- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner8 hrs ago
In one of the biggest weeks of their professional lives, the four Final Four college basketball coaches put out a joint statement condemning Indiana's controversial religious freedom law.
The NCAA, which will have the Final Four in Indianapolis over the next week, has already spoken out against the law, which critics say can allow businesses to discriminate against LGBT customers. The NBA, WNBA and NASCAR and many other voices inside the sporting world (such as Charles Barkley and USC athletic director Pat Haden) have spoken out as well.
So where's the NFL?
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner9 hrs ago
The Dallas Cowboys are masters at kicking the financial can down the proverbial road, restructuring bloated deals they signed their players to once it becomes obvious their talent and value don't appear to be in sync.
That doesn't appear to be what's happening here.
Pro Football Talk is reporting that the Cowboys and quarterback Tony Romo have restructured his deal in a move that clears up $12.8 million in salary-cap space this year. That's a lot of, um, space. Why the move now, after all the top free agents — including their own DeMarco Murray — have landed new homes?
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner12 hrs ago
In the days and days and days of testimony at the Aaron Hernandez murder trial, there have been moments that presumably fit into the prosecution or defense somehow, but are interesting on their own.
Like the revelation on Wednesday that Hernandez "chain smoked" marijuana, sometimes up to an ounce a day. That is a lot of pot.
What makes that testimony interesting from an NFL standpoint is that Hernandez reportedly never failed an NFL drug test, according to a Boston Globe story from 2013.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner14 hrs ago
Most April Fools' Day jokes are about the same. Replace the sugar with salt. If you have the platform, trick fans into thinking you signed with an NFL team. Harmless stuff.
Joking about getting a DUI? Probably under the category of "Oh what in the heck are you possibly thinking?"
Seattle Seahawks outside linebacker thought it would be funny to announce on Twitter that he got a DUI. He didn't, it was just a joke. April Fools! Ugh.
Before this hits the media I just wanna apologize to my fans and the @Seahawks organization once again. I made a terrible decision b driving
After I had a few drinks. I will do everything to get ur trust back and will become a better person after this.
Irvin let that linger on Twitter for about 25 minutes before springing the joke.
How many of yall thought I was serious ?! Haha April fools!!!
- Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner14 hrs ago
This week in the chronicles of "Why Tom Brady's Life Is The Greatest" we followed the Super Bowl MVP as his supermodel wife, Gisele Bundchen, videotaped him cliff diving in the Caribbean, he played pickup basketball with Michael Jordan and he concluded his vacation with a golf win in a foursome that included MJ, 2011 PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley and former PGA Player of the Year Luke Donald.
Conspiracy theorists may have noticed Brady wasn't wearing a knee brace on the basketball court.
But the Patriots quarterback was sporting some knee support on the golf course the next day.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner15 hrs ago
Free-agent wide receiver Greg Jennings, who was released by the Minnesota Vikings last month, teased his loyal followers (328,000+ strong) and fans with a few social-media bombs Tuesday night, hinting at a new NFL destination.
Really glad to be wrapping this #FreeAgency process up! Glad it's coming to an end.
This got people a bit fired up. The Miami Dolphins were mentioned as a possible landing spot, given Joe Philbin's connection to Jennings from their Green Bay days together. Jennings met with the Carolina Panthers recently, a seemingly nice match of need and talent. Seattle Seahawks faithful imagined the charismatic Jennings joining a cast of undrafted wide receivers and acting as consigliere to the group. A possible return to the Packers? Jennings said previously he'd be more than open to the idea, hinting at regret at how he left the team in the first place.
The possibilities were rife. Jennings kept the anticipation at a fever pitch with a series of tweets late Tuesday night.
Has there ever been a professional athlete break the news of where he's signing via social media?
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner1 day ago
The NFL is taking its big draft show on the road for the first time in 50 years, and the two biggest names to enter the league might not be in attendance.
Florida State QB Jameis Winston has said he might not go to the draft in Chicago — moved from New York City for the first time in half a century — and now Oregon QB Marcus Mariota appears to be skipping, too, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Like Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota does not plan to attend NFL Draft in Chicago, per league sources. Top 2 QBs, maybe top 2 picks, now out.
Marcus Mariota told NFL it is important to him, personally and culturally, to be in Hawaii to celebrate next step in life. No draft for him.
The "cultural" part suggests that Mariota would have stayed home had the draft been held in Bismark, but the league can't be too thrilled that its two marquee figures might not be on hand. The league is planning a big event in Chicago, with the draft occuring at the Auditorium Theatre indoors and several activities happening outside — across Michigan Avenue in Grant Park, with fan events planned all weekend.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner1 day ago
When he's not training in a log cabin of sorts, J.J. Watt is acting. And singing.
The Paul Bunyan-esque offense wrecker for the Houston Texans is apparently a big fan of the show "New Girl." Although we confess to having not seen the critically acclaimed program, we are fans of the work of leading lady Zooey Deschanel. And now Ms. Deschanel and Mr. Watt can say they've been teammates, having worked together on an episode of the show.
Watch above for a tease of Watt singing and — we think — ad libbing through what could be a funny few scenes in "The Right Stuff" episode. We don't assume anything about Watt's day job status changing, but a brief glimpse at his acting chops actually has us feel that the 6-foot-5, 290-pound beast could have been.
Is he Peyton Manning-on-SNL good? No, we're not ready to go there yet, but Watt might be far better at acting than your typical NFL player.
The singing, well, that's another thing altogether. We're not quite sure what key he's in, actually.
- Ben Rohrbach at Shutdown Corner1 day ago
A hot take on the Carolina Panthers from my son's elementary school newspaper. pic.twitter.com/uxzeurkcIl
In some respects, the Carolina Panthers had a successful 2014 campaign. They won their division, made the playoffs and even won a wild-card weekend game against the Arizona Cardinals before losing to the then-defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks. Cleveland Browns fans pray for such a season.
But one elementary school student isn't buying that hype. Not by any stretch of the child's imagination. In a piece penned for a grade-school newspaper and shared by Virginia-based Ph.D. student Jeff Atkins on Twitter, a young NFL observer sums up the Panthers' problems better than most football scribes could.
My favorite football team is the Carolina Panthers. I feel that they need a better quarterback. The quarterback is Cam Newton. The team never seems to win and I think he is the reason. He gets intercepted a lot.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner1 day ago
If Jameis Winston doesn't attend the NFL draft in Chicago, and he goes No. 1 as expected to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it will be a rare occurrence.
It seems like every first overall pick – and this isn't just NFL, we're talking NBA and NHL too – is on hand, and walks across the stage and greets the commissioner and gets the photo op that will live on forever. But there have been reports that Winston won't attend the draft.He is widely expected to be the first overall pick on April 30.
After his pro day workout on Tuesday, Winston appeared on NFL Network and said that he hasn't made a final decision.
"We really haven’t made that decision yet, because there’s been a lot of pressure for people trying to get me to come to the draft," Winston said with a smile.