- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner2 hrs ago
The most interesting moment of the Minnesota Vikings' news conference on Wednesday, when the team's brass repeated the message about "getting it right" in having Adrian Peterson stay away from the team while his child injury case is resolved, came when Kevin Warren, the team's executive vice president of legal affairs, wanted to answer a question that almost slipped by without an answer.
Who made the decision that Peterson wouldn't play for the Vikings until his case is resolved, the player or the team?
The NFLPA said Peterson being put on the exempt/commissioner's permissions list was a "voluntary leave." Vikings general manager Rick Spielman gave a non-answer about it being a collaborative effort to come up with the best solution to the issue.
No, Warren said.
"It’s very important, the question was asked about who started this, it’s very clear that the Minnesota Vikings initiated this process with the National Football League in regards to this current situation," Warren said. "It was the Vikings.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner4 hrs ago
For most fans, the biggest takeaway from Wednesday's announcement that the NFL and NFL Players Association agreed upon at least parts of a new drug policy is this: Denver Broncos receiver Wes Welker will return this week, right in time for the Broncos' showdown with the Seattle Seahawks.
Dallas Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick and St. Louis Rams receiver Stedman Bailey also return to work immediately, the NFL and NFLPA announced. Their punishments were adjusted to reflect the new policy.
Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon reportedly will return after 10 games, although the NFL has reinstated only those three players for now.
The revamped drug policy also includes testing for human-growth hormone, which will be fully implemented this season. The other headline is that third-party arbitrators jointly selected and retained by the NFL and NFLPA will hear appeals.
Welker and the others had to wait an extra week after the policy couldn't be worked out in time for Week 2 games.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner5 hrs ago
I’ll be honest: I’m ambivalent on the whole Washington Redskins nickname thing.
I can see both sides of it. Although I can’t say I’m immersed in Native American culture, it’s not as if I hear people slinging around the word “redskin” as a weapon. Yet who am I to judge what certain people deem to be offensive?
Needless to say, it’s a complex semantic and sentimental issue; it’s easier to say just change the name but harder to actually enact it.
We know how things work in this world. Once dollars grow wings, the entire flight plan changes.
If Redskins supporters — and we mean sponsors, specifically, the companies who pay the bills — start bailing, that’s when it will get Daniel Snyder’s attention. Not before.
As much as we believe that fans and their support are the ultimate bus drivers of whether a team has the support it needs to thrive, they’re more the passengers in the big picture. Media pressure goes only so far, too. Corporate dollars really are the ones with their feet on the gas.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner8 hrs ago
The Minnesota Vikings have responded to public and potential financial pressure on Adrian Peterson and they are opting to sit him down again.
The team released a statement early Wednesday morning saying they have changed their stance again on playing Peterson after saying Monday that he would be active this weekend against the New Orleans Saints. Now, they once more will sit him after deactivating Peterson last week for a 30-7 loss to the New England Patriots.
The Vikings, namely owners Zygi and Mark Wilf, said that their decision on Monday to allow Peterson to play was theirs and theirs alone. But now it appears as if the NFL intervened in the process. You wonder whether it will do the same with the Carolina Panthers' Greg Hardy and the San Francisco 49ers' Ray McDonald, although the difference in the cases is that Hardy already has been convicted; McDonald is still awaiting charges, which have yet to be filed.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner17 hrs ago
The NFL Players Association was put in a tough spot with former Ravens running back Ray Rice's indefinite suspension. It's safe to assume it didn't want to appear to be condoning domestic violence. But there's also good reason to believe that Rice's rights as a union member were violated by commissioner Roger Goodell as he tried to make up for his own mistakes.
The NFLPA officially filed an appeal on behalf of Rice on Tuesday, with a carefully worded statement that made it clear it was protecting the rights of "all NFL players," not necessarily siding with Rice and his actions:
"Today, the NFL Players Association formally filed an appeal of the indefinite suspension of Ray Rice by the NFL. This action taken by our union is to protect the due process rights of all NFL players.
"The NFLPA appeal is based on supporting facts that reveal a lack of a fair and impartial process, including the role of the office of the Commissioner of the NFL. We have asked that a neutral and jointly selected arbitrator hear this case as the Commissioner and his staff will be essential witnesses in the proceeding and thus cannot serve as impartial arbitrators."
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner18 hrs ago
Welcome to the latest Shutdown Corner podcast! On today's piping-hot episode, we have:
• A breakdown of the latest Adrian Peterson news
• Some actual football discussion about Week 2's significant games
• Lightning round with Frank Schwab, hitting him with Qs about Eli, RG3, and more.
All this and more as part of the Shutdown Corner Podcast. Listen below, and while you're listening ...
The Shutdown Corner podcast is the product of Kevin Kaduk (@KevinKaduk), Frank Schwab (@YahooSchwab) and Jay Busbee (@JayBusbee). New episodes every Tuesday and Friday, with bonus episodes when you least expect it. Enjoy!
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner23 hrs ago
The Minnesota Vikings might be fine with Adrian Peterson playing football, but not everyone is fine with the Minnesota Vikings — or the NFL — right now.
A day after Radisson hotel chain decided to suspend its limited sponsorship with the team following the decision to reactivate Peterson on Monday, an even bigger hammer blow came down from an industry giant also refusing to play ball, per the Associated Press.
An eye-opening development: Nike stores in Twin Cities have pulled all Adrian Peterson merch from shelves. Nike.
Peterson's NFL gear is still available through the nike.com website, but the fact that you can't go into one of the apparel giant's stores and get the jersey of the franchise's most popular (certainly before child abuse charges were brought against Peterson, and maybe even after) and recognized athlete is rather stunning.
- Greg Cosell at Shutdown Corner23 hrs ago
The San Francisco 49ers have built their offense around the movement skills of quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
In one-back, two-back and even heavy sets with three players in the backfield with Kaepernick, the main focus is putting pressure on a defense that has to account for Kaepernick's running ability at all times.
You’ll hear people say “What a spectacular play!” after a long run. And Kaepernick can make spectacular plays. But what people don’t see, if you don't have the benefit of seeing the coaching tape, are the routine pass plays that he doesn't make from the pocket.
We saw both sides of Kaepernick on Sunday night in the loss to Chicago. On the final drive alone we saw his great ability, and also that he still hasn’t fully grasped the nuances of the quarterback position.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner1 day ago
We got your Spider 2 Y Banana right here!
On Monday night's ESPN broadcast, a dispatch from sideline reporter Lisa Salters revealed a closeup of Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly's much-revered, dark and mysterious play-calling sheet.
Nor surprisingly, it's in a language that some of the world's best codebreakers might struggle to crack, unless they happened to coach alongside Kelly at some point in his itinerant career.
But it's fun to give a glance at some of the verbiage that Kelly uses for his up-tempo offense and what it might mean.
On the left side of the sheet, under the "Normal - 1st/2nd - Left Hash" heading, we see a play called Load 13 Brees. As in Drew? Does the New Orleans Saints quarterback know that Kelly is using his name? Maybe it's one of the successful plays Brees ran against Kelly and the Eagles in that playoff loss back in January. Ouch.Mon, Sep 15Philadelphia30 - 27IndianapolisGame Recap
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner1 day ago
You can blame Ray Rice (sorta) and an angry tweet for CBS and singer Rihanna splitting up.
The network made its Thursday night debut along with broadcast partner NFL Network in Week 2's Pittsburgh Steelers-Baltimore Ravens game, and CBS chose to permanently edit a portion of her song with Jay-Z, "Run This Town," that was slated to be the theme music for the games broadcast this season.
That decision was made initially in light of CBS' coverage on last week's broadcast of the Rice story and the NFL's problem with domestic violence.
Apparently, the network's decision didn't go over well with Rihanna. She decided to lash on on Twitter over it, which contained a naughty word:
"CBS you pulled my song last week, now you wanna slide it back in this Thursday? NO, [Blank] you! Y'all are sad for penalizing me for this."