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Dolphins keep Brian Hartline

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At a time when many expect the Dolphins to make a play for receiver Mike Wallace once free agency opens, they have finalized a deal to keep one of their most productive pass catchers on the team.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Dolphins have agreed to terms with receiver Brian Hartline.

It’s a five-year, $30.775 million contract, with $12.5 million in fully-guaranteed money.

A fourth-round pick in 2009 from Ohio State, Hartline had a career-best 74 catches for a career-high 1,083 yards in 2012.  If the Dolphins land a field-stretcher like Wallace, those number could go up.

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Who are the quarterbacks on the hot seat entering 2017?

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Monday’s PFT Live included two hours with Barstool Big Cat of the Pardon My Take podcast, and we devoted a segment to an exercise in identifying quarterbacks facing the proverbial hook in 2017.

We each picked three of them, squabbling a bit about the selections in a genuine way.

Who are yours? Listen to ours, and then make your case in the comments for the quarterbacks you deem to be in danger, grave or otherwise.

And tune in Tuesday morning for another three-hour show, with Barstool Big Cat again in studio for the final two TV hours.

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Jordan Matthews, Jordan Hicks to be limited early in camp

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A pair of Eagles with the same first name and different injury concerns are going to be limited participants when the team holds its first full-squad practice of training camp later this week.

Coach Doug Pederson said at a press conference on Monday that wide receiver Jordan Matthews and linebacker Jordan Hicks will both be building up to full participation. Matthews was bothered by knee tendinitis during the offseason program and continues to deal with it, but Pederson said he’s not worried about the wideout being ready to go come the regular season.

“We’ve just got to stay on top of it, obviously,” Pederson said, via Philly.com. “We’ve been rehabbing all spring and summer. He was in North Dakota with the guys. He’s another one we need to monitor as we go. Again, we don’t play a game for a long time, so I’m not concerned.”

Hicks broke a bone in his hand while on his honeymoon in June and Pederson said the linebacker will do “individuals, our 7-on-7” until he’s given the green light to move up to more work.

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Vikings place Latavius Murray on PUP, Sharrif Floyd on NFI

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The Vikings have made some of the initial roster designations that every team makes, every year as camp opens. In Minnesota, the most significant name is the one that hasn’t appeared yet.

The team has announced that running back Latavius Murray and linebacker Shaan Washington have been placed on the physically unable to perform list. Also, defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (pictured) has landed on the non-football injury list.

To date, the team has not placed quarterback Teddy Bridgewater on the PUP list. Coach Mike Zimmer has said, however, that the designation is expected. Apparently, Bridgewater has yet to arrive for camp; he can’t be assessed and/or designated for PUP until he does. Look for that to happen later in the week.

Murray missed all of the offseason program after undergoing ankle surgery after he signed with the Vikings. Floyd has had a chronic knee injury, which limited him to one game in 2016.

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Clark Hunt: Brett Veach has control of 53-man roster

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Chiefs owner Clark Hunt shed some light on his decision to dismiss John Dorsey and promote Brett Veach to the General Manager job during a press conference on Monday.

Hunt said that there wasn’t a single thing that led to his decision not to offer Dorsey a contract extension — the former G.M. was headed into the final year of his deal — but “there were enough issues that popped up that prompted” doubt about the team’s ability to build on recent winning seasons.

“It was a difficult decision, but after a thorough evaluation of our football operations, in the long-term interests of the Chiefs I felt it was best to make a change,” Hunt said, via Terez Paylor of the Kansas City Star.

When Dorsey was let go, there was some speculation that head coach Andy Reid would be taking a greater role on the personnel side of things. Hunt said, however, that Veach will have the same control over the 53-man roster that Dorsey did when he was in the role.

Reid will surely have influence over those calls and the overall shape of the team’s roster as they head toward the start of the regular season in Kansas City, but Hunt’s message on Monday was that the ball is now in Veach’s court to show that he can keep the Chiefs on the right side of .500 and moving closer to the second Super Bowl title in club history.

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Saints want to see rookie Ryan Ramczyk at left tackle before moving others

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The Saints are forced to adjust on the offensive line, with Terron Armstead expected to miss a large portion of the season after shoulder surgery in June.

But they’re going to see if their latest first-round pick can handle the job before they consider moving a previous first-rounder.

Saints coach Sean Payton told the “Dunc & Holder” show on Sports 1280 AM that they’re going to let rookie Ryan Ramczyk and veteran Khalif Barnes compete for the job, rather than moving 2015 first-rounder Andrus Peat from left guard. Peat filled in at left tackle last year, but they want to let him concentrate on left guard unless they have to make a switch.

“The key for us during this time in which Terron is out is finding those answers,” Payton said. “How’s Ryan look? (He’s) a young player. We were fortunate to have Khalif back in real good shape, and we’re deeper at that position than in probably any of the years we’ve been here.

“When you’re able to take a tackle in the first round, in the end of the first round, like a guy like Ramczyk. That’s a huge pick, so I’m anxious to see how he does (and) how the veteran (Barnes) does before moving Andrus there in a rotation. I like the work he’s had at left guard, but we have some flexibility.”

Armstead, along with center Max Unger (foot surgery) will start training camp on the physically unable to perform list. That is throwing the Saints line into flux, though they’re hoping Unger will be ready by the start of the regular season.

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Michael Irvin will hold a press conference regarding dismissal of criminal case

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It felt like the end, but in many ways it’s just the beginning.

With prosecutors in Broward County deciding not to charge Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin with sexual assault, Irvin has decided to hold a press conference at or about 2:00 p.m. ET on Monday. The email announcing the press conference says that Irvin will be “responding” to the decision not to charge Irvin.

But what’s he going to say? He’s already won; there will be no arrest, no indictment, no trial.

Irvin likely hopes to sway public opinion even stronger in his direction, hopeful to get ahead of the alleged victim filing a lawsuit or sitting for an interview. Perhaps more importantly, Irvin (like every other NFL employee) needs to be concerned about the possibility that the league’s internal investigation will reach a different conclusion, under a much lower standard of proof than the one the authorities apply.

Irvin isn’t protected by a union. If the NFL decides to take action against Irvin, his rights will be sorely limited in comparison to the rights secured by the CBA. And his status as an on-air analyst could be riding on how Irvin handles the situation.

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Giants wideout Roger Lewis’ OVI charges dismissed

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Giants wide receiver Roger Lewis got training camp off to a good start before he even showed up.

According to Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com, Lewis had a charge of operating a vehicle while impaired dismissed Monday, according to a Licking County (Ohio) Municipal Court clerk.

He was fined $150 for driving in marked lanes and $25 for a tinted windows restriction. He was arrested in June, and Reynoldsburg Police said they found evidence of drug abuse in his car, and that they found a small amount of marijuana.

Lewis made the Giants as an undrafted rookie, and played in 13 games last year.

While he’s off the hook legally in Ohio, he could still face sanction from the NFL, as they no longer need convictions to punish players.

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Falcons would love to have Devonta Freeman deal done by Thursday

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The Falcons hold their first practice of training camp on Thursday morning, which doesn’t leave much time for running back Devonta Freeman and the team to agree on a contract extension before camp gets underway.

General Manager Thomas Dimitroff said on Monday that getting a deal done with Freeman remained a priority because the team views him as part of their core. He was asked if there was a chance of wrapping it up before Thursday and said he’d like to see that happen without offering any odds on how likely that timeline might be.

“I’ve always said that I think it’s going to be a fairly expeditious negotiation, but you never know,” Dimitroff said, via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “That’s a tough thing to say. I’d love it to happen. If it doesn’t, we’re not throwing up a caution flag at all.”

Both sides have shared their desire to strike a deal several times since Freeman’s camp first broached the subject in the days leading up to the Super Bowl, but things have not progressed to the finish line. We’ll see if the start of camp provides the last push or if the wait will linger on in Atlanta.

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Jarvis Landry, Dolphins have yet to swap contract proposals

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Dolphins receiver Jarvis Landry is eligible for a new contract. But the team has yet to make him an offer. And there’s no indication that the team will be doing so any time soon.

So why haven’t the Dolphins made a move? Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald sets forth several possible reasons, from Landry still being under contract for a year to the team having the ability to use the franchise tag once and maybe twice to the Dolphins not wanting to risk alienating Landry with a low opening offer to the Dolphins not wanting to risk getting squeezed into paying too much by leading with an opener that’s too high.

It all makes sense, although it should be easy to flesh out the loose parameters of a contract without either side getting their noses out of joint. With $893,000 due in 2017 and the franchise tag for receivers at $15.682 million in 2017, the math isn’t that difficult. The structure — more specifically, the duration of the fully-guaranteed commitment — could be, especially with players waking up to the value of the year-to-year approach.

There are two other factors (more accurately, two other players) who will be relevant to the final analysis: DeVante Parker and Odell Beckham Jr. The former becomes important because if he becomes a star player in 2017 (which the Dolphins expect) the Dolphins may have to choose between paying big money to Parker or to Landry. The latter becomes relevant because, if Landry is the one the Dolphins choose to pay, what Beckham gets paid by the Giants will be critical (as a practical matter) to determining Landry’s worth.

Or maybe Landry will simply take the $15.682 million (which will surely be higher in 2018) and a 20-percent raise in 2019. Come 2020, when Landry is 27, he’ll likely be free and clear and able to sign wherever he wants, unless Miami is willing to give him a 44-percent raise or the quarterback tender, whichever is greater.

So maybe Landry will be the first star wideout to go year to year. And maybe the Dolphins ultimately will decide not to play it out for three more years, since maybe the Dolphins will determine based on 2017 that Parker is the only they need to keep, and thus the one they need to pay.

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Bills announce Anquan Boldin is visiting on Monday

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Word came at the end of last week that veteran wide receiver Anquan Boldin would be visiting with the Bills this week and the team confirmed it by announcing Boldin is in Buffalo to meet with the team on Monday.

As Chris Brown of the team’s website points out in the announcement, the Bills’ depth chart at receiver is “largely a jumble” once you get past Sammy Watkins. Second-round pick Zay Jones dealt with a knee injury during spring work and Andre Holmes, Jeremy Butler and Philly Brown are all new to the team after signing this offseason.

Boldin would give them another new face, albeit one with both more experience — including two years as Tyrod Taylor’s teammate with the Ravens — and more accomplishments at the professional level. He ranks ninth in league history with 1,076 receptions and would have a good chance to move past players like Terrell Owens, Tim Brown, Chris Carter and Marvin Harrison if he finds a home for the 2017 season.

Boldin said earlier in the offseason that he’d like to find that home closer to his offseason one in Florida, although there might be some flexibility there with camps starting and Boldin still out of uniform.

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Michael Irvin won’t be charged with sexual assault

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More than a month after Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin and his lawyer held a press conference aimed at lobbying for prosecutors to not charge Irvin with sexual assault, the case is finally closed.

Via Andy Slater of WINZ radio, Broward County authorities have decided not to proceed, due to a lack of evidence.

“Nothing happened that night,” Irvin said during the press conference, which ended with Irvin saying, “Make a decision, let’s move on.”

The decision has been made, and the authorities have moved on. This doesn’t keep the alleged victim from suing Irvin, and the much lower standard of proof (plus the unavailability of the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination) could mean that, although Irvin won’t face criminal jeopardy, the case may not be fully closed.

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PFT preseason power rankings No. 4: Pittsburgh Steelers

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The Steelers have six Super Bowl trophies. They’d likely have more but for the team that has won five in the last 16 years. And in a year that the Patriots hope to match the Steelers at six, the Steelers may be the primary impediment to New England.

But here’s the problem. In an offseason that saw the Patriots mash the gas pedal in an effort to get even better, what have the Steelers really done to close the gap?

So while the Steelers remain among the best teams in the NFL, the question is whether they’re good enough to get to No. 7 before the Patriots get to No. 6. And then to No. 7.

Biggest positive change: The return of receiver Martavis Bryant from suspension makes a great passing game even better, with one major caveat. Bryant still hasn’t been fully reinstated, and until he is there’s a chance he won’t be. And he wouldn’t be the first player closing in on reinstatement after a substance-abuse policy who then stubs his toe to otherwise trip over a blunt. So the Steelers and Bryant have every reason to keep him on the straight and narrow as he closes in on returning to the field and further diversifying one of the best offenses in the NFL. Failure would mean that the passing game, while still potent, wouldn’t be nearly as good as it could be.

Biggest negative change: The passing of legendary Hall of Fame owner Dan Rooney in April marked not only the end of an era but also raised questions about whether the Steelers of the past 50 years could eventually revert to the bumbling also-rans of their first 40. Though Dan Rooney didn’t seek credit or the spotlight, he was the common thread for a team that consistently contended after going through multiple decades of persistent failures. There’s no reason to think Art Rooney II will have a hand any less steady than his father’s, but the future of one of the few remaining franchises run by the family that founded it presents real questions with the man who provided perhaps one of the best foundations any NFL team has ever had now gone.

Coaching thermometer: It’s been seven years since the team’s last Super Bowl appearance, and the locals tend to gripe about Mike Tomlin whenever things aren’t going as well as expected. With high expectations for 2017, a rough start will commence the annual grumbling about Tomlin’s future. Ownership has been immune to the ups and downs and highs and lows of a franchise that contends often enough to make it easy to patient, but with Art II now running the show it remains to be seen whether the trend of three coaches since 1969 will continue indefinitely.

We’d like to have a beer with . . . . Todd Haley. The former Chiefs coach has helped transform the Pittsburgh offense into a juggernaut. Though very good before Haley arrived, he has presided over an unlikely swinging of the pendulum that has given the team an offense that currently is much better than the defense. It sounds blasphemous, but it’s true, and Haley’s ability to work well with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and to get a diverse group of personalities to perform well together and not whine about getting more opportunity should have earned him consideration for a second chance to coach a team by now.

How they could prove use wrong: If Le’Veon Bell boycotts training camp and the preseason and he’s either not ready to contribute from Week One or the Steelers catch a wild hair and rescind the franchise tender (not likely), the passing game will face more pressure — and the running game will hinge on guys like rookie James Conner or veteran Knile Davis. And if the defense can’t effectively make the switch to playing more man-to-man coverage (a device aimed at slowing down the Patriots), the Steelers could plunge from Super Bowl contender to team scrambling to get to the postseason. Which they were a year ago, until a Christmas Day win over the Ravens kept them from spending January at home.

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Vikings sign a tackle to bring roster to 90 players

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The Vikings have brought their roster to the maximum of 90 players with training camp kicking off this week.

The team announced on Monday that they have signed tackle Arturo Uzdavinis to a contract. He will join the rest of the team at Minnesota State University in Mankato for practices.

Uzdavinis spent time on the Lions’ roster this offseason and the Vikings will be his fifth club since entering the league as an undrafted free agent last year. He initially signed with the Texans and then spent time on the practice squads in Chicago and Jacksonville without seeing any regular season action.

He’ll be trying to earn a spot as a backup behind left tackle Riley Reiff and right tackle Mike Remmers, both of whom signed as free agents this offseason as part of the Vikings’ bid to improve their offensive line play.

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Packers shareholders meet on Monday

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If you own one or more shares of non-stock stock in the Green Bay Packers, today’s the one day per year that the investment becomes more tangible than the piece of paper framed in your den.

Today’s the day that you can show up at Lambeau Field for the annual meeting of shareholders. Via the Green Bay Press-Gazette, the meeting (which always precedes by a few days the start of training camp) is a little earlier than usual because the Packers start their preseason a little earlier than usual, with a preseason game on Thursday, August 10.

Via the Press-Gazette, the Packers have 363,948 shareholders. Only 8,000 to 12,000 attend, with the biggest crowd showing up in 1998, with 18,707.

CEO Mark Murphy, G.M. Ted Thompson, and others are expected to speak. One of the topics likely won’t be the PFT Live question of the day regarding who bears the blame for the team’s underachievement.

As Barstool Big Cat suggested on Monday’s PFT Live, maybe we should go off the board and blame the shareholders. If nothing else, that will give them something to discuss when they get together today at 11:00 a.m. CT to hear from some of the folks more directly responsible for the chronic inability of the team to parlay annual contention into a Super Bowl appearance.

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Steelers unveil uniform patch in honor of the late Dan Rooney

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Longtime Steelers chairman Dan Rooney died at the age of 84 in April and the team unveiled a patch that will be on all of their uniforms this season to commemorate what he meant to the organization.

The patch has Rooney’s initials “DMR” inside the three leaves of a black and gold shamrock, which combines Rooney’s devotion to the Steelers and his time as the United States ambassador to Ireland. Steelers president Art Rooney II says the patch “really called out parts of his life that were important to him.”

“It’s going to mean so much to wear it,” center Maurkice Pouncey said. “For me personally, I was really close to him. He was an excellent guy, a great person to be around. He knew everybody. He was really respected. I hope we can honor him as much as possible. It would mean a lot to all of us players and Steelers Nation.”

The Steelers also wore a jersey patch when Rooney’s father and team founder Art Rooney died in 1988 and they wore a helmet decal honoring longtime coach Chuck Noll when Noll died in 2014.

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