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Rivera Named AP NFL Coach Of The Year Sunday, February 7, 2016 | Time: 1:05 PT |  Reported by
The Facts: Panthers HC Ron Rivera has been named the winner of the 2015 Associated Press NFL Head Coach of the Year award at Saturday night's NFL Honors ceremony in San Francisco.
Diehards Line:It’s the second time in three years that Rivera has won the prize, although it looked like his career might be heading in another direction when the Panthers started the 2014 season with a 3-8-1 record. The Panthers have gone 22-2 since then, however, and a win on Sunday would mean that Rivera won Super Bowls as both a player (the 1985 Bears) and coach on teams that lost just one game on their way to the title. Rivera had 36.5 votes from the 50 voters. Chiefs coach Andy Reid finished second with six nods and Texans coach Bill O’Brien tied Vikings coach Mike Zimmer for third with two votes apiece. Broncos coach Gary Kubiak, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians and Patriots coach Bill Belichick also received votes.
Melvin Gordon Says Recovery From Knee Surgery On Track Saturday, February 6, 2016 | Time: 5:49 PT |  Reported by
The Facts: Gordon had surgery on the knee last month and told Darren Smith of the Mighty 1090 that he expects to be back to full speed in a couple of months. "It's getting better. Rehabbing's going well. I'm not where I need to be right now, but I got a lot of time. As long as I'm ready when it's go time, that's when it matters."
Diehards Line:Gordon said the same during an appearance with the FootballlDiehards on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursday. Gordon’s rookie season wasn’t what the team hoped for when they took him with the 15th overall pick of the 2015 draft. Gordon ran for 641 yards in 14 games and fumbled the ball six times before landing on injured reserve because of a knee injury. Gordon certainly isn't lacking confidence. He owned up to his shortcomings and seems determined to turn things around. Some continuity on the offensive line would help.
Report: Eddie Lacy Played At Close To 260 Pounds Saturday, February 6, 2016 | Time: 5:45 PT |  Reported by
The Facts: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel pegs Lacy's weight as at least 25 pounds heavier than the 234 the Packers listed him as, or at least 259 pounds.
Diehards Line:With the Packers reportedly wanting Lacy to lose 30 pounds, he may actually be north of 260. Lacy weighed 231 at the 2013 Combine before the Packers drafted him in the second round, and the team probably wants him down around that weight again. HC Mike McCarthy has spoken openly about Lacy needing to shape up. The Packers are hoping he’ll be thinner and ready to feast on opposing defenses in 2016.
Dallas Police Open New Investigation Into Johnny Manziel Saturday, February 6, 2016 | Time: 5:37 PT |  Reported by
The Facts: Dallas Police have opened an investigation into last weekend's alleged domestic violence incident involving Manziel. A police statement Friday night said "detectives will thoroughly investigate the case" and that the department considers this to be an ongoing investigation.
Diehards Line:Thursday, police had said they considered the case to be closed and would not file charges against Manziel. That was before his ex-girlfriend, Collen Crowley, alleged that Manziel struck her and dragged her by hair last Friday night or Saturday morning. She was granted an order of protection from Manziel on Friday. Browns owner Jimmy Haslam told reporters Friday that team employees have not been able to reach Manziel. The QB's father said Friday that he fears for his son’s life.
DeMarco Murray, Eagles Heading Toward Staredown? Friday, February 5, 2016 | Time: 6:12 PT |  Reported by
The Facts: The Eagles and Murray appear headed toward a stare-down regarding his future with the organization, according to several sources informed of the situation.
Diehards Line:According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the division boils down to: Murray's unsuccessful 2015 campaign, the Eagles' lack of conviction that he's the right back and the massive contract Murray signed last offseason. Murray hasn't asked to be released or traded, and the Eagles seem -- at this point -- intent on not cutting him. But if he was released, teams like the Seahawks, Cowboys and Raiders (who were interested last offseason) would be interested again. He's currently building a house in Dallas.
Johnny Manziel's Agent Bails On QB Friday, February 5, 2016 | Time: 6:08 PT |  Reported by
The Facts: In the wake of the latest allegations that Manziel abused his girlfriend, Erik Burkhardt released a statement this morning saying he will no longer represent Johnny Football. "It is with deep regret that, after several emotional and very personal discussions with his family, his doctors, and my client himself, I have made the decision to terminate my professional relationship with Johnny Manziel," Burkhardt said.
Diehards Line:Although he wasn't charged in the latest incident, Manziel's girlfriend has obtained a protective order to keep the QB away. And Manziel's father has expressed great concern about his son, suggesting if things don't change the QB will be dead before his next birthday. The Browns, meanwhile, are expected to cut Manziel at the start of the league year on March 9, and Manziel is likely to clear waivers and become a free agent. At that point he’ll need an agent to help him navigate his options, although it seems unlikely at this point that many teams will have any interest. Manziel is increasingly becoming a player no one wants to touch.
Irvin: We Don't Know What DeAndre Hopkins' Ceiling Is Thursday, February 4, 2016 | Time: 5:48 PT |  Reported by
The Facts: Hopkins capped a spectacular 2015 season with a star turn in the Pro Bowl, hauling in a 7-yard touchdown following a 61-yard bomb. NFL Media analyst and Hall of Fame wideout Michael Irvin, Hopkins' coach on Team Irvin, was blown away by the former Clemson standout's performance in practice all week. "We don't know what the ceiling is," Irvin said. "You see the skill set, where he can catch footballs from anyplace in the world. There is no telling what the ceiling can be. He'll be rewriting a lot of records in the NFL."
Diehards Line:Hopkins is the first player ever to produce 100-yard receiving games with four different starting quarterbacks in the same season. Three of those four quarterbacks (Brandon Weeden, Ryan Mallett and T.J. Yates) were either cut by their original team or out of football at some point during the 2015 season. As noted, Hopkins has emerged as the NFL's premier boundary receiver with a contortionist act on the sidelines and in the end zone, aided by huge, strong hands and physicality. It's his relentless effort and route running, however, that gained Seahawks CB Richard Sherman's respect. "He's a dog," Sherman said. "He goes after it every play. He brings it every play. Every down. He's a very unique talent. He's explosive in and out of his breaks. He puts his own flavor on his routes. It's a challenge." Now we'll have to see if the Texans can do anything about that QB situation this offseason.
Report: Rams Have An Eye On Peyton Manning Wednesday, February 3, 2016 | Time: 7:53 PT |  Reported by
The Facts: The Rams have had internal discussions about bringing Manning to Los Angeles should he want to play another season, per a league source.
Diehards Line:As ESPN's Adam Schefter notes, Manning still is under contract to the Broncos for another year, but most around the league do not expect him to return to Denver next season, if he returns at all. Manning still must decide whether he wants to play again, and the Rams still are formulating their quarterback plans. Case Keenum and Nick Foles are currently expected to compete for the starting job in 2016.
Tony Romo To Decide On Surgery In Four Weeks Wednesday, February 3, 2016 | Time: 11:57 PT |  Reported by
The Facts: Romo had a CT scan of his left collarbone last month as part of the process to determine whether he’ll have surgery in an attempt to avoid further injuries after breaking it twice during the regular season. Todd Archer of reports that the CT scan showed good bone growth and that Romo will have the collarbone re-evaluated in four weeks before making a call on surgery.
Diehards Line:Archer also reports that Romo could pass on having the plate implanted and have another operation, called a Mumford procedure, that involves shaving down a portion of the collarbone. If Romo opts for either surgery, the expected recovery time would be six to eight weeks. That should leave him available for organized team activities in May.
Peyton Manning Says HGH Investigation Will Find A Big Fat Nothing Wednesday, February 3, 2016 | Time: 11:56 PT |  Reported by
The Facts: During Monday's Opening Night media extravaganza Manning again bashed the HGH allegations made by Al Jazeera America. "I can't speak for anybody else," Manning said of the story involving several professional athletes. "I've addressed this before. It's why I welcome this NFL investigation, because I know the rules of the NFL and I respect the rules, they're important to me. And so what this report alleges that I did is simply not true. It's fabricated. It's junk. It's garbage. I could give you a long list of other words for it. I can guarantee this investigation what it will find is an absolute big, fat nothing. That's how I feel about it."
Diehards Line:The league told NFL Network last week their review of the allegations "is ongoing and comprehensive. ... As to timing, the review will not be completed before the Super Bowl." Manning was named by an Al Jazeera America report that suggested the legendary quarterback had HGH sent to his wife, Ashley, for his personal use. Manning's agent, Tom Condon, did not deny that Ashley received the supplements, and Manning confirmed he was a patient at the Guyer Institute, where Charlie Sly, an intern pharmacist who was cited in the Al Jazeera report, worked. Sly later recanted his claims. Manning previously said that he only went to the Guyer Institute to use the Hyperbaric chamber and to receive blood flow treatment. Manning was asked Monday night by the New York Post's Bart Hubbuch if he would allow the NFL to have access to the Guyer Institute records as part of their investigation -- information the league would not have the power to subpoena. "They can have whatever they want," he said.