June 21, 2018 / 3:12 AM / 10 months ago

NFL notebook: Whaley lands gig with NFLPA

Doug Whaley, who was out of football for the past year after a stint as the Buffalo Bills’ general manager, was hired Wednesday as the NFL Players Association’s director of college scouting.

Jan 13, 2017; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott (left) speaks during a press conference as general manager Doug Whaley looks on at AdPro Sports Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The job primarily will focus on the evaluation and selection of pro prospects for the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.

“I’m grateful to the NFLPA for entrusting me with this opportunity to work with a marquee collegiate showcase,” Whaley said in a press release. “We are an organization that will be with the players for their entire careers both on and off the field. I’m thrilled to serve in this capacity of introducing them to the union, our partners and the many great programs available to help them make the most of their experience.”

Tony Softli resigned from the position to become the scouting director for the Alliance of American Football. Whaley, 45, had been working for tech firm Impellia since his dismissal from Buffalo in April 2017.

—Recently retired NFL referee Jeff Triplette is joining ESPN to be the new rules analyst for Monday Night Football, according to a report from Football Zebras.

The report adds that the NFL specifically steered ESPN to hire Triplette, who was one of two of the league’s referees to retire after the 2017 season, along with Ed Hochuli. A veteran of the U.S. Army, Triplette entered the NFL as a field judge in 1996 and became a referee in 1999.

Triplette will replace Gerry Austin, who had served a MNF’s rules analyst since 2012. Austin, an NFL official from 1982-2007, was hired last week by former MNF color analyst and current Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden to be a consultant for the team.

—A day after he was waived by the Cleveland Browns, offensive tackle Roderick Johnson was claimed by Houston, the Texans announced.

A fifth-round pick out of Florida State in 2017, Johnson didn’t see the field in the regular season with Cleveland, spending his entire rookie campaign on injured reserve with a sprained medial collateral ligament and meniscus damage in his knee.

To make room for Johnson on the 90-man roster, the Texans waived tackle Kendall Calhoun, an undrafted rookie out of Cincinnati.

—The Denver Broncos’ home — formerly known as Sports Authority Field at Mile High — will temporarily be called Broncos Stadium at Mile High, the team announced.

The district that operates the taxpayer-built stadium approved a proposal for the temporary name while the franchise continues to seek a new naming-rights partner. Sports Authority, the previous sponsor, declared bankruptcy in 2016, but its name remained on stadium for nearly two years until signs were taken down in January.

The team’s first home — where the franchise played for its first 41 seasons — was called Mile High Stadium from 1968 until its demolition in 2002.

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