Brian Dawkins not elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame

Brian Dawkins not elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame

Brian Dawkins, one of the most popular Eagles ever and a nine-time Pro Bowl safety, fell short of the necessary votes for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
 
Dawkins, who works in the Eagles’ personnel office, was among 15 finalists considered Saturday by a panel of sports writers meeting at the Super Bowl in Houston.
  
Former Eagles receiver Terrell Owens was also left out of the class of 2017 (see story). Safety Kenny Easley, running backs LaDainian Tomlinson and Terrell Davis, quarterback Kurt Warner, kicker Morten Andersen, defensive end Jason Taylor and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones will be this year's inductees. They'll be formally enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, on Aug. 5. 
 
Dawkins visited the Hall of Fame in 2006, when the Eagles faced the Raiders in the Hall of Fame Game and Reggie White was inducted, and he made sure to spend some time exploring.
 
On Quick Slants on Comcast SportsNet in August, he spoke about that experience and what it would mean to one day join those already enshrined in Canton.
 
“I remember the feeling that I felt looking at the busts, seeing all those guys and seeing the hallowed walls as they call it, the hallowed hallway of all those busts, and to just imagine myself being in there,” he said.
 
“I could do that because at that point. I had put some good years together. That would be a tremendous oppportunity and a tremendous thing for not just me, it's not just me. I know you always thank your teammates and all that stuff but this fanbase as well because they deserve a lot better than what people give them. 
 
“They don't give this fanbase the benefit of the doubt. Now, there are also knuckleheads who do some crazy stuff but there are knuckleheads who do crazy stuff in every town. It just so happens that this town gets beat up for it. But I'm fine with all of that. Whatever. Whatever. I just know that this fanbase deserves to celebrate. 
 
“So if I get into that Hall of Fame, you think that I will be the only one celebrating? No. We're going to have a good time. We're going to have a party."
 
It’s historically extremely difficult for safeties to get into the Hall of Fame.
 
There are only seven pure safeties in the Hall of Fame, plus three others who split time at cornerback and safety.
 
The only pure safety who never played cornerback who’s been enshrined in Canton in the last quarter century is long-time Viking Paul Krause, the NFL’s all-time interception leader at 79. Krause retired in 1979 but didn’t get in until 1998.
 
But Dawkins truly revolutionized the position, combining playmaking in the back end with physical run support and his signature big hits.
 
Dawkins had 34 interceptions with the Eagles, tied with Eric Allen and Bill Bradley for the franchise record. He also had 36 forced fumbles, most ever by a safety, and 19 fumble recoveries, fourth-most by a safety. He added 26 sacks.
 
He’s one of only six players in NFL history with 25 interceptions and 25 sacks and the only one of the six who also had 25 forced fumbles.
 
Dawkins left the Eagles acrimoniously after the 2008 season and finished his career playing three seasons with the Broncos, earning Pro Bowl honors twice.
 
The Eagles announced in July that Dawkins had joined the team’s scouting department. 

NFL Notes: Gareon Conley claims rape allegations are 'completely false'

NFL Notes: Gareon Conley claims rape allegations are 'completely false'

CLEVELAND -- Former Ohio State football star Gareon Conley says he plans to skip attending the NFL draft in person on Thursday and decried allegations that he raped a woman as "completely false."

No charges have been filed as police investigate claims made by a 23-year-old woman that he assaulted her in a Cleveland hotel on April 9. Conley was named in a police report that details the allegations but no information has been forwarded to prosecutors.

Conley said in a statement Wednesday that he believes the allegations are an attempt to ruin the draft experience for him and his family.

The woman told police Conley raped her in the bathroom of a hotel room after they met in the elevator and she agreed to go back to his room.

Conley's attorney says the cornerback, projected to be a first-round pick, plans to speak with police about the incident after the draft.

Raiders: Marshawn Lynch comes out of retirement
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Marshawn Lynch is coming out of retirement after agreeing on a two-year deal with the Raiders that paved the way for a trade to his hometown team in Oakland.

Lynch passed a physical Wednesday and agreed to a restructured two-year contract. Those were the final steps needed before Seattle could trade his rights along with a 2018 sixth-round pick to the Raiders for a 2018 fifth-rounder.

NFL Network said Lynch would get a $3 million base deal this season, with a chance to make an additional $2 million if he rushes for at least 1,000 yards.

Lynch had been slated to make $9 million this season if he came out of retirement. With Seattle unwilling to pay that amount and Lynch only wanting to play for the Raiders, finalizing a trade was simple once Oakland was able to re-do Lynch's contract.

Lynch also must apply to the NFL for reinstatement from the retired list before he can play with the Raiders (see full story).

Packers: Veteran OL Jahri Evans signs
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers have signed veteran offensive lineman Jahri Evans as they look to fill a hole up front left by the departure of free agent-right guard T.J. Lang.

Terms of the agreement were not announced Wednesday by general manager Ted Thompson.

The 33-year-old Evans joins the Packers following 11 seasons in New Orleans, where he played 169 regular-season games since being drafted in the fourth round in 2006. The 169 games are the most played by an active NFL offensive lineman in that span.

After blocking for Drew Brees in New Orleans, the durable Evans figures to be the favorite to replace Lang after the Pro Bowl guard signed with the Detroit Lions last month.

Evans has been voted to six Pro Bowls.

Jets: 5 players waived to trim roster on eve of draft
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- The New York Jets have waived running back Brandon Burks, wide receiver Darius Jennings, long snapper Josh Latham, linebacker Jeff Luc and defensive lineman Julien Obioha.

The team announced the moves Wednesday as it trims its roster on the eve of the NFL draft.

The Jets, who have 76 players under contract, have seven picks in the draft -- including No. 6 overall. Teams can carry up to 90 players on their rosters until training camp, when there are cuts to 75 and then 53 to start the regular season.

Burks was active for the Jets' season finale and had two carries for minus-4 yards.

Obioha spent last season on injured reserve, while Jennings was on New York's practice squad late in the season.

Luc signed a reserve-future deal in January. Latham was signed in February.

Giants: Manning attorneys say he didn't provide fake memorabilia
EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey -- Attorneys for New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning are trying to convince a judge that the dealers suing the two-time Super Bowl MVP tried to pressure him to settle a memorabilia lawsuit by releasing select notes that weren't related to the disputed goods.

Emails released by the court on Wednesday were part of a motion seeking sanctions and legal fees against one of the plaintiffs' attorneys after he released an email from Manning in 2010 that seemed to indicate he provided fake memorabilia rather than authentic game-used goods.

Manning angrily denied those allegations last week.

The lawsuit revolves around two pieces of equipment: a backup Super Bowl helmet from 2012 and another from the 2007-2008 season.

The memorabilia dealers suing Manning released a note sent by Manning to team equipment manager Joe Skiba, asking for two helmets that "can pass as game used."

Manning's lawyers say that email is taken out of context and all of Manning's communications in context show he never provided inauthentic memorabilia.

An attorney for sports memorabilia collector Eric Inselberg on Wednesday insisted his client received a fake Manning backup helmet for the 2012 Super Bowl.

Inselberg sued Manning, Giants co-owner John Mara, memorabilia company Steiner Sports and others in 2014, alleging they engaged in a scam to sell fake game-worn equipment. He also asked that the NFL team be held responsible for the lies that led to his indictment on federal changes that ruined his business.

The lawsuit is scheduled to go to trial in September.

Haason Reddick's draft ascension to culminate in his backyard

Haason Reddick's draft ascension to culminate in his backyard

Live draft coverage begins Thursday at 5 p.m. with Philly Sports Talk and continues until midnight on CSN, CSNPhilly.com and the NBC Sports App.

DeShone Kizer, who played against Haason Reddick in 2015 at Lincoln Financial Field, needed just one word to describe the Temple product.  

"Stud," Kizer said at the Shriners Hospital for Children on Wednesday at an NFL PLAY 60 event.

"Absolute stud. You've got to game-plan for him. He was playing at a higher level than you would expect a Temple football player to play at. We knew we were going to have to do whatever we could to stop him. He balled out against us. That took a whole team for us to go up against a guy like him, (Tyler) Matakevich in that fourth quarter to try and win it all."

Temple would have upset the Fighting Irish that night if it wasn't for some late game heroics from Kizer. 

Kizer connected with Philadelphia product-turned Houston Texan Will Fuller on a 17-yard touchdown pass with 2:09 left in the game as Notre Dame won, 24-20.

"They came out and they fought," Kizer said. "They were an undefeated team going into that game, it was Halloween night, Will Fuller's back home, and the way that game finished was obviously a good showing of what the season looked like all year." 

Reddick racked up four tackles in that game, including 1½ for a loss. As Reddick reflected on his career at Temple, he said that game against Notre Dame, the Penn State game in 2015 and the 2016 game against Memphis were some of the games that put him in the national spotlight. 

Reddick has taken that spotlight and continued to rise up NFL draft boards since the start of the draft process.

"I feel like I was under the radar," Reddick said. "They still truly don't understand the hard work that I put in to get here and really what type of player I am. But that will all change soon."

The former Temple walk-on has been projected as a mid-first-round pick. 

The Eagles hold the No. 14 overall pick in the draft Thursday night but haven't been linked to Reddick as much as other prospects like Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley and Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster.

But with Conley and Foster each reportedly slipping because of off-the-field issues, Reddick might be an option for the Eagles at 14.

Reddick said Eagles linebackers coach Ken Flajole has met with him a couple of times leading up to the draft.

If selected by the Eagles, Reddick would already be familiar with Lincoln Financial Field since Temple plays its home games there. It's where he led the Owls to the American Athletic Conference championship in 2016.

"The process has been a crazy ride," Reddick said. "To be able to hear my name called on Thursday, God willing if that happens, it would be beautiful, man. It would be a great way to end this first chapter and start getting ready for the next one."