- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner11 hrs ago
As the NFL deals with yet another concussion controversy, another former great was diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, the degenerative brain disease that has been linked to head trauma playing football.
Bubba Smith, the great Baltimore Colts, Oakland Raiders and Houston Oilers defensive end who reached a whole new audience as a star in the "Police Academy" movies and other acting roles, had CTE, The New York Times reported. Smith played nine NFL seasons, and before that he was a college star at Michigan State. Smith died in 2011.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner13 hrs ago
The Super Bowl will return to the Los Angeles area for the first time in almost 30 years.
The NFL announced the sites of three future Super Bowls on Tuesday, awarding Super Bowl LV to the Los Angeles Rams' new stadium project in Inglewood. The game will be played in February 2021.
It was also announced that the new Atlanta stadium will host Super Bowl LIII in 2019 and South Florida will get Super Bowl LIV in 2020.
But the crown jewel of these games awarded was L.A. and its return to the league this offseason.
"On the heels of the National Football League's historic return to Los Angeles, the Rams are proud to be part of such a significant regional effort of teamwork, leadership and vision to bring the Super Bowl back to Southern California," Rams COO Kevin Demoff said in a statement. "We would like to thank the NFL owners for giving us this opportunity to host the nation's biggest event in sports and entertainment at our world-class stadium, to showcase the great cities of Los Angeles and Inglewood and to deliver an incredible experience for fans from across the globe."
- Shalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner15 hrs ago
NFL owners approved minor changes to the replay system on Tuesday in a meeting in Charlotte, N.C.
Most of the amendments are administrative in nature. The Baltimore Ravens proposed earlier this year that the system be overhauled to allow the majority of plays to be reviewed, but that gained no traction.
Instead, the additions made include only allowing officials to use replay to double-check penalty enforcement, confirm the proper down and spot of a foul, as well as status of the game clock.
On-field officials can also now communicate with members of the NFL officiating department in New York during replay review of those administrative issues. However, officials are not to speak with officials in league offices about judgment calls.
The league first instituted the field-to-New York communication during the playoffs earlier this year; that is now allowed during the regular season.
All of these changes, minor though they may be, will be in effect for the 2016 season.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner16 hrs ago
Tyler Eifert is a talented tight end and a very important weapon for the Cincinnati Bengals, but he has had some injury issues.
There's another one. This time he'll be out three months due to ankle surgery, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported. The Enquirer said that the injury goes all the way back to the Pro Bowl.
Eifert hurt his ankle in the Pro Bowl. Nobody thought much about it at the time, because the season was over and it didn't seem serious. But almost four months later the ankle was still an issue and Eifert opted for surgery. That's pretty much any team's nightmare scenario, when it comes to their players participating in the Pro Bowl.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner16 hrs ago
Manziel is seeing his downward spiral play out on TMZ, from reports of him showing up at various parties, being the passenger in a single-car accident and getting kicked out of a club in Vegas, so maybe the natural order of progression is having a pseudo intervention on that site.
"He's in a horrible downward spiral," is how one anonymous source described Manziel to TMZ. Another source told the site, "If he continues this way for much longer he will die.”
That's not the first time that has been said publicly in the media. Manziel's father said earlier this year that he was worried his son could die soon.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner19 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.
Russell Wilson might have fudged some facts about what happened at NC State during his University of Wisconsin commencement speech, but he got at least one thing right.
" If you can throw a football 80 yards, for some reason, people think that's pretty cool," Wilson said.
That's the truth. We can enjoy football on many levels, but there's something uniquely thrilling about a quarterback reaching back and firing one deep. And there's something about a quarterback with a cannon arm that will always appeal to us.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner19 hrs ago
The Buffalo Bills have enacted a get-tough-on-the-truth media policy that prevents working members from reporting — get this — on things they see with their eyes. Also banned: Things heard with their ears.
Via ESPN's Mike Rodak, the Bills' new reporting guidelines appear a bit, um, restrictive:
Bills begin OTAs today. Reporters are not allowed to tell you who dropped a pass or who threw an interception. pic.twitter.com/TCGVgUtUI0
A typical story on the Bills' on-field work this offseason might read as follows:
You ready for some hot Bills summer action?!
So how are the new restrictions, enacted just in time for the Bills' Tuesday OTA session with no prior warning, playing out so far with the local media?
A QB just threw a pick-six on his first pass in 11 on 11. It wasn't Taylor or Jones.
Cornerback Corey White caught a pass that was not intended for him during team drills. #Bills
I'll answer your question with a math question. What is Tyrod Taylor minus Dan Carpenter? https://t.co/Yl8aFNLFUq
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner1 day 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 Corner1 day 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 Corner1 day 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?