Entries in Football (29)


Patriots Answer to Wells Report, Says Conclusions are 'Incomplete'

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images(FOXBOROUGH, Mass.) -- After attorney Ted Wells defended his report that led to the NFL's punishment of the New England Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady, the team fired back, creating a website to challenge some of the findings discovered by Wells.

The Patriots' rebuttal is nearly 20,000 words written by attorney Daniel L. Goldberg, who represents the team and was present at all interviews of team personnel conducted at Gillette Stadium.

In creating the website, Goldberg wrote, "Our intention is to provide additional context for balance and consideration."

The website said conclusions in the Wells report were "incomplete, incorrect and lack context."

"There is no evidence that Tom Brady preferred footballs that were lower than 12.5 [pounds per square inch] and no evidence anyone even thought that he did," it said.

It also stated that the Wells report dismissed "scientific explanations for the natural loss of psi" in the footballs by rejecting referee Walt Anderson's memory of which air gauge he used to measure them. The Patriots included a "scientific conclusion" by Nobel Prize winner Roderick MacKinnon that contested the report's findings.

The NFL Players Association officially appealed Brady's suspension Thursday afternoon. The appeal will be heard by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

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Seahawks LB Bruce Irvin Says He'll Be Playing in Atlanta in 2016

Stephen Brashear/Getty Images(ATLANTA) -- Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin says he will be playing for the Atlanta Falcons come the 2016 NFL season.

"I'm going to be in Atlanta next season," Irvin told while attending the NBA Eastern Conference semifinals in Atlanta on Wednesday night. "I'm ready."

The Seahawks did not pick up the fifth-year option on Irvin's contract, which would have cost the team $7.8 million in 2016.  Irvin will be making $1.6 million in 2015.

Irvin is from Atlanta, and he's interested in joining former Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, who is now the head coach of the Falcons.

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Broncos Rookie TE Tears ACL, Will Miss 2015 Season

IStockPhoto/Thinkstock(DENVER) -- Denver Broncos rookie tight end Jeff Heuerman tore his left ACL during Saturday's rookie minicamp practice and will miss the 2015 season, according to the team.

Heuerman was a third-round pick in the 2015 NFL draft.  He became the second rookie to suffer a season-ending ACL tear during a non-contact practice.  The Jacksonville Jaguars' third overall pick, Dante Fowler Jr., suffered a torn ACL on Friday and is also expected to miss the 2015 season.

The Broncos were in jerseys and shorts for an afternoon workout. Heuerman was in the open field during a special-teams drill; he planted his left leg to cut and his knee buckled.  He was taken for an MRI Saturday evening, and it confirmed the initial diagnosis by the team's training staff that he had torn the ACL.

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Jets Trade Up in Draft to Add Bryce Petty

iStockphoto(NEW YORK) -- The New York Jets made a quarterback controversy even more interesting when the team traded up in the fourth round to draft Bryce Petty of Baylor.

"That was the longest 48 hours I've ever had in my life," Petty told reporters after being drafted.

Petty said falling to the fourth round didn't bother him.

"No, not at all," he said. "That's part of it, when people question you. My job is to prove to the 31 other teams what they're missing out on."

Petty will be added to a depth chart that includes Geno Smith and veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, who was acquired in a trade with the Houston Texans.

The Jets haven't named a starter, saying Smith and Fitzpatrick will compete in training camp. Coach Todd Bowles said Smith will go into training camp as the No. 1 quarterback, but he also said that it could change.

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Sources: Bears Shopping TE Martellus Bennett

National Football League(CHICAGO) -- According to league sources, the Chicago Bears are entertaining offers for Pro Bowl tight end Martellus Bennett. 

The Bears declined to comment about trading Bennett because the tight end is seeking a new contract and he does not plan to show up to camp with Chicago or anyone else unless he has a new deal.

Bennett is coming off a career year in 2014 in which he topped all NFL tight ends with 90 catches and also set personal bests with 1,038 receiving yards and six touchdowns.

Bennett signed a four-year, $20.4 million deal with $9.215 million in guarantees on March 13, 2013. His compensation for 2015 is scheduled to include a $4.9 million base salary and $100,000 workout bonus.

Since joining the Bears, Bennett has 155 catches for 1,675 yards and 11 touchdowns.

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Mariota Scores 33 on Wonderlic; Jameis Winston Had 27

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Wonderlic scores for Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston won't be among the knocks against them when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers choose what to do with the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft.

Mariota scored a 33 out of 50 on the test and Winston a 27, Yahoo! Sports has reported, citing multiple league sources, later posting Mariota's score via Twitter.

That puts both in good company among NFL quarterbacks: Andrew Luck scored a 37 while Aaron Rodgers had a 35, Tom Brady a 33 and Philip Rivers a 30. Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Russell Wilson each scored a 28, while Joe Flacco had a 27 and Ben Roethlisberger recorded a 25.

The Wonderlic is a 50-question test administered to all combine participants that measures cognitive ability. The time limit is 12 minutes.

A score of 20 is indicative of "average" intelligence and roughly equivalent to an IQ of 100. Former Bengals punter Pat McInally, who attended Harvard, is the only prospect known to have scored a perfect 50 on the test.

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Former NFL RB Lawrence Phillips Suspected of Killing Prison Cellmate

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images(FRESNO, Calif.) -- Former NFL running back Lawrence Phillips is suspected of killing his cellmate in a Central California prison, officials said Monday.

Phillips' cellmate at Kern Valley State Prison was found lifeless early Saturday and later pronounced dead, prison spokesman Lt. Marshall Denning said in a statement.

Phillips was once one of the nation's top college football players at Nebraska. He played for the St. Louis Rams until being released in 1997 for insubordination. He also played for the Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers.

Phillips is serving a sentence of more than 31 years. He was convicted of twice choking his girlfriend in 2005 in San Diego and later that year of driving his car into three teens after a pickup football game in Los Angeles. It wasn't clear whether Phillips has an attorney.

He is suspected of killing Damion Soward, a 37-year-old inmate from San Bernardino County serving 82 years to life for a first-degree murder conviction.

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Emmanuel Sanders: Super Bowl or 'Bust' for Broncos in 2015

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images(ENGLEWOOD, Colo.) -- The Denver Broncos have a new coaching staff and plenty of new faces on their roster.

However, when coach Gary Kubiak addressed the team Monday, it was clear the championship expectations the team has carried over much of the last three seasons are still around.

"The message was definitely world championship from the start," Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders said Monday. "That's what [executive vice president of football operations/general manager John] Elway wants. The focus is bringing a world championship to this city."

Sanders says this is a "Super Bowl or bust" year for Denver.

"We want to get back there and we want to win it," Sanders said. "The main focus of this group is to win a Super Bowl. That's the expectation. If we don't bring a Super Bowl to this city this year, then it's a bust season."

The Broncos have won four consecutive AFC West titles and spent much of Peyton Manning's tenure at quarterback as one of the AFC's front-runners for the Super Bowl. The team finished 12-4 as well as two 13-3 seasons; however, none of the results ended in a title.  The Broncos' appearance in Super Bowl XLVIII to close out the 2013 season ended in a 35-point loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

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Source: Jets will exercise 5th-year option on Quinton Coples' contract

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The New York Jets will exercise their fifth-year option on outside linebacker Quinton Coples' contract, a league source confirmed to's Rich Cimini.

Coples' option for 2015 will be worth $7.8 million. The Jets' decision to pick up the option was reported earlier Saturday by the New York Daily News.

Coples recorded a career-high 6.5 sacks and started 15 games last season while making the transition from defensive end to linebacker.

A first-round draft selection in 2012, Coples has 16.5 career sacks with the Jets.

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LeGarrette Blount Suspended One Game for Substance Abuse

Jim Rogash/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount has been suspended without pay for the 2015 regular-season opener, an NFL spokesman said Tuesday. Blount's suspension is for a violation of the NFL's substance abuse policy.

Blount will lose $48,685 in base salary as part of the suspension, in addition to a $6,250 per-game roster bonus.

The 28-year-old was playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers when he and Le'Veon Bell were arrested Aug. 20; police said they found about three-fourths of an ounce of marijuana in Bell's car during a traffic stop in a Pittsburgh suburb.

Blount can participate in all offseason practices and preseason games before the suspension.

In his final five games of the regular season after joining the Patriots, Blount rushed for 281 yards on 60 carries, with three touchdowns.

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