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  • Thursday, February 11, 2016
    NFL Combine snubs and surprises
    By The Sports Xchange

    Sometimes referred to as the NFL Draft Underwear Olympics, the NFL Combine is an opportunity to match quantifiable data with a prospect's scouting report, including everything from arm length to 40-yard dash time.

    • The 2016 NFL Combine is scheduled for Feb. 23-29 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

      Even with 332 prospects invited, there were several notable omissions from the official list.

      For prospects who did not receive an invitation, it's not the end for them. Last year, 41 players were drafted who did not participate at the 2015 NFL Combine, including three players selected as high as the fourth round. Meanwhile, 108 players who were invited went undrafted in 2015.

      Below is a breakdown of the snubs and surprises at each position:

      QUARTERBACK

      SNUB: Jake Rudock, Michigan

      A passer who gained confidence with each snap, Rudock doesn't have ideal physical traits, but the game appeared to slow down for him in the second half of the season. Yes, his tools are average at best, but his intelligence and intangibles will give him a chance.

      Five more snubs: Blake Frohnapfel (Massachusetts), Jacob Coker (Alabama), John Robertson (Villanova), Marquise Williams (North Carolina), Vad Lee (James Madison)

      SURPRISE: Josh Woodrum, Liberty

      A surprise, but a pleasant one. Woodrum was stuck in a very conservative offense in college, but he is a precision passer who throws with timing and touch.

      RUNNING BACK

      SNUB: Aaron Green, TCU

      A possible later-round pick, Green has electric feet to juke his way out of trouble. His lack of power limits his NFL role, but with his creative athleticism in space, he deserves to be in Indianapolis.

      Five more snubs: Keenan Reynolds (Navy), Leon Allen (Western Kentucky), Russell Hansbrough (Missouri), Storm Woods (Oregon State), Travis Greene (Bowling Green)

      SURPRISE: Shadrach Thornton, Ex-NC State

      Based on ability, this isn't a surprise. But Thornton earned too many strikes with the coaching staff at NC State and was dismissed from the team midseason. The Combine is a great opportunity for him to rebuild his image.

      WIDE RECEIVER

      SNUB: Jay Lee, Baylor

      After his impressive performance at the Senior Bowl, many were looking forward to seeing how Lee would test at the Combine. But that will have to wait until Baylor's pro day.

      Five other snubs: Robby Anderson (Temple), Daniel Braverman (Western Michigan), Paul McRoberts (Southeast Missouri State), K.J. Maye (Minnesota), Michael Thomas (Southern Miss)

      SURPRISE: Duke Williams, Ex-Auburn

      A top-five senior wide receiver prospect last summer, Williams was unreliable off the field and eventually kicked off the team. Not only does he need to stay out of trouble off the field, but his coaches quickly grew tired of his laziness on the field.

      TIGHT END/FULLBACK

      SNUB: Darrion Griswold, Arkansas State

      A former quarterback, Griswold was underutilized in the Arkansas State offense, but he sports an impressive blend of athleticism, strength and size. In a weak tight end class, he has a chance to be a late-round development option.

      Five other snubs: Kyle Carter (Penn State), Steven Scheu (Vanderbilt), Sean Price (South Florida), Kivon Cartwright (Colorado State), Derek Watt (Wisconsin)

      SURPRISE: Andy Janovich, Nebraska

      Another pleasant surprise. Janovich averaged only 20.3 rushing yards per game as at fullback, but it's his impact on special teams coverages that attracted NFL attention and landed him the invite.

      OFFENSIVE LINE

      SNUB: Chase Farris, Ohio State

      While he struggled mightily at right tackle, Farris impressed during East-West Shrine practices inside at guard, where he has a chance to be drafted. Ohio State had 14 players invited to this year's combine, but unfortunately Farris wasn't one of them.

      Five other snubs: Tyrell Smith (Massachusetts), Clint Van Horn (Marshall), Taylor Fallin (Memphis), Ted Karras (Illinois), Marcus Henry (Boise State)

      SURPRISE: Matt Skura, Duke

      Although he isn't a well-known name, Skura being invited isn't a surprise for anyone who studied Duke in recent years. He was the Jeremy Cash of the Duke offense.

      DEFENSIVE END

      SNUB: Josh Gordon, Minnesota State

      A highly productive small schooler, Gordon is under-the-radar on a national level, but his play jumps off the film and speaks for itself. Even if he isn't drafted, Gordon is the type of talent who can win a job in camp.

      Five other snubs: Ugonna Awuruonye (Campbell), Theiren Cockran (Minnesota), Silverberry Mouton (Cincinnati), Terrell Lathan (TCU), Vontarrius Dora (Louisiana Tech)

      SURPRISE: Branden Jackson, Texas Tech

      It was an underwhelming senior season for Jackson, who finished with just 31 tackles and two sacks. But he should test well and help himself in Indianapolis.

      DEFENSIVE TACKLE

      SNUB: Trevon Coley, Florida Atlantic

      A four-year starter, Coley is an active interior player who carries his weight well and has the hand moves to stab, sidestep and penetrate gaps. He should have been a Combine invite based on tape alone, but especially after he performed well during the week at the East-West Shrine Game.

      Five other snubs: Greg Milhouse (Campbell), Davion Pierson (TCU), Gerald Dixon (South Carolina), Hersey Walton (Temple), Delvon Simmons (USC)

      SURPRISE: Chris Mayes, Georgia

      A JUCO transfer, Mayes has been a rotational player on the Bulldogs' defensive line the last three seasons. He didn't produce gaudy numbers (one tackle for loss, zero sacks), but his traits are intriguing.

      LINEBACKER

      SNUB: Junior Jatavis Brown, Akron

      Is he undersized at 5 feet 11 and 225 pounds? Yes. But Brown can fly. He plays with the pursuit speed and closing burst that belongs on a NFL field. His tweener size might keep him from starting at the next level, but at worst, he looks like a possible special teams demon.

      Five other snubs: Antwione Williams (Georgia Southern), James Burgess (Louisville), Antonio Longino (Arizona State), Reggie Northrup (Florida State), Desmond Morgan (Michigan)

      SURPRISE: Raphael Kirby, Miami (Fla.)

      After undergoing major knee surgery in October, Kirby became somewhat of a forgotten prospect, but he is now walking without crutches and NFL teams will have the chance to find out more about his rehab in Indianapolis.

      CORNERBACK

      SNUB: Morgan Burns, Kansas State

      A special teams standout, Burns was the Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year. Although he has his ups and downs on tape at cornerback, his versatility as a return man will help his draft stock, even if he can't show his skills at Lucas Oil Stadium.

      Five other snubs: Lloyd Carrington (Arizona State), Cre'Von LeBlanc (Florida Atlantic), Michael Jordan (Missouri Western), Brian Poole (Florida), Kenya Dennis (Missouri)

      SURPRISE: Brandon Williams, Texas A&M

      A former running back, Williams made the transition to cornerback before last season and was thrown into the fire in the opener. He obviously had some struggles but also showed promise. How he performs pedaling in the cornerback drills is something scouts will pay close attention to.

      SAFETY

      SNUB: Kevin Byard, Middle Tennessee

      A four-year starter, Byard leaves Middle Tennessee with the school record for interceptions (19) and interception yardage (377). He projects as more of a late-round player but certainly worthy of a spot on the Combine roster.

      Five other snubs: Clayton Fejedelem (Illinois), Jamal Golden (Georgia Tech), R.J. Williamson (Michigan State), Travis Blanks (Clemson), Michael Caputo (Wisconsin)

      SURPRISE: Lamarcus Brutus, Florida State

      With all the athletes in the Seminoles' secondary, Brutus often goes overlooked. But with a team-best three interceptions and better tape as a senior, he has earned his spot in Indianapolis.

      Dane Brugler is a Senior Analyst for NFLDraftScout.com, distributed in partnership with The Sports Xchange and CBSSports.com

  • Thursday, February 11, 2016
    Raiders renew lease, re-sign S Allen
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Oakland Raiders completed two noteworthy transactions on Thursday.

    • The first move was re-signing safety Nate Allen and the other news was the signing of a new lease to play 2016 games at O.co Coliseum, the team's home since it moved back from Los Angeles in 1995.

      The Raiders and the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Joint Powers Authority agreed to a one-year extension that includes an additional two years of team options after the 2016 season.

      Allen played in five games for the Raiders in 2015, starting three, and totaled 14 tackles (11 solo), one interception and two passes defensed. He missed 11 games because of injury and finished the season on injured reserve.

      Allen was released Tuesday before rejoining the Raiders on Thursday.

      The 28-year-old played his first five NFL seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles before coming to the Raiders before the 2015 season.

      The Raiders will again call O.co Coliseum home in 2016, but that does not necessarily mean the team will be staying in Oakland beyond 2016.

      The Raiders might move after next season but must wait until after the San Diego Chargers make a decision on whether they want to join the Rams in Los Angeles.

      Also Thursday, the Raiders hired consultant Larry MacNeil for the stadium development team. He was chief financial officer of the San Francisco 49ers for 10 years and oversaw the development of Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara. MacNeil will represent the Raiders in negotiations with the city and county on a new stadium in Oakland.

  • Thursday, February 11, 2016
    NFL notebook: League upholds Burfict's three-game suspension
    By The Sports Xchange

    The three-game suspension of Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict was upheld Thursday, according to published reports.

    • Burfict recently had his case heard by NFL appeals office Derrick Brooks, the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers standout and Hall of Famer.

      The suspension was handed down by commissioner Roger Goodell for the first three games of the 2016 regular season due to repeated violation of safety-related playing rules.

      The disciplinary actions came after Burfict's questionable behavior during a playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Most notable was a blow to the head of receiver Antonio Brown that resulted in a concussion.

      --The Oakland Raiders apparently completed two noteworthy transactions.

      The first move of note was the re-signing of safety Nate Allen, a transaction the team announced.

      The other news was that the Raiders reportedly have signed a new lease to play their 2016 games at O.co Coliseum, the team's home since it moved back from Los Angeles in 1995.

      The signing of the new lease was reported by Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, although the team is expected to make an official announcement about that signing later Thursday.

      --Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy is unlikely to learn of official charges against him on Thursday related to being accused of aggravated assault stemming from a weekend fight at a Philadelphia nightclub.

      According to reports on Wednesday, an arrest warrant could be issued for McCoy, whose attorney told ESPN that his client would surrender to police if charged in the case. Police have recommended that one of the charges be aggravated assault.

      McCoy and a group of men are accused of punching, kicking and stomping on an off-duty Philadelphia police officer after one of them took a bottle of champagne out of the officer's hand and a fight transpired.

      --The New York Giants hired Martin Mayhew as director of football operations/special projects, the club announced.

      Mayhew will work closely with assistant general manager Kevin Abrams on the salary cap, collective bargaining compliance and player contract negotiations. He will also handle special projects assigned by general manager Jerry Reese.

      Mayhew replaces Matt Harriss, who recently departed to become vice president of football administration for the Detroit Lions.

      --Former NFL wide receiver Josh Morgan reportedly shot himself in the leg recently while cleaning a gun.

      The gun accidently discharged while Morgan was handling it on Jan. 31 in his home in Leesburg, Va.

      Morgan, 30, suffered non-life threatening injuries and was transported to a nearby accident.

      --The Indianapolis Colts announced two more changes to their coaching staff.

      Tim Berbenich was named offensive assistant/assistant quarterbacks coach and Jim Hostler was named the tight ends coach.

  • Thursday, February 11, 2016
    Colts assign new duties to two assistants
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Indianapolis Colts have been busy retooling their coaching staff after missing the playoffs in 2015 and announced two more changes on Thursday.

    • Tim Berbenich was named offensive assistant/assistant quarterbacks coach and Jim Hostler the tight ends coach.

      Berbenich moves back to the offensive side of the ball after spending last season as a defensive assistant. He previously was an offensive assistant in 2013-14. Before coming to Indianapolis, Berbenich was with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for six seasons and the New York Jets for four years.

      Hostler was the team's wide receivers coach in 2015. He is moving over to coach the tight ends after former Morgan State head coach Lee Hull was hired this week to take over the Colts' wide receivers.

      Hostler's other NFL coaching stops include the Buffalo Bills (2014), Baltimore Ravens (2008-2013), San Francisco 49ers (2005-07), New York Jets (2003-04), New Orleans Saints (2001-02) and Kansas City Chiefs (2000).

  • Thursday, February 11, 2016
    Suspension of Bengals LB Burfict upheld
    By The Sports Xchange

    The three-game suspension of Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict was upheld, according to published reports.

    • Burfict recently had his case heard by NFL appeals office Derrick Brooks, the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers standout and Hall of Famer.

      The suspension was handed down by commissioner Roger Goodell for the first three games of the 2016 regular season due to repeated violation of safety-related playing rules.

      The disciplinary actions came after Burfict's questionable behavior during a playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Most notable was a blow to the head of receiver Antonio Brown that resulted in a concussion.

      Burfict and Bengals coach Marvin Lewis met with Goodell and NFL executive vice president Troy Vincent on Thursday. The meeting was designed to discuss Burfict's pattern of behavior throughout his career.

      Burfict has drawn 16 personal fouls during his five NFL seasons and Goodell is concerned with the high number of incidents.

      Burfict and Lewis were inquiring on what changes Burfict could make to avoid further disciplinary issues.

      In 2015, Burfict was fined $50,000 for a hit on Baltimore Ravens tight end Maxx Williams and $70,000 for three incidents in a regular-season contest with the Steelers. Those episodes with Pittsburgh set the stage for a contentious playoff contest in which Brown was injured and unable to play in the following week's AFC Championship Game against the Denver Broncos.

      The three-game suspension will cost Burfict $502,941 of his 2016 salary. He is entering the third season of a four-year, $20 million contract.

  • Thursday, February 11, 2016
    Giants hire former Lions GM Mayhew
    By The Sports Xchange

    The New York Giants hired Martin Mayhew as director of football operations/special projects, the club announced Thursday.

    • Mayhew will work closely with assistant general manager Kevin Abrams on the salary cap, collective bargaining compliance and player contract negotiations. He will also handle special projects assigned by general manager Jerry Reese.

      Mayhew replaces Matt Harriss, who recently departed to become vice president of football administration for the Detroit Lions.

      Coincidentally, Mayhew was fired as general manager of the Lions during the 2015 season. He spent nearly 15 years with Detroit and became general manager in 2008.

      Mayhew spent nine seasons as an NFL player from 1988-96 with the Buffalo Bills, Washington Redskins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

  • Thursday, February 11, 2016
    Report: No charges yet on RB McCoy
    By The Sports Xchange

    Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy is unlikely to learn of official charges against him on Thursday related to being accused of aggravated assault stemming from a weekend fight at a Philadelphia nightclub.

    • ESPN reported that charges against McCoy are unlikely to be filed on Thursday. The network cited a "high-ranking Philadelphia police official" as its source.

      According to reports on Wednesday, an arrest warrant could be issued for McCoy, whose attorney told ESPN that his client would surrender to police if charged in the case. Police have recommended that one of the charges be aggravated assault.

      McCoy and a group of men are accused of punching, kicking and stomping on an off-duty Philadelphia police officer after one of them took a bottle of champagne out of the officer's hand and a fight transpired.

      The Philadelphia's District Attorney's office has been reviewing the allegations for possible charges. Philadelphia police said two 40-year-old black officers were injured during the nightclub altercation around 2:45 a.m. Sunday.

      CSNPhilly.com reported that one of the officers was treated at a hospital for a cut to his right eye, a broken nose, broken ribs and a sprained thumb. A second officer received eight stitches over his left eye and had a possible skull fracture. Both have been released from the hospital.

      "This was an all-out beat down with broken bones and serious injuries. These officers are hurting. They're in pain. These are serious injuries," John McNesby, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5, a police union, told Philly.com on Monday.

      Former San Diego Chargers running back Curtis Brinkley is among the three other men under investigation.

      McCoy played for six seasons in Philadelphia with the Eagles before going to Buffalo last year.

  • Thursday, February 11, 2016
    Former WR Morgan accidentally shoots himself
    By The Sports Xchange

    Former NFL wide receiver Josh Morgan reportedly shot himself in the leg recently while cleaning a gun.

    • The gun accidently discharged while Morgan was handling it on Jan. 31 in his home in Leesburg, Va.

      Morgan, 30, suffered non-life threatening injuries and was transported to a nearby accident.

      Earlier this week, Morgan was charged with misdemeanor reckless use of a firearm. He is due in court on March 9.

      Morgan played with the San Francisco 49ers, Washington Redskins and Chicago Bears during his NFL career (2008-14). He caught 209 career passes for 2,558 and 12 touchdowns.

  • Thursday, February 11, 2016
    Panthers QB Newton forgot to enjoy the moment
    By The Sports Xchange

    Most people probably didn't notice it and even those who did likely thought little of it, but Cam Newton was beaten in the Super Bowl four days before it was played.

    • You can look it up. At interview sessions on Wednesday, more than 100 hours before kickoff time, Newton was whining about the demands of the Super Bowl media sessions - which, admittedly, are overdone, but, nonetheless, rather harmless.

      At least they are harmless for the players and coaches who understand the business of the NFL, who understand the function of the media, and who are concentrating on what really matters about the Super Bowl.

      But as soon as some people heard about Newton complaining, they really began to like Denver's chances of upsetting Carolina. I know I did.

      "It's just media requirements that is getting up under a lot of people's skin ... I don't get it," Newton said.

      Those comments were much more telling than Newton's abbreviated postgame session which in which he limited himself to clipped, two- or three-word answers before walking out. While that was unprofessional behavior, it was the pregame aggravation that shined a light on Newton's attitude while preparing for the biggest game of his life.

      And that attitude was certainly not in keeping with coach Ron Rivera's admonition to his players to "be yourself." Rivera always has known about keeping focus - being yourself - since he was a player and a member of the champion 1985 Chicago Bears, who never let the off-field spotlight or demands detract from on-field work.

      It is lost to history who said it first, but smart guys in sports have been saying it for years: When you get to the championship round, in any sport, enjoy the moment. It comes all too infrequently. Remember how you got there, what you have to do, but take time to enjoy it.

      When the Pittsburgh Steelers reached the Super Bowl in the '70s for the first time after four decades of failure, coach Chuck Noll's message to the players was exactly that: Enjoy it, it's a new experience. Veteran players like Ray Mansfield and Andy Russell even told reporters, as they tried to walk away after interview sessions, don't leave, we still have more stories.

      Bill Walsh got the message, too, when he coached the 49ers, and so did Joe Montana. Before the final, winning drive in Super Bowl 23, Montana looked up into the stands and pointed out comedian John Candy to his teammates, breaking the tension before a 93-yard march that won the team's third championship.

      Before his team's first Super Bowl after a run of losing seasons, Walsh worried that his young players would be so uptight that, on arrival for Super Bowl 16, he borrowed a bellman's uniform and met a team bus by trying to take briefcases and luggage away from the players. The gag worked as intended.

      Actually, Walsh began taking the heat off his team long before it arrived in Detroit for the game, carping about a practice schedule that meant a ridiculously early wakeup time (at least according to California time) for his players. They were allowed a good laugh at their coach's comments, and they stayed loose all week. Compare that with Forrest Gregg, the opposing coach in that game, who kept a tight rein on his players.

      The same thing had occurred a year earlier when the Philadelphia Eagles, coached by Dick Vermeil, went into a virtual training camp overload in Super Bowl prep while the opposing Oakland Raiders had a good, old time, late nights out in New Orleans, and won easily. Vermeil later adjusted his routine when he got to the Super Bowl with the Rams following the 1999 season, and this time, he won.

      None of is to fault Rivera for Newton's attitude.

      "I think this is his moment, as well as our moment," Rivera said.

      Newton is young. He probably will have more moments. Perhaps next time he will enjoy the anticipation more than he did this time. If he does, maybe he'll enjoy the game, too.

      Ira Miller is an award-winning sportswriter who has covered the National Football League for more than four decades and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee. He is a national columnist for The Sports Xchange.

  • Wednesday, February 10, 2016
    NFL notebook: Giants LB Beason retires
    By The Sports Xchange

    The New York Giants were planning to release linebacker Jon Beason on Wednesday, but the veteran instead announced his retirement, ending his injury-plagued nine-year career.

    • The Giants also commenced their offseason roster restructuring with the release of veteran offensive linemen Will Beatty and Geoff Schwartz. The three players, all of whom were injured in 2015, have a combined 23 years of NFL experience. The moves will save the Giants about $11.7 million against the 2016 salary cap and increase their projected cap room to about $55 million this year, ESPN.com reported.

      The 31-year-old Beason, a former first-round draft choice and a three-time Pro Bowler, played 93 regular-season games (90 starts) in nine seasons. His career totals included 829 tackles, 10 interceptions and four sacks.

      ---Charges could be filed soon against Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy after he was accused of aggravated assault stemming from a weekend fight at a Philadelphia nightclub.

      According to reports on Wednesday, an arrest warrant could be issued for McCoy, whose attorney told ESPN that his client would surrender to police if charged in the case. Police have recommended that one of the charges be aggravated assault.

      McCoy and a group of men are accused of punching, kicking and stomping on an off-duty Philadelphia police officer after one of them took a bottle of champagne out of the officer's hand and a fight transpired.

      ---Cleveland Browns outside linebacker Armonty Bryant was indicted on two felony drug possession charges stemming from his Christmas morning arrest after a traffic stop.

      Bryant faces charges for possession of Adderall and OxyCodone, and then-practice squad defensive back De'Ante Saunders was indicted for improperly handling a weapon in a motor vehicle. The men are scheduled to be arraigned in Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Common Pleas Court on Feb 24.

      According to the citation from Berea Municipal Court, Saunders and Bryant were stopped in a 2015 green Dodge traveling 75 mph in a 60-mph zone. Saunders was driving and refused a breathalyzer test, and he was arrested at 2:16 a.m. on Dec. 25 for operating a vehicle under the influence and speeding. Ohio Highway Patrol troopers searched the car and found a Glock handgun and 22-round magazine.

      Bryant started two games last season and had 40 tackles, two forced fumbles and was second on the team with 5.5 sacks in 14 games. Saunders was signed to the Browns' practice squad in November.

      ---The after-season reports continue to pile up for troubled Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel.

      According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, a source told him that Manziel "was heavily hung over on something" on the same day another report said he came to a late-season practice drunk and the Browns covered up the incident.

      NFL Network's Mike Silver took to Twitter on Tuesday to stand by his report last week that Manziel showed up drunk for a late-season practice but said he regretted saying the Browns lied about Manziel having a concussion. The Browns issued a statement Tuesday reiterating that Manziel was in the league's concussion protocol.

      ---Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay says the next contract for quarterback Andrew Luck is "going to be a shocking number."

      Last spring, the Colts picked up Luck's fifth-year option from his rookie contract for $16.1 million in 2016. A new contract will make Luck one of the highest-paid players in the NFL.

      Luck came into the NFL as rookie in 2012 with Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, whose contract signed last year included a $31 million signing bonus with a $21.7 million average annual value. Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton signed a five-year extension in 2015 that has a $20.76 average annual value. His extension is worth $103.8 million with $67.6 million paid in the first three years.

      ---The Philadelphia Eagles gave linebacker Najee Goode a good deal before he became a restricted free agent next month. The team signed Goode to a one-year-contract. Financial terms were not made available.

      Goode played in 14 games for the Eagles last year. After he was cut just before the season opener, he re-signed with the team several weeks later. One of his highlights in 2015 was recovering a blocked punt for a touchdown in a win over the New England Patriots in December.

      ---The Los Angeles Rams signed former Northwestern quarterback and now wide receiver Kain Colter, who became the team's first free-agent signing since leaving St. Louis.

      Colter was out of the NFL last season. He spent all of 2014 on the Minnesota Vikings' practice squad as a wide receiver but was released in May. Colter played mostly quarterback in college for Northwestern. He also spent some time at receiver, catching 63 passes for 683 yards in four seasons.

      Colter was the leader of a unionization movement at Northwestern, attempting to make the football team the first players' union in college sports. The bid failed at the federal level last August.

      ---The San Diego Chargers completed the overhaul of their coaching staff with the hiring of former Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees as offensive assistant and Marquice Williams as special teams assistant.

      There will be 11 coaches in positions they were not in last season -- nine of whom are new, including former Tennessee Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt returning to the Chargers as offensive coordinator on Mike McCoy's staff.

      Former offensive coordinator Frank Reich and five other assistants paid with their jobs for the team's slide to a 4-12 record last season.

  • Wednesday, February 10, 2016
    Bills' McCoy could face charges soon
    By The Sports Xchange

    Charges could be filed soon against Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy after he was accused of aggravated assault stemming from a weekend fight at a Philadelphia nightclub.

    • According to reports on Wednesday, an arrest warrant could be issued for McCoy, whose attorney told ESPN that his client would surrender to police if charged in the case. Police have recommended that one of the charges be aggravated assault.

      McCoy and a group of men are accused of punching, kicking and stomping on an off-duty Philadelphia police officer after one of them took a bottle of champagne out of the officer's hand and a fight transpired.

      The Philadelphia's District Attorney's office has been reviewing the allegations for possible charges. Philadelphia police said two 40-year-old black officers were injured during the nightclub altercation around 2:45 a.m. Sunday.

      CSNPhilly.com reported that one of the officers was treated at a hospital for a cut to his right eye, a broken nose, broken ribs and a sprained thumb. A second officer received eight stitches over his left eye and had a possible skull fracture. Both have been released from the hospital.

      "This was an all-out beatdown with broken bones and serious injuries. These officers are hurting. They're in pain. These are serious injuries," John McNesby, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5, a police union, told Philly.com on Monday.

      McCoy played for six seasons in Philadelphia with the Eagles before going to Buffalo last year.

  • Wednesday, February 10, 2016
    Eagles sign LB Goode to one-year contract
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Philadelphia Eagles gave linebacker Najee Goode a good deal before he became a restricted free agent next month.

    • The Eagles signed Goode to a one-year-contract on Wednesday. Financial terms were not made available.

      Goode played in 14 games for the Eagles last year. After he was cut just before the season opener, he re-signed with the team several weeks later. One of his highlights in 2015 was recovering a blocked punt for a touchdown in a win over the New England Patriots in December.

      "It feels great just to have another opportunity to come for the Eagles," Goode said. "I've been here for three years going on four, and there's been a lot of new changes and it's a fresh start for everybody. After signing the new deal, it’s definitely a fresh start."

      Goode was drafted in the fourth round by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2012 and came to the Eagles in 2013, emerging as a special teams standout. In 2014, he suffered a pectoral muscle injury in the opener and was placed in injured reserve.

      "Everything happens for a reason," Goode told the team's website. "I came here and played in 2013 and excelled in special teams, played on defense, started, had some good film and then had the injury, which kind of set me back, but I still progressed under the radar, so to say, with the injury and the rehab."

      Goode is excited about the opportunity to play for new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz.

      "We're jumping for joy," Goode said. "We have guys like Vinny (Curry) and (Fletcher Cox). Our defensive line, linebackers -- our front seven is going to be off the chain. ... It's hard to block two of those guys at the same time, even one at a time with Fletch, Bennie (Logan) and Vinny.

      “Right now, it's kind of like with this team, the pieces are just falling into the right places because of the guys that we got. ... The pieces are just going to fall correctly into the puzzle and we're going to go out there and be dominant."

  • Wednesday, February 10, 2016
    Browns OLB Bryant indicted on drug charges
    By The Sports Xchange

    Cleveland Browns outside linebacker Armonty Bryant was indicted on two felony drug possession charges on Wednesday stemming from his Christmas morning arrest after a traffic stop.

    • Bryant faces charges for possession of Adderall and OxyCodone, and then-practice squad defensive back De'Ante Saunders was indicted for improperly handling a weapon in a motor vehicle.

      The men are scheduled to be arraigned in Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Common Pleas Court on Feb 24.

      According to the citation from Berea Municipal Court in Cuyahoga County, Saunders and Bryant were stopped in a 2015 green Dodge traveling 75 mph in a 60-mph zone. Saunders was driving and refused a breathalyzer test, and he was arrested at 2:16 a.m. on Dec. 25 for operating a vehicle under the influence and speeding.

      Ohio Highway Patrol troopers searched the car and found a Glock handgun and 22-round magazine.

      Bryant, 25, started two games last season, in which the Browns finished 3-13. He had 40 tackles, two forced fumbles and was second on the team with 5.5 sacks in 14 games.

      Bryant is in his third year with the Browns. He was drafted in the seventh round in 2013 from East Central Oklahoma, where he had some legal troubles. He was arrested for selling marijuana in 2012. After being drafted by the Browns in 2013, he also was arrested for driving under the influence near the school's stadium.

      Saunders, 23, was signed to the Browns' practice squad in November.

      The Browns cut Saunders and made Bryant inactive for the final two games.

  • Wednesday, February 10, 2016
    Chargers complete overhaul of coaching staff
    By The Sports Xchange

    The San Diego Chargers completed the overhaul of their coaching staff with the hiring of former Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees as offensive assistant and Marquice Williams as special teams assistant.

    • There will be 11 coaches in positions they were not in last season -- nine of whom are new, including former Tennessee Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt returning to the Chargers as offensive coordinator on Mike McCoy's staff.

      Former offensive coordinator Frank Reich and five other assistants paid with their jobs for the team's slide to a 4-12 record last season.

      Rees quarterbacked the Irish from 2010-13, playing alongside three current Chargers -- linebacker Manti Te'o, center/guard Chris Watt and center Trevor Robinson.

      Rees and Watt were college roommates in South Bend, Ind.

      "It is definitely a different type of situation," Watt said, via the team's website. "I don't even know how to go about describing it. But when we are on the field, it will be all business and very professional. I think it will be fine, but it is definitely strange and a little different."

      Rees started as a sophomore and a senior at Notre Dame, throwing for 2,871 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2011 and 3,257 yards with 27 touchdowns as a senior. He signed with the Washington Redskins in 2014 but was released during the offseason, and then joined Pat Fitzgerald's coaching staff at Northwestern as an offensive graduate assistant.

      Williams arrives in San Diego after coaching at the University of South Dakota from 2012-15, including last season as special teams coordinator. He also coached outside linebackers and the defensive line during his tenure.

  • Wednesday, February 10, 2016
    Giants LB Beason retires; OLs Beatty, Schwartz cut
    By The Sports Xchange

    The New York Giants were planning to release linebacker Jon Beason on Wednesday but the veteran instead announced his retirement, ending his injury-plagued nine-year career.

    • The Giants also commenced their offseason roster restructuring with the release of veteran offensive linemen Will Beatty and Geoff Schwartz.

      The three players, all of whom were injured in 2015, have a combined 23 years of NFL experience.

      The moves will save the Giants about $11.7 million against the 2016 salary cap and increase their projected cap room to about $55 million this year, ESPN.com reported.

      The 31-year-old Beason, a former first-round draft choice and a three-time Pro Bowler, played 93 regular-season games (90 starts) in nine seasons. His career totals included 829 tackles, 10 interceptions and four sacks.

      "I always tried to give my all and be competitive," Beason said Wednesday. "I wanted to go out and continue to play at a high level, giving my all. I was able to do that."

      The Giants, who acquired Beason for a seventh-round draft pick from the Carolina Panthers early in the 2013 season, signed the linebacker in the offseason to a three-year, $17 million contract. Beason missed 23 games over the past two seasons due to injuries.

      Beason played his first six-plus seasons for the Panthers, who selected him 25th overall in the 2007 NFL Draft. He started 65 consecutive games to begin his career, and was a Pro Bowler in three consecutive seasons (2008-10) before injuries began to take their toll.

      "I was able to have some success and set the pace and break records -- things I never even really paid attention to until after the fact," Beason said. "I couldn't have scripted a better story, coming in as a first-round pick and starting in my first NFL game and setting the club high in tackles, and then breaking it every other year that I played, the Pro Bowls, the All-Pros, pinching myself, getting the big contract based on what I had already done. Being rewarded for all that was a great feeling. I know that I'm very, very fortunate to have that moment, to have those memories of a certain period of time where I was a big deal."

      Beatty, a second-round draft pick of the Giants in 2009, was re-signed to a five-year, $37.5 million contract before the 2013 season. Beatty, who turns 31 next month, missed the entire 2015 season after tearing a pectoral muscle lifting weights in the offseason.

      From his rookie season through 2014, Beatty played in 82 regular-season games with 63 starts -- four at right tackle in 2009, one as an extra lineman/tight end/eligible receiver in 2012, and 58 at left tackle from 2010-14 (including 46 consecutive starts).

      Schwartz, 29, signed for four years and $16.8 million in the 2014 offseason. He missed 14 games in 2014 and five more in 2015 because of injuries. Schwartz, a seven-year veteran, played in 13 games in two seasons.

      In 2015, Schwartz started the first 10 games at right guard before moving to left guard at Washington on Nov. 29. Early in the game, he suffered a fractured leg and was placed on injured reserve for the second year in a row.

  • Wednesday, February 10, 2016
    Irsay: Colts QB Luck's contract will be 'shocking number'
    By The Sports Xchange

    Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay says the next contract for quarterback Andrew Luck is "going to be a shocking number."

    • Last spring, the Colts picked up Luck's fifth-year option from his rookie contract for $16.1 million in 2016. A new contract will make Luck one of the highest-paid players in the NFL.

      "It's going to be a big number," Irsay told WISH-TV, via the team's official site. "It's going to be a shocking number, nine figures and probably a $20 million starting point per year, but again we will find the right number to get to."

      Luck came into the NFL as rookie in 2012 with Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, whose contract signed last year included a $31 million signing bonus with a $21.7 million average annual value.

      Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton signed a five-year extension in 2015 that has a $20.76 average annual value. Newton's extension is worth $103.8 million with $67.6 million paid in the first three years.

      Talks with the Colts and Luck's representatives will continue to build in the coming months.

      Luck, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, missed much of the 2015 season with injuries. He played in only seven games and had 15 touchdown passes and 12 interceptions in his worst year in the league.

      Irsay said Luck is healed now and could have played in the Super Bowl if the Colts were in it.

      The new league year and free agency begins on March 9 at 4 p.m. ET.

      "The question again remains how can you build that roster around him," Irsay said. "You see franchise quarterbacks through the years, be unselfish and make sure they realize if I eat up 'X' amount of this cap, how are we going to put together a championship football team?"

  • Wednesday, February 10, 2016
    Rams sign former Northwestern QB Colter
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Los Angeles Rams signed former Northwestern quarterback and now wide receiver Kain Colter, who became the team's first free-agent signing since leaving St. Louis.

    • Colter was out of the NFL last season. He spent all of 2014 on the Minnesota Vikings' practice squad as a wide receiver but was released in May.

      Colter played mostly quarterback in college for Northwestern. He also spent some time at receiver, catching 63 passes for 683 yards in four seasons.

      Colter was the leader of a unionization movement at Northwestern, attempting to make the football team the first players' union in college sports. The bid failed at the federal level last August.

      "Thanks to the Los Angeles Rams for giving me another opportunity to play football and earn a spot on the team," Colter wrote Tuesday on Instagram.

  • Wednesday, February 10, 2016
    Report: Browns QB Manziel 'hung over' at meeting
    By The Sports Xchange

    The after-season reports continue to pile up for troubled Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel.

    • According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, a source told him that Manziel "was heavily hung over on something" on the same day another report said he came to a late-season practice drunk and the Browns covered up the incident.

      NFL Network's Mike Silver took to Twitter on Tuesday to stand by his report last week that Manziel showed up drunk for a late-season practice, but said he regretted saying the Browns lied about Manziel having a concussion.

      The Browns issued a statement Tuesday reiterating that Manziel was in the league's concussion protocol.

      "Johnny Manziel came to our facility on the morning of December 30th and complained of concussion symptoms," Browns said in the statement. "He was tested by an independent neurologist and entered the league's concussion protocol. He remained in the protocol until January 12th after being cleared by the independent neurologist."

      Manziel reportedly was in Las Vegas on the Saturday night before the Browns' final regular-season game despite being in the concussion protocol that sidelined him for the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He missed his mandatory concussion treatment on game day at the team's facility and was fined.

      One well-placed Browns source who had contact with Manziel on Dec. 30 told Schefter: "Manziel looked terrible. He wasn't drunk, but he was heavily hung over on something. There was something going on there."

      Manziel complained that he was having trouble with light, was vomiting and had a headache, according to ESPN.

      "This wasn't some massive cover-up," the source told Schefter. "What are you going to do? You have to put him in the protocol.

      "... He was not drunk that day, but he was (recovering) from being on something. I don't know what he was doing the night before, but something was wrong with him."

      A Browns player told ESPN that several teammates knew Manziel had complained of headaches early that week, and that Manziel had briefly attended a quarterbacks meeting early that morning.

      Another ESPN source had said Manziel arrived late for a meeting that Wednesday looking "disheveled" and that the team got him out of the meeting before putting him on the concussion protocol.

      Manziel is being investigated on allegations of domestic violence due to the incident that occurred in the early morning hours of Jan. 30.

      Dallas police announced last Friday that they will investigate a domestic-violence assault complaint against Manziel.

      Manziel's now former girlfriend, Colleen Crowley, gave a statement to police and asked the district attorney to pursue charges, according to WFAA-TV in Dallas.

      Her lawyer told a Dallas TV station on Monday that Manziel punctured Crowley's eardrum when he struck her and that it will take a while to regain her hearing in that ear.

      Manziel's agent parted ways with the quarterback last week in the wake of the latest news, and Manziel's family has been concerned for his well-being. His father, Paul, told the Dallas Morning News last week that his son won't "live to see his 24th birthday" if he doesn't get help.

      Manziel, who is from Tyler and Kerrville, Texas, told TMZ Sports last week the incident with his ex-girlfriend "didn't happen. I'm completely stable. I'm safe and secure."

      Multiple reports indicate that Manziel will be waived by the Browns on March 9 when the new league year begins.

      The Browns selected Manziel with the No. 22 pick in the 2014 draft. Cleveland has the No. 2 overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.

      Manziel finished his second season with 1,500 passing yards, seven touchdowns and five interceptions in nine appearances (six starts) and a passer rating of 79.4. He rushed for 230 yards.

  • Tuesday, February 9, 2016
    NFL notebook: Newton says no apology necessary
    By The Sports Xchange

    Cam Newton wasn't apologizing Tuesday for walking out on reporters after the Carolina Panthers' loss in the Super Bowl 50.

    • Newton acknowledged that he was a "sore loser" after the Panthers fell to the Denver Broncos 24-10 on Sunday night in Santa Clara, Calif. He answered only a few questions from the media before walking out.

      "I've been on record to say I'm a sore loser. Who likes to lose? You show me a good loser and I'm going to show you a loser," he said. "It's not a popularity contest. I'm here to win football games."

      The 2015 NFL Most Valuable Player spoke to reporters on Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C., while cleaning out his locker. He said "that's cool" if he offended anyone with his actions.

      "But I know who I am and I'm not about to conform nor bend for anybody's expectations because your or anybody else's expectations will never exceed mine," Newton said.

      ---Peyton Manning, you've just won Super Bowl 50. What are you going to do? Enjoy the championship and not be pressured into making a career decision.

      Denver general manager John Elway told the 39-year-old quarterback to take his time on deciding whether to come back another year or call it quits. Elway said neither he nor the team would rush Manning into making a decision.

      "There is no deadline. We'll let Peyton enjoy this," Elway said. "Eventually, we'll sit down and talk to him. There is no timeline for this."

      ---Cleveland quarterback Johnny Manziel, according to an NFL.com report, came to a late-season practice drunk and the Browns covered up the incident.

      The website reported that the Browns "lied" about Manziel being drunk at a Wednesday practice late in the season.

      CBSSports.com said former coach Mike Pettine, when asked during the season, denied Manziel had been drunk at practice. Manziel is being investigated of allegations of domestic violence due to the incident that occurred in the early-morning hours of Jan. 30.

      Colleen Crowley, his ex-girlfriend, was hit so hard by the embattled quarterback that she suffered a ruptured left eardrum, her attorney told a Dallas television station.

      ---Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank said in a statement released Tuesday that he will undergo treatment for prostate cancer.

      The 73-year-old Blank, the co-founder of Home Depot, has owned the Falcons since 2002. He will have surgery later this month and then take several weeks to recover. No other treatment is scheduled as of now.

      Blank also is the owner of Atlanta United FC, a Major League Soccer expansion franchise. The Falcons and Atlanta United FC will play in a new downtown stadium that is set to open in 2017.

      ---The Los Angeles Rams announced that they have received more than 56,000 deposits for season tickets since it was announced last month that the franchise was returning to California.

      The $100 deposits are refundable and give purchasers the right to buy tickets at Los Angeles Coliseum and then at the new Inglewood stadium, which is expected to be completed by the 2019 season. The team begin taking the deposits on Jan. 18 and wrapped on the program on Monday.

      ---Ryan Lindley, signed by the Indianapolis Colts in late December after injuries decimated their quarterbacks, was waived Tuesday.

      Kicker Adam Vinatieri also confirmed that he will return for a 21st season. He is a free agent, but the Colts have expressed a desire to re-sign the 42-year-old veteran.

      Viniatieri said he hopes to play, "Lord willing, a couple of years. There will come a time when it's over for me. I don't think that time is yet. I enjoy playing."

      ---The Colts announced additions to their coaching staff.

      Maurice Drayton was hired as assistant special teams coach, Lee Hull as wide receivers coach, Jemal Singleton as running backs coach, Quadrian Banks as conditioning/performance analyst and Andrew Hayes-Stoker as assistant to the head coach.

      The Colts also announced that Joe Philbin’s title was updated to assistant head coach/offensive line. Philbin is a former head coach of the Miami Dolphins.

      ---The Tennessee Titans released two-time Pro Bowl safety Michael Griffin.

      A first round out of Texas in 2007, Griffin played 141 games. He had one interception in 15 games last season. For his career, he totaled 25 interceptions.

      ---Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy allegedly was involved in an altercation that left one person with a possible skull fracture at a Philadelphia nightclub. An arrest warrant for McCoy is expected to be issued sometime soon, possibly Tuesday.

      Multiple reports say charges will be filed against McCoy and former NFL running back Curtis Brinkley after a fight broke out with off-duty Philadelphia police officers around 2:45 a.m. Sunday. According to the police report, the dispute started over the purchase of a bottle of champagne.

      Philadelphia police said one of the off-duty officers was punched, knocked to the ground, kicked and stomped on by McCoy, Brinkley and two other suspects. The officer suffered a broken nose, broken ribs and other injuries. The second off-duty officer, who tried to break up the fight, suffered more serious injuries including broken ribs and a possible skull fracture, according to the report.

      ---The Super Bowl is only days behind us, but it's never too early to talk about the first week of the 2016 season and that talk is focusing on Denver cornerback Aqib Talib.

      According to Pro Football Talk, the NFL is going to review Talib's facemask penalty on Carolina Panthers wide receiver Corey Brown and the Broncos cornerback could be suspended for at least the first game of next season.

      Talib viewed his "intentional and blatant decision" to take Brown down by his face mask to prevent a touchdown as a penalty that would draw the equivalent of a parking ticket. His admitted decision to grab, twist and yank Brown to the ground resulted in very little impact on the field -- the penalty took place inside the Denver 5-yard line.

      ---The Oakland Raiders released safety Nate Allen after one season with the team.

      The Raiders signed Allen to a four-year, $23 million contract as a free agent last year but released him before his $4.9 million salary for the 2016 season would have become guaranteed on Wednesday.

      Allen, 28, played in five games for the Raiders in 2015 after being slowed by knee injuries starting in Week 1 and finishing the season on injured reserve. He started three games and totaled 14 tackles, one interception and two passes defensed.

  • Tuesday, February 9, 2016
    Raiders dump S Allen
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Oakland Raiders released safety Nate Allen on Tuesday after just one season with the team.

    • The Raiders signed Allen to a four-year, $23 million contract as a free agent last year but released him before his $4.9 million salary for the 2016 season would have become guaranteed on Wednesday.

      Allen, 28, played in five games for the Raiders in 2015 after being slowed by knee injuries starting in Week 1 and finishing the season on injured reserve. He started three games and totaled 14 tackles, one interception and two passes defensed.

      The Raiders will be looking to fill two safety spots during the offseason with Allen no longer with the team and veteran Charles Woodson retiring after the 2015 season.

      Allen, a six-year NFL veteran, has started 72 of 79 games during his career. With the release, he becomes a free agent immediately.

  • Tuesday, February 9, 2016
    Colts adds assistants to coaching staff
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Indianapolis Colts announced additions to their coaching staff on Tuesday.

    • Maurice Drayton was hired as assistant special teams coach, Lee Hull as wide receivers coach, Jemal Singleton as running backs coach, Quadrian Banks as conditioning/performance analyst and Andrew Hayes-Stoker as assistant to the head coach.

      The Colts also announced that Joe Philbin’s title was updated to assistant head coach/offensive line. Philbin is a former head coach of the Miami Dolphins.

      Drayton was defensive coordinator/cornerbacks coach at The Citadel for the last three seasons (2013-15). Hull served as Morgan State's head coach for the last two seasons (2014-15) and compiled an 11-12 overall record.

      Singleton worked at Air Force, his alma mater, for nine seasons and as the special teams coordinator/running backs coach at Arkansas in 2015. Banks was the assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Philadelphia Eagles the last three seasons and Hayes-Stoker served as wide receivers coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the last two seasons (2014-15).

  • Tuesday, February 9, 2016
    Rams' season-ticket deposits top 56,000
    By The Sports Xchange

    The Los Angeles Rams announced Tuesday that they have received more than 56,000 deposits for season tickets since it was announced last month that the franchise was returning to California.

    • The $100 deposits are refundable and give purchasers the right to buy tickets at Los Angeles Coliseum and then at the new Inglewood stadium, which is expected to be completed by the 2019 season.

      "We are inspired by how enthusiastically NFL fans in southern California have responded to the return of the Los Angeles Rams," Rams chief operating officer and executive vice president Kevin Demoff said in a statement. "We will reward their passion by providing a terrific game day experience at both the Coliseum this fall and ultimately in Inglewood. We can't wait to welcome our fans on Sundays and become an integral part of the Greater Los Angeles community."

      The team begin taking the deposits on Jan. 18 and wrapped on the program on Monday.

      The Rams have yet to announce ticket prices for 2016. When the franchise was in St. Louis, season tickets in 2015 ranged from $300 to $1,750 for 10 games, which includes the preseason. One regular-season home game will be played in London this fall.

  • Tuesday, February 9, 2016
    Falcons owner Blank faces cancer surgery
    By The Sports Xchange

    Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank said in a statement released Tuesday that he will undergo treatment for prostate cancer.

    • "In December, I was diagnosed with a treatable form of prostate cancer," Blank said. "Over the last several weeks, Angie and I have visited a number of expert doctors and hospitals across the country to identify the best treatment options for me. I have chosen an aggressive approach that will include surgery and the overall prognosis is good.

      "I'm looking forward to getting this behind me and continuing a very active lifestyle, my upcoming wedding, as well as continued active involvement in our businesses and philanthropic efforts for years to come."

      The 73-year-old Blank, the co-founder of Home Depot, has owned the Falcons since 2002. He will have surgery later this month and then take several weeks to recover. No other treatment is scheduled as of now.

      "For my age, I'm in fairly good shape," Blank said. "So on the positive side, I'm a good candidate for surgery."

      Blank also is the owner of Atlanta United FC, a Major League Soccer expansion franchise. The Falcons and Atlanta United FC will play in a new downtown stadium that is set to open in 2017.

  • Tuesday, February 9, 2016
    Colts waive Lindley; Viniatieri still kicking
    By The Sports Xchange

    Ryan Lindley, signed by the Indianapolis Colts in late December after injuries decimated their quarterbacks, was waived Tuesday.

    • Kicker Adam Vinatieri also confirmed that he will return for a 21st season. He is a free agent, but the Colts have expressed a desire to re-sign the 42-year-old veteran.

      The 6-foot-3, 232-pound Lindley played in the Colts' regular-season finale against the Tennessee Titans on Jan. 3 and completed 6 of 10 passes for 58 yards and one touchdown in a 30-24 victory.

      In 10 career NFL games, Lindley has started six times and connected on 140 of 274 passes for 1,372 yards and three touchdowns with 11 interceptions.

      Franchise quarterback Andrew Luck is returning next season after being sidelined with internal injuries and Josh Freeman, a late-season pickup, is also on the roster. Matt Hasselbeck, the 40-year-old veteran who replaced Luck before he went down with injuries, is a free agent.

      Viniatieri is older than Hasselbeck but remains one of the NFL's best kickers. He has missed only three of 58 field goal attempts the past two seasons.

      Viniatieri said he hopes to play, "Lord willing, a couple of years. There will come a time when it's over for me. I don't think that time is yet. I enjoy playing."

  • Tuesday, February 9, 2016
    Newton talks about being a 'sore loser'
    By The Sports Xchange

    Cam Newton wasn't apologizing Tuesday for walking out on reporters after the Carolina Panthers' loss in the Super Bowl 50.

    • Newton acknowledged that he was a "sore loser" after the Panthers fell to the Denver Broncos 24-10 on Sunday night in Santa Clara, Calif. He answered only a few questions from the media before walking out.

      "I've been on record to say I'm a sore loser. Who likes to lose? You show me a good loser and I'm going to show you a loser," he said. "It's not a popularity contest. I'm here to win football games."

      The 2015 NFL Most Valuable Player spoke to reporters on Tuesday in Charlotte, N.C., while cleaning out his locker. He said "that's cool" if he offended anyone with his actions.

      "But I know who I am and I'm not about to conform nor bend for anybody's expectations because your or anybody else's expectations will never exceed mine," Newton said.

      Speaking with the media is optional on exit day at the end of the season, but Newton wanted to address the criticism directed at him since then.

      "It happened," he said. "I didn't want to talk to the media at the time. The truth of the matter is I really still don't want to talk to the media. But at the end of the day, things have to happen.

      "I had a lot of time to go back and play everything back. I'm human. I never once said that I was perfect. I never proclaimed that I was perfect, but at the end of the day, people pick and do things of that sort."

      Panthers coach Ron Rivers applauded Newton for speaking on Tuesday.

      "Obviously, somebody had a great conversation with him and explained it to him and he was able to compose himself and speak to you folks," Rivera said. "That's huge. What he did today was a part of his growth. He is still growing and maturing as a man in this world."

      Newton's teammates also supported him in the locker room, shouting "We love you."

      "He's a competitor just like everybody else," fullback Mike Tolbert said. "You look at the guy. He's not happy at all about what happened. I'm not happy about what happened. I don't think anybody that played in this game was happy about what happened. So why should we be all smiles when the game is over?"

      Newton promised to help the Panthers return to the Super Bowl.

      "I've got no more tears to cry," he said. "At the end of the day, when you invest so much time and sacrifice so much and things don't go as planned, the emotions take over. That's what happens.

      "As far as trying to be like this person, trying to be like that person ... the truth of the matter is I'm not trying to be like this person."