TIME NFL

Former NFLer Says the League Should Permit Pot

Former Denver Bronco Nate Jackson speaks during a cannabis industry expo in Denver, March 4, 2015.
Brennan Linsley—AP Former Denver Bronco Nate Jackson speaks during a cannabis industry expo in Denver, March 4, 2015.

A former tight end says pot may be a safer alternative to prescription pain meds

Former Denver Broncos tight end Nate Jackson said Wednesday that he thinks the NFL will eventually allow players to use marijuana.

“They’re aware that probably over half of their players smoke weed,” Jackson said at a marijuana business conference, in remarks reported by the Associated Press. “They’ve been doing it since they were teenagers. The fact that they’ve been doing it that whole time and still made it to the NFL and are able to satisfy the demands of very, very strict employers on a daily basis means that their marijuana use is in check.”

Jackson argued the NFL would eventually change its policy because, he said, the drug is a safer alternative for injured players looking to medicate than highly addictive prescription pain pills. “I feel like I exited the game with my mind intact,” said Jackson, who played six seasons for the Broncos. “And I credit that to marijuana in a lot of ways and not getting hooked on these pain pills that are recklessly distributed in the league when a guy gets an injury.”

An NFL spokesman said that “at this time, the medical advisers to our drug program tell us that there is no need for medical marijuana to be prescribed to an NFL player.”

MORE: The Rise of Fake Pot

[AP]

TIME Football

NFL Salary Cap Hits $143.28 Million for 2015

An NFL shield logo is painted on the field before the game between the Detroit Lions and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Detroit on Nov. 24, 2013.
Mark Cunningham—Getty Images An NFL shield logo is painted on the field before the game between the Detroit Lions and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Detroit on Nov. 24, 2013.

Teams must be under the 2015 salary cap by March 10, when the new league year officially begins

The NFL’s salary cap for 2015 has officially been set at $143.28 million, the league announced Monday.

This is the second straight year in which the NFL’s salary cap jumped by $10 million. The 2014 salary cap was $133 million.

According to OverTheCap.com, the current leaders in estimated cap space are the Jacksonville Jaguars ($68.2 million), Oakland Raiders ($55.4 million), Cleveland Browns ($53.7 million), New York Jets ($51.4 million) and Indianapolis Colts ($45.2 million).

The new league year will officially begin March 10, which also marks the beginning of free agency. Teams must be under the 2015 salary cap by this date and have submitted any qualifying offers to restricted free agents.

Clubs must designate franchise or transition players by 3 p.m. CT on Monday. Negotiations may begin with unrestricted free agents on March 7.

Franchise tag values based on position were also announced.

This article originally appeared on SI.com.

TIME NFL

Cleveland Browns Refresh Logo by Simply Brightening Orange Helmet

Cleveland Browns v Baltimore Ravens
Larry French—Getty Images The Cleveland Browns warm up before the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on Dec. 28, 2014

For the Cleveland Browns life is all about orange.

The Browns unveiled a new logo today, tweaking the helmet over words logo they have used recently by giving the helmet a different orange color and adding brown to the facemask. The team also announced that it will follow up the fresh branding with new uniforms, which are set to be introduced April 14.

Ahead of the new logo rollout, some expected Cleveland to use an actual logo, something different from an orange helmet. History even had fans wondering if we might see a return of Brownie the Elf. Instead, we received just a different orange helmet than in the past.

“Our updated helmet logo is reflective of today’s modern Cleveland,” the team said in a statement. “The design honors the past while evolving into the future. The iconic brown and white stripes stand tall over the orange helmet — a new orange color that matches the passion of the Dawg Pound.”

The new brown facemask is said to represent the “strength and toughness” of Cleveland.

While the new orange is “brighter and richer,” the brown color remains unchanged. The wordmark of Cleveland Browns that sits under the helmet comes in a bolder font than before.

This, the 30th anniversary of the Dawg Pound, was reason enough to change that group’s logo, too. The old-school animal face was refreshed with a modern, growling dog over the words Dawg Pound, all set in a box full of the new orange.

Don’t expect any major changes for the helmet. While we’ll see the brighter orange mostly on our television screens replacing the older orange helmet, the April uniform reveal will continue to give us a logo-less helmet.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME NFL

Marshawn Lynch Files Trademark for ‘I’m Just Here So I Don’t Get Fined’

Super Bowl XLIX Media Day Fueled by Gatorade
Christian Petersen—Getty Images Marshawn Lynch addresses the media at Super Bowl Media Day inside U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix on Jan. 27, 2015

Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch filed a trademark last week for the phrase, “I’m just here so I don’t get fined,” Mike Baker of The Seattle Times reports.

The phrase was made famous during Super Bowl media day when Lynch answered every question with the phrase to avoid a fine by the NFL.

Lynch was fined $100,000 for not complying with the league’s media policy earlier last season and often repeats the same phrase in interviews.

Last year, Lynch answered questions with, “I’m just about that action, boss.” He applied for a trademark for that phrase, and now sells items with “About That Action Boss” on his website. Lynch first trademarked “Beast Mode” in 2008, after his rookie season.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME NFL

Chargers and Raiders Propose Joint Los Angeles Stadium

Charles Woodson #24 of the Oakland Raiders congratulated Antonio Gates #85 of the San Diego Chargers after the Chargers defeated the Oakland Raiders 13-6 in the game at Qualcomm Stadium on Nov. 16, 2014 in San Diego, Calif.
Donald Miralle—Getty Images Charles Woodson #24 of the Oakland Raiders congratulated Antonio Gates #85 of the San Diego Chargers after the Chargers defeated the Oakland Raiders 13-6 in the game at Qualcomm Stadium on Nov. 16, 2014 in San Diego, Calif.

Chargers and Raiders Propose Joint Los Angeles Stadium

The San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders are pursuing the possibility of building a joint stadium in the Los Angeles area, the teams announced on Thursday.

The plan would be to build a $1.7 billion stadium in Carson that they would share, according to the Los Angeles Times. The venue would be privately financed.

Both teams will continue to look to get a deal done for new stadiums in their home markets and are looking for public subsidies, according to the Times. From the joint statement:

We are pursuing this stadium option in Carson for one straightforward reason: If we cannot find a permanent solution in our home markets, we have no alternative but to preserve other options to guarantee the future economic viability of our franchises.

The teams said they understand the NFL’s rules for relocation and “respect the right of the NFL’s owners to decide on all Los Angeles-related relocation issues.” All relocations most be approved by three-fourths of the league’s owners.

Both teams are currently in year-to-year leases in their home stadiums and have long been the subject of relocation talk.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME NFL

Family Blames Seahawks for Dad’s Death

But they're only making fun

A Washington state man’s family used the obituary they wrote in honor of the late husband, father and grandfather as an opportunity to take a swipe at the Seattle Seahawks, who lost last weekend’s Super Bowl due a widely-panned call.

“He was a small business owner in Kent, WA and loved his family, work, clients, traveling, the Seahawks and life,” Michael Vedvik’s obituary, published Monday in the Spokesman-Review, says of the 53-year-old. “We blame the Seahawks lousy play call for Mike’s untimely demise.”

Ouch. Though the Seahawks would likely recoil at the words, his widow told the Spokesman-Review this week that her husband would have gotten a good laugh from it.

“My husband would have thought it was hysterical,” said Stephanie Vedvik. “If I had read this obituary to my husband about somebody else, he would have had a laugh.”

And according to the Spokesman-Review, Michael never got a chance to watch the game—he recorded it and planned to watch it later.

[Spokesman-Review]

TIME Football

NFL Player Darius Butler Welcomes Fans’ Mistaken Praise on Twitter

Indianapolis Colts cornerback Darius Butler looks on from the sidelines during the game against the Philadelphia Eagles in Indianapolis on Sept. 15, 2014.
Scott Boehm—;AP Indianapolis Colts cornerback Darius Butler looks on from the sidelines during the game against the Philadelphia Eagles in Indianapolis on Sept. 15, 2014.

The athlete doesn't mind being mistaken for a Super Bowl star, Malcolm Butler

Darius Butler did not participate in the Super Bowl this year after his Indianapolis Colts were eliminated by the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game, but he is still getting a little bit of glory thanks to a case of mistaken identity.

Many Twitter users seem to have confused Darius, who was drafted by the Patriots in 2009, with fellow cornerback Malcolm Butler, who made the incredible game-saving interception everyone is talking about. Rather than correct all those fans, Darius is just rolling with it.

Darius Butler may not have been on the field during Super Bowl XLIX, but he is certainly taking lemons and turning them into hilarious Twitter lemonade.

This article originally appeared on SI.com.

TIME NFL

NFL Network Fires Warren Sapp After Assault Arrest

29th Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner To Benefit The Buoniconti Fund To Cure Paralysis - Dinner
Stephen Lovekin—Getty Images Warren Sapp speaks at the 29th Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner to benefit The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis at The Waldorf Astoria on Sept. 29, 2014 in New York City.

Hall of Famer also accused of soliciting a prostitute

Warren Sapp has been terminated from NFL Network following his arrest for soliciting a prostitute and assault in Phoenix early Monday morning. The news of the arrest was first reported by TMZ and ABC 15 in Phoenix.

Sapp has been an analyst with the network since 2008. Upon contact from SI this afternoon, an NFL Network spokesperson initially offered, “Warren Sapp has been suspended indefinitely without pay from NFL Network pending the outcome of ongoing police investigation.” The spokesperson later confirmed to SI that Sapp no longer worked for the network.

The 42-year-old Sapp, who was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2013, was in Arizona last week for his network’s coverage of Super Bowl XLIX. Network executives have little tolerance for criminal allegations that create headlines, and Sapp nearly lost his NFL Network analyst job in 2012 when he tweeted that former Saintstight end Jeremy Shockey was an informant (Sapp used the word “snitch”) in the Saints bounty scandal that resulted in extensive penalties for the team. Shockey repeatedly deniedhe was the whistleblower, and Sapp ultimately apologized.

Sapp is the second athlete-turned-sports announcer to be arrested for soliciting a prostitute in the past month. Greg Anthony, the CBS and Turner sports broadcaster, was arrested Jan. 16 in Washington. He was indefinitely suspendedby CBS.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME NFL

Snow Postpones Patriots Super Bowl Parade

Second major winter storm in a week to hit Boston
John Cetrino—EPA A loader piles snow in the parking lot of the South Bay shopping plaza in Boston, Mass. Feb. 2 2015.

The parade will be held Wednesday morning

The New England Patriots‘ Super Bowl XLIX victory parade in Boston has been postponed by a day because of inclement weather, the office of Mayor Martin J. Walsh said on Monday.

The parade will now be held Wednesday at 11 a.m. The mayor’s office released the following statement:

“Due to today’s bad weather and the worsening forecast for tonight, the New England Patriots and the City of Boston have made the mutual decision to postpone the victory parade until Wednesday, February 4 at 11 a.m. We thank everyone for their flexibility and patience during the planning of this parade and we look forward to celebrating with Patriots fans during better weather on Wednesday.”

A week after a blizzard dropped up to three feet of snow on some Massachusetts towns, a winter storm warning is in effect from Monday until 1 a.m. Tuesday. Most Boston-area schools were closed Monday, and the city’s mass transit system is operating with delays.

MMQB: Reliving Pats’ breathtaking victory in Super Bowl XLIX

The Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 on Sunday for their fourth Super Bowl title. They also became the first team in Super Bowl history to overcame a fourth-quarter deficit of 10-plus points.

A three-yard touchdown pass from Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady to DannyAmendola with 2:02 remaining gave the Patriots the lead, and Malcolm Butler‘s goal-line interception of Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson sealed the game for New England.

Super Bowl XLIX was most watched television program in U.S. history

This article originally appeared on SI.com

MONEY Sports

Pete Carroll’s Horrendous Play Call Cost Seahawks Players $3 Million

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, center, watches as players react after Russell Wilson was intercepted by New England Patriots strong safety Malcolm Butler during the second half of NFL Super Bowl XLIX football game Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015, in Glendale, Ariz.
Matt Rourke—AP Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, center, watches as players react after Russell Wilson was intercepted by New England Patriots strong safety Malcolm Butler during the second half of NFL Super Bowl XLIX.

That doesn't even count the many endorsements, new player contracts, and increased merchandise and season ticket sales that surely would have resulted had the Seattle Seahawks won their second consecutive Super Bowl.

The “worst call in Super Bowl history.” That’s how the decision of Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll to throw the ball on the 1-yard line rather than hand the ball to the NFL’s best power running back, Marshawn Lynch, will be remembered.

The decision, which resulted in a stunning interception by the Patriots, lost the Super Bowl championship for the Seahawks. It also cost Seahawks players and the team as a whole a huge chunk of change. How much?

Last year, according to CNBC, 63 players on the Seahawks roster were collectively awarded $5.8 million in bonus pay after the team won the 2014 Super Bowl. On the other hand, the game’s runner-ups, the Denver Broncos, received bonuses to the tune of “just” $2.9 million. The exact number of players that get playoff and Super Bowl bonuses varies because players on the injured reserve, and even some who are traded during the season but played a significant number of games with the team that year, receive bonuses alongside all of those on the official game-time 53-player roster.

This year, the salary bonus for players on Super Bowl teams has inched up a bit to $97,000 (up from $92,000 a year ago) for each winning player, compared with $49,000 for players on the losing squad ($46,000 a year ago). So the total gap between the game’s winners and losers should be a bit higher than it was last year, when the difference was just under $3 million.

Then we must add in the fact that each of the 150 or so players and coaches on the winning team gets a blingy Super Bowl ring. The NFL allocates $5,000 per ring, but the winning teams are known to spend much more on them. Given how rare and collectible they are, a Super Bowl ring is easily valued at $50,000 to $75,000 and sometimes is worth in the hundreds of thousands if it’s owned by a notable player or coach.

All in all, the Seahawks collectively just lost something north of $3 million—likely far, far more—because their coach, Pete Carroll, blew the game with a shockingly inexplicable play call.

Read next: Questions Surround Seahawks Coach After Super Bowl-Losing Play Call

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