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‘NFL’ Articles

International Players totalling Eight have been added to NFL rosters for 2018; Bengals, Browns sign one each

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NFL COMMUNICATIONS; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

 

(courtesy http www.geographicguide.com)

EIGHT INTERNATIONAL PLAYERS ADDED TO ROSTERS

FOR 2018 SEASON

Eight teams will carry an additional overseas player on their practice squads in 2018 as part of an expansion of the International Player Pathway program, the NFL announced today.

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

Alex Gray (Atlanta Falcons), Alex Jenkins (New Orleans Saints), Eric Nzeocha (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), and Efe Obada (Carolina Panthers), participants in 2017, will return to their NFC South teams for the upcoming season.

An additional four teams – the AFC North – will carry an overseas player on their roster until the end of the 2018 training camp.  At that time, the players would be eligible for an international player practice squad exemption.

The Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers will each be given an exemption for an eleventh practice squad member – ineligible to be activated during the season – with two of the players selected coming from the UK and two from Germany. The AFC North was chosen to receive the international players in a random draw.

The players include Moritz Böhringer (Cincinnati Bengals), who was originally drafted in the sixth round by the Minnesota Vikings in 2016, German Football League player Christopher Ezeala (Baltimore Ravens), former British American Football League player Tigie Sankoh (Cleveland Browns) and former English professional rugby player Christian Scotland-Williamson (Pittsburgh Steelers).

For the past three months, the players have been training alongside NFL players and draft hopefuls in Florida, under the supervision of former NFLUK head of football Aden Durde, who was hired as the Atlanta Falcons defensive quality control coach after this season’s program, along with IMG Academy coaches including running back coach Earnest Byner, offensive line coach Paul Dunn, defensive back coach Donnie Henderson and wide receiver coach Larry Kirksey.

The new players taking part in the 2018 International Player Pathway Program:

MORITZ BÖHRINGER, Tight End/Wide Receiver (Germany), Age: 24 – Cincinnati Bengals

Selected in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings, becoming the first player to be drafted directly from European football. Had previously been combining his university studies with playing for the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns in the German Football League. Spent the 2016 season on the Vikings practice squad.

CHRISTOPHER EZEALA, Fullback (Germany), Age: 22 – Baltimore Ravens

Played as a fullback and linebacker in the German Football League for the Ingolstadt Dukes, having begun playing the sport for the Munich Rangers and Allgäu Comets. Has focused on the fullback position, saying: “My coaches told me that while there are many linebackers like me in the NFL, there is no fullback that is so athletic and fast, so they are trying to create a new type of player with me.”

TIGIE SANKOH, Defensive Back (UK), Age: 21 – Cleveland Browns

Played amateur football throughout his teenage years and attended the American Football Academy at Filton College in Bristol, England. Went on to represent the London Warriors in the British American Football League.

CHRISTIAN SCOTLAND-WILLIAMSON, Tight End (UK), Age: 24 – Pittsburgh Steelers​

Converted to American football early in 2018 after a professional rugby career in England, where he played for the Worcester Warriors in the English Premiership. Playing as a second-row forward, he was known in rugby for his physicality and tackling ability and came to international prominence when a tackle in a game against London Wasps was shared widely on the Internet. He graduated from Loughborough University, one of the UK’s leading sports institutions, with a degree in economics.

The returning participants from the 2017 International Player Pathway Program:

ALEX GRAY, Tight End (UK), Age: 27 – Atlanta Falcons

Born and raised in Bishop Auckland, England, Gray captained England’s rugby teams at Under-16, Under-18, Under-20 and International Sevens levels and played for Newcastle Falcons and London Irish. He was named in the original extended Great Britain Sevens squad for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, before suffering an injury. He signed for Yorkshire Carnegie for the 2016-17 rugby season and decided to convert to American football.

ALEX JENKINS, Defensive End (UK), Age: 25 – New Orleans Saints

Born and raised in Bath, England, he began playing football at the Bath City Academy and for the Bristol Aztecs, earning a spot on the Great Britain youth team. Having been selected to participate in an all-star high school camp in Virginia, he earned a scholarship to play college football at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas. He was a three-year starter as defensive end at UIW, posting 3.5 sacks in his senior year.

ERIC NZEOCHA, Linebacker (Germany), Age: 25 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Nzeocha began playing football for the Franken Knights youth team in Neusitz, Germany, and was selected for the German national junior team. He played three years at the University of Wyoming, switching from tight end to linebacker before the 2015 season. His brother, Mark, is a linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys.

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

Raised in London after arriving from the Netherlands at age 10, Obada 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. ​

NFL Draft weekend culminated an exciting time for another international NFL hopeful, offensive lineman JORDAN MAILATA.  The Samoan-born Australian 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 this season).  Converted to football full-time early in 2018, the 6-8, 350-pounder has impressed NFL scouts at various workouts with his strength, footwork and athleticism, and will now continue his football journey with the Eagles.

 

National Football League Important Dates for 2018 through opening weekend

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NFL COMMUNICATIONS; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

 

Important Dates

5/4/2018 TO 5/7/2018 
Clubs may elect to hold their one three-day post-Draft rookie minicamp from Friday through Sunday or Saturday through Monday.
5/8/2018 
Deadline for prior club to send “May 8 Tender” to its unsigned Unrestricted Free Agents. If the player has not signed a player contract with a club by July 23 or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later, he may negotiate
5/11/2018 TO 5/14/2018 
Clubs may elect to hold their one three-day post-Draft rookie minicamp from Friday through Sunday or Saturday through Monday.
5/14/2018 
Rookie Football Development Programs begin.
5/17/2018 TO 5/21/2018 
NFLPA Rookie Premiere. Invited Rookies (typically, first and/or second-round selections) must be permitted by their respective clubs to attend. Such players are unavailable for offseason workouts, OTA days, and minicamps during this period.
5/21/2018 TO 5/23/2018 
Spring League Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia
6/1/2018 
Deadline for prior club to send “June 1 Tender” to its unsigned Restricted Free Agents who received a qualifying offer for a right of first refusal only in order for such player to be subject to the CBA’s “June 15 Tender” provision.
6/2/2018 
For any player removed from the club’s roster or whose contract is assigned via waivers or trade on or after June 2, any unamortized signing bonus amounts for future years will be included fully in team salary at the start of the 2019 League Year.
6/15/2018 
Deadline for club to withdraw qualifying offer to Restricted Free Agents and still retain exclusive negotiating rights by substituting “June 15 Tender” of one-year contract at 110 percent of the player’s prior-year Paragraph 5 Salary (with all other terms
7/16/2018 
At 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for any club that designated a Franchise Player to sign such player to a multiyear contract or extension. After this date, the player may sign only a one-year contract with his prior club for the 2018 season, and such

Important Dates

5/4/2018 TO 5/7/2018 
Clubs may elect to hold their one three-day post-Draft rookie minicamp from Friday through Sunday or Saturday through Monday.
5/8/2018 
Deadline for prior club to send “May 8 Tender” to its unsigned Unrestricted Free Agents. If the player has not signed a player contract with a club by July 23 or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later, he may negotiate
5/11/2018 TO 5/14/2018 
Clubs may elect to hold their one three-day post-Draft rookie minicamp from Friday through Sunday or Saturday through Monday.
5/14/2018 
Rookie Football Development Programs begin.
5/17/2018 TO 5/21/2018 
NFLPA Rookie Premiere. Invited Rookies (typically, first and/or second-round selections) must be permitted by their respective clubs to attend. Such players are unavailable for offseason workouts, OTA days, and minicamps during this period.
5/21/2018 TO 5/23/2018 
Spring League Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia
6/1/2018 
Deadline for prior club to send “June 1 Tender” to its unsigned Restricted Free Agents who received a qualifying offer for a right of first refusal only in order for such player to be subject to the CBA’s “June 15 Tender” provision.
6/2/2018 
For any player removed from the club’s roster or whose contract is assigned via waivers or trade on or after June 2, any unamortized signing bonus amounts for future years will be included fully in team salary at the start of the 2019 League Year.
6/15/2018 
Deadline for club to withdraw qualifying offer to Restricted Free Agents and still retain exclusive negotiating rights by substituting “June 15 Tender” of one-year contract at 110 percent of the player’s prior-year Paragraph 5 Salary (with all other terms
7/16/2018 
At 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for any club that designated a Franchise Player to sign such player to a multiyear contract or extension. After this date, the player may sign only a one-year contract with his prior club for the 2018 season, and such

Important Dates

9/6/2018 
At 12:00 a.m., New York time, the Top 51 Rule expires for all NFL clubs.
9/6/2018 
Regular Season opens.

 

NFL Network to unveil 2018 Top 100 Players tonight at 9 pm & 10 pm

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

 

Back-to-Back Episodes Reveal Players No. 100-81 TONIGHT at 9:00 & 10:00 PM ET​

Weekly Episodes Air Monday at 8:00 PM ET

List Determined Solely by Current NFL Players

For the eighth consecutive year, current NFL players have voted to determine the top 100 players in the NFL.

The weekly series The Top 100 Players of 2018 premieres TONIGHT on NFL Network, with back-to-back episodes at 9:00 and 10:00 PM ET revealing players ranked No. 100-81.

The one-hour show airs weekly on Monday at 8:00 PM ET through June 25, counting down the top players in the NFL as determined solely by the players themselves. Additionally, viewers can interact with the show on social media using #NFLTop100.

The top 10 players on the list will be revealed in a special two-hour edition Monday, June 25 at 8:00 PM ET on NFL Network

For fans on the go, all NFL Network programming can also be streamed live on smartphones through the NFL app, as well as other digital platforms through Watch NFL Network on tablet (Watch NFL Network), PC (NFL.com/watch) and other connected TV devices (NFL app on Apple TV, PlayStation 4, Android TV and Amazon Fire TV). Watch NFL Network access is available for NFL Network subscribers of participating TV providers. For more information, go to NFL.com/nflnetwork.

Fans can see the full list week-by-week as it is revealed and read analysis of each ranking at NFL.com/top100.

The Top 100 Players of 2018 Episode Schedule

Episode #1 Monday, April 30 9:00 PM ET

(100-91)

Episode #2 Monday, April 30 10:00 PM ET

(90-81)

Episode #3 Monday, May 7                         8:00 PM ET

(80-71)

Episode #4 Monday, May 14                       8:00 PM ET

(70-61)

Episode #5 Monday, May 21                       8:00 PM ET

(60-51)

Episode #6 Monday, May 28                       8:00 PM ET

(50-41)

Episode #7 Monday, June 4 8:00 PM ET

(40-31)

Episode #8 Monday, June 11                      8:00 PM ET

(30-21)

Episode #9 Monday, June 18 8:00 PM ET

(20-11)

Episode #10 Monday, June 25 8:00 PM ET & 9:00 PM ET

(10-1)

 

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 also be streamed live on smartphones through the NFL app, as well as other digital platforms through Watch NFL Network on tablet (Watch NFL Network), PC (NFL.com/watch) and other connected TV devices (NFL app on Apple TV, PlayStation 4, Android TV and Amazon Fire TV). Watch NFL Network access is available for NFL Network subscribers of participating TV providers. For more information, go to NFL.com/nflnetwork.

 

2018 NFL Draft sets record across all networks for highest rated draft and most watched draft ever

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY ALEX RIETHMILLER, VICE PRESIDENT, COMMUNICATIONS NFL; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

 

 

Combined Coverage Across NFL Network, FOX, ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes Fuels 25% Growth in Ratings

An Average of Nearly 3 Million Viewers Tune in for Saturday Coverage Marking the Most Watched Day 3 in NFL Draft History​

The 2018 NFL Draft is one for the record books. With a combined 3.57 HH rating and 5.5M viewers, the 2018 NFL Draft is officially the highest rated and most-watched Draft ever.

The 2018 NFL Draft was covered across NFL Network, FOX, ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes and the broad distribution helped grow the combined rating and viewership by 25% and 20% respectively over 2017.

The expanded coverage of the 2018 NFL Draft marked the first time ever that the entirety of the live three-day event was aired on broadcast television.

The three-day event produced strong results from start to finish as Thursday’s coverage of Round One resulted in a combined 7.0 HH rating (+27% y/y) and 11.2 million viewers (+22% y/y) making it the second most-watched watched Draft day ever, while Saturday’s combined TV viewership resulted in an average of 2.9 million viewers making it the most watched Draft Day 3 ever.

 

2018 NFL Draft Round Where Fans Watched
Round 1: Thursday, April 26 • 8:00 PM ET NFL Network, FOX, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes; NFL, FOX Sports and ESPN digital properties
Rounds 2-3: Friday, April 27 • 7:00 PM ET NFL Network, FOX, ESPN/ESPN2; NFL, FOX Sports and ESPN digital properties
Rounds 4-7: Saturday, April 28 • Noon ET NFL Network, ABC, ESPN; NFL and ESPN digital properties

 

*TV figures include ESPN and ESPN2 digital viewing which is measured by Nielsen but exclude FOX and NFL digital viewing


NFL, Amazon announce renewal of Thursday Night Football streaming partnership

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NFL COMMUNICATIONS; COURTESY NFLmedia.com

 

Thursday Night Football to be streamed globally​ during the 2018 & 2019 Seasons to over 100 million Amazon Prime members

The National Football League (NFL) announced today it has reached an agreement to renew its exclusive partnership with Amazon Prime Video to deliver a live OTT digital stream of Thursday Night FootballPresented by Bud Light to a global audience across devices during the 2018 and 2019 NFL Seasons. Amazon Prime will stream the 11 Thursday Night Football games broadcast by FOX, which will also be simulcast on NFL Network and distributed in Spanish on FOX Deportes, once again securing the league’s “Tri-Cast” model of broadcast (FOX), cable (NFL Network, FOX Deportes), and digital (Amazon Prime Video) distribution.

The Thursday Night Football games will be made available to the over 100 million Amazon Prime members worldwide in over 200 countries and territories, on the Prime Video app for TVs, game consoles, and connected devices, which includes Amazon Fire TV, mobile devices and online. Thursday Night Football on Prime Video will provide members a unique viewing experience complete with interactive features that bring fans closer to the game. The TNF games will also be available to Twitch viewers. The NFL and Amazon will also collaborate on additional NFL content opportunities and enhanced fan viewing experiences, including making the games available on Twitch’s interactive social video service.

“Amazon was a tremendous partner for Thursday Night Football in 2017 and as we continue our mission of delivering NFL games to fans whether they watch on television or on digital platforms, we are excited to work with them again for the next two seasons,” said Brian Rolapp, Chief Media and Business Officer for the NFL.  “Having over 100 million Amazon Prime members provides a massive platform to distribute Thursday Night Football digitally, not only to our fans in the United States but also around the world.”

“Our customers love to stream football — last year, we successfully debuted NFL Thursday Night Football on Prime Video in the U.S. and around the world,” said Jeff Blackburn, Senior Vice President Business Development & Entertainment at Amazon.  “We’re thrilled to continue our relationship with the NFL and offer Prime members another two seasons of Thursday Night Football.”​

The NFL and Amazon first partnered for distribution of Thursday Night Football during the 2017 season. In January, FOX Sports was awarded a five-year deal for Thursday Night Football that includes games between Weeks 4-15 (excluding Thanksgiving night) to be broadcast on FOX, simulcast via NFL Network and distributed in Spanish on FOX Deportes.

The multiyear renewal continues a strong partnership between the NFL and Amazon which, in addition to Thursday Night Football, also features the Emmy-winning Prime Original Series All or Nothing. Produced by NFL Films, season three of the docuseries will launch on Friday, April 27 with All or Nothing: The Dallas Cowboys.

Presented by Bud Light, the 13-game Thursday Night Football schedule for the 2018 season features 11 games on FOX/NFL Network/FOX Deportes and Amazon, and two NFL Network exclusive games.

The 2018 Thursday Night Football schedule kicks off Week 2 when the Baltimore Ravens visit the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday, September 13 in an AFC North divisional matchup exclusively on NFL Network. The 2018 Thursday Night Football slate of games on FOX/NFL Network/FOX Deportes and Amazon begins Week 4 when the Los Angeles Rams host the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday, September 27 in a matchup of two playoff teams from 2017. All Thursday Night Football games will kick off at 8:20 PM ET.

The NFL is the most valuable content in all of sports and entertainment with nine of television’s 10 most-watched programs of the calendar year in 2017. Thursday Night Football is a top-5 show in all of television and the No. 2 show in primetime.

For more information about Thursday Night Football, including ways to watch, visit: nfl.com/tnf

About Thursday Night Football

Thursday Night Football started in 2006 with an eight-game schedule exclusively on NFL Network. By 2012, Thursday Night Football had grown to a 13-game schedule exclusively on NFL Network, where it remained through the 2013 season. For the 2014 and 2015 seasons, CBS partnered with NFL Network to present an expanded 16-game Thursday Night Football schedule. For the 2016 and 2017 seasons, NBC and CBS partnered with NFL Network to present Thursday Night Football with additional digital distribution via Twitter (2016 season) and Amazon (2017 season). In January 2018, it was announced FOX Sports would produce Thursday Night Football for the next five seasons.​


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