Ray McDonald believes truth will vindicate him
Mere days after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell outlined his plans for a new domestic violence policy, 49ers defensive lineman Ray McDonald was arrested for allegedly injuring his pregnant fiancé. He was charged with felony domestic violence Sunday morning and was released that afternoon. Yet according to McDonald, via KTVU reporter Azenith Smith, the story being portrayed in the media isn't accurate:
While establishing context is important with arrests such as this one, it doesn't mean the 49ers or the NFL will wait for the legal system to play out. With the spotlight shining especially bright after the NFL's admitted bungling of Ray Rice's own domestic violence suspension, the league will be mindful not to appear tolerant of violence against women.
Alex Smith nets four-year extension
One of the most important decisions an NFL franchise makes is on its quarterback. That's why deals like Joe Flacco's receive substantial attention and criticism. The Chiefs made their own plunge into the quarterback extension pool Sunday by handing Alex Smith a four-year, $68 million extension.
The deal was initially reported by Terez A. Paylor to include $45 million in guaranteed money, but Pro Football Talk has since learned that only $30 million is guaranteed at signing. Even though the deal makes Smith a far richer man, the Chiefs won't face too many cap issues if they decide to let him go in a few years.
Raiders choose Derek Carr over Matt Schaub
One of the prevailing narratives of the NFL preseason was the Oakland Raiders' apparent refusal to give rookie quarterback Derek Carr a shot at the starting job. Instead, head coach Dennis Allen appeared comfortable with veteran Matt Schaub beginning the year under center. As the preseason progressed, it became increasingly clear that Schaub was not the answer even in the short term. Combined with Carr's strong preseason campaign, it seemed the right move was to start the rookie Week 1.
According to Jay Glazer, that's exactly what the Raiders have decided to do:
Breaking: Raiders players have been informed that the team is making the switch at QB and starting Derek Carr over Matt Schaub
— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) September 1, 2014
Carr will lead the Raiders' offense against the stout defensive line of the New York Jets this Sunday in the Meadowlands.
No tampering charges coming for Jerry Jones
Last week, details of a phone conversation between Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson came to light that suggested the league's most visible owner might have broken the NFL's tampering rules. Jones has become something of a punching bag in the years since his team won three Super Bowls in four years, and it seemed fair to wonder whether he'd be hit with tampering charges by the league. However, in the opinion of Sports Illustrated's Peter King, no charges are likely to follow.
"I think the league is not going to press a tampering case against Jerry Jones for his remarks in the great ESPN profile of him about Adrian Peterson," says King in his weekly Monday Morning Quarterback column. "Talking to a couple of people with knowledge of the league's view of the story, I didn't sense much interest in the league pursuing anything against Jones when he was seriously into the Johnnie Walker Blue Label near midnight."
King added that he expects someone from the league to talk with Jones about the situation, but that nothing more will come of it. That's good news for the Cowboys, who would probably have been docked some draft picks had the NFL found them guilty of tampering.
Rob Gronkowski to play Week 1
The Patriots knew they were going to get star tight end Rob Gronkowski back at some point early in the 2014 season, but they just didn't know exactly when. Now they do, according to Tom E. Curran of CSN New England.
Ron Gronkowski a go for Sunday he confirms. #patriotstalk
— Tom E. Curran (@tomecurran) September 1, 2014
Gronkowksi, or "Ron" as he goes by with the Boston media, is Tom Brady's top red zone target. He led the Patriots in touchdown catches from 2010 to '12, catching 38 during that span.