NFL Notes: Jets' Revis charged with 4 felonies after fight in Pittsburgh

NFL Notes: Jets' Revis charged with 4 felonies after fight in Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH -- New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis has been charged with four first-degree felonies and one misdemeanor after allegedly being involved in a fight with two men last weekend.

According to a docket sheet filed Thursday night, the 31-year-old Revis is facing two counts of aggravated assault, along with charges of robbery, conspiracy to commit aggravated assault and terroristic threats -- a misdemeanor -- after the incident Sunday at 2:43 a.m.

Revis' attorney, Blaine Jones, said in a statement Thursday that Revis was "physically assaulted while at that location by a group of at least five people."

But Pittsburgh police said in a statement that the alleged fight started when a 22-year-old man spotted Revis walking. After Revis confirmed he was the NFL player, the man started recording the interaction. Revis grabbed the phone and tried to delete the video. A 21-year-old man tried to help the other man, but Revis tossed the phone into the road, the report says.

An argument ensued, ending with another man helping Revis, according to the police statement. Police say the two other men claimed they were punched and knocked out.

Steelers: Team already working on Brown’s new deal
PITTSBURGH, P.A. – The Pittsburgh Steelers are following through on their promise to offer All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown a new contract.

General manager Kevin Colbert said Thursday the team has already begun negotiations with Brown, who has one year left on the $42 million deal that began in 2013. The 28-year-old Brown is coming off his fourth straight season of at least 100 receptions.

The Steelers gave Brown an advance on his salary in each of the last two seasons as a pseudo bonus and vowed last summer to prioritize giving him a long-term contract that could keep him with the team for the balance of his career. Colbert and Brown's agent Drew Rosenhaus are already in discussions and the team has no issues about Brown's occasionally eccentric behavior. Brown drew a strong rebuke from head coach Mike Tomlin last month for livestreaming from Pittsburgh's victorious postgame locker room following a playoff win at Kansas City. Brown later apologized for the distraction.

The dust up did nothing to alter Colbert's intentions to keep one of the league's most dynamic players for the long run (see full story).

Dolphins: Team plans to part with LT Albert
DAVIE, Fla. –The Miami Dolphins put on hold their planned release of left tackle Branden Albert when another team expressed interest in a trade shortly before the roster move was completed Thursday.

The Dolphins told Albert he won't be with them for the 2017 season. No trade can be completed until the start of the league year March 9.

The decision to part with Albert clears the way for 2016 first-round draft pick Laremy Tunsil to move over from guard.

Miami released four-time Pro Bowl defensive end Mario Williams, defensive tackle Earl Mitchell and cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu. The departure of the four players will save about $20 million in 2017 cap space (see full story).

NFL: QB prospect Kelly barred from combine
BUFFALO, N.Y. – Mississippi quarterback Chad Kelly's past troubles are the reasons the NFL revoked his invitation to the league's scouting combine.

A person familiar with the league's decision told The Associated Press that Kelly is barred from participating in the event because of charges stemming from a fight outside a Buffalo nightclub and for being dismissed by Clemson. Both incidents happened in 2014.

The person spoke to The AP on the condition of anonymity on Thursday because the NFL has not revealed the reason Kelly was not included on the list of participants released by the league a day earlier.

The decision to exclude Kelly is based on a memo the league issued to teams on Jan. 18 outlining reasons draft-eligible prospects will not be permitted to participate in the weeklong combine in Indianapolis that opens Feb. 28. The memo says prospects will be excluded if background checks reveal past convictions for violent or sexual offenses, or if they were dismissed by their school or the NCAA (see full story).

Eagles owner Jeff Lurie rails against political polarization in Washington

Eagles owner Jeff Lurie rails against political polarization in Washington

Eagles owner Jeff Lurie isn't often very outspoken on football or political matters. 

He has apparently made an exception. 

Just a few days before Lurie is tentatively scheduled to speak to Philadelphia reporters while in Phoenix for the league's annual meetings, the Eagles owner authored a story for Time Magazine railing against political polarization in Washington.

Lurie has not spoken to reporters publicly since last March in Boca Raton, Florida, at the 2016 owners meetings. 

The owner's essay was published just hours after House Republican leaders pulled legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act on Friday afternoon. Lurie, for the record, donated money to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign last year.

Lurie, the Eagles' 65-year-old billionaire owner, in the story, uses football as an example for which Washington should strive. 

Here's how Lurie begins the piece:

"What do football, political polarization and autism have in common? They all illuminate aspects of the human condition, explaining who we are, where we are headed and the hurdles along the way. As a sports team owner I rarely publicly discuss politics, but as a member of a family touched by autism, I often think about the unspoken millions of people who live with the daily challenges of this disorder."

Lurie then goes on to explain why football can act as a guide for Washington when it comes to united for the common good:

"What I have learned from football can be applied to society at large. Just as we intensely game-plan against an opponent in sports, we need to game plan for the reality and consequences of polarization. Extreme polarization is the opponent -- not each other. A football team is made up of players from a wide variety of backgrounds, experiences and political viewpoints. What unites them is grit, determination, and the desire to win. They join in a common goal and do what is necessary to transcend their differences for the greater good of their team.

"What unites Americans is far more negative. We are now in an age where communicating verifiable information becomes secondary to the goal of creating a common enemy that unifies people in fear, negativity and opposition. This masks our inability to solve serious domestic problems (poverty, violence and institutional racism to name three current examples) and diverts our attention from obvious suffering."

Lurie then writes that we, as Americans, have the "necessary resources" to tackle serious problems, like autism, but lack the leadership to put aside differences. 

The whole piece isn't very long and is worth reading in full to gain a better understanding of its context. 

Next week while in Phoenix, Lurie will surely be asked about what motivated him to write the piece. 

Eagles withdraw all but 1 rule proposal for owners meetings

Eagles withdraw all but 1 rule proposal for owners meetings

As the annual NFL meetings get set to kick off next week, the Eagles originally proposed four playing rule changes and a resolution that could have eventually led to bringing back Kelly green uniforms as an alternate option. 

But after getting feedback from the NFL's competition committee, the Eagles are withdrawing all but one proposal, according to league sources. 

The only one left would prohibit players from leaping over the line of scrimmage on kicking plays. For now, players are allowed to leap line as long as they don't make contact. That proposal, which the NFLPA has previously supported, seems likely to pass. 

That means the other three playing rule changes and the proposal to allow teams to wear helmets that would match their alternative jerseys won't be specifically discussed. 

Translation: No Kelly green jerseys yet. 

Among the 15 proposed playing rule changes the league released on Friday, teams were responsible for seven of them and the Eagles accounted for four of the seven. 

Just because a specific proposal won't be directly discussed, it doesn't mean that topic won't be discussed by the committee in Phoenix during next week's annual league meetings. 

For instance, one of the Eagles' proposals would alter the current replay system. While the Eagles' individual proposal won't be discussed, replays will be a topic of discussion during the meetings.