Former Syracuse offensive lineman Justin Pugh joins PFT Live to discuss his draft stock and being the first non-senior to play in the Senior Bowl. Florio says even in a tackle-heavy draft, Pugh may hear his name called in the first round, and the former Orange OT agrees.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
PFT Live: Justin Pugh makes his case for the first round
The Patriots have started paring down their roster well ahead of next week’s cut to 75 players with center Bryan Stork, running back Donald Brown and cornerback E.J. Biggers among those given their release.
Washington signed with the Patriots in March and was part of what coach Bill Belichick called “probably as good” a competition for roster spots at the position as the team has had during Belichick’s tenure. Washington never made his way to the front of that competition, catching one pass for eight yards in two preseason outings, and will now have to find another team if he’s going to play a 12th NFL season.
With Washington gone, the Patriots are left with rookie Malcolm Mitchell, Keshawn Martin, Aaron Dobson and Chris Harper in the hunt for spots behind Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola and Chris Hogan. Amendola remains on the PUP list and Mitchell has an elbow injury, which could impact the decisions still to be made in the coming weeks.
In a surprising move, the Patriots are cutting their starting center, Bryan Stork.
A fourth-round draft pick of the Patriots in 2014, Stork finished last season as the starting center and is listed as the starter on the Patriots’ depth chart as of Wednesday morning.
But despite his status as a starter, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that the Patriots have decided to release Stork today. When last we heard from Stork he was getting kicked out of a practice last week, although there obviously has to be more going on than just one practice fight to get him booted out of New England.
David Andrews will now be the Patriots’ starting center, and Stork will go on waivers, where it seems likely some team would claim him. Stork surely has some NFL playing time ahead of him, but that time will not be in New England.
Plenty of people will be taking part in fantasy football drafts in the coming weeks and they’re likely looking high and low for an edge that can put them in the winner’s circle come the end of the season.
Saints coach Sean Payton might not be the likeliest tipster for such information, but he’s offering it up all the same. Payton was talking about rookie wide receiver Michael Thomas on Tuesday and used fantasy football as a way to illustrate how high the expectations are for Thomas heading into the season.
“I’ve got high expectations from him,” Payton said, via the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “Listen, I think he’s going to contribute early. And I don’t follow fantasy football, but, shoot, I’d try to have him. I think he’s going to do well.”
Thomas is behind Brandin Cooks and Willie Snead on the depth chart at the moment and tight end Coby Fleener should also get the ball a fair amount, so drafting Thomas in the early rounds may not wind up paying the biggest dividends. Having another receiver who can stretch the field for Drew Brees should be a boost for the Saints in reality football, however, and that will likely be enough to soothe Payton if his career as a fantasy pundit doesn’t take off.
When Adam Schefter of ESPN reported yesterday that the Browns had fielded trade offers for receiver Josh Gordon, he added that a Browns source told him the team is not looking to trade Gordon. But now another ESPN reporter is suggesting that the Browns may have planted that story precisely because they’re considering trading Gordon.
Longtime Cleveland reporter Tony Grossi writes today, “There is a cynical point of view out there that the Browns floated the story of interest in Gordon to promote more activity.” The headline of Grossi’s piece at ESPN.com is, “There’s something fishy about the Josh Gordon trade rumors.” That’s an interesting headline for ESPN to use, seeing as those “rumors” were started by ESPN.
The cynical point of view makes sense: Who else but the Browns would know that multiple teams have expressed interest in trading for Gordon? And who else but the Browns would benefit from a perception around the league that if a team is going to trade for Gordon, that team will need to make a good offer?
Would the Browns want to trade Gordon? On its face, that doesn’t seem like a great idea: Gordon is the Browns’ most talented player, a player who led the league in receiving yards in 2013 despite missing two games. But Gordon has a long history of off-field issues, and if the Browns think he’s going to screw up again and get himself suspended again, they’d be wise to get anything they can for him in a trade now.
The truth is, the Browns would surely trade Gordon if some team bowled them over with a great offer. The Browns haven’t received such an offer yet, but floating a story about a Gordon trade may be a way to generate a good offer.
In 2015, Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick made his preseason debut in the team’s second game and then didn’t play in another game all year due to a torn ACL suffered in a subsequent practice.
Scandrick made this year’s preseason debut last Friday against the Dolphins and it will likely be his last game action of the preseason. Scandrick hopes that the story takes better turns from there this time.
Scandrick has a groin strain that will keep him out this week and he’ll likely join the rest of the team’s first-stringers on the bench for the fourth game in hopes of being ready to go for the first week of the regular season.
“My thing is to get back on the practice field and compete as fast as possible,” Scandrick said, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “At the same time I don’t want to hurt myself more. I want to be out there more than anybody. I worked so hard to get back. This is frustrating. The bright side is my knee feels great. I just need to get through this little hiccup and I will be fine. In a perfect world, I would love to be back on the practice field Saturday. I think I will definitely be ready Week One barring something happening that is out of my control.”
Scandrick’s absence will give the Cowboys a longer look at corners like Deji Olatoye and Anthony Brown who are vying for roster spots with roster cuts looming.
The Texans were looking for defensive line depth, but it didn’t take long for them to realize Alex Carrington wasn’t going to provide it.
According to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, the Texans released the veteran defensive end.
It’s still unclear when Watt will be back, though coach Bill O’Brien has said it will be “sooner than later.”
Cornerback Josh Norman knows that the big contract he signed as a free agent this offseason means that he’s “no longer the underdog” and that he “has to take on a new mask.”
Based on the interview he gave to ESPN The Magazine that made headlines on Tuesday, that mask won’t get in the way of Norman delivering attention-getting quotes about Roger Goodell, his former team and just about everything else in the NFL. After Redskins practice Tuesday, Norman opted not to discuss the article directly, but did talk about the target that gets hung around your shoulders when you take shots at others.
Norman, who will also be part of FOX Sports’ coverage of the NFL this season, said everything is “magnified by 10” when you sign a five-year, $75 million contract and that he can handle all that comes with it.
“I can take it,” Norman said, via CSNMidAtlantic.com. “I can go and use it and use it as another tool to try to find myself as a person and as an individual player to come in and bring something different. I think if I can have that unique set of tools and skills to be able to fend off everything that people say, I can take it. I can take it and continue to be successful. … I can take it. I’m a big boy. I got some big shoes. We’ll be having fun with it and enjoying our teammates that’s on the team now.”
How much fun anyone has with it will come down to how well Norman plays. Making yourself the center of attention is gimmicky and won’t be for everyone, but it can work as long as there’s something backing it up on the field. Anything less is likely to lead to derision, which might not be as enjoyable for Norman to take.
The Phillies scout won’t be feeling like the Maytag repairman at next week’s Tim Tebow workout, apparently.
Adam Schefter of ESPN, co-worker of Tebow’s at ESPN, reports that more than 20 teams are “confirmed” to attend Tebow’s Major League Baseball showcase/workout/one-man fantasy camp/whatever in L.A. next Tuesday.
The Phillies are simply doing their due diligence. Apparently, the other teams are doing the same. Indeed, if any team had specific interest in evaluating and possibly signing Tebow, a workout would have happened since he announced his baseball wishes and signed memorabilia dreams two-plus weeks ago — and someone from CAA surely would have told Schefter about it.
By implication, the news that anything less than all teams will be attending means that multiple teams have absolutely no interest in batting an eye at Tebow swinging a bat. But that wouldn’t make for a very useful headline from the company that currently employs Tebow, now would it?
But since then, details have emerged about the situation — specifically the allegations by his ex-wife of over 20 acts of violence against her and her son — but the Giants have said nothing else.
Asked Tuesday about the recent developments, McAdoo retreated to last week’s comments.
“I’ve said everything that I’m gonna say about Josh,” McAdoo said, via Seth Walder of the New York Daily News. “I respect that you have to ask that question but my comments stay my comments.”
To be fair to McAdoo, this one has gone flying past his desk and needs attention from others with more authority, but they don’t seem to want it.
So far, neither General Manager Jerry Reese nor owner John Mara have said anything about the situation, regarding the guy they re-signed this offseason knowing he had the arrest (and possible suspension) on his record.
At one point during Tuesday’s practice, Mara had a talk with Giants vice president of communications Pat Hanlon, and Hanlon then had a chat with Brown moments later. But none of them talked to reporters, who have reasonable questions to ask, especially after the Giants signed veteran kicker Randy Bullock to fill in for a week (or perhaps longer).
“Based on what I’ve said in the past, I’m gonna stick to my comments,” McAdoo said. “That’s what we feel is best for the circumstance at this point in time.”
Saying nothing hardly seems like the right play here for the Giants, though the NFL hasn’t done much to help either. They created another layer of questions by suspending Brown one game instead of six (the alleged baseline of their tough new policy) because Brown’s ex-wife wouldn’t be interviewed by them.
But for now, the league seems content to move on, and the Giants are apparently willing to let McAdoo twist in the wind alone.
The Steelers are working on a contract extension for guard David DeCastro, but they’re pushing up against their self-imposed deadline of the regular season.
So according to Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, his linemates are doing what they can to speed things up.
“Please, pay the man,” left guard Ramon Foster added.
Of course, the former first-round guard from Stanford is under contract through this year (after they picked up the $8 million option on his rookie deal), but they don’t want to face the prospect of losing him for nothing in free agency after the season.
“He deserves [to get paid], and hopefully they can get it done so he can stay around for a long time,” Pouncey said. “One thing I know for sure is that we have to sign him before that first game.”
DeCastro termed the talks between his side and the team as “Nothing really,” though that could change in an instant.
“I would be lying if I didn’t say I didn’t think about it, but at the same time, it is just so hard to dwell on it,” DeCastro said. “You have practice every day and you have other things to worry about to keep your mind busy, so that’s a blessing.”
And before his eventual payday rolls in — whether from the Steelers now or someone else later — he knows he has the support of his linemates.
The Buccaneers don’t know how to fix Roberto Aguayo at the moment.
But they know he’s theirs, so they’re going to support him.
After a rough day of practice from the rookie kicker yesterday which included heckling from his own fans, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter admitted the obvious.
“He’s struggling,” Koetter said, via Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times. “He’s struggling a little bit right now. He has to work his way through it. We’ve talked to him. He knows what he has to do. He’s working through it.”
The former Florida State kicker never missed inside 40 yards in college, but opened his pro career by missing his first extra point in his first preseason game. He followed that with two more misses in the second game, before yesterday’s shank.
But his teammates know that they need to be there for him, especially the ones that have been scrutinized themselves. While the Bucs traded up to take Aguayo in the second round, defensive tackle Gerald McCoy was the third overall pick, who needed three seasons to make a Pro Bowl.
“One thing I’ve done with him is go to him and encourage him. He’s a rookie,” McCoy said. “He was drafted high as a kicker, so a lot of expectations come with that with being the guy. Who better than me to go talk to him about being drafted high and being expected to be the guy right away? Especially with me struggling the way I did early on with injuries and not living up to expectations, who better to go talk to him?
“I just go encourage him and say ‘Hey, listen, stay the course. It’ll come along.’ ”
That’s the human thing to do, and at this point, it’s the only choice the Bucs have.
Said Texans coach Bill O’Brien of the new kickoff rule, “When the rule was put into place, it was, I believe, intended to be put in for player safety, to monitor player safety and try to help that issue as far as big hits. What I’m seeing, though – and preseason is a lot about experimentation – are a lot of coffin corner-type kicks where teams are trying to funnel the coverage and the kick into the corner, outside the numbers.”
Peyton Manning is joining a roast of Rob Lowe, who once prematurely reported Manning’s retirement from the Colts.
Peter King was impressed by his visit to Jaguars camp.
The Jets are a more boring team, which might make them a better team.
Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther wants his players to cut down on dropped interceptions.
The Chiefs are getting healthier as the regular season approaches.
The Raiders’ quarterbacks haven’t been sacked or even hit so far in the preseason.
Are the Cowboys primed to jump from worst to first?
Washington outside linebackers coach Greg Manusky hurls bags at his players’ feet during drills.
The Falcons want to force more turnovers.
Panthers WR Philly Brown suffered a minor shoulder injury in practice.
Kickoff for Sunday’s Cardinals-Texans game has been pushed back 25 minutes.
The Rams like what their tight end group can do in the passing game.
Said 49ers offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins of why the team hasn’t picked a quarterback yet, “It’s not time. It’s a competition, and [Colin Kaepernick] hasn’t had a chance to perform yet. So when that happens and when coach [Chip Kelly] feels like it’s time, we’ll do that. But right now, it’s not time. We’ve still got a ways to go before we play.”
Last week, Washington coach Jay Gruden said he had “no expectations” for when receiver Josh Doctson would return from an Achilles injury. This week, Gruden says he has “total expectation” that Doctson will play in the first regular season game.
“He did the route tree today, which is very positive – not 100 percent yet obviously – he’s not running full-speed but he’s doing a lot more now than he did a week ago, which the progress that we see is a very, very good sign for us,” Gruden said on Tuesday. “I have total expectation that he’s going to be ready Week One, possibly the fourth preseason game, but we’ll still see. Like I said, it’s a new injury to me.”
Doctson, Washington’s first-round draft pick, is behind in practice reps because of the injury. But Gruden says that doesn’t put Doctson as far behind as it might seem.
“He’s getting all of the mental reps he can,” Gruden said. “He’s been working in the meeting rooms and he is studying the game and he is a very bright kid. He understands football, which is good.”
The wait to see what Doctson can do on the field is almost over.
The Seattle Seahawks gave Jimmy Graham a day off on Tuesday after four heavy days of work as he continues his rehabilitation from surgery to repair a torn patellar tendon in his right leg over the offseason.
Graham has yet to be involved in full team workouts since being activated off the physically unable to perform list two weeks ago. He’s been relegated to early work in individual drills and rehab work on side fields during team periods of practice.
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said Graham was evaluated and tested over the weekend with all signs pointing in the right direction. However, he’s still uncertain whether Graham will be ready for Seattle’s season opener against the Miami Dolphins on Sept. 11.
“I’m not calling that yet. I don’t know that,” Carroll said Tuesday in an interview with Dave “Softy” Mahler on 950 KJR-AM in Seattle. “Not until we really cut him loose in practice, which next week is going to be a really important week for him. He had a great week this week. He had his best day yesterday, really a big workload and he handled everything and feels really good coming out of that. So we’ll see. There has never been that deadline in my mind. We just want to get him back when he’s ready. But he looks really good, everything is positive and he’s really fired up and that’s what he wants to do. We’ll see if we can get that done.”
Graham’s injury has proven to be a difficult one for athletes to recover from and be the player they were before the injury. New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz hasn’t played a game in nearly two years after suffering similar injuries in the 2014 season. However, Carroll believes the player he’s seeing going through rehab work on a daily basis looks every bit the player Graham was when they traded for him a season ago.
“No, he looks exactly the same. I don’t think he’s going to be any different at all when he comes back. He’s worked too hard,” Carroll said. “We’ll have to see how the rigors of the games, how that weighs on him but I don’t see that. He looks really, really good. It’s jut been a marvelous effort by Jimmy to get back and the trainers to work with him. We just need to do it in the right timing. There’s not a rush. This is a very long season and if it takes a couple extra weeks that’s fine.”
If there was any doubt about Graham’s availability early in the season, the Seahawks could have left him on the physically unable to perform list to preserve the ability to place him on the reserve/PUP list to begin the season. That move would mean Graham would be ineligible for at least the first six weeks of the year.
Bringing him back to practice as early as they did means that the team believes he’ll be ready early in the season. If not Week 1, then soon after.
In 2015, Tim Tebow spent much of the offseason as an employee of the Eagles. He could possibly become an employee of the Phillies. But not likely.
Via Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, Philadelphia’s Major League Baseball team will send a scout to Tebow’s baseball workout next Tuesday in L.A.
But the Phillies reportedly are merely doing due diligence, checking out Tebow in the same way they would send a scout to check out other amateur athletes hoping to play baseball.
For that reason, plenty of teams could show up to see what Tebow can do. The real question is whether anyone will hire him. It would be wise not to hold your breath, or any other bodily function, in anticipation of Tebow signing a contract to become a player on a Major League roster.