NFL Notebook: Williams Jr. returns to MNF, Chiefs release Maclin

Denny Medley—X02835
May 23

Williams Jr. returns to ‘MNF’ introCountry star Hank Williams Jr. will be bringing his iconic song back to “Monday Night Football” this fall, six years after ESPN parted ways with him following controversial remarks about President Barack Obama.Williams will debut a new version of “All My Rowdy Friends Are Here on Monday Night” — including his trademark opening, “Are you ready for some football?” — before the first MNF game of the season on Sept. 11 between the New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings.”I think it’s a return to our past in that it’s such an iconic song associated with football,” ESPN senior vice president of events and studio production Stephanie Druley told USA Today. “It was the original. It belongs to Monday Night Football. It really is about returning to what fans know. It’s a Monday night party, and that’s what we’re all hoping to get back to.Chiefs part with WR Maclin in salary-cap move, Smith ‘stunned’The Kansas City Chiefs released wide receiver Jeremy Maclin on Friday.Maclin spent the past two seasons in Kansas City under head coach Andy Reid, who also was on the sideline during the wideout’s time with the Philadelphia Eagles.”These decisions are never easy, especially with a player like Jeremy who I’ve grown close with on and off the football field over the years,” Reid said in a statement. “I have a lot of respect for the way he goes about his business and how he handles himself as a professional. I wish him the best of luck moving forward.”The move saved the Chiefs $10 million in cap space.Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith said he was “shocked” when he heard the news of wide receiver Jeremy Maclin’s release.”Jeremy is a really good friend, an amazing teammate, so still kind of just processing that he’s not going to be in there with us, a guy that’s done a lot for us the last two years, a guy I’ve grown really close to,” Smith told the Kansas City Star on Friday.Videos show Jets’ Williams defusing disputeNew York Jets defensive lineman Leonard Williams was shown appearing to break up a dispute between a man thought to be teammate Darron Lee and an unidentified woman in two videos that surfaced Sunday.The incident occurred at the Governors Ball Music Festival in New York on Saturday. The two 10-second videos were posted by Twitter user Gunnerpunner, as he was leaving the event on Randall’s Island early Sunday morning.In the footage, the 6-foot-5, 300-pound Williams forcibly removed the man, who was thought to be Lee. Lee, who appeared to be involved in an altercation, was pushed several feet away from the woman.Carroll: Seahawks not planning to sign QB KaepernickAfter visiting with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick last weekend, the Seattle Seahawks are standing pat for the time being.Kaepernick hasn’t received much attention on the free-agent market despite being a fairly productive starter with the 49ers over the last few seasons. His visit to Seattle was his first this offseason after he opted out of his contract with the 49ers in March.”It was another opportunity for us to keep abreast of what’s available to help our team,” Carroll said. “… Colin has been a fantastic football player and he’s going to continue to be. At this time we didn’t do anything with it but we know where he is and who he is and we understand him much more so. He’s a starter in this league. We have a starter, but he’s a starter in this league and I can’t imagine that someone won’t give him a chance to play.”Seahawks take issue with reported rift between Sherman, WilsonHead coach Pete Carroll and quarterback Russell Wilson attempted to downplay discussions of turmoil within the Seattle Seahawks’ locker room after a recent article described infighting and friction between members of the offense and defense.An ESPN The Magazine story noted in detail the friction between cornerback Richard Sherman and Russell Wilson over perceived favoritism of the quarterback.Sherman said publicly last season that the interception Wilson threw at the goal line in Super Bowl XLIX was still an issue with him as he criticized the offense for throwing from the 1-yard line in a game against the Los Angeles Rams in December.Sherman was made available for trade by the team this offseason, but it didn’t appear that Seattle got anywhere close to receiving an offer considered reasonable in exchange for the All-Pro cornerback.While the article detailed some of the issues that led to Sherman’s multiple blowups at members of the coaching staff last year and the root of some of the friction, Carroll insisted that most of what was chronicled stemmed from situations long since past.”We’re kind of living as a family in this situation,” Carroll said. “These guys have grown up with us as football players and in that, we go through a lot of changes. There’s a lot of things that happen, there’s a lot of challenges in all directions, not just for one but for all of our guys.Giants WR Lewis arrested on charge of driving impairedNew York Giants wide receiver Roger Lewis was arrested over the weekend in Ohio and charged with operating a vehicle while impaired, police confirmed Monday.Police said Lewis was pulled over for speeding and tinted windows early Sunday morning in Reynoldsburg, which is just outside Columbus. Officers smelled marijuana and said Lewis demonstrated signs of intoxication, according to media reports.A Giants spokesman said the team is aware of the incident but will have no further comment.