Ozzie Newsome Jersey

After the Ravens’ 26-24 win Sunday over the Cleveland Browns, their locker room at M&T Bank Stadium slowly filled with noise. The Ravens were going back to the playoffs, and the franchise’s biggest names weren’t going to miss out on the celebration.

Owner Steve Bisciotti stood shoulder to shoulder with players in T-shirts and hats commemorating their first AFC North title since 2012. Coach John Harbaugh held aloft a championship belt. Team and staff members celebrated with rapper Kodak Black, a childhood friend of rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson’s, before huddling for a prayer. Then Harbaugh spoke.

“We’re going to celebrate,” he said. “We’re going to have fun. But every ending is just a beginning, right? Every ending is just a beginning.”

The message carried a complex resonance for the man he introduced next. Harbaugh has given game balls to players, assistants and even the team’s strength and conditioning coach this season, but this one he gave to the 62-year-old wearing a leather jacket near the back of the room.

“This game ball goes to a man that loves every single one of us in this room, all right?” Harbaugh said. “Who believes in every single one of us in this room. Who, ultimately, through the draft, free agency, whatever, is responsible for bringing every one of us here. For saying this is who a Raven is and this is what a Raven looks like. Former Cleveland Brown — I know how much this means to him — AFC North champion Ozzie Newsome!”

Players mobbed the Ravens general manager, clamoring for him to make a speech. He shook his head. Harbaugh asked whether he had something to say. He did not.

Other people, inside and outside the organization, are free to celebrate Newsome as he concludes his 23rd and final season atop the Ravens’ football operation. They’re free to laud his fruitful final draft, which landed the team a wave of fresh contributors, led by Jackson. They’re free to argue that Newsome should become the first person to earn a second induction to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, where he’s already enshrined for his work as Browns tight end.

Just don’t expect to hear any of that from Newsome, who’s as averse to attention now as he was when the Ravens set up shop in 1996 without a logo or a permanent office to call home.

He declined an interview request this week, as he usually does when public acclaim finds him. But those closest to Newsome said he was feeling an emotional punch as the team he built prepared for its first playoff game in four years Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers. It was evident after the Browns game and at a Christmas party a few weeks ago with the team’s scouting staff.

“I think these sort of moments … they have a little more significance,” said assistant general manager Eric DeCosta, who learned his trade under Newsome and will succeed him after this season.

When Newsome and DeCosta sit together during practices, conversation drifts to all the small moments they’ve shared, all the incremental changes and bits of humor. The student feels his teacher’s discomfort when people approach to thank him for his service to the Ravens.

That humility helps explain the admiration heaped on Newsome by current and former front-office peers from around the league, several of whom said they’re delighted to see the Ravens sending him out in style.

“He’s done it with class,” said former Washington Redskins and Houston Texans general manager Charley Casserly. “Let’s talk about the big picture: He’s in the Hall of Fame as a player. He should be in the Hall of Fame as a general manager. Two Super Bowl wins with two different coaches — that’s a lot of different things moving there.”

Longtime NFL executive Ernie Accorsi was the general manager in Cleveland when Newsome concluded his playing career and transitioned to the front office. He had noted Newsome’s keen eye for talent, even when he was still catching passes for the Browns. For example, Newsome told Accorsi that running back Earnest Byner, an anonymous 10th-round pick, would become a significant player. He noted that quarterback Bernie Kosar, criticized for his awkwardness, was “not a mediocre person.”

“A lot of former players don’t have that kind of scope,” Accorsi said. “To be as great as they are, they concentrate on themselves. But he saw the whole picture early.”

So he wasn’t surprised when Newsome began accumulating piles of good players for the Ravens.

“I think he’ll go down as one of the great general managers,” Accorsi said. “When I look at teams, I always look at: Who has players? You don’t always look at their record, because there’s not always continuity with the coaching staff. But who has players, and where did they get them? I mean, here they are again with maybe the best defense in the league. He’s just been so astute in finding players. Ozzie’s always gotten players, and I marvel at that.”

To grasp the Ravens’ culture, you have to understand that Newsome is more than the guy who gives final say on trades, signings and draft picks. He’s a football father to the scouts and executives who make the operation go and to countless others who’ve moved on to prominent roles with other teams.

“I think we’ve always kind of felt like we serve Oz,” DeCosta said. “We talk about it specifically, how our job growing up in this organization has been to help Ozzie build the best team. So we feel that obligation, and I think going into this year, we’ve talked about it a little bit — we want to build something that’s a lasting memory. Ozzie’s been such a transformative person for this organization. He’s done so much, selflessly and with such great humility, that we couldn’t think of any better way than to see this team succeed in his last season.”

That sense began to build on the first night of the draft in April, when team executives and scouts broke into applause after Newsome pulled off a trade to slip back into the first round and select Jackson with the 32nd overall pick.

It was a risky move. Some analysts believed the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner would never become a polished enough passer to thrive as an NFL quarterback. The pick also set up a potentially awkward competition between the rookie and incumbent quarterback Joe Flacco.

But Newsome went with his instinct, just as he had in his first draft for the Ravens, when he picked future Hall of Fame tackle Jonathan Ogden over talented but troubled running back Lawrence Phillips. It didn’t hurt that later in the same 1996 first round, Newsome bet on a guy named Ray Lewis to become the centerpiece of his defense.

Twenty-two years later, he worked his magic on the second and third days of the 2018 draft, picking up immediate contributors in tackle Orlando Brown Jr., tight end Mark Andrews, linebacker Kenny Young and guard/center Bradley Bozeman. The Ravens then signed an undrafted free agent named Gus Edwards, who’s now their powerhouse starting running back.

It’s a rookie class that celebrates all of Newsome’s best qualities, from his boldness to his eye for underappreciated talent.

“When people think about Ozzie Newsome, they think about the drafting and the young players and the undrafted guys,” DeCosta said. “I think from a football standpoint, to see the last draft class emerge and really help us, it epitomizes all of that.”

He compared the serendipity of the moment to the Ravens winning the Super Bowl in Lewis’ last game, on the same weekend Ogden was voted into the Hall of Fame.

“Whether or not we win the Super Bowl, in some respects, we have,” DeCosta said. “Because we’ve gotten the team back to being a relevant team again. We’ve been exciting. We won the division. We’ve got some younger players who have emerged. And that’s Ozzie. That’s his influence.”

Newsome won’t go away after the season, though the Ravens have not defined the role he’ll play. He will be in the building as a counselor to his closest protégé; DeCosta said they’ve worked so closely for so long that the role swap won’t feel awkward.

But the sense of impending change is real, and everyone from Bisciotti to the youngest players on the roster wanted Newsome to feel their appreciation after the Browns game.

As the team huddled one last time, encircling Harbaugh and linebacker C.J. Mosley, who had sealed victory with a last-minute interception, Newsome stood in the middle of it all.

Jim Brown Jersey

Jim Brown, byname of James Nathaniel Brown, (born February 17, 1936, St. Simons, Georgia, U.S.), outstanding American professional gridiron football player who led the National Football League (NFL) in rushing for eight of his nine seasons. He was the dominant player of his era and was considered one of the best running backs of all time. He later found success as an actor.

In high school and at Syracuse University in New York, Brown displayed exceptional all-around athletic ability, excelling in basketball, baseball, track, and lacrosse as well as football. In his final year at Syracuse, Brown earned All-America honours in both football and lacrosse. Many considered Brown’s best sport to be lacrosse, and he was inducted into both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the U.S. Lacrosse National Hall of Fame.

From 1957 through 1965, Brown played for the Cleveland Browns of the NFL, and he led the league in rushing yardage every year except 1962. Standing 6.2 feet (1.88 metres) tall and weighing 232 pounds (105 kg), Brown was a bruising runner who possessed the speed to outrun opponents as well as the strength to run over them. He rushed for more than 1,000 yards in seven seasons and established NFL single-season records by rushing for 1,527 yards in 1958 (12-game schedule) and 1,863 yards in 1963 (14-game schedule), a record broken by O.J. Simpson in 1973. On November 24, 1957, he set an NFL record by rushing for 237 yards in a single game, and he equaled that total on November 19, 1961. At the close of his career, he had scored 126 touchdowns, 106 by rushing, had gained a record 12,312 yards in 2,359 rushing attempts for an average of 5.22 yards, and had a record combined yardage (rushing along with pass receptions) of 14,811 yards. Brown’s rushing and combined yardage records stood until 1984, when both were surpassed by Walter Payton of the Chicago Bears.

At 30 years of age and seemingly at the height of his athletic abilities, Brown retired from football to pursue an acting career. He appeared in many action and adventure films, among them The Dirty Dozen (1967) and 100 Rifles (1969) as well as the blaxploitation movies Slaughter (1972) and Three the Hard Way (1974). In addition, he was cast in such comedies as Mars Attacks! (1996) and She Hate Me (2004) and made frequent television appearances. Brown was also active in issues facing African Americans, forming groups to assist black-owned businesses and to rehabilitate gang members.

Throughout his career, Brown had various run-ins with the law, many of which involved allegations of domestic violence. In 1999 he was found guilty of vandalizing his wife’s car. Although offered probation if he followed the court’s requirements, which included counseling, Brown refused and instead served nearly four months in prison in 2002. That year Jim Brown: All American, a documentary directed by Spike Lee, was released. The autobiography Out of Bounds (written with Steve Delsohn) was published in 1989.

Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown joins Russillo & Kanell to share how resilient Cleveland has been throughout its 52-year championship drought.

“In the end, it’s great to win this way,” Brown said. “They could’ve easily given up and got on a criticism binge. But they stayed with the team and they stayed with the Browns and they’ve been rewarded. I think it’s a great day for Cleveland. It’s a great day for me.”

Brown said three-time Finals MVP LeBron James “went to another level physically and mentally.”

Drafted in the 1957 by the Cleveland Browns, Brown spent a nine-year career as fullback. He was the leading rusher in the 1964 NFL championship victory over the Baltimore Colts, the last time one of Cleveland’s major pro teams won a championship. He was named the greatest professional football player ever by Sporting News and still holds the record for total seasons leading the NFL in all-purpose yards. He scored 100 touchdowns in 93 games, a record broken by LaDainian Tomlinson in the 2006 NFL season.

Bernie Kosar Jersey

MIAMI — The IRS and the creditors and an angry ex-wife and an avalanche of attorneys are circling the chaos that used to be Bernie Kosar’s glamorous life, but that’s not the source of his anxiety at the moment.

He is doing a labored lap inside his Weston mansion, the one on the lake near the equestrian playpen for horses, because he wants to be sure there are no teenage boys hiding, attempting to get too close to his three daughters.

He shattered a Kid Rock-autographed guitar the other day while chasing one teenager out of his house because he doesn’t mind all of the other boys within the area code thinking the Kosar girls have an unhinged dad.

“There are a million doors in this place,” he says. “Too many ways to get in.”

So up and down the spiral staircases he goes, a rumpled mess wearing a wrinkled golf shirt, disheveled graying hair, and the scars and weariness from a lifetime’s worth of beatings.

He has no shoes on, just white socks with the NFL logo stitched on because he has never really been able to let go of who he used to be.

He is coughing up phlegm from a sickness he is certain arrived with all the recent stress of divorce and debt, and now he doesn’t walk so much as wobble his way into one of the closets upstairs, where he happens upon some painful, wonderful memories he keeps sealed in a plastic cup.

His teeth are in there.

So is the surgical screw that finally broke through the skin in his ankle because of how crooked he walked for years. He broke that ankle in the first quarter of a game against the Miami Dolphins in 1992; he threw two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter anyway.

Don Shula called him the following day to salute him on being so tough, but Kosar is paying for it with every step he takes today on uneven footing. The old quarterback shakes the rattling cup, then grins.

There are about as many real teeth in the cup as there are in what remains of his smile.

“I never wore a mouthpiece,” he says. “I had to live and die with my audibles. We played on pavement/AstroTurf back then. Getting hit by Lawrence Taylor was only the beginning of the problem.”

So much pain in his life. He heads back downstairs gingerly.

“I need hip replacement.”

He pulls his jeans down a bit to reveal the scar from the surgery to repair his broken back.

“Disks fused together.”


“A lot,” he says. “I don’t know how many.”

He holds out all 10 gnarled fingers. “All of these have been broken at least once,” he says. “Most of them twice.”

Broke both wrists, too.

The game was fast and muscled. He was neither. He was always the giraffe trying to survive among lions. Still is, really. He has merely traded one cutthroat arena in which people compete for big dollars for another, and today’s is a hell of a lot less fun than the one that made him famous. More painful, too, oddly enough.

Kosar holds up his left arm and points to the scar on his elbow.

“Have a cadaver’s ligament in there,” he says.

And that’s the good arm. He bends over and lets both arms hang in front of him. His throwing arm is as crooked as a boomerang.

The doorbell rings. It’s his assistant with the papers he needs to autograph.

She puts all the legalese from four folders in front of him on a coffee table that is low to the ground.

A groaning Kosar, 45, gets down very slowly onto the rug until he is symbolically on his hands and knees at the center of what used to be his glamorous life. And then he signs the documents that begin the process of filing for bankruptcy.

“Let me tell you something, bro,” he says. “It was all worth it.” Learning a new game

Brett Favre has made a spectacular public mess of his career punctuation because of how very hard it is for even the strongest among us to leave behind the applause for good.

It is difficult for any man to retire when so much of his identity and self-worth and validation is tied up in his job, what he does invariably becoming a lopsided amount of who he is.

But it is especially hard on quarterbacks because of how much of America’s most popular game they literally hold in their hands. That kind of control — over other strong men, over huddles, over winning, over entire swaying stadiums and their surrounding cities — is just about impossible to let go … as is the attendant attention, ego, importance, popularity, fun and life.

There’s no preparing you for the silence that comes after all you’ve heard is cheering. A quarterback will never feel more alive anywhere than he does at the conquering center of everything in sports. His is by consensus the most difficult job in athletics, and it requires an obsessive-compulsive attention to detail.

But sometimes they sculpt their singular and all-consuming skill to the detriment of the balance needed for the rest of life’s tacklers.

Bills? Errands? Adulthood?

Those things get handed off sometimes because, whether it is the offensive line or family and friends huddled around their income source, the quarterback must always be protected or everyone loses. Growing pains

Kosar was one of the smart ones. He graduated from the University of Miami in 2 1/2 years. He was smart enough to go a record 308 pass attempts without an interception. Smart enough to help build several businesses after football, with a 6 percent interest in a customer-service outsourcing company that sold for more than $500 million. Smart enough to have a wing of the business school at the University of Miami named after him. But now that the maids and wife are gone, you know how he feels walking into a grocery store by himself for the first time?

“Overwhelmed,” he says.

He never had to grow up, really, as anything but a quarterback.

Do you know how to wash clothes, Bernie?

“No,” he says.

Iron a shirt?

“No,” he says.

Start the dishwasher?

“No,” he says.

When his new girlfriend came over recently and found him trying to cook with his daughters, she couldn’t believe what was on the kitchen island to cut the French bread. A saw.

“I was 25 and everyone was telling me that I was the smartest; now I’m 45 and realize I’m an idiot,” he says. “I’m 45 and immature. I don’t like being 45.”

The only post-quarterback jobs that have given him any sort of joy are the ones near football: broadcasting Cleveland Browns games; running a company that created football Web sites and magazines; buying an Arena Football League team. But it isn’t the same. Not nearly. As he tries to reorganize his life in a dark period that leaves his mind racing and sleepless, the people he quotes aren’t philosophers and poets. They are coaches.

Like when he was at Miami, for example. He was the weakest kid on the team. He was mortified when his statuesque competition, Vinny Testaverde, walked onto campus and bench-pressed 325 pounds a bunch of times. Kosar got 185 up just once, with arms shaking. So he went to coach Howard Schnellenberger and, sweating and trying not to tremble, told him he was going to transfer. And now he quotes the old pipe-smoking coach and applies those lessons from nearly three decades ago to today: “Son, I’m not going to lie. It doesn’t look good for you. But wherever you go in life, there’s competition. The guys who run home to mommy tend to be quitters their whole life.”

Kosar won. Won huge. Won the job and the national championship in a flabbergasting upset of Nebraska to begin Miami’s unprecedented football run through the next two decades.

As creditors close in and his divorce has gotten messy in public, Kosar has had some suicidal thoughts, but he says, “I couldn’t quit on my kids. I’m not a quitter.

“I got here with hard work. I’ll get out of this with hard work. No wallowing. No ‘woe is me.’ I’m great at making money. And, as we’ve found out, I’m great at spending it. What I’m not great at is managing it.” A house divided

It is hard to believe he filed a bankruptcy petition in June, but a bad economy, bad advice, a bad divorce and a bad habit of not being able to say “no” have ravaged him. He says financial advisers he loved and trusted mismanaged his funds, doing things like losing $15 million in one quick burst. There’s a $4.2 million judgment against him from one bank. A failed real-estate project in Tampa involving multi-family properties. A steakhouse collapsing with a lawsuit. Tax trouble.

A recent Sports Illustrated article estimated that, within two years of leaving football, an astounding 78 percent of players are either bankrupt or in financial distress over joblessness and divorce. And through the years, a lot of those old teammates have asked Kosar to borrow a hundred grand here, a hundred-fifty grand there. He knew then that he wouldn’t be getting it back. But, as the quarterback — always the quarterback — you help your teammates up.

How much has he lent teammates without being repaid?

“Eight figures,” he says.

Friends and family?

“Eight figures,” he says.

Charities, while putting nearly 100 kids through school on scholarships? “Well over eight figures.”

Then there’s the divorce. It has been a public disaster, with him being accused of several addictions, of erratic behavior and of giving away the couple’s money. He speaks with a slur and admits there has been drinking and pain medication in his past, but says the only thing he’s addicted to is football.

Drugs? Alcohol? “Would my kids be living with me if that were really the case?” he asks. “If I did 10 percent of things I’m accused of, I’d be dead.”

He says the divorce has cost him between $4 and $5 million already.

“That’s just fees,” he says. “And they keep coming. Attorneys charge $600 an hour just to screw things up more.”

And here’s the worst part: “I don’t want to get divorced,” he says. “I’m Catholic, and I’m loyal, and I still love her.” Challenges ahead

He has poured himself into being dad, but it isn’t easy. Kids listen more from 2 to 10 years old. But now there are the perpetual parental concerns of cars, driving, drinking, drugs, sex.

“I’m outnumbered now.”

He has found therapy in learning how to clean the house with the kids and dealing with life’s smaller headaches. Just the other day, while in a 10-hour bankruptcy meeting with 10 attorneys that left him “humbled and in pain and feeling betrayed” as he took a detailed inventory of his life, he excused himself with a smile because one of his daughters — the oldest of his children lives with him full time, the others part time — was calling with some sort of popularity crisis.

“The worst feeling in the world is being dad on Friday night at home at midnight and they haven’t gotten home yet,” he says.

“This other chaos is just stuff. Money. I’ll make more. It feels bad. It sucks the life and energy out of you and is a relentless drain. But I’m going to come out of this fine. I always get up.”

There are photos all over his mansion. Many of them are not up. They are on the floor, leaning against the walls. He’ll learn how to hang them soon enough. He goes over and grabs the one by the fireplace.

In it, he is in the pocket with the Browns, and everything is collapsing all around him. You can see Kosar’s offensive linemen either beaten or back-pedaling. His left tackle is on the ground, staring as his missed assignment blurs toward the quarterback’s blind side.

But the ball is already in the air, frozen in flight, headed perfectly to the only teammate who has a step in a sea of Steelers. It is a work of art, that photo. You can see clearly that the play is going to work. And you can see just as clearly that Kosar is going to get crushed.

Kosar runs his fingers along the frame. This is what his life once was and what it is now — a swirl of chaos and pain and danger surrounding a man who has to remain in control for the people around him as everything feels like it is falling apart.

“I just wanted to play football,” the old quarterback says.

A laugh and a pause.

“Actually, I still do.”

Terrance West Jersey

The story of Baltimore native and Towson University star Terrance West winning the starting running back job for his hometown Ravens was a heartwarming one, but there might not be a happy ending. After a season in which West went from Week 1 starter to perpetual fourth-string bench-warmer, West is set to be a free agent and seems to recognize that his NFL future likely lies elsewhere.

As he cleaned out his locker at the team’s Owings Mills, Md., complex Jan. 1 after the team’s stunning, season-ending loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, West acknowledged that it “hurt” the way his role this season was essentially reduced to that of a practice squad player.

West, who turns 27 this month, won an underwhelming competition for the starting job during the preseason. But the emergence of Alex Collins — signed to the Ravens’ practice squad after he was among the Seattle Seahawks’ final cuts — completely changed the dynamic of the Ravens’ backfield.

Collins was promoted to the 53-man roster before Week 2 and went on to rush for a team-high 973 yards. Running back Buck Allen (153 carries for 591 yards and 46 receptions for 250 yards) also made key contributions, and once Danny Woodhead returned from injured reserve in November, West was essentially the fourth-string back.

West did not play a snap after Week 5 against the Oakland Raiders. He missed four straight games with a calf injury, and then was a healthy game-day inactive in six of the final seven games. In the only game in which he was in uniform during the final half of the season, West did not play at all.

“It was very disappointing,” West said, “because I worked hard all offseason, did a lot of work to get back healthy, and to not play, it hurt.” But, West added, “I got better, I’m in a positive attitude and I’m ready to get back to work.”

West, a third-round pick of the Cleveland Browns in 2014, arrived in Baltimore in 2015 after a tumultuous two-year start to his NFL career that included being benched and traded by the Browns to the Tennessee Titans, then benched and released.

He led the Ravens in rushing last season with 774 yards on 193 carries and entered this season as the Ravens’ lead back.

But after carrying 19 times for 80 yards during the season-opening win against the Bengals, West had just 20 carries the rest of the year. Collins burst onto the scene, averaging more than 8 yards a carry during his first three games as a Raven, which showed his big-play potential and drastically cut into West’s playing time.

West’s two carries against Oakland in Week 5 proved to be his last of the season. He finished with 39 carries for 138 yards and two touchdowns.

Collins figures to return as the starter, and Allen, Woodhead and Kenneth Dixon, who missed this entire season with an injury and suspension, all are under contract as well. West will be a free agent in March, and there doesn’t appear to be a spot for him in this backfield.

“I don’t know,” West said. “Whatever happens, happens.”

When asked if he’d like to return to Baltimore, West seemed to choose his words carefully.

“I’d love to play football again,” he said. “It doesn’t matter. I just want to play football.

“We just got to take advantage of this opportunity we got coming up next year, no matter where we are.”

The Buccaneers could be looking to add a running back.

Tampa Bay is set to meet with veteran Terrance West on Saturday, according to a report from the NFL Network. The visit comes after Buccaneers running back Charles Sims injured his knee in the second preseason game and is out for the season.

West signed a one-year contract with the Saints in June but was released earlier this week.

West rushed for 138 yards and two touchdowns in five games with the Ravens last season. He suffered a calf injury in an Oct. 8 game against the Raiders and was replaced by Alex Collins, who took over as Baltimore’s lead back for the rest of 2017.

West’s best season came with the Ravens in 2016, when he rushed for 774 yards and five touchdowns. He was selected in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Browns and has also spent time with the Titans during his four-year career.

Johnny Manziel Jersey

Johnny Manziel’s partying ways have been no mystery, but a new feature on the Heisman-winning former Texas A&M quarterback includes claims from an ex-roommate that Manziel used drugs when they lived together.

The drug-use claims are just a small bit of the lengthy Vanity Fair story on Manziel’s downfall, but they’re the most solid report of Manziel’s long-rumored use of them.

By the way, if anybody’s looking for a quarterback, Manziel’s reportedly been reinstated after his four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s drug policy.

And lest we forget, he’s still awaiting a court date related to his Dallas domestic-violence case.

The Vanity Fair piece details use of Molly (a form of ecstasy), marijuana, cocaine and nonprescription use of Xanax in the off-campus College Station house Manziel shared with longtime best friend Steven Brant.

“But it’s not like this was some kind of Amy Winehouse scene,” Brant told the magazine.

In one scene in June 2013, Manziel’s mother, Michelle, found drug paraphernalia in the home and had her son and all of his belongings moved out in a flash.

Later on, a familiar character appears when “Uncle” Nate Fitch starts harping on Manziel and Brant about the drugs.

“Ever since the Heisman, Nate was hinting about drugs, getting it to stop,” Brant said. “He was acting all concerned, because Johnny was his meal ticket.”

Through it all, Brant disagrees with the notion that he was a bad influence on Manziel.

“We partied together, yeah, but all this is my fault? Let me tell you, no one tells Johnny what to do,” he told Vanity Fair.

In fact, Brant insists Manziel doesn’t have a drug problem.

“Johnny doesn’t have a drug problem. He has a ‘having fun’ problem,” Brant said. “I think I know him better than anyone. He’ll be fine. Believe me.”

Back in June, Manziel’s defense lawyer at the time accidentally leaked a hint at Manziel’s drug use to The Associated Press, inadvertently texting a reporter, “Heaven help us if one of the conditions [of a plea deal in a hit-and-run] is to pee in a bottle.”

Odell Beckham Jersey

The New York Giants general manager, Dave Gettleman, has defended his team’s decision to trade away Odell Beckham Jr, one of the best players in the NFL.

The Giants sent Beckham to the Cleveland Browns in return for first- and third-round draft picks and safety Jabrill Peppers. Beckham had clashed with the Giants in recent seasons but many believe the Giants had given up one of the best wide receivers in the league cheaply – especially after they had only just paid the 26-year-old a $20m signing bonus on a new contract, and Gettleman had said: “We didn’t sign Odell to trade him”.

In his first public comments, Gettleman looked to explain the deal. “The obvious question is why,’’ Gettleman said on Monday. “After much discussion, we just believe this is in the best interest of the New York football Giants. I want everybody to know this was purely a football business decision. There’s no intrigue, there’s no he-said, she-said, none of that stuff. Odell is a tremendous talent, which made him a valuable asset. With football being the ultimate team game, we turned that fact into three valuable assets, at the very least.”

The Giants have finished bottom of the NFC East for the last two seasons, and their starting quarterback, Eli Manning, is 38 and in decline. Gettleman hinted the extra draft selections the team picked up in the Beckham deal will help them build for the future. “We didn’t sign him to trade him but obviously things changed. Frankly, what changed is another team made an offer we couldn’t refuse,” he said. “As it turned out, the fact he was signed for five more years made him very attractive and allowed us to get legitimate value.”

He said that the Browns had approached him rather than the other way around, although he had contacted the Buffalo Bills about a possible move. “Obviously there’s a lot of stuff that factors in, but at the end of the day, in order for us to move Odell, the other team was going to have to knock it out of the park,” Gettleman said. “We were not actively shopping him.”

Gettleman also defended Manning’s record. “This narrative that Eli is overpaid and can’t play is a crock,” Gettleman said, according to NJ.com. “At the end of the day, you have to say, ‘Gettleman is out of his mind’ or ‘he knows what he is talking about when he evaluates players.’ That’s really where it’s at. I’m OK if you disagree with me.”

Beckham’s trade caused shockwaves in the NFL and further afield. Beckham summed up his move to the Browns in one word when he spoke to ESPN’s Josina Anderson: “Wow”. The New York Post had similar sentiments: its back page headline the morning after the trade read: “OMG OBJ”. Meanwhile, LeBron James, who left the Cleveland Cavaliers at the end of last season, had his say on Beckham coming to his hometown: “OH MY!!!! S*#% just got REAL!!” he posted on Instagram.