CHERNOFF – The Confidential 03/21/17

The Saints, Patriots and Malcolm Butler – Trade Possibilities, Ex-NFLer Arrested In Sandy Springs, NBA’s Adam Silver: Penalties For Resting Key Players, LaVar Ball Rips Sons’ HS Coach, Tim Tebow – A Minor League Met, WWE’s Jim Ross – Wife Suffers Skull Fractures In Accident and Rex Ryan’s ESPN Paycheck!

Are Patriots targeting #11 Pick for Malcolm Butler?

Restricted free agent Malcolm Butler and the Saints have mutual interest in a long-term relationship on the heels of last week’s meeting.

New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

The problem is the Patriots hold all of the cards.

Butler’s agent has exchanged proposals with New Orleans’ management, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday, and the two sides are not far apart on numbers.

If it was just Butler and the Saints involved, a deal would be imminent.

The Patriots, though, have not engaged in any discussions with Butler on a long-term contract, much less with the Saintsregarding trade compensation, Rapoport added.

Until Butler signs his $3.91 million tender, New England has no incentive to take action.

As Rapoport explained on Monday’s edition of Up to the Minute Live, the Patriots are content to revisit their options if Butler signs an offer sheet with the Saints.

At that point, the Pats would decide whether to match the offer or simply accept the No. 11 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft — the mandated level of compensation for poaching a restricted free agent assigned the first-round tender.

If New Orleans’ decision-makers were to balk at that first-round price tag, they would have to come up with a different package of picks to meet New England’s demands.

Bottom line? It’s still premature to assume that Butler will be playing in a different uniform this season.

Ex-NFL Player Jailed - Allegedly Choked, Hit Woman In Front of Kids

A former NFL player is facing charges after allegedly attacking a woman while children were in the Sandy Springs house, police said. 

Jaguars wide receiver Mike Thomas (80) Aug. 17, 2012. (Associated Press, file)

Michael Thomas, who played wide receiver for the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2009 to 2012, was in the Fulton County jail Monday.  

He is accused of beating and strangling a woman on Sunday, according to a Sandy Springs police report.

When police arrived at the residence, a silver Dodge Charger was parked crooked across the lawn near tire tracks, the report states. 

A woman came outside crying and holding her left eye.

Sandy Springs police spokesman Sgt. Sam Worsham told Channel 2 Action News that loud banging and screaming could be heard from the house. 

“They could hear a female, you know, crying for help,” Worsham said. 

Thomas allegedly came home from a club, yelled at the woman about her texting and smashed her cellphone, the report states. The woman also told police Thomas had tried to take her Porsche but hit the side of the garage.

Soon after, Thomas knocked her to the ground and started to strangle her, the report states.

The report said six juvenile females were inside the home preparing for a birthday party at the time of the alleged assault. 

A witness told police Thomas was extremely intoxicated and belligerently slamming doors. As she broke free, Thomas struck her in the eye and that was when she saw the officers arriving.

“They could hear the altercation going on upstairs,” Worsham said.

Officers found more than $5,000 in cash in Thomas’ backpack, the report states. 

Thomas is being held on charges of aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and child abuse in the third degree. He has no bond, according to jail records. 

Adam Silver Warns Owners: ‘Serious Penalties’ In Memo About Resting Players

On Monday, ESPN reported that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver wants to do something about it.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

This season it seems like the Golden State Warriors, Cleveland Cavaliers and San Antonio Spurs have taken to resting their stars more than ever before. For example on March 11 during a road game against the Spurs, the Warriors’ Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Steph Curry and Andre Iguodala all didn’t play due to “rest.” San Antonio won 107-85.

According to ESPN, Silver has had enough. In a memo the Commissioner sent to owners, Silver described the resting trend as “an extremely significant issue for our league.”

Here’s more information on the memo, including the threat of “significant penalties”:

“In the memo, Silver informed teams that the issue will be a prime topic of discussion at the next NBA Board of Governors meeting April 6 in New York and warned of ‎’significant penalties’ for teams that don’t abide by the league’s standing rules for providing ‎’notice to the league office, their opponent, and the media immediately upon a determination that a player will not participate in a game due to rest.’”

Silver went on to say it is “unacceptable” for team owners to not be involved in major decision making when it comes to resting key players in big games. Especially when those decisions being made by the head coach and general manager can seriously impact “fans and business partners” as well as the NBA’s reputation.

It makes sense why the look would look to curb this trend. The Spurs have rested players in key games for several years now, but the tactic seems to be spreading.

Now, multiple teams are resting their best players even in meaningful games late in the season. The Warriors have a slim two-game lead over the Spurs for the top seed in the Western Conference Playoffs, and if they hadn’t rested four of its stars, they could have a three-game lead.

After Cleveland announced it was planning on sitting its three best players in a high-profile game on national television, Cavs’ GM David Griffin got a phone call from the league office.

LaVar Ball Rips Sons’ HS Coach For Playoff Loss: 'He wanted to do things his way'

“He wanted to do things his way.”

Chino Hills (Calif.) lost last week in the CIF State Southern Regional semifinals to Bishop Montgomery. Chino Hills, of course, is the school of LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball, the brothers of UCLA’s Lonzo Ball.

“Coach” LaVar Ball. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The team’s season ended short of a state final, and LaVar Ball wasn’t happy. In an interview on ESPN LA’s Morning Show with Keyshawn, Jorge and LZ, he fired off on Chino Hills head coach Stephan Gilling for being resistant.

LaVar said:

“Man, we were supposed to go to Sacramento, but that coach is hard-headed. He wanted to do things his way. If we would have gotten along, we would have been in the state title easy. But he’s trying to have a little resistance towards me. And I’m like, ‘Man, try and do it your way. That’s why you lost three games.’

“Because once he run and just play and when my son really wants to play for you, we’re gonna do good. But when you have any kind of resistance towards me, and you the head coach, it don’t work out that good. I already knew he was going to lose that game.”

Obviously, most coaches wouldn’t want to hand over control to a parent — no matter how talented the kids are. It sends the wrong message to the rest of the team, but LaVar has already shown that he will continue to talk about his sons at every opportunity. It’s a puzzling position to be in for a first-year high school coach.

And to be fair, Gilling is the same coach who had no problem with LaMelo playing zero defense in his 92-point performance. He definitely gave the Ball brothers freedom to play their games. Chino Hills finished its season at 30-3.

Tebow - Assigned To Low Class-A Mets Affiliate

The former quarterback turned outfielder will be reporting to the low Class-A affiliate of the Mets, the Columbia Fireflies. He will be playing in South Carolina, and general manager Sandy Alderson feels comfortable with his landing spot.

Tim Tebow – New York Mets Affiliate Minor League Outfielder. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

“Sending him to a full season club is what we hoped to be able to do,” Mets general manager Sandy Alderson told Newsday in an interview. “And based on what he’s done in spring training, and his whole body of work since last fall, we feel comfortable with him going to Columbia.”

Alderson also added that, despite some concerns with the 29-year-old’s abilities being a “stretch,” he was still convinced Tebow is prepared for the season.

Tebow has batted .235 in spring training so far, which was better than most expected and even hit several balls over the fence in batting practice. Newday’s Marc Carig also added in his article the team is unsure if Tebow will play in any more spring training big league games.

WWE's Jim Ross - Wife Suffers Skull Fractures In Vespa Crash

WWE legend Jim Ross says his wife was hit while riding her Vespa and suffered multiple skull fractures … and now he’s praying for a miracle.

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR 2K – (Left to Right) Jim Ross, Dolph Ziggler, Daniel Bryan, Rey Mysterio, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Paul Heyman, Mick Foley and Ric Flair. (Photo by Casey Rodgers/Invision for 2K/AP Images)

We spoke with Jim who tells us he’s absolutely devastated. He says Jan was riding her Vespa to the gym near their home in Oklahoma when she was struck by another vehicle. 

Jim says Jan was not wearing her helmet and struck her head, causing multiple skull fractures. She was rushed to a nearby hospital in critical condition where she underwent surgery. 

Jim says the situation is “touch and go” at the moment. Jim says he’s “hanging in there. It could be a tough day.”

Ross tweeted about the situation, “My wife Jan, my little angel, was hit while riding her Vespa & has multiple skull fractures. She’s in surgery now. We need a miracle.”

In essence, Rex Ryan’s ESPN Salary Going To Bills

Last week, we told you that former Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan was hired at ESPN to become a panelist on Sunday NFL Countdown. Well, it appears that if Ryan stays at the Worldwide Leader for the next three years, he won’t be seeing a pretty penny from his Bristol, CT employer.

Coach Rex Ryan speaks during a press conference. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Citing a source, Pro Football Talk reports that language in Ryan’s Bills contract applies to other coaching jobs as well as any broadcasting jobs he would gain until it expires in three years. That means that the Bills owners, Terry and Kim Pegula would be getting credit for Ryan’s pay up to his $5.5 million annual salary until 2019. It basically means ESPN’s salary is buying out Ryan’s Bills contract for the next three years.

It’s interesting language, but it also protects the Bills and prevents Ryan from double dipping while the contract is still in force.

But while he probably won’t be making a dime at ESPN, Ryan will be getting plenty of exposure for the entire season. And it also puts him in the spotlight in front of other clubs which may be looking for a coach in the future.