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Jerry Jones the owner says he would have fired Jerry Jones the G.M.

Jerry Jones AP

Several years ago, NBC’s Dan Patrick asked former Lions CEO Matt Millen whether he would have fired himself.  (Millen basically said yes.)

In a new interview with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, NBC’s Bob Costas asked Jones whether Jones the owner would have fired Jones the General Manager.

“Well, I think so . . . because he was there to dismiss,” Jones said.  “I’ve always worked for myself and you can’t do that. You basically have to straighten that guy out in the mirror when you work for yourself. But certainly, if I’d had the discretion, I’ve done it with coaches and certainly I would have changed a general manager.”

Jones made himself the G.M. when he bought the team in 1989.  Before Al Gore invented the Internet and before sports talk radio was as prevalent as it is now, Jones was able hire Jones to be the G.M. without creating too big of a national stink.  Today, it would be very hard for an owner with no credentials or experience to make himself the G.M.

And even though Jones the owner would have fired Jones the G.M. by now, Jones firing himself would have been even harder.

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A.J. Green says he’s “fine,” just upset he had to leave game

Cincinnati Bengals v Houston Texans Getty Images

A.J. Green gave the Bengals and Bengals fans a scare in the first quarter of Sunday night’s preseason game in Jacksonville when the Pro Bowl wide receiver limped off with what appeared to be a non-contact knee injury.

Trainers looked at Green’s right knee, but the Bengals quickly announced the injury was nothing major and that Green could have returned if it had been a regular season game.

In the third quarter, Green did a sideline interview with NBC’s Michelle Tafoya and said he’s not worried about the knee.

“I think I came down on it…just banged knees,” he said. “I’m fine. It sucks because I wanted to play a little bit longer.

“It’s not serious at all. I’m fine now.”

The Bengals have had a miserable preseason on the injury front. It’s highly unlikely any of the team’s starters will play in the preseason finale as the Bengals try to get healthy — and keep their starters away from further potential harm.

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Cedric Peerman becomes latest Bengals player to suffer injury

Cedric Peerman AP

Bengals running back Cedric Peerman immediately left the game and was treated on the sideline after being dragged down by his left arm by Jaguars cornerback Davon House in the second quarter of Sunday night’s game.

Trainers placed an air cast on Peerman’s arm.

Peerman went to the Pro Bowl as a special teams player last season. He’s been with the Bengals since 2010 and hasn’t missed a game in three seasons.

Earlier in the game the Bengals removed wide receiver A.J. Green after he came up limping after making a catch along the sideline. It’s been a brutal preseason for the Bengals on the injury front.

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PFT Live question of the day for Monday: Garoppolo or Prescott?

New England Patriots' Jimmy Garoppolo (10) is hit by Carolina Panthers' Daryl Worley (26) during the first half of a preseason NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, Aug. 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone) AP

Monday’s PFT Live gets rolling, as it always does, at 6:00 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Radio. Then, as it now does, the show slides to NBCSN at 7:00 a.m. ET.

As part of the enhanced exposure, we’re trying to give the audience a question to ponder every day. With Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo expected to miss 6-10 weeks, here’s Monday’s question.

Which quarterback do you have more faith in as a short-term quarterback replacement: Jimmy Garoppolo or Dak Prescott?

Garropolo, in the event you’ve been out of the country for the past several months, will start the first four games of the season in place of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

Answer the poll question below, drop a comment or two below that, and then tune in on Monday. Guests include former 49ers assistant (and former Browns and Jets head coach) Eric Mangini, Rodney Harrison of NBC’s Football Night in America, and NBC Sports Medicine Analyst Mike Ryan.

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How will teams represented on Competition Committee handle new touchback rule?

kickoff Getty Images

At a time when plenty of coaches and other league personnel believe that the new touchback rule will result in more, not fewer, kickoff returns, a separate question arises regarding the manner in which teams whose coaches, General Managers, and/or owners have spots on the Competition Committee will adjust.

The committee currently consists of Falcons president Rich McKay, Giants co-owner John Mara, Cowboys executive V.P. Stephen Jones, Packers president Mark Murphy, Ravens G.M. Ozzie Newsome, Texans G.M. Rick Smith, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians, Broncos G.M. John Elway, and NFL senior adviser Tom Coughlin (awkward, given Mara’s presence on the committee).

Already, Jones has admitted that he’ll have the “conversation” with coach Jason Garrett about ensuring that the adjustment of the touchback from to 20 to the 25 has the desired effect. And the Bengals, led by Lewis, have been kicking it deep on Sunday night in Jacksonville.

When the games that count begin, it’ll be interesting to see how the Falcons, Giants, Cowboys, Packers, Ravens, Texans, Bengals, Cardinals, and Broncos handle both kicking off and opting to take a knee. If the rule change boomerangs, it ultimately makes the committee look bad for believing that the change would reduce the so-called “most dangerous play” in the game. The most dangerous play becomes a little less dangerous if the teams with representatives on the Competition Committee deliberately ignore the question of whether it makes more sense to kick it short and/or to try to run it out from the front of the end zone.

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A.J. Green, Adam Jones sustain injuries in Jacksonville

CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 12:  A.J. Green #18 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs the football upfield during the game against Minnesota Vikings at Paul Brown Stadium on August 12, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images) Getty Images

The top priority for preseason play continues to be this: Stay healthy enough to play in the regular season.

On Sunday night in Jacksonville, a pair of key Bengals failed to stay healthy.

Cornerback Adam Jones and receiver A.J. Green each have suffered leg injuries in the team’s Week Three preseason game against the Jaguars. The injury to Jones happened prior to the start of the game, in a innocuous-looking drill near the sideline. After backpedaling, Jones came up limping. He is out of uniform and not playing.

Green suffered a leg injury during the game itself. He tried to keep playing after developing a noticeable limp, before exiting the game.

The Bengals say Green’s injury isn’t serious, and that he’d stay in the game if it were a game that counts. Then again, Tony Romo’s injury supposedly wasn’t serious, either.

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Bernard gets quick score for Bengals

Carolina Panthers v Cincinnati Bengals Getty Images

The Bengals only needed three plays to turn a turnover into a touchdown in Sunday night’s preseason game vs. the Jaguars.

After Vincent Rey recovered a fumble by T.J. Yeldon on the game’s first series, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton threw a screen pass to running back Giovani Bernard that went for a 19-yard touchdown.

Bernard picked up blocks from Clint Boling and C.J. Uzomah, cut inside and basically waltzed into the end zone.

The Bengals have dominated on both sides early. They moved into Jaguars territory on their second series too before stalling due to penalties.

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Chiefs announce eight roster cuts

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 16: Detailed view of Kansas City Chiefs helmets on the sidelines before the game against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum on December 16, 2012 in Oakland, California. The Oakland Raiders defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 15-0. Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Chiefs made eight roster cuts Sunday as they move towards Tuesday’s deadline to trim their roster to 75 players.

Waived by the team Sunday were wide receivers Seantavius Jones and Kashif Moore; defensive backs Bryce Cheek and Malcolm Jackson; defensive lineman Niko Davis; linebacker Jonathan Massaquoi and offensive linemen Drew Nowak and Curtis Feigt.

Massaquoi was a fifth-round pick of the Falcons in 2012 and has played in 39 career games. Nowak has prior experience with the Seahawks and Jaguars, and Jones played in three games for the Saints last season.

Final cuts to the regular season roster size of 53 are due by Sept. 3.

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Bill O’Brien “pleased” with where Brock Osweiler is right now

Houston Texans quarterback Brock Osweiler (17) throws against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith) AP

The Texans are a couple of weeks away from their first regular season game with Brock Osweiler at quarterback and the team is happy with the way things have gone in the preseason.

Assuming he sits on Thursday, Osweiler closed out the exhibition season by going 11-of-13 for 146 yards and a touchdown against the Cardinals in a 34-24 victory. One of the incompletions was a drop by rookie wide receiver Will Fuller, who had a good day otherwise with three catches for 67 yards and a touchdown.

Osweiler also had success throwing to Braxton Miller and DeAndre Hopkins before handing the offense over to Tom Savage in a game that left coach Bill O’Brien feeling good about the man the Texans signed to run his offense.

“I thought Brock went in there and managed the offense well,” O’Brien said. “Made some good throws. I was pleased. He’s made a lot of progress. Improved every day. Easy guy to coach. Pleased with where he is right now.”

Osweiler’s done better each week during the preseason and said after the game that his confidence is growing every time out, which is the kind of trajectory you’d expect to see from a player gaining a better understanding of the offense. Should that trend continue, the Texans will like their chances of opening the year with a home win over the Bears.

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Report: 49ers likely to jettison Kaepernick, for football reasons

San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick, left, and Blaine Gabbert stand on the sideline during the second half of an NFL preseason football game against the Green Bay Packers on Friday, Aug. 26, 2016, in Santa Clara, Calif. Green Bay won 21-10. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar) AP

Colin Kaepernick has suddenly become the most controversial player in the NFL because of his refusal to stand for the national anthem. But there may be another issue that could cost him his job in San Francisco: He’s not a very good quarterback.

Jay Glazer said on FOX that the 49ers are deeply concerned with Kaepernick’s decline as a player, which started last season when he struggled before getting benched, then got even worse this offseason when he lost significant muscle mass when he couldn’t work out following multiple surgeries.

“Regardless of politics or not, he has a very, very big uphill battle to make this team,” Glazer said. “I’d be shocked if he’s on the 49ers by the time this season ends. It has nothing to do with political views whatsoever. He lost a ton of weight this offseason, had three surgeries, couldn’t work out, lost that double threat, that size-speed ratio. No political views, he just hasn’t been effective. He’s regressing as a player. I’d be shocked if he’s on this roster by the end of this year. He may not be on it in the next two weeks.”

Kaepernick’s contract guarantees him an $11.9 million salary this season, and ordinarily a player with an $11.9 million guaranteed salary isn’t going to get cut. But if the 49ers really think Kaepernick has regressed to the point where they’d be better off with Blaine Gabbert starting and Christian Ponder and Jeff Driskel backing Gabbert up, then they can save a little money by cutting Kaepernick and hoping he signs with another team, as they would be able to reduce that $11.9 million by the amount of Kaepernick’s salary with a new team.

So there are football reasons that the 49ers might want to get rid of Kaepernick. At this point, they probably wish they had done so before this weekend’s non-football controversy.

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Rueben Randle, Chris Givens headline first wave of Eagles cuts

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - AUGUST 27: Frankie Williams #46 of the Indianapolis Colts makes a tackle against Rueben Randle #82 of the Philadelphia Eagles in the third quarter of a preseason NFL game at Lucas Oil Stadium on August 27, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Getty Images

Wide receiver Rueben Randle said last week that he feels he gets “read wrong because I do a lot of things naturally and it doesn’t seem like I’m giving much effort.”

He’ll need to prove his effort level somewhere other than Philadelphia. Randle, whose inconsistency and perceived inattention to detail were problems during his years with the Giants, was among the players cut from the Eagles roster on Sunday as they dropped to 73 players.

He wasn’t the only veteran receiver bounced in the cutdown. Chris Givens was also given a pink slip, leaving both veterans out of work months after signing with the Eagles. Jordan Matthews, Josh Huff, Dorial Green-Beckham, Nelson Agholor and Paul Turner are among the nine wideouts still on the roster.

The Eagles also parted ways with long snapper John DePalma, cornerback Randall Evans, offensive lineman Andrew Gardner, defensive tackle Mike Martin, safety Nick Perry and cornerback Denzel Rice. Linebacker Joe Walker and defensive end Alex McCalister were both placed on injured reserve.

All teams have to be down to 75 players by Tuesday’s deadline, leaving the Eagles in position to add players while other teams are dropping them in the next couple of days.

 

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Kaepernick: Liberty, freedom and justice are not happening for all

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, left, greets Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers at the end of an NFL preseason football game Friday, Aug. 26, 2016, in Santa Clara, Calif. Green Bay won 21-10. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar) AP

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision not to stand during the playing of the national anthem before games this year was the main topic in the 49ers locker room on Sunday as Kaepernick provided further explanation for that decision.

Kaepernick pointed to police brutality against people of color and said people are “not being held accountable” for their actions. He also criticized both of the major party candidates for president — “You have Hillary [Clinton] who’s called black kids, black teens ‘super predators.’ You have [Donald] Trump who’s openly racist” — while speaking for about 20 minutes on Sunday.

“Ultimately it’s to bring awareness and make people realize what’s really going on in this country,” Kaepernick said, via Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News. “There are a lot of things that are going on that are unjust, people aren’t being held accountable for, that’s something that needs to change. That’s something, that, this country stands for liberty, freedom, justice for all. And it’s not happening for all right now. … I’ll continue to sit. I’m continue to stand with the people that are being oppressed. To me this is something that has to change, and when there’s significant change and I feel that that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent and this country is representing people in the way that it’s supposed to, I’ll stand.”

Kaepernick also addressed one of the frequent criticisms of his stand by saying that his decision to sit during the anthem is not a sign of disrespect for those that have served the United States in the military.

“I have great respect for our men and women that fought for this country,” Kaepernick said. “I have family, I have friends that have fought for this country. And they fight for freedom. They fight for liberty and justice, for everyone. And that’s not happening. I mean, people are dying in vain because this country is not holding its end of the bargain up as far as giving freedom and justice and liberty to everybody. It’s something that’s not happening. I’ve seen videos, I’ve seen circumstances, where men and women that have been in the military have come back and been treated unjustly by the country they fought for, and have been murdered by the country they fought for. On our land. That’s not right.”

Kaepernick’s meeting with the media came after 49ers players held a meeting that saw Kaepernick address his teammates. Center Daniel Kilgore said he “took offense” to Kaepernick’s actions before Friday’s game, but after listening to his teammate said “I do stand with Kap when he says enough is enough against crime, violence, discrimination and racism.”

Others are sure to continue to share their disagreements with Kaepernick’s point of view as they have over the last few days, which is their right just as it is Kaepernick’s to be on the other side of the issue. That’s something worth appreciating about this country wherever you might fall on the spectrum.

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Devon Still facing likely fine for knocking off Carson Palmer’s helmet

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) throws against the Houston Texans during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith) AP

In Sunday’s Cardinals-Texans game, Houston linebacker John Simon made an athletic play on a screen pass, tipping the ball, catching it, and exploding for a long return to the end zone for a score. The more significant moment from a play in an otherwise insignificant preseason game came immediately after the interception.

Texans defensive lineman Devon Still, drafted by the Bengals months after Palmer decided he no longer was playing for the team, applied a helmet-to-helmet hit on Palmer as he lunged to make the tackle of Simon. The hit sent Palmer’s helmet flying.

(A current Bengal would say Palmer simply should have just run his ass back to the sideline.)

Even when a quarterback decides to try to make a tackle after a turnover, he can’t be hit in the head or neck area or with the helmet. The move, which didn’t draw a penalty flag on Still, will likely nevertheless result in a fine being imposed.

Palmer’s sideline demeanor suggested that he chipped a tooth on the play. Coupled with a pair of interceptions in limited work, Palmer’s 2016 isn’t starting much differently than his 2015 ended.

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Devin Smith to reserve/PUP, Jets cut 11 other guys

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 04:  Eric Decker #87 of the New York Jets celebrates with Devin Smith #19 of the New York Jets as he scores their second touchdown during the game against Miami Dolphins at Wembley Stadium on October 4, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Jets stashed wide receiver Devin Smith on the reserve/physically unable to perform list, and cut 11 guys to get their roster down to 78 prior to Tuesday’s deadline to get to 75.

Smith wasn’t ready after tearing his ACL last December, but he didn’t look ready before then, either. The 2015 second-rounder only caught nine passes as a rookie.

Smith will miss the first six weeks of the regular season before he can be activated.

The Jets also released linebacker Deion Barnes, tackle Jesse Davis, center Kyle Friend, defensive lineman Shelby Harris, guard Jarvis Harrison, kicker Ross Martin, defensive lineman Helva Matungulu, running back Lache Seastrunk, tight end Jason Vander Laan, wide receiver Kyle Williams and running back Terry Williams.

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Carson Palmer done for day after two picks, hit to head

SAN DIEGO, CA - AUGUST 19:  Quarterback Carson Palmer #3 of the Arizona Cardinals looks from the sidelines during the game with the San Diego Chargers during preseason at Qualcomm Stadium on August 19, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) Getty Images

The good news for the Cardinals starting offense on Sunday is that they found the end zone for the first time in the preseason.

The bad news is that David Johnson’s touchdown run was sandwiched between a pair of Carson Palmer interceptions. Vince Wilfork tipped a ball that wound up in Andre Hal’s hands to end the first Arizona possession of the game and set up a Houston touchdown.

Interception No. 2 came on a great play by Texans linebacker John Simon to tip an attempted screen into the air before corralling it and rumbling 59 yards for a touchdown. That poor outcome was made worse when Palmer was drilled by Texans defensive lineman Devon Still after a futile attempt to stop Simon. The hit to the head left Palmer without a helmet and members of the Texans medical staff were looking at Palmer on the bench after Drew Stanton took over at quarterback on the next possession.

That’s likely the last that we’ll see of Palmer this preseason. If so, he’ll end the exhibition season 12-of-22 for 139 yards with three interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns. That line doesn’t wipe out memories of the NFC title game as opening night against the Patriots draws closer.

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Rex Ryan suggests that, on his team, it’s mandatory to stand for the anthem

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library Getty Images

Plenty of NFL coaches and players will be asked plenty of questions about the decision of 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to not stand for the national anthem. Bills coach Rex Ryan addressed the topic during a press conference on Sunday.

While Ryan chose his words carefully, his message was clear: On his team, guys stand for the anthem.

“I think first off, it’s an important thing for me,” Ryan said of the national anthem. “I think it’s a way of showing respect for the men and women who have served our country and are currently serving our country and that’s kind of how I look at it. But I have and I understand now that there’s some religious beliefs that don’t necessarily allow that. I had a player, he was really distraught over it, came up and saw me, and I’m like. ‘Hey look, you’ve got to do . . . .'”

Ryan didn’t identify the player who expressed concern or provide a time frame for the incident, and he wasn’t asked to do so.

“Anytime I talk to my team about that, if there’s personal beliefs or whatever that keep you from doing it, I understand,” Ryan said. “But at the same time, you know, you’ve got to look at the gifts that we have, the opportunity that we have to play a great game is through the men and women that serve our country. I think that’s an opportunity right there just to show respect, and I think that’s why when you see our team, every one of us are on that line and that’s kind of our way of giving thanks.”

Making Ryan’s remarks more intriguing than if they came from any other coach is the fact that Ryan previously has made his affinity for Kaepernick as a player clear. Also, Buffalo offensive coordinator Greg Roman served in that role during the best years of Kaepernick’s career. So if/when Kaepernick is available, the Bills are one of the short-list teams that would be obviously interested in him.

If Kaepernick persists in his refusal to stand for the flag, maybe they won’t be.

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