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Former Seahawks, TCU QB Trevone Boykin charged with felony in domestic violence case

Former Seahawks and TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin was arrested Wednesday on charges of aggravated assault with serious bodily injury, according to a release from the Mansfield (Texas) Police Department (via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram).

“So he goes into a choke. I remember him choking me, and I’m trying to calm him down. And I just couldn’t. And I blacked out. I just couldn’t calm him down at all,” Bailey alleged.

“The pressure was just hard. The pressure got hard to where I just remember just collapsing completely. And I just woke up in a puddle of blood on the kitchen floor. My whole right side was full of blood on the kitchen floor.”

Bailey said Boykin eventually drove her to Dallas Regional Medical Center, but when the staff began questioning them separately about the incident, Boykin is alleged to have left the hospital and didn’t return. She said she had to be airlifted to a different hospital because she was struggling to breathe from a swollen and constricted airway.

Before Wednesday’s charges, police confirmed to WFAA that Boykin is under investigation.

Boykin released a statement after the Seahawks released him, calling Bailey’s story “false.”

Atkinson signed with the Raiders as an undrafted free agent in 2014 out of Notre Dame. After two seasons in Oakland, Atkinson spent 2016 with the Browns before returning to Oakland last offseason when he was claimed off waivers. He was released at the end of training camp and signed with the Chiefs.

Meanwhile, it almost goes without saying at this point that there was another viable backup available both years, one who would have made Mallett, Griffin and the other five (yes, five) quarterbacks the Ravens signed in that span irrelevant.

It’s beyond obvious, of course, that no team is going to sign Colin Kaepernick this offseason. But seeing how smooth, routine and off-the-radar the Ravens’ signing of Griffin was reminds all of their clownish handling of the mere prospect of trying out Kaepernick last summer, when Flacco’s back issues made the position an urgent need. Not that anyone in the NFL covered themselves in glory, but the Ravens’ moment in the spotlight reflected particularly poorly on them.

Suffice it to say that the Ravens managed to add Griffin without running it past their major advertisers, asking fans for their input, consulting with Ray Lewis (and having Lewis put Griffin’s name in his bible) or requesting that the public “pray for us.”
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Will Giants keep OBJ?

With the Rams trading for a receiver other than Odell Beckham Jr., the question becomes whether the Giants will trade Beckham elsewhere.

The comments from new offensive coordinator Mike Shula suggest that they’ll move forward with this “vital part” of their offense. But the obvious remarks from Shula don’t really mean anything when it comes to what ownership or the front office will do.

However it plays out, it’s time for the Giants and Beckham to get on the same page, even if getting on the same page means agreeing to go their separate ways. That won’t be easy, because Beckham’s next team would have to be willing to give him a huge contract and to give the Giants a pair of first-round draft picks, at a minimum.

Besides, with the Rams out of the mix, who’s really left? The 49ers, maybe. The Chargers, ideally. The Patriots likely won’t be part of the process, despite the speculation and fascination.

Doing nothing may be the least viable option, which perhaps means that the bottom line will be a trade or a long-term deal. The Giants eventually will have to decide which of those two options they’d most willing to accept.

For more on OBJ and various other topics, check out Wednesday’s PFT PM podcast.

Howard also started 32 games over two years with the Jets and has 88 career NFL starts. He’d be a backup to left tackle Terron Armstead and right tackle Ryan Ramczyk if he lands a job with the Saints, however. The Saints have also brought back Jermon Bushrod as a depth option in the wake of Senio Kelemete moving on to the Texans.

Atlanta, despite being without injured starters Kent Bazemore and Dennis Schroder, has continued to play hard for coach Mike Budenholzer. The Hawks have won two straight for only the second time this season and three of their last five.

“(The Boston win) is especially gratifying, knowing you have a couple impact players out and still be able to do what we do,” forward Taurean Prince said. “It’s good to see what we’re able to do, even without a full team.”cardinals_005

Broncos expected to shop Riley Dixon

Now that the Broncos have signed veteran punter Marquette King, they are expected to shop Riley Dixon, Mike Klis of Denver’s 9News reports. However, since everyone knows Denver isn’t keeping Dixon, the chances of a team actually trading even a seventh-round pick are slim.

Few punters are drafted, much less traded, though Dixon was a seventh-round pick in 2016.

Dixon, 24, averaged 45.6 yards per punt last season with a 40.2-yard net. He had 23 punts downed inside the 20, three touchbacks and allowed one touchdown return.

In his rookie season of 2016, Dixon averaged 45.7 yards per punt with a 41.3-yard net. He had 28 punts downed inside the 20 and six touchbacks.

“This game is a sort of a hybrid between traditional football concepts and what are known as flag concepts,” Wuerffel said. “I think we’ve got the traditional football down. We need to find some players that are real familiar with the flag world. It’s different grabbing a flag and there are techniques to that we have to learn.

“We’re looking to see if there are a couple of really good defenders that we can pick up to help us.”

Based upon his high school experience as a two-way player, Harvin would fit the bill if he wants to take the plunge.

A major reason the Cowboys find themselves in such straits is the result of Tony Romo’s six-year, $108 million contract that was restructured multiple times after it was signed in 2013. The Cowboys felt confident enough Romo would be their long-term starting quarterback that there was not too much concern about the day of reckoning when the conversions of base salaries to guaranteed money for cap relief would come due.

That moment came much earlier than expected last offseason when Romo retired in the aftermath of his 2016 back injury and emergence of then-rookie Dak Prescott. Even with the $17.8 million charge being spread over two seasons, Romo still counts another $8.9 million against the 2018 cap, which was set leaguewide at $177.2 million.

I know it’s practically impossible to do in our standard mixed game, with its limited benches, but Flaherty is as close to a bench stash as you’ll get in those formats, and he’s an instant add the moment there’s a rotation opening in St. Louis.texans_002

76ers’ Ben Simmons says ‘100 percent’ he is Rookie of the Year

76ers rookie Ben Simmons made it clear who he believes should win the Rookie of the Year award.

“Who would I pick? Me, 100 percent,” Simmons told ESPN at the Ritz-Carlton in downtown Philadelphia on Saturday.

The Sixers point guard doesn’t want to be compared to Mitchell, or any other rookie.

“I don’t really listen to comparisons,” Simmons said. “You can compare players and whatever it is, but at the same time, everybody is their own player.”

And although the Rookie of the Year award may be the first personal goal he would like to obtain, he has loftier goals in sight.

“Championships,” Simmons said. “I want to be the Defensive Player of the Year … MVP. There’s a lot of accolades I want to get, but I ultimately want to win a ring.”

Their quest to end the franchise’s 14-year absence from the playoffs still isn’t finished.

Karl-Anthony Towns slammed his way to 24 points and grabbed 18 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who toughed out a 113-94 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night to move one step closer to the postseason.

“We had to play as if we had that kind of desperation in us,” said Towns, who had five dunks to help ignite the crowd.

They haven’t always displayed that attitude down the stretch, which is why they weren’t able to clinch that long-sought spot before their 82nd game. They’ll have to beat surging Denver on Wednesday night to get in, because the Nuggets won their sixth straight game to stay tied with the Wolves in eighth place. Denver’s victory over Portland ended about an hour after Minnesota’s, but the players expressed nonchalance about following along as they left the arena.

Much of this, of course, is simply the way NFL business is conducted these days. Richard Sherman, Michael Bennett and Earl Thomas (if and when he is moved out) were going to face the fate of every player who signs a big deal in his prime. No matter how much they’ve won, how much they’ve redefined their positions and how much they’ve created unique identities, their team was going to want someone younger and cheaper sooner rather than later.

As for the aforementioned violence against women … that’s how the Npatriots_105-223x223

Marcus Peters is a great cornerback, but Odell Beckham is a generational talent at wide receiver.

This can be easy to forget with all the extracurricular OBJ stuff that seems to have worn the Giants down, but a healthy Beckham cannot be covered. It remains difficult to imagine the Giants cutting ties with a 25-year-old Hall of Fame talent, but maybe there’s more to the story than we know.

If I were Howie Roseman, I’d try like hell to make a trade. Is there a QB-needy team quietly looking to address the position before the draft Will a contender get desperate if they lose their starter before Week 1 Who knows better about that scenario than Roseman, who got two picks — including a first-rounder — in the Sam Bradford trade that followed Teddy Bridgewater’s stunning knee injury in September 2016

And if we get to Week 1 and nothing materializes for Philly Well, then you’ll just have to live with having the best backup quarterback in the league… again.

Kelly announced earlier this month that his oral cancer returned after he was declared cancer free in 2016. The 58-year-old was diagnosed with cancer in his jaw in 2013 and had surgery a short time after his diagnosis. After doctors determined cancer had spread to his nasal cavities, he underwent additional treatments and had another surgery in March 2014.

Prayers and best wishes from everyone at NFL Media go out to the entire Kelly family as the Bills star continues his battle.

The commissioner added that the league is still determining what types of helmet hits would warrant an ejection versus a 15-yard penalty.

That’s exactly the work we need to do over the next few weeks, he said. We’ve done a great deal of work on this, but now we want to go back and look at what’s that standard of when it’ll go from a disqualification of a player to a fine or suspension or any other alternative from there. That’s the work that we’re going to be doing, and that’s the work that we’ll be educating our clubs back in May and June with the clubs individually.
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Report: Clowney, Texans making progress on ‘mega-extension’

Jadeveon Clowney is on the verge of setting the market for defensive linemen who can get to the quarterback, and it sounds like his peers are going to like the end result.

Clowney, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, is under contract for $12.3 million this upcoming season after the Houston Texans picked up the option on his rookie deal. Albert Breer of The MMQB reported on Thursday that the sides are working on a new contract and are making a lot of progress on a mega-extension.

New York Giants: OK, it still seems most probable that the G-Men won’t divorce their most talented, most marketable and most entertaining performer. And, with the No. 2 pick of the draft in his quiver, Gettleman is well equipped to rebuild on the fly if needed, even if that means investing in a quarterback of the future. And given what new coach Pat Shurmur did with Minnesota’s offense in 2017, Beckham has to be pretty excited about his own prospects by merely staying put.

Smith left his first visit with the LA Chargers late Thursday afternoon without a contract and flew north to audition for Pete Carroll in Seattle.

The former Jets and Giants QB had a Thursday night dinner and Friday facility visit planned.

He tore through the bench press with a prosthetic hand, putting 225 lbs. up 20 times, and then he ran a blistering 4.38 40 the next day. Those were sick numbers for any linebacker, let alone one who was kicking down walls like Jack Bauer in a climactic scene of 24. This was no longer just some saccharine, sepia-toned tale. Griffin was putting people on notice. He’s very athletic, says Hughes. He can put anybody on the ground. Now there was a real debate: how high should he go in the draft In terms of game film and stats and character, he was up there at the top. Did the missing hand mean all that much
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Washington cutting quarterback Stephen Morris

Washington found a third quarterback last week, so they no longer needed the guy who was third on the depth chart.

PFT has confirmed that Washington is releasing quarterback Stephen Morris.

He was surplus to requirements after Kevin Hogan was acquired in trade, giving them a third-stringer behind Alex Smith and Colt McCoy with a bit of experience.

Morris had spent time with the Jaguars, Eagles, and Colts before signing a future deal with Washington in January. He’s been hanging around since 2014, but hasn’t attempted an NFL pass.

“The thing he is doing better is he’s making plays for other people,” Clifford said.

Clifford has noticed Monk’s assists-to-turnovers numbers have been solid recently as well.

“That to me is as much of an indicator as anything of the growth that he’s made in terms of learning how to play in a manner that both he can score and the rest of the guys can play well when he’s on the floor,” he said. “In this league at his size (6 feet 3), pick and roll is going to be a big part of it.”

The joint practice idea isn’t new to Patricia or the Lions. Detroit has had practices with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts the last two years. The Patriots have held joint practices for six straight years as the New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins have all shared a practice with New England over that span.

The Lions don’t yet have an agreement in place with another team for this summer. However, it’s typical that such a plan comes together with one of the team’s four preseason opponents.

A healthy shoulder is the first thing Luck needs to get back on track as a potentially elite QB who’s worth his second NFL contract. The second is Indianapolis actually giving him all the support he needs to be successful.
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Jets sign former Seahawks RB Rawls

The New York Jets have signed free-agent running back Thomas Rawls, the team announced Friday. Rawls, 24, played the first three years of his career with the Seattle Seahawks, having his best season as a rookie in 2015 when he ran for 830 yards with four touchdowns. Rawls’ production drastically fell off the last two years as he rushed for just 157 yards in 2017 while being inactive on multiple occasions. The former undrafted free agent is the second running back the Jets have signed this offseason after adding former Cleveland Browns rusher Isaiah Crowell. Rawls will have to compete with Crowell and veteran Bilal Powell for snaps in a crowded backfield.

The rule’s new wording, proposed by the league’s competition committee and unanimously approved by the league’s 32 owners, eliminates the controversial requirement to complete the process, maintaining possession of the ball throughout going to the ground.

The Minnesota Vikings are gambling on new quarterback Kirk Cousins, but Cousins doesn’t need to live up to his $28 million salary in 2018 for Minnesota to contend for a championship.

The Vikings surrendered a league-low 15.8 points per game last season, and a defense that contains five 2017 Pro Bowlers should be even better with the addition of stud defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson.

Both Cousins and Richardson are boom-or-bust signings. If they boom, Minnesota will be the team to beat in the NFC. If they bust, the Vikings will still be strong.

Minnesota made the NFC Championship Game in 2017 with Case Keenum at quarterback and without rookie running back Dalvin Cook, who tore his ACL after picking up 444 scrimmage yards in the first four games. Cousins is a more accomplished, more talented quarterback than Keenum, and Cook should be back and ready to pick up where he left off.

When center Ryan Jensen signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last month, the Baltimore Ravens lost a solid offensive lineman in free agency for the third time in as many years. That’ll take a toll on a team that still lacks weapons and support for veteran quarterback Joe Flacco. patriots_380-223x223

Martellus Bennett still mulling return for 2018 season

Martellus Bennett has flip-flopped about retirement over the past year, and it seems the free-agent tight end doesn’t appear any closer to making a decision about his playing future. The 31-year-old went from being a Super Bowl champion with the New England Patriots in 2016 to becoming a new member of the Green Bay Packers the following season, where he announced that 2017 would likely be his last season.

Bennett, however, was dealt a controversial release from the Packers less than a year into his three-year contract. He then rejoined the Patriots but finished the season on injured reserve and reportedly changed his mind about retiring. Bennett, who was released by the Patriots in early March, joined The Rich Eisen Show on Wednesday and admitted that he’s still unsure of what his next step in life will be. Right now I’m just living life and trying to figure out what I want to do next, Bennett said, according to NFL.com’s Chris Wesseling.

It sounds like a lot of money — and it is — but they avoided the three dirtiest words in sports: They didn’t mortgage their future.

The front office, led by general manager Mike Maccagnan, did a nice job of maintaining financial flexibility in 2019. Of the 18 players who signed contracts in the past three weeks, only two received deals that include guaranteed money in 2019: cornerback Trumaine Johnson ($8 million) and linebacker Avery Williamson ($6 million).

As a result, the Jets’ nest egg is big enough to hatch a T-Rex. Right now, their projection for 2019 is a league-high $109 million in salary-cap space, according to overthecap.com. The only big contract extension on the horizon belongs to Leonard Williams, who is signed through 2019 (including his fifth-year option).jets_131

After his first franchise tag, Cousins had made more than $22.5 million in the NFL.

Philadelphia’s defense was one of the league’s best last year. The unit finished 2017 ranked No. 3 in the league and shut down ground games with the top-ranked run defense. The Eagles’ free agency addition of defensive end Chris Long helped with that. Long had 28 tackles, five sacks, and four forced fumbles playing in rotation.

Center Stefen Wisniewski was set to hit free agency in 2017, but the Eagles retained him to anchor a line that NFL.com analyst and former NFL center Shaun O’Hara rated as the league’s best unit last year. They also kept tight end Trey Burton, who threw that touchdown pass that Foles caught in the Super Bowl.

Until we see otherwise, Cousins is less likely to change the market for players than he is to change it for veteran quarterbacks who have already made life-changing sums of money.

He might very well have taken a reasonable extension if Washington had offered one.

Just as Tom Brady chose the privilege of taking below-market deals after making a fortune over his first three NFL contracts, quarterbacks like Cousins are likely to be the only ones who will have the leverage and the slow aging curve required to bet on themselves and wait to make this sort of deal.

Verdugo has the previously mentioned above-average hit tool and the potential for power, though it has not translated to in-game just yet. Even if it doesn’t, Verdugo’s plate approach belies his years and professional experience.

In his short stint last season, Verdugo struck out only 16 percent of the time, but this was up significantly from his usual rate in the minor leagues. Prior to being recalled to the majors, Verdugo was striking out only 10 percent of the time in Triple-A.

With the glove, Verdugo has a strong arm and has shown that he can handle all three outfield spots, though right and center are more natural fits. That presents a problem, with Chris Taylor who had something of a breakout of his own last season blocking the way in center, and Yasiel Puig doing the same in right. But regardless, Verdugo’s potential with the bat is legit, so Dave Roberts is going to find him room in the lineup in 2018.
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