Seau conclusion-leapers, please give it a rest

SEAU

Amateur psychoanalysts were out of control Thursday as to why police believe Junior Seau killed himself the day before.

(7:40 pm EDT UPDATE: Medical examiner’s office rules it was a suicide)

That the superstar NFL linebacker shot himself in the chest, and not the head, was seen by conclusion-leapers as Seau’s obvious intention to spare his brain.

Why? So it could be analyzed post-mortem by brain-injury experts, in their quest to gain more knowledge about the damaging effects pro football has on its participants.

Fact is, why Seau decided to kill himself, let alone why he chose that particular means, remains a mystery. People who know nothing about depression and suicide sure sounded sure, though.

So, it was comforting to read the report from TMZ.com Thursday afternoon, citing Seau family sources as saying Seau never complained about any concussions, and “never really spoke about the ongoing legal between the NFL and retired players, who claim the league concealed critical information about the long-term effects of concussions.”

But conspiracy theorists spotted a trend, because former Bears safety Dave Duerson killed himself last year, explaining in a suicide note that he shot himself in the chest because he wanted to contribute his brain to football players brain-bank study.

Such speculation is bull, one “adamant” Seau family source told TMZ.

“If Junior was passionate about preserving his brain, he would’ve mentioned something to his family. The family is still unsure why Junior would want to end his own life.”

And if no suicide note is ever found, then the family — and all of us — will never know.

I realize we all crave instant answers to everything anymore. Sometimes, though, there just aren’t any to find. And to speculate wildly can be unfair. Especially to a grieving family.

 

SUGGS VOWS ’12 RETURN: The NFL defensive player of the year in 2011 might not play a down in 2012.

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs confirmed Thursday he tore his left Achilles tendon while working out Saturday in Arizona.

But, he underscored in an ESPN interview, it was only a partial tear.

He vowed to return this fall. Earlier, he tweeted, “To all my loyal and true fans, know that everything (that) can and needs to be done, WILL BE DONE!!!!!!  WILL BE IN A RAVENS UNIFORM IN 2012!!”

Reports said he would have surgery to repair the Achilles next week.

Sugg rang up 14 sacks last season at outside linebacker, and is one of the most dominant defenders in the game. His absence is a huge blow to the Ravens.

What’s more, the nine-year veteran is 29, and a year off would be a big setback.

Yes, that sound you heard was ruthless Steelers fans high-fiving.

 

TWENTY-TIM TEBOW: New Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano says Tim Tebow is “one hell of a player” and will take anywhere from one to 20 snaps per game.

In late March, when the Jets acquired Tebow from Denver, head coach Rex Ryan said Tim Terribliffic would get “up to 20 snaps per game.”

Evidently no matter what happens after 20 snaps, Tebow’s not getting a 21st.

 

NFL’S BOUNTY EVIDENCE ‘SOLID’: The NFL hired a former federal prosecutor to review its investigators’ evidence and rulings in the Saints bounty scandal.

On Friday, Mary Jo White said she concluded that the evidence is substantive and detailed, and the player punishments commissioner Roger Goodell handed down Wednesday are appropriate.

“There’s no doubt how solid the evidence is,” White told NFL Network and NFL.com. “In my life as a prosecutor I’ve had a lot less evidence for conviction.”

Jonathan Vilma is suspended for the entire season, Anthony Hargrove for eight games, Will Smith for four and Scott Fujita for three. All four players are appealing.

 

ROOKIES SUIT UP: All teams except Houston will hold a three-day rookies camp either this weekend or next — for draftees and undrafted rookie free agents alike. Dallas, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Miami, Minnesota, New York Jets, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay and Washington hold theirs this weekend, starting Friday.

 

BREES STANDOFF CONTINUES: Despite Saints owner Tom Benson‘s assurance three weeks ago that a new contract for Drew Brees “will be done shortly,” nothing appears to be happening.

The Saints franchise-tagged Brees for this season. Unless the two sides come agree on a long-term deal by July 16, Brees will have to sign the exclusive tag if he wants to play in 2012.
ProFootballTalk reports that the salary for a tagged QB this year is $16.371 million — the average of the the top five QB salaries in ’12.

And as PFT points out, if the Saints choose to tag Brees again in each of the next two seasons — which they can do, at huge set increases — then Brees would earn $19.645 million next year (120% of his ’12 salary), and $28.289 million in 2014 (144% of his ’13 salary).

That would add up to $64.3 million over three years, which at an average of $21-million-plus would make Brees the highest-paid QB in the game.

So what’s Brees’ beef, you ask? That franchise-tag amounts are not guaranteed in advance.

That’s why the 33-year-old wants a long-term deal (which he feels the team owes him after all he’s done for it), and why the Saints probably don’t.

 

VIKINGS STADIUM UPDATE: The bill in the Minnesota legislature that would commit state money to help build the Vikes a new stadium will be voted on by the House of Representatives on Monday.

If the bill passes there, it’s off to the Senate. Then, if senators approve, to a joint House/Senate committee for final tinkering, then to Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton for final approval.

Unless the bill becomes law, start getting used to the sound of this team name — the Los Angeles Vikings.

 

COMINGS AND GOINGS: Ryan Grant, former Packers RB, was mulling an offer from NFC North rival the Lions … The Pats cut Tiquan Underwood, a backup WR … The Bears waived safety Winston Venable.

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