NFL Network has a segment that they call Around the NFL which basically is just short recaps of news items regarding various teams and players. The extension of Patrick Willis has pretty much stolen the spotlight this week, which means lots of interesting news has kind of slipped through the cracks.
We've got lots of news here regarding Jamarcus Russell, Kevin and Pat Williams, Lawrence Taylor, Jahri Evans, the Cowboys, and Pacman Jones.
The case against Pat and Kevin Williams is particularly interesting since it could have major playoff implications.
Super Bowl XLVII
The first piece of news we'll talk about is the announcement for candidates for Super Bowl 47. The league will make it official after the owners meeting at the end of the month but the host cities have been narrowed down to New York (they've got a shiny new stadium to show off), South Florida (who doesn't want to go to Miami for a Super Bowl?) and Tampa Bay (why reward lazy owners with a rich Superbowl deal?). My guess is that it goes to New York because of the new stadium. Schefter agrees with me (or maybe I agree with him?).
Candidates to host Super Bowl XLVIII are New York, South Florida, and Tampa Bay. just a hunch, but something tells me NY's time is coming.
An announcement on the 2014 Super Bowl site is expected Tuesday May 25 at NFL Spring Meeting. More OT changes also could be enacted then.
Encouraging news for the Santa Clara deal as well, because if we can get a new stadium built there the chances of the 49ers hosting a Super Bowl go way up, and how cool would that be?
Today's big news item is the release of Jamarcus Russell. It's not exactly unexpected given the acquisition of Jason Campbell, but still important.Russell was paid $39 million by the Raiders but only won 7 games as a starter. This is a fairly big shift of opinion from Davis given that he adamantly defended Russell against Kiffin and the disagreement ultimately led to Kiffin being fired.
"He is a great player. Get over it and coach this team on the field," Davis read from a letter he sent Kiffin before the firing. "That is what you were hired to do. We can win with this team."
The writing was on the wall when the Raiders gave Campbell a one year extension through 2011. Maybe Davis really is dead and it's Cable who's running the show.
Earlier today Lawrence Taylor was arrested on charges of rape. Apparently he was also charged with solicitation after a pimp brought a 16 year old girl to his hotel room, so this appears to be a case of statutory rape.
The prosecutor has this to say:
"We have a victim who is 16 years old who has alleged that they had sex," Mr. St. Lawrence said. "She is not allowed under New York laws to have consensual sex. She is traumatized. She's a very young girl."
At a news conference Thursday afternoon, Mr. St. Lawrence said Taylor paid $300 to solicit sex. On the prostitution charge, a misdemeanor, he faces a year maximum in jail. The maximum sentence for third-degree rape, a felony, is four years.
Bail was set at $75,000 by the judge presiding over the case. (Taylor is also still facing prosecution for leaving the scene of an accident). (Is it too early to post the mug shot?)
Yesterday the Saints reached a deal with Jahri Evans that makes him the highest paid guard ever. The Saints and Evans reached a deal on a 7 year deal worth $56.7 million. He'll make $19 million the first year and $25 million over the first three years. Not bad for a fourth round draft pick.
Cowboys and Rams deal?
The Cowboys and Rams are close to agreeing on a deal that would send Alex Barron to the Cowboys and LB Bobby Carpenter to the Rams. Barron was the 19th overall pick by the Rams in 2005 and Carpenter was the 18th overall pick in 2006. When the Cowboys selected Sean Lee it essentially made Carpenter expendable. I think this is a good move for both teams, assuming the deal gets done.
Jones and the Bengals have agreed in principle on a two year deal. The two sides are still haggling over the final numbers but a deal is expected to be signed tonight or tomorrow and Jones is expected to join the Bengals on Monday. He missed all of the 2007 season and most of the 2008 season due to suspensions. He didn't play at all in 2009, so he's obviously going to be rusty. Hope it works out for both him and the Bengals--they seem to like to acquire troubled players as well.
Mike Zimmer seems confident that Jones is rehabilitated.
"We've got a bunch of strong character guys on defense," Mike Zimmer told The Dallas Morning News. "I'm not going to let this kid screw up our chemistry. I don't think he will. He looked me in the eye and shook my hand and said, 'Coach, I just want to play.' He seems very humble. He seems to understand."
Williams vs the NFL
The Williams case (both of them) is moving forward. The judge presiding over the case has said that he wants both sides to have written arguments on his desk by next Wednesday and will have a decision a week after that. If he rules in favor of the NFL it will cripple the Vikings defense. I suspect that if Pat and Kevin are suspended it will also impact Favre's decision to come back.