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Thread: 2018 nfl football sneak peek at teams/predictions/news/notes/picks etc. !

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    Default 2018 nfl football sneak peek at teams/predictions/news/notes/picks etc. !

    NFL notebook: Patriots' Edelman apologizes
    June 9, 2018


    New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman, reportedly facing a four-game suspension by the NFL, apologized via social media on Friday.

    Edelman did not acknowledge violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances in the posting on his Instagram account.

    "I am very sorry -- I don't know what happened," Edelman wrote. "I've taken many, many tests obviously over the course of my career, and nothing like this has ever happened. I apologize to the Kraft family, my coaches, teammates and fans.

    "As this matter is being appealed, I can't say any more, but no matter what, I will be ready to play and pursue another championship with our team and for Patriots fans around the world."

    Edelman, who missed the entire 2017 season after suffering a torn ACL in an exhibition game in August, is appealing the suspension.

    If the punishment is upheld by the NFL, Edelmen will miss the Patriots' season opener against the Houston Texans on Sept. 9, road games versus the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 16 and Detroit Lions on Sept. 23, as well as a home matchup with the Miami Dolphins on Sept. 30.

    --Steve Young and Terrell Owens spent four seasons as teammates with the San Francisco 49ers in the late 1990s.

    Young is hoping to make one connection with Owens, hoping to change the bombastic wide receiver's decision to boycott this year's Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.

    A member of the 2005 Hall of Fame class, Young said he thinks Owens is making a huge mistake by declining his invitation to be enshrined on Aug. 4 in Canton, Ohio.

    "The damage to the relationship could be permanent. You don't want that," Young said on ESPN, per the San Jose Mercury News. "So I beg him to reconsider because the longevity of all the people that want to respect him and that he should respect as well. Forget about, 'I'm mad at the voters, I'm mad at the system.' The damage that could be done by not going could overwhelm him over a period of time."

    Owens publicly declined his invitation to be part of the Class of 2018, releasing a statement on Thursday that he planned to "celebrate what will be one of the most memorable days of my life, elsewhere."

    --Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel threw a touchdown pass in his second CFL preseason game Saturday as a backup with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

    Manziel, who is behind Jeremiah Masoli, came into the game against the Montreal Alouettes in the second quarter down 14-7. The Tiger-Cats eventually won 30-15.

    Manziel, who completed 12 of 20 passes for 88 yards with the TD, also took a late hit in the game.

    The Tiger-Cats open the regular season next Saturday at Calgary. Manziel is expected to play behind Masoli.

    --Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has been a no-show for all this offseason's voluntary organized team activities but is expected to attend next week's mandatory minicamp, according to ESPN.

    Citing a source, ESPN reported that Pierre-Paul will be at the team's minicamp Tuesday through Thursday and he has been training on his own four hours per day.

    The Buccaneers acquired Pierre-Paul from the New York Giants this offseason for a third-round draft pick and the two teams traded fourth-round selections. He is set to make $12.5 million this season.

    --Free-agent safety T.J. Ward no longer faces chargers on marijuana possession.

    The state of Florida on Thursday dropped all charges against Ward, according to joebucsfan.com, citing Hillsborough County clerk records.

    Ward was arrested in early January and charged with a felony count of possession of marijuana, as well as a misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

    Ward, a two-time Pro Bowl selection during his first seven seasons with the Cleveland Browns and Broncos, has eight interceptions, 8.5 sacks and 590 tackles in 107 games.

    --Miami Dolphins rookie tight end Mike Gesicki is struggling as he makes the transition from the college to professional game.

    Gesicki, Miami's second-round pick (No. 42 overall) in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft, has "looked lost at times" during organized team activities, the Miami Herald reported.

    The Dolphins have high hopes for Gesicki, who had 57 receptions for nine touchdowns -- both career highs -- during his senior season at Penn State.

    Miami released starting tight end Julius Thomas in March, leaving veterans A.J. Derby and MarQueis Gray standing in the path of Gesicki, who has received most of his reps with the backups during workouts.

    --Deshaun Watson continues to make progress from a knee injury that ended his rookie season with the Houston Texans.

    The second-year quarterback has looked sharp during organized team activities and, according to the Houston Chronicle, the only noticeable sign that the knee was surgically repaired is the brace that he's wearing.

    Watson provided an electrifying spark to the offense before he was injured. The Texans scored at least 33 points in each of his last five starts before he sustained the knee injury during practice on Nov. 2.

    While Houston obviously wants to be careful with its emerging star, the question is whether the team will attempt to curtail Watson's running in order to protect the knee. Watson also suffered a torn ACL as a freshman at Clemson.

    --The Los Angeles Rams signed all 11 of their 2018 draft picks, the team announced Friday.

    The signings came one day after the final day of organized team activities and four days before the Rams conduct their mandatory minicamp starting next Tuesday.

    Los Angeles did not have a selection in either of the first two rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft, using them in separate trades the past two seasons to acquire wide receivers Brandin Cooks and Sammy Watson.

    The two highest picks were spent to bolster the offensive line. Tackle Joseph Noteboom was selected in the third round and center Brian Allen was the first of the team's fourth-round picks.

    --Former NFL offensive lineman Kenyatta Jones died of cardiac arrest, the Tampa Bay Times reported Saturday. He was 39.

    Jones played 21 games for the New England Patriots and the Washington Redskins. He was a fourth-round draft pick of the Patriots in 2001.

    Jones, who was 6 feet 3 and 307 pounds while playing in the NFL, was the first player drafted out of South Florida.

    "Just a fun-loving guy, man, like a gentle giant," former South Florida teammate Keith Williams told the Tampa Bay Times. "But on that field, he took care of business."
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    NFC North Odds Outlook
    June 11, 2018

    2018 NFC North Division Odds

    The Minnesota Vikings are favored to win the NFC North in 2018, while the Green Bay Packers are the second choice. The NFC North is considered one of the best divisions in the NFL. Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com called the NFC North the second-strongest division in the NFL behind the NFC South.

    The Vikings changed quarterbacks in the off-season, bringing in Kirk Cousins for Case Keenum, the Packers still have Aaron Rodgers, the Lions have a new head coach in Matt Patricia, and the Bears could be one of the most improved teams in the NFL.

    Let’s look at the odds, each team and predictions.

    Odds to Win NFC North

    Minnesota Vikings -105
    Green Bay Packers +140
    Detroit Lions +615
    Chicago Bears +1110


    The Vikings have virtually everyone back, so if Cousins is an upgrade from Keenum, it is hard not to like the Vikings. Rodgers is still considered one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and Green Bay finally got rid of Dom Capers as defensive coordinator, so they should be improved. Detroit has a new head coach in Matt Patricia who knows how to win, so they could contend this season. The Bears brought in a lot of new players and they are expected to be a serious contender in the division this season.

    Minnesota Vikings -105

    The Vikings went 13-3 last season and did virtually everything well until losing in the NFC Championship Game to Philadelphia. Most everyone returns this season except for Case Keenum who was replaced by Kirk Cousins. The Vikings also get a healthy Dalvin Cook who returns from injury. It will be hard for Minnesota to win 13 games again, but if Cook returns healthy and if Cousins plays well, the Vikings are going to be really good.

    Green Bay Packers +140

    The Packers are all about Aaron Rodgers, as when he is healthy and on the field they are very good, but when he is injured they are an also ran. The Packers lost 8 of their last 11 games last season following an injury to Rodgers. The Packers have done nothing recently to prepare a backup quarterback and that lack of vision cost GM Ted Thompson his job. Former director of player personnel, Brian Gutekunst takes over as the new GM. The Packers made a number of changes in the off-season, as they fired Capers and replaced him with Mike Pettine, let Jordy Nelson get away, and brought in Jimmy Graham.

    Detroit Lions +615

    The Lions finished 9-7 last season and that was really disappointing for a team that was expected to make the playoffs. The Lions fired Jim Caldwell and replaced him with Matt Patricia. We really don’t know what to expect out of Patricia as a head coach, other than he will probably focus on defense. The Lions still have Jim Bob Cooter as their offensive coordinator and Matthew Stafford is still their quarterback. Detroit added LeGarrette Blount and rookie Kerryon Johnson to upgrade the backfield and they brought in Luke Willson to upgrade the tight end position.

    Chicago Bears +1110

    The Bears will begin the second season under quarterback Mitch Trubisky and it should be an improvement over his rookie year. The Bears went 5-11 last season, but they could challenge for a winning record in 2018. Gone is John Fox who simply can’t coach quarterbacks, and in is Matt Nagy who did a nice job in Kansas City with Alex Smith. The Bears brought in some weapons for Trubisky, as they signed Allen Robinson and Trey Burton and drafted Anthony Miller.

    2018 NFC North Predictions

    It is hard to get past Minnesota as the top choice to win this division, as they are better on both sides of the ball than any other team in the NFC North, but there is a caveat to that statement. The Vikings need Cousins to play as well as Keenum did last season if they are going to win the division in 2018. If Cousins plays well then Minnesota should have enough to get past a Green Bay team, even with a healthy Aaron Rodgers. The Bears might be able to do enough to challenge Detroit for third place in the division.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Future Bets - AFC East
    June 12, 2018


    Is New England's Reign Of Terror Going to Continue?

    Last week I began looking at the upcoming 2018 NFL season by diving into the NFC South futures odds and backing the Atlanta Falcons to make some noise this year.

    Today, it's time to look at the AFC East division and whether or not Atlanta's Super Bowl opponent from two years ago – the New England Patriots – can continue their reign of terror within the division. The Patriots have won the AFC East nine straight years and oddsmakers have already made them heavy favorites to make it 10 straight as their price to win this year currently sits at -550.

    But is there a case to be made that New England might start to stumble this year and fail to make it 10 in a row?

    Odds to Win AFC East
    New England Patriots (-550)
    Buffalo Bills (+800)
    Miami Dolphins (+1200)
    New York Jets (+1200)

    Make no mistake about it, the Patriots deserve to be heavy favorites to win this division again as they are a team that everyone will continue to support as long as Tom Brady is under center (no matter how old he gets), and in all likelihood will claim another division crown this year. A -550 price tag implies that New England will win this division 84% of the time, but I'm here to suggest that number is a little too high to begin with, and in the wacky an crazy world of the NFL where we see plenty of teams go from worst to first in every other division (for the most part), 2018 may be the time we finally see a changing of the card in the AFC East.

    To start, I understand that historical trends don't have much to do with the players on the field this year, but it never hurts to look back at history to help dissect and predict the future. And historically, as a Super Bowl “loser” this year, the Patriots aren't exactly in a great scenario to claim another division crown.

    Since realignment in 2002, Super Bowl “losers” from the previous year have gone on to win their respective division just five times in 16 tries. That works out to just 31% of the time, and it's only happened once in the previous five years (Denver won AFC West in 2014). With the -550 odds suggesting 84% of the time the Patriots win the AFC East, and history suggesting it happens just 31% of the time, something's got to give right?

    The problem here though is the fact that the other three teams in the division are looked at in being well behind New England in terms of talent compared to what the Patriots have, and that's never really been the case in the past with the other Super Bowl “losers” The last two were Atlanta and Carolina, both NFC South teams, and that division has been filled with talent through all four of their teams in recent years. Prior to that, it was Seattle and San Francisco who failed to win their division after losing the Super Bowl and it was those two teams (along with Arizona in 2015) that were battling it out with one another to try and dethrone the reigning division champion.

    On paper, Buffalo, Miami, and especially the New York Jets, don't have the prospective outlook to be the ones to dethrone the Patriots this year, but again you never know. The Jets aren't even worth consideration in this conversation so you can throw them out of the mix, but Miami and Buffalo are conversation-worthy at the bare minimum. Both teams are looking to start embattled QB's that have quite a bit of pressure on their shoulders this year to perform (for various reasons) in Ryan Tannehill (Miami) and A.J McCarron (Buffalo), and should a bounce or two go their way, (and probably a significant injury or two on the New England side of things), those bettors that are inclined to take some risks with longshots, might want to consider them as an option.

    Of the two, I think you've got to prefer the Bills (+800) as the oddsmakers do, as they still have the bulk of that great defense that led them back to the playoffs a year ago, and do have enough weapons around McCarron to help him succeed. Buffalo is likely going to be a smash-mouth, run-first type of offense this year that will more resemble a team from McCarron's old division (AFC North), controlling the pace of play with their ground attack and strong defense. That style has frustrated and beaten New England before in recent years, so who's to say it couldn't be the beginning of the end for the Tom Brady era in New England this year?

    Through the air, McCarron is itching to prove he's a guy that can start in this league with this being his first significant opportunity to do so, but he's already got to look over his shoulder with Buffalo drafting Josh Allen. Dealing with pressure and high expectations isn't exactly new for McCarron and with Allen seemingly waiting in the wings, the desire to prove himself – which could work for or against McCarron in terms of performance – will be there from the start. We haven't really seen McCarron react to that type of ordeal in the NFL, but he did start a playoff game for the Bengals a few years ago that he should have won (18-16 loss when Cincinnati choked the game away with a fumble and very stupid penalties on defense in the final minutes), and he did come from Alabama where he led that program to back-to-back championships in 2012-13. That type of resume will have McCarron ready to prove himself as a starter if you ask me, and whether or not he can take it all the way and win a division crown remains to be seen. But +800 odds is a nice little prize for bettors willing to have even a little bit of faith he can do so.

    Getting back to New England, there were rumblings of dysfunction within the organization leading up to last year's Super Bowl, and at various times over the off-season we've heard others talk about the negative sides of playing for Bill Belichick and the Patriots. They'll be without WR Julian Edelman for the first four games of the year, and who knows how healthy Rob Gronkowski stays this season. Brady isn't getting any younger, and one bad hit could put him on the shelf, and if that does indeed happen, then who knows what could happen in the AFC East the rest of the year. A 1st place schedule on top of all that could make this year the toughest one for New England since they last failed to win the division (2008 when Brady got hurt Week 1 and was lost for the year), and holding a ticket of +800 or better in your pocket if all that does happen would be a nice little reward.

    All in all, I'm not so sure taking a small piece of Buffalo (and even Miami to an extent with Tannehill's need to perform in 2018 to keep his job) to win the AFC East isn't that bad of an idea. You aren't going to win all the time going against -550 favorites, but if history is any indication in terms of the Super Bowl “loser” role New England is in, this may be the year to take a shot the Bills and/or Dolphins to give us a changing of the guard in the AFC East.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Future Bets - NFC North
    June 19, 2018


    Minnesota or Green Bay? The Battle in the NFC North

    After touching on the AFC East division last week and outlining some possible longshot scenarios for New England to be dethroned for the first time in years, it's time to go back to the NFC and take a look at the North division.

    A few weeks ago it was the NFC South that I broke down, and while that division does appear to be pretty wide open, the NFC North looks to be a two-team race between Minnesota and Green Bay. These two organizations have alternated between division championships the last four years, so in 2018, who you got?

    Odds to Win NFC North
    Minnesota Vikings (+140)
    Green Bay Packers (+150)
    Chicago Bears (+600)
    Detroit Lions (+600)


    For starters, all four of these NFC North teams have to deal with the AFC East and NFC West on their schedules and those eight games in themselves could end up bringing a lot of drama in terms of who is crowned division champion. Both of those divisions have some very “easy” games in there and the NFC North team that slips up in those contests is going to have to make up ground elsewhere. Keep that in mind when you are deciding between what should be a play between the Vikings and Packers.

    Regarding Chicago and Detroit, both franchises appear to be in the up-and-coming stages in terms of roster reconstruction and becoming competitive again. The Lions are probably further along than the Bears in that regard as Detroit still has QB Matthew Stafford at the helm while Chicago is in Year 2 of the Mitchell Trubisky era, and they could each be “sneaky” underdog picks in particular games – most likely at home – the entire year.

    Yet, with the respective win totals for Detroit and Chicago being set at 7.5 and 6.5, oddsmakers agree that neither of these organizations will compete for this division title.

    Minnesota's season win total is set at 10.5 (Over +120) as the defending division champs look to build on last year's success. Everyone knew they were in the QB market this off-season and they seemingly got their man in Kirk Cousins, but I'm not sure he's that significant of an upgrade that Minnesota was really gunning for.

    This is still a defensive-minded team that doesn't need to ask Cousins to do much at times, but he does bring a bit more upside to the table than Case Keenum did a season ago and Vikings fans have to be happy with that.

    But more offensive upside tends to bring with it a few more turnovers, and Cousins is known to be loose with the ball at times. As good as this Vikings defense is, routinely putting them in bad spots with short fields to defend will wear thin in the meeting rooms during the week. That's not conducive to success and given the Vikings were one win away from playing in the Super Bowl in their own stadium, it's really on Cousins to step up and prove he's worth all that money and the risk.

    Sadly for Vikings fans, I'm not sure the end result with Cousins in the mix will play out how they want. I mean, what has Cousins really achieved during his three years as a full-time starter in Washington? He never had a year with double digit victories, he only got to the playoffs once (and lost to Green Bay), and kind of talked his way out of town in DC and made that the bigger story then his mediocre numbers.

    Also, in the history of the NFL, I don't think there are too many teams who were a win or two away from a Super Bowl title that had the need to “upgrade” at QB and just continued on the same trajectory as the year before.

    Simply put, Under 10.5 wins for Minnesota this year is a season total wager I love, and unless Aaron Rodgers gets hurt again this year, 10 or fewer wins ain't likely to cut it for a division crown.

    Which leaves us with the Green Bay Packers who've got one of the best QB's in the game and some question marks on both sides of the ball themselves. But as we've seen with the Patriots and Tom Brady in recent years, an upper-echelon QB tends to make all the difference in the world in the NFL and Green Bay's already got that piece in place.

    Secondly, the Packers schedule actually sets up rather well for them to seize control of the NFC North from the outset and not look back. Green Bay begins the year with home games against Chicago and Minnesota (in a huge Week 2 game) and then they follow those contests up with a road game in Washington, hosting Buffalo, and visiting Detroit. That has all the makings of a 4-1 or 5-0 SU start for Green Bay if everything goes well.

    Things get a bit tougher for Green Bay after that through mid-October and November, but by the time their trip to Minnesota rolls around in late November they'll have a great idea where they stand within the division. That game in Minnesota kicks off Green Bay's final six games of the year, and with Arizona (likely starting rookie QB Josh Rosen by that time), Chicago, the New York Jets, and Detroit all opponents during that final run, the wins could pile up late for Green Bay as well.

    So Packers fans out there, know that I'm on your side this year at least in terms of a division future bet. That might be where you want to stop though with Green Bay futures wagers this year though as since realignment in 2002, no NFC North champion has gone on to win the Super Bowl, and only one of them – the 2006 Chicago Bears – even made it to the big game.

    Obviously we can recalibrate things and perspectives for the playoffs once they are much closer, but a +150 ticket for the Green Bay Packers to claim the NFC North in 2018 is a wager I'm happy to make.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Future Bets - NFC South
    June 5, 2018


    Who Will Win the NFC South?

    As OTA's and mandatory mini-camps begin to make news stories in the coming days across the NFL, there is no better time then now – especially with the NHL and NBA seasons winding down – to dive headfirst into the NFL for the upcoming season.

    Futures numbers on division winners, Super Bowl winner, and season win totals have been out for some time now, and now that they've settled down before inevitably getting a spike in action come August, it's time to start digging deep into prospective outcomes that present a strong likelihood of happening as well as a bit of betting value on the line.

    So today I'm starting with the NFC South odds as it's arguably the most wide open division in the entire NFC.

    To Win NFC South Odds
    New Orleans Saints (+175)
    Atlanta Falcons (+200)
    Carolina Panthers (+330)
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+550)


    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+550) have the longest odds to claim the division this year and for good reason. The Bucs were the only team in the NFC South to finish with a sub .500 record a season ago (5-11 SU) and they haven't really done much to drastically improve. Another year with QB Jameis Winston at the helm in the same offense will help, but considering all three other NFC South teams finished 2017 with at least 10 wins, there is going to be too much ground for the Bucs to make up in a single year as getting their first division crown since 2007 will probably have to wait at least another year.

    New Orleans (+175) comes in as the favorite - if you really want to call it that – as the defending division champs who were one fluky Hail Mary play away from the NFC Championship last year, and for my money, a Super Bowl appearance as well. The backfield duo of Mark Ingram/Alvin Kamara was spectacular a year ago, but with Ingram suspended for the first month of the year I'm not so sure this is the team I really want to get behind in this division. Having that ground game as a top tier threat in the Saints attack gave the offense tremendous balance in terms of run vs pass and it was a big reason why this team got over the hump again.

    More opponents are going to come into a game with New Orleans having much more respect for their ground game this year and that's not good if you're a Saints fan. I wouldn't doubt the notion that opponents came into facing the Saints last week stuck in the mindset of New Orleans being a “throw first, throw always” team that they were in year's past and got burned for it in 2017. The same won't happen again in 2018, and toss in that tough 1st place schedule for New Orleans and I believe the Saints will need to grab a NFC Wildcard spot to get another chance at playoff football this year.

    Carolina (+330) lost on a tiebreaker for the NFC South crown a year ago as a division championship would have been the organization's four in the last five years. Carolina was ousted by the Saints during Wildcard weekend last year and had home field been switched there we might have seen a different result. But the Carolina team we've seen in recent years is likely the same one we will see this year as they'll find success on the backs of great defensive play and QB Cam Newton playing like a MVP again.

    The Panthers did go out and draft highly touted WR D.J Moore to help give Newton more weapons through the air, but having a consistent passing attack has always held the Panthers back in critical times during the Ron Rivera era and I fail to see how this year will be any different. Don't get me wrong, the Panthers will be a solid NFL team this year and should compete for a playoff spot with another 10+ win season (or at least close to that), but two of their three division rivals can all run them out of the building with their offense (Atlanta, New Orleans), and the Panthers just aren't a team that's built to play from behind. That's probably going to hurt them more often than not as the defense can't be lights out each week, and it's why I'm passing on the Panthers here.

    Which leaves the Atlanta Falcons (+200) as my pick for the 2018 NFC South division crown as they look to be the first team in the modern era to play a Super Bowl on their home field.

    Atlanta's aerial attack got even more dangerous through the draft when they grabbed WR Calvin Ridley, as the weapons they've got coming into 2018 at every skill position are downright lethal. As long as everyone stays healthy for the bulk of the season, this Falcons offense could end up resembling the 2016 unit that put up 30+ points on everyone en route to a Super Bowl appearance.

    But what makes me really like the Falcons in 2018 is the fact that their defense – which has shown improvement the past few years – has another year in HC Dan Quinn's system under their belt and now that it's been three full years in his system, the best results are probably on their way. Remember, Quinn was the mastermind behind those Seahawks defenses of earlier this decade that dominated football for a few years, and now that he's had ample time to draft/sign the guys that fit his mold/system, the 2018 Atlanta Falcons may actually be a defensive force as well.

    Finally, the core of this Atlanta team has to feel like they've got plenty of unfinished business after blowing that massive lead in the Super Bowl two years ago and then following it up by getting overly cocky and looking past a Philadelphia Eagles team starting a backup QB in the Divisional round a year ago. Atlanta could have made another solid run at the Super Bowl last year had they not laid that egg in Philly (who they get a shot at redemption against in the first game of the 2018 campaign), and with all the weapons they've got on both sides of the ball in 2018, I would not be surprised to see the Falcons see that run all the way until the end this year.

    First thing's first though and that's locking up home field advantage for at least one playoff game with a division crown. The Atlanta Falcons are going to be that team in the NFC South this year and at +200 odds, I've got no problem laying down a few units at that price.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    NFL notebook: Luck vows to play Week 1
    June 12, 2018


    Andrew Luck threw a football at minicamp on Tuesday and vowed he will play in the season opener.

    "Absolutely. No knock on wood," said Luck on Tuesday, per Kevin Bowen of 1070 The Fan. "I believe it in my bones."

    Luck, who missed the entire 2017 season while rehabbing from shoulder surgery, threw a high school-sized football during individual drills on Tuesday.

    Aside from tossing the ball around with head coach Frank Reich two weeks ago, Luck has not thrown an NFL football in workouts since he underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum on Jan. 15, 2017.

    Reich expects the three-time Pro Bowl selection to play in the preseason. Luck anticipates a program that will be similar to his typical work regiment during the regular season, where he will throw from Wednesday through Friday and again on Sunday.

    "The pain is gone and it's going to stay that way," said Luck.

    --Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson is skipping this week's mandatory minicamp in a bid to secure a new contract, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported.

    Johnson, who was absent from Tuesday's opener of minicamp, is set to make a base salary of $1.8 million in the final year of his rookie contract this season.

    "Cardinals' RB David Johnson is a holdout for this week's mandatory minicamp that begins today, per league sources," Schefter wrote on Twitter. "The two sides have been in discussions regarding a new contract and are hopeful a new deal will be reached before the start of the season."

    The 26-year-old Johnson missed nearly the entire 2017 season after suffering a dislocated wrist in Week 1.

    --Los Angeles Rams star defensive tackle Aaron Donald was not present for the start of mandatory minicamp.

    Donald's absence comes on the heels of the Los Angeles Times reporting that there was no indication that he would show up for the minicamp.

    The 2017 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Donald has been seeking a new contract since last year. He skipped voluntary offseason activities before attending mandatory minicamp in 2017, although he didn't practice.

    Donald is slated to make $6.89 million in the fifth-year option of his rookie contract. He is eligible to be fined $84,435 should he sit out the entire minicamp this week.

    --Denver Broncos linebacker Shane Ray is scheduled to undergo bone fusion surgery on his wrist Thursday, coach Vance Joseph said.


    It will be the fourth operation in a year on the wrist for Ray. Initial reports listed a recovery of three months, but Joseph said that was not definitive.

    Ray recently posted on his Instagram account that he was dealing with complications from a previous surgery and did not re-injure his wrist. The injury limited Ray to eight games in 2017. He dislocated the wrist in preseason and started the year on injured reserve.

    --Rookie quarterback Josh Allen will receive his first opportunity to work with the projected starting unit this week, Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott said.

    Allen, who was selected by the Bills with the seventh overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, will spend most of his time with the third-team group. McDermott noted that the 6-foot-5, 237-pound Allen will get occasional snaps with the starters, however.

    "He's worked hard ... this has been part of the plan from the start. But give Josh credit, he's earned it," McDermott said, per Sal Capaccio of WGR 550.

    Quarterbacks Nathan Peterman and A.J. McCarron have taken the starting reps thus far this offseason for the Bills.

    --Aaron Rodgers was one of 16 select veteran players excused from the Green Bay Packers' mandatory minicamp by head coach Mike McCarthy.

    Fellow quarterbacks DeShone Kizer and Brett Hundley were expected to receive additional reps in the absence of Rodgers, who is a two-time NFL Most Valuable Player and six-time Pro Bowl selection.

    It's the third straight offseason that McCarthy has given select veterans a free pass for mandatory minicamp.

    "They deserve it, where they are particularly in their career," McCarthy said, per ESPN. "And as we all know, the second part is there's only so many reps that you can accomplish throughout the offseason. So really focused on the veterans there through the OTAs and now the focus will start, really with (last) Thursday's practice and today's practice, tomorrow and Thursday's practice will be exclusively for our young players."

    --San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman offered some glowing reviews of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo after receiving clearance to participate in individual drills at this week's team minicamp.

    Sherman has been working his way back from season-ending surgery for a torn right Achilles in November as well as a procedure on his other foot during the offseason.

    The four-time Pro Bowl cornerback got the green light to participate in drills on Tuesday and is on track to be at "full speed" for the start of training camp, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters. Sherman also told the media that he likes what he sees from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who won all five starts last season after he was acquired from the New England Patriots.

    "James is great, man. He's fun," said Sherman, per the San Jose Mercury News. "He's been phenomenal around the team. He goes through every single read. His mind works really fast, which is cool to see."

    --Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul showed up at minicamp and dismissed any concerns that missing organized team activities has him playing catch-up.

    "Can you make up? Of course. Like I said, I'm a pro. Even though I wasn't here I was at home studying and making sure I know the calls, the installs," Pierre-Paul said in his media briefing. "That's just something you do. You keep (doing) your work, keep working out -- every day I woke up at 6 a.m. and went to the gym, got out of there at 8 a.m."

    Returning to the state where he starred collegiately at the University of South Florida, Pierre-Paul is part of a revamped defensive line that includes first-round draft pick Vita Vea. Tampa Bay's defense rank last in yards allowed and sacks last season.

    "The expectations, man, for every team is to win the Super Bowl, right? That's the expectations for basically every team," said Pierre-Paul. "Every year you come in and you think you're going to do it, but the reality is, it's not like that. ... It's not just saying it, it's actually doing it."

    --Tennessee Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan is skipping mandatory minicamp in pursuit of a long-term contract, the team announced.

    "As we start the mandatory veteran minicamp, we were informed by the representatives for Taylor Lewan that he would not be attending the camp," Titans general manager Jon Robinson said in a statement. "We have had several constructive conversations over the last 5-6 weeks about his contract status. He is currently under contract and we are working to keep Taylor as part of this organization for a long time."

    Lewan, who is scheduled to make $9.341 million in 2018, has been a Pro Bowl selection for each of the past two seasons. The 6-foot-7, 309-pound Lewan was selected by Tennessee with the 11th overall pick of the 2014 draft out of Michigan.

    --The Oakland Raiders signed veteran defensive linemen Frostee Rucker and Ahtyba Rubin.


    Rucker, 34, played the past five seasons for the Arizona Cardinals, and he started all 16 games last year, recording 1.5 sacks and 30 tackles.

    He has played in 142 games, including 72 starts, during his 11-year NFL career.

    The 31-year-old Rubin played in 12 games last season -- 10 for the Atlanta Falcons and two for the Denver Broncos -- but he did not start any of them.

    --Jay Ajayi is expected to be featured in a more prominent role in the Philadelphia Eagles' backfield, per running backs coach Duce Staley.

    Ajayi found himself splitting carries in 2017 after the Eagles acquired him in an in-season trade with the Miami Dolphins. The 24-year-old rushed for 408 yards on 70 carries in seven regular-season games with the Eagles before adding 184 more in three postseason tilts.

    "I'm pretty sure that Jay is excited about being able to go out there and dominate and being able to be that guy," Staley said, via the team website. "I know Doug (Pederson, head coach) is excited about it also. We'll see."

    While LeGarrette Blount has since moved on to the Detroit Lions, Corey Clement is now joined by Darren Sproles after the veteran speedster's return from a torn ACL. Wendell Smallwood and Donnel Pumphrey are also in the mix while former Washington Redskins running back Matt Jones was added to the team as well.

    --The Cleveland Browns stumbled through the second winless 16-game season in history in 2017, but there are some worst-to-first predictions coming out of the team's minicamp.

    Specifically, some of the Browns are touting the potential of the team's passing game, with wide receiver Josh Gordon saying he is part of the league's top unit.

    "The best receiving corps in the league, in my opinion, already. Just because of talent alone," said Gordon on Tuesday, per cleveland.com. "We're not short on talent at the wide receiver position at all."

    Gordon, who has appeared in only 10 games over the past four seasons due to multiple violations of the league's policy on substance abuse, is part of a wideout corps that includes offseason acquisition Jarvis Landry and former first-round pick Corey Coleman.

    --Quarterback Christian Hackenberg's brief tenure with the Oakland Raiders is already over.

    The Raiders waived Hackenberg, a move that came just three weeks after he was acquired from the New York Jets for a conditional seventh-round draft pick in 2019.

    The release of Hackenberg nixes the deal with the Jets and allows Oakland to retain the draft pick. The Raiders also waived linebacker Brady Sheldon to accommodate the signing of defensive tackles Ahtyba Rubin and Frostee Rucker.

    Hackenberg never entered a game in two seasons with the New York Jets after being a second-round pick in 2016. The trade came shortly after Hackenberg criticized New York's staff for what he perceived as a lack of coaching to correct his issues.

    --Cleveland Browns defensive back Howard Wilson is expected to miss the season after undergoing surgery.

    Wilson had to go under the knife to repair a torn patellar tendon, an injury that will likely keep him off the field for the second straight year, according to Cleveland.com.

    A fourth-round draft pick of the Browns in 2017 out of the University of Houston, Brown missed his rookie campaign due to a fractured kneecap.

    Cleveland used its second first-round pick this year -- No. 4 overall -- to take cornerback Denzel Ward out of Ohio State. Ward already is practicing with the first team.

    --The Washington Redskins presented Super Bowl rings to the replacement players from the team's 1987 squad.

    More than 25 replacement players were in attendance at Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park to receive their rings. The event culminated with the surprise appearance from 1987 Super Bowl-winning quarterback Doug Williams, wide receiver Gary Clark and defensive end Dexter Manley, who joined the replacement players for a group photo.

    "Sometimes it's not when it comes, it's the fact that it came," Williams said, per ESPN. "Today is a great day for everybody. ... When it came up about them receiving rings, I thought it was a good opportunity to show them we appreciated them."

    The Redskins' replacement players posted a 3-0 mark during the strike that lasted from Weeks 4-6 during the 1987 season. Washington's third win in that stretch was a 13-7 victory over the NFC East rival Dallas Cowboys, who were playing with regulars -- including running back Tony Dorsett and defensive lineman Randy White.

    --Free-agent running back Jamaal Charles is expected to visit the New Orleans Saints on Wednesday, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported.

    That Saints are looking at a number of running backs, with Tim Hightower in for a tryout during Tuesday's minicamp and Terrance West also scheduled to make a visit this week.

    Charles will be visiting the club following nine seasons in Kansas City and one in Denver in 2017. The 31-year-old Charles had 69 carries for 296 yards to go along with 23 receptions for 129 yards receiving last season with the Broncos.

    A four-time Pro Bowl selection, Charles was released by Kansas City in February 2017 after becoming the Chiefs' career rushing leader.

    --Charean Williams became the first female winner of the Dick McCann Award, the Professional Football Writers of America announced.

    Williams is the 50th recipient of the McCann Award, which goes to a reporter who has made a long and distinguished contribution to pro football through coverage.

    In her second season with Pro Football Talk, Williams was a longtime reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and a past president of the PFWA during the 2009-10 seasons.

    Williams earned the honor over a field that included Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times, Clark Judge of Talk of Fame Network, Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com and Gary Myers, a former staffer at the New York Daily News.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    NFL notebook: NFLPA reportedly considering challenging new anthem rule
    June 14, 2018


    The NFL Players Association apparently is prepared to mount a challenge over the league's new national anthem policy.

    The NFLPA is seeking options to challenge the legality of the policy by retaining multiple law firms, Pro Football Talk reported Thursday, citing a source with knowledge of the situation.

    NFL owners unanimously approved a new policy on May 23 that requires players and league personnel on the sideline to stand for the national anthem but gives them the option to remain in the locker room if they desire.

    The policy subjects teams to a fine if a player or any other personnel do not show respect for the American flag and anthem. Those clubs will also have the option to fine any team personnel for the infraction.

    The NFLPA immediately objected to the policy upon the announcement, arguing in a statement that "the NFL chose to not consult the union in the development of this new 'policy.'"

    --The Washington Redskins have all eight of their 2018 draft picks under contract after third-round offensive tackle Geron Christian agreed to a four-year deal, the team announced.


    The other seven picks, including first-round defensive lineman Da'Ron Payne, all signed over a month ago.

    Christian, 21, served as protection for former Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson at Louisville. The 6-foot-5, 298-pounder made 39 starts for the Cardinals and earned an all-ACC honorable mention in 2015 and 2017.

    Selected with the 74th overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft, Christian is expected to provide depth at the position in back of six-time Pro Bowl selection Trent Williams, Morgan Moses and Ty Nsekhe.

    --Tyrod Taylor is looking forward to playing for the Cleveland Browns, but that doesn't mean he doesn't reflect upon his time with the Buffalo Bills.

    Taylor said he felt he deserved better from the Bills and is "definitely motivated" to prove to them that they made a mistake in letting him go.

    "Definitely motivated. Things didn't end the way I would've liked it to in Buffalo," Taylor told NFL Network. "We could possibly see those guys in the playoffs or we could knock those guys out of the playoffs. I would definitely love that. It definitely added motivation and I take it to work with me every day."

    --Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips isn't putting too much stock into the absence of stud defensive tackle Aaron Donald from mandatory minicamp.

    Well, for the moment, anyway.

    "It's something you can't do anything about," the 70-year-old Phillips told reporters Wednesday, via the Rams' official website. "I mean, I don't stay up all night, every night.

    "It's the business part of it. We feel like it will happen sooner or later -- hopefully sooner -- but he didn't come until later last year and he did OK. I guess he fit in the 3-4; everybody was worried about that."

    Donald didn't attend organized team activities and training camp last year before reporting in early September. He went on to record team highs in sacks (11) and forced fumbles (five) en route to being named the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year.

    --Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis told reporters on Thursday that he was open to playing beyond 2018.

    "I'm very open to the possibility of playing next season," the 35-year-old Davis said, per the Charlotte Observer.

    Davis' season will be shorter after he was suspended for the first four games for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances. He insisted on Thursday that he never "knowingly" took anything illegal, and that the supplements he was using were the same as he's done the previous eight years.

    In January, Davis declared that the 2018 season would be his last of a 14-year career.

    --Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has appeared inspired this offseason in the view of teammate Eric Weddle.

    "He's obviously been challenged," the safety said Wednesday, via ESPN.com. "Drafting Lamar (Jackson) and bringing (Robert) Griffin in, it's lit a fire under (Flacco). You can tell. It has shown."

    Flacco's physical appearance has trimmed into shape and he appears more engaged with the wide receivers prior to and after drills, per the report.

    The 33-year-old Flacco is coming off a subpar season in which he dealt with a balky back. He threw for 3,141 yards with 18 touchdowns against 13 interceptions while posting a career-worst 5.7 yards per attempt.

    --Detroit Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones shot down the notion that new head coach Matt Patricia is alienating his players by making them run for mistakes made in practice.

    "Shoot, it's football. We run. You know what I'm saying?" Jones told NFL Network's Good Morning Football on Thursday. "Nobody is complaining. Everybody is just going out here working hard and we're having fun doing it.

    "So, whoever's grandma wrote that story, I don't know."

    Carlos Monarrez of The Detroit Free Press wrote a column that said the first-year head coach could lose his players by using such a method.

    --Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said the team plans to reward David Johnson as the running back seeks a contract extension.

    Johnson elected against showing up for mandatory minicamp this week as he pursues a more lucrative contract. He is set to make a base salary of $1.8 million in the final year of his rookie deal this season.

    Johnson has an Aug. 7 deadline to report to training camp in order to secure the accrued season needed to become an unrestricted free agent in 2019.

    --The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have their entire eight-member 2018 draft class under contract after signing running back Ronald Jones to a deal, the team announced.

    Jones, who was one of Tampa Bay's three second-round picks, was chosen out of USC with the 38th overall selection.

    The 5-foot-11, 208-pound Jones rushed for 1,550 yards and 19 touchdowns with the Trojans last season. He was named as a finalist for the Doak Walker Award, given annually to the top running back in the country.

    Jones carried the ball 591 times for 3,619 yards and 39 touchdowns while adding 32 receptions for 301 yards and three scores during his three seasons at USC.

    --A skirmish on the final day of the New York Giants' mandatory minicamp resulted in prize free-agent acquisition Nate Solder walking away with a limp.

    Tensions escalated between defensive tackle Damon Harrison and 2018 second-round pick Will Hernandez on Thursday, with the rookie losing his helmet in the exchange. Harrison reportedly used the helmet to take a swing at the head of Hernandez, without making contact.

    While Hernandez was fortunate to escape injury, the 6-foot-8, 314-pound Solder was not. The former New England Patriots left tackle was rolled up on by a teammate during the ensuing melee.

    Solder told ESPN.com that his knee "hurt a little bit" while head coach Pat Shurmur said he was "fine."

    --Veteran Josh McCown will enter training camp as the starting quarterback of the New York Jets.

    New York head coach Todd Bowles told reporters Thursday on the last day at the team's mandatory minicamp that McCown will enter training camp atop the depth chart.

    That doesn't mean McCown is guaranteed to be the Week 1 starter. He will have to win the job in training camp against Teddy Bridgewater and rookie Sam Darnold, who are listed as Nos. 2 and 3 on the depth chart.

    "The competition will heat up when we're in pads," Bowles said Thursday.

    --The Browns signed kicker Ross Martin, the team announced.

    Martin, 24, was participating at Cleveland's minicamp this week on a tryout basis. Kicker Zane Gonzalez, a seventh-round draft pick in 2017, is entering his second season with the Browns.

    An undrafted free agent out of Duke in 2016, Martin spent the past two training camps with the New York Jets. He was released by New York in August 2016 and was among the final cuts in September last season.

    --The Patriots and fullback James Develin are nearing agreement on a two-year contract extension, multiple outlets reported.

    Develin will be entering his seventh NFL season, all with the Patriots. His current two-year contract was set to expire at the end of the 2018 season. The pending deal was first reported by The Athletic.

    The 6-foot-3, 255-pound Develin has appeared in 16 games in four of the past five seasons, making a career-high seven starts in 2017 and earning Pro Bowl honors for the first time.

    --The Kansas City Chiefs have all their draft picks under contract after signing rookie Derrick Nnadi, the team announced on.

    Nnadi, a nose tackle out of Florida State, was the first of Kansas City's two third-round draft picks (No. 75 overall).

    The 6-foot-1, 312-pound Nnadi could be in line for a major role as a rookie, working with the starting unit during both organized team activities and the Chiefs' mandatory minicamp.

    Kansas City also announced three other signings Thursday, adding running back Algernon Brown, wide receiver Josh Crockett and offensive tackle Bentley Spain.

    To clear roster space for the new signees, the Chiefs waived Kaleb Johnson, defensive back Malik Reaves and running back J.D. Moore.

    --Quarterback Christian Hackenberg visited New England, according to ESPN.

    Hackenberg is looking for a new employer after he was placed on waivers Tuesday by the Oakland Raiders. No team put in a claim on Hackenberg during the 24-hour period.

    A former second-round draft pick of the New York Jets in 2016, Hackenberg was traded to the Raiders last month for a conditional seventh-round pick.

    --The Cardinals signed punter Andy Lee to a two-year contract extension, the team announced.

    Financial terms were not disclosed for the deal, which will keep Lee with the Cardinals through the 2020 season.

    The 35-year-old Lee will be entering his 15th NFL season overall and second with Arizona. He established a single-season franchise record with a 47.3-yard punting average in 2017.

    --The Dallas Cowboys officially announced the signing of All-Pro guard Zack Martin to a six-year contract extension.

    Although the team did not disclose financial terms, Martin's deal is worth $84 million, including a signing bonus of $20 million and another $20 million fully guaranteed.

    The contract will keep Martin with the Cowboys through the 2024 season. The average of $14 million per season makes Martin the second-highest-paid offensive lineman in the NFL behind tackle Nate Solder of the New York Giants.

    -- Eagles defensive end Chris Long was named the 2018 Good Guy Award winner by the Professional Football Writers of America.

    Long is the 14th recipient of the PFWA's Good Guy Award and the first member of the reigning Super Bowl champion Eagles to be honored.

    Lauded for his dealing with the media during Philadelphia's Super Bowl run, Long was selected from a field that included Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Calais Campbell, Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown and two recent retirees -- tackle Joe Thomas of the Cleveland Browns and tight end Jason Witten of the Dallas Cowboys.

    --The Jets signed defensive lineman Courtney Upshaw, the team announced.

    Upshaw, who spent the previous two seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, came to terms after trying out with the Jets during their mandatory minicamp.

    The 6-foot-2, 272-pound Upshaw was a former second-round pick of Baltimore in the 2012 draft and spent his first four seasons with the Ravens.

    Upshaw started 51 of 64 games at linebacker with Baltimore before he was shifted to defensive tackle upon joining the Falcons in 2016.

    --Carson Wentz is willing to play the role of recruiter if it helps the Philadelphia 76ers land superstar LeBron James.

    The Philadelphia Eagles quarterback said Wednesday that he "absolutely" would be willing to help recruit the four-time NBA Most Valuable Player to the City of Brotherly Love. In fact, Wentz and tight end Zach Ertz attended Game 4 of the NBA Finals in a bid to get that "process" started.

    James is in line to become a free agent this offseason, assuming he declines his player option to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Many expect James to do precisely that after the Cavaliers were unceremoniously swept by the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    NFL notebook: Vikings' ownership backs anthem policy
    June 17, 2018


    Minnesota Vikings co-owner Mark Wilf told reporters that the organization supports the NFL's new anthem policy and each member of the team will be on the same page.

    League owners approved a new policy last month that requires players and league personnel on the sideline to stand for the national anthem but gives them the option to remain in the locker room if they desire.

    The policy subjects teams to a fine if a player or any other personnel do not show respect for the anthem. Those clubs will also have the option to fine any team personnel for the infraction.

    "Whatever we do, we're going to do as a team," Wilf said, via the Star Tribune.

    Coach Mike Zimmer is on record as saying the team will stand for the anthem.

    "I think it's important we stand for the anthem," he said recently. "A lot of people have died for that flag. That flag represents our country and what we stand for."

    -- Houston Texans running back D'Onta Foreman is not sure when he will return from his Achilles tendon injury.

    Foreman's rookie season was cut short in November when he tore an Achilles tendon and he is still rehabbing the injury.

    General Manager Brian Gaine said in May the Texans were hoping Foreman would return in time for training camp later this summer. That seems far from certain.

    Foreman finished 2017 with 78 rushes for 327 yards and two touchdowns.

    Lamar Miller is expected to remain the starter for the Texans, who re-signed veteran Alfred Blue this offseason. The team also has Tyler Ervin and Troymaine Pope.

    -- New Orleans Saints guard Andrus Peat is expected to be healthy when the team returns for training camp, multiple media outlets reported.

    Peat injured his left fibula during the second quarter of the Saints' wild-card victory over the Carolina Panthers in January. The 6-foot-7, 312-pounder was unable to walk for eight weeks after undergoing surgery.

    "It's getting better," the 24-year-old Peat told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "I'm taking (my recovery) day by day, and my goal is to be back for training camp, so that's kind of what (the Saints) set for me and I feel like I'm on schedule."

    A first-round draft pick (No. 13 overall) of the Saints in 2015, Peat has started 37 of 42 games in his three seasons in New Orleans, including 14 in 2017.

    -- Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Brandon Marshall was not healthy enough to fully participate in the team's offseason workouts since he was signed last month, but coach Pete Carroll expects him to be ready for training camp.

    Carroll told the Seattle Times last week that he was being cautious with Marshall because of a balky hamstring.

    "We're just making sure that we don't have a setback on a hamstring that's recovering," Carroll said.

    A six-time Pro Bowl pick, Marshall had just 18 catches for 154 yards and no touchdowns in five games for the New York Giants before an ankle injury ended his season. The Giants released him in April and he signed with the Seahawks in May.

    -- Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott believes the Cowboys' offense will be formidable despite no longer having wide receiver Dez Bryant and tight end Jason Witten.

    Bryant was released this offseason in a salary-cap move and Witten retired. They were the top two pass catchers on the team last year.

    "We're going to be an exciting team this year," Prescott told Showtime at a boxing event in Frisco, Texas, on Saturday night. "A lot of new faces. I think you're going to find we have a lot of new guys on this team, within this organization, that can make plays. We plan on surprising a lot of people."

    The Cowboys added several wide receivers this offseason including Tavon Austin, Allen Hurns, Deonte Thompson and draft picks Michael Gallup and Cedrick Wilson.

    -- One former LSU running back sees big things on the horizon for another as Leonard Fournette talked up former teammate Derrius Guice recently.

    Washington selected Guice in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft, and the Jacksonville Jaguars running back thinks the Redskins got a bargain.

    "He's going to have a great year," the 23-year-old Fournette told the New Orleans Times-Picayune on Friday. "He always had the talent when I was there at LSU. He's a hard worker. He's a great kid. Big things are going to come for Derrius this year."

    Guice rushed for 1,251 yards and 11 touchdowns last season. He was even better as a sophomore, piling up 1,387 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns. Guice set school records for the longest run (96 yards) and rushing yards in one game (285).

    -- Johnny Manziel remained a spectator in the Hamilton Tiger-Cats' season opener against the Calgary Stampeders on Saturday.

    Manziel looked on as starter Jeremiah Masoli threw for 344 yards with a passing and rushing touchdown in the Tiger-Cats' 28-14 loss to the Stampeders.

    The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner is attempting a comeback in the Canadian Football League after being released by the Cleveland Browns in March 2016. He completed 21 of 32 passes for 168 yards and a touchdown in two exhibition games.

    Manziel signed a two-year contract last month when no NFL team showed interest in signing him after the abbreviated two-week stint in the Spring League.

    -- Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia is bringing along a familiar phrase from his time with the New England Patriots: Do your job.

    Per the Detroit Free Press, that message is prevalent at the team's facility.

    "It always comes down to being accountable to your teammates and so many times you get caught up in everything else going on," Lions quarterback -- and former Patriot -- Matt Cassel said. "And I remember as a young guy, you always worry about, 'Well, who's getting the reps,' and this, that and the other, and it takes you and distracts you away from just doing your job."

    Patricia was hired by the Lions on Feb. 5, one day after New England fell to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII. Patricia previously served as defensive coordinator for the Patriots. He replaced Jim Caldwell, who was fired on Jan. 11 after posting a 36-28 record in four seasons.

    Patricia joined the Lions after spending the last 14 seasons with New England. During his tenure working for coach Bill Belichick, the Patriots won three of their five Super Bowl titles in addition to six AFC titles and 13 AFC East Division championships.

    -- Baltimore Ravens rookie offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. honors his father by wearing a white bandana under his helmet during practices and games.

    Brown, who was selected in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft out of Oklahoma, said he wears that bandana as a daily reminder of his father. Orlando Brown Sr. died at age 40 of diabetic ketoacidosis on Sept. 23, 2011.

    "My biggest wish right now is I wish he could see it," the 6-foot-8, 340-pound Brown told ESPN.com. "At the end of the day, that's my motivation for getting to this point and continuing to make sure I carry on his legacy."

    Orlando Brown Sr., who was nicknamed "Zeus", started 119 games for the Cleveland Browns and Ravens in an NFL career that stretched from 1993 to 2005.

    The younger Brown was a three-year starter with the Sooners and a unanimous first-team All-America selection.

    -- Buffalo Bills wide receiver Zay Jones is going to need to earn his spot, according to general manager Brandon Beane.

    Jones dealt with a shoulder injury last year and knee surgery this offseason after being selected by Buffalo with a second-round pick of the 2017 NFL Draft. Many believe he will start opposite Kelvin Benjamin in 2018, although Beane wasn't guaranteeing as much during an appearance on Buffalo talk radio station WGR.

    "He's not just going to necessarily go right to the top of the line," Beane told NewYorkUpstate.com. "He'll have to earn his way. Part of that will just be just getting his feel."

    Jones had 27 receptions for 316 yards and two touchdowns during his rookie season for the Bills, whose thin wide receiver corps consists of Jones, Benjamin, Andre Holmes, Jeremy Kerley, Ray-Ray McCloud and Brandon Reilly among others.

    The 23-year-old Jones made bigger headlines in a bizarre incident in March when he was arrested on suspicion of felony vandalism. Video of the incident showed him naked in a hallway in an apartment building, arguing with his brother, Cayleb Jones, who is a wide receiver with the Minnesota Vikings. Prosecutors declined to pursue criminal charges, citing insufficient evidence.

    -- New York Jets rookie quarterback Sam Darnold was quite recognizable while walking the grounds of the U.S. Open on Saturday at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club.

    So much so that a fan wearing a polo shirt with the New York Giants logo asked for a photo with Darnold, who was the third overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft.

    "We've got to get you a Jets polo," the 21-year-old Darnold said with a smile, per the New York Post. "That blue doesn't look good on you."

    Darnold attended the event with friend and fellow rookie quarterback Josh Allen, who was selected with the seventh overall pick of the draft by the Buffalo Bills.

    New York's desire for a top-tier quarterback was on display after the team made a blockbuster pre-draft trade with the Indianapolis Colts to move up three slots to No. 3. It paid a hefty price to do so as the Jets sent the No. 6 pick and two second-rounders (Nos. 37 and 49) this year and a second-round pick in 2019 to the Colts.

    -- New York Jets linebacker Kacy Rodgers II sees his father when he goes to work. Kacy Rodgers, after all, is the Jets' defensive coordinator.

    The two represent the NFL's only active father-son duo of player and coordinator on the same team. With the younger Rodgers vying for a roster spot, he took a moment to relay his feelings on his interesting dynamic.

    "It's definitely an initial shock," the younger Kacy told USA Today Sports. "You go from seeing him at the house, just 'Pops' or 'Dad,' to you walk in the building and he's leading the defensive meetings, and guys are calling him 'Coach Kacy' or 'Coach Rodgers.' After that initial shock, you get used to it. But I've loved every minute of it."

    The elder Rodgers echoed a similar sentiment.

    "I was seeing my son once, twice a year, max. Now I see him every day," the 48-year-old said. "You look out there on the practice field, and that's not only player No. 39, that's my son."

    The younger Rodgers was signed by the Jets in February. The 26-year-old spent the last two years with the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League, accumulating 74 tackles, an interception, a sack and two forced fumbles in 25 games.
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    Handicapping L.A. Rams (9)
    June 19, 2018


    The Los Angeles Rams head into the 2018 season with high expectations, as the team is coming off an 11-5 season and an NFC West title. Many people are talking Super Bowl for this year’s Rams, but oddsmakers are not so convinced, as they set the win total for Los Angeles at just nine games.

    Will the oddsmakers be right and will the Rams regress, or will Los Angeles be a Super Bowl contender? Let’s look at the Rams schedule and see if they will go over or under their win total.

    Los Angeles Rams 2018 Win Total
    Over 9 (-135)
    Under 9 (+105)


    The Rams will begin year two under head coach Sean McVay in 2018. The Rams won 11 games last season and on paper they look to be even better with the additions of CB Aqib Talib, CB Marcus Peters, WR Brandin Cooks and DL Ndamukong Suh.

    The question is how all of the new players will fit in with the current ones. Chemistry does matter in the NFL and we don’t yet know if the Rams will have it. The Rams will play a first-place schedule in 2018, so they will not have it easy as they look to defend their NFC West title.

    Los Angeles Rams Schedule Analysis

    Monday, Sept. 10, at Oakland Raiders

    The opener for the Rams will not be easy, but perhaps facing the Raiders early will be better than facing them late, as Oakland has a new head coach in Jon Gruden. The Rams are the better team, but Gruden will want to beat his former pupil.

    Sunday, Sept. 16, vs. Arizona Cardinals

    The Cardinals have a different look this season with Sam Bradford under center. The Rams should be able to put pressure on Bradford and the Los Angeles offense should put up a lot of points.

    Sunday, Sept. 23, vs. Los Angeles Chargers
    This game will be something special, as it will be the first regular season game between the Rams and Chargers since the teams moved to Los Angeles. The Rams have the better team and they should get this “home” win.

    Thursday, Sept. 27, vs. Minnesota Vikings
    The Rams will be looking for revenge, as they were beaten on the road last season by the Vikings. The Vikings have a new quarterback in Kirk Cousins and Minnesota is a serious threat in the NFC. This should be one of the top games of the season.

    Sunday, Oct. 7, at Seattle Seahawks
    The Rams will get some extra rest for this one, as they are coming off a Thursday game. The Rams know they can win in Seattle, as they won 42-7 in Seattle last season.

    Sunday, Oct. 14, at Denver Broncos
    If the Rams are going to have a letdown this could be the week. They will face a Denver team that now has Case Keenum under center and the Denver defense is excellent.

    Sunday, Oct. 21, at San Francisco 49ers

    This should be a shootout, as the 49ers have a potent offense under Kyle Shanahan. The 49ers are definitely capable of scoring points with Jimmy Garoppolo under center, but the Rams have the defensive edge.

    Sunday, Oct. 28, vs. Green Bay Packers

    This could be another shootout between Goff and Rodgers. This will be the first time that Rodgers has played at the Coliseum since he was at Cal in 2004.

    Sunday, Nov. 4, at New Orleans Saints
    There are simply not many easy spots on the schedule for the Rams in 2018. They have to go on the road to face the Saints who have one of the league’s best offenses and an improving defense.

    Sunday, Nov. 11, vs. Seattle Seahawks
    The Rams have oftentimes struggled at home against the Seahawks, but this year’s Seattle team shouldn’t be as good as past squads and the Rams should get this home win.

    Monday, Nov. 19, vs. Kansas City Chiefs (Mexico City)
    This game will take place in Mexico City and a chance for Marcus Peters to face his former team. The Rams should have the edge on both sides of the ball and get this win.

    Sunday, Nov, 25: Bye

    Sunday, Dec. 2, at Detroit Lions

    The Rams get the advantage of extra rest for this one. The Rams were very good last year coming off the bye, as they routed the Giants. They should get this road win against Detroit.

    Sunday, Dec. 9, at Chicago Bears
    The Bears should be improved, but Los Angeles still has more talent on both sides of the ball. Expect Aaron Donald and company to get to Mitch Trubisky multiple times in this one.

    Sunday, Dec. 16, vs. Philadelphia Eagles
    This could very well be a matchup that decides home field advantage in the NFC. The Rams have the home field edge in this one, but the Eagles are just as good as the Rams, perhaps better.

    Sunday, Dec. 23, vs. Arizona Cardinals

    The Rams should have no trouble taking care of Arizona in this one, even though it is a potential letdown spot.

    Sunday, Dec. 30, at San Francisco 49ers
    The regular season finale for the Rams could be meaningful for both teams and who knows, it just might decide the NFC West title.

    2018 Los Angeles Rams Season Win Total Prediction
    It is very surprising that the win total for the Rams is just nine, as the team won 11 games last season and looks to be improved. The schedule is difficult, but it is still hard to see anything less than 10 wins for the Rams in 2018.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    NFL notebook: Ravens sign 1st--round pick Hurst
    June 19, 2018


    The Baltimore Ravens signed tight end Hayden Hurst, their first-round pick in the 2018 draft, the NFL Network reported Tuesday.

    Hurst, the 25th overall selection and first of Baltimore's two first-round picks, signed a standard rookie four-year contract with an option for a fifth.

    The deal for Hurst will be worth an estimated $11.1 million, Pro Football Talk reported, citing terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

    Hurst was a walk-on at South Carolina in 2015 and set the school record for career receptions by a tight end with 100 over his three seasons. A first-team All-SEC pick in 2017, Hurst had 44 receptions for 559 yards and two touchdowns. He set personal bests in 2016 with 48 receptions for 616 yards.

    --The Cleveland Browns signed former No. 2 overall pick Greg Robinson to a contract, the team announced.

    The Browns released fellow offensive tackle Rod Johnson to make room for Robinson, who has struggled since being selected by the then-St. Louis Rams in the 2014 draft out of Auburn.

    Robinson, 25, served as a starter with the Rams for three years and played 46 games before being traded to the Detroit Lions for a sixth-round pick. The 6-foot-5, 330-pounder started six games with the club before an ankle injury sustained in an Oct. 15 game against the New Orleans Saints led to him being waived midway into the season.

    Johnson missed his entire rookie season with a knee injury. He was selected by the Browns in the fifth round of the 2017 draft.

    --Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones did not attend last week's mandatory minicamp while he seeks a contract adjustment, and Falcons officials apparently are not pleased that Jones has been spending his time working out with former wide receiver Terrell Owens.

    Owens was recently elected to the Hall of Fame, but he had a contract dispute with the Philadelphia Eagles that ended up when him being sent home and eventually traded away.

    "The fact that he's running around with Terrell Owens has the front office uneasy," D. Orlando Ledbetter, a Falcons beat writer for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, said on ESPN Radio in Charlotte. Ledbetter added that the relationship between Jones and the team is "in a bad place right now."

    "The coach was expecting him in here," Ledbetter said. "Then a few weeks later Julio informed them he's not going to be here." Nonetheless, Ledbetter said he expects Jones to be present when training camp starts.

    --Joe Bugel and Emmitt Thomas have been selected as the Paul "Dr. Z" Zimmerman Award winners, the Pro Football Writers of America announced.

    The award is given for lifetime achievement as an assistant coach in the NFL. Zimmerman covered the NFL for 29 years as Sports Illustrated's lead pro football writer.

    Bugel spent 27 of his 32 NFL seasons as an assistant coach. He perhaps is best known as "Boss Hog," the man who named and led the famed "Hogs" offensive line that guided the Redskins to the league's second-highest winning percentage during his first stint in Washington.

    Thomas, who is entering his 38th season as an assistant, coached wide receivers upon joining the Redskins in 1986. He helped the team to an NFC Championship Game berth in his first season. He transitioned to the defensive side of the ball in 1987, working primarily with defensive backs for the next eight seasons.

    --Tight end Eric Ebron is drawing rave reviews from head coach Frank Reich after the Indianapolis Colts wrapped up their offseason workouts.

    "He's really smart," Reich said of Ebron, via the Indianapolis Star. "I knew that because we did our homework before he got here. We knew he was a smart player. But he's like really a highly intelligent football player. And that's really good because you want to use a guy with the versatility that he has and move him around and call all kinds of things with him. That helps. And he's an explosive athlete."

    Ebron signed a two-year contract in March to join the Colts after spending the last four seasons with the Detroit Lions, racking up 186 catches for 2,070 yards and 11 touchdowns. The 25-year-old had 53 receptions last season after recording a career-best 61 in 2016.

    --Baker Mayfield may not win the Cleveland Browns' starting job from Tyrod Taylor, but the rookie admitted that he's learning a great deal from the veteran quarterback.

    Mayfield said on the ThomaHawk Show that Taylor has been an incredible mentor to him. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner and top overall pick of the 2018 draft also said he's surprised that the Browns acquired Taylor from the Buffalo Bills this offseason for just a third-round pick.

    "They traded a third-round pick to Tyrod just doesn't make sense," the 23-year-old Mayfield said. "We got a lot more out of that than anybody else could. The guy that he is for this franchise, for all of our teammates is unbelievable. For me to watch him and learn (from) him has been great. He sets the bar high, shows up, his work ethic, it's a great situation for me to come into to have someone like that. It's good for me."

    --The Carolina Panthers signed first-round draft choice wide receiver D.J. Moore, the club announced.

    Carolina has now signed all eight of its 2018 draft choices. Under the current collective bargaining agreement, Moore's four-year deal should be worth about $11.2 million, with a $6.2 million signing bonus, the Charlotte Observer reported.

    Moore, who was selected by Carolina with the 24th overall pick, played collegiately at Maryland. He earned Big Ten Receiver of the Year honors in 2017 after setting a single-season school record for receptions with 80.

    Moore posted 1,033 receiving yards and eight touchdowns, becoming just the third wide receiver in school history to have a 1,000-yard receiving season.

    --Terrell Owens has been making noises about playing again, even though the star wide receiver is scheduled to be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 6 1/2 weeks.

    The 44-year-old wide receiver last played in the NFL in 2010 but continues to insist he can still play and showed he has plenty of spring in his steps by clocking a 4.44 in the 40-yard dash over the weekend.

    Whether any NFL team will entertain the thought of bringing in Owens remains to be seen, but there may be interest in the flamboyant wideout from north of the border.

    According to TSN, the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League placed Owens on their negotiation list. That doesn't necessarily mean anything but could provide Owens another option if he is determined to attempt a return to the field. Owens did try a comeback in 2012 before being cut in training camp by the Seattle Seahawks.

    --Adam Vinatieri will turn 46 years old in December and, if he can stay healthy, he will have spent half his life playing in the NFL.

    But as he prepares to enter his 23rd season overall and 13th with the Indianapolis Colts, Vinatieri is not counting the days down to his retirement.

    "I love it as much today as I had when I started 23 years ago," Vinatieri told the team's official website on Tuesday. "I'm not looking to hang them up anytime soon, unless something happens that needs to be that way."

    Vinatieri signed a one-year contract in February to return for another season. He showed he has plenty of life left in his leg, connecting on 29 of 34 field-goal attempts in 2017, including five of six from at least 50 yards out. Two of his misses came during blizzard conditions in Buffalo.

    --Former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson joined tight end Jay Novacek and legendary scout Gil Brandt as leading candidates for induction into the team's Ring of Honor, according to a published report.

    Jean Jacques-Taylor of NBC DFW reported that those three men could be in line to be included in the team's Ring of Honor, which hasn't seen a new addition since Darren Woodson in 2015.

    Johnson's once-icy relationship with owner Jerry Jones appears to have thawed, with the former congratulating the latter on his Pro Football Hall of Fame selection last year. Jones then credited the 74-year-old Johnson for his role in the Cowboys' dynasty.

    Johnson coached the Cowboys from 1989-1993 and led the club to back-to-back Super Bowl victories over the Buffalo Bills. He then parted ways with the team due to reported tension with Jones, and the Cowboys won the franchise's fifth Super Bowl under Barry Switzer soon after.

    --Former Virginia Tech cornerback Adonis Alexander, one of three players available for next month's NFL supplemental draft, will have his pro day Wednesday.

    Alexander's workout will be attended by 26 NFL teams, according to the NFL Network's Mike Garafolo, who also reported that the cornerback will visit with at least one team on Wednesday.

    Dismissed from Virginia Tech in May, reportedly due to academics, Alexander will be joined by Mississippi State safety Brandon Bryant and Western Michigan cornerback Sam Beal in the July 11 supplemental draft.

    The 6-foot-3, 207-pound Alexander started 15 of 34 games over three seasons at Virginia Tech, recording seven interceptions. He was expected to vie for a starting job prior to his departure.

    --Further proof of that the NFL plans to continue playing games in England is the fact that the league has paid for the installation of an NFL-only field at the site of the new soccer stadium for Tottenham Hotspur.

    The Spurs are an English soccer club in Tottenham, London, that competes in the Premier League.

    The stadium is still being constructed, but the distinguishing characteristic of the venue is that it will be able to accommodate two types of playing surfaces.

    The stadium will be able to switch from the natural grass field used for soccer to a FieldTurf artificial surface that will be used for football.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    NFL notebook: Bucs' Winston facing 3-game suspension
    June 21, 2018


    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston is expected to be suspended for at least the first three games of the 2018 season for violating the NFL's violating personal conduct policy, multiple media outlets reported Thursday.

    Winston will be suspended before July 4 and possibly as early as Friday, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

    The top overall pick in the 2015 draft, Winston's punishment is the result of an investigation into allegations that he groped a female Uber driver in March 2016.

    Neither Winston nor the team has been notified of the impending suspension, the NFL Network reported, citing sources. Both the network and the Tampa Bay Times reported that Winston could face more than a three-game suspension, with the newspaper adding that he is not expected to appeal.

    The NFL announced in November that it was investigating the Uber incident in Scottsdale, Ariz. The Uber driver told BuzzFeed News that she picked up Winston around 2 a.m. local time on March 13, 2016. The driver alleged Winston "behaved poorly" as soon as he got in the car, and then asked her to stop at a drive-thru restaurant during the ride.

    While in line, the driver said Winston, who was the only passenger in the car, reached over and "grabbed" her crotch for three to five seconds. Winston has maintained his innocence and former Florida State teammate and Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Ronald Darby said he was with the quarterback in the backseat of the car and nothing occurred.

    --Denver Broncos first-round pick Bradley Chubb signed his rookie contract, the team announced.

    While the Broncos did not divulge the specific terms of the deal, Mike Klis of KUSA reported that Chubb's four-year contract -- with a team option for a fifth season -- is expected to be worth a total of $27.27 million with a $17.914 million signing bonus.

    Chubb becomes the ninth member of the 10-player draft class for the Broncos, who have yet to sign third-round running back Royce Freeman.

    The 21-year-old Chubb recorded 25 sacks and 54.4 tackles for loss with North Carolina State. He registered 10 sacks in each of his last two seasons with the Wolfpack.

    --The Cincinnati Bengals signed rookie defensive end Sam Hubbard and linebacker Malik Jefferson, the team announced.

    Hubbard and Jefferson, who were both third-round selections in the 2018 NFL Draft, signed four-year contracts with a fifth-year option. Cincinnati now has its 11-player draft class under contract.

    The 6-foot-5, 270-pound Hubbard was taken at No. 77 overall, one slot ahead of Jefferson. Hubbard started 22 of 40 games in three seasons at Ohio State. He recorded 116 career tackles, including 29.5 for losses, and 17 sacks.

    Jefferson appeared in 34 games (30 starts) for Texas and amassed 223 tackles, including 25.5 for losses, and 12.0 sacks. He also had six pass breakups and two forced fumbles. He was the Big 12 Conference Co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2017.

    --New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges of reckless driving, per a published report.

    NFL Network's Mike Garafolo, citing Anderson's attorney, said that the wide receiver received six months of non-reporting probation.

    Felony charges from Anderson's arrest in January had previously been dropped.

    Anderson was arrested on Jan. 19 on suspicion of multiple charges after he allegedly failed to yield during a traffic stop. The felony charge for reckless driving was downgraded to a misdemeanor.

    --One week after a report that the Oakland Raiders were bracing for possible disciplinary action against wide receiver Martavis Bryant, another story out of the Bay Area offered a positive outlook for the team's recent acquisition.

    Bryant, according to Vic Tafur of the Athletic, has not been notified by the NFL of any pending discipline. Furthermore, the report says that Bryant is clean and hasn't missed a drug test.

    The NFL has not commented on either report against Bryant, who was acquired by the Raiders from the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

    Bryant was suspended for the entire 2016 season due to multiple violations of the league's policy on substance abuse while he was with the Steelers. Last week, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Oakland team officials were awaiting word on whether Bryant was facing additional punishment from the NFL.

    --Defensive end Shaq Lawson said he's received his wake-up call from the Buffalo Bills.

    Bills coach Sean McDermott said earlier this offseason that Lawson needs to step up, leading to speculation that the 2016 first-round pick (19th overall) possibly could be left off the roster come September.

    General manager Brandon Beane didn't calm the waters after telling reporters that Lawson's "training camp will tell a lot about where his career in Buffalo is headed."

    "Shoot, I've been on the trading block I feel like," Lawson said, via The Athletic. "I've just been seeing it. Yeah, it's been a wake-up call. I've been hearing trade rumors and then I kind of realized, 'I'm a first-round pick, third-year now. It's time to wake up.'"

    --New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley is very popular despite having yet to play an NFL game.

    Barkley's No. 26 jersey has been the NFL's top seller this week and for the last 30 days, according to DICK'S Sporting Goods Jersey Report.

    The second overall pick of the 2018 draft even posted his first victory over an NFL East rival, with Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz -- who was last season's top seller -- now relegated to second in that regard.

    Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott and quarterback Dak Prescott were listed as No. 3 and 4, respectively, while Denver Broncos edge rusher Von Miller rounds out the top five.

    --Johnny Manziel is still waiting to get on the field in the Canadian Football League.

    That said, Hamilton Tiger-Cats June Jones has seen enough of Manziel in practice to predict that the former Cleveland Browns quarterback will find his way back to the NFL.

    "I've been pleasantly surprised the last three weeks what a good teammate he is, how smart he is, how he sees the game," Jones said, per ESPN.com. "He should be playing in the National Football League and I believe he will when he gets through with us."

    Manziel, who signed a two-year contract with Hamilton in May, is serving at the backup to incumbent starting quarterback Jeremiah Masoli.

    --Terry McAulay has retired as a referee from the NFL, league senior vice president of officiating Al Riveron announced.

    McAulay became the first NFL referee to work three Super Bowls with less than five years of experience. He worked in Super Bowls XXXIX, XLIII and XLVII.

    The 59-year-old McAulay joined the NFL as a side judge in 1998 and became a referee three years later.

    McAulay is the third official to retire after the 2017 season, joining Jeff Triplette and Ed Hochuli.

    --The Philadelphia Eagles presented former long snapper Jon Dorenbos with a Super Bowl ring.

    Dorenbos spent 11 of his 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles but was not part of the team during the 2017 championship season. In fact, Dorenbos was traded to the New Orleans Saints during the preseason. During his team physical in New Orleans, doctors discovered an aortic aneurism that required open-heart surgery.

    Dorenbos was overwhelmed by both his emotions and the size of the ring -- "It's huge!" -- during Thursday's ceremony. The team posted a video of Dorenbos receiving the ring on its official Twitter site.

    "I was here a long time, so it's really cool they did this," said Dorenbos, per NBC Sports Philadelphia. "I'm honored to say the Eagles have given me a Super Bowl ring."
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    NFL Notebook: Bucs QB Winston reportedly facing suspension
    June 22, 2018


    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston reportedly is facing a three-game suspension by the NFL for groping a female Uber driver in 2016.

    The NFL decided to punish Winston following an eight-month investigation into the incident, which was denied by the former No. 1 overall draft pick.

    Winston's account also was supported by former Florida State teammate Ronald Darby, a cornerback with the Philadelphia Eagles.

    Darby said he was with Winston in the car and released a statement in November in which he said "nothing inappropriate in nature happened in the car that evening and Jameis did not have any physical contact with the Uber driver. The accusations are just not true."

    So why was Darby's version of events apparently ignored? According to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network, Darby's account was deemed inaccurate after league investigators discovered he was not in the vehicle the entire time.

    The Uber driver told BuzzFeed News that she picked up Winston around 2 a.m. local time in Scottsdale, Ariz., on March 13, 2016. The driver alleged Winston "behaved poorly" as soon as he got in the car, and then asked her to stop at a drive-thru restaurant during the ride.

    While in line, the driver said Winston, who she said was the only passenger in the car, reached over and "grabbed" her crotch for three to five seconds.

    When the accusations came to light in November, Winston released a statement which said in part: "I believe the driver was confused as to the number of passengers in the car and who was sitting next to her."

    Darby released his statement two days later, refuting the allegations and claiming he and Winston were seated in the backseat of the vehicle.

    The 24-year-old Winston became the first quarterback in NFL history to pass for over 4,000 yards in each of his first two seasons. He was hampered by a shoulder injury in 2017, limiting him to a career-worst 3,504 passing yards with 19 touchdowns in 13 games.

    Winston has completed 939 of 1,544 passes for 11,636 yards with 69 touchdowns and 44 interceptions in 45 career games with the Buccaneers. He has also rushed for 513 yards with eight scores.

    --Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly is recovering following the latest surgical procedure in his battle against oral cancer.

    Kelly's wife, Jill Kelly, posted an update on her husband's condition on her Instagram account Thursday. The post was accompanied by a photo of the couple holding hands.

    "Never stop holding hands. In sickness and in health," wrote Jill Kelly wrote. "Out of surgery and in recovery.

    "Still in a lot of pain, but everything went well. Thank GOD! No teeth yet, but 5 implants were inserted into the new bone in Jim's upper jaw. More technical than I can explain."

    The 58-year-old Kelly underwent a 12-hour procedure on March 28 to remove oral cancer and reconstruct his upper jaw. He was discharged from a New York hospital on April 14.

    Kelly was diagnosed with cancer in his jaw in 2013 and underwent surgery. After doctors determined the cancer had spread to his nasal cavities, he underwent additional treatments and had another surgery in March 2014.

    In 2016, Kelly was declared cancer-free before the disease returned earlier this year.

    During the early 1990s, Kelly led the Bills to four straight Super Bowl appearances. He retired after the 1996 season and was voted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 2002.

    --Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver John Ross' rookie season was forgettable by nearly every measure.

    Ross saw action in only three games, playing a total of 17 snaps, and failed to make one reception during an injury-riddled 2017 after he was taken by the Bengals with the ninth overall pick in the NFL Draft.

    As much as the injuries were a factor, Ross told Sirius XM NFL Radio that the criticism he received about his willingness to play through pain was difficult to absorb.

    "When people question the things that you desire when they don't understand, it's kind of tough on a player," Ross said. "Because you don't understand why they would do something like that, because they just really don't know what you're going through. And I think that's the problem sometimes, the fact that people don't understand that you are dealing with something that's traumatic to your career and they really can't seem to feel the pain that you're going through. So they really don't understand."

    Even when Ross was healthy, he was ruled inactive in nine of 12 games by the Bengals, further ratcheting up the pressure on a speedster who was expected to be a perfect complement to Pro Bowl wideout A.J. Green.

    "No one wants to be hurt and no one plans on being hurt, so you've got to look at the guys who work hard every day and then they go out and there's freak accidents, there's things that happen all the time," said Ross.

    A standout at the University of Washington, Ross opened eyes nationally when he clocked a blazing 4.22 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, the fastest time ever recorded there.

    However, Ross was held back from the start of training camp while rehabbing a surgically repaired shoulder and then suffered a sprained knee in his preseason finale.

    Ross finally got on the field against the Houston Texans on Sept. 14 and it was not a debut to remember. He had one carry for 12 yards but fumbled on the play.

    The 24-year-old Ross did not see the field again until Oct. 29 and, after hurting his shoulder again, eventually was placed on season-ending injured reserve in early December.

    --Free agent running back Orleans Darkwa, who led the New York Giants in rushing last season, announced on Twitter that he has been medically cleared to resume football activities.

    The 5-11, 190-pound Darkwa underwent surgery in May to remove a plate from his left leg, which was broken in 2016.

    Darkwa rushed 171 times for 751 yards and five touchdowns for the Giants last season, but it seems unlikely to return to the team, which has added Saquon Barkley, the second pick in the NFL Draft, and veteran free agent Jonathan Stewart to its backfield this offseason.

    The 26-year-old Darkwa was signed by the Miami Dolphins as a free agent out of Tulane in 2014, but was released after playing only four games that season.

    Darkwa signed with the Giants in November 2014 and scored the first touchdown of his NFL career the following month against the St. Louis Rams. In four NFL seasons, he has rushed for 1,038 yards and nine touchdowns.

    --DeMarcus Ware knows a little something about getting after the quarterback.

    So it says something when Ware compares Denver Broncos rookie linebacker Bradley Chubb to one of the elite pass rushers in NFL history: himself.

    "You know what? He can be," Ware said on a Talk of Fame Network podcast when asked if Chubb can fill his shoes. "He's one of those guys who's mature. He listens. And that's what you want from a young guy. Because some of them come in very arrogant, saying, 'OK, I'm in the league now.' But to me, he has that 'I just arrived' mentality. 'Now what do I need to do to deliver?'"

    Ware retired in 2016 after spending the last three seasons of his 12-year NFL career with the Broncos, helping the team win a Super Bowl championship following the 2015 campaign. He walked away from the game ranked eighth on the all-time list with 138.5 sacks.

    Earlier this month, Denver hired Ware as a pass-rush consultant for the team, which will give him an opportunity to work with Chubb, the No. 5 overall pick in this year's NFL Draft.

    Chubb, who signed his rookie contract on Thursday, recorded 25 sacks and 54.5 tackles for loss with North Carolina State. He registered 10 sacks in each of his last two seasons with the Wolfpack.

    With Shane Ray expected to miss the start of the season, Chubb will start opposite All-Pro linebacker Von Miller. Denver amassed at least 41 sacks in each of Ware's final three seasons, but that number dipped to 33 in 2017.

    --The Cleveland Browns overhauled their roster in the offseason and one of the biggest areas of change was in the running game.

    Isaiah Crowell, who started all 32 games and led the team in rushing the past two seasons, was allowed to leave via free agency -- a void the Browns filled by signing free agent Carlos Hyde.

    Cleveland also used its second-round pick to select rookie Nick Chubb out of the University of Georgia, creating a logjam in a backfield that also includes Duke Johnson.

    Browns running backs coach Freddie Kitchens is not concerned about how to divvy up the workload among the running backs. Instead, views the glut of talent as a nice problem to have.

    "Ultimately, all three of those guys can run our running game," Kitchens told the team's official website. "Duke can do a few more things in the passing game. Ultimately, we feel like that is a position of strength. Coach (Bill) Parcells taught me a long time ago, do not turn a position of strength into a weakness.

    "You would like to keep it a strength, and we are fortunate that is where we are."

    Kitchens said his strategy for doling out carries will be simple: He plans to ride the "hot hand" from one week to another.

    "If they are having success, why would you change?" asked Kitchens.

    Hyde and Johnson already have a track record of success in the NFL, although the latter has carved out more of a role as one of the league's top pass-catching running backs.

    Despite the moves to fortify the ground game with the acquisitions of Hyde and Chubb, Cleveland signed Johnson to a three-year contract extension worth a reported $15.6 million earlier this month.

    Although he had a career-high four rushing touchdowns in 2017, Johnson also established a personal best with 74 receptions for 693 yards and three scores.

    "Duke has done some great things for our offensive football team," head coach Hue Jackson told the team's website. "We expect him to do even more this year."

    Hyde, a second-round draft pick of the San Francisco 49ers in 2014 following a stellar career at Ohio State, has had problems staying healthy but did appear in all 16 games in his career for the first time in 2017.

    Similar to Crowell, the 230-pound Hyde provides a physical presence but he provides an added dimension with his receiving skills, posting a career-high 59 catches last season.

    "We know that he is a bruiser once the pads come on," said quarterback Tyrod Taylor, acquired in an offseason trade with the Buffalo Bills. "Something that I have been impressed with is his catching ability. I did not really know much about Carlos before he came here. I played against him one time in Buffalo."

    Chubb, who was selected with the No. 35 pick overall, arrived in Cleveland with much fanfare despite splitting time with Sony Michel -- a first-round pick of the New England Patriots -- at Georgia, which reached the national championship game last season.

    The 5-foot-10, 225-pound Chubb rushed for 4,769 yards with 44 touchdowns in four seasons with Georgia, averaging 6.3 yards per carry for his career. He amassed 1,345 rushing yards and scored a career-high 15 touchdowns in 2017.

    --The San Francisco 49ers signed offensive lineman Laken Tomlinson to a three-year contract extension through the 2021 season, the team announced.

    The 6-3, 212-pound Tomlinson was acquired by the 49ers in a trade with the Detroit Lions on Aug. 31, 2017, and started the last 15 games of the season at left guard.

    "Laken is a very talented player who has improved consistently since joining the team one week before last year's season opener," 49ers general manager John Lynch said.

    "This offseason, his hard work and dedication paid off as he continued to progress and perform at a high level. We were confident we could work out a contract extension with Laken and we are fired up to get that done before training camp."

    Tomlinson was selected in the first round (28th overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft out of Duke by Detroit and has appeared in 47 games (39 starts), plus one postseason start in his three-year career.

    In 2016, he appeared in all 16 regular season games with the Lions (10 starts) and started the team's Wild Card game against the Seattle Seahawks.

    A 26-year-old native of Chicago, Tomlinson made 52 career starts in four seasons at Duke and as a senior in 2014 he earned First-Team All-American honors and was named First-Team All-ACC for the second consecutive season.

    --Former NFL cornerback Brandon Browner pleaded no contest to charges of battery and child endangerment in Southern California after being arrested on May 6, TMZ Sports reported.

    It was Browner's third arrest in the last year.

    The 33-year-old Browner was sentenced to probation, but because he already was on probation from a previous incident, he was sent to jail for violating his probation.

    However, Los Angeles County officials released Browner after only two days because its jail was overcrowded.

    Browner, a native of Los Angeles, was arrested on drug charges in October, and he also was arrested for making criminal threats in September.

    In 2016, he was accused of assaulting his child's grandfather, although he did not face charges.

    Browner made the Denver Broncos' roster as an undrafted rookie from Oregon State in 2005, played two seasons in Denver and four seasons with the Calgary Stampeders in the Canadian Football League.

    Then he spent three seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, one with the New England Patriots and one with the New Orleans Saints before finishing his career with a brief stint in Seattle in 2016.

    --Referee Gene Steratore, who worked the Super Bowl in February and was involved in one of the most controversial on-field incidents in 2017, will retire, NFL vice president of officiating Al Riveron announced.

    Cameron Filipe of Football Zebras reported that Steratore will join CBS Sports as a rules analyst.

    Steratore worked 12 playoff games since becoming an NFL official in 2003, including Super Bowl LII.

    During a game between the Oakland Raiders and Dallas Cowboys last season, Steratore pulled out an index card and placed it between the football and chain stick to determine whether the Cowboys had achieved a crucial first down.

    The Cowboys got their first down and went on to win the game, 20-17. Then-Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio protested and the NFL said later Steratore should have used his eyes and not the index card.

    However, no further action was taken.

    Last year, all 17 of the NFL's referees returned, but since the 2017 season ended, referees Steratore, Jeff Triplette, Ed Hochuli and Terry McAulay have retired.

    Triplette will join ESPN's Monday Night Football team, and it has been reported that McAulay will land a job with NBC, but that has not been confirmed.

    --Offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn, the first of the New England Patriots' two first-round draft choices, has signed with the team, the team announced.


    Wynn, selected with the 23rd pick of the draft out of Georgia, agreed to a four-year contract that projects to be worth about $11.4 million, according to the NFL's rookie wage scale.

    Running back Sony Michel, the Patriots' other first-round pick at No. 31 who was Wynn's teammate at Georgia, is the only player in New England's 2018 draft class who remains unsigned.

    Wynn played left guard and left tackle for the Bulldogs, and Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia said he would get a look at left tackle as the team works to find a replacement for Nate Solder.

    During the Patriots' minicamp, Wynn saw time at left guard because Joe Thuney was out following foot surgery.

    --The Oakland Raiders signed fullback Ryan Yurachek and waived fullback Henry Poggi, the team announced on Friday.

    The 6-3, 240-pound Yurachek, signed last month with the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent out of Marshall, but was waived last week.

    Yurachek played tight end at Marshall, where he was an All-Conference USA selection last season and totaled 143 catches for 1,354 and 26 touchdowns in 51 games over four seasons.

    Before signing Yurachek, the only fullbacks on the Raiders' roster were starter Keith Smith and Jamize Olawale.

    Poggi signed with the Raiders as an undrafted free agent out of Michigan following rookie minicamp.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    NFL notebook: Beckham could still hold out
    June 23, 2018


    Odell Beckham Jr. insisted a week ago that he will be in attendance when the New York Giants open training camp next month, but an SNY report suggests that the mercurial wide receiver could still be a holdout if contract negotiations continue to lag.

    Beckham wants a new contract that will make him the highest-paid wideout in the game. He is set to make $8.5 million in 2018 on the fifth-year option of his rookie deal.

    Beckham appeared to shut down the notion of a holdout a week ago, telling SNY at his football camp in New Jersey. "No. No holdout." Asked if he will show up when training camp begins July 25, Beckham answered: "Yes sir. Yes you will."

    Yet, despite those strong words, the website reported that a holdout is still on the table, citing sources in Beckham's camp.

    Beckham is recovering from a surgically repaired ankle, an injury that limited him to four games last season. The one snag for the team, according to the report, is that officials want to see Beckham healthy and on the field.

    --It is not a question of if, but when Drew Brees will break Peyton Manning's NFL records for passing yards and touchdowns.

    Brees, quarterback of the New Orleans Saints, trails Manning by 1,495 passing yards and 51 touchdown passes. Manning retired after winning Super Bowl 50 in February 2016.

    Brees, 39, is entering his 18th NFL season. Last year, he threw for 4,334 yards with 23 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

    Manning owns NFL records with 71,940 passing yards and 539 TD passes. Brees is behind only Manning with 70,445 passing yards. He trails Manning and Brett Favre (508), and is tied with Tom Brady with 488 touchdown passes.

    --Steve Spurrier, the coach of the Orlando entry in the new Alliance for American Football that will begin in February 2019, reached out to fellow former Florida quarterback Tim Tebow to gauge his interest in joining the team.

    During an appearance on the Paul Finebaum Show on Friday, Spurrier acknowledged that shortly after he was hired he texted Tebow, the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner as a sophomore at Florida who spent three seasons in the NFL but is currently playing baseball for the New York Mets' affiliate at Double-A Binghamton. He declined the offer from Spurrier.

    "He said, 'Coach, I'm gonna keep swinging the bat and see what happens,'" Spurrier said. "I told him we'd have a No. 15 down in Orlando waiting for him."

    Tebow, who will turn 31 in August, entered the weekend batting .251 with five home runs and 24 RBIs in 62 games at Binghamton. He played at two levels of Class A ball in 2017, hitting .226 with eight home runs in 126 games.

    Tebow, a left-handed hitting outfielder, spent three seasons in the NFL -- with Denver in 2010 and 2011, and with the New York Jets in 2012.

    --Two games into his CFL career, Johnny Manziel has yet to take a regular-season snap.

    Manziel watched from the sideline again as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats evened their record at 1-1 with a 38-21 victory over the Edmonton Eskimos on Friday night.

    And with the way starting quarterback Jeremiah Masoli played in the victory, it doesn't appear Manziel will have many chances to be under center in the near future.

    Masoli finished 19 of 29 with three touchdowns, an interception and 332 yards for the Tiger-Cats.

    --Former Western Michigan cornerback Sam Beal will have his pro day Thursday at the school.

    Beal is among three players -- all defensive backs -- who are expected to be available for the NFL supplemental draft to be held July 11.

    Cornerback Adonis Alexander (Virginia Tech) had his pro day Wednesday, with an estimated 26 NFL teams attending the workout. Mississippi State Brandon Bryant is expected to petition the NFL to enter the supplemental draft.

    According to NFLDraftScout.com, Beal and Alexander each flashed length, athleticism and ball-skills throughout their college careers.

    The 6-foot, 185-pound Beal was second-team All-Mid-American Conference in 2017.

    --The status of injured Tennessee Titans right tackle Jack Conklin for the 2018 season opener is unclear.

    Conklin tore an ACL in January against the New England Patriots. He has attended organized team activities and minicamp but has only been able to walk and observe.

    According to the team's website, it is too early to tell if Conklin will be ready for the Titans' season opener at the Miami Dolphins on Sept. 9. If Conklin is ready, it would be only eight months of recovery time, which is considered fast for an ACL tear.

    --Kareem Jackson will have a new position in the Houston Texans' secondary.

    Texans coach Bill O'Brien told a Houston radio station Friday that Jackson will be shifted from cornerback to safety, per the Houston Chronicle.

    Jackson has appeared in 116 games (108 starts) in eight years with Houston -- all at cornerback. O'Brien said Jackson was moved to safety during the offseason program.

    The Texans have a need at the position after safety Andre Hall was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma earlier this month. Hall started all 16 games in 2017.

    A first-round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, Jackson is expected to compete for the starting job with rookie Justin Reid, a third-round draft selection. Jackson made 14 starts last season, registering 73 tackles, one interception and 10 pass breakups, which tied for the second highest of his career. He has 14 career interceptions, returning three for touchdowns.

    -- Wide receiver Willie Snead got a chance to play with one of the most prolific passers in the NFL during his tenure with the New Orleans Saints.

    Still, leaving Drew Brees and the Saints when the team declined to match an offer sheet from the Baltimore Ravens in April was not much of a disappointment for Snead.

    "I think it worked out for the best," Snead told the Times-Picayune of New Orleans on landing with the Ravens on a two-year.

    Snead was a big contributor in each of his first two seasons in New Orleans, hauling in 69 receptions for 984 yards and three touchdowns in 2015 and following with 72 catches for 895 yards and four scores in 2016. However, he was suspended for the first three games of the 2017 season for violating the league's personal conduct policy and never established a role in the offense, finishing with eight receptions for 92 yards.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    NFC West Odds Outlook
    June 25, 2018


    2018 NFC West Division Odds

    The NFC West in 2018 is expected to be one of the most competitive divisions in the NFL.

    The Los Angeles Rams are the defending division champs and they are listed as a slight favorite, while the San Francisco 49ers are the second choice.

    The Seattle Seahawks used to be the power in this division, but they are now just the third choice in the betting odds, while the Arizona Cardinals are the longshot.

    Let’s look at the odds and NFC West predictions.

    2018 NFC West Division Odds
    Los Angeles Rams -105
    San Francisco 49ers +190
    Seattle Seahawks +335
    Arizona Cardinals +1265


    Los Angeles Rams

    The Rams went 11-5 last season under first-year head coach Sean McVay. The Rams didn’t sit still in the off-season, as they added Brandin Cooks on offense and added Marcus Peters, Aqib Talib and Ndamukong Suh on defense. There is no question that Cooks should be an excellent addition to the offense, but it will be up to defensive coordinator Wade Phillips to manage the egos of Peters, Talib and Suh.

    The Rams were exciting on offense last season as McVay proved that a good coach could turn Jared Goff into a very good quarterback. Goff was nearly ruined under Jeff Fisher, but under McVay he blossomed. He threw for nearly 4,000 yards and had 28 TDs and just 7 interceptions. The Rams went from last in the NFL in total offense in 2016 to leading the league in points in 2017. Goff has one of the best running backs in the NFL behind him in Todd Gurley, who had 1,305 yards rushing and 13 TDs. He also caught 64 balls for 788 yards and six TDs. The addition of Cooks should take some of the pressure off of Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp.

    On defense the Rams should be much better in the secondary, as they were last in the league last season with just seven interceptions. Getting Peters and Talib should vastly improve the secondary. It also doesn’t hurt that the Rams can team up Suh with All-Pro Aaron Donald on the defensive line.

    San Francisco 49ers

    The 49ers went 6-10 last season but that record doesn’t tell the whole story, as when the 49ers traded for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo everything changed. Garoppolo started the last five games and the 49ers went 5-0. The 49ers have a very good head coach in Kyle Shanahan who knows how to get the most out of an offense. Shanahan will have an additional weapon this season, as the 49ers signed running back Jerick McKinnon to a four-year deal. The 49ers are hoping McKinnon can do for them what Gurley does for the Rams. The 49ers have solid receiving options in wide receivers Pierre Garcon and Marquise Goodwin and San Francisco upgraded the offensive line with the additions of Weston Richburg and Jonathon Cooper and they took right tackle Mike McGlinchey in the first round.

    The defense is still a concern for the 49ers, as they ranked 24th last season. Not much was done in the off-season to improve the defense but San Francisco did add Richard Sherman and they hope he is healthy and a major contributor this season.

    Seattle Seahawks

    The Seahawks run of greatness ended last season and it may be over for quite some time. The Seahawks still have Pete Carroll as their head coach and Russell Wilson at quarterback, but they lost a lot of players in the off-season from a team that went 9-7 last season and missed the playoffs. The Seahawks did get another big year from Wilson in 2017, as he threw for nearly 4,000 yards and 34 TDs. He had to run around constantly because the Seahawks stubbornly refuse to improve their offense line. It allowed 43 sacks last season and the only addition heading into this season is D.J. Fluker who didn’t look that great with the Giants. Seattle did take Rashaad Penny in the first round of the NFL Draft so perhaps they will have a running game this season. It should also help that Chris Carson is returning from injury. The Seahawks also added Brandon Marshall but they lost Jimmy Graham.

    The defense will be different this season, as Ken Norton Jr. takes over as defensive coordinator. Norton Jr. had a great career as a player, but his defenses haven’t been that great. Seattle is no longer a great defense, as gone are Richard Sherman and Michael Bennett and there are rumblings that Earl Thomas may not stay.

    Arizona Cardinals

    The Cardinals finished 8-8 last season and missed the playoffs for the second straight season. Bruce Arians retired and Steve Wilks takes over. Wilks is the former defensive coordinator for Carolina and he should improve Arizona’s defense in 2018. The Cardinals will also have a new offensive coordinator, as Mike McCoy takes over after being with Denver last season. The Cardinals are expected to go with Sam Bradford at quarterback until top draft pick Josh Rosen is ready to take over. The good news for Arizona is that David Johnson returns from injury. He was considered one of the top running backs in the NFL before getting hurt. The Cardinals still have the ageless Larry Fitzgerald at receiver and they added Christian Kirk in the draft and picked up Brice Butler from Dallas. The offensive line was a disaster last season, allowing 52 sacks. The Cardinals picked up Justin Pugh and Andre Smith and they drafted Mason Cole from Michigan.

    The defense was very poor last season, so Wilks brings with him Al Holcomb who coached the linebackers last season for Carolina. Holcomb will be the defensive coordinator this season and he has his work cut out for him. The Cardinals do have All-Pro linebacker Chandler Jones and All-Pro safety Budda Baker but not much else.

    2018 NFC West Predictions


    The Rams have the 5th-toughest schedule in the NFL this season, but they also have the most talent in this division. There is no value on the Rams at odds-on to win the division, but there is a little bit of value on the 49ers at odds of almost 2-1. The Rams and 49ers should fight it out all season for the NFC West, while the Seahawks and Cardinals will try and finish above .500.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    NFL notebook: Edelman's appeal heard Monday
    June 25, 2018


    New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman's appeal of his four-game suspension for violating the league's performance-enhancing drug policy was scheduled to be heard Monday, multiple media outlets reported.

    Dan Graziano of ESPN.com cited sources as saying Edelman plans to mount a vigorous defense and has enlisted outside counsel for his appeal, specifically New York-based attorney Alex Spiro.

    Graziano also reported that Edelman is arguing that the NFL made mistakes in the manner in which the tests results were handled. The mishandling of the evidence is one of the reasons that Edelman believes he should be exonerated.

    Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated reported that the substance in question wasn't "immediately recognizable."

    Breer declared that the test came in the offseason "a couple months ago." That rules out stimulants, which are included in the substances of abuse policy, separate from the performance-enhancing policy.

    -- Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is eligible for a new contract after this season and he reportedly has changed agents in advance of those negotiations.

    Prescott is leaving Jeff Guerriero of ProSource Sports and has hired Todd France and Creative Artists Agency, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

    Prescott must wait five days after notifying his former agent before registering the move with the NFL Players Association. That is when the change becomes official.

    Prescott, a fourth-round pick in the 2016 draft, signed a four-year, $2.7 million deal after the Cowboys selected him. He will make $630,000 in base salary this season, and he makes more in endorsements than he does playing football.

    Prescott, 24, has a 22-10 record as a starter in two seasons with Dallas. He has thrown for 6,991 yards, 45 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.

    --Free-agent safety Ron Parker agreed to a contract with the Atlanta Falcons, the team announced.

    The Falcons did not divulge the terms of the deal for Parker. However, NFL Network Tom Pelissero reported that it was a one-year deal.

    Parker is expected to provide depth for the Falcons behind Pro Bowl selection Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen.

    The 30-year-old Parker was released by the Kansas City Chiefs in March. He was just two seasons into a five-year, $25 million contract he signed in 2015.

    --The 2018 NFL Supplemental Draft has been set for July 11 at 1 p.m. ET, league spokesman Michael Signora said.

    Former Mississippi State defensive back Brandon Bryant, former Western Michigan cornerback Sam Beal and former Virginia Tech cornerback Adonis Alexander will be available.

    Alexander held a pro day last Wednesday and Bryant did the same on Monday morning. Beal is expected to host teams on Thursday.

    --Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Keith McCants was arrested and charged with a felony count of possession of crack cocaine near St. Petersburg, Fla., multiple media outlets reported.

    McCants, 50, was also charged with driving with a revoked or suspended license.

    Per the Tampa Bay Times, McCants has been arrested in the Tampa area on nine occasions since 2010.

    McCants' NFL career ended in 1995.

    --Randall Cobb's availability for the start of training camp is in question as the Green Bay Packers wide receiver is nursing an ankle injury, according to a published report.

    According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Cobb was seen wearing a walking boot on his right ankle at an airport. The 27-year-old said the injury is "temporary," but did not divulge how or when it happened or if surgery was required.

    NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported, citing a source, that Cobb is expected to be fine for the start of the season.

    --The New England Patriots have typically held joint practices with another team during the preseason, but it appears that won't be the case this year.

    The Patriots' preseason camp schedule does not include any practices with another team, according to Phil Perry of NBC Sports Boston.

    Unless there is a scheduling change, it would be the first time since 2011 that the Patriots have not had a joint practice session.

    --Safety Landon Collins has been an outspoken member of the New York Giants, and it sometimes led to uncomfortable situations.

    Nonetheless, Collins reportedly said he would like to be a captain of the Giants, although he realizes it's not entirely up to him.

    "There are a lot of great guys on that defense that can be captain," Collins said, via NJ.com. "I'd like to have the 'C' on my chest, but it's up to my guys. ... Being a leader is tough: You have to make fast decisions and be an outspoken person and you have to gain the respect of others so they will listen to you. It's hard, but it's a role I'll always take heavy on my heart."

    --Tom Brady was named the NFL's Most Valuable Player last season, although one player said the 2017 honor should have been presented to Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.

    Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr told NFL.com why he would have supported Wilson, who did not receive any votes on the final ballot.

    "His ability to extend plays and he never has help, and he's always able to somehow ... He should have won MVP, I think, this past year," the 26-year-old Barr said. "No offensive line, no running game, can't name three receivers on his team and he just makes plays."

    --Denver Broncos rookie Royce Freeman has a chance to be the team's starting running back, coach Vance Joseph said.

    "Absolutely," Joseph said of Freeman's opportunity, per ESPN.

    The Broncos' backfield has been in motion since last season's leading rusher, C.J. Anderson, moved on to the Carolina Panthers.

    Freeman, who was selected in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft, is expected to challenge Devontae Booker for the leading role.

    --Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett made an impact when he was on the field during his rookie season.

    Unfortunately for Garrett, an ankle injury slowed the start to his season and a concussion forced him to miss the Browns' trip to London. All told, the 22-year-old played in just 11 games.

    "The best quality is availability," Garrett said recently. "I have to be present."

    Garrett, who was the top overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, had seven sacks to go with 31 tackles last season.

    "He is one of the few guys that I have had to coach that I know I am going to have to keep my hand on to hold back," defensive coordinator Gregg Williams told ESPN regarding Garrett, who is listed at 6 feet 4, 272 pounds. "One of the things with him is his overworking. He works so hard because he does not want to be good; he wants to be great.

    "Sometimes he can be his own worst enemy in that respect because he works so hard physically that he has to do a good job with recovery also. The next thing is this -- and he knows -- if he stays healthy, watch out."

    --Green Bay Packers running back Ty Montomery endorsed the team's plan to use a "running back by committee" scheme in their ground game this season.

    Packers coach Mike McCarthy said earlier this year that the tailbacks will share the running-back chores and no single tailback will carry the load.

    The means Montgomery, Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams will each get carries.

    "That's what you want," Montgomery said, via the team's website. "You want to know your teammates -- even though you're all fighting for a job -- you want to know no matter who's in the game, that guy is going to get the job done.

    "If Aaron's in the game or Jamaal's in the game or I'm in the game, we all bring something different, and everything that we bring has been effective. You want that. You want depth, you want versatility. I'm excited for what this room brings to the table."
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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