James Daniel

Extra Points: Smith, Preseason, Patriots, Steelers

The Raiders signing of Aldon Smith isn’t an indication that the linebacker will avoid punishment for his arrest in August, writes Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com. According to the writer, the NFL is currently “reviewing Smith’s case under the substance-abuse policy,” with the DUI charge being the main focus.

While he could be considered a repeat offender, Florio notes that the vandalism and hit-and-run charges “won’t create any significant problems” since they don’t involve violence against another person.

The issue surrounding Smith could be the potential violation of his treatment plan stemming from his previous substance-abuse punishment. If the linebacker is in Stage 3 of the program, Florio says he could be subject to a one-year suspension.

Let’s check out some more notes from around the league…

  • Florio reports that the NFL is currently reviewing how revenue would be lost by reducing the preseason by “as many” as two games. If the schedule is cut down, the NFL would look to recover their lost money via an extended regular season or expanded playoffs.
  • ESPN’s Field Yates passes along a pair of roster bonuses that were earned today (via Twitter): Colts linebacker Robert Mathis ($1MM) and Rams wideout Kenny Britt ($500K).
  • The Patriots asked for the league to reinstate their two suspended staffers, and NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport says that Troy Vincent, the league’s Executive VP of Football Operations, has formally requested to meet with the duo prior to any decision. Equipment staffer John Jastremski and locker room attendant Jim McNally were suspended indefinitely in May following the release of the Wells Report.
  • The Steelers released a statement regarding tight end coach James Daniel‘s interaction with Patriots fans following his team’s opening-night loss. “We have conducted an internal inquiry into the alleged incident involving Assistant Coach James Daniel at the Patriots stadium Thursday night. After interviews with Coach Daniel as well as other personnel who witnessed the alleged encounter, we find no corroboration that Coach Daniel was involved in any physical altercation with a fan,” the organization said (via Conor Orr of NFL.com). “Coach Daniel has worked as an assistant coach for the Steelers for the past 12 seasons. We have a high level of confidence in his character and are confident that any further investigation of this incident will reveal he was not part of any assault or misconduct involving a Patriots fan.”

AFC Notes: Steelers, Browns, Castonzo

After all the talk about DeflateGate that dominated the NFL news wire for the majority of the 2015 calendar year, last night’s season opener was supposed to return the conversation to what happened on the field. However, two off-field incidents stole headlines from Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, and Adam Schefter of ESPN.com has updates on both stories.

According to Schefter, Steelers tight end coach James Daniel is being investigated by the Steelers and the NFL for allegedly assaulting and verbally accosting a Patriots fan on the way to the locker room before halftime. According to witnesses, Daniel kicked the Pats fan in the back of his leg and yelled at the fan. Depending on what the investigations by the team and the league turn up, Daniel could be facing a suspension and/or fine.

Meanwhile, after head coach Mike Tomlin complained about issues with the Gilette Stadium headsets, the Steelers opted not to file a formal complaint with the NFL. However, according to Steelers spokesman Burt Lauten, via Schefter, the team provided league reps with information regarding those communications issues.

Here’s more from around the AFC:

  • Asked today about the Browns‘ decision to cut Terrelle Pryor, head coach Mike Pettine said the team initially held onto the former Raiders quarterback because of his potential as a receiver. However, he was occupying the 53rd roster spot, and the club likes running back Robert Turbin too much to have passed up on him (Twitter link via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal).
  • Several players around the league are putting the finishes touches on contract extensions as the regular season approaches. However, it doesn’t appear that Browns safety Tashaun Gipson or Dolphins defensive end Olivier Vernon will sign new deals with their respective teams anytime soon, per Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com and Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald (Twitter links).
  • Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports provides some additional details on Anthony Castonzo‘s new extension with the Colts, tweeting that the left tackle received a $14MM signing bonus.
  • Free agent wide receiver DaVaris Daniels is working out for the Jaguars today, a source tells Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (Twitter link). Daniels was claimed off waivers by the Patriots after being dropped by the Vikings, but didn’t survive New England’s cutdown to 53 players.