NFL finally issues ruling for three players in Al Jazeera PED case –

James Harrison, Julius Peppers and Clay Matthews no longer have to worry about behind suspended by the NFL.

The league announced on Wednesday that all three players have been cleared following a short investigation where the NFL looked into the possibility that the three men had acquired and used performance-enhancing substances.

“The [league has] found no credible evidence that Pittsburgh’s James Harrison and Green Bay’s Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers were provided with or used substances prohibited under the NFL-NFLPA Policy on Performance-Enhancing Substances following a comprehensive investigation into allegations made in a documentary by Al-Jazeera America,” the NFL said in a statement.

The allegations were made in December in a report that was released by Al -Jazeera America. Peyton Manning was also named in the report. Manning was also cleared.

Much of the report was based on the testimony of Charlie Sly, who has since recanted everything he said, which probably made it even easier for the league to clear all three players.

The NFL investigation ends a suspenseful two months for all three players.

Back in June, the NFL had said that it planned to interview each player on the first day of training camp, but that when that didn’t happen, the league decided to play hard ball.

On Aug. 15, the NFL threatened to suspend each of the players named in the report unless they cooperated with the league’s investigation. The three players were interviewed by the NFL on Aug. 24 and 25.

Before he was interviewed last week, Harrison made it clear that he wanted the NFL to publicly announce that he had been cleared, just like they did for Manning.

“They are going to clear my name and give me the same sendoff they gave [retired quarterback] Peyton Manning,” Harrison said, via “I’m going to be cleared. They are going to give me the same thing, flash, across the bulletin board, NFL, Instagram, Twitter, all that — ‘James Harrison cleared.'”

One player who has not yet been cleared is free agent linebacker Mike Neal. Neal was interviewed on Aug. 25, but he wasn’t named in the NFL’s statement that cleared each player on Wednesday, which means the league is likely still investigating his situation.

NFL finally issues ruling for three players in Al Jazeera PED case –

Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest has reportedly enraged NFL executives to the point where his career could … – Business Insider

colin kaepernick Tony

Colin Kaepernick explained why he sat during the national
, he added that he was aware of the repercussions that
would come with such a protest.

“This is not something that I am going to run by anybody,”
Kaepernick said. “I am not looking for approval … If they take
football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up
for what is right.”

Now Kaepernick may be facing that situation.

Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman reports
that he spoke to seven
front-office executives about Kaepernick, and they all had the
same reaction to Kaepernick’s stance: He won’t be allowed near
their teams.

While Freeman says there are likely front offices that respect
Kaepernick’s protest, they are statistically outnumbered. The
vitriolic reaction to Kaepernick may be such that his days in the
NFL are numbered.

“There could be some executives who have no issue with
Kaepernick, but I doubt there are many,” Freeman wrote. “Each
executive said he believes Kaepernick will likely get released by
the 49ers ? and never play in the NFL again.”

Freeman continued:

“Their belief is that the team will wait a bit, maybe a week, for
the controversy to quiet (a bit ? it’s only going to quiet so
much in a week) and then release him.

“I’ve heard from people close to Kaepernick that he fully
expected to be released by the 49ers once everyone became aware
of his actions, and he also knew his football career would be in

Freeman adds that if Kaepernick is out of the NFL permanently,
people expect him to dedicate his life to social activism.

While Fox’s Jay Glazer reported that
Kaepernick could be cut from the 49ers
because of his
regression as a passer and declining athleticism and not his
political views, Freeman’s sources offer a considerably different
take on Kaepernick’s stance.

“I don’t want him anywhere near my team,” one executive told
Freeman. “He’s a traitor.”

“He has no respect for our country,” said another. “F–k that

“In my career, I have never seen a guy so hated by front office
guys as Kaepernick,” a general manager said.

Kaepernick is only 28 and not far removed from being considered
one of the most promising quarterbacks in the NFL. As seen with
the Minnesota Vikings and Teddy Bridgewater’s season-ending
injury, the need for a competent quarterback can rise quickly and

Compared with the typical journeymen backup options around the
NFL, teams more open to Kaepernick’s views may be willing to give
a young, gifted quarterback a shot at on-field redemption.

However, it seems Kaepernick’s stance may have had a more
profound effect on the league than originally believed.
Kaepernick has said he plans to continue sitting during the
anthem and is working on other projects to promote social

If his stance has caused this much anger among NFL teams, it’s
possible that the end of his NFL career is closer than expected.

Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest has reportedly enraged NFL executives to the point where his career could … – Business Insider

Philadelphia will host the 2017 NFL Draft – SB Nation

After months of rumors, ESPN?s Adam Schefter says the NFL will announce Thursday that the 2017 draft will be held in the city of Philadelphia. Chicago played host to the draft the last two years.

The 2017 draft will be held on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the famous thoroughfare which is home to many of Philadelphia?s cultural and historical attractions, such as the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Franklin Institute. The NFL will build a structure specifically for the event to safeguard against the possibility of inclement weather.

Philadelphia is no stranger to hosting major events, most recently serving as the location for the Democratic National Convention in July. Last year, Philadelphia welcomed Pope Francis as the city hosted the World Meeting of Families.

The NFL chose to move the draft out of New York City after a poor experience in 2014. Radio City Music Hall double-booked the draft and a Rockettes performance, and the league was forced to move the draft from the last weekend of April to the first weekend of May. New York had been home to the draft for 51 years when the league decided to move the festivities to Chicago.

Chicago opened opportunities to enhance the fan experience, including Draft Town, an interactive experience for fans in Grant Park. But like Chicago, the move to Philadelphia is not expected to become an annual tradition.

Instead, the NFL is eyeing the new Los Angeles Rams stadium as a permanent host for the draft. The new Memorial Coliseum is expected to be fully operational in time for the 2019 season.

The NFL?s decision to shift the draft to Philadelphia is great news for Eagles fans, except for one thing ? the Eagles do not currently have a first-round draft pick to work with in the 2017 draft. The Eagles traded that pick to the Cleveland Browns prior to the 2016 draft in order to move up and select Carson Wentz with the second overall pick.

Philadelphia will host the 2017 NFL Draft – SB Nation

Antonio Brown restructures contract with Steelers –

Pittsburgh Steelers wideout Antonio Brown has completed the deal before the deal.

According to NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo, the best wide receiver in football agreed to a restructured contract Wednesday that still takes him through 2017 but now pays him $10.25 million in 2016. He was originally set to make $6.25 million.

The money swap is likely the prelude to a far more significant deal to come for the four-time Pro Bowler. Brown, 28, put up 375 catches for 5,031 yards and 31 touchdowns over the past three seasons. Brown finished behind only Julio Jones in receiving yards last year and led all receivers in 2014 with 1,698 yards.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport added that the new money (with an $8.975 million signing bonus) comes with the promise of a new deal next year, according to a source with knowledge of the contract.

The minor tweaks are becoming somewhat of a yearly tradition for the Steelers and their breakout star. Almost a year to the day, the Steelers swapped money to give Brown an extra $2 million in 2015. That season, he opted against a holdout with the thought that a large extension was coming. Pittsburgh is running out of chances to make that happen before Brown is due to hit the open market in 2017, where he would undoubtedly become the highest-paid wide receiver in NFL history. That might happen anyway if Pittsburgh gets around to a new deal this calendar year.

There is little question that he and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger have something special, and Pittsburgh is doing everything in their power to keep Brown happy in the meantime. The six-year, $43.04 million deal Brown signed in 2012 is one of the best bargains in modern NFL history. With running back Le’Veon Bell down for the first three games of the season, Brown is again expected to carry Pittsburgh’s high-flying offense.

His 265 catches over the last two seasons are the most by any player over that span in NFL history. Outside of Calvin Johnson, no receiver has put up as many yards in two seasons as Brown did in 2014 and 2015.

The only question now is how much it will end up costing Pittsburgh in the long-term. Brown came in cheap the first time but likely will break the bank the second time around.

Antonio Brown restructures contract with Steelers –

Former NFL trainer says Teddy Bridgewater’s injury is quite common –

Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater suffered a dislocated knee and a torn ACL during Tuesday’s practice. It was a non-contact injury, and according to the team, Bridgewater is facing a “significant” recovery.

Bridgewater’s injury seemed odd because there was no contact, but according to former NFL athletic trainer Mike Ryan, who now serves as NBC Sports Medicine Analyst, it is not uncommon.

“Mechanically speaking, the knee joint is formed by the long thigh bone (femur) resting on top of the main shin bone (tibia),” Ryan told PFT. “Because the knee joint is structurally unstable and very dependent on ligaments for stability, the rupturing of a main ligament(s) leaves the knee joint vulnerable to a dislocation. The Anterior Cruciate Ligament’s two main functions are to stabilize the shin bone directly under the thigh bone and, secondly, to minimize internal rotation of that shin bone.

“Therefore, when the ACL is torn, the knee ‘buckles’ inward and quickly becomes grossly unstable. As in the case of Teddy’s injury, the stress of a collapsing body over a now-unstable knee joint is enough to dislocate the knee joint.”

It would help explain why, after Bridgewater hit the turf, the team immediately stopped practice as trainers rushed to Bridgewater’s aid. And why his teammates began swearing and praying.

It’s a huge loss for a Vikings team that was hoping to improve on last year’s 11-5 record that included a wild-card appearance. For now, this is Shaun Hill‘s team.

“I have confidence in Shaun,” coach Mike Zimmer said Tuesday. “I think he’s played great this preseason. He’s been in two-minute drills. He’s done a phenomenal job. The thing we have to remember is this is about the team, this isn’t a one-man deal. … We have a good team. We have a good defense team. Our offensive line is much better. We have good receivers, maybe the best running back in the NFL. So this is about a team and us trying to figure out how to win football games.”

Hill, 36, hasn’t started an NFL game since 2014, but he’s the Vikings’ best option, at least with the regular-season less than two weeks away. Plus, there’s no time for Zimmer to feel sorry for himself, which is something Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells reminded him of shortly after Bridgewater went down.

“I told him, ‘The first thing you need to know is this: Everyone in the organization, and that includes some of the players and the coaches, are going to think they have an excuse now,'” Parcells told‘s Peter King. “Once the shock is over, probably 48 hours from now, they’re all gonna come to you and look at you and say, ‘What are you gonna do?’ Because you’re charged with winning games now, no matter what you have on your team. You need to figure out what works – what recipe works. And tomorrow morning, once the shock wears off, nobody’s gonna give a s—. It’s his problem. He’s gotta figure out how to win now.”

Former NFL trainer says Teddy Bridgewater’s injury is quite common –

Mike York Added to Hockey Staff as Student Assistant Coach – Michigan State Athletics

Aug. 31, 2016

Michigan State hockey head coach Tom Anastos announced today (Aug. 31) the addition of former two-time All-American Mike York to the coaching staff as a student assistant. Following four standout seasons at MSU from 1995-99 and a 17-year pro career that included 10 seasons in the National Hockey League, York has returned to MSU to complete his degree in communication.

?We are thrilled that Mike York will be joining our staff,? Anastos said. ?Mike has a wealth of playing experience and is one of our program?s all-time greats. He is passionate about the game, Michigan State University and Spartan hockey; he?ll be a terrific addition to our staff.?

?I?m really happy to again be a part of the Michigan State hockey program,? York said. ?This all came about really quickly and I?m excited. I love the game and want to stay involved with it, so this will be a great learning experience. I?m ready to get going.?

York, who ranks 12th in program history with 201-career points, was a two-time first-team All-America selection and two-time Hobey Baker Award finalist. In 2015 he became the eighth Spartan hockey player to be inducted into the MSU Athletics Hall of Fame.

The native of Waterford garnered CCHA All-Rookie Team honors as a freshman and then registered a team-high 47 points (18 goals, 29 assists) as a sophomore in 1996-97, earning All-CCHA honorable mention accolades.

In helping guide the Spartans to both the 1998 CCHA regular-season and tournament championships, York recorded a career-best 61 points (27 goals, 34 assists). His efforts earned him his first of two first-team All-America selections, a spot on the All-CCHA second-team and CCHA Tournament MVP honors. He also was a Hobey Baker Award finalist for the first of two times in his career.

After capturing a second consecutive CCHA regular-season title in 1998-99, York and the Spartans advanced to the NCAA Frozen Four. The Spartans? success translated into more individual honors for York as he again was voted to the All-America first team. He also was named the CCHA Player of the Year, CCHA Best Defensive Forward and Team MVP, ending the year with 54 points (22 goals, 32 assists).

Following his career in the Green and White, York went on to play 10 seasons in the NHL, with the New York Rangers, Edmonton Oilers, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers, Phoenix Coyotes and Columbus Blue Jackets, compiling 322 career points. He continued his professional career in Germany where he played from 2011-16.

He is one of 15 Spartans that have competed in the Olympic Games and just one of eight to have earned a medal as in 2002 he helped the USA to a silver in Salt Lake City.

York resides in East Lansing with his wife, Aimee, an MSU alum, and daughter, Ivy.

Mike York Added to Hockey Staff as Student Assistant Coach – Michigan State Athletics