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Bosa, Chargers need to commit to compromising, now

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 01:  Defensive lineman Joey Bosa #97 of the Ohio State Buckeyes reacts as he walks off the field after defeating the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 44-28 in the BattleFrog Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 1, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Getty Images

It’s been two days since the Chargers opted to take the gurgling impasse with Joey Bosa public, backing the player and his agents into a corner and making it much harder for a reasonable deal to be finalized. NFL Media, partially owned by the Chargers and entirely owned by franchises that could find themselves in similar situations in the future, seems to be slanting coverage in a subtle (or not-so-subtle) effort to pressure Bosa and, ideally, to drive a wedge between Bosa and his agents, with the goal of having Bosa roll out of bed one day with a decision to take the offer that’s on the table.

Making matters worse is the reality that plenty of current and former players are doing the bidding of The Boss, adding to the pressure on Bosa by suggesting that his reluctance to take the pending offer amounts to a reluctance to play football.

But every argument directed at Bosa (e.g., he’s not haggling over much money at this point) can be directed at the team, and the idea that “Bosa must not want to play for the Chargers” easily can be phrased as “the Chargers must not want Bosa to play for them.”

The divide continues to spring from the team adhering to franchise precedent and Bosa adhering to top-three-in-the-draft precedent. Without much separating the two sides (at least until the Chargers vowed to shrink their offer), each side is sitting back, folding its arms, and saying, “What’s the big deal?”

Here’s what needs to happen. The two sides need to get in a room and commit to negotiating until a deal is done.

If that sounds familiar, it’s because we consistently took the same position about the Jets and Ryan Fitzpatrick. When two sides who disagree commit to engaging in good-faith negotiations, a spirit of compromise and practicality takes over, and a middle ground is reached.

It happens all the time in civil litigation, where parties that despise each other submit to efforts to settle their claims in good faith with the intent of working out their differences and, despite the animosity, they routinely do. Even with apparent anger between Bosa and the Chargers, a genuine effort to get together and strike a deal will most likely get a deal done.

At this point, one side needs to be big enough to make the call, and the other side needs to be big enough agree to give it a try. Once that happens, the deal will be 95 percent complete.

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Teams begin preparing for glut of cut players

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Currently, NFL rosters have up to 90 players. On Tuesday, the maximum drops to 75. Four days later, the limit reduces to 53.

My calculator tells me (assuming I entered the information correctly) that up to 1,184 roster moves will be made over the next eight days. Most of those will come from the termination of contracts or the placement of players on waivers. Teams are preparing for the coming glut of cuts by, for example, contacting agents to find out which of their clients are on the bubble.

It’s a common practice, and as a practical matter it’s happening now. Because very soon plenty of guys will be looking for jobs, and plenty of teams will be looking to upgrade their 53-man rosters by grabbing guys cut by other teams.

Regardless of how it all works out, more than 1,000 guys who currently are playing in the NFL and very much want to do so will soon be told they can’t. Plenty more would currently love to be on a 90-man roster but still can’t get a shot (thank heavens I read this one more time before hitting “publish,” because I had a word other than “shot” in there).

Hopefully, the media will keep this dynamic in mind before making a big deal about a handful of guys who choose to leave football before football chooses to tell them to leave. Far more will be leaving football before they want to.

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Falcons announce five roster cuts

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The Falcons announced five roster cuts Friday as they began the process of trimming their roster to 75 players by next week’s deadline.

Waived by the team were wide receiver David Glidden, defensive end Efe Obada, fullback Will Ratelle, cornerback Jordan Sefon and guard Jordan Walsh. All but Obada were undrafted rookies signed by the Falcons last spring. Obada spent some time with the Cowboys last season.

The moves put the Falcons’ roster at 84 players.

All teams must trim their rosters to 75 by Aug. 30, then to the regular season size of 53 by Sept. 3.

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Jeremy Maclin, Lamarcus Joyner fined $9,115 after ejections

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, left, and Los Angeles Rams cornerback Lamarcus Joyner, right, scuffle during the first half of a preseason NFL football game, Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016, in Los Angeles. Both players were ejected. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang) AP

Preseason ejections aren’t the most common thing in the world, but there were a pair of them in last week’s game between the Chiefs and Rams.

Chiefs wide receiver Jeremy Maclin and Rams cornerback Lamarcus Joyner were both ejected from the game after getting into a scuffle late in the first half of last weekend’s game in Los Angeles. In another reminder that it is still the preseason, referee Tony Corrente announced Joyner as No. 20 of St. Louis, eliciting a round of boos from the Rams’ new home crowd.

It may have been a practice game, but the league issued real fines in response to the pushing and shoving.

Tom Pelissero of USA Today reports that both players have been fined $9,115 for striking an opponent. That fine is this year’s minimum penalty on the fine schedule used by the league while offenses judged to be more serious, like Seahawks defensive tackle Jarran Reed roughing Vikings quarterback Shaun Hill last week, will cost $18,231 or more.

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Tom Brady reportedly playing in tonight’s preseason game

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, left, grasps the hand of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, right, during NFL football training camp, Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) AP

Barring another unfortunate scissors incident, it appears we’ll see Tom Brady for the first time this preseason when the Patriots play against the Panthers.

Whether he starts, however, remains to be seen.

According to Tom Curran of, Brady has joined the Patriots in Charlotte with the intention of playing.

Of course, the plan was for Brady to play a week ago, before he cut his thumb with a pair of scissors in pregame. That forced Jimmy Garoppolo to make a quick start, and it’s worth wondering whether Bill Belichick sat Brady on purpose just to see how Garoppolo would react.

Belichick has also maintained that having Garoppolo prepared for starting the first four games of the regular season was his priority, so it will be interesting to see how much Brady actually plays tonight.

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Rueben Randle feels he still has plenty to prove

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JANUARY 03:   Rueben Randle #82 of the New York Giants catches a pass in the first half against the Philadelphia Eagles during their game at MetLife Stadium on January 3, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Eagles knew wide receiver Rueben Randle well from his time with the Giants, and the team should know Randle much better now that he’s gone through spring and training camp trying to earn a starting role after signing with the Eagles in free agency.

But Randle still feels like he’s not only proving himself as a player. He believes there were knocks on his consistency and work ethic that may have scared away some potential free agent suitors.

“I feel like I get read wrong because I do a lot of things naturally and it doesn’t seem like I’m giving much effort,” Randle said, per ESPN. “If I go out there and make a one-handed catch and make it look effortless, I get praised for it, but if I do all these other things effortlessly, it’s like I’m not giving much effort.

“It’s just kind of one of those things, you just have to go out there and just make some plays and see how it goes from there.”

The Eagles would like Randle to make a bunch of plays. Jordan Matthews, who led the team in every receiving category last season, has been out for the last three weeks and Randle is in a crowded group of wide receivers trying to make an impression. Randle, who caught eight touchdown passes last season for the Giants, has three preseason catches in two brief appearances.

Though Randle’s focus has been on getting up to speed with a new offense and earning a role in the starting lineup, he’s also playing for the future. He’s just 25 and is on a one-year contract, so he could be back on the free agent market next spring — or play his way into the Eagles’ long-term plans.

The Eagles expect Matthews back for the season opener, and in the meantime Randle and the other receivers are trying to stand out.

“If I didn’t [feel confident], I shouldn’t be here,” Randle said. “We all should feel confident in where we are. We just have to go out and prove ourselves.”

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Tyrann Mathieu, Robert Nkemdiche expected to play Sunday

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 09:  Tyrann Mathieu attends the premiere of "All or Nothing" at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live on June 9, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images for Amazon) Getty Images

The Cardinals will have some different faces on the defensive side of the ball in their third preseason game than they had in their first two outings.

During a Friday press conference, coach Bruce Arians said that safety Tyrann Mathieu will play for the first time since tearing his ACL last December. Mathieu said this week that he “wouldn’t say I’m ready to play a full game” and he won’t be out there for anything close to that as Arians said the plan is for Mathieu to play 10 snaps at the most.

That’s also true of defensive lineman Frostee Rucker and cornerback Justin Bethel, who were also on the physically unable to perform list for most of camp.

Defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche is slated to play a bigger role. The first-round pick missed weeks with an ankle injury, but has been practicing and Arians said he’ll see a lot of playing time against the Texans this weekend.

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Stevan Ridley visiting Colts on Friday

FILE - In this June 14, 2016, file photo, Detroit Lions running back Stevan Ridley runs during NFL football practice in Allen Park, Mich. The Lions have cut Ridley. They made the move Thursday, Aug. 25, before practice. Detroit signed Ridley in April, hoping he would bolster its depth in the backfield after the release of Joique Bell. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File) AP

It didn’t take long for running back Stevan Ridley to start lining up job interviews after being released by the Lions on Thursday.

Mike Garafolo of NFL Media reports that Ridley is in Indianapolis for a visit with the Colts on Friday.

The Colts have Frank Gore in the starting lineup and have been looking for a No. 2 back to separate from the pack this offseason. There was some early buzz about undrafted rookie Josh Ferguson, but he’s run for nine yards on 13 carries through two preseason games. Robert Turbin and Jordan Todman are more experienced options already on the roster.

Ridley couldn’t rise above the third team with the Lions this summer and ran for 90 yards on 36 carries for the Jets after returning from a torn ACL last year, so he may not represent a clear upgrade over the players already on hand.

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Peyton Manning to appear on Comedy Central roast of Rob Lowe

KNOXVILLE, TN - JULY 14: Former NFL and University of Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning speaks during a ceremony to celebrate the life of former Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt, on July 14, 2016 at the Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tennessee.. Summitt died June 28 at the age of 64, five years after being diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. (Photo by Mark Humphrey - Pool/Getty Images) Getty Images

Of all the networks on which Peyton Manning could have appeared this fall, Comedy Central would have been low on the list of options.

But that’s what Manning will soon be doing. Via, the retired Colts and Broncos quarterback will participate in the roast of Rob Lowe. The show will be taped on Saturday night in L.A., and it will premiere on Labor Day, September 5.

Four years ago, Lowe “reported” that Manning would be returning, a scoop fueled by wishful thinking that surely was fed to Lowe by Colts owner Jim Irsay.

It’s an odd and eclectic group of comedians and non-comedians, with Ralph Macchio, Ann Coulter, and Jewel among those who will appear. As each attendee takes a turn at the podium, every participant becomes the target of barbs, some of which can be a little (or a lot) raunchy. Which means that, in addition to dishing it out, Manning will be taking it, too.

Manning will surely be good when it comes to dishing it out. He has shown that he possesses great comedic timing, and he’ll obsess over every joke to ensure each one is funny.

Still, it’ll be interesting to see how he deals with taking it — and how aggressively the others will give it to him.

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Andy Reid: Alex Smith “gets it,” and his arm is strong enough to win a championship

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 20:  Quarterback Alex Smith #11 of the Kansas City Chiefs looks to pass in the first quarter against the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on August 20, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images) Getty Images

After Andy Reid became the head coach in Kansas City, the first order of business was to find a quarterback. Coincidentally, the 49ers were looking to lose a quarterback.

Win. Win.

As Reid and Alex Smith start their fourth season together with the Chiefs, Reid addressed the question of why Smith doesn’t get more credit beyond the organization for his skills and abilities.

“I think it’s how you start, you know?” Reid said on Friday’s PFT Live on NBC Sports Radio and NBCSN. “Your first impression’s the one that kind of hangs with you for a while. So here he was, a kid that comes in as a first pick and then goes through seven or eight different coordinators and different offenses and different head coaches. Finally, he gets Jim [Harbaugh] in there and he settled down and played pretty good football then he got hurt but he was always trying to overcome those early years. Every year he was learning a new system. That’s tough on a quarterback now, I’ll tell you. So he’s been with us now for four years. He’s in a groove and been playing good football for us and, heck, he can still get better. That’s the great thing about football. We can all get better as the years go on, coaches and players. That’s a great thing.”

So what’s the best thing Smith does?

“He’s highly intelligent and he just gets it,” Reid said. “I’m not telling you he’s got the strongest arm in the league, but he’s got plenty strong enough to win a championship with and he knows how to use it. I’ve got full trust in the guy, he’s been a real pleasure to coach.”

49ers coach Chip Kelly may be wishing that he were coaching Smith right now, which may have happened if the team hadn’t picked Colin Kaepernick over Smith. Some (like PFT Live producer and ardent 49ers fan Rob “Stats” Guerrera) think the 49ers kept the right guy. The rest of the reasonably-minded world knows otherwise.

Then again, I’ve never accused Stats of being reasonably minded.

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Beachum will get some snaps Sunday

Kelvin Beachum, Kendall Reyes AP

Jaguars left tackle Kelvin Beachum is set to make his preseason debut Sunday night when the Jaguars host the Bengals, but Beachum isn’t going to play very much.

Jaguars Coach Gus Bradley told reporters Friday that Beachum will play 15-25 plays and be evaluated after every series. Beachum has been out since last season, when he suffered a torn ACL while playing for the Steelers.

Bradley said Luke Joeckel, who’s been playing at left tackle with Beachum out, will start at left guard and also play left tackle.

Beachum has been practicing at least on a limited basis, but the Jaguars have been cautious. Beachum started at left tackle for the Steelers in 2013-14 and for six games last year before the injury.

The Jaguars initially listed Beachum and Joeckel as co-starters on their unofficial preseason depth chart but have since changed that because Beachum hasn’t yet played.

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Adam Vinatieri to Roberto Aguayo: Call me anytime you want

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - JANUARY 03:  Adam Vinatieri #4 of the Indianapolis Colts celebrates after making a field goal against the Tennessee Titans at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 3, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Buccaneers face the Browns at home on Friday night in a nationally televised game, which means there will be plenty of eyes on Buccaneers rookie kicker Roberto Aguayo whenever he takes the field.

Aguayo has missed two field goals and an extra point in his first two preseason games and was heckled by the crowd at a practice this week when he missed more kicks. Aguayo is consulting with a “mental coach” and former NFL kicker Ryan Longwell in an attempt to right himself and one of the league’s top kickers for the last two decades said Aguayo can come to him as well.

While answering questions about Aguayo’s struggles, Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri recalled being told by then-Patriots coach Bill Parcells that he was on thin ice after missing five field goals in the first four games of his rookie year and said he’s willing to share what he’s learned with the rookie.

“He can give me a call anytime he wants to,” Vinatieri said, via “There’s a brotherhood with the specialists. There’s not many of them and we don’t get any respect, so we have to show a little respect for each other. We have to help each other out if we have the opportunity.”

Vinatieri, who wasn’t drafted, said he things Aguayo will figure out because he wouldn’t have been drafted 59th overall (after the Buccaneers traded up) if he “wasn’t really, really good.” That’s obviously what the Bucs believe, but a little confirmation of it on Friday night would be a welcome development all the same.

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Josh Norman never wants to play for the Giants

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 20:  Josh Norman #24 of the Carolina Panthers reacts during their game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on December 20, 2015 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) Getty Images

Washington cornerback Josh Norman has built his reputation in part by taking shots at anyone and everyone. In a new interview with Kevin Van Walkenburg of ESPN The Magazine (which actually occurred in May, which is sort of odd in today’s world of instant media), Norman took some shots at the New York Giants.

Receiver Odell Beckham Jr. remains Norman’s most obvious target. Norman spent plenty of time railing against Beckham in the interview.

“People from around the league were coming up to me afterward and saying, ‘He does that crap all the time,'” Norman said regarding the aftermath of last December’s brawl with Beckham at MetLife Stadium. “He lost so much respect from people for that little tantrum. I’ve already got a couple people telling me, ‘OK, I’ve got a hit out on him.’ It’s going to be rough for him this year. And he brought it on himself.”

Norman didn’t address, and apparently wasn’t asked about, whether he directed gay slurs at Beckham before the game. Panthers players allegedly harassed Beckham with that kind of talk, sparking Beckham’s temper during the game. (An NFL investigation on the matter found no proof of gay slurs.)

For Norman, his hard feelings toward the Giants extend far beyond Beckham. Norman explained in the interview that, when he was entering the draft four years ago, the Giants asked him tough questions about a reputation for freelancing at Coastal Carolina.

Norman said the Giants were “trying to get me to admit that I wouldn’t listen to coaching” and “[t]hat I was a dirtbag.” The interrogation continued until Norman snapped.

“They kept asking me the same question, wanting me to admit to something I didn’t do,” Norman said. “I ended up breaking down in the room.”

Crying, Norman called his agent and said he never wants to play for the Giants. For the foreseeable future, he’ll be playing against the Giants. Twice per year. And his quotes about Beckham and the team should be dusted off before every encounter.

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Andrew Luck: I’ll try to stop making tackles by eliminating interceptions

Colts-Andrew-Luck-Mike-Ehrmann-Getty-Images Getty Images

Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton has been told to stop making tackles after he broke his throwing hand trying to make a stop after an interception last season. Colts quarterback Andrew Luck thinks he has a better way to protect himself: Not throw interceptions in the first place.

Asked today about Bengals cornerback Adam Jones saying on PFT Live that Dalton should “run his ass back to the sideline” if he throws a pick, Luck said he hasn’t been given the same advice.

“No, they have not told me to stop making tackles, they’ve just told me to stop throwing interceptions,” Luck said on The Dan Patrick Show. “I’ve always thought if I didn’t give effort to try and right a wrong that I’d be severely disappointed in myself. I was taught how to tackle properly at a young age by my coaches.”

Luck is bound to throw at least a few interceptions over the course of a season, however, and given how important his health is to the success of the franchise, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for him to shy away from contact.

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Eric Berry expected to report to Chiefs in coming days

Kansas City Chiefs v Buffalo Bills Getty Images

During a Friday visit to PFT Live, Chiefs coach Andy Reid said that he’s confident safety Eric Berry will “be able to get himself back before the first game and be ready to go.”

Berry has not been part of the Chiefs’ work in either the spring or the summer after getting the franchise tag early in the offseason and failing to reach an agreement on a long-term deal with the team before the July 15 deadline. Berry can still make the full $10.806 million he’s due under the franchise tender by reporting in time for Week One.

According to multiple reports, that’s just what Berry will do. The safety is expected to report to the team in the coming days so he can sign his tender and spend some time on the field with the team before they open the season against the Chargers on September 11.

Berry is one of two key Chiefs defenders who have missed all the team’s work since the end of the 2015 season. Linebacker Justin Houston remains out after having surgery to repair his ACL and looks like a candidate to open the year on the physically unable to perform list, which would leave him ineligible to play for the first six weeks of the year.

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