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53-man roster tracker

NFL teams have until 9 PM EDT on Friday, August 31 to cut their rosters from 75 players to 53 players. We’ll track all the moves that every team makes to get down to 53 players right here.

Arizona Cardinals: Waived wide receivers DeMarco Sampson and Isaiah Williams, cornerback Crezdon Butler, linebackers Antonio Coleman, Clark Haggans, Colin Parker, and Quan Sturdivant, safety Blake Gideon, guard Russ Hochstein, defensive tackle Ricky Lumpkin, cornerback Larry Parker, tight end Stephen Skelton, running back Alfonso Smith, defensive end Ronald Talley, defensive end Everrette Thompson, tight end Martell Webb, center Scott Wedige, and tackle D.J. Young. The Cardinals also waived/injured linebacker Brandon Williams and wide receiver Stephen Williams, and placed running back Javarris James and quarterback Richard Bartel on injured reserve.

Atlanta Falcons: Cornerback Dominique Franks and long snapper Joe Zelenka highlighted the Falcons full list of cuts. They also released fullback Mike Cox and placed safety Shann Schillinger on injured reserve, waived-injured wide receiver Kerry Meier and reached injury settlements with tight end Lamark Brown and guard Andrew Jackson. They waived the following players: linebacker Spencer Adkins, linebacker Rico Council, wide receiver Drew Davis, cornerback Dominique Franks, tackle Bryce Harris, linebacker Jerrell Harris, center Tyler Horn, wide receiver Marcus Jackson, cornerback Marty Markett, running back Dimitri Nance, defensive tackle Conrad Obi, defensive tackle Micanor Regis, wide receiver James Rodgers, linebacker Pat Schiller, cornerback Peyton Thompson, and safety Suaesi Tuimaunei.

Baltimore Ravens: Waived running back Anthony Allen, safety Omar Brown, linebacker Josh Bynes, linebacker Nigel Carr, guard Jack Cornell, receiver Dorian Graham, guard Cord Howard, nose tackle Nicholas Jean-Baptiste, nose tackle Ishmaa’ily Kitchen, guard Antoine McClain, defensive end Terrence Moore, quarterback Curtis Painter, receiver Logan Payne, safety Cyhl Quarles, linebacker Chavis Williams and guard Tony Wragge. Placed tight end Matt Balasavage, running back Damien Berry, guard Justin Boren, linebacker Ricky Brown, tight end Bruce Figgins and receiver Tommy Streeter on injured reserve.

Buffalo Bills: The Bills announced the following moves: Waived wide receiver Kamar Aiken, offensive lineman Mark Asper, tight end Kevin Brock, running back Zach Brown, linebacker Tank Carder, offensive lineman James Carmon, wide receiver Marcus Easley, defensive end Robert Eddins, defensive tackle Dwan Edwards, defensive tackle Jarron Gilbert, defensive back Isaiah Green, wide receiver Derek Hagan, defensive tackle Kellen Heard, wide receiver Ruvell Martin, linebacker Scott McKillop, punter Shawn Powell, wide receiver Naaman Roosevelt, defensive back Nick Saenz, offensive lineman David Snow, running back Johnny White, offensive lineman Keith Williams and placed offensive lineman Zebrie Sanders on injured reserve.

Carolina Panthers: Waived wide receivers Seyi Ajirotutu and Jared Green, running back Tauren Poole, offensive tackle Matt Reynolds, defensive tackles Ogemdi Nwagbuo and Ryan Van Bergen, along with linebackers Kion Wilson and David Nixon and cornerbacks Darius Butler and R.J. Stanford. The last of the Panthers’ cuts: Safeties Jonathan Nelson, Jordan Pugh, and Reggie Smith, tight ends Nelson Rosario and Joe Jon Finley, running back Armond Smith, guards Zackary Williams, Bryant Browning, and Justin Wells, defensive tackle Nate Chandler, and linebacker Jason Williams.

Chicago Bears: Got down to 53 by releasing quarterback Josh McCown, running back Armando Allen, linebacker Xavier Adibi, defensive end Chauncey Davis, receiver Rashied Davis and cornerback Jonathan Wilhite. Also waived receivers Joe Anderson, Terriun Crump and Brittan Golden; tackles Cory Brandon, James Brown and A.J. Greene; cornerbacks Cornelius Brown, Isaiah Frey and Greg McCoy; guard Ricky Henry; safety Mark LeGree; defensive tackle Jordan Miller; tight end Brandon Venson; defensive end Aston Whiteside; and linebacker Jabara Williams. Defensive tackle Nate Collins is on the reserve/suspended list.

Cincinnati Bengals: Waived quarterback Zac Robinson, running back Daniel Herron, fullback James Develin, fullback Jourdan Brooks, tight end Colin Cochart, wide receiver Vidal Hazelton, tackle Matt O’Donnell, guard Otis Hudson, center Reggie Stephens, defensive end Micah Johnson, defensive end DeQuin Evans, defensive tackle Vaughn Meatoga, linebacker Grant Hunter, linebacker Emmanuel Lamur, cornerback T.J. Heath, cornerback Chris Lewis-Harris and linebacker Roddrick Muckelroy. Waived-injured defensive tackle Nick Hayden. Placed defensive tackle Pat Sims on PUP list and safety Tony Dye on injured reserve. Placed linebacker Dontay Moch on suspended list.

Cleveland Browns:  Released tight end Dan Gronkowski, quarterback Seneca Wallace, tight end Evan Moore, linebacker Ben Jacobs, defensive tackle Brian Schaefering, cornerback James Dockery, wide receiver Rod Windsor, defensive end William Green, guard Jarrod Shaw, defensive tackle Ronnie Cameron, wide receiver Josh Cooper, linebacker Quinton Spears, running back Adonis Thomas, defensive tackle Kiante Tripp, fullback Brad Smelley, receiver Josh Cooper, guard Stanley Daniels, center Garth Gerhart, defensive end Ernest Owusu, guard Dominic Alford, defensive tackle Brian Schaefering, guard Jarrod Shaw, tackle J.B. Shugarts. Placed linebacker Scott Fujita on reserve/suspended list.

Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys announced that they have waived defensive end Ben Bass, cornerback Lionel Smith, linebacker Orie Lemon, linebacker Adrian Hamilton, defensive end Clifton Geathers, safety Eddie Whitley, cornerback Teddy Williams, cornerback Akwasi Owusu-Ansah, defensive tackle Robert Calloway, wide receiver Saalim Hakim, wide receiver Danny Coale, running back Lance Dunbar, wide receiver Tim Benford, running back Jamize Olawale, quarterback Rudy Carpenter, tight end Andrew Szczerba, tackle Jeff Adams, offensive lineman Pat McQuistan and fullback Shaun Chapas. Guard Daniel Loper was waived-injured.

Denver Broncos: Got to the 53-man limit with the following moves: They placed linebacker D.J. Williams and tight end Virgil Green on the reserve/suspended list. Defensive end Jeremy Beal was placed on injured reserve. They also waived the following players: Defensive end Jamie Blatnick, safety Rafael Bush, cornerback Drayton Florence, linebacker Jerry Franklin, defensive tackle Ben Garland, guard Adam Grant, tackle Ryan Harris, wide receiver Jason Hill, guard Tony Hills, safety Duke Ihenacho, tight end Cornelius Ingram, running back Jeremiah Johnson, linebacker Mike Mohamed, wide receiver Greg Orton, wide receiver Gerell Robinson, nose tackle Sealver Siliga, cornerback Syd’Quan Thompson, guard Wayne Tribue and quarterback Adam Weber.

Detroit Lions:  Waived punter Ryan Donahue, guard Pat Boyle, defensive end Ugo Chinasa, tight end Alex Gottlieb, wide receiver Nate Hughes, defensive tackle Edmon McClam, linebacker Carmen Messina, wide receiver Wallace Miles, defensive tackle Tracy Robertson, cornerback Ross Weaver, tight end Austin Wells, cornerback Alphonso Smith, receiver Patrick Edwards, guard Dan Gerberry, guard Rodney Austin, defensive end Everette Brown, safety Reshard Langford, receiver Lance Long, receiver Maurice Stovall and cornerback Justin Miller. Running back Mikel Leshoure is on the reserve/suspended list.

Green Bay Packers: Placed tackle Derek Sherrod on reserve/PUP and linebacker Vic So’oto on injured reserve. They also released tackle Shea Allard, wide receiver Diondre Borel, tight end Brandon Bostick, quarterback B.J. Coleman, fullback Nic Cooper, tackle Andrew Datko, guard Tommie Draheim, guard Sampson Genus, wide receiver Curenski Gilleylen, wide receiver Tori Gurley, defensive end Lawrence Guy, safety Anthony Levine, cornerback Otis Merrill, wide receiver Dale Moss, defensive tackle Daniel Muir, running back Marc Tyler, guard Greg Van Roten and guard Reggie Wells.

Houston Texans: Announced the following cuts: quarterback Case Keenum, safety Troy Nolan, center Cody Wallace, fullback Moran Norris, linebacker Shawn Loiseau, tight end Logan Brock, defensive end Keith Browner, defensive end David Hunter, receiver Juaquin Iglesias, defensive end Mitch King, offensive tackle Nate Menkin, linebacker Rennie Moore, tight end Phillip Supernaw, center Cody Wallace, guard Cody White, linebacker D.J. Bryant, nose tackle Loni Fangupo, running back Jonathan Grimes, receiver Jeff Maehl, fullback Moran Norris and safety Eddie Pleasant. Wide receiver Jerrell Jackson said on Twitter that he had been cut. Offensive lineman Rashad Butler is heading for injured reserve.

Indianapolis Colts: Announced the following roster moves: Waived wide receiver Jeremy Ross, running back Darren Evans, tight end Andre Smith, tackle Mike Tepper, center Zane Taylor, tackle Steven Baker, defensive tackle Jason Shirley, linebacker Greg Lloyd, tight end Kyle Miller, guard Hayworth Hicks, linebacker Jerry Brown,  safety Latarrius Thomas, defensive tackle Chigbo Anunoby, wide receiver Kashif Moore and long snapper Justin Snow. They waived-injured running back Deji Karim, defensive end James Aiono, linebacker Tim Fugger, cornerback Brandon King and safety Mike Newton. Placed wide receiver Jabin Sambrano and cornerback Korey Lindsey on injured reserve and released tackle George Foster from IR.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Waived quarterback Jordan Palmer, tight end Colin Cloherty, running back Richard Murphy, cornerbacks Rod Issac and Trumaine McBride, defensive end Odrick Ray, linebacker J.K. Schaffer, offensive tackles Will Robinson and Lee Barbiasz, safety Courtney Greene, defensive lineman Corvey Irvin, cornerback Leigh Torrence, wide receiver Demetrius Williams, offensive lineman Daniel Baldridge, defensive lineman Kendrick Adams, wide receiver Mike Brown, defensive end Ryan Davis, cornerback Antonio Dennard, guard D.J. Hall, linebacker Joshua Jones, and fullback Will Ta’ufo’ou.

Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs waived wide receiver Junior Hemingway, defensive lineman Jerome Long, defensive end Brandon Bair, cornerback Mikail Baker, wide receiver Josh Bellamy, center Rob Bruggeman, fullback Patrick DiMarco, cornerback Chandler Fenner, guard Darryl Harris, linebacker Gabe Miller, tackle David Mims, wide receiver Jamar Newsome, safety Terrance Parks, center Lucas Patterson, guard Rich Ranglin, cornerback Neiko Thorpe and defensive back Donald Washington. They placed safety Da’Quan Menzie and quarterback Alex Tanney on injured reserve and released defensive lineman Amon Gordon and linebacker Leon Williams.

Miami Dolphins: Terminated the contract of veteran linebacker Gary Guyton and waived the following 18 players: Cornerbacks Vincent Agnew, Quinten Lawrence and Anderson Russell, offensive tackles Will Barker, Rey Feinga, Andrew McDonald and Lydon Murtha, defensive tackles Ryan Baker and Isaako Aaitui, defensive end Jamaal Westerman, linebackers Cameron Collins and Shelly Lyons, wide receivers B.J. Cunningham, Jeff Fuller, Clyde Gates, Chris Hogan and Roberto Wallace and guard Chandler Burden. Rookie defensive end Jarrell Root was waived/injured, cornerback Kevyn Scott was waived with an injury settlement and offensive lineman Ryan Cook was traded to the Cowboys in exchange for an undisclosed 2013 draft pick.

Minnesota Vikings: Released veteran quarterback Sage Rosenfels as part of their final moves. They also terminated the contracts of veteran defensive end Jeff Charleston, cornerback Chris Carr and safety Eric Frampton. They waived wide receiver Manny Arceneaux, defensive tackle Chase Baker, guard Chris DeGeare, fullback Ryan D’Imperio, cornerback Bobby Felder, defensive tackle Trevor Guyton, running back Lex Hilliard, guard Tyler Holmes, cornerback Reggie Jones, tackle Kevin Murphy, linebacker Corey Paredes, guard Austin Pasztor, defensive end Nick Reed, center Quentin Saulsberry, tight end Mickey Shuler and running back Jordan Todman. They also placed tackle DeMarcus Love on injured reserve.

New England Patriots: Rookie running back Jeff Demps was placed on IR, and they cut 22 players to get to the limit. They released wide receiver Deion Branch, quarterback Brian Hoyer, safety Sergio Brown, defensive lineman Marcus Harrison, wide receiver Jesse Holley, safety James Ihedigbo, offensive lineman Matt Kopa, center Dan Koppen, linebacker Niko Koutouvides, safety Derrick Martin, linebacker Jeff Tarpinian and safety Malcolm Williams. They also waived fullback Eric Kettani, defensive lineman Aaron Lavarias, tight end Alex Silvestro and wide receiver Kerry Taylor, along with 2012 seventh-round wide receiver Jeremy Ebert and rookie free agent tight end Tyler Urban and offensive linemen Derek Dennis, Dustin Waldron, Jeremiah Warren and Darrion Weems.

New Orleans Saints: Released kicker John Kasay, wide receiver Greg Camarillo and tight end Derek Schouman to get to the 53-man limit, along with the following moves: They waived linebacker Kadarron Anderson, defensivse end Braylon Broughton, linebacker Ezra Butler, quarterback Sean Canfield, defensive end Alex Daniels, tight end Michael Higgins, cornerback Nick Hixson, safety Jerico Nelson, guard DeOnt’ae Pannell, tackle Aderious Simmons, wide receiver Andy Tanner, guard Matt Tennant and linebacker Lawrence Wilson. They placed running back Joe Banyard, safety Jose Gumbs, cornerback Marquis Johnson and wide receiver Nick Toon on injured reserve, and linebacker Ramon Humber and defensive end Will Smith on the reserve/suspended list.

New York Giants: The Giants have announced the following moves: They waived/injured cornerback Bruce Johnson and cut wide receivers David Douglas, Dan DePalma and Isiah Stanback, defensive ends Craig Marshall and Matt Broha, defensive tackles Marcus Thomas and Dwayne Hendricks, linebacker Jake Muasau, tight end Larry Donnell, offensive linemen Chris White, Matt McCants, Selvish Capers and Stephen Goodin, defensive backs Laron Scott and Dante Hughes and quarterback Ryan Perrilloux. Cornerback Terrell Thomas and defensive tackle Shaun Rogers were placed on injured reserve.

New York Jets: Released the following 22 players to get to the 53-man limit: Running back Terrance Ganaway, wide receivers Royce Pollard and Jordan White, tight end Hayden Smith, offensive lineman Paul Cornick, linebacker Ricky Sapp, defensive back Donnie Fletcher, quarterback Matt Simms, wide receivers Joseph Collins and Eron Riley, offensive linemen Robert Griffin, Fred Koloto and Matt Kroul, tight end Tarren Lloyd, defensive linemen Jay Richardson and Martin Tevaseu, linebackers Marcus Dowtin and Brett Roy, defensive backs LeQuan Lewis, D’Anton Lynn and Julian Posey and punter Spencer Lanning.

Philadelphia Eagles: Released cornerback Joselio Hanson, quarterback Mike Kafka, wide receiver Mardy Gilyard, tight end Chase Ford, linebacker Keenan Clayton, guard Brandon Washington, safety Phillip Thomas, wide receivers Chad Hall and Marvin McNutt, guard/center Steve Vallos, tight end Brett Brackett, defensive tackle Landon Cohen, fullback Emil Igwenagu, tackle D.J. Jones, linebacker Adrian Moten, defensive tackle Ollie Ogbu, linebacker Ryan Rau, defensive end Monte Taylor, defensive tackle Frank Trotter, punter Mat McBriar, defensive tackle Antonio Dixon.

Oakland Raiders: Waived LB Kaelin Burnett, K Eddy Carmona, WR Derek Carrier, WR Brandon Carswell, DE Hall Davis, TE Kyle Efaw, DL Dominique Hamilton, OL Kevin Haslam, OL Nick Howell, LB Chad Kilgore, OL Dan Knapp, WR Eddie McGee, C Colin Miller, RB Lonyae Miller, WR Roscoe Parrish, WR Travionte Session, LB Nathan Stupar and S Curtis Taylor. Placed LB Aaron Curry on PUP and TE Tory Humphrey, P Marquette King and S Brandon Underwood on IR.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Placed linebacker Sean Spence on injured reserve, and released 21 other players to get to the 53-man roster limit. They cut veteran offensive lineman Trai Essex and waived-injured punter Jeremy Kapinos. They also released the following 19 players: Defensive backs Damon Cromartie-Smith, Terrence Frederick and Josh Victorian, linebackers Brandon Hicks and Marshall McFadden, defensive linemen Corbin Bryant, Igbinosun Ikponmwosa and Jake Stoller, quarterback Jerrod Johnson, running back DuJuan Harris, wide receivers Tyler Beiler, Toney Clemons, David Gilreath, Marquis Maze and Derrick Williams, and offensive linemen Ryan Lee, John Malecki and Chris Scott.

San Diego Chargers: Terminated the contracts of veterans Jacques Cesaire, Anthony Davis, Mario Henderson, Jacob Hester and Nick Novak. Waived Edwin Baker, Colin Baxter, Bront Bird, Charlie Bryant, Ricky Elmore, Daryl Gamble, Gregory Gatson, Logan Harrell, Arthur Hobbs, Robert Malone, DeAndre Presley, Damik Scafe, Stephen Schilling, Kory Sperry and Mike Willie. Safety Sean Cattouse was placed on injured reserve.

San Francisco 49ers: Traded safety Colin Jones to the Panthers for an undisclosed draft pick, and released the following 21 players to get to the limit of 53: linebacker Ikaika Alama-Francis, linebacker Eric Bakhtiari, running back Rock Cartwright, tackle Derek Hall, linebacker Joe Holland, defensive tackle Tony Jerod-Eddie, linebacker Cam Johnson, quarterback Josh Johnson, defenfsive tackle Matthew Masifilo, cornerback Anthony Mosley, tight end Kyle Nelson, tackle Al Netter, wide receiver Chris Owusu, wide receiver Nathan Palmer, tackle Mike Person, tight end Konrad Reuland, linebacker Kenny Rowe, wide receiver Brett Swain, safety Michael Thomas, tackle Kenny Wiggins, linebacker Michael Wilhoite.

 St. Louis Rams: Released the following players, via the Post-Dispatch: quarterback Tom Brandstater, fullback Ovie Mughelli, running backs Ben Guidugli and Chase Reynolds, receiver Nick Johnson, tight end Deangelo Peterson, offensive linemen Tim Barnes, T-Bob Hebert, Joe Long and Bryan Mattison, defensive linemen Mason Brodine and Vernon Gholston, linebacker Sammy Brown and defensive back Kendric Burney. Receiver Austin Pettis has been placed on the reserve/suspended list. More Rams cuts: Defensive tackle Cornell Banks, center Tim Barnes, defensive end Jamaar Jarrett, linebacker Aaron Brown, tight end Cory Harkey, defensive end Scott Smith, and guard Jose Valdez.Seattle Seahawks: Waived wide receiver Kris Durham, wide receiver Deon Butler, quarterback Josh Portis, defensive back Phillip Adams, defensive end Pierre Allen, linebacker Allen Bradford, guard Paul Fanaika, guard Rishaw Johnson, wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, linebacker Kyle Knox, wide receiver Ricardo Lockette, tight end Sean McGrath, center Kris O’Dowd, defensive back DeShawn Shead, linebacker Korey Toomer and wide receiver Lavasier Tuinei. Linebacker Matt McCoy was placed on injured reserve and tight end Cooper Helfet and running back Vai Taua were waived-injured. Cornerback Walter Thurmond was placed on the PUP list and guard Allen Barbre is serving a four-game suspension.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Released running back Mossis Madu, defensive tackle Frank Okam, safety Larry Asante and defensive back Keith Tandy, per Pewter Report. They’ve also released defensive tackle Amobi Okoye, who is headed back to Chicago, per the Chicago Sun-Times. The rest of the Buccaneers’ 2012 cuts: Wide receivers Tiquan Underwood, Jordan Shipley, and Landon Cox, defensive backs James Rogers and Sean Baker, linebackers Rennie Curran and Jacob Cutrera, tight ends Drake Dunsmore and Zack Pianalto, kicker Kai Forbath, offensive linemen Jermarcus Hardrick, Moe Petrus, and Desmond Wynn (injured), running back Robert Hughes, fullback Cody Johnson, defensive linemen E.J. Wilson, Teryl White, and Jordan Nix, and quarterback Brett Ratliff.

Tennessee Titans:  Released receiver James Kirkendoll, per TitansInsider.com. Cut offensive lineman Kyle DeVan, tight end Brandon Barden, offensive lineman Michael Jasper, defensive end Malcolm Sheppard, defensive tackle Lamar Divens, tight end Cameron Graham, and wide receiver D.J. Woods, per the Tennessean. The Titans also cut defensive tackle Zach Clayton, wide receivers Devin Aguilar and Michael Preston, safeties Aaron Francisco and Tracy Wilson, cornerback Chris Hawkins, fullback Collin Mooney, and center Chris Morris. They placed on injured reserve defensive end Dave Ball, cornerback Terrence Wheatley, defensive tackle Leger Douzable, guard Ryan Durand, and linebacker Kevin Malast.

Washington Redskins: Released running back Tim Hightower, cornerbacks David Jones, Brandyn Thompson, and Travon Bellamy, defensive linemen Doug Worthington, Marlon Favorite, and Delvon Johnson, linebackers Donnell Holt, Bryan Kehl, and Brian McNally, wide receiver Terrence Austin, offensive linemen Erik Cook, Willie Smith, Tom Compton, and Grant Garner, running back Tristan Davis, quarterback Jonathan Crompton, receiver Anthony Armstrong, fullback Dorson Boyce, nose tackle Delvin Johnson, tight end Richard Quinn, linebacker Markus White, defensive lineman Darrion Scott. Defensive end Kentwan Balmer was placed on reserve/left squad, and safety Tanard Jackson was placed on reserve/suspended.

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Richard Dent among 2015 Black College Football Hall of Fame inductees

Richard Dent AP

A Super Bowl MVP who went on to gain enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame is among seven members of the Black College Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2015.

Former Bears, 49ers, Colts and Eagles defensive end Richard Dent, a Tennessee State product who captured game MVP honors as Chicago rolled to victory in Super Bowl XX, was one of six former NFL players in the Hall’s sixth class of inductees.

Also inducted into the Black College Football Hall of Fame were former Rams and Lions defensive tackle Roger Brown (Maryland Eastern Shore), former Steelers defensive end L.C. Greenwood (Arkansas at Pine Bluff), former Chargers, Oilers and Chiefs defensive tackle Ernie “Big Cat” Ladd (Grambling), former Bengals defensive back Ken Riley (Florida A&M), former Steelers safety Donnie Shell (South Carolina State) and former Jackson State head coach W.C. Gorden.

The inductees were recognized in a ceremony Saturday night in Atlanta.

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Marshawn Lynch seems to think someone didn’t want him to be the “face of the nation”

Lynch AP

One month to the day since the Seahawks opted not to give the football to running back Marshawn Lynch on the doorstep of the New England end zone in Super Bowl XLIX, a video has surfaced showing Lynch explaining his position on the most scrutinized play call in league history.  Under a frustratingly loud translation of his comments into Turkish.

The video mentioned earlier by MDS includes Lynch’s reaction to the decision to throw the ball and to not let him run it with the NFL title on the line.

“To be honest with you, I would be a liar if I didn’t tell you that I was expecting the ball,” Lynch said.  “I think it was more of a — how do I say this?  When you look at me, and you let me run that ball in, I’m the face of the nation.  You know, the MVP of the Super Bowl, that’s pretty much the face of the nation at that point in time.  I don’t know what went into that call.  Maybe it was a good thing that I didn’t get the ball.  I mean, you know, it cost us the Super Bowl.”

Not too far between the lines of Lynch’s response lurks the notion that he buys in to the popular conspiracy theory (misguided as it may be) that the team wanted quarterback Russell Wilson and not Lynch to be the Super Bowl MVP and, in turn, the “face of the nation.”

But here’s the thing about conspiracy theories.  It doesn’t matter if they’re true; if only matters if people believe them to be true.  If Lynch and other Seahawks players believe that the team chose to throw and not to run in order to prevent Lynch from becoming the MVP of the Super Bowl and in turn the “face of the nation,” coach Pete Carroll will have plenty of additional work to do to get the players to turn the page on the 2014 season and to try to climb back out of the valley of 0-0 in 2015 for a shot at a third straight Super Bowl appearance.

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Report: Raiders to part ways with LaMarr Woodley

LaMarr Woodley AP

The Raiders will be cutting one of their free-agent signees of 2014.

Oakland is set to release defensive end LaMarr Woodley, Fallon Smith of CSN Bay Area reported Sunday.

Woodley, 30, notched just five tackles in six games in 2014 before a torn biceps ended his season. Last March, he signed a two-year deal reportedly worth up to $12 million.

Woodley was set to make $3.8 million in salary in 2015, per NFLPA data. Also, he was due a $1 million roster bonus on March 14, according to CSN Bay Area.

Woodley rose to stardom with Pittsburgh, notching double-digit sacks in 2008, 2009 and 2010. However, he has just nine sacks in his last 30 games, and he has not played all 16 regular-season contests since 2010.

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Le’Veon Bell faces a maximum suspension of four games

Le'Veon Bell AP

The new substance-abuse policy imposes a two-game suspension for a first-offense DUI.  By landing on probation for a July 2014 DUI arrest arising from marijuana use, Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell is expected to be suspended for two games.

But there’s a catch that could result in a doubling of Bell’s expected punishment.  The new substance-abuse policy makes a two-game suspension the standard penalty for a DUI arising from alcohol use.  For violations of the law involving other substances of abuse, a first offense exposes the player to a suspension of “up to four” games.

It’s unclear whether the NFL will give Bell, who becomes the test case for the new substance-abuse policy, four games, three, two, or fewer.  The prior substance-abuse policy also exposed players to a suspension without pay of “up to four” games for violations of the law for substances other than alcohol.  Still, it would be a surprise if Bell gets less for DUI-marijuana under the new policy than he would get for DUI-alcohol under the new policy.

But don’t be surprised if he gets more, especially since alcohol is legal in Pennsylvania and marijuana currently isn’t.

Either way, the Steelers need to have a solid plan in place for replacing the team’s workhorse tailback for at least two and as many as four regular-season games in 2015.

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Key free agency date could move up a month

DarylSmith Getty Images

In addition to conversations about tinkering with roster size and getting rid of inactive lists for Thursday games, the NFL’s Competition Committee is considering the acceleration of a key date on the free-agency calendar.

Currently, players who become unrestricted free agents on the first day of the league year and who are not signed by June 1 (and not tendered a one-year contract by their prior teams) aren’t included in the formula for determining compensatory draft picks.  As a result, any signing after June 1 won’t make the prior team eligible for greater compensation or the new team eligible for less.

Per a league source, the June 1 line of demarcation could move to May 1.  The goal would be to give players who otherwise won’t be employed until June 1 a chance to participate in the bulk of the offseason practices.  By signing after June 1, the players get limited opportunities for offseason reps.

Over the years, teams like the Ravens have become experts at finagling this technique, waiting patiently until June 1 comes and goes before going bargain shopping.  That’s how they acquired linebacker Daryl Smith, who started 16 games in 2013, re-signed last year, and started 16 games in 2014.

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Ravens defensive back arrested for DWI

Bengals AP

Last month, the Ravens signed defensive back Victor Hampton, an undrafted free agent in 2014.  He likely will be cut before he ever shows up for an offseason training session.

According to WSOC-TV, Hampton has been arrested on charges of driving while intoxicated in Charlotte.  He reportedly was driving 100 miles per hour in a 55-mph zone on Interstate 77.  Hampton’s blood-alcohol content was determined to be 0.10 percent, above the legal limit of 0.08.

Under the revised substance-abuse policy, Hampton, who initially was signed by the Bengals and who spent time on the Giants’ practice squad last year, faces a two-game suspension, if ultimately found to be responsible for driving while intoxicated.  To be suspended, however, he first has to be on a regular-season roster.  Given the new charges, that may never happen.

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Josh McCown: I get people thinking I’m not good enough to start

Josh McCown AP

New Cleveland quarterback Josh McCown says that if some people doubt he’s the man to turn the Browns around, he understands that.

The Buccaneers went 1-10 in games McCown started in 2014, and McCown realizes that some people think that means the Browns are going to suffer a similar fate if he’s their starter in 2015. But McCown points out that he played well the year before in Chicago, and he thinks he can play well in Cleveland.

I get it,” McCown told Northeast Ohio Media Group. “I understand people’s perceptions of me. I don’t back off it or shy away from [the 1-10 record in 2014]. I understand people’s frustration. But my mindset is to come in here, grow and improve as a football player, and help this team win football games. When I’ve been able to operate in a system that’s organized and been around for awhile like I did in 2013 with the Bears, I’ve been able to play at a high level.”

McCown did operate at a high level in 2013 with the Bears, throwing 13 touchdown passes and just one interception. But in the rest of McCown’s career, he has totaled 48 touchdowns and 58 interceptions. The Browns have to hope they get a quarterback who looks like the Josh McCown of 2013.

McCown will have more to say on Monday, when he is scheduled to join PFT Live.

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Roger Goodell’s absolute power over players is a myth

Goodell AP

There’s a popular view among some in the media that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell enjoys complete and total power over the league’s players, especially on matters of discipline.  That popular view also is not accurate.

Apart from the reality that all discipline for on-field infractions falls under the jurisdiction of Ted Cottrell or Derrick Brooks, who were jointly appointed and are jointly paid by the NFL and NFLPA, the recently-revised PED and substance-abuse policies feature unprecedented use of third-party arbitration for most offenses.

Of course, the Commissioner retains full authority over the personal-conduct policy, a power that has had for years.  But while many (including us) routinely have characterized Roger Goodell’s authority as reflecting “judge, jury, and executioner” status, it’s important to remember one key point:  In three recent high-profile executions, the guy swinging the axe has missed the mark.

In 2012, Goodell yielded his authority over the discipline imposed on players in the Saints bounty scandal following an aggressive legal challenge.  Faced with compelling arguments that Goodell should be recused from handling the appeal of the punishments because he had prejudged the case, Goodell handed the baton to former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue.  And Tagliabue overturned the punishments with a subtle rebuke that apparently has destroyed whatever relationship the former Batman-and-Robin-style partners once enjoyed.

In 2014, Goodell agreed preemptively to designate a neutral party to handle the appeal of Ray Rice’s indefinite suspension, given Goodell’s status as a witness in the case.  (A witness who fought hard not to testify in the case.)  Former U.S. Judge Barbara S. Jones overturned the punishment by finding that the main justification for it — that Rice had lied to the Commissioner in June 2014 regarding Rice’s assault on his then-fiancée — was not factually accurate.

Last week, current U.S. Judge David Doty found that Goodell and his hand-picked arbitrator, Harold Henderson, incorrectly determined that the unilaterally-revised personal-conduct policy could be applied retroactively to Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.  Pending appeal and/or further proceedings before Henderson, Goodell’s suspension of Peterson could end up being thrown out.

So while the emperor may have clothing, it’s covering far less muscle that most realize.  With the Saints players, with Rice, and with Peterson, Goodell believed he had the ability to impose whatever ruling he wanted to impose.  In each of those cases, Goodell and the rest of us learned that Goodell’s powers has real limits.

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Howie Roseman doesn’t like trading up (but it’s not up to him)

mariotakelly AP

Amid talk that Eagles coach Chip Kelly would like to trade up in the draft and select his former Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, Eagles Vice President of Football Operations Howie Roseman is saying that trading up isn’t a good idea.

Roseman said at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference that when two teams make a draft trade, it’s usually the team trading down that gets the better end of the deal.

“When you’re looking at trading up, at some point, your board drops off so dramatically in terms of how you evaluate that player,” Roseman said, via Philly.com. “But the history of trading up for one player, when you look at those trades, isn’t good for the team trading up and putting a lot of resources into it.”

Unfortunately for Roseman, it isn’t up to him. When he and Kelly had a power struggle at the start of this offseason, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie gave Kelly the final say over personnel, which means that if Kelly thinks Mariota is worth a boatload of draft picks, then Kelly will trade a boatload of draft picks to move up and acquire Mariota whether Roseman likes it or not.

So if that trade does happen, it will be one more sign that Roseman doesn’t have much influence in the Eagles’ front office. That doesn’t sound like a trade that Roseman would make.

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Marshawn Lynch visits Turkey, gives lengthy interview

Marshawn Lynch AP

Marshawn Lynch will gladly talk to the media. When he’s on a promotional tour of Turkey.

Lynch is in Turkey helping the organization American Football Without Barriers, and while he was there he sat down for a long interview with a Turkish sports network.

“I’m just here so I don’t get fined,” Lynch joked before getting serious about why he wanted to work at a Turkish youth football camp and help promote football in Turkey. Lynch said he sees the work he’s doing overseas as similar to his efforts to promote football in his hometown.

“With the camp, I do this back at home myself, in Oakland, California, and when I got the word they were doing something here, it gave me a chance to spread my wings. I hold a camp at home, like I said, with about 850 kids and it’s been growing. This is an opportunity for me to come out and spread my brand as well. I’m here, like I said, to spread football across the world and at the same time help people in need,” Lynch said.

Lynch joked that when someone at the football camp was working wanted to find out what it was like to get hit by an American football player, he decided to go “Beast Mode in Turkey” and run the guy over. But Lynch also said he was impressed with how quickly Turkish athletes were picking up the sport. And he shared some thoughts about how much football meant to him when he was a Pop Warner player and a high school player, adding that he’d like to give young people in his hometown and across the world the same opportunities.

The full interview (with Lynch, Browns tight end Gary Barnidge and Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams speaking English and a Turkish translator speaking over them) is below:

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Todd Herremans isn’t retiring

Herremans Getty Images

As noted in the Sunday one-liners, former Eagles offensive lineman Todd Herremans has said farewell to the fans of Philadelphia in the aftermath of his release.  But Herremans won’t be saying farewell to football.

Per a source with knowledge of Herreman’s plans, he fully intends to play elsewhere in 2015.  And he fully intends to be in another team’s starting lineup as a guard or right tackle on Week One.

A fourth-round pick in 2005 from Saginaw Valley State, Herremans has been a full-time starter since his second NFL season.  With the man who drafted Herremans a decade ago needing an upgrade at offensive line in Kansas City, it makes sense for Herremans to reunite with Chiefs coach Andy Reid.

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Rosters could expand to 55

Roster Getty Images

The Competition Committee’s annual pre-league meeting get-together includes, for 2015, examination of roster size.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Competition Committee is considering expanding rosters from 53 to 55.

Opposition to larger rosters previously came from the fact that more than a few teams were having trouble staying under a salary cap that was flat and/or “smoothing.”  In recent years, the salary cap has been increasing more quickly.  Coupled with the impact of the rookie wage scale on the market for veterans (many are paid less and less because quality rookies are cheaper than ever), there’s plenty of extra cash available under the cap to pay two more players per team.

The NFL Players Association would have a voice in roster expansion.  At one level, the union should welcome it; more roster spots means more jobs.  More jobs means more employees.  More employees means the union grows.

But more jobs under a hard cap means fewer available dollars per employees.  That said, expanding the pool of full-time workers from 1,696 to 1,760 shouldn’t have much of a total impact on employees sharing a maximum available annual payroll of more than $4.5 billion, and climbing.

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Stephen Tulloch “way ahead of schedule” in ACL rehab, hopes he stays with Lions

Stephen Tulloch AP

Linebacker Stephen Tulloch was lost for the season early in 2014 when he tore his ACL while celebrating a sack, but he said Sunday that he’s on track for a full return this year.

Tulloch told Alex Marvez and Zig Fracassi of Sirius XM NFL Radio that he’s “way ahead of schedule” in his return from the knee injury and that he feels like his knee may be stronger than it was before he got hurt. He also said he hopes that he’ll be back playing behind defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh next season.

That may be about more than just the Lions re-signing Suh. Tulloch, who has a cap hit of $5.8 million, was asked about the possibility that the team might look in his direction to provide more money to put toward signing Suh. He said neither he nor his agents had heard anything from the team to suggest he won’t be there for the start of offseason workouts.

“I hope I am [back with the Lions]. I hope my body of work speaks for itself,” Tulloch said. “I’ve put a lot of work in this team and I’ve been there through it all. It’s the first time in my career I’ve ever been on this side with the unknown, but I know the organization will do what’s best for them.”

The Lions would save $3.2 million by releasing Tulloch, something that seems like an option after they had one of the best defenses in the league with Tahir Whitehead starting in Tulloch’s place last season.

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Keeping secondary intact would cost the Pats a fortune

revismccourty AP

With free agency starting next week, the Patriots are in an interesting position: They can keep the three best players in their secondary but spend a fortune, or they could take the frugal route and risk losing Darrelle Revis, Devin McCourty and Brandon Browner.

The good news for the Patriots is that they have the choice to keep both Revis, McCourty and Browner, if they want to. Revis is under contract for 2015, and the Patriots can pick up his deal by paying him a $12 million roster bonus on March 9. Browner is under contract for $5.5 million in 2015, of which $2 million comes in a roster bonus next week. McCourty becomes a free agent on March 10, but the Patriots can keep him by using the franchise tag. McCourty has indicated that if the Patriots franchise him, he’ll sign the one-year, $9.6 million franchise tender.

The bad news for the Patriots is that picking up the second year on Revis’s contract would give him a $25 million cap hit for 2015. No other cornerback even has a cap hit of $15 million for 2015. Revis is great, but is he so great that the Patriots want to spend $10 million more on him than the Cardinals are spending on Patrick Peterson, and $13 million more than the Seahawks are spending on Richard Sherman or the Browns are spending on Joe Haden?

Throw in the $9.6 million for McCourty and the $5.5 million for Browner, and the Patriots would be spending more than $40 million on three players in their secondary.
Last year the Packers paid more for defensive backs than any other team, at $26.6 million for the 11 players in their secondary. Do the Patriots really want to blow up their cap to such an extent that they’re paying $14 million more than that just for the top three players in their secondary?

Maybe they do. But if they do, it’s a departure from the Patriots’ longtime practice of emphasizing depth and spreading the wealth around their roster, rather than spending a lot of money on a few key players. The Patriots have some big, and potentially expensive, decisions to make by next week.

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A.J. Smith announces his retirement

A.J. Smith Pic Getty Images

When A.J. Smith announced that he wouldn’t be back for a third season as a consultant in the Redskins front office, he said he and his family were going to discuss what was next after three decades in the NFL.

Smith announced the result of those discussions is his retirement.

“We had a family discussion and an actual voting process. It was unanimous!” Smith wrote in an e-mail, via Kevin Acee of U-T San Diego. “… We have experienced incredible highs and lows in our 38-year ride. At the age of 66, it’s time for me to enjoy my family and friends more than ever before. I will now get going on my long-awaited bucket list.”

Smith joined the Redskins after his 10-year run as the General Manager of the Chargers came to an end. Smith’s teams went to the playoffs in five of his first seven years in the job, but only advanced as far as the conference title game once before three years out of the postseason brought his time in San Diego to an end. The Chargers won 95 regular season games and three times in the playoffs while Smith was in charge.

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