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Chip Kelly hire could create dilemma for Vick, Eagles

Michael Vick AP

The Eagles owe quarterback Mike Vick a base salary of $15.5 million in 2013.  Vick privately has made it clear that he won’t be reducing his pay in order to stick around.

But a source with knowledge of Vick’s thinking previously suggested that he will be attracted to the possibility of working with two specific coaches — Chip Kelly and Jon Gruden.  With Kelly now the coach in Philly, the question becomes whether Vick will soften his contractual stance in order to play for the former Oregon coach.

The broader question is whether the Eagles would offer Vick more on a reduced contract than anyone else would offer Vick, if he becomes a free agent.  Also, and as Tim McManus of 97.5 The Fanatic in Philly suggested during Tuesday’s PFT Live, there’s a chance Vick has soured on his teammates with the Eagles.

Vick’s comments from the day after the season would suggest that perhaps he has.

We’ll know more soon enough.  Within a few days after the Super Bowl, $3 million of Vick’s 2013 salary becomes fully guaranteed.  It’s possible, but unlikely, that they’d allow the guarantee to vest before making a final decision.

Regardless, the presence of a new coach who likes his quarterbacks to be mobile adds a new wrinkle to Vick’s future, or lack of one, in Philadelphia.

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Bills ready to resume extension talks with Cordy Glenn, Stephon Gilmore, Tyrod Taylor

Justin Houston, Cordy Glenn AP

The draft has a way of dominating the workload of a front office and leaving little time to pursue other business, which meant that the Bills haven’t been too focused on extending any contracts for current members of the team lately.

General Manager Doug Whaley said that is going to change now that the draft has come to a conclusion. Left tackle Cordy Glenn, cornerback Stephon Gilmore and quarterback Tyrod Taylor are all on the list and Whaley said the team is going to “regroup” this week to come up with a plan. Whaley says he’s “supremely confident” all three can fit under the 2017 cap and that the team isn’t prioritizing one over the others.

“They’re all the same,” Whaley said on WGR 550, via the team’s website. “We’re going to try to work as diligently as possible to get all three of those guys. This is where we want to get to. Have good players on our team and then keep them instead of going out into free agency. We’d like to use free agency for the value guys. So when you have potential stars that we’ve drafted or acquired and they’re on our roster now, why not throw the money at those guys?”

There’s a July 15 deadline to work out a multi-year deal with Glenn, who signed his franchise tender. There are no such issues involved with the other two players, although the last word on the Taylor front was that there was “some work to be done” on a deal for a player with one year of starting experience under his belt.

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Giants G.M. Jerry Reese: Critics “don’t know what they’re talking about”

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 05:  Senior Vice President and General Manager Jerry Reese of the New York Giants celebrates after the Giants won 21-17 against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) Getty Images

Giants General Manager Jerry Reese has caught some heat in recent years, partly because the Giants haven’t made the playoffs in four seasons and partly because with Tom Coughlin gone he’s the next logical target.

But Reese got a little defensive when asked about drafting Eli Apple with the 10th overall pick, since some considered him a bit of a reach and their previously identified targets Leonard Floyd and Jack Conklin were off the board thanks to teams trading in front of him.

Via James Kratch of NJ.com, Reese’s criticized his critics during an appearance on WFAN, saying they obviously weren’t qualified opinions.

When somebody doesn’t know what they’re talking about, it’s easy to depict it that way,” Reese said. “Because they don’t know what they’re talking about.”

Reese has the luxury of declaring that only he could possibly know the contents of the Giants draft board, though there were numerous reports linking them with Floyd and the top three tackles leading up to the draft. But he said that Apple was the top player left on their board (keeping alive the streak of every G.M. ever saying that), at least among players that didn’t have “circumstances or issues.” That would seem to cover Laremy Tunsil and Myles Jack.

“We thought those [targeted] guys were good players. We went through a lot of different scenarios, and we clearly had went through this scenario, that Apple could be the player that we would pick,” Reese said. “We were very happy that he was available when we picked there at No. 10. We absolutely had gone over this scenario many times.

“Obviously, not the [specific] situation that came up during the draft, but we thought some of the players might have been gone anyway. He was right in our window, where we had him ranked on our board, and he was an easy pick for us.”

Reese insisted that Apple was good value, because at 20 years old he’s still growing as a player, and that the Giants needed more help at the position, even after dropping the cash bomb on Janoris Jenkins in free agency.

While it’s true that many corners of the Internet are full of people who claim expertise they do not have, Reese’s own record of late invites criticism, which even his boss has noticed in pointing out how important this draft was.

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The annual PFT draft grades

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Once the draft ends, folks throughout the media apply grades to the picks that were made. Because why? Because click. Click. Click.

It’s a waste of time to write them, and it’s a waste of time to read them. No one knows what any player is going to do at the NFL level until the player gets on the field. In the absence of a crystal ball or a time machine, the grades applied by a given member of the media will reflect the extent to which the team did what the media member would have done with the various picks.

Ultimately, draft grades try to make something that is inherently subjective seem objective, with no way of determining whether the assessment is right or wrong until three or four years have passed. By then, however, no one cares enough to go back and sift through careers compiled by the various picks, compare them among the 32 teams, and devise a fair system for dispensing a representative amount of A’s, B’s, C’s, D’s, and F’s.

There’s only one reliable grading process. As noted by MDS, the decision to exercise or not exercise the fifth-year option provides a simple pass/fail assessment, three years later. By then, however, there’s no appetite for grading draft picks from three years earlier.

That’s the weird irony of the draft. No one really knows enough after it ends to apply a reliable grade. By the time that knowledge is available, no one really cares.

So here are the official PFT draft grades, for the 2016 draft and every draft to come: Incomplete. After that, it’s  time to sit back and wait to see which teams shoot their eyes out.

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NFL: “Inaccurate” to say Laremy Tunsil won’t be in substance abuse program

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 01:  Laremy Tunsil #78 of the Mississippi Rebels scores runs in a touchdown during the second quarter against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the Allstate Sugar Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 1, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) Getty Images

On Monday, a report from ESPN indicated that Dolphins rookie tackle Laremy Tunsil would not be placed in the first stage of the league’s substance abuse program as a result of the gas mask bong hit video that surfaced just before the start of the first round of the draft last week.

The NFL, via spokesman Brian McCarthy, says that it is premature to make any assumptions about what Tunsil’s status will be because the program’s advisors have not made an evaluation of Tunsil at this point.

“The reports regarding Laremy Tunsil’s status are inaccurate,” McCarthy wrote in an email to Tom Pelissero of USA Today. “Any incoming player with behavior or conduct involving a substance of abuse will be evaluated by the program’s advisors. Those clinical professionals — not the club, league or union —  will determine whether based on that evaluation the player should be entered into the program. Neither the club nor the league has a role in that process, and are not notified of their decision.”

Tunsil says the video is two years old and has not failed a drug test, but players can be placed in the first stage of the program without a positive test if their “behavior” shows “physical, behavioral, or psychological signs” of drug use. They are given a treatment plan and are subject to testing for up to 90 days and would move to the second stage, which carries suspension as a possible penalty, if not completed successfully.

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Condon: Teams were interested in Peyton Manning for 2016

Zz0zNjViZGE4YjM0MjE2MTdhNjdhODE0ZGYzNTBhOGMyZQ== AP

It’s now known that Peyton Manning won’t be doing two things in 2016: Playing football or talking about it on TV. It’s unclear how close he came to the latter, but it’s now clear that the former was a more viable option than anyone realized.

Appearing on The Business of Sports with Andrew Brandt, agent Tom Condon said that: (1) Peyton Manning told Condon, “I really like to play”; and (2) teams were interested in having Manning play for them.

It’s unclear why a match wasn’t made between Manning and a new team. Condon, who made it clear that Denver wasn’t a consideration, mentioned the amount of love and respect Manning has for the game, and that Manning doesn’t view himself as a guy who would “hopscotch” from one team to another. Condon also pointed out the physical toll that playing 18 years of pro football has on the body, citing Peyton’s four neck surgeries and the experiences of Peyton’s father, Archie, during his NFL career.

It also could be that no one was willing to clearly commit to Peyton Manning being the unquestioned starter in 2016 and that, in turn, no one was willing to pay him the kind of significant money that reflects the level of respect with which Peyton Manning is accustomed.

Frankly, it sounds a little like the Sam Bradford situation. Bradford wants to play, but he also wants to be “the guy.” Just as no team apparently is willing to make Bradford “the guy” at this point in his career, no team apparently was willing to make that same commitment to Peyton Manning.

Here’s the point where the dog starts chasing its tail. No one was willing to make Peyton Manning “the guy” in 2016 because it was painfully clear in 2015 that he’s not capable of recovering from the week-to-week pounding that the body absorbs when playing against men you seemingly get a little bigger, faster, and stronger with each passing year. So the spirit was still willing, the flesh had become weak, and no NFL team was willing to provide the kind of offer that Peyton couldn’t have refused to play one more year.

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Sexton connection surely helped Adam Gase feel better about Laremy Tunsil

DAVIE, FL - JANUARY 09:  The Miami Dolphins announce Adam Gase as their new head coach at Sunlife Stadium on January 9, 2016 in Davie, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) Getty Images

Often, the dynamic of an agent representing a coach and a player provides folder for rants against the potential conflict of interest that arises. Sometimes, however, the connection can be helpful.

In the case of tackle Laremy Tunsil, the fact that Tunsil and Dolphins coach Adam Gase share an agent surely didn’t hurt. At a time when coaches and General Managers surely were nervous about what they may be getting in Tunsil, agent Jimmy Sexton of CAA was able to talk to a coaching client about a playing client in a way that the coaching client can trust, fully and completely.

While the Dolphins may have taken Tunsil regardless of the agent connection, having that link to Sexton surely hoped — especially in those crazy minutes on Thursday night as teams were on the clock and forced to decide what to do.

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Fifth-year options show everyone’s guessing in the NFL draft

Minnesota Vikings v Miami Dolphins Getty Images

In the days following the NFL draft, we’re inundated with draft report cards who are certain they know which team deserves an ‘A’ and which team deserves an ‘F.’

Here’s the truth: No one knows anything.

For proof of that, look no further than the fifth-year options on the contracts of first-round picks. Those are the options that teams chose this week whether or not to pick up on their 2013 first-round picks, and they basically tell us whether or not the draft pick worked out.

As it turned out, players in the 2013 draft had basically a 50-50 chance of working out: Of the 32 players taken in the first round, 17 had their fifth-year options picked up, 12 had their options declined, one has already been cut, one has already agreed to a new contract and one is currently suspended and has no option to pick up.

The Top 10 of the draft was a little worse than the next 22; five of the top 10 picks didn’t have their options picked up, and Dion Jordan, the third overall pick, is suspended.

NFL teams, which spend several months and millions of dollars evaluating players, just can’t consistently say which college players will pan out and which ones will bust. The rest of us can’t, either. The draft is a lot of fun, but it’s a crap shoot.

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Raiders tight end Clive Walford injures knee in ATV crash

Clive Walford, Jimmy Wilson AP

The injury news seemingly never stops in the NFL, but in the offseason, the injuries become more unusual.

According to Mike Garafolo and Peter Schrager of FOX Sports, Raiders tight end Clive Walford suffered a knee injury in an ATV crash and will miss spring practices.

The hope is that Walford will be back on the field by training camp, with one source saying the injury “may not be as bad as originally thought.”

Walford has already had surgery to repair the damage, but word of his condition has been kept under wraps.

The third-round pick from Miami caught 27 passes last year for 329 yards and three touchdowns, showing signs he could be a downfield threat. How this impacts those plans remains to be seen, and probably means that any interest they had in moving tight end Mychal Rivera is over, at least until they know how Walford is and when he’ll be back.

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NFL opposes union’s request for extra time in Brady appeal

Tom Brady AP

In the legal system, lawyers routinely request other lawyers for more time to file certain documents. And lawyers routinely grant those requests.

To no surprise, the NFL is not willing to grant the NFL Players Association’s request for more time to decide whether to file a petition for a rehearing of the appeal in case arising from Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s four-game #Deflategate suspension.

CBS Boston has posted the full document. Only four pages in length, the NFL’s response points out that the parties have previously agreed to expedite the appeal and claims that the 14-day period “is a presumptively sufficient amount of time even in ordinary cases that have not been expedited.”

The league seems to think that the union has asked for more time in the hopes of tapping the brakes, so that the case will be resolved as late as possible. But what’s two more weeks at this point, especially in light of the fact that the original investigation and internal appeal process dragged on for months?

If the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit doesn’t agree to grant a full rehearing before the entire court, that decision surely will be made before Week One of the 2016 regular season. If the Second Circuit chooses to grant a full rehearing, the ensuing process likely will consume all of the upcoming season.

Should the NFLPA need 14 extra days beyond the initial 14-day period? Probably not. Will it matter to the process if the extra time is granted? Definitely not.

But the NFL has made its point. Now that the league has the upper hand for the first time since the NFL filed the federal lawsuit that started the current litigation process, the league wants to apply that hand to Brady’s throat and squeeze.

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Dana Stubblefield’s lawyer declares his innocence

Former-NFL-player-Dana-Stubblefield-jpg Getty Images

The streak of criminal defense lawyers proclaiming the innocence of their clients continues, unblemished.

Kenneth Rosenfield, who represents former NFL defensive lineman Dana Stubblefied, says that the pending rape charge against Stubblefield is “a false and completely untrue allegation.”

“This is nothing but a money grab, and an attempt to get money and take advantage of his celebrity status,” Rosenfield said, via NBC Bay Area.

Rosenfeld also said that Stubblefield has taken — and passed — a lie-detector test that will “clearly show” the interaction was consensual.

Although polygraph tests continue to be inadmissible in court, they can be effective in the court of public opinion.

Stubblefield is accused of raping a “developmentally delayed” female who had interviewed for a nanny job. The alleged assault occurred in April 2015.

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Philip Rivers expects Hunter Henry to be a “key piece” right away

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - NOVEMBER 21:  Hunter Henry #84 of the Arkansas Razorbacks catches a pass while being defended by Kivon Coman #11 of the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Razorback Stadium Stadium on November 21, 2015 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  The Bulldogs defeated the Razorbacks 51-50.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Chargers picked tight end Hunter Henry in the second round of the draft in a move that the team hopes can kill two birds with one stone.

In the long term, the Chargers would love it if Henry could step into the role that Antonio Gates has played on the offense since joining the team during the 2003 season. In the immediate future, Henry can fill the hole opened when No. 2 tight end Ladarius Green signed with the Steelers.

Henry worked out with quarterback Philip Rivers‘ brother leading into the draft and Rivers said he expects Henry to handle that responsibility right off the bat.

“He’s going to be a guy that we’re going to need to come in and contribute right away and be out on the field on a lot of the stuff we do two tight-end wise,” Rivers said on The Mighty 1090 in San Diego. “I’m assuming he’s a sharp guy and I’ve seen him catch the ball. I don’t think he had a drop last year. I think he runs well enough, but he uses his body, finds ways to get open and catches the football. I think he’s going to be a key piece. He’ll be right in the mix once he gets out here.”

With Henry and free agent Travis Benjamin in the fold, the passing offense should have a different look next season. If all goes right, that duo plus Keenan Allen should be the core of a group that the Chargers hope will close out Rivers’ career on a high note.

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Browns say every QB on the roster is competing to start

Josh McCown AP

No one in Cleveland is promised the starting quarterback position, and no one is ruled out.

That’s the word from Browns head of football operations Sashi Brown, who said this morning on PFT Live that third-round draft pick Cody Kessler will compete with Robert Griffin III, Josh McCown, Austin Davis and Connor Shaw.

“We’ve got four guys here who are going to have an opportunity to try to lead this team from the quarterback position: Josh, Robert, Austin and Connor, and Cody obviously comes now into the mix and we feel like we want to play the guy who gives us the best chance to win,” Brown said.

Most people assume Griffin will emerge as the winner of the competition, but that’s only the case if Griffin proves he’s the best of the bunch.

“There’s no question with the investment in Robert, we absolutely feel like he has the opportunity to become the starting quarterback,” Brown said. “There’s still a competition there, and we haven’t named a starter yet, and Cody will get into that mix.”

The decision will be coach Hue Jackson’s, and the head coach has made clear that he will give the rookie every opportunity to prove he can play.

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Myles Jack: “Humiliating” draft slide is “all motivation” for future

PASADENA, CA - NOVEMBER 28:  Myles Jack #30 of the UCLA Bruins reacts after a UCLA interception on a fake punt against the USC Trojans at Rose Bowl on November 28, 2014 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) Getty Images

Among the reasons that people have high hopes for the Jaguars in the coming season is the fact that they came away with cornerback Jalen Ramsey and linebacker Myles Jack in the first two rounds of the draft.

The Jaguars were thrilled to get Jack in the second round and Jack calls it a “dream come true” to play on the same team with Ramsey, but the way he wound up in Jacksonville was less than ideal. Jack was projected to be one of the first players picked in this year’s draft, but negative reports about the long-term health of his knee helped keep him on the board much longer than expected.

During an appearance on The Rich Eisen Show, Jack called it “kinda sour” that the medical information went public before the draft and it sounds like sour would be an understatement to describe how Jack felt during a slide no one prepared him for last Thursday night.

“It was, honestly, humiliating,” Jack said. “It was embarrassing having to sit there, and afterwards walking out, having my girl to my left, my mom to my right, my grandmother to the right of her and having to look at them, it was a tough feeling. It wasn’t a good night, truthfully.”

Jack, who said his knee is 100 percent right now, pointed to Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski as a player who wound up in the second round because of health questions before putting the doubts to rest on the field and said the decision by teams to pass on him is “all motivation” for 2016 and beyond. If that motivation fuels the kind of pro success most people predicted for Jack during his college career, he’ll join Gronkowski as a reason for teams to think a little harder about the risk/reward ratio involved with drafting talented players with injury concerns.

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Titans start front office shakeup, two scouts let go

Recently hired Tennessee Titans general manager Jon Robinson, right, and head coach Mike Mularkey, left, answer questions at a news conference, Monday, Jan. 18, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. Mularkey was previously the team's interim head coach and Robinson was the director of player personnel for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey) AP

New Titans General Manager Jon Robinson is trying to remake his roster on the field, and that means some changes off the field as well.

The traditional new-guy-gets-rid-of-old-guys dance has begun in Tennessee, as the team has started making changes in the front office.

According to Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com, the Titans have let scouts Mike Yowarsky and Marv Sunderland go after the draft. Yowarsky has been with the Titans the last three years. Sunderland has been in the league for 39 years, the last nine with the Titans.

“It is the ugly part of the game, but new leadership has the prerogative to make changes,” Sunderland said. “The Titans will be much better next fall and are headed in the right direction. Would I prefer to be there to watch Marcus [Mariota] and the team flourish? Absolutely. But Jon has control of the football part of it and I’m sure he wants his own people.

“He ran a good draft and the new draft picks should represent themselves very well.”

Some degree of change is almost inevitable when a new G.M. takes over, and shuffling of scouting staffs is a rite of the post-draft spring.

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Giants still looking for corners, checking out Leon Hall

CINCINNATI, OH - NOVEMBER 29:  Leon Hall #29 of the Cincinnati Bengals heads up the field during the game against the St. Louis Rams at Paul Brown Stadium on November 29, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Giants signed an expensive free agent, and used their top draft pick on a cornerback.

But they still need help there, so they’re still looking.

Via Mike Garafolo of FOXSports.com, the Giants are hosting veteran corner Leon Hall today.

The Giants threw a pile of money at Janoris Jenkins as part of their defensive splurge, and then turned the 10th pick in the draft into Eli Apple.

But other than Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, the Giants don’t have much else of substance there.

Hall has visited the Cardinals and Cowboys this offseason, but hasn’t found work yet. The 31-year-old is recovering from back surgery this offseason, which has likely delayed his employment, since he’s played well for the Bengals in the slot when he’s well.

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