NFL Notebook: NFL Suspends Ravens CB Smith Four Games

By Reuters
August 22, 2018Sports News
NFL Notebook: NFL Suspends Ravens CB Smith Four Games
Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills is unable to make a catch as Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith defends in the fourth quarter. (Patrick McDermott/USA Today Sports)

The NFL announced a four-game suspension for Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith on Tuesday for violating the league’s personal-conduct policy.

The Ravens released a statement saying they “fully support the NFL’s decision,” adding the league “found evidence of threatening and emotionally abusive behaviors by Jimmy toward his former girlfriend that showed a pattern of improper conduct. Our player’s behavior was inappropriate and wrong. …”

The Baltimore Sun reported in November—during a child custody case between Smith and Micaela Sanchez, the mother of his first child—that details emerged from Sanchez alleging domestic violence and drug use by Smith, which the Ravens veteran denied. According to multiple reports, the league did not find evidence of physical violence but discovered evidence of “threatening” behavior.

Smith, who turned 30 last month, will forfeit about $2.12 million in salary. He will be eligible to rejoin the team Oct. 1, a day after the Ravens play the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles won’t miss any game action due to a shoulder injury he sustained last week, as coach Doug Pederson said the signal-caller will play Aug. 23 against the Cleveland Browns.

According to Pederson, Foles probably will play the whole first half before giving way to third-stringer Nate Sudfeld. Starter Carson Wentz was ruled out on Aug. 21 as he continues his recovery from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

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Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles runs through warm up drills during training camp at the NovaCare Complex. (Pederson/The News Journal via USA Today Network)

Foles returned to practice this week and split first-team reps with Wentz, who worked his way back into team drills for the first time since early in camp after being held out as a precaution.

Washington Redskins coach Jay Gruden praised newly signed running back Adrian Peterson for his conditioning and said he expects the veteran to play Aug. 23 in a preseason game against Denver.

“Oh yeah, if we get him up to speed … I’d like to get him a few touches in this game to see where he’s at,” Gruden told reporters when asked about Peterson playing against the Broncos.

Peterson, 33, joined the Redskins on Aug. 21 on a one-year deal worth just over $1 million, according to Spotrac. He spent 10 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings.

Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson told reporters that wide receiver Josh Gordon should be back on the practice field “very soon,” with an eye on being ready for the regular-season opener.

Gordon, 27, returned to the team Aug. 18 after missing the first few weeks of training camp to tend to his rehabilitation from drug and alcohol addiction.

He remains on the active/non-football injury list and will not play Aug. 23 against the Eagles, but Jackson said he could practice on Aug.18 and “there’s a chance” he’ll play in the Aug. 30 preseason finale against the Detroit Lions.

Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Eli Rogers has been suspended without pay for the team’s season opener due to a violation of the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse, the league announced.

Rogers will be eligible to return to the Steelers on Sept. 10, one day after the opener against the Cleveland Browns.

Rogers hasn’t practiced or played in the preseason, as he remains on the physically unable to perform list while recovering from a major knee injury (torn ACL) sustained in a playoff loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Free agent quarterback Trevone Boykin has been suspended for the first game of the 2018 season by the NFL.

ESPN confirmed the suspension for Boykin, which the 24-year-old disclosed on Twitter over the weekend. It’s unclear if Boykin’s one-game suspension falls under the NFL’s personal-conduct policy, according to the ESPN report.

The Seattle Seahawks released Boykin shortly after reports of an alleged domestic violence attack on his girlfriend began circulating in March. Boykin was subsequently arrested in Mansfield, Texas, on suspicion of aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury.

Carolina Panthers left tackle Matt Kalil will be evaluated on a week-to-week basis after having an arthroscopic procedure performed on his right knee, the team announced.

The operation was performed by Dr. James Andrews. Kalil, 29, traveled to Florida on Aug. 20 to get a second opinion on the injury.

As a result of the surgery, Kalil’s availability for Carolina’s season opener against the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 9 is unclear. The Panthers are expected to feature 2017 second-round draft pick Taylor Moton at left tackle in their third preseason game on Friday.

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San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan reacts during the fourth quarter against the Houston Texans. (Kevin Jairaj/USA Today Sports)

San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan reiterated that the team would be interested in re-signing free agent safety Eric Reid at the right price, but noted the situation likely wouldn’t interest Reid.

Asked about a report from the spring that San Francisco offered Reid, 26, a minimum deal to re-sign, Shanahan told reporters the 49ers chose Jaquiski Tartt—who signed a two-year, $13 million extension in April—over Reid as their starting strong safety, and thus could only offer Reid a backup role at the minimum salary.

One of the first players to join then-teammate Colin Kaepernick in kneeling during the national anthem during the 2016 season, Reid has gone unsigned since becoming a free agent in March despite tallying 10 interceptions, 36 passes defensed and a Pro Bowl appearance in five years with the 49ers.

The Atlanta Falcons will once again refrain from using star wide receiver Julio Jones and running back Devonta Freeman in their third preseason game this Saturday, according to coach Dan Quinn, who added that the two will “likely” not play until the regular-season opener.

Jones and Freeman have each sat out the Falcons’ first two preseason games even though they have been healthy and practicing. Jones hauled in 88 catches for 1,444 yards and three touchdowns last season despite recovering from foot surgery and a hip flexor injury.

Freeman, 26, had 865 rushing yards and seven scores in 14 games last season. He dealt with ligament damage in his right knee toward the end of the campaign and has a history of concussions.

Panthers rookie wideout D.J. Moore was cited for speeding earlier this month after being clocked at 113 mph in a 65 mph work zone on Interstate 77 in Charlotte, N.C.

According to the state trooper’s report, Moore was pulled over at 2:52 a.m. on Aug. 10, shortly after the team returned to Charlotte from their preseason game at the Buffalo Bills. He was charged with speeding and speeding in a work zone at over 80 mph. Moore has a court date set for Oct. 2.

Moore, 21, was the team’s first-round pick in April, the first wideout off the board at 24th overall. He had four catches for 75 yards against the Bills in the preseason opener before going catchless on two targets against the Miami Dolphins on Aug. 24.

Former New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz announced his retirement from the NFL and is set to join ESPN as an NFL analyst.

Cruz announced his intentions in a video posted on Uninterrupted. He will make his ESPN debut on Aug. 22.

Cruz, 31, said in May he had a date in mind that he would retire if he remained unsigned, hinting at training camp being the unofficial deadline. He finishes his career with 303 receptions in 70 regular-season games. A Pro Bowler in 2011, Cruz caught 303 passes over six NFL seasons, all with New York.

The Tennessee Titans and wide receiver Rishard Matthews agreed to a one-year contract extension, the team announced.

The extension is reportedly a team option worth a base value of $7.75 million for 2019. According to ESPN, the Titans must make a decision on the option by the third-to-last day of the 2018 league year. Exercising it would include paying Matthews an option bonus of $3.25 million. His base salary for 2019 under the option would be $4.5 million.

Between 2018 and 2019, Matthews’ deal includes new money of close to $11 million available via bonuses, according to ESPN. NFL Network reported Matthews fired his agent and negotiated the deal, which includes no guaranteed money.

The New Orleans Saints released veteran running back Terrance West, according to multiple reports.

West gained 36 yards on seven rushes between two games this preseason. Competing for the chance to back up Alvin Kamara while Mark Ingram serves a four-game suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drugs policy, West fell behind Jonathan Williams on the depth chart.

West, 27, joined the Saints in June after three seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. West finished last season with 39 carries for 138 yards and two touchdowns, a year after totaling 774 rushing yards and five scores for the Ravens.

Seahawks running back J.D. McKissic sustained a Jones fracture in his foot and will be sidelined four to six weeks, ESPN reported.

Seattle coach Pete Carroll made no mention of McKissic when running down a list of injuries with reporters following Tuesday’s practice.

The injury likely means C.J. Prosise will begin the season as the fourth running back behind Chris Carson, first-round pick Rashaad Penny and Mike Davis. A receiving specialist, Prosise has 295 receiving yards and 195 rushing yards through two seasons while battling a series of injuries.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers starting left tackle Donovan Smith left practice early with a knee injury, but it appears he won’t miss significant time.

Smith, 25, had his legs rolled up on from the backside of a running play during team drills. He tossed his helmet off and remained on the ground for a few minutes before being helped off by trainers.

Coach Dirk Koetter offered few details after practice, saying, “We’ll have to see,” but the Tampa Bay Times reported later in the evening that the Bucs are optimistic Smith can return in time for the team’s Sept. 9 regular-season opener against the Saints.

The New York Jets claimed kicker Jason Myers off waivers from the Seattle Seahawks and reportedly will bring former Vikings kicker Kai Forbath in for a workout Aug. 22.

Both kickers were let go by their previous teams, as Sebastian Janikowski beat out Myers for the job in Seattle, and rookie fifth-rounder Daniel Carlson made Forbath expendable in Minnesota.

The Jets are expected to move on from Cairo Santos, who has been out for much of the summer with a groin injury after he was waived/injured by the Kansas City Chiefs with a similar issue last September. Santos, 26, joined the Bears for two games last season before a groin injury flared up in December.

Former Seahawks punter Jon Ryan is expected to sign with the Buffalo Bills, according to multiple reports.

Ryan was cut by the Seahawks on Monday after reportedly requesting his release.

Ryan, 36, had spent the past 10 seasons with Seattle, winning one Super Bowl title. He has remained a highly effective punter into his mid-30s but was also due to count $2.6 million against the salary cap in 2018.

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