Wed Jun 19 03:55pm EDT
As the Massachusetts State police continue to investigate Aaron Hernandez's connection to a homicide in North Attleboro, Mass., a Connecticut man has filed a lawsuit in the state of Florida alleging that the New England Patriots tight end shot him in the face following an argument in mid-February.
Initially reported by TMZ.com, Alexander S. Bradley, an acquaintance of Hernandez, filed a lawsuit in South Florida district court on June 13 alleging that, following an argument at a Miami strip club, a gun — possessed illegally by Hernandez — was pointed at Bradley and discharged while the two men were driving from Miami to Palm Beach, Fla.
According to the complaint, a copy of which you can read below, Bradley suffered bodily injury, including the loss of his right eye. The suit alleges that Bradley has begun what will be a series of reconstructive surgeries to his face and that he has sustained additional injuries caused by this incident that "will require extensive medical care and treatment for the rest of his life".
The lawsuit was withdrawn on Monday, June 17, but Mike Garafolo of the USA Today reports that Bradley's counsel claims there was a paperwork error. David Jaroslawicz, co-counsel for Bradley, told Garafolo that the suit will be refiled on Wednesday.
Wed Jun 19 01:53pm EDT
The subject of openly gay players in the NFL has been on a lot of minds of late, but Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians brought a different element to the equation in a recent interview with FoxSports.com. In Arians' mind, teammates and opposing players would not be the primary issue for any NFL player who decided to come out while pursuing a pro football career -- the real problem would come from the fans.
“I don’t think the locker room would have any problem with it,” Arians told FOX Sports' Ross Jones by telephone in Wednesday. “The problem would be with the fans. I think especially opposing fans. Some of the things that are said are over the top and out of control that I can imagine what some fans would say to an openly gay player.”
Arians made a point to emphasize that harassment would not be as likely from an openly gay player's comrades on the field.
“As a coach and I can probably speak for our players too, I don’t think anybody would have any problem with it,” he said.
According to NFL Spokesman Greg Aiello, the league is ready to deal with any such issues.
Wed Jun 19 11:52am EDT
New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez has not been ruled out as a suspect in an ongoing homicide investigation in North Attleboro, Mass., Karen Anderson of WBZ-TV in Boston reports.
Massachusetts State police returned to Hernandez's home on Wednesday. Investigators knocked on the door, but left when no one answered. Hernandez and an unidentified woman had driven away from the home in a white Audi SUV earlier on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Hernandez, 23, was questioned by police who were investigating the death of a 27-year-old man, whose body was found on Monday night by a jogger in a clearing in an industrial park less than a mile from Hernandez's home. Sports Illustrated reported that a 2013 Chevrolet Suburban with Rhode Island plates was found by police, who believed the vehicle was connected to the case. That vehicle, a rental car registered to Enterprise, is somehow linked to Hernandez.
According to ABC News, Hernandez was "uncooperative" with the police, which has since been confirmed by Anderson on Wednesday. Anderson also provided a little background on the deceased who has been identified as Odin Lloyd of Dorchester, Mass., who was dating the sister of Hernandez's girlfriend.
Lloyd played linebacker for the Boston Bandits, a local semi-pro football team, and last practiced with the Bandits on Saturday.
Tue Jun 18 06:30pm EDT
According to Pete Thamel and Greg Bedard of Sports Illustrated, New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was questioned by Massachusetts State police investigating a possible homicide in North Attleboro, Massachusetts.
The body of an unidentified 27-year-old Boston man was discovered by a jogger in a clearing in a North Attleboro, Mass. industrial park at 5:30 p.m. ET on Monday. According to the Sports Illustrated report, the body was discovered less than a mile from Hernandez's home.
The Sun Chronicle of Attleboro, Mass. reports that police found a 2013 Chevrolet Suburban with Rhode Island license plates in connection with the possible homicide. The vehicle was rented from Enterprise and, according to Sports Illustrated, the rental of that vehicle is tied to Hernandez, who is not believed to be a suspect in the homicide.
ABC News reports that Hernandez has been "uncooperative" with police, who refer to the deceased as an "associate" of Hernandez. Bedard reported via his Twitter feed that police blocked off the driveway to Hernandez's home, and that two males (neither of whom was Hernandez) were taken away by police after they attempted to leave the house and questioned why the driveway was blocked.
North Attleboro is on the Massachusetts/Rhode Island border, approximately 40 miles to the southwest of Boston and a little over 10 miles southwest of the Patriots' headquarters in Foxboro.
Tue Jun 18 05:20pm EDT
The first drawings of the Atlanta Falcons' proposed new stadium put the team firmly in the forefront of facility design, to be sure. While most of the new stadiums in any outdoor sport go forward at reasonable" paces, the Falcons' idealized stadium looks like something out of the next century, and it's looking like it will happen.
According to the team's official site, the Falcons have completed a full conceptual design of the new stadium, which is estimated to be complete in time for the 2017 season. As you would expect from the designs, it will take a LOT of people to get this done. As the Falcons move forward on the actual schematic design stage, they announced that three different architectural firms will partner with the main agency, 360 Architecture.
“The conceptual design phase of the new stadium project has been a dynamic, interactive and collaborative process,” Falcons President & CEO Rich McKay said in a statement. “Our discussions and decisions have focused on creating an iconic asset for the city and state, a great game day experience for our fans and attendees of other events that will be held in the new stadium, and a connection with the surrounding communities. We look forward to moving into the more detailed design phase with our great partners at 360 Architecture and their recently-selected joint venture partners.”
The estimated cost for the facility is $1 billion, with public funding of $200 million, and the Falcons taking on all other costs. It will sit on the south side of the Georgia Dome, the Falcons' current home, which will be demolished when the new place is complete.
At a recent meeting with the Georgia World Congress Center Authority’s Stadium Development Committee, Bill Johnson of 360 Architecture talked about the concept of a more open stadium -- a "window on the world," so to speak. One challenge was the idea of a more open retractable roof, and Johnson said that the plan is to have “an open building that closes rather than a closed building that opens,” which may involve a glass-like material that can be transparent or opaque, depending on the weather.
Tue Jun 18 04:12pm EDT
The recent Twitter assertion from Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel that he "can't wait to leave College Station" has many wondering if it's time to scout him as a 2014 draft prospect. Manziel, the NCAA's leader in total yards in 2012 and the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy, would certainly fly to the tops of many draft boards based on his athletic potential, and the fact that the NFL is far more hospitable to mobile quarterbacks than it has been. CBS' Mike Freeman recently spoke to a number of NFL personnel people about Manziel's prospects, and opinion is all over the place. One general manager told Freeman that Manziel could be a better pure passer than Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck, or Russell Wilson, while one scout said that Manziel "has Canada written all over him."
Projecting a one-year college quarterback to the NFL is tough to do, but we thought it would be an interesting exercise to put Manziel under the same "Shutdown 50" Microscope we give the best draft prospects every year, just to see what the tape shows. As you would expect from a kid who racked up the awards and numbers in his first collegiate season, there are an equal number of ridiculously positive and alarmingly underdeveloped sides to his game.
Pros: As a pure runner, Manziel is as good as any quarterback who's come down the pike. He's not a straight-line sprinter like Michael Vick or Robert Griffin III, but he's a lot more quick and elusive than, say, Tim Tebow. He reads open gaps well on designed runs, follows his blocks patiently, shows excellent acceleration at the second level, and gets around fast linebackers and most safeties. His performance on the ground against Alabama was a real wake-up call for a lot of people -- if he could do that against a feeder stream of pro-level talent, what could he accomplish at the next level? Manziel does possess a positive improvisational quality to his game -- with his mobility and pure guts under fire (so to speak), he will make plays other quarterbacks simply can't, because it wouldn't occur to them, and they're not physically able.
Has a basic and developing ability to roll outside the pocket under duress and make deeper throws into tight coverage. While he doesn't have a proverbial cannon for an arm, Manziel is able to make most NFL throws. Not only is he mobile, but Manziel will also keep things alive in the pocket with very quick feet -- he uses this attribute to read the field until something opens up. Has an outstanding feel for play action and can use it in an advanced sense, implementing the fake throw/playfake combo at times. With time and work, Manziel's passing ability should be able to fit nearly any overall concept.
Cons: Though he is able to think outside the box if his rushing lanes are closed up the middle, Manziel has been directed to read run too quickly at the collegiate level, and he'll have to learn to process more in the NFL. Primarily, he's succeeded in an offense where he's his own draw option a lot of the time, and that leaves him ill-equipped to do what all NFL quarterbacks must do, no matter how mobile they are -- stand in the pocket, look the defense off, and make the killer stick throw. Has a hitchy, slightly over-exaggerated overhead delivery that works for quick passes, but has him struggling at times with longer throws and timing routes. Automatically looks to run rather than throw when the pocket breaks down, which will not serve him well in the NFL. Tends to push the ball and needs to develop more zip on his release. Must learn to consistently re-set and drop the hammer when he's flushed out of the pocket.
Tue Jun 18 01:43pm EDT
Shortly after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers acquired cornerback Darrelle Revis from the New York Jets, the team announced that Revis would wear his familiar No. 24 jersey, which had been worn by 2012 first-round safety Mark Barron.
Barron was willing to give up the No. 24 (and is now wearing No. 23), but what Revis would have to give up to get his old jersey number hadn't been disclosed. At his introductory press conference, all Revis would say about the matter was that he and Barron had discussed the No. 24.
According to Paul Lukas of Uni-Watch.com, Revis shelled out big money to get No. 24 from Barron.
"A well-placed source tells me that the amount Darrelle Revis paid to Mark Barron in order to get Barron to give up No. 24 was — get this — $50,000. Is that a record? Is it not even close? Has anyone been tracking these uni number transactions over the years?," Lukas wrote on Tuesday.
The details of most jersey number transactions are often unreleased. However, when wide receiver Chad Johnson (who was then going by Chad Ochocinco) was traded to the New England Patriots in 2011, he was reportedly willing to pay anything to tight end Aaron Hernandez for the No. 85 jersey. Hernandez ended up giving away the number for free. Way back in 2004, Clinton Portis agreed to pay Ifeanyi Ohalete $40,000 for the No. 26 jersey with the Washington Redskins. Portis stopped payments when Ohalete was cut by the Redskins the following year, which prompted a civil suit that was settled out of court.
Tue Jun 18 01:27pm EDT
Now that he's served a 30-day sentence, reduced to seven days, for showing disrespect in a Broward County, Fla. courtroom, former NFL receiver Chad Johnson would very much like to become current NFL receiver Chad Johnson. And so, the man who hasn't caught on with an NFL team since the Miami Dolphins cut him in the 2012 preseason, took to the airwaves to plead his case for one more shot at the NFL.
"I think everyone deserves a second chance," Johnson told "Good Morning America's" Robin Roberts on Tuesday morning. "Many would say I might not deserve it. I would like to finish my career the right way. I don't want the last thing to be remembered -- 'Chad was cut from the Dolphins for an incident he had with his wife.' I would love to grace the football field one more time and to help some team. I'm not injured; there is nothing wrong with me. I've learned my lesson, especially after those past seven days.
"Situations like this usually break people," Johnson concluded. "I wouldn't allow anything to break me, so I try to continue to be my same positive self. And I think with me being Chad, it kind of made the judge feel I wasn't being serious about the situation. But trust me, I understood exactly what I did and lost two of the things I loved the most at that time.
Those two things would be his ex-wife, Evelyn Lozada, who divorced him after a domestic violence incident, and the game of football, which has seemed to divorce him just as definitively. Johnson last caught a pass in an NFL game for the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI, and while his arrest may have led to his decline with the Dolphins, Johnson's decline in a football sense most likely had a lot more to do with it. In that Super Bowl loss to the New York Giants, Tom Coughlin's team was able to cheat its safeties up with impunity, despite the fact that this defense was facing Tom Brady, for two primary reasons: Tight end Rob Gronkowski was injured (though he played), and Johnson never acclimated to the offense Brady runs. The Patriots' offense has arguably the most complex system of option routes in the game, and Johnson -- who made his bones with the Cincinnati Bengals from 2001 through 2010 with a far less complex book -- couldn't keep up. It's safe to say that although it hasn't been that long since Johnson disappeared from the league in a relevant sense, the game has passed him by even more since then.
More than ever, today's NFL defenses are constructed with multiple fronts, extra pass defenders, and zone/man hybrid schemes which require precision from every quarterback/receiver combination. As Brady intimated in 2012, after Johnson was not welcomed back to his organization, that instant and unspoken trust between a quarterback and his targets is not an option -- it is a requirement.
Tue Jun 18 10:10am EDT
Could newly-retired soccer star David Beckham have a future as an NFL kicker if he so chooses? According to the Daily Mirror, there are some in the league who believe that the 38-year-old Beckham, who retired from the "beautiful game" in May, could use his shot-shaping skills to good effect with the other football. Reportedly, Beckham was offered a tryout with one NFL team through a call from an unknown scout.
A source in Hollywood apparently told the Mirror this:
“A couple of scouts felt that David has the potential to become a kicker in the NFL team, and one actually put a call into him for a trial. It is no secret that David is one of the best in the business when it comes to accuracy and length in his passing. And he has stood on the greatest stages to perform magnificent feats with his feet.
“Major league kickers can send the ball 40 yards straight - David has shown for the last 15 years he can do that week in week out. It was obvious too that if Becks took up the offer any NFL franchise would be interested as his international appeal would generate billions in PR and commercial opportunities.”
Beckham rejected the offer, saying that it wasn't right for him, though the source believes Beckham might change his mind at some point.
While it would be interesting to see what Beckham could do with the American version of football, our friends over at Yahoo's "World of Sport" blog rightly point out that Beckham's chances of becoming one of the 32 best kickers in the land are pretty slim.
Posted Jul 2 2012
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Posted Jun 21 2012