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McNabb doesn’t see Peyton playing for the Redskins

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I’ve been saying for weeks that the idea of quarterback Peyton Manning wanting to play for the Redskins makes no sense, for several reasons.  First, he won’t want to compete in the same division with his brother, Eli.  Second, the Redskins aren’t particularly all that competitive.  Third, the climate combined with a chewed-up field that hosts periodic college games doesn’t provide the kind of laboratory conditions that are conducive to big passing numbers.  And, fourth, a quarterback accustomed to running the offense won’t mesh well with an offensive coordinator who is accustomed to running the quarterback like a kid playing a video game.

On that last point, a former Redskins quarterback agrees.

Peyton’s not gonna go there,” McNabb recently told ESPN 980, via Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post. “I don’t see Peyton ending up in Washington.  Because what happens is now, you’re bringing in another veteran who will be 35 36, who has been in one offense throughout his career.  It’s the same situation.”

The same situation, of course, as the one McNabb confronted.

“Now he comes over, and as they say now, Peyton is such an offensive coordinator on the offense,” McNabb said.  “So now what does that do to your offensive coordinator?  Does he step down?  Does he step back?  Does he begin to change the whole offense according to the play of the quarterback that he has in Peyton Manning?  Well, I didn’t see that happen, so I definitely don’t see that happening for Peyton.”

McNabb is right.  But he’s overlooking two things.  First, there’s a chance the Shanahans have changed as a result of the McNabb experience.  Second, McNabb was micromanaged for 11 years in Philly; Peyton has been running the show for most of his career.

Still, the fit’s not there.  Manning will use Washington’s interest (along with Miami’s) to drive up the price that someone else will pay.  And so it will be a shock if he plays for the Redskins or the Dolphins — and frankly more of a shock if he ends up at FedEx Field.

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Manningham says he’s 75 percent certain to leave

Super Bowl XLVI Getty Images

Giants receiver Mario Manningham beat the odds with a memorable Super Bowl catch.  Three weeks and one day later, the odds don’t favor a return to New York.

Manningham recently told the Youngstown (Ohio) Vindicator (via NFL.com) that there’s a “75 percent” chance he won’t be back with the Giants.  And he doesn’t seem to be bothered by the fact that he won’t be chasing a second straight Super Bowl ring.

“How many times have you seen a repeat?” Manningham said.

But isn’t his current quarterback, Eli Manning, one of the best in the entire NFL?

“He is, but there are a lot of good quarterbacks in this league,” Manningham said. “I just want the ball more, that’s all.”

Manningham also wants more money.  More than the Giants will have budgeted for a No. 3 wideout.

The four-year veteran already has been linked to the Buccaneers, given that former Giants quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan now serves as the offensive coordinator in Tampa.  Regardless, Manningham seems destined to play for a team other than the Giants in 2012.

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Bart Scott described as “extremely frustrated” with Jets

Bart Scott, Jamaal Westerman AP

The Jets have given Bart Scott permission to seek a trade, and the talk coming out of his camp suggests that Scott can’t wait to leave.

Scott’s agent Harold Lewis told Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com that Scott is “extremely frustrated” with his role in the defense and that it’s “destroying him” that he’s no longer being used the way he used to be in coach Rex Ryan’s defense, both with the Jets and the Ravens.

Of course, the reason Scott’s role has been diminished is that he’s not as good as he used to be. Scott will turn 32 in August and just isn’t the same player he once was.

Scott agreed to take a pay cut last year in return for having his $4.2 million salary guaranteed this year. Now the Jets may wish they hadn’t made that deal, because it looks like they’re going to be stuck paying $4.2 million to a player who’s extremely frustrated, and who no longer performs at a Pro Bowl level.

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Redskins announce return of Will Montgomery, Darrion Scott

Washington Redskins 2010 Headshots

Over the weekend, a report emerged that the Redskins and center Will Montgomery had agreed to terms on a four-year deal.  On Monday, the Redskins announced the deal.

The release also mentioned the defensive end Darrion Scott (pictured) has re-signed with the team.

Scott, 30, was out of the league for two full seasons after facing disturbing allegations that he had placed a plastic bag over his son’s head.  Scott eventually pleaded guilty to child endangerment, and the league suspended him three games.

None of that deterred the Redskins, however; they’ve employed Scott for the past two seasons.  Then again, the Redskins were the only team to give in 2011 a workout to cornerback Perrish Cox, who faces a charge that he impregnated a woman who passed out at his apartment.

Coincidentally, Cox’s trial started today.  Maybe the Redskins will sign him after he’s convicted.

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Rams “will” trade No. 2 pick

Robert Griffin III AP

If there were any doubt in the wake of Peter King’s latest Monday Morning Quarterback column (and there shouldn’t have been), there’s definitely none now.

The Rams, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN, will trade the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 draft, which barring something completely unforeseen and unexpected will be used on Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III.

The only remaining question is the “who” and the “how much.”  The fact that the draft picks are now subject to a genuine rookie wage scale, which drives down the financial cost of using the second overall pick, and could drive the picks-and-players cost even higher.

The prime candidates to trade up remain the Browns (No. 4 and 22 overall), the Redskins (No. 6), the Dolphins (No. 8), and the Seahawks (No. 12).  As King pointed out both in MMQB and on PFT Live, there could be one or more mystery teams.

And that’s where things could get very interesting.  If, as suggested earlier in the day, Griffin’s finds extra motivation in the fact that the Colts aren’t given the likely second pick a second glance, Griffin could be the perfect target for the team that holds the No.  7 selection:  the AFC South’s Jaguars.

Yeah, they’re committed to Blaine Gabbert, who arrived via the 10th overall pick in 2011 after the Jaguars gave up a second-round pick in order to flip-flop first-round spots with the Redskins.  But what better way to throw other teams off the scent than to create the impression that Gabbert remains the guy?  New Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey and new Rams G.M. Les Snead worked together in Atlanta, which could help Mularkey achieve and maintain extreme discretion from Snead while the talks secretly occur.  And new Jags owner Shahid Khan may be willing to mortgage a chunk of his future drafts in order to secure the franchise’s future as a contender for the next 10 years or more.

Throw in the fact that Griffin would get two cracks at the Colts every year, and the move seems far less ludicrous.

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Bears’ 2012 “to-do” list

Our “to-do” list for Monday’s PFT Live included covering the Bears’ and Titans’ 2012 offseason “to-do” lists.

My “to-do” for items to post on PFT for Monday includes the Bears’ and Titans’ 2012 offseason “to-do” lists.

And now I can check off one of those items, which somehow creates an odd sense of satisfaction.

Here is the Bears’ 2012 offseason “to-do” list.

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Ray Rice braces for the franchise tag

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice runs in for a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first half of play in their NFL football game at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati Reuters

A full week into the window for using the franchise tag, no player has yet to be on the receiving end of a pair of multi-million-dollar handcuffs.  Though Ravens running back Ray Rice may not be the first, it’s looking more and more inevitable that, eventually, it’ll happen.

“We obviously know the tag is coming,” agent Todd France told Aaron Wilson of the Carroll County Times.  “But we will continue to have open dialogue and see if we can come to a long-term agreement, which is the preference for both sides.”

And so, at some point in the next week, Rice will receive an offer of a one-year, $7.7 million contract.  The next question will be whether he’ll sign the tender while negotiations continue, or whether he’ll hold out.  Coach John Harbaugh thinks/hopes he won’t.

“I would be surprised, just knowing Ray and I know how much he loves football,” Harbaugh recently said, via Chris Korman of the Baltimore Sun.  “I think he understands there’s not leverage to be gained by doing that.

“Guys who’ve done that haven’t come out and played well.  That would never be the way to get a contract here.  That’s not how the Ravens have operated.”

That may be the case, but there’s definitely leverage to be gained via a denial of services — and Harbaugh knows it.  Rice isn’t under contract, and he can show up days before the start of the regular season and still get the full amount of the franchise tender.

Though Rice likely wouldn’t hold out, there’s a certain amount of risk in verbally strong-arming him.  The Ravens surely would prefer to take it year-by-year for now, given that Rice plays a position that typically entails injury, sometimes serious.  Rice surely would prefer the protection against injury that comes with a long-term deal.

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Dielman close to announcing retirement

San Diego Chargers' Mathews and Dielman celebrate a touchdown against New England Patriots during their NFL football game in Foxborough Reuters

Just a few weeks after a report emerged that Chargers guard Kris Dielman was leaning towards playing in 2012, a report has emerged that he is set to announce his retirement.

While Dielman wants to play, Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that doctors have advised Dielman to retire with an eye on his quality of life several years from now.

Both Dielman and the Chargers would not confirm Acee’s report, although we should find out the answer soon. The Chargers may need an answer by the end of the week. Dielman is due $5.5 million this season, but the Chargers would be happy to pay it. They are expected to cut left Marcus McNeill and look to re-sign center Nick Hardwick.

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Leroy Hill arrested for marijuana possession

Sam Bradford, Leroy Hill, Roy Lewis AP

Seahawks linebacker Leroy Hill is in trouble with the law again.

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune reports via the Atlanta police department that Hill was arrested for marijuana possession.

According to the police reports, cops were called to an apartment after a complaint regarding the “strong odor” of marijuana. The police investigated and found a few “blunts.” Hill and his girlfriend were arrested. He had less than an ounce of marijuana on him.

As NFL arrests go, this one is pretty benign.  But it could spell trouble for Hill, who has been arrested three times in the last three years. Two of those arrests were related to marijuana, so Hill was in the league’s substance abuse program.

The timing couldn’t be much worse for Hill. He’s about to be a free agent, and it’s hard to imagine him getting a job anytime soon with a possible suspension hanging over his head.

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Griffin will grace cover of EA’s college game

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Good things have happened in threes this week for Robert Griffin III.

First, a deal with adidas.  Then, a stellar showing at the Scouting Combine, with solid performances on the field and in interviews.  Now, Griffin will appear on the cover of the next edition of the EA college football video game, according to SportsBusiness Daily.

Another Heisman winner will join Griffin on the cover.  Fans will be able to cast a vote from among a list that includes Marcus Allen, Doug Flutie, Eddie George, Desmond Howard, Barry Sanders, Herschel Walker, Charlie Ward, and Andre Ware.

The development continues a steady ascension for Griffin, who now is now viewed as being on nearly equal footing with Andrew Luck, even though the Colts reportedly are locked in on Luck.  And as pointed out today during a PFT Live visit with Peter King of Sports Illustrated and Football Night in America, the Colts’ refusal to give serious consideration to Griffin could put a chip on his shoulder that will make him driven to do whatever he can to beat the Colts, whenever he has the chance to do so.

In 1998, Peyton Manning famously warned the Colts that, if they pass on him, he’ll make them repeatedly regret it.  Whether or not Griffin issues a similar warning before the draft, it’s hard not to wonder whether he’ll hold a grudge after it.

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Luke Kuechly had a very good day

2012 NFL Combine Getty Images

Plenty of mock drafts have had Boston College’s Luke Kuechly as the first linebacker off the board and that doesn’t figure to change after his combine performance on Monday.

Kuechly, who left Boston College after his junior season, had a strong collegiate career but there were some concerns about whether he was a good enough athlete to excel at the professional level. He answered those doubts with strong results across the board that should solidify him in the top half of the first round come April.

Kuechly wound up with a 4.58 in the 40-yard dash and a 38-inch vertical leap, ranking third among linebackers in each metric, and was at or near the top of the position group in the other drills. There have been plenty of players over the years with strong game performance and weak combines as well as others who are workout wonders without the ability to back it up on game film. Kuechly showed scouts Monday that he ranks well in both things and that spells a high draft position.

The Eagles have been linked with Kuechly quite often with the 15th overall pick and he makes even more sense after Monday’s showing. The question now will be if he remains on the board that long.

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Irsay fumbles P.R. battle with latest stream of tweets

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Nearly two weeks ago, Colts owner Jim Irsay made a brilliant move in the ongoing battle for the hearts and minds of his team’s fans by pointing out, in essence, that no other team will pay Peyton $28 million on March 8 and that Manning should be willing to do with the Colts whatever reduced deal he would be willing to do with another team.

On Monday, Irsay squandered those style points by attempting clumsily to reconcile his various public remarks regarding the Manning situation with his prior admonition that Peyton should “keep it in house.”

Addressing via Twitter what Irsay calls “media word-twisters” (I’ve been called worse . . . today . . . by my wife), he addresses the disconnect between keeping it in house and taking it to the tweet streets:  “I said’If u have a PROBLEM with some1,keep it n house.Never said’Don’t communicate with fan base about issues involving their team’s roster.”

And now, for the English tranlsation:  “I said, ‘If you have a problem with someone, keep it in house.  I never said, ‘Don’t communicate with the fan base about issues involving their team’s roster.'”

Unless those are the lyrics of a song with which I’m not familiar, Irsay apparently doesn’t like being held to the same standard he has tried to impose on Peyton.  In Irsay’s mind, Peyton shouldn’t tell the media that he has concerns that the changes in the organization are affecting his ability to regain his arm strength, but it’s OK for Irsay to try to back Peyton into a corner by expressing concern regarding the fact that the only way to keep Manning around is to give him on or before before March 8 a check that at this point in his career Peyton could only get from the State Lottery Commission.

Irsay followed that up with more legible message.  “We will always communicate with Colt Fans about important issues through all 21st century means to be informative and insightful,” Irsay said.

That’s fine.  But Irsay shouldn’t expect his players to not do the same thing.  Surely, Peyton regarded the issues he raised last month with Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star to be “important” and “informative” and “insightful.”

Anyone who gets it knows that both Irsay and Manning hope to avoid blame for the coming divorce.  They’re playing a game.  In his latest effort, Irsay didn’t play it very well.

So, Emperor, if none of your employees can or will tell you that you’re riding that horse both bareback and bare-bottomed, someone has to.  And it’s far better to have that message come from someone in the media instead of, say, Oliver or Andrew Luck.

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Jaguars defensive tackle Nate Collins arrested

T.J Yates,  Nate Collins AP

Nate Collins hasn’t made too many headlines on the field during his two seasons with the Jaguars, but he made one off the field when he was arrested for marijuana possession.

The Fauquier Times-Democrat reported Monday that Collins was arrested during a traffic stop last Thursday in Warrenton, Virginia. State troopers initially pulled Collins over for having illegally tinted windows and, per the Times-Democrat, they smelled marijuana in the car. A subsequent search turned up joints in a bag in the trunk. Tania Ganguli of the Florida Times-Union tried to get comment from the police and Collins about the arrest, but was turned down on both fronts.

Collins had 10 tackles in 12 games for the Jaguars this season. He’s scheduled to be an exclusive rights free agent this offseason.

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Jets give Bart Scott permission to seek trade

Bart Scott, Daniel Thomas AP

The Jets restructured Bart Scott’s contract before last season to save cap room. Now they are paying for it.

Scott is guaranteed $4.2 million in 2012, plus a $250,000 workout bonus.  The Jets would love to avoid paying that for an aging, part-time player with diminishing skills. With that in mind, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reports that the Jets have given permission to Scott to seek a trade.

The rest of the league has informally replied: “Good luck with that.”

There’s no chance Scott would get that much guaranteed money on the open market. So there’s even less of a chance that a team will give up a draft pick in order to pay Scott.

The bigger question following this news: Will the Jets simply cut Scott when they find no takers for him? Mehta writes it is unlikely because of the guaranteed money.

As Mike Tannenbaum and the Jets try to build a roster with fewer off-field issues, they may be hesitant to bring back a player so clearly unhappy with his playing time last season.

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Cal’s Mychal Kendricks has a big day at the Combine

Marc Tyler, Mychal Kendricks AP

Few players have helped themselves more at the Scouting Combine than Cal linebacker Mychal Kendricks, who had an outstanding day on Monday afternoon.

Kendricks was the fastest linebacker at the Combine, finishing the 40-yard dash in 4.47 seconds. That even beat the official time put up by North Carolina’s Zach Brown, a college track star who had an impressive showing and was officially timed at 4.50 seconds.

Kendricks also had the best vertical jump among all linebackers at the Combine, at 39.5 inches, and the best broad jump, at 10 feet, 7 inches. And he looked very impressive in the linebacker on-field drills.

The Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Award winner last year, Kendricks said he models himself after 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis.

“Willis, that’s who I look up to. I feel like I can move the same way. Very fast, very quick, cat-like, that’s my style of play. I look at him and it’d be nice to be fraction of what he is,” Kendricks said. “I’m a hard worker, tough, I want to win. . . . I’m a competitor. I’ve been a competitor and I think my character will show for itself once I get picked up. I’m not going to sit here and harp on my character, but I mean, they can ask around and they can see I’m a good guy. I don’t get in much trouble, keep to myself, and just I just take care of business.”

He certainly took care of business today.

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