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PFT’s Week 17 picks

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After a pathetic, season-worst 6-10 showing by yours truly and a four-game sweep by MDS, I was tempted to try to guess which team he’d pick for each of the 16 games to end the regular season, and then hope for the best.

But the spirit of this game is to try to get as many games right as possible, even if my outcome from last week would suggest that the better approach for me would be to select a winner — and then to do the opposite.

This week, we disagree on three games, which means MDS will win the regular-season competition by at least nine games.

For the year, MDS has generated a record of 157-83.  I’m 145-95.

The only good news is that it all resets to 0-0 for the postseason picks competition.

Panthers at Falcons

MDS’s take: Give the Falcons credit for playing competitive football against good teams, as they did on Monday night against the 49ers. This Atlanta team hasn’t quit. But the Panthers’ defense should shut down the Falcons’ offense as the Panthers clinch the NFC South.

MDS’s pick: Panthers 20, Falcons 10.

Florio’s take:  The Panthers need a win to nail down the No. 2 seed.  An immature, undisciplined team would stumble in this spot.  If nothing else, the 2013 Panthers have proven that they are both mature and disciplined.

Florio’s pick:  Panthers 27, Falcons 20.

Packers at Bears

MDS’s take: As of the time I’m making this pick I don’t know if Aaron Rodgers is playing, so this is a tough one. But I’ll go with the Bears to clinch the NFC North in a high-scoring affair.

MDS’s pick: Bears 31, Packers 27.

Florio’s take:  If Aaron Rodgers can play, the Packers have a chance to peak in January.  If they can get to January.  If Rodgers plays on Sunday, the Packers will get to January.

Florio’s pick:  Packers 34, Bears 30.

Ravens at Bengals

MDS’s take: The Ravens suffered a huge letdown last week against the Patriots, and I see the defending champions’ season ending on Sunday in Cincinnati.

MDS’s pick: Bengals 24, Ravens 14.

Florio’s take:  The Bengals need a win and some help in order to secure the No. 2 seed.  The Ravens need a win and some help to extend their streak of playoff appearances to six.  While the Bengals are unbeaten at home, the Ravens have the greater incentive and enough talent to capitalize.

Florio’s pick:  Ravens 20, Bengals 17.

Jaguars at Colts

MDS’s take: The Jaguars aren’t going down without a fight, but the Colts showed last week against the Chiefs that they’re real contenders. Indianapolis will win this one and head into the playoffs with a full head of steam for a likely rematch with Kansas City.

MDS’s pick: Colts 34, Jaguars 20.

Florio’s take:  Indy is building some momentum in the hopes of advancing beyond the wild-card round.  The Jaguars have shown enough progress to create plausible hope for 2014 — if they can find a decent quarterback.

Florio’s pick:  Colts 30, Jaguars 20.

Jets at Dolphins

MDS’s take: Last week the Dolphins laid an egg, while the Jets kept fighting despite having no shot at the playoffs. This week, however, I think the Dolphins’ pass rush will get to Geno Smith and Miami will win a low-scoring game and the right to play in the first round of the playoffs, probably at Cincinnati.

MDS’s pick: Dolphins 20, Jets 10.

Florio’s take:  After his first season as Jets coach, Rex Ryan gave the finger to a Miami MMA crowd.  On Sunday, in perhaps his final act as Jets coach, he can give a figurative finger to Fins fans by knocking the home team out of the playoffs.  Rex will pull out all the stops, and the Dolphins will follow two wins in games they should have lost with two losses in games they should have won.

Florio’s pick:  Jets 23, Dolphins 20.

Lions at Vikings

MDS’s take: After appearing to be in control of the NFC North for much of the season, the Lions have gone into free fall. The fall will continue in Minnesota.

MDS’s pick: Vikings 24, Lions 17.

Florio’s take:  The final game at the Metrodome coincides with what likely will be the final game of Jim Schwartz’s tenure and Lions coach.  Adrian Peterson won’t let his team exit its 31-year home with anything other than a victory to cap a lost season.

Florio’s pick:  Vikings 31, Lions 23.

Bills at Patriots

MDS’s take: Buffalo isn’t going anywhere, but the Bills’ defense is a lot better than most people realize, as the Dolphins found out the hard way last week. It wouldn’t shock me to see the Bills pull off the upset, but I expect the Patriots’ defense to shut down the Bills’ offense to win a close, low-scoring game.

MDS’s pick: Patriots 14, Bills 10.

Florio’s take:  The Pats still have a shot at securing the No. 1 seed — and also at having to play in the wild-card round.  Either way, a home loss wouldn’t be the best way to embark on a playoff run in a wide-open AFC.

Florio’s pick:  Patriots 38, Bills 20.

Buccaneers at Saints

MDS’s take: The Saints are a bad road team but a good home team. That’s a bad thing to be if you’re going to the playoffs as a wild card, but in New Orleans on Sunday, the Saints will clinch a playoff berth.

MDS’s pick: Saints 27, Buccaneers 17.

Florio’s take:  The Saints could end the day as the No. 2 seed.  The Saints also could end the day out of the playoffs.  If Carolina wins earlier, forcing the Saints to leave the Superdome in the wild-card round, they may be tempted to not delay the inevitable.  Coach Sean Payton won’t let that happen.

Florio’s pick:  Saints 27, Buccaneers 13.

Redskins at Giants

MDS’s take: Both of these teams stink, but Washington is a much lower level of stink. This game will be ugly, and the Giants will win.

MDS’s pick: Giants 23, Redskins 16.

Florio’s take:  The Giants hoped to finish their season with a win at MetLife Stadium in February.  They’ll have to settle for finishing their season with a win at MetLife Stadium in late December.

Florio’s pick:  Giants 28, Redskins 17.

Browns at Steelers

MDS’s take: The Steelers dug a deep hole for themselves with their lousy start to the season, but they’re playing good football now. They probably won’t get all the help they need to make the playoffs, but the Steelers will take care of business against the Browns.

MDS’s pick: Steelers 34, Browns 13.

Florio’s take:  If the Steelers get to the playoffs, they’ll be tough to beat.  But not as tough as they’ll be to beat in the game that can help get them to the playoffs.

Florio’s pick:  Steelers 34, Browns 17.

Texans at Titans

MDS’s take: The Texans will clinch the first overall pick in the draft by losing to the Titans. And draft order is the only reason to pay any attention to this game.

MDS’s pick: Titans 20, Texans 13.

Florio’s take:  New Houston meets old Houston at a time when both Houstons have a problem too big for one meaningless game to fix.  If Mike Munchak is leaving after more than 30 years with the Oilers/Titans franchise, he’s going out with a win.

Florio’s pick:  Titans 24, Texans 17.

49ers at Cardinals

MDS’s take: The Cardinals have had an impressive season, and there’s a good team being assembled in Arizona. I think the Cardinals will make a big statement by defeating the playoff-bound 49ers, although Arizona won’t get the help it needs to make the playoffs.

MDS’s pick: Cardinals 20, 49ers 17.

Florio’s take:  Arizona finishes laying the foundation for a run at the top of the division in 2014.  The 49ers will be happy to get out of Arizona healthy enough to function the following weekend.

Florio’s pick:  Cardinals 20, 49ers 17.

Broncos at Raiders

MDS’s take: With home-field advantage throughout the playoffs on the line, Denver will cruise to an easy win in Oakland.

MDS’s pick: Broncos 38, Raiders 14.

Florio’s take:  With 265 yards passing on Sunday, Peyton Manning emerges from the 2013 season with the record for passing touchdowns and passing yards.  With more points than the Raiders on Sunday, the Broncos emerge from the 2013 season with the No. 1 seed, again.  What they do with it remains to be seen.

Florio’s pick:  Broncos 41, Raiders 20.

Chiefs at Chargers

MDS’s take: The Chiefs are locked into the No. 5 seed in the AFC and are therefore the only playoff team with nothing to play for. As a result, I think they’ll take it easy on Sunday and the Chargers will cruise to a win.

MDS’s pick: Chargers 30, Chiefs 20.

Florio’s take:  By the time this one starts, the Chargers will know whether a win gets them in the playoffs.  Chances are they’ll be done.  But with the Chiefs likely resting starters, the Chargers will finish on the right side of .500.

Florio’s pick:  Chargers 31, Chiefs 21.

Rams at Seahawks

MDS’s take: The Rams are playing competitively and this won’t be easy for the Seahawks, but Seattle will be highly motivated to win this one and clinch home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

MDS’s pick: Seahawks 31, Rams 20.

Florio’s take:  Last Sunday’s loss to the Cardinals gave the Seahawks a much-needed wake-up call.  They’ll answer the bell by roughing up the Rams and locking up the No. 1 seed.

Florio’s pick:  Seahawks 27, Rams 10.

Eagles at Cowboys

MDS’s take: Even with Tony Romo I’d lean toward the Eagles to take this one, but with Romo’s back injury this looks to me like a game the Eagles take to clinch the NFC East.

MDS’s pick: Eagles 31, Cowboys 17.

Florio’s take:  With or without Tony Romo, the Cowboys don’t have the defense to once again hold Philly to three points — especially without Sean Lee available.  Another year, another 8-8 finish, another loss in the de facto NFC East championship game.

Florio’s pick:  Eagles 27, Cowboys 23.

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Chargers announce 2017 season tickets are sold out

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The Chargers were on their way to a sellout of their season tickets for the 2017 season last week and they finished the job in the last few days.

The team announced on Monday that “all season tickets currently available” for their first season in Los Angeles have been sold. The Chargers began offering seats to existing season ticket holders in late February and opened sales to the general public on March 9.

The team will be playing at the StubHub Center, which will have the NFL’s smallest capacity at 30,000 seats.

In their announcement, the Chargers said that some tickets are being held back for players’ families, visiting teams and “promotional purposes.” They added that they could put more seats up for sale in the future if some of those seats are freed up as well as “from additional improvements at StubHub Center.”

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Oakland mayor asks for last-minute delay on vote

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NFL owners just walked into another round of meetings, and their decision on the Raiders’ proposed move to Las Vegas seems imminent.

But Oakland mayor Libby Schaff is asking for a last-minute reprieve.

According to the Associated Press, Schaaf is asking the league for more time to negotiate for a stadium deal which would keep the Raiders in Oakland.

“Never that we know of has the NFL voted to displace a team from its established market when there is a fully financed option before them with all the issues addressed,” Schaaf said in a statement. “I’d be remiss if I didn’t do everything in my power to make the case for Oakland up until the very end.”

Unless she can make her way to the Arizona Biltmore Resort in the next few minutes, she might be too late. The league is expected to vote on the measure this morning, and everyone anticipates having well more than the 24 votes needed to approve the move.

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Browns to have Mitchell Trubisky in for workout on Friday

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The Browns didn’t send coach Hue Jackson or executive vice president of football operations Sashi Brown to North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky’s pro day workout earlier this month because they planned to hold a private workout with him at another time.

They won’t be traveling to North Carolina for that workout either. Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com reports that Trubisky will work out for the Browns at their facility on Friday.

Players typically aren’t allowed to work out during their visits to teams leading up to the draft, but there’s an exception for prospects who went to college or grew up nearby. Teams have a day set aside for those players to visit each year and Trubisky, who grew up in Ohio, will be part of the contingent in Berea on Friday.

The exception for local prospects also means that Trubisky’s visit doesn’t count against the limit of 30 that the team is allowed before the draft.

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Panthers say Jerry Richardson isn’t selling team

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Panthers owner Jerry Richardson isn’t attending the league meetings in Arizona this week and a six-person group will be representing the team in his place.

Per the team, they won’t be there to discuss the possible sale of the team. A report from Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports suggested that the future of the franchise “could become more of a front-burner issue” this year with “many other owners” anticipating that the team will be sold before Richardson dies.

Richardson is 80 and has dealt with health issues in the past, but the plan has been that the team won’t be sold until after he passes away.

“Mr. Richardson is healthy, vigorous, happy and fully engaged in the business of the Carolina Panthers. The team is absolutely not for sale,” team spokesman Steven Drummond said, via the Charlotte Observer. “These reports are based on the misinterpretation of an agenda item. No owner is more committed to his team than Mr. Richardson.”

The agenda item Drummond refers to is the team’s move to buy back a four percent interest in the team that was held by the late Donald Keough. That move requires the approval of other owners.

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Raiders vote coming soon

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With plenty of momentum building toward a vote that would allow the Raiders to move to Las Vegas, the league apparently plans to cram the proposal through quickly. Before anyone realizes that dropping a franchise into a city synonymous with gambling: (1) could create real temptations, problems, and consequences for players who find themselves living in and around casinos; (2) is inconsitent with the league’s opposition to sports betting; and (3) could — will — invite speculation about corruption when officiating and/or player and/or coaching errors occur.

Via Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Daily, the ballots are expected to be cast by 3:00 p.m. ET on Monday. The approval would be conditioned upon the Raiders getting a lease and finding a developer for the new stadium in Nevada.

Following the vote, Commissioner Roger Goodell, Raiders owner Mark Davis, Texans owner Bob McNair, the chairman of the league’s finance commitee, and Steelers President Art Rooney II, the chairman of the league’s stadium committee, will speak to the media. Which underscores the widespread expectation that there won’t be nine “no” votes in the room.

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Carson Palmer: “I’m pretty good” at mentoring a young QB

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If the Cardinals weren’t already thinking about life after Carson Palmer, the brief uncertainty about whether he’d return for the 2017 season likely forced the issue squarely onto their radar heading into the offseason.

They’re looking at the top prospects in this year’s draft and General Manager Steve Keim told us on PFT Live recently that Palmer is down with serving as a mentor to a rookie that they bring into the fold. Over the weekend, Palmer said that Jon Kitna played that role for him when he arrived in the NFL with the Bengals and that he feels he’ll be able to play it as well as Kitna did.

“Not to float my own boat, but I think I’m pretty good at it,” Palmer said, via ArizonaSports.com. “I know I’ve had many great mentors and role models and guys to look up to; guys I’ve learned a lot from so I know how to approach being that guy and I’ve been doing it for a long time.”

It’s easier to be a mentor when you’re not wondering if the younger player will be supplanting you in the lineup. Kitna didn’t have to worry about that with Palmer because he knew the first overall pick in the draft would be starting when ready and Palmer knows that whoever he mentors will be succeeding him rather than forcing him out of the lineup in Arizona.

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Trevone Boykin arrested after car he was riding in backs into a bar

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Seahawks backup quarterback Trevone Boykin was arrested this morning in Dallas, after a car crash which injured five people.

According to FOX 4 in Dallas, Boykin was the passenger in a car that backed into a bar, injuring a group of four bystanders who were outside. A bartender was also injured. Three of them were taken to the hospital with injuries including a broken ankle and dislocated arm, but none of the injuries were life threatening.

The woman driving the car was allegedly the drunk one and arrested for suspicion of DWI, but Boykin was arrested on two counts of marijuana possession and public intoxication. He remains in the Dallas County jail at the moment.

Boykin served as Russell Wilson’s backup last year as a rookie, after an ignominious end to his college career at TCU. He was suspended for the Alamo Bowl after he was arrested for hitting a cop.

Despite the fact he wasn’t driving, the arrest sets him up for possible punishment from the league. He appeared in six games last year, throwing 18 passes.

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Bill O’Brien “real excited” about working with Tom Savage

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The Texans were able to excise Brock Osweiler from their roster, leaving them with a pair of quarterbacks under contract and a spot on the depth chart that most believe they’d be happy to fill with Tony Romo.

Romo remains a member of the Cowboys, however, and there’s a chance his next stop might be in a broadcast booth, so the Texans may be moving forward with Tom Savage and Brandon Weeden. During an appearance on NFL Network, Texans coach Bill O’Brien didn’t talk about Romo, but did discuss Savage’s ability to be a capable starting quarterback.

Savage showed some of that late in the 2016 regular season before suffering a concussion led to Osweiler’s return to the lineup. That was the latest in a run of injuries for the 2014 fourth-round pick and his play last season didn’t set the world on fire outside of being a clear step up from Osweiler, but O’Brien remains a believer in what Savage brings to the table.

“Absolutely,” O’Brien said. “He came into some tough games, the Jacksonville game last year that we had to win. We were down in the game, he helped us come back. He helped us beat Cincinnati on Christmas Eve, which was a big game that we had to win to clinch the South. We knew we had to win because of what happened earlier in the day in our division. And he helped us win that game. He got injured, and that’s been kind of one of the things that’s happened to him. He’s been injured over the last three years of his career. But if you look at the history of the league, there’s a number of guys who have played that were injured early in their career. Tom is a smart guy, he can throw the ball really well, he knows our system and he’s a guy that we’re real excited about working with.”

Savage and Romo share a recent history of injuries, so the fourth-year player could still play a role for the Texans even if Romo shows up in the starting lineup. The draft could also bring another wrinkle to a quarterback room that’s been the biggest obstacle to major success during O’Brien’s run as Houston’s coach.

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Giants want to re-sign Johnathan Hankins, but won’t be “irresponsible”

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Linebacker Zach Brown and defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins are the only two players left unsigned or untagged in the top 50 on PFT’s list of 2017’s top free agents, but it appears one of those players could end his stay on the list pretty quickly.

Kim Jones of NFL Media reports that Hankins has a multi-year offer on the table to return to the Giants that “stacks up well” with the market that has developed for his services. That market obviously hasn’t been what Hankins was hoping to find and Giants co-owner John Mara suggested on Sunday that the team isn’t going to move much in order to get Hankins on board.

“There’s still one more piece out there that we’d like to keep, but we wanted to try to do that if possible without being irresponsible,” Mara said, via the New York Post. “I don’t know what’s going to happen. We certainly want him back, but it’s got to make sense for us. He’s an important part of our team, he’s a great kid, he’s young and he fits in very well with us.”

A Hankins return would allow the Giants to bring back all 11 of their starters from last season. That would seem to bode well for further improvement for a defense that took a big leap in 2016, but Hankins has to agree to the deal to make it happen.

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Monday morning one-liners

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Seven questions regarding the Bills as the league meetings get underway.

Was the Dolphins’ playoff berth a result of smoke and mirrors?

The Patriots expect to be playing their game in Mexico City in mid-November.

Running through the pros and cons of the Jets drafting LSU RB Leonard Fournette.

S Eric Weddle has high hopes for the Ravens secondary.

A look at the Bengals’ decision to part ways with LB Rey Maualuga.

Comparing possible Browns No. 1 pick Myles Garrett with previous defensive ends who went at the top of the draft.

Should the Steelers draft a running back?

Ohio pass rusher Tarell Basham is expected to work out for the Texans.

New Colts P Jeff Locke is looking forward to working with K Adam Vinatieri.

The Jaguars have some possible contract extensions to think about in the coming months.

Struggling for the Titans didn’t stop cornerbacks Perrish Cox and Valentino Blake from finding new jobs.

Broncos T Michael Schofield is working to raise awareness of the dangers of opiod addiction.

Quarterback, cornerback and defensive line could be areas the Chiefs address in the draft.

Monday is shaping up to be a big day for the Raiders and Las Vegas.

LSU S Jamal Adams could be a fit with the Chargers.

T Byron Bell will be in the mix as the Cowboys look to replace Doug Free on the right side of their offensive line.

Miami TE David Njoku was born in New Jersey before being mentored by Jeremy Shockey and would love to play for the Giants.

Will C Jason Kelce and the Eagles part ways this offseason?

Quick notes on the projected members of the Redskins’ starting offense.

Sustainable success for the Bears is a myth until they find a quarterback.

Running through the Lions’ biggest cap numbers for 2017.

Kyle Murphy could be part of the Packers’ plans at guard.

Said Vikings coach Mike Zimmer of players leaving this offseason, “We’re going to miss those players. You get attached to all those guys. But I do think in order to improve at some point, you have to move on and try to kind of change things a little bit.”

Given the option, would the Falcons opt out of wearing “Color Rush” uniforms?

Musing about the possible Panthers selection with the eighth pick of the draft.

The Saints have to think about life after QB Drew Brees.

LB Lavonte David believes the Buccaneers are on the cusp of big things.

Cardinals president Michael Bidwill is helping out high school players in St. Louis.

This offseason’s free agent additions should help Rams QB Jared Goff in his second season.

The secondary is a vital part of 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan’s plans on defense.

What areas might the Seahawks address in the late stages of free agency?

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“Zero percent chance” Dolphins are interested in Joe Mixon

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Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon is making the pre-draft rounds, but those trips are more about convincing teams he can be trusted rather than whether he’s good at playing football.

And it sounds like he won’t be taking that road show to Miami.

According to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, the Dolphins will not draft the running back who has provided plenty of electrifying game tape, but also video of him punching a woman in the face.

One person with knowledge of the team’s thinking described it as a “Zero percent chance.”

It only takes one team to overlook and forgive and hope for the football, the way the Chiefs did last year with Tyreek Hill. But whether the dictate is coming from owner Stephen Ross or within the football operation, it appears their decision has been made.

 

 

 

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No timeline on Le’Veon Bell return, contract negotiations

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Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell had surgery this month to repair the core muscle injury that knocked him out of the AFC title game and ginned up questions about why the team didn’t disclose the injury heading into the game after Bell said it had been an issue.

The injury didn’t stop the Steelers from using the franchise tag on Bell, which suggests they don’t think it will be an issue for him when the 2017 season gets underway. General Manager Kevin Colbert said on Sunday that it isn’t clear when Bell is going to be ready to resume football work, however.

“At what point does he return? The doctors, trainers and Le’Veon determine that,” Colbert said, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “Our goal is to have him 100 percent for the 2017 season. Whatever path the experts tell us to take with that, we will follow.”

Colbert had a similar answer when it came to the question of a long-term deal for Bell. Beyond saying the team was interested, Colbert gave no hint about when there might be an agreement.

“At what point it gets done, I can’t say,” Colbert said. “It will be a very complicated type of deal. But it always has been our goal.”

Bell is set to make $12.1 million under the terms of the franchise tag.

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Ron Rivera thinks time off will help Cam Newton

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The Panthers announced that quarterback Cam Newton is going to be out of action for a few months after making the decision to have shoulder surgery to address lingering pain from the 2016 season.

The timing of the decision has drawn some scrutiny as Newton played out the string last season despite the shoulder issue. General Manager Dave Gettleman said Newton wanted to play and the medical staff said he could to explain the team’s decision. Coach Ron Rivera noted that there’s a general aversion to having your quarterback undergo surgery unless it’s absolutely necessary while adding that he thinks the offseason sets up to be a positive for Newton.

“I think the rest will be good for him. I think it’ll help to clear his mind and refocus. I think part of it also is rebuilding that confidence,” Rivera said to Judy Battista of NFL Media. “I think his confidence was shook. I think there were a lot of things that went on last year that did create that situation for him to feel that way, starting with the offensive line.”

How much the 2017 offensive line will inspire confidence remains to be seen as its strength is somewhat contingent on new left tackle Matt Kalil, last year’s original left tackle Michael Oher and center Ryan Kalil returning to both health and form. If they don’t, peace and mind will be in short supply in Carolina’s pocket once again.

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More talk in Cleveland of the Browns trading for Jimmy Garoppolo

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Around the NFL, there’s a widespread belief that the Patriots have no plans to trade backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, and see him as not just the backup to Tom Brady in 2017 but the successor to Brady some day down the road. But in Cleveland, there’s a different view.

Talk of the Browns trading for Garoppolo continues, with two of the most clued-in Browns reporters, Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer and Tony Grossi of ESPN Cleveland, both having new stories today indicating that the Browns will talk to the Patriots about trading for Garoppolo. Grossi even goes so far as to say Garoppolo is the top contender to start the season as the Browns’ starting quarterback, ahead of holdover Cody Kessler.

So is Garoppolo available in a trade? Sure he is, at the right price. Every player in the league is available for the right price. If the Browns offered the first overall pick, the 12th overall pick and the 33rd overall pick in this year’s draft, plus left tackle Joe Thomas, the rights to suspended wide receiver Josh Gordon and Kessler to take Garoppolo’s place on the Patriots’ roster, does anyone seriously think the Patriots would turn all of that down, just to keep a player who might not play for years if Brady stays healthy?

But the Browns aren’t going to make that offer. The question is whether there’s any realistic trade package that the Browns would be willing to give up, and the Patriots would be willing to accept. And most indications out of New England are that the Patriots aren’t willing to give up Garoppolo for anything but an over-the-top offer.

Still, in Cleveland, there’s a belief that Garoppolo could be coming to town. The Patriots may say no, but the Browns will ask.

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Halas grandchildren want to sell shares of team to McCaskeys

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As ownership families age, they naturally disperse the business to younger generations.

In Chicago, there appears to be some movement to consolidate some of the shares of ownership in the Bear to avoid potential future problems.

According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, owners are expected to vote this week on the potential sale of a small percentage of shares from one of George Halas’ grandchildren to the McCaskey family which controls the team, headed by chairman George McCaskey.

Issues of family succession and control might seem arcane, but the league has had numerous problems with the heirs of Bud Adams and how they’ve divided the team after his passing, since they want a clear managing partner.

While the report is short on specifics, it appears the Bears want to address them in advance.

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