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Richard Seymour insists he’s not dirty, but got fined for hit on Cassel

Richard Seymour AP

Raiders defensive tackle Richard Seymour took exception to it when Chiefs defensive end Tamba Hali called his team dirty. But the league office said one of Seymour’s hits against the Chiefs was a cheap shot.

The NFL has confirmed that Seymour was fined $15,750 for roughing the passer because he unnecessarily threw Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel to the ground after Cassel had thrown a pass. The hit drew a penalty that gave the Chiefs first-and-goal at the 10-yard line, setting up a touchdown on the next play, although it didn’t matter much because the Raiders already had a 26-9 lead with two minutes left in the fourth quarter.

Seymour had said prior to the game that he was bothered by the way Hali described the Raiders as dirty.

“Any time you play the game, you should play with a chip on your shoulder,” Seymour said. “You should play with an attitude. But in terms of being dirty, going out to hurt guys, I don’t think I play that way or any of my teammates [play dirty]. I don’t stand for it. But we do play tough and physical. I do believe that’s the way the game is supposed to be played. I respect guys that play the same way.”

But on that play, the league office didn’t respect the way Seymour played.

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Andrew Whitworth frustrated by Bengals’ refusal to discuss extension

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Before the draft, Bengals left tackle Andrew Whitworth challenged the Bengals to “mess up and draft” a tackle with designs on replacing him in the lineup anytime soon.

It’s more than fair to say that the Bengals were not dissuaded by Whitworth’s words. They drafted Texas A&M tackle Cedric Ogbuehi in the first round and then followed up with Oregon tackle Jake Fisher in the second round, giving themselves a pair of potential successors to the 33-year-old Whitworth as he enters the final year of his contract.

Whitworth responded to the moves at the team’s headquarters on Monday and expressed disappointment that the Bengals neither told him about their plans at tackle nor responded to his request to discuss an extension of his contract.

“I want to be above and beyond and do more than the average guy in this locker room. But it’s hard to do that when the feeling’s not reciprocated. Really, it’s just a one-way street,” Whitworth said, via ESPN.com. “[When the team says] we’d like you to be the leader of our football team, but we’d also like the best situation possible for us to talk to you when we want to, that’s a one-way street and not really top-of-the-line in customer service. But it is what it is. Hopefully one day that conversation will be had and I’ll be here.”

Whitworth doesn’t seem to hold any grudges against the new players, both of whom he invited over to his house to watch the Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao fight. Ogbuehi had already left town, but Fisher got a chance to spend some time with a locker room leader on his new team.

That kind of invitation is why Whitworth became a team leader, although those qualities only buy you so much time when a team makes it clear that they’re investing in a different future at the position.

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Rams had six offers for their spot in the second round

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The Rams were able to swing a deal while on the clock, gaining extra third- and sixth-rounders from the Panthers because they were willing to move down.

But the amazing part isn’t that General Manager Les Snead and coach Jeff Fisher made a deal, it’s that they were able to keep all their offers straight.

According to Michael Silver of the NFL Network, the Rams were about to take an offensive lineman with the 41st pick, when the phones started ringing like crazy.

The Chiefs were the first of six teams to call in a five-minute span, as the Rams tried to cut the best deal possible.

The Panthers wanted to get to Michigan wide receiver Devin Funchess. The Rams ended up taking Wisconsin tackle Rob Havenstein, along with quarterback Sean Mannion and Missouri wide receiver Bud Sasser with the three picks they acquired. They also sandwiched Louisville tackle Jamon Brown in with their own third-round pick, giving them the line depth they wanted at 41.

“People fall in love in the second round,” Snead said. “If you’re not in love, you’re in the driver’s seat. Last year, we fell in love with [defensive back Lamarcus] Joyner, and we gave up a ‘5’ to move up to get him. This year, we were able to go the other way.”

The Panthers had a desperate need to fill at wide receiver, and they clearly loved Funchess. They’d also do it again in the fourth round, trading all the rest of their picks (other than their compensatory choices) to get Oklahoma tackle Daryl Williams.

But because the Rams have a reputation for being willing to deal, their phone’s always going to ring, even if they can’t keep up with them all.

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Colts agree with QB Bryan Bennett, 14 other undrafted free agents

Bryan Bennett AP

The Colts announced Monday they had reached deals with 15 undrafted free agents, including a quarterback who played at the Senior Bowl.

Southeastern Louisiana quarterback Bryan Bennett, who began his collegiate career at Oregon, is among the UDFAs agreeing to terms with Indianapolis.

Bennett (6-2, 211) threw for 2,357 yards with 18 TDs and eight interceptions in 2014. He also led his team in rushing (669 yards, 15 TDs). However, he completed less than 50 percent of his passes a season ago, and he could be more likely to stick on the Colts’ practice squad than their roster.

The Colts also announced a deal with Yale running back Tyler Varga, another Senior Bowl invitee. Varga (5-11, 222) rushed for 1,423 yards and scored 26 total touchdowns for the Bulldogs as a senior.

The other rookie free agents slated to join the Colts are Auburn wide receiver Quan Bray, Western Michigan cornerback Donald Celiscar, San Diego State linebacker Cody Galea, Cincinnati linebacker Terrell Hartsfield, Harvard linebacker Zachary Hodges, Nebraska cornerback Joshua Mitchell, San Diego State wide receiver Ezell Ruffin, West Chester cornerback Al-Hajj Shabazz, Massachusetts tight end Jean Sifrin, Purdue tight end Justin Sinz, Clemson safety Robert Smith, Toledo linebacker Junior Sylvestre and Northwestern center Brandon Vitabile.

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Lawyer says La’el Collins met with police, answered all their questions

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The attorney for La’El Collins says he met with police today and is fully cooperating in the investigation of the murder of his pregnant ex-girlfriend.

“It went fine; we answered all their questions,” attorney Jim Boren told the Times-Picayune. “La’el is not going to make any comments. I’m not going to have any comments. The investigation is going to continue. La’el is now going to start making an effort to start getting his football career back on track.”

Asked if he thinks Collins will be cleared, Boren replied, “Only the police can answer that question. In my mind he’s been cleared from the very beginning. I think he’s not a suspect. He answered all the questions they had. Every question, we didn’t claim the fifth. We answered every single question. We gave them all the information they asked for. He’s ready to get his life back.”

Collins is under no legal obligation to say anything, but he knows that the only way he’s going to be able to convince an NFL team to sign him is if he can show that he was not involved in the deaths of Brittney Mills and her baby. Collins was expected to be a first-round draft pick until news of Mills’s death surfaced last week. If he’s exonerated he’ll be perhaps the most sought-after undrafted free agent in NFL history.

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Miles Burris says farewell to Oakland

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Raiders General Manager Reggie McKenzie added a new crop of rookies to the roster in the draft and those arrivals have helped ease one of McKenzie’s first picks in Oakland off the team.

Linebacker Miles Burris took to Instagram on Monday to say farewell to the Raiders and said he got to live his dream by playing for the same team that he rooted for as a kid. Burris was a fourth-round pick of the team in 2012, which made him McKenzie’s second pick (offensive lineman Tony Bergstrom was the first) as the man in charge of personnel in Oakland because the team didn’t have first- or second-round picks that year.

The Raiders haven’t made an official announcement yet, but the addition of linebackers Neiron Ball and Ben Heeney in the draft meant that there was some overcrowding at the position. Burris started every game for the Raiders last year, recording 109 tackles, but signing Curtis Lofton as a free agent was a clear sign the Raiders wanted another answer in the middle of their defense.

The team is also parting ways with wide receiver James Jones as they reset their roster after the draft.

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Two local products among Panthers undrafted free agent signings

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The Panthers brought in five players from around the country during the draft, but they looked a little closer to home when it came time to sign undrafted rookies to round out their roster.

Carolina announced 10 signings on Monday, including Clemson cornerback Garry Peters and South Carolina wide receiver Damiere Byrd.

Peters has decent size at 6-feet and was an All-ACC selection during his final year with the Tigers. The Panthers didn’t draft a cornerback to go with Bene’ Benwikere, Charles Tillman and Josh Norman. Byrd has a track background and showed it off at the Gamecocks’ pro day when he ran a 4.28 40 and performed well in the other drills as well.

They also signed running back Brandon Wegher, who ran for 113 yards in Iowa’s 2010 Orange Bowl victory. Wegher completed his college career at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa after leaving the Hawkeyes before his eligibility was up.

Utah linebacker Brian Blechen, Florida defensive tackle Darious Cummings, James Madison safety Dean Marlowe, Ohio State defensive end Steve Miller, Southern defensive end Arthur Miley, Memphis defensive tackle Terry Redden and Michigan punter Matt Wile.

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Former Bill Alex Carrington returns for free agent visit

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The Bills didn’t select any defensive linemen to provide depth for their talented starters during the NFL draft, but they may fill one of the roles on the depth chart with a player they drafted several years ago.

The Bills announced that defensive lineman Alex Carrington is visiting with the team. It probably won’t take him long to feel at home.

Carrington was a third-round pick by the Bills in 2010 and spent the first four years of his career in Buffalo before departing for St. Louis as a free agent last year. He had one tackle in eight games for the Rams and saw action in 44 games for the Bills in his time with the team. Carrington started his final three games with the team in 2013, but a torn quad ended his season and helped push him to another club as a free agent.

Carrington also showed a knack for blocking kicks during his time with the Bills and earned the nickname “Megahand” as a result. That skill could help him earn another shot at a roster spot in Buffalo.

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Cowboys decline to pick up fifth-year option on Morris Claiborne

Morris Claiborne AP

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in January that cornerback Morris Claiborne had done enough to justify picking up his fifth-year option.

But the Cowboys apparently did enough in the draft to make Jones change his mind.

According to Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com, the Cowboys declined to pick up the fifth-year option on the injured cornerback.

It makes sense, since Claiborne hasn’t played to a level to justify an $11.08 million deal for 2016. He’s also coming off a torn patellar tendon that limited him to four games last year, and he missed six games in 2013 because of hamstring problems.

They also invested their first-round pick in cornerback Byron Jones, another solid indicator of the direction they’re going.

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Eagles make changes, fire some Howie Roseman guys

Draft Eagles Football AP

With the 2015 NFL Draft in the books, it’s the time for teams with new General Managers to clear out the old scouting staff so they can bring in their own guys.

But while the Eagles didn’t technically bring in a new G.M., they’re shuffling out some of the leftovers from when Howie Roseman was in charge anyway.

According to Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News, the Eagles have fired director of college scouting Anthony Patch, pro personnel director Rick Mueller and area scout Brad Obee.

Bowen referred to all three as “Howie guys,” which meant their fates were largely sealed when Roseman was kicked upstairs and coach Chip Kelly got all the personnel power in the building.

Kelly promoted Ed Marynowitz to vice president of player personnel this offseason, and he’ll have a hand in putting together a new staff, though we all know who’s in charge.

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Jets part ways with director of pro personnel, five scouts

Mike Maccagnan AP

The Jets got good marks for coming away from the draft with players like defensive lineman Leonard Williams and wide receiver Devin Smith, but they still decided to make changes to their scouting department when the three days of picks came to an end.

The Jets announced that they have fired director of pro personnel Brendan Prophett and college scouts Rick Courtright, David Hinson, Cole Hufnagel, Chris Prescott and Seth Turner.

“I appreciate their contributions to the organization and wish them the best in the future,” General Manager Mike Maccagnan said in a statement.

All six of the men were holdovers from previous regimes and Maccagnan, hired this offseason, will be restocking the organization with his choices for the jobs. The Jets previously parted ways with former General Manager Terry Bradway and Jeff Bauer, two senior members of the scouting department, but teams often hold onto scouts they plan to let go through the draft to keep their own plans from leaking to other teams.

The Jets have hired Brian Heimerdinger and Rex Hogan for prominent roles under Maccagnan and there will likely be other additions in the near future as they restaff their front office ahead of the 2015 season.

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Greg Hardy’s farewell to Twitter wasn’t final

Tweet Getty Images

Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy said farewell to Twitter last night, apparently at the behest of the team after making a decidedly unfunny reference to the 9/11 attacks.

But the farewell wasn’t really a farewell.  After posting a “Goodbye 4ever” tweet that prompted Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com to point out that the “Cowboys sure hope so,” Hardy retweeted various hostile fan responses to MacMahon, including one that called MacMahon an “asshat” and one that dubbed MacMahon a “d–krider.”

Right or wrong, love him or hate him, Hardy is being Hardy.  But if the Cowboys indeed suggested that Hardy pull the plug on Twitter, the plug has yet to be pulled.

At some point, it’s hard not to wonder whether the Cowboys will pull the plug on Hardy.  With $1.3 million committed to Hardy in workout bonuses, calling it quits in the wake of a 10-game suspension for domestic violence and subsequent behavior that suggests he doesn’t really get it would save the Cowboys some money and potentially win them some major style points.

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Colts waive RB Jeff Demps, three others

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The Colts have parted ways with a player known best for his rare speed.

Running back Jeff Demps, an Olympic medalist as a sprinter, was one of four players waived by Indianapolis on Monday, the club said.

The Colts had signed the 25-year-old Demps to a reserve/future contract in January. He also had a stint on the Colts’ practice squad last season. Demps had previously spent time with Tampa Bay and New England.

Demps was a member of the U.S. 4×100 relay squad that won a silver medal in London in 2012.

In addition to Demps, the Colts waived wide receiver Kadron Boone, defensive end Gannon Conway and offensive tackle Matt Hall. Boone, Conway and Hall all entered the NFL as undrafted free agents in 2014.

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Report: Vikings pick up 2016 contract options on Matt Kalil and Harrison Smith

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The Vikings had a pair of first-round picks in 2012 and they’ve reportedly moved to hold onto both of them for a fifth season.

Alex Marvez of FOX Sports reports that the team has exercised their fifth-year options on the contracts of left tackle Matt Kalil and safety Harrison Smith.

The Smith decision probably didn’t take the Vikings a long time to figure out. He’s coming off an excellent 2014 season and has been a starter when healthy since joining the team. Smith, who was the 29th pick, will be in line to make $5.278 million, although there’s a good chance they’ll work on a multi-year extension between now and the start of the 2016 season.

Kalil wasn’t as clear cut since he struggled in 2014 and the salary for the fourth pick will be above $11 million in 2016. The Vikings can withdraw the option if he doesn’t rebound in his fourth NFL season as the option is guaranteed against injury only.

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PFT Live: Seahawks talk with Bob Condotta, NFL draft review

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It was a busy weekend all over the world of sports with the NFL draft ranking near the top of the list of events drawing attention around the country.

We’ll take a look back at the three days of picks during Monday’s edition of PFT Live. Mike Florio will catch us up on all the biggest developments, riskiest picks and best moves from Chicago.

Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times will join Florio to discuss the Seahawks’ selections as well as the push for a new Russell Wilson contract and linebacker Bruce Irvin’s status with the team. Bob Kravitz of WTHR will also be on the show to talk about the Colts’ moves, including the selection of wide receiver Phillip Dorsett in the first round.

Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram will check in with the latest on the Cowboys’ decision to draft Randy Gregory while Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union will bring us all we need to know about Dante Fowler and the rest of the Jaguars draft class.

We also want to hear from PFT Planet. Email questions at any time via the O’Reilly Auto Parts Ask the Pros inbox or get in touch on Twitter at @ProFootballTalk to let us know what’s on your mind.

It all gets started at noon ET and you can listen to all three hours live via the various NBC Sports Radio affiliates, through the links at PFT, or with the NBC Sports Radio app. You can also watch a simulcast of the first hour of the show by clicking right here.

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Report: Winston tapped brakes on ESPN interview

Winston AP

With Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, it’s always something.  For multiple reasons.

At times, it’s always something because there’s always something he’s doing that attracts scrutiny.  At other times, it’s always something because the media scrutinizes him more closely than other young players.  Regardless, anything Winston does that is remotely controversial will now become a headline.

Case in point:  Something Winston did on Thursday night became the top item for Richard Deitsch’s weekly sports media column.  As explained by Deitsch, Winston deliberately circumvented a ping-pong arrangement between NFL Network and ESPN regarding dibs on interviewing the first pick in the draft.

This year, it was ESPN’s turn to go first.  But Winston decided not to let ESPN go first.

According to Deitsch, Winston’s camp “was upset at the network’s overall coverage of the top pick prior to the draft.”  Winston’s agent predictably told Deitsch that “it was simply our preference that his first interview be with NFL Network”; however, there’s no reason to dispute Deitsch’s reporting that Winston and company retaliated, at least a little, against the four-letter network.

Winston’s agent downplayed the snub, explaining that ESPN got its interview a “few seconds later.”  But the damage was done.  Deitsch explains that, by the time ESPN got the interview, the draft had progressed several picks beyond Winston.  So the interview wasn’t played by ESPN until after the first round ended.

On one hand, it’s Winston’s right to choose NFL Network over ESPN.  On the other hand, why alienate a network with much greater reach and influence than NFL Network at the front end of Winston’s career?  Plenty of discretion will be exercised over the coming months and years by producers, analysts, and anchors regarding Winston.  Moving forward, will ESPN be more inclined to pull punches with Winston — or will they be more inclined to go for a knockout?

While Winston’s decision doesn’t carry the same stink of sexism as the Floyd Mayweather passive-aggressive credential stunt with Rachel Nichols and Michelle Beadle, attempting to influence coverage by declining or delaying interviews is always a bad idea, especially when doing it to a network that employs a small army of NFL reporters that can (and possibly will) hold anything Winston says or does against him.

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