Shutdown Corner

  • Just before Combine, Pitt RB James Conner gets assurances he's cancer-free

    Shalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner 2 hrs ago

    As he visits with teams in Indianapolis next week for the annual Scouting Combine, Pitt running back James Conner can assure teams that he’s as healthy as possible.

    Via ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Conner “received a clean scan” on Thursday, meaning doctors did not find a reoccurrence of the Hodgkin lymphoma cancer he battled in late 2015 and into 2016. Conner retweeted Schefter’s post, giving tacit confirmation of the report.

    The 2014 ACC player of the year, Conner inspired his Panthers teammates as he worked out with the team during the offseason last year, despite undergoing 12 chemotherapy treatments. He continues to inspire – quarterback Mitch Trubisky, one of the top players at his position in this year’s draft and one of the players Conner is training with, posted a photo of the two on Instagram, announcing the news of Conner’s clean scans.

  • Gronk on Roger Goodell visiting Patriots: 'I don't even think he can even land in the airport'

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 4 hrs ago

    One fallout of the New England Patriots storming back to beat the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI is that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell likely will be compelled to visit Foxborough for the season-opening game in 2017.

    It’s something Goodell hasn’t done since the game that launched deflate-gate — the 2014 AFC title game there against the Indianapolis Colts — more than two years ago. Goodell’s two-year saga with Tom Brady culminated in Houston with the commissioner shaking the quarterback’s hand after his epic comeback.

    Goodell said before the Super Bowl that going to Gillette Stadium would not be awkward. But Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, appearing on ESPN, would not have the proverbial red carpet rolled out for his return visit. In fact, Gronk suggested that Patriots fans — who egged Goodell on during the Patriots for not visiting them previously — might physically prevent him from showing up to their house.

    “To tell you the truth, I really don’t think so,” Gronkowski said. “The fans are nuts, they’re wild, and they have the Patriots’ back no matter what. They have Tom’s back.

    Consider yourself warned, NFL security.

  • Why Chad Kelly was invited (and then uninvited) to the NFL scouting combine

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 15 hrs ago

    There’s a bit of an odd story brewing with a 2017 NFL draft prospect. And it already has reached NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, which doesn’t happen every day before a prospect enters the league, even as fairly well known as the player is.

    Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly, the nephew of Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly, put together a flashy but inconsistent college career in two years against the rugged SEC, even leading the conference in passing yards and beating Alabama in 2015. Even with character concerns and having suffered a torn ACL and meniscus late in the 2016 season, Kelly was one of the better senior quarterbacks in the country.

    Basically, he had put together a good enough resume after a circuitous path to warrant an NFL scouting combine invitation. And Kelly was invited — and then had his invitation later rescinded.

    Kelly’s agent wanted answers. Vance McAllister, who left the Louisiana House of Representatives to become a sports agent, reached out to National Football Scouting, which runs the combine, and its president, Jeff Foster, the man who called Kelly to let him know he wasn’t going to the combine anymore, for clarity.

    The new guidelines read:

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  • Cardinals and Cowboys to open preseason in Hall of Fame game (turf permitting)

    Shalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner 23 hrs ago

    Mark your calendars, y’all: the NFL (or a reasonable facsimile of it) returns in 160 days.

    The annual Hall of Fame game will be played on Aug. 3, and on Thursday, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced the two teams who will take part: the Arizona Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys.

    Both teams have a strong connection to the Hall’s Class of 2017: quarterback Kurt Warner, who led the Cardinals to their only Super Bowl appearance at the end of the 2008 season, and Jerry Jones, who bought the Cowboys in 1989, are members of the seven-man induction class.

    It will be the fifth time Arizona plays in the Hall of Fame game, and the sixth for Dallas.

    Last year’s Hall of Fame game, between the Green Bay Packers and Indianapolis Colts, was cancelled after the field was deemed unsafe. The turf had been painted for the game, and then covered with plastic panels because the stadium also plays host to the induction ceremonies; because the paint was not dry before the plastic panels were placed, the grass became hard and efforts to fix the surface were not sufficient.

  • Jameis Winston's elementary school appearance marred by misstep

    Shalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner 1 day ago

    Since being drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, quarterback Jameis Winston has been making an effort to rehab his public image.

    After his career at Florida State was marred by a rape allegation, accusations of stealing crab legs from a supermarket and a one-game suspension for repeatedly yelling a sexually-explicit phrase in front of other students on campus, it was necessary work.

    As part of that work, Winston was at Melrose Elementary School in Tampa on Wednesday, and while trying to encourage the male fifth-graders in the room, he put down the girls. His intentions are up for debate, but it doesn’t come off well, and in print looks worse.

    Winston was teaching the students his “rules for life.” The third rule is, “I can do anything I put my mind to,” and when some of the students were not saying it back to him enthusiastically enough, Winston tried a new approach.

    “All my young boys, stand up. The ladies, sit down,” Winston said, via video posted by the Tampa Bay Times.

    Uhhh … a misstep, but easy to skip over if that’s the worst of things.

    Except, it wasn’t.

  • Tom Brady face plants while skiing, Patriots fans pass out momentarily

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 1 day ago

    Tom Brady isn’t an old man at 39 years old, but in football terms he’s practically a senior citizen.

    So New England Patriots fans probably didn’t see the humor in Brady posting an Instagram video of what appears to be him skiing, and then wiping out “Wide World of Sports” styleafter a small jump.

    If you french fry when you're supposed to pizza, you're gonna have a bad time! Trust me!!!

    A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on Feb 23, 2017 at 6:45am PST

    Patriots fans will be happy when the offseason is over, not just to have football back, but so Brady will stop with the extreme sports.

    More on Yahoo Sports: • Teammate trolls All-Star Kyrie Irving’s flat-Earth beliefEx-NFL star fired over wife’s Instagram picTom Brady posts ‘suspect board’ in jersey heist caseDanica Patrick opens up about concussion battles

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  • Colin Kaepernick meets with 49ers, GM John Lynch says evaluation is 'very much fluid'

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 1 day ago

    The San Francisco 49ers need a quarterback. Colin Kaepernick needs a place to play. So it would make sense for the two sides to at least hear each other out.

    Kaepernick met with new 49ers general manager John Lynch and new coach Kyle Shanahan, according to CSN Bay Area. While it has been expected that Kaepernick will opt out of his contract (or the 49ers cut him), the meeting at least indicates there’s some chance Kaepernick returns.

    Lynch kept that door open when he talked to KNBR about the meeting.

    “We did have a great discussion and I think Colin left excited and we left excited,” Lynch said. “And I think as Kyle and I believe, the evaluation process is still very much fluid. We’ve only been on the job a couple of weeks and I can tell you we both very much enjoyed being around Colin, and he seems like he’s in a real good place.”

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  • Former first-round pick Fernando Bryant says he was fired from high school job for social media post

    Shalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner 2 days ago

    Fernando Bryant, a cornerback who played 10 NFL seasons, was fired from a job as head coach of a Georgia high school football team less than three weeks after signing his contract.

    The apparent reason? A three-year old photo on his wife’s Instagram account.

    A first-round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 1999, Bryant signed a contract to be the head coach of Strong Rock Christian School, but not long after the school asked him to resign, allegedly after parents raised issues about his past on social media.

    Talking to WXIA, Bryant said that when he refused to resign, he was fired.

    Bryant’s termination letter specifically mentions social media as the reason he was let go, but he said he was never told which specific post or posts led to the school’s decision.

    Bryant said the photo with the bottle was taken at an event for the event’s sponsors.

    Along with speaking to Bryant extensively and checking into his social media, Bryant said the school also spoke to Amber and looked at her social media accounts.

  • Should the Browns trade for Jimmy Garoppolo? We debate it from all sides

    Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner 2 days ago

    It seems like a good bet Jimmy Garoppolo will be traded somewhere this offseason.

    The New England Patriots are working on an extension with Tom Brady, and he looks like he might make good on his promise to play into his mid-40s (he turns 40 before next season). Garoppolo’s contract runs out after next season. The Patriots can’t really pay $20 million or so to franchise tag Brady’s backup, they can’t give Garoppolo a starting-quarterback-level contract with Brady still in place, and one would have to imagine Garoppolo would want to go somewhere else and start. Either the Patriots trade him now, or they’ll likely lose him for nothing a little more than a year from now.

    The Cleveland Browns are emerging as the most logical trade partner. They need a quarterback and that 12th overall pick looks just about right for a trade.

    But is it wise? Our Shutdown Corner writers Shalise Manza Young, Eric Edholm and Frank Schwab did a little role playing, speaking from the perspective of Garoppolo, and both sides the Browns front office will have to consider before making the trade:

    Who wouldn’t want me over Mitch Trubisky? (No offense, Mitch.)

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  • Tom Brady posts 'suspect board' in regard to missing Super Bowl jersey

    Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner 2 days ago

    The investigation is ramping up. Tom Brady has compiled and posted a list of possible suspects in the missing Super Bowl jersey caper — a jersey, may we remind you, that is apparently worth a truckload of dough.

    Brady’s list contains the names and photos of nearly a dozen potential jersey thieves, including one woman and one man who were verified previously to have been at NRG Stadium the night of Super Bowl LI.

    Have a look:

    Hey @edelman11 "Ya suspect, yeah you! I don't know what your reputation is in this town, but after that s@?# you pulled, you can bet l'll be looking into you!"

    A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on Feb 22, 2017 at 8:39am PST

    Yes, Brady is at it again. In case this quarterbacking thing doesn’t pan out, he has a future as someone’s social media director. We honestly had no idea that the publicly staid Brady could be this freaking amusing. Like, it’s legitimate funny, not just “oh, let’s politely laugh at the Robo QB’s attempts at humor” grade of unfunny.

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