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Tony Romo out of OTAs after surgery to remove cyst from back

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Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo will miss Organized Team Activities after having surgery to remove a cyst from his back.

Romo, however, says there’s nothing to worry about, and that the procedure was fairly minor.

“If this was the regular season and I had to play next week, I could,” Romo told the Dallas Morning News. “This is just about being smart. That’s why I did it now. This will have no effect on training camp. No way will it have an impact. And I still think there’s a good chance I’m on the field for minicamp.”

Although it hadn’t been reported previously, Romo had the cyst removed a month ago. He said the surgery was simple enough that his wife could drive him home that day, and he was playing with their son that evening.

“It was a pretty routine afternoon,’’ Romo said. “I was back at the [Cowboys] complex the next day to go through what we would do in the teaching sessions and the throwing sessions this off-season. . . . It was not much of anything, I just went in and had them look at it. It was more of an ache than anything. I just thought, ‘well, it’s something I’d rather not feel.’ I’d rather be 100 percent, not 96 percent. It’s done and it’s made me feel better.”

And while Romo isn’t feeling enough to get to work now, he’s expecting to be as good as ever before the season starts.

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Reports: Victor Hampton arrested after altercation with his sister

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Former South Carolina cornerback Victor Hampton, a prospect in next month’s NFL draft, was in the news this week when it was reported that he was wanted for questioning in connection with an attack on a man in a New York City nightclub. But that’s not the only incident that has Hampton in the news.

Media outlets in South Carolina are reporting that Hampton has also been arrested and is facing a charge of disorderly conduct after an altercation with his sister.

Local TV station WLTX is reporting that the incident happened at a home in Columbia, South Carolina, on April 6. According to the report, Hampton and his sister, Victoria, got into an argument, police were called, and the two continued to fight even as police tried to separate them. Eventually, both Victor and Victoria were arrested.

Local TV station WIS obtained the police report, in which the arresting officer says the brother and sister wouldn’t stop fighting as both police and their mother attempted to break them up.

“I asked both subjects to stop yelling and they would stop for a second then start right back yelling, threatening each other, calling each other obscene names, using fighting words and stances,” reads the report.

Although he had a year of NCAA eligibility remaining, Hampton left school early to enter the NFL draft. He was viewed as a mid-round pick, but off-field issues will likely have a negative impact on his draft stock.

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Chris Johnson: I want to prove the doubters wrong

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The Jets landed running back Chris Johnson on Wednesday, ending a brief free agent stint that didn’t feature overwhelming interest around the league in Johnson’s services.

Johnson spoke to Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean after signing his contract and he had some of those teams on his mind when discussing his plans for the upcoming season. Johnson said he’s going to draw motivation from those who think he doesn’t have the same spark he had when he was running for more than 2,000 yards for the Titans.

“I have a fresh start. Now I am going to go out there with a chip on my shoulder,” Johnson said. “I know a lot of people are doubting me. I want to prove everybody wrong who has doubts in me. I am very excited about [joining the Jets]. It’s a team on the rise and I want to make them better. … I still have it.”

Johnson joins Chris Ivory, Bilal Powell and Mike Goodson in the Jets backfield at the moment, although there’s a good chance they’ll part ways with Goodson now that Johnson is in the fold. How things will shake out in terms of playing time remains to be seen, but he new Jet said he’s already spoken to offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg about the different ways he’ll be used in 2014.

“I think I’m going to fit in pretty well,” Johnson said, via the team’s website. “Just talking to him and to Rex, who’s a guy that likes to run the ball, I think I’m going to fit in very well. We talked about all those things, catching out of the backfield, getting the ball to me in space.”

Johnson had 42 catches last season, one fewer than Jets team leader Jeremy Kerley, and his four receiving touchdowns were as many as Jets leader Jeff Cumberland, which underscores the need for more offensive talent on the roster. The Jets have added that in Johnson and wide receiver Eric Decker. With more likely to come in the draft, the Jets will look a lot different offensively than they did last season and that’s a step in the right direction.

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Saints bring former center Jonathan Goodwin in for visit

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The Saints lost center Brian de la Puente in free agency, so they need to find a replacement.

They might be turning to the guy de la Puente replaced.

According to Mike Triplett of ESPN.com, the Saints brought veteran center Jonathan Goodwin in for a visit today, making a reunion possible.

Goodwin was made expendable when the 49ers chose to extend Daniel Kilgore this offseason, and let the 35-year-old hit the market after three years as the starter.

They have some other internal options, but the team might want some experience in the middle given the all-in approach they’ve taken this offseason.

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Chris Johnson’s two-year deal has base value of $8 million

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At a time when the running back market had maxed out at $3.5 million per year, Chris Johnson has nudged the bar a little higher.

Per a league source, the two-year contract signed by the new Jets running back has a base value of $8 million.  Another $1 million is available in incentives based on yardage.

Given Johnson’s late entry to the market and the ongoing devaluation of the tailback position, it’s a very good deal for Johnson.  It’s also a good deal for the Jets.  Criticized for not closing the deal with Donald Brown early in free agency, they got a much better player for not much more money than Brown received in San Diego.

So now the Jets have Chris Johnson and Mike Vick on the roster.  A couple of years ago, that would have made them Super Bowl contenders.  For now, it’s enough to make a team that was 8-8 without those two players a serious threat to bump one of the 2013 wild-card teams to the curb.

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Santonio Holmes, Anthony Spencer among top unsigned players

Santonio Holmes AP

With Chris Johnson (Jets) and Josh Freeman (Giants) reaching contract agreements Wednesday, only six unrestricted/released free agents ranked in PFT’s Free Agent Hot 100 remain without a team for 2014.

Two other free agents can be signed away for draft-pick compensation: Saints tight end Jimmy Graham (franchise tag) and Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin (restricted free agent). Both have been tendered contract offers by their current clubs and seem likely to stay put.

Here are the remaining unsigned players in PFT’s free agent rankings:

UNRESTRICTED/RELEASED FREE AGENTS

67.  Cowboys defensive end/outside linebacker Anthony Spencer.

74.  Packers tight end Jermichael Finley.

81.  Seahawks outside linebacker O’Brien Schofield.

89.  Ex-Buccaneers offensive guard Davin Joseph.

97.  Ex-Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes.

102.  Panthers offensive guard Travelle Wharton. ***

*** — Has reportedly indicated he could retire.

FRANCHISE TAG RECIPIENT

2.  Saints tight end Jimmy Graham.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENT

82.  Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin.

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Raiders make final push to move Terrelle Pryor

Terrelle Pryor AP

Before the Raiders’ offseason program launches next week, they have one fairly important bit of roster maintenance to address:  The future of quarterback Terrelle Pryor.

Per a league source, the Raiders hope to move Pryor before the start of the offseason program.  It’s currently unclear whether he’ll be cut if he’s not traded.

The effort to deal the third-round pick in the 2011 supplemental draft (the last player chosen by Al Davis) commenced in January, even though news of it didn’t surface until the league meetings in March.  After playing sparingly in his first two years, he appeared in 11 games with nine starts in 2013.

But Pryor eventually was supplanted by Matt McGloin, an undrafted rookie from Penn State who shared an awkward history with Pryor during his search for a college team.

Pryor is now searching for a new NFL team.  It’s unclear which teams are interested and what they’d be willing to give up for Pryor, who has shown flashes of considerable ability but who has yet to show that he can master the quarterback position at the NFL level.

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Cowboys kick the tires on Davin Joseph

Josh Johnson,  Davin Joseph,  Greg Hardy AP

The Cowboys haven’t been doing much buying in free agency, but they’re doing a little looking before the draft.

According to Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com, the Cowboys had veteran guard Davin Joseph in for a visit recently, and will take a look at former Cardinals wide receiver LaRon Byrd in later this week.

Joseph was cut by the Buccaneers prior to free agency. The two-time Pro Bowler missed 2012 with a knee injury and wasn’t as effective last season, making it easy for the Bucs to take the $6 million cap savings.

If he’s well, the 30-year-old Joseph could push for a starting job with the Cowboys, or at least be good depth behind Mackenzy Bernadeau and Ronald Leary.

Byrd spent last year on IR because of a concussion, and worked out for the Giants recently.

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Bengals sign T.J. Conley

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The Bengals had to scramble for a punter near the end of last season because of Kevin Huber’s broken jaw, but they won’t have to scramble for one if Huber isn’t able to kick this offseason.

The team announced Wednesday that they have signed free agent punter T.J. Conley. Conley punted for the Jets in 2011, but the team moved in a different direction before the 2012 season and Conley hasn’t played in the last two regular seasons. He was with the Browns last summer.

Conley averaged 42.7 yards a punt for the Jets and had a net of 38.8 yards.

Huber is expected to be fine for next season, so Conley is likely just going to be an extra leg for OTAs, minicamps and training camp. That could change, but Huber has turned in two straight strong seasons so any competition will be slanted in his favor.

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So how many quarterbacks will be taken in round one?

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Today’s Pro Football Talk on NBCSN continues to roll through round one.  Today’s focus?  The team that had the first pick last year, and that due to an unexpectedly strong 2013 has fallen to No. 23.

The 30-minute edition (we’re back to an hour on Thursday) also sprints through the latest NFL news, and it concludes with today’s poll question:  How many quarterbacks will be taken in round one?

Cast a ballot below.  And then tune in at 5:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN for the show.  And stick around for NASCAR America and the launch of the 2014 NHL playoffs.

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Aaron Murray scheduled for visit with Browns

Aaron Murray AP

The Browns promised to look at a lot of quarterbacks during the period before the draft and they are proving to be true to their word.

Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray will visit with the team next week, which adds another name to the long list of quarterbacks the Browns have spent time with this offseason. Those players include potential selections with the fourth overall pick, like Johnny Manziel and Blake Bortles, as well as options for the later rounds.

Murray falls into the latter category and probably would have been there even if he didn’t tear his ACL last season. Murray was able to recover enough to participate in drills at Wednesday’s pro day, however, and he started 52 games at Georgia that teams can pick over for an idea of what he brings to the table.

The Browns have Brian Hoyer, who is also coming off a torn ACL, and Alex Tanney at quarterback, which is why their research into players at the position would go down as one of the more elaborate smokescreens of all time if they don’t wind up picking a quarterback next month.

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Gordon once again says Browns will take quarterback in round one

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With a pair of first-round picks, the Browns have the ability to take a quarterback either at No. 4 or at No. 26.

Receiver Josh Gordon has tried to spoil the drama.  Or maybe he’s part of an elaborate smokescreen.

Previously, Gordon said that he believes the Browns will select a receiver with the fourth overall pick in the draft.  More recently, he opted to be more vague about whether the quarterback’s name is placed on card No. 4 or No. 26.

“From talking with [G.M.] Ray Farmer, I’m still pretty sure we’re going to take a quarterback,” Gordon recently told FOX Sports Ohio.

But while previously casting a ballot for Teddy Bridgewater when put on the spot, Gordon was more vague this time around.

“I like a lot of those guys,” Gordon said.  “I think whoever we get will be the best option for us.  It’s such a deep draft class of quarterbacks and they’ve all had really great years.  I feel that anybody we get will be able to make something happen.”

By “make something happen,” Gordon likely doesn’t mean disclose the team’s future draft strategies.  With Gordon around, that’s one need the Browns currently don’t have.

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Jets land Chris Johnson with two-year deal

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The deal looked likely when he made his first trip, and spent the night.

And now Chris Johnson is a Jet.

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Jets have agreed to terms with the former Titans running back on a two-year deal.

He adds an explosive element to the offense for a team that sorely needs them (though they still need them in the passing game).

The short deal gives the 28-year-old back a chance to re-establish himself, with perhaps a chance at another deal.

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Clay Matthews: Julius Peppers is going to create a lot of opportunities for me

Clay Matthews AP

Packers linebacker Clay Matthews is feeling good on a couple of fronts these days.

Matthews’ thumb is feeling better after a pair of injuries led to season-ending surgery in December and the opposite side of the Packers defense is looking more imposing after they signed Julius Peppers following Peppers’ departure from the Bears. Matthews thinks Peppers’ arrival is going to lead to more chances to get to the quarterback.

“This guy’s [6-7], 290. I’m 6-4 on a good day and 255,” Matthews said, via Tom Pelissero of USA Today. “They’re going to double the big guy, and that leaves plenty of opportunities for me. I haven’t had too many one-on-one opportunities, and when you do, you’re expected to win — at least in our locker room — the majority of the time, because that’s supposed to be a mismatch.”

A healthy Matthews should win a fair amount of those battles and he said that he doesn’t expect to do much at OTAs to limit the risk of a third injury to his thumb. He expects to be all systems go for training camp and a pairing with the best pass rusher he’s had across from him in Green Bay.

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Jadeveon Clowney’s visiting the Lions, for some reason

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Jadeveon Clowney won’t be doing a lot of extra workouts for teams, because frankly, he doesn’t need to.

But that’s not stopping him from seeing more of America than he needs to.

According to Tim Twentyman of the Lions official website, Clowney was visiting Detroit today.

That’s interesting on a few fronts: A) Because Michigan ain’t exactly Aruba this time of year and B) the Lions pick 10th in the upcoming draft.

People can malign Clowney’s work ethic all they want, the guy’s not slipping to the 10th spot, so his decision to visit with the team picking 10th is curious.

Unless they’re not planning on picking 10th.

With big numbers at the top of their salary cap, and perhaps sensing some pressure to win now, the Lions may be considering a move. It would be a strong statement to pair a premier edge rusher with Ndamukong Suh, and allow the Lions to attack in multiple ways.

Or maybe Clowney’s just a big Tigers fan.

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Glazer returns to duty after serious health scare

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Many of you have noticed that FOX’s Jay Glazer hasn’t been around much lately.  He has a very good reason for that.

On the first day of free agency, Glazer nearly died.

He appeared earlier today on The Dan Patrick Show to discuss the serious health scare that resulted from outpatient surgery.  Glazer separately explained the situation by phone to PFT.

“I went in for a routine back deal,” Glazer said.  “Nothing big.  Dissolving a piece of a disc that broke.  Something that was real easy took a turn.”

After being given anesthesia, Glazer vomited into the face cradle.  The stomach contents ended up in his lungs, and the acid burned the tissue.

Glazer started convulsing, and the doctors revived him.  He was rushed to a local hospital, where he spent four days recovering from aspiration double pneumonia.

He didn’t realize the gravity of the situation at the time.  Once Glazer was out of the woods, doctors explained that the outcome could have been much more dire.

“It could go one of two ways,” Glazer said, “and for a while I was going the wrong way.”

He has struggled for more than a month to get healthy.  The damage to his lungs has caused Glazer to have good days followed by setbacks.  He wanted to attend the league meetings in Orlando, but the flight would have required the use of an oxygen tank.  Doctors also feared that his oxygen levels could plummet at altitude, and that he could have a heart attack.

Even now, Glazer is far from 100 percent.  As his heart works harder to pump oxygenated blood from his lungs, his resting pulse rate has been 115.

Still, he’s going to attempt to work this weekend for FOX, returning to action for UFC coverage.  He has yet to be able to return to his MMA training business, to the disappointment of NFL players like Kyle Long, Chris Long, and Jared Allen — and draft hopefuls like UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr and UCLA defensive end Cassius Marsh.

Last week, Glazer was scheduled to work out with Barr, but Glazer decided he should wait.  Glazer instead tried nine minutes of shadow boxing instead.  His oxygen level dropped, his heart rate went up, and Glazer ended up in his doctor’s office once again.

Glazer hopes to return to his NFL duties soon, making calls and chasing scoops and attending next month’s draft in New York City.

I look forward to seeing him there, and to having him do one of his typical Glazer things, like stick a thumb into my throat or lift me off the ground or put me in a headlock.  Even during the worst days of his ordeal, Glazer was still doing Glazer things.

“I wanted candy,” he said of his hospital stay.  “I unhooked myself, and I told the nurse I was talking a walk.  I convinced the guys who were with me to take me downstairs to the gift shop.  I went in and bought $230 worth of chocolate.  In my gown with my ass hanging out.

“To this day I have no idea what happened with the $230 worth of chocolate.”

So if you were wondering where Glazer has been, now you know.  And the next time you’re trying to fight off a craving for chocolate, think of Glazer in his hospital gown, with his ass hanging out.

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