NFL News and Notes: Trouble Off the Field

It hasn’t quite been a normal offseason for the NFL amidst the coronavirus pandemic, but it’s been close. Let’s check out the top stories around the league from the past few days.

Unfortunately, players misbehaving away from the field is somewhat normal offseason activity. Quinton Dunbar of the Seahawks and DeAndre Baker of the Giants turned themselves in to police in Florida over the weekend on armed robbery charges.

The alleged incident reportedly took place last Wednesday during an illegal dice gambling game at a home in Miramar, Florida. The two cornerbacks are accused of taking money and watches from people while threatening them with semi-automatic weapons. Neither has a history of trouble with the law, although none of the witnesses in the case are changing their story.

Big Trouble

Bills defensive lineman Ed Oliver is also in hot water after being arrested Saturday night and being charged with DWI and unlawfully carrying a weapon. Oliver was in his hometown of Houston when he was pulled over with an open beer can in his car.

He then failed a field sobriety test and may have been impaired by something aside from alcohol. The Bills have made no comment other than that they are monitoring the situation.

Opening Up

On the pandemic front, NFL teams will be allowed to open their facilities starting on Tuesday. Commissioner Roger Goodell says the league is ready for the first phase of reopening. Of course, everything is contingent on individual teams meeting the league’s protocols and meet any guidelines from local authorities.

Players who were rehabbing injuries before the lockdown will be allowed back into the facility, as well as 50% of a team’s non-player staff, as long as that number doesn’t exceed 75 people. However, coaches other than strength and conditioning coaches that are helping with player rehab will not be allowed into team facilities during the first phase of the reopening process.

No Hollywood Ending

The Packers surprised a lot of people during the draft when they took quarterback Jordan Love in the first round. Longtime quarterback Aaron Rodgers is now admitting that finishing his career in Green Bay is a lot less certain after the team selected Love. Rodgers says that he was surprised by the pick.

The 36-year-old has four more years left on his contract and says he believes he can play into his 40s. At the same time, it’ll be another two years until moving on from Rodgers would start to make financial sense for the Packers. In the meantime, Rodgers expects to have a good relationship with his new backup.

Laying Down Points

It’s becoming a serious possibility that NFL games will be played this fall without fans in the stands. As this looks more and more like a reality, folks are starting to think about how point spreads will be impacted since home teams will lose the crowd noise that typically gives them an edge.

One DraftKings executive believes the extra points a home team usually receives from oddsmakers could be cut in half. It’s possible that teams will be allowed to play artificial crowd noise in stadiums, but there is a lot of talk that the concept of home-field advantage for bettors will change if there are no fans in attendance.

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