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Peyton Manning leads Pro Bowl voting

Denver Broncos v San Diego Chargers Getty Images

Peyton Manning surely hopes he won’t play in the Pro Bowl because he’ll be too busy preparing for the Super Bowl a week later. But more fans want to see Manning in the Pro Bowl than any other player.

The NFL announced today that Manning, with 654,309 votes, is the leader in fan voting for the Pro Bowl. Manning has been selected to 12 Pro Bowls, 11 in his 13 seasons playing for the Colts, and one last year with the Broncos.

This year’s Pro Bowl will do away with the AFC-NFC format and instead assign Pro Bowl players to teams through a draft in which Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders will choose the teams. The Pro Bowlers are chosen in voting of fans, players and coaches, with each group’s voting counting for one-third of the selection process.

Manning is followed in fan voting by Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles, Lions receiver Calvin Johnson, Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, Saints tight end Jimmy Graham, Bengals receiver A.J. Green, Eagles running back LeSean McCoy and Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant.

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Washington waives injured safety Kyshoen Jarrett

LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 15: Strong safety Kyshoen Jarrett #30 of the Washington Redskins makes a tackle on wide receiver Brandin Cooks #10 of the New Orleans Saints in the first half at FedExField on November 15, 2015 in Landover, Maryland. The Washington Redskins won, 47-14. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) Getty Images

Washington safety Kyshoen Jarrett had a promising rookie season in 2015. But that rookie season ended with an injury, and now Jarrett’s time in Washington is over.

Jarrett was waived today with failed physical designation, as he is still dealing with nerve damage in his shoulder stemming from a collision with Cowboys running back Darren McFadden in Week 17. He has been seeing specialists across the country but has so far been unable to get healthy enough to play again.

A 2015 sixth-round draft pick out of Virginia Tech, Jarrett played in all 16 games as a rookie, starting six and also contributing significantly on special teams.

Washington currently has 88 players on its roster, so the team could add two more players without making any other transactions.

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Jaguars say Jalen Ramsey is cleared for the start of training camp

jalen-ramsey-042916-getty-ftrjpg_1qkn7u8h8br4n1ajqgeg94igt8 Getty Images

The Jaguars have too much experience with offseason injuries to star picks to not be cautious.

But Jalen Ramsey has apparently shown them he’s well and ready to go.

According to the Associated Press, Jaguars General Manager Dave Caldwell confirmed Monday that his first-round pick would be cleared to begin training camp after needing surgery in May to repair a torn meniscus.

Ramsey, the fifth overall pick in this year’s draft, scared plenty of Jaguars fans when he went down during offseason work, after the team lost first-rounder Dante Fowler to an offseason injury last year.

But Ramsey’s progress has been quick, and they’ve been optimistic throughout that he’d be well.

The Jaguars are also expected to have free agent tackle Kelvin Beachum available, signaling he’s recovered from last year’s knee injury. Likewise, defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks, who missed the last seven games last year with a torn right triceps, has also bee cleared.

Offensive lineman Luke Bowanko and defensive end Jonathan Woodard are expected to start camp on the PUP  list.

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Vick keeps campaigning for a job

SAN DIEGO, CA - OCTOBER 12:  Quarterback Mike Vick #2 of the Pittsburgh Steelers stands on the sidelines during a game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on October 12, 2015 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images) Getty Images

NFL teams have had 90 roster spots for months. And not a single team has given one of them to quarterback Mike Vick.

With camps opening, Vick continues to push for a preseason job. He recently said he wants to play for a contender. Appearing on Monday’s edition of The Dan Patrick Show, Vick seemed to be far less choosy.

“We had a couple phone calls,” Vick said. “I won’t say as many phone calls as I’d like. I understand the dynamics. I’m 36 years old. The thing is I still have a lot in the tank. I go work out, still go throw, still feel good. And the thing is with me, I just don’t like the way the season ended last year. I ended the year inactive and that’s not me. I’m truly better than that. And I believe in that.”

One of the reasons team shy away from Vick is that he never has fully embraced the role of a backup, with his high level of confidence causing him, even now, to not rule out the possibility of becoming a starter.

“I know I can still win football games,” Vick said. “Not saying that I can go out and be a 16-week starter, who knows? But you’ve got to get that opportunity. I still feel like I can produce.”

Dan suggested a way to prove it: Have a Pro Day workout.

“If I had a Pro Day, I would light it up,” Vick said. “I mean, I go work out and I look good in my training, and everybody tells me that. So that gives me the confidence that, you know, I do still have it. And the reason why I can think forward and think positive about where I’m at in my career, and how I can finish, and it’s all about finishing strong. So Pro Day, it’ll be exceptional for me and everyone watching. But do I want to run the 40 again? No.”

Vick believes he’d still do well in the 40 (even if he doesn’t want to run it), but playing quarterback entails much more than whatever straight line speed he still has. The fact that he still believes he can play at a high level, coupled with the reality that so many current players grew up idolizing him, limits his universe of teams to those with firmly established starters who would never be the subject of a potential locker-room mutiny fueled by starstruck youngsters who love the idea of playing with Mike Vick.

Vick found that spot in Pittsburgh in 2015, but when he got a chance to play, it didn’t work out very well. With Ben Roethlisberger injured, Vick eventually yielded to Landry Jones.

Part of the problem was that Vick didn’t know the offense because he arrived late. This year, he’d be joining the team without the benefit of participating in an offseason program.

Last year, it took an injury to Bruce Gradkowski to get Vick a chance. This year, it may take another injury. Even then, chances are Vick’s name is farther down the list than it was a year ago.

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Texans put J.J. Watt, Duane Brown on PUP list

J.J. Watt AP

They didn’t do it with a handwritten note, but the Texans have made it official that defensive end J.J. Watt won’t be practicing with the team when training camp opens.

The Texans announced on Monday that Watt has been placed on the physically unable to perform list. Watt had back surgery recently and told fans that he expects to be back soon, although there are conflicting reports about just how soon that will be. Watt also had groin surgery this offseason, so more time to rest at this point in the calendar should have its benefits.

Left tackle Duane Brown was also placed on the PUP list as he continues to return from the torn quadriceps that ended his 2015 season. He said earlier this offseason that he expects to be back for Week One.

Tackle Jeff Adams, safety Lonnie Ballentine and cornerback Cleveland Williams III were also placed on the PUP list while linebacker Brennan Scarlett is on the non-football injury list. The Texans also announced that they have signed wide receiver Quenton Bundrage and waived wide receiver Richard Mullaney.

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Junior Galette done for year with torn Achilles

0218-junior-galette-getty-4 Getty Images

For the second straight year, Washington linebacker Junior Galette’s season is ending before it starts.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Galette has suffered a torn right Achilles tendon. He’s expected to miss the year.

Galette, whose Twitter page hints at a significant hardship of recent vintage, suffered the same injury in the left leg last August, during his first preseason with Washington. This year, the injury apparently has happened while Galette was not with the team. If so, that would allow Washington to place him on the non-football injury list and, if the team so chooses, to not pay his base salary of $1 million this season.

The team had planned to hold Galette back until training camp, given last year’s injury. But G.M. Scot McCloughan had noticed that Galette’s “explosion” had returned, and the team had hoped he’d return to the same form that allowed him to rack up 22 sacks over 2013 and 2014 combined, his last two years with the Saints.

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49ers name Tom Gamble assistant General Manager

SANTA CLARA, CA - NOVEMBER 29:  A view of San Francisco 49ers helmets on the bench during their NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi's Stadium on November 29, 2015 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) Getty Images

The 49ers brought Tom Gamble back into their front office last year after he parted ways with the Eagles and now they’ve given him a new title for the 2016 season.

The team announced in a statement from General Manager Trent Baalke Monday that Gamble has been promoted to assistant General Manager. Gamble had been a senior personnel executive since returning to the team in 2015 and was the team’s director of player personnel in 2011 and 2012.

“Tom is an accomplished talent evaluator who grew up around the game of football,” Baalke said. “Having spent the last 28 years of his life in the NFL, his wealth of experience has been invaluable to our organization for almost a decade. Tom is a hard-working professional and more importantly a good man. We are excited he will continue to play an integral role in the development of our team.”

Gamble came to Philadelphia in 2013, the same year that Chip Kelly was hired as head coach, and left after being fired by Howie Roseman. That was part of the internal struggle between Kelly and Roseman that led to Kelly getting personnel control for the 2015 season. The Eagles fizzled on the field, Kelly was fired and made the move to the 49ers while Roseman took back personnel control in Philadelphia.

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Josh Gordon and Johnny Manziel still hanging out together

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 14:  Josh Gordon #12 makes a catch on a ball thrown by Johnny Manziel #2 of the Cleveland Browns during the second quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 14, 2014 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) Getty Images

At any other time, Josh Gordon and Johnny Manziel turning up in the same place might not necessarily have been newsworthy.

But today, yeah, today it looks unusual.

Hours before he was being conditionally reinstated by the NFL after his own substance abuse suspension, Gordon turned up in social media video with Manziel who just came upon a suspension of his own.

Via TMZ, the video shows the two of them hanging around with puppies, playing video games and otherwise occupying themselves in a wholesome manner.

That’s a good thing for Gordon, who doesn’t need any trouble of his own now that the door to his return has finally been opened. As for Manziel, he’s reportedly trying to get himself in any kind of shape to try a comeback, so maybe Gordon’s the good influence he needs.

(Roll that around in your head for a second.)

Of course, Manziel has yet to prove himself able to stay on the straight and narrow long enough to be considered a good influence, so Gordon might be better off to hang out with his teammates, and people who are focused on being football players.

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Wentz may not get a full redshirt season

Football: NFL Draft: Portrait of Philadelphia Eagles QB and No 2 overall pick Carson Wentz during photo shoot at NovaCare Complex.
Philadelphia, PA 4/30/2016
CREDIT: Al Tielemans (Photo by Al Tielemans /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)
(Set Number: SI348 TK1 ) Getty Images

Yes, the second overall pick in the draft is expected to be buried on the depth chart — and inactive on game days — when the season begins. But Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz could indeed be dressing (and playing) at some point this season.

Sam Bradford will be the starter in Week One, and Chase Daniel will serve as the backup. Wentz, at No.3 on the depth chart, won’t be dressed for the game. Beyond that, it’s not clear how long that pecking order will be in place.

“Well, we don’t know it will be his entire rookie year; we can’t speculate that far out,” coach Doug Pederson told reporters on Monday. “But going into the season, there is a good chance it starts that way.”

That last line suggests Wentz could leap a spot (or two) before September 11, so basically the door is open.

Sixteen years ago, when Pederson wasn’t the coach but the starting quarterback in Philly, the baton passed to Donovan McNabb in Week 10. Before that, McNabb made appearances in five of nine games that Pederson started. Pederson was asked whether Wentz, like McNabb, would play before he starts.

“For me it’s more down the line,” Pederson said. “I’m very comfortable with Sam and very comfortable with Chase. It’s a little different scenario than we had in 1999. Donovan came in as the No. 2, so [it’s a] different scenario this year.”

The scenario is that the ceiling is high and the bar is low. Wentz will be able to develop without the weight of expectations or a sense of urgency. He’ll be ready when he’s ready, and Eagles fans need to be ready for anything.

One of the factors surely will be whether the Eagles thrive with Bradford. If the team struggles to win and slides out of contention, it could be time for Wentz to grab a helmet and enter the fray for some reps that will help get him ready for 2017.

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Mike McCarthy: Aaron Rodgers in “best shape” I’ve seen

HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 28:  Athelete Aaron Rodgers attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Packers offseason started with coach Mike McCarthy talking about running back Eddie Lacy needing to lose weight, but he’s not the only player whose waistline became a talking point in the last few months.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers made some big changes to his diet after having arthroscopic knee surgery early in the offseason, eliminating dairy and eating “more of a vegan diet” while dropping to 218 pounds. That’s the lowest weight Rodgers has been at during his Packers career and McCarthy said Monday that the quarterback’s efforts have paid off.

“I would say Aaron’s vibe, and really his offseason participation and performance, looks to line up for a great year,” McCarthy said, via “He’s in great shape. I would say this is the best shape I’ve seen him in.”

The Packers hope to find a better groove in the passing game this season, something that Rodgers will obviously have a big hand in as the year unfolds. Having a healthy wide receiver Jordy Nelson and tight end Jared Cook would also help, although McCarthy wouldn’t say Monday whether they will be cleared for a full practice schedule when camp gets going on Tuesday.

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Josh Gordon can stay with team during four-game suspension to start season

LANDOVER, MD - AUGUST 18: Wide receiver Josh Gordon #12 of the Cleveland Browns lines up during a preseason game against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on August 18, 2014 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) Getty Images

Under the substance-abuse policy, a player banished for at least a full year under the program cannot be with the team during the suspension. For Browns receiver Josh Gordon, the conditional reinstatement crafted by Commissioner Roger Goodell allows Gordon to be with the team throughout training camp, the preseason, and during his four-game suspension to start the year.

While Gordon can’t practice or play during the first four weeks, he can with the team as he attempts to remain on the right path to full reinstatement.

Goodell called agent Drew Rosenhaus on Monday and explained that Goodell specifically opted to craft an outcome that allows Gordon to return to the team with the most support possible, despite the decision to keep him off the field for four additional weeks.

“He wants to give Josh another opportunity,” Rosenhaus told PFT. “He liked Josh and wants to help him and he deserves another chance.”

Apart from helping Gordon get the most out of his latest second chance (he was suspended two games in 2013 and 10 games in 2014), Rosenhaus said Goodell explained he specifically wants to show the NFL Players Association that he is capable of and willing to fashion outcomes aimed at assisting players and cooperating with the union. Rosenhaus added that the NFLPA has been unwavering in its support of Josh Gordon.

At a time when there’s a perception that otherwise able players are choosing to no longer play, it frankly makes sense to help players who are willing to play to find their way back to the field.

Rosenhaus said Gordon is “elated” by the news and that Gordon is immediately heading for Cleveland. The carefully-constructed terms of the reinstatement suggest that the Browns are on board with it, and that they fully intend to keep Gordon as he continues to work through the various things he still must do in order to earn full reinstatement.

“Countless others including your agent, teammates and coaches, Mr. Haslam and the leadership of the organization, the [drug-testing program] professionals and Jim Brown also have pledged to provide you with every resource at their disposal,” Goodell wrote to Gordon in the letter explaining the reinstatement. “But as you acknowledged, ultimately, your future is your responsibility. I have every belief that you can make the right choices, but it will be up to you to do so.”

The development gives the Browns hope for a significant boost to the passing game as of Week Five, when Gordon could be returning for Tom Brady’s return as the Browns prepare to host the Patriots.

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Panthers sign tight end with basketball, Australian experience

ROSEMONT, IL - JANUARY 30: Eric Wallace #25 of the DePaul Blue Demons grabs a rebound in front of Brandon Triche #25 of the Syracuse Orange at the Allstate Arena on January 30, 2010 in Rosemont, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Panthers are deep enough and talented enough to take a look at projects during training camp.

And their latest one checks off a pair of the unconventional boxes.

The team announced they signed tight end Eric Wallace, waiving wide receiver Kobi Hamilton to clear the roster spot.

Wallace grew up in North Carolina, but played college basketball at Ohio State and DePaul. He hasn’t played America football since he was 14, but he has played three years of Australian Rules football.

He had a minicamp tryout with the Saints, but caught the eye of Panthers receivers coach Ricky Proehl recently at his private facility.

“I walked into his office and told him I wanted to play for the Carolina Panthers,” Wallace said. “It was a short chuckle at first, and then he was like, ‘Are you serious?’ I was.”

According to the team website, the 6-6, 260-pounder ran a 4.6-second 40 the next day for Proehl, which led to another workout with the team.

That led to a contract offer to go to camp. The Panthers have one of the game’s best in Greg Olsen and adequate depth, so taking a flier on someone with impressive workout numbers seems reasonable when rosters are at 90.

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Report: Josh Gordon conditionally reinstated, out at least four games in ’16

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 8:  Josh Gordon #12 of the Cleveland Browns catches a pass before a game with the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on December 8, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) Getty Images

Suspended Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon has been reinstated, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Monday.

The report said Gordon has been suspended for the first four games of this season and that his reinstatement is conditional, but he can participate in training camp and be in meetings during his four-game suspension to start this year.

He was suspended for a minimum of one year before the 2015 season for repeated violations of the league’s substance abuse policy. The conditions of his reinstatement include his participation in treatment programs, the report said.

Gordon met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell last week.

Whether or not Gordon will be in the Browns’ plans remains to be seen. He was a supplemental draft choice in 2012 — three Browns administrations ago — and has played in just five games over the past two seasons.

Gordon led the NFL with 1,646 receiving yards in 2013 despite missing the first two games after being suspended by the league. An appeal got that suspension shortened from four games to two.

The Browns open full training camp on Friday.

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Vikings announce Phil Loadholt retirement

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 28:  Phil Loadholt #71 of the Minnesota Vikings laughs prior to a game against the Atlanta Falcons at TCF Bank Stadium on September 28, 2014 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) Getty Images

As expected, Vikings tackle Phil Loadholt has retired. A second-round pick in 2009, the last year the Vikings played in the NFC title game, Loadholt finishes ninth in career starts at the tackle position for the franchise, with 89.

“When you think of the Vikings you think of players like Phil Loadholt,” Vikings owner/president Mark Wilf said in a statement. “He carried himself as a professional and gave his all for his teammates. Phil will be a Viking for life. He was a great player and a better person. We wish him and his family all the best.”

Loadholt could have added up to 16 more starts last year, but a torn Achilles tendon suffered in the preseason kept him from adding to his list. This year, he was on track to not start at all.

“I first want to thank the Wilf Family for the wonderful opportunity they gave me seven years ago,” Loadholt said in a statement. “There’s a lot of people to thank — Rick Spielman, Rob Brzezinski, George Paton, Scott Studwell and all the personnel people. My head coaches — Brad Childress, Leslie Frazier and Mike Zimmer. My position coaches — Pat Morris, Jim Hueber, Jeff Davidson and Tony Sparano. The entire Vikings support staff and most important — the Vikings fans and my teammates. This chapter in my life is closing and I look forward to seeing what the next one brings. I’ll always love this game and the opportunity to do something I dreamed about since I was seven years old. But, my body is telling me it’s time to hang up my cleats.”

Loadholt counts for $1.75 million this year, the last installment of the signing bonus on his second contract. When he accepted a pay cut earlier this year, any potential obligation to repay the amount presumably was wiped off the books via a new contract, meaning that he won’t have to repay the money.

So that’s one area where the decision to take $3.4 million less may have helped him. But for the pay cut, Loadholt may have been required (technically) to return the money.

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Raheem Morris learning on the fly as he coaches offense for first time

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 24:  Head coach Raheem Morris of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers watches on during their game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium on December 24, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) Getty Images

Raheem Morris had to take a step back to being an assistant after an ill-fated stint as the Buccaneers head coach.

Now with the Falcons, he’s had to step to the other side of the ball.

After a year working with the defensive backs (his area of expertise), Falcons coach Dan Quinn moved his assistant head coach to work with the wide receivers after veteran assistant Terry Robiskie left to become the Titans offensive coordinator

I can bring a different perspective,” Morris said, via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I can see the ball. I can see the game. I think it’s a great challenge for me.”

“It’s a chance to view more and grow more. I take it as a great challenge. Everything that I’ve done thus far has been a challenge, whether if it was going to the NFL back in 2002 as a young coach from a I-AA program [at Hofstra].”

But Morris said before he went along with the switch, he wanted to talk to both offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and defensive coordinator Richard Smith about how it would affect the staff, to make sure everyone was comfortable with it. From that point, it was just a matter of changing his own style, and teaching something he’s never taught or played before.

“It’s like being a math teacher and an English teacher,” he said. “You can go out there and get the curriculum and teach what you need to teach. Everybody has their own teaching style.

“I don’t think it’s a matter of what you coach. I think it’s how you coach, the energy you bring, your communication skills, your ability to learn, the ability to use your brain to bring stuff to the table and how you bring it to the table.”

The Falcons clearly needed some shaking up after last season, after an early start was squandered when the offense flatlined. But the bigger boost might come for Morris himself.

If nothing else, the shift makes him more marketable in the future, especially at a time when few minority candidates are pushing through for head coaching jobs.

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Cromartie: I’m not retiring

ORCHARD PARK, NY - JANUARY 03:  Greg Salas #17 of the Buffalo Bills can't make the catch as Antonio Cromartie #31 of the New York Jets defends during the first half at Ralph Wilson Stadium on January 3, 2016 in Orchard Park, New York.  (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) Getty Images

Not long after NFL Network reported Monday that a hip injury may keep free agent cornerback Antonio Cromartie from playing an 11th NFL season, Cromartie took to Twitter to say he’s healthy and working towards playing this season.

“Look, I’m not [retiring],” Cromartie tweeted, adding that he’s been busting his backside this offseason to be able to catch on somewhere and help a team in 2016.

“I have a lot of football left,” he wrote.

Cromartie, 32, started 15 games for the Jets last season and all 16 the previous season for the Cardinals. He has 33 interceptions in 158 career games.

Cromartie is one of PFT’s top remaining free agents with training camps opening leaguewide over the next several days.

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