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Antonio Brown posts apology to Patriots owner Robert Kraft

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Wide receiver Antonio Brown posted an apology to New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft on Instagram Tuesday.

Brown wrote: “Mr. Kraft I apologize sincerely to you and your organization! All I wanted to be was an asset to the organization; sorry for the bad media and the drama ! Thank you sincerely AB”

The Patriots had released Brown on Sept. 20, just 11 days after signing him.

Two days later, Brown called out Kraft and Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, comparing their legal issues with his own.

Brown referred to Kraft’s ongoing case in Florida in which he was charged with solicitation for allegedly receiving a sex act at a massage parlor and Roethlisberger’s four-game suspension in 2010 for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy based on a sexual assault accusation.

“Kraft got caught in the parlor AB speculations fired different strokes different folks clearly,” Brown said in a now-deleted tweet.

Brown’s apology Tuesday comes five days after he met with the NFL to address sexual assault allegations against him. That meeting lasted about eight hours, and there could be follow-ups before a decision is made about his future, a source told ESPN’s Josina Anderson.

Brown has filed eight grievances against the Oakland Raiders and Patriots, a source told ESPN’s Dan Graziano. He is seeking $39.775 million in lost salary, bonuses and guaranteed money.



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Panthers rule out Greg Olsen for Falcons game

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Carolina Panthers on Friday ruled out three-time Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen for Sunday’s game at Atlanta with a concussion.

Olsen suffered the concussion on a helmet-to-helmet hit by Washington Redskins defensive end Ryan Anderson in this past week’s embarrassing 29-21 loss that led to the firing of head coach Ron Rivera two days later.

Anderson was ejected and is expected to be fined by the league.

Olsen said earlier this week he was feeling better, but he didn’t practice all week. He will be replaced by Ian Thomas and Chris Manhertz.

Thomas stepped up last season as a rookie when Olsen was out with a foot injury. The fourth-round pick out of Indiana had 36 catches on 49 targets for 333 yards and two touchdowns. He has only five catches for 28 yards this season, but interim coach Perry Fewell feels is not concerned about the tight end position with Olsen out.

“I feel very good about it,” Fewell said. “Those guys have been pretty consistent this week. Those guys have really busted their heinie this week.”

Olsen was third on the team in receptions with 48 catches for 552 yards and two touchdowns.

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Browns expect to activate tight end David Njoku for Bengals game

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The Cleveland Browns are expected to activate tight end David Njoku for Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals, a source told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

Njoku has not played since suffering a wrist injury in Week 2 against the New York Jets. He was designated to return from injured reserve Nov. 20 and was nearing the 21-day deadline to be activiated to the roster.

Before the injury, Njoku had four catches for 37 yards and a touchdown.

He caught 56 passes for 639 yards and four scores in 2018.

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The big questions surrounding Josh Shaw’s suspension for gambling

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An NFL player was suspended indefinitely last week for betting on league games on multiple occasions this year.

It is the first publicly reported violation of a major professional sports league’s gambling policy since a 2018 ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court allowed states other than Nevada to offer legal sports betting.

Arizona Cardinals defensive back Josh Shaw was suspended on Nov. 29 for betting on league games on multiple occasions this year, according to an NFL investigation.

Shaw, who has been on injured reserved since August and has not played this season, is appealing the suspension. Shaw’s violation is the first test for the NFL in the evolving sports betting landscape in the U.S., where 13 states (including Nevada) are now in the bookmaking business.

Here’s a look at what happened and what’s next:


Q: What and when did Shaw bet?

On Sunday, Nov. 10, Shaw placed what was characterized as a low four-figure wager on a three-team parlay featuring the second-half results of three Week 10 games. The bet was made over the counter at a Las Vegas sportsbook operated by Caesars Entertainment. On one of the legs of his parlays, he took the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the second half against the Cardinals, Shaw’s team. The other two legs of the parlay have not been revealed to ESPN.

Q: Did he win?

A: No. The Buccaneers failed to cover the second-half spread against the Cardinals.

Q: How did Shaw get caught?

A: Shaw bet openly at a sportsbook in Las Vegas, signing up for a Caesars rewards card and listing “professional football player” as his occupation. Within minutes of Shaw betting on the NFL, Caesars Sportsbook employees flagged the issue and contacted the Nevada Gaming Control Board and subsequently the NFL.

Q: Did Shaw use inside information to make his bet, and were any games compromised?

A: According to the NFL, he did not have inside information and no games were compromised. The NFL also found that Shaw’s teammates and coaches were unaware of his betting.

A parlay wager, because it requires multiple correct picks to win, has not typically been associated with point shaving or game fixing.

Q: Is it worse because he bet against his own team?

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