Eagles

NFL Notes: Ezekiel Elliott's attorney says ban upheld, but RB will play Week 1

NFL Notes: Ezekiel Elliott's attorney says ban upheld, but RB will play Week 1

SHERMAN, Texas -- An arbitrator denied Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott's appeal of a six-game suspension in a domestic violence case Tuesday, but the 2016 NFL rushing champion will play in the opener because of the timing of the decision.

Elliott attorney Jeffrey Kessler told the judge near the end of a nearly 2 1/2-hour hearing in federal court that Elliott's suspension was sustained by arbitrator Harold Henderson.

At the start of the hearing, NFL attorney Daniel Nash told the judge it was "his understanding" that Elliott could play Sunday night against the New York Giants because the league didn't want to rush the judge.

U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant said he would rule on Elliott's request for a temporary restraining order by Friday. If the request is denied and no further legal action taken, Elliott's suspension would start in Week 2 at Denver. He would be eligible to return Nov. 5 against Kansas City (see full story).

Redskins: Norman seeks return to All-Pro form
ASHBURN, Va. -- Through his tinted visor, Josh Norman says he sees offenses like they're on repeat. He feels like he anticipates what's next.

"You find a beat because you watched the film study early on in the week and then a certain situation is telling me what is going to come," Norman said. "I don't even think about it."

Norman's vision enables him be one of the top-flight cornerbacks in the league, and his pride keeps him on the field longer than any other Washington Redskins player after practice. With a "sour taste" in his mouth from last season when he didn't make the Pro Bowl and was the league's most penalized player, Norman has been working on his closing speed and even more anticipation skills because he senses a big year coming.

In new defensive coordinator Greg Manusky's scheme, Norman will have more freedom to sit off some of the game's top receivers and read plays. The result could be even more difference-making plays from the 29-year-old who loves nothing more than standing out when it matters.

"It's going to be a fun year," Norman said with a smile. "I get to get back and sit in that coverage where I see things, and I can go and attack much faster."

Jets: Kerley returns to New York on 1-year contract
NEW YORK -- The New York Jets have signed wide receiver Jeremy Kerley to a one-year deal, reuniting with a player who spent his first five NFL seasons with the franchise.

To make room on the roster Tuesday, the Jets waived fullback Julian Howsare.

Kerley adds a veteran presence and familiar face to a mostly inexperienced receiving group. With 246 catches, the 28-year-old Kerley has the most receptions among the team's receivers. Jermaine Kearse, acquired from Seattle last Friday for Sheldon Richardson, is next with 153. Kerley will also likely serve as the Jets' primary punt returner.

Kerley was a fifth-round pick of the Jets out of TCU in 2011. He was released in March 2016, signed with Detroit and traded before the season to San Francisco, where he had a career-high 64 catches. The 49ers released him last Saturday.

Panthers: Newton says it’s ‘unfair’ Kaepernick not on a roster
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Cam Newton became the latest NFL player to voice his support of free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick, saying it's "unfair" that he's not on a roster.

The Carolina Panthers quarterback asked and answered a few of his own questions on Tuesday:

"Do I think Kaepernick is better than some of these starting quarterbacks in this league? Absolutely.

"Should he be on a roster ...? Absolutely.

"Is he good enough to be a starting quarterback? Absolutely."

Newton and the Panthers are preparing to play Kaepernick's former team, the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

There are players who believe Kaepernick, who had a better passer rating than roughly half the starting QBs in the league in 2016, has been blackballed by teams for choosing to kneel during the national anthem in protest to police violence and social injustice (see full story).

How Eagles could shut down Vikings' receiving duo

usa-stefon-diggs-adam-thielen.jpg
USA Today Images

How Eagles could shut down Vikings' receiving duo

When you think about the best wide receivers in the NFL today, names like Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, and DeAndre Hopkins come to mind and rightfully so, but the Minnesota Vikings have a pair of wideouts who have given opposing secondaries fits.

This season, Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs have been the perfect complement to each other. Thielen finished the regular season with 91 receptions (eighth-best in the league), 1276 yards (fifth-best) and his 20 catches for 20 or more yards tied for fifth-best overall. As for Diggs, he finished with 64 receptions for 849 yards.

Together, Thielen and Diggs accounted for 54 percent of the Vikings' receiving yards this season. They also combined for 12 touchdowns. In the Vikes' miraculous playoff win over the New Orleans Saints, they accounted for 66 percent of the passing game. They have been the safety valves for Case Keenum all season long.

Minnesota offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur has the rare luxury of lining up either one of them on the inside or outside on any given play. Both are excellent route runners — whether it's doing deep or intermediate routes or crossing routes, and both are excellent blockers.

So how should Jim Schwartz defend against these two? Some believe help over the top on Thielen and playing single coverage on Diggs is the way to go. We may see that concept occasionally in the NFC Championship Game but I have a feeling Schwartz will come up with some variation we have not seen before. The Eagles are not going to completely shut these two down, but their damage can be minimized. Ronald Darby, Jalen Mills, Patrick Robinson and the other DBs will put in a full day’s work shadowing these two.

Howie Roseman honored for his tremendous offseason

ap-howie-roseman-eagles.jpg
AP Images

Howie Roseman honored for his tremendous offseason

As the Eagles practiced on Thursday afternoon, just a few days before hosting the NFC Championship Game at Lincoln Financial Field, vice president of football operations Howie Roseman stood next to owner Jeff Lurie and watched the team he created. 

Of the 53 members on the Eagles' roster heading into this championship game, 25 weren't on the active roster last season. Roseman had a very busy offseason, molding the Eagles into a Super Bowl contender. 

For his efforts, the 42-year-old Roseman, who began with the Eagles as an intern in 2000, has been named the NFL Executive of the Year by the Pro Football Writers of America. 

Roseman helped turn over a roster that went 7-9 last season into a team that went 13-3, earning the first-overall seed in the NFC. He built the team with enough depth to survive major injuries to Carson Wentz, Jason Peters, Darren Sproles, Jordan Hicks, Chris Maragos and Caleb Sturgis. 

Never afraid to make a trade, Roseman came back from his time away from football operations more aggressive than ever. He claims his year away from GM duties while Chip Kelly took over was both humbling and eye-opening. 

For this season, Roseman traded 25 spots in the third round to bring in veteran defensive tackle Tim Jernigan, traded away Jordan Matthews and a pick to bring in cornerback Ronald Darby and pulled the trigger on a midseason move to bring in Pro Bowl running back Jay Ajayi. 

In free agency, he signed Alshon Jeffery, Chris Long, LeGarrette Blount, Nick Foles, Patrick Robinson and Chance Warmack. He brought in several of those players on one-year prove-it deals, and for the most part, the team has gotten more than their money's worth out of them. 

He also helped hire VP of player personnel Joe Douglas to revamp the scouting department. That hire of a top personnel man was one of the conditions when Lurie reinstated Roseman to power following Kelly's dismissal. 

Roseman and Douglas spearheaded drafting a class that included Derek Barnett in the first round, an injured Sidney Jones in the second and some other contributors in the next five rounds. 

Aside from just bringing players in, Roseman has been able to manipulate the salary cap better than anyone in the league. It's been a strength of his since his arrival in Philly, so that should be no surprise. 

You could actually argue that Roseman's 2016 was more impressive. That's when he laid the groundwork for this playoff season by moving up and drafting Carson Wentz. But 2017 is when it all came together.