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As a prisoner, Hernandez described as “nothing but perfect”

Hernandez AP

Say this for Aaron Hernandez: He follows all the rules of the Bristol County House of Correction.

That’s the word from Bristol County Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson, who told the Boston Globe that Hernandez has been a model inmate while awaiting trial on a charge of first-degree murder.

“He’s been nothing but perfect,” Hodgson said. “I met with him when he first came in to lay the rules out. I said, ‘Here’s the deal. You won’t be treated any better or worse or get any special privileges here. If you have any issues or problems, tell command.’ He was very polite and very respectful. He didn’t seem nervous, he seemed very comfortable.”

Hernandez is separated from other inmates because, Hodgson says, there are concerns that other inmates could attack him to raise their own profile. That means Hernandez lives in a 7-foot-by-10-foot cell for 21 hours a day. When he is allowed out to exercise, it’s not like he can do any running: Even then he’s confined to an 8-foot-by-12-foot cage. He does pushups, situps and squats.

Hernandez doesn’t have access to a TV but he does have access to books and can write letters. He is allowed to have visitors for one hour each week. The jail declined to comment about whether any of Hernandez’s Patriots teammates have visited.

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Andy Dalton still hasn’t thrown since thumb injury

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If the Bengals had made it past the wild-card round, they would have needed quarterback A.J. McCarron to keep playing. And if they’d made it all the way to the Super Bowl, they apparently would have still needed McCarron.

Starter Andy Dalton, who broke a thumb in December against the Steelers, told ESPN.com on Wednesday that he still hasn’t thrown since suffering the injury.

Not throwing yet but will soon,” Dalton said, via Coley Harvey of ESPN.com. “Just being conservative with my hand and waiting for it to be officially 100 percent before I start up.”

The injury happened nearly two months ago, as Dalton made a tackle after throwing an interception.

Dalton, by the way, finally has recovered a pair of suitcases that fell off his truck on a highway in Texas. Which is good because I’m not sure I would have been able to sleep if a guy who can afford to buy new stuff hadn’t found his old stuff.

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Vernon Davis heads to free agency with no postseason stats

Zz05Mjg4NTIyMzRjYzE0MmZmMTdjMzk3NGQ1MDhlZDkwNA== AP

Tight end Vernon Davis finally won a ring. But his contributions to the effort were minimal.

Traded to the Broncos from the 49ers in the last year of his contract, Davis caught no passes in three postseason games. He also had no receptions in a Week 17 win that clinched the top seed in the AFC. His last catch came on December 20 at Pittsburgh, when Davis had one reception for five yards.

For whatever reason, things never clicked between Davis and Peyton Manning, especially after Manning’s return to the lineup in Week 17. And so Davis, who said after being traded that he’d been dreaming of playing with Peyton since leaving college, ended up doing nothing with Peyton in crunch time of the 2015 season.

It suggests there’s a potentially great untold story regarding why Davis and Manning never connected. Maybe at some point that story will surface, especially as Davis tries to persuade another team to sign him to a contract worth something more than the veteran minimum.

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Hakwins says (again) that widening field would cut down on injuries

Andrew Hawkins AP

Writing that it’s a “fact” that players are bigger, stronger and faster than ever before, Browns wide receiver Andrew Hawkins took to Twitter Wednesday to say it would “logical” for the NFL to explore widening the field to cut down on injuries.

Hawkins believes the big hits pass catchers take between the numbers could be standard tackles with more space available. He played in the Canadian Footbal League before sticking with the Bengals but wrote that he’s advocating the NFL to widen the field by 3-4 yards, not to make it 65 yards wide as it is by CFL rules.

Hawkins said basically the same thing three years ago, when the topic was discussed in NFL circles but ultimately didn’t make it to the competition committee. At the time, NFL V.P. of football operations Ray Anderson basically said the idea was old news and something he wasn’t sure would make the game safer.

Hawkins had his 2015 season ended by a second concussion in November. He was hospitalized overnight for observation after being hit by Steelers linebacker Jarvis Jones following an interception.

Back in 2013, Hall of Fame general manager Bill Polian took Hawkins’ side and pushed for the NFL to explore widening the field.

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Jerry Jones hates not being a Super Bowl participant

Zz05ZWUxNGYxMjAzMjIyM2E0NWJkYjUwYzYxM2ZjMTQ2YQ== AP

The Dallas Cowboys appeared in eight of the first 30 Super Bowls. They’ve appeared in none of the last 20. And that drives owner/G.M. Jerry Jones crazy.

“I hate it,” Jones said over the weekend at the NFL Honors ceremony, via the Dallas Morning News. “I scream in my pillow when I go home at night when we’re here. I want [the Dallas Cowboys] to be here so bad, but it’s filling my bucket up so we can go.”

Still, experiencing the Super Bowl makes Jones want to get back even more.

It’s inspirational,” Jones said. ” It makes you want to just empty your bucket to get in here and have this kind of experience. We feel that way. It’s deliberate.”

For 2016, the Cowboys once again have hope, and it starts with the ability of quarterback Tomy Romo to have a big year.

“Candidly, I’m just counting on Tony to come back and have some of the greatest years, if not the best years, of his career,” Jones said. “We want to make sure that we’ve got him the supporting cast. . . . We tried to do it this year. We didn’t get here. We’ll keep trying to get it done.”

Along with the other 31 teams. And all of them are currently 0-0, with seven months to get ready for the chase to win the 51st Super Bowl trophy to be awarded by the league.

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Jim Fassel blames Cam’s Super Bowl performance on his gold shoes

SANTA CLARA, CA - FEBRUARY 07:  A detail of the shoes worn by  Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers prior to Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) Getty Images

Now we’ve heard everything about Cam Newton and the Super Bowl.

Jim Fassel, the former coach who took the Giants to the Super Bowl after the 2000 season, had what may be the strangest assessment yet of Newton’s Super Bowl-losing performance on Sunday. According to Fassel, Newton set the stage for his disappointing game with his choice of footwear in pregame warmups.

“All of the numbers pointed to Carolina. And when I saw Cam Newton walk out in gold shoes — ‘MVP’ — I switched my mind, essentially, right then,” Fassel said on Mile High Sports 1340. “I said, ‘That’s not what a starting quarterback, MVP, leading his team — and I had a lot of respect for him during the season — that’s not what happens.’ You don’t do that. And I said, ‘This guy’s already become soft,’ and that’s what he was.”

It’s true that Newton wore gold shoes with “MVP” on them in pregame warmups, before switching to the blue shoes he and his teammates wore for the game. Why Fassel thinks those shoes had anything to do with Newton’s style of play, however, is unclear. Newton has always had a unique fashion sense, and it didn’t seem to hurt him during the regular season or the first two games of the postseason.

There are legitimate things to criticize about Newton’s Super Bowl performance, from his fourth-quarter fumble to his quick press conference departure. But criticizing his footwear is silly.

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Ex-NFL receiver Josh Morgan charged, accidentally shot himself

Josh Morgan AP

Former NFL wide receiver Josh Morgan is facing misdemeanor weapons charges after he accidentally shot himself.

Morgan was charged with misdemeanor reckless use of a firearm in Virginia, TMZ reports. The charge reportedly comes as a result of an accidental shooting in which Morgan was cleaning his gun and shot himself. His injuries were not serious.

The case brings to mind that of Plaxico Burress, who spent two years in prison after accidentally shooting himself in the leg. Burress, who was possessing the gun in New York illegally, was convicted of a felony.

The 30-year-old Morgan was a sixth-round draft pick of the 49ers out of Virginia Tech in 2008. He played three years in San Francisco, two in Washington and one in Chicago. He was cut after spending training camp with the Saints last year.

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George Toma: Sod on Levi’s field was second-best we’ve had at a Super Bowl

during Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. Getty Images

The quality of the playing field at Levi’s Stadium has been an issue since the stadium opened and it was an issue for some players during Super Bowl 50.

Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib and safety T.J. Ward each criticized the surface after Denver won the game and a video showing Panthers tackle Michael Oher looking like he was wearing roller skates while trying to pass protect has been making the rounds online.

Other players, including Von Miller, had no complaints and NFL turf consultant George Toma, who has worked on the fields at all 50 Super Bowls, said he hasn’t seen many better fields in the history of the game.

“I’m an 87-year-old man and I’ve been in this game for 74 years and been to 50 Super Bowls,” Toma said, via Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area. “And I thought this was the second-best sod we’ve had at a Super Bowl.”

Toma said the turf in Miami for a rainy Super Bowl XLI, which was also won by a Peyton Manning-quarterbacked team, was the only one better than the one the Broncos and Panthers played on last Sunday. Toma said that players are “hard-headed” about which cleats to wear and that “all they had to do was their change cleats” to get better footing.

CBS reported early in the game that several players on both teams were doing just that, although the Oher video shows that different players had different experiences on a field that the NFL’s longtime turf guru says was perfectly fine.

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Bill Polian: Peyton Manning could be a G.M. “immediately”

SANTA CLARA, CA - FEBRUARY 07:  Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos celebrates with his son Marshall Manning and Bill Polian after defeating the Carolina Panthers during Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. The Broncos defeated the Panthers 24-10.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) Getty Images

Peyton Manning hasn’t shared his plans for the future, but if he wants to one day become a General Manager, one of the best to ever do that job thinks he’s ready now.

Hall of Famer Bill Polian said on SiriusXM NFL Radio that Manning was a “football nerd” who used to have in-depth conversations about personnel with him when they were both with the Colts.

“During our 14 years together in Indianapolis, he would often discuss with me prospects coming out in the draft, SEC players he’d seen, players he’d seen in other parts of the country,” Polian said, via the Indianapolis Star. “He pays close attention to the rosters of the other players in the league, with specific attention to the AFC.

He knew the strengths and weaknesses of every player on every defense in the AFC and many on offense, because he met them and got to know them at the Pro Bowl and soaked up information. He is a football nerd, as am I. He’s more than prepared to do that job.”

Many have wondered what path Manning will pursue — once he stops drinking beer — but Polian said he could start soon, and not need much time to get up to speed.

“All he would need would be a brief tutorial on the league rules and things like the general terms of trades and contract language — of which he’s also very familiar, because of his own contract,” Polian said. “He’s well-prepared to do that. He could step right from the playing field into a role like that, because he’s ready. I don’t know that he will, but if someone wanted him to do it, he would be ready immediately to do it.”

The teams most closely linked with Manning as an executive — the Titans and Browns — have each made hires on that side of the ball recently.

But if Manning indicated he was interested in pursuing such an option, there would likely be even more teams interested in giving him that chance.

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Dungy would take Harrison over Owens “every day of the week”

during the game between the Tennessee Titans and the Indianapolis Colts on December 28, 2008 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. Getty Images

Former coach Tony Dungy will be entering the Hall of Fame with one of his former players in Indianapolis, receiver Marvin Harrison. Appearing on Wednesday’s PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio, Dungy was asked whether his teams game planned to stop Owens, given the recent comments from former linebacker Jonathan Vilma that his team’s didn’t.

“It depends on where he was,” Dungy said. “There were some places where you knew he was gonna be a big factor.”

Dungy then offered a comparison of Owens and Harrison: “Terrell Owens was a great receiver but I’ll say this, if I’m going for Marvin Harrison or Terrell Owens I’m taking Marvin Harrison every day of the week. Just as productive, just as hard to defend and made his teams better. There still is to me a characteristic that goes into that. I’m not taking anything away from Terrell Owens’ ability but when you get traded or released five times in your prime and you’re a great player but teams are not re-signing you, that says something.”

Dungy’s comments mesh with the widespread belief that Owens didn’t make it over Harrison due to Owens’ disruptiveness. Presumably, Owens eventually will make it. But if the concerns about T.O. are significant, it could take a while.

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Texans hire female head of communications

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 07:  A referee is seen standing on a Houston Texans logo while the Texans host the Cincinnati Bengals during their 2012 AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Reliant Stadium on January 7, 2012 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Texans have promoted Amy Palcic to senior director of communications, making her the only woman in charge of an NFL media relations department.

“We don’t discriminate or give preferential treatment,” Texans owner Bob McNair said, per John McClain of the Houston Chronicle. “Amy was the best person for the job.

“We promoted Amy because she was the most qualified. She’s done a great job for us. She comes from a football family.”

Palcic’s father, Bob, is a longtime college football assistant coach who also coached 12 years in the NFL. Her brother, Joe, is an assistant coach at Miami (Ohio) University. She takes over for Kevin Cooper, who left the Texans to work for the Houston Super Bowl committee.

Amy Palcic had been the director of corporate communications for the Texans. She previously worked in media relations and communications with the Browns.

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Report: Police recommend criminal charges for LeSean McCoy

Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy ponders a question while speaking to the media during NFL football minicamp in Orchard Park, N.Y., Wednesday, June 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert) AP

Bills running back LeSean McCoy is moving closer to returning to Philadelphia for reasons unrelated to football.

According to 6abc.com, police have recommended that McCoy be charged with, among other things, aggravated assault following a weekend fight in a Philadelphia nightclub.

Per the report, a group of off-duty police officers had ordered multiple bottles of champagne. One of the men with McCoy took one of the bottles from an officer’s hands. A fight ensued, and one of the officers was “punched, kicked and stomped on his body and head multiple times” by McCoy and three other suspects.

The final decision on charges for McCoy and anyone else will come from prosecutors. If, however, the police are recommending charges, prosecutors will be more likely to proceed, given the symbiotic relationship between police departments and those who use the work of police departments to obtain convictions of those who break the law.

The NFL began investigating the incident immediately after news of it emerged. The league also said that placement of McCoy on paid leave is not imminent because players currently are not with their teams.

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Malik Jackson: I’d love to stay, but it’s a business

during Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. Getty Images

Broncos defensive end Malik Jackson scored the first touchdown of Super Bowl 50 when he fell on a fumble forced by Von Miller in the end zone to give Denver a 10-0 lead over the Panthers that they’d never relinquish on the way to a 24-10 win.

The Broncos celebrated that win in Denver on Tuesday, but the NFL doesn’t leave much time to linger in the moment. Free agency will be upon us before too much longer and Jackson is set to be one of the most productive players to hit the open market this offseason.

Broncos General Manager John Elway called holding onto Jackson a priority for the offseason, although the need to sign Miller and possibly quarterback Brock Osweiler may not leave much space for Jackson. During a Wednesday appearance on PFT Live, Jackson said he’d like to be back while acknowledging the business side of things may make that impossible.

“Oh yeah, I love it here man. I think I’m accustomed to living here,” Jackson said. “I’ve tried my past four years to get better and prove to Mr. Elway that I like it here with my play. You know it’s one thing about this this thing is it’s a business you know it doesn’t matter what you like or where you like it. It’s where you can feed your family and make enough money to feed your family. So for me it’s one of those things I would love to stay here and just kinda continue to start here with my boys. Continue this run with them and try to get another one with this defense but you know it is a business and I gotta feed my family so we’ll see what happens.”

Jackson said he’d be happy to get the franchise tag — “I would be making what fourteen or fifteen million in a year?” — in the event the Broncos are able to lock up Miller before the deadline to use the tag, which may be a long shot but it’s one that will remain in play for a few more weeks. If they can’t, Jackson should be the object of desire for several teams looking to fortify their defensive line this offseason.

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Mayock calls Carson Wentz the draft’s best quarterback

MOBILE, AL - JANUARY 30: North team's quarterback Carson Wentz #11 with North Dakota State looks to throw a pass during their game against the South Team on January 30, 2016 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images) Getty Images

It’s primary season in the NFL draft campaign, and North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz just picked up a big endorsement.

Mike Mayock of NFL Network came out with his first draft rankings of the year, and Wentz is atop Mayock’s quarterback list.

Jared Goff of Cal and Paxton Lynch of Memphis are, as expected, ranked second and third. Michigan State’s Connor Cook and Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott round out the Top 5.

The Titans, owners of the first overall pick, won’t draft a quarterback this year after drafting Marcus Mariota last year. But they could be looking to deal their pick to a team that falls in love with Wentz, Goff or Lynch.

Among teams that may consider a first-round quarterback are the Browns at No. 2, the Cowboys at No. 4, the 49ers at No. 7, the Bears at No. 11, the Eagles at No. 13 and the Rams at No. 15. The Titans would love it if one quarterback emerges as the clear-cut top prospect, and some of those teams start a bidding war for the top pick. Mayock thinks that top quarterback will be Wentz.

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Jon Beason announces his retirement after nine seasons

Taye Diggs, Jon Beason AP

Jon Beason was caught up in the Giants’ house-cleaning today, and he has chosen to not pursue work elsewhere.

The Giants announced that the veteran linebacker was announcing his retirement, ending a career that was brilliant when he was well.

“I was able to have some success and set the pace and break records – things I never even really paid attention to until after the fact,” Beason said. “I couldn’t have scripted a better story, coming in as a first-round pick and starting in my first NFL game and setting the club high in tackles, and then breaking it every other year that I played, the Pro Bowls, the All-Pro’s, pinching myself, getting the big contract based on what I had already done; being rewarded for all that was a great feeling. I know that I’m very, very fortunate to have that moment, to have those memories of a certain period of time where I was a big deal.

“The only thing I wish I could have done — I dreamt often of being on the first team to win a championship for the Carolina Panthers. To date, it hasn’t happened. To do something first, I thought was really special and for me to play for the last expansion team, instead of following a legacy of greatness with some of the storied franchises, to do it first was something that was always on my mind. I would say that with everything, even the injuries, the ups and downs of an NFL career, that’s my biggest regret. That’s the thing that looms darkest for me moving forward, knowing that the opportunity has passed me by. It’s something that I’ll have to live with.”

Chosen in the first round of the 2007 draft, Beason helped the Panthers bridge the gap between the injury-shortened career of Dan Morgan and the drafting of Luke Kuechly.

Beason started every game his first four seasons, but since then, has had a hard time staying on the field. He played in more than five games just once since 2010. He thought about continuing, but a knee injury which landed him on IR this season was deemed too much to come back from again.

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Browns OLB Bryant indicted on felony drug charges

Cleveland Browns v Tennessee Titans Getty Images

Browns outside linebacker Armonty Bryant has been indicted on felony drug charges stemming from his Christmas morning arrest after a traffic stop near Cleveland.

Bryant and then-practice squad defensive back De’Ante Saunders were arrested early on Christmas morning. Per court documents, Bryant was found in possession of adderall and oxycodone during the traffic stop. Saunders was indicted for improperly handling firearms in a motor vehicle.

The Browns cut Saunders and made Bryant inactive for the season’s final two games.

Bryant’s indictment on two counts of felony drug possession came Wednesday. Bryant was previously arrested on a DUI charge the week after he was drafted in 2013. He had a career-best 5.5 sacks in 2015 after missing most of 2014 due to a knee injury.

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