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Dontrelle Inman signs tender with Chargers

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Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Dontrelle Inman signed his restricted free agent tender with the team on Tuesday.

Inman was given a second round tender by the Chargers prior to the start of free agency. The tender carries a value of $2.746 million for the 2018 season.

Inman was free to seek contract offers from other teams but elected to re-sign with the Chargers. His tender would have entitled the Chargers to a second round draft pick in compensation should Inman left for another team by signing an offer sheet and the Chargers had declined to match.

Inman emerged as a full-time starter for the Chargers last season and caught 58 passes for 810 yards and four touchdowns. In three seasons, Inman has appeared in 37 games with 23 starts and has caught 105 passes for 1,454 yards and seven touchdowns.

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Report: Alabama safety Eddie Jackson has minor surgery

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Just days before the NFL Draft, one of it’s expected selections had a minor surgery.

According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, Alabama safety Eddie Jackson had surgery on Monday to remove a screw from his leg. The screw had been causing discomfort after surgery to repair a broken leg suffered sustained last season. Following the medical recheck for the NFL Combine, Jackson was advised by teams to get the surgery to correct the issue.

Jackson is expected to be able to fully take part in all of a team’s offseason program, including rookie mini-camps which would begin as early as next weekend.

Jackson is one of the top safety prospects in the draft and is projected to be selected early on day two or three of the draft.

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Seahawks still waiting for Raiders, Marshawn Lynch to reach an agreement

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It was reported more than a week ago that the Raiders and running back Marshawn Lynch had reached an agreement on a contract. Currently, they still haven’t.

And it’s clear that the delay is coming from the Raiders and Lynch, not from the Seahawks. During a recent pre-draft press conference, Seattle G.M. John Schneider made it clear that the team that currently holds Lynch’s rights is waiting for word from his possible next team.

They’re still talking,” Schneider said, via Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. “The steps after that were to be that if they came to an agreement, [Raiders G.M.] Reggie [McKenzie] and I would discuss a form of compensation.”

Schneider realizes that the Raiders hope to resolve this thing soon, one way or the other.

“I would think Reggie would want to go into the draft knowing that they have another runner or not,” Schneider said.

It’s unclear what the Seahawks want, or what the Raiders would give, to send Lynch to Oakland. Seattle has no other clear suitors for Lynch, and if he continues to sit on the reserve-retired list, they’ll get nothing for him.

Likewise, if he shows up out of the blue in Seattle, with his $9 million salary hitting the books, the Seahawks likely would release him sooner than later.

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49ers to induct Tom Rathman into Hall of Fame

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Tom Rathman’s 23-year run with the 49ers ended earlier this year. He’ll now permanently be part of the organization.

The 49ers will induct Rathman into the franchise’s Hall of Fame.

“Tom Rathman embodies everything this organization wants in its players, coaches and staff,” 49ers CEO Jed York said in a statement. “Throughout his more than two decades with our team, Tom set a tone for the 49ers both on and off the field. As a player, he was selfless, hard-working and dedicated to bringing his best every single day. Tom coached very much the same way. It was his mission to help every man he coached realize his full potential, as both a player and a man. Tom is family and we are so thrilled to induct him into the Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. 49ers Hall of Fame, where he will take his place among the all-time greats in our team’s history.”

The move comes roughly two months after Rathman decided not to remain with the team as part of Kyle Shanahan’s staff.

I’m not going to be back,” Rathman, a former fullback and running backs coach, said at the time. “I feel like it’s the best for everybody if I just parted and let those guys do their thing and take me out of the equation so that nobody’s uncomfortable. I’m looking to coach running backs and that’s what I want to do. I’m just going to wait for the next opportunity and go for it when it happens.”

 “I spent 23 years with the 49ers,” Rathman said in Tuesday’s press release. “I’ve always considered myself a 49er and I always will consider myself a 49er. I’ll take that brand with me wherever I go because that’s who I am. It feels great to be with the guys who are already in the 49ers Hall of Fame. Dating back to Joe Perry, it’s an honor to be associated with the likes of Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Ronnie Lott, Roger Craig and Dwight Clark. That’s a lot of history right there. To be able to say that you’re in a fraternity with those guys so to speak, the 49ers Hall of Fame fraternity, says volumes. It’s pretty special.”

Rathman’s 23 years puts him behind only 49ers Hall of Famer in terms of tenure with the team. Edward J. DeBartolo, Jr., the man for whom the Hall of Fame is named, had 24 years with the franchise.

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Titans’ 2016 second-round pick Kevin Dodd still dealing with foot injury

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The Titans took linebacker Kevin Dodd with the 33rd overall pick of last year’s draft, only to see him suffer a foot injury in his first rookie minicamp. A year later, that injury is still an issue.

Although Dodd did manage to play in nine games last season, the foot remained a problem and eventually landed him on injured reserve. Today coach Mike Mularkey confirmed that the foot is still bothering him now.

Via Paul Kuharsky of ESPN Mularkey described Dodd as not completely healthy, with pain still lingering in the foot. Mularkey described it as a delicate injury.

Eventually, the Titans hope to see Dodd get healthy and become the type of player they thought he was when they drafted him. But they certainly didn’t think at this time a year ago that an injury would be the dominant theme of his first year in the NFL.

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Aqib Talib: “Definitely a relief” to avoid suspension for self-inflicted gunshot

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Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib’s offseason in 2016 was interrupted when he inadvertently shot himself in the leg in June, but he learned recently that the incident won’t lead to an interruption of his 2017 season.

The league looked into the incident, which didn’t lead to any charges in Dallas, as a possible violation of the league’s personal conduct policy, but opted not to suspend or fine the veteran corner. Talib discussed the league’s decision for the first time on Tuesday.

“Definitely a relief, man,” Talib said, via ESPN.com. “Just glad I could put it behind me and move on to the season and worry about what I really need to be worrying about.”

Talib said that he was worried last year about how he would hold up physically after wounding himself, but he only missed time because of a back injury and didn’t report any trouble with the leg over the course of the season. He returned from that back injury to close out the season on the field and is expected to join Chris Harris as the team’s starting corners again this year.

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Daryl Washington gets a conditional reinstatement too

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As we close in on 50 hours until the start of the 2017 NFL Draft, the league is conducting what could become a new tradition — the Tuesday afternoon reinstatement dump.

Hours after Pittsburgh wide receiver Martavis Bryant was allowed back in, the league went even deeper into the vault.

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the league has conditionally reinstated Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington, who hopes to play in 2017.

Washington hasn’t played in over three years, after substance abuse violations and a guilty plea to an aggravated assault charge.

And the Cardinals have never seemed all that interested in allowing him back through the door, with coach Bruce Arians saying it would be a waste of breath to talk about it.

“Considering we have been prohibited from having contact with him over the last three years,” the team said in a statement Tuesday, “It would be premature today to discuss a potential return to the team.”

Washington was a Pro Bowl-level talent when he played, but that was a long time ago, and it could be tougher for him to find another chance.

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Aaron Hernandez lawyer: Claims of suicide note to prison lover are false

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Last week, after the family of Aaron Hernandez began to ask questions about the circumstances surrounding his death in prison, unnamed law enforcement sources began to leak that Hernandez was bisexual. The specific information reported by Newsweek was that one of the three notes Hernandez left in his cell was addressed to his prison lover. (Newsweek also reported that the June 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd may have been motivated by a desire to conceal that Hernandez was secretly dating a man.)

The family of Aaron Hernandez has received the notes left by Hernandez in his cell. Attorney Jose Baez has issued a statement on the matter.

“Rumors of letters to a gay lover, in or out of prison, are false,” Baez said. “These are malicious leaks used to tarnish someone who is dead. . . . Notwithstanding my unambiguous statement that there were no such letters, representatives, on behalf of an individual named Kyle Kennedy, continues to advise the media such a gay love letter exists. Accordingly, on behalf of the family of Aaron Hernandez, I am reaffirming, unequivocally, no such letter to Mr. Kennedy, or any other individual, in or out of prison, exists. l urge anyone continuing to spread these malicious untruths to cease immediately.”

This isn’t about the Baez or the Hernandez family expressing a judgment that homosexuality or bisexuality is wrong, and this isn’t about sympathy for a convicted murderer. This is about what appears to be an effort to create emotional turmoil for Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez, the mother of his child and the person to whom he was engaged to be married.

It may not be a coincidence that the leaks emerged in the wake of pointed questions and concerns being raised about whether Hernandez actually committed suicide and whether the authorities followed proper procedures to protect him from himself. It may be a sign of things to come, if the tough questions continue to be asked. That’s what Baez is trying to put a stop to.

Complicating the situation is the fact that Kyle Kennedy’s lawyer has said that a letter was left for his client. Again, the Hernandez family has received all notes that were left by Hernandez, and Baez insists that it’s false.

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Scouting Combine incident kept Reuben Foster from being invited to draft

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The Ultimate Reality Show’s ultimate reality show relies in large part on players choosing to show up and serve as live props for the boos-and-bear-hugs bonanza. And with plenty of players passing on attending the draft, it makes sense for the league to not make a habit of excluding prospects from the proceedings.

According to Katherine Terrell of ESPN.com, Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster won’t be attending the draft not because he declined the invitation but the league declined to invite him. The decision arose from the Scouting Combine incident that resulted in Foster being sent home following an altercation with a hospital worker.

In hindsight, it’s probably good that Foster won’t be there. Given the news that he provided a dilute sample at the Scouting Combine, triggering a positive substance-abuse test, it’s unclear how long he would have been in the green room.

PFT’s 2017 Worst Mock Draft Ever has Foster’s slide ending at No. 9, with the Bengals.

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Martavis Bryant’s conditional reinstatement is essentially a full reinstatement

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The NFL has granted a conditional reinstatement to Steelers receiver Martavis Bryant. Based on the terms of the conditional reinstatement, it’s no different as a practical matter than a full reinstatement.

Unlike Josh Gordon’s conditional reinstatement of a year ago, which featured a return for training camp and the preseason followed by a four-game suspension to start the regular season, Bryant is back with the team. He can participate in “meetings, conditioning work and similar activities.” He’ll receive full permission to engage in “all preseason activities” as soon as he has made arrangements for ongoing treatment in Pittsburgh, a step that has a perfunctory feel to it.

Ultimately, Bryant will be cleared for the start of the regular season “[b]ased on his compliance and engagement with his program and resources.” Even without that limitation, Bryant would have been required to comply with his treatment and with testing following reinstatement after a banishment of at least one year. Calling the reinstatement conditional simply means that it will be easier for the NFL to pull the plug on his return than it would have been to suspend him again under the procedures of the substance-abuse policy if he had violated any of the terms of his treatment plan.

The best news for Bryant and the Steelers is that the NFL has opted not to drag its feet on his application for reinstatement simply because it can. The league has full power and discretion when it comes to reinstatement a year after banishment, and in multiple past situations there has been a sense that the league has moved to slowly to bring a player back. With Bryant, it seems he has gotten a fair shake. Whether that fair shake extends to Week One depends on his activities going forward — just as it would have if he’d been fully reinstated with no restrictions or limitation or conditions.

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2017 Ryan Leaf knows 1998 Ryan Leaf wouldn’t have listened to him

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Nineteen years ago, Ryan Leaf became one of the all-time biggest draft busts as the second overall pick of the Chargers. On Tuesday, Leaf talked about what why it went wrong and whether anything could have changed the outcome.

Appearing on PFT Live, Leaf explained that the problem ultimately was him, and that a different team or a different coaching staff or different circumstances wouldn’t have mattered. He added that an unexpected slide on draft day would have made things worse, instead of humbling him.

The situation with Leaf was so bad that he realizes young Ryan Leaf wouldn’t have listened even to the Ryan Leaf of today, despite the sage advice 40-year-old Leaf could impart to his 21-year-old self.

Leaf imparted advice to and shared his experiences with the incoming crop of quarterbacks at the Scouting Combine. I didn’t ask him to tell me which of the prospect reminded 40-year-old Leaf the most of 21-year-old Leaf, but I did ask him to identify which of the quarterbacks impressed him the most.

His answer was Deshaun Watson. To hear him explain that and more, check out the video from his appearance on the show.

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Report: Browns have spoken to teams about moving up from No. 12

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In a column for TheMMQB.com on Monday, Peter King reported that seven teams in the top eight of the draft have interest in talking about a trade that would move them down in the draft order.

The only top-eight team not included in that group is the Browns, who have the first overall pick. They also have the No. 12 pick and could be a partner for one of those other teams.

Mike Silver of NFL Media reports that the Browns have had conversations with three teams in the top eight about a trade that would move them further up in the order. Assuming they take Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett with the No. 1 pick, they would presumably be moving back up to get their choice of the draft’s top quarterbacks.

Of that group, North Carolina’s Mitchell Trubisky has been mentioned most often as the player the Browns would like to add to their offense.

Silver adds that the completion of any trade is likely to happen once a team is on the clock Thursday night as plans may change based on which players have come off the board.

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Beyond 2017, status of Bradford and Bridgewater is up in the air

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For the 2017 season, Sam Bradford is poised to start at quarterback for the Vikings, while Teddy Bridgewater will be on the roster but may not be medically cleared to play. Beyond 2017, it’s unclear whether either of them is in the Vikings’ plans.

That came out today when both Bradford and Vikings G.M. Rick Spielman talked to the local media as the team conducted offseason workouts.

Bradford said he doesn’t think his agent has had any discussions with the team about a contract. Bradford’s current deal, the two-year, $36 million contract he signed with the Eagles last year before they traded him to Minnesota, expires after the season, so he’s set to be a free agent in 2018.

And Spielman said the team has no timeline on the return of Bridgewater from the devastating knee injury he suffered last year in training camp. Bridgewater’s rookie contract is up after this year as well, if the Vikings don’t pick up his fifth-year option.

So it’s possible that both Bradford and Bridgewater will be free agents in 2018, and the Vikings will be looking for a new quarterback. Perhaps they’ll draft a quarterback this week with the idea that he’ll spend a season sitting and be ready to start next year.

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Titans pick up Taylor Lewan’s 2018 option

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The list of teams picking up their options for a fifth-year on the contract of their 2014 first-round picks continues to grow.

Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan is the latest addition. Field Yates of ESPN.com reported the move was made on Tuesday afternoon.

Lewan was the 11th overall pick in 2014 and started six games as a rookie before moving into a full-time role on the first team the next year. He’s started 31-of-32 games over the last two seasons and joins 2016 first-round pick Jack Conklin as anchors on either side of an offensive line that helped the team vault from 25th to 3rd in rushing yards last year.

A long-term extension for Lewan would set the Titans up for more of the same for several years to come and would also clear the way for the team to focus on a new deal for quarterback Marcus Mariota after he completes his third NFL season.

UPDATE 2:36 p.m. ET: Titans General Manager Jon Robinson made the option decision official at a Tuesday press conference.

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Saints declare Adrian Peterson “an excellent fit” on field, locker room

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The Saints made it official Tuesday, announcing their two-year contract with running back Adrian Peterson.

And while he’s coming in as the backup to Mark Ingram and on a reasonably modest contract, the Saints set the bar pretty high for him on his way in the door.

“We are excited to welcome Adrian to the New Orleans Saints,” coach Sean Payton said in a release. “It’s rare and unique to have the opportunity to add a Hall of Fame player to your roster. His career has been top-notch and speaks for itself. We think he will be an excellent fit in our locker room and in our offense. We look forward to the opportunity later this spring to work with him on the field along with the rest of our team.”

Payton has always been able to make use of multiple backs, and it will be fascinating to see how they’re able to use Ingram and Peterson together.

When Peterson has been well, he’s been one of the best backs in the history of the game. But he’s been healthy one season in the last three, and wasn’t terribly productive last year (averaging 1.9 yards per carry). And he’s never exactly been in a job-sharing role, so it will be interesting to see how Peterson and Ingram handle it.

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