Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports 1 day ago
In the end, the NFL's fatal cracks in the deflate-gate case against New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady weren't new developments. They didn't develop days or weeks ago. Not months ago. Indeed, this case ultimately was undone years ago, when the league allowed guys like quarterback Brett Favre and kicker Jay Feely to coast on previous infractions.
• In this case, the NFL argued that obstructing justice is a suspension-worthy offense. But Berman determined that the league acted improperly on two fronts. First, the league had never suspended a player for previously obstructing justice, and most notably only fined Favre for it. Second, the league never notified anyone that there was a change in the penalties for obstruction. Judge Berman determined that the NFL acted improperly when it failed to tell Brady or anyone else that this was the new norm.
More NFL coverage from Yahoo Sports:
Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports 1 day ago
As a high-ranking AFC personnel man went over the dynamics of September roster churn in the NFL, he noted a few impressive rookies he'd seen this preseason. Asked to handicap rookie of the year possibilities, he pounced on a name.
"Have you seen Frank Clark?" he asked, noting the Seattle Seahawks' rookie defensive end. "He's going to hammer some guys, with the way they'll use him. He's one [for defensive rookie of the year]."
He paused to fully load his voice with sarcasm, then continued.
"I'm sure the [NFL] would be excited to hand a trophy to Frank right now."
The sarcasm was accurate. Clark has a red-flagged history that the NFL-at-large is not seeking to embody these days. Booted from the University of Michigan football team for an alleged domestic assault (which also featured a cringe-worthy police report), he was nonetheless plucked in the second round by the Seahawks. Some teams had removed him from their board for the incident. Others slid him down. Seattle? Well, the Seahawks have taken some character risks before, so Clark was in the franchise's draft wheelhouse. Seattle was hardly alone in rolling the dice.
Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports 4 days ago
Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden finally reached for his round peg on Monday, and the most obvious fit in the NFL finally came to fruition. Quarterback Kirk Cousins was tabbed as the No. 1 quarterback, leaving his square counterpart Robert Griffin heading back to the bench – and likely out of town sometime in the next five months.
There's no more dodging reality now. Whether it's in the coming weeks or in February, the Redskins will likely cut him prior to becoming locked into Griffin's $16.15 million option at the beginning of the 2016 league year. If that happens (more like when it happens), Griffin's next step will be vital. The remainder of his career will likely depend on it.
With that in mind, there is one team that would work very well for Robert Griffin, and four that would be another disaster …
The bad fits (as things currently stand)
1. Philadelphia Eagles
2. San Francisco 49ers
3. Houston Texans
4. Dallas Cowboys
The team that fits
The Kansas City Chiefs.
Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports 5 days ago
ARLINGTON, Texas – If you were to pick one moment when the Dallas Cowboys' running back picture seemed to crystalize, it was this: Darren McFadden going around left end early in the second quarter, giving Minnesota Vikings safety Andrew Sendejo a little bit of the pepper shaker with some left-and-right shoulder wiggle, and then whooshing by in another gear.
That looked like the guy the Cowboys were hoping would show up in camp this offseason. Give that guy some holes, pray that his health holds up, and enjoy the ride, however long it lasts.
"What you saw was vintage McFadden," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones would say later that night. "You saw that acceleration."
But did we see the team's No. 1 running back?
Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports 9 days ago
HOUSTON – Almost a month ago, when the Houston Texans' coaching staff lined up the annual training camp fitness test, the sun resembled a spotlight hanging in a coal furnace. To breathe was to embrace the sensation of drinking a glass of hot water.
For an NFL staff, there is purity in this moment. It strips a roster down to reality. The guys who spend their offseason living in discipline will shine. The ones who don't? They wheeze. They vomit. They fail. Texans coach Bill O'Brien lives for that kind of truth. It shows him, right up front, the players he can lean on. And on July 31, he had his eye on Vince Wilfork.
"Passed [it] in about 98-degree heat in Houston," O'Brien said, noting Wilfork needed only one attempt at the team's punishing series of 20 40-yard sprints. "It was hot as hell at 10 o'clock in the morning.
"He's a pro's pro."
Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports 10 days ago
Two preseason games – six offensive series – and we're already at critical mass with Robert Griffin III.
For the past few days, the narratives have fallen into a 2014 greatest-hits groove. The Washington Redskins are at a turning point at quarterback … Griffin is still coddled and self-important … Head coach Jay Gruden has shown remarkable patience … The offense is demonstrably better under (choose one, or both: Kirk Cousins/Colt McCoy).
Can we just file the divorce papers already?
Seriously, this is old. The arguments are stale. The barely subtle finger-pointing inside the (growing) pro-Gruden and (dwindling) pro-Griffin media factions is reaching exhausted levels. Everyone has their camp and their talking points and we've all heard them before. So why are we still here? Why is Griffin still starting? And when can we move on? Because this franchise is more likely to cave in on a nickname change than it is to pay Griffin the more than $16 million he is due next season.
The four biggest?
This looked like an awkward fit for everyone involved.
Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports 15 days ago
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. – When Andy Reid dispersed the 15-play script for the Kansas City Chiefs' first preseason game last week, a smile crept across the face of wideout Jeremy Maclin. The franchise's biggest offseason acquisition looked at the first play of the game and saw Reid reaching straight for some vertical hot sauce.
The first order of business in Maclin's debut? A deep ball from quarterback Alex Smith to his new No. 1 receiver.
And he could think of no better way to hoist Kansas City's flag in the 2015 season.
"It was just letting them know," Maclin said. "It was saying, 'Hey, we can do this.'"
In the weeks since, dispatches have been coming out of this camp in all forms of media, like Bigfoot sightings from the wilderness: I saw the Chiefs throwing the deep ball today. And lest anyone doubt them, Reid took the opportunity to punctuate this expected staple of the offense, dialing up Smith to Maclin right out of the preseason gate. Much to the liking of his quarterback and wide receiver tandem.
The Chiefs will just keep trumpeting the expanding relationship between Smith and Maclin, and patiently try to fit all the other pieces into place.
Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports 17 days ago
Finally, we know the loser in Tom Brady vs. the NFL: brevity.
For all of those who hoped for a short battle and swift compromise, believing that logical heads had to prevail, you've been crushed. Barring some last moment epiphany between a gang of attorneys who are becoming richer by the day, Brady vs. the NFL will be placed in the hands of U.S. District Court Judge Richard M. Berman on Wednesday. And no matter what Judge Berman decides (or when he decides it), Brady's travel plans made the only declaration that matters. He left New York on Tuesday with no settlement. And no settlement means no end in sight.
Consider each outcome and what it is likely to inflict:
But winning appears to be more important than spending for these two sides. And maybe for that reason alone, deflate-gate will drag on far beyond Wednesday.
Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports 23 days ago
Wednesday came and went, and the NFL and Tom Brady remained deadlocked. No settlement. No ceasefire. No discernible movement to dim the lights on the circus. Unless the NFL changes a key stance in the coming days, that won't change.
From the NFL's corner of the ring, the key to unlocking the settlement is Brady having to "embrace that he shares responsibility" for the deflation of footballs prior to last season's AFC championship game, according to a source who spoke to Yahoo Sports on Wednesday. Further, an ESPN report said the league office insists Brady must "accept" the findings of Ted Wells' investigation. But the source said Brady is refusing, and that New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft remains "100 percent" behind his quarterback's stance.
Brady apparently sees any culpability as an admission of guilt. And agreeing to any form of "guilty" is off the table.
Charles Robinson at Yahoo Sports 24 days ago
Is this where we start reminiscing about the New York Jets' serene run under Rex Ryan?
Don't rule it out for the most cursed NFL franchise in the infancy of this season. Use another descriptor if you prefer: plagued, snake-bitten … all have applied this preseason. But none has been as stupid or embarrassing as Tuesday, when the Jets announced they lost starting quarterback Geno Smith for possibly as long as 10 weeks with a broken jaw. A loss that didn't occur in a game or practice, which would be unfortunate but understandable. No, this came off the field and at the hands of the Jets themselves, specifically the fist of 2014 sixth-round pick Ikemefuna Enemkpali, who allegedly knocked Smith out of action with a shattering locker room sucker punch.
"We are down [a quarterback]. It's something we're dealing with. The team knows it's something we don't tolerate, something we can't stand. You don't walk up to another man and punch him in the face."