- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner1 hr ago
Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman was just getting in a nice little evening jog Monday when he saw a woman struggling in her front yard.
Eleanor Szendel, 82, was having trouble unloading her lawnmower, and Freeman decided to veer his workout a little bit. Pretty soon he was offering to step in and mow Szendel's grass for her as she was struggling to empty the grass clippings from the mower, because it was getting dark as afternoon quickly was turning to night.
According to the Tallahassee Democrat, Freeman's offer was respectfully rebuffed — she was pretty much finished — but he instantly endeared himself to Szendel and her daughter-in-law, Denise Szendel, who was planting rose bushes for Mother’s Day nearby.
Although the famous Falcons and former Florida State footballer didn't initially identify himself, Szendel knew exactly who he was.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner2 hrs ago
All is good for Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff, who was the No. 1 overall pick in last week's draft and now has become one of the faces of a franchise that's re-embarking on its old city.
Fans are excited about the Rams, and they appear to be excited about Goff possibly taking over as the franchise quarterback in short order, too. But perhaps no one is more excited than the Goff family, namely father Jerry Goff.
Dad was a former major-league backup catcher with three teams in the early-to-mid 1990s and then raised his baseball- and football-playing son, who went on to star on the gridiron at Cal, the same school Jerry did in the 1980s.
And as great as Jared's NFL ascension has been, there was a bit of a fear for a long time that his future team could be the Cleveland Browns.
"There was a time ... we had a really good feeling he was going to end up in Cleveland, which isn't — nothing against Cleveland, it's fine," Jerry Goff, now a firefighter in the Bay Area, told Mitch Melnick and Rod Francis ofTSN 690 in Montreal. "That would have been great; just to get drafted and go anywhere is fine."
- Shalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner3 hrs ago
It's a good week to be a left tackle.
On the heels of Tuesday's news that the Buffalo Bills made Cordy Glennthe highest-paid left tackle in the NFL comes news Wednesday morning that the New Orleans Saints made their own young left tackle, Terron Armstead, the third-highest paid.
Armstead doesn't have the name recognition of others at the position, like Glenn or Cleveland's Joe Thomas, and he doesn't yet have a Pro Bowl or All-Pro honor on his resume. But the 2013 third-round pick out of Arkansas-Pine Bluff has quietly been playing at a very high level for New Orleans.
And the Saints have rewarded him with a reported five-year, $64.5 million deal that includes $38 million guaranteed for injury and $25 million fully guaranteed.
- Shalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner14 hrs ago
Even for professional athletes, one of the benefits to being on vacation is to be able to indulge. Dinner lasts a little longer and may include one or two extra courses, the dessert menu is a requirement, an extra drink or two are consumed at the resort bar.
But for Houston Texans left tackle Duane Brown, an indulgent getaway almost led to a lost season.
On Tuesday, ESPN.com reported that the 30-year old veteran was facing a 10-game suspension for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs but won his appeal when the NFL Players' Association was able to prove that Brown's positive test came from Mexican beef.
The cliche has long been not to drink the water in Mexico, but now you can't eat the beef either? Apparently not if you don't want to test positive for the anabolic substance clenbuterol.
- Shalise Manza Young at Shutdown Corner14 hrs ago
“Dancing with the Stars” welcomed many an NFL player over its first 21 seasons, but Season 22, which premiered on Monday, March 21, features three: newly-minted Super Bowl MVP Von Miller from the Denver Broncos, Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro Antonio Brown and former Heisman Trophy winner Doug Flutie, a Canadian Football League legend who also spent 13 years in the NFL. We’ll be posting recaps each Tuesday morning until all three are eliminated – or one wins.
Music icons week, with songs from some of the biggest acts in history, saw another NFL player sent home, though not the one we expected to see.
Antonio Brown and his pro partner Sharna Burgess trained to dance a tango to the Rolling Stones’ “Paint it Black.”
Burgess tells us that the pair stayed in Los Angeles for the week, not traveling to Pittsburgh as they’d done previously, and it was a plus that they did since they had two dances to learn (in addition to their couple’s dance, the two were part of a group number).
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner18 hrs ago
Cordy Glenn should thank the people in the Buffalo Bills organization who saw him as a left tackle, and not the guard some viewed him as coming out of the University of Georgia.
Glenn is not only making left tackle money, he's making more money than all the left tackles. He signed a five-year extension on Tuesday worth $65 million, including $36 million guaranteed and $30 million in the first two seasons according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. According to Spotrac, the $13.6 million annually makes Glenn the highest paid left tackle in football, based on average per year. Although Glenn hasn't made a Pro Bowl, he is considered one of the best tackles in the NFL. He has the paycheck to match now.
- Eric Edholm at Shutdown Corner20 hrs ago
Junior Seau died almost four years ago to the day, but his spirit lives on in the NFL — as well as his name.
Ian Seau, Junior's nephew, signed with the Los Angeles Rams as an undrafted free agent on Tuesday, according to NFL.com. The 6-foot-3, 250-pound Nevada defensive end, who was named first- and second-team All-Mountain West the past two seasons, capped off his career with 10 sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss.
He's nowhere close to the prospect his uncle was when he came out of USC in 1990, but Ian has risen up noticeably since transferring from Grossmont College. According to a scouting report from NFL.com, the younger Seau "plays with a motor his uncle would be proud of and has a history of making impactful plays" but might have a tough time making the Rams' deep defense as an undersized pass rusher.
Still, a football-playing Seau is doing work now in Southern California, and it's a great story worth following.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner21 hrs ago
The social media fiascos that struck offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil on draft day may have contributed to a surprising fall in the draft, and it sure seemed like an embarrassment that will be remembered for a long time.
And that's not all.
Because the infamous video showed Tunsil taking a bong hit, it has drawn the attention of the NFL. There was a report that said Tunsil would start his career with a clean slate in the NFL's substance abuse program, but the leaguetold USA Today on Tuesday that isn't necessarily the case. Tunsil will have to be e valuated by clinical professionals before any determination on his inclusion in the drug program is made, USA Today's Tom Pelissero reported.
- Frank Schwab at Shutdown Corner23 hrs ago
An ATV accident will knock Oakland Raiders tight end Clive Walford out of the team's offseason work, which he could have used as an up-and-coming second-year player.
Walford injured his knee in an accident, Fox Sports first reported. The team is hopeful Walford will be back for training camp, perhaps for the beginning of it, the story said.
According to Adam Caplan of ESPN, the injury happened "a while ago" and involved a "big gash" on one of his knees. It's still just speculation on what exactly the injury is, though it's severe enough that it's keeping him out of action for at least three months.
- Jay Busbee at Shutdown Corner1 day ago
Peyton Manning suiting up for a team other than the Denver Broncos in 2016? It was closer than you might think to happening, according to Manning's agent.
"I really like to play," Manning told Tom Condon, as Condon related on The Business of Sports with Andrew Brandt (via PFT). Not only that, Condon said, there were teams who would have wanted Manning to play for them. (The teams leading the speculation at the time were the Texans and the Rams.)
So why isn't some team rolling out an entire Peyton Manning-themed campaign for this fall? Probably because of the obvious reasons: Manning was a shell of his former self by the end of 2015, and won the Super Bowl largely because he was a decent caretaker rather than a game-changing playmaker.