Browse Month by July 2016
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

End Around: Ryan Fitzpatrick may be NFL’s Billy Hoyle

Because Ryan Fitzpatrick getting videobombed is as good as it gets.

Welcome to the Around The NFL End Around, a weekly look back at the world of the National Football League. Dan Hanzus serves as your guide.

Never change, Bill
Part of me would love to see Jimmy Garoppolo light it up for a month now just so Belichick has to keep answering questions like this. All I ask for is one high-octane podium meltdown from The Hooded One before it’s all over. Please, please, please let me get what I want.

Days Without A Freak Injury: 0
Vikings third-string quarterback Taylor Heinicke is not on the field for the start of training camp for a reason he hopes will not end up being the most notable aspect of his NFL career.

“I was locked out of my house after a late-night movie,” Heinicke said, according to the Pioneer Press. “I came back and there’s no one home, and I’m trying to nudge the door a little. It was one of those double doors. I thought it just needed a little nudge.

“Me and my buddy were getting it going a little, but when I put my foot to the door, my foot kind of slipped and it went through a window. It was just kind of a freak accident. I’m very embarrassed, but I’m just excited getting going with rehab and trying to get this going as soon as possible.”

Hey, could always be worse. Right, O.J.?

Andre Johnson’s AFC South odyssey now includes a third stop.

Less than 24 hours after Titans coach Mike Mularkey was quoted as saying Johnson “still looks like he can play,” Johnson is set to become a Titan.

The former University of Miami star receiver will make the jump to his third AFC South team, signing a two-year deal with Tennessee after spending 12 seasons in Houston and one in Indianapolis, the Titans announced.

After laughing off the Texans’ expectation that he would only catch 40 passes in 2015, Johnson caught 41 balls for 503 yards and four touchdowns in his lone season in Indianapolis. Johnson showed signs of Father Time finally catching up to him, failing to separate from defensive backs and falling down the depth chart as the Colts’ disappointing season progressed. It was a stark reminder that even the best athletes who seemingly don’t age can just as quickly get knocked down by the calendar.

Johnson was dumped by the Colts in the offseason and retirement seemed to be the next step for the 35-year-old, even after he promised he’d be playing somewhere in 2016.

New Orleans Saints

Browns owner Jimmy Haslam says he trusts Hue Jackson on Cody Kessler

“[Kessler] almost completed 68 percent of his passes,” he said shortly after the Browns drafted Kessler. “The guy has had a tremendous career. I understand where everybody is coming from, but you’ve got to trust me on this one. This is a guy that we feel very comfortable with, and we think he’s going to have an opportunity to ascend.”

And this draft was about more than a third-round quarterback. The Browns moved around the draft board, and when it was over they had taken 14 players this year, in addition to the two first- and second-round picks they’ll have in 2017.

“We got a lot of players,” Haslam pointed out. “When you count the defensive back (Jamar Taylor) we got from Miami [in a trade], we got 15 players and I think what’s equally important is that we positioned ourselves well for the next two drafts, so we’re excited.”

Perhaps more noteworthy: Everyone in the organization was on the same page, which isn’t something we’ve been able to say in recent years.

“The most important thing, and we had several more members of our broader family here, is that we all noted just how well everybody worked together,” Haslam said. “The chemistry was good. There was lots of debate, vigorous healthy debate but the group worked together extremely well, that’s what made us feel best.

“They followed the process, they followed the plan and time will tell how good our draft is. You guys have seen a lot of drafts and some are rated high and don’t’ end up so well and vice versa. But we felt good how everybody worked together and how they followed the process and stayed on plan.”

There aren’t much in the way of expectations for the Browns to suddenly turn things around in 2016, but if Haslam allows the front office and coaching staff to lay the groundwork for change, that’s a great start.

Marshawn Lynch isn’t the only player who the Seahawks will lose to retirement this year. Wide receiver Ricardo Lockette has also decided to hang up his cleats.

According to, Lockette will make his retirement official during a press conference on Thursday.

Lockette’s decision to retire comes just six months after he nearly died on a field in Dallas.

During a Week 8 game against the Cowboys in November, Lockette took a terrifying hit while covering a punt. After taking the hit, Lockette went straight to the ground and didn’t move for several minutes.
Maliek Collins was selected in the third round to provide pressure from the interior of the defensive line. The Cowboys didn’t get an edge rusher until the fourth round with Charles Tapper. He may get a baptism by fire while Lawrence and Gregory serve their suspensions, since bringing back Greg Hardy isn’t an option. The 2013 All-Pro wore out his welcome by being a distraction without producing as expected on the field. Hardy had six sacks in 12 games.

New York Giants: Offensive Line

New Orleans Saints

Ezekiel Elliott’s father defends the Cowboys rookie after assault allegations

Early Friday morning, Deadspin discovered that Elliott’s reported ex-girlfriend, Tiffany Thompson, posted a series of photos to Instagram that appeared to show injuries sustained due to the alleged domestic abuse. Elliott was not arrested.

TMZ acquired a police report, which described the allegations that were made against Elliott:
The female accuser filed a report with the Columbus PD in Ohio Friday morning … saying she was assaulted by Elliott — who she claims is her former live-in boyfriend — while sitting in the driver’s seat of her parked vehicle.

The officers who responded to the scene say the woman claims she had pain in her wrist and a red mark — but declined medical treatment.
Cops contacted Elliott — who denied striking the woman. He also said he never lived with her.

According to the report, cops also spoke with 4 witnesses — but they all told cops they didn’t see an assault. One of the witnesses was in the car at the time of the alleged incident.

Deadspin then obtained the audio of the 911 call. In that call, the woman told the dispatcher that the accused had “been doing it for the past five days” and he hit her “all over.”

Though Elliott wasn’t arrested, the team should obviously be concerned by the serious allegations made against its No. 4 overall pick. Up to this point, the Cowboys and Elliott had enjoyed a successful start to their relationship, with members of the team talking up Elliott so much that they actually expressed belief that he would improve the defense, despite the fact that Elliott plays running back.
Star receiver Dez Bryant even said the team wouldn’t haze Elliott like most rookies, because they were depending on him. Elliott hasn’t played a single down in the NFL and he’s already leading the league in jersey sales.

According to The Star-Telegram, the NFL will investigate if Elliott violated its personal conduct policy.

Even though the players named in Al Jazeera’s performance-enhancing drugs report — the one that named Peyton Manning — sent the NFL written affidavits, the league still reportedly wants to interview those players. As ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Friday, the NFL rejected those affidavits and demanded interviews at training camp.