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David Garrard out after knee injury


The Miami Dolphins’ quarterback competition has reportedly undergone a significant shakeup.

David Garrard, who’s currently listed as the No. 1 quarterback on Miami’s depth chart, recently underwent knee surgery, according to Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times. That comes as a total surprise, and apparently surprises the media that covers the Dolphins every day. Miami Herald Dolphins beat writer Adam Beasley wrote on Twitter that Garrard didn’t miss any practices that have been open to the public.

According to Jensen, the surgery was minor — but significant enough to sideline Garrard for long enough that either Matt Moore or Ryan Tannehill is likely to start the regular season.

That’s a major blow for Garrard, and it’s the second consecutive year that Garrard has been dealt a major blow late in the offseason: Last year Garrard went through training camp as the preseason as the Jaguars’ starter, only to be cut just before the start of the regular season. Garrard ended up having back surgery and not signing with any other team until joining the Dolphins this year.

Now Garrard’s status is unclear for the start of the regular season, and so is the status of the quarterback position in Miami.

UPDATE 5:00 p.m. ET:  A league source tells PFT that Garrard will be out for “a while.”

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Chad Kelly says NFL teams know he’s moved past “dumb mistakes”

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Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly wasn’t at the Scouting Combine as a result of the NFL’s new policy banning players who have been involved in acts of violence off the field. But Kelly said he believes NFL teams know what kind of person he is.

Kelly pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct two years ago as part of a case in which he was initially accused of punching two people, threatening to shoot up a bar with an AK-47 and resisting arrest. He said this morning on PFT Live that he has told NFL teams that he’s grown up since then, and he thinks those teams believe him.

“I’ve made it clear that I just had my 23rd birthday, if I don’t get it now I’ll never get it. I think they understand my sincere apologies for making those dumb mistakes,” Kelly said.

A bigger problem for Kelly right now may be that he’s rehabbing both knee and wrist injuries, and he hasn’t been able to work out for teams the way he would have liked. So there are some significant questions about him, but he’s hoping he has answered those questions as well as possible, and will hear his name called this week by some team that’s satisfied with the kind of player and person he is.

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Latavius Murray plans on being ready for training camp

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Adrian Peterson earned a prominent spot in the headlines on Tuesday by signing with the Saints in a move that sets him up for an early return to Minnesota because the two teams will square off in Week One.

The plan for the Vikings is for Latavius Murray to be in Peterson’s old spot as the team’s starting running back, although the Vikings will have to wait a little while before they have a chance to see exactly how Murray fits into their offense. He had ankle surgery shortly after signing with the team as a free agent and said Tuesday that he’s still going through the rehab process with designs on being ready to go when training camp starts.

“That’s the plan,” Murray said. “That’s my goal, obviously. I don’t want to miss any more time than I have to, but, at the same time, I have to continue to trust the plan [the medical staff] has in place for me. I want to be out there when it’s time to lock and load.”

When that time arrives, Murray says that he knows the Vikings want him on the field as much as possible as an every-down back and said he’s confident that his receiving skills will allow that to happen. It will be a spell before there’s on-field evidence to support those feelings, but little doubt that the Vikings will need Murray to hit the ground running upon his return to action.

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Mixed signals from Rams on Trumaine Johnson

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The Rams opted to apply the franchise tag to cornerback Trumaine Johnson for a second time, despite the 20-percent raise over last year’s eight-figure salary. Since then, mixed signals have emerged as to whether the Rams will keep him under the one-year, $16.74 million tender (which he has signed), trade him, or sign him to a long-term deal.

As the first minicamp of the Sean McVay era began on Tuesday, the mixed signals continued.

“Today he’s a Ram,” G.M. Les Snead told reporters regarding Johnson. “First walk-through [practice on Tuesday], and then we’ll get this minicamp going and it’ll go through OTAs, and the plan I mentioned is still the same. It’s not necessarily going to affect the draft at all. We’ll try to rank the corners from top to bottom. You can always use more than one or two or three good corners. His situation won’t affect it, but right now he’s a Ram, and we plan to go from there.”

The “today he’s a Ram” line prompted an obvious follow-up — is there a chance he’s traded from the Rams tomorrow or one of the next days?

“No, right now, I think we’re more into OTAs and let’s see if we can get something done by the end of this thing,” Snead said. “That’s where we’re at right now.”

Johnson separately spoke to reporters about his situation.

“I’m glad to be a Ram, point blank,” Johnson said. “Coming out here, it’s a privilege to play football. I’m glad I’m on the team, and I’m with the Rams.”

Does he wants a long-term deal?

“Of course,” Johnson said. “We’ve got time right now. That’s not my main focus, I’m going to let my agent handle that. In the meantime, get to know the new guys, be back with the old guys and get all of these new defenses in with the coaches.”

Either way, Johnson is saying he’d like to stay.

“Of course, I love these guys,” Johnson said. “I’m here because I love my teammates. I don’t want to leave and hopefully we get a long-term deal.”

It still seems as if all options are on the table, especially since Johnson has plenty of leverage when it comes to long-term talks. With $16.74 million already guaranteed for 2017 and quarterback money looming if he’s tagged again in 2018, Johnson can (and should) ask for a huge deal in order to commit beyond this season. The Rams also have options; they can draft a replacement, and/or they can use Johnson as bait to replenish draft picks after sending their 2017 first-rounder (No. 5 overall) to Tennessee as part of the Jared Goff trade.

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Sean Payton: Adrian Peterson’s role will be “very clear and defined”

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There was a point in his career when it would have seemed laughable to suggest that Adrian Peterson would be playing a complementary role to another back, but we’re no longer at that point.

Peterson is coming off an ineffective and injury-filled final season with the Vikings and lingered on the market for a couple of months before signing with the Saints on Tuesday. That sets him up as an alternative to Mark Ingram in the New Orleans backfield, which is a role that led to 155 touches for Tim Hightower last season.

The Saints aren’t likely to use Peterson in precisely the same way that they used Hightower and they aren’t detailing their plans for public consumption, but coach Sean Payton did suggest there’s already a vision in place for how Peterson will be used.

“I think the role will be very clear and defined,” Payton said, via the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “It’s a tough, long 16-week season. I think that he’s someone that certainly will be able to complement Mark. Those guys are different in some ways, and yet we feel like we’ve added another quality player. It goes without saying, [Peterson is] a guy that eventually is going to be in the Hall of Fame. But I think — we think — that he’s got more years in his career, so we’re excited for that to happen.”

One possible difference between how the two backs will be used could come in the passing game. Ingram has 96 catches over the last two seasons and it has never been a strong suit of Peterson’s game, so that should factor into that clear definition once the Saints are in position to share it with the league at large.

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Titans have offers on table for No. 5, considering moving down again


Titans General Manager Jon Robinson isn’t afraid of making bold moves with draft picks, in either direction.

But this time, it appears he wants to recoup a few from last year.

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Titans have trade offers (plural) for the No. 5 overall pick, and are considering moving down.

The Titans made a pair of moves last year before and during the draft, trading the top overall pick to the Rams so they could acquire quarterback Jared Goff. They then traded back up with the Browns so they could draft tackle Jack Conklin.

They also have the 18th overall pick and an extra third-rounder this year, but no second-rounders after last year’s deals. Moving down would likely address that shortfall.

If they’re moving out, it’s likely somebody wants to get in front of the Jets at No. 6 in search of a quarterback. That could well be the Browns again (assuming they do the sensible thing and take defensive end Myles Garrett first overall) but there are plenty of other teams in the market as well.

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Vince Young back on the field for CFL team minicamp in Florida

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Former No. 3 overall pick and Texas hero Vince Young was back on a football field yesterday. In Florida. For a Canadian team.

According to the Canadian Press (via the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix and we say that just because it sounds so awesome), Young took part in his first workout with the Saskatchewan Roughriders Tuesday, as he attempts some degree of a comeback.

“I’m just happy to be here, hanging out and laughing with the guys,” Young said after the workout in Vero Beach, Fla. “A lot of guys gave me a lot of respect and the [defensive backs] were talking noise: ‘We’re going to pick you off, V.Y.’

“We’re having a good time. I love that and I did miss that.”

Roughriders coach Chris Jones said it was a positive day for the 33-year-old who hasn’t played in a regular season game since 2011 or been employed by a a professional football team (unless you count the University of Texas) since the Browns cut him in 2014.

“I thought he did a real nice job,” Jones said. “For the first time being on a CFL field, and we threw a lot at him . . . I thought Vince had a good day.”

There are technical changes to playing on the longer, wider field with fewer downs and more players on the field, but Young said he was just trying to learn and work his way through as he tries to make the roster.

“Oh yeah, I’ve got to work,” Young said. “And me, I don’t mind doing that. My energy was good. The things I was doing at home, training and taking notes from coach, things he wanted me to work on actually paid off. Thank God I did them and paid attention.”

Regardless the level of competition, Young could still be a long shot to make a roster, but give him credit for pursuing his dream, even if this is far from the dream team he declared himself a part of long ago.

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Wednesday morning one-liners

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Does Bills G.M. Doug Whaley need to look good coming out of this draft to save his job?

The Dolphins have two defensive ends they covet in the first round.

Patriots QB Jacoby Brissett had a moving Instagram post about his White House visit.

Don’t expect the Jets to draft RB Joe Mixon.

The father of the late former Raven Konrad Reuland threw out a first pitch while Rod Carew, who received Reuland’s heart and kidney, looked on.

The Bengals would like to bolster their offensive line this week.

The Browns are willing to be aggressive in moving up from No. 12 to draft a quarterback.

Pittsburgh is looking to improve its secondary in the draft.

Air Force OLB Ryan Watson is a player the Texans would love to draft.

Here’s a look at how much the Colts’ roster has changed in the last year.

Jaguars G.M. Tom Coughlin has a history of missing in the second round.

Titans coach Mike Mularkey doesn’t know why RB Derrick Henry is missing workouts.

The months-long quarterback competition in Denver has started.

Don’t be surprised if the Chiefs draft a quarterback.

Will the Raiders spend their first-round pick on an inside linebacker?

The Chargers are looking at a couple of safeties in the first round.

The Cowboys would love to come out of the draft with a game-changing pass rusher.

What kind of linebacker do the Giants want to draft?

The Eagles may be looking at a late-round sleeper at tight end.

Former Washington QB Joe Theismann doesn’t think there’s a single quarterback in this year’s draft worthy of a first-round pick.

The Bears may be looking to trade down.

Could Miami TE David Njoku end up with the Lions?

Could the Packers pick T.J. Watt?

Vikings G.M. Rick Spielman says he might still draft an offensive tackle, despite signing two in free agency.

Falcons QB Matt Ryan has a longtime bond with Clemson QB Deshaun Watson.

The Panthers hope a quarterback or two are drafted in front of them.

Could the Saints trade the first-round pick they got from the Patriots?

The Bucs may draft a backup quarterback.

Darryl Washington has been reinstated, but that doesn’t mean he’s in the Cardinals’ plans.

Rams coach Sean McVay was finally on the field with his team.

Could the 49ers take Mitch Trubisky second overall?

Seahawks G.M. John Schneider thinks he has an offensive line with potential.

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Dontrelle Inman signs tender with Chargers

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Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Dontrelle Inman signed his restricted free agent tender with the team on Tuesday.

Inman was given a second round tender by the Chargers prior to the start of free agency. The tender carries a value of $2.746 million for the 2018 season.

Inman was free to seek contract offers from other teams but elected to re-sign with the Chargers. His tender would have entitled the Chargers to a second round draft pick in compensation should Inman left for another team by signing an offer sheet and the Chargers had declined to match.

Inman emerged as a full-time starter for the Chargers last season and caught 58 passes for 810 yards and four touchdowns. In three seasons, Inman has appeared in 37 games with 23 starts and has caught 105 passes for 1,454 yards and seven touchdowns.

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Report: Alabama safety Eddie Jackson has minor surgery

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Just days before the NFL Draft, one of it’s expected selections had a minor surgery.

According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, Alabama safety Eddie Jackson had surgery on Monday to remove a screw from his leg. The screw had been causing discomfort after surgery to repair a broken leg suffered sustained last season. Following the medical recheck for the NFL Combine, Jackson was advised by teams to get the surgery to correct the issue.

Jackson is expected to be able to fully take part in all of a team’s offseason program, including rookie mini-camps which would begin as early as next weekend.

Jackson is one of the top safety prospects in the draft and is projected to be selected early on day two or three of the draft.

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Seahawks still waiting for Raiders, Marshawn Lynch to reach an agreement

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It was reported more than a week ago that the Raiders and running back Marshawn Lynch had reached an agreement on a contract. Currently, they still haven’t.

And it’s clear that the delay is coming from the Raiders and Lynch, not from the Seahawks. During a recent pre-draft press conference, Seattle G.M. John Schneider made it clear that the team that currently holds Lynch’s rights is waiting for word from his possible next team.

They’re still talking,” Schneider said, via Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. “The steps after that were to be that if they came to an agreement, [Raiders G.M.] Reggie [McKenzie] and I would discuss a form of compensation.”

Schneider realizes that the Raiders hope to resolve this thing soon, one way or the other.

“I would think Reggie would want to go into the draft knowing that they have another runner or not,” Schneider said.

It’s unclear what the Seahawks want, or what the Raiders would give, to send Lynch to Oakland. Seattle has no other clear suitors for Lynch, and if he continues to sit on the reserve-retired list, they’ll get nothing for him.

Likewise, if he shows up out of the blue in Seattle, with his $9 million salary hitting the books, the Seahawks likely would release him sooner than later.

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Daryl Washington thanks Commissioner for reinstatement

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Suspended three years ago, linebacker Daryl Washington has been conditionally reinstated to the NFL generally, and to the Cardinals specifically.

“I’m honored and humbled to be back in the National Football League,” Washington said in a statement provided to PFT. “These last three years have been the most difficult of my life without the game I love so much. That said, I’ve used this time to make tremendous strides as a man and have grown into a proud husband, father, and contributing member of my community.”

Washington returns at the game at the age of 30. He has played only four seasons, two of which resulted in Pro Bowl and All-Pro recognition. So he has less wear and tear, and more tear on the tires.

“Physically I’m in the best shape of my life and have maintained a strenuous six-day per week workout plan for over a year in anticipation of this day and next season,” Washington said. “I understand the physical and mental demands that it takes to be an All-Pro linebacker in this League, and I fully intend to play at that level this season.

“I’d like to thank Commissioner Goodell and his staff who I’ve met with multiple times, my attorney Daniel Moskowitz for all of his work on my journey back, my amazing teammates who I’ve stayed in contact with, and most importantly, my family for all of their unconditional support. As I told Mr. Goodell, I will use this opportunity to help lead and mentor younger guys in the locker room and in my community to learn from my mistakes and understand it’s an honor to be in the NFL.”

The Cardinals have been circumspect so far regarding whether they want Washington. That’s the next question that needs to be answered before Washington suits up for the team again. It’s expected he’ll get the chance to show the Cardinals what he can still do; few franchises are in the business of sending away quality contributors who can make the team better.

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49ers to induct Tom Rathman into Hall of Fame

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Tom Rathman’s 23-year run with the 49ers ended earlier this year. He’ll now permanently be part of the organization.

The 49ers will induct Rathman into the franchise’s Hall of Fame.

“Tom Rathman embodies everything this organization wants in its players, coaches and staff,” 49ers CEO Jed York said in a statement. “Throughout his more than two decades with our team, Tom set a tone for the 49ers both on and off the field. As a player, he was selfless, hard-working and dedicated to bringing his best every single day. Tom coached very much the same way. It was his mission to help every man he coached realize his full potential, as both a player and a man. Tom is family and we are so thrilled to induct him into the Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. 49ers Hall of Fame, where he will take his place among the all-time greats in our team’s history.”

The move comes roughly two months after Rathman decided not to remain with the team as part of Kyle Shanahan’s staff.

I’m not going to be back,” Rathman, a former fullback and running backs coach, said at the time. “I feel like it’s the best for everybody if I just parted and let those guys do their thing and take me out of the equation so that nobody’s uncomfortable. I’m looking to coach running backs and that’s what I want to do. I’m just going to wait for the next opportunity and go for it when it happens.”

 “I spent 23 years with the 49ers,” Rathman said in Tuesday’s press release. “I’ve always considered myself a 49er and I always will consider myself a 49er. I’ll take that brand with me wherever I go because that’s who I am. It feels great to be with the guys who are already in the 49ers Hall of Fame. Dating back to Joe Perry, it’s an honor to be associated with the likes of Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Ronnie Lott, Roger Craig and Dwight Clark. That’s a lot of history right there. To be able to say that you’re in a fraternity with those guys so to speak, the 49ers Hall of Fame fraternity, says volumes. It’s pretty special.”

Rathman’s 23 years puts him behind only 49ers Hall of Famer in terms of tenure with the team. Edward J. DeBartolo, Jr., the man for whom the Hall of Fame is named, had 24 years with the franchise.

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Deshaun Watson likes how he looks in a Cardinals uniform in Madden

For free agents and incoming draft picks, the Madden game provides a way to get a look at how the player will look in a variety of NFL uniforms. For quarterback Deshaun Watson, he particularly liked how he looked in one specific uniform.

Appearing on PFT Live, Watson said he likes how he looks in Cardinals attire, specifically with the black jerseys. (The photo accompanying this post is an image of virtual Larry Fitzgerald wearing the 2016 Color Rush uniforms.)

The Cardinals are in the market for a successor to Carson Palmer, and Palmer has embraced the possibility of mentoring a youngster. Watson likewise said he’d welcome the chance to learn from a veteran, even if it means sitting for a year or two. He’s also fine with being drafted later than earlier, if it means landing in the right spot.

Watson visited thr Cardinals, Browns, Jaguars, 49ers, Texans, and Chiefs in the weeks preceding the draft. The 2017 PFT Worst Mock Draft Ever has Watson going to the Cardinals at No. 13.

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Titans’ 2016 second-round pick Kevin Dodd still dealing with foot injury

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The Titans took linebacker Kevin Dodd with the 33rd overall pick of last year’s draft, only to see him suffer a foot injury in his first rookie minicamp. A year later, that injury is still an issue.

Although Dodd did manage to play in nine games last season, the foot remained a problem and eventually landed him on injured reserve. Today coach Mike Mularkey confirmed that the foot is still bothering him now.

Via Paul Kuharsky of ESPN Mularkey described Dodd as not completely healthy, with pain still lingering in the foot. Mularkey described it as a delicate injury.

Eventually, the Titans hope to see Dodd get healthy and become the type of player they thought he was when they drafted him. But they certainly didn’t think at this time a year ago that an injury would be the dominant theme of his first year in the NFL.

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Aqib Talib: “Definitely a relief” to avoid suspension for self-inflicted gunshot

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Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib’s offseason in 2016 was interrupted when he inadvertently shot himself in the leg in June, but he learned recently that the incident won’t lead to an interruption of his 2017 season.

The league looked into the incident, which didn’t lead to any charges in Dallas, as a possible violation of the league’s personal conduct policy, but opted not to suspend or fine the veteran corner. Talib discussed the league’s decision for the first time on Tuesday.

“Definitely a relief, man,” Talib said, via “Just glad I could put it behind me and move on to the season and worry about what I really need to be worrying about.”

Talib said that he was worried last year about how he would hold up physically after wounding himself, but he only missed time because of a back injury and didn’t report any trouble with the leg over the course of the season. He returned from that back injury to close out the season on the field and is expected to join Chris Harris as the team’s starting corners again this year.

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