Amid conflicting reports regarding the actions of Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew during a Memorial Day weekend tussle at a Florida restaurant, a lawyer asserts to have video showing the player punching a security guard.
Jones initially was accused of striking a bouncer during an altercation, though police later said the Jaguars hadn't been charged with battery. His agent, Adisa Bakari, followed with a statement that said his client "was not involved in any verbal or physical altercation whatsoever."
The bouncer's attorney, Gregory Anderson, disagrees, and claims to have video proof that Jones-Drew "viciously attacked and severely injured" his client, Kasim Howard. In a statement to the Florida Times Union, Anderson further said that Howard was trying protect several female patrons from harassment by members of Jones-Drew's party, and had no previous contact with Jones-Drew. He said Howard suffered a dislocated jaw and spinal injuries.
"Any fair-minded person watching the video has to conclude that Mr. Jones-Drew initiated an unprovoked attack on Mr. Howard and then literally ran away from the scene. The videos, in addition to virtually all eyewitness accounts, unequivocally prove that Mr. Jones-Drew attacked the security officer without provocation," the statement read.
---Rob Gronkowski will undergo surgery in June on his back, and agent Drew Rosenhaus said it's an injury the New England Patriots tight end played through last season.
This will be the fifth surgery for Gronkowski since November. He had a fourth operation on May 20 to install a plate in his broken left forearm that he fractured in November. Rosenhaus said the back procedure is a pre-emptive measure to make sure Gronkowski is fully healthy once his forearm heals.
---New York Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith said he wasn't recruited by Jay-Z and isn't concerned about the NFL Players Association investigating his decision to change agents after the April draft.
"I don't have any concerns," Smith said Thursday following the Jets' OTA session. "Jay-Z didn't recruit me. I chose Roc Nation Sports for management because it was something that myself and my family came to a conclusion and we felt comfortable with. And I'm happy to be a part of it. Here, I'm here to talk about football. That's life outside of football, and what I do in this locker room and on that field is what matters now. "
In other Jets news, the team signed wide receiver Ben Obomanu, who was released by the Seattle Seahawks more than two months ago. He caught four passes for 58 yards in the first eight games last season, but spent the rest of the season on injured reserve.
---Two pranksters who orchestrated a March phone call between two NFL general managers, recorded it and sold it to a third-party website, are facing federal charges, according to a Buffalo News report.
Joshua Barber and Nicholas Kaiser, both 20 and from Plymouth, Ma., must appear Tuesday before a U.S. magistrate in Buffalo to answer charges of "intentionally intercepting a wire communication and making a telephone call without disclosing their identity with the intent to annoy or harass the person at the called number," the paper said. The charges carry a maximum penalty of five years in jail and a $500,000 fine.
In March, the pair prank-called then-Buffalo Bills GM Buddy Nix, claiming to be Tampa Bay Buccaneers GM Mark Dominik. When Nix answered, they immediately hung up.
---The Green Bay Packers signed second-round draft pick Eddie Lacy on Thursday, the team announced. Terms of the contract weren't available.
The former Alabama running back was the No. 61 overall pick in the NFL Draft in April. Lacy rushed for 1,322 yards and 17 touchdowns on 204 carries during his junior season and was named first-team All-Southeastern Conference.