Newsstand

Vikings’ Sam Bradford Won’t Play Sunday

Sam Bradford‘s knee could be a real problem. The Vikings quarterback is not expected to play on Sunday, according to Dan Graziano of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Sam Bradford (Vertical)

On Friday, Bradford will get a second opinion today on his left knee from Dr. James Andrews, Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com (on Twitter) hears. Dr. Andrews performed Bradford’s first two ACL surgeries, so he’s quite familiar with his medical history.

The Vikings’ plan was to have Bradford practice this week and see how his knee responded to treatment. He found himself pretty limited and the Vikings have been forced shelve him once again. It’s not clear what their plan is for Bradford beyond this week. What we do know is that Case Keenum will be getting the start once again in Bradford’s absence. They’ll hope for better results than what they got against the Steelers in Week 2.

Bradford was sharp in the season opener, going 27 of 32 for 346 yards and three touchdowns as the Vikings topped Saints 29-19. That’s the kind of quarterbacking the Vikings will need if they hope to make a playoff run this year.

Last year, in his first season with the Vikings, Bradford arguably had a career year. The 29-year-old (30 in November) threw for 20 touchdowns versus only six interceptions while passing for more than 3,800 yards. He also led the league in completion percentage (71.6).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ezekiel Elliott Rumors: Friday

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has yet to rule on the Ezekiel Elliott case, and that could be good news for the running back. The league has petitioned the court with urgent language to quickly deliver a ruling, but the judge is clearly not taking those directives to heart. That doesn’t mean that things will go Elliott’s way, per se, but it could be a prelude to an Elliott victory.

Here’s the latest on Elliott and his legal battle with the NFL:

  • The league still won’t rule out suspending Elliott before Monday night’s game against the Cardinals if they win in court, a league spokesman tells PFT’s Michael David Smith. Today marks the last business day of the week, but if the ruling comes down before the lights shut off, commissioner Roger Goodell may put Elliott’s six-game suspension into effect immediately. In theory, if a ruling comes down on Monday, the league could enact the suspension before kickoff. If that’s the case, Elliott will be sidelined for games against the Cardinals, Rams, Packers, 49ers, Redskins, and Chiefs. He would not be eligible to return until Nov. 12 against the Falcons.

NFL Still Expected To Extend Roger Goodell

An extension between the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodelloriginally reported a month ago — is “getting done,” a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. While the deal could take days or weeks to become official, it’s “getting papered right now,” per Schefter.Roger Goodell

While Cowboys owner Jerry Jones did indeed attempt to block a new contract for Goodell, his complaints were “shot down” by the league’s other owners, reports Schefter. While Jones wanted to extend the search process and possibly look for other candidates, the NFL’s six-man compensation committee — comprised of Arthur Blank (Falcons), Clark Hunt (Chiefs), Robert Kraft (Patriots), John Mara (Giants), Bob McNair (Texans) and Art Rooney II (Steelers) — had other ideas.

Goodell, who became NFL commissioner in 2006, is reported to have been extended through the 2021 campaign. For the 2012 season, Goodell raked in $44.2MM, but his salary was lowered in the following years, as he earned $35MM in 2013, $34.1MM in 2014, and $32MM in 2015. Goodell’s salary won’t be public any longer, as the NFL dropped its tax-exempt status in 2015.

Goodell’s rival, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith, was also extended this week, as Smith landed a new contract through the 2021 campaign. Both men are now signed through the NFL’s current contractual bargaining agreement, ensuring stability for both sides as the parties head towards a possible work stoppage, something Smith referred to as a “virtual certainty.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ezekiel Elliott Rumors: Wednesday

Before the start of the season, Ezekiel Elliott‘s legal team won a preliminary injunction against the league, allowing the running back to play while things get hashed out in the courts. The NFL moved for a stay of that injunction with the same judge, but they were denied, allowing Elliott to take the field again in Week 2. The league hasn’t stopped its fight, however, and they’ve advanced the battle to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

What does this all mean for Elliott’ status on Monday night against the Cardinals and beyond? Here’s the latest on Zeke:

  • The NFL says that if a stay is granted on the Elliott suspension, and it came late in week, commissioner Roger Goodell would decide when the suspension starts, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com tweets. We have two-and-a-half business days to go in the week, but still there’s no guarantee that CA5 will reach a decision in that timeframe. If they do, it will be up to Goodell as to when the six-game ban begins. Given the protracted nature of this struggle between the league office and Elliott, it wouldn’t be surprising if Goodell moved to start the suspension right away if the stay is granted.
  • The fact that the Fifth Circuit didn’t feel the need to rule on Tuesday is a good sign for Elliott, one source close to the situation (presumably, on Elliott’s side) tells Josina Anderson of ESPN.com (on Twitter). At minimum, it seems that the court is not taking the league’s urgent language to heart.

NFLPA Re-Elects DeMaurice Smith

The NFLPA has re-elected DeMaurice Smith as executive director by a 14-0 vote, according to Jim Trotter of ESPN.com (Twitter links). Smith’s new term runs thorough 2021 and is concurrent with the NFL’s contractual bargaining agreement.DeMaurice Smith (vertical)

Civil rights lawyer Cyrus Mehri had been expected to contend for the top union job, but Smith easily won re-election with an uncontested vote. As such, Smith will lead negotiations as the NFL and the NFLPA attempt to hammer out a new agreement when the current CBA expires in three-plus years.

Smith’s re-election doesn’t necessarily mean labor peace is on the horizon, however. Indeed, reports have indicated the union is preparing for some sort of work stoppage (either via a lockout or strike), while Smith himself has indicated that he’s not willing to extend the CBA.

“I don’t know what [Roger Goodell is] thinking when he says extension,” said Smith. “But there’s not gonna be an extension of the CBA. If the owners are interested in talking about issues that are currently covered by the CBA or issues that aren’t currently covered by the CBA and they want to have a renegotiation on some of those issues, we’ll have a renegotiation of those issues. But there’s not going to be a 2025 [or] 2027 addendum to the CBA that says, ‘We’re good with this.’”

Smith, who was also a unanimous selection in 2009, reportedly benefited from a revamped selection process that prevented a multitude of candidates from joining the race.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins Acquire LB Stephone Anthony

The Dolphins have acquired linebacker Stephone Anthony from the Saints, Miami announced today. New Orleans will receive a 2018 fifth-round pick from the Dolphins, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.Stephone Anthony (Vertical)

Veteran linebacker Lawrence Timmons was dealt a team suspension earlier today after leaving the Dolphins over the weekend, so the club was on the hunt for help at the second level of its defense. Anthony, who can be controlled through the 2019 season via the fifth-year option, will give Miami reinforcements at linebacker for the remainder of the season and also for the long haul.

Thought to be a candidate for release prior to the regular season, Anthony has been bandied about as a trade candidate for some time. The Saints simply have too many linebackers on their roster, and the club’s starting jobs went to free agent acquisitions Manti Te’o and A.J. Klein and third-round rookie Alex Anzalone. With Craig RobertsonMichael Mauti, and Nathan Stupar also available in reserve, New Orleans had no place for Anthony.

Anthony, 25, was a full-time starter in 2015 after entering the league as a first-round selection out of Clemson. But his playing time dwindled last season, as he started only three games and played on just 133 defensive snaps before a knee injury ended his campaign in December. Anthony, who also played on roughly a quarter of New Orleans’ special teams snaps, managed just 15 tackles after posting 112 stops during his rookie year.

The Dolphins will be on the hook for the remainder of Anthony’s ~$1.1MM base salary (which is fully guaranteed), and will be responsible for a similar, non-guaranteed figure in 2018. Miami will then have until next May to decide on Anthony’s 2019 fifth-year option. The Dolphins won’t need to make a roster move to accommodate Anthony’s arrival, as Timmons no longer counts against the team’s 53-man count.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins Suspend LB Lawrence Timmons

The Dolphins announced they have suspended linebacker Lawrence Timmons indefinitely. Timmons went AWOL on the team prior to the Week 2 game against the Chargers. Lawrence Timmons (vertical)

It’s not immediately clear whether the team will work with Timmons to facilitate a return. Per the terms of the CBA, Miami can suspend him for up to four games for conduct detrimental to the team. If that happens, the remaining guarantees in the veteran’s contract will void. That would free the Dolphins from the rest of the two-year, $12MM deal he inked in the offseason.

Timmons apparently skipped town to visit the mother of his child in Pennsylvania. He did not notify the team of his plans beforehand, causing the club to file a missing persons report with police.

Until Sunday, Timmons had not missed a game since 2009. It sounds like he’ll be missing several more, unless he can make good with team brass.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Browns Place WR Corey Coleman On IR

The Browns have officially placed Corey Coleman on injured reserve, the club announced today.Corey Coleman (vertical)

Coleman, a second-year pro, has suffered a broken hand in each of the last two seasons. The injury will likely keep him on the shelf for six-to-eight weeks, so an IR stint was the logical move for Cleveland.

In ten games last year, the former first-round pick had 33 catches for 413 yards and three touchdowns. When he was at his best, Coleman was one of the few bright spots for the Browns during a trying year. The Browns were hoping for a reprise this year, particularly because high-priced free agent Kenny Britt has been struggling.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Trade Rumors App For iOS/Android

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Panthers Place TE Greg Olsen On IR

It’s official – the Panthers have placed tight end Greg Olsen on injured reserve. This was viewed as the most likely scenario after Olsen broke his foot over the weekend. Greg Olsen (vertical)

The only thing that he has to do now is heal,” trainer Ryan Vermillion said in a statement released by the team. “I know Greg will be around and he’ll be involved. He’s a team guy. He’ll try to do everything he can to help this team continue to win.”

Of course, the NFL’s modified IR rules will allow for Olsen to return later this year. Teams are permitted to bring two players back from IR each season, provided that the player misses eight weeks of games. If Olsen recovers quickly, he could be ready to resume football activities in six weeks, so he’ll have time to get ready before a potential return in November.

The Panthers will miss Olsen, particularly after they managed only nine points in their Week 2 win over the Bills. Through two games, the Panthers have averaged 174.5 yards through the air, putting them in the bottom third of the league.

Last year, Olsen had 80 catches for 1,072 yards and three touchdowns. It was his third consecutive season with 1,000 yards or more.

To take Olsen’s place, the Panthers will promote fullback Alex Armah from the practice squad.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.