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Trindon Holliday promises his days of celebrating TDs are over

John Fox, Trindon Holliday AP

Broncos return man Trindon Holliday started celebrating 75 yards into a 76-yard punt return on Sunday, and if not for a botched call by the officials, his touchdown against the Panthers would have been wiped out and ruled a fumble at the 1-yard line. As a result, Holliday says he’s done with his touchdown celebrations.

Holliday said he and Broncos special teams coach Jeff Rodgers watched the film together, and Holliday knows he wasn’t in the end zone before he dropped the ball on his touchdown. As a result, he has promised Rodgers that if he scores again he’ll hold onto the ball until he runs to the sideline and hands it to Rodgers.

“I had to go back and look at the film and I really wasn’t, so coach told me next time to just bring him the ball so we’ll be all right,” Holliday told the Denver Post. “Just cross the goal line and bring [Rodgers] the football to be on the safe side.”

That’s wise advice. Most of the talk about Holliday’s touchdown has centered on the fact that it was a blown call by the officials, but it was also a bonehead play by Holliday. At least he has promised not to do it again.

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Panthers finally sign a veteran safety, pick Stevie Brown from the pile

Stevie Brown AP

The Panthers have looked at a number of safeties in recent days, and have finally settled on one.

Or gotten one to settle for what they’re offering.

According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Panthers are signing safety Stevie Brown.

They’ve looked at a number of veteran options, including Donte Whitner and Major Wright. But they also had an immediate need, since four of their seven safeties are some degree of injured and they’ve got a game to play tomorrow night.

Brown had a great 2012 with the Giants (when Panthers General Manager Dave Gettleman was working there), but has bounced around considerably since. He was cut by the Chiefs last week.

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Saints expected to put Damian Swann on injured reserve

NEW ORLEANS, LA - NOVEMBER 01: Damian Swann #27 of the New Orleans Saints warms up before his team took on the New York Giants during their game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 1, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Saints are adding linebacker Paul Kruger to their defensive mix, but they are also losing another player on that side of the ball.

Nick Underhill of the New Orleans Advocate was the first to report that cornerback Damian Swann will be heading to injured reserve. Swann has missed time recently and went to see Dr. William Meyers in Philadelphia earlier this week for an examination. Meyers is a specialist in core muscle injuries, but there’s no word on the exact injury and Adam Caplan of ESPN reports he doesn’t need surgery.

Swann was a fifth-round pick in 2015 and made two starts in seven appearances during a rookie season interrupted by three concussions. He had 22 tackles and four passes defensed over the course of the year.

The Saints cut Keenan Lewis earlier this summer and losing Swann would leave them with P.J. Williams, Delvin Breaux and Cortland Finnegan at the top of the depth chart and undrafted rookies De’Vante Harris and Ken Crawley behind them. That may leave the Saints scouring the discard piles this weekend for more help at the position.

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Concussion settlement objectors drop their appeal

GettyImages-56016909.0 Getty Images

Three years to the day after the NFL and thousands of former players reached a tentative settlement in a massive concussion class action, the settlement is finally official.

Via the New York Post, Monday came and went without the former players who opposed the settlement filing a petition for appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court, ending the case and allowing the settlement to proceed.

“It’s been a long road, and I guess there comes a point in time when you see the end of the road,” Alan Faneca told the Post. It is for the greater good of everybody.”

The settlement has flaws, but it also provides compensation for players with specific conditions regardless of whether playing pro football caused those conditions.

The biggest hole arises from the inability to prove Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy in living players. The estates of deceased players with CTE will be entitled to payment. Living players who have CTE but none of the specific conditions covered by the settlement receive nothing — primarily because there’s currently no way to know whether they have CTE.

If/when a reliable test for diagnosing the condition is developed, the terms of the settlement should be revisited. Until then, it’s finally time for former players who need compensation to receive it.

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Falcons put rookie WR Devin Fuller on injured reserve

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Devin Fuller carries the ball during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Cleveland Browns, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard) AP

Falcons seventh-round pick Devin Fuller made it through the cut to 75 players, but the wide receiver won’t be on Atlanta’s 53-man roster this season.

The Falcons placed Fuller on injured reserve Wednesday, ending his first NFL season before the official start of his first NFL season. Fuller injured his shoulder against the Dolphins last week.

Fuller had had five catches for 66 yards and a touchdown in his three preseason appearances and also saw time as a returner on both punts and kickoffs. J.D. McKissic looked like the choice on kickoff returns even before Fuller’s injury thanks to a 101-yard return for a touchdown against the Redskins.

The Falcons brought fullback Will Ratelle back to the roster to fill Fuller’s spot, although his chances of making it past Saturday don’t look good after he was released earlier this week.

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Ravens may go with all-rookie left side of offensive line

Baltimore Ravens tackle Ronnie Stanley signs autographs for members of the military after NFL football training camp in Owings Mills, Md., Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2016. (AP Photo/Gail Burton) AP

The last time a team started rookies at left tackle and left guard in the first week of the regular season was in 1995 when the Panthers did it in their first game as an NFL franchise.

The Baltimore Ravens didn’t exist at that point, but they may be going the all-rookie route this season. First-round pick Ronnie Stanley is definitely starting at left tackle and fourth-round pick Alex Lewis may be next to him at guard. John Urschel looked like the choice for that position, but he’s been out with a contusion since the first preseason game.

Coach John Harbaugh said that he has been “really impressed” by Lewis’ play and that going young on the left side is a real consideration.

“That is a great question,” Harbaugh said, via ESPN.com. “We probably are considering that right now, but we haven’t had that discussion yet, just because John hasn’t been out there. That is something we have to consider.”

If the Ravens do go the rookie route up front, they’ll hope for better results than the nine sacks the Panthers allowed in the 1995 opener and that the Stanley-Lewis pairing can be foundation pieces on the line for a long run.

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Steelers restructure Antonio Brown’s contract

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) warms up during a practice at the NFL football team's training camp in Latrobe, Pa., Monday, Aug. 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) AP

The Steelers have a strict policy regarding contract extensions. For any player other than a quarterback, they don’t happen with more than a year remaining on the deal.

But there are other ways to reward key players, and as non-quarterbacks go there’s no player more important to the Steelers than receiver Antonio Brown.

A league source tells PFT that the Steelers have moved $4 million in Brown’s compensation from 2017 to 2016, pushing his compensation this year to $10.25 million. Although the restructuring robs Peter to pay Paul, Brown like will get paid like John, Paul, George, and Ringo come 2017, so it doesn’t matter whether his 2017 pay is reduced.

Specifically, Brown gets and $8.975 million signing bonus and a $1.275 million salary for 2016.

The Steelers made a similar restructuring to the deal in 2015, when Brown had three seasons left on his contract. Although many thought the Steelers wouldn’t do it again — G.M. Kevin Colbert told PFT Live in March that the team expects the contract to be honored without any issues — they did.

Come 2017, the question will be how much more he receives and for how many more years he commits to a franchise for which Brown, a sixth-round pick in 2010, seems destined to become one of the all-time greats.

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Kaepernick goes vegan, but claims it hasn’t led to muscle loss

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick watches his teammates warm up before an NFL preseason football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar) AP

Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the national anthem has overshadowed what may be a more important issue to the 49ers: He has significantly declined as a player. One reason for that decline may be his loss of muscle mass.

That loss of muscle mass is obvious to anyone who looks at him: Kaepernick, who was once so muscular that then-49ers coach Jim Harbaugh worried that his huge muscles could affect his throwing motion, now looks skinny.

And yet Kaepernick, who confirmed to reporters that he went vegan nine months ago, claims he hasn’t lost any body mass. That’s hard to believe not only because he looks so much skinnier but also because it’s hard for anyone not to lose muscle when on a vegan diet because protein is essential to maintaining muscle mass and most protein sources are animal-based. (Former NFL tight end Tony Gonzalez briefly tried a vegan diet during his playing career but started eating meat again after he lost too much weight.)

San Francisco coach Chip Kelly confirmed that Kaepernick has lost muscle, although Kelly said it’s because he hasn’t been able to lift weights while recovering from offseason surgeries.

“He’s limited in the type of lifting so he’s not the same size,” Kelly said. “He’s not back to where he was before.”

Getting back to where he was before from a size and strength perspective will be essential to getting back to where Kaepernick was before as a quarterback. That’s going to be harder to do as a vegan.

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Bucs coach loves his QB depth, when other teams don’t have enough

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Mike Glennon (8) throws a pass while pressured by Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Chris Smith (98) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game in Jacksonville, Fla., Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack) AP

At a time when several teams are looking for capable bodies or starters at quarterback, the Buccaneers have three they like.

And Bucs coach Dirk Koetter is willing to admit that might be one more than they want to keep.

With Mike Glennon and Ryan Griffin behind starter Jameis Winston, the Bucs have an experienced starter and a promising project in reserve.

“I feel great about that room. I think we have good depth,” Koetter said, via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. “If it was a perfect world, we are getting to the point where it would be better for our football team if we could keep two quarterbacks because we’re going to have to let some guys go that we don’t want to let go. And I think the perfect set-up with the way the NFL is structured right now, is two quarterbacks and one on practice squad. But if you have a good one and you try to put him on practice squad, the league is so short of quarterbacks, he’ll get scooped up like that. . . . I believe in keeping two and a developmental guy, but we’re just not in that situation right now.”

“I believe in keeping two and a developmental guy, but we’re just not in that situation right now.”

Glennon’s the one they’d likely receive calls — and maybe listen — on. He has 18 starts in his career, has played acceptably well in the past but will become a free agent after the 2016 season. Griffin is the guy they’d like to develop a bit, and as long as Winston is well, that’s a fine plan.

But since they’d get a compensatory pick if Glennon leaves in free agency anyway, the Bucs would likely have to be blown away by an offer to move their backup at this point.

“I think it’s safe [to say] that we’re probably going to keep three quarterbacks,” Koetter said.

But if anyone’s looking, it can’t hurt to call.

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Baseball dreams accelerate endorsement realities for Tebow

Former NFL quarterback, Tim Tebow works out for baseball scouts and the media during a showcase on the campus of the University of Southern California, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016 in Los Angeles. The Heisman Trophy winner works out for a big gathering of scouts on USC's campus in an attempt to start a career in a sport he hasn't played regularly since high school. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson) AP

Tim Tebow claims that his desire to play baseball is “definitely not about money.” I wonder how much money he’d be making if it was about money.

As it stands, he’s making plenty of money as part of an effort that’s definitely not about money. Tebow has been selling signed baseballs and bats at $125 and $175 a pop, respectively. And now, ESPN co-worker Darren Rovell reports that Tebow has signed a multi-year deal with Adidas.

“Sources said there was always an active dialogue between Tebow and shoe and apparel companies,” Rovell writes. “His attempt to make it in baseball accelerated that timeline.”

In other words, Adidas and others had been talking to Tebow when he was a football player in permanent limbo. Once he became a budding baseball player, a deal got done. The first manifestation of it occurred on Tuesday, when Tebow became essentially an Adidas sandwich board, wearing the company’s gear from head to toe.

But Tebow’s baseball excursion definitely isn’t about money.

It’ll be interesting to see how else this not-about-the-money baseball endeavor results in money being paid to Tebow for things other than, you know, actually playing baseball.

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Laremy Tunsil says he still has a lot of work to do

Miami Dolphins' offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil talks with the media, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016, after practice at NFL football training camp in Davie, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) AP

Dolphins rookie offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil was a left tackle in college but is projected to start at left guard in Week One. That’s the position he’s been playing in the preseason, and a position where he still says he has a lot to learn.

“Looking at the film I feel like I played pretty good,” Tunsil said, via the Palm Beach Post. “I still need some improvement. I still need some work.”

While many starters sit out the final preseason game, Tunsil will play on Thursday night, as the Dolphins try to give him as much work as possible at his new position before he plays it in the games that count.

“I’m going to continue to get better every day,” Tunsil said. “Keep listening to the coaches, keep listening to the vets.”

That’s what the Dolphins will need Tunsil to do to be ready to start at left guard in 11 days.

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Report: Saints signing Paul Kruger

FILE - In this Dec. 13, 2015, file photo, Cleveland Browns outside linebacker Paul Kruger (99) rushes the passer against the San Francisco 49ers during an NFL football game, in Cleveland. The Browns have released linebacker Paul Kruger, a startling move in another step in the team's youth movement.
Kruger started 46 games and made 18 sacks in three seasons for Cleveland and was considered one of the team's leaders. At left is 49ers' Erik Pears (71). (AP Photo/David Richard, File) AP

The Saints finished Tuesday with 74 players on their roster, but it looks like they’ll be topped up at 75 soon.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that the Saints will sign linebacker Paul Kruger. Kruger visited with the Saints on Tuesday after being released by the Browns and also drew interest from the Chiefs, although they’ll have to look elsewhere for help filling in for Justin Houston.

The Saints were bidders for Kruger before he signed with Cleveland in 2013 and pass rushing help has been a consistent need in New Orleans over the years. This year’s push for it intensified after they lost Hau’oli Kikaha to a torn ACL in the spring and the team’s play in the preseason has done little to suggest that they had the right pieces on hand.

That’s why Kruger is reportedly coming to town and why the team traded for Chris McCain this week. They’ll try to get both players integrated into the defense in time to put pressure on Raiders quarterback Derek Carr come Week One.

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Parcells to Zimmer: This isn’t a situation where success is impossible

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 28: Head coach Mike Zimmer of the Minnesota Vikings looks on from the sidelines pregame against the San Diego Chargers at US Bank stadium on August 28, 2016 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Getty Images

When Vikings coach Mike Zimmer met with the media after quarterback Teddy Bridgewater’s knee injury in Tuesday’s practice, he mentioned that he’d spoken to his former boss Bill Parcells after Bridgewater got hurt and before he spoke to the media.

Zimmer’s main message was that the Vikings will figure out a way to move forward without Bridgewater, something that Parcells told Peter King of TheMMQB.com was a big part of their conversation. Parcells said that Zimmer is resolute and determined, two things that he’ll need to be now that he’s “driving the train” with “100 sets of eyes” on him while he tries to move the team forward without their quarterback.

Parcells said he told Zimmer that “there are situations that won’t allow you to succeed,” but that this isn’t one of them. He recalled the need to turn to Jeff Hostetler in 1990 after Phil Simms was injured after a great start to the season and said the Giants figured out “ways to win those games” all the way up to a Super Bowl victory over the Bills. He believes the Vikings have the same potential and told Zimmer it’s up to him to figure it out.

“I told him, ‘The first thing you need to know is this: Everyone in the organization, and that includes some of the players and the coaches, are going to think they have an excuse now,'” Parcells said. “Once the shock is over, probably 48 hours from now, they’re all gonna come to you and look at you and say, ‘What are you gonna do?’ Because you’re charged with winning games now, no matter what you have on your team. You need to figure out what works — what recipe works. And tomorrow morning, once the shock wears off, nobody’s gonna give a s—. It’s his problem. He’s gotta figure out how to win now.”

Things didn’t always work out as well for Parcells as it did with Hostetler. In 1999 with the Jets, Parcells had a good team coming back from an AFC title game loss to the Broncos but quarterback Vinny Testaverde tore his Achilles early in the season opener. The Jets turned to Rick Mirer during a 1-6 start that sank their hopes of contending in Parcells’ final year as the team’s coach.

Zimmer’s task will be to avoid similar results and he has a little more than a week to put the pieces in place for Tennessee.

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Adam Gase: DeVante Parker has to learn “how to push through certain kinds of pain”

Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker (11) loses his footing as he tries to get away from Atlanta Falcons strong safety Keanu Neal (22) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game in Orlando, Fla., Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016.(AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack) AP

The Dolphins will play without wide receiver DeVante Parker on Thursday night after Parker hurt his hamstring during Monday’s practice.

It’s not the first time Parker’s hamstring has forced him off the field this summer and a foot injury hindered the 2015 first-round pick for most of his rookie season. On Tuesday, Dolphins coach Adam Gase referenced Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas overcoming injury issues early in his career and said Parker needs to do “all the little things” needed during the week to make sure that you’re able to go on Sunday.

“Sometimes it takes some guys more time to learn more than others,” Gase said, via the Miami Herald. “Eventually you get tired of being the guy standing on the sideline. I do think he’s a little frustrated. He’s been the odd man out all the time. Eventually … he will know how to push through certain kinds of pain.”

Jarvis Landry remains the top target in the Miami passing game, but the preseason has seen Ryan Tannehill look for Kenny Stills more often than Parker. The absences from practice may play a role in that, which gives Parker more incentive to figure out a way to remain on the field as much as possible in the weeks and months to come.

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Hue Jackson says return TD loafing didn’t trigger Andy Lee trade

Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Adam Humphries (11) outruns Cleveland Browns' Marlon Moore (15) to score on a 73-yard punt return during the first quarter of an NFL preseason football game Friday, Aug. 26, 2016, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken) AP

No, Browns coach Hue Jackson was not impressed with punter Andy Lee’s alleged effort to chase down a return touchdown last week.

But that’s not why Lee was traded.

The Browns sent the Pro Bowl punter to Carolina yesterday for a 2018 fourth-round pick, which was reason enough to jettison a high-earning player on what still figures to be a bad team.

It was easy to wonder if Lee watching Tampa Bay returner Adam Humphries go 73 yards for a touchdown — while barely jogging after him, far enough behind to stay safely out of the picture — had anything to do with it. Jackson lit into Lee on the sidelines for loafing, but said that didn’t prompt the deal.

No, that had nothing to do with it,” Jackson said, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “We see an opportunity to better our situation here for the future. I totally support our team as far as making those decisions. It is probably unheard of to get a fourth-round pick in that situation for a good player. He will go back to Carolina, and I’m sure he will help that football team, but there are also some punters out there . . . [who] give us a chance to still be successful in that area. . . .

“I can guarantee everybody that wasn’t it. Obviously, I was disappointed in what happened at that time and I told him so, but that had nothing to do with the decision that we made yesterday.”

The Browns also got punter Kasey Redfern in the deal, and sent Carolina their 2017 seventh-rounder. It was a high price to pay for the Panthers, who will expect better effort out of Lee.

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Jared Goff has “50-50 chance” to start Thursday

Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff (16) is pressured by Denver Broncos outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett (48) and defensive end Jared Crick (93) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey) AP

The Rams close out their preseason against the Vikings on Thursday and it’s fair to say that Teddy Bridgewater’s knee injury has made Minnesota’s quarterback situation the bigger story heading into the game.

While the Vikings sort out their plan to move forward without Bridgewater, the Rams have a decision to make as well. They haven’t picked a starter for the game yet and coach Jeff Fisher said there’s a “50-50 chance” it will be rookie Jared Goff.

The other option would be Case Keenum, although he’s almost certainly starting Week One and teams often give their starters the night off in the final preseason game. Goff, who feels he’s made “really good strides” this summer, would like that chance.

“It would be great,” Goff said, via the Los Angeles Times. “It’s something I’m more used to, kind of getting out there and going in right away instead of trying to warm up again on the sidelines. Whatever it is, I’ll be ready.”

If Goff does start, it will be the first time he’s started this preseason and that illustrates the lack of a quarterback competition in the team’s first summer back in Los Angeles. Keenum has turned in solid work in the first three games while Goff has had enough of the expected rookie ups and downs that a push for the No. 1 job never really materialized.

That could change if the regular season is less kind to Keenum, but, for now, Thursday looks like Goff’s best chance to start in the near future.

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