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Report: DEA launches probe into NFL prescription drug scandal 07.14.14 at 1:14 pm ET
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The NFL already had its hands full when more than 1,300 former players filed a lawsuit in May alleging that NFL teams illegally distributed painkillers and other potent drugs in order to keep players on the field.

Then federal drug agents got involved.

The Drug Enforcement Agency has launched an investigation into the scandal, sending New York agents to talk to former NFL players in order to determine how team trainers and doctors were able to acquire powerful drugs such as Vicodin, the New York Daily News reported.

“They want to find out who provided and distributed the drugs to football players,”€ one source told the Daily News.

“The allegations in our lawsuit, that the NFL has violated state and federal drug laws, have been confirmed by over 1,300 former NFL players,”€ said Steve Silverman, an attorney for the NFL players. “We are pleased to learn that the DEA and United States Department of Justice are also taking our clients’ allegations seriously and are actively protecting the welfare of NFL players.”

The suit, which includes plaintiffs such as former Bears quarterback Jim McMahon and ESPN analyst Marcellus Wiley, states that NFL teams would hand out a large supply of drugs without warning the players of the dangers of addiction or other negative side effects. The lawsuit states that McMahon soon became addicted to Percoset, taking around 100 pills a month, even during the offseason.

Hall of Fame defensive end Richard Dent said in the suit that he suffers from permanent nerve damage after playing eight games with a broken foot one season after taking painkillers following surgery.

The DEA investigation could prove to be a big boost for the NFL players, as federal agents may be able to reveal evidence that previously was unavailable to lawyers in a civil case.

The NFL refused to comment on the DEA investigation.

Read More: DEA, jim mcmahon, Marcellus Wiley, NFL
Former Browns captain D’Qwell Jackson: Josh Gordon ‘needs help’ 07.07.14 at 10:41 am ET
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Browns wideout Josh Gordon had a great year in 2013, as the Baylor product led the NFL with 1,646 receiving yards in just 14 games.

However, in a shocking turn of events, last year might have been the 23-year-old receiver’€™s swan song in the NFL, as a second failed drug test in May and a DWI charge stemming from his arrest Saturday has put Gordon’€™s career in jeopardy.

While it seems like helping Gordon is a lost cause at this point, Colts linebacker and former Browns captain D’€™Qwell Jackson announced his efforts to try to help the young receiver both on Twitter and while speaking with ESPN.com Monday.

“He needs help, he really does,” Jackson told ESPN.com. “He needs people to extend themselves and probably have to do more than they wanted to do. But if [the Browns] care anything about the kid, they have to do it.”

While Jackson — who played alongside Gordon for two seasons in 2012 and 2013 — does not regularly talk with Gordon, he that he will reach out to the embattled wideout soon before adding that his Browns teammates also need to make an effort to help him out.

“At this point calling the cell phone is not going to work,” Jackson said. “You have to fly out to him. You have to fly out to wherever he is, take him to dinner and pick his brain to see what’s important to him.”

Gordon, who was already facing a year-long suspension for testing positive for marijuana, has planned to appeal the ruling later this month –€“ a move that is likely all but futile after his latest arrest.

Jackson, who said that Gordon was “one of those guys when he left the building that you worried about,”€ said that Gordon had all the potential in the world while out on the gridiron.

“Josh Gordon was a big piece of the Browns’ future; It’s just unfortunate he didn’t view it that way,” Jackson said. “He is so valuable. He doesn’t understand how valuable he is to an organization. He has no clue.”

Read More: Browns, D'Qwell Jackson, Josh Gordon, NFL
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Native American group plans $9 billion lawsuit against Cleveland Indians 06.26.14 at 8:00 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Braves at Astros, 2 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cardinals at Dodgers, 10 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA: Draft, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
World Cup soccer: United State vs. Germany, noon (ESPN: WEEI-FM)
World Cup soccer: Portugal vs. Ghana, noon (ESPN2)
World Cup soccer: Russia vs. Algeria, 4 p.m. (ESPN2; WEEI-AM)
World Cup soccer: South Korea vs. Belgium, 4 p.m. (ESPN)
Tennis: Wimbledon, 7 a.m. (ESPN), 11:30 a.m. (ESPNews), 2 p.m. (ESPN2)

AROUND THE WEB:

– A Native American group revealed plans to file a federal lawsuit against the Cleveland Indians next month, calling the team’s nickname and Chief Wahoo logo racist.

“We’re going to be asking for $9 billion and we’re basing it on a hundred years of disparity, racism, exploitation and profiteering,” American Indian Education Center director Robert Roche, a Chiricahua Apache, told Cleveland’s WEWS-TV. “It’s been offensive since Day 1. We are not mascots. My children are not mascots. We are people.”

Roche also is the director of the group People Not Mascots, which is looking to capitalize on the momentum following last week’s ruling by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that stripped the Washington Redskins of their trademark because the nickname is considered a “racial slur.”

MASHUP POLL: Should the Cleveland Indians change their nickname?

  • No, there's nothing wrong with it (87%, 359 Votes)
  • Yes, it's offensive (13%, 56 Votes)

Total Voters: 415

Loading ... Loading ...

The Indians have been phasing out the Chief Wahoo logo the past few years, replacing it on the players’ hats with a block ‘C.’ But the old logo has its supporters.

“If just a small amount of people are against it, then I think you’re doing a disservice to people that like it,” Bob Rosen, president of the Wahoo Club, told WEWS, adding: “I’m not insensitive to the issue, but our 1,650 members of the Wahoo Club, anytime we have a Wahoo Club item they buy it up, they love it. Can you imagine the baseball team in this city not being called the Cleveland Indians? I can’t picture that.”

– The NFL on Wednesday agreed to a revised settlement for concussion-related claims by former players, removing the $675 million cap after a federal judge expressed concern that it wouldn’t be enough. U.S. District Judge Anita Brody will decide whether to accept the new terms.

The new agreement has no cap on overall damage claims, although it still includes a payout formula that considers individuals’ age and illness, and both sides said they expect the league will not surpass the $675 million mark on damage claims. It will cover retired players who develop neurological problems including dementia and Lou Gehrig‘s disease.

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Read More: Cleveland Indians, Joe Montana, Johnny Manziel, NFL
NFL had long list of demands before selecting Minnesota for Super Bowl LII 06.09.14 at 12:16 pm ET
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Minnesota may have gotten the distinction of hosting Super Bowl LII in 2018, but it didn’t come without a price.

In a league document acquired by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the NFL announced a large list of requirements for any potential Super Bowl host city.

These demands included: free police escorts for team owners, 20 free billboards advertising the game across the city, 35,000 free parking spaces, free presidential suites in luxury hotels, a one-mile radius “clean zone” around the stadium and free cell phone towers in case of weak signal strength at team hotels.

The document, which the Star Tribune received from an unnamed source, was not released publicly before this past weekend.

While Minneapolis City Council president Barb Johnson stated that “€œincentives”€ had to be accepted in order to host the Super Bowl, Mayor Betsy Hodges‘ office added that it does not know what agreements the host committee ultimately agreed to.

In a written statement to the Star Tribune, the host committee stated that “while the Minnesota Super Bowl Bid Committee did not agree to all of the NFL’€™s Super Bowl bid specifications, the competitive bid remains private.”

One demand that Minneapolis has not agreed to was a request for the NFL to select specific vendors to sell merchandise at local airports, as well as the “unrestricted ability”€ to set up kiosks in multiple spots at these airports.

Patrick Hogan, a Metropolitan Airports Commission spokesman, said that Minneapolis had not agreed to the requirement, adding that the commission would select the vendors at for any airports in the area.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy refused to comment on whether refusing to accept the NFL’€™s demands would hurt a city from potentially earned a Super Bowl hosting bid.

Read More: Minneapolis, NFL, Super Bowl LII, Vikings
250 former players added to NFL drug lawsuit 06.05.14 at 12:39 pm ET
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A group of 250 former NFL players, including Pro Bowl defensive end Marcellus Wiley, have joined in on a lawsuit Wednesday that accuses NFL teams of illegally distributing potent drugs in an effort to keep players on the field with no regard for long-term health.

“The first thing people ask is, knowing what happened, would you do it again?” Wiley said. “No. No I wouldn’t.”

Now 750 players are serving as plaintiffs in the lawsuit, which was originally filed May 20 in U.S. District Court in California. Wiley is the ninth player identified by name in the case, joining former Bears players Jim McMahon, Richard Dent and Keith Van Horne, among others.

The suit, which is attempting to gain class certification, spans from 1968 to 2008. It claims that NFL physicians illegally doled out potent narcotics such as Percocet and Vicodin to players before games in order to mask pain or discomfort.

Head attorney Steven Silverman stated that some teams would fill out players’€™ prescriptions without their consent while also adding that these drugs were “handed out like candy on Halloween.”

Players in the lawsuit have claimed a range of devastating effects as a result of the drug use, including chronic muscle and bone issues, addiction and permanent nerve and muscle damage.

Wiley decided to joined the lawsuit after suffering partial renal failure in April, even though he had no previous history of  kidney problems.

“You can’t walk into a doctor’s office and say, ‘€˜Give me this, give me that, just to get through the day.’ Somebody would shut the place down,” Wiley said. “But that’s what was going on in the NFL. It’s easy to get mesmerized. I won’t deny that; there’s this ‘play through-the-pain, fall-on-the-sword’ culture, and somebody in line ready to step up and take your place.”

Wiley added: “€œAnd the next question when people hear about this stuff is ‘where’s the personal responsibility?’ Well, I’m not a medical doctor … but I did take the word of a medical doctor who took an oath to get me through not just one game, or one season, but a lifetime. Meanwhile, he’s getting paid by how many bodies he gets out on the field.”

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league had no comment on the lawsuit.

Read More: jim mcmahon, lawsuit, Marcellus Wiley, NFL
Former NFL players say league illegally supplied painkillers 05.20.14 at 1:57 pm ET
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A lawsuit filed by a group of former NFL players including Bears greats Richard Dent and Jim McMahon accuses the league of illegally supplying painkillers to hide injuries, according to an Associated Press report.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, charges that the NFL obtained and administered the drugs without prescriptions and did not warn players about potential side effects, all in an attempt to maximize profits at the expense of the players’ long-term health. Players claim they were not informed about the severity of their injuries, including broken legs and ankles.

Six of the eight plaintiffs also were plaintiffs in a concussion-related lawsuit previously filed against the league. Along with Dent and McMahon, players named include Keith Van Horne (also a member of the Super Bowl-winning 1985 Bears), Jeremy Newberry, Roy Green, Ron Stone, Ron Pritchard and J.D. Hill.

Read More: jim mcmahon, lawsuit, NFL, Richard Dent
Monday’s Morning Mashup: Buccaneers WR Mike Williams allegedly stabbed by brother 03.24.14 at 8:02 am ET
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Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL: Canadiens at Bruins, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
NBA: Trail Blazers at Heat, 7:30 p.m. (NBATV)
College basketball: NIT, Georgetown at Florida State, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: NIT, LSU at SMU, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: NIT, Arkansas at California, 11 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: CBI, Penn State at Siena, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: CBI, Texas A&M at Illinois State, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
MLB preseason: Tigers at Pirates, 1 p.m. (ESPN)
MLB preseason: Indians vs. Reds, 4 p.m. (MLB Network)

AROUND THE WEB:

– The troubles continue for Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Williams, as he was treated and released from a hospital Sunday after his brother allegedly stabbed him in the thigh with a kitchen knife, according to police (via Tampa’s WTSP.com).

An arrest warrant was issued for the brother, 23-year-old Eric Baylor, on a charge of aggravated battery/domestic violence.

Williams, meanwhile, is due to face charges Monday for trespassing and criminal mischief related to an incident in December. He has had multiple domestic issues, including damaging the property of neighbors in the exclusive gated community in Tampa where he resides, and has paid more than $43,000 in damages for destructive house parties.

The 26-year-old Syracuse product signed a six-year, $40 million contract last offseason, then caught 22 passes for 216 yards and two touchdowns in six games in 2013 before being shut down for the season with a hamstring injury.

“There’s a pattern here and it’s disturbing,” new Bucs coach Lovie Smith said last month. “No one is bigger than this football team. He has to understand that.”

Added Smith: “Have I been disappointed in Mike Williams? Of course. There’s a standard. We’re just not going to put up with it, no better who it is.

“You have to be good on the field. Simple as that. And if you’re not doing what you need to do one or the other, you have problems, and that’s where Mike has to take care of a few things.”

The team released a statement Sunday: “We are aware of the situation that occurred at the residence of Mike Williams and are working with him and the authorities to get additional information. While we have limited knowledge at this time, our primary concern is for the safety and well being of all involved. We will refrain from further comment until we can get a better understanding of the situation.”

– When the Heat lost to the Pelicans, 105-95, on Saturday night, it was their seventh loss in 11 games (including a loss to the Celtics last week). LeBron James is not pleased with how his team is handling the situation.

“It’s too many excuses,” he said (via ESPN.com). “Everything is an excuse. We do something wrong, it’s an excuse. We turn the ball over, it’s an excuse. What we’re doing right ain’t good enough.

“It’s very frustrating. We’re all frustrated. We’ve just got to all get on the same page. I don’t know what we’re going to do, but we’ve got to figure it out.”

Chris Bosh took his teammate’s frustration a step further.

“So I figure I’ll be the first one to say we suck,” Bosh said. “This is unacceptable. If we don’t change this, we will be watching the championship from home. … There’s no passion.”

Said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra: “Yes, our locker room is angry. We’re not accustomed to this type of play, these type of standards, particularly on the defensive end, and if we want to change, we have to look inward.”

– Mavericks owner Mark Cuban predicts trouble for the NFL after the league last month announced a television package that includes Thursday and Saturday games.

“I think the NFL is 10 years away from an implosion,” Cuban said Sunday night. “I’m just telling you, pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. And they’re getting hoggy. ‘€¦ When you try to take it too far, people turn the other way.

“I’m just telling you, when you’ve got a good thing and you get greedy, it always, always, always, always turns on you. That’s rule No. 1 of business.”

Added Cuban: “They’re trying to take over every night of TV. Initially, it’ll be, ‘Yeah, they’re the biggest-rating thing that there is.’ OK, Thursday, that’s great, regardless of whether it impacts [the NBA] during that period when we cross over. Then if it gets Saturday, now you’re impacting colleges. Now it’s on four days a week. ‘€¦ It’s all football. At some point, the people get sick of it.”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On March 24, 1973, which guard who would go on to play for the Celtics finished the season as the only player to lead the NBA in both scoring (34.0 ppg) and assists (11.4 apg)?

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Read More: Chris Bosh, LeBron James, Lovie Smith, Mark Cuban
Ex-Lions RB Jahvid Best suing NFL for allowing him to play despite concussion history 01.29.14 at 11:23 am ET
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The NFL will be dealing with another concussion lawsuit with former Lions running back Jahvid Best suing the league for drafting Best, despite a documented history with concussions, and causing “€œhim additional, permanent and severe injuries to his brain.” The 90-page lawsuit was filed on Tuesday in Michigan’€™s Wayne County Circuit Court against the NFL and Riddell, a company that makes helmets for the NFL.

The lawsuit seeks more than $25,000 for “economic and noneconomic damages.” The suit goes on to say that Best, 24, is also seeking money from the Lions from a previous worker’€™s compensation claim.

Best’€™s attorney, Bret Schnitzer, talked about Best and how concussion symptoms will affect him for a long time.

“Unfortunately, with these types of injuries, as has been documented, the long-term effects of the injuries to the brain may not manifest themselves for a number of years,”€ Schnitzer said. “€œJahvid obviously had some manifestation of concussion syndrome, which is well documented in the media. But in terms of the full extent of the injury to the brain, as we can see from other players and from the science, that can’€™t always be determined in a 25-year-old.”

Added Schnitzer: “€œIt’€™s just like mesothelioma or asbestos type of case, if I could analogize it to that, that it sometimes takes decades to see the full ramifications of the injury.”

Best played at the University of California for three seasons. During his senior year, he suffered two concussions in two games. The Lions drafted him in the first round, 30th overall, in 2010. After playing in all 16 games his rookie year, Best suffered two more concussions in 2011, one in the the preseason, the other against the 49ers on Oct. 16. Best went on to miss the rest of the 2011 season and the entirety of 2012. On July 17, 2013, Best was released by the Lions.

“I want to thank the Detroit Lions organization for drafting me and giving me an opportunity to fulfill my dream and play in the National Football League,” Best said at the time of his release. “€œMy time as a member of the Lions was a very special time in my life. My teammates, the members of the organization, the Lions fans and the people of Detroit will hold a special place in my heart. I’€™ll always be a Lion.”

According to rivals.com, Best is set to become a student assistant for his alma mater’€™s football program.

Over 4,800 former players have sued the NFL over concussion issues.

Read More: Detroit Lions, Jahvid Best, NFL,
Former NFL player Dexter Manley under fire after directing gay slur at Troy Aikman 10.29.13 at 10:32 am ET
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Former Redskins defensive end Dexter Manley is facing a lot of backlash after calling Hall of Famer Troy Aikman a gay slur while making an appearance on a Washington radio station.

In a appearance on WTOP Monday morning, Manley was asked if he believed the Redskins, who Manley played for from 1981-89, were jinxed in their 45-21 loss to the Broncos because Aikman was in the Fox broadcast booth for the game.

Manley responded immediately, stating, “I think Troy Aikman’s a queer.”

The WTOP hosts asked Manley to apologize on-air right away, which Manley did after initially hesitating.

In wake of Manley’s insensitive comments, WTOP announced that Manley will no longer be a regular guest on any broadcasts.

“This morning in a live interview former Redskins player Dexter Manley made an offensive and derogatory comment,” WTOP vice president of news Jim Farley said Monday. ”He was immediately challenged by WTOP news anchors Mike Moss and Bruce Alan. We were shocked and stunned and we apologize to our listeners that this happened on WTOP. WTOP has contacted a representative for Manley and informed her that he will not be returning.”

This is just the latest disappointing chapter in Manley’s rough life. The Pro Bowler was forced to retire from the game in 1991 after failing a fourth drug test when he tested positive for cocaine. In 1995, Manley was arrested for possession of crack cocaine and served two years in prison.

Here is a link to the audio from Manley’s interview.

Read More: Cowboys, Dexter Manley, NFL, Redskins
NFL announces matchups for three London games in 2014 10.24.13 at 12:37 pm ET
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Six NFL teams will be making the trip across the pond in 2014, as the league announced Thursday which teams will be playing in the annual London-based games.

Wembley Stadium played host to the Steelers and Vikings earlier this season.

Wembley Stadium played host to the Steelers and Vikings earlier this season. (AP)

The 2014 NFL season will mark the first time three games will be played in London. The three matches are set to take place at Wembley Stadium.

The Jaguars will host the Cowboys, the Lions will face the Falcons and the Dolphins will play the Raiders. The dates and times have yet to be announced.

“Our fans in the U.K. continue to demonstrate their passion for more football,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. “Next year for the first time we will play three regular-season games in London. We have scheduled three attractive games with four team playing in their first International Series game. The growing enthusiasm for the NFL internationally is exciting and we look forward to continuing to respond to this interest in our game.”

The Jaguars will have experience playing in Wembley by 2014, as they are set to take on the 49ers there this Sunday. Jacksonville will serve as the home team in London games for the next four years.

The Dolphins previously played at Wembley during the 2007 season, as they lost to the Giants, 13-10.The Falcons, Raiders, Cowboys and Lions have never played in London.

Read More: Cowboys, Dolphins, Falcons, Jaguars