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Shades of Brady: Pats’ Stidham 7th QB selected

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The New England Patriots continue to explore possibilities to succeed Tom Brady in the future, as they selected Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham on Saturday in the fourth round of the NFL draft.

Stidham, the 133rd overall selection, was the seventh quarterback picked overall, following Kyler Murray (first overall, Cardinals), Daniel Jones (sixth, Giants), Dwayne Haskins (15th, Redskins), Drew Lock (42nd, Broncos), Will Grier (100th, Panthers) and Ryan Finley (104th, Bengals). That’s similar to Brady, the 199th overall pick of the 2000 draft who saw six quarterbacks — sometimes referred to as the “Brady 6” — selected before him.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“I think he can be Tom Brady-esque because Jared’s really smart, he throws well from the pocket, he’s good at making quick decisions. I think that is a great fit for him. And he loves Tom Brady to death. I’m sure that is like getting drafted by God for him,” Slayton said.10

Stidham completed 470 of 739 passes for 5,952 yards, with 36 touchdowns and 11 touchdowns over the past two seasons at Auburn after transferring from Baylor. His completion percentage dipped from 66.5 in 2017 to 60.7 in 2018, which has sparked questions.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

“It’s one of those things, but I wouldn’t trade my time at Auburn for anything. I loved it there, and the great thing about Auburn is that it can really help prepare you for the next level. And sure enough, I’m lucky enough to sit here and be a Patriot and further my career a little bit.”

How much longer he furthers his career, and how well the 22-year-old Stidham ultimately develops, could help the Patriots transition to life after Brady, who turns 42 in August and has said he hopes to play until he’s 45. At the least, Stidham should have the luxury to develop behind the scenes in 2019.

Hoyer, the team’s veteran backup, enters the final year of his contract. Meanwhile, Etling will vie for a backup spot after spending his rookie season on the practice squad. When Stidham visited the Patriots’ facility in April, he said he shared lunch with Etling.

Flores: Rosen has to ‘earn’ Dolphins’ starting job

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The Miami Dolphins are expecting a newly motivated Josh Rosen when he arrives to the team facilities, but he won’t find the starting quarterback job handed to him on a platter.

Dolphins coach Brian Flores made it clear that Rosen, whom Miami acquired from the Arizona Cardinals on Friday night for a late-second-round pick and a 2020 fifth-round pick, won’t be treated any differently than the rest of the players on the team.

Miami got great value in the trade for Rosen, who was the 10th pick in the 2018 draft, but he has a lot of work to do after posting the NFL’s lowest passer rating (66.7) last season.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

It’s a fresh start for Rosen after the Cardinals drafted his replacement, Kyler Murray, first overall Thursday.

“He has a chip on his shoulder now,” Dolphins general manager Chris Grier said of Rosen.

Value played a huge role in trading for Rosen, but the Dolphins also felt strongly about his character and defended him against criticism that recently surfaced. Some of that criticism included questions about Rosen’s leadership skills and passion for football and whether he is well-liked by his teammates.9

Added Flores: “You never get to really know a person until you sit with him every day, which we’ll get that opportunity. We’ve done a lot of work on Josh. I think he’s smart, he works hard, football is important to him and I think he has an opportunity to help this team win games.”cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

The Dolphins did their homework on Rosen in last year’s draft, as did Flores and new offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea during their time in New England. But they dug in deeper once the Cardinals began offering Rosen when this year’s draft began. The negatives weren’t what they seemed, according to Grier.

Rosen will get a chance to prove he can be the guy to solve the Dolphins’ short-term and long-term quarterback problem. But the franchise quarterback label? It won’t be given to him.

“You have to earn the right to get that kind of label,” Flores said. “You have to do it in the meeting, on the practice field. To label a kid like that right off the bat, I feel like that’s unfair in a lot of ways. You have to earn it.”

Added Grier: “We didn’t go out saying he has to be a franchise quarterback for us. For us, it was, he’s a very talented young player, still has a lot of upside in the league and the terms for us, the value and taking on the contract and etc. — for us, the value was tremendous that we couldn’t afford to pass up.”

Sources: TE Watson considering 16th season

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Veteran tight end Benjamin Watson, who intended to retire after last season, is now considering a return to the NFL for a 16th season, league sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Saturday.cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping

Watson, whose wife is due to give birth to twins next week, might be open to returning to the NFL under the right situation, the sources said.10

The 38-year-old Watson, whose contract with the New Orleans Saints expired after the 2018 season, ranks 14th among tight ends in NFL history with 530 career receptions. Watson has amassed 5,885 yards and 44 touchdown catches.

He previously said that 2018 would be his final season in the NFL. A first-round pick of New England in 2004, the two-time finalist for the league’s Walter Payton Man of the Year award has also played for the Browns and Ravens.

“I knew coming into this year that it probably would be the last year,” Watson said at the end of last season. “And I think our approach was as a family that we were fortunate to come and play for another year, but you kind of know. It’s been great to be a part of this team and have this sort of winning at this point of my career. But the injuries add up, the body struggles more and more. And it becomes evident that it’s time.”nfl nike jerseys for cheap

Watson played in every game for the Saints last season, catching 35 passes for 400 yards and two touchdowns. It was his second stint with the Saints.

Source: Seahawks want 1st-rounder for DE Clark

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The Seattle Seahawks are still considering trading defensive end Frank Clark, a league source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Saturday.

In return, the Seahawks would want any package to include at least a first-round pick in next week’s NFL draft, the source said.

Clark, who has yet to sign his $17.128 million franchise tag, has been the subject of trade rumors. He led the Seahawks with 13 sacks and also had four forced fumbles and an interception last season, and he added another sack in a wild-card playoff loss to the Dallas Cowboys.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

Earlier this week, Seahawks general manager John Schneider said trade rumors are common this time of year, but he didn’t shoot down any involving Clark, who turns 26 in June.9

“He’s a franchised player. We love Frank,” Schneider said. “He’s an incredibly effective pass-rusher and we love him. … When you’re getting close to the trade deadline and you get close to the draft, it’s like major speculation, a ton of drama, all the news outlets and everything. I get it. It’s what we’re doing, it’s entertainment.

“People around the league know that we’re in every deal, that the people on my staff, we’re always trying to understand the landscape around the National Football League. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be doing our job. We can’t ever have our head in the sand with anything, but we love Frank. Obviously that’s why we franchised him.”

The Seahawks have a league-low four picks in this year’s draft, so the potential return on a Clark trade would add much-needed draft capital. But it would mean moving on from one of the game’s top edge rushers in what could be the early stages of his prime.

His 33 sacks since 2016 ranks ninth in the league, and his 2,045 defensive snaps in that span are fewer than the eight players ahead of him, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. Of the 21 players with at least 25 sacks since 2016, Clark’s average of a sack every 63.9 snaps ranks seventh.cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping

No other player on Seattle’s roster other than defensive tackle Jarran Reed (10.5 sacks) had more than three for the Seahawks last season. The Seahawks recently added defensive ends Cassius Marsh and Nate Orchard in free agency. Dion Jordan, who spent the past two seasons with Seattle, remains unsigned.

The Seahawks publicly shopped Richard Sherman in 2017 and considered trading Earl Thomas last year, ultimately hanging on to both players for one more season. So their desire for a first-round pick in any trade is in keeping with recent precedent of highly valuing players even though they might not have a long-term future with the team.

Badgers won’t let Watt wing it at commencement

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J.J. Watt was prepared for his May 11 commencement address at the University of Wisconsin. Or at least he thought he was.

Then he was asked to send a copy of his speech when he was done writing it.

“I said, ‘Nothing. Just give me a black screen and tell me when to stop talking.’ That was literally my plan. But I found out you have to write some stuff down. So I have about a month to figure it out.”cheap nfl jerseys china nike

The Houston Texans defensive end started his college career at Central Michigan but transferred to Wisconsin as a walk-on in 2008. He played for the Badgers for two seasons, and although Watt did not graduate from Wisconsin because he declared early for the NFL draft in 2011, he said he knows what everyone actually wants from a commencement speaker.10

“I mean, I have some messages I want to say,” Watt said. “I have some things I want to get across. But let’s be honest: They just want to go drink beer afterwards. They’re excited. I know how commencements go. They just want the person to give a cool message for about five minutes, and then get off the stage.”

Watt said he isn’t nervous about speaking in front of the crowd, saying he’s “really excited about that.”

“I get to go back to Wisconsin [and] Camp Randall [Stadium],” Watt said. “I never graduated, so I get to see what graduation looks like. It’s an honor. It’s such a true honor.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

“I grew up 45 minutes from Camp Randall, so being invited to go back [and] have the opportunity to go back to a school and a team that I watched growing up and idolized, walked on and eventually got a scholarship from [and] now to be able to speak at their commencement, it’s an unbelievable honor. I take it very seriously. Even though I said I wasn’t going to write a speech, I take it very seriously. I’m humbled.”

Vikings’ Griffen: ‘Rough year’ with mental health

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Everson Griffen offered an introspective look at his life over the past few months and discussed the difficulties that came with returning to the field while dealing with personal issues related to his mental health.

At the start of offseason workouts, the Minnesota Vikings defensive end said he’s in a place where he finally feels like himself again after a “rough year.” Griffen was hospitalized when concerns arose over his well-being last September, which led to him miss five weeks of the 2018 season.

“It’s a progression each and every day,” Griffen said Tuesday. “I’m taking it day by day, staying consistent with my life outside of football with those matters and stuff like that, and I’m happy. I’m happy.
“To be honest, it was more of a get-through,” Griffen said. “I need to get through this. I need to be tough. … I enjoyed coming here because I’m a competitor, but it was more of a get-through because of how much I had on my plate. So it was more of a get-through. So I didn’t really get the chance to enjoy it as much as I normally do.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“… Now it’s time that I can enjoy it and bring that enjoyment, but still enjoy life. Find that balance. That’s what I really want to find, that balance.”9

Last month, the 10th-year defensive end agreed to a contract restructure before his salary was set to become fully guaranteed on the third day of the league year. Griffen took a near $3 million pay cut to remain with the team that drafted him in 2010 and admitted that his struggles on the field gave him a feeling that restructuring his contract was inevitable.

“When I’m me, when I’m myself, I can play well,” Griffen said. “And last year I wasn’t myself. If I was myself, I wouldn’t have to take a pay cut — if I was myself, if I was playing at the level I know I can play at each and every year. But I wasn’t, and sometimes things happen in your life that you have to get better with and you have to move forward and you have to learn from it. And this was a big learning experience and I dealt with some stuff.

“But now I’m comfortable, I’m happy, my family’s happy, my kids are happy and that’s what matters the most to me right now. Sitting here and being free and understanding where I can go and what I can do.”cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Though Griffen said the Vikings didn’t approach him about taking a pay cut until close to the start of free agency, where the 31-year-old pass-rusher wants to be for the rest of his career was never in question.

“With me, it was bigger than football,” he said. “I took it upon myself and my family to make the right decision to stay here because I want to be a Viking for life and it’s rewarding because I know the people here love me and they have my best interest in mind. I just wanted to come back here and finish what I started. It feels good to be back in this building and being a Viking and just being around all my boys. This is going on my 10th year and I’m very blessed to be where I’m at right now and really, I’m just happy. I’m just happy to be standing here in front of you guys in this place I’m in right now.”

Andre Reed has acting bug after cameos in ‘MacGyver’ and ‘Hawaii Five-0’

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Andre Reed, who ranks seventh in NFL history with 85 postseason receptions, became a household name by playing in four consecutive Super Bowls for the Buffalo Bills in the early 1990s, games that were broadcast to tens of millions of fans across the country.

Lenkov later followed up with the 16-year NFL veteran, offering a chance for a cameo appearance on his CBS drama “Hawaii Five-O.” After a successful spot on the show in January 2017, Reed hit the airwaves again last week for Lenkov’s “MacGyver,” also on CBS.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

This week, Reed received an invite for Lenkov’s newest series, “Magnum P.I.” It was a welcome development for Reed, 55, who wants to grow his career in acting.10

“The funny thing is you do these little things and it turns into something else,” he said Wednesday. “When I go into something, something I’m really excited about, I put 100 percent into it.”

Reed was a fourth-round pick of the Bills in 1985 and his NFL career blossomed alongside those of quarterback Jim Kelly and running back Thurman Thomas — whom Reed joined in Canton, Ohio, upon his induction to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014. Though he caught 951 passes for 13,198 yards and 87 touchdowns before his retirement following the 2000 season, Reed still had to earn his roster spot when Lenkov first called.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

After their initial meeting, Lenkov sent Reed a script to memorize and asked for a video to be sent back of Reed reading it. Reed passed the test and was flown to Hawaii — staying at the same hotel as his seven trips to Honolulu for the Pro Bowl — for taping. The two-day shoot involved Reed being investigated for a murder as the general manager of a car dealership.

Despite needing about five takes to nail his lines, Reed performed well enough to get called in February to a shooting for “MacGyver” at a parking garage in Atlanta two days after Super Bowl LIII. The approximately six-hour shoot began at 6 a.m. and saw Reed, playing the role of a prosecutor, speaking into a cell phone outside his vehicle before being stabbed.

“Maybe one of these times I should pay an athlete,” Reed joked of being killed off on the show.

The entire cameo on “MacGyver” lasted about 10 seconds, but Reed found similarities to his playing experience in both the preparation and precision required for the brief appearance.

Two-star to potential superstar: Josh Allen wants to be next Khalil Mack

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The Kentucky Wildcats’ pro day is underway in Nutter Field House, where 15 NFL hopefuls are running, jumping and short-shuttling for an army of stopwatch-wielding men who look as if they jumped off the pages of “team store” catalogs. Every team is represented as they evaluate the draft-eligible players from Kentucky’s winningest team in 40 years (10-3 overall), but the best of those players is a spectator. He’s off to the side, mingling with onlookers, chatting with scouts and doing the dad thing.

On this day, linebacker Josh Allen’s only physical activity is chasing around his 14-month-old son, Wesley, who has a deceptively quick first step. Papa Allen has decided not to perform with his teammates — he’s standing on his NFL scouting combine workout in Indianapolis — and there’s something wonderfully ironic about that.cheap nfl jerseys china nike8

He came back for good, though, and, by his junior year, Allen — long and smooth — was an all-state receiver. He decided to return to Montclair for his senior year, a great idea except he fell off the recruiting map. The website 247Sports tabbed him a two-star recruit, ranking him 2,121st in the nation. Montclair coach John Fiore made him a two-way player, introducing him to defensive end. It was akin to giving Mike Trout his first baseball bat; it was natural. Allen started to do amazing things on the field, like the time against perennial power St. Joseph’s when he ran down the star running back on a sweep.

Fiore knew what he had in Allen, a diamond in the rough, but he couldn’t persuade any of the big schools to recruit him. He implored Rutgers to take a look, but the New Jersey state school wasn’t interested.

“Some people just couldn’t see the potential in him,” Fiore says. “Kentucky did, and they won big. I told Rutgers, ‘You guys are going to look foolish when he’s drafted in the first round.'”china nike nfl jerseys cheap

Allen was prepared to sign with Monmouth, but one phone call led to another, which led to a life-changing decision.

It started with Jim Matsakis, the West Orange (New Jersey) High School coach. His team had faced Allen, and he, too, marveled at his untapped potential. Matsakis notified his brother, Louie, a member of the Kentucky coaching staff. Louie alerted D.J. Eliot, the outside linebackers coach. He went online and pulled up Allen’s video. He was intrigued.

Re-signing DeMarcus Lawrence makes Cowboys a Super Bowl contender

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They needed Lawrence because as they found out after releasing DeMarcus Ware after the 2014 season, “war daddies,” as Cowboys owner Jerry Jones affectionately calls pass-rushers, do not grow on trees. And so they did, agreeing to a five year, $105 million deal with $65 million guaranteed, according to a source.

The Cowboys traded up in the second round with an NFC East rival, the Washington Redskins, to take Lawrence with the 34th overall pick in 2014. The move did not pay immediate dividends — Lawrence did not have a regular-season sack as a rookie, but he led the team in sacks in 2015, struggled with a back injury that required two surgeries in 2016, and recorded a combined 25 sacks in 2017 and ’18.cheap nike nfl jerseys paypal

The Cowboys were not going to find Lawrence’s replacement in the draft, even if they had a first-round pick this year. Rookie pass-rushers almost always need time to develop and the Cowboys are not in a position to wait.10

They needed Lawrence because of the message it sent to the locker room. The Cowboys boast that their goal is to draft and develop players before signing them to lucrative contract extensions. The list is impressive: Terence Newman, Jason Witten, Bradie James, Tony Romo, Ware, Marion Barber, Jay Ratliff, Doug Free, Orlando Scandrick, Dez Bryant, Sean Lee, Tyron Smith, Tyrone Crawford, Travis Frederick, Terrance Williams and Zack Martin.

Not all of the deals worked out perfectly. Not every decision to let other players walk was correct either. The Cowboys do not want to play in the deep end of the free-agent pool. The risk is too great. They want to know what they are buying, and with a player’s track record they can make better assumptions.

It’s more than that. Lawrence had two surgeries in 2016. The first back surgery did not correct a disk issue. He could have shut it down that year but opted to keep playing even though it was obvious he was not the same player. He sat the final three regular-season games to be ready for the playoffs that year.nfl nike jerseys for cheap

What message would the Cowboys have sent to the rest of the locker room if they let Lawrence walk or play another year on the franchise tag. Especially after proving 2017 was not a fluke with a second straight Pro Bowl appearance? Some would have pointed to the fact he played hurt and the Cowboys turned their back when it came time to reward him.

Jay Gruden: Redskins must ‘win now’ — and top pick has to make impact

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The Washington Redskins haven’t made the playoffs in three years, which means one thing: They need to win now. And though they need a quarterback, finding one in the first round of the NFL draft might not accomplish that desire.

That’s why other spots could be higher on their to-do list with the 15th pick in the draft, which is April 25-27 (ESPN and ESPN App) in Nashville, Tennessee.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

If the Redskins add a quarterback, coach Jay Gruden provided insight into what he’s expecting:9

“There is no developmental process here,” Gruden said. “This is not Triple-A baseball; we’re [not] trying to develop a pitcher here. We’re trying to win a game right now. If we draft a quarterback in the first, second, third or seventh rounds and he’s going to start Day 1, we expect great things from him.

“Players will expect great things from him. Ryan Kerrigan is not expecting us to come out and ‘let’s build for the future.’ We’ve got to win now. Josh Norman, same way. Landon Collins did not come here to be good in 2034. They came here to be good and compete to win a Super Bowl this year.”cheap nike nfl jerseys paypal

At No. 15, there’s no guarantee a quarterback they like falls to them — let alone one ready to start. The Redskins do have Colt McCoy and Case Keenum, but they need a long-term answer at quarterback with Alex Smith’s future in doubt. And there’s a solid chance they end up trading for Arizona quarterback Josh Rosen.

With Gruden likely entering the season on the hot seat, he needs immediate help from the first-round pick.

“Every one of these coaches feel they have to win now,” Redskins president Bruce Allen said at the recent NFL owners meetings in Arizona.