- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner30 mins ago
Patriots receiver Aaron Dobson has been on the bench for the last three games, deemed inactive by New England. The reason? According to the Boston Globe, he's been sent to his metaphorical room for backtalk.
The Globe reports that Dobson and Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels have had "at least one loud disagreement."
"There are concerns that Dobson, a second-round pick out of Marshall last year, is immature, though he isn’t the first NFL player with maturity issues,"the Globe writes, in what might qualify as the understatement of the decade.
Dobson had 37 catches for 519 yards and four touchdowns in his first season, but offseason surgery limited both his preparation and his camp time.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner57 mins ago
We now know the dates for the 2015 NFL draft. We just don't know where it will be held.
ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting that the NFL has settled on the dates for the draft, with a city likely to be picked soon.
Though the league is undecided between LA and Chicago, next year’s NFL Draft is now set for April 30-May 2, per league sources.
Fans hoping for an earlier draft will be moderately disappointed with the news. In 2014, the draft was held between May 8 and 10 because of a scheduling conflict at Radio City Music Hall. The NFL prefers not to hold the draft on Mother's Day weekend, so it made sense to move it up a week.
But the league also has wanted to take advantage of May TV sweeps, and the tremendous ratings this year pretty much solidified the idea of keeping it in May going forward. Previous drafts had been held in the third or fourth week of April traditionally.
- Kristian Dyer at Shutdown Corner12 hrs ago
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Kristian R. Dyer writes for Metro New York and is a contributor to Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter @KristianRDyer
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner15 hrs ago
The NFL, everyone's favorite plucky charitable not-for-profit business, isn't taking the "Sunday Ticket" package anywhere but DirecTV for a long time.
DirecTV and the NFL agreed to a new eight-year deal, at a total cost of $12 billion. Yes, $1.5 billion per season to the NFL. That's according to Darren Rovell of ESPN.
This agreement also comes after one of the NFL's worst months off the field, in terms of controversy. But even though the Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson stories were negative headlines for the league, television ratings still continued to improve. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that DirecTV invested big with the NFL again. The league is still as popular as ever, it seems.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner15 hrs ago
The NFL operates as a not-for-profit. That's the league's tax status, which is laughable.
The league makes billions of dollars. It's the most successful sports league in American history, a record it breaks every year. Even with a ton of controversial off-field issues in September, television ratings improved again. It is one of the top businesses in the country. The NFL prints money. It just struck a deal with DirecTV that pays the league $1.5 billion annually, according to ESPN. Commissioner Roger Goodell made $44.2 million in 2012.
Congress is finally looking into the NFL's tax status, but at least one member of Congress is strangely tying it to the Redskins' name controversy, according to ABC News.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner17 hrs ago
Since one doesn't seek out a second medical opinion when injuries are healing well, the Arizona Cardinals probably have plenty of reason to worry about quarterback Carson Palmer.
Palmer will seek a second opinion from a specialist on his injured shoulder, according to Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, via Darren Urban of AzCardinals.com. Arians said there's "no concern" about Palmer's injury being long term, and Palmer hasn't been ruled out of Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos. While that sounds dandy, it's not comforting that the 3-0 Cardinals' starting quarterback is still experiencing problems.
Palmer has a nerve issue in his throwing shoulder. He threw last Thursday and Friday and the injury regressed, Arians said according to the Cardinals' site. Drew Stanton has started Arizona's last two games, then the Cardinals had a bye last week. If Palmer doesn't make a quick recovery before the Broncos game, that will be four weeks he has missed, and the injury isn't getting better.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner18 hrs ago
Feel like you have a grasp on either the AFC East right now? What about the NFC South?
If so, you're a freaking genius. No less.
Each division is — by definition — competitive, if by that you mean that all four teams in each one is lumped together in a morass of mediocrity. Sorry we're not sorry.
The New England Patriots just experienced their worst undressing in years on Monday. The Buffalo Bills just changed starting quarterbacks. The New York Jets might be the next to. The Miami Dolphins staved off talk of that by beating the Oakland Raiders, but how good was that really?
We picked the Bills to earn the fourth playoff spot, even though most people think that the Patriots have the better shot of fixing their many issues right now. The thinking is that if the Bills are 2-2 with EJ Manuel, shouldn't Kyle Orton and an expanded offensive game plan make them more dangerous? That defensive line, a handful of special playmakers and some solid special teams don't hurt.
But it's a stretch. We get it.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner18 hrs ago
If you started New York Giants tight end Larry Donnell last week in fantasy, you likely won. Nothing like getting a three-touchdown night from a virtually unknown tight end to push you over the top.
And if you started Donnell in fantasy last week you had a lot of faith. More than Donnell himself.
This is a fantasy bad beat story that nobody will be able to top. Donnell did not have himself in his own lineup last week, he told Art Stapleton of The Record (N.J.). Donnell benched himself for 49ers tight end Vernon Davis, and he lost last week as a result.
Larry Donnell benched himself in fantasy football last week in favor of Vernon Davis. His team lost by 15 pts. "Would've won if I played me"
So if your league mates can't believe you had the foresight to start Donnell, who had one career touchdown before his explosion last Thursday night against Washington, they're justified. And it's a good thing you didn't have a direct line to Donnell before the game, because he might have talked himself out of your lineup.
Adding onto the humor of the situation, Donnell realized during his breakout game that he had himself on his fantasy bench.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner19 hrs ago
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick's news conferences are strange. He doesn't want to say anything but he rarely cuts it short. He'll often stand up there and talk for a long time before someone wraps it up.
That gave The Man Who Never Smiles plenty of opportunity to repeat the mantra over and over on Wednesday.
The Patriots are coming off perhaps the worst loss of the Belichick era on Monday night, a 41-14 loss at Kansas City in which they trailed 41-7 before a meaningless touchdown. Belichick had no interest in looking back on it, repeating the same thing: "We're on to Cincinnati." The Patriots play the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday night.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner20 hrs ago
It's crazy to start discussing the NFL MVP already, but the task at hand needs to begin now because it's monumental.
I want a defensive player to get MVP consideration.
Crazy, I know. In the history of this award, two defensive players have gotten it: Minnesota's Alan Page in 1971 and the Giants' Lawrence Taylor in 1986. That's it. In the long and distinguished history of the NFL, only twice has a defensive player been the best player in the game, I guess. And it hasn't happened in 28 years.
The fact that defensive players are crossed off the ballot before the season starts doesn't bode well for Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt. But let's make no mistake: Watt is the best player in football right now, he might be the NFL's best defensive player since Reggie White was in his prime, and roughly a quarter into the season he is the NFL MVP.