Student jailed over school shooting threat on Julian Edelman’s Instagram

A 14-year old boy in Port Huron, Michigan, has been jailed for posting a comment on Patriots receiver Julian Edelman‘s Instagram, threatening a school shooting.

Edelman received a direct message from a follower telling him that someone had posted a threatening comment and asked his assistant to check his Instagram to find out what it referred to. When his assistant found a comment saying, “I’m going to shoot my school up watch the news,” Edelman asked her to call 911. Edelman said that after the recent focus on school shootings, he felt that he couldn’t dismiss the message.

This year’s draft is being held at the Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Believe it or not, this will be the first draft held in an NFL stadium.

This year’s draft will be covered by two broadcast networks (Fox and ABC) and four cable outlets (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, NFL Network). For the first time, all seven rounds of the three-day event will air live on broadcast TV.

Round 1 on April 26 (8 p.m. ET) will air on five channels: NFL Network, Fox, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes. Troy Aikman, Fox’s lead NFL analyst, will join NFL Network’s Rich Eisen and Mike Mayock at the analyst desk.

Newton’s been out since rupturing the patellar tendons in both knees in Week Six of 2016, but Texans coach Bill O’Brien said he’s been impressed with what he’s seen so far.

“I would say he’s on schedule, but I wouldn’t say that he’d be able to a ton of things this spring,” Texans coach Bill O’Brien said, via John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. “Nobody’s worked harder than Derek Newton to try to get back to where he is.

“He’s a very hardworking guy. The guy’s been in there every single day at 6 a.m. five days a week. He probably comes in on the weekends on his own. I would say he’s probably not [going to be] able to do a bunch of field work. He can, rehab-wise, but not in team periods and things like that.”

The Texans offseason program begins April 16, though it appears training camp would be a better barometer of his progress. And honestly, anything they get out of Newton would probably be a bonus, after such a traumatic injury.bills_063



Malcolm Butler: I wanted to confront Bill Belichick during the Super Bowl

As Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler stood on the sideline and watched his teammates get carved up by the Eagles’ offense in Super Bowl LII, he was tempted to confront Patriots coach Bill Belichick and ask why he’d been benched. But Butler kept quiet.

Belichick has still not explained why he benched Butler, or why he didn’t put Butler on the field when it became clear how much the Patriots’ defense was going to struggle without him. Butler would like that explanation, but he may never get it.

Dontari Poe is gone, and Athyba Rubin and Courtney Upshaw are not under contract, either. So the Falcons need a versatile, explosive option for their defensive line rotation to support tackle Grady Jarrett. Payne is the best fit for Atlanta should he slip this far, but Bryan would be a nice consolation prize.

The Saints were a good pass-rushing team last season in terms of sacks (42), but it was pretty much done by committee beyond the dominance of Cameron Jordan. They need another dangerous edge rusher and have looked closely at the versatile Key right in their own backyard. With Key available, he becomes an easy pick over a tight end.

“The most direct and honest answer is: no need to worry, good conversations are happening, they are positive and there’s no timetable for this,” Blank wrote in an e-mail.

Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff said this week he thought the deal was “close,” but given the size of Ryan’s impending deal, who knows how long it takes to bridge the gap.

Ryan’s clearly a better player than Kirk Cousins, but doesn’t have the benefit of an open amrket to drive his value higher, which would be the only thing that keeps him from a bigger deal than the $84 million over three years Cousins got from Minnesota.

By not getting Ryan’s deal done previously, the Falcons weren’t able to do much in free agency this spring. If they can get it done before the season, the cap savings can be funneled into extensions for players such as left tackle Jake Matthews and defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, whose deals are up after this season.bills_051



Gronk is frustrated with Belichick, but likely to keep playing anyway

Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski acknowledged after the Super Bowl that he needed some time to think about whether he wants to keep playing. It sounds like he does, but it’s still not a sure thing.

Jeff Darlington of ESPN reports that Gronkowski recently told people he is likely to keep playing, but he has seriously considered retiring in part because of lingering frustration with coach Bill Belichick.

With Carr’s long-term deal in place and with Cook a capable player entering the third year of his cheap rookie contract, the Raiders have some flexibility as they work out their quarterback depth chart. Their re-signing of Manuel, 28, suggests he will serve as the primary backup again this season.

The 2017 development of Goff under then-first-year coach Sean McVay was huge for a franchise that desperately needed it after selecting the QB No. 1 overall in 2016. Now entering his third season, Goff continues to be backed up by the 25-year-old Mannion, who his entering the fourth and final year of his rookie contract after the Rams selected him in the third round of the 2015 draft.

Defensive end Ziggy Ansah got the franchise tag from the Lions to open the offseason and has not signed it yet, so it’s not a great surprise to hear that he’s set to miss the voluntary work. It’s reportedly more than the tag keeping him away, however.

Justin Rogers of the Detroit News reports that Ansah is in Ghana dealing with a family obligation, adding that Ansah, who grew up in Ghana, has been in touch with the team about his whereabouts.

One player Quinn sought to sell Patricia on immediately was free agent defensive end Ziggy Ansah, who the team ending up franchise tagging.

“Ziggy was the No. 1 conversation,” Quinn said. “I had my thoughts and I wasn’t going to take long for me to show Matt to do what we did. To have an outside edge rusher who can be as dominant as Ziggy was really appealing to Matt. Matt has had a lot of great players in New England and I think Ziggy would rank right up there with some of the best edge players that Matt has ever coached. So we’re excited to get Ziggy into this new scheme.”bills_035



Detroit Lions mailbag: Line upgrades, offensive potential and more

It’s the calm before the storm that is the NFL draft. We’re three weeks out from the crown-jewel event of the NFL offseason, so while we’re waiting, let’s knock out a mailbag.

The team should also be looking for an interior lineman in the first three or four rounds of the draft, a prospect who can step into the starting lineup in his first season. I’m just not convinced Joe Dahl or free-agent addition Kenny Wiggins is the solution to rounding out the starting five.

Scheme could be the biggest difference. The Lions largely kept their offensive coaching staff in place, but there’s a new face in charge of the line. The blocking struggled under former assistant Ron Prince. His replacement, Jeff Davidson, will be charged with getting the group functioning at a higher level.

He’ll be paired with McIlroy again in what is setting up to be an intense final round, and if the gallery reactions so far are any indication, the vast majority of fans will be pulling against the leader.

So why?

“Because he’s cocky. Because he said he was a top-five player a few years ago,” said John Marek, the rare fan here who followed Reed throughout his round. “What is he supposed to say? If you’re a top PGA Tour pro, you better be confident or you won’t be out here long.”

Reed is at 14 under after the third-round, three strokes ahead of McIlroy. The latter made a brilliant birdie putt on the 18th hole to give this Masters, which had a leaderboard loaded with major winners when the day began, an epic match-play finale.

McIlroy lobbed the first bomb.

I don’t. No. One of the things when I got into this, I try and not get involved. I like dealing with you guys every day and I know a lot of you really well, but I don’t read it or pay attention to it much. Joe Torre once told me when I first came to New York, ‘Don’t read the papers.’ I’m just kind of focused on the day to day. Not to say I don’t keep up on what the heck is going on, I’m aware of things that I need to be aware of and have conversations with Zillo all the time about these types of things, but I don’t really go there.bills_003



I tried a number of different varieties, but I still prefer a basic, traditional taco with steak (asada), cilantro and diced onions.

Also, breakfast tacos are a game-changer. I need more of these in my life, and I’m not talking about the abomination Taco Bell rolled out, where the shell is a fried egg.

So there is still no resolution to Bryant’s status, though something could be resolved soon, considering the team starts the off-season program April 16.

There is no question the Cowboys at least want Bryant to take a pay cut from his $12.5 million salary for 2018.

So the Cowboys wouldn’t want to risk Bryant suffering an injury working out with the team, thus guaranteeing his 2018 salary.

The contract and his declining numbers are a huge part of the discussion that Jones plans to have with him.

Also, having the situation linger much longer is not good on anyone and certainly wouldn’t foster the right environment to start off-season workouts.

As for your football question, I could see the Lions trading down in the first round to pick up another pick or two. The team is tied for the fewest selections entering the draft and Quinn has said he’d like to add more selections. To project a trading partner now is difficult, because you have to know how the first 19 picks are going to play out, and whether the team feels they can still get a player they want with a lower pick.

I would definitely keep my eye on the Patriots at No. 23, though. Quinn has made a few trades with his former employer, that’s a modest drop, and there are rumblings New England might have an eye on a QB. I could see them pushing forward a few spots to secure a guy like Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph.

As a rookie, Jake Rudock was cut before the start of the season and went unclaimed on waivers. He then spent 11 weeks on the practice squad, free to be poached by another franchise at any time. The Bears finally made overtures and the Lions cleared a spot on the main roster for the young QB. That’s a decent reflection of Rudock’s value around the league.rams_036



I’ve always thought of Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis as one of the NFL’s true good guys.

A lot of people around the league do. And he is.

He’s a leader both on the Panthers and in the community. He’s a seven-time team captain and is one of the best linebackers of his generation. Three years ago, he won the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award—one of the most prestigious honors an NFL player can earn—which is named after one of the classiest athletes ever.

“I mean, just being here tonight is something that’s positive for me,” Davis said while accepting the award. “Just knowing where all I’ve come from. Sitting there looking at the video, seeing my hometown and seeing all the stuff that I’ve been able to overcome throughout my career. I’m just excited to stand before you guys tonight.”

“I’ve taken the same supplements for the last seven or eight years and never had any issues. Been tested numerous times over the years while taking the same stuff. And you know, unfortunately, these are some of the things that happen when you take supplements. I’ve never tested positive for a steroid or HGH—it’s not one of those situations. It ended up being an estrogen blocker that triggered a positive test for me.

“I just want you guys to know that in no way would I ever do anything, like I said, to cheat this game or to try to create a competitive advantage over anybody.”

The problem is, we’ve heard these explanations before. And we know that most of the time, the users win the battle against the NFL. But on occasion, the testers do. And when they do, it’s significant.

“It depends on how they view Eli Manning in the building,” NFL Network draft analyst Bucky Brooks said. “(General manager) Dave Gettleman and (head coach) Pat Shurmur have said they believe Eli has a couple of good years (left). If during those few remaining years he has, they play at a high level, they go to a Super Bowl, I think it’s well worth the trade off.”

With former Pro Bowlers or All-Pros Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall, Damon Harrison, Janoris Jenkins, Landon Collins and Olivier Vernon on the roster, the Giants have more talent than expected of a team coming off a 3-13 season.

“Now that you’ve made the decision that Eli is going to be your guy, how can you support him and elevate him?” Brooks said. “Much like Saints were able to keep Drew Brees playing at a high level by surrounding him with talented players, in New York it is about trying to find the right weapons to allow Eli to play at a high level while his skills are beginning to diminish.”rams_003



NBA fines Markieff Morris $15K for comments toward official

Washington Wizards forward Markieff Morris was fined $15,000 by the NBA on Sunday for “inappropriate comments” toward an official Friday night.

Morris made the comments when he was ejected as he received his second technical foul with 4:11 left in the first quarter of Friday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks. The Wizards lost the game 103-97.

Morris has received 13 technical fouls this season.

Rockies: CF Charlie Blackmon was back in the starting lineup after missing Sunday’s game with a back injury. He was taken out of Saturday night’s game in the 10th inning because of back spasms. “I’m glad it cleared up quickly,” Blackmon said earlier Monday. “One game (off) here and there is sometimes a necessity.” … RHP Jeff Hoffman, on the DL with right shoulder inflammation, is slated to make his first rehab start Tuesday for Class A Lancaster.

Padres: Rookie LHP Joey Lucchesi (0-0) is slated to make his first career start on the road.

Rockies: LHP Tyler Anderson (0-0) pitched six scoreless innings in his previous outing against the Padres, though he came away with a no-decision.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what Mitchell does and I’m really going to use everything I learned from Alex [Smith] to help him out.

It’s interesting to hear a coach speak of learning from a player, no matter how seasoned he might be. What’s even more intriguing is that Smith, often unfairly the butt of jokes made by those who never appreciated his achievements, could offer such lessons to a play-caller.

I was completely caught off guard by this. I’ve never in any way done anything to try to intentionally cheat the game.

I’ve taken the same supplements for the last seven or eight years and never had any issues, been tested numerous times over the years while taking the same stuff. Unfortunately, this is some of the things that happen when you take supplements. I’ve never tested positive for steroids or HGH. This is not one of those situations. It ended up being an estrogen blocker that triggered a positive test for me.buccaneers_074



NFL free agency rumors: Teddy Bridgewater passes physical, set to sign with Jets

Teddy Bridgewater will be announced as the Jets’ quarterback very soon.

The 25-year-old passed his physical, meaning there is not much standing in the way of New York’s announcement, ProFootballTalk reported.

Bridgewater was let loose into free agency by the Vikings after spending the entire 2016 sidelined with a torn ACL. He was deemed fully recovered by the middle of the 2017 season, but was only used in one game.

Kluber put up his dominant numbers last season despite missing a month because of a strained back, an injury that seemed to catch up with him in the AL Division Series. He allowed nine runs, including four homers, in two starts and got the loss in Game 5 as the Indians blew a 2-0 series lead.

Liriano retired the first 10 hitters before walking Jason Kipnis and Jose Ramirez with one out in the fourth.

Yan Gomes, who hit a game-winning, two-run homer in the ninth inning Sunday against Kansas City, lined a two-out single to left for Cleveland’s first hit.

Zimmer followed with his first home run of the season.

The Chargers will share a new $2.6-billion stadium in Inglewood, Calif., with the Rams, and Beckham certainly would draw eyeballs and ticket sales for the stadium’s 2020 season debut. And while Keenan Allen ($11.25 million annually) is a No. 1 wideout, he has an injury history, and 2017 No. 7 overall pick Mike Williams (Clemson) barely contributed as a rookie due to injury, too.

So, I just want to take a few minutes today to share the news with you guys that I received from the NFL, Davis said in a two-minute video on his Twitter page Friday. I was informed that I tested positive for a banned substance. I was completely caught off guard by this. I’ve never in any way done anything to try to intentionally cheat the game.

It’s one of those situations where the NFL rules are clear; they state that you are responsible for what you put in your body. I’ve taken the same supplements for the last seven or eight years and never had any issues. Been tested numerous times over the years while taking the same stuff. And, unfortunately, these are some of the things that happens when you take supplements. buccaneers_015



NFL reveals recommendations for simpler protocol for catch rule

The NFL Competition Committee has come out with an easier set of rules to determine if a catch is actually a catch.

According to NFL Senior Vice President of Officiating Al Riveron, the following language will be used to make sure all catches are deemed fair.

Riveron revealed Monday, he and other members of the league looked into controversial catches from the past couple years (think Dez Bryant and Jesse James) and did say those controversial calls should have been catches.

Cardinals: RHP Luke Gregerson (left hamstring strain) was to make his third rehab appearance Monday, general manager Mike Girsch said before the game. “We’re getting close. We’re probably trying to get him back-to-back and see how that goes, but maybe a week or 10 days, something like that in that range,” Girsch said. … 3B Jedd Gyorko (right hamstring strain) did some work on the field. “He’s probably a few days from ramping up his baseball activities,” said Girsch, who expects Gyorko to be back in about 10 days. … RHP Brett Cecil (left shoulder strain) also is dealing with tendinitis in his foot, Girsch said. He is not expected back until close to the end of the month if not later.

Brewers: LHP Brent Suter (1-1, 6.30), who pinch ran for Cain, will be making his third start of the season. Suter is 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA in six career games and two starts against the Cardinals.

Cardinals: RHP Carlos Martinez (1-1, 2.84) has a 1.98 ERA against Milwaukee. That’s the second-lowest mark among active pitchers. He pitched 8 1/3 innings on April 4 at Milwaukee in a 6-0 victory.

Stanton will join Cleveland after spending the past five years with the Cardinals. Stanton becomes the second quarterback the Browns added to their roster this offseason, joining Tyrod Taylor, who was acquired in a trade with the Bills.

There’s also speculation that the Browns will draft a quarterback in next month’s NFL Draft as Cleveland has the No. 1 and No. 4 overall picks.

The Browns have struggled in the past to find a consistent quarterback finishing last season 0-16 with rookie DeShone Kizer. Kevin Hogan and Cody Kessler have also played, but haven’t seen success over the past two years.

While head coach Hue Jackson has already said “(Taylor) is going to be the starting quarterback. There is no competition,” Stanton will bring depth to the position.

Stanton, 33, started 13 games in five seasons in Arizona. Four of those starts came last season while filling in for an injured Carson Palmer. He went 3-1 in 2017 and 9-4 overall with Arizona.buccaneers_003



Browns trade former third-round pick Cody Kessler to Jaguars for late-round draft pick

The Browns continue to rearrange their crowded quarterback room. After trading for Tyrod Taylor, trading away DeShone Kizer, and signing Drew Stanton, the Browns shipped former third-round pick Cody Kessler to the Jaguars in exchange for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2019, CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reported on Wednesday. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport first reported the trade and the team later confirmed the trade. Kessler, taken 93rd overall out of USC in 2016, started eight games (all in his rookie year) and appeared in 12 total games for the Browns. He completed 63.8 percent of his passes, averaged 6.9 yards per attempt, threw six touchdowns and three interceptions, and accumulated an 87.4 passer rating. Those aren’t horrible numbers considering he was viewed as a developmental prospect and he played on an awful Browns team.

That alone is huge upgrade for Kessler. If we have to crown a loser of this minor trade, it’s gotta be Browns coach Hue Jackson, who passionately defended the selection of Kessler back in 2016. Most notably, Cowboys starting quarterback Dak Prescott was still available when the Browns took Kessler. You have to trust me on this one, Jackson said at the time, via Cleveland.com. The guy has had a tremendous career, Jackson also said. I understand where everyone’s coming from. But Cody Kessler is the guy for us. On Wednesday, after only two seasons to work with him, Jackson said goodbye to his guy.

Abdullah was named the starter well before last season began, but squandered the opportunity, rushing for 552 yards on 165 carries (3.3 per attempt). He ultimately ceded playing time down the stretch, receiving no more than eight carries the final four games.

Enter Blount, a 250-pound bulldozer coming off his second Super Bowl victory in as many years. He will provide Detroit with the capable power element they’ve lacked the past couple years.

Blount, 31, spent last season with the Philadelphia Eagles, where he averaged 4.4 yards per carry for the champs. He left on a high note, rushing for 90 yards and a touchdown in the Super Bowl victory over the Patriots.

He came in and really gelled with the room, the running back room, Eagles coach Doug Pederson said at the coaches’ breakfast Tuesday. He was in our offseason program right away and he really wanted to sort of solidify that. We wanted that, that bigger back, at the time. Got him in there and he did some outstanding things for us.nike_broncos_054-500x500