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Jim Kelly is cancer-free

Jim Kelly AP

Jim Kelly, the Hall of Famer who quarterbacked the Bills for 11 seasons, revealed today that doctors told him he’s cancer-free.

“This is some of the greatest news I’ve ever gotten,” Kelly said in a statement. “It’s been a long road, and I’m still not back to one hundred percent, but I have a lot to be thankful for.”

Kelly had part of his jaw surgically removed in 2013 after he was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma. This year cancer reappeared, and he was required to undergo chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

But last month doctors told Kelly they saw no evidence of cancer after an examination, and today he was told that a series of biopsies revealed that the cancer is gone. Kelly has been through a lot in the last two years, but he can now celebrate that he’s returning to health.

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Bosa has moved on deferral issue, but not enough for the Chargers

San Diego Chargers rookie defensive end Joey Bosa (99) and teammate rookie defensive tackle Carlos Wray train during an NFL football rookie training camp Friday, May 13, 2016, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull) AP

Wednesday’s statement from the Chargers on the Joey Bosa talks buried the lede at the bottom: The team will begin to reduce the monetary package offered to Bosa.

Far closer to the top of the statement appears the team’s characterization of various issues relevant to the negotiations. Each point appears below followed by Bosa’s counter-position, courtesy of a source with knowledge of both sides’ bargaining positions.

Point 1 from the Chargers: “An initial signing bonus payment that is larger than any player in the League has received in the last two drafts.”

Bosa’s take: He wouldn’t get the initial payment until September and multiple players over the past three years have been paid much more by this time than he would get. Some were even at 100 percent payout by now. This is why they limit the statement to the ‘initial portion’ and to 2 years.

Point 2 from the Chargers: “More money in this calendar year than every player in this year’s draft except one (QB Carson Wentz).”

Bosa’s take: Bosa should be getting more because he’s the third overall pick. The inclusion of No. 1 pick Jared Goff is misleading because he has a deal with no offsets on the guaranteed money. If the Chargers were to offer no offsets to Bosa, he’d accept the deferral.

Point 3 from the Chargers: “The largest payment and the highest percentage of signing bonus received in the first calendar year of any Chargers’ first-round selection since the inception of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (2011).”

Bosa’s take: He should receive the largest payment in Chargers’ history because he’s the highest pick they’ve had under the current system. Since 2011, they hadn’t even had a top-10 pick.

Other aspects of Bosa’s current position include the following: (1) his proposal calls for less cash to be paid out in 2016 than Carson Wentz’s deal at No. 2, as it should; (2) Bosa’s proposal deferred more money (measured by percentages and dollars) into 2017 than five of the top seven picks in 2016 who had offset language in their deals; (3) his proposal preserves the team’s precedent of offset language and final payment of the signing bonus in March 2017.

That last point is significant. Bosa has offered to defer a significant portion of the signing bonus to March 2017 in order to get the deal done. The team’s position is that it’s still not enough of a deferral.

Other discrepancies exist regarding language (specifically, for example, the language of the training-camp roster bonuses in future years), but on the major terms Bosa has moved on the deferral issue. The Chargers don’t think he has moved enough. And so now the question is whether the Chargers make good on their threat to move the total dollars lower.

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Jordan Matthews vows to play in season opener

Jordan Matthews, J.J. Wilcox AP

Eagles wide receiver Jordan Matthews has been out for almost three weeks and hasn’t played in the preseason, but Matthews has vowed to return for his team’s Sept. 11 season opener for the Browns.

I promise,” he said.

Matthews suffered a bone bruise on his knee in early August, and the Eagles had originally targeted this week as his potential return date. Now, though, Matthews is focused on being back to work in early September as the Eagles start working on the games that count.

“I don’t like to put percentages on anything, but at the same time, I’m definitely feeling good,” he said. “I’m doing a lot better. I’m running around, moving, lifting, jumping. I’m back doing pretty much all of that stuff.

“The coaches want me to be patient because if there ever was a time to be patient, this is it. We’re just being smart with it.”

Matthews led the Eagles with 85 catches for 997 yards and eight touchdowns last season. Though the Eagles added Dorial Green-Beckham via trade last week and plan to get Green-Beckham some work with the No. 1 offense this week, the Eagles have a young and unsettled receiving corps that’s even younger with Matthews out.

Matthews will again be a key part of the passing game as soon as he’s back to full speed.

“Two or three years ago, I probably would’ve been upset about how [the injury] happened,” Matthews said. “But now, it’s [like], these things happen. It’s part of the game. I’ve been around enough veterans. I’ve seen them handle injury well. Go attack rehab and come back even better.”

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Colts may be using more crossing routes in 2016

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) throws against the Baltimore Ravens during the first half of an NFL preseason football game in Indianapolis, Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/R Brent Smith) AP

The Colts have a new offense to go with a franchise quarterback and a glut of talented receivers. The team’s new offense, designed and run by offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski, may be incorporating a heavy dose of one of the primary Madden game crutch plays: Crossing routes.

As explained by Kevin Bowen of the team’s official website, Andrew Luck’s eight-for-eight passing performance in Week Two of the preseason was fueled by taking advantage of speedy receivers running horizontal routes across the formation.

“You’re going to want to get the ball in your best players’ hands with a little space,” Luck said.

With T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief, and Phillip Dorsett each having sub-4.4-second speed, these crossing routes could lead to big gains.

“It’s an easy throw for Andrew and we can create the yards for him,” Dorsett said. “I think we should definitely have that more and more in our offense because we got guys that can [make plays]. If we catch a crossing route in man coverage and break a tackle, there’s nothing but room.”

If it works, defenses will adjust, trying to take away the crossing routes. But that will serve only to open up the other avenues of attack, eventually allowing Hilton, Moncrief, and Dorsett to run deep.

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Washington, New England announce Bryan Stork trade

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 16: Quarterback Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots throws a pass against the Indianapolis Colts during the second quarter of the game at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 16, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Getty Images

Center Bryan Stork may still retire, but if he does he’ll do so as a member of a new team.

Washington and New England have announced that Stork, a fourth-round pick in 2014, has been traded from the Patriots. The move came hours after news emerged that Stork would be cut, which apparently sparked trade interest from Washington.

Why trade for a player who was going to be released? With fewer than four seasons in the NFL, Stork would have passed through waivers — and Washington is low on the pecking order due to making it to the playoffs in 2015.

If Stork retires, he’ll owe Washington half of the $477,000 signing bonus he received in 2014. That’s a potential obligation of $238,500, along with $600,000 in lost salary for 2016.

So if he retires, Stork will be out $838,500.

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Kaepernick’s view differs from what Baalke called “a good conversation”

SANTA CLARA, CA - OCTOBER 22:  Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers attempts a pass against the Seattle Seahawks during their NFL game at Levi's Stadium on October 22, 2015 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) Getty Images

49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is back in practice this week and planning to return to preseason game action this weekend.

He’s back on speaking terms with 49ers general manager Trent Baalke, too, but maybe no better than that.

Asked by reporters Wednesday about what Baalke had deemed “a good conversation” between the two last week, Kaepernick offered a bit of a clarification.

We had a conversation,” Kaepernick said.

Pressed further on the matter, Kaepernick said, “We have a business relationship. That’s the point that we’re at.”

And Kaepernick wasn’t going to be pressed any further than that. He again said he’s done discussing how the team handled his injuries last season and his request for a trade last spring.

“Once again, I’m not getting into all of the specifics, anything like that,” he said. “We’re focusing on football and my focus right now is this game Friday.”

Earlier Wednesday, 49ers coach Chip Kelly said he’s glad to have Kaepernick back working in practice this week but has not yet named a starter for this week’s preseason game.

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Chargers taking page out of familiar playbook

Unknown Getty Images

For Chargers fans, Wednesday’s statement from the team about defensive end Joey Bosa may have seemed like deja vu all over again.

A dozen years ago, the Chargers threatened to take money off the table during the holdout of quarterback Philip Rivers.

“Negotiations have broken down,” Chargers G.M. A.J. Smith said in August 2004. “Prior to the training camp report date, we made an effort to get Philip signed. Also, during the past week, we exchanged ideas and could not come to an agreement. On Friday, we offered a great deal to Philip. We also notified both Philip and his agent, Jimmy Sexton, that the offer will stand until 5 p.m. Sunday evening and if not accepted, the final offer will be pulled off the table. . . . We also informed them that the package we talked about and offered will now only go down in value.”

The Rivers holdout had some of the same perspective-based disagreements that allowed the team to cling to a set of principles premised on paying less, and that allowed the player to cling to a set of principles premised on getting more, with the team locked into the spot at which Rivers was picked and the Rivers camp applying a quarterback premium.

“The offer we made to Philip is not a slot offer at No. 4, but in fact, an offer that exceeds [those of] No. 2 Robert Gallery and No. 3 Larry Fitzgerald,” Smith said. “We believe it’s a great offer. Jimmy Sexton has been informed several times that the Eli Manning-Tom Condon deal with the New York Giants was of no concern to us before, no concern now nor will it be in the future. This is very unfortunate and disappointing but it is what it is.”

The Rivers deal eventually got worked out, and presumably the Bosa deal will, too. Otherwise, he’ll re-enter the draft in 2017 and the Chargers will get nothing for him.

It’s hardly the first holdout in San Diego, but with a stadium vote looming and all hands needed on deck in order to win as many games as possible before November 8, it could be the last holdout in San Diego. But not the last holdout for the Chargers.

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Dorial Green-Beckham will “play with the first group” this week

HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 01: Dorial Green-Beckham #17 of the Tennessee Titans warms up before playing against the Houston Texans on November 1, 2015 at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Eagles didn’t wait long to put wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham into game action, throwing him into the lineup for last week’s game against the Steelers two days after he was acquired in a trade with the Titans.

Green-Beckham will be in the lineup again for this week’s game against the Colts and he’ll be getting a chance to see how he fits with the team’s projected starters. Coach Doug Pederson said Wednesday that the Eagles will “put a little package together” for the wideout while the first team is in the game.

“We put a couple plays in for him this week, expanded his role from a week ago,” Pederson said in comments distributed by the team. “Full week of practice. He’s comfortable with what we’re doing with him. Can’t tell you how many [or] the number of snaps he’ll get, but he’ll definitely play and play with the first group.”

Green-Beckham’s acquisition and quick move into the lineup may not be an indictment of the receivers that have seen time since Jordan Matthews suffered a knee injury, but they aren’t votes of overwhelming support either. Should Green-Beckham do well in the limited package Pederson’s proposing this week, an expanded role in future weeks will likely be coming at the expense of someone who thought his spot on the roster was more secure than it turned out to be.

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Which teams won’t get back to the playoffs in 2016?

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The NFL playoffs have significant turnover  every year, with four, five, or six teams that made it the prior season not getting back. On Thursday’s PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio and NBCSN, we’ll attempt to pick four 2015 playoff teams who won’t be back in 2016.

You can pick, too. The 12 teams appear in the poll below. Pick four of them who won’t be back, and we’ll share the results on tomorrow’s show.

PFT Live gets rolling at 6:00 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Radio, with the simulcast on NBCSN starting at 7:00 a.m. ET. Guests include Bengals cornerback Adam Jones and Hall of Fame coach and NBC analyst Tony Dungy.

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Justin Blackmon gets suspended sentence, avoids jail time

Britain 49ers Jaguars Football AP

Suspended Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon received a one-year suspended sentence and probation Wednesday at a sentencing hearing and will avoid jail time as long as he complies with conditions set by an Oklahoma judge.

Blackmon had pleaded guilty in April to a DUI charge.

The Dec. 2015 incident marked Blackmon’s second DUI arrest since being drafted in the first round by the Jaguars in 2012 and his third in all. He remains indefinitely suspended by the NFL after his appeal for reinstatement was denied last year.

Through his attorney, Blackmon declined an interview request while leaving the courtroom Wednesday.

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Chargers DL Damion Square suspended four games

SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 20:   Melvin Ingram #54 of the San Diego Chargers,  Damion Square #71 of the San Diego Chargers,  Denzel Perryman #52 of the San Diego Chargers tackls running back Lamar Miller #26 of the Miami Dolphins during the second half of a game at Qualcomm Stadium on December 20, 2015 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) Getty Images

We don’t know if Joey Bosa will see any time with the Chargers defensive line in the first four games of the season, but Damion Square definitely won’t be on the field.

In a less combative release than the one they sent out regarding their contract negotiations with Bosa, the Chargers announced that Square has been suspended four games by the league for a substance-abuse policy violation. The team expressed it’s disappointment and Square apologized in a statement of his own.

“I sincerely apologize to my teammates, coaches, the entire Chargers organization as well as the fans,” Square said. “I made a mistake and take full responsibility. I look forward to returning in Week 5 and doing whatever I can do to help the team.”

Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Square was suspended after missing a drug test.

Square joined the Chargers as a waiver claim in 2014 and had six tackles in six games for them last season. In addition to Square, the Chargers will also be without Sean Lissemore on their defensive line in the early part of the year after placing him on injured reserve earlier this month.

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Chris Cooley says Bryan Stork’s retiring rather than coming to D.C.

New England Patriots Rookie Minicamp Getty Images

OK, if anyone is near Bryan Stork, send us a picture of him, so we’ll know for sure where he is and what’s going on.

The guy who started a Super Bowl two seasons ago for the Patriots and was reportedly cut this morning, then reportedly traded, may not be going to Washington after all.

According to former Washington tight end Chris Cooley, who still works for Dan Snyder’s radio station, Stork is retiring.

Mike Jones of the Washington Post, who does not work for Snyder, said his source told him that was “possibly” true.

Stork is a good player and would clearly be of benefit to a team if he wanted to play. But he also has a track record of concussions, and that could be a factor here as well.

But at this point, he could abandon snapping for a living and try out to play Major League Baseball and we wouldn’t be surprised.

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James Harrison: I’ll be cleared like Peyton Manning

PITTSBURGH - NOVEMBER 09: Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts scrambles away from James Harrison #92 of the Pittsburgh Steelers on November 9, 2008 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images) Getty Images

Steelers linebacker James Harrison has agreed to talk to NFL investigators tomorrow about an Al Jazeera documentary alleging he used performance-enhancing drugs, and he expects the same result as the first player who cooperated with the league’s investigation.

“They are going to clear my name and give me the same sendoff they gave Peyton Manning,” Harrison said, via ESPN. “I’m going to be cleared. They are going to give me the same thing, flash, across the bulletin board, NFL, Instagram, Twitter, all that — ‘James Harrison cleared.'”

The Al Jazeera report accused Manning, Harrison, Green Bay’s Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers and free agent Mike Neal of using PEDs. Manning cooperated with the league’s investigation and was cleared. Harrison, Matthews, Peppers and Neal initially refused to cooperate but agreed to speak to investigators when they were told they’d be suspended if they didn’t.

Despite agreeing to cooperate, Harrison referred to the NFL’s interview as a “waste of time.”

“It’s a stupid thing I gotta do to continue doing what it is I want to do and trying to get to where we want to be, and that’s holding a Lombardi [Trophy],” Harrison said.

After being cleared like Manning, Harrison hopes to do at the end of this season what Manning did at the end of last season.

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John Brown out with headache days after returning from concussion

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 27:  Wide receiver John Brown #12 of the Arizona Cardinals on the sidelines during the NFL game against the Green Bay Packers at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 27, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Packers 38-8.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Getty Images

Cardinals wide receiver John Brown went into the league’s concussion protocol early in training camp and wound up missing three weeks of work before getting cleared to return to practice last weekend.

Brown’s return to action has hit a snag, however. Coach Bruce Arians said, via Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic, that Brown has a headache and won’t practice on Wednesday.

The Cardinals were off on Tuesday and Brown took part in Monday’s practice while wearing a non-contact jersey to let his teammates know not to hit him during the workout.

Per Somers, the Cardinals “seem confident” Brown will be ready to go for the start of the regular season but concussions don’t always follow a straight line and a return to the concussion protocol could make that an iffy proposition given how long the symptoms have lingered this month.

Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald is also out of practice on Wednesday while he continues to manage the MCL issue that kept him from playing in the team’s second preseason game.

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Rob Gronkowski returns to practice field for Patriots

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 13:  Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots waits near the bench during their game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on December 13, 2015 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images) Getty Images

The good news is, the Patriots kept the scissors away from Rob Gronkowski. Actually, that’s probably a good idea year-round.

According to Phil Perry of CSNNE.com, the Patriots tight end returned to the practice field today. Jon Bon Jovi was apparently there too, but the Patriots are much happier Gronkowski will be there for them.

Gronkowski has been off since pulling up in an Aug. 15 practice and walking away with trainers. No word was given as to the reason for his absence.

Considering he’s practically never involved in the preseason anyway, his absence for the last week hadn’t yet reached the point of panic.

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Report: Bryan Stork traded to Washington rather than released

GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 01:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots prepares to take a snap from Bryan Stork #66 of the New England Patriots in the first quarter against the Seattle Seahawks during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Getty Images

On Wednesday morning, multiple reports from New England had the Patriots cutting center Bryan Stork from their 90-man roster.

That appears to have been premature or a well-timed leak to generate some trade interest because Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that Stork has been traded to the Redskins for a conditional draft choice. There’s no word on the draft pick or the conditions.

Kory Lichtensteiger is at the top of the depth chart at center for the Redskins and has gotten the start in each of the team’s two preseason games to this point. They have Spencer Long listed as their backup center, but Long is also the starter at left guard while the team waits to see if Shawn Lauvao can be healthy enough to regain the job.

Stork, a 2014 fourth-round pick, has made 17 starts at center for the Patriots over the last two seasons.

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