NFL NEWS & NOTES BRADY, ODELL BECKHAM JR., LUCK AND MUCH MORE

Photo: NFL.com

Tom Brady could have avoided being suspended because of Deflategate if he was willing to blame two New England Patriots staffers for the scandal.

The star quarterback proposed a $1 million fine, but NFL commissioner Roger Goodell demanded that he state former equipment managers John Jastremski and Jim McNally had tampered with the footballs without his knowledge, according to a report by ABC News. Continue reading, by Steve Gardner

Bill Belichick opened training camp this year by noting that “our players really, overall, had a real good spring.” He lauded the players’ “big, strong jumps” in the offseason, and then volunteered it was “a little bit more than normal or maybe we anticipated.”

This is the closest Belichick gets to trash talking. When a player loves his team a little too much, he boasts about going undefeated or “owning” the division. When Belichick likes his team, he parcels out an unusual amount of praise for his young players. The man once nicknamed “Doom” is positively sunny this training camp.

In fairness, this is always one of Belichick’s favorite times of the calendar. These are the weeks he talks about to his legendary biographer or to NFL Films. These are the weeks closest to football distilled, where installation turns to competition, where the team takes its shape.

Fabled Patriots scribe Mike Reiss speculated that Belichick is more willing to share praise with reporters this year because he respects how his players handled a difficult offseason. That sounds about right, although I think there’s more to it. So why does Belichick seem so happy? Continue reading by Gregg Rosenthal

Photo: CBS Baltimore

Video game maker Electronic Arts (EA) apologized Thursday for editing out the name of NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick from the soundtrack to Madden NFL 19. The lyrics were: “Feed me to the wolves now I lead the pack and s—. You boys all cap, I’m more Colin Kaepernick. I’m rare as affordable health care.”

“We messed up, and the edit should never have happened,” the company tweeted. It added that an update will be available on August 6 that will include the reference. Continue reading, by CBS Baltimore

The first-round pick looks like the real deal as Pittsburgh looks to bolster its defense to go with that high-powered attack. Plus notes on Le’Veon, the position battles at RB and LB and more from Latrobe. Continue reading by  JONATHAN JONES 

Terrelle Pryor reacts to his former teammates who want a piece of him at upcoming joint practices. (Seth Wenig / AP)

Wide receiver Terrelle Pryor is bracing for a rough reception from his former teammates when the Jets and Washington hold joint practices Aug. 12-14 in Richmond, Virginia, in the run-up to their second preseason game on Aug. 16.

“If they take dirty shots, I’m sure we’ll handle that accordingly,” Pryor said after practice on Thursday. “You start trying to make it an individual thing, it takes away from our team. I don’t want to individualize myself.”

Pryor evidently wasn’t the most popular player in his injury-marred season with Washington.

Linebacker Zach Brown made it clear in June that he wasn’t the biggest fan of his former teammate. Brown claimed that Washington head coach Jay Gruden basically put Pryor in a bubble, but the coach won’t be able “to protect you anymore” when the team teams spend a week together later this month. Continue reading, by 

Eric Reid (35), seen here with wide receiver Marquise Goodwin last season, filed a collusion claim against the NFL owners. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP)

Tennessee safety Johnathan Cyprien will miss the season with a torn left ACL, and coach Mike Vrabel says veteran Eric Reid is among the safeties the Titans want to look at as a potential replacement.

Cyprien left practice Wednesday after hurting his left knee during a noncontact play. He grabbed at his knee and then walked to the locker room with trainers, waiving off a cart. Cyprien, who signed a four-year deal last season, started 10 games after dealing with an injured hamstring.

“Devastated to tell you that after checking him out, he tore his ACL and he’ll be out for a year, which is tough for me as is a new head coach to watch guys work hard, extremely hard, in the offseason and care about the team and play hard and do everything that we’ve asked them to do and then not get a chance to experience the NFL season this year,” Vrabel said Thursday. Continue reading, by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Patrick Mahomes‘ right arm looks like most other arms. Just like his left one in fact. There is an elbow that hinges, a wrist that is normal and five fingers on the hand.

As he sits doing this interview in late spring, it is not wrapped in bubble wrap, nor is there ice to keep it cool.

His right arm, though, is anything but normal. It is a gift from God that few have possessed to play the quarterback position. It is a gift that could make Mahomes special one day for the way he plays the position, and certainly makes him a player to watch in 2018.

“Catching passes from Patrick is crazy,” Chiefs receiver Tyreke Hill said. “We all know he has tremendous arm strength, so it’s ridiculous.” Continue reading, by 

Photo: yahoosports

A couple dozen autograph collectors were camped out at the security exit of Akron-Canton Airport Thursday afternoon waiting for the dozens of Hall of Famers expected in town for this weekend’s Pro Football Hall of Fame activities.

Harold Carmichael walked by, and a handful of Eagles fans immediately approached him for his autograph, and Harold of course graciously signed everything and spent a moment or two chatting with everyone. Continue reading, by Reuben Frank

The Los Angeles Rams led the NFL in scoring in Sean McVay’s first year as coach in 2017.

And they barely scratched the surface of what the offense will look like going forward. In 2017, the Rams were learning about each other, coaches trying to figure what could work.

Now they know more about each other, so McVay, the offensive wunderkind, is ready to unleash even more of his offensive system.

That might not be good news for NFL defenses. How much more is being put in?

“A lot more,” Rams quarterback Jared Goff said. “We’ve just evolved. We know teams have some tape on us an have an idea what we like to do. There is stuff we’ve done to evolve, creatively, that Sean’s put in to get better.” Continue reading, by 

Yet another NFL benchmark has been crossed, because Madden is officially in my capable review hands, and as such we’re that much closer to the start of the 2018 NFL regular season. “Madden 19” is one of the most ambitious renditions of the classic EA Sports football game in years, a version featuring a number of very intelligent upgrades to an already excellent gameplay.

Two years ago, my simulation stunned the world by predicting the Falcons would make it to the Super Bowl. Last year, it predicted the Falcons would win the Super Bowl, which, well, 1) get a new team, Xbox and 2) not so stunning. (My XBox just picked the wrong NFC team with a bird mascot is all. Seems that was a problem in my house.)

This year, the results will be just as shocking. And I’ll tell you what they are, but not before we run through some of the interesting things in the game. Continue reading, by 

Kevin Abrams meets with Odell Beckham Jr.’s agent, Zeke Sandhu. Robert Sabo

For once, the action on the practice field wasn’t the main attraction at Giants training camp. That honor belonged to the VIP area, where Odell Beckham Jr.’s agent, Zeke Sandhu, and Big Blue VP of football operations/assistant general manager Kevin Abrams could be seen talking.

That sight came hours after ESPN reported negotiations had begun earlier in the week between the superstar wide receiver’s representatives and the team over a new long-term deal that would likely make him the highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL. Continue reading, by Zach Braziller

Carson Wentz hasn’t participated in team drills in five straight practices. Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson reiterated Friday that it’s all part of the plan with the QB returning from a season-ending knee injury. Pederson added there was no setback for Wentz.

“No setbacks. Not at all. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing,” the coach said.

The Eagles kept Wentz out of team sessions this week to avoid uncontrolled environments as he works his way back. Even in what was viewed as a lighter type of practice on Friday, Pederson said it wasn’t controlled enough to put Wentz in the fire until he’s cleared for contact.

“That’s not controlled. The situation is controlled, but the actions are not…” the coach said. “It’s still part of the plan. Not going to subject him to that right now.” Continue reading by  Kevin Patra

There were times when he wondered if he’d ever play again, but 19 months removed from his last pass in an NFL game the Colts QB looks like he never went away. How he got to this point. Plus, mail on why it’s time to get nervous about the Khalil Mack holdout, outlooks for the Chiefs, Bears and Browns, and a Comeback Player of the Year darkhorse Continue reading by Albert Breer

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