Sam Bradford

NFL Notes: Jerry Jones reportedly threatens to sue NFL

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NFL Notes: Jerry Jones reportedly threatens to sue NFL

NEW YORK -- Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has threatened to sue the NFL over a proposed contract extension for Commissioner Roger Goodell, a dispute apparently sparked by star running back Ezekiel Elliott's six-game suspension over alleged domestic violence, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Jones told the six owners on the compensation committee he had hired high-profile attorney David Boies and was prepared to sue if the group voted to extend Goodell's deal, the person told the AP. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no one has been authorized to reveal details.

Jones also has expressed disapproval with the structure and compensation in the contract extension, another person familiar with the proposed lawsuit says. That person also spoke on condition of anonymity for the same reason.

The actions of Jones were first reported by The New York Times.

All 32 owners voted in May to extend Goodell's contract and authorized the compensation committee to work out the details. Goodell suspended Elliott in August after a yearlong NFL investigation. Prosecutors in Ohio declined to pursue the domestic violence case.

Jones, who is not on the compensation committee but is one of the most powerful owners in the league, has expressed frustration over the NFL's pursuit of criminal matters with its own investigators.

Asked on his radio show last week if he wanted Goodell to remain commissioner, Jones avoided a direct answer and said Elliott was a "victim of an overcorrection" because of the NFL's mishandling of former Baltimore running back Ray Rice's domestic case involving his then-fiancee (see full story).

Cowboys: Elliott mum amid more legal limbo
FRISCO, Texas -- Ezekiel Elliott skipped his weekly media session Wednesday because of more legal limbo in the star Dallas Cowboys running back's fight over the NFL's six-game suspension on alleged domestic violence.

The difference this week is that Elliott, the NFL's second-leading rusher, was with his teammates. That wasn't the case early last week when the 22-year-old was suspended until Friday after a judge rejected his request for a second injunction.

The third legal reprieve came in an emergency stay two days before the Cowboys beat the Kansas City Chiefs. Now Elliott seeks a longer-lasting injunction from a three-judge panel that will hear his case Thursday in New York.

A ruling could come before Sunday, when Dallas (5-3), on a three-game winning streak with significant contributions from Elliott, visits defending NFC champion Atlanta (4-4).

Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said on his radio show Wednesday he believed Elliott was planning to attend the hearing. If so, it will be with the blessing of coach Jason Garrett (see full story).

Giants: McAdoo trying to stay positive amid criticism 
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- With many calling for wholesale changes on the New York Giants in the wake of a dismal half a season, a relaxed coach Ben McAdoo took a very positive approach with his team heading into this week, telling the players he still believes in them.

McAdoo, who has been curt with the media in recent weeks as his team slipped to 1-7. He opened up a little and showed some personality in discussing this weekend's game against the winless 49ers in San Francisco.

That was surprising with the Giants coming off a 51-17 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, the team's worst margin of defeat at home since a 37-3 defeat to Green Bay in 1998. It led many to label the players as quitters; others called for the firing of general manager Jerry Reese and McAdoo, who last year led the Giants to the playoffs in his first season.

"Talked about let's begin again," McAdoo said after practice Wednesday. "That was really the message for them. Don't buy into the lies, the lies that your feelings are telling you. This thing is not about feelings. It's a decision and let's make the decision to begin again. We talked about, you know, you may think I'm a little bit out there, but I believe we have a run in us. I believe to the core we have a run in us."

Vikings: Bridgewater activated, Bradford put on IR
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The Vikings' seemingly constant search for long-term success and stability at quarterback took another turn on Wednesday.

Sam Bradford's future was cast in further doubt because of another knee surgery.

And Teddy Bridgewater finally made his way back to the active roster from his devastating knee injury.

Meanwhile, coach Mike Zimmer announced Case Keenum will make his seventh start of the season for the game at Washington on Sunday.

"Case has done great," Zimmer said. "So we just keep going from there and see how this thing plays out."

The Vikings (6-2) activated Bridgewater from the physically unable to perform list, adding him to the active roster for the first time in more than 14 months since his left knee was dislocated during practice. The freak injury resulted in ligament tears and an ambulance ride to the emergency room to save his leg.

The Vikings faced a deadline on Wednesday at the end of the three-week window that opened when Bridgewater resumed practice with the team.

To make room on the 53-man roster, Bradford was placed on injured reserve after having arthroscopic surgery the day before on his left knee, which had ACL tears in 2013 and 2014 (see full story).

Packers: Tight end Martellus Bennett waived
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers have waived Martellus Bennett, bringing the tight end's short tenure at Lambeau Field to a surprising end.

General manager Ted Thompson announced the move on Wednesday after practice.

The Packers cited a "failure to disclose a physical condition" for making the move. Bennett practiced on Tuesday after the bye last week before going on the injury report with a shoulder injury.

He did not play in the 30-17 loss on Monday to the Detroit Lions after being listed as doubtful for the game.

Bennett also posted on Instagram during the bye week a message that indicated he was thinking about retirement.

"After conversations with my family I'm pretty sure these next eight games will be the conclusion of my NFL career," he wrote. "To everyone who has poured themselves and time into my life and career. These next games are for you. Thank you" (see full story).

Monday Night Football: Vikings cruise, Broncos survive on MNF

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Monday Night Football: Vikings cruise, Broncos survive on MNF

MINNEAPOLIS -- Sam Bradford started his second season with Minnesota in style, passing for 346 yards and three touchdowns to help the Vikings beat New Orleans 29-19 on Monday night and spoil Adrian Peterson's first game with the Saints.

Stefon Diggs had seven receptions for 93 yards, two for scores, and Adam Thielen racked up 157 yards on nine catches as Bradford carved up a Saints defense that looked again like one of the worst in the league despite a major renovation. Rookie Dalvin Cook rushed for 127 yards in the formal takeover from Peterson.

Peterson was an afterthought once the Saints fell behind. Drew Brees was quiet, too, with 291 yards on 27-for-37 passing padded by the late push to catch up. Coby Fleener caught the only touchdown toss, after the 2-minute warning. Will Lutz made four field goals, three under 25 yards.

Brees and Bradford are both in the final year of their contracts, with the same agent, Tom Condon, who is sure to cash in on both clients. Brees has by far the better resume, nine seasons further into his career, but Bradford stole the show on this prime-time stage.

Behind mostly clean pockets created by a remade offensive line, Bradford completed 27 of 32 passes without a turnover. With three rookies and three free agents in the starting lineup, the Saints tried hard to better a defense that has held Brees and company back since the Super Bowl title eight years ago. The first performance left a lot to be desired, with Diggs and Thielen consistently finding favorable matchups underneath.

There were three unnecessary roughness calls in the first half by the Saints. Two of the personal fouls aided a drive that ended with one of three field goals by Kai Forbath, who missed one extra point. The other 15-yarder was on safety Kenny Vaccaro for head-hunting Diggs during an acrobatic catch in the closing seconds of the first half. Diggs came right back with another highlight-reel grab to give the Vikings a 16-6 lead at the break.

Cameron Jordan and A.J. Klein each had their hands on a tipped pass in the end zone that fluttered off Cook's hands, missing a critical opportunity to thwart that drive and keep the deficit at four points (see full recap).

Broncos hold off Chargers’ late rally with FG block
DENVER -- Shelby Harris got a hand on Younghoe Koo's 44-yard field goal attempt with a second left, and the Broncos began the Vance Joseph era with a 24-21 win over the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday night.

Moments earlier, Koo had nailed the kick, but Joseph called a timeout to ice the kicker.

On the re-do, Harris -- who made the team because of a rash of injuries along the D-line -- sliced through and got his right hand on the kick.

It was reminiscent of last year's opener, when the Broncos escaped with a 21-20 win over the Carolina Panthers when Graham Gano missed a 50-yard field goal with 4 seconds left.

Denver took a 24-7 lead into the fourth quarter but had two turnovers that were converted into touchdowns, a missed field goal and a punt.

Before those fourth-quarter foibles, Trevor Siemian threw two TD passes to Bennie Fowler and ran for another score.

The Broncos held Philip Rivers to 115 yards passing through three quarters but let him engineer a comeback when Siemian threw an interception and Jamaal Charles fumbled on plays that were upheld despite video evidence that had the crowd of 76,324 convinced they should have been overturned (see full recap).

Eagles to pick 14th in first round after winning coin flip vs. Colts

Eagles to pick 14th in first round after winning coin flip vs. Colts

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Eagles had a little luck on their side on Friday.

The coin flip at the combine to determine the 14th and 15th selections in the upcoming draft turned out the Eagles' way. They now hold the No. 14 pick in April's draft. The Colts will pick 15th.

Really, the coin flip was between the Vikings and Colts, who both finished the 2016 season with identical records and strength of schedules. The coin had a Colts logo on one side and a Vikings logo on the other. The Eagles were hoping to see the Vikings' logo when the coin landed after Hall of Famer Will Shields flipped it. This was quite a spectacle, with fans and even a PA announcer. 

The Eagles own the Vikings' pick thanks to the Sam Bradford trade just before last season. The Eagles' original selection -- at No. 12 -- belongs to the Browns after the trade up to No. 2 last spring.

For a long time, it looked like the Eagles would end up with a late-first-round selection from the Vikings, who started the season with a 5-0 record before the Eagles beat them to start a four-game losing streak.

Now, the Eagles will have the 14th pick when the draft kicks off in Philadelphia in April.

With their first-round selection now figured out, here is the list of Eagles' draft picks by round in 2017:

Round 1: 14

Round 2: 43

Round 3: 74

Round 4: 119, 139 (from Browns)

Round 5: 155

Round 6: 194

Round 7: 230

With the 14th pick in the draft, the Eagles should have a really good chance of snagging a Pro Bowl-caliber player. Is there really a difference between 14 and 15? A while back we looked at the last 10 picks who went 14th or 15th overall (see story).

Four of the last 10 picks at No. 14 have made the Pro Bowl and three have been named to an All-Pro team. Seven of the last 10 picks at No. 15 (compared to four at 14) have made a Pro Bowl, while one was an All-Pro.

Here are the last 10 picks at No. 14:

2016: S Karl Joseph

2015: WR DeVante Parker

2014: CB Kyle Fuller

2013: DT Star Lotulelei

2012: DT Michael Brockers

2011: DT Robert Quinn

2010: S Earl Thomas

2009: S Malcolm Jenkins

2008: OL Chris Williams

2007: CB Darrelle Revis

Here are the last 10 picks at No. 15:

2016: WR Corey Coleman

2015: RB Melvin Gordon

2014: LB Ryan Shazier

2013: S Kenny Vaccaro

2012: OLB Bruce Irvin

2011: C Mike Pouncey

2010: DE Jason Pierre-Paul

2009: LB Brian Cushing

2008: OT Branden Albert

2007: LB Lawrence Timmons

The Eagles have had significantly more success picking in the top 20 than they've had picking in the bottom third of the first round in the last 10 years.

During that span, here's a look at their first-round picks 20-32: Nelson Agholor, Marcus Smith and Danny Watkins.

And here's 1-19: Carson Wentz, Lane Johnson, Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham and Jeremy Maclin.

The Eagles have plenty of needs to fill with this year's first-round draft pick. Perhaps most pressing are needs at cornerback and wide receiver. This year is exceptionally deep at cornerback. It's less deep at receiver, but there likely will be a top target still available in the middle of the first round.