Archive for the ‘NFL’ Category

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Just like old times, Joe Montana and Steve Young have contradictory opinions.

While Montana believes fellow former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick‘s lack of employment is justified, his former teammate is startled to see the pass-thrower without a team.

“I’m surprised, even with the situation last year with the kneel-down during the national anthem, that people can’t see through that and see, here’s a good player that wants to play and is not toxic in the locker room,” Young told KNBR of Kaepernick, according to Daniel Mano of The Mercury News. “But he’s got to fit too. He’s the kind of guy who’s going to come off a play fake, see a guy, throw it.

“If you want him to read through, you want him to find the fourth receiver, the outlet – that’s probably not his game. So he’s got to find the right spot for himself.”

Young understands teams’ potential skepticism of Kaepernick’s focus and says he would want to “look him in the eye” when discussing the quarterback’s commitment to football.

Kaepernick was briefly linked to the Seattle Seahawks this spring, but a contract was not reached. He has reportedly had no other interest from potential suitors.

O.J. Simpson arrives for his parole hearing at Lovelock Correctional Centre in Lovelock

After spending almost nine years in a Nevada state prison, O.J. Simpson was granted parole Thursday.

The 70-year-old former NFL star was serving a 33-year sentence for armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. He was expected to be given parole after keeping a clean record behind bars since being found guilty in October 2008.

Simpson’s official release won’t come until October, when he meets the mandatory minimum of nine years in prison.

The Hall of Fame running back was arrested in September 2007 after he and five men stole sports memorabilia from two dealers in a Las Vegas hotel room. Simpson claimed the memorabilia was originally stolen from him, but that argument didn’t hold up in court.

After infamously being found not guilty in the murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman, in 1995, Simpson found himself in legal trouble several times before being incarcerated. Following the criminal trial, he lost a civil suit that ordered him to pay a total of $33.5 million to the families of Brown Simpson and Goldman, forcing him to auction off much of his own memorabilia to contribute to the damages. He also picked up charges for battery, auto-burglary, and speeding between 2000 and 2002, had the FBI and DEA raid his house in 2001, and lost a civil suit to DirecTV in 2005.

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NEW YORK – The Dallas Cowboys are worth $4.2 billion, making them the most valuable sports franchise for the second straight year, according to Forbes .

In its annual rankings, Forbes placed the New York Yankees second – up from fourth a year ago – with a value of $3.7 billion.

Next are three soccer clubs: Manchester United ($3.69 billion), Barcelona ($3.64) and Real Madrid ($3.58).

The rest of the top 10 includes the New England Patriots ($3.4 billion), New York Knicks ($3.3 billion), New York Giants ($3.1 billion), San Francisco 49ers ($3 billion) and Los Angeles Lakers ($3 billion).

The rankings are based on Forbes’ valuations done over the last year for all NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, soccer, NASCAR and Formula One teams.

The average current value of the top most valuable teams is $2.5 billion, the highest to date, an increase over last year, when the average value was $2.2 billion.

Mike McCarthy

Greg Jennings thinks he knows why the Green Bay Packers have only one Super Bowl win with Aaron Rodgers under center: defense and coaching.

The former Packers wideout was a guest on FOX Sports’ “Undisputed” on Wednesday and tried to explain Green Bay’s failure to return to the Super Bowl since the 2010 season.

“We always hear defense wins championships. They have a lack of defense. They haven’t been able to put up the stops. The offense has put up the numbers, they haven’t been able to stop anybody from putting up the numbers,” Jennings said.

The season after the Packers won Super Bowl XLV, the team went 15-1, yet lost to the New York Giants in a home divisional-round game. Jennings referred to a Hail Mary touchdown by the Giants in that game to reinforce his point. That year, the Pack ranked first in offensive points and dead last in total defense.

Jennings didn’t stop there, also arguing that head coach Mike McCarthy often got in the team’s way with an overly conservative approach.

“I’m just going to flat-out say it: If we had a lead, our issue wasn’t the defense, our issue was Mike McCarthy,” Jennings said. “He would cuff us. … When you watch New England play, when they have a lead, they go for your throat, they don’t relax. … They have a great quarterback, they have arguably the best quarterback in football, but they have – no doubt about it – the best head coach in football.”

It isn’t the first time Jennings has critiqued his former team. He left Green Bay for Minnesota in 2013, and made plenty of remarks afterward about Rodgers and his time with the Packers.

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CLEVELAND (AP) Cleveland’s chief building official says panels used on a city-owned NFL stadium are ”similar if not identical” to those used at a London apartment tower that burned.

However, Thomas Vanover also says he’s confident the Cleveland Browns’ stadium is safe.

A spokesman for Cleveland’s mayor initially said questions about the stadium would have to wait until after the investigation into the London fire, which killed at least 80 people. But Vanover held a news conference Thursday after The Associated Press reported on concerns about several U.S. buildings, including the stadium.

Vanover says the panels were installed on the stadium in a different way than in London’s Grenfell Tower, and that the venue’s overall cladding system was different.

Arconic Inc. quit making the panels available for high-rise buildings after the fire.

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The Houston Texans broke the bank to trade up for Deshaun Watson in this year’s draft, so it’s likely a matter of when, not if, the rookie quarterback will earn the starting job in 2017 – especially with only journeyman Tom Savage in his way.

However, Bill O’Brien’s offense is notoriously difficult to master – Watson is no lock to be under center in Week 1. The former Clemson standout says he’ll know he’s ready when the head coach calls his number.

“Honestly, whenever Coach (O’Brien) and the coaches feel like I’m ready to go (I’ll be ready),” Watson told NFL Network’s Alex Flanagan on Tuesday, according to Conor Orr of NFL.com. “The team feels like they can operate with me behind the wheel and being the quarterback. It’s gonna take time, it’s gonna be a process, really no rush. Just kinda taking it one day at a time, and whenever that time comes, I’ll be ready.”

The Texans are ready to win now, boasting one of the league’s most dominant defenses along with strong offensive weapons in DeAndre Hopkins and Lamar Miller.

Throwing a rookie quarterback into the mix is a risk, but Watson’s arguably the most pro-ready quarterback in the 2017 class, and Houston is built in a way that can protect a rookie pivot.

 NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers
 

The end of Philip Rivers‘ illustrious career is looming, but the star quarterback is hoping to stick around long enough with the Chargers to play in their new stadium in Los Angeles, which is set to open in three years.

Rivers told NFL Network’s Rich Eisen that he has no plans to walk away from football anytime soon, despite the move away from San Diego.

“I hope to still be playing football in 2020, and certainly I hope I’m still playing here,” Rivers said, according to ESPN’s Eric D. Williams. “So yeah, I hope to get to see that stadium then. That’s a long way out. I’ve learned to just take them one year at a time and one game at a time at this point. I’m certainly thankful I’ve been able to be out there for all of them since 2006.

“I don’t take that for granted. And hopefully I’m still playing well enough and we’ve won enough football games that I will be able to trot out there in 2020 in that new stadium.”

Rivers will turn 39 near the end of the 2020 season, and while his physical skills have begun to show signs of decline, his style is suited to a career that extends into his 40s if he wishes.

And while Rivers’ loyalty to San Diego means the relocation to L.A. has likely been a tough adjustment, the veteran pivot is excited for a new challenge at this stage of his playing days.

“I really am excited about embracing this chapter, both from an organizational standpoint and then personally in my career,” Rivers said. “It’s a new market and new fan base. I do think over time, at least it seems like more and more of the fans that we’ve had that are in San Diego are kind of getting more and more warmed up and excited.

“I’ve had a bunch of people tell me, ‘We’re coming up and we’ll be up there for a game.’ I think if we can get it going we truly can be – and I know the Rams are already up there – but it’s kind of Southern California’s team right there in L.A.”