Get ready for the draft with #PFTPM

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The draft is coming. There are plenty of ways you can get ready. Here’s the one we recommend.

Listen to Thursday’s #PFTPM podcast. Recorded at the behest of the always-persuasive @PFTPMPosse, the one-hour episode looks at five stories of the day and then answers a bunch of your questions.

Check it out below (or wherever podcasts can be found) and then stick with PFT all not long for all the last draft news, rumors, analysis, and reaction.

Cardinals specific draft spot makes a trade up harder

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So why is Arizona currently out of the running to trade up for a quarterback? As one source explained it to PFT, the Cardinals’ biggest impediment is that they have the 15th overall pick in a 12-player draft.

There’s a donut hole after the first dozen players, with no one in the top 12 feeling all that great about landing at No. 15. So any team that slide out of the top tier of players will want more to make up for the dip that is expected.

That could all change based on how the first 12 players come off the board. For now, though, the thinking is that it’s going to cost too much to get in position to get a quarterback that they want.

There’s still a good chance that one or more quarterbacks will be on the board when they pick at No. 15. The question will be whether they think enough of Lamar Jackson, for example, to take him at No. 15.

Arizona believed to no longer be looking to trade up

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For a while, the Cardinals were looking to trade up from No. 15, presumably to get a quarterback. With the draft three hours away, the current thinking is that the Cardinals won’t be making a move.

Of course, that is always subject to change. Once a pick is on the clock, there’s a tendency to cut through the crap and get to the bottom line. That can happen, and it possibly will happen for the Cardinals, based on who slides and who doesn’t.

For now, however, the thinking is that the Cardinals are standing pat. There’s also a chance that by doing so, they’ll get a quarterback anyway with the pick that they earned via an 8-8 record.

Raiders waive Darius Latham

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The Raiders have waived defensive tackle Darius Latham, Field Yates of ESPN reports.

Latham, 23, played two games last season, making seven tackles. He was on the field for 56 defensive snaps and 20 on special teams.

He served a four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy last season, earning reinstatement November 13. The Raiders made him inactive for three games before cutting him.

Oakland signed him to the practice squad after he cleared waivers.

He played in 14 games with two starts in 2016 with the Raiders.

Report: Jets will take Josh Rosen over Sam Darnold if both are on the board

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The Jets are expected to select Josh Rosen over Sam Darnold if both remain on the board when it comes their turn to select at No. 3, Lance Zierlein of NFL.com reports.

It backs up a report from Jay Glazer of FOX Sports from Wednesday night that the Jets are poised to select the UCLA quarterback.

The Broncos could trade with the Giants at No. 2 to get Darnold, Zierlein adds, with the Bills more interested in Josh Allen.

Teams out of the market for a quarterback will benefit from the maneuvering by quarterback-needy teams to get one. The Bucs, Bears, 49ers and Raiders are sitting pretty at 7-10, and the Colts trade to No. 12 is looking better by the rumor.

The most surprising thing of the night might be if Darnold isn’t the first or second quarterback selected. It doesn’t seem so long ago that everyone expected him to become the first quarterback off the board.

Trevor Davis not charged after LAX bomb joke arrest

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Packers wide receiver Trevor Davis was arrested after making a joke about having a bomb while at Los Angeles International Airport earlier this month, but he won’t be facing any further legal trouble.

A spokesman for the Los Angeles City Attorney told Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com that Davis appeared at an “informal hearing” in the city attorney’s office and was not charged with a crime. While the attorney has up to a year to file charges, the spokesman said that no action was expected in the future and that Davis has no further court appearances scheduled.

Per the spokesman, Davis told his side of the story during the hearing and the city attorney provided suggestions to avoid any issues in the future.

Davis was a 2016 fifth-round pick of the Packers and has been taking part in their offseason program since it began on April 17.

Report: Steelers listening to offers for Martavis Bryant

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Martavis Bryant wants to find a team that will use him more, which is why he asked for a trade before the deadline last season. The Steelers now appear open to a trade for the wide receiver at the right price, with Dan Graziano of ESPN reporting that the team has been “quietly listening to offers.”

The Steelers obviously would like to avoid sending him to Baltimore or New England, two teams that could use another talented receiver.

Bryant is in the final year of his contract and scheduled to make a team-friendly $1.91 million this season.

He played the third-most offensive snaps of the team’s wide receivers last season but wants more chances than the 84 targets he had last season, even though that ranked third on the team behind only running back Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown. Both Bell and Brown earned All-Pro honors.

Bryant made 50 catches, fourth on the team, for 603 yards and three touchdowns last season after missing the 2016 season.

It will take an enticing offer for the Steelers, a Super Bowl-contending team, to part ways with Bryant.

Cowboys have need at LB but believe Jaylon Smith is ready to take another step

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The Cowboys wanted to keep versatile linebacker Anthony Hitchens but not for the $9 million annual salary the Chiefs gave him. They also lost Kyle Wilber in free agency. Thus, the Cowboys have an obvious hole at linebacker, even after signing former Packers linebacker Joe Thomas for depth purposes.

That’s why the Cowboys have interest in Boise State linebacker Leighton Vander Esch, among others, in the draft.

“We could add a couple of [linebackers] here in the draft,” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said. “We have 10 draft picks and certainly look to do something there if the right guy is sitting there. We made moves we feel good about. We feel like we could go to work and put the right guys out there and get the job done. But the great news is we do have 10 draft picks, and I do think obviously as we work our way through the draft, I don’t know what level will be taken, but there are some really good linebackers out there throughout the draft that I think could step in and contribute quickly whether that’s in a backup role, or on special teams, but would be linebackers you’d love to have on your football team.”

The Cowboys still have Sean Lee at weakside linebacker, though his health is a constant worry. They expect Jaylon Smith to be even better two years removed from his serious knee injury, but they also have to use caution with his snaps. He played 55 percent of the defensive plays last season.

The Cowboys have talked about possibly moving Smith to strongside linebacker but would have to get a starting middle linebacker — like a Vander Esch — in the draft to be able to do that. They also have Damien Wilson, who started nine games last season.

“I think we did a little bit there with Joe Thomas to help us out, but at the end of the day one of the things I’m really optimistic about is I think Jaylon is going to take another step,” Jones said. “He had to focus on playing the game last year. Put the rehab aside for the moment, as he should, and he went to work, tried to help us win football games and did an unbelievable job. He’s going to take a big step this year. He already is, and I think he’s going to improve tremendously. I think he’s going to do an outstanding job for us.

“One of the things we’ll be looking for is to add depth at that linebacker spot. But as far as lining up day 1 and feeling good, who’s going to be manning those positions at our linebacking corps, we feel good about it. We’re excited about getting Damien in there, having him in the mix.”

Report: Bryan Bulaga refused Packers’ request to take a pay cut

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Last month Packers right tackle Bryan Bulaga said he hadn’t heard anything from the team about wanting him to take a pay cut. It appears that has changed.

Longtime Packers reporter Bob McGinn reports that the Packers attempted to get Bulaga to take a pay cut, but Bulaga and his agents refused and no progress was made on any talks.

Bulaga is set to count $7.9 million against the Packers’ salary cap this year, and he missed most of last season with an ankle injury and a torn ACL. So it’s no surprise that the Packers would love to lower that cap number.

But for now it appears that Bulaga, who has two years left on his deal, won’t play ball. We’ll see whether anything changes if the Packers draft a potential successor to Bulaga tonight.

Pat Shurmur: “Terrific” to see Odell Beckham out there

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Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham isn’t back to full health yet, but he was feeling well enough to get on the field in a helmet to catch some passes at Thursday’s practice.

Those reps weren’t much, but they were the latest step in the right direction for Beckham after last October’s season-ending ankle injury.

“It’s terrific,” Shurmur said. “We all know what a great player he is. He is making progress to getting fully cleared. You can see he looks lively and is involved. He is taking all the mental reps that he can. It is great.”

Shurmur said it is “hard to tell” when Beckham might progress to a larger practice workload. The Giants start OTAs on May 21 and have another three-day minicamp in mid-June.

Former Panthers employee shares details of Jerry Richardson’s misconduct

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The Panthers are expected to be sold at some point in the near future and that sale would end a process that began late last year when allegations of workplace misconduct were leveled against current Panthers owner Jerry Richardson.

That misconduct reportedly included sexual harassing female employees and the use of racial slurs, which prompted an NFL investigation to get underway. In a letter written by a former Panthers employee for SI.com, that investigation is called a “farce” because the league is offering no protection for breaking non-disclosure agreements put in place when Richardson would reach financial settlements with victims.

That former employee has such an NDA, but said she wrote her piece because Richardson has broken the agreement by speaking to other owners about what happened. Texans owner Bob McNair said at last month’s league meetings that Richardson “was very candid in what he said and what he did” and that he felt some of what Richardson said has been “misunderstood.”

In the article, there are copies of handwritten notes to the former employee from Richardson that make suggestions about grooming, expressions of his desire to “pamper you more” and an expression of regret that “I have never been able to give you pleasure.” The former employee writes that she did not know how to respond to those notes and shared other instances with Richardson that left her unsure about how to react.

“I didn’t know what to do when you summoned me to your personal office, instructed me to sit in the chair across from you, pulled my chair towards you so you could sandwich my legs, which you proceeded to rub, between yours. I didn’t know what to do when you called me to your stadium suite in the middle of the week so you could take off my shoes, place my legs in your lap and rub their entire length, from toes to crotch. I didn’t know what to do when you asked me to turn around so you could see how my jeans looked. I didn’t know what to do when you brushed my breasts to put my seat belt around me in the front seat of your car. I didn’t know what to do when you put your hands on my mouth, for me to kiss them. I didn’t know what to do when you asked me uncomfortable, sexually charged questions. I didn’t know what to do. So, I did what you told me to do.”

Richardson did not respond to a request for comment. The Panthers replied by saying they have “taken the appropriate steps to remediate any misconduct and ensure a safe and comfortable work environment” and that they have cooperated with the league’s investigation.

CAA goes into high gear to clean up Josh Allen mess

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The sudden emergence of high-school tweets from quarterback Josh Allen has plenty of intriguing tentacles regarding how the mess was made and what’s being done to clean it up.

Regardless of whether someone deliberately lit the fuse on the tweets within 24 hours of the draft in order to make Allen fall, the tweets were hiding in plain sight. As explained by Ryan Glasspiegel of TheBigLead.com, the Yahoo Sports writer who brought the tweets to light said that the tweets had not been deleted as of Wednesday night.

This means that, despite the presence or absence of nefarious intent, someone failed to spot and to scrub the offensive messages before the offensive messages hit the fan. Which arguably isn’t a good look for CAA, the mega-agency that represents Allen.

To its credit, CAA instantly mobilized to clean up the mess. Resisting the temptation to let Allen speak publicly about the situation was important, because the risk of an untrained, inexperienced public speaker making things worse likely outweighs the likelihood that things will be better. To tell Allen’s story, CAA apparently hand-picked CAA-client Stephen A. Smith to be the media member who received a late-night phone call from Allen aimed at apologizing for and explaining the tweets.

Smith, who claimed “I don’t have any idea why he picked up the phone and called me at two o’clock in the morning,” passed along the things Allen said in a concise and persuasive way. At one point, Smith said “they” (presumably, Allen’s agents) sent Smith a clip from Modern Family supporting Allen’s view that he wasn’t speaking in his own voice but making a reference to the TV show.

On that same show, Adam Schefter claimed that the tweets had been deleted in January, which suggests that someone from CAA properly had scrubbed Allen’s social-media accounts. Glasspiegel insists, based on his communications with Ryan Young of Yahoo Sports, that this simply isn’t accurate, which suggests that the tweets hadn’t been spotted and killed.

Many valuable lessons can be learned from this situation. But even if the problem should have been detected and neutralized before the tweets hit the fan, it’s clear that CAA has the size and the relationships to clean things up quickly and, by all indications, effectively.

Reading the tea leaves of Khan’s effort to buy Wembley Stadium

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The low-hanging, knee-jerk reaction to the news that Jaguars owner Shad Khan has made an offer to buy Wembley Stadium is that the Jaguars inevitably will be permanently relocating to London. That conclusion ignores the reality that Khan has shown a real commitment to Jacksonville in the seven years since he bought the team, despite the fact that he now consistently exports one home game per year to England.

But the move could indeed create some awkward complications between Jacksonville and the Jaguars, eventually. At some point the stadium in which the Jaguars play will require major upgrades or replacement. If/when the Jaguars try to get public money for such construction, some politicians undoubtedly will say, “You bought a stadium in London. Pay for your own stadium here.”

While the message may not be quite so blunt and direct, the argument that billionaires who own sports teams can afford their own stadiums takes on a higher level of persuasiveness when one of those billionaires already has purchased his own stadium. Depending on the prevailing political realities at the time a renovated/new stadium is needed in Jacksonville, an impasse could emerge over the availability and amount of taxpayer funds. The fact that Khan owns a stadium into which he could instantly move the team gives him plenty of leverage for breaking the impasse in his favor.

That’s not a prediction or a warning or anything other than an acknowledgement of the reality that Khan, if the sale goes through, will become the only person who owns an NFL-ready stadium that isn’t the primary home stadium of the NFL team he owns.

Whoever leaked the Josh Allen tweets may have made the move too early

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Assuming that the timing of the release of the Josh Allen tweets wasn’t simply one gigantic coincidence, someone specifically leaked the information in an effort to make Allen look bad so late in the process that he won’t have time to undo the damage. If that’s the case, whoever did it possibly may have made the move too early.

Think about the 2016 draft, during which a video of Laremy Tunsil smoking marijuana from a gas-mask bong happened just as the process was getting started, forcing teams at the top to scramble on the fly in an effort to decide whether to draft him or to not draft him. This time around, teams had from the moment their decision-makers woke up this morning until the teams are on the clock to come up with a plan for proceeding.

It allows the teams to conduct more research, to speak directly to Allen about the tweets, to spend time trying to figure out who leaked the information and why, and ultimately to decide whether to take him off the draft board or to lower his position on it.

Before those decisions are made, owners surely will be involved. While many (if not most . . . if not all) owners find a way to get involved without appearing to be involved, this gives them a much more clear opening to ask questions, drop hints, and/or issue mandates. As a practical matter, it provides the owner with cover for pushing the needle toward a player the owner wants, if the owner previously was inclined to not push for Josh Allen.

Regardless, there’s now much more time for these activities to occur. So if someone did this on purpose, they should have waited until much closer to the outset of the draft in order to create maximum chaos.

Paul Perkins had surgery on pectoral injury

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One of many things we’ll be waiting to learn on Thursday night is whether or not the Giants will be drafting running back Saquon Barkley with the second overall pick.

Their decision is unlikely to be influenced by the immediate availability of running back Paul Perkins, although there is an issue on that front. Perkins has been sitting out of minicamp this week with his arm in a sling due to a pectoral injury and it looks like he’ll be out a little longer.

According to multiple reports, Perkins needed to have surgery on the injury and there’s no timeline for when he’s expected to be back to football activities. Perkins suffered the injury working out on his own before the Giants’ offseason program got underway this month.

Perkins had 112 carried and 15 catches during his rookie season, but saw his usage drop to 49 overall offensive touches in 2017. Jonathan Stewart and Wayne Gallman are the other experienced backs on the Giants roster.