Shutdown Corner

  • Could Brexit sack the NFL's London expansion plans?

    Jackie Bamberger at Shutdown Corner 1 hr ago

    LONDON — The NFL is committed to London. At least, for now.

    Sunday, the city will host its third regular-season game of the year, this one between the Washington Redskins and the Cincinnati Bengals at Wembley Stadium. The league has sent teams across the pond for 10 straight seasons now, and recently brokered a 10-year deal to host at least two games per season at Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium when it opens in 2018, in addition to the two games per year at Wembley it will host until 2020.

    Fan support is strong too, with the league’s U.K. fanbase standing at 13 million, according to internal polling.

    The next logical step, it seems, is to place a franchise here, something commissioner Roger Goodell and Co., have been keen to do. But the U.K.’s shocking vote to exit the European Union this past summer, better known as “Brexit,” may have thrown a serious wrench into the league’s long-term expansion efforts.

    “The cost of doing business in places like the U.K. will be increased. That will impact your bottom line and also your incentive to move and thrive in those areas.”

    “The way I would say it is, Brexit itself is like a quarterback sack,” Williams said.

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  • Russell Wilson's injuries are even worse than we thought

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 3 hrs ago

    It’s clear that Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson isn’t healthy. You cantell that just from watching him.

    But Wilson’s injuries are even worse than we knew.

    Two new tidbits came out on Thursday. First, on the knee injury, Wilson told Seattle media he wasn’t supposed to play for four weeks. Wilson, with the help of a live-in therapist, never missed a game. He suffered the injury in Week 3.

    And now there’s a new injury. Wilson has a pectoral injury he’s dealing with. At least he maintained a sense of humor about his maladies.

    “The great thing is my ankle is no longer listed,” Wilson said, according to the Seahawks’ transcripts, referring to a high ankle sprain he suffered in Week 1.

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  • NFL interviewed Cowboys' Ezekiel Elliott on prior domestic violence allegations

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 4 hrs ago

    The NFL and its investigators reportedly spoke with Dallas Cowboys rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott about the allegations of domestic violence made against him by his ex-girlfriend, according to USA Today’s Tom Pelissero.

    Amid backlash over the handling of the Josh Brown case, commissioner Roger Goodell says the league is serious about domestic violence. But this investigation is likely about the league covering its bases even after the Columbus (Ohio) City Attorney’s Office said in September that prosecutors would not pursue charges after reviewing the evidence in the case.

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    So far, Elliott has been one of the standout rookies of the season, leading the NFL in rushing yards and yards from scrimmage. The Cowboys have a big challenge Sunday night in a key game against the Philadelphia Eagles in Dallas.

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  • Report: Bears head coach John Fox told friends he's 'done' with Jay Cutler

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 9 hrs ago

    The Chicago Bears appear to be done with Jay Cutler after this season. That is what the Chicago Tribune is reporting, citing two independent sources who say head coach John Fox is “done” with Cutler after this season.

    The report states that Fox has told friends that he’s done with Cutler, whose contract has no guaranteed money past this season. The Bears easily could part ways with him in 2017 — either by trade or simply by releasing him — with no significant hit to the salary cap.

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    Cutler said this week of Fox putting him back into the lineup: “He doesn’t have a choice.” That about says it all.

    Currently, the Bears have no developmental quarterback — sorry, Barkley. They have not drafted a QB higher than the fifth round since 2005 and passed up several would-be candidates in the past two drafts.

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  • DeMarcus Ware credits Broncos fans for getting his Super Bowl ring back

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 9 hrs ago

    Denver Broncos fans had DeMarcus Ware’s back.

    When news broke that Ware’s Super Bowl 50 ring was stolen as the Broncos played on “Monday Night Football” against the Houston Texans, Broncos fans went to work, spreading around pictures of the thieves on social media and calling in tips to police. By Wednesday, Ware’s ring was back.

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    “I tell you what, when you mess with one of the Broncos Country’s own, they spread it out everywhere,” Ware said, according to the team’s transcripts.

    ALERT: The suspects in this investigation have been apprehended and the stolen property has been recovered. Thank U, #Denver for your help!

    — Denver Police Dept. (@DenverPolice) October 26, 2016

    — D-Ware (@DeMarcusWare) October 26, 2016

  • Judging by merchandise sales, Cowboys are still America's Team

    Shalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner 9 hrs ago

    The NFL Players Association has released the most recent list of the most popular players in the NFL, at least by merchandise sales, and judging by the list, the Dallas Cowboys are still America’s Team.

    The Cowboys have not only the top player, injured receiver Dez Bryant, but in total saw four players in the top 11: after Bryant, quarterback Tony Romo, who has yet to play a snap this season, is No. 6, tight end Jason Witten is No. 10, and rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott is No. 11.

    The rankings encompass merchandise purchases made between June 1-August 31 of officially-licensed items from over 80 companies.

    Earlier this year, Bryant became the first non-quarterback to reach the top of the list, when he passed the New England Patriots’ Tom Brady. Brady is No. 2 in this most recent ranking, and his teammate Rob Gronkowski is No. 7.

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    Here’s the full top 50 (sales from June 1-Aug. 31, 2016):

  • Raiders' Aldon Smith reportedly applies for reinstatement to the NFL

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 9 hrs ago

    A 27-year-old pass rusher who should be in the prime of his career is trying to salvage his life in the NFL.

    Aldon Smith, who is suspended by the league following a series of substance-abuse violations, is applying for reinstatement according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The Oakland Raiders have retained Smith’s rights during the suspension, and GM Reggie McKenzie confirmed Smith’s intentions in the report.

    Smith’s one-year suspension is set to end Nov. 17.

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    “Aldon is doing well,” McKenzie said on Wednesday. “That situation is going to be totally up to the league because he’s been in the program and they’ve monitored him. It’s up to [NFL commissioner Roger] Goodell to say yah, nay or when. And he could say no to everything. … That part is out of our hands.

    “The league will take everything into consideration and Aldon will have to meet with Goodell at some point.”

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  • No 'Grandpa' here: Aaron Rodgers denies story of his first meeting with Brett Favre

    Shalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner 10 hrs ago

    The new book, “Gunslinger: The Remarkable, Improbable, Iconic Life of Brett Favre” by Jeff Pearlman is getting strong reviews. But at least one person mentioned in the book says a story involving him and Favre is false.

    Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers took over for Favre as the team’s starter in 2008, but the Packers drafted Rodgers in 2005, so the two – the legend and the future – were teammates for three years.

    According to a story in “Gunslinger”, excerpted on Bleacher Report, their first meeting didn’t go too well:

    “Good morning, grandpa!”


    Rodgers surely recognized the mistake as soon as the words emerged from his lips. But there was no taking it back. “Brett couldn’t believe that,” said Craig Nall, the backup quarterback. “It was like, ‘Grandpa? Who the hell are you?’”

  • NFL draft: Jim Harbaugh predicts whopper Michigan draft crop in 2017

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 11 hrs ago

    Last spring, Buckeyes Nation took over Chicago on NFL draft weekend. Could we see the Maize and Blue dominate Philadelphia next spring?

    As rivals Ohio State and Michigan veer toward a crash course on the football field in Columbus on Nov. 26, their programs also could be vying for draft bragging rights next spring. The Wolverines are loaded with talent in a draft class whose depth could rival the Buckeyes’ 12-man group from this past spring.

    “I don’t know how many guys we’ll get drafted but it’ll be double digits,” Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh said on the Inside Michigan Football radio show on Monday, via the Detroit Free Press. “That’s awesome.”

    If that happens, could we then please see Harbaugh recreating the Rocky scene at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, as the city is set to host the draft next spring? It might boost the Day 3 TV draft ratings just a bit.

    Overall, this is a loaded Michigan class overall but one whose star power is not as strong as what Ohio State rolled out this spring.

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  • Bills say if Patriots run through their pregame drills again there will be another fight

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 1 day ago

    The first time the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills played each other this year, the most memorable highlight might have been a pregame skirmish.

    The Bills are promising more fireworks if the Patriots don’t show more respect for their pregame warmups.

    Football doesn’t have a ton of unwritten rules, but one is that you don’t run through the other team’s warmup drills before the game. Patriots rookie quarterback Jacoby Brissett and rookie receiver Malcolm Mitchell ran too close to the Bills’ drills, safety Robert Blanton shoved Mitchell, and then Bills defensive backs Nickell Robey-Coleman and safety Aaron Williams joined in. Blanton, Robey-Coleman and Williams were fined.

    The Bills say that if the Patriots do the same thing before Sunday’s game, they’re ready.

    Bills cornerback Stephon Gilmore agreed with Robey-Coleman, that if the Patriots do something similar the Bills would retaliate.

    “Of course,” Gilmore told New York Upstate. “You’re not going to let anybody push you around, you know what I’m saying? But we have to play smart.”

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