Dick Cass

AFC Links: Jaguars, Ravens, Clowney, Browns

Jaguars wide receiver Cecil Shorts will be a free agent at the end of the season, but the four-year veteran claims he’s only focused on his team’s final three games. However, when asked about the future, the 26-year-old gave some hints about where he’d like to play next year (via Ryan O’Halloran of The Florida Times-Union):

“Do I want to be here? Yeah. We’ll deal with that when the off-season comes. But right now, we have three games left so I’m trying to focus on Baltimore.

“I really like what’s going on here. I like how [general manager] Dave [Caldwell] is building the team, I like what [owner] Shad [Khan] is putting into the team and I’m a huge fan of [coach] Gus [Bradley] and the coaching staff. This is a team I feel is going in the right direction and I would feel terrible if I end up somewhere else and this team [goes], ‘Boom [and gets better],’ because I’ve been through the rough times.”

Let’s take a look at some more notes from the AFC…

  • Ravens linebacker Daryl Smith, who has spent the last two seasons in Baltimore, briefly reflected on his time with the Jaguars, where he spent the first nine seasons of his career. “I had a good nine years down there, and I’m in Baltimore now,” Smith said (via Wilson). “I’m definitely thankful I got an opportunity and I love being here. I’m happy here. At the end of the day, we’re here to win games. I’m just happy to have these games mean something at this time of the year.”
  • Ravens president Dick Cass clarified his initial statement to Ray Rice following the early reports of domestic abuse. “I never suggested to Ray that he soften or tone down his description of what happened,” Cass said (via Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun on Twitter). The president added that he told Rice to do three things: “tell the truth… don’t sugarcoat it…assume the league saw all the video.”
  • Bleacher Report’s Jason Cole says there is “grave concern” within the Texans organization regarding rookie Jadeveon Clowney‘s injury. Cole estimates that the first-overall pick could be a productive defensive end for four to six years, but a long career at the position is “highly unlikely.”
  • Browns defensive end John Hughes returned to practice today, but Wilson tweets that he hasn’t been activated from the injured reserve-designated to return list.
  • The Saints weren’t the only team working out a trio of kickers today. According to Howard Balzer on Twitter, the Browns worked out Garrett Hartley, Zach Hocker and Nate Freese.

Latest On Ray Rice Case

Yesterday, a judge ruled that commissioner Roger Goodell will be forced to testify at the Ray Rice hearing. The decision was not unexpected, but also not a given, and it should make things very interesting. Now, it sounds like the heat will really be turned up on the commissioner based on what we’re hearing tonight. The latest on the Ray Rice appeal..

  • In addition to commissioner Goodell, Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome and team president Dick Cass will also be required to testify at the Rice hearing, tweets Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.
  • NFL nemeses Jeffrey Kessler and Peter Ginsberg will be questioning Goodell at the hearing, Florio writes. Ginsberg, who was retained directly by Rice, has handled several cases in recent years against the NFL, including the StarCaps case involing Pat Williams and Kevin Williams.
  • Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti and director of team security Darren Sanders won’t be among those called to testify by the judge in the case, tweets Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun.
  • Ultimately, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith could decide to get in on the fun and question Goodell, Florio hears from a source. Smith, a practicing lawyer before becoming the NFLPA boss, routinely adds his own name to the roster of lawyers handling a given case which allows him the option to directly participate as an advocate.

AFC Notes: Rice, Browns, Jaguars

Ray Rice tried to clear the air in a recent press conference, but that won’t stop the NFL from penalizing the Pro-Bowl running back under the league’s personal-conduct policy. The Ravens are prepared for a multiple-game suspension and Rice will meet soon with commissioner Roger Goodell, writes Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun.

Team President Dick Cass spoke on the matter: I’m assuming he will meet with the commissioner at some point in the near future and make a decision about what discipline, if any, is appropriate. I’m not going to speculate. The commissioner is going to decide that. I’m going to leave it to the commissioner.”

Teammate Torrey Smith added: “You do something that draws attention like this, it deserves punishment. Whatever it may be, whether it’s fines or suspensions, I can’t really say. Something happens like that and, obviously, it doesn’t look good on him on him or the league or the organization. Whatever punishments they dish out, he’ll handle it and we’ll handle it as a team and we’ll accept it.”

Let’s take a look at some more notes from the AFC…