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PFT’s Week Six picks

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For the Week Six picks, I’m hoping MDS makes like MRS (Matthew Rutledge Schaub) and throws a pick six.

Making that wish somewhat unrealistic is the fact that we disagree on only three games.

Last week, he was 9-5 and I was 8-6.  His lead now stands at three games:  52-25 to 49-28.

If I’m right on all three, I’ll catch him.  And, yes, he and I may be the only two people in the world who actually care.

Giants at Bears

MDS’s take: Florio has done me a big favor with his stubborn insistence on continuing to pick the Giants, and I’m hoping he keeps going with the theory that the Giants are due for a win. (The Washington Generals are due to beat the Harlem Globetrotters any game now, too.) The Bears’ defense is good at forcing turnovers, and the Giants’ offense is good at turning the ball over. That’s a good combination for Chicago.

MDS’s pick: Bears 28, Giants 13.

Florio’s take:  The Giants are due to win.  The Bears are due to not lose.  The Bears are the better team.  The Bears are playing at home.  Advantage Bears.

Florio’s pick:  Bears 24, Giants 17.

Packers at Ravens

MDS’s take: Aaron Rodgers and Joe Flacco both signed enormous contracts this offseason, but only one of them is earning his money. The struggling Ravens’ offense will have a good opportunity to put some points on the board against a Packers defense that’s missing Clay Matthews, but Rodgers will do more damage than Flacco as the Packers win a high-scoring game.

MDS’s pick: Packers 31, Ravens 27.

Florio’s take:  It’s rock-scissors-paper time in Baltimore, where the Ravens defense is becoming the rock and the Packers’ offensive line is running with scissors.

Florio’s pick:  Ravens 24, Packers 20.

Bengals at Bills

MDS’s take: The Bills’ defense is playing tough, physical football, and Kiko Alonso is my early pick for rookie of the year. If EJ Manuel were playing, I’d pick the Bills. Unfortunately, I just can’t pick a team to win a game when its starting quarterback was on the practice squad a week ago, and that’s what the Bills are doing with Thad Lewis starting. So I’ve got to go with the Bengals.

MDS’s pick: Bengals 16, Bills 13.

Florio’s take:  The Bengals can beat the teams they shouldn’t, and not the teams they should.  This is the weekend they need to turn it around, or they may not be getting beat in January.

Florio’s pick:  Bengals 27, Bills 13.

Lions at Browns

MDS’s take: This is another game where a quarterback injury makes the difference. The Browns won all three games that Brian Hoyer started, and if Hoyer were still starting I’d pick Cleveland to make it four in a row. But with Brandon Weeden back under center, I think the Lions’ defensive line is going to wreak havoc against a quarterback who’s too slow to get rid of the football.

MDS’s pick: Lions 21, Browns 10.

Florio’s take:  The Browns have won three in a row, and they’re wrapping up a three-game home stand at the Factory of Gladness.  Without Calvin Johnson, the Lions aren’t the same team.  I’m guessing Johnson either won’t play or he’ll be too banged up to make a difference against a team that will come within a game of matching its 2012 win total after only six weeks.

Florio’s pick:  Browns 24, Lions 20.

Rams at Texans

MDS’s take: Houston has been playing some terrible football recently, but St. Louis is even worse. The Texans’ defense can shut down the Rams’ offense well enough that even another lousy game from Matt Schaub won’t lose it for Houston.

MDS’s pick: Texans 20, Rams 10.

Florio’s take:  Jeff Fisher returns to Houston with a team that has underachieved, to face a team that has underachieved.  Led by a quarterback who has underachieved.  (That applies to both teams.)  Even with the Texans battling against a home-field disadvantage, their defense is good enough to overcome whatever the quarterback does or doesn’t do.

Florio’s pick:  Texans 23, Rams 16.

Raiders at Chiefs

MDS’s take: Kansas City’s turnaround has been remarkable, and I’m particularly impressed with the aggressive defense the Chiefs are playing, led by the one-man wrecking crew that is Dontari Poe in the middle of the line. I like the way Terrelle Pryor is playing for the Raiders, but Poe is going to get in Pryor’s face all day and make him skittish with his passes.

MDS’s pick: Chiefs 20, Raiders 9.

Florio’s take:  It’s been a long time since both teams in this storied rivalry were relevant.  The Chiefs are very relevant.  And very hard to beat at home.  It won’t be easy, but the Chiefs will finally have the same number of wins at 2012 Pro Bowlers.

Florio’s pick:  Chiefs 20, Raiders 17.

Panthers at Vikings

MDS’s take: Both of these teams seem like they should be better than their 1-3 records. If one of them is going to turn things around, I think it’ll be the one that has Cam Newton at quarterback, not the team that has Christian Ponder or Matt Cassel or Josh Freeman at quarterback.

MDS’s pick: Panthers 17, Vikings 14.

Florio’s take:  The chase to be the Vikings’ quarterback of the future begins on Sunday, as they host a team that thought it had one, but possibly doesn’t.  Losing coach lands on an even hotter seat.  Winner gets a heat reprieve, for at least a week.

Florio’s pick:  Vikings 28, Panthers 21.

Steelers at Jets

MDS’s take: Say what you will about Rex Ryan, but the guy knows how to put together a good defense. He’s done it again this year, and coordinator Marty Mornhinweg is making strides with the offense, too. I still have a hard time seeing the Jets as a playoff contender, but they’ll be 4-2 after beating the woeful Steelers.

MDS’s pick: Jets 27, Steelers 7.

Florio’s take:  The Steelers are 0-5 and the Jets are 3-2 and many expected it to be the opposite.  The Jets have a strong front seven and the Steelers don’t have a strong offensive line and even though Pittsburgh beat the Giants last year in MetLife Stadium the Steelers are a shadow of what they were last year.

Florio’s pick:  Jets 17, Steelers 13.

Eagles at Buccaneers

MDS’s take: Even with Nick Foles in place of Michael Vick, this is a game Philadelphia should win without too much trouble. The Eagles’ schedule is getting a lot easier. They beat the winless Giants last week, they’ll beat the winless Buccaneers this week, and they get the Giants again in two weeks. An 8-8 record may be enough to win the NFC East, and when you look at their schedule it’s easy to see the Eagles getting to eight wins. They’ll get win No. 3 on Sunday.

MDS’s pick: Eagles 24, Buccaneers 13.

Florio’s take:  Chip Kelly and company continue to take advantage of a soft spot in the schedule by running circles around a team that won’t be able to keep up with the Eagles offense, regardless of whether Nick Foles or Mike Vick is running it.  If Vick doesn’t play, it’ll be the first time in league history that both starting quarterbacks in the same game are Napoleon Dynamite dopplegangers.

Florio’s pick:  Eagles 30, Buccaneers 20.

Jaguars at Broncos

MDS’s take: There’s no doubt who will win, but if I were betting this game against the spread (and I’m not), I’d pick the Jaguars to keep it closer than the 28-point margin. The Broncos are coming off an exhausting battle with the Cowboys and probably won’t be at their best. Unfortunately for the Jaguars, the Broncos don’t have to be at their best to win this one.

MDS’s pick: Broncos 35, Jaguars 21.

Florio’s take:  Does watching this game count as rooting for the underdog or rubbernecking at a train wreck?  Survey says . . . . both.

Florio’s pick:  Broncos 49, Jaguars 13.

Titans at Seahawks

MDS’s take: I’ve been impressed with the Titans all year, and they’re a better team than most people realize. But there’s no way Ryan Fitzpatrick is winning at Seattle.

MDS’s pick: Seahawks 34, Titans 17.

Florio’s take:  It’s a shame Jake Locker is injured.  He’s missing the chance to come back to Seattle and have his team suffocated and his ear drums ruptured.

Florio’s pick:  Seahawks 24, Titans 10.

Saints at Patriots

MDS’s take: The best game of the week is in New England, where the Patriots need Rob Gronkowski to return against a surprisingly tough Saints defense. Even if Gronk is at full speed, however, I think Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham are a better pair right now than Tom Brady and Gronkowski, and I like the Saints to put up a lot of points.

MDS’s pick: Saints 31, Patriots 21.

Florio’s take:  The Saints proved that they can win away from home against a competent team like the Bears.  With an elite offense and a much-improved defense, why not a clean road sweep of the Super Bowl XX teams that played in New Orleans?

Florio’s pick:  Saints 27, Patriots 21.

Cardinals at 49ers

MDS’s take: The 49ers have put their stumbles behind them and are playing great football. The Cardinals are better than most of us expected, but there’s a clear NFC West pecking order, and the Cards are behind the Niners.

MDS’s pick: 49ers 31, Cardinals 10.

Cardinals at 49ers

Florio’s take:  Bruce Arians doesn’t “see the dominance” of the 49ers and Seahawks.  While the 49ers aren’t yet dominant this year, Arians probably won’t like what he sees.

Florio’s pick:  49ers 27, Cardinals 17.

Redskins at Cowboys

MDS’s take: Dallas’s defense is struggling, and Robert Griffin III may put up some big numbers. But Washington’s defense is struggling even more, and Tony Romo may put up some bigger numbers.

MDS’s pick: Cowboys 35, Redskins 31.

Florio’s take:  Jerry Jones won’t be talking about moral victories come Monday.  He’ll have an actual victory.  You know, the kind where his team scores more points than the other.

Florio’s pick:  Cowboys 21, Redskins 13.

Colts at Chargers

MDS’s take: I’m amazed at the way the Colts keep shaking off injuries and finding ways to win. The Chargers are playing well on offense, but their secondary is a mess, and Andrew Luck should pick it apart.

MDS’s pick: Colts 34, Chargers 20.

Florio’s take:  The Chargers once were a thorn in Indy’s side.  The Chargers are now littered with thorns of their own, and the Colts have found a way in the post-Peyton era to blossom, no matter the amount of duress.

Florio’s pick:  Colts 24, Chargers 21.

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Cleveland radio host resigns

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Last month, Cleveland radio host Kevin Kiley cooked up the hottest of takes regarding the fitness of females to serve as football coaches. Kiley’s rant migrated from illogical to cartoonish, culminating in an argument that women shouldn’t vote on the Pro Football Hall of Fame, either.

His station, 92.3 The Fan, never disciplined Kiley. He’s nevertheless out, following a resignation that he claims was tendered in November.

“My principles, their principles of doing business they don’t match,” Kiley said in an interview with WOIO-TV, via Cleveland.com. “It was tough for me to work there. . . . In 35 years I’ve never been censored and I shouldn’t have been censored for this. You shouldn’t accept censorship ever. You should make sure the people on the radio are telling you the truth as they see it.”

Via Deadspin.com, Kiley claimed that the station censored him by refusing to allow the host to respond to criticism of his comments about female coaches.

He shouldn’t have been prevented from responding to criticism of his comments; he should have been prevented from saying anything. If 92.3 The Fan was going to allow him to remain on the air (it shouldn’t have), why shouldn’t he have been given even more rope?

Absent the additional hot takes that would have come in response to people who exercised their First Amendment right to call him a moron, a misogynist, and/or a misfit, some other station will be more likely to give him a spatula-shaped microphone so that he can serve up some more.

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Report: Lions expected to hire Broncos assistant as QB coach

Matthew Stafford AP

The Lions promoted Jim Bob Cooter from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator when they fired Joe Lombardi last season and then, to the great joy of many, made Cooter the permanent choice for the job once they decided to hold onto head coach Jim Caldwell.

That left an opening at quarterbacks coach and it looks like they will be dipping into Cooter’s past for the new addition to the staff. Alex Marvez of FOX Sports reports that Broncos offensive assistant Brian Callahan, who worked with Cooter in Denver during the 2013 season, was in Detroit on Thursday and is expected to get the quarterbacks coach job.

Callahan, who is the son of current Redskins offensive line coach Bill Callahan, worked with the quarterbacks in Denver as well and Peyton Manning said Callahan will be “a top-flight quarterbacks coach, offensive coordinator, maybe head coach like his dad” in the future.

“I know Jim Bob well,” Callahan said before Super Bowl 50, via the Detroit Free Press. “We worked together for a year. But as of right now, we’re just worrying about this game. If anything comes to it after that, then we’ll go from there. But really, technically, I’m just worried about playing in the Super Bowl, to be honest with you.”

The quarterbacks job is the last position coach opening on Caldwell’s staff for the 2016 season.

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Cam Newton sports “I win my way” T-shirt

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In an Instagram message thanking the fans for a memorable 2015 season, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton wears a T-shirt that declares, “I win my way.”

The text accompanying the photo reiterates Cam’s “my way” mantra: “I am not perfect and I will make mistakes but I will continue to work on improving each day trying to perfect all my imperfection. Pursuing greatness is my commitment, and I will continue to be true to myself, to my family and to making all of you who follow me proud. I will win my way and hope to inspire you all to win your way.”

Perhaps an even more telling message appears over Newton’s right shoulder in the photo, in a framed crop of the iconic shot of Muhammad Ali standing over a fallen Sonny Liston.

“Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even,” the quote from Ali declares.

That’s where Newton needs to focus in the next stage of his development. When things aren’t coming easily for Cam and the Panthers, he needs to fight past the feeling that it’s not his day and find a way to overcome the adversity, even if he’s tempted to think there’s no hope. As to his decision not to dive on that loose ball late in the Super Bowl, it’s possible that Newton decided, consciously or not, that there was no way the Panthers were going to score a touchdown against the Denver defense.

The next time Newton is in that situation, he needs to come up with an “extra ounce of power,” providing the throw or the run that will turn what seemed destined to be a defeat into a win.

I don’t care that he was sulking after the game; I’d rather see a player be miserable than happy following a tough loss. And I don’t blame him for walking out of the press conference after hearing Chris Harris Jr. crowing about what Denver’s defense did to Newton and the passing game. But to the extent that Newton’s emotions are distracting him during a game, Newton needs to “reach down to the bottom of his soul,” ignore the feeling that he’s destined to lose, and find a way turn it around.

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Report: Panthers interviewing special teams coaches

Bruce DeHaven, Richie Brockel AP

Panthers special teams coach Bruce DeHaven has continued to work after being diagnosed with cancer, embodying the team’s “Keep Pounding” motto which began during Sam Mills’ own fight with the disease.

But it appears they want to at least find some help for him, if not replace him.

According to Alex Marvez of FOX Sports, the Panthers are interviewing Bucs assistant Kevin O’Dea and 49ers assistant Thomas McGaughey for a special teams coaching position with the team.

It’s unclear if that’s a reflection on DeHaven’s condition, as neither he nor the team has said much about it. Last week, he buried the hatchet with Broncos defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, who fired him as Buffalo’s special teams coach following the Music City Miracle in the 1999 playoffs.

The Panthers brought 67-year-old Russ Purnell in as an assistant to DeHaven this year, so this could be for a role supplementing DeHaven.

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Matt Forte makes it official: He’s out in Chicago

Matt Forte AP

We can file this one as one of the early offseason #asexpected notes, but it’s now official: Matt Forte won’t be returning to the Bears.

The veteran running back just sent out word via social media that he wouldn’t be back, as the team won’t pursue extending the free agent.

Despite my wishes, my days as a member of the Chicago Bears have sadly come to an end,” he wrote on Instagram. “I was informed earlier this week from the GM that they will not be attempting to re-sign me in free agency. I will remain forever grateful for my time spent in Chicago and being able to play for an organization with such a rich history.

“My only regret is not being able to win a Lombardi trophy for the best fans in all of sports. I’m excited about the next chapter of my NFL career. But, Chicago will always be home. God Bless and Bear Down!”

While Forte has hit the magic number for running backs (he turned 30 in December), he’s remained productive, and his blend of running and receiving ability ought to make him an attractive target in free agency.

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Bucs wary of spending big in free agency

Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht introduces Dirk Koetter as new head coach of the NFL football team in Tampa, Fla., Friday, Jan. 15, 2016. (Will Vragovic/The Tampa Bay Times via AP) TAMPA OUT; CITRUS COUNTY OUT; PORT CHARLOTTE OUT; BROOKSVILLE HERNANDO TODAY OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT AP

Buccaneers linebacker Kwon Alexander said this week that he wants to see the team boost the number of pass rushers on the roster, something that’s hard to do with veteran players without spending a fair amount of money in free agency.

That might leave the draft as the likeliest way that the team addresses that need. General Manager Jason Licht has plenty of salary cap space to work with this offseason, but said this week that the team is wary of devoting too much of it on veterans who have played out contracts with other teams.

“We’ll be selective and strategic,” Licht said, via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. “We don’t want to put ourselves into a position where if you take the wrong guy and give him too much money, it can disrupt your team. I’ve said since Day 1, we are going to build through the draft. And from Day 1, the most success we’ve had is with draft picks. We still believe the best way for us to go is to draft and develop players. You can’t think you’re going to put yourself over the top by signing these high-dollar guys.”

One player that the Bucs will have to spend some money to keep is running back Doug Martin as Stroud reports that the NFL’s second-leading rusher in 2015 wants to “hit the jackpot” this offseason. Licht said the team has had “great discussions” with Martin, but Stroud expects he’ll hit the open market when free agency opens on March 9. Should he leave, that could change the plan for the Bucs, although there’s a lot of time for things to work themselves out between now and then.

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Philly mayor wants to put LeSean McCoy in the slammer

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After former Giants receiver Plaxico Burress put a bullet through his own leg in a Manhattan club, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg publicly declared a desire to put Plaxico in the “slammer.” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney now wants to do the same thing to former Eagles running back LeSean McCoy, absent such colorful language.

In an interview with CBS Philly, Kenney criticized McCoy, who now plays for the Bills, for the alleged beating of a pair of off-duty police officer.

“In addition to punches being thrown, there were some kicks that looked as if they were being leveled and that’s unconscionable and it’s cowardly,” Kenney said. “If [McCoy] wants to stomp our officers and pound our officers, then he needs to pay the price and answer for his actions.”

With all due respect to Mayor Kenney, he should butt out of this one. The case could be headed for a jury that is supposed to be fair and impartial. His comments will make it harder to ensure that a juror will not disregard McCoy’s presumption of innocence.

Also, Kenney’s comments assume (perhaps incorrectly) that McCoy knew he was fighting police officers. While it makes no difference if the victim is or isn’t a member of the police force, Kenney’s comments create the impression that McCoy decided to bully a guy who was whistling while he walked a beat on Broad St.

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Houston bidding to land Pro Bowl week before Super Bowl

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 09:  The Kansas City Chiefs huddle in the first quarter against the Houston Texans during the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at NRG Stadium on January 9, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images) Getty Images

For many Pro Bowlers, the promise of a week-long vacation in Hawaii is the only incentive to playing in a meaningless game.

And next year, they might not even have that.

According to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, Houston is bidding to add the 2017 Pro Bowl in addition to next year’s Super Bowl hosting duties.

“The Pro Bowl has historically been held in Hawaii, but I know the NFL is trying to consolidate their Super Bowl experience with the Pro Bowl,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said. “They’d like them to be held in the same city. It just makes it much easier for everybody who’s traveling who’s affiliated with the city and the Super Bowl. It’s a possibility. It would be ideal if it could happen.

“There are some conversations. We’re making a major push to bring all of the major events to the city of Houston, just like the Final Four.”

The Pro Bowl has been on the mainland twice in recent years, serving as a lead-in to Super Bowls in Phoenix and Miami.

And it’s interesting that the mayor cited the NFL’s desire to consolidate the game, as much as the usual promises of economic impact. While it’s not as tropical as Hawaii, linking the game with the Super Bowl does create an extra boost of attention for the game, which could counteract the lack of boat drinks at poolside for players who might otherwise not attend.

A league spokesman said a decision on the site of next year’s Pro Bowl was expected this spring. Hawaii will bid for the game again, and Brazil is under consideration as well.

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Dave Gettleman promises to be “patient” with Panthers offseason

Dave Gettleman AP

Panthers General Manager Dave Gettleman waited a long time to find a team to run.

But now that he’s got one, he’s not going to get in a hurry making changes to it.

Via Bill Voth of Black and Blue Review, Gettleman insisted his penchant for patience wasn’t likely to change this offseason, even though the Panthers fell a game short of a title and are in better salary cap shape than they’ve been in years.

With my 30-year meteoric rise, I’ve learned to be patient,” Gettleman said. “If you have a philosophy that you believe in, and I know people are impatient, but, . . . you have to be patient.”

Other than cornerback Josh Norman — who can probably expect to be franchise-tagged — the Panthers don’t have many priority free agents. And though they have some flexibility, it’s more likely Gettleman will try to turn that into deals to keep players such as defensive tackle Kawann Short and eventually Star Lotulelei than to spend on outside free agents.

“We’re going to do everything we can to keep our core together, I mean, you’d have to be an idiot not to,” Gettleman said. “Tough decisions have to be made. We’re going to do the best we can to keep this team together.

“We’ve got a lot of really good, young players and we don’t want to develop players for other teams.”

The Panthers are also five weeks behind most of the rest of the league in terms of preparing for the offseason. But considering they’re more likely to work the second wave of free agency than the first, that’s not as much of a problem for them as it might be in other places.

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Packers extend Letroy Guion

Letroy Guion AP

The Packers’ priority in free agency is always signing their own free agents before looking at players from other teams, and they’ve taken that approach again.

Green Bay and defensive tackle Letroy Guion have agreed in principle to a three-year, $11.25 million deal, Adam Caplan of ESPN reports.

Guion is actually rare on the Packers’ roster in that he wasn’t drafted by the team: He was drafted by the Vikings in 2008 and signed with the Packers only in 2014. But he has played well enough in his two years in Green Bay that the team wants to keep him around.

The Packers’ devotion to Guion comes despite his off-field problems. Guion copped a plea after facing drug and weapons charges, and he also reportedly had a domestic violence charge. He missed the first three games of last season while serving an NFL suspension.

But Guion is back now, and both sides hope he’ll be with the Packers for at least three more years.

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Percy Harvin’s contract set to void on Friday

Percy Harvin, Jayron Hosley AP

The Bills signed wide receiver Percy Harvin to a three-year contract last offseason, although there never was much chance that he’d see the final two years of the deal.

With base salaries of $9 million for 2016 and 2017, those years were tacked on to make his 2015 cap hit easier to swallow as the Bills had the ability to void the deal after paying $3 million in salary and a $3 million signing bonus in the first year. As Sal Capaccio of WGR 550 points out, those years void on Friday at 4 p.m. and Harvin will become a free agent again on March 9.

Harvin only played five games for the Bills in 2015 because of knee and hip injuries that cast some doubt about whether he’d be back on the field for anyone in 2016 or any other year. Bills director of player personnel Jim Monos said last month that the team is “still not sure” what’s going on with the wideout, although General Manager Doug Whaley later expressed hope of bringing the veteran back for another season.

“We’ll talk to him, see where he is and hopefully he comes back,” Whaley said, via the Buffalo News. “We want him back.”

It’s hard to imagine Harvin generating too hot a market given his injury history which could help the Bills hold onto him at a low price. Banking on anything substantial from a player who has played 28 games for three different teams over the last four years doesn’t sound like all that sound an idea, however.

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Brock Osweiler hopes to stay among “special group” in Denver

SANTA CLARA, CA - FEBRUARY 07:  Brock Osweiler #17 of the Denver Broncos celebrates after winning Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium on February 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, California. The Denver Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers 24-10.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) Getty Images

Once Peyton Manning does what feels inevitable, the Broncos will then have to decide how to proceed with backup quarterback Brock Osweiler.

But for his part, the once-and-maybe-future starter said he feels a part of something unique there, and wants to return.

“Every single guy on this team embraced me, and that is something I think they all know how thankful I am for that, but this is the best team in the world and we have a very special group in our locker room,” he said, via Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post.

Osweiler filled in more than acceptably during Manning’s injury/ineffective streak midseason. He was 5-2 as their starter, reasonably in line with expectations on a team that doesn’t ask the quarterback to do too much on his own.

But they think he’s capable of more in the future based on this experience.

“I wish every quarterback in the league could have a chance to learn before being put to the fire test,” Broncos quarterbacks coach Greg Knapp said. “It is not just the game itself to learn about, but how you manage the team as a quarterback. How do you handle the tough questions after a tough loss, how do you look in the locker room after a Monday or a Tuesday after a tough loss to your teammates. That’s such a valuable tool because a young quarterback, say he’s a rookie high draft pick, has to play and they have a tough loss, he’s got no experience to pull from. He has no knowledge on how to manage that situation.”

But Osweiler has that experience now, and the inside track to the starting job there in the future. But first, they have to figure out his contract status. If they can’t get a long-term deal done with Von Miller before the deadline, they’re expected to use the franchise tag on their pass-rush star.

That leaves Osweiler as a free agent, and much like Kirk Cousins in Washington, it’s hard to gauge the market value of someone with a promising but limited resume.

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Friday morning one-liners

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

Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney says Bills RB LeSean McCoy needs to “answer for his actions” after a weekend fight with off-duty police officers.

Dolphins K Andrew Franks didn’t have much to do in the final weeks of the season.

The Patriots need some new faces in the backfield.

Should the Jets part ways with CB Antonio Cromartie?

The Ravens have started putting their draft board together.

Looking at S Reggie Nelson’s future with the Bengals.

The Browns continue to reorganize their scouting department.

Breaking down the Steelers’ cap position at the start of the offseason.

Texans players paid a visit to patients at Texas Children’s Heart Center.

It’s time for Colts P Pat McAfee’s standup comedy tour.

Said Jaguars WR Allen Robinson, “We’ve had some success, but we still see the direction we’re going. We’re not even close to being at the peak of things. We still have a lot to accomplish, and I think for us that’s what keeps us so excited.”

Sifting through some possible Titans cuts.

QB Brock Osweiler and the Broncos have some contract talks in their future.

A preview of offseason moves the Chiefs may make at cornerback.

All the biggest points the Raiders would like to emphasize from their lease signing press conference.

Expecting a rebound from Chargers G Orlando Franklin in 2016.

Five of the biggest draft steals in Cowboys history.

The Giants are looking for a defensive assistant to round out their coaching staff.

Eagles coach Doug Pederson continues to say nice things about QB Sam Bradford.

Projecting the changes on the Redskins defensive line.

Bears LB Brian Urlacher is up to more than just growing hair during his retirement.

The Lions signed journeyman LB Jerry Franklin as a street free agent.

Offensive line additions may be in store for the Packers this offseason.

What’s coming up at wide receiver and tight end for the Vikings?

Former Falcons pass rusher Patrick Kearney breaks down Vic Beasley’s rookie season in Atlanta.

A big Super Bowl performance has Panthers DE Kony Ealy excited about his future.

Why haven’t the Saints parted ways with CB Brandon Browner yet?

The Buccaneers did well in the 2015 draft.

A look at what’s coming at cornerback for the Cardinals in free agency.

Any look at the Rams quarterbacks ends with the team needing an upgrade at the position.

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Mark Davis: Oakland A’s are holding up progress on new stadium

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 30:  Josh Donaldson #20, Sam Fuld #23 and Brandon Moss #37 of the Oakland Athletics celebrate after Moss' three-run home run in the sixth inning against the Kansas City Royals during the American League Wild Card game at Kauffman Stadium on September 30, 2014 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) Getty Images

While the Raiders’ extending of their lease in Oakland for another year might have been a short-term relief, Mark Davis still has a long-term problem with his co-tenant in O.co Coliseum.

The Raiders owner took aim at the Oakland A’s as an impediment in his quest for a new stadium in Oakland.

The baseball team signed a 10-year lease on the old place in 2014, and Davis said until they declare their intentions for the future, it’s hard to move forward.

There’s an elephant in the room, and that’s the Oakland A’s. “They have to make a commitment to what they want to do,” Davis said, via Scott Bair of CSNBayArea.com. “That’s the problem. They signed a 10-year lease while we were negotiating with Oakland officials, and it kind of put somebody right in the middle of things. There isn’t much you can do. They’ve tied our hands behind our back.

“Now it’s up to the A’s to make a declaration of what they want to do. If they don’t do that, I don’t see how we can make a deal.”

Davis said his long-term plan is for each team to have a new building on the current site. But he also doesn’t want to compromise parking and tailgating possibilities during construction, hoping to tear down the decrepit hulk of a stadium and come back to a new one rather than work piecemeal.

“What I do not want to do,” Davis said, “is build a football stadium in a corner of a parking lot while the Oakland Coliseum is still standing and, once we have a brand new venue, we begin to tear down the old stadium and build a new ballpark, disrupting the ingress, egress, parking and tailgating experience for Raiders fans on game day.”

Of course, all that takes money, and that’s the problem. Local officials have insisted they won’t spend public funds on the project, and it’ll take more than the $100 million the league is offering them to stay put to make a new stadium magically appear.

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Steve Keim: “No doubt” Cardinals want Mathieu as fixture for years

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 16:  Tyrann Mathieu of the Arizona Cardinals, who is out for the season with an injury, looks on in the fourth quarter while taking on the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 16, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Getty Images

When safety Tyrann Mathieu tore his ACL in Week 15 of the regular season, General Manager Steve Keim said it made for a “deflated” locker room while the team was simultaneously celebrating their NFC West title.

Given how much Mathieu did for the defense in the weeks before his injury, it’s not hard to understand why the team felt that way. Mathieu’s production covered the entire stat sheet the way he covers the entire field when he’s healthy and Keim said the team is in no hurry to deal with the deflation that would come with his departure from the roster.

During an appearance on Arizona Sports 98.7, Keim said that one of the team’s goals for the offseason is to sign Mathieu to an extension before he plays out the final year of his rookie deal.

“It’s hard to say that that we’ll be able to get something done for sure, but we certainly have that goal in mind and there’s no doubt that this organization wants Tyrann Mathieu to be a fixture here for years,” Keim said.

Mathieu has expressed a desire to remain in Arizona, so the chances of getting a deal done look pretty good. It wouldn’t be too surprising if serious talks were to wait until a bit later in the offseason, though, as the Cardinals would probably like to see how Mathieu’s rehab has progressed before putting the finishing touches on a new deal.

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