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Buccaneers OC to Jameis Winston: Don’t try so hard


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers know what they have in quarterback Jameis Winston as he heads into his fourth NFL season.

Although offensive coordinator Todd Monken lauded Winston’s leadership and physical attributes when speaking to reporters Thursday, he doesn’t want his quarterback to put additional pressure on himself.

That’s fine. That’s the way it is. OK, no one is going to blame [wide receiver] Mike Evans for why we haven’t made the playoffs. That’s part of it. We get that. That doesn’t mean we all don’t want to win.

Meanwhile, Winston comes off a season establishing career highs in completion percentage (63.8) and passer rating (92.2).

The quarterback has the confidence and physical tools to succeed, but Monken wants Winston to get on the field and play freely while understanding the team is behind him.

I think the main thing is, ‘OK, Jameis, be yourself. You don’t have to try so hard. The guys know naturally you’re our leader,’ Monken said.

“We like young receivers, so I’m assuming that’s the way we are going to keep going,” Rodgers said (via Zone Madison). “But he’s a talented player. He’s going to end up somewhere. If he ends up here, we’ll obviously welcome him with open arms.”

And when Manziel agreed to a two-year contract with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League over the weekend, even more took note, because let’s face it: quarterbacks with strong arms, athleticism and a proven ability to ad-lib on the fly don’t exactly grow on trees. “His game fits some of the things teams are doing now,” one NFL decision-maker told Yahoo Sports.

The league released a statement on that matter later Monday confirming Patricia and the Lions followed protocol.

Patricia was indicted by a grand jury on one count of aggravated sexual assault in 1996. He and a teammate on the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute football team were charged after allegedly bursting into a South Padre Island, Texas, hotel room where a woman was sleeping and sexually assaulting her.

Neither Patricia nor his teammate stood trial after the woman decided not to testify. The case was dismissed in 1997 and the police report from the reported incident has been thrown out.

Falcons sign Jason Hall, waive Terrence Magee


The Falcons signed rookie free agent Jason Hall on Tuesday. They waived running back Terrence Magee in a corresponding move.

Hall originally signed with the Seahawks as an undrafted college free agent. But Seattle waived him last week.

In four seasons at the University of Texas, Hall made 162 tackles, seven tackles for loss, five sacks, three interceptions and 10 pass breakups.

Rather than Super Bowl 55 in 2021 as originally planned, the big game will return to LA for Super Bowl 56 in 2022. It will mark the eighth time the LA area has hosted the Super Bowl, with LA Memorial Coliseum having hosted two Super Bowls and the Rose Bowl having hosted five.

The venue, currently being built in Inglewood, is expected to be a masterpiece, in part because it will be more than a stadium, as its name — LA Stadium and Entertainment District at Hollywood Park — suggests.

Richardson, a bust for the Browns and Colts in the NFL, had 48 carries for 259 yards and two touchdowns for the Roughriders last season.

Steve Wilks, Cardinals: Wilks is stepping into a rebuilding season, and because everyone in Arizona recognizes that, the Cardinals will deal more patience to their rookie coach.

Frank Reich, Colts: Indianapolis finally shook up the once semi-successful duo of Ryan Grigson and Chuck Pagano. The Colts now will practice patience with Chris Ballard and Reich.

Matt Patricia, Lions: Now that Patricia has been pried away from the Patriots, the Lions want to give him time to fix their defense and develop a more balanced offense.

Matt Nagy, Bears: Nagy, the first new coach hired in 2018, also has the coolest seat among the rookie coaches. Chicago thinks he can deliver for Mitchell Trubisky the way Doug Pederson did for Caron Wentz.ravens_149

Colts 2017 second-round pick Quincy Wilson admits he was out of shape


The Colts used their second-round draft pick on cornerback Quincy Wilson last season, and for most of the year they didn’t get much out of him. Although he was handed a starting job in Week Two, he was benched after that and didn’t see the field again until Week 12. The Colts’ coaches said he had to practice better in order to play.

Wilson said he believes he’s a better player now than he was a year ago. The Colts hope he’s one of many players who make them a better team than they were a year ago.

We think in terms of being able to loosen up the defense and keeping them honest so that we can have the running game there that people do respect. We don’t want them to be able to overplay that part of our game.”

The top receiver prosepcts, D.J. Moore and Calvin Ridley, were on the board when the Cowboys selected 19th overall. But Jerry Jones admitted a rookie receiver wasn’t going to replace Bryant as the team’s No. 1 receiver, at least not in 2018, so they opted to draft linebacker Leighton Vander Esch.

“One way or the other this year, we weren’t going to have the elite one receiver,” Jerry Jones said. “So, we didn’t see that we could get to an elite one receiver, even by taking one of those top two or three receivers and developing them. We were going to have to do it by committee or numbers, or by scheme. We were going to have to make the big plays, threaten speed, and do it by scheme. Well, I think this draft represented that.”

It gets better, or as the case may be worse. Per the report, the director of the squad allegedly told nine of the cheerleader that they would be serving as personal escorts for some of the male sponsors who had made the trip.

“They weren’t putting a gun to our heads, but it was mandatory for us to go,” one of the cheerleaders told the Times. “We weren’t asked, we were told. Other girls were devastated because we knew exactly what she was doing.”broncos_035_4e35b4c527903eb1-180x180

Derrick Johnson visiting the Raiders


The Raiders could be returning the favor for the Chiefs drafting their G.M.’s son.

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, former Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson is visiting the Raiders today.

The Chiefs released Johnson in February, and he insisted he wasn’t ready to retire. The 35-year-old hasn’t visited or met with anyone (that we’ve heard of) since, but the Raiders obviously feel like they could use some experience inside.

Here are other free agency notes we’re tracking:

The Cowboys could be close to bringing back defensive lineman Terrell McClain, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported. The big DT had a visit with Dallas this week and contract talks are escalating, Rapoport reported. McClain started 15 games for the Cowboys in 2016 before heading to the Redskins in free agency last season.

O’Donnell said he would sort out the misunderstanding Thursday.

A warrant was issued for Anderson’s arrest for failure to appear in court to face arraignment on a misdemeanor charge of reckless driving. Felony charges were dropped last month.

Carolina is suddenly in need of running back depth.

The Panthers placed Fozzy Whittaker on injured reserve with a torn ACL, the team announced Thursday. Whittaker suffered the injury Monday in a non-contact drill during Phase 2 of the offseason program.

Whittaker appeared in 12 games in 2017, totaling 18 yards rushing on seven carries and 47 yards receiving and a touchdown on five catches in his role as a third-down rusher.

His value, however, extends beyond the offense.

Eagles bring back Darren Sproles for another year


The Eagles finished the weekend with a small draft class, but a big addition.

Via Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports Philadelphia , the Eagles brought veteran running back Darren Sproles back for another year.

Sproles suffered a broken hand and a torn ACL last year, cutting his season short in September, but it was clear they wanted him back.

I’ve always looked forward to being a father and right now I’m not at my best because I cannot be a good father here in DC while my wife and son have to be in Denver, Franklin wrote.

Must Reads Related Articles: ‘Cobra Kai’ Isn’t Just for Fans of ‘The Karate Kid’ The Best and Funniest Dad Tweets From This Week Review: ‘Star Wars: Jedi Challenges’ Will Turn You (and Your Kids) Into Young Padawans Why Parents of Younger Kids Regret Showing Them ‘Star Wars’ The post NFL Lineman Orlando Franklin Retires to Focus on Being a Dad appeared first on Fatherly.

Jaguars executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin announced that the Jaguars have decided not to pick up defensive end Dante Fowler‘s contract. The option would have put them in line to pay Fowler $14.2 million next year, although Jacksonville could have rescinded it as long as Fowler was healthy enough to pass a physical.

An injury got Fowler’s pro career off on the wrong foot as he tore his ACL during a rookie minicamp practice shortly after being drafted. He returned to record four sacks in 16 games the next year and had eight to help the Jags to an AFC South title in 2017.

Couglin said that progression, which also included two sacks of Tom Brady in the AFC title game, has the Jaguars interested in finding another deal that would keep Fowler in the fold. Fowler could opt to bet on a continued rise leading into unrestricted free agency, although it remains to be seen how high he could push the ceiling with Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue also on hand at defensive end.

Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid working out together in isolation as NFL call eludes them


On a quiet field in Cal State East Bay, two of the biggest lightning rods in sports took their reps. For the last two days, former 49ers Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid have been practicing in East Bay to little fanfare, trying to stay in shape and wait for another NFL opportunity according to Cam Inman of The Mercury News. Neither player has signed an NFL contract since the anthem protests that kicked off a firestorm across the football and political worlds. Per the report, neither player was interested in talking to Inman.

Reid did, however, joke about catching passes from Kaepernick during their drills: I should have been a receiver. Neither Colin Kaepernick nor Eric Reid have signed a new contract with an NFL team since their anthem protests.

More What connection do Eric Reid and Colin Kaepernick have? Beyond the fact that they were teammates on the 49ers for four seasons, the two also protested together and then for one another. Reid had previously speculated that his support for Kaepernick would lead to a similar experience in free agency and so far, it has.

Reid, caught off guard by the line of questioning, wasn’t willing to make a commitment on the spot. Last month, Reid said he’s currently not planning to kneel or otherwise demonstrate during the anthem.

But Reid, who is considering other options for bringing attention to societal issues he considers to be important, hasn’t made any final decisions, and he wasn’t willing to do so at the direct request and behest of Brown. Florio added that Bengals coach Marvin Lewis later asked Reid if he wanted to clarify what he’d told Brown. Reid declined to do so.

He brings leadership that I think we don’t have on this team; he knows how to deal with adversity, Devin McCourty said Tuesday, per ESPN.

Sometimes we get in a routine — we’ve won a lot of football games — and it’s always good to hear a different perspective of what it takes so you’re not kind of getting worn down or thinking this is too much. You get a perspective from him going 0-16. He always tells me, ‘Last year, worst year ever.’ I think hearing that motivates you and lets you know you’re doing the right things that push you.

New England saw a slight exodus of defensive backs in the last year, watching Logan Ryan and Malcolm Butler depart for Tennessee in consecutive offseasons. But with that considered, the Patriots also have a group of veterans — Devin McCourty, Stephon Gilmore and Patrick Chung — returning with experience.

That trio doesn’t have a ton of history with losing, though, which is good and is also where the other McCourty comes in. Not quite the best detail for which to be valued, but valuable nonetheless. Add in the envy built up from watching one’s twin brother make annual postseason appearances, and we have a nice little motivational stew bubbling in Bill Belichick’s kettle. sharks-045

Bryant McKinnie Thinks Teams Will Find a New Reason Not Sign Colin Kaepernick


Bryant McKinnie Thinks Teams Will Find a New Reason Not Sign Colin Kaepernick More Former NFL offensive lineman Bryant McKinnie told TMZ Sports he believes NFL teams will continue manufacturing reasons for not signing quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Being too far removed from the NFL, teams will now use that as an excuse, he said.

New Orleans Saints Have a Top Offense and Defense in the NFL More NFL rosters are coming into focus now after the completion of the 2018 NFL Draft, and analysts around the NFL are starting to grade the caliber of each NFL team’s roster. Bleacher Report gave separate rankings for the offense and defense of each NFL team. On offense, the Saints came in incredibly high, with the #3 overall ranked offense in the NFL, #2 in the NFC: Pete Carmichael has served as coordinator since 2009 and will head the offense again in 2018 with a 39-year-old Drew Brees under center. A year ago, Brees got to relax a bit, attempting 536 passes over 16 games, his first dip below the 600-mark since—get this—2009.

German got a ton of help from second baseman Gleyber Torres. To end the fifth inning, Torres ranged far to his left and into shallow right field. After sliding, Torres popped up and threw out Tyler Naquin at first base.

Five months after getting dismissed from the Rutgers football team for violating team rules, former Scarlet Knights wide receiver Ahmir Mitchell is apparently looking to transfer to another school.

The one-time, four-star recruit has had a tumultuous college football career, arriving at Rutgers in September 2016 after serving a suspension at Michigan during his freshman year.

Now, Mitchell will apparently look to revive his football career at another school just not a team on Rutgers’ schedule in 2018 .

Mitchell tweeted out a picture of a letter from Rutgers that serves as a scholarship release (a Rutgers official confirmed the letter is legit). Dated April 30, it grants all institutions, except Big Ten programs, Texas State, Buffalo and Kansas (Rutgers’ three 2018 non-conference foes), permission to contact Mitchell regarding his interest in transferring. tigers_055-115x115