Ron Rivera said he decided to release running back Derrius Guice for the good of the Washington Football Team organisation.

Guice, who was selected in the second round of the 2018 draft, was released on Friday after he was arrested on domestic abuse charges.

The 23-year-old, who missed his rookie season with an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, was charged with one felony count of strangulation, three counts of assault and battery, and one count of destruction of property.

In a news conference on Monday, Rivera confirmed it was his decision to release Guice.

"I made a decision that I believe was in the best interest of this organisation, our players and our fans going forward," he said.

"A very difficult decision. Anytime you have to release a very talented young football player, it's always a tough decision. This type of circumstance, this type of situation, we take those allegations very seriously.

"We had to make the decision going forward. Sometimes, it's one of those things where there are processes, there are situations, there are circumstances that you go through.

"Each situation, each circumstance is unique. Each one will be handled and dealt with differently to what we believe is best for the organisation going forward, and that's probably the most important thing.

"I talked with the players and basically told them I made a decision I thought was in the best interest of our organisation. If it was the right decision, we will benefit from it. If it's not, it will be on me.

"I will take full responsibility as we go forward to try and make sure we do things the right way. From that, I want to move forward."

Washington have undergone a significant change in the offseason, with the team ditching their previous "Redskins" nickname, and Rivera spoke of the challenges ahead when it comes to tweaking the culture of a franchise starved of success.

"It has been part of what I have to do. As we look at the entire situation and circumstances of trying to establish who we are as a football team, there are going to be some decisions that will have to be made that are tough and difficult," Rivera added.

"There are some things that we will continue to grow on and improve. It is hard, but the thing that I've got to do, and I tell the players, is that when we decide to do something we have to think about what we're going to do.

"We have to honestly think, 'Is what I'm about to do truly going to help us? Is it going to benefit us, and how is it going to benefit us?'.

"In these situations, making those decisions to do what I believe is right, I will continue to do. I will own those decisions."

Kansas City Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes said he loves baseball as the NFL Super Bowl MVP discussed his Kansas City Royals ownership.

Mahomes – a talented baseball player before opting for an NFL career – acquired a stake in MLB franchise the Royals last month.

The 24-year-old quarterback's father, Pat Mahomes, was an MLB pitcher for 11 seasons following stints with the likes of the Minnesota Twins, New York Mets and Boston Red Sox.

"I love baseball,'' Mahomes, who signed a 10-year contract extension with the Chiefs in July, said. "I grew up in clubhouses. I love everything about it.

"When the Royals were bought last year by [John Sherman], I wanted to be a part of it. It took a little bit of time. These things take time. So it took almost a year to get the language right and doing it at the right time with everything going on in the world.

"But we were able to do it and they were able to let me join in with them and be a part of something that's going to be long-term.''

Mahomes added: "I don't know if I've ever thought about fully owning a team ... but I'm obviously very interested in all sports and being a part of sports even when hopefully a long time from now my sports [playing] days are over.

"I want to be a part of sports for the rest of my life because it's given so much to me.''

The Royals are two-time World Series champions, with their last MLB title coming in 2015.

In a coronavirus-hit season, the Royals hold a 7-10 record to sit bottom of the American League Central.

Minnesota Vikings will be without Cameron Smith for the 2020 NFL season after the linebacker revealed he will have heart surgery.

Smith, a fifth-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, will undergo open-heart surgery in order to fix a bicuspid aortic valve.

The 23-year-old only discovered he had the condition after he returned a positive result for coronavirus and subsequently underwent further tests.

"Although this will unfortunately end my 2020 season, it is really a blessing that we found this as my heart is severely enlarged and wouldn't have lasted much longer," Smith posted on his official Instagram account.

"I found this out after I tested positive for COVID and had to have further testing done as protocol. 

"There is a surgery that will allow me to continue to play football as soon as I am healed and cleared and I didn't think twice about going with that one.

"By no means am I ready to be done playing football, there is still so much more I want to accomplish on the field. I'm going to attack this like everything else I have in life. Already looking forward to the comeback!"

The Washington Football Team have released Derrius Guice after he was arrested on domestic violence charges.

Running back Guice, selected in the second round of the 2018 draft, turned himself in on Friday.

According to the Loudon County Sherrif's Office in Virginia, Guice was charged with one felony count of strangulation, three counts of assault and battery, and one count of destruction of property.

"On Thursday we learned of a potential domestic violence-related incident involving RB Derrius Guice," Washington said in a statement.

"We immediately alerted the National Football League and have continued to work with them during this process. We then met with Derrius to inform him that he was excused from all team activity pending a review of this matter. This afternoon [Friday], we learned there were multiple charges filed against Derrius.

"Upon review of the nature of these charges and following internal discussions, we have decided to release Derrius immediately."

Guice has battled injury issues since coming into the league and missed his rookie season with a torn ACL suffered in the preseason.

He was limited to five games last season but averaged an impressive 5.8 yards per carry as he finished the year with 245 yards and two touchdowns.

Guice's release leaves Adrian Peterson as the likely starter in the Washington backfield, which also features rookie Antonio Gibson, Bryce Love, Peyton Barber and J.D. McKissic.

Tom Brady is grateful he still has another month to learn the ropes with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before the 2020 NFL season begins.

A six-time Super Bowl champion and a 20-year veteran, Brady is certainly familiar with most aspects of the NFL.

But an offseason move from the New England Patriots - where he spent the first two decades of his decorated career - means Brady is in unfamiliarity territory in Tampa Bay.

The coronavirus pandemic has made getting up to speed with his new team even more difficult and, after his first week in the Bucs' facility, Brady admits it will take time for him to adjust.

"You're trying to learn a bunch of different things and you're trying to not only learn an offense but learn your way to work or learn guys' names," Brady told reporters.

"I didn't even know where the quarterbacks' room was or [where] the full team meeting room was. You get in here and your brain is trying to figure out a lot of different things.

"Every day that goes by it's getting a little bit better. I'm glad we're not playing a game this Sunday – I'm glad we have time to prepare.

"It's been a good week or so being in here and I think I'm going to take advantage of the opportunity to improve myself so that I can be the best quarterback for this team that this team really deserves.

"These guys are working really hard and I want to come in here and do a great job for them."

Brady played under the same head coach for his entire time in New England in Bill Belichick and he had a long and successful partnership with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels too.

A new team means a new playbook, with Brady having to discover how Bruce Arians and Byron Leftwich want things done with the Bucs.

"I really haven't had to do that in 19 years, so you forget. Man, that's really tough – like all of the different terminologies," he explained.

"You're going back a very long time in my career to really have to put the mental energy in like I did.

"I have to work at it pretty hard physically still. I put a lot of time and energy into making sure I'm feeling good in order to perform at my best, but mentally I think that's been the thing that's obviously had its challenges.

"I think you couple that with the coronavirus situation and it became even more difficult. I think conversations we probably would've had in April, we're having now.

"I think that part has been challenging too, but the only thing you can do is adjust to the situation, adapt the best way you can [and] put as much time and energy now as we can into it."

The Bucs face the New Orleans Saints in Week 1 of the 2020 season, with Brady going up against Drew Brees on September 13.

The Baltimore Ravens would benefit from the signing of Antonio Brown, according to his cousin Marquise 'Hollywood' Brown.

The older Brown, 32, was released by the New England Patriots in September last year amid sexual assault allegations he has denied.

He has now been banned for eight games due to "multiple violations of the NFL's personal conduct policy".

The wide receiver has been linked with a host of teams ahead of the new season, though, and worked out with both his cousin and Ravens team-mate Lamar Jackson in the offseason.

Star quarterback Jackson has spoken of his hope of bringing Brown to Baltimore in a move that the team's second-year receiver - a first-round pick in 2019 - would also welcome.

"AB, he's a guy that's going to bring the best out of you," Hollywood Brown told reporters.

"I feel like he would fit in this locker room. He's a guy that's competitive and he's going to go out there and give 100 per cent.

"Seeing stuff like that is going to make other guys want to do the same."

Former Pittsburgh Steelers star Brown, who had a controversial stint at the Oakland Raiders last year without playing, is a seven-time Pro Bowler.

His 23-year-old relative scored seven receiving touchdowns for the Ravens in a rookie 2019 season, although Baltimore were again beaten in the playoffs.

Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre'Davious White is waiting until the last possible moment to make a call on his status for the 2020 NFL season.

Players have until Thursday to opt out of the coming campaign amid the coronavirus pandemic.

But 2019 Pro Bowler White is still to make a final decision as he first discusses his options with his family.

Speaking to reporters from the Bills' facility on Wednesday, the 25-year-old revealed the restrictive impact on his children was at the forefront of his thinking.

"I've got until tomorrow, but I just wanted to come in and see how the season was going to go as far as moving around in locker rooms and the day-to-day operations," he said.

"I'm just talking it over with my old lady and seeing what will be the best decision for my kids, too.

"That plays a part in it, them being up here and not being able to come to the games, them moving around and my kids being unable to go to school, and being away from my family for such a long time without being able to do anything.

"We're taking it down to the last day and we'll decide from there. I'm still undecided, honestly."

White added: "It's just the aspect of guys still testing positive or having false-positive tests and coming back and testing negative. It's just those things that psychologically play a part in my thinking each and every day.

"Do I want to come in here and get my 11-month-old baby sick just trying to love him and pick him up? Do I want to risk that?

"At the end of the day, no matter what, my family's going to come first - no matter what's going on, no matter how big the season is. I'm always putting my kids first.

"That's still weighing on me. Those are the things that I think about each and every day, just trying to see if I'm willing to go the distance, go four or five months doing the same thing, having my kids stuck in the house.

"I don't know if I'm willing to do that. I just don't know. I'm going to pray about it and see how it is. I don't know, man."

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Albert Wilson opted out on Wednesday, similarly referring to his family as he announced his decision on Twitter.

"Because of this crazy time, I choose to put my family in the best situation I see fit," he wrote.

Jalen Ramsey has no interest in repeatedly discussing his contract, with the Los Angeles Rams cornerback prepared to leave the matter firmly in his agent's hands.

A year ago the three-time Pro Bowler turned up at the Jacksonville Jaguars training camp in an armoured money truck, a not-so-subtle nod to his wish to land a big contract.

That was not forthcoming from the Jags, who instead shipped Ramsey to the Rams for two first-round picks and a fourth-rounder in October.

His need for a new deal has not gone away, though, as the defensive back is beginning the final season of his five-year rookie contract, and with plenty of leverage given the haul the Rams parted with to land him.

"I'm worried about what I can worry about," Ramsey told reporters. 

"I'm controlling what I can control."

However, as the questions continued, Ramsey grew increasingly frustrated.

"I answered it. I said my agent and the front office, they gonna handle it," Ramsey added.

"I'm worried about what I can worry about, I'm controlling what I can control.

"Either accept the answer or keep it pushing. I don't want to be disrespectful, but that's the answer."

The 25-year-old then walked out of his Zoom media session during a pause in questions before being convinced to return.

At that point, he addressed his contract situation in greater depth, revealing he had informed his agent David Mulugheta to only call him when a deal had been reached.

"I told y'all at the beginning of this, I said I'm controlling what I can control and when you asked me the question about my contract, I said I'm letting my agent, who is by far the best agent in the game, David Mulugheta, and the front office handle it," Ramsey added.

"I can't do anything about it. I'm not worried about it. I'm trying to do my job as a football player. I'm trying to be a leader on the team, I'm not gonna do every Zoom session or however we gonna do them this year, talking about my contract. Look, if it comes, it comes. It's gonna be a surprise to me like it's gonna be a surprise to y'all.

"I said, 'I want you to call me one time', I said, 'When my deal is done'. I said, 'When you feel like my deal is done, call me'. That's it'. 

"I'm not worried about it. I'm worried about football."

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford has been removed from the reserve/COVID-19 list, the NFL team announced on Tuesday.

The Lions said Stafford returned a false-positive test following two negative coronavirus tests last week, while insisting the 2014 Pro Bowler never contracted COVID-19.

Stafford was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Saturday.

"Today we removed Matthew Stafford from the COVID-IR list and onto the Active Roster," the Lions said in a statement.

"As a result of a False-Positive test result, he was forced due to NFL/NFLPA protocols to sit out until he received two negative tests. His testing sequence for the Pre-Entry period was: negative, negative, False-Positive. The next three tests were all negative. 

"To be clear, Matthew does NOT have COVID-19 and never has had COVID-19 and the test in question was a False-Positive. Also, all of Matthew's family have been tested and everyone is negative."

The Lions are scheduled to open their 2020 season against the Chicago Bears on September 13.

Denver Broncos star Von Miller said he considered opting out of the 2020 NFL season due to coronavirus concerns.

Miller – a Super Bowl champion and eight-time Pro Bowler – was among the highest profile American athletes to test positive for COVID-19 in April before being cleared of coronavirus two weeks later.

However, the Broncos linebacker revealed he thought about sitting out the season, which is scheduled to begin in September.

"I thought about it,'' the 31-year-old said on Tuesday. " ... I thought about all of my family, I took serious consideration and the things that could possibly happen.

"It's not a 100 per cent bubble like basketball, so there are always going to be holes, but I felt like the job the Broncos were doing to keep us safe was enough for me not to opt out.''

Miller, an asthma sufferer, added: "I did [have trouble], it was hard for me to get my wind back, probably for two or three weeks after the virus.

"During the virus I lost a lot of weight -- everybody is not the same, but for me I lost my taste and smell, I couldn't really, like, eat and when you can't taste or smell you kind of lose your appetite ... It was tough, no doubt about it, it was tough.''

"I just thought about it, I just really through about all the things that could possibly happen,'' Miller continued. "I thought about this season is different, I thought about -- I weighed the positives and negatives and just came to my own decision that I could play.

"But I thought about me having asthma ... I feel like every player should do that, I feel like every player should think about everything they could do.''

The Broncos are set to open their season against the Tennessee Titans on September 14.

 

Aaron Rodgers claims he is not fretting about his future with the Green Bay Packers after the team drafted Jordan Love.

Two-time MVP Rodgers is under contract through the next four seasons and the 36-year-old quarterback has previously spoken of his desire to follow peers Tom Brady and Drew Brees and play in his 40s.

However, like Brady and his Green Bay predecessor Brett Favre, it seems likely Rodgers will end his career elsewhere should he play that long after the Packers traded up to select Love in the first round of this year's NFL Draft.

While Rodgers, who led his team to an NFC Championship Game in which they were beaten by the San Francisco 49ers in January, will be the starter in 2020 while Love learns the ropes, there will be constant speculation about when the transition to the ex-Utah State quarterback will begin in Wisconsin.

"There's been a lot of hypothetical questions on here; I'm not always a huge fan of guessing those things," he told reporters.

"But obviously, I've said that before - I think if I retire on the team's timeline, then all is well. If they're looking to move on before I'm done playing, there becomes an impasse at that point.

"I can control my play and my performance and my approach and my leadership, but at some point, there's other factors involved."

Rodgers said he poured himself "four fingers" of tequila upon learning the Packers were drafting Love in April rather than a wide receiver that could offer him immediate help in trying to return to the Super Bowl.

His head coach, Matt LaFleur, said he believes Rodgers will remain the starter "for a really long time", but neither he nor his quarterback would speculate on the specifics of that timeframe.

"I savour every moment, every season," Rodgers said.

"I don't take any of it for granted. I don't know what the future holds. I know I can control this year and my play and my approach and my attitude."

Rodgers was named to his eighth Pro Bowl last season, having thrown for over 4,000 yards for the eighth time in his career.

Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said the NFL franchise are monitoring Antonio Brown as they weigh up a move for the seven-time Pro Bowler.

Brown – a free agent – will serve an eight-game suspension after breaching the NFL's personal conduct policy following a January incident in Florida.

The 32-year-old wide receiver is looking for a new home after being cut by the New England Patriots, who axed Brown after just 11 days and one game in September.

Seattle have emerged as a possible destination and Carroll addressed the Seahawks' rumoured interest in Brown on Monday.

"What I'd say to you is what we always say because it's what we always do and who we are," Carroll said.

"[General manager] John [Schneider] is competing at every turn. There's never been a process, unless we just missed it, that we weren't involved with to understand what the chances were of helping our club.

"He's all over it. He understands what's going on right now, as much as you can. It's a very complex situation.

"We just need to see where it fits somewhere down the road. That's all I got for you."

Having entered the league with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2010, Brown has amassed 11,263 receiving yards and caught 75 touchdowns in his career.

Carroll, meanwhile, said the Seahawks are "very open" to reuniting with star wide receiver Josh Gordon.

Gordon was banned indefinitely in December for violations of the NFL's policies on performance-enhancing substances and substances of abuse.

A Pro Bowler, Gordon – who would become an unrestricted free agent if and when he is reinstated – made five appearances for the Seahawks last season after he was released by the Patriots in November.

"It's not in our hands," Carroll said. "Josh did a really good job with us last year. He fit in really well. He was part of this team by the way we opened and embraced his coming to us but also by the way he adapted.

"So we are very open to that thought and we'll see what happens. I don't know. I can't tell you what's going to happen on that."

Kyle Shanahan predicted Jordan Reed could prove to be a fantastic acquisition for the San Francisco 49ers, provided the tight end can remain healthy.

Niners general manager John Lynch confirmed a report Reed had agreed terms on a one-year, incentive-laden deal with the Niners following his release by Washington.

The move reunites the 30-year-old with Shanahan, his former offensive coordinator in Washington, where Reed spent the first seven years of his career, amassing 3,371 yards and 24 touchdowns.

Reed's time in the NFL so far has largely been one of unfulfilled potential owing to a spate of injuries and concussions, with his seventh known concussion keeping him out of the entire 2019 season, yet Shanahan is optimistic about a tight end who has missed 47 games over his career.

"I know he hasn't been on the field for a little bit," Shanahan told reporters.

"I know he's very hungry to play football. He hasn't gotten to do much of that lately. When you have a talented guy who is hungry to play football, it works out if they can stay healthy.

"Jordan's had some bad luck over the years. I know he's ready to go. I hope he has some good luck here.

"If he does, I think it's going to be a hell of a deal for the Niners, and a really good deal for him also."

If Reed can stay on the gridiron, he would form arguably the best tight-end duo in the league along with All-Pro George Kittle.

That is why Lynch felt it was worth taking a chance to bring Reed into the building.

"It's well documented he's had multiple concussions prior," Lynch admitted.

"In situations like this, there's a reason a guy like Jordan Reed is out there, so there is some risk-reward.

"We got to a point where we felt the risk that we're taking on was worth it with the potential reward."

Caleb Farley said a lack of testing and precautions against coronavirus at Virginia Tech led him to become the first 2021 NFL Draft prospect to skip the 2020 college football season.

Last week Farley announced he would not play for Virginia Tech in 2020 and would instead focus on his preparations for the draft.

The college football season is still up in the air, with major conferences committing to playing conference-only schedules in 2020.

Set to be one of the top cornerback prospects in the 2021 draft class, Farley had hoped to separate himself from the pack in his second season at the position having converted from wide receiver.

However, having lost his mother to cancer, Farley came to the decision to focus on the pros out of a desire to not put his father at risk from COVID-19.

Writing in Peter King's Football Morning in America column for NBC Sports, Farley explained: "This year at Virginia Tech, at our workouts, I started having deep concerns about staying healthy. Guys were going home, going to Myrtle Beach, coming back to campus, and we weren't getting tested.

"We're all together, working out, close to each other, and you have no real idea who might have it, if anybody might have it. One day I looked around, and we were like 100-deep in our indoor facility, no masks. My concern grew more and more.

"I started being really conflicted about playing. What this came down to is, I lost one parent. My dad is so important to me. Growing old with him means so much to me, more than football. I don't know what I would do if I contracted it and gave it to him, and he passed.

"I couldn't live with that. Part of me thought, I put all my eggs into this basket since I was six years old... just suck it up and play. Try to stay safe. But I couldn't ignore all the doubts in my head.

"People say I could have waited till the NCAA cancelled the season and then just not play. Or play a few games and then announce I was opting out. But I couldn't do that.

"I knew what I had to do. So last Monday night, I went to Coach [Justin] Fuente's office. I was so nervous. I just took a deep breath and told him my decision.

"He tried to talk me out of it. But I was firm. What I will always respect about Coach Fuente is, he said he loved me and will always be a Caleb Farley fan. That meant the world to me.

"So now I'll spend time training for pro football. I'll get ready for the scouting combine. What will the NFL think of my decision? I don't know.

"I haven't heard from anyone in the league. It's kind of scary to think about it. If the NFL looks at this and doesn't like it, I will just have to prove to them how dedicated to football I am.

"I will look NFL scouts and GMs in the eye and tell them my story. I don't know if it will hurt me. But I do know when I get in the league, I have the ability to play ball with anyone on this earth."

A Virginia Tech Athletics statement released on Monday said: "All Virginia Tech student-athletes are tested for COVID-19 and screened before being cleared to participate in any athletic activities. In addition, follow-up testing protocols are performed on a regular basis in accordance with Centres for Disease Control, ACC and NCAA recommendations."

It added that: "Student-athletes and staff have been issued personal protective equipment to wear in indoor areas."

However, Farley is not the only player to have concerns about the 2020 college football season. A group of players in the Pac-12 conference last weekend threatened to boycott the season unless their demands over safety while playing amid the pandemic, fighting racial injustice and fair compensation are met.

"I don't know if I will be the first of many college players to opt out," Farley wrote. "I know a lot of guys are thinking about it and trying to build up the courage to do it.

"I just hope the testing in college football will be available and it will be frequent. Because there's no way of knowing what you're signing up for if there's not a good testing program."

Odell Beckham Jr. believes the NFL should cancel the 2020 season because of the coronavirus pandemic, accusing franchise owners of not seeing players as human. 

The NFL is pressing ahead with plans for a full season despite the spread of COVID-19 in the United States, which has the highest number of cases in the world with over 4.8million. 

Preseason games have been cancelled but the regular season is set to take place with either reduced crowds or zero capacity. 

Players across the league have taken up the option to opt out of the season, with eight members of the New England Patriots' roster electing to do so. 

The NBA recently restarted with all games staged in Orlando, with MLB's shortened season finally getting underway last month. 

MLB is operating without a bubble, however, and has already seen outbreaks of cases within the Miami Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals that have led to postponements. 

There are no plans for a bubble environment in the NFL and Cleveland Browns wide receiver Beckham feels financial gain is the main reason why those in charge want the season to go ahead. 

"Obviously with everything that's going on, it doesn't make sense why we're trying to do this," Beckham told The Wall Street Journal.  

"I can understand basketball was already in the playoffs. Five-on-five basketball in an arena is going to be more intense than regular-season games. 

"Hooping is different than playing an 11-on-11 contact sport where there's 80 people in a locker room. 

"We're not ready for football season. So why are we trying to push forward? 

"It's obviously for their money. And that bothers me because there's always been this - and I hate saying it like that - but the owners' [attitude is], 'Oh we own you guys', and just kind of that unfairness going on that they don't see us as human. 

"I just feel like the season shouldn't happen and I'm prepared for it to not happen and I wouldn't mind not having it." 

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