NFL suspends Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott six games


NFL suspends Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott six games

The NFL has suspended Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott for six games for violating the league's personal conduct policy.

ESPN's Adam Schefter was first to report the suspension. 

The suspension results from an incident more than a year ago in which an ex-girlfriend of Elliott's accused him of domestic violence in Columbus, Ohio. Elliott is a former Ohio State running back. The city attorney in Columbus announced last September it wouldn't pursue charges, but the NFL can still penalize a player without charges being filed. 

Schefter reported that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is "furious" about the suspension.

A six-game suspension is the NFL standard for domestic violence cases, though it has been inconsistently applied. Elliott has three business days to appeal and the league then has 10 days to schedule an appeal hearing. Elliott would be able to play while he appeals.

The league said Friday there was "substantial and persuasive evidence" that Elliott had physical confrontations last summer with his ex-girlfriend.

Here's the full statement from the league on the suspension, via Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio:

The league revised its personal conduct policy in 2014 following sharp criticism of a case involving former Baltimore running back Ray Rice. The policy gave Commissioner Roger Goodell authority to suspend players for at least six games in domestic cases, with or without a conviction.

According to ESPN, the NFL investigated text messages and retained medical and legal experts to help Goodell reach his decision. The league also investigated domestic violence allegations from February and July 2016, as well as a St. Patrick's Day incident in which Elliott pulled down a woman's shirt, but it didn't factor in the NFL's decision in this case. That incident was cited in the letter notifying Elliott of the suspension. 

Last month, Elliott was allegedly involved in a scuffle at a Dallas bar where a man's nose was injured, but Dallas Police suspended that investigation when witnesses wouldn't come forward.

Elliott, the fourth pick in the 2016 draft, led the NFL in rushing last season with 1,631 yards. He had 15 rushing touchdowns and one passing TD.

Associated Press report included in this story. 

Tom Brady hints at playing until 45 in Instagram comment

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New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's potential retirement has been the main storyline of the team's offseason workouts. After telling Oprah Winfrey in an interview that he is thinkning about retirement more than he used to, the five-time Super Bowl champion wrote a cryptic response to an ESPN Instagram post

The photo contained the full retirement quote from the Oprah interview, while Brady's account sent a response saying, "Cuarenta y cinco," which means 45 in Spanish. Brady turns 41 on August 3rd, which would give him at least four more years under center for New England if he wants to play to 45 years old.

There is also the chance that the response alludes to a potential contract extension where Brady could want $45 million in potential negotiations. Brady reportedly wanted a new contract back in April, as he is signed through 2019 making a $14 million base salary that ranks fifth among NFL quarterbacks. 


Rob Gronkowski reportedly shopped to teams the Patriots trust

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According to MMQB's Albert Breer on Monday, the New England Patriots reportedly talked to four "trusted" teams about a potential trade for the two-time Super Bowl champion pass catcher. 

The reported teams were the Detroit Lions, Tennessee Titans, Houston Texans and San Francisco 49ers. The Lions are led by former Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia as their head coach. New England's former director of pro scouting, Bob Quinn, is Detroit's general manager.  Mike Vrabel, the head coach of the Titans, won three Super Bowls in New England as a linebacker and former Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien is the head coach in Houston. San Francisco was New England's trade partner in the Jimmy Garoppolo trade last season. 

Gronkowski did not commit to returning to the Patriots until a few days before the draft, and also missed most of the team's voluntary offseason workouts. The Patriots and the tight end are reportedly working on a contract extension