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Packers add Letroy Guion

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The Packers made a big splash in free agency by signing defensive end Julius Peppers after years of facing him twice a season with the Bears.

On Monday, the Packers landed another defensive lineman with NFC North experience. It is not nearly quite as big a splash this time around.

Letroy Guion’s agent Thomas Kleine announced via Twitter that his client has signed in Green Bay. Guion visited with the Packers recently after making his first free agent visit to the Patriots.

Guion spent the last six years with the Vikings after he was a fifth-round pick in the 2008 draft and was a starter for the last two of those seasons. He recorded 52 tackles, three sacks and a forced fumble over those years as a starter, but is likely to find himself in a reserve role now that he’s in Green Bay. The Packers recently re-signed B.J. Raji to go with Mike Daniels, Datone Jones, Josh Boyd and Jerel Worthy up front.

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Bridgewater explains decision to shed glove for Pro Day workout

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Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has been wearing a glove during most games for the past couple of years.  For his Pro Day workout on Monday, he shed the glove.

Shaun King asked Bridgewater about the decision during an interview that will are on Monday’s edition of Pro Football Talk on NBCSN.

“Well, when I was training down in Florida you know its 80 degree weather, sunny every day,” Bridgewater said.  “So I was out there throwing without the glove and just letting it rip, so I felt confident coming into this process, coming today that I trained without the glove so I could throw on Pro Day without the glove. So that was the biggest thing that led to that decision.”

Bridgewater also explained that doesn’t emulate any one quarterback.  Instead, he tries to incorporate some of what each of them does best.

“I try to pattern my game after all them because each guy brings something different to the table,” Bridgewater said.  “Peyton Manning, he’s quick with the football, he’s very smart.  Tom Brady, he’s a winner, a competitor.  Aaron Rodgers, he’s a big arm, could throw on the run, he’s mobile.  Drew Brees, decisiveness. The list goes on and on but that’s just a sample of what I try to take away from each guy.”

To hear all of the interview, including Bridgewater’s pitch for being the first pick in the draft, dial up NBCSN at 5:30 p.m. ET.

And if you won’t be home by 5:30 p.m. ET, set your DVR.  And while you’re at it, set your DVR to record the show every day.

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Colts have no comment, Jim Irsay tweets to thank his supporters

Jim Irsay, Ryan Grigson AP

It didn’t take Colts owner Jim Irsay long to return to Twitter after he was released from jail.

Irsay, who spent 14 hours in custody after he was arrested on four felony charges of drug possession and one misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence, took to Twitter on Monday afternoon to say thank you to everyone who supports him.

“Deepest thx to family, friends, fans, colleagues for the messages of support, thoughts and prayers. Impossible to tell u how much this means,” Irsay wrote.

The Colts also issued a very brief statement, saying only that they won’t comment at this time.

“The Club continues to fully support Mr. Irsay but must refrain from commenting further at least until formal charges have been filed. A hearing is tentatively scheduled for next Wednesday, March 26,” said the Colts statement, sent by Senior Director of Communications Avis Roper.

Although the Colts don’t want to comment until formal charges are filed, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell does not need to wait that long. Goodell has suspended players who were not charged or even arrested, and Goodell can suspend Irsay.

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Cowboys sign Brandon Weeden

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After a miserable two seasons in Cleveland, Brandon Weeden will try to revive his career as a backup in Dallas.

The Cowboys have signed Weeden to a two-year contract, according to Todd Archer of ESPN.

The Browns chose Weeden in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft and handed the starting job to him, but he did not deliver: As a rookie he passed for 14 touchdowns and 17 interceptions and had a passer rating of just 72.6. In 2013, Weeden was in some respects even worse: His passer rating declined slightly, to 70.3, and the Browns’ offense was more effective with both Brian Hoyer and Jason Campbell running it than with Weeden at the helm.

In Dallas, Weeden will get some time to learn the pro game without the pressure to start. As of now, Weeden is third on the depth chart behind both Tony Romo and Kyle Orton.

The Cowboys may think Weeden has what it takes to develop into a starter eventually, but at age 30, Weeden doesn’t have a lot of time to get better. Weeden played five years of minor league baseball before playing college football, so he’s much older than most second-year quarterbacks. The Cowboys may see some promise in Weeden, but he’s a long shot to ever be an NFL starter again.

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Chargers re-sign wide receiver Seyi Ajirotutu

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The Chargers have retained a wide receiver who adds special teams value and has two regular season game-winning touchdown catches to his credit.

The club said Monday it has re-signed wideout Seyi Ajirotutu to a one-year contract. Ajirotutu, 26, led the Chargers in special teams tackles a season ago (12), appearing in 14 games. On offense, he added three catches for 64 yards, including the decisive 26-yard touchdown in the final minute of the Chargers’ upset of Kansas City in November.

In four NFL seasons, Ajirotutu has hauled in 20 passes for 375 yards and three scores. His other two TD catches came in the Chargers’ 2010 victory at Houston, a game in which his fourth-quarter score secured the game for San Diego.

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Native American leader believes Redskins have tried to discredit Ray Halbritter

Halbritter AP

The question of whether the Washington NFL franchise should continue to be known as “Redskins” continues to be an issue, in part because the team continues every Monday to publish “Community Voices,” a collection of messages supposedly from Native Americans or family members of Native Americans supporting the name.

The latest collection, Community Voices VI (Roman numerals make everything more official), comes a day the spiritual leader of the Six Nations suggested that the Redskins have been trying to find ways to undermine the efforts of Oneida Indian Nation representative Ray Halbritter by attacking him personally.

“I felt like they were looking for something, that they wanted me to discredit Ray, and I wasn’t going to go there,” Sid Hill told Sean Kirst of the Syracuse Post-Standard regarding a phone call Hill received from a representative of the team.  “The backlash Ray’s received is kind of scary,” Hill said.  “It’s like they’re trying to discredit the witness.”

“It is hardly surprising that the team marketing a racial slur against Native Americans is evidently working to further denigrate Native Americans with personal attacks,” Oneida Indian Nation Vice President for Communications Joel Barkin said in a press release.  “For all its rhetoric about respect, the team officials’ ugly tactics prove that they lack real respect for Native Americans.”

Hill, for his part, disagrees with the name.  He says the term is a taunt and an insult.  But the team’s increasingly sophisticated P.R. effort has found a way to twist opposition from Native American leaders like Sid Hill into a way to further support the ongoing use of the name.

“The conversation with Mr. Hill helped us to see how important it is to listen and respect the points of view of all people, even those who disagree with us,” team P.R. representative Tony Wyllie told the Post-Standard.  “We hope those who disagree with us will also be willing to listen and respect our point of view as well.”

That’s where the logic of the effort to keep the name begins to collapse.  Either the name falls within the realm of subjects on which reasonable minds may differ or it doesn’t.  And if the Redskins acknowledge that reasonable minds may differ on the question of whether the team’s name is offensive to Native Americans, some would say that’s enough to justify a change.

But the approach to dealing with seemingly reasonable opposition is to say, basically, “We hear you.  And we hope you hear us.  Because we’re not changing the name.”

That may work for the next few years.  At some point, however, the polls will show a level of opposition that can’t be ignored or shouted down or discredited.  The ongoing effort to support the name via weekly press releases likely represents an acknowledgement that, at this point, the only victory comes from delaying the inevitable as long as possible.

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Brandon Browner says his play won’t change in New England

Browner AP

Patriots cornerback Brandon Browner says the only change for him in 2014 will be relocating 3,000 miles to the east.

Browner said today that the Patriots’ coaches tell him he’ll play a very similar role in New England to the role he played in Seattle.

“A lot of the stuff I’ll be doing on defense I did in Seattle,” Browner said, via the Boston Herald. “The only thing that changes is the terminology. I was also told I’ll play a lot of man to man, which is my strong suit. I take it in stride and can’t wait to get back out there.”

Browner said what he does best is play man-to-man coverage against wide receivers, and he’ll be doing a lot of that.

“They haven’t talked to me about playing safety,” Browner said. “So far, I’m here to play cornerback, and I play wherever need be. I just want to play some football, and I’m fortunate enough to play for a team like the Pats.”

Browner is suspended for the first four games of the regular season, but he’ll be able to go through the entire offseason program, training camp and the preseason. The Patriots think he’ll be ready to do everything he did in Seattle, starting in Week Five.

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Panthers re-sign James Dockery and Jason Williams

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There’s still no news to report about a new wide receiver joining the Panthers, but the team has brought back a pair of players from their defense.

The Panthers announced that they have re-signed cornerback James Dockery, who was not tendered a contract as a restricted free agent, and linebacker Jason Williams.

Dockery played five games for the Panthers last season as a broken thumb and shoulder injury cost him playing time during the regular season. He joined the team during the 2012 season and started a pair of games down the stretch, so he could find his way into playing time on a cornerback depth chart that’s in flux in Carolina.

Williams has been strictly a special teams player for the last couple of years, but he’s made an impact in that area. He blocked a punt in a victory over the Jets last season and has 10 tackles in kick coverage over the last two seasons. More of the same is likely in store for Williams in 2014.

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Darrelle Revis: What better place to win than New England?

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The Patriots officially announced the signing of cornerback Darrelle Revis on Monday and the new Patriot spoke to the media on a conference call.

Revis said that he and Bill Belichick have spoken about Revis calling the Patriots coach a jerk in 2012 when Revis was still with the Jets and that bygones are bygones. Revis said he’s excited to play for the coach now that the two of them are aiming for the same goal. That goal is a Super Bowl title, which Revis called the primary motivation for his decision to play for Belichick and the Patriots.

“My thing is all about winning. I want to win. What better organization than the New England Patriots to be a part of?” Revis said, via Mike Reiss of

Revis will be well compensated as he tries to win with $12 million coming his way this season. Next year will bring either $20 million, free agency or a long-term deal from the Patriots and getting a ring next season wouldn’t hurt his payout in either of the latter scenarios.

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Jim Irsay released from jail

Jim Irsay AP

Colts owner Jim Irsay is out of jail.

The Hamilton County Jail, located about 25 miles from Lucas Oil Stadium, released Irsay just after 1:30 p.m. Eastern. He had been in custody for a little less than 14 hours, after he was arrested at 11:41 p.m. Sunday. Irsay faces one misdemeanor count of operating while intoxicated and four felony counts of possession of a controlled substance.

A haggard-looking Irsay was escorted out the front entrance to the jail facility and into a waiting BMW, as documented by Indianapolis Star reporters on Twitter.

Irsay, who has previously sought treatment for an addiction to prescription pain medication, is expected to face discipline for violating the NFL’s personal-conduct policy.

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Bears bringing in old friend Israel Idonije for a visit

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Before defensive end Israel Idonije signed with the Lions last offseason, there was some talk from the Bears about retaining him for the 2013 roster.

Idonije had been a longtime member of the Bears, joining the team’s practice squad in 2003 and remaining on the roster for a decade. Idonije had 20.5 sacks in his final three years with the Bears, which was all the more reason to keep him around. He wound up signing with the Lions instead, however.

The door isn’t totally closed on a return. Albert Breer of NFL Network reports that Idonije will be back in his old stomping grounds for a visit on Tuesday.

Idonije had just a half-sack in 15 games with the Lions last season and saw his playing time cut sharply from what he was used to in Chicago. The Bears, who have already signed defensive ends LaMarr Houston and Willie Young this offseason, may be hoping that a return to the team brings about a return in productiveness for Idonije.

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PFT Live 03/17: Clarence Hill, Michael David Smith

Mike Florio talks with Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about the Cowboys offseason moves. Then, Florio  goes around the league with PFT managing editor, Michael David Smith.






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Steelers bring back reserve guard Guy Whimper

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The Steelers must be confident in Mike Munchak’s ability to fix their offensive line.

Because they’re giving him all the same parts from a line that wasn’t exactly stalwart last year.

The team announced they had re-signed veteran Guy Whimper to a one-year deal. He played in 11 games with them last year, with a start at either guard spot.

The former fourth-rounder has also played for the Giants and Jaguars.

Other than jettisoning bad-idea Levi Brown, the Steelers haven’t made major changes to their offensive line. They also brought back center Cody Wallace on a three-year deal, and have used their free agency to get younger on defense.

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Mike Jenkins visiting Bucs on Monday

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The Buccaneers have been active at cornerback since free agency opened by ditching Darrelle Revis and signing Alterraun Verner, but there may be more moves in the works at the position.

Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports reports that veteran corner Mike Jenkins is visiting with the Buccaneers on Monday. The Bucs are inexperienced and thin at corner behind Verner and Johnthan Banks, which makes their interest in Jenkins easy to understand.

Jenkins played in Oakland last year after finishing up a five-year run with the Cowboys that started when Dallas made Jenkins a first-round pick in 2008. Jenkins started 15 games in 2013, making 65 tackles, picking off two passes and forcing a fumble for the Raiders. He has 63 starts in the NFL overall and, at 29, still has the ability to be a helpful player if not quite the one the Cowboys thought they were getting in the first round.

The Buccaneers stayed busy over the weekend, adding guard Oniel Cousins and linebacker Dane Fletcher to their free agent haul. It’s clear that new General Manager Jason Licht and coach Lovie Smith want to make big changes to the Bucs in their first offseason and they’ve accomplished that whether or not Jenkins decides to join the party.

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Owners may voluntarily participate in the league’s drug testing program

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As NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell deals with the unprecedented (for him) issue of potentially imposing discipline on one of the 32 people who employ him, plenty of new things will be learned about the relationship between the league and those who own the teams that are the league.

For example, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello tells PFT that owners may voluntarily participate in the league’s drug testing program.

“I believe some do it,” Aiello added.

He explained that Goodell and NFL senior V.P. of labor law and policy Adolpho Birch voluntarily submit to the program “so that they know first-hand what the experience is for the players.”

Goodell recently acknowledged publicly that he’s tested; “I’m happy to say I’m clean,” he said.

Regardless of the number of owners who voluntarily submit to testing, maybe they all should.  If the picture painted by Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star regarding Colts owner Jim Irsay, mandatory drug testing could be the only thing to bust through the atmosphere of enabling that easily can emerge around a billionaire.

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Source describes Jim Irsay as “a sick, sick man”

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Colts owner Jim Irsay hasn’t bailed out of jail yet, and already word is creeping out about what has apparently been a long and losing fight with drug addiction.

According to Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star, Irsay’s arrest for driving under the influence and four counts of drug possession was a “sad inevitability” to those close to him.

He’s a sick, sick man,” one source told Kravitz. “He desperately needs help.”

Those around Irsay had been leaning on him in recent years to get help, or at least get a driver. But even as he withered physically, he resisted the suggestion anything was wrong.

He lost 70 pounds, down to 165, but explained it away by saying his doctor wanted him to lose weight to take the pressure off his bad back.

Kravitz paints the picture of a man very much in denial, and enabled by the many people he employed.

But it’s becoming clear that Irsay’s bizarre Twitter ramblings, which are easy to make fun of (trust us, we know), are also a hint at some of the issues he was dealing with, which are deeper than anyone was willing to admit or confront before he was arrested.

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Jets, Saints, Seahawks all in play for Sidney Rice

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Eric Decker may not be the only free agent receiver the Jets sign.

Sidney Rice, who was cut by the Seahawks last month, is drawing interest from the Jets, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.

But the Saints — who have been far more aggressive in free agency than most expected — are also interested. And the Seahawks would still like to bring Rice back at the right price.

Rice was a Pro Bowler early in his career with the Vikings, and shortly after the lockout ended in 2011, Rice signed a five-year, $41 million contract with the Seahawks. But in Seattle he didn’t become quite the player the Seahawks were hoping for, and last year he managed just 15 catches for 231 yards and three touchdowns.

Although Rice has been limited by injuries in the last few years, he’s only 27 years old. If he can get healthy for 16 games, he could be a significant addition to some team’s offense. So it’s not surprising that multiple teams are interested.

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Robert Ayers to meet with Bengals

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The Bengals, who have long shown a fondness for bringing in former first-rounders, are hosting a 2009 No. 1 pick on Tuesday.

According to Mike Garofolo of Fox Sports, the Bengals will meet with Broncos defensive end Robert Ayers.

Ayers, who recorded a career-high 5.5 sacks in 2013, is PFT’s 83rd-ranked free agent. He has appeared in 72 games in five NFL seasons, making 27 starts. The 28-year-old Tennessee product was primarily a reserve for Denver last season, recording 29 tackles in 15 games (three starts).

The Bengals have hit on some former No. 1 picks in recent years, with cornerbacks Adam Jones and Terence Newman and safety Reggie Nelson among the success stories. However, they haven’t had as much luck with defensive linemen, with Aaron Maybin, Derrick Harvey and Jamaal Anderson notable former first-rounders who couldn’t jump-start their careers with Cincinnati.

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Jim Irsay still in jail, can post bond and be released this afternoon

Jim Irsay, Mike Francesa AP

Colts owner Jim Irsay remains in an Indiana jail this morning and will likely have spent about 14 hours there before he is released.

Authorities told WISH TV that Irsay was arrested at 11:41 p.m. Sunday and that the earliest he could be released from Hamilton County Jail is 1:30 p.m. Monday.

Bond for Irsay was set at $22,500, and he is expected to post that bond this afternoon.

Irsay was arrested in Carmel, Indiana, which borders Indianapolis. He faces four felony counts of possession of a controlled substance and one misdemeanor count of operating while intoxicated.

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Mike Mayock says Teddy Bridgewater’s pro day “average at best”

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Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater didn’t throw at the Scouting Combine, ostensibly to increase the chances of everything going well when he did.

It didn’t.

Bridgewater’s apparently having a middling performance at his pro day workout, with the NFL Network’s Mike Mayock panning the effort.

“Most quarterbacks have good pro days,” Mayock said. “Today, I thought it was very average at best.”

Kurt Warner also raised some doubts about Bridgewater’s throwing style during the broadcast.

While that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll fall in the eyes of scouts, it will send them back to the film.

Bridgewater is considered by many to be more “pro ready” (whatever that means) than other quarterbacks in this draft, but he didn’t seal that on Monday.

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