complemented that with 879 receiving yards and four touchdowns on 80 catches. Johnson led the NFL with 2,118 all-purpose years and 373 touches in 2016.

Johnson’s 32 touchdowns from scrimmage since 2015 are the second most in that span. Todd Gurley and Devonta Freeman each had 35.

Johnson was a third-round pick in 2015 out of the University of Northern Iowa.

Keeping Johnson under contract through the 2021 season will pair him with rookie quarterback Josh Rosen, whom the Cardinals drafted 10th overall this year, giving Arizona’s offense its foundation for the foreseeable future.

read more

[SPORTS] NFL not expected to implement new national anthem policy this season

nfl-900×506

The NFL is not expected to implement a new policy on the national anthem this season, league sources told ESPN, no matter how many meetings and conversations occur regarding the topic.

The new policy is going to be no policy — at least for this season, according to sources.

Too many people have stances too strong to figure out a compromise, although talks will continue.

Players began sitting or kneeling during the anthem in 2016 to protest racial inequality, police brutality and other issues. The protests have become a divisive topic of debate, and the NFL and players’ union still haven’t said whether players will be punished this season if they choose to kneel or demonstrate during the anthem.

The NFL passed a new anthem policy in May, but those rules were put on hold to allow the league and union to further discuss the issue.

read more

[SPORTS] Papa John’s says NFL protests are hurting sales

nfl

Papa John’s is blaming the NFL for hitting its bottom line.

The pizza company, which has been a league sponsor since 2010, sliced its sales and profit forecasts on Tuesday. And Papa John’s founder and CEO John Schnatter wasn’t shy about who he thinks is to blame for the “debacle”: Commissioner Roger Goodell.

“Leadership starts at the top, and this is an example of poor leadership,” Schnatter said on a conference call with investors Wednesday. “The NFL has hurt Papa John’s shareholders.”

NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart declined to comment on Schnatter’s comments.

NFL ratings, like the rest of network television, are in a slump. Through Week 7, NFL viewership is down 5% overall from the same point last year.

Though the ratings slump has many causes, some NFL fans may have tuned out because of the controversy over players kneeling during the National Anthem to protest police violence.

President Trump has called on fans to boycott the NFL if the league doesn’t crack down on protests. Last month, Vice President Mike Pence left an Indianapolis Colts game after San Francisco 49ers’ players took a knee during the anthem.

At a league meeting last month, Goodell and the NFL owners opted not to force players to stand during the Anthem.

The NFL may be part of the problems Papa John’s faces, but it’s far from the only one. The stock is down 24% this year, while competitors including Domino’s (DPZ) have performed well (Domino’s stock is up 12% this year).

Still, Schnatter put the NFL squarely at fault. He specifically cited the anthem protests as the root of the problem.

“This should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago,” Schnatter said. “The controversy is polarizing the customer, polarizing the country.”

In response, Papa John’s has pulled some of its planned commercials from NFL games this season. Schnatter said the NFL has promised to give the pizza company future spots in return.

“It indeed appears that National Football League strife may be weighing on same-store sales to some degree, with Papa John’s as the NFL’s Official Pizza Sponsor bearing some brunt of this issue,” Instinet analysts wrote in a research note Tuesday. “Sponsorship of NFL = No Free Lunch.”

Papa John’s still expects sales to increase by 1.5% in North America this year, but that’s down from its previous estimates.

Shares of Papa John’s (PZZA) tumbled 9% on the lowered estimates.

read more

[SPORTS] Fans upset by protests can get Sunday Ticket refunds

directv-logo-2017-e1492114801738

DirecTV is offering unprecedented refunds for fans who want to cancel their NFL Sunday Ticket package, if they inform the company that they are doing so due to the recent protests during the national anthem, a source confirmed.

Once the season starts, fans usually cannot cancel their subscriptions, but AT&T, which owns DirecTV, decided to change the policy due to the sensitivity of the issue. The price of the package, which allows fans to get out-of-market games, is about $280.

An AT&T spokesperson declined to confirm the cancellation policy and said the company would have no numbers to share.

The exemption was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Roughly 180 players chose not to stand for the national anthem in Week 3, while three teams — the Tennessee Titans, Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks — did not come to the sideline for the anthem. On Monday night, the Dallas Cowboys chose to kneel in unison before the anthem.

Players were emboldened after being challenged by President Donald Trump, who Friday night at a speech in Alabama, encouraged NFL owners to “fire” players who didn’t stand for the national anthem.

The stance, which Trump continued to assert throughout the weekend, had the opposite effect. Almost all of the league’s owners responded with statements affirming the players’ right to protest, as players and executives went as far as to coordinate their actions.

Not everyone was happy.

At some stadiums, fans booed the players. Others took to Twitter to say they were canceling their Sunday Ticket subscriptions.

An NFL spokesman says ratings overall were up 3 percent for Week 3 compared with Week 3 of last year, thanks in large part to the competitive game on Monday Night Football involving the Dallas Cowboys.The increase also was due to the fact that last year’s Monday Night Football game was competing against a presidential debate.

read more

[SPORTS] Odell Beckham Jr. practices, says he’s dealing with 6-8 week injury

s3-news-tmp-111981-odell_2–default–1280

Odell Beckham Jr. returned to practice in a limited capacity Thursday, revealing that he’s dealing with a six- to eight-week injury timeline for his ankle that has already cost him the New York Giants’ season opener against the Dallas Cowboys.

It has been 24 days since Beckham went down following an ugly preseason hit that bent his left leg inward on a Monday night against the Cleveland Browns. The Giants play the Detroit Lions this Monday night, exactly four weeks since the injury.
Beckham, despite testing the ankle before the Giants’ 19-3 loss to the Cowboys, wasn’t really close to playing Sunday because he hadn’t practiced all week.

“I don’t really know how realistic it was,” Beckham said. “As bad as I wanted to play, it just wasn’t there. It had been three weeks after the injury. It hasn’t even been a month since it happened. This is a six- to eight-week thing. Unfortunately, as much as I was trying my hardest to get there, it just wasn’t enough time.”

The Giants’ top playmaker is making progress as he practiced Thursday for the first time since the injury.

“It felt good. It felt good just to be back out there,” Beckham said. “Something about — it’s just when you put that helmet on, it’s a different mode. When you put the helmet on and go out there and warm up and when we got to individuals, I was running routes. I was feeling pretty good.

“So, like I said, we’re definitely taking major strides in the right direction. It’s a matter of time.”

Beckham was running, jumping and cutting better and more freely during practice Thursday.

It will be important to see how he bounces back for the Giants’ longest and most physical practice of the week on Friday, but there seemed to be optimism that he will play against the Lions.
“More than last week,” coach Ben McAdoo said. “We got him out there [to practice].”

It helps the Giants have the extra day since they’re playing Monday night. While his teammates had Monday and Tuesday off, Beckham concentrated on treatment those days.

Beckham again wouldn’t say whether he was dealing with a high ankle sprain. The Giants have simply called it an ankle injury and never detailed a timeframe for his return.

“I’m not a doctor, really,” Beckham said. “I don’t know how long it is. I’m just — there’s guidelines. It could be four to 12 weeks. You never know. Everybody heals differently.”

The rehab process for Beckham has been extensive. That doesn’t mean it has been enjoyable. He watched his teammates flop in the season opener against the Cowboys. The Giants had two first downs in the first half and finished with three points.

Beckham wanted to play Sunday. He wants to play Monday against the Lions, and said he’s doing everything possible to make it happen.
“I personally don’t want to get up at 6:30 every morning, get here for 7 o’clock treatment. The days we have off, I’m here at 10 o’clock for treatment. I go home, I do 5-6 hours of treatment,” Beckham said. “It’s boring. It’s not fun. Nobody wants to do that and definitely work all offseason and everything to get to Dallas and have to sit there. So I’m itching to get back on the field.”

He also warned he didn’t want this to be like his rookie season, when he returned early from a hamstring injury and suffered a setback.

“It’s like when I had the hamstring injury and you come back. You don’t know if it’s too early or not, and it gets reinjured and you set yourself back for another 5-6 weeks. I don’t have that luxury right now,” Beckham said. “So it’s a matter of getting to a point where you know you’re confident in it, it’s confident in itself and you can go. And you don’t have to worry about it.”

read more

[SPORTS] Matthew Stafford is the highest-paid player in NFL history

Matthew Stafford

The Detroit Lions and Matthew Stafford agreed on a contract extension Monday that is worth $135 million over five years and will make the ninth-year quarterback the highest-paid player in NFL history.

At a reported annual value of slightly more than $27 million, Stafford’s contract tops that of Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, who led the league for about two months after inking a five-year, $125 million pact in June.

The next NFL salary record could be set by Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins, who is playing on his second straight one-year deal after the team again used the franchise tag on him. Other quarterbacks who could be signing major contract extensions in the near future include Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Matt Ryan

read more

[NEWS] Colin Kaepernick issues Thank You to Participants of NYC rally

colin-kaepernick-kneeling-legacy-anthem-protests-civil-rights

Colin Kaepernick has thanked the participants of Wednesday’s rally in support of him outside NFL headquarters in New York, saying in a tweet that his “faith always has been and always will be in the power of the people.”

Kaepernick took to Twitter a day after more than 1,000 people, many wearing jerseys bearing his name, crowded the steps outside the league’s midtown Manhattan offices.

 

The protesters’ demands included that he be signed by the start of the regular season next month.

Kaepernick refused to stand for the national anthem last season while with the San Francisco 49ers to protest police brutality against black people.

Chants at the demonstration included, “Boycott! Boycott!”

Earlier Wednesday, the NAACP called for a meeting with the NFL to discuss the fate of Kaepernick, who was born to a white woman and a black man but was adopted by a white couple.

The civil rights organization’s interim president, Derrick Johnson, said in a letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell that it’s apparently “no sheer coincidence” that Kaepernick isn’t on a roster.

Goodell has said the league isn’t blackballing Kaepernick.

read more
1 2 3 28
Page 1 of 28