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Miles Austin is still in the Cowboys’ plans, Jerry Jones says

Dallas Cowboys v Cincinnati Bengals Getty Images

Despite speculation that wide receiver Miles Austin’s contract may be too expensive for Dallas to keep him, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says Austin will stay with his team.

I think Miles is certainly very much in our plans,” Jones said.

Jones also allowed, however, that Austin might be asked to take a pay cut. Austin has a base salary of $6.73 million and a cap number of $8.32 million this year, and the Cowboys aren’t in great cap shape.

Austin signed a six-year, $54 million extension at the start of the 2010 season, when he was coming off a breakout year in which he had 81 catches for 1,320 yards and 11 touchdowns. But Austin hasn’t reached any of those statistical milestones in any season since then, and it now looks like Jones was too generous when he inked Austin to that contract.

The question, then, is what happens if Austin refuses to take a pay cut. Given his contract and the Cowboys’ need for cap space, it’s possible that he won’t be in the Cowboys’ plans much longer.

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Texans sign three draft picks, 15 undrafted rookies

ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 19:  Tyler Ervin #7 of the San Jose State Spartans rushes for yardage during the AutoNation Cure Bowl against the Georgia State Panthers at Florida Citrus Bowl on December 19, 2015 in Orlando, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Texans have joined the draft pick signing fun to close out the week.

The team announced the first three agreements with members of their 2016 draft class. The Texans started from the back, signing fourth-round running back Tyler Ervin, fifth-round safety K.J. Dillon and fifth-round nose tackle D.J. Reader, leaving their first three picks, including first-round wideout Will Fuller, unsigned.

Ervin was a productive kickoff returner at San Jose State and could earn early playing time in that role while vying for snaps behind Lamar Miller in the backfield.

The Texans also announced the signing of 15 undrafted free agents. They are Cal tight end Stephen Anderson, UCLA Ka’imi Fairbairn, Michigan State defensive end Joel Heath, Memphis wide receiver Tevin Jones, Miami defensive end Ufomba Kamalu, South Florida linebacker Eric Lee, Florida International cornerback Richard Leonard, Alabama wide receiver Richard Mullaney, North Carolina linebacker Shakeel Rashad, Stanford linebacker Brennan Scarlett, Texas cornerback Duke Thomas, Tulane tackle Arturo Uzdavinis, USC fullback Soma Vainuku, San Jose State cornerback Cleveland Wallace III and Cumberlands wide receiver Wendall Williams.

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Redskins add 14 undrafted rookie free agents

BERKELEY, CA - NOVEMBER 14:  Maurice Harris #3 of the California Golden Bears scores a touchdown against the Oregon State Beavers in the third quarter of their NCAA football game at California Memorial Stadium on November 14, 2015 in Berkeley, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Redskins made wide receiver Josh Doctson their first-round pick last Thursday and they added three more rookie wide receivers to the roster with the announcement of their group of undrafted free agent signings on Friday.

Reggie Diggs joins the team after playing his college ball a short distance away at Richmond. He had 66 catches for 901 yards and five touchdowns during his final year at the school while Maurice Harris had 40 catches, 558 yards and six touchdowns to wrap up his career playing with first overall pick Jared Goff at Cal. The third wideout is Valdez Showers, who moved from defensive back to wideout while at Florida.

The Redskins also added a pair of players — guard Dominick Jackson and safety Geno Matias-Smith — from Alabama’s national championship team.

East Central tackle Kevin Bowen, Utah safety Tevin Carter, Indiana tight end Michael Cooper, Texas linebacker Shiro Davis, Fresno State Ejiro Ederaine, Clemson tackle Joe Gore, Tulane running back Robert Kelley, Michigan fullback Joe Kerridge and Alabama A&M defensive end Anthony Lanier fill out the group.

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Lions sign Taylor Decker and eight other draft picks

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 28:  (L-R) Taylor Decker of Ohio State holds up a jersey with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being picked #16 overall by the Detroit Lions during the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University on April 28, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) Getty Images

Gone are the days of long contract negotiations for NFL rookies, and we can add the Lions to the list of teams who are getting their draft picks’ contracts done in a hurry.

The Lions announced today that first-round pick Taylor Decker and eight other drafted rookies have signed. The only rookie who hasn’t signed yet is A’Shawn Robinson, a second-round defensive tackle out of Alabama. There’s no word on why Robinson hasn’t signed yet, but it’s unlikely that there will be any significant holdup for Robinson, or for any NFL rookie.

Decker is a 6-foot-7, 310-pound offensive lineman from Ohio State who is expected to earn the starting right tackle spot on the Lions.

Detroit’s other draft picks are Washington State offensive lineman Joe Dahl, Michigan center Graham Glasgow, Southern Utah safety Miles Killebrew, Baylor long snapper Jimmy Landes, Michigan quarterback Jake Rudock, Washington running back Dwayne Washington, Georgia Southern linebacker Antwione Williams and Penn State defensive lineman Anthony Zettel.

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Christian Hackenberg: College struggles made me better

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 25: Quarterback Christian Hackenberg #9 of Penn State speaks to the media during the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 25, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Getty Images

Heading into the draft, there were plenty of opinions offered about quarterback Christian Hackenberg.

They broke down into two general camps. One was that Hackenberg turned in two poor years at Penn State that provided little reason to believe he’d be a good NFL quarterback and the other was that Hackenberg’s poor play was a byproduct of bad teammates and a coaching change that left him in a system that didn’t fit his skills.

The Jets fell into the latter camp and picked Hackenberg with the 51st overall selection last Friday, something that Hackenberg called a “fresh start” this Friday. Hackenberg said he “kind of buried” criticism of his college performance, which he believes will help him be a better player in the NFL.

“I think you’re defined by how you react to adversity and how you’re able to get back up,” Hackenberg said, via “So I think ultimately, having to go through that at a young age and doing it through college is only going to help me in the long run. That’s how I’ve compartmentalized that, and that’s how it’s really been a stepping stone for me moving forward. I think it’s only going to help.”

Hackenberg did have plenty of experience getting back up while at Penn State after being sacked more than 100 times and the pounding he took joined his inaccuracy as concerns from the less enthusiastic observers of his play. Those observations helped Hackenberg wind up with the Jets rather than any of the league’s other teams, but they won’t matter if Hackenberg is correct about how the future will play out.

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Colts ink Antonio Morrison, have six of eight picks signed

GAINESVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 28:  Antonio Morrison #3 of the Florida Gators chses down Kermit Whitfield #8 of the Florida State Seminoles during the game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on November 28, 2015 in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Colts continued to check off boxes, signing yet another of their draft picks.

The team announced they had signed fourth-round linebacker Antonio Morrison.

Morrison was a four-year starter at Florida, and has a chance to lend some depth to a defense that certainly needs the help.

The Colts have already signed first-rounder Ryan Kelly, and have six of their eight picks under contract already.

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Panthers see playing Thursday opener as competitive disadvantage

SANTA CLARA, CA - FEBRUARY 07:  Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers is tackled by  DeMarcus Ware #94 of the Denver Broncos in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) Getty Images

For the Super Bowl winner, the right to host the first regular game of the season on the Thursday night of Week One is viewed as an honor. But for the team that has to go on the road to play the Super Bowl winner, it’s not necessarily a good thing.

That’s the word from Panthers General Manager Dave Gettleman, whose team will travel to Denver for a Super Bowl 50 rematch in Week One. Gettleman said this morning on PFT Live that he’d rather have a full week of work after final roster cuts, like the other 30 teams get.

“To me, playing in the opening game, on that Thursday night, is a little bit of a competitive disadvantage to those teams, compared to the other 30, because of the way the 53 cut is set up. You’ve got to have a practice and you don’t have your practice squad players,” Gettleman said. “It’s kind of a competitive disadvantage. We’ve got to play them at some point and I’m sure that when the ball’s teed up we’ll both be ready to go.”

Gettleman is right that he and John Elway will have less time to finish their 53-player rosters than the NFL’s other 32 GMs. On the other hand, starting Week One early means they’ll have extra rest before Week Two. In the end, the competitive disadvantage is a fairly small one.

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Packers add 19 undrafted rookies

COLUMBIA, SC - SEPTEMBER 06:  Josh Hawkins #28 of the East Carolina Pirates reacts after intecepting a pass thrown by Dylan Thompson #17 of the South Carolina Gamecocks during their game at Williams-Brice Stadium on September 6, 2014 in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Packers have three undrafted cornerbacks on their current roster, including starter Sam Shields, and they added three more on Friday with the announcement of 19 undrafted rookie signings.

Makinton Dorleant of Northern Iowa, Josh Hawkins of East Carolina and Randall Jette of UMass are the three who got contracts from the team after the draft concluded. If Hawkins should make the club, the familiarity with overcoming long odds he gained while moving from walk-on to starter in college will probably be part of the reason.

The Packers also signed Lousiana Tech safety Kentrell Brice, Mississippi State linebacker Beniquez Brown, Arizona linebacker Reggie Gilbert, Idaho State defensive tackle Tyler Kuder, BYU linebacker Manoa Pikula and Texas-San Antonio defensive tackle Brian Price on the defensive side of the ball.

On offense, Green Bay signed Illinois wide receiver Geronimo Allison, Wesley quarterback Joe Callahan, Dartmouth center Jacob Flores, N.C. State tight end David Grinnage, Nevada running back Don Jackson, Carroll tackle Josh James, Rice wide receiver Dennis Parks, Utah State wide receiver Devonte Robinson and Miami wide receiver Herb Waters. Minnesota punter Peter Mortell filled out the group.

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Vikings sign all draft picks, except Laquon Treadwell

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As the Vikings launch into their rookie minicamp, all rookie draft picks have signed contracts, except one. The one who hasn’t been signed was the first one they picked.

Receiver Laquon Treadwell does not yet have a contract; the teams other seven selections do.

Under contract are second-round cornerback Mackensie Alexander, fourth-round guard Willie Beavers, fifth-round linebacker Kentrell Brothers, sixth-round tight end David Morgan, sixth-round receiver Moritz Boehringer, seventh-round defensive end Stephen Weatherly, and seventh-round safety Jayron Kearse.

As noted by Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Treadwell has signed an injury-protection letter that allows him to participate in minicamp and offseason workouts without a contract.

Whatever the hangup, Treadwell should refuse to practice until the deal is done — as should every draft pick who is expected to show up and work without a deal in place.

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Ravens announce signings of six picks, make several other moves

SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 23: Ryan Graham #17 of the Northern Illinois Huskies is sacked by Kamalei Correa #8 of the Boise State Broncos during the second half of the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl on December 23, 2015 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. The Boise State Broncos defeated the Northern Illinois Huskies 55-7 (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Ravens announced the signings of six draft picks on Friday, including the previously reported agreement with fifth-round linebacker Matt Judon.

The others who have agreed to deals are second-round outside linebacker Kamalei Correa, fourth-round offensive tackle Alex Lewis, fourth-round wide receiver Chris Moore, fourth-round defensive tackle Willie Henry and fourth-round running back Kenneth Dixon. All the players got four-year deals with the Ravens, who drafted 11 players overall over the seven rounds of the draft.

The Ravens have also signed the same number of undrafted free agents. Those players are Baylor guard Jarell Broxton, Florida Atlantic defensive tackle Trevon Coley, Harvard offensive lineman Anthony Fabino, Middle Tennessee State linebacker Cavellis Luckett, Georgia State punter/kicker Will Lutz, Colorado tackle Stephane Nembot, Stony Brook linebacker Victor Ochi, Michigan linebacker Mario Ojemuda, Portland State linebacker Patrick Onwuasaor, Samford defensive tackle Michael Pierce and Duke center Matt Skura.

With all of the new faces hitting the roster, the Ravens had to make some room. They did so by waiving running back Terrence McGee and wide receiver Chuck Jacobs.

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Manziel lawyer reels in other Manziel lawyer’s “kiss and make up” remark


On Thursday, one of the lawyers representing unemployed quarterback Johnny Manziel said that the preferred solution to his pending charge of assaulting an ex-girlfriend would be for both sides to “kiss and make up.” Many regarded that comment as unfortunate — including the other lawyer representing Manziel.

Said Manziel lawyer Jim Darnell (pictured with Manziel), regarding the comment from Manziel lawyer Robert Hinton: “Mr. Hinton certainly misspoke and his comment does not reflect either the feelings of Mr. Manziel or his legal team.  I assure you we all recognize the seriousness of the situation.”

The lawyers may recognize the seriousness of the situation, but Manziel’s recent deleted tweet regarding his non-shirtless mugshot suggests otherwise.

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Mario Edwards says he’s been cleared to return from neck injury

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 20:  Defensive end Mario Jr. Edwards #97 of the Oakland Raiders stretches before a game against the Green Bay Packers on December 20, 2015 at Coliseum in Oakland, California.  The Packers won 30-20. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) Getty Images

Raiders defensive end Mario Edwards was placed on injured reserve late in his rookie year because of a neck injury that created some uncertainty about his future in the NFL.

Edwards’ injury was described by coach Jack Del Rio as “significant” at the time he was shut down for the season and Del Rio said a few months ago that the team was still hoping for a good outcome while waiting to find out if Edwards would be cleared to return to action. It appears they got that outcome.

Edwards posted an update to his Instagram account Friday announcing that he “got the final clearance I needed to return back to the game I love.”

Edwards played 14 games as a rookie and made 10 straight starts before he hit injured reserve. He had 42 tackles, two sacks and three forced fumbles up front for the Raiders and should resume a prominent role up front in Oakland as long as he remains healthy.

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Giants sign two-thirds of their draft class at once

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 28:  (L-R) Eli Apple of Ohio State holds up a jersey with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being picked #10 overall by the New York Giants during the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University on April 28, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) Getty Images

With rookie deals becoming rote, more and more teams are announcing their signings in bulk.

The Giants are the latest, announcing they’ve gotten four of their six picks under contract already.

Included in the group are first-round cornerback Eli Apple, second-round wide receiver Sterling Shepard, fifth-round running back Paul Perkins and sixth-round tight end Jerell Adams.

Although, it kind of makes you wonder what the holdup is with Darian Thompson and B.J. Goodson, since the third-and fourth-rounders haven’t signed theirs yet. Maybe their plane was late or something.

Either way, it allows Apple and Shepard in particular the chance to hit the ground running, since both are going to have to play big roles immediately. While Apple will be another part to their defensive makeover, Shepard gives them the kind of game-breaking receiver they need, in case Victor Cruz isn’t able to come back to his previous form.

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Mel Blount’s son among 12 Dolphins UDFA signees

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 13: A Miami Dolphins helmet sits on the grass before the start of their game against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on September 13, 2015 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Dolphins on Friday announced the signings of 12 undrafted rookie free agents.

The 12 are linebackers Akil Blount, Tyler Gray and James Burgess; kicker Marshall Koehn; offensive lineman Ruben Carter; long snapper Ryan DiSalvo; wide receivers Rashawn Scott and Brandon Shippen; cornerback Lafayette Pitts; tight end Gabe Hughes; safety A.J. Hendy and defensive end Farrington Huguenin.

Blount is the son of Steelers Hall of Famer Mel Blount. Akil Blount was a three-year starter at Florida A&M.

The 6-foot-1 Scott played college football at Miami (Fla.) and had a big senior season, recording 52 receptions for 695 yards and five touchdowns. He was invited to the NFL Scouting Combine in February but probably went undrafted due to injury and character concerns stemming from his up-and-down college career.

Gray reportedly chose the Dolphins over contract offers from four other teams.

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Lions sign 12 undrafted free agents

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 01: Running back Ezekiel Elliott #15 of the Ohio State Buckeyes (right) celebrates his second quarter touchdown with offensive lineman Chase Farris #57 (left) during the BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at the University of Phoenix Stadium on January 1, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) Getty Images

The names have been floating around for the last couple of days, but the Lions formally announced their list of 12 undrafted free agent signings on Friday.

Among the names on the list is Ohio State offensive lineman Chase Farris, who got $20,000 in guaranteed money to sign with the team. Farris is listed as a guard by the Lions after playing tackle in Columbus and former NFL center LeCharles Bentley told that he thinks the Lions may have gotten “one of the Jason Peters-like surprises of this draft class” with the signing.

The Lions also signed tight end Cole Wick from the University of The Incarnate Word. He joins Eagles signee Myke Tavarres as the first two players to make it to the NFL from the school, which started its football program in 2009.

The rest of the group is made up of Louisiana Tech cornerback Adairius Barnes, Baylor wide receiver Jay Lee, Southern Illinois tight end Adam Fuehne, Maryland guard Andrew Zeller, Fresno State cornerback Charles Washington, North Carolina wide receiver Quinshad Davis, Northwestern defensive end Deonte Gibson, Georgia defensive end James DeLoach, Eastern Oregon wide receiver Jace Billingsly and Ohio University cornerback Ian Wells.

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Buccaneers sign first-rounder Vernon Hargreaves

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 29: Defensive back Vernon Hargreaves of Florida listens to a coach during the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 29, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Getty Images

Vernon Hargreaves signed his first contract before his first practice with the Buccaneers.

The team announced the 11th overall pick had signed his rookie deal, making him their third draft choice to get a deal done, and continuing the trend of early signings. Like all first-rounders, it is a four-year deal with an option for a fourth.

They signed fourth-rounder Ryan Smith and fifth-rounder Caleb Benenoch yesterday, leaving just a pair of second-rounders and a pair of sixths.

Hargreaves can now get to work improving a Bucs secondary which can certainly use it. They also added Brent Grimes in free agency, giving them a pair of high-profile additions, which should help solidify things.

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