Josh Brown

NFL Suspends K Josh Brown For Six Games

Former Giants kicker Josh Brown has been suspended for an additional six games for domestic violence accusations, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports. The timing of the ban makes little sense, particularly since Brown is highly unlikely to ever get another chance to play in the NFL. Josh Brown (vertical)

We reopened the investigation based on new info,” a league source texted to Schefter on Friday. “[We] concluded there was a violation of our personal conduct policy and imposed six-game suspension which he accepted without appeal.”

By adding six games to Brown’s ban, the league could be looking to establish a stronger precedent heading in the Ezekiel Elliott court case. The Cowboys star is pushing for a temporary restraining order that would allow him to continue to play this season.

[The] timing has nothing to do with Zeke and made no sense to hold this until Zeke was complete,” the source said via text.

In 2015, Brown’s last complete season, he sank a career-high 93.8% of his field goal attempts. He also contends that he never actually struck his ex-wife. Still, no NFL team will take on the PR firestorm that would come with signing him or even auditioning him at this point.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Top 2017 Free Agents By Position 2.0: Defense

NFL free agency gets underway on Thursday and while the list of free agents will change between now and then, we do have some idea of who will be available when free agency kicks off. Here is our updated outlook for each defensive and special teams position.

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each defensive position. These rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts – or the amount of guaranteed money – that each player is expected to land in free agency. These are simply the players we like the most at each position, with both short- and long-term value taken into account.

Restricted and exclusive-rights free agents, as well as franchised players aren’t listed here, since the roadblocks in place to hinder another team from actually acquiring most of those players prevent them from being true free agents.

We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some free agents than you are, so feel free to weigh in below in our comments section to let us know which players we’ve got wrong.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by defensive position for this offseason:

Edge defender:

  1. Nick Perry
  2. Jabaal Sheard
  3. John Simon
  4. DeMarcus Ware
  5. Lorenzo Alexander
  6. Andre Branch
  7. Julius Peppers
  8. Charles Johnson
  9. Datone Jones
  10. Dwight Freeney
  11. Chris Long
  12. Mario Williams
  13. Paul Kruger
  14. Courtney Upshaw
  15. Jarvis Jones

Now that Chandler Jones, Melvin Ingram, and Jason Pierre-Paul have all been assigned the franchise tag, Nick Perry stands as the top edge defender on the free agent market, and is now in a position to cash in. The Packers opted against the franchise tender for the 26-year-old Perry, so he’ll hit the open market following a career year which saw him post 11 sacks."<strong

The rest of this year’s crop of free agent pass rushers is a blend of young defenders searching for their first payday and veterans on the hunt for one last contract. Among players with youth still on their side, Datone Jones figures to interest clubs thanks to his versatility, as he can vacillate between end and linebacker, while fellow former first-round pick Jarvis Jones is solid against the run. John Simon has been overlooked while playing alongside the likes of J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, and Whitney Mercilus but could represent a hidden gem, while the Dolphins are reportedly prioritizing Andre Branch.

After managing nine sacks over the first nine years of his NFL tenure, Lorenzo Alexander busted out with 12.5 quarterback takedowns in 2016, and now could be looking for a double-digit annual salary. Charles Johnson, meanwhile, looks like a good bet to return to the Panthers, but DeMarcus Ware could be something of a wild card — after missing 11 games in the past two seasons, does the 34-year-old have enough left in the tank? The same could be asked of Dwight Freeney, who at age-37 posted three sacks in a rotational role for the Falcons.

Interior defensive line:

  1. Calais Campbell
  2. Johnathan Hankins
  3. Brandon Williams
  4. Dontari Poe
  5. Chris Baker
  6. Bennie Logan
  7. Nick Fairley
  8. Alan Branch
  9. Jared Odrick
  10. Karl Klug
  11. Terrell McClain
  12. Lawrence Guy
  13. Stacy McGee
  14. Stephen Paea
  15. Sylvester Williams
    Honorable mention: Paul Soliai

Calais Campbell is the best overall player among interior defenders, and though he’s entering his age-31 season and may not cost as much as Johnathan Hankins, Brandon Williams, and Dontari Poe, Campbell will still be highly-sought after as he searches for his last substantial payday Campbell’s agent met with the Cardinals last week, but other speculative fits for the veteran defender include the Broncos, Raiders, Ravens, Colts, and Titans."<strong

Hankins is only 24 years old, and though the Giants are trying to retain him along with the rest of their defensive core, the 6’3″, 320-pound mauler should represent an attractive option to a number of clubs this offseason. Williams, too, offers a massive presence on the inside, while Poe could intrigue clubs based on his first-round pedigree and athleticism (though his play hasn’t always matched his potential). The Redskins’ Chris Baker is a solid, well-rounded defensive tackle, and could constitute a consolation prize for teams that miss out on their top targets.

The rest of the class offers an interesting mix of nose tackles (Bennie Logan), interior pass rushers (Nick Fairley, Karl Klug), and run stoppers (Alan Branch), so clubs hoping to bolster their defensive line should find no shortage of options. Jared Odrick recently hit free agency after being released by the Jaguars, while Terrell McClain, Lawrence Guy, and Stacy McGee could be underrated finds for the right team. McClain, for what it’s worth, has already been linked to the Falcons.

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Top 2017 Free Agents By Position: Defense

NFL free agency will get underway on Thursday, March 9th, and while the list of free agents will change between now and then, we do have some idea of who will be available when free agency kicks off. The frenzy is right around the corner and it’s time for us to break down the outlook for each position. After looking at offense, we’ll tackle defense and special teams today.

[RELATED: Top 2017 NFL Free Agents By Position: Offense]

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each defensive position. These rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts – or the amount of guaranteed money – that each player is expected to land in free agency. These are simply the players we like the most at each position, with both short- and long-term value taken into account.

Restricted and exclusive-rights free agents, as well as players who received the franchise tag, aren’t listed here, since the roadblocks in place to hinder another team from actually acquiring most of those players prevent them from being true free agents.

We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some free agents than you are, so feel free to weigh in below in our comments section to let us know which players we’ve got wrong.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by defensive position for 2017:

Edge defender:

  1. Chandler Jones
  2. Melvin Ingram
  3. Jason Pierre-Paul
  4. Nick Perry
  5. Jabaal Sheard
  6. James Harrison
  7. John Simon
  8. DeMarcus Ware
  9. Lorenzo Alexander
  10. Andre Branch
  11. Julius Peppers
  12. Charles Johnson
  13. Datone Jones
  14. Mario Addison
  15. Dwight Freeney

The Cardinals have already made it abundantly clear that Chandler Jones will see the franchise tag this offseason, and Melvin Ingram and Jason Pierre-Paul are also candidates to be tagged by the Chargers and Giants, respectively. If the latter two are able to hit the open market unfettered, however, they both figure to break the bank. Ingram, Pro Football Focus’ No. 6 edge defender, could be a fit for both 3-4 and 4-3 schemes, while JPP will be looking for a long-term commitment after signing consecutive one-year deals.Chandler Jones (vertical)

The rest of this year’s crop of free agent pass rushers is a blend of young defenders searching for their first payday and veterans on the hunt for one last contract. Among the players with youth still on their side, Packers edge defenders Nick Perry and Datone Jones figure to interest different clubs, as Perry is a better match for a 3-4 defense while Jones needs to restart his career as a 4-3 defensive end. John Simon has been overlooked while playing alongside the likes of J.J. Watt, Jadeveon Clowney, and Whitney Mercilus but could represent a hidden gem, while the Dolphins are reportedly prioritizing Andre Branch.

After managing nine sacks over the first nine years of his NFL tenure, Lorenzo Alexander busted out with 12.5 quarterback takedowns in 2016, and now could be looking for a double-digit annual salary. James Harrison and Charles Johnson, meanwhile, look like good bets to return to Steelers and Panthers, respectively, but DeMarcus Ware could be something of a wild card — after missing 11 games in the past two seasons, does the 34-year-old have enough left in the tank? The same could be asked of Dwight Freeney, who at age-37 posted three sacks in a rotational role for the Falcons.

Interior defensive line:

  1. Kawann Short
  2. Calais Campbell
  3. Johnathan Hankins
  4. Brandon Williams
  5. Dontari Poe
  6. Chris Baker
  7. Bennie Logan
  8. Nick Fairley
  9. Alan Branch
  10. Jared Odrick
  11. Karl Klug
  12. Terrell McClain
  13. Lawrence Guy
  14. Earl Mitchell
  15. Stacy McGee

Unlike the edge defender market, the 2017 cadre of interior defensive lineman shouldn’t be overly affected by the franchise tender. Head coach Ron Rivera recently confessed the Panthers will “probably” have to use the tag on Kawann Short, but the rest of the defensive tackles listed here should be able to hit the open market. Of the remaining defenders, Campbell is the best overall player, but given that he’s entering his age-31 season, he may not cost as much as Johnathan Hankins, Brandon Williams, and Dontari Poe.Johnathan Hankins (Vertical)

Hankins is only 24 years old, and though the Giants are trying to retain him along with the rest of their defensive core, the 6’3″, 320-pound mauler should represent an attractive option to a number of clubs this offseason. Williams, too, offers a massive presence on the inside, while Poe could intrigue clubs based on his first-round pedigree and athleticism (though his play hasn’t always matched his potential). The Redskins’ Chris Baker is a solid, well-rounded defensive tackle, and could constitute a consolation prize for teams that miss out on their top targets.

The rest of the class offers an interesting mix of nose tackles (Bennie Logan), interior pass rushers (Nick Fairley, Earl Mitchell), and run stoppers (Karl Klug, Alan Branch), so clubs hoping to bolster their defensive line should find no shortage of options. Jared Odrick recently hit free agency after being released by the Jaguars, while Terrell McClain, Lawrence Guy, and Stacy McGee could be underrated finds for the right team. McClain, for what it’s worth, has already been linked to the Falcons.

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NFC East Notes: Cowboys, Romo, Giants, Brown

Former Giants kicker Josh Brown admitted publicly to domestic violence for the first time during an interview with Good Morning America, as Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com writes. However, he insisted that he never hit her. Brown, 37, still wants to return to the NFL, but he admits that he’s not sure if he’ll get that chance. On Wednesday, commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters that Brown‘s domestic violence investigation remains open.

More from the NFC East:

Roger Goodell On Ezekiel Elliott, Josh Brown

In Houston on Wednesday afternoon, Roger Goodell fielded questions from reporters on a wide range of topics. Here’s a look at the highlights:

  • Goodell said there’s no timetable on the league’s investigation into domestic violence allegations against Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott (Twitter link via Ralph Vacchiano of SNY). About two weeks ago, Elliott indicated that he is unhappy with the pace of the NFL’s investigation. The league has been investigating Elliott since July, and it reportedly regarded him as “Public Enemy No. 1” as of November.
  • The NFL is still reviewing the possibility of putting together a developmental league, Goodell said (Twitter link via CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora). review/study. “We have a debate that goes on,” he said. “It’s something we’re actively considering.” Troy Vincent, the NFL’s head of football operations, has been pushing the idea of a D-League or in-season academy to help groom young talent. Meanwhile, there will be a non-NFL affiliated spring league launching this year.
  • Goodell says Josh Brown‘s domestic violence investigation remains open (Twitter link via La Canfora). Regardless of the outcome, it’s hard to see the former Giants kicker getting another chance in the NFL. If Greg Hardy and Ray Rice can’t get work, then I can’t imagine a team weathering a PR nightmare for a kicker.
  • Goodell indicated that the league is ready to start discussing an extension to the collective bargaining agreement (Twitter link via Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports). The current CBA goes through the 2020 season.

NFL Likely To Suspend Josh Brown

The NFL is still investigating former Giants Josh Brown for domestic assault and are expected to hand him a “lengthy suspension,” according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com.Josh Brown (vertical)

[RELATED: Giants Sign Robbie Gould]

Despite being released by the Giants last week, Brown will still earn the remainder of his 2016 salary, per La Canfora, who reports that Brown is eligible for termination pay. Vested veterans are able to collect termination pay once during their careers, and the mechanism allows the player to collect his full base salary if he was on the Week 1 roster. Brown hasn’t filed for termination pay in the past, so he’s now exercising the right. If New York attempts to withhold his paycheck, the NFLPA will file a grievance on behalf of Brown, says La Canfora.

Brown, 37, is unlikely to play in the NFL ever again, according to La Canfora, who adds that several general managers say “they could not foresee a scenario in which [Brown] kicked again.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Release Josh Brown

The Giants announced that they have released kicker Josh Brown. The Giants have issued the following statement from team president John Mara: Josh Brown (vertical)

We believed we did the right thing at every juncture in our relationship with Josh. Our beliefs, our judgments and our decisions were misguided. We accept that responsibility. We hope that Josh will continue to dedicate himself to rehabilitation, and to becoming a better person and father. We will continue to support him in his efforts to continue counseling, and we hope that Josh and his family can find peace and a positive resolution. We have great respect and feel strongly about our support for the good people who work tirelessly and unconditionally to aid the victims of domestic violence and who bring awareness to the issue. We have been partners with My Sisters’ Place (a domestic violence shelter and advocate based in Westchester, New York) for nearly 20 years. The leadership of that organization has provided invaluable insight as we have considered our decisions in this matter. We value and respect their opinion, and we look forward to continuing to work with them in the future.

The Giants’ decision to release Brown comes shortly after the team met with the kicker. Earlier today, Brown issued a statement in which he took some responsibility for his “abuse” of his ex-wife while denying that he ever struck her. In time, Brown will likely be cleared by the league office to play again, but at this point, it is hard to see another team ever signing him. Barring any new revelations in his favor, Brown’s career in the NFL is probably over.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Josh Brown

Josh Brown has been parked indefinitely after being placed on the commissioner’s exempt list and it’s hard to see him playing for the Giants (or any other NFL team) again. The kicker has opted against appealing his status with the league and has remained silent, until releasing a statement to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter today: Josh Brown (vertical)

“I am sorry that my past has called into question the character or integrity of The New York Giants, Mr. Mara or any of those who have supported me along the way,” Brown wrote (via Schefter on Facebook). “I have taken measures to get help so that I may be the voice of change, not a statistic. It is important to share that I never struck my wife, and never would. Abuse takes many forms, and is not a gray area. Through the past several years I have worked to identify and rectify my own behaviors. The road to rehabilitation is a journey and a constant modification of a way of life. My journey will continue forever as a person determined to leave a positive legacy and I embrace the opportunities to show and speak about what has helped me to be that man. In the interim, I am cooperating with the Giants and the NFL. Thank you to everyone that has supported me, I will not let you down.”

Brown’s assertion that he never struck his wife will be a key point of contention when he eventually meets with team and league officials. As a part of his counseling program, Brown wrote: “I have physically, verbally, and emotionally abused my wife.” Brown is expected to meet with the Giants today, according to ESPN.com’s Dianna Russini (on Twitter).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Josh Brown Unlikely To Appeal

Last week, Giants kicker Josh Brown was placed on the commissioner’s exempt list, which effectively sidelines him with pay while the investigation into his conduct continues. Brown could theoretically appeal that decision, but Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter) hears that he is unlikely to do so. Josh Brown

While on the list, Brown will still collect his ~$1.15MM base salary. At some point, Brown will probably be cleared to play football again, but it’s hard to imagine him landing another NFL job given the public relations firestorm surrounding him. The Giants, meanwhile, have moved on after signing veteran kicker Robbie Gould.

The NFL has been criticized for only giving Brown a one-game suspension at the start of the season but a recent report indicated that the union was pressured the league office into rendering a decision in September rather than allowing the matter to drag on. Had the league waited, they could have given Brown a more appropriate punishment and avoided a PR nightmare.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Brown, Gould, McCoy, Trades

The latest coming out of the Josh Brown saga features a dispute between the NFL and NFLPA regarding the handling of this case. The NFL is under fire for its one-game suspension of the Giants kicker, but a source informs Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk the league received pressure from the NFLPA on this matter.

Brown’s suspension for Week 1 came down more than 14 months after the domestic abuse arrest occurred, and the league acted before the King County (Wash.) Sheriff’s Office finished its investigation — one that produced the confession Brown had abused his ex-wife. The source informed Florio the NFLPA was putting pressure on the league to reach a decision quickly. That wouldn’t be a good look for the union considering the details unearthed by the legal investigation would have likely triggered a longer suspension. Brown is now on the commissioner’s exempt list, and the 37-year-old’s prospects of kicking again in light of these revelations are slim.

The NFLPA denies this claim, a source familiar with the union’s thinking told Florio, and dismisses the notion union-generated pressure would have mattered since the league has full autonomy regarding the application of the personal conduct policy. The NFL waited 14 months to render its tame verdict, and waiting until the police concluded their investigation could have saved it from some more bad PR optics.

Here’s more from around the league as the Sunday-night NFC West battle awaits its first touchdown.

  • Brown’s placement on the exempt list is expected to clear a path for Robbie Gould to become the Giants’ full-time kicker, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Gould likely does not sign with the Giants if he wasn’t going to have the opportunity to win the job and have a chance to finish the season with the team, per Rapoport. The longtime Bears kicker worked out for the Browns earlier this season in what would have been for a shorter-term fix, but this unfortunate circumstance opened the door for another regular gig.
  • The initial plan for LeSean McCoy was to miss Sunday’s Bills-Dolphins game, Josina Anderson of ESPN.com tweets. Anderson initially reported McCoy was facing a potential multi-game absence, but the Bills’ top ball-carrying weapon said postgame he felt fine during pregame warmups, per Josh Alper of PFT. Rex Ryan added he wouldn’t have put McCoy out there if he wasn’t 100 percent, though McCoy leaving the game early could delay his timetable and place his status for next week’s key Patriots tilt in question. Shady characterized the injury as minor, but hamstring maladies are particularly troublesome for skill-position talents.
  • Cameron Erving left the Ohio showdown, and the Browns‘ starting center will undergo tests Monday, Hue Jackson said (via Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com). Jackson categorized this as an illness, but Cabot notes if this is related to the bruised lung he sustained against the Ravens earlier this season then the second-year blocker could be lost for the remainder of 2016. The Browns removed him at halftime. Cleveland’s line, which moved on from Mitchell Schwartz and Alex Mack after free agency defections, already lost Joel Bitonio for the season earlier this month. Reserve center Austin Reiter also tore his ACL in Week 4.
  • In advance of their 27-21 victory over the Saints, the Chiefs worked out guard Kadeem Edwards, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets. Edwards failed to make the Jaguars’ roster out of training camp.
  • We heard earlier about the Joe Thomas trade market heating up again, but Florio notes trade-related chatter hasn’t been plentiful so far. If it does ignite in advance of the 3pm CT deadline on Nov. 1, Florio lists the Jets and Bears as potential sellers, with Sheldon Richardson, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery as logical trade chips. Richardson has incurred multiple suspensions and saw the Jets award Muhammad Wilkerson with a lucrative extension, while Jeffery is playing this season on a franchise tag worth $14.599MM. Marshall, of course, has been traded three times. He’s under contract through the 2017 season, but the 32-year-old receiver doesn’t have any guaranteed money left on a deal that would slot him with a $7.5MM cap number next season.