Archive for May, 2012

Saints LB Jonathan Vilma says: “We asked for evidence and (Goodell) wouldn’t give it to us.”

I just spent the last 10 minutes talking with Saints LB Jonathan Vilma about his defamation lawsuit against NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, along with other things related to the bounty issue. For the first time, Vilma explained why he refused to participate in the NFL’s investigation against his team. And he addressed the possibility of sitting out 2012. Here is what I wrote in this story: Suspended Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma said he would not cooperate with the NFL’s investigation into his team’s bounty system because Commissioner Roger Goodell would not show him the evidence of his alleged wrongdoing. In an exclusive interview with at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, Vilma spoke publicly for the first time […]

Three and out: Ben Roethlisberger says Steelers will run

Happy Thursday everybody. The biggest story in sports right now is the Los Angeles Kings’ victory in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals, that’s all anybody is talking about. But can you break yourself away long enough to talk some fantasy football?

My story: What Vikings QB Christian Ponder learned from Brett Favre about leadership

I spent yesterday at Winter Park with the Vikings, and I came away impressed with second-year QB Christian Ponder. I’m not even talking about how he played during OTAs. Using legendary QB Brett Favre as an example, Ponder has, one-by-one, taken teammates out to dinner. He’s trying to be a leader by bonding, spending time with the guys, and growing close. It’s a worthwhile activity. “If they’re going to follow me, if we’re going to play close together as a team, we have to get closer off the field,” Ponder said. “I really have taken that to heart. It’s something I’m going to try and improve on and do the rest of the offseason.” This is one reason to have […]

Saints coach Joe Vitt talks about whether Drew Brees can dance… and other OTAs reflections

I’m here at the Saints facility in Metaire, La., and OTAs just ended. On a fairly hot day, with lightning in the backgrounds, the Saints did their thing on the field. It was, as always, a little odd. Drew Brees wasn’t here, coach Sean Payton wasn’t here, and Joe Vitt was running things as he will be right up until the suspension. We’ll get to some notes in a minute… but first, a Brees update. Vitt says he is “still confident” that Brees’ deal will get done. He said he had a great conversation with Brees the other day about training camp and what they want to put in. Vitt said he knew Brees wanted to get certain things done, […]

Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin ran up a hill… and other Vikings things!

Minnesota was sooooo yesterday. I’m actually in New Orleans now, gearing up to go to Saints OTAs in a little bit. But before I do, let’s get reflect on what we saw in Eden Prairie during Vikings OTAs (which I talked about on TV here). What happened? — The biggest thing that happened was that rehabbing Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin ran up a hill. And I’m not lying, it was one of the coolest things I’ve seen. Two electric athletes, both fighting their way back to health, just absolutely going after it. They were racing. Harvin won almost all of them, but Peterson did get him twice — ACL tear and all. “It was a bit tough,” Harvin said. […]

Vikings GM Rick Spielman was just as surprised as anyone that Asher Allen retired

Here in Eden Praire, Minn., the big story of the Vikings OTAs was that rehabbing stars Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin put on a show racing each other. More on that later. But the most surprising story? That was that cornerback Asher Allen decided to retire. At just 24 years old, Allen is calling it quits. Coach Leslie Frazier announced the news, saying it wasn’t for health reasons. It was just what Allen wanted. “I didn’t see that coming,” Frazier said. “But everybody has to make decisions that are the best for their family. … He came in my office last Thursday, talked about it and informed me of what he wanted to do.” After the OTAs, I spoke with GM Rick […]

Three and out: Justin Blackmon has room to grow

Happy Wednesday everybody. I know this is going to be hard for you to concentrate today because your Los Angeles Kings are in the Stanley Cup Finals (which starts tonight at 5 p.m.), but can we at least try to get through some fantasy content?

Dear Internet: Oh, if only Rob Gronkowski and Kim Kardashian can get together…

Dear Interwebs: I don’t ask for much. Maybe a dumb picture here. Maybe a stupid movie there. Some sort of snarky article on Deadspin or the Big Lead will usually suffice. I’m low maintenance. But I will ask for something now. Hopefully, I’ve saved up my favors. Hopefully, one puny request won’t fall on deaf ears. Because last night, I came across this item on the gossip side of the Internet linking Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski and famous for something Kim Kardashian as a item. The “news” is short on details, and who knows if it’s real? I acknowledge that it could be completely bogus, just like all those ridiculous gossipy magazines The Banktress reads. But if it was real — […]

Why the Rams and 49ers may benefit from the Lions mishaps…

The Lions have had their share of off-the-field issues. Yeah… you may have read about it. Colleague Albert Breer broke it down nicely earlier today. With a troubled but talented draft class from 2011, they have a lot work to do to right the situation. Nick Fairley’s arrest for DUI this weekend was only the latest in a string of disciplinary issues. The courts will have to handle some of it. But so will Commissioner Roger Goodell thanks to the NFL’s personal conduct policy. Poor judgment situations like Fairley’s and that of RB Mikel LeShoure rarely benefit anyone, and as Alex Marvez of tells us, the Lions as a franchise could be whacked in the pocket book for it. But […]

Sean Gilbert, one of the earliest fighters against the franchise tag, still hates it

You read earlier today about former Pro Bowl defensive tackle Sean Gilbert and his strong feelings about the situation surrounding Saints QB Drew Brees. As the last player to sit out an entire year in protest of the franchise tag, Gilbert has more than earned his bona fides on this topic. It’s been 15 years since Gilbert battled the franchise tag, sat out a year, then proved it was worth it. And he still hasn’t warmed up to the concept of the tag, which was, once again, part of the newest collective bargaining agreement. No, his serious opinions weren’t only for Brees. Want to hear Gilbert’s thoughts on the franchise tag? On his dealings with the franchise tag: “I wasn’t […]

My story: Sean Gilbert, the last man to take a year-long stand, backs Saints QB Drew Brees

There are so few people who can understand what Drew Brees is going through. The Saints franchise quarterback is without a contract for 2012, and he doesn’t want to sign his franchise tag that provides no long-term security. A contract drama that has played out in public may result in Brees missing mandatory mini-camp, some of training camp, and then who knows? The possibilities are chilling and endless. To gain some perspective, I spoke to the one person who can understand what Brees is going through and what his options are — Former Pro Bowl DT Sean Gilbert. Still the last player to sit out the entire season in protest of the franchise tag, Gilbert took the one stand so […]

Three and out: Can Hakeem Nicks return by Week 1?

Hakeem Nicks could be ready for the start of the season, but he still comes with some risk as a WR1.

My story: How the Cowboys could put four CBs on the field, including Mike Jenkins

We’ve read a ton about Mike Jenkins in recent days, as the Cowboys CB is staying home for OTAs. He wants to be traded, yet the Cowboys aren’t into it. Well, the team does have a contingency plan. They could use four cornerbacks on the field at the same time in nickel, which would make Jenkins a pseudo starter. Unconventional? Yup. So is Rob Ryan. Thanks to some help from our buddies at, we learned it’s rare but not completely unheard of. Really, it’s just an adjustment to today’s pass-happy world. Check out my story on about the Cowboys plans to put Jenkins on the field.

Nine really random things and whatever else is going on around the NFL…

A quick and random spin through what the heck happened in the NFL this week …

Eagles DE Brandon Graham’s situation makes me think twice before using the word “bust”

It’s easy to call someone a bust. You just look at a series of poor performances for a guy who was drafted highly, write that he’s a bust, and boom, he’s a bust. Even this week, Ravens WR Tommy Street was fighting through “bust” labels on, like, Day 2. Really?

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