Jeremiah Ratliff

NFL Investigating Jeremiah Ratliff Incident

4:56pm: Agent Mark Slough has released the following statement on behalf of Ratliff (TwitLonger link via Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report):

“Jeremiah has no recollection or memory of saying anything that has been reported in the police report. Jeremiah is receiving care in Dallas for a football-related medical condition that arose out of the game on the 18th with Detroit. The primary focus right now is on Jeremiah’s cognitive health. I would also like to reiterate that the reports that Jeremiah showed up at Halas Hall inebriated are utterly and completely false.”

2:47pm: The NFL is investigating the Jeremiah Ratliff situation, according to a league spokesperson (Twitter link via Jeff Dickerson of It’s not clear if Ratliff could face discipline from the NFL as a result of the investigation, but based on the details that surfaced today from a police report, it certainly sounds as if he may have run afoul of the league’s personal conduct policy.

Ratliff reportedly showed up last Wednesday in no condition to practice, prompting the Bears to send him home. After the team made the decision to release him, Ratliff returned to the club’s practice facility, saying at one point that “he felt like killing everybody in the building,” according to Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune, who cited a report from the Lake Forest Police Department.

Ratliff left Halas Hall and returned again later, at which time he reportedly said, “I am the devil” and said that he “wished [a] staff member’s children would die.” Although no charges were filed against Ratliff, the Bears did call local police, with team officials alerting the Lake Forest P.D. of their belief that the 34-year-old owns multiple firearms, according to Campbell.

Whether or not the NFL decides to fine or suspend Ratliff for the incident, it seems unlikely that the veteran defensive lineman will get an opportunity from another team this season. Having burned bridges in Dallas and now Chicago, the four-time Pro Bowler doesn’t appear to be worth the risk as an in-season addition.

Ratliff previously served a three-game suspension to start the 2015 season for violating the league’s policy and program for substances of abuse.

North Notes: Ratliff, Lions, Levy, Ravens

Veteran defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff is currently a free agent, free to sign with any NFL team, but as details continue to trickle out about last week’s incident at Halas Hall, it appears increasingly unlikely that another team will give him a shot this season.

Ratliff showed up last Wednesday in no condition to practice, prompting the Bears to send him home. After the team made the decision to cut him, Ratliff returned to the club’s practice facility, saying at one point that “he felt like killing everybody in the building,” according to Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune, citing a report from Lake Forest Police.

Ratliff left Halas Hall and returned again later, at which time he reportedly said, “I am the devil” and that he “wished staff member’s children would die.” Although no charges were filed against Ratliff, the Bears did call local police, with team officials alerting police of their belief that the 34-year-old owns multiple firearms, according to Campbell.

As the Bears attempt to move on from last week’s incident, let’s check in on some other items from out of the NFL’s North divisions….

  • The idea that the Lions may consider parting with quarterback Matthew Stafford after this season is “comical,” GM Martin Mayhew told reporters today, including Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. Mayhew also dismissed the possibility of a Calvin Johnson trade: “Both of those guys are very important to what we’re doing as a franchise, great people off the field, great teammates. And both of those guys have Hall of Fame potential. So to say that we should move those guys doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.”
  • DeAndre Levy, recovering from hip surgery, may not see the field again this season after playing just 17 regular season snaps. However, Mayhew doesn’t regret locking up the Lions linebacker to a long-term extension prior to the season, as Birkett writes. “He’s not the first guy to sign an extension and get hurt. That happens sometimes,” Mayhew said. “You hate when it happens, but certainly through no fault of his own. It’s a serious injury that he’s dealing with.”
  • It was a busy day for Mayhew, who also said that he expects the Lions to be buyers, not sellers, at next week’s trade deadline.
  • The Ravens‘ front office and coaching staff have received no phone calls and just one text message from Terrell Suggs since the veteran pass rusher tore his Achilles a month and a half ago, writes Mike Preston of the Baltimore Sun. GM Ozzie Newsome says he isn’t worried about the lack of communication with Suggs, who may be rehabbing on his own, adding that he expects the 33-year-old to return to the team next season.

Extra Points: Manziel, Pryor, Ratliff

The next round of CBA discussions could include some talks on a revamp of team practices, Ian Rapoport of writes. In the last Collective Bargaining Agreement, there was a reduction in the number of practices and changes as to how teams practice and coaches have been fighting for more teaching opportunities for young players who are still learning. Ultimately, one of the key changes could see the size of the practice squad roster – currently at 10 – increase.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • At this point it would be a surprise if Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel is found culpable and faced discipline for his incident, Ian Rapoport of tweets. Either way, we should all know for sure this week. The NFL is interviewing Manziel tonight about his role in the incident and they’ve already interviewed several of the parties involved (link).
  • Terrelle Pryor continues to work out in the hopes that a team will take a shot on him as a receiver, writes ESPN’s Ashley Fox. Pryor’s lack of practice squad eligibility has perhaps discouraged clubs from rolling the dice on him, but agent Drew Rosenhaus says his client’s workouts have all gone well: “We’re confident that it’s just a matter of time until one of these teams decides to make the move.”
  • The Bears notified the Cowboys of Jeremiah Ratliff’s release as a security precaution, sources tell David Moore of The Dallas Morning News. The Bears cut Ratliff last week after an incident at their practice facility and it sounds like things got fairly hostile. Ratliff has not attempted to come by the Cowboys facility in the past week, but due to the acrimonious nature of their split, the Bears felt compelled to give them a heads up.
  • Calvin Johnson to the Panthers? Tamba Hali to the Falcons? Those trade ideas may be far-fetched, but they’re two of eight deals that Gil Brandt of would like to see happen by next Tuesday’s deadline.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

NFC Notes: Ratliff, V-Jax, Boldin, Lions

When the Bears released veteran defensive lineman Jeremiah Ratliff last week, details began to trickle out about an eruption from Ratliff that led to the move — and led to the Bears temporarily increasing the security at their team facility. Although that incident led to Ratliff’s release, it wasn’t his first such outburst, as Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report details.

According to Freeman, in the last week of the 2014 season, Ratliff showed up at a Bears practice and behaved “belligerently” toward players and coaches, leading to him being asked to leave practice multiple times. The incident sounds awfully similar to what happened at Halas Hall last week, but in 2014, head coach Marc Trestman not only didn’t discipline Ratliff — he named the defensive lineman a team captain for the coming week.

Per Freeman, the decision to reward Ratliff for the outburst may have cost Trestman the locker room, and it wasn’t long until the head coach was replaced. Under new coach John Fox, the Bears didn’t tolerate a similar display from Ratliff this season.

Let’s round up a few more odds and ends from across the NFC….

  • Encouraging Ratliff’s so-called “passion” last year didn’t work out well for Trestman — will taking a similar approach to Greg Hardy play out any better for Cowboys owner Jerry Jones? David Fleming of ESPN is skeptical, calling Jones’ support of Hardy the latest sign of dysfunction in Dallas.
  • Vincent Jackson‘s knee injury is expected to sideline him for multiple weeks, according to Ian Rapoport of (Twitter link). However, Rapoport adds that the injury won’t be a season-ender for the Buccaneers receiver.
  • With the 49ers rapidly falling out of contention, and next Tuesday’s trade deadline looming, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk wonders if San Francisco would consider trading Anquan Boldin, and whether or not Boldin would welcome a trade to a contender. I wouldn’t expect the Niners to make a move involving the veteran wideout, but if they do, the Panthers would be one destination that makes some sense, as Florio observes.
  • While general manager Martin Mayhew has been aggressive in the past, Michael Rothstein of (video link) doesn’t expect the Lions to acquire any veterans before this year’s trade deadline. If Mayhew and the Lions make any deals, they’ll probably be for draft picks, says Rothstein.

North Notes: Lions, Lombardi, S. Smith

Lions coach Jim Caldwell told reporters, including Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (on Twitter), that he did not consider take over play calling duties after deciding to let go of offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi. While the offense won’t be revamped in a couple of days, he says that he does anticipate some schematic change taking place (link).

Caldwell also explained that he wasn’t told to make any of these coaching decisions and that team leadership council is not consulted in these types of situations, per Justin Rogers of (on Twitter). Considering the head coach said earlier in the day on Monday that no coaching changes were coming, he either had an abrupt about-face, or wasn’t telling the whole truth either then or now.

Here’s more from the North divisions..

  • No one should be surprised if Steve Smith plays next season, Jamison Hensley of writes. Hensley theorizes that if the Ravens believed that Smith is retiring then they would entertain trade offers for him in the midst of this lost season. By holding on to him, the Ravens may have a chance to persuade him to return. Even at the age of 36, Smith has 18 more catches than anyone else on the Ravens, and his 510 yards receiving are nearly two times as much as any teammate.
  • Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun also believes that the Ravens are hanging on to Smith in an effort to talk him out of retirement and he endorses that plan, particularly with the team’s dearth of quality options at wide receiver. Beyond that, Zrebiec believes that Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti is aware of Smith’s popularity and that he doesn’t want to see the team’s attendance suffer for the rest of the year for the sake of acquiring a late-round draft pick.
  • Bears coach John Fox says that the release of Jay Ratliff was “in the best interest of the team,” as’s Jeff Dickerson writes. Fox didn’t elaborate on the incident that led to Ratliff’s release, but he did indicate that it was on the precipice of becoming a major issue. “That’s why you have security,” Fox said. “That’s why things are in place. Sometimes if you think you need that, that’s what you do for the safety of your building.”

North Notes: Ratliff, Schwartz, Bengals

In the wake of the Bearsrelease of defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff, details have trickled out about the circumstances surrounding the veteran’s departure, and they don’t paint Ratliff in a particularly positive light. According to Rich Campbell and Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune, coaches considered Ratliff one of the team’s best defensive lineman, if not the best, but team officials determined that he wasn’t in a condition to work when he arrived at Halas Hall on Wednesday. When the Bears sent Ratliff home from the facility, an argument took place.

Per the Tribune’s sources, Ratliff came back to Halas Hall twice and had an “intense vocal altercation” with GM Ryan Pace before he was sent home again. Lake Forest police were ultimately summoned as a safety measure, and Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times tweets that the club still operated “at a heightened state of security” on Thursday, a day after the incident took place.

Even at age 34, Ratliff can still be effective on the field, but his latest off-field run-in will surely make any team think twice before signing him. Here’s more from out of the NFL’s North divisions:

  • When asked if he wants to re-sign with Cleveland, Browns right tackle Mitchell Schwartz said, “That’s kind of out of my control. We’ll see what happens,” as Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal tweets. Matt Miller of Bleacher Report (on Twitter) opined that Schwartz is in line for a major payday this offseason.
  • Cornerback Al Louis-Jean, who appeared in nine games for Chicago during his rookie season in 2014, is working out for the Browns today, according to Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Louis-Jean was waived by the Bears in August.
  • Speaking of workouts, Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post passes along word on several players auditioning for the Bengals, tweeting that Cincinnati took a look at safeties Ahmad Dixon and Ryan Murphy, wide receivers Devin Gardner and Deontay Greenberry, linebackers Quayshawn Nealy and Ronald Powell, and center Reese Dismukes.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Bears Cut Jeremiah Ratliff, Sign Ziggy Hood

3:56pm: According to Adam Jahns of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link), Ratliff was escorted out of Halas Hall on Wednesday, and had an animated exchange with GM Ryan Pace. Pace said in a statement today that the move was “in the best interest” of the team (Twitter link via Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune).

3:49pm: Having already traded two veteran defensive players since the 2015 season got underway, the Bears are making more changes on that side of the ball. According to Field Yates of (via Twitter), Chicago has released defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff.

Ratliff, 34, was suspended for three games to open the season for violating the league’s policy and program for substances of abuse. However, after being re-added to the roster, he resumed his starting duties for the Bears, playing more than half of the team’s snaps over the last two weeks.

A year ago, Ratliff racked up 37 tackles and 6.5 sacks in just 11 games, grading as the league’s sixth-best defensive tackle – according to Pro Football Focus – despite playing fewer snaps than any other DT in the top 10. However, between injuries and suspensions, he hasn’t played a full season since 2011, and new Bears head coach John Fox and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio may not have viewed him as an ideal fit for the club.

To replace Ratliff on the roster, the Bears have signed defensive tackle Ziggy Hood, the team announced today (via Twitter). Hood, who spent five years in Pittsburgh to begin his NFL career, was a Jaguar last season, appearing in all 16 games and recording 24 tackles to go along with a sack and a fumble recovery. He was removed from Jacksonville’s IR list earlier this week, making him a free agent.

The Bears have now jettisoned Ratliff, Jared Allen, and Jonathan Bostic in recent weeks, and also released Tim Jennings just a couple weeks before the regular season began. All four players started at least half of Chicago’s games in 2014.

Bears Notes: Allen, Young, Forte, Ratliff

NFL teams typically don’t make many trades once the season begins, since new offensive and defensive systems can be tricky to learn on the fly, and salary cap considerations and draft pick compensation can make it challenging to find the right deal. However, the Bears were certainly active on Monday, consummating two trades that sent defensive players out of town. Chicago sent veteran pass rusher Jared Allen to the Panthers, then dealt linebacker Jon Bostic to the Patriots.

The Bears have lost their first three games, have seen their starting quarterback – Jay Cutler – go down with an injury, and have now traded away two key contributors on defense. Everything points to the team looking ahead to the 2016 season, as the rebuilding process moves forward under new head coach John Fox.

Here’s the latest out of Chicago, with plenty of items on those two trades:

  • Ken Harris, Allen’s agent, tells Ian Rapoport of (Twitter link) that the trade process for his client began when Allen and Bears GM Ryan Pace discussed a mutually beneficial option for both of them. Presumably, both the player and team decided a trade would be the best course of action.
  • Pace issued a statement yesterday, indicating that the Bears’ depth at linebacker allowed them to trade Allen, and adding that the team “will continue to be aggressive in finding ways to improve.” Head coach John Fox also noted that moving Allen will give Willie Young a chance to play more (Twitter links via Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune).
  • The disastrous Allen contract is a good lesson for Pace and the Bears, who should focus on building through the draft in the future, rather than trying to build through free agency, writes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.
  • As Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap observes, Allen is the third big contract jettisoned by the Bears this year — the team also cut Tim Jennings and his guaranteed salary, and traded Brandon Marshall to the Jets a year after extending him.
  • Jeff Dickerson of believes it’s time for the Bears to listen on trade offers for running back Matt Forte, whose contract expires after the season. In Dickerson’s view, it’s also worth gauging interest on Cutler, Alshon Jeffery, and Martellus Bennett.
  • As two defenders depart, another returns — nose tackle Jeremiah Ratliff is back today from his three-game suspension, and the Bears will have a roster exemption until Thursday for him, tweets Howard Balzer of The SportsXchange. By Thursday, Chicago will have to either cut Ratliff or officially give him a spot on the 53-man roster.

Jeremiah Ratliff Suspended Three Games

Bears defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff has been suspended for the first three games of the NFL season for violating the league’s policy and program for substances of abuse, tweets Jeff Dickerson of As Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune notes (via Twitter), the team was likely expecting a suspension at some point, stemming from Ratliff pleading guilty in 2013 to a DWI charge in Texas.

Ratliff will turn 34 this Saturday and hasn’t played a full season since 2011, but his absence will be a significant blow for the Bears’ defense. A year ago, Ratliff racked up 37 tackles and 6.5 sacks in just 11 games, grading as the league’s sixth-best defensive tackle, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), despite playing fewer snaps than any other DT in the top 10.

With Ratliff out of action for the season’s first three weeks, it may open the door for rookie Eddie Goldman to step into the starting lineup. Goldman, out of Florida State, was the Bears’ second-round pick in this year’s draft, going 39th overall. Assuming he gets the starting nose tackle job, he’ll face a significant challenge in September, as the Bears open their season with three games against NFC playoff teams — the Packers, Cardinals, and Seahawks.

NFC Notes: Packers, Peterson, Ratliff, 49ers

With Tramon Williams (Browns) and Davon House (Jaguars) both departing in free agency, there’s a void at outside cornerback for the Packers. The odds-on replacement right now is Casey Hayward, but Green Bay will have options to choose from in the first and second round, Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes.

Here’s more from across the NFC:

  • Vikings general manager Rick Spielman has made no secret of the fact that he’d like to get some deals done on draft day. As Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press writes, the GM has a history of doing that.
  • Of course, Adrian Peterson is the Vikings‘ most notable potential trade chip, and according to Mike Leslie of WFAA (Twitter link), the running back said yesterday that “it would be nice” to play in Dallas. However, Peterson acknowledged that the decision is out of is hands, and neither the Vikings nor the Cowboys seem inclined to work out a deal that would send the former MVP to his home state.
  • Bears defensive tackle Jeremiah Ratliff, who has a $50K workout bonus for 2015 in his contract, won’t be present at the team’s voluntary minicamp this week, tweets Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.
  • Matt Miller of Bleacher Report (on Twitter) hears that the 49ers don’t value inside linebackers in the first or second round, so someone like Denzel Perryman probably isn’t a fit for them.
  • With this year’s draft just a day away, it’s important to remember that scouts don’t always get it right, and Darren Sproles is proof of that. The Eagles running back was overlooked by many teams in 2005, causing him to drop to No. 130 overall, as Vaughn Johnson of writes.
  • Tom Rock of Newsday looked at five safeties the Giants could target in the draft, including Landon Collins of Alabama and Arizona State’s Damarious Randall.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.