Why the NFL suspended Jameis Winston for 3 games

The NFL has completed its investigation into allegations that Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston groped an Uber driver. Winston will be issued a three-game suspension by the NFL for violating its personal conduct policy, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Winston has yet to be informed of the official punishment, though.

Winston was never arrested or charged with a crime for this alleged incident. But the NFL’s personal conduct policy is broad and does not carry the same burden of proof as the criminal justice system.

That would be easy for Goodell to say. But he hasn’t. And he won’t. Because he’s scared.

You have to understand this: There was a time when calling Goodell scared was unthinkable.

But now, we’ve heard nothing from Goodell as the NFL has undergone perhaps one of the most blistering attacks on it ever. Goodell and all of his cronies have run scared as Trump has played them for suckers.

How did this happen? Where did Goodell get lost?

Perhaps Owens is even loving every bit of the criticism aimed in his direction since he announced Thursday that he’ll pretty much take a knee on the Hall’s traditional enshrinement christening. Hey, that’s his prerogative.

But it’s a terrible mistake.

It seems like a no-brainer conclusion that Owens, who seemed to crave the spotlight during his heyday, feels like he needs to make some sorry point — at the expense of fellow Hall of Famers and people like George Stewart, his former position coach tapped to present him — by becoming the first (living) Canton-bound enshrinee to not bother to show up.

He already has as much or more WAR than 74 position-player Hall of Famers and more than 56 modern-era Hall of Fame players at any non-pitcher position. That includes modern legends such as Mike Piazza, Vladimir Guerrero, Willie Stargell and Kirby Puckett, or less-recent legends such Harmon Killebrew, Yogi Berra, Hank Greenberg, Joe Medwick or George Sisler.

With backup tight end Luke Willson also gone, Ed Dickson will probably be the starter there.

Graham had more touchdowns last season (10) than Dickson has in his last six seasons with the Ravens and Panthers (six).

Tight end Jermaine Gresham is solid, and running back David Johnson was an All-Pro in 2016, but Gresham (who isn’t much of a playmaker) is recovering from a torn Achilles, while Johnson is also trying to fight his way back from a 2017 season that was lost almost entirely to a wrist injury. 

Even if Johnson bounces back fully, there isn’t much reason to believe anyone else will be a game-changer for Bradford (or Rosen) in 2018.

The Miami Dolphins didn’t have a lot going for them in 2017, but they at least had plenty of talent at the offensive skill positions. Jay Cutler failed to take advantage of that while starting at quarterback in place of the injured Ryan Tannehill. 

One year later, Tannehill is back. But he has a lot less to work with now. 

That’s because the penny-pinching (tanking?) Dolphins traded top receiver Jarvis Landry and released No. 1 tight end Julius Thomas, just months after dealing lead back Jay Ajayi to the eventual Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.

Wednesday, reports surfaced that star Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston might be facing a multi-game suspension stemming from an alleged incident involving an Uber driver in Arizona from March 2016.

It’s real positive, really positive, Carroll offered. You guys have watched him, and he’s just such a wonderful kid on your team, and there’s just been a spirit about him about wanting to compete and extra stuff and always at it, and then last year he couldn’t do that, he wasn’t able to.

And now he’s back freed up and ready to go again, so you see all that great spirit and the energy that he generates.

It’s easy to forget just how dynamic Lockett was as a kick-return ace and downfield receiving threat in his first NFL season. There years later, he’s entering the final season of that rookie contract as one of the key cogs in an offense that will have to do more heavy lifting in 2018.

That’s part of the game, Holder said. That’s part of being young and having (minor-league) options. I just took it one game at a time. Go down and work on stuff.

After pitching to a 3.00 ERA in four outings for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Holder returned. And ever since he’s been lights out allowing just three unearned runs and nine hits over 22 innings.

MLB trying to scrub NSFW Terry Collins, umpire dispute from Internet

Major League Baseball is trying to remove a leaked profanity-laced video of former Mets manager Terry Collins getting into a dispute with an umpire from a 2016 incident that went viral earlier this week.

Democrats said they had the right by 82 percent to 16 percent, and Independent voters split with 54 percent saying they did and 42 percent saying they didn’t.

Republicans, however, said by a margin of 81 percent to 16 percent that players did not have the right to protest. Black voters backed the players’ rights by 85 percent to 11 percent, and 67 percent of Hispanic voters said they did while 28 percent said they did not.

Trump slams NFL’s ‘disrespectful’ new national anthem policy

White voters said they had the right by 53 percent to 43 percent.

But Ohtani just kept doing his thing, albeit mostly on the West Coast, which meant hundreds of thousands if not millions of East Coast and Midwest fans didn’t get to watch, either because of a clash with sleep schedules or a general lack of awareness.

There was a thought that the All-Star Game would’ve been a great place to re-ignite Ohtani Mania. There seems to be little doubt that Ohtani would’ve found a place on the AL roster. It wouldn’t have mattered whether it was as a pitcher or as a hitter. Anything that would’ve let the greater baseball world watch his greatness unfold in prime time would’ve been great for Ohtani, the Angels and baseball.

Thompson said that fellow Fox Sports reporter Erin Andrews was the first person she called after hearing that the photos were out there. Andrews had been through a similar situation when she was photographed nude through a hotel’s peephole in 2008.

Pirates’ Jung Ho Kang says third DUI prompted him to stop drinking

Jung Ho Kang’s third DUI prompted him to get completely sober.

The Pirates infielder said his December 2016 arrest was the final straw and that he has since stopped drinking.

Obviously, I’m not touching a drop of alcohol moving forward, Kang said Wednesday through interpreter Mark Kim, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Look, I am very open with my life and I don’t hide a lot of things, but when it comes to your physical being and intimate photos between you and your boyfriend and things that you sent to someone when you were in a long-distance relationship and in love, it is your private property, Thompson told The Athletic. So it felt — the obvious — like such an invasion. But then the depths I am still taking to get back that privacy are unbelievable. The way I equate is someone came into my home, robbed my home of all its possessions, put it out in the cul-de-sac right in front of me, and I had to buy all of it right back to put back in my house.

A reporter asked him, Winston, I’m sorry, where’s the Winston that has given us illumination and information at past press conferences? Did we do something that you’re down on us again? … We want to talk about your guys, and I’m not quite sure what you want from us to make that happen.

Naturally, the Twittersphere had plenty of thoughts on the uncomfortable situation, taking both Moss’ and the reporter’s side in the standoff.

But Kay called it what it so clearly was not: And that ball is gone! … A three-run blast!

Blast? Paul O’Neill next said, I think everybody’s shocked [it was a home run], even [left fielder] Brett Gardner. … Nobody in the ballpark thinks that one’s out.

Over the first two rounds of the U.S. Open, FOX noted how the generosity of a sponsor would limit the number of commercial breaks. Cool.

But what difference did that make when FOX kept taking us here, there, everywhere — canned features, taped interviews with swing coaches, on-camera chats between anchors and analysts, a taped close-up of 10-over Tiger Woods’ face with analysis, seriously, of what he was looking at — rather than show live golf being played in a major?

Ben Roethlisberger: Record-Breaking Super Bowl Wins Better Than Huge Contract

Although quarterbacks around the league are getting big contracts, Pittsburgh Steelers veteran Ben Roethlisberger apparently isn’t concerned about getting a new deal.

I have two years on my contract. I’m not going to be one to sit here and worry about my contract, the quarterback said Sunday, per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com. That’s not my job. My job is to play football. I’ll let my representation, the Steelers worry about all that stuff. To me, it’s all about going out and playing now. 

Roethlisberger has a $23.2 million cap hit for 2018, which ranks ninth in the NFL among quarterbacks, per Spotrac.

Meanwhile, Roethlisberger might not even need another contract as a 36-year-old who has threatened retirement in the past. The Steelers drafted Mason Rudolph in the third round this offseason, and he could serve as a potential replacement under center down the line.

They’re set to rank sixth, sixth, and eighth at the position over the next three years, per Spotrac, and it’s not surprising that Jones would rather be paid like the best receiver in the NFL. So, he’s holding out. Fortunately for the Falcons, coach Dan Quinn says that the team and the star wideout have been talking dollars and cents. The good news is that there are conversations that have begun, Quinn said, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

We’ll keep those private. I have a lot of faith in the organization and also in Julio that things will get resolved with good communications. I’m sure that’ll be a part of it as well.

While former NFL agent and CBS Sports contributor Joel Corry thinks we should expect to see more minicamp holdouts like Jones’ (and that of Seahawks safety Earl Thomas ) in the future, it’s not likely that every team will be as eager to pay those players as the Falcons appear to be.

Brandon Graham not sweating contract extension

Brandon Graham wants a new deal. He has made that clear.

But the Eagles defensive end knows if he plays well, the contract will take care of itself.

Pederson, asked about the fans’ support in general, replied: We have the greatest fans in the NFL… Our true fans, they’re beside us, we’re beside them. We love everything about the people who come and watch us and support us, whether it’s in training camp or in the stadium. I can’t say enough good things about what our fans have done for us. The support, the love we felt all offseason and we continue to feel.

Nobody was talking about it, Pederson said. Nobody. It’s over. It’s behind us. We’re moving on.

The NFL’s daily transaction report brings word that Pittsburgh has signed tackle Bryce Harris and tight end Ryan Malleck. The team also placed tackle Jerald Hawkins and tight end Jake McGee on injured reserve.

Hawkins tore his quad last week, which is also when McGee tore his Achilles.

Harris has played 37 of his 38 career games with the Saints with the first 34 coming from 2012-2014 and the last three coming last season after much bouncing between teams in the intervening years. He gives the team an experienced option to take over swing tackle duties from Hawkins, although they also drafted Chukwuma Okorafor in the third round this year.

Malleck spent February-May with the Steelers last year and moved on to stints with the Ravens and Texans. He played in the final two games of the year for Houston and caught one pass for three yards.

Belichick typically doesn’t offer thick compliments about new players, especially at this early stage.

Last year in Oakland, Patterson scored twice off gadget runs (including a 47-yard jaunt). For his career, he’s tallied six rushing TDs, five kick-return TDs and seven receiving TDs — the type of versatility that you’d imagine would spin the creative wheel in Belichick’s brain.

Yet after acknowledging the importance of the learning curve for Patterson shortly after the trade in March, he seemed relatively pleased with this week’s progress.

All the players that have been here this spring have improved and worked hard to make progress, Belichick said. He’s certainly in that group. Glad we have him. He’s good to work with. He’s a talented player.

On Wednesday, we rolled out our predictions for team MVPs in the AFC. Now it’s the NFC’s turn. A reminder: Don’t @ me. Everything I’ve written here will be proven this autumn to be a 100 percent accurate and unimpeachable piece of springtime professional football analysis. To the list…

So long as Belichick, Brady, and Gronk are around, the Patriots are going to remain atop the AFC. For all of the drama that reportedly consumed their facility last season, they still journeyed all the way to the Super Bowl. Brady and Gronk will be back for mandatory minicamp, will be there for training camp and the preseason, and will proceed to tear up the rest of the NFL from September to January.

That’s just the way it works. Everything else is just offseason noise. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t a very real conflict between Brady and Belichick. It just means that talent almost always finds a way to matter more once the real football begins. Brady is still the game’s best quarterback. And Belichick is still the game’s greatest coach.

One week after NFL owners stunned many by agreeing on a new policy to fine teams if their players do not stand for the national anthem, a SurveyMonkey poll conducted exclusively for Yahoo Finance finds that a slight majority of adults approve of the policy. Under the new policy, players can choose to stay in the locker room during the playing of the national anthem, but if they come out on the field they must stand and show respect for the flag and the anthem. SurveyMonkey surveyed 1,795 U.S. adults online on May 24 and May 25, and found that 54% approveof the new policy. 43% disapprove, and 3% skipped the question.

Texans safety Hal diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma

Houston Texans safety eagles_335 has been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, the team announced Friday.

Hal, 26, is undergoing further testing and evaluation at the MD Anderson Cancer Center after he was given a preliminary diagnosis from the Texans’ team physician.

Hal’s teammate, David Quessenberry, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin T-lymphoblastic lymphoma in 2014, but played in his first NFL game last season.

It was just a matter of letting it kind of heal,” said Betts, whose return was quicker than many had anticipated. We’ll see how I feel after the game today and go from there.”

Betts, who batted leadoff Monday, leads the majors in batting average (.359), on-base percentage (.437), slugging percentage (.750), and OPS (1.187).

Betts also has 17 home runs and 37 RBIs in 48 games.

Without Betts in the lineup, the Red Sox have averaged 4.5 runs a game, down almost a run from their average with him in the lineup.

We talked about it yesterday, me and Mook,” said Red Sox manager Alex Cora. He feels comfortable that he can compete at this level, the way he is right now. He’s healthy and we agreed to it.”

Shortstop Manny Machado was not in the Orioles lineup Monday.

Will Khalil Mack show up for mandatory minicamp?

eagles_334As the mandatory minicamp guessing game continues, one major player whose potential attendance remains in doubt serves as the centerpiece of the Raiders defense.

Defensive end Khalil Mack doesn’t have a new contract. And he has skipped the entirety of the offseason program.

So will he show up on Tuesday? Skipping out will cost $84,435, but he’s already due to make $13.846 million this year, so the fine becomes a drop in the bucket.

Yonder Alonso (L), 42 percent, Cleveland Indians at Chicago White Sox (RHP James Shields): Alonso hasn’t been able to replicate his 2017 power surge, but even this lesser version is better than anything we’d seen prior to 2017. His 11 homers are already the second-highest total of his career and he’s been solid against righties at .801 OPS and eight of the homers. One thing Shields has done well at least relative to his 2015-17 work is limit homers a bit with a 1.1 mark (1.8 in ’15-17), but six of the 10 have come against lefties.

Ehire Adrianza (B), under 1 percent, Minnesota Twins at Detroit Tigers (LHP Blaine Hardy): Our Hail Mary play is Adrianza, who’s riding an obscene .480 BABIP against lefties to post a .343/.410/.543 line in 39 PA. Of course that BABIP will come down, but we’re not betting on the long term, we just need one more great game!

And so it may continue, with the critics believing that every comment from Owens proves them right — and Owens believing that every comment from the critics proves him right.

Thomas is set to make $8.5 million in the final year of his current contract. There were talks about a possible trade involving Thomas earlier in the offseason with the Cowboys seen as a possible landing spot. Those could be revisited if the Seahawks and Thomas continue to have different views on his contract in the coming weeks.

Colin Moran (L), 10 percent, Pittsburgh Pirates at Chicago Cubs (RHP Kyle Hendricks): Hendricks is a very good pitcher but not dominant enough to avoid, especially if the hitter in question is a contact hitter with a bit of power. Moran is carrying a solid 15 percent strikeout rate into Wrigley Field, so he’s likely to put the ball in play. A .145 ISO isn’t overwhelming, but it’s sufficient to take advantage of Hendricks’ uncharacteristically high 1.5 HR/9.

Ketel Marte (B), 9 percent, Arizona Diamondbacks at Colorado Rockies (LHP Kyle Freeland): The Diamondbacks are using an infield rotation, so be sure to check the lineup. That said, Marte sat on Saturday and usually plays against righty pitching. He has hit well lately, posting a 1.417 OPS the past week.

Ravens’ Harbaugh: Safe tackling norm for most

eagles_333 coach John Harbaugh fully supports the the NFL’s new rule against using the helmet to tackle, but he believes it will only be an adjustment for a small number of teams. We already coach that way to get it out of the game,Harbaugh said. I think 95 percent of the coaches in this league coach that way, and the other 5 percent have to get on board.Under the new rule, a player will be penalized 15 yards and potentially ejected any time he lowers his head to initiate and make contact with his helmet against an opponent.

Keep moving.

The steroid he’s taking to shrink the polyps, Prednisone, still hasn’t kicked in. His sense of smell is completely gone. And breathing…yeah, Lewis can’t breathe worth a s–t.

The good news? Next month, Lewis will undergo surgery to remove the polyps. He hopes they stay away. The bad news? Even if they do, this is only one small battle of a much bigger war.

Coach Mike McCarthy, who said that procedure is likely to occur midweek, joked Monday that Matthews needs to work on his off-hand, mitt-side. That’s what the tape showed me.

The mood was light Monday, but on Saturday Matthews acknowledged that the injury, suffered on the drive by offensive lineman Lucas Patrick, could have been much more serious, as video clearly showed.

Matthews and Davante Adams were each coaching a side, with Adams taking over the game formerly organized by Jordy Nelson, who now is with the Raiders. The game continued after Matthews’s departure, with a batting practice pitcher’s net placed between the mound and the batter’s box.

It was scary, Adams said (via the Wisconsin State Journal). You hear a little crack, and I didn’t know what it was. You never want to watch something like that unfold. He didn’t seem like he was doing too bad, but I know it definitely didn’t feel good.