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Richmond Times Dispatch (Virginia)

 

Roger Goodell has signed a five-year contract extension to remain NFL commissioner, NFL.com and ESPN reported Wednesday, citing a memo sent to team owners from the league's compensation committee.

ESPN reported the new contract could be worth $200 million, or $40 million annually, if the owners approve all the bonuses and all incentives are met. The deal will run through the 2023 season. About 85 percent of the package would be from bonuses.

Goodell, 58 succeeded Paul Tagliabue as commissioner in 2006. Goodell joined the NFL as an intern in 1982.

Goodell's new deal had been a contentious issue throughout the year. One factor in delaying the extension was the debate over NFL player protests during the national anthem.

Saints, Falcons offer clash of standout running backs

ATLANTA — If you like running backs, you've come to the right game.

When the first-place New Orleans Saints face the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night in an NFC South matchup with serious playoff ramifications, the spotlight will be on the guys in the backfield.

All four of them.

The Saints (9-3) boast the league's most dynamic duo. Mark Ingram has rushed for 922 yards and nine touchdowns, while also being on the receiving end of 42 passes from Drew Brees.

But the big story in the Big Easy has been the emergence of rookie Alvin Kamara, who already has more than 1,200 yards running and receiving, along with 11 touchdowns.

"Boom and Zoom" is Ingram's favorite nickname for the backfield tandem, though he went on to say it's not entirely accurate. "You really cannot label one of us," he said. "Both of us have the complete package."

The Falcons (7-5) have their own productive pairing. Devonta Freeman, the league's highest-paid back, and Tevin Coleman had combined for more than 1,500 yards running and receiving, along with 12 touchdowns.

The Saints claimed sole possession of the division lead with a victory over Carolina (8-4) last weekend, and they're two games in front of the Falcons.

Chiefs' Reid suspends Peters for one game

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Marcus Peters chucked an official's flag into the stands, stalked off the field wearing a smile, then ran back onto it without wearing socks when he realized he hadn't been ejected.

He won't have to worry about socks on Sunday.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid suspended the cornerback for their game against Oakland after a series of antics that have humiliated not only Peters but the entire organization.

The latest came in last week's loss to the New York Jets, when a late penalty was called and Peters picked up the flag and flung it into the stands . Peters proceeded to leave the field, assuming that he'd been kicked out of the game, and was evidently undressing when he realized his mistake.

So Peters ran back onto the sideline without wearing socks, only to watch the Chiefs' last-ditch drive fall short in a 38-31 loss — their sixth in the last seven games.

Peters has been selected to the Pro Bowl his first two seasons, and was an All-Pro last year, so his loss even for a week is crucial. Not only did the Raiders' Derek Carr throw for 417 yards and three TDs against the Chiefs in their October matchup, both teams are 6-6 and tied atop the AFC West.

League eyes targeting for video review

NEW YORK — The NFL will look into adding targeting as a specific category for video review.

Troy Vincent, the league's football operations chief, said it is on the agenda to discuss with the competition committee and the players' union after the season.

In responding to questions about helmet-to-helmet hits and players launching to make tackles, Vincent said the NFL has seen targeting reviews "work to a degree" in the college game. He adds that such reviews have been a deterrent in college football, but there are "a bunch of other ramifications that come up with that."

Vincent also notes that coaches, general managers, owners and players are adamant about not wanting players ejected from games unless there is no other option.

Rice notes his lessons at Liberty convocation

Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice said Wednesday that the 2014 domestic-violence incident that cost him his NFL career "uncovered the brutal truth" of his life: that he had sacrificed his duties as a partner, father and Christian to become a better football player.

Speaking at Liberty University's convocation, in one of his most public conversations about his experiences in the years since the release of footage showing him punching his then-fiancee in an Atlantic City, N.J., casino elevator, Rice opened up about his lifelong encounters with violence and his reckoning with them.

"I had it all wrong," Rice, 30, said of his priorities. "I had football, family, then God. Reverse that order. It's supposed to be God, family and then whatever comes after."

Marrone provides charity with meaty gift

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Doug Marrone's love of bologna will end up feeding about 300 people.

The Jacksonville Jaguars coach donated 350 pounds of beef bologna to an organization that distributes food to local charities. It was actually more like 330 pounds after Marrone kept some for himself.

Still, Marrone's odd obsession with the lunch meat has become an interesting — and now benevolent — storyline for the Jaguars (8-4).

"I've probably eaten more bologna than anybody else in the world," said Marrone. Anybody "who's my age."

Marrone, 53, first disclosed his fondness for bologna after an overtime victory against the Los Angeles Chargers last month. Marrone said bologna and cheese sandwiches are his go-to meal after games.

ESPN revealed that Marrone grew up eating the sandwiches and never outgrew them. Marrone even stuck with bologna and cheese through college despite getting razzed by teammates.

Marrone's bologna banter caught the attention of Eric Mittenthal, president of the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council. Mittenthal sent 100 logs of Boar's Head beef bologna to EverBank Field for Marrone and his team.

Marrone opted to donate them instead of passing them around.

Elsewhere

Bengals: The one-game suspension of Cincinnati safety George Iloka was overturned on appeal Wednesday, leaving him with a $36,464.50 fine for his hit to Antonio Brown's head on Monday night.

Iloka and Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster each got a one-game suspension from the NFL in the aftermath of Pittsburgh's 23-20 win at Paul Brown Stadium. Iloka hit Brown in the head while trying to break up his game-tying touchdown catch.

Smith-Schuster was suspended for leveling linebacker Vontaze Burfict with a blindside hit and then taunting him by standing over him. Smith-Schuster has apologized for the taunting.

Bills: Starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor (Virginia Tech) didn't practice Wednesday because of a bruised left knee, though coach Sean McDermott (William & Mary) isn't ready to rule him out from playing against Indianapolis this weekend.

Taylor suffered a bruised patellar tendon on the first play from scrimmage in a 23-3 loss to New England on Sunday. He continued playing but aggravated the injury early in the fourth quarter.

Texans: Houston linebacker Brian Cushing said his 10-game suspension for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs stemmed from the use of an unapproved prescription to treat a mental issue.

Cushing would not divulge what he took or exactly what he sought treatment for, only saying: "there was a good amount of things bothering me in this past offseason, most mentally. And I was getting a prescription medication that I probably shouldn't have been."

Packers: Kevin King's season is over after Green Bay placed the rookie cornerback on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. King was inactive two of the past three games because of the injury that had lingered all season.

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December 7, 2017
 
 
 

 

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