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As suspended wideout Josh Gordon awaits word on whether his application for reinstatement to the NFL will be approved, he certainly looks like someone who is physically ready to return to football after a two-year absence:
Gordon, who apparently has blue hair now, also showed off his athleticism in the gym by dropping a series of sensational dunks:
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Famed former head coach and color commentator John Madden is pushing for the NFL to make it illegal for defensive players to leap over the line of scrimmage on kick plays, The MMQB's Peter King reports.
Though it was the Philadelphia Eagles who officially proposed the rule change, which will be considered at the league meetings this week, the Competition Committee is also reportedly in favor of the change.
And, as the co-chair of the NFL's safety committee and chair of the coaches subcommittee, Madden remains a prominent voice on matters related to the rules.
"Why should we wait till somebody gets seriously hurt on a play like this before we do anything about it? It's got to be outlawed," Madden reportedly told the Competition Committee.
The proposed change hasn't been particularly popular with fans, many of whom enjoy the novelty of seeing a defensive player jump over the line to block a kick.
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ALAMEDA, Calif. - Oakland's mayor asked NFL owners to delay voting on a proposed move by the Raiders to Las Vegas, wanting to give her city a chance to negotiate with a small group of owners to complete a stadium deal at the Coliseum site.
The league was set to vote Monday on the relocation, with the Raiders needing 24 of 32 owners to approve the move to a $1.7 billion stadium in Las Vegas that will be ready for play in 2020.
''Never that we know of has the NFL voted to displace a team from its established market when there is a fully financed option before them with all the issues addressed,'' Mayor Libby Schaaf said in a statement. ''I'd be remiss if I didn't do everything in my power to make the case for Oakland up until the very end.''
Schaaf said the city has presented a $1.3 billion plan for a stadium at the Coliseum site that would be ready by 2021. She says the existing Coliseum would be demolished by 2024, with the Oakland Athletics baseball team either moving to a new stadium at the Coliseum site or somewhere else in the city.
She also asked for owners to conduct a secret ballot on the vote, as was done last year when the league approved the Rams move from St. Louis to the Los Angeles area. The Raiders had hoped to move back to LA, where they played from 1982-94, to share a stadium with the Chargers, but were rejected by the owners. The Chargers announced this offseason they would leave San Diego to join the Rams at the new stadium in Inglewood.
Schaaf said the Raiders have refused to negotiate with the city on a new stadium since completing a short-term lease last March that gave the team options to play at the Coliseum in 2017 and '18.
The city has a deal with the Fortress Investment Group and a group led by Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott to build a stadium at the Coliseum site. Fortress would provide $600 million in a traditional loan, with the Raiders and NFL committing $500 million and the city giving $200 million for infrastructure funding.
''We believe that moving the Raiders will be a negative `tipping point' for the NFL,'' a group of Raiders fans said in a letter also sent to NFL owners. ''Thousands of fans may very well be turned off forever by what they perceive is the NFL's lack of loyalty to its most important constituents - the fans!''
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Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones has the same opinion of his team's free-agency period as many fans: the Cowboys got worse.
"I would agree with that," Jones told the Star-Telegram's Clarence E. Hill Jr. about the Cowboys' step back in free agency.
With it appearing unlikely the Cowboys will be able to trade Tony Romo for any substantial return, it's difficult to see the team entering 2017 with a stronger roster than last season. That is, unless young defensive players like Jaylon Smith can make significant strides forward.
"People say our biggest issue and the thing that keeps us from winning a championship is the lack of (defense)," Jones said. "We didn't have the players to be a great defense.
"Hopefully we can address that (in the draft). Now I am not going to say we are going to sit here and pick for need. But I will say before we started free agency we took a snapshot of the draft and knew that it was deep in the defensive line, deep in the secondary. We knew that was the ability to really improve ourselves there."
Jones also suggested the players the Cowboys lost weren't worth paying to retain, since the team's defense struggled to pressure opposing quarterbacks in 2016.
"What we have to do better on defense is we have to get pressure on the passer. And we have to make plays on the ball. We have to do that better," Jones said.
"Obviously we haven't been doing that with the guys we got. So how do you get better if you keep paying the guys you got who aren’t making plays on the ball a lot of money?"
As LaVar Ball dominated sports debates across all media, NFL fans could at least find solace in the fact he had nothing to do with football.
That no longer appears to be the case.
Ball entered camp with the Jets as a defensive end. The next season, he was listed as a tight end with the Panthers.
Considering his recent boasts, he was likely a star two-position, two-sport athlete.
The rumor appears to have been sparked by CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, who reported that Panthers owner Jerry Richardson is battling health issues, won't pass the team to his sons, and other NFL owners expect the topic of the team's ownership to become a hot topic at league meetings this week.
A Panthers spokesman fired back:
Mr. Richardson is healthy, vigorous, happy and fully engaged in the business of the Carolina Panthers. The team is absolutely not for sale. These reports are based on the misinterpretation of an agenda item. No owner is more committed to his team than Mr. Richardson.
La Canfora has reported for years that the Tennessee Titans are for sale, something the Titans have repeatedly denied. The Titans remain in the Adams family, as they have for their entire existence.
According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the NFL's owners will discuss a minor detail involving Panthers ownership at the league meetings. A small percentage of the team owned by a limited partner who passed away recently will be sold.
The driver of the vehicle was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. Boykin, the only other party arrested, is facing drug and public intoxication charges.
The incident occurred around 2 a.m. The car was driven into four people on a sidewalk and crashed through the front wall of the bar, injuring a bartender. None of the victims were reported to have life-threatening injuries.
The Seahawks signed Boykin as an undrafted free agent. The former star quarterback at TCU has been the primary backup to starter Russell Wilson. He played in five games in 2016, completing 13 of 18 passes for one touchdown and an interception.
The Oakland Raiders could become the Las Vegas Raiders as early as Monday, when NFL owners are expected to vote on the team's relocation proposal.
ESPN's Adam Schefter says he's heard the Raiders will get the votes needed for the proposal to pass. USA TODAY Sports' Tom Pelissero was told by one owner that the vote should be roughly 28-4 in favor of the move.
Davis needs 24 of 32 votes for the motion to pass.
"It's a done deal," the owner told Pelissero.
There could still be a last-ditch effort to keep the Raiders in Oakland - and the team isn't expected to move to Las Vegas for a few years, which could lead to some awkward seasons in Oakland - but at this time it appears the Raiders' future will be decided by the end of day Monday.
The NFL's 32 teams will vote Monday on a proposal that would move the Raiders from Oakland to Las Vegas. The result of the vote has yet to be determined, but league commissioner Roger Goodell is already addressing the black hole that would remain in Oakland should the relocation get approval.
"It is painful all the way around," Goodell said Thursday to Peter King of The MMQB. "The first thing you think about is the fans. It's disappointment that we weren't able to get to a successful conclusion - I said that when the Chargers moved (to Los Angeles). We worked tirelessly to try to get an outcome that would allow the Chargers to stay there. We didn't get there, so I am disappointed in that. The same would be true if that is the case with the Raiders."
The Raiders have played in Oakland since 1995 (and called the city home from 1960-81 before a move to Los Angeles), but the team and city have been unable to come to terms on a resolution for a new stadium. Oakland Coliseum has stood for more than 50 years and also houses MLB's Oakland Athletics. It is one of the more outdated facilities in the league.
"We have sought to get stability for the Raiders for several years. This goes back several decades back into the early '80s and probably even into the '70s. We really want to figure out a way to make sure that all 32 teams have that stability and a stadium is a big component of that," Goodell said.
Should the Raiders leave Oakland for a second time, Goodell maintains the blame will be shared by a number of parties.
"When we don't get that done in our current market, it is a failure, a collective responsibility on all of us - us, the community, the team, and that is disappointing to us," he said.
theScore's 2017 draft prospect rankings are compiled by NFL editor Dan Wilkins. Check back every Monday leading up to draft week for a new positional breakdown of top talents and potential sleepers.
|1||Corey Davis||Western Michigan|
|4||Chris Godwin||Penn State|
|5||Zay Jones||East Carolina|
Davis is the most complete receiver prospect in this class, and he should be ranked accordingly on draft boards around the league. Atop the lengthy list of impressive traits is a combination of athleticism and route-running ability that allows him to create separation with relative ease. He's a nightmare for defenses when he's given the opportunity to pick up yards after the catch, but the Western Michigan standout also flashes his size and strength at the catch point to go up and win over the top of defenders in contested situations. Putting it all together, this is what a No. 1 receiver looks like at the next level.
Some incredible college production must be put into context, given that the vast majority of which came against a lower level of competition, but everything Davis shows on tape should have teams confident that his skill set will translate. The only concern teams will likely have, as it pertains to the draft process, is that a minor ankle surgery has kept him out of both the combine and his pro day. As long as teams are confident in the athleticism he demonstrated throughout his college career, Davis should still be a favorite to be the first wideout off the board.
Having a power forward-type receiver who can physically outmatch the vast majority of cornerbacks is a game-changer for offenses. That's exactly the kind of player Williams can be in the NFL. As he demonstrated throughout his career at Clemson, and most impressively so en route to a national championship this past season, his ability to win in the vertical game makes him a true difference maker and the second of two clear-cut No. 1 receivers in this class.
Williams' strength and body control at the catch point allows him to make the kinds of plays that simply aren't an option for other receivers. As evidenced by Deshaun Watson's clear trust in him, the ability to high-point the ball and win contested plays truly makes him "open" in almost any solo coverage. But that's not all he can do. That physicality and aggressiveness also shows up after the catch, where Williams is constantly fighting for extra yards. He doesn't have the same extensive route tree that Davis boasts, but his skill set makes him just as valuable in different situations. A pro day 40 time in the 4.5 second range did more than enough to answer any speed concerns and effectively lock him in as a first-round pick.
Speed isn't everything, but it sure is something. Confirming the burner status he earned in college, and perhaps even exceeding any realistic expectations, Ross set a new NFL Scouting Combine record with a 40 time of 4.22. Those wheels, along with a natural and often overlooked ability to track the ball downfield, will make the Washington star one of the league's top vertical threats from the moment he sets foot on the field. Both in terms of production and impact he would have on opposing defenses, forcing coverage over the top more often than not, Ross will be an incredible weapon wherever he lands.
He's not exactly a one-trick pony, either. For a smaller wideout that will draw endless comparisons to DeSean Jackson, Ross has an impressive amount of red zone production. That's due primarily to short-area quickness and polished releases off the line of scrimmage. Add in the potential for getting him the ball in space with some manufactured touches, and Ross becomes a prospect that can contribute in a number of different ways. It's a first-round skill set, without a doubt, but where he comes off the board will depend on how teams feel about his medicals. A history of knee issues, a recent shoulder surgery, and the fact that he came up hobbled at the end of his impressive 40-yard dash, all contribute to questions about his durability.
Davis, Williams, and Ross are getting the majority of the attention at the wide receiver position leading up to the draft, and deservedly so. All three are easily first-round talents, injury concerns will be the only factors, if any, that could hold them back from hearing their names called on Day 1. But this wide receiver class is downright stacked. The second tier of talent actually isn't that much of a drop-off, and that group starts with a quietly complete talent in Godwin. While the stat sheet won't necessarily compare to other top prospects, he can do everything an offense could possible ask of a lead receiver.
Clean releases off the line, smooth route-running ability, sneaky speed, and quickness in and out of his breaks allow Godwin to create separation at all levels of the field. The only potential reservation about his well-rounded athletic profile is his relatively average height, but the consistency with which he wins contested catch situations allows him to play far bigger than his listed height of 6-foot-1. Body control and adjustments at the catch point seemingly come easy to Godwin. All that, along with the desire to pick up yards after the catch and a willingness to get involved as a run blocker on the perimeter, make it tough to poke any holes in his game. A high-floor, high-ceiling player who is likely an immediate starter, Godwin should be an early Day 2 pick at the latest.
There wasn't a receiver who did more for himself throughout the pre-draft process than Jones. A supremely productive pass-catcher who has experience lining up all over the field, the East Carolina standout should have every opportunity to emerge as a big-time playmaker in today's NFL. Based on the way he was used in college, and successfully so, a logical projection looking ahead to the professional level for Jones would be that of a high-end slot receiver. And given his quickness, route-running, and ability to navigate the short to intermediate levels of the field, that could very well be how his career starts.
Jones was also able to make the most of the opportunities he had downfield, though, and that ability showed up again with a particularly impressive Senior Bowl performance. After a combine showing that effectively silenced any concerns there may have been about athleticism that can translate to the next level, Jones is comfortably in the second tier of wideouts behind the consensus top three. The upside and potential for instant impact should make him another no-brainer pick on Day 2.
Best of the rest
|7||Taywan Taylor||Western Kentucky|
|8||Josh Reynolds||Texas A&M|
|9||Carlos Henderson||Louisiana Tech|
|10||Curtis Samuel||Ohio State|
|11||Isaiah Ford||Virginia Tech|
|12||Ryan Switzer||North Carolina|
|15||Cooper Kupp||Eastern Washington|
- JuJu Smith-Schuster will never blow anyone away with his speed or athleticism, but that's not a problem considering everything else he can do. Cornerbacks in the NFL should have the same issues as those in college did when it comes to trying to match up with his physicality. The strength both when the ball is in the air and when he's looking to pick up extra yards will make him a particularly reliable possession target.
- Another Texas A&M wideout with a huge frame, Josh Reynolds is a big play waiting to happen. Not only does he have the size and body control to go up and win over top of smaller defenders, but he also has the straight-line speed to slip behind them downfield. Any success with expanding his route tree to better fit NFL offenses will make Reynolds a dangerous target.
- One of the the many prospects entering this year's draft with their positional fit seemingly up in the air, Curtis Samuel cracks the top 10 receivers due to his potential from the slot. The Ohio State product's combination of speed and quickness makes him tough enough to cover one-on-one, and his route-running should only continue to improve if he begins to focus on receiver while only taking occasional backfield reps.
- Ryan Switzer was the security blanket for Mitchell Trubisky at North Carolina. A 5-foot-8, 181-pound frame is less than ideal, but his role isn't one that demands size. Switzer is an intriguing slot prospect who has the suddenness to separate from man coverage underneath, as well as a natural feel for working his way through zones. He has rock solid hands and he also brings punt return value.
- After a slow start to his college career, Chad Hansen came out of nowhere to emerge as Davis Webb's top target and put together a sensational junior season. The sample size is small, and the offense certainly helped, but Hansen has all the physical traits of a starting boundary receiver and high-level red zone target at the next level. Hansen can really go up and get it when given the opportunity.
KD Cannon, Baylor
The benefit of playing in a high-flying Baylor offense will have teams remaining cautious not to overreact to Cannon's output in 2016. There's always room for game-breaking speed in NFL offenses, though, and he undoubtedly has that in his arsenal. Cannon is an absolutely burner who can take the top off a secondary. You'll gladly put up with the occasional drop and limited route capabilities for that kind of unteachable trait, especially if it becomes available toward the latter half of Day 3.
Michael Clark, Marshall
NFL teams love their size and speed. Clark is as raw as they come, to be sure. The former basketball player was on the field for just one year of football at Marshall, where he tallied 37 receptions for 632 yards and five touchdowns. That production level screams undrafted free agent, and perhaps that's where he ends up. But there will be plenty of coaching staffs looking for the chance to mold a 6-foot-5-plus wideout that runs in the low 4.5s.
Tight ends (March 31)
Offensive tackles (April 3)
Guards/Centers (April 7)
Interior defensive line (April 10)
Edge defenders (April 14)
Linebackers (April 17)
Cornerbacks (April 21)
Safeties (April 24)
(Photos courtesy: Action Images)
Washington Redskins president Bruce Allen spoke extensively about general manager Scot McCloughan's dismissal for the first time Sunday.
McCloughan was fired on March 9, reportedly due to his ongoing battle with alcoholism, along with a fractured relationship with Allen.
"I've heard all this different speculation," Allen said to ESPN's John Keim. "That's ridiculous. Scot and I have had conversations (before the firing). We're on the same page.
"There's a personal side in that I brought him to the Redskins and hoped for obviously not just a different outcome, but a better situation for him and for the Redskins. Yeah, that hurts. I do wish him the best. I like Scot. It feels like our friendship obviously will be strained."
The Redskins have yet to hire McCloughan's replacement and will wait until the conclusion of the upcoming NFL draft to do so.
McCloughan's firing came as a shock to many league executives, as the Redskins posted consecutive winning seasons under his watch.
Allen refused to point to a specific reason behind McCloughan's firing.
"I had hoped it would work out better than it did," Allen said. "I'm not going to discuss what I talked to Scot with in personal conversations. It didn't work out."
Ahead of the upcoming draft, the Redskins remain as mercurial as ever.
On the eve of a vote that could send the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas, commissioner Roger Goodell reiterated his stance against legalized sports gambling.
The prospect of gambling was a major deterrent towards a proposed franchise in Las Vegas for years, and with the Raiders on the verge of being approved for relocation, Goodell voiced his concern.
"We are not changing our position as it relates to legalized sports gambling. We still don't think it is a positive thing," Goodell said to Peter King of The MMQB.
Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf wrote a letter to Goodell, outlining a plan to keep the Raiders in Oakland, which included a rendering of a $1.3-billion stadium that would host the team. However, Goodell rejected the proposal, stating "we have not yet identified a viable solution" to keep the Raiders in Oakland.
It's widely expected that more than 24 of the NFL's 32 owners will vote in favor of the Raiders relocating to Las Vegas. Los Angeles Chargers CEO Dean Spanos said he's voting for the proposal, while Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones indicated that he will be supporting the motion.
Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson and Pittsburgh Steelers chairman Dan Rooney will not be in attendance, but a replacement is expected to vote in place of both men.
J.J. Watt and hip-hop certainly aren't the first things associated with each other, but the defensive end has grown fond of Houston's rap community.
Watt, who's featured with the Houston Texans since being selected 11th overall in the 2011 NFL Draft, was asked who his favorite Houston rapper was and responded with a veritable all-star lineup:
There's been no word if Watt's been spotted around Houston sitting sideways.
Cousins has been the subject of numerous trade rumblings, after receiving the franchise tag for the second consecutive year.
Although Cousins is seeking a long-term deal, both parties are dismissing the notion of the Pro Bowler joining another team anytime soon.
"I can't keep up with the rumors," Allen said via CSN Mid-Atlantic's JP Finlay. "Kirk and I have talked almost a dozen times this offseason, and we get to laugh when we hear these different rumors. We haven't talked to anyone."
Cousins was previously linked to the San Francisco 49ers, after Kyle Shanahan became the team's head coach. Shanahan worked with Cousins from 2012-13 as the Redskins' offensive coordinator.
Allen doubled down on the team's objective, believing both the Redskins and Cousins can find a long-term agreement ahead of the season.
"Our goal from the beginning has been long term," Allen said. "I'm still hopeful and confident we'll do it."
The Oakland Raiders' proposal to relocate to Las Vegas has secured at least one vote.
Dean Spanos will be voting on behalf of the Chargers, instead of his father, Alex, who's the official owner of the franchise. The younger Spanos has maintained day-to-day operations of the team from 1993, while the 93-year-old Spanos will almost certainly not attend the meeting in Phoenix.
The Chargers announced that they will be moving from San Diego to Los Angeles on January 12, securing approval from over 24 of the NFL's 32 owners.
Previously, the Chargers and Raiders worked on a proposal that would see both teams relocate and share a stadium in Carson, California. Carson City Council approved a $1.7-billion project in February 2015, but the deal eventually felt through, accelerated by the Rams' relocation from St. Louis to Los Angeles in January 2016.
The league's owners are expected to vote on the Raiders' relocation proposal Monday during the annual league meeting.
To no surprise, Giants co-owner John Mara couldn't contain his excitement about Marshall on Sunday.
"It was a spark to the entire organization getting a player of that caliber," Mara said via Tom Rock of Newsday. "I think that's really going to help us. He's got a great attitude and he wants to win and I think he'll be a good influence in the receiver room."
Marshall asked the New York Jets for a release following the conclusion of the 2016 season and his former team complied.
The Giants' wide receivers were nationally scrutinized after taking a yacht trip in Miami following a Week 17 victory, taking a much-ridiculed shirtless photo, and partied with pop superstar Justin Bieber.
"We hope so. With everybody, not just Odell," Mara said of Marshall's potential leadership capacity. "We have a young group there and he's had a lot of success for a long period of time and I think they'll respond to him."
Paired alongside Beckham and Shepard, Marshall is presented with a genuine opportunity to steer the Giants' passing game to a Super Bowl appearance next winter.
Hall was arrested for disorderly conduct, public intoxication, and interference, while Dorleant was arrested for interference. Hall was reportedly tased during the incident.
Hall and Dorleant were collegiate teammates at Northern Iowa.
Dorleant was signed as an undrafted free agent and played sparingly during his rookie year, recording one tackle.
Hall was selected in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, and racked up nine tackles and an interception in eight games.
The Steelers haven't announced whether Art Rooney will take his father's place at the meeting.
Rooney isn't the only owner to pull out of the meetings, as Panthers owner Jerry Richardson will not attend, citing difficulties with travelling to the West Coast. The meetings, which begin Monday, are taking place in Phoenix.
Art Rooney spoke about a rule change that will attempt to speed up the pace of the game on Friday.
"I think we have identified ways to cut out, sort of unnecessary downtime, in the little nooks and crannies in the game, without really impacting the game itself or the number of plays, anything like that. The object is not to change the number of plays in the game or dramatically change the time of the game. It’s really an effort to try to streamline the game and make it feel less choppy, both in the stadium and at home," Rooney said.
Oakland Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio is doing his all in trying to get his team to block out distractions, with rumors of impending relocation swirling.
The NFL's 32 owners are expected to vote on a proposal that would see the Raiders move from Oakland to Las Vegas, during the first day of the annual league meeting Monday. Of the league's 32 owners, 24 will need to approve any potential relocation.
Regardless of the vote, the Raiders will play in Oakland for the 2017 season, and Del Rio is trying to keep his team's attention on football, as opposed to a prospective move.
"My job is to make sure that everybody understands their defined role and that they're all doing everything they can to execute that role," Del Rio said Sunday in an excerpt for Good Morning Football. "Right now, that's the here and now, playing really good football in Oakland. We'll need to worry about it and we'll need to address it but we know we have a season in Oakland for sure, maybe more. So for me, as the head coach, my job, it really won't change a whole lot."
The Raiders' potential move isn't the only rumor surrounding the team. Marshawn Lynch was linked to the Raiders in a possible return to football, although the Oakland native has yet to confirm any notion that he'd come out of retirement early.
Del Rio is unfazed by the rumor and didn't necessarily rule out a role for Lynch, but noted that there are several steps involved before the former Seattle Seahawks running back can don the black and silver.
"I understand the natural story there," Del Rio said. "A guy that grew up in the area much like I did. It would have been a dream come true for me to end up playing there. Fortunately, I'm coaching there now. We'll see how things play out. There's a lot that needs to transpire between now and then."
With the running back recovering from core muscle surgery, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said Sunday there's currently no timetable for his return, emphasizing that the team wants him firing on all cylinders by the time next season rolls around.
"Our goal is to have him 100 percent for the 2017 season," Colbert said, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Gerry Dulac.
The 25-year-old is currently set to play the 2017 season under the $12-million franchise tag. Reports at the start of March said Bell and the Steelers were deep in negotiations for a long-term contract, but there hasn't appeared to be any movement since.
Bell played at an MVP-level throughout the 2016 regular season and the first round of the playoffs. However, a groin injury limited him to just six carries in the AFC Championship Game against the New England Patriots, which the Steelers lost 36-17.