NFL reportedly discusses Jameis Winston with Buccaneers security director

The NFL began its probe of Jameis Winston last week, and started by speaking with Buccaneers’ head of security Andres Trescastro.

According to ESPN, which cited an unidentified league source, the league’s talks with Trescastro were “more introductory and exploratory.” The investigation into allegations against the Bucs quarterback will continue but is not expected to be completed by the end of this season.

Winston, who settled a civil lawsuit stemming from the rape accusations in 2012 nine months after the alleged encounter with Kate, denied the incident and asserted that Kate “was confused as to the number of passengers in the car and who was sitting next to her.”

Winston is currently dealing with a sprained AC joint he sustained in Week 6 that has forced him to be sidelined for his third straight game Sunday against the Falcons.

Here’s a look at what has been going on in the prospect pipelines for each team in the Central Division, including our way-too-early 2018-19 watch for players who can make an impact a year from now.

The Blackhawks are in a bit of a transitional phase; this isn’t uncommon territory for them, but this time it seems to be a little rockier as their core continues to lose pieces and ages. Despite years of either trading away their picks or finding themselves lower in the first round, the Hawks have managed to maintain a decent prospect pipeline. There isn’t a lot of great depth at this point, which is the primary concern, but a few middle-round picks are starting to emerge as potential options down the line.

Henri Jokiharju, the team’s most recent first-round pick, has been having a sensational season for Portland in the WHL. The defenseman is averaging over a point per game and is expected to play a substantial role for Finland at the World Juniors.canadiens_1236_007e8cfdd038112c-140x140

NFL schedule: Week 13 game times, TV coverage

Coming off one of the best games of his career, a 30-10 victory against Indianapolis, Bortles was equally efficient and effective against the Seahawks.

Two of his better throws ended up in the end zone. He floated an 18-yarder early in the third quarter to rookie Dede Westbrook, the first for the 2016 Heisman Trophy finalist. Bortles’ second one was even better, a deep pass that hit Keelen Cole in stride and went for 75 yards.

Cole’s second touchdown in as many weeks came on the ensuing play after Wilson connected with Doug Baldwin for a 26-yard score that tied it at 10.

Morrissey scored his fourth goal of the season with a redirection on a 3-on-1 with Adam Lowry and Andrew Copp at 11:38 and Perreault finished it off with the 100th of his nine-year career.

Winnipeg was without defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, who was put on injured reserve with a lower-body injury suffered in last Saturday’s 4-3 overtime loss to Tampa Bay. Head coach Paul Maurice said he didn’t expect him back on the ice until after Christmas. Rookie Tucker Poolman took his roster spot.

Cleveland has won 14 of 15 without Thompson, including a 121-114 victory over Atlanta on Nov. 30.

“Everyone goes through it and Tristan is a big part of what we do, so we gotta figure out how we got to use him,” Lue said. “We gotta do that so I have a plan in place and we’ll see how it works.”royals_016

Smith wasn’t exactly thrilled with the situation but handled it all professionally.

“Oh man, it’s going to be exciting, especially this week,” Andre Ellington told reporters. “There’ll be a lot of smack talk around here.”

Andre, a sixth-round pick of the Cardinals in 2013, has played sparingly this season with just 15 carries for 53 yards and a touchdown. He has 1,750 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns over his five-year career. The Texans need help at running back after a season-ending injury to rookie D’Onta Foreman last Sunday.

McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese have since been fired. Manning was reinserted as the starting quarterback for Sunday’s game against the Cowboys.

“I wasn’t,” he said earlier this week. “Any competitor wouldn’t be. To be put in that situation where you get a chance to play, and then you’re being pulled, but it’s not because you played bad, so you try to figure out why. But you got to understand that some things happen in this business, and you just got to roll with it.”

Sunday’s key late game was an NFC South clash between the Panthers and Saints. With its win over Carolina, New Orleans maintained its hold on first place in the division and a home game in the postseason.

Sunday’s nightcap was an intriguing game in Seattle, where the visiting Eagles, the best team in the NFL record-wise, looked to extend their streak of dominance. The Seahawks didn’t exactly roll over for the Eagles, though, as the hosts kept pace with the Rams in the NFC West with a one-sided victory.

The source said Caldwell’s extension is guaranteed for only 2018 with team options beyond that, so if the Lions decide to fire Caldwell, they would have to pay him for next season only.panthers_052

Jaguars VP Tom Coughlin gives Jalen Ramsey his support

Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey was ejected Sunday against the Bengals for his role in an altercation with A.J. Green, but he had at least one fan within his organization.

Jaguars executive vice president Tom Coughlin praised Ramsey for physical play and a calm head even after Green brought him to the ground and started punching him.

Maxwell and Jeremy Lane — who’s starting at left cornerback in Sherman’s absence — were both flagged for pass interference penalties that cost Seattle a total of 41 yards. Carroll noted the impact of those penalties but said Maxwell held up well.

I feel like today we were out there playing hard as hell. I didn’t feel too soft today out there. I felt really good. That’s just constructive criticism that, as a man, you’ve got to take it.”

Backstrom remains without a goal in his last 16 games.

Jones explained some of the issues he has with Goodell’s contract extension, the biggest being that he thinks the contract should be approved by all 32 NFL owners.

“I basically feel this extension of Roger should go and be reviewed and approved by all the owners, not just a few of the owners,” Jones said. “The committee that basically negotiates the salary with our commissioner is taking the view, especially the chairman, that they, in a limited group, can complete this agreement.

Two GOATs? Apparently so, according to Miller, who won is lone Super Bowl to date with Manning under center in 2015. nike_bears-407

NFL letter to Jerry Jones accuses him of detrimental conduct, reports say

The NFL has had enough of Jerry Jones.

“Someone who is genuinely concerned ‘that the owners know the truth about the negotiations’ would not deliberately distribute such an outdated document, particularly when he has in his possession drafts that are current and accurately reflect the actual state of negotiations, or threaten to sue the league and its owners if he does not get his way,” the letter said.

A ProFootballTalk report suggested that “multiple owners” have discussed the possibility of trying to force Jones to sell his team, though Cowboys executive VP Stephen Jones, Jerry’s son, found the notion “laughable,” adding (via 103.5 The Fan), “We don’t take it serious.”

The league potentially could revert to a previous approach in which players stay in the locker rooms while the national anthem plays, the Washington Post reported.

The change was made in 2009, requiring players and coaches to be on the field during the anthem. While the current NFL policy does not require players to stand during the anthem, it strongly encourages them to do so.

It is still too early to know what exactly will happen with the policy, but one unidentified owner told the Post that they were “not sure” if a formal vote from the owners would be required, however, the owner indicated that “most owners would support it, particularly if players continue to kneel this season.”

Several other unidentified sources shared the same sentiments around the anthem policy, but also warned that there have been no “detailed discussions” yet because owners did not think it is appropriate to make an in-season change to the policy. There is an annual league meeting in March when the anthem policy issues could be addressed.
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NFL owners being misled in Roger Goodell contract talks, Jerry Jones’ attorney says

In the midst of ongoing conversations surrounding NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s contract extension, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’ attorney has now said NFL owners are being misled about negotiations on Goodell’s extension.

According to the letter, which was obtained through an owner who claims to be “on the fence,” Jones alleges Blank told owners that the six-man committee’s recommendation would be unanimous. However, according to two unidentified ownership sources, the committee is not currently unanimous on Goodell’s contract and Jones is alleging Blank backed off his word of “unanimity” as Goodell’s contract is in it’s final stages.

This letter surfaces after Jones and the league have accused each other of misleading allegations and after Jones reportedly threatened to file a lawsuit against the NFL if Goodell’s contract extension is completed without final review or approval from all 32 of the league’s teams.

Jones also said in the letter that the compensation committee’s consultants called Goodell’s previous contract, “The most one-sided deal they have ever seen.” Goodell’s contract is set to expire at the end of 2018, but the proposed contract extension is through 2024.

The Clippers had dropped 11 of 12, but they overcame a monthlong struggle of closing out opponents, taking the lead for good on a pair of free throws by Lou Williams with 4:11 left in the third quarter.

Los Angeles handed out a season-high 30 assists.

Atlanta matched its biggest lead at seven on Dennis Schroder’s 3-pointer with 7:49 left in the third. But the Hawks fell apart against the more talented Clippers, losing their third straight to drop to 3-15, worst in the Eastern Conference.

Marco Belinelli finished with 20 points and Schroder added 19.

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