Giants’ interest in John Dorsey affected timing of Browns’ decisions

The Cleveland Browns hired John Dorsey as their general manager before the New York Giants could even get a chance to interview him, league sources told ESPN.

After a 14-2 season and demolishing the Dolphins in the divisional round of the 1999-2000 postseason, the Jags looked poised to cruise to the Super Bowl. But the 13-3 Titans had their own ambitions. The Jaguars entered halftime of the AFC Championship Game with a 14-10 lead. Then the Titans crushed them. Quarterback Steve McNair ran one in. Jags quarterback Mark Brunell got sacked for a safety. Derrick Mason took the safety kickoff to the house. And just like that, it was 26-14. The Titans would tack on another touchdown in the fourth, but the damage was done.

The Jaguars would miss the postseason for five subsequent seasons and have won just one playoff game since 1999.

According to the report, Manziel met the terms of a dismissal agreement made with the Dallas County district attorney’s office. Those terms included completing an anger management class, attending a domestic violence impact panel and participating in a program similar to the NFL’s substance abuse program.

The former Heisman Trophy winner and first-round draft pick of the Browns had attempted to continue his career in the CFL after his time in the NFL was a bust.

Although the CFL denied Manziel’s bid to play this season, it left the door open for next year if he is able to fulfill certain requirements set by commissioner Randy Ambrosie in order to be eligible to play.chargers_012

Brian Hoyer shocked by struggles, Brett Favre returns to Green Bay and other NFL news

Much of talk leading up to the NFL action Sunday centered around whether the Cleveland Browns would continue with Brian Hoyer at quarterback or make the switch to first-round pick Johnny Manziel. Hoyer, once believed to have a future in Cleveland, played poorly recently, opening the door for head coach Mike Pettine to make the switch. Hoyer retained the starting job, but another poor performance triggered the debate for another week.

Hoyer completed less than 50 percent of his passes for 140 yards. Worse, he tossed two interceptions, giving him seven total in his last three games against zero touchdowns. After the game, Hoyer relayed to the Cleveland Plain Dealer how surreal the downward turn in his performance has felt.

“It’s crazy how fast things change,” Hoyer said. “Four or five weeks ago, we were talking about contract talks, and now, we’re talking about if I’m even going to be staying here.”

Hoyer certainly has reason to wonder where his future lies. If Manziel provides any kind of spark to the offense, the Browns will likely turn the page on Hoyer for good.

Since leaving the Green Bay Packers in 2008, Brett Favre has only visited the city twice. In each instance, he was a member of the rival Minnesota Vikings and was largely booed by those in attendance. While some animosity remains since his retirement, the time for reconciliation with the franchise is drawing near. Favre took another step towards that eventuality Monday by appearing at a charity event in Green Bay.

Another team sliding down the rankings is San Francisco. The 49ers dropped their second game in as many weeks, this time against a woeful Oakland Raiders team on Sunday. Derek Carr carved up San Francisco’s defense, completing 78.6 percent of his passes for 254 yards and three touchdowns.
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NFL denies Josh Gordon’s reinstatement

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon’s petition for reinstatement has been denied by the NFL after he failed a drug test in March, according to a report from Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. Gordon’s sample, collected in March, tested positive for marijuana and dilute, which has given commissioner Roger Goodell pause in reinstating the receiver after a year-long ban for multiple failed drug tests, according to a report from Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports.

Both the “A” and “B” samples in the NFL-administered drug test in March came back positive for marijuana, though it was below the positive test threshold of 35 nanograms per milliliter. Unfortunately for Gordon, the presence of a diluted sample automatically makes it a positive test.

“I think they’re investigating too much,” John McNesby, president of the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police, said in a radio interview after the incident, via the Buffalo News. “They need to just move on with it. If he does not charge the group of individuals that were there that night, that’s an absolute disrespect to Philadelphia police officers.”

I think Eli Apple and Reggie Ragland would have also presented solid investments in a defense in desperate need of talent (both taken ahead of our pick). As it stands, Billings appears to have both the mindset and physical attributes to make material contributions in Washington from the outset. More than just a run-stuffer and space-occupier, Billings will be a playmaker in the NFL. Besides, what could go wrong with a first-round pick out of Baylor?

Analysis: The desire to get Kelly is understanable considering he’s the top player at his position in the draft this year. But there is a good class of centers in this year’s draft, so Washington could fill that need with a good player later (someone like Nick Martin of Notre Dame comes to mind). Considering that, I love the pick of Billings. It’s been common in a lot of my mock drafts because he’s so adept at stuffing the run and disrupting the pocket, two fatal flaws in Washington’s defense.

“If there’s a pass play most running backs can’t block, Zeke picks up every block, he goes down the field 20 yards to cut-block the safety,” Ohio State safety Tyvis Powell told Ralph Russo of the Associated Press. “In practice we don’t cut block each other, but he has let me know it’s coming down. He comes flying down and he’s telling me, ‘Oooo, Tyvis I got you now.’ I’m like, ‘You’re right.’ When I see him on the next level, I know what it is. He know I know. I know he know I know.”

In an era where fewer running backs get selected early in the NFL Draft, Elliott is considered a surefire first-round pick. That has plenty to do with the burst and evasiveness that led to eye-popping stats — 6.3 yards per carry and 23 touchdowns in 2015 — but his completeness as a running back adds tremendously to his value.

While many running backs are only a weapon when the ball is in their hands, Elliott’s ability to block and keep blitzers off of quarterbacks makes him a player who is valuable to have on the field for every offensive snap.