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The Free Agent Hot 100

Seattle Seahawks v Green Bay Packers Getty Images

1.  Ex-Buccaneers cornerback Darrelle Revis. (Agreed to one-year deal with Patriots.)

2.  Saints tight end Jimmy Graham (franchise tag recipient).

3.  Ex-Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson. (Reached three-year deal with Redskins.)

4.  Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett. (Agreed to four-year deal with Seahawks.)

5.  Redskins outside linebacker Brian Orakpo (signed franchise tender).

6.  Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib. (Reached six-year deal with Broncos.)

7.  Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson. (Agreed to five-year deal with Buccaneers.)

8.  Ravens offensive tackle Eugene Monroe. (Agreed to deal with Ravens.)

9.  Colts cornerback Vontae Davis. (Agreed to four-year deal with Colts.)

10.  Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker.  (Agreed to five-year deal with Jets.)

11.  Raiders defensive end Lamarr Houston. (Agreed to five-year deal with the Bears.)

12.  Titans cornerback Alterraun Verner. (Reached four-year deal with Buccaneers.)

13.  Broncos cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. (Agreed to five-year deal with Giants.)

14.  Bills safety Jairus Byrd. (Agreed to six-year deal with Saints.)

15.  Raiders offensive tackle Jared Veldheer.(Reached five-year deal with Arizona.)

16.  Browns center Alex Mack (Browns matched Jaguars’ five-year offer sheet.).

17.  Packers cornerback Sam Shields. (Agreed to four-year contract with Packers.)

18.  Ex-Cowboys outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware (Agreed to three-year deal with Denver.)

19.  Vikings defensive end Jared Allen. (Signed four-year deal with Chicago.)

20.  Chiefs offensive tackle Branden Albert.(Agreed to five-year deal with Dolphins.)

21.  Giants defensive end Justin Tuck. (Reached two-year deal with Raiders.)

22.  Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen. (Agreed to five-year deal with Vikings.)

23.  Browns safety T.J. Ward. (Agreed to contract with Broncos.)

24.  Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks. (Agreed to deal with Colts.)

25.  Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins. (Agreed to three-year deal with Eagles.)

26.  Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby. (Reached four-year contract with Browns.)

27.  Packers defensive end B.J. Raji. (Agreed to one-year deal with Packers.)

28.  Rams guard/offensive tackle Rodger Saffold. (Re-signed with Rams after five-year deal with Raiders was voided due to a failed physical.)

29.  Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate. (Reached five-year deal with Lions.)

30.  Ravens offensive tackle Michael Oher. (Agreed to deal with Titans.)

31.  49ers safety Donte Whitner. (Agreed to four-year contract with Browns.)

32.  Dolphins defensive tackle Randy Starks. (Agreed to two-year deal with Dolphins.)

33.  Ravens defensive lineman Arthur Jones. (Agreed to deal with Colts.)

34.  Ex-Titans running back Chris Johnson. (Reached two-year deal with Jets.)

35.  Giants linebacker Jon Beason. (Re-signed with Giants.)

36.  Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton. (Reached deal with Cowboys.)

37.  Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman. (Re-signed with Patriots.)

38.  Packers outside linebacker Mike Neal. (Reached two-year deal with Packers.)

39.  Giants defensive tackle Linval Joseph. (Reached deal with Vikings.)

40.  Cowboys defensive tackle Jason Hatcher. (Agreed to terms with Redskins.)

41.  Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. (Agreed to deal with Broncos.)

42.  Texans running back Ben Tate. (Reached deal with Browns.)

43.  Colts safety Antoine Bethea. (Agreed to four-year deal with 49ers.)

44.  Ex-Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith. (Reached three-year deal with Ravens.)

45.  Bears defensive end Corey Wootton. (Agreed to one-year deal with Vikings.)

46.  Panthers cornerback Captain Munnerlyn. (Agreed to deal with Vikings.)

47.  Packers wide receiver James Jones. (Reached three-year deal with Raiders.)

48.  Colts running back Donald Brown. (Reached three-year deal with Chargers.)

49.  Broncos offensive guard Zane Beadles. (Agreed to five-year deal with Jaguars.)

50.  Broncos outside linebacker Shaun Phillips. (Agreed to two-year contract with Titans.)

51.  Ex-Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie. (Reached one-year deal with Cardinals.)

52.  Lions tight end Brandon Pettigrew. (Reached four-year deal with Lions.)

53.  Ex-Seahawks defensive end Red Bryant. (Signed four-year contract with Jaguars.)

54.  Ex-Bears defensive end Julius Peppers. (Agreed to three-year deal with Packers.)

55.  Eagles quarterback Michael Vick. (Reached one-year deal with Jets.)

56.  Bears cornerback Charles Tillman. (Agreed to one-year deal with Bears.)

57.  Bengals offensive tackle Anthony Collins. (Reached five-year deal with Buccaneers.)

58.  Texans defensive end Antonio Smith. (Agreed to deal with Raiders.)

59.  Dolphins defensive tackle Paul Soliai. (Reached deal with Falcons.)

60.  Bears quarterback Josh McCown. (Reached two-year deal with Buccaneers.)

61.  Ex-Browns inside linebacker D’Qwell Jackson. (Signed four-year deal with Colts.)

62.  Ravens linebacker Daryl Smith. (Agreed to four-year deal with Ravens.)

63.  Seahawks cornerback Walter Thurmond III. (Agreed to one-year deal with Giants.)

64.  Ex-Steelers outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley. (Agreed to two-year deal with Raiders.)

65.  Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner. (Agreed to deal with Patriots.)

66.  Ex-Lions safety Louis Delmas. (Signed one-year contract with Dolphins.)

67.  Cowboys defensive end Anthony Spencer. (Signed one-year deal with Cowboys.)

68.  Jets offensive tackle Austin Howard. (Agreed to contract with Raiders.)

69.  Chiefs offensive guard Jon Asamoah. (Reached deal with Falcons.)

70.  49ers cornerback Tarell Brown. (Reached deal with Raiders.)

71.  Chiefs offensive guard Geoff Schwartz. (Agreed to deal with Giants.)

72.  Steelers defensive end Ziggy Hood. (Agreed to terms with Jaguars.)

73.  Chiefs defensive end Tyson Jackson. (Reached deal with Falcons.)

74.  Packers tight end Jermichael Finley.

75.  Raiders running back Darren McFadden. (Re-signed with Raiders.)

76.  Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel.  (Re-signed for two years.)

77.  Ravens cornerback Corey Graham. (Reached four-year deal with Bills.)

78.  Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno. (Agreed to one-year deal with Dolphins.)

79.  Cardinals wide receiver Andre Roberts. (Reached four-year deal with Redskins.)

80.  Broncos cornerback Chris Harris (RFA). (Signed RFA tender with Denver.)

81.  Seahawks outside linebacker O’Brien Schofield.

82.  Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin (RFA).

83.  Patriots inside linebacker Brandon Spikes. (Agreed to deal with Bills.)

84.  Packers running back James Starks. (Reached deal with Packers.)

85.  Broncos defensive end Robert Ayers. (Agreed to two-year deal with Giants.)

86.  Broncos linebacker Wesley Woodyard. (Agreed to four-year deal with Titans.)

87.  Chiefs wide receiver/returner Dexter McCluster. (Agreed to three-year deal with Titans.)

88.  Seahawks defensive tackle Clinton McDonald. (Reached contract with Buccaneers.)

89.  Ex-Buccaneers offensive guard Davin Joseph.

90.  Ex-Seahawks defensive end Chris Clemons. (Agreed to four-year deal with Jaguars.)

91.  Titans defensive end Ropati Pitoitua. (Reached three-year deal with Titans.)

92.  Panthers wide receiver Brandon LaFell. (Reached three-year deal with Patriots.)

93.  Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount. (Agreed to two-year deal with Steelers.)

94.  Texans defensive tackle Earl Mitchell. (Reached four-year contract with Dolphins.)

95.  Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew. (Signed three-year deal with Raiders.)

96.  Texans tight end Garrett Graham. (Reached three-year deal with Texans.)

97.  Ex-Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes.

98.  Saints center Brian De La Puente. (Reached one-year deal with Bears.)

99.  Lions defensive end Willie Young. (Agreed to three-year deal with Bears.)

100.  Redskins inside linebacker Perry Riley. (Re-signed with Redskins.)


101.  Seahawks offensive tackle Breno Giacomini. (Reached deal with Jets.)

102.  Panthers offensive guard Travelle Wharton.

103.  Packers center Evan Dietrich-Smith. (Agreed to deal with Buccaneers.)

104.  Raiders defensive tackle Pat Sims. (Signed one-year deal with Raiders.)

105.  Saints offensive tackle Zach Strief. (Re-signed with Saints.)

106.  Vikings wide receiver Jerome Simpson.(Re-signed with Vikings.)

107.  Seahawks defensive tackle Tony McDaniel. (Agreed to two-year contract with Seahawks.)

108.  Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne. (Signed two-year deal with Jaguars.)

109. Chargers defensive tackle Cam Thomas. (Agreed to deal with Steelers.)

110.  Vikings running back Toby Gerhart. (Agreed to three-year deal with Jaguars.)

111.  Ex-Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez. (Signed one-year deal with Eagles.)

112.  Vikings quarterback Josh Freeman. (Reached one-year deal with Giants.)


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Koetter to Bucs fans: Don’t sell tickets to Raiders fans

CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 10:  Head coach Dirk Koetter of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks on against the Carolina Panthers in the 1st quarter during the game at Bank of America Stadium on October 10, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Buccaneers launch on Sunday a three-game home stand that starts with a Super Bowl XXXVII rematch against the Raiders, with the Falcons coming to town four days later. Fans who hold season tickets may be tempted to peddle their seats to Sunday’s game on the open market, and Tampa’s first-year head coach wants them to resist that urge.

“We as a team have to do our part, making [Raymond James Stadium] a place that opposing teams don’t want to play,” Koetter told the Buccaneers Radio Network, via “So we need the crowd’s help on that. We do our part. We’ve got to play better at home. The other thing is, we got to keep the opposing fans out of the lower bowl. I mean, let’s keep those Raiders jerseys out.

“I keep beating that drum. I know I’m going to get criticized and [hear], ‘Hey, Dirk, your job is to coach the team.’ Yeah, it is. I promise you I’m going to do my part to the best of my ability. It’s just not a good sign for us to have that many opposing jerseys in the lower bowl. Hey all you fans out there, tell all your neighbors selling your tickets to Raiders fans, give’em away as Christmas gifts to somebody who’s a Bucs fan.”

Ultimately, the fans can decide what to do with the tickets. If they choose to sell them and make a profit, that’s their choice. The team’s job is to make the game sufficiently enticing that the fans would rather experience the game than pocket the extra cash.

To get to that point, the Bucs will have to bite the bullet and endure some home games that feel like road games. Which may not be a bad thing, given that the Bucs are 3-1 on the road, and 0-2 at home.

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Nate Washington works out for Bucs

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 27:  Nate Washington #85 of the Houston Texans celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field on December 27, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) Getty Images

Veteran wide receiver Nate Washington worked out for the Buccaneers Tuesday.

Washington, 33, was released by the Patriots in August. He caught 47 passes for the Texans last year and has caught at least 40 passes every season since 2008.

Last week, the Bucs placed wide receiver Vincent Jackson on injured reserve. The Bucs signed veteran Cecil Shorts last month after he was released by the Texans but Shorts only has one catch on the season.

The Bucs also worked out fullbacks Austin Johnson and Will Ratelle on Tuesday.

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Russell Wilson wants one final field goal to resolve tie games

GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 23:  Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks knels on the field following the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 23, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals and Seahawks tied 6-6.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Seahawks played to a tie with the Cardinals on Sunday night, and quarterback Russell Wilson wasn’t happy about it.

Wilson said after thinking about the 6-6 tie in Arizona that the league needs to come up with a tiebreaking rule. Wilson’s idea is an interesting one: A final field goal to either win or lose.

“Let’s say we’re the away team. We win the coin toss, we get the ball on the 35-yard line going in. You kick one field goal,” Wilson said. “You can’t do anything else but a field goal. You make the field goal, the game’s over. If you miss the field goal, the game’s over and the other team wins. I just think that if you play that long, you’re putting your lives on the line. You should find a way to win. I don’t like ending in a tie.”

Wilson’s idea is wacky and has no hope of being implemented. But as long as we’re talking about wacky ideas that have no hope of being implemented, let’s think about some alternatives.

How about, instead of one field goal, each kicker attempting five field goals, and the team whose kicker makes more of them wins? That would make the ending like penalty kicks in soccer. Or they could have the kickers start with a chip-shot 20-yard field goal and then move back five yards until someone misses. Whenever they reach a distance where one kicker makes it and the other kicker misses it, the kicker who makes it wins the game for his team.

Or if you want to get really fun, how about having five 35-yard field goals attempted by five different players? Every team could have its kicker try one of those field goals, but then it would have to choose four other players who can try a field goal. It would be fascinating to find out which non-kickers are good at kicking field goals when the game is on the line. Ndamukong Suh and Odell Beckham are among the players who have been floated as fill-in kickers when their teams’ primary kickers have been injured. How fun would it be to see Suh and Beckham trying field goals with the pressure on at the end of a tied Dolphins-Giants game?

Or maybe kicking shouldn’t be involved in the tiebreaking procedure at all. How about a “shootout” with a one-on-one pass coverage format? The offense could have its quarterback and best receiver on the field, the defense could have its best cornerback on the field, and the quarterback would have one chance to throw a touchdown pass to his receiver with the cornerback in coverage.

Or the NFL could turn the Oklahoma drill into the tiebreaking procedure: The home team goes on offense with one player on the field as a ball carrier. The road team goes on defense with one player on the field as a tackler. If the offensive player gets into the end zone, his team wins. If the defensive player makes the tackle, his team wins.

The possibilities are endless. An XFL-style scramble for the ball? Each team picks its fastest player to race in a 100-yard dash? Each quarterback throws the ball as far as he can? Maybe you’ve got a better idea. Or maybe we should just accept that some games will end in a tie.

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Seahawks sign Malliciah Goodman

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 29:   Malliciah Goodman #93 of the Atlanta Falcons pressures  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots during the game at Georgia Dome on September 29, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Seahawks signed defensive end Malliciah Goodman on Tuesday.

Goodman played in 34 games over three seasons with the Falcons, starting 11. The Falcons released him in September when they trimmed their roster to the regular-season size of 53.

A fourth-round pick in 2013, he has two career forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

The Seahawks placed defensive tackle Quinton Jefferson on injured reserve. He was injured in practice last week. Also Tuesday, the Seahawks worked out free agent defensive end Wallace Gilberry.

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Dolphins to sign Bacarri Rambo

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 20: Running back Alfred Morris #46 of the Washington Redskins carries the ball past strong safety Bacarri Rambo #30 of the Buffalo Bills in the second quarter at FedExField on December 20, 2015 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Dolphins kicked the tires on veteran safeties James Ihedigbo, Sergio Brown and Major Wright on Tuesday as they tried to fill out the position with Reshad Jones done for the season with a shoulder injury.

They’ll be adding a veteran safety to the roster, but it won’t be any of those three men. Mike Garafolo of NFL Media reports that Bacarri Rambo will be the new addition to the Dolphins secondary.

Rambo was a sixth-round pick by the Redskins in 2013 and played 13 games for them over his first two seasons before moving on to the Bills. Rambo played 15 games and started eight times for Buffalo last season. He had 62 tackles, a sack, an interception and two forced fumbles with the interception and both forced fumbles coming in a November win over the Jets. Rambo was named the AFC defensive player of the week for that effort.

Isa Abdul-Quddus, Walt Aikens and Michael Thomas round out the safety group in Miami.

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Cardinals take a look at Dobson, Krause

Aaron Dobson AP

The Cardinals worked out wide receivers Aaron Dobson and Jonathan Krause on Tuesday, PFT has learned.

The team is exploring options at the position after losing Jaron Brown for the season to a torn ACL Brown suffered in last week’s game vs. the Seahawks.

Dobson, a second-round pick in 2013, was cut by the Patriots in September and had two brief stints with the Lions this season. He visited the Colts last week.

Krause played in two games last year for the Eagles. He’s had brief stints with the Chargers and Buccaneers this season.

The Cardinals also worked out quarterback Mike Bercovici and linebacker Zaviar Gooden.

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Kubiak plans to keep using C.J. Anderson and Devontae Booker

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 24:  Running back Devontae Booker #23 and running back C.J. Anderson #22 of the Denver Broncos celebrate a score in the second half of the game against the Houston Texans at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on October 24, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) Getty Images

On Monday night, the Broncos finally rediscovered their running game, with C.J. Anderson gaining 107 yards on 16 carries and Devontae Booker gaining 83 yards on 17 attempts.

Will that approach continue for the 5-2 team?

“I sure hope so,” coach Gary Kubiak told reporters on Tuesday. “Hopefully we can have that many touches in a course of a game, but I saw two guys competing. I saw fresh guys on the field and I think that was good for us, but we were also getting more room to run. Those things go hand-in-hand.”

The competition with Booker has sparked a positive response from Anderson, according to Kubiak.

“I think C.J. has been playing well,” Kubiak said. “I think last night we did a better job up front; we gave him some more room to run. I think when guys push each other, last year it was C.J. and Ronnie [Hillman] pushing each other and I think [Booker] . . . is becoming more comfortable with what we’re doing. We’re more comfortable with [Booker] on the field in pass protection right now. We’re just growing as a group. Here we go in Week Eight and hopeful those kids keep coming along. It’s going to make us better if they do.”

With a quarterback who is still finding his way in his second NFL season and first year as a starter, it’s critical to have a strong running game. With 190 yards on Monday night from the team’s top two tailbacks, it doesn’t get much stronger than that.

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Hall of Fame game lawyer takes aim at David Baker’s history

PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 01: President and Executive Director of the Pro Football Hall of Fame David Baker presents a Hall of Fame ring to Jerome Bettis at Heinz Field on October 1, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) Getty Images

The lawsuit arising from the cancellation of the Hall of Fame game is getting nearly as nasty as the ongoing presidential campaign.

The latest salvo comes not in the form of a court filing, but through comments from lawyer Michael Avenatti to Julia Marsh of the New York Post regarding the hiring of Hall of Fame president David Baker in 2014.

Under an article titled “How Roger Goodell let a check-forging politician run the Hall of Fame,” Marsh explains that Baker “once forged a signature on a check to himself for $48,000 from a health care nonprofit where he was the director.”  Although Baker stopped payment shortly after writing the check, he was sentenced in 1988 to a one-year suspended sentence, probation, and community service for attempting to use the money for a failed Congressional bid. He had faced up to three years in prison for the felony forgery charges.

“Either they did not know about it or they knew about it and blew it off,” Avenatti told the Post regarding the decision to make Baker, a former AFL Commissioner, the head of the Hall of Fame.

The article in the Post generally touts “strong ties” between Goodell and Baker, but specifically cites only that Goodell was Baker’s main NFL contact when Baker ran the Arena League, and that the pair “regularly dined together and discussed how to bolster the sport.”

The connection has little or no relevance to the pending litigation against the Hall of Fame and the league, but that’s what happens in litigation, which often can be every bit as nasty as a political race.

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Falcons sign Stevan Ridley, release A.J. Hawk

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 01:  Stevan Ridley #35 of the Indianapolis Colts runs the football upfield against Chykie Brown #23 of the Cincinnati Bengals during their game at Paul Brown Stadium on September 1, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Falcons spent Monday coming up with plans to deal with running back Tevin Coleman’s injury and they addressed the need for other options by adding a pair of runners to the roster on Tuesday.

The team announced that they have signed veteran Stevan Ridley and promoted Terron Ward from the practice squad.

Ridley spent the summer with the Lions and Colts, but failed to crack the backfield rotation in either spot. He played eight games for the Jets last season, running 36 times for 90 yards after wrapping up rehab for the torn ACL he suffered with the Patriots in 2014. Ward played in 13 games for the Falcons last season.

To make room on the roster, the Falcons released linebacker A.J. Hawk and offensive lineman Mike Person. Hawk signed with the team a few weeks ago when they needed some depth due to injuries, but never saw a defensive snap and may be at the end of the line after 11 years in the NFL.

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DeMarcus Ware’s home is burglarized during Monday Night Football


Crooks with the brainpower of the Wet Bandits decided to burglarize the home of an NFL player while he was at a game.

“After a great win, came home to find my house was robbed,” Broncos linebacker DeMarcus Ware tweeted after Monday night’s 27-9 victory over the Texans. “Never about the material things for me but my safety. Thank God for hidden cameras.”

That’s right, Ware had hidden cameras in his house. Which, via the Denver Post, obtained clear images of the faces of the perps.

They were at least smart enough to wear blue gloves to conceal their fingerprints. They should have opted for masks, too.

Police said that “valuables” were taken from the home, but they did not specify what was stolen. Meanwhile, perhaps one of them will be selling a Broncos Super Bowl ring on eBay soon.

Through an account that creates no electronic paper trail. But with a picture of the ring that has his face reflected in it.

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Patriots trade A.J. Derby to Broncos

FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 18:  A.J. Derby #86 of the New England Patriots smiles on the sideline during a preseason game against the Chicago Bears in the second half on August 18, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) Getty Images

For the second time today, the Patriots have made a trade.

New England has sent tight end A.J. Derby to Denver, ESPN reports. The Broncos gave up a draft pick for Derby, likely a conditional late-round pick next year.

The Patriots drafted Derby out of Arkansas with a sixth-round pick in 2015. He spent his entire rookie year on injured reserve. He has played in four games this year, but only sparingly.

In Denver, Derby will add some depth at tight end and contribute on special teams.

New England also acquired linebacker Kyle Van Noy in a trade with the Lions. Trading Derby and acquiring Van Noy keeps the Patriots at 53 players on the roster.

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Bills promote rookie wide receiver Eagan

Green Bay Packers v Buffalo Bills Getty Images

The Bills have promoted rookie wide receiver Ed Eagan from the practice squad.

Eagan had spent the last four weeks on the Bills’ practice squad. The Bills released offensive tackle Michael Ola to make room for Eagan, who could see immediate action in a receiving corps that’s been hit hard by injuries.

Eagan, an undrafted rookie, spent the offseason with the Cowboys and Browns.

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Bill O’Brien: No thought to benching Brock Osweiler

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 24:  Quarterback Brock Osweiler #17 of the Houston Texans rushes for a first down before being tackled by cornerback Chris Harris #25 of the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on October 24, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Texans offense failed to produce a touchdown in Monday night’s loss to the Broncos and quarterback Brock Osweiler turned in the latest poor performance in a season that’s seen more of them than the Texans were hoping to see when they signed him to a four-year, $72 million contract as a free agent.

The Texans also weren’t hoping to hear any questions about whether they plan to stick with Osweiler as their starter, but coach Bill O’Brien got that query when he met with the media on Tuesday. O’Brien said that he has not considered turning to Tom Savage or Brandon Weeden while admitting that the quarterback and everyone else on the offense needs to do a better job.

“He’s a good player. I think he can play better, receivers can run routes better,” O’Brien said, via the Houston Chronicle. “It has to get better. I can’t really pinpoint one thing.”

Plenty of others have pinpointed Osweiler’s play as a major problem for the Houston offense and another bad outing against the Lions this weekend will send the Texans into a bye week where their quarterback’s struggles will continue to be a major issue.

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Anti-football crowd tries to wedge Arian Foster retirement into its #narrative

FOXBORO, MA - SEPTEMBER 18:  Arian Foster #29 of the Miami Dolphins carries the ball during the first half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on September 18, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) Getty Images

Have you heard that plenty of football players are walking away from football before football walks away from them? It’s the latest #narrative of the anti-football crowd. You know, that very real contingent of Fainaru-Wada-inspired media types who either want to see football go away or would prefer to see other sports eclipse it in popularity and profitability.

The anti-football crowd has made an appearance in connection with the abrupt retirement of running back Arian Foster, and the sentiment is best captured by this tweet from the New York Times: “Arian Foster is the latest N.F.L. star to walk away near the top of his game.”

Foster isn’t near the top of his game; he’s not even close to being near the top of his game. And he knows it. To his credit, Foster became one of the first to admit it. Typically (spoiler alert), aging players pay unintentional homage to Bruce Willis in The Sixth Sense by becoming the last to realize their careers been dead, for a while.

Arian Foster isn’t Chris Borland or Robert Smith or even Calvin Johnson (who has suggested that he would have kept playing if the Lions were true contenders). Arian Foster, due to ongoing injuries and the sudden and significant emergence of Jay Ajayi, has simply acknowledged the obvious. He wasn’t going to be the guy he was a couple of years ago, when he rushed for more than 1,200 yards for the Texans. And the guy who led the league in rushing six years ago is long gone.

Foster deserves praise for admitting that the time has come. Precious few players are willing to come to grips with the fact that, essentially, part of their lives has died.

That’s still a far cry from the handful of players who decide to call it quits while they still are in their prime, with a tank containing enough gas to carry them for at least several more years, if not longer. But the anti-football crowd would never let that fact get in the way of a good #narrative.

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After trading one linebacker, Lions bring back Josh Bynes

Josh Bynes, Martellus Bennett AP

The Lions were already thin at linebacker, so when they traded linebacker Kyle Van Noy to the Patriots today, it seemed certain that acquiring another linebacker must be in the works.

That’s just what happened, as Josh Bynes is re-signing with the Lions, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports.

Bynes already knows Detroit’s defense, having played his entire five-year career for Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin, first in Baltimore and then in Detroit. Last year Bynes played all 16 games for the Lions, with 11 starts. The Lions released him with an injury settlement in September, but now he’s healthy and ready to return. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Bynes on the field Sunday against the Texans.

Van Noy was a former second-round pick and a starter this year, but he was a disappointing player and the Lions were ready to move on from him: According to multiple reports, Detroit gave Van Noy up for just a swap of late-round picks, with the Lions getting the Patriots’ 2017 sixth-round pick in exchange for Van Noy and the Lions’ 2017 seventh-round pick.

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