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New York Giants fine Odell Beckham Jr. for comments on team’s heart


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Giants have fined wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. for comments he made last week questioning the team’s heart, according to a report by Fox Sports.

Speaking to ESPN’s Josina Anderson last week, the Pro Bowl wide receiver said the 1-4 Giants lacked passion.

“A lot of it has to do with the energy that we don’t have, that we don’t bring every single day,” he said in an interview that aired Sunday. “And you know me. I’m a passionate, energetic person. I always have to have that. If I don’t, it’s gonna be a problem for me. And just playing with some heart. We just need to play with some heart.”

Beckham also said in the interview, conducted alongside rapper Lil Wayne, that the Giants needed to throw the ball downfield more often.

When asked if quarterback Eli Manning was the problem, Beckham said, “Uhh, I don’t know. I feel like … He’s not going to get out of the pocket. We know Eli’s not going to run it. Can he still throw it? Yeah. It’s cool catching it shallow and trying to take it, but I want to go over the top of somebody.”

Coach Pat Shurmur expressed his public disapproval of Beckham’s actions over the weekend.

“All right, listen, I’m going to answer all the drama questions right now and I’m going to go back to what I said. I addressed it with Odell. I addressed it with our team,” Shurmur said in an animated tone after Sunday’s loss to the Carolina Panthers. “I publicly declared that I didn’t agree with his comments and I asked anybody that was interested if they wanted clarification [to] go to Odell because he’s a big man.

“Now, I’m not going to give the public a pound of flesh on this, all right. … These are the kind of things, in my opinion, when we have the locker room that we have that will help galvanize them because the locker room took care of it, and that is all I’m saying on it. Finito. Done.”

Beckham didn’t apologize or take back his comments, and said he thought it had a positive effect on the team.

“I don’t regret anything,” he said. “I don’t regret anything that I said. If it took that for us to come together as a team like we did [Sunday]. I can take that every single time.”

Manning brushed off the comments, saying he and Beckham “have a great relationship.”

Beckham led the Giants with 39 catches for 462 yards and a touchdown entering Thursday night’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

But his frustration was visible in that game. With two seconds left in the first half and the Giants trailing 24-6, Beckham was seen walking off the field and into the locker room before the final play. He did not return until after the opening kickoff of the second half.

They ran one final play before halftime with their offense on the field. Beckham was nowhere to be seen.

Beckham also left early two weeks earlier in a loss to the Saints to receive an IV.

Beckham had two catches on four targets for 12 yards in the first half, when the Giants were a discombobulated mess. Manning was 10-of-23 passing for 163 yards with an interception as they managed only two field goals in the opening 30 minutes.

Shurmur was even caught on camera in the second quarter appearing to say, “Throw the ball!” after Manning dumped a second-and-long pass to Cody Latimer in the flat. He then dumped a third-and-long pass well short of the first-down marker before the Giants punted.



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Grady Jarrett’s fine for Nick Foles hit rescinded


FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett had a $20,054 fine for a hit on Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles rescinded by the NFL following an appeal, multiple sources told ESPN.

The league initially issued the fine after Jarrett was penalized for roughing Foles in the Falcons’ season-opening loss to the Eagles. The much disputed “body weight on the quarterback” came into play, but Jarrett insisted from the beginning it was a legal hit.

“I feel like not power-driving him into the ground is fair,” Jarrett told ESPN after the initial fine. “I feel like not intentionally hitting him in the head is fair. Form tackle — like I asked when the refs came to speak to us — I don’t think that’s fair to call roughing. And we’ve seen that happen a lot. That’s something that we hope they take into more consideration as far as not being so quick to pull it. If they want to do that, they might as well go to two-hand touch.”

Jarrett made his appeal via video last month.

“I didn’t feel like it was a penalty; the team didn’t feel like it was a penalty; my representatives didn’t feel like it was penalty,” Jarrett said after making the appeal.

Falcons coach Dan Quinn sided with Jarrett from the outset, saying his player used the proper technique on the play.

Jarrett having his fine rescinded should not be shocking. Clay Matthews of the Green Bay Packers was flagged for roughing the passer on three separate occasions this season, two involving body weight on the quarterback, yet never received a fine.

According to ESPN’s Kevin Seifert, there have been 50 roughing-the-passer penalties called so far this season, the most through five weeks since 2001. The Packers lead the way with five such calls. The Falcons have two, with Jarrett’s and defensive back Brian Poole getting fined $20,054 for hitting Drew Brees in Week 3.



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Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green is fine and healing from hip issue


CINCINNATI — Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said A.J. Green is fine after missing the second half of Sunday’s loss to the Panthers with a hip issue.

Green landed hard on his hip while trying to catch a pass and eventually went to the sidelines while clearly in pain. He did not return to the game, and watched the rest of the contest while sitting on a cooler.

Lewis said he thought Green may have slightly re-aggravated an old injury from college, but has been on the mend. Lewis said he didn’t exactly know what was wrong during the game because Green said there was pain in both hips and also pain in his shoulder after he landed on it awkwardly.

“He seemed to come around very quickly with the anti-inflammatories. We’re very fortunate with that,” Lewis said.

Green was in pads during the portion of Wednesday’s practice open to the media, but went to the rehab field with Joe Mixon after the team was done stretching.

Green said after the game that he thought he would be able to go back in. He initially jogged off but couldn’t shake off the pain. Green said he felt better afterward and should be ready to go next week.

“I just came down on my hip and I guess my two bones just hit. Just another bruise. I should be fine,” he said on Sunday. “At first I didn’t feel anything. I just thought the air got knocked out of me. Then I got up and I was like, ‘Oh, it hurts a little bit.’ I didn’t feel anything pop or anything like that. So I should be fine.”

He added: “I hurt it as soon as I hit the ground. I just fell awkwardly. I did the same thing in college.”

Mixon and Billy Price are also on the mend. Mixon had a procedure done after the Ravens game to remove loose particles in his knee, but had progressed to doing some jogging on the side by Friday. He was in attendance during Wednesday’s practice but was not dressed out, and went to the rehab field.

Price, who has a foot injury, is still in a walking boot, but was able to ride the stationary bike during the open portion of Wednesday’s practice.

“Joe’s doing great, Lewis said. “We’re very happy and pleased with he and Billy’s progress. Very positive reports. And we have a chance to have all hands on deck here soon, and that’s exciting. But Joe’s youth and everything I think is playing a big part. I think Billy’s youth is playing a big part. We’ll keep the glass half full and keep moving on.”



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Seattle Seahawks considering significant fine for star safety Earl Thomas


The Seattle Seahawks are considering a significant fine to safety Earl Thomas for conduct detrimental to the team because he missed practice twice this past week, according to organizational sources.

No final decision has been made yet on the fine, sources added. Thomas did participate in Saturday’s walk-through and plans to play Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Saturday evening he plans to start and play Thomas.

The Seahawks have engaged in trade talks with teams, including the Cowboys, about Thomas but the Kansas City Chiefs have emerged as a candidate if a deal is made before the Oct. 30 trade deadline, sources said. Thomas sat out training camp and also irritated the Seahawks when he appealed personally to Cowboys coach Jason Garrett to trade for him after a Week 16 game in Dallas.

One league source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that a trade sending Thomas to Dallas is “a super long shot.” Seattle already has turned down a second-round draft pick from the Cowboys, and wanted more for Thomas.

Some sources around the league believed that the Seahawks did not want to trade Thomas until after they played the Cowboys in their home opener Sunday.

Thomas’ unhappiness and this week’s absences have led the Seahawks to taking a hard-line stance against negotiating an extension or any adjustment in salary, sources said. Thomas makes $8.5 million this season, the final year of a four-year $40 million contract.

The Seahawks’ position is that Thomas was rewarded handsomely on a second contract and they have prioritized signing defensive end Frank Clark and receiver Tyler Lockett before they would take Thomas into consideration based on their salary-cap and roster management, sources said.

Thomas was at practice Friday but did not take part because of reasons of a personal nature, according to Carroll, who confirmed that his absence had nothing to do with an injury.

The Seahawks already are 0-2 in a season where they are remaking, if not rebuilding, their roster. If they continue to lose, it would make sense for the Seahawks to try to recoup in a trade more than the 2020 potential third-round compensatory pick they could get if Thomas left as a free agent after this season.

Houston played in Seattle last season and then traded offensive tackle Duane Brown to the Seahawks the day after the game for second- and third-round picks. But it’s unlikely the same scenario repeats itself this season, with the 29-year-old Thomas being dealt to Dallas the day after playing a game in Seattle.

Thomas held out from all offseason work with the Seahawks in hopes of getting a new contract. The move did not succeed despite Thomas’ efforts and he reported to the team before the start of the regular season.

Thomas made it clear upon his return, however, that all was not forgiven — at least not on his end. He wrote in an Instagram post that the “disrespect has been well noted and will not be forgotten.”

ESPN’s Adam Schefter, ESPN’s Brady Henderson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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Ben Roethlisberger of Pittsburgh Steelers fine after concussion scare


Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is doing fine and is expected to resume football activities soon, according to a source.

The team placed Roethlisberger in the concussion protocol after the Pro Bowl quarterback took a fall during Tuesday’s practice. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports Roethlisberger is out of the concussion protocol.

Teammates said Roethlisberger’s head whipped back onto the turf after he became tangled with linemen on a rollout to his right, but after the play he assured center Maurkice Pouncey that he was good.

Roethlisberger traveled with the team to Green Bay for its second preseason game, for which he was ruled out before getting hurt.

This is the first time since 2015 that Roethlisberger entered concussion protocol. Roethlisberger, 36, took at least 40 sacks six times from 2006 to 2013 but is averaging 1.4 sacks per game in recent years behind a veteran offensive line, which he credits for prolonging his career.

Roethlisberger lost weight this offseason to alleviate joint pain, and coach Mike Tomlin said the quarterback had an “awesome” training camp as a performer and collaborator with coaches and players.

The Steelers on Thursday will play rookie Mason Rudolph and Josh Dobbs at quarterback while Roethlisberger and backup Landry Jones sit.

The Steelers will be off Friday and likely resume practice Saturday.



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Oakland Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack facing $814,000 fine


Oakland Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack continues his holdout and will not be in the team’s camp on Friday, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

By not showing up to camp before the Raiders’ first preseason game on Friday vs the Detroit Lions, Mack will be fined $814,000, per the collective bargaining agreement, Schefter reports.

Mack is entering the final season of his rookie contract that is set to pay him $13.8 million. He has stayed away from the team and new coach Jon Gruden throughout the offseason program and mandatory minicamp while awaiting a contract extension.

Mack is the 2016 NFL Defensive Player of the Year and a 2015 first-team All-Pro at both defensive end and outside linebacker. He has 40.5 career sacks and 185.5 QB pressures.



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Davante Adams’ message to agent after ‘hellacious’ hits: I’m fine – Green Bay Packers Blog


INDIANAPOLIS — If the Green Bay Packers had any concerns that the two concussions Davante Adams suffered last season would affect his career, his agent Frank Bauer’s meeting with the team at the NFL scouting combine would have been much more complicated than what it was earlier this week.

Instead, Bauer and Packers contract negotiator Russ Ball could toast to the four-year, $58 million extension that Adams signed the final week of the regular season and then get on to other business.

Bauer told ESPN on Thursday that Adams was cleared by multiple neurologists before the deal was completed Dec. 29. Adams was inactive for the final two regular-season games after Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis knocked him out of the Week 15 game at Carolina. That came after Adams was concussed on a hit by Chicago Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan in September that sent Adams to the hospital.

“He called me after the first one and said, ‘Frank, I’m fine,'” Bauer said. “There’s no long-term concern. I’ve talked to Davante quite a bit, and we’ve had everything checked out.”

Davis and Trevathan each served one-game suspensions for their hits, prompting Adams to say the NFL has “to do something about” the illegal hits.

“He took two hellacious hits,” Bauer said. “Hellacious. And he responded so fast to both.”

Adams also suffered a concussion during the 2016 season but returned without missing a game.

Bauer said Adams could have played in at least one of the final two regular-season games.

“He wanted to play at the end of the season, but they wanted to protect him,” Bauer said. “That was really good for the long term. Green Bay is a classy organization that takes care of their athletes. They protected the kid, and that was great.”

Said Adams the day after the season: “I’m 100 percent fine. It’s not anything [I’m concerned with]. It happened twice in a year. It’s more mental and upset that I couldn’t play in the game to be there for my teammates. But definitely not worried about my health long term.”

Despite missing the final two games, Adams tied for second in the NFL with 10 touchdown catches and led the Packers in catches (74) and yards (885).

Adams’ contract extension made him the league’s fourth-highest paid receiver based on his $14.5 million average per year.

Bauer’s other order of business with the Packers at the combine was tight end Richard Rodgers, who is scheduled to become a free agent. Bauer said the Packers have shown interest in bringing back the 2014 third-round pick but no deal was imminent.



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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to fine Cowboys owner Jerry Jones


NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is expected to fine Jerry Jones millions of dollars as a result of the Dallas Cowboys owner’s public feud with the league last year, according to The New York Times.

Jones clashed with Goodell and the league on multiple issues in 2017. Jones was a vocal advocate of delaying a contract extension for Goodell and proposed on Dec. 1 to implement a six-month moratorium on finalizing the deal. Jones also threatened to sue the league if the compensation committee approved Goodell’s extension and was publicly critical of star running back Ezekiel Elliott‘s six-game suspension.

The Times reported Monday that the punishment will come down in the coming weeks and that Goodell will cite Jones’ actions as detrimental to the league.

The league will order Jones to pay all fees that the competition committee incurred while legally defending itself from the longtime Cowboys owner, according to the Times. The newspaper also reports that Jones will have to compensate the NFL for all its legal fees spent defending the Elliott suspension.

The league and the Cowboys did not offer a comment when contacted by the Times, which cited five league officials as sources in its report.



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