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Colts have until Friday at 4:00 p.m. ET to cut Peyton

Ryan Grigson AP

I’ve got to give Jason La Canfora of NFL Network credit for being the first person in the media to realize that the Colts have a window after the final due date for Peyton Manning’s $28 million option bonus to cut him and still avoid owing him the money.

However, the window is much, much narrower than La Canfora has described it.

He thinks the Colts can cut Manning on Sunday.  As previously explained, that would likely result in the Colts stuffing $28 million into Peyton’s pockets as he embarks on free agency.

But even Saturday isn’t good enough.  As we suspected, and as NFL spokesman Greg Aiello confirms, all business for the current week must be transacted by 4:00 p.m. ET on Friday, March 9.  Thus, if Manning is still on the roster as of 4:01 p.m. ET on Friday, March 9, there’s no way the Colts can cut him before Monday morning.

So, at the very latest, G.M. Ryan Grigson (pictured, with Manning fittingly looming over his shoulder) should dump Peyton on Friday afternoon, if the plan is to cut him.  To be as safe as possible, the Colts should just do it now.  The only plausible reason to delay the move would be to give Peyton less time to hit the market before free agency opens, and/or more time for owner Jim Irsay to change his mind and pay Peyton $28 million to ensure he doesn’t play for another team.

It’s simply not worth risking the possibility of paying him $28 million AND seeing him play for another team.

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Washington signs Jerrell Powe

Houston Texans v Pittsburgh Steelers Getty Images

The Redskins were busy on the defensive line this offseason and they haven’t stopped looking for bodies to add to the mix up front.

The NFL’s daily transaction report for Monday revealed that team has signed defensive tackle Jerrell Powe, who spent the 2014 season with the Texans. He played in all 16 games, started three times, and recorded 10 tackles. He played 12 games in three years with the Chiefs before making the move to Houston.

Powe joins Terrance Knighton, Stephen Paea and Ricky Jean Francois as veteran additions to the defensive line this offseason as the Redskins have worked to remake their front seven under new coordinator Joe Barry.

Knighton, Paea, Jean Francois and Jason Hatcher seem like sure bets to make the final roster and Powe will be part of the mix for backup jobs with Chris Baker, Kedric Golston, Frank Kearse and Travian Robertson. It’s a deeper group of linemen than they had to choose from last season and one they surely hope will be more productive as well.

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Injury helps put Dolphins kicker Caleb Sturgis on hot seat

DAVIE, FL - MAY 26: Caleb Sturgis #9 of the Miami Dolphins practices kicking during the teams first OTA's on May 26, 2015 at the Miami Dolphins training facility in Davie, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images) Getty Images

Being hurt isn’t the kind of thing that automatically puts your job in jeopardy. But when you were on the fringes of jeopardy because of your performance, it doesn’t help.

Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said kicker Caleb Sturgis would miss the rest of the offseason work because of a leg injury,  with no timetable on his return.

Sturgis has battled groin injuries each of his first two seasons, and hasn’t reached the 80 percent threshold on field goal accuracy yet.

So while it might not be undrafted rookie Andrew Franks from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, it’s possible the Dolphins could be looking for someone to replace the 2013 fifth-rounder.

“Listen, that position in general is one where the target’s always on you and the spotlight’s always on you,” Dolphins special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi said, via Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald. “When there’s only one of you on the roster, you have to perform. . . .

“I think if you ask him [Sturgis], he wants to be more consistent. Team-wise, we need to be more consistent. Those numbers have to improve.”

Sturgis has hit 77.5 percent of his career field goals. It doesn’t help that the guy he replaced (Dan Carpenter) is a 90.5 percenter for the Bills.

Until he’s well, it’s going to be hard for him to change that. But it’s clear any margin of error he had going into his third season is slipping away.

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Odell Beckham: Hamstring not comparable to last year

Odell Beckham Jr. AP

On June 5, 2014, Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham downplayed the fact that he sat out of a Giants OTA practice because of a sore hamstring as a precautionary decision.

Beckham said, via the New York Daily News, that he’d played in games with similar soreness earlier in his career and that he’d be able to practice the next day. As it turned out, Beckham barely practiced again until the season was underway as the injury wound up being one that lingered long enough to keep him out of four games. That timeline comes to mind this week because Beckham sounded pretty similar when describing the sore hamstring that kept him from doing much at practice on Monday.

It’s his right hamstring this time, but things sounded familiar in quotes from Beckham distributed by the team. Beckham said he’d be able to play in a game if the Giants had one this week and used the word “precautionary” to describe the decision to keep things limited while adding that he believes things were totally different this time.

“Absolutely not,” Beckham said. “I try not to even think about last year. Comparing this to last year is just not even comparable.”

There’s not much about last year that anyone with the Giants want to think about other than Beckham’s performance once he was finally healthy, which means there are plenty of people hoping that things stop sounding like last year as soon as possible.

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All’s quiet on the Brandon Carr pay cut front, for the moment

Brandon Carr AP

The date June 1 isn’t as significant for NFL cuts as it used to be, but many wondered (with good reason) whether Brandon Carr would still be a Cowboy when the calendar flipped yesterday.

While the Cowboys might still like to have Carr at something other than his $8 million salary and $12.17 million cap figure for the coming year, they also haven’t done anything toward that goal.

You talk to me more about it than they do,” Carr joked, via Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com.

With drafting Byron Jones and giving Orlando Scandrick a raise, they’ve put some degree of pressure on him, even if it’s tacit. But they created cap room with their annual restructure of Tony Romo, and there’s not a pressing need to do anything at the moment.

But any talks about changing Carr’s deal have been occasional and brief. So while they might like to pay him less, they also know they need him given the uncertain status of Morris Claiborne and the fact that Jones is a rookie. So so far, nothing’s happening. That doesn’t mean it won’t, it hasn’t so far, despite plenty of speculation this offseason.

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(Former) Bills running back guarantees a playoff spot this year

Thurman Thomas #34 Getty Images

Rex Ryan gave his players Monday off to play golf.

But he had a bigger goal in mind, obviously.

While the players might have enjoyed a day away from OTAs, Ryan’s plan is clearly to draw a link from the current Bills (who haven’t seen the playoffs in 15 years) to the team’s more glorious past, and that’s where the trip to Jim Kelly’s charity golf tournament comes in.

So instead of running around in shorts and helmets, they’re rubbing elbows with Hall of Famers such as Kelly and Andre Reed and Thurman Thomas and Bruce Kelly — guys who know it’s possible to win in Buffalo since they did it.

But the confidence is running both ways, as some of the legends are convinced Ryan’s influence is ready to end the losing ways.

“I’m buying in,” Thomas told Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News. “I know I’m not a part of the team, but I’m guaranteeing a playoff spot this year. You can write it down! I don’t know if it’s the sixth seed or the third or whatever, the playoff drought will end this year.”

Kelly, who was moved by the show of support, having the entire team come to back his charitable efforts. And while he wasn’t taking it as far as Thomas (since they still don’t know who the quarterback will be), he’s also seeing progress.

“If there’s somebody in Buffalo who’s not excited about this season, something’s wrong,” Kelly said. “He’s got guys ready. Once you hit the field, we’ve got the nucleus, we have the people it’s going to take. The big question is quarterback. If one of those guys steps up and becomes the quarterback we need, look out everybody, especially the teams in the AFC East.”

After 15 years of watching the playoffs, fans and former Bills alike may be feeling a little desperate. But that feeling that it’s possible is clearly something Ryan’s trying to cultivate, and now he just has to make his current team believe it. That, and find a quarterback.

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There are defensive players the Chargers do want to extend

OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 12:  Corey Liuget #94 of the San Diego Chargers sits on the sidelines before their game against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum on October 12, 2014 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) Getty Images

It’s clear by their actions the Chargers don’t think a deal for safety Eric Weddle is a priority.

But there is another member of their defense they’d like to lock up.

Via Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Chargers want to extend defensive lineman Corey Liuget, “quietly working” on the deal now. (Or at least it was quiet).

While he hasn’t made the same kind of impact on their defense that Weddle has, he has produced.

The former first-round pick has 17.0 sacks, and has been a durable player, missing just one game his rookie season.

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Clady’s latest injury could make him vulnerable in 2016

Ryan Clady AP

The bad news for the Broncos is that, for the second time in three seasons, they’ll have to get by without left tackle Ryan Clady. The good news for the Broncos is that, unlike 2013 when Clady suffered a season-ending injury in Week Two of the regular season, they’ll have plenty of time to prepare for life without him.

The best news for the Broncos is that the latest injury to Clady gives them a chance to decide whether they can clear millions in cap space next year by moving on to a new left tackle.

Whether it’s second-round rookie Ty Sambrailo or someone else, the Broncos will know whether they can fill the spot far more cheaply and reliably in 2016, after having to do so in 2015. With Clady’s current deal carrying a $3 million signing bonus, only $1.2 million remains on the books for 2016 and 2017. Base salaries of $9.5 million and $10 million over the final two years of the deal could be avoided by terminating the deal next year.

With no remaining guarantees or offseason triggers, the Broncos could keep Clady around into 2016, assessing his offseason performance (and perhaps even his training-camp reps) before making a final decision. They also could squeeze him to take less money, under the argument that, through 48 regular-season games since signing the new contract, he has appeared in only 18 — and he has earned $33 million.

They also could force the issue before he shows up for a single offseason workout, since another serious injury in 2016 would put the Broncos on the hook for the full $9.5 million he’s due to make next year.

Regardless, with Clady approaching the out years of the deal and having two of the first three years marred by injury, the Broncos would be foolish not to at least consider whether it makes sense come 2016 to pocket $19.5 million and to devote that money toward improving the roster elsewhere.

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Benson family feud goes to court, behind closed doors

Benson Getty Images

Monday marked the commencement of the trial that contests the decision of Saints owner Tom Benson to change his will to bequeath New Orleans football and basketball franchises to his wife, Gayle Benson. The legal challenge to Benson’s competence to change his will is unfolding behind closed doors. But the participants will be coming and going through those doors.

On Monday, the 87-year-old who has owned the Saints for 30 years emerged from court and declared to reporters, “I can’t talk about nothing. I just feel good.”

Via Katherine Sayre of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Benson also said as he moved past the reporters, “Y’all can report that I’m still walking.”

He’ll walk back into court on Tuesday, at which time Benson’s daughter, Renee Benson, and grandchildren Rita and Ryan LeBlanc are expected to testify. The trio previously was slated to inherit the Saints and the NBA’s Pelicans.

Ultimately, the question is whether Benson had the mental acuity to change his will. He has every right to do so, as long as he had a sound mind at the time.

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Oakland has fallback plans for keeping Raiders

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 12:  McAfee Coliseum is shown during the Oakland Raiders game against the Denver Broncos at McAfee Coliseum on November 12, 2006 in Oakland, California. The Broncos defeated the Raiders 17-13. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images) Getty Images

June 21 remains a key date for the effort to keep the Raiders in Oakland. Unless it isn’t.

Only days after Raiders owner Mark Davis made it clear that Floyd Kephart is expected to come up with a financing plan to bridge a $400 million gap in funding for a new Oakland stadium by June 21, the executive director of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority said that other avenues exist to keeping the Raiders from securing a one-way ticket out of town.

“If a deal with Floyd Kephart doesn’t happen, we are open to other options,” Scott McKibben said, via Bill Williamson of ESPN.com. “And we are prepared to do quickly if that occurs.”

McKibben wouldn’t discuss any potential fallback plans or identify the available options. But McKibben realizes that time is of the essence.

“We need to get something done sooner than later,” McKibben said.

Yes they do. Because if they don’t Davis and the Raiders may get something done in L.A.

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Darrius Caldwell, Adrian Wilkins enter supplemental draft

Draft Getty Images

A pair of college players have declared themselves eligible for the NFL’s supplemental draft.

According to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun, West Georgia defensive end Darrius Caldwell and North Carolina Central wide receiver/kick returner Adrian Wilkins have both applied for inclusion in the supplemental draft.

Caldwell led the Gulf South Conference (Division II) with 12 sacks. He recorded 69 tackles and 18.5 tackles for loss last season.

Wilkins averaged 21.6 yards per kick return last season and hauled in 50 catches for 541 yards.

The supplemental draft is held in July and is open to players who were not eligible for the main NFL Draft in May, for one reason or another. If a player is selected, the team making the choice has to forfeit a selection from the corresponding round in next year’s draft.

If Caldwell and Wilkins aren’t selected, they will become unrestricted free agents.

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Hernandez claims juror was exposed to “extraneous matters”

Hernandez Getty Images

The attack on the conviction of former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez includes an argument focused on whether one of the jurors broke the rules regarding what could and couldn’t be considered in the case.

According to Ted Daniel of FOX25 in Boston, Hernandez’s lawyers have filed with the trial court a motion for “post verdict inquiry respecting a juror’s exposure to extraneous matters.”

In English, it means that Hernandez’s lawyers believe that one of the jurors became aware of evidence other than the evidence properly admitted by Judge E. Susan Garsh. With Hernandez accused of two other murders and of shooting one of the witnesses who testified against him in the face (Alexander Bradley), there were plenty of “extraneous matters” for the jurors to consider.

It also means that Hernandez’s lawyers want to be able to question one or more jurors about the situation.

Given that the jury wasn’t sequestered, it would have been easy for any of them to yield to the temptation during a long trial of exploring media reports regarding other allegations against Hernandez.

The specifics of the argument aren’t known, because Hernandez’s lawyers wanted the documents to be sealed and not available to the public.

It could be a Hail Mary pass aimed at fishing for proof that someone had Googled “Aaron Hernandez” and found a laundry list of the allegatons against him. It could be that the lawyers have been tipped off by one of the other jurors. At some point, more will be known about the argument. For now, it’s way too early to know whether the conviction of Hernandez for the June 2013 killing of Odin Lloyd is in jeopardy.

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More seats removed from FedEx Field

FedExField Getty Images

Not long ago, more than 200,000 people were waiting to purchase season tickets at FedEx Field. Now, the team is waiting for them to come back.

In the interim, Washington has reduced the capacity of its home stadium three times in five years. According to Dan Steinberg and Scott Allen of the Washington Post, “thousands” have seats once again have been ripped out of the venue that once was the biggest in the league.

Via Steinberg and Allen, the team said in a statement that the changes are “part of an overall plan based on season ticket holder feedback,” and that details will be unveiled shortly. Steinberg and Allen estimate that another 6,000 seats have been removed. For 2014, capacity at FedEx Field was listed at 85,000.

With the blackout policy suspended for 2015 (and presumably gone forever), it’s no longer as important to shrink stadium size to intersect with demand. But if the demand has taken a permanent dip given the gap between the experience of watching the game at home and venturing to a venue that looks and feels a lot older than 18, it makes sense to shrink capacity, in advance of imploding the whole thing.

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Shane Ray agrees to terms with Broncos

Ray Getty Images

On Monday, linebacker Shane Ray practiced for the first time with the Broncos. He also signed his first NFL contract.

Via the Associated Press, Ray has agreed to a four-year deal worth approximately $9 million, with a $5 million signing bonus.

Ray slid to No. 23 in round one due to a marijuana citation the week of the draft and concerns regarding a toe injury that some teams believed would require surgery. The Broncos believe the situation will improve with rehab.

“I hate watching,” Ray told reporters regarding his inactivity since being drafted 32 days ago. “I hate watching, so being out there and actually being able to get some work in feels great and I just want to continue get better, do whatever rehab I’ve got to continue to do to make sure my foot continues to heal and I don’t take any steps back. Then I’ll be ready to be out here on this field.”

Once he gets to 100 percent, opposing quarterbacks may not want to venture out onto the field with Ray, Von Miller, and DeMarcus Ware rushing the passer.

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Allen says Washington didn’t believe PAT needed to change

Mike Shanahan AP

Two weeks ago, 30 of 32 teams voted to move the single-point PAT try from the two to the 15, converting a 19-yard kick into a 32-yard attempt. Two teams opposed the move: Oakland and Washington.

On Monday, Washington executive V.P. of football operations Bruce Allen explained that his team simply didn’t think a change was needed.

“One, we didn’t like the proposal,” Allen said before the team’s inaugural charity golf outing, via Michael Phillips of the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “Two, for 95 years we’ve kicked the extra point from where we did. I don’t know if it needed to be moved.”

Because the change wasn’t made on a permanent basis, 24 owners will have to vote in favor of the move in 2016. Some of them may have opted to give it a try for 2015, reserving the right to align with Allen when it’s time to cast the votes next season.

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Titans hosting former Rams center Scott Wells for visit

Scott Wells Getty Images

The Tennessee Titans are looking for potential veteran depth along their offensive line.

According to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com, the Titans are hosting former St. Louis Rams center Scott Wells for a free agent visit on Monday.

Wells, a University of Tennessee graduate, started all 16 games for the Rams last season and 35 games in total over his three years in St. Louis.

Wells could provide some veteran depth on the line. Brian Schwenke has been the team’s starting center the last two seasons, but has also missed 12 games due to injury.

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