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NFL roundup: Browns mull special package for Manziel

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Aug 22 2014 05:30:47 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 22 2014 05:30:47 PM CDT

Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine, who named Brian Hoyer as his starting quarterback two days ago, said Friday he is not ruling out a two-quarterback system featuring a package with rookie Johnny Manziel.

"We could potentially look at a two-quarterback system down the road," Pettine said on Sirius XM Radio.

Pettine admitted that he and Browns offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan have considered that option, but not for the season opener in Pittsburgh.

"No, this is Brian's job," Pettine said. "I don't foresee us now, especially early, being in a two-quarterback system."

Pettine said Friday that a Manziel package is "on the table."

While Hoyer has only four career starts -- and went 3-0 with the Browns before tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in 2013 -- his biggest advantages were experience and leadership.

Meanwhile, Manziel was fined $12,000 for making an obscene gesture at the Washington Redskins' bench.

League sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter that the fine is $975 more than the minimum based on the NFL's fine schedule.

Manziel extended his middle finger after a third-quarter incompletion in front of Washington's bench during Cleveland's 24-23 loss Monday night.

In other Browns news, coaches, players and fans are still awaiting to hear about the fate of wide receiver Josh Gordon.

As of late Friday afternoon, the league had yet to hand down punishment to the third-year wide receiver. Gordon has been awaiting word on his fate from league appeals officer Harold Henderson for 18 days since his arbitration hearing on Aug. 4.

The NFL's substance-abuse policy says a decision from the hearing officer must be handed down within "reasonable time," but does not clarify what is "reasonable."

The league's PED policy specifically states a decision must be made within five days after the end of the appeal hearing.

---The NFL fined New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham $30,000 for two celebratory dunks after he scored touchdowns in a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans last week.

Graham "dunked" the football over the goalpost crossbar twice and received a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty each time. The league banned his trademark celebration during the offseason, a result of one of Graham's dunks knocking the goalpost out of alignment in a November game against Atlanta.

Graham defended his celebrations by saying he's not hurting anyone. But he did acknowledge the new rule needs to be followed.

---The NFL suspended Kansas City Chiefs starting right tackle Donald Stephenson for the first four games of the 2014 season for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances.

"Obviously losing Donald is disappointing, but we are in full compliance with the league's policy. We will have no further comment on the situation," the team said.

Stephenson, 25, has played in every game since being a third-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. He started seven games in both 2012 and 2013.

---Details from the criminal complaint emerged after Pittsburgh Steelers running backs Le'Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount were charged with marijuana possession.

According to the complaint obtained by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, when a Ross Township police officer motorcycle cop told Bell that he could be facing a DUI charge after he allegedly admitted smoking the marijuana police found in the car he was driving, the Steelers running back seemed puzzled.

"I didn't know that you could get a DUI for being high. I smoked two hours ago," the complaint quoted the 22-year-old Bell as saying. "I am not high anymore. I am perfectly fine. Why would I be getting high if I had to get on a plane to make it to my game?"

Bell and the 27-year-old Blount, who is in his first season with the team, as well as a 21-year-old woman passenger from California, were cited for misdemeanor possession of 30 or fewer grams of marijuana.

Also, a serious spinal cord injury has forced former Steelers running back Isaac Redman to retire.

Redman, 29, compiled 1,148 yards and five touchdowns on 282 career carries during his five-year career. Redman attended Division II Bowie State and went undrafted before signing with the Steelers before the 2009 season.

---The Miami Dolphins waived tight end Michael Egnew, the 2012 third-round pick out of Missouri who managed just seven catches for 69 yards and no touchdowns during his first two NFL seasons.

The Dolphins also cut defensive tackle Micajah Reynolds and waived/injured defensive back Jalil Brown.

Egnew is the highest draft pick to be cut loose by the Dolphins since 2009 second-round pick Pat White, the former West Virginia quarterback who failed to make his mark in a "Wildcat" role.

---Kansas City and star linebacker Justin Houston have been unable to agree on a long-term contract and now the Chiefs' defensive stalwart plans to play out his rookie deal and test free agency after this season.

Despite being unhappy with his current deal, Houston showed up for training camp earlier this month. Kansas City offered a new deal, but Houston didn't accept the offer.

Negotiations the past few weeks have not yielded an agreement. reported a "source said there was no chance of a long-term deal getting done."

---Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy suffered a thumb injury and went to the locker room during the first quarter of Thursday night's preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but coach Chip Kelly called the injury "no big deal."

X-rays were negative and McCoy came back to the sideline and had his right hand taped.

During a first-quarter series, McCoy took a hard hit from Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons on a play that resulted in a 5-yard loss. McCoy came off the field and requested a trainer.

"A helmet hit it," McCoy said, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. "It definitely hurts. But there have been times I've been banged up and it turns out fine. We'll see what happens."

---The Washington Post said the newspaper's editorial board will no longer refer to the NFL team as the Redskins.

The editorial board released a statement on the Post's website saying, "While we wait for the NFL to catch up with public opinion and common decency we have decided not to use the slur ourselves except when it is essential for clarity or effect."

The editorial board decision is separate from the Post's news gathering entity. Executive editor Marty Baron has said that Redskins still will appear in sports and news stories.

---The Minnesota Vikings and the Wilf family committed an additional private contribution of $46.1 million toward the new stadium, bringing the team's total increased contributions to the project since last November to nearly $49 million, the team announced.

The new amount locks in the team's previous contingency guarantees of $26.4 million from last fall and includes an additional $19.7 million in cash. The $46.1 million is also in addition to the team's $1.2 million and $1.3 million contributions earlier this year.

The public contribution toward the project remains at $498 million. The new stadium is due to open in 2016. The Vikings are playing outdoors at the University of Minnesota until then.

---A video showing former Texas A&M wide receiver and current Tampa Bay rookie Mike Evans involved in a fight at a Miami nightclub surfaced on the Internet.

TMZ released the video and said the incident took place Saturday night. The Tampa Bay Times reported that Evans' agent said the incident took place in March, which is significant because Evans would be exempt from the NFL's personal conduct policy because he was not a member of a team at the time.

The video shows Evans outside the Dream Nightclub. He appears to get into a shouting match with nightclub bouncers. Someone, allegedly in his group, triggers a brawl by throwing a punch and Evans can be seen bobbing and weaving. He even jumps across the hood of a car.