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Which 2011 first-round picks won’t have the option exercised?

Jake+Locker+Tennessee+Titans+v+Houston+Texans+4hOYVTZ1882l Getty Images

With NFL teams commencing the process of exercising fifth-year options on 2011 first-round picks, the real question becomes which players won’t have the option exercised.

So here’s a look at the candidates for getting the Spalding Smails treatment.

Broncos linebacker Von Miller:  With a six-game suspension last year and a late-season torn ACL, the Broncos possibly would at least consider the possibility of not picking up the option for the second overall pick in 2011.  It nevertheless would be a major surprise if they don’t trigger the option.

49ers linebacker Aldon Smith:  The 49ers reportedly are “very unlikely” to exercise the option on the seventh overall pick, due to multiple off-field issues.  There’s still no downside to using it, since it doesn’t become fully guaranteed until March 2015.  If they’re thinking about trading him, Smith could fetch more in return if his new team controls his rights for two years.

Titans quarterback Jake Locker:  How’s this for an inconsistency?  Locker, the eighth overall pick in 2011, remains on track to be the starter in 2014.  But the Titans aren’t expected to pick up the option.  For the oft-injured Locker, it makes plenty of sense.  Why give an injury-only guarantee to a guy who seemingly has been only injured since he entered the league?  The option for a quarterback taken in the top 10 would by $13 million; that’s more than Locker will make in his first four years, combined.

49ers quarterback Blaine Gabbert:  The right to exercise the option was traded to San Francisco along with Gabbert’s rookie deal as the 10th overall pick.  While they could use a little leverage in their looming negotiations with Colin Kaepernick, the notion of paying Gabbert $13 million in 2015 isn’t leverage.  It’s lunacy.

Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder:  While much cheaper than Locker or Gabbert since Ponder wasn’t taken in the top 10, he’s still on the team only because his salary is low, as veteran quarterbacks go.

Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley:  The Lions already have said that the option won’t be exercised on Fairley, in order to give him incentive to play hard in 2014.  And if Fairley needs the promise of a long-term contract to play hard, why would the Lions want to give him the security of a long-term contract?

Danny Watkins:  The 23rd overall pick in the 2011 draft was waived by the Eagles last year, and his contract went unclaimed.  With that, the ability to exercise the fifth-year option died.  He currently is a free agent.

49ers receiver Jonathan Baldwin:  Amazingly, the 49ers have three players with fifth-year options, and they’ll quite possibly exercise none of them.  Baldwin arrived via trade last year in exchange for 2012 first-round bust A.J. Jenkins.  Baldwin did nothing last year to merit consideration for a fifth year on his rookie deal.

Falcons offensive lineman Gabe Carimi:  His option evaporated after Carimi’s contract went unclaimed via waivers.  He’d been cut by the Buccaneers after being traded to Tampa by Chicago.  The Falcons signed Carimi as a free agent.

Packers tackle Derek Sherrod:  The last pick in round one from 2011 has appeared in 12 games over three seasons, with zero starts.

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2014 NFL Draft visits / workouts

Teddy Bridgewater AP

The following is an unofficial list of conducted or planned predraft meetings, visits and workouts as reported by various teams and media outlets. The list will be updated up until the draft, which will be conducted from May 8-10 in New York.

Workouts are designated by a “W,” while visits are denoted with “V.” In some cases, a player has been linked to a team, but it’s unclear whether the team conducted a workout or a visit.

Arizona Cardinals

Kent State running back Dri Archer. [W]

Memphis safety Lonnie Ballentine. [V]

Boise State wide receiver Geraldo Boldewijn. [V]

Miami (Fla.) tight end Asante Cleveland.

McGill (Quebec) offensive tackle Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. [V]

South Carolina wide receiver Bruce Ellington. [V]

Rice cornerback Phillip Gaines.

Minnesota defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman.

Michigan State defensive tackle Tyler Hoover. [W]

Shepherd (W.V.) defensive end Howard Jones. [V]

Purdue offensive tackle Kevin Pamphile. [V]

Colorado State center Weston Richburg. [V]

TCU cornerback Jason Verrett. [V]

Bloomsburg (Pa.) defensive end Larry Webster. [V]

Atlanta Falcons

Liberty defensive back Walt Aikens. [W]

Texas Tech tight end Jace Amaro. (VW)

UCLA outside linebacker Anthony Barr. [V]

Oklahoma State quarterback Clint Chelf [W].

Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. [V]

South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. [V]

Oregon State defensive end Scott Crichton. [W]

UCLA wide receiver Shaq Evans. [W]

Iowa tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz. [V]

Auburn defensive end/outside linebacker Dee Ford. [V]

Florida State running back Devonta Freeman. [V]

Virginia Tech cornerback Kyle Fuller. [W]

SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert. [W]

Minnesota defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman.

Texas defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat. [W]

UCF running back Storm Johnson. [V]

Boise State defensive end Demarcus Lawrence.

Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack. [V]

Texas A&M offensive tackle Jake Matthews. [V]

Auburn offensive tackle Greg Robinson. [V]

Notre Dame linebacker Prince Shembo.

Montana linebacker Jordan Tripp. [V]

Georgia State offensive tackle John Ulrich.

BYU linebacker Kyle Van Noy.

TCU cornerback Jason Verrett. [V]

Towson running back Terrance West. [W]

UCLA linebacker Jordan Zumwalt. [W]

Baltimore Ravens

Florida State wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin. [V]

Clemson wide receiver Martavis Bryant. [V]

Washington State safety Deone Bucannon. [V]

Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.

North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron. [V]

California linebacker Khairi Fortt. [V]

Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. [V]

Indiana wide receiver Cody Latimer. [W]

USC wide receiver Marqise Lee. [V]

Maryland cornerback Dexter McDougle. [W]

Utah cornerback Keith McGill. [V]

Oregon cornerback Terrance Mitchell.

Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley. [V]

BYU linebacker Kyle Van Noy. [V]

Northern Illinois safety Jimmie Ward. [V]

Ball State quarterback Keith Wenning. [V]

Buffalo Bills

Liberty cornerback Walt Aikens.

LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham. [V]

Clemson defensive back Bashaud Breeland. [V]

Louisville linebacker Preston Brown. [V]

Cumberlands (Ky.) running back Terrance Cobb. [V]

Duke cornerback Ross Cockrell. [V]

Oregon State defensive end Scott Crichton. [V]

North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron. [V]

Virginia Tech cornerback Kyle Fuller. [W]

Rice cornerback Phillip Gaines. [V]

LSU running back Jeremy Hill. [V]

Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde. [V]

Indiana wide receiver Cory Latimer. [V]

Cansisus basketball player Chris Manhertz. [W]

Texas A&M offensive tackle Jake Matthews. [V]

Notre Dame tight end Troy Niklas. [V]

Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby. [V]

Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk. [V]

Washington tight end Ausin Seferian-Jenkins. [V]

Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier. [V]

Mississippi State offensive lineman Charles Siddoway. [V]

Towson running back Terrance West. [V]

Carolina Panthers

LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham. [W]

Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. [V]

Oregon State wide receiver Brandin Cooks. [V]

Oregon State defensive end Scott Crichton. [W]

North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron. [V]

SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert. [W]

LSU wide receiver Jarvis Landry. [W]

Indiana wide receiver Cory Latimer.

USC wide receiver Marqise Lee. [V]

USC center Marcus Martin.

Miami (Fla.) quarterback Stephen Morris. [V]

Wyoming quarterback Brett Smith. [V]

North Dakota State offensive tackle Billy Turner.

TCU cornerback Jason Verrett. [W]

Bloomsburg (Pa.) defensive end Larry Webster. [W]

Chicago Bears

Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. [V]

Lindenwood cornerback Pierre Decir.

Virginia Tech cornerback Kyle Fuller. [V]

Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch. (local prospect workout)

Notre Dame defensive tackle Louis Nix. [V]

Louisville safety Calvin Pryor. [V]

Notre Dame quarterback Tommy Rees.

Arizona State defensive tackle Will Sutton. [V]

Oregon running back De’Anthony Thomas. [V]

Wisconsin running back James White. [W]

Cincinnati Bengals

LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham. [V]

Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard. [V]

Marist defensive end Terrence Fede. [V]

Virginia Tech cornerback Kyle Fuller. [V]

Rice cornerback Phillip Gaines. [W]

Miami (Fla.) wide receiver Allen Hurns. [W]

Louisville safety Calvin Pryor. [V]

TCU cornerback Jason Verrett. [W]

Cleveland Browns

UCF quarterback Blake Bortles. [W]

Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr. [W]

McGill (Quebec) offensive tackle Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. [V]

Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. [W]

Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack.

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. (VW)

Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron. [W]

Miami (Fla.) quarterback Stephen Morris. [V]

Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray. [V]

Alabama wide receiver Kevin Norwood. [W]

Missouri defensive end Michael Sam.

Pittsburgh quarterback Tom Savage.

Dallas Cowboys

Liberty defensive back Walt Aikens. [W]

UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr. [V]

Southeast Louisiana State defensive tackle Jerrod Black. [V]

West Virginia defensive end Will Clarke. [V]

Arizona State defensive end Davon Coleman. [V]

Oregon State defensive end Scott Crichton. [V]

Northwest Missouri cornerback Brandon Dixon. [V]

Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald. [V]

Missouri defensive lineman Kony Ealy. [V]

Florida defensive tackle Dominique Easley. [V]

Iowa tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz. [W]

Oregon wide receiver Josh Huff. [V]

Florida State defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan. [V]

Shepherd (WV) defensive end Howard Jones. (VW)

Florida State cornerback Lamarcus Joyner. [V]

Boise State defensive end Demarcus Lawrence. [V]

Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier. [V]

North Dakota State offensive tackle Billy Turner. [V]

Northern Illinois strong safety Jimmie Ward. [V]

(According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Baylor guard Cyril Richardson, SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert and a host of other local products worked out for Dallas on Thursday.)

Denver Broncos

Oregon State defensive end Scott Crichton. [V]

Virginia Tech cornerback Kyle Fuller. [V]

Mississippi wide receiver Donte Moncrief. [W]

Miami (Fla.) quarterback Stephen Morris. [V]

Boise State center Matt Paradis. [V]

Miami (Fla.) basketball forward Erik Swoope. [W]

Detroit Lions

Mississippi State defensive end Denico Autry. [V]

LSU wide receiver Kadron Boone. [W]

Pittsburg State wide receiver John Brown.

Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. [V]

South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.

LSU fullback J.C. Copeland. [W]

Texas wide receiver Mike Davis. [W]

Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard. [W]

North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron. [V]

Iowa tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz. [V]

Boston College kicker Nate Freese.

Virginia Tech cornerback Kyle Fuller. [V]

Indiana wide receiver Cory Latimer. [V]

USC wide receiver Marqise Lee. [V]

Maryland cornerback Dexter McDougle. [V]

LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger.

Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray.

Washington tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins. [V]

Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins. [V]

Bloomsburg (Pa.) defensive end Larry Webster. [W]

Green Bay Packers

West Texas A&M wide receiver Torrence Allen.

Virginia center Luke Bowanko. [V]

Michigan State linebacker Max Bullough.

McGill (Quebec) offensive tackle Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. [V]

San Jose State quarterback David Fales. [V]

North Dakota State quarterback Brock Jensen. [V]

Missouri defensive end Michael Sam.

Notre Dame linebacker Prince Shembo.

Middle Tennessee State defensive lineman Jimmy Staten.

Ball State quarterback Keith Wenning. [V]

Houston Texans

Memphis safety Lonnie Ballentine. [V]

UCF quarterback Blake Bortles. [V]

Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. [V]

South Carolina defensive end/linebacker Jadeveon Clowney. [V]

Iowa tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz. [W]

Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

Miami (Fla.) wide receiver Allen Hurns. [W]

Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack. [V]

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. [V]

Auburn offensive tackle Greg Robinson. [V]

South Carolina defensive end Chaz Sutton.

Indianapolis Colts

Fresno State wide receiver Davante Adams.

Kent State running back Dri Archer. [W]

Washington State safety Deone Bucannon. [V]

Virginia Tech cornerback Kyle Fuller. [V]

Ball State cornerback Jeff Garrett. (VW)

Minnesota defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman.

Texas defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat. [W]

Fresno State tight end Marcel Jensen.

Oregon cornerback Terrance Mitchell. [W]

Middle Tennessee State offensive lineman Josh Walker. (VW)

Per Colts.com, 20 local prospects worked out for Indianapolis on April 16.

(A hat tip to ColtsAuthority.com for first linking to some of the published reports of visits referenced here.)

Jacksonville Jaguars

UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr.

Northern Illinois defensive tackle Ken Bishop. [V]

UCF quarterback Blake Bortles.

Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. [VW]

Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr.

South Carolina defensive end/linebacker Jadeveon Clowney.

Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans. [V]

Rice cornerback Phillip Gaines.

Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. [V]

Texas defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat. [W]

Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack. [V]

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. [V]

Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron.

LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger.

Auburn offensive tackle Greg Robinson. [V]

Notre Dame linebacker Prince Shembo.

Notre Dame defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt. [V]

BYU linebacker Kyle Van Noy. [V]

Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins.

Kansas City Chiefs

Memphis safety Lonnie Ballentine. [V]

Virginia-Lynchburg cornerback Keith Lewis. [W]

Louisville running back Senorise Perry. [V]

Middle Tennessee State defensive lineman Jimmy Staten.

Illinois State defensive end Colton Underwood. [V]

Miami Dolphins

Kent State running back Dri Archer. [W]

Northern Illinois defensive tackle Ken Bishop. [W]

Marist defensive end Terrence Fede. [V]

Florida State running back Devonta Freeman. [W]

Rice cornerback Phillip Gaines.

Miami (Fla.) offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson. (VW)

Wyoming wide receiver Robert Herron.

Nebraska guard Spencer Long. [V]

Monmouth tight end Mike McLafferty. [W]

Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray.

Purdue offensive tackle Kevin Pamphile. [V]

Marshall offensive tackle Garrett Scott. [V]

North Dakota State offensive tackle Billy Turner.

Minnesota Vikings

UCLA outside linebacker Anthony Barr. [V]

Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. (VW)

Louisville linebacker Preston Brown. [V]

Washington State safety Deone Bucannon. [V]

Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. [W]

Boise State defensive end Demarcus Lawrence. [V]

Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack. [V]

LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger. [V]

North Dakota State offensive tackle Billy Turner. [V]

Minnesota safety Brock Vereen. [V]

Ball State quarterback Keith Wenning. [V]

Towson running back Terrance West. [V]

New England Patriots

Liberty defensive back Walt Aikens. [W]

Kent State running back Dri Archer. [W]

Memphis safety Lonnie Ballentine. [W]

Boise State wide receiver Geraldo Boldewijn. [W]

Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. [V]

Washington State safety Deone Bucannon. [V]

Virginia Tech wide receiver D.J. Coles.

Oregon State wide receiver Brandin Cooks. [V]

Oregon State defensive end Scott Crichton. [W]

South Carolina wide receiver Bruce Ellington. [V]

Iowa tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz. [V]

Auburn outside linebacker Dee Ford.

Florida State running back Devonta Freeman. [V]

USC wide receiver Marqise Lee. [V]

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. [V]

LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger. [V]

Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray.

Purdue offensive tackle Kevin Pamphile. [V]

Boise State center Matt Paradis. (VW)

Colorado State center Weston Richburg. [W]

Notre Dame linebacker Prince Shembo.

Washington wide receiver Kevin Smith. [V]

Middle Tennessee State defensive lineman Jimmy Staten.

Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas.

Notre Dame defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt. [V]

Illinois State defensive end Colton Underwood. [W]

New Orleans Saints

Oklahoma cornerback Aaron Colvin. [V]

Lindenwood cornerback Pierre Decir. [V]

Central Arkansas tight end Chase Dixon.

Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert. [V]

Baylor cornerback Demetri Goodson. [V]

Wyoming wide receiver Robert Herron. [V]

Boise State defensive end Demarcus Lawrence. [VW]

USC wide receiver Marqise Lee. [V]

USC center Marcus Martin.

Purdue offensive tackle Kevin Pamphile. [V]

Louisville safety Calvin Pryor. [V]

Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby. [V]

Wofford outside linebacker Alvin Scioneaux. [W]

Clemson offensive lineman Brandon Thomas.(VW)

Middle Tennessee State offensive lineman Josh Walker. (VW)

New York Giants

Washington State safety Deone Bucannon. [V]

Boston College linebacker Steele Divitto. [W]

Marist defensive end Terrence Fede. [W]

Rice cornerback Phillip Gaines.

Virginia-Lynchburg cornerback Keith Lewis. [W]

Maryland cornerback Dexter McDougle. [V]

Monmouth tight end Mike McLafferty. [W]

Purdue offensive tackle Kevin Pamphile. [V]

Colorado State center Weston Richburg. [W]

Bloomsburg (Pa.) defensive end Larry Webster. [V]

New York Jets

Texas Tech tight end Jace Amaro. [V]

LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham. [V]

Florida State wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin. [V]

Washington State safety Deone Bucannon. [V]

Oregon State wide receiver Brandin Cooks. [V]

Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard. [V]

Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans. [V]

Marist defensive end Terrence Fede. [W]

Iowa tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz. [V]

Virginia Tech cornerback Kyle Fuller. [V]

Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert. [V]

Boise State defensive end/outside linebacker Demarcus Lawrence. [V]

Maryland cornerback Dexter McDougle. [V]

Louisville safety Calvin Pryor. [V]

Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby. [V]

TCU cornerback Jason Verrett. [V]

Bloomsburg (Pa.) defensive end Larry Webster. [V]

Oakland Raiders

Northern Illinois defensive tackle Ken Bishop. [V]

UCF quarterback Blake Bortles.

Clemson defensive back Bashaud Breeland. [V]

Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr.

South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. [V]

Arkansas defensive end Austin Flynn. [W]

Virginia Tech cornerback Kyle Fuller. [V]

Michigan State defensive tackle Tyler Hoover. [W]

Indiana wide receiver Cory Latimer. [V]

Virginia-Lynchburg cornerback Keith Lewis. [V]

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. [V]

Maryland cornerback Dexter McDougle. [V]

LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger. [V]

Oregon cornerback Terrance Mitchell. [W]

Concordia (Minn.) defensive end Zach Moore. [V]

Pittsburgh quarterback Tom Savage.

South Carolina defensive end Chaz Sutton.

Philadelphia Eagles

UCLA outside linebacker Anthony Barr. [V]

Florida State wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin. [V]

Washington State cornerback Deone Bucannon.

Miami (Fla.) tight end Asante Cleveland.

Rutgers wide receiver Brandon Coleman. [W]

Oklahoma defensive back Aaron Colvin. [V]

Oregon defensive tackle Taylor Hart.

Connecticut defensive end Jesse Joseph.

Indiana wide receiver Cory Latimer. [V]

USC wide receiver Marqise Lee. [V]

Nebraska guard Spencer Long. [V]

USC center Marcus Martin.

Rutgers wide receiver Quron Pratt.[W]

Montana linebacker Jordan Tripp. [V]

Florida defensive back Jaylen Watkins. [V]

Bloomsburg (Pa.) defensive end Larry Webster. [V]

(A hat tip to PhillyMag.com’s Eagles Pre-Draft Prospect Tracker, where we located news of a few visits.)

Pittsburgh Steelers

UCLA outside linebacker Anthony Barr. [V]

LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham.

Massachusetts tight end Rob Blanchflower. [V]

Arizona State linebacker Carl Bradford. [V]

Washington State linebacker Deone Bucannon. [V]

Oregon State defensive end Scott Crichton. [V]

Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard. [V]

South Carolina wide receiver Bruce Ellington. [V]

Rice cornerback Phillip Gaines. [V]

Minnesota defensive lineman Ra’Shede Hageman. [V]

Texas defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat. [V]

Boise State defensive end/outside linebacker Demarcus Lawrence. [V]

Mississippi wide receiver Dante Moncrief. [V]

Boston College linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis. [V]

Louisville safety Calvin Pryor. [V]

Arizona cornerback Shaquille Richardson. [V]

Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby. [V]

Baylor running back Lache Seastrunk. [V]

Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier. [V]

Notre Dame defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt. [V]

Minnesota safety Brock Vereen. [V]

TCU cornerback Jason Verrett. [V]

UCLA linebacker Jordan Zumwalt. [V]

San Diego Chargers

Montana linebacker Brock Coyle. [V]

Oregon State defensive end Scott Crichton. [V]

New Mexico offensive lineman Darryl Johnston.

Indiana wide receiver Cory Latimer. [V]

Nebraska guard Spencer Long. [V]

Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby. [V]

Middle Tennessee State defensive lineman Jimmy Staten.

Boise State defensive tackle Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe. [V]

Illinois State defensive end Colton Underwood. [V]

Bloomsburg (Pa.) defensive end Larry Webster. (VW)

San Francisco 49ers

LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham.

Clemson defensive back Bashaud Breeland.

Clemson wide receiver Martavis Bryant. [V]

Oklahoma cornerback Aaron Colvin. [V]

Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

UCF running back Storm Johnson. [V]

Boise State outside linebacker Demarcus Lawrence. [V]

Boston College offensive lineman Matt Patchan. [V]

Towson running back Terrance West. [V]

Georgia State wide receiver Albert Wilson. [V]

Seattle Seahawks

Oregon State wide receiver Brandin Cooks. [V]

Montana linebacker Brock Coyle. [V]

McGill (Quebec) offensive tackle Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. [V]

Indiana wide receiver Cory Latimer. [V]

Boise State defensive end/outside linebacker Demarcus Lawrence. [W]

Washington wide receiver Kevin Smith. [V]

Georgia State offensive tackle John Ulrich.

Towson running back Terrance West. [V]

St. Louis Rams

South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. [V]

Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard. [V]

Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy. [V]

South Carolina wide receiver Bruce Ellington. [V]

Virginia Tech cornerback Kyle Fuller. [W]

SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert. [V]

Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack. [V]

Texas A&M offensive tackle Jake Matthews. [W]

Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray.

Auburn offensive tackle Greg Robinson. [V]

Pittsburgh quarterback Tom Savage. [V]

North Dakota State offensive tackle Billy Turner. [V]

Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins. (VW)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. [V]

Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr. [V]

Iowa tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz. [V]

Auburn outside linebacker Dee Ford.

Virginia Tech cornerback Kyle Fuller. [W]

Rice cornerback Phillip Gaines. [W].

Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. [V]

SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert. [W]

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. [V]

Purdue offensive tackle Kevin Pamphile. [V]

North Dakota State offensive tackle Billy Turner.

Bloomsburg (Pa.) defensive end Larry Webster. [V]

(The Buccaneers also worked out 26 local prospects on April 11, the club said on its website.)

Tennessee Titans

UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr.

Colorado State linebacker Shaquil Barrett.

Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. [V]

Virginia Tech cornerback Kyle Fuller. [W]

Tennessee offensive tackle Ja’Wuan James.

Florida State defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan.

LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger. [W]

Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley.

Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray.

Louisville safety Calvin Pryor. [V]

Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby. [V]

Tennessee offensive lineman James Stone.

Towson running back Terrance West. [V]

Washington Redskins

Oregon State defensive end Scott Crichton. [V]

Stanford offensive tackle Cameron Fleming. [V]

Indiana wide receiver Cory Latimer. [V]

Boise State defensive end/outside linebacker Demarcus Lawrence. [V]

West Virginia running back Charles Sims. [V]

Louisville defensive end Marcus Smith. [V]

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2014 NFL preseason schedule

Ryan Tannehill AP

Here is the 2014 NFL preseason schedule as furnished by the league on April 9. Exact dates and times for some games have not yet been announced:

NFL Hall of Fame Game: Sunday, August 3.

N.Y. Giants vs. Buffalo (NBC).

Week One: Thursday, August 7 through Sunday, August 10.

Buffalo at Carolina.

Cincinnati at Kansas City.

Cleveland at Detroit.

Dallas at San Diego.

Green Bay at Tennessee.

Houston at Arizona.

Indianapolis at N.Y. Jets.

Miami at Atlanta.

New England at Washington.

New Orleans at St. Louis.

Oakland at Minnesota.

Philadelphia at Chicago.

Pittsburgh at N.Y. Giants.

San Francisco at Baltimore.

Seattle at Denver.

Tampa Bay at Jacksonville.

Week Two: Thursday, August 14 through Monday, August 18.

Jacksonville at Chicago (ESPN, 8/14).

Kansas City at Carolina (FOX, 8/17).

Cleveland at Washington (ESPN, 8/18).

Arizona at Minnesota.

Atlanta at Houston.

Baltimore at Dallas.

Buffalo at Pittsburgh.

Denver at San Francisco.

Detroit at Oakland.

Green Bay at St. Louis.

Miami at Tampa Bay.

N.Y. Giants at Indianapolis.

N.Y. Jets at Cincinnati.

Philadelphia at New England.

San Diego at Seattle.

Tennessee at New Orleans.

Week Three: Thursday, August 21 through Sunday, August 24.

Oakland at Green Bay (CBS, 8/22).

New Orleans at Indianapolis (CBS, 8/23).

San Diego at San Francisco (FOX, 8/24).

Cincinnati at Arizona (NBC, 8/24).

Pittsburgh at Philadelphia.

Jacksonville at Detroit.

Tennessee at Atlanta.

Chicago at Seattle.

Tampa Bay at Buffalo.

Dallas at Miami.

Carolina at New England.

N.Y. Giants at N.Y. Jets.

Washington at Baltimore.

St. Louis at Cleveland.

Houston at Denver.

Minnesota at Kansas City.

Week Four: Thursday, August 28. ***

Arizona at San Diego.

Atlanta at Jacksonville.

Baltimore at New Orleans.

Carolina at Pittsburgh.

Chicago at Cleveland.

Denver at Dallas.

Detroit at Buffalo.

Indianapolis at Cincinnati.

Kansas City at Green Bay.

Minnesota at Tennessee.

New England at N.Y. Giants.

N.Y. Jets at Philadelphia.

San Francisco at Houston.

Seattle at Oakland.

St. Louis at Miami.

Washington at Tampa Bay.

*** — According to the NFL, teams can elect to play the final preseason game on Friday, August 29.

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Post-free agency mock draft

Clowney AP

Before free agency, we posted a mock draft.  Because when in Rome.

Now that free agency is nearly four weeks old, which has resulted in needs being filled and new needs being created, we’ve put together a new mock draft.

Because when in Rome.

So here’s how we see things, 31 days before it’ll be time to say, “When in New York City.”

1. Texans: Jadeveon Clowney, defensive end, South Carolina.

Yeah, Bortles.  Yeah, Manziel.  But the Texans lucked into J.J. Watt when a pair of teams from their own division took Jake Locker and Blaine Gabbert three years ago.  That lesson should not be lost on the Texans.  Especially with Jacksonville on the clock two picks later.

2. Rams: Sammy Watkins, receiver, Clemson.

If they’re going to stick with Sam Bradford at quarterback, they need to give him another weapon.  The fact that they seem to be downplaying it serves only to make it more likely.

3. Jaguars:  Johnny Manziel, quarterback, Texas A&M.

The flirtation with center Alex Mack suggests that the Jags are willing to take chances.  Manziel fits with Jedd Fisch’s creative offensive approach and, more importantly, Manziel will make the Jaguars into a marquee team.  If he’s successful.  If he’s not, they’ll get another crack at another quarterback soon enough.

4. Browns:  Derek Carr, quarterback, Fresno State.

Should Carr go that high?  No.  Should the Browns screw around if they think they’ve found the guy who can run Kyle Shanahan’s offense the way Shanahan wants?  Hell no.

5. Raiders: Greg Robinson, tackle, Auburn.

Yes, they signed Donald Penn to presumably play left tackle.  But they’ll find a spot for both guys as they try to open running lanes and keep Matt Schaub in one piece.

6. Falcons: Khalil Mack, linebacker, Buffalo.

The pass rush remains an area of need after free agency.  It would be a surprise if the Falcons use the No. 6 pick on any other position.

7. Buccaneers: Mike Evans, receiver Texas A&M.

Dumping Mike Williams makes receiver an obvious need.  Maybe too obvious; they could get leapfrogged for Evans.

8. Vikings: Blake Bortles, quarterback, Central Florida.

With Matt Cassel in place for two years, Bortles gets eased in to the job, possibly becoming offensive coordinator Norv Turner’s next star pupil.

9. Bills: Jake Matthews, tackle, Texas A&M.

Regarded a year ago to be better than Luke Joeckel, he’ll help beef up an offensive line that has underperformed in recent years.

10. Lions: Aaron Donald, defensive tackle, Pitt.

Receiver becomes less of a need with Golden Tate in the fold.  With the Lions not exercising the fifth-year option on Nick Fairley as a motivational tool and with Ndamukong Suh still carrying a $22 million-plus cap number, they need a fresh face at the position.

11. Titans: Teddy Bridgewater, quarterback, Louisville.

The Titans have done a good job of keeping their cards close to the vest regarding the need for a quarterback.  As May approaches, it’s becoming more obvious that they need to take a chance on someone, three years after they took a chance on Jake Locker.

12. Giants: Timmy Jernigan, defensive tackle, Florida State.

Given the departures of Justin Tuck and Linval Joseph, the Giants need to restore some bite to a defensive line that didn’t necessarily carry them to a pair of Super Bowl appearances, but helped deliver victory once they got there.

13. Rams: Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix, safety, Alabama.

Keeping Rodger Saffold allows the Rams to address the last line of defense.

14. Bears: Bears:  C.J. Mosley, linebacker, Alabama.

Veteran D.J. Williams got the first chance to assume the middle linebacker mantle in Chicago.  The Bears should now turn to a rookie.

15. Steelers: Marqise Lee, receiver, USC.

With Mike Wallace, Emmanuel Sanders, and Jerricho Cotchery all gone, the Steelers provide Antonio Brown a young partner and Big Ben another target.

16. Cowboys: Dee Ford, defensive end, Auburn.

With Anthony Spencer likely gone and DeMarcus Ware definitely gone, it’s time to stock up on pass rushers.

17. Ravens: Taylor Lewan, tackle, Michigan.

Eugene Monroe stayed, Michael Oher didn’t. They need a right tackle, and Lewan could be the guy to take over there.

18. Jets: Eric Ebron, tight end, North Carolina.

And here’s why the Jets ultimately didn’t pursue DeSean Jackson.  Ebron could become a game-changer in the slot — and he has the charisma to take over the nation’s top media market.

19. Dolphins: Xavier Su’a-Filo, guard, UCLA.

Or they could re-sign Richie Incognito.

20. Cardinals: Anthony Barr, linebacker, UCLA.

If the Cards are going to keep up with the 49ers, Seahawks, and Rams, the Cards need pass rushers.

21. Packers: Jason Verrett, cornerback, TCU.

The cornerback slide stops in Green Bay, where the defense needs plenty of impact players.

22. Eagles: Justin Gilbert, cornerback, Oklahoma State.

And it’s suddenly a run on corners, with the Eagles beefing up a potential weak spot.

23. Chiefs: Bradley Roby, cornerback, Ohio State.

Let’s make it three corners in a row, with Roby joining a team that has to deal with Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers.

24. Bengals: Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State.

Shazier ran a blazing 4.36-second 40-yard dash with a bad hamstring. Adding him would require some shuffling of the linebackers, since Shazier is suited to the weak side. Given his talents and Vontaze Burfict’s versatility, that’s a good problem to have.

25. Chargers: Brandin Cooks, receiver, Oregon State.

He says he’s better than DeSean Jackson.  The weapons-challenged Philip Rivers will settle for just as good.

26. Browns (from Colts): Trai Turner, guard, LSU.

A surprisingly meat-and-potatoes offseason continues for a team that has lost guard Shawn Lauvao and could lose center Alex Mack, this year or maybe next year.

27. Saints: Odell Beckham, receiver, LSU.

The stable of weapons gets replenished, partially. Jimmy Graham still needs an explanation.  And a contract.

28. Panthers: Darqueze Dennard, cornerback, Michigan State.

They can get competent receivers later, in rounds where top-shelf corners aren’t likely lurking.

29. Patriots: Zack Martin, tackle, Notre Dame.

It’s not a glaring area of need but it’s good value for the slot.  Plus, it never hurts to have enough guys to keep Tom Brady healthy in the final years of his career.

30. 49ers: Kyle Fuller, cornerback, Virginia Tech.

The lone area of weakness on the team gets addressed.  As it should.

31. Broncos: Cyrus Kouandjio, tackle, Alabama.

All those additions on defense won’t help Peyton Manning score more than eight points if he faces the Seahawks again in the Super Bowl.

32. Seahawks: Kony Ealy, defensive end, Missouri.

With Chris Clemons and Red Bryant gone and Jared Allen picking the Bears, the Seahawks need to feed the unit that was critical to the team’s success in 2013.

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2014 NFL offseason workout schedule

Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch AP

Below is the schedule of offseason workouts for all 32 clubs as released by NFL on April 3. The schedule is subject to change:

Arizona Cardinals
First Day: April 21.
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 20-22, May 27-29, June 2-5.
Mandatory Minicamp: June 10-12.

Atlanta Falcons
First Day: April 21.
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 27-29, June 2-4, June 10-13.
Mandatory Minicamp: June 17-19.

Baltimore Ravens
First Day: April 21.
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 28-30, June 3-5, June 9-10, June 12-13.
Mandatory Minicamp: June 17-19.

Buffalo Bills
First Day: April 22.
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 28-30, June 2, June 4-5, June 9-12.
Mandatory Minicamp: June 17-19.

Carolina Panthers
First Day: April 21
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 27-29, June 3-5, June 9-12.
Mandatory Minicamp: June 17-19.

Chicago Bears
First Day: April 22.
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 27-28, May 30, June 2-3, June 5, June 9-12.
Mandatory Minicamp: June 17-19.

Cincinnati Bengals
First Day: April 21.
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 27-29, June 3-5, June 16-18.
Mandatory Minicamp: June 10-12.

Cleveland Browns
First Day: April 7.
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 20-21, May 23, May 27-28, May 30, June 2-3, June 5-6.
Voluntary Minicamp: April 29-May 1.
Mandatory Minicamp: June 10-12.

Dallas Cowboys
First Day: April 21.
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 27-29, June 2, June 4-5, June 9-12.
Mandatory Minicamp: June 17-19.

Denver Broncos
First Day: April 21.
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 28-30, June 2-4, June 16-19.
Mandatory Minicamp: June 10-12.

Detroit Lions
First Day: April 7.
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 20-22, May 27-29, June 2-5.
Voluntary Minicamp: April 22-24.
Mandatory Minicamp: June 10-12.

Green Bay Packers
First Day: April 22.
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 28-30, June 3-5, June 10-13.
Mandatory Minicamp: June 17-19.

Houston Texans
First Day: April 7.
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 27-29, June 2-3, June 5, June 9-10, June 12-13.
Voluntary Minicamp: May 6-8.
Mandatory Minicamp: June 17-19.

Indianapolis Colts
First Day: April 21.
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 27-29, June 2-4, June 9-12.
Mandatory Minicamp: June 17-19.

Jacksonville Jaguars
First Day: April 21.
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 27-29, June 2-3, June 5, June 9-10, June 12-13.
Mandatory Minicamp: June 17-19.

Kansas City Chiefs
First Day: April 21.
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 27-29, June 3-5, June 10-13.
Mandatory Minicamp: June 17-19.

Miami Dolphins
First Day: April 21.
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 27-28, May 30, June 2-3, June 5, June 9-12.
Mandatory Minicamp: June 17-19.

Minnesota Vikings
First Day: April 7.
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 28-30, June 3-5, June 9-12.
Voluntary Minicamp: April 29-May 1.
Mandatory Minicamp: June 17-19.

New England Patriots
First Day: April 21.
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 27, May 29-30, June 2-3, June 5, June 9-10, June 12-13.
Mandatory Minicamp: June 17-19

New Orleans Saints
First Day: April 21.
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 27-29, June 3-5, June 16-19.
Mandatory Minicamp: June 10-12.

New York Giants
First Day: April 21.
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 28-30, June 2-3, June 5, June 9-10, June 12-13.
Mandatory Minicamp: June 17-19.

New York Jets
First Day: April 21.
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 27-28, May 30, June 2, June 4-5, June 9-12.
Mandatory Minicamp: June 17-19.

Oakland Raiders
First Day: April 22.
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 27-28, May 30, June 2-3, June 5, June 9-12.
Mandatory Minicamp: June 17-19.

Philadelphia Eagles
First Day: April 21.
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 27-29, June 2-3, June 5, June 9-12.
Mandatory Minicamp: June 17-19.

Pittsburgh Steelers
First Day: April 22.
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 27-29, June 3-5, June 9-12.
Mandatory Minicamp: June 17-19

St. Louis Rams
First Day: April 21.
OTA Offseason Workouts: June 3, June 5-6, June 9-10, June 12, June 16-17, June 19-20.
Mandatory Minicamp: None.

San Diego Chargers
First Day: April 22.
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 27-29, June 2-4, June 9-12.
Mandatory Minicamp: June 17-19.

San Francisco 49ers
First Day: April 21.
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 27-29, June 2-3, June 5, June 9-10, June 12-13.
Mandatory Minicamp: June 17-19.

Seattle Seahawks
First Day: April 21.
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 27-29, June 2-3, June 5, June 9-12.
Mandatory Minicamp: June 17-19.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
First Day: April 7.
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 20-22, May 27-29, June 2-5.
Voluntary Minicamp: April 22-24.
Mandatory Minicamp: June 10-12.

Tennessee Titans
First Day: April 7.
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 27-29, June 2-3, June 5, June 9-12.
Voluntary Minicamp: April 29-May 1.
Mandatory Minicamp: June 17-19.

Washington Redskins
First Day: April 7.
OTA Offseason Workouts: May 27-29, June 2-4, June 9-12.
Voluntary Minicamp: April 29-May 1.
Mandatory Minicamp: June 17-19.

All schedule information furnished by the NFL.

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Five rules changes get NFL owners’ approval at league meeting

Rich McCay AP

The NFL’s owners voted to change five NFL rules, while also voting down three proposals and tabling five proposals until next year. Here are the results of the votes on rules changes, bylaw changes and resolution changes brought forward by the NFL Competition Committee:

Rule change proposals:

1. Move the kickoff to the 40-yard line. FAILED

2. Expand instant replay to include personal foul penalties. FAILED

3. Eliminate overtime in the preseason. TABLED

4. Extend the uprights to make them five feet taller. PASSED

5. Move the line of scrimmage for one-point extra point kicks to the defensive team’s 25-yard line. Two-point conversion attempts would still be snapped from the 2-yard line. TABLED. (League will experiment with longer extra points in the preseason.)

6. Put six cameras on all boundary lines — sideline, goal line, end line, to guarantee coverage for replay reviews. TABLED

7. Permit a coach to challenge any official’s decision, except scoring plays which are automatically reviewed. FAILED

8. Protect players from getting the sides of their legs rolled up on — the rule already says a blocker can’t hit an opponent in the back of the legs, this proposal will add “or side” to the rule. PASSED

9. Allow the referee to consult with members of the NFL officiating department during replay reviews. The referee would be able to speak with the command center in New York to help in reviewing a play. PASSED

10. Re-organize the rules about what can be reviewed and what cannot be reviewed, including making the recovery of a loose ball in the field of play reviewable. (This is referred to as the NaVorro Bowman rule, after a controversial call in the NFC Championship Game.) PASSED

11. Don’t stop the clock on a sack. PASSED

12. Modify pass interference so that it can be called within one yard of the line of scrimmage. TABLED

13. Enforce defensive fouls behind the line of scrimmage from the previous spot, rather than from the end of the run or from the spot of the foul. PASSED

Bylaw proposals:

1. Raise the number of active players on game day from 46 to 49 for regular-season games played on a day other than Sunday or Monday, excluding Week One. TABLED

2. Raise the practice squad limit from eight players to 10 players. TABLED

3. Permit clubs to trade players prior to the start of the league year. TABLED

4. Eliminate the cut-down to 75 players during training camp and instead just have one cut-down from 90 players to 53 players. FAILED

5. Permit more than one player to return to the active list from injured reserve so that any player on injured reserve could return after six weeks. FAILED

6. Permit each club to time and test up to 10 draft-eligible players at its facility, and allow any club that wishes to attend timing and testing at another team’s facility. TABLED

7. Adjust the time of the roster reduction from 53 after the fourth preseason game from 6 p.m. Eastern to 4 p.m. Eastern. All teams would have to have their list of final cuts in by 4 p.m. PASSED

Resolution proposal:

1. Permit a home team with a retractable roof to open or close its roof at halftime, instead of having to determine at the start of the game whether it is open or closed. TABLED

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2014 NFL compensatory draft picks by team

Ed Reed AP

The NFL has awarded the following 32 compensatory selections for the 2014 draft:

Ravens (4 picks): Round Three (99), Round Four (134), Round Four (138), Round Five (175).

Jets (4 picks): Round Four (137), Round Six (209), Round Six (210), Round Six (213).

Steelers (3 picks): Round Three (97), Round Five (173), Round Six (215).

Texans (3 picks): Round Four (135), Round Six (211), Round Seven (256).

Falcons (3 picks): Round Four (139), Round Seven (253), Round Seven (255).

Rams (3 picks): Round Six (214), Round Seven (249), Round Seven (250)

Cowboys (3 picks): Round Seven (248), Round Seven (251), Round Seven (254).

Packers (2 picks): Round Three (98), Round Five (176).

Lions (2 picks): Round Four (133), Round Four (136).

Bengals (2 picks): Round Six (212), Round Seven (252).

49ers (1 pick): Round Three (100).

Patriots (1 pick): Round Four (140).

Giants (1 pick): Round Five (174).

Compensatory selections are awarded to clubs for free agent losses sustained in the previous offseason.

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Competition Committee announces new rule, bylaw proposals

kickoff Getty Images

The NFL Competition Committee announced 13 new rule proposals, seven new bylaw proposals and one proposed resolution on a conference call on Wednesday. The NFL’s owners will vote at next week’s league meeting on the potential changes, which we detail below.

Rule change proposals:

1. Move the kickoff to the 40-yard line.

2. Expand instant replay to include personal foul penalties.

3. Eliminate overtime in the preseason.

4. Extend the goal posts an additional five feet above the cross bar.

5. Move the line of scrimmage for one-point extra point kicks to the defensive team’s 25-yard line. Two-point conversion attempts would still be snapped from the 2-yard line.

6. Put six cameras on all boundary lines — sideline, goal line, end line, to guarantee coverage for replay reviews.

7. Permit a coach to challenge any official’s decision, except scoring plays which are automatically reviewed.

8. Protect players from getting the sides of their legs rolled up on — the rule already says a blocker can’t hit an opponent in the back of the legs, this proposal will add “or side” to the rule.

9. Allow the referee to consult with members of the NFL officiating department during replay reviews. The referee would be able to speak with the command center in New York to help in reviewing a play.

10. Re-organize the rules about what can be reviewed and what cannot be reviewed, including making the recovery of a loose ball in the field of play reviewable. (This is referred to as the NaVorro Bowman rule, after a controversial call in the NFC Championship Game.)

11. Don’t stop the clock on a sack.

12. Modify pass interference so that it can be called within one yard of the line of scrimmage.

13. Enforce defensive fouls behind the line of scrimmage from the previous spot, rather than from the end of the run or from the spot of the foul.

Bylaw proposals:

1. Raise the number of active players on game day from 46 to 49 for regular-season games played on a day other than Sunday or Monday, excluding Week One.

2. Raise the practice squad limit from eight players to 10 players.

3. Permit clubs to trade players prior to the start of the league year.

4. Eliminate the cut-down to 75 players during training camp and instead just have one cut-down from 90 players to 53 players.

5. Permit more than one player to return to the active list from injured reserve so that any player on injured reserve could return after six weeks.

6. Permit each club to time and test up to 10 draft-eligible players at its facility, and allow any club that wishes to attend timing and testing at another team’s facility.

7. Adjust the time of the roster reduction from 53 after the fourth preseason game from 6 p.m. Eastern to 4 p.m. Eastern. All teams would have to have their list of final cuts in by 4 p.m.

Resolution proposal:

1. Permit a home team with a retractable roof to open or close its roof at halftime, instead of having to determine at the start of the game whether it is open or closed.

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PFT’s pre-free agency mock draft

Clemson Getty Images

Mock drafts are for the most part useless. They’re even more useless before free agency, when needs are filled and created by the movement of veterans players.

With that caveat, and acknowledging that some of you will call this the “worst . . . mock . . . ever” regardless of who’s listed on it, here’s a completely meaningless projection, crafted with the input of an actual scout.  Who is employed.  By a team.  In the NFL.

For now.

1.  Texans:  Greg Robinson, tackle, Auburn.

Quarterback is a pressing need, but they also need guys to block for the quarterback.  They most likely could trade down and still get Robinson.

2.  Rams:  Sammy Watkins, receiver, Clemson.

If they’re going to stick with Sam Bradford at quarterback, they need to give him another weapon.  For the second straight year, how about a wideout in the top 10?  Or a Fresca?

3.  Jaguars:  Jadeveon Clowney, defensive end, South Carolina.

In recent years, the Jaguars have drafted defensive linemen like the Lions used to select receivers.  Clowney’s potential can’t be overlooked, and coach Gus Bradley surely believes he can push the right buttons to get the most out of him.

4.  Browns:  Johnny Manziel, quarterback, Texas A&M.

Owner Jimmy Haslam’s effort to land Jim Harbaugh shows a willingness to swing for the fences.  Manziel is the potential home run in this year’s draft class.  If the Browns strike out, well, they’re used to that.

5.  Raiders:  Teddy Bridgewater, quarterback, Louisville.

The most NFL-ready quarterback lands with one of the least NFL-ready rosters.  But things could be changing, especially if they spend all that cap space the right way.

6.  Falcons:  Khalil Mack, linebacker, Buffalo.

They could be tempted to trade up for Clowney.  But why not stand pat for a player who could end up being as good?

7.  Buccaneers:  Aaron Donald, defensive tackle, Pitt.

Gerald McCoy thinks he can be Warren Sapp in Lovie Smith’s defense.  Aaron Donald may have a better shot at it.

8.  Vikings:  Blake Bortles, quarterback, Central Florida.

With Matt Cassel in place for two years, Bortles gets eased in to the job, possibly becoming offensive coordinator Norv Turner’s next star pupil.

9.  Bills:  Jake Matthews, tackle, Texas A&M.

Regarded a year ago to be better than Luke Joeckel, he’ll help beef up an offensive line that has underperformed in recent years.

10.  Lions:  Mike Evans, receiver, Texas A&M.

Matt Millen will be smiling.  Lions fans will be cringing.  Until Matthew Stafford starts throwing passes both to Evans and to Calvin Johnson, with Reggie Bush exploding out of the backfield and Joseph Fauria becoming a poor man’s Jimmy Graham.

11.  Titans:  Anthony Barr, linebacker, UCLA.

Former offensive player turned defender could help pump up a new-look defense under Ray Horton, who had Barkevious Mingo as a rookie last year in Cleveland.

12.  Giants:  Timmy Jernigan, defensive tackle, Florida State.

Facing the potential departures of Justin Tuck and Linval Joseph, the Giants need to restore some bite to a defensive line that didn’t necessarily carry them to a pair of Super Bowl appearances, but helped deliver victory once they got there.

13.  Rams:  Zack Martin, tackle, Notre Dame.

With Jake Long recovering from a torn ACL and Rodger Saffold bidding adieu, it’s time to add a tackle.

14.  Bears:  C.J. Mosley, linebacker, Alabama.

Veteran D.J. Williams got the first chance to assume the middle linebacker mantle in Chicago.  The Bears should now turn to a rookie.

15.  Steelers:  Marqise Lee, receiver, USC.

With Mike Wallace gone and Emmanuel Sanders soon to join him, the Steelers provide Antonio Brown a young partner and Big Ben another target.

16.  Cowboys:  Dee Ford, defensive end, Auburn.

With Anthony Spencer likely gone and DeMarcus Ware closing in on the end of his run in Dallas, it’s time to stock up on pass rushers.

17.  Ravens:  Taylor Lewan, tackle, Michigan.

Even if Eugene Monroe sticks around, Michael Oher won’t be.  They’ll need a right tackle, and Lewan could be the guy to take over there.

18.  Jets:  Eric Ebron, tight end, North Carolina.

The Jets need a weapon at tight end who knows the way to the end zone.  Also Boston Market.

19.  Dolphins:  Xavier Su’a-Filo, guard, UCLA.

Jonathan Martin likely gets replaced by Branden Albert.  And Richie Incognito could be replaced by the rookie from UCLA.

20  Cardinals:  Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State.

Coach Bruce Arians is trying too hard to create the impression he won’t be drafting a quarterback, possibly in order to make anyone drafting below him who needs a quarterback believe he won’t be drafting a quarterback.

21.  Packers:  Ha Ha Clinton Dix, safety, Alabama.

The Packers have paid strong safety Morgan Burnett, and they won’t be tendering an offer to restricted free agent free safety M.D. Jennings.  Enter Clinton-Dix.

22.  Eagles:  Calvin Pryor, safety, Louisville.

Philly may prefer Clinton-Dix, which could spark a game of leapfrog.  Without trades, Pryor gets the pick and helps fill a clear area of need.

23.  Chiefs:  Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State.

The Chiefs don’t have many glaring weaknesses.  Cornerback is one of them.  In a division with Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers, that’s a problem.

24.  Bengals:  Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State.

Shazier ran a blazing 4.36-second 40-yard dash with a bad hamstring.  Adding him would require some shuffling of the linebackers, since Shazier is suited to the weak side.  Given his talents and Vontaze Burfict’s versatility, that’s a good problem to have.

25.  Chargers: Trai Turner, G, LSU.

Philip Rivers, the 2013 comeback player of the year, came back from if anything a subpar offensive line.  Turner could make it even less subpar.

26.  Browns (from Colts):  Dri Archer, running back, Kent State.

The Browns keep swinging for the fences with a guy who could become the next Chris Johnson.  (Before he went from being great to pretty good.)

27.  Saints:  Odell Beckham, receiver, LSU.

The stable of weapons gets replenished, partially.  Jimmy Graham still needs an explanation.

28.  Panthers:  Darqueze Dennard, cornerback, Michigan State.

The looming exodus of Captain Munnerlyn and Drayton Florence means it’s time to load up the secondary at a low cost.

29.  Patriots:  Kyle Fuller, cornerback, Virginia Tech.

Farewell, Aqib Talib.  Welcome to the fold, Kyle Fuller.

30.  49ers:  Jason Verrett, cornerback, TCU.

Trent Baalke may be tempted to take a receiver in order to wash away the lingering residue of the A.J. Jenkins selection.  The bigger need is at cornerback, although it would be better if a bigger cornerback were available at this spot.

31.  Broncos:  Kony Ealy, defensive end, Missouri.

Shaun Phillips was a capable one-year replacement for Elvis Dumervil.  Ealy could be the longer-term option.

32.  Seahawks:  RaShede Hageman, defensive tackle, Minnesota.

With Clinton McDonald likely leaving via free agency, the Seahawks add depth and get younger in the interior defensive line.  Hageman’s pass rush skills will help replace Michael Bennett, who would slide inside from time to time on passing downs.

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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/outside linebacker Anthony Spencer.

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.)

OTHERS RANKED

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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The NFC free agents, updated again

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Well, we can’t update the AFC free agents without updating the NFC free agents.

So we’ve updated the NFC free agents.

The free agents for the NFC East, NFC North, NFC South, and NFC West teams are just a click away.

If we missed any, or if you simply want to complain to me directly, send an email.

Free agency opens on March 11 at 4:00 p.m. ET.

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The AFC free agents, updated again

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As free agency approaches, more guys are re-signing and/or getting tagged.

So we’re continuously updating the per-division list of free agents, for your perusal, inspection, or other purposes.

For the AFC, you can click the links and see the looming free agents (with all re-signings noted) for all teams in the AFC East, AFC North, AFC South, and AFC West.

We’ll update as players re-sign; that will happen even faster if you let us know.

Feel free to use that link to email anything else you want to pass along.  As if we needed to mention that.

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What should the other tagged players do?

Worilds Getty Images

Now that Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy has put pen to paper and accepted an offer to make $13.116 million guaranteed in 2014 under the franchise tag, the other tagged players (three franchise, two transition) need to decide what to do about their own situations.

So let’s give some free advice (money-back guarantee) to the remaining five guys who have decisions to make.

The options are simple — sign it now, sign it later, sign it in September.

Browns center Alex Mack:  Sign it now.

The little-used transition tag allows Mack to negotiate with other teams and to sign an offer sheet elsewhere.  If the Browns don’t match, Mack joins the new team.  If the Browns match, he gets that same contract in Cleveland.

But no one will be offering Mack a contract that averages $10 million per year.  So why not take the $10 million guaranteed for 2014 and hit the open market in 2015?

The Browns would have to pay Mack $12 million to use either the franchise or transition tag in 2015.  If they use either tag, Mack should immediately sign it then, too.

He’s a great center, but he’s a center.  The position doesn’t pay eight figures per year.

Once Mack signs his transition tender, it will.

Steelers linebacker Jason Worilds:  Sign it later.

Yes, $9.754 million represents solid one-year compensation for a guy who has made a total of $3.7 million during his four-year career.  But Worilds has a chance to fish for a long-term contract, possibly from a team that can front load a contract in a way the Steelers can’t match.

While the poison pill is dead, a new team with plenty of cap space can use a huge base salary or a gigantic roster bonus for 2014 to put the Steelers in a box.

Worilds should aggressively pursue an offer from another team early in the free-agency period.  If nothing acceptable comes within a week or so, he should take the $9.754 million before the Steelers rescind the tag, which would instantly create $9.754 million in cap space and thrust Worilds onto the market after the big money has been spent.

Jets kicker Nick Folk:  Sign it now.

The franchise player designation seems a little goofy for kickers and punters.  It becomes even goofier when considering the possibility of another team signing a franchise-tagged kicker or punter to an offer sheet and giving up two first-round picks.

Folk should take a page out of the Greg Hardy playbook and sign the franchise tender right now, taking the $3.55 million for 2014 and continuing to negotiate a long-term deal before the July 15 deadline.

For kickers, going year-to-year is easier to justify because the position entails a much lower injury risk.  Next year, Folk can hit the open market or get $4.26 million for another season with the Jets.

Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo:  Sign it later.

Tagged officially as a linebacker, Brian Orakpo may argue he’s actually a defensive end, dusting off the position taken by Terrell Suggs in 2008.  (The Ravens and Suggs eventually worked out a compromise on the value of the tag, and then agreed to a long-term deal the following year.)

Once Orakpo’s status is resolved, he should immediately sign the tender.  Washington’s hesitation to use the tag could later become a decision to rescind it.  If they decide to rescind it in April or May, Orakpo will have a hard time making $11.455 million as a linebacker or $13.116 million as a defensive end for 2014 on the open market.

Saints tight end Jimmy Graham:  Sign it in September.

Graham definitely should wait for the threshold question of whether he’s a tight end or a receiver to be resolved before even considering signing the tender.

Even then, he shouldn’t sign it — because someone else could decide to try to make a run at him.  Although few non-quarterbacks would justify a trade of two first-round draft picks, Graham’s availability could persuade a team with a late first-round pick (and likely to have a late first-rounder in 2015) to give it a go.

A coach and/or a G.M. who currently are feeling the heat to win may also consider trying to sign Graham after the 2014 draft, at which time the surrendered picks would come in 2015 and 2016.

The Saints are likely to give Graham the long-term contract he wants before the July 15 deadline for doing a multi-year deal.  If an acceptable agreement isn’t reached, Graham should still wait to sign, skipping training camp and the preseason and showing up as close to the start of the regular season as possible before inking the tender and getting the full amount of the contract with no penalties for holding out, since a guy can’t be fined for holding out if he’s not under contract.

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The 2014 franchise/transition tags

Mack Getty Images

[Editor's note:  The window has closed on the 2014 use of the franchise tag.  This year, only four players were tagged.  Two received the little-used transition tag.  Here's the entire list, with a quick take on each guy.]

Saints tight end Jimmy Graham

While some are blaming the looming fight over whether Graham is a receiver for tag purposes on Graham and/or his agent, this fight has been brewing for a couple of years.  The Packers and Jermichael Finley worked out a deal before pulling the pin on a tag-and-grievance situation.  Last year, the Titans didn’t even risk it by opting not to tag tight end Jared Cook, due in large part to the inability of the Management Council to guarantee that the Titans wouldn’t eventually have to pay more than $4.5 million more under the receiver version of the tag.

The question of tight end versus receiver becomes moot if another team signs Graham to an offer sheet.  While highly unlikely, it wouldn’t be completely shocking if a team picking at the bottom of round one this year (and presumably next year) decides to make a run at Graham, in exchange for a pair of first-round picks if the Saints don’t match.

Jets kicker Nick Folk

Those who insist kickers aren’t franchise players forget that five kickers were tagged in 2012.  At $3.55 million for one year, it’s a bargain as franchise tags go.

It’s also less than the going rate of $4 million per year for a high-end kicker.

Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy

With a slew of young, talented players who either are or will soon be eligible for long-term deals, the Panthers have to be careful about their long-term commitments.  For now, they’ll commit $13.116 million to Hardy pending a long-term deal at a lower cap number — or possibly a trade to another team, if the Panthers just can’t find an acceptable middle ground.

Looming over the situation is the six-year, $76 million contract given to defensive end Charles Johnson in 2011.  It’ll be hard to give Hardy a deal with an annual rate of less than Johnson’s $12.67 million.

Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo

They reportedly agonized over whether to tag Orakpo, who missed much of 2012 due to injury but rebounded with a Pro Bowl season in 2013. Orakpo could argue that he’s actually a defensive end and not a linebacker; the difference between the $11.455 million tag for linebackers and the $13.116 million tag for defensive ends is only $1.661 million.

Still, that’s $1.661 million.

Browns center Alex Mack

The transition tag became a little-used device after the 2006 labor deal made the transition tender fully guaranteed if accepted.  For Mack, a center, the prospect of making $10.03 million in 2014 should prompt him to sprint to his agent’s office to sign the tender.

With the franchise tag for offensive linemen only $1.654 million higher and the Browns having $57 million in cap space, they arguably should have just used the franchise tag.

While it’s possible that another team will sign Mack to a contract that more accurately reflects the center market, there’s no reason for Mack to do a long-term deal unless it pays him a lot more than $10.03 million guaranteed.  His best move could be to take the money for 2014 and hit the market next year.

Unless the Browns want to pay him $12 million under the franchise or transition tag in 2015.

Steelers linebacker Jason Worilds

Unlike Mack, Worilds should play this one out.  With the Steelers likely to be pressed up against the cap, another team could sign him to an offer sheet the Steelers can’t match.

They’ll possible be able to match it only if they cut LaMarr Woodley.

Using the transition tag on Worilds buys some time for the Steelers, and gives Worilds a chance to test the market.  If Worilds opts to sign the tender, the Steelers can live with $9.754 million in cap space for Worilds for one year, while negotiating a long-term deal.

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Murphy details Competition Committee’s Indy agenda

Murphy Getty Images

The NFL’s Competition Committee launches into its busiest period of the year every February, with meetings at the Scouting Combine aimed at identifying the potential rule changes to be recommended for owners in March.  Typically, only bits and pieces of the agenda are publicly disclosed, via a smattering or reports based on on-the-record quotes or off-the-record leaks.

Packers CEO Mark Murphy, who joined the Competition Committee in 2012, has made the process easier for everyone.  In his monthly column at Packers.com, Murphy revealed everything the Competition Committee discussed in Indy.

Here’s the full list of the rules considered for potential changes in Indianapolis, according to Murphy:

1.  Chop blocks, roll blocks, downfield cut blocks, and peel-back blocks, which can injure defensive players.

2.  Protections for read-option quarterbacks while in the pocket.

3.  The “hands to the face” penalty, which could expand to encompass quick blows to the head in addition to the current prohibition of pinning the opponent’s head in a sustained manner.

4.  Low hits on defenseless players, specifically receivers while catching a pass.

5.  Taunting and fighting penalties, to ensure players are treating each other with respect.

6.  The point-after touchdown, which could be eliminated.

7.  Playoff expansion, which would add a No. 7 seed in each conference, eliminating the bye for the No. 2 seed in each conference.

8.  The instant replay system, which could be adjusted to mirror the college system (where the replay official makes the decision) or to adopt the NHL’s approach of centralized review.

The Competition Committee has reconvened in Naples, Florida to finalize a list of proposals that will be made to ownership during the league meetings later this month.  Competition Committee chairman Rich McKay typically conducts a media conference call to identify and explain all proposals before the league meetings commence.

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