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PFT’s Week Two picks

Seahawks AP

Yes, MDS finagled a one-game win in Week One, getting 12 of 16 right while I hit on 11 of the games.

After four years of doing this, however, I finally dropped the proverbial hole in one, picking the exact score of the Bears-Bengals game.

And under the new rules of the PFT Picks contest, revised by me this morning, a hole in one counts for three wins.

OK, it doesn’t.  So I’ll have to try to erase the gap by being right on the two games on which MDS and I disagree.  The full list of our picks appears below.

Jets at Patriots

MDS’s take: The Jets looked better than I expected on Sunday, and the Patriots looked worse than I expected Sunday. That has me thinking the Jets will be more competitive in this game than most people expect. Just not competitive enough to win.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 24, Jets 20.

Florio’s take:  Rex Ryan started 3-2 against Bill Belichick.  Since then, Rex is 0-4.  Make that 0-5 as a team that fell into a win in Week One walks into a buzz saw during what likely will be Rex’s last trip to New England.

Florio’s pick:  Patriots 30, Jets 17.

Rams at Falcons

MDS’s take: After losing to their toughest division rival in Week One, the Falcons definitely don’t want to fall into an 0-2 hole in Week Two. I don’t think they will, as the Falcons’ defense will make life tough on Sam Bradford.

MDS’s pick: Falcons 28, Rams 10.

Florio’s take:  An old NFC West rivalry gets rekindled, and Steven Jackson gets an early crack at the only other team for which he’s ever played.  With receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones injured, Atlanta will need a big day from Jackson.  Even then, it may not be enough.

Florio’s pick:  Falcons 23, Rams 20.

Browns at Ravens

MDS’s take: The Ravens gave up seven touchdown passes to Peyton Manning in Week One. I feel reasonably confident saying they will not give up seven touchdown passes to Brandon Weeden in Week Two. The Browns’ offense looked pretty bad in the opener and will continue to look pretty bad in the second game of the season.

MDS’s pick: Ravens 21, Browns 7.

Florio’s take:  Brandon Weeden is no Peyton Manning.  He’s also no Eli Manning.  And he may be no Cooper Manning.  Besides, with 10 days to prepare and a superior team on both sides of the ball, the old Browns will get to .500 as the new Browns stake out more familiar territory at 0-2.

Florio’s pick:  Ravens 34, Browns 17.

Panthers at Bills

MDS’s take: Both teams played well in losses to good opponents in Week One. In Week Two, I think the Panthers are going to get their offense moving and earn a road win.

MDS’s pick: Panthers 34, Bills 21.

Florio’s take:  Each team blew a chance to secure an eye-opening win in Week One.  The Bills seem to be the better team at more positions, but where the Panthers have the edge, it’s a big one.  Flip a coin.  And then go for two-of-three, three-of-five, four-of-seven, or whatever it takes for the home team to prevail.

Florio’s pick:  Bills 21, Panthers 17.

Vikings at Bears

MDS’s take: A playoff team a year ago, the Vikings are at risk of starting 0-2, with both losses in the division. That’s a deep hole for a team to dig itself in the first two weeks of the season, and that’s the hole the Vikings are going to dig, as the Bears’ defense is going to force Christian Ponder into multiple turnovers.

MDS’s pick: Bears 20, Vikings 10.

Florio’s take:  A Minnesota native who never got a chance to coach the local team gets a chance to beat the local team in his second game as an NFL head coach.  It helps that Marc Trestman has a legitimate passing attack, and that the Vikings don’t.

Florio’s pick:  Bears 31, Vikings 20.

Redskins at Packers

MDS’s take: Speaking of playoff teams from a year ago digging 0-2 holes for themselves, that’s where the loser of this game will be. Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will keep Green Bay from that fate with a big game against Washington’s defense.

MDS’s pick: Packers 27, Redskins 17.

Florio’s take:  With the Packers spending their offseason focused on stopping mobile quarterbacks, Robert Griffin III will have to do what Colin Kaepernick did in order to outscore the Packers.  I don’t think he can, not in Green Bay’s building.

Florio’s pick:  Packers 30, Redskins 23.

Titans at Texans

MDS’s take: The Titans’ defense looked great in the opener, but I have a feeling that by the end of the season we’ll say Week One was an indication more that the Steelers’ offense is terrible than that Tennessee’s D is strong. The Texans are rolling after their comeback win on Monday night and will keep rolling when the team formerly known as the Oilers returns to Houston.

MDS’s pick: Texans 27, Titans 21.

Florio’s take:  While Tennessee’s accomplishments in Pittsburgh shouldn’t be disregarded, the Steelers are a far cry from the Texans, who got a valuable lift from the biggest come-from-behind win in team history.  It’ll be a rude welcome back to Houston for the franchise that used to play there.  Mittens off for Bud Adams, everybody!

Florio’s pick:  Texans 30, Titans 16.

Dolphins at Colts

MDS’s take: Reggie Wayne looked ageless against the Raiders in Week One, catching all eight of the passes Andrew Luck threw his way. I see Wayne having another eight catches or so as the Colts eke out another close win.

MDS’s pick: Colts 17, Dolphins 16.

Florio’s take:  Jim Irsay demands better protection for Andrew Luck.  Irsay would be better off demanding a second serving of pudding.  The Dolphins have the horses up front to harass Luck far worse than the Raiders did.  While the Colts still should win, Luck won’t be operating from a clean pocket.

Florio’s pick:  Colts 24, Dolphins 20.

Cowboys at Chiefs

MDS’s take: Can the Chiefs match their win total from 2012 in the first two weeks of 2013? They can if they avoid turnovers against the Cowboys, and I think that’s what they’ll do, as Alex Smith and Jamaal Charles lead an efficient and effective offense and the Chiefs improve to 2-0.

MDS’s pick: Chiefs 21, Cowboys 17.

Florio’s take:  The first time Andy Reid faced the Cowboys as coach of the Eagles, Philly was 0-4 and fading fast.  This time, Reid’s Chiefs are 1-0 and conjuring talk of a playoff run.  For the franchise that used to be in Dallas and the coach who compiled a 17-11 regular-season record against the Cowboys in 14 years, it’s time to move to 2-0 — and 18-11.

Florio’s pick:  Chiefs 27, Cowboys 21.

Chargers at Eagles

MDS’s take: The Chargers’ depth on defense is going to be seriously tested by the fast-paced Eagles offense, and I don’t see how the Chargers keep up. This one could get ugly.

MDS’s pick: Eagles 37, Chargers 14.

Florio’s take:  Six days after blowing a 21-point lead, the Chargers likely will find themselves on the wrong end of a similar margin.  The only question is whether the Eagles can deliver the knockout punch with pedal on metal.

Florio’s pick:  Eagles 34, Chargers 23.

Lions at Cardinals

MDS’s take: This is probably the toughest game of the bunch to call. The Lions are the better team, but they’re also a team that makes so many stupid mistakes that they can lose to anyone on the wrong day. Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald can make plays against the Lions’ secondary, but I expect Reggie Bush to have his second consecutive big game as the Lions win.

MDS’s pick: Lions 31, Cardinals 28.

Florio’s take:  Last year, the Cardinals were ultimately horrible despite starting 4-0.  This year, they look to be much better, but could be destined to start 0-4.  Meanwhile, there’s still time to get on the newest model from Detroit — the Honolulu Blue Bandwagon.

Florio’s pick:  Lions 34, Cardinals 24.

Saints at Buccaneers

MDS’s take: The Saints made a big statement that they’re the favorites in the NFC South with their Week One win over the Falcons. They’ll make another big statement by moving to 2-0 in the division with an easy win in Tampa Bay.

MDS’s pick: Saints 24, Buccaneers 10.

Florio’s take:  The Bucs are in disarray, and the Saints have picked up an early surge from holding the Falcons to 17 points.  New Orleans continues its effort to put together a record stout enough to force the road to an open-air Super Bowl through the climate-controlled Superdome.

Florio’s pick:  Saints 35, Buccaneers 27.

Broncos at Giants

MDS’s take: In the Manning Bowl, I trust the Broncos’ secondary to keep Eli in check more than I trust the Giants’ secondary to keep Peyton in check.

MDS’s pick: Broncos 34, Giants 24.

Florio’s take:  Peyton and Eli may be brothers, but when it comes to playing against each other, Peyton is still Eli’s daddy.

Florio’s pick:  Broncos 41, Giants 27.

Jaguars at Raiders

MDS’s take: Before Week One, I thought these were the two worst teams in the NFL. The Raiders looked better than I expected in a surprisingly close loss to the Colts, while the Jaguars looked even worse than I expected in a surprisingly lopsided loss to the Chiefs. The Raiders get the win and the Jaguars get a step closer to choosing between Teddy Bridgewater and Jadeveon Clowney with the first pick in next year’s draft.

MDS’s pick: Raiders 23, Jaguars 20.

Florio’s take:  The worst teams of 2012 continue their early-season round robin, with Terrelle Pryor poised to make something happen against a team that doesn’t look as bad as many thought it would be.  The Jags look even worse.

Florio’s pick:  Raiders 24, Jaguars 9.

49ers at Seahawks

MDS’s take: I’ve gone back and forth on this one, which is my pick for the best game of the week. I believe the 49ers are the slightly better team right now, but the Seahawks’ crowd will be rocking, and the home-field advantage will be the difference.

MDS’s pick: Seahawks 28, 49ers 24.

Florio’s take:  The Seahawks need to hold serve at home; the 49ers need to show they can hang with a team that tattooed the Niners last December in Seattle.  Look for Richard Sherman to blanket Anquan Boldin — and for Boldin to still find a way to catch the ball.

Florio’s pick:  49ers 24, Seahawks 21.

Steelers at Bengals

MDS’s take: Everyone in the AFC North started the season 0-1, but the Bengals had a much better showing in Week One than the Steelers. Given Pittsburgh’s poor performance and season-ending injuries to center Maurkice Pouncey, linebacker Larry Foote and running back LaRod Stephens-Howling, it’s tough to see things turning around for the Steelers any time soon.

MDS’s pick: Bengals 20, Steelers 10.

Florio’s take:  The new bullies of the AFC North get a chance to rough up a team that spent plenty of time over the years roughing up the Bengals.  With James Harrison bent on making the Steelers regret letting him go and the Steelers having little punch on offense, this one could get ugly.

Florio’s pick:  Bengals 28, Steelers 13.

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Chargers owner’s plane in Florida, but not to pick up Joey Bosa

DENVER, CO - JULY 14:  A radar screen tracks incoming and outgoing flights for air traffic controllers at the Terminal Radar Approach Control center on July 14, 2011 at the Denver International Airport in Denver, Colorado. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), is marking 75 years of federal air traffic control in the United States today. Beginning with just 15 employees in 1936, the FAA now has some 15,000 air traffic controllers and technicians working nationwide. In 2010, the Denver International Airport was the 4th busiest airport in the world, with some 650,000 flights per year and 52 million passengers passing through the airport.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images) Getty Images

In the absence of news about Joey Bosa’s contract negotiations, Chargers fans are scrambling for anything to cling to.

But the latest shiny object should not be confused with a glimmer of hope.

According to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune, Chargers fans were stirred up by reports that the Spanos family’s private plane was in Fort Lauderdale, which happens to be Bosa’s hometown.

But there’s no indication the negotiations have moved, and a team official said the plane was in Florida on unrelated business.

Thus, the last remaining unsigned rookie has effectively turned Chargers fans into a bunch of reporters chasing college coaching searches, tracking tail numbers in search of clues.

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Josh Gordon will be a restricted free agent after 2016 season

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 24:  Wide receiver Josh Gordon #12 of the Cleveland Browns catches a touchdown pass over cornerback Ike Taylor #24 of the Pittsburgh Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium on November 24, 2013 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images) Getty Images

Why would another team want to trade for a receiver who is entering his fourth NFL season, will miss the first four games of it, and potentially will be hitting the open market next year? Because he won’t be hitting the open market.

Browns receiver Josh Gordon will be a restricted free agent in 2017, according to multiple league sources.

Gordon arrived in round two of the 2012 supplemental draft, and he obtained accrued seasons toward free agency in 2012 and 2013. In 2014, however, a 10-game league-imposed suspension coupled with a one-game suspension imposed by the team kept him from participating in six games — and from in turn obtaining a year of credit toward free agency.

Per the sources, the grievance filed by Gordon challenging the suspension was eventually dropped, which means that 2016 will be his third accrued year for free agency purposes. His four-year contract will expire, but he won’t be eligible for unrestricted free agency.

So whoever holds his rights after the season will be able to keep him in place another year under one of the various RFA tenders. Which would make him a little more valuable as a potential trade target.

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Norv Turner sees no signs Adrian Peterson is slowing down

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) is greeted by Minnesota Vikings' Adrian Peterson after a preseason NFL football game, Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016, in Seattle. The Vikings won 18-11. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson) AP

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson led the league in rushing attempts last season with 327, marking the first time he’s led the league in that metric and the fourth time that he’s run the ball at least 314 times in a season.

Only a handful of running backs 30 or older have run the ball that many times in a season and many of them saw their production drop in subsequent seasons. Peterson showed no signs that such a drop was in his immediate future in 2015 and offensive coordinator Norv Turner says that none have presented themselves during training camp either.

“From this camp, I have not seen anything,” Turner said, via the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “He’s got burst. He’s got such a quick start and we know he’s powerful in breaking tackles and running through. He finishes runs out here. We’ve all seen him take off and run the length of the field. … Obviously, it’s training camp. But he keeps such good care of himself. And we did a good job last year of taking care of him through the season. He doesn’t look like he’s slowing down to me.”

Turner said earlier this summer that he expects to get Peterson about 20 carries a game, which is right on line from last season and would provide plenty of opportunities to test whether time is taking a toll on a player poised to move into the all-time top 10 in rushing yards.

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Shoulder injury keeping Kyle Long out of practice

Chicago Bears tackle Kyle Long, left, speaks to his brother, New England Patriots defensive end Chris Long, right, at midfield after a preseason NFL football game Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) AP

When training camp opened, Bears guard Kyle Long missed a bit of time with a calf injury but he returned well ahead of the start of the preseason schedule.

The Bears are hoping that the same will be true of a shoulder injury that has kept him out of the last three practices. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports that it is a labrum issue and that the team is evaluating how serious an issue it is. Biggs quotes one source as being “not optimistic” while another expressed confidence that Long will be ready for the regular season.

Coach John Fox wasn’t breaking any ties on Tuesday.

“It doesn’t really matter what I think,” Fox said. “There are medical people involved and when he’s cleared, he’ll play.”

The Bears have already lost center Hroniss Grasu for the season to a torn ACL, forcing them to move Ted Larsen to the pivot. Larsen kicked back over to guard to replace Long in a recent practice with Cornelius Edison playing center and the Bears also have Khaled Holmes and Amini Silatolu as interior depth should they need to fill in for Long in the coming weeks.

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Ali Marpet in walking boot at Bucs practice

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 15: Ali Marpet #74 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks on during the preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings on August 15, 2015 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings defeated the Buccaneers 26-16. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Getty Images

Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter wasn’t happy with the way his offense performed in Tuesday’s joint practice with the Browns and his mood probably didn’t get any better once he got word of an injury to right guard Ali Marpet.

Marpet has his right foot a walking boot at Wednesday’s practice for the two teams after showing no obvious signs of an injury when Tuesday’s practice concluded. At that point, Marpet told JoeBucsFan.com that his biggest concern was getting experience against Cleveland’s 3-4 front as he rarely saw them in college and had a hard time when facing them in his rookie season.

There’s no word on the severity of Marpet’s issue at this point, but it comes at an inopportune time for the Bucs as they are already missing prospective left guard J.R. Sweezy due to a back injury. Recent reports have pointed to Sweezy starting the regular season on the PUP list, so any extended absence for Marpet would leave the team thin on the interior of the line.

Kevin Pamphile has been in Sweezy’s spot and backup center Evan Smith is a likely replacement for Marpet with inexperienced options behind them on the depth chart.

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New Miami offense making opponents sick, literally

Dallas Cowboys' Anthony Hitchens (59) and Morris Claiborne, rear, tackle Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry after a short catch and run in the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Friday, Aug. 19, 2016, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins) AP

The Dolphins have a new offense, and they have a new tempo to the offense. That new tempo is causing opponents to lose their ability to lose old foodstuffs.

Receiver Jarvis Landry told the story on Tuesday as it relates to the Week Two preseason game against the Cowboys, via Chris Perkins of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

“I think you look at that game there were a couple of guys on their team throwing up while we were driving, so it’ll be interesting to see for four quarters if those d-lines can hold up against our tempo and the way we want to move the ball down the field,” Landry said.

Miami offensive lineman Billy Turner was unable to confirm Landry’s version of the events.

“I have no idea,” Turner said. “I didn’t see it, thank God.”

Regardless, Turner sees the benefit of the offense moving quickly.

“Whenever you’re in an offense where you don’t huddle, and don’t have to huddle, and you’re always on the ball, that creates a sense of chaos for the defense so they’re running around trying to get the right personnel on the field,” Turner said.

If it helps the Dolphins move the ball, it will help them score points. Which will help them win games (duh).

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Doug Baldwin admits agitating after practice-fight with Richard Sherman

BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 13: Wide receiver Doug Baldwin #89 of the Seattle Seahawks celebrates with teammate cornerback Richard Sherman #25 after scoring a fourth quarter touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on December 13, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) Getty Images

Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett talked about upholding the “code,” after he was thrown out of practice for fighting.

But for Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin, some things supersede the code, as their offense tries to establish its identity after an offseason of change.

“I mean, yes, there is a code. But Mike B. doesn’t always necessarily operate by that code, either,” Baldwin said, via Gregg Bell of the Tacoma News Tribune.

That didn’t stop Baldwin and cornerback Richard Sherman (longtime teammates going back to their days at Stanford) from going at each other, in what was described as quite the fight. After Baldwin got behind the Seahawks secondary for a long touchdown in practice, Sherman went across the line of scrimmage to go after Baldwin, throwing punches as the two yelled at each other before coaches separated them. Baldwin had a dark bruise and what appeared to be about stitches off the side of his nose, which Baldwin attributed to his helmet coming down on it.

“No, it wasn’t orchestrated,” Baldwin said. “Obviously, tempers flare. Sherm’s really upset that we keep destroying him in practice.

“He’s upset that the receivers are getting the best out of him and the defensive backs this year. So he takes offense to that.”

That fight was one of many the Seahawks have had in camp, but Baldwin said he wasn’t bothered by it.

“Not concerned with it, as long as it doesn’t spill over into our play on Sunday — or, Thursday, this week, I guess you should say,” Baldwin said. “But we always like that level of chippiness, because it brings out the true level of competitiveness in all of us. I’ll admit it: I’m kind of an agitator in that, at times. But it’s because we need it. We don’t like it just to be peas and carrots all the time in practice. We want to bring out that competitive nature. We want to see the dog in guys so we can bring out the best in their abilities.

“So, yeah, not too concerned about it. We’ll probably taper it down here a little bit as we get closer to the season, to make sure we are all healthy and focused on the task at hand.”

There’s a certain degree of competitiveness coaches want to see in practice, and at a certain level, it’s good for star players to be the ones to show it. But the Seahawks also have a lot of money invested in guys who keep putting themselves in spots to potentially be injured or injure a teammate. They’ve been fortunate so far it hasn’t gotten out of hand, and it will be interesting to see if they can throw the switch as easily as Baldwin suggests.

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Report: Pats adding Nate Washington to discard pile

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 8:  Wide receiver Nate Washington #85 of the Tennessee Titans walks along the sideline before a game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field Field at Mile High on December 8, 2013 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) Getty Images

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.

Tom Curran of CSN New England reports that veteran wide receiver Nate Washington has been added to that list.

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.

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Patriots to cut starting center Bryan Stork

Super Bowl XLIX - New England Patriots v Seattle Seahawks Getty Images

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.

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Sean Payton: I’d try to get Michael Thomas in fantasy football

FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 11: Michael Thomas #13 of the New Orleans Saints runs in to position during a preseason game with the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on August 11, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) Getty Images

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.

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Browns may have planted Gordon trade story to drum up interest

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 23:  Josh Gordon #12 of the Cleveland Browns warms up prior to the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on November 23, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) Getty Images

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.

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Orlando Scandrick likely out for rest of preseason

FILE - In this Aug. 2, 2016, file photo, Dallas Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick makes a reception during practice at the NFL football team's training camp in Oxnard, Calif. The Dallas defense figures to start the season with a cornerback, Scandrick, as its career sacks leader, which explains why Rod Marinelli sometimes gets asked if he can remember coaching so many inexperienced or unproven players.  (AP Photo/Gus Ruelas, File) AP

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.

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Texans release defensive end Alex Carrington

Carolina Panthers v Buffalo Bills Getty Images

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.

The former Bills third-rounder was signed a week ago, as they were looking for someone to hold down the fort until J.J. Watt recovered from back surgery.

It’s still unclear when Watt will be back, though coach Bill O’Brien has said it will be “sooner than later.”

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Josh Norman: Everything’s magnified by 10, but I can take it

ATLANTA, GA - AUGUST 11:  Josh Norman #24 of the Washington Redskins works out during pregame warmups prior to facing the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on August 11, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Getty Images

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.

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More than 20 teams showing up for Tebow’s baseball workout, supposedly

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 01:  Former University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow is seen on the sidelines prior to the start of the game during the All State Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 1, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) Getty Images

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?

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