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‘NFL’ Articles

NFL International Player Pathway Program Pro Day April 1 in Tampa

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NFL COMMUNICATIONS, Charlie Mule; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

 

Seven athletes from five countries will showcase their talents in front of scouts from all 32 clubs at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers training facility during the NFL International Player Pathway Pro Day on April 1, the NFL announced today.

The players have been training alongside NFL veterans and draft hopefuls in Florida at the IMG Academy.

Instituted in 2017, the program aims to provide elite international athletes the opportunity to compete at the NFL level, improve their skills, and ultimately earn a spot on an NFL roster.

David Bada (Germany), Moubarak Djeri (Germany), Valentine Holmes (Australia), Jakob Johnson (Germany), Dural Neto (Brazil), Maximo Sanchez (Mexico) and Christian Wade (United Kingdom) will all workout at the event in hopes of being signed as a free agent or being selected for a 2019 practice squad position as part of the program.

Holmes and Wade were both top rugby players in their respective countries and retired from the sport to join the International Player Pathway Program

The on-field workouts will be followed by an opportunity for clubs to conduct informal interviews with all participating players.

For the 2019 NFL season, the AFC East has been chosen at random as the division that receive international players as a part of the International Player Development Program should they not be signed to free agent contracts. The AFC East follows the NFC South (2017) and AFC North (2018) as divisions participating in this program. At the conclusion of training camp, players will be eligible for an international player practice squad exemption on an AFC East team with teams being given an exemption for an eleventh practice squad member – ineligible to be activated during the season.

A closer look at the 2019 NFL International Player Pathway Program Participants:

DAVID BADA, Defensive End, (Germany), Age: 23

Played in German Football League’s top division for the Schwabisch Hall Unicorns. Had previously played for the Ingolstadt Dukes where he developed as a pass rusher.

MOUBARAK DJERI, Defensive Tackle, (Germany), Age: 22

Born in Togo and moved to Germany in 2007. Played for the Cologne Crocodiles of the German Football League. Spent five seasons with the club before trying out for the Arizona Cardinals where he was signed in 2017 and participated in OTA’s before being released prior to training camp.

VALENTINE HOLMES, Running Back/Wide Receiver/Kick Returner, (Australia), Age: 23

A former professional rugby league player from Australia’s National Rugby League. Signed his first contract with the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks at 17 and made his professional debut with the club at the age of 19. Played the winger and fullback positions. Represented Australia in the 2017 Rugby World Cup and scored five tries (touchdowns) in the quarterfinals. The following game, he set a record with six tries in the semifinals.

JAKOB JOHNSON, Fullback, (Germany), Age: 24

Played for the Stuttgart Scorpions of the German Football League before moving to Jacksonville. Played one season of high school football in the United States and was recruited to continue his career at the University of Tennessee. Although recruited as a linebacker, transitioned to a tight end during his sophomore season. Attended Tennessee for four years.

DURVAL NETO, Defensive Tackle, (Brazil), Age: 25

Played domestically in Brazil for the past four seasons on the two best teams in Brazil. A judo champion prior to playing football, he is known for his tremendous athletic ability and a willingness to learn.

MAXIMO SANCHEZ, Linebacker, (Mexico), Age: 25

Has played in multiple domestic leagues in Mexico and was selected to represent the country for Team World against the USA U19 team. Played for Tech Monterrey, one of the best university programs in Mexico. Transitioned to outside linebacker following his time as a 4-3 defensive end.

CHRISTIAN WADE, Running Back/Kick Returner, (England), Age: 27

Represented the English National Rugby Team at the U16, U18, U20 and senior levels. Was selected to the British and Irish Lions squad, the highest honor for a rugby player. His 82 Premiership Rugby tries (touchdowns) ranks third on the league’s all-time list.  A projected running back, he has outstanding athletic ability and a versatile skill set.

Previous participants in the International Player Pathway Program include:

MORITZ BÖHRINGER, Tight End/Wide Receiver (Germany), Age: 25 – Cincinnati Bengals

In 2016, Böhringer was selected in the sixth round of the NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings, becoming the first player to be drafted directly from European football.  He spent the 2016 season on the Vikings practice squad.  Böhringer is currently on the Cincinnati Bengals practice squad as part of the 2018 International Player Pathway Program.

JORDAN MAILATA, Tackle (Australia), Age: 21 – Philadelphia Eagles

The 2018 NFL Draft culminated an exciting time for Mailata, a past program participant.  The Samoan-born Australian former professional rugby league player for the South Sydney Rabbitohs was drafted in the seventh round by the Philadelphia Eagles (thereby making him ineligible for the International Player Pathway Program).  Converted to football full-time early in 2018, the 6-8, 350-pounder impressed NFL scouts at various workouts with his strength, footwork and athleticism, and continued his football journey with the Eagles during the 2018 season as the youngest player on their roster.

EFE OBADA, Defensive End (UK), Age: 26 – Carolina Panthers

Obada was raised in London after arriving from the Netherlands at age 10.  He signed as a free agent for the Dallas Cowboys in 2015 after playing only five games of amateur football with the London Warriors. He played in the preseason for the Cowboys and spent part of the 2015 season on the club’s practice squad. He has since had spells on the rosters of the Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons before joining the Carolina Panthers practice squad as part of the 2017 International Player Pathway Program. In 2018, Obada become the first player from the NFL International Pathway program to make a 53-man roster.  In Week 3 against the Cincinnati Bengals, Obada played his first regular season game, earning NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors for his one-sack, one-interception performance.

 

Stanford Cardinal football coach David Shaw returns to NFL Network for 2019 Draft coverage

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NFL COMMUNICATIONS; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

 

 

David Shaw on Stanford sidelines in 2011 photo by Daniel Hartwig via wikipedia commons

Shaw Joins NFL Network’s On-Location Coverage of the NFL Draft for the Eighth Consecutive Year​​​

2019 NFL Draft Live From Nashville Thursday, April 25 – Saturday, April 27

 

Stanford head coach David Shaw will join NFL Network’s coverage of the NFL Draft for the eighth consecutive year, it was announced today.

Shaw will be featured on NFL Network’s coverage of the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft from Nashville on Thursday, April 25, joining host Rich Eisen, and analysts Daniel Jeremiah and Kurt Warner on the main desk. Additional first round coverage will be provided by Charles DavisSteve Smith Sr.Chris RoseIan Rapoport and Deion Sanders.

Full details on NFL Network’s coverage of the 2019 NFL Draft will be made available at a later date. To view Stanford’s release on Shaw returning to NFL Network’s Draft coverage, visit: http://tinyurl.com/yy4yoosv.

The 2019 NFL Draft kicks off with the first round Thursday, April 25 at 8:00 PM ET, followed by Rounds 2-3 Friday, April 26 at 7:00 PM ET and Rounds 4-7 Saturday, April 27 at 12 Noon ET from Nashville, with coverage on NFL Network, ESPN and ABC.

 

ABOUT NFL MEDIA

NFL Media is comprised of NFL Network, NFL Films, NFL.com, the NFL app and NFL RedZone.

Seven days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, fans turn to NFL Network to receive information and insight straight from the field, team headquarters, league offices and everywhere the NFL is making news. Launched in 2003, NFL Network gives fans unprecedented year-round inside access to all NFL events, including the Super Bowl, Playoffs, regular season, preseason, Pro Bowl, Pro Football Hall of Fame induction weekend, NFL Draft, NFL Scouting Combine, Senior Bowl, league meetings, minicamps and training camps.

For fans on the go, all NFL Network programming can be streamed live through the NFL app and via Watch NFL Network on smartphones, tablets, PCs and connected TV devices (Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, PlayStation 4 and Roku). Access is available for NFL Network subscribers of participating TV providers. For more information, go to NFL.com/nflnetwork.


 

Dierks Bentley one of 14 acts to perform at 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NFL COMMUNICATIONS, Traci Otey Blunt; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

 

 

Dierks Bentley at a film premiere for Kenny Chesney Summer in 3D 2010 photo By Keith Hinkle, CC BY 2.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

NFL Draft Experience Presented by Oikos® Triple Zero

Multi-Platinum singer/songwriter Bentley to headline free outdoor concert series for the NFL Draft and the St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon and ½ Marathon on April 27th

Nashville-based acts of diverse music genres will perform on the Draft Experience Stage

 

NASHVILLE – The NFL and the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp have announced additional music performances at the 2019 NFL Draft, the first ever Draft to incorporate a free music series featuring Nashville-based artists of all genres.

Multi-Platinum singer/songwriter Dierks Bentley will headline a free outdoor concert on Saturday, April 27 at the Draft Main Stage in downtown Nashville as part of the NFL Draft and St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon and ½ Marathon. The Grammy-nominated country artist has 18 career number ones, billions of digital streams, and countless award nominations, including from the Academy of Country Music and Billboard.

“We are confident that this year’s NFL Draft will be an unforgettable experience for our fans and the entire Nashville community, showcasing an exciting fusion of football and music” said NFL Executive Vice President, Club Business & League Events, Peter O’Reilly. “We are grateful for Dierks and all the Nashville-based acts for generously giving their time to our fans to celebrate in the biggest show in Music City.”

More than 20 Nashville-based acts representing diverse genres of music will perform during the three days of activities on the Draft Main Stage and at the NFL Draft Experience presented by Oikos® Triple Zero, a free admission football festival held outside Nissan Stadium. They include country/rock “Nashville” TV show star Charles Esten, alternative country/Americana artist Rayland Baxter, pop and indie rock artist Mikky Ekko, and country singer-songwriter Charlie Worsham. No other NFL Draft has integrated free live music to the degree that will be included in the Nashville Draft.

“Nashville’s NFL Draft is shaping up to be the best ever,” Nashville Mayor David Briley said. “Dierks and the other acts announced today will only add to the amazing atmosphere we are creating for the event. Nashville’s music scene is truly special, one of the major reasons I believe the NFL wanted to come to our city.”

Previously announced, GRAMMY-winner Tim McGraw will headline for the NFL Draft on Friday, April 26 and GRAMMY-winning gospel music great CeCe Winans will sing the National Anthem to help open NFL Draft activities on Thursday, April 25.

In addition to the music integration at the NFL Draft, the city of Nashville will celebrate the participants in the 20th St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon & 1/2 Marathon, which is taking place April 27-28. On Saturday, April 27, the marathon, half marathon and 5K conclude with a finish line outside of Nissan Stadium, near the NFL Draft Experience. Runners will be able to join in the Draft Experience festivities and various concerts, and celebrate completing the race with the Dierks Bentley concert.

“This year’s St. Jude Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville Marathon & 1/2 Marathon and NFL Draft festivities are going to be memorable as we celebrate 20 years and the NFL celebrates 100 years.” said Keats McGonigal, Senior Regional Director for Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series. “We are excited to work closely with the NFL and the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. to engage our runners in the numerous events and concerts during the 2019 NFL Draft. This is especially true on Saturday night with Dierks Bentley, which gives our runners an exciting headliner to celebrate the conclusion of our race in Music City.”

Downtown Nashville’s Lower Broadway and the area outside Nissan Stadium will host free, public activities for the 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville April 25-27. The Draft will continue the NFL’s centennial season celebration that kicked off at Super Bowl LIII in February. The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp, in partnership with the Tennessee Titans, led the bid process for the NFL Draft on behalf of the city.

The current list of 2019 NFL Draft performances are included below. Additional performances will be announced in the coming weeks.

Draft Main Stage on Lower Broadway

Friday, April 26: Tim McGraw

Saturday, April 27: Dierks Bentley

NFL Draft Experience Stage

Thursday, April 25:

New North (Americana)

Striking Matches (alternative rock, pop rock and blues rock)

Mikky Ekko (alternative)

Friday, April 26:

Willie Jones (country)

Kid Politics (indie pop)

Jessy Wilson (neo soul/rock)

Charlie Worsham (country singer-songwriter)

Jonny P (soul)

Rayland Baxter (alternative)

Saturday, April 27:

Katie Schecter (Rock n Roll and soul)

Jason Eskridge (soul)

Three Star Revival (soul/jam/funk/Americana/rock)

Andrew Combs (indie folk)

Charles Esten (country/rock “Nashville” TV show star)

 

For more information on how fans can celebrate the Draft in Nashville, visit nfl.com/draftexperience.


 

2019 NFL Draft coming heading to Nashville; Festival for fans announced

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NFL COMMUNICATIONS;  Traci Otey Blunt; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

 

 

2019 NFL Draft will be first to integrate live music into the Draft Experience –

Three-time GRAMMY winner Tim McGraw to Perform

Twelve-time GRAMMY winner CeCe Winans to Sing National Anthem at opening ceremony

NASHVILLE – The NFL and the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp today announced plans for the 2019 NFL Draft Experience, presented by Oikos®Triple Zero, a free three-day football festival held outside of Nissan Stadium during the 2019 NFL Draft on April 25-April 27. The Experience will be the largest NFL Draft festival footprint to date, and in recognition of Music City, will be the first to integrate a free live music concert series featuring 20 Nashville-based artists of all genres.​

GRAMMY-winner Tim McGraw will headline the concert series at the Draft Main Stage in downtown Nashville. McGraw, who serves on the Nashville Local Organizing Committee for the Nashville Draft, has had 43 number-one radio singles, 16 number-one albums and countless industry awards and accolades. McGraw recently performed for the NFL’s official Tailgate party at Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta.

“We’re excited to show NFL fans from around the country why there’s no better place for the Draft than Music City,” said Steve Underwood, President and CEO of the Tennessee Titans. “Along with the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp, and some of Tennessee’s most talented artists, musicians and businesses, we’d like to welcome the NFL family to our team’s hometown.”

In addition to the Draft Main Stage performances, GRAMMY-nominated CeCe Winans will sing the National Anthem to open NFL Draft activities on Thursday, April 25. Throughout the week, the Draft Experience Stage will feature 15 Nashville-based acts representing diverse genres of music ranging from pop and indie rock to country. Additional performances and headliners will be announced in the coming weeks.

“Each year, the NFL strives to make the Draft weekend a memorable experience for our fans. The passionate fan base and iconic location will ensure a unique experience that is unlike anything fans have ever seen” said NFL Executive Vice President, Club Business & League Events, Peter O’Reilly. “We want to thank the Tennessee Titans and the city of Nashville for being a gracious host for the 2019 NFL Draft. We would also like to thank Tim and CeCe for generously giving their time to our fans to make their experience even more memorable.”

2019 NFL DRAFT EXPERIENCE PRESENTED BY OIKOS® TRIPLE ZERO

Sponsored by Bridgestone, Bud Light, Dannon, FedEx, Ford, Lowe’s, Mars, Nationwide, Pepsi, Pizza Hut, Sleep Number, Verizon and Visa

NFL Draft Experience hours of operation:

    • April 25 (Thursday): 12PM to 10PM
    • April 26 (Friday): 12PM to 10PM
    • April 27 (Saturday): 9AM to 6PM​

Activations at the NFL Draft Experience:

    • Autograph Stage with current NFL players and NFL Legends
    • Interactive games, Play Football clinics, and PLAY 60 Zone presented by Danimals®
      for the smallest NFL fans
    • Photo with the Vince Lombardi Trophy
    • NFL Shop presented by Visa at Draft with exclusive NFL merchandise
    • Taste of Tailgate with Nashville restaurants and Bud Light Bars
    • NFL Draft Experience Stage featuring 14 Nashville-based artists of all genres
    • Look Like a Pro: Step inside a replica NFL Draft Main Stage bearing a draft day jersey of your favorite NFL team and have your photo taken. Share your photos through your favorite social channel and Fan Mobile Pass.
    • PEPSI NFL Helmet Photo Opportunity: Find your favorite NFL team oversized helmet and have your photo taken. Share your photos through your favorite social channel and Fan Mobile Pass.
    • Combine Corner
      • 40-Yard Dash: Race down the field against your opponents and digital NFL players on a giant 40-yard long LED wall.
      • Vertical Jump: Jump as high as you can and hit the corresponding flag to discover your vertical reach just like at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Fans can follow the action at NFL Draft 2019 with the Fan Mobile Pass app. The app will serve as the central hub for information and updates on the Draft Experience and concert series, and a chance to gain access to exclusive viewing areas at the NFL Draft Main Stage to watch in person as the picks unfold and Draft boards come to life. The Fan Mobile Pass app will be available in early/mid-April, and all fans who pre-register will be notified when the app is available. Fans may register today at NFL.com/FanMobilePass.

For more information on how fans can celebrate the Draft in Nashville, visit nfl.com/draftexperience.

 

NFL puts the hammer down on Browns new RB Kareem Hunt with 8 game suspension

(photo by Christiana Santiago)

 

Kareem Hunt (courtesy Toledo Rockets)

KAREEM HUNT of the Cleveland Browns was notified earlier in the month of March, that he has been suspended without pay for the Browns’ first eight regular season games for violations of the NFL Personal Conduct Policy in connection with physical altercations at his residence in Cleveland last February and at a resort in Ohio last June.

Hunt was placed on the Commissioner Exempt list on November 30 and was released by his former club, the Kansas City Chiefs, that same day.  The findings followed a detailed investigation by the NFL, which included reviewing available law enforcement records, video and electronic communications, interviews with numerous witnesses, and multiple interviews with Hunt.

Hunt has advised the league office that he accepts responsibility for his conduct and the discipline that has been imposed.  He has committed to take advantage of available resources to help him grow personally and as a member of the Cleveland community, and to live up to his obligations as an NFL player.

The eight-game suspension will take effect as of the final roster reduction on August 31.  Hunt will be eligible to play in the Browns’ ninth regular season game.

 

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NFL COMMUNICATIONS; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

 

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