Aaron Hernandez

NFL Notes: Aaron Hernandez had severe CTE; daughter sues NFL, Patriots

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NFL Notes: Aaron Hernandez had severe CTE; daughter sues NFL, Patriots

BOSTON -- Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez had a severe case of the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy, his lawyer said on Thursday in announcing a lawsuit against the NFL and the team for hiding the true dangers of the sport.

Dr. Ann McKee, the director of the CTE Center at Boston University, said Hernandez had Stage 3 (out of 4) of the disease, which can cause violent mood swings, depression and other cognitive disorders.

"We're told it was the most severe case they had ever seen for someone of Aaron's age," attorney Jose Baez said.

Hernandez killed himself in April in the prison cell where he was serving a life-without-parole sentence for murder. Baez said Hernandez had shown signs of memory loss, impulsivity and aggression that could be attributed to CTE (see full story).

Jets: Williams limited with bone bruise in wrist
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- New York Jets defensive lineman Leonard Williams was limited at practice with a wrist injury that he says is a bone bruise.

Williams was originally injured during the preseason, and says Thursday that his wrist is bothering him at times. It doesn't appear that the injury will keep him out of the Jets' home opener Sunday against Miami, but Williams might have to play through it.

Defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson sat out practice for the second straight day with a sore shoulder. He said Wednesday that it wasn't a big deal, and coach Todd Bowles says the Jets will see how it feels as the week goes along.

Starting right guard Brian Winters (abdomen) and tight ends Jordan Leggett (knee) and Eric Tomlinson (elbow) also didn't practice. Fourth-year backup Dakota Dozier would start if Winters is unable to play (see full story).

Packers: Perry latest key player to go down with injury
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The banged-up Green Bay Packers have lost another key player to injury with outside linebacker Nick Perry scheduled to have hand surgery.

Coach Mike McCarthy says he doesn't know how much time Perry will miss. He was off to a good start as the bookend to fellow edge rusher Clay Matthews with 1 sacks.

The Packers' first-round draft pick in 2012, Perry had a breakout 2016 last season with 11 sacks in 14 games.

The loss of Perry places added importance on the return of Ahmad Brooks, who was a full participant in practice on Wednesday after missing the Week 2 loss at Atlanta because of a concussion (see full story).

Broncos: Miller baffled by low hit from Cowboys receiver
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Von Miller says he's baffled by Cowboys wide receiver Noah Brown's low hit on him Sunday.

The Broncos linebacker pushed through Brown's block on the game's second snap and Brown got up and dived at Miller's knees as Denver's star chased down Ezekiel Elliott on a hand-off from Dak Prescott.

Miller shook off the hit to have a monster game in Denver's 42-17 win , but he has dealt with soreness in his left knee this week.

"My stance is as a player I've always tried to take care of my players on my football team and opponents as well, whether it's the quarterbacks, receivers, the running backs. So, when it's the other way around, it's just baffling," Miller said Thursday after returning to practice full-time following a limited practice Wednesday.

"But you can't really spend too much time on it," Miller added. "Everybody's situation in the National Football League is different. Everybody doesn't have the same outlook that I have and some of my comrades in the National Football League (have). Everybody doesn't see it that way. Everybody doesn't play the game like I play the game. You've got to respect that."

Earlier in the week, Broncos coach Vance Joseph declined to criticize the Cowboys wide receiver for his low hit, saying, "I saw it. It wasn't called. I'm OK with it."

Miller shook off the low hit and finished the afternoon with two sacks, five quarterback hits, two tackles for loss and a pass breakup.

NFL Notes: Raiders reward Derek Carr with record $125 million deal

NFL Notes: Raiders reward Derek Carr with record $125 million deal

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Derek Carr and general manager Reggie McKenzie never doubted the two sides could reach a long-term contract agreement to keep the quarterback with the Raiders before Carr's self-imposed training camp deadline.

Carr was open about how much he wanted to spend his entire career with the organization and after a decade searching for a franchise quarterback the Raiders weren't about to let a player they drafted and developed leave just as he was becoming a star.

So the two sides were able to agree on a five-year, $125 million extension that makes Carr the NFL's richest player, at least temporarily, and won't hinder the team's ability to give its other young stars like AP Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack, receiver Amari Cooper and guard Gabe Jackson new contracts before they hit free agency.

"I think that both sides wanted it to get done," Carr said Friday. "It was two family members just figuring out how to get along, and we did. We figured out a way to do it so that we have the opportunity to sign the other guys that I think are important to this organization. That was really important to me, not just to take every single dime that we could."

Carr will still get plenty. The $25 million per year in new money is the richest contract ever in the NFL, beating out the $24.8 million a year Andrew Luck got from Indianapolis. That could be surpassed with Detroit's Matthew Stafford and Washington's Kirk Cousins in line for new deals soon.

But Carr is not worried about that and the Raiders are pleased to have the face of their franchise under contract through 2022 as they prepare to move to Las Vegas in 2020.

"From the outset, both sides wanted the deal done, and I felt our guys did a great job getting together and hammering it out," McKenzie said. "We both wanted the same thing. That part was easy. We could tell that Derek wanted to be here. And we let him know, without a doubt, that we wanted him here" (see full story).

NFL: Prosecutors appeal Hernandez's voided murder conviction
BOSTON -- Massachusetts prosecutors on Friday appealed a court ruling that erased former NFL star Aaron Hernandez's murder conviction in the 2013 killing of a semi-professional football player.

Hernandez's conviction in the fatal shooting of Odin Lloyd was voided after the former New England Patriots player killed himself in prison. Under a long-held Massachusetts legal principle, courts typically erase the convictions of defendants who die before their direct appeals can be heard.

Bristol District Attorney Thomas Quinn III filed an appeal with a single justice of the Supreme Judicial Court on Friday. He called the rule "archaic" and said it "does not serve the public interest."

"A defendant who commits suicide should not be able to manipulate the outcome of his post-conviction proceedings to achieve in death what he would not be able to achieve in life," Quinn said.

Hernandez's appellate attorneys, John Thompson and Linda Thompson, could not immediately be reached for comment. A message was left at their office in Springfield.

Hernandez took his own life in April days after he was acquitted in a separate, 2012 double slaying in Boston.

The legal principle known as abatement ab initio, or "from the beginning," holds that a conviction should not be considered final until an appeal in the criminal case can determine whether mistakes were made that deprived the defendant of a fair trial.

In their appeal Friday, prosecutors argue that some states have moved away from automatically erasing convictions when defendants die before appeals can be heard. More than a dozen states allow appeals to continue even after death and only dismiss convictions when the appellate court finds that a new trial would have been warranted.

Prosecutors said courts should strike a balance between the rights of defendants and the rights of victims. Lloyd's mother fought back tears after a judge voided Hernandez's conviction in her son's killing.

NFL Notes: Chiefs rookie QB Patrick Mahomes unharmed in robbery

NFL Notes: Chiefs rookie QB Patrick Mahomes unharmed in robbery

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Rookie Kansas Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes escaped injury after being robbed outside a Texas home after attending a college baseball game, authorities said Monday in describing the holdup as random.

Mahomes and the three other people were stepping from a vehicle on a home's driveway outside Tyler on Friday night when a suspect approached, gestured he had a handgun in his waistband and took unspecified items from the victims before speeding away, the Smith County (Texas) Sheriff's Office said.

Deputies later arrested two suspects in the reported getaway car and recovered items taken during the holdup. Michael Pinkerton, 34, was charged with aggravated robbery, while Billy Ray Johnson, 58, was accused of two counts of possession of a controlled substance and with tampering with evidence involving one of the items taken during the holdup, sheriff's Sgt. Darrell Coslin said.

It was not immediately clear Monday whether Pinkerton or Johnson had an attorney.

Coslin said Pinkerton "has a long criminal history and is known to us" and randomly robbed Mahomes and the others as the four returned to a residence after attending a baseball game at the University of Texas-Tyler.

"We have no reason to believe (Mahomes) was being targeted," Coslin told The Associated Press. "This appears to have been a crime of opportunity" (see full story).

Seahawks: Kaepernick, RGIII possible backup QB options
RENTON, Wash. -- Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Monday that the team is considering Colin Kaepernick and Robert Griffin III as possible backup options to starting quarterback Russell Wilson.

In an interview with KIRO-AM, Carroll was asked specifically about the pair of veteran quarterbacks who would seem to fit the style Seattle desires in Wilson's backup.

"We're looking at everybody. We really are," Carroll said. "We've been tracking everything that is going on and we've got cap and roster issues and stuff like that that we're trying to make sure we manage properly but quite frankly, yes, we're looking at all those guys."

Trevone Boykin served as Wilson's backup last season but has run into off-field issues during the offseason. Carroll often praised Kaepernick when he was with San Francisco.

Patriots: Hernandez’s fiancee doesn’t think death was suicide
BOSTON -- The fiancee of former NFL star Aaron Hernandez said in an interview that she didn't initially believe he had died in his prison cell and doesn't think his death was a suicide.

The first part of a two-part interview with Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez aired Monday on the "Dr. Phil " show. The second part is set to air Tuesday.

Jenkins-Hernandez told host Dr. Phillip McGraw she doesn't think the former New England Patriots tight end's death April 19 was a suicide, as authorities have ruled. She said he was upbeat in their last telephone conversation before he was found hanged and there was no indication he was suicidal.

"He was very positive," she said.

She said she thought the news of Hernandez's death was a "hoax" and some cruel person was playing a trick on her. She didn't offer an explanation for Hernandez's death if it wasn't a suicide and said she had no reason to believe anyone would want to kill him.

The death of Hernandez, who grew up in Bristol, Connecticut, and played football at the University of Florida, came days after he was acquitted in a 2012 Boston double slaying. He was serving a life sentence in a 2013 killing. A judge recently erased the 2013 murder conviction against him because he died while he was appealing.

Jenkins-Hernandez expressed doubts about the investigation into Hernandez's death, saying the findings didn't seem "believable" (see full story).

Cowboys: McFadden files suit against company over management of finances
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Dallas Cowboys running back Darren McFadden has filed a second lawsuit in Arkansas over the management of his finances.

The former University of Arkansas football standout initially filed a lawsuit in June against Michael Vick, a family friend who served as McFadden's business manager and financial adviser. McFadden alleges Vick misappropriated millions of dollars and mishandled his duties.

Vick isn't the former NFL player of the same name incarcerated for his involvement in a dog fighting ring.

McFadden filed a lawsuit Friday in Little Rock against Ameriprise Financial Services Inc., the company Vick worked for when he managed McFadden's finances, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.

The suit alleges the company was negligent and actively concealed Vick's actions as he "manipulated" McFadden at a young age to seize control over his professional income, assets and retirement savings.

Vick has denied all allegations. The first lawsuit is scheduled for trial in April 2018 (see full story).