Johnny Manziel Reaches Deal With Prosecutors

Prosecutors have finalized an agreement with Johnny Manziel to dismiss a domestic violence charge against him, as The Associated Press writes. The former Heisman Trophy winner will have to meet certain conditions for a year before the charge is formally dropped. Johnny Manziel (vertical)

This agreement may remove one hurdle in Manziel’s path to an NFL return, but there are obviously a number of issues standing in his way. For one, the league reportedly has a six-game suspension waiting for Manziel in response to this charge, even though he will not serve jail time for it. Manziel must also show that he is making a real commitment to sobriety. Over the last two years, Manziel has made headlines for all the wrong reasons and he has yet to follow through on any of his pledges to get better. If Manziel can’t stay on the straight and narrow, no NFL team will roll the dice on him.

In the last year, two different agents have dropped Manziel. His last agent, Drew Rosenhaus, claimed that there was NFL interest in Manziel as recently as March, though I’m skeptical. Even if that is true, Manziel’s situation has deteriorated even further in the last nine months and any interest from clubs has surely waned.

Manziel has told people close to him that he is eyeing a 2017 NFL comeback.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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Darrelle Revis Dismisses Retirement Rumors

A source told Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News on Wednesday that Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis is ready to walk away from football. The 31-year-old refuted that on Thursday, however, and has now dismissed the possibility of retirement twice since October.

Darrelle Revis

“I’m under contract until [2019] … I don’t know what source said this or not. I’m playing football. That’s what I’m here to do,” said Revis (per Andy Vasquez of USA Today).

By retiring, Revis would forgo a $6MM guarantee from the Jets for 2017, which Vasquez notes is unlikely. Based solely on that, then, odds are the seven-time Pro Bowler and five-time first-team All-Pro will take the field next season.

As Revis mentioned, he does have three years remaining on the $70MM contract he signed with the Jets in March 2015. This could be his final go-around with Gang Green, though, as the club would save upward of $7MM on next season’s cap by cutting him when the 2017 league year begins. Revis would otherwise carry a cap number in excess of $15.33MM next season, but he isn’t ready to commit to a pay cut to remain in New York.

“We’ll see. We’ll see what happens next year. A lot of things going on, so we’ll figure it out,” he said.

The longtime elite defender is amid the worst year of his career, ranking 82nd among Pro Football Focus’ 120 qualifying corners, and his stark decline has been unexpected after he surrendered a quarterback rating against of just 47.2 and intercepted five passes last season. Revis has started in all 10 of his appearances this year, but he hasn’t picked off a pass and is on track for his first season without an INT since 2010.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Gronk, Cowboys, Draft, Lions

The Patriots and the family of Rob Gronkowski confirmed in a statement Thursday that the tight end will undergo back surgery Friday. The hope earlier Thursday was that Gronkowski would return during the playoffs, but that’s now in doubt. “We do not expect that he will be able to play for the remainder of the 2016 season, but will await the results of tomorrow’s surgery before making a final determination,” said the two parties (Twitter link).

More from around the NFL:

  • The Cowboys expect second-year guard La’el Collins back in late December or in time for the playoffs, according to Ian Rapoport of (via Twitter). Collins has been on injured reserve since tearing a ligament in his right big toe in Week 3. Replacement Ronald Leary has been excellent as a fill-in, with Pro Football Focus ranking him 16th out of 80 qualifying guards this year.
  • If Michigan linebacker Jabrill Peppers goes the expected route and enters next year’s draft, he’ll be a top-10 pick, two NFL teams told Matt Miller of Bleacher Report (video link). Peppers would likely line up at safety in the pros, says Miller, who likens his playing style to that of Giants star Landon Collins.
  • Both Missouri junior defensive end Charles Harris and Akron junior wide receiver Jerome Lane Jr. will enter the draft (links via Chase Goodbread of and Zac Jackson of Pro Football Talk). Harris, who has amassed 30.5 tackles for loss and 16 sacks since 2015, has a first-round projection from The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Lane is a former linebacker who registered 62 catches, 1,018 yards and six touchdowns in 2016.
  • The NFL is reportedly progressing toward introducing a developmental league, but Saints head coach Sean Payton is against the idea. “I’m not in favor of the developmental league. I think you’re going to see an increased number of practice squad players,” he told Nick Underhill of The Advocate (Twitter link).
  • The Lions worked out linebacker Myke Tavarres on Thursday, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press tweets. The undrafted free agent from Incarnate Word has been out of work since failing to make the Eagles’ final roster Sept. 3.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Latest On Futures Of Raiders, Chargers

The Raiders remain on track to file for Las Vegas relocation in January, reports ESPN’s Jim Trotter. And, “barring a miracle,” the Chargers will likely declare their intention to move to Los Angeles at the same time (Twitter link). The Chargers have until Jan. 15 to decide whether to join the Rams in LA.

Las Vegas Raiders (featured)

Both Raiders owner Mark Davis and the Chargers’ Dean Spanos will need 23 of their colleagues to OK their respective moves when they file for relocation. But Davis is in for a “battle royal,” according to Trotter, who adds that certain “old-guard owners” and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell are against the idea of putting a team in Las Vegas (Twitter links). Not only would doing so place a franchise in the gambling capital of the United States, but it would also mean trading the the Raiders’ Bay Area market for a smaller one. The Raiders currently play in the league’s sixth-biggest market, whereas Las Vegas is just the country’s 40th-largest market, as Mark Purdy of the San Jose Mercury News wrote in October.

As for Goodell, his wariness of Las Vegas has been known for a while, with a source telling CBS’ Sports Jason La Canfora in October, “Even if this came to a vote early next year, I wouldn’t at all discount Roger’s ability to garner 9-12 votes against [a move] if he believes firmly that Oakland is in the best interest of the league.”

The main reason the Raiders are exploring relocation is because the city of Oakland hasn’t made much progress toward building a new stadium to replace the 50-year-old Coliseum. That may have changed somewhat earlier this week, though, as Mayor Libby Schaaf outlined a financing plan for a potential facility. Schaaf is hoping a combination of $600MM in private money from former Raider Ronnie Lott and the Fortress Investment Group of New York, $300MM from Davis, $200MM in public money and $200MM from the league will entice the Raiders to stay, according to Phil Matler and Andy Ross of the San Francisco Chronicle. In addition to kicking in $300MM – the same amount he’d put forth for a Las Vegas stadium – Davis would likely have to take on Lott and his group as minority owners. The league’s on board with that idea, per Matler and Ross, but it’s unclear what Davis’ feelings are. At the moment, the plan is for Schaaf & Co. to submit the outline to the league’s owners to demonstrate that they’re serious about keeping the Raiders in Oakland.

Los Angeles Rams & Chargers (featured)

The Chargers have shown a desire to stay in San Diego, but they’re “out of ideas” for securing a new stadium and will essentially need a miracle over the next month and a half to avoid relocation, per Trotter (Twitter links). The Chargers and Rams are reportedly progressing toward an LA agreement, so it seems increasingly likely that the Bolts are in their final season in San Diego. While their lease at 49-year-old Qualcomm Stadium runs through 2020, it’s possible the Chargers will break it and spend the next two years either sharing the LA Coliseum with the Rams or playing at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., until the $2.6 billion facility in Inglewood opens in 2019.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Adrian Peterson To Miss Rest Of Season?

While recent developments point toward Adrian Peterson suiting up again in 2016, it’s possible the Vikings’ five-time first-team All-Pro running back could sit out the rest of the season, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

[RELATED: Head coach Mike Zimmer to miss TNF]

Peterson, who suffered a a torn meniscus in Week 2, was on track to return this month as of last week, but both the Vikings’ struggles and his contract status could prevent that from happening. Since starting 5-0, the Vikings have dropped five of six and are currently in eighth place in the NFC. They face the league-best Cowboys (10-1) on Thursday, and another defeat could make a Peterson comeback less likely, per Florio, who doubts the team would rush him back later in the season if it were to continue falling out of playoff contention.

Peterson is still preparing as if he’ll play again this year, a source told Florio, and Ben Goessling of tweets that he could be back in the Vikings’ lineup Dec. 18. Peterson also has the rest of his career to consider, however, as none of the $18MM he’s due in 2017 – his age-32 season – is guaranteed. The Vikings could easily move on from Peterson during the upcoming offseason, then, so it wouldn’t make sense for him to risk further injury down the stretch as part of a team that now looks unlikely to make the playoffs. It’s possible, therefore, that Peterson has played his final snap with the Vikings, who selected him in the first round of the 2007 draft. The ex-Oklahoma Sooner has since become one of the most decorated backs in NFL history, though his reputation suffered when he drew a suspension from the league in 2014. Peterson violated the league’s personal conduct policy in an incident of abusive discipline toward his then-4-year-old son, and he missed 15 of 16 games in 2014 as a result.

Peterson returned last year to reestablish himself as an elite rusher, but he was off to an ugly start this season – 31 carries, 50 yards – before succumbing to injury. The Vikings’ sputtering offense has missed him, though, as the club ranks last in the league in both yards per carry (2.8) and rushing. Eight individual backs have already eclipsed Minnesota’s team total on the ground (782).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Rams Likely To Retain Jeff Fisher

There was “widespread belief” around the NFL in September that the Rams and contract-year head coach Jeff Fisher had agreed to an extension. Almost three months later, the Rams still haven’t announced an agreement with the beleaguered Fisher, whose 4-7 club is on track to finish with a sub-.500 record under his watch for the fifth straight year. Despite Fisher’s lack of positive results in his nearly half-decade-long tenure with the Rams, his job is safe, chief operating officer Kevin Demoff implied to Steve Wyche of earlier this week.

Jeff Fisher

“Everybody will want to judge Jeff through the prism of just the record, but that’s totally unfair when you look at the set of circumstances he was handed this year. It was different than any team in the NFL,” said Demoff. “The past two years, he’s had to deal with the specter of relocation. This year, the actual relocation. A couple of coaches have had to deal with the specter of relocation. No coach has had to deal with an actual relocation. You have try to understand what this team has been through and the success he has had.”

Fisher, meanwhile, isn’t worried about his status, and he also cited the unusual circumstances of relocating from St. Louis to Los Angeles.

“I’m not concerned about my job. I have a great relationship with [Rams owner Stan Kroenke],” Fisher told Alden Gonzalez of “He understands the difficulties that were placed on this organization as far as the move is concerned. And I’m moving forward optimistically with this team.”

Fisher is a “terrific leader of men” who has “done a model job,” according to Demoff, even though he hasn’t posted a winning season as an NFL head coach since 2008 – his penultimate year in Tennessee. In 17 years with the Oilers and Titans, who moved from Houston to Memphis to Nashville with Fisher, he went 142-120 with six playoff appearances and a Super Bowl berth in 16 full seasons. He’s at 31-43-1 with the Rams, though there could be reason for long-term hope with Fisher having given the starting quarterback job to No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff late last month. Goff, who sat behind journeyman Case Keenum for the Rams’ first nine games, has been a mixed bag in his first two starts. In total, the ex-Cal star has completed 37 of 63 passes for 348 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.

With the Rams set to face the Patriots, Falcons and Seahawks over the next three weeks, odds are they’ll be 4-10 with home meetings against the NFC West rival 49ers and Cardinals remaining. Regardless, the rest-of-season results seem unlikely to affect Fisher’s standing with the franchise.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos’ Trevor Siemian Likely Out Sunday

Now on the outside of the AFC playoff race, the 7-4 Broncos will likely be without starting quarterback Trevor Siemian on Sunday in Jacksonville, according to Troy Renck of Denver7 and Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports (Twitter link). Siemian’s left foot is in a walking boot, and he sat out Thursday’s practice as a result.

Trevor Siemian

If Siemian isn’t able to play, the Broncos will turn to first-round rookie Paxton Lynch for his second career start. In his previous outing, a 23-16 loss to the Falcons on Oct. 9, the ex-Memphis star filled in for a banged-up Siemian and completed 23 of 35 passes for 223 yards, a touchdown and an interception. In total, Lynch has hit on 37 of 59 attempts for 393 yards, two scores and a pick this season.

The Broncos haven’t had to force Lynch into action this year because of Siemian’s respectable performance. In his first action as a starter, the second-year man and 2015 seventh-rounder has tossed 15 TDs against seven INTs, also averaging 7.37 yards per attempt and posting an 89.2 passer rating. While Siemian hasn’t been great, he has been an upgrade over the Broncos’ 2015 duo of Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler, and he’s coming off one of his best showings. In a 30-27 loss to the AFC West rival Chiefs last Sunday, Siemian went 20 of 34 for 368 yards and three scores. That defeat knocked the Broncos out of the top six in the AFC, though, and the defending Super Bowl champions are now primed to go without their top signal-caller against the 2-9 Jaguars.

Denver will conclude the season with much tougher opponents in the Titans, Patriots, Chiefs and AFC West-leading Raiders, likely making the Jags game a must-win affair. Tennessee, New England, Kansas City and Oakland boast a combined 32-13 record.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 12/1/16

Thursday’s practice squad changes:

Buffalo Bills

  • Signed: S Shamiel Gary
  • Placed on practice squad/injured list: S Joe Powell

Green Bay Packers

  • Cut: WR Dez Stewart (Twitter link via Rob Demovsky of

Oakland Raiders

Former NFLer Joe McKnight Killed In Shooting

Former NFL running back Joe McKnight was killed Thursday afternoon in Terrytown, La., in an apparent road rage incident, reports Jonathan Bullington of McKnight was 28.

NFL: New York Jets at Buffalo Bills

A witness indicated that she saw a man yelling at another man, who proved to be McKnight, at an intersection. McKnight tried to apologize to the man, but he fired more than one shot at the former Jet and Chief. “I told you don’t you f— with me,” said the shooter, according to the witness.

McKnight is now the second former NFLer to die in a Louisiana shooting this year. Longtime Saint Will Smith was the victim of a road rage incident in April.

McKnight, whom the Jets chose in the fourth round of the 2010 draft after a standout career at USC, had some success in New York as a return man. He ran back two kickoffs for touchdowns during his three-year stint with the Jets and averaged an NFL-best 31.6 yards per return in 2011. McKnight was out of football in 2013, but he returned in 2014 as a member of the Chiefs. Unfortunately, though, a torn Achilles ended his season – and NFL career – after only two games. McKnight spent this season with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League.

The PFR staff sends our condolences to McKnight’s family and friends.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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