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Irsay says another Colts deal is coming

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The Colts have been one of the few teams to splurge in free agency, signing plenty of players and spending plenty of cap space.

Owner Jim Irsay says another deal is coming.

He says the team is “working on a deal, one we’ve been working on for five days,” and that “we’re very, very close to making it work.”

Irsay has a history of dropping hints on Twitter.  Last year, he tweeted about a trade not long before cornerback Vontae Davis was acquired from Miami.

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DeAndre Hopkins walks out of Texans camp

HOUSTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 28:   DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Houston Texans reacts to a call during the second half of their game against the Buffalo Bills at NRG Stadium on September 28, 2014 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images) Getty Images

Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins wants more money, and he’s holding out to get it.

Hopkins left training camp and began a holdout this morning, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.

Last week, Hopkins said he wants the Texans to pay him “what I’m worth,” but he did not elaborate on his feelings. By walking out of camp, he has made his feelings clear.

As the 27th overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft, Hopkins is heading into the fourth year of his rookie contract, and he’s due a base salary of $1 million this year. That’s a bargain for a player of Hopkins’ quality, but it’s what the Collective Bargaining Agreement dictates.

Next year, the Texans can keep Hopkins by picking up his fifth-year option and paying him $7.915 million. Hopkins is obviously looking for a deal that would pay him considerably more than $8.915 million over the next two years, and more for a few years after that as well.

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Report: Michael Bennett “in town” as Seahawks open camp

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 20: Defensive lineman Michael Bennett #72 of the Seattle Seahawks takes the field wearing a Darth Vader mask during player introductions before a football game against the Cleveland Browns at CenturyLink Field on December 20, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks won the game 30-13. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) Getty Images

Recent quotes from Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett created the impression that he possibly would stay away from training camp, due to lingering unhappiness with his contract.

NFL Media reports that, with the Seahawks opening camp on Saturday, Bennett is “in town.”

Whether he’s “in town” and whether he shows up for camp could be two different propositions. Agent Doug Hendrickson was expected to meet with the Seahawks at some point this week about Bennett’s contract. It’s unclear whether the meeting already has happened.

Bennett’s presence could be a sign that a new deal has been reached, or it could mean that Hendrickson wants Bennett to be “in town” and ready to go in order to dangle to the team the ability to get Bennett to camp right away, if a holdout happens while talks continue.

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Chargers befuddled by Bosa’s position, but maybe they shouldn’t be

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It’s a holdout about nothing, at least from the team’s perspective.

With defensive end Joey Bosa, the third overall pick in the draft, officially absent for the start of camp, the team is left to wonder why.

Per a source with knowledge of the team’s thinking, the Chargers view the impasse as “strange,” given that every penny of Bosa’s slotted contract is fully and completely guaranteed. The franchise looks at the remaining areas of the dispute as minimal and trivial, given that most if not all other players on the roster: (1) have offset language attached to their guaranteed money; and (2) accept a deferred percentage of their signing bonus until March of the following year.

The problem seems to be that the Chargers are looking at the negotiation from the perspective of team precedent, and that Bosa’s agents are looking at it from the perspective of third-overall-pick precedent. Which is how most agents and teams usually view such negotiations.

So, from that perspective, it would be just as easy for Bosa and his agents to call the team’s position “strange.”

The cash-flow issue seems small on the surface, given interest rates. But these are significant dollars, with the team trying to retaining the ability to invest or otherwise use the money into next year and the player wanting the money now.  Also, the issue is bigger than when the money will be paid; it’s a matter of the new rookie wage scale giving teams and agents very little to negotiate when doing these deals. Cash flow regarding the signing bonus is one of the few issues left.

Other players taken at the top of the first round have gotten all of their signing bonus now, or will have it all by October. Bosa is looking to be treated the same way as those players; the Chargers are looking to treat Bosa the same way they have treated other players. (The fact that the Chargers typically don’t draft in the top five could be the primary reason for the impasse.)

As to offset language, that issue continues to be a matter of cleaning up the worst-case scenario of a guy getting cut before his four-year contract ends. If it comes to that, whether the Chargers pay the balance of the deal or get credit for the low-end contract Bosa would get elsewhere is a small part of the far bigger problem that they took Bosa when they could have had Jalen Ramsey or some other player who becomes great.

It will be much harder for Bosa to become great right away, if he misses much practice time. And it will be much harder for the Chargers to win at the ballot box in November, if Bosa isn’t great right away. The smart move for both sides would be to find a way to compromise. For now, with team and player dug in on both offsets and cash flow, it’s going to require someone to blink in the name of the greater goals that both sides have for the relationship.

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Eagles add Brian Dawkins to scouting staff

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As the Eagles continue the process of mashing the reset button on a franchise that drifted from its desired path under Chip Kelly, they’re bringing home one of the team’s all-time greater.

The Eagles have added safety Brian Dawkins to the scouting staff.

The eight-time Pro Bowlers and team Hall of Fame members joins the operation under the Dawkins Nunn-Wooten Scouting Fellowship, a brand-new effort to introduce former players to scouting.

Dawkins had worked in the media after retired. His return to the Eagles will be welcomed by plenty of Eagles fans who are still upset that he was once cut.

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Raiders announce contract extension for G.M. Reggie McKenzie

Reggie McKenzie AP

Raiders General Manager Reggie McKenzie has collected some fine young talent with the likes of quarterback Derek Carr, receiver Amari Cooper and defensive end Khalil Mack. Now McKenzie has been rewarded for that.

The Raiders have announced that McKenzie has signed a four-year contract extension and is now under contract through the 2021 draft.

“Reggie’s contract was up at the end of this year, and we felt was time to reward him for the job that he has done,” Raiders owner Mark Davis said.

The Raiders haven’t been to the playoffs since 2002, but they’re trending in the right direction, and Davis thinks McKenzie’s personnel decisions will be the key to bringing a championship to Oakland. Or Las Vegas.

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Bears extend Willie Young

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Bears pass rusher Willie Young will be sticking in Chicago for a few more years.

Young and the Bears have agreed to a two-year extension through 2018, Adam Caplan of ESPN reports. Young had been entering the final season of the three-year contract he signed in 2014. The 30-year-old Young says he hopes to retire as a Bear.

Last year Young led the Bears with 12 tackles for loss and was second on the Bears with 6.5 sacks. He also intercepted a pass and returned it 39 yards, and knocked down two passes.

A 2010 seventh-round pick of the Lions, Young played four years in Detroit before leaving for Chicago in free agency. He had a career-high 10 sacks in 2014.

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Brett Favre describes his battle with painkiller addiction

FAVRE AP

A week from today, Brett Favre will be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But while we’ll be hearing a lot about his career highlights in the coming days, Favre spoke recently about his lowest moment as a football player.

Favre told Graham Bensinger that the prescription painkiller addiction he beat 20 years ago nearly took control of his life.

“I took 15 Vicodin at one time,” Favre said. “Two gave me an effect I liked. After a month, two didn’t do anything, so I’d take three . . . and then four and so on. . . . I knew that 15 was hard to come by. A month’s prescription is 30 pills or something, depending on what they prescribe for you, and I was going through that in two days. I would ask this guy for pills and that guy for pills, after a while I was going back around pretty quickly.”

Favre makes no excuses for his behavior at that time.

“I knew what I was doing — I knew that I didn’t necessarily need it but I sure liked the way it felt, and I knew it was wrong,” Favre said.

Eventually, Favre made the decision that he had to stop.

“I’d hit rock bottom and I said, I’m going to flush these down the toilet. I remember when I poured them in the toilet and it started to flush, I almost crawled into the toilet to go after them because I thought, ‘What in the world did you do?’ I was so dependent on them,” he said.

Favre says that he actually should have worked with a doctor to wean himself off the painkillers, and he probably harmed himself by how suddenly he stopped.

“I just went cold turkey,” he said. “That was the worst month. I shook every night, cold sweats, it was a constant battle.”

Favre believes his love of football is what pulled him through.

“The one constant through all that was football, and for me, it was a good place to escape,” he said. “It gave me a way to escape but also feel like I was actually doing something good.”

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Ex-NFL player Antonio Armstrong and wife killed by their teen son

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Former NFL linebacker Antonio Armstrong and his wife were shot and killed by their teenage son in their home in Houston on Friday, police say.

Police were called to the Armstrongs’ home around 1:30 a.m. in response to shots fired, the Houston Chronicle reports. Daun Armstrong died at the scene and Antonio Armstrong died in the hospital a few hours later. KTRK reports that the couple’s 16-year-old son has been charged with murder. The couple’s two other children were at home at the time but were not harmed.

Relatives described the Armstrongs as a loving family and say they can’t imagine what could have led to such a situation.

“They kept them busy and they supported them in everything that they did. There was not any mark that they missed with their children,” a cousin of Daun Armstrong told the Houston Chronicle. “There was nothing that even could possibly have justified this situation. This doesn’t even make sense.”

Antonio Armstrong was an All-American linebacker at Texas A&M and a sixth-round draft pick of the 49ers in 1995. He played briefly for the Dolphins and Rams and then spent four seasons in the Canadian Football League. In retirement he has worked as a personal trainer and was well known in his community as a volunteer youth coach.

Photo via Facebook.

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Coach fired for Dolphins bullying scandal now in trouble at Texas A&M

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Jim Turner, the Dolphins offensive line coach who was fired for his role in a bullying scandal that embroiled the team, spent two years out of football after losing his job in Miami. This offseason he was hired at Texas A&M, where it didn’t take him long to get in trouble again.

Texas A&M has suspended Turner and tight ends coach Jeff Banks for two weeks without pay, and ordered them to complete 20 hours of community service, for inappropriate comments they made at an event for female fans.

Among the issues that surfaced at the event were changes to the school’s fight song, which presented lyrics including “We are Aggie women/We are filled with estrogen” and “We are putting down our dish towels/And taking off our gloves.”

The coaches also gave the women tips on playing football that were filled with sexual double entendres like “No penetration,” “Never bend over,” and “Don’t end up on your back.”

Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin quickly moved to suspend Turner and Banks after reports of the sexist comments surfaced.

“There is absolutely no place in our program or in our University community for inappropriate conduct or degrading comments towards women, or anyone, regardless of intent,” Sumlin said in a statement.

Turner was fired after an NFL-commissioned investigation found that he fostered an atmosphere in which Dolphins offensive linemen Richie Incognito, John Jerry and Mike Pouncey regularly bullied teammate Jonathan Martin. Among the inappropriate actions Turner is alleged to have taken during his tenure as Dolphins offensive line coach was buying inflatable sex dolls for players as Christmas presents. Turner filed a defamation lawsuit against Ted Wells, the lawyer who led the NFL’s investigation.

Turner and Banks issued a joint statement in which they said, “We clearly understand now that our comments and slides were not appropriate or consistent with the values of our football program.”

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Browns experimenting with Ogbah at 3-4 defensive end

BEREA, OH - JUNE 1, 2016: Linebacker Emmanuel Ogbah #90 of the Cleveland Browns takes part in drills during an OTA on June 1, 2016 at the Cleveland Browns training facility in Berea, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images/Getty Images)  *** Local Caption *** Emmanuel Ogbah Getty Images

As a pass rusher, Browns rookie Emmanuel Ogbah naturally would play defensive end in a 4-3 defense and linebacker in a 3-4. In Cleveland, where the 3-4 remains the base defense, Ogbah spent the offseason as a linebacker. Now that camp has arrived, the Browns have given him a try at defensive end.

“We’re going to try a little bit of everything,” coach Hue Jackson told reporters on Friday. “We’re going to put our best players out there on defense. Obviously, we are going to try him there. We’re going to put him back at outside linebacker. We’re just trying to find a lot of different combinations now that Des [Bryant] is going to be down to see if we can put our best guys out there. If he gives us something there, then it’s going to help our football team. We’re going to try anything and everything that we can to give guys opportunities that showcase their abilities and talents.”

Jackson confirmed that Ogbah played linebacker exclusively during OTAs, with the switch happening only in training camp.

“We’re going to play him at defensive end some and take a good look at him,” Jackson said of Ogbah. “As you guys know, this time of the year is evaluation time for all of our football team. Now, you can do some of that. Move guys around and see what’s the best fit for our football team to help us win.”

Jackson disputed the notion that Ogbah moved to defensive end because of perceived difficulties with dropping into coverage as a linebacker during the offseason program. Instead, Jackson pointed out that having Ogbah play multiple positions gives the defense a greater degree of flexibility on defense.

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49ers add defensive lineman

UFC Fighters meet San Francisco 49ers Players Getty Images

The 49ers announced Friday that they’ve added defensive lineman B.J. McBryde to their training camp roster.

McBryde, 24, signed a two-year deal with the team. McBryde broke into the NFL last season with the Eagles and spent six weeks on their active roster before catching on with the Packers practice squad last November. He signed a futures contract with the Packers in January but was waived last week.

He was a three-year contributor and one-year starter at UConn.

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49ers sign Joshua Garnett

SANTA CLARA, CA - MAY 7: Joshua Garnett #65 of the San Francisco 49ers goes through drills during the 49ers Rookie Camp at Levi Stadium on May 7, 2015 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)  *** Local Caption *** Joshua Garnett Getty Images

The 49ers traded back into the first round to pick guard Joshua Garnett. Finally, the Stanford product is under contract.

The team has announced that Garnett has agreed to terms. As usual, it’s a four-year deal with a team-held option for the fifth year.

Garnett won the Outland Trophy in 2015, which goes to college football’s top lineman.

The acquisition leaves one one unsigned first-round pick: Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa.

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Todd Bowles doesn’t rule out carrying four quarterbacks

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 19:  Head coach Todd Bowles of the New York Jets during play against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on December 19, 2015 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) Getty Images

Not long ago, the Jets were trying to sell the idea that Geno Smith would be the team’s starting quarterback. Now, they’re trying to sell the idea that Smith, the only quarterback inherited by the current regime, won’t be dumped in favor of 2015 draft pick Bryce Petty and 2016 draft pick Christian Hackenberg.

Keeping Smith could mean keeping four quarterbacks on the 53-man roster. Coach Todd Bowles was asked on Friday how conceivable keeping four quarterbacks would be.

“It’s conceivable,” Bowles told reporters. “It all depends on the strengths and weaknesses of other positions, because you have to steal from a position to keep a position and we have pretty good competition right now at about five positions, at least. It’s going to come down to seeing who we’re able to keep and who’s able to perform and who’s able to do things where we can steal one from another and who can play a dual role and have some versatility. It’s early, but we’ll see how it works out.”

Bowles pointed out that he once played on a Washington team that carried four quarterbacks, but that it happened in the days before the salary cap.

Bowles also made it clear that counting reps won’t be the best way to spot the man in danger of being cut.

“It’s not just if you get the least reps, you’re not going to be on the team,” Bowles said. “Sometimes you only need a little bit to show a lot and that’s at every position and that’s how we evaluate. We’re not going to evaluate somebody because they start out third team — and I’m not just talking about the quarterback spot — so you can make plays in a small amount of time to make an impact depending on what our need is for making this team.”

The Jets have no reason to admit that Smith or any other quarterback is in danger of being cut. They surely hope that someone will offer to trade for one of them. That’s why anything the team says about wanting to keep Smith should be taken with a grain of salt. They have to act like they want him in order to ever have any hope of trading him.

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Bills hope Manny Lawson doesn’t have a long-term injury

DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 24: Manny Lawson #91 of the Buffalo Bills celebrates a third quarter blocked kick recovery while playing the New York Jets at Ford Field on November 24, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) Getty Images

With Mario Williams gone, the Bills are counting on Manny Lawson stepping in and stepping up. For now, however, the Bills don’t have Lawson, because he injured himself working out on his own shortly before training camp.

While most stints on the non-football injury list will be temporary, the Bills are still waiting to learn more about Lawson’s absence. On Friday, G.M. Doug Whaley was asked whether Manny Lawson’s absence could be a long one.

“We’ll have to assess and get information from the medical staff here pretty soon and hopefully not,” Whaley told reporters. “We don’t anticipate it, but again, you never know with these things.”

Whaley said Manny Lawson suffered an upper body injury. If he’s not available, IK Enemkpali will have even more opportunities with the Bills.

“I’m excited about IK and I’ve mentioned that before,” coach Rex Ryan told reporters on Friday. “It may give him an opportunity to get the majority of the reps at the one.”

If Manny Lawson’s absence is extended, the team may look to add players at the position — especially since first-rounder Shaq Lawson could be missing much of his rookie year.

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Jets’ GM says Geno Smith remains in team’s plans

Geno Smith AP

Jets quarterback Geno Smith was essentially demoted when the team re-signed Ryan Fitzpatrick earlier this week, and Smith hasn’t hidden the fact that he’s not happy about it.

Still, Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan told reporters Friday that Smith remains in the team’s plans.

Asked if he expected Smith to be on the opening day roster, Maccagnan said he “assumes” that answer is yes and said the team likes Smith.

The team will almost certainly end up either moving on from Smith or second-year quarterback Bryce Petty after drafting Christian Hackenberg last spring. That’s a decision Maccagnan doesn’t have to make now, but Smith knows he might also be auditioning for other teams.

Jets Coach Todd Bowles praised Smith in the offseason. Whether that was about trade value or whether the team still thinks Smith could end up being in its long-term plans might is unclear, and a lot could depend on what happens over the next four or five weeks with all of the team’s quarterbacks.

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