"I specifically asked the doctor if the medication he prescribed for me would present a problem for NFL drug testing."
Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Robert Mathis was suspended four games by the NFL for violating its policy on performance-enhancing drugs. The team released a statement saying they recognize the "extreme seriousness" of the matter, but that they support Mathis, an 11-year veteran of the NFL and the Colts, throughout the process.
Mathis also released a statement himself, and here's where it gets interesting. Mathis claims that he was taking fertility medication that his doctor assured him would not be a problem with the NFL. "I specifically asked the doctor if the medication he prescribed for me would present a problem for NFL drug testing," Mathis said, "and unfortunately, he incorrectly told me that it would not."
Whatever the case, Mathis has already appealed the suspension and was denied, according to Adam Schefter, via Mike Wells of ESPN.
"Alright, pull the trigger, we're trading up to go get this guy."
-Jimmy Haslam, Cleveland Browns owner
The final decision to draft quarterback Johnny Manziel was made by Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam. According to quarterbacks coach Dowell Loggains, it was Haslam who gave the order to "pull the trigger" and trade up for Manziel in the draft. This occurred after Manziel sent the Browns a text saying "I wish you guys would come and get me. Hurry up and draft me because I want to be there. I want to wreck this league together."
Haslam said, "Alright, pull the trigger, we're trading up to go get this guy." Cleveland was originally thought to be interested in taking Manziel as high as No. 4 overall. There was talk before the draft that Haslam might force the team to take Manziel by making an executive decision. In this instance, it doesn't sound as though anybody was "forced" to take Manziel.
"In any event, [Colt] Lyerla has to earn a contract before the prospect of him playing for the Packers can be seriously considered."
-Jason Hirschhorn, Acme Packing Company
The Green Bay Packers are the team to give tight end Colt Lyerla a chance in free agency. Lyerla is an undrafted rookie out of Oregon, who probably would have been selected relatively early in the 2014 NFL Draft if he didn't have so many off-the-field issues. Lyerla either quit his team or was dismissed -- it's still unclear -- in 2013. He had multiple drug charges that initially confided him to the state of Oregon, though he was able to attend the NFL Combine.
However, he wasn't thoroughly impressive. He did look solid in the 40-yard dash and the vertical leap, but put up only 15 reps on the bench press, as noted by the folks at Acme Packing Company. Lyerla's stock has fallen so far that he's only been invited to Green Bay's camp on a tryout basis. He has no contract with the Packers, and they are not committed to him. It's the definition of a low-risk, high-reward situation.
"Cleveland's made a concerted effort under Ray Farmer to distance itself from players drafted by the Mike Holmgren regime."
-Will Brinson, CBS Sports
The Cleveland Browns announced the release of wide receiver Greg Little on Friday. The move follows the signings of former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Miles Austin and former Chicago Bears receiver Earl Bennett, which occurred on Thursday. Little was the team's second-round pick in 2011 at No. 59 overall, but he's disappointed since.
Little has 155 receptions off 311 targets for 1,821 yards and eight touchdowns in three seasons in the league. His 2013 campaign was his worst, with just 465 yards and two touchdowns. Then again, Little has had to deal with the relative instability of the Browns' organization and poor quarterback play in all three of those seasons. Releasing him could be one step toward finding stability, however, as Will Brinson of CBS Sports suggests that Cleveland has made a "concerted effort under Ray Farmer to distance itself from players drafted by the Mike Holmgren regime."
"Benn was productive on the field with the Buccaneers and at the University of Illinois when he was not battling injuries."
-Mike Kaye, Bleeding Green Nation
The Philadelphia Eagles released wide receive Arrelious Benn on Friday. Benn was originally acquired last season but has never played a regular-season snap for the Eagles due to a torn ACL in training camp. He's had problems with injuries throughout his career, though it's unclear if he's still not ready to play. Philadelphia has been revamping the wide receiver position this offseason, and Benn may just be an odd man out.
As noted by Bleeding Green Nation, it does seem possible that Benn returns to the team at a lower salary. It makes sense that Benn might sign for something close to the veteran minimum at this point, but nothing is guaranteed. Benn's best season resulted in 30 catches for 441 yards and three touchdowns.