Giants GM expresses interest in Dez Bryant after releasing Brandon Marshall

It just makes too much sense for the New York Giants. Following the release of wide receiver Brandon Marshall earlier in the day, general manager Dave Gettleman took to the media and seemingly indicated that the team is interested in free agent pass catcher Dez Bryant.

We already know that Bryant wants to remain in the NFC East after being released by the Dallas Cowboys earlier in the month. Up to this point, no team within the division had shown any real interest in signing the former Pro Bowl receiver. That has now changed.

The final count on the whistles: 30 fouls for the Heat, 26 for the 76ers, and three technicals each as well.

But just like in Game 1, Philadelphia pulled away after halftime and now it’s the Heat back on the ropes.

76ers: Philadelphia had a pair of shooters fouled beyond the 3-point line in the first quarter: Robert Covington made two of his three free throws, and Belinelli turned his chance into a four-point play…. Embiid missed his first five shots, then put his finger to his lips in the universal shush sound to the crowd after getting his first one to fall.

Darnold, he’s like a cow on ice, Dan Shonka told the New York Post. His footwork is all over the place. His feet in the pocket are embarrassing. When you turn the ball over [35 times] in 26 games, you’re intellectually dishonest when you’re talking about bringing in Sam Darnold as your next savior. This guy opens his hands over the ball, it just drops out when he’s in the pocket. If you look at his film, they talk about his accuracy.
Giants 7-round projection | Sam Darnold, Saquon Barkley or Bradley Chubb at No. 2?

Shonka scouted for National Football Scouting, the Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, the Kansas City Chiefs during his career and is now the general manager of Ourlads.

In two seasons as a starter at USC, Darnold completed 64.9 percent of his passes for 7,229 yards with 57 touchdowns and 22 interceptions on the way to a 153.7 passer rating.

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With the earlier release of the Miami Dolphins’ updated uniforms, Thursday’s theme quickly became one of simplicity.

Jacksonville dumped gold everywhere except in its logo, relying on its very 1990s pairing of dominant colors. It’s a union that has grown from trendy to traditional, punctuated by a lack of accents on most of the uniform.

What remains is the neck accents, which are sharper and have an increased aesthetically pleasing effect with less going on elsewhere. The Jags shield has also been replaced with the team’s primary logo on the left chest.

Perhaps the coolest addition to the Jags’ new duds? The socks.

Griffin is one of the 22 players invited to attend the draft in Dallas, and he said he’s most grateful he gets to have my family there, seeing them fitted for suits and dresses. You only get drafted once.

I’ll be there with these first-round picks who will be worried about when they get picked and where. As long as I do somewhere, I’m grateful. I’m not worried about when or where.

Since his move to linebacker, Griffin finished his junior and senior seasons with a total of 166 tackles and 18.5 sacks. He was named as an All-AAC selection the past two years and was a 2017 second-team All-America.

nalysis: The Lions are in the midst of overhauling their linebacking corps and how much more work needs to be done remains to be seen.

Tahir Whitehead and Paul Worrilow are gone. In their stead, the team added Devon Kennard and Christian Jones via free agency. The Lions also brought in Jonathan Freeny on the cheap, a depth option who could contribute on special teams.

Paired with Jarrad Davis, last season’s first-round pick, the group appears to be bigger, if nothing else.

What’s clear is new Lions coach Matt Patricia places a premium on linebackers, dating back to his time coaching the position in New England. So even though the depth chart appears chock-full following free agency, and three-linebacker packages are on the decline in the pass-happy NFL, we simply cannot rule out further additions in the draft, even as early as the first round.

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Saints pick up Andrus Peat option

The Saints have invested heavily in a quarterback, and they want to make sure to protect him.

According to Field Yates of ESPN, the Saints have picked up the fifth-year option on offensive lineman Andrus Peat, keeping him under contract through 2019.

The 13th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the tackle from Stanford bounced around a bit his first two years, but settled in at left guard and became a steady player for them.

Spilling into the third day, less traditional body types come into play. The Lions have shown plenty of interest in Poona Ford during the pre-draft process, despite the former Texas Longhorn measuring just 5-foot-11 at the combine.

It could be argued defensive tackle was one of the Lions’ biggest needs heading into free agency. The loss of Ngata and addition of Williams represent treading water, at best. This draft offers a real opportunity for the Lions to improve a below-average area of the roster.

With the Wizards falling behind by as much as 22 points in the first quarter, Beal would go on to finish with a plus-minus of -34. According to ESPN Stats and Information research, that is the worst plus-minus by any Wizards player in the past 20 postseasons.

But it doesn’t take stats to see that Beal was out of his normal smooth-shooting rhythm, especially when the game was on the line. Though he shot 8-for-17 and scored 19 points in Game 1, he went 3-for-11 from behind the arc combined in the first two games in Toronto. In the fourth quarters of this series so far, the Raptors have held Beal to a total of two points on 1-for-7 shooting, including 0-for-4 from 3-point range.

I really won’t know what to say, that is up to Brad to tell you, Wizards point guard John Wall said when asked about what might be wearing on Beal. He’s been our MVP this year, he’s held it down a lot while I have been out. He is not going to make excuses about playing the most minutes [of his career] or being fatigued.

We have to do a better job, and me as a point guard, of getting him involved and trying to find him shots to make it easier on him. And I know he will be very tough on himself; he is definitely going to get in the gym and get up extra shots and find ways to be more aggressive. We definitely need his scoring and his ability to create for others to make our team better and compete against this team.

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Jaire Alexander visits Titans

The Titans used a first-round pick on cornerback Adoree Jackson in 2017, and they added cornerback Malcolm Butler in free agency. That’s not keeping them from considering the possibility of using another first-round pick on a cornerback in 2018.

Via Paul Kuharsky, Louisville cornerback Jaire Alexander visited the Titans on Wednesday.

Over the last few years we’ve seen some dynamic changes in the helmet industry, both from new innovators as well as new helmets and models from incumbent companies, said Jeff Miller, the NFL’s senior vice president of health and safety policy.

The purpose of the continuation to rank helmets and the joint decision with the players’ association to prohibit is to increase that movement into better performing helmets. We are encouraged this is an important step for better player safety.

The Houston Texans were next with 4-to-1 odds, followed by the Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints and Washington Redskins at 5-to-1. The Giants were listed at 10-to-1. Bryant, who was scheduled to make $12.5 million in 2018 and count $16.5 million against salary cap, met with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones on Friday amid speculation that he would be asked to take a pay cut in the wake of declining production the past three seasons. The 29-year-old Bryant had a team-leading 69 receptions for 838 yards and six touchdowns with the Cowboys in 2017.

He has gone a career-worst 23 regular-season games without a 100-yard performance. Since signing a five-year, $70 million contract in 2015, Bryant has failed to record a 1,000-yard season or reel in more than eight touchdown receptions in a season.

Leading off with our quality road trip, to go on the road given all the strategic advantages and sweep…. To go out and take four of six was cool, said Kapler. There wasn’t one specific reason. We pitched deep into games. We got some strategic hits. Our guys were gritty, demonstrated a lot of conviction in their pitches for us and produced a good road trip for us.

The Phillies are 10-7 through the first 17 games. That would be considered a quality start to the season and not indicative of some of the turmoil the Phillies went through on the opening road trip.

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Anthony Barr ruined the Packers’ season in Week 6 when he drove Aaron Rodgers into the turf, a hit that resulted in a broken clavicle for the Packers star.

Rodgers later explained to Conan O’Brien(!) the aftermath of the play that cost him all but one of Green Bay’s final 10 games.

I looked over at him as I walked off the field, Rodgers said. Cameras caught me saying something to him, but what they missed was him (giving me the) finger (and the)’suck-it’ sign.

Let’s be honest here: Sam Bradford probably shouldn’t be too fired up for revenge against anybody. No quarterback in the NFL this decade has made more money, and he’s pulled it off without a single playoff start to his ledger. But perhaps one can understand why Bradford might be miffed with a Vikings team that decided to shell out huge dollars for Kirk Cousins rather than retain the quarterback who started their 2017 with a scintillating performance against the Saints in Week 1.

Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News noted after the deal that New England had an affinity for Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield.

The rumors are generating additional interest after ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported longtime Patriots starter Tom Brady has not committed to playing in 2018.

If the organization is concerned Brady may be coming near the end of his legendary career, the talk about it trading up for a QB would make a lot more sense. Before now, it felt more like a smokescreen since the AFC East rival New York Jets and Buffalo Bills are both in the market to upgrade at the position.

Rosen completed 60.9 percent of his throws for 9,340 yards with 59 touchdowns and 26 interceptions across 30 games at UCLA.

He’s been competing with Mayfield, Sam Darnold (USC), Josh Allen (Wyoming), Lamar Jackson (Louisville) and Mason Rudolph (Oklahoma State) for positioning within the loaded quarterback group. He should come off the board during the first half of Round 1, potentially inside the top five.

I was like,’I don’t know how that ball’s getting around like that,’ Cohen said. But I know it’s going to be a good thing because we have as many weapons as we do, to know that everybody’s still going to be able to get the ball and get the yards, it’s a wonderful thing.

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Report: Bears, Dolphins talking Jordan Howard-Jarvis Landry trade

The talk that the Bears could trade for Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry is heating up, and a big name has emerged as the potential return: Jordan Howard.

According to John Mullin of NBC Chicago, the Bears and Dolphins have had conversations about the Dolphins sending Landry, the 11th overall pick and a third-round pick to Chicago in exchange for Howard and the eighth overall pick.

Bridgwater has essentially missed the past two seasons — he threw two passes in one game last year — after suffering a serious knee injury in 2016 training camp. He thinks he can still thrive in the NFL , though he declined to say how healthy his knee is right now.

I’m not going to give a percentage or anything, but I do believe that I’m capable of performing at a high level, he said Wednesday during a conference call with reporters.

Hooper hopes to increase his workload in the red zone, which was a problem across the board for the Falcons in 2018, and said he isn’t worried about the team looking for outside help at the position after releasing Levine Toilolo.

It’s not my decision to make, Hooper said, via ESPN.com. All I can control at the end of the day is just improving every single day. If the organization wants to bring in a free agent or draft somebody, whatever their plan is, that’s their prerogative. It’s the organization. I’m sure they have the best intentions in mind in dealing with personnel.

Improving the offensive output in Year Two with offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian will involve more than a bigger role for Hooper, but there’s no bad place to start the work necessary to realize that improvement.

For me, I’m excited just about the opportunity just to be able to now share the field with Dev and to be able to do something we grew up loving, Jason said, via Mark Daniels of the Providence Journal . With this opportunity, you think back to being 10 years old waking up early to head to a Pop Warner game. Now, at this point, I’m just excited about being able to go through offseason workouts with him along my side and be able to catch up and see how much we’ve grown since the last time.

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Tyrann Mathieu ready to learn Cardinals’ plans for him

Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu wants to know what Arizona intends to do with him.

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports tweeted Based on everything I’ve heard this week at the combine would be very surprised if Tyrann Mathieu is back in Arizona next season, prompting Mathieu to reply Friday night, Is anybody gonna tell me anything?

College, I was fortunate to play for a coach that came from the NFL [Bill O’Brien] who had coached receivers in the NFL, he said. And he was an offensive coordinator, so he was an offensive-minded guy who wanted to help me elevate my game to that. So, I mean, he kind of set for me the standards in what I would need to do to be successful in this league. And I know route-running is a big part of it. I know for me, I’m 24 years old right now, reaching the peak of my athleticism, but that’s not something that I want to just rely on the rest of my career. I also want to be athletic, but I want to be polished and a technician as well.

The Bears ‘ offseason has been about providing Trubisky weapons in Year 2 after sending him on a mission with a water pistol in 2017. No addition was bigger than Robinson. The receiver knows it’s his job to make the young quarterback’s life easier.

According to Chick Hernandez of NBC Sports Washington, Baker visited the Bengals yesterday and took a physical, and is expected to end up there.

James entered the 2017 campaign as a possible top-five talent even after suffering a season-ending meniscus tear in the second game of the 2016 season. Instead of building on that momentum, the Florida State coaching staff played him closer to the line of scrimmage as a hybrid linebacker-defensive back.

What’s best for the team isn’t always best for the individual, though, and James showed everyone why during the predraft process. The 6’3, 215-pound defender ran a 4.47-second 40-yard dash, posted a 40-inch vertical leap and added an 11-foot broad jump at the combine.

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It’s the last thing Jackson should be trying to handle personally.

A bizarre conflict has emerged at the Scouting Combine, with multiple reports from NFL Network suggesting that teams asked quarterback Lamar Jackson to participate in receiver drills and Jackson saying that never happened.

The NFLN reports come from unnamed sources. Jackson, the ultimate source, says it never happened. Given that Jackson represents himself, it’s not as if the request was made to someone else and not related to Jackson.

At its core, this could simply be nothing more than an effort by an agent who represents another quarterback vying to be taken as early as possible in the draft. What better way to do that than to raise questions about Jackson’s draft fortunes, either by stoking the he should play receiver fire or by creating the impression that he’s not being honest?

It also could be #fakenews planted by a team that would like to see Jackson plunge, just far enough so that that team can draft him.

Either way, Jackson needs someone on his side who knows how to put out this weird little fire quickly.

It’s a smart approach by Rodgers, who has two years left on his current deal at an average of $21 million per year. Cousins likely will nudge the highest paid ever bar a little higher than its current mark of $27.5 million, and Rodgers will then have a target for his next deal.

The most intriguing aspect (at least for me) of the next Aaron Rodgers deal will be whether Rodgers surpasses Cousins’ average in new money or total value at signing. Guys like Cousins and Garoppolo are signing contracts from scratch, so their new money will match the total value. Rodgers could easily become the highest-paid player in new money, even if the total value of the deal at signing comes in under the Garoppolo or Cousins numbers.

Rodgers should insist in being the highest paid in total value at signing, which would entail throwing out the last two years of the contract and doing a deal from scratch.

Former NFL running back Ricky Williams is staying on brand. The 40-year-old – who initially retired from the NFL in 2004 after he was rumored to have tested positive for marijuana for a third time in under a year – has started his own brand of cannabis called Real Wellness (Ricky’s Stickies must have been taken).

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Why Giants or Jets aren’t likely destinations for ‘Honey Badger’

The Cardinals released one of the team’s most popular players, safety Tyrann Mathieu, on Wednesday after the two sides couldn’t rework his contract.

Mathieu was due for $18.75 million of his contract to be guaranteed when the league year officially begins. By cutting him, Arizona will save close to $5 million in cap space.

I’ve never made a secret that Tyrann has always had a special place in my heart and always will,Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said in a statement announcing the release. While we all understand this is a part of the business, that certainly doesn’t make it any easier. We all wish Tyrann nothing but continued success in his career and beyond.

Following his release, Mathieu exchanged Twitter posts with supporters.

One of them, Bro you know I’m a savage. I hate the mushy stuff, but I’m gonna miss everyone in AZ. Who’s going to annoy you now?

Bennett, 32, was recently acquired from the Seahawks along with a seventh-round pick for a fifth-round pick and wide receiver Marcus Johnson. He joins a deep defensive line group in Philadelphia that includes defensive ends Brandon Graham, Chris Long and Derek Barnett, as well as tackles Fletcher Cox, Tim Jernigan and Haloti Ngata.

I think it can be one of the greatest. I think we can have one of the greatest defensive lines to ever play the game if we approach the game like every single way, just go out there and keep doing what they’re doing and just finding a way to just add and keep showing how many great players [we have]. And I think a great defensive line is about the rotation. It’s kind of like Golden State, you want to be able to have those guys that can come in and shoot and shoot and score every time, Bennett said.

Given the number of players vying for snaps, as well as defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz’s preference to rotate his linemen, Bennett’s playing time is likely to dip — he played 931 snaps for Seattle last year en route to an 8?-sack campaign, while no member of the Eagles’ line played more than 663 snaps last year.

But when he does get on the field, he’ll be able to hunt in Schwartz’s attack scheme.

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New Eagles DE Michael Bennett: ‘It’s going to be fun’ chasing down NFC East QBs

Michael Bennett wasted no time taking aim at the NFC East quarterbacks he’ll soon be chasing.

I know Eli Manning is probably watching this and thinking … yes, I’m coming. I know Dak [Prescott] is watching this like, ‘Yeah, he’s coming.’ Yeah, I am, Bennett said at his introductory news conference Monday as a member of the Eagles. And Alex Smith, he knows he can’t run from me. I told him in the Pro Bowl.

It’s definitely going to be a great season, and it’s going to be fun to be out here and be able to chase quarterbacks.

I think in Seattle, it’s a little bit more responsibility because we played a little bit different defense — still played with great defensive linemen; Cliff Avril, one of the best players to ever play the game, I had so many great players around me who were some of the best players to ever play — and so here, this defense is just another opportunity to line up on tight ends. And honestly, I don’t think there’s a tight end in the NFL that can block me, he said before launching into his bit about the quarterbacks in the division.

So it’s definitely going to be a great season, it’s going to be fun to be out here and be able to chase quarterbacks [not just on] third down, it’s going to be on second down and first down. It’s just going to be fun.

It’s unlikely, though, he will land with the Jets or Giants, despite having ties to both teams.

Jets coach Todd Bowles was the Cardinals’ defensive coordinator during Mathieu’s first two seasons in the NFL, and Mathieu is in a relationship with Bowles’ daughter, a former LSU cheerleader who has a child with Mathieu. The Jets, however, added cornerback Trumaine Johnson on a five-year, $72.5 million deal.

New Giants defensive coordinator James Bettcher held the same position with the Cardinals the past three seasons. The Giants, however, likely can’t afford Mathieu.

Mathieu became a star in the Arizona secondary and a fiery leader of the defense after being selected in the third round of the 2013 draft following a troubled college career at LSU. He was an All-Pro in 2015, when he had five interceptions and 17 passes defensed.

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