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NFL Quick Hits: Ray Rice, Troy Polamalu, Santonio Holmes & more

Every Sunday our NFL columnist Anthony Stalter provides his quick-hits from the week that was in the NFL.

+ The Ravens had no choice but to sign Ray Rice to a long-term contract, and the deal wound up being fair for both sides. Rice will receive $8 million per year, which is more than fair for his production level. The Bears were also wise to sign Matt Forte but had Chicago rolled the dice and Forte wound up holding out, at least the Bears still have Michael Bush to fall back on, as well as an improved passing game that features Brandon Marshall. Had the Ravens not signed Rice and he held out into the season, Baltimore would have relied on the backfield duo of Joe Flacco and Anthony Allen. Yikes.

+ Troy Polamalu gave the media and fans a very honest, very realistic look into the world of the NFL by telling Dan Patrick earlier this week that he’s lied to trainers about injuries so that he could stay in games. Nobody should be under any grand illusions that Polamalu is the only player that has lied about whether or not he was hurt so that he could re-enter a game and in some respects, he should be lauded for providing reality into the situation. The problem, of course, is that there’s a list of former players that filed a suit against the NFL trying to prove that the league is responsible for not telling them about the dangers of concussions. It’s going to be hard for these players to prove to a judge that the NFL has been negligent about anything when current players are lying about their injuries to get back into games. That said, the game has changed, especially when it comes to the treatment of concussions (which were once viewed as a joke by teams and players). Still, the players on these concussion suit can’t exactly be thrilled by Polamalu’s comments, no matter how honest he was being.

+ Who knew Santonio Holmes was such a comedian? During a recent podcast for NFL.com, Holmes essentially scolded the New York media for being too negative when it comes to reporting on the team and then told them that if they wanted to feel important, they should only report on the positive aspect of the Jets. First off, I didn’t realize that the New York Jets cut the paychecks for the staff at the New York Post. I also didn’t realize that the Post was supposed to be a group comprised of cheerleaders that provided unwavering support for the Jets. Holmes’ comments are laughable and he’s one to talk considering back in October of last year he called out his entire offensive line for not giving Mark Sanchez enough time to throw. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black – if Holmes wants the media to be positive he should start by being positive himself.

+ Another week, another slew of arrests for the NFL. Marshawn Lynch was booked for driving under the influence after weaving lane to lane with two near collisions. What’s interesting is that the mistake could wind up costing Lynch $17 million in guaranteed money because as an NFL exectuvie tells Sirius XM Radio’s Ross Tucker, a suspension for conduct detrimental or substance abuse defaults the guaranteed money in Lynch’s four-year, $31 million contract. Now, there’s a good chance that the Seahawks won’t touch Lynch’s money but if they did, not calling a cab will have cost the running back $17 million. Ouch.

+ Of course, Lynch wasn’t the only player arrested recently. Elvis Dumervil, Dez Bryant, Robert Quinn, Kenny Britt and Aaron Berry all ran afoul from the law from everything from driving drunk to assault with a firearm to smacking their mother around (in the case of Bryant). Granted, it’s not as if NFL players are the only ones committing crimes. We just hear about them because of their celebrity status. But it’s almost unfathomable that these players refuse to learn from their peers and in the specific case of Britt, how one player can be arrested so many times since coming into the league. This is a guy that has been booked four times in the last two offseasons; it’s unbelievable. These players are essentially co-workers that continue to ignore the endless supply of warning signs that are around them. Front offices must be praying nightly that they don’t receive phone calls at two in the morning from now until training camp opens.

+ If Norv Turner had one foot out the door last year then he’s got about three fingertips on the door frame heading into this season. It was surprising that the Chargers didn’t fire him last year considering the Chargers couldn’t take advantage of the hot mess that was the AFC West. Regardless, he absolutely has to win this season and not just one playoff game – he better be knocking on the door of the Super Bowl. That said, why should Turner get whacked and A.J. Smith be saved? When was the last time A.J. Smith hit a home run in the draft? And because he plays hardball with free agents his talent is evaporating on both sides of the ball. So if Turner gets axed then he and Smith should be sharing a cab out of San Diego.

+ It was pretty smart of the Jets to include a “poison pill” in Darrelle Revis contract. Rex Ryan and Mike Tannebaum were clearly annoyed with Revis’ holdout situation a couple of years ago and were hell-bent that a repeat wasn’t in the works. Revis announced earlier this week that he’ll report to camp on time this year, although it may not have been on his own accord. According to a report earlier this week by ESPN.com’s James Walker, if Revis skips camp his current deal would be automatically extended by three years. Considering Revis wants to get to free agency as quickly as possible, that would not have been a very favorable situation for him.

+ You have to appreciate Michael Vick’s confidence in the Eagles. Said Vick earlier this week, “When I look at our football team and what we have on paper, I think about when I was growing up and the great San Francisco 49er teams, the great Green Bay Packer teams, and the great Dallas Cowboy teams, how they just positioned themselves to compete and be one of the best teams out there I think we have a chance to be that. I think we have a chance to develop a dynasty.” Obvious Vick’s comments shouldn’t be overexposed because he was really just trying to convey his optimism in his current team. But dynasty? Try winning one Super Bowl before you claim you’re on the path of winning multiple Super Bowls.

+ How about Terrell Owens? Dude claimed he was broke a couple of months ago but faced with the prospect of going to prison, all of a sudden he had enough money to pay back the child support that he owed. Funny how that works.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @TheScoresReport. You can also follow TSR editor Gerardo Orlando @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom, and you can follow TSR editor Anthony Stalter @AnthonyStalter.

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Marshawn Lynch’s momma ready to crack the whip

No matter how much money or fame a professional athlete makes, it still doesn’t allow them to escape the wrath of their mothers.

Case in point, Marshawn Lynch’s momma is growing tired of her son’s recent behavior according to a story in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Marshawn Lynch“Somebody said his mom must have loosened the leash,” she said in an interview. “If I have to grab the leash back, I’ll do it. Whether you’re 22 or 52, I’ll do it.”

She said Marshawn Lynch, 22, has had trouble adjusting to his new life, the one with the $10 million in guaranteed money from a six-year, $18.9 million contract he signed after being the 12th pick of the 2007 NFL draft.

“It’s been a big culture change for him,” she said. “It’s a shock. It hasn’t really sunk in to Marshawn – the stardom and everything that goes with it. He doesn’t like the media attention. I told him at Cal, ‘You’re a role model now.’ ”

Another close friend, who didn’t want to be identified, said, “He’s a good person, but he’s hanging around with the wrong people. He needs to grow up.”

Marshawn seems like a good kid, but if the close friend is right and he’s hanging out with the wrong people, that’s not good.

When the dog-fighting story became public early last year, reports surfaced that Michael Vick was hanging out with the wrong people. Not that Lynch and Vick are the same person or that Marshawn is fighting dogs in his spare time, but friends can often have an influence on your behavior. And I’m sure it’s hard for these athletes to make millions of dollars and try to convince their childhood friends that they’re still the same person but in the case of Lynch, he needs to forget about impressing his crew and start cleaning up his act.

As Vick proved, all of the money and fame can be taken away in a heartbeat if you start getting mixed up in the wrong things off the gridiron.

No felony charges for Marshawn Lynch

Marshawn Lynch escaped felony charges stemming from his early February arrest in California for a concealed firearm. Lynch does face three misdemeanor charges, however.

Marshawn Lynch“I’m not pleased that Marshawn was charged… but if he was going to be charged I’m pleased it’s a misdemeanor… I haven’t seen a police report or charging documents, but I’m certainly pleased Marshawn wasn’t charged with a felony.”

The National Football League says it’s still waiting for all the facts of the case, and that they will be evaluated “under the NFL’s policies.”

Lynch could face League discipline for the incident. It’s not clear at this point if the NFL will consider him a repeat offender, given the hit and run incident we was involved in last spring in Buffalo.

Regardless of whether or not he escaped felony charges, there’s a good chance Lynch will be suspended by Roger Goodell considering this is his second brush in with the law. I doubt it would be anything major (i.e. four games), but there’s a real possibility that Lynch could be suspended for one or two games given Goodell’s track record for handling players who got into trouble off the field.

Bills’ Marshawn Lynch arrested on gun charge

According to News 4 Buffalo, Bills’ running back Marshawn Lynch was arrested in California last week on felony charges of possession of a concealed firearm.

Marshawn LynchLynch was released on a $35,000 bond. The case now moves to the District Attorney.

This afternoon, the Buffalo Bills issued the following statement through VP of Communications Scott Berchtold:

“We can confirm that Marshawn was arrested in California and has retained an attorney. We are in the process of trying to gather the facts and will not offer a comment while that process is ongoing.”
It is the second brush with the law for Lynch in the last year. He was involved in a hit and run incident in downtown Buffalo in May 2008. He pled guilty to failing to use sufficient care to avoid hitting a pedestrian and was fined $100 dollars.

Lynch was not suspended by the NFL for that incident, but could face suspension this time for both the charge and repeat offender status.

There are two main problems here. One, this is Lynch’s second major off field incident in his career, the first being when he struck a woman with his SUV and then left her there to fend for herself. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will surely hand down a fine and suspension and the Bills could be without their starting running back for part of the season next year.

The second issue is what would have come from this situation had the police not stopped and arrested Lynch. What was the next move with the gun? Was he just carrying it for protection? Probably, but what if Lynch planned to use it? I can’t believe after all Plaxico Burress has gone through with his gun charge, that Lynch would be so stupid.

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