AFC Notes: McCoy, Geno, Raiders, Vegas, Bell

LeSean McCoy will be going into his second Bills season now in the clear of a potential suspension as a result of his alleged actions in a nightclub brawl with off-duty police officers this February in Philadelphia. The eighth-year running back is now well aware of how he’s viewed publicly after the incident but is brushing it off.

The only opinions that people really get about players is what they see TV or what the media gives them,” McCoy said, via Aaron Kasinitz of “If the media only paints a picture of a player as this or whatever that may be, then that’s what the people see. So I don’t really go back and forth about that.”

The 28-year-old running back did not face criminal charges for his alleged role in the brawl. He’s under contract with the Bills for four more seasons.

Here’s the latest from the AFC on the final Saturday before training camps commence.

  • During an interview with Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, Todd Bowles gave Geno Smith a reasonable endorsement as the fourth-year quarterback prepares to enter camp as the Jets’ de facto starter. “I think Geno can be a good starter, but he’s got to prove it in training camp like everybody else,” Bowles said. “It’s not just about the quarterback position. You got to have a team around that position to play ball, but he’s been in the system a year. He has a better grasp of it going into training camp and we’ll see what he does.” Bowles did not address the situation with Ryan Fitzpatrick, whom remains unsigned and could remain as such until deep into the preseason.
  • Jerry Jones‘ status as the league’s most influential owner — and most influential person, per USA Today — bodes well for the Raiders‘ chances at securing enough votes to move to Las Vegas, Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes. Jones hasn’t been shy in voicing his interest in the NFL expanding into the Nevada market, and Thomas, pointing to Jones’ role in steering the Rams from St. Louis to Los Angeles, notes enough owners will fall in line should the Cowboys’ boss declare his full support for the Raiders’ prospective venture. “When I walked into my first meeting in the NFL, everybody said, ‘We’ve got to always protect the game. We can’t compromise it,’ ” Jones said during an appearance on The Herd with Colin Cowherd. “Well, we’re beyond that. We don’t compromise the game, in my view, by being in Las Vegas or being near wagering.” The Southern Nevada Tourism and Infrastructure Committee has until Sept. 30 to finalize a stadium financing plan, a step Oakland has not approached.
  • The Steelers being unable to rely on Le’Veon Bell should steer the franchise away from the talented running back, Paul Zeise of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes. Before word of a four-game suspension leaked Friday, Bell stood in line to potentially secure a top-of-the-line running back contract due to his versatility. Now, that’s not as certain. The Steelers not paying Bell would leave more room for a seemingly long-overdue Antonio Brown extension, and Zeise writes the reliable wideout should receive that payday at the expense of Bell’s alleged errors in judgment.
  • The Colts will have to make a decision on Arthur Jones after his latest setback — a four-game suspension for a violation of the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy — since the former Ravens defensive end has not remotely delivered on the five-year, $33MM contract he signed before the 2014 season, Mike Wells of offers. Limited by ankle injuries prior to this suspension, Jones has played nine games in two seasons for the Colts. The oldest brother in a family that’s been scrutinized over the past year, with Chandler Jones and UFC fighter Jon Jones also running into trouble, Arthur Jones will lose $588K as a result of this suspension. But the Colts are uncertain about when his backup, Henry Anderson, will be back after a season-ending injury in Week 9 marred his offseason as well.
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