Monday, March 2, 2015
But there’s a catch that could result in a doubling of Bell’s expected punishment. The new substance-abuse policy makes a two-game suspension the standard penalty for a DUI arising from alcohol use. For violations of the law involving other substances of abuse, a first offense exposes the player to a suspension of “up to four” games.
It’s unclear whether the NFL will give Bell, who becomes the test case for the new substance-abuse policy, four games, three, two, or fewer. The prior substance-abuse policy also exposed players to a suspension without pay of “up to four” games for violations of the law for substances other than alcohol. Still, it would be a surprise if Bell gets less for DUI-marijuana under the new policy than he would get for DUI-alcohol under the new policy.
But don’t be surprised if he gets more, especially since alcohol is legal in Pennsylvania and marijuana currently isn’t.
Either way, the Steelers need to have a solid plan in place for replacing the team’s workhorse tailback for at least two and as many as four regular-season games in 2015.
Author: Mike Florio
UPI Photo, David Tulis
Sunday, March 1, 2015
Dez Bryant is likely to be designated the Cowboys’ franchise player on Monday, club COO Stephen Jones said Saturday, according to Mark Lane of Fox Sports Southwest.
“I still think that it’s probably, you know, would be a stretch to think that we would have something done by Monday and beat the franchise-tag deadline,” Jones told Fox Sports Southwest, indicating the club was “eyeing” giving Bryant the tag.
Also, ESPN Dallas’s Todd Archer reported Jones had said the club had informed Bryant’s agent the tag was coming.
The top offensive player in PFT’s Free Agent Hot 100, the 26-year-old Bryant hauled in 88 passes for 1,320 yards and 16 touchdowns last season. He has exceeded 1,200 receiving yards and caught at least a dozen touchdowns in each of the last three seasons for Dallas, which captured the NFC East in 2014.
The deadline for clubs to use the franchise tag is Monday.
Author: Mike Wilkening
Photo By Andrew Weber, USA TODAY Sports
Friday, February 27, 2015
The veteran quarterback and the Browns have agreed on a contract today, the team and McCown’s agent Mike McCartney both confirmed on Twitter.
McCown was released this month after a rough first year in Tampa Bay. He previously had a very promising showing during the 2013 season while filling in for Jay Cutler in Chicago. Cleveland has to hope it’s getting the Chicago version of McCown, and not the Tampa Bay version of McCown.
Cleveland also has to hope that McCown can work well with Johnny Manziel, teaching Manziel what it takes to become an NFL quarterback but also starting for the Browns this season if Manziel isn’t ready.
The arrival of McCown in Cleveland will almost certainly mean that free agent Brian Hoyer, Cleveland’s starter for most of last season, is going to sign elsewhere.
Author: Michael David Smith
Photo: Rob Foldy, Getty Images
Thursday, February 26, 2015
The Falcons have announced that running back Steven Jackson has been released.
After nine seasons with the Rams, Jackson joined the Falcons two years ago. Jackson gained 1,250 yards on 347 carries, scoring 12 touchdowns.
For his career, Jackson has 11,388 yards, more than Hall of Famers John Riggins and O.J. Simpson.
The Falcons won only 10 of 32 games with Jackson on the team, a slump that came after five straight winning seasons.
For Jackson, the sub-.500 seasons continue a career trend. He has never played on a team that finished the year with a winning record. As a rookie in 2004, the Rams qualified for a wild-card berth with an 8-8 record.
The move creates $3.75 million in cap space. Jackson will still count for $1.1 million based on previously-paid bonus money. He immediately becomes a free agent, able to sign with any other team.
For Jackson’s sake, here’s hoping he lands with a team that finally finishes the year with a winning record.
Author: Mike Florio
Photo: UPI, David Tulis