Thursday, September 3, 2015

Not guilty: Brady beats Goodell, four-game suspension

Here's hoping this is the last time we talk about this.

Judge Richard M. Berman ruled on Tom Brady's four-game suspension Thursday, overturning the commissioner's decision and thereby activating the four-time Super Bowl champ for the team's opening-day game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Per, Berman ruled, in part:
"The Award is premised upon several significant legal deficiencies including, (A) inadequate notice to Brady of both his potential discipline (four-game suspension) and his alleged misconduct; (B) denial of the opportunity for Brady to examine one of the two lead investigators, namely NFL Executive Vice President and General Council Jeff Pash; and (C) denial of equal access to investigative files, including witness interview notes."
The league still has the opportunity to appeal the decision, though Goodell has not made any mention of going that route (at least not yet).

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Dan Carpenter's coach is concerned about his kicker

Buffalo Bills kicker Dan Carpenter has been iffy this preseason, having already missed a pair of field goals and an extra point.

His boss isn't thrilled.

“I am concerned,” Bills coach Rex Ryan said Tuesday, via the Buffalo News. “That is concerning because he missed a lot of camp. We have to see him kick better. Quite honestly, he needs to."


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Brandon Fields gone; His replacement? 'He's a punter'

The Miami Dolphins released Pro Bowl punter Brandon Fields Tuesday.

Fortunately, the team has a replacement in rookie Matt Darr. And guess what Darr does?

“He’s a punter. That’s his job description," Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said, via the Sun Sentinel. "That’s what we are going to ask him to do and, at the end of the day, we felt that he was going to be the best option at punter in 2015.

“Really, it’s not that much more complicated than that.”

Fair enough.
"This offseason the Dolphins restructured Fields' contract, lowing his base salary to $1.65 million to create some salary cap flexibility," according to the Sun Sentinel. "But they also added Matt Darr, and the undrafted rookie from Tennessee has had some impressive punts in the preseason, ultimately earning him the job."

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Patriots trade for Jalen Saunders, make other moves

The New England Patriots announced Tuesday that have acquired receiver Jalen Saunders in a trade with the New Orleans Saints in exchange for an undisclosed draft pick. The team also claimed rookie wideout DaVaris Daniels off waivers from the Minnesota Vikings.

Additionally, the Patriots placed fullback James Develin and rookie defensive back Darryl Roberts on Injured Reserve, placed linebacker Dane Fletcher and defensive lineman Chris Jones on the PUP/Reserve list and released guard Chris Barker and rookie linebacker D.J. Lynch.

Saunders was a 2014 fourth-round draft pick of the New York Jets out of Oklahoma. The 5-foot-9, 165-pounder, played in three games for the Jets before being released late last September. He then spent time as a practice-squader with the Arizona Cardinals and Saints.

He played in six games for the Saints and caught one pass for seven yards and returned nine punts for 99 yards and three kickoffs for 139 yards, including a 99-yard return on his first career return.

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Rex feels bad for Amaro, 'but I wasn't afraid of him'

Rex Ryan just couldn't help himself.

New York Jets tight end Jace Amaro was placed on injured reserve Tuesday due to a shoulder injury and will miss the rest of the season.

His former coach, now Buffalo Bills coach Ryan, said Tuesday he felt bad for Amaro--but not without taking a parting shot at the second-year end, who earlier this year questioned team accountability with the Jets last season.

“Jace is a good kid. He just made stupid comments,” Ryan said, via the New York Post. “He’s a good kid and I feel bad that he can’t do it. He’s a talented guy, but I wasn’t exactly afraid of him.”


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Monday, August 31, 2015

RPT: Buffalo names Tyrod Taylor opening-day starter

The Buffalo Bills' quarterback competition is apparently over.

According to NFL insider Jay Glazer, Rex Ryan has chosen Tyrod Taylor as his starting signal-caller for the team's Week 1 home opener against the Colts.

Taylor has impressed the coaching staff this summer with his versatility and his accuracy, completing 73 percent of his throws in his three preseason appearances and making plays with his legs.

This will be the 26-year-old's first opportunity to start in his five-year career, and he's currently the team's best option, with EJ Manuel as the likely backup based on this summer's performance.

It will be interesting to see how Buffalo handles the backup position given Matt Cassel's current $4 million cap number, especially since he's been the most underwhelming of all three quarterbacks.

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Bills release longtime running back Fred Jackson

After nearly a decade, the Buffalo Bills and running back Fred Jackson are parting ways.

The team released the 34-year-old ball carrier Monday as part of their first round of roster cuts, according to Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News. Jackson has the third-most rushing yards of any Bills running back with 5,636.

"Today, we had to make the difficult decision to release Fred Jackson," Bills general manager Doug Whaley said Monday via "He had an incredible career for this organization for the past 10 years."

The move takes away one of the team's most effective red-zone options in recent history and a major veteran locker-room presence.

Pending any further changes, 27-year-old Anthony Dixon will likely be the team's No. 2 back, with Bryce Brown and Karlos Williams in the mix, as well.

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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Key NFL dates from now to start of regular season

Here are the key NFL dates from now to Week 1 of the regular season:

September 1 – Prior to 4 p.m., New York time, clubs must reduce their rosters to a maximum of 75 players on the Active List.

September 3 – Final preseason games.

September 5 – Prior to 4 p.m., New York time, clubs must reduce rosters to a maximum of 53 players on the Active/Inactive List.

September 5 – Simultaneously with the cut-down to 53, clubs that have players in the categories of Active/Physically Unable to Perform or Active/Non-Football Injury or Illness must select one of the following options: place player on Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform or Reserve/Non-Football Injury or Illness, whichever is applicable; request waivers; terminate contract; trade contract; or continue to count the player on the Active List.

September 6 – Claiming period for players placed on waivers at the final roster reduction will expire at noon, New York time.

September 6 – Upon receipt of the Personnel Notice at approximately 1 p.m., New York time, clubs may establish a practice squad of 10 players. No club, including the player’s prior club, will be permitted to sign a player to a practice player contract until all clubs have received simultaneous notification via the above Personnel Notice that such player’s prior NFL player contract has been terminated via the waiver system.

September 6 – After 4 p.m., New York time, a club is permitted to place a player on Reserve/Injured as “Designated for Return.”

September 10 – At 12 a.m., New York time, the Top 51 Rule expires for all NFL clubs.

September 10, 13, 14 – Regular Season opens.

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Ryan Tannehill happy with Dolphins' offense so far

Ryan Tannehill has been very efficient in a few brief appearances in three preseason games.

The Miami Dolphins' starting quarterback has connected on more than 80 percent of his passes and has amassed 303 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. It's been a small body of work, but Tannehill is happy with the direction the offense is headed.

"It's a good start," he said this weekend, via's James Walker. "I think guys are getting open and making plays for me down the field and I’m making good decisions getting the ball out in the right spot."
Writes Walker: Tannehill’s accuracy has been impressive. He has just eight incompletions in 41 attempts. Tannehill’s ball placement also has improved to allow his receivers to run in stride, which is important for Miami’s offense.

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Fred Jackson says he still has 'a lot to prove'

Fred Jackson's entire career has been based on resilience. At 34 years old, the veteran Buffalo Bills running back is continuing the trend.

“I still have a lot to prove and that’s how I approach the game,” Jackson said after helping his team beat up the Pittsburgh Steelers in preseason action Saturday, via The Buffalo News. “Just continue to prove yourself and today was a good step in the right direction.”

Jackson broke off a 41-yard touchdown run in the third exhibition contest, keeping his legs warm in case he's tabbed the Week 1 starter. LeSean McCoy is still nursing a hamstring ailment.

“I always prepare as the starter,” Jackson, a 10-year NFLer and 12-year pro, said. “Shady’s going to work to get himself back out there on the field, but I think if you don’t prepare to be the starter something’s wrong with you.”

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