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A report this week indicated that the Browns took a run at trading for Super Bowl LII MVP Nick Foles this offseason, but found themselves looking elsewhere for a quarterback when the Eagles passed on the deal after running it by Foles.

Browns General Manager John Dorsey was asked about that report on Wednesday and cited tampering rules as a reason for a no comment while also taking time to mention the veteran quarterback that the team did wind up acquiring in a trade.

Well I know this, we’re very excited to have Tyrod Taylor as our starting quarterback, Dorsey said, via I’m not going to talk about another team’s player. You all know my position on that. He’s with the Philadelphia Eagles and I won’t talk about him.

People. People. Perspective, please.

It was Game 2. Though the save preserved a 3-2 lead, there is no guarantee the Golden Knights would then have won the match if Tuch had finished the cross-ice pass from Cody Eakin and the game had gone into overtime. Further, a Caps defeat in that one would only have created a 2-0 scenario. Brilliant as it was, the save decided nothing.

Martin, who will make $9.341 million this season under the fifth-year option, is working out at the team facility but not participating in OTAs.

Y’all don’t see Zack here, but Zack’s here, Lawrence said. I don’t really want to speak on that. Zack has got his things going on. He’s here, so it is what it is.

Lawrence, 26, made only nine sacks his first three seasons while missing 16 games with injuries and a four-game suspension. He had 14.5 sacks last season.

Lawrence trusts that the Cowboys (eventually) will pay him as their war daddy pass-rusher, which is why he signed the tag and is showing up every day at The Star.

I know how to play the [business] game, too, Lawrence said. I might not play the game just the way everybody else play their game, but I know if I keep putting in that work and do what I need to do on the field, they’re going to sign me, so I’m not really worried about it.

Do you eat fried food? You see, that’s bad. I stopped eating fried food, Adams said. I eat fish, anything that’s real basically. I’m trying new things. I didn’t even eat asparagus. Now, I eat asparagus. I tried lamb the other day, spinach. I’m just kind of stepping the game up as far as my diet.

Adams had an immediate impact as a rookie last season. The former LSU star energized the Jets locker room and was all over the field in Todd Bowles’ defense. While he had a strong rookie campaign, he was unhappy because of the team’s struggles, something he did not experience much in college.

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New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram is entering the final year of his contract in 2018, and this spring, he made a change that could impact his next round of negotiations.

Ingram, 28, has hired a new agency to represent him, signing with Detroit-based VIP Sports Management and agents Paul Bobbitt and David Jones. Previously, Ingram was represented by Joel Segal of Lagardere Sports and Entertainment, an international agency with offices in New York, Dallas and Scottsdale, Ariz.

Considering he repeatedly hit batters, likely without his manager’s warning, the Padres coaching staff is also at fault. The Rockies are a team on the rise, with plenty of good young ballplayers, including Arenado and Charlie Blackmon. Unless there is a reasonable explanation for what Perdomo did, there is no excuse for this brawl.

Despite the fact that multiple parties could have and should have prevented these brawls, I do believe that we can take a couple of good things from them. First off, we can appreciate rivalry between ball clubs, even if it is not particularly friendly, because baseball feeds on tension. Secondly, I am happy to see that each of these four teams, though quite young, have players who are loyal to their teammates, and loyalty is especially valuable, particularly in the free agent era.

I do not believe brawls are the best ways to solve problems, but I can appreciate what these scraps did.

Also back is Kerry Hyder, who enjoyed a breakout season in 2016, before an Achilles tear in the preseason sidelined him all of last year. If he’s anywhere close to the same player he was pre-injury, the boost he can provide shouldn’t be understated.

The rotation is rounded out by Anthony Zettel and Cornelius Washington. Zettel enjoyed a breakout of his own last year and is an ascending talent who should be able to build on his 6.5 sacks, while Washington provides a sturdy edge setter who serves an underrated role against the run.

But you never can have enough pass rushers, and with Ansah operating on a franchise tag, destined to hit the open market next offseason, the Lions should jump at the possibility of getting a potential future starter early in the draft — assuming one is still there at No. 20, when the team is slated to make its first selection.

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Allen Park – It was far from an ideal rookie season for Detroit Lions linebacker Jarrad Davis, but he’s banking on a year of on-the-job learning and a strong finish in 2017 to lead to positive results in his second season.

You can’t really dwell on the bad things, Davis said. You just have to go out, you have to play and you have to have fun. I was able to go out and say that those last three games. … I just went back to being a kid again. Just going out there and letting loose, not really worrying about anything, not really stressing about messing up, not really trying to say,’I’ve gotta do this, I’ve gotta do this.’ Just going out there and letting things happen.

Even though he knows he’ll be learning another new defensive scheme this offseason, with Matt Patricia at the helm, along with a new defensive coordinator and position coach, Davis said he feels more mentally relaxed coming into his second season.

While the playbook might be different, the young linebacker is confident the transition will be made smoother because of the study habits he refined during his rookie campaign.

The biggest key to Davis’ improvement will certainly be the strides he can make in pass coverage.

According to Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune, the primary factor in their decision to not tag the restricted free agent at a more restrictive level was the fact they were worried about Meredith’s recovery from a torn ACL and partially torn MCL in a preseason game. Campbell reported that heavy doubt about Meredith’s knee has existed since his surgery, and that by late October, the team was uncertain about his future.

It must have been a considerable concern, since they still need all the offensive weapons that they can get and they’re still sitting on $24 million in cap room, meaning they could have easily absorbed the two-year, $9.6 million offer the Saints lured him away with.

Making it that much more strange is they guaranteed a lot more money to another wide receiver coming off an ACL tear.

The Bears gave Allen Robinson a three-year, $42 million contract, with $25.2 million guaranteed. He tore his ACL in the regular season opener for the Jaguars, weeks after Meredith’s injury.

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Colin Kaepernick deserves endorsement even if he’s not in the NFL More SportsPulse: USA TODAY Sports’ Jarrett Bell spoke to his sources within Seattle’s organization and uncovers a different story of how their issues with Kaepernick unfolded. You can forgive the Adidas executive who on Friday said the company would be interested in signing a deal with Colin Kaepernick, apparently unaware Kaepernick has an existing deal with Nike. The forgiveness ends there. Inexplicably, Nike did not bother to clear up the situation until late Wednesday afternoon.

But, as Heath alluded to, it served as a reminder of the business side of the sport. That’s a part of life. Nothing lasts forever, Jones said. He was an incredibly dominant receiver here and I was lucky to see it and be a part of his dominance while he was here. Jones said his level of play went to another level because of Bryant and he will miss their one-on-one battles in practice.

But what about the rest? Who are the other top options for teams in need of a quarterback?

Earlier on, teams will have to decide between Kyle Lauletta, who soared after an impressive showing at the Senior Bowl, and Luke Falk, the large-bodied passer out of Washington State with a deep arm. In the mid- to late rounds, Nic Shimonek has potential, and some team is likely to buy low on J.T. Barrett’s athleticism.

Let’s meet the sleepers at the most important position in football.

Kyle Lauletta entered Senior Bowl week as an intriguing FCS prospect with questions to answer. The most significant one was common for quarterbacks from lower-tier schools: Can he look comfortable against a higher-caliber defense, particularly alongside other passers who have received far more hype?

The answer came quickly, as Lauletta impressed in practice throughout the week and then ripped up the game itself. He threw three second-half touchdown passes and finished the Senior Bowl with 198 yards through the air, which immediately vaulted him into Day 2 consideration.

Lauletta is the ideal target for a team with a fine short-term solution at quarterback and other priorities in the first round. The New England Patriots are one such example, as Bleacher Report’s Mike Tanier noted earlier this month.

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USA TODAY Sports NFL columnist Jarrett Bell and NFL reporter Lindsay H. Jones have been polling agents this year to get a sense of how they view the league’s teams, executives and its issues, particularly those linked to labor relations and collective bargaining.

A total of 25 agents responded to a series of questions, with some choosing to abstain to certain portions of the survey. But most did provide opinions when asked which teams were most prepared during free agency, which decision-makers commanded the most respect (and the least), and more. Here is what their answers revealed:

Saints at Vikings

Oct. 28, 8:20 p.m. A rematch of last season’s thrilling divisional round showdown — the so-called Minnesota Miracle, in which Vikes receiver Stefon Diggs won the game on a walk-off 61-yard TD catch after New Orleans safety Marcus Williams failed to tackle him — this figures to be another back-and-forth battle. These are likely playoff teams, so it could have NFC seeding implications once the season wraps up.

Packers at Patriots

Nov. 4, 8:20 p.m. There’s nothing quite like watching the top quarterbacks in the NFL — Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers — battle. Factor in that these are two legitimate Super Bowl contenders who meet only every four years makes it that much more intriguing.

Here are six contenders that must navigate the toughest regular-season schedules in order to make the postseason after the 2018 season. Andy Reid is breaking in new starting quarterback Patrick Mahomes with a brutal stretch early in the season. It starts with the Chargers and Steelers in consecutive road games.

Brandon Marshall isn’t embracing the notion of fellow wide receiver Dez Bryant joining the New York Giants. Marshall, in fact, took to social media to voice his displeasure with Bryant’s comments about possibly suiting up for the Giants. Sorry baby bro no room, Marshall posted on Instagram along with a screenshot of Bryant’s comments. Marshall has since deleted the comment.

Bryant, who was released by the Cowboys last week, was asked about possibly joining the Giants during an interview with Mike Fisher of 105.3 The Fan in Dallas. The Giants, Bryant said, got a hell of a defense, they’re going to pay OBJ (Odell Beckham Jr.), so coming back. Playing with him, Sterling (Shepard), the tight end (Evan Engram), (quarterback Eli) Manning? Crazy…. draft (Penn State running back Saquon Barkley with the No. 2 overall pick)? That’d be crazy! While Bryant included a lot of names in that quote, one that was missing was Marshall.

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The NFL schedule for the 2018 season was set Thursday night, so you can start circling dates on your calendar. Potential playoff and Super Bowl previews, scintillating quarterback matchups, and reunion games are among the highlights. Here are the 10 games we’re most excited to see (in order of date; all time Eastern):

Raiders’ home opener

Sept. 10, 10:20 p.m., Monday night, vs. the Rams. New (and former) Oakland coach Jon Gruden has said he wants to bring the game back to 1998. Well, with his regular-season return to the Black Hole sideline after a nine-year hiatus, we will get to see how Chucky plans on shaping the Raiders’ identity.

Saints vs. Falcons

Sept. 23, 1 p.m., in Atlanta; Nov. 22, Thanksgiving, 8:20 p.m., in New Orleans. These teams don’t like each other. The NFC South was so competitive last season that an underrated rivalry shouldn’t disappoint in either of its iterations, which could very well carry massive playoff implications. And a Matt Ryan-Drew Brees faceoff — along with all the dynamic skill position players — makes it that much better.

Rodgers will also be under the spotlight considering he is coming off a broken collarbone and played just seven games in 2017. The injury derailed Green Bay’s season, and the dominant franchise missed the playoffs for the first time since the 2008 campaign.

The only realistic chance the Packers have at bouncing back is a healthy Rodgers, and he will have the opportunity to once again showcase what he can do to a national audience in this matchup.

Here are the 10 matchups we’re most excited to see (in order of date):

49ers at Vikings

Sept. 9, 1 p.m. Perhaps a surprising inclusion, this game features a few intriguing quarterback subplots. Kirk Cousins signed with Minnesota in March, though it was once believed he would reunite with Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco. Instead, Jimmy Garoppolo is in charge after joining the Niners in a trade last October. He impressed in six games, going 5-0 as a starter, but a challenge against a stout Vikes defense should be captivating.

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The predraft obfuscation reaches its zenith right about now, days before the draft. And the Browns, who have the No. 1 and No. 4 picks — and a dire need for a franchise quarterback — have yet to tip their hand. Common sense suggests they’d take a passer, though we still don’t know who they favor. But common sense was nowhere to be found in 2016, when they passed on Carson Wentz, or in 2017, when they passed on Deshaun Watson.

I thought we made a good push here tonight, created a lot more zone time and made Fleury work a little harder than he had to this point in the series, Los Angeles coach John Stevens said. But (we) had some critical errors at critical times along the wall (that) ended up costing us.

Vegas’ offensive burst broke open a third straight game of tense, defense-dominated playoff hockey between a franchise that won two Cups with that attitude and another that didn’t exist a year ago.

Some of the possible conflict between Rodgers and the Packers is Kirk Cousins ‘ fault.

It’s not that the new Minnesota Vikings quarterback did anything wrong by leveraging the free agency market into an unprecedented, fully guaranteed contract worth $84 million over the next three seasons. It’s that by signing it, Cousins set a standard for what a premium passer will cost.

While the Kings are down, they know they’re not out: They rallied from an 0-3 series deficit in the first round in 2014 against San Jose.

Oh yeah, we trust in ourselves, and it’s been done before, said Iafallo, whose goal gave Los Angeles its first lead of the series. We look at each other, look across the room, and we trust each other. We can definitely do it.

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Atlanta Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said Wednesday the team continues to negotiate with quarterback Matt Ryan’s agent but reiterated there’s no timetable on getting a contract extension completed for the one-time MVP.

I’m definitely excited to go in there and share my wisdom as being a professional in this business and also learn, too, from the younger guys as well, Stewart said Wednesday. There is always room for growth and I’m excited to be a part of that running-back group. The sky is the limit and I’m excited to meet those guys and be a part of the team.

It is not yet determined who Stewart will share the room with. Wayne Gallman and Paul Perkins are holdovers for the Giants at running back but there is a much bigger prize waiting out there. The Giants own the No. 2 pick in the NFL draft and could use it on Saquon Barkley, the Penn State star considered by many talent evaluators to be a once-a-decade talent.

Stewart spent the first 10 years of his career with the Panthers and turns 31 next week. He is coming off a career-worst 3.4-yard-per- carry average and signed a two-year deal worth $6.9 million, with $2.95 million in guaranteed money, so it can realistically be viewed as a one-year commitment for around $3 million. For that money, general manager Dave Gettleman is not viewing Stewart as the starting running back.

I’ve got a lot left, Stewart said. The only reason why I would be playing is if I knew I could play and I know I can play, Dave knows I can play — there is a lot that I feel I want to prove and writing my own story as far as how things shape up moving forward for me.

It played a significant role, said Stewart, who visited with the Seahawks and Lions before signing with the Giants. Dave believes in me, and it’s just good to know that the GM believes in what you can do on the field, and Mike Shula, there is a familiarity with the offense and the scheme.

There’s no time frame on it right now, Dimitroff told reporters gathered at Georgia’s pro day. I think the biggest thing for [Ryan’s representation], at one time, was probably waiting to see what was going on in the market. That’s kind of come and gone now, right? So we’ll continue to talk about how to get it finalized.

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The man whose blind side Orlando Brown protected at Oklahoma is defending Brown after an ugly Combine performance.

Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma’s Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, says Brown’s poor showing at the Combine shouldn’t hurt his draft stock. Instead, Mayfield says, it’s Brown’s play on the field that matters.

Gronk signed an extension two years into his pro career as a hedge against the back injury that cost him his final year at Arizona. The future Hall of Famer still might retire this offseason, but if he continues his career, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Gronkowski pick up a new deal next offseason handing him in excess of $10 million per year. If not Gronkowski, the next big deal is going to take a while, given that guys such as Zach Ertz and Travis Kelce are under contract through the 2021 season. By then, someone like Evan Engram might be in the discussion.

To get Solder to leave the comfort of New England and head down I-95, the Giants had to reset the left tackle market. Trent Williams previously held both these marks at $13.6 million and $42.3 million, respectively. The leap from Williams’ deal to Solder’s would be like if Cousins picked up a three-year, $98.6 million deal from the Vikings. It’s an enormous outlay from a team that desperately needed offensive line help for a tackle who has never been voted to a Pro Bowl during his seven years in the NFL.

An effective long-term solution has not been found among such luminaries as: DeShone Kizer (2017), Johnny Manziel (2014), Brandon Weedon (2012), Brady Quinn (2007) and Luke McCown (2004).

This has not simply been a streak of bad luck. Yes, more was expected of Quinn, but that’s about it. Both Kizer and Manziel were too immature to handle being the face of this woebegone franchise. Consider those two to be bad draft picks. But also consider that the Browns did not invest heavily in uncovering their franchisequarterback either.

Big Blue has drafted three quarterbacks in the Eli Manning-era: Ryan Nassib (2013), Rhett Bomar (2009) and Davis Webb (2017). Nassib and Bomar were clearly considered back-ups. Still, they weren’t hugely successful.

On the other hand, Webb is being considered as an heir to Manning. Based upon Cleveland’s track record though, drafting a franchise quarterback means investing a high draft pick. That places the odds of Webb becoming a franchise quarterback at worse than 50/50.

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Plans for Muhammad Wilkerson to visit the Packers were reported before Wilkerson was officially cut by the Jets on Monday and that visit is now taking place.

Word earlier this week was that the visit was scheduled for Wednesday and Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that is when Wilkerson arrived in Green Bay. He was set for dinner with Packers coaches before moving on to a formal visit at the team’s facility on Thursday.

Cassel joined the Titans in 2016 and spent the last two seasons backing up Marcus Mariota. He started one game in each season and completed 55-of-93 passes for 446 yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions.

Brandon Weeden is set for free agency and the Titans also have Alex Tanney and Tyler Ferguson on the roster. They may be in the market for another experienced backup to Mariota once free agency opens next week.

Weems saw most of his time on special teams during his one season with the Titans. He caught one pass, returned two punts and two kickoffs.

Cassel’s release clears $2.5 million in cap space while dispatching Weems opens another $1.35 million. Along with the space gained by cutting Murray and Searcy, the Titans have created over $13 million in space this week.

Price partially tore a pectoral muscle during the bench press Thursday. Now comes word that Lewis has the flu.

NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reports the flu is spreading around the combine and could keep Lewis from participating in Sunday’s defensive line drills.

Lewis started 36 of his 55 games played, making 112 tackles, 36.5 tackles for loss and 23.5 sacks. His sack total ranks fifth in school history.

Assuming Bell stays healthy, the Steelers won’t be able to justify franchising him for a third time at a rate of nearly $21 million in 2019. The former second-round pick will either hit free agency or sign an extension with the Steelers, which should easily top McCoy’s $27.3 million figure. The interesting question is whether Bell will set a running back record. Seven of the eight largest running back deals are dead and buried, led by the three-year, $42 million deal Adrian Peterson negotiated as part of a restructure from the six-year, $86.3 million contract he agreed on with the Vikings before 2011. They remain the only two deals to top $31 million over three seasons and did so by a considerable margin, topping $40 million.

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