Arian Foster signs deal with Miami

Arian Foster signed a one-year deal with the Miami Dolphins on Monday, saying he is starting “a new chapter of my life.”

The deal is worth $1.5 million and includes incentives that could bring its total value to a maximum of $3.5 million, a league source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Foster’s agent, Mike McCartney, announced the news Monday afternoon when he tweeted congratulations to the former Houston Texans star.

Foster, a four-time Pro Bowl running back, discussed why he joined the Dolphins later in the day on a conference call.

“They’re a young team, a hungry team,” Foster said after the Dolphins officially announced the signing. “[They have] a lot of talent on both sides of the ball. I think they have the right head coach and the right people in the front office. They’re all committed to winning there.”

Foster will join a Dolphins backfield that is in flux after Lamar Miller, Miami’s jerseys leading rusher last season, signed wholesale team jerseys with the Texans. Jay Ajayi and rookie Kenyan Drake currently are atop the Dolphins’ depth chart at running back.

The Texans did not offer Foster a pay cut before releasing him on March 3. Foster, who has a history with injuries, turns 30 in August.

The Texans were set to spend nearly $9 million in cap space on Foster’s salary, but Texans general manager Rick Smith said the decision to release Foster would not be based on his salary.

“The time that I spent in Houston was an amazing time,” Foster said. “I’m grateful for the people that I met, my family that I made there and my family that lives there now. I got nothing but love for the people and fans of Houston. This is a new chapter of my life.”

Foster played in only four games last season, hampered by two significant injuries. He suffered a torn groin in training camp that caused him to miss three games. He returned for four games, but then suffered a torn right Achilles tendon in the final five minutes against the Dolphins on Oct. 25.

Since becoming the Texans’ starter in 2010, Foster has had a torn meniscus, multiple hamstring injuries, a knee injury, a back injury that required surgery, a minor groin injury, a major groin injury and a torn Achilles tendon. In that time, Foster has carried the ball an average of 20 times per game, the highest average in the NFL.

Foster went to the Texans as an undrafted free agent in 2009. He spent most of that season on the practice squad, wholesale nfl jerseys being elevated to the active roster in November.

The 2010 season marked his breakout year. Foster rushed 33 times for 231 yards in a season­-opening win over the Indianapolis Colts, sealing his role as the Texans’ starting running back. He won the rushing title that cheap nfl jerseys year, gaining 1,616 yards on 327 carries, and went to his first of four Pro Bowls after that season.

Painkiller suit the latest accusation against NFL

After years of litigation, a federal appeals court approved a settlement this spring between the NFL and the roughly 20,000 ex-players who contest the league was negligent in its handling of concussions. Though the attorneys of almost 70 of those former players requested a rehearing, it was later denied. Their last option is a long shot: convincing the Supreme Court to review the case. Most likely, one of the most high-profile legal cases involving the league will soon be put to rest — just in time for perhaps an even more damning lawsuit against the NFL to possibly reach the courts.

The suit, which was filed by more than 1,500 ex-players in May 2015, alleges that all 32 NFL teams peddled powerful painkillers to players while lying about the drugs’ aftereffects. A federal judge denied a motion last Friday to dismiss the case, meaning the discovery phase of the trial will begin.

A similar lawsuit wasn’t allowed to proceed in 2014, because Judge William Alsup of the Northern District of California, the same justice who’s presiding over this current case, said the collective bargaining agreement was the proper forum to resolve the dispute. But this time around, instead of suing the league, a new group of plaintiffs — including Dallas Cowboys Hall of Fame defensive back Mel Renfro and the widow of former Minnesota Vikings fullback Chuck Evans — have decided to name each club individually.

The accusations that are levied in the suit are jarring. According to the Washington Post, the players allege that several former head coaches and team employees pressured them to take the field even when they were in serious pain. Some of the most notable former coaches who are mentioned are Don Shula (Miami Dolphins), Wayne Fontes (Detroit Lions), Mike Tice (Vikings) and Mike Holmgren (Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks).

Ever since Dr. Bennett Omalu diagnosed the first case of CTE in a deceased NFL player (former Pittsburgh Steelers center Mike Webster) in 2002, the league has been fighting a barrage of reports that claim it attempted to conceal the truth about the connection between brain trauma and football for decades. In 2006, for example, the NFL’s medical director said Omalu’s findings about the link between CTE and playing football were “completely wrong.”

The league’s stance has become a little more nuanced since then. Although NFL commissioner Roger Goodell equated the danger of playing football to sitting on the couch in February, NFL executive vice president Jeff Miller admitted there is a connection between football and neurodegenerative diseases a month later. Soon after, Goodell didn’t contradict Miller’s statement.

“A lot of the research is still in its infancy, but we’re trying to find ways to accelerate that, and that’s part of what we’re doing in investing in additional research,” Goodell said at the NFL owners meeting. “But we’re also not waiting for the research. We’re going out and making the changes to our game.”

Even when the NFL seemingly puts forth a goodwill gesture on this issue, a strong whiff of apparent duplicity follows. Four years ago, the NFL issued a $30 million grant to the National Institute of Health in order to advance the organization’s head trauma and brain injury research. But in May, members of Congress issued a 91-page report that says the NFL reneged funding for a concussion study that will seek to diagnose CTE in living patients. According to the document, the league attempted to redirect that money to members of its brain injury committee. The NFL has renounced the report.

At this point, the NFL has lost the benefit of the doubt when it comes to allegations about the league’s deceit regarding to its handling of player health. The painkiller lawsuit is the latest, and maybe strongest, example why.