May 2018

The last year has featured a great deal of talk about the environment in New England, from the reports of friction between Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, to Philadelphia’s Lane Johnson saying that the Patriots live in fear instead of having fun. Former Patriot Nate Solder has offered a more nuanced take.

[McDaniels] told me that if I ever needed to dip out of a meeting because the stress got to be too much, nobody would ask any questions. Coach Belichick told me the same, Solder writes. He said that if I ever needed to miss practice or a meeting, it was totally fine.’Whatever Hudson needs,’ he said. I don’t think I can even put into words how much I appreciated that — both what Bill said and how Josh handled everything. They treated me like a human being instead of a football player or a left tackle.

Solder titled his piece, Thank You, New England.

He cautioned against the drafting of quarterbacks and spoke supportively of the idea that running backs are worth picking early. Here are three dumb things Gettleman said in the press conference exactly a week before the 2018 NFL Draft:

OK… but, yes, they are. Gettleman can believe running backs are still valuable and establishing the run is important, but the fact that teams are spending less at the position is objectively true.

In free agency this offseason, Jerick McKinnon’s four-year, $30 million deal was easily the highest at the position and the only that included more than $10 million in guarantees. Meanwhile, the Vikings dished out a fully guaranteed three-year, $84 million deal to Kirk Cousins.

It’s pretty simple: it’s difficult for running backs to get much on the free agency market, because they’re being — drum roll, please — devalued.

Should it be that way? The stats would tell you yes, but I suppose Gettleman can make the argument that having a top running back is transformative. But it’s certainly not a myth that the position is being valued less.

Representatives for Murphy, Sweeney and Coughlin declined to comment. 

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1 / 2 Chiefs, Rams to play in Mexico City on November 19 November 19 will see the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams go head-to-head in an NFL game in Mexico City. The Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams will play in Mexico City next season, it was confirmed on Wednesday. The 2018 NFL schedule has not been officially released but the Chiefs announced the November 19 clash, roughly three months after commissioner Roger Goodell said the two teams would play in Mexico during his State of the NFL press conference ahead of Super Bowl LII. 

Over the past two seasons, we have seen the extraordinary passion that exists for NFL football in Mexico, Goodell said in January. We are excited for another memorable event at Estadio Azteca as the Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs head to Mexico City in 2018.

It is great to be participating in the NFL’s international games again and working with the league to grow the game abroad. Mexico has one of the largest NFL fan bases in the world and we are excited to bring Rams football to the millions of fans there.

All 10 skaters on the ice received 10-minute misconduct penalties after the five from each team wrestled, punched and jawed at each other. The yelling continued even as players were being separated and shuffled off the ice down the tunnels.

Devils forward Brian Boyle kept shouting at Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev as the two were held back and escorted to their respective benches. Boyle appeared to yell, I’m going to kill you, as they were taken off the ice.

If either make it to the Lions, they would be tough to pass up. And the team benefits from having both players’ college position coaches from last season on Matt Patricia’s defensive staff.

But in the possible scenario where both are gone, or the Lions have an opportunity to select a player higher on their draft board at a different position, there should be options on Day 2.

Ohio State’s Sam Hubbard is the solid, not spectacular all-around option, while Georgia’s Lorenzo Carter is the best athlete in the class — even more so than Davenport — but needs to add weight to his 6-foot-6, 250-pound frame.

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The old-school Jacksonville Jaguars are going to look like they play in 2018.

Not long after, Marshall posted a video on Instagram of him sliding his nameplate off his Giants locker for good.

The move was expected much earlier in the offseason. Gettleman said the Giants released Marshall with a designation of failed physical. Gettleman, asked if he would be interested in free agent receiver Dez Bryant, said: I have interest in everybody. We do our film work, and you never know.

Cutting Marshall clears $5.1 million in salary cap space the Giants will need if they’re going to increase Odell Beckham Jr.’s scheduled $8.4 million 2018 cap hit to $17 million or so on a long-term extension.

Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky can see a huge difference after only three days running new coach Matt Nagy’s offense.

There’s more to it than just the system for Trubisky, as the Bears ended their first minicamp under Nagy on Thursday with a greater knowledge of an offense they hope eventually elevates them from the depths of the NFC North.

By now, you know the top four quarterback prospects heading into the 2018 NFL draft. It would be surprising to see any one of Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen or Baker Mayfield available after the top 10 picks at this point. Maybe even the top five. 

Beyond them, the athletic intrigue around Lamar Jackson likely will earn him a first-round selection. Early in Day 2, Mason Rudolph shouldn’t have to wait long to hear his name.

That link makes plenty of sense. Though Tom Brady is still producing his on-field magic after another MVP season in 2017, he’ll turn 41 in August.

The salary-cap reality of paying Jimmy Garoppolo forced the Patriots to trade him in October, leaving them in need of a new long-term succession plan. Lauletta would fit well with them, or a team in a similar situation, after he averaged 8.8 yards per attempt throughout his collegiate career.

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Drew Doughty played more than 27 1/2 minutes in the star defenseman’s return to the Kings’ blue line following a one-game suspension for hitting William Carrier in the series opener. Doughty also had partner Jake Muzzin back by his side after he missed the previous seven games with an upper-body injury.

In that scenario, such a team could easily land on Tanner Lee.

The problems with Lee are obvious. Over his two years at Tulane, he completed just 53.6 percent of his pass attempts and averaged a lowly 5.9 yards per throw.

His accuracy improved in 2017 after his transfer to Nebraska, but not by much. He finished the season with a completion percentage of 57.5 yards, but his poor decision-making led to 16 interceptions.

Lee did post a passer rating of 137.1 against tougher Big Ten competition this past season. And as Pauline reported back in January, teams are still impressed by Lee’s arm strength and overall physical tools—he’s 6’4 and 220 pounds—despite his lack of quality production.

That might be all he needs to find an NFL home without having to go the undrafted-free-agent route.

New York’s Jose Reyes is hitless in 16 at-bats this season after going 0 for 4.

The Browns could also try to work a deal with the Giants, who have the No. 2 overall selection, to gain some draft picks and still get the quarterback they covet. And there’s even been some conversation about the Browns drafting two quarterbacks, which sounds like an overreaction until you remember they haven’t had a franchise passer since returning to Cleveland in 1999.

But whatever happens, at least one quarterback is in the team’s plans, and will almost certainly happen at the top of the draft, right?

Well… here’s the thing: general manager John Dorsey, who was hired last December, presumably to draft a quarterback (something his predecessor, Sashi Brown, never did in the first round), had this to say when asked if running back Saquon Barkley was an option at No. 1.

We finally pushed them back far enough to where our guys could make plays, Schmidt said. That’s what happened in Vegas, and we did it here. We finally pushed them back to where our forwards could do some things.

Captain Anze Kopitar had a late goal and an assist, while Alex Iafallo scored his first career playoff goal in the first period. The Kings still haven’t won a playoff game at Staples Center since they last raised the Stanley Cup in June 2014.

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If Dez Bryant’s workout Thursday included an exercise bike, he probably would’ve driven it straight to East Rutherford.

Bryant posted a video to Instagram of he and  Giants star Odell Beckham training together, which only will further fuel rampant connecting of the dots that the two soon will be teammates.

Bryant and Beckham are close friends, though Giants ownership wants  Beckham to become less of a headache as he matures and Bryant has a reputation of being outspoken with the Cowboys. The pairing might create huge numbers on the field and huge headlines off of it.

The Giants got a hell of a defense, they’re going to pay OBJ, Bryant recently told CBS Sports, via GiantsWire. Playing with him, Sterling (Shepard)… the tight end (Evan Engram), (Eli) Manning? Crazy…. They draft ( Penn State running back Saquan Barkley) ?That’d be crazy!

He left out Marshall. Now we know why.

Beckham  reported for the start of the voluntary part of the Giants’ offseason program but it appears he has left the facility. That is not uncommon and he is not alone.

Similar to Ansah coming out of college, Davenport is an athletic marvel, posting elite measurables at the combine to go with his 6-foot-6, 265-pound frame. Hurst, meanwhile, is considered undersized for his position, but his college production is impossible to ignore. Pro Football Focus has touted him as the draft’s best interior lineman.

To round out a list of five, Jeremiah also put Florida defensive tackle Taven Bryan in the mix. Earlier in the call, the analyst praised Bryan’s ability to rush the passer, capable of soundly beating opposing offensive linemen off the snap, but also noting Byran’s need to improve finishing plays.

As for running backs who could help the Lions outside the first round, Brooks highlighted a number of options who could bolster the team’s ability to run with power.

Outside of LeGarrette Blount, they have a lot of guys who are more of the smaller, scat-back types, Brooks said. I’m sure they’d like some size, and if you’re thinking of size in the traditional sense, D.J. talked about Derrius Guice and some of those other guys, but going into the second, maybe third round, (Georgia’s) Nick Chubb being a guy that can do what LeGarrette Blount will probably be asked to do for them.

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