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Eagles release wide receiver Josh Huff

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Eagles release wide receiver Josh Huff

So much for that second chance. 

A day after head coach Doug Pederson said he didn't plan to discipline Josh Huff for the receiver's Tuesday arrest until he learned more, the Eagles have released Huff. 

“Until I find out exactly the severity of it and what’s going to happen down the road, right now, nothing,” Pederson said on Wednesday. “We’ll take it one day at a time.”

The next day brought Huff's release. 

"We just felt based on the circumstances and the facts involved, it was the right thing to do for our football team," vice president of football operations Howie Roseman said Thursday afternoon.

"We all care about Josh. It's disappointing we have to do this, but we're trying to build something here."

Huff, 25, was pulled over for speeding over the Walt Whitman Bridge toward New Jersey at around 11 a.m. on Tuesday, when police found a gun, loaded magazine and less than 50 grams of marijuana. Huff was charged for unlawful possession of a weapon and for having hollow point bullets, as well as for the marijuana, a DUI, speeding and obstructed view for tinted windows. Huff claimed he has a license for his gun in his home state of Texas. New Jersey does not honor that permit, per its gun laws.

A pick-six and a fumble-six is no way for Mariota to start a season

A pick-six and a fumble-six is no way for Mariota to start a season

It stinks to be a quarterback drafted by a bad team. You're carrying the burden of being expected to turn that team around but without help, that's a difficult chore.

On the other hand, when a team spends a high draft pick on you, like the Tennessee Titans did on Marcus Mariota with the No. 2 pick, you also get every chance to succeed.

Last season, Mariota opened with a terrific performance in his first NFL game, a sensational debut that ranks among the best ever among rookie signal-callers. But his season-opener in his second year Sunday was nothing to write home about. The Titans dominated Minnesota in the first half, leading 10-0 after two quarters, but lost 25-16 after Mariota -- deep in Minnesota territory -- threw a pick-six and then later botched an exchange with DeMarco Murray that resulted in a fumble that was turned into another Viking TD.

It was a disastrous second half for the Titans and Mariota took the blame for the critical turnovers.

I'm sure the Tennessee coaching staff still has plenty of faith in Mariota, but this is a crucial season for the young quarterback. He came from a spread-option system at Oregon that did not necessarily prepare him for the NFL game. He was battered and bruised behind a leaky offensive line last season. The question is, will he be able to get that franchise turned around? Does he have the tools around him to make it happen?

And if it doesn't happen, will he get the blame?

Or could he be on the disappointing road to one of those careers doomed by being drafted by the wrong team or perhaps just not having the right skill set for the NFL? Obviously, it's too early in his career to write him off. But the NFL is a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately league and there are always people waiting to call you a bust.

It's going to be a very interesting story.

Bears announce Kyle Long signed through 2021 season

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USA Today

Bears announce Kyle Long signed through 2021 season

Word of a four-year extension for Bears guard Kyle Long broke over the weekend and the Bears confirmed the deal in an official announcement on Wednesday.

The Bears announced that Long is now signed through the 2021 season, which means the extension will kick in after the 2017 season. Long is playing his fourth year in 2016 and will play the 2017 season under the terms of the team option that the Bears exercised on his rookie contract.

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Colt Lyerla's fall from grace: A man who couldn't get out of his own way.

Colt Lyerla's fall from grace: A man who couldn't get out of his own way.

The troubling story of Colt Lyerla added another chapter on Sunday, as Tigard police arrested the former Oregon star for heroin possession.

The news was first reported by Tim Brown of the Oregonian, and according to the Washington County Sheriff, he is being held on $2,000 bail.

Lyerla starred at Hillsboro High School, becoming one of the top recruits in the country, before eventually taking his talents to the University of Oregon. Expectations for Lyerla were sky high while he was in Eugene, and while he showed glimpses of his star power, off the field issues derailed his career.

Lyerla played in 15 games his first two seasons at Oregon, amassing 469 yards from scrimmage to go with seven touchdowns. He was expected to see an expanded role and be a key cog for the Ducks his junior year, but that is where the wheels started to fall off.

After playing poorly in the first two games of 2013, Lyerla missed a key game vs. Tennessee due to “circumstances.” The circumstances weren’t clear, but it was clear that Lyerla was falling out of favor within the Oregon program. He was later suspended for a violation of team rules, and shortly thereafter announced he was leaving the program for “personal reasons.”

Just weeks after leaving the program Lyerla was arrested on charges of cocaine possession, a charge he would plead guilty to in order to pursue his NFL dream.

However, the cocaine charge was in the forefront of the minds of every NFL GM as the 2014 draft approached.

Prior to the draft, Lyerla discussed his past with Chase Goodbread of College Football 24/7:

            Lyerla's troubled timeline is a lengthy one. He was dismissed from the Oregon football team in October for an unspecified team rules violation. On Thursday, he left it unspecified, but let               on that it was no small matter to him personally.

            "I can't really say too much about that, but it's something I deeply, deeply regret and it's a mistake I'll have to live with the rest of my life," he said.

            That wasn't the only issue Lyerla has dealt with. Weeks after his dismissal, Lyerla was arrested for cocaine possession when police witnessed him using the drug in his car. He later ran                   from police, compounding his troubles, when they attempted to continue the investigation at his residence. Lyerla spent a day in jail and another nine days working on a road crew.

           "That was huge for me," he said. "It gave me a lot of time to self-reflect and realize that's a place I never want to be again."

Lyerla sounded remorsefull, but his past was too much to overcome. Lyerla went undrafted, but was eventually signed by the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent. Lyerla impressed during Packers camp, drawing comparisons to Rob Gronkowski, but it all came crumbling down. During a team practice Lyerla tore his PCL and MCL, and later reached a settlement for his release in August of 2014. Many experts thought the move was just a hiccup. A chance for the Packers to free up cap space and a roster spot, then bring Lyerla back when he was healthy. These thoughts never materialized. Due in large part to his off the field issues, Lyerla would never wear an NFL uniform again. 

Lyerla was arrested on suspicion of DUI in September of that same year, as his off the field struggled continued.

Lyerla stayed out of the news until November of 2015, but this time it was good news, and it looked like the troubled star had finally found the right path.

The Arena Football League came knocking on his door, and his hometown Portland Steel signed him to a contract. The first game of the season saw an electric Moda Center crowd cheering on the former hometown hero, and Lyerla himself said “it feels good to be the hometown kid.” But this feeling, too, was short lived. In week two against the Orlando Predators Lyerla injured his shoulder, and was subsequently put on the IR.

As Lyerla said in 2014, he never wanted to be in a bad place again. Unfortunately, he didn’t listen to his own advice. Another lost football job resulted in another run in with the law for Lyerla. The story has grown dull. Lyerla has been arrested enough time now that it is almost non-news. But for some reason, he resonates with us. Maybe it is because he was the hometown kid we all rooted for. Maybe it is because he was the Oregon Duck we all wanted to see at the next level. Or maybe we continue to pay attention because of how sad the story is: A man with the talent to be the best couldn't get out of his own way.

The heroin arrest last Sunday may be the final nail in the coffin for Lyerla. If it wasn’t already, the NFL dream is certainly dead. With cocaine and heroin on his record, he will probably never see the AFL again, either.  The only career he has sustained up to this point is that of a career criminal. 

For the sake of Lyerla and all those who love and root for him, let’s hope this career fizzles out like the rest.

Colt Lyerla arrested in Washington County for heroin possession

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Washington County Police

Colt Lyerla arrested in Washington County for heroin possession

Former Oregon Ducks tight end Colt Lyerla was for heroin possession in Washington Country on Sunday. 

According to the Washington County Police website, Lylera is still in custody and his bail is set at $2,000. 

A former standout at Hillsboro High School, Lyerla joined the Oregon Ducks in 2011. After a stellar first season in which Lyerla scored five touchdowns for the Ducks, his fall from grace was swift.

In 2013, Lyerla missed Oregon's game against Tennessee and was suspended by newly appointed head coach Mark Helfrich for the Ducks following game against Colorado before he quit football team. Shortly after his departure, Lyerla was arrested for unlawful possession of cocaine. He later plead guilty and served ten days in jail. 

Lyerla got his shot in the NFL when joined the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent. His tenure there was short, however, after the troubled athlete was diagnosed with a torn MCL and PCL in his right knee. He was waived and never saw the field in an NFL uniform again.

After a brief stint in which he played rugby in France, Lyerla joined the Portland Steel this past March. A month later, Lyerla was placed on the inactive reserve after sustaining a shoulder injury. 

Check back for further updates soon.

Report: Raptors signing E.J. Singler

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USATI

Report: Raptors signing E.J. Singler

Ready for another Singler in the NBA?

Thunder forward Kyle Singler‘s brother, E.J. Singler, is headed to the Raptors.

Blake Murphy of Raptors Republic:

Toronto as 14 players – one shy of the regular-season roster limit – with guaranteed salaries. Singler will join Fred VanVleetJarrod Uthoff, Yanick Moreira and Drew Crawford in a crowded race for the 15th spot.

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Source: Eagles' rookie LB Joe Walker out for season with torn ACL

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Source: Eagles' rookie LB Joe Walker out for season with torn ACL

The Eagles' already-suspect linebacker depth has taken another big blow. 

Backup middle linebacker Joe Walker tore his ACL during Thursday night's preseason game in Pittsburgh and is out for the season, a league source confirmed to CSNPhilly.com.

The Philadelphia Daily News first reported that Walker was out for the year.  

Walker was a seventh-round selection out of Oregon, but was slated as the Eagles' backup middle linebacker behind the oft-injured Jordan Hicks.

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Hroniss Grasu injury hurts Bears on multiple levels

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Hroniss Grasu injury hurts Bears on multiple levels

BOURBONNAIS — When center Hroniss Grasu went down Saturday with what is expected to be a season-ending right-knee injury, a shock wave went through the Bears organization.

The immediate concern was — and is — for Grasu, already a core member of a young offensive line coming together for what the Bears have planned on being a long-term part of their foundation. No one had worked harder than the young lineman from Oregon at his craft, at his physical development, at settling into an offense necessarily changing from exactly what it had been last year when Grasu started eight games after an injury to another center, Will Montgomery.

“Last year, he was very reserved and almost a little understated, I would say,” right guard Kyle Long said of Grasu as camp opened. “He was afraid to kind of ruffle some feathers. I think Hroniss has done a great job of getting back to who he is. You move all the football stuff aside, he’s a great guy, he’s got a great personality, he gets along with everybody, he’s funny, he works hard, he’s a blue-collar guy. But then you put in that learning curve with football and you’re going to see a guy who’s on the ascent here for a long time in Chicago.”

That is the overarching loss, at least until Grasu is back. And “getting back” should be the assumption until circumstances prove otherwise. Roberto Garza gave the Bears a decade of superb play, first at guard, then at center, without an anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

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DeForest Buckner quickly earning respect at first 49ers camp

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DeForest Buckner quickly earning respect at first 49ers camp

SANTA CLARA — DeForest Buckner is feeling pretty comfortable during his first NFL training camp.

The San Francisco 49ers' first-round pick is learning the NFL game from his former college coach, Chip Kelly. He's playing next to one of his best friends and former Oregon teammates Arik Armstead. Jerry Azzinaro, Buckner's college position coach, joined Kelly with San Francisco.

The familiar faces are helping Buckner's play stand out. The seventh-overall pick performed well enough during practice to earn time with the starters during the first week of training camp. In the early going, he's living up to the billing as one of the most highly-touted prospects in the recent NFL draft.

"(Buckner) worked his way from the third string all the way up to the first string," defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil said. "We didn't give him anything. He had to earn it. So, he earned our respect. He earned the players' respect. I think all of our guys know, we don't care where you were drafted. You're going to have to earn it. Nothing is going to be given to you and he's done a nice job."

Buckner will try to improve the defense that ranked 29th in the NFL in 2015, when the team finished 5-11 and fired coach Jim Tomsula after one season. The 6-foot-7, 300-pound defensive end has been difficult to block for offensive linemen during the first six training camp practices.

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Reports: Bears' Grasu tears ACL, likely done for the season

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Reports: Bears' Grasu tears ACL, likely done for the season

Bears training camp has been beset by injuries that had as many as 16 players with some sort of injury. None, however, had reached the level as a torn right ACL reportedly suffered by center Hroniss Grasu during Saturday’s Bears practice at Soldier Field, sources said.

Grasu had made significant progress through the offseason and early going of camp, moving to secure the center position after rookie season that saw him start eight games but miss three games with a neck injury and then game 16 with a knee injury.

A torn ACL typically marks the end for the season, and whether Grasu is done for 2016 or could return, the Bears will be making roster tweaking. 

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