Tom Brady absent for start of Patriots’ voluntary OTAs

Tom Brady’s offseason absence will continue.

The Patriots quarterback won’t be at the opening of the team’s voluntary organized team activities on Monday, ESPN reported, citing an unidentified source.

“Even without those fines, this is going to be tough on the players, and I want a chance to speak with the coaches and other players to get feedback on this policy and to build on the good work and momentum that we have built up on these issues of social justice, on legislation, and all the things that we can do. I don’t think that this policy will interfere with that at all.

“I have a really good relationship with the players, and I hope we can keep that going and I trust that we will. I’m so proud of our players and their efforts to date. I think that is the most important thing to get across. I could not be more proud of the guys.”

Hooker tore his ACL and his MCL in an October 22 game against the Jaguars during his rookie season.

The 15th overall pick in 2017, Hooker played in seven games with six starts. He made three interceptions and four pass breakups.

Carolina is home to many who cheer on the Steelers, and Tepper has pointed out the parallels to the Panthers’ fan base, but the sale of the Charlotte’s team redefines “Pittsburgh South.”

Tepper is coming off seeing MIke Tomlin turn the Steelers into a steady force, even though the team has fallen short of winning a second Super Bowl with their longtime coach going on a decade. The Panthers have at least been close to the level of being championship-caliber every season under Rivera.

But the Panthers also have teetered on becoming what they were under John Fox a boom-or-mediocre team in the NFC South from one season to the next. Fox was 63-49 in his first seven seasons, only a game and a half shy of Rivera in the same span, with one less playoff appearance and as many NFC championships.ravens_152

Case Keenum makes immediate impression on Emmanuel Sanders

For the first time in three years, the Broncos won’t have a quarterback competition. Receiver Emmanuel Sanders likes it that way.

“You can sit back and say we’re all professional football players and you’ve got to deal with that situation, but at the same time, obviously you can’t gain the same chemistry,” Sanders said. “You don’t have the same mindset. You have to talk to two different quarterbacks. When you’re going into individual routes, you have to go to one guy and then go with the next guy. You don’t really gain that chemistry. You’re not maximizing the opportunity. Now we’re maximizing the opportunity, and hopefully it pays off.”

His base salary is dropping from $3.15 million to $2.575 million, with some incentives added back in to allow him to recoup some of the money. It cleared $500,000 in cap space.

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges stemming from allegations that he attacked his then-girlfriend in their home in February.

A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for May 17, at which point Foster’s former girlfriend, Elissa Ennis, may testify under oath.

Ennis has recanted the allegations that led to the domestic violence case. Foster has been charged with domestic violence with an allegation that he inflicted great bodily injury, forcefully attempting to prevent a victim from reporting a crime, and possession of an assault weapon.

The 28-year-old woman initially told police that Foster dragged her by her hair, physically threw her out of their house, and punched her in the head eight to 10 times. She later issued a statement through her attorney saying her injuries were the result of a fight with another woman.broncos_028_7fd1bfa88f65359e-180x180

Harrison Smith: Defense has to learn from loss to Eagles

The Vikings defense allowed the fewest points and yards of any unit in the league last season and that was a major reason why they found themselves in the NFC title game against the Eagles in January.

That would be a stark contrast to what they had built on the outside, where for years the prototype of 6-foot-2, 210 pound wideouts was all they ever brought into camp.

Austin, paired up with Cole Beasley and Ryan Switzer would make three receivers under 5-foot-10 for Jason Garrett and Scott Linehan to play with.

That vision didn’t last long, as less than two hours after acquiring Austin, the Cowboys shipped off 2017 fourth-round pick Ryan Switzer to Oakland to reunite with special teams coach Rich Bisaccia.

Last year Gumbel and Green were considered the No. 2 CBS team, behind Jim Nantz-Tony Romo and Ian Eagle-Dan Fouts.

Warner may be miffed that the tiebreaker wasn’t skill or experience but the fact that Witten played for the Dallas Cowboys. Never mind that Witten never played in a conference championship game or a Super Bowl. The Cowboys are still America’s Team, and they now have three former players who are perched in some of the most prominent spots in broadcasting, with Troy Aikman as the lead analyst at FOX (for Sunday and Thursday), Tony Romo as the lead analyst at CBS, and Witten as the lead analyst for Monday Night Football.

Sara Blackwell, who represents Davis and Ware, sent the NFL a settlement proposal: If commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL’s lawyers agree to a four-hour meeting with her clients to prepare a set of regulations for all NFL cheer teams, they will settle all claims for $1 each.

Earlier this week, the NFL (though not Goodell himself) agreed to meet with the group, and Blackwell plans to suspend the complaints for now.

Many have argued that the NFL just shouldn’t employ cheerleaders anymore.broncos_129_3d6b7eb78b9eb98d-180x180

Kentucky Derby 2018 weather: Is rain forecast for Saturday’s race?

One year after Always Dreaming cruised to victory over a muddy Churchill Downs track, could rain dampen the 144th renewal of the Kentucky Derby ?

The answer, according Accuweather.com, is maybe.

The Ravens are hoping Flacco can rebound in 2018 from three straight mediocre seasons by surrounding him with better offensive talent. Three wide receivers were signed in free agency (Michael Crabtree, John Brown and Willie Snead), and South Carolina tight end Hayden Hurst was drafted earlier in the first round at No. 25.

Still, it’s fair to wonder whether the additions are enough to make Flacco the difference-maker he was when he led Baltimore to victory in Super Bowl 47. At age 33 and with a mounting injury history, the odds are against it. Plus, the Ravens now have a viable way to get out of the $63 million in base salary remaining on the final three years of Flacco’s contract, which is set to expire after the 2021 campaign.

The wideout depth chart boasts Josh Gordon, Landry and Corey Coleman. The team also took a huge risk on fourth-round rookie Antonio Callaway. In addition, the offensive line could struggle after Joe Thomas retired in March.

Sometimes those types of things escalate, but more often they’re just cyclical. Especially when the two depend on each other for continued success.

Could it be that this is the year all of this does matter, and I’m wrong when I say none of it does? Sure, it’s always possible. But I doubt it.

There’s also the stark difference between how the two men approach life. Brady may seem like a robot, but he’s passionate. It’s why you often see him screaming and fiery.

Brady still sees himself as that player who was snubbed by the NFL and drafted in the sixth round. It’s still his motivation, his warp core. In many ways, Brady, who has played 18 seasons and in eight Super Bowls, is a man who is all heart and emo wrapped in an indestructible shell.tigers_073-115x115