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Police youth league cuts ties with Antonio Brown, returns donation after ‘rift’

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HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — The Hollywood (Florida) Police Department announced that their athletic league has severed ties with wide receiver Antonio Brown and returned a donation given by Brown following an obscene outburst toward the police and the mother of his children on Monday.

Brown posted a live feed of the encounter, which also included his children, on Instagram, and it was later picked up by TMZ. In it, he can be heard using explicit language and calling the police officers explicit names.

The Hollywood Police Department released a statement following the video announcing the Police Athletic League’s separation from Brown. According to the department, recent events that have necessitated police intervention have caused an “irreparable rift” between the department, the Police Athletic League and Brown.

“We made the decision to sever ties between Mr. Brown and the Hollywood Police Athletic League,” public information officer Christian Lata wrote in the statement. “We did not want our youth to be subject to this type of behavior nor emulate the actions of Mr. Brown.”

The police responded to a domestic disturbance at Brown’s Hollywood residence on Monday, and Lata wrote in the department’s statement that Brown used “very degrading language in front of his young children.”

Brown previously donated to the athletic league’s 7-on-7 football league, but the police department said it returned that donation on Jan. 9.

“We will not take money from a donor that we cannot have our youth be proud of or represent our organization,” Lata wrote.

Brown was also given a trespass warning for the Police Athletic League property because the department “did not want him to continue to affect our youth nor influence them in a negative way.”

Brown responded to the department’s statement on Twitter.

Brown wasn’t on an active roster for most of the 2019 season. He was released from the Oakland Raiders after the preseason following public demands. He was active for one game with the New England Patriots but was released shortly after amid sexual assault allegations. The former Pittsburgh Steelers star recently had a workout with the New Orleans Saints, which he later called a publicity stunt on social media.



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Tom Brady’s hypothetical NFL retirement gifts

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Longtime New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady wasn’t welcomed to the NFL by cheering masses and an on-stage hug from commissioner Paul Tagliabue — Brady was the 199th pick in 2000 — but he certainly deserves to eventually leave the league like a rock star.

We’re talking about a G.O.A.T. (GOing Away Tour) for the G.O.A.T.

New York Yankees great Derek Jeter got one. In the NBA, Dwyane Wade did a jersey swap tour and the late, great Kobe Bryant got ovations and mementos throughout his last season. Everybody knows the NFL doesn’t do the cheesy-gift, thanks-for-the-memories thing, but wouldn’t it be the perfect way to say goodbye?



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How much will free agency reshape Saints’ defense? – New Orleans Saints Blog

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METAIRIE, La. — The New Orleans Saints’ defense doesn’t need an overhaul.

It ranked 11th in the NFL in yards allowed in 2019 — its best finish in six years. And it had three players named to either the Pro Bowl or first-team All-Pro teams in end Cameron Jordan, linebacker Demario Davis and cornerback Marshon Lattimore.

But depending on how much the Saints choose to pony up in free agency, this unit could look significantly different in 2020.

Five of the nine guys who played the most snaps on defense last year are unrestricted free agents: safety Vonn Bell, cornerbacks Eli Apple and P.J. Williams, linebacker A.J. Klein and tackle David Onyemata.

Three other veterans are due lofty salaries in 2020 that could affect their roster status: cornerbacks Janoris Jenkins and Patrick Robinson and linebacker Kiko Alonso.

Here is a breakdown of their importance to the team — and how the Saints might replace them if needed:

Safety Vonn Bell

The 25-year-old should be a high priority to retain, but he might also command a high salary on the open market after he had such a strong 2019 season.

The Saints could potentially decide to let Bell go since they’re slammed against the salary cap (they have about $10.8 million in cap space) — and they have an obvious replacement available in C.J. Gardner-Johnson, who was so impressive as a rookie in 2019. But the Saints have always done a good job of featuring three safeties on defense, and Bell has emerged as one of their better disruptors.

The 5-foot-11, 205-pound Bell led the NFL with five fumble recoveries last season in just 13 games played. Then he added a sixth in the playoff loss to Minnesota. Bell also tied a career high with 89 tackles despite missing the final three games of the regular season with a knee injury. He played all but one snap in those first 13 games. And he finally reeled in his first career interception.

Bell has steadily improved each year since New Orleans drafted him in the second round out of Ohio State in 2016. He has settled in as a strong safety, though he showed the versatility to play both spots early in his career. He has had at least 83 tackles in each of his four seasons. And he has nine career sacks and seven career forced fumbles, including the playoffs.

Cornerback Eli Apple

Apple’s value is tough to peg, both in New Orleans and on the open market. The 24-year-old has shown a lot of potential, but also some inconsistency, ever since he was drafted by the New York Giants with the 10th overall pick in 2016.

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Jets GM Joe Douglas can start roster makeover with $25 million in cap cuts – New York Jets Blog

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Joe Douglas’ first offseason as the New York Jets’ general manager will begin in earnest when he begins to trim the fat from the roster. Soon he will jettison a handful of familiar names, most of them high-salaried players no longer worth their contracts.

The anticipated cuts will create at least $25.1 million in salary-cap room. Currently, they have $49.7 million in space, according to overthecap.com. It will allow the Jets to be active in free agency, although they won’t have as much flexibility as last offseason.

A breakdown of the top players on the chopping block:

Likely cuts

Trumaine Johnson, cornerback

Current cap charge: $15 million | Dead money if cut: $12 million | Savings: $3 million

The amount of the “dead” charge is borderline criminal, but this is what happens when a team acts out of desperation and throws crazy money at an overrated player — in a poorly structured contract, no less. Johnson, who signed for five years, $72.5 million, will walk away with $34 million for two mediocre and injury-plagued seasons. The Jets have to cut him by the third day of the league year (March 20) or else his $11 million salary for 2020, guaranteed for injury only, will become fully guaranteed. Adding insult to injury, they can’t use the June 1 designation because there are no June 1 cuts in the final year of the collective bargaining agreement. It would’ve allowed them to spread the cap hit over two years.

Brian Winters, guard

Current cap charge: $7.3 million | Dead money if cut: $0 | Savings: $7.3 million

Emotionally, this is a tough one because Winters is so well-respected in the organization, but his performance in recent years suffered because of injuries. He played only nine games last season because of shoulder surgery, probably nine games more than he should’ve played. Instead of succumbing to a preseason injury, he refused to sit until the pain was unbearable. The Jets need tough guys like Winters, but it’s time to say goodbye because of age (29), economics and performance. He has only one year left on his contract, which was structured in a way that allows them to wipe it completely off the books.

Avery Williamson, linebacker

Current cap charge: $8.5 million | Dead money if cut: $2 million | Savings: $6.5 million

You could make an argument to keep Williamson (assuming he has recovered from ACL surgery), but the Jets are looking at the cap implications. Because they overpaid last year for C.J. Mosley ($17.5 million cap charge), the Jets would have $26 million of the cap devoted to two inside linebackers — way too much. They shopped Williamson last preseason, but that plan was aborted when he suffered a season-ending knee injury.

They expect Mosley (groin surgery) to be healthy for training camp, which reduces Williamson’s value. They can save money by replacing him with Neville Hewitt (free agent) or James Burgess Jr. Williamson has only one year left on his deal, but his signing-bonus proration will remain on the cap. There’s no sense of urgency because there are no hard deadlines contained in his contract.

Darryl Roberts, cornerback

Current cap charge: $6 million | Dead money if cut: $0 | Savings: $6 million

Roberts logged more snaps (defense and special teams) than any corner on the team, but he didn’t play at a high enough level to justify the $6 million. The clock is ticking. They must make a decision by the fifth day of the league year (March 22), when $2 million of his $5 million salary becomes fully guaranteed.

Josh Bellamy, wide receiver

Current cap charge: $2.3 million | Dead money if cut: $0 | Savings: $2.3 million

He’ll be a 31-year-old special-teamer coming off shoulder surgery. They can get a minimum-salaried player to fill that role.

On the bubble

Nate Hairston, cornerback

Current cap charge: $2.1 million | Dead money if cut: $0 | Savings: $2.1 million

Hairston received an automatic $1.4 million salary bump because he qualified for a proven performance escalator, based on playing time. Ironically, it could work against him. Hairston, acquired in a preseason trade, never clicked with defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. As a result, he was leapfrogged by pretty much every corner on the depth chart.

Jonotthan Harrison, center

Current cap charge: $2.25 million | Dead money if cut: $0 | Savings: $2.25 million

They’d be nuts to cut Harrison, but stranger things have happened. While he might not be the long-term answer at center, he has value because of his position flexibility and modest cap charge.

It’s complicated

Quincy Enunwa, wide receiver

Current cap charge: $7.8 million | Dead money if cut: TBD | Savings: TBD

Enunwa’s career-threatening neck injury creates major uncertainty. Because of potential cap ramifications, the Jets might have to carry him for 2020 even if he can’t play. Here’s why:

Enunwa’s $6 million salary, which becomes fully guaranteed on March 22, already is guaranteed for injury. So is $4.1 million of his $7.8 million salary in 2021. If he’s released with a failed physical, he will be entitled to $10.1 million in injury guarantees, which would count against the 2020 cap (an $11.9 million hit). If he’s deemed healthy by the Jets and cut for “skill,” he could file an injury grievance if he disagrees with the team’s medical evaluation. The Jets are no stranger to injury grievances (see: Kelechi Osemele and Luke Falk).

Some believe this could play out like the Kam Chancellor situation with the Seattle Seahawks. He suffered a severe neck injury in 2017, but remained on the physically-unable-to-perform list for the 2018 season because the cost of releasing him would’ve been a cap killer. The Seahawks waited until 2019 to cut him. Bottom line for the Jets: Whether they keep Enunwa or cut him, they probably won’t realize any immediate cap savings. One source predicted the Jets-Enunwa matter will get messy.

Won’t be cut, but …

Le’Veon Bell, running back

Current cap charge: $15.5 million | Dead money if cut: $19 million | Savings: -$3.5 million

They won’t cut Bell; the cap hit is prohibitive. The better question is, will they trade him? The organization has come to the realization that, because of his massive salary, the chances of a trade are remote. To create a market, they’d have to be willing to pay a chunk of his 2020 salary ($13.5 million in total guarantees). Even then, the return would be minimal, probably a Day 3 draft pick. The Jets, who felt Bell gained weight and lost explosiveness as the season went on, have to make it work for another year.

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