Tuesday, September 16, 2014

NFLPA appeals Ray Rice suspension

The NFL Players' Association appealed Ray Rice's indefinite suspension Tuesday night.

Rice was originally given a two game suspension in July for violating the league's personal conduct policy for a physical altercation involving his then-fiancé Jenay Palmer in a casino elevator in February.

On September 8 a video surfaced showing the actual violent confrontation. Within hours, the Ravens released Rice and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell extended the suspension to indefinite based on the "new evidence." Both the Ravens and the league denied having seen the video prior to the release by TMZ Sports on Sept. 8.

The NFLPA released a statement regarding the appeal:

Today, the NFL Players Association formally filed an appeal of the indefinite suspension of Ray Rice by the NFL. This action taken by our union is to protect the due process rights of all NFL players.
The NFLPA appeal is based on supporting facts that reveal a lack of a fair and impartial process, including the role of the office of the Commissioner of the NFL. We have asked that a neutral and jointly selected arbitrator hear this case as the Commissioner and his staff will be essential witnesses in the proceeding and thus cannot serve as impartial arbitrators.
-- NFL Players Association
Additional information on this matter:
·       The terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement require a hearing date to be set within 10 days of this appeal notice.
·       Under governing labor law, an employee cannot be punished twice for the same action when all of the relevant facts were available to the employer at the time of the first punishment.
·       The hearing will require a neutral arbitrator to determine what information was available to the NFL and when it was available.
Both the NFL and players' association agree that Rice will remain suspended indefinitely while the appeal is resolved.

Jaguars TE Marcedes Lewis on Short Term IR

The Jaguars have placed tight end Marcedes Lewis on injured reserve/designated to return because of the high ankle sprain he suffered during the team's 41-10 loss to Washington on Sunday.

Lewis cannot practice for six weeks and is not eligible to return to the active roster until two weeks after that making him unavailable until Week 10 against the Cowboys.

Jaguars promoted undrafted rookie Marcel Jensen from the practice squad to fill the void left by Lewis. They also have Clay Harbor and Mickey Shuler.

Bears CB Charles Tillman Out For the Season

The season is over for Charles Tillman. According to some, so may be his career.

Chicago Bears placed their veteran cornerback on season-ending injured reserve with a ruptured triceps muscle.

Tillman sustained the injury when he appeared to become tangled up with a 49ers player near the sideline during the third quarter of the Bears' 28-20 victory against San Francisco on Sunday night.

Tillman leads the NFL with 42 forced fumbles and 30 interceptions since 2003. The 12 year veteran is a two time Pro Bowl selection and ranks third in Bears history with 36 interceptions. He leads the franchise in career interception return yardage (675), interception return touchdowns (8) and defensive return touchdowns (9).

In a statement released Monday Tillman stated that retirement is not on his mind and that he will return to the team in 2015. He is a respected leader on the Bears team and his presence will be missed in the secondary.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Vikings RB Adrian Peterson indicted on child abuse

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has found himself in legal trouble that may cost him both on and off the field.
Peterson has been indicted in Texas on charges of child abuse after using a tree branch to spank his son. Vikings responded swiftly to the charges by deactivating the star rusher for this Sunday's game against the Patriots.
Peterson's attorney, Rusty Hardin, said Friday that the charge in Montgomery County accuses Peterson of using a branch, or switch, to spank one of his sons, but that the young athlete meant no harm and was cooperating with authorities.

The NFL didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on Peterson's situation.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Week 2 Predictions

Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0) vs Baltimore Ravens (0-1)

Steelers come in off a win last week against the Browns at home while Ravens come in off a loss against the Bengals at home. With a lot of distraction going on in Baltimore surrounding the Ray Rice incident and the team cutting him, this game will be their first chance to prove they can move on without him. This forces the Ravens to use Bernard Pierce and Justin Forsett in the backfield. Pierce was benched last week for fumbling so expect to see a lot more of Forsett. Joe Flacco completed 35-of-62 passes for 345 yards, one touchdown, and an interception in their week one loss. Ben Roethlisberger completed 23-of-34 passes for 365 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Le'Veon Bell rushed 21 times for 109 yards and a touchdown. The question will be can the Ravens overcome the drama surrounding the team this week to get their first win of the season. Prediction: Steelers

Miami Dolphins (1-0) vs Buffalo Bills (1-0)

Both these teams come in off surprising wins. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill completed 18-of-32 passes for 178 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in Miami's 33-20, Week 1 win over the Patriots. Running back Knowshon Moreno carried the mail in the Dolphins' Week 1 win over the Patriots, rushing 24 times for 134 yards and a touchdown. Dolphins have the 8th ranked defense after week 1. Quarterback E.J. Manuel completed 16-of-22 passes for 173 yards, one touchdown, and an interception in Sunday's Week 1 win over Chicago, adding six carries for 19 yards and a touchdown. Running back C.J. Spiller rushed 15 times for 53 yards in Buffalo's Week 1 win over Chicago, adding three catches for 11 yards and a touchdown. Bills have the 29th ranked defense after week 1. Prediction: Dolphins

Atlanta Falcons (1-0) vs Cincinnati Bengals (1-0)

Both teams come off wins last week. Quarterback Matt Ryan went 31 for 43 for a career-high 448 yards with three touchdowns and one interception in Sunday's 37-34 overtime win over New Orleans. Running back Jacquizz Rodgers rushed 6 times for 34 yards and a touchdown. Falcons have the 30th ranked after week 1. Quarterback Andy Dalton completed 25-of-38 passes for 301 yards and a touchdown in the Bengals' Week 1 win over the Ravens. Bengals running game was held under 70 yards and the defense is ranked 28th after week 1. Prediction: Falcons

New Orleans Saints (0-1) vs Cleveland Browns (0-1)

Both teams come in off losses in week 1. Quarterback Drew Brees completed 29-of-42 passes for 333 yards, a touchdown and an interception against the Falcons Week 1. Running back Mark Ingram rushed 13 times for 60 yards and two touchdowns. Saints defense in ranked dead last after week 1. Quarterback Brian Hoyer completed 19-of-31 passes for 230 yards and a touchdown in the Browns' 30-27, Week 1 loss to the Steelers. Running back Ben Tate was injured during the week 1 matchup so Terrance West relieved him in the game and finished with 100 yards on 16 carries. He will get the start this week. Browns defense ranked 31st after week 1. Prediction: Saints

Dallas Cowboys (0-1) vs Tennessee Titans (1-0)

Cowboys come in off a loss last week while Titans come in off a suprising win. Quarterback Tony Romo completed 23-of-37 passes for 281 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions in Dallas' 28-17, Week 1 loss to the 49ers. Running back DeMarco Murray rushed 22 times for 118 yards and a touchdown. Cowboys defense is ranked 10th after week 1. Quarterback Jake Locker completed 22-of-33 passes for 266 yards and two touchdowns, and added six runs for 14 yards in the Titans' Week 1 stomping of Kansas City, 26-10. Titans running game was held under 100 yards and defense is ranked 3rd after week 1. Prediction: Cowboys

New England Patriots (0-1) vs Minnesota Vikings (1-0)

Patriots come in off a surprising loss while the Vikings come in off a win in week 1. Quarterback Tom Brady completed 29-of-55 passes for 249 yards and a touchdown in the loss to the Dolphins. Patriots running game was held under 30 yards total for the game and their defense is ranked 16th after week 1. Quarterback Matt Cassel completed 17-of-25 passes for 170 yards and two touchdowns in the Vikings' Week 1, 34-6 throttling of the Rams. Vikes running game was held under 100 yards for the game and defense is ranked 9th after week 1. Patriots have not started 0-2 since Tom Brady has been the starting quarterback. Prediction: Patriots

Arizona Cardinals (1-0) vs New York Giants (0-1)

Cards come in off a win last week while Giants come in off a loss. Quarterback Carson Palmer completed 24-of-37 passes for 304 yards and two touchdowns in Arizona's Week 1, 18-17 win over San Diego. Cards running game was held under 75 yards and defense is ranked 6th after week 1. Quarterback Eli Manning completed just 18-of-33 passes for 163 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions in the Giants' Week 1, 35-14 blowout loss to the Lions. Running backRashad Jennings rushed for 46 yards and one touchdown on 16 carries. Giants defense is ranked 26th after week 1. These teams have split their last matchups. Prediction: Giants

Jacksonville Jaguars (0-1) vs Washington Redskins (0-1)

Both teams come in off losses in Week 1. Quarterback Chad Henne completed 24-of-43 passes for 266 yards with two touchdowns in Sunday's Week 1 loss to the Eagles. Jags running game was held under 50 yards in the game. Their defense is ranked 27th after week 1. Quarterback Robert Griffin III completed 29-of-37 passes for 267 yards but no touchdowns in their week 1 loss to the Texans. Redskins game was held under 150 yards and no touchdowns. Redskins defense is ranked 11th after week 1. Prediction: Redskins

Detroit Lions (1-0) vs Carolina Panthers (1-0)

Both teams come in off wins last week. Quarterback Matthew Stafford completed 22-of-32 passes for 346 yards and two touchdowns in the Lions' Week 1 win over the Giants. Running back Joique Bell rushed for 51 yards and one touchdown on 15 carries. Lions defense is ranked 2nd after week 1. Quarterback Cam Newton will make his season debut this week after sitting out week 1 with cracked ribs. Panthers running game was held under 100 yards in their win last week. Panthers defense is ranked 5th after week 1. Lions won the last matchup but Panthers lead the matchup history 2-1 over the last six years. Prediction: Panthers

Seattle Seahawks (1-0) vs San Diego Chargers (0-1)

Seahawks come in off a win while the Chargers come in off a loss last week. Quarterback Russell Wilson went 19 for 28 for 191 yard and two touchdowns in Seahawks win over Green Bay. Running back Marshawn Lynch ran for 110 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carriers. Seahawks defense is ranked 4th after week 1. Quarterback Philip Rivers completed 21-of-36 passes for 238 yards, one touchdown, and one interception in Monday night's Week 1, 18-17 loss to the Cardinals. Running back Ryan Mathews rushed for 40 yards and one touchdown on 12 carries. Chargers defense is ranked 23rd after week 1. Prediction: Seahawks

St. Louis Rams (0-1) vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1)

Both teams come in off week one losses. Quarterback Austin Davis completed 16-of-23 passes for 192 yards, no touchdowns, and one interception in relief of Shaun Hill (thigh) in the Rams' 34-6, Week 1 loss to Minnesota. Shaun Hill is still questionable for this week's game. Rams running game was held under 65 yards total. Rams defense is ranked 14th after week 1. Quarterback Josh McCown completed 22-of-35 passes for 183 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions in the Bucs' Week 1 loss to the Panthers. Bucs running game was held under 25 yards and the defense is ranked 12th after week 1. Prediction: Bucs

Kansas City Chiefs (0-1) vs Denver Broncos (1-0)

Chiefs come in off a surprisng loss last week while Broncos come in off a win. Quarterback Alex Smith completed 19-of-35 passes for 202 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions in the Chiefs' Week 1 loss to the Titans. Chiefs running game was held under 25 yards and defense is ranked 24th after week 1. Quarterback Peyton Manning completed 22-of-36 passes for 269 yards and three touchdowns in Sunday night's 31-24 win over the Colts. Running back Montee Ball had 23 carries for 67 yards and a touchdown. Broncos defense ranked 25th after week 1. Prediction: Broncos

New York Jets (1-0) vs Green Bay Packers (0-1)

Jets come in off a win while the Packers come in off a loss last week. Quarterback Geno Smith completed 23-of-28 passes for 221 yards, one touchdown, and one interception in the Jets' Week 1 victory over the Raiders. Running back Ivory rushed 10 times for 107 yards and a touchdown. Jets have number one ranked defense after week 1. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers was limited to 189 yards on 23-of-33 passing with a touchdown and an interception in the loss to Seattle. Running back Eddy Lacy is probable for the game against the Jets with a concussion. Neither he nor Starks scored last week. Packers defense is ranked 21st after week one. Prediction: Packers

Houston Texans (1-0) vs Oakland Raiders (0-1)

Texans come in off a shocking win while Raiders come in off a loss. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 14-of-22 passes for 206 yards with one touchdown in Sunday's Week 1 win against the Redskins. While RB Arian Foster rushed for over 100 yards he did not score a touchdown. Texans defense is ranked 19th after week 1. Quarterback Derek Carr completed 20-of-32 passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns in the Raiders' Week 1, 19-14 loss to the Jets. Raiders running game was held under 30 yards and defense is ranked 22nd after week 1. Prediction: Texans

Chicago Bears (0-1) vs San Francisco 49ers (1-0)

Bears come in off a loss while the 49ers come in off a win. Quarterback Jay Cutler completed 34-of-49 passes for 349 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions in Sunday's Week 1 loss to Buffalo. Bears running game was held under 90 yards total. Their defense is ranked 17th after week one. Colin Kaepernick completed 16-of-23 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns as the 49ers eased by the Cowboys 28-17 in Week 1. Running back Carlos Hyde rushed seven times for 50 yards and a touchdown. 49ers defense is ranked 20th after week one. 49ers have won all three of their last matchups. Prediction: 49ers

Philadelphia Eagles (1-0) vs Indianapolis Colts (0-1)

Eagles come in off a win while Colts come in off a loss last week. Quarterback Nick Foles threw for  322 yards and two touchdowns in Sunday's 34-17 win over Jacksonville. Running back Darren Sproles rushed 11 times for 71 yards and a touchdown. Eagles defense is ranked 7th after week 1. Quarterback Andrew Luck completed 35-of-53 passes for 370 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions in Sunday night's loss to the Broncos, adding five carries for 19 yards and a rushing touchdown. Colts running game was held under 40 yards for the game and their defense is ranked 18th after week 1. Prediction: Colts

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Companies Quick to Sever Ties With Ray Rice

The fallout of the elevator surveillance video released by TMZ Sports on Monday continues for the embattled Ray Rice.

After being cut by the Baltimore Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the NFL, several companies have also cut ties with the former running back. Here is the latest:

The Baltimore Ravens are no longer selling Ray Rice jerseys on their official website. They are offering fans an exchange for their No. 27 jerseys at their stadium stores.

Rice jerseys were pulled off shelves at retailers Dick's Sporting Goods and Modell's on Monday and were no longer available for sale at the NFL Shop, the league's official online store.

No Idea Tavern and Hersh’s Pizza and Drinks, both in Baltimore, are offering free pizzas and $10 bar tabs if customers turn in their No. 27 Rice jerseys. Both will also donate $2.70 per jersey they receive to the House Of Ruth, a Maryland non-profit organization that helps women and children who are victims of domestic violence.

Nike has terminated its endorsement contract with Ray Rice. VertiMax sports training equipment and BodyArmor sports drink also severed ties with him. 

Rice also had been removed as a spokesman for East Coast-based M&T Bank (though this was done after the release of the initial video).

EA Sports announced via Twitter that it will remove Rice from its Madden NFL 15 game. The roster change update will happen on Friday.
Though this may not be the end of his career, the young athlete stands to lose $4 million in base salary from the Ravens as well as millions of dollars in lost endorsement deals. He will have an uphill battle to gain redemption in the eyes of the public and to play again for the NFL.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Pegulas Reach Agreement to Buy Buffalo Bills

Buffalo Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula are close to being the new owners of the Buffalo Bills.

NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported on Tuesday that the couple had teached a tentative agreement.

The estate must get the approval of the NFL before the sale to the Pegulas can be completed. This could come within the next week.

 The Pegulas would require approval from members of the NFL Finance Committee and would have to go through an extensive background check by an NFL-contracted security firm.

The final step would be approval from three-quarters of the league's 31 other owners, which could come as early as next month.

Under NFL regulations the Pegulas can own both the Sabres and the Bills since they are both in the same market.

The Pegulas were regarded as the front-runners to buy the Bills. They have owned the Sabres since 2011. They have a net worth of more than $3.5 billion and the support of local business leaders and public officials.

The Bills are up for sale after the original owner and founder Ralph Wilson died in March. The sale price is expected to exceed $1 billion.