News

Jeff Darlington

Jeff Darlington

 

Jeff Darlington is a reporter for NFL Media, providing news and analysis about the latest events around the league. He previously spent six seasons at the Miami Herald covering the Dolphins. He also has reported for multiple other Florida newspapers, including the Orlando Sentinel, the St. Petersburg Times and the Palm Beach Post.


October

Around this time two years ago, I was standing at the locker of Baltimore Ravens safety Bernard Pollard when he said something that stuck with me for the rest of that season: "It's going to be OK, man. We're not hitting the panic button." It was odd,... more

September

By his standards, this wasn't good enough. His new team was trailing the New England Patriots. His new offense was making too many mistakes. And most importantly, in his mind, the offensive line wasn't doing its job of keeping Ryan Tannehill clean. So... more

July

In the final lull of the offseason before NFL teams open their training camps, players will have a few more days to relax. Some league executives, however, have yet to begin doing the same. Instead, some are focused on what they believe is a critically... more

April

CHICAGO -- Tucked into the sixth-floor corner of a nondescript downtown office building, Marie Tillman is getting it done. She's grinding, tying bows on two of the year's biggest tasks for a foundation that has grown to impressive heights in 10 years.... more

Editor's note: NFL Media's Jeff Darlington was one of four national sports reporters to visit the set of "Draft Day " during filming at the Cleveland Browns' training facility last year. He appears briefly in a scene with Kevin Costner near the end of... more

March

TAMPA - Maybe it doesn't make sense that he'd keep this dream alive. Maybe Jay-T Rysaac is foolish to think he might still be able to make it as a defensive back in the NFL. After all, Rysaac is 34 years old. So why was the former safety from Georgetown... more

February

When former Dolphins guard Richie Incognito took a baseball bat to the front of his Ferrari on Wednesday night -- proof of which ended up on TMZ in the form of three photos -- it was the first indication to the general public of growing personal issues.... more

January

JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- Seated in a quiet lounge area upstairs at a high-end Denver steakhouse, the man with the name on the door finally had a few minutes alone with the man who's own name was on the mind of every sports fan in America. John Elway and... more

JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- Up 14-0 early in the third quarter, one of Peyton Manning's newest weapons had a little hiccup. Tight end Julius Thomas jumped before the snap -- committing a costly-in-the-moment false start on third-and-6. As referees blew the... more

December

Much has changed for Richie Incognito over the last two months -- ever since Jonathan Martin's representatives made harassment allegations against the Pro Bowl guard and his teammates -- but Incognito says one thing remains most certainly the same.... more

October

HOUSTON -- You can take the burning of Matt Schaub's jersey in a parking lot. You can add the situation involving a trespasser at Schaub's own home that prompted the quarterback to contact NFL security. Include the booing, too. And the jeers. And mix it... more

September

NEW ORLEANS -- Inside a dim, smoky dive bar known to locals for its cheap booze and good times, New Orleans Saints fans were celebrating their season-opening win against the Atlanta Falcons two weeks ago when the man of the hour shuffled his way to the... more

The Cleveland Browns' trade of running back Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts sent shockwaves through the NFL on Wednesday. Richardson's value rises in Indy Trent†Richardson joins an already potent Colts offense. Marcas Grant is reminded of... more

August

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press Bob Griese (left) and Don Shula (right) pose with President Barack Obama at the White House on Tuesday. WASHINGTON D.C. -- It's never a rare day when President Barack Obama finds a way to interject his... more

RICHMOND, Va. -- Nearly 35 minutes after the end of practice Monday, well after the rest of his teammates had cleared the field, Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III was still signing autographs. And hundreds of fans, maybe even a full... more

July

PHILADELPHIA -- When they flashed his helmeted head on the scoreboard Sunday, the response from the crowd of infamously fickle Philadelphia Eagles fans was not difficult to decipher: Quarterback Michael Vick remains in good standing. Yes, he remains in... more

RICHMOND, Va. -- All but one of the Washington Redskins' players were already on the field, having made the walk from their brand new building across a straight path of grass about 50 yards long. Yet the eyes of almost everyone remained focused on that... more

Back in July of 2005, during my first training camp as an NFL reporter, it took only one day on the job and only one otherwise insignificant observation to begin digesting exactly what these athletes were enduring. One by one, nearly a dozen Miami... more

June

Pro Football Hall of Fame Buffalo Bills rookie EJ†Manuel poses with the Hall†of†Fame bust of his godfather (and franchise icon), Bruce†Smith. CANTON, Ohio -- Standing behind a lectern, in front of a roomful of fresh faces two months away from... more

AURORA, Ohio -- Alone in a makeshift gym that normally serves as a hotel ballroom, San Francisco 49ers rookie running back Marcus Lattimore had found his place on an elliptical machine shortly after arriving at the NFC's portion of the NFL Rookie... more

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- It's a simple story, really. Nothing but a common courtesy extended by a normal man who happens to play the most prized position in the NFL. Nothing most anyone with manners wouldn't otherwise do. Tennessee Titans quarterback Jake... more

NEW ORLEANS -- Off in the distance, along a far temporary fence that borders the practice fields of the New Orleans Saints' training facility, coach Sean Payton is rounding the corner in a feverish effort to fulfill the autograph request of every... more

INDIANAPOLIS -- His body dropped into the backseat of an open-cockpit Indy car -- the one about to be driven by racing legend Mario Andretti -- as crew members on each side of him strapped seat belts over his shoulders, toward his waist. It hadn't been... more

May

BOSTON -- During a recent presentation in South Florida to assembled media about Miami's bid to hold the 50th installment of the NFL's Super Bowl, the chairman of the area's Super Bowl host committee made the ultimate Freudian slip. Twice, Rodney... more

DAVIE, Fla. -- Inside the lobby of the Miami Dolphins' training facility, all around those two static Super Bowl trophies perched at the center of the room, an identity crisis of sorts has finally been remedied. No longer will you find former left... more

April

ST. LOUIS -- Last week, as part of their pre-draft diligence, St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead brought a few of their current quarterbacks to Morgantown, W.Va, to throw passes to wide receiver Tavon Austin . After just two... more

It was the type of day that blended and blurred with all of those surrounding it. John Dorsey was just trying to keep his focus at last year's NFL Scouting Combine, a task that isn't always easy when you've been going through these same motions for more... more

TAMPA, Fla. -- You can already see it coming, can't you? You can see that pass by New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez zipping toward the sideline to open the 2013 season on Sept. 8 , its fast flight energized by a year of new hope and new ambitions.... more

In a moment of insightful levity few others in the NFL could possibly provide, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning dug deep this week to explain the difference between simply appreciating his return to football in 2012 and souring on the final... more

March

LAS VEGAS -- On a few occasions over the years, when former NFL quarterback Randall Cunningham would arrive at the youth football practices where he served as a coach, one of his players would hand him a phone cued to a YouTube video. Cunningham's... more

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- On the eve of his next chapter, before he caught a ride to the airport in his high school guidance counselor's car for a flight that would help permanently carve his way out of a rough Philadelphia neighborhood, Sharrif Floyd had a... more

DAVIE, Fla. -- Less than two years ago, in the lobby of the Miami Dolphins' training facility, general manager Jeff Ireland was walking up a stairway to his office shortly after the team had announced Bill Parcells would no longer serve as Miami's... more

The Miami Dolphins and wide receiver Brian Hartline agreed on a five-year contract worth nearly $31 million, a source close to the player confirmed late Thursday. The deal includes $12.5 million in guaranteed money, the source said. Offseason... more

Standing outside the Miami Dolphins' locker room, in a dark tunnel leading to the field where his players were preparing for a December game against the New England Patriots, general manager Jeff Ireland made something candidly clear. He recognized,... more

February

At the bottom of an elevator bank, inside the lobby of the Westin hotel in Indianapolis, it was just another casual run-in with an NFL head coach. Nothing unusual at the NFL Scouting Combine. No reason to raise any eyebrows. "What does (Notre Dame... more

John David Mercer/USA TODAY Sports Running back Marcus Lattimore is three months into his rehab after suffering a devastating knee injury in October. GULF BREEZE, Fla. -- Midway through the conversation, as South Carolina running back Marcus... more

Associated Press Should Jadeveon Clowney (left) sit out next season? His ex-South Carolina teammate, Marcus Lattimore, says no. GULF BREEZE, Fla. -- If anyone was likely to suggest South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney should be able to... more

Al Behrman/Associated Press Walter Stewart looked like a sure-fire pick in the 2013 NFL†Draft before doctors discovered a medical abnormality. On that twisted day in June, two days before Walter Stewart 's 13th birthday, something told him to... more

NEW ORLEANS -- Believe it or not, two hours after Sunday's Super Bowl ended, Baltimore Ravens outspoken linebacker Terrell Suggs still had something more he wanted to say. It wasn't eloquent. Nor did he whisper it. Quite the contrary to both, actually.... more

NEW ORLEANS -- It started as a routine morning, albeit slightly more important than the usual Wednesday, since the Baltimore Ravens were about to begin postseason preparations for their upcoming wild-card matchup against the Indianapolis Colts.... more

January

Associated Press Ed†Reed, Vernon†Davis and Torrey†Smith (from left to right) all encountered trying times with respect to brothers. NEW ORLEANS -- Twenty miles away from here, away from the jazz-filled streets and the nonstop parties within the... more

Associated Press Baltimore Ravens S Ed†Reed and San Francisco 49ers WR Randy†Moss have redefined their respective positions. NEW ORLEANS -- A little more than a year ago, while still in college at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, Baltimore Ravens... more

One year ago, New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz had just stepped off the plane in Indianapolis, arriving in town for his first Super Bowl, when his quarterback approached him about the night ahead. Eli Manning had already made plans to take... more

KAPOLEI, Hawaii -- The sun melted into the ocean on a flawless Thursday evening as a cool breeze brushed the burnt skin of everyone near the pool. This is supposed to be perfect, and in many ways it is, a sense validated by the laughter coming from the... more

KAPOLEI, Hawaii -- Ripping off jokes like he was doing the opening monologue on "Saturday Night Live," Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning was feeling it Tuesday evening . He was back where he belongs, in front of his peers, here at the Pro Bowl,... more

NFL.com Illustration The memo went up on the wall of the Washington Redskins' locker room in the middle of December, a stern warning from Phillip Daniels, the team's director of player development, in the wake of an unsettling revelation. His... more

ATLANTA -- With just enough time for the Atlanta Falcons to make one last desperate effort on offense, San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore wasn't interested in watching. He wanted so badly not to watch, in fact, that he searched for a way to avoid... more

ATLANTA -- Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan suffered a separated left shoulder during Sunday's NFC Championship Game loss to the San Francisco 49ers, a source informed of the injury said. Ryan was hit on his non-throwing shoulder during the... more

After two rounds of postseason play, four teams remain in the hunt for the Lombardi Trophy. On Championship Sunday, two teams will punch a ticket to New Orleans and Super Bowl XLVII. NFL.com has prepared a comprehensive scouting report for each of the... more

ATLANTA -- Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff stood on the sideline near the 10-yard marker, looking as tense as a shaken can of soda despite his hip suit, a far cry from the cool vibe he otherwise emanates on the average day. His eyes... more

On a quiet night in June, the first time I'd met Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, the circumstances forced me to furrow my eyebrows in wonderment. Is this dude serious right now? It was borderline weird, if not just a little... more

Wild Card Weekend is history, and now it's time for the top-seeded teams in the AFC and NFC to enter the playoff fray. The stakes couldn't be higher in the divisional round, with the right to play on Championship Sunday on the line. Let's take a closer... more

Editor's Note: On Sunday, NFL Network reporter Jeff Darlington covered the Baltimore Ravens' 24-9 win over the Indianapolis Colts at M&T Bank Stadium before driving south to FedExField, arriving in time to cover the second half of the Seattle Seahawks'... more

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- He tried to discount it. He did his best to spit out the standard response that you're supposed to deliver at this time of year. Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, when asked how much motivation Ray Lewis' looming retirement... more

The 2012 playoffs are finally here, with the 12 surviving teams -- the best of the best in the NFL -- set to fight it out for the Super Bowl XLVII title. The action kicks off this weekend with the wild-card round. To get you ready, let's take a closer... more

December

LANDOVER, Md. -- Lingering with family inside the underbelly of FedExField early Monday morning, Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III wasn't ready for this to end. It was 1 a.m., yet the rookie wore a content smile, as if he had nowhere left... more

KANSAS CITY -- Bolting from the field in a fit of thrill, Indianapolis Colts interim coach Bruce Arians threw his arms toward the sky as he exited down a tunnel enveloped by rowdy visitors in a corner of Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium. His fans were... more

Nine years ago, when this massive boulder of hype began as nothing more than a mere snowball, Tim Tebow didn't like the situation he'd unknowingly created for himself. So he and his family re-evaluated their decision. They prayed. And they... more

HOUSTON -- Near the top of a ladder inside the Houston Texans' locker room on Sunday, a team employee was wearing a new, black cap that read "AFC South Division Champs" as he jostled at a sign hanging above the threshold that leads to the field. He... more

With 10:19 left in the third quarter Sunday, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson found himself in a strangely unfamiliar place at a strangely early point in the game: On the sideline. Watching the offense. Without any injury to explain for it.... more

In his attempt to explain the unexplainable -- a three-way quarterback competition during Week 14 of a 17-week season -- New York Jets coach Rex Ryan dug deep into his near-empty bag Monday to pull out the only line left in a season of failed rhetoric.... more

"Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual... more

November

TAMPA, Fla. -- Each practice this year, when the Atlanta Falcons' first-team offense is relegated to the sideline while the defense is running its share of drills, the wide receivers and tight ends stand in a circle off to the side, tossing hard passes to... more

ST. LOUIS -- On the bottom shelf of New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez's locker on Sunday, a football from this freshly minted 27-13 win over the St. Louis Rams was stuffed inside his black backpack. It was a reward for his performance, a symbol of... more

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Brady Quinn has been cleared to participate in game action after more neurological tests Thursday proved he isn't dealing with any side effects from his concussion, according to a team source. Harrison: Week 11 predictions... more

With his knee stitched shut and his ligaments back intact, Adrian Peterson remained in a deep sleep as the anesthesia kept the Minnesota Vikings running back in a rare state of sedation. His doctor, the doctor, esteemed orthopedic surgeon James... more

On third-and-4, with 66 seconds left, Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow saw the blitz coming. The New York Jets sent eight defenders, attacking Tebow like a pack of dogs chasing a piece of meat, leaving three cornerbacks to protect the end zone. So... more

NEW ORLEANS -- The words began rumbling from my mouth like a train without brakes, and my mind knew the answer to the question I was about to ask before Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan even had a chance to respond. "Is there any relief in the wake... more

NEW ORLEANS -- On a wall in the back of FredRick's, a joint on St. Charles Avenue that sells some seriously fresh po' boys, there's a dated frame of LSU's 2003 schedule hanging to the left of a booth of slot machines. There isn't much other sports... more

LANDOVER, Md. -- Watching through a crowd of teammates who were standing along the sideline in front of his seat on the bench, Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy saw all he needed to see. His offense, he thought, was giving the game away. Hardy... more

October

PHILADELPHIA -- They stayed in the stadium as rain drizzled down, the few remaining Philadelphia Eagles fans teetering between supportive and masochistic. There was no reason for them to stay, and there were many reasons for them to leave. But this crew... more

TAMPA -- On the eve of Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in a conference room at the Grand Hyatt hotel where the New Orleans Saints held their team meeting, linebacker Jonathan Vilma didn't know he would be giving a speech. He wasn't... more

BALTIMORE -- Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones did the right thing Sunday evening. He didn't publicly criticize the coach. He didn't throw his kicker under the bus. He didn't bemoan a dropped two-point conversion by his wide receiver. Really, truly, he... more

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Ravens have managed to stay atop the AFC North with a 5-1 record despite fielding a suspect run defense that has at times been subpar this season. Maintaining that success likely became an even more improbable challenge Sunday.... more

BALTIMORE -- Midway through a conversation with a reporter at his locker Wednesday, Baltimore Ravens safety Bernard Pollard was spouting all sorts of knowledge when he spit out two words that caused a need for immediate application of the brakes: panic... more

NEW ORLEANS -- Joe Unitas was walking away from the New Orleans Saints bench, satisfied with the pregame hug and handshake he'd just exchanged with quarterback Drew Brees, even if they'd lacked any real intimacy as dozens of cameras clicked away. Then,... more

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- In a pint-sized bathroom on a two-and-a-half hour flight from Ohio to Florida in early June, Miami Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline just wanted to be alone in his misery. The pain was excruciating, like nothing he'd ever... more

Despite reports that Peyton Manning has purchased part of the Memphis Grizzlies NBA franchise, sources close to the Denver Broncos quarterback say it's not his initiative, but instead a project being pursued by his wife, Ashley. Ashley, a Memphis... more

They marched one by one through the second floor of the Denver Broncos' training facility, each quarterback stopping first in offensive coordinator Mike McCoy's office to hear the same message that would then be echoed like a corporate line from coach... more

PHILADELPHIA -- Unfair as it often is, everything the Philadelphia Eagles do these days seems to be coated with a thick layer of cynicism. Win three games? Not by enough points. Too many turnovers. Too little balance. On Sunday, though, the Eagles might... more

September

Denver Broncos coach John Fox filed the necessary paperwork with the NFL on Friday to appeal his $30,000 fine for his conduct toward replacement officials in a Week 2 loss to the Atlanta Falcons, sources close to the coach said. Fox, who... more

It took three phone calls to his home in Arizona. Three phone calls to convince NFL referee Ed Hochuli, who'd finally received word from his union that a labor deal had been reached late Wednesday , to go on the record with his reaction to the big news.... more

A high-ranking NFL referee hasn't yet received any notification from his union regarding the end of the lockout, but he and his co-workers are continuing to "keep our fingers crossed," he told NFL.com at 11 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Rapoport: Week 4 game... more

The scenes of chaos flowed fast and furious Monday night, for once even more rapidly than social media's instantaneous appetite could possibly digest them. The gut-punched Green Bay Packers searched through bins of helmets to find their own, so that... more

DENVER -- Somewhere around the 48-yard line at Sports Authority Field -- depending on how far the force of Denver Broncos linebacker Joe Mays' hit might have sent it flying -- a piece of Matt Schaub's earlobe is now among the blades of grass. But don't... more

DENVER -- The impatience began to build after the season's second week. Chad Pennington, a new addition to the Miami Dolphins' roster in 2008, was averaging less than six yards per pass attempt. His longest of 36 completions went only 24 yards. Sure,... more

SAN FRANCISCO -- His chance for redemption occurred only four plays into San Francisco's first drive Sunday, a prime opportunity for 49ers tight end Vernon Davis to prove he'd learned his lesson. Davis just caught a 21-yard touchdown pass in stride ,... more

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Within the shadows of the white steel beams that are slowly starting to resemble the foundation of a football stadium, within earshot of the echoes created by heavy hammers and giant drills, something else is being built. It is a... more

DENVER -- His burnt-orange sweater wasn't quite the right shade. It was also clearly too dated to have been purchased within the six months since his son, Peyton Manning, signed with his new orange-and-blue team. But Archie Manning, who arrived in the... more

NFL.com Illustration Patrick†Willis, Ben†Roethlisberger, Matt†Stafford and Justin†Tuck have all accepted captain roles this season. On a Friday afternoon in 2007, Carolina Panthers linebacker Jon Beason was two games away from wrapping up a... more

August

In a scary disclaimer that's nothing to joke about, there's something I should tell you: Predicting the success of quarterbacks isn't my strong suit, a revelation that came largely from six seasons spent covering the Miami Dolphins. Allow me to explain... more

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Standing on the 27th floor with his back to a wall-spanning window overlooking the St. Johns River and downtown Jacksonville on Tuesday, Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan delivered to reporters what he viewed as the day's big... more

DAVIE, Fla. -- As the sun rose on the Miami Dolphins' first day without wide receiver Chad Johnson in the mix, the first very-early-morning sentiments on Monday -- beyond the standard spokesman cliché -- came from the mouth of a team captain. Appropriate... more

Miami Dolphins quarterback David Garrard will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery, he said in a text message Friday, hours before he was scheduled to start in the preseason opener against the Tampa†Bay Buccaneers . Garrard, 34, was leading the Dolphins'... more

NEW ORLEANS -- A U.S. District Court judge didn't rule Friday on the NFL's motion to dismiss Jonathan Vilma's lawsuit, which seeks to overturn his season-long suspension for his role in the New Orleans Saints' "bounty" scandal. After hearing arguments... more

DAVIE, Fla. -- Bouncing to the beat of the jams thumping inside the Miami Dolphins' indoor training facility, cornerback Vontae Davis looked particularly jazzed as he warmed up Monday for his eighth practice since camp opened less than two weeks ago.... more

NFL.com has dispatched several writers to report on the 32 training camps. Jeff Darlington details his visit with the Denver Broncos. (Click here for the complete archive of Training Camp Reports .) WHERE IS NFL.COM? On one of the Denver... more

June

CANTON, Ohio -- In a dimly lit hallway among the many twists and turns of this hallowed building, Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is trailing near the back of the pack. He's taking his time, paying close attention to each mannequin he... more

DAVIE, Fla. -- Living nearly 20 miles south of here, more than two decades before the name change or the Twitter followers or the marketing wizardry, Miami Dolphins wide receiver Chad Ochocinco always had a childhood team he favored above the rest. He... more

Brian Blanco/Associated Press Greg Schiano is entering his first season as Buccaneers head coach after spending the past 11 years at Rutgers.   TAMPA -- The punt sailed high, floating in space for what felt like three minutes, headed in the... more

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- He towered above fellow flyers as he waited in the security line at Charlotte Douglas International Airport on Thursday, rocking a neon yellow Under Armour jacket with a purple hat and a pair of shades. Carolina Panthers quarterback... more

March

Ask Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland how he's doing these days in the wake of a tumultuous month that included an unsuccessful courtship of Peyton Manning and subsequent public scorn, and he'll shrug his shoulders. "I was a kicker in... more

Associated Press Bucs coach Greg Schiano (left) and Panthers QB Cam Newton could become the new faces of the NFC South. PALM BEACH, Fla. -- In the past 60 days, Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano's schedule has been understandably hectic,... more

David Zalubowski/AP John Elway's courting of iconic QB Peyton Manning might have shifted the balance of power in the AFC West. PALM BEACH, Fla. -- He wanted to be happy for them. Really, he did. But when Oakland Raiders coach Dennis Allen saw his... more

The outcome was predictable, particularly for those who have seen this show before: Tim Tebow would walk to a podium, make a quick quip about the massive number of people in the room and politely answer a handful of questions while divulging little.... more

Associated Press Tim Tebow (left) is joining the Jets, who missed the playoffs last season for the first time under coach Rex Ryan. Once again, Tim Tebow found a way to make the fourth quarter interesting. In one of the strangest, most... more

NEW ORLEANS -- Since the NFL first dropped this Saints bounty bombshell three Fridays ago, we've been waiting for the league to drop the hammer on New Orleans. And over the past few weeks, it seemed reasonable to think that once the penalties were... more

AP Joe Philbin (left), who worked with Matt Flynn in Green Bay, is looking for a QB at his new gig in Miami. DAVIE, Fla. -- During a brief conversation with Dolphins coach Joe Philbin at the NFL Scouting Combine , I asked the former Packers... more

DAVIE, Fla. -- After days of highly publicized meetings with the Denver Broncos and Arizona Cardinals, Peyton Manning successfully escaped the spotlight for his third free-agent visit, this one with the Miami Dolphins. It required some covert operations... more

DAVIE, Fla. -- On his way home from this year's NFL Scouting Combine , seated in the second row of Flight 1120 from Indianapolis to Fort Lauderdale, Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin pulled out Pat Riley's autobiography, "The Winner Within," and began... more

The Miami Dolphins still feel confident they will get their meeting with Peyton Manning, but they have not yet firmed up a meeting time, team sources said Friday. Peyton Manning Stock Watch Who is the favorite in the race to sign Peyton Manning ?... more

DAVIE, Fla. -- These days, when Peyton Manning arrives in a city where he knows Dan Marino might be hanging out, he usually sends the Dolphins' Hall of Fame quarterback a quick text. It might be inquiring about meeting for dinner. For drinks. For golf.... more

Jonathan Bachman/AP Saints fans are coming to grips with the reality their team's 2012 season likely will be affected by bounty sanctions. NEW ORLEANS -- On the streets of this city, where beads still dangle from trolley lines and tree branches,... more

February

INDIANAPOLIS -- In a hallway at Lucas Oil Stadium, just a few hours after Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III blazed 40 yards in 4.41 seconds on the nearby field Sunday, Rams general manager Les Snead had plenty of reasons to be happy. The first one?... more

INDIANAPOLIS -- As the final presenter of the evening, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning took the stage at the inaugural "NFL Honors" awards show Saturday night to a respectable ovation. He was there to present the 2011 Most Valuable Player... more

January

Matthew Emmons/US Presswire The Packers were one of the victims of Eli Manning and the Giants' current five-game winning streak. INDIANAPOLIS -- 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis won't get his shot this year. Despite a solid season, he won't get the... more

HONOLULU -- Call it quarterback envy. Call it playful jealousy. Whatever you call it, Dolphins wide receiver Brandon Marshall has caught a serious case of it during this week's Pro Bowl practices in Hawaii. Debate: Where will Flynn land? QB Matt... more

Perry Knotts/NFL Drew Brees didn't get his first ring until his ninth season in the league, and now he's hungry for more. OAHU, Hawaii -- There once was a time, during a previous chapter of Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers' career, when... more

SAN FRANCISCO -- When he reached a crowded, chaotic visiting locker room at Candlestick Park on Sunday night, Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora sought out coach Tom Coughlin and plopped down in a seat next to him. If anyone could relate to this weird... more

SAN FRANCISCO -- The proof exists in every corner of the 49ers' locker room, one athlete after another providing validation of the draft picks and free-agent acquisitions once dubbed disappointing and inadequate. Look closely, Miami Dolphins. Get out... more

SAN FRANCISCO -- Quick. Name four San Francisco 49ers on the team's current roster. Was Alex Smith one? Maybe Patrick Willis? Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree might've also made your list. This all makes sense because all of those players, as former... more

Tim Heitman/US Presswire Rob Gronkowski hauled in three touchdowns in the Patriots' blowout of the Broncos in the divisional round. It was a beautiful thing , the way he pushed off the right foot of his 265-pound frame and stretched his massive... more

GREEN BAY -- New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning pulled one item at a time from his locker, emptying his road gear into a big blue duffle bag that would later be flown back to New York after Sunday's 37-20 win against the Green Bay Packers. First,... more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- With a strut as smooth as you'd expect, Tom Brady walked toward the players' parking lot at Gillette Stadium on Saturday night with wife Gisele Bundchen hanging gently on his arm, the perfect pair sporting their perfect smiles. To... more

Greg Trott/Associated Press Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas has taken off since Dec. 1, averaging 108.7 yards per game. DENVER -- With a black sharpie in his right hand, Denver Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas turned over his left arm... more

Associated Press Tony Sparano (left) and Rex Ryan could pair well together for the Jets. Five days before the Jets made their debut on HBO's "Hard Knocks" in August 2010, a reporter asked then-Dolphins coach Tony Sparano if he'd ever consider... more

DENVER -- Broncos coach John Fox said he wouldn't give any injury updates until Wednesday, but according to one team source, there's "no chance" wide receiver Eric Decker will be able to play in Saturday's divisional playoff game against the New England... more

US Presswire (From left) Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Frank Gore and Ray Rice are all rested up for divisional weekend. DENVER -- Maintaining a message of even-keeled confidence, Broncos coach John Fox on Monday didn't want to overstate Sunday's win .... more

DENVER -- He reached for the chain with the silver cross that was dangling in his locker and slipped it over his bowed head, one final touch as Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow finished getting dressed Sunday night. It hadn't been 25 minutes since the end,... more

DENVER -- On the day before the Broncos will play the Steelers in an AFC Wild Card Game, backup quarterback Brady Quinn remained in the same role he has all season: Watching mostly from the sideline, wondering if and when his chance will come. Quinn... more

DENVER -- While quarterback Tim Tebow's rough passing performance in last week's loss to the Kansas City Chiefs did create some internal discussion about whether to prepare backup Brady Quinn during practice for possible action in Sunday's AFC Wild Card... more

US Presswire (From left) Calvin Johnson, Ray Rice, Andre Johnson and Darren Sproles could be superstars in the playoffs. It happens every year. Whether it's a known star, an unheralded veteran or a breakout youngster, somebody turns into a beast... more

Rocking a South Park hoodie in Denver's locker room after Sunday's loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, Broncos running back Willis McGahee likely had no intentions of sending a message to anyone with the words printed across his chest. After all, McGahee... more

Steven Senne/AP New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick (left) and owner Bob Kraft have won three Super Bowls together. Twelve years ago, shortly after New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft completed a deal to trade a first-round draft pick to the... more

DENVER -- As the Broncos continue their quest toward improving a passing game that's not going to cut it in the playoffs, some of quarterback Tim Tebow's more ardent supporters have wondered recently whether the play calls have fit his skill set. During... more

DENVER -- The chants ignited precisely on point. They swept through the stadium as the buzz began to grow and spines started to straighten. Just as he'd proven five previous times this season, this was his moment. This was his time. "Tebow! Tebow!... more

November

SAN DIEGO -- On Saturday, Denver quarterback Tim Tebow stood in front of his teammates, both offense and defense, to deliver a message that resonated deep into Sunday evening, long after the Broncos battled it out with the Chargers in overtime for a fifth... more

BALTIMORE -- The Ravens were within reach of this win, in control of another victory on a big stage that would shift the momentum of the AFC North, when linebacker Ray Lewis began working the sidelines with a message for his defensive teammates. "Hunt,... more

Way back in August, when Kyle Orton was on the trading block, frustrated fans in Miami spent the end of a practice chanting, "We want Or-ton!" Three months later, that might not be the case anymore. But we're wondering: Does anyone else? In the wake of... more

Kevin Terrell/US Presswire Jameel McClain has started every game at inside linebacker for the 7-3 Ravens this season.   These streets were tough. Not tough like the Ravens defense. Not tough like a goal-line stand or a hard hit on a wide... more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- In the spirit of celebrating a 17-10 win over the Giants on Sunday night, a jubilant chest bump turned into a bear hug as Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson met his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, on his way to the locker room. Is this... more

Jeff Darlington/NFL John Fox has tweaked the Broncos' offense to fit his quarterback's skills. The result: two consecutive wins.   ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- In his office, where a wall of windows overlooks the Denver Broncos' practice fields and a... more

PHILADELPHIA -- It wasn't as if Bears quarterback Jay Cutler never felt the Eagles' pressure. Oh, he did. He escaped it once by throwing a missile off his back foot to Roy Williams. He evaded it another time after stumbling backward, regaining his... more

PITTSBURGH -- Walking toward the team bus early Monday with a John Varvatos duffle bag he got for free when he bought a bottle of cologne, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco looked like a guy headed home after a workout at the local gym. He wore blue nylon... more

PITTSBURGH -- As anticipated, Steelers linebacker James Harrison is prepared to start Sunday night against the Baltimore Ravens after missing the previous four weeks because of a broken orbital bone around his right eye, a league source said. Harrison... more

Only during this bizarre Miami Dolphins season would the team's best performance of the year occur days after the dramatics within the locker room reached a climax. Team sources said Sunday that several players spent a late night out in South Florida... more

The Miami Dolphins have their reasons for sidelining cornerback Vontae Davis for Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs , and they're saying publicly that it isn't because his hamstring is too injured for him to play. Beyond that, however,... more

AP Brandon Flowers of The Killers (left) is more popular nationally than the Chiefs CB with the same name.   Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers has a problem. It has nothing to do with his team, riding a four-game hot streak after Monday's... more

Nick Wass/AP Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers have bounced back after a 28-point loss to the Ravens in Week 1.   If you tie together all the self-deprecating words from Steelers' players and coaches, all of the admissions of struggles and... more

September

Steve Mitchell/US Presswire With the Dolphins off to an 0-3 start, coach Tony Sparano's job has been called into question. The flight was dark and quiet, much like the mood of the passengers on their way back to South Florida after a 31-10... more

Associated Press Washington quarterback Rex Grossman shields himself from negative feedback. "He really has no clue when it comes to anything being said about him," says Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. "He doesn't watch SportsCenter and... more

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