Pats now have plenty of ammunition to move up for a quarterback

Three teams in the AFC East could now be angling for top-shelf quarterbacks in the draft.

The Jets already sit in prime position after moving from No. 6 to No. 3 last month. The Bills, with two first-round picks, two second-round picks, and two third-round picks, have the ammo to make the climb as high as No. 2, maybe No. 1.

The Lions have vowed to field a more legitimate running game in 2018. That should also mean they’re thinking about another offensive line upgrade with this pick, but it would not be shocking if Guice were to be selected this high. He would allow Detroit to officially give up on Ameer Abdullah and would be the workhorse ahead of new veteran backup LeGarrette Blount and pass-catching Theo Riddick.

The Bengals last year paid the price after letting both Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeiter walk in free agency. The offensive line needs to be addressed further after the addition of Cordy Glenn for left tackle. Williams is viewed more as an inside blocker and could start right away at either guard spot.

The fact that the Cooks trade happened now, and not with the Rams’ pick on the clock on the first night of the draft, shows that the interest in Beckham was real — or at least that Patriots coach Bill Belichick believed it to be real. Belichick surely would have insisted on waiting to do the deal sat a time when he couldn’t be leapfrogged at No. 23. The Rams apparently pushed back, telling the Patriots if they don’t do the deal now, the Rams reserve the right to do the deal for Beckham later.

Now, the Beckham deal to the Rams won’t be happening. It doesn’t mean the trade won’t be made to another team, but taking the Rams out of the mix could give the Giants less leverage when it comes to getting the most they can for Beckham.

But playoff defenses are different animals. They will be ready for Miami’s handoffs and wildcat cutting. Smart defenses delight in the presence of extra non-shooters. The Heat should be mindful of that.bills_118

Bengals in no hurry to extend Andy Dalton

Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton will not be getting a new contract any time soon.

Although quarterback salaries have taken off since the Bengals signed Dalton to a long-term extension in 2014, Bengals Vice President Troy Blackburn says the Bengals don’t think they need to re-do the deal.

“We didn’t sign the Andy Dalton deal because we thought it was a good deal. At the time it was an expensive deal. It was a heavy lift,” Blackburn said. “We did it because Andy was a winning starting quarterback in the National Football League, he had demonstrated that.

Rodgers, 34, is entering his 14th NFL season and is about to sign his last big contract — an expected record deal. While the Packers do not appear to have the future Hall of Famer’s heir apparent on their current roster, they do have decent young backups to provide depth for the short term. But again, a 36-year-old Favre didn’t expect Green Bay to draft his eventual replacement in 2006, either.

Davis was arrested at the Hawaiian Airlines check-in counter when, after being asked security questions about his luggage by an attendant, turned to a female companion and allegedly asked her, “Did you pack the explosives?”

The 24-year-old was taken into custody by LAX police and released from jail after posting $15,000 bond. The woman with Davis was not arrested, police said. Davis’ preliminary court hearing is scheduled for May 3.

Quinn also raved about the addition of running back LeGarrette Blount, who the GM said didn’t want to leave his free-agent visit until he signed his contract.

“He came in and really wanted to be here,” Quinn said. “He was really, really excited about the direction of this team, direction of ownership, management with coach Patricia in the fold. We spent a long day negotiation and LG wouldn’t leave until he signed the contract. It was great day and we’re really excited about what he’s going to bring.”bills_069

Saints leading the NFC South pack following measured free agency approach

No team in the NFC South has followed the Los Angeles Rams’ guide to building its 2018 roster. No one among the New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers splashed all around the free-agent market.

Each team added pieces here and there. Each team subtracted pieces, which seemed to be the Panthers’ strategy more than anyone else in the division.

It’s still unclear exactly who will end up as the best quarterback from this class, but it does seem safe to say it won’t be Johnny Football. Twelve of the 20 scouts McGinn polled suggested Manziel’s career would go down as a miss, with scouts expressing concerns about his off-field behavior even before hitting the pros. Zach Mettenberger received one first-place vote, with his six points placing him just ahead of AJ McCarron’s five.

Winston was seen as a far more polarizing prospect at the time of the draft, owing in part to his off-field troubles. One scout compared Winston to a less athletic version of JaMarcus Russell. Eight of the 19 executives on McGinn’s anonymous committee suggested Winston would be a disappointment or a bust, while just one said the same thing about Mariota.

“I thought it was a unique hire,” Dilfer, a former ESPN analyst and an expert in quarterbacks, told NJ Advance Media. “But I became a big fan once I started doing the mental gymnastics of it. I think it’s a really good partnership because it fills in gaps on both sides.”

Shurmur is a West Coast offense disciple of coach Andy Reid’s with the Eagles, with recent exposure to Norv Turner with the Vikings. Shula used run-pass-options with the Cam Newton-led Panthers to supplement his upbringing in the power rushing attack.

“For Pat to have Mike there for the expertise in some of the heavy-run stuff, the play-action game is a huge value,” Dilfer said. “Especially playing in New (Jersey).

“You have to play the grind-it out-ugly game sometimes. You can’t throw it all over the place sometimes. There are elements, in late-season football where you have to play that power game.”bills_051

Eli Manning: No problem with Odell Beckham not coming to my workouts

Giants quarterback Eli Manning invited offensive teammates to come with him to use the Duke University practice facility to do some offseason workouts together. Odell Beckham did not attend, but Manning was fine with that.

Manning told reporters today that as Beckham rehabs from the ankle injury that ended his 2017 season, “it didn’t make sense” for Beckham to join the group at Duke when Beckham is still getting back to full speed after the injury.

I say during because it’s crazy that the narrative changed to we were protesting the anthem and that wasn’t the case. I think we’re going to take a different approach to how we’re going to be active.”

Reid, 26, registered 66 tackles and two interceptions in 2017, earning a grade of 81.4 from Pro Football Focus, 30th among safeties. He was a Pro Bowl selection in 2013.

As for the Bengals, the team has a history of bringing aboard players with off-field concerns or criminal records, like Adam “Pacman” Jones and Joe Mixon, and sticking with players like Vontaze Burfict, whose violent streak on the field has earned him multiple suspensions. But taking a knee during the anthem is a line too far apparently.

This represents Janikowski’s second visit of the offseason. Both have been on the west coast, with the 40-year-old kicker meeting with Chargers brass last month. The Raiders opted against re-signing Janikowski, having pivoted to Giorgio Tavecchio. The Seahawks aren’t as stable at this position.

After the meeting with Brown, Reid would meet with Bengals coaches and take a physical. But at one point, head coach Marvin Lewis attempted to get another answer from Reid on his stance with the national anthem kneeling, and none came. Neither did a contract offer.

It’s unclear if this means no contract offer will come for Reid, but it’s safe to think it’s in jeopardy if both sides can’t reach a mutual understanding on the issue.

Reid had hoped to bury those worries by letting everyone know that he won’t be protesting during the national anthem anymore, according to ESPN .bills_027

There is not a single person who has the “Right” to protest while on company time and employed by a privately owned company.

I agree that anyone can ask whatever they want, just like most posters can be as closed minded and/or racist as they want. It takes a great amount of courage to go against the norm and do it peacefully unlike so many other people that protest by hurting innocent kids at schools or bars or concerts.

Keep the players in the locker room during the anthem. Problem solved. You can’t force players to stand. It’s not in their contract or the collective bargaining agreement.

The right wing coopted the players message, and made their kneeling more about disrespecting the flag to avoid their real message, which was about unarmed black men shot and killed by police. This is what a society does when they want to ignore the plights people who are disenfranchised. If you’re a minority, and not gifted at athletics, or you’re one of a few fortunate enough to gain a great education, that flag stands for oppression.

Teams do have the right as the players are representing the teams while on the job and in uniform. They’re representing the team and if the customers don’t like it and boycott the team and or the league they’re within their rights to not hire someone that won’t adhere to company policy.

Everyone with a job has a certain set of standards/rules they must adhere too. Being a football player is a job plain and simple. These players are expected to act a certain way because their employer pays them to play football not take activist stances. When you strip away the it’s entertainment, its sport and all the other nonsense – it’s a job – there are rules – follow the rules. If you don’t like the rules you can be cut (fired) and do whatever you want. No one is telling these players what to do on their time but when they are on the field they are being played to play football and help make the organization they play for money.

Many claim to love freedom but what freedoms do you claim to love? This is very confusing on a philosophical level. It only makes sense on an emotional level. But emotional reactions are quite often irrational once the person calms down and can think rationally for themselves.

Thought Reid said he wouldn’t be kneeling this year,.Not sure why he was bothered by the question if he didnt plan on kneeling.Guy played hard, hope he gets a job somewhere and stays healthy.rams_094

The long-awaited meeting between Bryant and ownership comes before the Cowboys open their offseason workouts on Monday.

The decline of the 29-year-old receiver, who hasn’t passed the 900-yard mark since signing his new contract in 2015, has put Bryant’s future in Dallas in jeopardy.

Meredith now joins a cast of Saints receivers led by Michael Thomas , Ted Ginn , Tommylee Lewis and Willie Snead . We can’t help but wonder if Snead could be the odd man out.

Meredith put together a promising 66-catch, 888-yard, four-score campaign in 2016 before suffering a season-ending ACL injury in August. It’s no guarantee he comes back as the same player, but Meredith gives New Orleans an intriguing young target to add to the mix.

Without question, his fantasy value is helped by landing with an offense run by future Hall of Famer Drew Brees .

Maclin remains unsigned and is still “fielding his market,” per Anderson.

The 29-year-old was a Pro Bowler in 2014 with the Eagles and followed it up with a great season in 2015 with the Kansas City Chiefs. He tallied 172 catches for 2,406 yards and 18 touchdowns in that two-year span.

However, he has struggled mightily over the past two seasons, with 2017 being his worst year in the NFL. He set new career lows with 40 catches and 440 yards playing for the Baltimore Ravens.

Still, the Cowboys’ interest is noteworthy considering the struggles in the passing game last year. The team ranked 26th in the NFL in total passing yards with not a single receiver reaching 900 yards.

The Browns traded for Tyrod Taylor as their best stopgap in years, but the team also will go after its long-term franchise solution in advance of Taylor becoming a 29-year-old free agent in 2019. Although Darnold has his flaws like every talented QB in this rich class, he’s the most well-rounded prospect at the position with his arm, accuracy and athleticism.rams_059

Bucks’ Malcolm Brogdon returns; Giannis Antetokounmpo remains out

The Milwaukee Bucks welcomed back 2016-17 Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon for Monday night’s 102-86 win over the Orlando Magic.

Brogdon had been out since early February, about six weeks, with a partially torn left quadriceps tendon.

“I’m going. … I’m playing tonight,” Brogdon said earlier Monday.

Carlos Gomez added an RBI double in the third, and Adeiny Hechavarria made it 3-1 Rays with an RBI single in the fourth.

Rodriguez was charged with three runs and five hits in 3 2/3 innings. He struck out seven and walked two.

Rays: Manager Kevin Cash said Brad Miller tweaked his groin running out of the box. The plan was to have him checked out Sunday and evaluated again Monday morning.

Red Sox: Cora said Dustin Pedroia is progressing well. He is starting to run the bases, which is the next step in his rehab from left knee surgery. He took ground balls on Saturday and has been hitting for a month. “He’s moving well. He’s going side to side,” Cora said.

The Nuggets had upgraded Harris to “questionable” on the team’s injury report.

Denver has two games left — against the Blazers and Minnesota — and needs at least one victory to clinch a playoff spot.

The Nuggets have won six straight games and eight of 11 in a spirited push for the playoffs.

Harris, 23, has had a breakout season for the Nuggets, averaging 17.7 points, including 48.6 percent from the floor and 40 percent from 3-point range. Harris was injured on March 15.

Miami went 2 for 12 with runners in scoring position, stranded 10, hit into a double play and lost a runner on the bases.

The game was the first this year between the NL East rivals. The Mets went 7-12 against the Marlins last year.buccaneers_091

NFL free agent rumors: Ndamukong Suh, Seahawks hope to meet

Ndamukong Suh is on to the next visit.

After meeting with the Saints and Titans over the weekend and leaving both teams without a deal, the free agent defensive tackle could be visiting the Seahawks this week, Yahoo Sports reported.

The report noted Suh could also meet with the Rams while on the west coast.

“What a night,” Landeskog said.

Blues D Alex Pietrangelo played in his 617th career NHL game. He surpassed Bob Plager for second on the team’s all-time list for defensemen. … Colorado was without D Erik Johnson and G Semyon Varlamov, who are both sidelined by knee injuries. Varlamov won’t have a chance to play in the first round, coach Jared Bednar said. … Colorado had 28 home wins, matching a franchise record for wins that was set in 2000-01, when the team hoisted the Stanley Cup.

Blues: Offseason.

Avalanche: Face Nashville in the first round of the playoffs. The Avs were 0-3-1 against the Predators this season.

He rushed for 961 yards and three touchdowns with Indianapolis last season.

“We have a chance to go the distance,” MacLellan said. “I don’t know that we’re as deep or as experienced as we were last year, but I think the whole league is a little less of that. There’s probably a couple teams that are a little deeper that might have a chance, theoretically, of going farther, but I think we’re in the mix with the high-end teams.”

Everyone thought the Capitals were the highest of high-end teams in 2016 and 2017, and they lost to the eventual Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round each time. Williams has implied that favorite status didn’t suit the Capitals well, and Trotz said “the crown is quite heavy” for a team expected to win.

For the seventh time in his career, the Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin finished the NHL regular season as the league’s top scorer. With two goals Saturday against the Devils, Ovechkin capped his season with 49 scores.buccaneers_075

Ravens’ Ozzie Newsome, John Harbaugh face questioning in Colin Kaepernick grievance

Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome and coach John Harbaugh will be questioned Thursday concerning the collusion grievance filed by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Pro Football Talk reported the owner and coach will be questioned under oath at the team’s facility and Kaepernick has the option to attend. The free agent quarterback, who hasn’t played since 2016, previously attended Texans owner Bob McNair’s deposition in Houston.

Braves: 3B Johan Camargo (oblique) is expected to continue his rehab assignment through Wednesday and could be back by next weekend’s series with the Chicago Cubs.

Rockies: OF Charlie Blackmon, who left Saturday’s game in the 10th inning, was out of the starting lineup with back stiffness. “Charlie will be fine,” Black said. “A day-to-day situation.” … RHP Jeff Hoffman (shoulder) threw a bullpen session Sunday and is expected to pitch for Class A Advanced Lancaster on Tuesday.

Braves: Julio Teheran (0-0, 10.13 ERA) faces the Washington Nationals and three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer on Monday.

Rockies: On Monday, Jon Gray (1-1, 2.45) will face the San Diego Padres for a second straight start after tossing seven shutout innings against them five days ago.

Newhouse, 29, is an eight-year veteran who spent last season with Oakland serving as the team’s starting right tackle where he made 14 starts. He is expected to push Jordan Mills for the starting right tackle job.

Bodine, 25, has been a full-time starter at center for the Bengals since they made him a fourth-round pick in 2014.

1B Ryon Healy flew back to Seattle on Monday to meet with Dr. Edward Khalfayan and review an MRI of his ankle, which he hurt Saturday during a postgame workout. Healy was put on the DL retroactive to Sunday and RHP Chasen Bradford was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma.

  • Mariners: DH Nelson Cruz (sprained right ankle) and C Mike Zunino (left oblique strain) resumed baseball activities Monday, and both could be back this weekend. OF Ben Gamel (right oblique strain) is getting at-bats at Tacoma and is also close to returning.buccaneers_015

Sean McVay talks up how’hypothetically’ Odell Beckham Jr. would fit with Rams

Keen anticipation was an early hallmark of coach Sean McVay’s play-calling success for the Rams, so it came as no surprise that he utilized the skill when he sat down for breakfast with reporters at the NFL owners meetings Tuesday.

After McVay sipped from a glass of water, but before he was fully settled into his seat or fielded a question, he posed one.

Hypothetically, I think a player of his caliber can kind of really do everything, McVay said.

Asked, hypothetically, how he felt about trading a first-round pick or using other options to acquire a targeted player, McVay replied with what sounded like a not-so-veiled recruiting pitch.

One of the things that being able to play in such a unique environment and atmosphere like L.A., it provides an opportunity to take advantage of that, he said, and that’s something we want to be proactive about.

How would McVay give everyone on a star-laden offense enough touches if, hypothetically, Beckham joined the Rams

As long as we have lot of snaps a game, he said, I think we can keep everybody happy.

On Monday, several people with knowledge of the situation said that the Rams had contacted the Giants about Beckham, who is entering the final year of his contract.

49ers CEO Jed York admitted Wednesday that he and Sherman had to unblock each other on Twitter after the cornerback joined San Francisco as a free agent.

We had to unblock each other on Twitter, York admitted, via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area.

York, who didn’t explain why they’d blocked each other in the first place, admitted that Sherman’s competitiveness was frustrating when on the other side.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday that team owners achieved a priority item by imposing harsher punishment for helmet-inflicted hits while some defenders ripped the rule change designed to reduce concussions. We think this is going to help us take the helmet out of the game, and get it back to where it’s a protective device as opposed to something that can be used as a weapon, Goodell said. Owners approved a 15-yard penalty and possible ejection for any player who lowers his head to initiate contact with his helmet. The move was aimed at reducing the number and severity of concussions and other injuries.patriots_109-223x223