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Bombshell recording of NFL owners/players anthem protest meeting emerges

Florida Football Insiders

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Sep 17, 2017; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan watches his team during the second half of a football game against the Tennessee Titans at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

A bombshell inside story on the NFL owners and players meeting last October about national anthem protests has emerged from the New York Times Wednesday afternoon. And it’s not being viewed as a coincidence, that the story’s release is coming on the eve of the NFL’s most important off season weekend with the NFL Draft.

The Times also obtained an audio recording of the three-hour meeting, and it’s a fascinating window into the chaos that began in August of 2016 with Colin Kaepernick kneeling for the national anthem. Then, erupted like a volcano, when President Donald Trump spoke out on the Friday Night of the third weekend of the NFL season last September.

President Trump went so far as to call on fans to boycott, and that owners should “fire” players, who were kneeling. That weekend there were numerous player protests orchestrated across NFL games in response to Trump’s incendiary comments. That included the Jacksonville Jaguars, who were playing that Sunday in London and many Jags players knelt for the national anthem of the United States and then stood for the national anthem of England.

From the audio recording that the New York Times obtained, Jaguars owner Shad Khan and Dolphins owner Stephen Ross are heard making comments and responding in Q&A with a group of players. Those players through the NFLPA had been invited to attend the unprecedented mid-season summit in New York to address social issues.

The Times quotes Ross as having raised the idea of  “a march on Washington D.C.”  by NFL players and owners. It apparently didn’t get much support or response in the room.

The Times also quotes Jaguars owner Shad Khan from the recording, giving his thoughts to everyone in the room that he believed “the damage is already done from Trump.” And, that the owners who were voicing concerns that more Trump comments would only inflame the situation should not as concerned with that, as finding solutions.

We previously wrote that around that the same time, the Jaguars were receiving massive private pressure from military organizations and potential fan boycotts and backlash. So much so, team president Tom Lamping and Vice President of Football Tom Coughlin attended a meeting in the Jaguars facility with representatives of the military organizations to listen and to try to calm what was going on behind the scenes in North Florida.

We have also written that Ross was originally in agreement with his players protesting, but earlier this off-season actually spoke out on the record in New York that he wanted the anthem protest to end now.

Ross received backlash on the internet and elsewhere, and quickly backpedaled his comments the following day. He now says, he would rather that the players not kneel, but if they choose to do so, it’s there right.

Clearly from this article and what has gone on since during last season in this off season, there is still a great fear from the owners of what the anthem protests are doing to the business at the NFL. It is also not in dispute that the NFL has lost approximately 10% of its viewership over the course of the past two seasons.

There is no other reasonable explanation, as to why that suddenly happened, except backlash from fans angry at the protests-siding with Trump’s comments and against those who are kneeling, by turning games off.

And the article from the Times basically lays out numerous owners talking about such backlash and their concern for their businesses during last October’s meeting. And, what they believed what would happen, if they do not act accordingly.

Once more, it’s more than curious timing that this would be released on the day before the 2018 NFL draft is to begin in Arlington, Texas. It’s also curious that the article has quotes from the meeting from prominent owners like Robert Kraft of the Patriots and John Mara of the Giants, but nothing from usually verbose Jerry Jones of the Cowboys.

There is also no mention of the Glazer family, which owns the Bucs, having commented during the meeting, either.

And conspiracy theories are abounding everywhere as to who would have leaked the audio recording to the paper in the first place. This is especially, when Rodger Goodell can be heard on the recording, according to the Times, as saying to everyone in the room that the meeting should be “kept confidential.”

Truly, there’s never an off-season or a dull day in covering the National Football League.

Wednesday is proof of that

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Dean

    April 25, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    Typos and consistency errors.

    • Mark

      April 25, 2018 at 6:46 pm

      Not to mention nobody put their name on it.

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NFL

Latest on Bucs, Dolphins and Jaguars injuries

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

With all three Florida teams in the NFL undefeated, their games take on added significance in week three. And there will be more scrutiny over everything, including the injury status of key players in their games.

Let’s begin in Miami with the Dolphins match-up coming Sunday with the Raiders. Miami safety Reshad Jones has been limited with a shoulder injury during practice this week and the Dolphins officially listed him as “questionable” on their Friday injury report. Even though Jones is a veteran, the fact that he was not able to practice this week has to be concerning.

Further, DeVante Parker is now off the injury report with a broken finger that is healed. However, even though he was active for the game last week, Parker was held out on a coach’s decision by Adam Gase. It will be curious as to whether Gase chooses to have him active, again and utilize him in this situation with Oakland.

For the Raiders their most significant injury is to veteran running back Marshawn Lynch who has been Limited in practice with his own shoulder injury. The Raiders did not designate Lynch’s status on their Friday injury report. However, limited practice for all three days would naturally indicate Lynch is questionable to play in the game at Hard Rock Stadium. Oakland has veteran Jalen Richard as a backup.

Next, in Jacksonville is the AFC South showdown with the Tennessee Titans. We have already documented that the Jaguars running back situation is up in the air with both Leonard fournette and T.J. Yeldon questionable with leg injuries. Corey Grant would be the back to fill in for Doug Marrone’s team, if needed.

A late add on Friday to the injury report is defensive back Jalen Ramsey with an ankle injury. He is officially listed as questionable and will likely at least try to play on Sunday.

Meanwhile for the Titans, two significant injury situations exist. One quarterback Marcus Mariota, who could not play last week with the nerve injury in his elbow that is keeping his fingers and hand tingling and numb has still been slowed at practice.

Mariota is officially listed as questionable on the Titans injury report. Veteran backup Blaine Gabbert played the game last week with Houston, which Tennessee won.

So it’s anyone’s guess as to what Mike Vrabel the Titans coach will do at quarterback for this week. Also injured for Tennessee is running back Derrick Henry with a back injury, but after being limited in practice earlier in the week. He was a full go for Friday and should be able to play Sunday afternoon.

Finally, for Monday nights Buccaneers match up with the Steelers. Both teams concluded their final full practices of the week on Saturday. For the Buccaneers, they have already ruled out rookie first round pick defensive tackle Vita Vea, who just returned to practice this week with an injured calf. This means Vea will have not played in the first three games of this season.

The good news is veteran defensive back Brent Grimes (above) has been back at practice with a groin injury and is officially listed as questionable. Grimes is expected to play and be covering Pittsburgh All Pro WR Antonio Brown during much of the game.

The Steelers biggest injuries are to offensive linemen David DeCastro (hand) and Marcus Gilbert (hamstring), who are both questionable. for Monday.

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Some week one Fantasy “start’em or sit’em” advice

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Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

It’s the opening weekend of the NFL season, and also, fantasy football fans are rejoicing at seeing their season is getting underway, too.

So, with the fact that there’s so much interest in the beginning of the year and there are some unknowns involving the three Florida pro football teams, we decided to give out some quick “start or sit” fantasy football advice.

First up is the Buccaneers matchup with the Saints in New Orleans.

And while Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson will be the focus of the Saints secondary, they have veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing to them.  They are probably both still worth the “start” on Sunday, especially Evans, who is off a disappointing season by his standards.

If you’re looking for a “sleeper,” it’s third receiver Chris Godwin, who really came into his own down the stretch of 2017. That included catching the game-winning touchdown pass in the final seconds against the Saints in week 17 .

More than likely, running back Peyton Barber (above) isn’t one of your primary backs in your league, but he will be the guy that gets the ball in key situations, including in the red zone and the goal line.

If you drafted rookie 2nd round pick speedster Ronald Jones, don’t expect much this week. While Jones will likely be active, he will probably be third-string behind Barber and Veteran Jacquizz Rodgers. And, he may not see the feel very much.

As for the Dolphins, Ryan Tannehill is back at the helm and that means receivers Kenny Stills and free agent newcomers Danny Amendola and Albert Wilson are guys he will look to spread the ball around to against Tennessee.

As a Fins sleeper? We’ve been touting second round draft pick tight end Mike Gesicki. He will especially be a threat to score TDs in the red zone.

Similarly with Barber for the Bucs, Kenyan Drake will likely get the bulk of the carries in this game. However, different from the Tampa Bay situation, it’s veteran Frank Gore is in the Miami mix. And, no one is not clear yet, who will get the ball in the red zone and on the goal line.

So therefore it’s dangerous to play Drake, if you have other options.

As for the Jaguars who are in New York to play the Giants, Leonard Fournette is always going to be a “must-play.” He looks to get his second year off to a big start against a shaky Giants front seven.

The real question becomes whether you trust Blake Bortles to get the ball to any of Jacksonville’s receivers, if you drafted them?

With Marqise Lee lost for the season with his ACL injury, Donte Moncrief will assume the role as the number one receiver. Players like Dede Westbrook and Keelan Cole are also good options. And we will have to  play the” wait-and-see game” with how much rookie second-round pick wide receiver D.J. Chark will be used?

Again, most of the Jags receivers would be in the “sit’em” category, if you have other options.

Good luck with your team and roster and just remember this advice is worth every penny that you paid for it

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Bucs, Dolphins, and Jaugars had surprises on cut down day

Florida Football Insiders

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a tough day all over the NFL has every team had to be down to 53 players at 4 p.m. eastern time. That meant for the Bucs, Dolphins and Jaguars, as well as everyone else, you were saying goodbye to 37 players that have been with you throughout the off-season and training camp.

There were some surprising names put on the waiver wire by each team:

In Tampa Bay, coach Dirk Koetter and staff parted with veteran safety and special-teams ace Keith Tandy. This one was a bit of a surprise because the six year veteran Tandy had moved into significantly more playing time the last couple of seasons. He started five games at the end of 2016 with 41 tackles and four interceptions. And by all accounts, he was a very hard-working and popular player. Bucs will apparently go with rookie Jordan Whitehead and also may move rookie defensive back MJ Stewart to safety some to compensate.

The Buccaneers also released two receivers in Bernard Reedy and Bobo Wilson, who saw a bunch of playing time and each had five catches in the final preseason game with Jacksonville.

Meanwhile for the Dolphins, they also released a veteran defensive back in Tony Lippett Saturday. Lippet had battled back from an achilles injury last year, but obviously was not effective enough for Adam Gase and staff to keep him on board. The Fins do have young DBs in Xavien Howard and Cordrea Tankersley, as well as veteran Bobby McCain.

Miami also released fourth string QB Bryce Petty who had an oblique injury the last two weeks of camp. The Fins kept David Fales as the third string QB behind Ryan Tannehill and Brock Osweiler. Also, Miami cut WR Leonte Caroo, who was a third round pick in 2016.

In Jacksonville, a bit of a surprise, as the Jaguars did not keep third string quarterback Tanner Lee. Lee a rookie from Nebraska fared well on Thursday night in the preseason finale against the Buccaneers. However, for now, the Jaguars seem to be content to go with Blake Bortles and Cody Kessler as the only two quarterbacks on the roster. Lee could come back on the practice squad.

Jacksonville cut veteran WR Shane Wynn and also injured tight end Ben Koyack in their moves.

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