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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Jerry Jones wants Dez Bryant with the Cowboys next season

Jerry Jones wants Dez Bryant back with the Cowboys next season, but does he want the receiver back with a $16.5 million cap figure?

The reason we don’t discuss contract is that it is implies there is an issue with the contract, Jones said Saturday, via Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. That is not fair to imply that there is anything until we sit down and announce we have done something one way or another. It takes two. It takes him and us to do anything with his contract. I’m going to leave it at that. You have asked me as I sit here do you want him on the team next year, and my answer is yes.

The Cowboys owner has made no secret of his affection for Bryant. Bryant has made no secret of his desire to play his entire career in Dallas. But the sides likely will have to find a middle ground to continue their relationship.

The Vikings checked off their two biggest needs in free agency by signing quarterback Kirk Cousins and defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson. Fortifying the middle of the offensive line is logical to maximize Cousins’ effectiveness.

Nate Solder left a 6’8, 325-pound-sized hole in the Patriots’ lineup when he decided to sign with the Giants and become the NFL’s highest-paid offensive lineman.

Solder’s exorbitant deal pointed to a pair of issues. First, NFL teams are far more comfortable paying established veterans instead of waiting to draft incoming blockers, many of whom may not be ready to slide into lineups right away. Second, this year’s offensive tackle class appears to be poor overall.

Eric Ebron has signed with the Colts after being released by the Lions on March 14. The tight end’s two-year deal has a maximum value of $15 million, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Slauson, 32, suffered a torn biceps in a Week 7 game against the Denver Broncos last year, forcing him to the injured reserve list and ending his season.

In his first season with the Chargers in 2016, Slauson solidified the center spot by starting all 16 games and playing 964 snaps there. The Chargers moved him to his more natural position of left guard last year, where he made seven starts and played 402 snaps on offense.

Then came the signing of Jordy Nelson, and after that, the team started to bring in players who can help them next season, and in the future. However, as players began to sign on the dotted line, two very evident truths began to rear their ugly heads.

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Make it 600 goals and counting for Alex Ovechkin, and give the Washington Capitals two more points for the tough playoff race in the Eastern Conference.

Ovechkin scored twice in another historic performance and Evgeny Kuznetsov had the overtime winner as the Capitals returned to first place by beating the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 on Monday night.

The 32-year-old Ovechkin scored during a 5-on-3 power play in the first period and then put back a rebound past Connor Hellebuyck for No. 600 in the second. The Russian winger became the 20th player and fourth-fastest in NHL history to the milestone and is on pace to lead the league in goals for the seventh time with 42 on the season.

Since he signed a two-year deal in December, the reliever has been pushing Jake Arrieta to follow him to Philadelphia. Mission accomplished.

Arrieta and the Phillies agreed Sunday to a $75 million, three-year contract, a deal that could be worth up to $135 million over five seasons.

This is an exciting day for the Phillies organization and our fans, general manager Matt Klentak said on Monday. Jake is among the best pitchers in baseball and his list of accomplishments is exceptional. He is an elite competitor, a tireless worker and a winner, and I am confident that he will be a great addition to our talented young team and the city of Philadelphia.

Best prospect fits: My top-ranked quarterback is Wyoming’s Josh Allen, but that doesn’t mean he’s No. 1 on general manager John Dorsey’s board. There’s still a lot of time for the Browns to continue their evaluations, and Allen’s pro day is March 23. Penn State’s Saquon Barkley is the best back in this class, and he’s the No. 1 prospect on my Big Board. He’s a game-changer who can help out a young quarterback. Alabama’s Minkah Fitzpatrick and Ohio State’s Denzel Ward are the best defensive backs in a deep class. — Kiper

What’s next after moving on from Cousins: Signing Cousins has not been a realistic option for the Bills, who will have about $32 million in cap space in 2018 once their trade of Tyrod Taylor becomes official later this week. They are more likely to find their quarterback of the future in the draft. Signing a short-term starter in free agency is also possible. — Mike Rodak, ESPN Bills reporter

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After two years on the Rams’ franchise tag, Johnson finally has the opportunity to hit the market.

He’ll be arguably the best cover corner available, which means a big payday, even if he has never made a Pro Bowl. — Seifert

The Tigers aren’t in position to start trading the prospects they’ve already gathered for their burgeoning rebuild. Even a season of soft contention would likely see Detroit remain in sell mode, though it might make it that much harder to swing a big deal involving Fulmer.

Given his age, production and position, catcher J.T. Realmuto should bring back another welcome jolt for the Marlins’ rebuild if (or when) he is finally traded.

I list Anderson as the prospect, but in reality, it’s exceedingly unlikely that Miami would move a cost-controlled player for a veteran contract. But if Miami is close to the wild card and one pitcher seems like he could make the difference, you never know.

The agreement is worth about $5 million, according to ESPN and multiple reports, and is pending a physical.

The agreement with Walker at that price will raise the Yankees’ projected luxury tax payroll to approximately $182 million, about $15 million below the luxury tax threshold.

The move could signal that highly touted prospect Gleyber Torres, who has been competing for the Yankees’ starting second-base job, will start the season in the minors.

Torres, who recently was rated as baseball’s No. 5 overall prospect by ESPN’s Keith Law, is hitting 3-for-23 this spring. He has been competing with Tyler Wade and Ronald Torreyes for the open spot at second base.

He is among the victims of a historically slow free-agent market and will take a huge cut from the $17.2 million he earned in 2017, when he accepted a qualifying offer from the Mets.

Harden is expected to play tonight though, and he will likely return to his usual lead role. Since Paul needs to also remain fresh for the playoffs, it seems natural to me that he may be rested a bit more than usual in this game, especially with Harden back at the reigns.

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The Spurs find themselves in this foreign territory because they’ve been frankly terrible for the past six weeks.

I’m therefore likely to wait as long as possible for the right catcher to fall into my lap at the proper price, and in a shallow enough format, such as our ESPN 10-team standard with one starting catcher, I’ll dabble with the idea of making my catcher my last pick and streaming the position in-season.

The approach here depends on your draft. Entering standard-sized one-catcher leagues, my plan is to wait forever on filling the position, but I’m open to adjusting based on the flow. More specifically, if Perez falls as a result of everyone following the I’m not paying for a catcher mantra, I’ll happily invest. I’ve yet to see any of the top three catchers fall to a point where I’m ready to pounce, so my strategy is simple: Perez at a discount or Mike Zunino late. — Kyle Soppe

Not at any time in any year did we mention, ‘This is where we are in the playoffs’ or ‘This is where we want to be,’ Popovich said pregame. We just don’t do that. … You don’t think they know where we’re at? Do you think they’re idiots? C’mon.

The Spurs are 3-11 since the start of February, giving them fewer wins than every NBA team except for the Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks, Suns and Memphis Grizzlies.

It’s a lot to ask Leonard, who has been limited to nine games this season due to right quadriceps tendinopathy and a recovery timetable that has frustrated the Spurs, to come to the rescue. But a former Finals MVP and two-time Defensive Player of the Year with a pair of top-five MVP finishes is a pretty rare species. And certainly not one even the NBA’s best team would want to see to start the playoffs.

Stars coach Ken Hitchcock said Radulov, who also played three seasons in Nashville for the Predators, has performed well against his old teams. He played against the Canadiens Nov. 21 in Dallas.

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