Redskins

Investigation into Chiefs LB killing complete

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Investigation into Chiefs LB killing complete

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher apparently was worried he would lose his baby and money to his longtime girlfriend before fatally shooting her and killing himself, according to newly released police reports.

Belcher also complained about Kasandra Perkins, the mother of the couple's 3-month-old daughter, in conversations and text messages sent to a woman he was dating on the side, the reports show.

In one text message sent in late October or early November, Belcher wrote he ``would shoot'' Perkins ``if she didn't leave him alone.'' The girlfriend told police that Belcher said ``his child's mother threatened to take all his money and his child if they split up'' and ``knew exactly how to press his buttons and make him angry.''

Belcher shot Perkins multiple times in their home on Dec. 1 and then drove to team headquarters, where he killed himself in front of his coach and general manager after telling them he ``wasn't able to get enough help.''

The Jackson County prosecutor's office reviewed the police reports, which first were obtained by The Kansas City Star, before closing the case Friday. It formally ruled the deaths of Belcher, 25, and Perkins, 22, a murder-suicide, prosecutor's office spokesman Mike Mansur said Tuesday.

The reports provide new details about the final days and hours leading to the tragedy.

The night before the killings, Belcher went to a club with the woman he was dating while Perkins attended a concert with her friends, the reports said. A friend of Perkins has told The Star that the couple argued around 1 a.m., about Perkins being out late, although it wasn't clear whether the argument happened in person or on the phone. The police report, which doesn't mention this dispute, said that after Belcher kissed his girlfriend and she went inside her apartment, he fell asleep in his car.

About two hours later, police roused Belcher after someone called 911 to report his idling Bentley as suspicious. The report said Belcher was legally parked and didn't smell of alcohol, but officers asked if he could stay inside the apartment for the night.

Belcher tried to call the girlfriend, but she didn't discover the missed calls until the next morning and didn't hear him at her door. Two women who were up late invited Belcher to wait inside their apartment after he explained his plight. They said Belcher ``appeared to be intoxicated'' but ``seemed to be in good spirits . laughing, joking.''

After taking him to a gas station to buy a sports drink, they gave him a pillow and blanket and he slept on the couch for a couple hours, leaving at 6:45 a.m. so he could make it to a team meeting planned for later that morning.

Upon arriving at the home he shared with Perkins, the couple began arguing over ``one or both of them going out as in to a club or partying,'' said Belcher's mother, Cheryl Shepherd, who had moved in with them about two weeks earlier.

When Shepherd heard multiple gunshots, she ran to the bedroom and saw Belcher kneeling next to Perkins' body, saying he was sorry. After kissing Perkins, his baby daughter and his mother, Belcher drove to Arrowhead Stadium, breaking off his Bentley's rear-view mirror on the way, the police report said.

Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli saw Belcher holding a gun to his head and jumped out of his vehicle so he could find out what was happening.

``I've done a bad thing to my girlfriend already,'' Belcher told Pioli, according to the report, adding that he wanted to talk with Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel and defensive coordinator Gary Gibbs.

When Crennel arrived, Belcher said, ``You know that I've been having some major problems at home and with my girlfriend. I need help! I wasn't able to get enough help. I appreciate everything you all have done for me with trying to help ... but it wasn't enough. I have hurt my girl already and I can't go back now.''

Belcher asked that Pioli and team owner Clark Hunt take care of his daughter. The Chiefs staff pleaded with Belcher to put down his gun, but he only lowered it to load a round. ``You're taking the easy way out!'' Crennel told Belcher, according to the report.

As a police officer approached, Belcher knelt behind a vehicle, saying, ``Guys, I have to do this. ... I got to go, can't be here and take care of my daughter.'' He made the sign of the cross on his chest and fired a bullet into his head, the report said.

Crennel said Belcher had blamed Perkins for missing a team meeting a few weeks earlier, saying he had to watch the baby after Perkins didn't come home the night before. Crennel said he thought the couple had ``trust issues'' and Perkins expected ``a better life'' with an NFL player.

Crennel said Belcher, whose base salary this season was more than $1.9 million, ``didn't live outside his means.'' He said he thought Belcher was talking to an attorney about getting custody of his daughter.

Shepherd, Belcher's mother, attributed the couple's relationship problems to ``financial issues associated with Perkins' spending habits.''

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Reports: Redskins' name review is expected to result in a name change

Reports: Redskins' name review is expected to result in a name change

The Washington Redskins are going to conduct a "thorough review" of the team's name. That review is anticipated to result in a new team name according to the Washington Post and NFL Network's Ian Rapoport

“You know where this leads," a person familiar with the league discussions told the Post, speaking on condition of anonymity. "They’re working on that process [of changing the name]. It will end with a new name. (Redskins owner) Dan [Snyder] has been listening to different people over the last number of weeks.”

Apparently, the name change has been a topic of discussion between the Redskins and the NFL for a while now. If the two sides have been discussing the controversial name for weeks, this review is not directly from the increased pressure from the public and sponsors.

A statement from Roger Goodell says that he and the league "are supportive of this important step," to the review of the name. 

RELATED: DAN SNYDER'S STANCE IS CHANGING

There is no timetable on when the name would change according to these reports. Previous name changes, often for relocations or the formation of new name changes, take years of preparation. If there is an announced name change it may not be ready to rebrand all of the NFL properties for the 2020 season.

“This process allows the team to take into account not only the proud tradition and history of the franchise but also input from our alumni, the organization, sponsors, the National Football League and the local community it is proud to represent on and off the field,” Snyder said in the team's statement.

Back in 2013, Snyder was strongly against the name change. However, his recent statement with pressure from sponsors FedEx, Nike and others suggest that his position is changing. Throughout the history of the controversy of the name, this appears to be the closest Washington has come to changing their moniker. 

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Ravens training camp preview: How effective of a season can Matthew Judon have?

Ravens training camp preview: How effective of a season can Matthew Judon have?

Rostered outside linebackers: Matthew Judon, Jaylon Ferguson, Tyus Bowser, Aaron Adoeye, Chauncey Rivers, Marcus Willoughby, John Daka.

If there was one position of “need” the Ravens didn’t address this offseason, it was outside linebacker.

The Ravens instead added to their interior defensive line and inside linebacking corps, but didn’t add a notable free agent or draft pick at outside linebacker. Instead, they’re set to run back the group from a year ago. 

The team ranked 21st in the NFL a year ago in sacks with 37, but second in quarterback knockdowns. Essentially, the team dialed up pressure more than anyone else in the league but didn’t get home enough. Now, they're hopeful they've fixed that problem.

And if there is a trickle-down benefit to the outside linebackers of those additions elsewhere, it’s that the Ravens’ outside linebackers should have more one-on-one matchups on the outside. Notably, that includes Matthew Judon. 

He finished the year with 9.5 sacks a season ago and had 33 quarterback hits — more than three times the second-place finisher on the roster. And now, he’ll play on the franchise tag in his fifth season in the league. As the team’s top pass-rusher, he’s got a lot of pressure on his back entering the 2020 season. 

RELATED: HOW MUCH WILL THE ROOKIE LB's MAKE AN IMPACT ON THE DEFENSE?

If Judon is able to become an upper-tier pass-rusher this season, he’ll not only boost the Ravens’ defense, he’ll cement his monster contract that appears on the horizon, whether that comes from the Ravens or another team. 

But while Judon is the headliner of the Ravens’ edge rushers, in terms of success of the team this season, he might not be the most important part of the front seven. It might end up being whoever lines up across from him. 

Judon has shown the ability to be a No. 1 pass-rusher in the NFL, and with the benefit of an improved defense around him, it’s reasonable to assume he can repeat his 9.5 sack performance — or better it — in 2020. That shouldn't be the worry.

Where the true test will come, however, is who lines up as the second outside linebacker on the depth chart. 

Pernell McPhee had three sacks last season, but missed a majority of the season with a torn triceps. The team used rookie Jaylon Ferguson, who had 2.5 sacks, and Tyus Bowser, who had five sacks, in his absence.

With Calais Campbell, Brandon Williams and Derek Wolfe on the defensive line, it’s reasonable to assume that the Ravens’ outside linebackers will get more favorable matchups. 

And if Judon and the host of other outside linebackers are able to get more one-on-one matchups, the Ravens’ could wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks in 2020. 

So while the Ravens didn’t address their outside linebacker position this offseason, the additions elsewhere on the roster should provide the benefit that position group needed.

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