Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports 13 days ago
When this whole deflation mess started in January, New England Patriots star Tom Brady called it "ridiculous." Five months later, he has another chance to prove that.
That's essentially what Tuesday is all about, when Brady will arrive in New York and settle into a room with a herd of lawyers and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Suspended four games and standing to lose $1.88 million, Brady will have his opportunity to mount a vigorous appeal. On what exactly does Brady's future hang? It's chiefly going to be a high-stakes edition of show-and-tell for the quarterback, according to multiple sources familiar with the case.
Show the NFL the communication records that it previously requested. Tell the NFL about his relationship with Patriots equipment assistant John Jastremski, and why it suddenly became so intense after the AFC championship game. There will be many points that Brady and the NFL will argue, but the consensus among sources is that these two will be at the top of the agenda.
With that in mind, sources say the crux of the appeal will be argued on a handful of key points. Among the most important …
Brady's failure to comply with records requests
Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports 16 days ago
PHILADELPHIA – When the last Philadelphia Eagles minicamp practice of the offseason ended Thursday and a line of media members curled toward quarterback Sam Bradford, he looked as nimble as anytime on this rainy afternoon.
Jogging through cameras and notepads without breaking stride, he trotted through double glass doors and left the final pressing June questions hanging in the air.
What's next for you this offseason? When you come back, are you competing for the starting job?
Caught in Bradford's wake, training camp rival in-waiting Mark Sanchez slid in from behind and answered both.
1. What now? More work and more film.
2. Ready to fight for the starting job? "Absolutely. 100 percent."
That second answer – the fight – is the main event for these Eagles over the next 10 weeks. Yes, the defense has been retooled, the offensive line is in flux and there is a dizzying combination of running backs. But in terms of pointing the franchise compass, those are all sub-coordinates.
[ThePostGame: Herschel Walker: I could still play in NFL]
What does that mean?
Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports 16 days ago
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. – This all felt familiar, watching Rex Ryan circle a nasty, terrorizing swarm of defenders and think, that might be the best defense in the NFL – then look across the field and wonder, which quarterback is going to screw this up.
Blame Josh McCown. He is not on the Buffalo Bills' roster, and that might be the biggest problem this franchise currently has. We'll get to this issue in a second. Let's spin it back for a moment to that defense, and, well, film sessions in the rest of the AFC might convene in panic rooms this season.
Watching the Bills unit Wednesday, even without its three best defensive backs, summoned these thoughts: Buffalo's defensive line will get as much quarterback pressure as anyone in the NFL; Ryan is working with a better unit than anything he ever molded with the New York Jets; and if healthy, this defense should turn offenses over a lot.
As Ryan said Wednesday with a long smile: "It's going to be fun."
When the question was posed on Wednesday whether this was a team built to hand the ball off a lot and win a lot of 14-10 games, Ryan raised an eyebrow.
Encore? Odell Beckham Jr.'s stardom faces hurdles in form of hamstring issues, more sophisticated defensesCharles Robinson at Yahoo Sports 18 days ago
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Since the champagne corks in Odell Beckham Jr.'s rookie season started popping, it has been hard to hear anything else. Whether it's the historic rookie receiving numbers, Pro Bowl, offensive rookie of the year or "Madden" video game cover, you can't go far without finding someone toasting one of the greatest rookie receiver seasons in league history. And there's the signature career moment: Beckham's spine-bending catch against the Dallas Cowboys, which has sparked an onslaught of one-handed homages on the Internet, each seeking to outdo the last.
This is the Odell Beckham Jr. upside. And it was a fun ride. But this June has seemingly given us a closer look at the price of that rare athleticism. On Tuesday, that look was through a glass window of the New York Giants' practice facility, as Beckham ran light sprints on the first day of minicamp.
As Giants head coach Tom Coughlin put it, "We don't have our head in the sand. We know the guy has an issue. I think the training room is well aware of that."
"Whatever the medical people tell me is what we do," Coughlin said.
Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports 25 days ago
As rookie seasons go in the NFL, it was something like a teenager flunking a driving test by sideswiping every car in a DMV parking lot. Only after the wreckage comes to a halt do you realize the keys should have never been handed over in the first place.
This was Johnny Manziel's 2014 season. And his offseason, for that matter. This is why the Cleveland Browns quarterback needs a sophomore reboot more than any other second-year player in the NFL.
Looking back, Manziel's accomplishment last season has amounted to little more than a highlight reel for those who were thirsting for his failure. If you didn't like the cocky "money" gesture, or the high-profile social life or his arrogant "wreck the league" boast, Manziel's failure was a karmatic gift. But if you are the Browns, last season was a monumental letdown best swept away and forgotten forever.
Here are the rest of the AFC players looking for a sophomore reboot this season:
NFC 16 in need of sophomore season reboots: Lions TE Eric Ebron (and his troublesome drops) leads groupCharles Robinson at Yahoo Sports 26 days ago
In the spring of 2014, Eric Ebron triggered almost every NFL draft cliché about a hard-to-define player. He was billed as the contemporary tight end: big but fast, smooth but athletic, a tantalizing matchup problem tailor-made for this decade. And while he was a quizzical No. 10 overall pick by the Detroit Lions, all we could do was shrug and talk about possibilities.
One year later, arguably no other second-year player outside of Johnny Manziel needs a sophomore reboot more sorely than Ebron.
Not just because Ebron's first season was frustratingly subpar (which is a mild assessment). But also because Ebron's selection can now be framed within the confines of his draft class. And unfortunately for Detroit, Ebron was plucked in front of a group of players that has thrived. The seven picks after Ebron? They include the NFL's offensive and defensive rookies of the year (wideout Odell Beckham Jr. and defensive tackle Aaron Donald), two All-Pros (Zack Martin and C.J. Mosley) and three players who look like promising starters (offensive tackle Taylor Lewan, cornerback Kyle Fuller and linebacker Ryan Shazier).
Mike Williams, anyone?
In mid-March, when Cleveland Browns fans were brimming with excitement over NFL draft possibilities (two first-round picks!), a cruel photo from 2012 began to circulate. Passed around on social media, it was a sharp illustration of draft architecture gone terribly wrong.
On the left, head coach Pat Shurmur held up a newly minted Trent Richardson jersey, with the first-round running back at his side. On the right, general manager Tom Heckert stood shoulder-to-shoulder with his first-round quarterback, each hoisting a crisp Brandon Weeden jersey.
Less than two years later, all four of those men were gone. Shurmur and Heckert were fired eight months after that photo. Richardson was traded to the Indianapolis Colts after 17 games (for a draft pick that would essentially become Johnny Manziel), and then later released. And Weeden was cut after managing only 20 starts.
• San Francisco 49ers first-round wideout A.J. Jenkins went 511 days before catching his first pass in the NFL. He was traded to Kansas City and subsequently cut, getting picked up this offseason by the Dallas Cowboys.
As Dallas Cowboys fans tapped him on the shoulder or waved and reminded them how much they wanted their favorite homegrown running back to play in Big D, Peterson just smiled. There was no “it would be nice” to play for the Cowboys, or a “we’ll see.” Make no mistake, Peterson could have gone that route. These were things he said to a Dallas-area reporter from WFAA-TV while attending an NBA playoff game on April 28. Repeating them to his most ardent supporters on a Sunday afternoon? That would have been far easier than the “thank you” he handed out instead.
But the truth was, Peterson was already planning a return to the Vikings for Tuesday’s offseason workout. It sounded as if he already had his plane ticket purchased. On Sunday, a friend spoke to Peterson about getting an autographed football “when you get back to Minnesota.” Shortly before that, a member of his family talked vaguely about how it was nice to finally be getting all the offseason drama put to bed – in past tense. Really, all that was left was for Peterson to see some Cowboys fans face-to-face and escape without cruelly shining them on. And he aced that final test.
THE WOODLANDS, Texas – One of the biggest remaining offseason storylines in the NFL unassumingly walked over to a small set of bleachers on Sunday afternoon and slid into a front-row seat. Huddled between some blissfully unaware basketball fans, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson snuck a few hours of normalcy into months of drama and suspense.
Unbeknownst to most outside of the AAU girls basketball program that Peterson finances, he tucked into a gym complex on Sunday alongside hundreds of parents and fans. Arriving with his wife Ashley and uncle Chris Smith, Peterson had come to watch his AD Elite AAU team take on China's traveling prep squad, a nationally funded team that travels the globe while grooming players for the Chinese Olympic basketball system.
"It inspires some girls who might otherwise not have that," added Ashley Peterson. "You have to keep your grades up to be on the team, and some of them might not do that otherwise. It pushes them. And it's great that it's a girl's team. There are a lot of the boys' teams [in AAU] that get funding to travel, and sometimes the girls get left by the wayside."
Starting Thursday, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson could bolster the Dallas Cowboys. Not in a trade, not on a football field and certainly not in a Cowboys uniform. Instead, Peterson will play a featured role as legal fullback, with Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy tucked in and following right behind him. That's the path Hardy and the NFL Players Association will try to follow, as they attempt to squeeze through the hole Peterson punctured in the league's penalty system.
Whether that stands to reason will fall on Henderson, the same arbitrator who upheld the NFL's indefinite suspension of Peterson earlier this year, only to have that decision vacated by a federal judge. While the league's charges and the legal circumstances differ broadly from what Peterson went through when facing a child abuse charge, there is a key similarity in sanctioning that the NFLPA will argue on Hardy's behalf. Specifically, that for the second time, Goodell applied new personal conduct guidelines and penalties to a player for alleged acts that occurred when a prior system was in place.
The twist in all of this? Harold Henderson.