NFL teams ordered by Commissioner Roger Goodell to hold training camp at home facilities

All 32 NFL teams have been told by Commissioner Roger Goodell to hold training camps at their home facilities this summer because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Most NFL teams stay at their training complexes year-round, but Dallas, Pittsburgh, Kansas City and Buffalo are among those that stage training camp elsewhere.

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The Cowboys and Steelers are scheduled for the Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio, on August 6 and will be the first two teams to report in late July. Dallas usually trains in Oxnard, California, and Pittsburgh in nearby Latrobe, Pennsylvania.

The Cowboys have never held their entire preseason at home. The Steelers have trained at St Vincent College in Latrobe for more than a half-century.

The league has cancelled all in-person workouts at team facilities, which only in the past two weeks have begun opening on a limited basis. No coaches nor players other than those undergoing medical treatment and rehabilitation have been allowed in those facilities.

Soon, the NFL is hopeful of having club complexes fully open, but under strict medical guidelines including social distancing protocols.

One team in something of a limbo are the Raiders. Their move to Las Vegas has been complicated by the pandemic – they had been working out of their Oakland-area complex in Alameda, and had been planning to hold training camp as usual in Napa, about one hour north of the Bay Area. However, they could decide to move it to their new facility in Henderson, Nevada.

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Baltimore Ravens and Jamal Adams make sense, says Jeff Reinebold

Jamal Adams’ future in New York has been the subject of plenty of speculation, the Inside the Huddle team debate what’s next for the Pro Bowl Jets safety.

Free Agency has been and gone, so has the Draft and as things stand, Adams remains on the Jets roster. But talk over his future refuses to go away, with Baltimore the latest team to be linked with a move for the 24-year-old after initial speculation linked him heavily with the Dallas Cowboys.

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The future of the Texas native has been the subject of speculation for the last 12 months, with Adams reportedly open to the prospect of a trade, and according to one report more than half the teams in the league being equally keen on a move.

For now, there appears to be no trade in sight for Adams, who has been vocal on social media about his future, and with Jets’ coach Adam Gase facing a make-or-break year, it remains to be seen what the future holds.

“Strong personalities just don’t seem to work with Adams. Jamal Adams is a really, really fine player and great players just don’t grow on trees,” Jeff Reinebold told the latest episode of Inside the Huddle.

“So, I really, really question this one.

“There are some teams out there looking for a safety, this is a guy who could come in and make a huge impact and bring some toughness and some attitude to a defence.”

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The two parties remain at an impasse on a contract extension. Adams has two years to run on his current deal after the Jets took up their option on a fifth year for the sixth overall pick in the 2017 Draft.

Adams is skipping the Jets’ virtual off-season and posted an update of him working out privately on Instagram, with the caption: “Winning has a price”.

Adams recorded 75 tackles and returned his lone interception for a touchdown in 14 games last season. He has 266 tackles, 12 sacks and two picks in 46 career games with the Jets.

“Dallas have said that they’re reportedly not interested in a trade. If you go back to last October, Adams was on trade block and it was thought that he was very close to joining the Dallas Cowboys. Baltimore might have an interest,” Neil Reynolds added.

“This is an all-pro, I know he’s had a bit of a vocal history and is a bit of a pain in management’s backsides, but I don’t get this one if they ship him somewhere else.

“Have we not seen this movie before? When Adam Gase was in Miami, all of a sudden there was an exodus of good football players, when they seem to be just on the cusp of making it over the hump.”

Reinebold believes if Adams is to move on, then a move to Baltimore may make more sense.

Dallas are unlikely to entertain a trade for a player who will command a huge contract, their priority remains quarterback Dak Prescott, while the Ravens have pedigree and success in bringing big names to Baltimore.

“If you think about Baltimore, the DNA of the Baltimore defence has always had great safety play,” Reinebold added.

“Ed Reed redefined the position when he was in Baltimore. Adams is not Reed but he’s a really good football player.

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Eli Apple and Carolina Panthers agree terms on one-year deal

The Panthers have agreed terms on a one-year deal with free agent cornerback Eli Apple.

The move gives the Panthers the experienced cornerback they coveted after James Bradberry signed as a free agent with the Giants.

Apple has started 48 games during four seasons in the NFL and has 233 tackles, three interceptions and three forced fumbles but has never lived up to the billing of being the 10th overall selection in the 2016 draft out of Ohio State.

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He started 15 games for the Saints last season and had 58 tackles and one forced fumble. He spent his first two and a half seasons with the Giants before being traded midway through his third NFL season to the Saints.

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Inside the Huddle discuss onside kick changes as NFL owners prepare to vote

As the NFL prepares to vote on changes to the onside kick restart, Jeff Reinebold believes they offer a credible alternative ‘to make a play.’

Thursday’s owners’ meeting will take a different look to previous years, with the NFL, like the rest of the world, adapting to the changes that have come about following the coronavirus pandemic.

The meeting will take place virtually and NFL owners will vote on a number of proposals, the most prominent of which surrounds the restart. All proposals must be approved by 75 per cent of the 32 owners to be adopted.

It is not the first time it has come up for discussion, but given the decline in recovering onside kicks, and the increased safety concerns around it, the chance to throw the ball is an intriguiging prospect.

“This is one of the rules with the NFL kind of tested with the old AAF, the spring league,” Reinebold told the latest episode of Inside the Huddle.

“The rule was actually brought up by the Broncos a year or two ago, it got voted down but then they instituted it in the spring league to give it a field test and they liked it.

“I’m a traditionalist, I’m going to say that right off the top, so I’m not a big fan of changing the rules but I think this one does make some sense. The problem with the onside kick, as it’s grown, is that it becomes a very dangerous situation.

“You’ve got the ball kicked, it’s live after 10 yards and you’ve got guys running down to try and recover the ball, guys are coming to try and block and there are collisions.

“It takes a lot of courage with big bodies careering down on you. I think it’s, again I’m not a big fan of it because I think the kick-off is a great opportunity to make a big play. Both as a return team and as with a surprise on kick where you bounce it off of the front line of the return team if they’re not paying attention.

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After a couple of tweaks to the language of the proposal, they will be voting on a rule that would permit teams to attempt a fourth-and-15 untimed play from their own 25-yard line twice per game in regulation.

The updated language also clarifies placement of the ball in the case of a penalty on the scoring play preceding the untimed down. A penalty on the scoring team would place the ball at the 40 instead of the 25. A defensive penalty on the preceding play puts the ball at the 13 1/2-yard line.

A team can also call timeout before the snap of the ball on the untimed down and change its decision to execute a kick-off.

If Patrick Mahomes has the ball down by four with 10 seconds left and you’ve got a chance for him to get it back, keep it and throw a hail Mary then I don’t mind that. I didn’t want the kick-off, and I hope this is not a pre-cursor to the kick-off going away

Neil Reynolds on the proposed new fourth and 15 rule

Reinbold is keen to see how things would play out, recognising it might not bring about huge change but does offer an opportunity if teams can make it work to their advantage.

“Is it going to be a big factor? There’s a lot of things that go with this,” Reinebold added.

“The ball is going to be placed at the 25 and your success rate is about the same as it is on an onside kick. So, if you’re trailing you really have to be judicious in how you use this because if you don’t pick up fourth [the opposition] get possession and in in-field goal range.

“They’ve done a good job in the last 24 hours of taking away some of the loopholes, coaches are like lawyers, they’ll find them.

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Coronavirus: Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross says 2020 NFL season will ‘definitely’ happen

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross believes the NFL’s 2020 season will take place as scheduled later this year despite the coronavirus pandemic and that his team’s plan is to have fans in attendance.

The 80-year-old real estate developer said the league wants to have fans in place but that plan is subject to change before the regular season begins on September 10.

Speaking in an interview with CNBC, Ross said: “I think definitely there will be a football season this year. The real question is will there be fans in the stadium?

“Right now, today, we’re planning to have fans in the stadium. But I think the NFL is looking at, and is very flexible, so that we will be able to start on time and bring that entertainment that is so needed for all of us in this country.”

Miami’s home opener is scheduled for September 20 against AFC East division rival Buffalo.

The Dolphins went 5-11 in 2019 and finished last in the division but there is plenty of excitement in Miami after the team selected quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with the fifth overall pick of last month’s NFL Draft, which was held in a virtual format due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Barcelona's Premier League flops, from Overmars to Coutinho

After Alex Song admitted he joined Barcelona for the money, who are the other Premier League stars who flopped at the Nou Camp? From Marc Overmars to Philippe Coutinho, the Spanish giants have a history of bad buys from England’s top-flight

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Alex Song’s revelation this week that he was never too bothered by failing at Barcelona because they paid him so much money was a reminder that the Catalan club have been burned buying Premier League players on more occasions than they would want to remember. 

Song, who spent four years as a Barca player but was shipped out on loan after two seasons, was quoted by Cameroonian website Lion Indomptable, saying: ‘I met Barca’s sporting director, and he told me I would not get to play many games. But I didn’t give a f***. I knew that now I would become a millionaire.’ 

Here, Sportsmail take a closer look at five of their other famous flops – with four of them having come from the same English club.

Alex Song flopped at Barcelona after joining the Spanish giants from Arsenal in August, 2012

ALEXANDER HLEB 

Barcelona paid Arsenal £11.8million for Hleb in 2008 and the talented Belarusian should have become an integral part of Pep Guardiola’s revolution. 

Instead, he never got to grips with the new coach’s demands in training and so rarely showed his ability in the team. 

Guardiola wanted his players turning up an hour before training started so they would be out on the training pitch and ready for the start of the session in good time. Hleb would often be the last to arrive. 

He fell foul of Guardiola’s system of fines as a consequence. He also never made any progress learning Spanish. 

One of the coach’s maxim’s was: Not alert in training – not going to be alert on the pitch, so there were few chances to shine. 

When he did get the opportunity, he overindulged on the ball, perhaps in an attempt to hide the way much of the team play practised in training had gone over his head. 

Guardiola got rid after just one season.


Alexander Hleb joined Barcelona from Arsenal for £11.8m but couldn’t nail down a starting spot

MARC OVERMARS 

Overmars joined Barcelona in 2000 for £25m but never came closing to justifying that outlay. 

He was brought in to replace Luis Figo but the former Arsenal winger fell short. 

No one doubted his ability or his application and there were moments of magic. But having cost so much, and with such big boots to fill, he had to be an almost instant and then consistent success, and dogged by injury, he wasn’t.


Marc Overmars also left Arsenal for the Nou Camp but he failed to hit top form in Spain

THOMAS VERMAELEN 

The elegant Belgian defender was perfect for the way Barcelona like to defend. 

He had pace to burn so that sitting as high up as the halfway line while his team attacked and then having to race back was never going to be a problem. 

He was good on the ball too so there would be no rushed long clearances so frowned on at the Nou Camp. And he was exceptional in the air which would help Barcelona strengthen an area where they were weak. 

There was only one problem: his terrible luck with injuries. 

Barcelona knew this before he arrived. He was injured when they signed him. It did not put them off. They spent £15m on him and then watched as he watched from the sidelines. 

He joined in 2014 and didn’t leave until 2019. The team won plenty of trophies while he was there and when he was fit enough to play he looked the part, but ultimately the gamble on him did not pay off.


Thomas Vermaelen’s career was destroyed by injuries after he left the Gunners for Barcelona

EMMANUEL PETIT 

Petit came with Overmars in 2000 and fared even worse. 

He had looked so good at Arsenal alongside Patrick Vieira but it goes down as another early example of the Arsenal to Barcelona curse. He was gone within a season sold to Chelsea. 

Barcelona’s success rate with Arsenal would later pick up when they signed Giovanni van Bronckhorst and then Thierry Henry. Before things returned to normal with Hleb, Song and Vermaelen.


Emmanuel Petit was a favourite at Arsenal but he was shipped out of Barcelona after just a year

PHILIPPE COUTINHO 

Not all the underwhelming signings arrived from Arsenal. 

After a long drawn out saga, Barcelona broke their transfer record for Philippe Coutinho in January 2018. The deal, which was worth £145m with add-ons made, him the third most expensive player in history behind Kylian Mbappe and Neymar. 

It hasn’t all been bad. There have been goals and assists and his Copa del Rey final performance in 2018 was superb, but the riddle of fitting him into the team with Lionel Messi and an awkward relationship with supporters – they jeered him, he put his fingers to his ears in one sarcastic goal celebration in response – meant the club soon began to look for a way of getting their money back on him. 

On loan at Bayern Munich he has played well enough until injury, but Barcelona want around £90m for him and the German champions were never going to pay that. 

He could yet fit in under Quique Setien, but if not Barca will have to take at least a 50 per cent loss on the money they paid for him.


Philippe Coutinho became the most expensive player in Barca’s history when he left Liverpool




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Joe Flacco signs with New York Jets on one-year deal

The New York Jets have signed Joe Flacco as their back-up quarterback on a one-year deal, reportedly worth $1.5m with $3m in potential add-ons.

The 35-year-old was released by the Denver Broncos after failing a physical examination in March and underwent surgery on a neck problem last month.

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Flacco’s only season in Denver was cut short when he was placed on injured reserve on November 1 with a herniated cervical disk in his neck, having served as their starting quarterback for the first half of the 2019 campaign.

Acquired from the Baltimore Ravens for a fourth-round pick last year, Flacco started eight games for the Broncos before getting hurt, throwing for 1,822 yards, six touchdowns and five interceptions as Denver started 2-6.

His 85.1 passer rating was his highest mark in a season since 2014 (91.0).

Flacco has a career passer rating of 84.1, having thrown 218 touchdown passes and 141 interceptions. He has thrown for a total of 40,067 yards.

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New York Jets and Jamal Adams in stand-off over contract extension

Talks over a new deal for New York Jets safety Jamal Adams have come to a standstill, with reports the two sides have even discussed the possibility of a trade.

Adams and the Jets have reportedly had several discussions since last month’s Draft, but remain divided over the timing and urgency of an improved contract.

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The 24-year-old, a two-time Pro Bowl selection since being taken by New York with the sixth overall pick in 2017, is entering his fourth season and is due to make $3.5m in 2020.

The Jets want to wait to do a long-term extension while Adams wants one done before the season.

Timing is on the Jets’ side, having already exercised Adams’ fifth-year option, putting him under team control for the next two seasons before his contract runs out.

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“Winning has a price…”

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If he plays on his fifth-year option, Adams would make $9.9m in 2021.

According to ESPN, the two sides even talked about the possibility of a trade, something Adams is reportedly open to but that the Jets want no part of.

There are also reports more than half the teams in the NFL have reached out to the Jets with interest in a possible trade for Adams.

The Jets reportedly entertained trade offers for Adams last year, with the Dallas Cowboys heavily linked.

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Cody Latimer: Washington Redskins wide receiver arrested on assault and firearms charges

Washington Redskins wide receiver Cody Latimer was arrested in the early hours of Saturday in Colorado and booked on multiple charges, the Douglas County Sheriff’s office reported.

The department said deputies responded to reports of gunshots fired in an apartment in unincorporated Douglas County shortly after midnight.

When they arrived, they took Latimer, 27, into custody. One person in the apartment was reported to have minor injuries that were not related to a gunshot.

Latimer was booked into the Douglas County Detention Facility on felony charges of assault in the second degree, menacing and illegal discharge of a firearm, as well as two misdemeanours – prohibited use of a weapon and reckless endangerment.

The Redskins issued a statement following news of the arrest.

“We are aware of the situation and have informed the NFL League Office. We will continue to gather more information and have no further comment at this time,” the team said.

Latimer played collegiately at Indiana. The Broncos selected him the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, and he spent four seasons in Denver, followed by two with the New York Giants.

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Jeff Reinebold: Cam Newton’s big personality a factor in his search for new team

The NFL offseason is into May and one-time league MVP Cam Newton remains without a team.

“They gave up on me” said Newton on social media as the Carolina Panthers announced they were preparing to move on from him in March. He may not be the same electrifying dual-threat quarterback that exploded onto the scene in 2011 and led his team to the Super Bowl in 2015, but there is a chip on his shoulder capable of fuelling a second wave to his career.

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With no obvious starting jobs currently presenting themselves, the recently-turned 31-year-old is reportedly open to taking a backup job, no doubt in view of establishing himself as starter further down the line.

The salient question being – who will take him?

Speaking on Inside the Huddle, Jeff Reinebold explained: “One of the concerns you would have when you bring in a personality like Cam, a big personality, I’m not saying anything about him being a bad guy, I think he’s a great guy. He’s very, very popular with his teammates, he’s a quarterback that has led a team to a Super Bowl.

“He has obviously been hurt but he will be a popular guy in the locker room. The potential would exist with him in the locker room to be a divided locker room real fast, because there would be a number of players on that team that will gravitate towards him because of his personality, what he’s done and his pedigree.”

Newton saw his 2018 season limited to 14 games due to a shoulder problem and managed just two appearances in 2019 before being placed on injured reserve because of a Lisfranc fracture.

New Carolina head coach Matt Rhule openly expressed his excitement to work with Newton while speaking at this year’s Scouting Combine. That scenario would never materialise as the Panthers released a statement permitting Newton to seek a trade before eventually releasing him following the arrival of free agent Teddy Bridgewater.

The Chicago Bears loomed as a potential landing spot, but turned to Nick Foles as competition for Mitchell Trubisky. The Los Angeles Chargers were another possibility, but committed to Tyrod Taylor and drafted Justin Herbert. The Las Vegas Raiders added Marcus Mariota as support for Derek Carr and the Washington Redskins signed Newton’s former teammate Kyle Allen as healthy rivalry for second-year quarterback Dwayne Haskins.

With all he has achieved and the vocal leader that he is, it is difficult to imagine the three-time Pro Bowl selection sitting as an understudy.

Reinebold continued: “I think that’s one of the things teams are a little bit cautious of, how is he going to come in and fit in?

“As you hear him make these comments that he would be willing to come to a place and be a good backup and learn, a lot of the same things Jameis said when he went to New Orleans, I think really what he’s doing is advertising himself for one of the backup jobs.”

Ryan Tannehill’s decision to backup Mariota in Tennessee last season paid dividends as he won the starting role, led the Titans to the playoffs, won 2019 Comeback Player of the Year and, ultimately, reignited his career.

After losing his starting job to Tom Brady in Tampa Bay, Jameis Winston signed with the New Orleans Saints to learn from Drew Brees in a bid to continue learning and refresh his career.

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