From Comcast SportsNetIRVING, Texas (AP) -- The Dallas Cowboys are trying to provide some guidance for Dez Bryant, the talented young receiver who has had issues off the field.Coach Jason Garrett wouldn't go into specifics Monday or describe potential discipline for not abiding by the rules, but he said the Cowboys (No. 15 in AP Pro32) want to support Bryant and his family."What we've tried to do is come up with a plan for Dez like we would for any player who we feel like needs our support, and help him be his best as a player and as a person," Garrett said. "And the accountability factor is an important part of that with him and with anybody on our football team."According to numerous reports, Bryant will attend weekly counseling sessions, have a full-time security team and not be allowed to consume alcohol or attend strip clubs. The security members will drive Bryant to team functions, including practices and games, and the receiver will also be subject to a curfew.Bryant was arrested in July for allegedly assaulting his mother, who has since said she doesn't want authorities to pursue charges against him. The Dallas County district attorney's office has yet to make a decision about misdemeanor family violence charges.There is still the chance that the NFL could discipline Bryant, who is going into his third season with the Cowboys.NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told The Associated Press in an email Monday that the league "will review the facts once the case is resolved by the court." He said the team's guidelines for Bryant will have nothing to do with league discipline."We're going to control what we can control as an organization, and Dez has done everything that we've asked him to do up to this point both on and off the football field," Garrett said. "Any decision about that is out of our control."Despite other off-the-field issues in the past, Bryant was having a solid offseason until his arrest two weeks before the start of training camp. Bryant's adviser, David Wells, and the player's attorney, Royce West, didn't return messages to the AP."We have some things in place and we are still in the process of working out the rest," Wells told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in a story published Monday. "We are all working together to accomplish some things to help him succeed."Bryant hasn't been available to speak to reporters since the start of training camp because of his pending legal issues. He didn't talk in the locker room after practice Monday.In 2008, the Cowboys had a security detail in place for Adam "Pacman" Jones, who had missed all of the previous season with Tennessee and was coming off a 17-month NFL suspension because of repeated legal troubles. Six weeks after being reinstated by the NFL, Jones was involved in an alcohol-related scuffle with one of his bodyguards at a private party in Dallas and was suspended for six games. He was cut by the Cowboys after the season.Cowboys owner Jerry Jones waited a couple of weeks after Bryant was arrested, and a couple of days after the team got to California for training camp, to talk with Bryant. The owner, who called it a serious situation, said he was disappointed and didn't want to be emotional when talking to Bryant.Jones said then that Bryant had already been involved in the team's counseling program.Bryant surrendered to authorities July 16, two days after his mother, Angela, made a 911 call about the alleged assault. The 23-year-old receiver is only 14 years younger than she is.There had been some trouble for Bryant even before the Cowboys drafted Bryant with the 24th overall pick in 2010.Bryant missed nearly his entire last college season at Oklahoma State because of an NCAA suspension for lying about having dinner with Deion Sanders. He ran up hundreds of thousands of dollars in bills on game tickets and jewelry, and was sued by people who said they were creditors.Last year, he was kicked out of an upscale Dallas mall for wearing sagging pants. In January, he was reportedly involved in a fight with the rapper Lil Wayne at a Miami nightclub.Bryant said during the offseason that he was spending more time with the playbook, watching more film and concentrating on his conditioning. There were no issues until the incident with his mother, and haven't been any known problems since then.During the early portion of practice Monday open to reporters, Bryant was initially catching some passes from backup quarterback Rudy Carpenter. Bryant, who has been dealing with right knee tendinitis, then did some rehab work with a trainer alongside tight end Jason Witten (spleen).Bryant and the most of the Cowboys starters aren't expected to play in Wednesday night's preseason finale against Miami. That comes a week before their regular-season opener at the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants.Teammate Marcus Spears said the guidelines were between Bryant and team ownership, but that he was "pretty sure" they were on the same page."Whatever they're doing, they're doing the right things," backup quarterback Kyle Orton said. "He's a special player. He's one of those guys, you find ways to get him the ball. ... You want to give him a lot of touches because one of those touches is going to be a special play, and there's very few of those guys around."
The quest for the Stanley Cup doesn't begin on the ice, but during the offseason as general managers build their teams for the upcoming campaign. The Caps have made a number of moves this summer to try to make their team better and get over the playoff hump.
Let's break down and grade each move the team made this offseason to help figure out whether it was the right move for the team.
Today's move: Signing Zach Sanford
Every year at development camp there is always one or two players who stand out. This year, it was Zach Sanford. Not only was his physical prowess on display, (6-foot-4, 191 pounds), but his skill was as well. He looked comfortable with and without the puck and was miles ahead of most of the other prospects in terms of development.
Even so, it was a bit surprising to hear the Caps were pushing to sign him to an entry level contract. He still had two years of eligibility at Boston College and the Caps' roster is loaded. Why push for him to sign just to spend the season in the AHL?
The reason why the Caps did it most likely has something to do with Jimmy Vesey.
Vesey was drafted by the Nashville Predators in 2012. By staying in college for four years without signing with Nashville, he will become a free agent on Aug. 15 and looks set to test the market. The same thing may be playing out between Washington and Thomas DiPauli, the Caps' fourth round pick from 2012 who remains unsigned. This type of thing is rare and it certainly seemed to catch Nashville off guard, but it did serve as a reminder to teams: sign your prospects before they have the chance to leave.
Sanford was drafted in 2013 out of the Eastern Junior Hockey League. The rules for players drafted out of junior leagues are similar to those drafted out of college. Full disclosure, I do not speak legalese, but based on my understanding of the collective bargaining agreement that sets the rules for signing players, by playing one year in juniors after getting drafted, Sanford could have become a free agent in August of 2017. It does not technically matter that he will have played only three years of college, all that matters is that it will have been four years after he was drafted.
So what does that mean for him this season? The Caps are set at center with Nicklas Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Lars Eller and Jay Beagle. Plus, Marcus Johansson and Andre Burakovsky can play if need be. Barring injury then, Sanford will spend the season in Hershey.
Brian MacLellan has hinted at trying to keep room under the salary cap open for prospects to cycle in and get some NHL experience throughout the season. Sanford will have to adjust from playing in the NCAA to the AHL, which is quite a jump, but don't be surprised if Sanford gets his first taste of the NHL later in the 2016-17 season.
Vesey may have changed the game when it comes to prospects. Teams need to get these guys signed when they can or risk losing them. The Caps may well lose DiPauli and they didn't want the same thing to happen to Sanford.
This gets an incomplete, however, until what position Sanford plays this season. He played wing and center in college. Considering his size, he could be a good power forward and someone the Caps are tempted to call up to plug into the bottom six, but I absolutely do not want to see this unless it is at center. You can never have enough centers and it would be better for the team in the long-term to commit to developing him as a center rather than rushing him as a wing.
Granted, I am not a scout. If the Caps have determined he has no NHL future as a center, then they should ignore this and develop him as a wing. That's not what I saw at development camp, however.
If Sanford spends the season in Hershey as a center, then this move is a solid A. If the Caps try to rush him into their lineup as a winger this year, however, that would be a mistake. Patience is a virtue.
MORE CAPITALS: DID CAPS MAKE THE RIGHT DECISION WITH CHIMERA AND LATTA?
The NFL released a statement on Monday in which the league cleared former Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning after a seven-month investigation to determine if the two-time Super Bowl champion was provided with or took performance-enhancing drugs.
The investigation stemmed from an Al-Jazeera America report in December that listed Manning among the professional athletes to receive shipments ofhuman growth hormones.
The five-time NFL MVP vehemently denied the claims and welcomed the league to investigate the matter.
"Following a comprehensive seven-month investigation into allegations made in a documentary by Al-Jazeera America, the NFL found no credible evidence that Peyton Manning was provided with or used HGH or other substances prohibited by the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances," the league said in a statement.
"The Mannings were fully cooperative with the investigation and provided both interviews and access to all records sought by the investigators."
The Al-Jazeera America report alleged that Manning was sent shipments of HGH to his house under his wife's name from Charlie Sly, a pharmacist who worked at an anti-aging clinic in Indianapolis in 2011. Sly was Al Jazeera's key source, but then recanted his statements making the report all the more questionable.
Manning retired from the NFL in February following the Broncos' victory in Super Bowl 50 over the Carolina Panthers.
Initiated in January, the investigation was led by the NFL’s security and legal teams with support from expert consultants and other professionals. The investigation involved witness interviews, a review of relevant records and other materials, online research, and laboratory analysis and review.
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BY JEREMY FIALKOW (@JeremyFialkow)
The Nationals may be good — very good — but they're not perfect, not yet.
With the trade deadline fast approaching, GM Mike Rizzo's hunt to turn the roster he assembled into a legitimate World Series contender will grab the spotlight.
There's speculation around the league that Rizzo's plans start and end with adding a commanding bullpen arm, capable of shortening each game by three outs, at least.
Nevertheless, Washington has the assets on hand and in their farm system to secure anyone they fancy, whether it's an arm, a bat ... or both.
Fortunately for baseball fans (but unfortunately for the Nats) the 2016 season has been competitive all around, leaving teams deemed surefire sellers few and far between.
Still, Rizzo's team is in a desirable position with the always appreciated ability of flexibility, so which players will the Nats target before the July 31 trade deadline.