Judy Battista

Judy Battista

Judy Battista joined NFL Media in August 2013 after almost 15 years with the New York Times, where she covered the NFL nationally since 2004. Battista also served as a reporter for Newsday and the Miami Herald. In her role as reporter, Battista writes stories for and appears on NFL Network programming.

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- For 21 seasons, Andy Reid could win everything, all the time, except the thing his profession values most. The lack of a Super Bowl championship on his resume -- the gut-wrenching way the Philadelphia Eagles lost in Reid's only... more

MIAMI -- Andy Reid and Steve Mariucci first met in their underwear in the hallway of a Green Bay hotel. The two had just been hired by the Packers in 1992 for their first NFL assignments -- Reid as the tight ends coach, Mariucci to coach the... more


MIAMI -- A few years ago, during a celebration of the 50th Super Bowl, Norma Hunt sat on a panel to reminisce about her singular place in NFL history: She is believed to be the only woman on Earth to attend every Super Bowl. Why, Hunt was asked, ha... more

The number of diagnosed concussions suffered by NFL players in 2019 increased slightly over the previous season, an indication, the NFL hopes, that recent rules and equipment changes mean the dramatic drop in concussions in 2018 was not an anomaly.... more

One of Eli Manning's last days as a New York Giant was wholly in keeping with the hundreds that had come before. On the Monday after the Giants' 2019 season ended, hours after coach Pat Shurmur had been fired, Manning stood at his locker and calmly... more

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- There is a flag that flies atop Arrowhead Stadium -- 1969 World Champions -- that has no match anywhere else for this historic team. It is a constant reminder of both the Kansas City Chiefs' greatest moment and exactly how long it... more

The special Centennial Class for the Pro Football Hall of Fame was announced Wednesday morning on NFL Network, sending 15 individuals to football immortality in Canton: Harold Carmichael, Jimbo Covert, Bill Cowher, Bobby Dillon, Cliff Harris, Winsto... more

The Pain Management Committee of the NFL and the NFL Players Association held a fact-finding forum Tuesday with manufacturers of products that use CBD in sports medicine. The session was designed to give the medical experts on the committee an update... more

BALTIMORE -- Mike Vrabel marched along his sideline, the meltdown initiated by his Tennessee Titans engulfing the Baltimore Ravens, a small smirk -- his default expression, truthfully -- on his face. Derrick Henry had just thrown a jump-pass touchd... more

The extent of knowledge about Joe Judge possessed by most NFL observers is that Patriots coach Bill Belichick spent a lot of time talking to Judge, his special teams coach, before games. That's probably not the worst way to identify Judge. Anybody... more

EDITOR'S NOTE: This column was published before news broke on Monday morning that the Cowboys are set to hire former Packers coach Mike McCarthy . In hindsight, there was really little suspense left in the Dallas Cowboys' marriage to Jason Garret... more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The game began in a damp, heavy fog, only adding to the feeling that so much around the New England Patriots now is shrouded in murkiness. Nothing about this game -- not how it was played, by a halting Patriots offense, nor how... more


QUARTERBACK RUNNING BACK D-LINE/LB SECONDARY/SPECIALISTS O-LINE/TE RECEIVER Judy Battista served on the 26-person blue-ribbon panel that voted on the NFL's All-Time Team, a collection of the 100 greatest players and 10 greatest... more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- It ended almost exactly as it began, with an off-target throw to the end zone by Josh Allen. Oh so close and then nothing, the story of New England Patriots opponents for nearly two full decades. It was not to be after an early... more

RECEIVER QUARTERBACK RUNNING BACK D-LINE/LB SECONDARY/SPECIALISTS O-LINE/TE Judy Battista served on the 26-person blue-ribbon panel that voted on the NFL's All-Time Team, a collection of the 100 greatest players and 10 greatest... more

The play was 66 Option , or maybe 66 Circle Post , the details lost to time and endless retellings. The idea never changed, though. Franco Harris, the Pittsburgh Steelers rookie fullback, was to stay in and block along with the tight end, similar to... more

ARLINGTON, Texas -- This moment -- the bounce in Jerry Jones' step as he made his way into the locker room, the extra sparkle in the glittery star on his left lapel, the smile that finally creased his face again -- was thick with irony. It was, aft... more

O-LINE/TE QUARTERBACK RUNNING BACK D-LINE/LB SECONDARY/SPECIALISTS RECEIVER Judy Battista served on the 26-person blue-ribbon panel that voted on the NFL's All-Time Team, a collection of the 100 greatest players and 10 greatest... more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- It was surely unintentional, but in the moments after the Kansas City Chiefs toppled the New England Patriots, 23-16 , and laid bare their frailties, K.C. coach Andy Reid spoke about the Pats of the past. The most formidable team... more

SECONDARY/SPECIALISTS QUARTERBACK RUNNING BACK D-LINE/LB O-LINE/TE RECEIVER Judy Battista served on the 26-person blue-ribbon panel that voted on the NFL's All-Time Team, a collection of the 100 greatest players and 10 greatest... more

BALTIMORE -- By the time Justin Tucker was ready, the steady rain that had fallen all day had given way to a heavy mist. The dirt was peeking through between the hash marks and the gray and grime enhanced the feel of an old-school slugfest between th... more


D-LINE/LB QUARTERBACK RUNNING BACK SECONDARY/SPECIALISTS O-LINE/TE RECEIVER Judy Battista served on the 26-person blue-ribbon panel that voted on the NFL's All-Time Team, a collection of the 100 greatest players and 10 greatest... more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Last week, after the New England Patriots outlasted the Philadelphia Eagles in a game that featured little offense , Tom Brady spit out what has been plain for much of the season. The Patriots are being carried toward the playoff... more

RUNNING BACK QUARTERBACK D-LINE/LB SECONDARY/SPECIALISTS O-LINE/TE RECEIVER RUNNING BACK: Which 12 Hall of Famers make the final cut? How do you choose between Red Grange and Barry Sanders? Or Dutch Clark and Marshall Faulk? Tha... more

The mark of an all-time player in the NFL is dominance during his era. Jim Brown was dominant in his era, certainly, but given what he displayed in nine professional seasons, it's clear that he would have been dominant in any era. That is why Brow... more

PHILADELPHIA -- It seemed like a game to celebrate the New England Patriots rebounding from a loss to the Baltimore Ravens with a shutdown defensive effort. Bill Belichick went so far as to say he felt like the Pats really only gave up three points... more

It is telling that, when looking for a comparison to Myles Garrett's outrageous behavior Thursday night, you had to reach all the way back to Albert Haynesworth. Haynesworth, then with the Tennessee Titans, stomped on the face of an opponent with his... more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The current state of New York football might be best summed up by what didn't happen Sunday afternoon, rather than what did in the Jets' 34-27 victory over the Giants . No booing, no cheering, just silence when the teams wen... more


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- There hasn't been much subtle about the Cleveland Browns this year. They made big offseason changes, put together a collection of big personalities and created big expectations. There is, then, no surprise that there is no subt... more

PITTSBURGH -- To have watched them both, arriving for a training camp lunch minutes apart this summer, was to imagine alternate endings. Ryan Shazier climbed the steep stairs on the way to the cafeteria, each step another triumph over the severe sp... more

INDIANAPOLIS -- The big posters of him that used to adorn the outside of Lucas Oil Stadium have been removed, although Andrew Luck hasn't entirely disappeared. He still lives in town and he occasionally visits the Colts facility to say hello to his c... more

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- The number of concussions suffered by NFL players during training camp and preseason games remained flat this year from last, although there was a significant drop in the number of concussions suffered during preseason practi... more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The other quarterback was on the sideline, a wire dangling from his ear, giving pointers to his replacement. Eli Manning was the foil the Patriots could not defeat, the one who stole two championships away with passes that still,... more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen sat shoulder to shoulder after Sunday's game, the picture of the Minnesota Vikings' kumbaya afternoon. The two receivers had spent part of the day celebrating together, and nobody was complaini... more

Bill Bidwill's life with the Cardinals began during his childhood, when he served as a ball boy, back when the team was located on the South Side of Chicago. His father, Charles, a successful lawyer and prominent figure in sports circles there, had b... more


ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- An hour after the game ended, the wedding party from a halftime ceremony posed for pictures, the flowers still fresh, the bride still radiant. There was to be no fairy-tale ending, though. The couple's happy day won't go down a... more

TAMPA, Fla. -- The franchise was hopping wildly on one leg toward the middle of the field, crutches waving aloft, the walking boot on that valuable right ankle as gray as the New York Giants' big-picture prospects without Saquon Barkley. Who would... more

The end of the era came quietly, on a day off, with an emailed statement that Eli Manning -- hero of two Super Bowl runs, possessor of one of the greatest and longest Giants careers -- was going to the bench . But really, the end began two seasons... more

TAMPA -- Bruce Arians approached one of his team captains during a training camp practice before the 1986 college football season and asked him a simple question: What are your plans for next year? Keith Armstrong, a Temple Owls defensive back who... more

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- Antonio Brown had already left Hard Rock Stadium -- his clothes gone, the name plate removed -- by the time the locker room doors opened to the world. With him unable or unwilling to speak for himself since he signed with New... more

NEW YORK -- It was a few minutes before kickoff of the NFL season last Thursday night, and the dimly-lit room described as the "brain" of a game day smelled like coffee. Al Riveron, who would spend the next three hours standing, sitting, pacing, ta... more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots raised their sixth championship banner, trotting out some of their most beloved players in a ceremony that has become so routine here it didn't seem to ignite quite as much excitement from the faithful fa... more

When Oakland Raiders coach Jon Gruden bid Antonio Brown goodbye earlier Saturday -- that was Saturday, right? -- he said something curious. "I hope he gets what he's looking for," Gruden remarked. He apparently did. Brown's giddy reaction to his... more

As the season for football business gives way this week to the season for football games, there is a takeaway from Ezekiel Elliott's new six-year, $90 million contract extension -- and the contracts given to others -- that is potentially as eye-open... more

This is the NFL's 100th season, and while there will be no shortage of nostalgia threaded through the celebration, a current player's thunderclap rocked the season before it even began. Andrew Luck's stunning retirement at age 29 robbed the game of... more


Andrew Luck was never the standard-operating-procedure football star. He stayed at Stanford, even though he would have been the top pick in the NFL draft. He eschewed endorsement deals in his rookie season, the better to focus on his transition on th... more


FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- It's easy to snicker about the annual dose of optimism permeating the New York Jets. Everybody in the NFL feels energized right now, as teams report for training camp. Every player is in the best shape of his life, every coach i... more


In the moments after the Denver Broncos won Super Bowl 50, with the Lombardi Trophy having just been placed in his hands, John Elway reached back across decades to tie the franchise's past and present together. "This one's for Pat!" Elway exulted.... more


In this, the 100th year of the NFL, you should expect a lot of milestones to be remembered. But few of them will be as eagerly anticipated as the one we are marking here. Today is 100 days from the start of the 100th season, which kicks off on Sept... more

NFL owners who have gathered this week at the Spring League Meeting in Biscayne, Florida, will be asked to consider a change to overtime and the possibility of tweaking the new rule to allow challenges of pass interference penalties. The meeting in... more

Sometimes the sound of the calliope fades in Florham Park and is distant enough that it is possible to believe the circus has finally left town for the New York Jets. It was easy to think that this time, as the voices of playoff prognostication slo... more


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- One week ago, New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman described playing quarterback in New York as a mental load . You have to have a mental toughness, he said. The implication was clear: Whenever the Giants settled on... more

SCHEDULE TAKEAWAYS TOUGHEST MOST FORGIVING REVENGE GAMES TOP PRIME-TIME BOUTS It turns out that last Sunday was more than just a very good day for Tiger Woods. It was also the day that the 2019 NFL schedule -- No. 64,521 of 64,713 op... more

ATLANTA -- The NFL is likely to make recommendations to its teams this summer to tweak training camp schedules in an attempt to reduce the number of helmet hits suffered in the early days of camp. The idea to give players a few additional days to w... more

A new study of helmet performance conducted by the NFL and the NFL Players Association indicates that recently released models are doing a better job at reducing the severity of head impact in tested conditions. Six of 11 new helmet models studied... more


PHOENIX -- The National Football League, like so many big corporations, changes slowly, bound by years of precedent, concerned that anything more than incremental movement will upset the delicate balance on which it has perched in a ride to success.... more

On the field in the moments after the New England Patriots won their latest Super Bowl, Rob Gronkowski stood -- bounced, more accurately -- amid a gaggle of similarly-giddy Gronks. This is the preferred way to consider Gronkowski, football's favorite... more

In the two months since the NFC Championship Game , the pass-interference-that-wasn't has overshadowed almost everything, with even a top NFL executive admitting that the blown call late in regulation that helped send the Los Angeles Rams to the Sup... more

The New York Giants always kept just a tiny bit of daylight when they talked about Odell Beckham Jr., just enough wiggle room to keep alive the absurd notion of trading their most electrifying player. "We didn't sign Odell to trade him," general ma... more


ATLANTA -- "We got the last laugh! We got the last laugh!" Into the confetti-laced celebration, with the Los Angeles Rams vanquished 13-3 in the lowest-scoring Super Bowl in history, Cordarrelle Patterson was bellowing the essence of the New Engla... more

ATLANTA -- For a few moments this week, Bill Belichick and Sean McVay shared a stage, and it was tempting to draw some easy conclusions. Belichick wore a navy blue suit, McVay a league-issued team warmup jacket, the elder and the wunderkind prepared... more


ATLANTA -- Phyllis Harrell saw the same highlights as everyone else, of the New England Patriots celebrating their AFC Championship Game victory. Somewhere in the middle of that merry pandemonium, with the cameras and boom mics and players converging... more

In the time it took for Tom Brady to fling his helmet in the air and leap into his teammates' arms last Sunday night , the billboards and tweets popped up: Beat L.A. Into one of sports' greatest and longest-running rivalries drop the New England... more

The number of diagnosed concussions NFL players suffered in 2018 dropped significantly, indicating that a heightened effort this season -- which included two much-discussed rules changes -- might have contributed to the difference. The numbers, rel... more

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- They are back where they started, the Patriots facing the Rams in the Super Bowl again, 17 years after the first time. It is a neat bookend for the greatest dynasty the NFL has known. If, in fact, you believe this is the end for N... more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- This is what it is like to be the New England Patriots now, as they approach the conclusion of their second full decade of ownership of the AFC. At the end of last week's wild-card game in Baltimore , as the Ravens and Los Ange... more

On Tuesday, when Matt LaFleur became the Green Bay Packers' new head coach, his former boss Sean McVay joked that he is "too young to have a coaching tree." Maybe. But, incredibly, neither is too young to be part of one of the greatest coaching tre... more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- He is at the center of a dimly lit maelstrom, like the bride at her own wedding, unable to sit down or take a drink or have a bite until a man finally pushes a glass of water into his hand. At a cocktail party in October, thr... more

BALTIMORE -- The game had ended as it had begun, with a Lamar Jackson fumble, the final one of his three the most devastating because it was the one that was lost, and the wild card playoff game and season was lost with it. Jackson had taken the... more


The day after the NFL regular season ends is always one of the starkest in professional sports -- the 12 teams heading to the playoffs are delighted, all others are miserable and, this year, a quarter of the league's clubs upended their franchise by... more

PHILADELPHIA -- "This," the security guard watching on a tiny screen said, "is some 'Rocky' s---." And it was certainly special, Philly. With their season teetering on the brink of irrelevance, with Nick Foles having returned from being splayed o... more

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers' season was teetering on this play, their eternal foil lining up for one final pass to send the Steelers stumbling out of the playoff field. The New England Patriots are certainly a diminished version of themselv... more

DALLAS -- Until a few weeks ago, the NFL was having a dream season. Scoring was exploding, new stars were emerging, ratings were up. All of that is still true, and the league is coming off what might be the best weekend of the regular season. But the... more

In 1988, Boomer Esiason led the league in quarterback rating, put the Cincinnati Bengals in just their second Super Bowl ever and was named the NFL's most valuable player. The biggest honor of his playing career, though, came years later, when he... more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Remember when the New England Patriots traded for Josh Gordon? Better question: Do the Patriots? They were so committed to their plan to get the ball out of Tom Brady's hands quickly to negate the Minnesota Vikings' pass rush... more


We want so badly to believe that the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers showed us this week that the NFL has mostly learned its lesson about players who abuse women four years after Ray Rice gave everyone a brutal tutorial in how to misma... more

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The year of transition never really was in Seattle, with the baton pass to a younger team -- one without the famed dominant defense -- progressing much more rapidly than anyone could have predicted. On Sunday, the newfangled Seahaw... more

Bob McNair, who made his fortune in energy plants and became one of the most powerful owners in the NFL after bringing football back to Houston, died Friday at age 81, the team announced. McNair had battled multiple types of cancer in recent years.... more

PHILADELPHIA -- Jerry Jones was late arriving in the Dallas Cowboys' locker room, the season he bemoaned less than a week ago suddenly saved in the Philadelphia chill. But when he got there, he went right to the heart of his team, to the side-by-side... more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- It was never really what we expected, not a pass-for-pass duel between two of the greatest quarterbacks of this -- or any -- era. All that video of goats frolicking was for naught. The biggest plays Sunday night were not made b... more


CLEVELAND -- Baker Mayfield gave us an inadvertent comparison of the NFL haves and have-nots on Wednesday. There he was, talking about his old Big 12 rival, Patrick Mahomes, and the game they played against each other in 2016, when they combined for... more

PITTSBURGH -- This was the Pittsburgh Steelers' saddest game, begun with a profoundly quiet moment of silence, ended with tears, wedged into a city that is only beginning to mourn. The Steelers beat the Browns, 33-18 , Sunday -- and if sports can... more

CHICAGO -- A Hail Mary pass that is completed but doesn't result in a touchdown is the ultimate embodiment of bend-but-don't-break football. So the way the New England Patriots finally put away the Bears -- standing Bears receiver Kevin White up ab... more

HE WORE THE NEW NFL Scouting Combine T-shirt unironically, Adam Vinatieri promised, only because he liked how it looked in a store, the shirt denoting those at the very beginning of their NFL careers in sharp contrast to the wearer, with his graying... more

When Paul Allen purchased the Seattle Seahawks in 1997, he saved his hometown team from a potential move to Los Angeles. Then he poured some of his vast wealth into making the franchise one of the top-flight organizations in the league. He hired... more

PHILADELPHIA -- The spotlit Super Bowl champions sign still looms large over Lincoln Financial Field, a constant reminder of what the Philadelphia Eagles were so very recently. But in the silent trudge to the locker room, in Doug Pederson's slumped... more


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The dam finally broke on the New York Giants midway through the third quarter of their 33-18 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday and when it did, the season itself may have been buried. The Giants gambled on their pres... more

The roughing the passer calls that have roiled the NFL this season aren't making the competition committee happy either. Several members of the committee, which made the rule a point of emphasis in the spring by pinpointing that they did not want... more

PHILADELPHIA -- Across the country, another young star quarterback was on a cart on the way to his locker room, his left leg extended straight and tense, his team already fearful of his future. Jimmy Garoppolo's season may well be over in San Franci... more

Here was a moment from Sunday afternoon that was long forgotten until about 24 hours later. Tom Brady's second pass of the day against the talented Jaguars defense? To Jacob Hollister, a second-year tight end who, with Sunday's game included, has... more

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- If it felt for a while Sunday as if the Jacksonville Jaguars were only holding off the New England Patriots, barely escaping being just another hapless victim in Tom Brady's comeback reel, well, that is not how they saw it. Othe... more

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- They slept in metal bunkbeds jammed into one room, and from the red-brick building to school, the six brothers took three buses in different directions. Calais Campbell was just a gangly pre-teen then, still a year or two remove... more

INDIANAPOLIS -- His fairy tale ending had squibbed out of his teammate's hands, a fumble returned for the dagger touchdown , and Andrew Luck was talking about hugging his friend. The brutal hit to Luck's head that led to the NFL's first ejection of t... more

PHILADELPHIA -- About a half hour before kickoff, with the NFL's season opener delayed by a thunderstorm, one of the team officials who was killing time in the press box mused aloud, "I hope this isn't an omen." Thirty game minutes, three field goa... more

As preseasons go, this was a relatively straightforward one, largely devoid of off-field drama and with few devastating injuries. When the most constant conversation is about a rules change, the NFL will take it -- even if nobody is exactly sure how... more

On the surface, you can draw some parallels between the Chicago Bears and the Oakland Raiders, the two teams that came together to execute a whopper of a trade of Khalil Mack early Saturday morning. Both have young quarterbacks. Both have new,... more


The one thing people at several training camps said to me this summer: It's been kind of quiet. They're right. After two straight years, we've finally had a preseason that hasn't been mired in superstar suspension drama. There has been controversy... more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A quick scan of the spare first preseason crowd said everything about the longing for a new Jets quarterback. Young kids in Namath jerseys. Old men in Darnold. A nostalgic smattering of one-offs: Testaverde, Pennington, Sanch... more

JACKSONVILLE -- The two-and-a-half-hour practice was ending, and the gassers were just starting Monday at Jacksonville Jaguars camp. Doug Marrone's grueling workouts had set a tone exactly a year ago, when they helped launch a long-moribund franchise... more


LATROBE, Pa. -- In a building they shared here with a Mr. Rogers exhibit, the Pittsburgh Steelers announced last weekend the next inductees into their Hall of Honor. Among the group were two personnel men -- Art Rooney Jr., the longtime personnel... more


INDIANAPOLIS -- By the time the real work of Andrew Luck's day was done on Tuesday -- he had his Stanford hat on as he strolled the hallway, beaming -- he had done all he could to restore order to a team that, throughout his absence, has felt as... more

INDIANAPOLIS -- Andrew Luck, who missed the entire 2017 season recovering from a shoulder injury, threw a football in practice Tuesday for the first time since he was shut down in October of last year. It is believed that Luck was throwing a slightly... more


ATLANTA -- Perhaps the most interesting -- and potentially problematic -- parts of the NFL's new policy governing conduct during the national anthem are the portions that haven't even been written yet. While the league will fine teams that have play... more

NFL owners will meet in Atlanta this week with plenty to discuss: new sports gambling legality, new ownership, new rules. And one old problem. The topic of player protests during the national anthem is not listed on the meeting's official agenda, a... more

David Tepper, the hedge fund billionaire who is the new owner of the Carolina Panthers, claims, according to a 2010 profile in New York Magazine, to have popularized the phrase "It is what it is." That should mean he will fit right in with NFL coach... more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The apogee of rookie camp ridiculousness was reached early for the New York Giants when, midway through the first day of practice last Friday, about two dozen reporters and photographers scrambled to get in position next to a... more

NEW YORK -- When the NFL hurriedly approved a new rule in March to create a foul for any player, anywhere on the field, who lowers his head to initiate and make contact with his helmet against an opponent, it was motivated by concern over the rise i... more

Troy Vincent, the NFL's top executive in charge of football operations, said Tuesday the NFL will not eliminate the kickoff, but is hoping to modify it for the 2018 season to make the most dangerous play in the game safer. The NFL began two days of... more


FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- In the field house where the New York Jets practice, they hang immense green and white banners to recognize the members of the team's ring of honor. There are Hall of Famers like Curtis Martin and Don Maynard represented there,... more

In the upside-down world of quarterback evaluations, the best thrower in the 2018 NFL Draft slid all the way to No. 10, the team that said it would have been happy with any of three quarterbacks lucked into the one almost everybody expected would be... more

Each year, the National Football League wades through thousands of schedules -- and closely scrutinizes hundreds of them -- before finally settling on a winner. The chosen one of the 59,031 playable schedules spit out by computers since January this... more

When James Harrison announced his retirement from the NFL on Monday after 15 seasons, it was not the first time -- or even the second -- he had contemplated walking away from the sport that had occasionally vexed him, even as he dominated it. This,... more


The first wave of NFL free agency came and went almost before it even officially started last week, thanks to a head-spinning series of trades and a game of quarterback musical chairs that seemingly ended with AJ McCarron landing in Buffalo. That w... more

The NFL's Annual League Meeting is usually its most interesting and relaxed -- think: Andy Reid in Tommy Bahama -- gathering of the season. Which is not to say nothing serious happens in all the meetings between the rounds of golf. Rules get changed... more

When he was a child in New Orleans, Tom Benson used to walk to and from school a few miles from his home in the Seventh Ward, pocketing the precious few pennies his family gave him for the streetcar because he didn't like spending money he instead co... more

It tells you something about the state of NFL team-building that on the first official day of free agency, some teams' top decision makers were in Oklahoma for the pro day of soon-to-be first-round pick Baker Mayfield. It's already on to the next... more


INDIANAPOLIS -- The catch rule that continues to bedevil the NFL -- and which prompted Commissioner Roger Goodell to call for a rewrite -- is likely to be tweaked this offseason in an effort to finally clarify what a catch is. Members of the... more

The erstwhile head coach of the New York Jets may have a worthy successor, on and off the field. Josh McDaniels' shocking decision Tuesday night -- leaving the Colts jilted at the podium one day before he was scheduled to be introduced as the new... more

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was published before Josh McDaniels withdrew from the Indianapolis Colts' head-coaching position , as reported by NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Network's Mike Garafolo. MINNEAPOLIS -- Tom Brady was just steps... more

MINNEAPOLIS -- Even as he was helping to construct the NFL's last dynasty, Troy Aikman was aware enough to know it would not last forever. Still, he did not see the end coming. "When we won our third Super Bowl, I would never have imagined that w... more


MINNEAPOLIS -- Some of his new teammates were wearing "Deebo" T-shirts in their Foxborough locker room last week, and that was as good a calling card as any for James Harrison. "Deebo," after all, was one of the nicknames bestowed on him during his... more

MINNEAPOLIS -- When the Kansas City Chiefs beat the New England Patriots in the first game of the 2017 season last September, with Alex Smith outdueling an out-of-rhythm Tom Brady, it was difficult to imagine that just five days before Brady will app... more

MINNEAPOLIS -- It was the kind of detail lost on many, but which delights coaches. Jeff Fisher noticed it immediately while he watched the AFC Championship Game last weekend, Danny Amendola at midfield to receive a punt with the New England Patriots... more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- As the clock wound down and Tom Brady found himself in the middle of another celebration, Tom Coughlin glanced at a television monitor and watched. He, nearly alone in the Jacksonville Jaguars organization, knows the singular fee... more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- At some point in every game, opponents of the New England Patriots receive the stark reminder that they have to play flawlessly, leaving no room for adverse judgments, to have a chance to beat a team that rolls through postseason... more

JACKSONVILLE -- Back in the summer, on the day before training camp opened and months before these Jaguars would brand themselves "Sacksonville," executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin sat in his old office and explained that he... more

Now that Jon Gruden is on his way to becoming the Oakland Raiders' next head coach -- with the team expected to announce the hiring at a press conference Tuesday -- a word of caution: temper your expectations. Gruden is a star coach, a charismatic... more

When John Elway announced that Vance Joseph would return for the 2018 season, saying the Broncos believe in Joseph as a head coach, he added that together they would look to improve in all areas. Unspoken is the most obvious need for improvement. Si... more


PITTSBURGH -- The clock was ticking down and all around the Pittsburgh Steelers there was confusion. Confusion over what constitutes a catch , over why the ever-so-slight movement of the football in Jesse James' hands as he crossed the plane of the e... more

DALLAS -- After a year of negotiation, a few months of bitter infighting and even a last ditch attempt by Jerry Jones to stall the completed contract, Roger Goodell now has the deal that will keep him commissioner until he is expected to retire from... more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- By the time the tight game had unraveled into a blowout and a chilly day had given way to darkness, there were only Dallas Cowboys fans left in a windswept stadium to celebrate. They still have something left to cheer about,... more

New York Giants co-owner John Mara has spent his entire life around the NFL, observing his father, Wellington, celebrate and agonize over the team that Mara now celebrates and agonizes over, too. There is little Mara has not seen before, at the Giant... more

ATLANTA -- During the Vikings' first defensive series of the game against the Falcons, cornerback Terence Newman told his teammate Xavier Rhodes to calm down. Rhodes had the day's most daunting assignment -- to cover Atlanta receiver Julio Jones, who... more


On the day nearly two years ago when Tom Coughlin bade farewell to the New York Giants, Eli Manning sat in the auditorium in tears. Manning is famous and oft-criticized for his even-keeled, even laconic, public disposition. But Coughlin's words that... more

The first time Antrel Rolle met Sean Taylor, they were 6 years old and playing football for the Homestead Hurricanes in South Florida. The coach then ran a version of the Oklahoma drill: Two players lay on their backs, one of them holding a football,... more

PHILADELPHIA -- This is the kind of season the Philadelphia Eagles are having: *Their quarterback, Carson Wentz, can feel pressure coming up behind him while he is pump-faking to his left on third-and-9, pull the ball down, spin around to his right... more

BUFFALO -- In Drew Brees' long, record-setting career, there have probably been few moments when he wondered if his New Orleans teammates would be mad if he threw a touchdown pass. Such was the nature of the Saints' dominance Sunday over the Bills,... more

PHILADELPHIA -- In a week when Andrew Luck and Deshaun Watson were lost for the season, when one team traded and one team failed to trade for a starting quarterback, the Denver Broncos and Philadelphia Eagles provided the perfect coda. This game wa... more


LANDOVER, Md. -- Jerry Jones stood near a training table in the back corner of the Dallas Cowboys' locker room, the smell of rubbing alcohol so pungent that he joked he would be floating out of the stadium. Jones had good reason to be floating Sunday... more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The sign hung beneath one of the goalposts: 28-3 , as if the Atlanta Falcons needed any reminder of the Super Bowl collapse that loomed over this game as heavily as the fog that rolled in just before halftime. The Falcons spen... more

NEW YORK -- Against the backdrop of more critical presidential tweets, the NFL emerged from its Fall League Meeting with no mandate to force players to stand for the national anthem and a surprisingly progressive decision to support programs big and... more

The letters and emails have poured into team offices -- angry ones, some from military veterans -- and then there are the boxes of returned team merchandise and tickets and the worried calls from local sponsors about what they are hearing from their... more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The news from Minneapolis was terrible, Aaron Rodgers lost for perhaps the entire season with a broken clavicle and what feels like the end of the Green Bay Packers' championship aspirations, too. Tom Brady didn't know abo... more

TAMPA, Fla. -- Perhaps, on a cold early February night in Minneapolis, this game will become part of the mythology, the evening when the New England Patriots turned their season by gutting out a messy victory despite putting their foibles on full dis... more

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Ravens asked for fans to join them in a prayer for the country, for kindness and unity, equality and justice. When the Ravens briefly dropped to their knees before the national anthem began, the fans booed, a sign that the... more


PHILADELPHIA -- The particularly cruel gut punch was delivered to the New York Giants -- and possibly their entire season -- not by the stunning 61-yard field goal that gave the Philadelphia Eagles the victory Sunday, but by the realization that the... more

EDITOR'S NOTE: This past fall, went Back 2 Campus to tell the incredible stories of some of college football's brightest stars, profiling the players before they become household names. This is the third in a daily series leading up the scout... more

ATLANTA -- It is an annual truism of the NFL: Defenses are ahead of offenses early in the season. The fine tuning required for perfectly timed passes is not completed in a few half-hearted preseason games. In the first two weeks of this season, the... more

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Inspirational. That's the word Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones used to describe the impact of a judge's ruling that running back Ezekiel Elliott could play while his legal case against the NFL works its way through the court.... more

A court's decision to grant Ezekiel Elliott an injunction to put his six-game suspension means the NFL has Tom Brady redux on its hands -- playing a football season with one of its brightest stars fighting it in federal court while continuing to play... more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- About an hour before kickoff of the season opener, Tom Brady ran the full length of the field at Gillette Stadium as he usually does when he emerges for a warmup. At the end of his sprint, he punched the air, coming to a stop jus... more

A year ago, the question that loomed over the NFL season was if the New England Patriots could weather the suspension of their star player to remain in Super Bowl contention. With the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history -- after Tom Brady enginee... more


It's no exaggeration to say that one of the most important decisions of the upcoming season won't be made by a coach, player, general manager or even an agent. It falls to Harold Henderson, a former NFL executive, who has been designated to hear on... more

INDIANAPOLIS -- We do not know much, for now, about Andrew Luck's recovery from shoulder surgery. He is regaining strength and his throwing motion. He isn't practicing yet. The Indianapolis Colts do not think he will start the regular season on the... more

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- On the wall of Tom Coughlin's office -- exactly the same one he occupied two decades ago -- is a black-and-white photo of iconic hockey coach Punch Imlach. His tie is loosened, his feet are on the desk, a glass of champagne is i... more

Back in May, on the night he received a lifetime achievement award, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was asked about the looming investigation of his star running back, Ezekiel Elliott, on domestic violence allegations. Jones was adamant then, as he... more

Three years ago, when Jerry Jones was celebrating the 25th anniversary of his purchase of the Dallas Cowboys, he allowed that he might have one regret. "As I sit here after 25 years, the thing that bothers me most is that after the excellent blast... more


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A downpour washed away the last few segments of the Jacksonville Jaguars' first practice of training camp Thursday, which might, at another time, have been an apt metaphor for the team's fortunes. But the Jags, who have not ha... more

We could tell you that one of the biggest stories to watch when NFL training camps open this week is how the New England Patriots will integrate their ever-expanding collection of options for Tom Brady into their already powerful offense. But there's... more


FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Now, let's have Jets coach Todd Bowles project the 2017 season by way of explaining why he might start 37-year-old quarterback Josh McCown amidst the team's drastic youth movement. "Even when you go to kindergarten, somebody's... more


One by one, members of the Jones family arrived on a red carpet Wednesday night, there to celebrate the patriarch who is at the center of their family and, more famously, the NFL. Jerry Jones received Sports Business Journal's Lifetime Achievement... more

CHICAGO -- With relocation no longer looming over their agenda, NFL owners are expected to turn their attention at a brief meeting here to two issues that will shape the game on the field. Owners are expected to approve a proposal to reduce the len... more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- In the first few minutes of his very first practice last week, Davis Webb was already performing the kinds of drills he'll probably be executing for the bulk of his rookie season: Going through one dropback after another, wit... more

With the 2017 NFL Draft receding into memory, the offseason really begins now. What we'll learn from the next few weeks -- with rookie camps and OTAs setting us up for the June minicamps -- is just how close those draft projections are to reality, ho... more


CINCINNATI -- Joe Mixon has seen the video we have all seen by now. "It hurt to see it," he said. It has hurt to live it, for Mixon and certainly more so for the victim of his punch, Amelia Molitor. The two recently settled her civil lawsuit af... more

Remember these prices when we are preparing for the 2018 NFL Draft, with a quarterback class that is already expected to be much stronger than this one, when Jimmy Garoppolo and Kirk Cousins could be in play, too. In the first round of the 2017 NFL... more

It had never seemed right that Marshawn Lynch's career would fizzle to an end with an ignominious decision not to give him the ball at the 1-yard line with the Super Bowl in the balance, with injuries shortening what would have been his final season... more

If the 2017 NFL Draft buzz seems a little muted, it is not for lack of game tape. Team personnel evaluators have been saying for months that this class boasts a depth of talent that makes coaches and general managers salivate. Immediate starters will... more

The making of the NFL schedule is an imperfect science. And on Thursday morning, Michael North, the NFL's senior director of broadcast planning and scheduling, was being reminded of just how imperfect it is, as he made calls to the teams to talk abou... more

The house where Dan Rooney grew up and lived to his final days is just two stories high with a small porch, located on a modest block on Pittsburgh's north side not far from a fast food restaurant and some empty lots. You can almost see it from Heinz... more

When the NFL tabled the proposal to shorten overtime from 15 to 10 minutes at the Annual League Meeting, it did so with the expectation that a few more weeks of conversation probably would lead to the idea being reconsidered at May's Spring League... more

It was two and a half years ago, when Bill Parcells -- the man who unearthed Tony Romo as an undrafted free agent for a $10,000 signing bonus -- diagnosed Romo in a way that seems prophetic now. "I get a sense of urgency on his part," Parcells told... more


PHOENIX -- How popular are the rules changes the NFL just made? There was so little resistance among owners and coaches that owners voted early Tuesday and headed home ahead of schedule, concluding a meeting in which there were no surprises, but th... more

In the end, the divorce was so expected that, like many failing relationships, there wasn't even anything left to talk about before it became official. On Monday morning, NFL owners heard reports from the league office, got an update from their sta... more

With a vote of NFL owners slated for Monday at the Annual League Meeting, the Oakland Raiders are expected to receive approval to relocate to a stadium to be built in Las Vegas. The potential move by the Raiders is expected to dominate the meeting... more

With a dearth of available marquee players in their primes, this might have been the least sexy and impactful first wave of free agency in years, with almost all of the big deals completed within hours of opening last week. No matter who is signed,... more

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was published prior to the Patriots acquiring Kony Ealy from the Panthers and Brandin Cooks from the New Orleans Saints . The day included Tony Romo saying farewell with a Bob Dylan soundtrack , an NBA-style salary dump... more

INDIANAPOLIS -- The franchise tag deadline came and went Wednesday, lopping off, among the seven players who were tagged, the top layer of available pass rushers and creating an uncertain offseason for the Washington Redskins. They find themselves w... more


INDIANAPOLIS -- The NFL's Competition Committee is discussing two proposals that would significantly alter officiating -- whether to make referees full-time employees and how to centralize the replay review system. According to one league official... more

HOUSTON -- At the end, Tom Brady crouched alone, head bowed close to the confetti, encircled by reporters and security and finally his teammates. Immediately around him, backed up just a few inches, everything stood still for a few seconds. The onloo... more

HOUSTON -- Since the first week of the season, it has seemed inevitable that it would end this way, with Tom Brady in his seventh Super Bowl and two years of drama finally winding down to one final scene. From the moment the New England Patriots be... more

HOUSTON -- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, meeting with fans before the Super Bowl, cast doubt on the possibility of an 18-game season and seemed to open the door a crack to the possibility of the Raiders remaining in Oakland. Goodell was joined at... more

HOUSTON -- For the most succinct primer on Martellus Bennett, it is probably best to consult Vimeo. Search for Martellus Bennett Black Unicorn. Bennett first gave himself that moniker during a training camp conversation in his lone season with the... more

HOUSTON -- The crowning moment of Dan Quinn's career had come just a year before, at a Super Bowl that sent Peyton Manning into the night contemplating the miscues and confusion that had overwhelmed the most potent offense he had ever played in. Qu... more


An entire generation of football fans in the Bay State and beyond has come of age having never known anything but metronomic victory, as reliable and anticipated in New England as the change of leaves and the spring thaw. An entire generation of fans... more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The seasons have a way of blending into one another in New England, the AFC Championship Game being the thread that binds the years together. These are so routine here -- this was the sixth in a row for the Patriots -- that getti... more

Until Sunday, the playoffs were remarkably devoid of drama, with the first six games won by the home teams, all by at least 13 points. That, though, seems fitting for this season, when what counted for intrigue was how the Dallas Cowboys would formal... more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots outscored their opponents 130-32 in the first quarter during the regular season. At halftime Saturday night, one Texans official noted that in preparation for their divisional playoff game here, they knew... more

Earlier this week, one executive in the NFL who has closely followed the Chargers' decision on relocation offered this off-hand comment: "I think these decisions are emotional, not rational," he said. That seems truer on Thursday than ever, after... more

PITTSBURGH -- Ben Roethlisberger hobbled up to the dais Sunday afternoon, a bulky walking boot changing the tenor of a day that had seemed to encapsulate the vision the Pittsburgh Steelers have for their offense and their playoff potential.... more

By Monday morning, there were no surprises left in the NFL. Chip Kelly was still out, Todd Bowles was still in and Chuck Pagano was still in limbo. In fact, it was Gary Kubiak's decision to retire from coaching, bowing out of his life's work for th... more

The suspense went out of the race to the NFL playoffs early on Sunday evening, when the Giants beat the Redskins , sending both the Packers and Lions into the only postseason slots still available more than an hour before they kicked off the... more


The lasting image of Rex Ryan's two years in Buffalo should not be the shot of him bonding over beers with Jim Kelly or strolling through the NFL Scouting Combine in a Thurman Thomas jersey . Those were bouquets thrown to the past and to a fan base... more

PHILADELPHIA -- By the end, Odell Beckham Jr. was spent and maybe a little at a loss, too. He crouched in the end zone, his head in his hands. The NFL's most thrilling receiver had run out of gas, unable to summon his superhuman burst to get under El... more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie had been a piece of an extreme makeover before, the kind that the New York Giants undertook this offseason. The Philadelphia Eagles had acquired Rodgers-Cromartie as part of a trade that sent Kev... more

Jeff Fisher's demise seemed inevitable by Sunday evening, and the fatal blow was not merely the Los Angeles Rams' lopsided loss to the Falcons or that, with that loss, the Rams (4-9) had assured their fifth consecutive losing season under Fisher.... more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Tony Romo was slipping on the jacket to his suit when Jerry Jones squashed any thought that a quarterback controversy could erupt on a Cowboys team with just three games remaining and only two losses. "No. No. No. No," Jone... more

The 2010 season had just ended with a 6-10 record and Tony Romo's arm in a sling, the quarterback nursing a shattered clavicle. The Dallas Cowboys knew what they had to do. The team historically had good offensive lines, populated by Pro Bowlers li... more

ATLANTA -- The last time Eric Berry came home to Atlanta during the football season was two years ago, to begin chemotherapy at Emory University for Hodgkin's lymphoma. On Sunday, just a few days past the anniversary of his diagnosis, Berry returned... more


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Tom Brady hopped off the riser onto his left leg, his departure from the press conference as closely watched as any pass he threw Sunday. The Patriots were unimpressive for about 53 minutes against the Jets, but still complet... more

Eleven years ago, when the NFL played its first regular-season game outside the United States, it was in Mexico City in front of more than 103,000 people -- a resounding statement that football could travel. The lure of London was strong, though -- t... more

It was just two years ago that Bill Parcells noted that Tony Romo, the Dallas Cowboys quarterback he had signed in 2003 for a $10,000 bonus, was playing with a sense of urgency , as if the then 34-year-old, with two back surgeries already on his resu... more

PITTSBURGH -- Tony Romo was dressing quickly and alone at his locker, putting on his blue suit, interrupted only by the occasional polite congratulation that came his way. After a few moments, Jerry Jones bounded in, fresh from the box where he had... more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The impulse is to look for a statement in the New York Giants' 28-23 victory over the Eagles on Sunday, and maybe there is one to be gleaned in Doug Pederson's decision to twice forego field-goal tries on fourth down (he sai... more


ATLANTA -- Dan Quinn had spent the last few weeks divining the signals that this season would be different, that the Atlanta Falcons would not repeat the gut-wrenching swoon of 2015 that had branded his team with one of sports' worst pejoratives: men... more

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers honored some of their former players Sunday, but it was a current one whose appearance would have soothed them best after their 27-16 loss to the New England Patriots. Out of the locker room walked -- not hobb... more

HOUSTON -- Sunday night's 26-23 overtime victory by the Houston Texans over the Indianapolis Colts did not showcase beautiful football. But it was a nifty reminder of how quickly NFL obituaries are rewritten. Early in the fourth quarter, Texans fans... more

CLEVELAND -- Hours before the game started, as the flag bearers practiced their unfurling, Tom Brady walked the field with a scowl, a red hood pulled over his head, a picture of ferocity. Maybe that was only the rare bad snapshot of Brady. More lik... more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Bill Parcells was an early mentor to New York Jets coach Todd Bowles, and after each game last season, Bowles received a text message from his old boss. One of them, after the Jets lost four of five games midway through the s... more


PHILADELPHIA -- On the opposite sideline was the player to whom Carson Wentz is most often compared, but Ben Roethlisberger was too preoccupied with the Pittsburgh Steelers' own offense to admire a play that would have looked so familiar to him. Ea... more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Jacoby Brissett stood a few inches from the New England Patriots' sideline, squeezing in one, two, three more warmup throws as his teammates waited for him to join the first offensive huddle already forming on the field. The ex... more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- David Ortiz was in a Tom Brady jersey . Wes Welker was in a Brady mask . There were reminders of what the New England Patriots were missing everywhere on Sunday: before the game against Miami even started, while the festivities w... more

TAMPA, Fla. -- The rain was coming down so hard on the slanted roof that it sounded like an enormous air conditioner had just cranked up inside the dank Tropicana Field dome. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, without their own indoor practice space, had been... more

Helmet-to-helmet hits on Cam Newton resulted in just one penalty on the Denver Broncos during their 21-20 victory over the Carolina Panthers on Thursday. According to a league source, of the handful of plays that resulted in hits to Newton's head,... more

DENVER -- The hits to Cam Newton came one after the other, to his lower legs, to his chest, to his head. The Denver Broncos could not sack him in the first half, but they hit him nonetheless, and when the Broncos' own first-half confusion finally ebb... more

When Tom Brady decided this summer to stand down and accept his four-game suspension from the NFL for his role in the Deflategate saga, it brought to a conclusion one of the most divisive and inconclusive scandals in memory. After consuming most of... more


The snapshot we'll remember from this preseason is one the Dallas Cowboys wish they could forget: The agonizing moments when Tony Romo was hit from behind by Cliff Avril , crumbled into the fetal position and clutched his lower back. For a few da... more

Stephen Gostkowski is one of the National Football League's best kickers, so it is no surprise that, in New England's preseason game against Chicago , the Patriots had Gostkowski loft the opening kickoff to the 4-yard line, so the coverage team could... more

Geno Smith slipped out of the Jets' locker room late Thursday night without talking to reporters. The clock was winding down on the one-year anniversary of the event that changed the trajectory of his career -- the locker room punch from a former... more

LATROBE, Pa. -- It was a full 20 minutes after the end of Steelers practice Thursday, and even the diehard autograph hounds, the ones who start lining up at camp seven hours before practice begins to get a prime seat on the hill, were heading to thei... more

PHILADELPHIA -- The heckler behind the goal post Sunday had a particular problem with Josh Huff. "I hate you," he screamed at the Philadelphia Eagles' third-year receiver. "Get off the field. This isn't Chip Kelly's Oregon Ducks anymore." It's no... more


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Here we have the definitive statement on whether it is possible for Jimmy Garoppolo to supplant Tom Brady as the New England Patriots' starter during Brady's four-game suspension. "Jesus Christ," Bill Belichick muttered in resp... more

Deflategate nearly suffocated any other news from the NFL over the last year and a half, producing as much irritation and short-temperedness as the summer heat waves that make the training camps starting this week such grueling affairs. If there is a... more


George Halas, Art Rooney and Wellington Mara were three of the most influential figures in football history: Halas, a player, coach and owner of the Chicago Bears present at the 1920 creation of the league that would become the NFL, Rooney and Mara,... more

BALTIMORE -- Four days before his life's plan crumbled to the ground and had to be helped away, Steve Smith Sr. was explaining why he was going to retire. There were those around Smith -- his own family, members of the Baltimore Ravens -- who thoug... more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Maybe there was a hidden subtext to be gleaned from the musical selections at the New England Patriots' minicamp this week. Last year at this time, "Crazy Train" was playing, which seemed fitting given the circus that had just er... more

The final gasps of offseason work are finally upon the NFL, as teams hold mandatory minicamps over the next 10 days before heading into the relatively dormant six weeks that precede the opening of training camps. It's tempting to invest a lot of... more

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- To fully understand the Jets' quarterback predicament on a hazy, hot day of offseason workouts, you had only need to take in a five-minute span of a recent practice. The prodigal receivers -- Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker -... more


CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis arrived at the Spring League Meeting here with his franchise's future still in limbo, on a peripatetic quest for a permanent home but as the subject of the most intriguing speculation -- and litmus... more

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- For the cities bidding to host Super Bowls at the end of the decade, the Tuesday meeting of NFL owners has nerve-rattling import. For everyone else, though, this Spring League Meeting should be long on interesting hallway chatter... more

This story was originally published in October 2015. FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- The first thing Dan Quinn did when he got to Atlanta was install a basketball hoop in the Falcons' meeting room. It was not put there to provide a respite for the... more

This story was originally published in December 2015. The headquarters of the New York Giants could double as the team's private Hall of Fame, so filled is it with reminders of the franchise's glory. From Frank Gifford to David Tyree -- with four... more

This story was originally published in March 2016. When Peyton Manning was first grappling with the neck injury that would send his career on a stunning detour, he had a secret throwing session with his former college teammate, Todd Helton. Helton... more

For all the rookie-camp trend spotting, the Miami Dolphins won't know if the experiment in information and health retention with their newest players was a success until the rookies start filtering in with the veterans a week from now. That is whe... more

Sam Bradford rejoined his Philadelphia Eagles teammates for offseason workouts Monday, ending a mini-holdout -- can you even call missing voluntary workouts a holdout? -- that was long on bruised feelings and short on practicality. The Eagles wer... more

For those so inclined, it is almost safe to purchase your new team jerseys. The whirl of roster remaking that is the engine of the offseason reached its effective end when the 2016 NFL Draft concluded Saturday night and the frantic signings of undraf... more


With a bong, a gas mask, a reportedly hacked Twitter account and a tumble down the first round, left tackle Laremy Tunsil became the unintended story of Thursday night. Little more than two weeks ago -- before the Titans and Rams engaged in a... more

The decision by an appeals court to reinstate Tom Brady's four-game suspension for his role in the Deflategate saga should come as no surprise to anybody who was in the courtroom for the March hearing . It was clear from the questions and comments o... more

It's perfectly appropriate that the Los Angeles Rams are playing the leading role in the 2016 NFL Draft. They are, after all, Hollywood's team now -- and Hollywood likes nothing more than a star that delivers bombshells and suspense. The bombshell... more

By Wednesday afternoon, two of the NFL's most quarterback-needy teams had grasped for their future. The Rams and the Eagles are positioned, thanks to blockbuster trades , to select quarterbacks with the first two picks of the draft. That leaves the... more

The good news for those charged with the ever-complex task of assembling the NFL schedule this year was there was no mammoth open-air Mass by the Pope to work around. Beyoncé wanting to add tour dates? That was an issue. The schedule that was... more

A lot of time is spent talking about NFL players behaving badly or embarrassingly -- we almost got through a weekend without Johnny Manziel opining on partying , for instance -- but D'Brickashaw Ferguson retired as the New York Jets' left tackle over... more

The temptation, after listening to a quieter, eyes-wide-open Robert Griffin III this week, is to assume that he is just a big-name placeholder until the Cleveland Browns can draft and develop his successor. It will be a surprise, after all, if the... more

Thursday afternoon came and went and Colin Kaepernick still hasn't escaped his holding pattern. The long, strange offseason for Kaepernick -- stuck in limbo between a team he doesn't want , a coach who seemingly wants him and another team that mig... more


First, a lesson. The mortar kick that has been spoken of so often in the last week is not what we are likely to see with any frequency next season. When owners voted during the NFL Annual Meeting to move the touchback to the 25-yard line in an att... more

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- The NFL concluded a largely quiet annual meeting -- in which owners and team executives spent the most time focusing on the future of the game -- with a flurry of news, the most impactful of which were several significant rules... more

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- The NFL gathers for its annual meeting (Sunday through Wednesday) under starkly different circumstances -- and with a notably different mood -- than last year's powwow. The furor over the league's handling of domestic violence cas... more

The first wave of NFL free agency ended late last week, a good thing because if it went on much longer, there would be no evidence left to indicate that Chip Kelly had once worked in Philadelphia. The Eagles' makeover -- if you ever spoke to Kelly... more

Your opinion of the Denver Broncos' decision not to outbid the Houston Texans for quarterback Brock Osweiler on Wednesday probably comes down to this: Do you trust John Elway's judgment of a player he drafted and whose development he has overseen mor... more

It was 2009, and Peyton Manning was on the way to his fourth NFL MVP award and his second Super Bowl appearance. I was leaving the Indianapolis Colts' locker room when Manning called me over. "How's Mark Sanchez doing?" Manning wanted to know.... more

When Peyton Manning was first grappling with the neck injury that would send his career on a stunning detour, he had a secret throwing session with his former college teammate, Todd Helton. Helton was playing for Major League Baseball's Colorado Rock... more

NEW YORK -- More than a year after officials found numerous footballs used by New England Patriots in the 2015 AFC Championship Game to be underinflated, lawyers for the NFL and Tom Brady were back in court Thursday, this time for the league's appeal... more

The Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl little more than three weeks ago, barely enough time to pick the confetti from their hair and get the Champagne smell out of their clothes. Perhaps there will be time later for John Elway to enjoy that. But even... more


Back in December, when Commissioner Roger Goodell announced he had asked a group of former coaches, team executives and players to study the catch rule , the hope among fans was that a simpler, more easily-understandable rule would emerge. That is... more

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- If you looked closely while he sat at the podium Sunday night, you could just make out the small scar on the back of his neck that cleaved Peyton Manning's career in two. His arm was never really the same after the four surge... more

SAN FRANCISCO -- When the Indianapolis Colts were completing their college draft evaluations in 2011, they encountered a problem. How to grade the very successful Auburn quarterback who came packaged with the hulking body and skill set of a single-wi... more

SAN FRANCISCO -- There is a story behind the best Super Bowl tweet, and it is important to know. Good year for me from unemployed to the Super Bowl! â?? Wade Phillips (@sonofbum) January 25, 2016 Yes, it has been a good year for Wade Phillips,... more

SAN FRANCISCO -- The NFL, which hired its first female official last year and saw the first full-time female assistant coach hired last month, announced it will institute a Rooney Rule facsimile, which will require women be interviewed for executiv... more

SAN FRANCISCO -- John Elway does not remember the first time he met Gary Kubiak when they became Denver Broncos teammates in 1983, Kubiak an anonymous eighth-round draft choice, Elway the highly acclaimed No. 1 overall selection who refused to play i... more


SAN FRANCISCO -- When the NFL chose to play its landmark 50th Super Bowl in the Bay Area, it touted it as a recognition and embrace of the innovation and forward-thinking that springs from the area, important symbolism for a league now embarking on t... more

Before Super Bowl 50 writes the next chapter in the history of football in the Bay Area, NFL Media is examining local football heroes who were, in their own, unique ways, ahead of their time. Here's the story of a coach whose thoughts helped form tod... more

DENVER -- Marshall Manning was practicing writing his name in marker on the locker-room white board as his father got ready to try to make sense of the oddities of the season that will take him to his fourth and most improbable Super Bowl. A few yard... more

The Carson Palmer that Brian Billick watches now -- the one who has led the Arizona Cardinals to this Sunday's NFC Championship Game -- is an evolution of the quarterback he faced in his years as the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens. When Palmer f... more

They will, apparently, also play a conference championship game on Sunday in the NFC. It's very possible the Carolina Panthers and the Arizona Cardinals, the NFC's top seeds, are the two best teams in the entire NFL right now, with the first- and... more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- It has been virtually the same game, week after week, year after year, with only the receivers and the linemen changing, but rarely the results. The precision offense, the pinpoint passes, the timely stops, the critical opponent... more

If you are a scrutinizer of coaching adjustments, this is the playoff weekend for you. Not only is the Divisional Round of the playoffs considered the top weekend in football, but this season provides three rematches from the regular season -- the... more

HOUSTON -- The most evocative moments of the NFL's return to Los Angeles came just slightly off center stage, while Commissioner Roger Goodell completed the swift coronation by announcing that owners had approved the return of the Los Angeles Rams .... more

HOUSTON -- NFL owners began their league meeting on Los Angeles relocation at 9 a.m. CT and have heard presentations in support of the Carson project for the Raiders and Chargers and one for the Rams. The Carson presentation was made by Disney Chairm... more

On Saturday, Rams fans gathered for a rally at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. (Richard Vogel/AP) HOUSTON -- It has been 21 years since the NFL has had a team based in Los Angeles. By Wednesday night, the league could have two. Franchise... more

MINNEAPOLIS -- It was difficult not to feel for Everson Griffen as he trudged up the long, narrow hallway to the Minnesota Vikings locker room screaming, to no one, "What the (expletive)? You miss that?" Adrian Peterson was not far behind, slowly sha... more

Do not be fooled by the fact that the past two Super Bowls have been won by a No. 1 seed -- the Patriots last year , the Seahawks the year before . The most dangerous teams in this go-around of the NFL playoffs might well be the No. 6 seeds, the... more

The time frame in which results are expected in the NFL has shrunk so much that Black Monday has now been overwhelmed by Bleak Late Sunday. The most miserable day of the football calendar -- when 12 teams begin to prepare for the playoffs and everybo... more

The entire AFC playoff picture tilted with 8:18 left in the third quarter of a game that was really only about seeding. But that was the moment when Peyton Manning shed the coat he was wearing and took his job back, the job that it seemed he had los... more

On Wednesday, not too long after Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie offered a devastating account of why he fired Chip Kelly after just one losing season -- get used to hearing about "emotional intelligence" during the next hiring cycle --... more


In the wake of the firings of Chip Kelly and personnel man Ed Marynowitz, Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie will wrestle with the question of why he chose to invest so much power in the coach who had just two years of NFL coaching experience.... more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- It all happened so quickly Sunday afternoon, the Pittsburgh Steelers losing , the confusing coin toss , the New York Jets with the ball, the whole big jumble of weirdness that gave the Jets a rare chance to vanquish a perenni... more

There was a searing moment in mid-October that seems to be, in hindsight, the one in which the entire Washington Redskins' season pivoted. Kirk Cousins had just thrown two interceptions in a Week 6 loss to the New York Jets -- his fourth... more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- It was, as Roman Harper surmised, the most disappointed 14-0 team you'll ever see. Ron Rivera was ticked that his team lost its composure and its lead. Dwan Edwards was annoyed that the defense had gotten lax on tackling with... more

It took no more than 10 minutes last Sunday afternoon for the NFL playoff picture to make a dramatic turn. In that span, Andy Dalton dove to make a tackle , Thomas Rawls took a handoff and two of the most dangerous teams in the NFL took hits that c... more

HOUSTON -- It was the kind of day and night the New England Patriots' rivals have come to know and expect and dread. For several weeks now, the Patriots have been quite a few notches below their ritual dominance. In the last two games, both losses,... more

The recent travails of the New England Patriots can be summed up in one snapshot, and the pixel-by-pixel scrutiny that ensued. There was Julian Edelman last week, clad in black sneakers -- the sneakers are key -- on what appeared to be a casual s... more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- At the end, Tom Coughlin walked slowly from the sideline, past the kicker who had just missed for the first time all season and into his uncertain future. The Giants had just lost their fifth game in which they held a... more

As the NFL enters its final month of games, it features a strange contradiction. Just a few weeks ago, five teams made it to Week 8 without suffering a loss , the most to have done that since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970. That suggested a top-heaviness... more


In 2011, the Giants were humiliated by Washington -- at home, no less -- in Week 15 , bounced back on the road against the Jets the next week and started a run that ended with a ticker tape parade and a fourth Lombardi Trophy in the display case.... more

The key phrase when the Denver Broncos announced Peyton Manning's injury status on Tuesday was that he would be out at least two weeks. With it already official that Manning would not face the New England Patriots on Sunday -- scuttling a matchup... more

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- There was never any doubt in Bruce Arians' mind that the Arizona Cardinals would run the two-minute offense after the Cincinnati Bengals had tied the game. He had seen Carson Palmer settle down after pressing so hard to beat the te... more

The quarterback wave hit its most evocative nerve this week when a miserable Peyton Manning, confronting his own painful foot injury and perhaps his football mortality, admitted that by playing Sunday he had hurt his team. Manning has been benched... more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Bill Belichick was already in his gray suit and pink tie and still pacing in the narrow hallway that leads to the press conference room, such was the energy generated and anxiety produced whenever the New England Patriots pla... more

The late Junior Seau once told a story about one method Bill Belichick used to show his linebackers how he wanted them to do their jobs -- but only when they messed up, Seau said then. Belichick pulled out old film of the New York Giants, and the def... more

INDIANAPOLIS -- Peyton Manning likes to say that every interception has a story. The story of his latest one might stay with him longer than most, not because of the two records he missed with the Denver Broncos' 27-24 loss to the Indianapolis Colts... more

In his final weeks in Indianapolis, as the coaches and executives he had known for years were fired, as his own fate was already all but determined while he hung in public limbo, Peyton Manning summed up the feeling in the Colts' building this way:... more

DENVER -- Slowly, the smirk split Peyton Manning's face. For the first six weeks of the season, results be damned -- and they were unbeatable results -- Manning had faced questions about his accuracy and his arm and his age. They were valid questions... more


On the flight home from Kansas City last Sunday, the Pittsburgh Steelers were upset. They had just lost 23-13 to the Chiefs , a particularly galling defeat because K.C. was without both its leading rusher and receiver, and the Steelers had trailed by... more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The ritual has become exhaustingly familiar for Jerry Jones. Each week, for more than a month now, Jones has stood in a crowded hallway, the sound of water rushing from showers in the background, and slowly let his confidence... more

When George Allen ran the Washington Redskins, he had a motto on each of the desks at the office: "Is what you're doing now going to help us beat the Cowboys?" The only problem, according to one of the people who worked there at the time, is mana... more

PHILADELPHIA -- On the bright side, we have a tight race in the NFL's most storied division and nobody tried a fake punt Monday night. But the bright light that shines on the NFC East exposed a blooper reel in the Eagles' 27-7 victory over the Gia... more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Robert Griffin III adjusted his tie, alone at his locker, the same way he had been alone for much of the time on Washington's sideline during its 34-20 loss to the New York Jets . Griffin had been active on Sunday -- the fi... more

Before Andrew Luck's bad shoulder made it at least conceivable that he would miss another game and before, even, deflated footballs swallowed the offseason, set the NFL against one of the most accomplished players in its history and gave birth to t... more

For a few minutes Sunday afternoon, when the New England Patriots' offense was sputtering and Jerry Jones' vision was flickering to fruition, Greg Hardy was threatening to upend the established NFL order. It has taken Hardy's return from suspension... more

The Cincinnati Bengals are undefeated, have the second-ranked offense in the NFL -- really, Andy Dalton decriers -- and have scored more offensive touchdowns than any other team. They have an underrated defense and are sitting atop what is annually... more

Ryan Grigson became the Indianapolis Colts' general manager in large part because the previous regime had never given much thought to the backup quarterback position. That's how the Colts wound up frantically turning to Kerry Collins and Curtis Paint... more

Ryan Grigson became the Indianapolis Colts' general manager in large part because the previous regime had never given much thought to the backup quarterback. That's how the Colts wound up frantically turning to Kerry Collins and Curtis Painter when P... more

When the season began a month ago, 10 starting quarterbacks were at least 32 years old. If that shouldn't be viewed as a recipe for disaster -- after all, one of them was Tom Brady, who is playing the best football of his life at age 38 -- it was, a... more


ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys unveiled their game plan to survive the next two months, and it was simple. For a while Sunday, it was entirely effective. They would run the ball. They would allow Brandon Weeden to throw only short, safe passe... more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- In the jubilant locker room after the New York Giants had beaten -- survived? -- the Washington Redskins, linebacker Jon Beason stood in a back corner and rained ever so slightly on what most certainly should not be construed... more

PHILADELPHIA -- Jerry Jones' quarterback walked into the locker room, his head down, his left arm in a sling and a blue jacket draped over it. There was a small smile on Tony Romo's face as he spoke to Jason Witten, and teammates gently tapped Romo's... more

Eric Wood has been on the Buffalo Bills' offensive line for seven seasons, and despite what you might expect from a player on a franchise that has yet to enjoy a single playoff season this millennium, he has seen optimism and enthusiasm before. In 20... more

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Last year, when he was in the midst of his finest season, Tony Romo admitted that he was playing with a heightened sense of urgency, acutely aware that a quarterback in his mid-30s does not have many more chances to win an elusive... more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Even during the crisis that engulfed the offseason and threatened to shred his personal reputation, Tom Brady kept his counsel. He has never been much for public reflection or revelation, preferring to let people like his agent o... more

Deflategate swallowed the NFL offseason whole, pushing everything else -- Darrelle Revis' return to the Jets, the development of Jameis Winston, even Robert Griffin III's incredible plummet down Washington's quarterback depth chart -- to the margins... more

A few weeks ago, one of the league's most influential owners wondered about the future of discipline in the NFL in the post-Deflategate era. The owner was supportive of Commissioner Roger Goodell and felt Goodell had done what he had to do in assessi... more

It's the time of the football season where the first rush of optimism that greeted the opening of training camps has crashed into the reality born of shaky preseason games, dozens of tweaked hamstrings and the dawning realization that there aren't en... more


Josh Brown has been kicking in the NFL for 12 seasons, and he has missed exactly two of 387 extra-point tries in that time, for a success rate of 99.5 percent. He has not missed one in the last four seasons, the most recent two of which were played i... more

The good news is that the second preseason games usually give us a longer view of the people who will actually play in the regular season. The bad news is that it's only Week 2 of the preseason and already the annual parade of gut-wrenching and, poss... more

Tom Brady's fight against his four-game suspension will resume Wednesday in a Manhattan courtroom, and with a settlement appearing highly unlikely after two days of settlement talks last week -- a blistering Friday evening brief from the NFL Play... more

The good news from the New York Jets' loss in Detroit on Thursday night is that their starting quarterback didn't throw a pick six on the first offensive series of the season, as happened the last time the Jets opened the preseason in the Motor City... more

This is what one NFL team owner said when asked for his thoughts on the NFL's imbroglio with Tom Brady : "I can't believe we are still talking about this." Alas, we still are. And the conversation will ratchet up again Wednesday, when Brady and... more

The road to success in the NFL begins each year with the hard work and wide-open possibilities of training camp. As teams around the league gear up for the 2015 campaign, NFL Media reporters will be checking in from all 32 camps around the league . F... more

LATROBE, Pa. -- The Pittsburgh Steelers acquired Brandon Boykin -- after actively pursuing him , Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly said, since the draft -- to try to answer some questions in an inexperienced secondary. But first, in the hours it... more


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- For a few hours on Thursday, Tom Brady had his sanctuary, bathing in the roars of his fans, the "Free Brady" banners flapping in the wind. A storm was bearing down on the New England Patriots' first practice of the season -- a li... more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots will still take the field Thursday to start training camp, and they will still enter the season as one of the favorites in the AFC. But their effort to repeat as champions got infinitely more complicated... more

It is hard to believe the 2015 season is beginning -- training camps get going this week -- in part because the NFL still has a very significant hangover from 2014 to grapple with. Bill Belichick's tunnel vision notwithstanding, the league and the... more


The New England Patriots broke for nearly six weeks of summer vacation when mandatory minicamp ended last Wednesday and even Bill Belichick said he was looking forward to relaxing a bit. It won't be an entirely restful time for the franchise, though.... more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- At one point during the New England Patriots' final minicamp practice, "Crazy Train" was blasting from giant speakers, an appropriate soundtrack for a thoroughly weird, going-off-the-rails offseason and the practices that result... more

This week is the beginning of the end of offseason programs in the NFL. Barring injuries -- and there have been some jarring ones already in OTAs -- jobs are rarely won or lost right now, because padless, no-contact practices are much more mental... more

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The New York Jets' extreme chemistry experiment is playing out this summer in a suburban living room. There, Geno Smith, the Jets' once and future starting quarterback, will call out a play and the tall receiver with the wide... more

The current fortunes of the San Francisco 49ers could be summed up in one jarring social-media juxtaposition Friday afternoon. There was Jim Harbaugh, stripping off his Michigan blue shirt to gleefully conduct a camp topless . And there was the Tampa... more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The expectations for the New York Giants' offense next season are such that late-spring soreness in Odell Beckham Jr.'s hamstring elicited the need this week for team-released quotations designed to head off already-forming p... more

The attempt to spin a narrative of the victimization of Adrian Peterson never quite worked, considering his complaints about how the Minnesota Vikings treated him last season -- along with more recent complaints about the lack of guaranteed money in... more


There's an offseason in here somewhere and we are determined to find it. With OTAs underway and minicamps approaching, the NFL's dog days have arrived -- but that doesn't mean there won't be news. There is going to be plenty, in fact, including wha... more

Maybe, in the wake of Ray McDonald's arrest and subsequent release by the Chicago Bears on Monday, it's time for NFL decision makers to grapple with a bigger question: When do the second chances run out? Not the second chances for players who, say... more

Coach Chuck Pagano came away from the USO tour in awe of U.S. soldiers. (Courtesy of Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano went on an eight-day, seven-country, 24,501-mile USO tour this spring, visiting troops from Virginia to Diego... more

Once you get past the eye roll-inducing details (like that "The Deflator" was merely a reference to one man's struggle with the scale) and the contortions of logic (if Jim McNally and John Jastremski did nothing wrong, why have they been suspended... more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- There were few absolutes in the Wells Report on the New England Patriots' underinflation of footballs -- and perhaps that is what Tom Brady and the team relied too heavily on. There was no smoking gun and, even now, there are th... more

The report released by Ted Wells on Wednesday did not produce a smoking gun explaining how the New England Patriots' footballs came to be underinflated during the AFC Championship Game . It might have given us something more disconcerting, though:... more

The frenzy of roster-building that began with free agency essentially ended on Saturday night, with the close of the 2015 NFL Draft and the dizzying race to scoop up undrafted free agents . Yes, there will be another flurry of signings when teams beg... more

TAMPA BAY, Fla. -- Twenty thousand people packed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' draft party Thursday night, and, before the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft was even halfway over, they could buy the freshly minted No. 3 jersey that was already for sale.... more


Greg Genske has been an agent for 12 years, and he was a trial lawyer before that. But the run-up to the 2015 NFL Draft, which finally starts Thursday, has been a shock even to him. "I've never seen anything like it, truthfully," Genske said in a r... more

It was early on a late March morning, but Rex Ryan was already talking -- about his New Jersey house that was sold in little more than a day, about the home in an ultra-exclusive neighborhood he had purchased in Nashville (Ken Whisenhunt is nearby, E... more

Philadelphia Eagles fans are probably upset that they will barely get an up-close look at Chip Kelly's remade roster early on, with the team on the road for three of its first four regular-season games. Well, blame the Phillies. And the Pope. The E... more

Tim Tebow's best moments have always come when the odds against him appeared longest, so maybe being the fifth man in the Philadelphia Eagles' quarterback room -- after spending two full seasons out of the game entirely -- is the perfect launching p... more

When Adrian Peterson's reinstatement was announced Thursday, the clock started ticking on a decision about his future. The Minnesota Vikings, to whom he is still under contract, have insisted that Peterson -- who was kept off the field for nearly a... more

It is amusing to consider, on the day of Troy Polamalu's retirement , that in the weeks leading up to the 2003 NFL Draft , doubts had started to drift in among the game's scouts and decision-makers about the USC defensive back with the 43-inch vertic... more

Sarah Thomas didn't like officials when she was a college basketball player at the University of Mobile -- and she suspects they didn't like her much, either. That certainly didn't make her unique among athletes. What has happened since then does.... more

The turnstile finally stopped spinning for the New York Jets, allowing the doors to open Monday for the start of Todd Bowles' first offseason program as the head coach. With 13 new players added so far -- including Jets redux like Darrelle Revis and... more

On Thursday, as if to remind their fans of what might still be, the Houston Texans noted on their website that exactly a year ago they were covering Jadeveon Clowney's pro day at South Carolina. The videos document what everybody saw that day -- the... more


Last week, a senior NFL executive explained why piping in crowd noise and texting to the sideline is forbidden by NFL rules. It is, the executive said, a matter of the integrity of the game. Did using fake crowd noise at home cause the Atlanta Falco... more

PHOENIX -- In the beginning of his excellent Arizona adventure, Chip Kelly was at the Super Regional and Veteran Combines, where few other head coaches personally ventured, his dark backpack slung over his shoulder. At the end, he was somehow weaving... more

PHOENIX -- The NFL Annual Meeting was dominated by anticipation of at least one team moving to Los Angeles , perhaps as soon as 2016. A significant change to the extra point might be coming in May, in time for the 2015 season. But in a meeting that... more

Much of the work done at the NFL Annual Meeting revolves around the business of the league and the maneuvering of owners hoping to move to Los Angeles -- and the other owners who hope to control the process -- figures to provide a fascinating window... more

It was hard to miss the symmetry that accompanied Greg Hardy's signing Wednesday afternoon . Just minutes after Hardy signed -- with a grinning Jerry Jones at his side -- you could purchase a Dallas Cowboys jersey honoring Hardy. At around the same t... more

It was easy to understand Keenan Lewis' plaintive Instagram post last week. As one, two, three, four and more teammates were released or traded by the New Orleans Saints during a massive makeover , Lewis, a native of the Big Easy, suggested that may... more

The NFL seemed to pause by the middle of the week, maybe because even the professionally trained athletes it employs could not possibly keep up the frenetic pace that was set at the opening of free agency. An astonishing flurry of trades in a five-mi... more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Maybe the first hints of what was to unfold came in the days before Super Bowl XLIX. Darrelle Revis was asked over and over about his future, if getting to a Super Bowl with the New England Patriots meant he would be a Patriot fo... more

Detroit has the NFL's only minority GM/coach duo: Martin Mayhew (left) and Jim Caldwell (center). (Patric Schneider/AP) When free agency opens next week, there will be a small bit of good news about minority hiring in the NFL. For the second... more

The free agency period begins next week, but the top tier of the market took shape Monday, when the deadline for teams to apply the franchise tag came and went. And this free agency period promises to be a potentially frenzied one, with two key cogs... more


Adrian Peterson earned the same kind of legal victory over the NFL on Thursday that Ray Rice did back in November -- an ultimately hollow one. Two different judges have now chastised Commissioner Roger Goodell for applying the league's new person... more

The Detroit Lions might still be stinging from their playoff loss to the Dallas Cowboys, when officials picked up a flag on a critical fourth-quarter pass-interference call. They probably shouldn't expect their feelings to be soothed by the NFL's... more

It has been almost exactly a year since Ted Wells released his devastating report on the sordid behavior inside the Miami Dolphins' locker room, of the players preying on the weakest of their own, of directing homophobic remarks and resorting to... more

One thing that stood out about this Super Bowl : The difference between the Patriots/Seahawks and everybody else in the NFL was significant. Neither team played flawlessly on Sunday. Tom Brady's first interception is still unsightly, even when you k... more

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- When he first had this moment, he was much younger, with no wife or children, and none of the scars of the devastating losses and the troubling controversy that have dented him since. In that first Super Bowl victory, Tom Brady p... more

Ben Liebenberg/NFL Super Bowl 50 will be played at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California -- the first ticketless venue in the league. It is always best when pondering the arc of Super Bowl history to refer to that iconic photo of Joe Namath... more

Ann Mara, the co-owner of the New York Giants after her husband Wellington died, the mother of team president John and 10 other children, died early Sunday morning . The team's matriarch, 85, had been hospitalized after slipping on ice at her New Y... more


PHOENIX -- It has been a complicated week for the New England Patriots, and it will end with a game that holds complex implications. The undercurrent of the confusion, the derision, the bewilderment over the NFL's investigation into whether the Patr... more

PHOENIX -- The commissioner's annual state of the league press conference is usually a celebration of how the NFL dominates the American sports scene, with mentions of soaring ratings and competitive games and ways to improve an already wildly popula... more

PHOENIX -- So far this week, Rob Gronkowski has had a dance-off with a teammate's young daughter, read aloud from the erotic literature he inspired, imagined Arnold Schwarzenegger playing him in the inevitable movie and opined, after wandering into h... more

PHOENIX -- It is rare that the Seattle Seahawks, famed for announcing their arrival on the contending scene two years ago by asking one of the game's biggest stars if he was mad , appear to be the quiet, contemplative team. But last week, they went a... more

It was, in hindsight, the moment the Seattle Seahawks arrived as legitimate title contenders. And they announced themselves with a blast as resounding as the defense's hits and as thunderous as their stadium's cacophony. "U mad bro?" It's been m... more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Sometimes the most creative thing to do is the same old thing. Across the country, the reverberations from the Seattle Seahawks' comeback were still shaking the league Sunday night. By then, the Patriots were already draining... more

From the very start of the season, the Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts were among the handful of teams given the greatest chance to make the NFL's conference championships. And the reason is no secret.... more

John Fox went to the playoffs all four years he was the Denver Broncos' coach, winning the AFC West with quarterbacks as diverse as Tim Tebow and Peyton Manning. But on Monday, the day after a crushing loss to the Indianapolis Colts in the divisiona... more

It was mid-October, and the Denver Broncos had just beaten the New York Jets . As the late sun streamed into the tunnel at MetLife Stadium, Peyton Manning was walking to the team bus, already thinking ahead to next year. Manning had made that walk... more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass.  -- Not once but twice the Gillette Stadium crowd went silent. This is what happens when your team goes to four consecutive AFC Championship Games, as the New England Patriots are about to do. You expect something more than two 14-p... more

This is the season for conspiracy theories in the NFL. Baltimore linebacker Terrell Suggs was convinced, after his Ravens beat the Steelers , that the league wants some unnamed matchup -- maybe Broncos-Patriots in the AFC Championship Game, maybe... more

The NFL's long, miserable season of entanglement with Ray Rice finally ended Thursday, with an internal investigation that offered the news the NFL had most been hoping for: no news. Robert Mueller, the former longtime FBI director who conducted t... more

PITTSBURGH -- This week, the Baltimore Ravens gave their players T-shirts. "Faith and Guts," they said. And John Harbaugh said Saturday night he might have added "Fortitude," too. He gave them out to recognize a glaring and sometimes uncomfortable re... more

The wild-card round of the NFL playoffs is sometimes viewed as the warm-up act to the divisional round, when the top four seeds in the league start postseason play. Those who take that viewpoint are missing out, though. Nine Super Bowl champions ha... more


By 10 a.m. ET Monday, the purge was essentially over. The coaches and general managers who were told they no longer had a place to work were relieved of their jobs before much of the country even reported to theirs. This is how it goes on the most b... more

It seemed oddly fitting, at the end of a rocky NFL season, that the playoffs would be shaped by a frenetic few minutes of play by Connor Shaw, Chase Daniel and Case Keenum, a team that didn't win for two months seizing a berth, and the worrisome sigh... more

Judy Battista highlights the storylines and factors to pay attention to in Week 17, beginning with what promises to be a relatively smooth conclusion to the 2014 season and continuing below with seven more things to watch . After an unusually turb... more

PITTSBURGH -- Mike Tomlin was hollering to nobody in particular Sunday afternoon, although his three bosses -- Dan Rooney, Art Rooney II and Kevin Colbert -- were standing nearby with amused smiles on their faces. "How about that young man?" Tomlin... more

Judy Battista highlights the storylines and factors to pay attention to in Week 16, beginning with a look at the best division going and continuing below with 10 more things to watch . When the Pittsburgh Steelers were still early in their offseas... more

PHILADELPHIA -- Tony Romo's T-shirt read "Execute," which, a scant season ago, might have elicited a morbid John McKay-esque joke about what some people would have been in favor of doing to Romo and the Dallas Cowboys after another late-season unrave... more

Aaron M. Sprecher/NFL Patriots coach Bill Belichick shows off his Bose headset during a frigid game. FRAMINGHAM, Mass. -- For the first few weeks of the season, the engineers at Bose headquarters cringed each time Chuck Pagano slammed his... more

Judy Battista highlights the storylines and factors to pay attention to in Week 15, beginning with a division marked by futility and continuing below with 10 more things to watch . It took just a few hours Tuesday to sum up the chaos and confusion... more

PHILADELPHIA -- The boom is back for the Seattle Seahawks, but the best time for a critique is in the middle of a loud, crowded celebration. And Richard Sherman is not entirely satisfied. Philadelphia's first touchdown , which came off a short fiel... more

Judy Battista highlights the storylines and factors to pay attention to in Week 14, beginning with an unlikely career renaissance and continuing below with 10 more things to watch . Before his career retrospective was reduced to an inglorious... more

The beauty of late-season football is that every team looks more like itself: more complete in the best cases, often more flawed, but always more true. The long weekend of games that set up the final month of the 2014 regular season was no different,... more


In her decision to vacate Ray Rice's indefinite suspension, Judge Barbara S. Jones leveled an indictment more damning than her finding that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell acted arbitrarily in handing Rice a second, harsher suspension after the video... more

Judy Battista highlights the storylines and factors to pay attention to in Week 13, beginning with the Green Bay Packers' deep-threat extraordinaire and continuing below with 10 more things to watch . To Jordy Nelson, this all has a simple explana... more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The smile spread across Jerry Jones' face as he held court in the middle of the locker room. This is his little ritual, almost always in good times -- and often in bad, too, though this was most definitely one of the good one... more

Judy Battista highlights the storylines and factors to pay attention to in Week 12, beginning with the ever-evolving New England Patriots and continuing below with 10 more things to watch . After Jonas Gray scored the second of his four touchdowns... more

In trying to sort through the policy machinations and personal and political motivations surrounding Adrian Peterson, as well as the super-heated atmosphere in which the NFL suspended him for the rest of the season on Tuesday, one thing has remained... more

INDIANAPOLIS -- Jonas Gray approached his locker and the unfamiliar sight of a cluster of reporters waiting for him and staring at his backpack and lip balm and blurted out, "You stole my secrets!" The Patriots let the secret out Sunday night,... more

Judy Battista highlights the storylines and factors to pay attention to in Week 11, beginning with the NFL's aerial evolution and continuing below with 10 more things to watch . When Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts face the New England Patr... more

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- When the Kansas City Chiefs completed their first comeback this season from a double-digit deficit to beat the Buffalo Bills 17-13 Sunday , running back Jamaal Charles was thinking about Indianapolis. The Colts were the opponent... more

Judy Battista highlights the storylines and factors to pay attention to in Week 10, beginning with Big Ben's recent offensive explosion and continuing below with 10 more things to watch . Just before training camp began this summer, Ben Roethlisbe... more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Maybe Peyton Manning hadn't heard Patriots fans chanting "Bra-dy's bet-ter" late in the fourth quarter while he sat on the bench in the cold. He almost certainly wouldn't have cared even if he had, although he did glare into the... more


Judy Battista highlights the storylines and factors to pay attention to in Week 9, beginning with Manning-Brady XVI and continuing below with 10 more things to watch . FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The less glamorous reality of one of football's greatest... more

The 2014 NFL season is at the halfway point, and while there are some who would surely like a do-over (we're looking at you, Rex Ryan), some teams are already contemplating playoff seeding rather than ceding the season. Below is a look at who stand... more

Judy Battista highlights the storylines and factors to pay attention to in Week 8, beginning with a surprising strength for Indianapolis and continuing below with 10 more things to watch . On a snowy January afternoon nearly three years ago, a wee... more

DENVER -- Perhaps the most relieved person in Denver on Sunday night -- after Peyton Manning -- was Joe Horrigan, the longtime spokesman for the Pro Football Hall of Fame who was charged with bringing back the football that Manning would throw for hi... more

Judy Battista highlights the storylines and factors to pay attention to in Week 7, beginning with an emerging terror at the tight end position and continuing with 10 more things to watch below . Each week, the cut-up arrives for Julius Thomas... more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- In another season, in a different circumstance, Rex Ryan might have seen the game for what it was: a rebound effort against the most important rival, led by a poised, confident quarterback that should provide a sliver of optimism... more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- On the field after the game, Rex Ryan shook Peyton Manning's hand and said something Manning was probably uncomfortable hearing. "It's been an honor," Ryan told Manning. Perhaps Ryan was just verbalizing what most opponen... more

Judy Battista highlights the storylines and factors to pay attention to in Week 6, beginning with the renaissance of a high-profile division and continuing with 10 more things to watch below . Antrel Rolle, the New York Giants safety who talks as... more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- For a few weeks, it had felt like perhaps it was time to finally believe our eyes when the New England Patriots played. Maybe they really had been outclassed in personnel; maybe the one person who had elevated the Patriots for 13... more

Judy Battista highlights the storylines and factors to pay attention to in Week 5, beginning with the reunion of two fine football minds and continuing with 10 more things to watch below . It was only a few weeks before he would be released by the... more


Aaron Rodgers told everyone to R-E-L-A-X last week, and that turned out to be good advice. After all, even in the eternally unpredictable NFL -- the Arizona Cardinals and Cincinnati Bengals, once league laughingstocks, are now the only undefeated te... more

Judy Battista highlights the storylines and factors to pay attention to in Week 4, beginning with one purported contender's Achilles' heel and continuing with 10 more things to watch below . Randy Cross still watches the San Francisco 49ers closel... more

PHILADELPHIA -- You couldn't blame the Washington Redskins if they looked across the field during a feisty, vicious road loss  and wondered if -- maybe hoped -- that is where they were heading. Kirk Cousins only made trickier what now seems like wi... more

NEW YORK -- There was real news to come out of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's tense press conference Friday. The personal conduct policy -- previously the exclusive domain of the commissioner's office, to the constant dismay of players who bitingly... more

Week 3 of the 2014 NFL season is finally here -- and as she does every week, Judy Battista highlights the storylines and factors to pay attention to, beginning with a new lease on life for the Buffalo Bills franchise and continuing with 10 more thing... more

When Bill Polian was in his final months as president of the Indianapolis Colts and scouting players for the team to take with what would become the first overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft -- a selection that Polian's successor, Ryan Grigson, would... more

One of the biggest surprises of the opening weekend of the 2014 season was the uncharacteristic meltdown -- melt might be the operative word here -- of the New England Patriots, who relinquished a 10-point halftime lead, were shut out in the second... more

It was difficult to watch the Dallas Cowboys' opening day debacle and not wonder two things: 1) Was Jerry Jones thinking about the quarterback who got away ? 2) What is there to think about the quarterback he is tied to? Everybody had a good ch... more

DENVER -- Last March, when John Elway introduced his prized free agent DeMarcus Ware, which followed by only a few minutes the introduction of his other prized free agent Aqib Talib, which came not long after the introduction of the very first prized... more

For months, we expected the Denver Broncos' regular-season opener against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night to be a referendum on John Elway's offseason efforts to toughen up the Broncos as they try to become the first Super Bowl loser to retur... more

SEATTLE -- This is not something you hear from a team that just played its first game after winning the Super Bowl. "Everything is finally clicking. Everybody is on the same page." Now they're clicking? Apparently so for the Seattle Seahawk... more

Drew Brees watches quarterbacks differently than the rest of us do, of course, with a far greater understanding of the fine points of their performance and an empathy for the conditions that shape their careers. The New Orleans Saints star pays close... more


In his defeat, Michael Sam still scored a small victory Saturday afternoon. His release from the St. Louis Rams as they set their roster was strictly a football decision, with Sam a victim of numbers on a team that probably had only one open spot on... more

It might appear as if Johnny Manziel -- and his pro day with a president , his friendships with Floyd Mayweather, Justin Bieber and LeBron James, his maybe/almost/can you imagine near-miss as the Dallas Cowboys' draft pick , his inflatable swan --... more

Almost immediately, the NFL realized it had made a mistake in suspending Ray Rice for just two games in late July for his involvement in a domestic violence case. By the time Commissioner Roger Goodell arrived in Canton, Ohio, for the Hall of Fame... more

This was two weeks ago and already the Cleveland Browns were frustrated. Training camp had reached the dog days, a quarterback competition was in full, not-terribly-reassuring swing and still the Browns were waiting on Josh Gordon. They knew then... more

The most important preseason games are over and with just 10 days to go until the regular season begins, a clearer-eyed assessment of teams is replacing the optimism that greets the opening of training camps. In a lot of cases, that's good. If,... more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Victor Cruz was posing for pictures in the locker room Friday night, as sure a sign as any that things are slowly getting back to normal for the Giants. There wasn't much that anybody would want a souvenir of this preseason f... more

LANDOVER, Md. -- The highlight of the night for the Cleveland Browns' starting offense Monday, the night on which their quarterback competition was supposed to be culminating, was a field goal. On a drive that featured no completions. On a drive that... more

BEREA, Ohio -- When finally a quarterback question came Saturday morning -- after those about Buster Skrine, Desmond Bryant, Josh Gordon and a raucous practice fight delayed the inevitable -- Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine began to answer, then... more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- It was just another chilly practice late last October, and Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly was fretting about what he called "instability" among his quarterbacks. Michael Vick's hamstring was balky again, sending the starte... more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Jets hope to come out of the preseason with what the Indianapolis Colts have had for two years: a never-in-question, never-out-of-the-game quarterback around whom to build. The Jets got to see what that is like u... more

CANTON, Ohio -- Back in the spring, when the NFL decided to experiment with its extra point, it must have imagined something better than this: kickers booming their extra points in the first game of the season, making a mockery of the greater distanc... more

CANTON, Ohio -- The gold jacket hung a little loosely on his shoulders as the other Hall of Famers rose to applaud Jim Kelly. The multitudes of Buffalo Bills fans, who had made the trip for Andre Reed's enshrinement, roared when he was introduced bef... more

Only a few days had passed since he'd been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001, and Mike Munchak was still numb. He was in Hawaii for the Pro Bowl, and at a meeting that brought the full class together for the first time, someone was goi... more


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Rob Gronkowski's arrival on the field at New England Patriots training camp was greeted by the loudest cheers of an overcast Thursday morning, appropriate for a person who possesses so much of the team's offensive dynamism in his... more

With the end to the offseason of the inflatable swan , NFL training camps are opening. That means two things. The part of the year that makes coaches and general managers most nervous -- when they have less contact and less control over players, send... more


PITTSBURGH -- In the soaring old cathedral and on the steaming gridiron, Pittsburgh marked the inevitable passage of time this week. Churches and football fields are both places for worship in this city. The bishop who led Tuesday's funeral mass for... more

Of all the things that could have delighted Peyton Manning after Denver buried the defending champion Baltimore Ravens to open last season, it was the least-anticipated participant in the Broncos' 49-point offensive onslaught that brought the slyest... more

There wasn't much to the public profile of Chuck Noll, which is how he wanted it. He never accepted endorsement deals and didn't write a book detailing his coaching philosophies. The late Pittsburgh broadcaster Myron Cope dubbed him The Emperor, and... more

The obituaries for the Atlanta Falcons' defense came soon after the team announced that linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, who tore his Achilles tendon while jogging during a workout with trainers this week, will miss the 2014 season. The loss of... more

INDIANAPOLIS -- The making from scratch of an NFL player begins at about 5:30 each morning at Erik Swoope's home near the Indianapolis Colts' training center. He prepares his own breakfast and then cues up his first tape session of the day -- usually... more

In the first few hours after the San Francisco 49ers announced a new contract extension for Colin Kaepernick on Wednesday, it was easy to think that the Niners had made a considerable gamble -- to the tune of $61 million in guaranteed money -- that... more


Evan Pinkus/Associated Press Just seven weeks after undergoing ankle surgery, Eli Manning is getting into the groove of a new offense. EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- It was only a tiny jump pass and just a little rollout, but this is what... more

The first time Bill Parcells jilted the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in 1991, he said the task of assuming complete control and rebuilding the franchise was simply too big. The second time he did it, little more than a decade later -- another jilting, diffe... more

Up until a few days before he died, Ralph Wilson, the late Buffalo Bills owner, talked about the draft -- he was intrigued by some of the safeties -- with the team's CEO, Russ Brandon. It seems ironic, then, that it was the Bills' draft that cast a l... more

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Michael Vick would like to clarify something about his final season in Philadelphia, the one that began with him winning an open training-camp competition and effectively ended with an injury that allowed for the emergence of... more

ATLANTA -- When the Seattle Seahawks won the NFC West with a 7-9 record in 2010, the question was whether a team with a losing record should be allowed to host a game against an opponent with a better mark. The Seahawks might have supplied the answer... more

ATLANTA -- Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, appearing in public for the first time since his March arrest for allegedly driving while intoxicated and possession of a controlled substance, declined to discuss his personal situation in a 12-minute... more

CINCINNATI -- Andy Dalton was already gone by the time reporters got into the Cincinnati Bengals' locker room this week. An intentional disappearing act or not, it was just as well. Brooks: Draft grades Bucky Brooks performs a division-by-divisi... more

NEW YORK -- Did you see the video of the moment Michael Sam heard Jeff Fisher tell him he was going to be a St. Louis Ram? When Sam folded into himself and began to weep, with exhaustion, probably, and also with relief? It was a seminal, if long over... more

NEW YORK -- Johnny Manziel barely had time to shed his draft night angst at a late-night party before he received a good look at what he was in for at his new home, at the extreme expectation and staggering burden he will bear as the latest designat... more

NEW YORK -- Johnny Manziel was experiencing the 2014 NFL Draft in reverse. All around him in the green room, the camera would run to surround the table inhabited by the latest pick. They went to Jadeveon Clowney across a narrow aisle first, and Man... more

A general manager was trying to predict what would happen at the beginning of the 2014 NFL Draft this week, and he didn't sound much more certain than anybody else. "My best guess is, (Jadeveon) Clowney goes (No. 1), but I don't know who picks him... more


Peter Morgan/Associated Press After a disastrous 2013 season, 26-year-old QB Josh Freeman looks to prove himself worthy of starting once more. EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- It was difficult not to notice the dynamics at work when the New York... more

The making of the NFL schedule is what Howard Katz, the league's scheduling guru, has called his annual ritual of finding out how stupid he is. After more than two months of sorting through thousands of potential schedules, pondering logistics (sta... more

The Oakland Raiders are gathering to start their 2014 offseason program on Tuesday, a day that must feel to the denizens of the Black Hole like an annual leap of faith. Gone by that time will be Terrelle Pryor, the most recent in a long string of... more

The release of the 2014 NFL schedule is still at least a few days away, but the new season really begins next week, when every team will be back together for the start of offseason workouts. Offseason Dates The NFL offseason workout program calen... more

Do you want a good guess at what Jim Harbaugh's offseason has been like? Let Marvin Lewis explain. Back in 2006, Lewis was in his fourth year as the Cincinnati Bengals' head coach, still relatively early in the turnaround that transformed the... more

By now it is plain what is happening to Chris Johnson, and what has happened to many running backs this offseason. The three-time Pro Bowl back has been devalued, his 28-year-old legs being viewed with about the same trepidation and suspicion as th... more

Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press A misconduct issue involving Richie Incognito (left) and Jonathan Martin put the NFL workplace under scrutiny. Nearly two dozen players, coaches, owners and top league and NFL Players Association officials met a... more

Lovie Smith finally got to move into his new home over the weekend, long after the billboards welcoming the Buccaneers' coach were erected along Tampa's congested roads, back when the other professional ballplayers in town were reporting for spring... more

The announcement Wednesday morning slipped in under cover of the news around DeSean Jackson. The New York Giants had signed defensive end Robert Ayers -- the 13th veteran added by the team in the three weeks since free agency began. In that way, it... more


The public courting of DeSean Jackson began in Washington, D.C. on Monday afternoon , not far down the road -- though a bit further in the NFC East standings -- from Philadelphia, where Jackson spent the first six seasons of his NFL career. But that... more

It was difficult not to feel the passage of time at the NFL Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla., which concluded Wednesday. The newest wave of general managers looks younger than ever. And for the second time in a little more than two weeks, owners mourn... more

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Chip Kelly approached his table at the NFL Annual Meeting on Wednesday morning with a look of bemusement on his face. A few feet away, Pete Carroll and his Super Bowl championship drew a relatively small clutch of reporters at the NF... more

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Bill Belichick at the NFL Annual Meeting is The Hoodie in repose: a flip-flop-wearing, fitness-tracker-bearing, Florida Gators-visor-clutching version of the sweatshirt-cocooned coach. But a few things about Belichick are inviolate... more

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins bullying scandal is continuing to reverberate through the league, with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell scheduled to meet with union leadership next month to discuss workplace culture. And as the NFL Annual Meeting o... more

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Even before the NFL Annual Meeting moves into full swing Monday, the league's Competition Committee met Sunday to review what might turn out to be the least significant set of rules changes in several years. In recent years, owners... more

Perhaps the New York Jets' signing of Michael Vick to push Geno Smith -- coupled with the long-anticipated end of the Mark Sanchez era -- will help fill the fans' bottomless vessel for action. Maybe general manager John Idzik's calm, measured... more

The big-ticket wave of free agency effectively ended over the weekend, and now the bargain-hunters -- and they are often one and the same as the smartest teams -- are picking through what is left. Just because the first week is over doesn't mean the... more

Let's start with a disclaimer: Remember Philadelphia's dream team. Vince Young's catchy nickname for the 2011 Eagles caught on in a way that the team's haul of free agents that year certainly never did. It still stands as a cautionary tale for those... more

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- DeMarcus Ware did not even recognize cornerback Aqib Talib sitting a few rows behind him Wednesday morning, because after all, even NFL stars don't settle into first class expecting to see a potential new teammate a few seats away... more

EDITOR'S NOTE: Judy Battista wrote this piece before DeMarcus Ware agreed to a three-year contract with the Denver Broncos on Wednesday. Almost immediately after the Dallas Cowboys selected DeMarcus Ware in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft,... more

The football epitaphs for William Clay Ford Sr. will focus on the Detroit Lions' record in the 50 years he owned the team, the one playoff victory more than 20 years ago, the failure to reach a Super Bowl. Ford, who died Sunday at age 88, never knew... more

Gary Wiepert/Associated Press The future fortunes of Fred Jackson's Buffalo Bills depend on fans' willingness to embrace the team. Even before the Buffalo Bills played their first regular-season game in Toronto just over five years ago, Scot... more

The NFL Competition Committee has discussed experimenting this preseason with a longer -- much longer -- extra-point try. According to one member, the committee's meetings this weekend included preliminary talks about placing the ball at the 25-yard... more


Linemen often joke that holding happens on every play, but it doesn't get called. That might change soon. The NFL is considering a plan for the 2014 preseason that would add an eighth official to focus on interior line play, the league's head... more

Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press Jerry Jones has presided over seismic growth since purchasing the Dallas Cowboys 25 years ago. Near the conclusion of the negotiations that ended the NFL's lockout nearly three years ago, New York Giants... more

When Jadeveon Clowney blazed through his 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine on Monday morning, clocking an official time of 4.53 seconds , he crystallized the Houston Texans' latest conundrum. There hasn't been any question that Clowney is t... more

The sordid behavior of the Miami Dolphins' locker room finally blasted, in all its cringe-worthy detail, into the public Friday morning , a rather classic case of bullying writ as large as the men whom attorney Ted Wells concluded perpetrated it.... more

When Anthony Becht was a tight end prospect from West Virginia in 2000, he prepared for his workouts with NFL teams by training with a speed guru based in Chicago. The training was track-specific -- "Something I would never use on-field," Becht said... more

Late Sunday night, the text from an NFL team's personnel executive arrived: "You grade and rank him like all the other DEs." Perhaps that executive is a Pollyanna for the shoulder pad set, hoping to see only smooth sailing through even the thorni... more

Michael Vick spent part of Super Bowl week making the media rounds , essentially becoming a pitchman for a product that might've increased in value through relative dormancy. Vick, who turns 34 in June, remains one of the NFL's most compelling figu... more

NEW YORK -- Malcolm Smith had been glancing at the shiny, silver football on a pedestal Monday morning. He took the keys to a new truck , answered a few questions, joked about being dressed for a trip to Disney World -- all in an early day's work fo... more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The woman in the orange hat pushed a small blanket toward him, and Peyton Manning paused and took the pen. He signed it, offered a small smile -- hers was much bigger -- and walked on, toward another small cluster of people w... more

JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- The jerseys that have piled up in his locker this week -- all with those polite but pointed notes from teammates "sign this for me" -- are just another reminder to Peyton Manning that the light he says he sees at the end of the t... more


NEWARK, N.J. -- John Elway didn't have enough time with the one personnel expert whose insight he most wanted. The player whose transcendent moment came when he was racing the clock was unable to rewind it to grasp the wisdom he'd later need. A... more

JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- One is so new that his curly hairstyle has elicited attention this week . The other is so familiar that he is asked incessantly about his exit plan , as if there is a rush to send him to his creeping retirement. Before the final... more

There was a light dusting of snow on the field when the Denver Broncos resumed practice last week, perfect preparation conditions for a Super Bowl that will be unlike anything we've seen in a long time -- where mere visible-puff-of-breath cold will b... more

The Mannings have developed an extraordinary family routine for Super Bowls, in that any family that actually has the need for a routine surrounding the Super Bowl is extraordinary. Two years ago, when the New York Giants were preparing to face... more

Sixteen organizations have been selected to receive grants of $300,000 to assist their research into tools to diagnose and treat brain injuries, including concussions. The grants come from the Head Health Challenge, a $20 million program launched l... more

The Denver Broncos surely had shaken the confetti from their hair and were watching by the time Richard Sherman tipped the potential game-winning touchdown pass into the air , sending the San Francisco 49ers' Super Bowl hopes spinning along with the... more

DENVER -- It was less than 18 months ago, after a training camp practice on a warm, late summer day, that Peyton Manning began a story. On NFL Network NFL Replay will re-air the Denver Broncos' 26-16 win over the New England Patriots in t... more

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- John Elway sat up in his box last Sunday , watching the Denver Broncos' lead wither away. Elway, of course, was the architect of many Broncos victories, and his career arc remains a romantic ideal: He retired after the 1998 season... more

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The awkward exodus from New England is well behind Wes Welker by now, leaving in its wake only judgments about whether the Patriots' struggle to retool their offense would have been quite so grinding had the receiver remained. M... more

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Chris Harris Jr., the tape review shows, had just one substandard game this season, and it was against New England. In that late-November Broncos loss , Harris, Denver's best cover cornerback, frequently drew the unenviable matchu... more

DENVER -- Most of the stadium lights were already out Sunday night and the parking lots were emptying, but Peyton Manning was back briefly on the sideline in his suit, glancing over his shoulder, watching his son scamper around the end zone. It has... more

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The enduring visual of the Denver Broncos' most recent painful surprise was of Peyton Manning taking warmup throws on the sideline, glancing regularly, maybe a little longingly, toward the field. He paced, he stared, he put his ha... more

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- After the season ends each year, Peyton Manning takes his notebook to a meeting with his coaches. It is filled with his thoughts of the weaknesses he perceives in his game and the things he wants to work on in the upcoming offseas... more

When the New Orleans Saints and San Francisco 49ers won their respective playoff games on last-second field goals this past weekend, they left the field with more than just divisional-round access. They took with them, once and for all, the idea that... more

PHILADELPHIA -- Chip Kelly and Nick Foles were too new to the NFL this season to have reputations and reams of damning statistics to label them. They were blank slates and that was to their advantage last week. In the run-up to Saturday night's NFC W... more

The Philadelphia Eagles hold their daily news conferences outdoors, providing, when temperatures plummet, amusing shots of ski-capped reporters looking as if they are covering an event in the Ukraine while awaiting appearances from coaches and player... more

To understand how a single high school in an affluent community of Austin, Texas, could produce -- a decade apart -- the two quarterbacks who face off Saturday night in the playoffs , it might help to know the way in which this extraordinary intersec... more


The decision to fire -- or not fire -- an NFL head coach is fraught with myriad variables, from the sublime to the ridiculous. From the money remaining on his contract, to who ownership thinks it could lure, to how that young quarterback might be set... more

In Dallas this week, the hope was that a doctor's shot injected into Tony Romo's back would relieve the pain caused by his herniated disk. In Green Bay, they gazed at scans, trying to determine if incremental healing of Aaron Rodgers' collarbone had... more

Throughout the season, with the defensive collapses and the head-scratching play-calling and the oddly timed votes of confidence , there has been at least one constant about the Dallas Cowboys: Tony Romo and his never-full landfill of blame. The... more

The New England Patriots are not given to introspection. Bill Belichick does not rank his victories in public and does not pronounce certain games more important than others. The next man up is king for the Patriots, the next game the only one that... more

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Three weeks ago, before the Carolina Panthers received a short-term reality check from the New Orleans Saints, Luke Kuechly pronounced a change in his teammate Cam Newton . Newton had thrown two interceptions against the Tampa Bay... more

Torrey Smith was just like everyone else Monday night , watching Justin Tucker line up for a 61-yard field-goal attempt with the Baltimore Ravens' season on the line. Unlike everyone else, Smith is a wide receiver for the Ravens, a team that has been... more

It is tempting to watch the Dallas Cowboys with a hand over your eyes, peeking through splayed fingers, the way you view a horror movie. The Cowboys are nothing if not that right now, a slowly unspooling Nightmare In Jerry's World , starting out... more

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- There was Tom Brady, slumped in a black metal chair in the hallway outside the Patriots' locker room, quietly holding his wife's hand and talking to his offensive coordinator. Brady had cursed on live television, and then cut h... more

In the first team meeting after the injury of a certain star player, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick did not spend much time talking about the player who had been lost for the season, delivering a message that one player who was there summe... more

The quote that will resonate from Mike Shanahan's shockingly raw news conference Wednesday, in which the Washington Redskins coach sought to address everything from his decision to deactivate Robert Griffin III for the rest of the season to his own... more

The sense of doom began to set in early, even when things were deceptively perfect for the Carolina Panthers. They were churning out their methodical, clock-chewing drives, their defense had forced a three-and-out, and Drew Brees was on the sid... more

Luke Kuechly showed up for work Monday morning and saw the latest sign of the Carolina Panthers' renaissance. There were a half-dozen other players gathered by his locker, hanging out together on a day off. Coach Ron Rivera had given the Panthers a... more

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The question was amusing for its bald honesty: Did Peyton Manning know how badly the Kansas City Chiefs and their fans wanted to beat him? Alex Smith will never inspire that kind of fear and loathing in an opponent's locker room... more

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Only one week ago, as the Denver Broncos headed into a frigid Foxborough night, the hand-wringing was especially white-knuckled. The Broncos had lost to the New England Patriots and some of Peyton Manning's passes had fluttered i... more


The New York Giants' season is probably over, but give them credit for one thing: Tom Coughlin is the rare coach to admit that he scoreboard-watches. In fact, Coughlin showed his team the standings each week, as a way to remind them that despite an 0... more

Many times, over many years, Peyton Manning has forced coaches to make gamble-the-reputation choices to combat him. Go for it on fourth-and-2 from deep in your own territory rather than trust your defense to stop him. Try an onside kick to open the... more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- At some point, the trail of tail lights leaving the parking lots dimmed. But if those drivers, determined to beat the traffic home during a shocking blowout, had put their cars in reverse on the roads outside Gillette Stadium on... more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Early on the morning after the New York Giants won their most recent Super Bowl, Tom Coughlin stood in a hotel ballroom and mused that he would soon enough be back on the hot seat. It probably would happen the following seaso... more

DENVER -- He was not going to discuss his health, but it was plain to see. Peyton Manning's ankles had been heavily taped Sunday night, concealing what appeared to be a brace on the right one, and the game plan was one of an immobilized quarterback.... more

DENVER -- Perhaps when they meet again in two weeks in the cacophony of Kansas City, it will be different. Maybe Alex Smith will be able to squeeze more out of the Chiefs' moribund offense. Maybe K.C.'s defense will be able to use the crowd noise to... more

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- A missed practice by Peyton Manning is a rarity, so unusual during his long, durable career that when it happened Wednesday , as the Denver Broncos were preparing for their biggest game of the season so far, it sent a brief shudde... more

You could have written the story of the Dallas Cowboys' season -- or, really, their recent history -- from just a brief glimpse at Tony Romo on Sunday night. Right before halftime against the New Orleans Saints , when an avalanche of points already h... more

From the very beginning, Chuck Pagano kept a depth chart beside his hospital bed. When the chemotherapy weakened him, Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson would stop by and move the names to keep it current. The texts and phone calls fro... more

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- In the cramped locker room after their ninth victory, the Kansas City Chiefs were talking about the little things. The ill-timed penalties. The dropped passes. The misfires from the quarterback. Besides running a perfect... more


PHILADELPHIA -- A few hundred miles away from here, the Buffalo Bills were waiting to find out if the quarterback who had been elevated from their practice squad earlier this year would be healthy enough to start this weekend against the NFL's only... more

As the Dallas Cowboys melted down Sunday afternoon , Dez Bryant launched into a frustration-fueled tirade . Despite substantial TV airtime of the incident, it was difficult to lip-read what the star wide receiver was screaming, what Jason Witten was... more

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- We saw, for a moment this week, a flashback to the old Rex Ryan , from the days before the vagaries of directing a teetering team under a new general manager sapped the New York Jets coach of his bluster and bravado. It was sp... more

It has been almost two years since Jim Irsay mused aloud about what he was about to do: host a Super Bowl while preparing for the departure of the very reason the game had been given to Indianapolis. Irsay knew then what he had planned for Peyton Man... more

INDIANAPOLIS -- The tribute had been touching and blissfully brief, the reaction poignant. Peyton Manning's reintroduction to Indianapolis Colts fans probably was as special as he could have hoped for -- those in the crowd rose to cheer him, and they... more

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- There is a picture of Peyton Manning in the rear corner of the Lucas Oil Stadium press box. It's of his back, and he appears to be about to emerge from a tunnel into bright sunshine, the horseshoe still on his helmet, his relation... more

The New England Patriots had a stunning statement victory over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, and now they're preparing to play their most hated rivals, the New York Jets . That means a New England-centric mailbag, unfortunately without the lobst... more

The defining moment of Sean Payton's career -- the defining moment of the entire New Orleans Saints franchise, it turned out -- was his call for an onside kick to open the second half of Super Bowl XLIV . The rest is part of NFL lore: New Orleans... more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The state of the New England Patriots might have been summed up by a scene Sunday night. The dozens of reporters waiting for Kenbrell Thompkins in the din of a victorious Patriots locker room were spilling over into another play... more

Maybe you would be offended at the disrespect that being one of the biggest underdogs in history signals. At the questions about whether Peyton Manning should even play in Sunday's game or just take the week off. At the dispatch from the Broncos' Tw... more

The NFL's Tuesday announcement that it is adding a third game to the International Series at London's Wembley Stadium next year generated lots of questions and, more importantly, a good excuse to go listen to The Clash's "London Calling" (you should... more

The play seemed to move in slow motion, like one of those movie scenes when you can sense the outcome and long to jump up to implore the actor not to go down that dark hallway or try to start his car. Before Danny Trevathan had even completed his div... more

INDIANAPOLIS -- It all began a year ago this past weekend, it turns out, when Chuck Pagano left his team to seek cancer treatment and the Colts crawled to their locker room at halftime trailing the Green Bay Packers by 18 points. Had the shell-shocke... more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The scoreboard watching already has begun. This practice usually does not start until December, when the playoff spots are being doled out, picking up urgency as the desperation grows. But on Wednesday, Giants coach Tom Cou... more

This is something of a relief: There were a lot more questions this week about the NFC North than the NFC East. Let's hear it for good teams. Several of you -- like Eric Speck -- asked if Matt Cassel is the answer for the Minnesota Vikings. (You'll... more

The play that will haunt the Atlanta Falcons this week, maybe this season, is the one constantly rerun in Sunday highlights: an airmailed, across-the-body Matt Ryan pass that sailed well over a wide-open Roddy White at the 3-yard line on fourth down... more


When Mark Sanchez finally is released by the New York Jets after this season, with the $8 million that forestalled their divorce in his pocket and his labrum repaired by surgery , the quarterback's tenure in Gotham will be summed up with a series of... more

When Peyton Manning emerged from a cold tub late Monday night, shivering and trying to catch his breath in the middle of a news conference, it was a rare uncomfortable moment in the Denver Broncos' otherwise steely-eyed assault on defenses. Really,... more

Elise Amendola / Associated Press NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is dealing with many league issues, from player safety to season structure. The NFL continues to consider changes to its season structure -- from altering the preseason to... more

What we learned from reading this week's mailbag was pretty simple: Three games is enough time for panic and despondency to set in. Consider the New York Giants, who, at 0-3, already have sent at least a few fans peering into the abyss. Like Closet R... more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants have a clock, just outside their main locker room, that counts down the days until Super Bowl XLVIII will be played at the end of the season in MetLife Stadium. On Monday, it read 131 days, which might see... more

INDIANAPOLIS -- It is tempting to think that the Andrew Luck who alighted on the NFL last season, who is now perhaps its best young quarterback, emerged fully formed from Jim Harbaugh's Palo Alto laboratory. That, of course, is not wholly true.... more

INDIANAPOLIS -- The mood at the Colts' facility early Wednesday was somber, which is what happens when the head coach starts his press conference by announcing the surprising news that another player -- in this case, tight end Dwayne Allen -- is don... more

Fans are a lot like coaches. They spend a lot more time worrying about the things that go wrong than they do celebrating the things that go right. For instance, this week's mailbag questions: Got Qs about Week 3? #AskJudy ! @judybattista Is the... more

In the video the Miami Dolphins posted of their postgame locker room Sunday, coach Joe Philbin could be seen incongruously using note cards for his jubilant remarks. In front of a giddy-looking owner and a gleeful reminder of some of the team's glor... more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- This was Peyton Manning in discomfort, no glimmer of a smile, little hint of happiness. Such is the toll these Manning Bowls take on him and his family, that the awkwardness of defeating his brother's team could dull even a... more

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Eli Manning grimaced this week at the mention of the Manning Bowl, and he probably isn't the only one to have done so, not even in his own family. There isn't much new to say about the Manning brothers as they prepare to play... more

Your team so upsetting you could use a stay on a psychiatrist's sofa? Consider something cheaper and more fun: our weekly mailbag. Come here for answers to your football questions, but also for catharsis. We're looking at you, eternally-suffering Jet... more

The good news finally arrived for the Green Bay Packers on Monday night, a few hours after the clipped press conferences and the somber reconstructions, after the fight techniques were helpfully relayed from San Francisco and the defense could final... more

DENVER -- The very first pass Peyton Manning threw in Denver seems a long time ago now -- two years, a few neck procedures and a crushing playoff loss separating the toss that nosedived into the ground at Coors Field during a private throwing sessio... more

When the New York Jets and the Buffalo Bills finally named their starting quarterbacks this week, they reaffirmed a trend that even the historic game by Peyton Manning in Thursday's regular-season opener couldn't refute: The NFL is in the midst of a... more

In the hours after a settlement in the mammoth concussion lawsuit against the NFL was announced last week -- as retired players tried to figure out what it would mean for their care, as league executives exhaled at a significant threat removed -- a... more


By Judy Battista In a conversation last winter, an NFL executive asked a reporter what the league needed to do to get better. The answer was an obvious one: Settle the mushrooming concussion lawsuits. No rules change, no television deal, no superst... more

Predicting the 2013 NFL season Will Tom Brady be the MVP? Can the Bengals be stopped? Who will rise in the NFC East? Our analysts look into the future. More ... Each year, it feels like the run-up to the new NFL season grows longer and busi... more

BALTIMORE -- The sulk has been sidelined, the towel thrown in. If there is good news to be gleaned about the Carolina Panthers offense this preseason -- and there has not been much so far -- it is that it has given quarterback Cam Newton plenty of... more

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Perhaps a primer on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' offense is in order. The team whose identity was for so long wrapped around its defense now possesses an upper-echelon offense, which ranked ninth in total yards, 10th in passing ya... more

LATROBE, Pa. -- When Troy Polamalu was still an emerging player in the NFL, Jerome Bettis, his veteran Pittsburgh Steelers teammate, gave the safety a bit of advice. Make sure the injuries you suffer during the season, Bettis warned, are completely e... more

The New York Jets went back to practice Sunday, the rookie quarterback who many in the organization dearly hope can win the starting job limping along as surely as their chances for a clean resolution to a competition that has been tellingly tight.... more

When Bill Belichick strode to his lectern on July 24, handed his visor to an assistant and began one of the most somber -- and candid -- news conferences of his career, he provided an inadvertent display of one of the most important lessons from the... more

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