NFL

NFL AM: Mayor Of Las Vegas Believes Raiders Are Coming

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Mayor of Las Vegas believes the Raiders are coming:

They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, and for Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, it’s time for football to happen in the state of Nevada. There has long been speculation that the NBA or the NHL might dip their toe into the Vegas waters before the NFL would consider it, because no sport is gambled on more than professional football, and the NFL has always been cautious of being tied to professional sports gambling.

While the league may be as reluctant to admit the tie between football and gambling as they are to admit the tie between football and concussions, the signs are pretty obvious. There’s a reason why NFL fans can expect to know exactly what injury a player has, and exactly how long a team expects him out while NHL clubs continue to say that players are out with things like, “upper body injuries.”

Let’s be honest here. If protecting the players was the top priority here, the NFL would handle injuries the way the NHL does. In a league where guys have admitted time and time again that they’ll target another player’s injury, players would be far more protected if they had a “lower body injury,” than if their opponents know they have a left knee or ankle issue. So why do we have such specific injury announcements that change with varying degrees of how ready that player is or might be? Because of gambling.

Because of the obvious ties to gambling, a move of an NFL franchise to Sin City has always seemed like a long shot, at best. However, now that Raiders’ owner Mark Davis has met with the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee and offered to pay $500 million towards a $1.4 Billion 65,000-seat domed stadium, Mayor Goodman is confident the city can land the Raiders.

“Mark Davis has assured us that Las Vegas is not getting played in a Raiders stadium deal,” Goodman told ESPN’s Capital Games podcast. “I know we will have a team.”

Rams safety T.J. McDonald arrested for suspicion of DUI:

By most accounts the move to Los Angeles has been going pretty swimmingly for the Los Angeles Rams. However, that isn’t the case for Rams safety T.J. McDonald, who was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of DUI.

Most DUI cases are pretty easy to respond to. While thousands of Americans make the mistake every year, it’s completely irresponsible, and there’s just no excuse. However, what makes McDonald’s case a little different, is that LAPD Public Information Officer Mike Lopez says police determined the Rams safety was under the influence of a substance that, “was not alcohol.” Well that’s strange.

Because the officers didn’t report a smell of marijuana coming from the vehicle, it’s hard to imagine (and we’re not going to speculate) what other substance the officer would have concluded McDonald was on.

“We are aware of the incident involving T.J. McDonald this morning,” the Rams said in a statement. “We are gathering information and will have no further comment at this time.”

Driving under the influence is a terrible mistake that can have deadly consequences, but until we know more about what lead to McDonald’s arrest, it might be a little too early to come crashing down on the young man. It’s entirely possible the officers jumped the guy on this one, because if they have any evidence of McDonald being on a substance that, “was not alcohol,” it doesn’t sound like they’ve presented it publicly at this time.

Saints sign 2nd-round pick Vonn Bell:

The New Orleans Saints are just one player away from having their entire 2016 draft class signed now that safety Vonn Bell signed his rookie deal Tuesday.

A Jim Thorpe Award semifinalist, and consensus All-American, Bell was a bit of a surprising pick for New Orleans. Despite the fact that the play of safeties Kenny Vaccaro and Jairus Byrd has not been what the Saints had hoped for the duo, the team has a lot of assets tied up in the position after signing Byrd to a six-year, $54 million deal with $28 mil guaranteed, and spending the 15th-overall pick in the 2013 draft on Vaccaro.

It will be interesting to see if Bell can steal snaps once the regular season begins or if the Saints will deploy some three-safety sets as we’ve seen other teams use.

Regardless of how, or how often they decide to use the Ohio State safety in his rookie season, there’s little question that the Saints got great value snagging Bell with the 61st-overall pick in the draft. Many consider Bell the best coverage safety in the draft, and anyone who watched New Orleans play in 2015 knows they can take all the help in coverage they can get.


About Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan has covered the NFL for almost a decade and is a host and producer for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers radio flagship 620WDAE/95.3FM. Pat covers the NFC South and NFC East for Football Insiders. Follow him on Twitter, @PatDonovanNFL.