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Atlanta’s offense in midseason (not postseason) form

Atlanta Falcons v Kansas City Chiefs Getty Images

The wheels fell off for the Chiefs in the second half.

But the Falcons kept rolling.

Matt Cassel had the Chiefs in game at halftime, but a pair of second-half interceptions allowed Atlanta to storm to a 40-24 win in the first game to go final Sunday.

There were only two punts the entire game, one for each side.

But the biggest takeaway from this one is how smooth the Falcons looked on offense, in new coordinator Dirk Koetter’s first game calling plays.

Granted, the Chiefs were short-handed because of injuries and a suspension to Tamba Hali, but you can’t attribute the Falcons’ work to anyone else.

Matt Ryan was a clean 23-of-31 for 299 yards and three touchdowns, spreading it to six different receivers. Julio Jones had 108 yards and two scores, and tight end Tony Gonzalez added a score.

Ryan had grown comfortable with Mike Mularkey as his coordinator, the only one he’s had as a pro, but he also hadn’t won a playoff game. Whether Koetter’s able to change that remains to be seen, but for the moment, they were spreading the ball around beautifully.

The Falcons also committed just two penalties, and didn’t turn it over. They also did it without a huge day from Michael Turner (11 carries for 32 yards), but they didn’t need to run.

Because of their lack of playoff success, they’ve been undervalued this offseason, but they proved Sunday they’ll be able to score with anyone.

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After fireworks accident, C.J. Wilson hopes to resume career in CFL

Mike Evans, C.J. Wilson AP

The Buccaneers waived cornerback C.J. Wilson from their reserve-retired list Wednesday, clearing the way for Wilson to resume his career in the Canadian Football League.

Wilson lost two fingers on his right hand in a fireworks accident last July 4. Per his hometown newspaper, the Lincoln Times-News in Lincolnton, N.C., Wilson left last weekend for Winnipeg. Wilson’s agent confirmed Wednesday to the Tampa Bay Times that Wilson has signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

CFL teams are opening training camps this week. The regular season starts in late June.

Wilson, 26, played in two games with the Bears in 2013 as an undrafted rookie and two for the Bucs in 2014.

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Jarvis Jones “motivated” by Steelers declining his option

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cincinnati Bengals Getty Images

Steelers outside linebacker Jarvis Jones has plenty to play for in 2016 after the team declined to pick up the fifth-year option on his contract, and Jones called that situation “motivation” to have his best season yet.

The Steelers waited until just before the early May deadline before declining the option on Jones, meaning 2016 will be the final year of his rookie contract.

Jones started 15 games in 2015 and had his most productive season, recording two sacks, a forced fumble and an interception. He has started 26 of 36 career games but has just five sacks in three seasons.

“Obviously I have to be more productive than I have been the past three years,” Jones said, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I think everybody knows that, and I know that myself. Nothing’s changed.”

Jones can still play his way into the team’s long-term plans, and the sides can still negotiate a long-term deal. What would be best for both sides is Jones playing well enough this season for the Steelers that both his original team and potential outside suitors are interested in his services.

“It’s not about the money,” he said. “I don’t play the game for the money. I play the game because it’s something I’m passionate about. If I do what I have to do, eventually I’ll get the money. That’s not what I’m worried about right now. I’m worried about playing football and being a football player.”

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Arian Foster says he “probably” needs another month to be back to where he was

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - OCTOBER 25:  Arian Foster #23 of the Houston Texans looks on during a game against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on October 25, 2015 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) Getty Images

He’s still not yet 30, but people think he’s washed up. They could be rethinking that position soon.

Free-agent running back Arian Foster, still recovering from a torn Achilles tendon and still looking for a new job after being cut by the Texans, believes he’s getting closer to a return to full strength.

“I probably need another month to get where I am, the person everyone is use to seeing,” Foster told in Houston. “I can definitely play, but I need another month to be where I want to be and be at that Pro Bowl level I can be at.”

Can he get there? Foster’s brother, Abdul, believes Arian can be “probably better.”

Two years ago, Foster was pretty good, with 1,246 yards rushing and an average of 4.8 yards per carry. From 2011 through 2013, Foster had three straight 1,000-yard seasons, with a total of 4,264 rushing yards.

Despite his track record, Foster seems to be concerned that his personality could be an impediment to getting work.

“I am not one of those Captain America, ‘Yes sir, no sir,’ kind of cats, and a lot of that comes across as arrogance. But if anyone has spent any real time with me, they’ll say I’m not arrogant,” Foster said.

Most teams seem to have filled their needs at tailback, but injuries are inevitable. Someone will give Foster a chance, and there’s a decent chance he’ll still be pretty good, if not better.

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Feeling “10 times better,” Terrelle Pryor is ready to “beat up on some corners”

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 20: Linebacker Cliff Avril #56 of the Seattle Seahawks tries to tackle wide receiver Terrelle Pryor #17 of the Cleveland Browns during the second half of a football game at CenturyLink Field on December 20, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks won the game 30-13. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) Getty Images

Reunited with his first NFL head coach but learning a new position, Browns receiver Terrelle Pryor has high hopes for 2016.

[I’m] 10 times [better than last year],” Pryor said Wednesday, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “I look at the film and it amazes me, and I give that to [receivers coach Al] Saunders, because just sitting there and doing the extra meeting time with him and him really breaking down certain routes to me and how he wants them run, it’s awesome.”

So what does Browns coach Hue Jackson’s former quarterback in Oakland want to do?

“I just really want to go beat up on some corners,” Pryor said. “Catch the ball over them, run past them, catch the ball, stiff-arm them, whatever, it doesn’t matter.  Every time I touch the field, practice, game, I’m going to bring high energy, high effort.”

He also brings a high level of disagreement to the idea that he’s making the transition from quarterback to receiver.

“I don’t even call it a transition anymore,” Pryor said in comments distributed by the team. “I feel like I’m there. I already transitioned. It’s just now continuing to get better at my craft and try to be the best I can be and do the things every single day to be the best player — like Coach Al [Saunders] says in our meeting room to all the receivers – ‘to be the best player you can be, better than the players in the room, player in the league, player in the division.’ Obviously, there are great players around the league. There are great players in our room. It’s not going to always be like that, but you’ve got to have that mindset that you want to be the best every single day. We go out there like brothers and we go out there and we help each other and make sure we work hard.”

Pryor still has plenty of work to do to persuade the Browns and the rest of the league that he can become a receiver. Nearly five years after being drafted, however, he could finally be moving toward the rare feat of becoming a starter at both NFL quarterback and another position on offense.

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Browns not giving up on Justin Gilbert

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 30:  Justin Gilbert #21 of the Cleveland Browns returns a kickoff during the second quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium on November 30, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) Getty Images

For two seasons, Browns cornerback Justin Gilbert has been a first-round bust overshadowed by a flashier, better-known first-round bust in his own locker room.

Now, Johnny Manziel and everyone who drafted and coached Manziel and Gilbert in their first two seasons are gone. And Gilbert still has a chance to become a contributor.

The Browns are thin at cornerback, and top cornerback Joe Haden is sitting out this spring while rehabbing an ankle injury. That means Gilbert is getting plenty of snaps as he tries to prove he belongs in the NFL.

“We weren’t here and we don’t know what went on the last two years,” Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton told reporters Wednesday, per the team’s official transcript. “All we know is what went on film and tape from today. Everybody has a clean slate, and you go out and work hard. Is [Gilbert] a work in progress? Yes. Is he carrying anything from four months ago? Not in my book he’s not. He’s just one of the players that we want to help us win a championship here.”

The Browns drafted Gilbert with the No. 8 overall pick in 2014, 14 spots ahead of where they picked Manziel. And Gilbert’s struggles on and off the field the last two seasons were overshadowed by Manziel’s more public exploits.

Horton said the new Browns staff is treating Gilbert “fairly” but not differently and wants Gilbert to know he has a chance to turn his career around.

“He has a lot of God-given ability that was, as coaches, have to get out,” Horton said.

Gilbert faced team discipline multiple times over his first two seasons, had multiple injury issues last season and was involved in a road rage incident last fall. Though he had an interception for a touchdown against Andrew Luck as a rookie, he never earned much significant playing time. Gilbert has played in 23 games over two seasons. He played in nine, starting one, last season.

On the field, Horton said the Browns have tinkered with Gilbert’s “elongated” stance, and that Gilbert offered no resistance. Gilbert said the right things last offseason about growing up and learning from his mistakes, and maybe this year the fresh start inside the Browns’ building will help him get his career on track.

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Derek Wolfe says he doesn’t regret skipping free agency

SANTA CLARA, CA - FEBRUARY 02:  Denver Broncos defensive end Derek Wolfe speaks to the media at the Broncos media availability at the Santa Clara Marriott on February 2, 2016 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) Getty Images

Perhaps no player since Cowboys cornerback Larry Brown capitalized on Super Bowl success in free agency the way Malik Jackson did.

But that also made the deal Jackson’s former Broncos teammate signed before the playoffs look that much worse.

Broncos defensive end Derek Wolfe said Wednesday he didn’t regret the four-year, $36.75 million contract he signed in January, just before the Broncos won a title and Jackson hit the jackpot with a six-year, $90 million deal in Jacksonville. Had he waited for free agency, Wolfe would have certainly made more money, but he said he wouldn’t have changed things.

“Absolutely not,” Wolfe said. “I did what I felt what was right. I’m happy for Malik. He deserves it. I’m where I wanted to be.

“You can’t put a price on happiness. I’m happy and that’s all that really matters.”

That kind of loyalty is admirable, at least until the Broncos decide they don’t feel the same way. But Wolfe sounds like he’s OK with that reality.

“I love the city, the fans,” he said in comments distributed by the team. “The people here are great. I couldn’t imagine playing in another city. I don’t really want to ever have to play in another city. I’ll probably just play here until I decided to just be done. That’s my plan. . . .

“To me, I have to prove my worth, prove that I was worth that much money. I have to go out there and prove to the fans, to the team, to the organization, to my teammates and to everybody that I’m worth that much money. To me, it puts a little bit more pressure on me actually.”

The real pressure might come when Wolfe is finished playing, since he’ll have far less in the bank than Jackson will, with a 24.5 million difference in guarantees in their deals ($17.5 million for Wolfe, $42 million for Jackson).

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Dez Bryant getting back to his old self

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 19:  Dez Bryant #88 of the Dallas Cowboys prepares to take on the New York Jets at AT&T Stadium on December 19, 2015 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) Getty Images

Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant isn’t working in full at OTAs this week as the team continues to bring him along slowly after January foot and ankle surgeries, but he’s catching passes and doing individual work while waiting for full clearance.

Bryant hopes to get that after another round of X-rays in the near future, but said Wednesday that even his limited workload leaves him feeling ahead of where he was while mired in a contract standoff with the Cowboys at this time last year. Bryant eventually signed a long-term deal, but a broken foot in the season opener set the tone for a disappointing season all around in Dallas.

The injuries have healed now, though, and Bryant said Tuesday that he feels like he’s rounding into form bit by bit.

“I feel fine; I’ve been working out real good,” Bryant said, via the team’s website. “I’m getting back to my old self. … It feels good. I’m right on time. I actually feel a little ahead of the game. But I’m going to stay patient.”

The Bryant of 2015 wasn’t the one that earned that big contract and it isn’t one that’s going to help the Cowboys moving back in a positive direction this season. The same could be said of quarterback Tony Romo, leaving little doubt about the players that the team will be counting on to lead them back to the right side of .500.

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Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, Nick Mangold skipping Jets OTAs

112915-NFL-NY-Jets-Eric-Decker-Brandon-Marshall-celebrate-4Q-TD-MM-PI.vadapt.980.high.39 Getty Images

Advantage Fitz.

With the Jets and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick willing to continue their relationship but unable to work out a new contract, a trio of Fitzpatrick’s biggest supporters coincidentally have skipped the last two days of Organized Team Activities.

Per multiple reports, receivers Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker and center Nick Mangold haven’t shown up either of the last two days.

Via Rich Cimini of, coach Todd Bowles downplayed the absences, pointing out that the workouts are voluntary.

Bowles said he doesn’t think the players are making a statement by staying away. Common sense suggests otherwise. With the team unwilling to pay Fitzpatrick an amount similar to what other starters make, it’s likely no accident that these three key members of the offense are choosing not to do something that most NFL players choose to do.

The development makes it even more important that the two sides get together as soon as possible, get in a room, lock the door, and work out a contract. Every days, parties engaged in acrimonious, hostile civil litigation submit to mediation sessions that result in a settlement of their claims. If two sides that hate each other can get in a room and resolve their differences, two sides that like each other surely can do the same.

If they don’t do it soon, these two sides that like each other could quickly end up not liking each other.

UPDATE 5:25 p.m. ET: Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reports that Mangold’s wife gave birth on Tuesday. This doesn’t explain the absences of Marshall and Decker, obviously.

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Chip Kelly back at it with up-tempo practicing in 49ers OTAs

SANTA CLARA, CA - JANUARY 20:  Chip Kelly speaks to the media during a press conference where he announced as the new head coach of the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium on January 20, 2016 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) Getty Images

The 49ers are getting a crash course in Chip Kelly during OTAs, learning in a hurry about the kind of pace he wants to keep.

According to Matt Maiocco of, the 49ers ran 24 offensive plays during an eight-minute team period today.

That’s an average of one snap every 20 seconds (#math).

If that sounds familiar, it should, as his first days with the Eagles were also about establishing his tempo, which is usually charming in the first days of any regime. Of course, when the results stopped showing his Eagles players quickly got tired of it (and tired).

Tackle Lane Johnson was among the loudest, saying keeping up such a pace from OTAs through the season left players exhausted by the end of the season.

If it works, the 49ers might be able to gain some kind of advantage on offense. But considering their quarterbacks are either Colin Kaepernick or Blaine Gabbert, it could also mean a lot of long days for their defense.

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Jerome Cunningham claimed off waivers by Titans

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 15:  Jerome Cunningham #86 of the New York Giants runs against  Jonathan Freeny #55 of the New England Patriots during their game at MetLife Stadium on November 15, 2015 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) Getty Images

The first time that tight end Jerome Cunningham was waived this offseason, he didn’t have to move far to join his new team.

He’ll get a few frequent flier miles the second time around, though. The Titans announced on Wednesday that they used their top spot on the league’s waiver list to add Cunningham to their 90-man roster. Tennessee only had 89 players under contract so they didn’t need to make a corresponding roster move.

Cunningham was waived by the Jets on Tuesday when they signed running back Romar Morris. He joined the team earlier this month after being dropped by the Giants, who he played nine games for during the 2015 season.

Cunningham joins Delanie Walker, Craig Stevens, Anthony Fasano, Phillip Supernaw and Alex Ellis at tight end in Tennessee.

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Bengals sign fourth-rounder Billings

WACO, TX - SEPTEMBER 26:  Driphus Jackson #6 of the Rice Owls carries the ball against Andrew Billings #75 of the Baylor Bears in the first quarter at McLane Stadium on September 26, 2015 in Waco, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) Getty Images

Fourth-round defensive tackle Andrew Billings has signed his rookie contract with the Bengals.

A first-team AP All-American last season at Baylor, the 311-pound Billings was also named the Big 12’s co-Defensive Player of the Year. He should immediately see some snaps in the Bengals’ talented defensive line rotation.

The signing of Billings leaves only first-round cornerback William Jackson III unsigned among the team’s seven draft choices.

The Bengals also announced the signing of undrafted rookie fullback Andrew Bonnet, who signed with the Panthers after the draft and was released last week. To make room on the roster for Bonnet, kicker Jonathan Brown was waived-injured.

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Geno Smith just trying to take advantage of his opportunity

OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 01:  Geno Smith #7 of the New York Jets in action against the Oakland Raiders at Coliseum on November 1, 2015 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) Getty Images

Jets quarterback Geno Smith has heard teammates like Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall talk about their desire to see Ryan Fitzpatrick back with the team for the 2016 season, but says that he doesn’t “really pay much attention to it” because he doesn’t think they’ve said anything negative about him.

In fact, Marshall said recently that the Jets will “be OK” if Fitzpatrick doesn’t return and Smith heads into the regular season as the starter. On Wednesday, Smith made it clear that his focus is on preparing himself for that possibility and not on watching to see if Fitzpatrick and the Jets bridge their gap and agree on a deal for this year.

“I believe that I do have an opportunity here, and I’ve just got to take advantage of it,” Smith said, via “If anyone has watched football over the years, it’s always been a process with quarterbacks. Every single quarterback has a different learning curve. Some come right in and blow it away. Some come in and struggle a little bit, and then they get it. For me, my confidence has always been there. I think the knowledge of the game, execution, having the game slow down for me, is something that will continue to grow.”

With no other teams sniffing around Fitzpatrick and the quarterback saying this week that he’ll be playing this season, it continues to look like he and the Jets will find their way back to one another. That will mean either a trip to the bench or the waiver wire for Smith, although there’s not much reason for him to worry about crossing that bridge until the Jets put him at the edge of it.

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Patriots take aim at Commissioner in new Brady case legal brief

<> at Gillette Stadium on May 24, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Getty Images

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady continues to fight the NFL’s effort to suspend him four games. The Patriots finally have gotten directly involved in the matter and, in so doing, have taken aim at the manner in which the Commissioner and the rest of the league office handled the case.

On Wednesday, the Patriots submitted a friend-of-the-court brief in connection with Brady’s petition for a rehearing before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, calling the suspension of Brady a “highly manipulated and fundamentally unfair process designed and used by the Commissioner to reach and justify a predetermined outcome in violation of the” labor agreement between the NFL and the NFL Players Association.

Yes, the Patriots, one of the 32 members of the NFL, has argued in an eight-page court document that the NFL violated its duties and obligations under the CBA. While the team’s position isn’t surprising, it’s nevertheless jarring to see such an open and official challenge to the league by one of its teams.

From the first sentence, the brief submitted by the Patriots cuts sharply against the league’s interests, arguing that the controversy “presents an issue of exceptional importance [relating to] the extent to which settled precedent and fundamental fairness operate as a check on the broad authority of arbitrators,” and that the existing ruling “threatens to undermine vital principles governing arbitration of collective bargaining agreements throughout the national economy.” The NFLPA surely is thrilled by that observation, especially with a fresh round of full-scale labor talks less than five years away.

The brief points out that the Patriots “stand to lose their All-Pro quarterback for 25 % of the upcoming regular season based on a severely flawed process,” and that “[u]nfairness has permeated the entire handling of this matter by the League.” Again, it’s not a shock that the Patriots believe this, but it’s a big deal to see it reduced to writing and submitted to a federal appeals court.

The Patriots specifically argue that the Commissioner “treated Mr. Brady’s appeal not as an appeal but as a continuation of the investigation,” which resulted in “new findings” that “shifted the basis for his discipline of Mr. Brady in a decision from which Mr. Brady then had no appeal rights.” At footnote 2 to the brief, the Patriots allege that “the League’s conduct reflects less a search for the truth than pursuit of a pre-determined result,” and points out that the NFL “leaked materially incorrect PSI information and refused to correct it for months, allowing public misperceptions to fester.”

That’s a direct reference to the ESPN report that 11 of 12 footballs were measured at 2.0 pounds under the minimum PSI level of 12.5, which the Patriots (and anyone else paying attention) came directly from league employees. The Ted Wells report, issued roughly three months later, demonstrated the gross inaccuracy of the ESPN report.

The Patriots also focus on the Commissioner’s refusal to give Brady access to notes of interviews with league officials who observed the testing of the footballs during halftime of the January 2015 AFC title game and the flawed science of the Wells Report. The Patriots explain that, without the interview notes, it was impossible for Brady to test the assumptions that were made regarding the critical issue of the timing of the PSI measurements during halftime.

“That left Mr. Brady unable to challenge the fundamental premise of the Wells Report,” the Patriots contend, “that science alone does not explain the PSI of the Patriots footballs.”

Elsewhere in the brief, the Patriots claim that the Commissioner “misstated” evidence regarding Brady’s explanation of his interactions with team employee John Jastremski on the key question of Brady’s credibility as a witness. The Commissioner had said that Brady claimed he spoke to Jastremski only about preparation of footballs for Super Bowl XLIX, which in the Commissioner’s view made Brady’s testimony not believable. However, the transcript shows that Brady testified he spoke to Jastremski about both the preparation of footballs and the then-new allegations of potential tampering with footballs. The not-so-subtle point is that the Patriots are directly attacking the credibility of the Commissioner’s attack on Brady’s credibility.

Finally, the Patriots challenge the Commissioner’s decision that Brady’s “non-retention of his cell phone was evidence of guilt without acknowledging that” investigators already had said they didn’t want to take possession of the phone or remove information from it, that Brady supplied the NFL with a full list of persons with whom calls and texts were exchanged, and that the league already had the phones of the two alleged culprits in the tampering scheme, Jastremski and Jim McNally.

The Patriots conclude by arguing that the pending decision of the Second Circuit “endorsed the outcome of a highly manipulated and fundamentally unfair process designed and used by the Commissioner to reach and justify a predetermined outcome in violation of the CBA and this Court’s precedents,” that the ruling “renders meaningless the vital protections afforded by a bargained-for right to appeal and to obtain and present pertinent evidence,” and that “[i]ts impacts will be felt far beyond the NFL.”

Whether the impact of the Patriots’ aggressive maneuver will be felt beyond the confines of this specific case remains to be seen. Regardless, the Patriots — who opted not to pursue an appeal of their own penalties arising from the deflation allegations in the hopes that Brady would be shown lenience — have finally done what their fans have wanted them to do for months.

In an official legal document, the Patriots have pointed a finger directly at the behavior and agenda of the Commissioner and his inner circle.

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Ifo Ekpre-Olomu’s doctor calls his knee “perfectly fine”

Ifo Ekpre-Olomu AP

Few college football players have suffered an injury as devastating to their NFL prospects as former Oregon cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, who was viewed as a first-round prospect before blowing out his knee in December of 2014 and ultimately fell all the way to the seventh round. Ekpre-Olomu hasn’t played in an NFL game yet, but he says he’s now been given a clean bill of health.

Ekpre-Olomu told the Miami Herald that his doctor “said I’m perfectly fine.”

The Browns waived Ekpre-Olomu this offseason, suggesting that the new regime in Cleveland doesn’t believe his knee is ever going to be perfectly fine. But he was claimed by the Dolphins on waivers and says he’s happy where he is.

“It was something with new management; they wanted to go in a different direction,” Ekpre-Olomu said of the Browns. “And I guess I wasn’t in that direction. I’m happy I’m here.”

If Ekpre-Olomu ever returns to the form that he showed at Oregon, the Dolphins will be happy to have him in Miami, too.

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Broncos sign second-round pick Adam Gotsis

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 3: Marquise Williams #12 of the North Carolina Tar Heels takes a hit from Adam Gotsis #96 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on October 3, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. Gotsis would be penalized and ejected from the game for the hit. Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Broncos are down to one unsigned draft pick.

Second-round defensive tackle Adam Gotsis agreed to a four-year deal with the team on Wednesday, leaving quarterback Paxton Lynch as the only one of the team’s eight picks without a contract. Gotsis was born in Australia and became the highest drafted Australian in league history when the Broncos tabbed him with the 63rd overall pick.

Gotsis will be in the mix of players vying for playing time up front on defense after the departure of Malik Jackson as a free agent this offseason. His attempt to nail down that playing time will be delayed until training camp as Gotsis is going to be on the sideline until training camp as a result of a torn ACL he suffered while at Georgia Tech last year.

Jared Crick, Vance Walker and Kenny Anunike will be Gotsis’ chief competition for playing time once he’s fully recovered.

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