The NFL and NFL Players Association appear to be at odds with each other again, this time over the league's intention on interviewing players who were named in Al Jazeera's documentary about performance-enhancing drug use in professional sports.
According to Pro Football Talk, the NFLPA insists the league must have "credible evidence" of PED violations before it speaks to Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison, Green Bay Packers stars Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers, and free agent Mike Neal. Charlie Sly, the pharmacist who alleges in the film to have supplied those players with PEDs, recanted his statements shortly after the video was released.
Peyton Manning, who was also named in the report, doesn't have an obligation to cooperate with the NFL's investigation as a retired player. But sources tell ESPN's Dan Graziano that Manning would likely allow himself to be interviewed, because he called for an inquiry into Al Jazeera's allegations months ago.
For the second consecutive summer, the NFLPA appears ready to battle commissioner Roger Goodell over the scope of his authority. Given the affirmation Goodell received when a federal appeals court reinstated Tom Brady's Deflategate suspension in April, it's difficult to imagine him budging.
$140 MILLION MAN. Andrew Luck is now the highest-paid player in league history after signing a six-year, $140 million deal with the Indianapolis Colts. He's significantly altered the financial landscape of the NFL, which bodes well for a number of quarterbacks who will soon be gunning for new deals.
LUCK OF THE CARR. Luck's extension should help Raiders quarterback Derek Carr down the road. Carr, 25, could be the first young quarterback to benefit from Luck's new contract, as he'll be a free agent at the end of 2017. If he improves on his impressive sophomore campaign -- 32 touchdowns, 91.1 QB rating -- he'll likely see a deal that places him among the upper echelon of starting QBs. After more than a decade of losing and a possible relocation to Las Vegas in the works, the Raiders can't afford to risk losing their best signal caller since Rich Gannon.
AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL. Vince Wilfork is ready to be a supermodel: Wilfork will be one of the athletes featured in this year's ESPN the Magazine's Body Issue and seems to be pretty stoked about the whole thing.
FORGET IT, JAKE. IT'S JERRYWORLD. Jake Plummer called Jerry Jones a "billionaire asshole." The former Denver Broncos quarterback is now a medical marijuana advocate and often speaks out against the NFL's drug policy. But Plummer took his critiques of the league to the next level in a recent interview with BSN Denver, in which he lambasted Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones for his comments about CTE.
"Jerry Jones, who says it’s ‘absurd’ that there would be a link between brain trauma, football and CTE. Shame on him for saying that, that billionaire asshole. It’s the worst thing in the world for a guy like that to say," Plummer said. "That’s where we’re sitting; grown-ass men are asked to go out there for millions of dollars –– which, yeah, it’s a lot of money –– bang themselves around and completely f*** their lives over for their 40s and 50s."
DOUG B. FRESH. Doug Baldwin could break records: Baldwin's four-year, $46 million extension with the Seattle Seahawks may be eye-popping at first, but not after you look at the numbers. If Baldwin, 27, keeps up his average production over the next five seasons, he would rank second all-time in Seahawks history in touchdowns and third in yards and catches. Not bad for an undrafted free agent out of Stanford. (Those Cardinal alumni are having a good week, aren't they?)
A FORMER STEELERS DRAFT BUST OPENS UP: Wide receiver Troy Edwards never succeeded in the NFL after the Steelers selected him with the No. 13 overall pick in 1999. In a conversation with Behind the Steel Curtain, Edwards says he was "too rebellious" to make it in professional football.
THE NFL SAYS IT'S TRYING TO HELP MANZIEL: NFL VP of Operations Troy Vincent said in a radio interview Wednesday the league is attempting to reach out to Manziel and help him get treatment. The erratic quarterback, whose father called him a "druggie" over the weekend, says he plans to go sober on Friday.
Manziel has spent the last week partying in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico while he faces misdemeanor assault charges for allegedly hitting his ex-girlfriend in January.
JUST SAY NO TO FIREWORKS. Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul did a fireworks PSA. JPP became somewhat of a punchline for his Fourth of July accident last year, but he's warning others to learn from his mistake and be safe during the holiday weekend.
BERRY QUIET. Eric Berry hasn't heard from the Chiefs much. As a recipient of the franchise tag, Berry has until the July 15 deadline to negotiate a long-term deal and avoid playing 2016 on a one-year deal. But it doesn't look like the Kansas City Chiefs have much urgency to get something done as Rand Getlin of NFL.com says there has been "very little, and I mean very little, back and forth" between the two sides.
COWBOYS PRIMED TO FLIP THE NFC EAST: Almost every year a team climbs from last place to first place. It was Washington in 2015, and it could be an NFC East team again in 2016, as the Cowboys are set up perfectly to grab the division title. Keep an eye on the Buccaneers and Titans, too.