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Giants deny Eli Manning involved in fake memorabilia scheme

Quarterback Eli Manning surrendered an email earlier this month in connection with a lawsuit that claims he, along with the New York Giants and a team equipment manager, knowingly provided false game-worn memorabilia to collectors, ESPN reported.

 >> Read more trending news

The email was included in a court filing in Bergen County (N.J.) Superior Court by collectors Eric Inselberg, Michael Jakab and Sean Godown, who filed suit three years ago.

According to the New York Post, which obtained court records, Manning, who has a contract with memorabilia dealer Steiner Sports, instructed equipment manager Joe Skiba to retrieve the equipment so it could be sold off as authentic.

“2 helmets that can pass as game used. That is it. Eli,” Manning wrote to Skiba from a BlackBerry on April 27, 2010, according to court documents.

The email was initiated after Manning was sent a note by Alan Zucker, his marketing agent throughout his career, to come up with some equipment to satisfy his obligation to provide such materials to Steiner Sports, ESPN reported.

The plaintiffs' lawyer, Brian Brook of Clinton, Brook & Peed, told ESPN that the email, included among roughly 200 pages of documents Manning produced as part of legal discovery, was key to specifically linking the quarterback to the lawsuit, which alleges an elaborate scheme to produce, pass off and sell memorabilia as game-used that was not.

The suit also alleges that the Giants were complicit by deleting the email from their accounts.

"The email, taken out of context, was shared with the media by an unscrupulous memorabilia dealer and his counsel who for years has been seeking to leverage a big payday," McCarter & English, the law firm representing the Giants in the case, said in a statement. "The email predates any litigation, and there was no legal obligation to store it on the Giants server. Eli Manning is well known for his integrity and this is just the latest misguided attempt to defame his character."

It is not likely that Manning, the Giants or their employees would be subject to criminal prosecution as the alleged actions in question have passed the federal five-year statute of limitations, ESPN reported.

The trial is scheduled to begin on Sept. 25.

 

Atlanta Super Bowl date announced

Super Bowl LIII will be held on Feb. 3, 2019, at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the NFL announced Thursday.

Atlanta was named as the site of Super Bowl LIII in May 2016 after the NFL owners meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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Super Bowl LIII will be Atlanta’s third Super Bowl after the Georgia Dome hosted Super Bowl XXVIII on Jan. 30, 1994 (Dallas Cowboys vs. Buffalo Bills) and Super Bowl XXXIV on Jan. 30, 2000 (St. Louis Rams vs. Tennessee Titans).

Super Bowl LII will take place at Minnesota’s U.S. Bank Stadium Feb. 4, 2018.

Washington state teen solved mystery behind Tom Brady's missing jersey

A Kent, Washington, teenager led police to recovering New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s missing Super Bowl jersey.

Brady’s jersey disappeared after the team’s 34-28 victory over the Atlanta Falcons in February. The FBI and NFL security officials announced weeks later the jersey was found in Mexico, along with a second jersey worn by Brady during the Patriots’ 2015 Super Bowl XLI Xvictory against the Seattle Seahawks.

>> Read more trending news

Dylan Wagner, 19, was recently cleared by the FBI to reveal that he was the one who solved the mystery.

Wagner, a big Patriots fan, said that he collects NFL uniform gear. 

Last year, Wagner sold a jersey to a collector in Mexico through eBay. The two shared photos of their collections.

Related: Tom Brady's missing Super Bowl jersey found in Mexico

Wagner explained items in one of the photos caught his eye -- “a Tom Brady jersey and a Joe Montana game worn jersey, and the Tom Brady one in the Super Bowl 49 jersey when we faced the Seahawks,” he said.

“If he sent me everything else in his collection I would have never questioned it, but just because of that one jersey, you know, I threw off the red flags,” Wagner said.

After the news of Brady’s stolen jersey broke, Wagner said he knew the collector had it.

He called Houston police, the NFL and the Patriots. No one took him seriously, until he sent an email to the Texas Ranger Division.

“Within, you know, that hour, they called me back and they were like, ‘You know, what you have is ... real information,’” he said. 

Wagner gave detectives the Mexico address for Martin Mauricio Ortega, who had an International Media Press Pass for February's Super Bowl. Authorities found Ortega on security cameras carrying what's believed to be Brady's jersey under his arm.

Police raided Ortega’s home, but he has not been arrested. The jerseys were returned to Brady.

Lombardi Trophy safe after being in car crash with deer

Patriots fans can rest easy: The Lombardi Trophy is safe and sound after the car it was being transported in was involved in a collision with a deer in Maine.

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Tpr. Tyler Maloon explained what happened in a post on the Maine State Police Facebook page. He said he gave a couple that had been in a car crash involving a deer a ride, and they told him that "the trophy" had to be at an event by a specific time. When Maloon asked what trophy, they said the Lombardi Trophy.

Maloon proudly posed with the trophy outside of his police car, writing, "My mind was blown, seriously what are the odds! A story for the ages!"

The Patriots engineered an epic comeback victory in Super Bowl LI , beating the Atlanta Falcons in overtime by a score of  34-28.

NFL quarterback falls for golf course snake prank

Sir Hissalot strikes again. The fake rattlesnake used in golf course pranks took on an NFL quarterback this week and the amusing result is making the rounds on social media.

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Brock Osweiler, formerly with the Denver Broncos and  Houston Texans and now a member of the Cleveland Browns, was playing at an Arizona golf course when the fake snake was placed next to his golf cart, according to KHOU. Osweiler showed his speed in escaping threats off the field by hightailing it away from the prop.

The prank was caught on camera and posted on Sir Hissalot's Instagram page.

Brady tells Kraft he's willing to play six or seven more years

Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft shared a part of his recent conversation with Tom Brady Monday during the owner's meetings in Phoenix. 

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"As recently as two, three days ago, he assured me he'd be willing to play six, seven more years at the level he performed," said Kraft. "There's no one that would be happier than I, and our fan base... There's one player at the age of 40 who had one good year (Brett Favre) for the Vikings but he didn't do so well before. 

"I think Tommy's sustained excellence is just unbelievable and it's a lifestyle. You know, he's in training now. It's not like he's stopped. He works out. I remember after our first Super Bowl in '01, going down in the training room in the old Foxboro Stadium, three days after we won and he's in there with the music blaring working out, so he's really dedicated and the thing that's amazing about him is to this day, he hasn't changed as a human being in terms of how he relates to people but also how he works out, and the only thing that's probably changed is how he eats. I'm not sure avocado ice cream is right for me, but if I could look like him and perform half as well, I guess I'd do it." 

When asked about the future of Brady's backup, Jimmy Garoppolo, Kraft deferred to Bill Belichick's expertise. "I charge him to handle all football matters," said Kraft. "We're privileged to have the greatest quarterback in the history of the game and it looks like he's playing pretty solid and he's off the charts in my opinion and we're lucky to have him.

"That's the most important position on the team, needless to say. I don't think anyone can say, 'You've got too much depth at that position,' and I've charged Bill to make those decisions and I'll leave that with him." 

Malcolm Butler, the center of speculation regarding a possible trade with the Saints, remains an unrestricted free agent who has the option to sign a one-year offer sheet from the Patriots. 

"I hope he's with us and signs his offer sheet and plays for us," said Kraft. "I have a great affection for him and he actually was part of probably the greatest play in the history of our team, but there are a lot of people involved in that, on both sides."

When asked if the intention was to trade Butler, Kraft quickly said, "No," but also made it clear that he didn't want infringe on Butler's rights and re-stated his hope Butler returned with the Patriots in 2017.

As for Commissioner Roger Goodell, and whether he's welcome at the Patriots season opener in September? 

"I think I'll let you all ask him that," said Kraft. "Look, he's commissioner of the league. As we all know, he has the right to go wherever he wishes to go and if he wanted to come he's welcome to come. We're happy that we're celebrating our fifth banner and he can decide whether he wants to be there." 

Tom Brady's missing Super Bowl jersey found in Mexico

The FBI and NFL security said on Monday that they found a jersey stolen from the New England Patriots’ Tom Brady after his team won the Super Bowl last month in Mexico.

>> Read more trending stories

Along with the jersey, worn during Brady during Super Bowl LI, authorities also recovered a second jersey worn by Brady during the Patriots’ 2015 Super Bowl XLIV victory against the Seattle Seahawks, NFL officials said in a statement.

“The items were found in the possession of a credentialed member of the international media,” according to the NFL.

Houston police Chief Art Acevedo praised his department’s work in finding the jersey, which was traced to Mexico.

Diario La Presna, the newspaper of the Mexican Editorial Organization, said on Twitter that the case involved the former director of the newspaper. A statement on the connection was expected Monday.

Few details were immediately available in the investigation.

The story made headlines across the country after Brady noticed his jersey was missing from the locker room after the historic Super Bowl win.

“I put it in my bag and then came out and it wasn’t there anymore,” Brady said at the time. “So it’s unfortunate because that’s a nice piece of memorabilia. So if it shows up on eBay somewhere, someone let me know. Try to track that down.”

The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Former NFL star Dwight Clark announces he has ALS

Dwight Clark, a wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers during the team’s heyday in the 1980s, disclosed Sunday that he has a debilitating illness.

The Mercury News said Clark was diagnosed in 2015.

The newspaper said Clark, a two-time Super Bowl winner, said in a note: “I have ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Those words are still very hard for me to say.”

Clark played nine seasons for the 49ers and was one of Joe Montana’s favorite targets. He had 6,750 receiving yards in his career, which is third on San Francisco’s all-time list, behind Terrell Owens and Jerry Rice.

>> Read more trending news

In the 1982 NFC Championship game, with less than a minute to go, Montana rolled to his right and threw a ball that most thought he was trying to throw away. But Clark jumped high and hauled it in, and the play was immediately anointed, “The Catch.” Sports Illustrated ranked it No. 33 on the list of 100 greatest plays of all-time.

The news comes on the same day the family of football legend and Hall-of-Famer Gale Sayers announced he has dementia.

Oakland Raiders QB Derek Carr rescues stranded driver, reveals post-football plans

Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is known for his random acts of kindness. This week, he came to the rescue again.

Ron Reeser said he ran out of gas Tuesday and was ready to trek to the nearest gas station with his gas can when a young man in a SUV pulled up and asked if he needed help, according to the Fresno Bee report.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting newsWhen Reeser explained the situation, the young man said he'd give him a ride to the gas station. Reeser accepted, and proceeded to have a revealing conversation with the good Samaritan, not realizing he was an NFL star quarterback.

The young man told Reeser he was a football player when asked what he did for a living. He told Reeser that he'd like to be a pastor when he retires from the sport. Reeser thought the young man was a college player, so he asked his position and favorite team. That's when it was revealed that the helpful young man was actually Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr.

Before departing, Reeser and Carr prayed together. 

In January, Carr was given a shout out by law enforcement for helping to find a missing girl.

In addition to performing good deeds, Carr is spending the offseason recovering from a brutal leg injury he suffered during a Dec. 24 game against the Colts.

Johnny Manziel says he's engaged

As former NFL quarterback Johnny Manziel continues his quest to rejoin the league, he has also been working on aspects of his personal life.This week, he made a major announcement: Manziel said he's engaged to girlfriend Bre Tiesi.TMZ was the first to announce the news Friday, and ESPN's Adam Schefter confirmed it. Manziel reportedly popped the question during a romantic Paris trip.

>> Read more trending stories 

Johnny Manziel and @bre_tiesi got engaged tonight. She knows his goal is to get back to the NFL and she has been supportive and helpful.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 11, 2017

Tiesi is a model and actress. She has been romantically involved with Manziel since 2016, and supports his goal of returning to the NFL. Manziel posted photos of the happy pair this week on Instagram, withe the caption, "When you know, you know."

When you know, you know @bre_tiesi A post shared by Johnny Manziel (@jmanziel2) on Mar 4, 2017 at 6:18pm PST

Manziel has been working on resolving his legal issues, and according to the Bleacher Report, there is renewed interest in the former Browns quarterback from NFL scouts.

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