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NFL Preseason Begins

The past week has been chock full of NFL gossip, innuendo, and drama. Former New York Giants receiver Plaxico Burress made news again when he accepted a plea bargain negotiated with New York state prosecutors. Burress accidentally shot himself at a nightclub in 2008 and was charged with criminal possession of an unregistered firearm.

The plea agreement, lessened to ‘attempted criminal possession of a firearm’ carries a mandatory 20-month sentence. Immediately following the breaking news of the plea agreement, commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Burress indefinitely.

The question “Will Michael Vick play in the NFL again?” was quickly answered when he signed a deal with the Philadelphia Eagles. Vick is slated as 3rd string quarterback behind Donovan McNabb. Despite looming threats from animal rights groups and other protestors, Philadelphia agreed to sign Vick. At this point, no sponsors for the Eagles have rescinded sponsorship due to the signing.

With assistance from new-found mentor Tony Dungy, Vick has made it clear that he is back to play professional football and to continue to make amends for his actions involving dog fighting. He appeared this week on ’60-Minutes’ in an interview with James Brown, asking for forgiveness and making promises regarding his future as a role model and an athlete.

After keeping all on pins and needles with another saga of “Will he or won’t he?,” Favre (gasp) shocked few when he signed a two-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings and (once again) announced he is making an NFL comeback. Rumors had been circulating for days, despite Favre’s recent assertion that he was not physically prepared to play again at the NFL level. Green #4 jerseys continue to burn in the city of Green Bay, Wisconsin, as the Packers (and the Packer Backers) prepare to meet Favre twice this season.

Tampa Bay cornerback Aqib Talib was arrested this week after being charged with simple battery and resisting arrest after allegedly attacking a cab driver and being arrested by the Florida Highway Patrol. The Buccaneers general manager, Mark Dominik, has held off on announcing any team penalty for Talib, pending a decision from Commissioner Goodell.

Speculation continues after Oakland Raiders head coach Tom Cable reportedly struck and broke the jaw of an assistant coach, Randy Hanson. The team and the NFL are currently investigating the incident before handing down any decision or punishment, and no official statement has been made as to the allegations.

With most of the news happening off the field, Super Bowl-champion quarterback Tom Brady’s on-field return to the New England Patriots is going nearly unnoticed. After sitting out 2008-2009 with a knee injury that required multiple surgeries, Brady has played in both preseason games, including the Pats’ losing game against Cincinnati this week. Brady was unshaken after taking a tough hit and passed for 57 yards, while WIDE RECEIVER Chad Ochocinco kicked the extra point after the Bengals' only touchdown to assist in the win over New England.

Week 1 begins in just under 3 weeks, when Tennessee meets Pittsburgh at Heinz Field for the season opener.

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