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PFT's Week Five picks

For the second straight week, I held a one-game lead over Rosenthal entering the Monday night game.

And, for the second straight week, Rosenthal got the Monday night game right and I got it wrong, forcing a tie.

We both finished 9-5 in the first 14-game weekend.  Rosenthal won Week One and Week Two; in Week Three and Week Four, we tied.

Overall, Rosenthal is 43-19.  I’m two games back, at 41-21.

For this week’s picks and explanations, read on.


Jaguars at Bills

Florio’s take:  The Bills are bad, but in this season of parity they’re not bad enough to lose all 16.  Even with former Bills quarterback Trent Edwards feeding the Jags with the Buffalo state secrets, Jacksonville is prime for a letdown after unexpectedly toppling the Colts.  

Florio’s pick:  Bills 20, Jags 19.

Rosenthal’s take: The Bills have no chance to move the ball against superior defenses.  The Jaguars do not have a superior defense.  In fact, the Jaguars’ secondary is one of the few groups in the league struggling as much as Buffalo during their transition to the 3-4 defense.  The Bills aren’t going 0-16, and this looks like one of their most winnable games of the year.  Bad David Garrard shows up this week.

Rosenthal’s pick:  Bills 23, Jaguars 21.

Broncos at Ravens

Florio’s take:  The Broncos pulled off an unlikely road win against a one-loss team on Sunday, but the Ravens has a few more horses than the Titans.  Despite Baltimore’s so-so secondary, Denver quarterback Kyle Orton won’t have time to find an open receiver if he’s being chased and/or pummeled by the Ravens’ front seven.  Meanwhile, the Baltimore offense finally is emerging from its vegetative state, with Joe Flacco looking more like Joe Flacco and less like Stoney Case.

Florio’s pick:  Ravens 24, Broncos 10.

Rosenthal’s take: The Ravens and Broncos both have the records you’d expect, but they’ve arrived there in surprising ways.  Kyle Orton and his band of hodgepodge receivers are racking up passing yards like the ’99 Rams.  Baltimore’s secondary has played great, but their run defense has been soft.  Luckily, the Broncos don’t try to run.  When they do, it doesn’t work.  Denver is a tough out, but asking for back-to-back wins in Tennessee and Baltimore is asking too much.  

Rosenthal’s pick: Ravens 28, Broncos 24.

Chiefs at Colts

Florio’s take:  Scratch a little at the word “Chiefs” and a faint “Patriots” emerges, with the presence of Scott Pioli, Romeo Crennel, Charlie Weis, Mike Vrabel, and Matt Cassel making this one a kinda-sorta renewal of one of the most compelling inter-division rivalries of the past decade.  The Chiefs have nothing to lose, and the Colts have no easy answers for their lackluster start.  It adds up to an upset.  In a PFTV video previewing what we regard to be the game of the week, I picked the Colts, but I left a little wiggle room.  I’m tempted to pick the Chiefs here, primarily because a win over the defending AFC champs would make this Chiefs team even more compelling.  (Besides, what’s the point of having wiggle room if you don’t, you know, wiggle?)  I’ll stick the home team, but I’ll gladly accept the “L” if I’m wrong.

Florio’s pick:  Colts 24, Chiefs 20.

Rosenthal’s take:  Chiefs fans are making too much out of this game.  It’s not a litmus test for the rest of the season.  It’s Week Five. There aren’t many teams that could go into Lucas Oil Stadium and win against an angry Peyton Manning.  I’m most interested to see how Kansas City’s young secondary holds up.  They have potential to carry this team, because Matt Cassel isn’t going to.  A mismatch in special teams should keep the Chiefs close, but they will only get a moral victory here.

Rosenthal’s pick:  Colts 27, Chiefs 21.

Packers at Redskins

Florio’s take:  But for a fast start against the Eagles from quarterback Donovan McNabb, in no doubt fueled by the enthusiastic response that Philly fans gave to a guy about whom they had been ambivalent at best, the Redskins would be 1-3.  Though the Packers have yet to develop a killer instinct, they suddenly feel the hot, stinky breath of the Vikings on their necks — and so the Packers can’t afford to lose games that they easily should win.  

Florio’s pick:  Packers 31, Redskins 21.

Rosenthal’s take: No one knows how good the Packers are because they’ve faced one of the easiest schedules in the league.  No one knows how good the Redskins are because a wildly different team shows up every week.  I know this much:  The Redskins aren’t worse off with Ryan Torain starting at running back, but the Packers are much worse off without Nick Barnett at linebacker.  Washington doesn’t have the passing attack to take advantage, though.

Rosenthal’s pick: Packers 27, Redskins 20.

Rams at Lions

Florio’s take:  Last year, the Rams’ only win of the season came against the Lions, who eventually won only two.  This year, both teams are better, even though the Lions are 0-4.  In fact, the Lions are good enough to win, even though the Rams are good enough to win the NFC West.

Florio’s prediction:  Lions 20, Rams 16.

Rosenthal’s take:  Due to a forgiving schedule and a surprising pass rush from James Hall and Chris Long, the Rams defense has been impressive this year.  They haven’t allowed more than 17 points yet.  The Lions offense has played well with Shaun Hill, which makes you wonder what they’ll do with Matthew Stafford.  Detroit has lost three games by one score and played three games on the road. Like Cleveland last week, they are overdue for a victory.

Rosenthal’s pick:  Lions 21, Rams 14.

Bears at Panthers

Florio’s take:  A loss would send the Panthers to 0-5 at their bye, putting coach John Fox at risk of possible termination.  Last week, Carolina showed progress against the Saints, and the Panthers have a blueprint for turning the Jay Cutler (or, as it turns out, Todd Collins) black and blue, courtesy of Big Blue.  The correction for Chicago continues, and Carolina gets in the win column by sticking it former Panther and Tar Heel Julius Peppers.

Florio’s pick:  Panthers 14, Bears 12.

Rosenthal’s take:  A lot of fun questions can be answered here.  What does the worst passing attack in football look like after Carolina loses Steve Smith?  How many forward passes will John Fox call with a rookie quarterback and three rookie wide receivers?   Would you rather have a wobbly Jay Cutler (or, as it turns out, Todd Collins) or a healthy Jimmy Clausen?  I’ll take Cutler (or, as it turns out, Todd Collins), especially since the Bears rush defense can stop Carolina’s one strength.

Rosenthal’s pick:  Bears 17, Panthers 10.

Buccaneers at Bengals

Florio’s take:  The Bucs beat the Browns and the Browns beat the Bengals so the Bucs should beat the Bengals, right?  Even though Tampa has had the benefit of the bye week, the Bengals are a better team at home than on the road and the Bucs are still learning how to become a good team anywhere.

Florio’s pick:  Bengals 21, Buccaneers 13.

Rosenthal’s take:  When the Bengals win, they don’t seem happy.  When they lose, Carson Palmer keeps his fantasy owners happy.  It’s a wobbly team [editor’s note:  Rosenthal uses “wobbly” almost as much as Steve Young uses “leaking oil”], which makes this a huge game for Cincinnati.  Despite all the offensive concerns, they can enter their bye week at 3-2, and then re-group.  In the end, the veteran Bengals defense should be the best unit in this game.

Rosenthal’s pick: Bengals 17, Bucs 14.

Falcons at Browns

Florio’s take:  The Browns have been competitive in every game, and they’re riding the momentum of a big win over the Bengals.  The Falcons struggle

d with the 49ers last week, one game after stealing a win from the Saints.  These two teams are more evenly matched than their records suggest; as a result, I’m giving the edge to the home team.

Florio’s pick:  Browns 17, Falcons 16.

Rosenthal’s take:  Falcons coach Mike Smith raised a good point this week.  His team could be 1-3 just as easily as 3-1 after Garrett Hartley’s gaffe and Nate Clements’ fumble.  The Browns are similarly incapable of playing in a blowout.  These two teams have played eight games this year, with seven decided by an average of three points.  Jake Delhomme’s likely return breaks the tie.

Rosenthal’s pick: Falcons 23, Browns 21.

Giants at Texans

Florio’s take:  The Giants played well with their backs against the wall, and now that their backs are a little bit off the wall, the Giants can dial up another lackluster effort.  The Texans, though not dominant, have been solid, and they can sense that a playoff appearance could be coming.

Florio’s pick:  Texans 24, Giants 20.

Rosenthal’s take:  Outside of the embarrassment in Indianapolis, the Giants defense has shown steady improvement this year.  Of course, that game against the Colts was their only road test yet.  Houston’s wideouts are banged-up, but the offensive line is coming off its best performance of the year.  They won’t let Matt Schaub get assaulted like Jay Cutler was last week.

Rosenthal’s pick:  Texans 28, Giants 17.

Saints at Cardinals

Florio’s take:  The current Drew Brees meets up with the guy who eventually could be the next Drew Brees, Cardinals rookie Max Hall.  But Hall gets a tough draw in his first start, and it will likely be a long day for the 2008 NFC champs when the 2009 NFC champs come to town.  The only question is whether the Saints can display some of the same dominance from 2009, or whether they’ll continue to eke out narrow wins.  For one week at least, I envision dominance.

Florio’s pick:  Saints 34, Cardinals 13.

Rosenthal’s take: The Cardinals are the most depressed 2-2 team in the land because they’ve played worse than some 0-4 squads.  Derek Anderson has taken all the heat, but the offensive line is in shambles, there’s no running game, Larry Fitzgerald is hurt, Joey Porter looks his age, Darnell Dockett has been inconsistent, and they don’t have a second cornerback.  Other than that, they look great.

Rosenthal’s pick: Saints 28, Cardinals 14.

Titans at Cowboys

Florio’s take:  Two weeks after beating the team that currently plays in Houston, the Cowboys host the team that used to play in Houston.  With a bye week to prepare and the Titans simply not as good as initially believed, the Cowboys will welcome the Titans back to the Lone Star State with a Texas-sized butt whipping.

Florio’s pick:  Cowboys 35, Titans 17.

Rosenthal’s take:  I picked both these teams to win their division in the PFT Season Preview.  One of them will fall into a major hole after this game.  Tennessee may be getting called dirty, but where’s the toughness on offense?  Their run-blocking has been abysmal.  Chris Johnson is often breaking two tackles to get back to the line of scrimmage.  The Titans need to air it out more, especially to Kenny Britt.  The Cowboys are a tough defense to play when you are searching for answers.

Rosenthal’s pick: Cowboys 23, Titans 17. 

Chargers at Raiders

Florio’s take:  The Chargers are continuing to dig out of their funk, just as the Raiders are settling in to theirs.  The only question about this one is whether it will be the last one of Tom Cable’s career.  

Florio’s pick:  Chargers 35, Raiders 19.

Rosenthal’s take: Where did all that offseason optimism about the Raiders go?  This looks like the same old team.  The defense was supposed to carry the day, but they’ve been among the league’s worst.  Bruce Gradkowski has improved the passing attack, but the offensive line still struggles.  This is a game Oakland desperately needs to stay relevant, and they usually play the Chargers tough at home.  They also usually find a way to lose.  Mike Tolbert Fever: Catch it!

Rosenthal’s pick:  Chargers 24, Raiders 20.

Eagles at 49ers

Florio’s take:  Though 0-4, the 49ers remain in contention to win the NFC West, especially since the three teams in front of them are 2-2 each.  The 2-2 Eagles enter the game without the NFC’s offensive player of the month for September, and there are real concerns that quarterback Kevin Kolb won’t be able to perform as well as he can, given the problems with the team’s offensive line.  With a national audience, an increasingly restless home crowd, and the ability to put together a string of four wins before their bye (the next opponents are the Raiders, Panthers, and Broncos), the 49ers have every incentive to put together a powerful performance.

Florio’s pick:  49ers 28, Eagles 22.

Rosenthal’s take: How little respect is there for Kevin Kolb nationwide?  The winless 49ers are favored in this game by 3.5.  With Oakland and Carolina on the schedule next, San Francisco has a real opportunity to turn their season around. There’s just very little reason to believe they’ll do so.  I’m taking the Eagles, if only for organizational superiority.  They are a team that finds ways to win over the years, while Mike Singletary’s squad searches for new and painful ways to lose each week.

Rosenthal’s pick: Eagles 24, 49ers 21.

Vikings at Jets

Florio’s take:  Suddenly, the Monday night game at the New Meadowlands Stadium becomes as compelling as the Thursday night season opener.  The Jets have won three in a row since losing on their home field to open the season, and the Vikings are desperately trying to keep pace with the Packers and the Bears.  The Jets are 7-1 against the Vikings; even with Randy Moss, win No. 2 isn’t likely to come on Monday night.

Florio’s pick:  Jets 23, Vikings 21.

Rosenthal’s take:  Randy Moss can’t pass protect.  He can’t make Brett Favre turn back the clock a year, and Moss definitely can’t re-arrange a challenging schedule that even the ’09 Vikings would struggle to win 11 games against.  The Jets have lived up to the hype so far. The offense is playing better than the defense.  Don’t expect that to continue with Calvin Pace and Darrelle Revis likely returning Monday night.

Rosenthal’s pick: Jets 20, Vikings 13.

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Rams extend Les Snead, too

ST. LOUIS, MO - DECEMBER 21: Les Snead, general manager of the St. Louis Rams looks on during warm ups prior to playing against the New York Giants at the Edward Jones Dome on December 21, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) Getty Images

Rams coach Jeff Fisher isn’t the only guy who has gotten a new contract in L.A. G.M. Les Snead has a new deal, too.

PFT has confirmed that the new contract for the coach coincides with a new contract for the General Manager.

Snead, who was hired in 2012 from the Falcons front office, has worked closely with Fisher over the past five years. The fact that Fisher was hired before Snead created the impression that Fisher runs the show, and that Snead sets the table for the draft and free agency.

Snead presumably has a two-year extension as well. It’s unclear whether the extension previously was in place, but given that Fisher’s was, it’s safe to assume Snead’s was, too.

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Sean Payton not a fan of Brandin Cooks trade speculation

NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 16:  Brandin Cooks #10 of the New Orleans Saints catches the ball for a first down against the Carolina Panthers during the fourth quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 16, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) Getty Images

Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks aired some frustrations after going untargeted by quarterback Drew Brees in last week’s game against the Rams, something that coach Sean Payton said doesn’t concern him but could lead to a move this offseason.

According to multiple reports, Cooks could find himself on the trading block this offseason. The Saints have two other productive receivers in Michael Thomas and Willie Snead and scored 49 points last week despite getting nothing on the stat sheet from the wideout. Trading Cooks could allow them to address other needs on the roster, notably a defense that remains a work in progress in New Orleans.

Or they could just continue on with Cooks. Payton retweeted a Twitter user castigating Ian Rapoport of NFL Media for reporting on the possibility of a Cooks trade, although Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that “some believe” there were talks with the Patriots about a trade involving Cooks and linebacker Jamie Collins before the Patriots traded Collins to the Browns.

Cooks has 51 catches for 736 yards and six touchdowns this season, leaving him on pace to fall short of his totals from last year with five games left this season.

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Jeff Fisher extension was signed “weeks ago”

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 1: Head coach Jeff Fisher of the Los Angeles Rams looks on during the fourth quarter of the game against the Minnesota Vikings on September 1, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the Rams 27-25. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Getty Images

For most of the season, league insiders have insisted that the Rams and coach Jeff Fisher already have a new deal in place. In the aftermath of the news that Fisher has a two-year extension, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the deal indeed has been in place for “weeks.”

Which raises an interesting question about the contract: Why was the news of it leaked today?

It could be that the Rams and Fisher became increasingly antsy about the fan base’s willingness to accept a continuation of Fisher’s tenure with the team, given an all-out assault from Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson that has culminated in Dickerson recently playing the “where are the naked pictures?” card.

Then there’s the fact that the news was leaked only a few hours before the Rams face the Patriots, a franchise that has beaten Jeff Fisher-coached teams by the combined score of 104-7 in their past two encounters. Squatting on the secretly-signed contract until after the Patriots hang another 40 or 50 on the Rams would have made it a lot harder to justify the move.

And so while the Rams apparently were waiting for the right moment to announce the deal with Fisher, it could be that they decided there would be no right moment, and that the contract needed to be unveiled before the wrong moment became a worst-case scenario.

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Two-year extension suggests 2017 will be up-or-out for Jeff Fisher

GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 02:  Head coach Jeff Fisher of the Los Angeles Rams walks the sidelines during the second quarter of the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 2, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Getty Images

When it comes to contracts given to NFL players and coaches, the devil takes up permanent residence in the details. As to players, those details always become known. As to coaches, the nuances rarely make their way to the surface.

As to Rams coach Jeff Fisher, who officially has received a two-year extension, the biggest detail relates to the actual security Fisher has received. If, as some league insiders believe, the contract includes a one-year out for the team, Fisher has security only for 2017.

The winds had been blowing in the direction of Fisher staying put. Comments from COO Kevin Demoff strongly suggested that the team’s 4-7 record wouldn’t be held against Fisher, given the changes the team has endured in 2016.

Even without a one-year out clause in the new contract, 2017 now feels like an up-or-out year for Fisher. In 2012, Fisher received a five-year deal, and the exclamation point of commitment that went along with it. With only a two-year Band-Aid currently in place beyond 2016, the not-so-subtle message is that, while Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson isn’t getting what he wants for now, the change he craves could be coming in 2017.

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Washington should be upset about DeSean Jackson report

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 24:   Orlando Scandrick #32 of the Dallas Cowboys breaks up a pass to DeSean Jackson #11 of the Washington Redskins during their game at AT&T Stadium on November 24, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) Getty Images

As the Eagles make a last-ditch effort to pull themselves back into the NFC wild-card race, they need to climb over several teams. At a minimum, they need to get past the third-place team in their division: Washington.

And now that Washington receiver DeSean Jackson knows that the Eagles are likely to make a strong push to sign him in free agency, Jackson will have that reality bouncing around inside his head during the final five games of the regular season. Which should make Washington upset about the report.

It’s hard to know with certainty the impact this information will have on Jackson. Will he go out and play even harder in order to attract others to the table? Or will he be more inclined to make “business decisions” aimed at ensuring he’ll be 100 percent when it’s time to take a Philly physical?

Regardless, it’s information he’s not supposed to currently have. And even if no one from the Eagles has told Jackson or his agent on a wink-nod basis that Philly may come calling, the mere fact that ESPN has reported on the plan to pursue Jackson means that someone with the Eagles has made it known that the team intends to try to bring Jackson back — which constitutes a violation of the tampering rules.

Earlier this year, the NFL whacked the Chiefs for speaking directly to former Eagles receiver Jeremy Maclin during the legal tampering period in 2015, when the Chiefs were permitted to speak only to Maclin’s agent. This potential violation strikes more directly at the heart of the rule, putting Jackson on notice as his contract in Washington comes to an end that another team in the same division is ready and willing to sign him to a new one.

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Rams, Jeff Fisher ink contract extension

NEW ORLEANS, LA - NOVEMBER 27: Head coach Jeff Fisher of the Los Angeles Rams reacts during the second half of a game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 27, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) Getty Images

Apparently a 4-7 record is enough to earn a contract extension in Los Angeles.

Jeff Fisher and the Rams have signed a two-year deal through 2018, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

Although a contract extension for Fisher has long been discussed, there was talk that the disappointing season this year could change those plans, and that Stan Kroenke could be in the market for a new coach to build his team going forward.

Instead, Kroenke has decided to keep things going with Fisher. The coach’s single biggest task will be developing first overall pick Jared Goff into a franchise quarterback, but the broader question is the simplest one of all: When will the Rams win under Fisher?

Through five seasons with the team, Fisher has gone 7-8-1, 7-9, 6-10, 7-9 and now 4-7. At some point, he’s going to have to do better than that if he wants to keep his job. But that point will apparently not be this year. Fisher will be back.

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Sunday morning one-liners

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 27:  Jay Ajayi #23 of the Miami Dolphins reacts to a play during a game against the San Francisco 49ers on November 27, 2016 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) Getty Images

Bills LS Garrison Sanborn will be honoring a friend who died of cancer with his cleats on Sunday.

RB Jay Ajayi believes the Dolphins can run the ball on any defense.

Patriots RB Dion Lewis is no stranger to bouncing back from injury.

Five plays that helped sink the Jets this season.

The Ravens have picked up the tempo on offense more often this year.

Can Rex Burkhead help the Bengals run game get going?

Continuity has not been part of the plan with the Browns recently.

S Sean Davis has had an up-and-down rookie season with the Steelers.

The Texans defense will have to come up with a plan that accounts for LB Jadeveon Clowney’s absence.

The Colts will square off with a former assistant in Jets special teams coach Brant Boyer.

The Jaguars pass defense has held up fairly well this season.

An early look at what the Titans could do in the draft.

Broncos LB Brandon Marshall returns to Jacksonville on Sunday.

The Chiefs defense is looking forward to testing themselves against the Falcons.

Raider great Jim Otto likes the way this year’s offensive line looks.

Comparing the Chargers’ injury issues with those for other teams around the league.

What does Herschel Walker think of the Cowboys’ Super Bowl chances?

Giants P Brad Wing will face the Steelers for the first time since they traded him.

It’s no surprise that Eagles G Stefan Wisniewski is a big fan of the Seinfeld episode that includes the Wiz.

The Bears’ draft standing will be impacted by the result of their matchup with the 49ers.

Looking for Lions QB Matthew Stafford to heat up down the stretch.

Defending the Packers’ decision to let CB Casey Hayward walk as a free agent.

The Vikings’ new stadium made a good impression on Jerry Jones.

Falcons T Ryan Schraeder will be matching up with Justin Houston on Sunday.

Can RB Jonathan Stewart lead the way to a Panthers upset?

The Saints would like more from their return game.

A look at how the Buccaneers have improved their pass protection.

Checking in with Cardinals T D.J. Humphries.

The Eric Dickerson feud remains at home, but life may not be any easier for the Rams on Sunday.

Ranking the biggest needs for the 49ers.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll ranks consistency at the top of his list of goals.

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Kaepernick’s future clouded by potential 49ers changes, anthem protest

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - NOVEMBER 27:  Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers warms up during a game against the Miami Dolphins on November 27, 2016 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) Getty Images

The starting point for this one comes from a report that, given the performance of 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in recent weeks, is fairly obvious: According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, Kaepernick will exercise his right to void his contract after the current season, but Kaepernick could indeed be back with the 49ers in 2017.

Even if/when Kaepernick voids the contract, the 49ers will still hold exclusive negotiating rights until the 2017 league year begins in March. Whether the 49ers will try to re-sign Kaepernick depends in large part on whether ownership presses the reset button.

The 49ers currently have lost 10 games in a row, and there’s a growing belief that G.M. Trent Baalke won’t be back. Would ownership also move on from coach Chip Kelly, or would the team set up an inherently awkward and dysfunctional arrangement in which a G.M. is hired but is prevented at least for a year from hiring his own coach?

If Baalke goes, the best approach could be to elevate assistant G.M. Tom Gamble and let Kelly and Gamble run the show. If that happens, Kelly may want to keep Kaepernick around.

The other question is whether any other team, owner, G.M., or coach will shy away from Kaepernick given his refusal to stand for the national anthem. Regardless of whether it shold be a factor (it shouldn’t), the reality is that any team considering the addition of a veteran quarterback (and there likely will be plenty of them) will at least consider the impact of signing a signal-caller who may spark hundreds of angry callers to local sport-talk radio claiming that they will never attend or watch another game if Kaepernick becomes an employee of the team.

The easy part of this is coming to the conclusion that Kaepernick will be available to all 32 teams. The hard part is figuring out where he will land — especially with open questions about the future of the 49ers and the potential impediment arising from his position on non-football issues.

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Michael Crabtree, Latavius Murray expected to play

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 27:  Michael Crabtree #15 of the Oakland Raiders warms up prior to their NFL game against the Carolina Panthers on November 27, 2016 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Raiders had a few key offensive players listed as questionable on Friday’s injury report, but it’s not looking like they’re going to have to fill too many holes on the unit when they face the Bills on Sunday.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that wide receiver Michael Crabtree and running back Latavius Murray are “good to go” for the Raiders as they try to push their record to 10-2 on the season. Both players are dealing with ankle injuries and were able to take limited part in practices all three days this week.

That was how things played out for both players in Week 12 as well, so there may not have ever been much threat that they were going to miss the game.

Center Rodney Hudson and left guard Kelechi Osemele were also listed as questionable, which has been a frequent occurrence this season before they wind up in the lineup on Sunday. That suggests they’ll be alongside Crabtree and Murray against the Bills.

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Eagles likely to make a play for DeSean Jackson in 2017

LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 2: Wide receiver DeSean Jackson #11 of the Washington Redskins wears cleats displaying police caution tape prior to a game against the Cleveland Browns at FedExField on October 2, 2016 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) Getty Images

Eagles G.M. Howie Roseman and coach Doug Pederson have a simple philosophy for building their team: Undo everything Chip Kelly did.

That’s already been accomplished through the trading away of many of Kelly’s favorite acquisitions, including Sam Bradford, DeMarco Murray, Kiko Alonso and Byron Maxwell. And next year, the Eagles may begin bringing back the players Kelly jettisoned.

That would include the most controversial move of Kelly’s tenure in Philadelphia, which was releasing receiver DeSean Jackson. After he was cut, Jackson signed a three-year contract with Washington. That contract will expire at the end of this season, and when Jackson hits free agency in March, the Eagles will be ready.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the Eagles are likely to go after Jackson in 2017. That would make sense, as Pederson was an Eagles assistant for five of Jackson’s years in Philadelphia, and Jackson played very well in that offense, which is very similar to the offense Pederson runs in Philadelphia now.

Jackson had a good first season in Washington but struggled with injuries in his second season and has been injured again and not as effective this year. At age 30 he may have lost a step, but the Eagles want to see what he has left.

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Eric Dickerson continues his non-vendetta vendetta against Jeff Fisher

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 27: Head coach Jeff Fisher of the St. Louis Rams looks on during the third quarter of the game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on December 27, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. The Rams won the game 23-17. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images) Getty Images

Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson has said he doesn’t have a vendetta against Rams coach Jeff Fisher. I’m starting to wonder whether Dickerson knows what the word means.

Dickerson, who launched his attack nearly a week ago based on the perception that he was no longer welcome on the sideline due to his criticism of the team, gradually has shifted his platform from objecting to being disrespected to lobbying for Fisher to be fired.

At some point along the way, the narrative changed from Dickerson ultimately having a problem with COO Kevin Demoff to Dickerson having an audience with Demoff, at which time Dickerson made the case for changing coaches. Dickerson explained the discussion on Friday’s The Herd with Colin Cowherd.

“I asked Kevin Demoff point blank last night. I say, ‘So, are you bringing Jeff Fisher back? Does he have an extension?’ He said, ‘We’re talking about it.’ He asked me, ‘What do you think?'” Dickerson said.

“I said, ‘My honest opinion?’ I said, ‘No . . . Look, he’s had five years — five years — of losing.’ I said, ‘Enough is enough.’ I said, ‘I’m a fan,’ and I said, ‘All these Rams fans . . . I feel like I’m their voice.’ I mean, why would you bring him back? I mean, I asked him, I said, ‘Where are the naked pictures at? . . . He must got something on someone.'”

Dickerson argued that Rams fans wouldn’t object to a new coach because it would be different than what the franchise has been doing. Which is losing more games than he’s winning.

Dickerson, without question, is entitled to his opinion. Still, there’s something odd about the way this has all unfolded, with Dickerson gradually making it less about how he’s treated by the team and more (if not all) about getting rid of Fisher.

If the speculation/rumor/belief in some league circles is true that Fisher already has an extension in place, Dickerson’s arguments won’t matter — unless it’s also true that the Rams have guaranteed only the first year of the new deal. In that situation, owner Stan Kroenke could still choose to give Fisher a one-year buyout as a parting gift and move on.

Fisher could help turn that tide by winning some games late in the season. It won’t be easy on Sunday in New England, given that Fisher is facing a coach who has outscored Fisher 104-7 in their last two meetings.

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Nelson Agholor expected to play in place of Jordan Matthews

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 06:   Nelson Agholor #17 of the Philadelphia Eagles in action against the New York Giants during their game at MetLife Stadium on November 6, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) Getty Images

An injury at wide receiver is forcing the Eagles to make a change.

Jordan Matthews is expected to miss today’s game against the Bengals, and that means Nelson Agholor will be active, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.

Agholor has struggled mightily since former Eagles coach Chip Kelly took him in the first round last year, and last week he was a healthy scratch. This week he’ll get a shot at redemption.

Matthews leads the Eagles in catches (57), yards (686) and touchdowns (three). The Eagles will also be without their leading rusher, Ryan Matthews, so injuries could take a toll on Philadelphia’s offense.

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Raiders will honor victims of Oakland warehouse fire

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 03: Smoke rises above a warehouse as firefighters work to put out remaining hot spots following an overnight fire that claimed the lives of at least nine people at a warehouse in the Fruitvale neighborhood on December 3, 2016 in Oakland, California. The warehouse was hosting an electronic music party.  (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Imag Getty Images

Nine people have died and more than 30 more may have been killed in an Oakland warehouse fire during a Friday party. The Raiders will be honoring those affected by the tragedy.

The team has announced that it will match up to $30,000 donated at a YouCaring.com page created by the Oakland A’s.

The Raiders also will observe a moment of silence in recognition of the victims and their families before Sunday’s game against the Bills.

You can make a contribution here.

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Jerry Jones laments inconsistent officiating on Thursday night

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 11:  Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is seen on the field prior to the game against the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium on September 11, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Vikings weren’t the only team unhappy with the officiating on Thursday night. The Cowboys, despite prevailing, were displeased, too.

They were inconsistent with their calls, and that was frustrating,” owner Jerry Jones said Friday on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, via Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

It remains to be seen whether that’s enough criticism to warrant a fine from the league office. Typically, the rule against criticizing officials is applied strictly to owners, team executives, and coaches. Players enjoy plenty of leeway; Washington cornerback Josh Norman became a rare exception last month when he individually called out an official by his number.

Whatever the flaws with the officiating on Thursday, the Cowboys managed to win the game and extend their winning streak to 11. There’s a chance the owner’s decision to vent about the game being a closer call than it should have been will come with a price tag.

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Todd Haley touts Pittsburgh’s offensive line

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 21: The Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line attempts to block the Philadelphia Eagles defensive line in the third quarter on August 21, 2014 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) Getty Images

At a time when most believe the Cowboys have the best offensive line in football, one offensive coordinator begs to differ. Then again, he has a fairly clear bias.

They are playing at a very high level,” Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley said regarding his team’s wall of blockers, via Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I said at the beginning of the year . . . that I thought they could be the best in the league. I think they are playing at that level right now.”

It’s a surprising development, given that for years the offensive line was a liability. Indeed, the Steelers won a pair of Super Bowls with subpar blocking.

The 2016 Steelers have allowed only 14 sacks in 11 games, second fewest in the league. The ability of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to extend plays likely has been a factor.

Regardless, it’s one of the big reasons for the success of the team’s offense. Despite some disappointments, the Steelers remain viable contenders in a conference that is still fairly wide open, especially with the Patriots losing Rob Gronkowski and the Raiders having a habit of playing up and down to the level of the competition.

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