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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.

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)


– 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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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.

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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.

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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.

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Washington DB Brandon Meriweather suspended 2 games for illegal hits 10.22.13 at 9:11 am ET
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Former Patriots and current Washington safety Brandon Meriweather was suspended two games without pay for repeatedly violating the NFL’s rules regarding illegal hits to the head and neck of “defenseless players.”

Brandon Meriweather

Brandon Meriweather (AP)

The NFL made the decision to suspend the two-time Pro Bowler on Monday after Meriweather delivered two illegal hits during Washington’s game against the Bears on Sunday.

Chicago wideout Brandon Marshall, who was on the receiving end of one of Meriweather’s hits, said after the game that players like Meriweather should not be in the league.

“Guys like that really don’t understand that there is life after football,” Marshall said.

Meriweather is set to be reinstated on Nov. 4. He will miss Washington’s games against the Broncos and the Chargers. The suspension is set to cost Meriweather $141,176 in game checks.

“I feel like every hit that I took was a legit hit,” Meriweather said. ”I wasn’t trying to be dirty. I wasn’t trying to hurt nobody. I didn’t launch with my head. I used my shoulder like they told me to do. Everything I did was a pointer from them [league officials]. … You’ve just got to play. There ain’t nothing I can do about it. I just go out there and play.”

This is not the first time Meriweather has faced punishment from the NFL, as he was fined $42,000 earlier this season for delivering a helmet-to-helmet hit to Packers running back Eddie Lacy in Week 2.

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NFL roundup: Sean Taylor murder trial finally set to begin 10.15.13 at 1:57 pm ET
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Almost six years after Redskins Pro Bowl safety Sean Taylor was shot in killed in his Miami-area home, the trial of his accused murderer, 23-year-old Eric Rivera, is ready to begin, as jury selections are set to start up on Tuesday.

Three other men, Charles Wardlow, 24, Jason Scott Mitchell, 25, and Timothy Brown, 22, are all awaiting trial in connection to the case. Rivera is accused of being the one who pulled the trigger, striking Taylor in the upper leg, causing massive blood loss that eventually led to his death one day later at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.

Another man, 25-year-old Venjah Hunte, already has pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter and armed burglary and may testify against the others during the trial.

The five men involved in the case, thinking that the 24-year old Taylor was with the Redskins for an away game against the Buccaneers, allegedly planned on breaking into Taylor’s house on Nov. 26, 2007.

However, Taylor was at home that night, as he did not travel with the team and was resting a knee injury that he suffered earlier that season. Taylor confronted the suspects with a machete and was subsequently shot.

While it has taken quite some time for the trial to get underway, Taylor’s family, through lawyer Richard Sharpstein, said that they are ready for some closure at last.

“It is sometimes said that justice delayed is justice denied,” Sharpstein said. “But in this case, it’s better late than never and justice will be delivered. The Taylor family has full confidence in Judge Murphy and the prosecution team.”

Taylor, the fifth overall pick of the 2004 NFL draft out of the University of Miami, was well on his way to becoming one of the most dominant defensive players in the league at the time of his death. Known for his ferocious hits, Taylor was posthumously elected to his second Pro Bowl at the end of the 2007 season, becoming the first deceased player in NFL history to be awarded a spot on a Pro Bowl roster.

• Just a week after losing linebacker Clay Matthews for at least three games with a broken thumb, the Packers will have to deal with the loss of another key player, as wide receiver Randall Cobb sustained a knee injury during Sunday’s game against the Ravens and is expected to miss “multiple weeks”, according to Packers coach Mike McCarthy.

Cobb was hit in the knee by Ravens safety Matt Elam with 22 seconds remaining in the first half, forcing the 23-year-old wideout to be taken off the field on a cart. Cobb would return to the sidelines later in the game, but was using crutches.

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New book alleges NFL tried to disprove link between football, brain damage 10.03.13 at 6:32 pm ET
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A new book written by ESPN investigative reporters allege that the NFL waged a campaign for over two decades intent on refuting evidence and research that proved that there was a connection between playing football and brain damage.

The book, titled “League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth,” states that the NFL used its influence and resources to both tarnish scientists and their reports regarding the link between football and head injuries and utilized a public relations strategy to keep fans unaware of the danger relating to the sport.

The book makes a point to compare the era of the NFL covering up the dangers of football to the era of Big Tobacco, when cigarette companies hid the health risks of smoking to consumers. It also claims that the NFL’s “whitewash” of the risks associated with football continued during the tenure of current NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

Other findings that were discovered by the book’s authors include the NFL ignoring a warning from some of the top neuroscientists in the world that football led to depression and memory loss all the way back in 2000, as well as the league attempting to force medical journals to retract their findings on brain damage in football back in 2005.

Despite the book’s controversial and shocking findings, some NFL players, such as former Jets defensive lineman Marty Lyons, believe that it’s the players own choice to play such a dangerous sport.

“I’m not going to accuse the league,” Lyons said. “Players had to be more responsible for their own actions. I’m not saying the league didn’t know, I’m not saying the players didn’t know. It was part of the game.”

The book , which was co-authored by brothers Mark Fainaru-Wada and Steve Fainaru, will be released on Oct. 8.

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NFL roundup: Raiders’ Terrelle Pryor suffers concussion; Bengals’ Pacman Jones in trouble again; Lions’ Nate Burleson injured in car accident 09.24.13 at 12:03 pm ET
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Terrelle Pryor had a productive game Monday night against the Broncos, but he wasn't around to see the end of it. (AP)

Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor had a productive game Monday night against the Broncos, but he wasn’t around to see the end of it. (AP)

Despite the Raiders’ 37-21 loss to the Broncos on Monday night, Oakland quarterback Terrelle Pryor was impressive, as he completed 19-of-28 passes for 281 yards and a touchdown while running for 36 yards on four rushes.

However, Pryor was unable to finish the game, as he was sandwiched by two Denver defenders in the fourth quarter and left the game with a head injury. After the game, it was announced that testing revealed that Pryor had indeed suffered a concussion.

It’s uncertain if Pryor will be ready for the Raiders’ next game on Sunday afternoon against Washington.

If Pryor is unable to play, Matt Flynn is expected to step in at quarterback.

Also in Monday’s game, Peyton Manning turned in another dominant performance, as the 37-year-old quarterback completed 32-of-37 passes for 374 yards and three touchdowns.

It’s been a historic start to the season for Manning, as his 12 touchdowns in the Broncos’ first three games has set an NFL record. Tom Brady, who set the NFL record with 50 touchdowns during the 2007 season, held the previous record with 11 touchdowns in the Patriots’ first three games that year.

• Despite losing a part of his middle finger in Sunday’s game against the Saints, Cardinals safety Rashad Johnson said that he may suit up for his team’s next game Sunday against Tampa Bay.

“I’m just going to take it day to day, see how everything heals up and how it feels,” Johnson said. “I’m going to approach [this week] just like any other game week. I’m going to go in, watch my film, make sure I know everything that’s in the game plan, and when the time comes around and the decision needs to be made, it’ll be in coach [BruceArians‘ hands.”

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Colts safety Joe Lefeged released without bond after gun charge 07.02.13 at 1:30 pm ET
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Joe Lefeged

Joe Lefeged

Colts safety Joe Lefeged — who was arrested Saturday after police found a semi-automatic pistol and an open bottle containing vodka in a car he was riding in — was released on personal recognizance Tuesday after a hearing in Washington, D.C., on a gun possession charge.

Lefeged’s car had been pulled over for speeding, and police say they also smelled marijuana in the car in addition to the gun and open bottle of vodka. Lefeged and another passenger were caught after trying to speed away from officers after they had been pulled over.

Police say the gun in the car was loaded and there was evidence of drug use, which made prosecutors want to keep Lefeged in jail.

Lefeged, who is from Montgomery County, Md., signed with the Colts as an undrafted free agent out of Rutgers in 2011. The 25-year-old has 28 tackles and two interceptions in two NFL seasons.

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Brian Urlacher retires after 13-year NFL career 05.22.13 at 12:37 pm ET
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Brian Urlacher

Former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher announced his retirement Wednesday, ending a 13-year NFL career.

“After spending a lot of time this spring thinking about my NFL future, I have made a decision to retire,” Urlacher wrote. “Although I could continue playing, I’m not sure I would bring a level of performance or passion that’s up to my standards. When considering this, along with the fact that I could retire after a 13-year career wearing only one jersey for such a storied franchise, my decision became pretty clear. I want to thank all of the people in my life that have helped me along the way. I will miss my teammates, my coaches, and the great Bears fans. I’m proud to say that I have all of you everything I had every time I took the field. I will miss this great game, but I leave it with no regrets.”

The eight-time Pro Bowler played his entire career in Chicago, and was the face of the organization for many years. He and the Bears were unable to reach an agreement on a contract this offseason and he became a free agent.

Urlacher recorded a franchise-record 1,779 tackles in 182 games between 2000 and 2012. He also had 41.5 sacks, 22 interceptions, 16 fumble recoveries and 11 forced fumbles in his career.

The ninth overall pick in the 2000 NFL draft was the 2000 AP Defensive Rookie of the Year, the 2005 AP Defensive Player of the Year and a first-team All-Pro four times. He helped lead the Bears to the Super Bowl in 2007.

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