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Police found discarded gun near Hernandez’s home, but not the murder weapon

Aaron Hernandez AP

Wednesday’s arraignment of Aaron Hernandez unfolded quickly, with audio of fairly mediocre quality carrying words that flowed quickly from prosecutor Bill McCauley.  Absent a transcript, which we have yet to obtain or locate online, the best (only) way to fully process everything that was said is to listen to the audio from the hearing, repeatedly.

It became obvious during the live proceedings that police have not recovered the murder weapon.  After listening to the arraignment a few more times, it became clear that police found a different weapon on the path between the industrial park where Odin Lloyd was murdered and Hernandez’s home.

Specifically, police discovered roughly one-quarter mile from Hernandez’s home a Jennings .22, a handgun firing ammunition much smaller than the .45-caliber bullets that struck Lloyd.  The Jennings .22 was loaded, and when police searched Hernandez’s home they found matching ammunition, but no .22-caliber gun.

In May, Hernandez had an incident with a Jets fan in Providence.  Another man discarded a gun under a car.  That gun and the gun found by police near Hernandez’s home were both purchased at the same gun store in Florida.

Coupled with surveillance video that, according to McCauley, showed Hernandez and one of the other two men carrying guns that appeared to be larger-caliber weapons, the authorities seem to believe that each of the three men had a gun when Lloyd was shot, that the man with the Jennings .22 didn’t fire on Lloyd, and that the .22 was ditched (possibly thrown out the window of the car) while the three men drove from the industrial park back to Hernandez’s home.

This explains the decision to search the pond and wooded area near Hernandez’s home on Monday with metal detectors.  They were looking — and apparently still are looking — for the larger-caliber gun(s) that were used to kill Lloyd.

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Hue Jackson: Browns’ running backs are “as good as I’ve seen”

Duke Johnson, Tyrann Mathieu AP

Browns coach Hue Jackson loves what he inherited at running back.

Jackson said on 92.3 The Fan that last year’s 1-2 punch of Isaiah Crowell and Duke Johnson are good enough that the Browns didn’t need to sign or draft another running back.

“Those two guys are as good as I’ve seen in a while,” Jackson said, via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “Their talent is extreme.”

So far they haven’t shown that extreme talent: Crowell carried 185 times for 706 yards and four touchdowns last season, while Johnson added 104 carries for 379 yards, with no touchdowns. That’s why Jackson is getting a lot of questions about why the Browns didn’t upgrade at the position.

“I’ve been getting so much mail or phones calls with people saying, ‘Well wait a minute, why don’t you guys have a running back?”’ he said. “I really think Isaiah Crowell is a really good running back. I think he’s going to have a sensational season, I really do.”

Crowell is 23 years old and Johnson is 22, so both players have plenty of time to improve. Jackson sounds confident that they will.

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Rams taking a look at former Auburn wideout Duke Williams

AUBURN, AL - OCTOBER 04:  D'haquille Williams #1 of the Auburn Tigers celebrates with fans after their 41-7 win over the LSU Tigers at Jordan Hare Stadium on October 4, 2014 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Rams are going to take a look this weekend at one of the year’s more talented wide receiver prospects, who didn’t play much after getting kicked off his team in October.

According to Rich Hammond of the Orange County Register, the Rams will try out wideout D’haquille “Duke” Williams, who was kicked off the team at Auburn’s team last year.

Williams was a talented and productive player his junior year at Auburn, in which he caught 45 passes for 730 yards and five touchdowns. But he caught just 12 passes last season, after being busted for a bar fight which was the final straw after other suspensions and rules violations.

He admitted at the Scouting Combine he was risky because of those off-field issues.

“If I didn’t get in any trouble, I know I’m a legit first-round pick,” he said. “But God got other plans. I’m a first-round pick no matter what, but off the field I’m a seventh-round pick. My character is a seventh-round pick. I mean, I’m just happy to be here. It’s a blessing to be here.

“Whatever team picks me, first through seventh round, it doesn’t really matter. Undrafted. Whenever I get my opportunity, I’m going to just prove to them that I belong.”

No one drafted him, but it appears the Rams are willing to give him a quick look, to see if he’s actually learned his lesson.

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Mike Maccagnan, Jason Licht join Thursday’s PFT Live

PFTLive

Our series of post-draft conversations with the guys who made draft picks last week continues on Thursday’s PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio.

Jets G.M. Mike Maccagnan and Buccaneers G.M. Jason Licht join the program, which gets rolling at 6:00 a.m. ET. The full three-hour show replays at 9:00 a.m. ET.

So dial us up on Sirius 213, XM 202, NBCSportsRadio.com, the NBC Sports Radio app, and/or any of our fine-to-very-fine affiliates throughout the country for one hour, two hours, three hours, or all six.

You also can (should) download the podcast at iTunes or audioBoom.

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Von Miller declares he’s “going to be a Denver Bronco for life”

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 25:  Honoree Von Miller attends the Cedars-Sinai Sports Spectacular at W Los Angeles – West Beverly Hills on March 25, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for Sports Spectacular) Getty Images

Having a Super Bowl MVP award in your back pocket apparently makes you confident.

But while it didn’t necessarily help Von Miller on “Dancing with the Stars,” it does extend to his looming contract situation.

Via Cameron Wolfe of the Denver Post, Miller told an appreciative crowd at a promotional appearance yesterday that he didn’t envision any drama in terms of his contract.

“I’m going to be here in Denver no matter what,” Miller said. “The contract is going to take care of itself. I’m going to be a Denver Bronco for life.”

Of course, he’s not showing up for workouts, and there’s been no reported movement of a long-term deal since the Broncos used the franchise tag on their star outside linebacker. Miller did say last week he expected a deal “any day,” but that might be more of his bubbly enthusiasm than a reflection of a negotiation.

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Schneider: Seahawks will place Marshawn Lynch on retired list by June 1

Marshawn Lynch AP

Marshawn Lynch cryptically announced his retirement during Super Bowl 50 with a tweet showing a pair of sneakers hanging from a telephone wire. However, he still hasn’t officially filed the paperwork and the Seahawks haven’t placed him on the retired list.

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said following the conclusion of the draft on Saturday that Lynch remains “committed to being retired.”

“He’s riding camels and stuff, man,” general manager John Schneider joked when asked if he saw a scenario where Lynch would play for Seattle in 2016.

Schneider expanded on the Lynch topic in an interview with Mitch Levy on Sports Radio 950 KJR in Seattle. The Seahawks could spread out the cap hit from Lynch’s retirement by waiting to place him on the reserve/retired list until after June 1. The $5 million cap charge could be split into equal $2.5 million shares in 2016 and 2017. However, Schneider said they aren’t looking to do that.

“If we place him on reserve/retired, then we accept that cap hit this year and we’d rather do that than do it after June 1,” Schneider said. “That’s the situation for us. We’d rather pay as we go, so we’d rather do it right now.”

Seattle prepared for life after Lynch through last weekend’s draft. They selected three running backs and three offensive linemen among their 10 selections. Notre Dame’s C.J. Prosise, Arkansas’ Alex Collins and Clemson’s Zac Brooks will join Thomas Rawls and Christine Michael as the group to take over the rushing attack for Seattle in the post-Lynch era.

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Colts sign first-round pick Ryan Kelly

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The Colts announced Wednesday night that they’ve agreed to terms with their first-round pick, Ryan Kelly.

The Colts selected Kelly with the 18th pick last Thursday. He was a three-year starter at Alabama who did not allow a sack in his final two college seasons.

Kelly won the Rimington Trophy as the nation’s top center last fall. He was a second-team All-American, a first-team All-SEC pick and a semifinalist for the Outland Trophy that’s awarded to the nation’s top lineman.

He started 36 of 46 career games at Alabama and figures as the immediate starter at center for the Colts.

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Mathis tutoring potential replacement as Colts switch DE to OLB

Robert Mathis AP

The Colts used four draft picks on offensive linemen last week, addressing one major area of need.

That means the team still has a pretty glaring need for pass-rush help, and Zak Keefer of the Indy Star wrote Wednesday that one way the Colts are addressing that is switching second-year player Earl Okine from defensive end to outside linebacker.

In making the switch, Okine is following and learning from veteran pass rusher Robert Mathis, who learned the outside linebacker spot in 2012 after nine years as a 4-3 defensive end. Mathis, 35, shared the team lead with seven sacks last season.

He’s probably a pretty good teacher for Okine, 26, who played just 59 snaps last season. Mathis has 118 career sacks in 178 games.

Okine called Mathis the greatest pass rusher of all-time said learning from Mathis “is all I do in meetings. I ask him everything.”

Okine has played in the CFL, the FXL and the Arena League over the last three years. He was promoted from the practice squad to the active roster by the Colts last October, and now he’s looking at a four-month trial period that could determine whether he’ll stick around.

“I’m pretty confident in myself,” Okine said. “I’m ready.”

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Adrian Peterson partners with Salvation Army to raise funds for Palestine, TX floods

Zz1mN2U3NGMwMzVjZDI4MTQwMzdhODY2ZTQyYzhlMTgyZQ== AP

The most famous native of Palestine, Texas is doing what he can to help his hometown in an hour of need.

Flash flooding in Palestine over the weekend killed six people, including four children. Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who went to school with one of the adult victims, has partnered with the Salvation Army to raise awareness to the problem and funds for those in need.

Peterson has donated $100,000. He’ll also match all fan donations on a dollar-for-dollar basis, up to another $100,000.

Fans can donate by texting “AP28” to 51555 or by visiting the Salvation Army page created for contributions.

Every dollar you give gets doubled, up to $100,000. Any amount helps.

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Former NFL wide receiver Brett Perriman hospitalized

2 Nov 1997:  Brett Perriman of the Miami Dolphins in action against the Buffalo Bills during a game at Rich Stadium in  Orchard Park, New York.  The Bills defeated the Dolphins 9-6. Mandatory Credit: Rick Stewart  /Allsport

Former NFL wide receiver Brett Perriman collapsed and was taken to a Miami-area hospital Tuesday night, per multiple reports.

CBS Radio in Miami reported that Perriman, 50, collapsed due to “extremely high blood pressure” and quoted an unnamed family member as saying Perriman had shown “small signs of progress” from Tuesday into Wednesday.

Perriman played 10 NFL seasons and played for the Saints, Lions, Chiefs and Dolphins. He was a second-round pick of the Saints in 1988.

His son, Breshad Perriman, was a first-round pick of the Ravens in 2015. Also a wide receiver, Breshad Perriman was injured early in training camp last summer and did not play as a rookie.

CollegeSpun.com collected some tweets showing support for Perriman, including one from his son.

Brett Perriman had a career-best 1,488 receiving yards in 1995 with the Lions. In that season, Perriman and Herman Moore became the first teammates in NFL history to each record more than 100 receptions and more than 1,400 receiving yards in the same season.

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Eagles sign five picks

MORGANTOWN, WV - NOVEMBER 07:  Wendell Smallwood #4 of the West Virginia Mountaineers rushes for a 16 yard touchdown in the first half during the game against the Texas Tech Red Raiders on November 7, 2015 at Mountaineer Field in Morgantown, West Virginia.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) Getty Images

The bad old days when it took weeks or months to sign a draft class are long gone.

The latest reminder of that came on Wednesday when the Eagles announced that they’ve signed five players they selected last week.

Running back Wendell Smallwood is the highest pick to agree to a deal. He was drafted in the fifth round after leading the Big 12 in rushing last season. He’ll try to earn time on offense along with Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles.

The Eagles also signed two safeties, sixth-rounder Blake Countess and seventh-rounder Jalen Mills. Seventh-round defensive end Alex McCalister and seventh-round linebacker Joe Walker round out the group.

That leaves three players unsigned, including second overall pick Carson Wentz. Once upon a time that contract negotiation could drag into camp, but Wentz will be joining today’s quintet soon enough.

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Johnny Manziel turns himself in, posts a $1,500 bond

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Former Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel has taken a break from whatever he’s been doing lately, to turn himself into authorities.

According to the NBCDFW.com, Manziel has been booked and posted bond for his domestic violence case in Texas. He faces his first court hearing tomorrow.

His attorney said Manziel had posted his $1,500 bond in Highland Park, and will appear in a Dallas County courtroom tomorrow.

Manziel was indicted by a grand jury for misdemeanor assault family violence for allegedly hitting then-girlfriend Colleen Crowley.

If he’s convicted, he faces a year in jail and a $4,000 fine. Obviously, it’s been more costly to him professionally, as the former first-rounder is radioactive to NFL teams.

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Lions add Andre Caldwell

Zz1jOWFiNjllZjYxZWUwODRhMDM0MjVjOTFlMDEzNjAzZA==-1 AP

As the Lions try to prepare for life after Calvin Johnson, they’ve added another receiver to the depth chart.

Per a league source, Detroit has signed former Broncos receiver Andre Caldwell to a one-year deal.

Caldwell, who actually is older than Calvin Johnson, arrives after four seasons in Denver and four before that in Cincinnati.

His best season came in 2009, when Caldwell caught 51 passes for 432 yards and three touchdowns. Last year, Caldwell caught only 10 passes for 72 yards and a pair of scores in the regular season. He also added three catches for 36 yards in the postseason, including a 22-yard reception in Super Bowl 50.

The catch and run came on a third down during the opening drive of the game, which resulted in a field goal.

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Drew Nowak among five waived by Seahawks

GREEN BAY, WI - SEPTEMBER 20:  Center Drew Nowak #62 of the Seattle Seahawks during the NFL game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on September 20, 2015 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  The Packers defeated the Seahawks 27-17.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Getty Images

Drew Nowak opened last season as the Seahawks’ starting center, but he lost his spot to Patrick Lewis during the regular season.

Now he’s lost his spot on the roster altogether. The Seahawks made Nowak one of five cuts from the roster on Wednesday as they made changes to accommodate their incoming group of rookies.

Nowak made seven starts in the first eight weeks of the 2015 season, but was benched as the Seahawks tried to find a more productive offensive line group after a rocky start to the season. The offensive line remained a concern and continues to be a weak spot for the team, but the offense and quarterback Russell Wilson in particular took off over the final eight games.

Nowak ended the year on the practice squad after being waived from the active roster in December and signed a futures deal with the Seahawks early in the offseason. Running back Cameron Marshall, tight end Ronnie Shields, defensive end Josh Shirley and wide receiver Tyler Slavin were also let go.

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Dave Caldwell says Myles Jack currently is “full go”

Zz0wNWVmYmViMTcyODBmNmY4OTU0OTVkODg1OTNjODI1OA== AP

The NFL wants its new players to be as healthy as possible. Before the NFL pounds them to smithereens.

One of this year’s most debated cases of damaged goods was former UCLA linebacker Myles Jack. Appearing on Wednesday’s PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio, G.M. Dave Caldwell discussed the thought process that resulted in a trade up in round two to get Jack — and the prognosis for his knee.

“As we started to get to the late 20s [in round one] I was relatively surprised because we still had [Jack] in our top five players,” Caldwell said. “So we were looking at him as a possible trade back in to the first round. I didn’t really want to give up the fourth-round pick [to trade into round one] because I knew there would still be good defensive players on the board.

“After we slept on it, I reached out to a few teams picking in front of us and I just said, ‘Hey, if our guy’s there, it’ll be a fifth-round pick if guys are willing to do it,’ and Baltimore graciously was willing to do it. They did a nice job, too, because they then parlayed it into another trade-back scenario.”

So what about the concern that Jack may need microfracture surgery at some point?

“I think there’s a lot of information out there, and all the information out there is not accurate,” Caldwell said. “We feel really good about the research that our doctors have done, our medical staff, our trainers. We’ve consulted some of the best cartilage specialists in the country, and we have a plan for him.”

The plan for now is to let Jack, who tore a meniscus last season, get ready for his rookie season.

“Right now, he’s full go,” Caldwell said. “If he was in spring ball, he’d be able to participating at UCLA’s practice, according to his operating surgeon. We look forward to getting him out here and practicing and if something does arise we do have a good plan for it. I don’t think the plan involves microfracture [surgery]. I feel confident with the kind of people we’ve consulted and our medical staff. I don’t think he’s a candidate for that from what I’ve been told, but there may be need to be a procedure somewhere down the line. As of right now he looks good, he feels good, and he’s ready to go.”

Caldwell also pointed out that the Jaguars don’t need Jack to become a major contributor right out of the gates, thanks to the presence of Paul Posluszny and Telvin Smith.

“We would like [Jack] too but if something were to arise it’s not like our cupboard’s bare there,” Caldwell said. “So we look forward to having him come in and compete, and we think that with his skill set . . . he’ll come in and help us.”

So the Jaguars were willing to roll the dice on Myles Jack. If it works out, Jack could end up making a huge difference for the Jaguars as the team tries to get back to the postseason for the first time since 2007.

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Cowboys’ team doctor is confident in Jaylon Smith’s knee

SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 06:  Jaylon Smith #9 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish celebrates a tackle for a loss against the Michigan Wolverines at Notre Dame Stadium on September 6, 2014 in South Bend, Indiana. Notre Dame defeated Michigan 31-0.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Cowboys took a big chance when they took linebacker Jaylon Smith in the second round of the NFL draft, as Smith is recovering from a very serious knee injury.

Except that the surgeon who performed Smith’s surgery also happens to be the Cowboys’ head team physician, and he’s very confident that Smith will heal completely.

The Cowboys’ website reported that Cooper was a major part of the decision to draft Smith, and Cowboys Executive V.P. Stephen Jones said today on Mike & Mike that Cooper gave Smith a positive prognosis, leading the football people to get on board with the idea that he’s worth a second-round pick — even if he won’t play until 2017.

Dr. Cooper sat us down and walked us through other injuries where the nerve didn’t fire right away and then ultimately it did and ultimately they made a full recovery to be the player they had been before the injury,” Jones said, via the Dallas Morning News.

Cooper is staking his reputation on his belief that Smith will return to full speed and get on the field in a year. And the Cowboys believe in their team doctor.

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