A day after ESPN aired an interview with former Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy discussing how he was dismissed by the team last December, an explosive report looked at the complicated and disastrous relationship between McCarthy and quarterback Aaron Rodgers and how it impacted the team.
The lengthy Bleacher Report story, published Thursday, concluded that the coach-quarterback duo had a frosty relationship since McCarthy’s tenure began in 2006. That was the year after McCarthy, previously offensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers, favored Utah’s Alex Smith over Cal’s Rodgers with the No. 1 overall pick of the 2005 NFL Draft.
“Aaron’s always had a chip on his shoulder with Mike,” said Ryan Grant, a Packers running back from 2007-12. “The guy who ended up becoming your coach passed on you when he had a chance. Aaron was upset that Mike passed on him — that Mike actually verbally said that Alex Smith was a better quarterback.”
Several players and coaches were quizzed over the complicated relationship in trying to explain why the Packers never turned into a New England Patriots-like dynasty. Allegations included McCarthy missing team meetings to have massages in his office, ex-general manager Ted Thompson falling asleep in meetings and Rodgers routinely changing play calls.
—Cornerback Keith Reaser became the first player from the Alliance of American Football to move to an NFL team, signing with the Kansas City Chiefs, according to multiple reports.
The AAF announced earlier Thursday that league players now could sign with NFL teams. The AAF played eight of its 10 scheduled weeks of the regular season.
Reaser, who played for the Orlando Apollos, was a fifth-round pick of the San Francisco 49ers in 2014. In three-plus seasons with the 49ers, he played in 29 games, recording 34 tackles. He also played one game for the Chiefs in 2017, making four tackles and one sack, but was placed on the waived-injured list in 2018.
—De’Vante Bausby, who tied for the AAF lead with four interceptions, signed with the Denver Broncos, according to multiple media reports. He played for the San Antonio Commanders in the AAF.
Bausby, 26, appeared in four games with the Chicago Bears in 2016 and six games (one start) with the Philadelphia Eagles last year. He has 26 career NFL tackles.
—The Carolina Panthers also reportedly signed an AAF player, adding former Arizona State wide receiver Rashad Ross, who had been playing for the Arizona Hotshots.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the 29-year-old Ross, who caught 36 passes for 583 yards (16.2 yards per catch) and a league-best seven touchdowns, will be a candidate to win the team’s final receiver roster spot.
Ross spent parts of three NFL seasons with the Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins, last playing a game in 2016 with Washington. He has never caught an NFL pass but has returned 34 kickoffs in his career, including one for a touchdown in 2015.
—The Arizona Cardinals hosted top defensive line draft candidates Nick Bosa and Quinnen Williams, NFL Network reported.
Bosa met with Cardinals brass last week in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and his visit to the team facility Thursday had been reported earlier this week. Each team may bring 30 players to its facilities for a visit, which cannot include a workout.
Bosa, a defensive end, is considered the top defensive player — if not No. 1 overall — in the draft and Williams the top interior defensive lineman. The Cardinals are being almost universally predicted to take former Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray with the first pick of the draft later this month.
—The Oakland Raiders released wide receiver Seth Roberts, the team announced.
The move comes a day after the Raiders signed wide receiver Ryan Grant. The Raiders have also added Antonio Brown, Tyrell Williams and J.J. Nelson to their receiving corps.
Roberts, 28, was set to make $4.45 million this season. He caught 45 passes for 494 yards and two touchdowns last season for Oakland. Roberts has 158 receptions and 13 touchdowns for his career, all with the Raiders.
—Free agent linebacker Kyle Emanuel announced his retirement from the NFL in a Twitter post.
Selected by the San Diego Chargers in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft, Emanuel spent four years with the franchise. He appeared in 63 games for the Chargers. A Nebraska native, he played at FCS powerhouse North Dakota State.
He played out his four-year, $2.5 million rookie contract and had visited the Detroit Lions and had drawn other interest from other teams, according to multiple reports. Emanuel ends his career with 147 tackles (11 for loss), 10 quarterback hits, four sacks and two interceptions.
—Cincinnati Bengals running back Mark Walton surrendered to police in Florida, marking his third arrest of 2019.
The Miami Herald reported that Walton was arrested on felony charges of carrying a concealed weapon, along with marijuana possession and reckless driving in connection with an incident that occurred March 12 in North Miami-Dade.
On Feb. 16, he was arrested and charged with misdemeanor battery in Florida after what police reportedly said stemmed from an argument he had with a couple at his condominium complex over his car blocking the entrance to a parking garage. He also was arrested on a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge in January and is awaiting trial.
—The New York Jets confirmed they will play the 2019 season and beyond with new uniforms, helmets and logos.
The team revealed the new look on its Twitter account, marking the first uniform change for the franchise since 1998, calling it the “beginning of a new legacy.”
The Jets called their new colors “Gotham Green, Spotlight White and Stealth Black.”
—Field Level Media