NFL roundup: Ravers' Harbaugh clarifies Patriots' "stained" title comments

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh did his best verbal backpedal Tuesday afternoon, releasing a statement through the team in an attempt to clarify comments he made earlier in the day in which he referred to "stained" championships in New England.
The reference, of course, was to the Super Bowl wins under the Bill Belichick regime which was caught in 2007 videotaping the New York Jets' sideline.
Asked during an interview on 98 Rock -- Harbaugh was appearing for an interview to discuss the upcoming run to honor O.J. Brigance and raise funds for ALS research -- about cheating in the NFL, Harbaugh said cheaters lose credit.
"The funny thing about that is ... in the end, everything is brought before the light of day when it's all said and done. Even the thing in New England -- no matter whether those things had any impact on whether they won any of their championships or not, they've got asterisks now. They've been stained," Harbaugh said. "So to me, it's never worth it. I mean, you've got to figure out ways to use the rules to your advantage, and figure out ways to make the most of everything. We've got new work rules (CBA) about what he can and can't do with our players, and we're going to make the most of it. What we're finding out is that ... man, we can do something even better than we did before, because these rules make us focus on some things we didn't do before. That's what success is in this world -- you've got to find ways to do things better than somebody else.
"But if you're cheating? In the end, you're going to get discredited. It's just not worth it.
The comments, some not in context and parsed without chronology in mind, became hot coals on Twitter and other media and blog sites.
By 1 p.m. ET, Harbaugh and the Ravens released a statement intended to give his talk radio response proper context.
"I answered a question about playing within the rules and referred to the perception that the Super Bowl championships won by the Patriots and Saints have a stain. My reference was to the perception out there that came as the result of the league's actions.
"I could have been more clear that I was referring to those viewpoints. I totally believe that the Patriot and Saint coaches and players earned those championships. Bill (Belichick) and Sean (Payton) both know that."

---Quarterback Matt Leinart signed with the Oakland Raiders. A seventh-year veteran, Leinart spent the past two seasons with the Houston Texans before being released in March.
In Oakland, he's expected to be Carson Palmer's primary backup - a role he is familiar with. Palmer and Leinart both won the Heisman Trophy at Southern California, with Leinart being one of Palmer's backups in 2002. Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Knapp was also Houston's quarterbacks coach the past two years.
The other quarterbacks on the Raiders' roster are Terrelle Pryor and Rhett Bomar.
Leinart has started 18 of 31 career games, completing 57.6 percent of his passes with 15 touchdowns and 20 touchdowns for a 71.6 passer rating.

----Vince Young said he still believes he's a starting quarterback. Given the level of inactivity from potential suitors, that's not a unanimous opinion.
Young, an unrestricted free agent, is scheduled to work out for general manager Buddy Nix and the Bills' brass on Wednesday. Coach Chan Gailey's success with mobile quarterbacks who might lack a complete, prototypical passing quarterback's skill set, is likely to be a factor considered when the Bills weigh offering Young a deal.

---Three former NFL players are facing identity theft and tax fraud charges in Florida, according to a Miami Herald report.
William Joseph, 32, and Michael Bennett, 33, former first-round picks by the New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings, respectively,
were arrested and questioned Monday by FBI agents in connection with an alleged plot to rob people's identities and file false tax returns.
Former New England Patriots draft pick Louis Gachelin, 31, was also detained by authorities, along with six other individuals, according to the paper.
Bennett last played in the NFL with the Oakland Raiders in 2010, while Joseph played for Oakland in the previous season. Gachelin spent time on the Patriots' roster, but never appeared in a game.

---Chinese placekicker Long Ding plans to attend the Jaguars' rookie minicamp.
Ding is from Quing Dao and participated in the New York regional combine prior to the draft. He was a two-time conference special teams player of the year at Norwich University after first playing football in 2007. He attended the Northfield, Vermont, military college. He made a 51-yard field goal and was perfect inside of 40 yards last season.
Jaguars' kicker Josh Scobee continues to avoid team workouts because he's unhappy Jacksonville designated him a franchise player in free agency.

---Case Keenum signed as an undrafted free agent with the Houston Texans.
Keenum set several NCAA, conference and school records and left Houston as the all-time Football Bowl Subdivision leader in passing yards (19,217) and touchdown passes (155).
The Texans put Keenum through a workout at Reliant Stadium and came away impressed. They'll enter the season with Matt Schaub as their starter, but the Texans won't devalue depth at the position after going through three starters in a span of three quarters at one point in 2011.

---The Atlanta Falcons were recently granted $3 million worth of salary-cap credits from the NFL, due to money Michael Vick owed the organization after he declared bankruptcy, according to multiple reports.
The Falcons signed Vick to a 10-year, $130 million deal in 2005, but Vick eventually filed for bankruptcy after a conviction on dogfighting charges. As part of a $20 million settlement, Vick was ordered to repay part of his signing bonus from that deal to the team.
Atlanta had been seeking the salary-cap credits shortly after Vick signed a six-year, $100 million deal that included $35 million worth of guaranteed money with the Philadelphia Eagles last summer.
The NFL granted the credits in March.

---Detroit Lions running back Jahvid Best, who missed 11 games last year after sustaining his second concussion of the season, is expected to be cleared for football contact in June, according to what Lions general manager Martin Mayhew told a radio station, the Lions' official website reported Tuesday.
"He's been doing everything in the offseason program and we expect he'll be cleared sometime probably in June," Mayhew told Mike O'Hara and Ken Brown on WJR radio on Monday night. "We look forward to having him on the field."

---The Jacksonville Jaguars signed running back Jalen Parmalee.
Parmele was with the Ravens from 2008-10, serving primarily as a return man and on special teams coverage. He had 33 kickoff returns for 845 yards (25.6 avg.) and seven rushes for 44 yards. He totaled 19 special teams tackles including 12 in 2010.

---The Washington Redskins announced wide receiver Jabar Gaffney was released Tuesday.
Gaffney, a 10-year veteran, had 68 receptions for 947 yards and five touchdowns in 2011. The Redskins opted to go smaller and younger in the offseason while retaining No. 1 receiver Santana Moss.

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