Monthly Archives: November 2016

Adrian Peterson wins suspension appeal, NFL challenges ruling

U.S. District Judge David Doty ruled in favor of Adrian Peterson on Thursday, overturning the Vikings running back’s indefinite suspension from the NFL. The running back was handed an indefinite suspension in November, but successfully argued that the league had promised to reinstate him after his child abuse case had been resolved.

“Petition to vacate the arbitration award was granted. Case was remanded for further proceedings … as the CBA may permit,” Doty said in the ruling.

The league said that it would review the judge’s decision as it related to Peterson’s reinstatement and later issued a statement that it would appeal the ruling (via Albert Breer of NFL Network):

“Judge Doty’s order did not contain any determinations concerning the fairness of the appeals process under the CBA, including the commissioner’s longstanding authority to appoint a designee to act as hearing officer.

Hardy will become an unrestricted free agent in March. If given a two-game suspension, he should have a much easier time getting signed this offseason than if forced to sit six games.

In terms of Doty’s ruling, it was determined that the NFL attempted to punish Peterson twice for the same violation and failed to distinguish between the old conduct policy and the new policy. Henderson previously ruled that the two policies were similar, while Doty acknowledged that Goodell admitted there were changes between the two:

Nothing in the record supports a finding that the NFLPA asked Henderson to determine whether the discipline imposed was consistent with the previous Policy. Moreover, Henderson’s conclusion that the New Policy is consistent with the previous Policy is contradicted by the Commissioner’s own statements in which he acknowledged that the New Policy included “changes” to the Policy. See, e.g., id. Ex. 65, at 1 (“I made a mistake. I’m not satisfied with the process we went through, I’m not satisfied with the conclusions. And that’s why we came out last month and said: we’re going to make changes to our policies. We made changes to our discipline.”)
The entire ruling can be read below.

Bradford has played well in games where the Vikings were blowing out the competition

Bradford’s most impactful fourth quarter came against the Lions in their first encounter, when he drove a trailing Vikings team into the red zone twice and had them positioned to win. Matthew Stafford and the Miracles had another tune in mind.

It’s possible that Shaun Hill might have thrown a game away with some sort of awful three-interception performance, but given how little the Vikings are asking Bradford to do, it’s also difficult to imagine Hill would been in a position to make those sorts of mistakes. Bradford has played well in games where the Vikings were blowing out the competition, which isn’t a knock on him as a player. It’s not Bradford’s fault his defense blew that lead the first time around against Detroit. Given the outcomes of this specific season, though, you have to really squint to make a case for Bradford pulling out any games the Vikings wouldn’t have otherwise won with their defense.

Does Bradford make the Vikings better in 2017?

Score: New York Giants 23, Browns 20

Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens have lost five straight to the Bengals, and Baltimore coach John Harbaugh is on record as saying his team needs to beat Cincinnati to win the AFC North. Well, fortunate for the Ravens, this Bengals team is a little different than in years past. Baltimore needs Joe Flacco to stand up and be one of its best players, to complement a strong defense. Injuries to A.J. Green and Giovani Bernard are too much for the Bengals to overcome in this one.

He might, either as a quarterback or as a trade asset, although the latter seems murkier as an argument. Bradford is signed to a one-year, $17-million deal for next season, which serves as both a friendlier franchise tag (just $4 million of his deal is guaranteed) and leverage to negotiate a long-term contract. Bradford infamously is rumored to have turned down an extension from the Eagles before the 2015 season in light of his fantastic preseason and what it portended for the future; he may be more amenable to a long-term deal this time around.

Brian Hoyer signs 2-year deal with Texans

The Houston Texans have signed quarterback Brian Hoyer to a two-year deal worth $10.5 million, according to Albert Breer of NFL Network. The move reunites head coach Bill O’Brien with Hoyer, who worked together in New England when O’Brien was the offensive coordinator and Hoyer was Tom Brady’s backup.

The former Cleveland Browns signal caller struggled toward the end of the 2014 season after posting a 4-3 record through his first seven games to open the season as a starter. A dismal November and December resulted in a 3-4 finish and subsequent benching in favor of rookie Johnny Manziel. Hoyer posted a 76.5 quarterback rating in 14 appearances and threw 12 touchdowns against 13 interceptions to go along with a 55.3 completion percentage.

Under the circumstances, a new team could be the right prescription for a career resurgence for the 29-year-old.

This is business for Ozzie Newsome, finding a way to make something out of a tough situation when negotiations with one of his prized players didn’t drum up any answers. The Ravens might have a tougher time in the AFC North race in what’s looking like a transition year there. Then again, don’t be surprised if they’re just fine; Newsome makes transition smooth.

That’s despite the fact Maclin was coming off a torn ACL during training camp prior to the 2013 season, and was forced to miss the entire year. He went on injured reserve July 30, 2013, but the Eagles signed him to a one-year “prove-it” deal Feb. 28 of last year.

That’s a basic set of motivations, about as basic as you can get.

Not a bad way to replace Suh, is it? The reunion of Haloti Ngata and defensive coordinator Teryl Austin (Austin was a Ravens assistant for three seasons) is definitely something to be excited about in Detroit.

The compensation the Ravens got for Ngata didn’t sit well with some in Baltimore. Lions fans aren’t having a problem with it.

A.J. Green could return for the Bengals in 2016 from hamstring injury

Cincinnati Bengals star receiver A.J. Green could return before the end of the season after an MRI revealed he didn’t severely injure his hamstring and only suffered a sprain in the first quarter of a 16-12 loss to the Buffalo Bills.

After Green dropped a throw from Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, he fell to the ground and rolled over in pain. He grabbed his right hamstring and was carted off the field.

Hillman ran for only 50 yards with the Vikings and was waived by the team on Monday. He was part of an epidemic of ineffective runners in Minnesota. The team’s tailbacks have combined to gain just 2.7 yards per carry this season — a mark by far the worst in the league.

Since Peterson was a member of the team’s preseason roster, the former MVP was technically able to return to the lineup after Week 8. However, the timeline needed to successfully rehab the cartilage tear cast doubt on Peterson rejoining the active roster before the end of the season. According to ESPN’s Josina Anderson, the minimum recovery time for a meniscus tear of this magnitude is three months and could last up to six.

But traditional rehab timelines don’t apply to Peterson and his Wolverine-esque healing powers. The prolific tailback tore his ACL and MCL late in the 2011 season but still managed to be ready for week one of the 2012 campaign. He put together the finest performance of his career that season. Peterson rushed for more than 2,000 yards and earned NFL MVP, Offensive Player of the Year, and Comeback Player of the Year honors.

The injuries and associated recovery were enough to make Watt question his future in a sport that was taking such a toll on him physically.

The NFL is physically demanding, and players understand that, but it isn’t unreasonable for Pryor and Thomas to want to see the Browns protect their teammates at quarterback and keep them from further harm.

Jackson said Monday via Cabot that the Browns have “to continue to have each other’s backs,” and in voicing their concerns about Cleveland’s ability to protect its quarterbacks, that’s exactly what Pryor and Thomas are doing.

Why Doug Baldwin flipped the bird to the Seahawks’ sideline before his TD pass

As he broke the huddle with 7:50 left in the third quarter Sunday, wide receiver Doug Baldwin had a message for offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and the Seattle Seahawks’ sideline, so he flipped them the bird.

“We’re in the f—ing red zone, and you want me to throw the ball?” Baldwin said afterward with a laugh. “Throw me the ball.”

On the ensuing play, Baldwin took a pitch from Russell Wilson, pretended like he was going to run right with the ball and then launched a pass down the left sideline for a 15-yard touchdown.

“He was lights-out,” Redskins receiver DeSean Jackson said. “He did everything great. Hopefully, he can stay hot like that.”

Cousins connected with Jackson for a 17-yard touchdown. The quarterback looked right at two targets then calmly back to the middle to find Jackson.

Later, Cousins connected with Jamison Crowder on a play on which he climbed the pocket under pressure. But the ball was perfect, and the Redskins scored again. Finally, on a pivotal third-and-7 in the fourth quarter, Cousins again found Crowder in a one-on-one situation and lofted another perfect ball for 53 yards to set up the clinching touchdown.

Coaches liked how Cousins commanded the game, how he constantly made good decisions and reads and how he produced on third downs. Cousins completed seven of nine passes on third down, and each completion resulted in a first down. Both of Crowder’s big catches occurred on third down, and they occurred on a night of swirling winds that gusted to around 20 mph.

“We felt like we needed to put it together, and it was good to see him do that,” Gruden said.

The Redskins keep saying they want Cousins to stick around for a long time. They also don’t want to break the bank for one player. Before handing over the sort of cash it will take to keep Cousins, they wanted to see more.

After Sunday, the question could be: What more do they need to see?