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Prime Numbers celebrates Friday the 13th by looking at No. 13


NBCSN’s Pro Football Talk continues to roll through the month of June with the Prime Numbers series, looking at the best of the best to wear any/every given jersey number.

With Friday the 13th looming, why not reverse the bad luck (or tempt twice as much of it) by considering No. 13?

The guys listed below had very good luck — and not a smidge of triskaidekaphobia.  Vote for the best of the best from the list that includes a guy who at one point his life actually looked like Jonah Hill.

Your luck is sure to improve if you join us on Friday at 5:30 p.m. ET, and if you stick around to see whether it’s an lucky night for the Kings or the Rangers in Game Five of the Stanley Cup Final.

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Prime Numbers goes iconic on Thursday, with No. 12

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The Prime Numbers series on NBCSN’s Pro Football Talk keeps rolling in June, with one of the most popular numbers taking center stage on Thursday.

The magic number on Thursday is 12.

Vote for up to three of the best of the best to wear one of the best numbers ever.  Along with the entity for which the Seahawks retired the number.

Good luck.  You’re gonna need it.

Come 5:30 p.m. ET today, Thursday, and Friday, all you’ll need is your remote control.  Or whatever it is that they use to change channels on TVs nowadays.

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Prime Numbers looks at No. 11 on Wednesday

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The Prime Numbers series on NBCSN’s Pro Football Talk doesn’t include many actual prime numbers.  Which has prompted some to point out — repeatedly — that most of the Prime Numbers aren’t really “prime numbers.”  A fact of which we are keenly aware.

We’re also keenly aware that No. 11 is a Prime Number and a prime number.  On Wednesday, we’ll discuss the best players to ever don that jersey.

So vote below for No. 11, and tune in Tuesday for the final results of your votes as to the best players to wear No. 14 and No. 58.

Those Prime NUmbers are not prime numbers.

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Vote now for the best guys to wear No. 58

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Our short hiatus has ended; Pro Football Talk on NBCSN returns Monday with the Prime Numbers series.

Today’s show takes up No. 9, No. 57, and No. 91.  On Tuesday, your votes will be considered in connection with No. 14 and No. 58.

If you haven’t voted for the best two to wear No. 14, vote here.  If you haven’t voted for the best two to wear No. 58, that’s because we haven’t asked you to do so, yet.

We’re asking now.  Vote below.

And we’re asking you to tune in at 5:30 p.m. ET tonight for a 30-minute edition of the show.  We’re also asking you to keep it tuned to NBCSN for Game Three of the Stanley Cup Final.

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Prime Numbers series considers No. 14 on Tuesday

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Pro Football Talk on NBCSN returns Monday, with the Prime Numbers series considering No. 9, 57, and 91.

On Tuesday, it’s time to take a look at No. 14.

The candidates for “best ever” consideration appear below.  Pick the two best in your opinion (or in someone else’s if you can’t make up your mind), and we’ll unveil the result of the vote on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. ET.

Before watching on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. ET, we need you to watch on Monday at 5:30 p.m. ET.  And every weekday when we’re on.

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Who’s the best to wear No. 9?

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For most of the choices in the Prime Numbers series on NBCSN’s Pro Football Talk, we present a bunch of options and ask you to narrow it down to two or three.

For No. 9, we only want No. 1.

As league history goes, not many great players have donned No. 9.  Only two who ever wore it have made it to Canton.  Beyond Sonny Jurgensen, the only Hall of Famer who ever wore No. 9 was Steve Owen, who played in the 1920s and coached the Giants from 1930 to 1953.

And so there are three finalists.  Choose one from Jurgensen, Steve McNair, and Drew Brees.

The winner will be unveiled on Monday’s edition of the show, which also looks at the best of the best to wear No. 57 and No. 91.  It airs at 5:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.  Not that I need to mention that, since I usually mention it at least once a day.

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Prime Numbers tackles No. 33 on Wednesday

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Monday’s edition of Pro Football Talk on NBCSN considered four of the 99 all-time jersey numbers:  No. 1, No. 2, No. 54, and No. 81.

On Wednesday, we’ll ponder a number that has a surprisingly small list of all-time greats.

From Sammy Baugh to Roger Craig to Tony Dorsett to David Fulcher to Ollie Matson, the double-3 option hasn’t generated a huge number of memorable players.

Of course, one guy who briefly wore No. 33 ultimately became memorable for a very different reasons.  In nearly 20 years exactly.


He won’t be included in the poll.  The others are.  Vote below for the best two, and tune in at 5:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN on Wednesday for the results.

For No. 63 and No. 88, tune in tomorrow.


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Lots of options for 88 in Prime Numbers series

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The second day of the Prime Numbers series on NBCSN’s Pro Football Talk will include one of the toughest debates we’ll see.

In addition to No. 63, Tuesday’s show will try to determine the best players to wear No. 88.

From a list of 10 finalists, it’s your job to pick three.  And then it’s our job to tell you which three you picked.  And then to say other stuff about the guys who have worn a very popular number.

Tune in Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. ET for the show.  And on Monday, when we’ll look at No. 81 and No. 54, along with No. 1 and No. 2.

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Prime Numbers takes up No. 63 on Tuesday

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Pro Football Talk on NBCSN’s Prime Numbers series considers on Monday No. 1, No. 2, No. 54, and No. 81.  To vote on the best of the players who have worn No. 54 and No. 81, click on the links that you just didn’t click on to finish reading this sentence.

On Tuesday, we’ll debate the greatest of the men to wear No. 63.  There are more than you’d think there would be.

The finalists appear below.  Start the voting now and keep voting until Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. ET.

Actually, you can continue voting after that, but the show will have moved on to new numbers.

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Prime Numbers focuses on No. 54

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If you missed it on Thursday (or if you didn’t), NBCSN’s Pro Football Talk will unveil on Monday the Prime Numbers series, a look at the best players in NFL history to wear every jersey number, from 1 to 99 plus 00.

Voting is open (and plenty of you have voted) on the best players who have worn No. 81.  Voting is now open on No. 54.

The No. 81 debate happens on Monday’s show.  The No. 54 debate also unfolds on Monday.

So cast your vote for the three players you believe best represented No. 54, and we’ll represent the collective answers come Monday at 5:30 p.m. ET.

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June is Prime Numbers month on NBCSN’s Pro Football Talk

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Earlier this year, Pro Football Talk on NBCSN producer Matt Casey pointed out that, at his next birthday, he’ll be the same age as Larry Bird’s number.  I responded by pointing out that I’ll soon be Ron Guidry.

And from that we had our idea for programming in the slowest month of the year.

In 2013, the Mt. Rushmore series filled the void in June, with an in-depth look at the greatest foursome for each NFL franchise.  In 2014, we’ll be looking at the best players to wear each of the numbers, from 1 to 99.  (I just realized that we need to add 00, even if the only candidates are Jim Otto and Ken Burroughs.)

It all gets started on Monday, when we take up No. 1, No. 2, and No. 81.  For the last one, we’re seeking your input.  Select the best three from the list appearing below, and we’ll do the rest.

Well, not all of the rest.  You’ll still need to tune in at 5:30 p.m. ET on Monday, June 2.  (We’re also on today and Friday.)

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PFT’s 2014 All-Unemployed Team

New York Jets v Miami Dolphins Getty Images

The following is a list of the best available veteran players at each position as of mid-May. Rotoworld’s free agent list and NFLPA records were used in compiling the list of candidates.

A club’s scheme, positional depth and salary cap situation are all factors that must be weighed when considering whether a team would consider any free agent listed below. Similarly, a player’s skill, age, cost and injury history are also data to be considered.

Players said to be contemplating retirement, including David Stewart and Travelle Wharton, have not been included on our list.

The team will be updated throughout the rest of the spring and into the summer. In fact, it’s possible the beginning of training camps in July could spark interest in some of the players below.

Quarterback: Josh Freeman, Brady Quinn, Vince Young.

Freeman’s stint with the Giants lasted about a month and a half. The question now is whether he can land another job before the start of the season. Quinn and Young have bounced around in recent years, and whether both could be top backups again is somewhat in doubt, but their NFL experience gives them a chance to be capable third quarterbacks.

Running back: Felix Jones, Ronnie Brown, Michael Bush.

Still only 27, Jones could be a viable third or fourth option in a backfield. Brown ranked 16th in blocking among all NFL backs in 2013, according to Pro Football Focus. Bush (6-1, 245) is an inside runner who takes care of the ball (five career fumbles in 913 regular season touches), but he’s gained less than four yards per carry in each of the last three seasons.

Fullback: Vonta Leach.

He could be a fit for a team looking strictly for a blocking back.

Wide receivers: Santonio Holmes, Earl Bennett, Jeremy Ebert, Austin Collie, Josh Cribbs.

Holmes has shown playmaking ability throughout his career, gaining 15.7 yards per catch in an eight-season run. However, he has played only 15 combined games in the last two campaigns. The 27-year-old Bennett has been released by Chicago and Cleveland this offseason. At his best, he’s been a solid possession receiver. Ebert, 25, played five regular season games with the Jaguars in 2013. The 28-year-old Collie has 179 career receptions. Cribbs brings value in the kicking game.

Tight end: Jermichael Finley, Ben Hartsock, Dustin Keller.

Finley’s NFL future is tied to whether he gains medical clearance after an October 2013 neck injury. Given his talent and relatively young age (27), he’s one of the best free agents available if healthy. Hartsock’s value stems from his blocking; he was the NFL’s best run-blocker at tight end in 2013, per PFF. Keller missed the 2013 regular season after suffering multiple knee injuries in a preseason game. When healthy, he’s a solid pass-catching option. He turns 30 in September.

Offensive tackle: Bryant McKinnie, Tyson Clabo, Eric Winston.

McKinnie is an experienced, short-term bridge option at left tackle. He will be 35 in September. Winston (119 starts) and Clabo (116 starts) are similar options at right tackle.

Offensive guard: Wade Smith, Mike Brisiel, Garrett Reynolds.

Smith, 33, was a four-season starter at guard for Houston (2010-2013). He can also play center. The 31-year-old Brisiel is another former Texan who started 15 games in each of the last two seasons for Oakland. Reynolds (27 in July) was a 10-game starter for Atlanta in 2013.

Center: Kyle Cook, Samson Satele.

Cook (6-3, 310) started 66 games for the Bengals from 2009 through 2013. He was limited to four games in 2012 after ankle surgery. He will be 31 in July. Satele, 29, has been a starter in each of his previous seven NFL seasons, but the Colts parted ways with him in March.

Defensive end: Jason Hunter, Daniel Te’o-Nesheim, Brett Keisel.

Hunter and Te’o-Nesheim could appeal to 4-3 clubs, while the 35-year-old Keisel is the best of the 3-4 ends on the market.

Defensive tackle: Isaac Sopoaga, Aubrayo Franklin, Vaughn Martin.

Sopoaga and Franklin are fits at nose guard in 3-4 schemes. The 28-year-old Martin has 27 career starts and can also play end in a “30” front.

Inside linebacker: Pat Angerer, Desmond Bishop, Dan Connor.

The 27-year-old Angerer could play either in the middle or on the weak side in a 4-3. Health and durability are the concerns with the Iowa product. Bishop recorded more than 100 tackles playing inside in the Packers’ 3-4 scheme in 2010 and 2011. Connor (29 in November) has made 27 regular season starts.

Outside linebacker: Quentin Groves, Stephen Nicholas, Edgar Jones.

Groves (6-3, 265) is a 3-4 outside linebacker or 4-3 defensive end who can also contribute on special teams. He turns 30 in July. Jones also has experience in a “30” front and is an experienced special teams player. Nicholas (50 starts) is a 4-3 outside linebacker.

Cornerback: Terrell Thomas, Asante Samuel, Dunta Robinson, Corey Webster.

The 29-year-old Thomas made a stirring comeback for the Giants in 2013 after missing two seasons with knee injuries. Samuel, 33, has 51 career picks, but he’s entering his 12th NFL season. The 32-year-old Robinson would add experience and physicality to a secondary. Webster (20 career interceptions) is a 10th-year pro.

Safety: Jim Leonhard, Steve Gregory, Will Hill.

Gregory, 31, has started at least 11 games in each of the last three seasons. Leonhard, 31, has been a starter on some very good defenses throughout his career and can catch punts. The 24-year-old Hill has proven playmaking ability, but he’s suspended for the first six games of the 2014 season.

Returner: Josh Cribbs.

A long-time special teams ace who can return kickoffs and punts and cover kicks, Cribbs can also be utilized at receiver and in “Wildcat” packages.

Kicker: Rob Bironas.

Has connected on 85.7 percent of his field goals (239-of-279) in his NFL career. May not have the same punch on kickoffs he had earlier in his career — forced just 32 touchbacks out of 80 attempts last season.

Punter: Mat McBriar.

Posted a 41.3-yard gross average (35.0-yard net) a season ago in nine games with Pittsburgh.

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2014 NFL rookie minicamp dates

Johnny Manziel AP

Here are the dates for NFL rookie minicamps as furnished by the league on Tuesday. All but two teams — the Bengals and Giants — will hold rookie-only workouts.

Twenty-six teams will begin their workouts this week, with the Cardinals, Chiefs, Dolphins and 49ers holding their rookie camps next week.

Here’s the complete list:

Arizona Cardinals: May 23-25.

Atlanta Falcons: May 16-18.

Baltimore Ravens: May 16-17.

Buffalo Bills: May 17-19.

Carolina Panthers: May 15-17.

Chicago Bears: May 16-18.

Cincinnati Bengals: No rookie minicamp.

Cleveland Browns: May 16-18.

Dallas Cowboys: May 16-18.

Denver Broncos: May 16-18.

Detroit Lions: May 16-18.

Green Bay Packers: May 16-17.

Houston Texans: May 16-18.

Indianapolis Colts: May 16-18.

Jacksonville Jaguars: May 16-18.

Kansas City Chiefs: May 24-26.

Miami Dolphins: May 23-25.

Minnesota Vikings: May 16-18.

New England Patriots: May 16-18.

New Orleans Saints: May 16-18.

New York Giants: No rookie minicamp.

New York Jets: May 16-18.

Oakland Raiders: May 16-18.

Philadelphia Eagles: May 16-18.

Pittsburgh Steelers: May 16-18.

St. Louis Rams: May 16-18.

San Diego Chargers: May 16-18.

San Francisco 49ers: May 23-25.

Seattle Seahawks: May 16-18.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: May 16-18.

Tennessee Titans: May 16-18.

Washington Redskins: May 16-18.

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Ozzie Newsome wasn’t reaching for tackles that weren’t there

John Harbaugh, Ozzie Newsome AP

The Ravens entered the NFL Draft with a need at tackle.

They also left the NFL Draft with a need at tackle.

But in a move that proves his principles outweigh his pragmatism (and why he’s good at his job), Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome said he wasn’t going to draft one if the value wasn’t right where he was picking.

“The way the board was stacked, you could see that three or four went right away at the top of the first round,” Newsome said, via Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. “So, it wasn’t stacked very well in that case. We were not going to just reach down and just take a player at the tackle position.”

Four tackles were drafted in front of their first pick, and a thinned-out crop at the position left the Ravens with no tackles chosen among their nine picks.

They gave up two of those picks for left tackle Eugene Monroe last year, but lost right tackle Michael Oher in free agency and didn’t choose an immediate replacement last weekend. They have some in-house kids, and could move guard Kelechi Osemele to right tackle. But a glaring need was unmet, because they weren’t willing to reach.

Panthers G.M. Dave Gettleman employed a similar strategy, even though he doesn’t have a left tackle either. It’s a risky play, and takes a confident executive to be willing to slow-play a process when too many are going for immediate gratification.

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2014 NFL Draft trades: Day Three

Brock Vereen, Devante Davis AP

Here are the trades executed on the third day of the 2014 NFL Draft. Unless otherwise noted, all picks mentioned are 2014 selections:

The Bills acquired running back Bryce Brown and a seventh-round pick (No. 237) from Philadelphia. In exchange, the Eagles received a 2015 or 2016 conditional draft pick and a seventh-round pick in 2014 (No. 224). At No. 224, the Eagles took Wisconsin defensive tackle Beau Allen. With the 237th pick, the Bills took Miami (Fla.) offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson.

The Bengals acquired a fourth-round pick (No. 111) from the Seahawks. In exchange, Seattle received fourth- and sixth-round picks (Nos. 123, 199). The Bengals took North Carolina center Russell Bodine at No. 111. The Seahawks selected Alabama wide receiver Kevin Norwood at No. 123 and Marshall offensive tackle Garrett Scott at No. 199.

The Bears acquired a fourth-round pick (No. 131) and a seventh-round selection (No. 246) from Denver. The Broncos, in return, received the Bears’ 2015 fifth-round selection and a 2014 fifth-round selection (No. 156). The Bears took Minnesota safety Brock Vereen at No. 131. The Broncos selected LSU linebacker Lamin Barrow at No. 156. At No. 246, the Bears selected Boise State offensive tackle Charles Leno.

The Cowboys acquired a fifth-round pick from Detroit (No. 146). The Lions, in return, received a fifth-round selection (No. 158) and seventh-round pick (No. 229). The Cowboys took Pittsburgh wide receiver Devin Street at No. 146. The Lions selected Princeton defensive tackle Caraun Reid at No. 158 and Boston College placekicker Nate Freese at No. 229.

The Panthers acquired a fifth-round pick from Minnesota (No. 148). To complete the deal, the Vikings received a fifth-round pick from Carolina (No. 168) and a seventh-round pick (No. 225). The Panthers selected San Jose State cornerback Bene Benwikere at No. 148. The Vikings took North Carolina cornerback Jabari Price at No. 225 and traded pick No. 168 to Atlanta.

The Buccaneers acquired a fifth-round pick from the Bills (No. 149). In return, Buffalo received a seventh-round pick (No. 221) and a 2015 fifth-round pick from Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers took Purdue offensive tackle Kevin Pamphile at No. 149. The Bills selected Florida Atlantic outside linebacker Randell Johnson at No. 221.

The Falcons acquired a fifth-round pick from the Vikings (No. 168). In return, the Vikings received a sixth-round pick (No. 182) and a seventh-round selection (No. 220). With the No. 168 selection, the Falcons took Syracuse linebacker Marquis Sprull. At No. 182, the Vikings selected Virginia Tech cornerback Antone Exum. At No. 220, the Vikings took Connecticut defensive tackle Shamar Stephen.

The Titans acquired a sixth-round pick from the Redskins (No. 178 overall). In exchange, the Redskins received a sixth-round selection (No. 186) and a seventh-round pick (No. 228). At No. 178, the Titans drafted LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger. Washington drafted Baylor tailback Lache Seastrunk 186th and Arkansas placekicker Zach Hocker 228th.

The Ravens acquired a seventh-round pick from the Browns (No. 218). In return, the Browns received the Ravens’ 2015 sixth-round pick. At No. 218, the Ravens took Wake Forest wide receiver Mike Campanaro.


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