NFL Meetings Football

Mark Davis, owner of the Las Vegas Raiders, leaves the NFL owners meeting in New York on Wednesday. Adam Hunger/Associated Press

NEW YORK — Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis says he doesn’t believe the team was targeted in the leaking of emails that led to the resignation of Coach Jon Gruden.

Speaking after the NFL owners meetings ended Wednesday, Davis also acknowledged the team has reached a settlement with Gruden, who received a 10-year, $100 million contract to return to coach the team in 2018. He did not reveal terms of the settlement.

Asked about any recent conversations with Gruden, whose racist, homophobic and misogynistic comments were uncovered during an investigating of workplace misconduct at the Washington Football Team, Davis said: “He’s hurt, he’s really hurt. I understand that. But he understands the ramifications of what he said.”

“We all have our demons in life,” Davis added, “and we have to understand that.”

Davis wondered about the timing of the leaking of the emails, and said he was not given a reason for delays in his team being told about them. The NFL has not and will not be releasing documents from the independent investigation of the Washington Football Team, saying the league is protecting the identities of those who testified. Gruden’s emails were to Bruce Allen, the former president of the Washington franchise.

Davis would like the league to release a written report of the investigation.

“I would like to see some of the things that were charged,” he said.

He also gave a lukewarm endorsement of Raiders General Manager Mike Mayock, who was hired by Gruden.

“Mike Mayock is the GM of the Raiders,” the owner said. “I will not speak for the future, right now he’s the GM of the Raiders.”

PANTHERS: Carolina engaged in trade talks with the Houston Texans about Deshaun Watson over the past few days, but have since pulled themselves out, two sources with direct knowledge told The Charlotte Observer.

Among the Panthers’ concerns was Watson’s legal situation, and how much the Texans wanted for him, one source said. So for now, they are no longer involved but could re-engage at a later date. The NFL’s trade deadline is Nov. 2. It is unclear how much the Texans wanted from the Panthers, but it likely included at least three first-round draft picks and more.

Watson, who is involved in 22 different civil lawsuits from women alleging that he exhibited inappropriate behavior with multiple massage therapists, has not played in a single game this season.

While NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Tuesday night that the NFL, which is investigating the allegations against Watson, does not have enough information to put him on the commissioner’s exempt list, trading for him still has its risks.

PACKERS: Defensive coordinator Joe Barry won’t attend Thursday night’s game at Arizona because of COVID-19 protocols.

The Packers had been preparing for this likelihood ever since Barry tested positive. They made it official Wednesday and said Barry’s responsibilities would be divided between defensive backs coach Jerry Gray and inside linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti.

Barry’s absence only increases the challenge facing the Packers (6-1) as they put their six-game winning streak at stake against the unbeaten Cardinals (7-0). Green Bay placed 2020 All-Pro receiver Davante Adams and fellow wideout Allen Lazard on the reserve/COVID-19 list earlier this week.

JETS: Mike White will make his first NFL start Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals in place of the injured Zach Wilson.

White filled in for Wilson last Sunday after the rookie quarterback injured his right knee in New York’s 54-13 loss at New England. Wilson has a sprained posterior cruciate ligament and will be sidelined at least two weeks.

BROWNS: One game on the sideline was too much for Baker Mayfield. The Browns’ starting quarterback has no plans to repeat it.

Mayfield tested his injured left shoulder by practicing Wednesday, and if all goes well, he intends to play Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“I think similar to last week, see what I can do and take it day by day,” Mayfield said following the team’s pre-practice walk-through.

He was asked if it’s possible he’ll play on Halloween against the Browns’ dreaded rival.

“Absolutely,” he said.

Mayfield had to sit out last Thursday’s victory – snapping his streak of 53 consecutive starts – over the Denver Broncos with a torn labrum and broken bone in his non-throwing shoulder, an injury he made worse by continuing to play since hurting it in Week 2.

TEXANS: Houston Texans chairman and CEO Cal McNair has apologized for referring to the novel coronavirus as the “China virus” during the team’s charity golf tournament in May.

The phrase, used frequently by former president Donald Trump, was considered by many to be insensitive to Asians because it placed blame on China for the COVID-19 pandemic. The first recorded cases of COVID-19 occurred in Wuhan, China, in late 2019.

Bally Sports reported Tuesday that McNair used the phrase while addressing more than 100 participants in the golf tournament before they began play, blaming the virus for the event’s cancellation the previous year.

“My comments at the event last May included an inappropriate choice of words,” McNair said in a statement to Bally Sports, which the Texans confirmed to The Associated Press. “I immediately apologized to people who approached me then and I apologize again now. I know how important it is to choose my words carefully. I would never want to offend anyone.”


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