Several NFL players took to social media Friday to post incredulous reactions to the big money thrown around at the outset of NBA free agency, as ESPN.com highlights. Among those who weighed in were Broncos receiver Emmanuel Sanders, Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams and Lions tight end Eric Ebron. One of Sanders’ teammates, safety, T.J. Ward, had perhaps the strongest and most controversial response, referring to the money NFLers are making as “peanuts” compared to NBA and Major League Baseball players. As a result, ESPN’s Jim Trotter (Twitter link) expects the dollars bandied about in the NBA to come up when union meetings with NFL players take place at training camp. The system in the NFL favors the owners, meaning the players don’t have the ability to institute real change, Trotter notes (Twitter link).
Back to the NFL…
- In addition to Purdue defensive tackle Ra’Zahn Howard – who declared for the July 14 supplemental draft last week – the league has given eligibility to Cameron Walton (Concordia College), running back Jalen Overstreet (Sam Houston State), defensive back Tee Shepard (Mississippi), wide receiver Rashaun Simonise (Canada) and long snapper Eddie D’Antuono (Virginia Tech), reports The Associated Press. Given that he’s almost completely deaf, Shepard’s story is the most interesting of the group, and the defender insisted when he left the Ole Miss program last October that his hearing problems have never served as an impediment on the field. Mississippi’s coaches disagreed, though, according to a frustrated Shepard. If an NFL team selects any of these players, it’ll have to surrender a corresponding pick in the 2017 draft. That means a player who goes in, say, the fourth round of the supplemental draft would cost his new team a fourth-rounder in next spring’s draft.
- Returning to the basketball-football connection, former NBA point guard Nate Robinson has shifted his focus to becoming an NFL wideout, writes ESPN.com’s Sheil Kapadia. The 32-year-old previously tried out for the Seahawks as a defensive back, and head coach Pete Carroll suggested that Robinson take a shot at receiver. The former dunk champion is now working with trainer Dwayne Frampton, whose other clients include Odell Beckham Jr. and DeSean Jackson.
- One year after his arrest, former NFL cornerback C.J. Spillman has been sentenced to five years in prison for sexual assault, reports FOX 4 News in Texas (via Twitter). Spillman, 30, played with the Chargers, 49ers and Cowboys from 2009-14.
Ben Levine contributed to this post.