August 2012


MIAMI (AP) -- Former NFL and University of Miami player William Joseph has pleaded guilty to federal charges arising out of an undercover FBI tax fraud investigation.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- The New York Giants have released running back D.J. Ware, a member of their two Super Bowl championships teams in the last five years.
Every team in the National Football League, including the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants, has its strengths and weaknesses. So with the start of the regular season around the corner, here's a look at the G-Men's pluses and minuses. Will they make or break Big Blue?
Every year, as NFL teams work to get down to the league-mandated 53-man roster, there are a few surprise names that pop up. We're still early in the process, and teams have until 9 p.m. ET Friday to make their moves, but the New England Patriots' release of backup quarterback Brian Hoyer will certainly go down as one of this season's biggest surprises. Hoyer, an undrafted free agent out of Michigan State, has been with the Pats since 2009. He has completed 27 passes in 43 attempts for 286 yards, one touchdown and one interception in his NFL career. The Patriots have been high on Hoyer in recent years, but drafted Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett in the third round of the 2011 NFL draft. Mallett and Hoyer had similar -- and relatively unimpressive -- stats through the 2012 preseason, and it may have been a matter of keeping the guy they drafted. Hoyer has good tools and might be crafted into a reasonable backup or spot starter in the right environment. The Patriots also cut two players with much more experience -- receiver Deion Branch and center Dan Koppen. Branch, who played with the Patriots from 2002 through 2005 and again in 2010 and 2011 after a stint as a high-priced bust in Seattle, was one of Tom Brady's favorite targets for a number of years. And Koppen started 120 games in a Patriots career that spans back to 2003. The Washington Redskins surprised a few people by cutting running back Tim Hightower, who was competing in a crowded backfield. The New York Giants cut linebacker Greg Jones, their 2011 sixth-round pick and starter to begin last season. They also cut veteran defensive tackle Marcus Thomas, who was unhappy that he was misidentified in Madden '13 -- at least he won't have to worry about that anymore. Running back D.J. Ware, who was on both Super Bowl Giants teams, also got the boot. Safety O.J. Atogwe, who played for the St. Louis Rams from 2005 through 2010 and the Washington Redskins in 2011, was released by the Philadelphia Eagles. Atogwe has had at least two interceptions in each of the last four years, five picks in 2008, and eight in 2007. Speaking of the Rams, they cut former New York Jets draft bust Vernon Gholston, which is only newsworthy in that someone took Gholston sixth overall in the 2008 NFL draft. The Ohio State alum has never recorded a sack in four NFL seasons and five starts. The Arizona Cardinals dropped tight end Steve Skelton, brother of new starting quarterback John. Steve caught 63 passes from John at Fordham in 2009, but on the same day that his brother got the news that he'd be the Cardinals' Week 1 starter, Steve got the boot.
(Reuters) - Following are brief profiles of the 16 teams in the American Football Conference (AFC) ahead of the 2012 National Football League (NFL) season. - - BALTIMORE RAVENS Head coach: John Harbaugh 2011 record: 12-4 (Missed field goal in final seconds of AFC Championship game cost team shot at Super Bowl berth) Team faces a tougher schedule than division rival Pittsburgh Steelers but a solid defense combined with game-changing running back Ray Rice give the Ravens a good chance at defending their AFC North division. ...
(Reuters) - Following are brief profiles of the 16 teams in the National Football Conference (NFC) ahead of the 2012 National Football League (NFL) season: ATLANTA FALCONS Head coach: Mike Smith 2011 record: 10-6 (Crushed 24-2 by the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants in NFC wild card game) On track for 10-win season with a more sophisticated passing game that caters to quarterback Matt Ryan and receiving corps but defense needs to step up for Falcons to halt playoff skid. ...
(Reuters) - Five teams to watch out for during the National Football League's (NFL) 2012 season, which starts on Wednesday: - - NEW ORLEANS SAINTS The head coach is suspended for the season, the interim coach must sit out six games, even the general manager is on the outs for eight games, yet the scandal-plagued Saints may be one of the NFL's best teams for 2012. Talent still abounds in New Orleans despite the NFL coming down hard on the Saints' pay-for-pain bounty scandal that also resulted in four players from the team's 2011 roster drawing suspensions. ...
(Reuters) - Key dates for the upcoming 2012 National Football League (NFL) season. September 5 - Regular season opens with the Super Bowl champion New York Giants hosting the Dallas Cowboys. September 9-10 - Remaining 30 teams start their regular season as part of the NFL's Kickoff Weekend. October 16 - New Orleans Saints assistant coach Joe Vitt can return to the team after serving a six-game suspension for his role in the team's bounty scandal. October 28 - London's Wembley Stadium will host its sixth NFL regular season game when the St. ...
(Reuters) - Five players to watch out for during the National Football League's (NFL) 2012 season, which starts on Wednesday. - - AARON RODGERS, GREEN BAY PACKERS Once again, the Green Bay Packers are widely seen as favorites to reach the Super Bowl from the National Football Conference (NFC) but, to do that, they must regain their champion swagger and 28-year-old quarterback Aaron Rodgers will have to bury memories of his playoff lapse last season. ...
(Reuters) - Peyton Manning returns to work next week looking to reassert his credentials as the gold medal standard for National Football League (NFL) quarterbacks after pacing the sidelines last season recovering from a fourth neck surgery. But the NFL landscape can change quickly and Manning may not even be the best quarterback in his family anymore with younger brother Eli making a case for that status after leading the New York Giants to a second Super Bowl title in four years. ...

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