It’s being reported the 49ers will receive a second round pick this year and a similar pick next year for Alex Smith. But since the terms can’t be finalized until the new league year begins, how done is this deal?This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
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As if Raiders owner Mark Davis offering $500 million toward a stadium wasn’t enough of a sign people were serious about the possibility of the Raiders actually going to Las Vegas, the league’s continually softening stance on Sin City should be.
Via Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was asked on ESPN Radio whether gambling concerns would be enough to prevent a Raiders move.
“All of us have evolved a little bit on gambling,” Goodell said. “To me, where I cross the line is anything that can impact on the integrity of the game. If people think it is something that can influence the outcome of a game, we are absolutely opposed to that.”
The idea that gangsters are going to lean on players to influence outcomes of games is a paranoia of another era. As gambling on sports has become more popular and more available, the stigma of Las Vegas as a destination for the league has receded.
The league’s also perfectly willing to push the game in London, where gambling on sports is not only commonplace, but endorsed on the fronts of jerseys in England’s top soccer league.
So it probably shouldn’t be a surprise that the league seems to be warming to the idea of Las Vegas. If nothing else, the Rams going to Los Angeles required them to come up with another city to use as leverage in existing stadium negotiations.
On a night that the Ole Miss football program should have been celebrating the placement of three of its former players into the first round of the draft, the Rebels are reeling from the admission of left tackle Laremy Tunsil that he was paid while in college.
“I’d have to say yeah,” Tunsil said at his post-selection press conference regarding whether he received money from a coach at Mississippi.
“The university is aware of the reports from the NFL Draft regarding Laremy Tunsil and potential NCAA violations during his time at Ole Miss,” the university said in a statement, via CFT. “Like we do whenever an allegation is brought to our attention or a potential violation is self-discovered, we will aggressively investigate and fully cooperate with the NCAA and the SEC.”
The investigation quickly could get interesting, given that it’s unlikely that only one guy was getting paid, if anyone was getting paid.
It already was known that Tunsil received “impermissible extra benefits” at Mississippi. He missed the first seven games of the 2015 season after the NCAA found that Tunsil had used three vehicles without payment over a six-month period, got an interest-free loan on the down payment for buying a used car, two nights free lodging at a local home, an airline ticket bought by a teammate’s friend, and a free one-day rental vehicle. The notion that Tunsil was paid directly by coaches, however, constitutes new territory for Tunsil and Ole Miss.
The NCAA no longer has jurisdiction over Tunsil, which means he won’t be required to cooperate in any investigation arising from his comments. Based on his surprising candor from last night, maybe he’ll choose to answer questions regarding whether and to what extent he and other players were paid.
The Ravens played it safe when they actually made their pick. But they tried to make a big move to help fix their defense.
Via Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun, Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome admitted they tried to trade up to the fourth pick in the draft to get to Florida State cornerback Jalen Ramsey, but when Dallas wouldn’t budge, they watched their target go fifth overall to Jacksonville.
Then with Joey Bosa and Ezekiel Elliott off the board, they settled on the top tackle in the draft, or at least the top tackle who didn’t have a gas mask bong hit video hit the Internet 15 minutes before the selection meeting began.
“The thing that I’m so proud of, . . . our scouts get a lot of information,” Newsome said. “When things happen, a lot of the times we’re not surprised. We took the best player, the player that was rated the highest on the board at that point. I cannot neglect the importance of the work that our scouts do in the fall and in the spring getting information for us.”
The implication that they somehow knew about Tunsil’s video seems disingenuous, and an attempt to cover tracks for a team which has never shied away from harboring wayward boys. From the moment Robert Nkemdiche placed Tunsil in the Atlanta hotel room he flew out the window of (and was subsequently arrested for possession of marijuana in), there should have been reason to suspect a link to marijuana was possible.
And while Stanley might be a talented prospect in his own right, the fact he was “cleaner,” can’t help but have swayed the Ravens, and delivered the Dolphins a guy they thought was the best player in the draft.
The agent for Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford says he’s angry because they didn’t tell him their plans to draft a franchise quarterback. But Eagles coach Doug Pederson says Bradford was told in advance that part of his job would be grooming a rookie quarterback.
Sal Paolantonio reported today on Mike & Mike that he talked to Pederson, and that Pederson relayed the conversations he had with Bradford. Pederson claims he told Bradford all along that he’d be sharing the quarterback room with a rookie.
“He told me that he told Bradford and Chase Daniel up front that they were going to draft a quarterback, and they were going to try to nurture him for the future, and they expected Bradford and Daniel to be part of that, but that this year Bradford would be the starter,” Paolantonio said. “And they were shocked when they told Bradford that they were going up to No. 2 and they were making the trade and investing five picks, and Bradford’s reaction was one of anger, and he abruptly walked out of the offseason training program.”
Paolantonio also reported that Pederson tried to reach out to Bradford, but Bradford is ignoring texts from Pederson, other Eagles coaches and the front office.
It’s possible that Pederson is telling the truth but something got lost in the discussion: Perhaps Pederson told Bradford that the Eagles would draft a quarterback, but Bradford interpreted that as meaning a late-round quarterback, not a No. 2 overall pick who’s clearly expected to become the franchise quarterback by 2017.
Either way, however, Bradford signed a contract to play for the Eagles this year and accepted an $11 million signing bonus as part of the deal. Whether Bradford likes it or not, he’s teammates with Wentz. It would probably be wise to stop pouting, and start trying to prove himself good enough to keep Wentz on the bench.
There’s a glass of coffee half-full/half-empty question to ask, as it pertains to the Dolphins having Laremy Tunsil land in their laps last night.
On one hand, they thought they acquired the best player in the draft. On the other, the Dolphins think the best player in the draft is a guard, at least for now.
According to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, the Dolphins were stunned to see Tunsil slide, and when he passed the Ravens’ spot at No. 6, they thought they had a real chance at him.
“We’re sitting there watching the best player in the draft fall and we started talking about this might actually be happening for us,” a team source told Salguero. “We’re picking 13 and the best player in the draft just fell to us.”
For now, their plan is to use Tunsil at guard, assuming left tackle Branden Albert and right tackle Ja’Wuan James stay healthy. That’s not safe to assume though, and Tunsil will ostensibly take over for the 31-year-old Albert at some point.
But starting him inside helps shore up one of the Dolphins’ weakest spots, and buys him some time to acclimate to the NFL.
And as last night showed — with someone close enough to him to get password access leaking bong rip videos and Instagram allegations of money changing hands at Ole Miss to his social media accounts — Tunsil might need some insulation at the moment.
By taking Elliott, the Cowboys passed on defensive players like Jalen Ramsey and DeForest Buckner who could have helped a unit that failed to impress last season. After the selection was made, though, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said it wasn’t a “pure offensive pick” and coach Jason Garrett explained why the team feels Elliott will make their defense better.
“Hopefully you possess the ball more,” Garrett said, via the team’s website. “You get more plays on offense, fewer plays on defense, and that allows your defense to play at a higher level. It’s similar to how we played a couple years ago, when we ran the ball so effectively — and I thought it had a really positive impact on everybody on our team. We believe Zeke gives us a chance to do that.”
Garrett also thinks Elliott will help the passing game be more effective and Jones shared his belief that running backs need less time to acclimate themselves to the professional game than players on the defensive side tend to need. Unmentioned was that Elliott’s decision to sport a crop top on his way into the draft showed a Texas-sized ability to land in the spotlight, which certainly isn’t something that Jones has frowned upon in the past.
Fashion sense aside, there’s some merit to all of the football-related points. Now Elliott just has to prove to be a better choice than Richardson was in Cleveland.
Eagles coach Doug Pederson insists that Sam Bradford is “our guy,” and as soon as he actually talks to his expensive free agent quarterback, he’ll tell him that.
Of course, he hasn’t spoken with Bradford since they traded for the No. 2 overall pick so they could grab Carson Wentz, and Bradford demanded a trade and said he wouldn’t be coming back to work in Philadelphia, so that’s kind of complicating things.
“Well, right now we’re still in April, we’re beginning phases of our OTAs coming up in May,” Pederson said in an interview with NBC 10, via CSNPhilly.com. “I’ve said all along Sam’s our guy, he’s my guy, and he’s a part of the Philadelphia Eagles, and it’s just unfortunate where we are right now.
“But the thing is once he’s here, he’s our guy. Because it’s a voluntary offseason program there’s not a whole lot we can do. But at the same time we just know we want him to be a part of the Philadelphia Eagles this year.”
Bradford lost a bit of the leverage he had last night when the Broncos traded up for quarterback Paxton Lynch, limiting the amount of potential places he could be traded by at least one if not two (since the 49ers appear stuck with Colin Kaepernick as a result, making Chip Kelly bringing Bradford in a second time less likely).
The next step is monitoring the damage control in Philadelphia. ESPN’s Twitter-less Sal Paolantonio said during the broadcast last night that Bradford wasn’t taking Pederson’s calls, which Pederson sort-of confirmed by saying he hadn’t talked to Bradford since the trade demand.
“I have not,” Pederson said. “Not right now. I had a chance to sit down with him just and visit with him 1-on-1 prior to our minicamp a week ago. Other than that, I haven’t had a chance to visit with him.”
If Bradford gets his way, he might not. But unless someone unexpectedly emerges as a suitor for an expensive quarterback with a 25-37-1 career record and no postseason experience, Bradford may be stuck holding a place for Wentz whether he likes it or not.
The Patriots get to join the draft on Friday night.
The Ravens weren’t talking about their plans for a starter at left tackle on Thursday night.
CB William Jackson thought he was going to be drafted by the Steelers, but wound up as the Bengals’ choice.
The Steelers expect to add more defensive help after taking CB Artie Burns in the first round.
Thursday night’s trade marked the sixth time the Chiefs have dealt themselves out of the first round.
A knee injury wasn’t enough to keep the Raiders from drafting S Karl Joseph.
The Saints may find a highly-rated player waiting for them in the second round.
OL Germain Ifedi was exactly as excited about being picked by the Seahawks in the first round as you’d expect.
NFL teams knew Myles Jack’s knee was an issue, after poking at it thoroughly at the Scouting Combine and the subsequent medical re-check.
But it might have been something the talented-but-injured UCLA linebacker said about his condition that scared a number of teams away, as much as the condition itself.
After Panthers General Manager Dave Gettleman took Louisiana Tech defensive tackle Vernon Butler with the 30th, he made the obligatory remark about Butler being the highest-rated player on their board.
He was then asked if Jack was even on his board.
“Oh, yeah,” Gettleman replied immediately.
When asked if he was surprised Jack was still available — since many thought would have been a top 10 pick if not for a knee injury that’s going to require more attention — Gettleman was frank.
“Not after what he said today,” Gettleman said. “Very frankly. The kid came out and said he is going to need a microfracture.”
The cartilage in Jack’s right knee was damaged in the practice accident that ended his final season, and teams already had concerns about when and to what degree he’d be back to his old form.
Jack admitted that the day before the draft began, and the admission could be a costly one. It’s not as if the teams with access to his medical records didn’t know there was some degree of problem, but Gettleman’s reaction indicated that talking about it raised the red flag a few feet up the pole.
As someone in the truth-telling business, it’s not a happy thought to consider, but it’s worth wondering whether Jack would be on a team right now if he had just kept his diagnosis to himself.
Tackle Laremy Tunsil’s bizarre draft night ended when the Dolphins drafted him with the 13th overall selection, but another AFC East team was reportedly trying to stop his slide even easier.
Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reports that the Jets wanted to trade up from No. 20 to take Tunsil, but found that the asking price from the teams picking in front of the Dolphins was too high to make the deal happen. As divisional rivals who employ the Jets’ former General Manager Mike Tannenbaum, the prospect of making a deal with Miami would have been unlikely even if the Dolphins didn’t want to take Tunsil themselves.
One of the teams the Jets may have contacted was the Saints, who picked 12th and took Louisville defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins. Coach Sean Payton said that the team had an unexpected conversation about Tunsil being available, something that likely went on for several teams that never thought Tunsil would be an option.
“As Laremy came down the board, obviously that was unusual … he’s an extremely talented player, athletic,” Payton said, via the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “You start projecting, ‘alright, who is going to guard?’ But I think we felt real confident with Sheldon. But he [Tunsil] was a very highly graded player and obviously what happened to him tonight was unusual and disappointing. Tough deal for everyone, just watching it and seeing it.”
The Dolphins will have a similar decision to make about which of their tackles will be on the move while the Jets will look elsewhere for a possible long-term replacement for D’Brickashaw Ferguson on their offensive line.
There were some unexpected drops down the draft board on Thursday night, but defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche landing in Arizona with the 29th pick wasn’t one of them.
On talent alone, Nkemdiche might have gone in the first few picks but no one was surprised that he was one of the final picks of the round after Nkemdiche tumbled out of a fourth-floor window in December, got arrested on a marijuana charge and admitted that his effort wasn’t always all it could have been during his college career. It’s not the kind of background that fills one with confidence that everything will come together as a professional.
The Cardinals have no such doubts, however. General Manager Steve Keim said that the team spent more time with Nkemdiche than any other prospect and feel like the problems are “in the rear-view mirror.” Coach Bruce Arians said that he believes the only place Nkemdiche will be a “nightmare” is on opposing offensive lines.
“I think the culture of our locker room speaks for itself,” Arians said, via the team’s website. “He will fit our culture.”
The Cardinals rolled the dice on safety Tyrann Mathieu a few years ago despite off-field concerns and got rewarded with a player who has thrived on the field and showed maturity off of it. Getting the same result with Nkemdiche would make a good defense even more imposing in the years to come.
The Browns are loading up on future draft picks, to such an extent that they think they might end up with the equivalent of two full drafts in 2017.
By trading down from No. 2 to No. 8, and then again from No. 8 to No. 15, the Browns acquired the Eagles’ first-round pick in 2017 and the Titans’ second-round pick in 2017. The Browns also have the Eagles’ second-round pick in 2018. Browns Chief Strategy Officer Paul DePodesta said after the first round that they love what they’re set up to do in next year’s draft.
“It is nice to space them out a little bit so they’re not all in one year so you’re not banking everything one particular draft class,” DePodesta said. “As we sit here now, we have extra picks in 2017 and 2018, and in fact in 2017, I think we have two firsts, two seconds and we may end up with two thirds, a couple of fourths. We literally may have, in effect, two drafts next year within the first four rounds at least. Then, we also have an extra second rounder in 2018.”
By suggesting the Browns could end up with extra third- and fourth-round picks, DePodesta may be indicating that the Browns are open for business with tonight’s first pick. Cleveland might trade down in the second round tonight and pick up a third-round pick next year.
DePodesta did acknowledge, of course, that all those picks are only valuable if you use them to draft good players.
“Look, we may use those picks to move up in the draft or do other things with,” DePodesta said. “It’s certainly a good position to be in. The most important thing at the end of the day is getting the players we want to get and the players we think are going to make a difference here.”
The Browns have already made a difference in one respect: They control the 2017 draft.
Cowboys owner and General Manager Jerry Jones acknowledged after the first round of the NFL draft that he was disappointed about a player who got away: Quarterback Paxton Lynch.
Jones said that after taking running back Ezekiel Elliott with their first-round pick the Cowboys were trying to trade back into the first round to acquire Lynch, who ultimately went to the Broncos.
“We were working real hard to get up there for the quarterback – Paxton Lynch,” Jones said.
Jones said just when he thought he had a deal in place to get Lynch, the Broncos jumped in and made a deal with the Seahawks that allowed them to take Lynch 26th overall.
“Frankly, give Denver credit,” Jones said. “I thought we had it done. It was that close.”
Jones said the Cowboys’ staff loves Lynch and thinks he has the potential to develop into a franchise quarterback. The Cowboys were hoping he’d develop behind Tony Romo.
“He’s a top prospect – got probably the highest upside in the draft,” Jerry Jones said. “Congratulations to Denver.”
When new Bills pass rush Shaq Lawson recently visited PFT Live, he expressed dismay at being required to return to Indianapolis for the medical re-check, insisting that his shoulder is fine. To no surprise, Lawson has reiterated that position following a post-selection report that he needs surgery.
Via Mike Rodak of ESPN.com, Lawson said there’s “no truth” to the claim that he needs a procedure to repair the upper arm joint that is fairly important to a pass rusher. Lawson added that the right shoulder is the shoulder at issue, but that it’s not an issue — even though something about it has been an issue since his freshman year.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reported following the selection of Lawson by the Bills at pick No. 19 that the former Clemson standout “will need shoulder surgery,” that it will “sideline him 4-6 months at some point,” and that the surgery will happen “probably after next season.”
Time will tell whether the surgery is necessary. However, whatever the issue is, Lawson will spend his full rookie season playing with it. If he plays well, why would he need surgery at all?
The Cleveland Browns already have shown a willingness to trade down and stockpile picks. They still have more than 12 hours to do it again.
Ever since the NFL decided to move the first round of the draft to prime time, the revised format gives the team at the top of round two an extended opportunity to shop the pick based on the players who remain available after the initial round ends. If a team picking below the Browns covets a players strongly enough, the Browns could slide back for the third time this draft, acquiring more picks both now and in the future.
A trade hinges on whether the Browns get an offer they like — and whether there’s a player they decide they must have right out of the gates in round two. Quarterbacks Connor Cook and Christian Hackenberg are available, as is running back Derrick Henry.
The Cowboys have admitted that they were trying to get back into round one to get a quarterback. If they want Cook or Hackenberg, Dallas could try to leap up from No. 34. The Titans, picking at No. 33, won’t be taking a quarterback, but they could trade down and let a team that wants to cut the line in front of the Cowboys do just that.
Which raises the possibility that the Cowboys were lying about trying to trade back into round one to get a quarterback, in order to ensure that one or both of the picks used before them on Friday night end up devoted to players at a position on which they don’t plan to focus. The Cowboys still need to bolster their pass rush; that could be their true agenda on Friday evening.