by FOXSports.com

If Brett Favre was in fact talking to the Minnesota Vikings, it wasn't on a phone belonging to the Green Bay Packers, according to a report Thursday.

A story in the Green Bay Press-Gazette refutes reports from earlier in the week related to allegations of tampering by the Vikings in pursuit of the disgruntled Packers quarterback.

Citing sources from the NFL and an unnamed person close to Favre, the paper reported the retired-for-now future Hall of Famer does not have a cell phone issued by the Packers. Such an arrangement could have had salary-cap implications that might have drawn league penalties against the club if the arrangement was not spelled out in his contract.

"One-hundred percent, without a doubt, no Packers-issued phone," the source close to Favre told the paper.

Report: Favre's phone didn't belong to team....


Terrell Owens, hero. Thanks to reader Craig Sullivan, here's a story of Owens' heroics after a car accident left ESPN's Sam Alipour injured following the ESPY's last week.

Here's an interesting quote:

"So, T.O. was nice, huh?" says the medic who took my blood pressure inside the ambulance. "Boy, you think you know somebody, but the media doesn't tell you the whole story. You never know how they really are."

Terrell Owens is a hero....


CBSSports.com wire reports

PHILADELPHIA -- A federal appeals court on Monday threw out a $550,000 indecency fine against CBS Corp. for the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show that ended with Janet Jackson's breast-baring "wardrobe malfunction."

The three-judge panel of the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Federal Communications Commission "acted arbitrarily and capriciously" in issuing the fine for the fleeting image of nudity.

The 90 million people watching the Super Bowl, many of them children, heard Justin Timberlake sing, "Gonna have you naked by the end of this song," as he reached for Jackson's bustier.

The court found that the FCC deviated from its nearly 30-year practice of fining indecent broadcast programming only when it was so "pervasive as to amount to 'shock treatment' for the audience."

"Like any agency, the FCC may change its policies without judicial second-guessing," the court said. "But it cannot change a well-established course of action without supplying notice of and a reasoned explanation for its policy departure."

The 3rd Circuit judges -- Chief Judge Anthony J. Scirica, Judge Marjorie O. Rendell and Judge Julio M. Fuentes -- also ruled that the FCC deviated from its long-held approach of applying identical standards to words and images when reviewing complaints of indecency.

"The Commission's determination that CBS's broadcast of a nine-sixteenths of one second glimpse of a bare female breast was actionably indecent evidenced the agency's departure from its prior policy," the court found. "Its orders constituted the announcement of a policy change -- that fleeting images would no longer be excluded from the scope of actionable indecency."

Court overrules FCC, erases CBS fine for 'wardrobe malfunction'....


By HOWARD FENDRICH

ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — Jason Taylor is leaving the only NFL team he's known, going from the Miami Dolphins to the Washington Redskins in a trade Sunday.

The Redskins gave the Dolphins a second-round pick in 2009 and a sixth-round choice in 2010 for Taylor.

The six-time Pro Bowl defensive end — who was the 2006 NFL Defensive Player of the Year — fell out of favor in Miami after spending his offseason on the TV show "Dancing With the Stars" rather than working out with teammates.

The deal came about nine hours after starting defensive end Phillip Daniels was carted away from the practice field at Redskins Park with a season-ending left knee injury on Day 1 of training camp.

It also came only about 1 1/2 hours after Washington executive vice president Vinny Cerrato told reporters: "We haven't talked to anybody about anything."

Cerrato said Taylor is expected to report to training camp on Monday.

Redskins get Jason Taylor from Dolphins....


NEW YORK — The NFL is stepping up its monitoring of on-field player activities to ensure that no one is flashing the hand signals of street gangs.

The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday that the league had hired experts to look at game tapes and identify players or team officials who might be using suspected gang signals. Violators would be warned and disciplined if the episodes recurred. League officials said Tuesday that avoiding gang-related activities has long been stressed.

They said the scrutiny was intensified after the shooting death of Denver cornerback Darrent Williams in 2007 after Williams was involved in a dispute with known gang members. Anti-gang information is included in orientation literature and stressed in the annual mandatory league meeting for rookies.

NFL going to step up its monitoring of players for gang signs....


By Mike Chappell, The Indianapolis Star

Peyton Manning underwent surgery this afternoon to remove an infected bursa sac from his left knee, and rehabilitation for the Indianapolis Colts quarterback could last six weeks.
That leaves Manning's status for the team's Sept. 7 regular-season opener against the Chicago Bears uncertain.

The two-time NFL MVP has started 160 consecutive regular-season games. He has missed only one play because of injury during his 10-year career.

Peyton Manning has knee surgery, is out 6 weeks....


By CHRIS JENKINS

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The Green Bay Packers' general manager and coach say they don't plan to grant Brett Favre's request for his release.

GM Ted Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy told The Associated Press on Saturday that the star quarterback was welcome to rejoin the team but would have to be a backup.

It was their first public comments since Favre demanded his release this week. Favre held a tearful news conference to announce his retirement March 6.

Thompson and McCarthy did not want to discuss a possible trade. Thompson said he had not received any inquiries as of Saturday morning.

GM, coach: Packers don't plan to release Favre....


By Chris Mortensen

HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Three days after a conference call with Packers team officials in which quarterback Brett Favre emphatically expressed his desire to play in 2008, Favre on Friday formally asked by letter for his unconditional contractual release, sources close to Favre and the team said.

The letter was sent by Favre's agent, James "Bus" Cook, via overnight mail on Thursday and arrived at the Packers facility Friday morning.

Cook, on behalf of Favre, expressed a desire to have an amicable parting, as the Packers have been reluctant to embrace his return. Favre announced his retirement in early March.

Packers general manager Ted Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy weren't available for comment Friday.

Favre seeks unconditional release from Packers, sources say....


By PAUL DOMOWITCH

The NFL never sleeps, but it usually rests its eyes in late June and early July, before training camps open.
News traditionally is scarce as players lay low and coaches hang out the "gone fishing" sign.

But there is some interesting action going on in NFL boardrooms right now that could translate into new owners for two teams by the start of the season in September.

Steelers, Jaguars, Rams may have new owners soon....


CBSSports.com wire reports

A deal could be reached within days to sell a majority interest in the Pittsburgh Steelers to the chairman of a Pittsburgh-based investment firm, taking control of the NFL franchise away from the Rooney family.

The shares would be sold to Stanley Druckenmiller, chairman of Duquesne Capital management, making him principal owner of the team. Two officials familiar with the talks identified the buyer as Druckenmiller and said Monday that the deal could be completed by the end of the week. They declined to be identified because they were not directly involved in negotiations.

Druckenmiller's interest was first reported Monday by the Wall Street Journal, which said a secret study by Goldman Sachs valued the franchise at between $800 million and $1.2 billion. The report came a day after Dan Rooney said he and his son, team president Art Rooney II, were attempting to buy out his four brothers in an effort to retain "substantial ownership of the team."

Financier Druckenmiller makes majority bid for Steelers....


By DREW SMITH
FOX 11 Sports

Is Brett Favre having a one-way conversation with Green Bay Packers management? A new report suggests general manager Ted Thompson isn't ready to talk with number four about a return to the field.

The Green Bay Packers have a decision coming soon, and though it hasn't hit yet, the Packers know it will.

So far, with Thompson on vacation, the team hasn't had to take any action on the growing Favre situation, and while Favre's text assuring us it is just rumor is his only communication, the Packers are just going with their last official stance: Favre is still retired.

Brett Favre Reportedly Trying to Communicate with Packers....


By Richard Sandomir

Dan Patrick, who left ESPN last year to create his own syndicated radio program and write a column for Sports Illustrated, will join NBC Sports where he will be reunited with Keith Olbermann to call the N.F.L. highlights on “Football Night in America.” NBC is scheduled to make the announcement at 2 p.m. Eastern.

Patrick and Olbermann Reunite on NBC....


By Chris Mortensen
ESPN.com

With his family "tugging" on him to play, Brett Favre has an "itch" to come out of retirement and report to training camp with the Green Bay Packers later this month, according to sources close to the team and player.


Favre has communicated his potential desire to coach Mike McCarthy but talks have not advanced to a substantive stage, a Packers source said.

The source said the Packers would be reluctant to open the door for Favre because "Brett retired for the right reasons, even though I know his family is tugging on him [to play]."

Another source conceded Favre was "getting the itch" to play football in 2008.

However, Favre's agent downplayed the likelihood that the quarterback could un-retire or that he was prepared to report to camp July 28.

"As far as I know, right now, Brett Favre is retired and until he tells me something different, that's what it is," James "Bus" Cook, Favre's agent, said.

Favre was unavailable for comment. A Packers spokesman said that McCarthy and general manager Ted Thompson were on vacation.

Source: Favre has 'itch' to ditch retirement, report to camp....

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