Former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue has affirmed the league's findings regarding the Saints bounty scandal, but has vacated all player suspensions. Makes total sense, right?
Tagliabue's statement, via NFL spokesman Greg Aiello:
Unlike Saints' broad organizational misconduct, player appeals involve sharply focused issues of alleged individual player misconduct in several different aspects. My affirmation of Commissioner Goodell's findings could certainly justify the issuance of fines. However, this entire case has been contaminated by the coaches and others in the Saints' organization.
Having reviewed the testimony very carefully, including documentary evidence that is at the center of the conflict, and having assessed the credibility of the four central witnesses on these matters, I find there is more than enough evidence to support Commissioner Goodell's findings that Mr. Vilma offered such a bounty (on Brett Favre).
The Broncos have added tackle Paul Cornick to their practice squad; he replaces Darrion Weems, who had been signed to Dallas's active roster five days ago.
Cornick had signed with the LOLJets as an undrafted free agent out of North Dakota State, where he was named an All-American following his senior season.
LB Wesley Woodyard is listed as doubtful for tomorrow's game at Oakland, and is likely to be replaced in the starting lineup by D.J. Williams. WR Brandon Stokley is questionable, while five other Broncos are probable.
Woodyard suffered an ankle sprain last week, which forced Williams and Danny Trevathan (21 snaps each) into increased action. The absence of Stokley resulted in more targets for Jacob Tamme, who caught a season-high nine passes against Tampa Bay.
Week 13 saw three teams (Denver, New England, Atlanta) clinch their divisions, with Houston also sealing a playoff spot.
This marks the earliest point at which any NFL season has seen either three division races end, or four playoff tickets punched, and two of them happened concurrently - as soon as Greg Schiano was done fanning his tail feathers (the Tampa Bay loss clinched the NFCS for Atlanta).
That the Broncos and Pats clinched their divisions ensures that Manning/Brady 14 (or 15, if they meet in this year's playoffs) will take place next season at Foxboro, barring injury or retirement for either.
Former Broncos Steve Atwater, Terrell Davis, John Lynch, and Karl Mecklenburg are among 27 semifinalists who will be considered for enshrinement in the 2013 HOF class, it was announced Friday.
The list of 27 former players, coaches, and executives will be pared to 15 finalists (plus the two Senior Committee candidates) in January, and the Class of 2013 will be chosen on Saturday, February 2, the day preceding SB 46 in New Orleans.
While he's being discussed among Defensive POY candidates, Von Miller, and the Broncos, continue to accumulate in-season accolades.
The dominant second-year player and 2011 DROY, who earned the Defensive POW honor for his Week 11 performance against San Diego, has been named the AFC's Defensive Player of the Month for November, it was announced today.
As expected, the Broncos announced the signing today of running back Jacob Hester, formerly of the Chargers. They also brought Jeremiah Johnson back to the practice squad, as had been reported over the weekend.
Hester (5-11, 235) is a fifth-year player out of LSU who was taken by San Diego with the 69th-overall pick in the 2008 Draft. He started 23 of the 62 games he played for the Chargers, accumulating 319 yards and one touchdown on 94 rushes, plus 308 receiving yards and three touchdowns on 55 catches.
Von Miller has been named the AFC's Defensive Player of the Week for his three-sack performance against the Chargers. It's the second time Von's received the award (2011, Week 11), and the sixth individual weekly honor given to a Bronco this season. Peyton Manning won a monthly award for his stellar October.
In other news, the Broncos will be facing their old teammate at Arrowhead on Sunday, as Romeo Crennel has announced that Brady Quinn will
be this week's prey get the start at quarterback. Fortunately for Quinn, he'll be playing behind a line that features two of PFF's top-11-rated offensive tackles in Branden Albert and Eric Winston.
Jay Glazer is reporting that the Broncos will place running back Willis McGahee on season-ending IR today.
Although there had been reports that the 31-year-old would be able to recover from his torn MCL and leg fracture in time for the playoffs, the team has obviously given up on that possibility.
Mike Klis reports that the move has not yet been finalized, and that Denver may designate McGahee as eligible to return. Adam Schefter is reporting that the decision has been made, and that the back could be back in time for the AFC Championship game, should Denver make it that far. Lindsay Jones has gotten confirmation of that from Denver PR man Patrick Smythe.