- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner9 hrs ago
Jadeveon Clowney was more than a one-hit wonder.
NFL teams aren't dopey enough to draft a player No. 1 based on onebig hit against a Michigan running back. Maybe that's how you came to know Clowney, but long before that play NFL scouts saw the size, the explosiveness and playmaking ability from the South Carolina defensive end. It surprised very few people when Clowney was the top pick of the 2014 draft, to the Houston Texans. He was a fantastic prospect.
How time flies.
Clowney wouldn't even be the first pass rusher taken if we re-selected the 2014 NFL draft (hello, Khalil Mack) and we have little idea if Clowney can be an above-average pro player. In two injury-filled seasons, Clowney has 4.5 sacks. Mack had five sacks in one game against the Denver Broncos last season.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner9 hrs ago
Monday marks the deadline for New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to appeal his deflate-gate case, and all signs point toward his camp starting that ball rolling.
According to ESPN, the NFLPA plans to file a petition this afternoon to rehear Brady's case "en banc" — which, in legal terms, means in front of the entire court — in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. It's a risky approach, as typically the court defers to the findings of its three-judge panel, which previously had reinstated his four-game suspension by a 2-1 vote, as a matter of respect.
But the NFLPA clearly believe it has a case and that Brady was wronged during the process.
"The divided panel of the Second Circuit reached erroneous legal conclusions under an unfair and unjust standard," NFLPA attorney Theodore B. Olson said in a statement. "The decision and the standards it imposes are damaging and unfair — not only to Tom Brady but to all parties to collective bargaining agreements everywhere.
- Shalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner10 hrs ago
One of the biggest stars of NFL Draft weekend this year wasn't a player; it was a player's mom.
Annie Apple, mother of cornerback and New York Giants first-round pick Eli, became a media darling for her no-nonsense style and her refusal to coddle her star son, both of which are on display on her Twitter feed and personal blog.
Apple, who has a background in broadcasting, has been interviewed extensively since, and on Monday, we learned she won't be fading to the background now that the draft afterglow is starting to fade: she's been hired by ESPN to work as a contributor on NFL Sunday Countdown.
And her first tweet after the news came out shows exactly why:
I am beyond excited to be joining the ESPN family and quite honestly, happier than a Kardashian in an NBA locker room. #Blessed
How can you not love this woman?
- Shalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner11 hrs ago
The New York Jets currently have three quarterbacks on their roster, but not a single one started an NFL game in the 2015 season.
The quarterback who started all 16 of the team's games last season? He's a free agent. And the Jets say they want him back.
And that quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick, says he wants back in too.
So what's the problem?
Fitzpatrick was at former teammate Willie Colon's charity golf tournament on Monday, and told Sirius XM NFL radio that contrary to an ESPN report last month that he'd rather retire than take the Jets' offer, he intends to play in 2016. And he wants to play for New York.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner13 hrs ago
Shaq Thompson, the Carolina Panthers' 2015 first-round pick, and former Duke quarterback Anthony Boone were involved in a car accident early Sunday morning that sent Boone to the hospital, according to Black and Blue Review.
Thompson, a linebacker out of Washington, did not receive treatment for injuries but cited for driving left of the center line, the report said. Black and Blue Review said "alcohol was involved, but it wasn't a factor," and Black and Blue Review said Thompson was below the legal limit. The police report said Thompson wasn't impaired. Sgt. Ben Miller of the State Highway’s Union County division told the Charlotte Observer there was some " residual left over from the night before " but Thompson was well below the legal blood-alcohol limit.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner14 hrs ago
The latest news on Johnny Manziel, which has become the sad new normal for him, has nothing to do with football.
Manziel reportedly was kicked out of a Las Vegas club this past weekend after he allegedly punched a man, according to TMZ Sports. This story comes after news that the NFL is looking into the matter of an accident in Vegas in which Manziel was a passenger from a few months back.
The NFL is treating Manziel like a current player even though he isn't currently on a roster and appears spiraling out of control to the rest of us. And yet he's still one of the most heavily-clicked people related to the NFL on the Internet.
Why is that? Is it because people are voyeurs? Do they enjoy watching the Heisman Trophy winner careen off the tracks?
Do others think he still has an NFL future worth salvaging?
What is it about Manziel that has people so interested in every — often sad — move he makes?
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner15 hrs ago
This offseason, Shutdown Corner will travel down memory lane with a series of stories presenting some interesting and sometimes forgotten stories from the NFL's past. Join us as we relive some of the greatest and craziest moments in the sport's history.
Jim Harbaugh came up just short in his bid to land the Indianapolis Colts in a Super Bowl when his Hail Mary pass was dropped in the end zone in the 1995 AFC championship game as time expired.
But Harbaugh would help deliver a Super Bowl — albeit very indirectly — years later when he punched recently-retired quarterback and future Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly in 1997.
Yes, Harbaugh's right hook of Kelly was the first flap of the butterfly’s wings that helped the Colts land Peyton Manning and an eventual title in Super Bowl XLI.
Allow us to connect the strange dots in this story, which remarkably comes almost full circle again in the end.
- Shalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner15 hrs ago
At this point, one thing is certain: Abiola Aborishade is persistent.
The former Division III receiver, who set UMass-Dartmouth's single-season receiving record in 2014 when he had 84 catches, has stood near the New England Patriots' facility at Gillette Stadium nearly every day for a month, hoping the team will give him a tryout.
He has made a giant signboard to promote himself: "Talented hardworking athlete hoping for a chance to prove myself" it reads, touting his ability to play slot and wide receiver and special teams.
Aborishade also declares that he "won't disappoint" and is "dream chasing."
Aborishade told his storyto MassLive.com's Kevin Duffy last Friday, as he did yet another early morning shift on the busy highway just off stadium grounds with his sign (stadium security won't let him stand on Gillette property).
The 6-foot, 194 pound receiver arrived by 5:45 a.m., and at 6 on the dot the silver Audi belonging to Bill Belichick rolls past Aborishade.
Belichick does not stop.
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner16 hrs ago
A new congressional report has found that the NFL sought to improperly influence a major government study on connections between football and brain disease, according to documents obtained by ESPN's "Outside The Lines." (Update: the NFL has rejected the conclusions of the report.)
The congressional research report indicates the NFL had given the National Institutes of Health a $30 million unrestricted gift in 2012, but later sought to pull $16 million in funding from that gift away from one researcher and reroute it to researchers working on the league's own brain injury committee. When the NIH declined to redirect the funding, the NFL balked at paying for the study, despite having signed documents it would do so. Taxpayers were thus on the hook to pay for the study.
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner18 hrs ago
Add J.J. Watt to the long, long, LONG list of players wanting to be the Jumpman.
Watt has unveiled his new logo, to be used in Reebok branding efforts, and it's supposed to be a combination of "JJ," "W," and "99," if you look at it the right way:
ESPN.com says the logo is meant to evoke the idea of a building constructed "from the bottom up," much like Watt's career. (It's apparently a contrast to skyscrapers which start construction 400 feet up in the air and build downward, or something.) Anyway, you'll see it on shirts and shoes and whatnot soon enough, even though it's not one percent as iconic as the Michael Jordan silhouette.
Here's the real question, though: how does Watt's logo measure up to other recent NFL player logos? Let's consider, starting with Tom Brady:
Here's Cam Newton:
The recently-retired Calvin Johnson:
And, uh, Robert Griffin III: