Thursday's NFL: Marshawn Lynch was asleep, car damaged before arrest

Associated Press

Las Vegas — Former NFL running back Marshawn Lynch was asleep and smelled of alcohol when Las Vegas police found him in his damaged sports car and arrested him on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, according to an arrest report made public Thursday.

Lynch’s attorneys, David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld, responded in a statement that Lynch’s car “was safely parked and not in operation” when police arrived early Tuesday and a driving while intoxicated charge won’t stick.

Police in Las Vegas say former NFL running back Marshawn Lynch was asleep and smelled of alcohol when he was found in his damaged sports car this week and arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.

“Marshawn was not pulled over for a DUI,” the statement said. “We are confident that when all evidence is presented, this will not be a DUI under Nevada law.”

The arresting officer, Kevin Barker, reported that Lynch’s black 2020 Shelby GT500 was “undriveable,” with one missing front wheel and the rear driver’s side and front passenger wheels badly damaged.

The arrest report said investigators found markings suggesting the vehicle “hit sidewalk areas” before stopping in an industrial section of downtown Las Vegas not far from Main Street.

“The driver was asleep behind the wheel with the driver’s door open leaning back in the seat,” the report said, “with bloodshot, watery eyes and had one shoe on and one shoe off.”

The 7:30 a.m. Tuesday arrest came the morning after the Seattle Seahawks — the team for which Lynch played most of his 12 NFL seasons — announced that Lynch had been hired as a broadcast special correspondent.

Lynch also played for the Buffalo Bills and Oakland Raiders.

The arrest report said Lynch, 36, was uncooperative with officers and fell asleep several times during questioning. Jail officers “had to use a restraint chair to force a blood draw” after a judge issued a warrant, the report said.

Lynch was later released from Las Vegas City Jail pending a Dec. 7 court date in Las Vegas Municipal Court.

Results of his blood test were not immediately made public. Nevada law bans driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08% or more.

Court records show that Lynch entered a no-contest plea to a misdemeanor vehicle parking charge and fined $750 in April in a case that saw charges of failing to report or remain at the scene of an accident dismissed.

Schonfeld, who represented Lynch in that case, declined Thursday to comment about it.

Lynch's attorneys said in their statement that he “appreciates and is thankful for everyone’s concern and support.”

Lynch had 10,413 career rushing yards and 85 rushing touchdowns from 2007-19 and was chosen for the Pro Bowl five times. He won a Super Bowl with the Seahawks in 2013.

Vikings keep Cousins out of practice due to illness

Eagan, Minn. — Minnesota Vikings quarterback and former Michigan State standout Kirk Cousins was absent from practice Thursday because of an illness, coach Kevin O'Connell said.

Cousins was sent home after reporting he wasn't feeling well. O'Connell did not specify the symptoms. He confirmed the Vikings were evaluating Cousins for COVID-19.

Minnesota's first exhibition game is Sunday at Las Vegas, so it's possible Cousins would skip the trip considering established starters are not expected to play much, if at all. The coaches were still determining their playing time plan for the game, O'Connell said, but those decisions won't be finalized until Saturday before the flight.

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) jokes with teammates at the NFL football team's practice facility in Eagan, Minn., Friday, Aug. 5, 2022.

Cousins was forced to sit out five days of training camp in 2021 due to the NFL's rules for close contacts to known cases of COVID-19. He was in league protocols for unvaccinated players last season. After testing positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 31, Cousins had to miss the game at Green Bay.

The league suspended all coronavirus protocols in March. The current recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is for people who test positive to isolate from others for at least five days. Isolation can end, the CDC says, if they are fever-free for 24 hours without medication and experiencing improvement in symptoms.

More: Tom Brady taking 11-day break from Bucs for personal reasons

Jets signing OT Duane Brown to 2-year deal

New York — The New York Jets and offensive tackle Duane Brown agreed to terms on a two-year contract Thursday, a person with direct knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press

The move came three days after the Jets learned they likely lost Mekhi Becton for the season because of a knee injury suffered in practice.

The person spoke to The AP on condition of anonymity because the team had not announced the signing. ESPN first reported the agreement between the Jets and Brown. NFL Network reported the deal is worth $22 million.

Brown, who turns 37 on Aug. 30, visited the Jets and attended their scrimmage at MetLife Stadium last Saturday night. Coach Robert Saleh acknowledged there was “mutual interest,” and Becton's injury made a deal even more likely.

Seattle Seahawks offensive lineman Duane Brown (76) looks on during pregame warmups before an NFL football game against the Houston Texans on Dec. 12, 2021, in Houston. The New York Jets and offensive tackle Duane Brown agreed to terms on a two-year contract on Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022, a person with direct knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press.

Becton suffered a chip fracture to his kneecap during the second play of 11-on-11 team drills Monday. The initial prognosis was optimistic, but an MRI later revealed more damage to the knee than first expected.

After Becton injured the same knee in the season opener last year, George Fant slid from right tackle to the left side and played well. Fant retained the starting spot at left tackle entering camp, with Becton moving over to the right side for the first time.

More: What to watch for in the Detroit Lions' preseason opener against the Atlanta Falcons

Saleh praised Fant’s play in Becton’s absence and said the versatile veteran was “much more comfortable” playing left tackle. But the addition of Brown — Fant’s former teammate in Seattle — means Fant could again move to the right side.

Brown, who made his fifth Pro Bowl appearance last season, has played left tackle his entire NFL career.

The Jets were working Chuma Edoga and rookie Max Mitchell at right tackle in Becton’s absence. Conor McDermott was also considered to be in the mix, but he will be sidelined at least another week with a lower ankle injury.

Brown was a first-round pick by Houston out of Virginia Tech in 2008. He was selected an All-Pro in 2012 and made three straight Pro Bowls from 2012-14 before being traded to Seattle during the 2017 season.

More: Lions notes: From unwanted to popular pickup, John Cominsky finds fit in Detroit

Panthers propose to pay $82M over failed practice facility

Rock Hill, S.C. — Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper’s real estate company has proposed to pay more than $82 million to creditors over an abandoned practice facility project in Rock Hill under a new plan proposed Thursday.

The plan would require approval from courts and creditors. The development of the Panthers’ state-of-the-art $800 million practice facility — which would have served as the team's new headquarters — fell apart after highly-publicized disputes between Tepper and the City of Rock Hill and York County.

GT Real Estate Holdings, a Delaware limited liability company, announced it has filed a comprehensive plan of reorganization in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

Under the terms of the plan, GTRE would resolve claims by paying $60.5 million in cash funded into a settlement trust for the benefit of contractors, subcontractors and general unsecured creditors, $21.1 million to York County and $20 million or more to the City of Rock Hill.

DT Sports Holding, LLC, a Tepper entity, previously funded $20 million in debtor-in-possession financing.

Tepper’s real estate company, GTRE, filled for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on June 2. York County announced a few days later it was suing Tepper for at least $21 million.

Among Tepper’s companies named in the York County lawsuit are DT Sports Holding, LLC, Appaloosa Management LP and Tepper Sports Holding, Inc. York County officials previously said they filed the lawsuit to protect the county and its taxpayers and recover damages caused by the defendants.

The complaint said Tepper and his companies took $21 million from a special penny sales tax intended to expand a road in York County and used the money for what the county’s lawyers called a “failed vanity project.”

Tepper is one of the NFL's richest owners. He invested more than $175 million into the half-built practice facility, which is located about 25 miles south of the team’s current downtown stadium and headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, before construction shut down.

“This plan reflects GTRE’s promise to expeditiously resolve all claims and make payments to its creditors, including to York County and the City of Rock Hill," according to a statement released by GT Real Estate Holdings. "GTRE now has a clear path to emerge from bankruptcy made possible by substantial commitments from DT Sports Holding, which has made available to GTRE more than $82 million in cash in an effort to bring this process to an orderly and equitable conclusion.

"GTRE believes that the plan is in the best interests of its creditors and anticipates that a hearing to consider approval of the plan will occur in October of this year.”

The Associated Press has reached out to officials for the City of Rock Hill and York County, but neither have responded to the proposed plan.